The play is done but the stress levels are still up, and the constant frustrations of my fat gain is the primary suspect. I've seen a number of prominent figures in the online Paleo community crashing and burning of late, perhaps due to the increased interest in the evolutionary perspective governing our lifestyle and dietary choices, and the increased pressure from commenters and critiques to nail down exactly what it means to be paleo/primal, and the demand for us to be 'golden children' for the movement. Given that many of us come from a background of obsessive & emotional eating, health problems, and other causes of over-weight, it makes sense that increased focus on the successes and failures regarding our weight and health can trigger old psychological problems. Even Dan, from At Darwin's Table, has admitted that he has fallen off the wagon and into his old eating behaviours, and is having to start again. I wish him all the best as he tries to take control of his food addiction once more, although he seems to be starting at what I found to be the wrong end of the perspective telescope; he is monitoring macronutrients and calories with acute detail.
My choice, however, is to finally let go of those measures. I have been logging my food on SparkPeople since January 1st, 2009. I have watched my carbs, primarily, but lately have been watching my calories just as closely. I would allow the numbers to dictate whether I should eat more or not, ignoring my own hunger signals. Post-Deptran, I found that I had no satiety trigger anyway, so calorie-counting became even more of a crutch. Given that Primal eating is designed to help us understand our bodies more accurately, I recognise that I have been consistently severing my mind's connection with my body, and this must have added to my stress and frustrations.
The obvious, but scary solution? Stop the tracking. Stop photographing every single meal. Stop worrying about fasting. Stop worrying about my metabolism. Stop eating for the wrong reasons.
Instead, I will be eating my lovely, grass-fed meat when I'm hungry, photographing particularly special meals only (i.e. recipe experimentation, such as last weekend's Savory Zucchini Bread & today's Coconut Crusted Salmon), and stay off the scale for a few weeks. I will be prioritising my need to relax and get back in touch with my body, so I'm going to build some Yoga back into my usual body-weight routine, and hopefully keep other stressors out of my life. It's report-writing time, but I've never found that terribly stressful, just time-consuming. In three weeks, we're heading off to Canada, and I've been in touch with a grass-fed beef farmer & a grass-fed exotics farmer so I'll be set for the duration of my stay in Ottawa. The trip is free of financial burden, so other than the usual travel issues, hopefully the holiday will be appropriately relaxing.
I'm in no rush, but I look forward to being rid of what I call my 'Cortisol Belly'! I'm glad that, even though 9kg of my 14kg loss has returned, and my body fat percentage is higher than it was pre-primal, my overall appearance is slimmer than before. My gut - and, to a lesser extend, my hips and thighs - is the only area I've put on weight, and my reading tells me that elevated cortisol levels tend to promote fat storage in the lower abdominal area. The evidence weighs heavily upon the dirty c-word...
This week's eats list will be the last of its kind for a while. I won't bother taking shots of meals I've shared with you before; I will record particularly interesting meals, especially if they're fresh experiments, and feature them here for your viewing pleasure. Other than report-writing, my weekday evenings are commitment-free, so I'll have lots of chances to play around in the kitchen.
Breakfast - salmon sashimi & Bertocchi's porchetta-style roast pork.
Dinner - coconut beef curry.
Breakfast - lamb chop & bacon.
Lunch - a chunk of raw cacao butter; my first try. What an amazing aroma! while there was no real taste, but my metabolism enjoyed the hit of fat.
Dinner - beef scotch fillet, pure beef sausage, lamb chop, and fried eggs.
Breakfast - lamb chops, bacon & eggs. Don't you hate it when you over-cook the eggs and the yolks cook through?! Boo...
Dinner: entree - mussels! Hooray for a fresh seafood delivery!
Dinner: main - salmon fillet topped with buttery marinara.
Breakfast - lamb chop.
Dinner - gummy flake fillet topped with buttery marinara mix.
Breakfast - bacon and eggs, classic!
Lunch - salmon sashimi whilst out shopping with Mum.
Dinner - Farmer Dan's leg of lamb, rubbed with garlic and rosemary, and roasted with veggies: fennel, onion, pumpkin and capsicum.
And my share of the roasted bounty - amazing! Served in its own juices.
Snack - purple kale chips!
Breakfast - that's right, I chowed down on the leg of lamb leftovers, straight off the bone!
Lunch - leftover lamb off the leg, curried with coconut cream until tender and succulent. I know what I'll be doing with my leftovers from now on!
Dinner: entree - sauteed marinara and scallops.
Dinner: main - baked barramundi with a lemon myrtle salt rub, with zucchini.
Dessert - savory zucchini slice, served with raw cream! Yes, I finally found unpasteurised dairy, but the company doesn't have a website yet... Melbournites, look out for Swampy's Real Milk - wonderful stuff!
Enjoy the voyeurism, food porn lovers, and make it last - it'll have to do you for a while! ;) From now on, each week you'll be getting just the best of the best that comes from my kitchen and other adventures. I also want to help people find their local suppliers of high-quality, primal-friendly foods, so be ready for more posts in that vein.