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  1. #1
    norseman's Avatar
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    Post Game of Groans: A quest for something different

    Primal Fuel
    Hello everyone

    A friend at work first pointed me to what eventually led to the Primal Blueprint. In the past I have tried a handful of things (crazy shake-drinking/heavy workout diets, P90x and it's hours of exercise and limited, unfulfilling recipes, and a few hybrids in between) but I always ended up feeling like it wasn't sustainable and I was mostly miserable while doing it. Hence the title: a Game of Groans... (also a not-so-subtle nod to a great author!).

    However, when I started really reading about the Primal Blueprint it seemed to make a lot of sense on a lot of different levels. It explained a lot of things that I had always taken as common knowledge and now look back at and realize how flawed the concepts were. Then I ventured out and started making some of the recipes and changing my eating habits, and not only did I find I wasn't starving or feeling deprived, but that I was actually eating a lot more delicious meals then I had before I started.

    Of course... there were some not so great moments in meal preps.

    Like when I tried to make balsamic-glazed chicken drumsticks and ended up smoking out the house. We had windows and fans going for a good hour or two before the house cleared. Or the time I first tried to make a chocolate chip recipe and severely overestimated how much dough to put on the baking sheet. Pizza-sized cookies were pretty hilarious!

    One of the things I thought would be tough, and something I wouldn't have been able to get through on any of the crazy schemes before, is that my wife isn't doing this one with me (yet). So while I'll be making a delicious lunch she may opt to order a small pizza and have some of that. Previously the sight of a fresh-baked pizza from one of our favorite places would have sent me over the edge. The leftovers in the fridge alone would call to me at night. But with the food I'm making now I honestly like it even more, which is an amazing change from everything previous.

    Prior to me starting to look into the Primal Blueprint my wife and I went on a 21-day fitness challenge full of workouts every morning and a strict schedule with some craziness such as "at 11:30 eat two almonds". I started it weighing the most I had my entire life, 251 lbs., and quickly dropped down to 234 lbs. Definitely a great accomplishment, but it was on the back of constant workouts and eating little more than a malnourished rabbit might. I exaggerate a little... but you get the idea. Shortly after stopping that program I bounced back up to 241 lbs. Not all the way back up, but definitely a disappointment as I started shifting back to a maintainable diet I saw the weight come back.

    Flash forward to now where I have been loosely following the Blueprint for the last week as I've been reading the 21-challenge book that Mark wrote (can you tell I'm a 21-Challenge type of guy? ha!) mostly just eating the foods and buying healthier options, not even working in the workouts or anything, all while reading and educating myself as I went.

    I stepped on the scale this morning, after enjoying some of my favorite new Primal meals yesterday, including a small cheat or two (those Onli drinks are just so delicious... and every now and then I need to break up plain water ), and I was shocked to see the scale read 234 lbs!

    With literally no effort, I'm back to where I was at the height of my time on the unreasonable and demanding program before. I can't tell you how excited this has made me about the whole thing. I really can't wait to see what the weeks ahead bring. And just to give you an idea, when I hit the 234 lbs. mark the first time it had been the least I have weighed for at least 5 years, if not longer. So the fact I'm back to that, eating delicious meals, and MOST IMPORTANTLY: know I'm doing so in a healthy way... it's just amazing!

    I plan on using this journal to chronicle my journey, throw in some humor, and hopefully make it an enjoyable read for anyone looking on. Ultimately it's for me to track my own progress, but I'd be nice to know people are watching on as well so feel free to comment on anything and everything, or ask any questions you have. I'd love feedback, support, and conversation on any topics.

    BAM! There's my intro! Too many words and all.

    So onto a little about me and my goals:

    I'm 34, 6'0, 234 lbs (woohoo! Even though I'm sure there's better results to come). I also know weight isn't the whole tale, so I'm a size 36 pants and usually comfortable in an XL shirt. I was an athlete growing up and am no stranger to the gym, so I would say I'm in decent shape as far as muscle and cardiovascular health are concerned.

    My main goals are...

    1. More energy and aging better. My son is 3 right now and I want to be able to be the dad out there running around, playing sports with him, keeping up with him, and just being there. To me, that is one of the single most important things about anything I do.

    2. Trimming down. Normally I associate this with losing weight, but I know that's not the whole story. I want to be as fit as can be. I want to never have to feel self-conscious about taking off my shirt at a pool or the beach.

    3. Improving my health. While I don't have any current major health concerns or conditions, I'd like to keep it that way.
    Last edited by norseman; 02-19-2014 at 06:36 AM.

  2. #2
    Emtropy's Avatar
    Emtropy is offline Senior Member
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    Nice title

    Best of luck with your goals. I'll be lurking around these parts for a while~
    I'm not an emo, I swear

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    I like your writing style! It made me smile. It's so easy to get down when thinking about this kind of stuff, I think, so it was a nice change. I know what you mean about extreme changes not feeling sustainable. I can never stick with them long enough for them to become habit.

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    Day 2 - Oops....

    Meal Recap

    Breakfast: Mini Breakfast Meatloaves | Marks Daily Apple
    (Have you all tried these yet?? How do you make meatloaf better? Eat it for breakfast! AND stuff a hard-boiled egg inside it! These are awesome!)

    Lunch: Big ass salad! (tomatoes, avocado, romaine lettuce, green bell peppers, black olives, and 1 Tbls light ranch dressing) with 8oz. of grilled chicken.
    (I know, I know... the dressing is bad, but my options were pretty limited...)

    Dinner: Taco-boat: 1/2 lbs. mixed meat (pork & beef), guacamole, tomatoes, romaine lettuce, organic salsa, and a small bit of organic cheese.

    Snacks (throughout the day):
    ...and this is where the wheels came off a bit...
    1/4 lbs. slice of meatloaf, 2 handfuls of macadamia nuts, 1 oz. dark chocolate (72%) with almonds, and 2 onli sparkling drinks.
    (Have any of you tried these? They are amazing!! 100% all-natural, very delicious, and made locally here in Orlando. They do have 22g of sugar... and even though it's pure sugar cane I know it's still bad... but... have I mentioned they were delicious? )

    So, all things considered the snacking killed me. A quick check of the scale this morning showed I stayed the same, so I only wonder how I would have done without all the excessive snacking. Man, looking back and writing it out really makes it stand out how much I ate.

    __________________________________________________

    And the adventures continue...

    So, I feel it necessary to mention at this point that I am a very good cook. I've always enjoyed it and have a solid list of go-to meals I can make and I'm usually really good at following directions and trying something new; normally it turns out well.

    Now that I got that out of the way I can share my next kitchen catastrophe. I recently picked up a cookbook Mark has endorsed called Primal Cravings and have made some delicious things from it over the weekend and this week. One of the things I used to really love is nice, warm, buttery biscuits with breakfast. So imagine my surprise when I opened the book and turned to this:
    TargetBiscuits.jpg
    I realize my countertop blends in with the biscuit, but I think you can get the idea.

    So I get excited about making them, and the ingredient list is tiny! The directions very simplistic! How can I go wrong?

    So I whip the ingredients together, spoon it out on the baking sheets, and in just 25 minutes I get... this...
    Biscuits.jpg

    What the hell... what happened to the wonderfully fluffy and delicious biscuits I was promised?! This book lies! My dreams of fresh-baked biscuity goodness has been replaced with Olympic-inspired Sochi Hockey Pucks.

    But! I figured all might not be lost. Maybe they taste great! I guess it's not important how they look, it's about the taste, right? So I bit into one of my cookie-looking biscuits and was rewarded with a mouthful of buttery, unmixed, powdery horribleness. (Is that a word? It is now.)

    So I re-enacted my own hockey game and scored six times in the trash with my freshly-made pucks...

    ... back to the drawing boards...
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by norseman; 02-19-2014 at 01:00 PM.
    My progress... and hopefully a fair dose of funny stories:

    A Childhood Dream Revisited - Getting Back on Track
    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum...ml#post1495959

    Old Journal:
    A Game of Groans: A quest for something different
    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread102291.html

  5. #5
    Pebbles67's Avatar
    Pebbles67 is online now Senior Member
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    Can't wait to read more of your cooking adventures. Good Luck.
    Paula Primal since 9/24/2010
    "Our greatest foes, and whom we must chiefly combat, are within." Miguel de Cervantes

    Created by MyFitnessPal.com - Free Weight Loss Tools
    MFP username: MDAPebbles67

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    *giggled at "hockey pucks"*

  7. #7
    norseman's Avatar
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    That's what they looked like And thank you, Pebbles!
    My progress... and hopefully a fair dose of funny stories:

    A Childhood Dream Revisited - Getting Back on Track
    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum...ml#post1495959

    Old Journal:
    A Game of Groans: A quest for something different
    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread102291.html

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    Day 3 - Pizza! Oh yeah! ... oh... no...

    Meal Recap

    Breakfast: Mini Breakfast Meatloaves | Marks Daily Apple and an onli Lemon sparkling drink.
    (Sadly it was the last meatloaf in my batch of 4 I made over the weekend. What am I going to do tomorrow?? )

    Lunch: Another big ass salad! (Romaine lettuce, grapes, starwberries, pineapple chunks, crumbled goat cheese, and light vinaigrette dressing) with 6oz. of grilled chicken.

    Dinner: THE BEST PIZZA IN THE WORLD! (Thanks to a crust recipe by a user here named TanyaV!) A delicious doughy crust, some all-natural organic pizza sauce I picked up at Whole Foods, a big handful of spinach, pepperoni, and organic mozzarella cheese and my 2nd onli drink of the day. I know it's bad, stop saying that! lol
    (More on this below)

    Snacks (throughout the day):
    1 handful of macadamia nuts, 1 oz. dark chocolate (72%) with almonds, and 1 hard-boiled egg.
    I think I did much better in the snacking area yesterday!

    Looking back on this and the day before I realize something: Dear Lord I eat too much cheese.

    __________________________________________________

    So, my secrets are slowly being revealed. Cheese and tasty not-water drinks are apparently my weakness so far. But that's what this is for, no? To analyze a bit of what I'm doing and make adjustments as I go? I honestly didn't realize just how much cheese I was eating. Definitely need to stop that... I say, as the cheese omelet I made this morning slowly digests in my stomach as I type. Oops...

    Also, the deliciously bad for me onli drinks are all but used up. I have 1 left and have committed myself to not buying any more of them. I will miss them... they are so delicious... and so.. not plain water. This too I shall survive though.

    So... to the pizza! For any of those who caught my pizza crust post in the recipe area you'll know I tried making a Primal Pizza last week and it was delicious, except for the crust. I used an almond flour recipe and ended up with a disappointing, crumbly mess that made our dinner night end up to be pizza soup. The crust didn't necessarily taste too bad, but it was impossible to hold like pizza.

    One of the users I have already mentioned, TanyaV, pointed me to her site (and if you haven't checked it out yet I strongly recommend it: Feed The Clan) and a crust made with tapioca flour among other ingredients.

    At first it was starting out rough. When I mixed the dough it was incredibly sticky, so when I was trying to flatten it out on the parchment paper I'd get half of it down, the other half would stick to my hand and get pulled up, then the whole thing would rip and I'd start over again. I felt oddly like a dog trying to chew peanut butter... I kept smoothing and flattening it and every time it would stick at pull apart... and I'd repeat. Fun!

    Then I remembered I'm a genius... and modest. So I cut a small square of parchment paper and used that to smooth the dough. Brilliant! It worked and I managed to spread the dough a little thicker than the recipe called for because I like that more doughy type crust. I used some of the sauce I already had and tossed on some of the veggies and meat I had handy and in 38 minutes had some of the most delicious pizza ever! Not just since starting going Primal, I mean ever! It was amazing!

    Something you should notice is the exact time I mentioned. 38 minutes. It took roughly 36 minutes to cook. Now I know what you're saying: 'If it took 36 minutes to cook, wasn't it way too hot to start eating at 38 minutes?' And the answer is, of course, yes. But, as hungry as I was and as eager as I was to try the new crust I barely noticed the scalding of the roof of my mouth as I dove in. Even now as I sit here typing the roof of my mouth is sore and tender.

    So worth it.

    So good, was this pizza, that I completely went overboard and ate just over half of it, minus the slice my wife tried. As I sat back declaring the recipe a success I scrolled down on TanyaV's site and saw something noone ever wants to see....

    The nutritional value of what I just wolfed down.

    So apparently the crust has quite the bit of calories and carbs. Worth it, without a doubt, but had I known just how much I wouldn't have polished off half the thing. 2,010 calories in the whole crust and 189 grams of carbs. Quick math tells me...

    Carry the one... multiple by seven... divide by 3..

    Yep, I ate too much.

    Going forward I know to save these pizza for more of a special occasion and not an everyday thing, and to certainly not eat nearly 3/4's of it in one go. But, I still declare this dinner a success nonetheless!
    Last edited by norseman; 02-20-2014 at 06:38 AM.
    My progress... and hopefully a fair dose of funny stories:

    A Childhood Dream Revisited - Getting Back on Track
    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum...ml#post1495959

    Old Journal:
    A Game of Groans: A quest for something different
    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread102291.html

  9. #9
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    Day 4 - Still learning

    Meal Recap

    Breakfast: 4-egg cheese omelet with a small handful of organic cheese, a handful of spinach, and some mushrooms with a side of 2 100% all-natural chicken sausages.
    Cheese!

    Lunch: Leftover Primal Pizza from last night and my LAST onli Lemon drink. *tear*
    More cheese! No, seriously, I am trying to cut back...

    Dinner: Steaming mixed vegetables with shrimp with a site of garlic dipping sauce.
    I know the sauce wasn't Primal, but the veggies and steamed shrimp needed some flavor. I used it pretty sparingly though.

    Snacks (throughout the day):
    2 handful of macadamia nuts, 3 decent sized pieces of all-natural beef jerky.

    So I stepped on the scale again this morning, and for the 3rd day running I have no change. I know I have room to lose a few more pounds pretty easily, so I'm starting to wonder why I'm plateauing so early. Looking back on the meals I don't think I've eaten anything too crazy, or went overboard on how much (with the exception of Pizza night ) But I feel like I should be seeing a little more results. Is it possible the macadamia nuts are an issue? I could really use some informed insight on what I've been eating so far...
    __________________________________________________

    I don't have any crazy stories to share today, yesterday was actually a rather boring day. Work was slammed most of the day and when I got home I was just drained and had a quick dinner, had some family time, and then went straight to bed. Yep, I'm a party animal.

    One thing I am starting to wonder is where my Tiger Nuts are! Now if you're occasional as juvenile as me you probably just chuckled, as did my wife, and everyone at work that I told I was ordering them. But they sound pretty interesting (Tiger Nuts) I believe it was an article by Mark actually that pointed me to them and I'm really interested in trying them.

    Has anyone tried them yet?

    Funny story too, and why I do hope I like them so I can place regular orders (and here I thought I was out of stories to share ). I placed the order last week, early in the week, and kind of forgot about it. On Saturday I got back from getting some exercise and checked my phone and had a missed message from a number I didn't recognize, so I listened to it and the first line was great:

    "Hello Mark, this is Jack Simms, I'm the Chief Nut at Tiger Nuts USA!"

    It made me laugh a bit, in a good way. So I listened to the rest of the message and he called to explain they were a little backed up with orders and that they were going to ship mine as soon as their next shipment arrived so they would be a little late.

    I loved the message.

    This is an amazing example of a company going the extra mile for the customer. He could have just as easily not called me (and I assume a slew of others) to give them that update and just been like every other company out there which, as of late, just seems to treat a customer like a second-class person. I really love when someone goes the extra mile for a customer like that. Any company that does that for me usually gains a customer for life, hence me saying I really hope I like the nuts, because I would make it a regular thing to order from them if I do.

    I guess time will tell.

    Alright everyone, i'm off. Please feel free to drop me a message and give me some comments or suggestions. I feel kind of like I'm just talking to myself at this point. haha
    Last edited by norseman; 02-21-2014 at 06:07 AM.
    My progress... and hopefully a fair dose of funny stories:

    A Childhood Dream Revisited - Getting Back on Track
    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum...ml#post1495959

    Old Journal:
    A Game of Groans: A quest for something different
    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread102291.html

  10. #10
    Pebbles67's Avatar
    Pebbles67 is online now Senior Member
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    Primal Blueprint Expert Certification
    I'm still reading.

    How much weight have you lost so far? Sometimes the body just takes a break.
    I've done practically every Paleo version possible over the last 3+ years, so if you have any questions...

    I love the way you organize your posts. Food report separate from your stories. They talk about tiger nuts on the Resistant Starch thread. Hmmmm

    One suggestion-Visit some journals and make some MDA friends. I personally recommend canio6, and ssn679doc as two awesome guys to get to know.
    Paula Primal since 9/24/2010
    "Our greatest foes, and whom we must chiefly combat, are within." Miguel de Cervantes

    Created by MyFitnessPal.com - Free Weight Loss Tools
    MFP username: MDAPebbles67

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