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Thread: Primal Journal - Kaeferin. Going primal (well, sorta) in Austria page

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    Primal Journal - Kaeferin. Going primal (well, sorta) in Austria

    Hi, I'm Kaeferin and I learned about the Primal Blueprint on Reddit (of all places). I'm British but live and work in Austria, well away from the bulk of the PB crowd (at least as far as I can tell from reading so far). I did live for a while in California, though, so I have some good visuals to go with Mark's tales of Santa Monica

    My "strange eating habits" journey started a long time ago, starting with Weight Watchers and going into a tailspin of disordered eating after that, which pit I only got myself out with with a long hard slog following a program called "Overcoming Overeating". That program has been working very well for me so far (for about ten years now), but I've been feeling the need to nudge myself towards healthier eating patterns (rather than just less disordered).

    The idea of the primal blueprint appeals to me 1) because the low-carb approach has been an attractive one for me in the past, and 2) because there is no big hang-up here about counting this, counting that, following the law to the letter or letting yourself in for some dire punishment if you do slip. The emphasis on finding your own way has what has got me really interested.

    I live a peripatetic life between two appartments - one in a small town and one in a big city. For this reason - and of course the office job, the time-consuming hobby etc, and because of my previous history with eating, I'm taking things slowly.

    I need to see that this is something I can live with without having to completely change my schedule around it, without having to go out of my way to shop and without getting my psyche bogged down with numbers. I have no idea what I weigh and I have no intention of trying to think of success in that way, even though I know that I could stand to lose weight. Knowing and tracking the numbers drives me (sadly, pretty much literally) crazy.

    So, that said, what have I set out to do? Basically, cut out grains and significantly reduce sugar consumption for the next month and see how that works out. All the rest of PB is way down on my list of priorities.

    I've been following this plan for a few days now, and so far have not had any big carb cravings - so far so good. No huge energy crashes, in fact, generally been feeling more energetic (sometimes to the point of hyperactivity) over the last few days. So all good on that front. I've discovered some new recipes too:

    Dinner yesterday:
    Pancetta-wrapped chicken breast baked in the oven with rosemary and onions. Caramelized carrots (no added sugar there, they contain enough of their own), and runner beans.

    I've been tracking my carbs with fitday.com and have so far managed to keep under 150, mostly also under 100, which is pretty good going for me. Where I'm having bigger problems is in eating enough meat...

    Dairy is still in for me (cutting that would feel like real deprivation) and so is the occasional potato.
    Last edited by Kaeferin; 04-04-2011 at 08:25 AM.

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    So, it's been about a week now, and for the first time I got real big carb cravings at lunch time.

    The deal is this: I've not eaten any grains in about ten days. Still doing dairy and the ocassional potato - potatoes mostly because I eat out at lunch time, and trying to go completely carb-free will drive you nuts in the small town I work in. The no-grain options on the menu just weren't calling out to me, and so I went for beefburgers (just the patties + bacon) + salad. That'd be so far so good, except that the different salads were pre-prepaired. I should have expected that, but maybe my taste buds have changed Anyway, that all tasted totally artificial so I mostly ate meat and came away feeling hungry. Hungry for carbs and specifically the unique *texture* - pastry, pasta, cake all have textures totally different to things produced from meat and/or vegetables. I'm pretty good at figuring out exactly what I'm hungry for, and it wasn't for sweet or stodge, it was for that melty pastry feel, or crumbly cake texture.

    So, does anyone have suggestions on things that can be substituted on that front?

    FWIW, I didn't succumb. I ended up buying some 70% Lindt and having a couple of squares of that.

    Otherwise I'm doing pretty good. I haven't eat grains intentionally in about ten days, except once when I used a little flour to coat some fish before pan-frying. There's probably been a little bit in the restaurant food I've eaten.

    I've cut added sugar down to a teaspoon of honey in my morning coffee, and ocassionally dribble some honey over natural yoghurt as a dessert, but that's it.

    I'm surprised I haven't had the carb craving before now, all things considering.

    On the upside I've discovered some great foods/recipes. Found some great all-meat sausage (well, apart from the seasonings) and coupled that with some leeks sauted in butter, and added a splash of white balsamico and a slightly larger splash of white wine to the leeks while they were cooking. Simmered that down to almost nothing. Wow. Seriously, have never had leeks anything like them (and all my own creation!).
    Last edited by Kaeferin; 04-08-2011 at 06:02 AM.

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    Sounds like you are doing fine. You don't have to do it perfectly. Some people have to start out strict, others, like me and you, ease into pb.
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    Primal Blueprint Explorer My blog for people who are not into the Grok thing. Since starting the blog, I have moved close to being Archevore instead of Primal. But Mark's Daily Apple is still the best source of information about living an ancestral lifestyle.

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    Thanks for the encouragement. Yeah, if I went completely cold turkey, I'd drive myself nuts. I'm already spending more time thinking about food than I'd like too (still short of diet obsession, but I really do need to be careful. Still, the carb cravings are hitting full tilt today, specifically a hankering for milk chocolate (I've been eating a few squares of 70% now and then, but it's not particularly sweet. I think I need to up my fruit intake. Basically, I hardly ever used to eat fruit, and since starting with PB I've been eating maybe a cup of strawberries or raspberries every couple of days, but it occurred to me just now that the ocassional apple probably would't hurt and might somewhat compensate the sugar cravings.

    Also, often I'm not feeling full. bizzarre to actually miss the stuffed feeling of a high-carbohydrate meal, but there it is. The first few days I was eating quite a lot of cream in desserts (with those berries), and
    that seemed to fill me up.

    So I guess I have a shopping list: cream and fruit

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    Sounds like you're doing the PB the way I do it. But the way I see it, if I can't make it work for me, then I'll give up. And it is working for me - I lost approx 10 lbs in March. So I can live with half a spoon of sugar in my coffee (and a splash of milk).

    I'm still eating apples, but I have half sliced as a morning snack with a teaspoon of almond butter, and I save the other half in case I feel the need for an afternoon or evening snack.

    If I have a cake or cookie craving (my DH still likes to each chocolate chip cookies after dinner!) I'll take one or two squares of dark chocolate and a very small handful of nuts as a substitute.

    Good luck on your primal journey

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    Congrats Belinda. Sounds like you're doing well

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    Weekend stuff
    Saturday:
    B: 2 hard boiled eggs, some pork and beef cold cuts (real meat, no sausage / salami etc), cucumber, red sweet peppers.
    B2 (still hungry): smoked salmon, raw onion, lettuce, dressed with a little lemon juice
    L: Steak and vegetables (with lots of butter), dessert*
    D: Caesar salad with bacon (it was the real deal, with eggs etc, and there was certainly the odd crouton in there, but it was minimal). Red wine (may have been a glass too many here but the chat with my friend was worth it).
    Snacks: couple of squares of dark chocolate

    Sunday:
    late breakfast: smoked trout and scrambled eggs
    no lunch - hit the gym: 20 mins of cardio (cross/trainer) solely as a warm-up, stretching, weights, more stretching.
    dinner: lamb steak with onion gratin**, cauliflower (more butter). dessert*
    evening: 2 glasse of schnapps (the austrian, non-sweet kind) and half a smoked sausage.
    snacks: cottage cheese

    Monday:
    B: bacon and sweet yellow and orange peppers sauted in butter
    L: Tilapia coated in coconut (+cilantro, lemongrass, egg to bind), fried in coconut ghee, parsnips roasted in olive oil
    D: I didn't really have time, which wasn't clever. Ended up eating a small tub of cottage cheese, and then a tin of tuna dressed with olive oil and some vinegar.
    Snacks: Ah, well, here's the "oops": the head of one (admittedly dark chocolate) easter bunny, and then on the train on the way home, half a liter of chocolate milk. Actually this turned out to be less a disaster than I thought when I calculated things through, since it was "only" 50g of carbohydrates (which when you subtract the inate carbs in milk, means only 25g added sugar - I was seriously suspecting more).

    I can see that I'm probably not getting enough veggies, although I'm at least trying to get some at every meal. I usually end up eating large portions of one or two vegetables rather than a huge variety at one sitting, because I'm cooking for myself. I guess that evens up over a week though.


    * this is a fairly simple dessert that I have made a couple of times - equal parts whipped cream and full fat yoghurt, plus some fruit - this time I used red currants. For a little sweetness I add a couple of teaspoons of red frut compote (some added sugar, but not huge amounts) on serving. I made a big batch of this at the start of the weekend and ate a couple of small portions.

    ** freakin' fantastic recipe!!! (more Jamie Oliver). Onions roasted in the oven and then mixed with sour cream and (not a small portion, admittedly) of cheese - we used good, well-aged gruyere and parmesan). Takes a while but well worth the wait.

    I found an organic supermarket, hence the coconut ghee. Also found some almond butter, but couldn't get any almond flour. Did find coconut flour, but didn't buy it because I haven't seen it mentioned much around these parts and it was ridiculously expensive. I bought plenty of veg (beyond my normal range) to experiment with this week: celeriac, beet roots, brocolli and zuchini.

    Still, can we say carb flu, anyone? Yesterday was a complete wash out - walking around in a fog the whole day, hence the chocolate / chocolate milk consumption (which I felt better for).

    Feeling a little better today, but still somewhat foggy. This isn't good for my job. Any clues an how to help this pass faster would be more than appreciated.

    Oh yeah, and the books (PB + cook book, + good calories bad calories + in defense of food) arrived yesterday. LOTS of reading to do.
    Last edited by Kaeferin; 04-12-2011 at 03:27 AM.

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    Tuesday

    Breakfast: two hard boiled eggs and about 100g of sliced roast shoulder of pork (can we say yum?) - grabbed that on the way to work because I was groggy from brain fog and managed to not correctly set my alarm clock and therefore was late... This breakfast holds up to pressure though.
    Lunch from our "canteen": grilled pork and boiled mixed vegetables doused with butter
    Snack: An apple, 2 mini babybel cheeses.
    "Dinner": I was hungry when I got home, so fast cooking was called for: scrambled an egg in coconut ghee with some left-over smoked salmon. Had a snack attack after that with some raw carrots, a little almond butter, a little cold pork... not sure I'm done with the snack-attack yet I think some air-dried venison sausage might be on the menu yet.

    I left work early because I was still feeling groggy, but since "dinner" I've been feeling quite energetic.

    One thing I've noticed is that my satiety marks are either "off" or just not what they used to be. Following lunch I felt really full (physically, like I'd eaten too much volume) but I didn't feel particularly sated.

    In fact satiety seems to be a signal I'm missing quite a bit at the moment (also right now after grazing for dinner). I'm not quite sure what I need there to find it. Some of the reading I've been doing here would suggest fats, but how would you incorporate those more into the things I've already eaten?

    Suggestions, anyone?
    Last edited by Kaeferin; 04-12-2011 at 12:55 PM.

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    I think I'm going to stop labelling meals "breakfast", "lunch" and "dinner" because I generally eat what most people would consider four meals a day and so it's sometimes difficult to distinguish. It's not that I'm set on eating that way, but that's usually the way my hunger works out. On that note...

    Wednesday food:
    1) 2-egg omelet with bacon, cheese, orange peppers and onion
    2) meatloaf, a few potatoes and salad from the "canteen". Not the greatest choice carb-wise (there's bound to be some bread in that-there meat-loaf), but I didn't feel a carb hangover so it apparently wasn't so bad.
    Snacks: an apple and 2 mini babybel cheeses
    3) Grazing meal of grapes, some hard sausage and some raw yellow peppers
    4) Sauteed kohlrabi with a little aged goat-milk gouda, followed by sausage with braised leaks. A small glass of white wine which was OK but I didn't really finish because it was getting a little sweet and I could feel it doing "something" (don't ask me what) in my stomach.

    I've mentioned before about my former disordered eating habits and my struggle in combatting those. The program I used to do so was based on the books "Overcoming Overeating" and "When women stop hating their bodies" by Hirschmann & Munter. I mention them here because I was reading through my newly-arrived Primal Blueprint book tonight and was again struck by how similar the basic philosophy is (something that appealed to me when I first started browsing here). The OO and WWSHTB books are different from Primal Blueprint in that they do not place restrictions on any food groups at all - the point of the books being to get people out of the restriction mindset (and we're talking people with some seriously messed-up thoughts around food, here).

    The funny thing is that I've been thinking about these books a lot the last couple of days, and at the weekend actually went out and bought some little tupperware-like containers that I could put snacks in to take with me so that I wouldn't end up eating chocolate simply because I couldn't find something else. Now, this was an idea I came up with myself, but which reminds me a lot of the OO and WWSHTB, in which the principle is known as a "food bag". The idea is always to match your eating to what your body is actually wanting at that moment, and in order to facilitate it, they suggest you carry different foods around with you (because a lot of disordered eaters have no clue what they actually want, and so having more stuff to try out rather than defaulting to chocolate or whatever makes sense). The biggest rule of the book is - if it comes down to the unhealthy option, then go for it and don't guilt. Any of this sounding familiar?

    On page 102 of PB, Mark writes:

    Never struggle, suffer, or go hungry: Surround yourself with Primal Blueprint approved foods and enjoy them as much and as often as you like. Always have a Primal snack nearby to help you through the transition period. That said, respect the Primal philosophy and pay close attention to your hungel levels, eliminationg emotional triggerst that negatively influence healthy eating. The key is to stop eating not when you are full - by then you've had too much - but when you are no longer hungry.
    These are things I've been practicing for years thanks to the two books I mentioned above - bar the "Primal foods" bit. No wonder this feels so natural.

    Generally feeling pretty good today. Go figure. Maybe it was the weekend workout that "got me" rather than the mysterious low-carb flu. Who knows?

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    I find when I have massive cravings for sweets or carbs I didn't eat enough Fat so when I start craving I gotta find the fattiest thing in my house asap or else I'm going for a *sugar run*
    "If you don't go after what you want, you'll never have it. If you don't ask, the answer is always no. If you don't step forward, you're always in the same place." Nora Roberts

    Start December 20th 2010: 177 lbs
    Currant: 136 lbs
    Goal: 125 lbs
    11 more lbs to go


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