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Thread: In Pursuit of Happiness and a Flat Stomach (TheEscapeArtist's Journal) page 6

  1. #51
    badgergirl's Avatar
    badgergirl is online now Senior Member
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    welcome back
    My journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread60211.html Into RPG table top games? Check out FateStorm and (in development) Vanguard!

  2. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cave Bird View Post
    I, too have fallen off the primal wagon, and felt terrible about it. You have inspired me to get back on it and not give up. You and Siohban, you both kill me with the food porn! I love it Where does one get "dried sausage?" Is that a UK thing? it sounds like a great portable snack, but I don't recall seeing it in any stores.
    Hi Cave Bird, Very happy to hear my story's made you want to climb back on the primal wagon - it is amazing how quickly you can go from feeling terrible to feeling pretty darn good! As for the dried sausage, I get mine at the local Whole Foods-like grocery. A high-end deli would also be a good bet. Here the sausages are often imported from Italy, France or Spain, but I'd be shocked if you couldn't find an excellent local source. Isn't California the epicentre of the artisanal food movement? Google "artisanal charcuterie" and your location. I bet you strike gold...or rather pork! Good luck!

  3. #53
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    Hi! Welcome back!

    In reading through your journal I saw bunches of parrallels with me. I dropped out of MDA about the same time too. I didn't dive into a breadbasket though. I tried to, but I overshot it and since it was floating in a sea of beer and Irish Whiskey, I was content just to wallow awhile, through the dark cold months.

    But I'm back eating healthfully and taking better care of myself. I haven't started exercising, other than a bit of walking, but as the warm weather comes I hope to be more enthusiastic about lifting heavy things, etc., etc.

    Anyway, welcome back (again!)
    Height: 5' 10"
    Starting Weight: 292
    Starting Primal Weight: 275
    Current weight: 230
    Goal weight: 172
    Body Fat 27.5

  4. #54
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    F*ck therapy; just give me a steak!

    People often say in their primal success stories that they enjoyed shocking their doctor, well today I enjoyed shocking my therapist. Last week I was a mess - she practically had to scrape me off the floor by the end of the session. Just to give you a before and after snapshot: last Friday I'd showed-up for my appointment in sweatpants (although I had not been to the gym that day), a sweater with so much dog fur on it it could have passed for angora (very ugly angora), and hiking socks - both feet labeled "left" (interestingly both my therapist and trainer believe in going barefooted, or rather sock-footed). Hair - lank, greasy, in bad need of a wash or at the very least a brush. No make-up, eyes puffy and red behind my glasses. Today I showed up all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed in a dress, nice sweater sans fur, and tights without runs or holes. Also clean hair and even (gasp!) a smattering of makeup and jewellery. Apparently she'd seen clients take rapid downturns before but such a rapid upturn? She was flabbergasted.

    'What's happend to you?!' she said. I told her the only thing that changed is I stopped eating grains and sugar and started eating more meat and fat. Last time when I tried to tell her what a profound effect diet has on my mood, she pooh-poohed me. This time her mouth got a bit tight, like she wanted to argue, but she didn't. It made me think about when I first went on anti-depressants (Wellbutrin) about 15 years ago. At pretty much the same time I tried my first low-carb diet (Atkins). Very bad timing from a self-experimentation standpoint. Anyway, within three days I felt great - so much more energy, it was amazing. When I told the doctor, he said it usually takes several weeks for patients to start feeling the effects. That my results were way too fast. At the time I figured I was just very sensitive to the medication. After all, anti-depressants are supposed to make you feel better; a diet is supposed to make you lose weight. It somehow never occurred to me that it could actually be the diet that was making me feel better.

    Of course, I don't think my mental health is only about what I eat - that primal is a 'cure' - but I think it's a pretty important piece of the puzzle, especially when you factor in the other aspects of the primal prescription - sun, play, sleep, etc. Maybe meditation (my therapists' choice) is another piece of the puzzle. But in my experience the results are much slower and harder to see. Perhaps they're more lasting. Maybe now that I have more energy I can actually follow her recommendation to meditate at least five minutes a day. Maybe that can be my challenge for the coming week. Still not ready to relinquish my morning latte.

    Today's feed
    B (post-workout) - goat's milk latte, 3 eggs scrambled in ghee, half an avocado (perfectly ripened - I'm on a another roll!), and tomatillo salsa from the organic farmers' market
    L/S dried pork sausage + mushrooms and artichoke hearts marinated in olive oil, garlic, parsley
    D left-over Slow-Cooked Coconut Ginger Pork (MDA recipe). Delicious and easy. I added a carton of shiitake mushrooms for the last hour of cooking - thus boosting the nutritional value and the yum factor. When I tried this recipe many months ago, I had it over cauliflower rice, but was too lazy this time. I'd used this recipe, but found it kind of time consuming (takes about an hour from start to finish). Anyone got a better recipe? Unfortunately I don't have a microwave - that might speed things up considerably.

    Workout
    Mr. Clean's Wednesday "metabolic catastrophe" workout was so gruelling I went home and took a nap. Today he took it easy on me (ha!). We spent most of the session doing ladders (either the weight or the number of repetitions gradually goes up): alternating sumo deadlifts - starting with 40kg (88lb)/15 reps and working up to 60kg (132lb)/5 reps - and kettlebell swings (16kg/32lb) - starting with 15 reps and working up to 25. We also did some band work - high-pulls, chops, and other fun stuff that I forgot (probably because I was at the point of passing out). Also I walked for at least an hour - to and from the gym and back from therapy. Felt good to be in the sun.

    Observations
    I think I'm still adjusting to burning fat for energy, because my workouts were more like wipeouts this week. I probably should be eating more carbs on workout days, but vegetables take more effort than I feel up to at the moment. Still, more energy today than yesterday - it's 11PM and I'm still upright! Whoo-hoo! No Japanese bed therapy today! Also sleeping better - the first three days without sugar/grains I slept terribly. Felt more emotionally stable and even was able to complete a task I'd previously felt incapable of starting - was weeks overdue, but now it's done. Also I did something spontaneously nice for myself today: on my way back from the gym I stopped and got myself a bar of of fancy soap - it's made in New York the sales clerk told me proudly. Like I said, fancy. All I know is I love how it smells - the whole bathroom smells like a hammam now.

  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by DCarr10760 View Post
    Hi! Welcome back!

    In reading through your journal I saw bunches of parrallels with me. I dropped out of MDA about the same time too. I didn't dive into a breadbasket though. I tried to, but I overshot it and since it was floating in a sea of beer and Irish Whiskey, I was content just to wallow awhile, through the dark cold months.

    But I'm back eating healthfully and taking better care of myself. I haven't started exercising, other than a bit of walking, but as the warm weather comes I hope to be more enthusiastic about lifting heavy things, etc., etc.

    Anyway, welcome back (again!)
    Thanks DCarr! I know all about wallowing. Although I would prefer wine for a good wallow, I've never turned my nose up at beer or whiskey (prefer the Scottish kind). Anyway, welcome back to you too! In my experience, exercise helps, but diet is critical (including ditching the booze). I probably wouldn't be fooling with exercise at this stage if I didn't have Mr. Clean to make me feel guilty. I'm not joyfully bounding out of bed and skipping to the gym, yet. More like dragging myself grumbling after pushing the snooze button four times, but I'm sure my enthusiasm for physical suffering will return (ha!).

  6. #56
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    badgergirl is online now Senior Member
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    I think you're going full steam ahead. Well done, you. And, selfishly, I'm just happy you're updating again.
    My journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread60211.html Into RPG table top games? Check out FateStorm and (in development) Vanguard!

  7. #57
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    The joys of the farmers' market

    Went to the organic farmer's market this morning - I'd stopped going during my downward spiral because I didn't have the energy to prepare what I bought. I do love it though: the mushroom stand with like 20 different kinds of mushrooms - pink ones, purple ones, ones that look like brains, ones that look eggs; the fresh oyster stand - the delights of which I have already spoken (my dog is now also a fan since they gave her a shrimp to munch on while I was enjoying my oysters); the goat cheese stand with nothing but goat cheese in all sorts of combinations - truffle, herbs, garlic, horseradish, lemon - all available in fresh, demi-sec or sec. These are some of my favorites. And then there are the vegetables - just looking at all those vegetables makes me feel healthier.

    Today's haul - bell peppers (red, green & yellow), tomatoes, purslane, blueberries, asparagus, harissa, fresh mint for tea, chevre, goat/sheep's milk yoghurt, a lamb roast, nitrate free bacon and ground beef.

    Was a beautiful day so I walked back - took me 45 minutes. Then I had to run a couple of errands around the neighborhood, go feed my friends cat for a grand total of 2.5 hours of walking. When I got home I was feeling tired and maybe a bit grouchy. I'm used to walking between 30 mins to an hour every day because I have a dog and live in a city without a car, but I think I might have overdone it today. A sign that I'm still not entirely fat adapted?

    I made and ate dinner and then got into bed. I'd received an invite to a friend's birthday bash (which didn't start until 9PM), but in the end I decided not to go. I don't feel stable enough to resist the temptation to drink and perhaps eat cake. Maybe in a few more weeks.

    Recipes for lazy people who like to eat well

    I'm into low-effort recipes these days - love me my slow-cooker! These are two of my favorites.

    Roast asparagus with tomatoes and black olives
    1. Preheat oven to 220C (430F)
    2. Coat asparagus and cherry tomatoes lightly in olive or coconut oil and place on baking sheet and dust with coarse salt
    3. Add some black olives (Kalamata work particularly well)
    4. Bake for 10 minutes


    Super easy slow-cooker roast chicken
    1. Rub the chicken inside and out with a mixture of salt and pepper (you could add other herbs and spices)
    2. Prick a lemon all over with a fork and pop it into the cavity - I often add fresh rosemary as well
    3. Place the chicken breast side up in the slow-cooker and cook on high for 3 - 3.5 hours (or low for 6.5 - 7.5 hours)

    That's it! And it's delicious enough for company. Reserve the broth and when you've eaten the chicken add back in all the bones and turn you slow-cooker on low to make broth. I cook the bones 24 hours and add onions, carrots, garlic, the last few hours of cooking. My broth is bubbling away as I type this - hope there is enough room in the freezer!

    Today's feed
    B 3 eggs scrambled in ghee, 4 strips bacon, handful of cherry tomatoes, goat's milk latte
    L/S 4 oysters & 100g dried pork sausage (not eaten at the same time)
    D roasted organic, free-range chicken with roasted asparagus, tomatoes and black olives

    Workout
    2.5 hours of walking - my dogs are barking!

  8. #58
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    Goals for the week

    I'm trying to take it slow - it's hard because now that I have a bit more energy, I see a million and one ways I could improve my life. I could start taking the dog for a walk after dinner (instead of putting her on a flexi-leash and letting her run down to the sidewalk to pee while I stand on the steps shouting encouragement and keeping watch for pedestrians who might get snagged in our trip-line). Or I could meditate for five minutes a day (would make my therapist so happy). Or reintroduce sprints into my workout. Many, many new and wonderful habits that I could cultivate or old ones I could revive. But, as I said, I'm trying to take it slow in the hopes that it will result in more lasting and sustainable changes and will give me clearer information about what works and what doesn't for my body. For example, in October when I started feeling a bit low energy I rushed in and cut the last bit of sugar out of my diet (dark chocolate) and gave up dairy at the same time. I felt better, but was it the sugar or the dairy or both? (Really I'm just hoping I can keep drinking my morning goats milk latte.) So the upshot of all this is I've decided to focus on one goal per week. This week I chose two because I think they're both pretty urgent: eat more vegetables and go to bed earlier.

    Goal 1: The veggie challenge
    So I looked at why I'm not eating more veggies. I was eating veggies before the downward spiral - lots and lots of veggies, so what's changed? First and foremost, I think I'm still in energy conservation mode and vegetables take more effort. You need to buy them and wash them and chop them and sometimes cook them and I know I can survive without them. But, as anyone who's done a really low carb diet knows, there are consequences - my low energy may be one, but the other is well...some fiber is essential as it turns out. I'm not ready to break out the psyllium husks just yet, but things are getting dire. So enough said...and maybe too much. Anyway, my solution (a la Mark) is to do all my cutting and chopping today, while listening to my favorite podcasts. That way I can throw a handful in with the eggs in the morning and make an Big Ass Salad for lunch with very little effort. Also bought pre-washed salad mix and spinach (passed up the spinach at the farmers' market because you almost have to wash each leaf individually before you get rid of all the dirt - a lot of work!).

    Goal 2: Resetting my internal clock
    So I was going to bed between 12:00 and 12:30 - not ideal but not ridiculously late; I was still getting seven hours most nights. But then last weekend daylight savings time kicked in and I could not adjust. Suddenly I'm going to bed at 1:00 - 1:30 at the earliest! Five to six hours of sleep a night does not cut it - especially when your energy is low to begin with. So what is keeping me from going to bed earlier? I suspect my laptop may be a big part of it - combined with my addiction to iTunes and now this Forum. So my concrete goal for this week is to turn off the laptop, and all other electronics, by 10PM. Hopefully this will work and if not I'll try something else next week - maybe meditation

    You can't manage what you don't measure
    So part of the logic behind the whole one goal at a time thing is to measure the impact on well-being. So there are a couple of parameters I'd like to track in this journal. Here's the current list I'm considering but it's kind of long so some may fall off:
    1. Mood, attitude
    2. Energy level
    3. Digestive health (bloating, constipation, etc.)
    4. Sinus health - I've heard that this is a good indicator of inflammation. Drinking wine, eating wheat - these things send my mucous membranes into overdrive. I always go to bed with a stuffed up nose and need to have a constant supply of tissues during the day. This week it's been a lot better, but still not cured.
    5. Skin dryness - this is one of those things that I just thought was part of getting older, but maybe it's not. I remember Barry Sears saying that dry skin is a sign your eicosanoid balance is off. Of course it's been like 15 years since I read The Zone and I've now forgotten what an eicosanoid is but I think it has something to do with oxidation.
    6. Joint health - stiffness and the like. Again one of those things I thought was just part of ageing, but have read a number of posts where people report this just going away.

    Six things - that's a lot. And some of them can only be observed at certain times of day. I only notice stiffness in the morning and stuffy sinuses at night. Also a public forum may not be the best place to report digestive health details...maybe I can develop my own code. Anyway, I'm going to give it a go for a week.

    Today's feed
    B goats milk latte (preworkout)
    L 2 poached eggs with smoked salmon and hollandaise (I was eating out, so I'm not quite sure what was in the hollandaise...probably sunflower oil - say it isn't so!)
    S blueberries, goat/sheep's milk yoghurt, pork sausage
    D hamburger sans bun with goats cheese and tomato (really wanted an avocado but infuriatingly the two I bought a few days ago still as hard as rocks even though I tried to hurry them along by putting them in a paper bag.)
    Quite a dairy heavy day!

    Workout
    45 min walking, 1 hour throwing ball for my dog in the park (does that count?) + 1 hour of rowing! Forgot to add in my previous post about adding things in that I signed up for a rowing course. I first signed up back in the fall, when I was feeling good. But then the downward spiral so I missed a lot of classes. I signed up for this term back in February when I was feeling like crap, not sure I could summon up the energy to go, but I really wanted to, so I signed up. First class was week before Easter. I went - despite feeling crappy and I love it. Getting out on the river is a real mood lifter - although I'm spending too much time looking at my oar to enjoy the scenery.

    Observations
    Mood and energy both good for the first part of the day, but dropped in the afternoon - same as yesterday. Hence snack (I kind of think the blueberries made me hungry though - maybe I should be tracking hunger too...). Came back from the park and both my dog and I got into bed.
    Digestive health - NM
    Sinus health - still some congestion in left sinus - noticed last night
    Skin dryness - pretty dry - when I scratch my arm with a fingernail leaves a white mark
    Joint health - forgot to notice this morning when I got out of bed

    Triumphs
    I made it a week without eating any wheat or sugar (or any white carbs)! And this is week two with no booze.

  9. #59
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    paleodutch is online now Senior Member
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    Hi, glad to hear you are feeling so much better on primal food. Have you considered frozen vegetables? No cleaning, cutting just heating and eating.

  10. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by paleodutch View Post
    Hi, glad to hear you are feeling so much better on primal food. Have you considered frozen vegetables? No cleaning, cutting just heating and eating.
    Thanks and good suggestion. The only thing is frozen veggies don't work so well in salads

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