Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Tips and Fears?

I have two posts I'd like to write, but I can't seem to find the time... I'm going to try and get at least one of them done this week. 

In the meantime...  if you have gone Primal, what was the biggest piece of information, and/or tip that helped you begin to switch from the SAD diet to the Primal diet?

If you have not made the switch, but you are interested, what is the biggest thing(s) that is holding you back?


  1. I only know a little bit about the Primal way of eating. My husband is very interested in it, and I think The Primal Blueprint is supposed to arrive in the mail today. My biggest issues with it (without knowing everything) is that buying organic is expensive (especially meat), but seems really important to this way of eating. We have also had food antigen testing done on our family and the only meats that none of us are sensitive to are chicken and some fish. I don't know if you can go primal without beef or pork or lamb or if we should just eat those things in moderation (they don't cause noticeable reactions).
    My other problems is that it is so hard to figure out the healthiest way to eat. I have two daughters, an almost 3 year old, and an eight month old. I just want our family to eat the healthiest way and I want to start while they are young so that they won't know much different but there is so much conflicting information out there about what is healthy.
    I realize that I wrote you a book... you're welcome... I am sure this is exactly what you were looking for. I enjoy your blog by the way.

    1. LOL, why, thank you for the book :) The longer the comment, the better!

      Start with baby steps. Try just eliminating grains (I know that alone seems overwhelming). Don't buy everythingn organic... yet. Admittedly, there are many things I cannot find in the organic realm. While it is ideal, it's not going to kill me. I hope anyway.

      Once you do that... actually, I'll write a blog post about this. Thanks! :)

  2. I have a tip of an interesting site,

    This site keeps track of the low carb movement in Sweden, and is regularly updated with the lastest news and science about low carb diets. There is a lot of tips for beginners, and references to research supporting this way of eating.

  3. my wife and I have been primal for around a year now. The hardest thing is when we have to be out for the day and eat out. We generally count that as part of our 20%, but our carb tracking shows that there are carb spikes on those days that are enough at least in my wife's case to cause the weight loss to go very slowly and occasionally stand still. So from a psychological perspective, it diminishes the enthusiasm a bit. We have not been exercising, but when we were, it burned the extra carbs from the eating out days. We need to get back to that habit.

  4. @Theresa: First step is to eliminate all or most grains, don't worry too much about going full organic, remember that something is always better than nothing, and a word of advice, don't "welcome" someone that haven't thanked you, it's rude.

    @Bert: Exercising is only %20 of the weight-loss effort, so don't stress too much over it, I recommand that you take long walks with your wife if you can, 30 minutes a day is plentiful, you will notice great progress.

  5. Not specifically Primal, but about a year ago, Leo Laporte and Paul Thurotte on were discussing low-carb diets and Gary Taube's research specifically. I then remembered Atkins and everyone who tried it over the last 20 years lost and kept weight off. I looked at paleo and primal, but I found that simply doing low-carb Atkins style seemed to have all the benefits (even apart from exercise - but everyone recommends exercise).

    I should note Taubes says exercise used to be called "working up an appetite" for a reason. And I find it to be true.

    Another thing is that I really want to be in ketosis if I want to lose weight. If I'm metabolizing carbs - with the insulin and such, my body is in storage mode. Winter has limited my exercise but I got less hungry too.

    Primal is not the same as low carb, but it overlaps a lot. The biggest difference is I can do Julian Bakery low carb bread. It has grains, but only 1g effective carbs, high fiber and protein. And I can do low carb beer. But the total daily grains is much smaller. The highest carb food I eat was revealed by our host - Greek God's (Artemis Plain) Yoghurt - 5g/serving.

    If I did as much fruit, honey, etc. as you did I wouldn't have lost as much weight or as quickly. I started under 20g of carb per day, and I try to keep under 40 now. I find it easy.

  6. My three tips from seven years and counting of atkins / low card / primal

    1. In your head you set the mindset "I don't eat sugar / pasta / bread / cakes / biscuits, or drink soda / beer"

    2. When challenged, as you will be, why you´re not eating the carbs / factory seed oils, just say "I find that it makes me ill". This response does not allow for argument, but you may meet some nice paleo or coeliac people who become allies.

    3. Be ready to go outside the norm. For example when the only lunch available is a business sandwich lunch, feel free to throw away the bread and eat the filling. If you are challenged, refer to 2 above.

    4. I recommend a good breakfast - I will have scrambled eggs and bacon or chili cheese omlette most days. When I am out at work and maybe travelling, I don´t really care if I have lunch or not.

    5. For cakes and other sugary stuff I firmly recommend 100% avoidance. In my experience, a a cake with coffee one day leads to a definite desire for a cake with coffee the next. ´Never´works better for me with these things than ´sometimes´. See 1 above.

    6. Don't stress if you miss a meal. That is accidental Intermittent Fasting. It won't turn you into a raving carboholic. Instead you will appreciate that our bodies can survive just fine some irregularity in meals.

    Oh dear that's six but who cares ?

  7. 1. I use self-hypnosis (I don't really know if this works, but I think the human subconscious is a very strong tool). Id est, if I slip up and eat something I shouldn't, I will say out loud, "That is way too sweet." I would continue to slip up occasionally, but the frequency has been steadily dropping. I also say "delicious fat", "daily bacon", "repulsive grain", "fun pushups" etc.

    2. I tried several of the bread-replacement type meals listed in the primal cookbooks and online (using coconut flour), but I have to say that I just don't care for "nasty bread" any more. Breads (primal or otherwise) are just glorified butter delivery vehicles. I'd rather eat steak, bacon, eggs, fish, wild ducks...

    3. Finding time for exercise is difficult. To help me I got a door jamb pullup bar. Every time I walk through the door I must do two "fun pullups" (it is like healthy OCD)

    ~By the way, since I have gotten the results I needed from either self hypnosis or just my bodily cravings adjusting to something healthier, I have dropped most of the hypnosis stuff, but I still love saying "delicious, healthy saturated fat" to strike up conversations / arguments with the poor sugar burners around me!

    I am rooting for you, Woods family!

    P.S. I love your videos and books, Tom. Keep up the good work!

  8. I moved with my Family to Singapore in 2008... And decided I would give moving to primal a shot in early 2010.

    Bare in mind I wasn't much of a processed food person, but being married to asian culture for 2 decades... Well I went through a lot of white rice and unlevened breads (my wife is of Indian decent).

    Not being any taller than Tom W. I had reached 183 lb... 50 lb more than I wieghed when I graduated from high school.

    Thing is, I turned 50 in 2009, and I had read a lot about belly fat being hard on the heart...

    Still, I was uncertain... Atkins seemed like a math course with irrational numbers... But I read Mark S. blog, The Daily Apple and he had one great great post, for me at any rate.

    80% of doing the right thing is a lot better than not trying at all.

    So that is what I did. I cut out baked goods and sweets. No issues, I didn't eat much of them anyway, though there are a LOT of holidays an holiday goodies here.

    But the rice was hard at first. So I cut it back by 50% every 2 weeks. After 3 months I was eating very little rice... Which I still do. All told, I eat about 5-15% of the white rice I used to, and I cut out all of the sweets and most of the breads.

    I increased eggs, meat, fresh cooked veggies... Easy to get here, even when you eat out.

    So what happened? I lost 45 lb. I feel great. I eat what looks good when I am hungry, and don't when I am not.

    My body has no trouble handling a small amount of rice at a time, so I simply don't worry about it. I keep it small, as a habit now. And it soaks up all the curry and chilly my meat comes with, so it has a purpose I guess.

    Oh, besides the 80/20 rule (I am about 90/10 now...) what else helped?

    I looked at it and said, I can DO ANYTHING for 3 months. Heck, when I quit smoking 30 years ago, I told myself I can do anything for one day... Every day.

    As with all personal accounts, your milage may vary. :)

  9. What's "holding me back" is that I've never liked meat or fat. Ever. I'm 50 years old now... when I was a kid, having meat was practically punishment for me (I remember being told I had to stay at the table until I finished a bite of meat... and staying until midnight!).

    I don't like the texture or the taste and I don't find it satiating.

    I do like fish (but not any of the canned varieties... they're disgusting). But making fish a daily staple is out of my budget.

    I already don't eat grains very often, or potatoes very often.

    So, while I find this whole primal thing interesting, I'm not sure how/if I can do it.

  10. For home cooking: I would suggest embracing new cuisines that you haven't normally cooked at home before. This derails a lot of the substitution mentality people have with old favorites (e.g. man, meatballs in marinara sauce is pretty taste but WHERE IS THE PASTA), which I personally found very frustrating. This may not be the case for everyone, but it reduced me to tears more than once. I found it easier to adapt a new recipe off the bat to align with Primal/Paleo principles than to try to revamp old favorites (e.g. making pho and leaving out the noodles, making a sugar and soy free version of general tso's chicken that I serve with garlic bok choy and ginger broccoli instead of rice, making chicken mole served on a bed of red cabbage slaw with cumin-lime dressing instead of tortillas, etc, rather than 'how do I paleo-ify pizza'). As an added bonus, there are a lot of cuisines that are basically gluten free. Thai, some Chinese and Japanese, Mexican, South American were relatively easy to adapt to Primal/Paleo... Wheat thrives best in northern temperate climates, so look more towards the equator. Once you are very familiar with omitting grains and tweaking recipes, then revisit the old standbys to see if you can make them work well for you.

    Dining out: If you eat out, try to be familiar with the place you're going to before hand, reading a menu online if possible. Most chains now have gluten free menus which helps narrows the possibilities, and from there you can always ask politely if you could have more vegetables instead of potatoes or rice. This will take some of the stress out of trying to make smart choices at the table.

    Groceries: There are only a few vegetables/fruits where organic matters, often referred to as the Dirty Dozen. The Whole9 has a link up about what needs to be organic, and what can be let to slide. For meat, if you cannot afford organic, grass-fed at the store you can either just get lean cuts of meat (the fat being the repository of toxins that you then consume if the meat came from a CAFO animal) or do some research on to see if there are farmer's markets or other online resources to purchase grass-fed/organic/pasture-raised meats from. Here in WA I can get some fairly inexpensive grass-fed beef and pork (cheaper than Whole Paycheck at any rate!) delivered to my house from a local farm that I discovered on eatwild.

    Ideas/resources: there are so many paleo/primal food blogs out there. Health-Bent, Food Lover's Primal Palate, Nom Nom Paleo, The Clothes Make The Girl, The Foodee, Civilized Caveman Cooking, The Domestic Man, Purely Primal, Fast Paleo, Elana's Pantry, PaleOMG, Everyday Paleo, Paleo Parents, and many many more. You don't have to shell out money for cookbooks unless you really want to have the information at your fingertips, rather than on your computer screen. I love to cook and eat, so I can get sucked into these blogs and wind up with more menu plans than I can actually use!