After a few years of being on the fence, we embraced the Paleo or Primal lifestyle in June of 2013. I (Meg) had suffered from IBD symptoms for years without answer or help from the “Conventional Wisdom” doctors I saw. My biggest problem, aside from being overweight, was a spastic gallbladder. I suffered for over four years without being able to pinpoint a trigger. All the different specialists seemed to think I was exaggerating when I said fat or alcohol didn’t affect it at all, just living and breathing did! I also underwent multiple tests for gluten intolerance, all they showed was that I was just borderline and all the CW specialists reassured me that there was no possible way I had a problem with gluten. I think they were looking at my overweight body and thought it was all in my head, because CW dictates that gluten intolerance causes weight loss, not gain.
Fast forward to early Spring of 2013, my kindle was loaded with books like Wheat Belly, but I had yet to really read them. I had friends who had already embraced being primal telling me I needed to give it a go. In March-ish, I went gluten-free… not grain free, I was addicted to sesame rice crackers. I felt a bit better, but then traveling and eating out threw me off the wagon again. I confided in one of those primal friends, which encouraged me to just dive in and go completely grain free. I read Maria Emmerich’s Secrets to Controlling your Weight, Cravings and Mood, which has some great points — but to me it was poorly written and had some facts about PD & RLS completely wrong, so I moved on to Mark Sission’s The Primal Blueprint. I loved what I was reading, but I wanted to drive in right away — so I grabbed The Primal Blueprint 21-Day Total Body Transformation and started my journey. Jeff joined in too, but not with the passion I had to make the changes. Immediately I lost four pounds, even though I had followed CW dieting & exercise for months with little to no results. I was hooked, now it’s just a matter of staying accountable and not falling back into the Standard American Diet out of convenience or splurging.
It’s mid-August 2013 as I write this, and I haven’t stuck to the Blueprint religiously. I definitely know that I need to stick to being as low carb as possible, because the pounds come off when I do. I am mostly grain free now, my gallbladder problems are just a memory when I stay away from gluten. I have had several gluten slip-ups, and I have regretted each and every single one of them. The only grains still in my diet come from the occasional whiskey, that’s it. I went from being a person who loved to bake bread all the time, to not even being able to stomach it.
When we share things on this blog about our Primal/Paleo journey, please respect that this is our journey as individuals and we might not follow the Paleo mantra to a T. For instance, I still eat some hard cheeses (I grew up with the Tillamook Cheese factory as like my Oregon Disneyland) and Jeff drinks milk. For a cheap date, we’ll go get no sugar (or artificial sweetener added) frozen yogurt. Our goal is to get healthier as a couple and lose weight, not be a perfectly primal couple. I try to keep to 90/10, as I try to lose the extra weight. This is our new lifestyle and our future. The disrespectful “Paleo Police” are not welcome here. I will mention when posting a recipe or linking to another site about what is or isn’t primal, but there will be times I forget to mention it. You do have to be careful with Pinterest and Googling for paleo recipes, there are lots of people out there with good intentions who think their recipes are primal — but unfortunately aren’t. For instance, there are a lot of recipes out there labeled “paleo” that have soy sauce in them. Soy is a bean, and soy sauce is laden with wheat and gluten.
If you have any questions about the lifestyle changes we’ve made, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I know how confusing it all was for me to digest at first, and there are still going to be plenty of times where I learn something new about being primal — I’m no where near being an expert.