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2 Sistas go Primal - AUS vs. USA

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  • 2 Sistas go Primal - AUS vs. USA

    This is the Primal Blueprint Journal of two sisters living in opposite parts of the globe (Australia, and The USA), about to embark on the 21 day challenge.

    My sister, Sourcat, emailed me yesterday to ask if I'd be interested in trying out the 21 day challenge with her. I'd heard a little about the Primal diet a few months ago when a friend of mine tried it so I jumped on board.

    I am known on here as Sketcha, currently living in Chicago, USA and already prefer a low lactose and gluten-free diet so this doesn't intimidate me (too much). Winter is officially still a few weeks away but today we are just getting our first miserable drizzle of simultaneous rain & snow. Soon we will be drenched by treacherous ice storms, then hopefully by Christmas some beautiful white snow. Fresh fruit is going to be expensive, except apples perhaps. I know the best avocados around here are from Mexico. Most of the non-meat items I eat are probably going to be frozen. I suspect I will be complaining about this frequently in my journal.

    Sourcat is living in Melbourne, Australia. It seems they are currently experiencing typical late Spring weather, maybe slightly warmer than usual. It is almost Summer time, and I am extremely jealous.
    Not only will there be a variety of fresh summer fruit & veg, Melbourne is on the coast, so there should be a vast array of fresh seafood.

    I cannot officially start until next week, since I don't have the book yet, but I think Sourcat is starting today.

    Last edited by Sketcha; 11-27-2011, 10:46 PM.

  • #2
    sounds cool, gals. looking forward to seeing you around.


    • #3
      Time to introduce myself too. Sister of Sketcha, living in Melbourne Australia. Always relatively healthy and active, but a year after my first daughter was born I was diagnosed with inflammatory arthritis. It was really severe for a few years, affecting hands, feet & knees. I had a handicapped permit, could barely walk, and it was tough for a while. I became quite interested in health & nutrition around that time. Finally after 4 years I was able to get it under control with the help of Bikram yoga and a long list of medication. I went off the meds in order to get pregnant again, and was told it would come back with a vengance after giving birth. Amazingly after my second daughter was born it went into complete remission for a while. Now, a few years down the track it is back, but I am managing quite well on some new medications.

      I know what it is like to completely lose your health, so I don't plan to go back there. I go to the gym 3-4 times a week nowadays, Bikram is just too militant and I don't have the time. I quite like eatiing low carb, but have always missed eating berries, so the primal diet appeals to me. I'm not expecting any miracles with the arthritis, but I'll keep monitoring it for improvement.

      Yes it is SUMMER in two days. I am on holidays for the next month, so it is a great time for me to focus on this. It will be interesting working the diet into family meals, so any advice on that is appreciated. I'll post my diary entries here, sorry if they are a bit long winded or boring.


      • #4
        Here is a link to the other thread we will post on, with a few other forum users starting the challenge the same time as us:


        • #5
          you might consider another form of yoga, or doing the bikram sequence (i'm sure you remember it!) at your own pace once a week or so to help out. And congrats on regaining your health so far!


          • #6
            Originally posted by zoebird View Post
            you might consider another form of yoga, or doing the bikram sequence (i'm sure you remember it!) at your own pace once a week or so to help out. And congrats on regaining your health so far!
            Good idea, might try that at home. Even if I don't hold them quite as long it would still be great.

            Ok, Day 1 Journal entry:
            Success Score: 10/10 today.

            Kitchen/ pantry purge
            Left the cereal, pasta and crackers for the kids, I'm not interested in these. Kept bread for the kids lunches (not really a temptation for me).
            Threw out cornmeal & cornflour (I'll have to research paleo thickeners), fibre supplements, peanut butter.

            Restock Preparation
            Bought lots of free range meat, eggs, smoked salmon, tins of tuna. Bought duck fat, coconut oil and ghee for cooking. Found a lemon & olive oil dressing to use. Plenty of salad veggies and some blueberries in season. Also bought coconut milk and extra green curry paste. Need to buy some cabbage to shred instead of rice to go with the green curry - such a good idea.

            Ideas to increase Daily Movement
            Gym 3* per week (one training session, two on my own).
            Evening walks after dinner (to go check out the new house).
            Walk the kids to school if it is a nice day & go to the organic shop on the way home.

            Today: I had a training session. A few sprints, lots of full body movements with weights.
            Tonight: Walked to pick the girls up from piano lessons. Had a great walk home via the playground. The girls definitely talk a lot more walking rather than driving.

            Primal essentials
            Glass water bottle.
            Filled out medication doset box with vitamin D 2000IUD per day, fish oil, multivitamin.

            Daily energy levels: 7
            Hunger between meals: 7
            Satisfaction level with meals: 6
            Benefits noticed from Primal efforts: -
            Struggles: quite hungry and tired this morning. Probably due to big carb heavy meal yesterday. Hardly surprising.
            Daily highlight: Gym training session was great. I meet with a trainer on Monday mornings and worked very hard for a full hour.
            Need to improve: Planning meals. The food I made was a bit bland, didn't want to add salt. I think I might go a few days before adding in seasoning to see if my taste buds adjust. This definitely happened when I cut out added sugar about a month ago.


            • #7
              Day one - 21 day challenge

              Okay so I'm on Day 1! I haven't finished reading the book yet, but I wanted to post something to prevent me from putting this off any longer. My birthday was on wednesday and my husband took me on a surprise 3 day holiday, and I spent all day yesterday cooking lasagna, so today is the first day I've had time to get organised.


              • #8
                Day 7 . Actually, didn't have the greatest weekend. I had a couple big celebratory events this weekend & only stayed about 70% primal. Even so, I did have a BBQ Friday night for my parents - meat, salad & berries. It seemed quite normal. I am experimenting with summer smoothies. The one I am drinking right now has avocado, blueberries, raspberries, a dash of cream and some whey protein powder. I used stevia to sweeten it a little. I think I am behind on the journal, but I am finding the food side of it very easy. I can definitely eat this way.


                • #9
                  Day 1b

                  Okay, so yesterday and today I have been cleaning out the fridge and pantry. I've been thinking about what to leave for my man to eat, but I'm the chef around here so I don't see much reason to hang on to the SAD foods. I'll continue to buy milk for him, and some frozen chips and pizza, but I'm going to see if I can get him to eat primal without noticing the lack of yellow foods.

                  This morning for breakfast I made scrambled eggs florentine. It's my version of something I always get at the 'breakfast all day' cafe around the corner. Theirs has artichoke in it but I don't know how to cook with artichoke so I have left it out.
                  So here's my recipe - You don't really have to use these exact amounts, it will taste great no matter what. This is just a ballpark. I guess it serves 2, but when I eat it all, I don't get hungry again for 6 or 7 hours. You can also substitute half the eggs with egg whites to make it leaner. I cook it all in one tiny sauce pan - (1 Quart non-stick) It is 8cm deep and 15cm in diameter.

                  80g Frozen Spinach
                  56g Cream Cheese
                  20g Feta Cheese
                  4 Eggs
                  Butter (optional if you've got a good non-stick pan)

                  Defrost spinach in pan on low to medium heat. Stir as needed with rubber spatula until defrosted. When defrosted, add cream cheese. Stir until cream cheese is melted and mixed evenly with the spinach. Add feta cheese. Mix until combined. Pour cooked spinach mixture into bowl. Set aside.
                  Melt butter in pan (if necessary). Crack eggs into pan, use spatula to 'scramble' the eggs. Once eggs are cooked and scrambled, dump them on top of the spinach mixture. gently stir the eggs with the spinach so there's still some decent sized egg chunks, but so the spinach is visible. Eat.

                  You could also serve this with the scrambled eggs first, and the spinach as a topping. Probably looks nicer this way. You don't need to worry about dry scrambled eggs with this recipe either. I like to make it with extra spinach. I have packed my hand mixer in anticipation of the move to NC, but some people might like this better if the creamy spinach was blended a little after cooking.

                  My man is cooking chicken breasts outside on the grill for dinner
                  and I'm going to steam some veggies in the microwave.


                  • #10
                    Oh my, spinach with cream cheese sounds deliciously evil. I'll have to try that on poached eggs!

                    This is going to be a fun journal with the two of you!
                    Cooking Primal with Otter - Journal
                    Otter's (Defunct) Primal Log
                    "Not baked goods, Professor, baked bads!" ~ The Tick


                    • #11
                      Yay another Melbournite!!! Summer today at least... out to soak up some Vit D...


                      • #12
                        Oh yummmy. Sounds great - I'm going to try that today. Yes - beautiful weather today in Melbourne (about time). I'm going to buy all this weeks groceries from the organic shop, hope I don't go broke.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Sourcat View Post
                          Oh yummmy. Sounds great - I'm going to try that today. Yes - beautiful weather today in Melbourne (about time). I'm going to buy all this weeks groceries from the organic shop, hope I don't go broke.
                          Where do you go? I buy groceries from Woolies, the fruit/veg/deli/meat/fish/cheese from Vic Market. Far cheaper than e.g Camberwell Market or the produce-shops in the local high streets.


                          • #14
                            Normally I go to woolies for most things. I'm experimenting though, as our local organic grocer is fantastic - Superfruit in Ivanhoe. They are happy to put in orders for any organic meat, which comes directly from the farmers (so it relatively affordable). My plan is to buy non-food items from Aldi to save a few pennies, then buy all food from the organic grocer. I'm hoping the costs will even out.


                            • #15
                              Alright, so I had a SAD relapse yesterday. I only had 5 hours sleep and other issues, so I was having a bad day and didn't want to cook. I'm back on track today, although I did have a 5 hour energy this morning to get myself to the gym, so this is my new Day 1. I finished purging my fridge and pantry the day before yesterday. I kept some Maggi sweet chilli sauce because it's the same I used to get in australia and It's almost gone. Once it's used up I'll make a homemade version without sugar.
                              Also, I have been trying to think of a way to do my scrambled eggs florentine recipe without Dairy. I suppose using coconut milk to make it creamy will work. That recipe is my comfort food breakfast, but I have another similar breakfast recipe that is great on a daily basis, and uses a lot less dairy:

                              Spinach & Feta Omelette

                              3 eggs
                              80g spinach
                              34g Feta

                              Yesterday I went shopping at Schnucks. They have a decent amount of organic food. I was able to find some grass fed ground beef. I also bought a few different kinds of wild caught fish, full circle brand.
                              As far as locally grown produce, I live in Illinois. The state of Illinois is #1 for soybean production, and 2nd highest in corn production out of the entire United States. The only things they grow in my immediate vicinity are Corn, Soybeans, and I know of an Apple farm, but I don't think it is organic. This is one of the things that I realised yesterday when I went out shopping and It pissed me off a little that Mark makes it sound so fun and easy to find healthy food grown locally. It must be nice to live in California. I have to eat avocados from mexico, apples from new zealand, and salmon from china. LOL I'm going to have to spend a lot of time on google to find some local eggs. Besides that I'm just going to ignore the local aspect of the primal transformation. I am disappointed though. In the summertime here, they do have a farmer's market on saturday mornings, but I don't think they have anything like that durning the winter.
                              I'm so glad we're moving back to North Carolina. There's a good reason why midwesterners are all obese.
                              Tomorrow I'll see what's available at The Fresh Market, and the local health food store.

                              Here's my recipe for easy delicious chicken breasts, best cooked on the grill by someone else.

                              lightly coat each chicken breast on both sides with the following:
                              (one spice at a time)
                              garlic salt
                              onion powder
                              fresh ground pepper
                              then coat each piece in oil (I used EVOO)

                              let them marinate for 30 minutes in a dish, then cook. Baste the chicken frequently while cooking.
                              Last edited by Sketcha; 12-09-2011, 03:05 PM.