Saturday, November 27, 2010

After 27 Days of Primal Eating, I gossip less...

As you can probably imagine, I have not been perfect in my attempt to eat a purely "hunter-gatherer" diet for the month of November.  Although I did not achieve 100%, I believe I hover somewhere around 90%, which I'm pretty darn proud of.

12 things I learned:
  1. Choose your misgivings and enjoy them wholeheartedly -- without one iota of guilt or self-loathing.  That would totally defeat the point of a true misgiving!
  2. Once you have your misgiving, get right back on track.  Forget about it, move one, this moment is a completely new one.
  3. Know the sources of your food! I'm really, really proud of the efforts I put in to researching and ensuring the food I'm eating and feeding my family is from humanely treated, grass-fed animals from pastured farms with knowledgable dedicated farmers.
  4. Fat is not your enemy.  In fact, recent studies show that eating saturated fats (from grass-fed animals) does NOT have an impact on future heart disease, diabetes, cancer, or obesity.  What's the catch? The people studied also ate a diet with little to no grains. (More to post on this later). My farmer Judy loves the fat on her animals and proudly calls herself a "fat girl".  Judy is by no means fat or even heavy. In fact, she is quite trim.  She just finds fat to be a delicious source of fuel for her.  She needs it too -- she works full time, has 5 kids and runs a farm.  Go Judy!
  5. When you are only eating a few types of foods (i.e., meats, veggies, fruit, & minimal dairy), it is very easy to see the impact what you eat has on you.  For example, I enjoyed some transgressions on Thanksgiving in the form of stuffing, cranberry sauce, corn, whipped mashed potatoes, and pecan pie.  My gut expanded a few sizes and I was in a food coma for the rest of the day. It has taken two days for my gut to get back down to normal size.
  6. Alcohol, even a delicious red pinot noir, should be drunk slowly, in small amounts, on more rare occasions.  My sleep has improved dramatically since I stopped drinking a glass of wine a few nights a week.  I reserve wine for special occasions like a date with my husband or a special meal cooked at home (like Thanksgiving or something really special that I want to savor).  Red wine helps to slow down your eating and savor every bite!
  7. 19 days in, I had my annual obgyn appointment.  I weighed myself for the first time and saw that I weighed 5 pounds less even with shoes & clothes on.  I'm not ready to post my before/after pictures, but there has been some weight loss with little effort.  Plus, I've been sticking to my regular workout routines of running 3x/week, playing with my kids for hours a day, and lifting 2x week. 
  8. Sugars and grains tend to put me in a sleepy coma.  The insulin surge I get from sweets and higher carb foods really decrease my productivity.  It prevents my body from burning fat for energy.  I really need to re-think how I will fuel during my next half-Ironman!
  9. Sleep, sleep, sleep.  Sleep is your friend.  Get as much as possible.  Go to bed earlier, get up later, and nap when needed. 
  10. Play, play, play.  Play with your kids, play with your friends, play with your husband.  Find fun things to do.  I just made plans to do a trampoline class with my sister and two childhood friends over Christmas break.  Don't hesitate.  Do things to put yourself outside the box.  Join a friend at a dog park instead of at a diner.  
  11. Use your extra energy to do things to pay it forward.  I've had more energy and mental clarity lately.  I've used that to help out friends who need a hand (watch their kids so they can run errands).  I've used it to pay closer attention to what my kids need from me -- and how my relationships can flourish from more of my positive attention.
  12. In a sense of communal spirit, I was inspired to work on a habit that is damaging to all communities and relationships, GOSSIP!  Of course we all do it, but we are also hurt from it.  One thing that often upsets me is when people compare my 3 year old to my 4 year old niece.  There are 13 months between them and their mothers (me & my older sister) are complete polar opposites.  So, obviously, some of our parenting objectives and methods vary significantly.  Besides, my 3 year old is so much like me and my niece is so much like my sister -- so of course they are going to be significantly different.  My mom started to say something in comparison the other day (not malicious in any way -- she just was going to say how they both do the same thing very differently).  I simply said, "Mom, please try not to compare them".  If I want to see how my niece is doing, I can call my sister and ask -- I don't want to get second hand information that will give me a false sense of superiority or conversely, make me feel inadequate.  Abstaining felt really good!


nancy ledger said...

You have a much stronger resolve than I do. I am glad to see when you put your mind to something you try your hardest to stick to it. My mind is always stuck on chocolate, but that is not making me healthier or thinner. You really should be proud of yourself for all you have accomplished. As far as comparing children, no two are alike, not even sisters (in my case). That is what makes the world such a great place. Diversity and acceptance of everyone, because we all have a special something that makes us unique. Keep up the good work!

melbybee said...

Jeanne, you are such an inspiration... seriously... this is making me want to try what you've tried for November for December...

BTW, who is your farmer? I want to keep my options for good meat as plentiful as possible...

I will start running again in 2 weeks.


Barefoot Superhero said...


Her name is Judy Genova. She eats paleo as well. Her farm is in the finger lakes and she raises heritage-breed, pastured ducks, chickens, lambs & pigs. I already ordered a lamb, pig & 10 chickens for her for 2011. Any feed they are given is organic - only the pigs get grain. Lambs are pastured and given virgin haybale when the fields are frozen. No pesticides, herbicides, or any chemicals are ever used on her land (or have been since she moved there in 1991). They are planning their harvest for next year, so if you know what you want, you can order ahead of time. Would you like me to let her know you are interested? Her email is I can send you more of her info over private cover. She is going to get a spot at an UWS Greenmarket location starting in June to sell her produce, wool, and meats.

I'm going to see if I can post her bio on my blog. She is truly an amazing person. I give her my highest recommendation!

Good luck starting up again! I really meant it, I'd love to come do some easy starter runs with you. I'd love to try the parks in your neighborhood.

Barefoot Superhero said...

You are so right about diversity. Our personalities are so much more diverse than our appearances will ever be. Thanks for your support! It really does mean the world to me to have a family member give me so much support!