Shade Bio

Friday, November 2, 2012

The Primal Diet and Lost Weight

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Wanna look good, feel good, eat what you want, and not have to exercise? Read on. I dare you.
Hello Lovely Otherbeasts! I'm so glad you're joining me.

The Primal Diet

I'd like to talk to you about something today that has literally changed my health. I apologize for the title of the blog post because it is not a "diet," it is, in fact, a lifestyle of eating. I also apologize for the "stream of consciousness" style of writing in this blog but you know me, my brain works in odd ways. But I digress, it is amazing! (After reading my article, if you want more info the best site to visit is Mark's Daily Apple (click) for the finer details.

Oppa Gangnam Caveman Style!

The first benefit of Primal Eating is HEALTH. Who can't use more of that these days? Everyone I know has at least one thing "wrong" with them, whether it be a bum knee, diabetes, IBS, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc, ad nauseum.

There's a reason, lady.

I myself have suspected having IBS for many years but just accepted that it was the way my body functioned (it's amazing what we can justify as "normal") and just tried to avoid things I thought would upset my tummy, but I never got it pinned down... until now. Primal eating is exactly what it sounds like, although in my opinion is far better than the Paleo Diet,  because it allows things like dairy, which I feel is beneficial because you get to eat things like yogurt, butter, and milk.

Please, cheese, stop staring at me. How rude.

Wait, what? Yes, I said butter and milk. Cheese, too. That's the beauty of it! What if I told you bacon? How about turkey, chicken, steak, fish? Sounding good? What if I told you fruits and vegetables? (Okay, okay, some of us STILL won't eat our spinach even though we're not 8 anymore.) Got a sweet tooth? What if I said honey and molasses? Still raising a brow? How about dark chocolate and red wine? Well, my friends, that's all Primal. AND you can eat however much of it you want, any time you want. 

Any diet that allows this is full of sheer win.

Here's the real simple truth to eating Primal: Meats, Fruits, Vegetables, Nuts, Dairy, and Miscellaneous Items like Honey and Molasses. Things your ancestors would have eaten. Think way back before Twinkies, Snowballs, and Little Debbie factories didn't exist... you following me? Good.

I had a dream like this once... now it's reality.

Basic Rule of Eating Primal: Nothing processed. 

 Don't. Eat. Processed. Crap. SIMPLE.

You're probably wondering, "Okay, Shade, I get it... now what's the catch?" There are a few I'll admit, but they are far outweighed by the benefits of eating Primal. Rule #1: Don't talk about Primal. I'm kidding! Okay, rule one is: Eliminate grains. Oh I can hear you already, "How do I live without bread!?" It's really quite simple: you just do. Believe it or not, you immediately don't desire it. Plus I found that texture is VERY closely tied with cravings, just a few days ago I was craving a bag of potato chips that were staring at me from the counter... I thought about it and what I really wanted was the crunch, so I chose banana chips... problem solved!

 Could have fooled me. Delicious!

I hear you, "Oh this is a no carb diet... it's one of those." Well, just wait, you Snappy Sally. It's NOT a "no carbohydrates" diet. (It's not even a "diet," it's an eating choice, CHOICE implying that you have total control; did you think those Cheezits just climbed into your mouth?) There are carbs in most everything whether it be Applewood bacon or an Honeycrisp apple. I digress again, grains are a poison to your body; I could never attempt to write about it as well or as eloquently than Wellness Mama (click) so if you want to read about just how bad grains are for you, please do visit the site for some very valuable information. I'll summarize below for you lazies like me.

 Yeah, it's exactly like that.

Why grains are bad, m'kay: the basic law is that consuming grains spikes your insulin levels which affect the hormone production in your body. Insulin is important for storing nutrients and processing glucose in the bloodstream but when overloaded with carbs, your body releases cortisol and adrenaline to handle the surplus; your endocrine and immune systems become compromised. To top that, any extra glucose in your body that you're not immediately using to replenish glycogen stores is stored as FAT for future use. Good for ancient tribal peoples and nomadic folks, but bad for our First World where our chances of facing famine are next to nill. So we don't get to use the stores and the fat reserves just keep packing and piling on. You reading my blog so you're smart enough to know all of the myriad of problems obesity can cause. Gluten Intolerants rejoice! Yes, I made that word my own. Carbohydrate overload causes a nutritional block, preventing your body from absorbing the vital nutrients it needs.

 Sugar is like crack, hence the hypodermic needle.

Your second worst enemy: processed sugar. You should already know the damage that sugar can cause and why, as kids, our parents would limit our candy intake when all we wanted to eat was candy! When I say sugar I mean that awful processed, refined, white granules of death crap in a 4 pound bag. I do not mean sugars you find in fruits (fructose), veggies, honey, yogurt, etc. As you must know sugar suppresses the immune system, promotes inflammation, suppresses the release of human growth hormone, and raises insulin levels. Please do visit the Nutrition Diva and read her post about sugar (click.) It doesn't mean you can't have sweets the rest of your life, by all means no... eat dark chocolate (70%) or above, and try alternatives like honey, molasses, agave nectar, and coconut sugar.

His juvenile diabetes ain't so fabulous.

Bacon? Avocados? But Won't Eating Fat Make Me Fat?: No, silly goose. Eat fat to burn fat! When you eat fat your body immediately uses it instead of storing it. Dietary fat provides energy, protects our organs, maintains cell membranes, and helps the body absorb and process nutrients. When you don’t have any fat in your diet its like you don’t have fuel to burn calories. The body requires energy to keep its metabolism properly functioning. What’s more, “old” fat stored in the body’s peripheral tissue (around the belly, thighs, or butt) can’t be burned efficiently without “new” fat to help the process. For the Scientific Proof read LiveStrong's article about eating healthy fats (Click).

Um, yes please.

Let's give you a brief background: I was introduced to the Primal way of eating by my most beloved sister and friend Kim Hair, Founder and Yogini of Moondog of Texas Yoga (Click here to visit her blog and see her astonishing transformation). This took place last weekend while camping at the Renaissance Festival for a grand total of three days. She had been begging me to just give it a try and I figured why not? What did I have to lose? Plus it was that or starve. I love her to death and she loves me (hence her urging me to just try it and if I didn't like it I could do something else, like run 5 miles every day... um, no). She's the main reason I am feeling better, looking better, and pretty much everything better. Plus she's an awesome yoga instructor and so my body feels better thanks to her. Kim, if you're reading this, which you probably are, I love you and THANK YOU for helping me change my eating lifestyle for the amazingly better. <3

She's pretty amazing, not gonna lie.

What I Ate: It was amazing. The night we ate steak, red bell peppers, and apples. I know it sounds meager but we were stuffed. The next morning we had coffee, bacon, fried eggs, and clementine oranges. Now that first day was terrible for me, you see I had this horrible addiction to Dr. Pepper - it was a serious one, I mean like 6 to 8 cans per day - and so I went through caffeine withdraw, sugar withdraw, carb withdraw, my feet hurt, I was hot, my bra was digging into my ribcage... I was a literal grumpy beast that day. The foods I ate were what I mentioned above as well as cucumbers, avocados, chicken, chocolate, red wine, coffee, bananas, potatoes, etc. Oh, and primal gingerbread pancakes made with almond meal.

 And you thought you had to say goodbye to pancakes!

The Benefits I Reaped With Very Little Effort: I was rarely hungry during the day, and if I got hungry I just pulled an apple or an orange from my satchel and dug in. Heck, I even got to enjoy turkey legs and a 'bloody caesar.' (It was a cheat, see cheats below.) By that first evening I was happy, over my withdrawls, I had a full tummy, and I felt better. You may remember me saying something about digestive regularity, well instead of being afraid that I might have to find the restroom NOW just in case I got that familiar cramp in my stomach, I was running like a well-oiled machine... finally I got to tell my BMs when I wanted to go, not the other way around.
To top that off: I lost 7 pounds in one week.
I started off at 190 and when I weighed myself two days ago the scale read 183. I didn't even exercise except for walking!

Cheats: The Primal way of eating is not about being super strict or forbidding you from foods you love. It's 80% and 20%: make what you eat 80% Primal and 20% Whatever you want. Moderation is a big factor too, but that's only with cheats... you want that slice of carrot cake with cream cheese icing? Slice it in half and eat it. You want the whole thing? Call it your 20% for the day. Hell, I still put sugar in my coffee (agave nectar or coconut sugar) and that's my cheat, plus I've all but eliminated Dr. Pepper from my diet, if I feel like having one (which I haven't yet) I only have ONE a day.

Perspective and reality check. Makes my teeth hurt.

What To Take From This: If IT'S PROCESSED DO NOT EAT IT. If it comes from a factory and has more than 5 ingredients (most that you can't pronounce without trying once or twice) don't eat it. If it comes from the field, from a tree, from an animal, from a plant, from a farm, and then goes into your mouth, eat it! When you think Primal, think about our ancestors, the native americans, the biblical era, etc. (Yes, maize and grain are mentioned in both, but grains were processed very differently back then - again, go back to the top of the page and read the link for grains.) Think "hunter-gatherer," think medieval, think healthy. Try to eat as naturally as possible.

 I thought you needed to see it again.

Always Listen to Your Body: I never want for food anymore because I eat whenever I want. Recently I've learned to actually listen to my body - turns out that years of carb and sugar overloading switched off my hunger mechanism, no matter how much I ate, I still felt hungry - now my body tells me when to eat and I do: I grab a bell pepper, or an apple, or a handful of almonds and I eat them. It could be 1pm or 3am, but I listen. I've had to re-train my ability to read my body's signals, sometimes I'm thirsty instead of hungry, but if I think I'm hungry I eat. This morning I had bacon, fried eggs, and orange juice (can you tell I love eggs and bacon?) and I stopped halfway through because I was FULL! With eating Primal it takes very little time to feel hungry but even less time to feel full. I've been eating my bacon and eggs all day! (2 eggs, 6 strips) I don't even want bread or candy... but I will have some dark chocolate when I am finished writing this article.

Thank you, Grok.

Oh yeah, the biggest benefit? I FEEL better. My skin looks better. It's like my body is saying, "Thank God that you're giving me REAL food... now THIS I can digest." I'm in this for the HEALTH (and part of me being healthy is losing the extra 50 pounds I'm carrying around.)


I'm looking forward to watching the fat melt off my body with just a few simple guidelines. Get ready Otherbeasts, this is a whole new journey! Be prepared to be assaulted with my progress updates. You've been warned. Rawr :3

 That cougar looks delicious.

2 WEEK (14 DAYS) UPDATE: I've lost 10 pounds - 8 inches total - in just the last 2 weeks (14 days) since I've started eating Primal . 6" inches total came from my chest, belly, and hips (2" each!) and the other 2" came off all over!... Holy crud, I LOVE eating Primal!

3 WEEK UPDATE (21 DAYS): Wanna see the awesome figures?
Starting weight: 190, Current weight: 177
Starting: Arms - 12", Current - 11.5" (-1/2" inch)
Starting: Bust - 47", Current - 44" (-3" inches)
Starting: Ribcage - 38", Current - 35.5" (-2.5" inches)
Starting: Waist - 43", Current - 41" (-2" inches)
Starting: Hips - 46", Current - 43.5" (-2.5" inches)
Starting: Upper Thighs - 26", Current - 25" (-1" inch)
Starting: Thighs - 19", Current - 20" (+1" inch) ((Yay, muscle!))
That's: 13 lbs LOST and 11.5 inches of FAT SHED!

Hello Otherbeasts! The numbers have come in, and after only a month of eating Primal I have lost 15.2 pounds and have lost 16" TOTAL! WOW! I am now down to 174.8 and I plan on continuing the trend! I can't believe all I had to do was eat. Amazing. If you want the dirty numbers, here they are:
Neck: 14" (0")
Arms: 11" (-1")
Chest: 43" (-4")
Ribcage: 34.5" (-3.5")
Waist: 40" (-3")
Hips: 42.75" (-3.25")
Inner Thighs: 24.75" (-1.25")
Thighs: 20" (0")

Pretty darned amazing if you ask me. I also wanted to share with you a personal testimony from my mother and father. They decided to come visit J and me for Thanksgiving and so I put on a Primal Feast! Turkey, butternut squash, asparagus, primal coconut bread, primal pumpkin pie... it was DELICIOUS. My folks thought so too. The next night I made them spaghetti squash primal "pasta" and so the 3 days they were here, they had nothing to eat but primal things. My dad was intruigued but skeptical, my mom had been doing a semi-primal diet already but with a few cheats left in. Needless to say I fed them pretty healthy while they were here. After they returned back to Austin my mom shared an interesting story with me through text:

Mom: "Dad actually went Primal on us... lol! Saturday evening after we got back from Houston, against my advice, he decided to eat some cereal... not good, but he argued the point that his body was used to eating cereal and that he would be fine..."

Me: Hrm. 80/20, I guess.

Mom: "Yeh, but... after eating Primal at your home for 2-3 days, he had been feeling really good... in fact, I don't know if you noticed, but he was really energetic and talkative Saturday morning/afternoon at your home... quite uncharacteristic for him."

Me: Indeed!

Mom: "Well back to Saturday evening... about 30 minutes after he ate that cereal, we were watching tv, when he turned to me and said, "I don't think that cereal agreed with me, my stomach doesn't feel good." About 5 minutes later, he got a stomach ache... had to use the potty 2 or 3 times (sorry, tmi)."

Me: Wow... I guess that spoke for itself.

Mom: "So, now he's saying that you were right, that he needs to cut out the cereal, or at the very least cut way down. Now he wants to read the book... lol! He said, "You'll have to tell [Shade] that I went Primal, much better than going postal! LOL."

So, isn't that neat? My dad, the naysayer, has seen proof with his own eyes/stomach that eating Primal is very beneficial for oneself. I'm glad they're deciding on a healthier lifestyle choice; I love my parents and I want them to be around as long as possible. <3

Until Next Time,
<3 Shade


  1. Want more information on this. I love the idea and eat alot of bread. So i'm interested to try this.
    Thanks for the informative post!

    1. You're quite welcome! Please visit MarksDailyApple.com for a whole slew of information and success stories! <3 Shade

    2. Great thanks for sharing this post. I was looking for something like this. Your blog have inspires me a lot.

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  2. I began eating primal 1 week ago, upon the recommendation of my naturopathic doctor,...and have now read several sources of information about eating primal. This has been by far the best one and most encouraging!!! Thank you! I have been struggling with some hunger and cravings, as I was eating a primarily grain based diet before this....I am looking forward to the hunger passing.

  3. I know with the Paleo diet there is no way to do that as a vegetarian and this sounds pretty similar but is there anyway to do this diet and stay vegetarian without starving??

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