Knit Wit Living

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Archive for the tag “Primal Blueprint”

Doin’ the Whole30

I started the whole30 food regiment a week ago.

Established by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig (of Whole9) in April 2009, the Whole30® is our original nutritional program designed to change your life in 30 days. Think of it as a short-term nutritional reset, designed to help you put an end to unhealthy cravings and habits, restore a healthy metabolism, heal your digestive tract, and balance your immune system.

During the holiday season I introduced myself to a guy at work because he runs this very active MeetUp group for singles aged 45 and beyond.  In order to avoid the “don’t I know you from somewhere” conversation, I decided to talk to him first.

Well, he found a friend in me.  He set up time for us to walk together and he shared with me his varying diet plans, potions and pills.  I shared the links to The Weston A. Price Foundation and Mark’s Daily Apple and lent him my Primal Blueprint book.  I casually! mentioned that he might want to try the whole30 food plan AND that I didn’t want to do it because I didn’t want to give up the cream for my coffee.  (I know, Flimsy Excuse, right?!)

He talked me into doing it with him.  He feels like he has a partner in this mission. I don’t.  We are on two separate planets.  He told me that someone told him to drink tea with lemon. He reached to show me the lemon at his desk and it was the plastic ReaLemon.  I do hope I didn’t roll my eyes.  Forgive me, but I was expecting a lemon.

I didn’t even attempt the processed food conversation.

But..enough about him.

The Whole30 Rules

For 30 days, DO Eat Real Food – Eat meat, seafood, eggs, tons of vegetables, some fruit, and plenty of good fats from fruits, oils, nuts and seeds. Eat foods with very few ingredients, all pronounceable ingredients, or better yet, no ingredients listed at all because they’re totally natural and unprocessed.


  • Added sugar of any kind, real or artificial.
  • Alcohol in any form, not even for cooking.
  • Tobacco products
  • Grains
  • Legumes
  • All forms of soy
  • Dairy with the exception of clarified butter or ghee.
  • Carrageenan, MSG or sulfites
  • Do not try to re-create baked goods,  junk foods, or treats* with “approved” ingredients.
One last and final rule: You are not allowed to step on the scale or take any body measurements for the duration of the program.
Your only job? Eat. Good. Food.

How’s It Going?

Very well! I have received compliments that I look good.  I don’t press for details. I just say Thank you!
Meals are actually pretty easy.  I’m drinking tea (Double Bergamot Earl Grey) instead of coffee. Whole30
Even though I do like cream and sugar in my tea, it’s just as easy and tasty to drink it on its own.
I did have some black coffee the other day…interesting!  It definitely needed at least some sugar, but I didn’t partake.
Here are some photos from my first bulk preparation. I find that it works better for me if I cook a large variety or batch of food at once, so I have it for subsequent meals and different combinations thereof.  My whole30 meals are not much different from others  that I’ve posted…except no honey or maple syrup, no butter, no cream, no quinoa, no gluten-free treats. LOL, well, maybe a little different!

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I came up with a wonderful dessert – sliced peeled apples and chopped dates sauteed in a little ghee with a sprinkle of sea salt and a pinch of baking spice.  A very filling  and delicious way to end the meal!


It truly has been 8 days since I started.
  • My clothes are looser.
  • My skin is clearer.
  • I am sleeping really well.
  • My nails are stronger.
  • I have more energy.
  • I am more focused, less distracted.
  • I am getting up earlier.
  • I am having some crazy dreams, or maybe it’s just that I’m remembering more of them.
  • I am better physically balanced.
  • My hair is not coming out as much.
  • I am satiated throughout the day without a need to nosh (most of the time.)
  • I am thirsty!  (A good thing as I never felt the need to drink water before.)

More to come…


I have had a rough couple of days at work. I was so proud of myself last evening that my “I’m upset and am going to binge eat” activities stayed within my food sphere…

Chicken wings (unbreaded, though I didn’t ask in what kind of oil they were cooked)
A huge salad
Potato chips (although out of the bag instead of portioned out on a plate)
Chocolate coconut milk ice cream
Did you notice #2 – a huge salad? c’mon! Way to go!

Not bad.

Today I received the terribly difficult to ignore
All Patterns & Books on Sale! email from Vogue Knitting, with a crochet book pictured as one of the selections.

I clicked. I browsed.

I compared selection and prices with

May the actual bingeing begin.

An interchangeable crochet hook set and a Tunisian Crochet book (from knitpicks) later….I’m feeling a little better.


What does it look like?

After I finished my last post explaining my self-imposed dietary restrictions, I thought I should show what my days look like in food terms.  As I was taking photos of every bit of food, I remembered a so-called diet from years ago. I don’t remember its name, but the gist was to have a visual food diary, on a site that would be shared with … the world.  Its premise was that if you had to show the world (or worse, your friends and family!) what you ate each and every day you would be more frugal or sensible in your choices.

That was not the point of this particular exercise.

But I digress.

So I did one day.  Then I thought, let’s do another one, when I’m not being so conscientious.  Turns out I ate more the first day.  Read on…

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Day One

  • Breakfast: 3 little slices of pork belly with brussel sprouts and scrambled eggs, and some water
  • Snack: Ruby Red grapefruit (a smaller sized one)
  • Lunch: Asparagus and leftover lamb
  • Snack: A couple pieces of candied ginger
  • Dinner: Pork chops with avocado, brussel sprouts and some fermented pickle slices, with a glass of seltzer and a glass of fermented ginger ale

You may also notice the same water bottle shown consistently throughout many of the pictures.  I did finally finish it, at work, but it takes me awhile.

The dinner portion looks huge! These pork chops are so delicious (and thinly sliced) that I can usually eat two.  This time, however, I just ate the moister meat near the bone and saved the rest for lunch the next day.

I also have a sweet tooth at night so I had some licorice.  Because I am a knitter, I used a tiny box of stitch markers to show the size of the licorice.

Apparently, I was very hungry that day. The next day, when I thought I would be less on point, I had:

  • Breakfast from the work cafeteria – 2 hard boiled eggs with mustard, water from home, potato chips, and tea from home
  • No mid morning snack
  • Lunch – the leftover pork chops, asparagus, fermented pickle slices and what do you know! the water from breakfast
  • A little tiny licorice to hold me over until a late dinner
  • Dinner – Trader Joe’s Spicy Thai Shrimp Fried Rice, in which I also threw a can of clams. It was supposed to feed two, but I ate it all. (I find Trader Joe’s meal size serving estimates to be very unrealistic overall), a glass of wine, and a bigger glass of mineral water

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Once again, I did not finish all of my…wine!  And I had licorice for dessert.

And then my eye caught sight of ….

2014-01-31 21.08.56 I didn’t have any….that night.  I did have three the next day. They were very tasty!

And then I went out for a dinner with a friend….and for dessert we shared…

Cinnabon sundae

Cinnabon sundae

and it was okay! Actually, the dessert was a little disappointing because they should have heated up the cinnabon.  So I cut my way into the center, which in my opinion is the best part of any cinnamon roll, and had it with some of the vanilla ice cream. I wasn’t even that interested in the whipped cream.  We didn’t finish it, and I lived…and actually slept fine.

But don’t want to do it again for awhile.


Did you ever notice that people rely on sources of information that match what they want to believe?  I am not good at drinking water and was delighted when Mark Sisson, the author of The Primal Blueprint, published a blog post on how much water one should drink each day.  An excerpt:

there is no evidence that drinking eight or more glasses prevents constipation, kidney stones, bladder cancer, urinary tract infections or that it guarantees you’ll have clear skin and a toxic-free liver. Yet these are often cited as the main reasons to drink so much.

I have been attending a training for work this week at a hotel / conference center, with provided breakfast, lunch and snacks.  As a matter of fact, one of the facilitators monitors the offerings and lets us know the treats: “they’re serving smoothies now, we’ll take a break!” “They’re making crepes today!” It’s really amazing.  I typically bring my own food to work, so to have such treats, including clearly marked gluten free desserts is such a pleasure.

The biggest surprise though has been the flavored waters. They have pitchers with small holes in the pouring spout so that only the fluid pours out. The pitchers have been filled alternatively with water and:

  • sliced lemons
  • honeydew pieces
  • honey and ginger
  • watermelon and mint
  • pineapple
  • orange slices and rosemary
  • mango pieces
  • hulled and sliced strawberries and mint

I have been drinking a lot of water during this training!

Yes, I have had some of these combinations before, but somehow having it in a pitcher really infuses the water.  It’s very good.

One of my homemade recipes is water, honey, ginger, lime and some drinking vinegar:

  1. Throw some honey into a little hot water and stir till it dissolves.  Let cool.
  2. Using a funnel at the top of your vessel (I use a glass bottle with a flip cap lid), grate ginger into the funnel and then squeeze one or two limes into it.
  3. Add around 2 tsp drinking vinegar, your honey water, and then enough cool water to fill the container.
  4. Put in the refrigerator overnight.
  5. When you serve it, pour through a fine sieve into your glass.

Delicious! and very refreshing.

What are some of your favorite ways to drink water?

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It’s All About Choices

My Food Journey

My Food Journey

I am an advocate of the Real / Traditional Food movement. This means that I endeavor not to eat processed foods or GMO’s, rather sticking to food as it was originally created and prepared before industrialization.

I try not to shudder as my friends eat their low fat low sugar concoctions thinking that they are being healthy.  However, if asked, I will share my point of view.


Nourishing Traditions is the basis of much of my food philosophy, but when I’m looking for a recipe I more often go to cookbooks that were published before fake foods were invented. One of the cookbooks I like is The Blue Book of Cookery by Isabel Cotton Smith, published in 1926.  Inscribed in the front cover: “To Gertrude from Mamma…with the hope that she will bring much pleasure therefrom… April 1927”  Gertrude was my father’s mother. This is a treasure!

Real food includes organic, pasture raised and non-processed foods. I try to avoid gluten and carbs because I feel better when I don’t eat them. I do have organic sugar and dairy and follow the Primal Blueprint lifestyle.  The Primal Blueprint is a spinoff of rules based on how our early ancestors lived. It is a modernized paleo diet and includes lifestyle suggestions. The thing that I don’t like is that it really irks me to have someone remind me of basic things that I should be doing – that I know I should be doing – – – get a daily dose of natural light, move around more, etc.  It annoys me that this has to be part of a plan! But so it goes and so it is. I find that I feel healthier when I follow this program.

My overall message on all this is that you can only do what you can do.  I am convinced that in today’s society it is impossible to be completely organic. I also know that sometimes I eat wheat and other gluten and that it will all work out.  My general motto is that I try to be in charge of what chemicals go in and are around me, and to take it easy if I bend the rules every now and then.

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