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Primal Journal- Jitz Grrl

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  • Primal Journal- Jitz Grrl

    My first entry into any type of online forum (how silly is that, at almost 34!), but MDA and Primal eating has changed my life and outlook in the past couple months, and while it's not perfect, I relish the chance to tweak away and find a sustainable set of variations to see me through.

    I've been primal for about 8 weeks now, ranging from 100/0 some days to 60/40 others; usually around 85/15. At first, this included copious dairy, mounds of butter, a new pound of nuts each week, handfuls of coconut flakes, etc etc. It did the job- I now have detached that sugar monkey that was lodged so firmly on my back- but resulted in some excess poundage on my bitty 5'4" frame. Boo! So I've been dialing back the dairy (~2 c grassfed/week), nuts (only the occasional handful of macadamias), coconut oil, in an attempt to get back to what I know is more balanced eating for me.

    The bummer side of my attempt at LC primal was: someone drained my gastank! My exercise/play is intense- really intense. 2 four-hour sessions of sand volleyball each week, two or three LHT/met-con style workouts (Kettlebells or kickboxing or a killer circuit), and at least 3 sessions of Brazilian Ju-jitsu a week. Often, my girlfriend is there and we can train together, so I get to 'play' and throw around her 110 pounds. But ya never know when I'm only going to have boys to whoop on, and the 160-200 pounders are a much more significant weight, ya know? Compound this with the facts that BJJ ends at 9pm and my tummy gets grumbly right before bed, and it's led to some bizarre, potentially unwise food choices.

    So, my current measurements and goal macros are as follows:
    33/F/Los Angeles/5'4"
    Current weight: 132
    Goal weight: 127

    Supps: still transitioning from a more bodybuilding stack, so this is a work in progress: fish oil, vitamin D (4K), B-6/12/Folic acid, Glucosamine, 5-HTP. Also currently Biotin and Silica for hair/nails. Magnesium for my 'panics'

    Habits to develop or change:
    1. Eat enough (carbs! carbs give energy! I need some...) and at the right times
    2. Balance, or I guess, unbalance all those carbs with some IF, some deliberate/structured grazing days- keep my metabolism guessing!
    3. Snacks are for snacking- if I'm home and I'm hungry, eat some actual food. Way too often lunch is some almonds...a string cheese...more almonds...tomato salad...more almonds...etc. Lazy and counterproductive.
    4. Find a solution for the BJJ problem- IF until breakfast (but,!)? gelatin smoothie? whey smoothie? Small <insert perfect snack here>? I got nuthin-

    Projects of the Temple:
    1. Remove these newly found love-handle-squishies. Just formed last week, when I was on a coconut oil streak. I've been upping my calories higher and higher to get the energy, and it just hasn't been forthcoming- I really think I need some carbs to prime the pump. I know, I know, it's in the book...
    2. Renew my hair- while it was always thin, and delicate to perms/chlorine/crossways glances, it's never been dull and falling out before. Got my thyroid tested last week- very interested in what the Dr has to say. I think I've had thyroid swings a couple times in my young adulthood, but didn't ever recognize or persue that diagnosis- too busy trying to attack my generalized anxiety/depression- lol.
    3. Nails? Nice side benefit if possible. I've always had awful awful nails...small beds, weak, no nail crescents. This is a bit of vanity, as I've got to keep them super-short for wrestling, but I'd love talon-strong, shiny nails.

    Missions accomplished: Hopefully this list will grow longer the longer I'm Primal
    1. GOODBYE SUGAR! So proud of myself. I went from 3-4 binges/week to zero. The magic of fat.
    2. Coming off my psych meds- I've been on antidepressants since I was 19. Three weeks ago I came off St. John's Wort, leaving me med-free (if you don't count 5-htp). Ketones make for worky brain. The magic of fat (and vitamin D)
    3. Abs. I know, I just said I've gained love handles- but I also have ABs- finally! And they just might be fighter-worthy abs by the time I'm finished with em. I don't think this is the magic of fat.
    4. Aerobic Endurance- I used to max out at 3 burpees because I'd get so anoxic the whole room dimmed. Literally two days after quitting sugar, I busted out 10, no problem...then 10 again 3 minutes later. Woot!

    Going to keep this first post all goal-y, and leave the daily details to the daily posts.


  • #2
    May 7: Proof of Concept (carbs)

    Breakfast: The Usual (2 O3 eggs, Tbsp Kerrygold butter, 1 c spinach, 6 pork rinds), 2 cups herbal tea (guava leaf, ginger)

    Spent most of today flying to San Francisco for an amazing wrestling seminar with some very talented ladies. My airport food was laughably primal- the remains of last nights yams + lamb steak- no knife allowed per the airport cops, so I happily gnawed off my hunk o meat as needed, ignoring curious glances. Followed by a desert of a few macs and 1/4 c unsweetened dried coconut.

    And every single (soaked) almond I brought with me. Immediately. Made me feel sick. Addiction, much?

    Anyway, on to our proof of concept. 3 hours pre-seminar, I had the insides of a roast beef sandwich. feelin okay. 1 hour before, a granola bar (first oats in two months- yum- I miss em). Now feelin good- energized, social, active. 4 hours of seminar, burns around 8 million calories. Post-seminar beers- 7 million calories. BUT boundless energy. Too much energy. I'm still up...and it's now tomorrow. Oh well. For what it's worth, I feel amazing, like I haven't in a couple weeks.

    Today's plan is a mini-IF until I get back to LA. (who am I kidding? there's no F in this IF- I'm still burnin off beer) Sardines for lunch, work some, get outside if it's pretty. Dinner with friends should be caloric, but primal. Looking forward to coconut lime primal bars- my one weekly 'sweet' (2 Tbsp glucose/brown rice syrup per 9 servings comes out to nuthin, methinks).

    Here's my first dilema: Sunday makes for an easy IF for me- hubby works quite late, I can very easily have breakfast and just coast into Monday breakfast, no problem. BUT, Monday 9am is my most awesome Kettlebells workout: 1 hr of LHT, all at 70-90% aerobic intensity. I am intrigued by the idea of working out fasted for the growth hormone gain, but I'm also wanting to really push myself and rep to actual failure, not this failure-to-have-glycogen I've been feeling stopping me recently. It's like- I know I can push this guy off me- I did it last week- but my muscles just don't wanna get with the program. Right now I'm thinking break the fast with a meager amount of protein + carbs before I lift, then shake when I get home. But I'm easily convinced, so sway me.

    Anybody care to offer advice? Fast? Eat? If eat, what and how much?


    • #3
      I think the most qualified to answer your question is Rivvin, because his activity levels are similar to yours (crossfit and bjj) I think he would advice against fasting prior to that kettlebell workout.

      I also think you definitely need to keep your carbs somewhat high, but keep them primal (sweet potatoes, squash, maybe a little white rice if your stomach deals with it well -- not too much fruit) because of how much you're doing. Some posters may say you're doing too much, I would disagree, if you enjoy the amount of activity you do (which is on the higher side) then go for it, just make sure to be properly fueled for it. Given how much you do, fasting may not necessarily be something you should partake in, but play with it and see how your workouts go. I think the biggest thing here for you is to make sure you have enough daily carbs, I'd shoot for 80g/day as a minimum.
      I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.


      • #4
        iniQuity, I think you're right about keeping carbs up- I'll save the fasts for weeks I know life will get in the way of workouts, as it seems to do sometimes.

        Pretty decent day overall yesterday, even considering the lack of sleep.

        Food: finished off lamb leg steak + yams around 11am, some lime/coconut gelatin around 4, then after yoga my weekly beer and plenty of indian food with a bit of rice.

        Exercise: 90 minute Yoga class in the late afternoon (5:30). Advanced Class (2/3), as the guy continued to disparagingly tell us. And the palm of my left hand has some sort of knot in it from where I jacked it @ yoga last week, making all my chattaranga/reverse pushups quite painful at one moment through the movement. So he thought I was an idiot as I kept breaking in the most basic of flows. But, hey, got a GREAT sweat on, and we were doing better than most in the class, so I don't think it was really E and I he was sneering at, just that he's kinda a sneery guy. I also really like working on my standing balance poses, although I don't find the hand-balancing poses as fun (maybe that will change as my hand clears up).

        Supps: missed my night pills as usual on Saturday, but did get my biotin and biosil in before yoga, so at least got the suggested doses on those. Mg in morning.

        Sleep was back to normal last night...I sleep like a champion. Whew! in fact, even fell asleep before it was time for lime bars, so missed out on them last night, although tasted a half this morning. I loved them; general consensus was that they were under-sweet (at least, when put next to SAD ice cream), but very limey. I thought I finally got the texture right, with a good ratio crust to topping. Success, but probably some powdered sugar for the weaklings next time.


        • #5
          Food: (8) 1/2 coco-limebar (10) usual breakfast (11:45) almonds, chocolate square (12:45) lunch: 1/2 can salmon, 1/2 c cucumber, persian cuke, tomato, onion (5:45) seaweed package (8) 4 oz burger w mushroom/onion/blue cheese, 100g purple yam fries, broccoli. wine. sq chocolate

          Nutrition: 1700 cal 91P/91C/101 F Lacking: b1 .7 mg = 63% calcium 505 mg = 50%

          Exercise: none. feeling the tendon in the outside elbow of my owie yoga-hand, but it'll heal and strengthen.

          Mood: kinda blah, but nothing wrong. maybe 6/10. disinterested and lethargic. Going to give it 4 days of good primal, then reassess- it might be time to raise 5htp back to 300 or 400 mg, or maybe add in samE or SJW.


          • #6
            (8:30) quinoa, coco milk, cinnamon (10:30) smoothie (12) leftover beef/onion/mushroom/yam + spinach (1) decaf black tea w/ whole milk, 1/2 handful soaked almonds. (4:30) 1/2 can salmon with 1 T labne, 1/2 cup cuke/onion/tomato handful almonds. (6) 1/4 c coconut milk, handful coconut (10) beef stew

            Mood: still blah and disconnected. Moments I tapped into my energy well in KB, but still not working right. Good energy throughout the day, excepting a crazy-powerful urge to lie down around 7, then back to fine energy 7:20. Decided to up my 5htp to 200mg/twice a day, which is where I have been for the last few years. Was hoping I could wean off that too, but tis not to be. Perhaps when I have my diet completely tweaked, or perhaps never.


            • #7
              Food: (8) tea (10) stew (11) chocolate (11:30) handful coconut (12:30) gelatin acai coco smoothie (1:15) seaweed (1:45) pork skins + 1/2 avocado guac (2:15) bakers chocolate + 1 prune (3:30) small smoothie @ student's house (4:30) tomato/cuke/onion salad (6:45) 1/4 lb tuna poke (9) 2 pieces salmon pie, tomato/cuke salad. wine x 1.4, choc x 2

              Nutrition: ~2000 cal; 127P/100C/90F; ***30+g sugar***; lacking: b1 .8mg=77%, k 54=60%, Potassium 3000mg=64%, calcium 405=44% omega: 4.6 to 3.9. Should probably have had some magnesium, if I was breaking into the baker's chocolate (or having multiple chocolates, period)

              Mood: I actually felt quite good on the food I ate today. Grazing has its advantages. However, two smoothies in a day is too much. As for my emotional mood, I'm feeling less lethargic, but I'm still having trouble organizing and planning my life, and every single thing seems like a MASSIVE chore. I mean, I guess most of my tasks- DMV, doctor, arrange for car donation- are pretty stupid boring things, but I might as well get on with em. Oh, and...uh...I figured out why I felt all weird and touchy last week, and gained a couple pounds, and my brain took a vacation. Started my period last night. Duh.

              Exercise: wasn't feelin it in the morning, and worked afternoon and evening. But I have a double tomorrow, so no stress.

              Supps: Morning and Evening pills. Biotin and Biosil. +100mg 5htp am/pm. Our xylitol mints and gum finally arrived, so we'll give it a month and see about Cory's cavity.


              • #8
                Thursday: (8) 2 eggs, spinach, butter, pork rinds (11) macadamias (2) 2 oz turkey, slice amer cheese, 1/2 banana (5) smidge of leftover beef/mushroom/onion, macs (7) vodka lemonade (8)1/5 of dinner-fail: curried lamb brains w spinach & rice. Cats loved it though...think they ate more than we did! (10) coconut bark w blueberries, honey drizzle. chocolate + wine.

                Mood: had some actively GOOD moments today...around 10ish, then again through the afternoon. Perhaps the 5htp, perhaps the dulse for thyroid. Overall 7/10, with flashes of 9.

                Exercise: Play-boxing, but when it's outside and goes on for three hours, even when you don't connect, it takes energy, even if it's technically only play. Was thinking of BJJ after, but when I found out my man was taking it easy, I also took the chance to take it easy and hang with him and cook.

                Supps: been good about everything- morning, evening, biosil, biotin, dulse.


                • #9
                  Food has been good for carbs and decent for quality the last few days: Friday- coconut bark before boxing, smoothie after, delivery primal-ish thai (no rice, etc) for dinner. Yum! Saturday- eggs, work til 3, then quinoa + cocomilk and leftover curry, nice run, then beer(s- 2!) and Mediterranean for dinner. Med is hard for me to keep pristinely clean- bulghur slips into the strangest dishes, and I heart hummus- but stayed pita-free and mostly enjoyed my meat and fat. Sunday morning I just demolished some cookies- five large waffle cookies, minimal redeeming value- but that + 1 kibbeh fueled me the rest of the day.

                  Mood: Friday was wacky- C was having anger/ADHD issues, and the first couple hours of the day I was afraid I really WAS being as wearying as his complaints indicated, but, nah, I think he's just having his Spring Transition. Otherwise, things are steady, trending upwards in my brain. Building feelings of "let's DO something!" which is hard when my group is regularly homebodies. So instead of whining or being frusterated, i'm just going to go do things- yay!

                  Exercise: Friday, boxing. Saturday, got a run in. Sunday, rest up for KB on Monday, followed by a big week, I believe- zero gi BJJ, but two no-gi classes, kettlebells, 2 hard yoga classes, and one hard circuit.

                  Supps: 5htp, biosil, biotin, glucosamine, dulse, b-6/12/folic, multi...all good.


                  • #10
          's been a bad weekend. Fall off the horse, get back on the horse.

                    Friday was the company semi-yearly work party- really my only chance to see my colleagues. And on top of that, the office must be feelin profitable, because we went *out* for once- to a beer garden. Well, one beer became two became a sausage (in a bun) became a glass of wine last night. Saturday started out just fine with breakfast and lunch, but I succumbed to the desert platter at a function I was working- one brownie bite...two...four...a, two. Dinner was at least semi-primal, but we went to a restaurant, so I only kinda trust it, and it was definitely decadent moussaka. And I then gave in to the midnight ice cream demons.

                    And had an awful dream as I was awoken, which makes me think I'd probably been having bad dreams all night.

                    I'm not exactly back to normal today, although better. Breakfast was grassfed cottage cheese/tart blackberries. Nuthin until student's mom brought brie and some other delicious cheese around 4pm. I ate 2-3 oz of cheese and 10ish Ritz crackers. D'oh on the crackers- and, um, 0.5 black and 2 mugs green tea, full caf, between E's and my student's house this morning. Hello, caffeine!

                    And on top of this, all work and no play all week. And work suddenly went from 3 light days/1 heavy day per week to 4 heavy days/2.5 light days through the week. Ack! I skipped workout on Friday morning, and therefore got no exercise Fri/Sat/Sun. Monday morning- 9am- I have a date with a kettlebell or two.

                    I was a smart smart cookie on Saturday and used my bonus time away from work to grab a massage. I have been talking myself out of workouts (which probably means I'm low on carbs...remember that!) but massage was awesome, and both physically provided stretch and removed knots, and totally brought me back to myself. I may try to hit an easy yoga class or two this week, just to refocus my body awareness and flexibility. Lots of strength focus last week...

                    Okay, back on the horse ASAP. Meatloaf tomorrow, Tues liver, Wed venison, Thur lamb tongue. And plenty of BJJ for once this week- every night but Monday (hooray for afternoon students who leave my evenings free!). Iif you fall down 1000 times and get up 1001, they call that success.


                    • #11
                      Monday was pretty kick-ass...(8a) usual breakfast, followed by a more intense than usual kettlebells day- we were short on small bells, so I did everything with a 15 lb for my 'small' (10:30) smoothie (12)3oz taco meat/black beans/guac/salsa. (3) 2 oz 2% Fage, 12 raspberries (5) Kind coconut/almond bar, 6 macadamias. Best of all, E was in town last night, and we got to roll gi at open mat from 7:30-8:45 or so. Got home and had (9:45p) small sweet potato topped with taco mix, glass wine, chocolate. I haven't run the nutrition on this, but all collected it looks a bit high in starches and sugars toward the end of the day. Of course, I also burned a ton of calories and have two more workouts planned for today, so refueling is the name of the game.

                      I remembered all my supplements and I'm feeling the increase in energy from the dulse. Also, I've been amazed at how great my hair's looking with minimal shampooing.


                      • #12
                        Mixed bag this week- Tuedsay was carb-heavy, as was appropriate, since I both had a sand run and did a bunch of no-gi with guys. But I made the mistake of a couple of dried figs, and off I was on the fructose train. Wednesday was crazy-heavy-work day, and while I was good with some extra calories (where else does muscle come from?) I definitely could have tamed the sugar. I've had crazier crap before- Wed was just sesame praline sticks, gluten free sunbutter bars, coughmilkchocolatecough- but it was clearly disordered eating. Finally stopped before one student and got a salami and some babybel cheese from the store, and after 400ish calories of fat, I regained some control. Thursday I was more in control, but no workout in the morning even though I'd intended to (felt very blah, likely from the sugar express on Wed), mexi-lunch out w Karl that was fairly primal, although a few chips and some refried beans, and of course veg oil. BUT, great hard no-gi for 1.5 hours. Dinner was 1/3 lb grassfed w/ carrot + onion meatloaf that was pretty awesome. Clearly I needed calories, and I'm okay with that, but I hate feeling I must snack between B/L/D.

                        Cooking's been kinda dysfunctional, which may be part of the problem. I think we need to shift to hot lunch, leftover or smoothie dinner. Last night I offered meatloaf for dinner, which had to be started from scratch post-BJJ at 9:25. Didn't get in the oven until 9:40, finally finished and we ate 10:30. Blech. Also, green veggies have been sorely lacking- except in breakfast. They just don't sound as good as parsnip/carrot/tomato. Which sounds like my sweet receptors being very demand-y...and they can't be reasoned with. So I guess it's time for some zero-sweet days as I regain control. I'll come back to this later today with a plan of action.

                        Supplements- I think I've forgotten my dulce a couple of times, which hasn't been awesome. Also, the biosil is tasting nastier (more obviously cholrine) by the day, so I think I'm going to drop it, at least for a week or so. My nails are looking much better, and my hair as well, so something seems to be clicking.

                        Mood- except for the sugar, it's been predictable. I was low-motivation on Wednesday, (and low-willpower...hmm...) but expected that after a double-exertion Tuesday, without great/smart recovery. I've been 6/10 with some 7 the last few days- good enough, for the most part. This online tutoring is being quite a stress, so 6 or 7 is good enough for the week. I only have her another two weeks, and it's good money between now and then.


                        • #13
                          I just need to talk through my thoughts about goals and calories and meal timing and willpower:

                          1) a double in any day leaves me weak and weak-willed the next day.
                          2) I don't feel like cooking, and only kinda feel like eating after BJJ. My preferred way of life has me winding down around 10pm, not beginning to digest dinner)
                          3) Vegetables rot in my fridge. Not all of them, granted, but some do, and that's sad.

                          My week does follow a relatively consistent pattern, as follows:
                          Mon AM Kettlebells AFT nada/work PM nada/work
                          Tues AM (kickbox) AFT nada/work PM no-gi BJJ
                          Wed AM YOGA AFT nada/work PM gi BJJ
                          Thurs AM (**gauntlet) AFT nada/work PM no-gi BJJ
                          Fri AM (yoga) AFT gi BJJ PM nada
                          Sat AM work AFT run or yoga or volleyball
                          Sun AM VOLLEYBALL AFT nada/work PM nada/work

                          The scary part is Tues eve-Wed am-Wed pm-Thur am-(Thur pm) without a break. So big meals need to be: Mon lunch, Tues lunch late, Wed lunch late, Thursday lunch (late), Fri evening Sun evening. I also almost always have a big meal Saturday late. That's big meals: lunch M Tu We Th, late Tues Wed (Th), dinner Fri/Sat/Sun.

                          So, put energy into lunch Mon, Tues, Wed, Thur, and dinner Fri. Make coconut gelatin and do leftovers all lates (T/W/Th).

                          Sunday night really needs to be a decent meal. Maybe Sunday night can always been salmon pie, or sardines/avocado.

                          Okay, so lunches should be two veggie, one meat, one starch. By my count there are 9 carb meals, which translates to 900g starch, or about 2 lb per week per person. I don't think I've been buying that much-

                          New plan, starting this week: fresh lunch any day I have mostly off, crockpot lunch for other days. Expand my crockpotitude. Think of greens I can have around 24/7 ready to eat. Budget half a day in the week to assembly line 3 meals and 2 products.

                          Of course, Monday being Memorial Day, already Monday's weird. Monday we'll play it by ear, see what the schedule is...Tuesday, start it off right w kickboxing, then big meal.

                          All that said, today was totally decent; a bit still too up-down on insulin, but much meeker. 2 mugs black decaf tea w milk, breakfast, last bit of meatloaf, couple squares chocolate, cabbage/sausage/parsnip, coconut flakes, macs, and now off to gi. Feeling pretty good energy, very little brain fog. I feel rested and able to handle whatever life throws at me.


                          • #14
                            I heart BBQ weekends. Been a nice few days- gi BJJ on Friday night, run on Saturday late afternoon, great yoga this morning. The tendon/wrist on my left hand is still too weak to support my entire weight, but I can chattaranga just fine, and I'll eventually find the impingement, or maybe just strengthen my tendons until they work properly.

                            Nutrition has been decent- at least I'm cooking again. Friday night was eat-it-or-throw-it-out day; I ended up with two wilty bunches of chard, a pint of cherry tomatoes, two zucchini, one sweet potato, and one beef heart. Sweet potato fries/roasted zucchini, bacon + kale + tomatoes + almond meal, and pan-seared heart strips. Not my most creative meal, but got food on the table, and the greens/tomato side was honestly good. Saturday was breakfast, long fast until late lunch of cheese + sausage, then BBQ and beer. I think my day would have been decent *except for* the papaya daquiri. I need a better solution...that's one of the things I know is awful but drink so I'm not the freak with the weird diet. For now, it's 20%...but really is total crap, not worth the calories or the tight head and grumpiness I get afterwards.

                            Hard start to today- 2 big mugs tea (half caf) w skim, yogurt + granola (again, social issues...), but then sweaty yoga, got back on track w beef heart & grassfed 1.5% cottage cheese/blackberries. Still battling the sugar-gimmes; I'm fighting back, and giving them less and less, so I guess milk really is better than sucrose sugar. But tired of fighting- I wish it was easier. Low carb I have no sugar gimmes, but no energy either. I think maybe very low fructose, high starch...once I can taper this insanity back down to something manageable. It's been every two hours- 50-100 calories of crap (chocolate, juice/soda, sesame honey sticks). Not tons and tons, but I hate having to go around and around the stupid cycle. Other than the crapola calories, nutrition has been better- more greens, more veg, so I'm all for that.

                            Tonight is fish. Red salmon pie, broccoli. Yum!


                            • #15
                              Monday was pretty fabulous- felt like usual breakfast, and managed to eat before kettlebells. Great very full kettlebell class, quick smoothie & coconut flakes on the way to my student. Taught 2 hours, met C and E for lunch @ Veggie Grill. Had the chop salad and sweetheart fries, which is my new favorite. Back to a very long session with another pair of students, and finally home around 8pm. Chores, laundry, and made shepard's pie for dinner. Wine and chocolate x2 and a few macs for desert.

                              My weight has gone back up to 133ish, but I think that's just likely to happen when I don't take enough recovery days. I'm feeling healthy, happy, and strong, so I'm going to keep on, but watch that I don't get run down or too high on my cortisol. But my brain feels great- happy, focused, patient.