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primal challenge journal (sf40 is getting her health back!)

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  • primal challenge journal (sf40 is getting her health back!)

    Will get into my history and what brought me here a bit more in a later post, but have decided to go primal for the next 30 days.

    (Edited to add list of issues I hope to address with the change in diet: weight, lipid profile, fasting blood glucose, dental, fatigue. A little more detailed information is below in post #5)

    I think the hardest part will be cutting grains, but I've gone a number of days over the past couple of weeks with no grains and find that I miss them less and less.

    Off to a good start today. Hubby and I walked around our neighborhood this morning. I always take a second lap, and my total time was 45 minutes. Because I did my first strength session yesterday, my thighs were a bit too wobbly for sprints, which I usually like to include once in a while. Will do those later in the week.

    Breakfast was a scramble consisting of butter, one small tomato, 10 grape tomatoes, one cup of chopped dandelion greens, and eggs. I placed a slice of provalone cheese over the top and waited for it to melt. Not totally primal, I think, but was sure good and satisfying.

    I am currently drinking a small a small cup of coffee with half and half. What a difference from the watered-down nonfat milk I used to use! It almost tastes decadent. I am looking forward to trying coffee with heavy cream.

    My planned lunch is a huge salad with a variety of greens, cucumbers, red bell peppers, orange bell peppers, hard-cooked egg, grilled chicken, and a "healthy vinaigrette" (I will list the ingredients some day; I think all are primal except a bit of honey).

    Snacks, if I need them, are raw zucchini; almonds; plain greek yogurt with vanilla protein powder and a few strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries. I don't think I will need a snack this morning because I am so satisfied from my breakfast and coffee!! This is so unusual for me!

    Planned dinner is grilled salmon and a huge helping of broccoli with butter, of course.

    I just have to say that in the past couple of weeks since I started shifting over, specifically cutting grains and being less afraid of fat, I have never been so content. Prior, I ate constantly and was always hungry. I used to wonder how my husband could eat just a bit more than me at a given meal and eat less throughout the day and not be hungry. He is a healthy man, 6'3", about 215 pounds, and in good shape. I think he was never afraid of fat like I was and continued to put butter on his toast when I ate mine dry and put cream or half and half in his coffee when I used nonfat milk.

    I don't think I will get hubby on board for the full 30 day challenge, but he is already reducing his grain consumption and loving it. For example, we grilled burgers (Whole Foods $3.99/lb grass fed beef!) the other night. I offered to go to the bakery to get him a couple of buns, but he declined and later told me that he did not miss the bun. Yesterday, I mixed a tuna salad with lots of veggies, and he declined the bread and ate his with lettuce, just like me, and raved about how good it was. So who knows ... maybe he'll jump on, too!
    Last edited by sf40; 09-08-2010, 08:07 PM. Reason: added text in italics
    My primal journal

  • #2
    sounds like ya'll are off to a great start!

    I really enjoy being full longer!!
    Even if you fall flat on your face, at least you're moving forward!


    • #3
      Thanks, jrherring! Not feeling constantly hungry is a wonderful thing!

      I just finished my last meal for the day and am happy to report that I stuck to my food plan. In fact, my wonderful breakfast was so satisfying that I did not need a mid-morning snack. That is extremely unusual for me; I am usually ravenous by about 10:00am. I did get hungry mid afternoon, though, so I ate part of a raw zucchini and a wedge of Laughing Cow creamy swiss (I know, probably not the best choice, but at least it was full fat). When I arrived home from work, I wanted to get my protein intake up, so I consumed one serving of "Show Me the Whey" vanilla protein powder with water. Again, not ideal, but I wanted just protein with no carbs and no fat.

      I believe my carb intake today was right around 50g, which is my lowest yet. I felt a little off when I got home from work, which is why I consumed the protein powder. Now that I've eaten dinner, I feel fine. I wonder if I would feel better with a little more carb, particularly more vegetables and perhaps some fruit. Will need to work on that.

      I also need to work on protein. I am a recovering vegetarian and low-fat disciple (not good for my health, will share details some other time) and just don't have the desire to eat a lot of meat. I read a thread on the "nutrition" forum where people described how much meat they eat in a day and I was surprised. I am lucky to get in 6 or 8 ounces a day, plus a few eggs. I guess I just need to experiment to see what works for me regarding the balance between vegetables and meat/eggs.

      In any event, I am really glad to be doing this. In just the few weeks I have been going lower carb and reducing grains, I have slimmed a lot (not significant weight loss on the scale, which suggests I am losing fat and preserving muscle), my skin has really cleared up, I don't "crash" in the afternoon, I get up better in the morning, my gums seem healthier.
      My primal journal


      • #4
        Yep. It just gets better and better!
        Starting Weight/BMI: 184/29.7
        Current Weight/BMI: 130 /21.0
        Ultimate Goal: 125/18


        • #5
          apects of my health I would like to improve

          I suppose I'll get into more detail some day, but following is a summary of certain aspects of my health I would like to improve.

          Weight: I am about 25 pounds overweight still (though down 25 from my highest - hey, half-way there!). I know from experience that I can lose weight on low-fat, calorie restricted diets. However, eating this way makes me constantly hungry. It's not sustainable for me and I cannot keep the weight off. Will write more about my weight and food in a later post.

          Lipid profile: Was always OK, though HDL was always on the low side. At my last physical in February, other numbers started creeping up. On the advice of my doctor, I started increasing monounsaturated fats like more olive oil, almonds, and avocados. This was scary for me, because even six months ago I still believed more fat would make me fatter. At a re-check in late July, lipid profile had improved, though HDL is still low.

          Fasting blood glucose: Got the news after my late July blood re-check that the fasting blood glucose number had not improved so I am pre-diabetic. This, honestly, is what freaked me out. I was eating well according to conventional wisdom - eating a good amount of vegetables and fuits, lots of whole grains and some refined grains (I have a sweet tooth), limiting bad saturated fats and increasing good unsaturated fats. How could that be?? The doctor said I should reduce carbs and treat myself like a diabetic. My research as a result of this led me here.

          Dental health: The person who cleans my teeth has been giving me a hard time about the condition of my gums. This is really annoying because I brush and floss regularly. He was even talking about perhaps having to refer to me to a specialist who deals with gum disease. WTH??? I am hoping that by improving my diet, my gums will become more healthy. I do not want gum surgery! As a close observer of my gums, I believe they have improved as I have reduced grains. I go back to the dentist in November, so will find out for sure.

          Fatigue: I was "fired" by my last endocrinologist because I would not stop being tired or lose weight no matter how he fiddled with various thyroid medications. I had a sleep study that did not show anything remarkable. I seem to sleep well and generally wake up each morning without an alarm, though I am tired. I have adapted to getting through the day always tired, but I am really kinda tired of it. I do want to say, however, that I seem to be experiencing some improvement with my dietary changes. The most notable one is that I do not "crash" in the afternoon any more.

          OK, so this was supposed to be a summary and got a little long-winded. In any event, I am here to get my health back!
          My primal journal


          • #6
            keep being long winded. there is a great support system here in this forum. (ignore the obvious troll!)

            I believe Batty has some great references in regards to protein amts for women. Something like a gram of protein per lb of lean body mass...? So for me, I should shoot to have in about 130grms of protein.

            Keep it up.

            And if you see an improvement with your gums, you can 'fire' your hygienist. I've finally found one that isn't always pushing 'something' on me.

            Even if you fall flat on your face, at least you're moving forward!


            • #7
              Hope you have a great day! Keep on grokkin'!!

              Signature Approved by Mark Sisson


              • #8
                TAWFUNGUY, thanks for the greeting!

                jrherring, the support here seems amazing so far (lurked for almost a month before I signed up)! I am looking forward to interacting more when I get my eating and such together. Though every day it seems easier and easier.

                Today, I spent too much time on the computer before work so didn't have time to make a nice breakfast. I was hungry, so I had a glass of veggie juice (not V-8, though, because that has added sugar), a slice of provalone cheese, and a serving of almond butter. The best part is that I was completely satisfied all the way until lunch!! I am shocked ... I will probably say this over and over, but with my former way of eating, I was always starving by 10:00am or so.

                Lunch is usually pretty boring for me because it's generally the same thing: A HUGE salad consisting of various greens, cucumber, red bell pepper, orange bell pepper, grape tomatoes, hard-boiled egg, and grilled chicken. I vary the veggies depending on what we get in our CSA box and what looks good at the market. Today I wanted a creamy dressing so I used TJ's feta cheese dressing. Pretty primal, I think, except for a bit of potato starch for thickening and some canola oil (is a blend of olive oil and canola oil). I am a little loose with dressing right now (too lazy to make my own), but I read ingredients and avoid soybean and other seed oils and sugar.

                Dinner ... I don't know yet. I am on my own tonight and will fix some kind of veggie thing. I pick up the CSA box today after work, so I'll see what looks good. I kinda wish I had taken a pound of the Whole Foods grass-fed ground beef out of the freezer because that sounds good, but I guess I could have chicken. We'll see.

                So since I got the pre-diabetic news I have been gradually decreasing refined sugar and grain carbs. And right now, I don't really miss them. Oh sure, my co-worker's chicken sandwich on the french roll looked good, but my own lunch was pretty darn good. Once in a while, eating that sandwich may be OK (it is from a local restaurant and really good) and part of my 20%. But I am being strict now so I can control food and not the other way around. My next blood test is at the end of this month, and depending on what it shows, I may experiment with certain foods. However, the time I expect to wait for the results will coincide with the end of this 30-day challenge and I may not want any breads by then!

                I feel really good right now. I am really enjoying feeling more energized and not always hungry!!
                My primal journal


                • #9
                  feeling icky after certain foods

                  ooooohhhh, not feeling so good now! I am sure it was something I ate.

                  I was a bit hungry right before leaving work, so I decided to eat a snack because I had to run errands and wouldn't be home for a couple of hours. My snack consisted of:
                  - Fage 2% greek yogurt
                  - Show Me the Whey vanilla protein powder sweetened with stevia
                  - strawberries, blueberries, blackberries

                  I have a headache and just feel out of sorts. I am sure it is one of the ingredients above because I felt fine until shortly after I ate that mixture. I have since eaten some chicken and veggies here at home and feel better, but not back to my new normal yet.

                  The other reason I think it is that food combo is because I ate the same items (along with raspberries) on Sunday afternoon and totally crashed.

                  Any ideas what item it could be??

                  I am going to eliminate the protein powder first because the stevia gives it kind of a weird taste. I believe I am getting enough protein from eating beef, chicken, fish, for lunch and dinner and eggs for breakfast and other meals when we are too lazy to cook meat.
                  My primal journal


                  • #10
                    Feeling better today!!

                    I slept well, but woke up hungry! Went for a 40 minute walk around the neighborhood with hubby this morning and made a yummy breakfast by melting butter in a skillet, adding 10 sliced cherry tomatoes and cooking till soft, cutting up 10 dandelion green stalks and cooking till wilted, then adding three eggs and cooking the whole thing till the eggs were cooked to my liking. Yum!

                    Dinner dilemma ... Hubby wants salad for dinner tonight, possibly with tuna salad or egg salad. I want grass-fed beef. Guess I will cook the beef and make a big veggie salad, and perhaps he will forget about the tuna salad or egg salad.

                    I think I might have mentioned that hubby is not totally on board with me, but every day he is eyeballing my lunch food and commenting on how good it looks. He is increasingly following my lead at dinner and declining a starch. Not trying to convince him, but he definitely notices I have slimmed and I think he notices I feel better in general. That is better than anything I can say!

                    Observation and comment about standard American way of eating.
                    I went to a near-by WalMart last night to purchase a blood glucose meter and strips. I mentioned in a previous post that I recently found out I am pre-diabetic. My intent is to modify my lifestyle, mainly eating habits, so it does not progress and, in fact, improves. I do not want to be tagged as "diabetic" by my insurance company; hence, the decision to pay for it myself. And after reading reviews and checking prices, it really made sense to get the WalMart brand. I don't remember the last time I went into a WalMart, but I observed a few things.

                    1. I definitely felt like I was one of the slimmest people there. Keep in mind I am still toting a good 25 extra pounds and not too long ago, I often felt larger than many people around me.

                    2. I had to walk through the food section to get to the pharmacy section. Interesting layout ... eat crap first, medicate later. I did not check out all the food offerings, but McDonald's was there and very busy, lots of powdered sugar donuts on end-caps, and lots of junky stuff down the aisle I walked.

                    3. Standing in the checkout line, people's carts were loaded with this junk and many were cramming McDonald's food into their mouths. I felt bad for many of the people because I would guess they just don't know any better. I wanted to tell them, "If you keep eating that stuff, you will have to buy one of these things, too!"
                    My primal journal


                    • #11
                      yah for feeling better!
                      Even if you fall flat on your face, at least you're moving forward!


                      • #12
                        "'Wi-no', I did not have too much to drink last night"

                        "'Wi-no,' I did not have too much to drink last night."

                        I really didn't, only 10 oz of a delicious sauvignon blanc. But I felt like I had so much more, and still feel it a bit this morning. In my silly state last night, I told hubby that I am now officially a "cheap date".

                        Some background. I was never a really big drinker, on the lines of a couple of glasses of wine and/or a couple of beers a week. Maybe a margarita once in a while. But in early July of this year, I started having chest discomfort. Went to the ER, saw a cardiologist, had a bunch of tests, everything is physically fine. ER doc thought anxiety, cardiologist did not disagree. So I cut caffeine and alcohol cold turkey. July was pretty much a fog. That was about the time that I started really examining what I was eating and started to reduce sugars and grains.

                        So I haven't had a drink since July 4th. Last night, my employers hosted a fund-raiser for a proposition that will be on the November ballot in California. I had only the one glass of wine and sipped it slowly over the course of an hour. I also ate grilled chicken skewers, smoked ham and beef, grilled veggies, ceviche served in tositos chip scoops (I dumped the ceviche out of the chip and discarded the chip), and some kind of meat and veggie roll (I unrolled and ate only the meat and veggie). I had cheese with a tiny piece of flatbread, only because it looked good. So all in all, I did well, even though there were mountains of bread and crackers on the table.

                        Then it hit me during the last of several speeches. I though I was gonna get sick and I managed to keep myself together until the speech was complete, then I went to the ladies room. Didn't get sick, thank goodness, but decided that maybe I needed more food. I ate a bit more, went home, tried to read more of my Primal Blueprint book that just arrived the other day, but passed out on the sofa.

                        Funny what happens when you eliminate so many foods that previously did not cause any trouble. Lessons learned from last night: I still like wine and intend to consume in moderation. But maybe I need to eat a bit more before I drink, and perhaps drink more slowly so as not to consume so much. Better luck next time!!
                        My primal journal


                        • #13
                          So happy right now ... such a good food day so far!

                          Went out to lunch with co-workers and had a grilled hormone-free skirt steak with loads of veggies. I wasn't gonna eat the mashed potatoes that also came with it, but they had mixed in them veggies and bacon. Can you believe it? What a yummy lunch!! Ya know, in my fat-fearing days, I probably would not have had that, or I would have felt guilty eating it. Today, I enjoyed every bite. Yum!

                          And now just ate a snack consisting of Fage yogurt (a mix of full fat with low fat ... that stuff is almost gone) with blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries.

                          Had my yummy breakfast today of scrambled eggs cooked in butter with cherry tomatoes, dandelion greens, cilantro, and green onion.

                          Will probably have a very large salad for dinner.

                          So happy
                          My primal journal


                          • #14

                            A couple comments about blood sugar--though everyone's different, these are some things you may want to consider that maybe no one else knows or would think to tell you, since you aren't diabetic.

                            First--fasting blood glucose is "the last to go" on the (NOT inevitable) progression to diabetes. If your fasting is pre-diabetic, your post-meal and other readings could possibly be not-good-high. Anything over 200 makes most people rather fatigued or even downright sleepy. Since you own a meter now, you may want to check an hour and a half, two hours, three hours after eating, and if it's higher than--oh, nobody really knows... some say 120, others 140, others 180... pick a number--you may want to discuss it with your doctor and see if that's something that contributes to your fatigue. I know if I'm over 200, I feel like a miserable version of post-Thanksgiving binge.

                            Second--alcohol can "preoccupy" the liver so that it doesn't put out glucose (too busy processing the alcohol), so if you are reducing carbs to an unfamiliar or genuinely low level, and the liver isn't putting out glucose, the effects of the alcohol plus an unusual (for you) blood glucose level can amplify the feeling of having had too much to drink.

                            Watch that BG. Being diabetic is a gigantic PITA, among other things.


                            • #15
                              Hello, gottaluvalab! I love your name, by the way. How can anyone not luv a lab?

                              Thanks for the info on the blood glucose. No, I was not aware of any of that and it is very good to know. I am honestly a little afraid of that meter, but I think I really need to check to see how I'm doing. Sigh. Glad I bought 50 strips so I can see what's going on. It will be interesting to see if my fatigue is related. Thanks again ...

                              Also interesting about the alcohol. Very good to know! Good reason to not drink as much.
                              Last edited by sf40; 09-10-2010, 04:40 PM.
                              My primal journal