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If I stop and listen ...

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  • If I stop and listen ...

    ... to what the Universe tells me ... I find what I need.

    So, here's my Journal.

    For the next 21 days (actually more because my target is June 26 and I'm a few days in) I'm going to choose more whole veggies, meat and fruits instead of grains and processed foods, no matter what their guise.

    I call it 'recognizable' foods - does it look like the food it started out to be? Can I eat it raw? What did someone else to do the food to make it edible before it got to me? If someone's advertising to get me to eat it, I definitely don't want it.

    And that's it.

    Sub-goal - get moving, more. Make extra trips up and down stairs ; park at the back of the lot (fewer door dings, too) ; move some firewood ; pick up some branches. Just move. Nothing structured - no stressing about this. Exercise can be the next 21 days once I've got the food part comfortable

    Sub-goal #2 - got to bed when the sun gets low and maybe have better mornings and days

    June 26 is Grad for my daughter, and I want to minimize my dreaded 'menopot' so I can be the hottest mom there! At least in my husband's eyes.

    I've always been slim, but never athletic at all. I don't like exercise, fail miserably at aerobics class, can't run, have no eye/hand coordination for team sports. But I love to walk and can trek for hours and miles. I love yoga, and will make returning to regular classes/home practice a subsequent 21 day challenge.

    I kept weight off after 4 babies, but now at mid-life I've developed the dreaded 'menopot' - a Pillsbury Dough Boy belly - ugh. My weight's begun to creep, only a few pounds so far, but that's enough. Books tell me that women gain fat to replace estrogen after menopause. What kind of cruel joke is that?

    If I have to have this 'muffin top' (even before I zip my jeans!), then I don't want it any larger, and perhaps it'll look better if I can get muscles underneath toned. I don't want to gain weight 2 lbs here, then 5, maybe 8 until I'm heavy ; I look at my very overweight mom and her health issues - not my choice if I can help it.

    Primal just makes so much sense ; it's simple, really.

    Breakfast: 2 eggs scrambled with cheddar in 1 tbsp coconut oil. Spiralina and chlorella. Replaced toast/cookies with fruit (orange or asian pear) Eggs have been my daily breakfast for over 30 yrs! Formerly fried in butter, now coconut oil in my trusty cast iron pan. My acupuncturist recommended spiralina and chlorella 2 yrs ago - primal? I suspect we're missing nutrition from our water.
    Mid-morning snack: snap peas
    Later-morning snack: raw nuts w/ dried fruit (walnuts, cashews, pecans, almonds, cherries, cranberries) This mix has been my 'portable' food for 10 yrs. I've always got it with me.
    Lunch: salad - maybe with salmon or tuna w/ olive oil + balsamic vinegar
    Mid-afternoon snack: coconut ribbons in honey ; or banana with honey and coconut ribbons. Is honey primal? For me it is - I love honey and it's health benefits. I use it on my face, and in my hair (cause I'm no 'poo water-only). And maple syrup, yum - I don't use that on my face or hair tho.
    Dinner: grilled meatball, pineapple, pepper skewers. Served over noodles for the rest of family. No noodles for me - additional salad. Last night was meatloaf. Grilled chicken before that.
    tea, water, ACV + honey tea all day long

    A few days in: I'm eating more, and eat until I'm full. I'm eating more frequently. Excellent sinus health. No mid-afternoon 'crash'.
    I feel less lazy getting to bed at a reasonable time (9:30!) instead of partially awake on the couch wishing there'd be something better on tv than what I'm watching.
    Easy and natural so far.

    "Unfortunately, humans rely less on instincts and more on culture to determine what they eat" - Marcia Pelchat

  • #2
    Welcome Lark! I hope Primal goes well for you.

    I'm thinking way too many snacks, fruit and honey.
    Ancestral Health Info - My blog about Primal and the general ancestral health movement. Site just remodeled using HTML5/CSS3 instead of Wordpress.

    My MDA Friday success story - Stubborn Senior's Testimonial


    • #3
      Hi, Thanks, Hedonist2 - I've given consideration to your comments

      So, today, instead of an orange at breakfast, I had a yellow bell pepper with my scrambled eggs, and I increased the amount of snap peas for my mid morning snack.
      Late morning snack: nuts
      Lunch - late today ; salad featuring salmon
      Dinner - even later ; not much imagination today - bbq'd sausage and more salad

      Not in the mood for more greens after 4 hours of cutting grass - but, absolutely no sinus issues even after being covered routinely in clippings and dirt, twigs, and spiders.

      Bell pepper for breakfast? surprisingly okay. I have almost no sense of smell, so food for me is really about texture, and less about flavour. I've got all the 'tongue' tastes of salty, sweet, etc but lack the ability to experience flavours that foodies rave about. Perhaps that's part of my love for fruit - the tactile sensation of the food. I think I can make peppers a habit for breakfast.

      Snacks - I refuse to feel hungry - I'm like those candy bar commercials except worse because I'm not acting. I get confused, slur my words, feel light-headed and nauseated, short of breath - a total mess. I've had glucose tolerance testing done several times over the years, and everything came back normal.
      But, now I'm thinking - snacks would be much better if they aren't homemade muffins, banana bread, a cookie or 2, cheese + (Ritz) crackers. I'm hoping to see after 21 days if I'm less hungry, and how primal snack choices do for me.

      These past few first days, tho, I'm hungrier, and I do eat until I'm full.

      How much honey? - proponents of honey recommend 1 to 2 tbsp/day ; previously I've measured my honey consumption with a kitchen measuring spoon, and most I get in a day is only 1 tbsp. Honey has too many good things for me to do without this treat.

      Miscellaneous: enjoyed mental clarity today at work doing filing. Drove the Assistant Controller crazy b/c I went into her office 54 separate times to get folders as I was doing her filing. My small attempt at incorporating a little more simple movement into my day. Might have added a bit more time to the task instead of taking an armload of folders, well worth it. Work flew by and I felt 'busier' doing a rather mundane task this morning.

      Glass of red wine this evening, and baseball on TV. Not missing popcorn, but will need to thaw some beef jerky for those snack urges.

      "Unfortunately, humans rely less on instincts and more on culture to determine what they eat" - Marcia Pelchat


      • #4
        One tablespoon of honey should be fine. It is primal and it does have good stuff.
        Ancestral Health Info - My blog about Primal and the general ancestral health movement. Site just remodeled using HTML5/CSS3 instead of Wordpress.

        My MDA Friday success story - Stubborn Senior's Testimonial


        • #5
          Zucchini for breakfast ...

          I really am a creature of habit, (just finished reading The Power of Habit - recommend), but now I'm re-evaluating all that I thought I 'knew'.

          Eggs have been my breakfast staple for a very long time, formerly accompanied by toast, in all manner of breads from the dark, heavy European breads that my dad favoured (which I haven't seen available anywhere in forever) to Safeway white bread (basically air miraculously held together) to my fantastic homemade bread (the best). With butter, at least it's always been butter. And a glass of orange juice, and cup of tea and maybe a cookie.

          When I first nixed the bread I went to my next favourite habit - fruit. Not that fruit is necessarily 'bad' in any way, but I'm learning that there are better choices via vegetables.

          So, I went to my next favourite on the list - bell peppers. They fit the bill nicely, crunchy, juicy, and sweet. I could make a habit of these every single day. Then, I moved out of my habit zone and tried zucchini for breakfast - crunchy, not as juicy and kinda 'green' tasting, but suitable. I doubt I'll try radishes for breakfast, though.

          Breakfast: the usual scrambled eggs + bell pepper or zucchini
          Lunch: some version of a 'kitchen sink' salad with either salmon or tuna (actually skipped lunch on Sunday with no ill effects)
          Peckish before dinner: 1/4 cup macademia nuts or beef jerky or small bite of cheese
          Dinner: BBQ'd steak ; burger patty - with salad and veggie accompaniments

          Observations: over the weekend, I got hungry on two occasions, [I]without[I] the scary disorientation I typically get. No mid-morning, early afternoon snacks needed these past 2 days. Placebo/power of suggestion? or balancing of my system? who cares - it was liberating to experience hunger without fear of fainting. As my sinus issues have alleviated over the past few years, I've no longer had to carry tissues (in every pocket and up my sleeves) - maybe a primal lifestyle will let me leave the house without snacks too.

          Food choices: I realize that I gravitate towards fruits with higher fructose such as mangoes, asian pears, and oranges. For the sake of the next 21 days, I will chose berries (in season now) instead, and opt for veggies when I would normally grab a fruit. Again, fruit isn't 'bad', but if I want to re-program my system, I think 3 short weeks without oranges will be okay.

          And, snap peas - I guess peas are actually legumes, and again, satisfy my sweet tooth. So, I'll sub something else for those too. I'm thinking carrot sticks for my sweet tooth instead.

          I like to think that my pouchy belly looks a little less bloated at the end of the day. That might just be wishful thinking, because I expect to really see results when I introduce more PEM - my next 21 days project.

          Miscellaneous: continued with making excuses for extra movement. Discovered that I can 'Grok squat' rather well - carry over from my yoga days maybe, so I squat down instead of bending over to get things off the ground - and it seemed that there are lots to pick up all the time!

          "Unfortunately, humans rely less on instincts and more on culture to determine what they eat" - Marcia Pelchat


          • #6
            Hi, Lark! Sounds like you are getting off on the right foot and it seems to be going well. That's awesome! Best of luck to you in your primal journey.....
            Lady Gecko, a.k.a. Theresa.


            • #7
              ... I would remember to eat my zucchini with breakfast ... although I think I prefer it in a salad

              I encountered the dilemma of cooking 2 styles of meals as I'm the only one in my household embarking on this new (er, old?) system of eating. The house was out of groceries, very empty, as today is cheap Tuesday so I was holding off on buying anything. That left ground beef, spaghetti, and tomato sauce to create a dinner with. Fine for an old standby of Spaghetti Pie, but that wasn't what I wanted. Luckily it was one of those nights when we were all going in separate directions at different times, so I reserved some of the cooked ground for myself. Tossed up the last of the Romaine lettuce into a medium ceasar salad to go with the casserole for my eldest, made a bacon & lettuce sandwich for my youngest to take along to ball, hubby wasn't coming home for dinner, and I had that beef in a bowl with steamed broccoli. Not exactly company fare, but serviceable.

              Lesson learned: devote some effort to planning meals. Food to me is really just a means to an end. My rather goofy dinner was satisfying, albeit plain, but it filled me up, provided me with energy and tided me over till bedtime.

              Breakfast: scrambled eggs, of course, with zucchini, except for today - I forgot any go-withs for my eggs (had lots of emailing to get done first thing in the a.m.) tea
              Lunch: leafy greens topped with veggies, salmon, and today: cherries. Since fruit is my favourite indulgence, I added cherries to the salad, instead of sitting with the whole bowl and eating them all = portion control. No dressing, just the cherries. Yum.
              Dinner: scrambled-fried ground beef + steamed broccoli (that's almost embarrassing to include)
              Snacks: 1/4 cup macadamias ; coconut ribbons

              Dinner tonight: grilled ham steaks with grilled pineapple, and probably leftover broccoli and salad and a cooked frozen veg for the broccoli dis-likers

              Observations: I'm in a very happy mood today, with the sun shining and warm weather. Even though we had disappointing news this morning, it didn't sink me to my usual level of brooding - sunshine? hormones not raging? system clearing of less than ideal foods?
              It's always exciting to start a new project, so full of promise and hope, I think I look for good results which may or may not exist. After all, instant gratification is never soon enough.

              Snacks: not as necessary nor large. I forgot how much I love macadamia nuts, and am glad a I bought a few pounds from the nut truck last fall.

              Movement: my 'extra steps' fitness plan is starting to feel more routine, but I think I overdid the Grok squats ... And nothing like an over-filled grocery cart with gibbled wheels for an upper body workout! When I rent one of those for .25 cents I expect it to ride properly. Grrr.
              "Unfortunately, humans rely less on instincts and more on culture to determine what they eat" - Marcia Pelchat


              • #8
                ... my sweet tooth is going to be the girth of me ...

                I am clearly drawn to all things sweet, especially fruit! In the interest of the next few weeks, I really want to re-program to not be so tempted by sugars - I've haven't thought twice about baked goods or other sugary goodies, but fruit - oh boy, do I love fruit. Not that fruit is bad in any way, but I'd really like to try eating less of it, and just see how I feel. So, I declined the grilled pineapple with dinner last night, and had a handful of cherries instead (dessert). I think so far, adjusting to veggie choices instead of a fruit has been the biggest challenge.

                One good thing about a salad-centric diet is when the power's out, there's still something to eat for dinner.

                Breakfast: scrambled eggs, a few cherries, spiralina & chlorella, ACV + honey tea
                Snack: carrot sticks, macademia nuts
                Lunch: bowl o' greenery with mango (again with the sweet fruit, but I bought 3 of 'em and I won't let them waste)
                Dinner: grilled salmon steaks with salad featuring zucchini and mushrooms ; a few cherries

                I got a copy of The Primal Blueprint Cookbook, and am impressed. Lots of inspiration and ideas for meals. Was all ready to bake bacon (what a concept - instead of buying the Costco Kirkland pre-cooked pkgs), but alas, eldest son dug up our power line, and I was left without electricity.

                Planning ahead: take a salad to work instead of relying on snacks/nuts.
                "Unfortunately, humans rely less on instincts and more on culture to determine what they eat" - Marcia Pelchat


                • #9
                  "my sweet tooth is going to be the girth of me" Freudian slip, maybe? Did you mean the death of me? It is true that it would be the girth of you if you keep falling prey to it!

                  Spiralina and chlorella - In what form are you consuming these? I have a vegetarian friend who eats spirulina chips on a regular basis. Tried one, BLECH, definitely wasn't my thing!!!

                  You're doing great, Lark - keep up the good work!
                  Lady Gecko, a.k.a. Theresa.


                  • #10
                    Hi, ldygeko,
                    No, not a 'slip' - my ol' sweet tooth would be making me rounder round the middle. Haha. That's what I'm hoping to avoid in the immediate future, and ultimately, hopefully, excellent health for the long term.

                    I'm watching my fruit consumption in case I'm substituting it for baked goodies. I don't think it'll be much of an issue for me, but I want to give my best effort for these first 21 days

                    Spirulina - I've never tried spirulina chips, but I do like Nu-Greens brand chewable tablets. It's definately an acquired taste, in my case anyways. My acupuncturist takes and recommends capsules, but I find them difficult to swallow. I like chlorella chewable tabs too. They give me a lovely green smile, and define the comment "you've got something in your teeth". . My first attempt with spirulina powder was dreadful, although a source of humour for my family.

                    Thanks for popping in to my journal here; it's nice you comment.

                    "Unfortunately, humans rely less on instincts and more on culture to determine what they eat" - Marcia Pelchat


                    • #11
                      ... maybe hunger pangs can be just hunger pangs ...

                      without the frightening disorientation and other disturbing physical symptoms of low blood sugar. If I take one thing away from this style of eating, it could be this

                      I'm still trying to get organized with my meal planning, and found myself away from home all day yesterday. Of course I packed some snacks (carrots, macadamias, coconut ribbons, and a salmon/lettuce wrap), but by evening, I was getting hungry. I had planned on getting somewhere to buy a nice deli salad, but didn't. Pleasantly surprised to experience mild hunger, without the other nonsense that's bothered me all my life. And, I wasn't afraid to eat leftover chicken and a salad as a bedtime snack.

                      Lesson learned: I'm away from home all day again today, so I'm packing my own 'deli' salad.

                      Nix to nuts - raw almonds, walnuts, pecans, and cashews with some dried cranberries and cherries has been my go-to snack-a-long food for a very long time, but I'm now finding that the nuts fill me up too much - it's a too-full feeling, almost like my whole system is too full and stuck.

                      Lesson learned: more macadamias and 'in moderation' for the other nuts is less than what I thought 'in moderation' was before.

                      Sweet tooth: getting under control. I really don't crave sugar at all, but chocolate still beckons me. Yesterday I sat with a bucket of 'fuzzy peaches candies' all day, and wasn't even tempted once - not a second glance. I still have (psychological) desire for 'something sweet' after a meal, but a strawberry of two hits the spot.

                      Radishes: I bought a bunch for hubby; he's eaten none, and I still really don't care for them. Maybe cooked?
                      Last edited by lark42; 06-09-2013, 07:04 AM. Reason: I mean no disrespect to the many folks and children who live with diabetes ; my low blood sugar discomfort is small to that
                      "Unfortunately, humans rely less on instincts and more on culture to determine what they eat" - Marcia Pelchat


                      • #12
                        I am not fond of raw radishes, they have a bit too much of a "bite" for me. I have roasted them, though! Wash, cut off greens, cut radish in half, spray with olive oil, sprinkle with garlic salt, and bake in oven at 425 until the skin starts to shrivel and the white part turns translucent. Nice potato alternative!
                        Lady Gecko, a.k.a. Theresa.


                        • #13
                          Hey, thanks. That does sound very good. My family loves oven baked spuds ; now I'll have my own 'version'.
                          "Unfortunately, humans rely less on instincts and more on culture to determine what they eat" - Marcia Pelchat


                          • #14
                            So, I experimented with some of the Nutrition Journaling websites, entering what I thought I ate for a typical Monday.

                            First - there are some very interesting and informative nutrition sites, and I appreciated the work of their designers.
                            Second - I don't think food diarying will be for me. I realize it's benefits, but it's one more step I'm not going to try and commit to. I think everyone should try it though, even if out of curiosity.
                            Third - it was a good opportunity to see how my food choices breakdown into 'categories'
                            Fourth - once in a while I should make a real effort to precisely record a day

                            What I learned:
                            Accuracy is necessary for food journaling to be successful. I'm not sure I entered what I ate very correctly, because apparently I subsisted on a mere 600-620 calories. My carbs and fats were high, and protein least
                            I'm not a big eater. Never have been. I've always been more of a grazer/nibbler. And here's the big revelation: carbs, sugars, and grains will have a more profound effect on me if I don't eat enough protein and vegs.
                            I'm still loving the cherries, and can limit myself to a mere 6 little cherries, but that handful of cherries really spikes my percentage of carbs in relation to protein and fats. It was a very interesting experiment.
                            I played with inputting different foods.
                            I now see how a cookie here, cheese & crackers there, a glass of orange juice to pick me up, or a small mocha and small fries from McD's could really add up on me over time.
                            That's what I started seeing recently as my life gets more sedentary (kids all grown) and maybe peri-menopausal.

                            Take away - beware those cherries! Nah, I'll keep eating them, now I know how much is 'with moderation'. I'll never say never to baked goods, but I'm not wanting them at all anymore, so it'd be a rare & special occasion, I'm thinking.

                            Challenge - I baked my most fabulous chocolate chip cookies for my household last night, and was not even tempted! What's up with that? I didn't even try to sneak some brown sugar from the container.
                            About baking cookies - I'm not on a mission to convert the rest of my family, and to their credit, they exhibit remarkable self-restraint when it comes to consuming baked goodies. Daughter seldom goes for cookies, and eldest son is a 2-cookies for dessert-only fellow.
                            It's also interesting to note, that when I set out more meat and my huge salad bowl, they all dive into that too. My bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin for dinner last night was a huge hit.
                            "Unfortunately, humans rely less on instincts and more on culture to determine what they eat" - Marcia Pelchat


                            • #15
                              ... I can hear Johann Strauss' Pizzicato Polka on the radio for my rainy morning drive ...

                              which was the perfect song to start a very rainy day!

                              After reading Low Carb Sample Menu | Mark's Daily Apple I revisited Paleo Track today, this time keeping meticulous track of what I enjoyed:

                              62% fat - (that's such a scary piece of the pie chart to CW eyes)
                              23% protein
                              14% carbs (again, with the cherries! - but only 1 cup, I measured)
                              950 calories

                              More importantly I'm feeling very good - my mood is upbeat, I'm enjoying some mental clarity, I'm not groggy/lethargic, and I'm not hungry nor having any cravings of any sort. I will feel tired if I don't get enough sleep, but it's a different sort of tired than the way I used to experience tired.

                              Breakfast: 2 x-lg eggs scrambled in 1 tbsp coconut oil, a slice of bacon, a portobello mushroom, spiraluna (1 000 mg) and chlorella (1700 mg) tea to go
                              Lunch: a series of snacks from late morning till early afternoon - I really need to improve my work day lunches. Zucchini slices, portobello mushroom, carrot, macadamia nuts, cold slice roast beef. Yesterday was beef jerky. Again, it's my old grazing habit - I get kinda hungry and eat a mushroom, then I feel full. A little later, I want something crunchy - mmm macadamias. And so on. Bonus marks for grazing on veggies and jerky, though.
                              Snack: 12 cherries
                              Dinner: baked pork sausage with roasted asparagus (drizzled with olive oil)
                              Goji berry tea

                              Strangely absent: honey - I've always valued it's nutrition, but ran out and haven't bought more. Not missing it, except for my facial.

                              Take away - I suppose measurements can be useful (although I don't and never have owned a scale - I guess my weight from my last doctor's visit). I don't think I'll put much effort into tracking my foods, though, because I'm almost over-thinking this little adventure (which I suppose is the point when adjusting to a new set of habits, but still ... )

                              I am pondering the next phase for me - 21+ days of fitness - if the food part is this good, then I'm excited about the potential for fitness. I'm evaluating how I will make time/commit time & place? Not sure how that will unfold, but, like everything else, if I just let myself be receptive to signs from the universe, the right set of circumstances will occur to me.

                              For now, my current 'extra steps' program is humming right along, with some heavy lifting and stair climbing at work today. I'm actually finding a few excuses each day for a little more movement.
                              "Unfortunately, humans rely less on instincts and more on culture to determine what they eat" - Marcia Pelchat