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    Sethster's Avatar
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    Primal adventures of a college dining hall (Seth)

    Primal Fuel
    Hey everyone!

    I've decided to start my own primal journal to keep track of my progress. So, I guess I should start with a little bit about me. I'm a 20 year old guy living in a college dormitory and eating in a college dining hall-- not particularly conducive to the primal lifestyle. I've been a very serious athlete all my life, playing lots of lacrosse, basketball, and hockey, but soccer has always been my passion. I played ODP for years, won the state cup, etc. and came to college to play for the Varsity team. Unfortunately, I simultaneously blew out my knee and fractured both shins. I lost a whole season to rehab and with certain other extenuating circumstances, my Varsity career was over.

    Without the grounding of soccer, I've really been floundering when it came to diet and exercise. I come from a two-parent household so my eating habits have been mixed (plus, when you're playing soccer for 5 hours a day, it doesn't really matter what you eat...) but have subconsciously tended towards primal. My mom's house tends to be a carb-ier place while my dad always stressed the importance of meats while rejecting carbohydrates. In the past couple of months I have come to realize that if I'm not playing multiple hours of soccer a day, I really need to watch what I eat. Unfortunately, my great loves when it comes to food are things like steak, bacon, sausage, burgers, ribs... Mmm. These foods do not fit into your typical "healthy lifestyle." I stumbled upon the paleo/primal lifestyle through the documentary "Fathead" and was instantly hooked. It just made so much sense to me and it meant that I could live healthier and stronger without starving myself, without living on carrot sticks and protein powder, or without denying my natural impulses towards a nice, juicy steak cooked Pittsburgh rare. Plus, it seems to be a generally sustainable solution.

    Being primal while eating in a dining hall 24/7 is not ideal though. First off, the food sucks. There are usually only a couple of options I can eat and even those are cooked in the wrong types of oils, not to mention I am never sure of all of the ingredients. There is also the constant temptation of french fries, pizza, pasta, cookies, cakes, and sodas at every single meal. I will be doing my best though.

    Some basic goals:
    Lose body fat. My initial goal is 165 pounds. I'm 5'10" and currently 177. I've lost 7 pounds in this past week and a half doing primal though (crazy!), so my starting weight was 184.
    Drop pants sizes. I'm currently a 34x32 and would love to drop to a 32x32 or a 30x32.
    Gain lean muscle.
    Find an athletic endeavor about which I am passionate. I miss playing soccer and the confidence that gave me and I am looking forward to finding something that drives me equally hard to compete.

    I hope to fill this journal with exercise, food, weight loss, and muscle gain updates.

    Best!

    Seth

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    tanyayogi is offline Senior Member
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    Hey Seth,
    Good luck with everything! I looove soccer too but it really is hard on the knees/joints, etc. Now this might not be up your alley - but give yoga a try. Ashtanga yoga is very vigorous and it's a great workout but also gets you mentally clear.
    I know how you feel about the college dining hall thing...right now I'm living at home but I'm starting at NYU in the fall and I'm nervous about keeping up Primal in college.
    Question: what have you been eating on a daily basis in your first week and a half? I'd love to lose 7 lbs in a week, haha. But of course I'm 5'1 and 117-8 lbs (I'm a girl) so losing 7 lbs is a hell of a lot more than for someone with a 5'10 frame!
    Good luck with everything

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    Hey,

    Yeah I should definitely give yoga a try. Do you have any suggestions as far as beginners yoga? I'm pretty athletic but also, like most men I know, incredibly inflexible.

    There are definitely pros and cons as far as being on a college campus goes. Food is rough, but you'll be in NY so I suppose you may have more options? I know some Universities allow you to spend some of your dining dollars at other restaurants, grocery stores, etc. There is definitely the constant temptation of terrible food-- in addition to the dining halls, most events try to lure you with sugary, carb-y snacks. And your friends will most likely be eating crap food as well, so it can be hard to be the odd man out who's not chowing down on slices of pizza.

    The best thing about college is that you will have constant access to an amazing gym, pool, indoor and outdoor tracks, and other equipment ~18hrs a day. I'd say try your best to eat well and enjoy the amenities that NYU will have to offer.

    As far as food goes, a usual day is probably:
    B: Nothing. I only have afternoon classes so I'm usually sleeping haha.
    L: Some time between 12 and 2. Usually two sources of protein in whatever form they are serving: chicken breasts, fish, ground beef, pork, etc. I will eat a lot of this. Like I said, usually 2 big pieces but if I'm hungry, I'll eat 3. (What can I say, I'm a growing guy) Lots of mixed greens, onions, tomatoes, green peppers with some balsamic.
    S: Cashews or almonds or fruit. Depending on what time I eat I may or may not have a snack here.
    D: Between 5 and 8. Same as lunch.
    S: Maybe around 9 or 10. Cashews or almonds or fruit. Maybe some frozen coconut milk with fruit. Maybe some dark chocolate (75-80%).

    I don't know your BF% but you sound like a pretty good weigh to me, which is probably the reason you wouldn't that much weight. Not to mention the 9 extra inches haha.

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    So I was hungry last night around 8:30 and, of course, all the dining halls were closed. On campus we have one snack bar which is open until midnight; however, there is literally nothing I can eat there after the taco bar closes at 4pm. Cheesy sandwiches take up 3/4 of the menu. I ordered some chicken strips and tried to take some of the breading off. Not good. Woke up with gastrointestinal discomfort and haven't been hungry since. Will probably just eat dinner today because of my stomach.

    Went to the gym and started the StrongLifts 5x5 program. I haven't lifted really in close to 8 weeks because of some major surgery I had to undergo on my chest. You're supposed to start with just the olympic bar (even if you're an incredibly strong guy!) but I felt so lame because of how light and easy it was. Oh well. Will try to get over how pathetic I seem. I know that the difficulty will increase quite rapidly.

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    Other folks I'm sure stockpile ramen noodles, you'll just have to keep some tuna or sardines around for that late snack. We were lucky to be near a decent truck stop in college good for sausage and eggs 24/7.
    Wheat is the new tobacco. Spread the word.

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    Hey Seth, good luck with being Primal. I'm at uni too but we're mostly self-catering in the UK so I have a bit more control, just lack of cash holds me back! Interested to see how you get on.
    "BELLY'S GONNA GETCHA!"

    My Primal Journal

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sethster View Post
    Hey,

    Yeah I should definitely give yoga a try. Do you have any suggestions as far as beginners yoga? I'm pretty athletic but also, like most men I know, incredibly inflexible.

    There are definitely pros and cons as far as being on a college campus goes. Food is rough, but you'll be in NY so I suppose you may have more options? I know some Universities allow you to spend some of your dining dollars at other restaurants, grocery stores, etc. There is definitely the constant temptation of terrible food-- in addition to the dining halls, most events try to lure you with sugary, carb-y snacks. And your friends will most likely be eating crap food as well, so it can be hard to be the odd man out who's not chowing down on slices of pizza.

    The best thing about college is that you will have constant access to an amazing gym, pool, indoor and outdoor tracks, and other equipment ~18hrs a day. I'd say try your best to eat well and enjoy the amenities that NYU will have to offer.

    As far as food goes, a usual day is probably:
    B: Nothing. I only have afternoon classes so I'm usually sleeping haha.
    L: Some time between 12 and 2. Usually two sources of protein in whatever form they are serving: chicken breasts, fish, ground beef, pork, etc. I will eat a lot of this. Like I said, usually 2 big pieces but if I'm hungry, I'll eat 3. (What can I say, I'm a growing guy) Lots of mixed greens, onions, tomatoes, green peppers with some balsamic.
    S: Cashews or almonds or fruit. Depending on what time I eat I may or may not have a snack here.
    D: Between 5 and 8. Same as lunch.
    S: Maybe around 9 or 10. Cashews or almonds or fruit. Maybe some frozen coconut milk with fruit. Maybe some dark chocolate (75-80%).

    I don't know your BF% but you sound like a pretty good weigh to me, which is probably the reason you wouldn't that much weight. Not to mention the 9 extra inches haha.
    What you're doing looks great! Half an avocado is also a great snack, or some hard-boiled eggs. God I wish I had your discipline. I just had two peanut butter clif bars...exam stress! Anyways good luck with it all, you're probably right about NYU, they have great dining hall alternatives I'm told.
    I'd say start with ashtanga yoga, it will be challenging but wow once you get better it'll be soo worth it. You will never feel so fit. I do ashtanga yoga 3-6x per week (1 hour to 1 hour 20 mins session) and I occasionally sprint or walk a lot and I'm more in shape now than when I did 10-12 hours of soccer per week...I played a friendly match last week against some beastly girls and I wasn't out of breath for a second, whereas I would've been a few months ago!
    My BF% is like 25-26% and I wanna be at 15-20%. I know what to do, it's just I'm focusing on stressing less and if that involves a few extra carb grams per day, so be it

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    Quote Originally Posted by IvyBlue View Post
    Other folks I'm sure stockpile ramen noodles, you'll just have to keep some tuna or sardines around for that late snack. We were lucky to be near a decent truck stop in college good for sausage and eggs 24/7.
    Yeah, I'm unfortunately in a pretty small town without a diner or 24/7 restaurants. I went out and picked up a couple of cans of tuna and a dozen eggs so hopefully that'll curb the late night protein munchies.

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    So here's a quick recap of the past couple of days:

    Thursday: After doing the 5x5 workout, I decided to sprint that afternoon. Was running on a soccer field and ran to the half line and then sprinted the next half, so 6x60m sprints. Went barefoot and felt great afterwards. Think I will probably just keep adding reps, so next time I'll do 7. When I reach 10 maybe I'll add some distance to the sprints or add some backpedaling, bounding, etc.

    Friday: Ate the usual suspects. Played basketball for around an hour with some friends. Was the odd man out second weekend in a row and didn't drink.

    Saturday: Was a huge event on my college campus-- basically a day devoted to playing softball and drinking beer from 3:30am-8:00pm ish. Didn't drink at all, despite being sorely tempted. Cheated a little bit by having a small amount of cheese in my omelette at breakfast. Not sweating it. Played basketball for an hour with some friends and then did the 5x5 workout afterwards.

    Sunday: No exercise today. I'm trying to follow the basic principles of not killing yourself all the time, but it was pretty hard. Would have liked to have played a round of soccer or basketball or squash with some friends, but it's always hard to get people to do anything besides homework on a Sunday.

    I think in general my three hardest challenges will be not overexerting myself, sleeping enough, and not drinking. Exercise is generally my stress reliever but I can't always find enough guys to play with given the heavy workload. On the sleep front, I am a college student, so staying up until 2 or 3am writing papers or studying is par for the course. I will try and get in my 8 hours whenever I can, but will have to be flexible when it comes to this. As far as the drinking goes, we're not exactly drinking high class alcohol (lots of Beer30, and if we're feeling fancy maybe some PBR) but most guys I know drink maybe 4-5 days a week. We'll see how this goes. I may allow myself to drink maybe every other weekend or every third weekend, but it probably makes sense to not drink at all in the beginning.

    Any one out there drink and live primal? Can you do both? Will try and continue to update as I have the time.

    Seth

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    PrimalCon New York
    Quote Originally Posted by Francesca View Post
    Hey Seth, good luck with being Primal. I'm at uni too but we're mostly self-catering in the UK so I have a bit more control, just lack of cash holds me back! Interested to see how you get on.
    Hey Francesca. Thanks, you too!

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