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    PrimalWriter's Avatar
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    It's not about the bacon

    No, really, it isn't.

    Of course, this brilliant concept hit me this evening as I was snacking at some fresh crispy very yummy bacon....but it's not really about the bacon.

    It's about all of it.
    My primal journal: My journey, goals, recipes, random thoughts on primal and SAD.

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    PrimalWriter's Avatar
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    I also picked up a copy of Primal Connection today. You know, since I was there (bookstore). I've JUST started reading it, but it may be the most important book I've read recently.

    Because, you see, it really isn't about the bacon, as much as we admire it. Sometimes it seems that we get so focused on how tasty the food is, or how many substitutes we can come up with for the crap we're no longer eating (think not? How many ads for Paleo sites--as an example--showing us brownies, or cookies, or .....reading a magazine today it seemed like every other page had an ad for almond-flour pasta, or some such), or how tough we are because we finished the WOD (I asked my Cross-fitter brother why they all had women's names. Something about breathing hard and landing flat on your back or something.).

    Obviously--or obviously to me--those are not necessarily bad things. And I am not (currently) the poster child for primal success. But I'd like to be. And I'd like to go about it in a way that feels like it's not just physically healthier, but it's psychologically and spiritually healthier. I don't want to eat "perfectly" and be pissed because I didn't lose ten pounds last week, or because I'm not able to do sprints (yet) or want to join a gym. I don't want to feel like I have to like coconut in everything (frankly, I don't. I have a great cookbook with a terrible--to me--biscuit recipe made with coconut flour. Hey, guess what, it tastes like coconut. Honestly, I'd rather skip biscuits altogether and train my taste buds not to miss them.).

    So here's my journey, round, oh, three I guess--'cause as soon as I thought I had to measure up to something, instead of focusing on how I felt, I gave up. So I'm back, but hopefully with a more holistic approach that fits the rest of me better.

    Now, this is not me being lackadaisical (it's southern for 'doin' what I want, y'all'), but remembering this isn't a diet, it's a lifestyle. MY lifestyle. Long walks, eventually hiking, climbing, and kayaking--which would all be activities I enjoy, except I've never kayaked. Canoed, oh my god yes. Rafting and kayaking are still on the to-experience list. Cooking because I love cooking--and frankly, I'm pretty damned good at it (fabulous, some have said), but without trying to turn fried chicken into something it isn't meant to be (OTOH, don't even TRY taking my paleo comfort foods cookbook away from me, because there are some things humans just HAD to invent).

    And I'm going to try to stay focused, balanced, and realistic without being pissed that guys lose weight faster than women, or being mad at myself for the past, or depressed because sometimes life gets away from my plans. And I'm going to try to stay my SELF--which, if I do say so, is smart, funny (sarcastic, sometimes, too, although I try not to be too much), fairly in touch spiritually, if not so much physically, and so on.

    Hopefully some few of you will find what I have to say useful or entertaining or both, and I won't entirely feel like I'm talking to myself.

    Now I have to go figure out how to change my signature block....
    My primal journal: My journey, goals, recipes, random thoughts on primal and SAD.

    It's all about the journey. How we get there is at least as important as where we end up.

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    Today was...a Very Good Day (do you remember your Winnie-the-Pooh?). Remember, I had an all-day event involving potluck, but because this event was nearly 2 hours away, and I was providing a ride, I agreed to someone else's schedule. That meant being up and out the door by 7:30. Good thing I'm a morning person.

    Breakfast, therefore, was on the road (that probably deserves capitals, too). I talked my rider OUT of McDonalds (really? But that was her choice...) and into IHOP, where at least I could get eggs and fruit and easily avoid carbs. Also, yay me, I'd cleaned out my pantry and her family has been going through some tough times, so they were grateful for the donation and I had a great reason to let them know about Primal. It also made it easier changing the breakfast plans. I had an omelette (I do NOT understand the pancake batter addition, but I knew it would be fairly minimal anyway): ham and cheese, and asked them to add spinach and mushrooms. Had fruit with it--"seasonal" meant citrus with a touch of melon, grape and pineapple...and I do mean "touch." The omelette was really good and at least it got a bit of veggie into me, and the oranges were perfectly ripe.

    Wasn't hungry again until around 1:30 or so, and there was plenty of protein around. I also had about a half cup of fruit salad, picking out berries and apples from the mix to avoid sugary fruits like banana pieces. The bulk of lunch, though, was a cheeseburger (w/cheddar) and no bread, a lettuce wrap with a bit of sliced ham and a slice of havarti, about 1/8 cup (I started with 1/4 and only ate about half) of potato salad--as a courtesy to the hostess...and that was the extent of my carbs. Also some cherry tomatoes from the veggie tray. I won't say the dessert table wasn't tempting: chocolate cake--you know, the explosion thingy from Publix. Yumm. BUT....I'd told several people during setup that I had just restarted primal (prompting a few questions) and that helped me not cave (haha) in.

    Carbs for the day--whatever is in the omelette and 1/8 cup potato salad.

    Again, higher protein was helping me stay full and balanced--so although I was hungry when lunch arrived, I wasn't so hungry that I overindulged.

    Dinner: well, by the time I got home it was nearly 8 so it'd been close to 6 hours and I was, frankly, almost-starving. Mostly, though, I wasn't hungry at all until I was about 45 minutes from home and I wasn't about to stop for another on the road meal. I'd packed up the protein leftovers, so dinner was a less-than-optimal but generally primal combo of another cheeseburger and a hotdog (which my body promptly suggested I not make a staple of my diet. It felt....greasy. Like not fat in a good way.). Tomorrow will definitely require a return to more vegetables.

    I'm under-hydrated, though. I did fall into the caffeine trap and had two diet Cokes and only one bottle of water all day (I had about 4 ounces of iced tea at breakfast--just wasn't very thirsty until, again, well into the drive home. By the time I was home, though...I have to go get water from the car and get some into me before bed, never mind the likelihood of waking up in the middle of the night.

    Bonus: I spent probably 45 minutes to an hour outside in really amazing Florida-winter weather. We were in a state park and it was probably just in the low to mid 70s for the high, sun shining...when I wasn't outside breathing in the sun, I was indoors in the midst of congenial conversation on multiple topics with interesting people, picking up some new plot ideas from the convo (that's a double bonus, you know).

    And I'll completely take that chocolate cake win.
    Last edited by PrimalWriter; 02-09-2013 at 06:30 PM.
    My primal journal: My journey, goals, recipes, random thoughts on primal and SAD.

    It's all about the journey. How we get there is at least as important as where we end up.

  4. #4
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    How to get the bacon super crispy: First you must fry it for a long time to get rid of most of the fat! Then take out the bacon and dry it with a paper and let it rest a little on a drying paper. Then you must fry the bacon another time in a clean pan until it get almost as crispy as potato chips! Then I eat my bacon, and I like to crumble the bacon over fried eggs...

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    And that, my dear Gorbag, is exactly how my bacon the other night got so crispily fabulous (except I didn't get to the clean pan--I just drained all the grease I could out of the first pan). It's the low heat that's essential. I also don't wait for the eggs--the bacon's usually gone by the time I get the yellow and white stuff cooked!

    You're in Ecuador? How does that change being primal for you?
    My primal journal: My journey, goals, recipes, random thoughts on primal and SAD.

    It's all about the journey. How we get there is at least as important as where we end up.

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    It's a gorgeous day here. I've got a busy day ahead, partly because I slept in a little (bed at 10, but I slept until just after 7). Alarm clock? Well, technically, but mine has wind chimes

    My "usual" primal breakfast: meat (in this case, a leftover hamburger), eggs, and veggies (pepper, spinach and mushrooms today). A couple tablespoons for shredded cheddar. All fried up in some of the bacon grease from the bacon I added to the potluck baked beans. (there were leftovers of those, too. I sacrificed a beloved Pyrex pan and sent them home with someone else). I'm meeting writing friends for a write-in, so lunch may be a challenge--hence making sure I have a good breakfast in me. I'm so much less likely to want to just fill my mouth with sugary treats.

    I think I'm going to make the time to do a roasted veggie casserole tonight. I'm not going to make a main-dish version, though. I've got already thawed ground beef and chicken thighs, so I'll use one of those for my protein instead.

    This casserole is really easy to make, but it does take some time because it's a two step process, plus tonight's version will have a sweet potato added: I'll bake that first for 45 minutes. Pick a bunch of veggies to roast. Tonight, it's going to be eggplant (1/2, because I think tomorrow is going to call for primal moussaka), zucchini and yellow squash, onions, and peppers. Slice 'em up, sprinkle with oil (EVOO tonight) and coarse sea salt. Roast for 18 - 20 minutes (I overlap this with the sweet potato baking). Set them out on the stovetop to cool (at least the sweet potato--I don't slice it to bake, so it needs slicing now and it's HOT), sautee up a bunch of sauteed mushrooms, and add greens to the FINISHED mushrooms so they only start to wilt. I'm cooking spinach tonight because I forgot to get kale when I shopped Friday. Kale and chard are spectacular--turnip greens, too--in this recipe. Grease up a baking dish, slice whatever veggies need slicing (generally the sweet potato and onions--I mostly just quarter my onions for roasting so everything takes the same amount of time), and start adding to the baking dish. I like to start with a layer of roasted veggies--don't clump like things together. If it's a main dish, I've also cooked up a pound of sausage, and I'll add a layer of that, then a layer of mushrooms and greens, and repeat. Then I sprinkle a bunch of cheese over the top, STIR the whole thing (yes, it kind of screws with the "layers" but it helps keep distributing everything so you don't eat only zucchini for the first cup). Add a bit more cheese if you are a cheese hog, but don't stir this time. Throw the whole thing in a 350F oven for 15 minutes or so for some melting. Umm....oh, drain the sausage and the sauteed mushrooms really well. This actually tastes better with minimal fat. I like the brown-ness and bit of crispiness that comes from first roasting the vegetables--the higher heat, you know, so I've not tried it with only the second bit, although that would get them mostly cooked the same. Maybe I'll create a "spring" version with crispier veggies soon.

    Anyway, tonight's version won't include the sausage, because as noted, I have other protein. Tomorrow I'm making Primal Moussaka (the recipe is on this site--it was one of Mark's featured recipes a while back and it's fabulous. Closer to the real thing than you might think.

    And that's enough about food.

    In other physical news: since Thursday(? I should go look, just for the fun of record keeping) I've lost 3.2 pounds and am sleeping better. Still battling allergies. Everything is out of whack--the pollen from the oaks is about a month early--because of the warm weather, so that may take a while. Only a few headaches and minimal carb cravings, so I'm very happy. That's what god made advil for, right? And water. I've had a challenge with getting enough water in me, mostly because I just forget, not because I'm not thirsty. Ah, well. Gives me a goal.

    I'm focusing more easily, which makes meditation and writing easier--not perfectly, but I do feel that fog lifting after just a couple of days. I'm optimistic about next week's "review." Expect the book out next year some time: how Primal saved my writing career

    New big goal: grocery costs keep going up, and the produce guy says we're about out of things like lettuce and tomatoes because the cold-weather suppliers have had some freezes. Gas prices keep going up. In other words, it's getting more expensive to live! So as I go primal, I'm going to see how much heat I can tolerate. My electric bill isn't high by many people's standards, and I have no control over my water bill (apartment complex), but I think there's some room to get my electric bill down, even if it's only $10 a month. Between that and eating LESS as my health improves, there's bound to be a benefit once I stop sweating.....
    My primal journal: My journey, goals, recipes, random thoughts on primal and SAD.

    It's all about the journey. How we get there is at least as important as where we end up.

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    Daily Notes

    So yesterday didn't go QUITE as planned, but did get a positive-negative out of it. I didn't get the right balance of protein/veggies at breakfast, I guess, because when I got to the bookstore we were meeting at, I was just enough hungry to give into temptation....badly. I got a bottle of water (tea later) and...an apple tart. And a sugar cookie. Yes, I could have gotten quiche for fewer carbs, but I'd already had eggs, remember, and it just didn't appeal to me.

    The positive-negative came later when I was truly hungry (@1:30) and opted to come home to eat something instead of taking chances on temptation again at a local restaurant. By the end of the day, though, my food balance was WAYYYYYYYYYY in favor of protein and not nearly enough in vegetables. By the time I was home from doing laundry, I was feeling far too lazy to do the veggie casserole, so I seasoned and baked some chicken thighs and microwaved a bag of cauliflower/broccoli mix. I'm just now getting the urge to eat breakfast, but I do still feel a bit off, so I'm aiming for more vegetables today. Maybe I'll roast vegetables now before I hit my to-do list and just do a monster batch of them. It'll probably be frozen vegetables the rest of the week anyway. With no chance for the farmer's market this weekend, I'm working off last week's fresh foods unless I go to the grocery store and I should probably just clean out the freezer instead.

    Moussaka for dinner, I think, now that the thawed chicken is safely cooked.

    Yumm....primal moussaka! LOML walked in as I was cooking and gave it a funny look. I think it was the eggplant, though....but he wasn't staying for dinner, so he didn't have to eat it. Leftovers for two days, now. I think I need a different brand of Greek yogurt. Used Cabot, and it was a bit too yogurt-like; kind of tart. Still, it's amazing how baking yogurt turns it into bechamel sauce! I just got the Sauces book (last week) so am now going to look for a "real" bechamel sauce recipe for next time. Tomorrow's completely planned, so Wednesday will be mayo day. Tempted to make ketchup too, but I don't need it.
    Last edited by PrimalWriter; 02-11-2013 at 06:27 PM. Reason: add dinner notes
    My primal journal: My journey, goals, recipes, random thoughts on primal and SAD.

    It's all about the journey. How we get there is at least as important as where we end up.

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    SAD, SAD world

    One thing that continues to amaze me: in a world where low-carb (regardless of reason) is considered reasonable (unlike the good old days where Atkins was weird), how is it that in most restaurants, you're lucky if they serve broccoli, and a deli-type spot doesn't do something like a crustless quiche or lettuce wraps?

    If you're not in the mood for a salad, your options become quickly limited. If I'm out at lunch with friends, I'll often opt for a burger without the bun, although frankly that predates my primal days by about a decade--I don't like soggy bread, and a properly made burger is always soggy. Of course, meat itself isn't an option. There's always pulled pork or chicken options--it's the side dishes and wrappings that are the challenge. Yesterday, considering whether to go home or eat out, it hit me again how "carb inclined" our society is. Nearby "fast" options included Panera and Too Jays....neither of them particularly healthy. I'm going to have to get bravely creative--ask for lettuce leaves on the side or something so I can repack a Reuben out of the rye bread....I can live with salad dressing being non-primal for my mock sandwiches--but today, after the to-do list is a bit shorter, I'm tackling primal mayo. I've got two or three recipes, so I think I'll make just enough (cutting them in half or thirds) to do a taste test for my favorite. I hated homemade mayo when I was a kid, but am willing to try again.
    My primal journal: My journey, goals, recipes, random thoughts on primal and SAD.

    It's all about the journey. How we get there is at least as important as where we end up.

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    Dailies....

    I see how this is done...you make sure to post at least twice a day so that you can FIND the darn thing....I wondered what I was doing wrong (/snark)

    Today is a day "off"--I have a few days left in my vacation, three books that need to be worked on, and a couple of projects pending, but I'm taking the day to hang with a friend and do meditation and energy work most of the day; dinner with friends at a Turkish restaurant tonight. That will likely mean having some grains, but I can limit them by virtue of peeling off the pita from my gyro as I eat it, or by having the roast chicken. Since I love gyros, the former is probably going to be my option. Breakfast and lunch won't be a problem, as breakfast will be here and lunch will be leftover primal moussaka that I'm taking with me.

    At least 15 minutes in the sun? Covered. We'll spend part of the day on her front porch, I guarantee. It's too nice outside not to. (Weird weather. We were predicted to have a colder than normal winter and a couple of months ago our squirrel population boomed, complete with fat bodies and bushy tails--generally a sign of a cold winter. Yeah, not so much.) While I'm loving this, I'm also a bit concerned because we're really out of whack on the weather, and if it does turn cold, we may lose a lot of plants.

    Stress is up this week, despite the remaining vacation days (a two week vacation is fantastic, btw) and gorgeous weather. LOML is prepping to deploy; not my personal favorite activity. I'm in the middle of some things at work, and getting antsy about how much there'll be to do when I return...but refusing to check my inbox while I'm still out of the office! Yay me, separating professional and personal time.

    A blue jay just landed on my balcony. Okay, that's random, but so was he! Very funny to watch him peck at my "garden" pots that don't have any plants in them yet. Which reminds me, I should plant some seeds--the ones I have may be bad--I forgot to put them indoors over the summer--and I should find out before seed season arrives so I can stock up on new seeds if need be. Even though I'm working out of pots on a balcony, I'd really like to grow at least a little of my own food--there isn't much variety available here ("farmers" markets are a misnomer here--if only because I don't have time to scout for smaller stands. The bigger gatherings tend to collect not farmers, but salesmen. Same stuff at the grocery store, just fresher. Not even cheaper, usually. Just fresher by a week or two.)

    And that's all she wrote. I need to go forage breakfast. Nearly a week primal and one thing I'd been noticing has been confirmed: sugar clouds my hunger signals. I'd been noticing that the more sugar (note: sugar includes grains for me) I was eating, the less I could tell if I was actually hungry. Nearly a week off sugar (or 99% off sugar) and I've once more discovered the belly rumbles. What's funny though is there's almost no lead up--probably because I'm not craving the next round of energy. So I'm not hungry, then I'm a little hungry--with no desire to eat--and then I'm suddenly famished. Largely, this is working for me
    My primal journal: My journey, goals, recipes, random thoughts on primal and SAD.

    It's all about the journey. How we get there is at least as important as where we end up.

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    Dailies...

    Yesterday. Ah, a day for the history books. Or something. BTW, I pretty much did what I predicted, so some carbs in the form of french fries and about half the pita, which was loaded with beef and salad-y things. Good conversation with friends. Not even tempted for the baklava.

    Turns out, I don't REALLY deal with crises by eating everything in sight or even craving everything in sight. Although at this moment I am hungry (haven't eaten breakfast yet) and was just reviewing a journal suggesting a coconut oil/chocolate treat that's suddenly sounding really good.

    Turns out, I deal with crises by crying non-stop for a couple of hours and then trying to put my life back together in a new and more interesting fashion. That was yesterday afternoon. I'm only crying periodically now--a few minutes at a time before dragging myself over to the part where I did this because it needed to be done, even if it felt like I was tearing my heart out at its roots to do it. Today, I feel like I need to curl up into a little ball until someone bigger than me waves a magic wand and does the life reset. But holy crap it hurt.

    So, today...I don't know. Maybe it's a good day to let myself feel like crap and read a book, or maybe I should knock through some projects. Seems like 23 years of loving someone ought to be worth taking a day off from making progress on things, but they have to get done eventually, and other people are counting on my doing them fairly soon. Like yesterday.

    Maybe I'll feel more energized after breakfast. And with nothing in the house but primality (well, I could MAKE cookies, but is it worth it?), I can't even bury my sorrows in ice cream. And come to think of it, I wonder if eating better (i.e. clearing the crap out of my body over the past week) had something to do with my moment of extreme awareness and willingness to make the hardest decision I've ever had to make--to end a relationship that hasn't worked in a very (embarrassingly) long time. Taking responsibility for my own well-being, all that....
    My primal journal: My journey, goals, recipes, random thoughts on primal and SAD.

    It's all about the journey. How we get there is at least as important as where we end up.

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