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    It's a no brainer: The Journal Of cerebelumsdayoff

    Hey fellow Primals,

    I have decided to start a journal thanks to some indirect motivation from some posts I made in the other forums. Although I am very close to my goal, I still need to get some work done and I hope that writing about it as well as your insights will help me reach my goal very soon!

    To tell a little bit about myself.

    I am a 22 year old male who hails from the northern suburbs of Chicago although I currently go to graduate school in the middle of the state (but living at home for the summer). My personality disposition is a bit on the nerdy side. I am a social and quantitative psychology master's student, and therefore enjoy learning more about people's social interactions and even some statistics every now and then. More specifically, I have devoted my (very nascent) career to finding out what makes person A attracted to person B. The one thing I learned so far is that it is a lot easier to give empirically sound romantic advise to others than to follow it yourself

    Here I am at a conference I just attended in Boston standing proudly by the poster I had presented:


    Now for my weight story. About two and a half years ago, I looked very different. About 90 pounds different.



    Needless to say, I lost the weight but with the help of CW and not real nutritional advice; I did, however, ditch wheat altogether about a year before I lost the weight. Those were the days where I ate instant oatmeal for breakfast, hummus and celery for lunch, and then some lentils and veggies for dinner. I was miserable. I counted every single calorie that went into my mouth. Life was not about enjoying myself, it was about doing computations all day. On top of that, I was always tired and hungry, which baffled me because I was eating a lot of fiber which CW said would make me full all day. Best part, because of CW, I was the biggest fat fearer ever. I refused to eat anything with even an ounce of olive oil in it. I always cooked with either those canola oil sprays, or simply avoided stovetop cooking altogether. No fat would enter my mouth. Of course, I did also have binges on candy and ice cream which them made me feel guilty afterwards. I remember eating several scoops of ice cream (low fat kinds even) and then feeling so guilty that I would attempt to run off all those calories on the treadmill following the consumption. It is actually embarrassing to recall.

    That is how I spent all last summer until one fine August day when I was browsing the internet, I came across an article written by the founder of the Warrior Diet, which questioned many of CW notions including eating breakfast and eating many small meals a day. I was scared, I was shocked, but I was intrigued and decided to give it a shot. The next day I fasted all day and ate my dinner, a very big one, at night.

    As an added bonus, all those candy and ice cream cravings magically went away too.

    I actually gained weight at first, mostly because I misinterpreted the information presented in the Warrior Diet book regarding mixing some foods together. For example, they warn against mixing fats and carbs together (legumes count as carbs), but in the book they discussed legumes as protein. I was also eating too many fruit after dinner too. After some changes in the diet, I lost weight and returned closer to baseline, whilst starting kettlebell training every other day.

    I was still frustrated with the warrior diet and the information it was presenting. To me, it felt like it was almost a plot to get the curious individual to pay more to get the information he or she really wants. For example, the book itself left much of the information ambiguous: anything from nutrition to exercise. To get the complete sense of information, one had to purchase an e-book for 20 dollars which clarified some ideas. Although I bought it, i was mad at the fact that I had to. Luckily, I found MDA.

    Reading these blogs, I was inspired to become more natural; more in touch with my human side and less in touch with the robot side that we are all accustomed to in our modern lifestyle. I completely ditched all the grains and legumes which I consumed once a week in a 'high carb' day and upped my fat while lowering my intake of veggies.

    The veggies were a huge part of my meal, and when I say huge, I mean it. I would eat a ton, and I would love it. Never measured any portions so I have to eyeball them from memory to give you all a sense. Four handfuls of organic spinach tossed with two sliced tomatoes, two cucumbers, four baby red peppers, and a half an onion for starters. Then I would bake together about two eggplants, 2-3 zucchinis (depending on size), one bell pepper, about 6 frozen artichoke hearts from trader joe's, several mushrooms, and about 6-8 stalks of TJ's frozen asparagus. Sometimes I would also follow up by eating some baba ganouj with some raw peppers, cucumbers, or celery. I loved the veggies because they tasted amazing. I would of course follow up with some protein or fat depending on the day. WD indicates that one should cycle between high fat, high protein, and high carb.

    I was also eating a lot of dairy products, especially cottage cheese and yogurt. After a workout, I would eat a cup of fat free cottage cheese and a piece of fruit. At dinner time, I would eat a lot of fat free greek yogurt, sometimes eating an entire bucket in one sitting. Why fat free you ask? Well the WD advises not to eat fat during the day because it taxes one's metabolism. Instead, one can eat raw foods such as fruits and veggies in small quantities. Full fat greek yogurt tastes better anyways.

    As of recently (about 1.5 months ago), I completely ditched my high carb days. That means I gave up all my brown rice, quinoa, barley, hummus, lentils, beans, and everything in between. In all honesty, eating those foods just did not feel right and I was very happy to finally give them up. Since then, I have been eating completely primal, but still maintaining my one meal a day policy. Dinner time is usually around 7pm around these parts.

    My recent MDA inspired dietary switch involved consuming a highly significantly smaller amount of veggies and upping my fat. I have no gone days without eating any veggies, but sometimes (like yesterday) ate several servings for the flavor and texture (and to eat them before they spoil in the fridge).

    Some recent additions to my diet included:

    -dropping of nuts (this happened last week, I loved nuts but was concerned about omega rations and felt like nuts contributed to any weight gain, as delicious as those things are)
    -eating sour cream (i love the stuff, its traditional russian food, and being russian myself i felt like i was awakening a bear inside me although I do admit that I probably go overboard on the stuff when I use it)
    -eating organic cream (my new favorite 'desert' is whipping the cream with some cinnamon)
    -making my own ghee (its fun)
    -coconut milk and oil (love the stuff).
    -reducing dairy intake (although i consume ghee, sour cream, and regular cream, i do not necessarily believe they are dairy because they lack both caesin and lactose, which defines dairy in a chemical sense; I may, however, be wrong).
    -eating less veggies than i did before.
    -eating more animal fat (another russian food, called salo, is basically salted pork fat. Its delicious).

    With the summer out I am also being more active as well. My policy when I am home is to drive my car as little as possible, and bike somewhere whenever I can. For example, there are several stores in the area which I bike to rather than drive, such as Target and a local chain of grocery stores. I also just started doing sprints once a week.

    That is the basic gist of me. My next post will discuss last night's dinner, as I feel that it may need to be changed a bit.
    Last edited by cerebelumsdayoff; 06-04-2010 at 09:15 AM. Reason: added information
    --
    Here it is, your moment of zen.

    It's a no brainer: The journal of the cerebelum

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    What did I eat last night?

    Its friday morning and I am now reminiscing about what I did, and what I ate last night.

    I was pretty active actually!

    -Biked to the park and did springs for about 10-13 minutes, barefoot and up & down hills.
    -Biked to the grocery store to pick up several items (about a 20 minute bike ride)
    -Biked back home to unload groceries (about a 15 minute ride).
    -Biked to another store to pick up stuff I did not find at the first one (probably 20 minutes there and back).

    Throughout the day I also drank plenty of water and even some coffee. Actually, one of my favorite parts of waking up is freshly ground and brewed coffee from the fancy pants machine my parents purchased. We take coffee very seriously in this house!

    I was very happy. It was a great and sunny day so I got my exercise and vitamin d! It is hard not to enjoy a great day.

    Coming home, I wanted to be productive with school work (being a grad student means that during the summer, you still have about 5 projects going on at once), so I did some work on my master's thesis. What better way to be productive than with a handful of cherries? Its cherry season and they are some of my favorite fruit. I could not help myself.

    It is now time to cook!

    I like to make sauces and condiments. I was also planning on making a meatza and a vegetable curry for dinner, so i did.

    Meatza:

    -2 hand mate patties of organic, 100% grass fed ground beef, thawed and reground by hand with many spices and two eggs.
    -baked in the oven to cook the meat just enough.
    -put on the sauce (more to come about that one), one sliced baby eggplant, one red pepper (the long kind), and 1/4 package of beech mushrooms.
    -broiled that bad boy until it was done.

    The curry sauce:

    -1/4 c coconut milk
    -many many leaves of basil
    -3 roasted cloves of garlic
    -2 small roasted mushrooms
    -spice paste: spices (including: cinnamon, turmeric, cumin, ginger, paprika, chili powder and others) heated up in some homemade ghee.
    -a teaspoon of Thai Kitchen brand green curry paste (don't worry, no crap was in the ingredients list).
    -a cup of TJ's roasted and diced tomatoes
    -i/2 small can of diced chilis

    All of these were blended together to make a delicious sauce that I used for both my meatza and curry.

    Now for the curry:

    -2 long red peppers
    -5 baby eggplants
    -remaining 3/4 package of brown beech mushrooms

    veggies sauteed in some coconut oil (i never really measure the exact amount of oil i use, shame on me)
    when the juices start flowing I add the curry sauce over them with a bit more coconut milk for flavor.

    Results: delicious!

    So I ate my curry, and I ate my meatza and I was still very very hungry. Luckily I went to 7-11 earlier and bought to 79 cent bags of pork rinds, my new favorite snack. I ate both bags using homemade salsa from the remaining chili and diced tomatoes. Alongside that, I also ate about 4 very thin slices of salo (salted pork fat) and a little bit of a very salty pork sausage (my mother bought it from the local hungarian deli, its super salty but it tastes pretty good; I know its probably too processed, but its there in the fridge so I ate it). Following that, I also ate about 5-6 slices of wild smoked salmon that we buy from costco with some mustard and homemade ketchup.

    I was still hungry. I also told myself I would not eat anything that came out of a cow that day (except for ghee), but I decided to take some of my organic whipped cream and give it a whirl. I also never really measure the amount of cream I whip, but I would imagine it to be about 3 tablespoons. I whipped that with some cinnamon and enjoyed it.

    On top of that, I also purchased a package of coconut flakes (unsweetened of course), and ate some of those too. My best guess is that I ate about a quarter cup and an eight cup of those flakes. They are also very delicious.

    This should capture last nights meal, and maybe some concerns as well. As you can tell, I eat a lot of fat and fairly low carbs. I eat until I am satisfied (and not stuffed). Maybe my body is just not quick enough in telling me when satiety occurs. Maybe I have been consuming too much salt. The pork rinds, smoked salmon, pork fat, and the pork sausage were all fairly salty.

    I was very thirsty after dinner (salt anyone?) so I drank two cans of seltzer water (la croix).

    That was my day yesterday. After reading, it feels like I ate a ton of food. I don't count calories, and I don't plan on starting. It drove me to become miserable last year.
    Last edited by cerebelumsdayoff; 06-04-2010 at 09:30 AM.
    --
    Here it is, your moment of zen.

    It's a no brainer: The journal of the cerebelum

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    I think its good to feast every now and then. Especially when your active. Sounds delicious

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    So I am now getting ready to do my kettlebell routine. Its one that I have been perfecting for quite some time and find that it gives me a good workout.

    I use a 50lb KB as my main bell, and a 35lb KB as a supplementary bell.

    This is my routine:

    KB Windmills (5 x 5 with each hand)
    The 50lb is the main KB that I hold up over my body as I do the windmill, but on the way up, I lift the 35lb with me. Great ab workout.
    Squats (5 x 5)
    I hold both the 50lb and the 35lb, giving me 85 pounds of resistance.
    Military Press (5 x 5 for each hand)
    I simply take the 50lb KB and lift it with each hand from shoulder level. Helped make my arms stronger.
    Swings (150 reps)
    I do swings in sets of 30: 10 two handed swings with 50lb and then 20 one handed swings. This is repeated four times. The fifth set I take both
    KBs and swing them 30 times.
    Turkish Get Up (1 x 5 with each side)
    One armed bench press (5 x 5 each side)
    I simply lie on my back and do a bench press with the 50lb bell five times and switch hands.
    Half get up (5 x 3)
    This is a new addition to my routine. I lie flat on my back, suspend the 50lb in the air and use my abs to lift my torso up.
    Figure 8 (5 x 5 each side)
    This is a fun and fast paced exercise. You literally swing the KB under you legs to make a figure 8 shape. Its fun and gets the heart rate up.

    This whole routine takes about 30 minutes to complete and leaves me feeling great afterwards.

    As I fast every day until dinner, all my workouts are done on an empty stomach. I have also lately been fasting after the workouts too. I know Mark had a post regarding the benefits of fasting following a workout, but he also suggested that this fast is not something that should be done after each session. Today, I think I am going to eat 4 raw organic eggs after my workout because I really want to build more muscle.

    After the workout, its off to whole foods to buy another bottle of coconut oil and maybe some tasty organs or other goodies I may find!
    --
    Here it is, your moment of zen.

    It's a no brainer: The journal of the cerebelum

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    So dinner today was pretty fun!

    I tried to get my protein up a little bit to aid in building some muscle in parallel with my workouts. The cooking is also a favorite part of mine.

    What did we have today?

    -Two bison patties grilled with some coconut oil and then laced with a little sauce I made with homemade mayo, vinegar, mustard, and spices.
    I made pseudo burgers by putting these patties on lettuce leaf 'buns' and topped them with some avocado, mustard, homemade primal ketchup, and a slice of pickle. The end result was delicious.

    -Stir fried curry laced veggies with chicken livers. I went to whole foods today and decided to be an epicure by buying a small pack of chicken livers. This type of dish is a favorite of mine. I just sliced one small bell pepper, six baby eggplants, and a pack of beech mushrooms. I sauteed sliced onion and garlic in some homemade ghee until they got nice and aromatic, and then threw in several of the chicken livers. I then threw in the veggies, my favorite blends of spices, basil leaves, and topped it all off with about a half can of coconut milk. After some time simmering I nommed away.

    -Still being hungry, I took out some turkey bacon I purchased from whole foods out of curiosity and fried about five slices in a bit of coconut oil. I ate them with the remaining avocado piece that was not used with the burgers and some more of my homemade mayo.

    -I then attacked a little can of boneless Trader Joe's salmon with a bit more mayo.

    -Still unsatisfied completely, I whipped up some of my organic whipping cream alongside some cinnamon, and ate that with several servings of coconut chips. A friend of mine then called me to go out for a bit, as my hunger still did not fully go away, I licked a small spoon of coconut oil (and then licked a bit more again).

    As always, I was not stuffed after the feast, and as a matter of fact, I could have probably gone for more if I did not go out. It was delicious nonetheless.

    Damn I love me some game meat. Also, turkey bacon is nowhere near as good as the real stuff. I like turkey, just not as bacon.

    Let's see what lies ahead tomorrow.
    --
    Here it is, your moment of zen.

    It's a no brainer: The journal of the cerebelum

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    I have to admit that I have been feeling pretty good for the last couple of days.

    I visited my friend who lives in the city. Knowing that it would be difficult to upkeep my usual one meal a day policy, I did something that I have not done in 10 months: eat lunch (this was at least close enough). I several leftover slices of turkey bacon that I ate with sour cream, followed by a spoonful and a half of coconut oil. Good stuff!

    In the city, we of course went out to eat. It is very difficult to be primal when you have to hunt through a grain-based society's restaurant smorgasbord. We settled on a mediterranean joint and I had a 'combo feast' consisting of three kinds of meat alongside veggies (i ordered it without rice). Of course I was still hungry at the time, so later on I went to a place where I have not dined in a very long time: McDonalds, and had a mcdouble and a hamburger (no bun of course!). In the spirit of things, I had four spirit based drinks. My 'signature' drink is a gin & seltzer. Satisfying without any carbs.

    One of the best parts of my weekend occurred earlier today: I spontaneously bought a pair of VFFs. They were on sale so I could not pass them up. Those shoes are quite an experience, but I really like them. Of course, I think that Vibram should really just endorse MDA as everyone on this board seems to like those shoes
    --
    Here it is, your moment of zen.

    It's a no brainer: The journal of the cerebelum

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    congrats on the virams

  8. #8
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    They are great! I never thought that a simple pair of shoes could make one feel so free!
    --
    Here it is, your moment of zen.

    It's a no brainer: The journal of the cerebelum

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    So I have been doing a lot of self-reflection lately and I came to the conclusion that something went wrong somewhere. Somewhere along the lines of my primal adventure I managed to experience both good (lean body increase) and the surprisingly bad (fat increase). Although I am still perplexed about the latter, I want to keep going and see if I could fix my woes. I do everything by the book: 16-18 hr daily fast, no fruit, no nuts, no dairy, sleep, plenty of veggies, plenty of wild caught fish to get my omegas straight along with salmon oil supplements. Still, I gained some fat too. Bad stuff.

    I decided to switch up my workouts again today and i hit the gym to do some heavier than usual lifting with squats, bench presses, deadlifts, and clean & press exercises for about 30 minutes. These photos that I am posting here are official "Start" photos on my new adventure. I am hoping to lean out a lot more and finally be satisfied with the way my body looks for the first time in my life. I know that i have gained some muscle lately, but fat came along too. Here are some photos taken 40 minutes ago.







    It seems that although my six pack wants to be shown, there is still way too much fatty padding in the way Let the games begin!
    --
    Here it is, your moment of zen.

    It's a no brainer: The journal of the cerebelum

  10. #10
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    Primal Blueprint Expert Certification
    For comparison reasons, this is me about a month and a half to two months ago




    I'm pretty sure that my arms have gotten bigger since then, but I am still most concerned over my pecs and abs.
    --
    Here it is, your moment of zen.

    It's a no brainer: The journal of the cerebelum

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