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Cave Odyssey, one step at a time

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  • Cave Odyssey, one step at a time

    Here goes...

    I have been reading all the wonderful, inspiring, funny, insightful, and sometimes creepy posts on this forum for a few months now and finally working up to writing my own journal. Hopefully I can keep this going.

    I have been introduces to MDA by an co-worker who has gone through an amazing transformation in a span of a year. I was very skeptical about the approach as I have spent a number of years on WeightWatchers with very mixed results and resulting carb dependency. I read all the intro materials and finally bought Mark's book. Started reading with a healthy dose of skepticism, but it made sense to me and I decided to give it a try.

    37 yrs old, mom of 2 young kids (7 and 2.5), wife of a carb-fueled husband, keeper of too many pets, full-time employee of a hi-tech company in Silicone Valley, and 50 lbs too heavy.

    I have been having weight issues ever since I could remember, but always thought of myself as active - loved hiking, backpacking, whitewater rafting, but all that slowed down and eventually disappeared with the job/family/kids/household responsibilities/<insert other excuses here>. Constant yo-yo dieter, gone through a love affair with running, a stint on WW where I lost 35 lbs but was constantly feeling hungry and deprived.

    Started making minor adjustments in December, but not really committing to anything - mostly learning, planning, figuring out how this will fit with my life.

    Major realizations form some of the heavy-duty thinking were:
    * I need to make priorities in my life and then make important things happen for me and for my family.
    * I need to get everyone in my family healthy, but I need to start with ME, and everyone else will follow sooner or later
    * Big changes are hard, small but consistent changes are easier, so I will commit to making a few changes each month. Taking slow but consistent approach.

    January: Focused on my food choices. Learning to shop, cook and eat Primally.

    Results: A bit disappointed in the weight department (down about 3 lbs, I was hoping for more), but I might be abusing the 80-20 rule a bit too much. It is especially difficult as my husband is not on the same page (although since I cook dinners, he pretty much eats what I make, just afterward tops it off with other junk). Having 2 carb-addicted super-picky-eating kids is not helping, although I have been gradually weaning them off mac-n-cheese and pancake regiment as well. So I am going to continue to refine my act and see how the scale responds.

    The bonus last month was that my migraines, that were fairly regular and required prescription medications, were almost completely gone. And now I realize that grabbing something non-primal in my hectic morning while attempting to get everyone out of the door and to their respective destinations in time, correlates to a pounding headache that develops around 3pm. No junk food in the morning - no headache in the afternoon, apparently it is that simple.

    February: Time to figure out how to fit in some exercise into my schedule.

    Results so far: Figured out that spending 30 min in the gym at work before running out to collect the kids is not going to kill anyone. Worked out how to re-shuffle everyone's schedule to allow me to bike to work once per week (about 9 miles each way). Delighted kids (and myself) by actually chasing them around the playground and playing soccer with them. Finding time to take the dog out for 30-45 min brisk walks several time per week.

    Next Steps: need to clean up my act in the snacking department (cheese before dinner, sneaking bits of candy from kids in the moment of weakness, cutting that evening red wine to 1 glass per night). Need to be more consistent with working out.

    As a side note, I am now completely horrified with what I feed my kids! I absolutely want to wean them off all the junk food, but how do I do that with my picky eaters? They do not eat meat (unless it is in a hot-dog or chicken-nugget form). My 7 yo does OK with vegetables and fruit, but the little one is very picky. Suggestions? Any moms out there who were able to figure out how to make Primal meals kid-friendly?
    My Journal

  • #2
    Welcome and good luck with primal!
    Ancestral Health Info

    I design websites and blogs for a living. If you would like a blog or website designed by someone who understands Primal, see my web page.

    Primal Blueprint Explorer My blog for people who are not into the Grok thing. Since starting the blog, I have moved close to being Archevore instead of Primal. But Mark's Daily Apple is still the best source of information about living an ancestral lifestyle.


    • #3
      Originally posted by SloGo View Post
      I absolutely want to wean them off all the junk food, but how do I do that with my picky eaters? They do not eat meat (unless it is in a hot-dog or chicken-nugget form). My 7 yo does OK with vegetables and fruit, but the little one is very picky. Suggestions? Any moms out there who were able to figure out how to make Primal meals kid-friendly?
      Just only offer good, healthy, primal food. They will eat it. It will take a while to get them used to new offerings, but they will not starve. And why not make some primal chicken nuggets with some sweet potato fries and cucumber slices with some dip? I bet they would love that. Involve them in your cooking as much as possible and they will start experimenting more. I am lucky in that my kids (now 16 and 12) have always eaten anything I have given them (other than anchovies) and will always try anything. They both love most veggies, meat and fish so now cooking is a pleasure. Start slowly and it will all fall into place.

      Good luck with your journey!


      • #4

        I am sure it is going to be an on-going learning process for me as well as for my family. My 7 yr old is a bit easier as he is over the super-picky period and will now eat plenty of eggs, veggies and berries, with occasional meats. The little one is getting worse by the day and is now rejecting even the fruit and berries she liked a few weeks ago. I get completely stressed out when dinnertime rolls around and I have to come up with something healthy to offer her that she will not throw a fit over. Oh, the terrible 2's, how I did not miss that!

        Chanting to myself "this too shall pass" over and over again...
        My Journal


        • #5
          Over the past week I have focused on really cleaning my act, planning for primal meals for the week ahead and intorducing some healthier options for my kids.

          Now down to 193lbs (started Jan at 198lbs), and feeling better and, interestingly, stronger, although not doing too much weight lifting yet.

          The one thing I and still adjusting to is the "full-fat" everything. I am enjoying it quite a bit, but there is that residual nagging guilt somewhere in the back of my mind. Heavy cream is used liberally, bacon is consumed often and bacon fat is now being saved for future cooking.

          I think my husband (who is not fully on board with PB yet) thinks I am trying to kill him with all the fat I am adding to our diet. I read the PB book on my iPad (bought the Kindle version), but I am going to buy the paper book for him and see if he will make the leap with me.
          My Journal


          • #6
            I think I am ready to give Whole 30 a try now.

            So here is the plan:
            - Do the Whole 30 for the month of March (anyone want to join?)
            - no sugar, artificial anything, etc.
            - going grain-free - that one is actually pretty easy for me now
            - nuts for emergency only - I have been gradually cutting them out anyway
            - no dairy rule will be a little tough as I have grown quite fond of the heavy cream (helps me get away without putting any sweetener in my tea and coffee and is soo yummy!). So I think I will keep the cream, but cut out my cheese indulgence and milk, yogurt, etc.
            - I have already cut out most of the alcohol, with the exception of wine. So for this month I will do an "occasional" glass of wine (instead of daily 2 glasses).

            The big exception for me will be the 2 days my DH and I are planning for a getaway to the wine country for his b-day (sans kids, yay!). Will still stick to the Whole 30 as close as possible, but will not stress out if we stray a bit for that occasion.

            Starting weight: 194 lbs (as of this morning). Putting the scale away till end on March. Will do some measurements later today as well.
            My Journal


            • #7
              Whole 30, Day 1

              Starting this today, also trying to keep up with my exercise, although not going to stress over it. Treating it all as "play" for now.

              Went to a kickboxing class yesterday - totally kicked my butt. Sore and stiff today, but still went ahead with my bike to work today. I am really starting to enjoy it - beats sitting in traffic and the weather here is great - sunny but very cool in the morning, just the way I like it. Choosing my way through old neighborhoods, getting to check out some neat houses along the way. Ends up being a nice relaxing ride, I do not stress too much about the speed. Return trip is usually a bit more intense as I am trying to get home before it gets too dark.

              Since yesterday was still Feb, felt justified to partake in the office b-day celebration with a small piece of cheesecake. Man, was that a mistake! Not sure if that was a coincidence or cause, but had a nagging headache the whole evening! Starting to notice that correlation more and more. I guess my earlier attempts to cure my recurring migraines with sugar and chocolate were the major contributing factors to those migraines.
              My Journal


              • #8
                Whole 30, Day 2

                Had a pretty good day yesterday, planning on a good one today as well.

                What went well: biked over 18 miles, even though sore as hell after the kickboxing on Monday. Stuck to the food pretty well, even caught myself sneaking a piece of bread crust off my son's plate - has to run and spit the poison out!

                What did not go well: make some liver and veggie hash (from Mark's freeby cookbook). Did not quite end up with "patties" - seems like it may be missing something, maybe an egg? In any case, that stuff did not agree with me and ended up feeling bloated and gassy. I guess I will leave liver out of my diet for now.

                To do: be more mindful about my mindless eating! I am not a garbage disposal and it is OK to throw out pieces of food left on the plate.
                My Journal


                • #9
                  Whole 30, day 3

                  Sticking to it, which is awesome. No excuses. The only exception so far has been heavy cream in coffee in the morning and some in the meatballs I made last night from the MDA cookook. I do tend to put it in the fat category rather than dairy.

                  Had crazy craving for something sweet after dinner, even though I knew I was totally not hungry. Settled for a cup of decaf tea and 2 strawberries topped with a small dollop of homemade whipped butter.

                  Homemade butter has been a total hit! That is the idea that came home with my son from the science camp. Gave him a plastic container with tight lid, a clean marble, and a cup of heavy cream. Adter 10 minutes of vigorous shaking the cream turned into the sweetest, creamies, fluffiest whipped butter I have ever tasted! Kids love it on everything and I love it on fruit! Very yummy!

                  Stopped by Starbucks this morning and asked for grande Americano with heavy cream - the barista looked at me like I had 2 heads. Is it that weird?
                  My Journal


                  • #10
                    Whole 30, day 4

                    Had an unsettled, unsatisfied feeling after dinner last nigh. Pretty sure I was not hungry after a plate of primal meatballs and spaghetti squash, but still wanted something. Really was trying to resist the urge to snack after the meal, but settled for some macadamia nuts and a few raspberries covered with heavy cream (yum!). Also, finding that a nice cup of tea after dinner curbs my craving of something sweet - I think I just need a different taste of something to give my brain a clue that dinner is over.

                    Not much activity yesterday, probably will be able to squeeze a walk in today, and tomorrow - all day snowboarding! So looking forward to it! Need to prepare with lots of primal snacks for the road and for the slopes so I am not tempted with that pizza at the end of the day.
                    My Journal


                    • #11
                      Whole30: days 5, 6 & 7

                      I have been away from the forum for the weekend, so I am catching up now.

                      Day 5 was a mixed bag. Got up a 4:30am to catch a bus to a ski resort for a day on the slopes with my son. Packed good Primal snacks for the road (eggs, tuna, nuts), but still was a bit hungry when I got there. Wish I thought ahead and pre-made some bacon or something a little more fatty. Took 2 hour snowboarding class, made some definite progress (snowboarding is new for me this year, usually I ski).

                      Then came the lunch challenge. I was totally starving by then and despite my best efforts to find something Primal in the cafe all choices were bad. I settled for a bacon cheeseburger and ate it without the bun, but splurged on the ketchup as the thing tasted like a shoe sole. Bleh! Followed it with a cup of green tea and pretended to be satisfied for the rest of the day.

                      The return trip was a challenge as well. Was tempted to the dark side by an offer of chocolate (oh no!!!) and ended up partaking in 3 small pieces. The bus party stopped at Round Table Pizza for dinner, which proved to be another challenge. The most primal options I found was the salad bar and a small order of chicken wings (not sure if they are W30 approved, but I was out of options and HUNGRY). Beer was another splurge (worth it).

                      Day 6: Sore muscles, mostly shoulders and neck. A day of detox from bad foods. Did well but still overdid in on overall calories. Maintained 70-10-20 ratio, but probably needed to ease up on those macadamias or cut out some heavy cream that is my W30 exception.

                      Also did my weekly grocery shopping. Could not find bacon without added sugar - need to seek alternatives. For now sticking with the brand with the least amount.

                      Could not avoid the temptation to get on the scale. Very bummed to still see 194 lb. I have been trying so hard, would love to see some results in that department soon. May need to start obsessing with tracking and measuring, which will be so non-Primal.

                      Day 7: Back to work. Breakfast was a quick scrambled egg, no time for bacon but had some cream in my tea. Lunch: london broil with veggies. The guy at the cafeteria counter now knows me as "meat, greens and more greens". Heading to the gym, will see if I feel like moving or lifting when I get there.
                      My Journal


                      • #12
                        Whole30: days 8 and 9

                        Yesterday was my "bike to work day", I was happy that I was able to shave 10 min off my overall time. This is probably due to being more familiar with the route now, being a bit stronger, and also tuning into Robb Wolfe's podcast during the ride - keeps my mind off the effort and things just kind of flow when I am listening to something. Maybe I will try pumping in some heavy-duty tunes to kick it up another notch. Anyway, success!

                        Another major win - got my toddler to eat some of the yummy chicken I made last night in crock pot. There is some hope there!

                        Dessert last night - 3 cut up strawberries with a 1/4 cup heavy cream on top. That was very yummy!

                        Today I noticed that I could finally button the cuffs on my shirt around my upper arm! Wow, how did that happen? I have always had to fold them without buttoning as they were just too tight. That just put a smile on my face - could I be finally seeing some progress?
                        My Journal


                        • #13
                          Whole 30: day 10

                          The challenge is 1/3 of the way through. I think I am adjusting pretty well and not sure I will be doing much different once it is over, at least till I start loosing some weight, which I think should happen at some point. Not really missing any specific food at this point. Interesting, I thought I would have some cravings by now, but not yet.

                          Noticing that it is getting easier to go on less calories and feeling just as satisfied. Hope this will continue.

                          Somewhere in the back of my mind I am still having doubts - that residual CW brainwashing, I suppose. But I have seen it all before - diet/lifestyle with plausible science behind it and a devoted following. Quack results, short lived. Hope this is not the case. I think the biggest selling point for me is all the success stories that are posted on this forum. Very inspiring. Just hope I can be a "success story" one day.
                          My Journal


                          • #14
                            Successfully fell off my journaling wagon as life got busy busy busy. However, I did not fall off the Primal bandwagon and really happy about it.

                            Finished the Whole 30 in March. Went down from 194lbs to 192lbs. Somewhat disappointing as I am reading all the posts about people dropping whopping 10-15 lbs per month, but still in the right direction. Slow and steady, hopefully I will get there. However, for me this is not proving to be that "effortless" after all.

                            Since the beginning of April I have been leaning more towards Paleo approach, which for me is not that different from Primal at all. Still allowing myself some leeway here and there. Now mostly down to around 191, but occasionally bouncing around a bit. Really trying to track 4-5 days a week to make sure I am doing OK. Finding that on most days I am not eating enough (around 1500 cal) and on other days I go a little overboard (around 2200cal). Should work on being a bit more consistent and find that magic number.

                            Dialing in my exercise this month. Current weekly schedule:
                            Kickboxing - 1 day,
                            biking to work 18 miles roundtrip - 2 days,
                            bodyworks (HIIT type class) - 1 day,
                            long brisk walk (about an hour) - 1-2 days

                            Hope this will be sustainable long term. Kickboxing and bodyworks still kick my butt every time, but biking is definitely getting easier as I am getting more used to it. Hopefully this will help to get this fat melting already.

                            Moving kids over to Primal is not working very well still. I realized that I know what I need to get out of their diet, but have no clue as what I can give them instead that they would actually eat. So goal for this month is to slowly get them to eat new foods without making it into a throwdown every time. They only get pasta/pizza when we go out now, which is not that often. Slow and steady here too.

                            Oh, and big score for this month is finding a local meat CSA! I am already getting a big portion of my veggies that way, but the local grass-fed meat will be awesome! Looking forward to getting my first shipment next week. Also met a guy at the local farmer's market that sells grass-fed meat, but that stuff was expensive! Will have to get that as a treat once in a while.
                            My Journal