My name is Cana, and I'm new to this forum. I look forward to getting to know some of you! I have just finished reading The Primal Blueprint, and I feel like it has some key similarities to my current lifestyle of the past few year and even more so recently. However, there are definitely some eye-opening ideas and information that I am thankful to have read in this book and have started to implement immediately upon finishing it. I am also thankful to have browsed through this forum! I have read through many website's health and fitness forums, but rarely stumble across many where people aren't attacked often, so I usually steer clear of joining. However, I really enjoy the open-mindedness, acceptance of different ideas, and general politeness in the posts I have read, and am excited to gain some valuable advice from you all! Here is a little of what has led me to this point, and some goals I would like to achieve on my primal journey.
I am 21 years old, and began altering my diet off and on since I was 14. This was mainly because of weight issues, I gained weight off and on and always felt a little heavier than my friends (was 134 at my heaviest, which is big for me), and I was self-conscious about it. Sometimes I went to extremes; starving for long periods of time and binge eating ... I am so glad that stage of my life is over. ANYWAY, at age 19 is when I started to have some painful health problems. After two years of ridiculous amounts of time researching, I finally have been able to find LARGE relief from these problems (doctors were no help) through a diet that eliminates all monosaccharide’s called the "specific carbohydrate diet" (not for weight loss, for gut related illnesses) This diet is similar to Primal Diet in that it doesn't allow any hcore starches (potatoes, yams, plantains), no sugar, but it does allow unlimited fruit, honey and cultured dairy (no- very limited lactose) Feeling guilty, and knowing I wasn't doing myself a favor by guzzling bananas, grapes and honey, I still let myself do it because it helped me transition off of having absolutely zero grains or starches. This was really hard the first 2 weeks, (starving a lot) but I got used to it. However I yearned for a lifestyle that was more balanced, and a guide or teacher that was consistent with all aspects of health. That’s when I remembered the Paleo diet, because I knew it didn't allow grains and limited starches (like the one I was on) so I could maintain the improvement, and I could take it a step (or many) further.
Somehow, googleing the Paleo diet, I came across Mike's Daily Apple, and I was so impressed with what I read, I had to buy the book immediately. After reading it, I feel very relieved that THE WHOLE THING makes sense. There’s not some section that okay's artificial sweeteners or endless honey, or starches that makes me feel less than optimal while following it "because I know it's just not right." I've only been on the diet for 4 days. Changes for me have been giving up honey (SO HARD was eating it in and on a lot) and eating much less fruit, and upping fibrous veggie intake. I have been eating organic, and naturally raised meats, eggs and dairy (grass-fed, pastured only) as well as organic, mostly locally grown veggies for over 2 years now, so that has stayed the same. This has been quite a challenge. I didn't realize the effect some honey and fruit could have on me! I’ve been extremely fatigued, craving sugar worse than I thought possible, have headaches, muscle cramps, and hungry all the time. I am NOT under-eating, have lots of fat, protein, and according to my calculations, around 50g carbs a day made up of mostly veggies, and limited fruit (1-2 ½ servings in the morning)
Here are some changes I would like to make:
Although I am not overweight, I still would like to be more toned, and greatly improve my mid-section fat (typical insulin resistance style roll at the bottom, have NEVER gotten rid of it, even at my thinnest.)
I would like to have more energy! Seems hard to believe with my fatigue at this point, but I was always fatigued before beginning anyway :/
I would like to get back into an exercise routine that consists of HIIT routines, like sprint sessions under 20 minutes. (Dr. Al Sears PACE program is where I first learned about this style of exercise) and weight lifting. I did this for 6 months and lost about ½ a pound per week and a half. Then dropped it slowly, school maybe?.
Any comments or suggestions anyone has will be greatly appreciated.
Thanks, and nice meeting you all!
Welcome! Sounds like you are off to a great start! Just hang in there as far as weaning off the carbs goes and you'll do fine.
Welcome to the forum! I agree with Blorton, you're off to a great start!
Don't be too hard on yourself and you'll do fine. We all have our bad days. They *will* happen. Just hang in there and keep on going.
This forum is full of fantastic people to lean on when you need them, and celebrate with when you do well. Glad to have you here.
Hi, I am the same age as you!
I am so glad that another open mind came here, it really is the greatest community of supporters ever!
Anyways, let us know how thing go for you. The first few weeks will certainly be tough but it's worth it. I have that same insulin belly as you. I had to be significantly underweight before it disappeared, and of course that was no fun!
Most people seem to have excellent success with getting a lean toned midsections here so that is my main goal too. I bet you will be surprised at the little, side benefits that come with being primal both aesthetic and health-wise. I myself am amazed at how sick I was before... I only now realize that I didn't even know how it felt to be healthy.
Thanks for the replies and motivation everyone! I will keep you posted with the progress. One new development has been WAYY hotter temperature. I used to be cold all the time, but now I feel my temp has raised significantly, especially at night. Anyone experience this when they started? I'm not worried about it, I hope it sticks around!
TenYearStorm: Sounds great! I hope to become one of those "many people" and hope you do as well! I am glad you have experienced so many great side effects, and have stuck with it for a while. I have yet to meet any people my age (in person) with any dietary discipline (besides following a stupid fad diet that lasts under a month) and the patience to look for real answers.
I think it is so great you are changing so significantly at your young age. It is also great that you are over the whole "weight" thing, diet, exercise and positive outlook are so much more important than the scale. I wish Mark and the PB was around when I was in my 20's. I wish you continued success and I do agree the people here are very nice and supportive.
Cana, we have followed the same route through the "specific carbohydrate diet" and now to Primal, with the difference that I'm 63 instead of 21, and well over twice your heft. I also had a big honey habit, and also a peanut butter habit on Elaine Gottschall's system. It did give me a miracle cure for hay fever, and improved my slightly irritable bowels, which I'm very grateful for. I got worse about living off honey and peanut butter if I got busy and lazy about cooking and planning meals. Honey and peanut butter do surprisingly well as meal substitutes, once one is used to them. I hesitate to imagine what the honey did to my blood sugar, though.
You made a typo up there -- it's disaccharides she forbids, and monosaccharides she permits. No biggie.
Of course, with the big honey habit, I didn't lose an ounce. I have the big insulin front as well, which I would dearly love to lose.
I nipped into honey a few times in the process of moving to Primal, but it's now in the cupboard, and I've had none for about ten days. I've finished the last jar of peanut butter, and I'm not buying anymore, because I can't be trusted around it.
Yes, eating nice big portions of meat and fat has me feeling warm, while intermittent fasting leaves me chilly.
I'm not focusing on weight, but on repairing sore muscles and joints. On the other hand, I'm off all dairy, honey, and cheese for a few months. I hope that my weight will redistribute, and maybe some of the front come off, and as I hopefully start feeling less achy and easily injured I would like to start doing more active things. I like gardening, and busting sod and digging swales and berms should give good varied whole-body exercise.
So far, weight is steady but I see some very small indications that I'm getting more "cut" as I guess they say -- just around the edges, inner wrists, for instance, and last night I saw a new hollow just starting in my cheeks, way back near the back molar areas. It's all so small one wonders if it's just from looking more closely -- but I think it's real. What I WANT is to need to take in waistbands!
I'm glad there is such a big overlap between the specific carbohydrate diet and going Primal. One just has to watch that 20% treat section, and not eat anything with much starch or sugar or lactose in it. Lots of other treats are allowable in both systems.
Enviable, that you found out these things so young. My life would have been very different if I'd found them out a lot sooner.