As of this week, I have been 100% Primal. What does this mean, you may be asking? In a previous post, I outlined the differences between The Maker’s Diet, Paleo, and Primal. In essence, it’s eating the way our ancestors ate. I’m not talking about grandparents here – I am referring to our paleolithic past. This means eating a diet of what some may call “caveman foods.”
Through the help of many books and a lot of research, I’ve realized that eating a low-fat diet filled with whole grains like bread, rice and pasta can make you unhealthy – overweight, unhappy, and sick. This might be a shock, since our USDA food pyramid suggests that whole grains be the base of our daily intake. And while I haven’t been eating low-fat foods for awhile now due to the Maker’s Diet, I decided to take the next step in feeling better inside and out. With the grains have also gone the stomach pain and bloating that followed me around like a bad habit (which in a sense, grain has been!).
I chose Primal over Paleo primarily for dairy. Primal allows for raw, unpasteurized milk and cheese, which I can obtain through a local farmer on a weekly basis. I don’t eat dairy every day, but it’s nice to be able to incorporate it into recipes, or drink a glass of cream-quality raw milk a few days a week!
As for Diet, here is the low-down at a glance, straight from Mark Sisson’s Primal Blueprint:
Beverages – Water, Unsweetened Teas (can use a small amount of Stevia).
Coconut Products – Butter, Flakes, Flour, Milk, and Oil offer healthful medium-chain fats; great sub for dairy, trans fats, and wheat flour.
Coffee – Enjoy in moderation (cream and minimal sweetener ok)
Dairy – Raw, fermented, high-fat and organic products are preferred (Cheese, Cottage Cheese, Cream Cheese, Kefir, Whole Milk, Yogurt) in moderation.
Eggs – Local, pasture-raised or certified organic for high omega-3 content.
Fats and Oils – Coconut, Dark-Roasted Sesame, First press or Extra-Virgin Olive, Palm, and High Omega-3 oils. Animal fats (Chicken fat, Lard, Tallow), Butter and Coconut Oil are best for cooking.
Fish – Wild-caught. Small, oily, cold water fish best (Anchovies, Herring, Mackerel, Salmon, Sardines).
Fruit – Locally-grown or wild, organic, in-season preferred. Berries are premier choice. For soft-skinned fruits, go strictly organic. Moderate intake with higher glycemic/lower antioxidant values, and dried fruit.
Herbs and Spices – Organic preferred. No preservatives.
Indulgences – Dark Chocolate (75%+ cocoa content), and Red Wine are best choices. Be sensible and moderate.
Macadamia Nuts – Great Omega6/Omega3 ratio
Meat and Fowl – Local, pasture-raised, or USDA-certified Organic critical. If you must eat conventional meat, choose the leanest cuts and trim excess fat to minimize toxin exposure.
Other nuts, Seeds and their derivative Butters – Cold-processed, organic if available.
Snacks – Berries, Canned Tuna or Sardines, Celery with Cream Cheese or Nut Butter, Cottage Cheese with Nut or Fruit topping, Hard-Boiled Eggs, Jerky, Nuts, Olives, Seeds, Trail Mix and other high-fat and/or high-protein, low-carb primal foods.
Supplemental Carbs – Those without excess body fat, not wishing to lose additional weight, can enjoy Sweet Potatoes and Yams in moderation. Occasionally Quinoa and Wild Rice.
Vegetables – Locally grown, organic, in-season preferred. Go strictly organic for large surface area (leafy greens) and soft, edible skins. Wash all thoroughly.
Shopping trips to the grocery store have certainly been different, but contrary to popular argument, eating this way (Organic meats, veggies, and fruit) has not been more expensive! Simply by steering clear of the middle aisles that contain boxed and bagged foods, I have significantly cut down on other expenses, allowing me to purchase better quality ingredients for the food I am now eating. I haven’t felt the pangs of any food deprivation, have been full for long stretches, and have loved having butter on my vegetables, yolks with my eggs, and many new recipes to look forward to!