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Going through Low-Carb-Flu, help me make sense of a few things?

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  • Going through Low-Carb-Flu, help me make sense of a few things?

    Hiya, first post here. Currently enjoying what the locals seem to call "low-carb flu", which will account for my amazing eloquence/lack there of. You can skip to the listed numbers if you'd like but my background information is directly below (I type fast, which leads to typing a lot)

    I work at a bookshop and I finished reading the core Primal Blueprint book a few weeks ago. Somewhat-Quick background...

    Basic profile: 23 year old, poor, fiscally responsible college student, taking too many units and working five days a week living in the SanFrancisco Bay Area. No car.
    Fitness background: 5'11, skinny without trying. Got into parkour at 19 with a (then) parkour alined diet (whole wheat stuff, protein, fruits, vegies, ect) Did P90x and have followed a similar diet to phase 2-3 since. Got into rock climbing a year ago. Three months ago got into strength training and size building for fun with a buddy (I enjoy experimenting with diets, exercise programs, ect), was consuming +3000

    So I'm a very active individual, I feel fine and healthy but I'm always looking to take health to the next level. I like the concept of Primal/Paleo a lot (especially since most of my sports and exercising are outdoor based) I'm getting back into heavy parkour and I rock climb quite often.

    I'm going to try this out for a month. I've already been adding a lot in fruit and some vegetables and cutting whole wheat a lot (no pasta, replacing oat boxed cereal with just oatmeal, half the bread I normally eat) It's been enough to put me in a funk, make me foggy brained and unbalanced, actually got a full on cold on Tuesday that I'm just today recovered from. I've done a lot of reading in the last few weeks, though with a foggy brain so I've got a fair background but it's hard to absorb everything when I'm far from peak brain function.
    Here's the list as far as I can gather.
    1) Fruits in moderation? A lot of people who are on primal make it clear that they are keeping fruit low. Fruit is in a category with dairy. Why? Is it supposed to be bad for you? Would Grok really pass up a bush full of berries and only eat a handful? It makes me sad because I love all of the fruits, which leads me to the next one...

    2) I hate carrots, cauliflower and corn. Can't stand them. I'm cool with bellpeppers, love spinich and tomatoes (is the word out on whether that's a vegie or a fruit?), fine with kale... I've never been a huge vegetable eater and I like to focus on the mightiest of the vegetables when I do. I'm upping the amount of servings that I'm getting but the idea of eating mixing bowls full of vegetables every day... for one I don't have time, for two, while I am capable of enjoying vegies I'm not going to enjoy eating that many multiple times a day.

    3) While I'm transitioning, how do I avoid losing muscle? I've taken my body fat % low from the last two weeks but I don't want the muscle going away either. Normally I'd be getting a lot from milk, protein shakes, 3 egg omelets and all kinds of other things... now I'm down to a 3 egg omelet, a solid chicken breast, a hearty sausage... but at the most generous that's 65 grams of protein. According to this website and what I was doing before I need to double that. Without the protein shake I'm waking up stiff, my muscles ache where they never were before and I'm noticing a difference. Suggestions? And am I going to be capable of gaining muscle with my rigorous parkour, rock climbing and all around running about having fun? Don't care much about looks but I do like being able to do more.

    4) Nuts/fats. First of all, how much when it comes to fats? I enjoy every recommended fat source listed but under the concept of "Get all of your energy from fat", how much does that mean? Is a tablespoon a significant amount or should I be trying to eat a bowel of avocados and drink a cup of olive oil every day? And are macadamia nuts really the only good ones? I can't find them anywhere (I wish almonds weren't so pricey...)

    And lastly...
    5) Organic. Grassfed. I live in the Bay Area but it's not going to happen. I'll get it when I can, but I don't have the time, and without a car, the access. I can get my fruits and veggies through farmers markets but Safeway is my only consistent food source. I know that all the terrible poisons are going to kill me, that the acidic man killing fumes from my non-organic vegetables are melting me from the inside out, and that my chicken is not worth eating if it did not have a name, a family and a listed pedigree but the fact of the matter is I feel great on bread, better doing grocery store Primal and to me being able to eat a lot that's not grassfed is going to beat eating very little that is. Starving myself for quality sounds like a terrible idea, correct me if I'm wrong.
    You guys must get the "starving college kid" all the time, but I'm a straight A student on the path to a PhD who supports himself in this expensive area. I'm not starving and I don't want to be starving, and I'm also fiscally responsible with my poorness and am not interested in going into significant debt to eat organic/grassfed/silver platter food at this time (I'd love to do it when all of that schooling pays off)

    That was a lot, I apologize (foggy head, a chunk of you can sympathize I'm sure) I'm looking forward to this journey, but I'd love the pointers for really kicking it off right.
    Last edited by boywholeadsdogs; 11-05-2012, 12:01 AM.

  • #2
    1. People here limit their fruits if they are trying to lose weight. For some, cutting out the excess sugar makes the difference. If you are naturally skinny and you are not watching and limiting carb intake, go ahead and eat them. Some people have a problem with dairy, they're either intolerant (lactose) or they feel it inhibits weight loss or gives them headaches, etc, also, some types of dairy like cheese are very energy-dense and can lead to weight gain if you are mindlessly munching away on a pound of Brie and honey. Again, it depends on the person. Being a tall, skinny, young guy, it's unlikely that you will need to really watch your macros in fear of getting fatter.

    2. You're an adult, suck it up and eat your vegetables, or find ways of cooking them to make them taste good. Remember, there are a lot of vegetables out there. You are not limited to bell peppers, tomatoes, carrots, and lettuce and most other popular vegetables. If you don't want to eat them, don't force yourself, just make sure you're getting adequate nutrients elsewhere. Also, cooking vegetables (particularly spinach) releases additional nutrients for some vegetables and also greatly reduces their volume so you're not faced with a huge ass bowl of vegetables that you don't want to eat. I was aghast at how my 8 ounces of raw spinach reduced to a mere handful after boiling.

    3. Lift weights, get enough protein. Don't worry about losing muscle. Starvation mode is not happening until you're consistently eating a couple of hundred calories a day for weeks and months at a time. It's a myth. Your muscles ain't going nowhere unless you get into a coma and remain bedridden for weeks.

    4. People here are concerned about nut fats because of omega 3/6 ratios. Omega 6s are the bad ones. I'm fuzzy on them myself, but again, you're not likely to be worried about that shit. Eat what you want, not too much, and don't overthink it.

    5. I buy nothing organic or grassfed. I buy produce at the ethnic grocery store for dirt cheap prices, and they're probably laden with pesticides and stuff. Wash your produce and fruit thoroughly, and buy organic when you can, but it is not required. Most of us on MDA aren't rich either. Buy what you can afford; as long as you are eating meats, vegetables, fruits, and avoid processed foods, you are doing a hell of a lot better than most.

    Good luck, and I apologize for the snark in my post.
    F 28/5'4/100 lbs

    "I'm not a psychopath, I'm a high-functioning sociopath; do your research."


    • #3
      On the contrary, your post is one of the best things I've read all day, keep up the snark. XD

      Particularly number 2, I cracked up: I actually like me some raw vegetables, and with the exception of the couple I listed at the start I'm good to chow down on them, just trying to get a feel for the sheer amount. When you first look at primal it says "You can eat what you want, just don't eat this bad stuff" but the train quickly goes into the realm of "Well actually, and this stuff, and limit that stuff" until it looks like "Only eat grassfed meat drenched in coconut oil, organic vegetables, macadamia nuts and a few fruits". Though now I know that's more for the losing weight category so that makes me feel better (if anything I'd be more interested in gaining than losing, though I could look like a muppet for all I care so long as I feel great and have energy)

      Yeah, my ancestry definitely comes from the "We've been eating grains and using dairy as long as its been a thing" group, so neither of them give me bloating or gas, but I'm removing them for the time being to see what it's like.
      (Got any opinions on store bought almond milk? It isn't dairy but at the same time it seems like the jury isn't out yet on what the heck they put in it)

      Where does PBP stand on local honey?

      The only other thing I can think of is fats: they taste great, feel great, I'm for them, but how much are we looking at? I noticed that avocados were the main "food" item in the fat list, the rest were things like oils. I'd rather educate myself than go crazy on them out of fear of not getting enough. I'm already drizzling things in olive oil and I'll eat half an avocado a day. I dig almonds and I'll have a guy who can get me them for cheap in a month, but in the mean time I'll get nuts where I can find them (luckily I have a pretty solid farmers market in town every Tuesday that I go to)


      • #4
        If you are like most of my college friends, you can probably inhale 2 pizzas, several big gulps of Mountain Dew, washed down with a side of Taco Bell gorditas and still look as gaunt as a crack addict, so again, I would not worry about the honey. Primal for me is about avoiding as much processed foods as you can, and eating locally, since theoretically Grok didn't have access to wild Goji berries if he lived in Alaska. As such, honey, sugar is fine in limited quantities, more or less friending on how much weight or fat you want to lose. High fructose corn syrup and shit most definitely is not.

        Almond milk is ok, I think, if you make it yourself. The packaged'm a little scared reading the ingredient list. If it sounds like something I need a biochemistry textbook to understand, run, don't walk.

        As for the fats, get them from meats, coconut oil, butter. I've been eating butter straight from the stick if I feel like I'm losing too much. I can't tell you how much to eat, and what to eat, and I doubt anyone here can tell you what ratio of fats/carb/protein will make you feel like Tarzan. We can tell you what worked for us, but what makes someone feel awesome will probably give done one else diarrhea from too much fat and yet someone else gain 5 pounds in a week. You're just starting this, so track your food and tweak what you eat after awhile depending on how you feel. It'll take time and your body will adjust over time too so your requirements might not always be the same. Hell, I'm still switching things up.
        F 28/5'4/100 lbs

        "I'm not a psychopath, I'm a high-functioning sociopath; do your research."


        • #5
          You sound kinda like maybe you are a vegetarian? A high-grain vegetarian isn't the most healthy way to go. At least try to eat some eggs for the protein and choline.

          Since you are a skinny person, I would recommend that all your meals contain a serving of meat (fish, chicken, eggs, beef, lamb, whatever) a serving of all different vegetables as much as you like, make it heaping, and a serving of some kind of potato or other root thing (celery root, rutabaga, carrots, taro, whatever you want.) Maybe include rice and lentils if you are struggling. They're not Prmal but on all the grains and beans these are least harmful when it comes to the phytates and lectins. Put some butter on the veggies and potatoes and eat nuts liberally for calories. Sounds like you need them. Eat big portions--as much as you want. Think of it like being a ovo-vegetarian that eats meat instead of grains.

          The low carb flu lasted for me about 5 weeks and that is because I was older, fatter and had sub-clinical metabolic syndrome. Eating meat, veggies, potatoes, healthy fats and nuts has not only restored me to health but given me a health I never had before, not when I was young, not when I was a vegetarian. I've never felt this good.
          Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.


          • #6
            Originally posted by boywholeadsdogs View Post
            Where does PBP stand on local honey?

            The only other thing I can think of is fats: they taste great, feel great, I'm for them, but how much are we looking at? I noticed that avocados were the main "food" item in the fat list, the rest were things like oils. I'd rather educate myself than go crazy on them out of fear of not getting enough.
            Go to the Start Here button and look for the definitive guides series. That will answer all your questions and more.
            Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.


            • #7
              1) Low carb is really only if you are trying to loose weight. So eat seasonal local fruit if you like.

              2) Eat your veg but remember corn is a grain n. No food transforms from a veg when fresh to a grain when dry no matter what the government says in the food guides. And a tomato is a fruit.

              3) Move slow, sprint, lift heavy and eat!

              4) Eat meat, eat veg, cook in oil, cover in butter and enjoy.

              5) Grass fed and organic is best because because the animals are not grain fed or full of hormones but people need a roof over their heads too, so do the best you can.

              6) As sbhikes said get to the start here and read it to educate yourself as much as possible.
              Eating primal is not a diet, it is a way of life.
              Don't forget to play!


              • #8
                you can also get fats from foods -- like fatty fish. canned wild salmon, herring, sardines and mackerel can be gotten very cheaply. i buy grass-fed lamb and beef when i can, but we eat pretty low on the animal because of the expense. grass-fed ribeye? lol, a few times per year. but lots of tongue and heart.

                your 2 biggest enemies are grains and crap oils. eliminate those and that's your 80%.
                As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and to make plans.

                Ernest Hemingway