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Starting tomorrow... have a few questions (sorry, long)

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  • Starting tomorrow... have a few questions (sorry, long)

    Hi Everyone!
    I just got my copy of the 21 Day Transformation in the mail yesterday and read the whole thing by this morning. It is a beautifully well done book with a lot of concise info. This is my first exposure to the Primal way of life (I have not read the Primal Blueprint) but I have been doing some online research since ordering the book the other day. My husband and I are going Primal tomorrow morning and I have a few questions first...
    Well first, a bit about us. I am about 20- 30 lbs. overweight but just lost 20 lbs of post-baby weight through stress, not eating regularly, and the occasional try at working out. I like hiking, biking, and boxing. I work 10-12 hour days, on my feet, 5-6 days a week and on Sundays I usually drink and eat too much to relax. I am looking forward to taking the lifestyle changes to heart and slowing down my life a lot.
    My husband is about 90 lbs overweight but still very athletic and loves racquetball, basketball, and football and hates working out. He has a 9-5 type desk job but it's flexible.
    We have a 2-year old daughter who is healthy and active.


    1.) One of the things I love about Primal versus other "plans" is that it is not a plan-- very flexible and adaptable and allows for enjoyment of life. Some of the things my husband and I really, really enjoy are coffee and beer.
    I own a coffee shoppe/cafe and I have no qualms giving up the baked goods, but I will not give up my coffee. I drink about 4 cups a day, black. Anyone had any issues with this?
    My husband is a beer connoisseur. It's a bit of a passion for him. Anyone had issues losing weight with a daily (or every other day) really good beer?

    2.) What about our daughter? She loves whole grain cereals and milk. I don't love the sugar. She is in daycare for breakfast, lunch, and 2 snacks. I hate the processed crap they feed her (fish sticks, jello, crackers, etc...) What do Primal kids eat?

    3.) Supplements. I like the idea of eating truly Primal... which to me means, no added crap. Our ancestors did not have protein powders and vitamins. Anyone else swear off the supplements? Anyone have good reason why we should supplement?

    4.) Seasonal local produce is hard to come by in the Frozen Tundra from November through March. Any suggestions from other cold-climate dwellers on how to eat whole, healthy, and cheap in the winter? I am so jealous of Mark's west coast lifestyle, but I'm a Wisconsin girl at heart... just hate the food options half of the year.

    Thanks a bunch in advance for any responses to this long post! I am sure I will have more questions once we get rolling tomorrow.

  • #2
    I can't be much help with the cold climate foods (I'm in Vegas, which has its own issues), but I do know most people are fine with coffee. Be aware that caffeine might affect you differently - for me, I used to be super sensitive to it and now I'm not. The beer? That's going to be an issue. It's a grain product and that's kind of the whole point to Primal. From what I understand, the gluten-free beers really suck too.

    Lots of people on here don't feel the need to take supplements. Others, like me, take some for a little while until thy feel they've healed and will take a few minerals for life due to specific problems we have. Dirt just isn't as good as it used to be,

    My kids are pretty much adults, but there are lots of parents on here. Seems their kids eat what they eat, assuming both parents are Primal. It's the outside people (daycare, grandparents, etc) that are well-meaning, but freaking out about the lack of "healthy whole grains" in the kids' diets.

    Glad to see you here!


    • #3
      Dont have any input for you as I am new too (day 20) and not sure how to advise you; i'm sure some of the more experienced followers will pop in and guide you. Just wanted to say welcome and good luck to you and your husband!


      • #4
        For #2) When I pack kids' lunches (ages 2 and 5) -- I'm still new at this and figuring it out -- but early in the week I will bake chicken with simple spices (salt, pepper, basil, and butter, for example) and cut it into bite size pieces, strips, or shapes to send in the lunchbox, as well as sliced baby carrots, steamed broccolli/cauliflower florets, sliced / chopped fruit of some other kind, whatever your kid likes (we often use apples, bananas, grapes, peaches, plums, pears, strawberries). He always gets a milk to go with it.

        Cutting things into shapes helps, too. I went to Hobby Lobby and got some cookie cutters shaped like flowers, stars, gingerbread men, etc, and I'll cut the chicken into those shapes. If you want to do any cheese, that's easily cut into shapes as well.

        Some people get fancy and use these Planet lunchboxes or Bento lunchboxes with either built-in compartments or special containers, but I just use regular food storage containers (small ones) from the grocery to put all the food in. I might use a muffin cup to hold the fruit or veggies separate from the rest of the food (I like to try to put it all in one container, so the teachers are not frustrated at having to open several small ones).

        This blog has given me some great ideas: Primal Kitchen: A Family Grokumentary: lunchboxes

        There are many family/kid primal blogs out there with tons of great info, that one just has been a favourite of mine. You might google "Primal lunchboxes" and see what you find.

        I've never made pot roast before (I was always a stir-fry kinda gal), but I am going to try to make a pot roast this week, and use that to put in their lunches as well.

        As a note, my littlest one loves fruit at snack time, so I can send extra for snack time for him. My oldest has really started loving these strawberry leather things that I get in the Natural food section at the grocery (like fruit roll-ups, but all ingredients that you can READ: apple, pear, strawberry purees, lemon juice), or for a snack she'll also take a mini banana. One bunch of mini bananas sell at the grocery here for 99 cents per bunch, and they have ... 6 or 7? little bananas in them. Perfect snack size for a smaller kid.

        Edit: All that was food for school, but as for eating at home, we generally all eat the same dinner. Fish, beef, poultry, whatever veggies we use. Usually fruit as a snack. We just cut things up into kid-appropriate sizes for them to eat. They don't always like it, but they will usually at least try it. Usually.
        Last edited by maryla; 10-23-2011, 08:48 AM.


        • #5

          As Rita said, the coffee is probably fine. The beer is an issue but one every other day isn't terrible. You don't have to do primal perfectly. If he could cut back to a couple on the weekend, that would be good. Either way, not a deal breaker.

          Start tracking what you eat on something like FitDay. See whether you are getting enough of everything. When you are not getting plenty of sunshine up there in the north, you probably will need some vitamin D3. You should be able to get most nutrients from food.

          Fresh vegetables are wonderful. But frozen ones are fine.

          I'll let Maryla and others make suggestions about the kids.

          I don't know why newbies always apologize about writing too much. Heehee. We can't help you unless we know about you. And your post is well organized. And not too long at all.

          Good luck with primal.
          Ancestral Health Info

          I design websites and blogs for a living. If you would like a blog or website designed by someone who understands Primal, see my web page.

          Primal Blueprint Explorer My blog for people who are not into the Grok thing. Since starting the blog, I have moved close to being Archevore instead of Primal. But Mark's Daily Apple is still the best source of information about living an ancestral lifestyle.


          • #6
            Thank you all for your replies! And thanks Hedonist for the compliment on my organization. I try!

            I agree about the D3. I noticed when I was pregnant that the D3 helped me a lot in the winter. I will take it again this year.
            Maryla-- thanks for the blog info. I will check it out! I think we will ease our daughter into this by replacing a snack a day with something REAL and then up it from there. And her dinners will be what we eat.

            Thanks again... Today is day 1...OFF WE GO!


            • #7
              Welcome and good luck... being primal has changed my life. You are right... this is not a "plan" and has been quite easy. Wish I did this sooner.

              Coffee, you drink it black... drink up. I have about two pints of black french roast from my french press every morning. No reason to give it up.

              Beer, I myself am a beer nerd and homebrewer. I still drink it and have a passion for it. I cut beer back to Fri-Sat only and ill have about half beer half vodka club when I am out vs the all beer all the time before. I have lost 55 lbs since last Easter. I say drink your beer life is to short to give up something you have a passion for. Just cut it back and you will be fine.



              • #8
                Welcome and enjoy Primal living!
                I haven't ordered the book yet - reading online and researching the health benefits of a grain-free lifestyle sent me here. I was experiencing horrible acid reflux and IBS symptoms and looking for a way to NOT go on medication...Interestingly enough I was talking about it with my MIL this weekend, she's a nurse, and she said "why don't you just take prevacid every day, I do" I told her that I wanted to fix it and not take medication every day. That it is better for my body to stop eating what is causing the trouble - instead of taking medication so I can continue eating things that make me 'sick'.

                Needless to say it was an interesting dinner conversation over chicken marsala! (I skipped the pasta and had the chicken and vegg)

                I second the coffee! drink it up - I love black coffee. I usually put coconut oil in it to up my fats. I have it every day - although since going primal I drink less coffee than I used to.

                Since removing processed grains from my diet - I can have a craft beer (or two) without any ill effects. My husband sells craft beer and there's is always tasty brews in our house - it would be a pity if I couldn't drink them! I second GlockinGrok - life is too short to not drink good beer!!
                Oh, and I lost > 10 # in a month, while still drinking craft beer

                Primal kids - I don't have any helpful hints. I'm still trying to transition my family (and meeting with resistance )

                I'm in Iowa and feeding ourselves in the midwest in winter is a challenge for sure . We get a side of beef from a local farmer every year and after the garden produce is all gone (even the stuff we have frozen) we supplement with frozen veggies from the grocery. Fresh fruit and veggies certainly does get expensive in the winter!

                Supplements - I take a multi, B complex, D, C, and fish oil -- I feel better physically and get sick less when I take supplements, however since I'm only a month in, that might change.
                I don't do whey or soy protein powders - can't stomach them...literally. My company makes a protein powder from Beef plasma which I use on occasion - it doesn't have any taste so I make it with yogurt, cocoa powder and stevia - it's more of a snack thing though ...not as a meal replacement. It is >90% pure intact proteins, with wonderfully helpful Immune benefits (lot's of Immunoglobulins to help the GI system!)

                Enjoy primal - I am on day 35, have lost 11#, energy level is sky high, no mood swings, no carb crashes, very few sugar/carb cravings.
                It's not a diet, it's the way I am now.

                my info:

                If you can't tell the truth about yourself, you can't tell it about other people --- Virginia Woolf

                My journal


                • #9
                  Day one went great.. going to move all of my progress updates to my journal (
                  Thank you again for the feedback and answers!