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    Primal Journal(Ash877)

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    I've been on a primal diet for about a week now.

    Growing up, I was raised on lots of high carbs. Flour and sugar were in an abundance in my home. I always led a very active lifestyle, and despite eating lots of junk, I graduated high school around 140 lbs, and a size 10(1995) The summer after graduation, I became even more active, and although I was eating a lot of bad carbs, I managed to get down to about 130 and a size 8.

    I continued to eat the same way for years, and had 2 kids. After my second child was born, I discovered the Atkins diet(around 2002). My body thrived on it, and I lost about 30 lbs. I eventually strayed from the diet, and went back to eating a lot of carbs, and packed on a few lbs. When I went to my first doctors appt with my 3rd child, I weighed in at 161 lbs(back in a size 10). After having him, I weighed in at 187(2009). I went back on the low carb(my body actually greatly preferred this diet, and lost weight easily) I stopped counting carbs, and added in a lot of fruits, and some nuts. If I had to guess, I was probably around 80 carbs most days.

    I continued on a low carb diet from when I was 160 until I hit around 135, and then fell off again. My body reacted violently. I think it was due to being on the diet for so long, my body thrived on low carb. I was eating huge amounts of bad carbs, and I was constantly hungry. I was irritable, and not sleeping, yet I was still losing weight. I decided that I would have to stay on some type of low carb diet for the rest of my life.

    After reading up on the effects of aspartame(I had switched to diet soda on Atkins) I decided that it had no place in my diet. It was a big decision, as I had become a soda junkie at a young age. I was actually looking for a low carb diet where I wouldn't lose weight when I came here.

    My body responded very well to the change. I also decided to cut out coffee and alcohol at the same time. After one week of going back into low carb, I am sleeping well. The first couple of days, I took a nap, as my body was a little off. By the third day, my energy levels were up to where they were in my mid 20's. The last three nights I have slept about 8 hours a night. I have woken up without an alarm clock feeling refreshed, seeing hours I haven't seen in a long time(7am, 8 am)

    The scale has dropped a little. I started at 128, and am currently at 126.6. My initial body fat estimate was 21%, currently it is around 19.6%. Maybe I am just meant to be smaller than I thought.

    I even ventured into the health store and picked up some organic coconut oil yesterday. I added it to my eggs this morning. I am looking forward to picking up some sweet potatoes to add to my diet as well.

    DH has also joined me on the diet, as he also did the low carb diets with me in the past. He has some weight to lose, but he also loses well on a low carb diet. We are also slowly leading the kids into the low carb world(I prefer the term good carbs actually) None of them are overweight, but if it affects my mood this dramatically, I can't see how it wouldn't be a good idea for the whole family.

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    I just wanted to add a few things I have noticed since changing my diet.

    -I have always had huge veins in my arm. Like a bodybuilder(not attractive) the longer I am on it the more normal they look. I also have varicose veins in my legs that appeared in pregnancy, I wonder if they will go down also?(they used to itch, they don't anymore)

    -My skin used to itch like crazy, that has gone away.

    -I used to be always cold, my body is starting to regulate much better. DS4 and I went for a walk yesterday, and it just felt good to be in the cold(probably was about 40) I could also immediately feel the sun when it came out briefly.

    -My sense of hearing seems to be much better. I am starting to hear and notice things I never did before. Apparently the battery charger makes a buzzing sound, never noticed it until yesterday.

    I'm sure there are more, but a lot of these are very positive changes for me.

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    Went and picked up a lot of fruits and veggies. Even found some organic carrots and celery. Also bought a few organic apples to try out.

    Today marks the end of my first week without caffeine, and it has been going very well. I don't really miss it, and I am sleeping much better. I've been looking for dark chocolate, but the best I have found so far is only 54%. I also look forward to adding sweet potatoes to the mix, forgot to get them yesterday.

    Today my weight was up to 128 again, but my body fat was at 19.1% I'm not even sure what I want those numbers to look like, the other benefits to the diet so far have been enough.

    I've been experimenting with different spices, love to throw a lot of garlic into things, and cumin.

    Finished the book, feel like there are a lot of things I still need to learn, but I'm sure it'll come.

    The kids seem to be doing well, they aren't 100% primal yet, but have all been adding a lot of fruit, meat, and veggies into their diets. They are also all off of caffeine and soda, I figure it's a good start.

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    I figure I will only weigh in once a week. Currently I am at 127.1. Not looking to lose weight, just tracking it. Starting body fat %(using a hand held device) was 21% This morning it was 17.5% I started this diet "skinny fat" if you will. Now I just look skinny, but feel really good. I have lost what I believe was my wheat belly. I lost 1/2 inch off my waist, and an entire inch at my belly button.

    I am working on mastering a pull up. Currently I can't do a single one. Also trying to fit a little play time into my life. I think that I put too much pressure on myself sometimes, and don't take enough time out for me. With a full time job, and 3 kids, sometimes it's just go go go.

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    Weight seems to be holding steady between 127-129. Body fat was at 17.9% today. Have lost 1.5 inches right at the belly button, and 1/2 inch off the waist.

    Went shopping and bought a lot of fruits and veggies. DD14 was curious about eggplant, so we picked up two and will be giving them a try in the next couple of days. The kids seem to be doing really well, and will usually come home from school and request some type of meat. They are all eating a ton of fruit, and some veggies.

    We had drumsticks for dinner last night, which were a big hit. I'm saving the bones, and going to try a bone broth today in the crock pot.

    Baked a yam last night,and added some cinnamon and butter. Pretty tasty.

    Haven't been counting carbs at all. I tend to eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, and some meat. I've never been a big meat eater, so I tend to just eat it when I feel like it. Usually ends up 1-2 times a day.

    I used to be really exhausted after working all weekend. The last two weeks, I have come home with energy to spare.

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    Still been at this. I had a couple of sweets on Christmas. Don't think I'll be doing that again. Felt really crappy, took about 2 days for the effect to completely wear off.

    Weight is currently 126.1 Body fat is 17.7% Have lost 3/4" at the waist, 1 3/4" at the belly button and 1/2" at the hips.

    Going to visit the doctor today, as I have other issues going on. I am hoping that continuing the diet will help with them, but don't want to ignore them. Feeling really crappy is what brought me here, and it has improved greatly, but I am still struggling with some issues. The anxiety is gone, but the irritability remains. Some days are really good, and others are really bad.

    I have been adding a couple of workouts in, and feel great when I do work out, but want to clear up any possible medical problems before I go too far.

    DH joined me on the diet, and has been doing great! He started at 225.3 and is down to 219.2. He had a couple of "cheats" and while he didn't react as poorly to them as I did, he felt crappy enough that he doesn't want to do it again. I suppose starting in December was a rough time to start.

    I am now 4 weeks in with no soda, and have no plans to go back. Besides Christmas, I haven't had anything not on the diet. I do still have some dairy, mostly cottage cheese, bleu cheese, and feta. With generous helpings of eggs, of course.

    Found a little local farm that sells grass fed met for about $5 a lb, but won't be able to order from them until the spring. Also, we are planning on planting a few crops in the back yard this year, going to start with some easier things, and go from there.

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    Still here. Doctor wasn't able to find much yet. My white blood cell count was high, and I have been having stomach issues. Going to cut out dairy for awhile to see if that helps. He wants to do a CT scan, but isn't completely confident that it will give me a definitive answer. I've also been having some skin issues(dry hands, feet, rash on the back) that are ongoing.

    My weight is currently at 130.3, body fat at 17.3%. I've added a couple of days at the gym. Trying to not get in too much cardio, as I already walk 20-30 miles a week at work. Have been throwing in a few sprints, really enjoying them. Working on mastering a pullup still. Using a weight assisted machine. I can do 2 or 3 at 25 lbs assist, and 7 or 8 at 40 lbs. I'm working on adding more protein to the diet to aid in muscle gain. Also have been going a little lower carb, as it helps my blood sugar stay more level, and keeps the mood swings in much better control.

    Current diet is hamburger meat, pork roasts, some chicken, bacon, lots of eggs. Veggies are spinach, celery, carrots, broccoli,sweet potatoes,bell peppers. Fruits are berries, avocados,tomatoes, bananas, oranges, with an occasional apple. Nuts are currently out, as I've had an allergy to walnuts and pecans, and seem to be having problems with almonds. The doctor recommended I cut them out for now. Also found a 72% dark gluten free chocolate that I enjoy, and have the occasional glass of red wine with dinner. Fats are olive oil, butter, and coconut oil. For now, I will keep the butter, if I continue to have issues, I may drop it for a while to see how that goes.

    Today is day one of cutting out dairy, so it cuts out a lot of what I was previously eating, but am hoping to aid in my digestive problems. I suspect that my gut is starting to heal, as I have been able to add some weight. Previously I was losing weight eating a lot of crap, which leads me to believe I was having a problem absorbing nutrients properly. I'm confident that it only exacerbated my mood issues. I lost 8 lbs on a horrid diet over the course of 2 months.

    Sleep has been much better, but if I get any wheat or bad sugar in the diet, the sleep is first to go.

    Not really sure yet where my weight and body fat will end or, or even what is optimal. Currently I am a size 2/4, so I'm not too concerned about gaining weight.

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    Made it to the gym 3 times this week. Spend most of my time working with weights, and a few sprints. Started out being able to do 3 push ups, was able to get to 15 today. I am working on getting to 50 and eventually 100, it may take a while, but that's what I'm aiming for. Still want to do a pullup, but that's going to be a lot harder.

    I am at 3 days without dairy, going ok so far.

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    Going off dairy didn't go so well for me. I guess I enjoy it a lot more than I realized. After a few days off, I started getting massive cravings for crap food. So I've added the dairy back in, in hopes that I can keep sticking to the diet.

    I am now about 8 weeks in without soda. I have added some green tea in, and some herbal tea. Otherwise it's only water to drink. I really am not missing the soda, which is a shock to me as I was a huge soda junkie for a long time.

    I took some new pictures yesterday. Even though there is no weight loss(started at 128.2, now at 129) the change is obvious. My stomach is looking more toned, and I am seeing an increase in muscle in the shoulders(which would make sense, as I can do 15 pushups vs. the 3 I started at) My thighs seem to look a little more toned as well. I think I will try to take pictures once a month.

    I am trying to take in more protein, as I tend to be low on it. I am wanting to get enough in so that I can continue to build muscle and tone up. I may even end up gaining some weight, which I am fine with. I am more concerned with getting in shape than what the scale might say.

    DH continues to do well with this. He started at 225.3 and is currently down to 217. He was struggling with rosacea before he started, and it cleared up. If he has any wheat, it will flare up the next day, so that definitely pushes him to stick with this.

    The kids are doing well, though they do tend to get wheat at friends houses, and at school. I am going to try a few new recipes for them to give them more variety.

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    Made it to the gym 3 times last week, and 2 times this week. Still working on cutting out dairy. I've been 2 days without, and it seems to be helping. I tend to get a lot of sinus issues when I eat it. Just going to have to tough it out and go without. I am sure after a few more days of skipping it I will get more used to it.

    I've probably been about 90/10 on the diet. The only time I struggle is when I am at work all weekend. I am going to try to get a lot more food to bring with me. I figure I will be better off eating more fruit, than to eat the crap that is available at work.

    I think I am going to try and get a vitamin D test done at the doctors. I suspect my level is low. I am trying to get out in the sun when I can, but the uv index is low right now. I've been taking 800 IU's for about a month now, and it seems to be helping. I can't wait until I can actually get some from the sun. The UV index did get up to 3 briefly yesterday, so I got what I could.

    I was able to do 4 pullups at 25 lbs weight assist yesterday. I can now get nearly halfway up on my own, which is a big improvement. I have been working on doing reverse pullups, and boy can I feel the burn.

    The skin on my hands has been improving. I didn't get the dry rash after working all week last week, which is a big imrovement.

    Energy levels seem to be much better. I still tend to get a lull in energy between 2-4, but it isn't nearly as bad as it used to be. I try to get a nap in on the days it is the worst. My biggest struggle is getting enough sleep. I don't get home from work until 1-1:30 on Friday and Saturday, so I know it hurts my sleep, but short of quitting my job I don't know how to get around this, so I just try to get to bed as early as possible the rest of the week.

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