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It's like that Caveman diet, with Cheese on top . . . .

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  • It's like that Caveman diet, with Cheese on top . . . .

    It's been six weeks since I started my journey towards a Primal Lifestyle.

    I originally started eating "low sugar, high protein", in college, when my doctor hypothesized that my mood-swings, fatigue, and depression might be Hypoglycemia. Several years Later I had the actual blood test and was on the low edge of 'normal,' but for six years of my life I assumed I was hypoglycemic and I age low-carb to cope with it. Not Atkins level low-carb, just lower than the average American. I guesstimate that I was usually around 100-150 grams a day during this period.

    After about seven years of that, my life got very stressful, very busy, very hectic, and I slid off the low carb and leaned more towards SAD. I was still far under the levels of most Americans, but I was definately outside the range of what I would now consider appropriate. I thought I was still eating healthy, but I never bothered to track the nutritional value of the refried-bean breakfast tacos I was eating on my way to work. . . I had maintained the same weight for ten years, after all. Legumes are a good source of protein, they say . . .

    Then my boyfriend moved in with me and came with what seemed like a pantry full of white-flour processed foods. He had been a competitive cyclist for a decade, and was addicted to pasta. But he'd been off the circuit for two years, and continuing to eat 300-400 grams of refined carbs, daily, had not done him any favors. When he whined about his weight I told him, try low carb. He dismissed my advice because, and I love this part - "You've never been fat."

    No, I've never been fat. Because I never ate that shit to get fat with in the first place. But I started eating it with him and although I only gained a pound a year, I was feeling bloated and fatiqued a lot. I still tried, when I was on my own, to eat low carb.

    I was patient and kept trying, every now and then, to remind him that there were alternatives to starvation diets and chronic cardio (I love that phrase -- thanks Mark!). Finally one day we were at the bookstore and I happened to walk by a table where "Why We Get Fat" was on display. "I hope this isn't another freaking low fat book" I thought. I was thrilled to find it was the kind of nutritional advice I could agree with and I rushed off to find my bookworm-boyfriend. I caught up to him in the History section and eagerly shoved the book in his hands. He agreed to look at it, and then he decided to buy it.

    Two days later he was only a third of the way through the book, but he was thoroughly convinced that low-carb was the answer to his problem. I was thrilled. I enthusiasticly agreed to support him by renewing my own commitment to low-carb eating. We downloaded carb-counting aps for our iphones and went out for a last-hurrah dinner at our favorite Tex Mex restaurant. Goodbye Chuy's, I will miss you!

    While he continued to read through Taubes, I did research online and found Paleo, then found Primal (or as I first understood it, Paleo with cheese on top). There was enough money in the book-fund for one, just one, book, and after careful deliberation I got Primal Blueprint, the version without pictures. I loved it, and read some sections off to the boyfriend. Payday, I drove straight from work to the bookstore to get him the Primal Blueprint picture book, because by that time he was a little burned out on the science and just wanted accessible diet advice.

    We keep PB-21-day on our kitchen table, so we can refer to it often. My first copy of the primal Blueprint is already lent out to friends. Dearheart has lost 23 pounds and a couple of waist-inches. I lost a few pounds myself (not my goal, but not unwelcome) and haven't had a SINGLE blood sugar crash since the day I cheated and had enchilladas for dinner. Unexpectedly, my seasonal allergies improved enough that I can go up to two days off the Claritin (but not three, not yet).

    Useful things I have learned:

    Re-fried beans might be a good source of protein, but they are an even better source of carbs.

    Paleo recipes rock, especially if you add cheese.

    Coconut oil tastes like coconut (duh) and I don't like coconut-flavored eggs at breakfast. Use saved bacon grease for those.

    things I still want to learn:
    How do you sop up the meat juices without bread?
    Last edited by MarieCalledGia; 03-18-2012, 06:56 AM.

  • #2
    How do you sop up the meat juices without bread?[/QUOTE]

    Lick the plate or bowl clean?
    Don't let nobody try and take your soul. You're the original . --Switchfoot- The Original

    GW: 135 SW: 156.8 CW: 156.8


    • #3
      Originally posted by Alessandra View Post
      Lick the plate or bowl clean?
      Yep totally!


      • #4
        It doesn't matter what I ate for breakfast today, since I . . .um . . .lost it all within ten minutes of the meal. I guess that stomach-bug going around my office finally got to me.

        I know I should be sipping bone broth, but I don't have any on hand. In fact, it was on my to-do list to go to the butcher shop tonight. I'm still going to try that, but for now I'm stuck with mint tea and regular broth.

        B: gone

        L: tea and broth

        D: ?

        WOD: sleeping


        • #5
          Feel so much better today! A little worn down, but who knows what that is caused by? I'm still tinkering with the right food for myself, and some days I just feel worn out. *shrug* I'll get it right eventually.

          B: three egg-muffin-pizza thingies. recipe from Paleo Parents (I added cheese)

          mid-morning snack: piece of beef jerky. Handful of macadamias.

          L: not hungry, but I knew I'd be hungry later if I didn't eat. Cafeteria was service ground beef with slightly thickened juices, broccoli that tasted steamed and look broiled? they were also serving potatoes, but I skipped those. I wish now I'd skipped the whole meal. About an hour after lunch I got very drowsy and felt bloated -- a sure clue that those juices were thickened with flour, which I should have known in the first place. I was distracted and thinking about work, is my excuse.

          mid-afternoon: Famished! But not in the mood for more of the snackfood I had at work, so I decided to tough it out until supper.

          S: leftover Polish Stuffed Cabbage, home made. I had primal-ized a friend's recipe and it's nummy. Unfortunately, we didn't have any lacto-fermented sauerkraut, so I had to resort to standard sauerkraut. Must learn lacto-fermentation skillz.

          I checked fit-day and if the estimates are correct, I ate less than a thousand calories today. whoopsie. I need to find higher-calorie foods.


          • #6
            Forgot to log my workout. It's not very exciting:

            50 wall-pushups
            50 bench-assisted squats

            that is all.


            • #7
              Originally posted by Alessandra View Post
              Lick the plate or bowl clean?
              Okay, so how do I keep the grease off my nose when I do that?


              • #8
                Saturdays are great aren't they?

                B: Sausage and bell pepper frittata, coffee with coconut oil

                L: two 4-5? oz pork tenderloins with big chucks of fat still attached. about a cup of ratatouille. One golf-ball sized roasted potato. Another cup of coffee, this time with heavy cream.

                S: probably going to eat a big ass salad with a scoop of salmon-salad on top (salmon, mayo, chives, celery seed and granulated garlic), and a side of steamed asparagus.

                WOD: "move slowly" for about three hours, gardening at my Aunt Ginger's house. We deadheaded some flowers, pulled some weeds, picked leftover fall-leaves out of her flower-beds, dug up some invasive plants, turned the compost, swept the walks . . . She sent me home with a maypop-vine transplant and some rain lily bulbs. When she wasn't looking, I attempted a chin up on a tree-branch. no luck yet . . .


                • #9
                  Perhaps I should list some vital statistics?

                  Age: 34

                  Height: 5' 4"

                  Weight: 130

                  BMI: 22 ish, they say

                  Body Fat Composition: I have no idea.

                  Life before Primal:

                  --Severe Seasonal Allergies, requiring Claritin and Flonase every day, year round. One "take benadryl and go back to bed" allergy attach at least once a month.
                  -- Annual sinus infection and bronchitis, sometime between October and February, requiring time away from work and cutting off all of my fitness efforts . . . .
                  --Symptoms of Hypoglycemia.
                  -- PTSD

                  Life after Primal:
                  -- No more GERD (but I do still get burps after really spicy meals. that's normal, right?)
                  -- Still struggling with Fatigue, but I have some days where I am shockingly perky.
                  -- You would NEVER KNOW I was once diagnosed as hypoglycemic.
                  -- Only take Claritin if I can SEE the sheen of pollen coating the surface of the car. Still using Flonase.
                  -- Still have PTSD, but I didn't think it would be that easy.

                  -- END my need for all allergy meds.
                  -- END hypoglycemia.
                  -- Be energetic, every day.
                  -- Do 5 pullups. On the same day.
                  -- Go 5 or more rounds in a fencing tournament and still have energy to drive myself home.
                  -- Never have another sinus infection?? Could such a thing be possible?
                  -- Have better functioning adrenal system, so PTSD is lessened.
                  -- Learn to like avacados. I've heard all my life how nutritious they are, but I have always hated their taste. Must get over that.
                  Last edited by MarieCalledGia; 03-24-2012, 12:48 PM.


                  • #10
                    Dearheart seems to have a cracked rib. He already had the two torn rotator cuffs and now we've figured out that 'bone bruise' from the day he was wrestling with the dog and got slammed -- it's probably a cracked rib.

                    I swear, this is the most injury-prone man I've ever met. It's not that he's clumsy, it's just that *if* he get's hurt, he gets *really* hurt.

                    My Aunt recommended a supplement called Bone-Up. She was able to improve her bone density after a year of the supplement and it seems to be a balanced mix of calcium and all the other minerals we need for calcium to work correctly. I bought a bottle and then I plan to spend part of today making a Comfrey salve.

                    Last night I did not have a salad after all. Lunch was so filling, I never got hungry again. I did drink two cups of bone broth, because I ran out of storage containers and only had two cups left in the pot.

                    The meal plan I predict for today:

                    B: coconut flour pancakes

                    L: that big ass salad I meant to have yesterday

                    D: leftover Primal Polish Stuffed Cabbage.


                    • #11
                      The stomach bug strikes again. I was fine all weekend but this morning I tossed my breakfast less than ten minutes after eating. I got hungry around four hours later, but waited a full six hours before I did more than sip water. According to my coworkers who brought this bug into the office and shared it with me, it is a two-phase flu and this is the end phase. So I hope to feel better tomorrow.

                      I am having some burning in the bladder area, and I really hope this isn't a UTI. Or that it is a UTI, and not IC. My mother has IC and every time anything seems off about my pee or my bladder, I tend to panic. Sooooo do not want to go through what she goes through, but modern "science" tells her it is 1. incurable, 2. unpreventable, and 3. hereditary. Well, scr*w that noise! I cried a little on Dearheart's shoulder and he said, "Primal is going so well for us, if you want to eat the IC diet -- I'm there!" So I know I have his support. I haven't for-sure decided to try the IC diet, but like he said, Primal is going so well, it's not going to be that much of a leap to go to IC.

                      Thank God for Bone Broth; I'm going to need it today.


                      • #12
                        I'm a little behind on journalling. I've been under the weather and just didn't feel motivated. Fortunately, I can report that I stayed on the wagon, just didn't document it.

                        I've been working on the path to doing a pullup. So far . . . I can barely even do a flexed-arm hang. I know that slow negatives will build up the muscles to allow pullups someday, but now I am so puny I can't even manage those. Sad. But I keep trying.

                        Dearheart saw me installing the pullup bar and said, "Hey, I used to be able to do about 20 pullups. Wonder if I still can?" And then he attempted one, and was VIVIDLY reminded about his cracked rib. I banished him from the room and told him not to even LOOK at the pullup bar until his rib has healed. Goober!

                        I have also been working on my goal of learning to like avacado. So, at work we have a salad bar. The lettuce/spinach mix is pretty good but the other salad topping options are pretty lame. To round out my meals, I usually try to bring in about two cups of steamed veggies and a cup of meat and mayo salad (tuna salad, chicken salad, etc . . .). Friday, I noticed that the salad bar offerings that day included guacamole. So, I decided to give it a try and I plopped about two tablespoons on my salad along with everything else. Then I tossed it all together with my homemade balsamic vinaigrette dressing and . . . .I didn't hate the guacamole. Even the chunky bits where I KNEW I was eating an avacado, it didn't taste bad to me.

                        Next week, if there is still guacamole on the salad bar, I will try a bigger portion.

                        So, in the News Today. I have a UTI. This is both bad and good news. Bad News for all the usual reasons, but Good News because of my family history.

                        My mother has Interstitial Cystitis. According to her doctors it is 1. Incurable, 2. Hereditary, and 3. Unpreventable. Therefore I tend to panic when I feel that something is not quite right down there.

                        When the doctor told me the test results shows infection markers I almost jumped for joy.

                        I sometimes get frustrated, "I've been primal for almost two months, how can I NOT be healthy?!?!" But I have to remember I abused my body with grains for almost eight years. It will take a while.

                        The funny thing about the doctor's visit is that the doc told me he theorized my UTI was kicked off by last week's stomach virus. He said, when your digestive system is out of whack, you get overloaded with bacteria and . . . the rest of what he said was drowned out by my inner-amusement. He almost sounded like a Grok. I actually wanted to ask him if he had heard of the Primal Diet. But I decided just to nod and smile and promise him I would take probiotics.

                        Drinking parsley tea right now. My herb books tell me it's good for Urinary tract health. I happen to have enormous amounts of parsley in the garden. The tea tastes like, well, parsley. Which is a good taste, but odd for a drink.
                        Last edited by MarieCalledGia; 03-24-2012, 12:46 PM.


                        • #13
                          Enjoying reading your journal. Good luck with knocking that UTI on its butt.
                          You might want to try a different coconut oil. Some types, depending on level of refinement, have no coconut taste at all. And you can make a lovely 2 parts coconut oil, 1 part chocolate thing (from Winencandy's journal, check it out) which is a great way of getting more fat into you, if that's a difficulty.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Sabine View Post
                            Enjoying reading your journal. Good luck with knocking that UTI on its butt.
                            You might want to try a different coconut oil. Some types, depending on level of refinement, have no coconut taste at all. And you can make a lovely 2 parts coconut oil, 1 part chocolate thing (from Winencandy's journal, check it out) which is a great way of getting more fat into you, if that's a difficulty.
                            Thanks for stopping by Sabine. Is there a coconut oil brand that you recommend? Currently, I am trying to use up a lot of beef fat I skimmed from my bone broth. Is it really necessary to skim it, or can I just mix it in? But anyway, I have so much beef fat that I'll be frying eggs in that for about the next month . . .

                            I will look for that coco-chocolate recipe! I sometimes have trouble getting enough fats. I guess it all depends on your idea of enough . . . I have been concerned because no matter how hard I try, I CANNOT be interested in food after I've had 1500 calories. I'm just not that hungry. I thought something was wrong with me, but I read over in the She-Groks thread that a lot of other women also hover around 1500 and they are not under-eating. So, I stopped worrying about how many grams of fill-in-the-blank I was eating and decided just to look at percentages. I'm at about 30% fat most days . . . I feel pretty good there. I think when I get over my various illnesses and start exercising agressively, I will need to step up my fat to about 50% - - and I'll definitely be slamming the coconut and chocolate.


                            • #15
                              The coconut oil I use is Tree of Life Organic Refined Coconut Oil. On the label it says: Expeller Pressed - Mild Taste - For Medium High Heat. I am slowly begining to enjoy the taste of shredded coconut and might try a more coconutty oil someday, but this is to me, nice and flavorless.
                              I only got a few of the last batch of coco-chocolates I made, because my daughters discovered them and thought they were the bomb.