How did you eat before going Primal?
As a skeptic of the whole primal thing, I'm reading the forums and I got to wondering how people go into the whole "primal lifestyle". Specifically what was your diet like before you started?
- Junk. Processed foots, excess carbohydrates and fat, etc..
- Conventional.. Food pyramid like. A good amount of grains, veg/fruit, limited mean, oils/sugars. But still somewhat high in process foods.
- Clean. Minimal processed foods, varied in input and nutrients.
- Low Carb. Already had the reduced carb thing down pat, but not 100% primal yet.
- Gimmick. Some other diet with narrowly defined terms/rules.
You forgot the "Addict" category. I was totally addicted to carbs. Pasta, bread, cookies - everything. To make matters worse, I was a vegetarian! (Brazilian mama and Argentinian papa and that meant LOTS of meat growing up - naturally, I had to rebel).
I started dating my boyfriend and he ate a primal diet. And he was (is) in amazing shape. And he told me I could be in amazing shape too and so I started eating meat and veg and I lost 40 lbs. This was almost 6 years ago.
Junk. I had always been a fan of diet soda, but other than that I pretty much gorged on pasta, chocolate, candies, cakes, potato chips, white bread, pizza ... you name it. If it had refined carbs and fat, I ate it. I had never been a fan of salads, or whole bread for that matter. Oh, and of course I ate (sugary) cereals.
It's funny though ... more than a month into the Primal diet and I don't miss that stuff. I sometimes think about how it tasted, but I have no "cravings" for it, even though I had been eating it for more than three decades.
Junk and obsessive calorie counting. Then feeling like crap when I couldn't resist eating even MORE junk and I went over my allowed calories. I can't tell you how many times I craved some piece of junk so badly that I was in tears over it...
From about 1997-2005 I was an avid bodybuilder. I ate every 2-1/2 hours even getting up in the middle of the night to down a protein shake. I ate a lot of protein, very little fat, lots of rice, oatmeal, etc. - the usual "bodybuilding staples". When we had our first child five years ago I couldn't seem to be able to fit the rigorous schedule I was keeping and I stopped working out.
Over the next five years my weight stayed constant at 210-215 lbs (currently at 186) but I replaced my muscle with fat. You name it, I ate it. Every weekend I would pound down 2-3 chocolate bars on "movie night" along with nachos and cheese. That might happen on a Friday or a Friday and a Saturday! I drank a lot of beer, fast food, dining out etc. and I ate a lot - big portions. I have been known to eat a box of Pot-of-Gold chocolates in a day!
This year I got sick and tired of sporting a gut and love handles so I started looking around for an alternative lifestyle that would allow me to remain lean and muscular without busting my ass for hours and living my life by my eating schedule. I discovered paleolithic diets and eventually found the Primal Blueprint. I have read all the related books (Cordain, Eades, Taubes, etc) and I think Mark has done a lovely and concise job of putting the relevant info together in a simple set of rules.
Last edited by Mac; 04-28-2010 at 03:52 PM.
Varied - begin life with traditional (meat-and-two-veg, sunday roasts), add in some teenage junk, becoming "CW" healthy in late teens, to cleaner and cleaner, lowish GI, through 6 months of veganism, back to clean / fresh / local / lots of veg.
Out of my main circle of friends, I've always been one of the healthiest eaters according to CW *and* PB. Mainly because most folk I knew lived off KFC, pizza, Mcdonalds....
Overly processed and/or packaged and/or carb-heavy.
Little cartons of nonfat yogurt.
Lean Cuisine every day for lunch.
Or maybe a whole box of Kashi GoLean Crunch over the course of a day.
Lots of pasta and bread.
Low fat, low protein, high carb.
Each bike ride produced a bunch of energy gel and bar wrappers.
Geez, I'm 21 hours into an IF and I think I just killed my appetite thinking about what I used to eat.
Edited to add: I also couldn't go more than 3-4 hours between meals without getting ravenous. Felt like I was always bouncing between hypoglycemic brain fog and food coma brain fog.
Last edited by MightyMite; 04-28-2010 at 03:58 PM.
Reason: add eating frequency
Clean. Still ate a lot of grains. I'm hoping that by eliminating grains and milk completely I will really trim up swhile maintaining muscle growth (tips appreciated). I think balancing adequate veg consumption while also aiming for <10% body fat will be a challenge. Additionally I will be dropping a lot of time and money surrounding myself with proper primal nutrition (I hate shopping and I bet Grok would also!).
Lol ... let me outline a typical eating day in my "old days" for you (mind you, without any exercise):
Breakfast: Large bowl of sugary cereals with milk, one tall latte and some sugary/fatty piece of pastry
Lunch: Another piece of pastry and a snack like a hot dog or burger - I usually don't have much time for lunch
Afternoon: More pastry (and another latte)
Dinner: 250g (referring to the dry weight!) of pasta, with either sausages, cheese and eggs or an italian sauce (carbonara/tomato/etc).
Supper: 100g of chocolate, or 100-200g of sugary snacks like gummy bears
I don't even want to count the total carbs. They probably equal the net carbs, since there's no fiber. ;-)