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Beginners Advice

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  • Beginners Advice

    Good afternoon all, this is my first post but I have been reading MDA and the forums for a while now. I have also read the Primal Blueprint which I found a very interesting and an eye opening read.

    I did attempt to go Primal several months ago but was not successful. My wife found it frustrating to say the least which was understandable because I had thrust a massive change in to our life over night. The main problem came down to the amount of time I was spending on food preparation and cooking. Unfortunately, my wife has little interest in the Primal life style but I am hoping this could change in the future.

    I play hockey which includes training once a week and a game at the weekend, I like to run (not too far) and also enjoy tennis and get out on my bike from time to time. I will be starting the body weight exercises soon. With the hockey I play some additional carbs are necessary. From what I have read here and in the 'Primal Blueprint for Athletes' section this is not a problem as long as they are the right kind of carbs. Sweet/white potatoes, rice and no grains or sugar. I am fine with this except when it comes to convenience. If I have a game at 12:00 on a Saturday then I like to eat several hours before hand, the same with training. What would people suggest is a good, fast food to prepare. My staples were always wheat based such as cereal, pancakes or bread mainly due to how easy they are to prepare.

    I know my muscles will have stored glycogen but I would like to ensure I am going in to a game with as much stored energy as possible. Do you have any thoughts on this?


  • #2
    Hi, I'm a beginner myself so I'm sorry I can't help with your question about specific foods, but I can offer you hope about your wife. I was in your wife's position about a year ago when my husband started going primal. I was several months pregnant with our fourth child at the time, and very annoyed that he suddenly wanted to change our entire way of eating. I remember telling him that if he wanted to start on a "weird" diet, he was going to have to start doing the cooking. To his credit, that's what he did. He started making a big salad that would last for several days. Then at dinner time he would just cook up some meat (or sometimes I would). He didn't spend a lot of time cooking but still made some healthy and tasty meals. He would occasionally remark about how some of the things the kids and I were eating for breakfast and lunch weren't good for us, but he didn't make a huge deal out of it.

    Still, I wasn't at all converted until about a week ago. After a year of having health issues--high blood pressure from the pregnancy which lasted for several months, postpartum hormonal issues that had left me a complete mess, then slightly high cholesterol which my doctor immediately wanted to put me on medication for--I was feeling very stressed and worn out. One day when we were discussing whether I should go on cholesterol medication, my husband walked over to the bookshelf and pulled out his copy of The Primal Blueprint and handed it to me. It had been sitting there for months and I had seen him looking at it, but I had never bothered to look at it myself. We got into a discussion about it and the next thing I knew, I was poring over the pages and realizing that it all made perfect sense. I've been primal for 6 days now and seriously have never felt better in my life. In fact, I'm even more fanatical about it than my husband is.

    So all of that is to say that your wife could definitely come around. Just keep doing what you're doing and telling/showing her how great you feel without shoving it down her throat. And if she complains about the mess you're making in the kitchen, doing the dishes yourself will certainly help with your case! Good luck!


    • #3
      I suggest reading a short book titled The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance. You will find that this stored energy issue doesn't work like you might think it does.
      “In God we trust; all others must bring data.” W. Edwards Deming
      Blogging at


      • #4
        Originally posted by loafingcactus View Post
        I suggest reading a short book titled The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance. You will find that this stored energy issue doesn't work like you might think it does.
        Sounds interesting. Not sure if it works how I think it does, but then again, I don't think this post was directed at me. Plus, I did take biology in college when we talked about things like cellular respiration and the Kreb's cycle.

        Hopefully, I can get a copy from the library, as my personal library is already quite huge.


        • #5
          It was directed at Coxy's thought that he could "store energy" with carbs.

          I knew that this didn't work well with women, and when I did half-marathons carbing before running was a disaster, but the book has some very interesting science about how badly it works in men- locked down in a lab, gold standard kind of science.
          “In God we trust; all others must bring data.” W. Edwards Deming
          Blogging at


          • #6
            Thanks for the information, I will have to look in to what you have suggested.

            Does anybody have any suggestions for replacing bread and other quick to prepare, grain based foods?


            • #7
              Sweet potatoes and potatoes are super easy to prepare. You can either bake them in the oven the night before and reheat in the morning, or you could cook them in the microwave in the morning. It only takes a few minutes to make baked (sweet) potatoes in the microwave although I think sweet potatoes are yummier baked in the oven.

              I usually bake a bunch of potatoes in the oven at once and just store them in the fridge. I'll either reheat before eating or just eat them cold.

              If you have cold baked potatoes in the fridge, you could make hash browns with them really quickly. Just grate the potatoes and then fry it up in a pan. Because the potatoes are already cooked, all you have to do is brown them to make it crispy. Super fast and easy.

              I usually work out fasted, but I eat before races. My favorite thing to eat pre-primal was oatmeal & eggs. Now, I just eat bananas. Love bananas. You could also make banana pancakes. There's some discussion regarding the ratio of banana to eggs. I find that 2 eggs per banana works best.

              My journal


              • #8
                Sweet potato +1. Toss some good butter on there and some cinnamon and you've got a recipe for awesome.



                • #9
                  Here's a great way to prepare sweet potatoes - cut potatoes into cubes, throw in some chopped bacon, season with cinnamon and salt. Bake for 45 minutes or so.. Delicious and easy to reheat.

                  Also, have you tried playing hockey without worrying about needing extra carbs. You may find that you have more than enough energy! Your body should become fat adapted and that can provide you all the energy you need.