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Friday, August 3, 2012

Popping out of blogger retirement to share awesome news.

"Do you take fish oil?"

"No."

"Medication?"

"None."

"Are you a vegetarian?"

(Chuckle) "Definitely not."

"Well what do you eat to get numbers like these?"

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This is the conversation I had with a Dr. this morning.

I’m coming out of blogger retirement with an interesting post. I’ve written in the past how I’ve turned to science – not food marketers or government agencies – to determine what to eat for optimal health. With all the adversity, raised eyebrows, and snide remarks that we’ve faced since going paleo/primal 13 months ago, relying on science has been my rock. I have the studies. I have others' reviews. I have Jon’s blood lipid panels. And I have my own personal observations on how we feel and how everyone is thriving.  But now I finally have my own science that primal works. 

The above conversation took place at a health screening I had to get a slight discount on our health insurance premiums. Prior to going, I was extremely curious about what my numbers would be since getting off grains (the stuff that conventional wisdom tells you is supposed to help your cholesterol, blood pressure, etc.) and increasing my meat and fat intake (the stuff conventional wisdom tells you is supposed to hurt your cholesterol, blood pressure, etc.) Here are the results:

Total cholesterol: 169
HDL: 78
LDL: 59!
Triglycerides: <50!
BP: 92/64
Fasting glucose: 75
BMI: 18.9
Body Fat: 15.4%

 Holy smokes. Even I didn't think they'd be that good.

These numbers kinda kick conventional wisdom in the teeth. I mean, I put butter on my steak for heaven's sake. I haven’t had a single whole grain serving in over a year. I eat bacon and eggs multiple times a week. I don’t count calories. I don’t restrict portions. I don't eat anything low or reduced fat. I put real cream in my coffee. I don’t exercise heavily – just recreationally 1-2x a week (and there is no pounding the pavemenent or merciless hours in the gym. Fun stuff only!) I do eat mountains of veggies and buckets of olive and coconut oil. I eat only white (no brown) rice on occasion. I drink wine and even gluten-free beer. I eat ice cream, too! Primal living is so simple that I put very little effort into being healthy. The only real effort I put out is fighting conventional wisdom and its idea of healthy foods.

Pre-primal, I was 18 lbs. heavier, pudgy, glazed, exhausted, and dissatisfied with muffin tops popping out of my jeans. My outside has certainly changed. Leaner for sure with more energy. And now after today's results, I have evidence my insides have changed, too. :) Because it happened to both my husband and I, I can only assume our kids’ insides are equally as healthy. On the outside they are thriving (strong, healthy, vibrant, no more belly aches, no more eczema or allergies, tapering ADD meds, etc.) My guess – their lipid panels are also awesome.

This really bolsters my determination and confidence to keep my family living this way. I’ll be the first to admit the doubt we’ve faced from friends, family, and even our pediatrician, has caused my resolve to yo-yo a bit over the year. Plus facing the new school year in a few weeks, and all the junk food eating that goes with attending a public school (that's another post), is stressing me out already. It’s a battle to keep my kids primal in that atmosphere, but now…I’m more determined than ever.

Someone recently told me he doesn't eat meat and eats only whole grains for health reasons. I eat meat and avoid grains for health reasons. And I now I have more than my anecdotal observations about how healthy I feel to back up my claim.  I have my own science. 

It feels great.


Our four little primals.

My favorite form of exercise - Stand Up Paddleboarding. Can't get enough of it. This was taken by my husband in my first SUP race. Core & arms getting stronger - meanwhile I'm just having a blast!