I have been trialling primal eating for a few weeks now to see if it agreed with me and as it seems to I am intending to stick with it and thus thought it was high time I started a diary. (sorry to anybody reading that this is so long, I tend to waffle on, haha)
I have been losing weight since January 2011; the first 6 months were on Slimming World and then I switched to low GI which I had done in the past. I have had M.E. for 6 years or so and my weight just crept up and up as although my activity levels were fairly nonexistent, I hadn't cut down the amount I was eating. While I was doing low GI I tried the South Beach Diet phase 1 for two weeks and noticed that when I cut out grains I had a good loss and my stomach was noticeably less bloated.
However I stuck with low GI until I decided to cut out wheat to see if this had a good effect. I tried to find gluten-free products and recipes, but many of them are very high GI and so I naturally gravitated towards primal/paleo recipes, which aren't. I really enjoy the primal foods and so decided to make the switch! Because M.E. makes it hard to lose weight I am still calorie counting, however I have a pretty small calorie deficit (around 20%) and always eat back my exercise calories.
After I've settled into a good primal groove I will trial a week or two of not calorie counting to see if there's a noticeable difference in results as I don't want to count once I reach maintenance. My main goal at this point is to get my body fat % into the 'acceptable' range and I'm hoping primal will help me with this.
I haven't struggled with avoiding grains; we've been doing a lot of baking with almond flour and coconut flour. I do allow myself seeds (buckwheat, quinoa, amaranth, millet) and beans/lentils in moderation (ie 2-3 servings a week max) as the primal 'template' seems to be finding what works for you, and these foods don't disagree with me - so occasionally some gram/chickpea flour creeps in too.
The main struggle I have had is with eating complex carbs at the right times to fuel my exercise. One of the plus sides of losing weight has been that I can now do some weight-bearing exercise (have to be careful of cardio though), so I do kettlebell routines twice a week and try to hit 3,000 steps every day on my FitBit. This might not sound like a lot but given that even a year ago I might not be able to do more than 3-400 steps a day it's a big improvement for me. Anyway I have found that if I don't have some sweet potato or something for dinner the night before, and a bit of fruit with breakfast, then I struggle with energy to get through my kettlebell workout. I'm sure this will improve a little bit as my body gets used to burning fat for fuel, I hope so anyway!
Results I've had in the last few weeks: my waist measurement is smaller, and my body fat % seems to be dropping more quickly than when I was doing low GI. I've always had probems with a double chin and there's been noticeable improvement there too. So I'll carry on and see how I go!
Last week I wound up having a pizza meal (long story but it was unavoidable) and my stomach bloated up immediately and stayed that way for several days. Lesson learned!
I have really enjoyed reading this forum and getting inspiration from the posts. I'm a bit of a cookbook collector and so I've treated myself to some nice primal/paleo books. The types of things I've been tending to eat:
Breakfast: mini egg/vegetable/ham quiches with a paleo muffin, or dippy eggs with paleo bread and a bit of fruit. On the weekend we might try something adventurous, paleo pumpkin pancakes and bacon were a big hit this Sunday. Last weekend we had scrambled eggs with creamy leaks and bacon on top.
Lunch: usually a salad with protein or a soup with lots of veggies and some protein. Again on the weekend we'll try out recipes like salmon cakes.
Snacks: nuts, turkey rollups with full-fat Philly, fruit and cheese, etc. plus a little bit of dark chocolate bark (homemade with pistachio nuts)
Dinner: paleo meatballs, grilled meats, etc. - once every week or every two weeks I might have a tiny glass (125ml) of wine
Luckily a lot of the low GI and South Beach Diet recipes are already primal-friendly (especially SBD phase 1) or easily adaptable. For example last night we had a SBD chicken stir-fry with sweet potato soba noodles (made with sweet potato and buckwheat only). I am really enjoying being able to eat more good fats, I love coconut oil and have a jar of red palm oil on order too. Avocados are a regular occurence and I have frozen double cream (in tablespoon measurements) ready to use as needed. I don't feel at all deprived and indeed am enjoying new recipes/baking.
Last edited by Plumfoodie : 25th October, 2012 at 05:47 PM
Originally Posted by Mis-behave
That sounds great - I'm sort of heading that way too, I've cut out wheat in the last few weeks and seen a huge difference in the area under my boobs I look less pregnant lol
I ended up reading the book "wheat belly" makes loads of sense - have been cooking with coconut flour, then moved on to quinoa flour - which is great for baking cakes, made a choc fudge cake with it!
Have also ordered some chestnut flour and amaranth flour too to experiment with.
Ooh you'll have to let me know what the chestnut flour is like! Does the wheat belly chap approve of seeds like quinoa and amaranth then? I have it but haven't read it yet.
Yes, he's all for non wheat stuff it's kind of what got me started down the alternative flour road..
Have to start thinking about my Christmas cake and how I'm going to make it this year, last year I made it low fat using lurpak light, and it was full of loads of different dried fruits 3 - 4 cups dried fruits- cherries, blue berries, currants, sultanas, mixed peel, cherries green/ red - soaked in spiced rum and cherry brandy - really amazing tasting
Has 2 cups flour - so will be replacing that with a combination of quinoa flour, chestnut and amaranth flour me thinks plus might add some dedicated coconut.. Will need a few more eggs and a touch of water too to add bit more moisture and maybe I will use sweet freedom ..
Will have to have a trial run or 2 lol. Sent my parents 1/2 a cake each of last years trial runs they love them
My kids like their new cupcakes too lol
You sound like a natural cook, I think it's great that you're tweaking things to suit yourself. I am not such a natural cook and so I've had my eye on this recipe (definitely with the optional brandy soaking, hehe):
Originally Posted by Mis-behave
Healthy Paleo Christmas Cake : The Healthy Chef – Teresa Cutter
My recipe is similar just more eggs and a few more spices, bigger cake tin.
The end of the wheat belly he goes on to suggest. You reduce or eliminate more carbs and starches - insulin raising carbs - he believes that these alternative grains are safer but in small quantities less than 1/2 cup (not specified if cooked or not) to min blood sugar raising qualities. He goes on and get more strict about other stuff too - sorry but I'm ok with reducing/ avoiding wheat products - but really need to still have some carb items in my diet made with alternative grains/ flours .. But over all was a bit of a hard slog reading it all - but was an interesting and eye opening read.
Thanks for the welcome!
Have had a pretty good primal week apart from a meal out at a vegetarian restaurant. If it had been planned I would have eaten some protein beforehand, but never mind. Let's just say there were not great choices on offer but I did the best I could which wound up including some wheat, brown rice, lentils and beans. The next day I felt awful and was coming down with tonsillitis plus fever/fatigue. Fortunately after a few days back on primal I feel a lot better and just have a mild sore throat to get over now.
I also ate out yesterday as it was mr plum's birthday but this was at our local place where they serve local meat etc and will give you extra veg instead of potatoes quite happily. I did have half a piece of the seeded granary bread they make themselves, with plenty of butter. My body doesn't seem to have minded as my pre-trip weight this morning was my pre-hol goal of 150, yay!
Off to Cyprus for a week now to visit family. It's easy to eat well there as there are great meats, salads, and lovely fruit and veg plus island-grown nuts - the biggest pecans I have ever had! My mom has got in some paleo-friendly flours too so we can do some baking as she would like to avoid wheat but always struggles with it.
Thank you - will be nice to be in the warmer climate. We had ice on the car this morning!
Well done on meeting your holiday target
Have a great time, enjoy the warmer weather
We're in a particularly cold spot so hopefully it won't be too bad for you gettingfit and you'll have a lovely time.
And thanks MB - wish I could send some sunshine back to the UK for everyone!
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