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Primal Journal - girlarchitect

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  • Primal Journal - girlarchitect

    Some background:

    I'm a 44 yr old single female and like many of us stuck at desk jobs, I've slowly been gaining weight over the last seven (!!) years. I've been hovering at 170 for about three years now. In my mind, this weight has been a small, short term thing that I am just about to get over, but when I realized I have been at this weight with my health declining, for years I decided it was time to do something about it.
    I know I need to lose weight (more specifically body fat), about 30 pounds worth, but my goal is 2 pounds a week.

    My diet has been over the years fairly good from a conventional stand point - lots of fruits and vegetables, lots of whole grain (30+ grams of fiber a day), light on meat, very little processed foods (except for potato chips which are a downfall of mine) - and I get plenty of regular exercise from walking and biking. I don't have a strong sweet tooth - no soda, no ice cream, few deserts - so that's never been a downfall for me.

    But that approach was, of course, not working. So, I decided to start a primal diet one week ago. Today, I thought I should start a journal to see if a commitment the latter would help keep me on the former. We shall see if it helps.

    Thoughts on my first week:

    At first, I just felt hungry and heavy. In one week, I've come to recognize the hunger was more mental than physical. The heaviness was, I think, from increasing the amount of red meat in my diet which has typically been about 1lb a month. I've adjusted by replacing some of the red meat with more fish and shellfish - easy as I live only 2 blocks from the local fish market - and the heavy feeling is gone. I figure I'll probably want more fish now and more red meat in the winter - we'll see what happens!

    The lack of whole grains is a BIG change for my system - definitely the biggest change. The first three days I had no BM - which was a bit uncomfortable, but perhaps not an unusual first week. In response, I've added a huge volume of raw veggies at lunch to make up for the loss in fiber from carbs - which has helped get things 'flowing' again. I do have mad cravings for a good piece of french bread - and I did have two pieces while at dinner with friends. This will be the big painful adjustment.

    Giving up alcohol is going to be, honestly, a struggle - and and adjustment I'm not certain I want to take on right now. I have a lot of dinners and cocktail events as a part of my professional and personal life and it is honestly difficult for me to make it though without a drink. (I love wine and scotch - and I hate to say no). So, yes, I have had several glasses of wine over the past week. Part of me want to be able to dry out completely for one full month - another part knows this isn't time best time to do so. Typically I give up alcohol over Lent and I'll do that again. Is it okay to stage the 30-day challenge?

    My lifestyle has Mark's Moving Slowly activities built in already - cycling or walking to work and run errands and fun. I am getting up earlier for a morning walk, which is something I used to do when I was younger, and is a great kickoff for the day emotionally and probably definitely cuts down on the 'need' for that first cup of joe. I am finding myself thinking about moving even more - do I have time for a quick swim before dinner? why not bike instead of metro? why not walk up the stairs instead of using the elevator? - reinforcing what I already believe in to find more opportunities to be active in my day.

    In addition, I'm really enjoying the Five Essential Movements. Mark's laid out a great program for individuals at all levels to get into the movements and build to the next level. Already, I can feel the difference in the ease in which I move in my daily activities.

    So where am I today?
    I woke up this morning so much lighter - physically, my body felt tighter and firmer than it has it years. And the mirror reflected the change. So far, the scale has dropped five pounds. I'm guessing the loss is water and fluids - is it reasonable to expect some of the swelling to go down so quickly? I don't know, but it feels fantastic. That alone is a motivator.
    My primal journal that I don't update enough:
    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread33293.html

  • #2
    You do not have to give up alcohol, unless it is part of the 30 day challenge, which I have never done, know nothing about and don't want to.

    It sounds like you are off to a great start.
    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.

    Comment


    • #3
      Welcome!

      Just remember though, since you're trying to lose weight, that your body will process the sugars from alcohol first, so if you stall in your weight loss the booze will probably need to be reduced to an occasional glass of red wine.
      Newcomers: If you haven't read the book, at least read this thread ... and all the links!
      http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread17722.html

      F/49/5'4"
      Jan. 1, 2011: 186.6 lbs PBSW Mar. 1, 2011: 175.8 lbs
      CW: 146.8 lbs
      GW 140 lbs
      A proud member of PETA: People Eating Tasty Animals

      Comment


      • #4
        Belinda,
        I completely agree - alcohol needs to be occasional. I'm definitely cutting back - no wine in the house - and will adjust the social drinking as needed. And it's not just the sugars its the weakening of one's resolve after a drink or two!!
        My primal journal that I don't update enough:
        http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread33293.html

        Comment


        • #5
          My resolve weakens when I eat ice cream. So those are few and far between now
          Newcomers: If you haven't read the book, at least read this thread ... and all the links!
          http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread17722.html

          F/49/5'4"
          Jan. 1, 2011: 186.6 lbs PBSW Mar. 1, 2011: 175.8 lbs
          CW: 146.8 lbs
          GW 140 lbs
          A proud member of PETA: People Eating Tasty Animals

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Hedonist View Post
            You do not have to give up alcohol, unless it is part of the 30 day challenge, which I have never done, know nothing about and don't want to.

            It sounds like you are off to a great start.
            Sorry, that was a weak response I made. I think the 30 day challenge approach is probably great for people whose cupboard and refrigerator are full of junk. You were already doing a great job! And, as usual, I agree with Belinda about the alcohol. Sounds like you are ready to grok on.
            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.

            Comment


            • #7
              On Walking Barefoot

              My childhood was spent in northern Wisconsin - where my brother, our friends and I ran around the fields, woods and nearby river like little wild Indians - barefoot whenever possible. By mid summer the soles of our feet were tough as shoe leather and we ran across the gravel driveways and waded daily in the river hunting snails, turtles and adventure. What I'm trying to say is that I have always been a bit of a barefoot girl and am still to this day taking my shoes off as soon as I can. But let's be honest, city life and growing up changes our relationship to shoes (and summers).
              Getting into this website has inspired me and I'm starting to take off my shoes for parts of my morning walks. Just where it is safe and there is a lot of potentially not safe in a city but surprisingly there is plenty of perfectly safe too. Your standard brushed finish concrete sidewalk is amazingly smooth underfoot and even better is the warm smooth texture of brick pavers. The feel of my feet on the earth (concrete and brick and grass) returns me back to my childhood. It's easy to carry my lightweight merrell arabesques while I stroll along the riverwalk - safely in hand to easily slip on when I pass the construction site and later the fish market.
              My primal journal that I don't update enough:
              http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread33293.html

              Comment


              • #8
                Wrapping up Week Two

                Wrapping up week two - things are going almost too smoothly. No intense cravings during the day - although my dreams do seem to regularly include indulging in breads (such as eating about 10 croissants in one sitting) which is humorous more than difficult. I'm energetic, focused and feeling pretty darn fantastic.
                Friday night was interesting. I typically meet up with friends in the evening for a couple glasses of wine and post week shop talk and typically skip dinner. Well, after two hours in the pool (with my new pool play partner, Rebecca, aged 3.75 years - she keeps me moving), skipping dinner was a terrible idea ... and my body let me know after my first glass of wine. It was similar to a hypoglycemic crash (maybe it was) .. but fortunately we meet at a local restaurant so I was able to get a huge salad with grilled shrimp. First bite in and I started to settle down. Yikes - need to remember to eat and make certain to plan for it.
                Last edited by girlarchitect; 07-05-2011, 11:42 AM.
                My primal journal that I don't update enough:
                http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread33293.html

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thursday, July 14th - Mashed Cauliflower

                  So the biggest adjustment for me is giving up breads and potatoes. I simply miss potatoes and a great piece of french bread. I dream every night about bread. It's crazy. I knew I needed to find a solution before I went crazy and headed for the nearest bakery.

                  It started with making a variation of Shepard's Pie, made with bison. What would you call a shepard pie made with bison instead of lamb ... indian pie? ... probably not .... great plains pie? hmmmm. Anyway ... I know the pie is hardly summer food but I am a bit of an Irish Pub kind of a girl and find it to be a perfect simple comfort food. It was quite simply delicious. I found that 1 lb of meat and 1 heat of cauliflower made enough for four huge meals. This was perfect as I was under a huge deadline last week and needed to have several easy to heat meals and these definitely fit the bill. Once made and tucked into individual gratin dishes, I was able to pull one out and heat in my toaster oven(one of my favorite kitchen appliances) in 20 minutes. yum. I'll definitely be adding this regularly to my menu.

                  But what really blew me away was how delicious the mashed cauliflower was. I've fallen in LOVE with mashed cauliflower. It's a perfectly filling solution that, I think, tastes great and meets that little craving of mine. Now, I already liked cauliflower - it's a good veggie so that isn't a revelation to me. But this is amazingly good and I can't believe anyone is eating mashed potatoes instead when you get so many more vitamins from cauliflower (what a way to hide those vegetables). I love that I can make it with frozen cauliflower so I can buy several bags for those crazy weeks when I don't have time to run to the store. And I love that easy to reheat - extra perfect for busy weeks

                  So, now that I'm a convert I made another batch tonight. I've decided it might be a good idea to have a batch ready to heat for those serious starch craving moments and to easily add to whatever I'm thinking of eating. And then, for dinner, I made this wonderful green curry which was delicious. I really didn't want to lose out on all that delicious broth, so I poured the curry right over a serving of the mash and it was pretty darn good. Tomorrow, I need to run out for a head of cauliflower to try out cauliflower rice with the curry leftovers.
                  My primal journal that I don't update enough:
                  http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread33293.html

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    More like took full advantage of their situation we the daughter being disabled and the mother not be tech savvy.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Grrrr at dumb spammers!

                      Oh, I was a barefoot child too - brought up in various parts of Africa - I miss those days - we only wore shoes when the sun got so hot that the tar on the roads melted, then you came home in a sticky mess and got shouted at!

                      I noticed cauliflower mash but I didn't really give it much thought as it didn't sound great on paper, but with this recomendation, I think I will give it a go.

                      I had a real hankering for something sweet last night, the first time since I gave up sugar and wheat on 26th June. So I made the mashed banana pancake from here. Mashed banana, egg and almond butter. I drizzled a teaspoon of honey over it and it was brilliant. REALLY hit the spot... though I found it maybe a bit sweet.... I NEVER thought I would say something like that.

                      I'd love to hear how the rice goes?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Animord - I love that there is another member who ran wild as a kid. My neighbors and I were a gang of wild things running through the woods, fields and rivers. As a grown up looking back, I can't imagine all the neighbors loved us much (hee hee). My brother and I still to this day regularly reminisce about our wild beastie childhood and particularly our tough little feet.

                        And I did try out the cauliflower rice - using this recipe (I made 1/4 of the recipe as I'm cooking for one) - and I thought it was good. In fact I made it again this morning as I wanted the last of the green curry leftovers for breakfast. Texture of mine is a bit more couscous like but it works as needed to soak up delicious stew sauces. You should try it! It's pretty easy to make.

                        For me, sweet cravings are usually for fruit and it can be a struggle to keep it down to 2-3 servings a day particularly now as the berries and melons are so supercalafragilistic when in season. I've never really had much of a sweet tooth except for super sweet coffee which I weaned myself off of about 3 years ago. But my fruit cravings can be a struggle. I actually just ate a full pint of blueberries this morning at about 11 am - a pint!!! I should never have opened the pint box mid-morning as snacks are silly and now I'm a bit fuller than I like to be. blech. oh well, better than potato chips or gummy bears.

                        Week in Review
                        The past week went pretty well. 2.5 pounds down from last Monday - which is fine. My goal is 1.5-2 pounds a week. The first two weeks were a quick 10 pound drop but I don't need that but I do like to know I'm moving forward in the direction I want. (Not that weight is everything but darn it I have great suits I want to fit back into)

                        I'm in the midst of writing a book which is tedious work that requires the but in the chair for long, lonely, torturous hours. The day does not have the same rhythms of a day at the office and I struggle with this. Also, I'm really only eating two meals as day most days as I'm not all that hungry for more (despite blueberry snacking) which means that I don't always notice that lunch hour has past and that it's almost dinner time and I haven't taken a break and gotten up to move around. Sitting for such long hours is really tough on a body and there is stiffness and a couple pains here and there that I try to work out in the pool in the evenings not all that successfully. Perhaps I need to set an alarm for the daily afternoon walk.

                        Regarding my diet, I have been essentially 100% primal in my diet since I started. I do allow coffee, a couple glasses of wine per week and a bit of dairy (yogurt and cheese). In the first month, it is far too early for me to start cheating as I need to figure out how to live like these and I can't have an opt-out. So, Friday night was my first time off primal. It was planned not a slip. Typically once a month or so, a couple friends and colleagues of mine and I get together for happy hour at a local bar and eat these super delicious chicken wings we have termed with love 'crack wings'. I ate a basket of crack wings (coated in some mystery breading and deep fried in mysterious oil - not worth thinking too much about the details) and they were, quite honestly, delicious ... as were my two scotch and sodas. Splurge over and thoroughly enjoyed. Afterwards, the metro's red line was not really running all that much due to work on the line so I decided to walk about 1/2-3/4 mile to a different stop and ran sprints through the intersections .... because I could. All in all a great night.

                        Sunday morning I went out for a LSD on my bike. LSDs (long slow distance) are a leftover from my swim training days and I do like to get out ever week or two for a bit of distance as a reward for the usual short workouts. The weather has been so beautiful here when it really should be 102 degrees of muggy hell - so I simply had to get out to enjoy it! So I went out on the Mount Vernon Trail and had a very lovely breakfast picnic (frittatas, asparagus and blackberries) in the shadow of George's home. After a couple typical Sunday chores, I finished up the day with an early evening swim and grill with a lazy stroll after dinner (because gosh it was gorgeous out). Looking back, I think Sunday was an almost perfect day.

                        I hope everyone else had a great weekend too.
                        My primal journal that I don't update enough:
                        http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread33293.html

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Cauliflower mash sounds really good, but I don't have a food processor! Do you think they could be made in a blender or some other way?
                          Depression Lies

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                          • #14
                            I think if you steam the cauliflower so it's nice and soft you should be able to puree it in a blender or mash it by hand with a potato masher. The blender version would probably be a bit light in texture - which you may or may not like.
                            After making it the first time with a fresh cauliflower, I've switched to making it with frozen as the mash seems to mix up the same with either and I can save some money.

                            Don't forget to toss in butter, cream, salt, pepper (and may a bit of creamy cheese, yogurt or sour cream) (and maybe nutmeg or garlic) - you want it to be a delicious a mashed potatoes!!
                            I hope you like them.
                            My primal journal that I don't update enough:
                            http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread33293.html

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I am going to try to use this journal as a bit more of a daily journal (i.e. as intended) to track my eating and exercise.

                              Inspired by this post from Mark, I am planning to post the end of day charts from FitDay as well as they see to do a great job at tracking percentages of protein, fat and carbs. So below is my morning meal for the day.

                              (a few quick thoughts on posting images: I probably should figure out a better/smaller size to post as these seem huge. I also have no idea how to mix text and images. Anyone who can give me a clue or a direction on how to figure it out will be much loved.)

                              AM: One hour walk to have a chat with Tom - as usual he had little wisdom to offer which is generally a sign that I am spinning my wheels at work.

                              Followed by the The Supercalifragalistic Elvis Breakfast with 4 slices of bacon, melon and blackberries and coffee.
                              Attached Files
                              My primal journal that I don't update enough:
                              http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread33293.html

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