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Primal Newbie, Seeing Major Benefits Already!

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  • Primal Newbie, Seeing Major Benefits Already!

    Hey there,

    I ran across this site after reading extensively about the Paleo diet, and I'm glad to have found such an awesome community! I'm only ~100 pages into The Primal Blueprint, but the book really speaks to me, as if I have found someone who really understands the toxicity of modern living, and how to circumvent it by living according to this primal lifestyle. I feel I have to re-think many aspects of my life, down to even trivial things like how I perform laundry or decorate my room. It will take a while, but it will absolutely be worth it in the long run. A lot of vigilance is required to stray away from ubiquitous negative influences such as major food manufacturers that are fanatically driven by the profit motif.

    Anyway, here's a bit about myself: I'm a tall person at 6"6 and I've grown up playing basketball since I was 7 years old. I was never skinny but never quite fat either, usually stuck in a middle ground where I had some baby fat on my stomach that would never quite go away. As I got older and exercised less, I start putting on more weight, to the point where I was genuinely concerned that I'd become officially overweight. So I joined a gym, read a book on nutrition, started exercising fanatically and tracked my macronutrient intake religiously. I lost ~45 pounds in a few months but was also constantly feeling tired, had trouble sleeping, and eventually got fed up of tracking my calories. Then, disturbingly, I re-gained half the weight I lost after a couple more months, I was getting sick all the time, feeling depressed, it was absolutely miserable.

    Eventually, I decided I wanted to read more about nutrition. I started reading a book called Sugar, Salt, Fat and it made me realize how horrifyingly bad processed foods are, and the terrifying lengths major corporations would go to increase food sales. For instance, engineering food to reach a "bliss point" of sweetness, giving food a mild flavor to discourage satiety, deceiving the public into believing things like processed cheese & fruit juices are healthy, etc. It's an excellent read, and by the end you'll probably think processed foods are a crime against humanity. All to say, this made me re-evaluate everything I was eating, and to my surprise, processed food was sneaking into my diet everywhere. In particular, I'd slather teriyaki & bbc sauce onto all my food, not realizing how much sugar it contained. No wonder I was feeling lethargic all the time!

    So the past few days I've been stocking up on fruits, veggies & meat, tossing away all the condiments, salad dressing, dairy products and sugar-laden products that were interfering with what I had mistakenly thought was a healthy diet. I've also cut out jogging from my lifestyle in favor of high intensity interval training, and make a conscious effort not to over-train. And just today I spent the majority of the day doing low level aerobic activity: Practicing my free throws at basketball, taking my dog for a long walk, wandering in the forest behind my house, cycling, rollerblading. I've never had such a strong desire to be outdoors, it's as though I can't spend more than a half hour in front of the computer before I get an impulse to engage in some outdoor activity.

    I'm seeing some incredible benefits already! I've dropped about 10 pounds in the past 10 days. I eat about half of what I used to and still feel full. Sometimes I put food on my plate and only end up eating a third of what's there. My energy level is higher, and more importantly, stable. I feel a slight buzz in my body, the same kind of feeling I get after an intense workout, except this is just from eating better. I don't feel guilty taking a quick nap in the middle of the day. I feel noticeably less stressed. I'm excited to expand my knowledge about nutrition and primal living. Those feelings of depression are washing away, as if I've found that answer I've always been looking for!

    I know it's declared often, but the paleo diet is more of a lifestyle: eating whole foods, preparing your meals, incorporating outdoor activity into your life, questioning conventional wisdom. It's a challenge that I feel I've been ill-prepared for. I'm going through the produce aisle buying foods I've never heard of before, with no idea how to prepare them, whether they need to be refrigerated, what they go well with, and so on. I'm still getting familiar with the ingredients I should be avoiding (eg/ soy, corn starch, glucose-fructose) and being continually astonished by how few foods haven't been tainted by said ingredients. I've yet to shop at a health food store or figure out how to buy grass fed beef, or where to find coconut oil, and am still figuring out a lot of the diet nuances (eg/ fruit carbs vs starchy carbs). However, I feel passionate about figuring these things out and constructing a lifestyle where I don't take energy crashes to be the norm.

    I'll be sure to share my experiences over the next few months, and I'm excited to be a part of this vibrant community!

  • #2
    Yes, the thing I've found about reading the primal/paleo books and blogs out there is that they 'make sense', not only individually, but en masse (and they're addictive!). So as I'm reading more by other people it meshes with what already feels right. I've read some other books recently where the messages were inconsistent even within the book and just didn't make sense in the way that primal does. But then, I've always been a bit of an evolution-junky.

    Glad to hear the lifestyle is agreeing with you. I think we all find our own ways to move to the primal and there's no requirement to do it all at once. For me I changed my diet first and am approaching the exercise/physical lifestyle more slowly, but yes, I've found it just sends me off looking for more information on the details. As for coconut oil, I found a decent brand via Amazon because I have constraints on getting out in general as well as shopping, so it was just easiest.
    Me, My Father and The Alzheimer's -


    • #3
      In 3 weeks I've lost over 8 lbs (245.4 down to 237.0) and only the past week has been primal! My brother also noticed I've been losing weight. Once I go all-in with expensive organic food and grass fed beef, I'm sure those pounds will fly off even faster.