Our Primal Experiment…

We’re deep into our  21-Day Primal Challenge; as of today we’re more than two-thirds of the way to the finish line. Based on Mark Sisson’s Primal Blueprint, it’s a lifestyle framework that includes a diet comprised of whole, unprocessed foods, along with plenty of exercise, sleep, sunshine, and play. When it came time to shake things up a bit (in the culinary sense at least) for the new year, this challenge seemed like just the thing to purge the holiday excess (from our kitchen) in a way that wouldn’t take the fun out of our meals.

For the most part, I’d say it’s worked well these first 16 days. We’ve steered clear of sweets with the exception of some dark chocolate (which is on the “ok” list), and we’ve been piling our plates high with veggies like cauliflower, kale, sweet potatoes. We’ve had to set aside a little more time for planning and cooking our meals, but it’s been well worth it. Some winners so far have included roast beef with a garlic-thyme jus and cauliflower gratin, chicken thighs braised in tomatoes and red wine with porcini mushrooms, pancetta, shallots, and herbs, and mussels in a tomato and wine broth with crispy chorizo. Here are a few shots from the last couple of weeks:

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One thing that we both remarked on was that neither of us feels especially different. I’m not sure what we were expecting exactly, but we’re both feeling the same as we usually do, which is to say, pretty good. There are still a few more days to go, but I’m not sure that we’ll see any drastic about-face. So unfortunately, I don’t have any insightful pearls of wisdom to impart; I think I’ll keep going on as I’ve always been – truly enjoying whatever is on my plate, whether that’s a chocolate chip walnut cookie from Levain, a pile of roasted Brussels sprouts.

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