Ok, so I thought I'd kind of give an update as to my primal life, so that other newbies like me can have an idea of what to look forward to. Anyone please feel absolutely free to comment on anything I say, or answer any questions I might ask. I've been doing this about three weeks and have noticed some definitive changes, both good and bad.

First, my diet changes have been as follows:

Cut out almost 100% of sugars, wheats, and grains, although I've had a couple of slip ups (smores and homemade ice cream on our camping trip, a piece of Coldstone ice-cream cake on my daughters birthday, and three cookies at my daughters freshman orientation). Other than that I've done really well.

I learned how to make homemade yogurt successfully, and have been eating it almost daily.

Have eliminated all vegetable and seed oils/shortenings from the house. I learned how to make Ghee, so now we have expeller pressed coconut oil, Ghee, lard, and olive oil for cooking and eating. No tallow yet, I went to get some suet yesterday (not grass-fed unfortunately), but the only butcher in town is closed this week - so I guess I'll learn how to render on Monday.

I've been experimenting with some veggies, which is tough because I'm not a big veggie eater. I have found some yummy non-CW ways to prepare broccoli and cauliflower, discovered that broccolini is pretty yummy, tried eating avocado raw with my yogurt and discovered I was not a big fan at all (hoping there's better ways to prepare it), discovered that artichoke leaves are only so-so - but the heart is pretty good, and I have a stalk of bok choy in the fridge that I'm worried might go bad before I get up the guts to try it. So far that's the extent of my veggie indulgence.

I've been eating a lot more fruit than I used to. I know it kills my carbs for the day, but considering what I used to eat I figure I'm still much better off.

I'm still eating/drinking dairy, but since I'm not eating bowls of cereal or ice cream floats every night my milk intake has gone way down. When I started I was still eating cheese, but I've pretty much cut all that out now. Main dairy intake comes from the yogurt.

When we go to fast food I eat the same thing every time. 4 McDoubles, plain, no cheese, and then I throw the bread away. Probably not the healthiest, but still much healthier than what I used to eat and still primal (I think?).

I've been eating all meats. Beef, pork, canned sardines and fishes, chicken, etc.... To anyone who read my initial posts, the quality of the meat I buy isn't the greatest I'm sure - given my household purchasing power - but I try to get the best stuff I can for the money I have. I've also been eating a lot more eggs, both store bought and home-laid (my daughter has two laying hens).

I'm still drinking Diet Mountain Dew like a fiend although I have experimented with some green tea, and I'm still smoking cigarettes.

That's about it for the diet I guess, here's the changes I've noticed:

I've lost 12 pounds It's been slow, but I think that's because I've never achieved ketosis, so therefore never had the whooosh water weight loss effect.

I'm sleeping better, faster, and longer.

My abdominal cramping, diarrhea, gassiness, bloating, and constant pain are all but non-existent now. I've quit taking both prescriptions given to me that were designed to help those (but never worked). Bear in mind the significance of this, I'm 37 and this has been a major factor of my existence since at least as early as 13 years old. Needless to say, this is the first time in my life my gut hasn't controlled me.

I had my gall bladder out two years ago. Since then, I've had constant "phantom" gall bladder pain that was every bit as bad - or worse - than the original gallstone pain. It's gone. I think this is because the sheer volume of food that I'm eating is much less, and I think the quantity of food that I was eating before was placing a large amount of pressure on that area, causing it to hurt constantly.

I "BM" alot less now. I think maybe I'm constipated, but I don't have any pain like what is normally associated with constipation. It's very hard and infrequent, but painless. I'm not sure what to make of that.

I can't quite tell if I have more energy or not yet. I guess maybe I'm feeling less tired, but it isn't significant enough yet to have an accurate measure.

I don't think I've had a headache for two weeks. They weren't ever excruciating, no migraines or anything, but I did get them regularly and they did hurt and were a pain in the ass.

I have heartburn A LOT now. I've been taking Tums, which I'm sure isn't primal, but I don't know any other remedies for heartburn yet, so I'm sticking with what works.

When I started out I tried to be a carb Nazi, but I've honestly given up on that. I maintain awareness of it, but mainly I just focus on not eating the things I decided not to, and continuing to eat the things I said I would. I'm eating a lot healthier now and I think that's as important as CICO, not to mention the fact that I get full a lot faster on a lot less food these days, and I stay satisfied a lot longer so the natural by-product of that is a lot less CI.

I guess that's about it. The only other two lifestyle changes I've been incorporating is that I've been taking cold showers and I've been "squatting", both things I picked up from reading other posts on this forum.

So what does everyone think? Comments, suggestions, advice, critiques? I welcome it all!