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Primal Challenge Journal (Agnieszka)

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  • Primal Challenge Journal (Agnieszka)

    My goals:

    1. Flash a naughty sign to high fructose corn syrup.

    2. Ignore sugar.

    3. Exercise every day, doing yoga, cross circuit, biking, and swimming.

    4. Work on my academic research at least 3 hours a day to get ready for a busy year.

    5. Try to write one poem a day.

    6. Go down one clothes size.

    I've just written these goals tonight, so I only fulfilled goals 1-3. Tomorrow I begin working on 4 and 5 as well, expecting 6 at the end of the month.

    Today I had two main meals and two snacks.

    Brunch consisted of 3 bacon strips, 1 egg scrambled with coconut-oil sauteed spinach, leeks, and tomatoes on the side, and 2 small cups of black coffee.

    I had two teaspoons of sunflower butter and two handfuls of blueberries as a snack in between.

    For dinner, I ate a filet of mahi mahi in curry and coconut oil and a medium-size salad with romaine, watercrest, tomatoes, and avocado tossed in olive oil, white wine vinegar and lime dressing.

    I snacked later on a handful of blueberries.

    My exercise included total conditioning circuit training for an hour and a leisurely walk/jog around a nearby pond for 30 minutes--with a tire throw nonetheless.

  • #2

    Brunch: Two eggs scrambled with Parmesan cheese in coconut oil. Mushrooms sauteed with onion and bell peppers in a splash of white wine and olive oil.

    Snack: Some 40 cherries throughout the day. A cup of strawberries. A cup of blueberries. (Gotta cut down on fruit a bit.) One carrot.

    Supper: Avocado with blue cheese crumbles. Cup of miso soup. 20 or so small halfs of steamed asparagus.

    One teaspoon of sunflower seed butter.

    Most of my calories came from fat. Need to plan for more protein tomorrow and cut down on this delicious fruit (hard to do, when they're in season and cheap). All in all, I ate about 1400 calories today.

    The biggest accomplishment is not eating sugar or flour; I'm new at the PB. My body is still going, WTF?, confounded by the historic lack of cookie-dough ice-cream and milk chocolate in my system for about a week now.

    I did yoga for 70 minutes today, walked a mile, and ran a mile.

    Wrote a poem.

    Did my research.



    • #3

      B/L: Scrambled eggs with lox and sauteed onion. Two small cups of coffee.

      S: 10 cherries and 2 strawberries.

      D: 2 uncured grass-fed hot dogs from Applegate Farms, with a red and green cabbage salad with some carrot. 3/4 cup of Greek yogurt with 2 strawberries.

      S: 1/2 of Coconut Bliss.

      In sum, about 1600 calories.

      Exercise: the 50/50 class at my gym, with aerobic (which I took easy) and weight lifting throughout.

      Research: underway.

      Poem: yet to be written (but I won't go to bed for another 3 hours or so).

      I'm elated! Haven't eaten this healthy for this many days in a row in my life.


      • #4

        B/L: 4 strips of Applegate Farms uncured bacon, 10 bing cherries, cafe breve (cappucino with steamed and foamed half an half), scrambled eggs with coho wild lox from Trader Joe's and sauteed leeks, in bacon fat. A leaf of kale.

        S: One apple (my once-per-week indulgence), 8 ounces of unsweetened Almond Breeze, 1 tbsp sunflower seed butter.

        D: One small organic chicken thigh in olive oil. Grass-fed hot dog. A bit of whipped heavy cream with a tiny sprinkle of stevia.

        About 1900 calories in all. 67% fat/19% protein/14% carbs. 72 grams carbs. (I'm in weight loss phase intentionally.)

        Exercise: 1 hour vinyasa yoga. 10 minutes of vigorous walk; 10 minutes of moderate pace run; 15 minutes of relatively intense bike riding. Ironing.

        Brain: Did my 3 hours of research! Read "The Envoy of Mr. Cogito" by Zbigniew Herbert and cried, not to mention envied him--in a stimulating way. Will write my poem now.

        I am full, very full, and yet badly want some Coconut Bliss right now, but I keep telling myself cannot have it--it would take me over my intended carb limit for the day. Best, I suppose, to focus on something else: the delightful things I do have.


        • #5

          Wow! You're doing extremely well. . .keep it up!! (And good luck with your academic research as well. . .doing PB will probably help give you the energy and mental focus for that also.)


          • #6

            Thanks so much, Catalina! That's my hope. All the best on your challenge as well!


            • #7

              Today I feel guilty because I had Coconut Bliss--a half cup of it--when I hadn't planned on it. That thing is so of the devil! I know, I know, there are much worse things to eat. I just wish that I had used those calories toward a small fillet of cod. Oh, well, I'll try to do better next time.

              The good thing is that I still came in at 72 grams carbs, which is what I was shooting for. Fat was 140 and protein 78. All about 1800-1850 calories.

              B/L: 2 eggs with asparagus, 3 strips of bacon, coffee, 1 walnut, a spoon of creme fraiche.

              S: a handful of kale chips (which I made myself with olive oil and salt); whipped cream (a cup)

              D: chicken vegetable soup I made in a slow cooker

              The Containable Fail: Coconut Bliss (1/2 cup or a bit more); one spoon of sunflower seed butter.

              My exercise was an intense 90-minute hot yoga session.

              I'm beat and am probably not going to do my research today. But I'll try to read something good before bedtime.


              • #8

                Well, the late-night developments included an emotional disappointment, and--sigh--14 walnuts, two slices of aged grass-fed cheddar, and some kale chips. They're relatively healthy snacks, but I wasn't planning on them. I felt ravenous though and had to remedy it somehow. I wonder: had I had that cod filet instead of Coconut Bliss, would I have felt this hungry?

                Still, as I remind myself, I've made tremendous strides toward health, even on a day like today, when normally I would have sat on a chair with a bucket of cookie dough ice cream.


                • #9

                  How do you make kale chips?? And tell me about you chicken vegetable soup? =)


                  • #10

                    The delicious and crunchy kale chips (which are great on top of soups, as I discovered, as well as by themselves) can be made this way:

                    The chicken soup was my own impromptu invention, and I'm happy to say it turned out well. I basically used what I had in the fridge; I'm sure you can modify endlessly. The slowcooker is ideal for this.

                    1. I put some chicken thighs in a pan, generously seasoned them with curry (I like the Curry Row mix I get at WF) and a bit of salt, and browned them slowly for about 15 minutes or so.

                    2. I then put them in the slowcooker, and added some organic free-range chicken broth (from Pacific Foods, the 32 fl oz. container) .

                    3. I tossed in some cut up cabbage, broccoli, tomatoes, celery, carrots, kale, and onion.

                    4. I cooked it first on slow (the first hour I think) and then--because of time limitations--on high for about 4-5 hours.

                    5. I garnished with crispy kale chips. (Of course, one can use fresh parsley, fresh dill, and a host of other things.)

                    Voila. It tasted well, at least to me and to my husband.

                    To stretch the leftover soup today, I've added a container of Pacific Foods beef broth (because I ran out of chicken) and some more veggies and spices. I've just tried it; it's just as good as yesterday's.

                    To thicken the soup a bit, I think I'm going to add some creme fraiche or coconut milk.



                    • #11

                      A good day:

                      B: I/F

                      L: 6 oz curried cod in walnut oil; bad-ass salad

                      S: blueberries in coconut cream

                      D: chicken vegetable soup; 2 strips of bacon; 1 scrambled egg with some shredded raw milk parmesan.

                      Calories: 1345. Fat/Protein/Carb: 58/24/18 Carbs: 65 g.

                      Activity: vigorous bike ride to and from farmer's market (30 minutes total, with a heavy backpack and two bags on each hand on the way back)/ free weight lifting/ 70 jumps from squat.


                      • #12

                        B: primal pancakes with bluberries and a tiny amount of banana

                        L: grass-fed steak, cauliflower mashed "potatoes" (my first disappointment among the paleo/primal recipes I've tried--still a good ratio of success to failure), and a salad.

                        D: small snacky foods--some hazelnuts, some yogurt, cucumber

                        Calories: 1650; Fat/Protein/Carb: 69/23/8 Carbs: 37 gram (I might add more with an apple or carrot after writing this).

                        Exercise: 1 hour pilates; 25 minutes of jogging and walking intertwined (including the sprints).

                        I watched Sugar: The Bitter Truth with my husband and I think this did more to convince him to give up his weakness, Coca Cola, than anything else I've said.


                        • #13

                          That's good news about your husband. . .and your soup sounds yummy (and seriously nutritious!).


                          • #14


                            A strange day today, by which I mean my first attempt to eat out as an aspiring primal. On the way home from a long hike at Starved Rock, we went to this Japanese steakhouse and made the mistake of sitting at the habachi bar. The infantilizing, buffoonish chef drowned good meats in sweet sauces without asking for our preference. (He was too busy with cheap tricks such as throwing shrimp into people's mouths and complementing himself loudly, so there was no way we could get through to him to say we didn't want the sauce of unknown but sweet origin.) And the waitress was mostly unresponsive. I nibbled on shrimp and some sushi. Note to self: Never sit at the habachi bar.

                            All in all though, exercise-wise and perhaps food wise not a bad slightly off day.

                            B: 3 small primal pancakes, 1 grass fed hotdog, 1 egg.

                            L: Berries and nuts

                            D: Shrimp, miso soup and a couple of slices of sashimi (salmon and macrel) at the Japanese restaurant. Some sweet sauces made their way into my stomach as well, though I tried hard to wipe them off my food. They truly gave me a bad taste in my mouth, and all I could think about was the diagram of fructose entering my liver from Sugar: The Bitter Truth.

                            S: Berries and whipped cream.

                            It's hard to estimate the Japanese steakhouse intake, but I'm at about 1600-1800 calories today, with F/P/C ratio of roughly 56/18/26. The berries were the weakest point: I had about 5 cups. But on the other hand I worked out very hard.

                            Exercise: A lot. I hiked moderately and vigorously (alternating the intensity with terrain) for 3,5 hours.

                            Also, I weighed myself today, and the scale showed I lost 3 pounds over same time last week.


                            • #15

                              B: 2 scrambled eggs with parmesan and EVOO-sauteed zucchini with red peppers and onion. A couple of very small primal pancakes left over from yesterday.

                              L: a small can of sardines in olive oil.

                              D: 3 lamb ribs; sauteed spinach; some feta cheese and a few kalamata olives; small mache salad with 1/2 avocado and some carrot.

                              S: an apple, a tbsp of sunbutter, a walnut.

                              Exercise: 1,5 hr yoga.