I ended up not having wine or dessert last night -- just another chunk of delicious salmon with skin. Mmmmm, salmon. I would eat it every day if I could afford it!
Today is Day 13! Wow, how fast this is going for me...
This morning I made regular scrambled eggs for the rest of my family (high omega-3 brown eggs + that special 100% organic whipping cream from the all-Jersey cows -- Jersey, not Guernsey as I wrote yesterday!). For myself, I made coffee, and fried some all-natural chorizo (just meat & spices) with chopped Italian kale. I poured over some more scrambled egg mixture and topped with fresh basil and oregano. :-)
Mid-morning snack: "bunny salad" with my kids (peeled pears with cloves for eyes, carrots for ears, and cottage cheese for a tail, on a platter of lettuce and berries). I ate the carrot scraps, some lettuce and berries and cottage cheese, and half a pear.
Late lunch: The rest of the chorizo-kale-egg scramble, and some leftover scrambled eggs and coffee.
Dinner tonight: Chopped Kale & Steak Salad, using [URL="http://www.marksdailyapple.com/chopped-bok-choy-and-steak-salad-with-olive-dressing/#axzz2NqVJ2l8P"]this recipe[/URL], except subbing in Italian kale for the boy choy. Because kale is tougher, I lightly steamed it in the microwave before assembling the salad. I added a head of romaine, a diced tomato, and fresh red pepper (instead of mushrooms and roasted red pepper). Suuuuuper good! Plus a glass of red wine. ;-)
I love eating this way! I have so much energy I'm going to take a walk despite the drizzle. I *never* take postprandial drizzly-day walks.
My "little walk" last night turned into an epic adventure as I kept walking and walking through the late-night Seattle rain. I felt that I had infinite energy! I wanted to keep walking forever, and even as I power-walked up the hill on the way home, I didn't want to slow down or stop, and I didn't get out of breath. I felt as though my whole body was a finely-tuned machine!
This Primal stuff really really works! It's making me sad that no one is taking me seriously when I talk about it. Argh!
But it *is* working for me. Sometimes I miss pastries and desserts, and cocktails!, but I'm not going back...
Today is Day 14 for me. I fasted through breakfast except for a few cups of coffee.
Lunch was a large amount of leftover Steak & Kale Salad with olive dressing. It had never occurred to me before to puree up brined black olives and make salad dressing from them. Genius! The flavor stood up well to the kale, red peppers, and tomatoes. Mmmm.
Dinner will be [URL="http://www.marksdailyapple.com/turnip-bison-scramble/"]Turnip & Bison Scramble[/URL], only with regular ground beef instead of ground bison. I'll make another salad, too.
Then I'm going to put some [URL="http://www.marksdailyapple.com/rich-and-hearty-hungarian-goulash/"]Hungarian Goulash[/URL] in the crockpot overnight, and bring some to work tomorrow with a base of thinly sliced cabbage.
Day 15 -- Weigh-in day! This morning I was down to 184.3 pounds. That's a total loss of 5.7 pounds in just two weeks!
Of course, I expect a lot of that is water bloating. I certainly don't think that losing almost 6 pounds every 2 weeks will continue for long; it seems a bit too fast to be sustainable. Still, I'm only 5'2" tall and I know I have plenty more to lose. It's so nice to see the scale moving THAT direction, instead of only up, up, up!!!!
Dinner last night was that delicious Turnip & Bison Scramble, only I subbed in ground beef instead. I had two servings, and that's all I had in the evening. My 5-year-old initially said she hated it and wouldn't try it, but after I made her try "just one bite" in order to earn dessert later, she declared that she LOVED it and polished off her plate. ;-) Meanwhile, my husband found the rest of it and made short work of it. ;-)
I did the first steps of the Hungarian Goulash, including cubing up some meat from a bone-in pork roast and sauteeing them in butter, then doing the onions and paprika in more butter, etc., and put it all in the crockpot to cook overnight. I used two yellow peppers because that's what I had, and I used a quart of homemade chicken stock instead of beef stock. It is falling-apart tender, and SO GOOD! I saved the bone and the fat from the pork roast, and will do something with them later this week.
So lunch today was some of the goulash, and a salad made with spinach, romaine, blanched almonds, purple cauliflower, apple cider vinegar, and good olive oil. I am satiated and happy. Plus, yesterday I discovered PaleoTrack.com, so I can enter my meals and ensure I'm getting enough nutrients, and check my carb count. Yay! I want to continue keeping my carbs under 100 grams a day.
Oh wow -- two days ago, I discovered a website called PaleoTrack. I went back and entered in ALL my food intake since March 5, when I went primal. PaleoTrack allows me to look at daily charts of my intakes to see what percentages of protein, fat, and carbs I'm consuming, plus it gives me my omega-6 to omega-3 ratio, my potassium-to-sodium ratio, and all my vitamins! I can create "custom foods" that aren't already in the food database (as long as I have the nutritional labeling), and I can create custom recipes that are mixtures of all the ingredients, so I can get semi-accurate counts of everything I'm eating!
I upgraded to the paid version of PaleoTrack (which is just $1 per week for the year...), and that let me pull up a report that averages all the days I've entered so far. From that, I can see that I'm eating right on the money:
61% of my energy since March 5 has been from fat
25% from protein
and 14% from carbs.
which equates to an average of
112 grams of protein / day (right on the money -- my lean body mass is about 110 pounds!)
122 grams of fat / day
64 grams of carbs / day (in the "sweet spot" for effortless weight loss according to the carb curve)
The only things that need adjusting are my omega-6 to omega-3 ratio, so I'm going to add a fish oil supplement. Also, my potassium-to-sodium ratio is out of whack, even though I don't usually salt my food, so I'm going to have to figure out how to fix that. Finally, I could really use some more Vitamin D (I was told I was deficient a few years ago, and living in Seattle, I am unaccustomed to sunlight!). So I'm adding a Vitamin D supplement and some probiotics as well, since I noticed that full-fat yogurt has a lot of carbs.
I'm geeking out over all this... just a bit. It's so great to have actual numbers to back up my eating plan. One of the major criticisms I hear of the whole concept of cutting out grains is that it just can't be healthy, and there must be some nutrient that I will end up missing. I definitely don't want to end up with scurvy, or some nutritional deficiency, so I will need to keep an eye on my nutrient intakes and ensure I'm not shortchanging myself.
Anyway, now that I am tracking all my food on PaleoTrack, I no longer need to enter it here a second time. I will continue to post here on Tuesdays with my weigh-in results. I expect in a year or so my body will be MUCH different from the poochy, pleasantly plump, potbellied woman I am today! ;-)
Day 22: Weigh-in day!
This morning I am at 180.3 pounds, down from a starting point of 190 three weeks ago. Hooray for almost 10 pounds in just three weeks! I wouldn't have believed it!
I've been hesitant to set a "goal weight" because to me it's about health and fitness rather than numbers on a scale. That said... the happiest and most energetic I've ever been as an adult was after my second child, when I was breastfeeding her and also running around after my high-energy toddler at the same time, and back then I was in the 140s. So I'm going to set 145 as my "goal." I can't wait to see how this journey continues for me. It's all been extremely wonderful so far!
Day 29, aka the Beginning of Week 5. I'm transitioning to counting this in weeks instead of days; much easier!
This morning I was 179.7 pounds, down only slightly from last week's 180.3. However, I am counting this as a total win, because last week included a three-day getaway to the glamorous and copiously restauranted city of Portland, and I had a few splurge-type menu items that are definitely not primal! For instance:
* "Dirty fries" which I thought would only be pieces of pork fatback with fried herbs and parmesan, but which also included actual fried potatoes as well. I threw out almost all of the french fries, but a few of them did make their way into my mouth. Mmmm, potatoes.
* One cocktail (a delicious Moscow Mule with a real chunk of sugary ginger in it, not to mention the vodka & ginger ale)
* A piece of Brie wrapped in puff pastry
* A fried, breaded shrimp & crab cake
* An egg custard with nutmeg (the best thing on the dessert menu, and nice and small, but I know there was sugar in there)
* At least a cup of crispy pan-fried potatoes with sizzled herbs... mmmm, potatoes.
I counterbalanced it by walking everywhere, far more than I walk during my normal life... and by eating primal whenever possible. Several meals were absolutely delicious and totally primal-approved. I credit that with still losing weight despite the indulgences detailed above!
Now I'm back to the real world, and so thrilled to see a number in the 170s on that scale... I haven't been in the 170s for years. I hope to zip through it in just a few months and be down to the 160s by my birthday in June!
Tomorrow I'm seeing a paleo-friendly naturopath for a health workup. I want to switch my primary care physician to someone who understands this way of eating, and its challenges and caveats.
Speaking of challenges, I've been monitoring my food intake semi-obsessively using PaleoTrack.com, and my average potassium-to-sodium ratio and omega-6-to-omega-3 ratios are in the red, which is bad. I just bought a fish oil supplement and have been taking it less than a week... I think it'll take quite a while for those average numbers to even out and get into the yellow, and eventually the green. Baby steps!
As for the potassium, I've already trimmed sodium down to an average of about 1800 mg a day, which is less than the American average, but seemingly still too high... the other solution is to increase fresh vegetables in order to get more of that lovely potassium. More kale, full speed ahead!
On a related note, out of idle curiosity I searched for nutritional info for a Starbucks apple fritter. Those sugary carb-bombs used to be one of my favorite treats; I would indulge at least once a month. Turns out just one apple fritter has 65 grams of carbs! And on those days I would always eat regular food as well -- I must have been around 150 grams of carbs a day or even more. Jeeeeeez... I'm a little bit sorry to give up apple fritters, but not really... not now that I see how poisonous they are.
Today is the beginning of Week 6. This morning I weighed in at 176.3. That's down a total of 14.2 pounds in just 5 weeks.
This week I've really been picky about what I put in my mouth. Sure, I wasn't "perfect," but I've been even more strict than before -- for instance, after having nuts for breakfast one morning, I decided not to have nuts again the next day, because nuts feel more like an indulgence to me now and not everyday fare. Wow! NUTS feel like a treat to me now. That's kind of ... weird!
I have a loved one who is impressed with my weight loss, but who notes that despite his many, many health issues, he continues to eat Burger King Whoppers and Starbucks brownies, and then his body reacts very very poorly and he's in lots of pain. I wish he would change what he eats -- I bet lots of his symptoms will clear up. But it's not my life.
One coworker has jumped on the Primal bandwagon with me. But the 10 or so other people I've spoken with about it have a kneejerk reaction that cutting out grains "can't be healthy." I guess it's that USDA food pyramid indoctrination. Arrrrrgh....
Oh well -- all I can change is myself! And the naturopath I saw last week was excited for me, at least!
I may be taking things a BIT too far. I made Oreo cupcakes for my children (at their request), and I wouldn't even lick my fingers lest any sugars and grains get into my stomach. When I looked at the mass of batter in the bowl, swimming in sugar and gluten, my kneejerk reaction was "Gross!" And I won't even taste peanut butter or a grain of rice anymore. As I said... I may be taking this "purity" thing just a wee bit too far. I know, 80/20!, but watching this weight come off is awfully sweet. Sweeter than Oreo cupcakes!
Last Friday I did something special for myself that I hope to repeat again on a regular basis. I got myself a lovely, 100% grass fed, 21-day dry-aged sirloin steak, and I did it up RIGHT -- precisely timing the amount of sear on each side, wrapping it in foil to rest for 5 minutes, and making a quick pan sauce from herbs and heavy cream to go over the top. It was HEAVEN. I can't wait to head back down to that specialty meat store and get MORE 100% grass fed meat!
Other things I bought there: Oxtails, pork bones, lard, beef shank for ossobuco, and two chicken hindquarters (not nearly enough). I need to make this meat market a regular part of my life, because the more I read about factory farming of meats, the more disgusted I get, and the more sad I get at the high price we exact from the animals and the environment -- and our own bodies! -- for the "benefit" of cheap, easy, accountability-free food. :-(
At this rate of weight loss -- which I don't expect will continue much longer, btw -- I ought to be down to my goal weight of 145 in just eleven more weeks... which would be just about on my birthday in late June. Hmmm! What a nice birthday present to myself that would be -- a new, healthier and slimmer body, along with a heap more energy! :-D
It's a Tuesday -- time to weigh in!
This morning I was at 175.6. Although it's lower than last week, it's (1) not *much* lower than last week, and (2) higher than it was a few days ago, when I clocked in at 175.0 even. So I'm not ecstatic. I'm OK with it, but not ecstatic about it. ;-)
I have to remember that my starting weight was 190.5 -- thus, this is a total weight loss of 14.9 pounds! Yay! I've lost basically 15 pounds without changing anything except what I eat. *happy dance* (Plus, my gums are visibly better -- cutting out sugars and starches will make my dentist happy with me, and all that steak and kale means I need to floss more -- double win!)
Using PaleoTrack.com, I'm looking at my macronutrient and vitamin intakes on a day-by-day basis, and also going back and running an average report each day, to see how that day's eating has affected my overall averages. I'm gratified to see that pretty much every day, my averages get slightly better... my overall calorie average right now (from March 5 through April 15) is at 1682 per day, which is down. My overall potassium-to-sodium ratio is 1.6 to 1, which is not great, but which is better than it was. My overall omega6-to-omega3 ratio is 5.5 to 1, which is again not at all great, but better than it was by a lot. Just a few more weeks of great primal eating and those averages are going to look better and better! This past week I added a zinc supplement to the probiotic, VitD, and omega3 supplements I'm taking. I'm seriously considering buying one of those canisters of Primal Fuel as a meal replacement, since I'm skipping breakfast more days than not, and getting some vitamins would be nice during those times.
But it's not all upside. I've had a harder time this past week, and it may explain why I "only" lost 0.7 pounds... ;-)
The challenges I've hit this past week can be summarized as:
1) too many rich meals and too few salads -- yes, fried sausages and eggs and tomatoes *are* primal, but having that for lunch and then another rich meal for dinner isn't really what the Daily Apple intended ;-)
2) slacking off, exercise-wise
3) mental block from loved family members, boomeranging back on me.
The resistance that I mentioned before -- resistance on the part of my family members to even contemplate giving up grains and sugars -- came to a bit of a head this past week, as one loved one told me he'd rather die than give up grains, and another loved one told me to quit being so "smug" about my new life. It didn't feel good.
For the person who said he would rather die than give up grains: he's getting his wish, slowly and painfully. :(
For the person who interpreted my happiness and glee over weight loss as me being "smug": I will find some other place to express how thrilled I am that I can actually affect my body's composition and look by what I eat. It's like finding a secret lever to affecting the universe -- and I can control it! Who wouldn't be thrilled and happy about that?
*sigh* Ah well. Time to put all that out of my mind and focus on what I want to do next! Which is -- get even more healthy!
It had been a month since my last body-fat test, so last week I went back in (exactly 4 weeks after the first one) and got "zapped" again. My body fat percentage had fallen from 40.5% to 39.2%. That's nice, but if I calculate my lean body mass, it has fallen from 112 lbs. to 107 lbs... meaning I've lost about 5 pounds of muscle in addition to that 10 pounds of fat.
Now, I know these stats aren't the gold-plated Word of the Lord from on high... so that may not be 100% accurate. But it does seem that I'm losing muscle as well as fat, and that's not what I want.
So my steps for this next week:
1) MORE SALADS (I've finally acquired a FoodSaver, the accessory hose and wide-mouth jar attachment, and a bunch of wide-mouth quart jars -- and last night I jarred up 7 salads and then sucked the air out -- which should keep the lettuce fresh for a week or even more, according to the internet's "Salad in a Jar Lady"! I have one at work right now, with red pepper strips, chard, pea pods, and oil & vinegar, for my lunch! Salads for lunch EVERY DAY, yo!)
2) MORE EXERCISE (I brought my workout stuff including shoes this time! last week I forgot my shoes and couldn't work out in pumps, so I got no workout that day, sadness!).
3) I need to add "at-home" workouts to these gym times... because getting to the gym is really difficult to fit into my schedule. If I had a sledgehammer at home, I could swing it around!
4) Stopping letting the naysayers influence me, even subtly. It's hard when loved ones are "down" on the changes I'm making. Even if they don't come right out and say it, I can hear that they're down on it, and it makes me sad. I have to keep remembering that their bodies are their business, and my body is mine.
Tuesday -- time to step on the scale! This morning I was at 172.6. Exactly three pounds lost since last week. I seem to be averaging 3 pounds a week, despite infrequent splurges. Yayyyyyy -- I'll TAKE it!!!
Yesterday I was lower -- 170.8 -- but of course weight goes up and down just a bit all the time.
I haven't had any problems continuing my new lifestyle... except that my exercise is not what it should be. ;-) Baby steps!
I'm so excited that by this time next week I will most probably have lost a total of 20 pounds. It makes a big difference in how I feel -- how I look in the mirror (closing in on LGN!) -- and on how my clothes fit me. Work trousers that I was going to get rid of, because they were pinching me so tightly around the waist that I had painful red marks at the end of the work day, are now slightly TOO LOOSE. And the tank top I wore yesterday went into the giveaway bag last night -- it's now way too big, and was slipping and sliding around on me in potentially "interesting" ways.
*big grin* What I value more than just sheer weight loss is the feeling of CONTROL I have now. I'm charting everything I eat and ensuring my potassium-to-sodium ratios are OK, and my omega6-to-omega3 ratio, and my nutrient intake. I've slashed my carbs to about 50 grams a day. Keeping on eating this way is not difficult... because I'm motivated to take control. Also, because the food is just so gosh-darned good! Who could say no to delicious cream and bacon? ;-)
I am a bit concerned that I'm not getting enough pantothenic acid, thiamin, and iron. The pantothenic acid is found in egg yolks and broccoli, both of which I have consumed this week... so, shiitake mushrooms? Criminy!
As for thiamin, I just ate some pistachios yesterday, and macadamia nuts today... but still not enough? Maybe time to take that old jar of Vegemite out of the cupboard to supplement? *shuddering in horror*
Iron: Clearly, I need a grass-fed steak (or two). In fact... maybe I'll go buy some RIGHT NOW!!! the last time I made myself a 100% grass-fed, 21-day dry-aged steak with pan sauce of herbs, garlic, and heavy whipping cream, it was FANTASTIC, and very satisfying. :-D
Still dancing happily to myself from being able to eat wonderful steaks with cream sauce, and LOSE WEIGHT!
Tuesday -- weigh day!!
Today begins my Week 9. In the past eight weeks, I've lost 17.5 pounds, which is pretty darned great. Today, I was slightly up over last week -- 173 pounds even. (Last week I was at 172.6.) At first I was a little sad, but then I looked back at my stats so far. Check it out:
Week 1: 3 pounds lost
Week 2: 3 more pounds (6.19999 total)
Week 3: 4 more pounds (10.2 pounds total)
Week 4: 0.6 more pounds -- almost nothing! (10.8 pounds total)
Week 5: 3.39999 more pounds (14.2 pounds total)
Week 6: 0.7 more pounds -- again, almost nothing! (14.9 pounds total)
Week 7: 3 more pounds (17.9 pounds total)
Week 8: GAINED 0.4 pounds (17.5 pounds off total)
It seems that at least so far, I'm losing weight in a 2-week cycle. There were two weeks when I was down 10.x pounds, then two weeks when I was down 14.x pounds, and now two weeks when I'm down 17.x pounds.
If that trend continues, I should be on target to losing 3 more pounds by Tuesday May 7th, and then holding there another week.
Note: This lifestyle change isn't about weight loss to me, but it's awfully easy to measure, and awfully gratifying to see those numbers going DOWN instead of up.
This week I didn't have a salad EVERY day. And I made a paleo-friendly rhubarb pie. So that might have had something to do with it. ;-)
To remind myself that these changes aren't (wholly) about weight, here are some amazing things about my body that I've noticed in the past little bit of being Primal!
* Nails and hair growing faster now
* Skin softer, clearer -- no more dry / rough patches
* Varicose vein in back of thigh lessening
* No more swollen ankles where the tops of my socks cut into my flesh
* Better fitting clothes -- dresses, jackets, jeans, even panties!
* Have to give away some larger-sized clothes, including a very nice bra from Nordstrom that was just slipping and sliding around on me uselessly. Oh darn, now I'll have to buy new lingerie. :)
* Better sleep. I wake up naturally, without an alarm clock, refreshed and ready to start the day.
* I don't *NEED* to eat every 3 hours -- I can eat if I want to, or I can just wait until later. No panicking about food.
* Pastries and baked goods now smell funny to me, and set off my "ick" response just a bit.
* I have less patience for other people's bullshit. Don't like your situation? DO SOMETHING TO CHANGE IT. Duh.
* Higher sex drive (heh).
* More playfulness, aggression, curiosity, drive, and overall energy.0
* Shinier hair.
* Hardly any gas. When I do have some, it's because I "cheated" just a bit with grains or sugar.
* Better sense of smell.
* Less tolerance for noisy environments.
I'm really hoping that other people's experience with their keratosis pilaris (aka "chicken skin") clearing up on this plan will hold true for me as well. I'm taking in several hundred times the RDA of Vitamin A per day, and apparently keratosis pilaris is caused by a Vitamin A deficiency?? Gosh, I wish I'd known that when it began appearing on me 25 years ago. I've tried SO many lotions over the years and NOTHING helped. And in my case, it's gotten worse with age. It used to just be on my upper arms. In the past few years, it began appearing on my forearms and my back as well. But it seems that may take months and months for me to see any change. I also plan to get another jar of coconut oil for the bathroom, and begin moisturizing with that. It may help. :)
Next week will be another "body fat measure" week! I'd better stick to the salads and workouts in order to make the resulting numbers better! ;-)