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New to NF + paleo, eating meat again after 15 years of vegetarianism


flowerpower

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I discovered NerdFitness just a few days ago. Excited to join y'all. 

 

My four goals are: 

 

1. Reduce body fat percentage by three points, from 32% to 29%. (I am a woman.) 

 

2. Start building myscle in my arms (and shoulders and chest) 2x/week. 

 

3. Continue my routine of TKD 3x/week, bike/run/walk 2x/week. I'm planning on leveling up to blue stripe during the 6-week challenge. 

 

4. Stick to the paleo diet (I started this week). This should be both the easiest and the hardest one for me. I've had no problems sticking to the paleo plan so far (today is Day 4), but the idea of eating meat every day after 15 years of pretty strict vegetarianism is still a tad bizarre. Pizza -- the cardboard stuff from the frozen aisle -- was essentially what I ate every day for two years, so paleo is at least a huge improvement over that. 

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Hello and welcome!

 

Just wanted to offer you a little bit of advice on the 1st one - 3 points over 6 weeks may be difficult. Not just because it's hard to drop that amount but because weekly fluctuations could drive you a bit mad - I've tried this in two challenges and both times my % could jump by 2 points in either direction week by week. It meant that it was difficult to know by the end of 6 weeks whether the final number was actually a final number or just a weekly fluke. I'm not saying don't go for it, just something to be aware of. :) How are you measuring BF?

Always kick higher

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Hi, JediJem!

 

That's good to know re: fluctuation. I wasn't sure what a sensible body fat percentage goal was for a six-week period, so I sort of made up the -3% figure. I'm trying to focus on staying the course to fitness rather than obsess over the numbers, so I'll definitely take this advice into consideration. 

 

I'm currently measuring BF via the Navy Fitness formula [http://fitness.bizcalcs.com/Calculator.asp?Calc=Body-Fat-Navy], but as of next week I'll be using a caliper. Any recommendations re: methodology? 

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Welcome Flower Power! Congratulations on starting this challenge!

 

Woah, that´s a big change! Please keep us updated how you feel as you keep reintroducing meat into your diet.

 

Good luck! =D

Level: 4 Human Monk


STR: 14 | DEX: 7 | STA: 10.75 | CON: 6.75 | WIS: 13.75 | CHA: 1.75 |


 


"Effort without results is only self satisfying bunk" - Kain R. Heinlein.


 


"You can make mistakes, but you are not a failure until you blame others for those mistakes." - John Wooden.


 


"Misery is comfortable. Happiness takes effort." - David Wong.

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Thanks, Zuel!

 

I expected my body to respond badly to the meat surge, but so far so good. Unlike a lot of former vegetarians, I didn't have any adverse reactions to reintroducing meat to my diet -- and I started with red meat like steak and lamb chops. I think my body seriously needed the iron (I frequently used to get dizzy during TKD workouts until I started taking iron and B12 supplements). 

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Hi flowerpower, great goals there! 

 

I'm a vegetarian considered adding meat back into my diet, so I'll be very interested to see how you find this. If you don't mind me asking, what made you decide to change to paleo?

 

Good luck, you can do it :) 

Shivani - Level 1 - Elf Ranger with Monk aspirations

My Challenge Thread

STR 1 | DEX 2 | STA 2 | CON 3 | WIS 3 | CHA 4

 

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Hi, Shivani! 

 

Thanks for the encouragement! 

 

My initial inspiration for (and introduction to) the paleo diet was a friend who switched from nine years of veganism(!) to paleo. That was three years ago. At first I thought she was crazy, but her results spoke for themselves. 

 

My personal conversion only came about recently. In certain ways, the switch to paleo was easy for me. I'd been looking for a sustainable LC diet for over a year now, partly because I wanted to lose weight and partly because I felt I was overly sensitive to fluctations in my blood sugar levels. I'd shake when I was hungry, for example, and often feel weak and without energy. Plus, both my parents have Type 2 diabetes, and I'd like to avoid that as much as possible. Also, I love eggs and cheese and lack a sweet tooth. 

 

Cutting out grains, on the other hand, remains hard for me, especially as an Asian, since I grew up eating (white) rice every day. I'm enjoying the challenge (at least for now) of replacing grain products with vegetables. And the transition to meat-eating hasn't been entirely smooth. I haven't had any negative physical reactions to meat, but I am still frequently grossed out by it, especially the low-quality stuff with food coloring. I try to stick to good-quality meat (100% vegetarian-fed, etc.) and only eat it once every couple of days. Thankfully, I've been a vegetarian for so long that trying different meat dishes is an adventure in rediscovering long-dormant areas of my palate. On the meatless days, I still eat cheese, tofu, and fake meat. I know those aren't technically "allowed" on the paleo plan, but I'm still logging in at under 80 g of carbs every day.

 

I've also found Rose Elliot's 'The Vegetarian Low-Carb Diet' somewhat useful. 

 

Hope this was helpful, if not particularly interesting!  :rapture:

 

Please let me know if you decide to transition to meat-eating too! 

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Vegan -> Paleo? Wow, that's quite the switch. I'm glad it's working well for her though.

 

Ouch, that sounds really nasty, not a bit of wonder you were fed up with it. 

 

Rice is so hard to cut out, I totally understand your difficulty here! I'm not Asian myself, but I'm gluten intolerant, so I live on the stuff. I tried raw veganism once, but the cravings for rice were absolutely unbearable. I caved after about three days I think. 

 

It does seem very hard to find good quality meat - especially if you're avoiding factory-farmed meat. Your plan of action seems sensible here - and I wouldn't worry about the "non-paleo" stuff as long as it isn't junk food or grains like wheat. Better to start off with a diet you're comfortable with and enjoy and then tweak it for extra healthiness than put yourself off by trying to force it too soon.

 

I'll definitely check out her book - that's something I struggle with for sure. Eating 200g+ of rice a day is probably not that good for me...

 

Both interesting AND helpful, thank you ;)

Shivani - Level 1 - Elf Ranger with Monk aspirations

My Challenge Thread

STR 1 | DEX 2 | STA 2 | CON 3 | WIS 3 | CHA 4

 

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Concerning rice, it's actually not that bad. Most paleo folk would say that you should only stick to sweet potatoes or other starchy veggies for your carbohydrate needs if you're in a position to be needing that re-fill. Grains tend to have a lot of carbs, but they have gluten in them. Rice is kind of in-between: it doesn't have a lot of fiber, but it doesn't have the gluten in it either. Factor in the cheapness of it relative to other paleo sources and you have a good alternative. I like jasmine rice myself.

 

Good luck!

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Re the measuring of BF; I'm not really sure what the optimum method for self-measure is. I use scales, and it's possible they are more sensitive to hydration and hormones than callipers, so may be more likely to fluctuate. I'm interested to see how you get on with this over the challenge either way!

Always kick higher

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Any kind of meat is kind of gross, when you think about it (I try not to), so the pork didn't bother me.  That first month or so of rediscovering the taste of meat, any kind, was fantastic!!!

And, as far as body composition goes, I hardly bother about it.  I looked at the pics in NF article (http://www.nerdfitness.com/blog/2012/07/02/body-fat-percentage/) and thought: hmmm, I'd like to be under 20%. But I go by the way I look and feel, not by measuring. Just my 2cents.

The past is only smoke in a dream.

Lvl 6 Ranger Berzerker

STR 9 DEX 4 STA 9 CON 8 WIS 2 CHA 8

Barfly ain't even tryin'...

 

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Today is my 11th day of the paleo plan. Here are some thoughts and updates. 

 

First of all, the "primal blueprint" been very easy to follow. I work from home, so I'm not constantly tempted by random carbs (and, in fact, have a ton of organic veggies in the fridge I'm scrambling to finish before they go bad). I eat a little bit of meat every day, but I definitely don't love it. (Cheese and tofu are still my jam.) Sticking to the 80 g per day has been almost ridiculously easy. I'm considering going down as low as 50 g. 

 

I lost 5 pounds (of water weight) in the first week, but nothing since. Very little movement on the measuring tape, too. I remain patient. Fat loss is a slow process, and I accept that. 

 

Because I average about 1350 calories per day, I don't have a lot of energy, but I'm not tired, either. Thankfully, I'm definitely off that neverending rollercoaster ride of blood-sugar ups and downs. It's been interesting trying to rediscover my body's cues for hunger and fullness. I still get cravings when I'm bored, which is something I'll have to train my brain to stop doing somehow. 

 

One unexpected consequence of the paleo diet is that I cook a lot more. Before, I used to microwave half a frozen pizza from Trader Joe's and make a side salad for lunch and for dinner. Eating unprocessed food means cooking and cleaning a lot more -- great for nutrition and health, but kind of annoying in terms of how much extra time I spend in the kitchen. To find ethical meat, I'm thinking about doing the bulk of my grocery-shopping at the farmers' market. All of this extra cooking, cleaning, and label-reading feels like much more of a "lifestyle change" than cutting out grains. 

 

Eating out -- so far, I've stuck to paleo at Thai and Indian restaurants (no rice, at least for now!) and a Jewish deli (pastrami, yum!) -- is a fun challenge. I'm used to working off a small selection of menu items from my years as a vegetarian, so no big deal there.  

 

I've been good about going to TKD classes and taking walks ("slow movement" according to Mark Sisson), but I haven't started doing any arm exercises yet, which means I'm failing one of my fitness goals. Gotta squeeze that in somewhere! 

 

Saturday is my belt test day for my blue stripe. Hope I remember my forms! 

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It´s great to read an update from you.

 

What kind of meats have you tried? What´s the biggest portion you had in these days?

 

I usually try to have the more healthy options from a menu when eating out. I agree it´s fun to choose from small parts of the menu and it actually entices me to try everything during multiple outings.

 

Wish you success this Saturday.

Level: 4 Human Monk


STR: 14 | DEX: 7 | STA: 10.75 | CON: 6.75 | WIS: 13.75 | CHA: 1.75 |


 


"Effort without results is only self satisfying bunk" - Kain R. Heinlein.


 


"You can make mistakes, but you are not a failure until you blame others for those mistakes." - John Wooden.


 


"Misery is comfortable. Happiness takes effort." - David Wong.

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good luck on the belt test! glad pb is going well.

 

When you buy meat at the fm, i suggest purchasing a sample before you buy the whole cow. One time, i purchased 15 lbs meat from a farmer at an fm without trying it first, and ended up with a freezer full of barely edible meat. Don't make the same mistake!

Class and Profession: Level 23 Borg Queen 

 

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Some quick notes on Day 14 of the Paleo plan: 

 

-The Good News: I've lost 7 lb in the past two weeks, 5 lb during the first week and 2 lb during the second. Even better, the measuring tape finally budged! I've now reduced my body fat percentage from 32% to 30%. One more percentage point to go by the end of the challenge!

 

-The Bad News: I still haven't done any arm exercises. The worst part is that there is a gym in my building. 

 

-Zuel: So far I've tried beef, lamb, and pork (yum), chicken, turkey, and salmon (yuck). The biggest portion I've probably had in one sitting is about two cups of pastrami (with melted cheddar cheese, brown mustard, and hots). I felt a bit queasy afterward.

 

-Primeval: Thanks for the advice! On my first trip to the farmers' market a couple of days ago, I bought some Italian pork sausages and sirloin steaks in relatively small portions. I haven't tried the steaks yet, but the sausages shocked me with their utter amazingness. 

 

-Lunch and dinner tend to be a bit samey-samey: a big Italian sausage (sometimes pork, sometimes veggie) and a spinach salad. It tastes pretty good, but I've gotta start looking for recipes. 

 

-I'm pretty nervous about my belt test, which is in just a couple of hours. The tests tend to be physically grueling, so I'm planning on rewarding myself with Greek late lunch/early dinner afterward with some spicy feta (sans bread), Greek sausage, lamb chops, and red wine. Can't wait! 

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Kishi -- 

 

It's the understanding at our dojang that if you're given permission to test, you've basically passed the test before even taking it. But there's definitely the pressure of performing on cue in front of the whole dojang, as well as doing everything as perfectly as you can while being utterly exhausted (like I said, the belt tests tend to be physically demanding).

 

But you're right; I should embrace this challenge. 

 

I've had Greek/"Greek" foods like feta cheese and tzatziki, both from the supermarket, since starting paleo. Greek cuisine seems pretty paleo-friendly, as long as you avoid the pita/moussaka/spanikopita/lemoned potatoes/baklava. Alright, my mouth is watering now. 

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I keep remembering more things I want to say. 

 

One major change I've noticed since beginning the paleo plan is a significant reduction in allergy symptoms. I have pretty bad allergies to just about everything in nature (including my dog), but my nasal stuffiness and sneezing have gone down by about 50-70% since going paleo. Maybe I had a mildly adverse reaction to wheat and I never knew it? Whatever the cause, it's been pretty awesome to breathe again. 

 

And I just wanted to add that the "I don't eat that" mentality has been super-helpful in terms of sticking to the paleo plan, especially when avoiding grains. 

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Flower, I am so happy about your allergies. Very cool!

 

For the 1 mi run: You can dooooo eeeeet! If it isn't too hot, maybe hildy can provide you with some good motivation on the trail :D

 

Your dojang should be trembling in their boots, because you are going to kick some butt! I can already tell.

Class and Profession: Level 23 Borg Queen 

 

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