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With one week behind us, we feel much more excited and ready to see some serious results after the 30 days. The 30-day challenge is not about restricting ourselves of delicious food, it’s about learning how our individual bodies respond to certain foods in order to feel and live our best, the way God intended. The first week was more mental than anything. I had to make conscious decisions and actually stop and think about ingredients.

Taking time for food is a foreign concept in our modern, busy culture. However, just over 100 years ago, the average American woman spent 7 hours a day cooking and cleaning up from cooking for her family. Today moms spend just over an hour! (GMA) Now don’t get me wrong, I greatly appreciate the many industrial innovations of today’s more advanced society (ie cooking appliances). But, the attention to what we are putting in our bodies is practically non-existent. The majority of people take whatever advice is currently “in” and go from there. We don’t enjoy or appreciate the time and care it takes to prepare a good, wholesome meal. For me, the 30-day Primal Challenge and the lifestyle the primal diet encourages is not about how cavemen ate. It’s about using my brain to think about the food that I put in my body, making sure that it is the best, in order to live my life to the fullest of my ability for the purposes that God has for me.

With that said, here’s how day 8 looked.

Day 8 was the best I have felt yet. I got plenty of water, ate good high fat/high protein meals, and did some exercises (squats, planks, and push-ups) at home which my 9 month old thought was hilarious (I’m not sure if she was thought I was funny or she was laughing at me).

One thing I also did differently today was that I did not eat any nuts. The other seven days I would find myself snacking on nuts throughout the day, whether it was raw almonds, cashews, or almond butter. Today, I made sure that my meals were hearty enough to tide me over to the next meal and other than a peach, banana, strawberry smoothie made with coconut milk around 3pm, I felt satisfied and had tons of energy. I’m going to avoid nuts for another day to see if it really was that or if it was a coincidence. I have noticed that I get some stomach/intestinal issues when eating nuts though. This is probably due to the phytic acid content. Here is a great article I read awhile back about nuts and phytic acid content. In summary, when phytic acid is eaten it binds to minerals in the gastrointestinal tract. There are ways to reduce the phytic acid content by soaking, sprouting, or fermenting the nuts, but most people don’t want to take the time to do this. When minerals bind together, they generally cannot be absorbed in the intestine and this can lead to nutrient deficiencies. Nuts are within the primal realm for most people, but it might be worth it to avoid them for a time to find out how your body responds to them.

Menu for day 8 included:

Breakfast: eggs & bacon, black coffee

Lunch: One tip I have learned is to have some chicken tenders on hand for nutritious and time saving meals. I didn’t have any leftover meat, so this morning I just put a few chicken tenders on a skillet and cooked them over the stove while I got breakfast ready. Nutritious and wholesome lunch to go! Grilled Chicken over large mixed green salad, carrots & tomato.

Dinner: I got brave – Beef Liver and onions! Liver is an exceptionally nutrient-dense food. It is an excellent source of zinc, vitamin B12, Vitamin A, copper, folate, and riboflavin. (WHfoods) I got some from our local farm, so I knew if I was going to try liver, now was the time. I have only had liver one other time and I was not a huge fan of the texture. This recipe, however, was actually very good. If you want a time-saver meal, this is it. The onions take about 20 minutes to cook and get really caramalized, but cooking the liver only takes a few minutes on each side. I loaded my liver with onions and I really did like the flavor! The texture is still not my favorite, but I can eat liver every once in a while knowing it’s one of the most nutrient-dense foods out there. My husband loved it and wants to have it regularly! I paired the liver with some sauteed red pepper and squash I had in the fridge.

Tomorrow I will continue to get plenty of water, some exercise, and avoid nuts.