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Primal Journal (Judg)

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  • Primal Journal (Judg)

    I am a complete newbie around here. I have decided to give Primal Nutrition a try for the next month. My main goal is to increase my energy levels. I have suffered from chronic fatigue for many years, being forced to leave the work force as a result, and cut back on almost all my activities. While I originally scoffed at the idea of cutting out grains and dairy, I am now willing to consider that they might be part of my problem. Well, at least grains... I'm cutting back on dairy, but I do intend to eat Greek yogurt and a bit of cheese.

    As for weight loss, I do want to lose another 20-25 pounds. I've lost 60 pounds over the last 2 1/2 years, primarily by going semi-vegetarian. My main motivation was to be healthier (I did not want to become a crippled, diabetic old lady) and to increase my energy levels. I figured it wouldn't cure the chronic fatigue, but the energy used hauling around all that excess weight would be free for more useful purposes. While losing the weight and getting the compliments has been very nice, and has helped, it hasn't helped as much with the fatigue as I had hoped. So after meeting a couple of people who have cut out grains and reported good results, and seeing Mark's book in stores, I started researching. I don't know if I'm entirely convinced, but I'm willing to give it a try.

    The fitness program I will implement slowly and carefully. Chronic fatigue sufferers cannot push their endurance levels or they end up flat on their back, as I have experienced far too often. It has taken me a lot of trial and error to discover how much I can allow myself to do without crashing. For now I will mostly continue with my habit of taking walks or doing a little (a very little) of aerobic dancing when my body allows me to, and gradually try to incorporate more intense workouts. Wall pushups, here I come... LOL.

    So, on day one I had sauteed veggies (onion, green pepper, tomato, and marinated artichoke) with two eggs and a bit of cheddar cheese. I'd call it an omelet, but I scrambled it because omelets are just too fussy for my patience levels. It was a very late breakfast - I have always preferred waiting until I was hungry to eat since my kids grew up and I didn't have to worry about their schedule. I had an apple for a snack a bit later, and will have some cabbage rolls out of the freezer for supper. I know, there's rice in there. I made them myself, so I know that the amount of rice is not excessive, and I really hate to throw out food. And I have never been good at abrupt changes. I have actually been really restricting my grain intake for the last couple of weeks in preparation for this, which was a further restriction from how much I had cut back on carbs for the weight loss.

    I'll try to make further reports a little less wordy, but I thought I might as well introduce myself at the same time.
    5'2", 55 years, Primal since April. Pre-Primal weight loss, from 216.6 to 157.8
    Primal low: 140.2 (Dec. 3) Goal weight: 135?
    Main Primal goal: beating back my CFS enough to function more normally and start writing again

    More and more, our life has been governed by specialists, who know too little of what lies outside their province to be able to know enough about what takes place within it.
    - Lewis Mumford

  • #2
    Welcome! Why do newbies always worry about being too wordy? :-) We need to know about you to make suggestions.

    Throw away junk foods and grains like wheat (actually, give to food closet.) But don't don't don't throw out homemade cabbage rolls wih rice. Rice is not bad as long as you watch your total carbs.

    Good luck with primal!
    Ancestral Health Info - My blog about Primal and the general ancestral health movement. Site just remodeled using HTML5/CSS3 instead of Wordpress.

    My MDA Friday success story - Stubborn Senior's Testimonial

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks Hedonist.

      Well, I have a son at home who is into Tex-Mex, so he would probably kill me if I got rid of all that stuff.

      Junk food has never been my problem and it was pretty much banished a long time ago, although I probably will have to give away some stuff.

      Yes, I have read enough to know that rice is considered a neutral, so I wasn't too distressed about having it. There will be a few minor compromises for the first little while as I clear out things that are already open.

      Anyway, here's my accountability session for today:

      Breakfast: my normal black coffee, yogurt with slivered almonds and frozen blueberries. The yogurt was unfortunately low-fat and probably aspartame, but it's almost gone... LOL. I always hated the aspartame, but low-fat yogurt didn't come with "real" sugar, which is a lesser evil in my books. Tomorrow is shopping day and full-fat Greek yogurt is on the list. The cupboards have been awfully bare, as I just got back from a trip Stateside, which is why I waited until now to go primal. I figured it would be a lot to handle while visiting with a slew of old friends.

      While I'm on the subject of sweeteners, are maple syrup and honey in very small amounts considered an indulgence or are they respectably primal? Or somewhere in between, as lesser evils?

      Lunch was another couple of cabbage rolls, which I added a little sour cream to. I know, it sounds disgusting, but they were home-made cabbage rolls made with sour cabbage and very lean pork, so I was really craving calories. The sour cream was low-fat too, but at least it added something. That was followed by a tall cup of orange pekoe tea, black.

      Supper was a tuna/apple/spinach walnut salad. Wee bit of cheating going on there too, as my home-made mayo contains canola oil. *sigh* And I thought that stuff was healthy... Next batch will be made with extra-virgin olive oil, which has always been my preference on salad anyway. Really, apart from the grains and legumes and a little canola oil, my habits were pretty close to primal anyway. A big salad meal has long been common here.

      I will probably have some kind of herb tea this evening, again, a long-standing habit.

      The only change for me today was not having any oatmeal in my breakfast (drat! Forgot to put in any ground flaxseed...) and not having a slice of bread or a roll with my salad, which I had been doing less often anyway.

      Are dried fruits primal? I suppose it depends on what they've added to them. Still reading my way through the book and the archives here. There is so much stuff to absorb, it's going to take me while.
      5'2", 55 years, Primal since April. Pre-Primal weight loss, from 216.6 to 157.8
      Primal low: 140.2 (Dec. 3) Goal weight: 135?
      Main Primal goal: beating back my CFS enough to function more normally and start writing again

      More and more, our life has been governed by specialists, who know too little of what lies outside their province to be able to know enough about what takes place within it.
      - Lewis Mumford

      Comment


      • #4
        Heavens, I couldn't give up Tex-Mex!

        As for natural sweeteners, it depends on how you define small amount. A tablespoon in a bowl of Greek yogurt or in one cup of tea is nothing. Keep in mind that most "honey" in stores is far from natural.

        I eat lots of sour cream. If dairy doesn't cause digestive problems, stop weight loss, etc., it is fine. Some canola or other conventional mayo isn't a big deal. I have a few tablespoons a week.

        Dried fruit has intensely concentrated sugar. So a treat or a small snack.
        Ancestral Health Info - My blog about Primal and the general ancestral health movement. Site just remodeled using HTML5/CSS3 instead of Wordpress.

        My MDA Friday success story - Stubborn Senior's Testimonial

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks for the info. Glad I don't have to throw out my maple syrup, even if I use it so very rarely. When I tried the Greek yogurt for the first time last week, the blackberries were kind of on the tangy side, so I added a tiny bit of syrup, but nowhere near a tablespoon. I guess I'm good to go then. I don't plan on getting carried away with adding sweeteners, but it's nice to know that a little bit won't hurt. Ditto for the mayo, although I will switch to olive oil mayo in the future. I've been making my own for many years anyway, switching oils is no big deal.

          That's one thing I like about PB, the relaxed attitudes toward minor deviances.

          I must confess to buying pasteurized honey. The liquid stuff I always found so messy, and it would invariably crystallize on me, which I found annoying. Does pasteurizing do terrible things to it?

          Exercise report: went out for my 2 km walk this evening. I was able to maintain a brisk pace the whole time, which isn't always the case by any means. And it was pretty effortless too, which was nice. Today is a good day, despite the erratic sleep of the last few days due to travelling and the disruption of my routine. Good sign. I'm still very scatter-brained and having trouble staying focused and disciplined, but hopefully that will change as my energy increases. Going to try to get to bed early to get back on track.
          5'2", 55 years, Primal since April. Pre-Primal weight loss, from 216.6 to 157.8
          Primal low: 140.2 (Dec. 3) Goal weight: 135?
          Main Primal goal: beating back my CFS enough to function more normally and start writing again

          More and more, our life has been governed by specialists, who know too little of what lies outside their province to be able to know enough about what takes place within it.
          - Lewis Mumford

          Comment


          • #6
            I actually mean teaspoon not tablespoon. LOL
            Ancestral Health Info - My blog about Primal and the general ancestral health movement. Site just remodeled using HTML5/CSS3 instead of Wordpress.

            My MDA Friday success story - Stubborn Senior's Testimonial

            Comment


            • #7
              Hi Judg. Glad to see your journal. Thanks for stopping by mine, by the way.

              I think your approach is good and I'm impressed by the changes you had already made long before coming here.

              I would like to see you attempt primal for longer than 30 days though before deciding if it's working for your CFS or not. I've been at this for 45 days and still have a hard time getting out of bed with no formal diagnosis regarding fatigue. I'm working on my adrenals though, so there are days that are a wee bit better than others... today has been rough since I forgot to take my 10 vitamins! I don't know how ANYONE can forget to take TEN stinking vitamins!! lol

              Anyhow, I'm glad you're here and I can't wait to follow your journey and see how Primal works for you! Take care!
              Primal since March 5, 2012
              SW: 221 | CW: 204 | LPW: 166 | UGW: 140 (80 lbs loss)



              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Hedonist2 View Post
                I actually mean teaspoon not tablespoon. LOL
                That does make more sense. I will just try to go with as little as possible and train my tastes to accept less bit by bit.

                Originally posted by jenn26point2 View Post
                Hi Judg. Glad to see your journal. Thanks for stopping by mine, by the way.

                I think your approach is good and I'm impressed by the changes you had already made long before coming here.

                I would like to see you attempt primal for longer than 30 days though before deciding if it's working for your CFS or not. I've been at this for 45 days and still have a hard time getting out of bed with no formal diagnosis regarding fatigue. I'm working on my adrenals though, so there are days that are a wee bit better than others... today has been rough since I forgot to take my 10 vitamins! I don't know how ANYONE can forget to take TEN stinking vitamins!! lol

                Anyhow, I'm glad you're here and I can't wait to follow your journey and see how Primal works for you! Take care!
                Thanks so much for your kind words, Jenn. You're a sweetie.

                I'm amazed that you can feel the difference with your supplements after a single day. What convinced me that supplements really helped was the time I forgot them at home when travelling and went 8 weeks without them. What a difference! But one day? Wow.

                As for sticking with PB, the way I see it, this is sort of like weight loss. We zig down, we zag up. I will still have very tired days, I'm sure, unless of course a grain intolerance turns out to be the very heart of my problem. That would actually be very nice, because then my issues would be completely solved. Somehow, that seems too good to be true, and I'm not counting on it. But what I am looking for is higher highs and higher lows. Heck, I would even settle for more consistent energy levels. It might already be happening. I've had several days of substandard sleep now, starting well after midnight. That used to wipe me out and yet today I'm functional. I've even gone for a walk. Not at the same brisk pace as yesterday, but way better than a slow crawl, and I actually started imposing some order on my kitchen when I got back! This is very encouraging. I can hardly wait to see how I will feel with a couple of good nights in me.

                But if after 4-6 weeks, I see no difference at all, well, then I will have to reconsider. I don't mind sacrificing pasta and (insert long list of beloved foods here) if it means a real improvement in my health. But I'll have a hard time sticking to it if the cost/benefit analysis doesn't convince me. I don't expect to have reached a final goal in a few weeks, either with weight or energy, but I'd like to see clear signs I'm moving in the right direction.

                I'm sorry you're still having such a rough time. Of course, there are problems that can't be solved by just a change in eating habits. I really do hope that things pick up for you. Fatigue can have multiple causes and the more sources of it we can eliminate, the better. I hope that you can discover what is at the heart of your problem and then find out there's something you can do about it.

                Have you gone over quite thoroughly to PB, or are you working in gradual changes?
                5'2", 55 years, Primal since April. Pre-Primal weight loss, from 216.6 to 157.8
                Primal low: 140.2 (Dec. 3) Goal weight: 135?
                Main Primal goal: beating back my CFS enough to function more normally and start writing again

                More and more, our life has been governed by specialists, who know too little of what lies outside their province to be able to know enough about what takes place within it.
                - Lewis Mumford

                Comment


                • #9
                  Private Judg, presenting compliance report for April 19, 2012.

                  Wee small hours: Creamy Turmeric Tea. My first experience with this and I enjoyed it. Helped me get back to sleep. And any excuse to get more turmeric should be taken.

                  Breakfast:
                  Non-fat yogurt (almost gone, thank goodness), with almonds, walnuts, blueberries, ground flaxseed, and hempseed
                  Espresso with a bit of honey

                  Lunch:
                  The last cabbage roll (Checked while I was shopping today and the sour cabbage I used was indeed fermented and non-pasteurized. So I bought another head and I'll make my next batch without rice. And they're so much easier to make using the fermented cabbage as opposed to fresh, so I'll be able to have them much more often.)
                  And a nice heap of fresh asparagus with lemon butter. Yum. The rest went in the fridge for another day.
                  Chai tea, black and unsweetened

                  Snack: a few green olives, cup of decaf, black

                  Went for another walk this afternoon. Not as brisk as yesterday, but I'm still not sleeping at proper hours after the disruption caused by my trip. It's a wonder I was able to that and cook supper at all. ) Very encouraging.

                  Overdid the lemon at lunch. Slight allergic reaction. I have to keep my citrus consumption low. It didn't last very long, fortunately. Note to self: don't push it.

                  Supper:
                  Two sausages, (Oh come on! Corn syrup solids in the list of ingredients? Last time I'm buying those. Brother.) smothered in Dijon
                  Cauliflower
                  Cooked spinach. I cooked it in too much water, so I drank the cooking juices after they cooled. (Have I mentioned I really love the taste of spinach? And that I am recovering from a catastrophically low iron level, so there is no way I am going to chuck a good dietary source of the stuff.)

                  It was so nice to have a good supply of fresh veggies again. The cupboard was pretty bare when I got home. I spent a good chunk of the afternoon setting up my Primal Mealplanning file. I've been using a combination running inventory/meal planner for years to help me make sure we get enough variety in our diet and that meats don't languish for years at the bottom of the freezer. I had to eliminate all the legume and grain-based meals, and re-arrange the remaining categories somewhat to ensure a good rotation. I'm sure it will require a good bit of tweaking in the future, but at least it's in a usable form now. Whenever the question "What to cook?" comes up I start by checking the fridge for appropriate leftovers and for foods that should be eaten before they go bad. If that doesn't answer the question, I check my meal-planner, and pick the first thing that's doable. Then that category gets sent to the bottom of the list (in some cases not to the bottom if I want it to come around more often) and consumed items are deleted. The oldest items are bolded, so they get priority. I sometimes forget to add new items after a shopping trip (I'm great at creating systems, not so good at maintaining them), so every now and again I have to take inventory of the freezer's contents and update my file. Still and all, it saves me more work and headaches than it creates, so I keep up with it.
                  5'2", 55 years, Primal since April. Pre-Primal weight loss, from 216.6 to 157.8
                  Primal low: 140.2 (Dec. 3) Goal weight: 135?
                  Main Primal goal: beating back my CFS enough to function more normally and start writing again

                  More and more, our life has been governed by specialists, who know too little of what lies outside their province to be able to know enough about what takes place within it.
                  - Lewis Mumford

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hi Judg, I really like your journal and I am very interesting in keeping up with your progress, so please keep posting! I am really interested in the paleo/primal diet and its effect on chronic illness. I work in a hospital and so much of our healthcare budget is used to treat these illnesses that just don't get better and that didn't exist not all that long ago. Of course I am not a physician and at work I do as I am told, but I am very interested for my own knowledge. Many good wishes -
                    My Primal Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread53052.html

                    "Freedom from fear" could be said to sum up the whole philosophy of human rights. - Dag Hammarskjold

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Thanks Siobhan. CFS could very well be a viral infection. There was a study, now much disputed, a couple of years ago, showing a very high correlation between XMRV and CFS. Regardless of the merits of that study, I tend to favour the hypothesis of a physiological, infectious cause, mainly because of the epidemic nature of CFS when it first made its appearance. Many of the doctors who first responded to it have been convinced of a viral cause all along. (See the book Osler's Web if you have any interest in pursuing this.) On the other hand, fatigue is the natural result of a vast host of problems, and if you have several of them, you could very well be tired all the time without the help of a specific virus. I am hoping for myself that some kind of gluten intolerance is a major factor for me at least, enough to raise my quality of life if I address it.

                      I'm not doing so well today, I'm afraid. I went to bed early last night, and got to sleep well before midnight, so I woke up at a reasonable time for a change. It should, logically, be a much better day today.

                      Not.

                      I'm feeling draggy and discouraged and downright snarky. My weight isn't dropping, or barely, and I feel tired? Like, why do I have to face life kind of tired? When I've been so good? And it was hard to find all the ingredients I needed for my lifestyle at my warehouse style grocery, but because I rely on my son to take me who is on a tight schedule, I didn't have time to find them all. So I couldn't make that chicken tikka masala last night. And you know, you kind of feel like you should be rewarded for being virtuous... Dumb, I know, but we are not always rational creatures. I mean, I'm not trying to be virtuous, I'm trying to be healthy. I'm giving things up, not to adhere to a code, but to try to make headway in my war on feeling rotten. So when I get the opposite of hoped-for results, I feel ticked off. Of course, the rational part of me knows full well that a down morning means precious little on its own, but there you are.

                      And then when I read a snarky comment about peanut butter somewhere in these forums, I kind of snapped. I went and made up a recipe for primal pumpkin almond butter brownies with PEANUT BUTTER, ostensibly to use the stuff up, but more because I was feeling cantankerous and I wanted comfort food. I've been gorging on them ever since. And they're not all that wonderful, truth be told, so I'm not even that much comforted. Needless to say, I'm going to have to skip lunch and forego weighing myself for days to undo the damage. And of course, being in a snarky mood to begin with, all the little things that went wrong - like my silicon spatula snapping because the handle was so cheap - bugged me more than normal.

                      Anyway, breakfast was basically a replay of yesterday, and that no-fat aspartame yogurt is finally gone. The Greek yogurt we found yesterday is only 2%, which is a bit disappointing. I want something that's going to make me feel full all morning and even beyond, which will help prevent me from snapping in the future. I probably went too light on the nuts this morning, so there wasn't enough substance in breakfast to keep me going.

                      I'm going to try to get out this afternoon to see if I can scare up the rest of those ingredients. Contributing to my annoyance this morning is the sheer effort of having to reprogram my head, suddenly develop a bunch of new habits and source my new staples. It's not surprising I wasn't able to do it in one rushed shopping session, and the rational part of me knows this. It's the irrational part of me that's causing problems today.

                      Anyway, we'll chalk it all up to experience, and move on. Nobody said the path to success would be free of stones. I think I'll go listen to some good music, for a source of comfort that won't add excess calories and will probably work much better on top of it all. And try not to kick myself too hard for stuffing myself. It's not something I do very often, but I do have my moments. And unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, I have to 'fess up in a public journal.
                      5'2", 55 years, Primal since April. Pre-Primal weight loss, from 216.6 to 157.8
                      Primal low: 140.2 (Dec. 3) Goal weight: 135?
                      Main Primal goal: beating back my CFS enough to function more normally and start writing again

                      More and more, our life has been governed by specialists, who know too little of what lies outside their province to be able to know enough about what takes place within it.
                      - Lewis Mumford

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Oh honey, I am sorry about your day and if I were there I would cook up a big batch of nitrite-free pasture-raised bacon, polish up a couple of apples and serve up a primal feast. It is easy to underestimate the challenges of making a paradigm shift happen in your life. But you are doing the right thing by focusing on positive things like music and realizing that even though seems terrible, in the big picture they are really okay.

                        FWIW, I personally feel that gluten intolerance was a big part of my problem, and I have to stay away from the thinking that - hey, no gluten = okay for me. In listening to the people talking around me, I am thinking that pretty much everyone is gluten intolerant to some degree. It is hard to wrap my head the fact that this grain that CW holds up as a model of good nutrition, and has in fact been eaten by millions of people for thousands of years, is in fact bad. But it is, and most of those millions of people weren't, in fact, very healthy.

                        Enough of that - I hope you are feeling better and don't let the bad guys get to you. I have found these journals to be generally positive and populated by reasonable, thinking people, so I have been spending lots of time here looking for moral support. I also have a jar of peanut butter in my cupboard that I can't quite part with. Up until Easter Sunday, peanuts and peanut butter were mainstays of my diet!
                        My Primal Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread53052.html

                        "Freedom from fear" could be said to sum up the whole philosophy of human rights. - Dag Hammarskjold

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          A tablespoon or two of cream stirred into low-fat yogurt makes it much nicer.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I ended up going out for a big chunk of the afternoon. I chased down the rest of those ingredients and a few other things and just enjoyed being out on my own. I'm still feeling stuffed from all those brownies... *sigh* Ate a little sausage anyway, but any further fridge browsing will be leftover veggies.

                            I did camp out in Starbucks for a while to recover from the walk to the shopping centre. Somebody was thoughtful enough to forget a novel there, and seeing as it was actually quite good I stayed quite a while. Just had a decaf, but I did notice this particular shop is now carrying coconut water. And smoothies with no offensive ingredients. And Greek yogurt. 0% unfortunately, but we can't win them all, can we? Which reminds me, I forgot to check the yogurt section at the grocery store. Rats.

                            So I'm kind of tired, but overall, feeling in a more positive space, even if I am still rather annoyed with myself.

                            Sabine, good to know. Now I just have to persuade my son to use up the low-fat cream I have in the fridge so I can get some "real" stuff... LOL! I rarely put cream in anything, but that yogurt is probably going to need a little help. Haven't tasted it yet. Although 5% cream would still up the fat content of 2% yogurt, wouldn't it?
                            5'2", 55 years, Primal since April. Pre-Primal weight loss, from 216.6 to 157.8
                            Primal low: 140.2 (Dec. 3) Goal weight: 135?
                            Main Primal goal: beating back my CFS enough to function more normally and start writing again

                            More and more, our life has been governed by specialists, who know too little of what lies outside their province to be able to know enough about what takes place within it.
                            - Lewis Mumford

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Do I even want to know? What the heck is 'low-fat cream'? How is that possible?

                              Comment

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