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From Eurosense to Newsense

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  • From Eurosense to Newsense

    Hi All,

    So I am very new to the forum and the community. The reason for my title is because I was born and raised in Portugal where the diet is full of fish, pork, park lard, eggs, cheese and vegetables. Pasta and rice were relatively rare though the amount of bread and legumes eaten were quite large (always smothered in tons of butter and other fats though). Still somewhat sensible, right?

    Eventually moved to the states. Things turned into low-fat this, low-fat that. Furthermore, we immigrated the states when I was in my late teens and stayed with family that have been living here for two decades. The increase in wheat and sugar initially led me to gain plenty of weight (not surprisingly), even though I was still eating the somewhat the same items. Of course, sugar addiction creeps up on you and suddenly I was thirty pounds overweight.

    Now at 26, life has lead me to this point. I will not bore you with details, but the new-sense part of my name stems from a desire to return to traditional eating with the unhealthy elements removed. This journal is a way for me to stay motivated. I had tried starting a blog before, but to be honest have been too burnt out to maintain it. 6 months of unemployment and living on carbs, rice and beans not only destroyed my physical health, but my mental and dental health. Since starting primal (on and off for a month now, more strictly the past few weeks), many good things have happened. One of the most noticable being a gradual decrease in my mood volatility, and increased physical energy.

    This journal is a way to help me stay motivated and remain on the path of positive change. It is more for therapeutic purposes, and I look forward to "kicking ass" with this diet!!

    So for first entry...hope I do this correctly.

    Yesterday's meals:

    Breakfast: 3 bacon slices fried, 2 eggs scrambled with tomato and lots of fresh garlic, shot of espresso with 2 tablespoons of heavy cream

    Lunch: Homemade nicoise salad (tuna from can, boiled eggs, vegetables and a homemade dressing made of olive oil, vinegar, mustard, some juice from homemade fermented lemons and salt).

    Dinner: Crab and avocado salad. Put WAY too much chile pepper in a huge stomach ache and so I drank 1/2 cup of homemade kefir (made with whole milk of course!).

    I work in a hospital as a research assistant. After lunch, I was tempted to buy a snack while at work, but roaming the cafetaria and the shops...I was horrified to see that absolutely everything was processed, low-fat/fat-free and loaded with sugar. This makes me very upset because the health care sector is poisoning the people they pledged to help. If this was a Portuguese hospital, I could understand as they are dilapidated, poorly run and rather neglected. Living in such a developed country makes me feel that there is no excuse for such outcomes when a clear abundance of human and natural resources exist.
    Last edited by catbreu; 10-01-2011, 08:31 AM.

  • #2

    I was raised in the States by Brits and my early diet was sooooo much better, too. As my parents became "Americanized" it got worse and worse.

    Unfortunately, "progress" in this country has been equated to more processed food. Factory food has been seen as "cleaner" than food direct from the farm.

    Things are changing, but you won't see these changes starting in the institutions like a hospital. Find your local food coop or Farmer's Market!
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    • #3
      Yikes...almost two days without writing. OK, here is a quickie update of yesterday's meal:

      Breakfast: 3 bacon strips, two eggs scrambled with 1/3 cut of diced cooked butternut squash in 1 tablespoon of butter

      At work, I bought a coffee with half and half cream. Put in artificial sweetener, took a sip and realized that it was too sweet for me!! I could only finish half of it over a three hour period, and put the rest in the fridge for today.

      At the cafeteria while getting it, a woman over heard me asking the counter lady for heavy cream to put into the coffee. Her eyes go wide and proclaim "That is so fattening!". I simply smiled, shrugged and told her it tasted better that way and I've been having it for a long time now. No answer. I think she was expecting to hear an obese person say this but not me.

      Lunch: Crab and avocado salad. My favourite! (ingredients: canned crab meat, 1 avocado, sliced onion, tomato and cucumber, pinch of cayenne pepper, mayonaise, plenty of chopped parsely and cilantro, and juice from my newly fermented lemons).

      Dinner: This is where I strayed yesterday. One of my friends is going back to Brazil, and she had gift cards to use up in a local dessert bar. I caved in and had a small slice of thin crust pizza, and shared a sundae with her and two girls. The intake was not a lot, but left me full for the rest of the evening and with indigestion from the pizza. Not going to stress about it, since I trust myself enough to get back on track. Slip-ups do not bother me as long as they are infrequent and in moderation.


      • #4
        Oh and as far as counting calories go... this is something I have always found to be a strange habit. I am not very good at counting and so for the past few weeks have been doing rough mental calculations. The range seem to be consistently between 1,400-1,700. Carbs have been from 20-50 for the past week (with exception of yesterday, of course).

        Two observations since going low-card, high-fat....

        1) It is much easier to trust what my body wants given how consistent my calorie intake is, and the fact that I eat until I am full. While eating grains and wheat products, this never happened and I would never feel satiated. Even a small amount of rice in my meal positively correlates to intense hunger an hour later.

        2) I can see my upper abs! My stomach bloat is definitely gone, and the visual results are slowly manifesting themselves.
        Last edited by catbreu; 08-05-2011, 06:00 AM.


        • #5
          Hi Cat. Glad you joined us. I hope Primal goes really well for you.
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          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.


          • #6
            Hi Dragonfly,

            Sorry to be responding so late. I completely agree with you. Those are the best way to obtain fresh produce and clean meat. Something that seems like such a basic necessity in life has become more difficult to obtain that cigarettes and alcohol. In Massachussets, there seems to be a growing "eat local" community. I look forward to seeing more people wake up and take ownership of their own bodies.

            Originally posted by Dragonfly View Post

            I was raised in the States by Brits and my early diet was sooooo much better, too. As my parents became "Americanized" it got worse and worse.

            Unfortunately, "progress" in this country has been equated to more processed food. Factory food has been seen as "cleaner" than food direct from the farm.

            Things are changing, but you won't see these changes starting in the institutions like a hospital. Find your local food coop or Farmer's Market!


            • #7
              Originally posted by Hedonist View Post
              Hi Cat. Glad you joined us. I hope Primal goes really well for you.
              Thank you! So far it is going extremely well. Many positive things have occurred health-wise in the past month. Since strictly (aka 90%) going off grains and refined carbs, the most beneficial change to me has been a stabilization of my mood. I have a long history of depression, and have noticed that my latest "relapses" correlated to their ingestion. Of course, I still get sad moods but they are milder and much easier to control.


              • #8
                Yesterday's meals:

                b- fried leftover chicken leg (sadly not the pastured kind, so skin off and in tons of kerrygold butter!) with scrambled eggs and some butternut squash
                l- homemade chicken broth with two small pieces of eggplant mushroom quiche
                d- large salad with chicken breast fried in butter, homemade blue cheese dressing (has homemade kefir and 1oz of raw milk blue cheese)

                Calories...have no idea. I estimated around 1400, but volatility is not small.

                Another thing to note... a table spoon of virgin cocounut oil helps to control hunger cravings in between breakfast and lunch.


                • #9
                  Today's meals:

                  B- some butternut squash with a pat of butter, scrambled eggs and bacon from the hospital cafetaria. Definitely not as good as homemade but every other breakfast option included some sort of sugary pastry or oatmeal. Today I noticed so many over weight women walking around with cups of fat-free oatmeal and danish pastries.

                  L- crab and avocado salad again. when you are low on money and time, repetition becomes normal. I used some mayonaise from the hospital and noticed the ingredients...soybean oil and cornstarch in it! What on earth is soybean oil and what is it doing in my mayo? This reminds me that it is time to start making it at home like my grandmother used to do.

                  D- chicken breast fried in butter with onions, butternut squash. A bowl of homemade gazpacho that had a boiled egg sliced and thrown into it.

                  Despite having four hours of sleep from the night before, I have been feeling energetic all day and not hungry. My mood has been calm and those regular feelings of anxiety and depression are nowhere to be seen. The connection between food and mental health is one that is beginning to fascinate me.


                  • #10
                    Slipped today a bit. And it was off to a wonderful start! I awoke at 9am and did not eat breakfast until noon which was beef liver with some fried eggplant and chicken broth. Then went to the beach with my two best friends and we had some Russian ice cream (less sugar than regular ice cream) with fresh peaches on the car ride over. For dinner we had fresh seafood baked in beurre blanc sauce and a breaded lobster stuffing.

                    Giving up the bread was incredibly easy considering how bad it makes me feel (gas, bloat, mood swings, burping). But in the bathroom while checking out my arms, I couldn't help but wish they were smaller and less flabby. My stomach is already naturally toned and flat. Arms and thighs are my trouble spots.

                    Does any primal females have advice on losing arm flab when you are already close to your ideal weight??


                    • #11
                      Over the past few days, I have experimented in primal cooking with great results! The latest items are:

                      1) liver pate from scratch. Unfortunately these livers were regular store brought since I can not afford the pasture fed stuff until my first real full-time positioned pay cheque arrives. I made it in a lot of butter and left over pork fat YUM.

                      2) Coconut milk ice cream with raw honey as my sweetner. I made two batches. One with mint and the other with chocolate. I added heavy cream to both.

                      3) Rendered pork fat (this time the grass-fed stuff...oh my! what a difference). This was NOT fun to do because I don't own a large enough pot and the fat kept splattering all over me and the stove. Next time, I will simply buy the already rendered stuff. However, the end result was delicious. Not only did my breakfast taste mouth-watering divine fried in it, but the brown "cracklings" that rose to the surface were so wonderful. I saved some for a snack today.

                      I tried IF yesterday. After eating at 7am, I was able to go without feeling hungry until 3pm. Drinking plenty of water and nothing else. After 3, I became so hungry that the light-headed feeling returned. It was quick and sudden. So I got a decaf coffee with some half and half cream which kept me satisfied until 8pm that evening.

                      Since starting primal, I have noticed an increased sensitivity to caffeine. A cup of coffee no longer brings me the same joy. Instead it makes me feel nervous and shaky.


                      • #12
                        Wednesday: There was a triumph!I stepped on a scale and found that my weight has gone down to 145 from 152. Seven pounds in a week and a half. Plus definite inches lost. My waist is getting smaller and my arms no longer feel "gross".

                        And it was also this day that I realized... for the first time in years the acne on my back has completely and utterly cleared up. Not a single spot to be seen anywhere!!!

                        Family has arrived for a large trans-atlantic reunion. And of course, as many may know a large part of this is food. This day, I had a half a piece of white bread (to soak up delicious sauce of a beef stew) and lots of cheese (this is my large weekness).

                        Thursday: Knowing that I am going to be spending time with family again today, I go to Whole Foods after work and do some strategic eating. I bought a few slices of marinated steak ($9!! Damn, Wholefoods...) and two pats of butter to eat on top of them since the fat listed on there is canola oil. YUCK. This was quite delicious, and prevented me from accepting all the white bread, jam and cookies that were shoved into my face. Later I did cave, though, and eat a small bowl of homemade rice pudding. It was heaven, but later I felt kinda bloated and really light headed. So light headed infact that I nearly passed out on the train ride home. My room mate could barely recognize me when I got home because I could barely form a complete sentence.


                        • #13
                          Yesterday was not a great day in terms of primal. I had a chocolate mousse (damn you social family pressure) and more alcohol than I care to drink. To add on top of it... I felt for the first time since starting to experiment with primal (about two months, most of it without full comittment) a PIMPLE forming on my chin. This was followed by a discovery of two lone pimples on my back. Not good! I can not believe my body has responded so quickly to my little slip ups. It truly is an incredible machine and I am in awe.


                          • #14
                            Social pressure sucks

                            I was really kicking myself this week. Three days in a row I ate bread, drank excessive wine and ate birthday cake. Three days in a row I went to bed with bloated belly and bad gastrointestinal problems and severe light headedness. Coincidentally, my emotions were becoming a bit more volatile.

                            Part of the reason for caving is family social pressure. The older generation especially can not understand that such a thing as wheat sensitivity exists. When it is homemade food it is almost an offense to not try at least a bite of that delicious goodness.

                            Yesterday, I hit the Ctrl + ALT+ DEL button. My meals were:

                            B: coffee with heavy cream, eggs scrambled in pastured butter, 4 strips of bacon.
                            L: an avocado, a boiled egg and 1 cup of home made beef broth
                            D: 1 cup of full-fat fage yogurt and 4oz of smoked wild salmon (plus a sample of stewed meat and 1/2 oz of cheese at family's house)

                            Total cards: 18g and feeling MUCH, MUCH better. Not to mention energetic.

                            Side note... I was feeling fine until eating the stewed meat and cheese. Later that night, I had stomach problems again. Maybe it was the cheese?? This is the first time dairy has given me issues. Must investigate.


                            • #15
                              The best part about being primal... steak for breakfast! And not only that. Grass fed steak that is rare and seared in delicious grass-fed home-rendered pork lard on top of a mountain of mushrooms and onions simmered in kerrygold butter. My goodness this feels like the life!

                              Yesterdays meals were an identical replica of the day before minus the stewed beef and cheese:

                              B: coffee with heavy cream, eggs scrambled in pastured butter, 4 strips of bacon.
                              L: an avocado, a boiled egg and 1 cup of home made beef broth
                              D: 1 cup of full-fat fage yogurt and 4oz of smoked wild salmon

                              Calories are 1470. Percentage of fat I am guessing...VERY high. Protein intake: 82g. Carbs: 18g. Fat: No clue.

                              My stomach issues were absent last night which makes me think that it truly was the cheese or the homemade stew (almost certainly made with grain-fed meat and I have no clue what goes into the sauce. She could have put flour in it). I am sincerely hoping it is not the cheese! If anybody reading this has had battles with cheese, please let me know.

                              Meal plan for today:

                              B: 4oz grass fed steak seared in pork lard with onions, mushrooms and 1 tbspn butter. Coffee with heavy cream.
                              L: avocado, hard boiled egg and beef broth
                              D: 3 strips of bacon and 2 scrambled eggs.

                              Rather repetitive, I know but with family over it is difficult for me to cook and plan my meals. They have to be quick, easy and repetitive. Normally I am a much more creative cook.