Return to CW: A Horror Story
So I haven't been on in a while, but I wanted to throw a post out there just to share some of my experiences of late because I have had a wild ride these past few months, and frankly I can't believe that people can eat like this.
So, I am a college student who made the decision to study abroad for a semester in Spain. I have been here since January. I knew when I left that I would have to give up my primal eating habits, as the program required living with a host family and eating meals that they have prepared with them. The point is to experience their culture, which means no special meal requests. I was 6 months primal, but it was a personal sacrifice that I was willing to make. I have been here 3 months now, and let me outline my experiences with the infamous "healthy" Mediterranean diet.
First of all, breakfast every single day consists of 2 pieces of white bread toast with jam, tomato spread, or artificial corn "butter", a cup of either half coffee/half milk or tea, and a tablespoon of sugar. That's it. Lunch is large, usually some or of soup with either lentils, garbanzo beans, or pasta, followed by either fried fish or pork or an egg dish and a salad (consisting or iceberg lettuce, tomato, tuna fish, and corn). An orange is for dessert. And, of course, bread as a side dish. Dinner is either macaroni, a sandwich, or a crepe with cheese and ham, again with a side of white bread.
This is, as you can see, not primal. Not even close. The first weeks I spent dying from starvation between breakfast and lunch, which is 7 hours without protein or fat, so to speak (7:30-2:30). Then lunch came, and I would overeat from feeling desperate for food, which resulted in carb-induced exhaustion. This, I have decided, is the real reason that they sleep after lunch. I spent the first month in constant stomach pain simply from eating so much gluten every day after becoming unaccustomed to it. My acne flared almost instantly, and my face became both oily and flaky. I am exhausted all of the time, and constantly feeling like I just need to lie down and sleep. Zero energy. My head, back, and legs are constantly sore and aching. I have gained 15 pounds in 3 months. My menstrual cycle has become less frequent and irregular. My eyes ache and I have trouble focusing. All bathroom activity is irregular (won't go in to detail on this, haha). My hair is greasy at the scalp and dry at the ends. I go from being desperately hungry to stuffed to hungry again in an hour.
How on earth do people live this way?? And what's more, how did I ever live this way? While they do have some redeeming attributes (lot of eggs and olive oil), the volume of carbs and bread here amazes me. Of course, I avoid extra gluten and processed foods at all costs here when it is acceptable without being rude, but holy cow. I have never been so physically...pathetic. I feel like I have aged 10 years. I am 21, I should be full of life. And instead all I want to do is sleep. While I'm glad I lived with a family to experience culture, I will most certainly have to live alone and make my own food if I ever come back. I jut can't hack it.
Has anyone else had a situation where they ended up going back to eating CW style? I knew it would be an adjustment, but frankly it has been worse than I anticipated. I can't believe I spent 20 years of my life living this way, I was so blind. If only I had found this site earlier in my life!! This whole experience has been excellent reinforcement, and has reminded me why I will never ever again eat this way when give the chance to make a change. Thank you Mark, for saving me from a lifetime of feeling like this!