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Our Tale Begins with a Naked Chicken Massaged in Butter!

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  • Our Tale Begins with a Naked Chicken Massaged in Butter!

    I just finished massaging a cold, damp, naked chicken with organic sweet cream salted butter - all the while chanting, "Here you go, little buddy." There's nothing glamorous about a raw, pale chicken, but I can hear him sizzling in the oven and my mouth is watering at the thought of the golden, crispy poultry in my immediate future!

    A year ago, I wouldn't have baked a chicken slathered in butter, I would've been staring at a stone-white poached chicken breast wondering how little salt I could sprinkle on and still get it down. In the past year, I lost 40 pounds by eating 6 "clean" meals a day and either lifting as heavy as I could or doing metabolic intervals for 90 minutes as many days of the week as I could go. I loved the results! I felt strong and devoted - like a willpower warrior. Then I hit the dreaded "plateau". I buckled down because "when the going gets tough, the tough get going"! I pleaded, I begged, I prayed, I cried, I calorie-restricted down to 1500, 1400, 1300 calories. I tracked my macro-nutrient ratios, all to no avail. My body wasn't budging . . . It was furious! A month of hardship would result in a 2 lb. loss, a one-meal splurge of pizza and a beer would cause a 5 lb. gain . . . Net result: 30 days of misery + 1 night of gorging = +3 lbs.

    In my hunger-induced madness, I began to wonder about the line between devotion and obsession. It doesn't take a very long plateau to make you feel that preparing, packing, and toting 6 meals a day is nothing short of drudgery (especially when celery begins to have more and more of a starring role in said meals). You also start to notice the sore muscles, the fitful sleep, and that you feel like a hungry, hungry ogre most of the time. It is my firm belief that, contrary to what people might tell you, patience, kindness, generosity, and humor demand caloric energy!

    At a particularly vulnerable point, I stumbled onto the Mark's Daily Apple site. Initially, this "fat frenzy" seemed depraved and frankly, way too good to be true! I tip-toed my way into it - the downhill slide started with a coconut oil purchase (GASP!). I don't remember much immediately after that first tablespoon, but my guess is that I actually consumed 5 tablespoons of coconut oil on that day - I couldn't stop myself! The only fat I'd been eating before was avocado. The coconut oil was so lush - a miniature universe of creamy, tropical amazingness on a spoon! And that was the beginning . . .

    My chicken is done!

  • #2
    A wonderful post! Well worth quoting to anyone who believes in CW weight loss. I look forward to reading more of your posts.
    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 so much, Hedonist! I appreciate your response in this flurry of New Challenge activity.


      • #4
        9/13/11 GrokSaysGo! PB Journal Entry

        The Meal Deal
        *I believe in Breakfast - Green tea, 3 organic eggs, 1 TB organic heavy cream, 2 cloves garlic, Italian seasoning, zucchini, spinach, red onion, 1/2 avocado
        *Coffee Break - 16 oz. iced coffee, a little half and half
        *Lunch - 6 oz. baked chicken breast from a whole chicken (w/ skin!), spinach and cucumber salad
        *Pre-workout Snack - 25 grams Jay Robb Chocolate Whey Protein Powder, 1 serving raw Brazil nuts, 1 TB coconut oil
        *Dinner - 6 oz. grilled steak with organic sweet cream salted butter, grilled zucchini, onion, and mushrooms on a bed of herb greens, a little Green & Blacks organic dark chocolate 85%.

        The Workout
        Complex 1 (3 sets of 8 w/ a 45 lb. barbell)
        - Deadlifts
        - Upright Rows
        - Military Presses
        - Alternating Backward Lunges
        *Some wheezing and sweating here*

        Complex 2 (3 sets of 6)
        Squats - 100 lbs.
        Bench Presses - 65 lbs.
        *Followed by some huffing and puffing here*

        Complex 3 (3 sets of 8)
        Alternating Side Lunges - 20 lbs.
        Overhead Rotational Presses - 12.5 lbs. each side
        Bent Over Dumbell Rows - 30 lbs.
        *By now I was just feeling tough*

        Farmer's Walk - 70 lbs. - 3 times around the gym
        *I NEVER see anyone else doing these, but they're supposed to be GREAT for you. Being a female, I don't focus on grip / wrist / forearm strength in many other lifts, and sometimes I feel weakness there. I'm hoping this will be a good way of strengthening those areas (and others). I do get some funny looks, though!*

        Sun: Simply not enough - it was cool, windy, and overcast.

        Play: Teasing a handsome guy at the gym for wearing a Nestle Quick Chocolate Milk T-shirt. Really?! Thanks for planting a deep-seated desire for chocolate milk into my head, pal! ;-)

        Sleep: 8 hours, but I didn't wake without the alarm. I need to get a nice unwinding ritual going here!


        • #5
          Originally posted by GrokSaysGo! View Post
          Thanks so much, Hedonist! I appreciate your response in this flurry of New Challenge activity.
          Thanks. I'm trying to give a personal hello to everyone. Whew! It's great to see so many newbies though.
          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.


          • #6
            9/14/11 GrokSaysGo! PB Journal Entry

            The Meal Deal:
            *I believe in Breakfast - Decaf Coffee w/ heavy cream and a touch of raw organic turbinado cane sugar (sigh - yes, it's sugar, but it makes me feel like a happy gourmet to sprinkle a few golden crystals into the cup on a cool, fall morning!), 2 slices of thick-cut bacon, 2 organic eggs over-easy, 6 strawberries with 1/4 sliced avocado.
            - Please note this looks much the same as yesterday because I do eat the same meals over in an effort to keep it simple and not deviate too much from the PB guidelines -
            *Lunch - 6 oz. baked chicken breast from a whole chicken (w/ skin!), spinach and cucumber salad
            *Pre-workout Snack - 25 grams Jay Robb Chocolate Whey Protein Powder, 1 serving raw Brazil nuts, 1 TB coconut oil
            *Dinner - 6 oz. grilled steak with organic sweet cream salted butter, grilled zucchini, white onion, and tomatos on spinach
            AND 4 squares of Lindt's 90% Dark Chocolate which sadly, I made a special trip to Target for just because life at the moment did not seem complete without dark chocolate!

            The Workout
            Complex 1 (3 sets of 8)
            Squats w/ offset load (25 lbs)
            Dumbell Incline Chest Press (30 lbs)
            Weighted Bulgarian Split Squats (25 lb plate)
            Cable Close Grip Pulldown (140 lbs)

            5 - 1 minute jump rope intervals
            *I really wish we had Punk Rope here - I'd love to try it - what a workout!*

            Sun: Again, overcast and windy. We're supposed to be back to the 70's in a few days. *MUST* try to enjoy it as much as possible until we fully slip into Autumn.

            Play: Definitely not enough! It feels like everyone close to me has a lot of stress and all for various reasons (work, wedding-planning, deathly ill pet, financial hardship . . . ). No one's going for the mini-golf suggestion . . . maybe I'll shift tactics and try a little Wi - Just Dance competition.

            Sleep: Trying to allow plenty of hours, but just not waking up rested at this point. I keep hoping to find that point of "effortless energy" that a lot of PB devotees talk about after sticking to the positive lifestyles changes.

            Continuing Education: Just started reading Deep Nutrition by Catherine and Luke Shanahan. I'm really enjoying this book so far! Favorite quote: (Beneath a photograph of Frederick Douglass; Apache leader, Geronimo; and Russian war hero, Georgy Zhukov). "These men look tough because they are tough. Like other historical figures, they were not raised on Pop Tarts and power drinks, but on The Four Pillars of Traditional Cuisine." pg. 3.

            In other news, my grocery cart snobbery continues to escalate! When you think about it, seeing the contents of someone's grocery cart provides a truly intimate glimpse into their belief system and lifestyle! In some ways, it may be even worse than peering at someone's dirty clothes hamper at the laundry mat. I shamefully admit that these things fascinate me. I'm not proud of it because of course, you're seeing only a fraction of a person's life and then making assumptions about them. BUT a lot of people buy horrible groceries! The family behind me had corn on the cob (CORN), Cornflakes and Frosted Flakes (CORN), frozen chicken nuggets (chicken parts (?) from chickens fed CORN). I wonder if they know they're only eating corn?


            • #7
              I'm the same way at the grocery store! I always judge people by what they eat... it's sad because I wish I could tell them about the awesome lifestyle I've discovered, but I know they'd just look at me like I'm crazy. Sigh :/ Maybe one day when Primal equals CW...


              • #8
                Exactly! Try to suggest changes to a person's diet, and most often, it doesn't go well. I've even had people specifically ask me how I'm losing weight or why my skin looks "so healthy", and the moment I mention eliminating processed food and starchy carbs, their eyes glaze over. I always wonder what they thought I was going to say :-).


                • #9
                  9/19/11 GrokSaysGo! PB Journal Entry

                  The Meal Deal:
                  *I believe in Breakfast - Decaf Coffee w/ heavy cream and a touch of raw organic turbinado cane sugar, 25 grams Jay Robb Chocolate Whey Protein Powder, 1 TB coconut oil
                  *Tea Time- 16 oz. Darjeeling
                  *Lunch - 3 pieces of thick sliced bacon, 2 organic eggs w/ 1 TB heavy cream, red onion, spinach, tomatoes, Italian seasoning, and parmesan (I missed breakfast for breakfast so I had to have it at lunch!)
                  *Dinner - 6 oz. rare grilled steak w/ a lot of organic sweet cream salted butter, baby herb greens, and strawberries
                  *It's been a Dessert Day! - 1 serving Green & Blacks organic dark chocolate 85% with a (lumberjack's) handful of raw almonds ;-)

                  The Workout
                  Shoe shopping for an upcoming wedding. Now, if anyone is reading this, I'm sure they're thinking, "How can shoe shopping possibly qualify as a workout?" So here are the facts:
                  1) I do not particularly enjoy shoe shopping.
                  2) I'm the personal attendant at the above-mentioned wedding so I will undoubtedly be running around all day!
                  3) # 2 above means that any shoes I purchase need to be a) extremely comfortable while b) somehow matching a black and animal print cocktail dress . . . have you ever tried to find shoes that meet these criteria?!
                  4) Therefore, in this instance shoe shopping entailed prowling through every isle; thoroughy examining many shoes (one-by-one), buckling / unbuckling, toe scrunching, toe stretching, groaning, wiggling, walking laps in at least 3 different pairs (sometimes mismatched for the all-important side-by-side comfort analysis), hopping, mock-dancing, and even 1 or two half jump squats!

                  Sun: 20 minute walk outside during peak hours

                  Play: Really strongly considering joining a Salsa group to get my "playtime." There's a lesson on Wednesday night so we'll see how it goes. I've gone once before to a different set of lessons, but the partner selection was . . . minimal. When I say minimal, please don't think I'm being snooty! To clarify, "minimal" was one man whose eyes were literally at chest level for me (there is just absolutely no way around this being excruciatingly uncomfortable), one gentleman who was obsessed with achieving Salsa perfection (unbeknownst to me, at least until I danced with him, I was not achieving Salsa perfection), and one poor soul was just kinda smelly.

                  Sleep: Getting ready to sign off now and hope for a sweet cave-like primal slumber!

                  Quote for the day: Try, no. Do or do not. There is no try. ~ Yoda


                  • #10
                    9/20/11 GrokSaysGo! PB Journal Entry

                    9/20/11 GrokSaysGo! PB Journal Entry

                    The Meal Deal:
                    *Breakfast - 16 oz. iced coffee with Half & Half and (this part is bad!) a pumpkin, cream cheese muffin. It was delicious(!), but the sugar bomb hitting my bloodstream felt bad, and now it's out of my system.
                    *Tea Time 1 - 16 oz. Darjeeling (this was in an effort to dilute the negative effects of the muffin - :-))
                    *Lunch - 2 pieces of bacon, omelette of 2 organic eggs, 1 TB heavy cream, garlic, red onion, spinach, cherry tomatoes, and parmesan
                    *Tea Time 2 - 16 oz. pure green tea
                    *Pre-workout snack - 25 grams Jay Robb Chocolate Whey Protein Powder, 1 serving raw almonds
                    *Dinner - 2 split chicken thighs, zucchini, sweet onion, and mushroom drizzled with olive oil and broiled, served on a bed of baby herb greens

                    The Workout
                    Complex 1 (3 sets of 8)
                    Overhead Squats (45 lb. bar)
                    Upright Rows (45 lb. bar)
                    Split Squats (w/ 25 lb. plate)
                    Bent Over Rows (65 lbs. on bar)

                    Complex 2 (3 sets of 6)
                    Squats (100 lbs)
                    Bench Press (70 lbs)
                    Alternating Lateral Lunges (20 lbs)
                    Overhead Rotational Press (12.5 lbs. each side)

                    Complex 3 (Ab Work - 3 sets of 8)
                    Cable Wood Chop (80 lbs)
                    Plate Swing Around (25 lb plate)

                    I feel like I'm seeing a bit more muscular definition in the upper body which is very exciting. I'm not afraid of muscles and love to see definition lines and shadows. I feel very lucky to be strong and able to build the muscle. Taking down the body fat is another story, though . . .

                    Sun: None :-( It was cold and windy. Looking to invest in vitamin D now that we're already having shorter days and colder weather here in ND!

                    Play: Starting Salsa lessons tomorrow - hopefully, they will be a good play activity!

                    Sleep: 8 hours - had some interruptions and crazy, vivid dreams. Still feeling that I could sleep more in the mornings.

                    Quote of the Day: Exercise... the poor person's plastic surgery


                    • #11
                      Weekend Catchup 9/23/11 GrokSaysGo! PB Journal Entry

                      This weekend I went to the cities with friends and had a really nice time with them, BUT they are sugar / pasta addicts! My will power held me in check at times, but as our time together continued, I lost more and more battles. Last night, I realized that I was in what I'm going to call "Overload Mode" on several fronts. Here's a summary of the good, the bad, and the ugly.

                      *Saturday Primal Victories*
                      Saturday Morning - pre-departure - Breakfast of raw almonds, Fage whole yogurt, raspberries and Yogi Pure Green tea
                      Coffee Stop - 16 oz. Starbucks Anniversary Blend w/ a little half and half (road-trip friends were having all manner of sugary frappuccino's and pastries as they hadn't eaten breakfast yet. Honestly, I felt no temptation and physically great about not having any of those things and saving $$, too. I do however, need to work on not feeling self-righteous in these situations. I strive not to show it, but I feel it. Healthful intentions should be emotionally and physically uplifting and nurturing for everyone - not about how much healthier you're being than those around you. Not judging others and feeling superior for making healthy choices is a stumbling block for me.
                      *Lunch - Packed a lunch of spring greens w/ sliced strawberries, avocado, blue cheese, and cold steak and had this beautiful and delicious meal on the road. My friends were forced to scavenge at the gas station so I decided to see what they had. Typically, you can find nuts, jerky, string cheese, sometimes a decent yogurt, apples, and occasionally hard-boiled eggs. This gas station was expansive (even had a bakery and sandwich bar inside), yet they didn't have all of the usual choices listed above! I was never more convinced of the value of the extra time and effort that goes into preparing nice meals for traveling.
                      Tea Time - Went to the Mall of America for some shopping and met up with other friends at the Barnes and Noble there. I almost wanted another coffee, but sensing that it would be too much, I had black tea instead. My friend (with whom I'd just been in a car for 4 hours) had a terrible head cold, and the tea felt strengthening and cleansing. I have an overly active imagination so in my mind the tea was like a little army of antioxidants marching into my immune system and imposing order.

                      Saturday Primal Defeats:
                      Walking and shopping through the mall . . . this was fun and exciting, like urban hunting and gathering . . . up until a very distinct cutoff point. I didn't realize what was happening until it was too late, but I feel that I experienced a point of sensory overload. It wasn't horrible - certainly no nausea, sweating, or anxiety attacks - just a point of suddenly feeling less well and for lack of a better description, unbalanced. This makes perfect sense considering the levels of noise, people, and "things" being encountered in a relatively small amount of time and space. This has to happen to people frequently; they just don't realize it. At this point, I was hungry and now also really craving starchy carbs and sugars. So marked the beginning of a downhill slide for me in maintaining my short term healthful intentions (long term healthful intentions stand firm). In the name of self-experimentation / realization, I would say the triggers were:
                      1) Sensory overload - No longer feeling in a position of calm balance
                      2) Ongoing exposure to more unhealthy options than healthy options
                      3) Mild social pressure (I'm certainly not claiming that my friends encouraged me to eat poorly - I had salad and meat / vegetable choices here, but seeing everyone else eating waffle fries makes you want to eat waffle fries, too. It just does! Is this a reason to deviate? - definitely not, but it's honestly a contributing factor to why you don't choose better options.)
                      4) Diminishing will power

                      Dinner - Bacon cheeseburger, waffle fries, and a diet soft drink
                      Followed by . . . more shopping (for a total of 6 hours of mega mall shopping which I think I can definitively say is not good for your physical, mental, or emotional health) . . . thus contributing to further sugar cravings and . . .
                      Dessert - Decaf coffee and a chocolate peanut butter brownie (gluten free at least) :-)

                      Quote of the day: The devil has put a penalty on all things we enjoy in life. Either we suffer in health or we suffer in soul or we get fat. ~ Albert Einstein


                      • #12
                        Weekend Catchup 9/24/11 GrokSaysGo! PB Journal Entry

                        I slept well on Saturday night - probably in need of rest from too much of everything on Saturday!

                        Breakfast - Chorizo Scrambled Eggs, gluten-free pancakes, maple syrup (why did I do that?!), coffee w/ cream
                        I did not feel good after this meal - I think I overate in general and the gluten free pancakes w/ maple syrup did not do me any favors.

                        Breakfast was followed by more shopping at Whole Foods which actually renewed my primal commitment. Primal purchases included:
                        - Om teas
                        - Ghee
                        - Raw macadamia nuts (unfortunately, it's been less than 24 hours and I've already eaten 2 (or perhaps more like 3) servings of these.
                        - Organic Cardamom Pods (just imagining adding these to curries and stews this winter makes me happy!)
                        Being primal at Whole Foods would've saved me a lot of money . . . if I didn't have a weakness for organic herbal soaps and lotions that is.

                        Then it was on to Trader Joe's where I again realized that Primal purchases look a lot different than your average bear's purchases. All I found of interest in the way of semi non-perishable goods was:
                        - Goat Brie
                        - Smoked Oysters
                        - Raw crunchy almond butter
                        We're standing in the checkout line and my friend is buying Trader Joe's version of Oreos for her husband. She points out that at least the filling in the Trader Joe's version has real vanilla in it. So I find myself wondering if a lifetime of eating Trader Joe's cookies versus regular cookies will leave you fitter and healthier? Or, is eating cookies simply eating cookies? I suspect it's option B.

                        This was followed by more shopping of a non-primal nature (again a bit of sensory overload) and a late lunch . . . another burger,waffle fries, and a diet pop. At this point I'm upset with my choices, myself, and not feeling as good physically, emotionally, and mentally as I know I could or should be. I'm tired and edgy, thinking that if only I'd brought my Vitamin D supplement like I considered, maybe none of this would be happening. Can vitamin D bolster one's fortitude in such a way as to prevent the weary consumption of waffle fries and diet pop?!

                        Now we're back in the car and passing around malted milk balls - kindly shared by a friend who purchased them at Fleet Farm (who, I must admit, makes the best malted milk balls I've ever had the misfortune of tasting). I actually noticed that this friend (who's a lovely person otherwise) is a very persistant pusher of candy and baked goods . . . even going so far as to set a bag of apple fritters on the center console of the car in such as manner that it's poking me in the shoulder. People really have food issues! I know I do, and I'm beginning to see that she does, too. The remainder of the trip was relatively uneventful from a food and drink perspective (no apple fritter consumption on my part thankfully). We had great conversation and comraderie, but by the time I arrived home, I was feeling like I'd had too much:
                        1) Unhelpful food and drink
                        2) Shopping / Sensory Overload

                        and not enough:
                        1) Fresh air and sunlight
                        2) Quiet time

                        Monday will be spent trying to re-attain a sense of balance!