Okay, so I've gathered that Paleo is unprocessed food, mainly veggies, meat, fruit, nuts and seeds and no grains including corn, beans or other legumes, white potatoes, or dairy. And some people even eliminate the fruit or the starchy veggies. And yet others recommend white rice, not sure why or why its not at least brown, and others eat this Kerrygold butter, but not other dairy. Bc the carbs in the liquidy part of milk are apparently bad or what?
Im 20 and ive mostly been eating (before i started paleo last week) brown rice, beans, white and sweet potatoes, dairy, veggies, and fruits with a lot of fish and honey sweetened chocolate. All the forbiddens lol, and i thought i was being healthy. Ive already nixed gluten though. I want to get healthier so i can have better workouts and energy/endurance for the things i love, like backpacking and kayaking.
I'm 5'4", 125 lbs and could lose 10 pounds and I also have occasional cystic acne on my cheeks. How should I start an elimination diet to see what I can tolerate? Do I need to get rid of everything "forbidden" and should I get rid of fruit to kick my sugar addiction? Im not sure if its possible but i feel like i also have a dairy addiction? And while i havent craved grains this week, my workouts were not good and i was tired, should i add more carbs or permit potatoes? Sorry this is so long and rambley, but i had like 20 questions id like answered! Thanks in advance for any beginner advice!
asked byCaitie (10)
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on February 28, 2013
at 10:25 AM
Hi Caitie - Your best bet is to get hold of a good Paleo book, like The Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf. You can also start reading Mark Sisson at marksdailyapple.com. But here are some quick answers.
Basic paleo: meat, veggies, fruit, nuts, animal fats, cold pressed fats (coconut oil, olive oil).
Some people add in: white rice - because they need more starch due to working out, and white rice is a very safe, non-interactive starch. Brown rice has phytates that can do negative things to your body (similar to the stuff in wheat and beans). You can minimize phytates by soaking/fermenting brown rice, but it's just easier to eat white.
Some people add in: pastured butter like Kerrygold - it's kind of borderline. It acts kind of like an animal fat, kind of like dairy. Most people can tolerate it well. Some people who have serious dairy issues should avoid it for a while, add back in later and see.
Some people leave out: nuts - because of allergens, high levels of omega 6, or trying to avoid a massive amount of calories. Might help weight loss goals to cut them out; but they are handy convenience food.
Some people leave out: fruit - because it is high in sugar. You can go either way on fruit. You might need it if you are cutting out so many other carbs and sugars. However, if you are really close to your ideal weight, you may find you need to cut it to get those last few pounds off.
Some people leave out: certain veggies - because they have digestive issues. If you have food allergies or leaky gut, you may find that you react to certain vegetables. Common problem ones are onion, broccoli, and tomatoes.
Some people add in /leave out: dairy - dairy is considered "primal" (see Mark Sisson) but not "paleo." It depends on your body. I can tell you that dairy gives me cystic acne. As soon as I eliminate it, acne gone. If I sneak it back in, acne returns. If you think you are addicted, you might be.
If you find that you need more energy for workouts, yes, add in carbs! Right now in the paleo community there are 2 camps: those who add fruit because they want to avoid all white starches, and those who add "safe starches" bc they want to avoid the sugar in fruit. Safe starches: white rice, white potatoes, sweet potatoes. Personally, I eat a lot of berries and sweet potatoes. I eat more carbs on days I work out. (Usually a complex carb like potatoes the night before, and berries in the morning about an hour before I work out).
My best guess for you: I would eat meat, veggies, fruit (~2 servings a day), a small amount of nuts (handful), and enough safe starches to fuel your workouts. I would cut all dairy, including butter. Add butter back in after your acne clears and see if it causes a reaction. Another option to butter is ghee, which some people can eat even if they can't eat butter.
on March 01, 2013
at 03:09 PM
The reason why it is all so confusing is there are many ways to follow Paleo. Different versions work for different people:
Here are some to consider:
Autoimmune Paleo (a very strict form of Paleo, no nuts, no eggs, no fruit, no nightshades)
Primal (Paleo + raw milk and cheese)
Perfect Health Diet (Paleo + rice + potatoes)
Terry Wahls Paleo (say hello to kale and 9 cups of raw veggies every day)
Weston Price Paleo (Paleo + fermented foods + sprouted seeds)
VLC Paleo. Meat, meat, fish, and more meat.
Ray Peat Paleo (milk, orange juice, gelatin, carrots with coconut oil)
Which one works for you?
on February 28, 2013
at 12:25 PM
Just to be clear - fish is not on any forbidden list! Most people just lump fish in with meat. With fish, just like meat, make sure you're eating good quality fish - no fried, breaded, reprocessed, etc. You ideally should get some fish that high in omega-3 fatty acids like salmon, and low in toxins like mercury. Here is a list of some good choices http://www.motherearthnews.com/uploadedFiles/SpecialProjects/RealFood/RHDL.pdf
on February 28, 2013
at 12:11 PM
Butter is fine for most, but not all, because it has very few proteins, and those who can't tolerate dairy don't have an issue with the fat but rather with the protein.
I can't touch anything made from cow's milk, or rather a specific type of milk protein. I've found certain ice creams (Haagen Dasz) I can tolerate, but most I can't touch. It doesn't have to do with lactose, as I don't get gassy, rather I get acid reflux from it. I've tried all sorts of cheeses and yogurts, and almost anything from cow's milk will cause it. Sheep, goat, buffalo dairy doesn't do this and I can tolerate it just fine. There are downsides, I do get some acne from it, so it's not 100% safe. But the point here is that it's the protein that's an issue, specifically casein, and butter has very little.
Butter does still have some proteins in it, however, and for the super sensitive, it's a problem. For these folks, getting clarified butter, also known as ghee is tolerable. There are even some that can't tolerate the infinitesimally small left over protein in ghee.
Also note that you should use butter from grassfed cows, not CAFO cows as their diet and treatment affect the nutrients in the butter and the omega 6 vs omega 3 ratios (written as n6:n3).
So if you're seeing acne, which is one of the symptoms of dairy intolerance, perhaps dairy isn't for you. But you can experiment and see. Try eating butter and no other dairy for 30 days and see if the acne goes away, then try without the butter. This is what's known as an elimination diet.
People's allergy levels and sensitives greatly vary, as you might imagine. Similarly, for some, carbs are ok, for others, it's not.
Rice is a grain, and such, has the same kinds of issues as corn, or wheat. However, it turns out that rice's antinutrients are in the bran, which is removed when it's polished off and turned into white rice. So all that's left is the glucose. Even this white rice isn't 100% safe. There are studies showing that it does modify our RNA. That said, I do eat rice, and rice noodles occasionally.
Some people have broken metabolisms, and may have been diabetic or pre-diabetic, and any carbs they consume will cause fat gain. I'm one of these, so I eat very little carbs. I only use them as a post workout meal to replenish glycogen - something like 1-2x a week and no more. So not everyone can eat carbs. If you're trying to lose fat, avoiding almost all carbs, but not 100% of the time, is the way to go. (Going zero carb for too long when you don't have a properly working metabolism is not a good idea due to an adrenaline response.)
You're right, sugar is very addictive. If you're just starting out, you might have a bit of a rough time. There are some things you can do to cut down the cravings. Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA), and L-Glutamine can be used to cut down cravings. ALA is also a very potent antioxidant so it's beneficial beyond sugar control. L-Glutamine comes in a powder, and you can have a tiny amount whenever you crave something sweet.
There are other tricks. Coffee and coconut oil can both cut down appetite. Here's the recipe. You can skip the butter if you can't tolerate it.
But yes, if that's your goal, cutting out most carbs, especially fruit is important. Obviously avoid any sweetened off the shelf products especially those containing high fructose corn syrup, and also avoid all sweeteners, especially artificial ones - sweet taste triggers insulin which is the hormone that triggers fat storage.