How to Eat Primally…in Spite of Your Family!



Being on a diet is hard. If you are single, with no kids, and only have yourself to worry about, it is tough. Add household members to cook for, whether it is parents, spouses, children, roommates, whoever it may be, and the difficulty increases exponentially!

In my case, I have a husband and two sons living at home. When I found out I was diabetic and decided to make a lifestyle change, my family was not exactly doing somersaults about doing it with me. My husband is not giving up the potato chips. My sons do not want to give up the ice cream. And cookies. And mashed potatoes. And french fries. And sandwiches. You get the picture.

So how do you do it? How do you stay true to your dietary changes, and not make your family crazy? How do you attempt to please everyone?

I believe in the primal lifestyle. I think it is the healthiest way to eat. Eat meat, fowl, and fish, lots of vegetables, some fruits, and healthy fats. Don’t eat grains and sugars. Basically, if God made it, eat it. If it was processed, don’t eat it. So how does this fit in a household with ice cream and potato chips?

My sons (12 and 15 years old) actually make pretty healthy food choices. If I put a platter down on one side of the table with sugar snap peas, jicama, cucumbers, grapes and cantaloupe, and then on the other side of the table put a bag of potato chips and some chocolate chip cookies, my sons would pick the fruits and veggies. But they still want the chips and cookies there, just in case!

I try to make everyone eat as primally as possible during the week, with treats on the weekend. Breakfast usually consists of eggs and bacon, sausage or ham. Lunch for me is usually leftovers from dinner the night before or a big salad plus protein. I homeschool one of my sons, and he usually eats what I do. I keep a bowl of copycat KFC coleslaw, made with Splenda in the fridge, as well as a bowl of Fire and Ice Salad. Yes, I use Splenda. I know this isn’t primal, but if this is biggest sin, I can live with it.

Snacks get interesting. Every week I buy a bunch of fresh veggies, cut them up, and store them in bags in the refrigerator. I take grapes off the stems, and freeze them. I cut up melon and store it in containers in the refrigerator. We have macadamia nuts and pistachios I buy at Trader Joes. I make the healthy choices up front and center in the refrigerator. I keep the nuts in the front of the pantry, with the chips in the back!

I plan my suppers like a meat and three restaurant. I include meat, low starch vegetables, salad…all primal choices. Then most days I will include a starch. I try to keep their starch choices as healthy as possible, like sweet potatoes, potatoes, corn…things that are not processed.

I try to eat at home 5-6 nights a week. Usually, at least one night will be leftovers. That means I need to plan 4-5 dinners. For variety, I rotate pork, beef, chicken, fish and seafood. I look at what is on sale each week, and plan around that. I always have frozen corn, spinach, green beans, broccoli, and greens. I try to keep potatoes, sweet potatoes and onions on hand. Then I go to my favorite produce stands, and whatever fresh produce I buy is what I feature, with the staples in my freezer and pantry filling in.

Here is this week’s supper menu. I am including our evening activity schedule, just so you see that I do not live in an idyllic world! I have two sons involved in activities, I homeschool, I blog, I have an antiques business, plus my husband is in Saudi Arabia for a couple of years, so I have all of the household responsibilities on me, plus I have things I have to do for our construction company, development company, and for the 1880 Victorian house we are in the process of moving and restoring. Thank goodness my parents are in the area to help me!

(high school football practice from 4-7:30, and baseball from 5:30-7:30)
Grilled Cornish hens
Grilled zucchini

(high school football practice from 4-7:30)
Crockpot Buffalo Chicken
Fire and Ice Salad, made with Splenda
Copycat KFC Coleslaw, made with Splenda

(high school football practice from 4-7:30, and baseball from 5:30-7:30)
Crockpot Cube Steak
Mashed potatoes
Turnip greens

(JV football game from 6-8)
Sweet potatoes

(cello from 4-5 and baseball from 5:30-7:30)
Out to eat

Can be made into Frito Pie for the boys

(Sunday dinner at my in-laws, symphony from 2:15 to 5, pitching lesson 4-5)
Green beans

So you see I always have things that I can eat, with no grains. A few days a week I offer starchy options for the boys. I am lucky to have boys that love zucchini and collard greens, and I know everyone isn’t that blessed. Substitute whatever non-starchy vegetables your family will eat. And I do use my slow cooker a LOT! You can eat healthy and keep everyone happy! I will start posting my weekly menu, if anyone is interested!



My Weight Loss Plan


I know some people have already seen this…feel free to ignore it. This is the plan that has enabled me to lose over 30 pounds. When I wrote this, I had lost 24, so I have lost 10 more. I have transitioned from this Atkins like plan to more of a primal plan now, but this is what jump started me!

Last month life as I have always known it came to a screeching halt! I found out that I am diabetic. My grandmother was diabetic, and my mother is diabetic, so I should have done a better job of taking care of myself and watching my weight, but I always thought that I had more time.

My doctor offered to refer me to the bariatric practice affiliated with his hospital, and at first I said no, but then I decided that I might do better with some accountability! I had to wait for a couple of weeks before my initial appointment, and in the meantime I started checking my blood sugars and taking oral medications for my diabetes. I had started watching what I ate back in May, see this post, and had started a Whole30 challenge. I modified it a little bit, cutting out fruit and starchy vegetables, and managed to lose 10 pounds before my first appointment.

I started losing weight on June 1st, and as of June 28 have dropped 24 pounds! Not to mention the fact that my blood sugars are within normal limits.

I started at the bariatric clinic in the middle of the month. I was put on a diet medication and started getting weekly lipotropic injections. For the first four days, I only ate protein…meat, eggs and cheese. After that, I added 20 grams of carbohydrates a day from green vegetables. I am allowed 1000 calories a day, and I drink 64-80 ounces of water a day.

Here is what I eat:


Oils (Olive Oil, Flaxseed oil, etc.)

Heavy Cream

Green beans
Collard, turnip or mustard greens

Crystal Light
An occasional Diet Dr. Pepper

Celery, sliced peppers, cucumber
Dill pickles
Sugar-free jello
Boiled eggs
Pepperoni slices
Pork rinds

The best thing I have done is to make a diet routine, where I eat pretty much the same thing every day.

2 eggs
Bacon or sausage

Salad (lettuce, cucumber, peppers, radish)
Meat or fish
Low carb dressing

Meat or fish

Some tips:
1. Every night I fill up two 34 ounce water bottles and put them in the fridge for the next day. Crystal Light mix or Dasani drops in your water makes it easier to drink!
2. I try to keep cooked bacon, sausage, cooked chicken legs, cut up veggies, salad, and boiled eggs in bags in the fridge.
3. I keep a bowl of sugar-free jello and a can of whipped cream in the fridge for when I just have to have something sweet.
4. I make a “frappucino” with coffee, heavy cream, ice and DiVinci sugar-free syrup for an occasional treat that makes me feel like I am being bad, but only has about 4 carbs.
5. I keep a lunch bag with pork rinds, nuts, Slim Jims, jerky, and dill pickle packs in the car for moments of desperation.
6. I downloaded an app for my iPad called Paleo Go-Go that lists what meals are acceptable at almost any fast food and chain restaurant.

Essentially, I am eating a primal diet, I am just not eating any fruit or starchy vegetables. And I know that primal/paleo diet purists would be against my use of sucralose and dairy, but for now it is working for me. Once I get my blood sugar and weight under control, I can add more carbohydrates to my diet. For now, my diet is working for me! I am absolutely amazed at how great I feel! I have obviously been diabetic for a while, and didn’t realize it. I am hoping that once I get some more of this weight off I will be able to come off of my medications for diabetes and hypertension.

I installed an awesome ticker that tracks my weight loss:


24 pounds down, 34 more to go!

Here are some great links about low carb, ketogenic and primal diets…

The Whole 30 Challenge
Mark’s Daily Apple
The Basic Ketogenic Diet