4

votes

What am I doing wrong?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 18, 2011 at 7:57 AM

Hi there

Loving this site, this is my first post.

I've been Paleo for exactly a month, I've read Robb Wolf and Loren Cordain as well as Sisson's book and I've been a bit confused regarding fats (Cordain favoring lean meats, Sisson favoring high fats). Basically I've cut all grains, dairy and sugar and have not cheated once. I really don't feel comfortable eating lots of animal fat (that's a hard habit to break, accepting that animal fat won't kill me), plus I just don't like it at all, it's even hard for me to eat all this meat, I'm more of a fish lover. I have been eating avocados and olive oil, flax oil and coconut oil every day, in salads and for cooking.

I've been eating tons of vegetables (a lot of kale, broccoli, cauliflower, no tubers), bison, organic chicken and wild salmon and sardines, coconut oil and olive oil/lemon in salads, some nuts (walnuts mostly and not many) and some fruit (though not much carby or high sugar fruit), and I've been exercising with a trainer (doing intense stuff, not quite Crossfit but pretty intense for me, kettle bell, weights, jump rope) plus a bit of running, climbing stairs, walking squats, some yoga, essentially way more intense that I have done in the past.

Also taking fish oil, vit.D and a multi vitamin.

In the first 2 weeks I lost a few pounds (water I assume) and I felt really good, more energy, more positive (I suffer from depression and anxiety so this was an exciting change), bloating lessened and just an overall feeling that this was great! My biggest issue has been unfortunate stool (TMI), not formed and much less (which is the exact opposite of what my vegetarian/fish/whole grain life used to produce) and that is kind of freaking me out, feels unhealthy!

But, now, at one month later, I feel flabby, bloated, exhausted, grumpy and depressed because I feel like I look terrible and I have very little energy. It's like everything suddenly changed and I don't know why. I could barely run up the stairs today, I felt like I was 99 (I'm 37). The only thing that is different is that my cycle is supposed to start soon and maybe it's PMS but seems too extreme for that.

I know there will be many opinions and I'm sure this has already come up before (if so, please lead me to the thread!) so sorry if I'm being redundant, I'm just frustrated.

Always had trouble losing weight, I've fluctuated from 138 to my current 147, always thought I ate well (very little processed stuff and little sugar, but I did eat whole grains and dairy). I was also on an antidepressant that definitely got me fat but I've been off of it for 7 months.

Any ideas? Sorry for the long note! Any advice would make me happy! Thanks!!

8634d4988ced45a68e2a79e69cc01835

(1617)

on January 07, 2013
at 05:46 PM

Sounds like "carb flu". Even with a good bit of fruit, veg, and nuts, without grains and beans that is way less carbs. It hit me like a ton of bricks after a few weeks paleo coming from whole-grain heavy vegetarianism. It goes away tho.

83d6a06c93bb3490dbca339cbbb63385

(526)

on November 06, 2011
at 10:50 PM

Qualia speaks truth. Not everyone responds well to extremely low carb. Just try adding more little by little and see if you feel better. Seems to me that feeling good is better than losing an extra ounce per week. The problem with carbs and weight loss is most overweight people eat them at every meal in huge amounts and then all day long as snacks. Eating 2-3 times a day and having a small serving of starch is totally different and the body's reaction to it will be healthy.

83d6a06c93bb3490dbca339cbbb63385

(526)

on November 06, 2011
at 10:44 PM

147 lbs isn't fat! Relax. Let's worry about why you feel like you are 99 years old. I bet two things: dairy and too little fat in your diet. Dairy makes me bloated and feel gross, too little fat makes me very sluggish and moody, especially since I workout intensely. Also, adding a starchy veg to my diet on my workout days helped a lot with recovery. I am almost 35 years old.

Da681d976130df15aac3984013aaad6d

(720)

on March 27, 2011
at 04:13 PM

Thanks so much, this is all very helpful!

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on March 19, 2011
at 02:17 PM

"Omega6 wise, grain fed cows should be "better" than chicken." Hope this is better. What I meant was that beef, even grain fed, has lower Omega6 content than chicken (fat).

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on March 19, 2011
at 02:16 PM

Lauren most oils are mixtures of fats so using a particular fat class (PUFA) might not be best. Olive oil is about (the number really varies try getting it from your seller) 4-15% of Omega 6 fatty acid. Reread the section of fats in Robb Wolfs book.

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on March 19, 2011
at 02:11 PM

Benefits of "omega 3" come mostly from DHA/EPA fatty acid. Flax Oil is high in ALA (also Omega 3 fatty acid) which converts rather badly to DHA/EPA. So yeah, away it goes ;) http://www.marksdailyapple.com/flax-prostate-cancer-risk/

4bf5827bfb7df85c5b4b485db0945e64

(1386)

on March 19, 2011
at 06:48 AM

I think you either have 1) some gut irritation/inflammation/autoimmune thing going on, 2) an infection or possible microbe overgrowth, and/or 3) your fat intake is too low relative to your protein (which might be high) and carb (which might be low) intake.

4bf5827bfb7df85c5b4b485db0945e64

(1386)

on March 19, 2011
at 06:45 AM

So when someone is "low-carb", they're usually also high-fat and moderate-protein. Just be aware of this loose macronutrient ratio. You can eat high-protein for a while but it's probably not the best long term strategy. You definitely want to avoid omega-6s, especially linoleic acid (LA), since you're consuming plant fats (which will insure you run into lots of LA). Since you detest animal fats, stick with lots of coconut milk and coconut oil which contain decent amounts of medium chained triglycerides. Supplement with a high quality fish oil in enough amount to offset your LA intake.

Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7304)

on March 19, 2011
at 12:14 AM

You want lowish carb probably. Under 50 may help with weight loss but should be carefully implemented. I would suggest maybe 100g with overall calorie restriction.

Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7304)

on March 19, 2011
at 12:13 AM

Beastie girl were you using truvia or stevia with any erythritol or xylitol? Sugar alcohols can cause gut flora depopulation.

Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7304)

on March 19, 2011
at 12:11 AM

You may want to read paleonu.com and the perfect health diet by jaminet/jaminet if you haven't already.

A895c96ac1ef1d2e5d8b59b4462c2b71

(234)

on March 18, 2011
at 10:12 PM

I failed to mention that I eat the stems along with the leaves.

C491ff8ce20d5c17f8f7ff94392a9570

(1617)

on March 18, 2011
at 07:33 PM

Potatoes, sweet potatoes, really any root veggie; plantains; winter squash; tapioca, usually in Chebe bread or tapioca pearls cooked in coconut milk; rice in a pinch. I do like bananas with breakfast sometimes too, though I don't know if they really count as a starch.

Da681d976130df15aac3984013aaad6d

(720)

on March 18, 2011
at 07:00 PM

Wow thanks for writing, and seems we have a lot in common. I'm at LAF8884@yahoo.com if you want to write me. I don't think I have space here to respond in kind :)

Da681d976130df15aac3984013aaad6d

(720)

on March 18, 2011
at 06:57 PM

So what's starchy for you? Yams? Bananas? I'm definitely on board with the plant fats (I really don't enjoy animal fats), lean meat and veggies but I need fruit for taste and variety.

Da681d976130df15aac3984013aaad6d

(720)

on March 18, 2011
at 06:55 PM

But I thought flax was high in omega 3, isn't it? Confused, again.

Da681d976130df15aac3984013aaad6d

(720)

on March 18, 2011
at 06:55 PM

Low carb and low fat=brutal, in what way, meaning, am I sabotaging my health? I thought we wanted low carb, isn't that right? So upping carbs meaning fruit and tubers? And again, I'm confused about how much fat to eat. I also really am not a big fan of animal fat (for taste reasons), just don't enjoy it, so I get most fat from coconut oil/milk, avocados and oilve oil. I will check out fitday, thanks!

Da681d976130df15aac3984013aaad6d

(720)

on March 18, 2011
at 06:51 PM

Nope, don't use stevia or any other artificial stuff. Avoiding sugar and honey but maybe it would help, again, I stress that this is all so confusing and so many different opinions and information. Maddening!

Da681d976130df15aac3984013aaad6d

(720)

on March 18, 2011
at 06:50 PM

I definitely come from a camp of believing that lots of cruciferous vegetables protect from disease so I really do eat them every day, arugula included, I guess broccoli can be a trouble maker for gastric stuff. But this seems more like I'm missing bulk, which I used to get from eating grains. Thanks.

Da681d976130df15aac3984013aaad6d

(720)

on March 18, 2011
at 06:47 PM

Thanks. I assume olive oil is a PUFA? How much sat. fat do you eat daily? Problem is, I don't like lamb or most red meat, I mainly enjoy fish, the others I just force down. Sad but true.

Da681d976130df15aac3984013aaad6d

(720)

on March 18, 2011
at 06:46 PM

I will, thanks.

Da681d976130df15aac3984013aaad6d

(720)

on March 18, 2011
at 06:46 PM

Oh and the other issue for me is that I hate eating animal fat, it's just gross to me, so cooking in tallow or eating hunks of beef fat isn't going to happen. I'm forcing red meat as it is, I don't enjoy it at all. Crazy, I know. I'm happy to eat avocados and spoonfuls of coconut oil though. Seems like this lifestyle goes against what I really just simply enjoy, vegetarian food and fish, but for obvious reasons I'm doing this but I'm not really enjoying it!

Da681d976130df15aac3984013aaad6d

(720)

on March 18, 2011
at 06:41 PM

I am so confused. What would be considered high fat? And I thought the whole point was to lose the carby stuff that effects insulin from your diet. What am I missing? I'm just basing my info on the books I read. I know broccoli, etc can irritate bowels but I ate all that stuff before with grains, I had on and off problems but never like this. What's an Omega6 wise grain fed cow? And I thought omega 6 was something to avoid, or at least lower intake. I'm going to drive myself crazy with this stuff. Thanks for the input!!

Da681d976130df15aac3984013aaad6d

(720)

on March 18, 2011
at 06:32 PM

Oh man, you've confused me further. :) This whole thing is going to make me insane. No, I don't take my blood glucose at all. I read 3 books and cut out everything I was supposed to cut out, that's it. I don't eat big meals, and tons of vegetables means like, a serving or 2 (so like a cup or 2 of broccoli) at each meal. It's possible I have an insulin issue because I have insulin issue problems like PCOS (though I'm not typical) and infertility and uterine polyps, but I've never had a troubling insulin test, I don't think my PCOS is insulin related. But,couldn't hurt to try the meter. Thx

Da681d976130df15aac3984013aaad6d

(720)

on March 18, 2011
at 06:20 PM

I have had it checked many many times, the fatigue is an old story before going paleo, the paleo seemed to up my energy at first so it's odd it's gone back, but yeah maybe I'll cut back the kale though I love it and it's good for me.

39a1a0bc7855c084ac59df60fdf9c0dd

(1505)

on March 18, 2011
at 03:25 PM

In the 4th para, I mean it could spike "blood glucose," not spike "blood."

A895c96ac1ef1d2e5d8b59b4462c2b71

(234)

on March 18, 2011
at 12:44 PM

Sorry for the typos. Apparently my phone knows what words I am typing better than I do. If you can't figure out what I meant, just ask. :)

1ccc0b0b7a756cd42466cef8f450d0cb

(1801)

on March 18, 2011
at 12:10 PM

I second qualia's recommendation to check out your nutrition data - fitday.com is another good site. It sounds like you might be too low carb AND too low fat - that's a brutal combination! 65% of calories as fat is a pretty reasonable level but, as mentioned, you might be better off upping the carbs as well - especially if you are doing frequent, vigorous exercise.

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on March 18, 2011
at 11:15 AM

And I would ditch flax oil ASAP. High PUFA Omega-6 content and not as much Omega 3 as one might think (ALA mostly, conversion to DHA/EPA ain't that great). How often do you exercise ?

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on March 18, 2011
at 11:08 AM

Write your menu (with amounts) for two days so we can gather more data.

344102b6bc599c7c3f1f58ca0ac29513

(451)

on March 18, 2011
at 10:56 AM

I've had really bad issues with diarrhoea these past few months. I've discovered that it's stevia that's caused the problems! Do you use stevia or other artificial sweetners at all? If so, cut them out now and add in a little honey. It can't hurt to raise your carbs a little, either. A few more carbs and taking probiotics has really improved my moods. I used to be quite flat, not miserable, just meh. But fruit and a teaspoon of honey in my coffee each day, plus probiotics has given me my joy back!

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on March 18, 2011
at 10:54 AM

Omega6 wise grain fed cows should be "better" than chicken.

4bf5827bfb7df85c5b4b485db0945e64

(1386)

on March 18, 2011
at 09:04 AM

I just looked up some more info and I'd definitely try the digestive enzymes. Undigested material can cause significant GI irritation. Remember too that you're losing electrolytes consistently with your condition and it might be hard to stay hydrated. Again, a few different inflammatory conditions might shed some light on it (Crohn's, IBS, etc). Good luck. Hope it works out for you.

4bf5827bfb7df85c5b4b485db0945e64

(1386)

on March 18, 2011
at 08:58 AM

Just remember, broccoli and those kinds of vegetables are very low carbohydrate so it's possible to overdo protein, especially if you're not eating high fat. Also, there's things in sulfur containing veggies like broccoli and cauliflower that can upset the GI tract for certain individuals. I think they've been implicated to sometimes cause problems with people who have IBS. Try rotating out of those ones and try a difference class of veggies for a bit. Definitely cook all veggies very well until symptoms subside.

5f0158c23fcb5636e57b4ce097784da0

(1386)

on March 18, 2011
at 08:54 AM

if you get your carbs only from some fruits, you def. do not get enough by far. try adding some tubers to your meals, especially for the meal after your workout. i suspect you're waaay to low in calories and carbs in general at this point, compared to your activity level. (MV means MultiVitamin). but still, at least at the beginning, and as long as you don't feel perfect/stable, you need to analyze your food to get a picture where you're at at all.

Da681d976130df15aac3984013aaad6d

(720)

on March 18, 2011
at 08:48 AM

Thanks, yeah I'm avoiding any grain fed cows and eating organic chicken (though I know they're fed grain/soy). I am taking probiotics and cooking most vegetables, but I agree about adding some tubers and other types. I seem to bulk up on the cruciferous ones because I know they're powerful antioxidants. I don't know if I'm eating high protein, protein with every meal but not mass quantities. But I remember reading (Cordain I think) that you couldn't over do it on protein as long as you were eating vegetables with it. I guess it's just a try and adjust til it works kind of situation.

Da681d976130df15aac3984013aaad6d

(720)

on March 18, 2011
at 08:30 AM

not enough carbs, even with fruit? I'm just trying to maximize weight loss so I'm scared to eat too many carbs, though the only ones I'm getting are from vegetables and fruits (I think?). Not tracking anything yet, honestly all this information and figuring out ratios and what my intakes should be makes my head hurt! I just want to eat and not obsess, is that possible? I have taken a bit of magnesium, yes. What's an MV? See? I''m clueless save for the books I've read....Thanks for responding.

Da681d976130df15aac3984013aaad6d

(720)

on March 18, 2011
at 08:25 AM

Ha, unfortunate means unformed and a mess, essentially diarrhea all the time, the exact opposite of my former grain eating self.

  • Da681d976130df15aac3984013aaad6d

    asked by

    (720)
  • Views
    3.1K
  • Last Activity
    1432D AGO
Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

15 Answers

5
0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on March 26, 2011
at 06:30 PM

As I'm sure you have realised by now, if you ask a question like this here you will get a whole rariety of often conflicting opinions :) Different books also give conflicting advice. These are my thoughts.

  • Eat foods that you like to eat. Making yourself eat lots of animal fat if you don't like it is not sustainable and will not make you happy.

  • Olive oil, coconut products and avacados are fine to get your fat from if you like them.

  • Eating fish and chicken is fine. You could also eat some eggs if you do not already. Keep eating the bison but try eating smaller portions to get use to it.

  • There is no need to take fish oil supplements if you are eating sardines and salmon.

  • Low-carb diets require you to eat fat instead. Otherwise you need to eat carbs. So don't be afraid to try eating starchy vegetables like potatoes, sweet potatoes, parsnips, squash etc. Even eating all these you are still likely to be eating less carbs than the average person.

  • Eat a range of other vegetables, kale and broccoli are great but there are many others. Onions, leeks, carrots, beetroot, olives, peppers etc.

  • Eat fruit if you want too, even sweet fruits.

  • Make sure that you eat enough calories to give you energy for the amount of activity you are doing. Most of what you are eating is realtivly low in calories.

  • It can take a while for you digestion to adjust to any drastic changes in your diet.

You are only just starting out so:

  • Just relax.

  • Eat enough food and calories.

  • Eat foods you enjoy.

  • Don't be afraid to try new foods as your tastes will probably change over time.

Da681d976130df15aac3984013aaad6d

(720)

on March 27, 2011
at 04:13 PM

Thanks so much, this is all very helpful!

3
3874fa3e7624fb3134013c43766b6eba

(110)

on March 18, 2011
at 05:53 PM

Hi Lauren,

So much of what you wrote rings true to me! This is my first time writing here too. I'm just over 1-month into paleo living and also just starting my menstrual cycle, 2nd since making the change to paleo. I had been feeling great - really good energy, positive, upbeat, energetic until a day or two before my period started. Even started my first Crossfit class earlier this week and was flying high. My weight started creeping up, and bodyfat too (as measured on a Withings bathroom scale, possibly not accurate but hopefully consistent to me). A negative mood is now dampening my objectivity. In no way at all am I tempted to change the way I'm eating, but I'm frustrated by the weight gain showing on the scale (as a primary goal at this point is to lose belly fat) and this floppy feeling of no energy is wearing me out. I am willing to chalk this variation in mood/energy to my period as I can only imagine the symphony of hormones in my body rushing around doing their thing - and my body doing its best to sort out all the reactions going on. I'm not sure if this is comforting for you to read, or just annoying (the idea of maybe waiting it out, or just listening to your body's cues) - for me, my plan has been to take it easy (focusing on full night sleeps - I have 2 little boys who keep me very busy during the day and wake up early!) then I'll start making nutritional changes in my fat/protein/carb percentages if I'm feeling bad after the weekend. I have my 2nd Crossfit class tomorrow so I will be pushing it there and hope my muscle pains subside enough to really kick it there.

Bit of backstory, I struggled with digestive issues (I'm 38 now) and it reached a fever-pitch over 6 months ago when I found myself with an impacted bowel (had been eating a low-fat, whole-grain diet - barely any wheat, but plenty of brown rice, quinoa, oats. I had lost over 35 lbs eating that way but my skin was awful and my bowel health was poor). I sought help from both my MD and naturopath and ended up going for colonics. After a bunch of tests the MD suggested irritable bowel syndrome, the ND clearly said "QUIT EATING WHEAT, NOW!", and the colonic therapist educated me about how sensitive womens digestive health (mainly 'excretory' functioning) is during menstruation. (btw she agreed that wheat/grains are horrible for the colon). If you think of that (stool containing toxins that need to rid the system) and how you may be feeling (i.e.: toxic!!), it makes sense that you may be feeling so sluggish. I think that after several consistent months of treating your body to a paleo lifestyle, your hormones will get the memo each month and know what to do. I'm hoping so at least ;-) I've read very encouraging posts on Paleohacks about periods getting frequent, shorter and less painful. Also the colon therapist said many of her female clients come back for colonics when they find their periods getting painful - they shouldn't be. I'm in no way suggesting colonics to ease menstrual symptoms (I went that route out of necessity for my impacted bowel), but using the logic of having properly functioning bowel & lack of cramps - it makes sense that healthy digestive & endocrine systems lead to a state where periods are non-disruptive to the rest of your body's systems.

There are many other similarities that you wrote about, sorry for going on & on here. I don't know if I can email you directly but I can share other tidbits too that may make sense. I hope that your energy returns to you soon. I have made this switch to Paleo with my husband so he's been a great support. The message boards are great too - but it helps if you have a personal support.

Da681d976130df15aac3984013aaad6d

(720)

on March 18, 2011
at 07:00 PM

Wow thanks for writing, and seems we have a lot in common. I'm at LAF8884@yahoo.com if you want to write me. I don't think I have space here to respond in kind :)

3
5f0158c23fcb5636e57b4ce097784da0

(1386)

on March 18, 2011
at 08:20 AM

sounds like not enough carbs to me. did you analyze your average daily macro-nutrient intake already (for example on http://nutritiondata.self.com - create an account and add the average foods you eat on a day to "my tracking"). if you're training almost daily and mostly high-intensity you easily can go with 125g carbs, or more. not eating enough carbs can also create the grumpy and depressed feeling you describe. would be cool if you could do an analysis and report back. (btw, do u take any additional magnesium? MVs usually don't have enough)

Da681d976130df15aac3984013aaad6d

(720)

on March 18, 2011
at 08:30 AM

not enough carbs, even with fruit? I'm just trying to maximize weight loss so I'm scared to eat too many carbs, though the only ones I'm getting are from vegetables and fruits (I think?). Not tracking anything yet, honestly all this information and figuring out ratios and what my intakes should be makes my head hurt! I just want to eat and not obsess, is that possible? I have taken a bit of magnesium, yes. What's an MV? See? I''m clueless save for the books I've read....Thanks for responding.

Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7304)

on March 19, 2011
at 12:14 AM

You want lowish carb probably. Under 50 may help with weight loss but should be carefully implemented. I would suggest maybe 100g with overall calorie restriction.

5f0158c23fcb5636e57b4ce097784da0

(1386)

on March 18, 2011
at 08:54 AM

if you get your carbs only from some fruits, you def. do not get enough by far. try adding some tubers to your meals, especially for the meal after your workout. i suspect you're waaay to low in calories and carbs in general at this point, compared to your activity level. (MV means MultiVitamin). but still, at least at the beginning, and as long as you don't feel perfect/stable, you need to analyze your food to get a picture where you're at at all.

1ccc0b0b7a756cd42466cef8f450d0cb

(1801)

on March 18, 2011
at 12:10 PM

I second qualia's recommendation to check out your nutrition data - fitday.com is another good site. It sounds like you might be too low carb AND too low fat - that's a brutal combination! 65% of calories as fat is a pretty reasonable level but, as mentioned, you might be better off upping the carbs as well - especially if you are doing frequent, vigorous exercise.

Da681d976130df15aac3984013aaad6d

(720)

on March 18, 2011
at 06:55 PM

Low carb and low fat=brutal, in what way, meaning, am I sabotaging my health? I thought we wanted low carb, isn't that right? So upping carbs meaning fruit and tubers? And again, I'm confused about how much fat to eat. I also really am not a big fan of animal fat (for taste reasons), just don't enjoy it, so I get most fat from coconut oil/milk, avocados and oilve oil. I will check out fitday, thanks!

83d6a06c93bb3490dbca339cbbb63385

(526)

on November 06, 2011
at 10:50 PM

Qualia speaks truth. Not everyone responds well to extremely low carb. Just try adding more little by little and see if you feel better. Seems to me that feeling good is better than losing an extra ounce per week. The problem with carbs and weight loss is most overweight people eat them at every meal in huge amounts and then all day long as snacks. Eating 2-3 times a day and having a small serving of starch is totally different and the body's reaction to it will be healthy.

2
26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

on March 19, 2011
at 03:48 PM

My first two menstrual cycles on primal were ROUGH. I always had a pretty unpleasant and painful period, but these were unusually bad in many ways. Especially the digestive problems which were standard for me in the past around my period, but holy diarrhea (and constipation for the first time in my life at one point!).

So that might be a factor for you right now as well, along with some low-carb flu. Maybe eat some starch and see if it makes you feel better?

Primal/paleo can have a huge effect on your hormones. Mine were extremely messed up pre-primal. My cycles had ]lengthened on average, I was having irregular cycles for the first time ever (up to two months between sometimes), horrible cramps and ovulation pains, short luteal phase, missing some ovulations altogether, painful cystic breasts, bad PMS symptoms, digestive disturbances around ovulation and my period, and had acne for many years as well as increased body hair growth more recently. I was really afraid I was developing PCOS, although I know for a fact I'm not insulin-resistant. My gyn's answer was 'just take the pill' of course.

One of the first things I noticed primal was that my body hair was getting sparser and finer. :O Hairs around nipples and on my stomach just stopped growing, arm and leg hair is still much finer and less of it. That was followed by no more extra-long cycles, regular ovulation, huge reduction in menstrual pain and PMS symptoms, no more cystic breasts and much less tenderness, lengtheing of my luteal phase from 8 to 14 days, CLEAR SKIN for the first time since I was 15, and after over a YEAR primal, I am back to the 27-31 day cycle of my earlier youth, as opposed to 32-36.

1
07c86972a3bea0b0dc17752e9d2f5642

on March 18, 2011
at 04:12 PM

Eating just a little bit of kale makes me bloated and uncomfortable. I don't touch the stuff. Try ditching the broccoli and kale for awhile. Also, I was feeling pretty good without starchy food, but adding in just a couple of servings a week of white potatoes and allowing myself to eat carrots and squash all I wanted has really improved my energy and clarity and it has not made me hungrier or crave sugar and I haven't gained weight - all the things I was afraid would happen. In fact, my chocolate and nut cravings that I still used to get are gone.

1
39a1a0bc7855c084ac59df60fdf9c0dd

(1505)

on March 18, 2011
at 03:24 PM

Allow me to confuse the issue further: you say "tons" of vegetables. I don't know what that means, but here's a theory about what could be going on.

Do you take your blood glucose regularly? As you know if you read Taubes, etc., one theory (and it is not widely disputed) is that insulin regulates fat tissue. If your glucose is high, your insulin may be high, which makes it hard to drop weight.

I know you are eating healthy foods, but here is something most people don't know: Dr. Richard Bernstein of diabetes fame writes about something called "the chinese restaurant effect." It has a more scientific name, but that's the one he's made up for us non-scientists.

This effect can spike blood glucose if a person simply eats too much - even if it is a non-carb food. In fact, he says that if you eat a bunch of sand or gravel it would spike your blood glucose.

In other words, if you are filling up too much at meals - even if it is on non-carby food -you might have a hard time losing weight. This theory isn't per se recommending that you count calories, but simply that you avoid loading your stomach too much at any one time.

The solution here is to go to a drug store and buy a home glucose meter and take it several times/day. Get a baseline on what it is pre-meal and first thing in the morning, and then take it one and then two hours after you eat a typical meal. If it is high, this could be your problem.

39a1a0bc7855c084ac59df60fdf9c0dd

(1505)

on March 18, 2011
at 03:25 PM

In the 4th para, I mean it could spike "blood glucose," not spike "blood."

Da681d976130df15aac3984013aaad6d

(720)

on March 18, 2011
at 06:32 PM

Oh man, you've confused me further. :) This whole thing is going to make me insane. No, I don't take my blood glucose at all. I read 3 books and cut out everything I was supposed to cut out, that's it. I don't eat big meals, and tons of vegetables means like, a serving or 2 (so like a cup or 2 of broccoli) at each meal. It's possible I have an insulin issue because I have insulin issue problems like PCOS (though I'm not typical) and infertility and uterine polyps, but I've never had a troubling insulin test, I don't think my PCOS is insulin related. But,couldn't hurt to try the meter. Thx

1
C491ff8ce20d5c17f8f7ff94392a9570

(1617)

on March 18, 2011
at 01:21 PM

From what you describe, I had some similar issues. For me, the fix was to add in some starchy carbs and cut back on the muscle meats. Too much protein and not enough carbs really messes with my digestion and energy levels. I just read the Robb Wolf book last week and I gotta say his recommendations (tons of veggies, lean meat, and plant fats) are exactly what makes me feel the worst. I feel much better with moderate veggies, a good sized serving of something starchy, a few ounces of meat, and animal fat to taste. I know not everyone will share my experience, but I hope I can at least give you another data point!

C491ff8ce20d5c17f8f7ff94392a9570

(1617)

on March 18, 2011
at 07:33 PM

Potatoes, sweet potatoes, really any root veggie; plantains; winter squash; tapioca, usually in Chebe bread or tapioca pearls cooked in coconut milk; rice in a pinch. I do like bananas with breakfast sometimes too, though I don't know if they really count as a starch.

Da681d976130df15aac3984013aaad6d

(720)

on March 18, 2011
at 06:57 PM

So what's starchy for you? Yams? Bananas? I'm definitely on board with the plant fats (I really don't enjoy animal fats), lean meat and veggies but I need fruit for taste and variety.

1
A895c96ac1ef1d2e5d8b59b4462c2b71

on March 18, 2011
at 11:56 AM

It is confusing with so many folks promoting their own brand of paleo! That said, I've been eating this way for nearly a year, and like you I battled diarrhea at times. I rat tons of beef and chicken, and some fish (sashimi every few weeks). I love broccoli, but it does cause some gastric distress for me. I would NOT add tubers. What helps solidify things for me are well-cooked greens, and lots of them with every big protein meal. I like beet greens, chard, bok choy, and arugala best. I too would ditch the flax oil for the reasons stated. Coconut oil doesn't agree with me, so you might experiment with that too. I use tallow, evoo, ghee, and some avocado oil and walnut oil. High fat gives some people this problem too, but they get over it within a few weeks, especially if they introduce fat into theory diet slowly. Bottom line: more greens I hope this helps.

A895c96ac1ef1d2e5d8b59b4462c2b71

(234)

on March 18, 2011
at 12:44 PM

Sorry for the typos. Apparently my phone knows what words I am typing better than I do. If you can't figure out what I meant, just ask. :)

Da681d976130df15aac3984013aaad6d

(720)

on March 18, 2011
at 06:50 PM

I definitely come from a camp of believing that lots of cruciferous vegetables protect from disease so I really do eat them every day, arugula included, I guess broccoli can be a trouble maker for gastric stuff. But this seems more like I'm missing bulk, which I used to get from eating grains. Thanks.

A895c96ac1ef1d2e5d8b59b4462c2b71

(234)

on March 18, 2011
at 10:12 PM

I failed to mention that I eat the stems along with the leaves.

1
8544465753d56e89bd1bb2c92e9cea7a

on March 18, 2011
at 09:15 AM

Hi Lauren!

I was fighting with some similar symptoms few weeks back... I also posted about it here..

http://paleohacks.com/questions/23950/first-9-days-on-paleo-cant-get-rid-of-fatigue

After 3 weeks on Paleo, my symptoms are gone. I have more energy, consistently losing weight and have started strength training as well.

Few things i did back then to improve my conditions,

  • Got rid of B-Complex, they were giving me headaches and fatigue.
  • Started using Probiotics and fermented vegetables with every food.
  • Increased my saturated fat intake (ghee, coconut oil, cream).
  • Added more variety of meat. Initially i was just eating chicken, eggs and fish. Then i added lamb and beef as well. Now i eat chicken once a week, lamb and beef twice.
  • Removing all the PUFAs (vegetable oils)

The supplements I'm using are Probiotics, Cod Liver Oil & Vitamin D. I'm on a ketogenic diet and I'm not eating that much carbs (Just green vegetables).

Da681d976130df15aac3984013aaad6d

(720)

on March 18, 2011
at 06:47 PM

Thanks. I assume olive oil is a PUFA? How much sat. fat do you eat daily? Problem is, I don't like lamb or most red meat, I mainly enjoy fish, the others I just force down. Sad but true.

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on March 19, 2011
at 02:16 PM

Lauren most oils are mixtures of fats so using a particular fat class (PUFA) might not be best. Olive oil is about (the number really varies try getting it from your seller) 4-15% of Omega 6 fatty acid. Reread the section of fats in Robb Wolfs book.

1
4bf5827bfb7df85c5b4b485db0945e64

(1386)

on March 18, 2011
at 08:40 AM

Runny stool usually means an inflamed colon. I'd try some digestive support in the ways of probiotics and digestive enzymes. Also, I'd cook all my food well and go easy on eating much raw plant material (cook it). Maybe you're eating something that's messing with your colon so try rotating out of what you've been eating. For instance, stop with the broccoli and cauliflower and try to consume some tubers post-workout (since it sounds like you're doing intense exercise). Just mix it up.

It kinda sounds like maybe you're eating high protein. High protein intake can sometimes cause these symptoms so you may need to really look at what % of calories you're getting from each macronutrient (protein:fat:carbohydrate). If you find you're very high protein and low fat and low carb, try adjusting that by increasing fat and/or carbs.

If you like fish, eat more fish. Animal fat from grain-fed critters is usually unbalanced in PUFA and other toxins can be found in the fat. Whether or not this is a significant worry, who knows. Grass-fed beef, wild caught animals, etc, have much better fatty acid profiles and you'd expect low toxins etc so the common view is all that fat is good for you. Since you can argue both perspectives with regard to corn-fed cows, for example, I think that's why Cordain prefers leaner cuts of meat consumed.

Da681d976130df15aac3984013aaad6d

(720)

on March 18, 2011
at 08:48 AM

Thanks, yeah I'm avoiding any grain fed cows and eating organic chicken (though I know they're fed grain/soy). I am taking probiotics and cooking most vegetables, but I agree about adding some tubers and other types. I seem to bulk up on the cruciferous ones because I know they're powerful antioxidants. I don't know if I'm eating high protein, protein with every meal but not mass quantities. But I remember reading (Cordain I think) that you couldn't over do it on protein as long as you were eating vegetables with it. I guess it's just a try and adjust til it works kind of situation.

4bf5827bfb7df85c5b4b485db0945e64

(1386)

on March 19, 2011
at 06:48 AM

I think you either have 1) some gut irritation/inflammation/autoimmune thing going on, 2) an infection or possible microbe overgrowth, and/or 3) your fat intake is too low relative to your protein (which might be high) and carb (which might be low) intake.

4bf5827bfb7df85c5b4b485db0945e64

(1386)

on March 19, 2011
at 06:45 AM

So when someone is "low-carb", they're usually also high-fat and moderate-protein. Just be aware of this loose macronutrient ratio. You can eat high-protein for a while but it's probably not the best long term strategy. You definitely want to avoid omega-6s, especially linoleic acid (LA), since you're consuming plant fats (which will insure you run into lots of LA). Since you detest animal fats, stick with lots of coconut milk and coconut oil which contain decent amounts of medium chained triglycerides. Supplement with a high quality fish oil in enough amount to offset your LA intake.

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on March 18, 2011
at 10:54 AM

Omega6 wise grain fed cows should be "better" than chicken.

4bf5827bfb7df85c5b4b485db0945e64

(1386)

on March 18, 2011
at 08:58 AM

Just remember, broccoli and those kinds of vegetables are very low carbohydrate so it's possible to overdo protein, especially if you're not eating high fat. Also, there's things in sulfur containing veggies like broccoli and cauliflower that can upset the GI tract for certain individuals. I think they've been implicated to sometimes cause problems with people who have IBS. Try rotating out of those ones and try a difference class of veggies for a bit. Definitely cook all veggies very well until symptoms subside.

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on March 19, 2011
at 02:17 PM

"Omega6 wise, grain fed cows should be "better" than chicken." Hope this is better. What I meant was that beef, even grain fed, has lower Omega6 content than chicken (fat).

4bf5827bfb7df85c5b4b485db0945e64

(1386)

on March 18, 2011
at 09:04 AM

I just looked up some more info and I'd definitely try the digestive enzymes. Undigested material can cause significant GI irritation. Remember too that you're losing electrolytes consistently with your condition and it might be hard to stay hydrated. Again, a few different inflammatory conditions might shed some light on it (Crohn's, IBS, etc). Good luck. Hope it works out for you.

Da681d976130df15aac3984013aaad6d

(720)

on March 18, 2011
at 06:46 PM

Oh and the other issue for me is that I hate eating animal fat, it's just gross to me, so cooking in tallow or eating hunks of beef fat isn't going to happen. I'm forcing red meat as it is, I don't enjoy it at all. Crazy, I know. I'm happy to eat avocados and spoonfuls of coconut oil though. Seems like this lifestyle goes against what I really just simply enjoy, vegetarian food and fish, but for obvious reasons I'm doing this but I'm not really enjoying it!

Da681d976130df15aac3984013aaad6d

(720)

on March 18, 2011
at 06:41 PM

I am so confused. What would be considered high fat? And I thought the whole point was to lose the carby stuff that effects insulin from your diet. What am I missing? I'm just basing my info on the books I read. I know broccoli, etc can irritate bowels but I ate all that stuff before with grains, I had on and off problems but never like this. What's an Omega6 wise grain fed cow? And I thought omega 6 was something to avoid, or at least lower intake. I'm going to drive myself crazy with this stuff. Thanks for the input!!

1
Cbda678b2a6bf0537d8c4ea0ce8aa9ad

(4319)

on March 18, 2011
at 08:20 AM

Don't know what "unfortunate stool" means. Maybe your stool is less quantity and harder to pass than usual. This is normal on the changeover, especially when it is brusque as yours seems to have been. I did exactly the same and had stool problems for at least a month until my body adapted.

I'm an hombre, but believe me I know PMS from the other side. My thinking is that you cannot trust your thoughts and emotions at those times. Wait a few days to see if you feel the same. Our hormones can really affect our ways of seeing the world.

Da681d976130df15aac3984013aaad6d

(720)

on March 18, 2011
at 06:51 PM

Nope, don't use stevia or any other artificial stuff. Avoiding sugar and honey but maybe it would help, again, I stress that this is all so confusing and so many different opinions and information. Maddening!

Da681d976130df15aac3984013aaad6d

(720)

on March 18, 2011
at 08:25 AM

Ha, unfortunate means unformed and a mess, essentially diarrhea all the time, the exact opposite of my former grain eating self.

Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7304)

on March 19, 2011
at 12:13 AM

Beastie girl were you using truvia or stevia with any erythritol or xylitol? Sugar alcohols can cause gut flora depopulation.

344102b6bc599c7c3f1f58ca0ac29513

(451)

on March 18, 2011
at 10:56 AM

I've had really bad issues with diarrhoea these past few months. I've discovered that it's stevia that's caused the problems! Do you use stevia or other artificial sweetners at all? If so, cut them out now and add in a little honey. It can't hurt to raise your carbs a little, either. A few more carbs and taking probiotics has really improved my moods. I used to be quite flat, not miserable, just meh. But fruit and a teaspoon of honey in my coffee each day, plus probiotics has given me my joy back!

0
91c2e2a35e578e2e79ce7d631b753879

on March 18, 2011
at 03:12 PM

Some of your symptoms, such as the anxiety and fatigue, indicate a thyroid problem. Have you had it checked? Large amounts of cruciferous vegetables can exacerbate a hypoactive thyroid.

Da681d976130df15aac3984013aaad6d

(720)

on March 18, 2011
at 06:20 PM

I have had it checked many many times, the fatigue is an old story before going paleo, the paleo seemed to up my energy at first so it's odd it's gone back, but yeah maybe I'll cut back the kale though I love it and it's good for me.

0
E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on March 18, 2011
at 01:46 PM

More calories, carbs, saturated animal fats, bone broth, organs, egg yolks

less muscle meats, chicken, plant fats, cruciferous greens

0
24fcc21452ebe39c032be6801d6bbadd

(9812)

on March 18, 2011
at 01:25 PM

I don't seem to have this issue, but some folks have GI distress from eating fruit soon before or with other foods; fruit timing might be something to experiment with. Good luck! :)

0
84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on March 18, 2011
at 11:17 AM

I would ditch flax oil ASAP. High PUFA Omega-6 content and not as much Omega 3 as one might think (ALA mostly, conversion to DHA/EPA ain't that great).

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on March 19, 2011
at 02:11 PM

Benefits of "omega 3" come mostly from DHA/EPA fatty acid. Flax Oil is high in ALA (also Omega 3 fatty acid) which converts rather badly to DHA/EPA. So yeah, away it goes ;) http://www.marksdailyapple.com/flax-prostate-cancer-risk/

Da681d976130df15aac3984013aaad6d

(720)

on March 18, 2011
at 06:55 PM

But I thought flax was high in omega 3, isn't it? Confused, again.

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!