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Our Primal Challenge is Complete!

Bit of a late post………..

Well, we have reached the end of our 6 week kick-start to a more primal lifestyle! Below are the goals we set ourselves at the start of the challenge….

  • We will spend the 6 weeks to 6th April 2009 acting as if we have a 100% Primal lifestyle – we were a little shy of the 6 weeks, finishing on the 3rd of April in time for my sister’s hen do!
  • We will not eat bread, pasta, rice, cereal, or other simple carbohydrate in this period – done!
  • I will lose 9lbs of body fat in this time (1.5lbs a week – doable), HRP will lose 6lbs – both lost 7llbs!
  • We will exercise at least 12 times, in a Primal style, in this time (twice a week – doable) – done!
  • I will gain 2lbs of lean-muscle in this time, HRP will add 1lb – done

All in all, not a bad attempt! We are both pleased with the results and with our commitment throughout the challenge!

At the end of the challenge we allowed ourselves the things that had not passed our lips during the challenge, such as beer, chips, chocolate etc. Although i thoroughly enjoyed eating these ‘treats’, it highlighted to me just how much better a primal lifestyle is for you. After eating a carb heavy dinner and drinking sugar filled beer i was left feeling immensely bloated and dirty on the inside, not a pleasant feeling!

Things we found easy/enjoyable:

Exercise – cutting down the amount of time spent in the gym by doing sprints and weights made it a more pleasurable experience and rather satisfying as i started to get stronger and see my muscles develop! It is much easier to motivate yourself for shorter periods rather than a long distance slog on the tradmill for example, not to mention far less boring!

Cutting out the usual carbs (bread, pasta, rice etc) from lunches and dinners – filling up on veg and/or salad left us feeling less bloated and much healthier.

Experimenting with cooking – using some of the other primal sites out there, such as MDA and Son of Grok, we were able to reproduce some of their primal recipes as well as get ideas for our own recipes. The amount of options available to suit the lifestyle is vast. Cooking has become a bit of a hobby for me since the challenge!

Things we found difficult:

Giving up our guilty pleasures –¬† such as a chocolate bar with a cup of tea in the evening, or chips on a friday night, or a beer after work. It was hard to find any substitutes for these things. I tried a few primal substitutes for something sweet, but as they are not pumped full of devil sugar, they were just never quite sweet enough! I also tried to drink red wine a couple of times instead of beer, but it just did not have the refreshing, satisfying effect of a nice cool beer! We did manage to find a small replacement to our usual Friday night chips, by having vegetable crisps as our treat, which i really liked!

Cutting out carbs for breakfast – it took a while to get my head and tastebuds around eating something cooked or non-carby for breakfast. I was used to always having cereal or toast for breakfast and missed having them in the morning at first. However it now feels completely normal.

Dealing with weight plateaus – it can be quite demotivating when you feel like you have been trying really hard and have been cutting back left, right and centre, to find that you haven’t even dropped a fraction of a pound! It is an irrational feeling though and there is plenty of advise and support on MDA to keep you motivated.

What Now?

We intend on a permanent switch to more primal living from now onwards. There are a few more pounds of fat to lose and muscle to gain to get to where we want to be appearance wise. I like the feeling i get from eating and exercising primal style, so i intend on feeling that way more often than not. Also, i have learnt a lot from reading around other primal sites about the body’s response to carbs and about healthier choices of food, which makes me want to follow the primal rules.

I cannot say that i will never eat chips or drink beer again, but it will definitely be far less frequent than it used to be. I fully intend on living my life in the main, according to the primal blueprint!

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Primal Log – Day 17

Body Composition:

Primal Chap –222.2lbs, 24.0% body fat

Her Royal Primalness – 143.4lbs, 29.0% body fat

Exercise:

Gym today. Another set of tabeta sprints on the bike for her. Followed by usual sets of squats, rows, chest press, sit-ups and press-ups. Increasing the weight each time. Primal chap is feeling stronger with each session. HerRoyalPrimalness is struggling to up the weight due to her grip strength being weak..

Food:

  • Breakfast: Him: 2 pork loin steaks and 2 eggs with 1 tomato. Her: 100g of Greek yoghurt.Nothing.
  • Lunch: Nothing.
  • Dinner: Him: 5 grilled spare ribs and salad. Her: 12 garlic and herb char-grilled king prawns, with rocket and Parmesan salad (ate out at Tootsies and avoided burger and chips!)
  • Extras: Handful of nuts.

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Primal Log – Day 9

Body Composition:

Primal Chap –223.6lbs, 26.0% body fat

Her Royal Primalness – 143.0lbs, 30.5% body fat

Exercise:

Gym: sets of squats, bench presses, single arm rows, press-ups and sit-ups. Increasing the weights slightly from yesterday. In-out in 20 minutes.. Perfect.

Food:

  • Brunch: Him: 2 pork loins and a fried egg. Her: pan fried chicken breast and salad.
Chicken Salad

Chicken Salad

  • Dinner: Spag Bol, minus the spag.
  • Extras: Random handfuls of nuts (brazils, almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds, and pistachios) and a few carrot ‘batons’
Fitday.com
Been experimenting with putting food and weight info into a free account with Fitday.com. Gives some good stats – might try and persevere with it to see how I get on. It highlighted a few areas where I might be needing to boost some nutrients.. Vitamin D anyone? Luckily I’ve got some Cod Liver Oil that will help out there.

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Primal Log – Day 8

Body Composition:

Primal Chap –226.2lbs, 25.0% body fat

Her Royal Primalness – 143.2lbs, 30.5% body fat

Exercise:

Gym: sets of squats, bench presses, single arm rows, press-ups and sit-ups.

Food:

  • Brunch: Pork loin and a fried egg.
  • Dinner: Chicken thai red curry, made with thai red curry paste, tin of tomatoes, coconut milk, broccoli, carrots and mushrooms – mmm.
  • Extras: handful of nuts, carrot, and a fingerful of cashew-nut butter..

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Primal Log – Day 3

Body Composition:

Primal Chap – 224.6lbs, 25.5% body fat

Her Royal Primalness – 144.8lbs, 31.0% body fat

Exercise:

Wow! Aching today. Went to the gym this morning for rounds of squats, bent-over rows, dumbbell bench-press, walking lunges, and a bit of ab work. Felt a nice deep burn in the legs. Am expecting to hurt a lot at football tomorrow.

Food:

  • Brunch: Him – similar chicken wings salad as yesterday, with the addition of a boiled egg (had those chicken wings to use up). Her – ham, 2 fried eggs, and fried mushrooms.
  • Dinner: Him – home-made Boursin stuffed beefburgers with veggies. Her – has headed up north to visit her sister and sister’s fianc√©, apparently had ‘Carl’s Special Chilli’, which involves Baked Beans (which aren’t very Primal).

Sorry no photo’s today – will make amends tomorrow. I’m playing football tomorrow evening – am interested to see how stiff my legs will be in the morning after all of those squats and lunges.

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