4

votes

About to decide if I should go Paleo and would sincerely appreciate any thoughts/feedback

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created July 26, 2012 at 8:43 PM

Hello everyone, I'm a case of a potential future Paleo convert and have been doing a lot of research for the last few weeks. I've come across this site numerous times and realize there are a lot of experts, so what better place to get some final feedback/input before I decide to go Paleo or not.

Here is my situation:

I have something of a background of ED, mainly binge-ing and years of weight fluctuations. For the last 5 years however, I've finally been at a stable weight but there is still a residual effect of my binge-ing habits...which I want to get over once and for all.

I also have a huge sensitivity to sugar: it's as bad as a drug for me as cocaine for an addict. There's a history of diabetes on my dad's side as well- not sure if that may explain it.

I also used to have high anxiety- which I've managed to control (mainly thanks to creative outlets and being physically active, I am hooked on running/swimming/biking).

Another important detail: I have stopped menstruating for the last 2.5 years (I have had at most 2-3 periods in that time period). A personal highly stressful event is what shut my system down.

And finally, at times I have IBS-C and bloating.

I've tried several diet lifestyles, and problem is not fixed. Mainly diets around raw food or vegeterian/vegan.

Is Paleo something that could fit my case? Im ultimately looking for 2 things: 1) control my sugar cravings and adopt a diet that will bring me "mental balance" 2) improve my fitness and develop a more toned, lean body structure.

Also: Im a bit puzzled with the restrictions around legumes. The most difficult thing for me will probably be to say good bye to beans, chickpeas etc. Are they absolutely forbidden, no negotiation?

Thank you in advance, I really appreciate any input and if you've come from a similar background even better.

Thanks!!

31381cfeb5d6da6fc75f80ab68e041ea

(560)

on July 29, 2012
at 03:20 PM

congrats on maintaining a healthy weight! that is so huge! the fact that you are still binging is why i suggested counseling... it says that the problem is not with your weight, but your heart, and you deserve better. hang in there, love. take it easy and don't you dare be too hard on yourself during your 30 day challenge. it's not a test of perfection or a race, just a learning experience. you can do this!

8c9cbfe06f74a3b814271621fe2091ad

(10)

on July 29, 2012
at 04:23 AM

I didnt want to gain the weight either,but when bmr is in 600s you dont have a choice if you want to normalize your bmr. my weight has gradually gone done. i passed out three times in public in two weeks and was forced into inpatient now of course even w the extra weight im happy i got control back over my life. paleo and crossfit are helping restore my body to a place im happy with

B8592e62f9804ddabae73c1103d6bcb9

(1956)

on July 28, 2012
at 07:42 PM

You can also do the full version which is less restrictive. Great you're doing paleo, it will help, but I encourage you to try broth as well.

C7960eecd671a3ac8a1700445631b74a

(115)

on July 28, 2012
at 05:57 PM

wow sorry to hear that... what happened in 2011??? I'm not planning on adding any weight- so that is out of the picture for me. Despite my ED, I still feel somewhat healthy in the sense my energy levels are still good, if not even higher then before. Havent had strange things happen to me or randomly fainted etc. What's missing is just my periods and to eat like a normal person without binges.

C7960eecd671a3ac8a1700445631b74a

(115)

on July 28, 2012
at 05:53 PM

Hi DePaw, thanks so much for the link. I skimmed through it and will read more, however just by reading the phases alone Im not sure Im up for it, in the state that I'm in. Its quite restrictive and I've done enough of restrictive-ness for 10y+. I dont want to go through "phases". I just want to eat like a normal person and cut out trigger foods and bring back animal protein which I havent consumed in years. I really appreciate your comment, for now Im giving Paleo a try!

C7960eecd671a3ac8a1700445631b74a

(115)

on July 28, 2012
at 05:49 PM

CONTD: and thanks im familiar w/the tea you mentionned!! I've tried to drink that too and there are a couple of really nice infusions at whole foods with chocolately flavours like mint-choco and red velvet :) Thank you Rebekah. I learned so much reading from you, and also from my own writings in the process!!

C7960eecd671a3ac8a1700445631b74a

(115)

on July 28, 2012
at 05:48 PM

CONTD: as if I should even be ashamed to exist. I went a year on the edge of anorexia, lost a lot of weight, became very slim, my periods dissapeared at that time for a good year or so. THEN i was criticized of becoming too slim... and thus began YEARS of yo-yo dieting. The last 5 years I am at a healthy weight and have been able to maintain...but unfortunately the bingeing still continues. People are surprised bc they think all bingers are overweight - which is not the case.

C7960eecd671a3ac8a1700445631b74a

(115)

on July 28, 2012
at 05:46 PM

Rebekah: I am officially starting a 30 Day Paleo exploration today so Im looking fwd. Mentally, Im also very willing and have a strong mindset which I think will help. Carbs to me was specifically cakes/cookies/chocolate/ice cream (all "Dessert" type foods) and pasta, bread, bagels (omg bagels are a killer for me!!). Fruits not so much ONLY if I was eating an excessive amount (like 5 servings for breakfast hehe). The whole ED thing started at 15 when I was bluntly criticized by a family member that i was overweight. The comment came to me (at that tender, very emotional adolescent age)

C7960eecd671a3ac8a1700445631b74a

(115)

on July 28, 2012
at 05:42 PM

I dont know I just dont have an affinity with meat/fish/eggs. I dont dislike them, but I dont think about them- that's why I thought my vegan/vegeterian lifestyle was a good match...but apparently not. Animal protein has really been the missing puzzle piece in my life the last few years and my theory is that explains why I still binge and periods have gone.

C7960eecd671a3ac8a1700445631b74a

(115)

on July 28, 2012
at 05:40 PM

Thank you JASmith. I am actually officially starting my 30 Day Paleo exploration today and its so encouraging to read that you've been able to do 15 months sugarless. For me, that idea is something that would only exist in my dreams! If my periods come back, that would be good- more as a signal that my body is back on track. Thanks again!!

Eead82aa93bbcdada0bcd817d0952e58

(214)

on July 28, 2012
at 02:17 PM

I second the counseling- it is really a crucial aspect of recovery

Eead82aa93bbcdada0bcd817d0952e58

(214)

on July 28, 2012
at 11:41 AM

I actually just got one in Jan naturally and then again earlier this month and it is looking like I will be getting another one soon. Looking back, it definitely seemed insurmountable that I would go this long without sugar but there was a moment when something clicked in my head finally that sugar was destroying my health and I literally just went cold turkey. Now if I could do that with cheese...

8c9cbfe06f74a3b814271621fe2091ad

(10)

on July 28, 2012
at 02:33 AM

About two months now. I almost died in 2011 and went into some serious therapy. my metabolism has finally evened out but I gained 70lbs in time it took. so I started crossfit and Crossfit introduced me to Paleo. All it takes is a few days to cleanse your system and the cravings and ED related thoughts are really lessened

31381cfeb5d6da6fc75f80ab68e041ea

(560)

on July 27, 2012
at 11:50 PM

i just bought the yogi brand tea called cocoa spice, haven't tried it yet but hoping it can replace the chemical hot chocolate :)

31381cfeb5d6da6fc75f80ab68e041ea

(560)

on July 27, 2012
at 11:49 PM

so glad something helped! i felt SO much more emotionally stable adding meat back in. try it for a while. see how much more sated you feel... it may be the last litte "ahhh" your body needs to release you emotionally. do you know what started it at 15 years old? and when you say carbs, what do you mean? do you mean fruit? do you mean bread? ice cream? to me, cookies/bread/crackers leads to a binge, but fruit does not. and btw - paleo does not mean no nightshades. that's just for strict autoimmune cases :)

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on July 27, 2012
at 10:37 PM

You did not have any meat/fish/eggs in the last few years? Wow! How did you do it? I cannot live without protein even for one meal. If I skip protein I find myself looking for any weird protein sources - even squirrels appear tasty. One thing I could never ever give up is meat and fish.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on July 27, 2012
at 10:32 PM

You don't actually need tons of vegs, only some raw stuff with every meal, especially bitter ones ( I use arugula, but you can choose the one you need).

C7960eecd671a3ac8a1700445631b74a

(115)

on July 27, 2012
at 10:23 PM

So that, along with my love for sports (they really bring me mental balance) is why Im turning to Paleo now (+ tomatoes & eggplants ;) )

C7960eecd671a3ac8a1700445631b74a

(115)

on July 27, 2012
at 10:22 PM

P.S: my ED I believe really started when I was 15 y.o. I am now 29... And in these 1Oy+, a few things have remained consistent: 1) carbs/sugar no matter how much I try to control them will lead to a binge. No way out, they lead to a binge if not immediately but in the next 24 hours for sure 2) i have been eating very little animal protein, and I suspect the lack of that triggers a binge (brain is going whack) 3) i dont do anything that tells me that i cant eat something i know is healthy as it will only frustrate me more (ex: i plan to eat tomatoes & eggplants- what the heck!).

C7960eecd671a3ac8a1700445631b74a

(115)

on July 27, 2012
at 10:15 PM

Thanks- I will. Binge & Lax is my history (no purge though...strangely enough I just could never do it). Me too, my binges are related around foods not included in paleo (sugar, ice cream, carbs, etc). I would really like to know how long you've been doing Paleo for?

C7960eecd671a3ac8a1700445631b74a

(115)

on July 27, 2012
at 10:10 PM

I do not weight myself, actually I used to weight myself 3 times a day years ago...and threw out my scale 6 years ago and will never step on one again! I judge by my clothes/mirror. From the feedback of people who had ED history on here, it seems Paleo has helped them- maybe not 100%- but it has helped for at least 12 months +. I'm getting myself into this without expectations that it will "Cure" me but that it will help incrementally, and help me learn more about myself. Thank you so much, you're absolutely incredible, really appreciated your thoughtful response!!!

C7960eecd671a3ac8a1700445631b74a

(115)

on July 27, 2012
at 10:08 PM

I know I have trigger foods (certainly carbs, sugar) and plan to eliminate these, if at least for a first phase of 30 days. Also, I totally relate to you about the fiber/IBS (which is indeed counter-intuitive). And the diet hot chocolate helps sooth me/calm my nerves and curbs cravings, although I get very bloated right after!

C7960eecd671a3ac8a1700445631b74a

(115)

on July 27, 2012
at 10:07 PM

Rebekah, wow. Im speechless. Thank you so much. I see a lot of similar points, my interest in Paleo is that I have tried everything else and the binges still contd. And if there is one thing that has been missing from my diet the last 3-4 years it is animal protein. So I am wondering if my binges are triggered due to a lack of animal protein nutrition- Im starting to believe this theory. I do not plan on going uber-strict paleo (for instance, I'll still eat tomatoes & eggplants). I've done enough restrictive diets to know that they only drive me craziers (ex: raw food).

C7960eecd671a3ac8a1700445631b74a

(115)

on July 27, 2012
at 10:01 PM

and thank you for the excellent advice you added. I have no issues with eating tons of vegs, raw incl (I already do, I consume a ridiculous amount actually!) :)

C7960eecd671a3ac8a1700445631b74a

(115)

on July 27, 2012
at 10:01 PM

Thanks VB. Im turning to Paleo now because the one "item" that has been missing from my diet the last few years has been meat/fish/eggs (I havent eaten an egg in +10yrs for ex). So having tried EVERYTHING else out, Paleo is the one thing I havent...and Im suspecting the lack of animal protein explains my binges and ED. Part of it is psychological of course, but nutrition plays a role in the chemistry of the brain and I think I might be lacking nutrients from animal proteins. Paleo might not cure everything, but if it can help reduce my cravings/binges, thats already a huge improvement for me

9beda76f4e91faedc8fa70ecdc01251e

(298)

on July 27, 2012
at 09:04 PM

I agree with JASmith--I don't need the cakes and stuff now, but crave fatty meats! Nothing like a pork chop to keep me running a long time! Love it. My sugar cravings are so much better, and frequently nonexistent.

4ef079c57d2140bba4dbf4e30240a645

(4413)

on July 27, 2012
at 07:34 PM

So nice Rebekah!

0d0842381492a41b2173a04014aae810

(4875)

on July 27, 2012
at 02:38 PM

Definitely! Once you give up most of the foods that are making your body unhappy, it becomes a lot easier to identify those which ARE still causing you problems. And that said, you may not have problems with some legumes. I still eat hummus on occasion; I soak my chickpeas overnight before making it, and don't have issue with it at all (since I've healed my leaky gut, that is - I was sensitive to most things, prior.) The number one thing I'd espouse is food *quality* - a standard can of chickpeas won't be the same as organic soaked/rinsed chickpeas.

C7960eecd671a3ac8a1700445631b74a

(115)

on July 27, 2012
at 01:14 AM

thank you all, really appreciate it. I am a fairly healthy person (despite the ED bingeing) so I dont have issues eating good foods. The only time I ever touch junk/processed stuff is when a binge hits. Otherwise Im very healthy, and primarily lots of vegs + legumes. Im willing to give up grains & dairy... but legumes will be a bit more difficult :( Maybe I should eliminate legumes gradually... and work my way towards Paleo?

C7960eecd671a3ac8a1700445631b74a

(115)

on July 27, 2012
at 01:03 AM

THANK YOU thank you so much. So nice to hear from someone with maybe a fairly similar background. I agree with you, its not the diet that will make all my problems dissapear... but if Paleo can help, even just a bit, Im willing. Especially if it can help curb my sweet cravings (its unimagineable for me to even think that I could do 15 months without touching sugar, thats very impressive!) Did your periods come back by the way?

C7960eecd671a3ac8a1700445631b74a

(115)

on July 27, 2012
at 01:00 AM

no dont let it defeat you because every body will react differently to probiotics!!! no body is exactly the same :)

87f337477a813c3393eff36cf7aaf3dd

(20)

on July 26, 2012
at 10:13 PM

Well that kinda defeats me at the start, there goes my hopes. Well, i'm just kidding, guess i'll emphasize less on probiotics and fermentation and put my focus on paleo. Thanks for your kind reply

Cfe88f41d0f90c6355a58eddbe78c9f8

(868)

on July 26, 2012
at 10:11 PM

I should add as well, that I didn't remove legumes completely from my diet until I was about 6 months into paleo. It's perfectly fine to keep a few things and ditch them progressively if that's more to your style.

Cfe88f41d0f90c6355a58eddbe78c9f8

(868)

on July 26, 2012
at 10:10 PM

I still eat chickpeas on occasion, and sometimes black beans if I'm eating out at Chipotle's or something. Basically, the way I handle legumes is I don't ever prepare them for myself, but if I'm at a meal and they're offered as part of the dish, I won't make a point to avoid them. I figure the occasional serving won't hurt too much, although beans are pretty high on the no-no list.

C7960eecd671a3ac8a1700445631b74a

(115)

on July 26, 2012
at 09:52 PM

Hi Joao. I've tried pretty much everything. Actually, I had been drinking kombucha years ago before it became "big" and it only made my problem worse. But every body/system is different... so what works for me might not for you and vice versa. The yoghurts for sure do nothing- some study came out and showed you had to consume about x 10 as much to even start feeling a benefit (ex: Activia etc).

0d0842381492a41b2173a04014aae810

(4875)

on July 26, 2012
at 09:47 PM

I'd second Dave's sentiments: if you choose to pursue, do so by integrating new paleo foods and recipe styles, to create a feeling of abundance in your food/life; rather than restricting your current diet with paleo rules and creating a feeling of deprivation. More and more real food will slowly but surely replace the junk, and your taste preferences will follow.

C7960eecd671a3ac8a1700445631b74a

(115)

on July 26, 2012
at 09:45 PM

raney- ya ED = eating disorders. It couldnt had been the other ED as a few lines after that it might had been clear Im a female :)

C7960eecd671a3ac8a1700445631b74a

(115)

on July 26, 2012
at 09:44 PM

I couldnt care any less about peanuts or soy products :) Kidney beans, black beans, chickpeas... I love them to bits!! I was eating them bc they are low GI and thought it would help my sensitivity to sugar... doesnt seem to have helped.

0d0842381492a41b2173a04014aae810

(4875)

on July 26, 2012
at 09:42 PM

Oh, *eating disorders*. I started typing a recommendation not to go too low-carb if you were having erectile dysfunction.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on July 26, 2012
at 09:41 PM

The worst legumes are peanuts, kidney beans and soy beans/soy products. The rest are negotiable, depending on how they affect you. Strict paleo says no to all beans, but many of us have moved beyond the simplistic approach. One good rule of thumb - if it makes you fart, it's not doing your gut biome any good.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on July 26, 2012
at 09:40 PM

The worst legumes are peanuts, kidney beans and soy beans/soy products. The rest are negotiable, depending on how they affect you. Strict paleo says no to all beans, but many have moved beyond the simplistic approach. One good rule of thumb - if it makes you fart, it's not doing your gut bimoe any good.

C7960eecd671a3ac8a1700445631b74a

(115)

on July 26, 2012
at 09:37 PM

You may have a point. If there is one thing I havent been eating enough of the last few years is protein- just dont have a natural inclination to meat (like I dont crave it). But if I have to eat more of it to feel better, Im open. I think you have a point...

87f337477a813c3393eff36cf7aaf3dd

(20)

on July 26, 2012
at 09:37 PM

Thanks to your advide Dave S. i'll start with Mark Sisson's book then. yuzuquat you have tried the commercial probiotic supplements right? The ones they sell at the store with nice advertisement, yougurts and pills? Well those didn't work for me neither, but what i'm about to try is the natural way. kefir and kochumba are natural and can help you perform fermentation at home being it with food or drinks. And isn't the idea behind paleo to go back at the basics and stay away from the commercial goods that are advertised everywhere? At least i'm placing my hopes on it, thank you for great topic

C7960eecd671a3ac8a1700445631b74a

(115)

on July 26, 2012
at 09:36 PM

Dave you have a point. However strangely enough, my last few years of getting "healthier" (which finally is subjective) via diets of raw food/vegan/veget etc have helped me appreciate the impact of food & health even more. Also, I do a lot more sports now. Im just looking for a final solution to achieve true well being on all sides.

C7960eecd671a3ac8a1700445631b74a

(115)

on July 26, 2012
at 09:27 PM

Dave are you implying dairy is OK in Paleo? I thought dairy was a no-no.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on July 26, 2012
at 09:24 PM

It's difficult to recommend a restrictive eating plan such as paleo to someone with a history of eating disorders. It could make your ED worse. If approached with the idea of eating more real food, then all is well. Try to not get wrapped up in what you can't eat, just focus on eating more good stuff.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on July 26, 2012
at 09:20 PM

Primal Blueprint is the best of that lot. Beware of some of the fallacies in Cordain's book: fear of saturated fat, salt, starchy tubers, dairy, white rice.

C7960eecd671a3ac8a1700445631b74a

(115)

on July 26, 2012
at 09:18 PM

Hi Joao. Thanks for your comment- regarding the probiotic thing, I've been experimenting with that for the last few years and it doesnt seem to have an effect on me. Have tried all sorts of digestive type supplements, nothing has really done wonders. Thanks though!

C7960eecd671a3ac8a1700445631b74a

(115)

on July 26, 2012
at 09:04 PM

wow thanks for the link. its an interesting read, but Lauren's case is very extreme- I admit, I've never been to such extremes like her! I don't know if my issue is ED/binge OR if it's insulin sensitivity that leads me to binge when I have a drop of sugar. The truth might lie somewhere in between, Im not sure. Thank you for the link though!

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10 Answers

3
Eead82aa93bbcdada0bcd817d0952e58

(214)

on July 26, 2012
at 11:31 PM

As someone also recovering from 14 years of disordered eating and excessive exercise with absent periods I can testify that Paleo has been great. I came to Paleo very gradually when I started on my health journey to recover from Lupus/hypothyroidism and my ever-present quest to be lean. While it is good to consider that if you look at Paleo as a restrictive diet you will run into ED thoughts and behaviors. However, what I have learned over the years is that the behavior is psychological meaning that the specific diet you are on is not going to magically cure thoughts thoughts and impulses. I deal with compulsive eating and exercising to this day, but it is a heck of a lot better. Now, more Paleo-specific results I have seen is the elimination of sweet/carb cravings. I was Ms. Buttercream frosting almost 2 years ago and now it has been 15 months since I have touched anything resembling sugar (honey, molasses, agave, et al) I pass by a bakery or watch people eating a cake and could care less...though i do crave fatty meats now. Which is my point- your ED is not going to disappear by diet alone, but finding the right diet/WOE for you will make it easier and hopefully will A)reduce your cravings and thus ED cycles and B)bring back fertility and thus overall health

C7960eecd671a3ac8a1700445631b74a

(115)

on July 27, 2012
at 01:03 AM

THANK YOU thank you so much. So nice to hear from someone with maybe a fairly similar background. I agree with you, its not the diet that will make all my problems dissapear... but if Paleo can help, even just a bit, Im willing. Especially if it can help curb my sweet cravings (its unimagineable for me to even think that I could do 15 months without touching sugar, thats very impressive!) Did your periods come back by the way?

C7960eecd671a3ac8a1700445631b74a

(115)

on July 28, 2012
at 05:40 PM

Thank you JASmith. I am actually officially starting my 30 Day Paleo exploration today and its so encouraging to read that you've been able to do 15 months sugarless. For me, that idea is something that would only exist in my dreams! If my periods come back, that would be good- more as a signal that my body is back on track. Thanks again!!

9beda76f4e91faedc8fa70ecdc01251e

(298)

on July 27, 2012
at 09:04 PM

I agree with JASmith--I don't need the cakes and stuff now, but crave fatty meats! Nothing like a pork chop to keep me running a long time! Love it. My sugar cravings are so much better, and frequently nonexistent.

Eead82aa93bbcdada0bcd817d0952e58

(214)

on July 28, 2012
at 11:41 AM

I actually just got one in Jan naturally and then again earlier this month and it is looking like I will be getting another one soon. Looking back, it definitely seemed insurmountable that I would go this long without sugar but there was a moment when something clicked in my head finally that sugar was destroying my health and I literally just went cold turkey. Now if I could do that with cheese...

3
5e5ff249c9161b8cd96d7eff6043bc3a

(4713)

on July 26, 2012
at 08:47 PM

While I don't personally have experience with many of your symptoms, this was posted on Robb Wolf's site recently and it strikes me that it would a good read for you: http://robbwolf.com/2012/07/16/laurens-victory-eating-disorders/

You also might want to check out marksdailyapple.com, as the relaxed approach might be helpful and in line with your goals of being calm.

Best of luck!

C7960eecd671a3ac8a1700445631b74a

(115)

on July 26, 2012
at 09:04 PM

wow thanks for the link. its an interesting read, but Lauren's case is very extreme- I admit, I've never been to such extremes like her! I don't know if my issue is ED/binge OR if it's insulin sensitivity that leads me to binge when I have a drop of sugar. The truth might lie somewhere in between, Im not sure. Thank you for the link though!

2
31381cfeb5d6da6fc75f80ab68e041ea

(560)

on July 27, 2012
at 07:30 PM

hi friend! and welcome. i felt like i had met my twin reading your question. i've struggled with restricting and binging for the last 6 years or so, and struggled with IBS/bloating/cramps and anxiety and finally FINALLY am feeling some peace, just now. i've been pursuing the paleo lifestyle gradually for the last year maybe and have observed how i have responded. can i share my thoughts with you?

firstly, i know some folks with ED history thrive within the boundaries of paleo, and to those, please know i am not discrediting your experience. but there is an overwhelming population of those who either came to paleo with a binge history and paleo has just switched which foods they binge on, or an even more horrifying group who never had issues with food until they went paleo, and now they binge their faces off and are distraught. a strict regimine/diet/lifestyle is NOT for everyone, and that is ok!!! one of the main parts of recovery is accepting that your best effort is good enough, and learning how to meet yourself where you are RIGHT NOW. don't beat yourself up for however you need to approach or modify paleo to suit where you are now, emotionally and mentally. "perfection" will wait on you long enough for you to grow where you are today.

i think it's very important to note that i am not strict paleo and probably never will be. for me, strict paleo only emphasizes the disorder in me. it completely makes useless all the benefits of paleo and takes me to a place mentally and physically that is not ok. strict paleo, to me, becomes just another hoop to jump through and judge myself with, to beat myself up over or to cling on to a fleeting feeling of safety. i was also a vegan, then a raw foodist (a fruititarian, actually), and the mentality was similar - slip ups are not ok, because that's not who i am. any diet i think will finally set me free from the disorder is an illusion - the demons lie inside me, not in the diet i currently am failing on. i have learned the secret to defeating the voices in my head (ED and anxiety - they are completely intertwined) is to listen to MY body and to know my own limits, emotionally and physically. when i feel deprived, no matter how delicious my food is or how many calories i am eating, i WILL rebel. end of story. i used to fight this or try to "train" myself differently, but now i am learning i can be at peace if i just embrace this about myself because it's where my journey is today.

most people will tell you that paleo eating is made up of meat, fat, veggies, fruits, nuts, sweet potatoes, coconut, spices, and some will say dairy and potatoes and maybe rice. i'm sure you have, but if you haven't, check out marksdailyapple.com. it's a great site to learn the WHY's of the paleo diet, so you can make an informed decision on everything you choose to eat. my version of "healthy eating" is growing daily, but i eat a ton more carbs than most here, less fat (only because it doesn't feel good in my stomach, not because of fear or calories), and some convenience foods i love, like rice cereal and carton coconut milk for my coffee. i occasionally eat cheese, love chocolate, and often drink a poisonous drink like diet hot chocolate or a diet sprite. i am working on eating more veggies, cutting out the diet drinks (chemicals suck), and eating less prepared foods. but you know what? this is working for me now. i learned that grains, even gluten-free grains, make my stomach upset, so i don't eat them. not because of dogma or even science, even though i love nutritional science and biology, but because i am learning to honor my body! it's a huggeeee step in defeating ED. diet hot chocolate is a favorite thing of mine and it mentally helps me not feel deprived, so for now, i drink it. is it paleo? no! but it helps me make other positive changes like avoiding things that don't improve my health and avoiding binges, so i am accepting it's where i am today.

anyways, i'm sorry to ramble on, but i just wanted to encourage you. there are a lot of well meaning, incredibly intelligent people on this site that will tell you a million different tricks or tips, but the truth is, ED is a unique thing you have to always think of first. they might tell you to eat more fat or eat less fruit, but none of that matters unless it works for you! nothing is forbidden - you aren't a child and are in complete control of what you feed yourself. don't force yourself to conform to anything. use paleo as a framework to lead you to freedom and better health, and just keep learning. the whole point of paleo is to question what you are eating, and to explore if it works for you. if not, change what you eat! but it's not a test of your moral excellence or your worth as a person. it's simply, a way of eating.

a few last thoughts? - if you aren't already, please consider counseling. it is crucial in recovery and can help you see how more than likely, your anxiety and your food problems are related. if not, they are worth recovering from! - for me, my ibs was greatly harmed by eating a ton of fiber. seems counterintuitive because i was a raw vegan, but once i started eating paleo i greatly reduced my fiber intake and i feel so much better. i cook my veggies and eat small salads now. try it! (being grain-free was a huge help, too!) - eat what you love. when you allow yourself to actually enjoy food without feeling the need to sneak it or pretend you are being so perfect and healthy, your urge to binge will hugely diminsh. - if you count calories, consider abandoning it in the spirit of self-acceptance. i know some live and die by it, but for me, it was the last anchor weighing me down to my ED. free yourself and learn to eat like a human. you can do it! - also, don't weigh yourself. you are recovering from a mental challenge, don't put a number on your success.

lastly, good luck! please let me know if i can help - my facebook is Rebekah Nelson Kasper.

31381cfeb5d6da6fc75f80ab68e041ea

(560)

on July 27, 2012
at 11:50 PM

i just bought the yogi brand tea called cocoa spice, haven't tried it yet but hoping it can replace the chemical hot chocolate :)

C7960eecd671a3ac8a1700445631b74a

(115)

on July 27, 2012
at 10:07 PM

Rebekah, wow. Im speechless. Thank you so much. I see a lot of similar points, my interest in Paleo is that I have tried everything else and the binges still contd. And if there is one thing that has been missing from my diet the last 3-4 years it is animal protein. So I am wondering if my binges are triggered due to a lack of animal protein nutrition- Im starting to believe this theory. I do not plan on going uber-strict paleo (for instance, I'll still eat tomatoes & eggplants). I've done enough restrictive diets to know that they only drive me craziers (ex: raw food).

C7960eecd671a3ac8a1700445631b74a

(115)

on July 27, 2012
at 10:08 PM

I know I have trigger foods (certainly carbs, sugar) and plan to eliminate these, if at least for a first phase of 30 days. Also, I totally relate to you about the fiber/IBS (which is indeed counter-intuitive). And the diet hot chocolate helps sooth me/calm my nerves and curbs cravings, although I get very bloated right after!

C7960eecd671a3ac8a1700445631b74a

(115)

on July 28, 2012
at 05:48 PM

CONTD: as if I should even be ashamed to exist. I went a year on the edge of anorexia, lost a lot of weight, became very slim, my periods dissapeared at that time for a good year or so. THEN i was criticized of becoming too slim... and thus began YEARS of yo-yo dieting. The last 5 years I am at a healthy weight and have been able to maintain...but unfortunately the bingeing still continues. People are surprised bc they think all bingers are overweight - which is not the case.

4ef079c57d2140bba4dbf4e30240a645

(4413)

on July 27, 2012
at 07:34 PM

So nice Rebekah!

C7960eecd671a3ac8a1700445631b74a

(115)

on July 27, 2012
at 10:10 PM

I do not weight myself, actually I used to weight myself 3 times a day years ago...and threw out my scale 6 years ago and will never step on one again! I judge by my clothes/mirror. From the feedback of people who had ED history on here, it seems Paleo has helped them- maybe not 100%- but it has helped for at least 12 months +. I'm getting myself into this without expectations that it will "Cure" me but that it will help incrementally, and help me learn more about myself. Thank you so much, you're absolutely incredible, really appreciated your thoughtful response!!!

C7960eecd671a3ac8a1700445631b74a

(115)

on July 27, 2012
at 10:22 PM

P.S: my ED I believe really started when I was 15 y.o. I am now 29... And in these 1Oy+, a few things have remained consistent: 1) carbs/sugar no matter how much I try to control them will lead to a binge. No way out, they lead to a binge if not immediately but in the next 24 hours for sure 2) i have been eating very little animal protein, and I suspect the lack of that triggers a binge (brain is going whack) 3) i dont do anything that tells me that i cant eat something i know is healthy as it will only frustrate me more (ex: i plan to eat tomatoes & eggplants- what the heck!).

C7960eecd671a3ac8a1700445631b74a

(115)

on July 27, 2012
at 10:23 PM

So that, along with my love for sports (they really bring me mental balance) is why Im turning to Paleo now (+ tomatoes & eggplants ;) )

Eead82aa93bbcdada0bcd817d0952e58

(214)

on July 28, 2012
at 02:17 PM

I second the counseling- it is really a crucial aspect of recovery

C7960eecd671a3ac8a1700445631b74a

(115)

on July 28, 2012
at 05:49 PM

CONTD: and thanks im familiar w/the tea you mentionned!! I've tried to drink that too and there are a couple of really nice infusions at whole foods with chocolately flavours like mint-choco and red velvet :) Thank you Rebekah. I learned so much reading from you, and also from my own writings in the process!!

31381cfeb5d6da6fc75f80ab68e041ea

(560)

on July 27, 2012
at 11:49 PM

so glad something helped! i felt SO much more emotionally stable adding meat back in. try it for a while. see how much more sated you feel... it may be the last litte "ahhh" your body needs to release you emotionally. do you know what started it at 15 years old? and when you say carbs, what do you mean? do you mean fruit? do you mean bread? ice cream? to me, cookies/bread/crackers leads to a binge, but fruit does not. and btw - paleo does not mean no nightshades. that's just for strict autoimmune cases :)

31381cfeb5d6da6fc75f80ab68e041ea

(560)

on July 29, 2012
at 03:20 PM

congrats on maintaining a healthy weight! that is so huge! the fact that you are still binging is why i suggested counseling... it says that the problem is not with your weight, but your heart, and you deserve better. hang in there, love. take it easy and don't you dare be too hard on yourself during your 30 day challenge. it's not a test of perfection or a race, just a learning experience. you can do this!

C7960eecd671a3ac8a1700445631b74a

(115)

on July 28, 2012
at 05:46 PM

Rebekah: I am officially starting a 30 Day Paleo exploration today so Im looking fwd. Mentally, Im also very willing and have a strong mindset which I think will help. Carbs to me was specifically cakes/cookies/chocolate/ice cream (all "Dessert" type foods) and pasta, bread, bagels (omg bagels are a killer for me!!). Fruits not so much ONLY if I was eating an excessive amount (like 5 servings for breakfast hehe). The whole ED thing started at 15 when I was bluntly criticized by a family member that i was overweight. The comment came to me (at that tender, very emotional adolescent age)

2
F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on July 27, 2012
at 06:42 PM

Something you need to know - Paleo is NOT and answer to every medical problem. Many people start Paleo thinking it is a miracle diet that will solve all your medical/weight problems. It is not. If you don't want to get your hopes broken, find a good naturopath. Yes, it is true that Paleo does not make it worse. Eating wholesome foods cannot make it worse by default, but it won't necessarily solve all your issues.

Some of the things beyond Paleo that I would recommend are:

  1. Finding a good (recommended by someone) naturopath. A naturopath can help you with many things.

  2. Getting some herbal support. I have an herbal doctor who did wonders for me - you might want to find a very good one as well.

  3. Supporting your liver. Believe me, we all need that especially getting off gluten. It means eating a lot of raw bitter greens with every meal, drinking plenty of water and getting some fermented foods like beet kvass, sauerkraut and maybe some kombucha.

  4. Raw foods with every meal (vegetables) to help your digestive system.

  5. Listen to your body. It will be your best guide along the way. If it tells you it does not do well with low carbs, add more safe starches. If it tells you it does not like something, listen to your body before you listen to any doctor, even a good one.

Good luck!

C7960eecd671a3ac8a1700445631b74a

(115)

on July 27, 2012
at 10:01 PM

Thanks VB. Im turning to Paleo now because the one "item" that has been missing from my diet the last few years has been meat/fish/eggs (I havent eaten an egg in +10yrs for ex). So having tried EVERYTHING else out, Paleo is the one thing I havent...and Im suspecting the lack of animal protein explains my binges and ED. Part of it is psychological of course, but nutrition plays a role in the chemistry of the brain and I think I might be lacking nutrients from animal proteins. Paleo might not cure everything, but if it can help reduce my cravings/binges, thats already a huge improvement for me

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on July 27, 2012
at 10:37 PM

You did not have any meat/fish/eggs in the last few years? Wow! How did you do it? I cannot live without protein even for one meal. If I skip protein I find myself looking for any weird protein sources - even squirrels appear tasty. One thing I could never ever give up is meat and fish.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on July 27, 2012
at 10:32 PM

You don't actually need tons of vegs, only some raw stuff with every meal, especially bitter ones ( I use arugula, but you can choose the one you need).

C7960eecd671a3ac8a1700445631b74a

(115)

on July 27, 2012
at 10:01 PM

and thank you for the excellent advice you added. I have no issues with eating tons of vegs, raw incl (I already do, I consume a ridiculous amount actually!) :)

C7960eecd671a3ac8a1700445631b74a

(115)

on July 28, 2012
at 05:42 PM

I dont know I just dont have an affinity with meat/fish/eggs. I dont dislike them, but I dont think about them- that's why I thought my vegan/vegeterian lifestyle was a good match...but apparently not. Animal protein has really been the missing puzzle piece in my life the last few years and my theory is that explains why I still binge and periods have gone.

2
Medium avatar

(3213)

on July 26, 2012
at 09:22 PM

First of all, congratulations on taking the first step to a better you, thinking or planning about going Paleo. As i can see, you already did some research, which is very important in understanding how this works. I would recommend, you getting into it, fully, you will not regret it, there's nothing to lose. I know this isn't much of a concise answer, but i hope it helps with your motivation. Best of luck and keep us posted.

1
8c9cbfe06f74a3b814271621fe2091ad

on July 27, 2012
at 06:41 AM

Try Paleo.I also have ED history Binge/Purge and Lax abuse. Cutting out wheat and bad carbs really reduces ED related urges in my case. My behaviors were often related around foods that are not included in the paleo lifestyle.

C7960eecd671a3ac8a1700445631b74a

(115)

on July 27, 2012
at 10:15 PM

Thanks- I will. Binge & Lax is my history (no purge though...strangely enough I just could never do it). Me too, my binges are related around foods not included in paleo (sugar, ice cream, carbs, etc). I would really like to know how long you've been doing Paleo for?

8c9cbfe06f74a3b814271621fe2091ad

(10)

on July 28, 2012
at 02:33 AM

About two months now. I almost died in 2011 and went into some serious therapy. my metabolism has finally evened out but I gained 70lbs in time it took. so I started crossfit and Crossfit introduced me to Paleo. All it takes is a few days to cleanse your system and the cravings and ED related thoughts are really lessened

C7960eecd671a3ac8a1700445631b74a

(115)

on July 28, 2012
at 05:57 PM

wow sorry to hear that... what happened in 2011??? I'm not planning on adding any weight- so that is out of the picture for me. Despite my ED, I still feel somewhat healthy in the sense my energy levels are still good, if not even higher then before. Havent had strange things happen to me or randomly fainted etc. What's missing is just my periods and to eat like a normal person without binges.

8c9cbfe06f74a3b814271621fe2091ad

(10)

on July 29, 2012
at 04:23 AM

I didnt want to gain the weight either,but when bmr is in 600s you dont have a choice if you want to normalize your bmr. my weight has gradually gone done. i passed out three times in public in two weeks and was forced into inpatient now of course even w the extra weight im happy i got control back over my life. paleo and crossfit are helping restore my body to a place im happy with

1
Medium avatar

(3029)

on July 27, 2012
at 05:04 AM

Congratulations on being someone looking to improve her health!

SEEING IS BELIEVING! Try Paleo and see what happens. What have you got to lose? (ok, maybe some wheat...)

I cleaned up my diet and a long list of big and little problems (but not every single thing) improved. I have my answer.

Do research. Eat Paleo. Make tweaks. Rinse, Repeat. See what happens. You'll have your answer.

Good luck!

1
87f337477a813c3393eff36cf7aaf3dd

(20)

on July 26, 2012
at 09:06 PM

Well, i don't have much of an answer to give, just to say that i'm also on the same starting line and that i would like to see what some of the answers will be. I've picked up some books, Loren Cordain "Paleo Diet", Gary Taubes "Good calories Bad Calories", Catherine and Luke Shanahan "Deep Nutrition", and Mark Sisson's "Primal Blueprint" and i'll hope to learn more and mainly to greatly improve my poor health. Also about your cravings for sugars, i don't know if this can be helpfull since i'm starting my tracks by researching probiotics and improve my gut health, but have you considered water kefir? It utilizes sugared water, you can even make healthy soda from it, and you can help your IBS-C and bloating by restore your gut flora, i have those same symptoms and hope to fix them by using natural probiotics and fermentation. I haven't started yet so those are only conjectures and hopes at the moment...

C7960eecd671a3ac8a1700445631b74a

(115)

on July 26, 2012
at 09:27 PM

Dave are you implying dairy is OK in Paleo? I thought dairy was a no-no.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on July 26, 2012
at 09:20 PM

Primal Blueprint is the best of that lot. Beware of some of the fallacies in Cordain's book: fear of saturated fat, salt, starchy tubers, dairy, white rice.

C7960eecd671a3ac8a1700445631b74a

(115)

on July 26, 2012
at 09:52 PM

Hi Joao. I've tried pretty much everything. Actually, I had been drinking kombucha years ago before it became "big" and it only made my problem worse. But every body/system is different... so what works for me might not for you and vice versa. The yoghurts for sure do nothing- some study came out and showed you had to consume about x 10 as much to even start feeling a benefit (ex: Activia etc).

C7960eecd671a3ac8a1700445631b74a

(115)

on July 26, 2012
at 09:18 PM

Hi Joao. Thanks for your comment- regarding the probiotic thing, I've been experimenting with that for the last few years and it doesnt seem to have an effect on me. Have tried all sorts of digestive type supplements, nothing has really done wonders. Thanks though!

C7960eecd671a3ac8a1700445631b74a

(115)

on July 27, 2012
at 01:00 AM

no dont let it defeat you because every body will react differently to probiotics!!! no body is exactly the same :)

87f337477a813c3393eff36cf7aaf3dd

(20)

on July 26, 2012
at 09:37 PM

Thanks to your advide Dave S. i'll start with Mark Sisson's book then. yuzuquat you have tried the commercial probiotic supplements right? The ones they sell at the store with nice advertisement, yougurts and pills? Well those didn't work for me neither, but what i'm about to try is the natural way. kefir and kochumba are natural and can help you perform fermentation at home being it with food or drinks. And isn't the idea behind paleo to go back at the basics and stay away from the commercial goods that are advertised everywhere? At least i'm placing my hopes on it, thank you for great topic

87f337477a813c3393eff36cf7aaf3dd

(20)

on July 26, 2012
at 10:13 PM

Well that kinda defeats me at the start, there goes my hopes. Well, i'm just kidding, guess i'll emphasize less on probiotics and fermentation and put my focus on paleo. Thanks for your kind reply

0
B8592e62f9804ddabae73c1103d6bcb9

(1956)

on July 28, 2012
at 05:22 PM

Rather than paleo, the GAPS diet may be more suitable for you. I has helped many cure their eating disorders. GAPS teaches that mental problems, including EDs, are caused by toxins getting in through your leaky gut. The diet is designed to heal the leaky gut so toxins can't get through while nourishing the body.

It restricts all non-monosaccharides, so carbs can only come from vegetables, very ripe fruit, and honey. Meals are based around meat, fat, vegetables, lots of broth (which the gut cells can feed on directly, broth is very healing), and probitics or fermented foods to rebalance gut flora. Any dairy must be fermented (yoghurt/kefir) or completely protein/sugar-free (clarified butter or ghee). Nuts are used for baking, but baking isn't recommended at the start.

More info: http://www.gaps.me

C7960eecd671a3ac8a1700445631b74a

(115)

on July 28, 2012
at 05:53 PM

Hi DePaw, thanks so much for the link. I skimmed through it and will read more, however just by reading the phases alone Im not sure Im up for it, in the state that I'm in. Its quite restrictive and I've done enough of restrictive-ness for 10y+. I dont want to go through "phases". I just want to eat like a normal person and cut out trigger foods and bring back animal protein which I havent consumed in years. I really appreciate your comment, for now Im giving Paleo a try!

B8592e62f9804ddabae73c1103d6bcb9

(1956)

on July 28, 2012
at 07:42 PM

You can also do the full version which is less restrictive. Great you're doing paleo, it will help, but I encourage you to try broth as well.

0
4ef079c57d2140bba4dbf4e30240a645

on July 26, 2012
at 09:28 PM

Since you are are wanting to improve your mental health (your anxiety and compulsive eating (more in the past it sounds like) then you will for sure want to make sure you are getting enough protein and saturated fat as both of these are necessary building blocks for the production of neuro-transmittors like serotonin, GABA, dopamine, etc. A Paleo or Primal diet will help you a lot in this regard!

Also, you might want to make sure your Vit D is high enough as a low level can really cause or contribute to anxiety. A blood level of 60-80 is ideal.

Good Luck to you.

C7960eecd671a3ac8a1700445631b74a

(115)

on July 26, 2012
at 09:37 PM

You may have a point. If there is one thing I havent been eating enough of the last few years is protein- just dont have a natural inclination to meat (like I dont crave it). But if I have to eat more of it to feel better, Im open. I think you have a point...

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