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My food for a week - thoughts?

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  • My food for a week - thoughts?

    In response to my in-laws asking about what I actually DO eat, I kept a very basic food journal for a week and then blogged about it: So uh...what do you eat?

    Not sure if posting links is considered bad form, so here it is cut and pasted. I edited out the explanatory paragraph from each day for length.

    What do you think? How could I get more in line with the PB consistently - how would you rate this week (75% primal, 50%, etc)? I didn't set out to eat as "Primally as possible", I just wanted to sort of track a typical week in my life - one where stuff comes up and decisions have to be made about the best choice. Thanks in advance for any tips.

    -Coffee with cream.
    -Omelet with cheese, mushrooms, onions. A few tomato slices.
    -Rib steak with fried mushrooms and onions.
    -Evening snack: blueberry coconut ice cream smoothie.

    -Coffee with cream.
    -Bacon and eggs and some strawberries.
    -Coffee with cream.
    -Prime rib roast and salad containing greens, mushrooms, peppers, strawberries, blueberries, nuts, tomatoes, and probably some other vegetables I can't remember.
    -Birthday cake.

    -Coffee with cream (from now on I'm just writing "coffee").
    -Prime rib leftovers with fried mushrooms and peppers, strawberries, some grapes and cheese my son didn't eat from his lunch.
    -More roast (last of the leftovers). A baked sweet potato with a bit of sour cream.
    -3 cold cut slices. A pickle. A few slices of tomato. Coffee with cream and sugar.
    -Late evening snack: Decaf coffee and four 5.4g squares of dark chocolate (72%)

    -Two fried eggs and bacon. Coffee.
    -An apple.
    -Homemade pork sausage.
    -Some mixed nuts and five of the dark chocolate squares.

    -Big Salad. Lettuce, carrots, tomato, cucumber, green and red pepper, cheese, chicken and bacon. With caesar dressing.
    -Mixed berries with yogurt.
    -More Big Salad.
    -Snack: nuts and chocolate again.

    -Bacon and scrambled eggs. Coffee.
    -Strawberries, cantaloupe, pineapple, grapes. Served with a cream cheese fruit dip.
    -Chicken breast with mushroom wine sauce. Mashed potatoes. Green beans.
    -Pepperoni stick. Bottle of unsweetened iced tea.
    -Snack: Iced coffee and nuts and dark chocolate.
    Last edited by Shaun S; 06-28-2011, 12:41 PM. Reason: trying to get the "page" out of the title

  • #2
    Originally posted by Shaun S View Post
    What do you think? How could I get more in line with the PB consistently - how would you rate this week (75% primal, 50%, etc)?
    Pretty consistently primal.

    I guess the only non-primal items are the birthday cake and the chocolate and icecream. You do use dairy products, which Paleo Dieters disapprove of, but they're not excluded from Primal. Mark Sisson commentss:

    I’m a big fan of heavy cream in my coffee and butter in my eggs (and on my steaks and vegetables). I like a nice thick yogurt sauce on lamb, and occasionally either Greek yogurt or fresh whipped cream with berries for dessert. I even have a bit of artisan cheese once in a while.
    I don't know how one would calculate a percentage. I guess it could be done by calorific value (not that calories mean much, but it's a usable measure). So the percentage primal would =

    total calories for week - (calories in birthday cake + chocolate + ice cream) x 100
    __________________________________________________ _____________
    total calories for week

    That'd be better than 80:20, I'd guess.

    My thought is that you might be rather light on the fat. It's not possible to tell from the list, but you might be. There's some fat on (and in) the meat—and eggs; some of the food is fried, which will add fat to it; and there's the cream. There's not obviously any olive oil on salads and butter on cooked vegetables, however.

    Primal is light on carbs—there's really only non-starchy vegetables (like leafy greens) and a little fruit—and some sweet potatoes and so on thrown in for those who need a little more in that line. You can consult Mark's "Carbohydrate Curve". It varies, according to who you are and your current needs, but it might be as a percenetage, say, 15% to 20% of total calorific intake.

    As for protein, for a moderately active person Mark suggests a figure in grams of 0.7 or 0.8 times lean body mass (in pounds):

    How to Eat According to the Primal Blueprint | Mark's Daily Apple

    You can calculate lean body mass roughly with an online calculator such as this one:

    Diet Calculator, Body Fat Calculator

    That's—what?—perhaps 15% to 20% of total caloric intake. Slightly higher than the standard recommendation.

    That leaves a pretty big gap. And it's fat that's needed to fill that. But as I say I can't tell any figures from your list ...


    If you want suggestions, you might try adding some lactic-fermented foods to your diet to provide good bacteria—sauerkraut, beet kvass, yoghurt, etc.
    Last edited by Lewis; 06-28-2011, 12:53 PM.


    • #3
      Are you trying to achieve anything that you are not reaching on your current food plan? Seems pretty primal to me. If you have any issues with cravings or weight loss I would look at the daily sweets or the amount of caffeine/coffee you have on board. BUT, if you feel good, are at a good weight, then this looks like a sustainable food plan to me.

      If this is easy for you to maintain, then I would look at the following items:
      -Oils in your dressings and such, maybe make them homemade if you are not already
      -Meat sources (if they are not already grassfed a good deal of the time)
      -Fermented foods as someone else mentioned above
      Daily Vlogs
      Primal Pets Blog


      • #4
        No criticism, because that is a healthy week.

        My observations, which might help refine the edges are ... maybe there's too much (modern) fruit in there? You can read up on how modern fruit is literally a candy bar on a tree. Berries are more "primal".

        I see you're still on dairy - great! I am Sour cream is lovely, heavy cream is too and both are "primal" with low lactose and good biotics in the sour cream. What about the cheese? Soft white cheese is good - feta, haloumi, sheep/goat cheese. Focus more that way.

        I see chicken more than once in the week. Chicken is often higher in omega 6 than much of your diet. I like chicken, but I keep it to once a week; chicken or pork. Red meat is better. Eat lots of ruminants.

        Pepperoni? It's a bit of an animal ... shame it's heavily processed. I can see why you ate it and I'm a little jealous! It's one to drop out, I think.

        On the whole, a good diet.

        Let's see more green vegetables in there - asparagus, tenderstem broccoli, spring greens, savoy cabbage, samphire, spinach and so on. Let's see more fish in there, especially oily fish - lunch is superb with a couple of mackerels! Wild Salmon is a perfect partner to green veg and a good glob of sour cream with slices of daikon, radish or horseradish is really nice.

        Well done with the cold meats and pickles! Big favourite of mine ... and the pickles are probiotic. Maybe add some yoghurt in after eating?

        Good start - it's all "real food" ... next, refine and get proper primal.

        "... needs more fish!"


        • #5
          man, am i the only one that looks at this and thinks... you don't eat too much! lol. to be honest, i'm a newbie. maybe that's it.


          • #6
            I think it sounds quite adequate. I'm sure Shaun can tell us if he feels hungry between meals - I like to go from one meal to another with some hunger in between. I don't like to "have to eat" if I'm still full from my previous meal, so perhaps tend to under eat. I do have weight loss as my goal, which looking at Shaun is perhaps not his issue. Maybe he's not a big exerciser and the food is correctly proportioned.

            "... needs more fish!"


            • #7
              Thanks for the feedback so far everyone!

              @ Lewis: I would have thought I was eating enough fat. I certainly don't shun it, I always take the fattiest cuts of meat when I have an option (like the roast beef later in the week, which was at work). Everything fried (eggs, mushrooms, etc.) was either in butter or bacon grease. Good call on the sauerkraut, not sure why I haven't gotten any to go with my homemade sausage yet.

              @Meadow: I am still trying to drop another 10-20lbs of fat. I know the chocolate shouldn't be eaten as often as I do but, well, it's pretty tasty! I'd rather eat 90% dark chocolate but the 72% is a great deal and handily packaged in little squares. I only recently gave up diet soda (2 or 3 cans a day) so I think I'm overcompensating on the coffee a bit. I know I should go grassfed, but while there is a source locally I haven't made the switch, primarily due to budget and convenience.

              @pjgh: You're right about the fruit and the chicken. I try to stick to red meat and berries, but in the cases above the food was provided by someone else. Free chicken and apples beat paid-for beef and strawberries! I don't drink milk but eat other dairy, it doesn't seem to give me much problem. Besides, how could I make omelets without cheese? I agree I need more green vegetables. In a few weeks our garden will be producing to help out with that I think.

              @jakey: Some of those portions were pretty big. And while I'm not counting calories I am still trying to drop fat so I try not to intentionally overeat. I didn't ever go hungry, anyway.


              • #8
                Hey, that's fantastic Shaun - aside from the nutritional benefits of eating your own grown produce, the knowledge and skills of growing is something which we should really be regaining in abundance as a race. It won't be long before the food corporations have completely eradicated natural reproduction in mass produced food and it only takes a hiccup from there for the whole thing to fail entirely. Folks who know how to sow, tend and reap ... in the right season will be very useful fellows!

                As for if and when someone provides you with food - eat it! You are right ... just eat it. Keep it up, mate!

                "... needs more fish!"