On day 1, we purged our pantry of all non-primal-approved foods: grains, legumes, non-approved oils (the unnatural oils like Canola) refined sugars, and even fruit (yes, fruit like mangoes had to go!) We have been loosely following this way of eating so it wasn’t hard. We even tossed the Ezekiel bread we had been enjoying. We are committed to doing this for 21 days. After that, we will decide if we want to continue or loosen it up a bit and allow some legumes and sprouted grains. We also restocked our pantry with primal-approved foods which we had a lot already. The big one was increasing daily movement. I parked farther away, took 15 minute stair and street walking breaks at work, added a morning walk with my dog, an evening walk after dinner, and generally trying to do things the physically harder way throughout the day. For the lifestyle challenge, my spouse ordered yellow safety glasses to minimize exposure to bright lights after the sun goes down (our primal ancestors only had their fire after dark) and we got yellow bug lights for our bedroom and for our lamps in our living room to use after dark. We already have a lot of the stuff recommended like workout clothing and kitchen basics. We already get our animal products from an awesome farm so we were all set with that.
On day 2, we bought more primal approved foods and I made sure I had plenty of macadamia nuts (they save me on this way of eating). I did a moderate duration workout by walking at about 60% of my maximum heart rate for about half an hour. It wasn’t hard. My dog loved it. And it felt good. We had a calm, relaxing evening and things felt good. Except the Diet Coke cravings that I had been warding off all day. I even gave up Stevia sodas because they are not on the plan either. LaCroix, Perrier, and Pellegrino to the rescue!
On day 3, we did a full-length Primal Essential Movement workout. This was really great. We biked up to a park about 3 miles away and did our squats, pushups, pull-ups, and planks in the park. Only 2 sets of maximum reps which wasn’t much for me. I could literally only do 2.5 pushups. I was honestly surprised that I could do that many. I couldn’t do a single pull up but did what I could and I felt my muscles working. Mark recommended doing a chair assisted pull up but we couldn’t take a chair to the park. So, I just did as much as I could on my tip toes. It worked, because I felt it the next day. We counted our trip as a play break for the day too since we hung out at the park and scouted out good workout sites. We had already boycotted industrialized foods (although I was still getting Diet Coke at McDonald’s~ okay, and the occasional hamburger-yuck I know) but I made a firmer resolve to not give into the mass mentality of procuring sustenance.
On day 4, we honored our hunger by only eating when we were hungry. I noticed I was hungry by my energy levels drastically dipping. I didn’t feel actual hunger pains or stomach growling. I tried not to overeat (which I had been focusing on anyway) and had a good day food-wise (except for the awful Diet Coke cravings which I had successfully warded off with LaCroix, Pellegrino, and Perrier.) It was on this day that I came to a little epiphany. I drive around a lot during the day for my job. I’m always looking for something to eat for a snack or lunch depending on the time of day. I like looking for a food item and stopping to get it. On this day, as I was driving and thinking about what I could stop and get and why I wanted to stop and get it, I realized that maybe this is a hunter-gatherer instinct. Yes, I felt that I was becoming primal in the modern world on this day as I searched for a CVS to get some Perrier. I also found a delightful little spot next to the gas station where I got gas to take a 10 minute walk (I was due for my break). Mark recommends a stand up work station on day 4 which I did not do. I didn’t feel like dealing with weird looks from coworkers who probably think I’m weird already. I am keeping it in mind though for another time…
On day 5, we dined out for lunch. I did a great job of staying primal at a local restaurant hang out. I had a taco salad without the shell and an unsweetened iced tea. This was a big success because eating in restaurants seems to be my biggest downfall diet wise. We also did an abbreviated PEM (Primal Essential Movement) workout at the park. We watched some informal sporting events and were invited to join a rugby game. I said no. This bothered me. I wanted to say: “Yes! Show me how to play!” but I knew that I didn’t have the fitness level to try. I am using this feeling as a motivation to continue on with this journey. I want to be able to do everything I want to do. Couch potato rebellion: a 2-5 minute movement break every 30 minutes. I did great at this! I even walked around the movie theater (up and down the stairs) where we saw a morning movie!
On day 6, I made a special meal: primal pizza. I had been craving pizza so it was time! Love the Primal Cravings cookbook! We were supposed to have a primal dinner celebration and we did. As it was the 4th of July weekend, people were busy and unable to attend.
This brings me up to date…day 7…