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Primal Challenge Journal (JamieBelle)

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  • Primal Challenge Journal (JamieBelle)

    I've decided to get formal with this even though I've been trying to be primal for about a month already. I just finished the book and now feel better about my knowledge base. Using the calculations/formulas from the book, here is what I have currently:

    I am female, 5 feet 0 inches, 102 pounds. 19% body fat (a calculation I'll need to update in about a month, as it's about a month old). 80% LBM.

    I am active...I have a desk job but strength train for an hour 3 times per week and do 30min of light cardio twice per week, resting twice per week as well. I calculated about a 1800-1900 Average Daily Expenditure.

    However, based on my experience with "counting calories" I tend to put on pounds if I exceed 1500 per day on average, regardless my activity level.

    SO...I'm using 1600 as my calorie level. I don't want to lose or gain weight. What I want to do is reduce my body fat percentage to 10-15% for starters. I am trying to build muscle and get the strength-training physique.

    I need 80g of protein per day = 320 calories

    I need 75 g of carbs per day = 300 calories

    I need 108 grams of fat per day = 980 calories

    The fat is making me feel disoriented, admittedly. I have no idea how I'm going to eat that much fat in a day without drinking EVOO straight from the bottle.

    Anyhoo, I registered at and plan on tracking my intake for a week just to get an idea of where I am, to see how "close" I am in doing this by currently not really thinking too hard about it. I'd prefer not to have to obsessively weigh and measure my food, but I will do that if it turns out I'm actually way off.

    Today I'm attempting my first 24-hour fast. I ate dinner last night (cheated and had a small piece of pastry for dessert as I was at a friend's house and didn't want to be rude...but this is the first "grain" I've had in weeks and figured the high fat content might balance it out), and won't eat again until dinner tonight. It is now almost lunch time and I'm feeling hungry but good. I had a normal workout this morning, drank a cup of black coffee with a little stevia, and had my creatine (no calories) after my workout. Otherwise I'm just drinking water. I lifted weights for an hour this morning and did a 10-min light cardio warmup.

    For dinner tonight I plan on "breading" some chicken breast in almond flour and sauteeing in coconut oil. Might make a balsamic-olive oil-mustard dipping sauce for it. Will also saute some veggies in olive oil. Will drink one beer (Fat Tire...yum) with dinner and make a sorbet out of a handful of frozen berries and coconut milk.


  • #2

    Well at 4:45 I caved in and ate a handful of almonds. So I missed my 24-hour IF deadline by 15 minutes. Not too bad for a newby I guess.

    According to fit day, everything I ate/drank this evening turned out to be 1400 calories, 94g fat, 82g protein, and 49g carbs. That is a big dinner for me, lol, but I did use 4 tablespoons of oils in addition to the almond flour. I didn't really think about almond flour being sort of carb-laden. So that definitely needs to be moderated a bit. I don't use it that often though because it's so darn expensive.

    I think next time I do a fast I will eat a smaller, lighter meal after it's over. My stomach sort of revolted from being an empty pit to being chock full of nuts, so to speak. ha. But I also kind of wanted to see if I could prepare a really fatty meal. I guess so!

    Also received my bag of coconut flour in the mail today. Can't wait to start experimenting with that.


    • #3

      I did it again today.

      Total calories 1497

      104 g fat, 60%

      42 g carbs, 11%

      108 g protein, 29%

      So obviously I'm getting enough protein...more than I thought...and getting the fat in isn't a problem. I'm skimping on the carbs, which I guess is not a bad thing necessarily. I could have had a beer tonight and that would have pushed me over the 50g but I don't know. I just decided not to.


      • #4

        Day three...I had more coconut milk today so my total calories is a bit higher than I'd like, but here are the stats:

        1957 calories

        110.2 grams of fat, 48%

        69 grams of carbs, 14%

        124 grams of protein, 26%

        OK. So I ate too much today, and I also had 12 oz. of red wine in with that. Obviously my protein intake is MORE than adequate and I can relax on that a little. All this time I was worried I wasn't getting enough protein, and it turns out I'm getting more than enough.

        I ate about twice as much veggies today as yesterday, which is why the carbs are higher today. But, the scale said I'd lost a pound the past couple days, and the ketostix read "small", and I don't necessarily want to lose weight. Just get rid of the fat.

        This is fun...


        • #5

          Here are my stats for yesterday...

          1631 calories

          108 g fat, 57%

          50 g carbs, 12%

          94 g protein, 23%

          I got on the scale this morning and it read 101. So, yeah, this program works, but I am going to up my fruit a little today if I can. It is hard to get this much fat in without simultaneously upping everything else, unless I drink coconut milk straight, which I did yesterday.

          The weight loss doesn't bother me so much, but I wish I knew if it was FAT that was going away and not muscle. I assume it must be, but I'm trying to hard to build muscle that any weight loss makes me super nervous.

          I ordered a body fat pinch-device thing so maybe that will help me see if the fat is going away.

          My sister and mother are coming in from out of town this weekend to celebrate my sister's birthday, so I imagine there will be some falling off the wagon this weekend, especially with alcohol. We're also going to be going on to eat, and it will be harder for me to track and measure everything for fit day. But I'll try. Not to mention, they will give me all kinds of hell for even doing this to begin with so I'll have to be like Harriet the Spy with my little food notebook. lol


          • #6

            Things are going well...I actually did better this weekend than I thought I would. The only time things got out of hand was last night...we went out to dinner for my sister's birthday and she and I ended up splitting a bottle of wine and a piece of CAKE!! gasp. It was coconut cake, haha, at least, but still, I calculated at least 50 grams of carbs in that single piece alone. So yesterday my numbers were bad, but today I actually got my amounts to almost be exactly where they should be.

            I bought a food scale yesterday. This will be a tremendous help. Once I get used to measuring, I'll be much better at estimating and eyeballing when I need to.

            I think I'd like to go ahead and continue keeping track of my intake during this 30 days. I thought I'd just do it for the first week, but I'm enjoying this and think I need a bit more practice with it.

            I did some baking with coconut flour Friday night. I just did some "muffins." They could be worse, I suppose, but they are quite dense and more egg-like than I thought. But, they are a nice compliment to my egg-meat breakfasts, and make a nice fatty snack. So I'll keep experimenting with coconut flour.


            • #7

              Things continue to go well with my eating and tracking my foods. The food scale is a lifesaver when it comes to accurate measurements of everything. Between that and fit day, I feel totally organized and in control.

              I'm keeping my carbs low and my protein high, but I feel ok about that. Overall, I'm feeling great.


              • #8

                We're 11 now. I actually got my amounts to be as close to ideal today as I have so far. Fat 111 grams, protein 93 grams, carbs 82 grams. I went through an acorn squash between yesterday and today...roasted the seeds and ate some of those today, so that's why the carbs are higher than I'd like. I'd like to keep it under 75 for some reason, but mainly because I need to focus more on fat.

                This evening I had a shot of olive oil to get my final 20 grams in. I've chugged down worse things, but still...need to get it on my food somehow during the day instead.


                • #9

                  It's day 21. I'm excited about how easy it has been to make this transition. Getting "formal" with the challenge has really helped me to see where I need to continue to make improvements, and I'm fine-tuning my food intake to get close to my ideal percentages. I got on a fat percentage scale this weekend and am down to 18% body fat. In mid-August I was at 19% and that is before I started, so this made me feel great.

                  I will continue using fitday for the rest of the week and then I think I'll take a week off and see how it goes. I feel like I've gotten pretty good at estimating my amounts and knowing what I need and don't need. I don't want to be weighing and charting forever. I might every once in a while take a week and do it again just to be sure I'm on the right track.

                  Had a lipid and cholesterol panel done Friday morning, as well as an EKG. My BP was a little higher than normal (126/ is usually 110/70), but I also had it taken after the 10-min walk to the hospital from my home. I'll have it checked again soon just to be sure this is nothing to be concerned about. Looking forward to getting those blood results back though.


                  • #10

                    OK, I did it. 30 days.

                    I stopped logging on Fit Day yesterday. I think what I want to try to do is maybe log like every other week, or one week a month, or something like that. Just to be sure I stay on track. I'm still using my food scale to be sure I don't overestimate portions of things. I will weigh myself every day to every other day just to be sure my weight stays stable.

                    I've felt better in the last month than I have in years. YEARS. And I'm in the best shape of my life so far. It's exciting!

                    Still have not gotten the results of my blood tests yet. Hope those come soon.


                    • #11

                      I stopped tracking on fit day for a few days only to find myself tracking again. Now, I'm doing it just to be sure I get my fat in. That continues to be the hardest thing for me, and it's much easier to make it a point to smear lard on everything when I'm tracking.

                      I've also found that by not bringing a meat for lunch at work, i'm able to control my protein better. So I'm having a slice of coconut bread with 2T almond butter for lunch the past couple weeks, and it's very filling, very fatty, with only moderate protein.


                      • #12

                        Seems you have learned a lot this past month. Coconut bread with almond butter nice way to get more fat and less protein in.

                        How has exercise fit in?


                        • #13


                          It sounds like you are doing pretty well. Do you think you could post a day or 2 of your menu? I am trying to lower my bodyfat % as well and am having a hard time with all the fat I should be adding. Any help would be MUCH appreciated!


                          • #14

                            Bikerpike...exercise was never really an issue for me. If anything, I'm exercising too much for a primal.

                            I am on week 11 of the program in the book "Sculpting Her Body Perfect". It involves three days of strength training, two days of light/moderate cardio (I'm doing sprints twice per month), and two days of rest each week. The combination of the new eating habits and this program have helped push me to the next level with my body composition.

                            Lindsay, here's what I had yesterday; it was an easy meal day.

                            Breakfast: 1 scoop whey protein powder (chocolate) with 8 ounces water, 4 ice cubes, and 4 ounces coconut milk.

                            Snack: 1 oz walnuts

                            Lunch: 1/10 loaf of coconut flour bread (basic recipe from this author: get the flour relatively inexpensively from amazon) with 1T almond butter

                            Dinner: 6 ounces pork tenderloin (leftover from weekend) fried in 1T bacon grease to heat it up, and 4 ounces brussels sprouts quartered and sauteed in 1 T butter. I also had a glass of red wine and about 9 grams of 80% chocolate.

                            The best ways for me to get fat in my diet is to have 4 ounces of coconut milk every day and cook with a lot of oil. I either saute everything in oil or dump oil on it after cooking (or on salads).

                            On the weekends I eat a lot of bacon and eggs. I save all my bacon grease in the fridge in an old nut container so I can use it in other cooking.


                            • #15

                              I hear you about exercising to much for Primal. I come from Ironman triathlon training where 15 hours a week was normal. I'm forcing myself to slow down and walk more and do less add in sprints and weights.

                              The link for coconut bread doesn't work but found the website but could not locate the bread recipe..lots of the recipes have sugar what do you use instead if anything?