Unlike some folks here, I didn't start paleo because of digestive problems. However, since beginning about a month ago, I am having discomfort in my belly after eating. I was vegan for 5 years prior, and vegetarian for 8 total, so the biggest change has been cutting grains and adding meat (mostly fish, beef, and lamb). I eat reasonable portions and combinations of foods, and I have never had such frequent stomach pain before. I eat the same amount and variety of vegetables, and have been moderately successful at lowering fruit and nut intake. The only other addition to my diet has been coconut oil, although I ate plenty of coconut milk before paleo. No particular food seems to cause the pain, but I have been cooking lots of things in this oil.
Since I'm new to cooking meat, I've been anxious about undercooking. Due to my mediocre cooking skills, however, I've eaten some meals (burgers, pan-fried salmon and cod) that were maybe too rare or weren't ready to come out of the pan. Then again, it seems pretty typical for people to eat rare beef and even raw fish. So where should I be looking for some relief?
asked byInTheory (234)
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on August 18, 2012
at 10:54 AM
I agree with VB about cooking meat slow and low. I also don't see a problem with cooking with olive oil at lower temps. If you are coming from a vegan diet, I think you said 5 years, it's possible that your body could need time to adjust. Have you thought about taking some enzymes to help with digesting meat? When does the pain occur? Right after eating or later? Is the pain in your upper abdomen? Chest (like indigestion)? Or lower abdomen?
And just because I am curious, what led you to paleo from being vegan? Best of luck to you!
on August 18, 2012
at 07:09 AM
I would try to isolate the culprit. You can either eliminate coconut oil and cook with lard/fat and see if it helps. Try ghee. Different things work for different people.
I cannot stand coconut oil. I know, a lot of Paleo folks live on it. My digestive system cannot take it. But yours maybe different.
If it is not coconut oil, it could be nuts and even fruit. Make sure TO EAT SOME RAW FOODS WITH EVERY MEAL, preferably some raw bitter greens.
It is wonderful that you are eating things that are rare. I cook everything at very low temperatures, but for a long time. My meat is well done, but it still has all the enzymes intact.
I have noticed that quite a few people with autoimmune get some kind of digestive issues when going Paleo. My speculation that it is related to altered gut flora. You can help your digestion by taking alive probiotics from your refrigerated section. Bye them refrigerated, don't take them out of the jar.
Also, introduce some quality live fermented foods.
Oops, I overlooked the fact that you were a vegan for 5 years! I mean I have read it but kind of forgot. My bad! Of course, your stomach is lacking enzymes that are needed for proper meat digestion! I totally agree with the another person who answered.
I cannot recommend any enzymes, even though I took them for two days. First of all, I could not find any good ones, without any additives, and secondly, the ones that my friends recommended gave me a stomach ache. So I discontinued them. But just because they did not work for me, does not mean they won't work for you.
Eat just a little meat at a time, and your body will get adjusted - try it and see if it will help.