Friday, January 20, 2012

Day 12

I still haven't found the right balance of foods to send with the kids to school. They still get in the van at pick-up time asking for something to eat. It's really kind of frustrating. Having to find high-fat foods that also work with their food allergies AND something they will want to eat, is a bit of a challenge. But we'll get there!

If you have a high-fat snack idea that does not include dairy (butter is okay) and almonds, let me know!

I am feeling better today. My face is still like a dot-to-dot book... but I feel lighter, and happier, and much more energetic. I still want a Coke with lunch, but I haven't given in, which is a feat I never thought I would accomplish. I tried for years to give it up, but it never worked out. I could go a few days (the longest was 12 days) but as soon as I became over-stressed, I went right back to it. If nothing else, I've managed to give it up and not suffer the usual depression, mood swings, and such. I did have the headaches for the first ten days, but I'll take that over turning into the Incredible Hulk.

So Tom and I took "before" photos. Tom already looks nice and trim. The jerk. I decided I'm not brave enough to post mine. Ha! So if I have great success with Going Primal, I'll post both the "before" and "after" photos at that time.

 I've asked Tom to give me a quick email update about his thoughts on the Going Primal so far. He is away on another long weekend trip, so that may have to wait.

I still spend a lot of time in the kitchen cutting up vegetables, cooking meat, mixing up yogurt concoctions, etc. I am positive this will be streamlined in the future. As with anything new, there is always that annoying adjustment period, but after that, you become much more efficient. Plus, I find I like to make a little of many different things so that we can more quickly discover what works and what doesn't for all of our taste buds.

Does anyone who has gone Primal have any time-saving tips?  I realllly need them. My fridge and freezer looks ah-mazing! ... but the rest of my house looks like a bachelor dude lives in in it. AHHHHH!


  1. We have a "leftovers" shelf in our fridge, and usually make a bigger meal than we can eat. That makes it pretty easy to find something to warm up if we don't feel like cooking, or don't have time.

    Also, a timesaver for me has been to pull meat out of the freezer each morning to thaw, so that I'm not scrambling (or running to the grocer) before mealtime to get something together.

    Lastly, the Primal Blueprint Quick and Easy Meals cookbook is really that: Quick and Easy. Most recipes are 5 items or less, and involve items you probably already have in your fridge/pantry, or can accommodate substitutions. I love it.

    I am waiting for the report from Tom!

    I just finished the 21 days, and have lost exactly 10 lbs, have not once felt hungry, learned numerous recipes, and have only occasionally had a sugar craving. My skin is 100 times better, by bowel problems are gone, and I no longer feel like I need a crash nap every mid-afternoon. I also don't have the nerve to post a before picture yet, though I took one. I'll post mine when I'm at my final weight goal.

    I hear you about the fridge and freezer - sometimes I just open it to look at it!

  2. The Everyday Paleo cookbook is full of family friendly dairy free recipes including several high fat snacks. One of my favorite snacks is a BLT lettuce wrap. To make it wrap some bacon and tomatoes in lettuce leaf. You can top it off with some homemade mayo or mashed avocado. I make homemade mayo once a week and cook up a package of bacon weekly as well so this is very easy to assemble. Also my best time saving tip is to cook double portions and use throughout the week or freeze for the future.

  3. Keep it up! You're inspiring me!

  4. For snacks, I don't know if it is fat v.s. protein and fiber that might satisfy. But Pork Rinds, Boiled Eggs, jerky or meat snacks. Maybe it isn't fully primal but julian bakery bread (that with lots of butter and one egg is my midday snack and I'm satisfied).

    There seem to be a lot of sugars in what you are eating. Lots of fruit and not just tart berries. Honey? I don't see the point of going primal if you are going to consume more sugar now than you did before - and get the insulin surges and carb crashes. Sugar is a carb! Honey is sugar. Fructose is sugar. Try some Stevia for a few weeks if you must have sweetener. You have to decide for yourself how to balance things, but I think at least you should try 2-3 weeks without sugars, even in primal form - you need to burn fat, not carbohydrates, but if you are getting 80+ grams of sugars daily you aren't going to switch and probably feel like you are starving. Most people need to go under 20g per day for 2 weeks to get their body to switch. It might be harder but I would suggest maybe giving it a try yourself - maybe your weight would start dropping faster.

    There is only one Dannon "diabetic friendly" yogurt I can find that doesn't have as much sugar as a candy bar. And it is still not that low. How much sugar is in the yogurt you are buying? Or if you've found a yogurt that isn't loaded with sugars, I would like to know the brand - I'd get a case.

    I also am skeptical of "organic" labels. Some aren't different than non-organic, others are, but you need to look past the 20%+ price premium and the organic banner to see what - if anything - is different.

    1. Hi! Thanks for your thoughts!

      Tom and I do not consume the fruit (except the occasional apple or organge) and honey. It's for the kids who do need carbs and sugars, as they burn through it quickly, and fruit sugars are much butter for them than donuts. hehe

      As for yogurt, I buy The Greek Gods Greek Yogurt (traditional plan). It's all natural, and has five active cultures. It's 11g fat, 4g protein, and 5g sugar (which is naturally occuring.) It's the best I've found so far, both in quality and taste. And boy does the price reflect it. LOL

      You are right about Organic labels... they can be very misleading. It takes a lot of work and research to eat right, doesn't it?

      Thanks again for your suggestions!

    2. Thanks for the recommendation - I'll be looking for it. Danon is 2g sugar, but the Greek Gods looks like it would be much better - I don't really like yogurt, but my digestive system seems to need rebooting on occasion.

      Even now I'm discovering stuff. When I started it was easy only in that there were few things that I knew weren't bad, but then had to keep researching - I never knew about pork rinds (I still use them mainly to dip salsa, queso, chili). It took about 6 months before I got into stride, and most recently (rtr10 gives 10%? off). I'm still looking.

      Shiratake noodles that are basically fiber, they have it as spaghetti (angel hair), fettucini, and rice and others. The "rice" in soy sauce with some veggies and egg passes for something oriental, "Fettucini" in butter and cream sauce with mushrooms under meat. Bake the spaghetti with cheese, tomatoes, meats, etc. Its zero cal, zero carb, but you can make something that looks italian or oriental without the grains. The Julian bread works for pizza bread.

      Spices can go far toward keeping things interesting. Unsweet fruit extract makes it seem like you are eating something sweet, or cinnamon or ginger if you like them. You don't have to have things plain - the spice rack can make the same base meal into many different things - greek, cajun, italian, french, hungarian....

      It is annoying but you must read the labels. Some "healthy" stuff means the bottom of the USDA pyramid (I'm waiting for Tom's the government is making you sick literally video).

      I'm not sure "fruit sugar" is itself better, I'm not totally convinced, but there's Lustig on Fructose.

      Your kids might burn through more carbs, but I don't know if primal kids had access to that level of carbs. And it still causes an insulin roller-coaster. Even if you are burning carbs instead of ketosis, your liver meters out glucose (and you aren't hungry), but then you eat a bunch of sugar, so the liver reverses and starts storing glucose but much goes into the blood causing the insulin reaction, eventually causing low blood sugar and the liver takes time to switch back to releasing, meanwhile you feel hungry.

  5. For the kids to take to school, try making your own "lara bars". Dates & your favorite nut in the food processor. I add natural coconut flakes, chia seeds (for Omega 3), cocoa powder, and coconut oil for a filling, yummy ,chocolate ball. It's pretty high carb and addictive for me, but it would be great for the kids. Mine love them.

    1. I had never heard of Chia seeds...thanks!

  6. Let me clarify. I'm eating one slice of a bread that does have grains, but that gives me 1g of carb (pan fried in butter, melt some cheese, add egg):

    I also like low-carb beer, but I'm under 30g daily, usually under 20, feel healthy, energetic, lost 25% of my body weight, etc. All the benefits you are talking about.

    You are eating (sweet?!) yogurt, honey, sugary fruits, starchy vegetables, and probably getting 120-200g of carbs a day, maybe more unless the portions are vanishingly small.

    The sweet and starchy stuff is at the top as in almost none or in moderation - and they aren't very sweet or contain much starch. The "Vegetables" at the bottom are the greens - low starch as he explains.

    From the descriptions of your meals and snacks, your pyramid is more like a square.

    See the Carbs section.

    "Either way, ideally, we would like most of our daily energy to come from dietary or stored fats. Typically, (if you are at an ideal body composition now) I use a rule of thumb that 100-150 grams of carbohydrate per day is plenty to keep you out of ketosis (and ketosis is NOT a bad thing) but away from storing the excess as fat if you are the least bit active. Don’t forget that your body can make up to 200 grams of glycogen from fats and protein every day, too. On the other hand, if you are looking to lose body fat, keeping carbs to under 80 grams per day will help immensely in lowering insulin and taking fat out of storage".

    Note: Fiber is "carbs" but doesn't count as it isn't digestible. Sugar alcohols don't count as far as I know. No glucose high, no insulin spike. Much of the 100 carbs is fiber. The bread above is 13g carb, but 12g fiber, 1g sugar.
    I don't see Honey or Yogurt (sweetened) mentioned as primal foods anywhere on his site, only high-fat dairy (like half and half or real heavy coffee cream which I have with dunkin donuts coffee with hazelnut flavor shot - another nonprimal guilty pleasure).

  7. I cut up veggies and roast them in the oven. Then I reheat as needed throughout the week. This saves time and gives us veggies when we want them.

    Try a mix of fresh broccoli, cauliflower, and cubed sweet potatoes (just a few). If you like Turmeric...toss in a little. I coat the pan with coconut oil and cook on about 400 in the oven.

    The other thing my family loves is cold broccoli salad. And if you want to get some cabbage in your kiddos, try my recipe that ads it to taco meat.

    Here's the recipes

  8. I've been thinking about the lunch-box problem. Long ago I suggested pork rinds but they are puffed so take more space.

    This is my suggestion based on what I've been doing the past year.

    High-density is in order. That is how I eat, my fridge is loaded, and when I started I ate (from the bottom of the primal pyramid!) until I was satisfied.

    Chicken breast, lunchmeat (turkey, ham, roast beef), cut up leftover meat - pork, beef. Eggs (scrambled and cooked into a square, or hard boiled), Bell peppers, celery, maybe some salad dressing in a packet if it isn't sweetened. Maybe a few carrots - but limit them as they are starchy. Meat sticks or jerky. Up the portions by 25-50% to start and continue until they have something leftover at the end of the day. They should be able to grab a strip of something between classes if they are hungry.

    No sweets, fruit, (simple) starches, or anything that will put the box over about 15g of (effective) carbs. The reason is after you eat something sweet or (simple) starchy, the insulin spike will cause you to be hungry 30-120 minutes later. It doesn't matter if it is organic or not. It doesn't matter if you eat it with meat and fats. It doesn't matter if you otherwise stuff yourself. If you are in glucose mode instead of ketosis, and the insulin from eating something with lots of carbs causes the all glucose to go into your cells so you crash, you will feel hungry - craving more glucose.

    (If you insist on sugars and starches, save them for dinner)

    Looking at the lunchbox:

    Breakfast: Sliced apples and Sunbutter
    Lunch: Ham, rolled up with either cheddar or feta cheese and strawberries
    Snack: Dried bing cherries and nuts

    Apples, strawberries, and cherries. Maybe you should include a stopwatch, as the lunch craving should hit from the apples, the snack from the strawberries, and you pick them up just as the cherries insulin spike is hitting. Of course they would be hungry.

    Nothing above the bottom two levels of the pyramid (meats/green veggies), yet they can have as much of anything on those two levels - in this indulge them. If they want 3 eggs, give it to them. If they want two chicken breasts, give it to them. But if they want fruit, or starch say no. Stuff the lunch bags and continue until they aren't or don't want to eat everything they contain before you pick them up.

    1. Much obliged! I'll will have to make up a menu this weekend, and see if I can get it to balance a bit better. Thanks!

    2. I saw your improvised salad and meat bar. Exactly the kind of thing I was thinking of, except for portability.

      And I do remember that old fashioned "eat whatever is on your plate". If they still have stuff in their lunch sacks when you pick them up, their protests of being hungry won't be credible.

      If you are going to do sugars and starches, try to keep it to one meal. You might want to try breakfast as their livers might be more ready to refill on glucose, and if they eat a big enough breakfast (carbs alone might cause a late-morning crash). Otherwise dinner might be best, and if they get hungry just before bed, do light things from the pyramid bottom. Or maybe do fruits as a late evening snack. Try varying the pattern until you find something that works.

      Carbs, sugars especially tend to be addicting, causing hunger. Maybe because the natural thing to do is store up energy (as fat) for the winter. Before we could preserve food and store it outside our bodies, the right signal would be to gorge ourselves while it was around before it rotted or something else would eat it. Meat is usually around all year as our roots and leaves. Carbs - fruits and grains - are seasonal. That is my take on the primal mythology (myth in that we really don't know but can guess what our ancestors did, and the guesses make for a good story).

      You may have already seen

  9. Have you seen the lunchbox series here?

    Also, this is certainly not fully primal, but if you're not too strict and want a great tasting yogurt (best I've had) then try
    You can find it at Fry's/Ralph's/Krogers etc.

  10. Avocados! Great source of fat and filling- add to salads or make some guacamole to dip their veggies in. Also walnuts- fantastic for fat and snack times!
    Do they not eat eggs? Hard boiled eggs are another great portable food. Or homemade soups- just stick in a thermos! (I know that can be messy at times). I like to make turkey muffins as well (mix 1 lbs. turkey with an egg and 1/2 cup flaxseeds, spices, and even add a sweet potato if you want- throw in the food processor then bake in 350 for about 30 minutes. Great snack/breakfast/on the go food. Add it to their lunch with veggies!)
    It's always easiest to do a ton of prep work one day then just have it all stored in the fridge and freezor. Yes it is a pain in the butt to take, say, HOURS on a Sunday to cut everything up and cook up a bunch of food, but it will save you so much time during the week!

  11. Hi Heather,
    Keep up the good work! My suggestion is a bit obvious, but why not just give the girls more? I've definitely given my kids 2 or even 3 sandwiches if necessary, (they don't have gluten issues) and I start to double the meat and cheese. I would keep adding ham and nuts to their lunches until you are seeing some left over. If they eat 3 slices, give them 5! Give them an extra bag of nuts! 2 bags! I also have snacks in my car for the drive home. Try bringing some smoothies for pick up. You might need to find some cups with lids that fit in your car... Finally, have you tried to make them guacamole? My kids are obsessed with the stuff. Hummus? Edamame? Kids love it dipped in soy sauce. Can you freeze the yummy looking whipped dessert in cups and pack it in their lunches? Bring it in the car? Good luck!

    1. That's the thing, Pamela, I thought I *was* giving them more! lol I think it is just a matter of tweaking things and getting out of the mindset of "Oh, that's too much food" it's kind of hard to through out years worth of "watch how much your kids eat" to "yeah, whatever!" So I definitely need to amp it up with the amount. But also, they get 20 minutes to eat lunch, and they are sloooow eaters. So I'm really looking for things that pack more for the punch, so to speak.

      We don't do any soy products due to the hormones and my eldest is 5+ allergic to it. They don't like guacamole, but I'll keep trying.

      Awesome ideas, thanks so much!!

  12. There is a great recipe for what we call "avocado eggs". Hard boil a few eggs. Cut in half and mash yokes with avocado, a little salt and lemon juice. Add the avocado/yoke mixture back to the craters in the eggs (like deviled eggs). Done! My 4 year old LOVES 'em.
    My husband is a fan of your husband's and actually found the primal blueprint through your husband's interview of Mark Sisson. We just completed the 21 day challenge. I lost 2 inches off my waistline and I'm thrilled with the results so far.
    Good luck!