Primal Journal (Pimzilla)
I have finally found my way here and decided to share my journey with whomever is interested.
I am a sugar addicted nutritionist and personal trainer. Sounds good? I have never really been overweight but never lean as I should have been with my choice of profession. I can't count how many times I have decided to give up sugar and failed. I did manage for about 3 months about 5 years ago and dropped quite a lot of weight doing so. But unfortunately I thought I was cured and decided to enjoy just a bite, that turned into two next time, and another and so on. Working extra in a bakery is not to recommend for carboholics. What made me succeed for that long was a lchf diet, the only diet that managed to reduce/get rid of my cravings. But to be totally honest it was quite a boring diet. Almost no fruit and few veggies is not my thing.
About 6 months ago I started looking into paleo more since I have, as long as I can remember, been convinced it's the right way to eat, just not been convinced I can do it. I can add I have been quite depressed lately and that has made me go into the "I will do it next Monday" mode. One day at the gym I decided to jump up on the scales since I had noticed how big my belly had gotten and how tight my trousers were fitting. That was a slap in my face, 76.3 kg (168.2 lbs)! Ouch, that really hurt, I have never been that heavy and with a BMI of 27. I know I used to be at the higher end of normal BMI but then I have more muscle mass than most women my size and it has never really bothered me. This got me to immediately start looking into paleo again and I decided I will give it a go, but with modification. Yes it has to be low carb or I will get really bad abstinence, but I need dairy on this journey to help me get the fat content up and also some fruit to stop the worst cravings and most of all psychologically to make me feel as not all sweet things in life are gone.
Monday the 26th of September was the big day and hopefully the start of a totally new lifestyle for me. Almost 4 weeks into a primal diet I feel pretty good. I used to suffer from extreme tiredness in the mornings and only felt ok when I regularly supplemented with tyrosine. Many days I could "sleep" for 10-11 hours and still struggle to get out of bed, felt like my body was made of lead, I still need 8-9 hours of sleep but I don't feel especially tired in the morning. Last week I have been slightly more tired again, but it might be the weather.
As far as training goes I tried spinning and easy jogging during the 2nd week with very bad result. Extreme fatigue and no glycogen whatsoever in my muscles. Old granny could walk past me the pace I was jogging. I tried going even lower on my carbs for 4 days, dropped from 50-100g in the beginning to 20-40g. Spinning was ok after that, hard to do the sprints after the first 20 minutes but I felt as if I could go on medium intensity for hours. Then I found Mark's blog and decided to skip my running for now and stick with the daily walks with my dog.
As one of the beginners on this diet I have made some lowcarb apple cake, primal bars and also had a little bit of dark chocolate mixed with coconut oil to have the option of treating myself. This has helped me a lot mentally, especially on Saturday evenings in front of the tv with my boyfriend who actually likes the non sweet apple cake
I am going to admit cheating once as well, I had enormous pizza cravings yesterday and Domino's got a phone call. Less than half a large pizza and I was full for the day. Got pretty bad carb cravings which is really bad but they were gone this morning and not had any cravings today.
I lost a lot of weight the first two weeks and just half a kg (1 lb) last two weeks. I hope it will start going down again soon, but in the end it doesn't matter how quick it goes. My plan is to stick with this lifestyle the rest of my life. I need to break free of the carb addiction forever!
Starting weight: 76.3 kg (168.2 lbs)
Current weight: 73.2 kg (161.4 lbs)
Goal weight: 63 kg (138.9lbs)
This morning I had a fried breakfast:
1 egg (last egg, had to go shop), 5 slices of bacon, 3 slices of haloumi cheese.
Lunch was more of a snack, didn't get hungry until late and didn't want to spoil my appetite before dinner with a big lunch:
A piece of apple cake (apples, cinnamon, ground almonds and hazelnuts) with whipped cream.
2 big home made chili burgers made of 20% fat beef mince.
Home made tomato salsa
5 wedges of sweet potato chips (new experiment with a bit of carbs the day before I go to spinning)
Some fresh pineapple.
About 90 min walking the dog
30 min lifting weights
Don't think I ate enough early today, have been feeling quite pekish and been thinking a lot about food and tried to stay away from my tv snacks until after dinner. My breakfast was quite small because I get a stich very easily and had a spinning class within 1 hour. Might try to increase it next week and see how that goes.
I felt great doing spinning today! Don't know if it's the small increase in carbs from yesterday or just my muscles learning to use fat for fuel. I think it's the later but I will keep experimenting. I'm usually never tired after exercise but I have felt quite energetic today and went for an extra walk with my dog because I was a bit bored and needed to do something. I might add a day of HIIT next week and see what happens.
2 eggs and 3 slices of haloumi cheese.
2 pork sausages
2 slices of bacon
A piece of primal energy bar
Some pistachio nuts.
Chili con carne (with some beans in it, white and kidney beans)
Home made tomato salsa
(Stole 2 nacho pieces from my boyfriend)
A piece of apple cake
A bit of dark chocolate (85%) mixed 50/50 with coconut oil and some cardamom
50 min spinning
2.5 hours of walking
I had a fairly big breakfast today after deciding to take my dog for a long walk in the nice weather. I felt great at the start of the day but got a slight headache in late afternoon that seems to get worse. First time I have a headache for a couple of weeks I think. I'm so used to having them several days a week with some exceptions every now and then that I can't really remember. I hope the PB diet will improve my headaches, even though I don't know since both my sister and mum suffers from worse ones and especially my mum very frequent ones (every day of the week except on vacation, stress maybe). If I can cure headaches I might even be able to talk my mum into cutting back on the grains, or it's just wishful thinking.
I haven't done much more than my 4.5 hour walk this morning, but I might go for my first HIIT tomorrow, was a couple of months ago I did any HIIT at all and it used to be a bit too infrequent.
3 slices of haloumi cheese
2 slices of bacon
Wasn't really hungry at lunch, more peckish, this is what I managed to eat:
A bit of the leftover chocolates from yesterday (ahhhhh I can't leave them when they are there)
A slice of almond/sesame/coconut bread I made earlier
A slice of parma ham
Thai inspired prawn soup made from coconut milk
Bit of fresh pineapple to say with the thai theme
Raspberry smoothie (frozen raspberries, organic whole milk and cream)
4.5 hours of walking
Hello Pimzilla, welcome & good luck with your goals!
I also struggle with a sugar addiction and TV snacktime is a particular challenge, as you say. What goes in your low-carb apple cake?
Hi Pineneedles and thank you!
I'll post the recipe here, I'm not used to using cups and stuff since I'm Swedish living in the UK, but you will get an idea.
3 apples, sliced
50 g butter (coconut oil or ghee might work just as well)
100 g almond flour (i tried 50 almond/50 ground hazelnuts, I loved it but boyfriend prefer almonds only)
1 tsp psyllium husk
1,5 tsp baking powder (you can leave it out if you wish, doesn't make too much difference as long as you whisk the eggs well)
2 tbsp shredded coconut (or coconut flour if you have)
75 g coconut oil
vanilla powder (I can't find this anywhere but it's probably nice)
I add a little bit of stevia aswell, but honey is probably nice but I don't want to risk it right now.
I start with frying the apples in butter and cinnamon. Then I whisk the eggs for quite a while until they are really fluffy together with stevia. Before adding the other dry ingredients I mix them up together and then fold them in carefully to try keep it all as fluffy as possible. And then I add the coconut oil that I have heated a bit to make it runny. Just fold the oil in as carefully as the dry ingredients.
I have tried 2 variations, the first one is pouring the batter into a buttered small dish and then sticking the apple pieces into the cake. Last time I tried to pour the apples in first and then adding the batter on top. Both works just as well I guess.
I put it into the oven on 175°C (350 F) for 25-30 min. Then eat with lots of cream
*Edit* Just saw you are from UK aswell
Thanks! I'm Finnish and living in the UK so we use the same measurements (though I have become somewhat corrupted by the British and now think in miles instead of kilometres ... it's possible cups will follow).
Does it make a difference what kind of apples you use, sweet or tart? I have most of the ingredients at home except the apples and the psyllium husks so will give it a go soon.
Impressive thinking in miles, I still struggle with that and probably look like a huge ? every time someone starts describing things in miles. But was walking 14 miles last week which turned out to bee about 22-23 km so I'm getting there
I have used granny smith and also some "unbranded" cooking apples. I can't tell a difference eating the cake so I would just go with whatever I find.
I had to order psyllium husks on ebay, but since you are in London you can probably get hold of it easier. I guess you could try making it without but it might be a bit more dense and crumbly I think.
Hey Pim! I just saw your pictures and wanted to pop over to show my support. Very curious about what kind of diet is generally recommended by nutritionists in comparison to a primal diet. I've been wanting to speak with one to fulfill my curiosity but haven't gotten around to seeking a referral.
Thanks for checking my journal out. I'll keep logging things for myself but it's nice to see some people might actually be interested
As mentioned above I'm Swedish and have been studying at Stockholm University and Karolinska Institutet. I'm not too sure what an American nutritionist would recommend but we got the "plate model" in Sweden. For a normal active person that means 50% of your plate should be the grains, 25% vegetables and 25% protein or if you need to lose weight you switch grains and vegetables so the vegetables are 50% and grains 25%.
Energywise it's 10-20% of protein (depending on if you workout a lot or not), 15-25% fat (no less than 0,5 g per kg bodymass, almost 0,25 g per lb) and about 65% carbohydrates. I imagine it's similar in the US.
I remember one of our lecturers who was a vegan, she was very thin and unhealthy looking, almost grey skin handing us these papers with studies about how red meat was causing colon cancer and I was thinking I rather have colon cancer and eating well than being grey
About general guidelines you might want to consider is 25-30g of dietary fiber a day, 500 g of fruit and vegetables a day. Yes I took that as eating 5 fruits a day is great and didn't manage fully but I used to eat a lot of fruit.
This is what they still teach at the nutritionist program unless if it has changed last 3 years but we have a few people who actually have managed to break through to the public with the low carb message. You might have heard about Dr Annika Dahlqvist, a Swedish physician working with people with type 2 diabetes recommending a lchf diet. She was really successful until some dieticians reported her for putting her patients in danger. I was a huge discussion in the newspaper and it might have opened a few minds up for the future. I think I got off topic a bit.
If there is anything specific you want to know just ask. But to be fair I don't think much of the general recommendations are worth anything, it's all based on carbs as the staple food.