Elessar's Primal Journey

Discussion in 'Survival of the Fittest' started by Elessar, Jan 23, 2014.

  1. Elessar

    Elessar Monkey+++

    I found Melbo's post regarding the Primal Blueprint and was intrigued by his reports. I investigated the reviews of the PB and jumped in with both feet about two weeks ago when I began my transition to Primal. It has been very easy physically. Mentally, I have been challenged by my cravings and the menu changes to accomplish the cooking tasks since I'm the one that cooks most of the meals in our home. My wife has been supportive and very receptive to the idea of the different recipes that I've been working on and that's a big change for her because she doesn't like change.

    I decided that this was going to be a "all in" change in lifestyle for me and bought the Primal Blueprint book and well as the cookbooks. We have been grocery shopping together at the different retail outlets that offer products that would supply our needs and comply with the ideals of the PB. That was a big change for me because I've always shopped at the major grocery chain stores.

    I have already enjoyed some limited success with the dietary changes that I've made. It's been two weeks without a soda pop and no candy or sugar. The elimination of grains has proven to be a challenge for me and I'm still working on adopting recipes that will make this happen. I believe that his program will work if given a fair chance. However, I also believe in Mark Sisson's 80/20 rule and have been flexing that rule when it comes to cooking things like stir fry that require a little starch to thicken the sauce. So, I'm trying to be a purest and say no to all soft drinks, all processed sugars, and all grains.

    So far, I've lost 4.5#s and am feeling great and sleeping better.

    I started my exercise program this morning. I find it easier to work out in the morning than in the evening. The evening seems jammed with the stress of the day including what to make for dinner as well as spending time with my best friend/wife.
    Actually, it may be more correct to say that I've re-started my program because I used to work out every morning. However, I quit two years ago when my father-in-law came to live with us because of his cancer. He lost that fight last February and we miss him terribly. (I look forward to seeing my friend again some day.) I had been completing a comprehensive workout routine that I'll need to ease back into.
    This morning I completed 25 pushup, 50 situps, 5 front planks, and 10 side planks. I've set a daily goal of 50 pushups, 100 regular situps, 40 oblique situps, 20 front planks, 50 side planks, 50 bicycle kicks, & 50 sprint kicks. I think that enough of a daily workout using body weight resistance. To that I want to add 10k steps walking, bi-weekly sprints sessions, and regular casual bicycle trips around town of 5-10 miles. This sounds like a lot and time will be tight, but I think I can work it in through out the week since we will have moved into town. (We currently live on a farm complete with chores and feeding.)
    I enjoy these short workout sessions much better than going to the gym and absolutely love riding my bike.

    Weight: 229.2 (up a pound)
    Lunch yesterday: 1 small avocado, 1 orange, and a few slices of pepperjack cheese
    Dinner last night: 2 bowls of Chili with beans and 1 piece of Naan (the beans were my last)
    Breakfast this morning: 1 egg over easy with a pinch of cheese and 2 slices of bacon
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2014
  2. ClovisMan

    ClovisMan Monkey

    I recently started the Primal Journey myself. Welcome to the club!
    Quigley_Sharps likes this.
  3. Elessar

    Elessar Monkey+++

    I skipped exercising this morning because my body objected to the sore muscles from my workout yesterday. I have decided to work out every other day for a few weeks, until I am in some condition of a more active lifestyle. It has been a good day, however uneventful. I was a little dismayed about the 1 pound gain yesterday but shrugged it off and stayed focused on the goal of healthy eating. This morning I was rewarded with more progress. I need to start walking more and I'll be looking for a cycle trainer on Craig's list so I can ride my bicycle in the basement until the weather breaks. It was -6 this morning when I went out to feed the livestock...whew.

    Thanks for the welcome note Clovisman. I am pretty danged excited about this program! I started out three weeks ago with transitioning:
    Week one - no soda pop
    Week two - no sugar/candy/processed sugar and limited grain
    Week three - all in with no pop, no sugar, no grain, light exercise every other day

    No carb flu yet, but that doesn't mean I'm out of the woods yet, so I'm waiting. I'm going to try and post daily here because I think it might be helpful for some to see the daily menu as well as track the progress. I have been shopping at four different stores for groceries but I have not limited myself to only organic. I have switched all my vegetables and some fruits to the clean stuff, but the meat is too expensive for me so I have plans to buy a whole beef cow from a local farmer/rancher when his stock comes of age. I have some venison in the freezer from last deer season, but my chicken is from Walmart. We buy the five pound bags of minimally processing boneless/skinless breasts. I do intend to work some whole fryer chickens into the menu in the future for variety.

    Well, here's the report for the last twenty four hours. Grok on!

    Weight: 227.6
    Lunch: Big salad that included three different kinds of greens with cottage cheese, shredded cheese, and sunflower seeds on top. I put a little olive oil and a few drops of hot sauce over all that goodness.
    Snack: small apple, severl hand fulls of almonds, and a medium orange
    Dinner: 12 ounces of steak pan fried in olive oil and a large helping of green beans with real butter
    Breakfast: 2 eggs over easy in real butter with shredded cheese and 2 strips of bacon
    Sapper John and Quigley_Sharps like this.
  4. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

    Great Job!
  5. Elessar

    Elessar Monkey+++

    Cold and snowy day that will keep us inside most of the time. However, I did manage to get my simple workout in this morning and this workout gets my heart rate up pretty good for now. My weigh-in shows a very small loss that is negligible but I'll take those results. I've really become soft over the last two years of not working out. I was in much better shape before and I felt like I'd be in better shape now. I guess it doen't take long to get soft and squishy.

    Weight: 227.4
    Lunch: 1 small yogurt, 1 small avocado, 2 small chicken breasts pan fried in olive oil with a sprinkle of garlic and Italian spice
    Snack: a few large handfuls of almonds, 1 small apple
    Dinner: 2 chicken fajitas on Primal Naan bread
    Snack: a generous portion of pumpkin seeds and a 2 cocktails (tequila with club soda and a slice of lemon and lime)
    Breakfast: 3 egg omelet with pepperjack cheese inside and sprinkle of shredded cheddar on top, three slices of bacon, two cups coffee

    My morning workout:
    25 pushups
    50 sit-ups
    5 front planks (10 seconds each) one set
    10 side planks (10 seconds each) one set
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 25, 2014
  6. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    Good stuff. When it comes to 80/20, just make sure you stay away from wheat as it's the worst of the grains. High in phytates Why No Grains & Legumes (and nuts?): Phytates
    Also, don't push yourself with exercise. Remember that 80/20 applies here too: 80% of your body comp is determined by diet and 20% is determined by exercise.

    The ideal Primal fitness routine looks like this:

    Move Slowly (walk, hike, etc) 3-5 hours a week
    Lift Heavy Things (pull ups, push ups, squats, planks) 2 times a week
    Sprint (6 x 50 yrds) every 7 to 10 days

    I've been primal since last May and still haven't ever 'Lifted heavy things' more than twice a week and lately not even that and I still have a 6 pack.
  7. Elessar

    Elessar Monkey+++

    The weather continues to be an opponent with 4" of snow and the temp dropped to 20' last night. We are at 38' as I type this. However, I have been able to use this adversary to my benefit as a pretty good workout shoveling the walkway and driveway. Now, as the sun begins to shine for the first time in three days, the bare spots are starting to melt off.

    We enjoyed a great dinner last night and my wonderful wife who hates change and dislikes trying new things, adventured into the unknown last night. We tried a new dinner combination that I found in the Primal Fast Meals cookbook: Spice Rubbed Pork chops with mashed Cauliflower and Butternut Squash. All parts of the dinner we heralded as a success by my picky-eater wife. THAT is fantastic, as she voted to have all components of the dinner again; particularly the pork chops.

    I shoveled snow for almost an hour yesterday and about 30 minutes today.

    Weight: 228.2
    Lunch: Big ass salad with three kinds of green topped with cottage cheese, shredded cheese, 1 Tsp coconut oil and a few drops of hot sauce as well as a very large handful of sunflower seeds
    Dinner: One spice rubbed pork chop (chili powder, cumin, cinnamon, salt rub), mashed cauliflower with butter, and butternut squash
    Breakfast: two eggs scrambled and topped with a shredded chesse with three strips of bacon

    I just realized, because of my wife's advice to read the label on the shredded cheese we've been eating, that it's crap and that we'll need to find a better quality cheese when we go marketing next time. My weight is up a tiny bit, but I'm not going to worry about this because I'm on this journey for a new healthy lifestyle and the only number that I care about is body fat. I want to get my body fat into the single digit zone, but that's only a general target.

    Melbo: thanks for the advice. I respect your opinion and appreciate your time stopping by to review what I'm doing.
    Yard Dart likes this.
  8. Elessar

    Elessar Monkey+++

    This was a stress filled weekend for me for a number of reasons that I won't go into; suffice it to say that we have a lot of stuff going on. Now the temperatures are going crash again and we're looking for -6' tonight. Man! That's cold.

    I was able to complete my simple workout this morning, dispite loosing sleep over a project that is not going well. I was going to sleep in and extra 20 minutes using the time that I had alloted to my workout but decided that 20 minutes of sleep wasn't going to help me as much as 20 minutes of workout, so I got up and did 'em.

    Lunch: Leftovers of chili and beef stew that I had made during the week.
    Dinner: Monster salad of three kinds of green with cubes of pepperjack cheese, 3 three heaping tablespoons of cottage cheese, the last of the crappy shredded cheese, three tablespoons of sunflower seeds, and a few drops of hot sauce.
    Snack: I large portion of pumpkin seeds eaten during Downton Abbey...
    Breakfast: Black coffee, because I just didn't feel hungry until I made it to work and then I had an orange.

    I think I have been over-eating. I think this because I believe it takes some practice to listen to your body about when it's hungry as a cue about when to stop eating and when you need to eat. I think it must take a while to break out of the old habits of eating because the clock says it's eating time. Anyway, I'm trying to learn but this is a little tough because I think my senses have been dulled by the sugar rollercoaster.

    Speaking of sugar: I've found that last of the sugar that I'd been unknowingly ingesting in the Coffeemate Creamer that I'd been putting into my coffee. So, I think I have effectively eliminated all sugar from my diet.

    Weight: 229.6
    My workout (it's getting easier):
    25 pushups
    50 sit-ups
    5 front planks (10 seconds each) one set
    10 side planks (10 seconds each) one set
  9. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    I'll find a proper place to store this but for now,
    here's the fitness plan we've been going from:

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jan 27, 2014
    Yard Dart likes this.
  10. Elessar

    Elessar Monkey+++

    Goodmorning to everyone. I missed a day posting in my journal because I was out of the office yesterday. While I would like to report that I was pleasantly occupied and not sitting on my butt in my office, alas, I was sitting on my butt in a training seminar, so only the scenery was different and not my level of activity.

    Lunch: Parmesan Encrusted Chicken, 2oz Steak Strips, generous portion of steam vegetables, and cherry tomatoes with cucumbers on a bed of green salad.
    Dinner: Bacon wrapped/stuffed Chicken Breast, Yellow Summer Squash
    Snack: a large handful of Pistachios (about 6oz)
    Breakfast: Non-fat Greek Yogurt plain

    Weight: 227.4

    I have another meeting today so I gotta go or I'll be late. See ya!
    melbo likes this.
  11. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    Thanks for the continued updates!
    I was the guy standing during my last Annual meeting which was 3 days of conferences.

    I only 'sit' for around 1.5 hours a day now and that includes my 20 minute commute and 30 minutes at the dinner table.
  12. Elessar

    Elessar Monkey+++

    We're havin' a heat wave...not really, but our temps during the last week have been so cold that the high today of 35' will seem nearly tropical. I hope your day will be great. I had a struggled yesterday with my PB food intake; let me explain.

    After a full day in training on Tuesday, I was subjected to almost of full day of meetings yesterday. The host for the group order lunch for everyone, being so very gracious, and Donato's Pizza was delivered right on time. Ohhhh well, I noticed a large bowl of salad greens with croutons so I felt like I had an option. I loaded my plate with salad and picked through the croutons to avoid them. The dressing options were a waste of time, but someone had placed a few squeezable cream cheese packets on the table so I opted for that and it worked fine. Success, albiet a small salad since there wasn't a lot begin with, I wanted to leave some for the others.

    I enjoyed a few handfuls of nuts in the car on my way back to the office. Dinner was not exactly in compliance with my PB, but after a smallish lunch, I was feeling deprived and we didn't get home from work until late so dinner get started until 7:30 pm. That makes it tough to come up with anything Primal on short notice. I could have thrown a salad together, which is my go-to quick fix, but my wife had to eat also. With the soup, she has leftovers for lunch the next day, so...

    Weight: 226.0
    Lunch: Salad with cream cheese
    Dinner: Vegetable Chicken Soup with peas, carrots, lima beans, a can of Cream of Mushroom soup and two tablespoons of corn starch for thickening.
    Breakfast: Two eggs over easy with two strips of bacon. I added a few shreds of cheese I grated on top of the eggs.

    I skipped my workout this morning because I was feeling tired and we were running late because I didn't get my butt out of bed on time. Back to it tomorrow...

    Let's make this a great day!
    Sapper John and Quigley_Sharps like this.
  13. Elessar

    Elessar Monkey+++

    I was able to complete my basic morning workout and had a light breakfast. I find the most difficult part of the PB is meal planning. Being able to achieve some level of variety is tough some times. I know, when we were eating SAD, we had a list of five or six "go-to" meals that we rotated and threw in something new when we found a different recipe. Eating Primal has upset the entire menu list of things. I have tried to adopt recipes that have mimicked our old favorites like tacos has become taco salad. I think it fun to try new things, most of the time, but some times I'm just emotionally worn out and wish for the simplicity of throwing a pizza in the oven...however, that won't happen. (I have been exploring Meatza but haven't had the nerve to try it yet.)
    Weight: 228.0
    Lunch: Yogurt, pear, orange, and a handful of mixed nuts
    Dinner: Taco Salad with greens, cottage cheese, shredded Colbyjack cheese, sunflower seeds, a handful of cabbage chopped, a few chopped carrots, a few drops of hot sauce and two heaping spoonfuls of spice taco meat. (This thing was pretty big so I put in in a medium sized mixing bowl.)
    Yard Dart and Quigley_Sharps like this.
  14. Elessar

    Elessar Monkey+++

    Friday was a blur to me after the week seeming to drag on forever. The weekend continued to fly by, however, we did managed to include a lot more activities than a normal weekend contains.

    I neglected to post all weekend so this posting will include both Saturday as well as Sunday. With the impending weather, we decided to visit my Mother-in-law on Saturday. That means a 60 mile drive South to the farm so we opted for McDonald's for breakfast.

    Our plan was to hunt coyotes since she had lost one of her dogs and it was suspected that the coyotes were to blame. The "hunt" was much more of a hike around the property to look for signs of the missing dog. I harbored fears that the dog had fallen through some thin ice because the temperatures that we'd been having were extremely unusual and we don't normally have any ice, so the missing dog would not have been accustomed to walking on snow covered ice that may have encountered on the area ponds. Our search was unproductive as was our hunt.

    Breakfast: Bacon, Egg, and Cheese McMuffin from McDonald's minus the muffin.
    Lunch: White Chicken Chili with a few added vegetables
    Dinner: Two chicken breasts and a half bowl of Chili (we cleaned out the fridge of left overs)

    Sunday was a pretty lazy day with a short trip that delayed lunch as well as our normal routine. We planned to watch the Super Bowl so dinner was more like a buffet that allowed us to eat at will.

    Breakfast: Three egg omlet with cheese and 2 strips of bacon
    Lunch: none
    Dinner: Chili with turnips instead of beans and a few spinkles of cheese on top
    Snack: a few handfuls of pumpkin seeds

    Sunday was not planned very well and I went to bed hungry but too tired to do anything about it. I figured that I wouldn't have any trouble sleeping so I just let the night take over. I woke this morning to subdued hunger and completed my morning workout a little easier than previously. I guess my body is getting into better condition after having laid off my exercise routine for so long. I kept dreaming of a big breakfast so I whipped something up.

    Breakfast: Two eggs over easy with cheese and two strips of bacon

    After arriving at work I was required to shovel the sidewalk and drag a 50# bag of rock salt around to salt the walkways. Fun stuff?! Not, but I consider it part of my workout and take it as an added bonus to my small workout.

    Weight: 225.6
    Body Fat: 30.4%
  15. Elessar

    Elessar Monkey+++

    We have another winter storm on the way but this one may miss us in the central part of the state. No shoveling for my workout. Quiet day yesterday.

    Lunch: Medium Avocado, orange, apple, yogurt
    Dinner: Two chicken breasts and a generous helping for broccoli with butter
    Breakfast: Three eggs over easy with three strips of bacon and a small pinch of shredded cheese

    I'm worried that I may still be over-eating because I seem to have reached a small plateau in my weight loss. I read someone else mention that they cut the yogurt to help facilitate the continued weight loss, so I'm thinking about that as well as going back to the book to review the food requirements.

    Weight: 225.0
    Body Fat: 31.6%
  16. kckndrgn

    kckndrgn Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    My biggest problem, over eating. I've found that if I force myself to slow down while I eat, chew my food more, I'll eat a little less. And I have to listen to that voice in my head that says, "I'm full you idiot, stop eating!"
    Elessar, Sapper John, BTPost and 2 others like this.
  17. Elessar

    Elessar Monkey+++

    Yes, learning to listen to your body has been a big challenge for me. I am slowly getting tot he point where I can hear my body instead of my emotional or psychological cravings and it is pretty nice. I still struggle with this and have to double check myself every time. I can report that my sugar cravings have almost completely subsided.

    Also, I have found that a small handful of macadamia nuts really hit the spot when I feel the need...
  18. Elessar

    Elessar Monkey+++

    Not much of anything different except that I have a different mindset. I was feeling frustrated and desperate with the slow pace of my progress. I felt the need to motivate my weight/fat loss so I started to analyze the contents of my menu using the obvious components as subversive contenders for elimination: bacon, yogurt, dairy.

    After completing a number of searches through the Nutritional thread as well as other areas of this forum, I couldn't find anything that felt as if there were clearly defined mistakes that I was making. So, I returned to the source for guidance and advice: The Primal Blueprint. I found what I was looking for in Chapter Eight with regard to the carb chart and the "Sweet Spot" for controlling or accelerating weight loss. Using this information and the app on my phone for MyFitnessPal to review the carb contents of different elements of my menu, I have decided to add a little discipline to eliminate my between meal cheating with fruits. Basically, I'm going to reduce my carb intake by eliminating the fruit that I had been using as a cruch to get from meal to meal. I will need to up my red meat intake to achieve this so that I have the protein to make it between meals, but I know it will work because I've already felt that difference when I first started the PB. However, my wife can't eat that much red meat so I will be forced to make a few extra dirty dishes when I cook. (I do most of the cooking in our home.)

    So, instead of the fruit, I will add a few vegetables to the menu as well as more red meat instead of so much chicken (for me).

    Here are today's numbers:

    Lunch: Big Salad - spinach and kale, cottage cheese, sunflower seeds, shredded cabbage, chopped carrots, chopped radishes, shredded cheese, and a few drops of hot sauce.
    Dinner: Chicken Stir Fry - chicken breasts fried in olive oil, yellow sweet pepper, chopped carrots, frozen vegetables (snap peas, broccoli, baby corn, water cress, etc), 1/4 cup soy sauce, 1/4 cup water, 2 tbls corn starch, and crushed red peppers.
    Breakfast: three hard boiled eggs and 1 cup 2% greek yogurt

    Weight: 224.8
    Body Fat: 30.1

    Let's get out there and make this a great day!
  19. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

    Make sure if you are on the total Primal to eat enough fat, I didn't in the beginning.
    Now grass fed burger and bacon with veggies on top no sauce and no bun is my quick lunch.
  20. Elessar

    Elessar Monkey+++

    Quig: thanks for the advice. I agree with you and I percieve that to change the brain-washing of years of having the food pyramid hammered as part of "healthly" education creates quite a shift in paradigms, but I'm working at it and am seeing results. Most notibly is the fit of my clothes. I have thought that things were getting a little loose, but I wear a military belt with the infinately adjustable buckle. This morning I didn't have to "suck in my gut" to get the buckle in place. I had thought I was feeling lighter, but this is tangible proof. It's working!

    Lunch: 12oz grilled steak with two helpings of steamed vegetables (extra brocolli)
    Dinner: 6oz pork tenderloin with mixed vegetables
    Breakfast: 3 hard boiled eggs, 7oz 2% greek yogurt

    Weight: 224.8
    Body Fat: 30.1
    melbo, Sapper John and Quigley_Sharps like this.
  1. Ganado
  2. 3M-TA3
  3. GrayGhost
  4. hot diggity
  5. kckndrgn
  6. Minuteman
  7. ditch witch
  8. DarkLight
  9. Sapper John
  10. Yard Dart
  11. RightHand
  12. kckndrgn
  13. ClovisMan
  14. Quigley_Sharps
  15. melbo
  16. melbo
survivalmonkey SSL seal        survivalmonkey.com warrant canary