Each person is different, that's why Paleo can vary (within certain limits) for everyone. I am sure there were some hunter-gatherers that could not eat some nuts or berries :)
My question is about what have you learned on this road of self-discovery while doing Paleo. I know the answers will vary for different people, but I really want to know how you had to adjust Paleo diet to fit your body's needs.
Here are my top 20 things:
- My body does not tolerate nuts/seeds well.
- I get addicted to fermented foods.
- I am allergic to eggs.
- I cannot have canned foods, I get sick.
- I cannot have fruit that is high in sugar, I get sugar cravings.
- My body does not tolerate oils, including olive oil. I get sick from flax seed oil.
- I cannot have "pure coconut oil" but I am fine with virgin coconut oil in tiny amounts.
- I only like grass fed meat. I don't like other kinds.
- I cannot have citrus fruit and pineapple.
- I feel better (have more energy) when I am hungry.
- I don't like nightshades.
- I can have cabbage and spinach three times per day, and still ask for more.
- I need fruit in my diet. Without fruit, I don't feel as good.
- My body does not tolerate seaweed very well.
- I don't need to eat three times per day. Two times is enough if I eat right.
- It is possible to overcome cravings with the right diet.
- It takes a long long time to heal if you have gluten intolerance.
- It is important to eat certain things every day even if I don't want to so I don't get cravings.
- It is important for me to have safe starches everyday, like beets, carrots and squash.
- I will never go back to eating "normal". I will never listen to another diet guru. I have to trust my body more, it knows better than I do.
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- I can binge on anything. I need to be careful.
- I am STILL addicted to sugar.
- Fat really DOES make me feel satiated! That was definitely a lightbulb moment.
- Fat binges lead to nausea. Carb binges lead to more carb binges. Vegetable binges lead to really painful stomach aches.
- It's really, really difficult for me to practice portion control with nuts.
- Paleo food really does taste delicious. It took me a few months to learn how to NOT scarf down my food and actually slowly chew and TASTE it. But OMG, hello flavor! Paleo is definitely the tastiest diet I've ever been on.
- IF is very eye opening. It helped me relearn what hunger feels like.
- I exercise better on an empty stomach.
- I function better in general on an empty stomach.
- It is possible to develop an allergy to chocolate. FML.
- Dealing with the mental side of dieting makes ANY diet easier. Acknowledging and working through my food issues was a huge step in making Paleo a positive experience for me.
- Exercise makes you look and feel better only when your diet is good. Exercise is not any kind of miracle for me. For me, tweaking my diet was much, much, MUCH more effective than adding/changing my exercise routine. Exercise complements a good diet, and it cannot make up for a bad one.
- Just because I can tolerate processed foods, gluten + grains, sugar, dairy, nuts and fruit DOES NOT MEAN I should eat them. Most of the time I am better without them.
- Paleo does not solve all of my problems. Wish it did, but it doesn't.
1) I have no symptoms or reactions to any foods. I can binge on gluten, sugar, legumes, nightshades, etc... and not feel any different. This is not to say that these things aren't actually causing problems, just saying if they are I have no indication of it.
2) I enjoy binging. I mean eating until it hurts. And I enjoy to do it a lot - like once or twice a day. So I can either fight my natural urge to binge and be unhappy or I can be sure to make good food choices.
3) A 18 hr daily fast with 2 meals in the 6 hour feed window works best for me.
4) I thought training fasted was begging for disaster. It is not. It actually works really, really well.
5) Coffee is the best breakfast. If I drink coffee after 12pm it hinders my sleep.
6) Macronutirents don't matter. As long as you are eating good food selections the actually breakdown is of little consequence.
7) If ketosis doesn't support the workout, the workout is wrong.
8) I need very little exercise to look like I'm in great shape. I need a ton of activity to actually be in great shape.
9) I hate boneless, skinless chicken breast. Once my staple to get lean I now think it represents everything that is wrong with the U.S.'s view of health and fitness.
10) Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, I believed before going paleo 4 years ago was wrong.
My list differs because I have no omissions at all. I have widened my approved foods.
- My ancestors must have been scavengers because I have high tolerance to carbs, gluten, dairy, etc. etc. Go ahead and hate me (or doubt me), but I have no ill effects from any of the bad foods. The principle is what keeps me away.
- RE: High tolerance - organic, whole fat dairy is a must in my home.
- With 4 years of experimenting with ups and downs, I have gone from strict paleo to a more whole foods/primal-y stance.
- I am a sugar addict. Paleo desserts do not trick me.
- I will never look at any diet the same. (Goes for Crossfit and gyms too.)
- Paleo saved me from years of binging and restricting.
- (edit) I can't successfully IF. Leads to a mega-binge every time. Attempting again soon!
Here are mine:
1) I'm still addicted to sugar. A cheat meal (ice cream, sometimes Nutella, no gluten) can still send me on a spiral. Wonder when I'll get rid of this doozie.
2) I can handle most "bad" food like grains and dairy but still avoid grains like the plague (if you can tolerate them they still do damage) and eat only fermented dairy, since I'm still trying to lean out. Kefir for the win.
3) I've had to minimize heavy cream and butter intake since I've gotten back some "high" (178) LDL numbers. Will be doing blood work soon to figure if it's having any effect. To my understanding and previous butter/cream intake, It should.
4) Fruit on a minimum. Same goal, leaning out. Fruit has been a big part of me getting off sugar and all that stuff but is screwing with my attempt to lose the last few pounds. Eliminating it completely a few months ago left me less bloated and got me down 3 kilos in a matter of days, kilos that were hard to lose before. Trying the same protocol again.
That's kinda it at the moment :)
Oh yeah, and EDIT, 5) IF - was totally surprised how good it is to skip breakfast after hearing about the importance of a "healthy whole grain cereal breakfast" all my damn life. I'm IFing when I feel like it, usually 3 - 5 days a week. I've noticed my digestion improve, not to mention kicking autophagy into gear and all the other benefits of fasting.
I tried doing it all the time but it became a chore. Now, I fast when I feel like it and have a huge breakfast when I don't. Eat when hungry. The best stuff I've learned.
To break the grip of SAD, I went mostly-meat for 3 weeks before beginning the gradual reintroduction of vegetables and fruits.
To heal my gut, I started drinking water kefir which made it possible for me to tolerate yogurt. I started making extra-fat yogurt at home.
The longer I've been on whole foods, the greater the percentage of raw greens, vegetables and fruits I'm eating has become. By food volume, I've settled around 75% raw plus modest portions of cooked meat and vegetables and my probiotics (now that my gut is healed I've reduced the amounts of yogurt and kefir as well.)
I expect that when fall comes I'll revert to a regimen heavier in meat and tubers, but for now I'm loving the raw stuff and my bright skin tone says it's right for me.
Honestly, my number one "tweak" has been to follow my own path rather than seeking the "right" diet as defined by others.
1) Low carb Paleo keeps me skinny but bored.
2) White rice isn't evil and doesn't make me feel like crap like other grains do.
3) Fruit is not breakfast, and should only be a snack when I feel like I might fall asleep mid-day at work. Subsequently, I don't "need" fruit to be healthy.
4) It doesn't matter if it's coconut milk, almond milk, raw milk or whatever, I am NOT a milk drinker.
5) Paleo baking isn't evil, it's really fun, but shouldn't be done on a regular basis if I don't want to gain weight.
6) Gluten = gas. Particularly for my husband. Wow.
7) I CAN live without bread. This one was huge for me, as simple and dumb as it sounds.
8) Since going Paleo, I can now look at pictures my "foodie" friends take and post all over Facebook and go "meh" and not feel jealous or like I have to go someplace amazing this weekend.
- Sleeping 8-9 hours a night instead of 6-7 has made me a better person.
- I'm more lactose intolerant than gluten intolerant (according to N=1 short term GI effects anyhow)
- It turns out, I'm not a gassy person! (haha) I thought I was but since going Paleo my gastrointestinal system is like a well-oiled machine.
- I can live without fruit. I can't live without starch. Rice may be controversial but I feel so much better after adding it back in a couple times a week.
- Dark chocolate is still milk chocolates ugly, bitter cousin. The only bonus from eating dark chocolate is it tastes so gross it immediately kills my cravings.
1.) Moderate to low carb works fine when fat is eaten in excess.
2.) I needed to increase salt consumption to avoid weird large pupils.
3.) I have cravings for bone broth and
4.) Mango. What does my body tell me here?
Cravings for special foods may indicate a lack of specific nutritions, right? Whats that supposed to mean, Mango cravings?
The great thing about Paleo is that because things start working better, I am much more attuned to what my body likes and dislikes are:
Here are mine:
1) Low carb is not my friend
2) I function much better on an empty stomach
3) I do REALLY badly having a heavy lunch
4) High carb is not my friend
5) Moderate carbs are win win for me
6) I cannot tolerate gluten at all! I get the worst headaches and joint pain
7) Fruits are great but too much citrus gives me joint pain
8) Daily Kefir means that I am no longer lactose intolerant after being so all my life. I do try and restrict my lactose to a maximum of one or two full fat milky coffees a week and Ghee for cooking.
9) I am no longer obsessed with food. Hunger? Whatever!
All through N=1:
I can't eat more than 6 eggs a week or I react. Puffiness and breakouts.
Eliminating nuts and dried coconut from my house has made my brain and body more alert. A 60 day reset and choosing two things to exit during that timeframe were a huge eye opener. If they're out and about? Yum! Just not in my home.
I have a mild allergy to coconut oil. Tingly mouth, slight puff to lips, metallic flavour. Dried coconut, coconut milk are fine - just the oil.
No electronics 1-2 hours before bed, and none allowed in bed unless I'm under the weather, makes for deeper and more restful evenings.
Fish Oil and ZMA, the best. Body, brain, sleep are much better.
I'm boring.. that's it. I was already eating really well and fairly close to Paleo/Primal/Ninja, just had to remove grains, legumes, etc., so tweaking and adjusting has just been for food ratios and general playing about. I think N=1 is such fun. Nerd :)
One can learn a lot in the course of a year in n=1 and n=2 experiments ...
Background: The hubby and I tried low carb Paleo in fall 2010 and felt great initially (till about April 2011) and then not so good. We increased carbs from about June 2010 while changing supplements but found inflammation symptoms (as well as weight gain in the abdominal area) creeping up on higher carb so we shifted back to lower carb in mid-March 2012. The decrease in inflammation was immediate (2-3 days) and obvious post-work out when there was almost no muscle soreness.
Our blood numbers were "fine," on both lower and higher carb Primal but we felt quite different - proof we are more then blood numbers! I wish we could say it was only the carbs or only the supplements but I think the 2 helped together. I was slowly switching us to more appropriate supplements (about 1 new one per month) in the past year and noticed a big difference with magnesium, iodine/selenium, and Vitamin C but the weight loss in the abdominal area did not change until the carbs were dropped!
We feel a lot better then we tried the first time in fall 2010! Since initially trying low carb then in 2010 and now in 2012 we have both learned a lot!
Then in Fall 2010: NO trace minerals including selenium!
1) Crappy multivitamin (Dr. D'adamo) with folic acid NOT FOLATE
2) Citracal calcium 2 tabs/day
3) Carlson Cod Liver Oil (lemon) 2 tsp/day
4) Vitamin C 500-1000 mg/day
NOW in 2012: raw dairy, bone broths
1) Douglas Labs B Complex with Metfolin/1 tablet/day
Thiamine (Vitamin B-1, as Thiamine HCI)..... 50 mg 3,333%
Riboflavin.......................................................20 mg 1,176%
(Vitamin B-2, Riboflavin-5-Phosphate)
Niacin ( Vitamin B-3, as Niacinamide)........... 50 mg 250%
Vitamin B-6 (as Pyridoxal-5-Phosphate)....... 20 mg 1,000%
Folate (as L-methylfolate, Metafolin??) ....... 400 mcg 100%
Vitamin B-12 (as methylcobalamin) .......... 500 mcg 8,333%
Biotin .........................................................300 mcg 100%
Pantothenic Acid........................................... 50 mg 500%
(Vitamin B-5, as d-calcium pantothenate) Intrinsic Factor (from porcine) ....................... 20 mg *
2) Thorne Trace minerals (1-2 caps/day)
Zinc (as Zinc Citrate) 15 mg.
Selenium (as Selenium Citrate) 100 mcg.
Manganese (as Manganese Citrate) 2.5 mg.
Chromium (as Chromium Citrate) 100 mcg.
Molybdenum (as Molybdenum Citrate) 50 mcg.
Boron (as Boron Citrate) 700 mcg.
3) NOW Zinc Picolinate 50 mg/tablet
4) NOW 150 mcg Kelp (Iodine)/tablet (4 tabs pp/day for a total of 600 mcg)
5) Green Pastures FCLO (Fermented Cod Liver Oil) 2 tsp (when not eating sardines/salmon) and 2 tsp FBO (Fermented Butter Oil)
6) KAL Magnesium Orotate 200 mg/2 tablets daily (hubby takes 4 tabs for 400 mg, I take 3 for 300 mg)
7) Carlson Bison Capsules or Radiant Life Liver Capsules 6 caps/day pp when not eating liver
8) Nature's Way Vitamin C 1000 mg (hubby take 6-8 caps over the day for 6000-8000 mg, I take 4-6 caps for 4000-6000 mg)
9) NOW Kelp 150 mcg/tab (4 caps or 600 mcg/day)
1) I can improve my digestion issue through diet and I can IF and feel good!
2) I can feel better in general through diet, it can be my own version of healthy eating not some trendy diet of the moment.
3) I can drop weight/gain weight at will through diet, I do have a metabolism after all!
4) I can tolerate dairy but feel better without it
5) I can't tolerate high amounts of fat, even good fats!
6) I figured out FODMAPS and night shades are not my friends!
7) I finally learned about nutrition and real foods, something we never learned about at home, growing up in a boxed, canned, processed environment and always being a chubby kid
8) I learned about Primal, Paleo and GAPS/healing through all you fine people!
9) I finally understand why I have all these food allergies and digestive issues and I'm fixing it! and not with much help from traditional medical industry which was just taking all my money and leaving me desperate and confused for the past 8 years...and no its not all in my head!
10) I learned to eat when hungry and I'm still learning to 'chew' my food rather than scarf it down in a hurry...something I must unlearn even after 1+ year of trying!!
11) need to rotate my foods!
@kokov, try cookie dough larabars when you get a "cheat" craving. they really taste like cookie dough, are paleo friendly, and are only 210 cals!
Interesting. I'll copy a few of yours. 1) I don't tolerate fruit well at all. 2) Coconut milk is no bueno for me. 3) I can't tolerate a ton of fat. 4) Cabbage, brussels, broccoli, cabbage are not great for me. 5) I really don't need that much food, especially if the food I eat is high quality and has enough calories. 6) The more probiotics, the better. Kefir/kombucha are my big friends. 7) Bone broth is another thing that my body craves. 8) Sleeping with an eye mask makes a huge difference in my sleep quality. 9) I also feel better when I'm slightly hungry.
I definitely agree with ditching the nuts and seeds. I can tolerate them in small quantities but I ALWAYS end up on a crazy binge. I find almonds to be be especially troublesome...I can eat a couple pounds in a week.
Here's my top 5
- salt is not evil
- eat more carbs: especially when lifting weights
- Leafy Greens in moderation: I suspected them of giving me hypothyroid symptoms
- Less eggs (they don't seem to fill me up, I might be allergic)
- More animal fat
- I have to avoid nuts and seeds, or else I'll lose my mind
- Working out after fasting has its benefits
- Avoid wheat, sugar, and dairy all costs...Whenever I give in just a little bit I end up binging later.
1) "Safe starches" are "unsafe" for me. LOL.
2) I seem to have no requirement for carbs. Reducing carbs has always benefitted me to where I am not at the point that I am almost zero carb (Just the carbs in small portions of leafy veg).
3) Reducing protein has benefitted me.
4) Increasing fat in my diet has always benefitted me and I'm now eating very high fat.
5) I can eat a very large breakfast and not be hungry for 5-6 hours but it makes me feel sluggish and uncomfortable for the first hour. 6) I feel better starting off the day with an empty stomach and eating when I'm actually hungry (About mid morning).
7) I can work out very hard if I train early in the morining, or if it's later in the day, I can train very hard if I start the workout just as the hunger pangs start.