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Primal Skeptic ---> Convert

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  • Primal Skeptic ---> Convert



    I've been lurking here for a month or so, and since I've learned so much I thought it was time to jump in, thank everyone, and put in what I've learned so far. Im a corn-fed Midwestern female, 33 yo. I'm a long course triathlete, marathoner, etc. I know that's called chronic cardio here, but looking for better training is why I'm here-so chronic I will stay. My last 4 years have been about ~65% carbs, ~15% protein, and ~%10 fat. Meals were built around a carb: I have a bowl of grains that needs some veg and protein.


    My training was great, the rest was not. By afternoon on most days, my belly felt like it had a hot lava rock in it. I would be hugely bloated and miserable, but no other symptoms of celiac or allergies. I used to think it was all the raw veggies I ate, and actually gave up raw veggies then all veggies! I ate 6 meals a day (thanks, CW) but since I was training 12 hrs/week I thought the training was making me hungry. By 10am I'd be hungry, have a snack. Hungry my 1pm, lunch. Starving by 3pm, potential binge. This was with 2500+ calories/day. And if I didn't eat every 3-4hrs, I would crash. Nasty mood, no energy, dizzy, an awful person. The fix was to eat a banana and fig bar, bread with honey, etc. I couldn't eat spicy or flavored foods, it would upset my stomach and make me nauseous. I wouldn't gain or lose weight, so I thought I had a nice balance going. Average height/weight, low heart rate, super-low cholesterol, high endurance. Heathly, yes. Happy? eh.


    All this summer I started researching, and being a scientist I have lots of resources at my disposal. I couldn't find my answers in the medical library, but I did find help in forums. Similar stories, symptoms, and problems led me to the primal/paleo books. I read Paleo for Athletes and laughed. How would I live without grains?!? But I needed a change, and once racing season ended, I jumped in. No grains, some dairy. Carb intake timed around daily training, as in Paleo Diet for Athletes.


    I never had the carb withdrawal I expected, but I'm eating 150-300g carbs/day. My numbers are now roughly 40% carbs, 30% prot, 30% fat. After a month, Im not gaining or losing weight, but I dont need to be. I've raced a few half marathons with great times. My tummy issues completely resolved. Yet I noticed some unexpected results. I used to always be cold, layered in clothing and avoiding AC. Now? Comfy in any temp. My energy swings and cravings? Gone. Flavored, spiced foods? No problem. And most surprisingly, my anxiety is gone. I used to be an anxious wreck some days, panic attacks, social anxiety, severe introversion. Gone. I actually ate in a restaurant last week!! And I ate sushi with that wasabi stuff!!


    Like I said, Im a scientist, an immunologist to be specific. CW and text books didnt fix me. Im a trained skeptic, but Im also trained to have an open mind willing to test new ideas and put new data against CW and what we dont know for sure yet. The way I see it, we are each individual experiments, likely ahead of the CW curve. One recommendation I have for those here is to be patient with science and scientists, we can move slowly in new directions (unfortunately, only faster when $$ is involved!) and need to see the data (thats us) in big numbers before concluding anything in a publication. But we do move, give us time and share what you've learned kindly.


    Thankfully Ive found this forum and this lifestyle! I feel like a new person.


  • #2
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    How is your endurance on PDA? I started that while training for a marathon, but injured myself and decided to drop the carbs. I may run again, but I'd like to try it without the carbs and see what happens.

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    • #3
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      sounds great! congrats

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      • #4
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        just curious what do you use for carbs when timing them around your workouts?


        I don't do marathons, but I've been trying to up my carbs on max effort weight days. usually i go for bananas because ripe bananas smashed up and mixed into scrambled eggs are amazing

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        • #5
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          ^Bananas and eggs, really?? Man I gotta try that! I've been wanting to up my carbs post-workout also.

          .`.><((((> .`.><((((>.`.><((((>.`.><(( ((>
          ><((((> .`.><((((>.`.><((((>.`.><(( ((>

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          • #6
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            [quote]

            ^Bananas and eggs, really?? Man I gotta try that! I&#39;ve been wanting to up my carbs post-workout also.
            </blockquote>


            its insane how good. just mash em in a bowl. crack a few eggs in, and whisk it up (helps if bananas are more soft than firm

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            • #7
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              I can tell - I used to put mashed bananas with peanut butter in oatmeal for breakfast every morning... delicious. This should resemble it somewhat!

              .`.><((((> .`.><((((>.`.><((((>.`.><(( ((>
              ><((((> .`.><((((>.`.><((((>.`.><(( ((>

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              • #8
                1



                Vanilla all your issues sound like you were definitely having some gut disfunction with the higher carb level, and seeing as your protein was low, I can imagine a lack of tryptophan lead to a lack of serotonin (80-85 percent produced in gut), the reasoning behind your anxiety issues. Getting cold sounds like a thyroid issue, but if that&#39;s no longer a problem then great.


                I always say do what works best for you since we are all different, but maybe you could experiment with even lower carbs w/ more protein and fat. If it doesn&#39;t feel right then go back to where you feel best, but I think more amino acids and EFAs would be really good for you and allow your immune system, organs, and gut to recover and repair.

                sigpic
                In Pursuit of Healthiness, Only to Achieve Happiness!: www.livingnotsurviving.com

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                • #9
                  1

                  [quote]

                  I never had the carb withdrawal I expected, but I&#39;m eating 150-300g carbs/day.</blockquote>


                  I&#39;m confused. How could you have carb withdrawal if you&#39;re still eating that many carbs? Seems to me that this is quite high a number of carbs already ??


                  or were you eating an insanely higher number before and 150-300g is low carb to you?

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                  • #10
                    1



                    If you&#39;re on the Paleo Diet for Athletes, you might take 150 grams of carbs right after a hard workout, then a little more in the next hour, and I think there&#39;s a 4-hour window after you work out that you eat a little less. 300 seems like a lot for PDA, though, and I certainly would not expect to go through carb withdrawal at that level.


                    I would not be surprised if 150-300 was a significant reduction for VanillaSpice. If you&#39;re training hard enough it&#39;s hard to eat enough, and the first thing handy is always carbs.

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                    • #11
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                      150-300 grams of carbs IS low carb by most athlete&#39;s standards. Heck, it&#39;s easy to scarf down a 600 calorie bowl of pasta after a workout; thats 150 carbs right there in one meal.

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                      • #12
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                        I&#39;ll try to address all questions...


                        @bonesheal: my endurance has been great, but that has to be balanced against the fact that I&#39;m not running 40 miles, biking 200 miles, and swimming 3500y per week right now. I&#39;m in my rest season. My measurement right now is how I feel 90minutes into a workout--drained, bonked, etc. So far, no problems, but I&#39;ll wait until Ironman training starts in January before concluding too much there.


                        @BB89: preworkout depends on fruit. I&#39;m also finding the primal energy bar working for me. During training is the standard athlete food of gels or powdermix, non-primal I know, but I need to carefully experiment with that one. Bananas and eggs sound good like that, and I have a 50-miler tomorrow morning...


                        @Ecala, carbs were my drug. I lived from carby meal to carby meal. I could knock down 200g carbs before a 5hr bike ride then abt 60-90g/hr for the ride, then 100&#39;s more for recovery. But a normal day with 1-2 hrs of training had 400-600g carbs.


                        No I&#39;m lot as low-carb as most people here, but I&#39;m low-carb relative to one month ago. I might find I can go lower, once I test a few long runs and rides with the new fueling strategy. My body needs carbs, just not as many as I was giving it.


                        My "Bible" of nutrition was Chris Carmichael&#39;s Food For Fitness, which even dedicated a chapter to the evils of low-carb diets for athletes. Carbs were the center of my world, and mere thought of reducing them was heresy. Wait til my training buddies hear what I&#39;m doing!

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                        • #13
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                          Interesting! 400-600g! Even in my "carb up" days, 200 for the day was high. But then, I&#39;m not an athlete.

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                          • #14
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                            Here&#39;s what a typical M-F day would look like for me:

                            Breakfast 486 cals, 81g carbs,27g protein, 6g fat

                            Brunch: 456 cals, 55g, 14g, 20g

                            Lunch: 501 cals, 97g, 17g, 5g

                            Snack: 145 cals, 31g, 3g, 1g

                            Dinner: 547 cals, 78g, 34g, 1g

                            Snack: 328 cals, 32g, 14g, 16g

                            Pre and during workout: 250 cals, 60g carbs,

                            For a grand total of abt 2600 calories, 430g carbs, 109g protein, 59g fat; or 61%, 18%, 21%.


                            Since I wasn&#39;t gaining or losing weight, I thought I had it all figured out. But this week I&#39;m going to keep a close eye on carb #&#39;s and see what that does for me.


                            One thing I&#39;m having trouble with is the breaking the habit of always eating. I&#39;m not hungry, but mentally I want to eat. And the CW brainwash of "I need some dairy for calcium" or "I need bread for fiber" is still lingering. But if the last few weeks is any indication, the habit will break because I&#39;m stupidly overeating to the point of sickness thinking I need to eat. Guess my stomach isn&#39;t emptying as quickly with more fat and protein?

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                            • #15
                              1



                              Vanilla, it sounds to me like you&#39;re not worried about getting rid of carbs which is fine. However, if you would like to but are worried about how it will affect your workouts, trust me it can be done. I work out as hard as anybody, and do long endurance stuff as well (ultrarunning) with extremely low carb intake. There is no reason to eat carbs before working out. There is no reason to eat carbs after working out. If you want to consume them, that&#39;s a different story and you should do what makes you happy, but there is absolutely no need for them.


                              Good luck getting everything figured out!

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