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June 9, 2009

steakPrimal eating is something a fellow blogger or two are interested in. Though I first termed this as clean eating, I’m more than interested in this lifestyle.

Primal nutrition and clean eating are pretty similar. The first degree of clean eating is fruits, veggies, meat, and nuts and seeds. That’s also what primal eating is. Clean eating varies person to person and definition to definition though, so I guess it would be safe to say that my clean eating is primal eating.

Things like meat, fruit, and veggies have a life span and then they die. This is what makes them real. Food that does not die is not “real” food. It’s processed crap. It’s NO better than eating dog food- yes even that “nutritious cereal” in the morning is not any better than what you put in the dog’s bowl. In fact, it’s probably worse than what you feed your dog (or cat).

But in this world of fast food, carbs, and easy sugars what are parents and families supposed to do? It’s more expensive, right?

Well, tonight I bought a bag of frozen brocolli for 97 cents. I bought four round steaks for 4.50 (no, not grass fed, but hey, got to start somewhere). That’s enough for our family of three for less than 6 dollars. And really, the brocolli is probably enough for two meals so about 5 dollars for one meal for us three. Even the steaks might be enough for a second meal for at least one of us. A trip to a fast food restaurant could easily cost us 5 dollars per person. Not only that, but the food we’d eat at a fast food place is not very nutritious and probably contains a lot of nasty stuff. Another comparison to this would be one of those “box meals”. They’re about 4 dollars around here and enough for our family of three with a tad left over- usuallly enough for one persons lunch. By going that route I’d save one dollar in the short term- but since it’s usually pasta and fillers in the processed box meals, my family is going to be hungry again- and quickly. That dollar savings doesn’t go far if my family has to eat again an hour later as the carb crashing begins. And think of the long term health damage of processed foods… Eating good foods (food that lives and dies) is by far better for health than any of that processed junk you find in the boxes in the grocery store.

But again, with kids and families, what to do? They want that junk. They see it on TV, their friends are eating it, and they drive past it every time they’re in the car with us in forms of signs and fast food dives every half a block. Our compromise here is trying a new food each week. This week I’m trying steak again with my daughter and husband. This is on the menu for Thursday night. I plan to take it slow, I haven’t had red meat in over five years. With eating primal, I can’t live on chicken and turkey for the rest of my life and I know that. It’s just that I never much liked red meat. There is no way I’ll be able to eat pork again and I know that for certain, but I’ve been on the fence about steaks for a couple years now. It’s just taken me this long to build up the courage to actually put a bite in my mouth again (in two days from now actually, so not quite the courage yet tonight 😉 ).

When kids see us modeling this behavior and making it FUN to try new things, they learn food doesn’t have to be in a wrapper. With consistent variety in meals, and trying new things, eating is a mystery and exciting (and yes, sometimes a tad scary). They might even learn they like things mom and dad don’t.

But yet, that temptation is there and this is my plan to deal with it- I still have two cheat meals per week. Tuesday and one other day of the week. Tuesday because I work in a different city on Tuesdays and it just makes my night easier to pick something up (even if it is more costly). And one other meal because even I miss carbs sometimes. So, two cheat meals. Not just for me, but for my family. Plus my daughter does eat bread, pasta’s, and other “dog food” (aka read processed foods) during her lunches and snacks during the day. So, she has her lunches that although not primal, are not totally unclean either.

The other way we’re dealing with the issue is for everyone to be able to pick out one item of “pure processed nastyness” to have for the week. My daughter picked a box of ginger snaps for the week. I have some frosted oatmeal cookies. This is new for me so maybe I can skip my cheat night, right? hehe, we’ll see about that.

I can’t force my family to eat primal, I can’t even do it 100% of the time. It’s not something a person MUST do 100% of the time either. Doing a little is better than doing nothing. Eating primal will get easier as time goes on. It’s an adjustment in a lifestyle for most of us. If only one meal is primal to start with, so be it. I eat two meals per day (though my lunch lasts from 10:30 am till about 2pm with a little here and a little of it there). That’s 14 meals per week. If I have a “perfect week” that’s 12 primal meals since I get two free. Well, even if it was the other way around with only two primal meals, it’s certainly better than NO primal meals.

Every bite of every meal matters. Don’t eat dog food.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. jleeger permalink
    June 10, 2009 10:02 AM

    Great post, Michelle. Diet is largely cultural in our era. Since we’ve managed to create these networks for food transport, and the means to preserve foods, and grow non-native foods in certain areas, the “natural” course of things has vanished. Now people can eat avocado’s in Michigan in the winter, etc.

    The basis for all of this is petroleum. Petroleum is used to ship the foods, but it’s also used to create the pesticides and fertilizers needed for the farms that grow them, and for the machines that plow the fields. Much of our modern lives are based on petroleum, in some way, shape, or form.

    Buying what’s local, and what’s in season, is not only healthier for the individual, but also healthier for the environment. While local farmer’s markets are scarce in some areas, most places have them nowadays, or offer Community Supported Agriculture, which will deliver local produce directly to your door!

    Something to think about, when we’re thinking about being “primal.” Doing less is always better.

  2. June 10, 2009 10:31 AM

    Tomorrow, steak. I am a tad scared that I’ll puke it up.

    We have some great farmers markets around here too but we do eat lots of off season stuff right now. We’re starting a garden in our backyard so hopefully we’ll do better in the future, plus growing it ourselves is more fun :).

  3. RobFitness permalink
    June 11, 2009 10:55 AM

    Nice to see that your back and doing your best to eat in a good way. My eating has been right on track as well. Trying to eliminate all processed foods and so far it’s going pretty good. I seem to feel a lot better and not as sluggish. That’s what bad eating does fro me as well. I also personally try to stay away from red meats. I prefer my chicken and so good old fish as my protein.
    So have you tried anything new on your list of foods you’s like to incorporate into your eating plan?
    Well speaking of eating. Time for me to eat as well. Today I am having grilled chicken with broccoli and green beans. Maybe a touch of some homemade salsa as well; just to add some flavor.
    keep up the good work and I look forward to another very insightful post from you in the future. You always have some good ones. 🙂

  4. June 11, 2009 2:47 PM

    I recently tried raspberries :). That’s a first for me. And of course steak tonight is a first in five years and I am pretty anxious about it. I’m pretty afraid of either puking it up or getting diarrhea from it. I’m hoping I’ll tolerate it well because right now all I do eat is chicken and turkey. Next post is world peace ;). hehe, not that insightful I guess, but I’ve been lazy this week…

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