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Common Foods Mistaken as Primal?

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  • Common Foods Mistaken as Primal?

    Today is the day, after 2 week of educating myself, that I plan to begin a new, primal, lifestyle. I just got back from the grocery store a couple of hours ago with bags containing items like apples and grapes, unsalted almonds (and more almonds), almond butter in a jar with the word "Organic" plastered across the top (is there anyone out there that uses "organic" in a way that might trip us primal eaters up?) I also got a pot roast and sausage (I'm betting that generic grocery store sausage is not primal) and my mom got the makings for spaghetti and pasta (which I will not partake, at least not the spaghetti, lol) and cold cuts (probably not 100% primal).

    Anyways while I was walking around the store I was assaulted by tons of different choices and as I made my decisions I tried to stick to the painfully obvious fruits and veggies (duh) and straight meat, nuts and berries. Yet there are a few things that I looked at and said "Is it primal???" for instance the a fore mentioned sausage and bacon? I got pistachios and I know they are roasted with salt (Is that bad? I'd grab the unsalted ones but I couldn't find any) I'm tempted to do all my shopping at an all organic health food store but I know that will slash my wallet hard.
    So what common grocery store foods are often (or perhaps you had) mistaken for primal?

  • #2
    well it can be tough but for packaged store items like sausage you really got to read the labels and learn what the stuff listed actually is.

    you want to avoid sugar for sure and most people avoid wheat and soy. unfortunately youll find just about every prepackaged food item includes some form of sugar wheat and soy

    primal means different things to different people so you kind of got to figure out what your definition is. i just stick to the basics and try to do the best i can with whats out there
    Primal Chaos
    37yo 6'5"
    6-19-2011 393lbs 60" waist
    current 338lbs 49" waist
    goal 240lbs 35" waist


    • #3
      I wouldn't stress out too much over your meat; buying organic grass-fed meats is for "extra credit". Alot of store sausages will contain sweeteners and wheat crumbs, however most stores will have some kind of "100% beef/pork" or at least a gluten-free sausage option.

      Salt in and of itself is not verboten.

      A good rule of thumb: can you see yourself collecting it in the wild, preparing it, and eating it? (Not literally though; for example olive oil is permitted because you could "eat" the oil by eating a boatload of olives).

      Generally so long as you avoid grains and sugar, and spend as little time in the aisles as possible, you will do well.

      Generally you can cherry pick quite a bit with the primal diet; on spaghetti night why not steal some meat sauce and eat it over some steamed broccoli and carrots with cheese? Sounds tasty to me!

      Good luck!


      • #4
        Fruit and almonds are fine. Just go kinda easy on them.

        Generic sausage may have fillers and other stuff you don't particularly want. For future reference.

        Salt isn't a huge deal for most people. Shouldn't be a problem if you mainly eat fresh meat and produce.
        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.


        • #5
          I'm a fan of sausage. Its inexpensive, tasty, cooks easily and keeps. I just make sure I buy ones without fillers or sugars. If you're buying them at a butchers counter, they should be able to tell you whats in them or not, and most fresh, hand made sausage doesn't contain nasties. I never buy chain brand, just fresh.
          Fighting fibromyalgia and chronic myofascial pain since 2002.

          Big Fat Fiasco

          Our bodies crave real food. We remain hungry as long as we refuse to eat real food, no matter how much junk we stuff into our stomachs. ~J. Stanton


          • #6
            I needed to buy cream last week and it took 5 brands before I found one without vegetable gum as thickener!


            • #7
              Originally posted by Glamorama View Post
              I needed to buy cream last week and it took 5 brands before I found one without vegetable gum as thickener!
              What's wrong with vegetable gum?


              • #8
                Originally posted by Glamorama View Post
                I needed to buy cream last week and it took 5 brands before I found one without vegetable gum as thickener!
                Why were you buying thickened cream? You can add gelatine to fresh cream to thicken it
                Four years Primal with influences from Jaminet & Shanahan and a focus on being anti-inflammatory. Using Primal to treat CVD and prevent stents from blocking free of drugs.

                Eat creatures nose-to-tail (animal, fowl, fish, crustacea, molluscs), a large variety of vegetables (raw, cooked and fermented, including safe starches), dairy (cheese & yoghurt), occasional fruit, cocoa, turmeric & red wine


                • #9
                  Watch out for beans, peanut butter and " organic beef" that does not specify that it is grass fed. You might as well eat cheaper conventional beef since both are corn fed.
                  Last edited by Adrianag; 08-08-2011, 11:12 AM.


                  • #10
                    This is what I use my (less than) 20% for - not ice cream, pizza, or beer - but for things that are out of my control (for the most part) due to budgetary or other reasons.

                    I don't sweat a bit of sugar in a bbq sauce, a splash of soya sauce here or there, or that my sausage or bacon are conventional.

                    I'm still doing wonderful things for my body by cutting out 99% of the crap I used to eat and obsessing or going broke because I feel that I have to do this 100% would not be beneficial in the least.

                    Find out what you are and aren't willing to settle on and make that part of your 20% but get that 20% down to 5% or less and you'll be doing just fine
                    Newcomers: If you haven't read the book, at least read this thread ... and all the links!

                    Jan. 1, 2011: 186.6 lbs PBSW Mar. 1, 2011: 175.8 lbs
                    CW: 146.8 lbs
                    GW 140 lbs
                    A proud member of PETA: People Eating Tasty Animals


                    • #11
                      For the most part, stay away from the aisles. The stuff around the edges that has to be refrigerated? Usually better for you.

                      If you do get something in a box or a can, it isn't always bad, but you absolutely have to read the labels. Sorry, there's just no way around it. Look for as few ingredients as possible and watch out for crap like "natural flavoring", which could be just about anything.


                      • #12
                        check labels for almond butter too. Many are loaded with sugar. Just because it says "organic" means nothing. You should be aiming for foods with no added sugar.


                        • #13
                          Organic doesn't mean much anymore. I think it only has to have 90% organic items in the package to be called organic nowadays. Which is stupid, but it is controlled by a government agency, so stupid is implied I guess. And as others have said, organic meat just means that it was fed organic corn/soy/feed, so paying extra for it, over normal grain-fed meat, is a waste of money.
                          Some things that you will find conflicting info on is Quinoa, dairy and beans. Some consider them primal, some don't. It's more of a "test it on yourself and see" sort of thing, rather than a tried and true answer for everyone. I eat quinoa with my wife about once per month, but only on a day that I have trained (lifting usually) and dairy does not effect me at all, so I eat cheese and drink the occasional glass of milk or have some greek yogurt. I don't touch beans, even if soaked, because they *do* effect me negatively. YMMV
                          People too weak to follow their own dreams will always try to discourage others.


                          • #14
                            Another thing to avoid on these pre-packaged foods is the unhealthy vegetable and seed oils. They're high in omega 6 and usually oxidized. They're inflammatory to the body. We're talking oils that most people consider healthy: canola, soybean, safflower, etc. This right here will knock a lot of foods out of contention. Now I know most of us just deal with the fact that we're going to eat these things sometimes. It's very difficult to eat out without encountering them. For this reason, I try to keep them out of my home as much as possible. I stick to natural fats like coconut oil, pastured butter/ghee, and animal fat. I also use olive oil but I don't heat it as that tends to oxidize it.

                            If you're not used to cooking, now would be a good time to learn. There are so many tasty foods at the market that are so easy to just reheat and eat, but there are very few of them that are actually good for you. Get some spices. Spice mixes are a good way to start (though you have to check the label for additives). Learn to make a good vinaigrette for your salads. Check out some of the primal recipe sites for sauces and marinades. Add a new dish to your repertoire once every week or two and you'll be a great cook before you know it.


                            • #15
                              Is it possible to eat too many almonds XD 3/4 of a 10 oz bag and I was still going, I stopped eating them at this point and downed around 32 oz of water and 2-3 cups of grapes before I leveled out. There's an apple waiting in the fridge for me and where I work always serves an open salad bar for dinner (I get 80% of my food from my workplace, a camp, which is serviced by a school like food service company)