Defiant Foodie - Apex Gatherer's Primal Journal
I went Primal about two years ago. I was VLC for a while, with gradual reintroduction of rice and potatoes about a year ago. I eat what feels like disgusting amounts of sugar, although it totals up to somewhere around 20-30g a day, sometimes as much as 40g, sometimes as low as 5g. My weight was really well managed up until about five months ago, when I stopped exercising due to busy season at work (12+ hr workdays). I didn't gain much weight, but it was enough to inflict a lot of self-loathing. I know moving more will fix this.
In the past few months, my acne has gone haywire, and I hate it. I'm searching for clues so I can turn this around. I had perfectly clear skin before I went Primal... which goes against most of what I've read. Most people have their acne clear up when they go Primal -- so why did mine get worse?
Husband likes my Reubenesque curves -- I don't. We're in early spawning-negotiation talks. I had this idea that I'd be all Sarah Connor fit going into pregnancy -- I don't want to be blubbery before, abandoning all hope of ever having a fit body again post-pregnancy (assuming I can even get pregnant, carry a baby to term and deliver it without dying, which is a real fear of mine).
So far today I've eaten:
* quiche-y eggs: Scrambled eggs, half-and-half, boiled broccoli, sharp cheddar cheese, bacon all mixed together.
* about half a cup of unsmoked Yerba Mate with Holy Basil tea.
* 1/2 caffeine pill (100mg)
I'm planning to eat:
*leftover carne asada from a local Peruvian takeout place, and plantains fried in canola oil. I know, I know canola oil is DEATH OIL. I just can't say no to delicious fried plantains...
I'm currently weaning myself off a Schedule II drug that my physicians have provided me for the past 13 years. Most of my doctors agree that there's no longer any medical necessity for me to be on the drug -- I'm just addicted. I'm down to the lowest dose possible now, which I've been on for the past two weeks. I feel like shit daily, and I'm tired of whining. I just want off the drugs and to find normal. There's lots of support for people who abuse or use the drug recreationally. There's basically ZERO support for people who have been told that all their problems can be fixed with a little capsule, and their doctors said, "well, when you decide you want to go back on it, just give me a call." Attempts to prop myself up with supplements have been moderately successful, but I still experience withdrawal symptoms.
I want to make my own bacon. I have a 18-pound frozen Polyface pork belly in my freezer. I welcome any advice on bacon-making. I'm pretty sure that without help, I'm going to end up with sad bacon, prepared with a surprise bonus trip to the ER.
Last edited by Apex Gatherer; 05-14-2012 at 12:15 PM.
I went to the doctor* two days ago and they did the dreaded, "let's get your weight real quick."
178.6 stared right back at me. This is a sad face moment for me, because for a long time (when I was devoted to Chronic Cardio and weightlifted like a fiend) I considered 145 normal maintenance weight. I've held steady at 160 for a couple years. I realized that I weigh as much as my thin 6'something" brother-in-law, which is a bit disheartening. In an interesting sidenote, I've either grown half an inch, or the measuring of a nurse shorter than me is off slightly. Weight isn't everything, but it's most-everything when you're obsessed about it and convinced it's too large.
I have back fat. If I twist a certain way, I have a little bulgey ripple of fat roll. Many people would shrug at this and say, "so what? Mine are SO MUCH BIGGER/I've always had them/STFU." But I've never had them before. I've also developed one under my bra line that is really weird to me. I don't like the way my lower belly sticks out when I'm lounging on the sofa in pajama pants. I've always had a ridiculously small waist compared to my hips until the recent weight gain. Now there are rolls and mounds where there were none before and I'm not really comfortable in my own body. I don't need to go back to when I was underweight and had no periods for months on end. I'd just like to feel comfortable moving around in my own body again. I feel unwieldy.
*This is the second or third time I've had a virus of some variety since going Primal. I get really frustrated when I get sick, because I've become used to shrugging off minor illnesses. I no longer fear being around sick people, although I still avoid them when possible. I don't freak out when I forget to Purell my hands after pumping gas -- I've even stopped carrying a Purell bottle in my purse. I still wash them when I get home. But the obsessiveness about germs has weakened, since I no longer worry that every little thing is going to overload my immuno-compromised body. I'm not immuno-compromised anymore. For that, I am deeply thankful.
Last edited by Apex Gatherer; 05-17-2012 at 11:32 AM.
Accidental cooking WIN:
People who have grown up in/around Pennsylvania Dutch country know of a legendary comfort food known as Slippery Noodles. It's basically chicken noodle soup that's become so thick, the broth is like a sauce coating all surfaces rather than an independent liquid in which things float. It has chunks of chicken meat, bits of carrot, the occasional slice of celery, and loads of delicious thick, gummy, toothsome noodles. I have no idea how it's made. I suspect that is a closely-guarded secret of the Pennsylvania Dutch sisterhood.
Husband and I usually make a bi-weekly pot of chicken stock, in the Nourishing Traditions, uh, tradition. We've tweaked the recipe a bit -- best flavor found when we roast the veggies and chicken bones on the grill for a couple hours before adding them to the stock pot. I add plenty of chicken feet, too, for gelatin content. Things have been really busy in the Apex household for the past month or so, and stock production has fallen off. I want to blame my recent illness on the downgraded stock production. Usually, all pots of rice are made with the magic stock, as well as many dinner dishes. I have more to write on the ins and outs of broth-making, and our hacks for it, but that's a story for another time.
I was sick and wanted chicken rice soup. I did not want to devote 24 hours to broth-making. I wanted BROTH NAO, SOUP NAO PLS. So I bought 4# of chicken thighs and a package of chicken breast bones. Husband, who possesses much manly strength in his strong manly hands, cut them up for me with the poultry scissors into 2-3" pieces. Access to the marrow and all that. Made basic broth with an onion, carrot and two sticks celery. It tasted thin and weak, but it was definitely chicken broth. Since I didn't use any chicken feet, I chucked in most of a packet of unflavored gelatin.
I retreated to the sofa and stubbornly refused to leave it for the rest of the day. Husband came home from work and made chicken rice soup. He asked how much rice to add. I told him to stop bothering me because I was sick and didn't care. He dumped in a hefty amount of rice (something like 1 cup rice for a soup made from 2qt stock). After it was done cooking and had cooled in the fridge, he said, "It's pretty thick; I'm not sure you'll like it." (That's what he said!)
I reheated it at work for lunch. It was super-thick. It tasted like a rice version of Slippery Noodles. So apparently the key is to add a schwack of gelatin and too much Jasmine rice, and presto -- GF Slippery Rice soup!
I had so much self-pity going by the time I left work Friday, I could have powered... something powered by wallowing in self-pity. Not sure I want to know what kind of machine is powered by wallowing in self-pity. It's probably something horrible, like a takes-toys-away-from-doe-eyed-orphans machine, or a gives-karmic-rewards-to-that-person-you-hate machine. This is why one must not wallow in self pity. No one wants to be the person responsible for those machines.
I morosely slummed about the house on Saturday morning. I went to my chiropractor appointment. I went to the gym and walked for fifteen minutes on the treadmill at 2.5mph while watching some horrifying children's programming. I could have changed the channel to something more palatable, like HGTV, where there are absolutely no clowns or people dressed like deranged puppets and the most disturbing thing that ever happens is, "oh noes, we're going over budget on custom-colored bricks!"
I went over to my parents' house and glumly knit on my mitered crosses blanket while catching up on Season Six of Doctor Who. I got all the way to the part where the viewers find out who River Song is (don't tell me more -- spoilers!). I despaired that I couldn't watch any more TV. So I went to... the INTERNET!
Oh, magic Gmail! My inbox had a bold new email, from my original contact at the artist tour thingy. She wrote that they would be thrilled to have me paint on Sunday. The scheduling kerfuffle had thrown lots of people, including the homeowners, artists and coordinators. I wasn't the only person to miss the preview, which was comforting. She had to make some phone calls and would give me further details (where I was suppose to paint) later that evening.
Oh, happy day! Then I realized that my errands/chores, which I had spread out over two melancholy days, now had to be condensed into Saturday afternoon.
Engage frantic Apex Gatherer mode.
CSA pickup, Apex Parents' house to drop excess frozen goods in their freezer, Homegoods, home improvement store on a fruitless search for vermiculite, and assorted similar errands. Then the Apexes (Apices?) went out for delicious Peruvian food, cooked in canola oil. I'm not sure why we completely fail to feel bad about eating it, given that we won't even BUY food made with canola oil. We'll read the backs of prepared foods in the organic market and say, "hmm, good, good, good, good, oh! It has death in it. Canola," and put it back on the shelf. Deep Nutrition made an impact on me.
I spent Sunday painting outside in a beautiful shady spot. I did two reasonably competent sketches. At lunch, I had Peruvian food leftovers. I went back and painted more in the afternoon, until the sunlight moved to an inconvenient spot behind a stand of trees. At that point, I was exhausted. Husband and I went out for margaritas and cheap Mexican food.
My digestion has lodged its complaint against cheap Mexican food. I didn't have any gluten that I know about, but I did NOM ALL THE TORTILLA CHIPS, along with a massive amount of guacamole. I have known for some time that corn makes me fat. I don't know if it's all corn, or in what amounts, but tortillas and tortilla chips are not my friend. Apex Gatherer + Guacamole = Happy Happy Good Times. Apex Gatherer + Tortilla = EXPRESS TRAIN TO PUDGEVILLE.
But I was tired and hungry and a little buzzy because the margarita came out before the food. So I ate all the chips. I am not looking forward to Apex Gatherer Bootcamp, which Husband says is going to start as soon as I kick this cold.
On Sunday morning, I showed up at the appointed time and place. We toured some gardens quickly. The artist touring with me picked a garden in which I had no interest. I walked into another garden and thought, THIS is what I want to paint. Yes.
The homeowner was overjoyed to have an artist paint his gardens. He said he loved buying work done by local artists (hello, sale!).
But then my tricksy scumbag brain started running virus programs. The homeowner wants to buy your painting. You have to paint something worth buying. There’s no way you can do that in two or three hours. You’re just not that good.
To which I said, Shut up, scumbag brain, or I will poke you with the spare end of my brush.
Scumbag brain replied, We both know you won’t do that. You have no follow-through. On anything. This is why you fail at so many things.
Shut up, scumbag brain. You are not helping. I need to concentrate.
Scumbag brain then whispered, You’d be better at this if you were still on drugs. It would be sooooo much easier.
I slurped down an iced hazelnut breve latte, which was way, way, way too sweet, and said, I’m doing fine without them. Go jump in a pond. The sugar made me a little jittery. I've found that sugar causes something similar to panic response in me. It's not a panic attack. Just heightened anxiety. Could be unrelated. ::shrugs::
I think I took three 1000mcg B-12 sublinguals yesterday. I usually take one, in the morning. I didn't notice any appreciable change in energy, but I am still fighting off a cold/laryngitis, and I was really stressed, and I had about 160mg more caffeine than usual.
I take Rhodiola twice a day. I have seen supplements in the same shelf area at the store which are "Adrenal Support" or "Stress Response." They have rhodiola, holy basil, schisandra(?) and some other ingredients. Has anyone tried those? Any feedback on schisandra? I am leery of trying new supplements, since my body tends to either react one of two ways. It either uses the medication/supplement the way it's supposed to with no side effects, or it goes horribly, horribly wrong. Kava kava makes me feel good when I take it, but I get unspeakably depressed the next day. Suntheanine/L-theanine also makes me horribly depressed, but not as much as kava. I started drinking Holy Mate! tea once at midday when I started weaning myself off the drugs. It's yerba mate with holy basil and a little caffeine. I like it, and I haven't noticed any ill effects.
Last edited by Apex Gatherer; 05-21-2012 at 09:30 AM.
I am hopefully on the tail end of this cold, and boy, am I PISSED. I've been sick for ten days now. This irritates me to no end, because I had become used to not getting sick. Nasty colds and flus and plagues would circle around my office, and I'd shrug them off. One particularly nasty bug landed two of my co-workers on the sofa for a week; one of their relatives caught it and ended up hospitalized. I felt run down for two days, took a little extra D3, and then was fine.
This wasn't always the case. When I was younger, I caught freaking everything. I had strep throat at least once a year. By the time I was a teenager, the doctors would throw out unhelpful terms like, "immuno-compromised," and "suppressed immune function." By the time I went to college, back in the dark days before instant hand sanitizer, I was washing my hands something like 26 times a day. I also used a lot of hand lotion. I avoided touching anything in public that I could avoid touching. Dart in front of an old lady so the kind soul ends up holding the door for me, too? Check. Wearing fancy cashmere-lined Italian leather gloves whenever the temperature dipped below 50F? Check. I have something like thirty pairs of fancy leather gloves. I reveled in gloves. I figured that if I had beautiful gloves, I'd have to find excuses to wear them. It was an elaborate way of compensating for germ-phobia. I also took up hat-wearing, to complement the gloves-wearing. I picked up some knee-length circle skirts and pointy pointy heels, and presto: I'm not afraid of catching your germs -- I'M A RETRO-INSPIRED BOMBSHELL!
When I started dating Husband, I was sick all the damn time. When life was handing out immune systems, he got the Platinum All-Inclusive Deluxe Premium package. Nothing stuck to him. He didn't catch viruses. He carried them, though, and dumped them onto me. I got every sniffle, sneeze, cough, sore throat, fever, and general malaise that he didn't know he encountered. There were a few times I considered breaking up with him because I was so tired of being ill.
Enter the PB. Among the changes I started seeing after a few months (no more Claritin-D 12 hour twice a day, every day), I also noticed over the first year that I didn't get sick. After the second year-ish (my time-keeping abilities are horrible), I did get sick, but it wasn't for lack of PB fortifying my system. I caught salmonella from improperly-cooked takeout chicken, and it ended up in my bloodstream. Gram-negative bacteria in the blood is a general health no-no. I nearly died from that, and I'm pretty sure the reason I survived is because I was so damn healthy from two years of Primal. The antibiotics for it did me no favors -- and after my recovery from the bacterial infection, and many large doses of broad-spectrum oral and IV antibiotics, the insidious weight gain began.
Six months later, busy season at work hit. I'm sure cortisol went through the roof. I kept Primal, but the weight just kept creeping on. That's how I ended up here, now. I'm nearly 180 pounds and uncomfortable in my body. The plan was to start Apex Gatherer Bootcamp... and then I got this stupid cold. And it's not going away. And I hate it. And I want it to GTFO. And I'm angry because I feel like this stupid virus is not one I should have caught. I'm all PB-fortified and I shrug off silly coughs, colds and sore throats. So the idea that not only did I catch a cold virus, but it's lingering? Intolerable.
Breakfast early, ~9:30am: scrambled eggs w/cheddar, pepper jack, provolone, crimini mushrooms, red peppers, onions, Polyface italian sausage, additive-free Kielbasa.
Dinner: large chicken pho w/extra noodles (bone broth, chicken breast slices, rice noodles, bean sprouts, thai basil, jalapenos, lime juice). ate half. Drank half of Vietnamese iced coffee.
Work until 9:30pm. Home for snacking binge. Two Polyface breakfast sausage patties w/grease (it's better than any sausage gravy). One slice provolone cheese. Glass of whole milk kefir w/hefty dose of cinnamon and a little raw tupelo honey.
Breakfast at 11:30am. Eggs scrambled w/cheese. Two Polyface breakfast sausage patties w/grease.
Planning to have snack-sized chicken korma w/cauliflower and jasmine rice when I get home from work.
Dinner: probably going to be a Polyface pork chop fried in lard, w/broccoli (coconut oil, grassfed butter).
stopped taking Iodoral ~4 days ago. Hoping this will help the acne clear.
Morning: 1 rhodiola rosea, 1000mcg B-12 sublingual w/B-6.
Evening: 1 rhodiola rosea, 2 * Jigsaw Mg+SRT, 2 * 5000mg D3 packed in olive oil, 1000mcg biotin sublingual.
I know, I know -- I'm officially one of those people who starts a primal journal, posts enthusiastically for five days, and then mysteriously disappears. Husband mentioned that people would reply to my posts if I just kept posting, but that felt a lot like having an entirely one-sided conversation. I wouldn't keep jabbering into the phone hoping that someone might pick up and start replying.
Well, I went to the doctor last week.. I'm 185 pounds. I guess I could blame the drug detox. Coming off stimulants meant that I had no energy. Exercise was so far beyond me. Move frequently? Does flipping pages of my book while I lay on the sofa count? How about getting up at the end of a CD to change my audiobook disc? Last week, I finally reached the point of, "OMG SO FAT" and "hmm, I actually have a little energy" which pushed me into a Gentle Yoga class.
I took it easy. I opted not to do the poses that I knew were hard on my sacrum (my SI loves itself a good injury and it's a continual battle between my yoga practice and SI injury). I chilled out in Child's Pose when I felt tired. It was relaxing, stretching, beautiful practice. I felt good afterward... mostly.
Somehow, by doing sooper simple baby-steps back to yoga, I managed to strain my erector spinae. Chiro gave me strict orders to do absolutely no yoga for the next two to three days to let my back recover. "But taking it easy is how I gained twenty-five pounds!" I exclaimed.
I am frustrated when I look back on where I was a little over a year and a month ago -- sailing through advanced yoga classes, finding joy and liberation in finding my body gliding into advanced krama that had seemed impossible years before. Holding L-shapes for two minutes? A flip up into handstand? Find ease in side crow? Bring it on! Time to play! I reveled in the strength of my body, the peace in my mind that came from hard work. I felt good. I looked good. I ate bacon and partied on. Then, through a commercial kitchen's error, I got salmonella and was hospitalized, and my body reset at zero. Sometimes I feel like I still haven't recovered from that hospitalization. My yoga practice hasn't moved past being utterly exhausted (not exhausted in a good, productive way) by an intro-level vinyasa practice. My teaching career was blossoming, and I've had to give up teaching yoga classes, because they're so exhausting. I fear that I won't ever get back there.
So I went to yoga last week... and I nearly cried when I did uttanasana/forward fold. I couldn't fold because my belly was in the way. It hurt, compressing those folds of fat with my chest. I couldn't rest. I couldn't find ease. Some would say that's a true yoga practice -- finding ease in adversity, finding rest in a pose that's challenging you. But this wasn't like relaxing in a bold, taut Warrior II. It hurt. There's excess body where I'm not used to it.
In savasana, my low back hurt because my butt was too big. The increased size of my buttocks elevated my sacrum to the point that lying flat in savasana hurt my low back. It was the first time in my life where I thought, yoga is for the thin. I had my own hangups about yoga being for bendy people. I am not bendy. I saw teaching as my platform to help people who weren't flexible. I used to loudly proclaim that yoga was for everyone. And yes, there are plenty of happy yogis that are much bigger than me. But after gaining some unwanted bulk, I'm less sure. I could do the practice, but it wasn't comfortable. It wasn't the same as when I was 160 and strong. I know the only way I'll get back there is by increasing my physical activity, and staying on the mat.
I've completely given up managing my diet. And by diet I mean, "things I shove in my mouth that are food," not "things I am eating by being deprived of shitty food." I mostly don't eat shitty food. I've basically given up my food choices to my husband. He makes most of the food anyway. And he packs my lunch, because he is super-awesome and likes to spoil me. It's all basically Primal... no gluten, no fruit, no added sugar, no grains except white rice (whole grain rice caused serious bowel irritation), and using grass-fed butter, coconut oil, and pastured Polyface lard as primary fats.
So now I just need to move more... I wish my body would stop fighting me on this.