Primal Journal (CanadianKim)
Day 1: September 16, 2015
Hello folks, first time on the journal thread and hoping it provides me accountability, feedback/support, and a chance to tweak my program as I review each day. I initially discovered MDA and the Primal Blueprint several years ago, lost 40 lbs living primal lifestyle, and maintained this happily for nearly 3 years. Last year I experienced a number of stressors, many of which were exciting but stressful just the same:
- Given an amazing work opportunity that turned into a stressful second job,
- Difficult recovery from a foot/running injury
- Developed pneumonia and went on high-dose antibiotics, stimulating overgrowth of yeast (again.)
- Dealt with several difficult work situations that required me to advocate for my clients in court (successfully supported them, but still incredibly stressful for all involved.)
- Difficult client that threatened me and coworkers with physical harm
- Renovated and then sold the home where I had raised my daughters as a single mom
- Purchased a new home with my new partner, and moved in with him and his son in a new community
- Ended a friendship with a toxic and difficult friend
- Adopted a new puppy!
The result of stress plus poor sleep and making poor food choices (who can food prep/plan when their house is on the market and you can no longer cook in the kitchen?! Major mistake on my part to not prioritize healthy eating at that time, but my brain truly believed it would easily fall back into place when it all settled down.) has lead to regaining all that weight I lost several years ago. My body aches, I feel miserable and heavy.
Returned to primal eating, listen to paleo podcasts daily and love the information I read at this site as well as at Balanced Bites, The Paleo Approach, the 21-day Sugar Detox, and Paleo Parents. I am fully immersing myself in this and thinking of it as my "second job" - I must give my health as much energy as I give everything else.
So, here's the food for today:
B: Almond milk, hemp protein powder, pumpkin, pumpkin spice all blended into a shake
S: 1 mandarin orange
L: 3 hardboiled eggs, sesame crackers, grapes
D: (will be...haven't had it yet but have this planned as we are on the run tonight with family events) Breakfast for Dinner: Paleo Waffles (eggs, coconut flour, coconut oil, vanilla) and bacon
Looks like a lot of eggs today - so perhaps bringing tuna today would have been better! Ah well, onto tomorrow.
Exercise for today:
AM: 15 minute walk in the neighborhood with the dog
PM: (planned) Cycling
Thanks for reading,
Day 2: September 17, 2015
Enjoying a great day so far, starting with a Primal Blueprint podcast on my morning walk and some reading to review some of the carb intake I want to focus on in future weeks. Does anyone else find they benefit from podcasts from the paleo/primal world? And if so, what ones do you recommend? I really enjoy some and others make me feel like I'm not doing enough or not in tune with my body to the same degree they are! For example, I started cooking with and drinking bone broth after hearing it recommended so frequently, but the truth is I don't feel any differently. Podcasters frequently appear to state how great they feel now that they consume it daily...perhaps I'm just not in touch with my body in the same way yet. Anyone else have an experience with this?
I'll post my food and exercise log at the end of the day....feeling good as I head into the afternoon.
Day 2 (still): September 17, 2015
So, it's been a good day. I was in my car a great deal so I took advantage by listening to PB podcasts and really paying attention to my hunger. Had to pull over and buy a bottle of water when I realized I was too thirsty to wait until my destination to get a drink. And went from lunch until 8:00 pm tonight before I felt hungry! Unheard of for me this past year...and even when I ate I wasn't famished, but did feel a bit lightheaded and knew I needed to give my body some nourishment. So here's today's log:
B: Hemp protein powder in almond milk with nut butter; tea
L: 4 oz. grilled chicken, 1 cup steamed broccoli, water and tea
D: 2 bacon-wrapped chicken thighs; trailmix: 12 almonds, 6 dates, coconut flakes
Had a good walk this morning with the puppy and got outside during my breaks at work today to enjoy some sunshine and movement. It's after 9:00 now and I still have more energy than I do most days despite working late, running errands, and visiting my parents. So I'd say that's a good day!
Day 3: September 18, 2015
Another good day with a good focus on asking myself, "Am I really hungry?" Was at the office early this morning for a breakfast I had to host for my teenage clients...didn't indulge in any of it as I'd had my breakfast and wasn't tempted at all. Mid-morning and mid-afternoon I was craving something to munch on, but recognized I was mostly thirsty and then distracted myself. So much so that I didn't eat until after 7:00 again tonight, and even then was not "starving."
Spent a lot of time on the road today and listened to The Primal Potential podcast, which had some great lines that really resonated with me. Elizabeth Benton runs this podcast and one of her statements in the Impatience - Why Am I Not Losing Weight podcast was "work the PROCESS without obsessing about the daily PROGRESS"..."Do what is best for your body because it is best for your body." Good reminder for me.
B: Hemp protein powder in almond milk with nut butter; tea
L: 4 oz grilled chicken, 3/4 cup baked sweet potato, 1 tbsp butter; tea
S: 1/2 cup grapes (would definitely have eaten more but that was all I'd packed! Turned out that was just fine.)
D: 1 can wild salmon, 1 tbsp mayo, 6 sesame crackers, 2 oz dark chocolate organic nutbar
Again, wasn't terribly hungry, but was definitely feeling tired and low-energy. The salmon and chocolate gave me a great boost and I've been on the go all evening. So a day that started at 8:00 rushing around is ending fourteen hours later and I still feel good.
Day 4: September 19, 2015
Woke up with a sore throat and the start of a head cold...no surprise after returning to work in the school system. I'm a school social worker so in the course of a week travel to four schools and am exposed to hundreds of kids, I guess. Hoping my system is healthy enough to battle this quickly as next week is a busy one.
Cleared my head with a long walk this morning with puppy, and tea with lemon and ginger. Then out for lunch with my best friend and hosted my family tonight for dinner where we'd planned to order Chinese food. So with a little pre-planning, I think I did okay and was the only one after dinner not complaining that I'd "eaten too much."
B: Pumpkin smoothie: pumpkin, almond milk, pumpkin pie spice, and hemp protein powder
L: Cobb salad with roast turkey, veggies, and no dressing (unfortunately the menu hadn't identified cheese and yet cheese was shredded into the vegetables...but I'll consider this my 20% as I don't eat dairy.) Tea
S: Deluxe wonton soup (without the wontons), vegetable stirfry with steamed pork, chicken, and shrimp, 3 date-almond bites from the Make It Paleo II cookbook (delicious!)
I weighed myself today. I used to weigh myself every day but have stopped myself as it just sets me up to feel ashamed every day. Anyway, ten days ago I weighed 221 pounds. Today I weigh 215.8! Maybe it's the headcold today but I don't feel much different...however I do feel less food-obsessed and more calm in both my mind and my body. So I'm thrilled with the total of that.
By the way, I'm someone who has to log my weight (as well as my food) or else "my brain lies to me" (a great line I heard once and so true for me) and convinces me that I wasn't that heavy just last week, or that I haven't lost any weight (when I have.) Part of the reason for starting this journal is to track some of that. I haven't tracked my protein/fat/carb intake here, but am on my Sparkpeople app and like using this to see my percentages each day.
Tomorrow is another busy day. Goodnight folks!
Day 5: September 20, 2015
Today was an interesting day, as I volunteered at a community "fall supper" as we call them here in Manitoba. This dinner is run by volunteers and all the food is home-cooked and served to community members. The profits fund local initiatives in the area and tonight we fed 1200 people! So that felt good to give back.
Knowing I would be busy and on my feet all afternoon, this morning was spent quietly prepping food for the week ahead. I made pumpkin muffins for the kids' lunches and grilled chicken for our salads. Also cooked a turkey for the community dinner and chopped our veggies for the week. Felt good this evening to have that organized.
On my feet from 2:00-7:00 but then was able to join the other volunteers for our own meal. I think I made good choices for the most part (okay - I could have skipped the apple crisp dessert, that's true) and steered clear of the spoonfuls of stuffing, potatoes, and buns that were about to be heaped on my plate. Again, I was the only one not complaining about how much they ate as I felt "just right" and am satisfied tonight with the day.
B: 2 eggs fried with butter, 2 slices avocado, 1 tomato
L: pumpkin smoothie with whey protein powder in almond milk
S: roast turkey (3 oz), 1 cup carrots, 1/2 cup peas, 3 small meatballs, 1/2 cup apple crisp
My totals for the day still look good percentage-wise so I'm pleased. It was harder to make some of the good decisions today than I thought it might be (was really tempted to eat some leftover Chinese food or take that spoonful of stuffing) but making the better choice for me was such a relief. And emotionally I don't feel like I'm beating myself up about my choices.
That being said....today when I was volunteering and meeting lots of new people, the underlying thought in my mind was, "I hope they're not thinking about how fat I am...I wish I was thinner...put a smile on your face and maybe they'll look past how fat you are..." This seems to be the underlying thought to many of my interactions these days, and while I could use that today to motivate myself to make good choices for myself, it's a shame-based thought that's consistent. I'm trying to work on the self-compassion piece to all of this ("you're here, you're doing a good thing and you're making progress. Relax, they aren't thinking about you...you're fine.") but today it was challenging with all the new people watching me.
Anyway, I'm babbling and exhausted. Off to bed.
Day 6: September 21, 2015
Woke to a pounding headache and congested head at 4:00 a.m., which made for a very long day. Thanks to a lot of green tea with ginger and honey, I made it through the day. Found it hard around mid-morning not to reach for something that would provide some distraction/comfort for how my body was feeling, but was mindful of the fact this was not hunger. Tonight was scheduled to be a gym workout night, but honestly I was too tired. Then an hour later I was thinking I should have pushed myself to go as I felt somewhat better....but an hour after that I was looking for some tea again to clear my head. So I think I did well to stay awake tonight, run my girls to their activities, and get all my prep done for tomorrow. Making everyone's lunches is still taking longer than I would like, and honestly my girls are old enough to be packing their own lunches (as is my partner, lol!) But I do take some ownership in making sure they all have healthy, balanced, and almost-primal lunches (the girls are taking non-primal clean eating muffins tomorrow, but everything else is on point.) My partner has also put on a lot of weight recently and loves his snacks, and will overeat on the paleo items in our home too. So packing his lunch seems like a caring thing to do for him as he would otherwise grab several protein bars and walk out the door. But even with my weekend prep and lining up the counter like an assembly line, I was still an hour making salads, packing snacks, and organizing the five of us. I suppose the time is part of the commitment and worthwhile as I know my family is not getting anything from home that isn't balanced. By all means...please comment if you have tricks and tips that can help!
Here's today's log:
B: pumpkin/almond milk/whey protein smoothie; tea with honey
L: salad with chicken, tomato, avocado, bacon, and a mayo dressing; tea
S: blueberry larabar
D: salmon (fried in coconut butter to make patties), sweet potato with butter
Started to feel better after having this late dinner and am hopeful for a good sleep tonight and a clear head in the morning. Upon reflection in this journal, I'm pleased I didn't look for comfort in food but instead took care of myself today and acknowledged my limitations. I miss going to the gym but still got all my steps in for my fitbit and am now ready for bed.
Woke up feeling great this morning and no lingering signs of my head cold other than a mildly sore throat! Amazing, given that yesterday I nearly left work and crawled into bed. Was able to avoid medication for my cold and treat it with tea, honey, and ginger. Had a good day - stuck to my plan for a walk this morning, meal plan, walk this evening and also got in a short walk during recess when I could get outside with the kids and enjoy the sun. Here are today's logs:
B: Hemp protein powder with almond milk and nut butter; Tea with honey
L: 2 hardboiled eggs with 1 tbsp mayo, gluten-free sesame crackers, 1 cup broccoli with 1 tbsp butter; Tea with honey
D: 1 pork chop cooked in maple syrup and coconut oil (paleo recipe), 1 cup steamed carrots, 2 paleo almond/date balls
According to my calculations I hit my targets: Carbs 138 (higher because of the honey and maple syrup today), Fat 81, Protein 110. Pleased with that, and had great energy all day without ever feeling hungry. Ideally I wouldn't have had the honey and maple syrup (higher sugar than I've been aiming for) but today they soothed my throat and allowed me to do all the things I needed to do, including feeling eager for that extra walk.
Enjoyed the evening with my daughters after our dinner together. We watched "My Sister's Keeper" on netflix and I cried through most of it, much to their amusement. Oh, to be young and think nothing bad will ever happen to you! Then we enjoyed a nice walk together. My puppy is now standing guard and barking out the window at every dog that passes. Oh dear.
Best wishes to everyone else tonight. Ciao!
Hey Kim, hello from another Manitoban (at least for now). Guessing you're outside of the 'Peg?
You're doing splendidly for your first week!
Hello Greensprout...I'm just outside of Winnipeg in La Salle. Had been a Winnipegger for the past twenty years and just relocated this last spring (which is the stressful move I refer to above.) Anyway, we love it. Are you a Winnipegger? And what do you mean "for now"?