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Cosima's Primal Journal

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  • Cosima's Primal Journal

    Okay! I'm Cosima (hi!) and today is my first "official" day on PB; I've been transitioning into the Primal lifestyle for a month or so, but now I'm really taking the plunge.

    Totally excited.

    A little about me: I'm 34, a woman, married, no kids. I'm 5'7" and this morning I weighed 120lbs.

    Which isn't a lot, I totally know. My parents and brother are thin and small boned and we're just not very "dense" people. BUT! I'm carrying mad saddlebags right now, and if I don't suck in my tummy it just sort of... Plops around. Rolls to the side. Hangs out on the couch next to me. It's cute.

    (it's not really cute.)

    I need to get my body fat tested. I also need to take pictures of myself. Which I will do and upload tomorrow morning.

    Lets see... I don't have any health concerns (well, I do seem to have a propensity to develop skin cancer; that plus the fact that I live in Phoenix makes it almost impossible for me to spend any significant time in the sun. Seriously, if I told my doctor that I was going to take a nap in the sunshine, he'd staple the melanomas back on my body and wash his hands of me forever), I've never had any hang ups with food, and generally I'm very healthy.

    Alcohol is a big temptation for me- and a big reason my butt stops moving about a minute after the rest of me does- so over the past three months I've all but eliminated alcohol from my nightly routine. A couple of glasses of wine a week now as opposed to vodka cocktails every night. (Oh, is that not good for me? Duh.) It was really easy to stop the nightly drinking, thankfully, so it's good to know it was more a habit than an addiction.

    I exercise quite a bit- and quite primally: three days of strength training with a trainer, two days of HIIT, and two days of leisurely biking or jogging on a treadmill. I've got good muscle tone in my legs and upper body, it's my stomach and butt that aren't cooperating.

    At least I know why: Having just finished the PB book, I now know that I've been sabotaging myself with whole wheat breads, rice, and artificial sweeteners. I'm also absolutely not eating enough calories and not even remotely near enough fat.

    As an example, here's a standard "day in the life" (pre-PB, of course):

    Three caffeine-free Diet Cokes a day (if it's caffeine free it's fine, right? Apparently not.)
    Two scrambled eggs, no butter, and a cup of low fat cottage cheese
    At least a bottle or two of G2 (again with the artificial sweeteners!)

    Lunch would be a whole wheat pita with fresh basil, tomatoes and feta baked like a pizza.

    I might stick a Myoplex protein shake in there, too; 42g protein, 19g carbs, 6g carbs, 300 calories.

    Dinner? A grilled chicken breast with steamed broccoli and a baked red potato, cubed with seasoning.

    That's something like 1200-1300 calories. Not enough on its own, but I'm working out every day; that's just not enough fuel. I'm never HUNGRY eating this way, but I know that my body is holding on tight to my tummy and behind fat because I'm not letting enough fat enter my body.

    Once you "get" it (as you guys all do) it makes SO much sense!

    So today I've eaten three scrambled eggs in butter with a cup of full fat cottage cheese, a cup of fresh cherries, a BAS with hard boiled egg, mozzarella cheese, chicken breast, avocado, tomato, cucumber, and green onion (I need to thaw some good applewood smoked bacon for tomorrow's salad) with locally first pressed Meyer lemon olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

    I also had a protein shake with whey protein powder and coconut milk. I messed up and bought the So Natural coconut milk not realizing what I was doing. I was wary about coconut milk anyway since I haven't really liked it the few times I've had the real thing (but I love coconut, go figure) so I think maybe I'll just get through this half-gallon and go back to full fat organic dairy milk. I don't have any problems with dairy and I don't drink that much milk... I'm thinking a cup a day for a protein shake should be fine.

    I've got dinner out planned tonight and I'm going to order this amazing pan seared halibut (in butter!) and a tomato basil salad with balsamic vinegar.

    I've also had about a half cup of walnuts.

    Here are my main goals:

    Completely eliminate grains.
    Eat significantly more calories... I don't know what "significantly" is yet. Pretty much I'm just going to eat and eat and eat a ton of great foods every day and see what happens. If I keep my carbs under 80 a day, I can't imagine there will be a problem.

    Ultimately I want to firm up my stomach and butt, add a lot more lean muscle mass to my frame and hopefully gain five or ten pounds.

    I think that's about it. Any advice is wholeheartedly welcome; I've been lurking around the forums now for a while and the information I've found here is invaluable!

    Before pictures will be taken and posted tomorrow. See you then!
    Last edited by Cosima; 07-31-2010, 11:40 AM. Reason: Spelling

  • #2
    Well, I went out to dinner last night as planned and about three seconds after I announced that I wasn't eating grains, I dove straight into the fried calamari with my face. Preeeeeetty sure fried calamari isn't primal.

    Did well for the rest of the meal. Sort of. Had a tomato, basil, buffalo mozzarella salad with balsamic and some greens, and had a rare grilled beef filet with veggies. Didn't eat any of the potatoes. But! I couldn't help myself from sinking my fork into the table-shared creme brûlée and tiramasu.


    Oh! And three glasses of wine.

    A round of applause, everybody! *rolls eyes*

    So all said and done, it looks like yesterday went like this:

    2900 calories
    144 fat
    59 carbs
    153 protein

    Twenty nine hundred calories. TWENTY NINE HUNDRED CALORIES. That's almost triple what I'm used to.

    I was SICK, folks. Not physically vomit sick, but night sweats and cramping stomach sick. Most of that is just from the sheer unbridled lack of self-control, but a small part of it is just from the increase in overall volume, I'm sure.

    I don't need to eat 2900 calories a day. I'm more of a 1600-1700 calories girl, I think.

    So far today has gone well. I skipped breakfast because I felt so crappy, and for lunch I had a BAS with cucumber, four slices of cob smoked bacon, feta cheese, tomato, hard boiled egg, walnuts, and this amazing first press olive oil and balsamic. I live really closes to an olive mill that grows, presses and bottles its own oils, and they have a lot of great infusions and fantastic vinegars, too.

    For dinner I'm making the butter chicken from the PB cookbook and I'm excited about that. My husband goes, "So tonight we're having that weird chicken?"

    Yes, baby.

    He'll come around.

    Oh, I took a bunch of pictures, too, before I realized I'm using an iPad and hence have no way to upload them. Unless I want to post them to flickr and then link to them which, no. The last thing I need are pictures of my ass showing up in my friends' flickr stream. So I'll eventually have to figure something else out.


    • #3
      Okay, so yesterday turned out like this:

      1404 calories
      78g fat
      43g carbs
      126g protein

      I didn't make the butter chicken because honestly, by the time I made and ate a gigantic salad for lunch I just wasn't hungry enough to justify the effort. I baked some chicken instead and made a tzatziki with full fat Greek yogurt, olive oil, garlic, and cucumbers to eat with it.

      I managed to keep my carbs under 50 but I could keeo them a lot lower by eliminating my daily Myoplex protein shake. I'm so used to drinking one a day... 42g of protein but 20g of carbs. 2g of sugar which isn't terrible but there are a lot of weird chemical ingredients and some kind of "corn dextrose" something that I need to stay away from. So I'll aim for better and more protein today and cut that shake out completely.

      I worked out this morning, too, HIIT with intensive bicep and tricep muscle work afterward. I didn't eat anything before I went and it really hurt me. Maybe I'll get to the point where I can work out first thing in the morning on an empty stomach but I'm sure as shit not there yet. And a Luna bar isn't going to cut it, either; Friday I'll try eating a banana and some yogurt before I go, see if that makes a difference.

      I was talking to an acquaintance yesterday and explaining what I was doing and the concepts behind PB and her eyes got wide because she assumed my primary goal is to lose weight.

      Which totally isn't the case. So I want to make that clear. I don't think I'm overweight at 120 pounds; I'm in this to change my body composition and GAIN ten pounds. So if you're reading this, please don't think I'm trying to go from 120 to 110 or something ludicrous. I'd love to be 130-- with a butt that stops moving when the rest of me does!


      • #4
        Thanks for sharing your story and plan! We are similar- im skinny fat and used/using primal to firm up My first week at the gym blew, because I also worked out previously on an empty stomach. I did a banana or a half apple with almond butter. Any little thing helped. Eventually you get your blood sugar undercontrol with cutting out the simple carbs and it becomes not that noticeable physically if you want to work out in a fasted state !
        Grok on!


        • #5
          Hi Evita! Thank you SO much for this. I've been scouring the forums looking for advice about what to eat pre-workout and you just provided exactly what I was looking for. Yeah, it really took me by surprise... I had one-third the energy I usually have. I'm happy to hear that a) eating some light fruit before helps, and b) it gets better with time.

          Thank you!! Grok on!


          • #6
            Okay, yesterday I ate:

            B: three eggs scrambled in bacon fat, two pieces of bacon, 1/2 cup full-fat cottage cheese, and half a pink grapefruit.

            L: BAS with feta, 4oz chicken breast, cucumber, tomatoes, hard boiled egg, and olive oil/balsamic. (I realized halfway through that I'd forgotten to add any of the GOOD stuff, like avocado and walnuts. Then I was all disappointed. Stupid salad.)

            D: 4oz of beef tenderloin cooked in olive oil, sautéed mushrooms in butter, and steamed broccoli (more butter).

            Snacks: a handful of cherries and a crap load of prosciutto. 3 oz, probably. I need to get better about measuring snacks.

            It turned into:

            2054 calories
            126 fat
            48 carbs
            117 protein

            I feel awesome. I'm sleeping like a champ, my (ahem) bathroom habits are (cough) much more consistent, I don't miss simple carbs at all. Although admittedly I didn't eat a tremendous amount of bread or other starches before; I'd have a couple servings of potatoes or pasta a week, no fast food, no chips. A good friend of mine is a "bread" person; she craves pastries and bagels and cupcakes. I'm the opposite, I crave meats and creamed spinach and Brie. So for me this is (so far, knock on wood!) pretty indulgent.

            The hardest part has been cutting out the artificially sweetened drinks. G2 and Diet Coke specifically. Herbal tea is NOT cutting it. But I've known for a long time that aspartame is poison, so this is a positive change that needed to be made.


            • #7
              Yesterday I felt even better than the day before, which is saying something.

              I IFed 17 hours by skipping breakfast, I just really wasn't hungry. I'm still getting used to eating this much food. I'm not accustomed to eating huge meals a day, and last night I kind of felt like I was forcing dinner, too. I'm going to try to listen to my body more and eat only when I genuinely want to- and only as much as I want to. I reread the part of Mark's book that outlined the diet, and in his own examples of his diet Mark definitely included fat in all of his meals, but he didn't necessarily make fat the primary focus. And when I read the questions his wife, Carrie, answered on MDA a while back, her meal examples were much like his- certainly inclusive of fat, but more veggie and fish oriented. So I'm going to fool around with my fat intake a little bit. Not a whole lot because I feel fantastic, but a little.

              L: BAS with three pieces of bacon, feta cheese, walnuts, tomatoes, cucumbers, 2oz of leftover beef tenderloin, a hard boiled egg, black olives, and olive oil.

              D: rotisserie chicken with tzatziki and creamed spinach.

              1772 calories
              118 fat
              40 carbs
              77 protein

              I didn't eat that much of the chicken; I bought it already cooked from the grocery store deli and you just know that the quality of the chicken is not going to be great. So the whole time I was eating it I was thinking about all the chemicals and crap I was no doubt eating with it. From now on I'll just buy my own chickens and cook them myself.


              • #8
                Oh, I forgot sbout snacks: About 2oz of prosciutto, 2oz of Brie on apple slices, and a glass of red wine.


                • #9
                  Okay, today I weigh 117. Down from 120 a week ago. I'm going to lift more heavy things and do less card to try to up the muscle mass. I took some body measurements last Sunday, too, so I'll take those again tomorrow and see where I am.

                  Here's yesterday, near as I can tell:

                  2164 calories
                  118 fat
                  45 carbs
                  91 protein

                  I'm guessing on part of it because we went out to dinner to this fabulous steak place and while I totally stuck to fats and proteins, I have no way of calculating how much I ate of either. I mean, how do you deduce how much protein is in an entire beef carpaccio appetizer? Because I ate the whole thing.

                  The whole thing. Hope no one else wanted any, thanks! Wheeee!


                  • #10
                    Whoa. THAT was a hell of a weekend. My husband and I drove a couple hours out of the city to get out of the heat and all hell broke loose. For starters, I'm pretty sure I drank an entire bottle of red wine last night. By myself. So you know. THAT'S good for me. Additionally, lunch today was essentially a big bowl of sour cream. I am a paragon of healthy eating, WORSHIP AT MY SOUR CREAM TROUGH.

                    I don't know man, we ate out every meal so it's almost impossible for me to accurately gauge how many calories I absorbed through my huge, huge mouth.

                    Breakfast yesterday was bacon and creamed spinach (I was out of eggs), lunch was a patty melt with cheddar cheese and some cottage cheese. We were going to go out for dinner, too, but my nubby took a "catnap" that turned into a three hour coma and by the time he groggily came to it was after 9 and I'd already had, you know, ALL the wine. And about a cup of walnuts. Night night! Have fun staying up all night by yourself, my well-rested husband, I'm going to pass the fuck out now. Me and all these walnut chunks in my teeth.

                    Today.... Blergh. Breakfast was three Advil, two eggs over medium and a ribeye steak. Lunch was steak and chicken fajitas (no tortillas, no chips) with cheddar cheese, guacamole, sour cream, and pico de gallo. Dinner? Yeah, no dinner. I had a handful of raspberries. My stomach is ANGRY with me. Rightfully so. That was too much wine. And too much dairy, good Lord.

                    I think I'm on the brink of my period, too, so naturally what I really want to do right now is take my body measurements and post them on an open Internet forum. We're going to table that for the next few days and focus on new goals instead:

                    -- Significantly less dairy. Like, whoa. Less. Easy, tiger. Leave some sour cream for the rest of EARTH.
                    -- No nuts. I don't even want to LOOK at a nut right now and you czn take that any way you want to because I mean it both ways.
                    -- No wine. Blergh. This part will not be difficult; I'm not sure I could even get anyone to SELL me any wine so long as my teeth and lips and face are stained this delightful shade of merlot. (I exaggerate, obviously. I'm fine from the nose up. )


                    • #11
                      Durrrr, I forgot to list my best guess totals:

                      2529 calories
                      154 fat
                      66 carbs
                      100 protein

                      1681 calories
                      127 fat
                      29 carbs
                      92 protein

                      This is all ball park. My meal tracker doesn't have an entry for how much a BUCKET of sour cream is worth, so. You know. Grain of salt.


                      • #12
                        Too bad they don't have PurpleTeethTracker, where you can calculate the wine stain levels on your enamel. LOL you made me laugh so hard with your dozing hubby and the walnut chunks. Grok on woman!


                        • #13
                          PurpleTeethTracker! Ha! I love it! Seriously, last night I would have scored a nine out of ten on the Purple Teeth scale. A toddler with a fistful of purple Popsicles could have beat me, but not by much.

                          My poor husband woke up after nine last night, all crazy haired, like, "What's for dinner?"

                          Well, the only restaurant in town closed at eight and I already scarfed down everything we brought with us, so it looks like you're having Crest. Again.

                          Gotta love romantic getaways!


                          • #14

                            1489 calories
                            112 fat
                            31 carbs
                            118 protein

                            I had three eggs scrambled in bacon fat for breakfast, an In-N-Out double-double cheeseburger (protein style and with no condiments) for lunch (not an ideal choice, I know, but I was out and it was the best option available. I looked it up: apparently without the bun and with no dressing it only has 11 grams of crabs. Plus I got some veggies in? I know, I'm reaching.) and then seared ahi tuna and an artichoke in butter for dinner.

                            Wish I'd known that eating an artichoke was the carb equivalent of eating a hotdog bun. Damn. Guess that'll be the last artichoke I eat for a while.

                            Oh well. I just fixed a cup of tea and put a half teaspoon of sugar in it. I'm already going to hell.

                            Still feeling amazing, more energy than I've had in as long as I can remember, sleeping great, I'm in a super mood, all in all I'm absolutely LOVING the primal diet.

                            I need to work on the lifestyle a bit, though. I've got the workout part down, but I need to incorporate more play into my life. I live in Arizona-- and I have a penchant for developing melanomas and other skin cancers-- so purposeful outside time right now is pretty minimal for me. I'm pretty sure I get more than enough Vitamin D just by being alive where I live- there's no way to avoid the sun. And it never rains. The sun only sets for like an hour and half, I swear, I'm betting my quota's met. But I could definitely incorporate more play time with my nieces and nephews-- maybe some swim time a couple days a week. And I can get up earlier and play with my dog outside before it's 110 out there.

                            I'll consciously work on that. It's a work in progress.


                            • #15
                              Haha, 11 grams of CARBS, not CRABS. Although I love the visual of a bunch of hermit crabs falling out of an In-N-Out cheeseburger.