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Primal Life On The Prairie: slesca's primal journal

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  • Primal Life On The Prairie: slesca's primal journal

    My old journal had a pregnancy title that I couldn't figure out how to change, so I'm starting a new one. Plus, I want to put that part of my life behind me for a while. Introducing my unpregnant journal! A quick introduction: I'm a 29 y.o. woman/mama/feminist/lawyer/weekend hippie living in the heartland on 4.5 acres with 1 husband, two children, two dogs, and three cats. I discovered PB in the summer of 2009 when I was struggling with lethargy, anxiety, slow-creep weight gain, violent mood swings, and crippling insomnia. One month later, that was all cured and I was bounding up my hill doing barefoot sprints without having to mentally force myself. And, after trying unsuccessfully to get pregnant for a year, I got pregnant. Not a coincidence, I'm sure.

    I lifted and sprinted and ate pretty primally through my whole pregnancy. I had an uneventful (though long) labor and birthed a 7 lb (ish) little boy who melts my heart with every toothy grin. He's 9.5 months and I'm breastfeeding (pumping during trial breaks, while on conference calls, driving to out of town hearings, etc).

    I've been lucky enough to never really struggle with my overall weight, but I've always been aware of stomach issues, high bf%, etc. My history was to train and run marathons, then struggle to move at all for the next 4-5 months. I ran 5 marathons and many more half marathons throughout my mid 20's and usually weighed 135-145 (5'6"). But I was always battling knee pain, back pain, stomach discomfort, and later the mental health issues noted above.

    Since discovering the PB, I've never really been perfect. I have a weakness for homemade baked goods. I like popcorn. But for the most part, my current diet is so completely different from my old (vegetarian, of course) diet that I cringe when I think of what I used to eat: bread, pasta, more bread. I'd like to become less emotionally attached to certain foods. I don't know what will appear in this journal- I like to cook, I love lifting heavy weights, I am increasing my gardening skillz, I heart fermenting stuff, it's a constant struggle to raise my daughter (6 y.o) to eat healthfully, and I bitch about work sometimes, and bitch about pumping all the time.

  • #2
    Up with my babe at 6 today. We nurse and then play until everyone else in the house gets up at 7. I'm having coffee w/ cream and 2 hb eggs for breakfast. My sleep has been stabilized in the past few weeks. Actually, we had a pretty good system back in January but the little guy got really sick and that went out the window for a while. But we're back to a 6-6 sleep schedule.

    I've been playing tennis on Friday nights. It's a lot of fun and something I really look forward to. I'm a total beginner but I like that I'm learning something new AND it's active/playful/competitive.

    I have a challenging matter at 8:30 this morning so I've got to get to work early.

    My daughter

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    • #3
      March was a great month, exercise/activity wise. It was ok in the food department, but I still have the weekend activities that will occasionally derail me. I'm grateful that spring is finally here and that the icky end of winter is over. Oh, and my birthday is in a week. I turn 30 and it seems like a good time for reflection and conscious choices.

      I'm in a bit of a rut with my meals: coffee w/ cream for breakfast, tuna w/ homemade mayo and salad for lunch, chicken soup for dinner tonight.

      I have to tinker with my lifting- I've got a twinge in my shoulder that's getting more and more annoying. I follow the starting strength pattern and I think my OH press is getting heavy and my form must be off or something. Time to dial it back down and tweak my form, I guess. This happened with my hip flexors and the squat a while back and I cleaned it up nicely. I think I've got random weaknesses that I notice when the weights get heavy.

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      • #4
        Turned 30 yesterday. I think this decade suits me. I have kind of an "old" life. I haven't felt like a 20-something for a while, in a good way. With a new birthday come all kinds of new goals for a super-strong future. I want this year to be the year that I source 99% of my meat from a local farmer. I'm trying to figure out what to do- I have lots of options but I'm not sure about the timing of all the animals. Lambs, bison, elk, chickens, beef, pork are all within 20 miles or so from my house. I'm thinking of an elk/beef/chicken combo. I also want to maximize my garden so that I can literally can every single tomato that I might need for the following year. I still need to get sprinting back into my life.

        The good news is that my 11 month old son hasn't woken up at night in almost 2 months! He does an 11-12 hr stretch with no interruptions. I think he is officially sleeping like a big kid. The other good news (for me, though I know not everyone feels like this) is that I'm nearly done nursing. He tolerates goat's milk very well and eats quite large portions of steak, fish, veggies, chicken, etc for three meals/day. I nurse before bed and first thing in the morning but that's it. Goooodbye pump. If I see you again it will be too soon. I'm having a lot of fun watching how as a little baby, he is really into eating meat. Probably a confirmation bias, but man, you should see this kid slurp down a 3 oz portion of medium rare steak off the grill!

        I've been eating this way for almost 2 years: it will be 2 years in June. More and more people ask me about it. In Iowa, it's not that tough to be a big carnivore; many people hunt, have freezers stocked with beef, etc., but there is still definitely the sense that conscientious fit women should be vegetarian. I'm trying to (subtly, gently) change this perception. I have a younger sister who is pregnant and believes that her vegan-ness is best for her pregnancy. I couldn't disagree more but I try to remember that it's not my life. My husband is an "everything in moderation" guy who doesn't see any reason to change his habits. But, over the last two years, he has made some big changes. He still thinks that bacon and steak is bad for the heart, but he doesn't say a word about my daily consumption like he used to. He no longer drinks pop or sports drinks. Baby steps!

        This forum is such a good place to get some relief from the real world and the crazy marketing. I've noticed lately that more and more people are talking about fat being good and empty carbs being bad, but that no one is able to actually examine what they are eating to test these principles. It's like on the one hand, everyone agrees that processed food is bad, but then they buy fat free, sugar free key lime yogurt and eat that all day. I think that a change is coming but people have a lot of marketing and ingrained behavior to overcome. Another example is my daughter's school: we are supposed to bring one snack per month. The restriction is that 1. ) it has to be "healthy" and 2.) it has to be non-perishable so they can store it in their monthly snack cupboard. WTF? I seriously can only think of one thing- nuts- that can be stored for a whole month in a cupboard that is a healthy snack. But of course, they can't have nuts at snack because of allergies. The suggestions are: granola bars, goldfish crackers, low-fat cookies, trail mixes (without nuts), etc. We can send veggies or fruit but we have to let the teacher know in advance so she can make plans to serve it right away. Ugh. The issue of children's health is so LOUD lately that my eardrums are bursting, but everyone seems completely braindead when it comes to making any changes.

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        • #5
          Well, nursing is going fast. The kiddo is just not interested so I think I can officially close the door on that chapter of my life. It comes with a bit of "my kid is getting big fast!" and a lot of "yay, I can have my body back to just myself." Not a good bfing mom, I know. No one issues awards to anyone for spending hours/day pumping while working with an infant. Pretty much the most thankless task I've every completed.

          I'm excited to see what happens as my hormones regulate. I haven't felt like nursing really kept my weightlifting goals down, but I do wonder if the hormone regulation will affect me at all. I haven't started cycling yet but when I do, it will be interesting to see how it goes.

          I made a great lamb stew tonight for dinner and the babe ate an adult portion of it. I love watching that kid eat with reckless abandon. He shoves it in his mouth with his hands and slurps on it forever. It's so adorable.

          Otherwise, I'm dreaming of summer and camping.

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          • #6
            Ok, I think it's time to track for a little while. I feel my 20% creeping up. April was a great month but this month I've gone out to eat at lunch way too much. This results in stupid decisions and immediately feeling unhealthy and is immediately followed by "oh well, this day is shot anyway, I might as well (fill in the blank)." So back to the basics! I think my anxiety is creeping up and is affecting me. But this is such a cycle because it's the crappy food that causes my anxiety (specifically, sugar seems to be the problem).

            I'm going to post my goals: 14 days of no grains/legumes, no added sugar, no vegetable oils. Only two lunches out per week. Sprint every week! Go for a walk every day, even if it's just for 10 minutes at midnight. Keep carbs below 30 for the next 14 days. Just to kick start things. Oh, and no beer or other non-primal friendly beverages. And no more than four primal friendly alcoholic drinks/week.

            Now I feel better. I'm going on vacation in a week but I should be fine with this on vacation. Well, except maybe the alcohol; it's a girls trip and we are planning a wine tour one of the days. I'll deal with that when it comes. Now, must get my sprinting done tonight!

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            • #7
              Journal-ing is something that really comes and goes with me. But I'd like to start a bit more now. I don't have my own blog because I'm sure that the sporadic nature would be annoying. But I like to look back and see where I've come from. So, a brief catch up session:

              I have been traveling a lot lately. Now that I'm done with this, I'm facing up to the fact that I appear to have permanently put on some weight. I have weighed 142-143 every morning this week. This is up from the 136-138 that I was used to seeing. So I'd say I've put on about 5 lbs. I took some pictures to look at and compare, and yep, my hips are a wee bit wider and I'm still a little thicker in my upper arms than when I'm comfortably lean. Vacations = bad. Actually, not so bad if you just do one here and there, but my pile of travels have been really rough on my diet. Oh, and my pants all fit but not in the way they used to- I can't wait to get them off after work. This is one of my early signs of weight gain that I like to pay special attention to.

              I also have to report that I finally joined the local crossfit gym and I really love it. Due to traveling, my attendance there has also been sporadic- 5 times in one week and then 0 the next when I'm gone. But I'm trying to find the perfect balance there of when to go, how it interacts with lifting heavy at home, and still working in long walks as much as possible. There is no doubt that crossfit lends itself easily to overtraining if you try to get in as much as possible. My favorite part about it is that there are lots of great strong-woman role models that I just don't see in my everyday life. Amazing and inspirational!

              In food, I'm playing around with skipping a lot more meals. While pregnant and breastfeeding this was often impossible for me but now I have no problem going from 7 p.m. (dinner) to the following day at 1p.m. (lunch) without eating. Or if I eat a good breakfast, I don't even think about lunch. It seems to depend on when I work out.

              To track for today:
              Breakfast- coffee (black)
              Lunch- Salad with canned tuna (after crossfit workout at noon), olive oil and vinegar
              Dinner- sirloin steak, broccoli w/ butter, Cabernet (let's be honest, I'll have 2 glasses)

              We're having a party tomorrow so I'll have to go shopping and start cooking tonight. I was hoping to smoke a couple of briskets bit I'm nervous about buying so much expensive meat and guessing on the cook time. We'll see. I do have to make something with zucchini or summer squash as I have enough to feed a small country from the garden. Almost everything else was eviscerated by rabbits but man, zucchini is a survivor.

              Comment


              • #8
                I like the way you write. Please keep journaling!

                Garlic will deter the rabbits! I've just sprinkled garlic powder but I am wondering if interplanting the garlic with the other crop would work as well.
                Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.

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                • #9
                  Sounds like you are doing well, having some lapses but jumping back on the wagon, or jumping back in the driver's seat.
                  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.

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                  • #10
                    Yeah, driver's seat! I like that. And thanks for reading, honeybuns. My pregnancy journal was a lot of fun because it was more of a dialogue. Now I'm just a boring mom-to-two, so I'll apologize in advance.

                    Today went pretty much as planned except I didn't have any salad greens at work. I must have run out earlier in the week but I forgot. So, yeah, just had the tuna alone and probably 1.5 servings of mac nuts. I was starving after doing crossfit without eating for 17 hours. For dinner I also ended up splitting a sweet potato in thirds for me and the kiddos. I felt like I needed some extra fuel. Haven't opened the cab yet as I need to go grocery shopping when G gets home and I'm saving it for my late night cooking session.

                    Because...I think I've settled on a party menu: beef brisket, tomato/mozz salad, roasted corn salad (hey, I live in Iowa. I have to do something with sweet corn this time of year), roasted local vegs, hamballs, chips and salsa, and watermelon-vodka popsicles. I was getting a little overly ambitious and thinking I wanted to try making spring rolls or something but I'm better off sticking to big bowls of stuff. Our parties tend to a.) have 40 people and b.) have way too much food because everyone brings something. Now I just gotta practice moderation for myself to not sabotage the good week I've had.

                    Plenty of work to do to get our giant slip n slide set up, arrange for some *cough* fireworks *cough*, make sure we have a good wiffleball field set up and clean the house. This is always my favorite part of summer!

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                    • #11
                      Ah, good party. And before that, good crossfit workout. Did deadlifts, pushups and box jumps. Tuuuuuff. While I did drink a good amount of vino and sampled the blueberry/lemonade vodka someone brought, it was all-in-all a not-so-diet-sabotaging event. Lots of play, lots of talk, and lots of fire. I love the great leftovers I have now, too!

                      So today I've had pineapple hamballs, tomato/mozz salad, and roasted veggies for lunch. I made a kale smoothie for my detoxifying breakfast

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                      • #12
                        Well, I ended up eating a piece of leftover zucchini bread last night. And then 1/2 a piece tonight after dinner. I really need to get that stuff out of the house. Maybe I'll ask my husband to take it to work tomorrow. Me + baked goods = low restraint.

                        So today:
                        Breakfast- coffee w/ cream
                        Lunch- n/a
                        Dinner- salmon over mixed greens + tomato mozz salad on top of that, and a dollop of guacamole, a few leftover hamballs, 1/2 piece of zucchini bread, green tea

                        I meant to do crossfit at lunch, buuuuut we had an (always tedious) partner meeting today at noon. Not cool. I'm heading out for a long walk right now. The scorching sun is going down and I think a nice 90 minute stroll will help me dispose of some of the anxiety I'm harboring. I meant to mention this topic earlier. When I first started primal two years ago, I was really struggling with anxiety, insomnia, and, in retrospect, some depression. By completely changing my diet and stopping the punishing chronic cardio, my problem was solved 100%. Like, I hadn't felt that awesome EVER. Plus, I lost weight, felt good about my appearance, eliminated PMS, and got pregnant after 1 year of it not happening. I had all of these great benefits in just about 6 weeks. It was really amazing. Anyway, fast forward to now: my primal habits are pretty well ingrained, although I have a tendency to ebb and flow a bit. But, I started menstruating again in April after 20 or so months without. The first few were intense, as I recall they were after weaning my first baby. The next was pretty normal.

                        Then, this past cycle I had the old choking anxiety rear its ugly head on me as a PMS symptom. No cramping or anything, just that chest-crushing anxiety about absolutely nothing. Well, that's not true- anxiety is always about SOMETHING, but it's the crap that I normally just deal with. I don't know; maybe it was residual from my crazy month of eating somewhat poorly? We'll see; next month should be a pretty good chance to experiment. I'm wondering if I need to take a chill pill on my coffee consumption. It's getting a bit, er, liberal.

                        Well, less sitting and writing and more moving at a slow pace. See ya!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Today:
                          breakfast- 2 breakfast muffins (eggs, sausage and veggies cooked in a muffin tin), coffee w/ cream
                          lunch- 1 can tuna w/ olive oil and red wine vinegar
                          dinner- salmon patty, salad w/ olive oil and red wine vinegar, green tea, a small amount of mac nuts while cooking

                          I did make it to crossfit over lunch today and we did weighted push-ups. Yikes, I needed this. I'm really enjoying stretching myself by doing a lot of exercises that I've never done before at this gym. I always felt like I consistently worked out/lifted before, but the variety is so much better now. I love how the guys who run the place are a perfect mixture of chill and encouraging but hardcore and no-excuses. I've also been doing one-legged hip bridges 50 on each side every morning in an attempt to help recover the shape of my butt from my pregnancy. What appears to have happened is that it got, well, gigantic, while I was preg. Then we I became un-preg, I lost the fat but sadly my booty drooped a bit. I joke about the pencil test- if you can fit a pencil under your butt and it doesn't fall out then it's too saggy. Well, after baby 2 I could probably fit a deck of cards. I'm back to just a pencil and it's barely fitting. Whew; I should be back to normal in the next few months.

                          No, I won't post pictures of the pencil test

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                          • #14
                            Oops, skipped yesterday but that's because I went to bed at oh, 9:00. It felt great. I was up at 6 and felt much refreshed. It's HOT here so I finally decided I was going to sleep by myself in our basement. It was the most decadent thing. No offense to husbands, but sleeping alone in a cold basement is really nice when the heat index is over 100.

                            Yesterday's food:
                            Breakfast: two breakfast "muffins", coffee w/ cream
                            Lunch: my favorite salad from a local coffee shop w/ blue cheese and bacon. Yes, I put their salad dressing on it but I used just a little bit. Oh, a bit more coffee w/ cream
                            Dinner: took the kids to an outdoor play (yuck, it was humid and I was wearing non-breathing work attire) where I snacked on some cheese; then met a friend for dinner and had a grilled chicken salad and a glass of chard.

                            Did crossfit and almost died: it was a 5K, broken up, with 120 burpees interspersed. Oh, and it was outside. At noon. In crazy hot and humid weather. I felt nauseous the whole time and realized that I suck at running after being a pretty decent half marathoner a few years ago. I don't got it anymore. Note to self: occasionally run just to maintain the ability.

                            Today:
                            Breakfast: two breakfast "muffins" coffee w/ cream
                            Lunch: hamburger w/ mustard, small salad, iced coffee w/ cream
                            Dinner: Salmon patty on a salad w/ salsa, squash soup (found some in the freezer from the winter! nice surprise)

                            More crossfit: 100 pushups, 100 situps, 25 pullups, 5 min. plank (yeah, right!) then 50/50/15/2:30. Messed around doing front squats and deadlifts after. Felt weak and wobbly.

                            We're going on a canoe and camping trip tomorrow afternoon for the whole weekend so I won't get much formal exercise in, and really, the canoeing is more of a float and less of a "row" sort of deal. Mostly, it's a big fun party. So, I think I'll do a fourth day in a row of crossfit tomorrow, just to avoid going too long in between workouts. I can see how people get addicted to CF. I love the energy of being there. Plus, I'm paying a lot of money so I want to get my dollar's worth For the trip this weekend I'm going to practice relaxed moderation. I fear the delicious cookies my friend makes and want to avoid the snacky chips and whatnot.

                            I weighed myself today and did some measurements to see how tightening up for the past 2 weeks has worked and it's definitely showing results. I'm down to 141 and my waist is back to 27.5. I should dip below 140 with another good week and can keep heading down below 135, hopefully. I don't think my waist has ever been smaller than 26.5 since I've had my first child, so I'll be curious to see how another good month affects that. I don't carry my weight there; it's in my hips/butt. I'm not too focused on weight in and of itself, but I can see where I'm carrying the extra fat so for now it's a good measurement.

                            For my tracking purposes, I'm posting today's measurements:
                            Weight: 141
                            Waist at belly button: 27.5
                            Hips (widest part): 39
                            Thigh: 21

                            Everything else pretty much is always the same (calf, chest, arm, wrist neck, what else do people measure?)

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                            • #15
                              All right, time for a weekend reset. The canoe trip was full of as much debauchery as I expected. I did limit the cookies, chips, beer, etc pretty well, though I had a super-sweet margarita and lots of processed meat. I did not make it to crossfit on Friday and I don't know if I can go today. I have lunch meeting and then a late in the day appointment. I could possibly make it to the 5:30 class, but that would pretty much ensure that I don't see my little guy at all today since he goes to bed at 6:30. I may do some heavy lifting at home instead. I did get in a nice hour long walk last night. And I just discovered that my little ipod has a very accurate pedometer on it. Fun. My normal walk is about 9500 steps. That sounds like a lot to me, but it's only about 4.8 miles.

                              Today's food (so far or planned)
                              Breakfast: scrambled eggs w/ salsa, coffee w/ cream
                              Lunch: salad w/ canned tuna and olive oil and vinegar
                              Dinner: Something with the chicken I roasted last night. Maybe chicken and cabbage with tomato sauce or something.

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