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Primal Journal - Dough_boy

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  • Primal Journal - Dough_boy

    My first Primal Journal post:

    Hello to you. Thanks for visiting my 'Primal Journal'. This post is long and probably only meaningful to me. However, you are welcome to read and comment if you like!

    I do not know how I'm going to go with this, I have a habit of starting journals and then forgetting them. So, if I suddenly stop posting, please keep that in mind! :P

    Ok, so who am I and what do I want to achieve here?

    I'm aware the nickname I've chosen for here (dough_boy) is reflective of a negative self perception, it is not one that I use elsewhere and it seems an apt reminder to myself of what I do not want to return to. If you'd rather not call me dough_boy, feel free to call me DB

    I guess I should start at the start... around 6 years ago, my mother died of a rare and aggressive form of cancer at the ripe old age of 54. Her father had also died at the age of 54 (of a different type of cancer), so I got a little nervous - I didn't want to make it a trifecta. I was 35 rather overweight 117kg (257lb) for my height of 189cm (6'2"), a heavy smoker and I hadn't done any exercise since my mid 20's. The autopsy listed amongst the actual cause of death a plethora of weight related problems. Her organs were over sized and in poor health, it became apparent to me that even if cancer hadn't gotten to her, her body was rebelling against her lifestyle and had started to breakdown. I decided I needed to learn from her and her fathers example and be pro-active about my health in order to minimize my own risks.

    I don't have a cure for cancer and I don't know if I can dodge that bullet, or if that bullet even exists for me. What I do know is that I was overweight enough to be considered obese (though I didn't see it at that time), I was living a lifestyle that was by no means healthy, smoking, drinking and eating highly processed food. My weight was increasing and I was having trouble tying my shoelaces! I ran out of breath walking up the stairs and my body was complaining about the strain of sitting at a desk for long hours at work and at night (I'd spend 16+ hours a day glued to a computer, either at home or at work). I was scared that I'd also die at 54 (if not sooner) and that's not all that far off. I decided I that if I was going to have a chance of living a long and healthy life, I had to do something to improve my chances.

    I started slowly on a path of self discovery. I was already booked to travel around western Europe for a couple of months, so I determined to take advantage of the travel and walked everywhere I could. By the end of my trip I was averaging about 20k per day and had lost nearly 17 kilo. I was still smoking heavy and eating crap, just less of it and I was rather pleased with myself. However, my attitude towards food and cigs was still wrong and within 6 months I had put 10kilo back on and was rapidly returning to my 'pre trip' state of health.

    I knew I had to give up smoking, I signed up at a local gym knowing that this would help motivate me and within weeks I make a serious attempt to quit (this attempt lasted the best part of a year). Being off the cigs and exercising motivated me to improve my diet, but I was struggling with the 'how'. Conventional thinking put me onto highly processed, high carb grain based foods that left me hungry and unsatisfied. I've always thought we short change ourselves in this modern day world of sedentary living and started to research better ways to train. This lead me to Crossfit, The Zone diet and the Paleo Diet. I started shedding kilo's and my fitness levels improved far beyond my expectations. My attitude towards healthy living changed fundamentally and I found Mark's Daily Apple.

    I've been following Mark's Daily Apple for a couple of years now. It is a great resource and I have learnt a lot from it. A friend gave me a copy of the book (The Primal Blueprint), which I have since lent out to others.

    I'm still on a journey of self discovery. I still fall off the wagon and eat crap food, the difference is that now I know it is crap and every-time I fall off the wagon, I find myself climbing back on. I don't smoke anymore and my weight is in the 'healthy' range (though I've still got a long way to go before I see my abs!). I do feel healthy and find I'm much more positive about things. I'm looking forward to living a long and healthy life.

    My current goals.

    To complete the 30 day challenge! It is day 12 and I'm going strong. No cheat days! (I do have an exception, I have pasteurized milk in coffee with 2 - Yes 2 sugars. I'm not ready to quit the habit yet).

    I want to try an entire 24 hours of IF. (so far, I've only managed 23).
    Get more sleep (I average 5 - 7 hours a night)
    Stop binging on refined carbs (I have a sweets addiction - a by-product of quitting the cigs 14 months ago)
    Get more nutrient rich food. Especially seafood.
    Eat more fish! Oily or otherwise.
    Get more natural vitamin D (ie not from tablets)
    Drop the excess fat I've developed and lean out a bit.

    Good luck with your journey!


  • #2
    I experimented with Sardines for breakfast yesterday. I cheated a little and used caned ones, but they were in olive oil with no other additives that I'm aware of. They made a good change to eggs (I usually have up to 6 eggs for breakfast each day) .

    Lunch was eggs and bacon (so much for giving my body a rest from eggs!) and dinner was roasted a half-chicken. Not much in the way of fruit and veg, wanted a low carb day.

    On Saturday, I enjoyed eggs and bacon for breakfast and again for lunch (with mushrooms and spinach) as I ate out and it's a simple primal friendly option.

    For dinner I had diced chicken with sweet potato, pumpkin, cauliflower and broccoli. I finished off with an apple.

    Today I had eggs again for breakfast, Lunch consisted of deli-roast-chicken with tandoori spices, basic lettuce, tomato, beetroot and carrot and a dab of avacado and some curried egg. For dinner I intend to have lamb fore-quarter chops (a dirt cheap cut here with plenty of meat and fat on it) marinated with a bit of lime juice and my staple veg serving of sweet potato, pumpkin, cauliflower and broccoli. I'll take a couple of apples with me to have after my gym workout.


    • #3

      If I could convince you that there was a way to make coffee that made it less bitter, could you kick the milk and sugar?

      I've been doing 30 day for two weeks, loving the results...


      • #4
        Originally posted by pedalpress View Post

        If I could convince you that there was a way to make coffee that made it less bitter, could you kick the milk and sugar?

        I've been doing 30 day for two weeks, loving the results...
        Hi Pedalpress,

        Thanks for taking the time to comment. I would certainly give it a try! Please share

        Well done for making it to the half way mark! It is a good way to live, yes!?


        • #5
          Welcome DB. I'm glad primal is going well for you. I personally prefer heavy cream if I'm putting something in my coffee. I've never put sugar in it. Maybe you can cut back to one teaspoon. I'm a pragmatist. A bit of sugar isn't going to hurt you.
          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.


          • #6
            Thanks Hedonist,

            I struggle with cream in coffee. It's unusual to use cream in coffee here in Australia and I'm not even sure we are talking about the same type of cream (I've always assumed that heavy cream is what we call double or thickened cream - it is very high fat, not that that is a bad thing)

            I do try to reduce the sugar from time to time, but tend to find myself back at 2 sugars. I do use raw sugar whenever possible. It doesn't contribute to a significant part of my daily caloric intake and I doubt it puts me out of the 100-150 g carb target zone. My diet is otherwise very primal. That said, it wouldn't hurt to try and reduce it to one for the balance of the challenge... it would half my sugar consumption!


            • #7
              Well, It's been three weeks and I'm going strong. I don't have any measurements as I've resisted temptation to take any since starting. I'll post a comparison at the end of the 30 days.

              I've also not been paying a lot of attention to how much I've been eating. Rather I've focused on keeping to primal foods and avoiding eating a lot of carbs. I'm often in ketosis, or so it seems (to judge by the taste in my mouth). I've had a couple of days of almost zero carbs to help me get out of the carb mindset and it seems to be working.

              I still eat plenty of vegies with lunch and or dinner, but rarely in the mornings. I've managed sardines twice so far for breakfast... it's a mental thing facing them from a can. I do need to source some fresh ones from the market this weekend as I suspect they will be much more appetising!

              I've only IFF'd breakfasts and lunch, still working on going a full 24+hr fast. I'll get there.

              Carb flu has been very mild this time around, I think it's because my body is fairly used to processing fat for energy. My workouts have been going well and my outlook is positive.

              Haven't been getting as much sun as I had hoped. Largely because of inclement weather in Melbourne. However, it is sunny today and I'm about to go for a nice lunchtime stroll along the beach.

              I'm thinking of extending my primal challenge to mid Nov. My gym has a crossfit competition in early Nov and there is a 14k fundraiser fun run on the 13th that I want to participate in and I think keeping primal till then is a good goal.

              Hmmm I'm not exactly making daily posts, but once a week is a start at least!


              • #8
                Well, it has been 4 weeks since starting this challenge. Only a couple more days to go! I'm planning on extending this out for another few weeks, keeping it fairly strict. I do not know if there are any measurable changes, I suspect it is a little early - I won't know till I weigh and measure myself on Thursday after the 30 days is up.

                What I do know is that I'm feeling more positive and 'better within myself', if that makes any sense.


                • #9
                  Hi DB, This post on an anti-cancer diet and this earlier post from the Perfect Health Diet blog may be of interest to you. They discuss beneficial foods as well as techniques (including IF) and the approach is very scientific.

                  Their principles aren't a million miles away from Primal, main difference being more emphasis on "safe starches".

                  I'm glad you are feeling good at the end of your 30-day challenge! I can also reassure you that it is entirely possible to give up milk in your coffee and you get used to it in a week or so though it feels tough at first. I did it for the challenge month. Now I'm not sure whether I'll go back to milk or not.
                  Well and happy - Journalling a primal life in London