So cleary, I did not blog through out my 30 Day Primal Blueprint Challenge. But I did keep a paper journal of my food and for the first two weeks was very good about marking my activity on Mark’s checklist.
No, we were not successful in going 30 days with out cheats and making our weekly exercising goals.
But we did learn a lot and I consider the challenge a success and here’s why:
- We are now almost 100% primal/paleo here at home. I would say probably 95%. The 5% going towards things like ranch, ketchup, mayo and half-n-half in our coffee. THIS IS HUGE and I am very excited about it.
- Spontaneity– I feel so much more relaxed with myself now than I did prior to this challenge. I go outside with my kids and sit in the sun for an hour or more. We go on random walks for 2 hours and enjoy being together as a family, taking our time with no clear direction in mind. On the days I have been able to incorporate more spontaneity and a go-with-the-flow sort of mentality my stress levels have been so much lower.
- We’ve learned a lot about ourselves:
- Al cannot tolerate Peanuts. They tear him up! He doesn’t seem to have a problem with Dairy and not as big of a problem with wheat as I do, but he still does his best to eat Primal.
- I don’t like to cheat. About week 2 of the challenge I started to wear under all of the cooking and how much time it consumes. So we went out to eat. With in an hour of eating some rice noodles I immediately got a headache. And a stomach ache. And other cheats which included wheat and dairy left me feeling gross, crabby and constipated with painful cramping. Definitely not worth it for me! Last weekend I didn’t have one single cheat and I didn’t even realize it until the weekend was over. I am losing the cravings and that is so good! I definitely need to eat more along the Paleo vein of things. Also, the weight is slowly starting to come off!
- Paige is allergic to Dairy. Or at least extremely sensitive. This was surprising and I had an “A-ha!” moment as I thought about years of messy diapers and the huge continual struggle for her not to have messes in her pants. Constant diarrhea for her and complaints about tummy aches. It makes me feel so bad for not realizing it sooner, but we have her off dairy now and she is doing so much better! She definitely needs to be Paleo.
- Mason is trying new foods EVERY DAY! He is by the far hardest case to win over to Paleo / Primal. I am so proud of him for trying new ideas. Right now we’re in the process of coming up with Lil’ Caveman lunchbox ideas so we can start packing him a lunch. I’m amazed he is even willing to do this. He’s come such a long way. 6 months ago he wouldn’t even eat the Paleo dinners I put in front of him and now he’s a true champ, always giving things a try even if it looks crazy or isn’t his favorite thing. Mason can be more Primal. The kid loves dairy and is still sad we don’t have as much of it in the house. But cheese is ok for him once in awhile.
- I have to have a Paleo / Primal community to keep doing this. It’s so easy to get discouraged. My friends don’t necessarily understand why I’m doing this and Al and I are here alone in this town with no family nearby. I have found internet blogs and Paleo / Primal websites to be my life-line for keeping this going. Google reader and my blog feeds are my best friends right now. I’m trying to start reaching out by posting on Facebook or in response to people’s blogs but I’m still a bit “shy” when it comes to that. It’s ok. Reading recipes and sharing with my friends the wonderful food I’m discovering and how it’s making me feel is enough for me.
- I struggled with the lift heavy things and SLEEP. Sleep is an eternal battle for a mother of two, wife and full time college student. But we do the best we can. I’ve learned that if I can’t make it to the gym to lift stuff, I can do body weights at home (body squats, push ups, pull ups–this is more of my grabbing the pull up bar and doing a sort of crab walk up to it using the wall for support … it’s amazingly ridiculous looking but it’s actually really funny and fun, etc.) and I really enjoy doing them!
- My skin is clearing up on my face. My shoulders and back are getting there. They’re definitely way better than a year ago. And the weight is slowly starting to come off! I know I already mentioned it but I am very excited. I feel a sort of peace about this. Like this is the way it’s supposed to be. Not stressful, good food, relaxed family time full of activity and joy. Not obsessing over points, or weighing, or counting calories or whether or not I am getting too much of one macro-nutrient compared to the other. I just cook good food, eat it, enjoy it, live life!
- Leftovers are my savior. Every recipe I come across I double. I have to in order to survive school and home-cooked meals for every meal. But it’s working 😀