2

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Recent paleo convert - stomach issues

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 17, 2010 at 9:49 PM

Hi folks, I am pretty new to paleo - started 8 weeks ago, and have read Paleo for Athletes, Cordain's original Paleo, and Audette's Neanderthin. Mostly going with the Paleo for Athletes routine, with some carbs allowed just after exercise, and taking some whey protein in the morning with a fruit smoothie - but strict paleo the rest of the day. For exercise mostly weight lifting, with some running sprinkled in through the week (just a couple miles).

For the first 5-6 weeks going paleo things went great - dropped 3 1/2 inches off my waist and really felt fantastic, energy up and everything. The past 2 weeks have been real tough though - low on energy, and recently getting stomach pains right after I eat (lunch and dinner only, not breakfast). For the energy, I am afraid I am just not getting enough calories, so I have really started trying to up the meats, and making sure to eat lots of fruit and vegies (mostly apples, oranges, blue berries, broccoli, carrots).

Lately though, the past week - I just started getting stomach pains after eating. Feels like acid indigestion or something similar. It goes away after an couple hours. Just not sure what it could be. Maybe I should avoid the spices I am putting on my meats? I am going pretty heavy with the cayenne pepper, black pepper and a little garlic powder (yeah - overcompensating for no salt!!!).

Any recommendations?

Thanks!

EDIT: Thought I might add my sort of regular diet for the day:

Breakfast: - Smoothie (organic apple juice (not from conc.), frozen blue berries and strawberries, 50g whey protein (ON's Gold Std. Whey from Vitamin Shoppe) - 1/4 cantalope

Morning snacks: - 2 apples

Lunch: - big bowl of spinach (half a bag of prewashed leaves - organic) - 1/2 lb of ground buffalo sprinkled over the spinach (seasoned with cayenne, black pepper, garlic) - carrots (1 or 2, chopped) - broccoli (1 cup, chopped and microwaved) - olive oil over the salad, with a dash of balsamic

Afternoon snacks: - 1 apple - almonds (1 handful) - 1 orange

Post workout: - Fruit and protein smoothie (same as breakfast)

Dinner: - Pretty much same as lunch, though the meat may be different (e.g. chicken, or grass fed beef, can of salmon, or perhaps lean pork chop), and usually adding a tomato or two. - olive oil over the salad, with a dash of balsamic, maybe some lemon juice too

Late night: - Sometimes a 3rd fruit and protein smoothie again before bed (yeah - I am kinda hooked on my smoothies - closest thing to desert I get!).

48f9bb680fbc1bc1bd0d9cb09ee10273

(230)

on July 19, 2010
at 07:31 PM

Thanks Alan - yes, I had eureka moment yesterday after reading some of these responses and have pretty much cut out the fruit completely since yesterday. Interestingly enough - I have had no stomach problems since yesterday either. I will stay away from fruits for the next few weeks for sure. Thanks for the tip!

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on July 19, 2010
at 01:56 AM

For digestive enzymes, you can do a search at the top right of paleohacks page for 'digestive enzymes' and get access to previous related questions. But I do think the best is if you can get to the root of the problem and see what exactly is triggering the bad digestion in the first place. Enzymes would be a back up plan. Sometimes, I wonder if stomach and intestines get so out of whack that a bit of help via digestive enzymes might be needed, but overall, I think usually you can cure probs by food adjustments and learning more about your individual needs.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on July 19, 2010
at 01:49 AM

Ironically, I can stuff down all the meat I please, but I have often found that protein powder makes me feel nauseous. I didn't pay enough attention to which types of powder it was though. But might want to consider that a lot of whey could even be contributing. It has lactose and is a diary item. A lot of people get stomach probs from diary, especially if you eat a lot of it. If I eat low carb icecream two days in a row, I will have some mild stomach issues, but if I add kefir, then no issues (I know, I know, processed ice cream not healthy anyways..)

Ab6d5fded95559985919961c62b1847d

(434)

on July 18, 2010
at 07:08 PM

If getting fat from meat is a problem, you could also add other forms of fat. Eggs and butter/ghee are great sources (if you do dairy that is). Coconut oil/milk are also high in saturated fats.

48f9bb680fbc1bc1bd0d9cb09ee10273

(230)

on July 18, 2010
at 02:59 PM

I know I know - smoothies are my weakness *sigh* - I lift lots of weights and have always taken in lots of protein powder, but that was before going paleo and before I was eating so much real protein. I probably don't need it now - in fact I skipped the smoothie this morning and just had some melon and left over meat and seemed to be good on that so far. I hadn't heard of fitday.com - I will definitely check that out. For the enzymes, any specific ones folks are using?

48f9bb680fbc1bc1bd0d9cb09ee10273

(230)

on July 18, 2010
at 02:55 PM

Thanks Brandon - I started trying that this morning - I skipped the smoothie, and just had some cantalope with some ground buffalo/turkey mixed up (left overs). No stomach problems on that. I am actually wondering if my massive spinach salads were the cause - thanks for the tip!

48f9bb680fbc1bc1bd0d9cb09ee10273

(230)

on July 17, 2010
at 11:47 PM

Hmm, I might be getting the same effect - it does seem to be the meals that I am adding in lots of meat. And I can eat 1/2 to a full 1 lb at a sitting readily enough. But I had'nt had a problem with that in the past... something to think about though - I will try some experimenting with it. Thanks!

48f9bb680fbc1bc1bd0d9cb09ee10273

(230)

on July 17, 2010
at 11:44 PM

I will certainly try that! Thanks for the suggestion. I haven't had coconut milk, but I really like coconut (and yes, even pina coladas, though I wouldn't admit it in manly circles!). The problem I have had with fattier cuts of meat is trying to stick with the buffalo - I guess adding in more grass fed beef cuts would be a simple and easy way to go - and I was thinking of ordering 5 lb of wild boar from one of those online suppliers - its higher in fat. Thanks!

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6 Answers

5
Ab6d5fded95559985919961c62b1847d

(434)

on July 17, 2010
at 11:15 PM

I would suggest limiting the fruit. Apples are very high in fructose and that can aggravate the stomach and digestive tract (see fructose malabsorption). Fructmal could be causing your lack of energy. Fruit juices, especially apple juice, are positively deadly. They are basically concentrated fructose with a few nutrients (that you can easily get elsewhere).

If you want to continue eating fruit, go with lower sugar fruits like berries. I would highly suggest cutting the fruit juice altogether. If you need a liquid for the smoothies, try almond or coconut milk.

And don't forget animal fat. Don't be afraid of the fattier cuts of meat. Fat is a great energy source and might help you get through this little bump in the road you're experiencing.

Best of luck!

Ab6d5fded95559985919961c62b1847d

(434)

on July 18, 2010
at 07:08 PM

If getting fat from meat is a problem, you could also add other forms of fat. Eggs and butter/ghee are great sources (if you do dairy that is). Coconut oil/milk are also high in saturated fats.

48f9bb680fbc1bc1bd0d9cb09ee10273

(230)

on July 17, 2010
at 11:44 PM

I will certainly try that! Thanks for the suggestion. I haven't had coconut milk, but I really like coconut (and yes, even pina coladas, though I wouldn't admit it in manly circles!). The problem I have had with fattier cuts of meat is trying to stick with the buffalo - I guess adding in more grass fed beef cuts would be a simple and easy way to go - and I was thinking of ordering 5 lb of wild boar from one of those online suppliers - its higher in fat. Thanks!

2
62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on July 18, 2010
at 06:06 AM

As someone already mentioned, not much fat in that diet. Grassfed muscle meat is low on fat, much lower than corn fed. And our ancestors probably ate a lot of organ meats. It is said that the inuit gave their muscle meat to their dogs! Organ meats have much more fat and nutrients than the muscle meat. Looks like most of your fat consists of a little bit of olive oil on a salad.

ALso, kinda weird to drink that many smoothies! Carbs are indeed addictive at times. I have a rule that I try not to eat the same thing twice in one day so as to keep a variety of incoming nutrients. If I eat the same thing lots of times, it is easier to get tons of a few nutrients and shortages of others. I may end up saying the same thing over and over in these questions, but again I advise, go to fitday.com and type in what you are eating daily and get a free synopsis of your nutrient and fat, carb, protein intake and see how balanced it is. See what nutrients are missing and try some new foods that many paleos suggest, like avocado, etc.

Also, on another link, someone had a similar prob and cured it quickly using digestive enzymes.
-Eva

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on July 19, 2010
at 01:56 AM

For digestive enzymes, you can do a search at the top right of paleohacks page for 'digestive enzymes' and get access to previous related questions. But I do think the best is if you can get to the root of the problem and see what exactly is triggering the bad digestion in the first place. Enzymes would be a back up plan. Sometimes, I wonder if stomach and intestines get so out of whack that a bit of help via digestive enzymes might be needed, but overall, I think usually you can cure probs by food adjustments and learning more about your individual needs.

48f9bb680fbc1bc1bd0d9cb09ee10273

(230)

on July 18, 2010
at 02:59 PM

I know I know - smoothies are my weakness *sigh* - I lift lots of weights and have always taken in lots of protein powder, but that was before going paleo and before I was eating so much real protein. I probably don't need it now - in fact I skipped the smoothie this morning and just had some melon and left over meat and seemed to be good on that so far. I hadn't heard of fitday.com - I will definitely check that out. For the enzymes, any specific ones folks are using?

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on July 19, 2010
at 01:49 AM

Ironically, I can stuff down all the meat I please, but I have often found that protein powder makes me feel nauseous. I didn't pay enough attention to which types of powder it was though. But might want to consider that a lot of whey could even be contributing. It has lactose and is a diary item. A lot of people get stomach probs from diary, especially if you eat a lot of it. If I eat low carb icecream two days in a row, I will have some mild stomach issues, but if I add kefir, then no issues (I know, I know, processed ice cream not healthy anyways..)

1
5de2fffda92c0bf2be7ede10cad55546

(1781)

on July 19, 2010
at 02:18 PM

Gee a lot of fruit in one day. I wouldn't eat that much a year. Cut that right out for a few weeks for a start. Also you are drinking far to many calories, what's wrong with food? Lastly you seem to be very low in fat. Something to remember, protein is essential, we know fat is essential but there are NO essential carbohydrates. Fruit and veggies can be nice but they aren't magical. Keep them in moderation. Try an elimination diet for a few weeks and slowly add back things and gauge your reactions as you go.

48f9bb680fbc1bc1bd0d9cb09ee10273

(230)

on July 19, 2010
at 07:31 PM

Thanks Alan - yes, I had eureka moment yesterday after reading some of these responses and have pretty much cut out the fruit completely since yesterday. Interestingly enough - I have had no stomach problems since yesterday either. I will stay away from fruits for the next few weeks for sure. Thanks for the tip!

1
35a9207254408c6907f7082640c7bfaa

(822)

on July 18, 2010
at 04:21 AM

Typical advice if you are having digestive problems after meals is to cut out one thing at a time and see if it makes you feel any better. For example maybe try no vegetables for a few days to see if the fiber is the problem, cut out the protein powder to see if the whey is bothering you, cut out the fructose, etc... You can't really tell if there is a dietary cause unless you take the effort to cut one thing at a time. This is generally what a doc would have you do.

Also, some actually suggest generally limiting vegetables on paleo, for example Kurt Harris at PaleoNu. The theory being that they don't want to be eaten, don't contain any nutrients you can't get from quality meat or organs, and usually aren't that tasty without salt or butter. Personally I love my veggies but you should know they aren't a requirement.

48f9bb680fbc1bc1bd0d9cb09ee10273

(230)

on July 18, 2010
at 02:55 PM

Thanks Brandon - I started trying that this morning - I skipped the smoothie, and just had some cantalope with some ground buffalo/turkey mixed up (left overs). No stomach problems on that. I am actually wondering if my massive spinach salads were the cause - thanks for the tip!

1
424563ee2575f0620ea221badabb40d7

(272)

on July 17, 2010
at 11:03 PM

I've noticed that if I eat 3/4 pound of beef at one sitting, I'll get a very acid stomach within a couple of hours or so.

48f9bb680fbc1bc1bd0d9cb09ee10273

(230)

on July 17, 2010
at 11:47 PM

Hmm, I might be getting the same effect - it does seem to be the meals that I am adding in lots of meat. And I can eat 1/2 to a full 1 lb at a sitting readily enough. But I had'nt had a problem with that in the past... something to think about though - I will try some experimenting with it. Thanks!

0
48f9bb680fbc1bc1bd0d9cb09ee10273

(230)

on July 19, 2010
at 07:38 PM

Thanks for all the responses folks - it really helped - and I haven't had any stomach issues since I cut the fruit out yesterday morning (along with no more smoothies!). Seems the fructose or perhaps even the acids from the juices were getting me. I also made it over to Kurt's PāNu pages - pretty awesome. I haven't had any dairy in my diet in 8 weeks other than the whey and casein protein powders (which I am going to stop taking - I had no idea casein was a LG suspect!), so I started dropping in the unsalted butter into lots of dishes, and even drank some heavy cream (Horizon brand for both - its organic, but don't know about pastured - probably have to find a local at Whole Foods for that?). Also drank 2 cans of coconut milk each of the past two days - energy doing much better as a result. Thanks for your help!

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