Saturday, 27 July 2013

Beginning my first Whole 30!

I've been eating in a paleo style for a while now, excluding wheat, oats etc, but haven't exactly been dialed in with limiting sugar, especially in the form of chocolate, ice-cream and other non-paleo foods. It's easy enough eating paleo during the day; which was often resulting in IF (intermittent fasting) being the easiest option, with increasing amounts of coffee... However, after dinner the sugar demon would creep up and the odd square of chocolate would all too often end up in the whole packet disappearing! After reading about the Whole 30 it seemed like quite an "extreme" eating plan so I never took the plunge, but after purchasing the "It Starts With Food" book I found a lot of the content made sense with how I was eating!

So, with my wife also wanting to lose weight and keen to change her eating habitats we've taken the plunge and started our first Whole 30! The scales have been dusted off for an initial weigh-in, the pantry and cupboards have been emptied of grain based food to avoid temptation.

First day comprised a veg frittata for breakfast, seafood salad for lunch and salmon with stir fry veg for dinner. Cravings weren't too bad, even in the supermarket surrounded with biscuits etc!

So happy to have committed to the Whole 30 and hopefully it will be a new start in terms of what we eat. Reading a few blogs and comments in general the Whole 30 seems to really change people's eating style and result in long term benefits!

Friday, 19 November 2010

Red wine?

I'm wondering how Paleo red wine is? I've been fairly strict on the Primal/Paleo diet this week. No grains all week, a little chocolate, but a lot of wine tonight after a busy few days at work. Yes, I don't "need" red wine, but there's a nice feeling to that "pop" as you open the bottle and sip that first taste from the glass! There's ongoing debate as to the health benefits of red wine, and I'm sure I've had more than is beneficial tonight, but I'm sure I'm could be indulging in worst things...

So yes, try to stick to the Paleo/Primal dietary advice, we all know it's good for us, but don't let that stop you from a little indulgence every so often! I find that a little bit of non-Paleo food soon sends me back to Paleo eating! Personally I feel awful after eating wheat, which seems to have some nasty effect on my mental state and adds a new "dark" dimension to my mental state. Anyone else get a feeling of depression after eating wheat?

Keep it Paleo/Primal people, you know it's good for you!

Saturday, 13 November 2010

A slow transition or shock and awe?

Whenever I’ve started on a new diet/eating plan or fitness programme I’ve always dived in head first, but maybe this isn’t the best plan? There’s always lots of enthusiasm when turning over a new leaf and this gets you through the first few days of pain and cravings, but after those first few days I find that it’s too easy to fall off the wagon or miss a training slot.
So this time, I’m trying to ease myself back into a paleo/primal blueprint type eating and exercise lifestyle. After a couple of months of 50:50 paleo eating, the last few weeks I’ve been eating like a caveman for about 70-80% of the time; now it’s just the chocolate cravings after dinner that’s stopping my paleo halo from shining! I’m also using intermittent fasting as developed in Eat Stop Eat as a tool to try and improve my body composition. I’ve dabbled before but now I’ve completed two weeks of IF and find that Monday and Thursday suit me well, Monday to “clear up” after the weekend and Thurs as it’s almost the weekend but not quite party time yet! If I don’t eat breakfast I find it quite easy to not eat until 5:30pm, though my work colleagues seem convinced I have an eating disorder!
Training is difficult this time of the year as it’s dark and often wet outside, and temperatures can vary between quite mild to sub-zero on a daily basis. I think the key is making a plan and then sticking to it and trying to avoid winter colds and sniffles. Trying to balance my training and also see my family is another challenge, so I try to train in the early morning before my girls are awake, though I do try and have a more social run with others after work once a week. Mark Sissons at isn’t keen on anyone doing a lot of cardio, but I think I’m remaining n the realms of primal training but really need to get some strength training done to build lean mass. Think I’ll start with body weight training and I’ve used this plan before from the vacation body plan from You’re supposed to do three rounds but after two I’ve been completely whacked and close to vomiting it’s so intense! It’s a good starting plan before I work up to doing some! Another plan is using that uses simple bodyweight exercises.

Monday, 8 November 2010

Belated update and a new start!

It's a long time since I blogged, and I don't really have any excuses! The good news is that I've tried to stick to a paleo/primal blueprint style of eating and have continued to lose weight. I've reached as low as 11st 2lb, but am at around 11st 8lb now, with the scales telling me I'm 18.5% body fat. I can't say it's been easy as I'm still very attracted to sugary chocolate! I've fallen off the wagon and eaten wheat during the summer but each time when I've stopped eating grains I feel a lot better so I'm determined to stay grain free, despite the constant temptation of biscuits, sandwiches etc!
Training in the spring and summer was easy relative to the autumn, and late summer was really difficult, just when I needed to up my game for the Cardiff half marathon! I finished the half marathon in 2hrs 7 mins, but it was really difficult and I should have done lots more training. I'm now training for a 10k race in December which I think will be easier to prepare for, and intend to follow a better structure of intervals, hill work as well as a weekly longer run, but trying to avoid chronic cardio! I'm also really interested in Crossfit, which seems to a brilliant way to get strong and fit. The trouble is finding a gym and the time to go crossfitting!

I promise weekly updates from now on!

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Valentines day update

Time for an update as I've been pretty slack recently!

I'm still eating primal (well most of the time). This week's been a bit lapse, but today is the start of a more determined effort to stay primal. I had a weigh in and got the measuring tape out to check for progress, and I think you'll agree from the figures below that there's definitely an improvement (latest figures are on the left, previous figures from January to the right). Overall I'm really pleased, though I think I need to probably focus more on building some upper body muscle. I went for a 3 mile run yesterday (took 30 mins), but at times I was able to run quite fast, which felt really good. My aim is to be able to run 5km/3 miles in 30 mins at an easier effort level, and get out mountain biking as this will help build upper body strength as well as improve my legs. I wonder how well I'll cope with the intensity of mountain biking though, as I've always burnt out really quickly whilst eating a conventional diet.

Height: 5'10" (178cm)
Weight: 12st0lb (168lbs, 76kg) 12st11lbs (179lbs, 81.3kg)
BMI: 23.9 (normal range) 26 (over-weight!)
Chest: 37" (94cm) 38.25" (97cm)
Waist: 36.5" (92.5cm) 39.5" (100cm)
Hips: 38.5" (97.75cm) 40" (101cm)
Arm (bicep): 12" (30.5cm) 12.25" (31cm)
Thigh: 22" (56cm) 22.5" (57cm)
Calf: 14.75" (37.5cm) 13.75" (35cm)

So after around 6 weeks of mainly primal eating/living the effects are quite obvious; less fat around my waist and a general feeling of being fitter. I still have cravings for sugary treats, but if I stay off the carbs I can usually get through the day ok. The danger is when you give in and accept a biscuit at tea time, or grab a sandwich at lunchtime, then the roller-coaster insulin levels make it so difficult not to want something else sweet. Stick to primal food all day and cravings aren't really a problem. I've even tried a bit of intermittent fasting, and it's really easy to do. I can not eat until 6pm quite easily, and I'm sure it helps burn off the fat.

Thanks for reading, I promise to update more frequently!

Friday, 8 January 2010

Getting into it!

Nearly a week of going primal now and feel less cravings for carbs now. To start with had really strong urge to eat chocolates, sweet stuff in general. Thankfully this has now subsided, and a little 85% chocolate is giving me "a fix" if I really need it.

Finally received Primal Blueprint in the post this week and am about a 1/3rd of the way through. It's an excellent book, with a perfect combination of science and practice. I guess I feel the same way as Mark about the large food companies and their massive lobbying power to ensure governments don't damage their carb based food markets! The book talks from the American perspective, but the UK is not far behind in terms of diet and lifestyle problems!
I feel like I'm getting their with the foods, but need to find higher quality meat, as the supermarket shelves are just full of grain fed meat. Organic meat is generally very expensive compared to conventionally reared, so I'll have to find some recipes that use cheaper cuts etc.

Have done a little exercise but need to read the book to find what regime I should be following. I find it difficult to exercise at a low intensity, I find I speed up and end up with my pulse much higher than Primal Blueprint would suggest. The UK being covered in snow and ice hasn't helped much either this week!

Will try and finish the book over the weekend which will hopefully set me on a clear lifestyle path. No weight loss to report yet, but I'm not overly concerned, particularly as I've been in transition this week and need to start the exercise regime properly!

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Day 3 of primal living!

Day two of living the paleo/primal lifestyle went fine with less cravings for carbs. Some nice pork chops and roasted vegetables were the food highlight of the day - yum!

So now onto my "before primal" body measurements, which I took yesterday morning:
Height: 5'10" (178cm)
Weight: 12st11lbs (179lbs, 81.3kg)
BMI: 26 (over-weight!)
Chest: 38.25" (97cm)
Waist: 39.5" (100cm)
Hips: 40" (101cm)
Arm (bicep): 12.25" (31cm)
Thigh: 22.5" (57cm)
Calf: 13.75" (35cm)

So overall, according to my BMI I'm officially over-weight and although the BMI isn't necessarily an accurate measurement the tape measure highlights my "roundness"! My waist measurement was quite scary, how come I'm wearing 34" jeans - I guess as I'm not Simon Cowell the waist band sits lower, though my hips are as big as my waist.... One of my aims will be to reduce my waist size and gain broader shoulders and chest, more of a triangle than an apple body shape!

Managed 10km on the cross-trainer and did some work outside this morning,. Had a decent size lunch but I feel a bit like I could eat a box of chocolates this afternoon (don't worry I won't), had some cherries as a consolation. Back to work tomorrow, so I will have to get organised to ensure lunch stays primal and doesn't become a sandwich!