Healthy Living

With Kate Williams
Going Primal

Going Primal

Today, I’m talking about another way of eating very similar to Paleo, called Primal. (What did you think I meant??)

Both Paleo and Primal tout eating like our ancestors – fresh fruits, veg, meat, nuts, seeds and healthy fats – with the least amount of processed foods as possible. But there are some key differences between these two ways of eating:

  • Both recommend restricting carbohydrates (and grains) to as Mark Sisson states in his article, “only as many as you require for performance, eating more protein and fat, and including lots of veggies as a base.” However, Primal promotes gluten free grains such as quinoa and rice for those with extra athletic needs. While Paleo isn’t against gluten free grains, quinoa and rice aren’t promoted as much as healthy starchy veg like sweet potatoes.
  • Paleo generally restricts dairy, Primal does not. There’s a general belief among Paleo followers that dairy causes inflammation in the body and isn’t an optimal source of fat or protein. However, Primal takes the opposite view that full-fat, grass-fed, organic dairy products like cheese and milk are nutritious as long as the person doesn’t have a dairy sensitivity/allergy.
  • Primal fully embraces the nightshade category of vegetables such as tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and white potatoes while Paleo leans more towards considering these veggies possible cause of inflammation.
  • In this article, Mark states Primal is more of a lifestyle than Paleo because it isn’t as strict and allows for more slip-ups. With Primal, there’s a focus on spending quality time with friends and family but if that includes pizza and a beer, then so be it.Though I would argue Paleo can also be a lifestyle (see my last post), I see his point in this regard. Many who eat Paleo do so because they have sensitivities or allergies to gluten and/or dairy so they’re likely to be more strict, possibly out of necessity.

So is Primal a good way of eating for mental health? While the possible inflammatory aspects of dairy may negatively affect brain health (because inflammation is not healthy for any part of the body), you could argue Primal is not a great way of eating for mental health. However, if you consider Primal’s more laid-back approach combined with the healthy fats consumer, those aspects could offset negative affects of dairy.

Want to Know More About Primal?
If you want the full low-down on the Primal way of eating and/or you’re interested in his Primal Blueprint book (basically the Bible of the Primal lifestyle), check out Mark Sisson’s Mark’s Daily Apple. This specific article was referenced for this post. The featured graphic is also from Mark’s Daily Apple.

Oh and Another Thing
In my research of Primal vs. Paleo, I found this great summary of more Paleo/Primal experts on the Paleo Treats blog.

Please know I am not a licensed medical practioner so the opinions stated on this blog are mine alone based on my own experiences and research.

What I’m Loving Now!
I received Jennifer Robins’s new cookbook, Affordable Paleo Cooking with your Instant Pot, in the mail earlier this week, and I’m already in love. Last Christmas, I received an Instant Pot from my hubby. After getting over my initial intimidation and nervousness about blowing up my house, I used it a handful of times. But I was unimpressed every time I made it, to be honest. Sure, it made hard-boiled eggs very quickly, and I loved it for cooking up spaghetti squash perfectly in 15 minutes. But, I struggled with making any kind of meat that tasted as good as from the slow-cooker. The meat would turn out rubbery and watery, basically bland boiled meat. Yuk. I also hated I couldn’t open the lid and stir it during cooking like when using my slow-cooker. So, that Instant Pot was sitting in my basement sadly awaiting its impending fate. Until… Jennifer’s cookbook arrived!

Jennifer is decidedly the queen of Instant Pot Paleo cooking! She is the blogger behind Predominantly Paleo and has published other cookbooks including another one focused on Instant Pot cooking, called Paleo Cooking in your Instant Pot.

In this newest cookbook, there are breakfast, sauces/broth, beef, pork,, poultry, seafood, and soup recipes. Earlier today, I made the Golden Milk Breakfast Custard. It was so good and only had a few ingredients. I’m looking forward to trying a few more recipes including the Speedy Sloppy Joes, Two-Faced Avocado Eggs, Lemon Blueberry Pudding Bowl, and the Quickest French Onion Soup. I have high hopes it’s all good!


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