1 Year of Being Primal

March 1st marked the 1 year anniversary of Lola and Oatmeal’s “primal” lifestyle change.  So I wanted to do a little recap.

Overall, from what I remember, the first month or so was fun but very challenging and at times frustrating.  I did not like cleaning out my pantry and wasting “food” and I also did not like how long it took me to grocery shop.  It seemed like going gluten-free was the most challenging.  Gluten is in EVERYTHING in disguise and I think I spent hours in grocery store aisles just trying to find basic things like marinades and spices without wheat.

Cooking was actually fun.  At first I experimented with complicated primal and paleo recipes, but then I realized how easy it is to just grill a good piece of meat and make a great salad.  Now, grilled meat or fish and fresh salads are staples that we eat night after night.

This elimination of grains, processed foods, sugar and most dairy made us feel good so quickly. Oatmeal immediately “slimmed out.”  He sort of lost some bloat that was in his face, neck and belly.  We laughed recently because a friend of mine came over to the house and saw an old picture of Oatmeal on our refrigerator.  She said, “Wow I didn’t know he used to be chubby!“  We got a good laugh at that because honestly he was never chubby, but he did lose a little bit of excess weight within weeks of cutting out all the processed foods.

Here is a picture of Oatmeal taken Pre-Primal lifestyle, taken when we were dating.  See?  Look at those chubby cheeks.  Haha.

And here is slim and trim Oatmeal now.

If you were to ask Oatmeal why he likes eating Primal, here are some of the simple things he would tell you.

  • He has less body fat overall.  It’s never an effort to stay trim.
  • He feels like there are more gains when he works out.  He was never able to get his midsection and waistline to look the way he wanted, even if he worked out daily for long periods of time.  Now he works out 2-3 times a week for no more than 20 minutes (most workouts are 12-15 minutes total and are just done in our garage).  Just doing these quick maintenance workouts keep his body very strong and his midsection looks better than it did when he was in his teens or 20s.
  • He very rarely gets any colds or illnesses, and when he does get minor symptoms they tend to clear up quickly and without medication.
  • He likes that he never feels bloated, even after eating a large meal.
  • He feels much more confident about his overall health, having eliminated so many processed foods that can be so dangerous and cause various cancers and trigger autoimmune issues.
  • He feels like he has more energy.
  • It is possibly helping his psoriasis to at least be somewhat managed.
  • Finally, his favorite comment about eating Primal is that “I can eat as much meat as I want!”  Hahaha, such a Texan man!

Over the past year, Oatmeal has seen some ups and downs with his psoriasis.  Really it was Oatmeal’s psoriasis that led us to this lifestyle/diet change in the first place.  When I first met him (2008) I just thought he had some fungus on his fingernails and toenails.  Several trips to the doctor later, he was finally diagnosed with psoriasis by a dermatologist in 2009.  At the worst point, his nails looked about like this.  (I found this picture online, so it’s not exactly what his nails looked like but similar.)

The nails worsened gradually and at times we would worry that he would actually end up losing them completely.  He also found patches of psoriasis on his scalp and armpit.  So, you can imagine that when we read the Primal Blueprint by Mark Sissons, which claimed that the elimination of processed foods, grains and dairy could alleviate some of these autoimmune issues, we were happy to try it.

Oatmeal still has the psoriasis on his scalp and armpit, but these are pictures of his fingernails taken tonight.  It is the only time in 4 years that we have seen IMPROVEMENT of symptoms rather than a gradual spreading of the psoriasis.

So, needless to say we are very encouraged and hopeful that prolonged healthy dietary changes will continue to help.

Now, I wish I could show you some before and after pictures of Lola, but the truth is that 1 year after going Primal, Lola is very pregnant!  So, I’ll just have to write some things that I have enjoyed over the year.

  • I never feel bloated when I eat primal.  When I go to parties and family gatherings and “cheat” by eating things like bread, crackers, or milk products, I immediately feel sluggish again.
  • I was able to get off of the Pill after going Primal, and my skin did not “explode” as it always did in the past.  I no longer have to fight cystic acne with harsh medicines such as Proactive or prescription medications.
  • My period regulated without the help of hormonal birth control for the first time in my life.  (Maybe being Primal is what caused me to get pregnant so fast, who knows?!  I will say that June and July were the months that I ate the MOST strict Primal, and I did indeed get pregnant in July.)
  • While my pregnancy has not been a walk in the park 100% of the time, I have felt really awesome overall.  I have definitely had hills and valleys in terms of how strictly I eat, but I admit that when I eat strict Primal, I feel very good.  When I let myself become that crazy pregnant woman who eats everything I desire, my mood and body feel just as crazy.  (I also want to note that Oatmeal just told me: “Man can you imagine what you could possibly look like right now if you weren’t Primal while pregnant?  You are such a cute little pregnant girl but if you were eating all the stuff you used to eat then I’d probably have to stuff you in my horse trailer just to take you anywhere.“  Okay, so this is what my husband considers to be a compliment…. WOW is all I have to say… WOW!
  • This may be gross for some of you, but it’s the biggest gain I’ve seen in myself since going Primal so I will mention it.  Prior to going Primal, I experienced chronic yeast infections that I always believed were simply genetic or “part of being a woman.”  I got several a year during high school and college, and then after college I was lucky to not get one a month.  My doctor treated me over and over again with various medications.  It was miserable and embarrassing.  I could never figure out if it was caffeine, sugar, lack of good bacteria in my diet, hormones, taking the Pill, not taking the Pill, etc.  At one point my doctor actually prescribed me diflucan once a week for 8 weeks so that I could just have 2 months without any discomfort.  Finally, after going Primal, these infections completely disappeared.  I can say with 110% certainty that I truly feel this is directly related to my diet and the fact that I have cut so much sugar and junk from my body by focusing on meat and plants instead of all the processed crap.  I am SO thankful.

So, overall we are both very happy to be Primal!  Later this week I’ll post some pictures of some of our favorite meals that we enjoy eating on our Primal diet.

Happy Wednesday!

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