New starter - one step at a time?
Sorry - this is long and rambly. I haven't read the book yet (it's on it's way!) but I've read a lot here and on other sites. I'm not entirely new to this as I've played around with trying to follow a paleo-type diet and I've been down on grains for nearly 2 years now, but I don't want to keep going back and forth anymore and primal seems like a good balance for me. I was diagonosed with PCOS and insulin resistance about 2.5 years ago (I'm 34 now). My specialist didn't come out and say low carb would be the way to lose weight (I had about 70 pounds to lose, have lost about 20 so far) but he sort of pointed me in that direction. Except then I'd get referred to dieticians as part of my 'health management plans' and omg their obsession with grains drove me nuts. About 6 months after the diagnosis I spent a month following Cordain's book (and I read a bunch of others, including Protein Power) and I lurched between feeling amazing (it turned out that I was gluten intolerant and so for the first time in my life my stomach didn't hurt) and half dead from what I realise now was carb flu. Basically, I felt great and knew that something was wrong with how I was eating before, but I was just wiped out. At the time I was doing 2 intense sessions per week with a personal trainer and I remember lying on the floor thinking even if the building caught fire, I still wouldn't have the energy to get up and do something about it.
Anyway, I investigated the gluten issue (the reactions I had when I started letting it creep back into my diet after that month let me know without a doubt that there was something wrong), tested negative to celiac, blah blah, went gluten free anyway and felt amazing. Would never eat that poison again. So many symptoms resolved. But then I had two issues that sort of contradicted each other, if I continued to follow CW and ate grains. Whole wheat is terrible for me all round, but gluten free products are more refined and totally screw with my insulin resistance. Cue stupid dietician who insisted on setting meal plans that I would ignore because I've known for over 2 years now that I cannot eat cereal at breakfast and cannot eat any grains with lunch if I don't want to set up cravings so bad I'd gnaw my own arms off out of hunger. I'd be all "I don't eat bread, it makes me hungry" and she'd be all "what about CRISPBREAD!". Noooooooooo!
So, giving up grains entirely doesn't really make much difference to the way that I have been eating, since I don't have them for breakfast or lunch. But, I have lost a fair few carbs from my evening meal since I did fairly often have rice, quinoa or gluten free pasta with dinner (and in the interest of honesty - pancakes). I can happily live without those. But I tried also giving up dairy since I think it makes my nose run and my ears gunky and I discovered after I got rid of gluten that I was lactose intolerant so I've already stopped eating yoghurt. Aaaaand, I'm back to feeling shattered again. I've read a lot about carb flu and I guess I could ride it out, but I don't know if I can take a whole month of it? Maybe I'm one of those people that takes ages to get through it? I think I used to pick up quite a few carbs in a day from the approx 3 glasses of milk that I'd drink and maybe I need to add those back in until I'm completely used to no grains?
I used to read paleo forums and they were all really down on milk, but from what I've read here, lots of primal people do still eat dairy. I feel like it's something I should experiment with giving up because I know I do have issues with it, but realistically, I don't think I can do it all at once. I've tried coconut cream in my tea, and I've tried heavy cream, and both are tasty enough but I think I miss the sugar hit that milk gives me. Whch in itself is a problem. I figure any time I really miss something, there's probably a problem. But isn't the sugar/protein combo less likely to give me an insulin spike than, say, eating more fruit ?
Anyway, this long rambly post is more a declaration to myself I guess. I think the plan going forward is:
1. Continue no grains.
2. Ditch white potatoes. I've been eating them the last few days to up my carbs, but when I eat them I stop wanting protein or anything else. It becomes all about potatoes. And butter.
3. Continue with hummus for breakfast. I love it with hard boiled eggs, and it's been working for me for over a year now. Keeps me full until lunch and I happily eat breakfast each day. These are enough to keep me eating it for now, even if it's non-primal. I'm looking at primal hummus recipes though.
4. Back on dairy (lactose free full fat milk). I think I'll have it in my morning tea and a glass with dinner. I'll see how this goes. I used to adore yoghurt but now it makes me feel sick (so does cottage cheese) and I don't care for any other cheese all that much.
5. Track food for awhile, just so I can see what my carb/calorie intake is and then see patterns in fatigue/other symptoms.
6. Get my head around fat. I think that's the hardest adjustment to make. Ditching grains is one thing (with insulin resistance and gluten intolerance, I fully feel their badness), but embracing fat after years of CW brain washing is really, really hard.
7. Look into the primal fitness. I'm doing boxing twice a week now, and I enjoy that, but not sure how it fits.
I'm really looking forward to reading the book, the website is great but there's so much to read...
If it sounds like I"m doing anything really wrong, please let me know!
h: 5,6 ish
w: 175lbs (28Oct11)
(highest weight 205.5 lbs - approx 2 years ago. I hovered in the 190s for ages)