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My 30-day primal challenge journal

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  • My 30-day primal challenge journal

    This challenge has started at a good time for me -- I got back late last night from a 3-week trip to Nicaragua, where I had little control over my meals (no cooking). My first day back has been spent mostly in bed, though, and I have little "primal" food on hand. Having my strictly hindu-vegetarian mother in law in town also complicates matters, but she will be heading back to India in a couple of days.

    Today, I've mostly been nibbling on random food in the pantry. I've had a couple cups worth of fresh-picked blackberries from the backyard, a couple of eggs scrambled in olive oil, a sliced tomato. A bit of raw milk cheddar cheese, some almonds. Some smoked herring. Probably more than I should have for a day on which I've been so inactive, but I am just always absolutely exhausted the day after I get home after a long trip. My other primal action today -- installed Flux on my computer, to get rid of the blue tones after dark.

    I'm hoping to loose 5 pounds or so during this challenge, and fit back into the size-10 pants that have gotten too tight while I was in Nicaragua (unusually, I had to spend a lot of time in town, instead of out in the forest and mountains, walking and sweating, at least I got several hours of tropical sunshine on my skin). The big challenge will be keeping up with it even after the quarter starts on the 28th and I have to deal with a lot of students, grading, and lecture writing!

  • #2
    Welcome. Sometimes we just have to the best we can. As soon as your MIL leaves, and you are rested up, you can tear into primal.
    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
      Day 2 -- Stocking up

      I've been a bit more active today, although still shrugging off the hungover feeling of travel and intensive work.

      Started my day with a recipe of primal "bread" (flax and almond meal, egg, coconut oil, baking powder) topped off with the rest of the smoked herring and mustard. Plus coffee, of course! And a half cup of full fat cottage cheese. I do aim to cut down my dairy consumption.

      I had a nice shopping trip to stock up my larder, which is now full of fresh veggies, organ meats, and healthy oils. I munched down most of a pint of heirloom variety cherry tomatoes. I also started a batch of some made kim chee, which will be ready for consumption in 4 days. I also made a batch of homemade mayo, with a blend of walnut and evoo (plus a dollop of reserved bacon fat). I have nibbled a lot but mostly on veggies.

      I am looking forward to being able to make something scrumptious the day after tomorrow, once meat is allowed to be wantonly cooked in the house again! I got some chicken livers, bacon, shallots, and a variety of unusual mushrooms -- these all need to come together for a wildly primal dinner somehow! Chicken livers were my favorite thing to get at KFC when I was a kid, but I can't remember the last time I had them -- and they are cheap!

      It's still early so I think I'll be able to get some exercise in. Sadly, Seattle has turned cloudy and grey, now that I'm back. Not sure how grok would have dealt with that problem!


      • #4
        Oof -- barely 3 days in and I think I'm getting clobbered with a low-carb flu. I thought I did a reasonable job staying primal in Nicaragua but my carb consumption was probably 150-200 grams a day, and I'm really feeling the transition now. Bleah. I had some nice exercise last night -- 30-40 minutes of dancing with my Wii, it exceeded the heart rate zone of the "move slowly" edict of PB, but conformed fully to the "play" rule of PB. I had an (imitation) lobster salad last night for dinner -- won't buy again. Didn't read the ingredients list before purchase, turns out that crap has potato starch and other gross stuff, but having been purchased I figured I'd give it a try anyway. Bizarre sweet flavor, suppose they were trying to emulate the natural sweetness of lobster but ick on its own. Fortunately, the homemade mayo I made was really somehow undersweet, and together they've blended into something tolerable. But still, not a mistake I shall repeat. (I know, why would I think imitation = primal? Because it's made from fish, right? And the label touts the Omega-3's.)

        Started out today with a bit more of the salad, then a couple slices of oven baked bacon, a cup of blackberries from the yard with a tablespoon of cream, and 3/4 of an asian pear. More fruit than I might normally want at this stage, but I'm trying to mitigate some of the low-carb flu symptoms.


        • #5
          Definitely under the weather - not sure if it's a low-carb flu, or an actual bug. Easy to get sick after plane travel! Went to Indian buffet for lunch, had plenty of beef and butter chicken, quarter up of rice, salad, small serving of the mango mousse dessert. Not a terrible job, and was able to talk MIL out of vegan buffet that she wanted to go to, so there's that, too! But fell asleep for several hours afterwards. Really, truly exhausted and feeling unwell.


          • #6
            Feeling a bit better today but took advantage of 2 weeks until class starting to stay in bed all day. MIL got to plane late and missed flight (apparently you have to be there 2 hours ahead of time these days) but she is now out of the house so I can cook meat again. Since my husband is also out of town I can take advantage and cook some things that he would be super grossed out by. I made a bone broth -- haven't drank any yet, waiting for the fat to solidify on top so I can get around it -- not because fat is bad, but I just did not like the flavor of the thick layer of fat on top at all. Had berries and a bit of cream for breakfast, avocado and cucumber for lunch with a bit of paleo friendly bread (egg, almond meal, flaxseed meal -- OK but didn't much care for the eggyness of it) and last little bit of cheddar cheese spread. Dinner was the star -- chicken liver with shallots, mushrooms, bacon, touch of red wine, served atop steamed cabbage. Enjoyed very much. Blackberries for dessert again -- time to pick some more before they're gone. Tomorrow I hope to really get out of bed and on with life. I felt much less "flu-y" today than yesterday but gave in to the siren song of sleep! So I'm probably about even between intake and expenditure.


            • #7
              Oh yeah, I also nibbled far too much today. I had also some greek yogurt and dark chocolate. And jicama. Patiently waiting for my kimchee to ferment. Thinking of buying a kombucha kit at the market because I keep spending money on that stuff, which I love, and if I did it myself maybe I could use some more paleo-friendly coconut sugar to make it.


              • #8
                Do you microwave the egg bread and what's the amount for the ingredients. It looks like something I would like to try?


                • #9
                  The bread recipe is something that's here on one of the forum recipe boards -- it is microwaved. If you search for sandwich in the recipe boards it should turn up.

                  Today I am feeling much better, the low-carb flu is fading. I started out my day with some black tea (coffee was out) and two eggs scrambled with the leftover chicken liver/bacon/mushroom goodness. I also found out that you can make kombucha at home using some commercially-purchased kombucha as a starter, so that is now bubbling away. Got some coconut flour at WF today and made some coconut-flour biscuits, which are highly preferable to the bread I made yesterday (but still kinda eggy). Had some of that with some more smoked salmon and some veggies. Raspberries on sale 4 packages for $5 at the store so got a load of those, really lovely just plain. I sigh to think of the coming fall and winter, with all those lovely berries gone. Perhaps someday I will invest in a chest freezer, but am concerned about the energy usage for right now.

                  Dinner has started cooking -- going to try some oxtail soup, with bone broth made the other day (did not turn gelatinous at all, but hopefully the oxtails will add some more minerals). Bubbling away in the pressure cooker now, once the meat is done, will add some carrots and jerusalem artichokes as an alternative to potatoes. Smells good, and again, the bony, tendony nature of the meat means it's something best cooked now while my squeamish husband is away...


                  • #10
                    B: 2 coconut biscuits with 1 c fresh raspberries and 2T cultured cream. A little carby but G-O-O-D!
                    L: Some leftover oxtail soup plus homemade kim chee.
                    D: ???

                    The oxtail soup came out pretty good, in spite of some accidental burning. (I forgot to seal the lid.) Now that stuff will yield some super gelatinous broth!!! Not for the faint of heart -- tasty though it was, I can't imagine getting it by my husband, he can't abide bones in meat. It pushed my limits a little bit -- sucking the gelatinous cartilage off the vertebral ends was a new one for me. But yeah, very tasty and very meaty. Turned into jello in the fridge!

                    The kim chee I made a little less spicy so I could eat it like a slaw -- nicely fermeted although it could have gone a bit longer. Used my new "perfect pickler" attachment for a mason jar -- and right now, it has a bunch of cukes from the farmer's market in there, they'll be spicy dill pickles in a few days, full of good probiotics. Even though I've been off antibiotics for over a year now (Lyme disease) I haven't put much effort into rebuilding my gut flora, which would probably be for the best. 24 hours later, and I'm already looking at my kombucha jar with great longing -- 2-3 more weeks seems like an eternity for my own stuff! Waah!

                    Not sure what's going to be for dinner -- could have more ox tail stew but don't want to overdo it, either. Forgot to get smoked fish at the market. Not sure what I'll be in the mood for. Got some grass-fed beef heart at the farmer's market, but not sure I'm in the mood for more weird cuts of ruminant.

                    Still a bit lethargic, but this may simply be procrastination setting in, got a big deadline on Monday. Much to my great chagrin, classes start in less than 2 weeks, but I don't plan on working on syllabi until the weekend before. Did my "lift heavy things" yesterday, and a bit of walking about today, but the grey Seattle sky just instills ennui that's hard to beat.


                    • #11
                      It's day 7 and I'm still chugging along. My housecleaning and farmer's market walking made up my moving slow and steady for the day. I had a big ass salad with shrimp, homemade mayo, and avocado for dinner.

                      Lots of computer work for me today -- will have to try the stand-up desk so I don't get too sitty.
                      Brunch: 2 coconut flour biscuits with 3/4 c blackberries, 1 T HWC; then shrimp salad wrapped in cabbage leaf a bit later because still hungry.

                      Probably have some more oxtail soup for dinner. Really need to get my knives sharpened so I can trim cuts of meat as necessary.


                      • #12
                        Finished out day 7 as I expected. Had oxtail soup for dinner, and then later snack of greek yogurt and berries. Actually tried doing some sprints yesterday -- did not hold up for long, especially in a park that was so crowded that I was worried that if I started running fast I would knock over a dog, baby, or dog with baby on back. But I tried a bit. I can barely do 10 seconds at "full tilt"!

                        Anyhow, haven't had breakfast yet. My very deep sleep was interrupted by a hungry cat, and then a playful cat, and then I fell back asleep after an hour, and then I overslept. Ugh. Will report back later with food eaten. May be time for bacon...

                        Anyway ended up eating the following

                        Late breakfast: 1 leek sauteed in 1T ghee with 3 poached eggs
                        Snack: Kombucha and kimchee.
                        Early dinner: The last serving of oxtail soup/stew, and some raspberries. It was good, and I will make again, but I'm also glad to be done with it after so many days in a row!

                        Later tonight I plan to have a coconut cream mousse, maybe with chocolate and (a few) berries. I may be a little low on protein today though. Walked to and from store to get some eggs, there was sunshine in Seattle and I wanted to get some. Trying to finish very boring report, maybe will work at standing desk tonight.
                        Last edited by kimwg; 09-19-2011, 06:51 PM.


                        • #13
                          Today I had a good day. I maybe ate more than I intended but not too much more.

                          B: A smoothie made with coconut milk cultured with yogurt starter (stayed liquid but definitely had the probiotics), kale, and blackberries. It was actually pretty good! Also, 1 slice of bacon and 1 hard boiled egg.
                          L: A BLT on coconut biscuit "bread" and with homemade mayo.
                          Snack: Kombucha.
                          Dinner: LARGE serving of beef heart, sliced into some slabs and cooked medium-rare in bacon fat. Good. With turnip-cauliflower puree with butter.
                          Dessert (right after dinner -- still hungry for some reason even after all that meat): 1 cup fresh blackberries with heavy whipping cream and some very dark chocolate.

                          Today I was slogging away on my work (big report which I meant to get in yesterday) and it was so sunny and beautiful out that I had to go out, and I figured better to get out while I could and then work late. So I decided to walk to a faw away health food store, on the other side of a large park, to get my kombucha. And that's what I did, about an hour round trip, and on the way back I went barefoot through the grass and I was happy. I will probably have to get up at 5 in order to get this flipping report out -- and then gotta work on the next report. Help!


                          • #14
                            Hmm, Day 10 is one of the few days where I've really felt like eating some grains. But it passed.

                            Had a 3-egg scramble with veggies for breakfast, along with leftover cauliflower-turnip puree. Somehow, this was too much, and I didn't feel hungry again until around 4pm -- by that poitn I was out running errands and there wasn't much I could do about it. Also, after breakfast, I had some mega shits. (Hey, you read some random person's journal, maybe you see things you didn't want to know about.) Seemed to involve beef heart but I think they were precipitated more by the cauliflower-turnip thing. Anyway, something just wasn't sitting right.

                            Finished report 1, started work for report 2, decided to rund some errands around 2 pm, did a little bit of clothes shopping. Got home pretty hungry but not ravenous, had some berries and cream and a hard boiled egg.

                            Dinner -- beef heart stir fry with cabbage, carrots, garlic, ginger. Good. Still hunger later on so I had some greek yogurt with shredded coconut. It's only 9:30 but I'm pretty sleepy -- I would head to bed to read and then sleep around 10 but the cat is out and won't come back in so I wait...


                            • #15
                              Oh no! I forgot to post yesterday!! I guess I was very wrapped up in my work, and since I'm still logging my food elsewhere, forgot to do so here.

                              Anyway, yesterday I ate like a champ. Today I've been a little more chomping at the bit -- tempted to overeat, kinda hungry, kinda tired. I think work is a little overwhelming, as I just got some more dumped on my plate ugh.

                              Lessee, today I wasn't in a breakfasty mood, and started with some berries and cream and coffee. I'm feeling a little "over" so much protein, I guess. For lunch, I had a big ass salad with the rest of my smoked trout, and also with some pate I got at the fancy pants store. Still hungry after, so I had some almond butter and walnuts. Snacked on some carrots a while ago, but still hungry. Picked a lot of blackberries and got some sun. I know I should go out and get some exercise -- either sprint or lift heavy things -- but I just feel very tired and for the first time this week, want to take an afternoon nap. Maybe I could lie down for a little while? Take one of those power naps one is always hearing about? I just don't

                              I've been feeling so energetic, but after reading this blog I'm worried that I will crash out soon.
                              180 Degree Health: The Catecholamine Honeymoon

                              The crash described seems to be associated with low-carb in particular, I'm not sure that it applies as I've been eating 100-150 g of carb a day. I hope not, all I've wanted for YEARS now is to have more energy, and I finally feel like I'm not dragging my sorry ass through every moment of every day. I would happily give up any hope of weight loss to just keep feeling as energetic as I have this week.