Going Primal

28 Jan

For a while now, my father has been struggling with high blood pressure. A couple of years ago, he had a physical and his doctor warned him about his high blood pressure. My dad didn’t want to take any medication so he started working out more regularly and eating better. His blood pressure went down and we all sighed with relief.

However, it’s difficult to keep those healthy habits up when both of your parents fall ill very suddenly and pass away. Needless to say, over the past year, my dad has been through a lot and his blood pressure has crept back up. He went in for another physical and they sent him to a nutritionist. The nutritionist put him on a special diet and it is working wonders for my dad (and my mom since she joined in)!

The diet is called primal or paleo and Josh and I have jumped onto the bandwagon! It’s not the easiest thing to do but I can already tell a difference. I am not doing this for weight issues, but more for my health. The philosophy of this diet is that you only eat things that our ancient ancestors would have eaten such as veggies, fruit and meat. You can eat as much bacon and sausage as you want. Eggs and (most) nuts are great. The only time I feel hungry is when I don’t plan enough and run out of snacks that I can grab on my way out the door.

In the most basic of explanations, the purpose of the diet is to cut out grains and sugars. If you told me a few months ago that I would stop eating grains and sugar I would have laughed until I peed myself. I used to eat dessert every. single. night. and I adored bread. I couldn’t go one night without ice cream, cookies or brownies. Now? I have a square or two of 73%  organic dark chocolate and am completely satisfied. And the best part is that I don’t crave sugar anymore. Occasionally I will get a hankering for a cupcake, but I don’t have those monster cravings at night anymore.

We have had to really adjust how we plan and prepare meals. Since we can’t eat oatmeal or cereal in the morning, we need to either have something prepared ahead of time or make something simple in the morning. We need to plan ahead for lunches because we have limited time to eat and can’t cook a big fancy lunch every day. Dinners aren’t too bad because we never really ate any grains in the evening. We have been trying a lot of new recipes and some have been great while others…well, let’s just say I ate as fast as I could to get it over with.

Overall, I am starting to feel better! I used to feel bloated almost every day but after starting this diet, I am hardly ever bloated. My father has lost weight and his blood pressure is going down. He says he sleeps better and has a ton more energy. Josh loves this new diet because he believes that a lot of health issues humans have are from our diets. He doesn’t think our bodies are made to consume the massive amounts of sugar and grains that we normally eat. If our bodies aren’t made for that, of course it would cause problems if we ate it! I have also done some reading on gluten intolerance and I was amazed to see how common it is for people to not be able to tolerate gluten. It has also been linked to fertility issues.

If you want to read more about it, just do a Google search for paleo or primal diets and you will be amazed at how many resources there are. You can also go to this link which has a wealth of information and recipes.

It is worth noting that we don’t stick to this diet 100% every single day. In fact, they say that if you just aim for 80% primal it will make a difference. We will still go out to eat and get mashed potatoes sometimes. I will still treat myself with a cupcake every now and then. We do still eat pizza but we do make sure it’s at least gluten free and it still tastes amazing! One thing that I have noticed is that after I have those mashed potatoes or cupcakes, I feel bloated and crampy. A good cupcake is sometimes worth a little bloating but it really confirms to me that I am making the right choice by cutting these things from my diet.

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3 Responses to “Going Primal”

  1. Jess January 29, 2011 at 1:19 am #

    It is amazing how much healthy eating changes you. You just feel so much better when you cut all the yuck out. I’ve been trying to be a lot healthier and I’ve sort of fallen off the bandwagon exercise wise unfortunately. But I have noticed that it’s so much easier to eat better by not buying the tempting stuff!

  2. Mari January 29, 2011 at 5:18 am #

    I always think that way of eating was worthwhile. I know whenever we cut back on most grains, sugars, processed foods we feel so much better and lighter inside.

  3. Aba February 4, 2011 at 4:01 am #

    Oof, and I was feeling so proud of myself for eating oatmeal instead of white rice as my main carb! That’s really great that you’ve made this kind of switch though! It really is for the better. 🙂

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