Primal Eating: Week Four- Thriving Through the Holidays

by Angela aka Farmer Jane on December 26, 2012 · 0 comments

One full month of primal eating has flown by!

With a few small issues along the way, over all the transition was easy, almost effortless, and required no will power at all.

There were a few things I did to make our transition a little easier, just in case I ran into problems.

First, I made sure not to prepare any food that was contrary to what I could eat and enjoy. I know myself, and being a person who needs to taste everything I cook before I serve it, will simply not do anymore…I need to learn new habits.

I was particularly concerned about making pasta for the kids, and taking one of the noodles and popping it in my mouth to see if it was done. You might think that would be easy to avoid, but when I’m trying to avoid also touching anything that has gluten in it, how to do you test pasta? I know it can be simply cut open to see if it’s cooked all the way, I just never was in the habit of working that way. Christmas day I decided to go ahead and make pasta for the kids and, of course I HAD to touch it.

Second, because it was Christmas and I was receiving some very special chocolate from one of my children, I felt the need to eat and share it with my family. I could have easily given a lecture and said, “no thanks, I no longer eat this way,” and then wax boring with some sort of food lesson, but it just wasn’t a top priority. I had two pieces of chocolate and loved every moment of it. They all know not to purchase candy and chocolate for me anymore, and I learned just how sensitive I am to either one of these ingredients or all: Soy, Wheat, Regular Milk (partial list of ingredients of the candy.)

Some of the most pleasant features of being primal is the lack of gas, bloating, heartburn and reflux, discomfort, stomach distention, sleepiness, and diarrhea. However, after eating only two pieces of this chocolate, I became very tired and all the discomfort I felt one month ago, came rushing back with a vengeance and I marveled saying, “Really! Come on REALLY?!” as I would rush to the bathroom through the night and even all of Christmas day…yes, from just two little pieces of chocolate! Live and learn.

Even though I need to start over in terms of how long I’ve been gluten free, my shampoo and soap may still contain gluten, so as a precaution, Dom bought us some new shampoo and soap. It was also why I wasn’t so bothered about touching pasta to test for readiness. I had already eaten the candy on Christmas Eve which did contain wheat gluten.

Third, I learned how much wine I can drink occasionally. I used to drink wine regularly and with great ease, I could effortlessly consume a large amount of wine in a single night. Not anymore. Dom and I found that we can safely drink about 2-3 servings of wine with no ill affects the next day. We found a dry white wine that works for us.

Fourth, Primal Body, Primal Mind, by Nora Gedgaudas is a MUST read! Even if you are already paleo or primal. Her book is easy to read, and although her nutrient dense knowledge base is superb, it should always be consumed in small bites, chewed well, and allowed to digest before reading the next chapter of her book.

Since I’m updating our progress each week on either Tuesday or Wednesday with the title “Primal Eating,” I’ll be adding some snippets from her book because I feel Miss Nora has so much to offer beyond just eating paleo. It will be titled “Gems from Nora” at the bottom of my Primal Eating posts each week.

Gems from Nora:

Excerpt from Chapter One page 9-10

  Many authors popularizing the notion of Paleolithic diets base their conclusive evidence on the diets of more-contemporary primitive peoples, forgetting that for most of our evolution, the world has been a very, very different place. Either way, it is evident from even the most recent analysis of primitive diets that animal-source foods and fat-soluble nutrients invariably play a critical, central role in such peoples’ extraordinary physical and mental health and freedom from disease, as characterized in primitive peoples and more traditional groups. It is also quite evident that diets consisting of any significant quantity of carbohydrates are a strictly modern phenomenon, one that our ice age human physiology has evolved little adaptation to-or defense against.

Carbohydrates, other than the largely indigestible variety found in fibrous vegetables and greens, have generally played a minimal role at best through most of human evolution. Fruit was consumed only seasonally by our neo-Paleolithic ancestors in most places, and wild fruit is extremely fibrous and smaller in size, with less total sugar content. Many potatoes and tubers would have required extensive cooking to neutralize extremely toxic alkaloids. Wild varieties that would have been available to us through most of our history as a species can be especially toxic.

In other words, it isn’t likely we were eating baked potatoes with our woolly mammoth steaks-or much starch at all.

In fact, of all the macronutrients (that is, protein, fats, and carbohydrates), the only ones for which there are no actual human dietary requirements are carbohydrates. This is a critical and very fundamental point to remember: we don’t ever have to eat any sugar or starch of any kind at all in order to be optimally healthy.

Our bodies can manufacture glucose, as needed, from a combination of protein and fat in the diet. As a matter of fact, glucose is really needed only in an ongoing way mainly for fueling our red blood cells. Most organs and tissues in the body, including the brain, actually prefer, if we let them, to use ketones, the energy-producing by-products from the metabolism of fats. This fact is very overlooked or misunderstood by the majority of medical and nutritional experts. There is abundant evidence that many modern disease processes, including those resulting in cardiovascular disease, elevated triglyceride levels, obesity, hypertension, diabetes, hypoglycemia, and cancer, to name a few, are the product not of excess natural fat in the diet, but of excess carbohydrates.

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