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StockJohn's Journal

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  • StockJohn's Journal

    Alright, here we go.

    I've never kept a journal before. I've also never really tried any big diets or lifestyle changes before. Now that I'm in my early thirties and it looks like I'll be working an office job for the rest of my youth it seemed like a good time to try both.

    For starters I'm skeptical about the primal/paleo thing. Just a few short months ago was making fun of some paleo guy that was a guest on the Colbert Report. Since then, I have to admit, the whole idea has stuck in my brain. I stumbled across this website while searching for information about the nutritional differences between grass fed and conventional beef. Then I read a few articles. Then I read a few more. Next thing I knew, without really making a decision, I hadn't eaten any sort of grain or bread in three days. Pretty weird.

    Now I'm on day 9 and I have to say I'm pretty impressed. I didn't really set out to lose wait but I could probably afford to shed 10 to 15 pounds. I'm 6'1" and 195. At least I was 4 months ago when I last weighed myself. I have a 35 inch waist but in the week since I stopped eating grain my pants have become significantly looser.

    My intent is to ease into this and give it a try for two months at about 85%. I plan to still drink booze a few nights a week, just no binges. I plan to eat black beans on occasion, once every two weeks maybe, because they're my favorite food and have served me well over the years. I also plan to eat some quinoa and tofu on occasion.

    So far its been really easy to avoid sugar, pasta, bread etc. I thought I'd miss bread but salads with meat are really pretty good at lunch.

    Here's how my nutrition has been breaking down, roughtly. If you comment on anything I'd appreciate comments on this: 1500-2100 calories per day, ~50% from fat, ~8-17% from carbs, ~30-40% from protein.

    I think the thing I'm most anxious about in starting this whole process is becoming overly obsessive about food and exercise. I've been close to people in my life who have been obsessive about nutrition and fitness and it can be pretty destructive to other parts of your life. I plan to stop with the calorie counting now that I've gotten the hang of things and to just go with how I feel. I'll probably start exercising in a week or so (I'm getting over a cold right now) but don't intend to do much more than runs and sprints a couple times a week, pushups and pull ups at home, and maybe weight work once a week. If in two months I feel like a new man I'll probably stick with this whole thing. If the difference is negligible, I'll ditch it.

    Sorry for the manifesto, If you've read this far.

  • #2
    You won't get obsessive unless you let yourself become obsessive. It'll just become part of your life. For me, when I go out with friends, if there's nothing to eat that fits into Primal, then I just don't eat. It doesn't kill me - I didn't eat on my birthday when I went out with friends, and nobody blinked. It's not a problem for me.

    You may have to make up "allergies" (to wheat, gluten, soy, etc.) in order to keep your friends and family from haranguing you too much about your dietary needs, but it works.

    Your ratios look fine to me. And you'll probably feel like a new man a lot sooner than two months from now. I know I did.
    Primal eating in a nutshell: If you are hungry, eat Primal food until you are satisfied (not stuffed). Then stop. Wait until you're hungry again. Repeat.

    Looking for my Cholesterol Primer? Here it is:

    Ditch the scale!:

    My Success Story:


    • #3
      Oh, and the best thing I've made so far to eat that I wouldn't have made before going primal: Braised Grass fed Lamb Shoulder. I bought two and a half pounds of lamb shoulder, put it in a dutch oven with 12 ounces of diced tomatoes, some homemade beef stock with tons of good gelatin in it, some white wine, some carrots (which I later discarded), thyme, pepper, onions, garlic, and a chili pepper. Cooked it at around 325 for 4 hours. I ate it in two dinners. Pretty damn good.


      • #4
        Thanks Griff. Good to know. Do you think that for my size I should be eating more calories every day? I don't do much structured exercise but I walk to and from work every day. 2.5 miles round trip.


        • #5
          It's not about calories. Here's the basic rule:

          If you are hungry, eat Primal food (which will be high-fat, moderate protein and low-carb) until you are satisfied (not stuffed). Then stop. And wait until you're hungry, and then repeat.
          Primal eating in a nutshell: If you are hungry, eat Primal food until you are satisfied (not stuffed). Then stop. Wait until you're hungry again. Repeat.

          Looking for my Cholesterol Primer? Here it is:

          Ditch the scale!:

          My Success Story:


          • #6
            Day 10:

            Was out of eggs this morning so I had a cup or so of full fat yogurt with some frozen blueberries mixed in. I'm working from home today so I'm going to make a trip to Trader Joe's to stock up. Since going primal over a week ago I've been making daily trips to the really good, but pretty expensive, gourmet grocery a few blocks down from my apartment. Its a great place to get steaks, all local and grass-fed, and fish but buying things like nuts, butter, and eggs there can get pretty expensive.

            For lunch I will have a steak salad with half an avocado and for dinner I may roast a chicken...although I overdid chicken the first week and got a little sick of it so if I see something better at the store I may change it up.

            Last night I had two scotches after work. Without the cushion of carbs it doesn't take much booze to get hungover, huh?


            • #7
              Here's where I am at the end of the day:
              1610 calories - 156 g protein, 96 g fat, 39 g carbs.

              I gather that this is too much protein and not enough fat but I'm pretty full after eating a little over half a pound of sashimi. Should I force some fat down my throat to balance out the protein or just go easy on the meat tomorrow? I would appreciate any advice.


              • #8
                Day 11: First Fast, a short one

                Day 11:

                Woke up this morning at 6 and decided to skip breakfast. I've always been a big egg eater but for the first time in my life I'm actually sort of sick of them. Instead I did 40 pushups, 3 sets of crunches, and drank a cup of tea.

                Skipping breakfast has basically turned into a 16 hour IF. It was pretty easy. I'm hungry but very energized. I could probably wait til 2 to eat my lunch...but I won't.

                For lunch I've packed a mixed green salad with about 1/3 of a pound of sliced grass fed bavette steak on top. Also feta cheese, avocado, olives, cucumbers, tomatoes, some onion, and balsamic vinaigrette.

                No clue what dinner will be, perhaps I'll pick up some fish on the way home.

                I'm itching to start exercising more but this cold seems to be turning into a sinus infection.


                • #9
                  Day 11:

                  OH, and I went to the doctor's yesterday for a routine checkup. I weighed in at 188. I don't think I've actually lost 7 pounds in a little over a week, I just think I didn't actually weigh 195 at the start. I hadn't weighed myself in quite awhile. Anyways, 188 is the new bench mark. Blood pressure was good.


                  • #10
                    Day 13 - recovering from excess

                    Day 13: `

                    Yesterday was a big eating day. I woke up and had a three egg omelet with some heavy cream added. It was good but the cream was probably a bit much. I was trying to up my fat intake. Lunch was a steak salad and dinner was Boston Scrod without the breadcrumbs, a side of roasted cauliflower, and a caesar salad. I also had snacks of almond butter, granny smith apple, coconut meat, and a dessert of strawberries with homemade whipped cream. I also had a bit of a bender last night - 2 or 3 glasses of wine and a beer. When all was said and done I'd consumed around 3000 calories (64% fat, 19% carbs, 17% protein). I'm definitely feeling a little overfed today, I don't think I'll be doing that again for awhile. Hey, at least I stayed away from grains.

                    This morning I had a three egg omelet and 5 slices of Niman Ranch Bacon.
                    Last edited by stockjohn; 05-08-2010, 11:43 AM.


                    • #11
                      Day 15:

                      I feel like during the week, when I'm eating salads with meat at lunch and then not eating dinner til eight or so, I have a lot of trouble getting above 1500 calories. Does anyone else experience this? On the weekends, when I'm hanging around I think I come pretty close to 2400. Of course all that assumes that I have a decent idea of what my portions are. It could be that during the week I'm eating 2000 and on the weekends I'm eating 3000. I'm tempted to just punt the whole calorie and macronutrient counting and just eat what I want when I'm hungry while avoiding grains and grain products like the plague. I feel like this would be a lot easier...I'm just worried that I'd end up not eating enough.

                      Eating this way is really expensive if you're buying grass fed beef, pasture raised chicken and sustainable fish, and organic veggies. I spent $16 on Gulf Shrimp last night for dinner for two...that's not a huge meal. I used to buy about half as much meat and balance the plate out with quinoa or black beans and rice. It was a lot cheaper but I do admit that carbs generally make me eat in excess of what I need. I'm still going to plan on eating tofu or tempeh one night a week just because even the organic stuff is dirt cheap.
                      Last edited by stockjohn; 05-10-2010, 10:06 AM.


                      • #12
                        Day 18:

                        I've been busy so I haven't been keeping up with the journal. That's ok though. Probably better to let a few days pass between entries.

                        I went for a run on monday - 3.5 miles. I tried to do it a little differently and mixed in a few intervals of higher speed and a few intervals of very slow jogging. It was interesting. I felt pretty much the same running wise as I did pre-primal.

                        I've been pretty good about eating. Everything primal except for a small serving of black beans at a potluck one night and some chocolate today. I was dragging hard after lunch. Too much sugar in the chocolate.

                        I've definitely been losing weight. Everyone is asking me if I'm ok.


                        • #13
                          Day 18:

                          B: 2 eggs, 3 strips of bacon, heavy cream in my coffee
                          L: beef brisket, green beans, bibb lettuce salad with blue cheese dressing
                          D: roast chicken, cabbage slow cooked in chicken fat, demi-glace

                          Total calories - 1900, (64% fat/10%carbs/25% protein)

                          According to the book I'm not getting enough protein to build or maintain muscle since I assume that I have something closer to 145-155 lbs in LBM. I guess I'll need to work on this more but I really don't enjoy stuffing myself with meat. Plus its expensive. The only exercise I'm doing is pushups, situps, and pullups every other day. Anybody have any thoughts on this?


                          • #14
                            Day 19:

                            I've gotten really tired in the afternoon the past two days. Yesterday I passed out on my office floor for an hour. Today I left work early to come home and take a nap. I haven't been sleeping a ton because I have a baby but that's been the case for the past several months. Either this new way of eating is catching up to me, my body is fighting something off, or...who the hell knows. I'll give it a few more days before I get worried. Napping is good.

                            B: whole yogurt with a small banana
                            L: BAS with flank steak and a whole avocado
                            S: handful of walnuts
                            D: TBD, probably a ribeye or leftover roast chicken, either way I'm putting some homemade demi-glace on it


                            • #15
                              Day 21:

                              Yesterday I had two fried eggs, a caesar salad with chicken for lunch, some walnuts, taleggio cheese, collard greens, and some king salmon. Not a ton of food yesterday but a lot of fat.