What kept me going throughout the 21 days was the fact that the daily challenges went beyond diet and exercise. My favourites included reminders to be present (basically, put the phone DOWN), listen more, relax and play more.
THE PRIMAL DIET
While I have indulged a little since my three weeks finished (see below), many of the habits I developed I would like to stick with. Why? Because they worked. Here are several examples:
- No legumes: I avoided beans, peas, pulses and peanuts and there was definitely umm less gas #tmi? Now when I eat beans, I notice more bloating. I'm not going to be really strict with this one, because sometimes peas are the healthiest thing on a plate, but it is good to know that I can reduce gas by avoiding legumes.
- Eating local organic food: This is because I felt better about supporting local farmers and it tastes better. Sure, it may be more expensive but I felt like it is worth it.
- Cutting down on sugar: Resulted in fewer cravings, feeling more balanced mood-wise, and less headaches. It is very very hard though and I definitely wasn't perfect.
- Homemade everything: I really enjoy experimenting in the kitchen, and to keep this going I have invested in some really pretty tupperware which I can't wait to arrive.
As I said before, I have indulged a little by making ice cream, cocktails and drinking beer.
The ice cream was a traditional recipe using egg yolks, double cream and honey toasted almonds.
Bramble cocktail made with blackberries and tequila
My favourite gluten free pizza in Pizza Express
I particularly enjoyed how much energy I had all the time, and how much better I slept. The workouts were never longer than half an hour, which was perfect as it meant more leisure time in the evenings and not feeling so 'burned out' from exercising for too long.
The PEM workouts (pull ups, squats, push ups and plank) I found to be really effective, and there's nothing more motivating than improving on these moves. I've gone from not being able to do a pull up, do managing 10 in a row!
I didn't manage as much sprinting however, mainly because I felt like a tit.
Overall I would say that I am satisfied with the results, both in body and mind, although I wouldn't necessary call it a complete transformation. As I mentioned at the end of my previous post, I believe that a transformation would require a lot longer.
I didn't lose any weight, but then I wasn't planning to, however I did notice an improvement in my skin which is so apparent now that I have been eating and drinking rather badly and it's all gone wrong! I suffer from rosacea and it pretty much disappeared in the first week which was bloody marvelous. I came across this article about how the primal diet and using coconut oil banished rosacea for one woman, and I did find this to be true. Since reintroducing sugar (albeit less than before), beer and milk my skin looks worse than ever*. I am really really hoping that my next challenges will clear it up again....
*Not: I'm not completely certain that it's not hormones and/or just bad luck. But I can hope there's a cure!
I intend to continue tweaking my diet, keeping it mainly primal and working on reducing my alcohol consumption. More on that another time..!
It may be my age, but as I'm approaching 30 I have been thinking of who I want to be when I get there. I think self-improvement is essential to our enjoyment of the journey through life; it not only benefits ourselves but also others around us. With that in mind I am setting some goals for the next few years which I will discuss in the next post.