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Primal Challenge Journal (Shalon)

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  • Primal Challenge Journal (Shalon)

    Okay, back from vacation and into reality. I have been looking forward to getting back into eating primally; kind of fell off here and there while in Mexico (I couldn't resist the fresh made tortillas ALL the time).

    B-dbl americano with cream

    L-2 egg scramble w/carmelized onions, sauteed mushrooms, scallions, fresh herbs from garden, shredded swiss

    S-homemade jala popper-cheese, bacon, jalapeno with egg batter crust

    D-elk steak marinated in chipotle, orange & olive oil mixture, oven roasted eggplant slices, 1 glass white wine

    I see that I didn't really eat much today. I was busy trying to catch up with work and missed breakfast (can I call that an IF?). In addition, I came home to an empty fridge. I definitely don't think I ate enough. Will be hungry tomorrow morning early and will make a decent breakfast for myself.

    I pulled more elk out of the freezer (my roommate hunts here in MT and I get some great meat as a result) and will have that for dinner tomorrow as well.

    My garden is in great need of a harvesting of lettuce and misc greens. Can't wait to make a fresh salad out of it all.

  • #2


    This morning I took the time to enter my food into a nutrition tracker on Following is my breakfast:

    2 egg scramble w/smoked wild salmon, tomatoes, goat cheese, olive oil, little cream; 1/3 eggplant roasted, 1 pear and coffee.

    588 calories, 36 g fat (54.4%), 27 g protein (18%), 41 g carbs (27.5%)

    I didn't realize how many carbs were in a pear; will stick to berries and apples once I eat the other 2 pears that I bought, eating only 1/2 of one at a meal versus a whole one.

    I will continue tracking percentages and totals on the sparkpeople website so that I have a really good idea of just where I am hitting my fat/prot/carb/cal amounts.


    • #3


      I finished out yesterday just a bit over 100 g of carbs, wahoo!

      Yesterday Lunch: was running short on time so ran to a local grocery that makes good sandwiches & salads with excellent ingredients and grabbed a container of egg salad and another of a cabbage & red pepper salad. Had some nuts with it.

      D-1 large locally grown tomato and some cottage cheese, 1 glass red wine.

      8/11 totals: 1764 cal, 106g carbs (25.1%), 107g fat (56.8%), 77g protein (18.2%)

      I ate a significant amount of nuts, lending to a higher fat gram amount than what I am comfortable with. I need to figure out what the optimal fat amount is for a primal diet. Will do some research.

      This morning I had part of an elk backstrap with eggs and roasted eggplant. I was quite pleasantly surprised at how lean and high protein the elk was when I entered it into the nutrition tracker (2g fat, 34g protein). Will have to pull more out of the freezer. Have some elk breakfast sausage that will be TASTY with eggs.


      • #4


        Yesterday I ended the day having consumed 94g carbs (27.6%), 73g fat (47.9%), 84g protein (24.5%). My calories were 1,700 which seems to be average for me while eating primal; at least for the last few days.

        L-salad with carne asada, guac, salsa, few black beans

        D-watermelon, a couple nachos (not my usual huge portion) 1 1/2 chicken strips, gin & wine (blahh)

        I definitely felt a energy zap the last two days and even some today. I understand it can take up to a week for that to go away. It's also the first day of my period and I always feel exhausted from that. But on the other hand, my cramps are nothing close to what they used to be. I am attributing that to this diet change.

        I had too much alcohol last night. It was martini night and I had 2 martinis and a glass of wine. Should have honestly stuck with one martini and that's it. I did switch to club soda for the rest of the evening even though others were having another drink. I tend to get caught up in the moment and continue drinking as well. The club soda definitely helped prevent a hangover today.

        I don't know if it's a mind thing or actuality but my pants feel looser. I won't weigh myself until after my period. Earlier this week, I weighed myself and was at 162. It'll be interesting to see what happens in the next couple of weeks. Especially after I start feeling more energy and start working out. I did make an effort to go into the store today and help put away the deliveries trying to get in some "lifting".


        • #5

          Okay, it's been a few days since I have journaled but all is seemingly going well.

          I tried out a few sprints on Sun morning while hiking with Khurry. My abs still hurt from them. Or maybe it was the painting I did later in the day and all of the wall cleaning before the painting actually started.

          I keep telling myself that I want to do pullups on the pullup bar upstairs. I am scared. I know I can't do a pullup. Someone suggested starting with simply starting at the up position and letting myself down slowly from there. So what if I can only do 1 "let down", from there I'll start building muscle and ability to actually work into doing 1 pullup. I just need to start.

          Last night I had dinner at Andy & Jena's. I knew there would be carbs of some sort there so I ate lightly at lunch and had a quick snack before leaving my house. I walked up to their house on the trails; it felt great to get there with that "mode" of transportation. We were there to discuss a wine weekend and thus had a really nice Syrah. They opened a magnum of it so I had probably 2 glasses of it, really limiting it from what I have been recently drinking in the recent past before PB.

          We had a salad with a store bought salad dressing. I can't stand the store bought stuff anymore, so laden with salt and fake thickeners. Then some type of chicken casserole; I think it had quite a few eggs in it so that was good but I do believe there were either tortillas or flour as a binder as well. I only had one piece. Had no desire for a 2nd helping. She then had pumpkin spice cupcakes that were good but i had no real desire to eat it. My sugar & carb desires are gone for the most part. We'll see when something REALLY good comes up.


          • #6


            Just made myself an amazing tasty little smoothie. I am literally running my finger around the glass and licking it to get the last little tastiness. This is the actual recipe but I will be making some changes to make it less carbed out.

            Coconut Milk/Fruit Smoothie

            3 med/large frozen strawberries

            1/4 c frozen huckleberries

            1/2 c chopped mango

            3.5 oz coconut milk

            1 tsp vanilla

            2 oz apple juice*

            Blend, makes approx 1 8oz drink. The coconut milk makes this so luscious, rich and delicious.

            *will change out apple juice for strong green tea and see what happens; it'll also drop 7g carbs to make it a total of 25g rather than the 32g.

            Nutritional info: 324 calories, 32g carb, 20g fat, 3g protein.


            • #7


              Yesterday's meals:

              B-2 slices bacon, 2 eggs, butter, swiss chard, onion

              L-Coconut milk & fruit smoothie, smoked salmon

              S-Pistachios, roasted beets w/pecans & balsamic dressing

              D-(lots of dairy, my splurge for the week) Roasted chili pepper stuffed with cream cheese & cheddar mixture, wrapped in prosciutto, veggies with indian sauce & yogurt, small piece of antelope backstrap, 1/2 glass of white wine (I had a full serving in my glass but dumped out 1/2 of it, I wasn't really interested in the remaining after having the first 1/2 of it-INTERESTING)

              I didn't sleep really well last night; I was wide awake at 12. I wonder if it was the dairy? I also had really weird dreams as well. Dreamt about overripe raspberries and other random things.

              I am almost consumed by this right now, I am seeing results and want to continue seeing them & am thinking about it constantly because I am excited about it. Ugh, I need to let it just be there, a fact of my life that this is how I cook & eat, move and play. Maybe after the challenge, once things have been realized, I'll be able to "chill out".

              Since I have been doing this challenge, 1 1/2 weeks so far now, I haven't eaten out nearly as much as I used to and as a result, I haven't drinken as much either. I have saved a good amount of money as a result and prob tons of calories as well. It definitely helps one to control what their meals are made of.

              I took measurements of myself today. I will compare them to the ones that I had taken a while back and had posted on I am afraid that at this point I won't see any change in the #'s because the last measurements I had taken and posted might have been before I had put on a good 3-5 pounds that I was so ashamed of.

              At least I'll have a good starting point for measurement with my progress on the PB. I do know that my pants are definitely feeling a lot looser and can now wear my Anne Taylor brown capris that I had tried on this spring and refused to go out in public in them because they were so tight on my stomach/butt.

              Current Measurement:

              Bust at breasts:40 1/2

              Bust under breasts: 34 1/2

              Waist just at belly button: 36

              Hips at widest girth: 43 1/4

              Thigh at thickest part: 27

              Most recent past measurement (2/4/09)

              Waist: 35

              Hips: 43 1/2


              Waist: 33 1/2 (Could have been at narrowest part)

              Hips: 42 1/2

              Under breast: 33

              Upper thigh: 26 3/4

              I keep fluctuating. Since having lost a significant amount of weight way back when I haven't kept a consistent weight loss since. It's quite frustrating, time and mind consumptive. I want some freedom from that and to simply be able to maintain a good weight loss. Given the dietary structure of this primal lifestyle, I can see it happening. The food is great, the movement makes sense and is not so chronic. I think that is one reason why I keep "falling off" the other plans or lifestyles.

              Heather & RJ's wedding is on 10/10. That gives me about 1 3/4 months to slim down to look good in a dress. I like to have a goal to work towards aside from simply being fit & healthy (although those are greatly important). Mini goals work great for me. What will I wear? Will I even fit into anything that i currently have in my closet or will I have to find something smaller (hopefully).

              OH YEAH, I finally drug a chair upstairs to assist my pullups. I did 2 of each, overhand & underhand. I had to assist myself with lightly pushing myself up with my feet on the chair which is fine by me. I have to start somewhere. I then tried to do 2 more last night as I was headed to bed, w/o the help of a chair. I envision myself being able to do them with less and less assistance from a chair and eventually being able to do them completely w/o assistance. I am sure they'll get easier as I drop the fat as well.


              • #8


                Just ordered myself a youbar concoction. Will be extremely excited to recieve and see how it turns out. I will have to remember to eat it only when I am absolutely desparate for something healthy and it's the only option I've got in front of me. Will need to carry it in my car, in my camelback, while skiing/snowshoeing, etc.

                I had a great day yesterday, movement & foodwise.

                B: Diced prosciutto, asparagus & onions scrambled into eggs, mustard greens & chard ribs sauteed w/butter.

                L: Fruit coconut milk smoothie (huckleberries, raspberries, strawberries, Jamaica tea, coconut milk)

                S: Carne asada salad (lettuce, carne, guac, salsa)

                D: OB chicken caesar salad w/anchovies, 1 glass white wine

                I was walking down the walking mall at lunch and Sheila Hogan stopped me and told me I was looking good, that it looked like I had lost some weight. Wahoo! It's noticeable.

                I am wearing my pink skirt with black embroidery and it finally feels loose on me in the hip/upper thigh area again. I think that I may have stretched the lining out from wearing it at higher weights because it's below the hem of the outside layer. Oh well, lesson learned.

                My facial skin is looking extremely good, at least in my opinion. Maybe it's a mind thing but it sure helps boost my confidence.

                I met up with some very attractive gentleman who are talking to me about leasing one of their spaces on Sanders. It was great to meet them, talk business (sound smart, I hope) and just engage with them. I also had some confidence that I have been lacking that is brought about by my weight loss and simply feeling good about myself and feeling good in general.

                I slept so well last night and woke up naturally this morning at a pretty early time; sometime just before 6. I got out of bed a little later and Khurry and I walked a figure 8 on Meatloaf hill. I tried the walking slowly and it seems to use my muscles moreso than the quick, fast paced hiking that I normally have been doing for years. It felt good.

                Tonight is martini night. I will eat before I go, have 1 martini & MAYBE a glass of wine (or club soda). If the special ap is a protein, then yes. If not, then I'll come home and eat something light or have whipped cream, coconut milk & blackberries that I have been meaning to have since earlier this week.


                • #9


                  Wahoo, my coconut milk smoothie got included on a Mark's Daily Apple email listing primal alternatives for food choices! I love it! In fact, I just had one last night on my walk over to OB.

                  Speaking of OB, I had one too many glasses of wine than I had originally planned. By the end of the night, I had 2 glasses of wine, 1 martini. Whoops.

                  B: 2 eggs, 3 strips bacon, sauteed swiss chard & ribs

                  L: Antelope backstrap with chipotle cream sauce, roasted beets with a few pecans

                  D: Ceviche (avoided the toasted tortilla rounds), pistachios

                  S: Coconut milk smoothie

                  I had to lift a keg this morning. It actually felt easier to lift than it has in the past. I'll have to add that to my repertoire of lifting heavy things. Maybe pull one out 2x's a week and do some various lifts & squats with it.


                  • #10


                    Becky and I went to Msla today to go to their farmer's market and just get out of Helena. I woke up early and took Khurry for a slow hike on Meatloaf hill. It was a beautiful morning. I realized that I probably need to pick up the pace just a little bit from the slow pace that I have been using the last few times but maybe not as fast as I used to hike it. I need to get a new battery for my heart rate monitor and get that going again so that I really know what I am doing out there.

                    Had a great breakfast. Once at the farmer's market we each got a plum pastry. It's not a usual offering for such a treat so I had to indulge. It was quite worth it. We walked around downtown, gathering groceries along the way.

                    We checked out a deli where I bought some high quality meats. We then had lunch at an Asian bistro. I did order a Banh Mi sandwich, knowing full well that I would prob have to eat the bread to get the full effect. I ate about 2/3 of the bread and left the rest. Again, I was fully aware that I was indulging.

                    We took a short hike at Greenough Park. Max 15 minutes. Got some groceries at the GFS and hit the road. I then made myself a HUGE salad when I got home.

                    After eating, Julian and I went to the Capital lawn and tossed the frisbee around. THAT was fun! I want to do more of that. And my tossing isn't that bad either.

                    All in all, a great day. I now have more veggies and high quality meats in the fridge. I bought some great vinegars and oils to make dressings with. And I have some interesting ingredients to make some "sandwiches" with. I want to figure out what to replace the bread with. Romaine? Spinach? Eggplant? Super thinly sliced chicken? Jicama? Zucchini? Portobello mushrooms? Think smaller like tea sandwiches: cucumbers.

                    One thing that I realized was that I was thinking back to when I had originally lost a lot of weight (2002/2003) was that I had originally started eating somewhat similar to this way. I remember trying to come up with options other than bread such as sliced red peppers for dipping rather than bread sticks and other veggie alternatives to bread. As I started losing weight, I started reintroducing carbs and then let it get out of control eventually.

                    I caught sight of myself in a big window today and still did not like what I saw. I have a ways to go. This'll be a good journey as I try to figure out alternatives to carbs and how to deal with eating out, having friends over, etc.

                    I wore a jean skirt yesterday that just 3 months ago I wouldn't walk out of the house in or even try to wear because it was so tight around my tummy and thighs. It felt great. It's nice to be able to fit into some of my clothes again.

                    Speaking of clothes, I stepped into Macy's today in Msla. Standing there looking at the clothes, I wrote in my calendar an appointment for 12/1 that after I am a size 10, I get to come back to Msla for a shopping spree for a new wardrobe. Maybe I have to shop at 2nd hand stores but either way, there'll be a lot of more appealing options than what I have for myself right now. And anyways, I'll be able to "shop" in my closet during these next few months for clothing that I have for sizes 10 - 14.

                    I noticed that my long sleeves on my North Face shirt are "longer". I think it's because I am losing girth in my arms and don't require as much material and thus the sleeves hang down to my thumbs. Could it be??? I always forget about the slimming in my arms, chest and thighs. It's always about the tummy/butt that I always think about.


                    • #11


                      I did an IF yesterday. I didn't eat from 9pm the night before to 1:30 PM the next day. What is that, 16 hours. I just didn't feel like eating breakfast. And then didn't really have time for lunch so I just committed myself to a fast. Although I probably overdid it by dinner time; I had a shake, lots of roast chicken, 2 pieces fried chicken and some watermelon and snap peas with a little cheese. And a glass of white wine.

                      I went for a ride with Dan Conrady and Tim. We did the Ridge Trail. I had to bail at mini-ridge to get back to go into TDS. My climbing pace was really good. Is it the muscle that I am building? I wasn't able to complete the last climb though. I just a did a quick 2 second rest before hitting it and then skidded out on a rock about half way up.

                      I then hit my favorite jump REALLY well, Dan was behind me and when it happened he started shouting out. It was the biggest that I had taken yet.

                      I then raced home, showered and then raced to work to get a bunch of stuff ready to be picked up for a pot luck. I had a few bites of buffalo jerky at that point. And lots of water.

                      I stayed at work till 6 then went over to Tim's for swimming/soaking. I did maybe 2 laps in the pool and then jumped into the hot tub. They had popcorn with the movie, I simply drank water.

                      There was the initial idea of having pizza but then the roast chicken idea came up so we did that and I was able to avoid the bready carbs.


                      • #12


                        I weighed myself today. I am at 159. I have lost 3 pounds so far! That's huge considering that I haven't lost any weight for a very, very long time. I need to stick with it! And do it responsibly.

                        I went out fishing with Cooper today. I had made coffee for myself and then wanted a 2nd cup for the road so made another one. By the time we hit Wolf Creek, my stomach was in a knot from all of the coffee. I then grabbed a bunch of buffalo jerky from the gas station. Probably not the best choice. I really should have gone with the bags of nuts they had there instead.

                        I also had a few drinks of a beer that Cooper had bought. I then had a glass of wine and a vodka soda with Amy after getting back to town. We almost ordered apps at the Quarry but then decided against it, thank god!

                        I came home and made a beet green sandwich with misc meats and vinegared sprouts. It was quite tasty although I'll want to do it differently next time. Either by rolling up the ingredients into cigarillos or using romaine leaves.

                        A bit later I made myself a cream/coconut cream whipped cream with some vanilla and added blackberries & huckleberries. DELICIOUS. All in all, it was a good food day with minor exceptions. As long as I don't get into the habit of "minor exceptions", I'll do fine and continue on my merry way of losing weight.

                        I also had a great day of movement. We fished solid for 3 hours, casting and casting. Some wading. It was great to be out.


                        • #13


                          I went to breakfast at the No Sweat this morning. I had my usual mushroom/swiss omelet with 1/2 a sausage patty. I like the No Sweat 'cause I can order food there and know that it's high quality ingredients that they are using, most times sourced locally.

                          What's cool is this morning, Eli came up to me at the counter and said that he didn't recognize me when I came in and that it looked like I had lost some weight. WAHOO!!!

                          I put on my cream capris and they are really loose in both the waistband and the thigh area. I looked down and my stomach appears to be somewhat flat.

                          I worked late last night, till about 12. I got hungry around 11 pm, I had simply had a carne asada salad for dinner at 5. I didn't really want to eat as I never sleep well after eating late so I made a Republic of Tea soda with club soda and the Pom Green Tea. DELICIOUS.

                          I am getting what seems to be a decent workout by doing prep. Opening cans with the hand crank can opener, lifting cases of diced tomatoes and lugging them around. I like it.

                          I watched a few of the workout videos posted by members. I am going to add some of their exercises, especially the burpees.

                          Tim & I are going to ride the Mac Pass trail this afternoon. I need to make tomorrow a rest day for sure.


                          • #14


                            Wowza, what a weekend! Tim and I did a Mac Pass ride on Thurs afternoon. I cleared a good amount of rocks that I didn't get through last time I rode that trail. It felt awesome, the climbs felt good, I kept pedalling when normally I would simply stop and get off the bike. I was then able to clear more stuff than usual. I also felt that my upper body strength was better as well. When I got home I didn't have nearly the hunger that I usually do after a ride.

                            I then went over to the cabin on Fri afternoon. Tim and I rode the xc ski trails around the base at Disco. It was a bit harder than we thought it would be but that's alright. We took it easy, foraging mushrooms along the way.

                            We then did Shuttlebowl on Sat. I did 3 "runs". Kept it pretty easy, there's always still some riding to be done.

                            Sun we got up early, picked up Eliza & Jules and headed for Kellog ID to ride Silver Mtn. We did 3 runs there. The trails were amazing and by the end I was really getting into it. My quads and shoulders are SORE. As is my arse.

                            As for eating, I bumped up the carbs slightly but still really stuck to the way I have been eating. The carbs that I did take in could have been a lot better (they were chips one night, a mini luna bar before ride on Sun). I also splurged and had a piece of chocolate cake that Alison made for Sean's birthday. It was probably the best splurge I could make for myself given that Alison had made the cake and it had quality ingredients in it. The frosting was a mocha whipped cream that Alison made. It was quite delicious. Oh, and maybe too much booze (cucumber vodka, red wine).

                            I am quite proud of myself for the quality of choices that I made. I packed a bunch of fruit, veggie sticks and nuts for snacks for myself. I pretty much stuck to those while others were feasting on the chips. When we made sandwiches, I would simply roll the meat around cheese and spinach and call it good. That was tasty and something that I can do here at home w/o any problems at all. I'll just need to find some quality meats for that. Maybe shred up some carrots as well.

                            I had 4 days straight of mtn biking, none of it really chill/easy. I plan to take the next 2 - 3 days and move slowly to recuperate. Then I want to try some burpees, pull ups, leg lifts on the pull up bar, hand stands, etc. It's been great watching the videos that people have made, it's given me tons of ideas for "lifting".

                            For the trips that there will be a lot of biking/skiing/snowshoeing, etc. I need to plan on taking some excellent carbs with me that won't totally derail myself. Then fully be aware of what I am putting into my mouth.

                            One thing I noticed is that I didn't have the previously normal totally empty feeling in my stomach after a long ride. When that was the case in the past I would be so desparate to find something/anything to eat. This time it just wasn't there. Even when I was hungry, I still didn't have the desparate desire to eat ANYTHING as long as I put something into my stomach. It's a very nice feeling.

                            I did overeat though. I told myself that since I had ridden so much that particular day that I could continue eating after I felt satisfied. BAD. I need to work on that, especially before winter when I spend more weekends up at the cabin in the party atmosphere. I need to find something for me to do after I eat so that I am not hanging out at the counter picking and cleaning plates.


                            • #15


                              Today is the official end of the challenge. I started a week late so I plan to continue with my challenge, although anymore it's a way of life for me now. Yay!

                              I am sorry to see it go.

                              There was a timely post yesterday about patience. I am noticing small changes along the way but am wanting quick results like 20 pounds dropped in one month. It didn't happen that way before and it's not gonna happen this time either.

                              I think I have a fear that the initial weight loss is all that I'll get and then it'll be a struggle to get rid of the rest. I need to be better about visualizing.

                              I got a bit tired of sauteed greens at breakfast so I switched it up with some italian salsa with my eggs. Worked out great. I love figuring out different options when I get tired of one. I should write them down as I do them and have a go to list when I am feeling bored.

                              I want to pick up a package of ends & pieces of bacon and render the fat off of it. Steve had a nice package of it at the cabin that he got from Van's and it is even locally made. Then I will have bacon bits to eat on salads and such as well.

                              I also hope to buy some sandwich meats at RFS to make spinach sandwiches.