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Rate my daily diet and would love suggestions! (new to paleo)

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created May 29, 2012 at 3:47 PM

Hi Everyone! I'm new to Paleo. My goals for this are twofold; of course first to get away from grains / legumes / bad nutrition and second to gain muscle as part of a weight training program (I'm starting around 170 lbs @ 17% body fat with a goal of 185 @ 10% body fat). I have no special dietary concerns that I'm aware of. I'd love suggestions from the community on what about this diet could be better.

I have one specific question: I intend to snack throughout the day to hit my calorie goal for weight gain (around 3000 calories), but is 1.5 cups too many nuts to eat each day (see below under "Snacking")?

Snacking throughout day:
3/4 cup Almonds
3/4 cup mixed Cashews / Walnuts

Pre-Breakfast:
2 scoops Whey protein + 2 cups frozen strawberries

Breakfast:
Banana
4 Eggs
1/2 Avocado

Lunch:
2 Tilapia Fillets
Kefir or Greek Yogurt
Apple
1/2 Avocado

Dinner:
8oz Lean Steak or Chicken
Baby Spinach Salad or Kale or other leafy greenery + olive oil based dressing

Before Bed:
2 scoops Whey protein + 2 cups frozen strawberries

I appreciate your thoughts and this community!

F5be4be097edc85690c12d67ee1a27c0

(1884)

on June 14, 2012
at 02:14 PM

Coconut is a good source, but it effed up my stomach after I ate an entire coconut in a single night. But if you can handle it, then sure.

F5be4be097edc85690c12d67ee1a27c0

(1884)

on June 14, 2012
at 02:13 PM

If you're looking for a calorie dense source, I'd suggest adding kerrygold butter? I've been mixing it with fresh chives and dipping every bite of steak into it. I also mix the garlic/herb kerrygold into my scrambled eggs. It makes broccoli amazing too.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on June 01, 2012
at 06:53 PM

Sleepyhouse, the exact same thing can be said about the whole paleo diet - just because you feel okay on it doesn't mean it isn't damaging you.

F5be4be097edc85690c12d67ee1a27c0

(1884)

on May 31, 2012
at 03:02 PM

Liquidki - I take a probiotic supplement to make up for it.

F5be4be097edc85690c12d67ee1a27c0

(1884)

on May 31, 2012
at 03:01 PM

MathGirl72 - Even if you aren't experiencing digestive issues, you don't know what dairy is actually doing to you. A lot of foods that you ate before paleoness, you didn't know what it was doing to you. Do you feel your cholesterol? Do you feel the onset of cancer? We don't always feel inflammation. http://paleodietlifestyle.com/place-of-dairy-on-paleo-diet/ Just because you feel okay consuming dairy doesn't mean it isn't damaging to your health.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on May 30, 2012
at 02:38 AM

I never said that speed affects insulin response. I said that whey is insulinogenic and that casein doesn't elicit as strong of a response as whey. Casein does also digest slower, but I don't know if that is the primary reason.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12672)

on May 30, 2012
at 01:34 AM

I see no reason for one and not the other; why would digestion speed and effect on insulin matter in this context?

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on May 30, 2012
at 01:20 AM

Can you tell me why he should be taking whey before bed, then? I can tell you why he should be taking casein and not whey.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12672)

on May 29, 2012
at 11:22 PM

The OP reported taking whey with 2 cups of strawberries, which essentially is why I am hesitant to believe whey will cause hypoglycemia. I'm assuming the hypoglycemia is why you think it will reduce growth hormone production?

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on May 29, 2012
at 11:14 PM

It's also great if you plan on training fasted in the morning or fasting throughout the morning and want to minimize muscle breakdown.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on May 29, 2012
at 11:13 PM

It's insunlinogenic and digests very quickly. Before bed and throughout the night, it could blunt fat burning, cause low blood sugar, and reduce growth hormone production. Casein is the ideal night time protein because it does not elicit a strong insulin response, it takes 8hrs to fully digest and absorb, and it will help with muscle repair when you can't actively be getting up in a couple times during the night to eat more protein.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12672)

on May 29, 2012
at 11:06 PM

"Do not drink whey before bed". What makes you say that?

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on May 29, 2012
at 10:36 PM

...if I were really trying to pack on the msucle though, I'd be eating it every day of the week.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on May 29, 2012
at 10:24 PM

I only eat salmon about 1x per week when I go out for sushi (and I eat the non-paleo rice too), and I usually get two rolls or just 1 roll and some sashimi. I eat the other aformentioned seafood pretty regularly though. I basically just rotate chicken, beef, and shellfish. I eat casein most nights before bed.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on May 29, 2012
at 10:20 PM

Nah, man, you don't need to eat salmon everyday at all. I would not bother supplementing with fish oil either. I think that the key is to keep overall PUFA intake low, and adding fish oil will just increase PUFA. The main proteins in my diet are organic free range chicken breast, shellfish (shirmp, scallops, oysters), lean beef (sometimes grass fed, sometimes not), and casein protein powder. For the past week I've eaten beef everyday, but sometimes i'll go an entire week without it.

65bf1ca7071028018c6d8305d0ddcd76

(3049)

on May 29, 2012
at 10:04 PM

You can totally sub ground beef; if it isn't grass fed buy leaner beef, drain the fat and add some coconut oil back in. (that's what I would do, anyhow!)

1164ac7e9c1640010e4aca564d8f5b2e

(30)

on May 29, 2012
at 09:57 PM

Cool! Thanks for the explanation. Would adding a fish oil supplement help things? I definitely am not about the supplements for the long haul, but during this training phase where I want to increase muscle mass I am willing to supplement and then discontinue. Otherwise, what are some other good Omega-3 foods that would shift the balance in my favor that I could eat every day. Like I probably shouldn't eat Salmon every day, should I?

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on May 29, 2012
at 09:56 PM

If you eat dairy, make it full fat.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on May 29, 2012
at 09:56 PM

Eat fattier meats. Substitute pastured chicken THIGHS for the breasts. Nice fat edged steaks from grass fed steers, Wild Alaska salmon instead of tilapia, pork butt instead of tenderloin. Fatty cuts of lamb or goat if you can find them. Best are generally the ruminants (beef, lamb, sheep, goats) and fatty wild fish like salmon for more saturated fat and higher O3 to O6 ratio.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on May 29, 2012
at 08:55 PM

As for the nuts, avocado, and eggs? I just think it's cumulatively too much omega 6. These foods aren't bad, but maybe large servings of all three of them in the same day aren't so good.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on May 29, 2012
at 08:49 PM

Certainly man. I don't think you'll be let down by Optimum Nutrition casein. I use chocolate. Sometimes I just mix it with just enough water to make it a pudding consistency and then let it sit in the fridge for 30 mins before eating. Other times I make a fluff with casein, frozen blueberries, and unsweetened almond milk in the blender. Comes out like a sorbet consistency.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on May 29, 2012
at 08:47 PM

Certainly, man. I putting my stuff out there for people to either put to use or hate on. I like Optimum Nutrition casein protein A LOT. I use 1 scoop before bed in water or i'll make a protein fluff (1 scoop casien, 1C blueberries, 2-3oz unsweetened almond milk). you could double the serving size while trying to gain though. Sometimes I make a pudding with 2 scoops casein and 4-6oz water and let it sit in the fridge for 30 mins before eating. So friggin good .

1164ac7e9c1640010e4aca564d8f5b2e

(30)

on May 29, 2012
at 08:23 PM

BTW, thanks for the tips on the nuts. Do you have alternate calorie sources that are dense like nuts? Most meats just don't have a lot of calories. I heard someone recommending coconut which I'll definitely look into. Any other ideas?

1164ac7e9c1640010e4aca564d8f5b2e

(30)

on May 29, 2012
at 08:21 PM

Being new to Paleo I have seen a lot of debates about dairy. I intend to avoid dairy in general like milk and cheese, but I thought probiotics were useful?

1164ac7e9c1640010e4aca564d8f5b2e

(30)

on May 29, 2012
at 08:19 PM

Thanks for the suggestions! I use Optimum Nutrition which is reputed to be very good. http://www.optimumnutrition.com/products/natural-100-whey-gold-standard-p-202.html

1164ac7e9c1640010e4aca564d8f5b2e

(30)

on May 29, 2012
at 08:16 PM

Thanks for the rating. Any tips on how I could improve it?

1164ac7e9c1640010e4aca564d8f5b2e

(30)

on May 29, 2012
at 08:16 PM

Thanks for the recommendation! I'll try to integrate more SFA. Steak gets a bit pricey to eat multiple times a day.. Any tips for keeping it from breaking the bank? Can you sub in ground beef instead?

1164ac7e9c1640010e4aca564d8f5b2e

(30)

on May 29, 2012
at 08:14 PM

Thanks so much for your detailed answer. I'll make the modifications you recommend. I bought some potatoes but forgot to integrate them into my day :) I also just got some casein protein I have been meaning to switch to before bed. What is bad about a whole avocado? Too much of something? I'm definitely trying to learn as much as possible here.

1164ac7e9c1640010e4aca564d8f5b2e

(30)

on May 29, 2012
at 08:09 PM

Gaining mass generally means increasing muscle.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11048)

on May 29, 2012
at 06:25 PM

Oh, please tell why the kefir is a no-go. (In case you missed it, that is FULL of sarcasm.) With no digestive issues, dairy isn't a problem.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on May 29, 2012
at 04:28 PM

Do or Do not. There is no try.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on May 29, 2012
at 03:54 PM

What is gaining mass?

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5 Answers

7
2fd566cefde2de38e75e1bc13a966e16

on May 29, 2012
at 04:14 PM

Too much PUFA, not enough SFA. Lose the nuts and eat more steak. Put coconut oil in your protein shakes or eat it from the jar. Eat unsweetened coconut flakes as a snack instead.

65bf1ca7071028018c6d8305d0ddcd76

(3049)

on May 29, 2012
at 10:04 PM

You can totally sub ground beef; if it isn't grass fed buy leaner beef, drain the fat and add some coconut oil back in. (that's what I would do, anyhow!)

1164ac7e9c1640010e4aca564d8f5b2e

(30)

on May 29, 2012
at 08:16 PM

Thanks for the recommendation! I'll try to integrate more SFA. Steak gets a bit pricey to eat multiple times a day.. Any tips for keeping it from breaking the bank? Can you sub in ground beef instead?

4
1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

on May 29, 2012
at 04:02 PM

Gain mass? I presume you mean gain muscle and reduce or body fat percentage, correct? If not, then gaining mass would just mean creating a surplus of calories.

Your diet looks decent at best. First, that's way too many nuts. Stick to 1oz a day. Also, reduce avocado to 1/2.

Time your carbohydrates properly. If you want to gain a significant amount of muscle and** decrease body fat percentage, then you should be including starch in your diet as well. Leave fruit for either first thing in the morning and/or immediately post workout with your whey protein shake.

Do not drink whey before bed. It is insulinogenic and you do a lot of your fat burning at night when growth hormone is up. Stick to 1/2 of an avocado per day.

Choose lean beef as your preferential source of protein.

Get in starch pre workout and sugar/whey immediately post workout, and starch again in the meal after that.

For instance, your breakfast could be an omelet (2 whole eggs, 1C egg whites, veggies) with some potatoes (or sweet potatoes). Then you could workout and consume 2scoops whey with dextrose/sugar post workout (30-60g). Your meal 2 hours later could be lean beef with more potatoes (or sweet potatoes). Your next meal could be a salad with chicken and avocado. Your meal before bed could 2 scoops CASEIN protein with 1oz almonds.

It is not a HUGE amount of calories, but it is enough to build muscle while simultaneously reduce body fat if you are putting in the work at the gym and especially if you're a newbie. "Bulking" is pass?? anyways.

OR you could train fasted and just consume potatoes/sweet potatoes in your two meals following that.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on May 29, 2012
at 11:13 PM

It's insunlinogenic and digests very quickly. Before bed and throughout the night, it could blunt fat burning, cause low blood sugar, and reduce growth hormone production. Casein is the ideal night time protein because it does not elicit a strong insulin response, it takes 8hrs to fully digest and absorb, and it will help with muscle repair when you can't actively be getting up in a couple times during the night to eat more protein.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on May 30, 2012
at 01:20 AM

Can you tell me why he should be taking whey before bed, then? I can tell you why he should be taking casein and not whey.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12672)

on May 29, 2012
at 11:06 PM

"Do not drink whey before bed". What makes you say that?

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on May 29, 2012
at 10:20 PM

Nah, man, you don't need to eat salmon everyday at all. I would not bother supplementing with fish oil either. I think that the key is to keep overall PUFA intake low, and adding fish oil will just increase PUFA. The main proteins in my diet are organic free range chicken breast, shellfish (shirmp, scallops, oysters), lean beef (sometimes grass fed, sometimes not), and casein protein powder. For the past week I've eaten beef everyday, but sometimes i'll go an entire week without it.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on May 30, 2012
at 02:38 AM

I never said that speed affects insulin response. I said that whey is insulinogenic and that casein doesn't elicit as strong of a response as whey. Casein does also digest slower, but I don't know if that is the primary reason.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on May 29, 2012
at 11:14 PM

It's also great if you plan on training fasted in the morning or fasting throughout the morning and want to minimize muscle breakdown.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12672)

on May 30, 2012
at 01:34 AM

I see no reason for one and not the other; why would digestion speed and effect on insulin matter in this context?

1164ac7e9c1640010e4aca564d8f5b2e

(30)

on May 29, 2012
at 08:14 PM

Thanks so much for your detailed answer. I'll make the modifications you recommend. I bought some potatoes but forgot to integrate them into my day :) I also just got some casein protein I have been meaning to switch to before bed. What is bad about a whole avocado? Too much of something? I'm definitely trying to learn as much as possible here.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on May 29, 2012
at 10:36 PM

...if I were really trying to pack on the msucle though, I'd be eating it every day of the week.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12672)

on May 29, 2012
at 11:22 PM

The OP reported taking whey with 2 cups of strawberries, which essentially is why I am hesitant to believe whey will cause hypoglycemia. I'm assuming the hypoglycemia is why you think it will reduce growth hormone production?

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on May 29, 2012
at 08:49 PM

Certainly man. I don't think you'll be let down by Optimum Nutrition casein. I use chocolate. Sometimes I just mix it with just enough water to make it a pudding consistency and then let it sit in the fridge for 30 mins before eating. Other times I make a fluff with casein, frozen blueberries, and unsweetened almond milk in the blender. Comes out like a sorbet consistency.

1164ac7e9c1640010e4aca564d8f5b2e

(30)

on May 29, 2012
at 09:57 PM

Cool! Thanks for the explanation. Would adding a fish oil supplement help things? I definitely am not about the supplements for the long haul, but during this training phase where I want to increase muscle mass I am willing to supplement and then discontinue. Otherwise, what are some other good Omega-3 foods that would shift the balance in my favor that I could eat every day. Like I probably shouldn't eat Salmon every day, should I?

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on May 29, 2012
at 08:47 PM

Certainly, man. I putting my stuff out there for people to either put to use or hate on. I like Optimum Nutrition casein protein A LOT. I use 1 scoop before bed in water or i'll make a protein fluff (1 scoop casien, 1C blueberries, 2-3oz unsweetened almond milk). you could double the serving size while trying to gain though. Sometimes I make a pudding with 2 scoops casein and 4-6oz water and let it sit in the fridge for 30 mins before eating. So friggin good .

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on May 29, 2012
at 08:55 PM

As for the nuts, avocado, and eggs? I just think it's cumulatively too much omega 6. These foods aren't bad, but maybe large servings of all three of them in the same day aren't so good.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on May 29, 2012
at 10:24 PM

I only eat salmon about 1x per week when I go out for sushi (and I eat the non-paleo rice too), and I usually get two rolls or just 1 roll and some sashimi. I eat the other aformentioned seafood pretty regularly though. I basically just rotate chicken, beef, and shellfish. I eat casein most nights before bed.

2
F5be4be097edc85690c12d67ee1a27c0

on May 29, 2012
at 04:11 PM

The standout things to me are the large amount of nuts, the yogurt, and honestly, the whey protein.

1.5 cups of nuts is a LOT of nuts. Just because they're high in calories/fat doesn't mean it's okay to overload on them in that way. Not just that, but you're going to get burnt out FAST eating that many nuts and will stop eating them all together. I suggest the recommended handful or two.

http://chriskresser.com/another-reason-you-shouldnt-go-nuts-on-nuts

The kefir/yogurt - dairy is a no go.

Other than all of that, I would say you aren't eating very much to be gaining weight and you're relying on nuts when you should be relying on meat.

1164ac7e9c1640010e4aca564d8f5b2e

(30)

on May 29, 2012
at 08:23 PM

BTW, thanks for the tips on the nuts. Do you have alternate calorie sources that are dense like nuts? Most meats just don't have a lot of calories. I heard someone recommending coconut which I'll definitely look into. Any other ideas?

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on May 29, 2012
at 09:56 PM

Eat fattier meats. Substitute pastured chicken THIGHS for the breasts. Nice fat edged steaks from grass fed steers, Wild Alaska salmon instead of tilapia, pork butt instead of tenderloin. Fatty cuts of lamb or goat if you can find them. Best are generally the ruminants (beef, lamb, sheep, goats) and fatty wild fish like salmon for more saturated fat and higher O3 to O6 ratio.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on May 29, 2012
at 09:56 PM

If you eat dairy, make it full fat.

1164ac7e9c1640010e4aca564d8f5b2e

(30)

on May 29, 2012
at 08:21 PM

Being new to Paleo I have seen a lot of debates about dairy. I intend to avoid dairy in general like milk and cheese, but I thought probiotics were useful?

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11048)

on May 29, 2012
at 06:25 PM

Oh, please tell why the kefir is a no-go. (In case you missed it, that is FULL of sarcasm.) With no digestive issues, dairy isn't a problem.

F5be4be097edc85690c12d67ee1a27c0

(1884)

on May 31, 2012
at 03:01 PM

MathGirl72 - Even if you aren't experiencing digestive issues, you don't know what dairy is actually doing to you. A lot of foods that you ate before paleoness, you didn't know what it was doing to you. Do you feel your cholesterol? Do you feel the onset of cancer? We don't always feel inflammation. http://paleodietlifestyle.com/place-of-dairy-on-paleo-diet/ Just because you feel okay consuming dairy doesn't mean it isn't damaging to your health.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on June 01, 2012
at 06:53 PM

Sleepyhouse, the exact same thing can be said about the whole paleo diet - just because you feel okay on it doesn't mean it isn't damaging you.

F5be4be097edc85690c12d67ee1a27c0

(1884)

on May 31, 2012
at 03:02 PM

Liquidki - I take a probiotic supplement to make up for it.

F5be4be097edc85690c12d67ee1a27c0

(1884)

on June 14, 2012
at 02:14 PM

Coconut is a good source, but it effed up my stomach after I ate an entire coconut in a single night. But if you can handle it, then sure.

F5be4be097edc85690c12d67ee1a27c0

(1884)

on June 14, 2012
at 02:13 PM

If you're looking for a calorie dense source, I'd suggest adding kerrygold butter? I've been mixing it with fresh chives and dipping every bite of steak into it. I also mix the garlic/herb kerrygold into my scrambled eggs. It makes broccoli amazing too.

2
De641ff2accb4975e1f42886b43009db

(2227)

on May 29, 2012
at 04:00 PM

I would suggest macadamia/cashews over almonds and walnuts for less PUFAs.

Make sure that Whey powder is clean.. don't ask me what that means though, I don't do Whey.

1164ac7e9c1640010e4aca564d8f5b2e

(30)

on May 29, 2012
at 08:19 PM

Thanks for the suggestions! I use Optimum Nutrition which is reputed to be very good. http://www.optimumnutrition.com/products/natural-100-whey-gold-standard-p-202.html

0
5ef574d7893bc816ec52e04139e9bc09

(6097)

on May 29, 2012
at 04:05 PM

3/10

Would not eat again.

1164ac7e9c1640010e4aca564d8f5b2e

(30)

on May 29, 2012
at 08:16 PM

Thanks for the rating. Any tips on how I could improve it?

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