The Primal Challenge Day 13 & 14

The second weekend has come and gone and again I have survived! And while I ate like a cave man I didn’t hibernate like one. I went out – a few times, and took my new clean eating with me. Ok so no bars, just restaurants, so no real alcohol temptation – but still.

Friday night dinner  – no worries. Just give me a steak and a pile of greens and I would be happy. Thai was almost forgotten. I felt great for not drinking – well maybe just good – but it actually didn’t worry me.

When I ordered my food the slightly odd waiter with his thick Czech accent repeated it by saying (with a creepy smile) “I know what you want, steak, medium, salt, pepper, lots of greens, no butter, no oil, no gluten, no dairy…ok no worries. But one question, how you look like you do when you eat like that?”

It’s because I eat this way I look this way! I wanted to respond.

Because I have cut out sugar my skin is clearer, I did a PB in my last back squat, my arms are on their way to looking like Michelle Bridges, (random goal of mine) and my hair can last three to four days before I need to wash it (apart from the crossfit sweat).

And maybe if you tried it you would be able to too! I wanted to scream at him.

But I didn’t because he was bald, and slightly odd, and I hadn’t got my food yet, and in a strange sort of way he was trying to pick me up until a)my husband appeared next to me and b)an attractive brunette got his attention. Plus I don’t/didn’t want to sound like I have/had tickets on myself.

But it’s true. My skin really is clearer and for a 30 something that often gets a bout of teenage acne, this is quite a positive development and given the length of my hair, the less frequent hair washing is not only a big time saver, but also a big cash bonus.

That Friday night, my meal was actually the envy of the table.

Saturday (day 13) I replaced boxing with a trip to my newfound physio Alex from Evolutio, who has conveniently opened up a studio above the Crossfit Hawthorn East box.  Another bonus is Alex actually does and coaches crossfit so understands the sport and the movements.  Which also means he is not one of those physios who looks down on you, shakes their head with dismay and lectures you about how you could really hurt yourself doing crossfit for a full 20 minutes of your 30 minute appointment before actually treating you.

13 days in and I’ve well and truly turned into one of those don’t knock it till you try it people.

Saturday afternoon the Hawks came back with a great win (thank god) I snacked on a smoothie and some celery and carrot sticks, a few almonds and felt royally in control.

Although that control was short lived.

Carlton v St Kilda was only a few hours away and I was going (and was not really thrilled about it).

While my fridge was full of greens, my Cannings meat supply was out. The first inch of panic twitched in my legs when I realised there was not much in my old pantry I could mix with a salad and want to eat.

The supermarket (shudder) my only option.

I couldn’t face it myself so instead sent my now completely aware and strangely still supportive “although I think you are becoming obsessed” husband up with strict instructions.

Free range, organic chicken breast. Nothing added. No sauce.

Then to take my mind off his potential failure and my potential challenge doom I began my weekly food prep with Primal Junction’s spicy pumpkin soup recipe.

A SOS came in while I was still cutting the pumpkin.

Is it just free range or both organic and free range.


So not this Lilydale Chicken?

I don’t think so, what does the packet say?

At Lilydale, we are proud to farm free range chickens. 

All Lilydale chickens enjoy a nutritious, vitamin enriched natural diet; have access to the outdoors during the day and are free from growth promoters and antibiotics.

Hmm, nothing about what they eat?


What’s the other option?

Inglewood Farms, Organic Free Range Chicken

That sounds better.

Its $15 for two chicken breasts!


Are you there?

More silence.

Ok ill get this one.

And while we almost had to take out a second mortgage for my two chicken breasts, I must admit it was worth it. My thyme chicken salad was a winner at the football and so was Carlton meaning my husband forgot about the emptiness of his wallet with the happiness of the result.

Sunday (day 14) afternoon I watched others snack on party pies, sausage rolls and chicken nuggets trying to hold back the vomit in my throat (well not really vomit, but distaste) and every now and then popping in a snide comment about how much sugar was in their latest blob of tomato sauce.

Eventually after the third or fourth person glared at me with irritation, and about the same time the chocolate birthday cake was being cut, I stopped and let them enjoy their lunch.

Note to others – Please don’t let me turn into one of those people.

Light bulb moment and note to self – don’t turn into a superficial, high and mighty, and all judging pain in the arse. Its only day 14 and if you think you’ll never eat another piece of cake in your life, you are kidding yourself.

Then I prepped for the week. I prepped a lot.

I made two different smoothies (ok the first one didn’t last the weekend which is why I had to do the second), spicy pumpkin soup (but I used water no stock as i couldn’t find a no sugar one), bacon and vegetable frittata and a pot of clean pasta sauce with some carrot and zucchini.

My fridge was loaded and my freezer stocked, and I was set for this week. Week three!

It also provided me with another light bulb moment.

I don’t miss pasta – I missed the pasta sauce.

I tried the Primal Junction zucchini spaghetti recipe and hardly noticed my noodles were carrot and zucchini instead of penne or spaghetti. It was the rich tomato and garlic flavor with mince and Italian herbs that I looked forward to on Sunday nights and I still got that – all of that.

But I got it without sugar and without carbo loading on cheap wheat.

Why did I wait so long to try this?!

Oh that’s right I don’t have a julienne slicer and had to cut all my vegetables by hand which took me a long time, and before this challenge had no idea I could substitute pasta for something and still love it.

Perfect pasta without the penne!


Plus when my sugar craving kicked in after dinner as others around me had strawberries and ice cream with chocolate topping for dessert I had a cup of left over smoothie and felt satisfied.

So Sunday night, the second Sunday night, and I was ready to face the week head one. Breakfast – frittata and smoothie, lunch – soup and left over ‘pasta’. Plus I had reserves for a salad if things went pear shaped and the other $7.50 chicken breast in the waiting  – better not leave that waiting too long would hate to throw it out and waste the home loan payment.

Primal Junction Challenge Day 14 which means –  I’m almost half way there……

Lessons Learned –

  • Don’t buy your organic, free-range meat from a supermarket if you want to pay off your mortgage this decade.



The Primal Challenge Day 5

Friday! The joy of the weekend – it’s so close I can almost taste it. Dairy free and gluten free and sugar free of course.

But let’s be honest, this is the first real challenge, the weekend. We have been skating around the surface Monday to Thursday thinking things were hard, complaining about not knowing what to eat, worried about a faint headache, thinking we were doing so well – or maybe that was just me… anyway, for me, Friday is the first test of real strength.

Friday is – I mean was – known as full fat Friday’s. Where sausage rolls were a breakfast staple and lunch was a $10 pizza and beer.  Friday dinner is normally white wine, Thai food and footy.

Hmmmmm.  Seems a few changes are needed there.

Saturday is normally a big post boxing breakfast that includes eggs (tick) bacon (tick) tomatoes (tick) avocado (tick) and bread (fail) all cooked in oily goodness (fail) and washed down with two ‘skinny’ lattés (fail).

Saturday night – more football, this time with a beer in one hand and a Coles bought chicken schnitzel roll in the other – I always thought it was better than eating Red Rooster or cold meat pies.

Hmmmmm.  A few more changes.

And Sunday is a family roast, complete with an overdose of nibbles and snacks prior, champagne throughout and dessert to follow.

Hmmmmm. Lots of changes. And I thought I was moderately healthy.

In preparation for my weekend war on processed food, I went to Cannings Free Range Butchers last night to shop away my sorrows with some good quality organic meat. I pre-ordered online so it was ready to pick up after work and Sam was very helpful. When I asked if the herb crusted chicken held dairy or gluten, he confirmed it did and swapped it for me to plain,  and then commended me on making a ‘good paleo decision’ thanks Sam!

I must admit, I got a bit too excited with the meat shopping. Again, scared of failing and not having something friendly to cook I shopped as if I was once again living with my Mum and five siblings instead of a husband and two dogs.

  • Short Rindless Otway Bacon – 250gm
  • Beef Casserole Cubes – 200gm
  • Chicken Schnitzel – 1kg
  • Lean Beef & Pork Mince – 2kg
  • Chump Lamb Chops – 140gm
  • Lamb Cutlets – 80gm
  • Lemon & Pepper Free Range Chicken Tenderloin Skewers – 10 Pack


But I highly recommend the lamb cutlets which I had for dinner last night, and taking a leaf out of Kacey’s organic tree, served them with sweet potato crisps (I had no parsnip) and a fresh salad.

Tomorrow’s post Leo Berry’s boxing breakfast will be replaced with post boxing fresh food market shopping – and if I feel strong enough a few poached eggs, bacon and tomato in one of the many organic friendly cafes’ on Bridge Rd.

Saturday’s night game will have one of the plain chicken schnitzels with a salad, and water instead of beer.

Sunday’s roast will be fine, with a few modifications, and no nibbles.

So food wise I am set!

But it’s not the food that I am most worried about. Again it’s the glass or two or three of a crisp New Zealand sauvignon blanc I would have enjoyed on the couch tonight or over Thai with friends, that I am already missing.

Especially after the work day I have just had – hence the very late blog post while I eat my ‘lunch’. 

Plus the impending Hawthorn v Geelong footy game on Saturday night is already weighing heavily on my mind. The Kennett curse has bought me to tears more than once, and the stress of the game often causes me to dry retch – so much so everyone at work knows if it is another loss not to expect me in the office on Monday. Yes I know this is madness, but hey everyone has their vices.

Like my sister-in law who was doing her own form of a Primal Challenge and on Day 2 sent me the below text –

Crashed already. Just had a choc ice cream…..


The reason I’ll never be skinny…..

 Unfortunately for her, I don’t think ice-cream is her only vice, but the love of food – all types of food (sorry Heidi, I’ll bake you that chocolate tart for the weekend to make it up to you).

And my biggest vice (excluding the Hawthorn footy club) is a few drinks on a Friday night to get the weekend in gear.

I can substitute food almost without worry – but why is it that a tall glass of soda water and lemon over ice does not have the same feel for it without the vodka?

What can I replace it with that has some flavor and tricks me into thinking I am unwinding after a long week?

Why does my constant winging about it make me sound/feel/act like a recovering alcoholic?

And why can’t Hawthorn beat Geelong!!!???

cannings cannings2