Hi Groks and Grokettes. I'm Willow. I've been reading the Primal Blueprint blog for about a year on and off. I'm still waffling between Primal and Weston Price style diet, as I've done tons of research and I'm not completely convinced that all grains and legumes are bad, but I'm still open minded about it. Right now I'm doing a bit of a personal experiment, and figuring out what healthy living means for my body. I'm building my habits slowly. I stopped eating processed cane sugar about 6 months ago but I've fallen off the wagon a few times. I also started getting really serious about eating whole unprocessed food as much as I can. I'm in graduate school, so sometimes I just don't have time or money to eat as healthy as I want, but I'm also pre-diabetic, so that doesn't give me an excuse to live on ramen! I figure an investment in my health is as important to my future as investing in my education, and in my particular living situation I have the option of not living on $1 loaves of bread, though it's tempting at the end of semester when I start running out of money.

I fell into barefoot living by necessity, long before it became a fad and long before I even knew primal and paleo diets existed. I grew up spending my summers proudly building up a 1/4 inch thick layer of callous on my bare feet. One time I even ran across a cactus unscathed. My feet are weird. I can't do jobs where I'm on my feet for more than a few hours a day, and my weight exacerbated this problem. I did find that I can be on my feet much longer when I was totally barefoot (Even the invisible shoes change the way my feet hit the floor slightly and cause issues, but I love living in them in the summer when I have to wear shoes out.)

I have been diagnosed with ADD, most of my family is either ADD or ADHD, and the primal diet goes right along with Thomm Hartmann's idea of the "hunter's brain", the genetic throwback that is considered by our modern world to be a "disorder" seems very connected with a hunter/gatherer. (I don't have a disorder, I am just maladapted to modern life. Aren't we all?) Eating accordingly does seem to lessen my symptoms. It makes sense to me to eat according to my specific genetic profile!

I'm obsessed with food. Not in a "I need twinkies and I need them NOW" kind of way (ew), but in that I love the science, the biology, the chemistry, the experimenting with cooking. I love natural food, gardening, wild food. There is something magical and amazing to me about something as simple as kale growing from the ground. This may sound a bit hippy-ish but connecting to the earth and the cycle of life through food is really important to me. I experiment in the kitchen all the time, and can never follow a recipe exactly.

My mother is extremely overweight and has many many health problems associated with her lifestyle, her diet, and her injuries and fibromyalgia that gave her an excuse to not try to exercise or anything, and it's painful for me to watch, because I know that though she would still have some of the issues, I believe she'd be 75% healthier if she stopped with the junk and stuff, but she also has digestive issues that make her think she can't eat salads or greens. She's diabetic and almost died in the hospital of heart failure. It's almost like she's trying to push herself over the edge, and I keep watching helplessly while she gains weight and becomes more and more dependent. This has made me really really scared of my own future, as I've gained weight and become pre-diabetic myself. I don't want to end up like her! I also want her to get healthy but I don't really have control over what she eats unless I do her shopping for her, which is an emotionally charged, draining, time consuming task that I needed to separate myself from for my own sanity. Any kind of thoughts, advice, or support on how to deal with this challenge is appreciated.I won't separate myself from my mom completely and there are a few things I do that seem a little enabling, but slowly I'm learning where to draw the line. Sometimes I just bring her a bunch of prepared food. It doesn't help that she's extremely poor and I partially support her. Maybe her life depends on me allowing her to spend a little more of my money on food, so she doesn't die of heart failure, because high carb food really is cheaper! She can't walk more than a few feet, so her exercise options are extremely limited.

My boyfriend eats a standard american diet, except when I cook for him. Fortunately he eats anything I cook and never complains. (I made primal stroganoff last night and he just sat eating it saying "MMMMMMMMM" the whole time. I think it was a success!) His lifestyle is so different that we have separate shelves in the fridge and shop separately at the store, even though we've been together for years. He has candy, cookies, junk, etc. all over the house and I've learned not to touch it. Not because I'm not allowed by him (he's fine with me eating it) but because I don't allow myself to. I got used to it just being there. Now I pass by the big box of cookies or the jar of candy all the time and don't touch it. Well, that's not true, every now and then I have a nibble, then I find it to be gross and don't finish it. Sometimes though he has some kind of cookie that I cave in and eat some of. I'm really far from being perfect and I'm not primal yet, but I decided to really resolve to be healthy at least for the most part and do the best I can.

I recently bought a bodyweight exercise book and I LOVE IT. I watch episodes of Xena on Netflix while I do a routine, and it feels amazing.

Also, a classmate and I recently created an "exercise exchange" once a week, which has been a fun way to get together with friends and get exercise. It's really loose and disorganized. We take turns teaching each other the little snippets we know about whatever form of exercise we have experience doing. I highly suggest this! In one hour long session, one of us might teach yoga, another some exercises for training, another some ballet exercises and stretches. We all know some little thing or another, and the more members we have, the more variation we get.

Anyway, I decided that I was spending enough time reading the blog and comments, I might as well join the forum. Looking forward to forum-ing with you all!