My experiment with going Primal for "Good Nutrition Month" ended after three weeks. I couldn’t tell you when exactly it went awry, but I could tell you something was wrong before my birthday, and probably as early as a week into the dietary lifestyle change. All I know is I am honoring "Good Nutrition Month" by switching back to my old routine, though I still feel a little guilty not keeping it up for another week.
When I said going Primal isn’t as difficult as you think it is, I truly meant it. For one, three weeks of no legumes, grains, no coffee, and limited fruit/sweetener intake was a challenge and an interesting way of evaluating my past and present dietary lifestyle. I was disappointed that my body reacted the way it did, as I was so excited to be part of the modern caveman experience, to positively figure out what my body needed in order to do what I wanted. I gawked at many of the people who ate this lifestyle, the majority who were “strictly” Paleo/Primal while others used a creative license (but nonetheless have a less-processed ethical-omnivore way of looking at food), and I was inspired to do the same. They were the epitome of "healthy" in my eyes, absolutely and marvelously in shape and beautiful in every way possible.
So I took out legumes and grains and incorporated raw and cultured dairy products. I went through the first week craving fruits and eating a ton of almond butter, followed by my appetite beginning to finally subside and mellow. The removal of coffee and the addition of progesterone to my hormonal therapy followed. Throughout October and part of November did I realize I was back to using food and exercise as a means of controlling my body to balance the uncontrollable situations coming at me in waves. With that came terrible IBS upset, intense intestinal distress, and shifting from one emotion to another in a matter of seconds.
I do not believe going Primal caused this imbalance; rather, I think doing too many good things at once finally caught up with me and turned sour. I do believe going from legume lover and grain glutton to “Me, Caveman. Four-leg, Dinner” overnight is not particularly smart for someone whose body stresses with immediate change. I do believe this experiment was worth it, and encourage people to try new ways of eating (safely and for the right reasons). And above all else, I do believe in honoring what my body tells me. When it says "enough", I listen.
I loved making Primal meals, and I look forward to making them again. Perhaps two of the three main meals and all snacks throughout the day will have Primal tendencies. Perhaps four days out of the week will hold true to Mark’s Daily Apple “Primal Blueprint” movement while I enjoy huevos rancheros, overnight oats, socca, and legumes on the other three. I give what my body needs, and for the moment it needs gluten free grains and peanut butter.