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Thread: Em's Primal Journey (~Kaoticturtle~) page

  1. #1
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    Em's Primal Journey (~Kaoticturtle~)

    Hi all!!!

    I've finally decided that I should start a journal here to track the progress that I have been making. I started on PB fully nearly two weeks ago, and spent the two and a half weeks prior to that semi-primal. I've seen some huge benefits already but I think partly because the changes have been so big, mentally I'm thinking "but why am I still flabby here...?, am I stalling because I still have a load of fat over my lower abdomen...? and why am I only just getting into pants that I could wear a year ago, surely I should be waaay slimmer than that!".

    Its completely a mental thing - I'm only a month into what I fully intend to be a lifelong journey! Its also all rather silly because I have lost 5kg (about 11lbs) in 4 1/2 weeks while putting on muscle so my overall fat loss has probably been greater than that. Add to that I feel better than I ever have and I have more energy throughout the day that I have felt before. And I mean that pretty much literally. I honestly can't remember feeling this good.

    So, I've decided to keep a journal here to record my progress and to help me focus on what I have achieved rather than on what I still hope to achieve. I'm hoping that it will help me relax, just enjoy this new found energy and enjoy the fantastic food that I can eat.

    Em

  2. #2
    Hedonist's Avatar
    Hedonist is offline Senior Member
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    Welcome. Yeah, have patience.
    Ancestral Health Info

    I design websites and blogs for a living. If you would like a blog or website designed by someone who understands Primal, see my web page.

    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.

  3. #3
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    Thanks Hedonist! I'm not generally known for my patience but I am trying

    Its been a bank holiday today in the UK so I've had the day off which has been fab. I had a session in the gym this morning with my personal trainer. She introduced me to a PB style of eating originally and I really enjoy my sessions with her. This is my fifth week with her and today we had a go at pull ups which I have never attempted before... Well...when I say pull-ups we were using one of those machines where it offsets your weight so you're not having to pull up all your weight thankfully!!! Pulling or pushing upwards is not my strong point so we had 125kg on it (I currently weigh c.73kg) and it was tough but I managed 2 sets of 12 reps. I'm not sure what that translates into me actually pulling up but I was pretty impressed within myself.

    I rowed when I was in my teens so certain movements I'm quite strong with (anything linked to rowing movements) but I'm comparatively weak in so many others. My upper body strength is generally atrocious... I guess I'm like many women in that I just don't use those muscles much. My trainer is getting me working on them so I'm hoping to see a big improvement. I know that when I did indoor climbing regularly for about 6 months I saw a big improvement so I'm hoping that the same will happen again.

    Yesterday, I went down to the local farmers market to stock up with some meat for the freezer. We're really lucky that its only half an hour away and runs twice a month. The choice there is really good and there are several stalls with local farmers selling grass fed, organic, locally reared lamb and beef. It was great to go along and pick up nearly a whole rucksack full of meat! Yum! They have every cut there and while more expensive than the normal supermarket meat, its a lot cheaper than buying the equivalent quality in the shops and its really nice having a chat to the farmers themselves. We've now got a stocked freezer and a very happy husband! He loves his red meat so was pretty impressed by the bags of it that have appeared

    We tried kidney for dinner last night and have to say that I wasn't all that impressed. We pan fried it with some butter and mustard and had it with onions and mushrooms. It seemed to cook well - it certainly wasn't tough but the flavour wasn't one that I thought "wow, I need to eat more of that!". I would probably be ok with it in a stew say but I'm not sure exactly how to do that. I will have to hunt out a recipe!

    Main meal today was skirt steak tacos without the taco shells courtesy of the PB quick and simple cookbook. The rub for the steak was really good, as were the grilled onions and some mushrooms that we added in but have to say I wasn't a fan on the grilled lettuce or avocado. I think we'll just have them raw next time.

    I had a big day of prep cooking for the week ahead. There is some great fruit in the shops at the moment so I made up some purées (apple&pear, apple& rhubarb and apple&plum) which were really delicious and will keep in the freezer for a while. OH likes something a bit sweet sometimes but he's going off chocolate and traditional sweets the longer we're not eating sugar so these are little pots that he can have when his sweet tooth hits.

    Lunches are made for tomorrow (grilled lamb neck salad with home made dip), I've cooked some sweet potatoes for lunches later in the week, chopped a load of veg and put it in tubs, and I've done some crustless quiches for breakfasts at work. I found a recipe for a great, simple avocado dip which I made up - its just avocado, garlic and greek yoghurt. Really simple and fresh but its got a great zing to it and it will go great with chopped veg. One for keeping!

    Anyway, its almost time for bed here and I've just realised how much I've rambled on!!! Busy day but satisfying

  4. #4
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    Its been a tough day today. I've been back at work (which isn't too bad in itself) but I have had the most unbelievable sugar cravings! Its the first time in over 4 weeks that I have and its been so difficult all day to resist. It almost feels as bad as my first few days - I was so distracted that I didn't get all that much work done.

    I think its because I wasn't as good as I would normally be this weekend. My husband hasn't been being good at all so there is a lot more sugar in the house. He has exams looming for his long-distance degree so he's super stressed and "just needs sugar"! So we have had biscuits, and cakes and all sorts around. I haven't been as bad as I would normally but I have sneaked the odd biscuit and while I was making the fruit purees I probably ate several of the fruits as I went. I definitely paid the price today so I shall have to be better in future and here's hoping the cravings don't last for too long. At least he only has another few weeks to go so the temptations will be gone soon. He's planning on joining me on full primal once he's finished so that will make life much easier - its always easier when we do things together!

    Coupled with the cravings, I was hungry as I don't think I took enough breakfast with me into work - or it was just the aftermath of too much sugar. Either way, lunch wasn't quite enough and when I got home I was starving but I had a bit of really good blue cheese in the fridge which went down a treat as a before dinner snack There's even some left which I have added to my lunch for tomorrow.

    Dinner was baked trout with a some melted brie and creamed leeks with steamed carrots and broccoli. Tasty!

  5. #5
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    Today was soo much easier as far as sugar cravings go. Pretty much gone although it was very difficult to ignore the chocolate that my husband was eating this evening :P

    Today felt good even. I still don't think that I'm completely over carb flu as I still get a bit headachey and feel a bit tired, but its no where near where I was this time last week.

    Food today was:

    B: three mini-crustless quiches for breakfast with swiss chard and spinach in them
    L: chicken salad with a little bit of sweet potato with left over creamed leeks and the last of the blue cheese
    D: chicken with a spicy tomato sauce (homemade) and stir-fried vegetables, plus a few squares of no added sugar dark chocolate for dessert

    The blue cheese in the salad at lunch was amazing - I crumbled it in so I got a little bit of really intense flavour every few bites. Delicious! Made the salad a lot more interesting and tasty I don't mind plain salad bit a bit of added flavour sometimes is great. I'm a bit limited though as I need to take lunch with me to work and there isn't a microwave so I can't heat anything up.

    I've got the gym before work tomorrow so looking forward to working hard and off for an early night.

  6. #6
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    Just been looking at the calendar and I am at day 41 of eating primal - not bad! 2 and half weeks of that weren't quite there as I hadn't actually come across primal and the food that my personal trainer had suggested weren't quite there but they weren't far off so I'm counting them in

    Today's gym session was tough as per usual. I was doing pull ups again but this time it was 3x 12. Ouch! My trainer had me back on push-ups too which always kills but I'm getting there.

    Big news of today was I had another chat with my doctor about hypoglycemia. I went to see him last week as I suspect that I suffer from it. From reading posts on this site, there are several people who are hypoglycemic and some things that they said rang a bell with me. So, I researched it and a lot of the symptoms sounds like things I have suffered from but never realised were actually caused by something - I always thought it was just "me" and I would have to accept that.

    So, last week, the doc was very nice and helpful but he knew nothing about hypoglycemia at all. He's quite young (recently qualified I think) and was trying to help but I knew more than he did - he actually googled "reactive hypoglycemia" and read the wikipedia page... Then he went onto some online resource they have to see what it said. He asked me to go back in a weeks time in the meantime he would do some research and ask some colleagues how to go about getting the diagnostic blood tests done. So, I talk to him today in the expectation that I might be asked to do some blood tests that would tell me for sure whether I have it. And, well...no. He said that they wouldn't get me to do the 6 hour glucose test or the other one that they can do (didn't really give a reason) so I had two choices. One was to take a letter from him, and then next time I have an episode that I think is low blood sugar to go to the hospital, present my letter and get a blood test done. Oh, and I wouldn't be able to eat before I got to the hospital so that would be a lot of fun! Or, I could go out and buy my own blood glucose monitor and take readings myself and keep a diary of them to see if it looks likely.

    Have to admit that I'm not massively impressed by the NHS given that hypoglycemia will often turn into diabetes in later life so it would be nice to know for sure whether I have it - if I do then it is another reason to really stick with what I'm doing.

    Anyway, not fancying the whole "get to the hospital without eating for a blood test while I think I have low blood sugar and I know I have a phobia of needles thing..." I popped out to the pharmacy on my way home and bought a monitor for myself! This was quite a big move given my phobia of needles but I've tried it and its really not that bad as I can't see the needle at all and it doesn't hurt. I did have to kind of screw up my eyes and just go for it the first time but it was definitely a bigger bark than bite (its really loud!). Phew!

    I'm not sure what the results will be from the monitor over the next few weeks but my symptoms have almost disappeared since I started PB so I'm guessing that it won't show much... I'm planning on keeping it on hand whenever I go somewhere that I might not be able to get good food and test after that. There is bound to be something over the next wee while and I'm a bit loath to deliberately feed myself a load of sugar just to see what the monitor comes up with.

    Anyway, bedtime for me and I'll see what tomorrow brings soon!

  7. #7
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    gingernut is offline Senior Member
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    God, I really hate it when the so called 'professionals' know less than you! It has happened to me quite a lot over the last few years. Grrrr...
    Anyway, sounds like your issues are resolving with the Primal WOE so you shouldn't really need their 'expertise' anyway! lol!
    Finally uncovering the real me!

    My 'Serious Six' journal.

  8. #8
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    Hi gingernut! Yes, thankfully it looks like Primal solves the majority of my problems so I'm not relying on doctors. It is frustrating though!

    Today was another bad one as far as the sugar cravings go - particularly as there were a whole load of chocolates in the office that had been brought in. Torture! I managed to resist though and discovered that some almonds really really helped. Not too sure why but after a few my cravings nearly disappeared which was welcome relief.

    I've been using my blood glucose meter a bit but not as much as I think I probably should if I really want to closely monitor it all for a week or so. Its a bit difficult being at work but I'm hoping that if I'm on top of it over the weekend I'll be more in the swing of it next week. About the only thing I can tell so far is that I definitely don't have diabetes as my blood sugar isn't too high. Its on the low side of normal ranges, but so far it is within normal. I haven't eaten anything that I would expect to cause a spike and crash though so at the moment its just good to start getting a feel for what my normal is.

    I'm now at home and dinner is on. J (my husband) is out this evening so I've got time to myself, and as its Friday I don't need to make lunch for tomorrow so its a proper night to relax!

    B: 2 x crustless mini-quiche with onions, swiss chard and smoked salmon
    L: chicken salad with avocado, carrot, tomatoes, lettuce, cabbage
    Snack: almonds
    D: bolognese sauce (beef mince, tomatoes, onion, mushrooms, garlic, herbs, splash of red wine) - currently cooking, plus likely to have some blueberries with double cream for dessert.

  9. #9
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    Day 43

    I didn't have blueberries last night in the end - I opened the little thing that they came in and they were all just about to start sprouting mould. Grr! I'd only bought them the day before as well. Ah well, I consoled myself today with strawberries. My local farm shop were giving away two punnets free if you spent over £30 which I did easily by the time I stocked up on some meat and veggies.

    I went to the gym this morning with my husband which is the first time we've been together since we both started with personal trainers and it was fun I was doing a cardio day (i.e. sprints on various machines with recovery time in between) and then a bit of abs and core strength work which felt really good. Throughout the week, I mainly do resistance work with my trainer and the odd sprint so weekends are for me to get some of my own sprinting time in. Last week I went out round the roads where we live which was fun but I quite enjoy the gym too. Its definitely getting easier than it was 6 weeks ago!!! I've noticed that I can sprint faster than I was and still recover ok.

    It was really good to have J along. He's gradually coming on board with primal and I think is pretty sold now which is great. He wasn't too sure about some of it when I started but he was really supportive of me giving it a go. He was generally ok with the overall idea but I don't think he'd bought some of it and wasn't too keen on kicking out all wheat etc. When I cut out sugar he was sceptical about the impact it would really have but has given it a go and he's noticed quite a big impact - particularly in terms of reducing his appetite between meals. He wasn't really into rice, pasta and potatoes anyway so he's found that aspect easy. In the past week or two, he's started to really get into cutting the grains and really thinking about whether things are good to eat. Every so often he asks "are we allowed this now?" Its great to have the back-up.

    We've both said that we need to keep up with this and really make it a lifestyle change which sticks. We're lucky enough have the time and money at the moment to learn how to cook and live this way so we really want to make the most of it and properly change our habits. I think it can be quite difficult at first to get into the swing of not buying the convenience foods or even just pre-made sauces. Most sauces etc are not difficult once you learn but it can take a long time to cook things the first few times! We've also found it relatively expensive as we buy additional spices, oils, herbs etc. Also, as we're trying a lot of new foods, we do come across things that we just don't particularly like and to be honest, we'll just throw out as at the moment we think its important to enjoy our food and not just eat things because they fit the rules. There is plenty that we do love and we've found some great new foods but it does all add up when you are trying the extra stuff. I think as we get a better knowledge we will start to buy less stuff that we don't use, and we certainly save on the processed stuff as it doesn't make it to the trolley.

    In the spirit of really trying to stick with this properly, we did some before photos this morning. I'm a month in so its not really a full before for me as I've lost about 10lbs but I'm hoping that I still have plenty to go so it will be good to see the changes properly.

    B: 1x egg and some bacon (didn't want too much before the gym)
    Workout: 15mins x crosstrainer, 15mins x treadmill, 10 mins x bike each fairly low intensity with full on sprints when I had recovered from the previous sprint (c. 2-3 mins), side plank both sides, plank, sit ups x 20, reverse ab curls x 20, 2 x push-ups x 10 (3 full, 7 on my knees)
    L: small amount left over bolognese, ham salad, raspberries&blackberries with some cream
    D: steak, onions, mushrooms and garlic, lettuce and tomato,
    Dessert: strawberries, raspberries, blackberries

  10. #10
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    Day 44

    Today was good as far as the sugar cravings go - I didn't feel like I needed something sweet today. What I did feel however was a constant nausea and a bit headachey... Not a pleasant feeling! I'm not sure what it is but I think I have narrowed it down to 1 of 4...hmm..not the most narrowed. I think it is either

    a) Just a day of feeling a bit off for no discernible reason

    b) I had too much coconut milk/cream last night. This is possible as coconut cream has made me pretty ill in the past, however, I ate a lot and it kicked in within about 5 seconds of eating it and not the next day like this has. That time, it was when I was fairly new to primal and I think it was too much fat for my stomach all at once when it wasn't used to it given my low fat diet for many years.

    c) A delayed reaction to the wheat in the breadcrumbs of the burgers that I ate last night. I haven't had any wheat in for nearly 6 weeks and I didn't notice any bad reactions in the past but I don't know what my reaction to it is these days. I'd eaten the burgers before I remembered that some contain breadcrumbs (these were high quality ones but when I checked the ingredients, sure enough, there were breadcrumbs in them).

    d) Something was off in the crustless quiches that I made for breakfast today. Prime candidates would be the eggs or smoked salmon but they were properly cooked in the oven... All ingredients are things that I have eaten quite regularly over the past few weeks wit no ill effects.


    So, really not sure. I don't really think that the quiches were the culprit and they were fresh made last night and none of the ingredients seemed off - I even had a wee bit of the salmon and it tasted fine. I think the wheat or the coconut cream might be the answer although I felt fine last night and last time I had a reaction to coconut it was immediate. Also, the feeling that I've had all day is something that I used to get every so often before I changed to PB and I didn't eat any coconut prior to 6 weeks ago. Which leaves wheat as the main culprit but I hope that it isn't what has caused it. It would be really horrible to get this every time I eat wheat as it permeates so many foods that you come across when not cooking at home. I'm hoping that its not but I will be keeping an eye out for how I feel the day after any other inadvertent slips.

    So, given my feeling pretty rubbish all day, I haven't eaten all that much - it stacks up as follows:

    B: 1/2 banana before workout, 2 x crustless quiche with tomato, onion, mushrooms, smoked salmon, cheddar cheese
    L: chicken salad (lettuce, tomato, sweet potato, carrot, broccoli) - didn't eat much at lunchtime but had a bit more mid-afternoon.
    D: chicken drumstick, a few strawberries, 1 square 90% cocoa chocolate

    I was in the gym this morning so got a good workout - thankfully I felt fine while I was there. I managed 12 full push-ups in a row which I was amazed at. First time I've ever managed that many! On my second set (after a rest) I managed another 6 before dropping to my knees so I'm really chuffed. That's one of the biggest signs that I'm getting stronger as I've never been able to really do push-ups. I also was doing pull-ups, still on the machine but I managed 3 x 12 reps completely under my own steam. Normally my trainer has to give me a bit of a lift on the last ones but I did them all myself today. We also did a load of lunges which just about killed my legs. Not quite such obvious progress there :P All in all though, a very satisfying workout.

    One very exciting thing - my vibrams arrive from the states tomorrow! I had to order from there as I have huge feet for a woman (size 9 UK which I think is a 10 or a bit more in US sizes) and I just couldn't source the ones that I wanted within Europe - my only choice of KSOs were plain black ones and I wanted some that were a bit less...well..black. I got some which look like they shouldn't be too garish but have a bit of a yellow colour to them. I just hope that they fit! The only ones that I could try on were some mens classic ones, where I was a 42 and they were a wee bit wide for me. Which was right given my foot length on the size charts, but that they indicates that I need the 41 for the KSOs apparently... So that's what I have ordered and I just have to hope that they fit. If not there might be a pretty pair in size 41 for sale in the UK!

    That's me for today, I'm going to finish lunches for tomorrow and then crawl of to bed super early. Its only 8pm here but I think I need a really good nights sleep and hopefully that will leave me feeling better tomorrow.

    Em

    P.S. Edited to ad:

    ~Primal Challenge~
    My husband and I have decided that we will do the 30 day primal challenge – see if I can use it to bust past my traditional plateau!

    My personal challenge is going to be to do more moving at a moderate pace. I don’t get much of this in each week because of work and being busy in the evenings but all it would take is a little bit of effort. My big thing is that I need to stay away from making it too difficult – far too many years of thinking about exercise as being exclusively chronic cardio!

    I'm thinking about trying to walk into work a couple times a week (only half an hour), and make the effort to go for a walk at lunchtime. If I can do those things, I should be able to notch up a couple of hours to supplement my measly attempt recently. I'll record my efforts here!
    Last edited by kaoticturtle; 09-12-2011 at 02:56 PM. Reason: addition of my personal primal challenge

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