Fox gone Primal!
So, what is Primal? It is a lifestyle based on whole foods, simplified living; eat, play, rest in a simple and sustainable way. I first heard of the idea from a Mayo Clinic grand rounds lecture given by Gary Taubes. He had some pretty radical seeming theories about health, weight, and nutrition that made a lot of sense to me. I was intrigued, but it was the results many of my friends who had been doing the Paleo or Primal 'thing' for some time that really convinced me to try. I've been 'primal' since 2011 and have never felt better. I hesitate to call it a diet because that word invokes the idea of witholding food and temporary changes - the Primal lifestyle is a commitment to cleaner eating and much more than just food.
If I had to summarize the whole idea in a nutshell, I would say: Primal is the idea people evolved over hundreds of thousands of years to eat a certain way. Modern society has radically changed that way of eating and living over the last 50 to 100 years. Processed foods, unlimited carbohydrates, and tons of sugar/additives were never naturally available to people and are causing a lot of the health issues we see today. Primal is a commitment to going back to a simpler, healthier way of eating. Grass-fed or wild, lean meats and lots of vegetables are the core of the diet. Movement, exercise, and play are key parts of a well-rounded, healthy lifestyle!
If you're curious about what it means, I've provided some links and information here to get you started:
The Primal Blueprint: Reprogram your genes for effortless weight loss, vibrant health, and boundless energy (Primal Blueprint Series)
The book above, the Primal Blueprint, is the basic primal 'bible' - explains the diet and philosophy in simple, easy to read terms. You have to take this book with a grain of salt - some of it is over the top and reads a little like a supplement ad, but the practical information it gives is really useful if you're just getting started.
If you're interested in a more scientific look at a no-grain, gluten-free, sugar-free, whole foods eating regime:
Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It
Good Calories, Bad Calories: Fats, Carbs, and the Controversial Science of Diet and Health
You can see the author, Gary Taubes, speak about his philosophy of carbohydrates and fat storage HERE. (Free online video lecture)
The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living: An Expert Guide to Making the Life-Saving Benefits of Carbohydrate Restriction Sustainable and Enjoyable
I highly recommend this book if you're doing low-carb - it goes more into the science of metabolism and study trials done (including some from the Mayo Clinic ongoing since the 1920s!) which can help you better understand and troubleshoot living this way.
http://eatwild.com is a fantastic site with listings of local grass fed meat farmers.
http://www.localharvest.org/ has links to local farms with from, veggies, cheeses etc.