Week Seven: Eat Like a Caveman for Feel Good February

 

For week seven I started a little Primal 21 Day Challenge

I’ve followed the Primal Blueprints philosophies various times over the past few years but this time I am trying to stick to it for at least 21 days in order to develop new habits.

SO: What is primal

Like the paleo diet, it has a strong focus on eating like cavemen. Unlike paleo, it’s a little less strict, has a little bit more of a whole life/ way of living aspect, and overall has a more positive feel. It focuses on questions like What would our ancestors have eaten? How would have they have lived their life? What would they have had to do to get the food they ate?

Think if they wanted honey, they’d have to fight with bees to get it. If they wanted wine they’d have to ferment it (it’s been seen that lots of creatures like to indulge). If they wanted meat they’d have to catch it and then they’d use every part. And so on.

BASICALLY: Just fulfilling your need for food as a caveman was tricky business.

Of course, we’re not in the Palaeolithic era anymore. The majority of us take advantage of the magical place called a grocery store where we can purchase food. We don’t need to hunt for our food or fight with bees to get a little honey. It doesn’t have to take us months to ferment a couple bevies for a party. That doesn’t mean we can’t gain from living a primal lifestyle. By adopting primal philosophies we gain more respect for food, our body and life in general.

Not only is it about food but it’s also about playing, exercising in a natural way (think sprinting, lifting heavy, walking, hiking), getting your circadian rhythm back on track, and living an awesome, healthy balanced life.

Mark Sission, the founder of marksdailyapple.com and “The Primal Blueprint” (the guide to living this way) is actually all about eatting that dark chocolate and drinking that glass of wine. The kicker: as long as it’s in moderation and balanced.

So what are the actual RULES  of a 21 day primal challenge?
♥ Eat “real” food. (i.e. plants, fish, meat, insects if that’s your thing. Basically it’s from the earth/ you know exactly what’s in it.)
♥ Avoid sugar, grains, unhealthy fats (i.e. trans/ hydrogenated fats), beans/ legumes.
♥ Align your carb intake with your weight goals and activity levels. 
♥ Move frequently at a slow pace; Get between 2-5 hours per week of moderate, aerobic exercise.
♥ Lift heavy things: Conduct 1-3 brief, intense session of full-body functional movements.
♥ Sprint: Go “all out” once a week. 
♥ Get 8 hours of sleep every night. 
♥ Get 15 minutes of direct sun exposure each day.
♥ Play!!! Find time to let go, disconnect, unwind and have FUN everyday
This is taken directly from marksdailyapple.com. For more great information about the 21 Day Challenge follow this link to the site.

Still want more? Here’s a cool infographic:

 
 

Learn more at Mark’s Daily Apple.

LOOKS WHO’S A PRIMAL EXPERT!!! (That’s right, I’m looking at you) 

Now that we’re on the same page and it doesn’t sound like I’m talking gibberish here’s a quick look at the first week of my experience:

Why did I decide to do a 21 Day Primal Challenge?
♥ It’s all about a balanced lifestyle and general health, not just eating.
♥ It takes a minimum of 21 days to break a habit.
♥ It fit well with February being a short month.
♥ Who doesn’t love to play?!?

What have I loved about eating primal
So many things…
♥ I don’t get the crash after eating. You know the one. Right after devouring the most delicious carb-y lunch you feel like your body weighs 10000 million pounds and is impossible to lift even a finger. The only remedy? A nap or you know, like 20 coffees. Ya…That goes away when you eat a primal meal
♥ Piggybacking on the previous note, I’m more in tune with what my wants/ likes/ needs. In turn, I don’t feel sick after I eat unless it’s something that I have trouble digesting. Some things are completely primal but I’ve realized I have trouble digesting them. Big sad face examples: eggs and garlic. 
♥ It eliminates so many choices. This is a dream for someone as indecisive as me. 
♥ My sugar cravings equal basically zero. 
♥ I find I’m not as hungry. It will literally be 3 in the afternoon and I’ll realize I haven’t eaten yet. In primal land this is considered intermittent fasting. 

What have I found challenging about eating primal?
♥ The low carb flu! Studies show sugar is more addictive than cocaine. It’s a thing…..if you don’t believe me click here or pop it into google. 
♥ Because of said low carb flu my emotions have been a little more up and down than usual. 
♥ I’ve had trouble falling asleep (I should note that my partner in crime is away which doesn’t help and once I’m asleep I don’t have to get up at all)
♥ If i get to hungry I want all the “bad” food. It’s like my brain forgets about all the delicious healthy options as if they don’t exist. 
♥ Social settings where there are goodies (example: sour jube jubes and chocolate) are hard because I dream about them. BUT you know what? It’s more empowering to NOT eat them.

Something else to note: I’ve been completing this challenge in a way that works best for me. I haven’t stuck EXACTLY to the 21 day challenge guidelines and I’ve taken elements from other 21 day challenges that I like. For example, I’ve incorporated a once a week cheat day when I can eat whatever I want. Even if I don’t have a ridiculous blow out day, I find having an eat-anything day to look forward to extremely helpful. I also throw all my cravings throughout the week on a list for my cheat day. This helps eliminate those cravings in the moment. YAH for eliminating cravings!

So all-in-all it’s been a positive experience so far. Stay tuned for part 2 coming at you for Week Eight. 

Time to go eat like a caveman! Maybe I’ll even have myself a glass of fermented grapes and a little dark chocolate [insert purple devil emoji]. 

 

P.S. Did I spark some primal curiosity? Check out marksdailyapple.com for a TON of great articles/ receiples/ stories/ cool stuff. 

P.P.S. I know this is technically a week late..oops! Stay tuned for this week’s post in the next couple days. I PINKY PROMISE! ♥