5

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I'm a beginner and I have questions

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 20, 2011 at 3:29 PM

So I just came across the Paleo way of living about a week ago. Over the past two years (due to health problems), I've eliminated dairy, wheat/gluten, and soy. I lost 20 pounds, felt better, and lost my brain fog. But now I am having issues with heartburn, acne and weight gain. I want to go Paleo for health reasons, and just to be overall healthy and live the way I should as a human! It's been three days and I am going great. I do have some concerns:

1) I am currently taking Celexa (an antidepressant) for OCD, anxiety and depression. Is this okay? I'm not sure what the thoughts are on this in regards to the paleo lifestyle.

2) I have been taking Prevacid for about 3 months. I had an Upper and Lower GI study done and it determined that my stomach and esophagus were chronically inflamed (maybe from the potatoes, beans, rice, carbs I was eating then)? He diagnosed me with GERD and told me to take Prevacid. Since I've started the Paleo diet, I've been getting nausea and heartburn again. Maybe it's time to stop the Prevacid and switch to apple cider vinegar? Do I go cold turkey?

3) Is corn okay? Like Torilla chips? I was at a family gathering yesterday and my sister brought homemade (paleo-approved) pico de gallo. I wasn't sure if I could use the tortilla chips with the Pico.

4) I don't exercise and I'd like to start. Would you recommend walking daily, or riding my bike daily, or a mix of both? I'm thinking of joining CrossFit (which just came to my town).

Also, I am female, 26 years old. I am 5'6 and weigh 145 pounds. I'd like to lose at least 15 pounds. My body fat is stored around my waste. It looks like I'm pregnant!

UPDATE/EDIT: This is my diet for the past three days:

Day 1

Breakfast: 3 eggs with olive oil, paprika and onion powder, with 1/2 avocado with paprika and garlic powder. Green tea to drink.

Lunch: Tuna lettuce wraps (canned tuna mixed with olive oil, brown mustard, onion and garlic powder wrapped in romaine lettuce with sliced tomato)

Dinner - Chicken breast diced and mixed with red and orange bell peppers and spinach, with olive oil, onion and garlic powder, and thyme. Side of steamed asparagus, plain, and a small plum, sliced.

Snack in PM - SMALL glass of OJ with blueberries

Day 2:

Breakfast: 3 eggs with olive oil, paprika and onion powder, with 1/2 avocado with paprika and garlic powder. Green tea to drink.

Lunch: Salmon lettuce wraps (canned salmon mixed with olive oil, brown mustard, onion and garlic powder wrapped in romaine lettuce with sliced tomato)

Dinner: Sirloin steak (grass fed) with onion and green peppers, olive oil, and thyme, with a side of steamed spinach.

Day 3 (today)

Breakfast: 2 eggs with olive oil, paprika and onion powder, with 1/2 avocado with paprika and garlic powder. Green tea to drink.

Lunch: Tuna salad: Canned tuna, romaine lettuce and fresh tomato

Thanks for your insight and help!

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on June 20, 2011
at 11:09 PM

I also bet within 2 months your off all the psych meds. You may need to taper them if you been on them a long time. Speak with your doc about it. I usually taper my patients so they have no issues coming off them if they have been on them greater than 6 months.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on June 20, 2011
at 11:07 PM

lose the chips and tomatoes to start. I would also tell you to forget any snacking especially with juice or berries to begin. Eat your fruit with you meals. And starting your mornings with a large breakfast with 50 grams of protein. Your cravings and GERD will vanish in less than a month and your ten pounds will go away in a month. Then you will focus on body comp. Eating paleo is easy and you'll get a ton of help here especially from the ladies. They are great resources for a lady.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on June 20, 2011
at 06:32 PM

excellent marathon answer

81f0fb141fef1cd2a59d614d654d8f28

(343)

on June 20, 2011
at 05:30 PM

This is what I have been eating for the past three days: Day 1 Breakfast: 3 eggs with olive oil, paprika and onion powder, with 1/2 avocado with paprika and garlic powder. Green tea to drink. Lunch: Tuna lettuce wraps (canned tuna mixed with olive oil, brown mustard, onion and garlic powder wrapped in romaine lettuce with sliced tomato) Dinner - Chicken breast diced and mixed with red and orange bell peppers and spinach, with olive oil, onion and garlic powder, and thyme. Side of steamed asparagus, plain, and a small plum, sliced. Snack in PM - SMALL glass of OJ with frozen blueberries

8be7a492e2844e2ad5595a6c73974f99

(891)

on June 20, 2011
at 04:19 PM

And Good Luck!!

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9 Answers

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7
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 20, 2011
at 04:21 PM

Hey Jennifer!

There are some great posts about the beginner paleo way of life here

When I first started I had all my questions answered just going through all the fab posts.

Many of us also experience depression and the like and we have some posts here. From experience I can say that my depression and mood issues have improved remarkably!

GI issues, for me and many others, are pretty much out the door after giving up legumes, beans, and gluten. Robb Wolf has an amazing set of beginner guides. I give everyone who asks me about my diet that link. They love it!

Tortilla chips are a no-no. Usually made with crap oils like soybean. Basically, anything processed (in a bag/box) is going to be suspect.

As for exercise, there are a ton of posts. Just search for what interests you.

Good luck and welcome to a new way of life!

4
8be7a492e2844e2ad5595a6c73974f99

(891)

on September 07, 2013
at 12:44 AM

1) Your chemistry will be shifting enough with the diet. I don't see the benefit of cutting out your anti-depressant right now. Get some stability, like at least two-three months of solid paleo eating before you consider getting off mood-meds. You may find yourself moving away from the pill quite naturally. Consider researching the supplements that are recommended in Paleo/Primal resources.

2) I don't know about Prevacid...someone I am sure will know better. I think, yeah, quit, but that is totally an intuitive feeling that the diet is working on you and the Prevacid isn't serving you.

3) Corn is a grain. I would recommend cutting it out completely.

4) Regarding exercise..go slow, listen to your body's needs. The beginning of this diet tends to put people in healing mode, there isn't a lot of extra energy to exercise. Then, for some, it's no problem. Do as you feel, but I recommend biting off one thing at a time. Exercise will be a natural expression of your health. Use your energy to get well.

8be7a492e2844e2ad5595a6c73974f99

(891)

on June 20, 2011
at 04:19 PM

And Good Luck!!

2
9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

on June 20, 2011
at 05:20 PM

You might mention what you eat in a typical day/week. Some people go Paleo and still eat a diet with balanced protein/fat/carb. Others go low carb, very low carb, or zero carb. Some go very high fat. Most Paleo folks tend to be high protein with lots of meat, but not everyone. So when you say "Paleo" there is still some variance.

I used to have intermittent GERD and that went away completely with the Paleo diet, I think it was the sugar and grains. I prefer a low-carb diet, but when I go really low carb or all meat, I get some stomach issues after a week or so. Nowadays once a week I will have a meal consisting of all yogurt (full-fat and unsweetened) and fruit, which is a Paleo no-no but it does wonders for my digestive system.

If you have serious GI inflammation you might need a very specific diet until that heals up. I had peptic ulcers a while back and found that coffee was the cause, and I had to give it up completely for about 3 months in order to heal. A friend of mine had a seriously inflamed esophagus, and had to drop all caffeine, alcohol, carbonated beverages, spicy foods, and some other things for several months until it healed up. So you might be sure that your GI system is healed up to rule that out as a cause.

Another possibility is that you are still eating, or have started to eat, something that you are allergic to or don't tolerate well. For example some people start to eat a lot of nuts when they first go Paleo, and then find they are allergic to them in quantity.

I find that my moods are way better on the Paleo diet and with vitamin D supplements. I'm not sure which has more of an impact, but I do think the vitamin D is very important. I've never been on anti-depressants but my moods are fantastic on this regime.

On the weight loss, I've been strict Paleo for about 8 weeks. When I first started, I lost about 7-8 pounds quickly. Some call this "water weight" but I also lost a couple of pants sizes so I am not sure it's all water. Then my weight stayed exactly the same for weeks. This was kind of frustrating because I was trying to lose about 10 more pounds. Well I weighed myself yesterday and found that I had dropped 3.5 pounds since I weighed myself last which was probably about 10 days prior. The lesson for me was to just stick with the diet, focus on feeling good and getting the right kind of exercise, and think about weight after all of that. Good luck!

EDIT: I should have mentioned, when I had ulcers, the doctor prescribed Nexium (the "purple pill"). This alleviated my symptoms, but I did not want to take it forever, and my health insurance didn't cover it. I found that quitting coffee is all that was required to completely eliminate my ulcers and related symptoms, with the exception of intermittent GERD, which I cured by going Paleo. I am skeptical of someone needing to take an antacid medicine every day forever unless you have a serious problem, and think that 95% of the time this can be addressed with diet, just my $0.02.

EDIT2: Ok sorry this is turning into a marathon answer :-). Nausea can be a side effect of Celexa. Any chance that is causing your nausea?

For exercise, I think that walks are a great place to start, I'd do 30 minutes at least every other day. You might find that this turns into jogging or running at some point, but I'd start easy. I would also make sure that the exercise is mentally and emotionally refreshing. Walk in a nice place, with a friend, or in nature, and make it special "me" time. My wife does 30-45 minute power walks while talking to her friend who moved out of town on her cell phone and comes back all smiles. This is what got me into jogging and really improved my overall health.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on June 20, 2011
at 06:32 PM

excellent marathon answer

81f0fb141fef1cd2a59d614d654d8f28

(343)

on June 20, 2011
at 05:30 PM

This is what I have been eating for the past three days: Day 1 Breakfast: 3 eggs with olive oil, paprika and onion powder, with 1/2 avocado with paprika and garlic powder. Green tea to drink. Lunch: Tuna lettuce wraps (canned tuna mixed with olive oil, brown mustard, onion and garlic powder wrapped in romaine lettuce with sliced tomato) Dinner - Chicken breast diced and mixed with red and orange bell peppers and spinach, with olive oil, onion and garlic powder, and thyme. Side of steamed asparagus, plain, and a small plum, sliced. Snack in PM - SMALL glass of OJ with frozen blueberries

2
D54290f91bd8c2ff9fdf2f519933bf3e

(1231)

on June 20, 2011
at 04:15 PM

in regards to your antidepression medication, whether or not it is paleo is completely irrelevant if it improves your quality of life than keep taking it. lots of things in the modern world are not paleo but that doesn't mean you cannot use them to improve you life. paleo is not an all or nothing lifestlye even though many people will try to convince you otherwise.

if you do not exercise at all all than anything you do to get moving will be a good start, do something you like and can stick to.

most people from what i gather limit the amount of corn they eat if they are paleo or do not include it at all. i would think tortilla chips friend in crappy oil would not be paleo at all. i however eat them from time to time anyways ;)

0
332d9f75d1077abafff6887681f6b130

on June 20, 2011
at 07:04 PM

Try Now Foods Super Enzymes for your GERD. My wife used to get heartburn occasionally, but the frequency was increasing pretty quickly (She's still eating SAD) I put her on Super Enzymes and she hasn't had any issues with heartburn when she remembers to take the damn pill. She's one of those "as soon as it works I stop thinking about it and quit doing what was working" kind of people.

The Super Enzymes help digest food, and increase nutrient absorption as well. Pretty nifty little pill. I noticed degreased gas when I started taking them, and my digestion seems to have stabilized as well.

As for the antidepressents, just as everyone else has said, keep taking them. No need to risk quality of life while you're still getting your body back in line.

0
47fbd704c0392c2f38e86a72f1a06c6c

on June 20, 2011
at 06:42 PM

I am only about 3 weeks serious Paleo and for the first week or two, my GERD was really bad. I had been off of Prevacid for awhile and was starting to get a little concerned with the flare up. It cleared up pretty quickly and now it's not bothering me.

0
0a46a71bd3dca60276717f099b350132

on June 20, 2011
at 06:06 PM

I have chronic depression and anxiety disorder and continue to take my meds (Wellbutrin), even though when I'm hardcore paleo I tend to have more good days than bad. It might be actually helping alleviate my symptoms, or it could just be temporary. Maybe once I've gone a full six months on paleo I'll try phasing out the meds, but right now I still need them. It's okay to still take modern medicine; some people believe in paleo as a way of life, I see it as a way of eating/exercising. I am not a cavewoman and have no desire to be one, if I need a pill to stay sane, I'm going to take it. Good luck!

0
612c09622d41fa959953aae0c8ee86c8

(90)

on June 20, 2011
at 04:21 PM

You may need to phase out the prevacid. I was on prilosec and my doc had me phase it out by going 2 days on, one day off for a week, and then one day on, one day off for a week. and then one day on, two days off the third week. Fourth week was off. I also added some GI-soothing herbal tea, made with licorice root, marshmallow and slippery elm. In my understanding, you want your stomach acid to be able to break down your food correctly, Gerd and other symptoms will go away when you avoid gluten, grain, and other irritants for awhile.

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 20, 2011
at 04:01 PM

Removing all grains will probably be the key here. Rice and corn can keep symptoms going.

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