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Primal Journal - 1-1/2 years into it!

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  • #46
    Last night I used the recipe for lemongrass meatballs, and since I didn't have ground pork I used all lamb, and since I didn't have lemongrass or ginger or fish sauce I used some other stuff - soy sauce (horrors), lime juice, and Idontknowwhatall. A friend had donated a couple of meatball-makers to my culinary cause (hoping to enjoy more meatballs when I entertain at dinner, I think). Those things rock! Much better than rollin' them by hand.

    I combined the meatballs with some 5 Brothers sauce and homemade pesto, then topped spaghetti squash with the mix. Grilled some veggie kebabs (zucchini, pearl onions, grape tomatoes, mushrooms, brushed with coconut oil and sprinkled with sea salt) to accompany. And yes, had the friend over for dinner so she could enjoy the fruits of her generosity.



    I noticed yesterday at the running of the dogs, my "wind" has suffered during these long hot days. I just don't get all the low-level activity I'm used to when it's 100 degrees by 11am. And sprinting is just too militant sometimes in the morning. I prefer to dash around the field with the dogs in the afternoon. Perhaps it's an effect of my age, but I feel springier in the afternoons, not so much in the mornings. Anyway, I'm starting to feel soft.

    A very wise man once told me, "It's easy when it's easy." Meaning, I guess, you can't take credit for doing something when it was easy. Instead, go for the hard stuff.

    So, I'll try a bit harder to get in the exercise I really need so I can feel good again.


    • #47
      Sprinted last night. I surprised myself - I've gotten faster. I used the treadmill at the club, put it on 3.0 incline, and sprinted at 10.0, as fast as it would let me go.

      Today my appetite is through the roof. Yeah, I'm a step slow today, but sprints. Are. Good.

      The day I start worrying about what a vegan thinks of me is the day they push my body out on a flaming Viking boat.
      - MDA's very own Mr. Anthony


      • #48
        This week I had houseguests, a nice family of three. Mom and dad are in their 30's, 14-year-old daughter. It was fun feeding them as much paleo-style stuff as I could while keeping them satisfied. Still, over four days we accumulated 3 boxes of snacks - pretzel thingies, Whales (whatever they are), Cheez-its.

        They had Mexican fast food for lunch one day (I was at work) and yesterday had deli sandwiches (while I had ribs from the deli's barbecue outside).

        The mom was interested in my diet because I'm in pretty good shape, my energy levels far outstripped theirs and I obviously didn't watch portion size that much . I pointed her at MDA and explained the simplicity of the concepts, while making sure I mentioned that it's based on science and research. I hope they can kick the SAD and enjoy the joy.

        Last night I made paleo waffles (the simple banana and egg kind), topped with butter, whipped cream, Greek yogurt, raspberries, and blueberries. Also bought some organic bacon at yesterday's deli, which was really the bomb. Best bacon ever. Really. OMG. The dinner went over very well - even the picky 14-yo enjoyed herself.



        • #49
          The Friday success story (Marie's - sorry, Randy, you're doing fine, congratulations, but...) today was particularly moving. OK, like tough to handle moving.

          Marie's resilience and inner strength are amazing. When we are injured or sick and are struggling through it, we rarely see the strength in ourselves. But recounting the facts, especially backed by the pictures (!), the strength she shows in retrospective only hint at how tough a person can be.

          Through the fire and out the other side, better and stronger.


          • #50
            I went on a 4wd trip last week, on the world-famous Rubicon Trail, which goes from Loon Lake (near Placerville, CA) to Tahoe City-ish. Mind you, this is a "car camping trip", not a backpacking trip. But I'm happy to be able to say I went Primal the whole way.

            First: play. This whole trip is about play. Work or family or school or whatever doesn't matter when you're out negotiating large rocky obstacles with a car. Since I was a passenger on this trip (the previous 4 trips I've done here I drove my own Jeep truck), I spent most of it climbing into and out of the lifted Land Cruiser. I probably did 50 exits and entries per day (3 days on the trail). I also did lots of running up and down the trail to take pictures and videos, and to help other drivers through obstacles ("spotting").

            Even when we broke stuff (2 drive shafts, axle spring hangers, electrical wiring for fans, throttle cables...) the repairing was fun. Since you're on a trail, perhaps 2 days from rescue or spare parts, repairing is necessary, or you just have to leave the rig where it failed while you run for parts. That adds a Primal aspect.

            Second: nature. Sure, we're in internal combustion-powered vehicles that rumble and grind their way along a trail. But the trail is a designated off-road vehicle trail, maintained by the counties through which it runs, and policed rather militantly by the people who use the trail. You pack out what you pack in (EVERYTHING, get my drift), leave only tracks and take only pictures. Camp within 50' of the trail, no fires, at least 100' from any water. We want the wilderness to stay unsullied so we can go there again.

            We camped in the open, under the stars. A bit risky, considering the thunder showers that rumbled through each afternoon, but we survived. There was plenty of time for quiet reflection, which we all took advantage of.

            Third: food. Yum. Knowing that fires are not permitted (but camp stoves are), I pre-cooked steaks and bacon, then froze them. I also got some sliced meat at the butcher's for lunch, and froze that. I made a giant Primal smoothie, and froze it. Water was the beverage of choice, so I froze some of that, too. So breakfasts consisted of boiled eggs, cold bacon, coffee with whipping cream, and some smoothie. Lunches were primal sandwiches with meat, sharp cheddar, butter, and the best mustard I can find. Dinner was a salad the first night (with chopped antipasto meats mixed in), the last two nights I ate steak and mixed dippable veggies and dark chocolate to finish.

            I managed to stay true to the eating style, and may have caused a couple of my companions to consider Primal eating (when they were eating hot dogs and I was having steak, and when they were having Danishes for breakfast and I was enjoying bacon and eggs). As the next-to-oldest person there, and obviously the fittest (thanks Mark), I think the example hit home.

            Summary: good company, good eats, and a primal attitude resulted in epic fun.

            (Once I get some pictures sorted out, I'll try to post them here...check back in the next day or so!)


            • #51
              Woops also I really enjoyed the post about slacklining, and am looking at one for myself!


              • #52
                This weekend's Link Love led me to How High Can You Step?, and as the author warns I rambled about the house finding stuff to step up on. My best, no-cheat step was onto a wooden filing cabinet that is 32" high (I'm only 5' 9", so give me a break). says that 35 centimeters is 13.78 inches. I guess I shouldn't worry about getting around. Yet.

                Walking on a treadmill at my desk seems ... meh. I've been using a DIY standup workstation for a few months now and am quite comfortable doing it. I even look forward to standing at work (my desk at home is still a crappy sit-down affair and I use an old cast-off chair from an old employer). When my officemate is out, I use the time to enjoy my music (on a USB stick) via headphones - physically: I dance around. OK, middle-aged guy with fuzzy headphones on, throwing down moves by himself in a little corner office...weird when I think about it, fun when I'm doing it. Haven't been caught yet!

                Two weeks ago I did a Primal camping week while 4-wheeling the Rubicon Trail; now one of my co-Jeepers and his wife have started their Primal journey. This makes me happy; I hope it makes them happy too.

                And last weekend (Labor Day) I attended a male-only camping retreat at a private cabin, wherein a bunch of us karate guys get together, eat meat (and other good stuff) and practice karate together. Some of the guys bring their young sons, too. We all pitch in together for the cooking, cleaning, wood-gathering, and other chores. Some of the guys are experienced shooters, so they set up a gun range and the kids (and some of the men too) get high-quality firearm safety training. In the evenings, we have a large fire in a metal-ringed fire pit, swap stories, sing songs, perform rehearsed or ad-lib skits, and in general just cement our relationships. Brought together by our common interest in karate, kept together by our shared values and experiences. Sounds like a Primal tribe to me.

                Final note: I've been living Primal for nearly two years now. My health has benefited greatly by the diet and exercise. My attitude has benefited accordingly, and I love all the new rabbit-holes that MDA and its followers lead me down. It's awesome and I share it with anybody who asks me about why I'm so skinny, or how I can "do that at your age", or why I'm putting butter in my coffee.

                I don't think there's any going back, barring apocalyptic life changes. I might stop back by here to comment or share something interesting, might not. I'll still read my usual threads and contacts here, since I'm a great lurker. A toast: To your good health!


                • #53
                  It's been a while since I dropped in to my own journal.

                  Two days ago I stepped on bathroom scale and OMG I'd gained 10 pounds - almost back to where I'd started this journey. Upon honest self-examination, I found two main factors wrapped in one reason: I'd become complacent.

                  Secure in the knowledge that "I got this", I 1) relaxed on my diet a bit, and 2) cut back on my exercise. Diet-wise, I allowed commercial eggnog back into my life. I also ate potatoes more frequently - dining out and at home. Regarding exercise, I still do karate, still run with my dogs, but haven't gotten to the gym to LHT and my morning practice/workout sessions suffered due to lack of discipline before I head to work.

                  I started logging my diet again at When I input the diet of three days ago, my carb intake was high (over 100g, for me that's high), and my fat intake was at about 120% of the recommendation. (cronometer recommends targets based on my physical parameters and my diet - I choose Paleo). Turns out the whipping cream I put in my coffee on weekends is one culprit, and the flavored creamer I put in the nasty coffee at work doesn't do me any favors.

                  For the last two days I have stuck to strictly Primal foods. I'm in the midst of a bout with the flu, the mildness of which I'm attributing to my Primal (ok, primal-ish) lifestyle. So my exercise and activity levels are down while I battle.

                  The good news is I feel better about myself, having exerted some power over my own condition, and I've already lost two pounds.

                  Now to conquer this flu and get back to Primal exercise!


                  • #54
                    Well, I'm almost over the flu...and my appetite shows it. Rest and lots of water and homemade chicken broth are my best friends.

                    Weight is down from 158.5 to 153. YAY. The last few days my carb intake has been about 50g/day, and it's been easy.

                    This morning, in anticipation of a full day with some exercise, I added a second egg to breakfast.

                    So far so good!


                    • #55
                      I'm down to 151 lbs. Weight loss has tapered off as my appetite grows. However, my energy levels have increased too!

                      Now I've caught a cough that sounds like bronchitis. Really? Time to buckle down for the fight again. I must be well in three weeks at the latest - karate Special Training is in January, and you simply cannot make a strong Special Training while under the weather, and it's not fair to the other participants to be breathing nasty germs at them.

                      New signature...I like the sentiments!

                      It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere. -Voltaire, philosopher and writer (1694-1778)


                      • #56
                        Success! Down to 148 again. It took 3 weeks to lose 10 pounds.

                        I did indulge I a bit of eggnog, and had some yogurt once. But! I enjoyed bacon-wrapped chicken, pot roast, bleu-cheese hamburgers, omelettes, coffee with whipping cream, salads, and discovered some great new veggie recipes (the biggest struggle for me is getting a wide enough variety of vegetables).

                        Reading The Primal Blueprint helped, and is of course a great way to stay on track.

                        Thanks to Mark and his community!


                        • #57
                          Intermittent fasting on BBC:

                          BBC News - Intermittent fasting: The good things it did to my body

                          I wonder if they'll tie the results someday to our evolution?


                          • #58
                            Still in the saddle, 4 years now

                            It's been over a ... well almost 2 years since I last posted here.

                            I'm doing well on Primal, still using both the Primal food and exercise pyramids. Weight still fluctuates around the 150lb mark. I've found out in the last year that I need to take care of my joint connective tissue better. I tore my MCL in August 2015 at a karate tournament, and after 4 months it's about 95%. Still some flexibility and pain issues but it's gotten fairly stable.

                            I'm enjoying cooking as usual, brewing more chicken and beef broth than before. Last night I fried some coconut-crusted whitefish in bacon grease, topped with a honey-orange sauce of my own conception and creation. Yum! My usual breakfast is at noon, with poached eggs on a tablespoon of coconut oil, lots of salt and some fresh pepper. Yes, I practice a reduced eating window. I find that mornings are easy-peasy that way and it reduces the total calories per day. I still struggle getting what I think is enough vegetable matter into my diet.

                            I'm doing a weekly weightlifting group session at the gym along with 3 or 4 karate workouts per week, plus dog-related activity and yard/house work. Also I have a bad habit of working on cars which keeps me doing unusual movements in the garage, including full Grok-squats, rolling on the floor and some LHT.

                            With a tax refund this winter, I'm hoping to enroll in and graduate from the Primal Blueprint Expert Certification curriculum. Perhaps my fourth career could be as a Primal counselor and/or trainer?

                            Last item this post: sometime in 2016 I'd like to run a Tough Mudder or Spartan race. Anybody with me?

                            I hope you all have a very merry Christmas season!



                            • #59
                              Good to see you are still with the program. My bad knee precludes your Tough Mudder.
                              Way back in 9/13, you talked about desks. Did you ever resolve your home desk and move away from your conventional & 2nd hand situation?
                              The Buck stops here. I am responsible for my past and my future. So for today: I choose to be happy. I will seek wisdom. I will be a servant to others. I will greet this day with a forgiving spirit.


                              • #60
                                Hey Rig, thanks for asking.

                                I have a generic home computer desk - a desk and a separate upper part (hutch?) with a cork board and a few shelves and niches.

                                I solved my standup puzzle by simply inverting the hutch so that it provides a shelf for keyboard and mouse. I mounted my flat screen monitor to the erstwhile bottom of the hutch with a couple of over-door hangers from Walmart. Clear shipping tape retains the monitor back against the hangers so it doesn't tip forward. Yes, it's a little low for my height, but it works, and has been that way for at least a year. Amazingly the tape hasn't gone brittle.

                                When I get tired of standing, or need a flat surface to do paperwork, I just sit down temporarily. I can still use and see the monitor, keyboard and mouse, but it's inconvenient enough that I stand back up soon.

                                It's a redneck "there I fixed it!" solution, but it works, and only cost a few bucks.