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Primal Journal: Jacq ChocMonster lets go of sugar pot

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  • Primal Journal: Jacq ChocMonster lets go of sugar pot

    On and off Primal for a month now. By off I mean crazy derails. Usually it's a social occasion and it seems rude to reject the slice of cake/the awesome noodle or rice dish a friend's aunt cooked. I'm Asian, living in Melbourne atm. I never reject home cooked food - particularly if it's Asian food. My excuse is that it's bad manners but honestly once I take a bite, I just can't get enough of the stuff. Also I was brought up to finish my food because I'm "very lucky to have food, children in Africa are starving" (Mum's exact words *I love you Mum!* repeated throughout my childhood). Alas.

    (Un)fortunately, I'm also blessed with a massive appetite. One of my friends always says that I'm never done eating until there's no more food left to eat. Carbs always leads to more carbs for me. High-carb meals, then the sugar demon in me takes over and dessert leads to post-dessert dessert etc. It's like a short circuit between the body and brain. It takes a few days before the brain finally clicks and agrees to crawl out of the bloat and fog the poor body is going through.

    I've always eaten with abandon because I've been lucky to 1) have loved ones feed me and always make sure I'm eating, 2) never been overweight. But genes can only take me this far. I know because I'm hitting 30 this year and I've definitely started bloating over the last few years. Slowly but surely. I went through a couple of intense calorie-counting, cardio phases similar to people's experiences I've read here. Plateaus make me miserable. One other thing. My dad's side of the family (from whom I inherited the appetite) is mostly obese

    I know Primal works. When I Grok even for just 2 weeks, it's an unbelievable mental and physical transformation. My body leans out automatically. My muffin face vs no-muffin face:

    p.s. Muffin face pic taken at chocolate shop. Lol!

    But always the complacency creeps in and I fall into this vicious sugar/grains cycle. So this is my personal challenge. Sugar detox (not even fruit, because they can be triggers for me especially dried fruit) for 21 days starting now. I'm thinking not even green apples. What do you guys reckon?

    I'm typing this in a chocolate-induced haze btw. My brain is high as a kite but my body is gagging and forcing my fingers to type this challenge out, hoping once it's actually put into words, on MDA that I surf almost everyday, I can finally learn how to let go of the sugar pot. Sugar is not my friend. Sugar is not my friend. Sugar is not my friend. Deep breath Okay let's do this.
    Last edited by Jacq ChocMonster; 05-23-2012, 07:58 AM.

  • #2
    I'm only 10 days in but for me avoiding sugar has been key. I used to eat every few hours or i'd get the shakes. Since eating primal i haven't had the shakes at all which feels like a miracle! The only time i've had a sugar crash was after a bowl of strawberries so i know to eat only a few at a time to avoid this.

    If you're struggling with sugar then i would say give fruit a miss for a few days and see how you feel or perhaps you could have fruit after a meal full of fat and protein so that you don't get the big sugar hit?

    Also, you are allowed to turn food down, don't just eat out of politeness. Good luck with whatever you decide, you can do this


    • #3
      Thanks for the encouragement! This is tough.

      For me, I don't get hungry till afternoons, so that's when I start eating. Once I start though, it's like opening the floodgates. I eat my first meal (usually some meat-vege combo), then the brain automatically asks for dessert right after. Argh! I took a shower, vacuumed, and still it won't shut up. Willpower can be a scary thing! So right now I'm studiously ignoring the half kilo of chocolate in the fridge and dunking cucumber slices in tahini instead.

      I fudged up yesterday. Dinner with friends led to dessert after before I could even blink @#*^*! So much for Day 1 of detox. Scratch that and reset. Seriously I have got to be stronger than that! I have to stay away from nut butters as well, I tend to binge on those. Man so many things to work on.

      No more reset lameness. I can do this! Roar.
      Last edited by Jacq ChocMonster; 05-14-2012, 07:33 PM.


      • #4
        Day 1 reflection: My brain is a spoilt brat

        Whew! Day 1 officially over. Wanted to update after dinner last night, but on the off chance that I sleepwalk to the fridge and attack the half kilo of chocolate in there, I thought it would be more legit to save it till today. And I made it! Chocolate in fridge still intact.

        What a difficult first day! Eliminating all sweets, even fruit, makes my brain weep. Body was slightly lethargic but it's really all in the mind for me. I vacuumed up my macadamia nut stash. Not going to buy more because I don't want to switch a sugar addiction for a nut addiction.

        At brunch today (ham, eggs and cheese for me), I told my partner about my 21 DSD. His coffee nearly came out of his nostrils, he was laughing so hard -_- According to him, my diet is 55% savoury, 45% sweet. But he did gently steer me away from the dessert counter as we were leaving (my feet and eyes were glued to it).

        Quick question: What should I do with the papaya salsa I made right before this 21 DSD?


        • #5
          Day 2: Made my first meatza

          Lethargy lethargy lethargy. I couldn't even tell if the fog was in my head or a physical one. But! I stuck to my challenge. Hoo-friggin-ray! My weapon was avocado. I think I will marry an avocado seller.

          Late lunch was salmon with sauteed cabbage and onions. I have a newfound love for sauteed cabbage. Went for yoga. One of the best things about Primal is how much it improves my yoga practice I am way stronger and better at dynamic flow sessions! Makes me think that I may be strong enough for ashtanga yoga after all. Have always been intimidated by ashtanga (the few times I tried it, everyone there seemed superhumanly strong) but now it doesn't seem impossible anymore. Woot!

          Oh and I made my first meatza. I have no idea why I had the impression it would be more like a pizza that I could finish in one go. I must be retarded. It was super meaty *duh!* but on the positive side, will last me for 3 meals.


          • #6
            Day 3: D*mn you almond quince tart!

            Finally bought a food processor so I don't have to hand chop my cauliflower rice anymore. I actually enjoyed all that chopping, found it kind of therapeutic, but I'm over it. But guess what, the first thing I processed was eh hem, almond butter Life is beautiful with a food processor, though it meant I stayed up all night surfing primal dessert recipes. That I can't make for another 3 weeks. Masochist.

            Then a bunch of us went to a friend's restaurant (he's the sous chef) to hang out and he kept sending out all this amazing food which by some incredible chance was pretty Primal... till dessert. Almond quince tart. Every molecule in me was salivating so honestly I just gave in to the beautiful creation and enjoyed every single bite of it. Heaven. Food tastes so much better when not racked with guilt. It helped that we were sharing it

            So what now? Do I restart my 21 DSD? I'm supposed to, but I feel like tweaking it to see how many days it would take me to complete a 21 DSD instead, with every intention to keep it as close to 21 days as possible of course. I know it totally takes away the purity of the exercise, but right now I just need to be in the process of moving towards something rather than constantly starting over. Works better for me in my head. My end goal is learning to control the sugar addiction, to not let a small 'cheat' turn into an ugly landslide, to internalise that it's okay to let go of the sugar pot. I am not frigging Winnie the Pooh.


            • #7
              Day 4: My new best friend is cauliflower crust pizza

              Surprisingly easy to stay sugar-free today. And not much of an appetite. Oh wait, that means hello imminent arrival of TOM. Gah. And all hell usually breaks loose when it comes, so fingers crossed that I will stay strong this cycle. No sugar meltdown! Shall buy more meat.

              Brunch was the last of the meatza, and for dinner I attempted my first cauliflower crust pizza with bacon and ham. Turned out better than I'd expected, but I'd like the crust crispier. Will play around with variations eg. amount of coconut flour, eggs etc to make the optimal crust for my taste, which means more pizza more often. Hooray!


              Been reading about IF. Tried it over a couple of weeks by intentionally fasting for 16-18 hours. It's not super tough, but I find that when I eventually break the fast, I gorge like a starved monkey on weed. I love big meals, but this actually makes me go out of control and I feel uncomfortably bloated afterwards. Saw one of Mark's articles about shorter IF periods seeming to work better for women, so I have started experimenting. Having my first meal sometime between 11am to 12 noon rather than leaving it till 3 or 4pm. Perhaps it will suit me better.
              Last edited by Jacq ChocMonster; 05-22-2012, 07:26 AM. Reason: to add pizza pix


              • #8
                Day 5: Ate up half the kitchen *grrr*

                Food cravings ran amok today. Ate half my kitchen. Almond butter. Gone. BBQ pork jerky. Gone. Cream cheese. Gone.

                Was very close to cycling out for a whole mud cake and a pack of Arnott's Teddy Bears, but I didn't! Small victory, but what a ginormous struggle. Half caved and ate 2 slices of buttered toast in the end (I dumped the bread in the freezer when I went primal instead of throwing it out 'coz I just can't bear to waste food. Also for non-primal friends who come over. Not sure if it's a good or bad decision.)

                It may be the PMS hormones, or the brain taking this as an excuse to binge. Even though I binged mostly primal, the fact that I couldn't stop eating for hours, coupled with the tough tough struggle not to derail is NOT GOOD. Made me think harder, that there has to be something else I can work on. Maybe I shouldn't even be thinking about IF right now. So did more sniffing around MDA, and I think I may have found a viable solution i.e. fix my leptin. Read almost 80 pages of the leptin reset thread and found it fascinating. The idea that I could potentially switch off my cravings and stop snacking is very appealing. Love my snacks, but I hate that they run my life some days. Also it would explain my cravings today 'coz I forgot about my plan to eat a bit earlier and ended up breaking my fast at 3pm. Literally couldn't stop grazing for hours afterwards.

                Only positive takeaway from today is that roasting veggies (cauliflower leaves and cabbage) is a superb way to eat them. Bit of olive oil, salt and pepper, balsamic vinegar. Toss and throw in oven. Boom! Yummy veggies. Kale chips next.

                All these experiments. Gotta love them.
                Last edited by Jacq ChocMonster; 05-19-2012, 03:30 AM.


                • #9
                  Day 6: The solution I've been looking for half my life?

                  I don't want to get over-excited... but... abiding by the leptin totally worked today. Stayed up till 4am reading about it (okay wrong start), slept till 1pm *sheepish* and jumped out of bed ready to eat. First meal was 3 eggs, 3 slices bacon, 100g smoked trout and a serve of spinach. Yum. Love smoked trout. Got mine at the farmer's market near my place, and realise its sodium content is less than half of those sold at the supermarket! Double the love. Pity it's not cheap enough to eat every day.

                  I did cook a bit in pre-primal days but it was always veggies. If I felt like meat I would eat out, partly because I always thought meat was too much of a hassle to handle (also makes me squeamish), and partly because I didn't think I needed meat much. Chocolate, biscuits and bread filled up that space. But umm over-eating that led to even more emotional over-eating, hello?? Argh so dumb.

                  Anyway! Primal means learning to cook meat. And now I love it. It's a whole new world of recipes man. Check out dinner - butter garlic prawns with avo papaya salsa and cauliflower rice.


                  Super fun to assemble. It's my first time cooking prawns! What have I been doing with my life -_-

                  To end off, the best part of the day was after dinner. This is usually when the most intense dessert reflex kicks in. I'd already planned to have some avocado mousse but after puttering around washing up, this tiny voice in me went "Erm.. *clears throat*.. actually, maybe we can hold the dessert? Just.. I don't want to wash away the taste of the garlic prawns just yet.."

                  And that is how I didn't have dessert last night. I'm still in disbelief. Maybe it's a fluke. Who is this tiny voice? It was a very polite tiny voice.
                  Last edited by Jacq ChocMonster; 05-22-2012, 07:29 AM.


                  • #10
                    Day 7: Old habits die hard

                    Didn't sleep too well ('coz I woke up at 1pm yesterday, what did I expect?!) but made myself get out of bed by 830am so I'd get a more structured day.

                    Bought a kilo of beef mince 2 days back and made 10 beef patties (added chopped garlic and onion, cumin, curry powder, s&p) out of them, so I know 2 patties = 42g protein. Good for brekkie and lunchbox. I like playing with food plating. Obviously I'm not an expert but it amuses me. I'll strive to be better!

                    Breakfast was 2 beef patties, 1oz cheddar, 1 fried egg. I used my newly bought egg rings. Fun!
                    Lunch was fennel avocado salad (MDA recipe) with 2 slices bacon, 1 hardboiled egg all chopped up.
                    Dinner - baked blue grenadier with garlic cauli mash. Followed by dessert - cocoa avocado mousse.

                    See what I mean by old habits die hard? Had the idea of avo mousse in my head from the day before, and just had to make it for dessert even though I was full from dinner. Pfft. Ah well never mind. Fat keeps me happy.

                    Otherwise, all's good. No problem with cravings because 1) was busy, 2) it was day 1 of TOM. Day 1 usually equals weak appetite for me.

                    Thinking of making a pork mince quiche. One of my favourite Chinese dishes is this pork mince in steamed egg, perfect with porridge. No steaming equipment here though. Shall attempt to quiche it. Will report back!
                    Last edited by Jacq ChocMonster; 05-20-2012, 09:41 PM.


                    • #11
                      Day 8: Avocado saves my as* again

                      Was out the whole day, so had beef patties for brekkie AND packed another 2 for lunch (plus bok choy and some gouda cheese). Cooking up 4 patties at one go in the morning made my stomach growl and feel full at the same time - weird sensation. Anyway, I am finding a big brekkie within 30 minutes of waking up surprisingly easy and enjoyable. Not 'force feeding' at all. Guess I'm just a greedy girl with a big appetite

                      Reached home at 930pm, was tired and cold (winter starting up in Melbourne). Would've skipped dinner, I was so ready to hit the bed, but I'd promised to help out at a last minute bake sale. They specifically asked for conventional, popular stuff like cupcakes and brownies - items that would sell well. Hmm. No primal baked goods then.

                      Keep in mind that I have a terrible, terrible weakness for sugar and all baked goods. These things bring out the monster in me. But the good thing is that I'm baking these to sell, so I can't be eating them. So my reasoning goes.

                      Made an avocado shake (with coconut milk and cinnamon - nicely filling and creamy), told my lethargy to shove off! and started making them brownies. I'd forgotten how much sugar was in these things. I cut it by a third but my hands were seriously trembling when I poured the sugar in. I'm going to unleash that much sugar into the world?! Omg I'm poisoning people. Yeah it's probably the TOM hormones, made me all emotional and dramatic.

                      Anyway, if you bake and like brownies, you probably know how my night ends. After they were done (for a poison, they sure smell heavenly), I decided to trim the edges so I'd have one less thing to do the next morning. No points for guessing where the trimmed brownie edges ended up. Clue: not the bin.

                      Two conclusions. One, the avocado shake was a very wise decision because it filled up half my stomach and stopped me from inhaling half the batch. If not, I'd probably have done that and then made a second batch for the sale. Yes, even at midnight.

                      Two, I really need to stop getting into situations where I come into contact with this stuff. Confession: I still walk the bread and baked goods aisle 99% of the time I go to the supermarket, just to look at them. It's like stalking an ex-lover on Facebook. Get a grip, woman! If I can delete my ex from my Facebook, why can't I stop roaming the baked goods aisle??


                      • #12
                        Day 9: Huh? VLC??

                        So my sleep has been rock-deep these few days which is GREAT but today I went for yoga class, during which I was seriously weak! Super confused. I'm eating tons more meat! Doesn't meat make me stronger? How come my arms nearly collapsed doing the chaturanga? This is the first time since going primal that I have felt my strength lessening - weird!

                        Yoga ended at 830pm. Had planned for a light dinner (avocado + coconut milk smoothie yumminess), but by the time I got back, I felt completely off. Tried to intellectualise it, surfed MDA for a bit, till it hit me. Er, VLC? Hardly been eating any fruit, and all that meat meant less stomach room for veggies.. Sounds possible. I've never counted carbs before so took forum advice and started a Sparkpeople account to start tracking. Ick. Seems I've only been averaging 25g carb. So VLC = deep sleep but physical weakness. Deep sleep probably because the body needed to close shop for the day. Darn.

                        Read others' experiences, some suggest pushing through it, others say carb refeed.. Basically more experimentation to figure out what works for me. Anyway it ended up an awful night because there was no 'healthy carb' in the house. I tore up bits and pieces of dark chocolate, a couple of cookies I'd bought to support the bake sale (yeah I'm rolling my eyes at myself), some almonds, but I couldn't eat much of any one thing *thank goodness* yet nothing really filled me.

                        Time to add more plants back.


                        • #13
                          Just caught up on your journal and have been laughing out loud to myself quite a bit. Your internal struggles sound EXACTLY like mine, and I also have a habit of putting myself in situations where binges are unavoidable. I need to find that little, rational voice in my came out a few nights ago but haven't seen her since!

                          Also, I only got through about 10 days of a leptin reset last summer, but the difference it made on my appetite was BONKERS and I lost so much belly weight! Side effect of this diet - yoga gets easier because twisting into awkward poses is not as difficult when there aren't rolls of flab in the way. Need to remember that...


                          • #14
                            Lol good point! Gotta remember that.. cut out binges = less flab = deeper stretches = better yogi. Urgh sometimes I swear my mind just wants to sabotage my body. Once I start losing some flab and feel great, I start reaching for the Lindt. What is going on??


                            • #15
                              Day 10 & 11: ...what exactly am I doing?

                              Started off as a sugar detox, then figured I needed to fix my leptin, but now I'm back to eating chocolate, which means I gotta get off this train RIGHT NOW because I know the next stop is Chocolate Binge Station then Carb Binge Station Central. Pah. Weekend coming up. STAY STRONG!

                              I've stayed with the protein-heavy first meal of the leptin reset protocol, so the day is quite easily snack-free but dinner is still a problem. I always want something sweet to end the day. Self-awareness = self-control? Or maybe I just need to keep busy straight after dinner to distract my treacherous mind. Honestly, my mind has no shame. Remember the brownie bake? The thought of brownies has stayed on my mind like a leech, sucking away at my reset resolution. Just because I didn't get to inhale the whole tray.

                              Which means, yep, I finally caved and made brownies today. Primal sweet potato brownies, recipe courtesy of Juli@PaleOMG. Love her stuff.

                              Evil bake sale brownies

                              Sweet potato brownies. Made them in cupcake size in an attempt to portion them. Who am I kidding.. Scarfed them all at one go -_-

                              Hopefully I won't want to see another baked good/chocolate for the next few days. Gotta remember the good... Let's see: My bum is shrinking, body IS leaning out, but it seems this is usually the point where the self-sabotage kicks in. I've been at this spot a couple of times since going primal, but never broken through it. Fingers crossed this time round.

                              What else what else.. Oh I attempted my quiche with veal mince. Alas I left it in the oven too long and it turned out dry.

                              My breakfast for these few days

                              Liking the non-quiche items on my plate way more

                              Cheddar rolled in ham- bliss!

                              Have an awesome weekend guys! I hope to report a non-binge weekend when I check in next. Woot!