Primal Journal Liam
I thought I'd use my first post to introduce myself and give a background of what I am doing and actually start my specific diet and workout entries in July which will be my challenge month. Firstly, I have been reading Mark's Daily Apple for over a year now and last year I went Paleo for about a month and did a small amount of IF but quickly fell off the bandwagon. Life got in the way as they say. Last December I moved to the north of Italy to teach Business English and am at the foot of the Alps (the perfect Primal environment).
I'm in good shape, 165cm/5'5" and 55kg/121lb (pretty light actually) and I have a pretty low body fat percentage at 10%. I have a good exercise program, I cycle to work (adds up to about 30 minutes a day), go for weekend hikes or long walks and do push ups and pull ups on alternating days. I'm in good shape, regarding Paleo/Low Carb this has been more of a hindrance because I haven't had the usual reason (i.e. being overweight) pushing me into changing my diet. Also I've been living with my girlfriend and grandfather and the chance of persuading him to go Paleo is about zero. But now I am about to move house and I'll primarily be cooking for myself. So it is time to get back on the Paleo cart and sort out my health. I'm looking for Paleo/Low Carb to stabilize my mood, control my appetite and maybe even help me get stronger. Finally I'd like to drop my body fat down into single digits simply for vanities sake.
I started Low Carb on Thursday to try and give me a head start on Monday and try and get over some of the transitional symptoms before I start work again. The ones I am getting are fatigue and head fog. Actually I've just had a square of (dark) chocolate to try and lift the head fog so I can get through some prep work. Hopefully that fades by next week and I'll be an up and running Paleo/Low Carb enthusiast.
In July I only have two objectives. The first regarding diet is to buy and cook all the meat in my local supermarket, which in Italy is quite a variety. Everything from the typical down to hearts and brains. I'm going to cook and eat it all! The second is to add sprinting into my exercise routine once a week to complete the PB Exercise Pyramid. To help me with this I've just ordered a pair of Xero Shoes which I'll also use for hiking and walking. After I have structured my exercise and diet I'll be making Primal (and health centered) changes from top to bottom in my life.
Yesterday evening I was suffering from lack of carbs quite acutely. I guess this was the point that my body ran out of stored glycogen and was running entirely on fat. It wasn't very good at it! I jumped on the bike like I normally do to go and have a coffee with my girlfriend (who works in a castle) and it took me twice as long to get there. Also even walking around the castle while she locked up was difficult.
I had a pretty Paleo dinner after that, Soup for starter, then Lamb, Salad and roasted veggies. The veggies had a small amount of potato and this dragged me out of fatigue in the evening. I'm looking forward to my body becoming fat adapted so I don't have to worry about low carb intake!! Today I am going on a hike with my partner so I'm having some carbs with my breakfast in the form of two apples stewed in coconut oil and a little yogurt. Tomorrow is my last prep day before I start detailing my daily food intake and exercise.
Okay so today is Day 1 on my first month of going Primal. I worked this morning (teaching English) and spent the rest of the day moving house so I think I have done pretty well today. My plan is to list what I eat each day (I'm not going to count macro nutrients or calories, etc) and list any exercise I have done plus anything extra below.
B: An apple and carrot smoothie
L: Tin of tuna (I was in a rush)
D: Diced tomatoes with Mozzarella, Salad with Chicken (all with Olive Oil)
Snacks: I had one cappuccino and one machiato (small cappuccino) both without sugar, a small slice of cheese and two slices of watermelon (the perfect food for keeping you full, cool and hydrated on the beach or balcony in Italy)
Exercise/Movement: Cycling to work and around town, total probably around 1 hour
Day 2, still in the process of moving house and becoming self employed in Italy. Not sure how being self employed fits into going Primal, maybe there is an article on it somewhere. I've not managed to do any formal exercise today but have cycled a little.
B: Apple stewed with coconut oil and cinnamon
L: One tomato and a big slice of decent parmesan (again I was in a rush)
D: Chicken with fried pepper, aubergine and tomato
I also had two cappuccinos without sugar. I think I'm starting to get used to a low carb intake because I'm not getting the low energy levels I was before. I only cycled for about twenty minutes today.
Day 3, a little more relaxed although I still have a lot to get through in the next couple of weeks regarding my work and study prospects in the next months and years. It is a really busy time for me.
B: Yogurt with cinnamon
L: Omelette with fried shallots
D: Fried (diced) chicken with (diced) olives and tomatoes with salad
Snacks: I had an apple and a few chocolates (37g) and not the dark kind either but it was a moment of failure in an otherwise very good day. I have found somewhere to buy decent, 85% cocoa, chocolate.
Exercise: I cycled for around 1 hour getting around and I did 3 x 5 pull ups and 3 x 5 chin ups on a local outdoor pull up bar next to a river. My usual bar spot. Overall I am happy with today and my Paleo journal seems to be taking good shape.
I'm also learning Italian and have several tandem partners and also speak Italian with one of my housemates. Historically I have been awful at languages but I'm actually slowly getting the hang of this one, living here of course helps a lot.
Day 4 & 5, I didn't manage to get to the computer yesterday so am entering both days now. They have both been pretty successful and I can feel myself becoming comfortable with the dietary intake of fat. I'm not getting tired or foggy like when I started.
B: Two hard boiled eggs
L: Salad with mozzarella and a tin of tuna
D: I had dinner with my girlfriend's (Italian) grandma. First course was an aubergine, tomato and parmesan bake followed by cold rice salad, an actual salad and diced tomatoes in olive oil. It was close enough to Paleo but I probably ate far too much! We finished with two slices of melon.
Snacks: I had a handful of cherries and a small (locally produced) yogurt and finally an espresso without sugar
Exercise: I cycled for about 1 hour and did 5 x 5 L7 push ups on both sides (= 50 push ups)
I also bought my first laundry detergent for the new house and got it from an eco friendly store to ensure I got one that wasn't quite so packed with chemicals.
B: Stewed apple
D: A big portion (5 eggs) of scrambled eggs with left over aubergine, tomato and pepper all cooked in butter
Snacks: Yogurt and a small packet of pistachios
Exercise: I cycled for about an hour (maybe more) and did 3 x 5 pull ups and 3 x 5 chin ups.
I had my first tandem meeting and managed to speak almost continuously in Italian for 1.5 hours. A big breakthrough for me. I have another tandem meeting tomorrow and hopefully a plethora tomorrow.
Day 6, today didn't go so well for me. I fell off course a little in the morning when I had two squares of chocolate (not so bad really) and an argument with my girlfriend. I went to prepare for next week as I normally do and had a decent enough lunch and then went to meet a practice partner for Italian. For some reason when he ordered the very attractive fruit topped slice of cake at a cafe I decided to do the same and wash it down with orange juice. Not great. And it has left me feeling a bit grumpy now. Okay so my breakdown of food:
B: Yogurt with cinnamon
L: Salad with a sliced tomato, handful of olives and a tin of tuna
D: Diced pork and apple cooked in butter (delicious and doesn't require seasoning)
Snacks: the dreaded cake topped with fruit, an orange juice and a few squares of chocolate
Exercise: I cycled for a while today, probably about half an hour
Are you sure you're getting enough calories? Most of those days' meals seem to not be very much food.
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Day 7 & 8 (Mr. Anthony I'll reply to you at the bottom :) ) well yesterday my diet was rubbish after having an argument with my girlfriend, but I did hike to the peak of a local mountain so definitely got in some movement. Basically yesterday I fell of track for a day but today has gone fine. Okay:
B: Some biscuits, a glass of milk and a little later a macchiato with sugar
L: The lunch box I went into the mountain with had a bread roll, packet of crisps (both from my girlfriend's house), a variety of cheeses and a load of small tomatoes
D: Risotto with peas, salad, some cheeses and afterwards a biscuit
Snacks: An apple strudel at the top of the mountain in a refuge
Exercise: 4 hours hike (and a 200m sprint to the car at the end because it started to rain)
Mr. Anthony, I'm pretty sure I'm eating enough, my dinner never fits on one plate. The house I'm living in has lunch sized plates and normally one is largely occupied with meat and the other salad/vegetables. I'm definitely not hungry before going to bed and I'm not hungry when I get up. My diet is pretty similar to before going Paleo, the only difference is I've replaced pasta with more vegetables and ensured that I use plenty of oils. My calorie intake may have dropped because I've stopped snacking as much during the day and eating bread with dinner but I've not lost any weight which is my main indication of whether I'm eating enough. I'm definitely going to pay a bit more attention though and make sure I'm getting enough food.
Day 8 (because I forgot it above),
B: Yogurt with a sliced banana
L: A salad box with cheese and ham dressed with olive oil
D: Diced pork (cooked in butter) dressed with lemon with a salad and diced tomatoes
Snacks: Yogurt with cinnamon, two macchiatos (without sugar)
Exercise: Cycling to and from work which adds up to around an hour, I missed my regular pull ups today because I've been pretty busy