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Primal Journal -- KarenVT --

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  • Primal Journal -- KarenVT --

    My first entry! I've been lurking on the forum, now diving in.

    I've been PBing for about a month now. Mostly diet changes, no grains at all, very little sugar, concentrating on low-glycemic, good carbs, good protein, and good fat. I've started back to the gym, and am getting outside more as the winter abates here.

    I gotta say, I LOVE the way I feel. Some initial observations:
    • No more gas and bloating
    • No more swelling of hands and feet
    • Loads more energy
    • Better focus

    I'd love some feedback and support here. All my grandparents had heart disease and diabetes. My mother suffered for years from IBS, diverticulitis, then became diabetic, and finally died of colon cancer.

    I have no intention of going that route. For years I was vegetarian (ovo-lacto), but in my 40's started eating lean meats again. Whole grains, slow-food, not much processed anything, etc.

    But here's the deal -- my cholesterol level has shot up in the last few years. I had blood tests in 2005, and again in February this year.

    2005 lab results:

    Cholesterol: 229 mg/dl
    HDL: 93 mg/dl
    Chol/HDL ratio: 2.5 %
    LDL: 112 mg/dl
    LDL/HDL: 1.2 mg/dl
    Triglycerides: 121 mg/dl
    Glucose, plasma: 12 mg/dl

    2010 lab results:

    Cholesterol: 310 mg/dl
    HDL: 91 mg/dl
    Chol/HDL ratio: 3.4 %
    LDL: 203 mg/dl
    LDL/HDL: 2.23 mg/dl
    Triglycerides: 80 mg/dl
    Glucose, plasma: 82 mg/dl
    25 OH Vit D: 38.8 ng/ml

    What the heck??? I'm 54 years old, 5'-9" tall, weigh 158. I could stand to lose a few pounds, but am not considered overweight. I've been seeing a naturopath, but she's pretty conventional. She told me to cut way back on eggs, no pork, only skinless chicken, etc, etc. I had been cutting way back on grains before seeing her, and she thought that was a bad idea.

    She started me on red yeast rice, but after reading The Primal Blueprint, and some other stuff about statins, I stopped taking it.

    I'm scheduled for another blood test in 2 weeks, and I plan to ask for the LDL-particle size test, and also for C-reactive protein to look at inflammation levels.

    But intuitively, I can tell I'm changing for the better. My joints stopped hurting, my digestion is much better, I sleep more soundly, I think better, I have more energy, my skin is softer....

    Anyway -- I'm happy to have found this Primal thing!

  • #2
    Starting measurements and goals

    I calculated all these on April 4th using and The Primal Blueprint:

    Body Fat: 31.8%
    Chest: 37"
    Waist: 31"
    Hips: 41"
    Wrist: 6.25"
    Forearm: 9"
    Bicep: 11"
    Thigh: 24"
    Calf: 14.5"

    Current weight: 160
    Lean body mass: 110
    Ideal weight: 145

    Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR): 1422 (Number of daily calories burned to support basal metabolic functions)
    Activity factor:1.55 (Moderately active)
    Total Average Daily Calorie Expenditure: 1422 x 1.55=2204 (to maintain current weight)

    Macronutrient Calculations:
    160 pounds at 31.8% body fat = 110 pounds of lean body mass
    Moderately active = 0.7 factor for protein intake per pound lean body mass
    110 pounds x 0.7 = 77 grams of average daily protein intake (protein = 4 calories per gram)
    Goal of losing 6 pounds per month = 400 calories per day average caloric deficit
    Desired average caloric intake per day = 1800
    Desired protein grams = 77 grams (308 calories) 17%
    Desired carb grams = 75 grams (300 calories) 17%
    Desired fat grams = 132 grams (1192 calories) 66%

    I'm a person who in my clothes looks lean and fit. My friends laugh when I say I want to lose 15 pounds. People ask if I hike lots, or play basketball -- nope!

    I was always skinny as a kid. But after having my kids I gradually packed on an extra 20 pounds. I have an amazing amount of fat from my knees to my waist, but because I'm tall no one notices it unless I'm in shorts or swimsuit.

    I'm not that concerned about the number on the scale. I'm more interested in the inches I can pinch on my thighs and middle. I think of that in terms of bicycle tires -- my abdomen is like a fat mountain bike tire, a good handful. And my thighs too. Above my waist and back of my arms it's more like a road tire.

    So I say my goal is 145 pounds, which is what I weighed for years and years until my second son was born. But really, I just want those handfuls of fat to melt away!

    And now, a month later, I feel like they are. My body feels different. The handfuls of fat are looser, less substantial. My body looks different to me when I shower -- I see lines and definition where I have not in a long time. I haven't taken any measurements yet, and I'm a little afraid to! Afraid I will see no change in the numbers. My scale is sort of unreliable -- the floors in our old house are so crooked that if I move the scale a little, I get a different reading. I only weigh about once a month, if that, just to have a general notion. But I'm working out too, and building muscle, so who knows?

    The big, big thing is how much better I feel now. I was having migraines the last few years, monthly mostly, but more frequently the last year or so. One glass of red wine could set one off. Since I quit eating grains -- I have not had one single headache. Not one! Even if I have two (or three!! :-)) glasses of wine!


    • #3
      I took measurements over the weekend.

      Chest: 37" (no change)
      Waist: 30.5" (down 1/2")
      Hips: 40.5" (down 1/2"
      Wrist: 6.25" (no change -- already skinny)
      Forearm: 9.25" (up 1/4" -- muscles!)
      Bicep: 11" (no change)
      Thigh: 23.75" (down 1/4")
      Calf: 14.25" (down 1/4")

      Definitely seeing changes. It's exciting to buck the CW!!

      Last night I made a delicious Cobb salad -- local Mountain Mesclun from Pete's Greens, romaine, hard-cooked egg, chicken thighs, avocado, bacon, fresh chives, raw milk roquefort cheese from Massachussets. It was mostly local food, except the romaine and avocado, and the dressing ingredients -- olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, etc., and it was DELICIOUS. We're finding the combination of greenery, good fats and good protein to be very satisfying. I don't miss grains at all. Even my 18 year old son is enjoying this food!


      • #4
        Hi KarenVT,
        You might want to check out Griff's cholesterol primer on this site.


        • #5
          Thanks Classic -- I did check it out. And when I worked the formulas with my numbers -- Wow! They are all stellar! It should be an interesting visit with my doctor next week
          Last edited by KarenVT; 05-03-2010, 05:18 PM.


          • #6
            I used Griff's handy cholesterol post to figure my ratios. Thanks, Griff, for the excellent reference!

            Total/HDL = 3.4 (ideal < 4.4)
            Trigs/HDL = .88 (ideal < 2)
            LDL/HDL = 2.6 (using Friedewald formula) (ideal < 4.3)
            or 2.0 (using Iranian formula)

            So what's there to worry about? These are stellar numbers!

            I have to say I'm still a little freaked out that my cholesterol is SO high (310 total), but if the VAP and the c-reactive protein show me that the LDL is fluffy and the inflammation is low -- I'll get over it.