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Aodhán's Journal - PrimordialMinds

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  • Aodhán's Journal - PrimordialMinds

    Though I have been "paleo" for a year and a half, I had not exited the high carb highway. I replaced my cereal grains with excessive honey, maple syrup, fruit, and smoothie consumption. To top it off, body weight and composition has stalled the last couple of years despite high protein consumption and lots of time in the gym.

    As of November 1st, 2014, I have started a 21-day no-cheat primal blueprint dietary lifestyle. Low carb, high protein, no limiting of healthy fats. All non-primal foods are out.

    Plan of Action:
    Diet - Get off the high carb cycle, focus on a primal blueprint style of eating. Improve protein digestion.
    Weights - Follow Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe until the end of 2015. 5/3/1 in 2016.
    Combat - Muay Thai is a great art, and I will be getting traditional education for the foreseeable future.
    Conditioning (Warm Weather) - Hiking, swimming, pick-up soccer, occasional all-out sprint
    Conditioning (Cold Weather) - Indoor swimming, occasional all-out sprint, tobogganing, winter activities
    Scoliosis - I have a scoliosis and I am working on correcting through different methods

    Current Stats:
    Date: November 1st, 2014
    Bodyweight - 173.0 lbs
    Body Fat - 35.638 lbs
    Body Fat % - 20.6%
    Lean mass - 137.362 lbs

    Squat - 135 lbs
    Deadlift - 315 lbs
    OHP - 65 lbs
    Bench Press - 185 lbs

    I am not pushing weights too much on any exercise as I am focusing on form. I am coming off of a piriformis injury due to improper training and am working with a talented chiropractor/physio therapist. I can now squat pain-free, and I am staying at 135 for my working sets to instill proper form. Fairly new to the OHP, so focusing on form for that. The deadlift I am very confident with, and the bench press is coming along nicely.

    About me:
    I currently work at The Healthy Butcher in Toronto, Ontario. I am studying holistic and primal nutrition, as well as culinary arts.
    I started a food blog, and I am dedicating myself to the primal way of living. It is called Primordial Minds and combines primal eating, primal living, and primal logic.
    I am a born and raised city boy. I have been inspired to take-up hunting, and have a five year goal of being able to do so. I will be piecing together the skills (bow, camping, butchering, etc.) until that point.

  • #2
    End of First 21 Day Primal Plunge

    So far, so good. I have been working on many aspects of The Primal Blueprint lifestyle including my exercise and sleep patterns, eating times, and diet. I have not focused on macros, simply lifestyle improvements as a whole.

    Ht: 174.5 cm (~6’1”)
    BW: 172 lbs
    BF: 35.2 lbs
    BF%: 20.5%
    Lean BW: 136.8 lbs
    Squat: 1x1rep @ 225 lbs
    Deadlift: 1x1rep @ 315 lbs, 3x5rep @ 135 controlled training weight
    Overhead Press: 3x5rep @65 lbs, vertical bar path
    Bench Press: 1x3rep @185 lbs, 3x5rep @ 135 training weight

    Though my body composition has not changed much, I have gotten much stronger with my lifts. I look bigger and stronger as well.

    1. Sticking to three weight sessions a week according to Starting Strength. Form and strength are getting better with the squat, bench press, and press.
    2. I've started doing 1.5 km of rowing before my strength sessions. My training partner is teaching me.
    3. I've taken up one Muay Thai class a week. Largely a technique based gym. They have a conditioning session to start which works on agility, strength, and cardiovascular health.
    4. I went for a hike in Rouge Valley last week. Once winter passes I will do more.

    1. I've increased my sleep time to 9 hours, aiming to get it to 9.5 hours. I'm averaging 7.5 hours some days, 8 other days. My body feels best at 9 and 1/2.
    2. On days where it is possible, I am taking short naps. Definitely needed with the colder weather rolling in.

    Eating and Fasting:
    Though I had tried intermittent fasting in the past, I am playing with the idea of IF now:
    1. Eating window: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm. I have found this to be successful, provided I go to bed at 10:30. If I stay up later I find I need to snack. I don't eat breakfast on the days I train anyway, so this works well.
    2. Day-long fasts a couple of times a month. Sporadic.
    3. Skipping meals when I am not hungry. Sporadic.
    4. Taking my break at work only when I am hungry.

    I've noticed better energy when fasting compared to earlier trial runs. I also find the eating window manageable.

    I have done a Betaine HCl protocol...
    I made it to 8 pills (the most that is safe) without reaction. I continued on 8 for a few days. Now I am down to 4 with the feeling of a burning sensation. My goal is to hit 1 with reaction, then switch to a digestive enzyme complex for digestive support.

    I am still on a high-carb cycle...
    Apples and almond butter are consumed often. I have been eating between 3-5 apples a day, which is 60-100 grams of carbs alone. Add in the rest of my food and I surpass the maintenance phase on some days. I have reduced my dependence on dark chocolate bars. I now indulge once every 2 weeks, topped with loads of nut butter.

    I believe I am over-eating protein and fruit in place of veggies. My meals have mostly become meat-based, with fruits during meals and for snacks. I am making efforts to reduce excessive fruit consumption, and include more veggies.

    I have recently finished reading Eating on the Wild Side by Jo Robinson. Great book. I am using it to select nutrient dense fruits and veggies.
    I believe myself to be what she refers to as a “supertaster”. I find myself very sensitive to bitter, astringent, spicy, or sharp flavours. Highly sweetened things bother me and I gravitate towards the savory and fatty flavors of meat.

    I did have a cheat meal on Friday, November 7th, 2014. It was my mum's birthday and we went out for sushi. I stuck to sashimi and some more paleo-friendly options, but did have some rice.

    It was fun. I made some improvements. I have a lot more improvements to make. I look forward to my next 21 day plunge into improving my primal lifestyle!


    • #3
      Primal Plunge #2 - Twenty-one days of discipline

      I am doing a second 21 day primal blueprint. Focusing more on the diet and macros. I will not be counting calories and the macros or anything, but simply reducing my intake of carbs to a minimal level.

      I plan to do a third 21 day regime after this to work on counting the macros.

      2nd 21 Day Primal Plunge:
      Start: December 3rd. 2014
      End: December 24th, 2014 (my 20th birthday)
      • Will be using to monitor my eating habits. The goal is to get into the 50-100 gram carb range on some days and not to exceed 150 grams on the rest.
      • Strict and ambitious primal goal of 4-6 lbs/fat loss. Goal is to lose a bit of fat by my 20th birthday, without sacrificing muscle.

      Ht: 174.5 cm (~6’1”)
      BW: 172 lbs
      BF: 35.2 lbs
      BF%: 20.5%
      Lean BW: 136.8 lbs
      Squat: 1x1rep @ 225 lbs
      Deadlift: 1x1rep @ 315 lbs, 3x5rep @ 135 controlled training weight
      Overhead Press: 1x5rep @85 lbs, vertical bar path
      Bench Press: 1x3rep @185 lbs, 3x5rep @ 135 training weight

      • Short walk when getting home from work, assuming it isn’t late.
      • I'll be incorporating more sprinting sessions, probably once a week.
      • Getting a bike which I will be able to use, weather permitting, as my primary transportation in the city. Will have to wait for spring though.
      • Going to start deadlifting more frequently in December as opposed to once a week. Will be deadlifting in all my sessions at a lower training weight, and occasionally only once a week at heavy weight.
      • Troubleshooting for winter exercise and play activities... Thoughts so far: indoor (salt-water) swimming, aggressive snow shoveling, tobogganing (sprinting up hills), skating...
      • Going to try floatation therapy. Looks cool.

      Diet and Budget:
      In the month of November I spent 1100 on groceries. Granted, I bought some things for my brother and mother. However I do have an employee discount at a butcher shop. I must start finding more cost-effective ways to get my nutrition considering that eggs are off the menu due to intolerance.
      • I will be adding bone broth as a regular addition to my diet. Going to aim for a mug a day!
      • Getting a bigger crockpot to make stock in. My smaller one is perfect for a meat roast for myself, however not large enough for a good yield of stock.
      • I will be having a tablespoon of olive oil each morning.
      • I will be sticking to 1-2 servings of a fruit a day. Veggies taking their place. I will be eating veggies first with each meal followed by meat. Veggies as snacks. I need more veggies in my diet.
      • I will be avoiding all sugar sources: dark chocolate bars, maple syrup, honey.
      • Adding canned wild salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines etc. Swapping my farmed salmon for local fresh caught or farmed trout. I will be eating local fresh caught white fish, which is quite a bit cheaper than salmon. Splurging on wild salmon when available.
      • I’ve gotten the bright idea to landscape and repurpose my back garden .We’ve had issues with flooding due to the way it is oriented. Hopefully landscaping will fix that. It’ll be a good workout for sure. Turning it into a vegetable garden after winter passes will mean that it helps with the grocery bill.
      • Avoiding supplemental carbs entirely. Not even as a non-primal indulgence.
      • I will be limiting the amount of root/higher carb veggies I am consuming to 2 servings a day. This includes, beets, carrots, parsnips, squash, etc.
      • Elimination of nightshades. Though I already don’t eat them much, I want to test their removal.
      • I eat meals at 10 and 3. Two meals saves money. Perhaps having a 5-6 pm snack if necessary.

      Going to introduce a few supplements...
      • Vitamin B - It helps my mood, also my B12 was low at my last blood test which is odd…
      • Vitamin D - Fair-skinned and winter is rolling in.
      • Omega 3 – Taking an extra dose until this jar is done. Then moving on to algae oil.
      • CoQ10 – I was told to take it in the form of ubiquinol, however I want to do my research first.
      • Carnosine - Pairs with above to help support the athletic load.
      • Mineral complex – I find this helpful in the winter time, just to top up.

      Sleep and Distractions:
      • Yellow sunglasses at night when using computers, dimming lights.
      • Got an e-reader to minimize my distractions. Now I don’t have to have my laptop every time I want to read my kindle books. It’s also friendlier for before bed reading.
      • Really being strict with my sleep times and forms of stimulation. I want to nail 9+hours a night every day during this 21-day program. I find I am tired with 8, might be that I am still growing or my athletic/cognitive load.
      • Consistent routine before bed of planning my next day. Helps me hone my focus!
      • Revamping blog. I enjoy blogging. It’s a creative outlet for me. Building a personal brand site with a blog element rather than a pure blog.

      Let the 21 day countdown begin!