Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Tom and I went out of town this weekend. First he gave a speech at a Ron Paul rally in Tampa. And then we thought we'd get some beach time in... that didn't work out though, thanks to Tropical Storm Issac. We ended up at the Salvador Dali museum. Scary, I know. I had to turn a research paper about Dali when I was in college. It was very ... scary.  However, they few books I read, and my professor, never talked about Dali being a "normal" painter. Some of his paintings are genuinely breathtaking and masterpieces. Don't get me wrong, there was a bunch of weird stuff too, but interesting all the same. 

Anyway, this week the whole family has suffered from a Summer of only eating partially Primal. I'm not gonna lie... Eating Primally is super easy if you are only thinking of yourself. It because exponentially more difficult with each person you add. So not only was trying to balance a crazy summer with six family members already difficult, but add in extra family while on visits, and traveling constantly... I would say it was impossible. There are the hardcore people who will shout out "shoulda just packed a cooler."  And we did when we could, but nuts and jerky can only hold you over for so long. 

I suppose anything is possible as long as you are determined to make it work. Still... I think food should be apart of life, not an obsession. Something had to give. I chose to fall of the wagon here and there. For you, that may not be an option.  One thing I really hate is when people say "try this, it's the easiest thing, really!"  And it turns out to be rather difficult. They seem to think admitting that going and STAYING Primal is hard at times, it must mean it invalidates their entire argument. Odd logic. 

Anyway, it is very, very difficult to stay Primal when you are not on a set routine and you constantly have other people coming in and out of the picture. I'm not ashamed of it. It is what it is.

In any event, we are really trying to get back on track now that we have a set schedule again.  The kids aren't sleeping as well. Tom's stomach issues came back. And I feel tired a lot. We've also had to deal with some emotional issues with a couple of the kids. Fun times. 

On the upside: Every one in the family has said they prefer to be Primal because they feel so much better.  Now that we're home from trips and back to school craziness, I'm hoping to start making up new menus. 

This week or next I'll have a post on the perfect turkey. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Home at Last and Back to School Lunch!

Hi all!

Thanks for not giving up on me.  We are FINALLY home from all trips, have our house mostly in order (still waiting on furniture), and school supplies bought, labeled and kids sent off to school. 

Now I need to sit down, go through our Primal cookbooks, and come up with a delicious menu. Any ideas?

I bought a new lunch box system for each of my girls. I think it makes lunch more fun. I'm hoping it cuts down on the teasing --"Weird, what is that?!"--and makes my girls feel more excited about the food. It's called the Bento System. Check it out!  A little pricey, yes, but I had to buy three or four lunch totes last year, because the girls kept spilling food, and mold would grow in all the crevices, and this system comes out to about the same price (as last year) but it is durable, dishwasher safe, and fun! 

Here is what we made for the first day of school lunch:

Nitrate-free ham and mustard. Grapes/melon/cherries. Carrots/tomatoes. And a snack of dark chocolate chips and sunflower seeds. Plus a water bottle.

  It came home empty! And the girls said nobody made fun of the food. I think it looks much more appetizing than when it's in ziplock bags. 

It did take a while for it to ship, FYI. It does work so well, and the carrying cases (I'll have to find a photo of those somewhere) are so colorful and fun... we didn't mind waiting.  

Gotta run for now, but I'm hoping to get back to regular blogging now. 

Friday, August 3, 2012

Guest Post: Primal and Me

This story comes to me from a blog reader. I thought you may enjoy it as well.

"I have struggled with weight almost my entire life. In fact I've been obese to some degree since I was 8 years old. It was around then that I started suffering from dysthymia, which is chronic and very long lasting depression, along with social anxiety, and sweet food became my emotional crutch. My increasingly morbid obesity was accompanied by increasing social isolation and further reliance on my sugary happy drugs. 

Growth spurts in my teens (I eventually reached 6'3") greatly reduced my obesity going into College but the onset of further emotional and intellectual stress flared it all up again. I gained huge amounts of weight, my anxiety and depression got worse and I developed severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea. I would wake up greatly more tired than I was when I went to bed, I was fat, miserable and I hated myself, I could only function on an almost unending stream of highly sugary coffee, and I was burning out of College. Somehow I managed to finish my degree and have marketable skills so I managed to find work in my field (Software Engineering) and start a career. I gradually got my health conditions treated. I started sleeping wearing a CPAP (night-time breathing machine) and so my sleeping radically improved. I ended up on antidepressants and got counseling. 

During this period of my early career I also had my first major attempt at weight loss, mainly at the behest of my older brother. I joined a gym and got a crack personal trainer. I initially made progress but eventually I simply stopped. I didn't have the internal motivation to keep exercising and I did not have the will to eat less junk food. My gym membership ended up being a very expensive and rarely used drain on my finances and I lost ground in the end and gained even more weight.

I then tried my first attempt at doing the Primal Diet because of reading about it through
Lewrockwell.com. I didn't read sufficiently though as I did not have a good balance of vegetables, ate far too many fruits and didn't eat enough saturated fats. Unfortunately I was still in the anti-fat mindset. I did feel a bit better in some ways as it was an improvement over the past but it was a very half -hearted effort. Added to this disordered affair I ended up changing jobs and cities in the middle of this and I ended up rooming with a group of men who weren't eating Primal. The theory of persisting with this diet, in a half-hearted way, around people eating all the foods I couldn't was unsustainable and so I slipped back into my bad diet. 

I ate a lot of pizza, a lot of fries and all manners of junk food. I gained more weight and more guilt and some friends noticed and thought they would help. A friend invited me to join him at a new gym, with a new "body transformation" program. I tried it, and initially I made progress. I lost a bit of weight, I did a lot of exercise and my muscles grew but I was still eating a lot of grains and carbohydrates and avoiding fat. But my friend ended up going overseas for a while and I had to rely on my own initiative to go to the gym and do the program and so being the way I am I stopped and lost even more ground than I'd gained.

Around about this time, and on a whim, I joined a dating site and struck up a quick friendship with a woman who is now my fiancee. After a few months it became clear that we both very much liked each other and we were headed for marriage and this became a huge motivator for me losing weight and keeping it off. By this stage I had reached nearly 447lbs and I started exercising again and eating less, but my progress was so bitterly hard and slow it was discouraging. I was still in the pro-grains, anti-fats mindset, and even though I had been increasingly reading about the Primal Diet I just didn't quite have the wherewithal yet to go for it wholeheartedly.

Two things happened at this point. The first one was that Tom and Heather Woods, who I had followed for some time and who I think are spectacular people, started doing the Primal Blueprint. The second was that I got engaged. Everything fell into place mentally and I had the right motivation, knowledge and good examples and so I launched into the Primal Diet. Initially I suffered major "carb-flu." I sweated profusely, had a major headache, and was extremely tired all the time. I had to take two days off work and I had to drink massive amounts of water and electrolytes to replace all the sweat I was losing. After two weeks it subsided and I started feeling extremely energetic and I quickly lost 22lbs. 

I was eating primal foods that I really liked that made me feel full. I love bacon, I get to eat lots of it. I love omelets and I've learned to love salads and all sorts of yummy food I'd never regularly prepared. I've found it spectacularly easier to totally avoid bad foods instead of reducing portions. I've subsequently found out that this has to do with the nature of the non-rational majority of our psychology where binary decisions (either this, or not this) are easier than decisions of degree (either this much, or not this much). All along I was working against my psychology and I didn't have the bloody minded will power to overcome it (as I admit better people than I do seem to have). My internal child is still that little emotionally broken sugar-addict and I was putting a smorgasbord of sweets in front of him and asking him to take it easy, shock horror it didn't work.

Since that initial 22lbs the weight loss has slowed down and gone into a sort of cycle where I lose a portion, gain a little of it back, and then lose it again and go down a portion more, and then gain a little of it back and repeat. The first couple of times, and until I worked out my weight-loss cycle I got a bit disheartened by the slight gains but I've since come to accept them and look forward to the new lows. I'm still bad at exercising, I don't do it enough, but I'm slowly improving my overall living of the Primal Blueprint in total and not just the diet. However the diet is helping me make progress even though the rest of it isn't perfect yet. I've still got a long way to go but I've now lost almost 40lbs in total. It's so psychologically relieving to be finally, after all these years, be making consistent progress and be on the right track! Praise the Lord! :)"

By Gregory Nazianzus

Thursday, August 2, 2012

We're Home!

Thanks for bearing with me during our crazy Summer. It feels like I've been in so many homes, cars, and States over the last month or so, that I keep forgetting where I am. 

Now that I'm really home I have much easier access to the internet. So we can now resume blogging! 

This week or next I am going to go buy a turkey so I can finally do the post on how to make the perfect turkey. We'll have to see when that happens though... Tom is sick with some kind of icky virus. The kids have been out of sorts today, so I'm sure that means they will be getting sick shortly. 

Interesting Fact: This is the first virus/sickness we've had (as far as I can remember) since we've gone Primal back in January!  Incidentally, we've had a lot of junky food the last few weeks, so coincidence... probably not. ;)