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Primal Journal ala hbeck

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  • Primal Journal ala hbeck

    Heyo fellow Groks and Grokettes

    Allow myself to introduce...myself.
    hbeck here, otherwise known as Darren. 25 years old these days I'm Texas born and bred, proud of it, and wouldn't want to live anywhere else. Currently residing on the outskirts of DFW. Married to a beautiful and brilliant woman and couldn't be happier with the choice! And now, on the way to being a parent

    As for the Primal goodness, I discovered MDA through a link on my CrossFit affiliate's blog and have since been spending far too much time reading articles and the forums here...shh, don't tell my boss! I work on a computer for a living, and since getting out of college 3 years ago that's about all I've done physically, other than mowing the yard. I had one spurt of a month or so where I went to the fitness center in our community's clubhouse but got bored with treadmill and weight machines so back to being a lazy bum. Cue Feb 2010 - hit my highest weight ever, seriously disappointed and depressed about getting winded climbing stairs from being so out of shape, and sick of being lazy in general. Getting smoked in a 5k run by my 50-something father didn't help either.

    Now, some history and perspective...I was not and have never been really overweight. I'm 6' tall and my high point (beginning of 2010) was 185 lbs. But, for me, that was an unhappy place coming from a guy who didn't break 160 until after graduating HS in 2003 and no longer having year-round sports to keep me in shape. Really my displeasure was more about not being fit/in-shape than any weight issue. So no, I'm not insane and I don't have body issues. I realize I'm not making the huge transitions some of you other PB'ers are, but it's a transition and I have my goals all the same.

    So, Feb hits, I go back to the gym in the community fitness center. Running and weight machines plus a bit of dumbbell work. I know a bit about diet stuff from my dad who's been doing Zone/South Beach for years and years - learn by proximity. Cut sodas, cut desserts, aim for 'healthier' food choices. Less Sonic, more Subway I did pretty well for having no direction other than "stop being a lazy ass". Got my 1 mile time back under 8 minutes (still slow...used to run a 6 min) and in general doing ok with my random weights.

    March hits, I need something better, more targeted, specifically for the fitness/exercise side of things. Search for a PT for some consulting, find CrossFit. Read. Bam. Wow. This makes sense - convince the wife to let me give it a shot and happy surprise she goes with me! First WOD down and I'm hooked. Must force myself to take it easy and pace things. CF gym advocates Paleo diet - go look, find some paleo stuff. Makes sense. Find MDA. Makes MORE sense (I LOVE the wealth of info on the MDA blog. LOVE IT). Hooked. Jump in 100%, end up around 95%...I like ranch dressing...

    Fast forward to now.

    165 lbs, 11% body fat. 20 lbs dropped in 2 months thanks to PB/Paleo and CrossFit. Easy, fun, and delicious.

    Goal #1: 8-9% body fat. Increase strength and overall fitness!
    Goal #2: Be healthy!

    So far so good. My allergies are almost non-existent, from having to take a daily pill to deal with them. I have not been sick this year, when I usually get knocked down at least once or twice for a few days every Spring. Working towards goal #1.

    Goals for the Journal here:
    - Track my progress on the health/fitness goals
    - Track diet and workouts
    - Share random thoughts
    - Get feedback from the rest of you!

  • #2
    Random feeling of the day...I really should be more productive at work. It's difficult to be motivated when I: 1) don't like the job, 2) really don't like the current project, 3) the senior engineer who is my 'team lead' is not much of a leader and says some very demotivating things, 4) I have very little incentive to work hard, given some earlier events, and 5) there's so many things I'm finding more interesting than software these days...

    1 of Batty's blue balls
    Apple, used to scoop almond butter
    Coconut milk yogurt + sliced strawberries
    hard-boiled egg minus half a white...wife stole it

    BAS with mixed greens, red onion, bell peppers, mushrooms, cucumber, tomatoes, more hard-boiled eggs....and ranch dressing

    Salad - green leaf lettuce, green bell pepper, red onion, cucumber, grape tomatoes, OO & Vinegar dressing
    BEAT salad (so yummy...Bacon, HB Eggs, Avocado, and FRESH tomato from the back yard)
    Protein shake with 2 scoops, coconut milk, and a bit of frozen blueberries

    2495 Calories
    178.4g Fat (62% of cals)
    116g Protein (18%)
    126.7g Carbs (20%)

    Too many carbs. Didn't realize Avocados were so heavy on them, but either way breakfast was too much. This is why I'm tracking again.

    Warm-up: 10 each of squats (bodyweight), good mornings and samson stretch (stretches), sit-ups, push-ups, pull-ups, ring dips
    For time:
    1 Rope Climb
    10 Muscle-Up progressions
    20 Power Clean (45 kg)
    30 Kettlebell Swings (16 kg)
    40 Pull-ups

    16:58...slow as crap. Damn pull-ups. Need to figure out why my grip is getting screwed up every few reps. On the plus side, I OWN rope climbs.

    Other fun randomness!
    Wifey feeling less nauseous today, ate some lettuce (caesar salad and then more lettuce at home) and chicken today!! Made her very happy which is good, as she's been struggling with feeling like crap non-stop for the past 4 weeks. Plus she managed to do some bits and pieces of the workout at CF, which she also hasn't done in 3+ weeks.


    • #3
      The world has a mean sense of humor - been mentioning here and to a couple other people I know about how my diet changes have (mostly) fixed my allergies, and now today I'm getting hit pretty hard. I blame most of it on the completely crap air in this office, because things always clear up after I leave for the day...however even this morning at home I was stuffy/drippy and generally annoyed at my sinuses.

      My thoughts...
      - Need more veggies. Have been lighter on them lately.
      - More fish oil. Going to up it from 1-2g/day to a bit over 3g/day.
      - Brush the critters. 3 dogs and 2 cats = lots of pet fuzz.

      Anyone else have suggestions on allergy issues?


      • #4
        Originally posted by hbeck View Post
        Anyone else have suggestions on allergy issues?
        C, quercetin and bioflavonoids will readily steal the histamine receptor cite acting as 'anti-histamines'. They tend to be very effective.

        I take about 3,000 mg viamin C in divided doses (6, 500mg c whenever i think of it)
        2, 500 mg quercetin 3x per day when needed

        Haven't had to mess around with bioflavonoids in a long time.

        But allergy meds aren't that big of a deal should you choose to go that route - they really are some of the most innocuous drugs around. The worst side effect of most is somnolence and it's very short lived - 3-7 days with benedryl and much less with zyrtec or similar. And allergy shots (allergist) or allergy drops (ENT) are an excellent option.

        Seriously, my allergies did go away after a few years on D. But T1 (my 11 yo) suffers horribly year round. She takes zyrtec once a day most of the year and right now is also taking 2-3 benedryl. She also takes nasal steroids 2x per terms of dosing, this is nothing like taking even a single dose of oral prednisone. *nothing* like it even when taking them daily for a year.

        quercetin (k'wair-suh-tin)


        oooh, and bromelain - proteolytic enzymes are awesome. 4x per day on an empty stomach (ie 30min before a meal and/or 2h after)
        Everyone should have some on hand as they're also great to rapidly reduce inflammation following injury -
        Last edited by cillakat; 06-23-2010, 03:32 AM.

        iherb referral code CIL457- $5 off first order


        • #5
          Thanks, K I still have the option to go fill my prescription if needed - it's basically generic allegra. I've just always preferred to minimize the drugs I take, even with supplements I'm still being slow about adding things to make sure I actually need it! Oh, and I cleared up after leaving the office. Really getting to think that this job is bad for my health both physically and mentally.

          Random of the day (Friday)...wait, I'm still up. Crap. Well, going to make sure I get a good nap in tomorrow!! Cooking in leftover bacon grease is possibly the best thing ever. Why doesn't everyone do it?!

          6 or 7 strawberries
          .5 lb of venison breakfast sausage (cooked in leftover bacon grease from yesterday's BEAT salad)
          3 eggs fried in the fat from the bacon and sausage

          Wasn't really 'hungry' but decided I needed some green stuff, so...salad with mixed greens, cucumbers, tomatoes, hard-boiled egg, and a really small chicken breast from the cafeteria at work. Topped with olive oil

          Dinner/Food celebration for a cousin's High-School graduation:
          Oh man was this just a sea of SAD. Chips, Caesar salad, garlic-cheese Texas toast, lasagna, and of course cake (red velvet) and ice cream. On the plus side they had a big bowl of blueberries, strawberries, watermelon and cantaloupe. Knowing it wouldn't be a great selection I chomped another of batty's blueberry butter balls plus an apple (again with the almond butter crack) beforehand. Ate some of the salad (dodged the croutons), munched fruit (mostly blueberries), and a little lasagna - picking around the pasta layers to get at just the meat/cheese/sauce. Skipped the cake and ice cream, which was an exercise in willpower since it was Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla. Argh.

          More Dinner:
          Green stuff! Cut up 2 heads of broccoli and cooked them in the pan with what was left of the bacon and sausage grease...probably about 3 cups of broccoli. Also did a whey protein shake with a bit of coconut milk and a small amount of frozen blueberries.

          2126 Calories
          121.4g Fat (51% of cals)
          158g Protein (29%)
          110g Carbs (20%)

 day? Just happened so that I was too busy running around to make it to a CF workout and it was dark by the time we got home. Oh well!

          Other fun randomness!
          Wifey feeling blah today, but she ate salad and TWO decent sized servings of lasagna at the party. Plus ice cream More food is staying down, which makes me (and her) happy.
          Tomorrow, I grill! Grass-fed sirloin steaks, eggplant, and asparagus. I can taste it already...


          • #6
            Originally posted by hbeck View Post
            Cooking in leftover bacon grease is possibly the best thing ever. Why doesn't everyone do it?!
            For me, it's that pesky little detail of keeping kosher at home.

            Originally posted by hbeck View Post
            Wifey feeling blah today, but she ate salad and TWO decent sized servings of lasagna at the party. Plus ice cream More food is staying down, which makes me (and her) happy.

            Apologies in advance for this (can't help myself): please make sure she's getting enough D to keep her levels between 50 and 80 ng/mL

            iherb referral code CIL457- $5 off first order


            • #7
              Congrats on getting healthy, being married to a beautiful woman and now approaching fatherood Its a joy to see young, HAPPILY married people on the boards. Anyways, I enjoy your blog- thanks for sharing your story! keep grokin it out- seems like your doing great!


              • #8
                Hi Evita, thanks for the comment!

                K - I think we will need to get tested but I doubt she is in the optimal range, and even though I get more sun, I probably am not either. $55 a test (for the 4-pack from ZRT) is fairly pricey though :-/

                Posting for yesterday (Sat).

                Woke up later, obviously, since I was up until 4 am. Blah. Got about 6 hours of sleep.

                Went to a farmer's market in the next town over rather than driving to downtown dallas. I didn't eat anything for breakfast at home because it was so late already (may as well just IF it right?), but at the market we got a fresh texas peach for the wifey to try (she'd never had a whole peach with the skin on!)...she got about two bites out of it but the skin wasn't going down well so I finished it off.

                Cooked up a breakfast steak (thin slice of top round from my understanding) plus half a red onion, a head of broccoli, and about 2/3 a cup of carrots.

                Butter ball and about 1/2 cup of fresh texas blueberries. I love fruit...too much!

                Took my friend who came to share the steaks a bit longer than expected to arrive so I chomped an apple+almond butter.

                Off the grill - about 13 or 14 oz of grass-fed sirloin steak, a ton of asparagus, and about 1/3 of an eggplant. Had bought some fresh raw cherries from the store so ate 12 of those as dessert.

                2288 Calories
                140.6g Fat (54% of cals)
                151.9g Protein (26%)
                121.2g Carbs (20%)

                Pretty primal day, actually. Did some taking care of the garden in the back yard with just my VFFs and shorts on, then went for some play with my two Australian Shepherds. Since nobody else was outside in the 90-something heat (at least not in the neighborhood) I went without leashes and just followed them around plus some playing with a ball. If anyone remembers Mark's post about dogs in this vein, it pretty much went like that - walk, stand, jog jog jog, RUN, walk, etc. I got a full sprint for about 3 blocks on the way home because they decided they were going to go run next to the fences instead of the far side of the road and stir up all the other dogs in the area, so I was sprinting after them trying to keep them from barking at the fences. I'm sure they thought it was a fun game

                Other stuff:
                Bought some beets at the market, not sure what to do with them. I know they're pretty versatile but not something I have ever cooked with. Any suggestions?


                • #9
                  Originally posted by hbeck View Post
                  K - I think we will need to get tested but I doubt she is in the optimal range, and even though I get more sun, I probably am not either. $55 a test (for the 4-pack from ZRT) is fairly pricey though :-/
                  Then just supplement. It's too important not to. If she's indoors most of the time, 1000 IU per 25 lbs body weight per day is not too much.


                  iherb referral code CIL457- $5 off first order


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by cillakat View Post
                    Then just supplement. It's too important not to. If she's indoors most of the time, 1000 IU per 25 lbs body weight per day is not too much.

                    Well, I may just pony up for the 4 tests to see where we're at and then again in 4-6 months or so. Have to get permission from the wifey for that kind of expense, though, or I may get yelled at!

                    Randomness of the moment, speaking of the wife - she's awesome. Wants me to be happy and is willing to do or support me in doing whatever it takes to get there.
                    I've been at my current job 3 years and have gotten shit for raises, no promotion, and very little to show for some damn hard effort with good work done. As an 'entry level' engineer I wrote the bulk of the software code for a demo effort as part of our company chasing a contract from the DoD. Well, doing that took several months of 60-90 hour weeks by lots of people (not just me working those hours, but I was there) and we won the project which is a couple hundred million for the company, so I'd say the work produced was damn good stuff. All I got in thanks was a $500 gift card, a pat on the back, and a couple good statements on my end-of-year review...which did not result in a promotion to the next job grade, despite the fact that I was doing a level of work one or two steps above my current labeling...and my raise was below!!! the average given. So I'm rather demotivated and a tad bit bitter over all of this. Stack that with the fact that I'm just not getting any enjoyment or satisfaction out of my work at this point, and I'm unproductive, stressed, and miserable with the situation.

                    So! I've had a few chats with my wife about this and she is fine with me doing whatever I want to do that will make me happy. Right now I'm bouncing several ideas around, given my experience, training, skills, current interests, etc...
                    - Stay in software, switch companies and see if the grass is any greener
                    - Take my parents up on their offer to come work for them and get invested with partial ownership of their business. (problem there is I don't think the industry they are in is all that exciting)
                    - Go get a teaching cert. and teach Computer Science or one of the other subjects that interests me (Intro Physics/Chem, Chemistry, English, History) at a high school level
                    - Take my current passion for fitness/health/nutrition a couple steps further and go back to school (thinking Biology, Chemistry, Anat & Physiology, and then Nutrition...even though it'd likely be CW crappo), plus look into getting certified as a PT.

                    I think it would be an interesting mix to have something like my current BS in Software Engineering and add a Biochem on top of it! Basically I at least want out of the defense industry. Looking up at my list it may seem like I'm schizo or something but I assure you I'm not Tooting my own horn a bit here, I'm just a really bright guy with the ability to do whatever I set my mind to, and I simply have to figure out what's going to be a job I can do that doesn't become a drag on my life.

                    Wow that got longer than expected, but I'm excited!! And, my wife is awesome. That is all.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by hbeck View Post
                      Wow that got longer than expected, but I'm excited!! And, my wife is awesome. That is all.
                      I am so happy for you. While you may be miserable in your current situation, you have the support of your partner in making whatever changes necessary to improve your life.

                      While I hate to play the $ card, I'll just advise is important. So follow your passion while being meticulously disciplined. We just don't know what the future holds. I didn't know we'd be - and I'd have said there's NO WAY we'd ever be spending $25K for one child to attend school but we $16K for the other one. And they're in4 4th and 6th next year Life holds the unexpected and that can mean things we simply can't comprehend before getting there.

                      Wishing all the best with this important decision.

                      iherb referral code CIL457- $5 off first order


                      • #12
                        Money...yeah...well, I know we will be fine regardless, but there's always the question of how much savings, how much towards retirement, how much extra for random things or fun stuff. Fortunately we are free of any debt other than a home mortgage and a car payment, of which the car will be paid off by the time the baby is due. We'll have to get another car at that point (I currently have a motorcycle or we car pool). It's odd, maybe, but I think I would rather work more hours or harder doing something fulfilling and enjoyable to make the same income that I have now with a - usually - pretty standard 40 hrs a week at a desk...just that I'm stressed-out and finding no pleasure in at this point.

                        On to today...

                        Protein shake with blueberries. I slept in late, so it was a quick 'n easy thing.

                        Pot-luck type thing with people. Had caesar salad, some chicken, a couple meatballs, and sweet potato fries.

                        Leftover sirloin, eggplant, and asparagus plus a salad (romaine, tomato, cucumber - just something simple to get more green stuff). And more cherries.

                        2212 Calories
                        119.9g Fat (48% of cals)
                        183.2g Protein (32%)
                        110.3g Carbs (20%)

                        We took our 3 dogs down to the park with a neighbor and their 3 dogs. I ran around alternating between chasing the dogs and them chasing me while the others hung out under the tree in the shade

                        Other stuff!
                        Allergies flared up after getting home from the park, not really a surprise (playing in the grass with dogs) but still annoying. Chomped 1000mg vitamin C before dinner, about to go get some more.

                        Browsing iHerb and VitaminShoppe for C and D supps. Still trying to figure whether I need (more) Potassium or Magnesium than I'm getting in diet.


                        • #13
                          Posting for the past two days' slack

                          5/31 Food Totals:
                          2152 Calories
                          113.6g Fat (47% of cals)
                          123.6g Pro (23%)
                          161.2g Carb (30%)

                          Carb-heavy day...peach, apple, broccoli (approx 2.5 cups chopped), BAS with romaine/tomato/cucumber/green bell pepper, ...and half of a 1lb bag of mini carrots

                          6/1 Food Totals:
                          1007 Calories
                          72.6g Fat (67% of cals)
                          37g Pro (15%)
                          43.6g Carb (18%)

                          Did a team workout on Monday - 4 people doing 300 pull-ups, then 400 push-ups, then 500 sit-ups, then 600 squats, in order - only 2 working at a time. Tuesday I had planned to go to CrossFit but ended up being in line to apply to college to start almost immediately for the summer semester. Talked to the boss this morning, still waiting to work out the details there...but I put it in motion!



                          • #14
                            Today's stuff...

                            Protein shake with coconut milk and blueberries

                            Crappy taco salad from the cafeteria at work. Lettuce, taco meat, tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, salsa, and ranch dressing

                            Fruit binge. *sigh* Banana, apple + almond butter, blueberry butter ball, 6 cherries

                            6 slices of bacon (cooked in coconut oil), 1.5 cups broccoli (cooked in oil + bacon fat), 4 eggs scrambled (in what was left). Also munched a few strawberries that I noticed were getting close to spoiling

                            2440 Calories
                            159.6g Fat (57% of cals)
                            141.6g Pro (22%)
                            131g Carb (21%)

                            - warm up plus 400m run
                            21-15-9 of:
                            Dumbbell shoulder press (instead of handstand push-ups) 25lbs each hand
                            Ring dips

                            Ended up doing less ring dips (15-12-9) but made it through most of it without scaling on them.

                            Other Stuff!
                            Awaiting with some trepidation what I'm going to have to do in the next two weeks to make leaving work without burning bridges and also starting summer semester classes happen. Oh, and I am SORE from Monday's team workout, holy crap. That plus today...foam roller here I come!


                            • #15
                              Didn't track food yesterday as I was busy dealing with stuff at work and issues with registration for classes starting next week. Stress! All better now, at least.

                              Yesterday's WOD:
                              - warm-up plus wall squats (bodyweight squat with toes/knees against wall to make you work on proper form!)
                              Back Squat 1-1-1. Find 1RM and then do 3 sets of 1 rep. Ended up at 90kg (~15kg more than I weigh)
                              30-20-10 reps for time of:
                              Deadlift (50% of max) 58kg
                              Knees-to-elbows (strict, no kip or swing. Hang on bar and bring knees up to elbows)

                              10:28. Slower than I wanted but I made damn sure I was getting to my elbows on every rep which made it take a bit longer.

                              Today's WOD:
                              Weighted pull-ups (1-1-1). Finding max weight.
                              For time:
                              10 muscle-ups (progressions for me)
                              15 handstand push-ups (using bands to scale)
                              20 cleans
                              400m run

                              Will update with time tonight.

                              Other Stuff!
                              Today is last day at my job! I might be crazy for doing this now (baby incoming) but I'm not really one for half measures. I jumped into CrossFit and Paleo/Primal eating and haven't looked back - and I'm better for it. Looking at the path forward, I will be working hard with school plus getting part time work to fill the gaps in $$$, but I really don't see any serious negatives coming out of this.