Specifically, my parents, sister, and I are doing the Primal Blueprint 21 day total body transformation. I wanted to do it as a family because our story is an example of the health problems facing Latinos, the largest ethnic group affected by the obesity epidemic: my mom has diabetes and both of my parents are overweight and have high blood pressure. My sister is a healthy weight but formerly had PCOS and she lives with my parents, so it would help her a lot if my parents were also eating healthy. Hopefully our story will inspire other Latino families.
There are tons of success stories of people who have lost weight and gotten off all of their medications for diabetes and high blood pressure by following the Primal Blueprint, which calls for cutting out grains (bread, pasta, rice), sugar, and processed foods. As a Christmas gift to my parents, I promised to buy all the food for the four days that I was home and cook most of the meals.
I flew into LA on Wednesday morning and, after resting a little bit, I got to work clearing out the cupboards and refrigerator of SAD (standard american diet) items. Just the items in the pantry covered the dinner table:
This is what the pantry looked like afterwards:
Afterwards, my mom and I went shopping for ingredients at Costco and Whole Foods. At Costco, we loaded up on veggies (cucumbers, mini peppers, salad mix, brussel sprouts, green beans), avocados, blueberries, salmon, bacon, Babybel cheese, and Kerrygold butter from grass-fed cows. At Whole Foods, we bought grass-fed ground beef, chicken thighs, Organic Valley half and half from pastured cows, veggies (cauliflower, chives, tomatoes), cage-free eggs, Fage full fat greek yogurt, and some low-carb bread for my mom's breakfast.
This is what the refrigerator looked like:
We started on Wednesday night, when I cooked Omega-3 meatballs from the Paleo Diet cookbook, with a side of Nom Nom Paleo's Garlic cauliflower 'mashed potatoes'. On Thursday morning, we all had bacon and eggs. For lunch, I topped salad greens with avocado and salmon salad from the Paleo Comfort Foods cookbook (a Christmas gift from my mom - it's awesome; go buy it!). For dinner I made celery braised chicken (easier than it sounds!) from the Paleo Diet cookbook and sauteed green beans with olive oil and garlic powder. Yesterday morning we ate scrambled eggs with leftover green beans. Lunch was on our own (I met someone for lunch at Pain Quotidien, where I had a chicken cobb salad and my mom had cottage cheese and fruit at Whole Foods, where she went shopping with my godmother and grandma). Last night my dad and I collaborated to make baked salmon and I broiled asparagus topped with melted cotija cheese (ummm, new favorite recipe).
It's only been two and a half days since we started, but I already have exciting news to report! Like I said, my mom has diabetes. On Wednesday morning, her blood sugar was in the mid-150s (it should be below 100). It hadn't changed much on Thursday morning, still hovering in the mid-150s. Yesterday morning her blood sugar had dropped to 140. But this morning her blood sugar was 103!!! :D She said that her blood sugar hadn't been below 110 in years. Way to go mom!!! If that isn't convincing evidence that this works, I don't know what is.
I fly back to Boston tomorrow morning. I won't be with my parents, but I'll share with you any exciting things that I hear from them over this 21 day adventure. I'll also try to post what I'm eating as often as I can. I've even signed up for CrossFit already, the fastest growing fitness movement that focuses on strength training in a supportive group environment (read: no solo exercising on ellipticals), which I'll start next week. So I'll also share with you my adventures towards my goal of doing one full chin up! Stay tuned!