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Primal Journal - Patti

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  • Primal Journal - Patti

    While I live in Pennsylvania and lead a very sedentary life, last week was spent hiking and wildlife watching in Costa Rica with a group of college students. The many hours of daily hiking, plain mostly unprocessed foods, and simple accommodations felt like a birdwatching boot camp. It was a wonderful experience, and I came home ready to make some big changes. On the trip home I read "The Paleo Diet" and dove into the internet finding such a vast amount of information it was overwhelming. Again, and again, I kept coming back to MDA, so this is where I will make my Primal home.

    The primary health issues I'm tackling are asthma, osteo arthritis, varicose veins, dry eyes, ocular migraines, and degenerative disk disease.

    My husband is quite thin, walks daily, and generally supportive of whatever measures I want to take to get regain my health. He's convinced that low-fat, low-saturated fat, and whole grains with a small amount of protein is the way to go because it is working for him. It doesn't work for me and my weight has ballooned while my health has declined.

    Cooking is one of my passions and primal eating seems positively decadent to me. We'll see how I feel the first time I have the urge to cheat! Years ago I followed the Atkins plan for a few years, lost 50 lbs. and regained it when I went off and couldn't seem to get back on. Somehow I think these changes are going to be different.

    Here's what I've eaten for the past couple of days. Any input or suggestions are appreciated as this is a process.

    March 25
    Brunch: burger/onion/carrot/canola oil saute; 1/2 banana; herbal tea.
    Snack #1: fruit cup of diced apples, walnuts, currants, cinnamon.
    Snack #2: Clementine, vitamins and fish/flax oils, hard boiled egg, black pepper, herbal tea.
    Snack #3: seaweed sheets, 1 oz. mixed nuts, dried apricot, prune.
    Dinner: salad with avocado, walnuts, currants, flaxseed oil/lclementine dressing; Garlic Eggplant, Mushrooms and Pork stir fry; cantaloupe, blueberry, almond salad; black coffee.
    Notes: Biked for 2 miles, felt great

    March 26
    Breakfast: ½ banana, chicken leg and thigh, 2c spinach sautéed in coconut and canola oils, carrot sticks.
    Lunch: lightly salted kale chips, Garlic Eggplant, Mushrooms and Pork stir fry, Clementine.
    Snack: roasted pumpkin seeds.
    Dinner: cup of chicken/kale soup; 2 large slices turkey breast, 1/2 small sweet potato; pineapple, mango, coconut, walnut salad; herbal tea, vitamins.
    Notes: Did 4 hours of housework and felt exhausted at the end of the day.

    When I add nuts to the salads, it's usually between one tsp. and one tbsp. as I've been trying not to overdo it there. My salt intake is much reduced, although I did add a little to the kale chips. My husband thinks I'm eating too much, but so far I'm losing weight, haven't been tempted by processed foods, and feeling much better. Seems pretty good to me!

    Now, time to read some of your journals.

  • #2
    Yesterday was a great day here. Drank more water, did 2 miles on the bike, an hour of housework, and got out of the house for awhile. It was so nice to get dressed and not have tight pants! It'll be a little while before I drop down a size, but that's alright. In the meantime I won't worry about splitting the seat of my pants and have prepared a bag to go to charity that will be filled with clothing that no longer fits me.

    My weight loss is happening pretty fast, down 6 pounds in less than a week. Most is undoubtedly water weight and should level off soon for a slower, steady weight loss. Something that's already disappeared is the rock hard upper belly that I'd developed the past few years. I feel like a deflating balloon!

    As far as sleeping patterns, I go to bed when I get tired around midnight, get up without an alarm clock and seem to average about 7 hours a night. To facilitate sleeping a little longer each night I'll focus on working out and playing a little harder each day.

    Breakfast - chicken/kale soup, herbal tea; fruit cup of cantaloupe and blueberries with a sprinkling of almond slivers and unsweetened coconut
    Lunch - Garlic Eggplant/Pork stir fry, pineapple
    Dinner (eaten on the road between meetings)- Lettuce rolls with turkey, 1/2 avocado, 1 tsp. organic mayo; carrot sticks, banana, handful of mixed nuts and seeds
    Snack - clementine, hard boiled egg, kale chips, herbal tea


    • #3
      Think I'll track this within the journal instead of as part of my sig. line.

      Age: 51
      Primal/Paleo start date - March 25, 2013

      SW: 224 - BMI 37.3 Clothing size 24
      CW: 218 - BMI 36.3 Clothing size 22
      LW: 150 This is the lowest weight I've been as an adult, although it was 30+ years ago. Wore a size 14/16. I'd like to do better this time!
      GW: 125 - BMI 20.8 Absolutely no idea! I haven't weighed less than 150 since I was 14 years old.
      Last edited by Patti; 04-01-2013, 06:03 AM.


      • #4
        Congrats on the progress already! That eggplant/pork/pineapple stir fry sounds incredible. My biggest problem right now is sleeping, too--we just moved to an apartment with nothing but shades and a big light right outside the bedroom window. I need to find some blackout curtains BUT QUICK!
        I feed my healthy cells and starve the rest.

        Waist circumference:


        • #5
          Thanks for commenting! Good luck in getting the black out shades soon, they'll really help. We now live in a very rural area and when the moon is full it shines right in my bedroom window and wakes me up every time. I grew up just outside of New York City and don't miss the 24/7 noise and lights at all.

          Garlic Eggplant Pork Stir-Fry

          2 pork chops, trimmed of fat and cut into skinny strips
          1 tbsp. garlic, minced
          3 tbsp. canola or coconut oil
          1 large eggplant, diced into 1/2" cubes
          4 oz. mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
          1/4 tsp. chili flakes
          1/4 cup Marsala or red wine
          1 Tbsp. wine vinegar

          Toss pork strips with garlic and pepper flakes, set aside. In a hot wok, saute eggplant until turning translucent and starting to turn golden. Add mushrooms, cook for 1 minute. Remove vegetables to warm dish, leaving oil in wok. Add pork mixture to wok and cook a few minutes until cooked through. Add pork to veggie dish. Over a medium heat deglaze pan with wine and vinegar, reducing by half. Pour over pork and vegetable mixture and toss. Serves: 4

          The pineapple was served separately with a few drops of bitters. Oh, so good! It would taste great tossed into the stir-fry as well.


          • #6
            Just ate out with a friend for the first time since changing my diet. Hooray for small successes! Had a freshly made burger and a barely adequate salad, but all in all I was able to socialize with an old friend and not stray from my goals. Now to get in a short walk before class tonight.


            • #7
              Altogether I feel as if I've been doing pretty well and eating "cleanly". I did get cream and sugar in coffee this and after I'd ordered it I realized that it had become a pretty deeply ingrained habit. Tonight it was back to black coffee, which I used to declare to be awful but am getting used to it. Ordinarily I don't drink much coffee, but have had a craving for it the past couple of days. I'll need to figure out what that's about.

              Today I had the last sclerotherapy session on my legs that I'll have in awhile. We're going to wait until I'm much further along in my weight loss to do anything else. After feeling like hiding my legs for the last ten years it has felt wonderful to wear shorts again. I was so disappointed that the doc didn't want me to bike or do strenuous exercise for the next week, although I'm to walk a bit more every day. As you may be able to tell, this issue has not come up before because I never had the inclination to exercise beyond the occasional walk or light hike. Now I feel as if I'm just vibrating with energy and can't wait to find a way to use it.

              I've been overweight since childhood. One of the comments someone else made in their journal about feeling vulnerable and powerful when thin really resonated with me. Feeling fat has given me a feeling of protection and invulnerability. Yeah, I'm ready to shed that illusion and get healthy.

              My husband has watched me try many different diets over the years. While he's outwardly supportive (although he's pretty convinced that adding back oatmeal and whole grains are a good idea) I feel as if he's waiting for me to fail. I told him that I'm giving this way of life a 30 day trial and I'll reassess where I am at that point. He laughed and said "sure" which was when I realized that I rarely stick with anything for 30 days. Of course there are some things which have "stuck", but often I try something for a few days or week and then it's on to the next thing. I'm determined that this time it will be different, hence the dedication to keeping this journal.

              Picked up some beef marrow bones since I'd seen a number of mentions about how nutritious they are, but I've never cooked them before. Any suggestions or favorite recipes? And even if you're reading this months from now, I do love to collect recipes.

              So, here's my food intake for the past couple of days.

              March 28
              Breakfast: banana pancakes (1 banana, 2 eggs, 1 cap vanilla extract, ¼ tsp. cinnamon – delicious!) cooked in bacon & coconut oil, 2 slices nitrate-free pepper bacon
              Lunch: hamburger, salad, oil & vinegar
              Snack: coffee with cream
              Dinner: small salad with turkey, avocado, EVOO; kale chips; 1/4 cup pineapple/mango/cantaloupe/almond sliver/coconut fruit salad
              Snack: black coffee, apple

              March 29
              Breakfast: banana pancakes (1 banana, 2 eggs, 1 cap vanilla extract, 1 tbsp. walnuts, ¼ tsp. cinnamon – delicious!) cooked in coconut oil; ¼ cup pineapple/mango/cantaloupe/almond sliver/coconut fruit salad; coffee with cream
              Lunch & Snacks on the road: small salad with turkey, avocado, EVOO; roasted pumpkin seeds & mixed nuts, carrot sticks, Clementine, 1 seaweed sheet, coffee with cream and sugar
              Dinner: hamburger; panfried plantain; small salad with radishes, walnuts, ½ Clementine, ¼ avocado, EVOO
              Snack: black decaf coffee, hard boiled egg
              Exercise: 2.5 miles on bike, one pitiful burpee (can’t squat yet because of knee issues)

              And if you've made it this far, thanks for reading my post. I'm inspired by the other journals I've read and hope that someday I inspire someone else.


              • #8
                Tried a few new treats today thanks to recipes from the forums. Bulletproof Coffee is amazing and Roasted Marrow Bones are quite the treat. I ate the marrow from one bone and tossed the rest in the crockpot for bone broth. Getting lots of teasing about living the "Cavegirl" lifestyle, but also more encouragement than I'd expected, which is welcome.

                Time to pull out the grill as most of the snow has melted and I'm ready for some Greek Grilled Pork Chops!


                • #9
                  This is becoming a great way to stay accountable to someone other than myself. Happily, I spent most of the weekend in the kitchen or outdoors listening to spring arrive. Having breakfast on the deck (wrapped in a blanket) and listening to the birdsong was lovely. We live a dry oak woodland and lots of spring arrivals were announcing themselves.

                  Made spaghetti squash for the first time in years and filled it with a very meaty spaghetti sauce that had been simmering for hours. Using herbs I'd grown and dried myself always seems to make everything taste better. Tossed the squash seeds and fibers around the seeds with olive oil and tamari then slowly roasted them - Heaven

                  March 30 – Day 6
                  Breakfast: banana pancakes (2 banana, 3 eggs, ½ tsp vanilla paste, ¼ c. blueberries, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon – served 2) cooked in canola oil; 2 slices nitrate-free pepper bacon; ½ c. V8; water with lemon
                  Lunch: chicken/kale soup, one marrow bone, handful of pumpkin seeds
                  Snack: Bulletproof coffee; kale chips
                  Dinner: 2 grilled pork chops, asparagus, ½ onion cooked in beef broth, grilled mushroom; ¼ c. pineapple/cantaloupe; mint tea
                  Exercise: ¾ mile walk, still recovering from procedure on legs

                  March 31 - Day 7
                  Breakfast: cold turkey breast, Bulletproof Coffee
                  Lunch: omelette with spinach, mushrooms; V8; pineapple/cantaloupe/walnut salad; herbal tea
                  Snack: kale chips
                  Dinner: spaghetti squash, tomato/meat sauce; salad w/avocado, radish, olive oil
                  Snack: dried apricots, dried papaya, mixed nuts
                  Exercise: lots of cooking and housecleaning

                  On the down side, turns out my husband came home from our trip to Costa Rica with a bite that I suspect was from either a bat or large spider. We were staying in at a field station in the rainforest and on the last day saw both in our cabin. He noticed the bite earlier this week just after we returned, but I just saw it an hour ago. It's off the doc's first thing in the morning. Fingers crossed that all is well.


                  • #10
                    Week One

                    Age: 51
                    Primal/Paleo start date - March 25, 2013

                    SW: 224 BMI 37.3
                    CW: 215 (-9 lbs) BMI 35.8
                    GW: 125 BMI 20.8

                    Just took measurements today, so I'll track from now on. These are the measurements of a human marshmallow!
                    Neck 16.75"
                    Bust 48.25"
                    Bicep 14.5"
                    Waist 45"
                    Hips 48.25"
                    Thigh 28"


                    • #11
                      Yesterday was was taken up with an ER visit for both my husband and myself. As it turns out, we were both exposed to the bats although I don't have any visible bites and both of us needed the rabies vaccine. 8 shots later and I feel like a pincushion. Given the possible alternative, it's all for the best.

                      The hospital is over an hour from our home. In the past when I'd head "to town" for a doctor's visit or tests, I'd run lots of other errands that day. This often included a treat for myself such as a milkshake, pastry, or lunch out. In retrospect I suppose it had actually been a punishment! Yesterday I drove by the ice cream parlor and had such a strong urge to pull in. Instead I headed across the street to the Shop Rite grocery store and splurged on grass-feed beef (on sale!) and wild-caught cod, salmon, sea scallops. When I got home my husband laughed about it being a "cavegirl's day out".

                      During my Week One wrap-up I forgot to include any other health improvement or issues that I'd noticed. After only a week, the arthritis in my hands, that was making me feel crippled, is fading away. During the middle of last week I was full of energy, right up until the leg procedure. That really set my energy level back. Next Monday I'll be ready to play with my new sandbags and can already feel the energy returning.


                      • #12
                        The Caramel Challenge

                        April 1 – Day 8
                        Breakfast: leftover meal – pork chop, ½ piece bacon, asparagus, 2 sm. banana/blueberry pancakes, herbal tea
                        Lunch: turkey breast, avocado, olive oil dressing, carrot, ½ clementine
                        Snack: coffee with coconut oil; handful of pumpkin seeds
                        Dinner: sea scallop scampi; asparagus; salad with avocado; ¼ cup cantaloupe/pineapple

                        April 2 – Day 9
                        Breakfast: 2 fried eggs, 2 slices bacon, tbsp. pumpkin seeds
                        Lunch: eggplant with meat sauce, 1/5 mango
                        Snack: apple salad with almond slivers, currants, and 1 tsp. honey (turned out way too sweet)
                        Dinner: Baked Cod, plantains, steamed broccoli, pineapple/mango/kiwi salad; tea The Baked Cod was wonderful!

                        Today I had a real food challenge, and as usual it's all in my head! When cleaning out the fridge I came across a partial jar of Trader Joe's Salted Caramel Sauce. Cream, butter, sugar -- what's not to love??? The urge to dig in with a spoon or heat it up and dip apple slices in it was nearly overwhelming. And would you believe I actually thought "Oh, that won't look too good in the journal!". The apple salad was supposed to be a compromise by adding a tsp. of honey and, surprisingly, it tasted horribly sweet to me. Lesson learned - my tastes are changing. Looks as if the sauce is headed to the trash. Farewell, Sweet Caramel...


                        • #13
                          Life seems to have gotten too busy to keep posting my daily food journal. So far I've targeted a couple of small problem areas and one is coffee. Laden with cream and sugar I love the stuff. Served black and I just tolerate it. Down the road I'm sure I'll start drinking it again w/ c&s.

                          Yesterday morning there was no time for breakfast other than coffee and a handful of pumpkin seeds, so had an amazing lunch: a couple of grass-fed burgers, kale chips, and blueberries smothered in heavy cream. Ah, heaven! It was the best meal I'd eaten in ages and I'm a pretty good cook. This was satisfying on the deepest level. For the first time I didn't finish my dinner because I wasn't very hungry.

                          Exercise - did sprints on the bike and had a blast. Next week I'm going to extend my time on the bike from 10-15 minutes to 20.
                          Squatting is a problem. At first I thought it was just my knees being uncooperative. Now I realize that the tendons in my legs are so tight that I just can't get down there. To loosen up I'm doing modified squats every time I have to wait somewhere for a few minutes at home. Gradually I seem to be seeing some change but this will probably take awhile.


                          • #14
                            Just wanted to say there are too many wonderful things in the last few posts to comment on all of them, but way to go. It's amazing how great you are doing. Tossing the caramel sauce, not eating when you aren't really hungry and indulging in great Primal foods when you are, and the arthritis! I'm so happy for you Keep up the great work!
                            I feed my healthy cells and starve the rest.

                            Waist circumference:


                            • #15
                              Thanks for the cheerleading, Irongirl. Things that initially felt like sacrifices are turning into satisfying choices. Three cheers for the primal lifestyle!

                              This weekend we were traveling. Living primal in modern society wasn't nearly as hard as I'd anticipated. Dinner at the Macaroni Grill with the family we were visiting had me a bit apprehensive, but there were a couple of good choices for me on the menu: tomato soup and a warm spinach-grilled shrimp salad. I splashed extra olive oil on each and it was a terrific meal that I'll make at home sometime. The second big meal of the weekend also had fine choices right down to desserts. While everyone else had creme brulee and different tortes, I chose the Belgian chocolate covered strawberry. Just one was enough sweetness to last me the rest of the week! I love how my tastes are changing. Earlier I ate a Grannie Smith apple and enjoyed it, which I never would have done pre-primal.