Primal Blueprint – 5 and a bit week Update

13st 1.2lbs on the scales this morning. The weight is still coming off slowly but surely. 
The further away I get from my old carb laced diet the happier my body seems to be. Its getting to the point where I’m so satisfied with my food intake that it’s hard to eat over 1800 calories a day without really trying or really feeling bloated. I’m trying to push it up to around 2000 calories per day, which will still leave me around 900 calories in defecit even on a really sedentary day. 
My body fat is down to just over 20 percent now, which is great. I’ve been upping my bike riding and walking, plus doing Tabata sets and free weights every other day. 

Above: Primal gearing for a Primal Blueprint kinda ride? The country bike in singlespeed mode.  
I’m also going to convert my green country bike back to singlespeed (how it started life) to give my ride some ‘muscle confusion’ as Mark Sisson would put it. 
You see, cycling seated at a constant cadence isn’t a very good primal exercise – Grok didn’t do turbo sessions. He sprinted, climbed, stooped, lunged, lifted and stretched. 
I think that a one speed bike will encourage me to use more of my body when climbing or muscling the bike through mud and rooty sections. Plus it will give me natural variations in cadence, torque and so on. Sometimes I’ll have to get off and push/carry – i.e. more variation – more primal. 
Plus I get some valuable shed time… Always thinkin…

Dahon Meets Hairy Bovine (and other stories)

Here are some recent shots of the Dahon doing what it does best – mooching around. The Carradice Camper Longflap works so well on the folder, keeping the laptop and other stuff high and dry – out of the way of road spray. Clips on and off in seconds thanks to the superbly designed Carradice SQR. The other day, attached to the country bike, it carried a bundle of birch logs foraged from the local woods – great firewood this morning when typing this…
Above: On the Ashton Canal in central Manchester on a sunny evening in March. 
Above: D7 – Highland Cattle interface – make no mistake, these are scary animals
Above and Below: D7 in one of my favourite local riding spots – the River Alt footbridge in Croxteth Park. 

Shock News – A Bike Related Post!

I’ve been harping on so much about Primal Blueprint that I thought I’d post some bike stuff for a change. 

Spent yesterday clearing out the shed in the fine spring weather and I found three bikes that I’d almost completely forgotten about! Well, almost…

Above: The country bike, basking in the autumn sunshine, back in 2008
I’ve decided that the country bike is just too nice to sit there in the dark, slowly rusting away. So I pulled it out of the shed and gave it a dust down, pumped up the tyres, gave the bar tape a couple of coats of shellac and let it dry in the sun. 
Today I took it for an afternoon spin around the park. I had the bars set pretty low and have got used to a much more upright position on the Dahon, so I pulled them up, a la Rivendell. Grant Petersen’s advice is to get the bars at least level with the saddle, if not a little higher, for the moustache bar to work best. This is certainly good advice when you’ve got shellacked cloth tape, which doesn’t afford the hands much in the way of cushioning. With this tape setup, it’s best to carry a little more weight on the saddle – and the B17 Standard is great in that respect. 

Above: Reelight SL100 induction lights – fitted to both of my ‘useful’ bikes

So I can make sure I get the most use out of the country bike, I’ve ordered a set of Reelight SL100s for it. The Dahon D7 has got a set and they are unbeatable for fit and forget battery free lighting. 
I’ve also ordered a Carradice SQR block for the country bike, so swapping over the Carradice isn’t a pain. What I’ll do is alternate between the folding bike and the country bike for commutes, and keep the folder in the hallway for shopping errands and the like. 
Which just leaves the other two bikes in my stable. A 2004 Claud Butler Alpina MTB, which has served me well on bridleways, trail centres and rocky Pennine trails. 
The most neglected of all is the road bike. An aluminium framed ‘winter bike’ with carbon forks and a few Rivendell inspired touches – bar end shifters, Brooks Swift saddle, Stronglight compact double crank and a set of 28mm tyres – the biggest that it’s clearances will allow. 

Above: The latest version of the Picador – ours is much older and rustier
Also loitering in the shed is a Pashley Picador trike which must be 20 years old or more. It’s my step-daughter Kelly’s and it’s going to her dad’s house to live – he’s got access to some great country parks and bike paths so it should get a lot more use up there. Just a new set of (incredibly hard to source) 500a (20 x 1 3/8) tyres and tubes and it’s ready for action. 
And that brings us up to date on the bike front. The much modified Dahon continues to serve me well – so well that the other bikes have had to fight for their place. 

Primal Blueprint – 4 Week Update

One month in a 1 Stone down. 

On the scales today I’m 13st 4.5lbs. From a starting point of 14st 5lbs one month ago. 
Can’t believe how well things are going. Still loving the food that I’m eating – enjoying eating real food every day. 
Had my most ‘Primal’ day to date – took a day off work and spent the day outside sorting out the shed. So lots of slow movement and lifting heavy stuff, lugging timber, toolboxes and storage crates around. Kneeling, stretching, bending, painting. All very primal movements in a modern day context. Being outdoors makes it so much more primal and in touch, if you know what I mean. 

Primal Blueprint – 3 Week Update

This Week’s stats: 

Weight: 13st 10lbs

Body Fat: 23%

BMI: 26

Resting Heart Rate: 43bpm

Blood Pressure (resting for a minute, lying down): 104/60

 

3 weeks in and I’m feeling really good. I’m full of energy, never bloated, never ravenously hungry. I’m not getting the sugar lows and highs that I used to get pre-Primal and I’m not feeling guilty about not making every bike ride hard, long or both.

I’ve started adding in tabata intervals three times a week, and I’m going to start some heavier weight sessions too.

In terms of weight loss however, I seem to have hit a plateau of 13st 10lbs to 13st 12lbs. Whether my body composition is changing toward more lean mass I’m not sure – it’s hard to measure accurately with a hand held body fat monitor, but I certainly feel leaner.

My resting heart rate and BP have lowered which is great. I’m moving doctors in a few weeks so should be able to get a full check up for cholesterol, blood sugar and a body fat calliper measurement.

My carbs are coming just fruit, veg and the carbs in dairy products – I’m not going to push them too low and risk ketosis – kidney problems aren’t something I’m keen on.

My plan is to keep a food diary for a few days and use www.fitday.com to work out my calorie intake. Don’t want to get into the rigmarole of daily calorie counting, just want to get a handle on how much energy I’m consuming on the new diet and how many grammes of carbs. Then I can move forward knowing that I’m eating a healthy balance that’ll shift body fat and keep me out of ketosis.

To give you an idea of what I’m eating, here was yesterday’s food intake:

  • 2 eggs scrambled, 1 rasher of back bacon, 3 mushrooms, all scrambled in olive oil
  • 1 apple chopped and topped with cottage cheese
  • 1 pear
  • Tuna mayonnaise and cottage cheese with a big green salad
  • 1 apple
  • 2 smoked mackerel fillets with stir fry vegetables and a dash of soy sauce, cooked in olive oil
  • Small bowl of Greek yoghurt, with a handful of blackberries, grapes and mixed nuts.
  • Semi skimmed milk in tea and coffee 

All delicious, satisfying, non-bloating and pretty Primal! I’ll number crunch this lot on fitday.com and post the results later.