The mental meanderings of primal me
Well I guess it's time to take the plunge.
First off I'd like to introduce myself. My name is Colleen, I live in Canada and I'm a 37 year old mother of 3 sons. My sons are 15, almost 14 and 11. My husband of 14 years has been very supportive of this journey and has also switched his eating habits to be as primal as possible. Our kids are eating primal when they eat at home but we don't enforce it on rare restaurant outings.
My journey to primal began when I joined a walking clinic in late May. After a couple weeks of learning to walk I decided to do a cleanse to try and figure out what was causing my belly to hurt after certain meals. I had pinpointed MSG as one culprit but there was another unsub out there and I was determined to find it. The cleanse was called "First Cleanse" by Nu-Life, it was 15 days of what I now consider primal eating, drinking lots of water and taking pills in the morning to clean my systems and pills in the evening to clean my waste management system. It was a little tricky at first, we went camping once during that time and watching everyone else eat hot dogs while I munched on my clean foods was a bit tough but I felt great at the end of the cleanse and wanted it to continue. It was an acquaintance of mine that mentioned the Paleo Diet so I headed off to my local bookstore to investigate. I got sidetracked by a book with a stack of bagels on it and the title "Wheat Belly". Could I have a wheat belly? Sure enough it would seem I did! After reading the first chapter I decided to cut out all grains. I shared what I was learning with my hubby and he did some poking around on the 'net and came to the same conclusion: to feel better we needed to cut out grains and lose our wheat bellies.
Our family loves camping so what better way to start than during a camping trip? We packed all the usual camping foods and a lot more veggies than we normally do and I noticed a definite lag in energy when I ate certain foods and that pain in my poor bloated belly when I ate a hot dog complete with bun. That settled it, no more wheat for me. After that camping trip I started searching the web for more information because I have always felt that knowledge is power and I love research. Another trip to the bookshop netted me a great new cookbook: The Food Lovers "Make it Paleo" 200 grain-free easy-to-make recipes including our new family favourite the infamous bacon cookies! After reading the introduction from Mark Sisson I decided to check out his website and that led me here.
When I started this journey I had ballooned up to 223. I couldn't believe it, I had become obese! How could my husband still find me desirable? How could anyone stand to look at me? I avoid all reflective surfaces as a matter of habit because I'm always shocked at the fat person I see there. It took 20 years, three children and two stints in college to get to this place and this weight so I can't expect the weight to just fall off but I was very surprised at what has happened in just the last few weeks. I have lost 16 lbs with very little effort, no calorie counting and certainly some cheating. Due to an injury that has left my leg asleep for over a month I have done very little for exercise despite joining the walking class. I have been walking more as some feeling is finally returning to my leg. I look forward to stretching out my walks and adding in some 'lift heavy things' and I dream about the day when I can 'move very fast'.
Today I finally ordered Marks Primal Blueprint and Primal Body-Primal Mind by Nora Gedgaudas. I will read them and continue to do what works for me. During our latest camping trip we didn't pack any bread. Our shopping was done with a lot more care to ensure everything we bought was the best food possible. We ate very primal and everyone enjoyed it very much. I shared my cookbook with my Mother and a close friend (who tried to steal it). I'm sure she will get as much joy from her own copy as I have and maybe she'll start lurking around here just like I did.
This journal will be where I record some of my meanderings about primal living. I will update on my weight from time to time and note my favourite recipes and maybe some that don't turn out so well. Don't expect to see a lot of calorie counting as that just doesn't do it for me but occasionally I might want to track calories in to see if I'm hitting the right targets. I am encouraged by reading Gay Panda's "Primal with a side of fabulous" to increase my fat intake and see what happens. Yesterday I hit 34.8 g carbs but blew way over in proteins and fats, not sure what that was all about. I rewarded myself by finishing off the chips leftover from camping (They're potatoes, not grains) and some dark chocolate chips so in the end I went over in carbs too. But today felt like a skinny day even after porking out the day before. My body has a mind of it's own sometimes.
BF: Prosciutto and eggs w/ coffee and creamer
Supper: will be grilled salmon and roasted veggies
After yesterday's debauchery I should not allow myself to have a cooler after supper. Tonight the boys have Kung Fu so I will take the dog and walk for the better part of an hour and maybe I will have earned that cooler. We'll see.
Musings on a Civic Holiday Monday
Here it is the August Long weekend. Why do we have a civic holiday today? I think August was lonely and wanted to have a party like June and July. So I have been enjoying a quiet weekend at home cleaning out a pantry, catching up on some reading, and otherwise doing nothing of any importance. I guess it is time to do a little catching up on my journal as well.
Last week I gained 2 pounds. I have not stepped on the scale yet to see if I have gained more or lost those pounds yet. Call me chicken but I am trying not to obsess over the scale. I have been tracking my caloric intake using crono-meter and myfitnesspal on my iPhone. Most days I struggle to reach my goals for intake then blow past them in an indulgence like chips, or a Bacardi cooler. Fat has been the trickiest to reach. I do not add butter to food very often. I don't use a lot of oil (olive or coconut) when I am cooking. I find this struggle amusing as I have no problems surpassing the protein target that the paleo setting has on crono-meter.Obviously my default setting is high protein moderate fat. Paleo on crono-meter is high fat moderate protein. My other default when I haven't hit my fat target is to reach for something high in carbs, lately this has been fruit in the form of smoothies or chips as my DH bought so many bags for our last camping trip and we still have them in the trailer. Try as I am to control it sometimes my cravings get the best of me. I take heart in the fact that I have not had cravings for bread products, even when presented with a BK whopper I preferred to take the bread off and eat it without.
My goal for this week is to strengthen my core, increase my walks and reach my fat target without loading up on carbs. Most of the feeling has returned to my leg after over a month of it being "asleep" from a pinched sciatic nerve. I never want to go through that again and will take care not to overdue exercising or housecleaning in the future. My MRI has been scheduled for Jan 28 which is so far in the future that I will likely be completely symptom-free but I think it is important to get a look at the discs in my lower lumbar and rule out any issues there aside from the arthritis.
From the blueprint fitness I will incorporate planks to strengthen my core, variations will include plank push ups. Walks will be at least 5 km 3 days this week. I have a base to build and I know from recent experience that rushing the building sets me back farther. I didn't gain this weight overnight and I won't lose it overnight either. I must remember to make haste at a slow pace and not stress over minor setbacks.
Thoughts on a sunny Sunday
I fell sideways off the PB wagon a few days ago. Why is it the busy days are the hardest to stick to a good healthy diet? I'll explain: on Mondays and Wednesdays my sons have Kung Fu, the youngest has class at 5:30 and the older two have class at 7:30. This past Wednesday my son had been spending time at Grandma's with a cousin and his Dad. They wanted to go out for dinner to celebrate cousin Ry's birthday. This is great except that my guy had Kung Fu and having recently been awarded his blue belt I felt missing class not to be an option. So I picked him up for class with plans to feed him afterwards.
We had been home barely 10 minutes when the uncle and grandparents came to get him, they had already eaten. Dev was still in the shower and I was attempting to make a supper that was going to be awhile cooking so I gave in to pressure. I sent them away and put supper on hold for the next day. After dropping the older kids off at their class I took Dev to A&W. This is where my weakness lies. I said no to hamburgers and no to yummy onion rings but said YES to poutine! Cheese curds and gravy covering crispy french fries, it's gotta be our national dish! After I dropped him off at Grandma's I picked up the other 2 from their class and they wanted to go to Dairy Queen, really?! Of course having already given in to temptation in the form of poutine I must be stronger but alas I gave in to the siren song of the crispy onion rings and ordered a side salad to appease my guilty conscience. It is still in my fridge wondering about it's fate. The supper I put on hold? Chorizo spiced pork meatballs, spaghetti squash and home made marinara sauce. It was very good when we got to have it the next day!
Thus 4 days later my body is still giving me grief about that double lapse of backbone. I have to say while I enjoyed the poutine I did not really enjoy the onion rings. I will have to remember that as a lesson learned. Battered vegetables do not do me any good. I can make a poutine here at home with home cut potato wedges, mozzarella curds (or goat cheese etc) and gravy made with no flour and probably enjoy it so much more than what they serve at A&W. Another lesson learned.
The rest of the week has been spent trying to make up for my lapse. Bacon and eggs and tomatoes for breakfast. Only paleo-type foods for lunches (except for the au jus on my breadless beef dip) and wonderful grain-free suppers. My father in law gave me some moose meat that a nephew had bagged and a pork shoulder he felt would be too much for him and his wife to eat. So I have lots of meat in my freezer, a local U-pick that I can get fresh veggies that I have picked myself and a local butcher shop that makes the finest ground beef and ground bison in town. So much bounty to be thankful for that I should not fall back on old habits any time soon.
Yesterday was a great day. My youngest son and I headed out to spend the day with friends at a lake we like to camp at. We spent some time fishing off the shore catching only weeds for our efforts, and soaked up lots of vitamin D. It was great to spend some time in nature, especially when I know so much of my time will be spent in a classroom much too soon.
To get ready for the 4 of us heading back to school I bought some much needed lunch containers. I was reading a paleo blog last week that had an entry about bento-box lunches being a great way for kids to eat right while at school. I picked up some "lunch-blox" at Walmart, they have different sized containers that click together like legos. The sandwich and salad kits came with blue ice blocks that will keep things cold. My plan is to have the kids pack these containers with meats, fruits, veggies and nuts enough to keep them going throughout the day at school. Mine will have left-overs if there are any, salads or the same as the kids depending on what's in the fridge and pantry. I have always hated packed lunches because the bread gets soggy, the meat gets slimy and the mustard goes everywhere but this little collection of boxes will prevent that from happening, except the bread part because there will be no bread.
I do have a concern about back to school though. Over the past couple of years my youngest has started to have issues packing a complete lunch. As far as his teacher's are concerned a lunch should have a sandwich, a juice or milk, yogurt or pudding, a fruit and a veggie in order to be complete. His school also has nut-free classrooms when a student or a teacher has a nut allergy. Him and his older brother have been allergic to cow's milk proteins all their lives but that has never been much of a concern of their teachers. Once a teacher gave my oldest son a milk chocolate because she thought he deserved a treat every now and then. I really wanted to give him a glass of milk and have him move in with her for the next week but that would have just been mean to him. Hopefully his teacher will not be worried about his lunch not having any bread or other grains in it but I expect there might be some concern and I am trying to figure out how best to handle it should it come up.
I am tempted to have a meeting with the kids' teacher's at the beginning of the year to explain our new lifestyle to them but part of their job is to teach the food pyramid and I fear it would fall on deaf ears. I was also thinking about waiting until a concern is raised and then sending a book to school, maybe "Wheat Belly" as it's the easiest read, I couldn't part with "Primal Blueprint" or my cookbook. I'm still working on PB and "Primal Body-Primal Mind" so I guess WB would be the logical choice. It would get my point across fairly bluntly. "We don't eat wheat, here's the reason why, read this book and come to your own conclusion."
Anyway I babble on. Here it is Sunday. I had a lovely walk at the camp ground yesterday with my oldest friend. I lifted heavy things this afternoon in the form of planks and plank push ups and now I will find some almonds to munch on and pick out another book from the stack I hope to get finished before school starts and fun-reading time is over for another 8 months (with a small break at Christmas).
If anyone is reading this I hope the sun is shining on you and you are able to get out and enjoy the nice weather while it lasts. It gets cold here pretty quickly so it's best to enjoy the fine days when we have them.:D