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In Pursuit of Happiness and a Flat Stomach (TheEscapeArtist's Journal)

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  • #16
    Being unproductive...I hate that...especially when you started out with such great intentions!

    My recommendation is to read "The Four Hour Work Week" by Timothy Ferriss. He has some pretty reasonable ideas to help him remove the monotonous work from his life, get better organized, delegate the tedium to un-thought-of resources, and work from home (or the beach) if you choose....Wish I could manage that one! Being an admin they like to see you to hand you stupid stuff to do...boo!

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    • #17
      Originally posted by bellajgw View Post
      My recommendation is to read "The Four Hour Work Week" by Timothy Ferriss.
      I'm a fan of that book too! Recommend it all the time, but been a couple a years since I read it myself. You know I actually tried his suggestion of outsourcing my tedium to India...it didn't work I think you need bales of tedium to make it interesting enough for them to pick up. My tedium was too pissant. But he did have some really good ideas; maybe it's time for a refresher. BTW have you read his "The Four Hour Body"? Was comparing notes with a guy who's following it; sounds very similar to PB aside from recommended cheat days "to keep your metabolism up". Hmm...
      My primal journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread63591.html

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      • #18
        Originally posted by badgergirl View Post
        hello, I'm very much enjoying your journal and I too wish I could be an avocado whisperer. I get quite queasy when I get a brown spotty one, but cannot bear to waste it so struggle through despite the gaging revulsion.
        Hey thanks badgergirl! I'm glad. As for the avocados, I don't recommend trying the 'eating with your eyes closed' strategy unless you're using a spoon. Nearly forked myself
        My primal journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread63591.html

        Comment


        • #19
          My first food porn!

          I never thought I'd be the sort of person who takes pictures of their food but here I am taking pictures of my food. I just so proud I cooked a whole fancy meal just for me!

          Pre-primal I almost never cooked...except for breakfast. It wasn't like I was eating McDonald's every night, but I was heavily dependent on the 'home cooked' take away places that abound in my neighborhood. I guess I'm not the only one around here who doesn't want to cook but wants to eat like they do. The woman who owns the place closest to me must think I died or something. I was in there almost every night. We were on a first name basis. We'd swap stories about our days while she heated up my food (I didn't even heat up my own food). I got to know her parents - lovely people. She even has pictures of my dog on her phone. It was almost like we were dating. Does that mean I owe her some sort of breakup talk...along the lines of "It's not you. I just need to be on my own now right now"? I'm afraid if she tried to woo me back with her chocolate cheesecake, I'd cave...possibly even falling at her feet and pledging my undying love. (I'm telling you it was that good.)

          Anyway, I digress. Tonight's menu:
          • herb encrusted pork loin
          • steamed yellow squash with onion
          • asparagus and mushrooms sauteed in ghee

          By the way, ghee is great. I only just got a can (comes in cans...sort of like paint) a few days ago from the Indian market and it's so much easier to cook with than butter. Only one thing worries me...you know how Mark encourages you not only to worry about what you eat but also about what you eat eats. Well, in India, where my ghee comes from, the cows eat garbage - literally. I have seen cows eating garbage bags even. A read an article about a town where they shipped off most of the cows because they were causing major traffic problems and a couple of weeks later they had to go get them all back because the town was filling up with garbage. Hmm...note to self: step up efforts to find a domestic source of organic ghee.

          And it wasn't even planned in advance, this meal. I'd picked up all these ingredients sort of randomly and, in fact, the asparagus had been languishing in the crisper for well over a week, and was starting to look a tad anemic. It was also easy - required no special skills or know-how. The hardest part was getting the timing right so it all come together at the same time.



          And it even tasted good!

          So the nitty gritty in case anyone should be inspired to replicate:

          Herb encrusted pork loin
          Mix together 2 tablespoons of each of the following to make a paste:
          • thyme
          • chervil (can substitute parsley - which is what I did, who has chervil?)
          • marjoram (could probably sub in oregano)
          • garlic powder (or minced garlic)
          • rosemary
          • olive oil
          • Pat the paste onto your pork loin until completely covered and refrigerate overnight or for a couple of hours at room temp.
          • Then cook at 450 until meat thermometer registers 160 - my Mom said for 20 minutes, but my pork loin was not cooperating. Maybe repeatedly getting it out of the oven so I could poke at it with a meat thermometer (I have a really small oven) made it take longer.

          Mushrooms and asparagus
          • Clean mushrooms; cut those larger than 1 inch in diameter in half and the really big muthers in quarters.
          • Wash asparagus, break off woody tips, and cut the good part into 1 inch pieces - longer for skinny asparagus, shorter for fatter.
          • Heat one or two tablespoons of ghee in a large frying pan on medium heat.
          • Add asparagus and some salt; increase heat to medium high; cook for two or three minutes, stirring occasionally.
          • Turn heat to high; add mushrooms. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes - until any liquid mushrooms giving off is evaporated.

          Squash
          • Cut squash into thinnish rounds; slice onion...however you want.
          • Use the smallest pot you can get away with and add about a fourth of an inch of water; put on the lid.
          • Bring to a boil, reduce slightly and cook for around 10 minutes or until tender.

          OK maybe more of a fall menu, but I was so pleased to use up what I had on hand. I hate wasting food, but I used to do a lot of it, because I would buy food - thinking I really should cook more, I should eat more salads, etc. - and then not have the energy to follow through. Apparently I have the energy now
          Last edited by TheEscapeArtist; 10-05-2012, 01:45 PM.
          My primal journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread63591.html

          Comment


          • #20
            Yum, your dinner looks lovely! I almost took a picture of mine too, but instead I just ate it. Coconut ginger cilantro chicken, green beans and red cabbage slaw.
            My Primal Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread57034.html

            "...since our orthodox theories have not saved us we may have to readjust them to bring them into harmony with Nature's laws. Nature must be obeyed, not orthodoxy." Weston A. Price

            Comment


            • #21
              Originally posted by Wrenwood View Post
              I almost took a picture of mine too, but instead I just ate it. Coconut ginger cilantro chicken, green beans and red cabbage slaw.
              I wish you had taken a picture Wren. It sounds delicious as well as attractive. Did you get the recipe from this site? I bought one of Mark's cookbooks (the quick and easy one) but I haven't tried anything out of it yet. Keep turning to Marcella Hazan's Classic Italian Cookbook - ignoring the pasta dishes of course. Most of the recipes have only 3 or 4 ingredients and she's not afraid of fat...or organ meats (although I'm not quite there yet).
              My primal journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread63591.html

              Comment


              • #22
                That italian cookbook sounds good - you'll have to let us know if you try it out. No, I made up the chicken recipe. I mixed 2T coconut oil, 1 T ginger paste, and 2T of cilantro paste, squished boneless skinless chicken thighs through it, then threw them in a frying pan til they were done. I added sea salt and pepper before eating. The sauce stayed on the chicken really well, I was afraid it would all slide off in the pan so I didn't move them around much while cooking.

                Tonight I cooked salmon in a little coconut oil, then wilted spinach in bacon grease with a little chopped thai basil and edible hibiscus. It was amazing. Most of my cooking is very, very simple but I wouldn't mind expanding the repertoire.

                I had to cook ahead because for the next 3 days I'll be at a seminar where the food options are horrendous conventional only. So there's more chicken, salmon, etc. in little containers in the fridge ready to go. I don't care if people think I'm a dork for bringing my meals, and who knows, it might make for interesting lunchtime conversation.
                Wren
                My Primal Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread57034.html

                "...since our orthodox theories have not saved us we may have to readjust them to bring them into harmony with Nature's laws. Nature must be obeyed, not orthodoxy." Weston A. Price

                Comment


                • #23
                  Originally posted by Wrenwood View Post
                  That italian cookbook sounds good - you'll have to let us know if you try it out. No, I made up the chicken recipe. I mixed 2T coconut oil, 1 T ginger paste, and 2T of cilantro paste, squished boneless skinless chicken thighs through it, then threw them in a frying pan til they were done. I added sea salt and pepper before eating. The sauce stayed on the chicken really well, I was afraid it would all slide off in the pan so I didn't move them around much while cooking.

                  Tonight I cooked salmon in a little coconut oil, then wilted spinach in bacon grease with a little chopped thai basil and edible hibiscus. It was amazing. Most of my cooking is very, very simple but I wouldn't mind expanding the repertoire.

                  I had to cook ahead because for the next 3 days I'll be at a seminar where the food options are horrendous conventional only. So there's more chicken, salmon, etc. in little containers in the fridge ready to go. I don't care if people think I'm a dork for bringing my meals, and who knows, it might make for interesting lunchtime conversation.
                  Wren
                  Thanks Wren. I will try your chicken recipe. I bet you would like the Marcella Hazen cookbook - actually I have two The Classic Italian Cookbook and More Classic Italian Cooking and use both equally. I've had them for twenty years. I like her recipes because most are very simple with only a few ingredients but turn out so much better than when I try throwing together things myself. And the majority work for Primal. Maybe one of these days I'll get up the courage to try such recipes as 'pork liver wrapped in caul fat'...but probably not any time soon. Anyway, enjoy your seminar. I'm sure your fellow participants will be eyeing your food jealously. You'll be the coolest kid in school!
                  My primal journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread63591.html

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Retreating from my meditation retreat

                    I'm leaving this Sunday for a seven day meditation retreat. Nevermind that at the moment I can't meditate for 10 minutes without wanting to chew my own leg off. I'm sure it will all be fine. I will either emerge more centered with better control over my mind...or with only one leg.

                    My friends almost without out exception have laughed when I told them I'm doing this - it is just so not me. The thing is when I signed up for this retreat I was desperate. Had been in a bad slump for months - lots of Japanese bed therapy, barely managing to keep up appearances with coworkers, etc. So my therapist (of course I have a therapist) took advantage my willingness to try just about anything and talked me into this mediation retreat. Actually she wanted me to go on a different retreat - one where they wake you up at 4:55 every morning and beat you with sticks if you squirm too much (just kidding about the sticks...I think). Anyway, we compromised. So on my retreat they wake you up at 7. And I think it's only around 5 hours of mediation instead of 8...I'm really screwed aren't I?

                    And that's not all of it. In addition to the meditation aspect of it, several other things freak me out. I will be sleeping in a tent (not happy-making but acceptable) with a stranger (barely acceptable) and the food will be almost entirely vegetarian (not acceptable!). My therapist, when I expressed my fears to her, said that I should just go with the flow and eat whatever is provided (at which point I started feeling panicked) and then she said that my current energy and sense of well-being have nothing to do with what I'm eating or not eating (at which point I started to cry). That it's all about what's going on my head, that and not drinking (at which point I got mad). She's always going on about the mind-body connection, but it looks like in her conception it's all mind-->body with no body--->mind. So I decided that in this instance I am not taking her advice.

                    I have now stockpiled:
                    • 6 100 gram dried sausages (free-range organic pork, salt & piment)
                    • 2 tins of albacore tuna (sustainably fished off the coast of Namibia by one guy it sounds like) packed in organic olive oil
                    • 2 tins of sardines (sustainably fished "by small local boats off the coast of Portugal") in organic lemon and olive oil
                    • 3 cans of wild salmon (sustainably fished "in the pristine water of Alaska") packed in brine
                    • 1 jar of organic coconut oil
                    • 7 servings of protein powder (whey from grass-fed Amish cows, ground vanilla pod, and stevia leaf)
                    • 1 100 gram bar of organic 85% dark chocolate

                    As you may have observed, stress brings out the obsessive control freak in me. Anyway, further suggestions of non-perishable sources of sustenance are welcome. I'm guessing they have the vegetables covered...and there's always my own leg to fall back on.
                    My primal journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread63591.html

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      I think you are very smart. And your therapist a) is pushing the vegan agenda and b) is woefully ignorant of the very real effects that the body can have on the mind.

                      In the same situation I would also bring a small shaker of sea salt. Can you have a care package shipped to yourself to arrive mid-week so you don't have to ration your protein?

                      Good luck!
                      My Primal Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread57034.html

                      "...since our orthodox theories have not saved us we may have to readjust them to bring them into harmony with Nature's laws. Nature must be obeyed, not orthodoxy." Weston A. Price

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Wrenwood, fabulous idea - the care package.

                        Thinking of you Escape! I wish I could go on a meditation retreat. I used to meditate regularly and I was so much better balanced for it, then I moved into my new apartment. You may think this odd, or me crazy, but it's haunted and I've had some really scary experiences when I try to meditate, so I don't anymore. I've tried the white light, I've tried smudging, but its an apartment, an old paper mill, and every time I think we've gotten rid of one thing something else pops in. We plan to move next summer and I totally plan on smudging and get my meditation on!

                        Good luck!

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          How was the retreat? Inquiring minds want to know!
                          Wren
                          My Primal Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread57034.html

                          "...since our orthodox theories have not saved us we may have to readjust them to bring them into harmony with Nature's laws. Nature must be obeyed, not orthodoxy." Weston A. Price

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Surviving meditation bootcamp

                            It's been nearly a month and a half since my last post, so this is going to be a two parter: Part I on surviving the whole meditation retreat thing, which I feel pretty proud of actually, and Part II on what happened after, which...well, not so much.

                            But first the good stuff, I spent a week meditating between five to eight hours per day without chewing my leg off! Yeah for me! And it was overall a very positive experience, perhaps not life altering - I suppose that remains to be seen - but positive.

                            So what is a meditation retreat like?
                            You arrive with your suitcase full of canned fish (see previous post), fearing you will find a bunch of new-age/neo-hippie types wearing tie-dye and Indian prints, who, after unwinding themselves from their perfect lotus positions, will sit around discussing chakras and auras and such like while they pick anaemically at their lentils. The reality: you find a bunch of people who are...not that different from you - trying to deal with their own issues, lead a better life, take refuge in something more meaningful than reruns of Law & Order. And yes, some of them may wear tie-dye and Indian prints, but it's OK. You're where you need to be.

                            Your schedule:
                            7:00 - 8:00 morning sitting
                            8:00 - 9:00 breakfast
                            9:30 - 11:30 more sitting
                            11:30 - 12:30 inspiring talk
                            12:30 - 1:30 lunch
                            1:30 - 3:00 chores/free time
                            3:00 - 7:00 yet more sitting, sometimes broken up by an inspiring talk
                            7:00 - 8:00 dinner
                            8:00 - 9:00 meetings in small groups with meditation instructor or even more sitting
                            11:00 lights out

                            You spend most of your time sitting. Sitting and sweating in a large tent with several hundred other people. You struggle to find ways to arrange your body so that the blood supply to your extremities is not cut off. You try to form a lotus position - you don't come even close. You try building towers of cushions - you get cramps in your legs trying not to topple over. You try tucking one leg under, then the other, crossing and uncrossing your ankles, placing cushions under yours knees - nothing works.

                            You are instructed to concentrate on your breathing, recognise your thoughts as they come into your mind, and then let them go. You recognise the thought "I'm hot and my foot's asleep", then you let it go. It comes back. Again and again and AGAIN. Or you drift off into a daydream involving an air-conditioned hotel room in Rio, a bottle of perfectly chilled champagne, and an exceedingly charming capoeira expert (things are just getting really good when they hit the gong for lunch). You think you're doing it wrong, that your mind is possibly broken and incapable of focus, but then you find out this is what happens to everyone and it's OK.

                            You sneak off during lunch (lentils again!) and hike to the river. The water is so cold it makes you gasp when you wade in. You swim in your underwear. You swim upstream against the current - feeling your muscles begin to loosen up after all the sitting. Then you float on your back, watching the clouds move across the sky, and let the current take you. When your hands are all pruney and your feet are starting to go numb, you climb out. You eat your lunch (canned fish, walnuts, maybe an apple) sitting on the bank. The sun dries everything very quickly. You're already putting back on your clothes by the time the first of your fellow meditators arrive at the edge of the trees. You collect wild blackberries on the way back to camp. They are small and somewhat sour and they make your fingers purple, but you eat them with relish.

                            You listen to the teachers skeptically at first - one is a reincarnated Tibetan Lama the other is a short Jewish guy from Brooklyn. The Lama says we need meditation because we are out of touch with ourselves, we are out of touch with our society, and we are out of touch with nature. He says when his father first came to the West from Tibet - fleeing the Chinese invasion - he was struck by how much Western people hate themselves (Tibetan people apparently don't hate themselves, they just hate the Chinese). He says you can meditate till the cows come home but unless you can believe that you are basically OK, that it won't do you much good. He says there is something inside of you that is still intact. This makes you cry.

                            You sleep in a tent - a largish tent with a bed and a set of shelves for your things, but still a tent. It reminds you of camp. Your roommate does not talk incessantly or snore and you are appropriately thankful. You sleep surprisingly well in your tent. It is cooler at night and you are surprisingly tired. By 10:30 you can barely keep your eyes open and many nights you turn off your flashlight before 10.

                            Some things you learn:
                            • Meditation hurts, particularly when practised for extended periods of time.
                            • Very few people can do a full lotus.
                            • When going on a meditation retreat, if you are at all vain or self-conscious, it is advisable to get a pedicure beforehand.
                            • Yoghurt with a dollop of tahini makes a surprisingly tasty breakfast.
                            • You can sit feeling uncomfortable or sad or downright miserable and not die.
                            • If you even think about anything itchy (chiggers, poison ivy, mosquito bites), you will start to itch.
                            • If you don't scratch an itch, it will go away by itself.
                            • Sitting in silence with other people is oddly comforting.


                            By the end of the week, you are almost (but not quite) sad to leave. Sitting is getting easier. Your meditation instructor, whom you are a little bit in love with despite the fact that she's a woman and dresses exclusively in Indian prints, helps you adjust your posture so that you do not get cramps or pins and needles or at least you do not get them as often. You have moments, particularly in the morning when it is cool and you're not quite awake, when your mind does not zing around like a junebug on a string. You have moments, just a few, when you feel calm and centered and like you are OK.
                            My primal journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread63591.html

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                            • #29
                              Thanks for sharing your story. I've really enjoyed reading it.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Addo View Post
                                Thanks for sharing your story. I've really enjoyed reading it.
                                Thanks Addo! I appreciate your post. And welcome by the way. Do you have a journal?
                                My primal journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread63591.html

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