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Staying Primal...despite all the STRESS

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  • Staying Primal...despite all the STRESS

    Hey everyone,

    Grad school just began for me and I'm going for Music Education. Today I taught my first lesson to Kindergarten and 1st graders. It went well, however, I am overloaded with work. I constantly have this floating count of about 10 assignments due at all times. Turn one in, two more are assigned. I am brand-spanking-new to teaching and today was going so great, until about 15 minutes ago...well, technically 25 minutes ago.

    Very brief Primal background of me: Went Primal this past June, lost 30lbs since, and have never felt better in my life. Typically 80/20 and my 20 is not usually very damaging.

    So, 25 minutes ago, stressed out and pulling my hair out at all the work I still have to do for tomorrow, I cracked and went to Qdoba and got a chicken queso burrito and chips and salsa. I then sat and gorged and watched an old episode of Two and a Half Men. Nearly 5 or so minutes after the show, it felt as if explosives were set off in my stomach. Shortly thereafter, I weighed 3lbs less (in relation to what I just ate). It was the worst reaction my body ever had to something non-primal.


    SOOO, can anyone lend any advice on good stress food? Something to eat to take off the edge? Something to do perhaps? I had not eaten Qdoba in months, and yet I marched there craving a burrito soooooooo bad. I was not thinking straight at all.

    (I probably would have gone for a run, but I just got diagnosed with peroneal tendonitis and can't run for 2 weeks.)

  • #2
    Oh, well. Just get back on track. Looking at the Qdoba menu online, it would take lots of will power to stay primal there. For me, some primal comfort foods would be hearty soup, stew, bacon, avocados, roasted veggies. I do eat potatoes, so that would be right up there. Not suggesting you do.
    Ancestral Health Info

    I design websites and blogs for a living. If you would like a blog or website designed by someone who understands Primal, see my web page.

    Primal Blueprint Explorer My blog for people who are not into the Grok thing. Since starting the blog, I have moved close to being Archevore instead of Primal. But Mark's Daily Apple is still the best source of information about living an ancestral lifestyle.

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    • #3
      A baked sweet potato with sour cream and butter. Not totally primal but not the worst.
      Buy house, Demolish house, Build house.

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      • #4
        Hedonist,

        I guess I'll have to start cooking more...because the cravings hit and the thought of having to cook bacon or make soup or roasting veggies was not appealing because of accessibility. If I had this stuff ready to go, it'd be easier...cause you don't have to prepare a damn thing to say "Give me a burrito."

        Blackcatbone,

        I totally forgot about sweet potatoes...a sweet potato with some cinnamon and butter would've really hit the spot!


        Thanks you two!

        I think now is a good time to do a 24hr fast...let all the "crap" make it's way out and then tomorrow night, something with bacon!

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        • #5
          Unfortunately the expression "failing to prepare is preparing to fail" comes to mind here. The busier and more stressed you are the more essential it becomes to plan ahead. I did grad school and am a postdoc now so I know where you are coming from. When I am overworked and stressed I will absolutely eat crap if I don't have healthy food already made and available Make extra portions of food whenever you cook and put them in some pyrex right away so you can grab one. Frozen veggies, ground beef, canned tuna, and eggs (not together ) are easy to make pretty quickly. When I know I am going to have a bad week i will keep larabars, fruits, and nuts on hand so I can keep myself from going off the deep end.

          It's always hard right in the beginning of a new routine. So try for now to just do the best you can. If you end up at Qdoba - just get a burrito in a bowl and then be really primal at your next meal. You'll get in a food routine and then you'll be fine!!
          Using low lectin/nightshade free primal to control autoimmune arthritis. (And lost 50 lbs along the way )

          http://www.krispin.com/lectin.html

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          • #6
            It's tough. I am a lover of substitutes in assisting change, but if the eating is totally out of stress, I might try and substitute something *non-edible* instead (if possible). One thing that helps me is to do a sun salutation (a flowing yoga sequence) when I get a craving for something that is not out of hunger (and is not healthy).

            I hear you though. I *know* how it is to turn to food in a stressful moment. (I've been super stressed lately, so I feel your pain! And I'm a former teacher and have been in a very similar place...not easy...)

            Good luck! Keep plugging away--this will pass!!
            My Before/After Pics
            Are you new here? Be sure to check these links FIRST, before reading anything on the forum! Succeed & PB 101

            "I am a work in progress." -Ani DiFranco

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            • #7
              Originally posted by fooftr View Post
              Blackcatbone,

              I totally forgot about sweet potatoes...a sweet potato with some cinnamon and butter would've really hit the spot!


              Thanks you two!

              I think now is a good time to do a 24hr fast...let all the "crap" make it's way out and then tomorrow night, something with bacon!
              I took my own advice, although mainly because I just haven't felt like cooking lately and was damned tired. I fried it in butter instead of baking though. When I'm stressed I like to do physical work, but I probably have more time than you, not being in grad school. After working behind a computer all day, sweating and working my muscles feels really good. I unloaded half a ton of sand (have to unload the other half in the morning) and layered a walkway I've been digging out. My boyfriend left the wheel barrow at a job so I had to carry it in rubber tubs and dump, then spread and tamp it down. Also a soak in a hot bath and reading is good.
              Buy house, Demolish house, Build house.

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              • #8
                yeah, it's all about planning. we carry around hard boiled eggs, veggies, etc.

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                • #9
                  If you know you can't resist Qdoba or you've resigned yourself to cheating, those kinds of places always have taco salad kind of things that would allow you to at least avoid corn/tortilla chips, though you'll probably end up with beans (unless you get fajita veggies?). It could be a pretty decent primal option if you ask for the right things.
                  Depression Lies

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                  • #10
                    Ugh, graduate school does not always make it easy to eat well. I remember when I was finishing my dissertation I was pulling 12-15 hour stints at the computer. If I couldn't eat it with one hand while I typed, I didn't eat it.

                    Planning ahead is a great idea. I have a hectic work week and absolutely cannot stand to think about what to eat when I get home after work or for lunches or snacks. I spend a couple hours on Sunday prepping food for lunches (hardboiled eggs, chicken breasts for salads, stews) and also planning my dinner menu. I try to do the bulk of my shopping once a week as well, usually timed, since I have some flexibility in my schedule, when the grocery store isn't packed to the gills. This semester I'm teaching a couple of late afternoon seminars, so I"m using my crockpot at least twice a week. It is a lifesaver. If you live alone or have a small household, there will be plenty of leftovers, which you can take for lunch or freeze.

                    Congratulations on pursuing teaching! My partner's mother was a high school music teacher and choral director and absolutely loved it. When she goes to concerts at the schools--she has been retired for many years now--all the kids still come up and hug her. That's a nice job benefit.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by namelesswonder View Post
                      If you know you can't resist Qdoba or you've resigned yourself to cheating, those kinds of places always have taco salad kind of things that would allow you to at least avoid corn/tortilla chips, though you'll probably end up with beans (unless you get fajita veggies?). It could be a pretty decent primal option if you ask for the right things.
                      They have a very small menu. They do have naked taco salad and naked burritos. Still pretty dangerous when you crave comfort food.
                      Ancestral Health Info

                      I design websites and blogs for a living. If you would like a blog or website designed by someone who understands Primal, see my web page.

                      Primal Blueprint Explorer My blog for people who are not into the Grok thing. Since starting the blog, I have moved close to being Archevore instead of Primal. But Mark's Daily Apple is still the best source of information about living an ancestral lifestyle.

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                      • #12
                        ^Ah you're right, maybe I was thinking of another of those fast-Mexican places. Obviously the best option is to have healthy options available, pre-prepared at home, but sometimes the best option doesn't win.
                        Depression Lies

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                        • #13
                          Can you give yourself a 15-minute cooling-off period? As in, "I will wait 15 minutes, and if I still want the comfort food, I will go in there and get it." Then gradually stretch out the time period.

                          Alternatively, are there any other "comfort foods" that are less bad for you?

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                          • #14
                            fooftr,
                            Well, I can relate to what you are asking. I have struggled mightily in the past with stress leading to bad food choices. But when I finally made a permanent change what is now nearly two years ago, I really underwent an attitude adjustment of gargantuan proportions.

                            I was a terrible stress eater. Even in times that weren’t all that stressful. What I chose to do this time, and what has worked for me for two years, is to put eating right and exercising first in my list of priorities. Sounds simplistic and naïve… I really do understand that. But here is the deal: eating right and exercising itself became my outlet for stress. It is an amazing thing.

                            Little did I know that after I made this commitment, I would within two months hit the most difficult and stressful 18 months of my life. I won’t bore you with details, but the time demands and stresses don’t get much worse than what I went through outside of something like losing a family member. But, I found I could focus on my health and use that to keep me centered. When the stress hit, I went for a walk. It was about making the change and that was what was most important. Graduate school, jobs, family come first in the sense of immediacy, but there are ways to deal with all those things. And if you don’t put health first, then it won’t matter because you either won’t be around to use that education, money, whatever, or, you won’t have the physical or mental fortitude to truly enjoy it.

                            I know…this probably seems utterly worthless to you, yet as a reformed stress eater, I really do get where you are coming from. But, just reconsider your focus and see if that might be an issue. And by all means, find comforting yet conforming food you love and keep them around. Tomatoes and raw almonds work for me.

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                            • #15
                              I just started medical school (Chinese so learning a new language too) and I can relate to have NO TIME. Oh, and I am the cook for my family. I knew this would happen so I cooked large batches of food over the weekend and threw it all in the fridge. It's day 3 and we are all well-fed.

                              This weekend make a huge batch of soup, stir-fry and curry and hard-cook a dozen eggs. You'll have enough for every meal for the entire week.

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