So Easy a Caveman Could Do It

Well, I might as well come out about it. About seven weeks ago, Michael and I embarked on a journey that has made life kind of interesting. There are many different ways that I could tell you about it, but I hate labels and I hate putting myself into a box. I could say we started eating like cavemen, or I could say that we started following the Primal diet. I could even say that we are trying to live the Paleo lifestyle. Heck, once I explain it to you, you might even say that I am following the Atkin’s diet (which would elicit an eye roll or two from me). What it boils down to is that we started eating like hunters and gatherers would have eaten, before agriculture came on the scene in humanville. That means we stopped eating anything containing grains or sugar or beans and we cut back A LOT on our dairy. That means no bread, pasta, cakes, cookies, or basically anything worth eating, right? And it goes without saying that we have cut most processed foods out of our diet. Why would anybody in the world want to do that, you may ask. Well, because it just makes sense. And I have to believe in something to put it into practice, so I don’t typically just jump on any old bandwagon that comes along. I could spend a lot of time here trying to explain what it’s all about, but it’s a whole lot easier to share this video:

I first learned about Primal or Paleo eating when some friends of ours started doing it. At that time, I didn’t think much about it. I had done low carb diets before and had minimal success that didn’t last because I found it very hard to stick with it. I had other plans to try to lose some pounds and it went something like, “eat healthier, whole grains, less meat, in moderation, and exercise more.” Yeah, that didn’t really happen. Then one day I stumbled upon a website, Mark’s Daily Apple, when I was looking for a recipe online. I started reading. Then I kept reading and reading and reading. Something just clicked in my brain and I knew it was time to change and this was the way to do it. About two days after I started reading, I went to see an acupuncturist and wellness doctor. Based on pages and pages of health information he had me complete, he concluded that I was suffering from insulin resistance, among other things. Insulin resistance. Two dirty words that I had heard in the past from a fertility doctor. Except that doctor didn’t tell me to change the way I eat. He prescribed medication. The acupuncturist told me to eat fewer carbs and more protein. At that point, I had already been eating primal for two days, but this was confirmation of everything I had just read and was already beginning to do.

Fortunately, Michael was on board right away. It would be so much harder if he was still eating the way we used to eat. So, what have been the effects for us so far? Well, it’s still a little early to tell how it’s going to effect our health. I’m planning to have some blood panels run for the acupuncturist, so I will be excited to see what my numbers look like. But, if it’s anything like some of the success stories I have read, I don’t think I will have anything to worry about. It’s also too soon to tell if it will have any effect on my fertility, but I’m keeping tabs on that. What has happened is that I have lost about 12 pounds and Michael has lost 22…with very little exercise. I have more energy. I don’t feel tired after I eat a meal, and I don’t really have cravings. I don’t really miss the bread, rice, or pasta. When you think about it, those things are really just a vehicle for other yummy things, so we have just found acceptable substitutes, like a lettuce leaf wrapped around tuna or egg salad, or finely chopped cauliflower as a substitute for rice. And this way of eating is just easy…much easier than I thought it would be. This is the longest amount of time that I have been able to stick with an eating plan.

I’m really excited about making this change. I would love for both of us to get to a point where we don’t need any medications to stay healthy. We’re still in the process of taking steps to get closer to eating as clean as possible. We buy organic whenever we can and this summer we will be getting our veggies from a CSA. We also try to buy organic meat, but it can get expensive very quickly, so we’re planning to buy a chest freezer so that we can order grass fed and free range meats in bulk. We aren’t 100% there yet, but we’re working on it. At the same time, we realize that we don’t live in the same world that our paleolithic ancestors inhabited, so we try to follow the 80/20 rule. We eat primally about 80% of the time and 20% of the time, we might eat things that aren’t so primal. I still have coffee and wine and chocolate…in moderate amounts. So far, so good. We are looking and feeling healthier and I can’t think of any reason to go back.

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