Primal Journal- Jitz Grrl
My first entry into any type of online forum (how silly is that, at almost 34!), but MDA and Primal eating has changed my life and outlook in the past couple months, and while it's not perfect, I relish the chance to tweak away and find a sustainable set of variations to see me through.
I've been primal for about 8 weeks now, ranging from 100/0 some days to 60/40 others; usually around 85/15. At first, this included copious dairy, mounds of butter, a new pound of nuts each week, handfuls of coconut flakes, etc etc. It did the job- I now have detached that sugar monkey that was lodged so firmly on my back- but resulted in some excess poundage on my bitty 5'4" frame. Boo! So I've been dialing back the dairy (~2 c grassfed/week), nuts (only the occasional handful of macadamias), coconut oil, in an attempt to get back to what I know is more balanced eating for me.
The bummer side of my attempt at LC primal was: someone drained my gastank! My exercise/play is intense- really intense. 2 four-hour sessions of sand volleyball each week, two or three LHT/met-con style workouts (Kettlebells or kickboxing or a killer circuit), and at least 3 sessions of Brazilian Ju-jitsu a week. Often, my girlfriend is there and we can train together, so I get to 'play' and throw around her 110 pounds. But ya never know when I'm only going to have boys to whoop on, and the 160-200 pounders are a much more significant weight, ya know? Compound this with the facts that BJJ ends at 9pm and my tummy gets grumbly right before bed, and it's led to some bizarre, potentially unwise food choices.
So, my current measurements and goal macros are as follows:
Current weight: 132
Goal weight: 127
Supps: still transitioning from a more bodybuilding stack, so this is a work in progress: fish oil, vitamin D (4K), B-6/12/Folic acid, Glucosamine, 5-HTP. Also currently Biotin and Silica for hair/nails. Magnesium for my 'panics'
Habits to develop or change:
1. Eat enough (carbs! carbs give energy! I need some...) and at the right times
2. Balance, or I guess, unbalance all those carbs with some IF, some deliberate/structured grazing days- keep my metabolism guessing!
3. Snacks are for snacking- if I'm home and I'm hungry, eat some actual food. Way too often lunch is some almonds...a string cheese...more almonds...tomato salad...more almonds...etc. Lazy and counterproductive.
4. Find a solution for the BJJ problem- IF until breakfast (but, but...wine!)? gelatin smoothie? whey smoothie? Small <insert perfect snack here>? I got nuthin-
Projects of the Temple:
1. Remove these newly found love-handle-squishies. Just formed last week, when I was on a coconut oil streak. I've been upping my calories higher and higher to get the energy, and it just hasn't been forthcoming- I really think I need some carbs to prime the pump. I know, I know, it's in the book...
2. Renew my hair- while it was always thin, and delicate to perms/chlorine/crossways glances, it's never been dull and falling out before. Got my thyroid tested last week- very interested in what the Dr has to say. I think I've had thyroid swings a couple times in my young adulthood, but didn't ever recognize or persue that diagnosis- too busy trying to attack my generalized anxiety/depression- lol.
3. Nails? Nice side benefit if possible. I've always had awful awful nails...small beds, weak, no nail crescents. This is a bit of vanity, as I've got to keep them super-short for wrestling, but I'd love talon-strong, shiny nails.
Missions accomplished: Hopefully this list will grow longer the longer I'm Primal
1. GOODBYE SUGAR! So proud of myself. I went from 3-4 binges/week to zero. The magic of fat.
2. Coming off my psych meds- I've been on antidepressants since I was 19. Three weeks ago I came off St. John's Wort, leaving me med-free (if you don't count 5-htp). Ketones make for worky brain. The magic of fat (and vitamin D)
3. Abs. I know, I just said I've gained love handles- but I also have ABs- finally! And they just might be fighter-worthy abs by the time I'm finished with em. I don't think this is the magic of fat.
4. Aerobic Endurance- I used to max out at 3 burpees because I'd get so anoxic the whole room dimmed. Literally two days after quitting sugar, I busted out 10, no problem...then 10 again 3 minutes later. Woot!
Going to keep this first post all goal-y, and leave the daily details to the daily posts.
May 7: Proof of Concept (carbs)
Breakfast: The Usual (2 O3 eggs, Tbsp Kerrygold butter, 1 c spinach, 6 pork rinds), 2 cups herbal tea (guava leaf, ginger)
Spent most of today flying to San Francisco for an amazing wrestling seminar with some very talented ladies. My airport food was laughably primal- the remains of last nights yams + lamb steak- no knife allowed per the airport cops, so I happily gnawed off my hunk o meat as needed, ignoring curious glances. Followed by a desert of a few macs and 1/4 c unsweetened dried coconut.
And every single (soaked) almond I brought with me. Immediately. Made me feel sick. Addiction, much?
Anyway, on to our proof of concept. 3 hours pre-seminar, I had the insides of a roast beef sandwich. feelin okay. 1 hour before, a granola bar (first oats in two months- yum- I miss em). Now feelin good- energized, social, active. 4 hours of seminar, burns around 8 million calories. Post-seminar beers- 7 million calories. BUT boundless energy. Too much energy. I'm still up...and it's now tomorrow. Oh well. For what it's worth, I feel amazing, like I haven't in a couple weeks.
Today's plan is a mini-IF until I get back to LA. (who am I kidding? there's no F in this IF- I'm still burnin off beer) Sardines for lunch, work some, get outside if it's pretty. Dinner with friends should be caloric, but primal. Looking forward to coconut lime primal bars- my one weekly 'sweet' (2 Tbsp glucose/brown rice syrup per 9 servings comes out to nuthin, methinks).
Here's my first dilema: Sunday makes for an easy IF for me- hubby works quite late, I can very easily have breakfast and just coast into Monday breakfast, no problem. BUT, Monday 9am is my most awesome Kettlebells workout: 1 hr of LHT, all at 70-90% aerobic intensity. I am intrigued by the idea of working out fasted for the growth hormone gain, but I'm also wanting to really push myself and rep to actual failure, not this failure-to-have-glycogen I've been feeling stopping me recently. It's like- I know I can push this guy off me- I did it last week- but my muscles just don't wanna get with the program. Right now I'm thinking break the fast with a meager amount of protein + carbs before I lift, then shake when I get home. But I'm easily convinced, so sway me.
Anybody care to offer advice? Fast? Eat? If eat, what and how much?
I think the most qualified to answer your question is Rivvin, because his activity levels are similar to yours (crossfit and bjj) I think he would advice against fasting prior to that kettlebell workout.
I also think you definitely need to keep your carbs somewhat high, but keep them primal (sweet potatoes, squash, maybe a little white rice if your stomach deals with it well -- not too much fruit) because of how much you're doing. Some posters may say you're doing too much, I would disagree, if you enjoy the amount of activity you do (which is on the higher side) then go for it, just make sure to be properly fueled for it. Given how much you do, fasting may not necessarily be something you should partake in, but play with it and see how your workouts go. I think the biggest thing here for you is to make sure you have enough daily carbs, I'd shoot for 80g/day as a minimum.
iniQuity, I think you're right about keeping carbs up- I'll save the fasts for weeks I know life will get in the way of workouts, as it seems to do sometimes.
Pretty decent day overall yesterday, even considering the lack of sleep.
Food: finished off lamb leg steak + yams around 11am, some lime/coconut gelatin around 4, then after yoga my weekly beer and plenty of indian food with a bit of rice.
Exercise: 90 minute Yoga class in the late afternoon (5:30). Advanced Class (2/3), as the guy continued to disparagingly tell us. And the palm of my left hand has some sort of knot in it from where I jacked it @ yoga last week, making all my chattaranga/reverse pushups quite painful at one moment through the movement. So he thought I was an idiot as I kept breaking in the most basic of flows. But, hey, got a GREAT sweat on, and we were doing better than most in the class, so I don't think it was really E and I he was sneering at, just that he's kinda a sneery guy. I also really like working on my standing balance poses, although I don't find the hand-balancing poses as fun (maybe that will change as my hand clears up).
Supps: missed my night pills as usual on Saturday, but did get my biotin and biosil in before yoga, so at least got the suggested doses on those. Mg in morning.
Sleep was back to normal last night...I sleep like a champion. Whew! in fact, even fell asleep before it was time for lime bars, so missed out on them last night, although tasted a half this morning. I loved them; general consensus was that they were under-sweet (at least, when put next to SAD ice cream), but very limey. I thought I finally got the texture right, with a good ratio crust to topping. Success, but probably some powdered sugar for the weaklings next time.
Food: (8) 1/2 coco-limebar (10) usual breakfast (11:45) almonds, chocolate square (12:45) lunch: 1/2 can salmon, 1/2 c cucumber, persian cuke, tomato, onion (5:45) seaweed package (8) 4 oz burger w mushroom/onion/blue cheese, 100g purple yam fries, broccoli. wine. sq chocolate
Nutrition: 1700 cal 91P/91C/101 F Lacking: b1 .7 mg = 63% calcium 505 mg = 50%
Exercise: none. feeling the tendon in the outside elbow of my owie yoga-hand, but it'll heal and strengthen.
Mood: kinda blah, but nothing wrong. maybe 6/10. disinterested and lethargic. Going to give it 4 days of good primal, then reassess- it might be time to raise 5htp back to 300 or 400 mg, or maybe add in samE or SJW.
(8:30) quinoa, coco milk, cinnamon (10:30) smoothie (12) leftover beef/onion/mushroom/yam + spinach (1) decaf black tea w/ whole milk, 1/2 handful soaked almonds. (4:30) 1/2 can salmon with 1 T labne, 1/2 cup cuke/onion/tomato handful almonds. (6) 1/4 c coconut milk, handful coconut (10) beef stew
Mood: still blah and disconnected. Moments I tapped into my energy well in KB, but still not working right. Good energy throughout the day, excepting a crazy-powerful urge to lie down around 7, then back to fine energy 7:20. Decided to up my 5htp to 200mg/twice a day, which is where I have been for the last few years. Was hoping I could wean off that too, but tis not to be. Perhaps when I have my diet completely tweaked, or perhaps never.
Food: (8) tea (10) stew (11) chocolate (11:30) handful coconut (12:30) gelatin acai coco smoothie (1:15) seaweed (1:45) pork skins + 1/2 avocado guac (2:15) bakers chocolate + 1 prune (3:30) small smoothie @ student's house (4:30) tomato/cuke/onion salad (6:45) 1/4 lb tuna poke (9) 2 pieces salmon pie, tomato/cuke salad. wine x 1.4, choc x 2
Nutrition: ~2000 cal; 127P/100C/90F; ***30+g sugar***; lacking: b1 .8mg=77%, k 54=60%, Potassium 3000mg=64%, calcium 405=44% omega: 4.6 to 3.9. Should probably have had some magnesium, if I was breaking into the baker's chocolate (or having multiple chocolates, period)
Mood: I actually felt quite good on the food I ate today. Grazing has its advantages. However, two smoothies in a day is too much. As for my emotional mood, I'm feeling less lethargic, but I'm still having trouble organizing and planning my life, and every single thing seems like a MASSIVE chore. I mean, I guess most of my tasks- DMV, doctor, arrange for car donation- are pretty stupid boring things, but I might as well get on with em. Oh, and...uh...I figured out why I felt all weird and touchy last week, and gained a couple pounds, and my brain took a vacation. Started my period last night. Duh.
Exercise: wasn't feelin it in the morning, and worked afternoon and evening. But I have a double tomorrow, so no stress.
Supps: Morning and Evening pills. Biotin and Biosil. +100mg 5htp am/pm. Our xylitol mints and gum finally arrived, so we'll give it a month and see about Cory's cavity.
Thursday: (8) 2 eggs, spinach, butter, pork rinds (11) macadamias (2) 2 oz turkey, slice amer cheese, 1/2 banana (5) smidge of leftover beef/mushroom/onion, macs (7) vodka lemonade (8)1/5 of dinner-fail: curried lamb brains w spinach & rice. Cats loved it though...think they ate more than we did! (10) coconut bark w blueberries, honey drizzle. chocolate + wine.
Mood: had some actively GOOD moments today...around 10ish, then again through the afternoon. Perhaps the 5htp, perhaps the dulse for thyroid. Overall 7/10, with flashes of 9.
Exercise: Play-boxing, but when it's outside and goes on for three hours, even when you don't connect, it takes energy, even if it's technically only play. Was thinking of BJJ after, but when I found out my man was taking it easy, I also took the chance to take it easy and hang with him and cook.
Supps: been good about everything- morning, evening, biosil, biotin, dulse.
Food has been good for carbs and decent for quality the last few days: Friday- coconut bark before boxing, smoothie after, delivery primal-ish thai (no rice, etc) for dinner. Yum! Saturday- eggs, work til 3, then quinoa + cocomilk and leftover curry, nice run, then beer(s- 2!) and Mediterranean for dinner. Med is hard for me to keep pristinely clean- bulghur slips into the strangest dishes, and I heart hummus- but stayed pita-free and mostly enjoyed my meat and fat. Sunday morning I just demolished some cookies- five large waffle cookies, minimal redeeming value- but that + 1 kibbeh fueled me the rest of the day.
Mood: Friday was wacky- C was having anger/ADHD issues, and the first couple hours of the day I was afraid I really WAS being as wearying as his complaints indicated, but, nah, I think he's just having his Spring Transition. Otherwise, things are steady, trending upwards in my brain. Building feelings of "let's DO something!" which is hard when my group is regularly homebodies. So instead of whining or being frusterated, i'm just going to go do things- yay!
Exercise: Friday, boxing. Saturday, got a run in. Sunday, rest up for KB on Monday, followed by a big week, I believe- zero gi BJJ, but two no-gi classes, kettlebells, 2 hard yoga classes, and one hard circuit.
Supps: 5htp, biosil, biotin, glucosamine, dulse, b-6/12/folic, multi...all good.
Urg...it's been a bad weekend. Fall off the horse, get back on the horse.
Friday was the company semi-yearly work party- really my only chance to see my colleagues. And on top of that, the office must be feelin profitable, because we went *out* for once- to a beer garden. Well, one beer became two became a sausage (in a bun) became a glass of wine last night. Saturday started out just fine with breakfast and lunch, but I succumbed to the desert platter at a function I was working- one brownie bite...two...four...a cookie...no, two. Dinner was at least semi-primal, but we went to a restaurant, so I only kinda trust it, and it was definitely decadent moussaka. And I then gave in to the midnight ice cream demons.
And had an awful dream as I was awoken, which makes me think I'd probably been having bad dreams all night.
I'm not exactly back to normal today, although better. Breakfast was grassfed cottage cheese/tart blackberries. Nuthin until student's mom brought brie and some other delicious cheese around 4pm. I ate 2-3 oz of cheese and 10ish Ritz crackers. D'oh on the crackers- and, um, 0.5 black and 2 mugs green tea, full caf, between E's and my student's house this morning. Hello, caffeine!
And on top of this, all work and no play all week. And work suddenly went from 3 light days/1 heavy day per week to 4 heavy days/2.5 light days through the week. Ack! I skipped workout on Friday morning, and therefore got no exercise Fri/Sat/Sun. Monday morning- 9am- I have a date with a kettlebell or two.
I was a smart smart cookie on Saturday and used my bonus time away from work to grab a massage. I have been talking myself out of workouts (which probably means I'm low on carbs...remember that!) but massage was awesome, and both physically provided stretch and removed knots, and totally brought me back to myself. I may try to hit an easy yoga class or two this week, just to refocus my body awareness and flexibility. Lots of strength focus last week...
Okay, back on the horse ASAP. Meatloaf tomorrow, Tues liver, Wed venison, Thur lamb tongue. And plenty of BJJ for once this week- every night but Monday (hooray for afternoon students who leave my evenings free!). Iif you fall down 1000 times and get up 1001, they call that success.