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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!



8 comments:

  1. That's awesome, Kim! I've never seen results like that with any way of eating! I'm truly inspired!

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    1. Thanks, Penny! I'm glad you're inspired. I can't say it enough - besides marrying my husband, it's the best decision we've ever made. ~Kim

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  2. Hi, I came across your blog via planetbox's facebook page and was absolutely awe-struck at the information I found on here. I didn't expect to learn what I have. In a previous post you mentioned how it was expensive to start the primal way of eating - have you come up with any suggestions for not breaking the bank while eating this way? Thanks!

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    1. Hi ticagirl! Great question. I'll be honest, my food budget is definitely more than it was pre-primal. No doubt about it. But I have definitely toned it down from where it was when we started. I've become much more aware of what stores are cheapest for different items. Sometimes that means I have to stop by a few places to gather what we need. But that's okay. Shopping is so much easier now because you only go to 3 aisles (produce, meat, and dairy) and are in and out of the stores in just a few minutes.

      One thing I've done is switched from a weekly menu to a monthly menu. I don't necessarily know exactly what vegetables I'll be serving with dinner two weeks from now because it depends on what is on sale and what is fresh, but I can tell you in general what the meal is. It helps knowing this because I can shop for the month when things are on sale (like when chicken is on sale, I buy for the month and freeze). Also, if I have a monthly menu, I know approx. how many cans of olives or how many bags of shredded coconut or frozen shrimp or butter, etc. etc. I can go and grab these staples 1 time a month and just fill in the fresh produce 1 time a week. It also alleviates a lot of last minute trips to the store - thus excess buying. Plus, it is so nice to only have to menu plan 12 times a year as opposed to 52.

      Another thing I did is make food simpler. When I started out, I was making all sorts of recipes and fancy foods. Not so anymore. Now I'm all about the 1:3 formula. Every night there is one meat and 3 veggies on the table - one of which is usually a salad. Voila. Nothing fancy. It cuts down on costs, but we still get to enjoy good, pure food. I still make fancy recipes now and again, but sometimes, simpler is better. I also try and do one-dish meals - chile, soup, crockpot mexican, etc. They're typically simple, honest foods which need very few ingredients, but are still incredibly nourishing.

      Also, I've stopped buying food for lunch. I just cook extra dinner the night before. Lunch is always leftovers. Easy and less expensive.

      As for stores, Costco and Trader Joes are my saviors...especially with 6 mouths to feed. I also order some things online through Amazon.com - like coconut oil and canned coconut milk. It's infinitely cheaper. Costco is great for organic produce. Trader Joes is perfect for staples I don't need a vat of - like almond butter and tomato sauce. I still hit the grocery store and co-op, but not as frequently. And I love buying from the farmer's market in the summer.

      I hope that helps a bit. Let me know if I can be more specific. We spend about $200 more a month on food for the 6 of us. The bulk of that is from breakfast. We eat eggs or an egg dish with meat and veggies 5x a week (we eat coconut bread or apple muffins with greek yogurt or smoothies the other 2 days.) I only buy organic, free-range eggs - it's one of my none compromise items. That alone adds $7/day! Whereas when we were eating mainstream, I could feed my crew breakfast on a $2 box of cereal that would last several days.

      But costs are not a compromise my husband and I are willing to make. I look at the added costs as an investment in our happiness and well-being. If we have to forgo a fancy car or vacation, so be it. Worth every penny to live a healthy, vibrant life. Plus, I figure if I wasn't spending it on good food, I'd be spending it on health care costs or medications. I'd rather eat well than have myself or my family take medicines. I'm hoping the investment will pay off in the long term. The short term gains so far make me pretty confident it will!

      Let me know if I can help answer any other questions. Thanks for reading! Good luck! ~Kim

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    2. Thank you so much for such an in depth reply! Unfortunately there are no costco's or trader joe's where I live (Louisiana) but there is a Sam's so I'm sure I could find stuff there. I just received the Everyday Paleo book - I'm really excited though overwhelmed to get ingredients and get cooking. Doesn't help that I haven't really ever done menu planning, so that in itself is intimidating but I really want to do this. I'm 30, mom to an 18month old, and have been battling with lack of energy (severe) since highschool, but I was really hit hard post-partum. I know you have your life and your family, so I can't blame you for not putting in any more time to the blog, but your story has truly inspired me and given me hope. I am a little bummed as I read through your blog (admittedly I've already read the entire thing LOL) when you say you'll post about [blank] later and there never was a post on that. I'm not saying this to make you feel bad though. On the contrary - you've touched people's lives and now we're hooked! LOL It's comforting to know that you took on a whole new lifestyle and it stuck. So thank you for having invested the time for all of us to read and learn and ultimately make life changes. I hope you keep posting, but I can't blame you if you don't. :)

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  4. Now, you mentioned dairy. I thought that dairy was looked down upon when you go paleo

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    1. possibly you aren't paleo... just taking out grains from your diet? this is the first blog i've read. sorry!

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