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Primal Journal - Rewind

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  • Primal Journal - Rewind

    Well....why not a journal?

    I came across primal a little over a year ago when a friend of mine started a blog about going primal. (He has had great success, btw, losing 65 pounds in his first year. Now he is just maintaining.) I don't know much about nutritional science, but the concepts seem sound. I experimented with it last February and had some initial successes, but I didn't keep up with it. I'm not sure why. Path of least resistance, I guess. Where I live, you have to plan ahead if you're going to eat Primal/Paleo, and I just didn't plan ahead.

    I also like to drink beer and wine in the evenings. As my weight has gone up my energy levels have fallen. I just want to sit with my feet up in the evenings. Most of the TV I see is more irritating than entertaining - unless I have a few belts in me. Then I can relax and let the boob tube mesmerize me. This is a deeply ingrained pattern in me that will have to be broken if I am to succeed in being Primal after dinner, but before bed. Because, it's not just the alcohol, of course. When I reach into the refrigerator for that third beer the leftover pizza puts a spell on me!

    I don't think I will have carb withdrawals. I discovered 20 years ago that sugary food gave me a headache and the jitters. At 275 pounds I LOOK like I eat a lot of donuts, but I don't. Keep the pie, I'll take a second cheeseburger for dessert, thanks. You gonna eat those fries?

    My job is sedentary, so I will have to get more active outside work. I plan to start with some light weight lifting and exercise. I will buy a bike this weekend. We have a pool and I will use it when the weather is warmer. I hope to work up to more strenuous exercise, but at age 48 I fear for my joints, so I want to ease into it.

    So far today my breakfast was 3 large eggs. I lightly beat them in a bowl and then nuke them. Its very convenient and satisfying. I put a few shavings of parmesan in there for flavor.

    For lunch I had a Subway Club Salad with mozzarella cheese and red wine vinaigrette dressing. Later I ate some slices of roast beef and a Chobani yogurt for a snack.

    I am counting calories on Fitday currently. I feel I need to do this so that I can get a better appreciation for portion size and the caloric content of the foods I eat.

    My New Year's resolution is to stick to this Primal lifestyle for the entire year. I truly believe it will transform my body if I stay with it, and I need to do this. I have a fantastic life, except that my health is in jeopardy because my BMI is now up to 36. I need to stay healthy so I can enjoy life for as long as possible.

    Thanks for reading if you did.

  • #2
    I went to the grocery store yesterday after work. I was hungry. CW says not to shop hungry, but I needed some Grok-worthy vittles, and there was no other time before Friday to get to the store. Besides, I figure I'll be hungry often as I am trying to run at a calorie deficit in order to lose weight. I may as well get used to it.

    Noticing some mood changes with my diet changes. The elderly woman at the grocery store just couldn't stay out of my way with her slow-moving cart. I found myself condemning her for shopping on the same day as me. When I got home with the groceries the kitchen was a mess and I had to clean it before I could prepare dinner. What is wrong with people? My wife asked me the same question about her IRA account for the thrid time in 2 days. Why can't she write stuff down? Fortunately I just took some deep breaths and didn't bite anyone's head off.

    For dinner I made a variation of a cauliflower tot recipe I saw somewhere on here (and can't remember where). Basically you fry and chop some bacon, boil and mash some cauliflower, combine, season and bake. I added an egg to try to get it to stick together better, which helped some, but not enough. They were delicious, but unsightly as they broke apart when lifted from the cookie sheet.

    After dinner I was short of my calorie limit, but at my carb limit (100g) for the day. I was hungry, so I ate a wedge of gouda. It was very satisfying.


    • #3
      I noticed yesterday morning that I had a lot of energy when I first woke up. I slept quite well (not always the case) and I just felt peppy. I playfully (not sexually) rolled onto my wife to wake her up. She is a commited snooze alarmaholic, and was on her fourth round of the morning already.

      I ate quite well, I think, sticking to my 3-egg breakfast. I had some plain yogurt with fresh strawberries in it about mid-morning and then a salad with 5 oz of salmon on it for lunch.

      Dinner was a little trickier, but I got lucky. I have a class one day per week, and on class day I go straight from work to the university. The dozen plus fast food drive thrus en route were all calling to me, but I resisted. I was planning to eat a Subway Salad once I got to the campus, but decided I didn't want another salad once I got there. I found a little Chinese place I had not noticed before and ordered the Cashew Chicken. It's my standard order at a new Chinese place and I ordered it more out of habit than anything, even though I know cashews aren't primal. I picked the cashews out of it. Fortunately it was loaded with carrots and celery, and was very good. Who knows what's in that brown sauce, but I felt like I had been 'primal enough' under the circumstances.

      When I got home I added up my calories from the day and decided I could afford a little snack. This is where I think I goofed up. There was some leftover hopping john from New Year's Day and I measured out half a cup and ate it. While still very tasty I don't think the carb bomb right before bed was in the least bit wise. I woke up about 0245 (very gassy) and could not get back to sleep. Lesson learned!
      Last edited by Rewind; 01-04-2013, 09:14 AM.


      • #4
        Still tracking. Only 4 days, but that's how the year starts.

        I think I had my first bout with the carb flu last night. I had only consumed 50 g of carbs for the day and around 9 pm I was lethargic and cranky. Around 10 pm I ate come rice crackers and felt better.

        Had an awesome salad for dinner last night. There's a restaurant in my neighborhood that makes a great salad with spinach, apples, cucumber, red peppers, toasted almonds and whatever meat you want. They serve it with some pita wedges, but those are easily discarded.

        Hope to go get a bicycle today, but the pool guy is coming for the final time and I have to be here to approve of his work and pay him. He wasn't very specific about what time he would be here, so I am stuck waiting on him. Hopefully he will come in the morning so I can get to the bike store this afternoon.


        • #5
          Another positive day yesterday. I bought a bike that I have been wanting for weeks. I set it up on a trainer and rode for 30 minutes this morning. I used to ride quite a bit (15 years ago), but I had forgotten just how fast the tail feathers get sore on those little saddles. There is bike shorts shopping in my future.

          We went out to dinner and a movie last night. I was worried about eating out, but I think it went well. Big salad, steak, zucchini and spaghetti squash. I indulged in a little movie theater popcorn. The wife and I split a small. It felt very decadent, but while not paleo, probably not too damaging. Gotta live a little, too.

          My non-paleo wife is going to cook dinner tonight. I gave her a quick list of things she commonly cooks that I won't eat a few days ago. We'll see if she was paying attention!


          • #6
            Yesterday was another good day. After sending my son back to college with some bacon and eggs I rode my bike (documented above) and then did some general wood working in my shop. Had a B.A. salad for lunch, then met with a contractor about some work I want done at my house. Settled in to watch the NFL playoff games. I ate a clementine and then some carrot sticks. Then my daughter made some fresh guacamole, so I had some of that on some rice crackers. Dinner was a delicious spicy sausage soup my daughter also made. The only non-primal ingredient she put in there was green soy beeans (endamame). I tried to scoop around them when ladling some soup into my bowl, but I still ate a few. Not bad, though.

            I am trying not to fixate on the scale, but it's tough not to be interested in the numbers. In my week of primal eating I can feel I have more energy, and my wife noticed I have been sleeping better (as did I), but those are difficult to quantify. Weight, on the other hand, is easy to quantify. You measure your pounds and voila.

            I decided to weigh myself weekly so that I had that marker, and Monday morning would be the day. Last Monday my bathroom scale said 275 and today it said 268.

            I was very excited when I saw that. I know there is no way I lost 7 pounds of fat in a week. Maybe 2 -3 pounds at most and the rest is water that my body decided not to hold onto - but it was exciting to see the numbers move more than expected in the direction I wanted for a change! It gave me a positive mental attitude. Combined with the great night's sleep that I had and the noticeably higher energy levels it provides me with great motivation to stay on this course.
            Last edited by Rewind; 01-07-2013, 06:09 AM.


            • #7
              Still staying on track. I got a nice training ride on my bike yesterday and ate quite well. I was very hungry in the evening, but I ate a boneless skinless chicken thigh, and that took care of it.

              Still enjoying the increased energy levels and sleeping good. I have had lots of sleep issues in my life, and since taking the diet primal/paleo I have slept well every night but 1. Typically that would be reversed and I would only sleep well 1 night a week.

              I am finding that I have to space my limited carb intake out throughout the day. If I overcarb in the morning so that I have very limited carbs in the afternoon, by evening I am very moody. But if keep a steady intake throughout the day my mood is stable and generally good.


              • #8
                I didn't get a chance to write yesterday, but I remain (mostly) on course. My slip up was yesterday. I went straight from work to an evening class at the university. I had 5 oz of salmon, 4 oz of cottage cheese and 9 rice crackers with me. I ate them all right before class at about 5:30. When class let out at 9:30 I was deliriously hungry. I felt jittery, weak and grumpy. It's a 40-minute drive back to my house from there and I decided not to wait. So I ate (averts eyes in shame) a McDonald's double cheeseburger.

                I paid for it. By the time I got home my guts were in full rebellion. The growling sounded like I had a tiger hidden behind my back. There were additional, quite memorable, effects this morning which you do not want me to describe to you here.

                So.....I have to crack the code on making sure I have sufficient GOOD food available on nights I have class.

                Generally speaking, though, I have been more hungry the past 2-3 days than I have been up til now. Not sure what that is about. I am eating the same calories and the same ratios of protein/carbs/fat that I have been since 1 JAN. Now I am hungrier. Perhaps I am processing it faster now than I was a week ago? All I know is that it's only 10 A.M., so far today I have eaten 3 jumbo hard boiled eggs, 5 oz of leftover flank steak and a small red potato - and I am STARVING! That should take me to dinner, but I am already looking at my lunch salad and thinking, well.....
                Last edited by Rewind; 01-10-2013, 08:16 AM. Reason: typos


                • #9
                  Karma? Kizmet? Not that I actually believe in such a direct cause and effect relationship, but 90 minutes after that last post I left work early because I was starting to feel sick. An hour after that I commenced the worst bout of intestinal flu I can remember. I've been sick before, but I've never had to shower 3 times and change my bedding twice in one night before. Suffice it to say I was no longer starving, and that salad I was craving at 10 A.M. on Thursday is still in the reefer waiting for me.

                  I started back on food with some tea and a little watered-down Gatorade (not primal, I suspect) yesterday morning, and by dinner I was having some lovely chicken soup. I slept well last night, and this morning I feel pretty good. My lower back aches a little, probably from being flat on it for so long, but my innards feel like they're back to normal.

                  I see on the news that the flu is going around. They seem to be referencing a respiratory bug, but I can tell you there's an intestinal pest out there and it's a real bitch. I hope the rest of you have got your immune systems bolstered. I would not wish that experience on anyone.


                  • #10
                    Hey Rewind

                    I hope you are recovering from your flu. Iv had a on/off thing for a couple of days which is wouldnt usually get. It presents in a headache and increased body temp (regardless of what iv been doing/wearing etc) and you feel nackered. Though it can pass after a couple hours.

                    Great work losing that weight already. Dont worry about the odd slip, its a learning curve. Especially in the case of your evening class. Tupperware my friend, learn to love it.

                    If I can make a suggestion, dont worry too much about the scale. You are in your first week so its a great time to get out the tape measure and measure your chest, waist, butt, arms, legs. Maybe even a before and after pic. Thats what I recommend to my clients and it works. Water retention can change daily, waist circumference, not so much.

                    It isn't the mountains ahead that wear you out....Its the grain of sand in your shoe.


                    • #11
                      Thanks Richard. I don't worry too much about the scale, but it does provide a simple measurement to indicate progress. i did take a before picture. When I take the after picture I will post them both.

                      Monday is weigh-in day, and Mr. Bathroom Scale says I have lost 4 more pounds in the past week. I thought it might possibly be more than that given that I was sick during the week, but 4 pounds is quite good and gives me encouragement. To celebrate I wore a necktie to work today. I used to wear ties all the time, and quit for the past two months. Some people had commented on my ‘new relaxed look’. What I wasn’t telling anyone was that my collars had become so tight the ties were suffocating me. My collar buttoned easily this morning and the neckties are coming back!

                      Sleeping well also gives me encouragement. I slept like a rock again last night. I was reading in bed at about 9:30 and was feeling quite drowsy so I turned off the lights. I woke around 11:30 when my daughter got home from work. It is very common for me to have difficulty getting back to sleep if I’ve been awakened, but not last night. I was right back to sleep until 5:30 this morning. 8 hours of sleep probably happened 3 times total in 2012. It’s very rare for me. I was paleo for a few weeks last year, but I don’t remember a pronounced change in my sleep like I am getting so far this year. If there were zero other health benefits, I think I could stay paleo just for the sleep improvement I am having so far.

                      I bought a cycle computer so I can measure my cycling workouts. I am not really interested in distance or speed (on the trainer), but I would like to be able to compare workouts. Did I pedal farther or longer this workout than last workout? I plan to experiment with what and when I eat relative to the workout to see what the best combination is for increasing my endurance.


                      • #12
                        I made a delicious Paleo 'Lasagna' last night. Well, I started it and my daughter finished it, following my instructions. I was slicing yellow squash on a mandolin, and sliced my thumb in the process. Unfortunately not the first (or even second) time I have been this careless with that kithen tool. D'Oh! With only my off-hand thumb in service, I had my daughter take over. She did a great job.

                        The yellow squash were sliced the long way to substitute for the layering ability of lasagna noodles. Everything else was similar to how I normally make lasagna: Italian sausage tomato sauce with garlic and onions, fresh spinach and fresh green bell pepper slices, mozzarella on top. It was yummy!

                        I need more exercise. I have been faithful to my diet, but I have not increased my exercise to the level it needs to be. I will focus more on this going forward.


                        • #13
                          Last night was the third class night since I recommitted to paleo eating, but the first where I felt truly prepared with respect to eating. Because I am operating at a calorie deficit to lose weight, I find I have to be very careful about spreading my calories (especially my 100g of carbs) evenly through the day. Last week I brought a little food and ate it before class and I was so hungry by the time class ended I found myself in a fast food drive-thru. I didn't want that to happen again.

                          I took a substantial helping of my leftover paleo lasagna to class with me. I got there about an hour early. I like to do that so I can review the notes from the previous class before the next class starts. As I reviewed I gnawed down some lasagna. This easily got me through the class as far as hunger went. My bottle of water didn't make it, though. I finished it, and by the end of class I was POWERFUL thirsty (as we say in Virginia). Fortunately, I keep bottled water in my truck, so I had another bottle on the way home. Something in that lasagna must have a drying effect. :-)

                          I rode my bike Tuesday evening, and plan to again when I get home tonight. I might lift some heavy things, too. That adjustable weight set I spent $300 on should not be getting dusty in the corner!


                          • #14
                            I haven't written for a few days, but things are mostly still good. Last Friday I went off the diet with some vino. We had some friends over and uncorked a few bottles, then after everyone left I put away the rest of the open bottle in my recliner. It was unnecessary, but it felt good! Surprisingly I didn't eat badly, though. Usually I am a big snacker with some wine in the belly, but I wasn't this time.

                            I am having a little non-paleo snack as I type this, though. My daughter bought me some gluten-free granola, and then seems to have finished off the Rice Chex. D'Oh! I sprinkled about 2 tablespoons of the granola on some full fat plain yogurt, along with about 16-18 raspberries. I've been doing the fruit/plain yogurt thing or a couple of weeks. Tonight I thought I would give it a little crunch.

                            I wanted a snack so I can take some more Motrin. My back is aching from lifting heavy things. Or, rather, from working on my deck. I am remodeling the wooden deck attached to my house, and I spent several hours yesterday bent over with a hammer and pry bar removing the old decking. My back is not accustomed to such good old-fashioned labor and it is barking at me tonight. It woke me up, even, which is why I am typing in the middle of the night. My stomach is very sensitive to Motrin, so I wanted to get some food in first.

                            Monday is weigh-in day, and I weighed myself pre-snack. Another 4 pounds off this week. I'll take it. That makes 15 pounds lost since New Year's Day. Probably another 40 to go before I am out of the BMI 'obese' range, but I am moving in the right direction.

                            I should probably point out that my daughter made a delicious taco casserole last night and she said she got the recipe from a paleo website. It was way yummy, and I was very hungry after working on my deck for most of the day!
                            Last edited by Rewind; 01-21-2013, 01:01 AM. Reason: Note on the paleo taco casserole