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Thread: Meepster's Journal - in Search of Healthiness page

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    Meepster's Journal - in Search of Healthiness

    Primal Fuel
    I think it may be interesting to keep a journal for a while, to document my search for greater healthiness, both physical and mental.

    First, a brief intro. I'm a woman in my late 30's, currently self-employed and working at home. In addition to work, I play and compose music, and perform fairly regularly. I'm engaged to be married to a wonderful woman, and life is good.

    I grew up in a foreign country and moved to the US as a teenager. Because of that, I missed the junk-food indoctrination that so many Americans get. As a child, I consumed mostly whole, unprocessed foods - real meats (lots and lots of meat), veggies, fruit, eggs, dairy, etc. My parents cooked a lot, and taught me to cook at a young age. So, I was a skinny kid, grew up to be a skinny young adult, and even though I put on a bit of weight in my mid-thirties, I'm still pretty slim.

    When I found MDA and the Primal diet, my first reaction was a curious feeling of vindication. As a young adult, I tried all sorts of things in the pursuit of "healthiness". I went on a vegetarian diet for a while - lasted about a month, and was absolutely miserable. I tried jogging, and hated it. I tried getting up early to go exercise, and was absolutely miserable - I am NOT a morning person. My reaction to trying all those "healthy" things was to give up when I realized just how miserable I was, and to decide that I just wasn't cut out for "healthiness" - and to admire the willpower of those who kept on with these habits.

    Well, it turns out that my body knew better than the CW advice-mongers. Apparently, vegetarianism, chronic cardio, and sleep phase disruption are really bad for you. I was right all along in avoiding those things. I was also, apparently, right all along in my meat-eating habits (including liver, heart, and all sorts of other weird organ meats), and in my preference for weight training over chronic cardio. Discovering MDA reinforced my idea that I have to listen to my body, and pay attention to what it's telling me rather than following any kind of dogma.

    I am currently 95% Primal; when I am at home, I'm at 100%, but occasionally, social situations demand that I go off-plan. I notice that I get acne when I consume wheat, dairy, or processed foods of most kinds. I do not get acne when I consume rice, and it doesn't seem to do much to me, so I include rice (but exclude dairy) in my definition of "Primal". Giving up wheat/dairy/processed food has been effortless. Giving up sugar was a bit of an adjustment, but I've long since gotten over it.

    Right now, I'm toying with the exercise component of the plan. It seems unnatural to me to sit in an office chair all day, and then go frantically work out at the gym. I'm trying to intersperse my exercise throughout my day - kinda mimicking a physical job without actually having a physical job. Right now, I get up every hour to do some Shovelglove exercises (waving a sledgehammer around, basically) and bodyweight squats (it's nice to work at home - I'd be way too shy to do this in an office). I've been doing that for a couple of weeks now, and I can feel some change to my musculature. I don't know whether this new habit is sustainable long-term, but I am experimenting. The signals I'm getting from my body are encouraging - I have much more energy, I feel good, and I want to move around even more.

    One other thing that I'd like to do is to incorporate more walking into my day, but as my schedule is often quite busy, it's hard to find the time. Still, I try to take a half-hour walk most days.

    It helps me to think in terms of clearly defined habits or rules - for example, "no wheat/sugar/dairy", or "get up every hour and do ten squats". One aspect of my lifestyle I'm still thinking about is how to ensure that what I put in my mind is as carefully chosen and selected as what I put in my body. I do way too much idle websurfing, which I think is the mental equivalent of junk food, in that it crowds out more serious reading and fills my mind with garbage. I'd like to populate my mind with more serious material than LOLcats. So, this is something I'm also pondering at present.

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    Oh, and here's what I ate today:

    Breakfast: 1 cup of black coffee, two eggs, one banana, some prunes

    Lunch: 1 fruit smoothie that my fiancee made, to which she added bell peppers as an experiment - it was ..hmm.. interesting

    Dinner: chicken hearts, stewed with carrots, broccoli, and pea leaves; mixed berries for dessert

    Oh, and a note about the fiancee. She is significantly overweight, poor thing, and was firmly entrenched in CW thinking when I first met her. She's slowly coming around to eating the way I eat. I don't push her, as I think that her own body is her business; but I notice that she's not buying processed food for herself anymore, and that there's no bread in our house anymore. And that she's drinking bell-pepper smoothies instead of processed orange juice. She's losing weight - which doesn't surprise me at all.

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    Welcome, Meep! Good luck on primal. Congratulations on your engagement.
    Ancestral Health Info - My blog about Primal and the general ancestral health movement. Site just remodeled using HTML5/CSS3 instead of Wordpress.

    My MDA Friday success story - Stubborn Senior's Testimonial

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    Still testing out my new exercise system today. For me, the important thing is avoiding injury - I'm ridiculously prone to tendinitis, ganglion cysts in my hands, and all sorts of other nasty things. So I'm still going slow and easy. Mostly, what I'm concerned with is habit building - making sure I get up every hour automatically and do 10 reps of something or other. It's getting pretty automatic by now, and I can feel a difference in my muscles - they feel harder when I flex them.

    As for food, breakfast was the same as last time, the fruit smoothie was the same as last time (though no bell peppers this time), and dinner involved fish and steamed broccoli, with raspberries for dessert.

    Noticing that my fiancee's jeans are looking pretty baggy on her these days, and that she needs a belt to hold them up. We don't have a scale; she gets herself weighed once a week at the nutritionist she goes to (a fairly CW, calorie-counting nutritionist, but who nevertheless seems to approve of the latest experiment). I'm intensely curious to find out what the latest numbers say.

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    And thanks, Hedonist2!


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    Making some grassfed steaks and steamed veggies for tonight. I've come to prefer really simple cooking - if the ingredients are truly excellent, one can let them speak for themselves. I'm using very minimal spices on the steaks and nothing on the veggies. I'm either lazy or a minimalist. Or both.

    The exercise program may or may not have hit a snag. I have a pre-existing wrist issue in my right wrist. Today, I'm noticing some nerve conduction problems in my right hand. I'm hoping it's due to the extra piano exercises I was misguided enough to try in the past few days, rather than the Shovelglove exercises I've been doing. I really don't want to give up my exercises - I'm finally building up some lovely muscles and feeling so energetic and happy. Taking a (scheduled) day off tomorrow, so I can rest my hand and see what happens.


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    Oh, the journey has been continuing for a while. I just haven't been journaling.

    Yesterday was a scheduled day off from all my obligations. I'm self-employed, so my job is basically 24/7 if I let it. I recently started enforcing one day off a week, on Saturdays, to unplug completely and enjoy life. I put my phone into "do not disturb" mode and spend the day doing whatever I want to do. Yesterday, I was able to convince my fiancee to join me in the adventure, and we went to the movies, followed by Thai food (almost Primal if you don't count rice), followed by dancing.

    My wrist is still bothering me a bit, so today, most of the exercise I'm doing is leg-related. Though I couldn't resist one set of Shovelglove - I just love it, and I'm hoping one set won't hurt too much.

    We had raspberries for dessert today, and my fiancee said that it felt luxurious to her. It's fun for me to see her discover the Primal lifestyle. I'm not calling it that, or trying to pressure her into it, but I am leading by example and she is starting to follow. She's lost 6 lbs. as of last weigh-in.

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    Alas, today was not a happy day for my hand. The nerve damage is worsening to the point that I can't ignore it anymore. No more Shovelglove for the time being; gotta keep my hand functioning for piano practice. I did some bodyweight squats as part of my exercise program, and a few semi-remembered things from a beginner ballet class I took years ago. Anything that works the legs.

    Food today included some sauteed squid (in white wine with a bit of green onions and garlic) and steamed broccoli, with fruit smoothies for dessert. The squid was delicious and we will definitely repeat the experiment.

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    Yesterday was an off-plan day; a friend of mine was in town for a few hours, due to a layover at the airport, and my fiancee and I took him to a pancake and waffle joint, by his request. I had a waffle; I don't want the friend in question to know I'm a dietary weirdo. I can't say I enjoyed the waffle all that much. It was just kinda bland. I would much rather have had some good fruit or some egg-and-banana concoction or even some dried fruit.

    Today I was back on the Primal plan. Dinner was salmon with parsley and lemon and spices, and potatoes, and some nice green salad. Nothing exotic - just good real food.

    On the exercise front, I stopped by the fitness equipment store today and bought some lighter weights, so that I can still do exercises without traumatizing my hand. I am now the proud possessor of a pink 7-lb kettlebell. I did some one-handed swings with it today and it seems to be OK so far.

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    Primal Blueprint Expert Certification
    Today's dinner involves pork roast, kim chee, and buckwheat (maybe not Primal but not harmful for my own body - I do not get acne when eating it). I also found a certain amount of scientific backing for my exercise theories at katysays.com, which is a tremendously useful blog by a biomechanics specialist who focuses on proper body alignment. According to her, the human body was designed to move all day - not just an hour 3 times a week at the gym.

    In response to said blog, I am now standing at my desk again. And continuing to use the newly acquired pink kettlebell.

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