Today I just wanted to write a quick blog and elaborate on what I said in yesterday’s post about not having my typical cravings for sweets or overeating.
Prior to doing the full-blown challenge – we had eaten a “Primal-ly based” diet … but by no means was it full-blown primal. Like I said before, we were eating a lot of non-primal foods such as condiments (full of sugar and unhealthy fats); gluten free pastas and breads; candy; tortilla chips and margs; etc. We had convinced ourselves that since we ate a lot of primal food – that it was OK to go ahead and eat these other “foods”. Of course, it is “OK” in the sense that we have the freedom to do whatever we want. However, it wasn’t benefiting our bodies at all.
Adding on to this (still Pre-primal) – every night after dinner, I would crave something sweet. Or I would just crave eating in general – despite being quite full. I could NEVER figure this out and figured it was something “mental”. I never felt good after doing this, but the craving was always extremely intense! I would try to use sheer willpower to NOT give in to my cravings…..and sometimes that would work….but mostly I would give in to these intense cravings! I tried to figure out what could be going on mentally or emotionally that was causing these intense cravings, but I couldn’t figure it out. I didn’t even stop to think that these cravings and the desire to overeat could be caused by a PHYSICAL imbalance!!
So – we have been full blown primal for 6 days now – no cheating. And I am not kidding when I say that my night-time cravings for sweets and overeating – have gone away!! What does this mean??? It means that it is HIGHLY likely that these cravings were caused NOT by a mental problem – but by the fluctuations in my blood sugar and body chemistry caused by eating foods that didn’t work well with my body. It’s like a light bulb went off in my brain and I am understanding now how much damage I was causing my poor body by eating these foods! Add on to that equation the FODMAPs – and it’s no wonder I wasn’t feeling well!!
So – it wasn’t that I had mental problems haha. My body was just trying to do the best it could do to balance my blood sugar and body chemistry. If you are someone that “eats well all day, just to come home and overeat” or “craves sweets” (and I have heard from many people having these same issues) – doing the Primal Challenge may be an eye opener for you!! I have learned A LOT about my body in this short period of time, which is much more than I expected to gain from this challenge.
So – go ahead and give it a try! It’s only 21 days! Seriously – it’s worth it!! And we are here to help!!
**please note – this is not medical advice. if you have serious concerns about your health…use your own intuition and see a doctor if necessary.
So here we are on the Primal Challenge – Day 5. Energetically I am feeling MUCH better!! I also feel better mentally (less anxious). My cravings for sweets and overeating in general have gone away! It’s really quite awesome and leads me to believe that many of my “bad” eating habits could be attributed to an imbalanced blood sugar. Yay for Primal!!
However, with going FULL primal – I have also noticed an increase in digestive disturbances. I have struggled with digestion problems for quite some time now and could never fully figure out the cause. I was diagnosed with Celiac in 2005 and have been gluten free since – but I STILL have problems! Mainly I struggle with bloating, abdominal pain/discomfort, strange bowel patterns (diarrhea/constipation – sorry if that is TMI), etc. When we decided to go full primal – I thought that would solve all my “problems” – so when my bloating and discomfort INCREASED I felt SO sad! However, I know that the other positive changes that I have experienced so far is all that I need to know that Primal is a step in the right direction. SO I refused to give up and decided to consult my medical practitioner – aka GOOGLE! (*Note – this is a joke. Do not depend on google for medical advice…) When I told google my concerns (increased bloating and stomach pain on primal) – I found a very useful blog about FODMAPS!
What the heck are FODMAPS you say??? Well here is the blog I found with all the detailed information…but long story short is that they are a group of sugars found in certain foods that some people have trouble digesting. The symptoms are – all of the symptoms I have been experiencing. Ha! Even some primal foods (like certain fruits and veggies) contain these FODMAPS which could be the missing piece to my digestive disturbance puzzle! Since I am already going Primal, I figured why the heck not avoid these certain foods as well?! (This blog also contains a downloadable PDF file explaining which foods to avoid if you are interested). So all day yesterday I avoided these high FODMAP foods – and guess what??? For the first time in a very long time – I went to bed without looking pregnant and without pain (no kidding this happens almost every night…) You have no idea how much better life is when you feel good!! SO – could this be a “fluke”?? Of course it could be! But for right now…I am going to avoid/limit these high FODMAP foods and continue to eat PRIMALLY and see if I can get myself to feeling better!! My “gut” says – I can!!
Here is a recipe we came up with last night that is Primal and low FODMAP:
Red, Yellow, and Orange bell peppers sautéed in coconut oil and seasoned with sea salt and pepper
Salsa (no added sugar – read the ingredients!)
Mix all of the above and add to a lettuce wrap – roll up like a burrito.
I decided to take pics of some of my eats from yesterday – so you could see some of what we’ve been eating!! I didn’t include my snacks and wasn’t particularly hungry yesterday – so the eats are pretty basic haha! But I really enjoy eating this way and feel really good!! For breakfast, I sliced a banana and an apple and mixed it with almond butter. Then I microwaved it for about a minute – which made it nice and warm and gooey (which I like). Then I topped it with some cinnamon! This was really tasty and left me satisfied until 2 pm!! I probably could have even skipped lunch but had already made my salad haha!! I also had some black coffee on the side.
After breakfast, I had some lemon water. I love the taste of lemon and lemons are really great for your body!! They help your liver and have a alkalizing effect on your system!!
For lunch, I had a big green salad with romaine lettuce, cucumbers, celery, and tuna. I used olive oil, lemon juice, and sea salt for the “dressing”. This was really fresh and delicious! Like I said before, my breakfast kept me satisfied and it was 2pm before I realized I hadn’t eaten lunch yet! I wasn’t terribly hungry, but since I had already made the salad – I decided to eat it! YUM!!
I got a little hungry again (or maybe I just wanted to munch…) so I had some blueberries!
For dinner, I wasn’t as hungry again. But still felt like eating (haha!). So I made some scrambled eggs! I cooked the eggs in REAL butter and used some sea salt as a seasoning. The butter made the eggs so tasty and so satisfying!!! That’s one of the great things about PRIMAL is that you learn that certain fats have been unfairly demonized!! Not all fats are bad – in fact – you NEED fats!! I also had another apple on the side with some cinnamon.
So that gives you a little “taste” (pun intended) of the primal foods we have been eating! Like I said, there were some foods that I forgot to snap a photo of, but this gives you a basic idea. Like I said, I love this way of eating because you just eat. There isn’t any over-thinking about meal timing, portion control, calorie counting etc. It’s simple, basic food that works well for your body.
Let us know if you have any question! And thanks for reading!!!!
What does it mean to live a certain “lifestyle”? You know…you hear it all the time: “It’s not a diet, it’s lifestyle.” But what does that mean?? Essentially there are MANY different lifestyles that you can choose to live, and the only thing that makes it “right” is if it works for YOU! So what if you are trying to get healthy or want to get your body in “optimal” shape?? Then what?? There seems to be a variety of different people with a variety of different opinions, all claiming their way to be “THE WAY”. We have found here at PerformancEDU, through personal experience, that we are happiest (in terms of the way we eat) when we focus mainly on natural, whole, REAL, foods. You may hear or see us throw around the term “primal” and we believe the primal “diet” to be a very effective tool! Initially you can use “PRIMAL” as a “technique”, but it’s not meant to be the end-all-be-all of diets. It’s not dogma. It’s not “the way”. It’s just a tool that can help you to get more in tune with the way you eat. It can help you to realize and FEEL how certain foods affect you. It can also help to bring emotional eating habits to your awareness. That’s why we are such big fans of the primal “diet”. It really is an effective tool! But if you find yourself stressing/feeling guilty over every morsel of food that passes your lips, or if after a while you are still trying to remember the “rules” – maybe it’s time to take a step back and see primal for what it really is. As I said before, the way we eat and feel the best is when we focus mostly on natural, REAL foods. The more natural the better in our eyes. But does that mean we eat that way ALL of the time! No – we are human and live in a society filled with other stuff that is pleasurable to our taste buds! We know that these types of “foods” aren’t really going to benefit our bodies, but they do benefit our minds and it’s ok (and GOOD) to loosen up and have fun from time to time.The great thing about getting in touch with YOUR body is that you will start to realize what makes you FEEL really good – both short term and long term. You will learn that sometimes the short term gratification (sour patch kids?!) is not worth the long term effect (stomach ache) – so really you will start figuring these things out and just naturally choose the foods that make you feel the best! I have a bachelor’s degree in nutrition, but honestly I don’t even use most of the knowledge that I acquired from this. Gaining health and feeling/looking amazing doesn’t have to be rocket science.
Focus on real WHOLE foods.
Focus on feeling good.
Worry less about the details.
Stop over-analyzing and focus on the big picture.
It really is that simple.
* disclaimer: if you have a medical condition affecting your nutritional status, you will need to speak with a registered dietitian – this advice is for your average healthy person looking to get in shape and feel great
Well – we are starting the juice cleanse tomorrow (you can read our other posts about the juice cleanse here and here)!! Just got back from the grocery store and I have to admit I almost had a mental breakdown (I tend to get a little over-dramatic sometimes – just ask Marc haha). Really – it wasn’t that bad. I have never “juiced” before so I wasn’t sure what to expect in terms of buying all the produce. But we only spent $40, already made a juice today (which, I might add, is DELICIOUS!), and we have TON left over. Needless to say, I am super excited! I realize it will take some “effort” and will have its challenges, but I am ready!! I am hoping to blog each day to share my experience with you all! We’ve also had a few friends express interest in joining us on the juice cleanse – which is awesome!! But, some friends have expressed interest….but also felt that it wasn’t right for them. That’s awesome too!! Knowing yourself and what YOU are ready for, is one of the most important steps towards happiness and reaching your goals! With that in mind, I felt inspired to share a few other ways to “cleanse” without going as extreme as a juice cleanse. (and just as a side note…if a juice cleanse FEELS extreme to you…it’s probably a good sign that it’s not “right” for you at this time – which is perfectly OK!). To me…a “cleanse” is really just a buzz word for giving your body a little extra “love”. I don’t see it as deprivation. Or trying to “get skinny”. Or “punishment” for eating the cookies (haha). I see it as a treat for my body – the same body that sticks with me through thick and thin and keeps on functioning no matter what! WOW!! SO – as a thank you to my body – I feel inspired to do a juice cleanse. BUT – there are SOOOOO many other ways in which you can give your body a little extra love!
1) If you are a soda or alcohol drinker (mmmm…margaritas), you can take a break for a week (or longer!) and add water instead!
2) If you eat fast food a lot, try packing your lunch (hello Big Ass Salad!) for a week or so!
3) Caffeine junky??? Try Yerba mate for a while! Maybe, eventually, you can add some warm lemon water or a green juice! Yum!
4) Inactive? Challenge yourself to MOVE your body in some way shape or form EVERY DAY – for a week!
5) Stressed?? Book that massage or spa appointment. Take a yoga class. Try some deep breathing. MOVE your body!! Get the stresses out – your body will LOVE you for it!
6) Sleep deprived?? Well not much I can say except – get some sleep! (many of the above mentioned suggestions will help for insomnia). Lavender and chamomile tea can help too. Also there are many herbal remedies that are beneficial as well.
7) Last but not least – appreciate your body for all it does! Seriously – think about all the abuse your body takes (physically and emotionally!) and keeps on functioning. It’s pretty amazing!! Appreciating your body doesn’t mean you “like” the condition that your body is in right now (and we ALL have our “likes” and “dislikes” in ourselves and others – it’s totally normal and ok!)…it just means you appreciate it for being there for you – which will make reaching your goals that much easier in the process J Try it!!
There are SO many other ways in which you can give your body that extra love. What are some suggestions YOU can think of???
Until next time…
Lately I have been feeling a bit “off”. Have you ever had that feeling? Not necessarily “bad”…but not necessarily “great” either. When I wake up in the morning, I still feel tired (despite sleeping for 9 or more hours). I have brain fog. Joint pain. Headaches. Stomach aches. Tension. Emotional clutter. All of this takes its toll…so what are my options? Go to the doctor? Well I definitely could, but I don’t feel like I need to go that route yet. You see – I believe in my body’s ability to heal itself. It knows what it needs to do, but sometimes it needs a “tune up”. And don’t get me wrong…I’m not saying there is anything wrong with conventional (or alternative) medicine. They definitely have their place – but I know that I don’t need that right now. So – with that in mind – I am feeling the need to do some “spring cleaning” in the form of a “cleanse”. Oh boy…I can hear you now. There are A LOT of mixed opinions on doing cleanses…and there are many different options! I am a total advocate of doing what is best for YOU! If you are against it, feel a lot of resistance, or just think it’s plain WRONG … then don’t do it! YOU know what is best. However, for myself – I feel it’s right and I feel I need something. Something that it will be beneficial for my body AND mind. I am considering doing a short term (3-5 day) juice “fast”. WHY do I feel this is right for me? Well…as I mentioned before, your body has an amazing ability to heal itself. However, when you live in the real world, there are many different factors that can hinder that natural ability – one of those being digestion. Your body requires a lot of energy to digest the foods that you eat … and if you add on top of that the foods that are especially hard to digest, or that you are intolerant to or that cause inflammation, etc. – it makes it that much more difficult. So by taking away that energy drain, your body can use all that extra energy to do its job easier and HEAL. Keep in mind that there are many different ways that you can “fast” or “cleanse” – you do NOT have to do a juice cleanse. You can do a 24 hour water fast. You can eliminate a food that you think you may be having trouble with (like gluten or sugar or caffeine) for a few weeks. You can do the 30 Primal Challenge. Any small “tweeks” like these can have AMAZING effects on your body – and mind! You just have to decide what is best for YOU. SO – I am going to do some research. See what FEELS right for me. GET REAL about what it will involve (the pro’s and the con’s) and then make my decision and “plan of attack”. Right now, I feel inspired to wean from coffee/caffeine – so that if/when I DO decide to do the juice cleanse, I don’t go through severe withdrawal (hello headache!). I will keep you all posted! In the meantime, think about how you feel NOW and determine if you’re satisfied with it. If not, look at your options and decide what you need to do to feel BETTER!!
Until next time…..
“Do not wait; the time will never be “just right.” Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along.” – Napoleon Hill
Happy Thursday Y’all! So – I got a question from a reader the other day and she asked: “What’s the best decision for someone who doesn’t have celiac disease: whole wheat or gluten-free? And why?”
That is a GREAT question and I’m sure there are many others out there who are wondering what all this “gluten-free” stuff is really about. If you haven’t noticed lately, it seems as if there is a gluten-free “trend” going on. As a result, many people in the food industry are jumping on the bandwagon and making BIG gluten-free claims on their packaging (hopefully it really is gluten-free…but that’s a topic for another blog). You can’t go in to a store these days without seeing at least a few products, if not AISLES of products, all claiming “GLUTEN FREE!”. Now, for people like me who have celiac disease, this is exciting. Having gluten free options for foods that you usually can’t eat without getting horrifically sick makes you feel normal!! But are these “gluten free” options “healthy”?? First let’s just get it out there that I don’t like to classify foods as “good” or “bad” – what you choose to eat or not eat does not make you better, holier, or more morally right as a human being. However, there are certain foods that work better with your body than others, and those foods will differ depending on you and your body. With that in mind let’s discuss 2 topics: 1) why someone WITHOUT celiac disease may want to avoid wheat/gluten and 2) just because a food is “gluten-free” doesn’t automatically make it a nutritious food.
So why is the gluten-free trend occurring anyways?? First of all, it seems that more and more people are getting diagnosed with celiac disease. What was once passed off as IBS (or other digestive ailments) is now, many times, being recognized as celiac. What is celiac disease you ask? Long story short (and I am going to vastly over-simplify things –so keep that in mind) celiac is an auto-immune response to gluten. Gluten is the sticky protein found in wheat, rye, and barley that allows baked goods to keep their structure and shape. When someone who has celiac ingests this protein, the body looks at it as an invader and attacks it – producing all those wonderful side effects of the attack (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, etc.) and worst of all it actually destroys the villi of your intestines (which are responsible for absorbing the nutrients in the food that you eat) – meaning after a while you won’t be absorbing nutrients from your food (not to mention literally destroying your body). BIG reason to avoid gluten if you have celiac!! SO – why would you want to avoid gluten if you do NOT have celiac?? Well – many people are “intolerant” to gluten, but don’t necessarily have full-blown celiac disease. If you are intolerant to gluten, it means that your body has trouble breaking it down causing unpleasant symptoms (bloating, constipation, etc.) but is probably not causing damage to the intestines (although that’s debatable because if you are chronically eating something that you are intolerant to, your body will likely be in a state of chronic low-grade inflammation, which isn’t really a “good” thing). In my opinion, the majority of human beings have trouble breaking down gluten (which will likely, eventually lead to at least a mild intolerance) and here’s why:
Gluten contains enzyme inhibitors and phytic acid, which block the absorption of minerals in the body and makes it difficult to digest. In fact, most grains contain these enzyme inhibitors and phytic acid (it’s a survival mechanism for the plant). Because of this, eating gluten (or other grains) on a regular basis – EVEN IF you are not intolerant – can lead to mineral deficiencies, bone loss, digestive illness, IBS, etc. Soaking and sprouting the grains (for example, products like “Ezekiel bread”) is thought to alleviate some of this by inactivating the enzyme inhibitors and phytic acid. But this won’t help out if you have any intolerances to these grains (which will, as mentioned before, lead to chronic inflammation, which in turn could lead to – at the very least of your worries – weight gain!) So, it may just be easier to avoid gluten and grains altogether (depending on your goals). Here’s an article from Marks Daily Apple that explains a little more about why you may want to consider avoiding gluten, and really all grains, if you’re trying to optimize your health.
Now in terms of “gluten-free” substitutes….are they “better” than whole-wheat food products? Well….not necessarily. Just because something is “gluten free” doesn’t mean it will offer any benefit to your body in terms of nutrition. A gluten free cookie is probably not any more nutritious for your body than a regular cookie; it’s just not likely to cause an immune response in people with celiac disease. It is, however, likely to still contain a lot of sugar, some other “non-gluten-grain” flour, and perhaps even some artificial colors and flavors. So what does this all mean??? Well you can take it however you would like! In my opinion, foods made with gluten and other grains (like bread, cake, cookies, cupcakes, and other baked goods) can be really FUN to eat! They are meant to be enjoyed and to have fun with! However, if you think you are eating them for your body’s sake, well you may want to think again. Your body doesn’t have any need for gluten or other grains (including the “healthy” whole grains). SO it all depends on what YOU are looking for! If you want to “lean” out or optimize your health, then avoiding gluten and grains is a good idea. If you want to enjoy the simple pleasures of a nice piece of bread or a delicious cupcake – then go ahead and enjoy!! That’s what they are for! You don’t have to eat foods SIMPLY for the nutritional value – you can totally eat something for the simple sake of eating and enjoying it! What I find to work best for me – is a balance of the 2. Eating primarily for health and nutrition, but also enjoying life and partaking in consumption of “fun” foods. Lucky for me, a lot of the foods that I enjoy are healthy for my body AND I think they are fun to eat (and other foods, like Cadbury Eggs, I eat for the simple joy of it). Find what works for YOU and what makes YOU feel best!! If you’re having digestion problems or other bodily ailments that you can’t quite figure out – try taking away gluten and other grains for 3-4 weeks and see how you feel!! Adding challenges to your life are not only good for the body, but good for the mind too!! Shake things up!!
So – that is my “take” on gluten-free eating. I hope this helps!! If anyone has any questions AT ALL please feel free to post questions on our blog or on facebook. We really want to provide content that YOU want to see/read about…and not just what WE THINK you want.
That’s all for now! Until next time…keep listening to your bodies!!
If you are here, reading this, you might be as confused as I once was in regards to health and nutrition. There is so much “information” out there and so many people telling us what we need to eat and what we need to do in order to be fit, healthy, and happy. Most of this information and most of these “experts” contradict one another leaving us lost, confused, and wondering “who should I trust?” And the fact of the matter is, that the answer lies within you! My goal is to empower YOU to figure out what is best. Take back your power! And stop giving it away to other people! The topics that I will discuss here and the information that I find, are things that I have found to be true for me! So keep that in mind … if something that I say (or anyone else says) does not resonate with you, then throw it out and figure out what does!!
With that in mind, I aim to share the food and eating philosophy that has worked for me and I encourage you to try it out for yourself and see if it works for you. I also invite you to share with me what has worked for you! In no way am I saying that this is the best and only way, but it’s a start for those of you that are looking for a change. I have come to this lifestyle after a long road of not knowing much, and I find that my philosophy continually evolves. I encourage all of you to be open to new ideas and to avoid getting stuck in a small box. My approach focuses on fresh, wholesome, REAL, food. I like to keep things SIMPLE. I believe that Mother Nature has provided us all the food that we need to survive and thrive. The processed “food” that we humans have created is probably not as nourishing for the body. My values revolve around everyone’s right to have access to good quality nutrition, respecting the environment, and loving one another. I have learned a lot from Mark Sisson at MarksDailyApple.com – please check this guy out if you haven’t already. I also identify with the book “Nourishing Traditions” by Sally Fallon – as well as with the information from the Weston Price Foundation. In terms of evolving, I have been studying more on Ayurveda and intuitive eating – and I will be sure to share with you all what I learn!
Have a WONDERFUL day and here’s to Feeling Good!!
6 months ago, Jenny (yah nutrition) and I moved to Northern Nevada from Santa Monica and the first night a good friend of mine Johnno Lazetich caught wind I was back in Reno full time. Johnno and I have had many discussions based off of movement, strength training and nutrition. His question presented was an evolving question, but nothing I felt comfortable answering. This was a perfect time for me to introduce Jenny and her nutrition background to Johnno. A simple question, turned into a 45 minute discussion full of questions, laughs, and sceptasism. I soon received a text message stating “son, I got the primal blueprint!” Since then, Johnno’s life has changed physically and mentally. As you can see, he has posted this picture on his personal Facebook page, Marks Daily Apple site and Facebook page and is purchasing “the primal blueprint” for friends and family to raise awareness.
Since Yah Nutrition has introduced the primal way to PerformancEDU’s and Yah Nutritions family, lives have changed. It has been a great start through word of mouth/virally and it is only going to become more contagious. IT’S THE PRIMAL WAY!
Marc Digesti USAW
Founder of PerformancEDU