Sunday, February 28, 2010

Day 30

9 PM

I feel terrible.  I just can't blog today.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Day 29

9 PM

Woke up this morning feeling terrible!  Complete fatigue.  Cough was worse again.

I managed to drag myself out of bed to go run some necessary errands, but I was so tired by the time I got back home I was starting to get worried about what was wrong.

It was the first sunny, warm day we've had in a looong time, so I decided to get some sun thinking maybe my Vit D was low despite taking 8000 IU a day.  Stayed out about 30 min and it did revive me a little, but it didn't last long.

I decided to stop reading the Paleo nutrition blogs and start reading about thyroid since it occured to me that maybe I was so tired because I had suddenly stopped taking nascent iodine a few days ago after reading that it could potentially cause harm to the thyroid gland on one of the websites.  In retrospect, stopping something like that cold turkey isn't the brightest of ideas.  And subsequently, the stuff I read today reconfirmed that it is a good idea to take iodine.  I haven't worked out all the details yet as there is so much to learn in this area, but I did go ahead a take a dose of the iodine about 4 PM just to get some in me rather than waiting to take it on an empty stomach in the morning like I usually do.

I also went ahead and ate some more chocolate in an effort to get the caffiene to stimulate me, which is what it did last night and why I didn't get to sleep until 4 in the morning.  But I didn't care.  I just wanted some energy.

My eating was also messed up today.  I got another burger at about noon while I was out running errands.  On the plus side, I went to Whole Foods after that and found some rice bread that I'm going to try as a substitute hamburger bun.  (I just couldn't get into the lettuce leaf bun concept.)  I plan to keep a couple of slices with me when I'm out so I can switch them out for the wheat buns.  But I'm hoping to get better about getting burgers at home since I buy good quality burger from Whole Foods.

About 2 PM I was really craving baked potato with tons of butter and salt, so instead of the usual coconut milk shake, I heated up the last of the chicken breast, the leftover green beans, and a medium sized red potato.  It weighed out to 185 gms before baking.  It was only later, when I was eating it that it occured to me that it wasn't 185 gms of carbs since there is also water in the potato.  I found online that 150 gms of potato has about 25 gms of carbs in it.  So I figure I ate about 30 gms of carbs.  I now realize I've overestimated the number of carbs in potato that I've eaten before due to that same mistake.  Made me happy.  I didn't feel so guilty about eating that big of a potato.  LOVED all the butter!

By 6:30 PM I was a little hungry so made the rest of the precooked bacon and ate that, but then that just made me hungrier, so I made a coconut milk shake, but I think it had too many fruit carbs in it because I was hungry again in a couple of hours and ate a little more chocolate, which just made me hungrier so I finally made a cheese quesadilla with the last tortilla, goat cheese and jalapenos that I had.  I can tell it's bad to spike my insulin that late in the afternoon/evening as it set me up for the evening munchies.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Day 28 278.8 lbs

One month gone.  Can't believe it.  I remember how scared I was that first day.  I thought the transition was going to be so hard and it turned out to be very easy (thanks to the glutamine).  Too bad the planning, preparing of meals is still so difficult.  I think I won't be celebrating how easy that is until next year!

278.8 lbs.  Wow.  What a number.  I was so happy when I saw that on the scale this morning.  I was truely shocked because even though I had stepped on the scale a couple of times this week and I knew I was dropping (being sick was good for something) I really thought I would have gone back up considering the flour I've eaten in tortillas and hamburger buns this week.  (I know, calories still count and I haven't had a lot of them this week.)  That puts me at down 13 lbs for the month.  I can honestly say that in all these decades of dieting I have only lost 15 or 20 lbs once or twice.  That's how hard it's been for me to stay on a diet.  So this next month is the one that will let me know if I've found something I can stick with.

11 PM

Short summary:  Ate a Hardee's burger on the way into the clinic today about 11:30 AM.  I'm no longer able to finish eating the whole thing when I get these burgers.

About 3 PM (still at the clinic) ate a handful of roasted almonds.  They were old and tasted that way, but it was the only noncarb snack available.

On the way home stopped and got some precooked bacon at the store since it was going on 6 PM and I didn't want to wait to cook raw bacon.  Had 3 fried eggs with it.

But then I got hungry again about 8 PM, I guess because I hadn't had enough calories.  I had 1/3 of a serving of dark chocolate and made a coconut milk shake. 

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Day 27

3 PM

Well, didn't get my wish last night.  Went out again shortly after finishing my post.  And then, at the home, when I was sitting at the kitchen table charting in the computer, there was an open piece of tupperware with several ooey, gooey and iced brownies.

So many thoughts went through my mind about those brownies.  An urge to grab the container and eat them all as fast as possible and wonder that with all those people in the house that there could be any brownies left.  But the detached part of my brain realized that the craving was like a reflex.  There was no power in it. 

No power in it.  But how?  Why?  How could anything that I've done in the last month have changed 48 years of 'habit' so suddenly?  I know that hormonally I'm minimizing insulin so that I'm not getting the blood sugar swings that send my brain into alarm 'eat anything NOW FAST' mode, but still, you would think that a habit would have been formed just from sheer repetition of the behavior over the years.  But then, can 'habits' be changed so suddenly?  I don't have the answer.

On the drive home from that visit, it was after midnight and I was even hungrier than earlier.  I debated on the 40 minute drive back home about whether to stop for fast food somewhere.  Almost anything sounded good.  Pizza.  Milkshake.  Cherry turnover.  Yeah.  I was definately hungry.  That's the only time I've gotten real urges for that kind of food since I've started this.  But then I remembered.  If I don't permanently change the way I eat, I'm going to die.  Heart attack.  Cancer.  Stroke.  Diabetes.  Alzheimer's.  It was a real craving killing thought.  I went home and ate one of the breakfast sausage patties I made earlier in the day.

I woke up this morning completely wiped out.  Still made it to the chiropractor because if I ever want to be able to start to excerise again.  Thank god he is such a great chiropractor.  On the way home it was time to eat so I stopped at Burger King and got one of their thick burgers or whatever they call them.  I've decided I'm not going to sweat the small transgressions.  I'm so far away from being well organized at this.  Plus I just don't have the cooking and planning meal skills to start with.  I have to learn all that as well.  Nothing like starting from ground zero.

Now I'm getting hungry again so I think I'll go eat some sausage and make a coconut shake.  One last night on call and then I'll have some time to try some new recipes.

8:30 PM

Made that shake earlier.  Was hungry so used a whole can of coconut milk and some frozen peaches.

Felt weird for a few hours. (No, I don't think the shake had anything to do with it.)  But my troublesome, right side felt jittery, jumpy.  The only other time I can remember feeling that was two years ago when I herniated a disc and went on narcotics for 10 days.  The day my chiropractor (not the same one) finally figured out how to help me I stopped the meds cold turkey and had a helluva night.  No sleep.  In and out of cold sweats and that weird jumpy, jitteryness.  Now why it came back today I have no idea and it has nothing to do with this blog, but it was so weird I just had to mention it.

About 7 PM I got hungry again, but really didn't have much to eat.  Can't cook because I'm on call.  So I hit upon the brilliant idea of eating one of the Lara Bars I have.  Boy was it good.  But then about 30 minutes later I realized that really, all I'd eaten was a paleo candy bar.  It was amazing how quickly I felt like crap.  I was kind of in awe of my pancrease though and how fast it must have pumped out that insulin to crash my blood sugar that fast.

So I made another cheese quesadilla - lots of fat to buffer the sugar - and felt better.  Since then I've been on the paleo blogs catching up on posts.  I've spent a lot of time reading both the pro and con sides of paleo/primal eating because it is the quickest way to find out the difficulties that might lie ahead, but also because I have read too many stories on the internet over the years of people losing weight on a variety of different diets.  Why?

Maybe the main reason is that there are different oxidizer types genetically - some people naturally digest their food faster than others.  I know for a fact that I'm a fast oxidizer and I bet most successful primal/paleo types are too.  If you digest your food fast, you'll do better on slower digesting foods - protein and fat.

And yet I gave birth to a slow oxidizer.  It was perplexing to me through the years as she grew up how she slowly rejected the foods I fed her when she was growing up.  But then when I joined Jillian Michaels site late last year and took her quiz on oxidizing types, it all made sense.

Then I read a post tonight on Richard Nikoley's site, Free The Animal.  In it, he was responding to some legitimate criticism and ended up talking about the benefits of Real Food.  And I thought he hit the nail on the head.

Humans are omnivores.  We can damn near eat just about anything and survive, just as long as it is a food that isn't too tampered with. (Example, humans do well on milk if it is fermented first the way it used to be done before refrigeration.)  So, because I don't want to become a low carb zealot, mostly because I want to be successful myself but also because I would like to make recommendations to the clinic clients someday (sheesh, how many times can I use 'because' in one sentence?) I'm almost of the mind to change my own label from Primal to Real Food.  Only almost though.  I do think because of my oxidative type I am best suited to a high fat, adequate protein, low carb diet but I couldn't recommend that to my daughter.  She is better suited more towards the vegetarian end of the scale (as long as she doesn't go completely vegan - which she won't).

So I am ready to get over this damn cold and make some new Real Food recipes and get out of this food rut I'm in!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Day 26

1 PM

On the mend, but weak today.  Still going back to work though.  Hopefully it won't be too busy and I can get some sleep tonight.

I felt very depleted this morning.  Too many days without enough calories.  So at 6:30 this morning I heated up some leftover chicken breast from last week, baked a small red potato in the microwave and added some green beans.  I just felt the need for a full meal and that's what I had on hand.  The potato only had 25 grams of carbs in it and I used plenty of butter.  All I want to do today is eat some (good) calories.

At noon I made my usual coconut milk shake only this time I hit upon the brilliant idea of eating a piece of mom's leftover porkloin with it for protein instead of adding some type of protein powder.  (Sometimes I just miss the obvious.)  No need to worry about allergies and it's a lot cheaper than buying the powders.

Now I just wish I could find an allergy website as good as GutSense.org.

10 PM

A little tough this evening.  Had to eat dinner early - 3:30 PM - since I never know what time I'll have to go out when I go on call.  But then, of course I was hungry later and maybe I shouldn't be trying to go back to intermittent fasting already, but I really like how I feel when I'm doing it.

And then I was coughing so much and so hard that I had a couple of throat losenges because I didn't have any cough drops, but that was the closest thing to candy I've had in a month and it stirred some cravings.

Anyway, hope I'm done with visits for the night.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Day 25

Another day of being sick.  I'm sick of being sick.  My head hurts.  My eyes hurt.  Oh well, enough whining.

The one good thing to come out of this is the effect it has had on the rash on my legs.  After 2 days of not eating very much, the rash is 80 - 90% healed.  I can't friggin believe it.  After over a year of this constant, aggravating, incurable rash that has caused me to go through one billion tubes of hydrocortisone cream, not to mention one billion other natural remedies I tried in an effort to cure it, has practically disappeared just because I stopped eating.  Arrrrrrgh!

But at least now I know 100 percent what is causing it.  I know it isn't gone for good because I am eating again and I have the terrible suspision that eating eggs is contributing to it and I don't know how I'm going to get by if I have to give up eggs for a while.

11PM

I've been sick for too many days and am running out of food.  Woke up hungry today so made 3 fried eggs with the last 2 pieces of sausage I made last week.  Round about 1 PM ate a piece of pork loin my mom made.  Mmmmm.  It was good because I didn't have to cook it.  Had a coconut milk shake around 4 PM then was hungry at 8 PM so made another quesadilla like yesterday.  It's tough to stay strictly primal when it's been 4 days now since I've been able to cook anything.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Day 24

2 PM

Called in sick today, because god knows I am sick.  I would like to cut this itching nose off of my face.

However.... I have not taken any medicine and I'm very proud of this.  Nothing extra that my liver will just have to detoxify.  And I can't tell any difference.  I feel no better or worse than when I do take medicine.

Another thing.  For the first time in my life I can be sick and not have to eat.  It feels so incredibly good just to give everything a rest.  I've always wanted to be able to do this, but in the past hunger always drove me to eat even though I knew what my body really needed was a break from digesting in order to concentrate on healing.  Now, thanks to going Primal, I can do that.

I do wonder though if part of the reason I got sick was because I stopped taking fish oil a couple of weeks ago in case it might be causing the rash on my legs.  It didn't work, but I didn't add it back in as I was still taking things out.  However, now I have found the site Gut Sense and have read enough about it today that I feel confident that by following this doctor's program I will solve my eczema/rash problem as well as others.

I especially like that he mentions how people who start a low carb/low fiber diet often can't stick with it due to constipation and other problems that occur.  And the fact that I have continued to have constipation since I started eating primal has surprised me especially considering all the fat I've been eating.  I thought the fat would fix it.  Now I know why it hasn't.  I also appreciate all the information he gives on why fiber is not good for us. 

And another piece of the puzzle clicks into place ......

Later that night .....

About 5 PM I drank a shake of coconut milk blended with frozen strawberries, but I think it was too much all at once and spiked my insulin because I was craving carbs a few hours later.  I did cave and make a cheese quesadilla with a low carb tortilla, cheddar cheese and jalapeno peppers.  Not too awfully bad though and the jalapenos sure helped to open up my sinuses. :-)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Day 23

Another short post.  Getting sicker.  I stopped and got a Wendy's Baconater on the way home from a visit.  Just didn't have the energy for anything else.  Later on I made a shake with coconut milk, vanilla, and frozen strawberries.  It was good.  Damn cold.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Day 22

Just a short post as it is late.  I woke up with a chest cold this morning.  Also working hospice so eating was erractic as well as I just wasn't that hungry.  I finally fixed 3 scrambled eggs and some bacon about 1:30 PM then didn't get a chance to eat again until 9:30 PM when I made a shake out of 1/2 can of coconut milk, frozen sweet cherries and a little vanilla flavoring.  It was good.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Day 21 283 lbs

Well, very happy to see the scale drop another 2 lbs. I think the 17 hours or so of fasting a day that I've been doing are making a big difference. There really isn't much hunger or side effects such as weakness or dizziness. If I've had any, it's been fleeting and pass before I get around to taking any glutamine under the tongue. I love thinking that my body is burning stored fat for all those hours and really, it doesn't seem like I'm fasting at all since there is very little hunger during those 'munching' hours after dinner and bed and then in the morning, it's easy to stay busy until noon - something I did often anyway.

I tried something different with the protein shake today. I eliminated any protein powder (so I guess I can't really call it a protein shake anymore) and just used a whole can of coconut milk, some frozen peaches and a few ice cubes. It was ok, but came out kind of watery. Too many ice cubes and I think the peaches are pretty tasteless. I sure wish I had some more of those local, organic ones.

Anyway, it was definately fixable, but the reason I needed to change it in the first place is that I had a horrible night's sleep last night. Mostly owing to the fact that I was stupid and had the chocolate about 7 PM. I know how even a little bit of chocolate/caffeine affects my brain and sure enough, it was 'excited' for lack of a better way of putting it and there was no restfullness in what little sleep I did get. But the other factor was the stuffy nose I had which I feel sure is probably due to the whey protein powder. I've had issues with that in the past. I was just hoping it might be different this time. But a stuffy nose for me is a serious issue as I clench my teeth at night so if I can't breathe through my nose then I don't get a lot of oxygen.

I had felt compelled to use the protein powder however, in order to keep my protein levels up, but after reading over Peter's blog, Hyperlipid, I decided not to worry about it for just now and see how I feel.

I know my diet is very monotonous right now - burger, shake, bacon and eggs - but my previous fast food diet was pretty monotonous as well. But right now I need something quick and easy to fall back on as I try out new recipes. I mean ideally, I wouldn't have just jumped into this cold turkey. I would have taken a few months and found enough recipes I liked instead of doing what I'm doing now which is scrambling around after the fact. But c'est la vie. I'm muddling my way through.

I have noticed continued improvement in my inflammation levels as I've dropped the nightshades out of my diet. (I have mentioned that in a prior post right? I need to review what I've written before because I have trouble remembering if I've posted something or if I just thought about posting something. ) The aches in the big joint of my thumbs are considerably diminished. I'm going to try to eliminate all dairy now to see if that helps even more and especially if it helps my leg rash. It's still flaring up. God knows what's causing it. I don't have much left to eliminate at this point.

I'm still taking the glutamine and systemic enzymes on an empty stomach everyday hoping to speed up the healing of my gut lining. I had to stop taking the glutamine at night though as it does stimulate the brain and it was making it hard for me to sleep.

So, to finish, first meal was a hamburger with bacon, mayonnaise and some provolone cheese that I still had hanging around in the fridge with romaine lettuce leaves for the bun. It's very messy. I ate some more of the coconut/lemon custard, which I'm getting close to finishing. Then I had the coconut milk/peach drink. I'm back to work today so wasn't home for dinner and didn't get any eggs, but I did take some bacon in the car with me and ate that so I think I got most of my calories in for today anyway. And I wasn't hungry this evening so not getting the eggs didn't matter.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Day 20

9 PM

Started my day off with a trip to the chiropractor. He put me in neck traction for the first time today, but other than that, he likes to tug on my right leg a lot. (That's supposed to be funny, even if it is true. All of my problems are on my right side.)

Today it struck me how quickly I'm improving with the treatments. My neck and upper back are sooo much better and so is my lower back and ankle. Only that right knee is acting up, but wow, what a difference 2 weeks make. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Pretty soon I'll be able to start primal exercise for real.

Otherwise, it was another cooking day for me. I attempted onion rings with an egg and almond flour coating. It came out way too thick and they cooked too fast and needed some salt. Thankfully I only did three. But with most of the breading broken off, they tasted pretty good on my burger (which also included some bacon and my homemade mayonnaise on a romain lettuce leaf. Other than the fact that I put too much mayo on, it was pretty good.

While I was cooking the onion rings and burger, in an effort to get more calories in since it was already after 1 PM and I hadn't broken the fast yet, I ate a little of the dark chocolate and more of my coconut/lemon custard concoction. It still tastes pretty good, but is getting on the watery side.

What I noticed today though was how my hunger seems to be adapting to the eating window I've set for myself. Even though it was about 2 PM by the time I ate the burger, by 4 PM I had at least gotton over that 'I'm not hungry' feeling enough to drink the protein shake. And by 5:30 PM I was at the point where I could eat my bacon and eggs. Which made me very happy to get it eaten so early since I've have still been feeling very stuffed after eating the eggs at 7 PM even when I stay up to midnight and beyond. Tonight I feel much better. I even ate a little bit more chocolate just before my cutoff time (7 PM).

I really haven't added up the calories for what I eat in a day. Mainly because I just don't know how to calculate how much fat to account for when I pan fry the foods. Since I am hoping to avoid weighing and measuring I'm just going on instinct and how I feel for now. If that doesn't work for me then I'll adjust. However, I happen to know that the weight loss has continued as I sneaked onto the scale this morning, but I won't post until my 'official' weekly weigh-in day tomorrow.

Today was the end of my 3 week vacation. Tomorrow is back to work. I am just amazed at how different this 3 week vacation has been compared to the one I took at this time last year in order to start the Paleo diet. That was 3 weeks of frustration and total failure. Low fat just absolutely did not work for me. This time has also had it's share of frustration and failure, but there's also been huge successes. Not the least of which is that now food no longer controls me. To have that monkey off my back it worth it's weight in gold!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Day 19

11 PM



First food today was at 1 PM, due to appointments. I had a completely conventional burger at Ralley's. Yes I ate the bun, however I really wished I had an alternative because I didn't truly want it. Even with it in my hand, tasting it, I had no cravings for the bread.



So why not just take the bread off? Well, I was driving because I was already late for a meeting and it was an extra juicy burger so very messy. However, after the meeting I went to Whole Foods to pick up the case of coconut milk that I had ordered and also bought a head of romaine lettuce. For some reason I can now think of eating a hamburger that way, sans bun, at it seems perfectly acceptable. Two days ago I just couldn't bear the thought. Go figure.



Didn't get home till 4 PM so in an attempt to get some more calories in I ate a bunch of spoonfuls of my (now refrigerated) coconut custard souffle. It was pretty good today. Then I had 2 squares of the 85% organic dark chocolate bar that I bought. (One serving was 12 squares, so 2 squares was just one bite size.) Here again, neither of these two sweet treats set off any cravings. No compulsive need to eat as much as I can as fast as possible. How is that possible? (My thoughts on that in a minute.)



While I was eating the custard and chocolate I was making my protein smoothie. I tried out a new protein powder (EAS) because it was way cheaper than the Jay Robb I'd been buying. It tasted ok. Definately palatable, but it wasn't as creamy and it had a lot more air in it after blending.



So by the time I finished drinking the smoothie it was going on 5 PM. I knew I wouldn't be hungry again before 7 PM, but I didn't want a repeat of last night when I didn't eat the eggs and I fought hunger for the rest of the evening. So I went ahead and made the eggs - in fact I made 3 of them - along with about 3 slices of bacon and it wasn't hard to eat it. (When is bacon ever hard to eat?)



Only thing was I messed the eggs up. I was cooking them in a cast iron skillet, which I'm still learning how to use, so I tried to cook them without flipping them and the egg white just turned to rubber so I didn't eat much of it. Once more, just the cooking part is the most difficult part of this whole thing. (By the way, I found a lower sodium bacon at Whole Foods - their 365 brand. I'm going to cook it up tomorrow to see how it is. I do get tired of the high salt taste of the bacon. A little less wouldn't hurt anything.)



So, why no compulsive eating? Well I now know it's because my brain is getting the fuel it needs so it isn't sending any desperate eating signals. But that leads me into the topic of sugar addiction. I was just reading about this over at the Hyperlipid blog. I have long been of the opinion that sugar addiction is real. God knows it has been for me. I've been a sugar addict for as long as I can remember (which is back to 5 years old). As an adult, I tried everything diet out there and never had any success. It was impossible for me to stay on most of those diets fsor a whole day let alone long enough to lose any weight. It drove me mad that I couldn't even say a diet didn't work for me because I was never on one long enough!



Fast forward to now. In comparison, this Primal diet (way of eating) has been child's play. "Why?" I ask myself. Well, here's the deal. Because I used the glutamine whenever I got that 'I don't feel so good' feeling. It gave my brain the fuel it needed so it didn't escalate the signals to eat something and fast! No one can win against that survival instinct. Well, at least I hadn't been able to.



So is sugar addicting? Was I a sugar addict? My answer is now no. It was just to easy to stop. I haven't had to break any so called habits. Except for the damn club crackers showdown, I haven't had any cravings to fight off. How could 40 some years of an addiction be ended by just a little glutamine? I don't think it can. It wasn't an addiction. It was my brain wanting fuel. The glutamine gave my brain what it wanted so my brain stopped sending the signal to eat carbs.



But that's how it played out in my physiology. Not everyone who is overeating carbs is atracted to the sweet carbs. Others are more into bread and pasta. Some are alcoholics? Will glutamine work as well for others? I don't know, but what could it hurt to try?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Day 18

7:30 PM

It's been another mixed day. Well, I guess just emotionally as it wasn't a good day at home. But other than that . . .

I did some experimental cooking today. I tried again to make some hamburger buns. They came out a lot like drop biscuits, but the coconut taste was so strong from the flour that it completely overwhelmed the hamburger. So, back to the drawing board. I'm thinking of adding some cauliflower mash to the next try to give it some more substance (not so crumbly) and to let me cut down on the flour. Only this time I will use the almond flour.

I also made mayonaise Mary Eades style, which is more like Miracle Whip. It actually came out pretty good, only next time I would only add 1/2 packet of Truvia.

Then I tried to make a coconut-lemon custard which came out too thin, so I tried to add more Xanthum Gum to thicken it, but I guess I didn't add enough because it never did get as thick as I wanted it. Then I decided to add the whipped egg whites to make it more of a soufle texture, but I think it was too many. So then I tried to freeze it, but the unfrozen part tasted better than the frozen part, so I put it back in the refrigerator.

Changing the way you make all of your foods is definately challenging. And it isn't that I want to make a lot of 'fake' primal foods. But I do really want a hamburger bun.

So I had the bacon cheeseburger at noon, then a protein shake at 3:30 PM. After that I snacked on too many pieces of bacon so never did make any eggs.

In my defense, I hurt a lot today - my right leg, knee, foot, hip - from the chiropractor and personal trainer tugging on it yesterday and from the foot and leg exercises I did last night. (Yes, I did them.) It's feeling a little better tonight, but I will skip the exercises tonight and then try again tomorrow.

So, I'm glad I'm doing this blog because it reminds me that I've had discouraging days before and survived. (Even though once again tomorrow, I'm not going to have anything prepared to take with me since my buns didn't turn out. Oh well. I'll try the buns again on Thursday.)

To end on a more positive note, one of the most amazing things about this way of eating is how I don't crave junk food. I can honestly say that has never happened before. No plotting trips to Walgreens for candy. No trips to fast food for a whole bag full of food that still wouldn't fill me up. Better living through chemistry - body chemistry that is. Amazing how things just work when you give your body what it needs.

Oh, one last thing, I think I've finally satisfied my fat tooth. For the first time today I felt there was too much fat in my food. But that's ok. This whole time I've been listening to my intuition about what I wanted to eat. I figured I was just low on fat and once my body got what it needed then I wouldn't want it as much anymore and that is apparently what is happening.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Day 17

7:30 PM

It blows my mind that today is day 17 already. Those first few days seemed like they went on forever and now they are back to flying by. But I take that as a good sign. Primal living is fitting in well with my day to day life. (Not that I've lived my day to day life yet as I'm still on vacation, but it still counts.)

Well, as I thought, I ended up going to Burger King for a burger at noon. Not that I really had any other choice since I didn't have anything prepared. But after I finish this post I'm going to line up the recipes and make a list for the things I want to make tomorrow. The Oopsie Rolls are definately on the list as well as making and freezing the hamburger I bought. I'm seriously thinking about getting a deep fryer so I can make onion rings, amoung other things. I think I could make some onion rings big enough that I wouldn't need a bun for the burgers. I could just use 2 big onion rings as buns.

I went back to the chiropractor for my second adjustment today. He started working on my legs, ankles and feet, trying to get them back in balance. Of course at this point, I just go right out of balance again, but progress is being made. He did confirm that just by me walking right now, I am just reinforcing all of the distortions. I will need time as well as some strategic strength training to get everything to stay in place.

Then I was finally able to talk to a friend of my sister who is a personal trainer and he said all the same things my chiropractor said without even knowing about him. That definately made me feel like I was on the right track. Also he gave me some different exercises to do than what the chiropractor had given me. (Which I need to start tonight as he said it will take night after night persistance for a few months to get my hips, thighs, knees, ankles and feet strengthened again. I've been a couch potato for so long that all those areas have lost tone and no longer hold me upright. Anyway, I'd better do them before I get caught up in recipes. I'll let you know if I'm bad and don't do them.)

After lunch I had several clients at the clinic so didn't get to eat again until I got home at 5 PM. Thank goodness for quick protein shakes. Then I was worried that I wouldn't be hungry again soon enough to get in another meal by 7 PM. Surprisingly, I was hungry pretty quickley but it was 7 when I finally sat down to eat after getting the bacon cooked. Yup, had fried eggs and bacon again. I guess I've found a good combination of nutrients with the burger, shake and bacon/eggs because I haven't grown tired of it yet.

Speaking of the protein shake, I've been using Jay Robb's egg protein powder because I'm leary of using the whey protein until my leaky gut is healed. Then again, I feel the same way about the egg protein. However, the egg protein is pretty expensive. $20 for 10 servings, except I realized tonight I was using 2 scoops which equals 2 servings so that one container will only last 5 days at that rate. Although, if I put it in perspective, I was getting fast food anywhere from 1 to 3 times a day for pretty much $10 per meal so even if I keep using 2 scoops each day, that is still only $4 per meal - less than half of what I was spending on fast food. (There, I just made myself feel better.)

In other news, I'm still liking doing the 17 hour fasts each day. It hasn't been hard at all and I like the way I feel. Lighter and healthier. Still having trouble falling asleep at night (it was almost 2 AM last night) but I think that's from taking the glutamine so late. It says it's better to take it on an empty stomach but I may have to take it at 9 PM before I feel like I'll have completely digested dinner just so's I can maybe fall asleep by midnight.

Just as a side note, but to me it looked like the circles under my eyes had improved a lot, but it's too soon to say before. I've been tricked by my own wishful thinking in the past.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Day 16

9 PM

Easy, but interesting day today. I had a little trouble getting to sleep and then woke up for a couple of hours at 5 AM. I was hungry and was looking at recipes while I was awake, but it wasn't a desperate hunger. In fact it felt kinda good to have an appetite like that.

But then I fell back to sleep and slept until 11 AM. So half the day was gone and I didn't get to find out how hard it would be during those last few hours of the fast.

I was tired of the turkey burger and the 'pancake' buns I'd made, but I did add some bacon to the burger which helped out a lot.

I made it out to Drug Emporium and Whole Foods for more supplies. The Jay Robb Egg Protein Powder was $7 a can cheaper than it was at Whole Foods. I'm glad I found that place. Found out I can get beef fat at Whole Foods whenever I want it. I just need to call a couple of days ahead to give them some lead time. They just throw it away. They'll also sell me some ground pork so I can put in my own seasonings since I don't like theirs.

The odd thing about today is by 3PM my body was aching - like I had the flu. All my long bones ache like my immune system has kicked in. I don't know if it is coincidence or if the fasting really did release more fat from the cells. Enough so that more stored 'gunk' was released into my blood stream and set off an immune or detox type of response. Weird though. Wish I knew for sure what was causing it.

Other than that, like I said, it was an easy day. I had another yummy Peach Protein shake, except I used some frozen peaches that I got at Whole Foods and they weren't as good as the locally grown ones I had. I wish I could get some more, but they sold out.

The shake kept me so full, I debated not eating again, but decided not to push things this early in intermittent fasting. I had my usual fried eggs with the few bits of bacon that were left from yesterday as well as 2 pieces of sausage. I barely got it eaten before 7 PM. It's now 2 1/2 hours later and I am, as usual, 'unhungry'. Thanks goodness for those magic eggs.

I have a busy day tomorrow and nothing prepared. Don't know what I'll do, but I'll probably get a burger and just try to be more prepared next time. I found some great recipes for paleo buns that I plan to make on Tuesay. I can freeze these so I can make extra and then take a couple out with me to sub out for the regular hamburger buns. That would take care of what to eat when away from home when I haven't made anything.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Day 15

10 AM

I am so ecstatically happy, elated, overjoyed at the moment that I even made up a little ditty that I'm singing to myself:

"I'ma lose weight. I'ma lose weight. Woo woo woo woo I'ma lose weight. Ooooooh yeah!"

Ok, so I'm crazy. I don't care. I'm so happy and since there isn't one single person that I know that I could call at this moment that would understand and/or believe me, I will just have to say it in my blog. Thank god I have this blog.

So what happened one might ask? Nothing out of the ordinary. It's just that last night and this morning I got to Chapters 22 & 23 in Gary Taubes' book, 'Good Calories, Bad Calories', on how fat and carbohydrate metabolism works. (Well, actually, info on fat and carboydrate metabolism is spread throughout the book, but the info in these two chapters in particular really got to me.)

Then, at some point while reading Taubes last night, it triggered a need for more info on intermitten fasting so I was on the web reading posts on intermittent fasting on three of the Paleo/Primal blogs I follow. Then it struck me that not only would intermittent fasting help with weight loss, improve health, possibly help with living longer, that it would also more than likely speed up the process of healing my leaky gut! Win win win win win!

So, without going into a lot of detail on intermittent fasting (IF) which is explained better elsewhere, I decided to give it a go today. My plan is to eat only lunch and dinner with lunch being the super-delicious turkey pancake burger and dinner is to be two fried eggs with sausage and/or bacon. I chose the burger for lunch as it is such a big burger (1/3 lb) that it keeps me full for a long time and I chose the eggs for dinner as it isn't such a big meal but my experience with eggs since going Primal (fried eggs in particular) is that they leave me satiated almost to the point of slight nausea. A good thing when one is considering not eating after 6 or 7 PM.

But what really made me ecstatic this morning was when I attempted to put my plan of IF into action, I found myself hungry, stomach growling and feeling a little light headed before 9 AM. The solution? Why glutamine under the tongue of course! It worked for me in the beginning of going Primal to get my brain through the transition. Why not use it for those same symptoms when IFing.

And it worked beautifully! And then the clouds parted and the sun shined as I realized what that meant.

  1. I would be successful at losing weight.
  2. I wouldn't have to worry about how much eating Primal would cost me since I could get by on less expensive meats (ground meats) as well as not needing a lot of vegetables (but I haven't talked about that yet).
  3. I wouldn't have to spend so damn much time planning, cooking, preparing food for when I work hospice. If I'm out for 20 hours making visits and I don't have any food, no worries as long as I have some glutamine with me.
  4. It would simplify my life tremendously!

11 PM

It's been a great day. I had my turkey pancake burger at noon. (Although I have to admit that the warmed up leftover paleo pancakes weren't as good as the freshly made ones yesterday.) It wasn't quite as delicious as yesterday and actually somewhat bigger than I wanted to eat. But I did realize that I could add bacon to it or, if I got really ambitious, paleo onion rings.

By 3:30 PM I was getting a little hungry so I made another peach protein shake and this was definately just as delicious as it was yesterday. Unfortunately, I used the last of my locally grown peaches. Will just have to make do on organic frozen if I can find them.

At 5:30 PM I went downstairs to fry up some bacon and eggs. It took a while to fry the whole package of bacon so it was 6:15 PM before I sat down to eat. (Don't ask how many slices of bacon I ate - although it wasn't the whole package.)

So that was it. It was all very tasty and filling and satisfying. And once again about 1-2 hours after eating the eggs I was so un-hungry it was ridiculous. I just read about that today in Taubes' book about how it is possible for the body to actively suppress the appetite. For whatever reason, the fried eggs sure do it for me. That's why I thought it would be the perfect meal to have at the end of the day to try to circumvent all those night time cravings. Worked like a charm tonight.

I also decided after doing some further reading today, to do 5 grams of glutamine first thing in the morning and last thing at night. Add to the list of benefits that it can increase growth hormone production especially when taken before bed. I'm still really excited about all the tweaks I have learned in the last two days. They are making my life immensely easier.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Day 14 285.0 lbs

8:30 AM

Today is the end of week 2 and my weight is basically unchanged from this time last week. Not that I'm surprised considering the difficulties I've had this past week, but it's onward and upward.

I'm actually really upbeat this morning. Last night I ran across a couple of new blogs and in one (Feasting on Fitness) I found a recipe for some nut flour bread that I'm definately going to make today because I've really missed hamburgers and haven't been able to wrap my mind around eating them without the bun. Now maybe I don't have too. I don't need much of a bun. Just something to let me pick up the burger and hold it and I'll be happy. So we'll see how it goes. Next stop - maybe a tortilla?!

Then on another blog (Primal Wisdom) I read an article on how he usually just eats 2 meals a day - breakfast, dinner - within a 6 to 8 hour window and then fasts the rest of the time. This really appeals to me because the few meals I have to worry about, the happier I'll be. I wonder if I can become an airtarian? NO COOKING!

3 PM

I just ate the most delicious hamburger of my life! I ended up making a basic paleo pancake recipe and using 2 for the bun. The burger was high fat turkey burger mixed with a can of green chilis fried in bacon grease. That, plus some raw goat cheddar cheese and a little bit of organic ketchup and I was in cheese burger heaven!!

Pancake recipe (modified to make it savory): 1/2 cup almond flour, 1/2 cup coconut flour, 2 eggs, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp onion powder, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1/4 tsp cream of tartar. Mix together and add enough water to make it pancake batter consistency. Melt bacon grease in a cast iron skillet and procede to cook just like a pancake.

This was enough to make six bun-size pancakes (so enough for 3 burgers). They were greasy, a little crunchy around the edges and just savory enough. Had kind of a cornmeal texture and were a little crumbly, but oh so delicious so that even if I never tried to tweak the recipe it they would be ok.

Some tweaks I would like to try is to use less almond flour (although 1/2 cup spread out over 3 burgers is only 1/8th of a cup per burger) and not quite so crumbly. I would like to see if I can add some cauliflower mash to cut down on the flour more. I don't see why not. In fact, now that I think about it, why not try making a cauliflower pancake or a zuccinni pancake just like you would a potato pancake? Yummm. Making my mouthwater just thinking about it.

10 PM

What a difference a day makes. Today, hunger-wise, was a completely different experience from yesterday. (Or maybe I should say cravings-wise.)

After eating my extra delicious turkey pancake burger, I had no hunger or cravings until 7:30 PM at which time I made a protein shake with 1/2 can coconut milk, egg protein powder, and a frozen locally grown peach. It was by far the best tasting protein shake I have yet made. And it wasn't particularly peachy tasting, but there was something about the way the peach and the coconut complimented each other. . . . I could have one of those everyday and not grow tired of it.

So my faith in myself is restored and I can have it all again tomorrow. Oh happy day!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Day 13

10 PM

Well, my post about the Club Crackers was a jinx. Between last night and now, I have eaten the 3/4 of a package that was left in the box.

It's been a tough food day. I got tired of cooking and tired of experimenting so tried to get by on very little. I had 2 sausages for breakfast, but by the time I got home from the chiropractor's, I was hungry and wanting something different so I made a chicken quesadilla. Only non primal thing was the tortilla, but it got me through - I hoped.

Afterwards I was still craving though so I ended up mixing some cream cheese, sour cream and stevia for a little 'cheesecake'. Got hungry again later so I made a smoothie, then got hungry again after that (about 8:30 PM) so made another one.

I feel stable again now and I know my problem is that I'm not making balanced meals and I'm trying to get by on just a little here and there. But I didn't expect this to be easy. I hoped it would be easy, but I didn't expect it. I know a year from now I will still be working at this, but I am looking forward to being a year into this because I know by then I will have worked through a lot of the hurdles. Sigh.

I did finally get to the chiropractor today and we spent quite a bit of time going over my xrays. I can't believe how twisted and torqued my spine is. No wonder I can't do anything without making the pain worse. I really like this chiropractor though. He doesn't just put me on the table and do the same adjustment everytime. His adjustments are strategic and he spends time teaching me how to stand differently and what exercises to do. I have a lot of confidence that he can help me repair a lot of this damage.

Well, tomorrow is another day. I'll put this one behind me and keep slogging on.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Day 12

8PM

It's been an oddly gratifying yet frustrating day.

I woke up kinda late and wasn't hungry so didn't eat breakfast. At noon, I took the 3 (humongous) chicken breasts that I had marinating in buttermilk all night and attempted to fry them.

Since my cast iron skillet was small and the chicken breasts were so large, I could only fry one at a time, which was ok as I've never fried chicken in my life and I didn't want to ruin all three of them. One I used almond flour, the next I used coconut flour and the third I used a mixture of both. I thought I was going to be able to report that both all three were equally good and they all tasted normal. Then I strained the oil I used and found out that basically all the seasonings and flour that I put on the chicken ended up on the bottom of the cast iron skillet.

Bottom line: I spent 3 hours cooking and cleaning up for 3 chicken breasts when it would have been the same to have just roasted them. (Which is what I half did anyway as they didn't cook to a high enough temp and I had to finish them in the oven.)

Oh well. Live and learn. I'm just glad I had my day totally free to mess around with this. It's just frustrating that nothing I've tried to cook since starting Primal has turned out that great. Who knew cooking without carbs was so difficult?

Then there was dinner. I couldn't wait to make some Jalapeno Bacon Thingies ever since I found the recipe on The Pioneer Woman the other night. And once again, they turned out ok, but nothing to brag about. Sooner or later something is going to turn out great.



Some other things I keep meaning to talk about: the rash on my legs and leaky gut syndrome and exercise. All of these things I have to deal with and are causing me to go slower than I might otherwise have.

For example, I had lots of energy today. Got tons of things done and I wish exercise could have been one of them, but because my posture, spine, muscles are all out of kilter, any type of exercise exacerbates everything. I'm trying to work with a chiropractor to get things back on an even keel, but the weather has kept me from seeing him. I have found some exercises I can do for my back on line, but haven't found the time to start them. I have put it on my list for tomorrow .........

I've finally accepted that the rash on my legs is from leaky gut. I've been very surprised how much inflammation I still have in my joints despite having no grain or sugar and very little dairy. I can only conclude that leaky gut is letting in undigested particles of even the good food that my body is seeing as the enemy. I need to take some time and organize my gut healing program. I have it in bits and pieces but I need to hit it hard for the next 3 months and get this healed.

I'm already doing enzymes, both digestive and systemic. I'm taking probiotics, but I have a second kind that I should also take. I have colostrum, but I need to take it twice a day and on a regular basis. I learned yesterday that I should be taking glutamine 3 times a day for leaky gut as well as aloe vera (both of which I have). And I need to do the transdermal magnesium a lot more often than I have been as well as the infrared sauna.

Soooo much to learn, do and cooordinate. And time is just flying.

To end on a positive note however, I did go to Walmart today and was still so surprised at how easy it was to totally ignore all the junk food. There were some, what I would call, reflex craving twinges, but they really were only a reflex. I did not want to eat any of it. No problem at all just passing it by. As a matter of fact, I've had a box of club crackers laying on the floor by my bed this whole time and while it has crossed my mind to eat some, it hasn't been hard to resist the urge. And how bad could it be considering I haven't picked them up and thrown them away yet?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Day 11

2 PM

Having a great day. Plenty of food in the house and plenty of delicious looking recipes to try in the pipe. My car is stuck in the driveway from the snow so I can't go anywhere. So I've spent the day reading Primal and eating Primal.

For breakfast I fried 2 eggs in bacon grease and heated up two of the sausages I made last night. Not sure how many calories that worked out to, but if I do a quick calculation in my head .... I'd say no more than 500 calories. Same amount as one of my usual 'diet' meals only completely and totally and utterly satiating. I just can't get over not feeling hungry. I've spent most of my life hungry it seems, no matter how many thousands of calories I would consume on a massive fast food meal. Now I can do it on a mere 500 calories. Freedom!

For lunch I did manage to salvage the crockpot beefalo cube steak I made last week. Per The Pioneer Woman recipe, I carmelized some onions and then sauteed the leftover cube steak in some butter, Lawry's salt, worchestershire sauce and a few dashes of hot sauce. I'm definately having trouble with using too much fat and salt, but the food was still way more palatable that way than it was fresh out of the crock pot. I'm sure I'll quickly learn how to moderate both the fat and the salt. Just need more experience.

I have bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts soaking in buttermilk. Not sure if I'll make that today or tomorrow, but I'm looking forward to it. The chicken is generic store brand, not organic but I don't want to ruin good chicken until I know how to make the recipe. (Lesson learned.) I want to make the stuffed jalapeno thingys but can't get to the store. Dang it. Hopefully tomorrow.

On a side note, I shot off an email to Mark at Mark's Daily Apple to pass a recipe and a link onto him and I even specified that he didn't have to take time to answer, but he sent a short reply anyway. I guess what still boggles my mind is how we can now communicate with the authors of the books we read. After all the years and all the thousands of books that I've read on diet and never having a way to contact them (it actually didn't occur to me back then because it couldn't be done) and now I can send an email and get a reply back the same day (or same hour!). How cool is that?

Monday, February 8, 2010

Day 10 283.8 lbs

Just had to weigh myself this morning after 2 days of forced intermittent fasting. I was quite pleased. Had another surprise this morning as well. An unexpected snow storm that dumped about 5 inches of thick, heavy, slushy snow.

And me, without any food in the house. So I did what any cavewoman would do. I went out and braved the weather, walked to the grocery store, and brought home the bacon - literally. I can't say how treacherous that snow was. Sooo much more slippery than normal snow. The store was only about 4 blocks away, but I was worn out by the time I got there. Every step was - step, slide ... step, slide. I traveled twice as far as I needed to because of it.

I brought along my big leather backpack to put the groceries in and then started the long slog back home. I was very trepidatious because it was mostly downhill and I couldn't see how I could do it without ending up on my butt. Then I was saved! A nice young man in a truck with snow chains offered me a ride. (Only in a snow storm is it ok to get into a truck with a man you don't know.)

He drove me to my driveway and after he drove off and I took one step onto the sloping driveway I knew I had been right. I immediately did a split and went down into the slush. Since there was no question of being able to stand up on a slope in that stuff, I just crawled down the rest of the way on my knees. Good thing no one was outside to see.

But I returned home triumphant with lots of bacon, sausage, chicken for frying and ground turkey for southwestern turkey burgers. No, none of it was organic, but beggars can't be choosers in a snow storm.

After recuperating, I fried up all of the bacon and sausage. Dinner was eaten by napping the first two batches of bacon. Yumm! But the best part is I now have bacon grease for frying my Southern Fried Buttermilk Chicken tomorrow. Life just doesn't get any better. Except ....

I Googled what to do with bacon grease since I didn't know and discovered a world of goodness. Suddenly vegetables sound good. Well, anything sounds good if you can fry it in bacon grease. Now I'm back to being excited about eating Primal again. It just keeps getting better and better.

In other news, my body feels completely transitioned now. No real cravings for carbs - except for fleeting twitches when I see a recipe as I'm searching for Primal ones. No need for the glutamine. So glad now that I bought the small bottle.

Oh, and before I forget, breakfast this morning was the last hard boiled egg that I made last Thursday and more of the leftover meatloaf. For lunch, I did my first experiment with making a chocolate protein smootie. I added a little too much chocolate and it was very thin, but still drinkable. Lots of room for improvement. I have to say though that the coconut milk wasn't as tasty with the chocolate as it is with the fruit.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Day 9

Woo hoo! Slept 9 hours last night! (Thank you for no hospice calls last night.)

I tried a new breakfast this morning that I had dreamed up. I didn't get a picture, because it was pretty messy. I'll have to try again to get it right before I take a picture, but I had some round slices of breakfast ham and I thought, "Why not use them as 'bread' and put 2 poached eggs in between them for a kind of Paleo Egg McMuffin?"

The ham part turned out fine. I heated them in the microwave and then put on a slice of provolone cheese that I had (since I haven't had much cheese this week and I was feeling 'cheesy' this morning). I tried poaching the eggs, which almost worked, but I didn't poach them long enough and one of the yolks hadn't set and then the egg whites stuck to the pan so it fell apart when I tried to take them out. So it turned out very drippy, but it was really good. Definately will keep trying until I perfect it.


9 PM

Feeling pretty good at the moment. I'm now officially back on vacation. Yippee!

Today was another busy hospice day. No time to eat between breakfast at 8 AM and when I got home tonight at 7:30PM. But here's the thing. Even though I went almost 12 hours without eating and I was hungry and would have liked to eat, I didn't have to eat. And yeah, I thought wistfully on the way home about how nice it would be to pick up fast food, but it wasn't a serious thought. I absolutely had a choice. There was no compulsion to eat fast food and junk. It is mind boggling at how 40 some years of 'habits' can be switched off in a week. Habits my ass. It's physiology baby.

Out of curiosity, I took my blood sugar before I made a smoothie for dinner tonight. I've been taking my blood sugar off and on since 2006. Ever since I found out I was borderline diabetic. I've never had my fasting blood sugar in the normal range in all that time. Tonight it was 86. Wow. I knew it would come down once I cut out the carbs. In fact I was so sure I stopped taking my Metformin 2 days ago, but still, it was great to see proof. Tomorrow I'll take my blood pressure and see how that is doing.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Day 8

Had a busy day with hospice today. Didn't get to eat breakfast until 10 AM and then all I had with me was a hard boiled egg. (Actually, I had a piece of sausage from Whole Foods with me as well. Thought I'd give it another shot, but no, don't like it.)

I didn't get home to get lunch until 2 PM. I made my Pina Colada Smoothie (vanilla protein powder, coconut milk, frozen pineapple). Yummm.

Then no time for dinner after that until 8:30 PM. No time for anything fancy. I heated up a big plate of the meatloaf. Almost too much. Next time (which will probably be tonight as I have nothing else prepared) I'll put on less. I'll have time to add a salad tonight and I've taken the rest of the week off, starting at 8PM so I can continue my 'staycation'.

The best part of the day was how well I did without eating. Usually, when I try a new diet, I feel pretty well until the first day I have to go back to work and then I feel weak and woozy and cravings hit the roof. I had none of that today. In fact, I felt the strongest I'd felt since I started this last Saturday and I had no problem at all going that long between meals. I know I've said it before, but not to be controlled by food is such freedom. A HUGH weight off of my shoulders.

And NO need for any glutamine again today. I think I'm through the transition now and my body has learned to use fat and not glucose. And I was so scared that the transition would be so hard. Wish I would have known. It would have saved me a lot of stress, but I'm just glad it was that easy. I wish more people who try to go Primal/Paleo knew about this trick.

I know for me, that the carb cravings have always derailed any attempts at changing my diet. Despite all of my reading and research, it wasn't until I found the info on Primal that I understood what was happening physiologically. Once I knew, it was easy to do some Googling and find some ideas on how to deal with it. Luckily, all I needed was the glutamine. I think the Gymnema would have worked, but man did it taste bad. Glad I didn't have to use it.

And even though I did have some irritability, which seems to be gone now, I didn't end up needing the tryptophan. The depression has also always been one of my major stumbling blocks whenever I tried to change the diet. I'm not sure why that transitioned so easily this time. I'm sure it must have something to do with the glutamine feeding my brain when I needed it. Somehow that must have prevented my serotonin production from crashing.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Day 7 285.2 lbs

Up a little in weight this morning. I'm not surprised considering I ate a pound of salty bacon yesterday.

Did my usual 'wake up early then sleep again late morning' routine today. Oh well. At least I'm getting enough sleep albeit broken up.

I had 2 of the hardboiled eggs this morning that I had made yesterday for breakfast along with 1 and a half of the sausage patties. So much for my plan of making enough food for the weekend. I ate all the bacon and only 2 eggs are left now. As for the sausage, I don't like it. I don't know why it tastes so weird, but it does. I think I'm going to check at The Fresh Market and see what they have or I may just make my own since I have a recipe.

Still, things are better. I still don't feel pressured to find recipes for three meals a day. For lunch today I did a protein smoothie made with Jay Robb's vanilla whey protein powder, 1/2 can of coconut milk and one cup of frozen cherries. It was good, but so thick it almost needed to be eaten with a spoon like a pudding and the flavor of the cherries wasn't very strong. Still, it was filling and delicious.

I made meatloaf this afternoon that just got finished cooking. I got the recipe off of Son of Grok. It seems pretty tasty, but there is a lot of liquid around it. I'm not sure how much is fat and how much is water from all the veggies in it. If it doesn't reabsorb, I may try crumbling up some almond crackers next time and putting them in. I read about them on Mike Eades blog yesterday so I'm going to try to find some next time I go to Whole Foods.

Didn't mention it yesterday, but I went all day without using the glutamine and I haven't felt the need for it today either. (It's 3 PM.) That's really exciting to think I'm adapting that well already.

10 PM

Today has been the easiest day so far. No glutamine needed today. I got hungry, but never felt peckish (meaning that feeling like you are in the beginning stages of fainting). One cool thing is that I had some of the meatloaf I made for dinner tonight (which, by the way was ok, but not the best - I will continue to tweak it) and I really wanted a salad with it. And the veggies tasted really good to me. I'm so excited that my taste buds seem to be changing. I hope, hope, hope that this is the answer for me. It sure is looking promising.

Another thing I haven't mentioned is that I do feel more irritable without having the excuse of being tired. I do ok as long as I'm by myself, but when I get around people I have to tamp down my irritation and I'm jittery and anxious too. I guess I need to experiment with the tryptophan more, but not sure I'll have the time to do it while working this weekend. I'll have to wait until Monday.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Day 6 284.4 lbs

9:00 AM

Well, I'm feeling pretty good this morning. I still didn't manage to sleep past 5 AM, so we'll see if I fall into a coma sometime this morning. However, I didn't take tryptophan before bed last night just so I could see if maybe somehow that was causing me to be so sleepy later in the morning. Still wish I could sleep more than 6 hours a night though. Hopefully that will come as my hormones balance out and as I develop the stamina to exercise more.

I was very pleased and surprised to see the scale drop another 2 lbs this morning. That makes almost 8 lbs this week. And it's ok with me that most of that is water weight. What it does mean though is that I can really and truely eat all that fat and not gain weight. I have to say it is hard to overrule the fear that has been instilled in me since the 80s that 'fat will make you fat' even though I know from all the reading I've done that that isn't the case.

I got up this morning and cooked up a pound of bacon and a pound of sausage that I got at Whole Foods yesterday, plus hard boiled 6 (free range) eggs. All in preparation for my hospice weekend that starts tomorrow when I won't have anytime to cook. (By the way, by the time I was done cooking, I wasn't really hungry so I ended up eating only one hard boiled egg, 1/2 sausage and 1/2 slice of bacon. Still very yummy though.)

It dawned on me while I was cooking, that bacon and sausage would make the perfect take along foods (or snacks). I thought of it because, last night, before bed, I got hungry and was really craving carbs and the glutamine only helped so much (because I was truely hungry, not just craving). But I didn't have any snacks made so I ended up eating 1/4 of a Luna Bar, which is still Primal but has more carbs in it than I've been eating. That was enough though and my hunger and cravings subsided. Then, this morning while I was cooking, I realized that I had also bought some ham at Whole Foods that I could have had for a snack last night if I had remembered it. Then that thought led me to realize that if ham can work as a snack, then so can bacon and sausage. (By the way, the bulk pork sausage from Whole Foods was really good. Quite different from typical grocery store sausage and the biggest surprise was how it didn't shrink at all despite having tons of visible fat in it. Can't figure that one out.) It makes sense though because Native Americans would carry pemmican with them which is simply fat and pounded meat. Plus bacon and sausage is a lot less time consuming to make than jerky and has more fat that jerky does.

Uh oh, I'm starting to feel sleepy. I guess waking up at 5 and then going back to sleep from 9 AM to 11 AM is going to be my pattern. Damn inconvenient. Wish I would just sleep the extra 2 hours at night and be done with it.

Anyway, I'm feeling a lot less stressed today. I've now figured out a go to meal if I don't have anything else made (a smoothie) and I've figured out take along/snack foods. That gives me some breathing space to find new recipes to try without feeling desperate. I have ingredients to make a meatloaf recipe I found over at Feed The Animal and if I get really ambitious, I may make Mary Eades mayonaise recipe today. (I have a hankerin for some deviled eggs. :-)

Oh, one last thing I keep meaning to mention. I have noticed that I can watch tv while eating this way and not obsess over the food commercials. Always on past diets I found it hard to watch tv because any food commercial would cause cravings like mad. It popped into my head one night that I was watching tv and I couldn't even remember if a food commercial had been shown (which of course it had to have been because they always do) but I had payed so little attention to them that I couldn't remember even one. I love this! This is freedom!

7 PM

Different kind of day today. (Although I did take a 2 hour nap as usual late morning.) I've been indulging in something I wanted to do all week, which was just spend time online reading the things I want to read instead of just looking for recipes to try. So consequently, I've spent the day reading Mike Eades archives. A perfect day.

However, I've grazed today instead of eating meals. Maybe it all started because I didn't eat much of a breakfast, because later, before the nap, I munched on another piece of bacon and another little bit of the Luna Bar from last night. After the nap I made a protein smoothie about 2 PM, then got hungry not long after and got another piece of bacon. Then about 4 PM I caved in and grabbed the whole bag so now I've eaten all but 2 slices of the pound I cooked this morning. (Which, by the way, was 9 slices to start.) All I know is I was so craving the fat on the bacon. I sifted through the bag looking for the pieces with the most fat. Oh, I also ate another of the hard boiled eggs. Yummm. Now, 2 hours later, I am so un-hungry it isn't even funny. Don't get that kind of feeling when I pig out on carbs!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Day 5 286.4 lbs

Whew. I hit a wall this morning after breakfast. I felt incredibly sleepy and just generally terrible. I decided to try the glutamine under the tongue and I felt better within a few minutes. Stupid body. It needs to learn to use fat as fuel. Or maybe I should say dumb brain since apparently it was the one starving for fuel even though I have enough 'fuel' on board to last it several lifetimes if it would just learn to accept it. (Ok, ok, I'm still cranky.)

I started thinking last night about the things that have improved for me already. Like my achy right knee hardly aches anymore. Hmmm, I wonder if I can kneel on it yet. I haven't been able to without it really hurting. Wait a sec and I'll try..... wow, that is amazing. Only a slight amount of discomfort even when I put my full weight on it. I'm really happy about that.

Also, the joints at the bottom of my thumbs are a lot less achy. They've been getting progessively worse for the past several months. At first I just thought I was over using them somehow and they were getting sore from that, but I could never figure out what I was doing to cause it. Finally I realized that maybe it was the start of arthritis, which makes perfect sense considering what my diet had been. That realization made me kinda nervous. Thank god I found Mark's Daily Apple.

I'm sure there are other things I just haven't realized yet, but it's still early days so I have a lot more improvement ahead of me. If I can just figure out a way to find recipes easier. Grrrr. It's my achilles heel.

Noon

Not having a good day. After writing that last bit I fell into a coma and slept for 2 hours. The glutamine only helped for a minute or two. In fact, I've woken up early and then gone back to sleep about 8 or 9 AM every morning since I started this, but I don't know how much to blame on the new eating habits. I have problems with sleeping like that all the time because of working nights when on hospice. However, each night I seem to sleep a little longer and a little more sound. Last night I slept for almost 6 hours and my sinuses were clear most of the night which I'm sure helped with my sleep quality (meaning I could breathe through my nose so I got more oxygen when I was sleeping. There have been plenty of mornings when I would wake up with a fierce headache from what I eventually came to realize was from oxygen deprivation from what I assume must be sleep apnea. Not every night and not most nights so I've ignored it hoping I would find a way to lose the weight and therefore wouldn't have to do anything about it.)

I sure as hell don't know what to do about food. My brain isn't working very well. It's hard for me to think and I feel completely overwhelmed. I don't even know what I'm going to have for breakfast tomorrow let alone know how to figure out and then prepare enough food to get me through the weekend. And even if I did have all that figured out I don't know if I even have the ablility energy-wise to go shopping and then do the cooking.

I refuse to backslide and eat something non-paleo. I faced down a slice of pizza in the fridge last night and won. (I ended up eating some bacon.) But the problem is that I have no snack food for when I get hungry like that. The pizza showdown took place at midnight - 5 hours after my dinner - so of course I was hungry. And it's lunch time now and I'm supposed to eat the leftover shrimp scampi and asparagus from dinner last night, but my hunger center is frozen. I don't know how to explain that exactly. It happens everytime I go on a diet. I eventually (quickly) hit a wall where I'm sick of everything I'm allowed to eat so I just stop eating then inevitably I get so hungry that I fall off the wagon and start eating everything in sight.

Ok, I don't know how I'm going to get through this, but I'd better stop blogging and try to figure out what to eat.

2 PM

Saved! I found a smoothie recipe at Mark's Daily Apple and made that for lunch instead of having the leftover shrimp and asparagus. I can't tell you how incredibly delicious it was - coconut milk, frozen strawberries and whey protein powder. It was thick and creamy and coconutty goodness! I hadn't done any smoothies because I thought it would be best to stick to 'real' foods (in the sense that you have to chew them), but I can see now that I need them in case I don't have a 'real' meal available. It's given me an incredible sense of relief and has taken the pressure off. I'm so happy!

Oddly though, I started feeling better before I even ate the smoothie. Makes me wish I could truely know what's going on inside my body. I wish I had more time to spend on Eades blog. He does some great scientific-type posts.

7 PM

Well, another meal that was underwhelming. When did I turn into such a bad cook? I used the beefalo cube steaks in the crock pot with beef broth and onion and when it was done I simmered down the broth, added butter and xanthum gum to thicken. Still, it was all very bland and though the meat was fall apart tender, it was hard to swallow. I just chewed and chewed and chewed. I feel like I've been going 2 steps forward, 1 step back. It's still progress, but with a lot of frustration.

I also have no energy/stamina today. Just going to the store was difficult. Hell, just going downstairs and back up again was like slogging through mud. Intellectually, I know from what I've read, that this is the transition period and it will last anywhere from 3 weeks to 2 months, but still I have that worry that it somehow won't work for me. Sheesh! Even as I type those words I know how ridiculous a statement that is. So I'll just keep on with my 2 steps forward and 1 step back for as long as it takes. Surely, sooner or later, I'll cook something good.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Day 4 288 lbs

No, I'm not going to weigh myself everyday. I'm just curious about the loss of water weight this first week. I'll probably weigh in every Friday.

I had 2 Arkansas raised fried eggs (in butter) this morning and 3 slices of the Arkansas bacon I cooked up yesterday.

I remeasured my waist this morning. It was 49.5 inches. It was 50.5 inches on the first day, so 1 inch of bloat is gone.

My goal for today was to plan meals for the next 2 days. Now it's 2 PM and I've done nothing. I don't know why this is so hard for me. But now I've had lunch ( raw goat cheese, 1/4 orange, raw pistacios, and 1/5 avocado - because I didn't have anything planned for lunch - knocks self upside the head!) so I'm going to try again. I did go ahead and pull out some frozen raw shrimp for tonight as I plan to make shrimp scampi and roasted asparagus, but I've got to come up with something for lunch and dinner tomorrow. Sheesh! The pressure!

8:30 PM

I can't believe how little I got accomplished today. It takes friggin forever to find recipes and plan a few days worth of meals. I realized I have to go ahead and plan for this weekend as I'm running out of time. Yet I haven't even decided what to make let alone found the recipes I want or shop or cook. But I do see a very faint light at the end of the tunnel. Once I have a good core of meals that I like, I can cook and freeze and things will get easier. I'm just afraid of how fast these 3 weeks are going to go.

I made the scampi for dinner. An hour and a half to make and 10 minutes to eat. Sigh. It was decent, but not delicious. At least I have some leftovers for lunch tomorrow.

I am still using the glutamine several times a day when I start to get that weak feeling. I still can't believe how easy this has been. No awful 'detox' symptoms. (Which makes me wonder, what causes those 'detox' symptoms in the first place?) No really bad cravings. It is so great to not have to count calories, measure portions etc etc. I just get to eat as much as I want, which is decreasing each day. A small ray of hope is creeping in. Could this really be the time? Will I actually lose the weight this time? I'm so tired of battling this weight. I've been at it since I was 19. I've been through every diet recommendation change since the 80's. I was so confused. I didn't know what was healthy anymore. Then last year when I tried eating Paleo and it didn't work, I just didn't know what to do. I so believed in the theory - that we should eat the way we evolved to eat. But now I know it was the low fat part that didn't work. It is so wonderful to be able to enjoy eating fat again. It is so satisfying. I feel full!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Day 3 288.4 lbs

Weighed 288.4 lbs this morning. I wasn't surprised because I put way too much salt in my marinade last night. In fact, I seem to have over salted most of the things I've cooked since going Primal. I don't know what my deal is. Do I really over salt or am I salting my normal amount and it just seems like too much now?

I'm taking pictures of my meals and am trying to figure out the process of posting them to the blog. Hopefully I'll get it figured out before too long or I'm going to forget what goes where.

Dinner tonight was leftover taco salad made with ground buffalo. I made the mistake of adding coconut oil to it when I made it. I like coconut oil, but apparantly not in mexican food. Live and learn. Won't do that again.

I'm so glad I'm on vacation, because I have so much to learn that it eats up the day before I can even turn around it seems. I definately need cooking lessons. I've found a good site online - The Reluctant Gourmet - but I just need the time to spend on it.

I also need to start planning meals in advance more. That's almost all I've done is planning the next meal, then the next, then the next. I can't get a head. I'm actually going to steal the meal plan template from a great site - PaleoPlan.com. They really have a good set up. I'm going to start off just planning two days at a time so that by the end of the month I'll have the hang of it and can plan a week or two out ahead of time.

And as soon as I've learned to cook a little better, I'm going to start freezing what I can so I have more variety and don't have to cook so much. Good for those days when I have no time.

I really am completely surprised at how easy this has been. Not logistics-wise, but physiologically. Having the fat in the meal makes all the difference. The glutamine has saved me though. In the past, those moments of low blood sugar always did me in. They would eventually blossom into all out carb cravings, but with the glutamine, I just nip them in the bud. I can't say I've even had a true carb craving yet, although it was a little difficult to go to the grocery store yesterday and see all the goodies. But the more I read "Good Calories Bad Calories" the more I think of that kind of stuff as sweet poison. Avoid insulin spikes at all costs !!!!!!!!!

I need to cut down on my portion sizes because I'm not finishing all my meals.

I tried an elliptical today for the sprints and hallelujah it's actually going to work. I did three sprints this time. What's limiting me right now is the severe burn in my thighs. I'm looking forward to getting them stronger. And I found the perfect website to help me correct my posture so I can start walking again. I've already started implementing the posture corrections. It's like trying to walk, pat your head and rub your stomach all at the same time.

For breakfast this morning I fried up the package of Arkansas raised bacon that I got yesterday and fried a couple of Arkansas free range eggs. I ate about 4 or 5 slices of bacon I think - hard to know for sure because I had to cut them in half to fit them in the pan and I kept nibbling as I was cooking. They were pretty salty. No need to salt the eggs then because of it.

I slept late so really didn't eat breakfast until noon and then wasn't hungry again until 6:00 PM when I heated up the leftover taco meat. I ate a few Arkansas blackberries (4 I think) while I was prepping dinner. They were good. I think I'm going to go get a few more here in a minute.

I think (HOPE!!!) I may have figured out what is causing my leg rash (after more than a year). I suspect it may be my fish oil pills. It would make sense because I tend to take them randomly and the rash has always improved and worsened randomly with no apparent corrolation to anything that I'd eaten. Well, I'll soon find out. No more fish oil for me until I have decided if it is causing the rash or not.