My mother, who has been introduced to Primal eating, asked me to detail the benefits of the diet for her. I could only answer from my point-of-view, and I have to say, I’ve been surprised by some of the results.
Prior to this way of eating (WOE), I was very skeptical, to the point of being mockingly dismissive, of many of these claims and ideas. You have to understand—I’m married to a doctor/scientist and I have never been one to trust anyone else about anything without experiencing it myself. Especially if money is involved, i.e. supplements, systems, programs. No gurus for me. Add to this the fact that we live in Hippieville, Oregon, which also just so happens to be the epicenter of the gluten-free movement. The numbers of people in this town who claim to be “gluten intolerant” are astounding. Now, of course, I’m like, “Of course you are. We all are.” But when you’re at the coffee shop and overhear people discussing their ultrasound therapy or crystal balancing, it can harden you against anything that seems to buck CW. No joke—the hospital here offers its patients Reiki treatments.
So what was my answer to my mom? Below the benefits of Paleo/Primal eating experienced, realized, and hoped for by a crusty, curmudgeonly skeptic, in no particular order:
- Weight Loss. Okay, maybe this one belongs at the top for me. It was after all why I discovered this whole thing in the first place. I seem to have settled at 10 pounds lost, which puts me at my high school graduation weight. I could never have hoped for such results, and I’m thrilled.
- Better Health. Cardiovascular, mental, fewer chances of developing Alzheimer’s or cancer, etc. I was beginning to develop some moderate anxiety, and this WOE seems to have slashed it by 80%, another result I never could have predicted. I have family histories of several maladies, including Alzheimer’s/dementia and various hormonal issues, and I’m hoping this WOE will help me avoid them.
- More distance between me and the Industrial Food Complex. I was already pretty good about this, but Primal eating has renewed my commitment to put more dollars in the pockets of local farmers and ranchers. I have vague dreams of someday doing more of this myself with massive gardens and chickens of my own.
- Belonging to a vibrant online community. I never felt compelled to look for like-minded online folks for any of my other interests. But this is truly an awesome component of Paleo/Primal. Thanks everyone.
- Something for me and the husband to bond over. Luckily, we’re both contrarians and enjoy going against the grain when there’s lots of evidence to suggest that everyone else is wrong. It provides both of us with a deep satisfaction. The last time we had a topic like this that kept us energized was when, for years, Brian knew the real estate bubble was going to implode, and no one else believed us.
- Raising my daughter with healthier eating. May Edie have the opportunity for better lifelong health and fitness.
- Bacon!!! It really is amazing to eat as much as I want of it and maintain a lean physique.
- A return to a more traditional way of eating. I wish I had discovered this when my Granny was still around so I could ask her more questions. I bet she’d know what to do with all these bones.
- Exercise is enjoyable again. I’ve always loved being physically capable and strong, but it’s extremely demoralizing when you’re working your arse off and not seeing the results. Now, I feel like my fitness destiny is firmly in my hands again.
- Clearer skin. Since the age of 15, I had crippling acne. This did not blend well with my perfectionist tendencies (OCD?), and it would take me two hours to do my make-up before school. It contributed to my difficulty with eye contact because I was so ashamed of my face. I can’t even imagine what my adolescence would have been like without it. Then it followed me into my adulthood, not giving up until I began taking birth control pills at the age of 25 (duh, hormones!). But even then, it wasn’t 100%. Now, I don’t even have miniscule complexion disturbances.
- The possibility of better dental health. Jury still out on this one, but I perused the Weston A. Price Foundation site, and while there are some differences in our WOE, they parallel each other in many ways. This ties in to the return to a more traditional diet, and I think there’s a good chance that bone broths and meat on the bone can really help in this regard. About a year ago, I was the recipient of a super sexy night mouthguard because of my teeth-clenching issue. The reduction in anxiety has helped, but I’ve also noticed that since starting Primal, my teeth don’t wiggle anymore. Progress? Now if we could just get my tooth sensitivity under control…
- Expanding my culinary repertoire. I have always been an avid and adventurous cook, but my motivation has a new energy. I WILL figure out how to make offal palatable to me!
What did I miss? What benefits have you seen for yourself?