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Primal Squeal - Kazazi's Journal

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  • Primal Squeal - Kazazi's Journal

    Right, this is my first post on MDA - hello everybody!

    I am starting this thread for the 2010 Primal Challenge, let's see where it goes

    So without further ado, here's my intro:

    I'm a biologist and journalist and have been interested in both healthy living and the origins of our species for a long time, but it's only been fairly recently that I put the two together (daft, I know).

    Last summer, I got my hands on Gary Taubes' book "Good calories, bad calories" (on my list of 'greatest books with silliest titles') and thus discovered The Amazing Lowcarb Story. Which, for a devoted bread, muesli, pasta, legume and rice lover with a crooked sweet tooth was interesting news, to say the least. I didn't have any serious health isses and just a bit of extra post-baby weight to consider, but my scientific curiosity was piqued, so I started cutting back on carbs.

    Although my record is far from clean, I haven't really looked back. The most positive effect for me -- apart from shedding a few pounds -- has been a massive reduction in the afternoon energy slumps I used to experience. I continue to be surprised to this day by how little I miss my former food staples, especially bread and pasta.

    Over the past year, my interest in what kind of diet we evolved to eat has grown beyond simple carb counts and somewhere along the way I found this site and grew curious about other aspects of primal living, too. So here I am, keen to play and have fun along the way.

    My aim is mainly to enjoy the ride. Fine-tuning my eating, substituting more fit for flab and improving my sleep are all things I look forward to in the short to medium term, along with finding out more about the scientific facts and ideas behind primal living and being part of communicating them to others.

    Ready to grok!


  • #2
    2010 Primal Challenge - Day 1 (September 7)


    Breakfast (9 am): 2 homemade raspberry, apple & dark chocolate muffins, loosely based on this recipe but made with a flour consisting of ground homemade trail mix*, a bit of coconut flour and protein powder, topped with a little fullfat cream cheese and unsweetened apple sauce.

    Lunch (1 pm): shop bought green salad with tuna (meh) plus a couple of ounces (volume) homemade trail mix*.

    Dinner (9 pm): 1 organic mettwurst, leftover summer veggies and sauce from Sunday's roast chicken, 2 fried eggs, plus a slab of creamed coconut with applesauce for dessert.

    Snacks: roughly one ounce of 99% cocoa chocolate, one fizzy vitamin tablet (bad!)

    Drinks: 1 coffee, several cups of green and herbal teas, water

    * my homemade trail mix consists of organic almonds, apricot seeds, hazelnuts, cashews, dried coconut flakes and very few raisins and dried mango cubes


    - 10 minutes of slow and gentle crunches and kettlebell exercise in the morning (mainly turkish getups, presses)
    - bike commute to work and back (ca. 50 minutes each way across mainly flat terrain in Berlin)
    - 90 minute ishta yoga class


    0.15 am - 6 am (doh!)

    Primal Ponderings

    I am still getting over a bad cold and cough that had me off work and mostly in bed last week, so I am trying to take it easy. The recent spell of ill health was brought about by a sleepless night spent worrying about our new cat (who had escaped but is back, luckily) followed by three intense & stressful days at work with no chance to catch up on sleep = immune system fail.

    My current priority therefore is to get more sleep and Mr Kaz and I have agreed to aim to stick to the following rule: no work/chores after 10 pm, not start any new activity (like netsurfing or watching a new anime episode) after 11 pm ... the idea being that we get to actually hit the sack around or not much after 11. Yesterday, obviously, we failed, mostly due to me being home late after yoga and grocery shoppin (10 pm) and us needing more time (and episodes) to wind down. Oh well, trying for better luck tonight!

    Food was ok yesterday, no real vices, no real experiments.

    Exercise...well here I am a bit stuck for advice. My natural disposition is that of a couch potato (or should that be cave beetroot?) but I've had lots more energy since going lowcarb and have genuinely been enjoying my long bike commutes since May, elicited by my normal public transport service temporarily being out of action. On top of that I used to go to my weekly yoga class and tried to squeeze in a few extra sun salutation most mornings. Then, a few months ago, I read about kettlebells on here, ordered one online and started to work my way through "From Russia With Tough Love". I had just about gotten through the 8 week intro programme when two things happened: Mark's exercise book came out and I got ill.

    So for now I am a little stumped on how to continue. I've got easy moving covered with my bike commute, plan to integrate my sprints mostly with the cycling (and have done so a little in the past) and consider my yoga as play. For the weights, I am keen to go with Mark's LHT programme but would also like to keep the kettlebell in my repertoire. I am unsure how to best do this though. For one thing, the kbell exercises only partly overlap with the five primal movements, so I am unsure how to mix and match them into a good primal weight workout that also follows Mark's programme and develops my skills there. And then I am unsure anyway how to best continue with the kettlebell because up to now the kbell book just told me what to do each day and I don't feel I have the experience and confidence yet to naturally come up with the best freestyle workout ideas.

    So, if any of you have tips for me, I'd love to hear them.

    And I think I'll stop right there for now!
    Last edited by Kazazi; 09-09-2010, 01:07 AM. Reason: forgot to include dessert...!


    • #3
      2010 Primal Challenge - Day 2 (September 8)


      Breakfast (10 am): blueberry quark with fullfat cream, a bit of protein powder, vanilla and lemon zest, sweetened with a little erythritol and topped with shredded coconut, pumpkin and flax seeds.

      Lunch (2.30 pm): lettuce and spinach beet salad with cucumber and avocado, 2 organic mettwurst

      Dinner (8 pm): spaghetti squash with pepper and ground organic beef tomato sauce and parmesan cheese, plus a slab of creamed coconut and applesauce for dessert.

      Snacksne fizzy vitamin tablet (still bad)

      Drinks: 2 coffee, several cups of green and herbal teas, water


      - bike commute to work and back (ca. 50 minutes each way across mainly flat terrain in Berlin)


      11.15 pm - 6.30 am (good in theory but much of it was disturbed due to pestering by child and cat...)

      Primal Ponderings

      No time right now, but hope to write some more later!


      • #4
        30 day primal challenge, day 8 - September 14

        Wow, I can't believe how fast the first week of the challenge has flown past... I didn't even get a minute to post updates here, partly because we had a super busy weekend which pretty much involved a grokfest - yay! Hopefully I will get to make a submission for the contest on this one though, so I will save that story for later.

        To summarise diet and exercise over the last few days leading up to today, I had my primal waffles or muffins most days for breakfast and salads most lunchtimes. For dinner I made chicken fricassee on Thursday, mostly snacked on Friday due to tricky text work (stuff like that always gets me snacking) and grokfeasted all weekend on a huge bunch of delicious things that I will mention in detail some other time.

        Exercise involved mostly biking and figuring out how to combine Mark's bodyweight exercises and kettelbells - got some great advice, thanks!

        This culminated in my first proper Lift Heavy Things workout on Sunday evening which surprised me both in how low I had to put myself for most exercise levels (level 1 or 2 for everything but the squat where I am 4) and in how sore I felt the next day. Just goes to show that having worked on one fairly whole body thing (kettlebells) for a few weeks doesn't necessarily equal an easy ride for the five primal movements, lol!

        On Monday it was back to regular eating with waffles, salad and a turkey and veg coconut curry for dinner, did a bit of very light kettlebelling in the morning and my regular bike commute. I was planning to incorporate sprints on the ride back but felt really tired and worn out so decided against it and hopped on a tram for the last quarter of the way instead....

        And today I am finally back online. So here we go:


        Breakfast (9.30 am): 2 primal muffins with cream cheese and leftover fruit salad

        Lunch (2.00 pm): leftover turkey curry plus a few primal energy bars* for dessert/snack

        Dinner: skipped!

        Drinks: 1 coffee, copious amounts of green and herbal tea


        - 2 x 45 bike rid plus 90 minutes yoga


        22.30 pm - 6.00 am (good! just was incredibly tired last night)

        Primal Ponderings

        Every Tuesday night I go shopping in the huge organic coop near my yoga class and go "hunting" in the meat aisles for items with a best before date that's only one or two days away. If I find any I can get them for half price. I can only really afford organic meat that way and although there is no real hunting involved somehow it feels as if there is. Today I made a great catch consisting of two steaks, six roulades, four pork steaks and a pork filet. Mr Kaz and I are contemplating steaks for breakfast. Stay tuned to see if we can pull it off!


        • #5
          Wednesday, 15 September, day 9 of the 30 day primal challenge:


          Breakfast (7.30 am): Steak! We did it! With an egg and some fried peppers and courgettes. Unfortunatelz I burned my hand a bit when taking the pan out of the oven, silly me...

          Lunch (11.45 pm): Weirdly enough, that huge steak didn't keep me full for long. Lunch was snacking on an avocado, a chicken thigh, cherry tomatoes, half a peperoni from my garden, three different organic cheeses and sesame & sunflower crackers, plus 40g of 80% chocolate.

          Dinner: sort of skipped...continues to snack on lunch food throughout afternoon though

          Drinks: 1 coffee, copious amounts of green and herbal tea


          - Lift Heavy Things workout using bodyweight only

          Primal Ponderings

          I posted these thoughts about snacking on today's contest:

          My 20% is the urge to snack – especially when stressed. To avoid complete derailing of my eating and especially the temptation of junk snacks (candy bar machines or plates full of biscuits in committee meetings, anyone?), I have slowly built a personal repertoire of sensible snacks and try to keep at least some of them handy. They are not all exactly primal but a far cry from the jaffa cakes and crisps I used to munch in the old days. So without further ado, here are my 10 faves (sweetened with a little erythritol or stevia where needed): primal trail mix, kale crisps, creamed coconut with lemon curd or apple sauce, cheese with sesame & sunflower crackers, dark chocolate, ice cream cubes (made with berries & cream or choc icing), whipped cream and cocoa “mousse”, primal energy bars, cured meats, almond & flax brownies. Recipes in my journal!

          Here are the promised recipes:

          1) Primal trail mix: roughly equal parts of almonds, sweet apricot kernels, cashews, hazelnuts, dried coconut flakes plus a few raisins and/or dried mango pieces

          2) Kale crisps: I use this recipe but see also here - they keep well for a few days in an airtight containe.r

          3) Creamed coconut and unsweetened applesauce are shop bought; sugar free lemon curd I make by chucking eggs, juice and zest from an equal number of lemons, a good chunk of butter (maybe 100g for 3 eggs) and some erythritol/stevia together & stirring the whole shebang over a lowish heat until it thickens. Keeps in fridge for a week or so.

          4) Cheese I buy (good stuff), sesame & sunflower crackers I make from this recipe.

          5) Dark chocolate - shopping heaven

          6) Icecream cubes: I either whizz about equal parts of fresh or frozen berries and cream with a little erythritol in a food processor or melt around 100g super dark chocolate with 250 ml of cream plus some erythritol, butter, cocoa and protein powder, then pour the mix into silicone ice cube trays or chocolate moulds and freeze overnight. The dinosaur version is especially popular!

          7) Whipped cream and cocoa "mousse": Beat cream, cocoa powder and a little stevia with a fork until it turns into mousse. It really does!

          8) Primal energy bars: I use this recipe but also whack in a chopped up pack of creamed coconut and bast them with melted dark chocolate after baking.

          9) Cured meats: another shopping heaven in Germany. Organic salami, mettwurst, ham etc.

          10) "miracle brownies": this recipe, but I use 1:1 almond:flax meal, less erythritol and no artificial sweetener, and I double the cream!
          Last edited by Kazazi; 09-16-2010, 07:10 AM. Reason: forgot the chocolate!