Here’s my most recent post for Primal Toad. I thought I would share it with you all too, in case you hadn’t seen it…
I have to take a moment to express my gratitude to the primal lifestyle for a couple of reasons. By nature, it eliminates foods that are extremely addictive. For those of us who’ve given it a try, we found our true appetite and our true self-control on the primal diet, often for the very first time in our lives. Who knew that we could just say no?! Before, our physiological need for the next sugar-rush would override even our best intentions and leave us feeling like a failure.
Eating primally also takes away most of the guessing game of better health. Avoid sugar. Avoid grains. Avoid legumes. Avoid seed oils. In exchange, you will experience better sleep, weight loss (if needed), energy increase, and have numerous other pesky health symptoms eliminated. The primal basics are a firm health foundation that will not shift with the latest diet craze.
However, what if you have made all of those changes and it still doesn’t seem like enough? Perhaps you still have some stubborn weight that won’t budge. Maybe you have remaining health symptoms that you can’t seem to get under control. Perhaps your energy levels don’t seem as sky-high as you would like. What do you do then?
Throw out the rules and listen to your body! No, I am not suggesting that you throw out the primal food guidelines because they are a cornerstone of good health. What I am talking about is tweaking your food and lifestyle choices so that you feel incredible. How do you do this? Well, you start to listen to your body’s responses and you keep track of them mentally or with a journal. (Full disclosure: I hate food journals, so if you do too, just remember we are in the same boat…)
The simple fact is that you don’t have to follow any diet rules just because someone else is telling you that it is right. I have a pesky need to do what is expected; to stick with the plan. Well, I am here to tell us both: Stop following the rules, start doing what works! If it isn’t giving you the results you hoped for, why are you still clinging to it for answers?!
Be willing to think radically. Many folks following the primal lifestyle find success with low-carb varieties of the diet. But you? If it hasn’t worked being low-carb, maybe you would want to change it up a bit and eat more moderate carbohydrate levels. (You can see my thoughts on how low-carbing worked for me here). Perhaps you need to aggressively pursue gut-health and deeper healing. Do you still have auto-immune disorder symptoms? Maybe trying the auto-immune paleo diet protocol (as outlined in Robb Wolf’s Paleo Solution) would help you to get to the bottom of what can be done for you nutritionally.
What about the health benefits of raw meat? Have you given that serious thought? Well, Peggy the Primal Parent has fully embraced them and seen wonderful results (see her one of her many posts on the topic here). Primal Toad is great at self-experimentation and often keeps us up-to-date on how foods like peanuts work for him.
We have one life to live, but if you are like me, sometimes you just get on auto-pilot. Is it time for you to find more answers for your quality of life? Don’t be scared to go on a path less-traveled – maybe that’s where your solution lies.
PS – I do think there is a bit of danger in the “listen to your body” message when you are eating SAD foods. At that point, there is no true listening. Your body is probably on a crazy insulin roller coaster ride so many of your cravings and appetites can’t be trusted. It seems best to give yourself time away from highly-processed, sugar-laden foods before you try more self-experimentation. Just my opinion…
(photo: theprimaleffect.com, mylifechanges.com)