Hi! My husband and I are on day three of our thirty day paleo challenge. I'm finding that many websites contradict one another, and would like to know what others think/practice.
Please excuse my ignorance- healthy and mindful eating is very new to me. So I'm easily overwhelmed. Also, having an 11 month old makes it difficult to do legitimate research.
1) Some forbid sweet potatoes- others insist on tubers. I've been eating some sweet potatoes with chicken for lunch the past two days. It seems to keep me sane. I'm not trying to lose weight on the diet- just seeking optimal health and emotional stability. Should I nix this habit? Why or why not?
2) Fats- I have a feeling that I'm not getting enough fat.I was feeling so depleted today that I had to order a side of bacon from Mimi's for carry-out. I know it was the opposite of organic...but I had to get some fat. When I look over recommended meats, they all say to purchase "lean" meat with little to no fat. This confuses me. I'm sure there is a simple explanation that I'm just oblivious to... please help! The only fat sources seem to be some oil and an avocado- is that correct? How do you guys incorporate the fat into your diet? How much? How often? I don't want to get excessive with the protein and forget the fat.
3) Nuts- is the main concern with nuts the calories? Not being concerned with weight- should I eat these as a snack freely? I typically don't go overboard- but I really want to do this Paleo thing right. So if it's something I need to trash- I will. I've only been eating pistachios...but also purchased pecans and almonds.
4) Bacon- I have a hard time with this. I was forbidden to eat bacon throughout my pregnancy and now paleo tells me to have bacon. Is this a paleo treat- or is this another standard american diet myth that I should ignore? If so, why? We plan on conceiving again soon and I don't want to begin my love affair with bacon if it's still forbidden in pregnancy!
5)Does anyone use sliced lunch meat? I've been using deli turkey (pre-packaged) for my morning omelettes... once again... lunch meat was not recommended during pregnancy so I have a hard time understanding why it's okay with Paleo. Do you guys tend to avoid the processed turkey/ham etc.... and just buy the whole animal instead?
I think that's it. I only get a few minutes throughout the day to research and it's hard to tie everything together and create a plan. I don't want to quit for lack of understanding. My husband isn't struggling at all, but he's also eating OBNOXIOUS amounts of fruit during the day which I'm trying to avoid... opinions on this would be greatly appreciated as well!
Thanks for taking the time to read/answer my questions- hopefully I can help others at some point...but for now... I must make peace with being a clue bird.
asked byChrissie_1 (15)
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on September 24, 2012
at 09:32 PM
1) The Paleo template for eating is not a prescriptive diet. It is an elimination diet. eliminate as many foods as reasonable, and then slowly add them back to see what works for you and what does not. Some people do well on low carb, some do better on moderate to high carb. If you are in weight loss mode, lower carb seems to be more effective (although still very individualized) if you are in maintenance then it doesn't seem to matter (so long as your carbs are not coming from grains/legumes).
2) Again, Paleo is not prescriptive. Some people get all their energy from fat, some get energy from fat and carbs. Depending on your energy demands, lean meats may provide you with enough fat. Others need to eat more fatty cuts. Find what works best for you by experimenting and listening to your body.
3) There are three main concerns with nuts (in my opinion):
There are solutions to all of these, but those would be my concerns.
4) Paleo is not telling you to eat bacon. Your taste buds are telling you to eat bacon. Most likely you were told to stay away from bacon for two reasons: (1) Nitrates are bad, especially for pregnant people (although this may not be the real case, this is what an OBGYN might say); or (2) Saturated Fat increases cholesterol which is dangerous. GOOD NEWS!!! You can get uncured bacon that's delicious, so forget #1. and Saturated Fat does not increase cholesterol, so forget #2. Bacon is delicious, enjoy -- just remember it is part of a healthy diet.
5) Lunch meat is also an issue with nitrates. I don't eat lunch meat because I have never seen a square pig or a turkey with a 50 lb breast. The problem with deli meat is that it is disgusting and over-processed. Go buy a food slicer (they are about $100), roast a big cut of meat, and cut your own lunch meat. No nitrates, no food glue, no preservatives, just good eats!
on September 24, 2012
at 09:35 PM
The reason that there's controversy on those topics is that everyone behaves differently to them and everyone has different goals. The only way to know how it works for you is to test how it works for you. Take a week or two, and play with one variable at a time and see how it works for you.
For Me: 1) potato at every dinner if and only if I had a high glycolytic day (e.g., crossfit, weight lift, something that burnt my glycogen all up). 2) lots and lots of fat. About 60% of my 5,000 cals a day is fat. see here for an example of my day (https://sites.google.com/site/themikelinks/figures/sample-food). 3) a couple of handfuls of nuts as a snack when I get hungry and dinner is still cooking, but in general, not too many, they can be inflammatory. 4) bacon every morning, when my wife was pregnant she had bacon every morning. We do the fancy whole foods bacon, so there's no crap in it. 5) lunch meat only if I'm running late and have no other food in the fridge for lunch. It's usually low quality and you never know how clean the processing plants are (even for good stuff like Boars Head).
on September 24, 2012
at 10:49 PM
Everyone will have slightly different answers so know that you are going to get different answers and that will feel confusing. Over time, you will do enough research, ask enough questions that you will have good answers for YOU. I generally like the answers in this book and generally live by them (I have higher blood sugar so I don't eat starches): http://www.amazon.com/Paleo-Answer-Weight-Great-Young/dp/1118016084/ (It looks like a diet book but it isn't.)
Keep asking questions. Some people will give you a hard time. Don't mind them. The rest of us will GLADLY answer them. CD had some good answers.
on September 24, 2012
at 09:19 PM
I understand your challenges with time to do research, but you are asking folks (who also might not have much time) to provide answers to a list of questions that have actually been extensively discussed and answered (to the extent that there are answers) here on Paleohacks previously.
I respectfully suggest using the search box, taking your questions one by one as you have time, and then making new questions about things that you don't understand from the previous discussions. Of course, even here on PH, you will find many conflicting opinions, so even then you will not get answers, only theories and different viewpoints.
There's certainly no harm in your asking questions that have already been discussed, and you might get good answers anyway. I'm just suggesting a perhaps more efficient route that might provide more immediate gratification.