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Primal Journal - 1-1/2 years into it!

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  • Primal Journal - 1-1/2 years into it!

    I'm finally starting a journal here...decided I had something to say.

    I started Primal Blueprint in November 2011 at the ripe old age of 51. I've always been active (and skinny), having swum (swam? swimmed?) competitively from age 12 'til midway through college, then mostly martial arts since then. All through college I never topped 145 pounds. I mountain bike, run some with my dogs, lift weights, and train fairly seriously in Shotokan Karate of America, a traditional Japanese style.

    Leading up to the PB, I'd basically accepted that I would be gaining a "spare tire" as I aged, since other men I'd considered my seniors all said there would be nothing I could do to avoid it. However, I still fought against the idea of calling myself Pauncho (not Pancho), and continued to do weekly cardio sessions as well as my karate workouts.

    I also started seeking out whole grain cereals, stopped drinking milk and went instead with soymilk, basically cut out eggs from my diet, and ate mostly lean chicken and pork for my protein.

    Despite this, I still noticed that when I was driving and my Jeep hit a bump, my middle jiggled. Although nobody but me could have ever noticed it, I was embarrassed. I was building my own private muffin-top! Ack.

    Summer 2011 I never went shirtless, even when the temperature soared over 100 degrees F. Too embarrassed. At that point I was a huge (for me) 163 pounds.

    Somewhere in there, after my birthday in the fall of 2011, I watched the Big Fat Lie video on YouTube (can't remember how I found it), and saw a link there somewhere to MDA. I hit the web site, clicked the Start Here link, read some stuff, signed up and downloaded the PB ebooks and cookbooks. I think the whole process took me about 1/2 hour, from discovery to commitment!

    First: Mark said "no legumes." Sweet! I'd always hated beans. The texture stimulates my gag reflex every time. Peanuts and peanut butter make me break out in acne, even at the half-century mark.

    Second: Mark said "no grains." My own experiences with whole grains left me wondering. Irregular bowels (sorry) and other ... ah ... GI issues told me PB would be good for me.

    Third: Mark said "no cardio." Yay! Doing the stairmaster or treadmill or crosstrainer just left me screaming inside my head.

    Another tipping point for me was discovering that dietary fat does not necessarily turn into body fat, and that dietary cholesterol does not necessarily translate into blood serum cholesterol.

    Two and a half months later, I was down to 147 pounds. Yes, 16 pounds lost by January 2012, even through the Christmas season. I was so stoked by the "program" that I had no trouble saying "No" to treats.

    Since then I've maintained the weight at 147, plus or minus a couple pounds. I think my body is happy here...

    Nowadays, for breakfast I usually have a couple poached eggs in a bowl with a tablespoon of coconut oil, and sometimes add a couple sausage links, piece of chicken or steak if some's available, and/or maybe some berries, Greek yogurt and coconut milk.

    I drink coffee at work with half-and-half I bring from home.

    Lunch is leftovers (pref.) or maybe banana with almond butter (my local store has a grinder), or perhaps canned fish with cheese.

    Dinner is meat of some kind (beef, pork, poultry, fish) and veggies. I love huge salads with lots of interesting stuff in. Coconut milk is awesome. Occasionally I'll have a beer. 85% dark chocolate is the usual bedtime treat.

    Workouts: I play with my dogs twice a day. We run, I throw the ball for the Border Collie, ride my bike with the Jack Russell. I do karate practices three times a week, and practice myself at home 5 days a week. Sundays I lift at the gym (abs, squats, pull-ups, chin-ups, and military press are my mainstays). Every day I do bodyweight exercises. My favorite are chin-ups on the porch beams, but pushups and squats are useful and fun. I recently found a 30-lb chunk of steel pipe, so I throw that around the back yard, in between tennis ball throws for the dog.

    I also started with a standup workstation at work. Everybody thinks I'm crazy, but one week into it I'm still going strong.

    Oh yes, I haven't had a cold or other illness since November 2011. I don't think it's a coincidence.

    All my adult life I wondered if there was some kind of switch I could throw, or find some weird thing about me to fix, so that I'd have lots of energy, stay healthy, and "have my way" with the young bucks in the dojo. I think I found the switch; I wish I'd found it 30 or more years ago, and there's no way I'm going back to the old SAD and CW.

    I reserve the right to revise this long-winded post at any time. Anybody else can feel free to chime in as they wish.

    See you tomorrow!

  • #2
    Woops, by the way, tonight I cooked the tomato soup with spicy meatballs from last week's MDA. Yum! Quite resource-intensive, and I cooked the meatballs in the barbecue since I didn't want to fire up the oven in the house while the A/C was trying to counteract the 97-degree (in May!) heat.

    But I got in 45 chin-ups on the porch while I cooked...


    • #3
      Coffee with butter and whipping cream. Yum, what a way to start off a Sunday!

      I think I'll make the hazelnut pancakes this morning.


      • #4
        Pancakes were ... interesting. I didn't have any hazelnuts handy, so I used pecans. I didn't have any tapioca flour handy, so I used quinoa flour. Probably too much of the latter...the batter was more like cake batter. Made really thick pancakes. However, with some extra liquid (water) and extended cooking time, they came out ok. I ate three, the dogs helped with another, and I saved about half the batter for cooking up later. Ate 'em with blueberries (frozen, ick, but all I can get right now without paying $3.99 for 8oz of Mexican blueberries) and Greek yogurt. And lots of water.

        Mowed my field, about 2.5 acres, this morning. You're supposed to finish by 10am to keep fire danger down. I know for a fact there aren't any rocks in the field that would pose a danger, so I kept at it 'til 11-ish, and the job was done. Temp was above 90 when I finished, and my sinuses were pissed at me, having breathed a lot of dust and seeds and pollen and who knows what other junk. I think I lost a lot of water in the process - my clothes were soaked with sweat.

        I drank a liter or so of water, washing down two electrolyte tablets, then about 1/2 hour later took some ibuprofen and an antihistamine. Lots more water, a bit of a nap, and another cup of French press coffee, and finally my headache has subsided.

        I think tonight I'll have a couple eggs, cook up some sausage, and have a nice salad from the greens that are already flourishing in my garden. Right after the evening dog play/sprint session. I think no gym tonight - just sprints and then some bodyweight stuff before dinner.

        It's funny...I've never been much of a runner, but taking up barefoot-style (forefoot strike) sprint running, in the grass and trying to keep up with my Border Collie (as if), has me anticipating the next round of sprints as great fun.


        • #5
          Whew!! The last time I was through Redding it was 107 degrees so I can appreciate what you felt like working outside in that heat.

          I'll be tagging along in your journal.
          Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.


          • #6
            Thank you! It was only in the low 90's yesterday, so I shouldn't feel too put out. I know the inferno is coming. I'm getting into the summer swing where I get up early, do inside stuff until it's light enough to see the garden, then do outside stuff until it gets miserable, then inside and bed early. Heat will drive you to a more primal circadian rhythm, methinks.

            I'm finding it tough to keep tabs on all the interesting MDA forum threads, so I just search and browse in a completely disorganized manner.

            Last night's workout/play time was quite a success. I went out with the dogs at sunset, so the breeze from the south was cool but the temp was still 90-ish. I would throw or kick the ball for Abby the BC, then while she was running after it and bringing it back I'd get about three throws of the steel pipe. I lift it across my chest (easy), do a squat (easy), then explosively jump and at the same time hurl it as high and as far as I can (not so easy). 10 throws will get it to the end of the field, then I turn around, pick it up, and sprint back to the beginning. I did three sets, then we all took off for a dash around the periphery. It's 2.5 acres so maybe 1/4 mile around?

            This morning: 12oz glass of water, 2 poached eggs with coconut oil in the bowl (these days the CO is liquid at room temp), and a banana with cinnamon sprinkled on then schmeared with almond butter. Oh yeah, a lovely glass of coconut milk. Every drink of coconut milk is a good reason to be grateful.


            • #7
              Lunch: 2 slices of deli-made meatloaf (I trust this deli) and 16oz water. Couple cups of coffee with half-and-half this morning.

              Karate practice, lots of sweating. Took a salt tablet and 16oz water 1/2 hour before practice. Feelin' peachy...

              Dinner: Leftover tomato soup and the last four spicy meatballs, two celery stalks with almond butter, and a big glass of coconut milk.

              Time for chocolate and bed. Zzzzzz


              • #8
                Nowadays my left hip bothers me. I think I can point directly to a moment, in my 20's, when we were doing a "buddy stretch" in karate, and my partner pushed down too hard on my knees. There was a "pop" and knifing pain in my left hip joint. I seem to recall it being sore for a few days after, but hadn't bothered me until the past couple years.

                These days I can't sleep on my left side because it puts too much stress on the hip joint. To make matters worse, a long-ago busted nose leaves me susceptible to a plugged-up nose if I sleep on my back. While that doesn't bother me too much I'm sure it bothers those within earshot.

                Anyway, I have found that doing bodyweight squats alleviates the pain and if I keep at it for several days in a row I can manage several days in a row without hip pain. It never ceases to amaze me how much better things are when things are good.

                In other words, don't take your health for granted. If you're not sick, remember what it felt like the last time you had the flu. If you're uninjured, remember how it felt the last time you had some injury (more than a hangnail, feel me?). And BE GRATEFUL.


                • #9
                  Well, I sold my Macbook Pro a few days ago (thus my silence here) and instead got a Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 and an accessory Bluetooth keyboard. I installed the MDA app and so far I like the whole thing. It's going to take me a while to get used to the Android experience, but I think I'm up to the challenge.

                  [edit]I can't figure out how to "Favorite" a topic. Anybody know the ins and outs of this MDA app? Thank you...[/edit]

                  Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.

                  Today there was a wreck on the road I usually take to get home, so because the detour sent me by our neighborhood grocery store, I stopped in for some shopping. I came away with a nice flank steak, on sale because it was near the "best by" date.

                  I put a nice rub on it, sliced it into strips across the grain, and grilled it on the BBQ with salt and pepper. Excellent lunch!

                  Now just where did I put that little stylus?

                  Sent from my GT-N8013 using Marks Daily Apple Forum mobile app
                  Last edited by BZM; 05-17-2013, 05:15 PM.


                  • #10
                    Last night (ok, evening) I was out mowing with my string-trimmer brush hog thingy, trying to get the tall dry grass down to where I can get at all the little shoots of scrub oak and poison oak. It's hard work, shoving that two-wheeled thing back and forth, hoisting it up and replacing the string when it wraps around a bush, etc. I was sweating and covered in dust and grass and whatnot. At some point I realized I was enjoying the workout in a Primal sense - this was not necessarily low-level activity, not HIIT either, but even close to 8:30pm I still had energy to burn.

                    I love this Primal Blueprint thing! It just makes me happy.

                    So this morning:

                    Bulletproof coffee
                    2 poached eggs on a tbsp of CO.
                    Cheater rice cake with butter and almond butter
                    12 oz water
                    Blueberries in a bowl with coconut milk

                    Time to go play with the dogs, then Saturday karate class. Life's good!

                    Sent from my GT-N8013 using Marks Daily Apple Forum mobile app


                    • #11
                      Sunday, my favorite.

                      Bulletproof coffee first (with whipped cream)

                      Finished that, a couple chores then breakfast:
                      2-egg omelet. First, thank you Mark Sisson for posting a how-to on omelettes, which I read early on in this happy trip. Good omelettes had always eluded my pan, but no more! Today I used coconut milk in with the eggs, a bit of salt and pepper, and a generous dollop of local, raw honey. I use a mixer to entrain a lot of air with the eggs so the omelette is fluffy. Cooked in coconut oil, then once flipped I put sharp cheddar on and then a layer of chopped fresh kale. Folded it, turned the heat down, 1:45 minutes with a lid on.

                      Served with fresh salsa. Yum!

                      Finishing breakfast with a bowl of blueberries, raspberries and coconut milk, washed down with a big glass of water.

                      Then, let's see. Dog play time (probably throw the pipe around too); vacuum (weekly chore, keep the dog hair down to a low fog), work on my Jeep a bit, mow the front yard, go work out (some karate and then weights), grill some chicken and make a BA salad from my garden's greens for dinner. More dog play interspersed in there, watering the garden, box jumps (kind of) over the garden fence (who uses a gate, really?).

                      Y'all have a nice day, y'hear?

                      Sent from my GT-N8013 using Marks Daily Apple Forum mobile app


                      • #12
                        I've taken to turning off the display on my digital clock radio/iPod dock. It's a blue thing, and has three brightness settings. During the day the lowest setting is insufficient for viewing; at night it's bright enough to illuminate the room. I sleep most summer evenings with the slider open but with a "rape stick" that keeps it from fully opening. I'm kind of out in the country, so I'm not too worried about home invasions, but I keep a loaded pistol handy anyway. It may seem like I've digressed, but truly, Your Honor, I'll come to the point.

                        The clock interface not only provides illumination for me to see the room, but for the interested observer to see me. Paranoid? I don't know, but I read too many Louis L'Amour books as a boy I guess. I wouldn't want to give any advantage to an intruder. I'd hope my dogs would awaken me, but I have stepped over and around them without waking them up. To me, part of being Primal is being aware.

                        Anyway, so the display is off; I'm tired from a good Primal day, and I sleep like a rock. Alarm goes off, I hit snooze without awakening. It goes off again, this time I hit snooze and am awake. I start to wonder exactly what time it is, so I decide to split the difference: a few minutes early, or a few minutes late.

                        Yep, late.

                        See ya!

                        Sent from my GT-N8013 using Marks Daily Apple Forum mobile app


                        • #13
                          Thought I might have something to say today...but, sadly, no. Go read Groktimus Primal's journal if you're interested in interesting stuff.

                          Have a good day!

                          Androiding it via the MDA app.


                          • #14
                            Made a smoothie tonight after karate class: 1 cup coconut milk; handful of blueberries, handful of raspberries, some raw honey, a banana, 2 Tbsp protein powder (a milk/egg mix, yay no whey), 1/4 cup almond butter, 1/4 cup water, 1 Tbsp coconut oil. Yum!

                            Androiding it via the MDA app.


                            • #15
                              IF day. Smoothie last night, bulletproof coffee this morning, karate practice and bodyweight workout.

                              Standup workstation's going great...every morning my boss comes in and asks (rhetorically), "Still standing?"

                              Androiding it via the MDA app.