Posts Tagged With: Primal

It’s Revival Time

I think it’s about time for a revival of my This is How I Primal blog. Over the last 2 years, it’s pretty much fallen by the way side. I know, I know. Bad blogger, bad. But you know that whole “life” thing got in the way (that’s such a generic excuse, isn’t it?), and blogging wasn’t a huge priority or interest to me. A lot has changed for me over the last 2 years; both good and bad. Primal has been a consistent and ever-present part of it though.

Here’s a brief summary of the crazy good/bad things that have happened to me since the last time I really blogged (in June/November of 2013–eek!!!):

Summer 2013:

  • I attempted the VA Spartan Super, but was unable to finish it. I was not nearly ready enough for that beast of a mountain
  • My mother was diagnosed with ALS

Fall 2013:

  • My maternal grandmother passed away from complications of severe and untreated diverticulitis
  • I moved into a house full of roommates, the first time I lived with strangers since college
  • I ran the DC Ragnar Relay race with a team of 12 amazeballs people whom have become some of my closest friends
  • I got to my lowest weight ever, 165lbs, and maintained it for over 7 months
  • I started a new, amazing relationship with the love-of-my-life

Winter 2013-2014

  • I moved into my first ever solo studio apartment

Spring 2014

  • I traveled to Arizona for the 3rd time to run my annual work event
  • I gained 10lbs back, to put me at 175lbs, and I’ve been struggling to lose the weight ever since

Summer 2014

  • I celebrated the birth of my first niece!!! (Emerson Claire 6/18/2014 <3)
  • I went on my first cruise to Bermuda, baby!
  • I ran and COMPLETED the VA Spartan Super–hallelujah!

Fall 2014

  • I moved in with the Mr., along with 2 of our closest friends (whom are also a couple) and their bulldog, Remy
  • I ran the DC Ragnar Relay again with a lot of similar faces from the previous year, but with a few new ones too
  • I started working part-time at a gym; my first step towards someday becoming a personal trainer
  • I adopted a German Shepard mix puppy, Enzo, with the Mr. from the Humane Society!!!

Winter 2014-2015

  • I celebrated the birth of my first nephew!!! (Ethan Cash  12/25/14 <3)
  • I traveled to New Mexico to run a small work conference
  • I started training my first ever “client”, who’s a great friend of mine that wanted to help me out with seeing if I want to be a PT
  • I got encouraged by a different great friend to become a Beachbody Coach, and was convinced to buy the Les Mills Body Combat program before it was retired forever

This week I was going to add to my Winter 2014-2015 list “became a Beachbody Coach”… But after careful consideration, and a better understanding of what it meant to be one (what the monetary value was to be considered an “active coach” vs “inactive”), I’ve decided to forgo adding that to my list for the time being.

I will, however, continue what I had intended to do in the first place with this blog, and my new This is How I Primal Facebook page: spread awareness of Primal/Paleo; share my experiences following the lifestyle; and encourage others to make positive steps towards a healthier, happier life.

So with that, I officially consider the This is How I Primal blog “revived” and ready for business!

‘Til next time, folks!

Bex

 

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Bexyanne’s Primal Daily, Day 2

I’m exhausted today. It was a good day visiting with my friend Jaime, but I’m sad it’s Sunday. I could use a completely lazy day.

Food

I didn’t eat as much as I should, but it wasn’t super terrible.

Breakfast: coffee with cream, and leftover hummus with the Tostitos chips.

Dinner: salad from Chipotle (lettuce, black beans, carnitas, corn salsa, sour cream, cheese and guacamole), and tiny handful of tortilla chips.

Nighttime Snack: 4 pieces of bacon

Workout

  • 1min elbow plank x2
  • 30 burpees (Day 2 of the challenge)
  • 50 Russian twists
  • 25 mountain climbers
  • 45 sec side planks

Whew. I’m exhausted. Tomorrow’s goal: another good workout and NO chips.

Night y’all. Xoxo

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Bexyanne’s Primal Daily, day 1

I mentioned in my last post that I’m going to start doing a daily check-in about my diet & workouts for the day. So here we go!

Food
I didn’t do fantastic in the food department…

Breakfast: honeycomb cereal & whole milk

Morning Snack: a handful of tortillas chips & mild salsa

Lunch: nothing

Afternoon Snack: half a red velvet latte from Dunkin Donuts

Dinner: Wegmans asiago artichoke croquette, wegmans bruschetta stuffed portobello mushroom, 1 spring roll, 2 handfuls of Tostitos Artisan 3 cheese chips, & sweet potato hummus

Workouts
I got my ass handed to me at the gym today haha.

  • 25 pull-ups on the pull-up machine
  • 30 burpees
  • 20 sit-ups
  • 20 second Superman
  • 50 air squats
  • 20 dips on pull-up machine

The 30 burpees is the first day of the Spartan Race challenge I’ve decided that I am going to do: 30 Days of 30 Burpees. If today was any indication, this month is gonna kick my ass so hardcore, but it’ll be so worth it in the long run. I’m excited to see the results at the end of the month. I just need to stick to it. I want to so badly.

Anyway, that’s my day 1 of my workout diary.

Have a great night and Sunday, everyone!

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Let’s Play Catch-Up: Where I’ve been the last 5 months

Alright, I’ll admit it: I suck sometimes. I fell off the face of the earth with my Primal weight-loss, healthy living blog… AGAIN. Sigh. I don’t have any excuses for my laziness in blogging; I’ve just let its importance to me slip in the craziness of life. But I do keep coming back eventually, so it’s not THAT bad, right? RIGHT?! Before I dive into where the hell I’ve been for the last 5 months, I’ll just say this: I’m going to try to be more conscious of not going so long without posting something. I know I say that a lot, but I do mean it this time. Blogging, really writing in general, is therapeutic for me, and I need to start doing more of the things that make me a happier and healthier person. That’s a cornerstone of the Primal lifestyle afterall 😉

Ok, so where have I been exactly? Trying to get a better handle on this horrible thing I got snookered into called being an adult. The summertime and fall have seen LOTS of changes for me; some really good and some not as good. I got engaged and subsequently un-engaged. I moved out of my apartment of 2 years into a house full with 3 other housemates that’s literally in the same neighborhood as my best friend. I lost my maternal grandmother very suddenly and unexpectedly, whom was a constant part of my daily life as a child/teenager. I have started dating an amazing new guy, and have lots of great things coming up on the horizon. Life has been insane; a definite roller coaster ride that’s for sure. I’ve been keeping my head above water, and I am really trying to embrace the concept of letting go of things I can’t control. It certainly not an easy process, but I’m trying my damnedest to take it on as a new Bexyanne.

What does all this mean for my Primal journey? I fell of my “Year without Sugar” about a week in. It was a totally unrealistic goal, and completely unattainable with everything else I had going on. I tried to tackle too long of a period of time way too quickly. I need to start with week/month long challenges first, so I know I can handle and get my shit together. Lesson definitely learned there. I’m sorry to those of you wondering about my progress. I’m planning to try to do another “no sugar” challenge again once the holidays and all that jazz are over. I want to enjoy the festivities without stressing this year haha.

I’ve been maintaining my Primal lifestyle in it’s “maintenance” phase pretty easily. I had been actively losing for a several months this summer, and I’ve dropped (and kept off) 20lbs. I’m getting back into the swing of working out, and am trying desperately to get my strict Primal diet back. There have been lots small temptations and cheats that have been making it hard to keep it under 50g of carbs per day. Damn all this non-Primal people making me cheat haha 😉 (Not not really). But I’m going to get a better handle on it slowly but surely.

A new idea I’m going to be implementing that will help keep me accountable in my diet/weight loss journey (as well as get me on here more regularly) is to have a daily (or as daily as I can get it) diet-workout check-in post. I’ve read different articles about keeping a workout journal to make you take a real look at what you’re doing/not doing, and I figured sharing it here might help some of you folks see how I struggle with self control and willpower too. I hope the posts won’t get obnxious for you, but I think it could be a fun thing for me to do for a while. We’ll see how it goes!

So, I hope y’all will forgive me for my absence. I’m getting back into the swing of things. And I hope you’ll enjoy all the posts to come.

Here’s a peek at the difference of weight loss for this year… So far. I’m hoping to have more changes by New Years. Fingers crossed.

20131123-234957.jpg

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Primal Blueprint is as easy as 1-2-3

Carb_Curve_color

Photo credit: Mark Sisson of Mark’s Daily Apple

THIS is what Primal is all about. Great explanation of what I do in three easy diagrams. So glad I found this.

Happy almost weekend; I’ll have an update about my year without sugar for you soon.

Xoxo

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A Year Without Sugar…?

sugarI’ve been thinking about doing something radical when it comes to added sugar and sugary drinks for a while now. Health issues, healthy living, and all things bad for you have been a hot trend lately; the “it” thing to debate about and have opinions on. I suppose I’m no exception on the latter part. I have strong opinions and ideas about what’s healthy vs not, but I’ll spare you the lecture. Suffice it to say, I think added sugar (the kind your personally add to things & the kind companies put in all the foods we buy packaged) and sugary drinks (like soda, sweet tea, bottled lemonade, etc.) are bad for everyone. You. Me. Our neighbors. The guy at the gas station. Your frenemy in book club. Everyone.

A few of things have brought me to this conclusion. First, the Primal lifestyle doesn’t really condone added sugar. This has been one of the hardest parts of Primal (for me), and one aspect I kind of avoided like the plague. That is, until I stumbled upon this gem: a chart about how much sugar is really in all those drinks we know and love (image to the left).Whats-in-Your-Drink_2 It made me want to drop the glass of Coke I’d just ordered with dinner real fast, and rethink the Lava Fudge cake I plan to scarf down for dessert. (I’m scared to think of what a sugar-to-sweet-treat ratio chart might look like.) But the thing that really did it was this video.

The words “paralyze”, “brain”, and “overeating” should never, ever, be in the same sentence together; but they are. Sugar paralyzes your brain’s ability to feel full. And that’s just ONE of the terrible things it does. That fact terrifies me more than anything else. Why this one thing bothers me more than all the rest, I don’t know. But it’s the catalyst for my year-long experiment.

I will say, before I start my project, that I’ve still consumed sugar in drinks and other foods (mainly desserts) over the past few months, probably more than I’d care to admit, all KNOWING what I’m consuming and still doing it anyway. I just feel guilty about it now too.

My guilt, however, has lead me to try something for the next year: an experiment in willpower with a focus on being much more health conscious and driven to achieve my fitness/health goals.

For the next year, ending on June 16th, 2014, I hereby solemnly swear to abide by these mandatory rules and exceptions:

The Manadtory Rules

NO adding sugar to: drinks (like coffee or tea) or any other food that I purchase or make

NO consuming bottled/canned/fountain sugary drinks including: soda, sweet tea, lemonade, seltzer drinks, energy drinks, etc.

NO consuming store-bought or homemade: candy bars, cookies, cakes, cupcakes, or the like

The Exceptions

I am allowed ONLY 1 alcoholic drink per week if desired (or needed haha)

I am allowed ONLY 1 night per month where more than 1 alcoholic drink can be consumed, and it is reserved strictly for social functions

I am allowed ONLY 1 piece of semi sweet chocolate per week if desired (or needed)

I am allowed ONLY 1 store-bought/homemade sweet treat per month, and it is reserved strictly for special events

I’ve thought about these rules and exceptions for a long time, bounced my ideas off of other people to get feedback, and feel they are solid & doable rules. I plan to blog about my adventure, and keep you all up to date about how I’m doing. Expect some sugar-deprived rantings every now and then haha. I’m hopeful this will be a breeze, but am realistic about it’s challenges too (a.k.a. this is going to be hard as hell).

Sooo… Wish me luck on my journey!

I’ll talk to ya soon!

P.S. – Can you live without the sugar for a year? Find out with me!

P.P.S. – For more information about why sugar is bad for you, check out these articles:

Categories: Going Grok, My Crazy Adventurous Life | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Life gets the best of us sometimes

I will preface this post by saying, I really did try. I attempted with all my heart to follow my challenge to the letter of the law. I really did, I swear. Even ask my clone. She knew I was trying and struggling to keep my ground.  But… Like all the other challenges past, life threw me curve-balls and I failed to conquer them. I let the hard days, and the temptation, get the better of me.

My 21-day challenge lasted a total of 4. And that was it. Work stressed me out on day 5, and I just threw caution to the wind and ate the shit out of tortillas & salsa at a Don Pablos. Then the next day was the Boy’s birthday celebration at a local Irish pub; a traditional Irish Ruben batted it’s greasy-bread filled eyelashes at me, and I was a goner again. Sunday was a McDonald’s and diner-food feast. Yep. It was bad. All my progress (3lbs down) was lost in just 2 days.

I’ve tried to get my act together multiple times since that failure-filled weekend, but it didn’t happen. Final prep for my 12-day work trip got in the way, and it was just easier to cheat and not worry about cooking. However, I paid the ultimate price for my cheating while here in Arizona. My gallbladder decided it had had enough of my foolishness and crippled me with a horrendous attack that last 7 hours. Needless to say, I got my ass in gear and have been trying my damnedest to stay away from all the bad stuff.

I’ve never felt anything more painful than a gallbladder attack. They happen every so often when I’ve been cheating a lot after a long stint of being good. They plague my family’s genetics, so I’m predisposed to suffer from them. For those of you that don’t know what they are, it’s an intense pain right in the middle of your chest that radiates through to your back, specifically the right shoulder-blade. It’s a constant, intense pain that would literally drive a person insane if it went on for too long. It makes you feel nauseous, shiver with chills, but sweat if you bundle up.The attacks happen almost always at night, and usually last a few hours. (This most recent one was a record long one). Because they happen at night, it can be disorienting and hard to figure out what exactly is happening at first. It usually just feels like bag pain; like I slept on it wrong. But once you realize what it is, there’s very, very little you can do to seek comfort. You flip and flop, pace and lay down. Nothing helps. No position, location, or condition helps relieve the pain. If I never have another one it’ll be way too soon.

My work conference is winding down, and I’ll  have a few extra days to relax in Arizona before heading home. I’m planning on getting a good run in somewhere, and I’m excited to run in a new environment. When I get back, I’ve decided I’ve got to get my butt in gear and start with my Spartan and Primal workouts. I have some big races this year–I have to be ready.

Anyway, here’s my favorite picture of the trip so far. We’re headed to our offsite event tonight, to the home of the Saguaro cactus. I’m hoping for some awesome sunset photos. We shall see!arizona

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Lift heavy things? And what the heck is this Tabata thing?

I know I’ve hinted here and there about working out the Primal way on the blog, but I’ve never actually explained what it is. So! Here we go: the Primal do’s & don’ts of the workout world.

The Do’s

  1. GET MOVING! Put your shoes on, get off the couch and out the door. Walk around the block. Play soccer with the kids. Shovel the driveway. Pull the weeds. Mow the lawn. DO SOMETHING. It’s the first and most important aspect of the physical side of Primal living (in my opinion anyway–Mark may have other thoughts).
  2. Lift heavy things. This is the cornerstone of Primal workouts. It stems from the belief that back in the cavemen days a caveman (or cavewoman) would do short, high-intensity “workouts” every so often throughout a week. Lifting a dead mammoth definitely sounds intense to me! In today’s more civil times, we’d replace the mammoth lifting with body weight workouts. Squats without adding weights. Push-ups (from your knees if it’s all you can support). Pull-ups (this can be fudged with a lat machine at a gym, but props to you if you go outside and use a tree limb or have a pull up bar in your house!). Planks, regular & both sides (you can also start this from your knees if you have a hard time doing the full position). Do as many of each kind as you can, one type at time, back to back. Once you’ve done a set of all 4, rest for no more than 5 minutes. Repeat. The point is to do these exercises as fast as you can, giving 150% each time. Complete a “lift heavy things” workout about 2 or 3 times a week. [Please see my disclaimer at the bottom].

    squats

    (ignore the bar she’s holding)

  3. Sprinting. Cavemen didn’t have cars to drive away in when they were in danger of being eaten by a saber-tooth tiger. They had to rely on the own two feet and the power in their legs. Because this didn’t happen too often (I would hope not anyway), sprinting was only part of the caveman’s life on occasion. So, sprinting should be incorporated into your workout regimens about once a week, at most. The “easiest” way to do this is using the Tabata method mentioned below in number 5. However, you can skip timing how long you sprint and just sprint as long as you can before dialing it back a notch to rest. After an adequate rest break (however long it takes you to get control of your breathing), start sprinting again until you need a break. Continue doing the intervals of sprinting with short breaks in between until you feel you’re running on empty. This could be 2 minutes or it could be 20–do whatever feels right to you. [Please see my disclaimer at the bottom].
  4. Walking. Oh how simple of an act it is, but how often it is overlooked. Walking was the only method for getting around back in caveman days. Yet, in today’s times we’ve abandoned our roots for convenience’s sake. Walking is the last piece to a complete Primal workout regimen  You should aim to walk 3-5 hours total within a seven day period. This can be done all at once on a weekend (trails! sightseeing!), or in little pieces throughout the week (30 minutes a night). When the weather’s nicer I love taking walks after dinner with the boy. It’s a nice way to disconnect from the world for a while and recharge yourself after a long day at work.
  5. Timing. If you have a hard time keeping count when lifting heavy things, or just don’t want to count at all, or are finally adding some sprinting to your workout routines, use a Tabata timer! What the flip is that? Well, Tabata is a workout you can complete in 4 minutes: doing the activity for 20 seconds and resting for 10 seconds, and repeating this cycle until the 4 minutes is up. During those 20 seconds you have to be giving your absolute all–balls to walls, crazy intense (but not risking injury). There are these really cool apps on smartphones that count down for you (hence a Tabata timer), telling you when to start and stop. If you don’t have a smartphone a simple stop watch would work too. Or just watch the second hand a wall clock, but I guess that would being considered “counting” too.
  6. Variety. Just like our food choices, our work outs should be routinely varied. What does that mean, you ask? It means do the same activities but not on consecutive days. Really, it’s whenever the heck you feel like it! Walk on Monday. Lift heavy things on Tuesday. Sprint on Wednesday. Walk on Thursday. Play basketball on Friday. Play frisbee on Saturday. Walk around the mall Sunday. Do something different every day than what you did the day before. Have fun with it!
  7. Be patient. Everyone starts somewhere. The fact that you are making a conscious effort to TRY is all anyone can ask.regretnothing

The Don’ts

  1. Don’t: Chronic cardio. I know, I know. I just trained for a half marathon and I’m going to be training for even crazier races later this year. I know I sound like a hypocrite  But there’s a differentiation I’d like to make before you get all high and mighty on me (yeesh, calm down people). Chronic cardio simply means: don’t run EVERY DAY without RESTING. And don’t do crazy amounts of distances all at one time either. 3 miles, 3 times a week? Sure–love it! 4 miles, 4 times a week? You go, girl (or guy). 4 miles, 6 times a week? No; too much. 5 miles, 3 times a week? Yep, sounds like a plan. You get the idea, right? Limit how much consistent cardio you’re doing to 3 or 4 times a week (if you really have to, or want to do that much cardio in a week). Allow your body adequate rest time in between each session too. Primal discourages training for long distance running (i.e. half marathons or marathons), but does give a good guide on how to do if you are going to do it anyway. You can read it here. It helped me get a base for my half, and I’ll be using this as part of my training for Spartan and Ragnar this year too.
  2. Don’t: be discouraged. The first workout may kick your ass sideways. You may be frustrated beyond belief because you could only do one push-up and 10 squats. Guess what? That’s awesome! You did it! You tried. That’s all it takes–trying. Next time, you’ll be able to do 2 push-ups and 12 squats. You will see improvements if you stick with it. I promise.
  3. Don’t: stress. If you miss a workout day or if you miss a week, don’t stress it. Worrying about what you’re “not” doing, or what you “should” be doing, is having a more damaging affect on your body than not doing the thing you’re worrying about! And if you’re stressing the fact that you’re stressing in addition to not doing the things you healthy“should” be doing (like I do a lot of the time), TAKE A BREAK! Have a glass of wine (beer, juice–pick your poison), grab up a book, and go sit on the couch (or in a hot bath). Take a mental vacation. Do yoga. Get a good night’s sleep. Hell, have sex. Do something to relieve all the tension in your body. Finding an outlet for decompressing is a key part of a Primal, and a healthy in general, lifestyle. Workouts are great de-stressors, but if you’re like me sometimes you need to de-stress away from workouts. Find a healthy coping mechanism and use it!

We aren’t born being able to do amazing feats of physical fitness. We have to teach our bodies, and build them up. Take each workout as it comes, do the best you can each day, and move on with it. It’s always going to be a work-in-progress. You will never be “done” with your body. It’s constantly going to be changing and needing work/maintenance. Accepting the incompleteness will set you free. 

***[My disclaimer]:The above workouts are my personal, completely unprofessionalunofficially trained opinion. It is a reflection of what I have learned elsewhere. I am not speaking on Mark Sisson’s behalf. I encourage everyone to do whatever feels right. Do as much or as little as you can of each activity, for as long as you can (or want). I encourage wholeheartedly that you push yourself and give it your all, but not to the point where you could do real damage. Don’t hurt yourself, and don’t risk injury. We are only given one body; don’t abuse the privilege. The point is to become HEALTHY. I will note there’s a difference between being hurt, and hurting. Some pain is normal; strain, stiffness, and soreness are the normal results of a hard workout. But if this pain doesn’t subside after a day or two (or gets worse as the days go on), you need to seek medical attention and take a prolonged set of rest days. Always consult a professional or your physician before starting any serious workout/training plan.

Categories: Going Grok, Primal Tips & Tricks | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

What are you made of? The 21-day challenge

It’s happened again. I missed the 21-day challenge on Mark’s Daily Apple. And by a lot. Months! A whole half of a year! Primal fail. Sigh.

I don’t know why I decided to look up Primal Challenges again. For some odd reason, though, I found myself on Mark’s page looking for a new challenge. A challenge I could commit myself to for a “short” period of time to re-energize myself. I haven’t been following all of the guidelines lately, and I’m feeling more drained when I get up in the morning than I do when I go to bed. It’s been like pulling teeth to get out from underneath the covers when the alarm goes off. I would work from my bed if I could. It’s really bad news bears.

primal_21day_challengeI found the 21-day challenge from September of last year. It’s a deviation from the normal 30-day annual challenge, and he explains why it’s different here. I’ve decided to give to accept the challenge, even if I’m months too late. It’s a challenge I’ve attempted a few times (the old 30-day versions), but I have never made it through (Primal 101 failure, argh).

Despite my past incomplete attempts, I’m jumping back in the ring! I need to re-focus of all my attention back to the right workouts, “playing”, de-stressing after work, eating the way I’m supposed to, and sleeping properly. It isn’t going to be easy, but it’ll definitely be worth it. 

Want to give it a shot with me?! I know some of you do! C’mon! It’ll be the best thing you could give yourself! Message me with questions, comments, or for support.

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Here’s How I Do It

I’ve talked about “how” I live my Primal lifestyle before, what I eat and what I avoid, but I want to take a quick second for a refresher post. I’ve had a couple of friends ask me what I eat and how I started Primal, so here’s my “Primal History” and “how-to” guide.

Bexy’s Primal History

The first thing I did when starting out on Primal was cutting out caffeine completely. It was hard. Oh, so hard. I had a terrible caffeine addiction. So terrible that if I didn’t have at least 2 cups a day I was walloped with a doosey of a headache by bedtime. I was working third shift as a substance abuse clinician at the time, so caffeine was my lifeline during those long stretches of quiet. But despite all the odds against me, I did it. I stopped drinking the 64 ounces (or more) of coffee daily, and instead just slept all the time when I wasn’t working. [I should point out here that quitting caffeine isn’t necessarily required. For me, I was badly dependent on the caffeine and the sugar I put into it. It was necessary for me to break this realllllly bad habit first. For others who only have a cup or two now, go for it. It’s all about what works for you.] After the headaches stopped, I felt so much better, even with that one simple change. More energy (weird, right?) and I felt refreshed after sleep as opposed to the caffeine-withdrawal-stupor I was in most mornings.

Next, I moved on to carbs. Removing processed carbs, grains, and pastas from your diet is the cornerstone of the Primal lifestyle. I was dreading this part the most. Like a lot of Americans, I was highly addicted to processed carbs, anything that came with cheese on it, and all things fried. It took me a loooooong time to really get my head wrapped around the idea of not eating carbs, let alone actually stopping them.

I started slow, backing off the number of carbs I ate in a day, gradually decreasing them to the “weight-loss” level. It was a HUGE adjustment, one that I couldn’t have done without support and guidance. Mark’s Daily Apple was a gigantic help, as was the Boy, who was the person that pushed me to give this a try.

I kept up the strict Primal diet for a solid month, dropping 20lbs in 30 days, before I started “cheating” more. I maintained for about 3 months before I started being strict again. I’ve been volleying back and forth between being strict and maintaining for the last year and half. Doing it this way has a)helped me keep the weigh off b)let me not feel deprived, and c)gave me room to breath. Following any diet or lifestyle plan 100% is really, really hard. It takes a LOT of practice and dedication. I know someday I’ll be 100% completely Primal, but I’m not there yet. It took me 23 years to learn the bad habits I have; it’s going to take me a long time to unlearn them.

Primal “How-To”

The first thing I have to stress is: you’re going to have to get outside your comfort zone to do Primal. You won’t be able to stick to the 3 types of veggies you know, or you literally won’t last a week. If you’re super picky or just hate anything new, this isn’t the lifestyle of you.

Second, you are going to have to COOK. Primal food doesn’t come out of a box with heating instructions on the label. This is real cooking with REAL food. If you don’t know how to cook, don’t worry, you can learn (I did!). If you hate cooking, or can’t fathom stepping foot inside your own kitchen, this isn’t the lifestyle for you.

With that said, when I first started Primal I ate a lot of salads. I put different veggies on them, and tried different meats and dressings. It was interesting for a while, but after a few weeks I was really craving a “warm” meal. So what the heck do you make that’s Primal, actually cooked, but doesn’t include carbs? I’m glad you asked!

A typical Primal meal in my house consists of 2/3 veggies and 1/3 protein. The protein can be whatever you like: chicken, steak, fish, tofu, etc. Buy organic & grass fed if you can, since it’s the best for you, but no worries if you can’t (I don’t). The veggies can also be whatever you personally like, but you’re gonna need a lot of it to have a full meal. Having 2 veggies can ease up on the volume of one type you’d need to feel full. Tonight, for example, we had collard greens and carrots. Another staple for us is pan-fried cabbage.

It is here, when you are craving a warm meal, that being adventurous with your food is going to come in handy. Broccoli, carrots and cauliflower will only get you so far. Asparagus, spaghetti squash (ahhmazing substitute for pasta), eggplant, cabbage, bak choy, rutabaga, and turnips are all things your should try if you’re considering going Primal. Green beans, corn, lima beans, potatoes, and the like are all “allowed” on the diet, but should be limited. Some people can’t lose weight and eat these things; I happen to be one of those people (you can find the science behind it on Mark’s here).

Cooking with real butter and olive-oil helps to make you feel fuller longer as opposed to cooking with canola oil or Pam, both of which are highly processed and full of chemicals.

A fantastic shopping list of things to eat and not eat, is here. I used this like my own personal bible when I first started out. Mark also publishes posts regularly responding to people’s questions, so feel free to ask him anything!

Cookbooks are fantastic; Primal Blueprint has several.

The other thing I do, which also  really helps with deprivation, is creating Primal versions of the meals I love. Spaghetti, for example, can easily be made Primal buying using spaghetti squash instead of pasta. I’ve made Primal lasagna, Primal tacos, and Primal steak and cheeses. Next on my “to-try” list is potatoes au gratin but made with spaghetti squash! (I’ll let you know how it goes!)

A few other cornerstones of Primal are playing (it’s not just for 6-year-olds anymore), SLEEPING (our college all-nighter days are over), being active, and working out the Primal way. Mark has plenty of tips and tricks for all of these things on his website. For me personally, the biggest and most important thing to change first was my diet. Working out and being active came second. Everything else has just fallen into place.

Final Thoughts 

If weight has been an issue for you your entire life, you’ve never found anything that worked, and/or want a REAL change, Primal is for you. Nothing worked for me long-term til I tried Primal. I think it’s save my life.

To end this long post, here’s a little inspiration: the picture below is me during college, on my graduation, and today. I started Primal 3 months after my graduation. Look at me today. This could be YOU!

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Categories: Far Too Much Honesty - My Primal Weight Loss, Going Grok, Primal Tips & Tricks | Tags: , , , , , | 7 Comments

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