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    Sweet Potato's Primal Ramblings

    Hello there if you're reading my journal - nosy!

    I'm looking forward to keeping regular accounts of my primal experiences - the food, the fitness, the fun, the fresh air etc.

    I've been dabbling in primal and making the best choices I can in given circumstances for a while. This year has been a journey of my moving away from being a calorie counting vegetarian, and doing my best to move towards a lifestyle that honours my body, mind and quality of life. I still get occasional bouts of binging, and food anxiety that calorie counting times triggered but I do my best to acknowledge it, rationalise and talk myself out of it! When I binge eat, it's grains and sugar that I turn to and my satiety signals and sense of taste totally diminish. It's a compulsive behaviour pattern that helps numb down stress and an obsession of sabotaging myself. I am learning to come to terms with this and increasingly aware of when things trigger these cycles and this helps stop things from snowballing. I want to learn to be thankful for them in fact, as alerts that I need to take time for myself ....and then act on that positively!

    When I'm on a roll, nothing can come between me and my vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts, fish, eggs and red meat. I don't tolerate poultry or dairy well, and I also find that having grains after a period of primal isn't tolerated very well either, so all the more reason to steer clear!

    I also love juicing vegetables (I run a juicing business) and find it to be an excellent daily supplement to my foods.

    I lift heavy weights and body weight exercises using whatever protocols I feel like on the day (intuitive exercise if you like). Full body circuits are a regular occurrence, but I generally train what feels strong on the day, and rest what doesn't.

    I won't be tracking daily food and exercise but will post interesting and fun food and fitness stuff, and hopefully also use this space to vent and eplore and come to terms with negative experiences too.

    Cheers! SP

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    Stress is one of my biggest triggers for slipping off the primal wagon and subsequently binging or skipping workouts. One of my biggest stressors is being rushed. I feel rushed when my partner is trying to get me out the door when I feel like I've got a million tasks to do before I can leave, and also because my business means I have to get stuff done to a daily schedule. I have 3 theories as to why this produces a stressed mentality.

    1) Rushing produces anxiety that I will forget something. If I'm in a hurry, I'm more likely to forget stuff or not get tasks done properly. I've always subconsciously set myself high standards and I worry that not getting stuff done at my own pace will compromise those standards

    2) If I'm rushing about, my heart rate is raised naturally by an increase in activity. It's no secret that the mind can produce thoughts based on physiological feedback of the body...so when my body is in a stress-like state, my mind automatically wants to get on this train and makes me aware that there is something stressing me.

    3) I have recently acknowledged that being rushed stresses me (possibly by one or both of the above mechanisms). This awareness is now manifesting in an anticipatory fear of being rushed which amplifies the whole cycle. Great.

    Mmmm....that was pretty satisfying to write down. Hopefully starting to break this down will help me rationalise and tolerate these situations better. I can't necessarily avoid stressors, but I can do my best to stop it from getting to me so badly. For example, this morning I took 10 minutes after my lifting session to meditate in the sauna. i'm new to meditation but I find just trying to meditate helpful.

    Can you tell I'm a Psychology graduate?!

    Anyway, in other news this week, I am pleased to say that I have done a solid job of staying primal with my eating this week, with the exception of a few beans and peas. They aren't a staple in my diet but when I have them I always feel just fine so I will never be super strict with those. With the exception of soya - my mum had oestrogen receptive breast cancer 2 years ago I am cautious of the high levels of phytoestrogen in soya. I have even cut out my daily dark chocolate habit because it contains soya...it contained sugar too but it's been the soya that's made me get over it! I now get a chocolate fix by adding ground cacao to nut milk or my 'sweet and fat egg scramble' (I will log what that is in a future post!!!!).

    Another thing I'm not as strict with is the quality/grass-fedness of my meat. I don't have meat everyday but when I do I have to make to with whatever we can afford. I have read somewhere that a lot of british farmers still follows a traditional protocol of letting animals graze and have a bit of free-range life, but I'm not sure how true that is. When I have the budget I will invest in more local produce for sure.

    I have had 2 workouts which haven't been particularly strong (for me) but I did my best and that's what should count and I accept that. Definitely better than either a) pushing too far and injuring myself and b) beating myself up mentally for not doing 'better'.

    A goal for the rest of the week - must try and get some outside time in later this week, even though it's starting to get a lot colder, and darker in the early evening!

    Cheers! SP

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    Yay! You own a juicing business in the UK? That sounds awesome! I want to know what a Sweet and Fat Egg scramble is!

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    Thanks for replies guys :-) I will post my sweet and fat scramble as soon as I can! As for getting up earlier... I get up as early as I can get away with. Having a bit of quality cuddle time in bed with my partner is a priority too :-)

    Today's food hasn't been so great. I got bored. I felt defeated and like a failure. One of the pitfalls of running a business, on quiet days you can't help but fell like it was through some mistake of your own. At first I tried to satisfy the hand to mouth compulsion with constant supply of herbal tea. Then I had a grapefruit, then vegetable soup, then a handful of cereal and a couple of organic oat bars, then several handfuls of goji berries. My saving grace is that I didn't eat any bread, when there was plenty in the cupboard.

    Then for dinner I had a fish pie made with milk, so I'll be dealing with those consequences tomorrow. I don't actually ever fancy the dairy component of a meal, but we were with a friend and I don't like to be difficult :screwy: any one else get this?

    Tomorrow will probably be another non primal dinner as I'm eating with my mum and brother and i can't be fussy with them either. My brother has severe autism and he gets fixated on certain foods and his favourite is pasta! I usually try picking out the meat and veg and have some of the pasta so as to not look ungrateful.

    Exercise wise I had a great circuit session in the gym with big lifts and got my heart pumping. Tomorrow I'm doing a spin class with my dad - I love my fortnightly all out sweat session!

    Well that's at least something keeping me positive. Finding a lot of negatives right now, in my work, friendships, family stuff and relationship with food, but trying to rise above it and not let it pull me down.

    Thanks if you're reading this. SP x


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    It's the weekend which means a day off tomorrow :-)

    Yesterday was a good day - sweaty spin class, delicious primal eats throughout the day, the inevitable pasta in the evening with my mum and brother but it was enjoyed without anxiety pangs or digestive repercussions so I'm happy with that, not to mention a couple of fun play hours with my brother. I miss him again already but hopefully we'll visit in a few weeks time!

    I had intended to get a an hour's walk in this morning to take in some stress relieving fresh air and see some trees but I had work stuff to do, and a few errands to run outside were as good as it got.

    I've been having lambs liver for breakfast the last two days and think i'm really starting to get a taste for it. I grill it for 90 seconds on the george foreman, so super quick and minimal dirty dishes. served on some cauli-rice and leafy greens, with a side of cashew milk hot chocolate and I was good to go, though I'm a bit hungry again 2 hours later, I think because I didnt get enough fats.

    Hope you have a good weekend if you're reading this! SP x

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    Quote Originally Posted by sweetpotato View Post
    Well that's at least something keeping me positive. Finding a lot of negatives right now, in my work, friendships, family stuff and relationship with food, but trying to rise above it and not let it pull me down.
    That's the way

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    Is been a few days since I posted, and a few primal indiscretions later I can report that I've been working really hard on not judging and chastising myself in these moments. Looking for the positives if you like eg. I know I overrate to compensate for boredom, but at least there were a lot of whole food sources rather than a white wash of refined junk that my boyfriend still keeps in the cupboard!

    Rest day from the gym and taking an hour before work to find a little peace. Good news - a trainer at my gym who is a competitive power lifter is interested in training me up (FOR FREE!) as an addition to his portfolio. Having a lifting trainer is something I've toyed with for some months but its always come back to cost, and also a dormant arthritis type thing in my knee which flares up now and again. When my immune system, digestion or stress levels are inflamed, my knees swells, grinds and hurts. I know that low inflammation (I.e. sugar) diet and making beneficial lifestyle choices to reduce stress is my key to keeping it under control. If I get into serious training then that's all the more reason to keep things on point.

    I've been having my sweet and fat egg scramble for breakfast everyday this week with a grapefruit on the side...here's how I make it:

    At the start of the week I cook down some sweet starchy veg in the slow cooker (this week its sweet potato and parsnip with a little carrot and courgette/zucchini) and puree it so I have a big batch to last me the week.

    Each day I blend a portion (about a cup) of the veg puree with 2 or 3 eggs. To make a kind of batter.

    I cook this in the microwave or stove stirring regularly like you would scrambled eggs. I add coconut oil at this point too.

    When cooked through I mix in freshly ground seeds, sometimes some ground cacao nibs too or cocoa powder, cinnamon or ginger powder.

    In a pinch I can make it with a couple of small mashed bananas instead of the veg :-) it makes for a really satisfying hot breakfast instead of porridge which I lived off for years!

    It sounds very weird but I enjoy it a lot!

    Write again soon! SP x

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    Yikes, it's nearly 2 weeks since I posted - I've not been far away from here or the world of primal....just keeping up with real life and trying to find my groove again.

    As it's a Monday, of course I have a bunch of good intentions for the rest of the week that will hopefully continue beyond that! I started power lifting training this morning which is super exciting! We'll be keeping things mixed up with regards to rep ranges and the type of exercises (compounds and accessory lifts). It's a really interesting area too, and my trainer reckons I could see some serious strength gains within a few months. Of course, power lifting is a weight class sport so having a stable 'diet' to manage my weight and optimise training performance is important. Having a tangible reason to control things (and not end up eating out of boredom or stress) will hep me. This is my strategy to begin with:

    Mon, Tues, Thu, Fri (power days):

    Pre-workout - piece of fruit & 5g creatine with green tea. This is on waking when I'm usually pretty hungry. I usually ignore this hunger as it subsides within 20 minutes, and wait at least 2-3 hours before I eat. I'll see if having this before training works for me.

    Post-workout breakfast - a big meal to see me through the work day. Protein from fish, eggs, or liver, at least 2 big vegetable portions, and fats from seeds and coconut oil.

    PM juice - After work if I'm hungry to keep me from snacking before dinner, juice vegetables with lemon/lime and blend with half avocado

    Dinner - Heavy on the protein (usually red meat or oily fish) with at least 2 big veggie portions and something starchy like potatoes, with butter and cheese for fat.

    Dessert - fruit (mostly berries), a hot cocoa made with cashew milk and honey, or some dark chocolate - either way, don't go to bed hungry!

    Wednesday (rest)

    As above, minus the pre workout (if hungry, add fruit to breakfast!)

    Saturday (rest)

    The same as wednesday in theory....but saturday evenings have the tendancy to be more indulgent or include moderate alcohol and take away food (my family spoils us!). I'm quite disciplined when it comes to these situations so my main plan of action on these occasions is to stay true to my cravings and hunger signals and savour it - not least so I'm relaxed to keep stress from upsetting digestion!

    Sunday (circuits)

    The same as a training day but having a scaled down breakfast (the protein, fats etc.) pre-workout, and the fruit afterwards. Add in some cooked veggies if hungry before dinner (no juice).

    I know that there will be days where the will to stick with this will be harder than on a high motivation day like today and this will come in the afternoons if boredom or stress kick in. It usually helps to remind myself that I can have as much as I want for dinner and it will taste so much better if I'm hungry for it rather than already feeling a bit full, sick and bloated from bingeing.

    Let's do this!

    SP x

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    Just read your journal, thanks for your posts! Sounds exciting this new path you are staring with power lifting. I am thinking of joining the cross fit trend soon. I have seen really good results for people I know. It is expensive though, which is a bit of a barrier. Keep it up! This way of life is awesome! Where in England are you? I did a semester of College at Rippona nd York St John's College in York England (Psychology too!). Blessings!
    This is my journal page!
    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread100547.html

    My life's work: www.questtheawakening.com

    "Sometimes you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right!" The Grateful Dead

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    Primal Blueprint Expert Certification
    Hello again!

    It's been 5 solid days since I a) posted b) started my new training c) got my shit together in terms of having solid meals and a ban on boredom snacking/stress bingeing.

    So far so good. I'm in love with the training, I'm almost wishing the weekend away so I can get to train on Monday morning. Having such a purpose and journey to undertake is making me happier than I've been for a long time. I have the full support of everyone I love too, which makes it even better. Training isn't too intense yet which is for the best - I need to learn new techniques, refine form and lifting style. The first 4 weeks of the program is really to get used to the volume of lifts and adjust mentally and physically. With a dodgy old knee injury (which hasn't been bothered in the slightest by it so far) I want to steer clear of re-injuring or new injuries. After 4 weeks we will up the ante and focus on getting some strength gains.

    Sadly I think I need to reign in long walks, or anything with persistent weight baring/motion on my dodgy knee. Anything longer than an hour seems to bring up inflammation, even if it's a light few hours of window shopping!

    My food intake as been predominately primal with a few non-primal extras to satisfy the soul! The pre-workout grapefruit seems to be better than nothing but I'm going to try next week switching to a protein shake. After reading Mark's article this week I splashed out on some grass-fed whey isolate powder. I got unflavoured to avoid artificial stuff and make it more versatile ingredient. I have been consistent with the eating pattern ie. nothing between breakfast and dinner except a vegetable juice and a big breakfast keeps hunger at bay for most of the day, and gives me a really good appetite in the evening. I never go to bed hungry ;-)

    @Wendy717 thanks for your supportive comment - i have never been tempted by crossfit, but it's great how it seems to really bring together a community of like minded people :-) I have never been to York! I live in the south west!

    Hopefully i will write again next weekend, if not before!

    SP x

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