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  1. #1
    GoingPrimal13's Avatar
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    New to the primal lifestyle with lots of quetions

    Hi everyone. One of my relatives had the primal blueprint book but has never read it yet, so I borrowed it about a week ago and I feel like this lifestyle is the answer to how to end the "overweight professional dieter with no real success" part of my life. I really need some advice though...

    For most of the year, I am a dorm dwelling college student, and all we are allowed to have is a microwave and a mini fridge. The community kitchen is only open a few hours a day (and people make a line for it), so I rarely ever get to use a stove or oven. What kinds of meat would I be able to just eat or safely cook in a microwave? I usually eat a lot of fruits, grains, and frozen dinners in my dorm, but obviously that's not healthy or balanced.

    Also, due to some physical conditions I have, I can't walk very far or do very many exercises, at least not correctly. I can lift weights though, and I naturally lift my body weight all the time. Do I need to do more exercise with a cardio component? What options are there besides walking, running, and cycling? I really want to find activities I can do.

    I am on day 3 of eating primal while on break visiting family, but I have no clue what do to in 3 weeks when I go back to college. Any help is greatly appreciated

  2. #2
    Lewis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoingPrimal13 View Post
    For most of the year, I am a dorm dwelling college student, and all we are allowed to have is a microwave and a mini fridge. The community kitchen is only open a few hours a day (and people make a line for it), so I rarely ever get to use a stove or oven. What kinds of meat would I be able to just eat or safely cook in a microwave?
    "Just eat" -- I take it this means without cooking.

    Any kind of air-dried or jerked meat. For the latter try googling under something like "jerky" or "biltong" together with phrases like "additive free" or "grass fed". If you can get (genuine) pemmican that would be even better. (In the U.S. one company that does it is US Wellness meats. I don't know what they charge.)

    You can also make your own if you can stretch to a dehydrator. It'd be cheaper that way in the long run, but you need the cash up-front to get the dehydrator.

    Air dried ham -- such as Italian-style proscuitto, Parma ham, etc. is good. Ordinary wet-cure ham is OK, so long as there's no dextrose, etc. in it. Other cold meats.

    Bacon you could cook in the microwave.

    What would go well with bacon, ham. etc. is old-fashioned naturally fermented sauerkraut, such as this one:

    Bubbies

    There's something else that doesn't require cooking.

    Eggs are a good Paleo/Primal staple. If they're from a healthy flock, the yolks can be eaten raw. You could probably microwave them -- not sure how. It probably wouldn't be a good idea, since microwaves cook from the inside out and the purpose of cooking an egg is to cook the white sufficiently while not over-cooking the yolk.

    But you could probably hack up some other way of cooking them. An old-fashioned alternative to boiled eggs is coddled eggs. With that method, people used to pour boiling water over the eggs and then just sit them somewhere, preferably somewhere warm, for a few minutes. That gives you an egg rather like a boiled egg, but they tend to be a softer and creamier. You'd have to experiment with the timing, but if you've got a bowl, and a tea-kettle, and an electric point, you could do that. Maybe wrap a towel round the bowl.

    Tinned wild red salmon (the type with the bones left in) or sardines in olive oil (again, bones and all) are a nutritious and easy option.

    If you're dairy-tolerant, a good-quality full-fat cheese, preferably goat or ewe's milk, like Manchego, would be another possibility.

    Nuts in moderation make a good snack. Macadamias have a nice lot of fat in them. Avocados are another excellent food that doesn't need cooking.

    Also, due to some physical conditions I have, I can't walk very far or do very many exercises, at least not correctly. I can lift weights though, and I naturally lift my body weight all the time. Do I need to do more exercise with a cardio component? What options are there besides walking, running, and cycling? I really want to find activities I can do.
    No, you don't have to do cardio. Walking and cycling plus the weights should be just fine. You can always add extra activities later on, if you want.

  3. #3
    Tom B-D's Avatar
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    In your situation I think I would stock up on canned salmon, tuna, and sardines (as Lewis suggested), hardboiled eggs, and good salad greens (lettuce, arugula, kale, spinach) and make those my staple. Oh, and some EVOO to dress the salad of course! I'd also keep broccoli and cauliflower on hand to steam in the microwave or eat raw, and seasonal tomatoes, carrots, etc. Then, when you can get some jerky, or bring home leftovers of good meats, etc., go for it, but at least you would have a simple, reliable staple. I would try to minimize the nuts--I think they sabotage my weight loss. Good luck! Also, look around the forums and keep the questions coming, I'm sure there are many here who have gone through similar challenges!

    Regarding the exercise, if walking is a problem also, that's a tough one--it's key that you get lots of low-level movement in. Do you have access to a swimming pool? It can be just about anything as long as you get your pulse into that 55-75% of maximum 2-5 hours a week. Hopefully you can find something fun or relaxing. I've come to love my walks.

  4. #4
    GoingPrimal13's Avatar
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    Thanks, Lewis and Tom. I forgot about sardines being an option (I love those little fish!). Jerky is good too

    As far as walking goes, I can walk some, but my balance and gait is really off, so I have to have canes or a walker for assistance and walking 2-5 hours a week is not really feasible. Maybe I should take up swimming as well.

  5. #5
    Lewis's Avatar
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    I guess do what you feel is feasible and that won't be counterproductive. And that whatever medical advisors -- doctors, physiotherapists, or whatever -- you have are happy with.

    You do say "at least not correctly" in your first post, and certainly if that's the case upping the volume and activity of something you're feel you're doing incorrectly is probably not a good idea. Plenty of people hurt themselves over-exercising, or by exercising, or doing other physical activities like stretching, in a wrong way.

    You certainly don't need exercise for weight-loss: that seems to be a popular myth. It's good for other reasons, but if calorie-restriction and lots of jogging solved people's weight problems ... well, they don't; people do that for years on end to no result. Eskimo women used to spend most of the winter indoors, because there was no real point in going out: it didn't make them put on weight. When they were eating their traditional diet they were slim.

  6. #6
    Rueben's Avatar
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    Fish is great done in the microwave, make sure you don't overcook it. I like gurnard or terakihi, firm white fish. Green beans or broccoli with a sweet potato done in its skin. All in microwave.

    I love carrots and parsnips mashed with lots of butter, yum.

    I have also cooked chicken drumsticks in a glass microwave dish, with lemon, or maybe some tamari sauce. They don't brown, but still taste good.

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