Sunday, January 1, 2012

The New Year's primal diet

I'm not usually big on New Year's resolutions. While I'm certainly in favor of a clean start (depending on the circumstance), I don't think it should take a brand new year to start something that you should have been doing all year long. You know you should be exercising. You know you should be eating better. Why wait until January 1st to do this? If you start an exercise routine or a new "diet" after the ball drops, chances are (but hopefully not) you'll be in the majority and drop off by March. So get a jump start during some other time of year and you'll be in mid-season form by the new year!

However, I am a big fan of experimenting (with food, silly!). Experimenting with food, exercise, and how my body reacts to certain stresses and/or diets usually leaves me learning a lot more about myself than I had before the experiment. For instance, I set a goal in the summer of 2010 to go vegan and cut out all caffeine, sugar, animal by-products, alcohol, and gluten for 30 days. Needless to say, this was extraordinarily difficult and I ended it at 18 days. The first day left me with a raging headache and by day 18 I had dropped to a weight that I wasn't comfortable being at. But it was interesting nonetheless. I learned a lot about vegan foods, alternative sources of protein (i.e. soy instead of the animal-based whey), and that rice bread is horribly disgusting and practically inedible! But I'm glad I tried it.

And this leads me to my next experiment: The Primal Diet. This "diet" is growing in popularity in the health and wellness industry. The thought process is that it eliminates processed foods and reduces carbohydrate intake, reverting the "dieter" back to more primitive food sources such as plants and animals. By eating a primal diet, you can improve cognitive function, reduce the risk of heart disease, reduce your risk of many chronic diseases, and improve the functioning of your body at a cellular level (Livestrong, Primal Diet).

So what will I be eating over the next month? Well, the primal diet calls for wild meats, preferably of the free-range variety, and will include chicken, beef, turkey, venison, haddock, and salmon. I'll also be indulging in lots of veggies and fruits, although potatoes and rice will be eaten in moderation and berries are the only real preferred fruit in the primal diet. Pretty much any kind of nut will be a staple, although peanuts aren't considered a real nut so I won't be eating any of these (no honey roasted peanuts....NOOOOO!) Cheese and yogurt are still okay to eat in moderation, as is dark chocolate. And alcohol is supposedly okay to drink, but I'll be cutting this out of the diet completely for the next month. The beauty of experimenting though is just that: it's experimenting! Therefore I'll be cheating a little bit by adding oatmeal to the mix along with one of my absolute staples, whey protein powder.

So there it is! It'll be interesting to see how the month of January goes. Will I lose weight? Will I gain weight? Will I feel healthier, faster, stronger, and more durable? I'll let you all know at the end of the month of the end of the diet, whichever comes first!

But until then, Happy New Year!

1 comment:

  1. Nate,
    If you need some food ideas, there are lots of online resources, but you can consider me one of them. I've been eating this way (well, lets be honest, 80% perfect) for about a year now and feel amazing because of it. I also add Oatmeal but only during my race season and the ramp up to it (May -> September) when my workout volume gets some-what high.

    Best of luck