3

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Critique My Eating Habits? (pretty please)

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created July 09, 2011 at 3:18 AM

Dearest PaleoHackers,

First off, I love this site. Based on what I've read from you all, you're some knowledgeable cats, much more so than myself in this regard, and I respect your collective opinion a lot. Basically, I'm interested in quickly telling you my goals in eating this way, then briefly running through a typical day's worth of food in my life in order to gauge your reactions.

I've always been a workout junkie. Eliminating carbs and sugar (well most sugar) has allowed me to get much more cut and eliminate fat. This remains my principal goal. I also love the fact that eating paleo has made me feel great and really upped my energy levels, but continuing to eliminate fat and build muscle is, at this point, my main concern.

With that in mind, here we go:

Morning: *1.* Smoothie: unsweetened almond milk, banana, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, scoop of almond butter. I know, way too much fruit, right? In advance, let me say I'm planning on eliminating the banana and blackberries, as of...now! Also, this is the only fruit I eat during the day. 2. unflavored oatmeal with a spoonful of almond butter, handful of blueberries, almond milk. Questions: A. What do you think about the almond butter? Honestly, I love that stuff. I love it. I know I probably shouldn't be eating it if I'm really looking to burn fat...but a couple spoonfuls a day, too much? B. assuming I was only putting strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries in the smoothie (i.e. cutting out highest-sugar fruits), do you think it's excessive to eat that much fruit once daily? C. the oatmeal. yeah, i know. high gluten, etc. given my specific goals, do you think eating a bowl a day (flavorless oatmeal with no sugar added) is particularly detrimental to me?

Mid-Morning: 2 hard boiled eggs

Lunch: The night before at home, I make a mixture of ground turkey, onions, and tomatoes. I cook it all together and bring it to work in a tupperware container. For lunch, I mix that with a can of organic, low sugar (2g per serving, 4g per can) lentil soup and a whole sliced avocado. Yes, I am aware lentils are not paleo. But i really love them. A lot. They're high protein, and as far as I can tell, cause no digestive issues for me whatsoever, so I eat them. With vigor!

Dinner: I just ate this: 1 diced red onion, 1 diced green bell pepper, 1 diced jalapeno, ground turkey, all cooked together, topped with 2 fried eggs. Often times I have broccoli on the side too. Covered in a mountain of sriracha sauce, a vice that I will never, ever give up.

Snacks: Almonds and raisins, mixed together. I know, raisins, yeccch. Tons of sugar. I'm going to cut those out.

So, does anyone have suggestions for me? Things I should absolutely cut out? Suggestions to replace things with other things? Any thoughts on sunflower butter vs. almond butter? I've never had sunflower butter. Does it taste anywhere near as good as almond butter? What about the oatmeal? Any suggestions regarding a good replacement for almonds and raisins? A good paleo trail mix idea, perhaps? Is there anything really important that I'm missing and should be eating? I think I'm getting a huge amount of protein (turkey, almonds, eggs, avocado), but does the diet I've described sound like I'm missing out on anything important? I'm open to any and every suggestion, and thanks so much in advance.

  • Ben

76d0056c773673e24b8c57a685d504ed

(132)

on July 16, 2011
at 12:12 AM

From what I have read, any gluten in oatmeal is due to contamination through other cereal grains, but oatmeal inherently does not contain gluten. It does contain a prolamine protein like gluten called avenalin, which some people may be sensitive to as well. Avenalin can irritate intestines just like gluten can, for some people. If you love oatmeal but don't want to eat gluten, then this is something you can consider.

800498a30d74a65f5feb1c6bc0ada280

(0)

on July 12, 2011
at 10:13 AM

... I know so. The sugar, that he's getting from his oatmeals and bananas, is blocking his weight loss. Furthermore, he could be gluten-intolerant, thus I recommend eliminating the sugary and starchy carbs for a test period of one month. The results will be more than satisfactory.

677bf180dca60230f7bb01c07927e7df

on July 09, 2011
at 07:57 PM

Further, don't worry too much about the scale, measure your body fat and how you feel, perform and look.

677bf180dca60230f7bb01c07927e7df

on July 09, 2011
at 07:57 PM

Ben, from my experience with Paleo, it's a progression. First you ease in to the diet, trying new things (grass-fed beef, wild fish, free range eggs), spending progressively more money. and giving up the bad stuff, until you are fully compliant. For me it was several months before I got the sleep stuff down, but what a difference. I don't use an alarm clock anymore and have tons of energy. Eventually I will give up my post workout protein shake. The biggest thing is to experiment with a change at a time and monitor your progress. Fitday is a great way to track food.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on July 09, 2011
at 12:53 PM

its worked for me totally

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on July 09, 2011
at 12:48 PM

Good point about building muscle and losing fat. In the long run it would probably be a lot easier to focus on muscle gain first(assuming the OP isn't obese) and worry about fat loss once you have the muscle. It will be much easier that way in my experience.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on July 09, 2011
at 12:24 PM

I'm with you. The glaring omission of any red meat and any fish is not great. And the presence of turkey at two meals is kind of not-great.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on July 09, 2011
at 12:23 PM

why do you think he should eat low amounts of carbohydrates?

Aafdecd018b18faa16faac5e7289efa6

(25)

on July 09, 2011
at 04:49 AM

"You'll get flamed for the fruit, the almond butter, the oatmeal, and yes, the lentil soup." ^^^Well said, and about what I expected. I've never heard of leangains, it looks pretty cool, I'll fool around on there. Blackberries are bomb, for some reason i thought they were pretty high fructose, but it makes sense that they're not. Not eating fruit in the morning is the hard part. I still haven't fully converted away from "breakfast" mode. at least i'm not eating honey nut cheerios and milk anymore though, haha that's definitely a start

Aafdecd018b18faa16faac5e7289efa6

(25)

on July 09, 2011
at 04:45 AM

I forgot how active this board is...so many answers already. One thing I should have mentioned is that I do indeed eat a lot of beef, I don't just eat turkey. That was just an example. I do mostly turkey beef and chicken. Yeah, I mostly just haven't fully come to terms with eating a diet that is so damn savory, if you get what I mean. No butters and no fruits, doesn't quite mesh with my brain yet, but I think it will. I haven't been at it that long (about 6 months), so I'm still working at it

Aafdecd018b18faa16faac5e7289efa6

(25)

on July 09, 2011
at 04:41 AM

@Vic: i generally work out from 5:30-7:30 pm or so, so the dinner (meat/vegetables) would be my post workout meak. @Karin: I'm gonna check out sunflower butter, thanks. Legitimately, I feel pretty good. Haha I still don't get enough sleep, but my body feels good, and I feel strong.

A65499f2f8c65602881550fe309cd48c

(3501)

on July 09, 2011
at 04:31 AM

unsweetened sunflower butter is AMAZING...I love it much more than almond or peanut butter tastewise. Here's my question...while I know some of the things you're eating arent' really "paleo", how do you FEEL? Do you feel awesome? Do you feel sluggish? If what you eat makes you feel great, what more can you ask for? I would suggest more protein sources (red meats, etc.) but my criteria is how do you feel...(I may get smacked for saying this) sometimes too much "science" ruins a good meal :)

677bf180dca60230f7bb01c07927e7df

on July 09, 2011
at 04:03 AM

By the way, I've lost 70lbs and 16% body fat in 6 months doing exactly what I described above. I've also loved every minute of it, and can't stand the sight of crappy food now.

677bf180dca60230f7bb01c07927e7df

on July 09, 2011
at 03:41 AM

Ben, Quick question that is important. What time of day do you workout? Which of these are your post workout meal?

  • Aafdecd018b18faa16faac5e7289efa6

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8 Answers

6
677bf180dca60230f7bb01c07927e7df

on July 09, 2011
at 03:57 AM

Hey Ben,

Lots of good questions. How quickly you want to drop the fat is what will dictate some of what you will want to eliminate.

Here are some basic tips.

0 grains, that means say goodbye to the oatmeal. This is regardless of what your goals are. It's just a Paleo principle.

I know you like the Lentils, but get rid of them. While they are a source of protein, as Robb Wolf would put it, they are a 3rd world country source of protein. The starch is very prohibitive for fat loss as well.

Up your protein intake through some chicken, grass-fed beef and wild caught fish. Salmon is great. Try to have at least a gram for every pound of lean mass. If you go under this you will probably start losing muscle. You don't seem to be getting enough protein by what you described.

Eat lots of fat. It won't make you fat, actually it will help you burn it. Get some fat from coconuts. Coconut oil for mid-to-high temp cooking. Coconut milk for smoothies, stir-fries, and other recipes. Extra Virgin Olive oil is great too. Use it as a dressing. If you want to cook with it, you can get just normal olive oil, but it needs to be low temp cooking. Get some nitrate free bacon in there if you like it. Once a week is normally a good rule of thumb. Eggs are good, keep that up. A beautiful meal is to take some grass-fed ground beef, making a burger out of it, frying up two eggs for buns in coconut oil and putting a couple strips of bacon in between. Will blow your mind!

Avocados are great. Eat them everyday. If you like onions, dice some and mash up the avocado. Makes some nice guac, and goes really well with chicken and broccoli.

Instead of the almond butter just do almonds. Maybe 2-3 ozs per day. Before you eat them, soak them for 24 hours in water and a little bit of sea salt. Dry them in the oven at 150-170 for 8 hours. Prepping the almond makes it more digestible and improved the nutrition value.

It's ok to have some fruit, but do it post workout only. If you really want to lean out limit to only a few times per week if at all, and when you do take in small amounts. By limiting the sugar you body will burn body fat for energy. No bananas though. Stick to berries. Maybe an apple every now and then.

You can also try fasting (about an hour) pre-workout. I have done this quite a bit and it's hard at first, but after a while your body adapts.

Finally, try to prepare everything from scratch, so you know 100% of what you are putting into your body.

If you want to really lean out quickly, I have found that the following ratio works well. 100-125 grams of fat, 50-100 grams of carbs(mostly veggies, and I stay closer to 50), 1g of protein for every lb of lean mass.

I hope this helps you out!

677bf180dca60230f7bb01c07927e7df

on July 09, 2011
at 04:03 AM

By the way, I've lost 70lbs and 16% body fat in 6 months doing exactly what I described above. I've also loved every minute of it, and can't stand the sight of crappy food now.

Aafdecd018b18faa16faac5e7289efa6

(25)

on July 09, 2011
at 04:45 AM

I forgot how active this board is...so many answers already. One thing I should have mentioned is that I do indeed eat a lot of beef, I don't just eat turkey. That was just an example. I do mostly turkey beef and chicken. Yeah, I mostly just haven't fully come to terms with eating a diet that is so damn savory, if you get what I mean. No butters and no fruits, doesn't quite mesh with my brain yet, but I think it will. I haven't been at it that long (about 6 months), so I'm still working at it

2
667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on July 09, 2011
at 12:22 PM

Building muscle while shedding bodyfat you say is your main concern. Many people with a lot of experience in this arena would prolly say that you should perhaps pick one of those two as your goal and focus on that.

I don???t think anything in your morning smoothie is an issue for you given how active you are. I would ditch almond milk but that???s just me. As regard the oatmeal, I don???t think its ???high gluten???. You know its a grain, right? If that matters to you.

Lunch sounds good, except for the lentils which you already know are not what many would consider health food. You sound like you really enjoy them so that???s cool.

Dinner sounds fine.

Your snack choices are what I would call less-than-ideal but again you say you already know that.

I would not eat sunflower butter.

I don???t know how you think you???re getting a ???huge amount of protein.??? I don???t think you are but then you don???t tell us your height, weight, muscularity, etc.

Simple suggestions: stop eating the grains and legumes: that would be your oatmeal and lentils. Eat starchy tubers in place of those. Done.

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on July 09, 2011
at 12:48 PM

Good point about building muscle and losing fat. In the long run it would probably be a lot easier to focus on muscle gain first(assuming the OP isn't obese) and worry about fat loss once you have the muscle. It will be much easier that way in my experience.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on July 09, 2011
at 12:53 PM

its worked for me totally

2
559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on July 09, 2011
at 05:38 AM

Lose the raisins for sure, and cut down on the nut-butters (forget about the sunflower, it's even more inflammatory (O6) than almond). Try experimenting with ways to avoid that morning oatmeal -- i do understand how tough it is, but it really has to go, eventually. You can do it - it's ok if it takes awhile. Something that motivates me to limit carbs in the morning, is knowing that the fewer carbs i eat, the easier it will be to avoid them throughout the day. I'm not saying low-carb should be your goal, but (as i'm sure you know if you've been hanging around here at all), if you are focused on fat-loss, LC is a useful tool for many (though curiously, it hasn't worked for me).

I actually think berries are ok for most people - banana.. not so much. Also, I hate to say it, but Sriracha has a lot of sugar, for a condiment. I used to looove that stuff, but now that I don't eat any sugar I honestly don't love it so much (by the by, it has unseemly additives, but nevermind). Your tastes will change as you adapt. Try Sambal or similar chili/garlic paste when you're ready to turn a corner there.

My best suggestion overall is it might be useful/interesting for you to start plugging stuff in to a food tracker program like cron-o-meter, fitday, livestrong etc, to get a ballpark in terms of your macronutrient intake, if nothing else. I personally find it tedious and frustrating to do, and i don't do it often, but my efforts have been fairly eye-opening. For one thing, you will learn that avocado has very little protein.. just saying that b/c you mentioned it.. :)

Good luck, welcome to PH!

2
64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661

(15236)

on July 09, 2011
at 04:04 AM

I do a smoothie with raspberries and blueberries each morning and I don't see any problem with too much fruit/sugar etc. (My smoothie also includes an avocado, a few tbsps of raw butter, and 5 raw eggs)

As for the oatmeal, you can easily find gluten free rolled oats, if you must have it but I don't see any real need.

I'd suggest losing the almonds and raisins. As for almond butter, it is damn tasty but you may feel better when you remove it, I know I did. begrudgingly.

Seems like you need more red meat and fish. I do about a half pound of grass-fed beef or bison on most days, and eat a can of sardines about 3 days/week. I've also gotten really into pork or lamb sirloins. yum. Trader Joe's even carries a reasonably priced grass fed lamb steak.

And like you I also really love to add a few fried eggs in with a meal of sauteed veggies and meat.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on July 09, 2011
at 12:24 PM

I'm with you. The glaring omission of any red meat and any fish is not great. And the presence of turkey at two meals is kind of not-great.

1
C2ad96801ec1e22d2bf62475b6e52751

(1416)

on July 09, 2011
at 03:39 AM

You'll get flamed for the fruit, the almond butter, the oatmeal, and yes, the lentil soup.

If you think you're progressing, don't let the internet tell you otherwise. If I understand your post correctly, you and I are largely on the same path, i.e., lose fat, gain muscle. I've had success with keeping fruit consumption to the 1- or 2-hour window after a workout. And don't hate on blackberries; they're comparably low in fructose.

You may try Leangains or Lyle McDonald if you're targeting stubborn fat. Otherwise, I don't see any glaring problems, though if your omega-6 to omega-3 ratio is off kilter, might want to shift toward more beef/lamb/bison if you are so inclined.

Props for not starving yourself.

Aafdecd018b18faa16faac5e7289efa6

(25)

on July 09, 2011
at 04:49 AM

"You'll get flamed for the fruit, the almond butter, the oatmeal, and yes, the lentil soup." ^^^Well said, and about what I expected. I've never heard of leangains, it looks pretty cool, I'll fool around on there. Blackberries are bomb, for some reason i thought they were pretty high fructose, but it makes sense that they're not. Not eating fruit in the morning is the hard part. I still haven't fully converted away from "breakfast" mode. at least i'm not eating honey nut cheerios and milk anymore though, haha that's definitely a start

0
E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on July 09, 2011
at 11:43 AM

I definitely wouldn't cut out the carbs especially if you aren't sleeping enough.

The almond products and oatmeal are just a concentrated source of anti nutrients, I would drop those. Replace the almonds with animal fat(butter, tallow etc.) and the oats with tubers or some fruit.

All the nuts and turkey is making your omega 6 pretty damn high in comparison to your omega 3 intake. Dropping the almond butter and oats should help that a lot. Replacing some of the turkey with ruminat meat(goats, cows, deer etc.) will further help the balance, fish if that's your thing can help too.

0
800498a30d74a65f5feb1c6bc0ada280

on July 09, 2011
at 06:57 AM

My suggestion is that you read these basic rules:

http://www.dietdoctor.com/lchf

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on July 09, 2011
at 12:23 PM

why do you think he should eat low amounts of carbohydrates?

800498a30d74a65f5feb1c6bc0ada280

(0)

on July 12, 2011
at 10:13 AM

... I know so. The sugar, that he's getting from his oatmeals and bananas, is blocking his weight loss. Furthermore, he could be gluten-intolerant, thus I recommend eliminating the sugary and starchy carbs for a test period of one month. The results will be more than satisfactory.

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on July 09, 2011
at 06:29 AM

i won't delve into particulars of your menu, but considering your goal of shedding fat (and adding muscles) i would advise for going without any food whatsoever on some days: : : - - - as it really helps to lower the body fat 'set-point' (or however it may be called) and break through plateaus: : : - - - my personal n=1 shows that once you lower your fat mass (by a longer than 24 hour fasting) you can resume your eating routine without any rebound (considering you don't ruin fat-burning benefits of fasting by gorging on ridiculous amounts of food afterward)

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