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Diving In? - badwolf's Primal Journal

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  • Diving In? - badwolf's Primal Journal

    Dive in fast or wade in slowly?
    Iím normally a dive right in type of girl.
    In fact, my mother would quote me right about now, saying, ďI was the first one in!Ē - A reference to my visit to the public bath houses in Japan at the ripe old age of 14.

    However, we arenít talking about hot springs or swimming pools here - no, weíre talking about some lifestyle changes. . . and I want to be sure to give this my best shot.

    A friend from college came to town a month back and, when I noticed that his psoriasis had cleared up, I asked him what he was doing that was working so well. He told me that he attributes his drastic improvements to his lifestyle changes - cutting out gluten and sugar, eating fresh foods, living an active life... I had to fight the urge to roll my eyes.

    If I had a nickel for every time someone has told me that cutting out sugar and or gluten would clear up my very painful, very ugly facial psoriasis, Iíd be a very rich woman! Still, my friend wasnít preaching without experience - he was just sharing what had worked for him, and so - for the first time ever - I spent some time researching the effects of gluten and sugar on psoriasis. Thatís when I happened across MDA.

    I forwarded the website to a friend/coworker. ĎCan you believe this?Ē I asked her.
    Yes, actually, she could... it might work for me.

    It might work for me.

    So, I read the book - Iíve read several forum posts and blog entries and success stories. I want a success story!

    Here is what success would look like for me, at this point in time:
    • Weight loss. iíd love to pretend this isnít a big motivator for me, but it really is. I donít have some ideal goal weight in mind, I just know that I canít keep maintaining 198 lbs any more.. My size 16 clothes are slowly becoming too tight, and I just canít bear the thought of going another size up.
    • Improved health. Sure, I feel pretty healthy now... but I think Iím taking some risks with my high carb, high sugar diet right now. Iíve been noticing, lately, that sometimes after I eat, I have this tickle-cough that will not stop for quite a while. I also often have heartburn, back pain, leg pain, headaches... and Iím only 30 years old! Iím too young to start falling apart.
    • Skin improvement. Maybe diet change is the way to accomplish this, maybe not - but Iíd like to give it a fighting chance so i can know, once and for all, if ďtheyĒ are all correct - itís all in my gut.

    I guess you could say this is my n=1 experiment to discover if PBP changes will make me:
    1. feel better, and
    2. impact my psoriasis

    So, Iím starting today, but since I am frugal and on a budget, Iím going to be making these changes slowly - at least for the first week - as I finish changing over my refrigerator and pantry to PBP friendly foods.

    Barriers to success:
    • I work nights and have grown quite accustomed to my mid-shift coca-cola.
      However, considering the fact that I have been successfully Dr. Pepper (my true addiction at one time) free since 2010, I believe that I can give up all sodaís once and for all.
    • Iím lazy. and sometimes downright tired due to the night shift schedule, and especially when DH is ďcookingĒ - on Mondayís and Fridayís - it may be difficult to be primal, because...
    • DH isnít sold on this. Heís intrigued. He is willing to give it a shot... Iím just hoping he will feel better enough, fast enough to notice the difference and be fully convinced.

    Iím torn between sharing my journey with people IRL and keeping it to myself until I notice some changes. Iíd be interested in hearing how others have handled this.

    I guess Iím wading in slowly this time. As much as Iíd like a drastic change all at once, for now one step at a time will have to do.
    Last edited by badwolf; 07-01-2013, 03:24 AM. Reason: perfectionism ;)

  • #2
    So far tonight/today (I'm at work so it's night for me still) I have been able to stay strong and avoid all of the readily available snacks on hand - individual bags of chips, crackers, Rice Krispies treats, cokes, ice cream, cereals... I know I'm going to need to pack more options in the future.

    B.A. Salad with kale and spinach, half an avocado, feta cheese, and a bit of Greek vinaigrette.
    Lots of water.

    I planned on grabbing a piece of fruit from the kitchen here, but everything looks a bit old and splotchy. Now I'll know.


    • #3
      Welcome Badwolf. I wish you lots of success on your primal journey. I'm glad your dh is intrigued enough to give it a shot, and I hope you will both feel better for it. I'm sure you will lose some weight and find some more energy. Hopefully your skin will also improve, mine wasn't bad to start with but definitely softer and less dry now. Keep on clearing out your pantry, if it's only full of primal goods then that's what you will be eating. All the best.
      Annie Ups the Ante


      • #4
        Although it looked like it might work, I was very skeptical about this whole Paleo/primal thing. I started by giving up grains and most added sugar for a week. After a week, I had a sugary dessert and realized how differently it made me feel -- heart racing at first, then lethargic, followed by sleepiness as if I had taken medication with codeine. Not good. That's when I gave up added sugars. After a couple of weeks of noticeable improvements -- fat loss, no heartburn, no bloated feeling after meals, no mood swings, no shakes 4 hours after a meal -- I figured that this was the right thing for me. That's when I took the plunge and went all out. Like you, I tend to be frugal, so tossing all of my perfectly good non-primal foods was painful, but definitely the right thing to do for myself.


        • #5
          Although it looked like it might work to resolve what appeared to be a malabsorption issue, I was very skeptical about this whole primal thing. So I decided to give up grains and added sugars for a week. After a week I had a sugary dessert, and noticed significant differences in how I felt afterward. So I made those much smaller quantities on a less frequent basis. As my health continued to improve, I realized that this was the right thing for me. Within a month I decided to finally take the plunge and I haven't looked back since. Aside from taking care of the GI issue that led me here, it has taken care of several others that I didn't know we're issues as well as many other general health issues that I had thought of as normal (lifelong issues) or attributed to aging.


          • #6
            Wading in slowly is much better in the long run. Diving in 100% from the start has caused plenty of people to fail.Either they find it too hard or when the carb flu hits they chuck it in. I made gradual changes and never experienced rough times and truly believe it helped make the transition painless.
            Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.


            • #7
              Thanks for the encouragement, everyone
              Yesterday wasn't so successful because I was catching up on sleep, then rushing to get ready for work.
              I did lower my carb intake by 100 g yesterday, so that's an improvement - I'll file that in the win column.

              So far today, I've been successful in following my goals. IF for breakfast, BA salad for lunch with pan seared chicken (in butter) and half an avocado, with most of a banana for "dessert".

              Right now, I want something sweet - cookies, cake, ice cream... I'm not sure if it's just bc I'm trying to decrease my sugar intake, or if eating that banana set me up. I'm not hungry, just "craving" so I'm trying to distract myself by doing different activities and drinking some more water.

              My dogs are really giving me a workout today - glad to know they are team players


              • #8
                Had to back off of my internet usage, so I've been absorbed in some good books since my last post.
                My eating plan hit a wall when our finances became strained. DH has had a major job change this summer, having spent the entire month of May without work. Now he is in his best job ever, but we are playing catch up - so I have been pulling things from the back of the cupboard to make it through until things even out.

                I have managed to eat a big ass salad as a meal most days of the week - I found avocados on sale for $1/each and have cut out a lot of my excess sugars and carbs - as much as I can given the circumstances - but I know that we are going to have to be a bit stricter once we are able.

                May not post much until I am able to make more improvements... we shall see.


                • #9
                  DH told me today he feels his testosterone has bottomed out again. As a 30 yo man, this is concerning - and something we've been dealing with for a few years with plenty of run around from the doctors and little real help or progress. At least we know its not a tumor... That's about all we know for sure.

                  Because of this, and out of desperation, we are going to have to try something drastic.
                  Trying to decide exactly how to adapt to Primal, I'm not sure if he wouldn't do better to just jump in after all. I thought about breaking it down into some steps to spread out over a few days/weeks time per step.

                  I think maybe we *could* split it like this:
                  1- cut out sweet drinks and non-naturally sweet treats
                  2- cut out breads and gluten
                  3- cut out grains

                  And, at the same time, adding progressively more meats and healthy fats & balancing macros until we get the hang of this.

                  I realize we also need to go to a doctor, I'm just not quite sure where to turn next as I feel we aren't having our needs heard. For DH, this all started with a high stress job. We believe this affected his cortisol levels, for within 6 months he had elevated BP, cholesterol levels through the roof, depression like nobodies business, super high blood sugar, low libido, and "the testosterone of a 90 yo man."
                  He finally found his dream job in June and not only is it fulfilling with a much more balanced work schedule, it's also a physical job. He has lost a few inches this month and he is feeling better in many ways, so there's some hope... I'm not really sure if a diet change *can* help testosterone levels, but I doubt it can hurt them.


                  • #10
                    So, it took us long enough, but we are finally converting to this lifestyle.
                    DH got a blood panel done at the first of the year with all the wrong numbers... his A1c was 8.9 and the doctor basically said she was giving him 4 months to turn this around before she'd want to start insulin. We have an acquaintance who has recently had a lower leg amputation due to complications from his diabetes, so this was a wake up call for both of us.

                    We've been going strong for 11 days now. It's not been easy... especially with shark week during our first few days, I felt like I could do terrible things to get my hands on fresh baked cookies or an ice cold coca-cola... thankfully, I wanted this more and my stubbornness won out.

                    I fooled myself into believing that I'd been making the transition gradually. Maybe I had... but it was gradual enough that going full primal was still a jolt to the system. My mom was here visiting us and had been essentially very strict primal (with some additional restrictions from her doctor) since September of last year, so she was a great voice of wisdom and encouragement to help us get started.

                    DH's determination has amazed me, truly - I didn't expect this level of dedication. But, on Sunday when we weighed ourselves for the first time (since pulling the scale out of the corner and dusting it off) we discovered that DH had lost 10 lbs since his last doctor's visit, which gave him a great sense of accomplishment and hope that this could actually work.
                    Since then, he's had several company lunches that he has pulled through - even turning down his favorite pizza for the meal he brought from home.

                    I feel like I'm rambling here, I just want to keep up with the changes I'm noticing...
                    In just this short time, I've noticed that I am beginning to have more energy. I've also noticed less stiffness in my joints. I don't think that I would have even considered my joints stiff until I noticed the difference. Things like, if my back is hurting after sitting too long at work, if I stretch and take some deep breaths, I feel relief, and that's new. Before, it didn't matter what I did, that tension wasn't going away.

                    My hope is that I will see a change in my face - a reduction in acne and relief from my painful facial psoriasis. After adapting, I'm going to cut out nightshades to experiment.


                    • #11
                      Non-scale victory today: I was able to wear pants that I haven't worn since 2010!

                      I've noticed a pattern that I always have a headache on Sunday. I wake up with one and it grows worse throughout the day... I have to get to the bottom of this.


                      • #12
                        I'm so tired of winter.
                        Cold snowy days make me want old comfort foods like fresh baked treats.

                        I made a bacon "sandwich" instead, and that helped a bit.

                        I think that if DH and I can really stick with this and meet some of our health goals, we may have to reward ourselves with a vacation to somewhere tropical and warm.


                        • #13
                          Hey badwolf! I saw your username and thought "I wonder if they're a Doctor Who fan" and then I saw your picture .

                          I feel you on the winter blues . There's been quite a bit of snow our way this winter, reminds me of my childhood. Seems like there were a number of years without much snow and now it's catching up.

                          Do you do/eat anything consistently every Saturday? I find that I under-eat on weekends and it messes with my gut. Maybe you tend to dehydrate yourself on weekends or something like that?
                          Depression Lies


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by namelesswonder View Post
                            Hey badwolf! I saw your username and thought "I wonder if they're a Doctor Who fan" and then I saw your picture .

                            I feel you on the winter blues . There's been quite a bit of snow our way this winter, reminds me of my childhood. Seems like there were a number of years without much snow and now it's catching up.

                            Do you do/eat anything consistently every Saturday? I find that I under-eat on weekends and it messes with my gut. Maybe you tend to dehydrate yourself on weekends or something like that?
                            Hey! Yes, I love the doctor and I dunno, bad wolf sounded primal ;-)

                            I don't eat much on weekends, especially Saturdays because I work Friday nights, then try to magically stay awake for 24+ hours to have a somewhat normal life on the weekend, but you're right - I could definitely be dehydrating myself. I have to work on this!

                            Thanks for the feedback. I hope your winter blues are fading... Spring is almost here!


                            • #15
                              I'm not sure if this is acceptable around here... If not, I will delete it...
                              But yesterday I realized just how loose my jeans have become and I asked my husband to take a picture for me.
                              ImageUploadedByMarks Daily Apple Forum1395747229.752763.jpg
                              I'd call that a non-scale victory. I'm not in a smaller size or anything yet, but it's nice to see some outward changes to match the inner changes that I feel.

                              In other news, it's been a month plus now and dh & I both feel great. Our sleeping is improved, too, possibly due to the fact that dh has stopped snoring!!

                              I'm still having some issues with my stomach at times and my facial psoriasis is flaring up, so I think a Whole 30 is definitely in order soon.

                              We had overnight guests this weekend and I baked for them... Non-primal muffins because I was in a hurry. In a moment of weakness, I ate 2 ... And almost immediately felt the effects. So I've been trying to eat extra clean the past few days to help my system recover. So far, it's not enough.