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Thread: Primal Challenge Journal (Danielle Thalman) page

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    I actually started implementing my goal on Saturday, so this is day 3 for me with no chips and no energy drinks. The energy drink habit isn't hard for me to break as I wasn't drinking those all that often. I was eating chips daily and I do crave them. Another part of my goal that I forgot to put in the post was to eat fish every other day. So I bought fish as well as beef Saturday. I ended up cooking a small rock cod fillet in my grill basket along with some vegies. It was really tasty. However, I was so looking foward to the next day's beef that I grilled a family pack of sirloin and chowed a bunch of that, too. Just the thought of eating fish instead of beef made me want my steak even more. But that's OK as long as I eat fish, too. I ate a bunch of shrimp yesterday in my big ass salad and I'm going to try to find some salmon today. I might start killing more of the trout I catch...I usually let them go but they do taste pretty good and I think fresh wild trout has got to be a good food for me. I don't mind killing game birds but I have to admit I don't like the process of killing trout. But the creeks are full of them and what with the anti-inflammatory properties of wild versus farm raised fish, I should really eat more of the trout I catch and maybe even freeze some.


    I want to do some more research on glycogen stores in muscles. All the CW says eat 100 grams of carbs (or thereabouts) after your workout and since that's about what I eat in a day, I know that's not right! Clearly my body needs less since I have it well trained to burn fat for energy. But how much less? And it what form? It's those power moves up the steepest cliffs and the steepest climbs on the mountain bike, after hours of lower level aerobic work that bonk me. I don't think it's in my mind--kettle chips help...easily absorbed high glycemic carbs may be what I need in this situation. I brought steak, celery, carrots and nuts on my bike ride yesterday. I'd just had the heavy cream in my coffee that morning before I rode, which is typical. I did 70 minutes of climbing up a steep gravel road at probably 85 percent max (breathing hard the whole time) and then rested and ate half the food, then climbed for 60 more minutes and ate the other half of the food. Then I climbed for 20 more minutes and spent 90 minutes going down (mostly) 12 miles of trail. Although my times were good, I felt hungry on this ride, even as I kept eating more of the steak (I ate all the carbs that I brought on the first two stops). I ate a banana when I got back and that helped a little with the hunger but I was still really hungry, until I ate a big meal. Typically I bring a beer or two (8 grams of carbs in a Heineken)and low salt kettle chips on a ride (the potatoes pack a good carb punch of course, but the glycemic load is lowered by all the fat in them.) I didn't feel as good without the beer and chips; I felt bloated and a little sick after eating the carrots and celery. So the question is: Do I just need to give my body time to adjust to this? Or is it that I hadn't been eating chips for the previous two days and since it's hard to replace the carb punch that chips pack with celery and carrots, my glycogen stores were too low for this sort of workout and I really needed the chips? Or is it that beer and chips just are more satisfying at the top of the mountain so I think I need them?! Although most people don't consider beer a good workout food, I think the glycemic load might be just right for me and my gut is just really picky about solid foods at certain times. Fruit juices and sports drinks make me really sick; I can't process that sort of sugar. Apples and anything with much fructose makes me really sick right away. Bananas are marginal. Berries and tangerines work great for me but not much carb punch per fiber/bulk there. A big handful of nuts gives me the same amount of carbs as a lighter type of beer, about 8 g, but I think it's metabolized differently, what with all the fat and protein in the nuts. A banana at 27 grams of carbs should be plenty though, if I can handle the sugars. And bananas have other good nutrients in them, unlike beer and chips. Glycemic load looks to be comparable to beer and chips but it's hard to say how it all interacts. And there's so many other factors on a ride; the heat, trail conditions, my attitude, who's along with me (one buddy ALWAYS brings beer; another is totally opposed to it). I did my best time ever on a ride two weeks ago, fueled on steak, beer and kettlechips...I actually shaved an HOUR off my best time. I also did well on a ride with coconut meat, salami and beer a few days later. But how much of this was just how PSYCHED I was to be on these rides, which were in very scenic, pretty locations? Plus my conditioning is improving as the summer goes on. So it's a lot to sort out.


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    Swam laps at pool yesterday, mostly kickboard due to shoulder injury. Gut seems happier without chips; probably they were 400 calories of my 2800-3600 calorie diet. Empty calories. I'm eating more of everything else to make up for it--snacking more on nuts instead of chips, mostly. I had some really good watermelon yesterday. I'm surprised some of the people on this site are restricting their fruit intake. I mean, some fruits have a lot of carbs but if you don't eat wheat, sugar, refined and processed foods, dairy, corn, legumes or potatoes...you have to get your 100-150 grams of carbs SOMEWHERE! Or maybe they are trying to go really low carb to lose weight. Since I'm getting almost all my carbs from fruits and vegies, I can eat a lot of them and still stay under 150 grams, even if I drink two beers at 10 grams each plus nuts. Fruits have so many nutrients, and different ones have different things. I think the more variety in one's diet, the better (within the range of healthful, primal foods.) Lately I've been chowing blueberries, plums and various melons, mostly. Hoping to ride my bike today if I have a window of time in between driving the teenager around... maybe I'll try bringing watermelon in the pack as a source of carbs. It's bulky, but then again I'd have to carry less water if I bring fresh fruit. That's another interesting thing in the "what to bring in the pack biking" question--my friend pointed out that a 115 pounder needs to bring less water than a 185 pounder. If you bring dried fruit or jerky, you need more water still, and less water if you bring fresh fruit. I'd never thought about it that way; I think she is probably right. I do tend to have water leftover on rides where others go through a whole camelback full. On the other hand, I eat as many calories as friends who are bigger. I should look into that more, individual water needs.


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    Tuesday I did low-level movement--yardwork! Yesterday, a big mtn bike ride. It's a lot of cardio, for sure, but since my "season" is only July-Sept., and work will keep me too busy to ride all that much in Sept., I think it's OK to go hard for several hours a couple days per week. After the initial push of 70 minutes up the mountain, I scaled it back and did a pace that felt more like a slightly strenuous hike; just breathing a little hard. On the way down I rode some hairpins and rock gardens that I usually walk, which was scary but then exhilarating when I got them. I did bring chips on the ride--having a good dose of carbs really does help me on long rides. Bananas work out for me sometimes; sometimes not. Really, when I look at all the foods I can eat without gut upset that have 10 or more grams of carbs per typical serving size, it's pretty much this: beer, tortilla chips, kettle chips, french fries. The fact that baked potatoes upset my system but fries are fine is a clue--I need to have a big dose of fat with my carbs. Gastro doc says fat slows down transit in small intestine, which may be a factor for me...or maybe it has to do with glycemic load. Since all these digestive problems began after a hysterectomy, which would have to throw one's hormonal system for a loop (even with my ovaries maintained), and since progesterone I think plays some role in blood sugar moderation, I wonder about that as a cause. I might look to messing with my hormones, but in the meantime, the next experiment might be to blend up a banana with blueberries and heavy cream (which I tolerate well) to see if I can take the banana carbs better if there's fat in there. Of course a shake made with heavy cream isn't going to be the ideal pack food, perishability wise. I may just have to accept that if I'm going to do these all day climbing and biking things, chips are a necessary evil. When I fall below 100 grams of carbs per day, I lose weight FAST...a testimonial to the accuracy of Mark's carb chart. Anyhow, today will be another low-key aerobic day, paddling my kayak around the lake this afternoon and maybe strolling down the trail while the teenagers take the sailboat out. I packed devilled eggs, which everyone loves, lots of fresh fruit, sushi for my husband and organic nitrite free bacon as a treat for myself. The teenagers are junkers--cheese and crackers--but I'm not out to change the world. And I will probably get them to eat some tomatoes and baby carrots!


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    PrimalCon New York


    I had my first "I'm going out so I'll eat some starchy carbs" session of the month, and I just felt sorta crappy afterwards and overfull. It tasted good, though. I've been true to my goals, eating lots of fish and no tortilla chips or potatoes except for a weekly cheat when I go out to eat or when I really need extra carbs for a long bike ride. I tried my theory of adding fat to my banana today--I put a banana, blueberries, honeydew melon and some heavy cream in the blender. I had to add some water, as it was so thick. It tasted great, like icecream. So I froze the rest of it in my donvier ice cream maker. Although it wouldn't work as pack food, I could leave it in my cooler at the bottom of the trail and it would be a milkshake instead of icecream by the time I got down. Reading the carb info., esp. the old posts about glycogen and atheletes needing carbs, addressed a lot of my issues. Tubers are OK to add in when I really need them. I bought a sweet potato today; that should offer more nutrients than a russet, if I'm going to do a starchy carb! I'm planning several days of low level stretching and easy, mellow stuff, core work. Just a recovery week; I need it. Knee is tweaky--I need to stretch more instead of just bombing up and down the mountain on my bike. Legs are stiff and I think that's leading to the sore knee. I stretch 3 times a week at the climbing gym...but since I haven't been going there due to torn shoulder, I haven't been stretching. BAD! So it's gonna be just some mellow hiking, camping and flyfishing later this week, then a BIG BIG ride Friday. I've been doing lots of fish and vegies in my grill basket, marinading in red wine, wine vinegar, wheat free soy, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Really tasty!


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