The Primal Challenge Day 17

Just over halfway there, and I am well and truly in a mid season slump. Today I ate three pieces of fruit and wanted more. I’m stuffing nuts down my throat like it is my last day on earth and despite having a piece of frittata and a cup of smoothie for breakfast, my mind tells me I am hungry by 11. Which there is no way I should be – I’m not even training and getting up an hour later!!

Now some of you might be rolling your eyes thinking wow, three pieces of fruit… but the recommendation is two per day and I gauged, and I’m not sure if it classifies as a challenge fail, so I’m overly disgusted and upset with myself.

Ok so the pieces were small, watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew. It was a shared fruit platter, so not like I ate the entire lot, but I did feel guilty.

Ok so I’m leaving out the 10 red grapes I also ate.

See – mid season slump.

I only had my lunch three hours ago and I’m hungry again.

Plus –only a few days ago I was walking around promoting my clean skin thanks to my clean eating and almost throwing away the dry shampoo. As if to prove a point, or perhaps in protest, my chin is riddled with blackheads and teenage acne and my hair on day two is in a high ponytail and heavily sprayed.

I know I was a late bloomer in high school, but this is ridiculous! Are my cravings and withdrawal symptoms coming so much later than first prescribed? Or am I a victim of some other bout of hormone tampering!?

Either way, day 17 is no fun.

Not that I am ready to throw in the clean eating towel, it’s just damp on the rack, hanging loosely and not really smelling the best.

I’ve decided I need a pick me up to get my mind off the fact I have to spend hours making a Christmas pudding full of things I can’t eat for our Christmas in July dinner this Saturday night, by making lots of things that I can.  And because I am still struggling with my sweet tooth, tonight it will be frosty fruit smash (if I can find almond butter) and the holy-moly banana pancakes (again if I can find almond butter).

I also had my meat delivered today to work by Canning’s – including the paleo bacon. Score.  I couldn’t wait for the weekend and their birthday discount celebration and knew I would get more stuff then anyway, so stocked up – and by the weight in the bag (I had to take the lift) I might have again gone a little overboard.

Time to re-calibrate the grocery bill budget.

But I know that bag of goodness holds my lamb shanks and ribs ready for two new primal recipes just in time for Thursday and Friday night and the cold weather we are meant to be expecting.  I’ll even prep the slow cooker tonight ready for the ribs tomorrow.

Tomorrow I can FINALLY go back to some sort of training and exercise (thank the thighs) which should also peck me up a little.

Actually as I am writing this and thinking about all the great things I can make and then eat, my mood is somewhat increasing to almost positive and I think I can feel the first shakings of my slump.

Don’t get too excited, my skin is still saw and red from when I tried to push the puss out of it in front of the work bathroom mirror.

Maybe I’ll even make my own almond butter….

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The Primal Challenge Day 7

The rest of Saturday was a disaster. And I don’t use that term lightly. Well actually I do, but this truly was a supersonic shithouse Saturday.

The afternoon wasn’t so bad. I joined my sisters and laughed at my Mum as she modeled plus size clothing for a friends charity event and clothing auction.  She was wearing a size 12, so not really plus size. However when the designer told us that 65% of women were a size 14 and over, and less than 10% of labels designed exclusively for them, I wanted to point out that maybe a few of the 65% could benefit from a healthier, cleaner form of eating and maybe some exercise to broaden their clothing choice.

Not even the full 30 days in and already I am Miss Proud and Predigest, looking down at others.

I know, it was a bitchy thought and I probably only thought it to make myself feel better. I was even a little shocked at how quickly I had become ‘one of those’ people, preaching and looking down at others.

I pinched myself for being such a cow and tried to ignore how hungry I was.

During the break, where we were all encouraged to go through piles of op-shop rescued clothing we could purchase for gold coins that would help an African orphanage, I ignored all the homemade cakes on the table and went straight for the carrot and celery sticks.

Now I know I just chastised myself for being a bitch, but slight side comment – if those 14 and above sized women are healthy then good on them, no issue. But I tell you not many of them by-passed the chocolate biscuits and not one piece of orange cake was left standing after the first wave went by… In fact, the only friend’s carrot and celery had was me and even I copped a few elbows as the Grandmothers went after the homemade scones.

That night I was I off to the football. To the biggest rivalry we have each year. To Hawthorn versus Geelong.

For dinner I prepared a chicken breast no crumb completely paleo schnitzel from Cannings, and while my fellow footy goers stuffed theirs between some salad, a piece of cheese and a wholemeal roll, I substituted the roll for a bowl and packed a nice chicken salad.

I kept away from the bar. All night. Even as Geelong scored goal after goal and I pulled my hair out in frustration at our poor kicking and rushed decision-making. When my brother text me to meet him their at half time I declined. Too stressed over the game to discuss it amongst everyone else who held beers.

The worst thing was, even worse than the footy score – so yes it was bad – was the cramping and aching in my legs and hips.

I know I hadn’t stretched enough post boxing, and had really tried in CFHE WOD on Friday to use my hips (something all coaches know I am terrible at) but the pain that was radiating from my pelvis through both legs – the left in particular was worse than Tuesday’s headache and Friday nights sugar withdrawals.

Of course the football did nothing to take my mind off the pain.

I stomped and stretched and stood up and walked during each break – as much out of pain as out of nervous energy, but nothing would shake the ache.

I never even finished my salad.

By the time the final siren sounded and I had walked back to the car, I was almost limping and could barley stand on my left leg thanks to cramp.

And of course to make matters worse, I had just sat through my 11th straight loss to Geelong – which is always painful enough.

By now, I was seriously hoping it was all part of the ‘change’ my body is going through – and no I am not talking late puberty, early menopause or anything else you might be thinking –  but that it is some random side effect of something I am doing right.

Either that or I was being punished by some of the 65% of women who think I am a bitch.

I massaged some tension relief cream into my legs and managed to fall asleep around midnight, and thank god when I awoke a) I had not been attacked by some biscuit eating strange size 18 women, and b) the pain in my legs was gone.

The only downside, last night’s footy result was still well and truly one I could not forget.

So Saturday scared me a little. The pain in my legs and hips scared me, and my ‘too quick to judge’ attitude also scared me.

So Sunday when I again braved eating out for my sister-in-laws birthday and the restaurant served me a piece of whiting the size of my pinkie with a side salad for lunch and tried to charge me $18 for the pleasure of wanting to eat the rest of my hand off for hunger – I said nothing.

I swallowed the fish in two or three mouthfuls and had downed the salad before others had even received their meals.

Really? I waned to ask the Polish waitress as she came over to top up my mineral water. I mean just because I am Paleo doesn’t mean I eat like a bird, and we all know the saying – you don’t make friends with salad.

Instead I smiled and eyed off Nephews pumpkin soup that lay untouched while he threw a two-year old tantrum and wondered if they had added cream or potato to the mix and if not, was he going to eat that?

Maybe the Polish waitress was a size 16 in disguise or something, because nothing this weekend was going right.

For dinner that night I decided to take back control by the only way I knew how – to cook my own meals. Organic free range roast pork with sweet potato and salad. TICK TICK TICK and no need to think about eating my hand or arm or any other body part.

When my sweet tooth kicked in as tinned mangoes and yoghurt was served to everyone around me, I chewed silently on a green apple, and to be honest, was quite happy.

And then, finally, the first weekend of the 30-day challenge was behind me – THANK GOD.

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The Primal Challenge Day 6

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Last night was the first time I really craved something sweet. And like the buzzing of a mosquito hiding in a dark hot summers room, once I noticed it was there it annoyed the shit out of me.

Dinner was fine. Left over lamb cutlets and salad. My mineral waster was fine. Everything was fine. But come 8pm I had an itch that was in desperate need of scratching. No matter what I had said previously about sugar and how it held nothing for me, that I barely ate it, could easily go without, the realization that I was in fact addicted to it in someway shape or form, came crashing down with a hard reality

I tried to keep busy.

Two loads of washing, paying bills, fixing the modem that Telstra has somehow blocked so my new iinet account cant work on it – yeah thanks – don’t think that fight is over, watching the football.

Nothing worked.

By 8:30 I was googeling paleo friendly dessert.

Oh and the tasty things that came up!

Dark chocolate cake, almond meal cheesecake, cookies, rum balls, even mousse.

All of these delicious delicacies only made my itch larger and fuelled an already blazing fire, for while these wonderful clean eating desserts were paleo friendly, not one was entirely clean enough for the Primal Challenge. Dark chocolate, maple syrup, they all called for something on the banned substance list.

I was almost a shaking, drooling mess by the time I found the pancake recipe.

Almond meal pancakes. And I had all the ingredients. I found my trusty pancake mixing bowl, tried to ignore the standard recipe printed inside and its call out for ½ cup white sugar, and mixed my paleo, sugar free pancakes consisting of almond meal, eggs, water and coconut, with a fever paced flurry and hint of madness.

The pan barely had a chance to heat before I was pouring in the first round blob of goodness.

As I watched the sides bubble and darken, ready to be flipped, I wanted nothing more than to flip the half cooked savior into my salivating mouth.

Instead I showed restraint and made myself cook all six of the darlings before even tasting one.

Then they were on a plate (or at least two of them) and I was ready to dig in.

They were a little dry.

And dense.

And the texture was not great, mostly due to the overexcited amount of coconut I used.

To be frank, they didn’t cut it and I was disappointed and my craving was still there.

And then I remembered the honey sitting only feet away from me, hiding snug in the pantry door.

All natural, nothing artificial added honey.

Could this be the one time my inner cave man found their honeycomb after months of searching?

I took the squeeze bottle out of the pantry door and smelt it. I even turned the lid and squeezed it a little to watch the liquid gold push up to the top of the bottle.

I knew this was not right. This was not ok. But still I wanted it so bad. And I can’t even remember the last time I ate honey.

Before I could dwell on it any longer I hid the honey back in the pantry and sprinted the ten steps to where my ipad was and quickly typed an SOS to primal junction.

Hi friends, can you please confirm if honey is in or out for the challenge?

I was so desperate I wrote it twice.

And then the news I had dreaded came back to me…

Hey Stace, for the challenge it’s out – we’re trying to get rid of the sugar addiction and your brain doesn’t register the different types, be it natural or refined – it’s all sugar! So you’re still really feeding that addiction. Try and avoid it if you can…sorry

I think I knew it already.

So with a sigh and a shake of my head, I went back to my dry almond meal sugarless pancakes. I forced down two with the help of a few frozen berries (if that’s not ok then shoot me now) and put the rest in the fridge for Saturday’s breakfast.

I’ll admit. I was not in a good way. I went to bed unsatisfied and didn’t even see the end of the footy.

Saturday was a new day. Boxing with a friend who since meeting Kacey at the Primal Junction clean eating seminar has taken up yoga at Kula, and then vegie shopping at Richmond market. Fantastic!

Boxing was tough. Tougher than the week before when I was fuelled by a white wine and Thai food hangover. Today my legs felt sluggish and heavy and by the end of the session even holding up the pads was hard work.

I remembered the week before where I was almost sprinting between the circuit to now where every step felt like I was walking up Mount Everest with a 40k pack on my back, and hoped this was just another phase in my body recovering and preparing to be the mean, lean fighting machine I had promised myself it would be come.

Post boxing I dragged myself to the market. I stocked up on kale, celery, cauliflower, parsnips, pumpkin, avocados (I think I got 10 in total from at least three different stalls just to keep the competition alive) lemons and lettuce. I only stopped shopping because my bag was so heavy and my arms so tired I couldn’t carry anymore.

Despite my failed pancake effort the night prior, I dragged them out of the fridge again and glared at them with determination. You will be tasty!

Two poached free-range eggs, four pieces of organic Cannings bacon, half an avocado later and they were!

Delicious!

So delicious I forgave them for last nights effort and promised I would give them another crack further down the 30-day line.

So delicious I had to cook up another serve for my father in law who came over just as I was finishing them.

So delicious I have already run out of eggs and bacon.

So delicious I pepped myself up, forgot about my withdrawal symptoms night before and vowed the rest of Saturday would be a new Day 6 day!

But again, let’s curb that enthusiasm. It’s lunchtime Saturday, and a big football game still to come.  I’m trying not to think about it, because frankly, it could just be my tipping point.

Oh Day 6 how will you end!?

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