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Primal Journal - Mayness

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  • Primal Journal - Mayness

    Hi everyone... just to introduce myself: I've been losing weight and re-gaining it for years. I was overweight from age 10-ish until I was about 19 years old. Right now I'm in the best shape of my life (I've been thinner, but not fitter), but it's still not great, and I'd like to lose about 15 more pounds. I've been eating a lot of junk, thinking it's "ok" because I count my calories, but I know eventually it will catch up with me somehow if I don't change my habits now. I also tend to get intense carb cravings and wind up binging, which should have been enough to tell me that processed carb junk has too much control over me. Also, I'm 25 years old, married (he's not primal but he'll eat whatever I cook!), I'm working on a PhD in biochemistry, and my interests include video games, football, stand-up comedy, and hunting. =]

    I've been reading MDA for a few weeks now, trying to take in as many articles and blog posts as I can. I am hoping to lose some weight, but this appeals to me more as a way to maintain my health long term.

    Last week, on Tuesday, I starting making an effort to eat almost-primally, staying under 150 carbs each day. It was going well and I dropped a few pounds (of water weight of course) right away! Amazingly, my cravings for carby food (which I used to suffer from literally ALL DAY LONG) were nearly gone, other than some fruit cravings after dinner. Then Friday night, Saturday all day, and Sunday morning were pretty much carb-fests (and I gained back those pounds, darn it).

    I got back on track Sunday afternoon. Yesterday (Monday) was decent, I'll post my meals:

    Breakfast: Hardboiled egg, half a banana, tbsp peanut butter (I know, I know)

    Lunch: Pork shoulder roast, roasted broccoli w/ olive oil

    Snack: 1 oz mixed nuts, other half of banana, tbsp peanut butter

    Dinner: bacon cheeseburger cauliflower (see below), snap peas

    Snack: grapes, dark chocolate calcium supplement

    Extras throughout the day: 2 pieces sugarless gum, 1 serving crystal light, splenda and half&half in coffee, 1 hard candy.. I'm ok with these for now

    Carbs: 91

    Fat: 91

    Protein: 73

    Calories: 1400

    I need to work on increasing my protein, but I'm happy with those carbs. I can't get over the % calories from fat number, it's still freaking me out that over half of my calories are coming from fat. That's a big mental hurdle for me.

    Last night's dinner was really good and nearly primal (it could easily be made fully primal). Here's my recipe:

    -Grate or process half a head of cauliflower to make it rice-ish

    -Cook about 1/4 pound of bacon until crisp and chop into small pieces

    -Brown 1/2 lb ground beef with 1/2 a medium onion, diced

    -Add cauliflower and cook until slightly softened

    -Add about 2 tablespoons tomato paste and 2 tablespoons yellow mustard (estimate)

    -Remove from heat and stir in 2 ounces finely grated cheddar cheese and the chopped bacon

    I liked it a lot.. total comfort food, which I needed after a day of the "low carb flu." My husband seemed to enjoy it, too... luckily I packed away some of it for my lunch today before he finished it off! I served his with french fries and mine with raw snap peas.

    I've got some homework to finish, so that's all for now... I know that's long and rambly, but I think it will be nice to have a record of how I was feeling at the beginning of this journey, so I didn't want to leave anything out.

    "mayness, you need to have a siggy line that says "Paleo Information Desk" or something!" -FMN <3

    I'm blogging again, at least a little bit.

  • #2

    I&#39;m seriously amazed at how darn EASY it is to stick to my current level of primal-ness. I&#39;d certainly like to cut out all the fake sweeteners, and most of the dairy, and probably eat a little less fruit... but for now I&#39;m trying to settle into something comfortable before I make changes.

    I&#39;m back down to 127.4 lbs, my pre-weekend weight. Didn&#39;t take long for that water to fall right off!

    I&#39;m not really paying much attention to calories right now but I seem to fall into 14-1500 a day. Maybe that means that&#39;s a good maintenance amount, and I&#39;ll need to drop lower to keep losing.. but I&#39;ll give it a couple weeks to find out.

    Here&#39;s yesterday:

    Breakfast: hard boiled egg, half banana, 1 tbsp peanut butter

    Lunch: leftovers from Monday&#39;s dinner with 1 hard boiled egg chopped up on top, special k protein water mix (it was expensive so I&#39;m using it up!)

    Snack: 1 oz mixed nuts, 1 oz cheddar cheese

    Dinner: chicken parmesan (coated with crumbled parmesan shortbread[/url]) with mozzarella cheese and 1/4 cup pasta sauce, served over sauteed shredded cabbage, 8 baby carrots

    Snack: gala apple with peanut butter

    Extras: splenda, 2 half&half tubs, 2 fish oil capsules, dark chocolate calcium supplement

    Carbs: 96

    Fat: 92

    Protein: 84 (getting there..)

    Calories: 1505

    Last night I made some egg cups for breakfasts... mixed 6 slices chopped bacon, 1 cup of chopped veggies (peppers and onions, sauteed in bacon grease), and 6 eggs, and divided evenly into 6 cups of a muffin pan. Topped with a sprinkle of pepper jack cheese, and baked for about 30 minutes at 325. I had one this morning and it was really tasty - I ate it cold, but I don&#39;t really like warm things in the morning.. supposedly they reheat well if you wanted to go that route.

    "mayness, you need to have a siggy line that says "Paleo Information Desk" or something!" -FMN <3

    I'm blogging again, at least a little bit.


    • #3

      Hi - I just wanted to say great job. Your beef/califlower recipe sounds great. I might try that tomorrow - Minus the cheese. I would try replacing that peanut butter with Almond butter. Peanut butter isn&#39;t primal. Peanuts are a lagume.

      Keep up the great work.


      • #4

        mdawns, thanks for the reply! A lot of the non-primal stuff I&#39;m eating is an effort to use it up, since we don&#39;t have a lot of money, so I&#39;m not willing to throw away much food at this point. Although I will say, I looked for almond butter at the best grocery store in town, and there were only 2 kinds.. both of which cost 5-10x as much as natural peanut butter. So I didn&#39;t buy any. =/ I&#39;ll try the tiny co-op/natural grocery store soon to see if they have something cheaper.

        Yesterday was ok.. I seem to be crashing around 1:30 (about 2 hours after I eat lunch) every day and it&#39;s hard to resist eating some carbs to restore my energy, but I&#39;m resisting. Last night I had yogurt with a little maple syrup, but accidentally poured on twice as much syrup as I meant to, and ate it anyway. Combine that with the grain product and sugar from dinner.. of course I had carb cravings, and ate a few bites of pasta without really thinking about it. I logged it all, and somehow I still came in under 100 carbs.. JUST under. Lesson learned.

        Breakfast: egg cup (see yesterday), half banana with PB

        Lunch: leftover chicken and cabbage

        Snack: 1 oz mixed nuts, 1 hard boiled egg

        Dinner: pork w/ BBQ sauce (about 2 tbsp), 1 crescent roll, roasted asparagus

        Snack: yogurt with maple syrup

        Oops: about 1 oz cooked pasta

        Extras: splenda, half&half, gum, 3 fish oil capsules, calcium chocolate

        Carbs: 99 (27%)

        Fat: 83 (51%)

        Protein: 79 (22%)

        Calories: 1437

        This morning I&#39;m down to 126.6 lbs. My lowest weight of 2010, and tied with my lowest weight of the last 3 years or so (I hit this same weight last October). I feel like I&#39;m cheating... I&#39;m not hungry or miserable, yet I&#39;m losing weight. =P

        "mayness, you need to have a siggy line that says "Paleo Information Desk" or something!" -FMN <3

        I'm blogging again, at least a little bit.


        • #5

          Bonus post because I am SO TIRED right now. I&#39;ve only had 46 grams of carbs so far, and I&#39;m REALLY struggling right now. I came thisclose to eating a mini luna bar... it&#39;s only 10 carbs but I&#39;m not hungry so it seems silly to eat. I even added it to my food journal on sparkpeople then deleted it, haha. Instead I got myself a cup of coffee with 3 of those little tubs of half&half (it almost *feels* like food that way) and I&#39;m holding out.

          My carbs weren&#39;t too well spread out because I wanted to set aside enough to have a beer today... there&#39;s a once-a-month "beer hour" in the small institute where I work, and it&#39;s one of the two times a month I let myself drink beer (I only drink when it&#39;s free, lol). I&#39;m also really curious to see whether the alcohol has more or less effect on me now that I&#39;m eating differently. I like to use myself as a science experiment, lol... this comes to mind:

          Up until 45 minutes ago, today was great.. my lunch was DELICIOUS, leftover "pulled pork" from last night served over sprouts with a hardboiled egg chopped up on top (and baby carrots on the side). I&#39;m starting to think I could mix an egg with anything and enjoy it. I can&#39;t get enough eggs lately. See, now I&#39;m craving more eggs.

          Time to go be grumpy for a while. =P

          "mayness, you need to have a siggy line that says "Paleo Information Desk" or something!" -FMN <3

          I'm blogging again, at least a little bit.


          • #6


            I asked a question for you on the birth control forum about an IUD you used. I don&#39;t know if you can answer the question but it would be so great if you told me about your experience. Thank you.


            • #7

              Yesterday... carbs were acceptable, but I ate A LOT of calories (for me)... I was just hungry all evening long so I kept snacking and I ate a big dinner. Maybe the beer is to blame? If that&#39;s the case, I&#39;d rather spend those 10 carbs on something else next time and not feel hungry all evening. Or it could be a hormonal thing, my period is due any day now. Or it could be the exercise - it was my 3rd day in a row of working out, and I hadn&#39;t done much in the previous week or so.

              Breakfast: egg cup, 1/2 banana w/ PB

              Lunch: leftover BBQ pork on sprouts, 1 egg, baby carrots

              Snack: hard boiled egg, pickle, 1 beer (Beck&#39;s)

              Dinner: 1 oz cheddar cheese before dinner, 1 links of hot italian sausage, peppers onions and mushrooms cooked in lots of olive oil, 1 oz mozzarella cheese

              Snack: 1/2 cup lowfat yogurt, 5 grams maple syrup, 25 grams grapes

              Carbs: 94 (22%)

              Fat: 102 (53%)

              Protein: 106 (25%) - woohoo!

              Calories: 1805

              Fridays are harrrd... at 9am there&#39;s a journal club with mini scones and muffins and cookies... at 11:30am there&#39;s lab meeting with pizza... at 4pm there&#39;s a seminar with cookies... and at 5pm a happy hour with snacks and beer.

              4pm: The seminar cookies are store-bought crap (oreos, chips ahoy, etc) so they&#39;re easy enough to resist.

              5pm: I don&#39;t usually stay for happy hour, both to avoid temptations and to get home and start my weekend earlier.

              9am: The baked goods in the morning are tough to ignore - I love anything sweet, and they&#39;re Wegmans, which has an awesome bakery (I should know, half my family worked there at one time or another!) and is just generally the best grocery store of all time ("Yeah, no, how about of all time?"). I actually didn&#39;t even glance at the table because I wasn&#39;t sure I&#39;d be able to resist. I didn&#39;t even use their crappy powdered creamer in my coffee, just drank it black, mostly because the creamer was on the table with the food.

              11:30am: Lab meeting... *sigh* I was one of the votes in favor of having pizza so I can&#39;t bring myself to skip it altogether. I could just eat the cheese/meats and leave the crust, but I don&#39;t think I&#39;m ready to get into it if someone asks. So, I&#39;ll just eat a slice, estimate the carbs based on some chain pizza, and move on with my life. =P

              "mayness, you need to have a siggy line that says "Paleo Information Desk" or something!" -FMN <3

              I'm blogging again, at least a little bit.


              • #8

                Oops.. I had 2 slices of pizza. One with lots of meats, one with lots of veggies. At least it was really good pizza. =] I&#39;m probably gonna be over 100 carbs for the day, especially since I have butternut squash in the crock pot for tonight... but I can keep it under 150 for sure. I&#39;m at 82 for the day before dinner.

                "mayness, you need to have a siggy line that says "Paleo Information Desk" or something!" -FMN <3

                I'm blogging again, at least a little bit.


                • #9

                  The past few days I&#39;ve been overeating... I&#39;ve been hungry more often, and also eating when I&#39;m not very hungry. I&#39;ve stayed under 100 carbs (or at least under 150 - I didn&#39;t log Saturday or Sunday) but I was up to 1800+ calories each day.

                  I let it happen because:

                  1) I&#39;m still adjusting to this new way of eating, and I don&#39;t want to restrict myself too much and end up resenting it.

                  2) My period is approaching and hunger+PMS=bad.

                  3) For my size and activity level, that&#39;s probably right around a maintenance level, so it&#39;s not like I&#39;m gonna gain a lot weight from it.

                  Today I backed it down to about 1450, with 90g carbs, if things all go as planned.

                  Bought some coconut oil.. OMG. I could eat that stuff plain. Tonight&#39;s new food adventure: scallops. Hubby and I can&#39;t remember if we&#39;ve ever ever eaten them, so I spent $8 on what looks like a crazy small portion and I&#39;m gonna try not to ruin them tonight. Jump in head first, ya know? =P I&#39;m also having both rice and beans tonight... I know, I know, but I&#39;ve gotta use this stuff up eventually, and I know if I cook it for my husband and don&#39;t eat ANY of it I&#39;ll feel sad.

                  Speaking of that, I bagged up a bunch of food from the cupboard to donate.. stuff that I won&#39;t eat, and won&#39;t feed to my husband soon/often enough to be worth keeping. A bag of split peas, a can of chick peas, a box of panko breading, a bag of rice noodles... I feel bad for "wasting" the money but I needed room for better stuff.

                  "mayness, you need to have a siggy line that says "Paleo Information Desk" or something!" -FMN <3

                  I'm blogging again, at least a little bit.


                  • #10

                    Dinner report: The scallops were amazing. =] And the 1/2 cup of rice and beans didn&#39;t drive me carb-crazy.

                    Amazing dessert: 1/2 cup plain yogurt, 1 square 85% dark chocolate (chopped up), 5 grams maple syrup. It had a cookies-and-cream thing going on, very tasty.

                    Heartwarming story: This weekend we&#39;re going to my MIL&#39;s house to celebrate my husband&#39;s birthday. He chose meatloaf for dinner (definitely the lowest-carb thing she makes) and he asked her "hey, have you ever had mashed cauliflower, like instead of mashed potatoes?" Turns out she has, and she likes it, so she&#39;s making both. I just thought it was cute that he tried to make sure there was a side dish I could eat. He&#39;s pretty awesome. =]

                    "mayness, you need to have a siggy line that says "Paleo Information Desk" or something!" -FMN <3

                    I'm blogging again, at least a little bit.


                    • #11

                      Yesterday I binged - well, 2 mini luna bars, and some nuts that I hadn&#39;t planned on eating. I had terrible gas all night. Maybe that&#39;ll teach me. I&#39;m starting to think the gas I&#39;ve always had might be from gluten. I&#39;ve ruled out lactose and all artificial sweeteners, but I don&#39;t think I ever tried getting rid of gluten before doing the primal thing.

                      I finally got a copy of Gary Taubes&#39; "Good Calories, Bad Calories" from the library!

                      We joined a CSA. =] For around $500 we get about 26 weeks of veggies (and a few fruits), and access to U-pick herbs, flowers, and some berries. It starts around the beginning of May - I CAN&#39;T WAIT!!

                      This weekend is a recruitment/interview weekend for my PhD program, and I was asked to eat breakfast with some of the recruits this morning. It&#39;s a catered breakfast at a faculty member&#39;s house. I&#39;m hoping there&#39;s *something* there I can eat.. but worst case scenario, I enjoy the free coffee, focus on chatting with the recruits, and make myself some food when I get home.

                      Oh, also, I&#39;ve been GAINING weight. I&#39;m not worrying about it this weekend, but Monday I stop fooling around and get to work eating healthier (primal-er) and eating less.

                      "mayness, you need to have a siggy line that says "Paleo Information Desk" or something!" -FMN <3

                      I'm blogging again, at least a little bit.


                      • #12

                        I don&#39;t think anyone reads this, but what the heck.

                        Had a weekend of awful eating... it included half a bagel, a sugar-sweetened yogurt, a huge piece of carrot cake, and about 1.5 cups of ice cream. Over the course of 2 days. Boo.

                        Got back on track, kept Monday and Tuesday under 75g of carbs. Today I skipped breakfast just to prove that I could. (I&#39;m so hungry now... just an hour or so until I can eat!)

                        Down to a new (recent) low weight today, 125.6. Hoping to see 125 by the end of the week! That will put me 10 lbs from my goal weight... but I&#39;m starting to lose faith in that number, because I&#39;ve still got A LOT of extra fat and am totally unhappy with the shape of my body, and I can&#39;t see that being fixed with 10 more pounds.

                        "mayness, you need to have a siggy line that says "Paleo Information Desk" or something!" -FMN <3

                        I'm blogging again, at least a little bit.


                        • #13

                          I think the grains and sugar you keep eating keep throwing you off! I don&#39;t mean to criticize, because you are eating a lot better than I am right now :-) But it seems obvious from the point of view of someone reading your journal. I wonder if a little higher fat might help.

                          I hear you, though, on using up the food you have because you&#39;re poor! I&#39;m in the same boat.

                          Congrats on 125.


                          • #14

                            I&#39;m still alive, just busy. =]

                            I started weight lifting again last week, and gained a couple pounds, no big deal. But then I had a weekend full of CANDY (my mom came to visit and brought me Easter candy) and gained a few more. I hit 131.0 on Monday, boooo.

                            Monday was great, then yesterday I ate too much at night. Including more candy. (More like the rest of the candy.) Right before bed. I woke up this morning NOT HUNGRY... for maybe the first time ever. I was actually pretty nauseous for a while. For "breakfast" I drank my tea with coconut milk. 3 hours later I was finally hungry, so I just had some cheese... I&#39;m saving lunch for its normal time so I don&#39;t end up hungry in the afternoon when I have no access to food. Anyway, I think this is a success in a way... my body is starting to actually react when I put too much junk in it. I&#39;ve still got a bit of a headache, maybe I&#39;ll have some coffee.

                            I&#39;ve been running outside since the weather has been nice. I can run so much longer/faster than I could in the fall.. which is weird. I&#39;m not gonna question it though, it&#39;s a lot of fun. I actually ran for 25 minutes straight a few days ago.

                            "mayness, you need to have a siggy line that says "Paleo Information Desk" or something!" -FMN <3

                            I'm blogging again, at least a little bit.


                            • #15
                              Mayness? Do you 3FC? .... SusanB