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What is YOUR version of "Primal" eating?

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  • What is YOUR version of "Primal" eating?

    I see many different people tailor the primal way to meet their needs, so I thought it'd be cool to put them together in one spot. Especially for newbies who get confused on what's "right". There's lots of versions of right. What makes YOU feel good? How have you modified the basics to address certain ailments, lifestyles, etc?

    I'll start.

    I admit, I'm not 100% primal, but it's what makes ME feel good:

    Mainly eat:

    meats/fish -- try to buy locally, but sometimes it is conventional -- I try not to sweat it
    a variety of veggies -- homegrown, local, not always organic
    eggs -- have a great local source
    butter, olive oil, coconut oil animal fats
    morning coffee

    Sometimes eat:

    Fruit -- and I'm not afraid of bananas, watermelon, etc,
    Tubers -- usually in the form of white potatoes
    White rice
    Dark chocolate
    Bone broth
    Fermented items (mainly Kombucha)
    Raw dairy or sheep's milk cheeses
    Plain greek yogurt (usually Fage)


    Properly fermented sourdough bread from our local baker (Dear Lord this stuff is heaven)
    Organic corn tortilla chips/popcorn or fresh, local corn-on-the-cob (I simply can't resist)
    Quinoa for a change of pace
    Touch of raw sugar in recipes from time-to-time
    Primal fakes -- yeah, I go there on occasion
    Gluten free treats made with potato starch and rice flours (usually when I get the hankering for pizza crust and meetza just won't do)
    Buffalo wings from a bar (yes, I know they're fried in horrible fats, but damn)
    If I eat something definitely non-primal, it damn well better be the best-of-the-best (like the best sandwich in America -- roast pork with broccoli rabe and sharp provolone at Dinic's in Philly)

    My vice:

    Beer -- this is the one thing I need to reign in, but no way on God's green earth am I fully giving it up.

    I strive to keep my protein constant. I don't fear fats OR carbs (my thyroid seems to function a little better with slightly more carbs). I don't weigh/measure/count calories. Way too stressful for me personally.

    I'm still ever tweaking and modifying as I learn more and more. This might look different a year from now. I've also influenced my husband to become more primal. He now looks forward to grilling meats and veggies for dinner. SCORE!
    Last edited by kkratz57; 09-21-2012, 05:27 AM.

  • #2
    Great fun topic.

    I am not 100% primal and never will be, I don't have issues with bread and some grains. The way you eat pretty much mirrors my diet. I grew up eating clean so this is not new to me. I love beer! Will never give that.
    Last edited by Barefoot Gentile; 09-21-2012, 07:32 AM.


    • #3
      i am also similar to you.

      Im on the right side of 30 (just) so I need to find a balance between enjoying my life and eating well for a long fruitful and healthy life.

      I think I have that balance right but it includes a few beers every now and then in moderation and eating some treats when my body it tells it to (usually after training).

      Rock on brother!
      2010 - 5,11 and 101KG

      2012 - 5,11 and 77KG

      Train hard, eat well and love life


      • #4
        My version is pretty much what I've been told to do... since I'm new at this and I'll tweak it later:

        *added A LOT of fat to my diet. Being an old eating disorder kid, fat was lacking for sure.
        *added A LOT of protein to my diet. Same thing as above
        *Eliminated grains 100%; all of them. I need to do that for GI reasons, and I'm big on avoiding GMOs
        *cut back dairy 90%. I have 1T heavy whipping cream in my coffee plus cook with grass fed butter or ghee. That's about it.
        *cut back fruit 90%. I eat dried fruit in salads or an apple/pear maybe 1-2 times/week

        Mainly eat:

        Grass fed, local meats (love my rib eye)
        wild salmon- this one was tough since I have a child I feel is mercury toxic and fish was eliminated, perhaps without merit
        Local eggs
        uncured bacon (save grease for cooking or salad dressing)
        organic vegetables
        organic raw nuts (OK. My vice is honey roasted cashews; trying to work on that)
        dark chocolate- up to 99% cacao. Love it
        morning decaf organic coffee- with ghee/heavy cream and usually brewed with some ground cacao added
        coconut oil, ghee, evoo, avocado oil, macadamia nut oil
        Bragg's cider vinegar

        My cheats/treats are

        ice cream (good stuff; only 3-4 ingredients)
        honey roasted cashews
        french fries (good ones; not fast food)
        full fat yogurt
        buttered popcorn
        maple syrup
        soy free mayonnaise
        nut butters

        What I miss most:

        SUSHI; although I am going to start eating it again. The white rice was what I am avoiding.
        CARAMEL APPLES (year #2 without eating any)

        I have not been Primal through a winter season. Typically, I'd eat lentils and chili with beans and farro/spelt salads and such. I might miss that! All of the winter squashes are hitting the shelves which makes me absolutely giddy. Nothing better than a baked Kabocha or Hubbard squash!!! I could eat a whole one...

        I don't drink much at all anymore. If I do, it is a very dark beer or tequila with lime on the rocks.

        I move primally, too. No more cardio overload. I go to a conditioning class 4-6 days a week (kettle bells, free weights, flipping tires, etc) and run (slowly) 1-2 times a week on my own. I am getting back in to fostering dogs after a few months break, so I'm out with them often, too.

        My husband is satisfied with the way we now eat, but he limits his red meat/fat intake. He has a strong family history of heart disease and adopts a freakish attachment to the traditional medicine viewpoint (he is an MD; anesthesia). Despite only having LDLs a bit high on the reference range, he takes a statin since he was unable to lower it through his diet/exercise. It has lowered his HDLs more along with his LDLs. I am working on him to accept coconut oil into his diet but that is a tough one for him, plus I still can't get him to take coQ10. I place a lot of research material in front of him, but until the medical community changes their tune he will not budge. He is super active (looks like Mark Sisson!) but probably does too much cardio. His physique is what we strive for: very lean, athletic and strong. How can it be so easy for some and not for others?

        My goal is to learn to bake more Primal foods, hopefully developing recipes my kids will actually eat! I'm making raw/primal coconut almond joys this weekend. Have you ever had coconut water directly from a virgin coconut? It is HEAVEN.
        Age 48
        Start date: 7-5-12
        GOAL: to live to be a healthy and active 100

        "In health there is freedom. Health is the first of all liberties."
        Henri Frederic Amiel


        • #5
          There's a disconnect between how I do eat and how I want to eat. So, I'll post how I want to eat because when I do eat this way my body is noticeably happier with me. This will be a good exercise for me to pin down what exactly I'd like to eat. I have different preferences for at home eating and not-at-home eating.

          At home:
          Organic, local meats only. (I have a great source, though $$) - exception, salmon.
          CSA (local organic) box veggies (summer) only or organic veggies (winter) only - exception, avocados.
          Unfortunately the CSA box includes quite a few potatoes, so I do work those in occasionally.
          Local eggs.
          Local dairy - exception, specialty cheeses/chevre (occasional treat).
          Coconut products - organic when possible.
          Lunchmeat - ideally local/organic, but I haven't found a good source of this, so for right now I just go with "natural" - the stuff cured in celery juice instead of all the conventional crap.
          Canned fish - wild.

          Salad components and veggies however they're served.
          Rice. (Limited.)
          Wine and Beer. (Limited)
          Rum and ? (I've been using diet coke but I'd like to find something healthier to drink with rum.)
          If I'm really feeling strict, I avoid sugary sauces (like Chinese or Indian) but most of the time I don't sweat it.

          That's it, I think. I should print these out and post them on my car's dashboard!


          • #6
            Isn't this pretty much just another "what's your 20%" topic? I mean that not to be offensive but just to let you know that this info is pretty much all over the forum.
            Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.


            • #7
              Always: beef, chicken, offal of both (hearts, chicken necks, a few other things), conventional; eggs, free-range; veggies of nearly all kinds, conventional; butter, olive oil, lard, conventional
              Sometimes: shrimp/ crab, I try to get Gulf wild caught; berries, apples, conventional; pecans, in-state conventional; chocolate (I prefer 80% or higher), usually organic; lamb breast or goat parts when I can get them.
              Occasionally: Sourdough (true sourdough); honey yeast rolls; almonds, walnuts, pistachios, conventional, white rice (usually in the form of sushi or steamed rice), soy sauce in homemade Chinese food
              Seasonal: winter squash (including pumpkin), plums, peaches, avocados, chiles, tomatillos, prickly pears, conventional or acquired for free; ice cream.
              Rarely: birthday cake ( a sliver), pasta, garlic bread, cookie dough, Guinness
              Vices: DQ Blizzards in the summer, among others.
              Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, steak in one hand, chocolate in the other, yelling "Holy F***, What a Ride!"
              My Latest Journal


              • #8
                I don't know. I have tried a lot of versions. My favorite gotta be just as stated in Paleo: eat whatever veggies and meat you want cooked in its own fat, and as much fruit as you like. If I could do that, and be at my happy weight, I would. But I am a pathetic middle-aged woman, so I gain fat on that, and have appetite unbalanced by sugars, so to manage fat, my version of Primal nowadays is aiming to get >70% of calories from fat, less that 25 g net carb, no fruit, and no fresh dairy. I eat peanut butter. That's about the only thing I do that is rebellious.

                If that doesn't work, my only recourse is like vegan. The only thing I did not try. Well, frutarian, too, but I know that as much as I want to be frutarian, I would be sick within 2 weeks on it with blood sugar. Though maybe I should try. If I am destined to be die fat, why not die happy.
                Last edited by Leida; 09-21-2012, 07:15 AM.
                My Journal:
                When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by sbhikes View Post
                  Isn't this pretty much just another "what's your 20%" topic? I mean that not to be offensive but just to let you know that this info is pretty much all over the forum.
                  No offense taken. Wasn't my intention to make this another "what's your 20%". Thought it'd be informative to have something more know, the total eating package. Some may be more strict, some people may have certain conditions they're trying to control through food, some may be more carb-heavy, etc.


                  • #10
                    hmmm...interesting thread topic.

                    not counting june and july (months we moved and being primal was a real challenge) diet is really pretty simple.

                    Breakfast is usually:

                    frittata with eggs, meat, and veggies
                    pastured pork sausage patties and over medium eggs
                    leftovers from dinner

                    Lunch is usually:
                    sardines with yellow mustard
                    leftover dinner
                    qdoba meat/veggies/guacamole
                    steak salads
                    taco salads

                    dinner is usually:
                    grass fed beef, salmon, pastured pork, transylvanian stockpot (a recipe in one of mark's books), spinach salads, chicken dishes. really should work on variety...maybe that's why i had a two month hiccup.

                    snacks are nuts, seeds, berries, dark chocolate, dates with pecan pieces (primal pecan pie), and raw milk cheese.
                    Liberalism: ideas so good they have to be mandatory.


                    • #11
                      4 eggs + cheese and 1/3 lbs bacon every morning,
                      Veggies+meat and rice/plantain/potatoes every night. With nuts and cheese and fruit an chocolate when I want
                      well then


                      • #12
                        My Version of Primal is Trying to be in nutritional Ketosis most part of the week. I just feel amazing and after getting over the mental hump, my clarity is pretty awesome as well.

                        Always Eat (Main Staples): Eggs, Organic Meats and Offal, Oily Fish (Mackerel and Salmon), Seaweed (Love SeaSnax) Mixed Veggies, Raw Coconuts - all organic, Olive Oil and Grassfed Butter

                        Sometimes Eat/Treat(Once a week MAX...mostly once tri-weekly) : Different Fruits, Nut Butters, Pistachios, Rice in form of sushi, Ackee and Saltfish, Wine and Vodka on the Rocks, Poutine (French Canadian good), Gluten Free treats

                        Rarely Eat (consider this more like slip ups in my Primal Life Journey ): Anything with Wheat like Bread, Pasta, etc. (I do not make or order EVER but will pick from Fiance/Friends plate etc).

                        I am very happy with this way of eating and love all the benefits I am getting from this WOL!


                        • #13
                          I've yo-yo'd like crazy since I discovered this site ~3 years ago, but now I'm pretty much by-the-book, except that I count potatoes, sweet potatoes, plantains, etc. as vegetables, eat pretty much unlimited fruits, and don't really bother with ketosis anymore. I also use 0% greek yogurt to cut calories, since I don't mind the flavor. Meals are mostly centered around protein + veg, rounded out with starch and fat, but I don't go anywhere near the 60-70% of cals from fat that some folks around here do. I've found I feel much better on a roughly isocaloric balance of protein, carbs, and fats.

                          I still keep stockpiles of dried beans, quinoa, lentils, gluten-free AP flour, and rice around the house for rainy days, but generally try to avoid them. I try to keep my 20% as gluten, soy, veg. oil, and processed sugar-free as possible. Unfortunately I'm forced to ingest soybean & canola oil here and there since that's mainly what I cook with at work, but otherwise have access to plenty of meat and veggies.
                          “The whole concept of a macronutrient, like that of a calorie, is determining our language game in such a way that the conversation is not making sense." - Dr. Kurt Harris


                          • #14
                            As a noob of a few weeks:

                            Breakfast "salad" of avocado, celery, bell peppers, and/or seaweed etc. with kippers, salmon, or sardines. And/or soft-boiled eggs. Decaf tea with 1-3 tsp of coconut oil and stevia and 1 or 2 raw brazilnuts.

                            Lunch is usually a "Mt. Everest" salad of romaine plus raw and cooked veggies, often Bubbie's saurkraut, cheese, meat, and/or egg, plus 1 tbsp. of potato or rice, a couple of macadamia nuts, a few seeds, sugar-free pickles (with sucralose, alas), with C oil and Bragg's apple cider vinegar. And/or a bowl of soup made with bone broth. Decaf or herbal tea.

                            I can usually avoid snacking but if hungry have a spoonful or two of coconut butter plus some oil and that takes care of it. (My fav is called coconut cream concentrate from Tropical Traditions and is 100% ground up coconut.)

                            Dinner is usually of some kind of meat (preferably grass-fed) or wild-caught seafood plus raw and cooked veggies. Dessert lately is 1 tbsp of whole Greek yogurt with 1 strawberry or faux chocolate pudding made with chia seeds.

                            Being hungry while prepping meals is the time I'm most likely to binge on handfuls of nuts or other indulgences so I'm training myself to eat a spoonful or two of paté or the coconut concentrate instead.

                            When I first started eating primal I ate too much dairy and nuts and started to gain...ixnay on at-thay! This is the first time in my life I ever stopped eating grains and it's been great. Reading Wheat Belly helped convince me on that score.
                            Late 50s, post-menopausal, low carb with some dairy, following the 5 Leptin Rules, taking ThyroGold, eating lots o' fiber and zero wheat with great results. My Primal Journal


                            • #15
                              Foods that are around the perimeter of the grocery store (animals and plants).

                              Organic, wild, and grass fed for the top of the food chain (meat, fish, eggs, dairy) pretty much always now. Organic produce when available, when it's not, I carry the "Dirty Dozen," and "Clean 15" lists in my wallet and use them as a guide.

                              I love cheeses from goat and sheep milk (and cow) and eat more than is recommended. I eat sourdough bread occasionally (~2-4x per month), but I'm working to zero that. Sweets: only fruit, usually berries + almond milk + artificial sweetener blended.

                              Other non-food guidelines: doing better every month.
                              "Right is right, even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it." - St. Augustine


                              Who says back fat is a bad thing? Maybe on a hairy guy at the beach, but not on a crab.