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Primal Journal - Deppie

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  • Primal Journal - Deppie

    I stumbled upon MDA while I was poking around the web one day after a pretty intense gym workout. I'm not extremely satisfied with my physique, but at the same time as long as I feel healthy and things are consistent, I'm not bothered by it either. I'm not really going primal to lose weight, although I predict it will be a welcome side effect as I could probably stand to lose another 10 or so (I'm floating between 175 and 178 now at 5'11"). The electronic scale says 19% body fat... of course I don't believe it for one second but I figure it's probably not too far off since I can see SOME muscle definition pretty well everywhere but don't look "ripped".

    Anyway, over the past two or three years (I really can't remember...) I've taken my weight down from a highest all-time 225lbs to around the 175 mark and kept it there. A little blip up to 183 or so, but nothing major. After doing a bunch of reading on MDA and on a few other primal-related blogs, and some other online sources of information, I've concluded that this is probably just a healthy way to go about things. My guilt about not going to the gym for either chronic cardio or even chronic lifting sessions has gone away. So has the feeling that eating a big juicy steak is bad even if it feels so good.

    So, since starting on my primal journey about a month ago, I've spent one week really doing the 100% primal thing nutritionally (I hadn't really educated myself fully on the rest yet), then took a couple weeks off from being so strict - between things getting very hectic at work (12+ hour days for a week solid) and groceries not really being organized in a paleo-conducive way, I kinda fell off the wagon to some degree. This week has been fantastic... my girlfriend and I went grocery shopping at the local market (more on the market later) and planned dinners with plenty of leftovers for lunches.

    The local market is within walking distance and is probably the most popular market in the province. There's a fantastic butcher there selling beef, veal, lamb, pork, chicken, quail, goose, turkey, guinea fowl, and probably some others that I'm missing. Not only do they sell them, they own the farm on which they're grown! The beef and veal are grass fed and everything is organic. Wow am I ever happy and lucky to have this place 15 minutes away by foot. The fruit and veg selection are also spectacular, especially in the summer when the (short) local growing season is in full swing.

    I'm starting to find that organization in grocery shopping is really the only way that I'll be able to stay on track. It's not that it's harder to plan ingredients for primal meals than for other meals, it's just that the selection of delivered restaurant food is really very primal unfriendly.

    I've got to get on track for breakfast - my biggest challenge. I really don't enjoy hard boiled eggs, so they're not an easy-to-grab option for me, and I don't have a whole lot of time in the mornings. A little discipline going to bed earlier and waking up earlier might be a good thing. We'll see if I can get the girlfriend to come along on that portion - she does suffer from mild insomnia and generally likes to get to bed well past 11.

    Even with the adjustments still to be made I feel great. I can't remember the last time I've spent this much time with my weight holding steady - not feeling randomly bloated or 3 pounds heavier than I did the previous day. So far so good - I really hope this keeps up. I have no reason to believe it won't

    Cheers everyone and thanks Mark for the great information on your site. It's really changed my outlook on nutrition and exercise.

    I'll try to start updating this thread daily but knowing me it won't happen.

  • #2
    Welcome! It's great that you and GF are doing this together and have such a wonderful place to shop. 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.


    • #3
      Thanks for the welcome! She's a lot less into the nuts and bolts of it all but seems to be willing to go along for the ride. I'll slowly drop tidbits of the fundamentals so she doesn't consider me to be too batshit crazy. Just last night I was reading The Primal Blueprint (since I haven't done that yet - just bought it last week) and she goes "is it brainwashing you?" - I had to work very hard to suppress laughter and the urge to tell her that perhaps we had already been brainwashed by CW and that this just actually made sense from every credible scientific angle I've been able to read so far.

      So this weekend:

      Breakfast - nice omelette with bacon, tomatoes, asparagus, green peppers, and some cheddar cheese (at a great little restaurant that lets you walk into the kitchen and pick what goes into your omelette). Coffee and some orange juice as well - not perfect but it'll do.
      Walked some errands around town for about 1.5 hours.
      Plenty of good leg stretches, working on getting that Grok squat to be natural. Hips still a bit stiff for it.
      Squat jumps + step ups + static thing where i keep one heel on a medicine ball, other leg in the air... no clue what that's called... works hamstrings & glutes
      Explosive ("jumping") pushups + pullups
      Bicep curls into overhead press w/ 25s
      Some leg raises in the captain's chair
      Lunch - Thai curry chicken plate with bean sprouts instead of rice
      Dinner - Wedding food. First course pasta... ate a couple bites and frankly it was horrible pasta so I didn't feel bad for anyone leaving it behind. Second course simple mixed greens salad. Third course rack of lamb + filet mignon - delicious. Had a couple bites of a chocolate mousse dessert.

      Got up pretty late due to the late night Saturday.
      Regular Sunday brunch with my lady at l'Avenue: poached eggs on chorizo and potatoes presumably cooked in duck fat with hollandaise on top. Left most of the potatoes but definitely had a few.
      Walked to the market and did our shopping for the week. Probably a good 1.5 hours of walking together. Carried fairly heavy groceries back home for the hell of it - about a 20 min walk.
      No lunch - way too full from brunch to eat before dinner.
      Dinner a little late (8:30ish) - ribsteak for me, skirt steak for her (she's not a fan of big fatty chunks in her meat). Grilled mushrooms and peppers drizzled with balsamic and olive oil. Home made caesar without croutons. A few pine nuts thrown in for some texture.

      All in all a good weekend with plenty of relaxing here and there. Saturday was particularly chill and the weather was wonderful all weekend. I love summer!


      • #4
        I'll slowly drop tidbits of the fundamentals so she doesn't consider me to be too batshit crazy.
        I love it.
        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.


        • #5

          Breakfast - No real "breakfast"... had a venti latte from Starbucks and ate some cherries and walnuts throughout the morning.
          Lunch - big ass salad of mixed greens, walnuts, pecans, cucumber, tomatoes, green peppers, olives, olive oil, balsamic and some leftover grilled chicken + pork
          Dinner - grilled chicken breast marinated in basil pesto and cream, grilled asparagus drizzled leberally with olive oil, heirloom tomato and fresh mozarella salad with olives and pine nuts, dressed with balsamic and olive oil - yum

          Resisted getting into an argument with my sister in law after my brother asked a little bit about the paleo "diet I'm on". She expressed her hatred for "diets" that categorically exclude certain foods like bread, fats, anything starchy, etc. for about 5 straight minutes. When I told her that the basis of the eating methodology is not really excluding anything in particular but rather eating what we are meant to eat, thereby regulating our insulin production (to normal levels), she just quickly dismissed the fact that we could possibly control our insulin production by eating differently. When I asked her why she didn't think it was possible her response was "study medicine for 5 years and you might start to get an idea" (she's a resident in orthopedic surgery). I think I'll go ahead and continue to read and educate myself and let her do as she chooses. Not two minutes earlier was she asking my brother if she was "allowed" some bread with lunch because she's currently trying to get into better shape. Fun times.


          • #6
            Been a long time since my last post. Since the last one I've gone on vacation in Wildwood, NJ which resulted in some pretty crappy eating. The in-laws joined us for a good portion of it and they so kindly decided to prepare sandwiches for lunch every day. Managed to have eggs pretty well every morning with some veggies, but even those were unimpressive since the selection of fresh veg was not too good. Dinner was usually alright although it seemed like there was always a side of pasta (why?!?). Spent a lot of my time on that trip holding my tongue and feeling very irritated. On our way back the two of us stopped in NYC to hit up a couple of restaurants we'd wanted to try for quite some time. No problem at all eating primally at Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill, but Anissa was a little less than primal. Still delicious, at least.

            The good thing about that vacation is frankly that it made me want to come back home and eat my own cooking. For the couple weeks since we've been back we've only gone out for breakfast once per weekend at our usual favorite breakfast spot. We also gave in to the pizza monster just this last Sunday, but it's not the end of the world. Felt like crap, slept horribly, but admittedly... it tasted delicious.

            My girlfriend has now signed up at the gym I've been a member of since before I met her and she went ahead and got a trainer once a week and a couple appointments with the nutritionist there. Of course as anyone I've ever known has done, she came back from her nutritionist appointment convinced that she had to eat less meat and eat at least some starchy carbs in the form of things like rice or bread at every meal. Brilliant. I'll go on pretending I'm not incredibly annoyed that she'll spend hundreds of dollars (thousands, really) just to get someone to tell her "do a lot of cardio" and another person to tell her "eat less meat and more carbs"... yet can't be bothered to try to understand the fundamentals of the PB. I'll just have to continue going against the grain myself and do the old "lead by example" thing.


            • #7
              Once again it's been a long while since my last post - as I predicted would be the trend early on. I'm still on MDA multiple times a day digging around for information and reading people's interesting comments, though

              The past 3 weeks or so have been relatively solid in terms of primal eating. The exercise portion is probably a little light with maybe 2 lifting sessions and an average of 2-3 hours of moving slowly. No real sprints done and one stupidly pointless 5k effort for time (not sure why I did that and I managed to get some pretty nasty blisters under my big toes).

              A few instances of eating grains mostly due to restaurants or family occasions - twice or so. Always feel crappy about it since they just seem like filler but sometimes I don't feel like the fuss of dealing with the comments from family or business associates. That being said I'm getting more and more used to just telling people "I don't eat bread" or "I don't eat pasta" and such.

              The fact that I've almost effortlessly dropped 10 lbs of fat and become stronger in a few months is quite pleasant. I'm now lighter than my brother who's just out of the army and was always in better shape than me. I also destroy him doing a (probably modest) 13 consecutive chinups to his 5 or 6. Most importantly though, I destroy myself from a year ago - the guy hitting the gym for 2 hours 6 times a week. I can now run faster for longer (though I don't like doing it any more than I did), I'm stronger in every lift, feel more agile, and am rarely starving for lunch even when I have nothing other than an enormous latte for breakfast.

              Things with the girlfriend are not looking up from a primal perspective but things are still good relationship-wise which is what counts. She's still on with the nutritionist who's got her thinking toast with cheese for breakfast and an egg sandwich with a few veggies for lunch are great meals. Make sure you get that post-chronic-cardio chocolate milk in too! Sure she needs some extra carbs if she's doing an hour of cardio 5-6 times a week... but it all seems like a lot of effort for someone getting seriously inferior results. Either way I've done my best to shut up about it for now since I know the struggle she's going through and she just wants some support and motivation. I'll just continue doing my best to lead by example!


              • #8
                Whew it's been a while since I bothered posting. It's also been about a year since I started making changes to my lifestyle and trying to live in better harmony with my body.

                Here's an update of where I am, what I still need to work on, and what the plan is:

                I've spent the last year living probably 80-90% primal in all areas... here's a breakdown:

                1. Eat lots of animals, insects and plants: can't say I'm doing much on the insects portion unless you count the "cockroach of the sea" types! I've taken to eating a healthy amount of beef, mostly grass fed from the local organic butcher shop (man it's expensive). We also fairly regularly eat chicken and pork and I've successfully introduced more fish into our diet over the past few months (my girlfriend never ate fish in her childhood and so never grew to like it... it's a challenge). I love me some salmon, though, so whenever I have an opportunity to tuck into some well cooked fish I always take it. I've yet to really locate good, fresh, varied produce except at the market in the warmer months.

                2. Move lots at a slow pace: I'm doing less walking lately than I was when I first started out... not really by explicit choice. I like to get out there and walk, but I also happen to like spending time with my girlfriend (imagine that!). We both, however, have a bit of a natural aversion to doing much outside when it's -20 degrees. This, I've got to work on because here in Montreal, that weather accounts for a real good portion of the year.

                3. Lift heavy things: I definitely get this done 2-3 times a week, practically without fail. I could stand to add more variety to my workouts but I also like seeing strength gains on certain lifts so I tend to focus on them a little. All good big movements though so no real complaints here.

                4. Run really fast once in a while: I need to do this more often. Doing it on a treadmill just doesn't ever feel like really sprinting. Doing it on icy outdoor surfaces seems a bit risky... not sure what to do to get those sprints in more regularly. Perhaps researching what others are doing will help.

                5. Get lots of sleep: Not doing badly on this, although our bedroom is by no means as much of a haven for sleep as I'd like it to be. My girlfriend suffers from insomnia and an urge to watch TV shows that are on between 9 and 11... and we have a TV in the bedroom. This one's on the back burner since I usually manage to get a good night's sleep and I suspect that it's going to require a long-term effort to change my partner's habits.

                6. Play: Hey! I'm playing volleyball every week with some old-timers after being invited to do so by my girlfriend's uncle. Fun times, nothing serious, but plenty of good fun. It's not as huge a workout as some other sports I used to play would be, but it's good nonetheless. I think I'd like to get back into playing some soccer sometime, but I'm not sure really how to go about finding ~20 other random people who want to play with me.

                7. Get some sunlight every day: Well... I try. It's real easy in the summer as it gets done by eating outside, taking long walks, and whatnot. In the winter... the sun's down by the time I get home and it's not up that early in the morning. My best bet would be to get some around lunch time, but even at that, I have to get so bundled up to go outside that I'm not sure how much benefit it will give me to be outside. That being said, I'm sure that my winter-faring ancestors did just fine being bundled up and outdoors so I should probably focus on just getting out more and integrating the sun time with all the other primal activities.

                8. Avoid trauma: Well, aside from skinning my knee a few times playing volleyball (and subsequently buying knee pads)... I haven't much to report here. Oh yeah... the couple times I went snowboarding (never having done it before) I fell and hurt myself plenty, but never seriously - or so it seems for now. I'm a generally cautious individual so this one kind of comes naturally.

                9. Avoid poisonous things: Well.. I do occasionally go ahead and give in to the pressure to have some bread or cake or whatnot, but it's rare. I'm fairly pleased here but would like to completely eliminate those badboys from my life. Perhaps I'll just start telling people I have an intolerance to them (since really.. I do, right?). I still have lots of dairy in my life and I was less informed for most of the past year than I am right now. I'm thinking elimination of dairy will be one of my upcoming changes.

                10. Use your mind: well, hell... that's what I get paid to do on a daily basis. Add to that the puzzles, the drum playing, and the fact that I can't have my brain be idle for more than a minute, I think this one is in the bag.

                Things to work on, then:

                1. Eliminate grains and dairy. Maybe consider dairy again at a later date if a raw source can be found, but considering the casein issues and dairy's insulinogenic properties... perhaps it's best to say adieu.
                2. Get a sprint in every 7-10 days. Find out how to do this in the winter without injury or extreme time wasting.
                3. Get outside for some slow movement more often. Shake the winter cabin fever.
                4. Get more fish into regular rotation.
                5. Find a local source for good produce in the winter months.
                6. Eat more organ meats. (good luck on the girlfriend on this one... perhaps they need to be lunches)
                7. Look into getting back into soccer weekly.
                8. Track progress more closely in a public way (ya know... here).

                I'm not good at doing things gradually. I'm going to work on all of these right away. Some change will be more gradual but #1 is definitely immediate. #2 and 5 I can figure out and commit to immediately. #3, #4 and #6 I'll work on right away but will take some time to become habit. #7 I'll leave until spring rolls around. #8 is a side-issue but I'll work on it for the good of all the rest!