An Experiment in Eating

It has been 30 days since I started my experiment following a primal-style eating plan. In the last 30 days, I have attempted to cease all consumption of added sugar, grains, beans, and white potatoes. Though I did make exceptions on a couple of days after the first two weeks were completed, I pretty strictly eliminated these things from my diet. I have also reduced my consumption of dairy to one serving a day, and only had red wine and dark chocolate as infrequent indulgences. In my research in the various paleo/primal-style diets, I found that there was a wide range of adherence to the various principles, so I felt it was reasonable for me to include dairy in my diet knowing that I could tolerate it and the majority was going to be yogurt.

Through the experiment, I typically ate three main meals and two smaller snacks each day. My breakfasts primarily consisted of eggs and fresh vegetables, such as an omelet with spinach, mushrooms and tomatoes. I ate a morning snack of yogurt and fresh berries. My lunches were big salads with plenty of veggies as well as protein in the form of lean chicken or boiled eggs or some leftover meat from the night before. I usually had an afternoon snack post-workout with some fruit and a small handful of nuts. Dinner was a lean protein and lots of vegetables, occasionally some sweet potato.

Here are my observations from my experiment.

The Good:

  • Increased my vegetable intake tremendously – at least double and maybe triple my previous daily intake.
  • No longer feel hungry all the time!
  • Smaller portion sizes are more satisfying.
  • No cravings for sugary snacks or desserts.
  • Renewed interest in cooking and finding new recipes and flavors.

The Bad:

  • Requires more planning ahead and time for cooking – less convenience.
  • Expensive to purchase all fresh and high quality foods.
  • No bread, pasta, or peanut butter!

The Neutral:

  • Rapid weight loss (8lbs) in the first week and balanced to 5 lbs, total loss.
  • Increased degree of thirst in the first week of the experiment.
  • No changes in energy levels or inflammation.

In all, I’m really glad I did this experiment and while I do not plan to adhere to the strict rules of paleo or primal, I will likely include aspects in my future nutrition. I don’t plan to go back to drinking diet sodas and I don’t see any need to eat foods with added sugars. I like that it pushed me to eat more vegetables and fresh fruits and that it motivated me to try some new recipes. And I love that I no longer feel famished 20 minutes after every meal. In spite of the benefits, I will be adding servings of whole grains (homemade sourdough is on the agenda for next week!) and such back into my diet, but I plan to keep my focus on vegetables and lean proteins as the main bulk of my diet. If I notice a reversal of any of the positive aspects, or any significant drawbacks, I’ll re-evaluate, but life is too short and if I want to have a warm piece of homemade whole grain bread with my dinner, I will not deprive myself of the pleasure. đŸ™‚

Do you follow a specific nutrition plan? Ever tried paleo or primal?

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