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Thread: 2 Sistas go Primal - AUS vs. USA

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    2 Sistas go Primal - AUS vs. USA (Journal)

    This is the Primal Blueprint Journal of two sisters living in opposite parts of the globe (Australia, and The USA), about to embark on the 21 day challenge.

    My sister, Sourcat, emailed me yesterday to ask if I'd be interested in trying out the 21 day challenge with her. I'd heard a little about the Primal diet a few months ago when a friend of mine tried it so I jumped on board.

    I am known on here as Sketcha, currently living in Chicago, USA and already prefer a low lactose and gluten-free diet so this doesn't intimidate me (too much). Winter is officially still a few weeks away but today we are just getting our first miserable drizzle of simultaneous rain & snow. Soon we will be drenched by treacherous ice storms, then hopefully by Christmas some beautiful white snow. Fresh fruit is going to be expensive, except apples perhaps. I know the best avocados around here are from Mexico. Most of the non-meat items I eat are probably going to be frozen. I suspect I will be complaining about this frequently in my journal.

    Sourcat is living in Melbourne, Australia. It seems they are currently experiencing typical late Spring weather, maybe slightly warmer than usual. It is almost Summer time, and I am extremely jealous.
    Not only will there be a variety of fresh summer fruit & veg, Melbourne is on the coast, so there should be a vast array of fresh seafood.

    I cannot officially start until next week, since I don't have the book yet, but I think Sourcat is starting today.

    ~Sketcha
    Last edited by Sketcha; 11-27-2011 at 09:46 PM.

  2. #2
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    Nov 2010
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    New Zealand
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    sounds cool, gals. looking forward to seeing you around.

  3. #3
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    That is all very useful. I've heard artificial sweeteners make people increase calorie consumption afterwards, but I didn't understand the mechanism. The desensitisation of tastebuds makes perfect sense. Congrats on the loss. I saw a study on habits of people that have lost weight and manage to maintain it, and a big one was weighing yourself every day. My hubby and I weigh ourselves most days, I think it is helpful. Hopefully you are becoming a fat loss machine
    Actually, we have figured out he is particularly salt-sensitive. He went to the USA in September to visit his family (and for work), and came back with a gut. Now he is at his ideal weight during the week, but at the weekend his weight goes up 5 whole pounds. This seemed crazy. Then after two days of eating primaly it goes back down to his ideal. This is too big of a shift to be fat, so it must be fluid. I think it is due to increased salt intake, as we usually eat out over the weekend. High blood pressure runs in his family, which also fits, so we are going to be more careful with salt intake at home.
    My weight barely moves. It goes up about 1.5 pounds if I have been socialising and drinking a bit, then after 2-3 days goes back down. I did hit a new low last week (by about 1 pound). Even though I haven't really lost anything significant, I am getting heaps of compliments & I am pretty sure the weight I do have is redistributing.

  4. #4
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    Nov 2011
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    I'm so relieved to be back on a no-carb diet. It is so hard to get past the first 3 days, but it is much easier the way I did it this time - gradually cutting out one thing every few days, and eating lots of high-fat comfort foods (esp. dairy) at the beginning. At first I was already off wheat/bread products, but stopped eating rice bread as well (even though I found one that is extremely tasty). Then I cut out rice, then soymilk, then milk chocolate, then once I was okay without the grains & legumes I started cutting back on dairy. And I also stopped drinking alcohol the same day I went dairy-free (the day after hubby's 30th).
    I'm definitely going to recommend this method to anyone that has trouble going cold turkey. Make a list of the top ten non-primal foods you love and spend ten days gradually removing them from your diet. Especially if it is harder to find primal foods. I still miss dairy a lot, but I think cutting out the lactose keeps my blood sugar levels in check. Once I get down to my maintenance weight I might bring back the full fat greek yogurt and sharp cheddar. One thing that I noticed early on, a few days after eating full-fat meats and cheeses, is that I have stopped craving avocados. When I was trying the conventional method of dieting (egg whites, turkey sausage, nonfat greek yogurt etc.), I was eating a whole avocado many days. Now, although I still love avocado, I don't really care enough about having some to drive out to the only grocery store that sells decent ones.

    Today I went out and bought a fresh turkey to cook for Christmas dinner! I'm very excited about it. I bought the smallest one they have (13lbs), and it cost $40 but it's mega primal (love them crazy Amish peeps) and grown locally! "All of our Amish Country Kitchens Fresh Turkeys are raised free-range on the great plains of Illinois in the Amish tradition".

    I also bought almond flour, wild rice and sweet potato fries to further wean my husband off the worst carbs. I'm not going to cook anything that isn't somewhat PB friendly anymore. I'm trying to learn how to cook more veggies and things so there is enough food. And I've got a nice variety of cured meats and fancy cheeses available in the fridge for snacking. I'm going to make hard-boiled eggs today too. So far I haven't gotten any complaints - except he hated the organic 'pork 'n beans' baked beans last night, but I only had those left in the cupboard from my low-fat days. I was actually glad they weren't very tasty because if all the carbs he eats from now on are gross, he'll be more likely to want to go full primal.

    Tonight we're having rib-eye steaks grilled on the bbq

  5. #5
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    Nov 2011
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    Melbourne, Australia
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    Time to introduce myself too. Sister of Sketcha, living in Melbourne Australia. Always relatively healthy and active, but a year after my first daughter was born I was diagnosed with inflammatory arthritis. It was really severe for a few years, affecting hands, feet & knees. I had a handicapped permit, could barely walk, and it was tough for a while. I became quite interested in health & nutrition around that time. Finally after 4 years I was able to get it under control with the help of Bikram yoga and a long list of medication. I went off the meds in order to get pregnant again, and was told it would come back with a vengance after giving birth. Amazingly after my second daughter was born it went into complete remission for a while. Now, a few years down the track it is back, but I am managing quite well on some new medications.

    I know what it is like to completely lose your health, so I don't plan to go back there. I go to the gym 3-4 times a week nowadays, Bikram is just too militant and I don't have the time. I quite like eatiing low carb, but have always missed eating berries, so the primal diet appeals to me. I'm not expecting any miracles with the arthritis, but I'll keep monitoring it for improvement.

    Yes it is SUMMER in two days. I am on holidays for the next month, so it is a great time for me to focus on this. It will be interesting working the diet into family meals, so any advice on that is appreciated. I'll post my diary entries here, sorry if they are a bit long winded or boring.

  6. #6
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    Ok, I've been fumbling my way through primal eating over Christmas and NYE, which has been a challenge. I've had way too much alcohol and general calorie intake for sure, but have maintained at least 80% primal or more. It is getting easier & the family is slowly getting on board. I am now finally happy with black coffee (with a little bit of sugar) and loving it. I have also started reading Wheat Belly, which is written by a cardiologist & a great resource.

    Here is the big HUGE news. I haven't needed any anti-inflammatory medication for the last four-five days!!! I have been on a high dose for the last two years. In the last month I went down to a half dose & now I seem to be pretty good on nothing at all. I still have injections once per month, but I am actually almost due for another, so this is usually when my joints are the most sore. I really am in shock about it & really hopeful this is going to keep up. I'd also like to note my skin looks great still. I haven't lost any weight at all (nor have I been trying), but that is hardly surprising this time of year. I start work on the 11th of January, so I think that will mean less snacking & hopefully it will drop off.

    I have discovered so much yummy, primal food lately. Coconut mango popsicles, beetroot & sweet potato chips & dark chocolate. It might be time to send little sister a care package. . . .

  7. #7
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    Nov 2011
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    Such exciting news about the anti-inflammatory medicine! After I've been doing this for a few months straight I might get my knees X-rayed and see if the arthritis is gone.
    I did not drink at all over Christmas/NYE, but I did eat a lot of milk chocolate and dairy. And sugary drinks like peppermint mocha and coke.
    I haven't weighed myself in a few weeks because I feel like I gained ten pounds. I'm back on the primal wagon now. I tried the chocolate primal fuel for breakfast this morning. It's pretty good. Nice chocolate flavour with coconut. If you're going to blend it with fruit I would get vanilla.

    I made pork chops last night. Basically browned them on both sides in a skillet, then baked them covered with Apple slices for 25 minutes. They were delicious. The pork is local organic too from Witzig organic farms. It really does make a difference in taste. I used this recipe Pork Chop Supper Recipe as a guide since I haven't cooked pork chops before (except pan-fry but they were already seasoned when I bought them). I made a lot of modifications to the recipe. Left out the rice and sugar, seasoned the pork with onion powder instead of putting chopped onions in there, I browned the chops with duck fat, and used ghee for the apple cinamon mixture. And I used liquid concentrate organic chicken stock instead of the cube kind.
    The recipe needs a little work (my non-sugar version), but it is a good way to add some fruit in with dinner. Maybe if you used sweeter apples instead of granny smith it might be perfect. I've been trying frozen sweet potato fries and tater tots on my husband lately. They are actually very delicious. Not as crispy as the potato ones but still yummy. They went well with the pork chops and apples.
    Last edited by Sketcha; 01-03-2012 at 04:34 PM.

  8. #8
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    Here is a link to the other thread we will post on, with a few other forum users starting the challenge the same time as us:
    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread42883.html

  9. #9
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    you might consider another form of yoga, or doing the bikram sequence (i'm sure you remember it!) at your own pace once a week or so to help out. And congrats on regaining your health so far!

  10. #10
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    Nov 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by zoebird View Post
    you might consider another form of yoga, or doing the bikram sequence (i'm sure you remember it!) at your own pace once a week or so to help out. And congrats on regaining your health so far!
    Good idea, might try that at home. Even if I don't hold them quite as long it would still be great.

    Ok, Day 1 Journal entry:
    Success Score: 10/10 today.


    Kitchen/ pantry purge
    Left the cereal, pasta and crackers for the kids, I'm not interested in these. Kept bread for the kids lunches (not really a temptation for me).
    Threw out cornmeal & cornflour (I'll have to research paleo thickeners), fibre supplements, peanut butter.

    Restock Preparation
    Bought lots of free range meat, eggs, smoked salmon, tins of tuna. Bought duck fat, coconut oil and ghee for cooking. Found a lemon & olive oil dressing to use. Plenty of salad veggies and some blueberries in season. Also bought coconut milk and extra green curry paste. Need to buy some cabbage to shred instead of rice to go with the green curry - such a good idea.

    Ideas to increase Daily Movement
    Gym 3* per week (one training session, two on my own).
    Evening walks after dinner (to go check out the new house).
    Walk the kids to school if it is a nice day & go to the organic shop on the way home.

    Today: I had a training session. A few sprints, lots of full body movements with weights.
    Tonight: Walked to pick the girls up from piano lessons. Had a great walk home via the playground. The girls definitely talk a lot more walking rather than driving.

    Primal essentials
    Glass water bottle.
    Filled out medication doset box with vitamin D 2000IUD per day, fish oil, multivitamin.

    Summary
    Daily energy levels: 7
    Hunger between meals: 7
    Satisfaction level with meals: 6
    Benefits noticed from Primal efforts: -
    Struggles: quite hungry and tired this morning. Probably due to big carb heavy meal yesterday. Hardly surprising.
    Daily highlight: Gym training session was great. I meet with a trainer on Monday mornings and worked very hard for a full hour.
    Need to improve: Planning meals. The food I made was a bit bland, didn't want to add salt. I think I might go a few days before adding in seasoning to see if my taste buds adjust. This definitely happened when I cut out added sugar about a month ago.

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