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  1. #1
    norak's Avatar
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    How is this for a basic diet?

    Primal Fuel
    Trying to shift my eating and grocery shopping habits over to more primal foods, I've set up a list of food staples that will be the basis of my diet.

    Here's what I've come up with so far:

    - Eggs, milk, butter, sour cream, cheese.
    - Bananas, apples, oranges, grapes.
    - Cucumber, tomatoes, lettuce, spinach.
    - Carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts.
    - Ham (canned), roast beef (cold cuts).
    - Beef, chicken, salmon, cod, pollock, haddock.
    - Coconut oil, ghee, olive oil, salt, pepper, vinegar, limes/lemons.

    The list is based on a combination of what foods I like, what's available in stores all year, what's farmed organically/eco-friendly and what can be sourced locally. Fruits and vegetables will be supplemented with in-season varieties, but the staples listed are what I know I will always find in the store on any given day.

    Here's a typical day's menu from the list:

    Breakfast:
    1/2 liter full fat milk, 2 hard boiled eggs, 1 banana or 1 apple.

    Lunch:
    A big salat with ham or chicken, cucumber, tomatoes, lettuce and maybe 1-2 eggs.

    Dinner:
    Meat or fish with steamed vegetables, butter and sour cream.

    Night snack:
    Need to come up with something good here. I'm always hungry before going to bed...

    In addition, I may snack on some fruits and maybe a yoghurt if I have to give in to sugar cravings (recovering sugar addict). I also plan on taking multivitamins in the morning and ZMA before bed.

    Now, let's assume I eat what is on the list for 80% of my meals, how do you think this will be nutrition-wise? Do I have all my essentials covered, or am I missing something? How is the protein, carb and fat balance? How about vitamins and minerals?

    The obvious ones are of course bacon and nuts, which I will eat occasionally, but I'm not a big fan of either, so that's why they are not on there.

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    Littlesigh's Avatar
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    I am by no means an expert on this forum, but first I would ask if you have read Mark's book? For the most part things seem to point in the right direction, but personally Inhave dropped dairy due to lactose problems. And I would drop the cold cuts, buy a crock pot cook a roast ot chicken and make your own cold cuts. Assuming you are using the cold cuts in a lettuce sandwich and not using bread...?
    Check your yogurt for HFCS...
    Good luck.
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    Pandadude's Avatar
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    I think the protein/fat ratio looks good (not that I would worry about it either way). Magnesium and zinc are the most common deficiencies, but you're supplementing them. What about vitamin D? Cucumber, tomatoes, lettuce sounds like a boring salad to be eating on a daily basis imo, but if you like it...
    I think throwing some leafy greens in your diet, in addition to spinach, would add a beneficial high density of micronutrients, but failing to do so isn't going to hurt you.

  4. #4
    norak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Littlesigh View Post
    I am by no means an expert on this forum, but first I would ask if you have read Mark's book?
    No, I haven't, but I've been reading the blog and forums semi-regularly for about a year, so I think I have a basic understanding of the general philosophy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Littlesigh View Post
    For the most part things seem to point in the right direction, but personally Inhave dropped dairy due to lactose problems.
    I don't have any issues with milk or dairy that I know of. I might decide to drop it down the road, but for now I want to keep it to make the transition easier. My main focus for the time being is to eliminate grains and processed foods. Milk, butter, sour cream and cheese will hopefully make this more realistic for me to accomplish.

    Quote Originally Posted by Littlesigh View Post
    And I would drop the cold cuts, buy a crock pot cook a roast ot chicken and make your own cold cuts. Assuming you are using the cold cuts in a lettuce sandwich and not using bread...?
    I agree. The cold cuts are mostly on the list for convenience. I don't eat bread or sandwiches, so the pre-made meat is for snacking (i.e. with cheese) and "emergencies" when I don't have the time (or option) to prepare food myself.


    Quote Originally Posted by Littlesigh View Post
    Check your yogurt for HFCS...
    The ingredients list only says "sugar", but I don't think HFCS is used much here (in Norway). At least, I don't remember ever seeing it on any content declarations (even our Coca Cola is made with "real" sugar as far as I know). The yoghurt does however contain modified corn starch.

    Anyway, the plan with the yoghurt is to use it as a replacement for sodas and chocolate for the time being and gradually eliminate it as my suger addiction wears off. At least the yoghurt has some nutritinal value, compared to say a can of soda or a chocolate bar (unfortunately, I don't like dark chocolate).


    Quote Originally Posted by Littlesigh View Post
    Good luck.
    Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by Pandadude View Post
    I think the protein/fat ratio looks good (not that I would worry about it either way). Magnesium and zinc are the most common deficiencies, but you're supplementing them.
    Yeah. I've also been told they are good for sleep, but I haven't noticed any difference yet...


    Quote Originally Posted by Pandadude View Post
    What about vitamin D?
    Isn't that what the sun is for? Granted, where I live the sun is hiding most of the year, but the multivitamin I take also includes vitamin D.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pandadude View Post
    Cucumber, tomatoes, lettuce sounds like a boring salad to be eating on a daily basis imo, but if you like it...
    I agree. It's quite boring, but it's quick and easy to make. I'm open for suggestions to improvments though.


    Quote Originally Posted by Pandadude View Post
    I think throwing some leafy greens in your diet, in addition to spinach, would add a beneficial high density of micronutrients, but failing to do so isn't going to hurt you.
    I'm not very experienced with "leafy greens". Spinach is pretty much the only one I know for sure that I enjoy, but I'll look around and maybe try some others as well. Variety is always good anyway.

    When I think of it, I might also need an Omega-3 supplement, at least for the days when I don't eat any fat fish?

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    Griff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by norak View Post
    Trying to shift my eating and grocery shopping habits over to more primal foods, I've set up a list of food staples that will be the basis of my diet.
    All those fruits (and the milk) are way too high in sugar. If you must have fruit, get berries only, or don't get any fruit for a while (I'm assuming here that you are doing this for weight loss - if you are an endurance athlete, on the other hand, go for it).

    Don't steam your veggies. Fry them in bacon fat or butter! Embrace the fat - I don't see nearly enough of it on here.
    Primal eating in a nutshell: If you are hungry, eat Primal food until you are satisfied (not stuffed). Then stop. Wait until you're hungry again. Repeat.

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    The vitamin D in a multivitamin is generally in way too low quantities, maybe 20ug or 800 iu, and it doesn't come with a carrier oil and is thus poorly absorbed. A daily intake should be around 5000iu or 120ug. Unless you're getting midday full body exposure you won't produce enough vitamin D, and for Norway this will only work in the summer months.
    If the meat you're eating isn't pastured (don't beat yourself up if it isn't), then a teaspoon of fish oil=a few grams of omega 3 is beneficial to balance the high o6 in eggs, chicken, pork and nuts. Megadosing (10-20+ grams o3) fish oil may have negative effects in the long term, so rather than swallow pills like mad, try and opt for options with lower o6.
    With the yoghurt, you should be able to get some full fat greek or turkish yoghurt, without added sugar. If it isn't sweet enough it would be prefferable to throw some fruit in with it than to add void sugar.
    When I said leafy greens I also thought of fresh herbs (although I don't know if they're technically the same). Chives and eggs, rosemary and steak, thyme and roasted tubers, parsley and tomatoes... there are just so many foods that become even more awesome with fresh herbs and they're easy to incorporate.

  7. #7
    norak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Griff View Post
    All those fruits (and the milk) are way too high in sugar. If you must have fruit, get berries only, or don't get any fruit for a while (I'm assuming here that you are doing this for weight loss - if you are an endurance athlete, on the other hand, go for it).
    I'm changing my diet for several reasons. Fat loss is one of them, overall health and lifestyle is another. I don't really care about my weight, but I want my body fat percentage down to the 10-12% range (currently 23-25%) and I want to loose 2-3 inches around my waist. I am also seeking to live a more active lifestyle than what I do today.

    I've been doing strength/weight training on and off for many years, but I want to improve my body composition and "functional strength" to be better suited for "athletic" activities, like walking, running, cycling, rock climbing, kayaking, hiking, etc. Not sure what you mean by "endurance" sports, but I never run for more than 20-30 minutes and my bicycle rides are typically 1-3 hours long.

    My current weight is fluctuating around 245lbs (I'm 6'3"), so I expect the target weight to be in the neighborhood of 220lbs. Once I hit my target I will focus on maintenance and general fitness improvements, but I'm expecting the basic diet to stay pretty much the same.

    I will try to reduce the fruit intake to 1-2 servings per day, which I think would be OK as long the fruits have some fiber in them? I will eat strawberries, blueberries and raspberries when they are in season, but they are very expensive (and imported) here most of the year, so I'm not planning on having them as a staple food.

    Quote Originally Posted by Griff View Post
    Don't steam your veggies. Fry them in bacon fat or butter! Embrace the fat - I don't see nearly enough of it on here.
    Would frying the veggies make a difference versus just adding butter (and full fat sour cream) to the dish afterwards? The reason I steam them today is because it's very quick and it can be done while the meat/fish is cooking/frying. I have a bad history of not bothering to cook, so I want to keep things absolutely as simple as possible in the beginning. Hopefully, that increases my chances of actually cooking dinner when I come home from work, tired and hungry, instead of just "giving up" and hitting the pizza joint around the corner...

    Quote Originally Posted by Pandadude View Post
    The vitamin D in a multivitamin is generally in way too low quantities, maybe 20ug or 800 iu, and it doesn't come with a carrier oil and is thus poorly absorbed. A daily intake should be around 5000iu or 120ug. Unless you're getting midday full body exposure you won't produce enough vitamin D, and for Norway this will only work in the summer months.
    I see. It turns out my multivitamin only contains 5ug vitamin D per serving (which they claim to be 100% of RDA).

    Quote Originally Posted by Pandadude View Post
    If the meat you're eating isn't pastured (don't beat yourself up if it isn't), then a teaspoon of fish oil=a few grams of omega 3 is beneficial to balance the high o6 in eggs, chicken, pork and nuts. Megadosing (10-20+ grams o3) fish oil may have negative effects in the long term, so rather than swallow pills like mad, try and opt for options with lower o6.
    Hm. Looks like I should be shopping around for a high(er) quality Omega-3 supplement then.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pandadude View Post
    With the yoghurt, you should be able to get some full fat greek or turkish yoghurt, without added sugar. If it isn't sweet enough it would be prefferable to throw some fruit in with it than to add void sugar.
    I tried mixing some Greek yoghurt with stevia (vanilla cream) and some fruits, but it just didn't taste as good as the "evil" sugary one. I will try it again once my sugar-dependency has been neutralized.

    In summary, I know the sweet milk, fruits and yoghurts are bad for me, and I will aim to reduce them dramatically (and possibly eliminate them) once I get my sugar addiction under control. I'm planning to go off sugar and caffeine gradually (unfortunately, I'm a heavy soda drinker), as doing "cold turkey" gives me intense headaches and sugar cravings, which I hope to avoid.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pandadude View Post
    When I said leafy greens I also thought of fresh herbs (although I don't know if they're technically the same). Chives and eggs, rosemary and steak, thyme and roasted tubers, parsley and tomatoes... there are just so many foods that become even more awesome with fresh herbs and they're easy to incorporate.
    I see. That's not a bad idea. I will ask some friends who actually know how to cook what herbs they recommend for a food-making-newbie like me.

    Thanks for the input, folks. It's very helpful to get feedback from different perspectives.

  8. #8
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    get rid of the milk, and limit your fruit intake (berries are okay). you can keep butter and cream, but milk and some fruits produce a very high insulin response, which will definitely prevent you from losing weight. it has nothing to do with having digestive issues with dairy.

    also i agree with griff that you should add lots of fats to your vegetables, and make sure to eat lots of non-starchy vegetables to get nutrients and vitamins for healthy metabolism and body function. as to whether or not to add the fat before or after cooking the veggies, i don't think it really matters.

    high fat, moderate protein, and low carb is the way to go!
    Last edited by chuckarie; 04-02-2011 at 01:58 PM.

  9. #9
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    I agree with others -- milk/sour cream are not primal. I haven't had a banana since I started eating primal (a year ago). Granted, that's me, but I limit my fruit, and I eat mainly berries, some apple. I have really reduced my fruit, actually.

    Your meats and fats look pretty good (I see you are going to limit the canned meats/deli meats - I think that's a good idea - ok in a pinch type thing). Your fats look pretty good. Try to find yourself some coconut oil - you can order online. It has numerous health benefits.

    I highly recommend the book - the info you get on the forum is excellent, but the book puts the foundation under it all. I think it's only 12 bucks or so on amazon.

    Good luck and welcome!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angieh View Post
    I agree with others -- milk/sour cream are not primal. I haven't had a banana since I started eating primal (a year ago). Granted, that's me, but I limit my fruit, and I eat mainly berries, some apple. I have really reduced my fruit, actually.

    Your meats and fats look pretty good (I see you are going to limit the canned meats/deli meats - I think that's a good idea - ok in a pinch type thing). Your fats look pretty good. Try to find yourself some coconut oil - you can order online. It has numerous health benefits.

    I highly recommend the book - the info you get on the forum is excellent, but the book puts the foundation under it all. I think it's only 12 bucks or so on amazon.
    Good luck and welcome!
    I don't believe that Mark says the milk isn't primal. It's just not for everyone.

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