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Newbie to Paleo Not Digesting Greens

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 01, 2011 at 3:38 PM

I am on day 4 of low carb Paleo with no dairy (God I miss butter). I've had maybe one serving of cooked chard twice and am not digesting it very well. At the risk of TMI, it's just coming out pretty much the same way it went in.

I know that my digestion will get better with time (I'm already seeing improvements) but I'm worried that if I remove greens from my diet that I won't be getting enough calcium while I'm off dairy for the 30 days.

Am I getting any benefit from the greens and should I just keep eating small servings with fat (pastured pork bacon grease or coconut oil) daily and hope my body gets better at digesting it? Or should I remove greens, and if I do, what should I eat to replace it as a good calcium source, keeping in mind that I need to be low carb Paleo to lose weight? Is there a better green than chard for digestion?

Just fyi, I'm specifically concerned with calcium because I've been previously diagnosed with osteomalacia so I can't afford to mess around with bone health, even for one month.

Did a search on PH and couldn't find this exact question asked and hoping you can help. thanks so much!

2cdd1c775683f760390d80cdb984fc13

on April 02, 2011
at 01:32 AM

Yeah, I would stick with spinach for a while (plenty of nutrients there anyway!), then try chard or kale again in a few weeks. Warm spinach bacon salad does sound tasty!

B4ec9ce369e43ea83f06ee645169cee0

on April 02, 2011
at 12:31 AM

thanks I will make some sauerkraut this weekend. I had run out months ago and not replenished and was getting by on some store bought (lacto-fermented) kim chi, which of course doesn't go with every dish. :)

B4ec9ce369e43ea83f06ee645169cee0

on April 02, 2011
at 12:24 AM

it's just with the really nutrient dense greens such as chard, kale, etc. I don't seem to have a problem with romaine lettuce. I have not tried spinach... thanks for the reminder as I should! Warm spinach bacon salad sounds amazing right now!

B4ec9ce369e43ea83f06ee645169cee0

on April 02, 2011
at 12:23 AM

wow thanks Teresa! I'm assuming 1,800 - 2,000 is enough, that seems to be what I'm eating now and I'm losing weight. I'm doing 60% fat. I can see how VLC could not eat enough though, like if you accidentally eat too lean of meat. It's a very filling way to eat (weird experience for me).

E2b9c679315c7c9c7265783dde89f350

(1303)

on April 01, 2011
at 06:59 PM

It sounds like your gut bacteria may not be up to snuff (I used to have this exact same problem). You may want to try eating more fermented foods- raw sauerkraut, raw kimchee, lacto-fermented pickles, lacto-fermented salsa. Bubbie's makes raw sauerkraut if you can find it, if not, you can make your own in a few days. A bit of whey speeds up the process and uses less salt, but would technically not be dairy free. In a pinch, you could try a good quality probiotic and digestive enzymes. I've even heard that you can ferment using a probiotic instead of whey. Not tried it, though.

B4ec9ce369e43ea83f06ee645169cee0

on April 01, 2011
at 04:14 PM

thanks Lindsay. I don't seem to have issues with raw veggies, so that is good. I am doing bone broth too but I should probably do it more than once/day. I'm also eating more shrimp but will add oysters. Thank-you!

Eea4c0f072bb5caa74c1fbe6dfab5f46

(942)

on April 01, 2011
at 03:54 PM

are you chewing your food?? you should chew to the point that you don't even have to swallow. Try that.

B4ec9ce369e43ea83f06ee645169cee0

on April 01, 2011
at 03:45 PM

thanks! I did eat quite a bit of veggies, I've had a pretty healthy diet prior to this, but not many greens (the family hates them). I had already been working on the chewing to see if it helped and the pieces just came out smaller. lol

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4 Answers

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5
Eea4c0f072bb5caa74c1fbe6dfab5f46

(942)

on April 01, 2011
at 04:05 PM

I see you brought up chewing. Good point to deal with: You should chew to the point that you barely need to swallow.

I would also try cutting the greens really thin and adding them into salads, see if that changes anything. Do you have problems digesting raw plant fiber as well?

Other high sources of calcium: Bone Broths, Molasses, Tahini, Sea vegetables, sardines, oysters, shrimp (if you have to cut the greens) and Kale is also good green source of the mineral. Note that Calcium is more poorly absorbed by folks eating a high protein diet....

B4ec9ce369e43ea83f06ee645169cee0

on April 01, 2011
at 04:14 PM

thanks Lindsay. I don't seem to have issues with raw veggies, so that is good. I am doing bone broth too but I should probably do it more than once/day. I'm also eating more shrimp but will add oysters. Thank-you!

2
2cdd1c775683f760390d80cdb984fc13

on April 01, 2011
at 10:44 PM

Do you notice the same problem with "softer" greens like spinach or lettuce? Chard is a tougher leaf so I'm wondering if your body is just not fully digesting chard or all leafy vegetables.

2cdd1c775683f760390d80cdb984fc13

on April 02, 2011
at 01:32 AM

Yeah, I would stick with spinach for a while (plenty of nutrients there anyway!), then try chard or kale again in a few weeks. Warm spinach bacon salad does sound tasty!

B4ec9ce369e43ea83f06ee645169cee0

on April 02, 2011
at 12:24 AM

it's just with the really nutrient dense greens such as chard, kale, etc. I don't seem to have a problem with romaine lettuce. I have not tried spinach... thanks for the reminder as I should! Warm spinach bacon salad sounds amazing right now!

2
B294f81b6a77c4ac1ad5fc55313dec84

(105)

on April 01, 2011
at 07:22 PM

Hey. As someone who ran into problems with Very Low Carbing, I'm going to say something blasphemous. COUNT YOUR CALORIES. At least, do it one day, and see what you're eating.

Because? I found out the reason I was having so much trouble digesting things was because I wasn't getting ENOUGH calories to get through the day. It seems that if you eat too little, your digestion suffers.

B4ec9ce369e43ea83f06ee645169cee0

on April 02, 2011
at 12:23 AM

wow thanks Teresa! I'm assuming 1,800 - 2,000 is enough, that seems to be what I'm eating now and I'm losing weight. I'm doing 60% fat. I can see how VLC could not eat enough though, like if you accidentally eat too lean of meat. It's a very filling way to eat (weird experience for me).

2
9aa2a816c61170cc0183a68be0386ba5

on April 01, 2011
at 03:41 PM

How much fiber did you eat before switching to this diet? It's quite possible that your gut hasn't adjusted to dealing with it yet.

Also, make sure you're chewing throughly - as that is the #1 step in your digestion process.

B4ec9ce369e43ea83f06ee645169cee0

on April 01, 2011
at 03:45 PM

thanks! I did eat quite a bit of veggies, I've had a pretty healthy diet prior to this, but not many greens (the family hates them). I had already been working on the chewing to see if it helped and the pieces just came out smaller. lol

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