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My Nutritional Dilemma

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  • My Nutritional Dilemma

    Hey all, first post here in the forum, and on my 2nd day of change with the Primal Blueprint! I already feel a whole lot better and more energized than I had only about 3 days earlier. Thank you!

    Now to my dilemma, at the moment I am stationed overseas in the military and as far as nutritional content goes, I cannot say where these foods are coming from that they serve in our chowhalls. My first real question is if anyone knows what the military buys in relation to food? I would imagine it's the cheapest and high volume to keep cost low, but if that's not the truth, please enlighten me.

    Also, I've been very good at picking various vegetables (even ones I've not tried before), fruits, meats that I feel are the most Primal in nature, and these packets of seeds and nuts that are on the shelves which has, almonds, raisins, peanuts, sunflower seeds, dates and cashews. Next question, do the nut and seed packets I am using as a snack sound like the right type of items I need to consume?

    But other than that, the selection is of a nature that I can choose what I want pretty easily within these chowhalls (which makes the whole thing a lot less stressful). But aside from that, seems the new lifestyle is working. I have already adopted the fitness regiment outlined in the book (occasional all out effort, plenty of rest and low intensity workouts) prior to even reading it and it's awesome (Kettlebells, I'm sure many here are familiar with So again, I can really get 100% into this lifestyle without and grief from losing favorite foods (due to me not really having any favorites). Thanks all!!!

  • #2
    Welcome Nathan, and thank you for your service.
    The only item not recommended in your nut and seed packet are the peanuts. As for the dried fruit, the consideration is the amount of carbs they add to your diet. If you are trying to lose weight then be sure to watch out for these as they are concentrated sources of carbs. If not an issue, shoot for 100-150 grams of carbs a day.
    Last edited by Adrianag; 12-05-2010, 08:48 AM.


    • #3
      Ideally, lose the snack altogether. Eat enough rich, satisfying primal food at mealtimes that you're simply not hungry.

      If you HAVE to snack, whether that sort of trail mix is a good idea depends on your goals. If you're trying to lose weight, I'd avoid it entirely. Dried fruit and nuts are too easy to eat too much of. When people get stuck on weight loss, the two primary reasons seem to be dairy and nuts.

      Zone diet on and off for several years....worked, but too much focus on exact meal composition
      Primal since July 2010...skinniest I've ever been and the least stressed about food


      • #4
        I can't really add to the advice the other posters mentioned, but I would like to thank you for your service. I wish I'd joined the military after graduating.


        • #5
          The military buys grade D meat- which makes it fit for military and prisons. Not kidding. I was in the field one time when they brought out hot chow, and I saw the meat quality markings on the boxes.

          But grade D meat is WAAAAAAAAAAAY better than eating a grilled cheese, or a plate of spaghetti, or boxes of cereal.
          Because if you didn't know, of that is life made: only of moments; Don't lose the now.


          • #6
            Well, despite it tasting good (obviously) I will drop the packets all-together. Now, if I decide to go buy some nuts etc for a quick pick-me-up, our sensational (sarcasm included) PX really only ever offers cashews that aren't packaged with a bunch of other stuff (like peanuts). Now, if it's loaded with sodium like most cans of nuts are, is that even a smart choice? I mean, I eat plenty of salt with my meals (I love salt), if I am not predestined by my genetics to be susceptible to sodium related illness, is there any harm in consuming a lot of sodium (or salt)? Thanks again everyone for the sage advise! Oh and say_rahhh, guessing you're a Marine, Semper Fi brother. I still would like the military to care more about what they feed us... :-)


            • #7
              The military really does care what they feed us - a big change from even just 5 years ago. One of my duties in AFG was to purchase the food for our entire task eye opening job for sure!

              I know that the food in Afghanistan is purchased through a rather decent quality vendor (Supreme Group if you are interested). Fruits and veggies are fresh and regionally procured. The meat is not grade D, I promise. I know that the Marines ordered their food from the same vendor...I always looked since my brother was at Leatherneck - I guess I just liked having SOME connection with him, no matter how tiny and unimportant, lol.

              My big issue with military food (even before becoming primal) is that so much of it is prepackaged, processed crap. Many of the "meals" they serve are simply heat and go bags, so be aware of that. I do like that they almost always have a salad bar and fresh fruits. I wish I'd have known about PB while I was deployed!! I would be so ripped by now, lol.

              I do know it pays to be kind to your dining facility staff!! Our DFAC employees had hearts of gold and I was dismayed/shocked at how badly Soldiers treated them. Serious sense of entitlement I think. Sorry tangent there.

              What the military buys depends on who the vendor is but it's basically a grocery list divided by frozen (meat, veggies, prepackaged meals), fresh (veggies, fruit), dry (spices, pasta, rice), and UGR (unitized group rations). Food is generally ordered by each DFAC with oversight by the brigade headquarters (to reduce wasteful or extravagent purchases).

              My suggestion? Eat as fresh as you can, avoid as much processed food as you can, and keep working out without stressing too much.


              • #8
                Do you have eggs available?

                Excess sodium isn't great, but I believe drinking some extra water would counterract most negative effects.


                • #9
                  thanks for serving (and the other active duty and vets up thread), and i'm glad that the military is taking care of you. it is *really important to me* that you and your families are taken care of (d'oh! ended in a preposition).

                  good luck with PB.


                  • #10
                    wait, could you imagine if the whole military was on PB? wow.


                    • #11
                      Well, knowing what they buy in Afghanistan is definitely helpful (being that I am currently at Camp Leatherneck!). I've been super-choosy at what I get from the main-line, sometimes it's hard when the entire line is different variations of enchillada. Oh, and I'm in the Corps too... interesting... anyways, the information is extremely helpful. Yeah if the whole military was on PB, I'm sure the military could afford the top quality primal foods (being that they'd not have to spend money on junk). As for eggs, they are available hard-boiled, only problem is they are a PITA to get the shell off (don't think they cook them right), and so I end up with literally the yolk by the time I get the shell off...argh!!! Anyways I guess I should get them and just eat the yolk still.


                      • #12
                        Guess this will be a running questions thread, but also those little single-serve coffee mate creamers, they show having 4g of sugar, despite that, the ingredients seem pretty good. I like my coffee at least once a day, are these creamers really bad or will they suffice until I can get something better?


                        • #13
                          This coincidentally got some widespread play in the news today:

                          Is it not time for the mess halls to ditch CW and go Primal if this is such a problem?

                          Godspeed and safe return home.
                          Wheat is the new tobacco. Spread the word.


                          • #14
                            Yes, honestly if Primal foods are the only thing available, everyone would be pretty much forced to unknowingly lose weight. Would be an interesting scientific project huh? I'd say, take a camp, measure/weight/test them, then change what the chowhall is serving for maybe 2-3 months (or longer), and see what changes occur. Maybe that will open the eyes of the military and have them strive more for a Primal solution.