Friday, February 3, 2017

After so many diets, this is a lifestyle I can maintain forever!

It’s Friday, everyone! And that means another Primal Blueprint Real Life Story from a Mark’s Daily Apple reader. If you have your own success story and would like to share it with me and the Mark’s Daily Apple community please contact me here. In fact, I have a contest going right now. So if you have a story to share, no matter how big or how small, you’ll be in the running to win a big prize. Read more here.

realifestories in lineAs a 40-something woman, I’ve tried a lot of diets over nearly 30 years. And quite a few exercise programs, too. I’ve gained and lost 20 pounds multiple times. I was pretty good at losing weight once I put my mind to it – but the changes never stuck, old habits creeped back in, and the weight came back.

In 2006, I was feeling heavy, lethargic and desperate to lose weight once again. The South Beach Diet had been all the rage for a couple of years, and I decided to try it. I lost 30 pounds, and this was the first time in occurred to me that a lower carb diet might be better for my body. I wasn’t so good at the maintenance phase, however – a piece of whole wheat bread on occasion became a regular part of my diet. I restarted my love affair with chocolate ice cream, and the pounds gradually returned with several years of bouncing around on the scale.

In 2012 I began to have gastrointestinal health issues – I lost about 20 pounds, but not in a good way. After many months of doctor’s visits and tests I was diagnosed with a form of colitis. In looking on the Internet for guidance how to heal myself, I found Mark’s website. I devoured the information on his site and read his book, The Primal Blueprint. As a scientist, the technical explanations of how our bodies weren’t adapted to newer (on the evolutionary scale) foods like wheat made a lot of sense to me. I started gradually improving my diet, and I do mean gradually, over the next couple of years but with multiple stops and starts depending what was happening in life.

In late 2014, I took the next step and consulted a naturopath for additional help. Testing showed that I had an intolerance for wheat and oats -knowing that what you’re eating is actually harming your health is a big wake-up call. The testing also showed that I was pre-diabetic – also a huge wake-up call. I started reading books on the dangers of wheat to our health – Wheat Belly, by William Davis, MD, and Grain Brain, by David Perlmutter, MD. Armed with this additional information, it became clear that my beloved bread could no longer fit in my diet. I got serious about the Primal lifestyle – no wheat, no processed foods, minimal sugar, etc. In my household we now eat meats, eggs, fish, and plenty of vegetables! It took some time, but eventually my body became fat adapted and the weight began dropping off. No feelings of deprivation, just a sense that what I was eating is good for my body.

The results? I’ve lost over 40 pounds and feel amazing. My colitis is under control-eating whole foods that nourish my body has made a huge difference. My blood sugar level is normal. I’m more active, exercising in a manner that is energizing rather than depleting. After so many years of trying diets, this is a lifestyle that I can maintain forever.

Having seen what a Primal diet and lifestyle can do for one’s health, in 2016 I completed The Primal Health Coach certification to teach others why this lifestyle works and to support clients who want to change their lives for the better. I also blog and provide healthy living tips on my website, theprimalhealthcoach.com.

I am so grateful to Mark for showing the way to good health-it has made a huge difference in my life.

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In Season: Blood Oranges

Long popular in Italy and Spain, these ruby-hued oranges are now being cultivated in Texas and California. Available from December to April, blood oranges are often both sweeter and less tart than other types of oranges, with a pleasantly bitter edge. Some people say they can even detect a hint of raspberry flavor.

 

Blood Orange Facts:

Harvesting blood oranges in the winter, when they are at the peak of ripeness, ensures that they are highest in anthocyanins, the compound that gives them their vivid blood-red color. Anthocyanins are thought to help stave off heart disease and cancer, as well protect eye health. Blood oranges are also an excellent source of fiber and Vitamin C.

Choose firm oranges that are heavy for their size and store for a week at room temperature, or up to two weeks in the refrigerator.

 

What to Do with Blood Oranges:

Try substituting blood oranges for other types of citrus, including grapefruit or navel oranges, in any of your favorite recipes. Because of their crimson hue, blood oranges make a beautiful addition to winter salads and pair particularly well with spicy or bitter greens. A traditional Sicilian salad combines blood oranges with thinly sliced fennel, arugula and extra-virgin olive oil. They’re also tasty in salsa, or in cooked sauces for meat or poultry. Because of its brilliant color and flavor, blood orange juice is a popular ingredient in cocktails. For a refreshing, buzz-free spritzer, you can simply mix the juice with sparkling water and a dash of orange bitters. For an easy, healthy dessert with wow-factor, use blood oranges to make granita or sorbet. Here are some recipes to try:

 

Breakfast:

Blood Orange Whole-Wheat Ricotta Pancakes

 

Salads:

Jicama and Blood Orange Salad

Fennel Salad with Blood Oranges

Endive and Frisee Salad with Oranges

 

Main Courses:

Seared Cod with Blood Orange Glaze

Seared Tuna with Blood Orange-Fennel Glaze and Relish with Sauteed Watercress

 

Desserts:

Blood Orange Sorbetto

Blood Orange Granita

 

Abigail Chipley is a freelance recipe developer, writer and cooking teacher who lives in Portland, Oregon.



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Indoor Crafts + A Day Of Meals

^^#truth

Still loving Anne’s pancakes for breakfast! Mazen gave up on eggs two years ago after I fed them to him for breakfast for way too many days in a row, so French toast and these pancakes are the best ways for me to get him to eat eggs. I need to give hard-boiled eggs a try again soon….

For workouts lately, I’ve been balancing twice-a-week strength class with twice-a-week Afterburn (our crazy cardio step jumping class) and indoor soccer. I haven’t been on too many outdoor runs lately, but I’ve been throwing in some hot yoga instead. I usually make it to 3 of the 4 classes, one soccer game and one wild card. Plus a day off in there.

Leftovers for lunch: whipped sweet potatoes, fish, grapes, and Red, Hot, Blues. A creative mix to hit all the texture requirements : )

A friend gave Mazen this paint-your-own birdhouse for Christmas, and it made for a fun little afternoon activity. I found some that you can buy in bulk on Amazon – four for $10. They don’t come with the paints, but most kids already have some paints.

I’m trying to find more good indoor activities now that the pools are green and full of leaves. This Star Wars play-doh set that Santa bought at Amazon is awesome!! We have gotten hours out of it. I much prefer sitting and making soothing play-doh shapes to rough housing 😉

Ahhhh fresh play-doh! The nostalgic smell!

Tacos for dinner was a big hit!

I’ve never seen Mazen eat anything that wasn’t pizza so enthusiastically!

Mama’s version:

Have a great rest of your week friends!

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