You may be wondering why I went off the blogging grid for the past several days and where days 25-30 are? Well, they aren’t there. That’s because we turned our 30-day Challenge into a 25 day challenge. Why? Because life happens. No one is perfect 100% of the time. Do I think we can eat 100% primal for 30 days. Yes. Will we try it again? Definitely!
Craig’s psoriatic arthritis update. From Craig: “I haven’t taken my injectable medication in almost 3 months and have no arthritis pain. We are praying that the lab results from my upcoming doctor’s visit in October will be the proof. I have seen mild Psoriasis pop up since the medication was for both conditions, but we are going to try some natural remedies like tea tree oil to combat it. I will keep you posted. The only inflammation I feel is after a tough workout (which is normal and the body’s way of rebuilding). I have been exercising more regularly and doing crossfit style workouts and have more stable and consistent energy. The workouts paired with primal eating have accelerated the results. I feel more confident in general. People respect you more when you are fit, but not a meathead.”
Here are some of the things we learned:
It’s not THAT hard to say no. Yes, sweet, salty, crunchy foods are delicious, but I realized that no one is shoving food down my throat. I used to always say things like “I ate it because it was sitting there” or “I didn’t want them to feel bad, so I ate (insert food that I know makes me feel bad but I eat it anyway)”. I realized that chocolate cake doesn’t attack me and make me eat it, I’m the one that chooses it. And, people don’t get their feelings hurt when you explain politely that you are cutting back on sugar/wheat/grains/dairy, I just sometimes use it as my excuse to indulge.
My stomach does not like sugar. When we did “cheat” a couple times during the 25 days, it wasn’t even 30 minutes after I had eaten sugar that my stomach felt so bloated and (ehem) gassy. I won’t go into details, but it wasn’t pretty. I used to feel like this all the time and I just thought it was something I just had to deal with. And it wasn’t just when I was eating “sweets”. I feel horrible after I eat anything processed. My body recognizes the fake ingredients.
It’s not “cheating” if I make healthy eating my lifestyle. “Cheating” would infer that I should feel bad about the occasional cookie or ice cream. However, if I am buying and cooking healthy, primal meals for my family at home and I’m making good decisions 95% of the time, there’s room for the occasional chips and dip. After going almost 3 weeks with no sugar, then eating a little icecream, I did not feel bad at all because I knew that the next day I would pick right back up with healthy eating habits. Not because I felt like I had to, but because I feel good when I eat things my body actually needs instead of empty chemical laden food.
Next to diet, sleep and exercise, respectively, are key. I felt the best when I was eating clean, whole food, getting 7-8 hours of sleep and exercising a few days a week. I’m fueling my body well, letting it recover, and working it out for maximum use. Stay tuned: workout post coming soon.
Personally, I found that dairy isn’t a huge issue for me. I didn’t notice much of a difference when I ate good, full fat, grass-fed dairy (the ice cream is obviously a different story).
I need to cut back my consumption of nuts. Previously, it was nothing to eat a handful of nuts a couple times of day between meals for a boost of energy. However, I noticed that for me, the phytates that are in nuts can give me slight digestion issues. This doesn’t happen for everyone, but I would encourage you to do your own experiments to find out what effects you personally. Cut them out for several days and then reintroduce and see how you respond. I did not see the same results with almond flour, so I will keep experimenting with that.
Drink lots of water. We all know water is good for us, but how many really drink enough throughout the day? We don’t have to drown in it, but it helps to be mindful of how much you are drinking. I now try to drink a glass of water while I’m cooking breakfast in the morning – before I have my coffee. At each meal I drink a full glass of water if not more. And in between meals when I feel hungry, I drink a glass of water. Sometimes when we feel hungry, it’s actually our body telling us that we are dehydrated. Water just helps everything function the way it should.
Eating a balanced diet just makes the most sense. Whole, real, natural, untouched food just makes sense. Although I know that I can’t and won’t be perfect, I want to fuel my body with the best possible nutrients in order to live the fullest life that God has for me.
What are some changes that you have noticed after eating primal? What foods have you learned you can’t tolerate?