30-Day Challenge: Day 23

Breakfast: yogurt with fruits, almonds, and coconut + coffee with cream

Lunch: Large green salad with lots of veggies + pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, olives, hot peppers, and cheese

Dinner: Coconut milk-based green Thai curry with sole and red peppers, cauliflower rice

Snacks: dark chocolate

Remarks: Wow – the curry I made for dinner was insanely good! I could eat it every night. But I was ravenous within a few hours. Lots of fat in that coconut milk but I guess the day’s low protein caught up to me. Ate leftovers when I got home from yoga. Still kind of hungry as I went to bed.

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4 thoughts on “30-Day Challenge: Day 23

  1. I noticed a few things while reading all these entries in one sitting:

    1. Almost all of your breakfasts were yogurt & fruit. How do you think that went for the day/made you feel? (That’s a decent amount of sugar to start the day with, both from the fruit but also from the yogurt—dairy has some sugars too.) I do have that sometimes (usually in smoothie form), but not that regularly. Perhaps the fact that you’re eating that for breakfast most days is actually driving the way you eat for the rest of the day? I don’t think I would feel too great if I ate yogurt & fruit every morning.

    2. I only saw avocado on your list a couple times out of all those days.

    Here’s what I love about avocados and how they fit into primal:
    They taste delicious and I never get tired of them.
    They are incredibly versatile; you can eat them so many different ways in different meals, or even as a snack on their own with some seasonings.
    They are one of THE best sources of good healthy fat (much better than Gr. yogurt) = great energy.
    There are about 20 different vitamins/minerals in each avocado = great nutrition.

    So, I know they are imported, and not “cheap”, but…if you can get past that (blueberries are imported and aren’t cheap either, but I just acknowledge certain super foods as a necessary part of my shopping list…and embrace the avocado business for what it is)…they make a fantastic part of primal diet!!

    3. Of course, you didn’t list your portion sizes, but I also wondered based on your daily eating logs if you were eating enough at each meal. I’ve noticed that when I’m truly eating enough at meals (of the right food), I rarely want or need to snack. Like, I’ll eat a pretty “big” portion (salad w/ meat or leftovers or whatever) for lunch…enough that I’m pretty full, and a good-sized Primal dinner too. Conversely, whenever I eat carbs/starches with a meal, I’ll feel full sooner, but it doesn’t last. I’ll be hungry sooner and need to snack to keep energy level up. It’s really quite amazing the difference. If I just eat enough (primal) food at a meal, then that’s good enough! It also helps to not crave sweets or want dessert.

    I’m sorry you’re tired of meat. I can’t help you there, because I love me some meat. And I’m pretty surprised you feel that way…I didn’t think your daily logs included very much meat!! Maybe that’s part of why you’re still searching for energy/other results. Maybe you haven’t been eating enough meat. Salmon = great, so it’s good you’ve been eating that. But many days I noticed you only ate meat once a day. That’s really not much!

    It looks like you’re eating lots of veggies, and that’s awesome! That’s one of the most important things for nutrition! If you feel tired, I’d really question whether you’re eating enough protein & fat (and NOT just in the form of yogurt…I mean yogurt is ok, but it’s really not the best…it should be a small part of the diet, not a major part…). My suggestions: try more fatty meats (sorry, you probably don’t want to hear that), avocado, eggs, olive oil. This is not supposed to be a stressful diet and I want to be encouraging, but if you’re not too happy with the way eating is going, it might be time to refocus a little on what else you could be eating.

    • Hey – thanks for all this feedback.

      I am definitely aware that my breakfast is always the same… and it’s just because it’s easy and in the mornings, I’m on autopilot, trying to get breakfast ready and into my office by 8am. I definitely find that on mornings where I have strained yogurt and lots of coconut and nuts, along with the fruit, I am good until lunch. Could you remind me again of what other breakfast options I might be forgetting about? Stuff that can be prepared ahead of time (maybe the night before?) would be good, too.

      I was also thinking that I need more fat… I’ve been reserving bacon fat and using that for almost anything I cook in the frying pan, and trying to be liberal with butter and olive oil, but I guess I could stand to try even harder.

      I like avocados, too, and just sort of forgot about them for a while. Picked up a few yesterday and we had them with dinner tonight. Will try to eat them more often. Care to share your top avocado dishes?

      Re: meat – yes, a lot of days we eat meat or eggs at dinner and then unless there are leftovers we may not eat meat again until the next dinner. Bottom line is that meat is expensive (I know, we’ve been over this, but there’s only so much money for groceries!) and on top of that, I don’t really WANT to eat meat at every meal. Plus, since we only buy our meat and eggs from one place that is a bit of trek to get to, if we run out before our weekly trip, then we just have to wait. I know these sound like excuses, but I think it has to fit into my life. I also have some moral issues that I’m composing my thoughts on for my post-challenge debrief.

      I do think you’re right, though, that I’m probably not eating enough protein. It’s something I have sort of been thinking about, and I’m wondering whether fish can fill out that void. I could eat bacon every day, but I’m not sure that’s wise πŸ™‚ But I could probably alternate fish and meat every other day and not go crazy…

      The other thing is that I can try harder to eat more eggs. They are a relatively cheap alternative to meat, good protein, and pretty versatile for ways to eat them. I could probably try to eat a big green salad with various “mix-ins” and a couple of hb eggs for lunch several times a week. So I can try to be more realistic about how many eggs to buy each week: 3 dozen seems ridiculous, but better to have 4 and not run out!.

      Throughout this I am have realize that I do better when I have habits – hence, eating the same breakfast almost every single day! I also am reminded that planning is key. When things get crazy, I stop meal planning, and that’s the end of balanced meals throughout the day. So I guess I just need to remember to look at the big picture and keeping this journal will make that easier.

      It was really helpful to have you look at the big picture and make some suggestions – so thanks!

      • Hmm…yeah lots to think about. I’ll try to comment on the things you just raised.

        Breakfast – you could try hard boiled eggs (prepared in advance) for a quick breakfast that is a little heartier. That is, if you’re not eating eggs all day long I guess.

        Meat – I don’t eat meat 3 times a day…but if I’m having 2 bigger meals which is most often (I usually either don’t eat breakfast or have something small)…it almost always includes some form of meat. If you like fish and don’t have as big of a problem with eating it often, then go for fish!! It’s a great option. MDA lists the best kinds. (salmon etc.) I want to eat more fish on a regular basis. Usually it’s either salmon or canned tuna at home, sushi if we go out. I could eat TONS of raw salmon, sooo yummy haha. But a little fillet fish isn’t really going to fill you up or give you enough fat, so yeah if it’s a leaner fish, then you’ll want to be sure to have fat with your meal too, whether it’s butter/olive oil etc. I just got some spicy mango garlic jelly at the farmers market that I want to try on top of fish (fairly sweet yes, but the sample was delicious!!)

        Fat – just wondering, when you have a salad, do you put enough dressing on? Maybe you do, but I think sometimes people still have that hangup about adding too much fat to their food. Also at first it’s kind of hard to make yourself eat that way. I remember at first, I put butter on my broccoli, and it was kind of hard to eat it cause I was SO used to avoiding fat. Try to dress salad liberally with an olive oil-based dressing. You’re getting good healthy fat that keeps you full and plus you absorb all the nutrients from the veggies more easily that way.

        Re: eating meat, I don’t have this problem, but I know there are MANY ex-vegetarians etc. that flock to Primal and find it difficult, so if you do a search MDA re: eating meat/vegetarian/etc, I’ve read a couple of those articles but can’t remember the titles. I’m sure something you would agree with is that Primal really stresses supporting the ethical raising of healthy slow-grown animals and trying your best to eat that kind of quality meat. I try to buy local meat, grass-fed if possible for beef (which also ensures they’re being raised properly) and free run for chicken. Same goes for fish, for obvious reasons I now only buy wild fish even for my canned tuna. Yes it’s more expensive but so much better for both us and the fish. I wish I could say I only ever purchase top quality, I don’t always, but that is the eventual goal. If we end up rurally more long-term I would LOVE to get my own chickens and laying hens.

        Avocados – I don’t really have recipes, but I just eat them often, with whatever! I add them to salads a lot, or use them to make a salad dressing with (no recipe really, I just play around), use guac as a topping or side for main dish, in chicken tortilla soup (although I don’t make that in hot weather), or sometimes if I have a ripe one that needs to be eaten I’ll just eat it as a snack w/ some lime juice & hot sauce πŸ™‚

        Planning – are you finding that this way of eating is stressing you out? I hope not! You’re right, it does have to fit with your life, but it is a change in life too. I mean, it’s quite different when you can’t just “make a sandwich” for a quick meal fix. For me, Primal is so much LESS stressful than how I used to eat. I’m not the best at meal planning (I’m sure I’ll have to get better at that when kids come along), but I try to be sure to always have Primal “staples” in the fridge, and if I do, I’ve honestly never really had a moment of “what can I make for dinner??!!” or “we have nothing to eat!” even though I used to say that all the time when our kitchen was stocked with non-Primal fare. Plus, if I’m really on top of eating well (including drinking enough water), I don’t find myself crashing or becoming SUPER hungry the same way that I used to, so I can think rationally about what I’m going to make instead of starting to snack on chips because I can’t think straight about what to make (an all-too-often occurrence before!)

        So I guess yeah, a suggestion other than what I mentioned above would be, try to not eat too much sugar in the morning. (I mean obviously some is fine) but try to get a good amount of protein. See if that makes a difference in how you feel.

        Overall though, it’s been at least three weeks of you seriously cutting back on grains and sugars, even if it hasn’t been perfect (and lol, none of us are!) Have you noticed some major changes overall, or do you think you’d need to adhere more “strictly” (though I don’t like using that term w/ Primal) to a Primal diet to really feel different?

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