The 30-Day Primal Challenge: Days 6 to 15

Posted on August 10, 2011 under
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As of last night, I have reached the half-way point of my 30-Day Primal Challenge.  Here is a brief update on progress.

Dealing with “Life”

Day 6 for me was a travelling day – long haul from London Heathrow to Seattle.  I was concerned that I wouldn’t be able to eat primally at all, due to the restricted choices on an airplane.  That turned out not to be the case however.  I used the British Airways lounge prior to my flight, and was able to eat a large salad, with a small amount of cheddar and stilton cheeses, with some pastrami.  Luckily, the upgrade Gods were smiling on me, and I was able to choose a steak and vegetables main meal from my Club class seat, and thoroughly enjoyed the accompanying side-salad and fruit.  The late afternoon in-flight snack was more difficult – sandwiches – and I just had to eat the bread (due to the small amount of food and the large amount of hunger!).  But, on the whole, I made it through the travelling part of the day without too much of an issue.

The problem, ironically, started that evening in Seattle once I was back on terra firma.  My friends Tee and Troy had invited me for dinner.  They’ve recently moved into their place in Capitol Hill, and had just installed a new oven – which of course, they wanted to christen.  Dinner consisted of bread and dipping oils, lasagne and chocolate cake.  Bread, large amounts of pasta and cheese, and cake with thick chocolate frosting – all in one meal.  Epic fail #1.  Albeit a very tasty fail.

I also gave in to a small piece of Key Lime Cheesecake two days later at the Cheesecake Factory.  It was shared with another person.  Minor fail #2.

The rest of the week, though, I was able to make the most of the excellent Microsoft cafeteria food – eggs and bacon or fruit for breakfast and a Big Ass Salad for lunch.  Despite eating out in restaurants for dinner, I was able to pick wisely, and substitute where necessary.

Other than while travelling, there haven’t been too many other situations that have caused me any issue.

Daily Routines Change

I’ve found that my daily routines have changed.  Breakfast time for me used to be 2 minutes to prepare a bowl of cereal, followed by eating in front of my computer, catching up with overnight news and email.  That has now changed to a longer time in the kitchen, cooking breakfast (usually some sort of egg based meal), and preparing a salad to take to work for lunch.  Once that is done, I am tending to just sit quietly for a while.  I haven’t missed the early morning technology session yet…  Besides, I have my smartphone if I am really desperate.

Additionally, since I am eating in a slightly different way to the rest of the family, I have found myself cooking more often – something I hadn’t previously done much, since my wife would cook for the whole family.  It’s actually pretty fun.  I even made my first Meatza the other day!  My wife was kind of horrified at that, but still…


I am definitely eating less.  I still feel hungry sometimes through the day, usually towards when a main meal would be due.  But my meal choices definitely fill me up, I can snack on healthy items in-between times (I am opting for nuts or blueberries as a go-to choice), and generally I seem less hungry overall.  I will certainly also be trying intermittent fasting in the near future.

Exercise and Sun

This is the one area I am not doing so well in.

I am nailing the “move frequently at a slow pace” challenge.  I am still walking to work, spent some time on a treadmill in Seattle, walked our puppy (and her sister) a few times with my daughter, and played a round of golf with my son last weekend.  This has also given me plenty of sunshine exposure.

I have done a couple of strength sessions at the gym, but by now I should have done 4 or 5.  Those sessions haven’t been the intense full-body sessions that I would have liked either.  I’ll need to do better in the next two weeks.

And unless you count chasing the dogs on one of my dog walks as a conscious “sprinting” exercise, I also haven’t done that.  Again, improvement needed in days 16-30.

Stuff I Miss

There’s no question – I am missing some food a lot.  I love breakfast cereals, with lots of sugar.  I really like pasta dishes and a pepperoni pizza with jalapenos.  I like to drink diet Coke.  When I am in Seattle, I love to drink Mountain Dew, and eat Top Pot doughnuts.  I like a Vanilla Latte.  I like sweets and chocolate bars.  Many of the things I miss are related to my sweet tooth – which I have always had.  Whilst some primal snacks give me a hint of this (particularly some of the sweeter fruits), it is taking a long time to get over the craving for that really sugary taste.