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Beginning a Primal Lifestyle

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  • Beginning a Primal Lifestyle

    Hello everyone! New to these forums and new to Mark's Daily Apple as of two days ago. On a whim I've started a fairly strict Primal food plan. I am presently in the midst of the second day of it and thus far I've not had any carb cravings. The only notable craving was for a cucumber and carrot (with some balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil) last night. That craving completely shocked me.

    I live in Japan and have lived here for almost three years now. However I speak almost no Japanese. This makes shopping and finding specific things much more difficult in my countryside stores. I have no real access to grass-fed beef and I am not sure where most of the fish I have were caught. (Aside them almost certainly being from the pacific). The veggies and fruit are a bit different but not too much so. I am returning to my home country (USA) in just over two months so all of that doesn't worry me so much.

    I'm trying to keep my fruit consumption low... keeping it to berries. Mostly strawberries, frozen blueberries, and cherries. I use them in the greek yogurt smoothies I found on this site with a whole banana. I'm eating lots of carrots, cucumbers, and red bell peppers lately. I am avoiding all the carb sources I can spot though the balsamic vinegar I have is a bit suspect.

    I am not yet doing sprints, or much exercise at all. I've taken to climbing from the first floor to the third floor of my school and back 10 times on some days and trying to take a light walk as well out in the sun from time to time. I have some VFF KSO Treks ordered, having them shipped through a family member so I can get them here a few weeks before I do my hike up Mt. Fuji (hence the stair climbing). I will start doing light sprints (maybe 4 each time) once I get them so I can get used to running again. Till then (a week, perhaps a week and a half) I will keep up the light exercise and working on my diet.

    I love indian curry. There is a curry place I always have gone to... they have excellent curries and meats. I intend to still go there but to abstain from any of the bread or rice. And if they give me chai I will drink it without adding the packet of sugar they often serve it with. There is one place I am planning to brake my no-carbs rule... but that is only one time before I leave Japan. It will be at this wonderful fish and chips place I know. Getting a big plate of fish and chips which will be my last in a long long time. I however intend to abstain from drinking guiness during it and perhaps instead will go with a glass or red wine or just stick with water.

    I am twenty nine years old. I have been overweight for most of my life starting in early middle-school. Yesterday I did a 'start of my primal lifestyle' weigh-in at 128.7 kilograms, that is roughly 283.7 lbs. I am 6'2". I have no diagnosed medical problems but I have little doubt that within another decade if I kept along as I was that they would swiftly develop. I am considering going into the military (perhaps trying for an officer's position) if I can drop my weight to an acceptable level and I feel confident at the level of physical activity that would require... however the cut off is to end officer training before your 34th birthday. With officer training lasting about a year that means being accepted by my 33rd. Giving me about 2 or 3 years to get myself in shape if I choose to take the military path (just one of many before me). My birthday is in September and just over a month after I get back to the US I will be turning 30. Perhaps a bit of a wake-up call in itself.

    I have many hobbies... and I am interested in almost everything I come across. I do enjoy video games and don't intend to give them up though I do intend to lessen how much time I put forth into them. I also enjoy hiking, camping, and fishing. I want to get into hunting as well as kayaking. I am interested in historical recreation (Through the Society for Creative Anachronism, the SCA) and that gives many opportunities to work out from arms training, fencing, thrown weapons, dance, and much more.

    So I have a lot of options ahead of me. A moment I plan to indulge sometime in the next few months. And a strict plan for what I am eating. I look forward to what changes it all brings about in me.

    Already in my second day of the diet I feel better, healthier. I woke this morning feeling healthy, motivated. I haven't had a drop in energy that I often have just after lunch. I lost 3 lbs. from yesterday's weight. I know that is likely just fluctuation or the 'starting a new diet' weight loss. But it makes me happy and propels me forward.

    My goal weight loss before I go back to the US is 20 lbs. To be at 260 lbs or less. If somehow I get to 240 lbs. or less that would be spectacular... that is a long distance hope for the present time.

    A pleasure to meet you all. My name is Brian Kinsman. Feel free to call me Brian, or 'Sloshed'.

  • #2
    An update. Now on my 4th day of my Primal Lifestyle and holding to it well. Had some curry over the weekend but it had no potatoes or such in it. Just tomatoes, onions, okra, and mutton. Also had some 'sag mutton' which was mostly spinach and mutton and... probably onions. Been feeling a bit guilty about the full-fat bulgarian yogurt I use for my smoothies (about 200g per smoothie, 1 cup).

    I have dropped 6.8 lbs. / 3.1 kg. in these four days. Putting me now at 276.9 lbs. or 125.6 kg..

    Even better than that, this morning I have so much energy and I haven't had a drop of coffee! I am feeling very positive and looking forward to how the next few months will treat me.

    My pair of VFF KSO Treks left the US yesterday to ship to me. Greatly looking forward to getting them.


    • #3
      We love full fat yogurt - go for it!


      • #4
        I keep hearing that 'dairy is bad' though. Which kinda throws me. Is it just the full fat cream I need to use in moderation? In the primal blueprint shopping list I didn't see yogurt mentioned at all.

        Also hoping what I am getting is the full fat yogurt. I've seen three different 'plain yogurts' of the European variety in my lil grocery store in the countryside of Japan. 0% (something, I think fat) bulgarian yogurt, another bulgarian yogurt that doesn't have the 0% (it could be low fat though... unsure), and a low fat greek yogurt. I suppose I -could- compare the fat content of the lowfat greek and the 'mystery fat' bulgarian. I will just have to look up 'fat' in Japanese in regards to diet.

        I am fairly sure the splash of milk I use in my scrambled eggs and smoothie isn't whole milk. Not sure what it is... I would worry more about figuring that out but I am out of here in about 2 months and 3 days. But they are 2 months and 3 days I will be doing the primal lifestyle... and I will run out of milk before that time and get more... so may actually work that out.

        So much energy this morning... been chasing my students (JHS) through the halls like Godzilla. Just the first years who are still recently out of elementary tough. The others are too 'cool' for that.


        • #5
          You want the 4% yogurt, not the 0%. And heavy cream is better than milk. Dairy is fine under Primal Blueprint, unless you find it causes issues for you. For just starting out, keep it in if you like it. Eventually as you refine the diet to suit your metabolism, you can figure out what works best for you.


          • #6
            Mt. Fuji doesn't open until July, I think. I will tell you, it is a SCHLEP. I didn't particularly train for climbing Fuji san, just did a lot of hilly walking; all my leg muscles were killing me for a few days after. And my little group of four women didn't plan things out so well (should've started earlier, then stopped earlier for the night at one of the inns....I did it on a deficit of sleep). ANYWAY, it's fun and amazing. Also, if you are a gaijin & just there with friends, a lot of Japanese people will want to talk to you about where you are from, etc. (but you probably already know this).

            All that said, I wanted to add that yesterday I did a 47-mile bike ride that was my first long ride of the year, and afterward I had absolutely no sore muscles at all. I credit that to my pre-ride meal being very protein & fat heavy, and very light on carbs. I had great energy level the whole ride, and like I said, no soreness.

            Gambatte ne! Ki o tsukette!


            • #7
              Mt. Fuji's tourist season doesn't begin till July 1st. There are buses going up a bit starting in April however. Though there is often still snow atop Mt. Fuji in June. A few places are closed (like the places to get ramen). It will also be a little less crowded. I am a gaikokujin (gaijin means 'outsider' which can be a bit rude. gaikokujin means foreigner). I've been living in Japan for almost 3 years now so yeah... even in the local countryside area where I live I get that treatment still. I've adjusted and gotten used to it. When I came to Japan I used to be an introvert! Not quite so much anymore ^.^

              Reached my 1 week mark today for my Primal lifestyle! I have more energy than I have ever had and it is CONSTANT through the day! I do get a strong urge to take a nap at around 2pm but it isn't a lack of energy... more a want to lay in the sun for a bit and digest lunch and then take a nap in the shade of a tree. Aside from a bout of allergies (the pollen/dust kind) the past two days I have been in great health!

              And so far in the first week of my lifestyle... I have lost 4.1 kg, that is 9 lbs.! Very surprised at that. I have not been hungry or had any carb cravings. A few times I have wanted for food I don't have access to (two days ago I was drooling at the thought of shrimp scampi). I am still adjusting to lower my carbs and finding some surprises. It seems like the frozen blueberries I've been buying are 12.6 carbs per 100g! I've been using 100g of them (half a package of 200g) for my smoothies. Going to cut that to 50g (a quarter of the bag) as well as cut out the half a banana I've added in the past. I've already replaced the bulgarian yogurt I used with coconut milk. Seems a better source of fat/protein and I can try and see how my body does with less dairy. (The coconut milk has been a blessing since I started using it right as the allergies hit. And the allergies hit BEFORE the coconut milk. So no worries there.). I've continued alternating scrambled eggs with a smoothie in the morning (it is now down to about 7 strawberries and 50g of blueberries mixed with 200ml (half a 400ml can) of coconut milk. I do toss half an onion in the pan before scrambling the eggs... but it adds good taste and it isn't TOO many carbs.

              I intend to stick to the Primal lifestyle. With occasional trips for my '20%' though for the most part trying for 100%. My VFFs left Japanese customs yesterday so I am very hopeful that they will come in today! What a great reward for staying Primal for a week!


              • #8
                My daugher lived in Japan several years ago and did Mt. Fuji. She said it was definitely challenging! She's tiny and a carboholic though. You'll do great eating primally! Enjoy.


                • #9
                  Sadly the climb of Mt. Fuji was canceled due to conflicting schedules of my friends. Was tempted to try it on my own but decided to save the money. Shipping things back is costing me a lot more money than I thought it would.

                  I am now 1 month and 10 days into my Primal diet (haven't adopted the exercise side of it but I am not quite sedentary). I have lost 11.5 kg / 25.4 lbs., and am now sitting at about 258 lbs. I hope to lose another 8 lbs. or so before I leave the country (in late July) to make it under 250 lbs. then once I get back to Michigan I will start up regular exercising and getting more active as well as finding it easier to vary my diet and get the nutrients I need.

                  I am still surprised at how little effort I need to stick to it. Every now and then I do eat a tiny bit of grains. I eat a bit of dark chocolate or one of the more carb-rich fruit. I have no cravings for junk food. A treat to myself now tends to be a Fuji apple or some dark cherries.

                  I feel healthier than I have since I was a little kid. I reached around the weight I was at my lowest from two years ago. And feel that it is likely to continue going down till I find a good balance. I fit into clothes that I had bought back two years ago... and that I haven't been able to fit well enough in for about a year and a half. I look forward to when even these clothes feel baggy on me. I know it will take time but seems well worth it for the healthy feeling alone let alone the weight and bulk I've lost ^.^

                  A side note... while I haven't really been exercising primally I do tend to carry heavy things from time to time and go on good lengthy walks. I walk up stairs at work and chase after students (sometimes lifting them is a bit of my lift heavy things). I also do pushups from time to time on a whim. I'm stronger than I was before I began the diet. So I'm very happy with how things are going. Will post again right before I've left Japan or right when I've gotten back.


                  • #10
                    At the two month mark for my Primal lifestyle. I've lost 15.4 kg / 34 lbs. in those two months. Just under 11 lbs in the past month. I am now under 250 lbs. and still have a week before I leave for Michigan. I intend to keep it up and get more exercise as well as manage my meals better since I will be able to watch for carbs and ask for specific things much easier in a country where I speak the language. This is the lightest I have been in over a decade and I don't intend to stop here. I went on a hike at the Fushimi Inari shrine near Kyoto. Amazing area with lots of stone fox statues and hundreds upon hundreds of big red tori gates.


                    • #11
                      Right on!