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Primal Primate's Journey to find his inner Grok

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  • You take the blue pill, the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill, you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes...

    At the end of the day I find myself looking back on my weekend wondering why it went so damn fast! I am feeling good about being back Primal and also that I am starting to see results - the belt hole was small but still it helps remind me that this is how I should be eating and although I have not fully wrapped my mind around this lifestyle - I have to be honest some of it seems pretty counterintuitive to the CW I was brought up with - I am learning to trust how my body feels and the results I see more and the so called experts a little less.

    I find I am asking more questions now and when something doesn't make sense I am able to not blindly follow it just because someone said so. I also find I am doing more of the dirty work for myself - wading into the research out there and making my own judgements from the information at hand. I do still worry that this might be flawed that I could be totally crazy and following the wrong path like a lot of people seem to think. I can deny it all I want but in the back of my mind there is still that nagging voice asking "what if on my next physical the blood work will come back and your cholesterol will be high or something will not be right due to eating in a fashion that seems so opposite to what is accepted as healthy?" That voice is there and maybe it will always be there, after all 34 years of CW is a lot of brainwashing to overcome, but I also find I am leaning more to eating veggies and meat - as natural as possible - so the fat I do eat is not as bad as it was before and therefore I have to be in a healthier state than I was.

    When I consider how I eat compared to CW it seems to me that my meals and my overall diet is way healthier - I have more or less cut out grains - there are a few occasions when I still eat them but few and far between and usually they lead to bloating and general discomfort. I have cut out about 90% of the processed garbage I once ate and I have upped the level of veggies and protein I eat - how can this be bad?

    Most of my meats are lean as I eat and prefer wild game to livestock and would take wild foul and fish over farmed any day of the week. This is the time I usually have my break from primal - this is the point, I think, of no return where I make a stand and truly commit to this lifestyle or I turn my back and go back to CW - which has never ever worked for me in the past. I guess time will tell. I do know however that I have never felt this good and that the weight is coming off again so maybe I should stick with this just a little while longer - like the rest of my life... I'll take the red pill please!

    Down the path I go...
    “There are only two options regarding commitment, You’re either in or your out. There’s no such thing as life in between.” – Anonymous

    "Das Beste oder nichts" - Gottlieb Wilhelm Daimler

    Comment


    • Early morning Kitchen Experiment: Skillet Sweet Potato, Sausage, and Spinach Hash... with a modification or two

      In a quest to find breakfast foods that do not contain eggs (I want to shake it up a bit and my better half has requested we cut back on the eggs - she is not fully primal yet and still buys into some of the CW rhetoric) I decided to try something new in our kitchen this morning and surprisingly it was pretty damn tasty!

      While cruising through blogs yesterday I started to do something that I have never done before - I started to collect recipes. This creation was one of the first I looked at and judging by the pictures on the blog it looked delicious. Still sweet potato, apple, onion, sausage and spinach all mashed together and warmed - do these flavors really mesh or are they like Lyle Lovett and Julia Roberts - just not right for each other?

      Surprisingly the meal was fantastic and even better took almost no time to cook! I did make a couple slight modifications to the recipes as it stood but all in all it was very tasty and I look forward to having it again. My two small modifications were to add seasoned ground pork in place of the sausage - As I was shopping at a conventional grocery store there was little chance I would be able to find a commercially produced chicken or pork sausage that did not include some form of wheat as a binding agent and any number of chemicals and preservatives that I can not pronounce. So instead of the sausage I bought 100% ground pork and last night prepped it by seasoning it with Italian spices. The other modification (or maybe it isn't) was using a granny smith apple - as the recipe does not say what apple to specifically use I figured the tartness of the granny smith would pair well with the sweetness from the sweet potato - the favor combo was a perfect knock out.

      As my kitchen skills really are like those of a caveman I opted to prep the sweet potato and sweet yellow onion last night. In all the dicing of the sweet potato and onion and the seasoning and mixing of the pork only took about 25 minutes. So this morning I was able to stay on track and make breakfast in less than 20 minutes.

      For anyone interested here is the recipe I followed:

      Skillet Sweet Potato, Sausage, and Spinach Hash
      2 small to medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced (or one large)
      1 apple, peeled cored and diced
      2 tablespoon coconut oil, divided
      1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, optional
      2 Mild Italian chicken sausages, removed from casing
      2 to 3 large cups of baby spinach
      1/3 cup sweet yellow onion, diced
      salt and pepper to taste

      Instructions:

      In a large nonstick skillet heat 1 tablespoon coconut oil over medium-high heat. Once heated, add diced sweet potatoes and apples. Add a pinch or two of sea salt and cinnamon to the pan. Cook sweet potatoes and apples until cooked and softened and slightly brown.

      While the sweet potatoes are cooking, heat a large skillet with 1 tablespoon coconut oil over medium heat. Add to skillet the chicken (or pork) sausage and onion making sure to break the sausage up in small pieces while it cooks.

      Once the chicken is no longer pink in color and completely cooked add spinach to the skillet. Don’t worry the spinach will wilt down when cooked. The spinach should wilt down within 1 to 2 minutes.

      Once spinach is cooked add the sweet potato apple mixture to pan and stir to combine all.

      Serve warm and with a side of choice.


      Tasty and filling - that's a good breakfast right there!

      Looks like the start of a beautiful day!

      Grok on fellow cave dwellers!
      “There are only two options regarding commitment, You’re either in or your out. There’s no such thing as life in between.” – Anonymous

      "Das Beste oder nichts" - Gottlieb Wilhelm Daimler

      Comment


      • Another day in the books!

        Another day down and I am feeling pretty good so far. Looking forward to a nice night out with my better half and then some rest and relaxation before the craziness of tomorrow sets in. Why can't all days be like this?

        Grok on!
        “There are only two options regarding commitment, You’re either in or your out. There’s no such thing as life in between.” – Anonymous

        "Das Beste oder nichts" - Gottlieb Wilhelm Daimler

        Comment


        • All System in the green - we have blastoff!

          Last night I went through and re-read my journal. What I gained from this is that this journey, this reinvention of my habits, lifestyle and eating practices has been filled with roller coaster highs and lows. I have made a lot of mistakes along the way and I have learned a lot about myself and my addiction to food. The high point is easy to see - losing 40lbs and being able to enjoy shopping because some of what is in style actually started to come in my size again and the low point is also easy to see - the last falling off of the wagon where I not only put all the weight back on but also added some extra for good measure. Being the heaviest I have ever been and tipping the scale over the 300lbs point really beat the sh*t out of my esteem. It forced me to realize what I am doing is not working and also that I am no longer a jock or even a weekend athlete. Somewhere between my youth and now I got fat, I'm overweight and until recently was living a very unhealthy lifestyle. This was my motivation to get back on track and continues to be my motivation when I am tired and don't want to workout or prep the proper meals. This morning I had confirmation that getting back on track is working. Although a couple of days ago I had to cinch the belt a little tighter and I noticed more room in the waistline of my pants, today I stepped on the scale just to see where I am at. I wasn't surprised to see the weight was down from my all time high (about 315 lbs) but I was very surprised to see it crack the 300 lbs barrier and put me back on the side I want to be on - the number staring back at me 299.7lbs! Yeah I know ONLY 0.3lbs but I'll take it considering its attached to 15lbs total weight loss since returning to the lifestyle. This is my celebration - and how will I celebrate you ask - will it be with food? Hell no - I'm not sure yet what I will do for a celebration but I do know this - it won't be food related.

          Last night marked the return to the Squash courts after a two week hiatus. It felt good to get back on the court but I could not believe how tired the 6 games left my legs! During the fourth game we had a pretty good rally in which I was running all over the court holding my own for about 5 to 8 minutes. Those sprints really worked me and although I am not nearly as fast as I once was it served to show me I can still keep up IF I really push myself. I look forward to a time when that will no longer be an if but instead will be a when!

          Perhaps I will treat myself to a new pair of runners for Squash - that seems like both an appropriate and useful celebration for coming back down below the 300lbs mark.

          Supper last night was amazing! I cooked stuffed chicken breast with spinach and goat cheese. We had a nice salad with a dijon mustard vinaigrette dressing with it. The meal was full of taste and quick to prepare. I will be enjoying round two of it today for lunch.

          Stuffed Chicken with Goat Cheese and Spinach.

          Serves 2

          2 Chicken breast
          Baby Spinach
          Soft Goat Cheese
          Salt and Pepper
          1 tbsp coconut oil

          Pound out the chicken breast until it is about a 1cm thick.
          Season with salt and pepper
          Place spinach and crumbled goat cheese in the center of the chicken beast
          Starting at the narrow end tightly roll the chicken breast with spinach and goat cheese in the center.
          Use one to two toothpicks to hold the chicken together

          Preheat oven to 425. In an oven proof skillet heat coconut oil on medium/high heat. When ready place stuffed chicken breast into the skillet to brown the outside of the meat approx. 1 - 2 minutes per side. Once outside is brown place the skillet into the oven and cook for 12 - 15 minutes or until the meat is no longer pink inside. Remove from the oven, remove toothpicks and slice to serve.

          It is a fast and easy meal full of taste. Why the hell would anyone want fast junk full of salt and chemicals and grease when you can have fast REAL food like this?

          Grok on fellow cave dwellers!
          “There are only two options regarding commitment, You’re either in or your out. There’s no such thing as life in between.” – Anonymous

          "Das Beste oder nichts" - Gottlieb Wilhelm Daimler

          Comment


          • Return to the valley of the SAD

            Today at work was a "fun lunch" day. I'm not sure who gets to have the fun in this lunch but I know it is usually not me. These lunches consist of personal pizza's for the kids and of course the leftovers come to the staffroom for the teachers to "enjoy." Today was no different - about part way through the lunch period 8 or 9 personal sized cheese, pepperoni and Hawaiian pizzas showed up for us. Now before going primal (and let's face it when I fell off the wagon) I would have been one of the herd and devoured my fair share of pizza's but not today. I don't know if it was the fact that I was riding the high from losing weight or the fact that the pizza did not smell or look all that attractive to me but I had zero desire to consume it. I instead contented myself to eating my salad and stuffed chicken breast. I ended the day feeling awesome and looking forward to the meatloaf and veggies we will be enjoying for supper tonight. After supper its geocaching so I should be in for a pretty good walk tonight.

            The valley of the SAD holds less danger these days - I can overcome!

            Grok on!
            Last edited by Primal Primate; 04-18-2013, 06:00 PM.
            “There are only two options regarding commitment, You’re either in or your out. There’s no such thing as life in between.” – Anonymous

            "Das Beste oder nichts" - Gottlieb Wilhelm Daimler

            Comment


            • Sounds like you're doing awesomely!

              Do people comment, or ask questions when you turn down food? I don't know what to say when people ask why I'm not eating something, and I usually end up stammering something and sounding ridiculous.

              Comment


              • Your stuffed chicken sounds fantastic. Beats pizza hands-down. You're doing great, PP.
                Annie Ups the Ante
                http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread117711.html

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Traveller View Post
                  Do people comment, or ask questions when you turn down food? I don't know what to say when people ask why I'm not eating something, and I usually end up stammering something and sounding ridiculous.
                  Hey Traveller!
                  Welcome to my cave and thanks for contributing to the drawing on my wall! As for people asking - yes I get asked all the time. At first I was like you and tried to come up with something on the spot to justify my food choices and it always ended up in strange looks, off handed comments or sermons on fad diets and how people just need to eat a healthy CW diet - usually as the preacher consumed a cookie treat that was only 100 calories and all chemicals. Then I had a bit of a head slapping moment of clarity - I don't need to explain my eating choices and by explain I mean defend or justify (let's face it that is what we do usually) to anyone. So now I handle the situation in different ways.

                  If I am asked why I eat the way I do by someone who I think is really interested or perhaps looking for a lifestyle change themselves I'll point them in the direction of Mark's PB books and answer any questions they have. I am all for helping those who want to give this a try.

                  If I think it is someone wanting to expound their BS about my choices and why CW and a SAD diet are better for me my answer is usually - I like this food and I feel good eating it. How's your food treating you? That usually stops them in their track and if they continue then I will usually say something along the lines of thanks for the info I'll take it into consideration - and then I enjoy the rest of my meal. These people are married to what advertising has taught them about food consumption and no amount of explaining or arguing is going to change their mind so why waste the precious time trying?

                  If I am out at a restaurant or shopping and I want to know what is in the food or what they cook it in I will usually say I'm allergic to wheat or veggie oil other than olive oil or whatever it is that I am curious about being in the food. I figure I'm paying for the food and I want to know what's in it - I have that right. Allergies are huge in the food business so people are pretty quick to seek out the answers they otherwise might not if they think you could have a reaction. Reactions are bad for business.

                  I think (and perhaps I am wrong) a lot of people living a different lifestyle than CW dictates feel the need to justify what we do and why we do it because it goes against the norm and contradicts a lot of what is taken as expert knowledge by the herd. I don't think we should have to - let your body, how you feel and the changes you are seeing in yourself justify why you do what you do and eat what you eat - anyone really interested will have questions and want answers and you won't feel the need to justify your choices to them. As for the rest, I guess they get to wander the valley of the SAD for a while longer.

                  Sorry for the very long response but I hope it helps! Stop by again sometime the fire is always burning.

                  Cheers!
                  “There are only two options regarding commitment, You’re either in or your out. There’s no such thing as life in between.” – Anonymous

                  "Das Beste oder nichts" - Gottlieb Wilhelm Daimler

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Annieh View Post
                    Your stuffed chicken sounds fantastic. Beats pizza hands-down. You're doing great, PP.
                    Hey Annieh!
                    Welcome back - I saved you a log around the ol' campfire.

                    The stuffed chicken was an instant hit and I do look forward to having it again. Your butter chicken sounds delicious and I will have to give it a go - minus the 6 legged Chernobyl chicken. Hope your week was a great one!

                    Cheers!
                    “There are only two options regarding commitment, You’re either in or your out. There’s no such thing as life in between.” – Anonymous

                    "Das Beste oder nichts" - Gottlieb Wilhelm Daimler

                    Comment


                    • TGIF...

                      Fridays are always a bit of a struggle for me. I am usually a little more tired than any other day of the week but it is a self-induced sleep deprivation so I have no one but myself to blame. I spend the better part of Thursday night's traipsing around the country side with a couple friends looking for hiding containers - this high tech scavenger hunt is my hobby, my obsession - geocaching. Much like living primal when I explain this activity to non-cachers I get strange looks and off handed comments but it really is a great way to sneak a workout in - last night we spent the better part of three hours trekking up and down some of the largest hills in town while on the hunt - according to my GPS we tracked over 5km in that time and worked all kinds of muscles moving through forested areas, climbing trees to retrieve containers, balancing on muddy slopes, lifting rocks and navigating both up and down snow covered, muddy and icy pathways. Many times we will hike 20 or more km to the tops of mountains for one cache - even I sometimes question our sanity when we do this! In my mind the lost sleep (usually a Thursday night will run from 9pm to 2am) is more than made up for in the total overall workout that we get. AND its fun to play in the mud!

                      Still rocking the lifestyle and loving every minute of it! Bring on the weekend!

                      Grok on fellow cave dwellers!
                      “There are only two options regarding commitment, You’re either in or your out. There’s no such thing as life in between.” – Anonymous

                      "Das Beste oder nichts" - Gottlieb Wilhelm Daimler

                      Comment


                      • Happy Earth Day!

                        I woke this morning feeling pretty tired but after a weekend of not much sleep that is to be expected. My short term goal for this week is to get the sleep patterns back on track. I find I really do need 8 to 8.5 hours of good deep sleep a night to feel fully functional in the morning. I might also be dragging butt a little today due to the fact that my diet was not as primal as I would have liked this weekend. Our weekend was one of running around doing stuff for the wedding and as a result eating kind of fell to the wayside a little. Friday night was mostly primal - we ate out at a friends place and enjoyed BBQ ribs with salad and roast potatoes. We were not home until just about 1:00am. Up at 5am on Saturday to make the 2 hour drive north to pick up jewelry for the wedding then back an hour to where the wedding is taking place to meet with planners and set up the Tux rentals. Then out to the farm for an oil change and into town to pick up my soon to be mother-in-law, who thankfully I actually like and she likes me. By this point it was 2pm and we were starving! Sadly there was not much in the small town we were in for restaurants and we had to settle for standard small town dinner food. A little greasy and a lot not primal. We made it home for about 9pm exhausted and ready for bed. The alarm went off mighty early Sunday morning and we were up and gone again - this time for a memorial, as they had a large spread - all of it seeming to be carb based or really sweet we had a bit but not much before heading to the farmer's market to pick up fresh veggies and some seafood for tonight. We made it home by the early afternoon and pretty much crashed on the couch for the rest of the day.

                        This morning we enjoyed Green Monster Smoothes for breakfast. Supper tonight will be our version of surf and turf - Deer steaks medium rare with bacon wrapped wild caught scallops and steamed asparagus. I'm hoping to jump on the bike this evening after work as well but as I am low energy to start the day and I feel like I am coming down with a cold I might just pass on the ride in favor of extra sleep.

                        In honor of earth day - I'll be spending part of the afternoon cleaning up one of the city parks so I'll get some exercise in any case!

                        Grok on!


                        Green Monster Smoothie (for St.Patty’s Day)
                        1 cup canned coconut milk
                        1 cup spinach leaves, loosely packed and washed
                        1 cup kale, stems removed and loosely packed and washed
                        1/2 cup fresh pineapple, cubed (or mango)
                        1 frozen banana
                        1/2 cup ice cubes
                        1/2 cup water
                        Optional Add Ins:
                        1 tablespoon coconut butter or almond butter
                        1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
                        1 teaspoon honey or 1 pitted medjool date
                        Instructions:
                        Place all ingredients into a blender making sure to place the coconut milk in first. Blend until smooth, taste and add additional goodies in to taste and blend again. Serve and enjoy.
                        Makes 1 large smoothie or 2 small smoothies
                        “There are only two options regarding commitment, You’re either in or your out. There’s no such thing as life in between.” – Anonymous

                        "Das Beste oder nichts" - Gottlieb Wilhelm Daimler

                        Comment


                        • Morning? Right on, right on, right on, right on!

                          I woke this morning before the alarm and was ready to go. Although I did not get my full 8 hours I did get much more than the last few nights and that coupled with getting on the bike yesterday seemed to help boost my energy levels. I seem more alert and full of energy to take on the day.

                          I have been reading Make Shi(f)t Happen over the last few weeks and what Dean Dwyer says seems to make a lot of sense. With Mark's advice shaping how I eat and transform my lifestyle and Dean's advice on how to change my thinking, how I relate to stress and my overall eating habits I seem to be on top of things. I keep thinking "I got this" and that is a a wonderful feeling. I have some work to do still but overall I feel like I am in control and actually steering where this body is going!

                          To that end I am revamping my workouts to make them more personal and more meaningful to me. In the interchange I plan to keep workout but with the intent to shift from what I am doing now to what I want to be doing sooner than later. The following quote has me thinking a change is in order:

                          "Every man should be able to save his own life. He should be able to swim far enough, run fast and long enough to save his life in case of emergency and necessity. He also should be able to chin himself a reasonable number of times, as well as to dip a number of times, and he should be able to jump a reasonable height and distance." - Earle E. Liederman, Endurance

                          Sometimes I wonder how I would make out in a disaster situation - I suspect not that great given I can not run long distances or very fast, I used to be able to swim long lengths and tread water continuously but that was many, many moons ago and I have never been able to pull my own body weight up a rope - hence chin ups have always been a dream and never a reality. I suspect I physically would not be able to get myself and/or others out of a situation. This is the new motivation for my workouts - not to lose weight but to gain strength. I am looking to incorporate 4 key factors into my weekly workouts - strength, speed, flexibility and endurance. My plan is to create a routine that I can do anywhere (little to no equipment needed) and that I can do consistently. My strength, flexibility and speed workouts will need to be no more than 30 minutes in length and my endurance workouts I suspect will have to be longer. I plan to do 1 speed, flexibility and strength workout a week and between 2 and 3 endurance workouts in that time. Everything will be geared towards ensuring that my body is fit enough to survive in extreme situations - not that I ever plan to be in one. As for actually exercises I am still designing that part of the workouts but my deadline to have a working plan is the end of this week - sooner if at all possible as I am starting to research different body weight exercises today.

                          Supper last night was very delicious (as it always is when it is surf and turf) Breakfast this morning was something new - we scrambled some eggs (2 per bowl) with mushrooms(2 - 3 chopped per bowl) and then put that in a bowl with a bed of raw spinach (about a handful) and avocado cubes (half an avocado per bowl) We topped it with two pieces of bacon and some salt and pepper to taste - it was light and filling. Lunch is left over deer steak with organic herb green salad (balsamic vinegar and olive oil for dressing) and half a cucumber sliced.
                          Supper tonight will be pan fried wild caught snapper with salad and for dessert we are going to try something new. We bought a fresh ripe papaya and plan to cut it in half scoop out the seeds and put whipped coconut milk in the hollow - kind of a play on papaya with ice cream. Hopefully it will turn out and become a new favorite in time for summer.

                          Grok on fellow cave dwellers!
                          Last edited by Primal Primate; 04-23-2013, 06:57 AM.
                          “There are only two options regarding commitment, You’re either in or your out. There’s no such thing as life in between.” – Anonymous

                          "Das Beste oder nichts" - Gottlieb Wilhelm Daimler

                          Comment


                          • Delicious sounding food, Primal Pete. Again!
                            Annie Ups the Ante
                            http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread117711.html

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Annieh View Post
                              Delicious sounding food, Primal Pete. Again!
                              Thanks Annieh! The Papaya with the coconut milk was phenomenal! I don't know why I didn't think of it before - super fast and super good - I'm going to have to do it again. Now to figure out what to do with the rest of the coconut milk I have left. Perhaps a Frosty Pina Colada after work tomorrow from the new paleo recipe books we picked up yesterday.

                              Grok on!
                              “There are only two options regarding commitment, You’re either in or your out. There’s no such thing as life in between.” – Anonymous

                              "Das Beste oder nichts" - Gottlieb Wilhelm Daimler

                              Comment


                              • Woke up on the side of the bed like I won...

                                Just a few short weeks ago I would have woke up on a Wednesday, tired and grumpy that it was only "hump" day - that point in the week where you stop climbing the hill from Monday morning and right before you coast to the weekend. I know this was in part due to running myself ragged and letting the modern day stress of life get to be too much and partly because I was eating crappy food.

                                Today is hump day and instead of groaning and dragging ass I am wide awake and screaming bring it on! I feel fantastic! I am more focused and more happy then ever before - the energy levels are back up and all systems are in the green. Breakfast this morning was 2 free range eggs cooked omelet style in a half tablespoon of coconut oil. I used salt and pepper to season and loaded the omelet with 3 pieces of bacon, a little bit of shredded cheddar cheese and a handful of raw spinach. Quick, easy and oh so tasty!

                                Lunch today is leftovers from supper last night - pan fried wild caught pacific snapper, roasted broccoli and half a cucumber sliced. Not sure what is for supper this evening - my better half has the day off and said she would prepare something.

                                Working out has been steady and although I am not quite ready to implement the new routine just yet I am feeling good about the whole thing. The gut seems to be getting smaller and my clothes appear to be fitting a little more loosely - I've done away with the obsessive weighting of myself and instead intend to weight myself once a month and use other factors to help gage if I am on track. I plan to use some or all of the follow indicators in varying degrees:

                                1. Waist size of my pants and/or belt holes.
                                2. How my clothes in general fit.
                                3. How consistent my work outs are (Am I following my weekly routine)
                                4. How I feel in general.
                                5. Is my diet 90% primal week in/week out?
                                6. Is there any noticeable change in my body (how am I looking in that damn mirror)

                                I think these are better benchmarks than a scale for my overall health - I firmly believe the weight is not the problem - its a symptom of poor life decisions to this point.

                                Well time to get this day started - I'm going to give this brutal honesty exercise from Make Shi(f)t Happen a try and see if it helps focus the lifestyle reconstruction I am currently undertaking.

                                Grok on fellow cave dwellers!
                                “There are only two options regarding commitment, You’re either in or your out. There’s no such thing as life in between.” – Anonymous

                                "Das Beste oder nichts" - Gottlieb Wilhelm Daimler

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