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I'm with going Primal?

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  • I'm with going Primal?

    Hey guys. I recently found this website through google, and it's been very fascinating. I'm still sorting through all of the information though, so there are lot's of things I don't understand. I am in need of some advice and sorting out.

    I'm 16 years old, from Ukraine. I moved to the U.S. when I was around 5 years old. I used to eat home cooked meals when I was young, but when I moved to the U.S., I eventually started to eat tons and tons of junk food, snacks, etc. It got to a point where I was literally eating McDonalds several times a week as there was nothing else I wanted and my parents couldn't get me to eat anything else.

    When I turned 15, this stuff gradually stopped. I have always been a reader, and constantly find stuff on the internet. I was tired of the junk food and really didn't want to be a lazy couch potato forever, so, gradually, I began eating home cooked meals much more (wasn't intentional at first). I started to work out, do exercises, eat more and more home cooked meals. Now, more than a year later, I do not even remember the last time I have eaten at Mcdonalds or any fast food place, really. I haven't drank soda and Coke in literally close to a year now. It's been nothing but fresh-squeezed juices; mostly orange juice, as well as milk. I drink a good deal of Kefir (although it is more of a fruit flavored kind, but it does have the cultures and everything), as well as eat yogurts. My parents are aware of nutrition, and the things they cook, they tell me are balanced, healthy, and non-processed. They try to buy as much natural "real food" and non-packaged crap to make meals as possible, although some of this stuff is expensive, which prevents going all the way.

    So, the things I eat that my parents make are recipes and such brought back from Ukraine and also passed down over several generations. We eat lot's of chicken and Pork and other meats prepared in different ways with herbs and the like. My parents literally buy fresh meat prepare it by pounding it with a hammer, season it with herbs and pepper and all that (I am not sure how that works though; I'm not a great cook lol) then cook it over a flame on a grill, or in the oven. Usually as part of a recipe.

    They make fresh salads with lot's of different vegetables. For example, today I ate two sausages and Sauteed vegetables consisting of Tomatoes, onions, eggplant, carrots, and some other veggies which I don't recall at the moment. Natural sunflower and olive oils are used for salads. The vegetables are bought fresh from Wegmans (as are most things we eat now since it's a great store with a lot of different stuff). Another thing I like to eat with many of my meals is pickled cabbage. The most recent batch was made using a cabbage bought at a farmers market on the way home from the Beach (as fresh as it get's). The cabbage is mixed with a few other vegetables such as carrots and onions. It's all stored in a giant jar with a bandage shoved into the top, and when it's ready after typically a few days, portions can be taken and loaded with a bit of sunflower oil and eaten directly as a snack, as part of a meal, etc. It's cold, crunchy, and tastes great.

    But we also eat potatoes. Potatoes are a staple. We don't eat them that often. It variates weekly. Sometimes it might be several potato-containing meals and sometimes it might be several weeks before they are made. Lot's of variety. My parents cook them in the oven, bake them (not fried) and the skin is left on. Some sunflower oil is usually also added and maybe sour cream. So a meal might consist of oven-made potatoes, cut into halves or smaller pieces along with a big piece of fresh pork cut prepared directly on a fire just prior to the meal (most of the time my Dad will make the meat right when it's bought from the store and later that day we eat it for dinner and then left overs for later meals), along with a freshly-made salad. The thing that kind of puts me off of the salads is the herbs like Parsley and Dill, but even these I eat readily now.

    Aside from potatoes, there's also buckwheat, which is prepared in a manner you won't find in America. I don't know how it's called, but it can be eaten as a side just like potatoes with a salad/vegetables and meat.

    Besides that, I do still eat snacks sometimes. I have all but abandoned chips and other junk food (although I sometimes have a big bag or two of chips in the house that I might sometimes eat a bit from before I go do some physical activity). To compensate for my periodic urges for a snack, I started to get Mozzarella sticks. These have only a few ingredients, taste pretty good, and are only 70 calories meaning they are pretty small but just give me something to chew on. But I eat sometimes several of them at a time. Still, it's better than oreo's in a plastic bag.

    Sometimes I get beef jerky from Trader Joe's.

    I take a vitamin supplement in the morning-silver for teens or something like that.

    And finally, In the morning I usually eat something egg based, like scrambled eggs or an omelet with sausages (and rarely bacon, although I ought to have more of it. I will do so next time I have an omelet). Mostly I eat oatmeal and throw some berries in, or waffles or french toast of the frozen kind. Lately, I have sort of dropped that stuff a bit and now I'm trying to find more variety in the healthy alternatives besides eggs and meat. Salads are too much of a hassle to prepare for the morning (for my Mom, anyways). I haven't eaten cereal in god knows how long though, so that's a plus. Bad thing, though, is that as School started recently, I decided not to eat school food, and started taking my own stuff. I bring little lunch packs akin to lunchables that have some crackers, ham slices, and cheese as well as a candy (I just give the candy to my friends). Not satisfied with this junk, I also bring along an apple and yogurt.

    It's mostly temporary. I have a small supply of these lunches and when they run out I should have some better stuff ready. I'm still trying to find out what to replace it with, though.

    So there it is. That's what my foods consist of. Back when I ate junk food in heaps when I was younger, I did not really fatten up. Mostly due to the straterra I took for ADHD which I dropped this past summer and am going well without. The drugs suppress hunger, and I could notice myself getting chubbier without them. But now I am in great shape due to my work outs and mostly healthy eating. I started working with weights recently, and after not going outside for ages and being a basement dweller for most of my life (And now really realizing that I need that vitamin D now if I want to grow past my 5'6 1/2 inch height that I have been stuck on for awhile) decided to start riding my bike after school. I brushed it off, inflated the tires, replaced the seat, and rode for an hour yesterday. I was trying to go for a light ride like I read on one of the blog posts, but it didn't work out that way. I was sweating and damned if I didn't get a good cardio and leg work out from it all. All of those hills just left me no choice but to go up them. I traveled all around my neighborhood, breathed air, smiled, said hi to everyone I passed, and felt so alive when I went down a hill after several minutes of hard work peddling up one. I went for my second ride today. My legs are sore afterwards, and so is my butt and crotch area from the seat.

    My exercices consist of every (or most) mornings doing 20 burpee's consisting of 4 different variations (so 5 each) along with push ups, crunches/leg raises/etc and a few other things before I take a shower (So I get up at 5:45 to go to my stop at 6:50 and get to school at around 7:20). I have really fixed up my sleep regime lately. I used to go to bed late, especially during the summer break, but now I am already in bed by 11 to get 7 hours of sleep minimum, and mostly try to be in bed earlier than that (but it takes awhile to take a shower and stuff).

    I also use acne creams and washes twice a day to keep myself acne free. I might have one or two pimples every now and then, but I am pretty much entirely free on my face and body.

    So there it is. Everything about my eating/sleeping/exercise/lifestyle habits. Anyone want to offer some advice, or comments?


  • #2

    Hi, Pillowfire. Sounds to me like you already have a much better diet than the average American teenager. Just not eating fast-food or soda gets you into the top 10%!

    So, are you happy with your current diet, or do you actually want to be more primal? If the latter, then you need to cut the crackers, oatmeal, etc. But it sounds like you're already at 80% compliance with the plan. It's up to you how much more you wish to pursue it.


    • #3

      I was gone for awhile and forgot to post a reply, sorry.

      Anyways, I have lately virtually cut bread from my diet. I still eat products with bread in them every now and then, but on average, I have eliminated bread. I think I have eliminated grains as well. Really though, the only time I eat grains is when my parents make Buckwheat or some delicious one-off feast that involves red caviar and bread as a side-dish. Speaking of which, I do love the stuff when it's available.

      But aside from that, my breakfasts lately have consisted of a sausage and Ratatouille. I actually got my mom to make this. She put a spin on it though. In addition to all of the great vegetables in it, she tops it off with cheese that forms a thin, somewhat chewy outer layer for taste. After breakfast I feel very full (not like an empty fullness after eating some cheap junk food). I eat lunch at school, sometimes I might miss lunch and eat it later on (sneak it in class or something) if I have work to finish. My lunch consists of an apple or banana, yogurt (fruit yogurt from Wegmans that doesn't have a huge list of ingredients you can't pronounce. Milk, fruits, a few other ingredients that I can actually pronounce and cultures), and Munster cheese (usually) with cold cuts of meat that cost a good deal of money. I just wrap the cheese around the meat without any bread and it's pretty filling.

      And when I get home, pretty much every single day I have a smoothie consisting of heavy whipping cream (literally two ingredients, including milk), fresh banana and apple as well as strawberries, beat in a mixer. Tastes absolutely amazing (I mean the first time I actually like something composed of "healthy" food more than something processed like a soda) This stuff is addictive. I can drink an entire tall glass and more and it leaves me feeling full until dinner.

      Why do I write all of this? Because after reading Mark's blog I feel a bit confused and pretty scared of all of the crap that's out there. I'm now very conscience of junk and have a great time laughing at the school menu every day with my friend buys lunch. It's usually a piece of bread, with more bread and some chicken covered in bread. I mean, here is a sample menu item:

      "French bread with rice and popcorn chicken"

      and they give you two pieces of bread if you get two servings of the main course. This stuff tastes like foam, too.

      Looking at the picture of Mark on the site banners, he looks exceptionally fit. I'm also pretty fit myself, just less so than Mark. I kind of have stomach muscles coming in but I don't know how to get all of the muscles to become defined. I use weights, I sprint to class in school when I can, purposely dodging tardies as a sort of self-challenge, I sit at the computer a lot but also exercise several times a week and go outside when I can. That, and the fact that I am only 5'6 1/2 tall.

      How do I gain a few more inches in height in addition to really bringing out the muscles, esp. on my stomach?


      • #4

        It sounds like you're doing great for being in school and at home, good job!

        You've got time to grow, I don't think there's much you can do to make yourself taller. And keep sprinting, that should keep melting the fat off your abs.

        You are what you eat,
        and what you eat eats too - Michael Pollan


        • #5

          Thanks! Tomorrow is "bring heavy textbook to school day" which means I will be running around with a book written by 6 different authors as thick as my arm on my back! Joy!