The guy that got me started on this whole nutrition transformation, Mark Sisson, had a contest last week where he posed 10 questions he is getting from readers about living a primal lifestyle. I entered the contest and then thought that my responses could actually be useful to people trying to get started on a lifestyle transformation. So, I decided to post them hoping they would be helpful.
1. How do you keep costs down eating Primal?
A. I keep the costs of eating Primal down mainly by not eating out as much. I prepare almost all of my meals at home now, which is a huge change for me, being a professional bachelor. That in and of itself has saved me money, and I have been buying high quality foods (organic, pasture raised, etc). It can be a bit more expensive, but the more organized you are, the cheaper it is.
2. How Primal do your kids eat, and what do you feed them?
A. I don’t have any kids, but if I did I would encourage the Primal lifestyle, but just like anything else if you force them to eat Primal, you run the risk of turning them off to it. I do however, have a dog, and made him Primal two weeks ago. He is significantly smaller, so much so that people comment every time they come over now. Also, he is about 6 years old, but now has the same energy levels he had when he was 2 or 3, all in just two weeks. It’s been crazy to see. I have some before and after pics if you want them.
3. How often do you snack, and what do you snack on?
A. I snack pretty regularly, usually between breakfast and lunch. My go to snacks are both from Trader Joes. I eat their beef or buffalo jerky because it has less added chemicals. And, I snack on their dark chocolate covered almonds. Be careful though, they are addicting.
4. What is the biggest change you’ve seen in your life since going Primal, and how long did it take to notice?
A. The biggest change for me has been how much more energy I have. It happened on the third day. The first two days were rough. I felt horrible. But day 3, I literally like sprung up out of bed and just started going. Since then, my energy level is through the roof. It makes sense, my body isn’t having to commit so much energy to breaking down grains that shouldn’t be in my body to begin with. I kept thinking at first, that my energy level would taper off eventually, but 5 months later, if anything, I’m gaining more energy.
5. How do you cope with health professionals giving you advice you disagree with?
A. There are a lot of health professionals that disagree and even more regular people that say you’re wrong. This used to really bug me, but honestly, I know it’s the truth, I know it works, and at this point in my life, it really doesn’t matter what other people say. And, many doctors know very little about nutrition. It’s crazy. The Information Age puts more responsibility on individuals to seek out the truth anyway, rather than have someone tell them what the truth is.
6. What do you do for fun/play?
A. I need to have more fun, but I’m planning a trip to Hawaii in August that is going to be packed with activities. Right now I’m trying to hike more in the outdoors. I also just started training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu again, and I play hoops on the side. I would like to start paddleboarding and rock climbing.
7. How do you find time to do lots of walking or other low-level exercise, play, relaxation, etc.?
A. I actually wrote a blog post about this topic, but my goal was to incorporate more walking at work. I bought a pedometer, so I could track my progress and then set a goal to walk more. I started out walking 3-3.5 miles a day at work after I got the pedometer, and by the end of the school year I was walking 5.5-6.5 every day. That was huge! As far as finding more time to do that other stuff, I cancelled my cable so I wouldn’t watch as much TV, and that has done it. Once I eliminated that as an option, I had a lot more time to do other things.
8. What is the most attractive feature of the Primal Blueprint to you?
A. The most attractive element to me is the fact that its sustainable. This is something I can do for the rest of my life. None of it is extreme. For a lifetime grain eater, I confess, initially it seemed overwhelming and extreme, but once you get started and see how easy it is, it’s awesome.
9. What does 80/20 mean to you?
A. 80/20 means a lot to me. It’s what you strive for as far as primal meals to non-primal meals. It also means that I need to focus on my nutrition because that is at least 80% of the success. This was my flaw in past weight loss attempts , and was the most eye opening when I went primal.
10. How do you handle a spouse/partner/significant other who refuses to change their own habits, even if they quite clearly are harmful to them?
A. A few people in my life have read the book, have seen my progress, and know its true, yet still aren’t following through. I was initially frustrated, and then remembered that I read the Primal Blueprint 3 years ago, and just 5 months ago started following the principles. Everyone has their own path, and you can’t force someone to change. The thing I have seen be the most positive change agent has been my own success. People are drawn to me to ask me how I’m achieving these results. So, for now I’m just going to be patient and keep getting healthier and encouraging them along the way.