My Precision Nutrition Journal: Dear Cottage Cheese,

It’s been one week since I started my Precision Nutrition journey (click here to start at the beginning). All in all a pretty great week. Some ups, a few downs, but all in all a pretty great week.

  • I have avoided cottage cheese my whole life. I was probably 12 the last time I had it. And even then, it was only because I didn’t make the household food decisions. When I saw cottage cheese in the PN program, for some crazy reason, I decided it was time to give it a second chance. My first cottage cheese experiment was in a snack on Sunday. I mixed it with almonds, mostly-thawed blueberries, some rolled oats, and a touch of cinnamon. I was kind of shocked that I actually enjoyed it. Maybe I’ve been wrong all these years? I had my second cottage cheese snack last night when I added it to some pineapple. There it is! The reason I have avoided it all these years: Because it’s disgusting! I added almonds, and then cinnamon again to mask the taste, but to no avail. There was just too much cottage cheese to mask its awful taste. I pretty much ate around it, putting only as much on each spoonful as I thought the pineapple would mask.

Dear Cottage Cheese,
I’m afraid our relationship is just not working out. It’s time to accept that we have no future together. No hard feelings I hope.

  • I’m pleasantly surprised at how much I’m enjoying most of the meals I’m eating. They’re tasty, they’re filling, they’re healthy, and they are easy to make. No matter what I do long term, some of these meals will continue to be regulars. So far I think the coconut chicken and pecan-crusted snapper are my favourites, in addition to the broccoli with lemon vinaigrette. And of course the avocado and tomato salad. Mmm…
  • I’m surprised that I’m not really missing carbs. I was once a carb-tarian, to steal an expression from my friend Dougald (to describe his middle daughter’s eating preferences). I would probably eat pasta or pizza at every meal if I could. I had a small bit of bread on Tuesday evening, but otherwise, I’ve had no bread, no potato, no cereal, no crackers, and no pasta for a week. And I’m not craving them. I have had a bit of rice and a bit of quinoa, but much less than I normally would. And it’s okay. I think the PN 90% rule is very helpful in that regard. I know I can get some of those foods I love if I need to.
  • So thirsty! This is one of the downsides. I feel very thirsty. I’m keeping an eye on this one, as it does concern me a little. But I do understand that when one increases their protein intake, that there needs to be a liquid intake to go with it. And I have definitely increased my protein intake. Previously I would fall somewhere between 80 and 115g per day, but this week I am between 140 and 225g. I have actually been drinking a lot of water, but still feel very thirsty. As I said – I’m keeping an eye on that and will provide progress.
  • I’ve lost 3 pounds this week. Now that sounds impressive, but I’m going to curb my enthusiasm. It may simply be water loss from less carbohydrate intake. And I should also point out that I had lost 3 pounds prior to going to Las Vegas for a week in April, during which time I gained that back. So it is possible that I would have lost it anyhow. Let’s wait until next week to draw conclusions here.
  • I’m not following the 90% rule strictly. In fact I would say that 90% of my meals are within 90% of what they should be. I am straying a bit, but not much. On a few occasions I have had a post-workout meal (a bit higher carb content) when I should have had an anytime meal. I don’t think that’s a big concern though, as I’m quite certain that my body tolerates carbohydrates well. I’ve also had a few more drinks than I should. I went out one night and had 2 pints, which was part of a cheat meal for me, but I also had either a glass of wine (not a big one) or a beer I think 5 other days. I’ve also been off a bit on the eating every 2-3 hours front. I blame the fact that I have been completely consumed by a new project this week. I launched a new women’s fitness forum (www.femalefitnessforum.com) this week. On Tuesday morning it wasn’t even a thought in my head, and by Wednesday afternoon it was up and running. Now it’s Friday afternoon and it feels like it is healthy and growing. 91 members and 274 posts already! There are some amazing women on this forum. Come check it out, as I’m sure you’ll be impressed! It’s entirely free. It is all about sharing knowledge, learning from, being supportive of and inspired by each other. But unlike many online forums, there is a strict “be nice” rule.  It is not exclusively for women, but it is mostly about women. But men who work in a fitness or health field who work with women are more than welcome, as are men who have women in their lives who are into fitness.
  • I was not impressed with my sports performance this week. In the weight room everything was great (150# single-leg Romanian deadlifts this week!), and felt pretty good on the tennis court too.  But on the ultimate field, much less so. In fact I felt pretty lethargic out there, and I’m usually the energizer bunny.  I take that to mean that I will need to increase my carb intake before playing. I’ll experiment with whether some carb the day of is enough, or if I need to start carbing up a bit the day before. Stay tuned for more on that. PN supports individulizing programs, so I think this is actually part of the program vs a condemnation of it.

So all in all, a pretty good week. I’m very happy with the amount of vegetables I’m eating, and with the fact that I’m eating primarily fresh food instead of processed. I’m definitely happy enough to keep at it. Follow the link if you’re wondering what Precision Nutrition is all about.

Elsbeth Vaino is a personal trainer in Ottawa, Canada.

4 thoughts on “My Precision Nutrition Journal: Dear Cottage Cheese,”

  1. Great points. I fell off the wagon after about 3 weeks for the very reasons you noted. I’ve recently been playing with eating fewer meals and I find it works much better. I love the extra time I have in the morning now!

  2. Thanks for blogging about your PN experience! I was quite interested to learn more about this nutrition program and was able to get some valuable insights thanks to your blog.

    I totally relate to your “Dear John” letter to cottage cheese – it’s just too gross to handle!

    The more I read however, the more i’m not too sure this diet approach is something I’ll stick too in the long term – the whole “eat 6 small meals or more a day” approach, combined with an “enthusiastic” embargo on carbs sounds a bit too daunting to stick too for more than a few weeks or months.

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