Day 348 (W, 111214) — Getting Ready for Primal: Changes

My Primal To-Do List.  As with any switch in fitness plans, there are things I need to do to get ready for the new program and to help myself be successful.

  • Get rid of non-Primal foods in my pantry and refrigerator.

This is a challenge because my family eats a Standard American Diet (SAD) but, since I’ve been doing low-carb (Atkins and 4HB SCD) for so long, I kinda have my own sections in the pantry and fridge.  That will help.

Among other considerations, I really don’t want to waste the money I’ve already spent on SCD-acceptable but non-Primal foods such as BEANS!, store-bought salad dressings, processed meats, natural peanut butter, veggies-in-a-bag-with-sauce, etc.

I also have some Atkins bars (not strictly 4HB SCD allowed) and some Zero Carb Monsters I need to finish up.

Some of these can be saved for emergencies and/or eaten by my family.  Others I will try to use up before Jan. 1 rolls around.

  • Buy more fresh (Primal) ingredients.

This one will also be tough.  We really don’t want to spend too much on food (it’s one of our top expenses every month) and eating all-fresh, organic, simple-ingredient foods is expensive.

Yes, I have read the arguments that it isn’t.  These arguments are all true.  And they don’t help one bit.

Why?  Because they rely on using a long-term outlook or average to say that Primal eating doesn’t cost as much as SAD does.  They deliberately skim past the fact that it takes a larger initial outlay to do many of these things (e.g. Cowpooling and other bulk-buying strategies) so that you save over time.

The whole point is to spend less this month . . . and next month . . . and the month after that.  We don’t want to deplete our savings this month and then be comforted knowing we “won’t have to spend as much as normal” later on.

  • Lose my Free Day.

This one is going to suck.  I like my Free Day.  I really like my Free Day.  In fact, I enjoy the hell out of it.

I look forward to it each and every week, so much so that I sometimes can’t wait nad I find myself starting early or adding a Cheat Day / Meal to my week.

Therein lies the problem.

Luckily, as I have discovered on Atkins several times, eliminating (almost all) carbs also eliminates my cravings within a day or three. On SCD, including both beans as a regular meal element and Free Day as a weekly pressure release short-circuits this transition to a craving-free state.

I can only hope that the Primal version of the diet, with its associated occasional dairy and fruit allowances, will be closer in effect to Atkins than 4HB SCD and I’ll be happily low-carb (almost) all the time within a week or so.

  • Learn more about Primal living and strategies for adapting my life to the program.

This one is the easiest to do but takes a while to accomplish.  All I have to do is read and think and I find at least one of those to be not too difficult. 😉

  • Make decisions about where and how I will adapt the Primal Program to my personal idiosyncrasies.

This is related to the previous bullet and I can’t delve into how I will personalize the program until I know more about it.  When I do, I will.

  • Adapt my exercise routine to his recommendations.

This will be tomorrow’s topic.


My Primal Not-To-Do List. Sometimes you get lucky and what you are doing is similar to what you plan to do.

  • I won’t need to give up my stevia.

We can think about stevia as a Primal sugar alternative with some potentially therapeutic effects. Kind of like cinnamon or turmeric, we don’t consume it for the calories or as literal fuel for our bodies, but for flavor, variety, and, possibly, the health benefits. It may induce insulin secretion, but it increases insulin sensitivity, reduces blood glucose (i.e., the insulin is doing its job), and does not increase appetite. It’s been used by humans for hundreds of years and by diabetic patients in Asia for decades. The goofy health food store dude who claims aspartame was created by Donald Rumsfeld to give us cancer may be a vociferous supporter of it, but don’t hold that against stevia. I’m a fan of the stuff and recommend it as a Primal way to satisfy a sweet tooth.

Though I may need to get a different version since I usually use Truvia.

Ultimately, our perspective on Truvia is the same as it is with any artificial/altered sweetener: ask yourself if the sweetened food/drink offers any real benefit (physical or otherwise) that you couldn’t get from the same or similar food/drink that’s unsweetened. If using an artificial/altered sweetener gives you an excuse to eat or drink things that probably aren’t good for you anyway (like Coca-Cola), we definitely say skip it. In this case, it’s just a crutch that perpetuates sweet cravings. If it allows you to have a sensible alternative for foods and drinks that offer you some kind of nutritional or personal benefit, then it might be a reasonable addition to your diet on occasion.


Exercise.  Going strong.  Let’s keep it up.

Exercise Sets Reps Notes
1 Myotatic Crunches 2 25
2 Cat Vomit Exercises 2 10
3 Push-ups 2 50
4 Pull-ups 2 10 assisted
5 Squats 2 50
6 Dips 2 25 assisted

Review. pending


Plan for Week 50.

Day Fast? SCD? Run/Exer?
Sunday Yes Yes No
Monday Yes Yes Yes
Tuesday Yes Yes No
Wednesday Yes Yes Yes
Thursday Yes Yes No
Friday TBD TBD Yes
Saturday TBD TBD TBD
Red = a negative deviation | Green = a positive deviation | Blue = a note



5 responses to “Day 348 (W, 111214) — Getting Ready for Primal: Changes

  1. No need to give up cheat day, there are primal/paleo desserts you can have just google for them here are a couple links

    I agree that it is not cheap, or cheaper than buying a bunch of rice and bread but it is cheaper than eating out. And you can do it pretty cheap with shopping at costco etc, my wife is all about keeping costs down and does a really good job of it.

    What about running?

    • I will take a look at the dessert stuff — thanks for the links — but allowing myself some indulgences won’t add up to a Free Day (unless I radically redefine what I mean by Free Day ;-)).

      As for running, I’m going to talk about exercise on Monday. Sneak preview: I’m cutting way back on jogging and adding sprints.

      If you have any other tips, I’d like to hear them. =)

  2. I am definitely interested in hearing about how you manage costs while on the primal lifestyle. The SCD is very cheap for me ($45 a week at the grocery store + “binge-day”). If you don’t mind – could you maybe post strategies or ideas you have to try to save?

    good luck!!


  3. Pingback: Day 015-2 (Su, 120115) — A 4HB v Primal Conversation; Plan for Week 3-2 | New John for a New Year·

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