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  1. #1
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    Panthera's Journal

    Primal Fuel
    Howdy folks,

    This will serve as my forum intro and start of a journal documenting my venture into primal living. I've lurked around MDA for a while, but haven't fully incorporated the concepts into my life and it seems like now is an excellent time to get serious.

    I'm a 25 year old female, 5'9" and somewhere around 175 lbs. I have some challenges to overcome in embracing a healthier lifestyle, including a lifelong tendency towards emotional/occasional binge eating and a ridiculous addiction to diet coke. I'm lucky enough to be in good health other than being slightly overweight. I'd like to drop about 25 lbs, improve my general athletic capabilities, and establish good eating habits for the future.

    Building exercise into my daily routine definitely works better for me than trying to do a regimented workout before or after work, though I'm pretty active and will almost always go hiking or running on my days off. I may look into getting a gym membership in order to access free weights at some point, but for now I'm limited to cardio and body weight exercises. I biked to work today (it's about 8 miles round trip) and plan to continue doing so until the weather gets so hot that the short trip turns me into a sodden sweaty mess with no place to shower before I start seeing clients for the day. I live in Texas, which means that could be as early as February, but I'll worry about that when the time comes.

    I'll probably take my "official" starting weight, measurements and photos Sunday morning as I'll be off work, but today was my first day of eating entirely primal. My fridge is stocked full of meat and veggies and my pantry is cleared of crap. I'm looking forward to seeing where this lifestyle takes me.

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    So I'm a little bit grumpy today, as it's a 75 degree, sunny, beautiful Saturday and I'm stuck working in a windowless vet clinic that smells faintly of anal glands. Sometimes I question my career choice. I'll console myself with puppies this afternoon and hope that tomorrow is just as nice.

    On to the food journal side of things: it turns out that my father's bolognese sauce is totally primal. Which is fortunate, because I don't think I'm allowed to visit my parents and not leave with a tupperware container full of it. And I think it actually tastes better over spaghetti squash than pasta. Put that in the win column. I'm having chicken-apple sausage and some steamed broccoli with butter for dinner, plus there's some tomato bisque in the fridge if I'm still feeling hungry afterward. My inner-fat-kid's arguments about how primal food is boring and yucky seem pretty far off base right now...

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    Hi Panthera!

    I just "read you" on the "In a Perfect World..." thread, and was so intrigued by your avatar in combo with your name and work wish that I looked you up here. I had to laugh at the anal gland thing... We have no dogs, but we do live with 6 totally spoiled felines. The oldest is now 19 years and 2 months - my furry baby (as opposed to my hairless human ones ).

    Good luck with the Primal! I'll check back in a bit to see how life as a Grokette is treating you!
    I have a mantra that I have spouted for years... "If I eat right, I feel right. If I feel right, I exercise right. If I exercise right, I think right. If I think right, I eat right..." Phil-SC

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    Thanks for stopping by and for the encouragement! Actually, I took that photo while I was in school and spent some time working with the vet who has my dream job. Relocating leopards one day and doing disease surveillance in elephants the next...I can only hope that I approach that stratosphere of coolness in my own career. My current employment is nice enough and honestly a lot of people's dream job, but I think the universe was punishing me for complaining yesterday. Less than an hour after posting that comment about the anal gland smell here, I had to treat a cat with an abscessed anal gland. Hell hath no fury like a cat who is having his butt medicated at the vet clinic. Some days I leave work simply grateful that I don't have to do this on people.

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    Alright, posting some starting stats. I find things like measuring, weighing and tracking little data points of progress motivating - it warms my little nerd heart. I also took photos, but they're not going online until I have "after" pics to compare with, and maybe not even then.

    Weight: 170.7 lbs
    Chest: 37.5
    waist (smallest): 29.75
    hips (widest): 44.75 (a wee bit pear shaped)
    thigh: 25.5

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    Just because I was thinking of it, you should check out the raw feeding threads on here if you get bored otherwise with the pickings.

    Wish I could share your enthusiasm for data points - but I will do them when hell freezes over. My sturdy belt will tell me how I am doing, and that is okay by me. But I also do not post photos.

    I can only imagine what that must have been like with that cat with the abscess... I had a cat once who wouldn't really get himself clean back there, and would have a poo-pearl stuck on his tushy almost constantly. Since he was my daughter's everything and the two slept together, I would pull that thing off whenever I saw it using a baby wipe. Holy Bast, you have never seen a cat suck in his entire butthole to somewhere deep in his pelvis like this animal... Literally the only thing you could see under his tail when he did that was FUR, right where an exit hatch should have been.
    I have a mantra that I have spouted for years... "If I eat right, I feel right. If I feel right, I exercise right. If I exercise right, I think right. If I think right, I eat right..." Phil-SC

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    Today I really struggled with cravings. Not for anything in particular, just this vague sense that there is all kinds of sugary, flour-based baked goodness out there that I'm not "allowed" to have and so want. I ate a little too much ricotta with blackberries and honey instead. It's not a perfect choice, but alas, I haven't reached that primal pinnacle of being able to sublimate my thoroughly neolithic desires with bacon.

    Upcoming food adventures include some beef ribs that will go into the slow cooker tomorrow morning. I bought a box of assorted grass-fed beef cuts from a local rancher a while ago. So far, I've been a bit underwhelmed by the steak (tough and slightly fishy) and ground beef (gristly) I've used. I'm not sure whether it's an issue with the beef itself, the processing or simply my lack of experience preparing grass-fed meat. Regardless, I expect that 8 hours simmering in homemade bbq sauce will cover a whole host of evils and give me a delicious dinner to look forward to

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    I've eaten surprisingly little today, but am absolutely stuffed anyways. I've skipped breakfast the past few mornings and found that it really doesn't impact how hungry I am the rest of the day. Actually, I've never been much for breakfast due to a combination of laziness and lack of hunger in the mornings. In my calorie-counting days (which tended to be temporarily successful), I would dutifully gulp down some scrambled egg whites or bland oatmeal shortly after rising. Now I will gladly abandon that and call it intermittent fasting if it's working for me. My lunch break is 1-2 and I'm pretty hungry by then no matter when I last ate.

    Breakfast: IF
    Lunch: 3 eggs scrambled with feta cheese and spinach, a spoonful of almond butter
    Dinner: 10 oz top sirloin cooked with butter and garlic, 1/2 cup edamame in the shell

    I made a quick trip to my parent's place (they live a few hours away) to pick up some camping gear this week, and ate some very non-primal meals while I was there. Things like sourdough and ice cream still tasted good, but I happily returned to eating my meat and veggie based diet the next day. That's a pretty big deal, as historically, even a small "cheat" has led to me going off the rails. Hopefully this approach will be more sustainable and enjoyable over the long haul

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    After seeing a few posts on it around here, I got a copy of Convict Conditioning and have been reading through it over the last few days. Although most of the writing is geared towards guys wanting to get as big as possible (and the convict author is ostensibly fictional), I'm going to give it a go. The progressions seem useful and I love the idea of a program that I can do at home without having to purchase any equipment to clutter up my apartment. My base fitness level is definitely higher on some movements that others - I can do full squats easily and a few regular pushups with good form, but I've never come close to doing a pullup in my life, and most ab/core exercises kill me. I've seen some good cases made for starting from the beginning, so we'll see how it goes.

    Not much to say on the eating - still going pretty strong, not seeing as much weight loss as I'd like, but I know it'll take time. Today's meals:

    Lunch: huge caprese bison burger, bacon, kale chips
    Dinner: chicken coconut curry over riced cauliflower, 88% dark chocolate

    The curry was a bit disappointing - I made it with chicken breast, coconut milk, mushrooms, onion, garlic, garam masala and curry powder and was expecting an awesomely flavorful dish, but it came out rather bland. Maybe I'd be better off following an actual recipe next time...

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    Primal Blueprint Expert Certification
    Ok, slinking back in now. I slipped into semi-paleo with lots of added bad food for a while after my backpacking trip. The fact that it was so easy to backslide after a pretty small break in my routine is a bit depressing, but I'm getting back on track and hoping that primal eating will develop into a strong habit with time.

    Breakfast: Salami and swiss cheese
    Lunch: Chicken salad over spring mix
    Dinner: bunless burger, cauliflower with cheese, strawberries

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