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Primal Journal (Lora)

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  • Primal Journal (Lora)

    Hi all!

    I'm Lora, 27, living in Belgium and the Netherlands (long distance relationship, to make a long story short), work full time as a PhD student in History, and have way too many hobbies (dancing, crafting, gardening, reading, cooking, writing, ...).

    I studied Archaeology, and one of the things we learned about in the first year was the paleolithic diet, and the human digestive system (not only the human one, but also that of grazing animals, meat eaters etc in comparison). Back then, it must have been 2004 or 2005, this diet without grains and legumes seemed to make so much sense to me, that it surprises me now that I didn't make the change to primal eating there. then. that very instant.
    Instead I subsisted on fruit and raw vegetables to compensate for sh*tloads of beer and junkfood.

    I have struggled with my weight since early childhood, went from caloric restriction (lunch = one tangerine + one pear + 10 cherry tomatoes, sounds familiar?) to low carb to eating clean (with grains) to paleo/primal.
    This whole diet journey started in 2008. At this point I weighed around 77kg (=167.5lbs). This was the heaviest weight I had ever had, and for me it was the limit. Something had to be done. I reduced my caloric intake to about 1200-1400Kcal a day. Caloric restriction was simply something I couldn't maintain, which I guess doesn't come as a surprise to you primal folk! I did manage to loose about 8kg though, which did motivate me to start exercising again (I hadn't done anything active since I gave up ballet age 14). At this time I mainly did group classes at the gym, like BBB, Zumba, Pilates, Yoga, Ab workouts etc.
    I started to have binges and cravings in a way I had never had before in my life, so it was time to look for solutions. In came South Beach and Atikins inspired diets. Cutting out carbs wasn't hard compared to cutting calories. But something about all the meal bars and commercial protein shakes didn't agree with my food philosophy. Growing up we always ate home cooked meals, often home baked bread, mostly organic and hardly any processed food.
    In mid 2011 a friend of me told me about eating clean. The Eat Clean Diet seemed the perfect answer to my problems. I did loose more weight (at this time I had lost 16kg in total since my starting point in 2008), started to eat at or about 1700Kcal (which is better than 1200 but still on the low side). I have never had a body fat percentage measurement, but after a year of eating clean my muscles began to show more and my belly became more flat. I had also started weight training at the gym and doing running HIIT. I did take better care of my protein intake than I had ever before. Both of which probably helped my muscle definition. Eating grains again however did give me digestive problems (bloating, gas, low energy after meals, ...).
    I cut out grains again one year ago now. I made some terrible mistakes as well though: without really noticing at the time I started eating much less protein and more carbs in the form of dairy. I also stopped doing HIIT because I found it hard to stay motivated at running. Since last October I have been really strict and haven't eaten ANY grains at all. This has helped somewhat with the bloating, but I made the mistake of not adding in extra fibrous plants in my diet to make up for the fiber loss by not eating grains. Because I was eating a lot of dairy (mainly yogurt, fresh cheese and raw milk) which contain a lot of carbs from milk sugars, this didn't leave much room for carbs from plant matter. Now I'm stuck with constipation (I can't tell you how much I hate this problem). Three weeks ago I started adding in starchy tubers again (which I haven't been eating on a regular basis over the past year), eat more fruit (two pieces a day or thereabouts), have one or two tablespoons of shredded coconut a day. So far there is no real progress. I also started to keep track of my daily food intake since the beginning of 2014. The main reason for this was that I gained 4kg. Not muscle I'm afraid, but fat: mostly in the form of tummy and waist fat. I noticed I was eating rather low in calories, something I wasn't at all aware of doing. So, now I'm eating around 1700-2100 Kcal a day, at least 90-100g protein, around 70-90g carbs and the rest is fat.
    I'm trying to do new things work-out wise. When I go for a walk I try to add some stairs sprinting in when I get the chance, I try to go for a HIIT run once every two weeks (much more doable than the 3 HIIT trainings a week I did before) and alternate with tabata HIIT. Yesterday I did my first PBF style LHT training (started with wall pushups, normal squats, and elbow-knee planks. since at the moment I don't have a bar for pull-ups I'm doing inverse push ups for now, but I'm eagerly looking for an alternative). I'm also doing kundalini yoga because it is something I grew very fond of, mainly for the results it has on my stress levels. Two evenings a week I'm dancing contemporary and classical ballet, because I love it!

    Neither the scale or tape measure have started moving yet. I am now around 65kg. Although compared to my height (1m75) this is a very reasonable weight, but I'm still too skinny fat and would like to get leaner and have more muscle definition. I'm not sure how to achieve this, it feels like I have tried everything already.

    Any feedback you might have or experiences you want to share are very much welcomed!


    PS.:
    (This introduction has got somewhat out of hand, so congrats to you if you made it to the end!)
    Last edited by LoraEwinaga; 02-12-2014, 04:46 AM.
    Lora



    obligatory introduction
    journal

  • #2
    Even though I've been primal at least since the start of 2014, today will be my official day 1.
    Here are my dailies!


    Food


    B (8.15am): 2 eggs + 1 strip of pork belly + onion, leek, 1/2 apple fried in butter + black tea with cloud of milk

    S (11.00am): almonds + 1 carrot + 2 tangerines

    L (1.15pm): chicken breast + lettuce, cucumber, carrot + 1 small potato + homemade olive oil mayonnaise

    D (6.30pm): lamb + onion and mushrooms in heavy cream


    Exercise


    Walking to and from work and to and from yoga-class (total about 80 mins)

    1 hour yoga class
    Last edited by LoraEwinaga; 02-11-2014, 10:25 AM.
    Lora



    obligatory introduction
    journal

    Comment


    • #3
      I'm not the exercise guru around here, but I would look into adding HIIT (high intensity interval training - some form of sprint) and heavy weight lifting. The cool thing about these is that you don't have to do them all that often. HIIT once a week and HW maybe twice. You can find some stuff here: Definitive Guide: The Primal Blueprint | Mark's Daily Apple, and a lot more besides.
      My Primal Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread53052.html

      "Freedom from fear" could be said to sum up the whole philosophy of human rights. - Dag Hammarskjold

      Comment


      • #4
        Hi Shiobhan! Thanks for dropping by.
        Actually I just read the Primal Blueprint Fitness ebook this weekend and did my first LHT primal style training yesterday evening.
        I've done HIIT running for half a year with good results during my Clean Eating period, but I just can't keep motivated for running. So I'll be looking into alternatives as from now! I think I might give tabata a try. But also biking and rowing.
        Lora



        obligatory introduction
        journal

        Comment


        • #5
          Day 2.

          I've been thinking about how this primal lifestyle for me extends far beyond just food and exercise. For me it's also about being mindful, about being in the moment, about simplifying life, about ceasing the day, about being there for others, about creating beautiful things and taking good care of this planet and all living creatures on it.
          Yeah. I know. Blahblah!
          But for me it feels true :-)

          Here's the plan for today:


          Food


          S (8.15am): black tea with cloud of milk

          B (10.15am): 1/2 avocado + 1 tbs full fat yoghurt + 1 handfull of mixed nuts + 1 tangerine

          L (1.00pm): wrap of coconut/egg pancake fried in butter and smoked salmon + fennel, broccoli, onion stir fry + 1/2 avocado + 1 tbs full fat yoghurt + 1 tbs goat cheese (was too tempting to resist)

          D (6.30pm): oven roasted chicken legs (in butter) + cucumber, brussels endive, small potato, 1/2 tbsp gomasio


          Exercise


          some walking (went grocery shopping and foot in the morning and clothes shopping with my sister in the afternoon. I even brought back home a very much needed new pair of jeans!)

          HIIT (running in the rain!) I ended up doing uphill sprints 6x 110m up and down (so a total of 1320m + a 2 minute warm up and 4 minute cool down).

          100NIKON1a.jpg
          (I forgot to take a pic of my finished lunch, so you only get to see the unfinished veg )
          Last edited by LoraEwinaga; 02-11-2014, 01:22 PM.
          Lora



          obligatory introduction
          journal

          Comment


          • #6
            Hi Lora,

            Your food sounds really good. I like the way you are thinking of primal as a whole lifestyle thing too.

            Nice to meet someone who dances, I have just started a tap class and it is loads of fun.

            All the best for your health and happiness.
            Annie Ups the Ante
            http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread117711.html

            Comment


            • #7
              Annie, thanks for saying hi!
              Tap dance sounds so exiting. I think it looks terribly difficult But then again, I guess the same goes for ballet!
              Lora



              obligatory introduction
              journal

              Comment


              • #8
                I've been using a app on my phone and noticed a lot of carbs in the fruit I've been eating, so I cut them for a while...
                Let's get out there and make this a great day!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hi Elessar!
                  I've been thinking about cutting out fruit again for a while. I keep track of my macro's with an online tool, and I never get over 100g of carbs a day. I have done keto before (on the South Beach diet yers ago, and more recently on eating Primal at the end of 2013) but I'm afraid it is not for me. The last time I was in keto I had really low blood pressure and felt really weak, up to the point of fainting regularly. So I'm not sure about cutting out fruit. I could try to limit myself to one piece a day. Or maybe eat berries (rich in fiber and not so much carbs) instead of other fruits.
                  If I cut fruit out completely I feel like I should substitute with starchy tubers because I'm afraid of going under 50g carbs a day. Does it make a difference for weight/fat loss wether you eat fruit or tubers? I wouldn't really know, so any advice is much apprieciated!
                  Lora



                  obligatory introduction
                  journal

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hey Lora,

                    Great to find your journal. That was my kind of intro ... my fingers just go and I write loads

                    Sounds like you have some great plans. I would love to be around the right weight and just looking for more muscle definition; but I have a bit more work ahead of me than that ... well done on the weight loss that has got you where you are now though. I would agree that heavy weights are the way to go.

                    Wayyyy back in my early twenties I got seriously into the gym and although I still weighed around 12-13st (sorry, I can't do metric) I was doing really well dropping through clothes sizes. It took a serious amount of effort to build enough muscle to start going up a clothes size, which I unfortunately used as my marker, and eventually gave up the heavy weights, rather than using my amazingly defined shoulders as my marker instead. As I said, it takes a lot of effort, and the fact that I was still overweight anyway, to bulk up even with heavy weights. They will definitely bring you definition, not to mention great muscle strength and help prevent osteoporosis etc.

                    Good luck on your journey, I look forward to reading about it

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      thanks for your input on the heavy lifting! i'm a bit confused by the PBF book though. it seems like doing 40 pushups is quite a lot of reps in one set? it seems quite contrary to everything i have learned about heavy lifting before.
                      i've been lifting at the gym (machines not free weights) for about a year now. but i mainly focused on arms and chest (and some back), because that's my weakest zone. i've been doing bodyweight abs (all sorts of crunches and planks). since i do a lot of dancing my legs are quite strong as they are (there's still room for improvement though) and i also took a lot of group classes at the gym that involve squats and lunges).
                      i'm now trying to do more combined exercices like push-ups and burpees, and continue doing planks and squats regularly. and i hope to find a solution for pull-ups asap. i'm considering buying one of those door mounted pull up bars.
                      i have a pair of 2.5kg/5 pound dumbells at home that i can use for some exercices once they start becoming too easy with just bodyweight, and i also have 0.5kg/1 pound ankle weights that i use in ballet class on a more or less regular basis.
                      i'm looking forward to the moment where i can start incorporating a sandbag or weighted vest into my workouts, but that's just not for now!
                      my LHT high of today was managing to do four pushups, hands placed on the edge of the bath-tub, waiting for the tub to fill up with warm water, nose to floor (well, bathtub in this case).
                      it wasn't so long ago i couldn't even do ONE push-up.
                      Lora



                      obligatory introduction
                      journal

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Lora it sounds like you have quite a good balance going what with the gym machines, group classes, planks, squats and dancing.

                        I like the gym, but I love group classes the best.

                        Keep going with the pushups, you will continue to improve. Good luck with your goals.
                        Annie Ups the Ante
                        http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread117711.html

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Hey Lora, I haven't read PBF because I have a tendency to obsess and over-focus and PB is all about not doing that and letting things come naturally, so my take on lift heavy things (LHT) comes from the 10 blueprint recommendations.

                          The instruction on LHT states 2-3 sessions per week for 30-45 minutes; and as you say preferably using a variety of whole body movements. So push-ups are good because they engage your arms, shoulders, core and your legs - a whole host of muscles as opposed to say lat pull downs or bicep curls, which focus on single or isolated muscle groups.

                          I don't think the number of reps or sets is as important as making sure over the two or three sessions that you vary the workout and that over the course of your sessions you continue to improve, but not like in the way of increasing time to get there. Working smarter. So add weight, use one arm, one leg, anything to vary so that you continue to improve. But if you start getting to this kind of level, you'll possibly want the advice of a pro!

                          Remember also, that some days you will need to take a step backwards and do less - listen to your body!

                          Remember, too, that rest is also one of the blueprint instructions

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Day 3.

                            Maybe I have to reconsider my feelings about running sprints. Yesterday I tried hill sprints for the first time and it made me feel so alive! And strong! I'll definitely be doing those again. Maybe not every week (to prevent them becoming boring all the same, but once every two or three weeks, alternating with other types of HIIT). I have also found that I really love doing stair sprints at random. Like at work. Or in the train station.These are just casual kind of single sprints, when I would normally be just walking up the stairs or even take the elevator or escalator.

                            I have the impression that my upper abs start to be more visible and even my belly, which is my biggest problem zone, is becoming tighter. But it might be all in the head. The scales are not changing at all. I should probably get out the tape measure and put my measurements on here for the sake of tracking my progress. And maybe some pics as well.



                            Food


                            B (8.00am): coconut/egg pancake + unripe banana (RS) + 2 cups black tea with cloud of milk

                            L (12.00am): leftover chicken leg + lettuce, cucumber, broccoli + olive oil + some nuts

                            S (15.00pm): handful of mixed nuts + some cherry tomatoes

                            D (6.30pm): home made meat loaf + small serving of home canned pears (w/o sugar) + lots of Brussels endive

                            S (10.15pm): 1/2c full fat yogurt + cup of green vanilla tea with cloud of milk


                            Exercise


                            walking to and back from work + walking to ballet class (about 1 hour total)

                            contemporary ballet class (2,5 hours - including a short 20 minute pilates core workout)

                            100NIKONb.jpg
                            Forgot to take a pic of dinner. Oh well.
                            Last edited by LoraEwinaga; 02-18-2014, 03:25 AM.
                            Lora



                            obligatory introduction
                            journal

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Yes, definitely take your measurements, as they can change rapidly when you tone up and lose even a small bit of fat. They are a much more valid feedback than the scale.
                              Annie Ups the Ante
                              http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread117711.html

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