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

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  • #61
    [*]My mayonnaise - had congratulated myself pre-Primal on finding organic mayo with no sugar added. Dismayed to read that it is 78% sunflower oil! Have been looking for an alternative with olive oil but still without sugar. No luck thus far.[*]Tzatziki from the fancy "Whole Foods"-like grocery store - another pre-Primal find, or so I thought. Only a handful of ingredients, all of them real, recognizable foods. Makes a great dip for veggies. BUT first ingredient, yep, sunflower oil. Such a bummer.

    Yay, good news, mayonnaise and tzatziki are easy to make and you can make then from 100% whole ingredients.

    Mayo is basically just olive oil and a whole egg with a bit of lemon juice and possibly some salt. Don't believe the hype it is ridiculously easy to make. Use a hand held blender thing (i use a bamix)

    Tzatziki is easier than mayo, just grate a cucumber (or two), grind some salt over it and let it sit, then squeeze the juice out with your hands. Put that in a cup of greek yoghurt and boom! that's (delicious indian side dish) Raita. Add some lemon juice, garlic, pepper and parsley and you have Tzatziki.
    Starting waist measurement: 36". Current 35". First Goal 33".
    Starting backsquat: 50lbs. Current squat: 132lbs.


    • #62
      Originally posted by zoeamy View Post
      Yay, good news, mayonnaise and tzatziki are easy to make and you can make then from 100% whole ingredients.
      Thanks for the tips Zoeamy! I will definitely give it a go - maybe even the tzatziki this week - still have some goat/sheep's milk yoghurt left over from the farmer's market plus a surplus of broccoli that would be so much tastier with a tzatziki dip. Now all I need is a cucumber.
      My primal journal:


      • #63
        My big-ass salad is bad-ass!

        Through various miscommunications and procrastinations (amazingly not mine this time), I ended up having to work until 11 last night. Working late is never fun, but I was extra annoyed this time because I was looking forward to writing my post for the day (was quite proud of myself) and it kind of scuttled my going to bed earlier strategy. Oh well! I'm letting myself write a lunch time post to make up for it - the post I would have written yesterday.

        So good progress to report on both my goals. Sunday night I queued up a Podcast (I like the New Yorker fiction podcast for bedtime - sort of like having someone read you to sleep), which yes does involve my laptop, but I turned the screen to black. Turned off the light around 11:30 and fell asleep shortly thereafter. Big improvement from 1:30. (Last night again went with a podcast to unwind, but because I was getting a later start - didn't settle down to sleep until 12:15 or so. Still an improvement.)

        As far as my other goal goes, just check out the vegetable porn below
        The raw ingredients (really raw!):

        The end result:

        Last night's BAS included:
        1. red and green lettuce
        2. swiss chard - Vitamin K
        3. purslane - Omega-3!
        4. broccoli - sulphur
        5. tomatoes - lycopene, although not as bioavailable as if I'd roasted them first
        6. purple carrots - anthocyanins and carotenoids, plus they look really cool
        7. yellow, red and green bells for Vitamins C, A and B6
        8. mini orange peppers (sweet) - presumably same as above
        9. marinated artichoke hearts with capers (olive oil packed!) from the local deli

        • pumpkin seeds (dried, not roasted) - only around a tablespoon - high magnesium which is supposed to help with muscle relaxation and sleep
        • bacon crumbles - bacon makes everything better
        • roast beef (organic)
        • homemade vinaigrette (olive oil, balsamic vinegar, mustard, basil, parsley, salt pepper)

        Nine different kinds of vegetables in one meal! I'm kicking this goal's ass!

        Monday's feed:
        B goat's milk latte, 3 egg frittata w/ green bell pepper, onion, tomato and bacon cooked in ghee
        L small leftover hamburger patty with harissa
        D BAS (see above)

        Monday observations:
        • Energy - good!
        • Mood - good (except being pissed at my colleague who forced me to work late by handing over his paper so damn late!)
        • Digestive health - SM
        • Sinus - left still stuffed Sunday night, nose a bit runny (same as always)
        • Stiffness - not stiff when I got up, feeling the knees a bit though
        • Skin - still dry
        • Sleep - longer but did wake up numerous times from around 5AM on - maybe just adjusting to earlier bedtime
        Last edited by TheEscapeArtist; 04-09-2013, 04:59 AM.
        My primal journal:


        • #64
          Take cherry tomatoes or radishes and rucola for the salad. No cutting and not frozen . And you can shred lettuce with your hands
          Last edited by paleodutch; 04-10-2013, 01:46 AM.


          • #65
            Today's feed
            B goat's milk latte, 3 egg omelette with goats cheese, spinach and bacon (wilted two big handfuls of spinach in the bacon grease)
            L/S dried pork sausage
            D BAS - same as yesterday except added avocado and used chicken instead of roast beef (still working my way through my crockpot chicken) a sprinkling of walnuts and almonds instead of pumpkin seeds

            • Energy - maybe even better than yesterday - finally decided to deal with my 'filing system' - a large shopping bag into which I have been dumping receipts willy-nilly (probably several thousands worth of reimbursable expenses in there!) and no Japanese bed therapy
            • Mood - good - despite transferring a third of what was in my account to the government this morning. A little stressy since I'm behind on so many things, but trying to prioritise health and things that are really weighing on me like filing my VAT tax for the quarter and my income tax (ugh!).
            • Digestive health - SM (still not satisfactory)
            • Sinus - definitely less stuffy Monday night, nose still a bit runny (maybe should start tracking how many tissues I use per day
            • Stiffness - not noticeably stiff but now back hurts from bending over tiny scraps of paper much of the day
            • Skin - still dry
            • Sleep - slept better, finding it easier to get out of bed these days
            Last edited by TheEscapeArtist; 04-09-2013, 11:06 PM. Reason: correcting food journal
            My primal journal:


            • #66
              Today's feed
              B goat's milk latte, 3 egg omelette w/ rosemary goats cheese and broccoli
              L BAS w/ smoked salmon, avocado, red and yellow peppers, and tomatoes & homemade asparagus & spinach soup
              D Primal Texas chili (adapted the recipe and instead of going stove top, cooked it for 8 hours in my trusty slow-cooker) w/ avocado, tomatoes and a dollop of goat/sheep's milk yoghurt in place of sour cream - highly recommended!

              Mr. Clean was ill, so I did not go to the gym. I wish I were the sort of person who would go anyway - maybe one day I will be...but not today. I did walk for around an hour altogether. And I lifted at least one heavy thing - see below.

              • Energy - good
              • Mood - good but dipping towards the afternoon. Was feeling bad about myself for not getting more work done. Ate my chili in bed while watching Nashville (my new favorite TV show). Then went to my friend's place to help him return a countertop to IKEA - the same 65lb countertop we had hauled up two flights of nearly vertical stairs just the week before. Apparently it was the wrong size. The good news is the new countertop was much smaller and lighter - still can this count as my workout for the day? We did have to get the old one down the stairs.
              • Digestive health - yeah!
              • Sinus - sinuses pretty clear at night, but still reaching pretty often for tissues during the day
              • Stiffness - maybe I can stop tracking this; seems like such a non issue now, but a few weeks ago I was hobbling around like a little old lady when I first got up
              • Skin - still dry
              • Hunger - this is a new parameter I slipped into the list. Today is the first day since I gave up sugar and grains (AGAIN!), that I've felt any significant cravings. So the first time in 11 days. I was in IKEA and I badly wanted to buy a pallet of Swedish gingersnaps and eat them all! At once! Was also eyeing those giant bars of chocolate. Was it simply IKEA stress or something more?
              • Sleep - fell asleep around 11:30; still waking up several times in the night. Of course now I am 15 minutes behind on my laptop off by 10PM rule, so enough for now.
              Last edited by TheEscapeArtist; 04-10-2013, 01:24 PM.
              My primal journal:


              • #67
                Things started out OK. I went to bed by 11:30 last night, got up at 7 this morning and intended to work (working at home this week) and I just couldn't do it. Couldn't get going. I'm so far behind at this point on everything that there is no way I will make my deadlines. So what do I do instead of getting something done? I get back into bed and watch TV all day - thus making my situation even worse. At least I haven't binged on anything but bad TV...unless you count the two dates I just ate. Had intended them for a spinach salad, but then decided to leave out the spinach. I wasn't going to post, but then I thought probably particularly important that I post now - when I'm feeling rotten.

                Today's feed
                B Goat's milk latte, 3 egg omelette w/ bacon and spinach
                L BAS w/ just about every vegetable in the fridge (probably got one serving left of all those veggies I chopped up) + chicken and homemade vinaigrette
                D Roasted lamb + 2 dates (I wanted cookies)

                Energy - started out OK, but then...
                Mood - pretty rotten - beating myself up for not getting my work done, for not getting anything done
                Digestive health - not quite back to normal
                Sinus - a tiny bit stuffy last night, three tissue day (maybe a bit less than usual)
                Stiffness - still not stiff when I got up, still feeling the knees during the day
                Skin - still dry
                Sleep - OK - I think; did wake up a few times
                My primal journal:


                • #68
                  How a workout can turn everything around

                  Amazing how you can go from feeling hopeless/helpless one day and well...pretty OK the next, with little or no change in outward circumstances. I was half hoping that Mr. Clean would still be recovering and would cancel our session this morning. Fortunately he was fine and I talked myself off the ledge and into gym and I lifted some pretty heavy things and I felt strong and capable and like I could get sh*t done again. Nothing like lifting a big barbell over your head to make you feel like a badass. Also watching the guy who came after me try and fail to lift the barbell I'd just done 2 sets of 8 deadlifts with - that was pretty fun too.

                  Top 3 reasons I like lifting heaving things:
                  1) Finding out I can do things I didn't think I could - there is something very powerful about this that extends well beyond the gym. Like today when Mr. Clean really stacked the weights on, that first lift felt really hard and I thought uh-oh, I don't know if I can do this. But then I did - exceeding my own and even Mr. Clean's expectations.
                  2) Feeling strong - again important on so many levels. I've never been happy with my body, even when I was relatively thin (read starving myself), I preferred not to thinking about myself from the neck down. Let's just pretend I'm a large walking brain why don't we? Anyway, being able to lift heavy things makes me actually proud of my body - at what it can do, and the power in it.
                  3) Boosting my brain chemistry - LHT elevates serotonin, endorphins but also my buddies dopamine and norepinephrine (not for nothing - the only anti-depressant that worked for me acted on dopamine and norepinephrine; Zoloft and Prozac both left me incapable of getting out of bed - I didn't feel depressed; I just didn't feel like getting out of bed).

                  Today's feed
                  B (post-workout) goat's milk latte, goat & sheep's milk yoghurt with blueberries
                  L 3 egg omelette w/ mixed mushrooms sautéed in ghee, wilted spinach and goat's cheese
                  S dried pork sausage (eaten on the move)
                  D BAS with roast beef, broccoli, mixed peppers, cherry tomatoes, purple carrots, tiny little black olives w/ garlic, 1.5 T. of pumpkin seeds, balsamic vinaigrette and just to add a bit more interest - some living sprouts that I harvested myself from their little cardboard container. I've now emptied all my veggie containers - just in time to restock at the farmer's market tomorrow.

                  20 reps of "the dead bug" w/ a resistance band - sort of like a flying dog but lying on your back
                  2 sets of 15 swings w/ 20kg kettle bell
                  2 sets of 15 swings w/ 24kg kettle bell
                  1 set of 10 high pulls w/ 30kg barbell, 1 set w/ 2 12kg kettlebells
                  2 sets of 8 power cleans w/ a push press w/ 30kg bar
                  2 sets of 8 deadlifts w/ 90kg but elevated to about mid-calf height, doubt I could have done that many if it were from the floor
                  2 sets of 10 goblet squats w/ 20kg and then 24kg kettle bell
                  Plus I walked to and from the gym and back a long meandering route from therapy - probably walked 3 hours all together today and I don't feel particularly tired.

                  Energy - high and stayed high
                  Mood - good, despite being in the same dire work situation
                  Digestive health - getting there
                  Sinus - fairly clear last night, only a couple of tissues today
                  Stiffness - still not stiff when I got up, still feeling the knees, especially with all that walking
                  Skin - still dry
                  Sleep - woke up around 3AM and when couldn't go back to sleep ate a few olives - was having that low blood-sugar feeling
                  My primal journal:


                  • #69
                    So Sunday, in my ideal world it should be a day of rest, reflection and goal setting for the coming week.

                    Reflection - a bit boring
                    On the plus side, little doubt that I made progress on my goals - I ate lots and lots of veggies. It's a wonder I haven't gotten sprouts growing out of my ears. And my energy has improved quite a bit. Helped a friend hunt for a dress Saturday afternoon - after three stores she said 'where are you getting all this energy?! It's disgusting!'

                    Also did pretty well on the sleep goal - would like to move my bedtime even earlier - like to 10:30, but can keep working on it this week. In general I think I need to work on structure.

                    On the minus side, two retreats to Japanese bed therapy Thursday and today. Feel overwhelmingly tired and unmotivated. Both days was pushing myself to get work done and stressing about how far behind I am in everything. Have been eating more or less the same stuff everyday, so I don't think it's food related. I will say workout on Friday really helped pull me out of it and it could be that missing a workout on Wednesday contributed to Thursday's poop out. Even possible that some of the energy gains my first week after quitting sugar and grains was due to also getting back to the gym. This is the problem with making more than one change at a time. On the other hand, I pretty much know sugar and grains are not my friend and that exercise is - not like I need to prove that to myself. Dairy on the other hand. I'm still holding on. Figured I give it 21 days...also don't think I can handle giving anything else up at the moment.

                    Goal setting - even more boring
                    So I'm going to continue to strengthen my progress from this past week - upping lights out to 10:30 and maintaining impressive veggie consumption. Guess I better go cut up some vegetables!

                    Saturday's feed
                    B goat's milk latte, 3 egg omelette w/ bacon, spinach and goats cheese
                    L BAS w/ the yellow and red bell pepper, tomatoes, black olives w/ garlic, roast beef and homemade vinaigrette
                    D Duck leg w/ roasted asparagus, tomatoes and black olives, raw chocolate tart from the farmer's market - no grains, no sugar (nut crust and sweetened w/ dates)

                    ~3 hours of walking

                    Energy - good; basically same amount of activity as last Saturday, but wasn't completely wasted after
                    Mood - good...mostly
                    Digestive health -
                    Sinus - still feel a little congestion at night but only a couple of tissues during the day
                    Stiffness - not stiff in the morning, but after walking all day and then sitting for awhile - ouch!
                    Skin - still dry
                    Sleep - went to sleep around 11:30, I don't think I woke up during the night

                    Sunday's feed
                    B goat's milk latte, 3 egg omelette, bacon, mushrooms & spinach (finished off a 300 gram bag in the past 8 days; it was the size of a throw pillow!)
                    L Greek meatza - ground meat and egg crust w/ red onion, kalamata olives and feta w/ the addition of red and yellow bell pepper
                    D tapas style - pork sausage, walnuts, and tuna stuffed peppers (small sweet ones)

                    1 hour of rowing - getting the technique a bit better so more of a real workout - instructor kept saying "Quit using your arms! You're not the Incredible Hulk!" "Just don't make me mad," I said. Actually looked up from my oar to take in some of the scenery this time. Some walking and throwing the ball for my dog.

                    Energy - started pretty good; after rowing took dog to the park for an hour or so; came home; made meatza; then got into bed (~3PM) and caught up on my TV viewing instead of working on my taxes
                    Mood - good--->guilty
                    Digestive health -
                    Sinus - still feel a little congestion at night but only a couple of tissues during the day
                    Stiffness - not stiff in the morning
                    Skin - still dry
                    Sleep - went to sleep around 11:30, slept through the night
                    My primal journal:


                    • #70
                      Today's feed
                      B goat's milk latte, 3 egg scramble w/ bacon, avocado, tomato and tomatillo salsa
                      L BAS w/ leftover lamb, mixed lettuce, swiss chard, purple carrots, red cabbage, tomatoes, yellow bell pepper, radishes, black olives, mushrooms, homemade vinaigrette
                      S walnuts, tuna stuffed peppers, dried pork sausage
                      D leftover meatza

                      1+ hours walking

                      Energy -
                      Mood -
                      Digestive health -
                      Sinus - :|
                      Stiffness - :|
                      Skin -
                      Sleep - woke up around 3 am
                      My primal journal:


                      • #71
                        Tuesday's feed
                        I bit late to be reconstructing now, but I think it was:
                        B goat's milk latte, 3 egg scramble w/ half an avocado, tomato and green tomatillo salsa
                        L BAS w/ bell peppers, tomato, red cabbage, radishes, mushroom, smoked salmon
                        D walnuts, pork sausage and I partially gave into a craving and got some sugar-free dark chocolate which I ate melted w/ my goat/sheep yoghurt. Tasted really delicious at the time, but then I felt sick and bloated for a long time. Note to self: It's not worth it!

                        Wednesday's feed
                        B (pre-workout) goat's milk latte
                        B (post workout) blueberries w/ sheep/goat's milk yoghurt
                        L 3 egg omelette w/ spinach and chorizo
                        D small sweet potato w/ butter, and paleo pancakes w/ raspberries

                        Wednesday workout
                        Mr. Clean's metabolic catastrophe workout - 30 minutes of intervals: 40 seconds of as many reps as possible and then 20 sec recovery. Did deadlifts (40kg/88lbs); chest presses w/ 14kg dumbells; rows w/ the TRX; ball slams; lots of kettle bell work: weighted squats, swings, walking lunges, cleans, overhead presses, more rows. Afterwards I actually had to go lie down in the locker room before I had enough energy to leave. I made it home, got into bed with all my workout clothes still on (I did manage to take off my shoes) and slept for two hours. So I guess I'm not quite fat adapted. Ate fruit and a sweet potato and paleo pancakes in the hopes of feeling better...not sure it really helped.

                        Today's feed
                        B goat's milk latte, 3 egg omelette w/ 2 slices of bacon, spinach, goat's cheese
                        L BAS w/ purslane, swiss chard, purple carrots, bell peppers, purple cabbage, radishes, mushrooms, artichoke hearts, beets, broccoli sprouts, roast beef, homemade vinaigrette
                        S walnuts
                        D pork bratwurst and sauerkraut

                        45+ min walking

                        So energy and mood have not been great this week - I think it's mostly stress. I have a lot of work to catch up on and the more I try to push myself, the more overwhelmed I feel and the less energy I have. Guilt takes a ton of energy; if only it burned calories too! Have been having some cravings, which I've mostly managed to avoid giving into. I did buy a package of walnuts this week - usually I can keep walnuts without abusing...not so at the moment.
                        Energy - :|
                        Mood - :|
                        Digestive health -
                        Sinus - :|
                        Stiffness - :|
                        Skin - :|
                        Sleep - woke up around 5 am
                        My primal journal:


                        • #72
                          Shaky, white-knuckled and scared but back on the primal wagon

                          My last post was over three years ago - April 2013. It wasn't like I suddenly fell off the wagon at that point - I think I just convinced myself that I was doing so well I didn't need to post anymore. And I was doing well - for nearly a year, but then I began what was to become a slow slide off the wagon until I found myself on my ass in the dirt with no real recollection of how I got there and the wagon not even a dot on the distant horizon. Basically I'm back where I was when I wrote my first post - barely able to summon up the energy to get out of bed in the morning and feeling like I can't bear to live this way anymore. The debilitating depression, the addiction to booze and baked goods, the guilt and shame of not being OK, of not being able to function normally.

                          I've been trying to climb back on the primal wagon for several months, but it always seemed just too hard. I'd tell myself that l'd start on the weekend or on Tuesday (because weekends are hard and Mondays suck) or on the first of the month, but then that day would roll around and I just couldn't do it. I did start reading Mark's Daily Apple again and finally, after reading every single one of the success stories in the depression and mental health section (thank you, people who shared your stories), I managed to white-knuckle it: this is day 3 of no alcohol, no grains or processed food and only a smattering of dairy.

                          Today I reread my entire journal and the hopeful message that I took away from it was that this way of eating (and living) does work for me - if I can stick with it. After an amazingly short time, I will feel better - the depression will lift, I'll have more energy, the cravings will abate. The thing that scares me is despite that knowledge, I fell off the wagon not just once, but many times. And each time it seemed like climbing back on was harder. I'm terrified of falling/failing again. And right now I still feel like sh*t. But I'm here posting. And although I haven't gotten it together yet to shower or brush my teeth today, I did manage to get out of bed and to feed myself appropriately thanks to a stockpile of frozen primal breakfast "muffins" (basically eggs, spinach and ground beef). So progress.
                          My primal journal:


                          • #73
                            Welcome back, lassie.
                            I like badgers, books and booze, more or less in that order.


                            • #74
                              I hear you about the tries and fails. I haven't managed to get back on perfectly but do minimize the bad stuff.

                              Best wishes for a healthy life.
                              Female back to the basics: 5-2017
                              CW: 2017: 150
                              GW: 130 a dream, I know
                              Muscle soreness surrounding Neck, Thyroid and Rosacea issues.


                              • #75
                                Originally posted by badgergirl View Post
                                Welcome back, lassie.
                                Thanks, badgergirl. Very happy to see you here! I remember you from three years back. I admire your staying power. What's your secret?
                                My primal journal: