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Warrahooyargh's 21-day challenge journal

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  • Warrahooyargh's 21-day challenge journal


    I discovered this site a couple of weeks ago and have been dabbling in primal bits and pieces since then, so now's the perfect time to give the 21-day challenge a go.

    I have been doing CrossFit for just over a year, but have still managed to put on weight (after an initial loss), so evidently my very conventional western-style diet needs work. I recently started Couch to 5k as well, but it has turned out to be too much alongside CrossFit, and I have had to give it up - chronic cardio, anyone?

    The most drastic lifestyle change I'm making is reintroducing meat to my diet as of today, after many years as a vegetarian. I think that way I'll be giving Mark's ideas a really fair trial. I've been reading up about food labelling today, and what it means in terms of animal welfare, organic/non-organic status, etc. I've already discovered that one of the supermarkets in town is much better than the other for local/organic/humanely reared stuff, and we're lucky enough to have a really good health food shop for some of the more unusual food items.

    As I said, I've already been experimenting for a couple of weeks now, and I hope I'm over the worst of the "carb flu". I'm actually quite relieved to discover that carb flu is "a thing", as I've definitely felt under par for a few days. I seem to be getting better at the moment.

    I'm now approaching the end of day one - so far, so good! Just have to wind down nicely with a little TV, then some reading (the computer is off-limits until tomorrow morning once I finish this post), then bed.

    Good luck to everyone else who's doing the challenge!

  • #2
    Good luck with the challenge. I'm starting today too. I'll be really curious to follow your progress since it's a big change from a vegetarian lifestyle. Read some of the posts about Carrie and her family if you haven't yet. Good stuff on the vegetarian perspective.



    • #3
      Day two completed:

      Weight 70kg in the morning.

      Breakfast: Bacon, egg, mushrooms, couple of sun-dried tomatoes, fried in olive oil. Full English brekker is primal already!
      Lunch: Fish (river cobbler, I don't know either) fried in olive oil with greens and carrots, strawberries (locally grown!) and cream.
      Afternoon pre-gym snack: A little dried coconut, plus Fage Greek yoghurt, strawberries and a little almond butter.
      Dinner: Fried tempeh (there were meant to be green beans too but they were incredibly tough and inedible, not buying that particular type again), followed by banana, apricots, Greek yoghurt.
      Drinks: Decaff coffee/tea with soya milk (not really primal, but I'm using up a carton).

      My insides have been slightly upset the last couple of days, so I had a "light" Yakult. I was going for a probiotic of some sort but the supermarket is very confusing on this front, so I bought Yakult and hoped for the best. Guts improving.

      CrossFit in the evening, with plenty of throwing heavy things around. I've lost quite a bit of strength recently, perhaps due to over-training, and am curious to see if a primal diet helps with that.

      I'm wondering if tinned fruit is OK for primal. Kent, in spite of being the Garden of England, can be strangely fruit-challenged and it'd be nice to have a bit of variety. Does rinsing off any juice or syrup from the tin make it acceptable?


      • #4
        DAY 3:

        Breakfast: Bacon, egg, fresh tomatoes, mushrooms, Greek yoghurt with a little double cream and choc protein powder
        Snack: Dried coconut, tea with soya milk (not primal, but I'm finishing a carton I had open)
        Lunch: Turkey fillet with carrots, one orange
        Pm Snack: Green olives with sweet pepper and basil, few macadamias
        Dinner: Sirloin steak and cauliflower, blueberries with cream

        Workout: Walk in the sun to the shops through a nice green part of town

        Mood: Good

        Summary Comments:
        Daily energy levels 1-10: 7
        Hunger level between meals 1-10: 3
        Satisfaction level with meals 1-10: 8
        Struggles today with Primal efforts: Getting humanely reared/locally produced food
        Benefits noticed from Primal efforts: less ups and downs energy-wise during the day
        Daily highlight(s): Mental and physical co-ordination needed for my job much improved this week
        Daily needs-to-improve: Sourcing of organic/humane food - will investigate other supermarkets and farmers' market

        After a few days of "carb flu" during which I struggled with my job because I didn't feel alert enough, I seem to have recovered and am really pleased to be back on track. I'm feeling pretty good and am looking forward to the rest of the challenge. I didn't sleep particularly well last night as I woke up about 3.00 am, which has been a pattern lately. Although I've been powering down and getting ready to rest in the evenings, I think I might actually be going to bed a bit too early, so I'll try going half-an-hour later this evening and see what happens.


        • #5
          Are your summary comments a standard thing around here or did you come up with that? Because it's brilliant! Mind if I crib it?
          Madam von Sassypants is journaling and shiz.
          Frequently found there: links to delicious recipes, overenthusiasm, swear words, constant conflict from working for a craft brewery, and overall, the perspective of a lady who's been primal for over two years and is finally tackling an 18-month-old plateau.


          • #6
            Agreed, the summary comments are a great idea for keeping track of how things are going. I just might ideanap them for my own journal, if that's okay!

            Welcome and good luck. I'm fairly new to this too, so, cheers!


            • #7
              Hi folks - no problem if people use the summary comments idea, I nicked it myself from someone else's journal and I think they may even be from a template suggested by Mark!

              My day 4:

              Breakfast: Bacon, egg, fresh tomatoes, dried coconut, coffee with milk (finishing a bottle I bought before I realised it was a no-no)
              Snack: Olives with basil and red pepper
              Lunch: Mixed salad leaves, avocado, green pepper, tomatoes, turkey, cashews, olive oil/vinegar dressing, blueberries with Greek yoghurt
              Pm Snack: Macadamias and almonds, tea with milk - also later pre-gym snack of choc protein powder shake with a banana and almond butter
              Dinner: Sirloin steak, cauliflower, carrots, followed by Greek yoghurt and grapes

              Workout: CrossFit in the evening including shoulder press, front squat and hang powerclean

              Mood: Content

              Summary Comments
              Daily energy levels 1-10: 8
              Hunger level between meals 1-10: 3
              Satisfaction level with meals 1-10: 8
              Struggles today with Primal efforts: Poor weather, so not enough sun although I did go for a walk
              Benefits noticed from Primal efforts: Seemed to have more stamina for the CF WOD
              Daily highlight(s): Weight has dropped to 69kg, also didn't need an afternoon nap
              Daily needs-to-improve: Still need to find better food sources, will continue to investigate.

              Tomorrow is an "easy movement" day, so I might wander further afield to investigate supermarkets/shops. I'm planning a hike in the countryside for Saturday and my first sprinting session for Sunday. I'm not a natural runner at all, and only last week during a CF WOD I started pumping my arms while running for the first time (having previously let my legs do all the work) and wow, it felt so different! I'm looking forward to trying it again this weekend.


              • #8
                Great going! Crossfit is something I want to try but I need to lose more weight before I begin.


                • #9
                  I wouldn't worry too much about needing to lose weight before you start CrossFit. A lot of the promotional stuff about CF, e.g. YouTube videos, features the fittest, leanest people but it's perfectly possible to get involved if you're heavier than you'd like. All the exercises can be scaled to suit your ability and good CF trainers will help you figure out how to do that - when I started, I did my weightlifting with a broom handle and did my squatting with my heels balanced on weights because I couldn't get right down!


                  • #10
                    DAY 5:

                    Breakfast: Greek yoghurt with choc protein powder and almond butter, decaff coffee with milk
                    Snack: None
                    Lunch: Mixed leaf salad, avocado, green pepper, green olives, tinned tuna, cashews, walnut oil/vinegar dressing, grapes
                    Pm Snack: Dried coconut, then later some Greek yoghurt with choc protein powder as I knew I'd be having dinner late
                    Dinner: Chicken breast cooked in olive oil, with broccoli and carrots. Red wine and dark chocolate o'clock!

                    Workout: Walk over to neighbouring town to investigate shopping options.

                    Mood: Relaxed

                    Summary Comments
                    Daily energy levels 1-10: 8, far less ups and downs than before I started on Primal
                    Hunger level between meals 1-10: 4
                    Satisfaction level with meals 1-10: 9
                    Struggles today with Primal efforts: Cloudy weather, so didn't get any sun. This is always a problem for me as I have seasonal affective disorder, but I can at least make an effort to get outside, which helps.
                    Benefits noticed from Primal efforts: I feel less anxious than I have for a long time. Primal living or placebo effect? Time will tell.
                    Daily highlight(s): Realising I feel happier than usual about life. Also finding a supermarket with a good supply of goods.
                    Daily needs-to-improve: I'd like to sleep better, as I am often waking up at around 3.00 am for an hour or so. Will look into that.

                    So I found a supermarket in the next town over with a good range of organic stuff. (They sell some really weird fruits and veggies too - samphire, anyone?) I'm really looking forward to a hike in the countryside tomorrow - I was originally going to go Sunday but the local train company are shutting down my local station for engineering work then so I've brought it forward. Time to experiment with food to eat al fresco and resist the temptations of railway station food stalls.


                    • #11
                      DAY 6:

                      Breakfast: Greek yoghurt with choc protein powder, almond butter, banana.
                      Snack: Trail mix - various nuts (not peanuts) with dried coconut and raisins
                      Lunch: As morning snack.
                      Pm Snack: Avocado, double cream, grapes
                      Dinner: Chicken breast fillet, cauliflower, carrots

                      Workout: 8-mile hike in the countryside near London, hence the trail mix instead of lunch

                      Mood: Satisfied

                      Summary Comments
                      Daily energy levels 1-10: 7
                      Hunger level between meals 1-10: 4
                      Satisfaction level with meals 1-10: 8
                      Struggles today with Primal efforts: Woke up in the middle of the night again.
                      Benefits noticed from Primal efforts: Still less anxious than before I started the challenge.
                      Daily highlight(s): Lovely hike in green woods, and didn't succumb to temptation to buy sandwiches, crisps, etc. while travelling. Didn't feel tempted, actually.
                      Daily needs-to-improve: Working on sleeping better. I've downloaded the f.lux recommended by Mark in one of his articles on sleep and will see if it helps.

                      Contentedly tired this evening after a good long walk. I only had a mixture of nuts and dried fruit with me on the trip, and didn't feel short of food at all, I was quite surprised not to feel hungry on the way.


                      • #12
                        DAY 7:

                        Breakfast: Bacon, egg, mushrooms all fried in olive oil; coffee
                        Snack: Grapes
                        Lunch: Salmon, cabbage, few new potatoes, then mango and cream
                        Pm Snack: None
                        Dinner: Chicken breast with red onion, green pepper, baby tomatoes, cooked in olive oil, then apple and Greek yoghurt.

                        Workout: My debut sprinting session!

                        Mood: A little irritable

                        Summary Comments
                        Daily energy levels 1-10: 8
                        Hunger level between meals 1-10: 3
                        Satisfaction level with meals 1-10: 9
                        Struggles today with Primal efforts: Shopping
                        Benefits noticed from Primal efforts: Think I've lost a bit more weight.
                        Daily highlight(s): Slept better, right through the night.
                        Daily needs-to-improve: Get rid of the napping habit!

                        My first sprinting session went pretty well as far as I can tell. It didn't take long and I still had plenty of energy afterwards, I didn't feel as if I needed a long time to recover (although I was doing a "novice" session as recommended in the PBF book). I did notice that I felt rather irritable afterwards for some reason. I've no idea whether that was from the exercise or not - I don't usually respond to exercise that way.

                        I'm still intrigued by some of the information on this site about sleeping. I don't know if I mentioned it before, but I have seasonal affective disorder (diagnosed in 2001). I haven't really kept up with the latest ideas on it since being diagnosed, so things like the f.lux app and the idea of wearing orange glasses or goggles in the evening are new to me. If they can help me keep on track over the winter I'll be delighted.


                        • #13
                          DAY 8:

                          Breakfast: Greek yoghurt, choc protein powder, almond butter, mango; coffee
                          Snack: None
                          Lunch: Bacon & cabbage fried in olive oil; apple
                          PM snack: Pre-gym choc protein powder shake with almond butter and cream
                          Dinner: Chicken with butternut squash and spinach

                          Workout: Crossfit session, including back squats and powercleans

                          Mood: Bit meh until the evening

                          Summary Comments
                          Daily energy levels 1-10: 7
                          Hunger level between meals 1-10: 4
                          Satisfaction level with meals 1-10: 8
                          Struggles today with Primal efforts: Forgot to go out for a walk!
                          Benefits noticed from Primal efforts: Didn't need an afternoon nap, so had more time to work.
                          Daily highlight(s): More stamina during CF - felt afterwards as if I had actually worked my muscles.
                          Daily needs-to-improve: I'm sure there must be something, but I can't think of anything just now.

                          Still feeling pretty good about the challenge, it does seem to be doing me good. I woke up with a slight headache this morning for some reason but it soon disappeared. Not needing to nap in the afternoon is quite a plus as it gives me more time during the day to do stuff I need to do. I've been trying to make bedtime more regular and expose myself to less blue light in the evening, and that seems to be helping with sleep.


                          • #14
                            DAY 9:

                            Breakfast: Bacon, egg, mushrooms all fried in olive oil; coffee; strawberries with Greek yoghurt
                            Snack: None
                            Lunch: Mixed leaf salad, tomato, cashews, green pepper, tuna, walnut oil/vinegar dressing; blueberries with cream
                            Pm Snack: Almonds, coconut, tea with milk
                            Dinner: Rump steak, butternut squash, spinach; blueberries with Greek yoghurt; red wine

                            Workout: Walk to next town to investigate further shopping resources

                            Mood: Calm

                            Summary Comments
                            Daily energy levels 1-10: 7
                            Hunger level between meals 1-10: 5
                            Satisfaction level with meals 1-10: 9
                            Struggles today with Primal efforts: None in particular.
                            Benefits noticed from Primal efforts: Still on an even keel energy-wise during the day.
                            Daily highlight(s): Sunny day!
                            Daily needs-to-improve: Didn't sleep through the night, so still working on a bedtime routine.

                            Still chugging along pretty happily on the 21-day challenge. I feel now that I'm taking a day's rest in between CF sessions and no longer running three days a week - last night I left the CF session with my muscles aching in a good way, and I can still feel the effects of the session today, which I'm taking to mean I actually got something out of it. I'm getting to know which local shops are good for which things, but will continue to investigate resources as there isn't much in the way of organic/humanely reared stuff out there in my neighbourhood. On Thursday I go back to the day job, which will involve finding Primal-friendly things I can eat in the office at lunchtime. With a bit of planning, I'm sure I can do it.


                            • #15
                              Hi there!
                              Way to go on your challenge! Thanks for the words of encouragement.
                              I was curious about crossfit but the clubs in my area are quite expensive. Is there any way I can do CF without shelling out 200bux a month? I've gone from 100%-sedentary-won't-even-walk-to-the-corner-store to walking everywhere everyday, elliptical machine daily, cycling classes 2-3x a week and working out on 3 day splits on various weight machines.
                              I'm still also having trouble with my sleep routine. I can't seem to "unplug", especially since I read ebooks!
                              Take care.