Primal Journal -- Deanna
I have not been an active member on these forums, although I come to the website frequently enough. We'll see how long I stick with this.
I have been primal for 2 1/2 years. I started in May 2009 when I was introduced to Loren Cordain's "The Paleo Diet." It made sense, made me feel good, and I quickly lost water weight. That was actually kind of a bad thing, because I ended up really super-skinny and didn't really look healthy. The weight slowly came back on and then some, but I'm stronger and faster than ever.
My commitment waxes and wanes. I'm more lax around the holidays, but when I want to be, I can be super-strict. I am trying to strike the balance and hit 80/20 instead of all-or-none, and every day I'm getting closer.
I have a couple of food goals for 2012. My primary goal is to cut out preservatives and artificial sweeteners. The artificial sweeteners will be easy because most of them came from my growing addiction to diet sodas, something that shouldn't have happened to begin with. Sometimes I do like a little sugar-free syrup in my coffee, but I can forgo that except for an occasional treat.
Removing preservatives will be a little more difficult and I don't expect to be perfect. I will need to make a lot more things from scratch, using fresh tomatoes in recipes that call for canned tomatoes or tomato paste and making homemade marinades. The food tastes better, though, so the extra effort seems to be worth it. We'll see if I'm still saying that when I'm a month or so into this!
My next goal is to make veggies a bigger staple. When I was in Navy boot camp, I didn't have vitamins, and our RDCs always told us that we had to remember all the vitamins and minerals we were going to get had to come from our food. Since the meat was always lean, that meant it came from lots and lots of veggies, and I seemed to get good results, aside from some bloating from so much fiber! I plan on using that model, but less extreme.
I do have a fitness goal for 2012, which is to do less long cardio and get in more long walks and long bike rides, and stay lean by keeping my portions moderate. I got back from a relaxing vacation in Florida, got back into command training, and got a stress fracture in my foot. This tells me that I've been overdoing it on the running! That is going to be hard -- I have to find a way to make my workouts intense enough that I feel adequately whooped after a half hour. I am often fidgety and have a lot of energy to burn, and as my husband says, I can never stop exercising because it keeps me a nice person!
So that sums up my goals for 2012. There is a lot of explanation, but in the end it's easy: fresh foods, portion control, and more long, slow cardio. I think this is manageable!
Friday. What I ate:
Breakfast: Omelette with eggs, peppers-n-onions, 1/4 avocado, some salsa, a banana, green tea w/ coconut milk.
Snack: Raw carrots and homemade baba ghanoush
Lunch: Grilled salmon filet salad with spinach, blackberries, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar
Snack: Sliced cucumbers with salsa, half a spoonful of natural peanut butter (oops)
Dinner: Beef chili on spaghetti squash
Dessert: One little Belgian seashell chocolate (part of my 80/20) and a green tea
Exercise: Getting around on crutches. Fail.
I just remembered that the gym at the base has a Kranking machine. I will have to do that for some cardio because I'm going NUTS sitting on my butt with my foot in the air. When I meet with my trainer on Monday, I'll ask what kinds of exercises I can do that won't irritate my foot. The last thing I want is to exacerbate the injury or have a recurring injury. Ugh.
Okay, post number three.
Broken foot still sucks. I went to the gym today and did some Kranking. Yeah. But like the amazing klutz I am, I snagged the middle finger on my left hand in one of the kranks and ripped off a large chunk of skin. This is not my week. Fail.
So, I took a larger portion of my 80/20 than I normally would.
Lunch: Baked chicken with a Primal Blueprint marinade, tomatoes, cukes, spinach, olive oil, balsamic vinegar
Snack: Lots of cukes and carrots, homemade baba ghanoush, salsa, a banana, and a small spoon of natural PB (ugh, a weakness)
Dinner: Spaghetti squash, grass-fed chili
Dessert: Three seashell chocolates and a martini
There is some cleaning up to be done. I think I also need to add just a little more fats. Something to breakfast, and a little extra meat at dinner. I will play with that starting tomorrow.
I've been a little lax in keeping up with this thread! My foot is feeling a lot better, thanks to a day off yesterday. I don't think I really wanted to take it off, but my foot told me otherwise, I listened, and I'm glad for it. Today I had command PT at 7:30am, but since it involved a lot of running, squat thrusts, and lunges, the chief had me go PT on my own.
I did a good CrossFit bodyweight workout. 5 rounds with 3:00 rest in between of 20 pushups, 30 pullups (mine were on the assisted pullup machine), 40 situps, and 50 squats. It took long enough that I felt like I had a good workout, and even though I do weight training for my legs and so bodyweight squats are easy, a total of 250 bodyweight squats hurts no matter who you are! I finished it up with 15 minutes of steady rowing, and I felt great for the day, as opposed to wiped out. Between that and the fact that I seem to have lost 4 lbs. of holiday weight in only a week and a half tells me that the two weeks before winter leave, when I was eating well and exercising a ton, I was overdoing it. That and my foot injury.
The bodyweight workout felt so good that I think I will incorporate a pure bodyweight workout into my routine. Right now I do a traditional two-day upper-lower split, which I enjoy. I was trying to think of how to get another weights workout in, and I think bodyweight is the exact Primal thing I need. It's one thing to do leg presses. It's another thing to develop explosiveness by making your legs heave your body into the air. Lat pulldowns are great, but pullups are a slightly different beast.
What did I eat today? Deliciousness!
Breakfast: Eggs scrambled with some coconut oil, mushrooms, spinach, and a very unprocessed breakfast sausage link. Sometimes I have the sausage link, occasionally I have a banana. I feel better on the days I have the sausage link. Oh, and a cup of decaf coffee with coconut milk.
Snack: Egg protein shake sweetened with stevia. This is not exactly Primal, but I lose strength quickly if I'm not pushing weight around, so my trainer has me drink a shake after each weight workout to help me build the muscle or the muscular endurance.
Lunch: Tuna salad made with homemade mayo from the Primal Blueprint Cookbook (mine ended up more like Caesar dressing... but it still tastes good), celery, a few halved cherries, and spinach.
Dinner: Pork tenderloin that was marinated in the Primal Blueprint Cookbook blackberry marinade. The marinade is delicious and the pork came out fantastic. The only downer is that the marinade tastes very "Asian" to me, and I thought it would taste more like a barbecue sauce. But that just takes tweaking an ingredient or two. I would definitely make it again, though. I had it with asparagus sauteed in olive oil and steamed broccoli, and then I poured the juices from the pork all over it. Om-nom-nom!
My goal is to eat particularly well through Saturday because my husband just finished reading "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" and read a sentence about "bacon pancakes with lingonberries." He wants bacon pancakes with lingonberries. So on Sunday, I will indulge a portion of my 80/20 and make bacon pancakes with lingonberries using a gluten-free flour that is hanging around my pantry and coconut milk. And the delicious nitrate-free bacon that is sitting in the freezer. Hey, if I'm going to make something bad, I should at least make it less-awful!
Whoa, time to play catch-up!
January ended a little rough, but I've re-committed to my primal lifestyle. I was worried about calories, and now I've just decided to throw that out, eat my eggs and meat for breakfast, eat my salads for lunch, eat my dinner, and add fats and veggies if I'm still hungry.
Last Saturday, my husband made bacon-wrapped scallops with spicy mayo, and it was fabulous! So fabulous that I've made the spicy mayo recipe for lunch every day this week to put on chicken wraps with avocado, and I've made extra so I can dip my carrots in it. It's made a really satisfying lunch!
So basically every day this week, I've had eggs and sausage with coffee and coconut milk for breakfast, and baked chicken with avocado and spicy mayo wrapped in lettuce with raw carrots for lunch. My husband made a mango salsa for salmon the same night we had bacon-wrapped scallops, and it made so much that I made a spicy coated pork tenderloin for dinners. I also made a coffee-unsweetened cocoa powder-cinnamon-chili coated tenderloin and a mole sauce that is nothing but broiled veggies, homemade chicken stock (finally getting to use that stuff!) and unsweetened cocoa powder. Both have been really good!
The best part is that everything except the mayo is homemade. I just can't make homemade mayo work, and I found something that falls into the "good enough" category. Even the spicy mayo was mostly homemade -- mayo with chili paste (it was just chilis and salt), fresh cilantro, and fresh-squeezed lime.
On Wednesday, I fasted. It's such a great way to make sure I get enough sleep at night, instead of having to wake up even earlier on days when my schedule is wacky just so I can eat breakfast. By dinner, I felt completely famished, but I really didn't overeat. I guess there are only so many leafy greens one can fit in her stomach!
I FINALLY got diagnosed with a stress fracture in my foot and am in a boot so it can heal. Thank goodness! Clearly I am not doing any sprinting, but I'm still lifting weights, rowing, doing kettlebell swings, and biking for my cardio. I can't wait to get this thing off so I can feel like I'm doing "real" workouts.
Hi! Your salmon salad sounds amazing! Also I love using coffee in marinades/rubs. I discovered by accident that I like avocado and cottage cheese mixed with tuna better than anything I've used before, so much that it's become my go-to lunch for work.
Here's to speedy foot healing!!
A little lax in posting...
LOL, it seems like there's no point in keeping a journal if I don't post! I think I will be more accountable if I post here, so my new goal for the next three months is to POST!
Avocado and tuna... sounds amazing! I loved using avocado instead of mayonnaise in deviled eggs, but I never actually thought of it as a mayo alternative. I'll have to try that!
I have been on-again, off-again with tracking my calories. I think that's bull. I completely believe that I should eat good whole foods, eating when I'm hungry and stopping when I'm full. I had amazing results when I went to Navy boot camp and couldn't track my calories. I stuck to Primal as best as I could -- I ate the meat unless it was breaded or covered in cheese, which sometimes meant I went through a meal with no meat. I skipped all noodles and starches unless it was a sweet potato, I ate a salad at lunch and dinner, and I often had at least a banana or an apple with every meal. Sometimes both. Sometimes at breakfast, I would have two eggs, two slices of bacon, an apple, a banana, and then the dessert cart would have orange slices, so I would have those.
I put all my effort into every workout. I got serious results.
I constantly go back to that model because IT WORKED. I couldn't track calories, I just had my modest portion of protein at every meal and then filled up on veggies, mayo, and Sunbutter. I ate a lot more calories than I normally do.
So why do I track calories? Because it's a crutch. I finally decided that such a crutch was bull, and I think it's for real this time. Real food, whole food, only if I'm hungry, and only until I'm full.
It's easier said than done. I'm finding that I have "free time." Where I'm not worrying about my next meal because I'll eat it when I'm hungry. I never thought I didn't have free time, but if I'm not worrying about eating until I'm hungry, then I have to find something else to worry about. I decided that since I'm always looking for an excuse to get outside when the weather is nice up here in the Northeast, I'm starting some container veggies.
I seeded green lettuce, red lettuce, petite carrots, and beets. Now I'm just waiting for them to sprout, which will be about another week. I realized that now that I planted the seeds, there's not much to do except sit and wait. So I'm reading a book. I'm probably going to plant a few more veggies. Cherry tomatoes. Small eggplants. Kale. That would be a respectable start for an apartment garden.
So, planting veggies, reading books. Not a bad way to spend time not thinking about food!
In other words, I discovered that making nut butter is too easy, and also too dangerous! I made a macadamia-almond butter that got consumed too quickly, a dark-chocolate almond butter that got consumed at a normal pace, and a homemade Nutella that is going to become dessert with some heavy whipping cream.
My foot is entirely healed! I'm impressed that even though I haven't been running since January, when I hop on the treadmill (I'm going to do my physical assessment on that hamster-wheel of equipment, blerg), I can easily go as fast or faster than I did before my injury. Overuse, much? Apparently cross-training works!
I've also ditched my traditional weight-training for bodyweights, particularly the 100 burpees/100 days challenge. 100 burpees a day for 100 days straight. I'm on Day 16 -- faithfully! It hurts, but it only hurts for about 20 minutes, and then I'm done. The best part is that since my job is going to put me on the road a LOT in May and June, I can take this workout with me anywhere! I've enjoyed doing it outside on days when the temperature is above 40 and doing my burpees in the grass, in the sunshine.
I suppose in a day or two here I'll need to send in my "progress pics." Not that I'm showing a lot of progress -- I don't exactly have weight to lose. But who knows, maybe there WILL be a difference, and I just haven't seen it because I've lived with myself for three months!
I woke up at 7:00am Easter morning and walked for 10 minutes down the street to a studio for a killer one-hour workout. It leaves me with a hollow-leg, but it's so much fun!
The studio philosophy is that group exercise works best: people are motivated to work harder when they're cheering each other on to pumping tunes and whatnot. I agree. I work out better when I'm in a group of people to compete against.
We always do a warm-up, a little bit of stretching, a "power section" that involves mostly bodyweight moves with a little bit of dumbbells, a plyometric intervals section ("Anyone can do anything for one minute!" Uhhh, I beg to differ!), some more bodyweight work, and we finish with abs. It's like being in an Insanity video, only better balanced, safer, and while I thought Insanity was hard, this leaves me a wheezing, sweaty, gelatinous mess grinning on the gym floor. I love it!
I did the workout on an empty stomach (except for coffee) and had a better go this week than I did last week. Of course, last week I went to the class, came home, took a nap, and woke up with a nasty head cold, so no wonder I worked out like garbage. But still, going with just coffee in my gut is the way to go!
I did make a protein shake afterward consisting of almond milk, egg protein, and a banana. It was going to be 1 1/2 hours before I had brunch ready anyway!
Brunch was a kale and gruyere quiche, baked in ramekins without any crust. Just kale, onions, and garlic sauteed in a generous amount of butter, topped with some gruyere, eggs whipped in some cream and almond milk (I don't have milk hanging around because too much of it and I break out), topped with some parmesan. It made three ramekins, and my husband and I were both hungry enough to eat our ramekins and then split the third.
I found myself snacking on nuts and cheese all afternoon, so at one point I just had to stop myself and say, "Enough! I want to enjoy Easter dinner when we get to it!"
I made a traditional family favorite: Lithuanian kugelis. It's a potato pudding made with potatoes (duh), eggs, milk, and bacon. Once again, my husband and I are not into a gorge-fest, so I made it in ramekins. I used two eggs, divided it between three ramekins, and then found out that two eggs was one egg too many. Ah well, live and learn. It still tasted good!
And, get this: my dad's friend from childhood married a Lithuanian girl who was here on a student visa years ago. I remember, when I was a lot younger, that she relayed how they used to eat kugelis in Lithuania. We always top ours with bacon and sour cream, and she said, "Can you believe what we used to do? We would cook the bacon, and then we would stir the sour cream into the pan right into the bacon bits and grease, and then pour it on top like a gravy!"
That was back in my CW days. Yesterday, I took sour cream and mixed it into the pan with the bacon that I fried up and all the bits. My husband wanted a combo: some of the gravy and some straight up sour cream. I poured that stuff onto my kugels and ended up with practically a soup! It was soooooo good!
We had that, we had hard-boiled eggs and horseradish with beets, and I didn't like the looks of any of the hams around, so I baked two Cornish hens stuffed with some prunes and dried apricots. The carcasses went into the CrockPot to make sorrel soup. For dessert, I had some homemade Nutella that I knew I didn't have the self-control to eat in moderation, so we split it between two bowls like it was a pudding and topped it with homemade whipped cream. My husband made the whipped cream with Stevia, but he put in eight packets, so the whipped cream had a funny after-taste! Then when I looked up the ratios, I realized he should have used only 1 or 2 packets! Yikes!
Nonetheless, whipped cream on homemade Nutella is delicious, and later that night I finished the whipped cream with some blueberries.
Needless to say, this morning I am not hungry. Black coffee it is, and I've determined that I will just fast today.
I have gone a whole week without tracking my calories. Yay me! When I'm not tracking, I automatically eat more, and when I eat more, I work harder during my workouts, usually because I'm not sore and weak and I feel like since I ate, I'd better WORK. So far, the result is that all my workouts are stronger, and when I weighed myself after running and biking on an empty stomach Saturday morning, I was within a pound or two of my goal weight. I'm sure some of that was because I lost water weight, but it was encouraging nonetheless.
So, I have to ask who was the brilliant person who thought that making our mandatory "courtesy" weigh-in the Tuesday after Easter was a good idea? Stupid, stupid, stupid.
That's not the greatest thought to leave on, but that's what I'm going to do. Now, I think it's off to do my 100 burpees. On Saturday, I did them in 16 minutes and 20 seconds. Time to take a little time off of that!
I realized I did my math wrong when adding up my burpee sets. I've been adding a minute that shouldn't have been there.
Today, I did my 100 burpees in 14 minutes and 15 seconds. Boy, my knees are feeling it!
The workouts were not so powerful today. Yesterday, I ended up riding to and from work TWICE: once for the mandatory "courtesy" weigh-in before our physical assessment, which was at 7:00am. I was done at 7:15, so I went home to make some breakfast, then went back to work for our 9:30am rehearsal (I'm a musician in the Navy). Once I got back to work, I felt like I wanted a nap!
Today I have to make up the 100 burpees I missed on Sunday because of my fitness class. I don't want to feel like I've cheated on this challenge at all. I did timed burpees in the morning, and now I'm just working through my other 100 at a nice, leisurely pace. On top of riding my bike to work, I also did some c25k training on the treadmill. It just all sucked.
Tomorrow, I'll do my 100 burpees and ride my bike to and from work, but other than that, I'm not doing anything. My muscles are crying for rest!
Primal eating has gone well so far. Successful long fast on Monday that was broken with turkey burger salads. Breakfast on Tuesday was an egg, sausage, and an apple; lunch was sorrel soup made with, well, sorrels and the carcasses of Sunday's Cornish hens for broth, plus a splash of almond milk and two eggs to keep it kinda creamy and fatty; dinner was a leftover meatball burger salad.
Today, breakfast was a ramekin quiche. I fried up chopped bacon and added onion, garlic, and fresh kale, then put it in ramekins and topped it with a mixture of eggs, almond milk, and gruyere cheese. I actually made them last night, so 3 minutes on medium in the microwave and breakfast is served! Plus, we're running low on eggs and I refuse to go grocery shopping again until Saturday, so it makes my eggs last longer.
I just came across a recipe that recommended using coconut butter as part of a non-dairy alternative for quiches, and I think it's brilliant! I have a jar of coconut butter sitting in my cabinet that I haven't figured out a use for; now I think I have one! I'm hoping I find some crab at the commissary this weekend, and then I'll make crab-cake-quiches with sundried tomato and spinach or kale. Mmmm, mmmm, mmmmmm!
Dinner tonight is some kind of BBQ mixup. Chicken breast cooked in the CrockPot with my homemade barbecue sauce and some venison sausage my husband's friend gave him from a real wild deer he hunted. He just ended up with waaaaaay too much venison, so he pawned the sausage off on my husband. Ummmmm.... THANKS!!!!!
I'm just gonna say, I heart Primal. Good food made easy. Who is going to argue with barbecue chicken and sausage?
I decided to listen to my body and change up my workouts to give my knees a rest.
On Friday, I did a workout based on the "You Are Your Own Gym" book by Mark Lauren. I did good old push-ups, let-me-ins (bodyweight rows using a door to pull myself), scissors, and kettlebell swings. Five rounds of 20-30-40-50 for time. It took me just over 30 minutes.
Saturday I rested. I spent a lot of time standing because I was watching the husband at a racquetball tournament. I did fast for most of the day, just eating a light breakfast, a snack of nuts around 11am, and then not eating again until dinner. We went to a steakhouse in the area, where I got half a fryer chicken and three ribs with a salad and a side of mushrooms. No potato!! Yay!!
Sunday was my RIPPED bootcamp style class.
Monday I "rediscovered" BodyRock.tv, which is actually VERY Primal. Well, and the videos are complete eye-candy, although while I admire the female host, she's actually a little too thin in my book. But that's personal preference. She kicks butt in those workouts.
The workouts involve four exercises done as a circuit with 50 seconds of activity and 10 seconds of rest -- not a lot of rest. You go through the circuit three times for a total of 12 minutes for the workout, and you're supposed to give your maximum effort. On Monday, the workout didn't go so well. I was sore or lethargic or something, so while I felt like I was pushing, I didn't feel like I was a sweaty, mushy ball of dysfunction when I was done. Yesterday was different. The workout was squat jumps with elbows-to-knees, alternating 10 mountain climbers with a clean-and-press and squat-press with a sandbag, squats with simultaneous front shoulder raises, and a plank touching opposite hands to feet alternated with the jump-in portion of a burpee. I was saddened by how little weight I could push around with that workout!
Today's workout was also good. 200 reps as quickly as possible: 25 jump lunges with a sandbag (fortunately each leg is a rep instead of both legs being a rep), 25 burpees, 25 jump lunges, 25 diamond pushups kicking legs out and then back in at the top, and then repeat the whole thing. The workout took me just under 17 minutes and I was heaving at the end.
Food's been okay, but I'm ready to eat more vegetables now that the weather is getting warmer. I'm ready to lean out a bit and fill up on produce instead of nuts. While I'm still getting amazing results, I'm feeling a little sluggish today.
For breakfast, I had what my husband called "egg pizza." It was a quiche, but put in a cake pan, the egg and almond milk mixture spread out so much that it looks more like a coating of cheese on pizza toppings. It didn't hurt that the "base" of the quiche was spinach, sundried tomatoes, and smoked salmon. Honestly, it's the food of the gods, but next time I'm going to buy some egg whites so that it's all a bit "eggier." The commissary now only sells Eggland's Best Organic eggs, which are super-expensive, or eggs that are so cheap that I swear their yolks are white. No joke. Whites will be the way I extend the use of the better organic eggs.
After my workout, I had a protein shake with half a banana, egg protein, and a splash of almond milk. Lunch was venison sausage with kale, olive oil, and cranberry white balsamic vinegar. Snack was leftover soup from forever ago, when I used butternut squash, carrots, pepper blend, kale, and homemade chicken stock to make a chunky veggie soup. I tossed in a little bit of whey protein to increase satiety. It worked -- it's good stuff!
My MIL sent us chocolates for Easter, but they got delivered to the wrong address, so the re-shipment didn't arrive until today. She sent peanut butter creams and chocolate-covered marshmallow and caramel eggs. Yeah, I know I shouldn't, but the husband and I decided to take full advantage of the 20 part of 80/20 and just eat all of it in one sitting. At least I had just come in from riding my bike from work, so I could use the carbs? Or something like that?
There's supposed to be some dark chocolates with Himalayan sea salt in all of that, but they weren't in the package and they're not on the website, so I'm not sure what she thought she was ordering. Honestly, part of me hopes it doesn't arrive. I have a Navy physical assessment and weigh-in in 2 1/2 weeks, so I'd really like to stick to the diet as well as possible. This is the worst time for Easter candy to be arriving!
Tonight for dinner, I'll be making whisky-marinated pork on the grill we just bought. I donated $5 to the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society and got a coupon for 10% off anything, 15% off jewelry, 20% off clothing and shoes, and 30% off already-discounted furniture. We used it to buy a grill to replace the one that was stolen 1 1/2 years ago over Christmas (bastards), a pair of New Balance Minimus Road Zeros for me, a Perfect Pullup home workout gizmo, plus some pots and dirt for my growing plants.
I had some sprouts growing indoors in case my outdoor potted seeds never sprouted, and on Monday, when I went to plant them, I realized I had an explosion of beets and lettuce in one pot. I put the carrots in the other pot, saw that I had a lettuce growing in that one, too, and knew it was time for more pots. Now I have a big pot that has baby tomato plants and a bunch more beets and a smaller pot with globe zucchini plants. I can't wait! In about another six weeks, I should have some delicious veggies to eat!
I also can't wait to go grocery shopping. Fresh produce, here I come!