If you read my story then you already know quite a bit about me. Here I would like to address things that really don’t pertain to me but pertain to the Primal lifestyle.
In short it’s a diet and lifestyle that encourages eating nutrient dense whole food, avoiding poisonous food, moving around frequently at a slow pace, lifting heavy things every once in awhile, sprinting occasionally, getting enough sleep and getting adequate regular sun exposure.
What’s the difference between Paleo and Primal?
You can google this question and find billions of people writing about the topic. If you’ve never asked that question then I will attempt to answer it here for you briefly.
The main difference between the two diets is that Primal is more lenient with dairy and saturated fats. However, these terms are really interchangeable nowadays. The foundation of both diets is that you eat nutrient dense real food: meat, vegetables, fruit and fats. While avoiding poisonous foods: grains, legumes and some dairy. Many people on the Primal/Paleo diet can tolerate certain grains and eat white rice and/or quinoa depending on your level of activity. As well as consuming different forms of dairy: cheese, heavy cream, kefir, butter, full fat yogurt & raw milk.
It all really boils down to what works best for you and your family. My family occasionally eats white rice. We eat cheese on our eggs pretty much every day. We eat full fat yogurt as a treat. Drinking milk is kinda a weird idea to me so we really never tried raw milk. Not to mention it’s like $10 for a quart.
Paleo and Primal are very similar when compared one to another, as well as the Perfect Health Diet which allows for more starchy foods. All in all they are more or less the same: eat real food and avoid poisonous food. In addition to these diets, my views mostly align with the Weston A. Price Foundation.
On this site I will use Paleo and Primal interchangeably. I mean the same thing when I mention each and you can choose to follow along at with what works best for you and your family. Most recipes I use Kerrygold Butter. If you don’t want to use that you can use clarified butter like this one or this one.
Is this a gluten free diet?
While this diet isn’t explicitly gluten free, it does discourage the consumption of gluten which is found in wheat, rye and barley. Oats don’t contain gluten but they’re often processed at the same facility as other gluten contaminated grains. The reason for this intolerance is because most people (one third of the population) can’t properly digest gluten. Gluten is the protein found in these grains. Think of it like this: the shell on the grain (bran and endosperm), which is where the gluten is found, tries to protect what’s inside (the germ). By “protecting” the germ it resists anything trying to digest it or “attack” it. This is where your immune system launches an attach on your intestines because of the gluten in what you ate. So yes, this diet can be considered gluten free, I rarely eat gluten because I don’t think anyone can really digest it perfectly. However, I don’t really encourage eating any of the prepackaged stuff on the gluten free isle. Most of of it is still full of sugar and high in carbs.
Did you say carbs?
I watch how many carbs I eat. Mark suggests that people stay under 150g of carbs in a day for weight maintenance. Anything over that will lead to insidious weight gain. The truth is, if you eat meat, vegetables and the occasional fruit it would be hard to surpass 150g of carbs in one day. Most people never pay attention to this and after they eat their bowl of cereal for breakfast, sandwich and chips for lunch and spaghetti for dinner; you’re probably pushing at least 300g of carbs. If you’re more active, that’s where you can include more nutrient dense carbs like sweet potatoes or white rice steamed in bone broth.
Sounds like you must be hungry all the time.
Not really, because as Mark explains it your body will eventually switch from needing carbs for energy and switch to the body’s preferred source of energy: fat. Most things on the shelves nowadays are low fat this low fat that. This diet encourages you to eat fat. Not industrial seed oil fats like canola oil and corn oil. But saturated fat: lard, tallow, butter, coconut oil, etc…. Saturated fat is the body’s preferred source of fuel and the most stable for your body. Polyunsaturated fat has the propensity to oxidize more easily than saturated fat. Take a look at the cell structure of saturated fat compared to polyunsaturated fat. The more complex the polyunsaturated fat structure looks – means it has more of a possibility to break (oxidize). The more parts, the more things can go wrong. Saturated fat has less of a propensity to oxidize because of how less complex the cell structure is. All of this is to say, I eat fat. I’m not hungry all the time because my body uses stored body fat for energy and consumed dietary fat for energy.
You talk about Mark Sisson a lot…
That’s because the stuff he’s written on his blog and in his books have substantially changed my view on diet and exercise. He’s not the only blog I follow however. If it weren’t for the following blogs listed below, I would still be eating skinless chicken breasts and steamed broccoli (yuck). Here are some other people’s blogs I visit on a daily basis, or more accurately they pop up in my feedly account:
Tell me more about Primal!
I didn’t cover everything here. I’m not a nutritionist. I’m a graphic designer by day. So do your research before you dive into this thing. Find out what works best for you and your family. Here are a few posts that really explained the science and got me on the right track:
- The Primal Blueprint Diagrams
- The Definitive Guide to the Primal Eating Plan
- 10 Ways to “Get Primal”
- 10 Steps to “Primalize” Your Pantry
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