Pardon my absence as of late. I havent been feeling like posting much mainly because I havent been cooking much. Here it is the fall harvest season and I’ve done little more in the kitchen this last week than whip up a few meals for the kids and cut up a rotisserie chicken. The reason In a very un-primal manner I have been drinking protein shakes for breakfast and lunch followed by a simple meat-based dinner followed by another protein shake. I gave up whey protein earlier in the year when I decided I’d rather eat actual food following a workout. But now I am, temporarily, subsisting off them as I conduct a 6 week experiment following the dietary guidelines in the Eades’ new book The 6 Week Cure for the Middle-Aged Middle. The fact is, since starting this blog, I have put aside my body composition goals for the sake of expanding my primal cooking repertoire. As nice as it is to know how to make a primal-friendly muffin or cake, I am generally better off without either. So I am taking a month off from any serious cooking and am back to a regular weight training schedule. Oh, and did I mention I’m going on vacation to Costa Rica next month
For someone like me who spends a good portion of their time planning, procuring and preparing food, it can be a relief to devote attention to other endeavors for a while and just let someone else decide what’s for dinner. And who better to decide than Michael and Mary Dan Eades, that friendly, low-carb husband-and-wife-doctor-team from Arkansas The Drs. Eades, authors of the NYT bestselling book Protein Power, are on-board with primal principles and from what I can gather, it is somewhat unusual of them to be recommending something like a protein shake in lieu of real food. What they’ve devised is a high-protein regiment that supposedly gets the liver in optimal shape so that maximum fat loss can occur without the usual losses in lean body mass too. By the way, I have absolutely no idea whether the Eades can back up their claims in the book with actual research. Ive read some criticisms that call it gimmicky. I decided I didnt really care. Heres how the diet works in a nutshell:
Stage 1 (2 weeks: 3 whey protein shakes a day and 1 meal consisting of protein and some veggies. No caffeine, no alcohol (ouch!.
Stage 2 (2 weeks: 3 meals a day consisting mainly of meat. Limited veggies, no dairy.
Stage 3 (2 weeks: Maintenance mode your standard low-to-moderate carb diet.
Mark Sisson makes an appearance in their book, although Im not completely sure why. The Eades recommend an abdominal exercise called Laplace. After describing it’s execution they show a shirtless photo of Mark and tell us that he achieved his current physique through no other abdominal exercise than this one. Of course, not only was Mark Sisson never overweight but he also didn’t come to look the way he does by virtue of some funky sucking-in exercise but whatever.
I am not yet middle aged (I checked! and I also don’t have a lot of visceral fat so I may not be the target audience for this diet. Even though I am already at a good weight for my height I still wouldn’t mind leaning out a little. In less than 2 weeks, Ive lost nearly 5lbs of scale weight. I took into account an initial drop in water weight, so as far as I can tell thats real poundage. So, yes, this diet ‘works’. But just to be clear, theres nothing magical going on. Switching things up can help when you’re at a plateau, but there’s definitely some plain old calorie restriction going on here. Also, in an effort to stay compliant with this temporary plan, my eating behavior has changed in that I haven’t been eating out, snacking, drinking, or partaking in small indulgences that I might not resist otherwise. If you are interested in losing fat and are at a standstill, you might give the 6-week cure a shot. Ive also learned a few things, such as that I can survive without fruit and sugar in all of its forms (at least for a while, and that it might not be so bad to try intermittent fasting again at some point (hated it.
Once these shake weeks are over after Wednesday, Ill be back to posting recipes. After the two meat weeks, Ill look forward to resuming my usual primal eating style – in Costa Rica!