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Primal Journal ~ WillRunForChocolate

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  • Primal Journal ~ WillRunForChocolate

    Surely this will be of interest to no one but myself, but the mere act of posting my primal journal on such a public forum hopefully will provide the motivation and accountability I need to reach my "primal" goals!

    Over the past two years I have lost about 85 pounds eating very closely to the PB guidelines, even though I only discovered MDA several months ago. I am just about at my goal, but I am absolutely terrified of gaining the weight back. I am female, 5'5" and currently about 122 pounds, but was as low as 118 a few weeks ago. Recently I have been letting more and more indulgences slip into my diet and have been fighting cravings and binging behavior. Sigh.

    Time to get back on track, so tomorrow begins "day one" of my own personal Primal Blueprint Challenge. I'll post food and exercise daily and I'm excited to begin!

  • #2
    Day 1 Results:

    Pretty good day overall. Ate a little more fruit and calories than I would have liked but was trying to curb the sweet cravings. Had absolutely no energy after lunch today and tried to resist the urge to either drink an extra coffee or eat some chocolate to perk me up. Eventually I did "wake up" but will have to come up with strategies to combat the afternoon sleepies.

    Breakfast: omelet with ham, mushrooms, green onions and small amount of cheese; coffee
    Lunch: pork chops with gravy, yogurt, and homemade trail mix of almonds, dried pears and raisins
    Dinner: taco salad with lots of veggies and salsa, strawberries with whipped cream
    Snack: coffee with cream, 2 slices bacon

    Calories: 1978
    Carbs: 136g
    Protein: 120g
    Fat: 111g

    Exercise: Ran 3 miles.

    Successes: resisted sampling DH's homemade toffee chip cookies! Sipped on my coffee with cream instead.

    Tomorrow's challenge(s): We're having a luncheon at work consisting of chicken and stuffing casserole, homemade mashed potatoes, coleslaw and dessert. I am bringing the (storebought) coleslaw but will just socialize with the group and then eat a primal lunch at my desk. Already packed some cod with lemon, an apple and string cheese so it will be a delicious lunch anyway. Also will have to eat breakfast on the run -- packed a yogurt, banana and 2 strips of bacon to eat in the car.


    • #3
      I love your user name!


      • #4
        Oooohhh, I like your user name even more! A diagnosis of prediabetes two years ago was the wake-up call I needed to finally change my eating habits and to get my butt off the couch. Thankfully my blood sugar levels are totally normal now. Has your primal lifestyle helped to defeat diabetes? It is a horrific disease.


        • #5
          I get the afternoon sleepies too. Somedays I can sleep and am a good 20 minute napper, but most days, it's not an option.

          I find that getting a lot more potassium helps (ie far more nonstarchy veggies with breakfast, lunch, snack), protein and severely limiting sugar and dairy (except a little cream in my coffee). Even high protein greek yogurt can make me tired. Regular plain yogurt? zzzzzzzzz too high in carbs

          p40 TPB
          "The gathering of berries and other fruit, leafy greens, primitive roots, shoots and other vegetation, nuts and seeds provide the bulk of Grok's food supply." (empasis mine)

          p110 TPB
          see food pyramid: based on his writings in the book and online, and the evidence available regarding a primal diet or diet in our environment of evolutionary adaptation, in terms of volume, indicates that significantly more nonstarchy plant matter makes up food intake than does protein or fat....though in terms of percentages protein and fat dominate as they are more calorically dense

          p.112 TPB
          "'it may take some acclimation to center your diet around vegetables....snip....Dont follow the example of restaurants that serve skimpy vegetable portions seemingly just for decoration; serve yourself heaping portions that crowd everything else on your plate"

          "Plant foods..naturally promote a beneficial balance between acidity and alkalinity..inyour bloodstream. Almost all cells prefer a slightly alkaline environment to function properly, but many metabolic processes, including the normal production of cellular energy, result in the release of acidic waste products. The buildup of acidic waste is toxic to your body so ti works very hard at all times to preserve a slightly alkaline environment, measured by the familiar pH levels."

          The net result of meat digestion is very acid yes, looooots of nonstarchy produce: kale, collards, broccoli, salads of many many kinds, tomato, various other veggies etc. They all also make huge dietary donations of potassium which further Grok your diet. Grok's sodium to potassium ratio was probably probably 1 part sodium to 5-16 parts potassium - depending. Modern sodium to potassium ratios tend to run miserably off reverse: 2 parts sodium to 1 or less parts potassium.

          Depending on the expert or the research being 'read', we would ingest 4-12 mg potassium per calorie ingested.

          For that, we require lots of nonstarchy, low calorie produce...produce produce produce and more of it. vegetable broths are helpful as well as is organ consumption.

          my body feels best when i follow Mark's advice and "center my diet around vegetables"
          p.112 TPB
          "'it may take some acclimation to center your diet around vegetables....snip....Dont follow the example of restaurants that serve skimpy vegetable portions seemingly just for decoration; serve yourself heaping portions that crowd everything else on your plate"

          here's a variety of links regarding potassium and sodium in an evolutionary environment. Short version: we need much more potassium and we just don't get it.

          iherb referral code CIL457- $5 off first order


          • #6
            hey chocolate, unfortunately my diabetes is a genetic flaw and not one that is caused by being overweight or out of shape (I am neither of those). I tried a month off medication but my fasting sugars quickly climbed back into higher ranges so I went back on. My A1c has definitely gone down but I believe it to be a result of the medication. I went from 7 to 5.8 eating non-primal and on medication. A1c has only dropped by .1 in the year since I went primal.

            How did your luncheon go?


            • #7

              Thank you for all the information. I am in the process of re-reading "Primal Blueprint" and need to pay more attention to focusing on the low calorie, nonstarchy veggies -- great advice! I guess have zeroed in on giving up the grains and sugars without picking up on the fact that I should be replacing them with veggies in addition to protein.

              I've already packed a big 'ol salad with tons of veggies for tomorrow's lunch but will make an effort to have servings of produce with breakfast and dinner. I appreciate your wisdom!!


              • #8

                Sorry to hear that diet hasn't affected your blood sugars. That stinks. I am the same way with high blood pressure. My BP skyrocketed after giving birth to my middle son and went on medicine at that point. Losing weight and healthy eating lowered the BP somewhat, but I still need a 1/2 pill daily just to keep it in a healthy range.

                Thanks for asking about the luncheon. I dropped off the storebought coleslaw, visited for a bit, and then went to my office and ate my cod and apple with almond butter. Yum! Thankfully I wasn't too tempted by the chicken & stuffing casserole, although the homemade mashed potatoes almost got the better of me, lol.


                • #9
                  Day 2 - went fairly well! Stayed pretty true to the primal guidelines all day despite having dinner at my favorite pizza restaurant.

                  Breakfast - yogurt, bacon, banana, coffee w/cream
                  Lunch - cod, apple w/ almond butter, coffee w/cream
                  Dinner - huge salad with lots of veggies and a splash of olive oil; cheese and pepperoni off the top of one piece of pizza -- no crust!
                  Snack - few spoonfuls of whipped cream, handful of pumpkin seeds, another coffee

                  Calories: 2085
                  Carbs: 111 grams
                  Protein: 120 grams
                  Fat: 134 grams

                  Exercise: 45 minute walk, 20 minutes upper body weights, 10 minutes pilates

                  Tomorrow's challenge: It's DH's birthday and we have a Dairy Queen butterfinger blizzard cake in the freezer. Ugh. I plan to have a big bowl of strawberries with some whipped cream and shaved dark chocolate instead. Already packed tomorrow's lunch with lots of veggies and will focus on having nonstarchy veggies with each meal.


                  • #10
                    good job at the luncheon today and good luck with the birthday tomorrow! strawberries and whipped cream with chocolate- sounds SO much tastier than a butterfinger blizzard cake !


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by DiabetesCanKissMyButt View Post
                      hey chocolate, unfortunately my diabetes is a genetic flaw and not one that is caused by being overweight or out of shape (I am neither of those).
                      Hey DCKMB, Just our of curiosity: how's your 25(OH)D? Optimizing it won't get you off meds, but it may help reduce them and it definitely helps a huge array of issues (has a prevention effect for many viruses, bacteria, autoimmune disorders, heart disease, diabetes, cancers.....and a tx effect is known - to some degree - for some viruses and bacteria, some autoimmune disorders, some cholesterol issues, some cancers etc)

                      extensive cites from the medical literature can be found at

                      Originally posted by WillRunForChocolate View Post
                      I .... need to pay more attention to focusing on the low calorie, nonstarchy veggies -- great advice! I guess have zeroed in on giving up the grains and sugars without picking up on the fact that I should be replacing them with veggies in addition to protein.
                      It's easier and yummier so most do it to some extent either accidentally or purposefully; knowingly or unknowingly.

                      Originally posted by WillRunForChocolate View Post
                      Sorry to hear that diet hasn't affected your blood sugars. That stinks. I am the same way with high blood pressure.
                      Potassium from veggies is a huge huge factor in monitoring blood pressure as is vitamin D. Will you get of your meds? Probably's always easier to prevent than to treat. But it's likely that:
                      a significant increase in potassium from non-starchy produce
                      modifying your sodiumotassium ratio (at least 1:5 and up to 1:16)
                      modifying your potassium:cal ratio (at least 4 mg potassium per calorie ingested)
                      optimizing your 25(OH)D levels
                      optimizing magnesium intake from food and supplements to around 1000 mg per day

                      will have a major impact on your blood pressure and therefore, the amount of medication needed to control it.

                      NTBCAMA etc etc

                      All the best

                      iherb referral code CIL457- $5 off first order


                      • #12
                        My 25(OH)D is normal.


                        • #13
                          Because there are some problems with Quest's Vitamin D test, and because some labs haven't updated their norms, it's important thoroughly asses what 'normal means. Not pushing you DBCKMB - you can answer or not as your interest dictates - I'm posting this so that anyone trying to figure out what's going on with them and with their D levels can analyze their results accurately.

                          Quest does more D testing than anyone else, and there are major problems with their test - generally causing them to run about 1/3 too high. .....though not always - sometimes they're low. More on the Quest problem at the bottom of the post.

                          If Quest was used, divide the result t by 1.3 to obtain a result that is likely to be more accurate AND consider retesting via LabCorp or ZRT just to be 'sure'. I prefer ZRT...details below.

                          Some labs are still using 20 ng/mL as the low end of 'normal' when the standard in the US is currently 32 ng/mL as a minimum 25(OHD) level - though there's not a single D researcher that still thinks 32 ng/mL is acceptable - they have 'minimum' positions ranging from 40-60 ng/mL (100-150 nmol/L)

                          So if the lab is using 20 ng/mL - then even very deficient levels could erroneously be termed 'normal' and if quest did the test, then even their 'normal' results could be deficient.

                          And more general info
                          The middle of the reference range is 60-65 ng/mL. Since D toxicity has NEVER been documented at a 25(OH)D level below 200 ng/mL, and since there are documeted cases of serum D reaching 100 ng/mL from sun exposure alone (in lifeguards in Miami), it would seem reasonable, if indeed one's levels are already truly normal at 60-65 ng/mL, that bringing them up into the 80ish range - or possibly even 100 ng/mL woudln't be unthinkable. Though the latter I would do only with sun or sun/supplements in combo - not with supplements alone.

                          Considerations affecting D from sun:
                          at what latitude do you live?
                          how much midday, full body, unprotected summer exposure do you get?
                          how much 'incidental' 'out and about' type expousre?
                          do you wear s/s? hats? long sleeves?
                          seek shade?

                          Quest and Vitamin D
                          Accuracy and precision issues abound due to the complexity of Quest's testing method, the poorly trained lab techs, lack of oversight of the techs and too many tests to run. The complexity of the test alone isn't a problem but combined with the latter factors, it's a recipe for disaster: and it has been exactly that. Another MAJOR player is that it doesn't appear that Quest has normed their test to the gold standard (dia sorin) which is used in all of the D studies. This is huge and Quest isn't talking. Unless it's normed, the result is truly meaningless. Read more here:
                          John Cannell's excellent 7/2008 Newsletter worth reading all of it
                          NYT article - even though they mucked up some of the key info, it's still very good.
                          Vitamin D Council Quest / Labcorp Testing Project
                          and this

                          The ZRT test (home finger stick test) can be ordered from three different outfits. Here they are in order of my preference:
                          D*Action study via Grassroots Health - the requirement is 2x/year for 5 years. Please consider joining the study.
                          The Vitamin D Council - worthy of *all* of our support. ZRT donates $10 to them everytime a test is purchased through the D council's website. But please, join the Grassroots Health study and just donate the $10 to the D Council directly.
                          ZRT sells the test directly
                          And why is ZRT's test okay when it's LC-MS/MS like Quest's test?

                          If it's in the budget, please join the study. Be a part of something that will change the face of public health all over the world. Support the The Vitamin D Council, if you can, for the very same reasons. What Carole (of the grassroots health) and John Cannell (D Council) are both doing is - amazing. unparallelled. superhuman. They are changing lives, many many lives, through the extensive and growing reach of their organizations.

                          I wrote this document on vitamin D and am including the full text below:

                          Vitamin D Dosing and Levels
                          nmoL - units used to measure D most places in the world
                          ng/mL - units used in the US
                          ** Please be sure to pay attention to the units given on your lab report.
                          ** Quest Labs -problems remain: at this point in time, it still appears that 25(OH)D
                          results from Quest need to be divided by 1.3. to obtain results normed to the gold standard.
                          See, for further information.

                          What should my vitamin D level be?
                          see below for information on various vitamin D levels........

                          ❍ 32 ng/mL (80 nmoL) is the bottom of the current reference range. Still
                          leaves us in a state of substrate starvation which isn't good. And if Quest** did
                          your test - see note above - you need to divide by 1.3

                          ❍ 40 ng/mL (100 nmoL) the minimum recommended by currently by
                          any major D researcher (see

                          ❍ 50 ng/mL (125 nmoL) is the point at which we have sufficient substrate
                          for managing calcium levels and have additional to use for other necessary
                          physiological functions - including gene expression (300+ other functions in our bodies)

                          ❍ 60-65 ng/mL (150-162.5 nmoL) is reasonable number for which to aim.
                          It's the 'middle of the current reference range for the major US labs. European
                          and canadian labs are behind the times on this one and are still generally using
                          a much lower range.

                          ❍ 80 ng/mL (200 nmoL) is a target number for some researchers and is still
                          within the range of a physiological range of what we could achieve from sun -
                          ie a physiologically appropriate level.

                          ❍ 100 ng/mL (250 nmoL) is a typical serum level of 25(OH)D obtained by lifeguards,
                          in South Florida, from sun only, implying that this is a very physiologically normal -
                          possibly optimal? - number for which to aim.

                          ❍ 200 ng/mL (500 nmoL) is the lowest blood level of 25(OH)D at which there
                          has been documented D toxicity. There has never been a case reported at levels
                          lower than that.

                          ☑ 1000 IU (25 mcg) per 25 lbs body weight per day is a very reasonable dose of
                          D3 for someone who
                          → works indoors midday
                          → wears clothes midday
                          → avoids sun midday
                          → wears any sunscreen midday

                          ☑ 10,000 IU-50,000 IU vitamin D3 is produced in the skin upon full body exposure
                          to sunlight......with the average of the studies being about 20,000 IU. However,
                          do not take more than 1000 IU per 25 lbs body weight per day without periodic
                          testing of 25(OH)D levels. Just because it's physiologically normal to PRODUCE
                          10,000-50,000 IU in the skin, doesn't mean it's physiologically normal to TAKE
                          that much orally. Test a couple of times per year. And maybe double that the first
                          couple of years.

                          ☑ Don't be afraid to take as much D3 as is required to raise your serum 25(OH)D to
                          50-100 ng/mL (125-250 nmoL) There is a 25-50% variation in serum
                          vitamin d levels at 'x' amount of supplementation rate due to genetic variations
                          in vitamin d binding protein.

                          ☑ Early AM and later afternoon sun exposure on face, hands and arms is not sufficient
                          to raise vitamin D levels or maintain optimal vitamin D levels.

                          ☑ Fall, Winter and Spring sun exposure is not generally sufficient to raise viamin D levels
                          or to maintain optimal D levels.

                          ☑ A tan does not necessarily indicate sufficient vitamin D levels. It's easy to tan from UVA
                          without getting sufficient UVB to raise D levels.

                          ☑ A person (tan or not) who's been getting
                          →summer exposure
                          →on most body skin
                          to the point just before a burn occurs, may have optimal D levels during the summer.

                          ☑ The Vitamin D Council ( has all of the D research, reference cites
                          and links to peer reviewed journal articles that you'd ever want to read, plus several
                          thousand extra

                          ☑ has a tremendous amount of good information as well.

                          ☑ Stanford and other major D research centers have podcasts in iTunes that are excellent resources.

                          iherb referral code CIL457- $5 off first order


                          • #14
                            Day 3 Results: While I ate too many calories today, I absolutely had the best food and was extremely satisfied. No "diet deprivation" here! I know that we're not supposed to be too concerned with counting every calorie, but I have a tendency to overeat and need to stay a little focused on portion sizes. Also did not realize how many calories were in a 1/4 cup of pumpkin seeds!

                            Breakfast - bacon, eggs w/ green onions, banana, coffee
                            Lunch - baked cod, large salad, 10 raisins to curb my sweet tooth
                            Dinner - more baked cod, roasted zucchini, red bell peppers and onions - yum! Had a big bowl of strawberries and blackberries with too much whipped cream and a little grated chocolate (85% cocoa) on top
                            Snack - (which I did not need at all) coffee w/cream, pumpkin seeds, hunk o' parmesan cheese

                            Calories: 2367 (ouch!)
                            Carbs: 122g
                            Protein: 127g
                            Fat: 162g

                            Exercise: Ran 4.5 miles (slow pace)

                            Tomorrow's challenge: I am volunteering at a soup kitchen in the afternoon/early evening so will have to eat dinner much later than normal. I could consider this an IF opportunity, but I haven't had much luck with intermittent fasting. I may bring a Lara bar or piece of beef jerky to tide me over until I can eat around 7:30 or 8:00pm.


                            • #15
                              Day 4 Results: Stayed "primal" in my eating, but still struggling with eating too much volume. I also went almost 8 hours between lunch and dinner and it was not pretty. I ate the Chipotle salad I had planned (with plenty of meat, avocado and veggies) but also went home and had a big bowl of fruit with whipped cream, a big handful of pumpkin seeds and then a coffee! I was definitely not hungry by that point so I need to be able to shift gears and use a means other than food to relax.

                              B - bacon, eggs, banana, coffee w/cream
                              L - baked cod, roasted zucchini, onions and peppers, yogurt
                              D - Chipotle salad w/pork, guacamole, veggies, bowl of berries with whipped cream and small amount of dark chocolate
                              S - roasted pumpkin seeds, coffee

                              Calories: 2234
                              Fat: 142g
                              Carbs: 127g
                              Protein: 129g

                              Exercise: did a lot of cleaning and moving boxes at work today but nothing formal

                              I am still struggling with real hunger pangs in the morning even though I eat 2 eggs, 2 pieces of bacon for breakfast almost every day and then a piece of fruit or cheese mid-morning. This weekend I will stock up on more veggies so I can add them to my breakfast for a little more volume. Why was I cursed with a huge appetite?? lol.