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  1. #1
    photonsbefree's Avatar
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    Primal Journal (photonsbefree)

    I have been lurking here for some time now and have been semi-primal for since spring. I have noticed good changes in my energy levels and certainly lost some fat and gained muscle in the process.

    However, I have known for some time that I have areas in which to improve (bye beer!, less optimal choices when eating out - goodbye fish and chips?, ditching the cardio intensive strength training DVDs that I used to do, giving up my addiction to daily home popped popcorn and peanut butter too).

    So with much to improve upon, Today is Day One of my 21 Day Challenge and I have convinced my mother, recently put on statins, to do this with me. She is happy to try a lifestyle that might help her improve her health. I bought us each a copy of the new book (and one for a friend too!) and I will keep my journal here.

    Yesterday was Day 0 and though not officially on the challenge yet, I had my daughter (also going to participate) take a photo of me for "before" and I ate primally, even purchasing my first ever bag of Macadamia nuts (how did I not know about these? they are so delicious! they are better than cookies!). I was also able to get in a bit of walking and lots of squats (not counting yet, but I will starting today) and some good sunshine time at the park. I went to bed at a reasonable hour so I am up and ready to start fresh today.

    Two things that I've done to prepare for the challenge are buying a pull-up bar (easy to do, but I hadn't done it for 6 months or so - so yay for finally doing it!) and I have cowpooled for my first time ever and have roughly 1/12 of a grass fed local "happy" cow in my freezer right now.

    One primal thing I do with my son is go on mushroom walks. We have a local club with plenty of experts - and what could be more primal than walking through the woods foraging for fungi? We have learned to cultivate them in logs and straw so we can grow our own tasty oyster mushrooms, reishi, shitaakes or other varieties.

    I'm feeling very enthusiastic and suppose that I will have to come back later to make my "official" journal entry for today.

  2. #2
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    Day 1:

    I was so busy cleaning out the pantry and refridgerator, doing a primal "rat cage cleaning" (1.5 hours of hauling 4 cages and supplies to and from the driveway to hose them off) which including much lifting of heaving things and squatting and climbing stairs) and then going to a non-primal late (8-10) music rehearsal with bright lights that I did not have time to record the success of the first of the 21 days!

    Kitchen/Pantry Purge:
    Hardest Part: Having to keep things that my husband might want to use. It won't be hard for me to not use them but I'd have loved to make the kitchen totally primal! We did make a "non-primal" shelf in the pantry way up high but my husband said he wouldn't mind if I tossed out the crackers as long as there were slabs of meat lying around for him to snack on.
    Best Part: My mom came over during my purge to pick up the copy of the book I bought for her AND my daughter is helping and going to participate too. So it's a multipart best part!

    Restock Preparation
    Primal shopping resources: Easy for me living in a fairly progressive, urban area: Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, a local fresh fish market - and I have a friend of a friend who makes jerky and sells online - going to find out more about that and how to get some. For my occasional dark chocolate needs, I need only go across the street to my neighbor's house who has a chocolate business. ^.^ My local farmer's market (outdoor) is over so it would be great to find a CSA.
    Comments: It's fairly easy finding organic food around here - local produce shouldn't be hard - I just need to do a bit more research. I already have a happy cow share (grass fed) in the freezer so that's a head start!

    Increase Daily Movement:
    Ways to increase over long term:
    1. Take more walks
    2. Schedule more bike rides with my friend who also likes to ride
    3. Do yardwork - our yard has been pretty neglected - maybe I could find a corner to improve if it doesn't exacerbate my skin sensitivites to certain plants
    4. Start training for "Run For Your Life" - not to win - just not to be eaten by zombies. Going to use the sprinting/PEMs for my main training and do some test runs (run/walk to start off with) off road somewhere, maybe a nearby park

    Today's Movement:
    It was all in my normal activities - the 1.5 hour rat cage cleanings - my job was to lift the cages in and out of the house, hose off, return - turns out to be a lot of lifting, stair climbing and squatting. A lot of my day was spent on my feet doing things around the house (pantry purge) and lifting two heavy trash bags of non-primal foods to the trash can. My evening was busy but hopefully today I'll have time for at least one good walk.

    Primal Essentials
    Items acquired: late last week acquired pull-up bar and installed. Today - just received my print copy of the 21 day book (already had kindle version on my phone because I couldn't wait .

    Summary Comments
    Daily Energy Levels 1-10: 6
    Hunger level between meals 1-10: Ack I don't know. Not that high. 4?
    Satisfaction level with meals 1-10: 6 - lunch was a few apple slices, cheese and snack of macadamias - on the go - not really enough
    Benefits noticed from Primal efforts: I felt smug - I did not need to take a nap mid afternoon and I had enough energy to finish everything I needed to today - I have been off grains for a while though so I expected my energy to be pretty good

    Daily highlight(s): daughter helping with pantry, getting to sight read a symphony I've never played before (hey, the reason I'm primal is so I can do the stuff I love, right?), getting the 21 days book in the mail when I didn't expect it until tomorrow!

    Daily needs-to-improve: I stayed up later than is optimal working on Halloween prop - don't regret it because I needed my husband's help and our schedules have not overlapped much and won't for next few days - but don't want to make it a habit. I also really wanted to go for a walk and couldn't fit it in but hopefully day 2 will be different that way!

    There's no place for food on day 1 - so quick summary is that I ate eggs, cheese, apple (less than 1), macadamia nuts (probably more than I should have!), seafood/vegetable soup (got seafood mix at Trader Joe's) and a square of dark chocolate. I plugged my foods into fitday.com and I don't think I ate enough calories. Part of the problem was not having a proper lunch. Will work on improving that today.
    Last edited by photonsbefree; 10-25-2011 at 07:27 AM.

  3. #3
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    Days 2-4? I don't think I'm going to be able to post daily updates but maybe a few times a week.

    Day 2
    I already have most of the primal foods stocked in my house but need to get out and buy a few more things (nearly out of coconut oil). So this part is going well as I have been doing this for some time anyway. I'd like to have more meat (in addition to my happy cow share) in the freezer including more fish for the kids who only eat fish.

    Moderate Duration Workout
    Decided to do Couch to 5K again - mostly walking with just a few minutes of running this time - and the only back on the knee "injury" became stiff again. It's not a Baker's Cyst... don't know what it is (ultrasound showed no problems) - so I want to see if I can find out. If I can't run from zombies in March that's ok - I can do what I can and turn into one. Funny thing is the knee doesn't feel stiff after sprinting. Maybe I can sprint/walk away from zombies...

    Days 3 and 4
    Highlights - boycotting industrialized food is getting to be routine for me anyway. I did a lot of walking during the day on Day 3 and a lot of standing up and Day 4 - was outdoors at a Halloween party walking around taking pics - which involved a fair amount of squatting as well. My PEMs are going well - I'm really enjoying the pull-up bar although I'm doing assisted ones currently. I can do a *lot* of squats and think maybe I need to do them somewhat slower or hold them a bit to make them harder. Luckily my "back of knee" issue doesn't show up during these exercises. I do pretty well with modified push-ups (knees) and can do 12-15 in a set. I might be able to do more but I don't have any harsh trainer yelling at me.

    So food, lifestyle, shopping, exercise is going well. Sleeping is NOT as I have been very busy and two nights have had a couple of glasses of wine and that's not part of the plan. D: I'd like to do better! I have been considering trying meditation. Between music rehearsals and costume creation/repair and cooking for various events this week has been busier than normal. I'm guessing it's going to be like this until the end of the year so I may need to better planning so I can wind down at night.

    The easiest part for me is choosing the right foods. I have been doing this for enough time (since spring) that I'm no longer tempted at all by bread or conventional sweets (just fruits or primal ones). My biggest food temptation is popcorn.

  4. #4
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    Love your journal.

  5. #5
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    Thanks Tapper! Positive feedback encourages me to write more.

    Days 5 and 6

    Well, I was right. Last week of October with Homecoming and special events not necessarily best time to try and be closer to 100% primal. That said, I'm still glad I "started" because I am at least doing better in some areas, notably:

    1) PEMs and aerobic exercise - I have done my PEMs for the week and have gotten in more than my usual cardio - and it's been the good kind (not chronic). I did well yesterday training for the 5k - running but not too hard or stressful - and can see me ramping up to do this if my knee is okay. I'm not going for speed - just to be able to complete it and have fun.

    2) Food - I finally visited the fresh fish market and bought some! It was delicious. I have "cheated" with popcorn I made myself, but I didn't eat as much as I used to, and definitely not every day. I made a savory bacon & fennel snack yesterday when I needed some comfort food. Mmm!

    The 21 day journal suggests planning a primal feast. Well, I cooked out primally with a couple of friends at homecoming today. Sort of primally. It's not the same as planning a feast but I'm going to be planning primal Thanksgiving soon and may test out a couple of recipes in advance. We took a primal snack to a Halloween party on Thursday - nut and date balls - found the recipe here in the recipe forums. They were a big hit!

    My daughter made strawberries and cream for her dessert last night. "Made" of course means just washing, chopping and pouring. She is awesome at being a pescatarian primal eater.

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    Primal Blueprint Expert Certification
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