Primal Challenge Journal (Chocolatechip69)
Iíve came across Daily Apple about 3 months ago following a link to Markís Blog post on Fat Free Foods. I thought it was really funny so I started lurking around the site to see what else I might find. To my great surprise, I found information on Primal Blueprint and quite frankly, I thought it was the most outrageous claim about a lifestyle Iíve heard in a long time.
Iíve been following CW for about 5 months prior to discovering Daily Apple and lost 10lb of the 20lb that I needed to loose. Hearing the fact that Mark was against grains and sugar made me kind of mad at first. I spend so many days in front of the computer learning about the importance of whole grains to fuel our bodies and now some guy who was already fit before he started with this lifestyle is telling me that this is all BS!
I clicked a little cross at the top right corner of Daily Apple and did not want to hear about it for the next couple of weeks. Then someone gave me another link to saturated fats and information on coconut oil. I was so convinced that saturated fats are strictly to be avoided that once again, I got mad and followed the link just to see who was claiming saturated fats are good. Well, what do you know, I came right back to Daily Apple and read Markís post from start to finish. This time Iíve decided to have an open mind about it and see how Mark was actually backing all of those statements up.
I spent the next 3 days on Daily Apple reading everything I could find, going over Success Stories, and eventually ordering the book. A lot of what was written on DP started to make sense and Iíve decided to give this lifestyle a try for 30 days. I figured that if upon the completion of this experiment I donít feel any better than I do now, I can always go back to my old ways of eating.
My first goal was to completely cut off grains. I gave away all the rice, beans, and flour I had in my house so I donít get tempted. Sugars and artificial sugars also went out the door. I then set a goal to stop eating processed foods unless they are very minimally processed like half&half made from pasteurized milk. My final goal was to switch to organic and/or locally grown produce and grass-fed or grass-finished beef.
Prior to starting this 30 day challenge Iíve been living Primal for 3 weeks in which I first lost 3 lb and then gained 2 back. The weight stayed pretty much the same and my carbs have been under 100 the entire time. My fats were always above 55% and my protein was 75g on low days and 127g on high (there were more high-protein days than low once).
At first, the transition was quite painful. It wasnít painful in the way of giving up the carbs or actual sugars, but the fact that my body wasnít used to carbs being so low. I had a bad brain fog and was drained every night for the first week straight. One day that I went into ketosis during my first week I barely made home from work and went straight to sleep. After the first week I started to see improvements in my energy level and the cravings started to go away. I would have a little piece of dark chocolate here and there, but other than that I had no desire to eat sweets or bread. I still did eat quite a bit of fruit because we are in Summer months and my favorite fruit, cherry, is in season. I also eat berries that I picked myself and I swear, they tasted so much better knowing that I sweat my booty off picking them in the hot son.
One thing that is still present in my diet that Iím debating about whether to exclude it or not is dairy. I always loved dairy and now I live in Wisconsin, so that love is a given. I never had any negative effects from it and if anything, it made me feel better. I found a local farm that sells raw organic cow milk and I make my own Kefir and cheese with it as well as drink it as is. It is absolutely delicious and I canít imagine giving it up. How about those great blueberries with real whipped cream? You canít beat the taste of that! Or a little cream with my morning coffee? Or a piece of raw milk cheese with fruit? Or goat cheese sprinkled on my salad? No, I think dairy is here to stay.
So as I begin this 30 day challenge, my goals are:
- to loose 5 lb of body fat
- to limit fruit intake to 2 servings a day (mostly berries)
- to keep my carbs strictly under 100 g a day
- start sprints (at least 2 a month)
- start weight-training (at least 2x a week)
- to help my boyfriend see the benefits of this lifestyle and go primal with me
Primal Challenge Day 1.
I am in the first day of Primal Challenge and this also marks the beginning of my 4th week living Primal. I actually had one cheat meal (desert) on Sunday, the day prior to starting the challenge, and it was one and only true cheat meal in those 3 weeks of switch to this lifestyle.
My weigh today was 122 lb (5í2Ē).
I eat fried chicken for breakfast (no breading, fried in a pan) and a cup of raw caw milk. I had some almonds for snack and a peach and 2 oz of raw caw milk cheese for lunch. My dinner consisted of crockpot short ribs and a summer vegetable stew that I put together. The stew consisted of summer squash, zucchini, onions, eggplants, tomatoes, tomato sauce, mushrooms, brussel sprouts, and various fresh herbs cooked with some coconut oil. I also had about 2 cups of raw organic milk because I was afraid it might go bad as itís been in my fridge for little over a week and I was determined to save it. That added quite a bit of carbs to my daily breakdown but the total looked like this:
Carbs Ė 19%
Fats Ė 53.7%
Proteins Ė 27.4%
Total calories: 1,814 (was trying to keep it at about 1,550)
Today we went to pick up our order of pasture meats. We got ľ a cow and Ĺ a pig and it was crazy when they pulled out a cart with frozen meat on it. I didnít realize it was going to be that much but this should last us all the way thru next summer. And I donít have to worry about overpaying for pasture-raised meat at the store or farmers market since you usually get a pretty nice discount when buying in bulk. We got all kinds of different meat cuts so that will give me a freedom to experiment with recipes. We got tons of bacon, ground pork to make some sausages or brats, pork chops, pork stake, smoked ham, smoked bones, and tons of steaks. Very exciting!
Primal Challenge Day 2.
I like to have some primal leftovers on the fridge as it makes my job of planning meals so much easier. Today for dinner is the exact same stuff I had yesterday which was absolutely out of this world and I canít wait to have some more.
Today for breakfast I had some cage-free fried eggs, a frozen strawberry, half an ounce of raw milk cheese and a cup of herbal tea.
Snacks at work consisted of a cup of coffee with some Half&Half, 1 tbls of Sunflower Seed butter, and 1 oz of home made turkey jerky.
For lunch I had a huge bowl of salad with some romaine lettuce, spinach, cucumbers, tomatoes, radishes, olives, and sardines, sprinkled with EVOO and balsamic vinegar and some walnuts. That was very tasty.
Well, and dinner is leftovers from yesterday which was a summer vegetable stew and short ribs with some home made raw milk kefir to get my supply of probiotics.
The total breakdown is:
Carbs Ė 18.6%
Fats Ė 56.9%
Protein Ė 24.5%
Congratulations on taking control of your health, chocolatechip69. I love to hear stories about people that start digging for information on their own. People that don't just accept Conventional Wisdom as the gospel. Keep up the great work. It looks like you're well on your way to achieve all of your goals. Cheers!
Thank you, Mark. I appreciate it!
Primal Challenge Day 3.
OK, so I've been struggling with keeping calories under 1,550 a day. I wanted to loose a few pounds during those 30 days, but I'm on day 3 and still over 1,550 a day.
Oh well, no biggies. Today is a fish day and I am excited. I'm going to make some delicious baked catfish tonight and maybe try to videotape it so everyone else can see how easy it is.
For breakfast this morning I had two fried eggs with butter, half a cup of full-fat greek yogurt with half a cup of strawberries. It was very satisfying.
For lunch I had enormous salad with some sardines crushed on top of it for extra protein.
For snacks I hada cupt of coffee with a little bit of half&half, a tblp of sunflower butter, and a hadful of cashews.
For dinner I am making Parmesan Crusted catfish with baked green beans and Swiss Chard. I think I'll also have another cup of home-made raw milk Kefir.
So the whole breakdon is this:
Carbs - 20.2%
Fat - 54.9%
Protein - 24.9%
Total Calories: 1,594
For exercise I'm doing a 10 minutes sprint and maybe some light walking.
Alright, I'm facing the challenge head on.
One of my challenge points for these 30 days was to have at least one IF day. I've done less than 50g of carbs a day when I started with PB and it didn't work for me at all (felt very foggy and no energy). Since then I kept my carbs above 50 but below 100 a day.
After reading Mark's recent blog post on IF I've decided to suck it up and give it another try any since Thursday the 6th is no better or worse than any other day in August I decided to try today.
So, Day 4: IF
I've had two cups of coffee with a little bit of half & half, but other than that I had nothing else to eat today.
The first 3 hours after waking up and not eating anything felt really bad. I thought I'd have to cut my IF experiment short because my stomack literally was making those funny noices and I felt light-headed. I guess I am still in the phase of fully transitioning into PB and the lack of food and carbs definitely don't feel very pleasant to my body.
However, to my surprice, after the first 3 hours the hunger went away and almost like a switch got turned off. I was sitting with my co-workers while they were having some nice pot-roast and mashed potatoes for lunch, and although it smelled very good I didn't feel hunger pains.
I feel good about sticking with it.
Now I just have to go home and actually cook something for the BF without wanting to try it
By the way, I made some SoG Bars last night after I had my dilicious baked catfish and home-grown green beans. I got the recipe for the bars from Son of Grok blog and been meaning to try it for quite some time now. I had to go to a local bulk foods store where I found all the needed ingredients in organic form. The treat ended up being pretty pricy but well worth it.
The process of making the bars was, indeed, a little involved. I made my own almond butter from scratch so that added to the process. I also doubled up on the fruit content because after I tried it with only one cup of fruit it was not sweet at all. After the whole thing was finished I gave a piece to my BF and he must've thought it was a brownie. He took a bite and said he didn't like it, but after I explained what it was made of he must've got the point and eat the rest of the bar with some milk.
Anyways, although the bars is very calorie-dense and has quite a few carbs, I really liked the way it taste so I think I will stick the rest in the freezer and have a piece here and there whenever I have desert cravings.
The final breakdown of the recipe with an extra cup of fruit ended up being like that:
230 calories per serving
14 g of carbs
19 g of fats
5 g of protein