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Thread: Debating whether or not to quit (Newbie) page

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    AnnaMoyer's Avatar
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    Unhappy Debating whether or not to quit (Newbie)

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    Greetings
    I'm a bit new to the Primal lifestyle and would appreciate advice. After browsing the forums, I realize these newbie threads are rather common, and I feel slightly guilty for adding another one, but I figured you lovely people would be more capable of helping me than most other sources.

    I have been (ahem) half ass primal for about two and a half months. I haven't eaten any processed foods during this time. I also have not eaten any grains other than very few during a two week vacation when I had someone else preparing meals for me. Sugar I have almost cut out entirely (except for fruit and such). I have been jogging in the mornings for a short circuit for about 10 minutes and lifting weights (nothing too intense). Sleep has been very regular.

    While I was very excited about this starting out, I'm starting to feel sort of blah about the whole thing. I'm not seeing a big difference in my life/health. At the most I feel slightly less depressed and stressed than usually as well as more energetic, but then it is summer and I'm not under a lot of pressure for school and work, etc. Then again, these aren't results I can exactly measure.

    I'm also getting a little bored and annoyed with this lifestyle. At first I loved the food but I'm bored of eating the same menu every week. It's also becoming a chore to cook every day, as I have very little cooking ability. I've looked up more recipes but many have obscure ingredients or are too much work for an average day.

    Another problem I have is that I'm not entirely convinced that grains (and carbs) are that bad, at least for me. I haven't noticed any real changes in cutting them out and on the days my 20% seems a little larger, I don't feel any different. I do somewhat miss pasta, but on the other hand, I haven't had any major cravings.

    I have no idea what carb flu is.

    Here are my major questions:

    What eating methods should I use to keep blood sugar low? (meal times, macro proportions)
    I eat a lot of jogurt. Is this bad?
    I want to gain weight, not lose it. How do I avoid weight loss?
    Should I cut back on fruit?
    What can I drink other than water and tea?

    I'm wondering if I should keep this up or stop with the upcoming school year. Is this right for me?

    Thank for your time, and I apologize for the novella.
    Anna
    "Laugh as much as you choose, but you will not laugh me out of my opinion." ~Jane Ausitn

  2. #2
    paleo_hailey's Avatar
    paleo_hailey is offline Senior Member
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    Hmmm, the thing that stands out to me is "on the days my 20% seems a little larger..." So you're factoring 20% into every single day? I really only feel awesome when I'm close to 100% paleo (I don't do dairy, so I say paleo not primal) and think of my 20% (if I do at all) as for those rare times when there is really no other option, i.e. a friend's birthday party or something.

    Have you tried a whole 30? Go for a stretch at 100% and see how you feel. I wouldn't cut back on fruit if you're trying to gain weight. I don't know how you define "a lot" of yoghurt, but some people do find that cutting out dairy makes a big difference, so it's worth experimenting with. I like 65% fat, 15% carbs, 20% protein for a macro ratio. Sometimes I am lower-carb/higher-fat than that, almost never higher-carb.

    As for boredom - c'mon, get creative! There are plenty of ways to do primal with minimal fuss and a lot of taste. Mix up your spice cabinet. Get Mark's fast meals book. Check out the recipes board here. Rotate your vegetables (both variety and how they're prepared - a roasted carrot tastes a whole lot different to a steamed one.) As for drinks, water and tea do it for me, but coffee isn't frowned upon, fresh/homemade juice (especially green juice) is okay, and adding lemon/lime/etc. to your water can help you mix it up. Are you doing smoothies? Think nut milks, kefir or yoghurt, fresh or frozen fruits, greens (spinach is easy to hide with fruit), protein powder in moderation, tablespoons of coconut oil, etc. Or go simple with an ice, water and fruit crush. Mix up your teas, too - I have a very healthy collection of herbal teas and the variety of flavors is pretty amazing. If you're stuck on black/white/green, you're missing out!

  3. #3
    paleo_hailey's Avatar
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    BTW, I'm in the same boat as you - I've always been underweight, so the benefits I see are much less dramatic than those "I lost 100lbs!" folks, and sometimes it's difficult to stay motivated. But they're still there. Less depressed is pretty good! I'm also on the younger side (26) so I don't have decades of damage to undo, like a lot of people here. I just remind myself that my "results" are going to come long-term, when I don't develop those problems. After a few years of this WOE, I already get endless compliments about my skin, so that's encouraging! I get mistaken for a 16-year-old a lot. We lucky skinny ones will just have to settle for slow and steady benefits.

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    Err... repetitive menu? Lots of time spent cooking? Not my experience. Combine any quick-cooking meat or fish with any vegetables and any herbs/ spices. Belly pork + kale + red pepper. Leftover roast chicken + tomato + pesto with salad. Bag of ready-prepared stir fry vegetables + tin of tuna + soya sauce & toasted sesame oil (yes, I know, bad oil, not every day - but it takes about 5 minutes from start to finish). Minced lamb + broccoli + mushrooms. Burgers + salad. Or it takes me about 30 minutes to get all the ingredients for a stew prepared and into the slow cooker, in sufficient quantities to do 4 helpings. None of this is exactly arduous.

  5. #5
    Winterbike's Avatar
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    So.... what are you looking for here? If you want to quit, quit. If not, don't. Stop looking for excuses and stop waiting for people to take decisions for you.

  6. #6
    Hedonist's Avatar
    Hedonist is offline Senior Member
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    Hi Anna.

    What eating methods should I use to keep blood sugar low?
    For most people, reducing the number of times you eat seems to work best. It does for me.

    I eat a lot of jogurt. Is this bad?
    If you mean unsweetened, whole milk yogurt, it is good, especially since you want to gain weight.

    Should I cut back on fruit?
    How much do you eat? Shouldn't be a problem unless you eat lots.

    What can I drink other than water and tea?
    Wine, whole milk, mineral water. What would you like to drink?

    Carbs: I'd try to avoid grains except white rice. But I think you could do potatoes, rice and sweet potatoes. All fairly easy.

    Sounds like you are doing a lot better than half-assed. In contrast to those who say to go stricter, I would say look for ways to enjoy Primal, even if they are marginal. Hang in there.
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    Chaohinon's Avatar
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    I'd recommend trading some of the fruit and yogurt for starchy root vegetables. It seems like most people who feel "blah" with typical primal recommendations feel better with a higher starch intake. And if you don't have that much weight to lose (or any at all), you will definitely benefit from increased starch. Just avoid the temptation to eat gluten grains.

    Also, exactly how much protein and vegetables are you eating? Sorry, but it seems to me that every time a thread like this pops up, the OP is eating mostly nuts, yogurt, and fruit, with not nearly enough protein. That may be another thing you want to increase.

    edit: didn't notice you said you want to gain weight. Then definitely eat more starch. You could easily eat 400g or more of carbohydrate and be fine, just make sure it's the right kind.

    Starchy tubers and root vegetables > pseudograins > properly prepared pulses > non-gluten grains > fruit
    Last edited by Chaohinon; 08-21-2011 at 09:55 PM.
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  8. #8
    js290's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AnnaMoyer View Post
    Another problem I have is that I'm not entirely convinced that grains (and carbs) are that bad, at least for me. I haven't noticed any real changes in cutting them out and on the days my 20% seems a little larger, I don't feel any different. I do somewhat miss pasta, but on the other hand, I haven't had any major cravings.
    Grains should be fermented.

    Quote Originally Posted by AnnaMoyer View Post
    I have no idea what carb flu is.
    The Blog of Michael R. Eades, M.D. » Tips & tricks for starting (or restarting) low-carb Pt II
    The Science Behind The “Low Carb Flu”, and How To Regain Your Metabolic Flexibility - GNOLLS.ORG

    Quote Originally Posted by AnnaMoyer View Post
    What eating methods should I use to keep blood sugar low? (meal times, macro proportions)
    How to Lower Your Blood Sugar

    Quote Originally Posted by AnnaMoyer View Post
    I want to gain weight, not lose it. How do I avoid weight loss?
    Gain muscle, not fat.


    Quote Originally Posted by AnnaMoyer View Post
    I'm wondering if I should keep this up or stop with the upcoming school year. Is this right for me?
    Everybody makes the best choices they can given the information they're able to comprehend.

  9. #9
    Misabi's Avatar
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    As others have touched on, it doesn't sound like you've actually given up on the grains etc.
    I had no idea that they caused me any issues until I started eating them again after several months without them.
    I would feel bloated after pasta etc. whereas before I hadn't realised this was out of the ordinary until experiencing it again after months free of it.

    Give dropping all grains and legumes a miss for 30 days and see how how you feel. You may experience carb flu a week or so into it, feel crap and wonder why you'd do this. But push through it and you'll feel fine.

    I would start off sticking to less than 150 grams of carbs a day (from veggies, roots, tubers and fruit) for awhile. If you find your losing weight and don't want to up it a bit, but I wouldn't just launch into 300+ gms/day unless your very active or you may find you put on body fat. As per a previous poster said, you want to put on muscle rather than fat, unless of course you need to for health reasons (infertility, not menstruating etc).

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    If you don't mind me asking, how old are you? I doubt I'd have stuck to this when I was young - if you seem to be doing okay on conventional food, I suspect the changes won't be all that obvious. That's a problem with a lot of our health warnings actually - the effect doesn't happen for years down the track. The thing is, what you do now might save you from arthritis, allergy, diabetes etc later. So it's not all about feeling better right now. It's about having a long and healthy life too.

    But yeah, you're kinda 'doing it wrong'.

    I hate cooking too... but eating healthily does involve a bit of cooking. Not a whole lot - keep it simple with salads and meats, a bit of spice. It ain't that different. What would you do otherwise, eat expensive takeaway junk food? It's not that much harder to cook healthy than to cook conventional.
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