Primal Eating – Week One Recap

First, just a quick description of what I, my family, and some others in the school are choosing to do with our diet. It is called eating “Primally”. There is a huge movement right now about eating a Paleolithic Diet – that is eating like our ancestors. They lived, thrived even, on a diet of meat and vegetables with no grains to speak of and very little fruit. There is lots of evidence to suggest that they lived very long and vigorous lives on this diet. There is also lots of evidence to show that as societies depend more and more on a grain-based diet, its members get sicker and fatter (and, dare I say it, more degenerate and dependent). The difference between strict “paleo” eating and what I’m doing is that I’m eating a little bit of dairy (for several reasons), having occasional bits of very dark chocolate as an indulgence, and maybe even some red wine occasionally. My wife and kids are finishing the last of the grains that we have in the house (gradually, not all at once) so as not to waste them. I’m using most of the guidelines from MarksDailyApple.com. He calls his diet “Primal” rather than “Paleo”.

I started Monday with fruit. It is higher in carbs than I really want, but I wanted the “cleansing” effects that it offers. I snacked on nuts and dried fruits through the day. Dinner was not ridiculously low carb, but was still primal. Wound up with over 100 carbs for the day. Not low, but a LOT lower than my old way of eating.

The next two days I restricted my carbs a lot. That’s not really the point of paleo (or more accurately “primal”) eating, but I really want to get my blood sugar down and get my body chemistry changed quickly. I don’t know if the process can be rushed or not, I just don’t want to have mood swings and metabolic issues while training in Houston at the end of the month. So Tuesday I consumed less than 30 grams of carbs and about the same Wednesday. I honestly didn’t keep track the rest of the week, but it was probably a lot less than 50 per day.

I had regular headaches most of Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. I also had strange little piercing waves of pain through the right side of my head later in the week, say from Wednesday through Friday. These were disorienting and very painful, but only lasted for two seconds or so.

My mood wasn’t as bad as I expected the early part of the week (especially considering that I was working on my van most of the time). I didn’t feel like doing much training though. By the end of the week my energy was WAY up. Friday I trained more than I have in a long time, working on strength training with my classes, “rememberizing” self-defense techniques I haven’t worked on in a while, and working on forms practice.

I had to be up very late on Saturday and was amazed at how high my energy stayed, even though I ate very little. My focus was very good and my mood was elevated, even buoyant (if that word even describes me). I stopped by Qdoba about 4:30 and got a “Naked Burrito” (made in a bowl with no tortilla) with no beans or rice, double meat, lots of veggies, salsa, sour cream, double guacamole and green tea to drink. After I ate, I could still feel that my blood sugar was low, but unlike the panicky feeling this generated early in the week, it is starting to make me feel energized and happy. Weird.

I deviated just a little bit on Sunday. I bought some Welsh Cookies for the wife for Valentine’s Day. She offered me one in the afternoon as we were getting ready to go out to dinner and a movie. Just fifteen minutes after that cookie, I had one of those weird headache “pulses”, only this time on my left side. I had four more cookies during the movie and a large bar of dark chocolate in the evening when I got home. The headaches repeated maybe four or five more times.

As I was relaxing in the evening, the craving for more cookies was ridiculous! Krystal offered me some, but thankfully I refused. We’ll see how things go this week. I’m still planning to restrict carbs quite a bit. I’m also going to use Kristofer’s keto-sticks just to see if my body is spilling ketones (a metabolic “trick” of Dr. Atkins to determine whether fat burning was taking place rather than just sugar burning.)

I’ll post on this subject weekly. I don’t know if I’ll post my weight or not, as that’s not really what this is about. My goals are to make my body healthier, less fat, same muscle, gain strength, gain flexibility, get ready for Third Degree Testing, and train for the silly Spartan Race that I promised to do. I think my weight will come down without really worrying about it, but I suppose it is a valid measurement to use. We’ll see.