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  • Introduction and first week feedback

    Hello from Colorado! I'm just finishing week one of my paleo transformation and so far so good. Sticking to basics right now but have some questions which I will list below. For starters I already feel better and have more energy. I am trying to find organic and grass fed products but have not obsessed on that aspect yet but with few exceptions have been successful. So overall I am pleased with my first week.

    So let's get to my questions. Each needs a bit of explanation so stick with me. I have a very busy work life and work 60 - 80 hours a week so convenience is paramount. I also have high blood pressure and high cholesterol both of which are well controlled with medicine. I am 6'2" and about 235lbs and a 44 year old male. I do not have a lot of time for exercise right now but understand I need to integrate that and will. Priority one is getting my nutrition right, dropping some of the weight and then I will add exercise into the equation. Baby steps right now.

    Here are my questions....

    Obviously I am adding things in to my diet that some would say I shouldn't because of my cholesterol. I have been constantly reminded of this by my wife. How do I address this with her and maybe my doctor? I read that also the medicine I take may be doing more harm than good. Advice with the meds also appreciated.

    To help fight my cholesterol I also have taken 1 hearty dose of sugar free metamucil every night before bed. This also had other benefits with regularity but no details needed there, use your imagination. Safe to say I am no longer seeing those benefits and it is a bit of a pain in the a-- as a result. Anyone have a simple and convenient way to address this side effect? Can I continue to use the metamucil?

    That's it, I'm sure those are not new issues but hope someone can offer up some advice on the medicine, high bp, cholesterol and let's just call it what it is, regularity. Other than that I feel pretty good and am not missing the carbs and junk to much. Some additional prep work with preprepared meals will make it even easier to stick to plan. Oh and I do have the trifecta of Primal books however have not done a cover to cover read yet... Just the basics as time permits.

    Thanks. VL

  • #2
    Under the "Start Here" button at the top of the page is a link to Griff's Cholesterol Primer. That should get you going a bit better on what you need to know about statins and paleo and cholesterol.

    Second, remember that Primal and paleo are both plant-based diets. You should be eating a lot of leafy greens and other vegetables, as well as some fruit. You should get sufficient fiber from these things without having to supplement any, though you may experience some side effects as your body transitions over.
    Last edited by jfreaksho; 09-04-2011, 06:13 PM.

    Comment


    • #3
      I find that avocado helps, as does an occasional sprinkling of golden flaxseed meal. But I will warn you that there is some controversy about the use of flaxseed now apparently, so I am reducing how much of it I use. Make sure you are getting enough vegetables. I would personally try no to use the Metamusil if I could get away from it.
      Chris
      "Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It is about learning to dance in the rain."
      Unknown

      My journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread36279.html

      My "Program": doing my version of a 4:3 - 3 day fast diet with real food every day, with a little twist of anti-inflammatory mixed in.

      Comment


      • #4
        I do not have a lot of time for exercise right now but understand I need to integrate that and will. Priority one is getting my nutrition right, dropping some of the weight and then I will add exercise into the equation.
        Yes. Nutrition first. Does your work involve any moving around or is it all sitting. If the latter, you will need to be sure to get up at least once an hour and move around some.
        Ancestral Health Info

        I design websites and blogs for a living. If you would like a blog or website designed by someone who understands Primal, see my web page.

        Primal Blueprint Explorer My blog for people who are not into the Grok thing. Since starting the blog, I have moved close to being Archevore instead of Primal. But Mark's Daily Apple is still the best source of information about living an ancestral lifestyle.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Vicarious Lee View Post
          To help fight my cholesterol I also have taken 1 hearty dose of sugar free metamucil every night before bed. This also had other benefits with regularity but no details needed there, use your imagination. Safe to say I am no longer seeing those benefits and it is a bit of a pain in the a-- as a result. Anyone have a simple and convenient way to address this side effect? Can I continue to use the metamucil?

          Comment


          • #6
            This is probably not what you want to hear, but I would start by not working 80 hours a week. Try 40 instead. You seem to be living a very stressful life, and although diet may help somewhat, I think you also need to consider other factors. As I understand it, stress is a major contributor to high blood pressure, and the fact that you need medications to control it makes me suspect you are very stressed out.

            Your height and weight are about the same as mine (I'm 6'3" and ~238lbs). You may be a bit overweight, but I still think making time for exercise and other things than work should be your priority, and not so much focus on losing weight. From what you describe, I doubt you will actually be much healthier in X months if you only loose weight but keep working insane hours and not exercising. Personally, I think you would have much greater benefit from cutting back on work and starting to exercise than focusing on losing weight. If you do this first, then you will also have the energy to focus your attention on the diet later, and I'm quite certain weight loss--or at least fat loss--will be the end result. It may take a bit longer, but I think it would be much healthier.

            So, in summary:
            1. Stop working so much.
            2. Start exercising.
            3. Eat healthy.

            I don't know your reasons for working as much as you do, it may be financial or something you feel you "have" to do, but the way I see it, it's all about priorities and deciding how you want to live your life.
            Norak's Primal Journal:
            2010-07-23: ~255lbs, ~40.0"
            2011-11-03: ~230lbs, ~35.5"
            2011-12-07: ~220lbs, ~34.0"

            Comment


            • #7
              Like Norak said: I think your cortisol-levels must be sky-high with all that work! As for exercise, I started walking 40-60 min daily after a month. That's when I had enough energy to want to do it. Then I have added on sprints and weight lifting as I have gotten fitter. I'm not on my 3 month, and have done all the recommended exercises for a month.

              Is the Metamucil sweetened with sweetener? If so, def quit it ASAP! I don't think you need it. My naturopath put me on glucosamine, and he said that also helps with regularity.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by jfreaksho View Post
                Under the "Start Here" button at the top of the page is a link to Griff's Cholesterol Primer. That should get you going a bit better on what you need to know about statins and paleo and cholesterol.

                Second, remember that Primal and paleo are both plant-based diets. You should be eating a lot of leafy greens and other vegetables, as well as some fruit. You should get sufficient fiber from these things without having to supplement any, though you may experience some side effects as your body transitions over.
                Thanks for pointing out the 101 information. As far as leafy greens I will make that adjustment immediately. Not that I wasn't having any. I'm sure it was just not enough. Funny how we need to reeducate ourselves when we decide to eat and become healthier.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by demuralist View Post
                  I find that avocado helps, as does an occasional sprinkling of golden flaxseed meal. But I will warn you that there is some controversy about the use of flaxseed now apparently, so I am reducing how much of it I use. Make sure you are getting enough vegetables. I would personally try no to use the Metamusil if I could get away from it.
                  Anything flax has historically caused me some gastronomic distress so I try to avoid it. On the other hand avocados are great so I will make that adjustment as well in addition to making sure to eat my veggies. I have committed to going at least 1 month without using any metamucil to give my body and me a chance to adjust. So we will see what happens but I want to give going without it a fair chance.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Hedonist View Post
                    Yes. Nutrition first. Does your work involve any moving around or is it all sitting. If the latter, you will need to be sure to get up at least once an hour and move around some.
                    Although I do sit behind a desk a lot I am fortunate that a lot of the teams I collaborate with are on other floors and several times a day when I need to work with them I take the stairs and do them quickly. A stair sprint maybe.... Take 2 or 3 at a time on the way up and barely touch them on the way down.... Definately not a leisurely walk up or down the stairs. I would eBay I average getting away from the desk around once an hour but it is not on the hour every hour just many times a day.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by js290 View Post
                      Very enlightening. Thanks for the link!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by norak View Post
                        This is probably not what you want to hear, but I would start by not working 80 hours a week. Try 40 instead. You seem to be living a very stressful life, and although diet may help somewhat, I think you also need to consider other factors. As I understand it, stress is a major contributor to high blood pressure, and the fact that you need medications to control it makes me suspect you are very stressed out.

                        Your height and weight are about the same as mine (I'm 6'3" and ~238lbs). You may be a bit overweight, but I still think making time for exercise and other things than work should be your priority, and not so much focus on losing weight. From what you describe, I doubt you will actually be much healthier in X months if you only loose weight but keep working insane hours and not exercising. Personally, I think you would have much greater benefit from cutting back on work and starting to exercise than focusing on losing weight. If you do this first, then you will also have the energy to focus your attention on the diet later, and I'm quite certain weight loss--or at least fat loss--will be the end result. It may take a bit longer, but I think it would be much healthier.

                        So, in summary:
                        1. Stop working so much.
                        2. Start exercising.
                        3. Eat healthy.

                        I don't know your reasons for working as much as you do, it may be financial or something you feel you "have" to do, but the way I see it, it's all about priorities and deciding how you want to live your life.
                        Ah yes the schedule. Yes I wish I could cut back on the hours. I have some significant projects right now that have taken this type of time commitment for the last 6 months and will continue for about another year. There are not a lot of people that can do what I am doing and although I love it, it is taking it's toll at present which is why I am trying to do what I can to create balance at least with my health. I mean the work isn't going to go away for a bit but at least I can control what I feed my body and mind. There will be weeks that are less hours but even "easy weeks" are 40-50 hours. The stress is high and realistically my pride prevents me from failing or quitting before the job is done. I also have kids ready to graduate high school and z1 already in college. I am trying to pay cash for their school so they get a financially clean start after college instead of graduating with a diploma and a bunch of debt. On top of that now is not the best time to be looking for a job.

                        I simply have to do what I can to eliminate stress and savor the easy days for now as well as maximize the things I can control like diet until a proper balance to my life returns. I know I am out of balance but I am trying to compensate in other areas. If I can find 30 minutes a day a few days a week maybe that will provide even more balance. What I really need is some "playtime" and that is what is scarce to nonexistent.

                        Thanks for the feedback and concern.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Glamorama View Post
                          Like Norak said: I think your cortisol-levels must be sky-high with all that work! As for exercise, I started walking 40-60 min daily after a month. That's when I had enough energy to want to do it. Then I have added on sprints and weight lifting as I have gotten fitter. I'm not on my 3 month, and have done all the recommended exercises for a month.

                          Is the Metamucil sweetened with sweetener? If so, def quit it ASAP! I don't think you need it. My naturopath put me on glucosamine, and he said that also helps with regularity.
                          I use the unsweetend or at least sugar free. I am trying to eliminate it for a month to see what happens. As far as my stress level and cortisol I have no doubt they match one another. I cannot eliminate either right now but recognizing them and doing what I can to mitigate their presence is the best I can hope for at the moment. I know things will get better it is just going to take time.

                          Thanks for your reply and concern.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Vicarious Lee View Post
                            Ah yes the schedule. Yes I wish I could cut back on the hours. I have some significant projects right now that have taken this type of time commitment for the last 6 months and will continue for about another year. There are not a lot of people that can do what I am doing and although I love it, it is taking it's toll at present which is why I am trying to do what I can to create balance at least with my health.
                            I see. Hopefully this is a temporary thing, then. If you are in such an important role as you describe, maybe you are also in a position to do some negotiation regarding your working hours? The more valuable you are to your employer (i.e. you are one of few who can do what you do), the better positioned you are to get a good deal with them. Maybe you can get some extra vacation time when the crunch is over? Or maybe you can get a more flexible schedule when things are not so busy?

                            Originally posted by Vicarious Lee View Post
                            I mean the work isn't going to go away for a bit but at least I can control what I feed my body and mind. There will be weeks that are less hours but even "easy weeks" are 40-50 hours. The stress is high and realistically my pride prevents me from failing or quitting before the job is done. I also have kids ready to graduate high school and z1 already in college. I am trying to pay cash for their school so they get a financially clean start after college instead of graduating with a diploma and a bunch of debt. On top of that now is not the best time to be looking for a job.
                            I understand your situation, and I think it's good that you are conscious about it. There's a lot of people out there who are working their a** off without really knowing why, they just think "that's how it's supposed to be". At least you seem to have made a choice about it.

                            Originally posted by Vicarious Lee View Post
                            I simply have to do what I can to eliminate stress and savor the easy days for now as well as maximize the things I can control like diet until a proper balance to my life returns. I know I am out of balance but I am trying to compensate in other areas. If I can find 30 minutes a day a few days a week maybe that will provide even more balance. What I really need is some "playtime" and that is what is scarce to nonexistent.
                            I see your dilemma. In my experience, changing habits while in a stressful situation is not very easy. It's hard enough when you're able to give it its full attention. Tweaking your diet might help, but for immediate stress-relief, I absolutely think physical activity is the way to go. Of course, you should do both, but if you only have time for one, I would prioritize getting some exercise, even if it's just "playtime" (i.e. not necessarily going to the gym). The reason for this is that exercise and physical activity will give you energy, which hopefully will enable you to make better food choices in the middle of a stressful day-to-day life.

                            Is it possible for you to take your lunch break outside? Maybe go for a walk or something? Maybe that would help. I know walking always helps me get my mind off things when I'm busy at work.

                            Originally posted by Vicarious Lee View Post
                            Thanks for the feedback and concern.
                            You're welcome. I don't have kids, but I have had a job situation very similar to yours for many years, so I know how stressful it can be. It's times like that when my diet typically took a turn for the worse, so I know how hard it can be.
                            Norak's Primal Journal:
                            2010-07-23: ~255lbs, ~40.0"
                            2011-11-03: ~230lbs, ~35.5"
                            2011-12-07: ~220lbs, ~34.0"

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Thanks

                              Thanks for all of the feedback everyone. Although I cannot do a lot about work right now I am adjusting my diet a bit more with additional leafy greens and it appears to be making a difference. I will add in some quality exercise even if that means simply a 30 minute walk to start with.

                              Thanks again!

                              VL

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