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Doing Grok in Afghanistan, where the real Cavemen live!

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  • Doing Grok in Afghanistan, where the real Cavemen live!

    Hello, and thanks for reading my blog.

    It's my hope that by doing this blog that I will inspire myself to keep going along the PB path, as I did before. My name's Jesse, and I frequent the Nutrition forum quite often. In 2010 I did PB for four months and lost 44 lbs. I looked better, felt better, and firmly believed that I was living better. When I graduated from school, I moved to Saudi Arabia and lost the path in mountains of rice, bread, and bad oils. I now hope to find the path again here in Afghanistan, where doing PB is actually quite doable.

    Here's my stats: I'm 27 years old, 5 feet 11 1/2 inches tall, 238 lbs, and have a waste size of about 41-42 inches. Most of my weight is concentrated in my midsection and lower body areas. I feel like crap, have little energy, and feel lethargic from time to time. I painstakingly want to feel that energy rush again that I remember after about two weeks of doing this lifestyle back in 2010.

    I currently teach English at the American University of Afghanistan and have been here for about two months. Finding local sources of food here is pretty easy and I believe that the beef I am buying is grass fed. I have access to a cheap brand of coconut oil, and currently use a brand of butter from Denmark as my local fat sources, other than meat. I also use EVOO, which recently passed the fridge test. I'm hoping it's the real deal.

    Going Primal in Afghanistan is pretty cheap, I believe. I bought 2 kg of meat for 12 dollars and 2 kgs of bones for 4 bucks. I also eat chicken breasts which are a bit pricey here. The vegetables at the local stands are quite cheap and surprisingly, the variety is quite good.

    Today is my first day back on Primal.

    Breakfast: 6 eggs cooked in coconut oil (2 Tbsp)

    Lunch: A dark 60% chocolate Lindt candy bar... I know, I know....... I splurged and fell off the wagon on the first day.

    1 can of baby clams cooked in butter with 3 cloves of garlic.

    For dinner, I'm going to try to do something with canned salmon, perhaps a salad of sorts.

    My major concerns aren't so much with being able to do the food part of the PB, it's the exercising. Due to the security situation I am stuck in my house and cannot leave unless it's in a car or a taxi. To my advantage, there is an elliptical machine and a weight machine that I can use in my house. At my job there is also a small gym with basic equipment for me to utilize when I want. As far as daily walking is concerned, I don't get much at all. I'm not kidding when I say that I don't think I do even 1000 steps per day.

    So that's it. I'm going to post my thoughts and food journal here daily, I hope. If you'd like to follow along and encourage me on my way, that'd be wonderful!

    Thanks for reading.

    - Jesse

  • #2
    Here are my beginning photos that I just took, very unflattering.

    Pictures by afsjesse - Photobucket


    • #3
      Tonight's dinner: Salmon, Spinach salad

      Food Name
      Fat (g)
      Carbs (g)

      Beets, raw


      Spinach, raw


      Radish, raw


      Salmon, canned


      Olive oil




      • #4
        Hi Jesse,

        First, download the PB Fitness -- there's probably a link from "Start here" -- if you don't already have it. You can do a lot with the five essential movements and bodyweight exercises.

        Second, there are a bunch of other sites. Exercise is my weak area but try searching on "bodyweight exercise" or "convict conditioning" and don't forget YouTube.

        The great thing about a place like Afghanistan is that you can really improvise!

        Hope you enjoy AUAF, good luck!
        "If man made it, don't eat it." ..Jack LaLanne
        "It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are.
        If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong." ..Richard Feynman

        beachrat's new primal journal


        • #5
          Sounds like a great adventure!

          Squats, deadlift, pushups, pullups. Variations of each. You'll need a few barbells or dumbells, or some kind of heavy substitute - 5 gallon water bottles maybe. Not more than one time per week on each body part.

          Go easy on the cardio - short sessions at high intensity, long duration at low intensity.

          It's cool that you've identified some good sources of primal foods.. That could be fun. One thing the "third world" has going for it is many places have much less processed food.


          • #6
            Dude, Afghan food (at least as I've tried it in the States) is amazing: sort of like Indian spices, but everything gets grilled. Any way you can learn from locals how they cook? Would be an irreplaceable wisdom to learn traditional methods of cooking. Don't be so straightjacketed by PB that you can't learn now, and adapt recipes later.


            • #7
              Good morning to everyone! The Primal journey continues on day 2 of my lifestyle change. It's a beautiful morning in Kabul and the mountains are fairly visible this morning. Normally, it's like looking through pea soup to get a good vista of them. Today's breakfast included a lovely array of vegetables, eggs, and bone broth that I made yesterday.

              Breakfast: 5 medium sized eggs, cooked in 1 TBSP of coconut oil. 2 scallions, a handful of spinach, two handfuls of radish greens cooked in about 2 TBSP of coconut oil. 1 bowl of bone broth.

              The broth doesn't taste too good. I'm low on herbs and thus I only added pepper to it. But, I'm assuming that all of those good nutrients and minerals are still present!!!!

              Here's to a happy day and I've included a picture of the top patio of my house where I live in Kabul, Afghanistan! May it give you a slightly peaceful perspective of the wonderful people and landscape that exist here.


              Last edited by afsjesse; 08-17-2012, 07:43 PM.


              • #8
                Lunch today: Primal Chile (Small can of no salt added tomato sauce, 1/2 onion, 3 cloves of garlic, 1 lb of ground beef, pepper, chile powder, cumin, salt) and Raw vegetables with EVOO (broccoli and cauliflower florets).

                Happy day!



                • #9
                  Tonight's dinner consisted of 2 boiled chicken breasts topped with Tabasco sauce and black pepper, accompanied by one cup of local Afghan radishes, a cucumber, and one sliced red beet with a side of EVOO.

                  It was pretty good and definitely filling.



                  • #10
                    I love your journal! Please keep it up, it is a really different perspective on PB and the pictures are great. Of all the pictures I have seen of Afghanistan, yours is the only one that makes it look beautiful. And you reminded me that I have some scallions that need to get used in my eggs this morning.
                    My Primal Journal:

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


                    • #11
                      Thanks for the kind words, Siobhan! I hope to continue with the pictures, but after awhile they will probably get repetitive as I cook the same things over and over. I can't cook many things, and I'm content with the limited dishes that I make, but I do try to diversity in the vegetable department.

                      Afghanistan is a very unique place to live and work. I find living here very boring at the moment, however the job that I have is great and the people I deal with are quite nice. Now if only I could speak some Dari-Farsi, I'd be set! Good night to all!


                      • #12
                        Good morning!

                        Today's breakfast is pretty much the same as yesterday. I tend to keep breakfast the same until I get bored with the same dish. So that means I ate 5 eggs, with a bit of white onion and 1 clove of garlic cooked in butter. They were accompanied by a small bowl of bone broth and cooked radish and spinach greens in some coconut oil. Everything was topped off with salt and pepper.

                        Have a good day!



                        • #13
                          Hello again!

                          Lunch today consisted of two marinated chicken breasts baked in the over, accompanied with a cucumber and a few good radishes.

                          Dinner, which I'm eating now, consists of one pound of ground beef cooked with white onion, ginger, a can of coconut milk, curry powder, green scallions, and salt & pepper. It is served over a bed of paleo (cauliflower) rice. It's delicious!

                          I'm really motivated with this kind of eating and hope to stay with it perfectly for at least one month. When I go out with locals, it's all rice and who knows what kind of oils. Trying to keep focused on my overall goal of looking good on the beaches of Thailand come December!!!

                          Thanks for reading and for the kind comments.



                          • #14
                            That looks great, I need to try that to keep my Whole30 interesting! So I guess coconut milk is easy to get there?
                            My Primal Journal:

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


                            • #15

                              Where do you get your eggs from? I recommend against getting the typical "white" eggs because those are factory eggs and very low quality. If you can, go to butcher street and get "tukhme khaanagi" ("house eggs" - locally produced) from the old man with two little boys. They tend to be brown and sell for 10 Afs each and the yolks are much more yellow/orange than the factory eggs. The guy's shop is a tiny little place and he also sells goat milk, fresh cream, and cheese.