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!!!!
You may have noticed on our Facebook page that we have decided to do the Primal Challenge!! And here we are at Day 2 of the “21 Day Primal Challenge” and I am already feeling better. The main difference that I have felt so far (even though it is so early into the challenge) is that I feel good about eating again. My appetite has picked up and I don’t feel sick to my stomach (especially in the mornings) like I used to. Like I said – I just feel excited about eating again – which is huge for me!
Why did we decide to do the challenge?? Well for one – we are BIG supporters of the Primal Lifestyle, but we have never actually gone full-blown primal. Even in the past when we have done primal challenges, we were still using condiments (like ketchup and mayonnaise) that are certainly not primal (because they contain sugar, unhealthy oils, etc). We justified it to ourselves saying things like “oh it’s just a little bit” or “it’s not THAT bad”. These little justifications were starting to increase lately and we were starting to eat more and more non-primal foods (gluten free pastas, gluten free breads, gluten free donuts, candy, etc). Now, I am not saying that this is “wrong” by any means – but for us it was a slippery slope into weight gain and just generally not feeling well. I know that lately, I had not been feeling the best (tired all the time, joint pain, etc.). I had also started gaining weight – which was not noticeable in my clothes – but it was definitely creeping up on me. Again – I am not saying this is BAD …it’s just something that was not working for ME. SO – we decided to make a change. I know that almost everything that I have been experiencing lately, both physically and mentally – can be attributed to our gradually worsening eating habits. Lucky for me – I can control this! Hooray!!
So – I pulled out my Primal Book and cleared out the fridge and cabinets. I got rid of all the non-primal food (spices and condiments that contained sugar/non-primal oils; gluten free bread; gluten free pasta; 7up (how did that get in there?!); juices; sweeteners, etc.) I donated what I could and threw out the rest. Drastic?? Maybe…but for me it was necessary. And let me tell you it felt SO good to clear out this stuff! Then we went to the store and stocked up on some primal fare:
Healthy fats (avocado, olive oil, coconut oil; nuts and nut butters (but not peanuts or peanut butter!)
What I love most about primal is that you just eat. There isn’t any calorie counting, meal timing, food combining, etc. You just eat when you’re hungry. That’s it. And that’s what works for me! When I try to do a highly specific plan – it makes me crazy and just does not work for me! (remember – you have to find what works for YOU!) Also – those urges of “Oh My GOD I need to eat NOW” feelings have gone away. Don’t get me wrong – I definitely get hungry – but it’s a gentle hunger. It isn’t urgent. And I like that.
I’m excited to see if eating strict primal will help with my joint issues. I will keep you all posted!! If any of you are interested – I highly recommend this book! Or check out Mark Sisson’s (author of the book) website – Marks Daily Apple. Both are very informative about what it means to “Eat/Live Primal”!! Check it out! And feel free to ask questions in the comment section or on our Facebook page!!!
Hope you all are staying healthy!! And thanks for reading!!!
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Do you think maintaining your health and weight is all about calories in versus calories out – regardless of quality? PerformancEDU believes it’s more about QUALITY in versus quality out. You can eat a whole lot of calorie free “food” and still be unhealthy and overweight/underweight. Check the ingredients of what you’re about to eat – if it looks like a chemical, it probably is! Eating too much chemical laden “food” can disrupt your entire endocrine system – leading to a whole mess of problems (including weight gain!). Also foods like high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, and refined grains play havoc with your body chemistry as well (some people are more sensitive than others – listen to YOUR body). Remember – don’t beat yourself up – just take baby steps for improvements in health! Let us know if you have any questions! We are here to help!
Most of us know that NUTRITION is an important aspect of achieving and maintaining a healthy body. But all the information available is confusing, and often it’s conflicting! You can keep things really simple, make small changes in your diet, and still make MAJOR improvements in your health. You don’t have to count calories. You don’t need to balance macro/micro nutrients. You don’t even need to go full-blown PRIMAL. You CAN – but it’s not the ONLY way to do it. Quite simply, if you focus on eating more REAL food, and less FAKE/PROCESSED food – you will be doing your body a HUGE favor!! But what do I mean by REAL and FAKE food. Well let me give you some examples:
REAL FOOD (Eat more of this):
Fresh Vegetables (spinach, broccoli, celery, cauliflower, kale, TONS more)
Fresh Fruits (apples, oranges, grapes, nectarines, TONS more)
Fresh protein (beef, chicken, eggs, pork, fish, freshly prepared beans, organic fresh dairy etc.)
Healthy Fats (avocado, almond butter, sunflower seeds, olive oil, omega 3’s, REAL butter etc.)
Whole Grains (whole grain rice, corn tortillas, whole grain pasta, real oatmeal)
Fresh Beverages (water, organic milk, coconut water, unsweetened tea/coffee)
Wine (in moderation – meaning a glass at night)
PROCESSED FOOD (Eat less of this):
Hydrogenated oils (sweetened peanut butters, many salad dressings, margarine, etc.)
Baked goods (cakes, cookies, brownies, etc.)
Sugar (soda, coffee creamers, candy, etc.)
Fake sugar (diet soda, diet anything – sucralose, splenda, equal, nutrasweet, saccharin, etc.)
Ingredients that look like chemicals
Breakfast cereals (including sugar sweetened oatmeal)
Sugary alcoholic beverages
This is just to give you an idea. Basically the more “natural” a food is (meaning, the closer it is to its most natural state), the better it is likely to be for your body. Maintaining a healthy body is more than just calories in vs. calories out. It’s about how different foods affect your body chemistry (hormones, metabolism, etc.). Processed foods tend to contain ingredients that screw with your body chemistry. So take an honest look at what you are eating each day. Start reading the INGREDIENTS. If it looks like a chemical, it probably is. And chemicals aren’t good for a healthy body chemistry.
And like I said – if you start to feel overwhelmed. Focus on one or two SMALL changes that you can make. Maybe swap out water for soda. Or try black coffee instead of your usual caramel macchiato. Remember to keep it simple. Focus on REAL food. Avoid processed food. Listen to your body (eat when you’re hungry, stop when you’re full). Stop obsessing over the details and just start somewhere!! You can do it!! And we are here to help! So please – ask us any questions!!!
Better yet – tell us in the comments section:
What are one or two small changes YOU can make in your diet????
Today I want to talk about “Food” and “Pleasure”. Do those 2 words belong together??? If you live in America, your first response might be “No – we should ‘Eat to Live’”. Right?? Hmmm, well as much as I believe in feeding your body wholesome foods, there is something about the whole “Eating just to Live” mindset that doesn’t “feel” good to me. My personal instinct says that Food and Pleasure absolutely go hand in hand!! So where did we get this idea that taking pleasure in food is “wrong”. Or that eating “junk food” is sinful. Why do we even consider certain foods “Guilty Pleasures”? (as in “your guilty for taking pleasure”). It’s interesting right?? It’s rare that people take pleasure in food anymore – and I mean TRUE pleasure, not an ounce of guilt (or saying things like, “well I SHOULDN’T be eating this, but oh well!” – that is not true pleasure). Could it be that the secret to the “French paradox” is that they derive so much pleasure from the food they eat? Could one reason that Americans are becoming so overweight is because there is so much guilt and fear wrapped up in food or eating… or even pleasure for that matter? I don’t think it’s a coincidence. Don’t get me wrong – I am not pointing the finger at you thinking “Wow – you guys are really messed up!” Not at all! I do/say these things too – that’s why it is so interesting to me! So where is that balance between “Eating to Live” and “Living to Eat”? And how do we find that balance?
I believe that real, nutritious, nourishing foods are important and can help you to live a happy life. I also believe that one of the “purposes” of life is to ENJOY life!! I’ve witnessed many people who take the “virtues” of food and eating a bit too far (hey – I even almost went down that road myself!). Eating is not a religion (not to me anyways) and I certainly do not want to get caught up in that mindset – let alone promote it. Eating one food over the other does not make us “good” or “bad” people. And quite honestly, I don’t think that there is ONE perfect way to eat. There is just the way YOU or I eat. Period. Done. To judge yourself or others for what is chosen to eat, is silly – maybe even dangerous. In fact, there are many research studies that prove that if we eat a food just because we think we “should”, but we don’t truly enjoy it or don’t really WANT to eat it, then we don’t even absorb much nutrition from that food. I know that for me, personally, when I take true pleasure in eating exactly what I want based on my own intuition – I just naturally eat less. It’s not until I force myself to eat the foods I think I “need” that I wind up overeating. This is definitely “food for thought”. Maybe we all need to remember how to “Eat, Drink and Be Merry” again….
With that in mind…here’s your “Personal Challenge” for the day: Ask yourself what YOU need to feel good right now and honor that! Maybe sitting on the couch, eating Twizzlers in your most comfortable pair of sweat pants will feel good – awesome! Do it! Or maybe stretching out with some yoga or going for a walk sounds yummy. Or maybe calling your mom or your BFF. Or maybe getting all sweaty in the gym! Whatever it is that sounds amazing to YOU – do it!! And revel in the pleasure…
Until next time….
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!!
When starting the primal challenge, or any other new way of eating/living, much of the information that you have previously thought of as “fact” will likely get challenged. Take for example, the recommendation of increasing your “healthy fats.” HEALTHY fats??? Isn’t fat BAD for you?? Turns out, not so much. Your body actually NEEDS fat and actually runs much better on certain fats than it does on carbs (especially refined carbs and sugar). So what is an example of a “healthy” fat?? Coconut Oil! Coconut oil?? Isn’t that high in saturated fat?? And isn’t saturated fat BAD for you? Again, not so much. You see, a lot of information exists that is based “loosely” on a few research studies (and by loosely, I mean we aren’t getting the complete story). And then those bits and pieces of research get hyped up and we eventually just accept them as “truth”. But if you do a little digging, (like on this site here) you will find that “conventional dietary wisdom” has a lot of “cracks” and “holes”. So I always recommend keeping an OPEN mind.
So why should you consider adding coconut oil to your food regime? Well, in addition to being resistant to high heat (meaning it isn’t susceptible to having its chemical structure altered due to heat, making it ideal to cook with), it has numerous health benefits!
Let’s look at a few:
- Coconut is highly nutritious and rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
- Kills fungi and yeasts that cause candidiasis (yeast infections), ringworm, athlete’s foot, thrush, diaper rash, and other infections.
- Helps protect against osteoporosis
- Helps relieve symptoms associated with gallbladder disease.
- Improves digestion and bowel function
- Relieves pain and irritation caused by hemorrhoids
- Helps keep skin moist and hydrated
- Helps protect the body from breast, colon, and other cancers.
And those are just a few! If you want to see more of what coconut oil can do, go to Coconut Research Center or The Weston Price Foundation. If you are already convinced, coconut oil is now sold at most grocery stores with the other oils.
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!!
Great recipe for fresh and simple pancakes, the primal way. The ingredients will cook 4 cakes:
- 2 eggs beaten first
- 2 table spoons of almond butter
- 1 table spoon of vanilla
- 2 table spoons of agave
After finished cooking, sprinkle with powder sugar, organic butter and use agave as syrup.
Marc Digesti USAW
Founder of PerformancEDU