My brother once said to me “If you start sitting down to put on your pants, its over! May as well call the funeral home!” I’m in my late 60s and my brother is in his mid 70s, so did I listen to this sage advice? Damn straight I did. I run that through my head all the time! Not just about the pants thing though. I use it in every aspect of my Primal life. To me its about doing it right and not taking the easy way out.
Just the other day, a couple of weeks back from visiting my brother and his wife in Florida where it was quite warm in November, I was going outside of my house in Sedona, Arizona to go swimming. Sedona is up in the hills about 4,400 feet up so we do have a “mild” winter. It was 29 degrees outside! There was frost on the pool cover and as I was moving it off the top of the swim spa some of the frost blew off and hit me in the upper torso. Yikes I said to myself! And then for a split second all this ran through my head “WTF am I doing out here half naked getting ready to swim when its 29 degrees!? I should go back inside where its nice and warm.” And then I thought about my brother and the pants story. So I finished removing the cover and went for a swim! I start out every day with a swim and this wasn’t going to be the day I didn’t!
It doesn’t snow much here, but one day last year it snowed about 6 to 8 inches worth of heavy, wet snow. Trees were bowed over and touching the roof of our house. The pool cover had all this snow on it and all around the pool. I got a shovel and a broom and cleaned it all off and went for my swim! All done while in my bathing suit! Its good to jolt the system every once in a while. I don’t get sick much since I turned Primal. Last time I got sick was when my wife and I drove with another couple up to Flagstaff and the other guy sneezes in the car. After the obligatory bless yous he says, “Thanks I haven’t been feeling good lately” as we head up I-17 for a 45 minute drive. Geez, really! I could feel me getting his disease as we got closer to Flagstaff. My wife got it too and the next 5 days were miserable. I might have missed a day of swimming! Really, just the middle day when I was at the worst.
The moral of the story is “don’t give up”. But you have to commit first. Start your Primal journey, eat right and move around a bit and keep at it!
Not long! You’ll start losing weight immediately if you stick to a few basic LCHF Primal Principles:
Eat the Right Foods
Don’t eat or drink anything with sugar in it
Don’t eat starchy foods and vegetables like pasta, bread or potatoes because these things turn into sugar as your body digests them
Only eat when you’re hungry
Exercise a little bit
1. Eat the Right Foods
In a nutshell, Protein, Fat and Vegetables. Bacon and eggs instead of Wheaties and 2% milk. Steak and Asparagus with butter. Roasted Chicken and broccoli with butter. Salads with cooked chicken or fish. How about a Wedge Salad with bleu cheese, bacon, hard boiled egg, red onion and bleu cheese dressing? Burger with cole slaw and without buns. Wild fish (no farm raised salmon) with vegetables. And the list goes on and on. You can eat pizza, but not the crust. I make pizzas in my Fun Foods Challenge with low carb crusts. How about a pizza crust made with cauliflower? Sounds crazy , but you would like it. So eating the right foods shouldn’t be a problem because there’s lots of fantastic things to eat! For a complete list and lots more info, check out my Intro to Primal Challenge.
2. Stop Snacking
This is a tough one, especially if you’re a sugar burner. Sugar burners snack all day long because what they’re eating never really satisfies them and a few hours later (could be minutes) there looking for something else to munch on. These snacks are usually packed with calories from sugar or some other form of carbs like wheat or fruit. Remember, fat is good! So eating low fat or no fat yogurt is out! Low fat or no fat anything isn’t good because they usually replace the fat with sugar and toxic industrial thickeners like carrageenan. So if you’re a sugar burner, the desire to snack is going to be overwhelming! So in the beginning, if you have to snack, snack on something good! Like macadamia nuts, walnuts, almonds or Brazil nuts. No cashews or peanuts though. They are legumes. Once you start to burn fat over sugar, it will be easier to not snack because you won’t feel the urge to snack!
3. Don’t eat or drink anything with sugar in it
So no ice cream, candy bars, sweet tea, soda, fruit juices and no straight sugar either! If you drink coffee with sugar, stop it! I used to drink coffee with sugar in it until I turned Primal in 2014. One day years later my wife made me a cup of coffee, she forgot and put sugar in it, and I swear I spat it right out into the cup and said to my wife “what are you trying to do poison me?” She looked up surprised by what I said, but then realized she put sugar in the coffee. We both had a good laugh! Sugar is going to be hard to give up. Its in just about everything the food industry produces. There was an experiment on mice in the laboratory where they put two tubes in an enclosure, one filled with sugar, the other filled with cocaine. Long story short, sugar is more addictive than cocaine! Maybe that’s why the food industry puts sugar in everything?! If you look at food labels and don’t see the word sugar that doesn’t mean there is no sugar in it. The food industry has now come up with over 30 different names for sugar. The best thing to do is to not eat any prepared foods. Shop in the outer aisles of your grocery store, not in the center aisles. I used to buy Kombucha in the store, but even that has too many carbs in it. So I started making my own (above)!
4. Don’t eat starchy foods and vegetables
This is another tough one! Its hard to believe, but potatoes are sugar! Well, ok, not really, but when your body metabolizes them they turn into glucose which sugar. Your bloodstream can only have a certain amount of glucose floating around in it. If the body senses there’s too much, insulin is produced to store it into your cells. Your body could store it in your muscle cells as glycogen, but if you’re not too active and your glycogen stores are full, your body stores the excess sugar into your fat cells. And we don’t want that! So by not eating sugary things, we keep the sugar out of the blood and out of your fat cells. Hey look at that, you’re losing weight already! I know its going to be hard to give up that delicious bowl of pasta, that crusty French bread with gobs of butter (just eat the butter) or those French fries with lots of ketchup (there’s tons of sugar in ketchup by the way. Only eat low sugar ketchup. I hear ya. Your saying “I don’t eat that much ketchup” to which I say “It all adds up!”) Try opting for the cole slaw when having a burger. Oh, by the way, you can’t have the burger on a bun. Remember, no bread because your body will turn that into sugar. So you’ll have to eat your burgers with a fork and knife for a while. Or try wrapping in lettuce and raw onion “buns” like I did above. You’ve got to like raw onion though! A gluten free bun is not necessarily a good choice. It may not have wheat in it, but it could use other flours that are still loaded with carbs. I show you how to make acceptable breads in my Fun Foods Cooking Challenge.
5. Only eat when you’re hungry
Sounds like no problem, right? When you’re a sugar burner, you pretty much want to eat all the time! The problem is the foods you’re eating are not satisfying enough and you’re always looking for something else to satisfy you, but sugar never does. You have to eat protein with lots of fat! I have a problem with this to this day. After living for 60+ years with the belief that you have to eat three square meals a day, I find myself eating breakfast, lunch or dinner without even thinking “am I hungry?”! I’m getting better at that. A lot of time I’ll eat one meal a day, that’s OMAD in fasting circles. Yes I fast. Fasting is a much maligned aspect of LCHF eating. It turns out fasting is good for the body and the brain. All kinds of repairs are done to the body while in a fasted state. You’ll find that once you switch over from being a sugar burner to a fat burner, you’re cravings to eat will subside. So really don’t have to eat all the time and a lot of time not eat the three square meals. Your body is taking care of it self by using the fat off your body as energy! So you’ve trained your body to burn the fat you eat and if you don’t eat, it will burn the fat off your body. You’ll save on food bills too!
6. Exercise a Little Bit
When I started my journey the only thing I could do without hurting was swimming (no impact) or walking (minimal impact). The walking thing is the best exercise for losing weight in my opinion. All you have to do is keep you heart rate elevated for a half hour to an hour and you’ve burned a lot of fat and you’ll keep burning fat for a while even after you stop. When I lost my first 35 pounds I was able to start doing sprints. I weighed over 300 pounds and I thought I’d never be able to run again, but I did! Sprinting or doing any High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) will get the glycogen out of your muscle cells, so your body will store any excess glucose in them instead of your fat cells! That’s what we want. If you sit and watch sports on TV, try standing up while watching. I even to some calisthenics! Do some squats, jumping jacks or lift some dumb bells. You’ve got to move, so get up and move. Try a walk before and/or after you eat. This really helps with weight loss and blood sugar control
Well, that’s about it in a nutshell. For more details and lots of printouts, try taking my Intro to Primal Challenge. Good luck!
So every time I go to Costco I make sure I pick up some ground buffalo meat. I make burgers, meatballs, chili and nachos with buffalo. So here’s what I do for nachos: I saute some chopped up onions and sweet peppers, add my one pound of ground buffalo meat, break it up and cook it through, I then add a small can of green chilies, lots of ground cumin, some chili powder, Mexican oregano (regular oregano is OK), granulated garlic, some salsa, some red sauce if I have some open (or tomato paste and water (or instead of water, stock)) and a small can of diced tomatoes, salt and pepper. So simmer that for a while until the moisture is almost gone.
Now you can use this mixture in tacos, on pizzas, for nachos, in omelets or on a LCHF bun for a Sloppy Jose! For nachos I like to use cheese crackers.
Inside an omelet topped with sour cream, salsa and guacamole
Tacos with “cheese” tortillas
Chicken, I think, is the most popular protein in the world! I love chicken, especially when it comes with crispy chicken skin!
Make some oopsie rolls to make a variety of sandwiches including roasted chicken sandwiches!
I toast my oopsie rolls on top of the toaster (inside they’ll burn fast). You’ll still have to watch them on top though.
Chicken liver pate sandwich
Egg salad sandwich
These oopsie rolls are also great for burgers, sliders and breakfast sandwiches!
I know, its sounds like a cliche. Everybody makes New Year’s Resolutions, but hardly anyone keeps them! A lot of people need to lose weight. A lot of people feel horrible and have medical problems. They take medications in the hope of felling better, but most of those medications have side effects that end up causing more problems. And most of the medications focus on symptoms and do not actually “cure” the disease!
My Type II Diabetes and High Blood Pressure
For example, I was overweight and because of that I was Type II Diabetic and had high blood pressure. So my doctors gave me a high blood pressure pill and a pill to lower my blood sugar. One of the side effects of my glucose pill was diarrhea. I didn’t figure that out until one winter I lost a lot of weight and my blood sugar numbers came down to normal, so I stopped taking the pill. But during the following summer I gained the weight back and had to start taking my glucose pill again. I noticed that as soon as I did this I had to start running to the bathroom again at all times of the day no matter where I was! It was so bad I dreaded having to go out! When I figured this out the doctor switched my pill to a pill called Glipizide. No more diarrhea, but this pill made my pancreas create more insulin and insulin is the fat storage hormone. So I’m diabetic because I’m fat and I’m taking a pill that is actually making me fatter! Great! But my blood sugar numbers were “normal” and that was all the doctor cared about.
Fix Your Gut!
So what did I do? I fixed my gut first! I did a 28 day program by the Clean people. So for 21 days you have a smoothie for breakfast and dinner and for lunch you have a salad with some protein on it. You also take a handful of supplements with each meal which consist of a lot of digestives enzymes and probiotics. You also cut out a lot of things like coffee, alcohol, dairy, gluten and a few other things. Then, in the last week, you add them back one at a time to see if any of them make you feel ill. When I added gluten back, I didn’t feel so good. I’m not Celiac, but there was definitely something bad going on there. The Clean program costs around $475, but you get everything you need (except the salads) including all the supplements, protein powder and extensive directions. Plus, you get to talk to a health coach if you need one on one help! Here’s a link to the Clean program. At the start of the year they do a group program and give you discounts for purchasing more than one kit. After I did this I felt great! I highly recommend it! And what do you do after you fix your gut?
Go Primal or Paleo!
I decided to go Primal which is a version of Paleo which is pretty much eating like a caveman! Paleo people don’t eat dairy products because, as they say, what caveman was going around milking yaks to make cheese?! But this LCHF eating plan emphasizes replacing carbs with fat and Primal people add more fat to their diet by eating cheeses and yogurts that are high in fat and of good quality. We also use heavy whipping cream! And don’t forget butter! I eat lots of butter! Butter good, sugar bad! No 2% milk, skim milk or even regular milk because these have lactose in them which is sugar to your body. No sugar people! So instead of Wheaties and 2% milk, I switched to my new breakfast of champions, bacon and eggs! I lost 70 pounds over the next 14 months and that was 5 years ago! So I’ve kept off the weight. Yes, I cheat every now and then, but if I start to gain weight, I go full Primal again and lose the weight. So you don’t have to give up your favorites for the rest of your life! I eat pizza, some bread and burgers on buns every now and then. I’ll have a pasta dish once in a while, a rum and coke, chips and dip, but just do it in moderation ONCE YOU LOSE A BIG CHUNK OF WEIGHT! That’s right, NO CHEATING UNTIL YOU LOSE A BIG CHUNK OF WEIGHT!
How to get started!
So here’s a couple ways you can get into the Primal lifestyle and the good news is that they’re pretty low cost! I’m a Primal Blueprint Health Coach and have been helping people go Primal since 2015. If you’re new to Primal, take my 21 Day Intro to Primal class. If you’ve been eating Primal for a while, take my 21 Day Ketosis Focus Challenge. I also have a 21 Day Primal Fun Foods Challenge that shows you how to make those fun foods that you give up when eating Primal like Burgers on Buns, Pizza, Pasta and even Desserts! You’ll get lots of info from these challenges to help you on your way to better health!
I’ve struggled with insulin resistance in the past and have used some of these foods to help. As a matter of fact I was full blown Type II Diabetic, but not anymore. Although I believe most of my success from reversing my Type II Diabetes was from the fact that I lost 70 pounds by eating right and exercising a little bit, I did eat some of these foods during the process. I don’t think you can just add these foods to your diet and you’re going to reverse insulin resistance. You’re going to first have to start eating totally right (for me that is low carb high fat) and then ad these foods to a correct diet.
Some of the foods I added are mostly spices like turmeric and cinnamon, but I also started eating berries as a low sugar “dessert” to my meals. Here’s a link to an article that highlights 8 different foods with more info.
Here’s some more links to foods for health related articles:
Of course the correct answer is honey! And the main reason is because there is so much going on in honey than just the sweet part of it. Its a whole food. If you process honey to end up with just the sweet part, fructose, you end up with something that’s just as bad as sugar or high fructose corn syrup.
Here’s a link to an article on GreenMedInfo that talks about the benefits of honey, a whole food, over sugar, a one dimensional toxic substance. Here’s an excerpt “…Even the “sugar” in honey, which we might mistakenly equate (due to caloric and nutrient classification equivalencies) to the “sugar” from sugarcane, is a complex mixture of the monosacharrides (one-sugars) glucose and fructose, and at least 25 different oligosaccharides (which are sugars composed of between two to ten monosaccharides linked together), including small amounts of the disacchardide sucrose, as well as trisaccharides (three-sugars) like melezitose and erlose.”
Local, raw honey can help you beat airborne allergies that you might have. Also, honey in your coffee makes a good cough syrup! Check out the article for all the benefits and I’m sure the next time you go to a local farmer’s market, you’ll be picking up some honey!
The sun will be happy to give you plenty of Vitamin D, but lots of people are deficient in Vitamin D. They stay inside most of the time and when they go out, they put sunscreen all over themselves! Drinking Vitamin D fortified milk is not the answer. You’d have to drink 300 eight ounce glasses of milk to get the same amount of Vitamin D as when you spend just 10 minutes outside in a bathing suit (no sunscreen). I’m not suggesting going outside and getting a sunburn. You definitely do not want to get a sunburn, but a 10 minute dose should give you enough Vitamin D without going overboard on the sun. If you’re afraid of the sun, take a Vitamin D supplement. I do in the winter time when the sun is not around as much as it is in the summer.
Vitamin D helps with a lot of systems in your body including assimilating cholesterol and helping with thyroid function especially for those suffering with Hashimoto’s Disease. Here a link to an article in NaturalHealth365 that has more info.
I bet when you think about “health foods” celery don’t come to mind, but it has many health benefits including fighting cancer. Read this article on Natural Health 365 for more info. Here’s an excerpt…
“Generally speaking, most people don’t think of celery as a “nutritional powerhouse.” Of course, on the other extreme – this past year, celery juice has been trending as the “cure-all” for a wide variety of health conditions. Today, we’ll focus on some undebatable facts about this vegetable.
Celery contains many essential vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin A, phosphorus, iron, potassium, magnesium, and calcium. It’s also full of flavonoids and antioxidants.”
I love garlic! Tons of flavor and it turns out that there’s tons of health benefits too! Check out this article on Natural Health 365. Here’s an excerpt…
“Allium sativum, or garlic, is a popular herb that has a history dating back centuries. Related to both shallots and onions, garlic is grown across the world, and it’s a popular addition to many recipes due to its savory flavor. But it doesn’t just taste good. It’s also packed with vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, vitamin B6, calcium, manganese, selenium, and potassium.”
If you ever eat sauteed shrimp, add tons of garlic like I do for a great Cuban style garlic shrimp dish.
Eat Primal/Paleo Foods to Get Healthy, Reverse Type II Diabtes and Get Off Meds Like I Did! You can do it too!