Primal Journal (Dulcimina)
What cheating looks like
On Friday, I was 149 lbs with a 31 inch waist. By Monday, I was 153 lbs. Yesterday, I was 155. My head felt like it was stuffed with cotton wool all day. On my 3 mile walk home from work, I noticed that my fingers were swollen like boiled hotdogs. This used to be a frequent occurrence when I was thirty pounds heavier, not so much in the last year. Once I got home, my ankles were swollen. The allergies/itchy palate came back. I have flaky psoriasis patches on my face. I didn’t sleep until midnight, but woke up at 5am. I stayed in bed until 7am trying to get some rest. I’m still exhausted. This morning, I was 156lbs.
I didn’t intend to start my journal (my second post on the forums!) with such a negative post. I’ve been lifting heavy things for almost nine months. I’ve been primal +dairy for six months, and low carb before that, sleeping the sleep of the righteous for two months and intermittent fasting for about a month. No throwing up after every meal.
Heck, I’ve had my mom, who has been type II diabetic for over thirty years, and stubborn to boot to try paleo for a month now. She still eats limited amounts of beans and rice, and she says that the sweet potatoes and plantains don’t cause a big rise in her blood sugar. I got her to go out on her balcony for ten minutes a day for Vitamin D, a big deal for someone who doesn’t drive, and doesn’t seem to go outside except to go to church and to doctor’s appointments. T he swelling and pain in her feet has reduced so much that she is even talking about going walking in the mall with my dad.
So, I know I can do this primal thing. I know that I can use it help other people. But every six months or so, a wave of magical bs thinking sweeps over me. I can have cake in the house and not binge! It’s gluten-free so it’s OK! This is my 20%! One bite won't hurt!
So, I am starting my journal with a reminder that when I cheat, I gain seven pounds (of hopefully water) in six days. It hurts my brain. It hurts my skin. It hurts my intestines. It probably hurts my kidneys, if extreme water retention is anything to go by. If whatever I am hoovering into my mouth is worth all of that, then please, go ahead and have another piece.
B: Cake. I found a recipe for a cake called bibingka that contains sweetened condensed milk, mochiko flour, coconut milk, young coconut in syrup, brown sugar and eggs. I've been eating it since Saturday. I put the leftovers in the freezer so I wouldn't be tempted. That worked really well.
So what’s the plan for the rest of the day?
L: Either Frittata and/or slow cooker pork with coleslaw dressed with olive oil, sesame oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce, cilantro.
D: MDA’s faux pho (can’t remember the real name) with some mixed greens stirred in after heating it up
Two one-hour sessions of walking (walk to the library at lunch and then walk home) instead of lifting weights
Go to bed at 10 pm tonight.
Last edited by Dulcimina; 05-16-2012 at 09:23 AM.
Commit to Paleo/Primal 100% initially, do not eat any grain based carbohydrates, high fructose corn syrup, sugar or dairy. The first 5 or 6 days are challenging but soon you will be enjoying a whole new way of eating. Here's my typical day of eating: I usually IF (Intermittent Fast) until noon and start my eating day with 4 scrambled eggs, 3 or 4 pieces of bacon, an avocado and a black coffee, my afternoon snack is either a can of sardines or a handful of macadamia nuts, dinner is meat, fish or poultry with a large vegetable salad and a vegetable (alternate vegetables - broccoli, kale, yams, cauliflower and brussel sprouts). I also drink quite a bit of water and a couple of times a week may have a small treat of some fruit, dark chocolate or a glass of red wine. I also do HIT training twice a week and some low heart rate cardio several times a week. I've dropped 31 lbs since March 4th of this year.
You can do it to, good luck!!
Please feel free to visit and like my Paleo Journey Diary on Facebook
Paleo Journey - Diary of my experience eating the Paleo Diet | Facebook
Last edited by canuck416; 05-16-2012 at 09:37 AM.
Canuck, thanks for the suggestion. I haven't had internet access for the past few days, so haven't checked back until now. But I'll amble on over to your diary in a sec.
I like the idea of going 100%. I'll have to start next week, though. I make about 75% of my meals on the weekend, and basically have leftovers all week. So for this week, I have the frittata (contains cheese) in the oven. I just put the chicken thighs to marinate with jarred tikka paste mixed with yogurt. I bought fresh strawberrries and blueberries. I'll round out the rest of the week's with 100% primal including MDA's faux pho (I'll add star anise and mixed greens instead of just chard, dried tree ear mushrooms instead of fresh); a steak; canned salmon which I haven't figured out how to use yet; the barbacoa from nom nom paleo; and alternating roasted broccoli and pureed cauliflower.
I've also got some tamarind soaking to make a drink. It looks a bit like a rectangular turd right now. Looks aren't everything. I don't add any sugar or sweetener, because I like the sour flavor. I may add ginger though.
So for this week, I'm just aiming to stay in the 50-100g carbs recommended as the sweet spot for weight loss. I won't buy any dairy next week, so will be closer to primal than this week.
Since I wasn't able to post here last week, let me summarize how the rest of the week went. My weight peaked at 158 on Wednesday, but dropped back down to 155 by Friday. My feet went from grotesque elephant man to cankles in that same time period. Today, they just look a bit thick.
Sleep has improved from 5-6hrs to 6.5 -7hrs.
I've figured out that my issue is work-related stress. I went from a perfectly respectable work load to not being able to finish urgent matters in a week. I can't fix that right now. I may not be able to completely fix it next week. But I can understand it and pay attention when the cravings start.
So far so good.
L: 2 baked chicken thighs, 6 oz blackberries, tamarind juice, sugar free chewing gum
D: MDA Beef broth
Slept 6.5 hrs
I worked until 7:45 pm which meant not gettng to the gym after work and I was too drained to add the chard and other finishing touches to the soup. I'm not whining though it may sound that way. It just means that I stay the course at work until things get less hectic and try not to let work stress affect my eating habits again.
Started having problems with my eyes yesterday - headaches, unable to focus on the computer screen at work so I left early at 5:30. I had some soup for dinner then conked out at 8:30pm. I kept waking up to go to the bathroom, and the last time, at 3 in the morning, couldn't go back to sleep because I was so hungry.
L: baked chicken with roasted broccoli; tamarind juice
D: MDA beef soup with swiss chard
3am: yogurt with five medium strawberries, a few drops stevia
Exercise: last NROL4W workout!
Last edited by Dulcimina; 05-23-2012 at 08:33 PM.
Reason: added exercise
Today, I was 154, so a 1lb loss. My ankles looked pretty normal.
I'm counting sleep as 6.5 hrs even though I went back to sleep after my yogurt snack. Sleep did me good as I had minimal eye problems at work.
B,L,D same as yesterday.
I was 153 lb this morning, so yay! Of course, I've been peeing a lot, so I'm sure it was just water. my waist was 30.5 inches, 34.5 below the navel. Just want to keep track.
I slept 7.5 hrs, and would have slept longer if the alarm hadn't gone off. For exercise I walked about a mile at lunch, and then 3 miles home at the end of the day.
B,L,D: same as last two days. I had some plain yogurt with 6 small strawberries and stevia after dinner. I also overdid the chewing gum again. I am not ready to give up chewing gum. I'm just not. The next best thing is to restrict access. I bought a pack and gave most of it to a friend to hold. At some point I'll be strong enough that such measures won't be necessary. Not today though.
Off to bed!
Saturday is grocery day. Sunday is for cooking. I got up at 7, unsure where I would start. My sister invited me to a cookout in the afternoon. She asked me to bring potato salad, so I’ll pick some up at the Safeway on the way. She’ll have turkey burgers, and grilled corn. But I’ll bring a rib eye too, and maybe a few sweet potatoes for grilling.
She’ll have cookies or brownies for dessert. So I decided to make an alternative: ice cream. I used the one-ingredient (banana) recipe from the kitchn, and made two variations: peanut butter-honey and dark chocolate. My sister told me she was going to freeze a banana for me. I’ll take along a bunch of ingredients for that third variation, basically letting her kids decide. Maybe some frozen peaches and a tbsp or two of cream? Or the homemade cranberry syrup in the refrigerator that I didn’t finish once I started eating primal (because of the sugar content)? There’s also an unopened jar of coconut jam that I found at the Asian market. The only ingredients are coconut milk, sugar, pectin and citric acid. I never opened it because I’ve stopped eating white sugar. Oh, and also, I can’t seem to get the danged jar opened. LOL. I’m hoping my 67 year old dad will be there. Maybe I should be working on my grip strength in the gym?
Next up was the jerk chicken. I had marinated chicken thighs overnight, so it was just a matter of putting them in the oven for an hour. While that was cooking, I prepared the frittata – nothing fancy, just sausage, cheeses and jalapeno – and threw that in the oven too.
After that: spiced lamb meatballs. Now I live in a small apartment. I clean up as I go, but even so my kitchen is not large. I was running out of room. So I decided to freeze the meatballs raw, which was a make ahead option in the recipe. I made a few substitutions: I had only a pound of lamb instead of 1.5 lbs, and no ground beef. So I replaced the beef with ground turkey which was on sale this week. I wasn’t sure what the purpose of the flour was in the recipe, so I substituted with a mixture of potato starch which I think binds things, and coconut flour. I made 54 meatballs, each approximately 1.4 oz in size which I froze on a half sheet pan then transferred to a freezer bag. Obsessive measuring of meatballs was not part of the recipe.
At this point, around 9:30 am, I got hungry. So I microwaved seven asparagus, and topped it with two of the baked chicken thighs. I figured I was done for the day, but wanted to make a plan for what was left: one pound of callalloo; a few leaves of rainbow chard, more than enough for the leftover beef broth; less than a pound of salted cod; one pound of chuck steak that I had defrosted, optimistic that I would figure out what to make with it; the canned salmon that I didn’t make last week because I don’t like canned fish, but I’ve never tried canned salmon so how do I know I don’t like it until I’ve at least tried it; and the broccoli and cauliflower that were also from last week, to be roasted and pureed, respectively
I decided to make the salmon tomorrow for breakfast. The idea of canned fish is bad enough without deliberately making it ahead today so that I have to eat it reheat. I’ll use the ginger cilantro recipe I have for baked tilapia, and put it in a foil packet in the toaster oven.
I could have the callaloo with the bacalao and tomato, red bell pepper, onion, and habanero for lunch tomorrow. According to Wikipedia, callaloo is amaranthus viridis and is one of the lost crops of Africa. A few summers ago, my dad and I were walking in the backyard of my rental property in Baltimore, me bemoaning all the weeds that were taking over. He looked at one of the few specimens that did not have serious thorns on it, and said, “That’s callaloo.” I looked at him like he had just grown an extra arm. How the heck did he think callaloo was growing in my backyard. He insisted that I not mow the stupid thing down, and save the seeds for him. The next year, he was growing it from seed in their garden, and he and my mother were feeding it to their grandchildren. By the end of the summer when no one had died, I finally had a taste. I didn’t die either. It’s funny that I’ve paid to go on a foraging hike to learn how to identify wild edibles, but I wouldn’t trust my dad on this. Anyway, I think I have some salt pork that I should be soaking too. I’ll get that going before bed.
I initially thought stir-fry for the beef with the leftover chard, but I’m not sure if chuck is the right cut for stir-fry. Beef stew may be a better choice, but I’ll have to get some vegetables. I’ll probably make that tomorrow as well since I’ll be cooking anyway.
Finally, I decided to roast both the broccoli and cauliflower today. Not a bad plan. But I also had the bright idea to use the drippings from the baked chicken instead of olive oil. Sure, I’d warm up the house a bit by having the oven on a second time, but that simply meant that I wouldn’t have to turn the oven on at all tomorrow. Not a bad idea, except that I got lazy again. The veggies didn’t all fit on the sheet pan, so I decided to use the foil-lined cookie sheet I had used for the chicken. Same pan AND same foil. About 7 minutes later at 400oF, the entire apartment filled with smoke from the burning chicken shmutz. The entire oven spattered with grease. I quick-stepped that bottom pan to balcony, opened the windows, brought out my fan from storage (never used in the four years I’ve lived here) and fanned furiously at the smoke detector with a handful of bills because said detector is a loud SOB and tends not to want to shut off once it’s started up.
The entire apartment now stinks, but the broccoli is delicious. And I’m happy because I know that no matter how busy things get at work this week, I will be well-fed.
Last edited by Dulcimina; 05-27-2012 at 10:35 AM.
I guess you could call this weekend "Adventures in Cooking". I got up at 7 and started cleaning up. I couldn't face the canned fish, and decided that I would just keep them as emergency rations when the zombie apocalypse comes. Had the eggs and shopped for carrots, celery and turnips for the beef stew. Came thisclose to burning the onions, but it worked out well in creating a deep flavor. Of course, I had to turn the air off again and open the windows to get the smell out. I deglazed with some white wine and used up the canned broth rather than my home made stock.
While that simmered I cut up the vegetables, as well as the ingredients for the callaloo. Boiled the saltfish and cubed the salt pork (4oz).
Then I fell asleep. It was about 80 oF and I just couldn't keep my eyes open. I'm not sure I was really asleep, as I could hear the birds chirping loudly the whole times. I kept trying to tell myself to get up, but my limbs felt like I had been lifting weights the day before. Fortunately, I had set the kitchen timer for 2 hrs and that was enough to get me up.
I added the stew vegetables to the pot. I threw the salt pork in the skillet figuring that it would render fat. It didn't so I had to dump in some coconut oil in a hurry. When I added the pepper, scallions, and garlic and tomatoes, they released a lot of liquid which deglazed the stuff from the pork. I added the fish (8oz) and the then the greens. They shrank down a lot, so again scrambled around to add some of the swiss chard. Tasted. Dang! it's salty. I had it for lunch anyway.
It took some doing but I decided to go in to work. I walked to get my exercise and Vit D in. I worked for 2.5 hrs, and the time flew. Met my goals for the day, and ensured that tomorrow won't be the usual freezing in panic because of the hundred new e-mails in my inbox over the weekend. Left the office at 7:39 pm and got home at 8:37 pm including the side trip to the grocery.
I decided to buy some additional veggies to see if that would fix the salt problem with both dishes. I could not for the life of me find the frozen cauliflower, so I got some frozen kale and butternut squash. I added half of each bag to the beef stew, and cooked an additional 15 mins.
Unfortunately, instead of having that for dinner, I had a coke zero and a candy bar for dinner. I so did not want to write that down