Monday, July 9, 2012


I was so busy yesterday I didn't get to post. But I did get to weigh in.

Yesterday morning I weighed 217 pounds. That is a one pound gain from last week. I went back and looked over my food logs and calories, and my average per day was around 1500 calories and 50% of calories from fat. I stayed grain-free and legume free (including peanuts) as part of my Primal experiment. I stayed *mostly* sugar free, and I say mostly because I allowed a square (or occasionally 2) of very dark (88%) chocolate. But I did not eat sugar aside from that. No honey or maple syrup, just fruit. I usually had 2 servings of fruit per day.

I got several comments and emails that told me a few things I am eating are not Primal, namely, the chocolate and the bacon. I have been using Mark's Daily Apple/Primal Blueprint as my 'authority' and reference guide to Primal eating; if there is another source that is more reliable please let me know. I am new at this and still learning. But according to that site, very dark chocolate is okay in moderation and bacon is fine. In fact Mark at one point wrote "you can never eat too much bacon" and some people kind of jumped on him for it, so he came back saying that was a bit tongue in cheek, but bacon in itself is fine on the Primal plan. Note, Primal is not the same as Paleo; for example, there is no dairy permitted in a Paleo diet.

Now, I personally have always thought of bacon as more of a condiment; I bought the thin sliced, pre-cooked Hormel frozen stuff so I could take out a slice and nuke it for 35-calories of intense flavor. I love to crumble a piece into salad or have a strip with my eggs. But yeah, after reading much of the forums and Primal articles I defrosted some thick sliced bacon and cooked up a whole pound in the oven and used it liberally last week. I felt like I had 'permission' to eat plenty of bacon if I wanted to, and while it was yummy and fit into my calories okay, I kind of had this nagging voice in the back of my head telling me that this much bacon is not healthy for me. Lots of salt, lots of nitrites. And from what I have read, the nitrite-free bacon that is cured with celery juice actually tests as having *more* nitrites (naturally occurring in the celery) than traditional bacon. So there's no really healthy bacon. I think in this case, I need to go back to trusting myself/my body and laying off the bacon... not completely, but as a food group. A piece with eggs or as a condiment here and there is still a good use of 35 calories, just not every day.

So I am quitting the bacon habit, quitting the dark chocolate habit (simply because it is becoming something I think I *need* every day) and quitting with the lattes. There is nothing inherently *bad* about a latte; it is just milk and espresso (unless you are going for one of those 400 calorie Starbucks drinks). But it is 160 or more calories each, and I could eat a lot of veggies for that many calories. I can have an iced coffee for NO calories and I can make those anytime at home.

My plan for this week: keep up with the Primal eating, eat more veggies, stay under 1500 calories a day. I'm also going to prep way more food for the week so I don't run out. Today I will hard boil a dozen eggs, wash and chop many, many containers of veggies, cook a chicken in the crock pot and shred the meat for use in salads and as snacks. I think I will thaw some steaks as well, and make a double portion for dinner. Then I can slice up the rest and use that for later lunches and dinners too. I also will make sure I have yogurt, tuna, and string cheese on hand.

One other thing I am quitting is roasted nuts. I really used them as a crutch last week; when I was hungry it was easier to grab a serving of macadamia nuts than to cook up some meat. Those salted, roasted ones are easy to overdo! Hundreds of calories of nuts in a day do displace other, more filling and nourishing choices. So I'll stick with the raw almonds and other raw nuts I might find, and use them as snacks when I travel.

This morning's breakfast was a salad of greens, mozzarella, and black olives with oil and vinegar dressing.

Enjoy your Monday!


Andra said...

I'm nearly finished reading It Starts with Food. If you are really serious about this way of eating, the book is loaded with extremely detailed and useful information. Not just about the "diet plan" but all the hows and whys food affects us the way it does. I found the chapters in inflammation, and hormones very useful.

I have found it an illuminating read, regardless if I choose to try the Whole 30 or not.

Caz said...

Hi Lyn

I think your new plan sounds good! Personally, I don't eat bacon because it is just too salty and just too processed.

And don't forget about sweet potato if you are feeling desperate for something carby (I'd almost say this is a bit bettter than some fruits).

Good luck and keep going!

Allison Clow said...

Just wanted to say, you are an inspiration, keep up the twiking in the diet. I know it is hard, I struggle with it often!

lisa~sunshine said...

Great job Lyn on following through and re-thinking and evaluation what you did last week and changes you can make for this coming week..

I've not read It Starts with Food but I know there is a free podcast interview with them Here..

This site also has a lot of other podcasts on paleo eating.. Not sure you new or not..

Anonymous said...

primal doesn't focus on calories per se...rather grams of protein, carbs fat. mark says eat when you're hungry and if you're not hungry don't eat...very sensible.
if you are 'depriving yourself' of primal foods then you aren't in a good place already. primal is NOT a 'diet''s an eating plan, lifestyle. you can eat the primal foods listed- and Lyn you have done so in a very appropriate weigh. You can't focus on weight loss in the first couple of primal months as your physiology adjusts. You need to read further in on the Daily Apple re" metabolics. I'm an MD and I found the level of mark's sophistication about metabolism to be amazing! primal asks that you give yourself at least a month to try it.

Anonymous said...

I recently heard a celebrity Jada Pinkett Smith say "I don't eat for pleasure ..not for entertainment either." Got me thinking in a good way and reminded me that indeed Food is Fuel really. It's not an anxiety med or pain killer or antidepressant. Of course in a healthy use /perspective food delights out senses but bottom line- or culture has fetishized food as something more than nutritious fuel: note all the Foodie TV shows, food sold on QVC...Michael Pollan's book is a basic bible too.
Catherine RD

June said...

Hi Lyn - I completely empathise with what you've written in this post. Like yourself, I'm sort of doing a paleo meets primal meets Weight Watchers (only insofar as counting/weighing and pointing).

I've cut out wheat, cut out carbs, cut out sugar and only use a teaspoon of full fat milk in my two cups of coffee (one cup in the morning and another one as a treat, at night).

And, like yourself, I seem to be stuck and at a plateau, scale numbers-wise. Very frustrating, especially when you know in your heart of hearts that you're doing everything right, and not secretly nibbling when no one's looking. I'm writing/tracking everything I eat (old WW habits stay with me - and I'd done really well on WW in the past, but since getting to Goal and then being on Maintenance, I've found the weight very slowly creeping back on).

Through a series of browsing and clicking on links and looking at other blogs, as well as a fanastic interview on Red Ice Radio (alternative research internet radio station, based in Sweden), one of the interviews was with an American doctor - Dr. Davis - who has his own blog, called the Wheat Belly Blog.

It's a bit paleo and a bit primal and a whole lot of amazing information about the dangers and toxicity of wheat and how, using this method (he hates and does not use the word 'diet'), weight loss is pretty much a guarantee.

In today's post, he went off-topic slightly to talk about iodine, and about how, even when you're following the Wheat Belly method (not diet) and using the recipes from his book (or free via his blog), you're still not seeing the scale move in a downward direction, he asks the reader to look at and consider how much iodine we're eating.

I wss just thinking out loud about whether or not, or how much iodine there might be in bacon (cured or otherwise)? As I like bacon too, I'm now wondering if this could well be the cause of the not-that-great weight loss on the scale.

Sorry for rabbitting on as I've done, above, but I thought you might be interested/enjoy checking out his Wheat Belly blog. Let me know what you think. I've only just begin reading his blog after hearing him speak about it on that Red Ice Radio interview from a couple of months back, but I'm finding that what he's said and has written about on his blog/book makes so much sense to me.

Hope this helps not just myself and yourself, but for anyone who might be experiencing the same sort of disappointment/frustration and lack of real success on the scale, even though you're doing everything 'right.'

Take care,

June said...

An addendum about the post on iodine in the What Belly blog I just left a comment about a few minutes ago. I didn't get a chance to do anything more than skim through the blog post, but now that I have done, I can see that it's not how much iodine we're taking in that could be causing the scale not to move in a downward direction, but rather, that we're not taking in enough iodine.

I need to read it again, and do a bit more digging (he's left a link to another article about iodine), and see if it ticks any boxes for me, specifically, and why my body is not responding the way it should be, according to either Paleo/Primal or the Wheat Belly plan.

Anyone else know about the Wheat Belly blog and plan?

Taryl said...

We all have different trigger foods, cutting out dairy or bacon or nuts isn't a big deal, unless it gets you in a mindset where you flip out and binge because you feel over restricted. I think it may be too soon to cut out any food items due to a lack of weight loss, honestly, because you've given it next to NO time. Maybe after a month, sure, but a week?! Coukd it be that your metabolism is just awfully resistant to losing after years of the yoyo cycle, now, and takes more time and consistency to respond?

If you're content cutting those foods out by all means do it! But don't just do it solely for weight loss, because at your calorie level it WILL come, but it might take slightly longer than you're hoping.

timothy said...

i'm glad you dropping those things, especially the nuts they add up quick. sorry to say it but fruit may also inhibit weightloss 2 servings a day seems excessive. that's because i actually dont like fruit , never really have, and on atkins during the weight loss phase it's not allowed. mayhaps you should try cutting back to 1 serving a day and see how that works.

Enz said...

This was the best explanation of how our screwed up metabolism does and doesn't work that I've read.

Anonymous said...

Totally understand where you're coming from - it's soo easy to overdo it! Couldn't give up my bit of chocolate though - so I say, you're a better woman than I !! ha

One thing I started making myself do: after I get home from the veggie market, I wash everything up in vinegar water. It takes me about 1.5 - 2 hours to do, but it totally saves time later (can just grab and go), and it keeps waste down (lots more incentive to cook when you know you have fresh/clean veggies/fruits waiting for you in the fridge)! (don't recommend washing apples in vinegar water though as it will leave white spots on the peel. Instead, I use a little liquid dish soap in water; like washing dishes - then just rinse them real well!)

What I love in the morning for breakfast... scrambled eggs with sauteed veggies!! sooo yummy and satiating! (celery, onion, broccoli, etc)

Take care!


Em said...

primal doesn't focus on calories per se...rather grams of protein, carbs fat. mark says eat when you're hungry and if you're not hungry don't eat...very sensible.

Backing up Dr. Anonymous up there. Kicking the diet mentality is the crucial point. Eat enough food! At the very least, if you're committing to primal, eat enough food while you're transitioning to being a "fat burner," and then start dropping your caloric intake afterwards. You are just not going to get the full benefit of primal eating without the satiety effect. I'm not going to keep banging on and on about this if it's just not your plan, but one more time before I quit: please eat enough food. Eat until you are all the way full. Nourish yourself with real food in sufficient quantity. Cavewomen don't diet.

Em said...

Also, I think when you're using dairy as a central protein/fat source in place of meats/eggs, you're using it in excess, and it really can inhibit fat loss in some people. Lower the dairy, bump up the meat/fat. For me, one chicken thigh is a snack; when I have them for dinner I eat two or three. When you eat bigger, more satiating meals you'll feel your urge to snack and your sugar cravings dropping away. I went totally sugar-free at the start (Mark says, "crave sugar, feed fat") and I think it gave me a great jump-start—so I think good call on that one.

Anonymous said...

TImothy, Two servings of fruit are excessive?! Goodness, your body doesn't say, "whoa, she ate a cup of berries and an apple today, let's pack on the pounds..." If they were 500 calories a piece, then yes, that would be excessive, but they're not. If you are in negative energy balance, your body will use the calories you eat (whatever they are, fats, carbs... whatever you're feeding it), then turn to the body's short-term (glycogen) and long-term (adipose) storage. Two servings a day of fruit aren't going to make someone gain weight unless they push them into positive energy balance. Some of these comments make me really discouraged... we hold so many superstitions about weight loss that it leads to endless confusion and 'searching' for that one magical diet that will 'work for your body'. Most dieters won't believe it (I blame the diet book industry for this), but every diet will work if energy balance is accounted for. For what it's worth, Lyle McDonald (mentioned a few times by other commenters here --he's at ) is one of the few diet/fitness gurus that won't sell you any BS.

Anonymous said...

Not sure this will make it through (but I thought I'd share with you Lyn), some more non-BS.

We need more people like this (or we need people like this to be more vocal).

katie said...

Hi Lyn
Before I started the Primal Bleprint I spent time ( hours) on mark's website just LEARNING. I read 'what' it is; ; 'how' it works and 'why'. I then read about 10 success stories. I used the 'search' box on the webpage to look up answers to questions I had about certain foods etc. I Invested this Time in Myself...the time to learn abd fuly Understand exactly what IS and what IS NOT part of this Primal Plan. As suggested by the senior members I eased into Primal...reducing my carb intake gradually as it suited me - and I am satisfied and feeling good on less. I feel like I am loving my body again and taking care of it too.

timothy said...

i was NOT saying for a normal person 2 fruits were excessive i was saying for someone trying to lose weight who is stuck that's a LOT of sugar and way more carbs than a ketogeic diet allows. gotta remember what we[re focusing on here. it was an attempt at explaining the stall only.

Anonymous said...

One of my favorite authors, Dr. Richard Bernstein, has dedicated his entire life to helping folks with insulin/carb issues. His story is so amazing and inspiring. He was literally losing his legs and eyesight from diabetes in his early 20's. His doctor wife purchases a then 600.00$ glucometer (only physicians could purchase them then) and he preceeded to monitor how every food he ate effected his blood sugar. After determining that he could actually do without insulin if he kept his carbs under 2o a day, he grew strong , became an athelete, got through medical school. Still to this day you can watch on youtube ADA reps trashing his plan, calling his many books and patients "unhealthy", "misguiding", "superstition".

Anonymous said...

Hi Lyn! I'm sort of sad that this way of eating is not fully working out for you. I didn't get those nasty headaches (even when I was on a 60% carbs diet before) and the reason that this makes me sad is because this worked so good for me :( I just wanted to work for you too as well.

I like to call this way of eating "what granma ate everyday" rather than "primal". You stop eating things from a box, with additives, and all the sudden you're a caveman :/

I'm not a doctor, so I can't say anything about the headaches, but are may I dare to say this: are you sure they're related to the new diet? Because the new diet looks a lot like your old diet (minus the medifast tho). You didn't changed anything too drasticly.

< eat it. No, she could not --> don't eat it. Easy and simple.

Primal is not about not eating cheese, is about eating cheese from your farmer's market. Is not about eating bacon; is about making porkrinds in you kitchen and saving the rinds (and the lard for frying). The primal police might hang me from saying this, but primal is not about eating refined sugars and breads, but about kneet your own bread from scratch using lard and your own elboes. You know, from scratch!! LIKE GRANDMA.

Diandra said...

Salad for breakfast... yuck! ^^

Anonymous said...


I read your blog every day. I have struggled with my weight for 26 years, I know how it feels when no matter what you eat, what diet you are on, or how much exercise you do, the weight just does not come off.
It is a lifelong battle. I was told I will never be able to eat like a "normal person".
I think about my diet/body/food and the scale 24/7. It is no way to live, but it is the only way I know.

Hang in there, I think you have amazing strength.

Johannesburg, South Africa

Jac said...

Lyn, as somebody else mentioned, I would pull back on the dairy as an experiment. Mark recommends good, full-fat dairy "for those who tolerate it well". Maybe your body just doesn't. It would be worth testing out.

(Also, unrelated - when you're eating roasted nuts, double-check what they're roasted with. Around here, I've found that the regular ones are roasted in soybean oil which is a no-no, and the dry-roasted ones have been coated with wheat starch, which is obviously bad. A good reason to go for raw nuts, or roast them yourself with a little sea salt.)

Anonymous said...

A question I have about this way of eating that arises when people refer to it as what the "cavemen" ate . . . the cavemen were hunting and gathering all their food, expending tremendous amounts of energy doing so. We spend tremendous amounts of time sitting around.

Unless you are working out like crazy, I don't see how you don't also need to control your calorie intake (note I didn't say necessarily count calories). And Lyn, I know you are doing that, this is more of a general comment.

I am not criticizing this way of eating, just wondering how most people's fairly sedentary lifestyles play into this way of eating.

Vicki Nicole said...

thanks for telling what kinds of foods youre going to prep, that helps me , i'm going to do the same and follow your lead

Anonymous said...

On "Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition" this week the girl was put on a 1500 calorie a day diet to include 2-4 hours of exercise per day. Her starting weight was 317 lbs. Personally, I can't lose weight eating over 1200-1300 calories per day. I currently weight 191 - down from 214. Everyone is different and I don't believe in the whole "starvation mode" crap. Maybe if your only eating a few hundred calories a day.Unless you are working out hard core, that is really all you need. I fill my diet with mostly real whole foods such as lean proteins (4oz at a time) lowfat cheese,greek yogurt,eggs,tons of veggies (the only starchy ones I eat are sweet potatoes and some corn), whole grain cereals (hot & cold - 1 cup at a time) and breads (1 serving per day), brown rice (1/2 cup at a time), nuts and fruit (no more than 2 servings per day on the fruit). Keeping my menu to a group of core foods takes all the guess work out of it and helps me stay on plan. I read that you liked Medifast in the past because you didn't have to think. I believe you are majorly overthinking right now. STOP and get back to basics and lower your calories....just one girls option.Just bite the bullet and do it. It's not fancy but it works and eating that way takes your focus off food. I wish you all the best Lyn!

Lyn said...


I saw that show too. I did notice the 1500 calories she was put on. It's interesting because every time I post my calories I get comments that I am eating to few, and also comments I am eating too many. I am taking a trial and error approach here. I maintain or gain on 1600 or more so I definitely need less than that.

Anonymous said...

Eat the way your grandparents did-this has become such a catchphrase. Ok, let's see how great I look eating homemade pierogies with sour cream, borscht with more sour cream, bread and butter all the time; on the other side of my family even more pierogies that were greedier and filled with more cheese. Hmm. Granted, they didn't eat this way every day but pretty often. Lots of carbs and fats-being low carb as someone of Eastern European descent? Ha. Carbs were everywhere. Although these are my comfort foods, there's no way I could eat like this everyday and remain thin. Not that pierogies were an everyday food, but basically tons of grains and dairy were a focus, 2 of weakest spots. None of my grandparents were fat or obese but my one grandpa was known to be chubby/larger-he loved to eat and I know I take after him in that I gain pretty easily. It takes a LOT for me to maintain and I know eating just like my grandparents would HURT NOT HELP. I loved them so, but all those buttery grains and cheeses really are addictive to me. Even something as simple as buttered whole buckwheat-I can't stop eating it.

I know this was really long but just wanted to share. It's something that irks me. My origins are from "the breadbowl" of Europe, lol. Come on. Potatoes all the time, rice all the time. I'm not low carb but I know my triggers and limits-I can't rely on those foods.


Anonymous said...

*greasier, haha, not greedier.