Friday, March 2, 2018

The Benchmark For Me Is “What Works?”

Primal Starter: Fielding Others’ Opinions

Inline_Live-Awesome-645x445-03It’s a role that’s probably more often thrust upon us—that of Primal advocate. There we are minding our own healthy business, and somebody’s question or comment fixes the spotlight on us. Why do we eat “so much” fat? What could possibly be wrong with bread? Why do we wear the shoes we do or race down the street like we stole something?

Sometimes it’s the people in our inner circle who are the inquiring minds. Other times it’s co-workers or even random strangers. Perhaps it’s even our doctors. Whatever the case, what might begin as a simple question can often devolve into a full-blown harangue about how we’re putting our health in grave peril. On the flip side, it may be we who descend into an extended diatribe on all things Primal as the other person tries to slink away, having just been intrigued by our lettuce wrapped “un-wich.” How do we respond in these conversations without losing all patience or perspective?

Not all of us are out to become Primal advocates of course. But you don’t need to be sporting a Grok “Live Long, Drop Dead” t-shirt to garner attention. The fact is, our choices can make us stick out. Just by eating what we eat (or avoiding what we don’t) or otherwise going about our Primal routines, we become accidental examples for a lifestyle conventional wisdom finds unusual or even dangerous.

A lot of people these days have heard enough about paleo/Primal (usually misunderstanding it) to have an opinion, but they may not know other flesh-and-blood adherents. Suddenly you’ve become the spokesperson, poster child, resident expert and/or prime target in their midst. This can be a good thing—or not—depending on their agenda.

Many of us by now have witnessed the positive angle of this. Someone you know (or don’t) asks a question out of genuine curiosity, and you end up having a great discussion. By the end, they’re determined to learn more or even give it a whirl. You walk away having felt like you enjoyed a fulfilling conversation and did an act of public service.

On the other hand, we’ve likely been put in the hot seat, too. Maybe we simply take a pass on dessert or appear to be an expert at menu substitutions, but our nonconformity ruffles some feathers. Two minutes into dinner we find ourselves the center of everyone’s conversation and worry about what we’re doing to our bodies.

I’ve certainly offered my share of tongue-in-cheek suggestions for meeting Primal critiques, but there’s still the practical question of how to respond. At base, all we really own is our own experience. How does living Primally make you feel? What’s it done for you lately? People can wrangle with you about statistics this, statistics that—likely erroneous numbers or skewed understanding of research anyway. It’s much harder to argue against a person’s individual experience. In fact, it’s near impossible.

If you’ve lost fifty pounds, come off of your blood pressure meds or are otherwise living with enhanced health and energy, then your story is the perfect answer to their criticism, however constructive. Some will continue at the same line of reasoning, attempting to deny the extent of your success. All you have to say in this instance is, “I’m happy with my results. That’s all I need to know.”

Unfortunately, however, some people feel that because you say you’ve reclaimed your health and vitality with the Primal Blueprint that you’re dictating to them they have to do the same. Sure, it would behoove them (twenty-five cent word of the day) to try it out, too. But I’ve never advocated dragging or nagging anyone to the Primal Blueprint. The other person will either be willing to acknowledge it or not, but their inability to do so (when that’s the case) will have nothing to do with you.

It’s not only okay but often stunningly effective to flat out tell someone they’re free to choose their own path. In fact, tell them you’re not arguing they should do what you did. Maybe it’s not a good fit for them. But even still they can always stop by the site or Facebook group if they ever change their minds about wanting to know more.

At some point we have to see that health transformation is for people who want it, not for people who need it. As the old saying goes, “You can only lead a horse to water. You can’t make him drink.” Self-advocacy has to be a part of the picture. Spare yourself unnecessary frustration by accepting you’ll never make a difference in peoples’ lives who aren’t open to change and who don’t make themselves available for help and education.

Advocating for a lifestyle model you believe in is a noble pursuit. All of us who have improved our lives through the Primal Blueprint (myself included) want to make the same knowledge and support available to others. Rest assured, the proof is always in the pudding no matter what else gets said. Live well, and let the results be your best promotional strategy as well as your personal reward.

Further Reading: 

How To Handle Constructive Criticism As a Primal Advocate

How To Overcome the Naysayers In Your Life

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My First HydraFacial (Alda Aesthetics)

Hi, guys! Happy FRIDAY to you!

I’m pumped that the weekend is just about here. We actually don’t have a ton of plans, but I’m looking forward to detaching from my laptop for a few days. I feel like I’ve had a lot of computer time this week. Although, I was able to escape for a facial yesterday afternoon, which was quite amazing. It was a nice way to break up the day, and I looked forward to it all week. I’ll share details in a second, but, first, let me recap my morning so far.

Breakfast was overnight oats with a big scoop of Teddie peanut butter (obviously). This batch was especially delicious and nutritious because I mixed the oats with one of Quinn’s pouches (banana-blueberry).

Somehow, overnight oats just got even easier – and more nutritious! The options are endless with fruit + veggie pouches! Along with the pouch, I added a teaspoon of chia seeds and a splash of almond milk, and they turned out perfectly!

We’re getting a crazy rain storm (“Quinn”) in southern Massachusetts today, and we made Murphy go out in it this morning. He was not pleased. Look at that face.

Ok, so let me tell you about my facial! The nice women of Alda Aesthetics invited me in for a complimentary facial. They’re local (right off route 53 in Hanover) and just opened their business two years ago, so I was more than happy to check out their space and see what they had to offer. Their services include all sorts of facials, advanced treatments (HydraFacials, lasers, peels, Dermaplaning), microblading, lash extensions, and more.

The staff was super-friendly and the treatment rooms were some of the prettiest I’ve ever seen – especially for a medical spa!

The HydraFacial was aaaaaamazing. I highly recommend it and know I’ll be back to Alda for another one. The HydraFacial is basically the best of every facial in one treatment. It addresses a ton of skincare issues at once, including fine lines, wrinkles, elasticity, firmness, even tone, texture, brown spots, enlarged pores, clogging, and more. Even Mal (who never notices anything beauty-related) made a comment about how nice my skin looked last night, so it’s definitely an effective treatment!

It was so nice to meet these lovely ladies – definitely check out Alda if you live in the area! 🙂

Question of the Day

When was the last time you had a facial? What’s your favorite kind of facial?

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Like A Kid In A Candy Store

The birds finally found Mazen’s pinecone birdfeeder!! And Thomas surprised Mazen with a real birdfeeder that mounts onto our deck railing. The birds have been all over it like a kid in a candy store.

Because we can all feel that excitement, right?!

We have a new candy store downtown, and Mazen and I went in for a visit. It’s fantastic – filled with colorful candies of all kinds! Gummies, sours, chocolates, crunchy, and more all sold by the pound.

Please forgive me for giving my child red #26 and blue #62 in gummy snake form!

MY OTHER RECIPES

We balanced that out with some healthy, naturally colorful fruit!

And overnight oats on a working morning made with pumpkin yogurt!

On the lunch front I had a big salad with bacon, tomatoes, peppers, and cheese.

And another day: salmon salad, kale salad, and chips.

I met these ladies at Elements yoga for a power lunch hour class on Tuesday, and we hit up Mezeh afterwards!

Here’s a photo of our favorite Blue Apron Chipotle Meatloaf recipe, which we had two nights in a row.

And this new Blue Apron Tilapia recipe (full post to come!) was fabulous! I loved the orzo with vegetables and crème fraîche.

And one night I had a simple spinach + cheese quesadilla before soccer. I find this isn’t too heavy on my stomach but fills me up so I don’t need two dinners, one at 5 and one at 9.

I am SO ready for the weekend AND some sunshine!! I swear if we have one more day with heavy clouds I’m going to need to purchase a vitamin D lamp.



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