Today is my last official day on my own personal primal 30 day challenge.
It’s been an interesting month. There have been moments when I’ve been convinced that this lifestyle is for me.
There have also been moments when I wondered why I ever tried to try something so ridiculous. But honestly, it’s mostly been really good for me.
7 Good Parts of Going Primal
- While I struggled to maintain the strict guidelines of the primal lifestyle my first week in, it got easier every day. After the first 7-10 days, the worst of my cravings for processed foods and simple carbs were gone.
- I drastically increased the number of fruits and especially vegetables that I eat every day. I went from 2-3 servings a day to 6-8 servings on average.
- I cook every day, and I cook new recipes every week. I’d lost interest in my kitchen over the last couple of years, but now I’m constantly scanning blogs and Pinterest for new healthy recipes to try. My family’s diet has improved, too. Ironically, I have spent the last two Sunday afternoons baking. I can’t explain it since I can’t enjoy it, but my family sure has.
- After an initial adjustment period, I felt more energetic and more “level” than I did in months leading up to the challenge. I was far more in control of what I ate every day. And I slept like a rock.
- My IBS symptoms all but disappeared, as did my acid reflux.
- I completely kicked my fast food habit.
- I lost five pounds.
The 5 Not So Good
- I only lost five pounds! At some point around the third week, I stopped losing weight. I was using the excuse that I was eating primal to ignore portion sizes, I think. I was just eating too much. Because weight loss is my goal, I’ll be counting calories going forward.
- The primal lifestyle is still a lot of work, one month in. I have to plan my meals ahead of time and it’s harder to pick something up in a pinch. When I run out of my go-to foods, I stand in front of the fridge a little perplexed.
- Humanely-raised meat is difficult to find and outrageously priced at local grocery stores, which is one of the reasons that my family hasn’t eaten much meat in the past. I am currently searching for a local farmer to buy our meat from to solve this problem
- I’m concerned about the cholesterol question. My current cholesterol levels are great. Do I want to see them go up? Some people have seen their LDL (bad cholesterol) skyrocket on the primal diet. Despite reading all the information I can get my hands on, I haven’t been able to resolve this in my mind.
- I miss Friday family pizza night.
I’ll Return to a More Balanced Diet
Going primal truly helped me kick my carbohydrate habit in a way traditional dieting never did. I was never able to completely quit sugar, but drastically reduced my intake every day. I can see myself doing this again as a “kick start” if I let carbs take over my life again.
But I’m looking forward to a more balanced approach starting tomorrow. No bread, no crackers, no chips, and no cake. (Ok, maybe a little cake.) Those are my trigger foods. But I really miss hummus, brown rice, cheese, sushi and other foods that aren’t technically primal but that have their place in a healthy diet.
Thanks for following me on this journey. I’ve enjoyed your comments and your opinions. I’ve got a long way to go, so stick around for more updates!