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MargR Cooks in the Cave: Margret's Primal Journal

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  • MargR Cooks in the Cave: Margret's Primal Journal

    As I posted in a "meet and greet" message, I've been going primal for about a week. I have a bad habit of starting a way of eating and falling away from it for one reason or another. For this reason, I'm beginning a journal and committing to eating Primal in a public forum.

    Yesterday I received my copy of the lovely cookbook, "Make it Paleo" by Bill Staley and Hayley Mason. I was so inspired by the beautiful photography that I took a moment to plate my breakfast nicely and shot a pic morning; not one of their recipes yet, but I look forward to trying some of them out this week.


    B: Eggs in a nest of asparagus and salt cured bacon
    S: a couple nuts
    L: BAS with left-over blackened catfish
    S: Keilbasa and raw cauliflower florets
    D: Roasted chicken (free range, with skin) and sugar snap peas with butter (grain fed). Glass of red wine.
    S: bunch of nuts and two squares dark chocolate

    BTW, I tried a new method of roasting the chicken that is my new fave. Crispy skin and JUICY meat! The whole family agreed. This is the way we make chicken now! My Favorite Simple Roast Chicken Recipe at
    Last edited by bluekarana; 02-27-2012, 03:28 PM.

  • #2
    Well, my squirrel-y brain is working overtime today. I got on the scale and saw that, once again, I haven't dropped any fat/weight. After three weeks of low-carb/one+ week mostly Primal.

    The conversation is going something like this:

    Squirrel-y-Brain: "Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrggggghhhhh!!!! @#$%^&*( I STILL HAVEN'T LOST ANY WEIGHT!!!!"

    Rational-Brain: "Your metabolism may take time to heal. It's only been three weeks."

    SB: "Maybe I'm eating too many calories. The guy in the movie Fat Head counted calories while counting carbs. Maybe I need to count calories."

    [SB retroactively counts calories for primal breakfast, lunch, and then snack. SB's eyes bug out when her alter-ego, "Conventional Diet Head" gets a peek at the Fat grams and calories.]

    SB: "I HATE counting calories!!!!! Plus, I'm hungry and I know my dinner will put me over the RECOMMENDED LEVEL of 1550 calories. What the heck am I supposed to eat for dinner. [insert lot's of circular thinking here]"

    RB: "Forget about it. Have a chunk of cheese and a few grape tomatoes."

    SB: "OK. [insert food into mouth] Oh, I feel so much better! Maybe I'll just rip a hunk of chicken of the carcass from last night's dinner and munch on a few sugar snap peas. And a glass of red wine! ))) Wait, maybe it's the alcohol that's preventing the fat loss. I read that article..."


    Moving on for now...

    Breakfast: Two slices thick-cut bacon, two eggs, cauliflower mashed with a bit of HW cream and ~1/8 oz raw milk cheddar

    Lunch: BAS with lettuce and mixed veg with 1/2 avocado, toasted pine nuts, generous pour of EEVOO w/ balsamic dressing. Topped with 1/2 fillet blackened catfish

    Snack: 1/2 cup full fat cottage cheese. 1/2 c mixed berries

    Snack: 1 piece babybel cheese, 5 grape tomatoes

    Dinner: Coconut red curry with snap peas, mushrooms, green onions, red pepper and chicken. red wine.
    Last edited by bluekarana; 02-27-2012, 03:53 PM.


    • #3
      Last night I had a few crackers (~7), Mary's Gone Crackers, made of seeds, rice flour, etc., wheat-free, gluten free.

      An hour later I had very unpleasant gas and bloating and itching. I woke up with a really spacey feeling, sore throat from post-nasal drip, a huge hive on my face, and a bit of a headache, and I'm starving! I'm probably missing something but I'm spacey so... and oh yeah, gained a pound and ~ .5% body fat. Wrong direction!!!!!

      All signs that the Candida monster is back. I'm going to call the clinic today where I was treated before.

      However, I'm going on vacation March 20-27. I'll start the regimin after that, if the test turns out positive. (failed the saliva test, so not likely that I'm wrong, considering all the symptoms.)

      For now, I'll get more serious about added sugars in bacon and sausage, etc. (after I eat the sausage I got from Whole Foods for bfast).

      BF: egg stack with spinach, 1 sausage, 2 eggs, cooked in ghee.
      Coffee with HWC
      L: Greek salad with the usual veg + 1 small organic beet and chicken
      S:White tea, Raweo cookies (almonds, honey, cashews, carob, coconut, cinnamon, vanilla)
      D: couple nuts before. hamburger patty with provolone slice, Thai red curry with onion, orange bell pepper, mushrooms. One glass white wine.
      Last edited by bluekarana; 02-28-2012, 04:37 PM.


      • #4
        First thing this morning I ordered my copy of the "In Search of the Perfect Human Diet" DVD that Mark mentions in his blog.

        BTW, the other day I watched "Fat Head," the movie that Tom Naughton made, and really enjoyed it. I love his intelligent humor. I would definately recommend watching it.

        Well, I'm up another pound today. It got me thinking. I think I need to be more mindful about my satiety signals. I've been putting food on my plate and most of the time I finish it. When I finish a meal, I'm full. Probably too full.

        (Bare in mind that I have followed various non-diet approaches (e.g., Intuitive Eating) so I've read and thought about this extensively; it just hasn't worked. Years of dieting have broken my ability to feel the cues. I never lost weight this way. I always gained, freaked out, and started another diet. )

        The good thing is, I know what hunger feels like. But, what does satiety feel like? I need to think about that...again.

        When I'm on a portion controlled diet I will typically eat the prescribed amount of food and feel fine afterwards. Then, I'm hungry in about three hours. Sounds good. How do I find this "place" without counting calories? That's what I need to figure out...again.

        Some people say you should eat until you're no longer hungry. If I eat ONE BITE, I'm no longer hungry. So, this doesn't work for me.

        Some people say you should eat mindfully and you will notice subtle signals and these will tell you to stop eating, such as:
        -- at some point the food will no longer taste quite as good
        -- you might notice that you naturally sigh. It's you're brain telling you that your appetite is satisfied

        I need to keep these things in mind as I eat.

        Any other ideas? How do YOU know when to stop?
        Any tricks you've learned for controlly your portions?

        My first step today is to NOT MULTITASK during meals (I love to read a book while I eat.) And, serve myself smaller portions so my tendency to belong to the Clean Plate Club doesn't get me in trouble.


        • #5
          For two days in a row my day has started with a jolt. My software crashed because of leap year date-related bugs. Today the night shift called when I was still sound asleep. I got up and fixed the bugs. Luckily I work at home. All is well now; the natives are happy. Good thing I'm not a neural surgeon, though. I can't believe I didn't think of the problem.

          What to do when the dust settles and it's still early? Why, make home made breakfast sausage, of course! I tried the recipe in Make it Paleo. Of course, in my typical ADD-cook way, I forgot the last ingredient, Coconut oil. It's hard as a rock right now because I ditzed and put it in the frig. so I'll add it to the mix when it's warmed up. Sausage for mid-afternoon snack. Yum!

          How do I make it through the days? Two steps forward and one step back.

          Yesterday I got back into being more mindful of true hunger signals and eating just till satisfaction. I wound up eating more or less what fits on a small dessert or appetizer plate, every two hours. I'm clearly part feline. If I pay attention to my body's signals, I eat like my cat. Meow.

          On the downside, the frequent hunger and seemingly constant eating was a tad annoying. Most days I'm at home since I work here, so that's workable. On the upside, I got to eat lots of different things during the day. I made full use of left overs. Bottom line, I knocked off one of the pounds I'd packed on. That sweeps any downsides left on the table right on to the floor.


          • #6

            It's been a while, but I'm back; not going to get into it right now, but here I am, moving forward.

            Today I'm all about the humble cabbage.

            I've been struggling with pain in my breasts that starts around day 14 of my cycle and ends around the time of menses. That's just over half of my life now spent wincing when someone gives me a hug and sleeping with a bra on to prevent waking up from the pain when I roll over. The final straw was when I went for a recall mammogram the other day and almost passed out from the pain.

            A bit of Googling turned up information about the analgesic (pain relieving) effect of cabbage. One source, a midwife on a forum, said that it's due to the chlorophyll content in cabbage. Other sites mentioned other chemicals present in the leaves that help reduce inflammation. My reading turned up a lot of conflicting, or rather, just different, not-overlapping information so I'm not really sure about the why of it, but, I do know that after just 20 minutes, the gals were much happier! The fullness is still there, but the pain was virtually gone. I put the leaves back in my bra and am wearing them for a bit longer to see just how much improvement they'll provide.

            It got me thinking about cabbage and I realized that the sauerkraut that has been quietly fermenting in my walk-in pantry was probably ready. Sure enough, I could've called it ready last Monday, six days ago, at the two-week mark. No worries. I gave it a taste and declared my first batch of homemade "roasted jalapeno & garlic raw sauerkraut" made with the recipe in Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilippo, a total success! It's wonderfully crunchy, spicy, and fresh tasting. It's lunch time soon so I think I'll have some along side an angus cheese burger patty.


            • #7
              I'm happy to say that I'm recovering from my primal-stumble last week -- well, it was more like a head-long, limbs flailing, run into the bread aisle -- without too much lasting harm.

              I think I wigged out because I had been eating strictly low-carb for about 6 weeks and hadn't seen any progress on the scale. What I missed, however, were the improvements I'd been seeing in a few bothersome symptoms I had that I now see are probably related to gluten. For one, tonsil discharge and tonsil stones. Yuck, I know. Also, probably knee pain. Three days on wheat and I felt the old twinge when I climbed the stairs.

              It started out as an attempt to count calories but it devolved into a free-for-all when my appetite soared.

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              Oh, excuse me, I had to break to wipe the Sausage Gravy off my keyboard. (I tried the recipe from Mark's "Healthy Sauces..." book. In a word, YUUUMMMMM!)

              I used conventional spicy pork sausage, which tasted great, but, I know it's not the cleanest source. Last time I tried making sausage it was too lean and didn't have that characteristic breakfast sausage taste. I'll get back to that. In general I'm still working on improving my food sources over time. I decided to not stress about it right now while I'm still getting used to completely overhauling the types of foods I'm eating and the macro-nutrient ratio.

              I'm happy, too, that the scale has dropped back to where I was, plus a bonus bit to boot. I've decided not losing is much better than gaining gobs of weight in a few days, with no end in sight.

              As a footnote, I went back to the holistic clinic near me yesterday and had an EDS, Electrodermal Scan. (That's another thing I wigged out on, but now am starting back with.) It's a controversial alternative test/treatment but after visiting conventional doctors and not finding any answers, I was willing to try it. The bottom line is, when I take the supplements the nurse recommends after the test, I feel better. Can't beat that with a passle of doubt and cries of quackery. If you're interested, you can read a bit about it here.
              Last edited by bluekarana; 12-18-2012, 05:59 AM. Reason: typos