It’s funny how things change. Not too long ago I was attempting to transition to a raw food diet. While I still see some merits to eating raw, I realize 100% raw is not for me. I think I captured my true mindset in my vegetarian, vegan or whole food post.
As I was roaming around the web looking for…I don’t remember what I was looking for, but I stumbled across Mark Sisson’s Daily Apple Blog. Mark Sisson, author of The Primal Blueprint, has an engaging blog about low carb eating. After spending some time there and reading many of the success stories I went to the library and borrowed his book.
In reading his blog, book and testimonial after testimonial, I came to the conclusion that this guy is onto something.
What is Primal/Paleo/Low Carb
I use all three terms in the heading because there may be nuancical (no, that’s not a word, but you get my drift) difference between the three, but the basics are the same. In essence, it’s a food choice consisting of fruits, vegetables, meats, fish, nuts, seeds and fats. I say food choice because I don’t want to look at it as a “diet.” Actually, it’s a choice to change your way of eating.
Why Try the Paleo Way of Eating?
For the past 10 or so years I’ve had to lose anywhere between 10 and 15 pounds. Those dreaded pounds seem to stick with me no matter what I do. It sounds like a small amount of weight to lose, but unwanted weight is unwanted weight.
In reading Mark Sisson’s blog, there were 4 success stories that resonated with me:
All you need to do is read through his site to find a success story with a “before” that pretty much mirrors your current situation. After finding a few of my “befores” I decided to work on my after.
Research, Research and More Research
It has become my nature not to accept anything at face value. As a result, I spent about 2 weeks researching the science behind the low carb/paleo/primal way of eating. While I was researching I figured, what the heck. The best way to research something is to give it a try. Hands on experience coupled with book knowledge is a great combo.
I’m giving it a three-month trial period. After 3 months I’ll visit my doctor to see if I have damaged my body. If not, then I’ll continue with my new way of eating. After all, eating low carb/primal/paleo cannot be more damaging than decades of MSG, trans fat, dissolved aluminum foil, processed foods and the like.
I made my first round of dietary modifications on August 26th. I dropped all grains and breads. It was a little tough the first few days because I had not stocked my refrigerator and pantry appropriately. After a round of shopping things were a little easier.
A round of shopping is literally that. I visit the local organic farm, then the health store. If I’m missing anything from those two trips my final stop is to the more traditional whole foods store. Once I properly stocked my kitchen, low carb became much easier.
Six days into my new eating habit I went to the gym to weight myself (no, not to workout, but to weigh myself). I was shocked to see that I had lost 2 pounds. After decades of walking around with excess weight, I lost 2 pounds in 6 days.
Another six days later I went back to the gym. Yes, to weigh and not work out and was pleased to see I had lost another 2 pounds. That was four pounds in 12 days.
Other Low Carb Benefits
Over time I noticed I wasn’t hungry. According to Mark, Sisson you should only eat when you’re hungry. So following his advice, I found I didn’t need to eat so often. The fats create satiety and the protein, well apparently it gives my body something to nibble on for an extended period of time thus eliminating the sugar highs and lows. I didn’t get the afternoon slumps and my energy level remains constant throughout the day.
What Did I Eat?
Well, the first week, I dreaded the thought of eating tons of beef and pork. In general, I don’t eat beef and pork so I opted for seafood (especially salmon), chicken and turkey. I love vegetables so I eat a plethora of those. A salad of raw kale topped with sauteed veggies and scallops is one of my favorites.
One major change I had to get used to was the ability to eat good fats such as butter and coconut oil. That means I can have fried chicken seasoned and breaded in almond flour and fried in coconut oil (delish).
The other day my daughter prepared a meal for me of tilapia drowning in a lemon butter sauce. She knows how much I love raw kale so she placed it on a bed of kale. Needless to say, when she asked to go to the mall later, I couldn’t’ say no.
Things I Didn’t Give Up
Because this is a way of life and not a diet, I refused to give up cheese and wine. I’ve successfully consumed both during the two weeks and have managed to lose 4 pounds.
Things I Didn’t Feel Compelled to Do
A strict exercise routine. I do exercises, sort of in that I go for daily brisk walks that last between 35 minutes to an hour depending on the weather and time constraints. I take an occasional spinning and step class, but nowhere near as regularly as I used to.
I intend to increase my exercise routine by including strength training. As my body trims down, I’d really like to see a toned body. There’s nothing worse than a flabby slim body (well, maybe there are things worse, but we won’t discuss that here).
Here are a couple of links to check out if you’re considering a change in dietary habits.
- Fathead The Movie: If you have a Netflix account you can watch it without commercial interruption
- Why We Get Fat
The next book on my list is Wheat Belly by William Davis. I tried to borrow it from the library, but I’m number 52 on the waiting list. I’m going to Barnes & Noble to pick it up today.
BTW, I took a few “before” pictures of my own, but I refuse to post them until I have a much nicer “after” shot.