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    Primal Journal for nwalsh - another new beginning

    Primal Fuel
    Hi there, my name is Nicolle and I'm starting out on this Primal journey. I'm not sure how many times I've started a new "eating plan" (the word DIET drips with "defeat" so I have chosen to drop it from my vocabulary) but I know I've tried something similar years ago and it made me feel better.
    I consider myself to be in relatively good health...at least that's what all of the doctors tell me. However, I've been in and out of the doctor's office for the last 12 years with symptoms that I don't have answers for. In 2009 I was misdiagnosed with Crohn's Disease and was put on steroids and anti-inflammatories for 2 years. I went through a battery of tests that never could quite confirm it. After switching doctors and going through another myriad of tests (including colonoscopy #2, an endoscopy, barium x-ray #3, CT scan, Mekels Diverticulum test, and finally exploratory laparoscopy) I was told that I don't have Crohn's (huge sigh of relief) but IBS....something I've known for years.
    I've tried different eating plans for IBS; anything to help with the nausea, stomach cramping, bloating, gas, etc. but have never really found anything that helps. Now I'm on a medication that is a combination muscle relaxer for my stomach and anti-anxiety medication. I want to get off of that. It can't be good to be on muscle relaxers every day. I tried to get off of it once but after a few weeks I started getting panic attacks again.
    So, I'm trying Primal eating because I want my body to go back to it's natural state.
    I've lost and gained the same 30 pounds almost yearly since 2006 and it's time for me to get my body to where it needs to be....healthier and happier.
    I'm on day #3 of Primal eating and I can feel the sugar withdrawls. I don't eat any dairy, but I never really could so this isn't a huge change for me. I don't do well with grains either so that's not too bad of a change. It's the sugar that's the toughest.
    Although weight loss is not my #1 goal, long-term I'd like to lose 80lbs. I'm 5'4" and weight 233.
    In 2011 I was going to the gym 6 days a week and lost 30 lbs. I learned that I LOVE lifting weights and running...not an easy task for a (techincally) obese person. I'd like to get back there again. I'd like to feel strong again...in control of my mind and body.
    Support is an amazing tool. I'm lucky to have a supportive husband who has decided to take this journey with me, even though he is in the military and doesn't need to lose weight.
    If you've read this far, I thank you. I'm excited to continue on with detoxing my body and talking to others who are successful with sticking to this Primal way of life.
    Now if I can just get out from under this sugar-less headache/fog.......

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    Ok, day #4....I'm so thankful for the Everyday Paleo cookbook. I'd be so lost without it. Although, ironically, I wouldn't be doing this if I HADN'T bought the cookbook. I didn't really look at the cover in Costco, I just looked at the recipes and thought they would be something I'd like to eat, so I bought it. When I got home I started reading it realized it was for Primal eating. My husband and I decided to give it a try October 1st. Day #1 wasn't a success because we had cleaned out the kitchen of bad food, but we hadn't gone shopping for our Paleo foods yet. Day #2 was better....eggs and turkey sausage for breakfast, tuna salad (with Paleo mayo) in avocado halves for lunch, almond butter and celery for a snack, and salmon with bok choy and cabbage cucumber slaw for dinner. I even branched out and tried a berry crumble using almond flour, eggs, and coconut oil. Good stuff, but berry season is over Last night I made slow cooker spice rubbed chicken with sweet potato spears. We had a non-Paleo friend over for dinner and he loved it. Our friend said "man, cavemen ate really yummy stuff!" I agree This morning: egg houses - hollowed out tomatoes baked with an egg in the middle, topped with crumbled bacon and onions. As a side note, yesterday I was down 3 lbs. after doing this only 3 days. I can't complain. Starting to crawl out of the sugar/carb withdrawal. Slightly less of a headache today, but still tired and a little nauseous....but I'm hooked. I already feel better.

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    Day #5: I'm feeling a bit "sludgy". I'm not sure why, but I always associate bready foods with being "lighter" than meats, veggies, and fruit. Maybe it's the IBS book I read that said people with IBS should eat soluble fibers (bread, pasta, rice, etc.) on an empty stomach to help with IBS symptoms. So eating eggs or avocado on an empty stomach seems heavy to me. And I do have to admit, eating some crackers or french bread on an empty stomach seems to calm mine. However, last night I made Thai shrimp soup and ate that on an empty stomach and was fine. Although I don't really feel like my stomach is empty anymore. Since going primal, when I'm hungry I still feel half full....like I couldn't eat another bite, but I know I'm hungry. Guess it's the protein? I'm opting for a "lighter" breakfast this morning, a smoothie. The soup was a nice change to meat and veggies last night. Monday I start the fitness portion. I'm not sure I quite understand the Primal fitness program yet, so I think I'll start at the gym on an elliptical trainer....just to get moving. I haven't "moved" at the gym in over a year. I started a job last summer that required a 4-hour commute and shot my anxiety through the roof and brought my health to an all-time low. After a long campain (I was a squeaky wheel), I was finally approved to work from home. Now I have the time to devote to my over all health. So, back to the gym I go. Maybe I'll talk to a personal trainer there.

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    PrimalCon New York
    Ok, I've hit the 30 day mark. I've lost 10 lbs which feels great; I've made some discoveries about what I can and can not tolerate; I've discovered that this is the lifestyle for me. Sugar makes me sick anymore (found that out after celebrating my birthday with German Chocolate cake this weekend), milk is still on the "no go" list, and the I'm assuming grains are off the list because I get stoamch cramps everytime I eat them; of course they're usually mixed with sugar so it could be a combination of both.
    I have not started a physical activity regimen yet but I have started to do yoga again to get my body moving.
    Some of our favorite meals so far: coconut Thai shrimp soup, Paleo chili with plantain chips, rosemary pork tenderloin with cherry reduction (although this helped me realize that pork chops, tenderloin, and ribs are off the list, but ham and bacon are ok), and coconut shrimp with peach ginger sauce. So, goal for this month: get moving and plan a great Paleo Thanksgiving dinner!

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