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    Chickalia's Avatar
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    Please help me understand what I need to eat to lose weight. Long Post.

    Primal Fuel
    Background: I've been on and off primal since April. In the beginning I was very strict, I did see some weight loss and more importantly I felt better. I am a 5'4 female and I believe I weigh ~250. I would like to lose 100 pounds. My 'off & on' status with eating primal has changed several times over the last few months due to depression and various life changes that were extremely stressful. I take full responsibility for my lack of progress and I am hoping that these extremes in my emotional well being are over with now.

    I would like to start fresh but I don't know how. I currently live with my husband and his parents in England. I have just moved to this country a month ago. We only have 50 pounds (~75 dollars) to spend weekly and this has to cover food for the 2 of us, toiletries, phone plan, gas, and the extras such as my dental work that I'm having done next week. We are extremely strapped for cash and although I'm actively looking for work, I am determined to lose weight and eat primal on this budget. My husband is severely over weight (~200 pounds) and is not interested in eating primal. His current diet consists of lots of bread, eggs and oats. Although I wish he would be primal with me, I can not force him.

    In trying to eat primal, things I consume on a regular basis since I've been here are: sweet potatoes, frozen peas, butter, coconut cream, eggs, mushrooms, spinach, red cabbage, EVOO, cheese, cream, chocolate, tea, coffee, sour cream, onion, canned tuna, brazil nuts, mixed nuts, mangoes, berries, rice noodles, white rice, canned soups, white potatoes, butternut squash.

    I assume if I'm trying to lose weight then I need to cut on the chocolate, white potatoes, and cream/sour cream. That just makes sense, correct? Should I not be eating coconut cream, its like a bar of coconut that I mix with a store bought green curry paste for a lot of dinners. The only ingredient I don't recognize in the paste is topica starch which I've read is okay.

    Also, I'm not very active but I am planning on working on that as soon as I get over my current cold. Should I not be eating sweet potatoes? I probably eat 4 a week as they are super cheap and I can't really afford meat at the moment.

    What about white rice and rice noodles? I prefer rice noodles to white rice and I've found a 1 pound ($1.50) bag of rice noodles can feed me 3 dinners when mixed with veggies and spices.

    I've stopped buying Mangoes and berries now as they are too expensive but I hope to find some reasonably priced frozen berries when I can make it to a big store. I miss them as they are the only sweet thing around besides chocolate.

    Also, I've been eating canned soups a lot this week because I am sick. I make sure that they are gluten free but I understand that they are not healthy. I've thought about making my own but it doesn't seem cost effective. Any ideas on this?

    Just to be more precise, here is what I would eat on a typical day:
    2 large egg omelette with sauteed mushrooms in butter and garlic olive oil.
    sauteed veggies (mushrooms, tomatoes, spinach, onion) with green curry paste and coconut cream
    Sweet potato with frozen peas in turmeric and cumin with red onion
    chocolate

    OR

    2 eggs scrambled with mushrooms and spinach
    brazil nuts
    smoked mackerel with celery
    tomato sauce with beef and veggies over spinach (other family ate it over pasta)

    I have a hard time affording meat. I found a ham for 3 pounds (5 dollars) yesterday at a local store. The ham is from a farm 2 miles away and I thought that was bargain since a chicken I was looking at the previous day cost 5 pounds (7 dollars) and I just couldn't afford it.

    Can I be primal without eating much meat? I'm really lost here. In america, I didn't have a problem affording food so I didn't find primal difficult and I really enjoyed it when I didn't let my emotional eating problems take over. Being in England on a budget is extremely difficult for me, especially since I have to feed my husband with that amount of money also.

    My in laws cook for us sometimes but I have to eat the meat as it is prepared. Should I not eat it if the meat has been coated in flour? I'm having a hard time defining my boundaries in this situation. Any insight is helpful. Thanks!

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    canio6's Avatar
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    Firstly, it sounds as if things have been tough and I hope your emotional health continues to improve. That said, being strapped for cash in a new country can be stressful. I wish you the best of luck.

    As for weightloss, I think much of it is personal. By that I mean that some do better on higher carbs others on lower. Myself for example lost my first 50 pounds on very low carb. It worked. Now I need more carbs (usually in the form of fruit) or I get very irritable. It is a matter of finding what your body responds too without causing undue stress/hunger or causing you to raid the fridge at midnight.

    That said, I do think calories matter and finding nutritious foods that fufill your needs is necessary. What purpose is the sour cream and coconut cream serving? I know you said you use coconut cream for sauces but it seems very calorie dense to me without adding much benefit (sure, toss it in the occasional curry but I would not make it a diet staple). The same goes for sour cream, it much like butter can make a 100 calorie potato a 200 calorie potato. The same goes for heavy cream - put it in coffee or tea and the calories sneak up, especially since we often do not measure it well. That tsp in coffee is actually 2 TBS etc.

    That is not to say to eliminate them completely, just to be aware of how much you are using and how much of your daily budget of calories they take up. I can easily use 500 calories of heavy cream in coffee if I do not pay attention.

    I have no issues with rice or potatoes in your diet as long as they do not become vehicles to add 200+ calories of toppings too (unless you are keeping track of said toppings and counting them). That said, I know I have to be careful with my carb intake so as not to overeat other foods (Choco says this is due to carb + fat but I think for me it is more psychological. Eh, either way, it just takes me paying attention to how I feel and dealing with it).

    As for food on a budget - eggs are generally cheap. Eat them. They are good and nutritious. Scramble them. Make omelets with veggies and meat scraps. Make them all kinds of ways. Canned fish is not a bad idea - sardines, herring, tuna etc. Then looking for meat on sale or learning to love cheaper cuts - braising is your friend.

    Soup - homemade soup is cheap as heck. Water + spices + ingredients. One thing I have done in the past is put a whole chicken in a crock pot. Add water and some vegetables (usually carrots and onions) and cook. Pull out the chicken let it cool and dice it up and add it back to the soup. You do not have to add all the meat to the soup. Half of the meat can go to other meals. How much you put in the soup is up to you. Another option is to roast the chicken first and then just put the carcass in the crock pot. You get a bone broth and the little pieces of meat still stuck to the chicken bones now become the meat in the soup.

    Cream of whatever vegetable... saute whatever vegetable (celery, brocoli, whatever) with onions and garlic and other spices. Add water and simmer. Right at the end add a little heavy cream (how much depends on the quantity of soup). The cream adds body and some flavor but you do not need it to make up the majority of the liquid. Depending on the size of the vegetables you may want to blend it at the end.

    Or just a general bone broth - left over bones (you can freeze them until you have enough) - toss in a pot/crock pot with a little vinegar and lots of water (can add spices and veggies for taste if you like - I remove the veggies after cooking - generally one carrot, one onion, and a rib of celery or two). Let cook for a day or two adding water as necessary. Pull out all the solids and you have bone broth. Reheat it by the cup and if you have it add some gelatin for extra protein.

    The only other thing is that I would avoid the flour. What purpose does it serve besides adding glutin and other crap you don't need? (also floured meat is usually fried in some kind of crap oil you don't want)


    Edit: when I say 'count' I do not mean necessarily to count every calorie. I know for some this can lead to obsessing over food and going nuts. I just think one should be generally aware of how much we are eating as it is very easy to lose track and overeat. Also, while intuitive eating (eating when hungry) works for some I am more than capable of eating when hungry, full, just after I ate, in the morning, the evening, whenever so unless I plan my daily food intake somewhat I can easily overeat. It is a matter of finding what works for you, but I think some kind of 'measurement' be it exact or just an awareness is important.
    Last edited by canio6; 10-20-2013 at 06:25 AM.
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    Thank you for your thoughtful reply! Things have been very tough but I'm trying to hang in there and realize the positives of moving to a new country.

    I've been using the coconut cream as coconut milk. The box says to dissolve x amount is x amount of water. I added this to my curries and such. With that being said, I've probably made 4 dishes and used over 100 grams of the condensed coconut so far so I am probably using too much. I've used the sour cream twice so far. Once was on top of chicken that had been cooked in salsa and to be honest I used a lot - probably 2 table spoons. The 2nd time was probably another 2 table spoons mixed with heated canned tuna, sauteed onions and celery, which I then ate on top of a sweet potato. I can see your point about it not being worth the calories. It made the dishes taste delicious but that is beside the point if I am trying to lose weight.

    I don't think the rice or rice noodles make me want to add 'bad' toppings as usually I consider those the worse things in the dish. A typical stirfry dish I make is veggies that I've listed in my first post with cumin, garlic, pepper, and rice noodles.

    I will definitely look into those soup suggestions.

    I don't want to consume flour, its just that if I do get to eat meat, it is usually meat that my inlaws have prepared and offer to us and I can't control how they prepare it. I am curious if I should just pass on it if its been seared in flour or possibly pan fried in vegetable oil. I guess I'm saying is it better to just eat less meat if it isn't cooked the primal way or to take the bad with the good and eat the meat if I'm not getting much meat elsewhere.

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    canio6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chickalia View Post
    It made the dishes taste delicious but that is beside the point if I am trying to lose weight.
    I'm going to disagree with this. Food should taste good, otherwise, why eat it? It is just about finding a balance. A person can lose weight eating 200 calories of lettuce a day until they go crazy and eat everything they can find due to depravation. How long do you realistically think you can eat food that is not 'delicious'? It is a matter of finding food that is delicious without going over board.

    Sour cream or even the coconut cream might not be too much as long as you are losing weight at a healthy rate. That might be 2 pounds a week or 3 or what have you. It is just finding a plan you can stick with while staying sane and relatively stress free. Even 2 pounds a week is 100 pounds in a year. Or you lose a pound a week and it takes you two years to lose the 100 pounds you want, that is better than depriving yourself to lose it more quickly and then putting it back on.

    It takes some creativity. Take for example my favorite current side dish - cauliflower puree. Put a head of cauliflower in a pot (cut up into florets) with a couple of cups of chicken broth (or whatever bone broth you have), season with garlic, onion powder, S&P, and paprika), put the lid on and cook until softened. Toss it in the blender with as much as the liquid as you need to puree it (it should be smooth but not watery). The broth/spices add all the flavor you need without added calories from butter or milk etc as you would usually put in mashed pototoes.

    Meat I tend to cook on the grill. It adds flavor without needing to add fat. (Not that I have anything against fat, I just do not see the need to add extra for no reason).

    Your rice and rice noodles sound good, but again it is about portion control. I can easily eat 3 cups of rice or I can measure out one cup and eat more veggies (again, it depends on your dietary needs whether there is room in the calorie budget for one cup or six).

    As for the inlaws meat, free food is free food, but if they are open to it, you might ask them to cook yours without the flour/oil. The worst they can do is say no, and if you do it in a gracious fashion they might be more than happy to accomidate you. Or you could say something like "I really appreciate you inviting us to eat your food. Since I can't contribute financially to the meal, might it be okay if I cook it? That way I feel as if I am doing my part." Then you cook it a more primal way and they appreciate your efforts.
    somehow I manage to leave my intelligence and decorum at the door wherever I go. I doubt your journal will be an exception to that - not on the rug

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    turquoisepassion's Avatar
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    Please help me understand what I need to eat to lose weight. Long Post.

    Can you afford organ and other "weird" meat? Heart, kidney, neckbones, liver, pig/chicken feet, tongue, tendons, pork ears? Do those. Maybe some cheap grassfed or at least organic bones if you can find it. If you are stuck on how to cook one of the above parts... Refer to online recipes. Chinese recipes cover all of those parts.

    Cut the nuts, sour cream, chocolate down. Rice and potatoes are fine if they satiate and energize you. I crash after eating starches. Plus in my experience chocolate tends to be expensive and not that satiating after eating a giant bar of 80% dark.

    Eat tons of eggs. Nothing wrong with 6-12 eggs a day if you aren't sensitive to them.

    Buy in bulk and freeze or dry when stuff is on sale. Jerkies, fruit leather, etc. If you don't have freezer space.


    Cook in butter not olive oil.


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    Last edited by turquoisepassion; 10-20-2013 at 07:35 AM.
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    That is a really good idea about offering to cook it. I hadn't thought about that, thanks!

    I'll have to try the cauliflower puree too. I love raw cauliflower and I've had mashed cauliflower before also, which was really tasty.

    I didn't realize that 2 pounds a week would be 100 pounds a year... I have just never thought about it before but that is correct. I'd like to lose 50 pounds in 6 months because I am returning to America in 6 months and it would be nice to shock my family but I can also obtain clothes much cheaper there.

    The delicious point is spot on too.... I just need to find that balance. Perhaps that balance is just 1 tbs. A food journal could work well here.

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    Freeze space is another issue. The freezers here are much smaller than I'm use to and we share with my in laws and my husbands grandfather. I am lucky in that they bought a mini fridge (which is the same size as their fridge and freezer) for us to use because space is so limited.

    I don't know how much that meats cost. I bought a huge package of beef kidney in America once for like $1. It was crazy... but in the end I felt extremely weird about cooking it. I should try though and I'll make sure to ask a butcher about those.

    Do you think rice and potatoes will add too many carbs to my diet?

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    canio6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chickalia View Post
    Do you think rice and potatoes will add too many carbs to my diet?
    Too many according to whom? Primal is often interpreted to be low carb, but many will disagree with that. I think it comes down to how your body reacts to different macros. Some here (knifegill for example) do great on very low carbs others (choco etc) do better on more carbs. It is finding that balance. I did great on low carbs for my first 50 pounds and then needed to up them because my mood kept crashing. I still lost weight but it took adjusting my overall diet.

    It is a matter of finding what works best for you, and that can be annoying, but sadly it seems the most effective approach.
    somehow I manage to leave my intelligence and decorum at the door wherever I go. I doubt your journal will be an exception to that - not on the rug

    What the F&#* is a decorum? - Mr. Anthony

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    turquoisepassion's Avatar
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    Please help me understand what I need to eat to lose weight. Long Post.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chickalia View Post
    Freeze space is another issue. The freezers here are much smaller than I'm use to and we share with my in laws and my husbands grandfather. I am lucky in that they bought a mini fridge (which is the same size as their fridge and freezer) for us to use because space is so limited.

    I don't know how much that meats cost. I bought a huge package of beef kidney in America once for like $1. It was crazy... but in the end I felt extremely weird about cooking it. I should try though and I'll make sure to ask a butcher about those.

    Do you think rice and potatoes will add too many carbs to my diet?
    Hearts are the least offensive. They are still muscle meat. Neckbones cut into small sections have a ton of meat on them and are usually charged more like bones than meat.

    Rice/potatoes: I might be biased because I recently upped my carbs drastically to fuel my workouts and life in general after being zero carb for a few months. However, there is no reason to be low carb. Also... Think about 160 cals worth of nuts (1 oz or around 1/4 cup) vs a 150cal giant potato. What satiates you more? I personally think for most people the potato would satiate more.


    Mark says up to 150g of carbs is fine, higher if you exercise. A medium potato has 60g.



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    Last edited by turquoisepassion; 10-20-2013 at 07:45 AM.
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    HCLF: lean red meat, eggs, low-fat dairy, bone broth/gelatin, fruits, seafood, liver, small amount of starch (oatmeal, white rice, potatoes, carrots), small amount of saturated fat (butter/ghee/coconut/dark chocolate/cheese).

    My Journal: gelatin experiments, vanity pictures, law school rants, recipe links


    Food blog: GELATIN and BONE BROTH recipes

    " The best things in life are free and the 2nd best are expensive!" - Coco Chanel

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    turquoisepassion's Avatar
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    Please help me understand what I need to eat to lose weight. Long Post.

    Oh, and I personally don't like kidneys. I like everything else. Try a bit of every organ part and find some that your taste buds like.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk - now Free
    ------
    HCLF: lean red meat, eggs, low-fat dairy, bone broth/gelatin, fruits, seafood, liver, small amount of starch (oatmeal, white rice, potatoes, carrots), small amount of saturated fat (butter/ghee/coconut/dark chocolate/cheese).

    My Journal: gelatin experiments, vanity pictures, law school rants, recipe links


    Food blog: GELATIN and BONE BROTH recipes

    " The best things in life are free and the 2nd best are expensive!" - Coco Chanel

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