Looking For Feedback About Paleo/Primal
I have been trying to do an Atkins-esque diet for a good six months or so, with varying levels of success (when I do stick to it). That being said, I have also been reading a lot of books about the primal/paleo way of living, and I am looking for your opinions about the way of eating, particularly. Is it easier for you to just stick to whole foods and not count carbs, etc. or do you end up doing that?
I think what I am ultimately looking for is a sustainable change of lifestyle, and I have begun to suspect my adult acne flarups as of late may be due to consuming dairy, which I have a penchant for.
I'm also wondering whether those of you who do this found it easier to eliminate food groups one at a time, or did you go all in from the start?
Thanks for reading and I welcome all comments & feedback from those living the paleo/primal way!
Hi, Blondie. :) I found Dr. Kurt Harris' recommendations at his blog, Archevore, to make good sense. Here is a condensation of his recommendations.
1. Get plenty of sleep and deal with any non-food addictions.
2. Eliminate sugar and all caloric drinks.
3. Eliminate gluten grains and wheat flour.
This rule and rule #2 pretty much eliminate anything that comes in a box.
4. Eliminate seed oils - grain and seed derived oils (cooking oils) Eat or fry with with ghee, pastured butter, animal fats, or coconut oil. Avoid temperate plant oils [such as] corn, soy, canola, flax, walnut, etc....
5. 2 or 3 meals a day is best. No snacking. You're not a herbivore. Whole foods prepared at home should be the rule. Low meal frequency is a powerful tool if you have weight to lose.
6. Whole foods from animals. Eat them for the protein, the micronutrients and the fuel.
Favor grass-fed ruminants [such as] beef and lamb for your red meat. These meats have excellent n-6/n-3 ratios and their saturated and monounsaturated fats are a great fuel source. Wild game is good if you can process it yourself- but commercial venison and bison is too lean and is expensive.
Eat fish a few times a week and pastured eggs if you like them.
Eat offal for the vitamins and choline- some fresh beef liver 1-2 times a week is plenty. Mix it with your ground hamburger if you prefer. Pastured butter is good source of K2.
7. Choose fuels from the [Evolutionary Metabolic Milieu]. Both animal fats and starchy plant organs are time-tested fuel sources for humans.
Animal fats are an excellent dietary fuel and come with lots of fat soluble vitamins. It can work very well to simply replace your sugar and wheat calories with animal fats. If you are not diabetic and you prefer it, you can eat more starch and less animal fat. A low carb diet can rely more on ruminant fat and pastured butter.
8. Make sure you are Vitamin D replete. Get daily midday sun in season or consider supplementation if you never get outside.
9. Vegetables and fruits - Besides starchy plants for fuel and micronutrients, eat a variety of different colored plants of whatever you like and tolerate. Think hormesis. Some is better than none, but neither big salads nor fruit to excess will save your life. You're not a gorilla, you're an omnivore.
10. Get proper exercise - both resistance and "aerobic" exercise have benefits, including mental. Think hormesis again- the recovery periods are where you get the benefit. ...
11. You won't get too much fructose eating reasonable quantities of fruit, but don't make it your staple....
A diet based on beef and potatoes is healthier than one based on granny smiths or 30 bananas.
12. If you are allergic to milk protein or concerned about theoretical risks of casein, you can stick to butter and avoid milk, cream and soft cheeses. Aged cheeses 6 months and older may not have beta-casomorphin and are good sources of K2.
I eat a very low carb version of his food plan, with other restrictions added. I added Dr. Richard Bernstein's Law of Small Numbers to Dr. Harris' recommendations, to make it VLC, and have kept on going. It's grand! :)
I just started mid-August. Since I'd pretty much eliminated the grains already, doing Atkins for 3 years, and having cut my dairy way back this past year, I figured the real monkey on my back was the artificial sweetener. So I went for broke and eliminated the AS and rest of my dairy all at once with a Whole 30 Challenge. I'm on DAY 16 and doing just fine. When I want something sweet, I just eat a piece of whole fruit or some berries. I don't overdo the nuts because those can stall me.......on ANY plan.
Well, I've only been Paleo for just 2 1/2 months now, but so far I'm very happy with this WOE. This is the first low carb program I've done and I've already had better success and feel healthier overall than I have on any other program. I went pretty much full Paleo right away and I've lost 37 pounds so far, I don't have issues with cravings and I have more energy than I used to. I don't count calories - I just try to stick with Paleo appropriate foods. It's oddly easy for me to walk right past foods that are not allowed, so it's been really easy to stick to this program.
I do actually allow certain non-Paleo items into my diet though. I am quite fond of sweet tea, but I now drink it with Splenda instead of sugar. Still not technically allowed, but I bend the rules a bit on that one. I also allow a glass of fruit juice a day as well, though I always go for the no-sugar-added-not-from-concentrate varieties and only allow one glass a day. So far I have not noticed any issues with these additions and they help keep me happy.
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