8

votes

What have you learnt (personally, n=1) from your Paleo experience?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created January 14, 2013 at 7:54 AM

When I made the (abrupt) switchover from (organic) SAD to Paleo, I suffered from constipation, something that continued appearing from time to time.

What I have learnt is that, for me at least, the most important factor is my gut bacteria. Since adding Sauerkraut (fermented cabbage) to my diet on a regular basis, my bowels are extremely regular and not as hard as they used to be. This is a tip I would give to anyone contemplating a switchover in the hopes that it would work fr them too.

What are your important discoveries? They might be useful to others, myself included.

D41bd7b3d3b962eb0146f471eb632f56

(2029)

on January 15, 2013
at 10:40 PM

Absolutely. More than anything, I really believe me quitting the full time desk job I hated so much helped get rid of my irritability, depression, and lack of libido. No amount of paleo eating could accomplish what that simple lifestyle change accomplished.

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on January 14, 2013
at 10:52 PM

Yes, yes, and yes! "It's okay to screw up. Perfectionism will only drive you mad here. Set goals, but be flexible."

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on January 14, 2013
at 04:56 PM

I take 400 mg NOW Magnesium Citrate gel caps. Available on iherb.com

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on January 14, 2013
at 01:59 PM

@PaleoGreyhound -- There simply is not enough proper science and experience for the paleo lifestyle. So I see one person's N=1, I try it out.

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on January 14, 2013
at 09:24 AM

It is useful shorthand for "this is my experience, your mileage may vary." It is also a way to avoid some getting the expression that the author means that her experience might be applicable to everyone, and acknowledges it is merely anecdotal. Too often we see arguments that "but my aunt did this and it worked" to imply such evidence invalidates a research on a larger dataset.

62442eec80b7d248ccfa08f98f736748

on January 14, 2013
at 09:15 AM

I may be being a bit scathing but this is a huge pet peeve of mine...why in the world do people write n=1 on afreaking forum? I think it is pretty obvious when u ask for people's experiences, u r asking for their personal opinion...not some collective objective assessment of multiple views... This is a forum not a freaking abstract on PubMed

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10 Answers

8
B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on January 14, 2013
at 06:49 PM

On March 20th 2011, I discovered that I had T2 diabete.

At that time:

  1. I weighed 310lbs
  2. Had a HbA1c of 10.2%
  3. Couldn't feel any of my toes (neuropathy)
  4. Shit my brains out at a sniff of carbohydrate.
  5. Had constant Sleep Apnea
  6. Had a broken penis (through balanitis)

22 months of VLC Paleo (<25g a day).

By January 14th 2012:

  1. I weigh 240lbs (-70lbs)
  2. My HbA1c is 4.9% (better than most non-diabetics)
  3. Have run 3 half marathons on fully sensitive toes
  4. No longer suffer from any GI issues
  5. Sleep all night, every night, without even snoring
  6. Have a fully functioning (and magnificent) penis.

Put simply VLC Paleo saved my fucking life. I love my diet, and I'm healthier, happier, and fitter than ever before.

6
Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on January 15, 2013
at 04:53 PM

Hmmm...might be an unpopular answer, but here goes:

I've learned that you can't out-diet an unfulfilling life.

What's that mean? Well, you've probably heard the phrase "You can't outrun a bad diet," right? Meaning all the exercise in the world isn't going to give you the physique and health you want if you're eating garbage.

So I've come to realize that your diet can be as clean as you can possibly make it, but that doesn't guarantee health and for sure doesn't guarantee happiness. Can the right balance of nutrients help with positive moods and enjoyment of life? Yes, of course. But you can eat all the grassfed beef and organic kale you can, obsess about your n-3/n-6 ratio, and sleep in a dark room, but if you hate your job, are participating in an urban rat-race you're not wired for, and are either lonely or in a relationship that makes you wish you were alone (hehheh), your health and quality of life just won't be what they can be.

When people write that they're depressed, fatigued, irritable, have no libido, or things like that, it's one thing to hack apart their diet and find obvious smoking guns. But in the absence of overt dietary problems, sometimes we have to hunker down and think maybe some of those feelings have nothing to do with diet at all.

Probably the best thing I've done for myself in the last couple of years (until I work up the courage to leave my cubicle-dwelling job) is taking a few days off now and then and going to a cabin in Shenandoah Valley (VA). Fully stocked kitchen, furniture, etc -- I bring my own food and all I do is sleep in, go for long walks in the beautiful scenery, cook foods I love (cooking is a source of joy for me), enjoy the open sky, and most of all, the peace and quiet.

Sometimes I don't even realize how desperate I am for the break until I take it. It's like Diane and Liz say very often on the Balanced Bites podcast: Sometimes improving our health, happiness, and physique comes not from doing more, more, more, but from stepping back and doing LESS. (Could be with regard to micromanaging diet, overtraining, or overthinking. Whatever it is, the answer is sometimes to just back off and give yourself permission to relax.)

P.S. No, I don't own the cabin. Wish I did! It's just easy to rent for a few days. You can find stuff like that all over the place if you need to get away. Worth every penny if you can spare it...usually very reasonable in the off seasons.

D41bd7b3d3b962eb0146f471eb632f56

(2029)

on January 15, 2013
at 10:40 PM

Absolutely. More than anything, I really believe me quitting the full time desk job I hated so much helped get rid of my irritability, depression, and lack of libido. No amount of paleo eating could accomplish what that simple lifestyle change accomplished.

6
F0a9dea438e7943fa05da318773e785e

on January 14, 2013
at 05:29 PM

I've learned that consistency is crucial and to be super patient. Like you mentioned constipation can occur if you don't get enough fiber, drink enough water or your electrolytes get out of whack.

Also, as you mentioned, your gut bacteria are a colony to be cultivated. Boy did I learn a lot of things I didn't know about bacteria and cultivating them on a DIY basis. Pickling, canning, fermentation, all are a science to be experimented with and they take a lot of personal fine tuning and a lot of patience and consistency.

It's okay to screw up. Perfectionism will only drive you mad here. Set goals, but be flexible. You will need to make changes to your diet as one size Paleo does not fit all. You may need to eliminate things that others do fine with. And re-eliminate them again and again until you find the right balance.

Patience and consistency and flexibility. :)

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on January 14, 2013
at 10:52 PM

Yes, yes, and yes! "It's okay to screw up. Perfectionism will only drive you mad here. Set goals, but be flexible."

5
75d65450b6ff0be7b969fb321f1200ac

(2506)

on January 15, 2013
at 12:48 PM

I suffer from an autoimmune disease, psoriasis. I developed it when I was 51 y.o., and it was quite severe (on palms of hands and soles of feet). Doctors only offered me medication options that were both expensive and scary. Moving on a Paleo diet has improved my condition tremendously, ... probably better than any medication could achieve. And of course I feel and look much healthier overall (I had severe IBS which is now completely gone).

In short, Paleo living has taught me that one can indeed influence what is commonly described as "un-influenceable" - an autoimmune disease. This is little short of incredible.

_Lazza

5
F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on January 15, 2013
at 10:01 AM

I hate that n=1 thing so in MPE (my personal experience) this is what I learned:

Rule #1: You have to trust your body.

Your body knows better than you, your doctor, your 500 friends or anybody else. It will tell you before anybody else will tell you. Listen to your body - it speaks in a quiet voice and if you are not listening, you will not understand.

Rule #2:

Most doctors and so-called professionals know s#it. Even the most educated and knowledgeable ones. And even if they know, their recommendations are only as good as your body takes them. If a doctor tell you to eat a high-fiber diet, but your body is telling you something else - listen to your body.

Rule #3:

Your body is brilliantly designed (evolved). Cherish it and love it for what it gives you every single moment. Given a chance, a sick body will try its hardest to heal itself. It needs a little help, but you got to be good to it.

Rule #4:

The bacteria that lives in my gut is more powerful than I am. It is stronger than me. I have to deal with it. Eating the right foods feeds the right bacteria.

Rule #5:

When doctors tell people, "It is all in your head", or "It is your fault because you eat too much chocolate" - they are not worthy of being a doctor. Don't listen to anything they say. Ignore them and tell them to f off.

So, this pretty much sums up MPE.

4
E6c14efded576a0bea38a2fe2beced6a

on January 15, 2013
at 02:04 PM

I learned....

....everyone except for me is full of crap.

It's OK, and often good, to ask questions and learn from others but always remember that one persons personal, %100 scientifically verifiable, unwavering truth is another persons fail.

Enjoy the forest without marrying one of the trees.

4
Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on January 14, 2013
at 04:37 PM

Getting my D3 level dialed in and understanding that D3 may be the most important "nutrient" for my body.

By maintaining a blood level of about 80 ng/ml, all my asthma symptoms disappeared as well as my chronic eczema. Plus I haven't been sick in over 3 years!

Not forgetting the importance of A, K & Magnesium in the mix. Optimizing my magnesium intake has especially been helpful in improving my sleep.

And understanding the importance of healthy gut flora, of course! Going gluten-free has been another miracle for me--no more IBS symptoms.

Learning about FODMAPS has helped my gut even more.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on January 14, 2013
at 04:56 PM

I take 400 mg NOW Magnesium Citrate gel caps. Available on iherb.com

2
089dd41b18fbb95ebb5347cded708d98

(5650)

on January 15, 2013
at 05:02 PM

i've learned that paleo can help some conditions, but it definitely can't replace the power of medicine. with my ulcerative colitis, i thought i'd be able to put it into remission with just this diet and supplements. turns out, my disease is just too strong and medicine is necessary. i seriously wish this wasn't case. i will continue paleo just because i've learned to much from it and believe it is a great diet. hoping that one day a magical diet/supplement plan comes about for the disease.

2
D930dfe6a55abdad1d93b0ff8d8bdf7b

on January 14, 2013
at 04:49 PM

What kind of magnesium do you take? link?

2
9adbf19e76ac38da796f29302c4be90a

on January 14, 2013
at 03:55 PM

My most important discovery has been to be mindful and deliberate. It began with what I eat and spilled over into other areas such as my relationships and work. In the modern world it is so easy to be carried away into automated modes of behavior. Life is short and to cruise thoughtlessly through it like so many do is really a shame. For this deliberate mindset I will be forever grateful to Paleo and the broader community.

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