Let’s Get Primal….About The Food We Eat

pri-mal: Original, Primitive, First in Importance or Primary. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary spells out pretty clearly what the definition of the word primal is. My take is that it means basically the first, or in the beginning. Even original is part of the definition. With that being said, where does the word Primal fit into food, or better yet healthy food?

The answer to that question is an easy one. In todays world, it seems as if people are finally waking up when it comes to the food they eat. They are concerned about the quality of the food and the ingredients the food is made from. We want to eat “clean”. We want low-carb, no sugar added, healthy, natural food. We are tired of food lables with ingredients we can’t even pronounce, a list a mile long and additives of every type.

Maybe it is a yearning to get back to a simpler time where our ancestors didn’t worry about what they were eating-they just wanted to eat period! Or maybe it is the realization that obesity in our country is out of control which has led to numerous ailments, continous doctor visits and a medicine cabinet filled with little brown bottles with caps that are impossible to remove.

Or maybe it is just like my header states, we want to get Primal-back to the things that are most imortant when it comes to the food we eat. We want good fats, we want high quality ingredients, no artificial sweetners and above all, we want real food.

For those of you who have followed my blog this past year, you know that I have had my own issues with not only bad health but continual weight gain. My problems started years ago when my hormones went bonkers, which led to a continual creep of added weight. After over thirty visits to different doctors and enough blood tests where I swear I had no blood left in my veins, my Endocrinologist was able to hone in on what “my problem was”. I suffered from the infamous Insulin Resistence. The doctor who first diagnosed me with IR said ” The only way to get rid of IR is to lose weight, but having IR almost makes losing weight impossible”. I remember looking at her as silence settled in her office, the words hanging between us in a little white cloud. She smiled, I smiled back, nodding my head like a bobblehead on the car dashboard. So that was it! I then raised my eyebrows in anticipation of the other shoe dropping. It never dropped.

So what magic pill was I going to take to eliminate this Insulin Risistence? How long until I was back to my normal weight? I waited for the simple answer-it never came. I was told to cut back on carbs, eat using the Intermittent Fasting method (16 hours of not eating then two meals in an eight hour time period) and exercise like crazy. That was it! No medicine, no more tests, see you in six months and good luck. Lovely. I was on my own.

That is where my journey into healthy food began, and for that I am grateful. I scoured the internet reading everything I could on Insulin Resistence and bought every possible diet book on the market relating to healthy, low-carb eating. I tried different diets, drove my husband nuts with different recipes and types of food, bought food, threw food out and finally settled on a way of eating that is comfortable for me, the Keto Diet or Low-Carb Lifestyle as I like to call it.

For me to lose weight I have to get all of my Macro’s in line, in other words, everything I eat needs to be tracked and the nutrients all need to play nice in the sandbox (my body). I need to keep my Net Carbs under 20 grams a day, my healthy fats at 80% of my overall food intake on a daily basis and my protein at 15%. So for me, the 80%, 15%, 5% method works well. The pounds come off but it is a slow process that takes some tracking and effort along the way.

Once I had my diet in place and the weight started to finally come down a bit, I started my new search into eating healthier, natural foods. I knew about organic fruits and vegetables and I am a huge fan of grass fed, grass finished beef. I thought I knew all I needed to know about eating healthy and then the next catch phrase started to enter my foodie world. Little by little I would hear murmurs of “seed oils” of which I literally knew nothing about. Actually, I did know about them because I had been using them my entire life. However, hearing the whispers that they were not good for me to consume and after reading the list of ailments that can brought on by consuming them, I literally stopped in my tracks. I dove into everything I could find on the subject, searched as much as I could on the interent and started reading labels even more intently than I was doing at the current time.

To say I was shocked with what I found out was an understatement. I was actually mortified! Seed oils are everywhere in just about everything! How in the world was I going to keep cooking, lose weight, write my food blog and promote healthy eating if I now had to remove not only sugar, flour, products high in gluten and processed foods from my diet but seed oils too? On the upside of course I will lose more weight because I won’t be able to eat anything but a celery stick and a glass of water! On the downside, I had a lot more research and cooking to do.

Fortunately the Internet was again my friend and I found numerous articles that explained the difference between the Omega-3 fatty acids versus Omega-6 fatty acids. I also read and re-read the list of seed oils versus non-seed based oils. I have found that Extra Virgin Oilive Oil and Avacado Oil are the two safest oils to use when cooking. EVOO is good for low temp cooking and avacado oil is great for high heat cooking. The best reference I found that explains the difference in oils and the health risks/benefits of all of them was a Cleveland Clinic article published on October 3, 2023 under their Diet, Food & Fitness Tab/Nutrition. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/seed-oils-are-they-actually-toxic

I don’t claim to be a Doctor nor do I have any medical background. Everything I wrote in this article is based on my own personal research and experience. I can only speak from what I have learned over the years battling my own health and weight gain issues. I can only share with you what my doctors have told me and reference what articles I have read. That being said, my search for healthy, sugar-free cooking products, especially those made with Avacado Oil led me to Primal Kitchen. Let me tell you, this is one of the best things I have found during my search for healthy, natural food.

My first introduction to Primal Kitchen was when I was looking for Mayonnaise made without seed oils. I’ll admit, when I found out my all time favorite mayonnaise was made with Soybean Oil, I was more than disappointed. How was I gong to make my Grandfathers famous potato salad (or in my case grilled cauliflower salad)? What about my chicken salad with grapes and pecans? And we can’t forget my most requested recipe, crab cakes with hardly any fillers? That Mayonnaise is my best friend and it is loaded with seed oils. I thought I was being clever when I grabbed their olive oil mayonnaise but no, that one is made with not only olive oil but canola oil and soybean oil too! Their avacado mayonnaise also has canola oil in it. What’s the point?

Fortunately my search brought me to Primal Kitchen and their Mayonniase made with avacado oil. No additional oils are added to their mayo, just avacado oil, a sprinkling of organic ingredients and spices. That’s it. I was thrilled when I saw this and immediately ordered a jar. When it arrived I tried it and was pleasantly surprised. The texture was perfect and the flavor was very close to my favorite brand. For me, this was a win, win situation.

After I bought Primals mayonnaise through a traditional online shopping site, I went to their website to see what else they offered and was literally blown away by what they had! The story behind the evolution of Primal Kitchen is an interesting one and too long to mention here. When you go to their site check out the Learn Section to read about the amazing health and fitness story behind founder Mark Sisson. Mark, along with President and Co-Founder Morgan Buehler are leading Primal into the future with their hard work and creative spin placed on every product they produce.

Back to the products offered:

  • Sauces
  • Dressings
  • Condiments
  • Plant Based Dips (non-dairy)
  • Oils
  • Gravies
  • Supplements

All of the above and more are on every page of their site. I was seriously shocked and thrilled at the selection. I took the time to look at the ingredients listed for some of the items I thought I would be purchasing and was very happy to see the words Organic, Dairy Free, Sugar Free, Whole 30, Keto, Certified Paleo, Gluten Free, Non-GMO Certified on many of their labels. Speaking of labels, most only contained 6 or 7 ingredients which made them easy to read and understand. No chemical names that I couldn’t pronounce appeared anywhere. I was in Whole Food Heaven!

I decided next to try two of their dressings & marinades. I bought the Buffalo Ranch Dressing & Marinade for the Hubs (better known to my followers as Mr. Fussy) for when he has his wings and the Ceasar Dressing & Marinade for me. Both are delicious and do not disappoint. The flavors are rich and satisfying and bring a kick of life to what otherwise might be considered a boring or plain food (wings and romain lettuce).

I can say without a doubt Primal Kitchen will have a long and healthy life on the foodie scene. I myself will be using them more and more in my recipes both as ingredients and as accents to my food. I know when I eat one of their products that what I am putting in my mouth is not only healthy and good for me but is chemical and seed oil free. It is the way food should be. It is the primal way of eating. Give them a try and enjoy!

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