Just over two weeks ago, Will and I courageously welcomed the Primal Challenge, or coming from a Pasta fanatic, what I call the, “Saying Goodbye to Pasta” Challenge. We’ve managed to stay somewhat successful—in certain categories of the challenge—obtaining an A+ in the diet, but unfortunately a D for spending time outside (as easy as it may sound, this has been the ultimate task). Below is a summary of our experiences:
- A SUBSTANTIAL increase in energy level. At first, the drastic diet change left me feeling weak and lethargic. Only a few days later after my body adjusted to the new diet, I felt increasingly higher energy levels and now generally feel considerably more upbeat and livelier.
- Feeling less hungry. At first this was not the case, but eventually we both felt little desire to devour and overindulge.
- A general appreciation and motivation to be healthy. One of the principles of the challenge is reading and learning about health everyday. In doing so, along with practicing a healthy diet, I am motivated to maintain and enhance my health.
- Campus food. With such a slim selection, it is extremely difficult to locate something that is both healthy and moderately appetizing. Campus food largely consists of grains and energy drinks, and spending everyday on campus becomes progressively challenging to maintain the primal diet.
- Giving up our favorite dishes. For me, that’s pasta…whether it be Fettucine Alfredo, Penne with Spinach Sauce, Vegetarian Lasagna, or anything else…I miss the taste of pasta. For Will, it is mainly sushi.
- Spending time outside. With work or homework during the day and classes in the evening, sunlight is a scarce phenomenon.
While we do face these challenges, we have also discovered a number of ways to overcome them. For example, packing food before heading to campus, or drinking wine instead of beer at social events. Since the Primal Challenge is a step to altering your lifestyle, we found that mastering 1-2 principles at a time may be the best way to make this more than just a 1-month event. The diet is beginning to feel more natural, and hopefully soon we can switch our focus to improving and mastering the amount of time we spend outside. Even though the Primal Challenge for us ends on September 15, it is becoming more and more of a lifestyle development with no real “end-date.”