Category: Primal Nutrition


Just a quick note today about yesterday. We are getting ready to go to the Illinois Railway Museum this weekend so not a lot of time to write. Also, not a lot to report. Since I have been trying to eat 50 grams of protein for breakfast, my biggest problem is that I am not hungry for the rest of the day. So I have not been eating lunch. I can’t decide if I need to address that or not. My sense for now is, I eat when I’m hungry because Lord knows there’s plenty of fuel packed onto this body.

Yesterday’s recipe, since I promised to post a recipe for each day of the challenge, was one of those big breakfasts. I needed to cook it fast, and we were nearly out of investment-cooked bacon. So I created the bacon cheeseburger omlette (no cheese for Tim):

Bacon Cheeseburger Scramble (serves 2-4)
8 oz. ground beef, cooked
4 slices of bacon, cooked
8 eggs
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Veggie of your choice

Melt the butter in your cast iron pan. Place the ground beef and the bacon in the pan to warm up while mixing the eggs with the milk in a 6-cup measuring cup. When the beef and bacon are sizzing, pour the eggs over the meat and cook until done. Serve with a veggie on the side and cheese on top of each portion.

Most people are not trying to eat 50 grams of protein for breakfast, so I would say this recipe under normal circumstances would serve 4.  I ate half of it and couldn’t even think about food again until about 2:00pm. I ate my portion of it at BK and Reader Alli’s house at about 9:00 am while I was working and Alli commented that it looked yummy. Enjoy! 🙂

Reader Theresa (so cool!) writes:

Ok. Amie. Got a question for you that perhaps you could answer on your blog. What is primal eating? How has it changed you? Why did you decide to go with primal as opposed to low-fat stuff? How does this affect the way you cook at home and how has your family reacted to the changes? Looking forward to reading more of your blog.

Did you see the part where she said she was looking forward to reading more of my blog? But back to the matter at hand…

Primal eating embraces the idea that we should like our ancestors (our way, way back ancestors) did. Their diet was primarily made up of whatever they could, well, hunt and gather, including game, fruits, veggies, and the like.

It also highlights the love-hate relationship we have with gluten. As in, we love gluten, but it kinda hates us. It’s hard for our bodies to process, and can cause chronic inflammation in those who are gluten-sensitive or -intolerant. And foods that have a high gluten content tend to have a high carb count. Carbs raise our blood sugar levels, make our livers work harder, and can lead to insulin resistance when over-consumed, which Americans tend to do in a big way. And insulin resistance is bad, bad news. (Recommended reading: Good Calories, Bad Calories, if you’re interested in a whole lot of science, or Why We Get Fat, which is a more accessible version of the first and frankly the one I preferred reading, both by Gary Taubes)

So, primal eating calls for lots of whole, unprocessed, foods, the cleanest you can afford. A good amount of protein, low carbs, and enough fat to round out your daily caloric needs. Pasta is out, gluten is out, bread is out (although concessions can be made for sourdough, because it’s fermented and more easily digested), sugar is out, all kinds of meat are in (beef, pork, chicken, and game meat–the cleaner the better), veggies and fruit are in, dairy is in but limited, and some oils are in, but not necessarily the ones you’d expect: at the top of the list are coconut oil, and purely rendered lard, although butter is also good. Dark chocolate? In, the darker the better, as a treat. Red wine? In, in moderation.

Primal eating is one component of primal living, and I think that’s what appeals to me the most about this way of doing things, the whole body approach. Primal living says you need to eat well; you need to move your body, build your strength, and play; you need to get sufficient rest; and you need to avoid stress and doing stupid things. The other thing I like about it is that the approach is that 100% primal eating is fantastic, but 80% primal is better than 0%. Something that is heavily emphasized in The Primal Blueprint is, “don’t let perfection be the enemy of good.” (More recommended reading: The Primal Blueprint, by Mark Sisson.)

Why did I choose this over low-fat eating? Probably for a couple of reasons: 1) I’ve tried low-fat eating before, and I always sucked at it. I suspect now that it’s because things that are low-fat tend to have more sugar in them to make them taste better, but I’m not 100% sure. 2) I thought about making my cakes, how I always wanted to find the right ingredients. Whole milk is better than 1%. Unbleached cake flour is better than enriched, bleached flour. Butter trumps margarine. Quality dark chocolate and 40% heavy cream make an amazing ganache. My homemade fondant was better than the stuff I ordered online. It felt like going with food I recognized, the less processed the better, made a huge difference in the quality of my cakes. Cake is still bad for you, no matter how good your ingredients, but I thought the theory might transfer over.

So what does that mean in my daily life? Well, today I had a Canadian bacon and egg scramble for breakfast with a couple of cups of spinach on the side. Then I went to a Girl Scout leaders’ lunch at Pastries of Denmark, where I had the chicken/bacon/swiss sandwich with no bread, served on lettuce, hold the tomato and red onion because I don’t like them, hold the vinaigrette because it probably has sugar in it, but then they gave it to me anyway. And a cup of the Garden Vegetable soup. Then, because I’m not superwoman, I had 1/2 glass of Coke. Tonight’s dinner was supposed to be chicken breast, broccoli, and salad, but I wasn’t hungry and it wound up being a small snack of an organic apple, a few slices of Volpi sopressata salami (which I found in the fancy deli part of Sam’s Club) and a few slices of Kerrygold aged cheddar cheese (it’s grass-fed, but I also found it at Sam’s) and for dessert I had a square of Ghiradelli 72% dark chocolate. I think I did okay 🙂

The “bottom line” is more-or-less the same as it used to be. My meat is running more expensive as I try to explore my grass-fed or pastured options, but I’m still getting a lot of my produce at Sam’s. Occasional moments of weakness aside, I’m not spending $.72 per day on my soda habit (plus M&Ms, or maybe a Reese’s Big Cup, or…) at Circle K or Quik Trip. Eating out doesn’t happen very often either, which can also support my forays into Whole Foods for coconut milk and hazelnuts for Homemade Primal Nutella (which is amazing, I’ll post the recipe next).

I’ve blathered on for quite a bit here, so I’ll sign off and address the kids in a future post. To preview: I’ve got one on board, one sort of on board, and one that’s more off-board (?) than on.

I hope that helped answer your questions. Let me know if what I said generated any more, and I’ll try to answer those too! 🙂