My Primal Lifestyle

Now I know that many of my friends who read this title are wondering what in the world am I talking about! Let me give you some back story into this new eating and living lifestyle I’ve adopted over the past 6 months. When Jason moved to Tucson a year ago, he was on the look out for a new gym to join. He had heard good things about the Crossfit workout style back in Cedar Falls from some friends and was interested in trying something new to help him lose weight for our wedding. He joined Wildcat Crossfit and began learning how to do their exercises and how to incorporate their diet into his life. It was this move that changed our eating habits forever! Crossfit gyms subscribe to a diet of meat, vegetables, and fruit. Or pretty much no grains, legumes, dairy, added sugar etc. The diet is termed Paleo. We  have incorporated dairy into our diet because we love milk and cheese (Jason is from Wisconsin!). Because we eat dairy, our “diet” is coined Primal eating. The idea of this diet is to eat real food that is high in protein and fat so that our bodies utilize the best energy resources for every day living. It also takes into consideration the idea that people ate from the ground and from their animals to survive during the Paleolithic time period. I was skeptical when Jason started eating this way because I LOVED grains. I would eat bagels at Panera every day, sometimes twice a day. I ate sandwiches and pasta for lunch or dinner. I loved tortillas and pretty much everything grains. BUT I often had headaches, stomach issues and was tired a lot.  I thought that this was just a part of me getting older because I saw it happen to my mom as well as she got older. While Jason was living in Tucson and I was still in Cedar Falls, I tried going a few days without my Panera fixes and ended up feeling even more miserable, so I thought he was just crazy (even though he was losing weight faster than he had in a long time)!

After we married and I moved to Tucson, Jason made it his goal to turn me into a Primal eater because he was convinced that my stomach issues and headaches were connected to my love for grains. I began to believe there was a connection too, but I didn’t want to change my lifestyle (I’m a very stubborn woman). Slowly I began to eat less grains, mainly because there was no Panera in Tucson (God thing!) and Jason wouldn’t buy bread or rice often. I began to notice that on days I ate more meat and vegetables I felt better and didn’t have miserable stomach pain in the evening that would make us leave friends’ houses early or leave me belching all evening (sorry if that was too much!). So I became convinced that this was a diet that I wanted to incorporate into my lifestyle, even though I knew it would be hard and I didn’t think I would be able to eat cookies or banana bread anymore. BUT then we found a great blog that has tons of awesome Paleo/Primal recipes on it that had…you guessed it…grain-free chocolate chip cookies and banana bread AND pumpkin bread! July started my 30 day Primal challenge and for 30 days we ate completely primal (all but on Friday date nights). And my result was that I stopped having my late night stomach issues, my headaches all but disappeared and I had more energy to workout and keep our house in order AND have fun with my husband! I lost about 5 pounds and gained more muscle through doing the crossfit workouts on Wildcat’s website. I have become a believer! 🙂

Currently, we slipped up a little bit with our eating habits since we got back from Jason’s brother’s wedding a few weeks ago, but on Monday we are starting the 30 day Primal challenge with Mark’s Daily Apple‘s blog. I’m excited to do it again and I know that this time I don’t want to make excuses for travel or being at a place where there’s nothing but grain food. I was able to do it in July, so I know that I can make this a continual habit and I want to feel better! Email me or message me if you want more information about what we are doing. I will be blogging along the way about recipes and new finds with paleo living (soon I will post my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe!)

At the beginning of my post I said eating and living lifestyle. We have begun to make changes in our day to day life so that we can live a little more naturally. We have moved from two vehicles to just one (I walk to work), we practice natural birth control methods to keep extra hormones out of my system, and I’m looking into studying to become a doula for new mommas. Now I know that this isn’t for everyone and it may only be a season for us, but it has been a fun time of exploring the why’s of how we live our life. I’ve begun reading a book called Organized Simplicity by Tsh Oxenreider. In it she writes:

“While I was single and in my mid-twenties, I traveled internationally and saw the way many other cultures lived. I was inspired by what I experienced, but I still didn’t know what I was made for. I knew I wanted to run a home that was full of kids, a husband, and love. But I felt like I didn’t know how to manage a home, a most basic life skill. My problem was, I didn’t quite know what that house full of love and family should look like. I enjoyed my childhood, so it wasn’t as if I wanted a 180 for my own kids. But I wanted more…intentionality in my life. More conviction. More certainty about the why behind the decisions I made as a home manager. I didn’t want life to happen to me; I wanted to happen to life.”

The last few sentences have been in my thoughts a lot lately. As Jason and I start our life together we have an opportunity to think about the why’s of our actions and decisions. We can make decisions on how busy we are as a family, whether we put our kids in public school, charter schools, or home school; whether we have home births or hospital births; how we discipline our future children in a way that they understand God; how we interact with each other and our neighbors in a way that is intentional and full of grace. I know we don’t have to have all of the answers now, but I do want to happen to life rather than let life happen to me.

I named this post my primal lifestyle, not just because of the new diet I am on, but also because the word primal makes me think of going back to the beginning and to what is important in life. What is prime for me? What is prime for you?

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2 thoughts on “My Primal Lifestyle

  1. Hey Sarah!
    I wanted to let you know I am keeping up with your blog!
    We are doing something that sounds very similar called Maximized Living which also involves spinal care through our chiropractor. After having our daughter, Claire, survive cancer…3 times, we decided to be more proactive in our health. It has not been easy, but totally has been worth it, so I am looking forward to reading how you are doing. I agree with everything you said, and wanted ot let you know I had our kids with a midwife totally medication free (in the hospital). I would totally recommend a midwife when the time comes for you guys!
    Good luck in your adventures and I will be keeping up with you,
    Sarah

  2. Hey Sarah! I miss you, and I’m so glad that I can follow your life now 🙂 As you know, I struggle with food issues a lot, along with fatigue. Since I’m not currently buying my own groceries, eating this way would be even more difficult than for the average person, but I’m moving into an apt (or house, or whatever) in May, and would love to start it then. Do you think it would be super hard (too hard) to do it all on my own? I don’t think Laura or Elizabeth will be up for doing it with me, but I think it would benefit me so much. Any thoughts?
    Also, that’s awesome that you might be a doula! I haven’t talked to you in forever, but I am actually pretty sure I am going to be a midwife! I am going to continue my schooling in some form to get certified, but I haven’t completely decided whether I will go the nurse-midwife route or just the certified professional midwife. Anyway, that’s so cool and let me know how it goes! Love you!

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