Carb Counters - Primal/paleo - what is/isn't it?




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walking2lose
01-08-2011, 12:59 PM
Can you add to the list? Please do!

I feel like I'm coming out of the closet... here goes nothing:



WHAT THE PALEO/PRIMAL LIFESTYLE IS AND WHAT IT IS NOT:

It is not about eating raw meat!!!!

It's eating whole, clean foods -- meats (grassfed if possible), vegetables, fruits, fats.

It's not eating grains and sugary foods.

It's not eating heavily processed foods.

It's eating a little good quality dark chocolate for a treat.

It's not being scared to eat fat.

It's walking, lifting heavy things, being active.

It's not killing yourself with excessive cardio exercise.

It's about never feeling bloated or gassy (sorry if that's TMI, but it's been one of the biggest changes for me).

It's NOT being hungry!!!! (which I always was when calorie counting or doing WW)

It's about not weighing my food or counting calories.

It's about total health - sleep, managing stress, play... not just about food.

It's about lowering cholesterol and having better overall health.

It's about clearing up skin that is prone to breakouts.

It's figuring out what works for me and tweaking it.

It's about feeling better than I've felt in many years (I'm about to turn 43).

Favorite sites:
Robb Wolf (http://robbwolf.com/)
Everyday Paleo (http://everydaypaleo.com/) - wonderful recipes here
More yummy healthy recipes here (http://www.primal-palate.com/)
Mark Sisson's forum (http://www.marksdailyapple.com/)- my introduction to primal/paleo
Gary Taubes (http://www.amazon.com/Why-We-Get-Fat-Borzoi/dp/0307272702/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1294505626&sr=8-1) breaks down the science of it
Whole30 (http://whole9life.com/2010/10/whole-30-v3/) - the 30 day challenge I'm doing in January 2011, after having eaten primal/paleo for eight months


JayEll
01-08-2011, 01:08 PM
Hm, how does the chocolate get in there? :chin:

Jay

Emme
01-08-2011, 01:46 PM
My sister follows paleo eating and she loves it because it's all natural. She's dropped 50 pounds and says she feels better than ever. I give you props to both of you for doing it -- I don't have the discipline to follow it!

Hm, how does the chocolate get in there? :chin:

Jay

I'm assuming it would have to be 85%-95% cacao.


martinimouse
01-08-2011, 02:18 PM
Paleo has changed quite a bit since I was first involved in it. It is not as defined as say, Atkins is when it comes to a diet based on reducing carbs. It has redefined the boundaries to include more modern foods and tastes.

It is an excellent diet and yet it all depends on whether one is trying to emulate as closely as possible a diet that our ancestors ate in the same food ratios or whether the preference is to get involved in finding unprocessed, grass fed, organic types of food. It also depends on how much high carb natural food is eaten, fruits, roots and so on as to whether low carb benefits are being utilized that were very much a part of the ongoing health of our ancestors prior to the introduction of grains into the diet.

Chocolate was not part of a diet of a hunter gatherer. I still have trouble seeing modern food in a paleo diet, but then I left the paleo group because of the "purists" that always fussed over minute details of a correct diet, when in reality there are only theories as to what people ate and how much so very long ago.

*shrug*

srmb60
01-08-2011, 02:51 PM
I'm not even sure they're purists. I think they use the anonymity of the internet to belittle and correct others ... ya know? show their smarts ... real and imagined.

It's been almost a year since I've read Primal Blueprint and I never did get all the way through whatever Paleo book I had. Like almost every other diet/food plan I've ever tried, this one has evolved. But I've always believed that real food is better ... the less processing a food goes through is better ... the less stuff added to foods, the better.
I've read and experimented extensively. (I'm old ok?) I now have no doubt that fast carbs and grains are not good for us.
For me it's pretty simple and I'm never going to get a publishing contract with "eat real food, move yourself and lift something".

Arkansas Kel
01-08-2011, 03:34 PM
I'm with you srmb60 - KISS (Keep it simple stupid). Go unprocessed (my SIL calls it "as grown") and as close to nature as you can, move, lift and I also believe it includes play. Sort of enriches your life instead of limiting it to TV, fast food, junk food, and the couch - like we limit ourselves habitually.

I've done this way of thinking for almost a week and have developed a natural habit with the food already. Hope to do the same with movement after just a little more weight loss. My knee swells and both knees and hips hurt from my excess wt, so although I am postponing it on movement just a tad, I'll get it in there.

JayEll
01-08-2011, 04:28 PM
I don't care how far back you go, my ancestors did not eat cacao beans! :lol:

Jay

Ilene
01-08-2011, 08:30 PM
Jay, the Paleo or Primal Blueprint has an 80/20 principal (http://www.marksdailyapple.com/remember-the-80-20-principle/): The central point of the 80/20 Principle is this: if you’re eating fully Primal 80% of the time, the other 20% offers room for well-intentioned but practical choices when we can’t be Primal or choose not to be for a variety of personal reasons. Maybe it’s the limited options for an impromptu business lunch. Maybe it’s a family get-together. Whatever the context, our Primal lenses learn to seek out the most Primal option. Nonetheless, we hardly live in a hunter-gatherer world anymore. Sometimes we do the best we can. Once in a while, we deliberately make concessions for a special occasion. Compromise, a serviceable centerpiece of life, also plays a purposeful role in the Primal Blueprint.This is where chocolate and wine :cheers: come in ... Thank goodness for that 80/20 and this is what I enjoy about this program...

I really enjoy eating this way and have been since January 2010 I don't miss grains, sugar, dairy, at all which is surprising to me because although I portion controlled my carbs, good and bad ones, I felt bloated and gassy a lot of the time....

walking2lose
01-08-2011, 09:56 PM
I really enjoy eating this way and have been since January 2010 I don't miss grains, sugar, dairy, at all which is surprising to me because although I portion controlled my carbs, good and bad ones, I felt bloated and gassy a lot of the time....

Ilene, that's exactly what I was trying to say! I must admit it that it was surprising too me to because it really went against the grain of how I ate for years. ;)

Ilene
01-08-2011, 10:06 PM
Ilene, that's exactly what I was trying to say! I must admit it that it was surprising too me to because it really went against the grain of how I ate for years. ;)It went completely against everything I believed in too....

srmb60
01-09-2011, 09:34 AM
Not completely against the grain (good pun!). Not long after successfully counting calories and losing I learned the importance of protein. Nice, real, natural protein. That's one of the things that I've known for a long time that was simply reinforced by the books and things I read.

On a further note wrt simple. It is so easy! What's for supper? Chose a meat and away ya go! Vegetables? Salad? Sauces?

walking2lose
01-09-2011, 11:26 AM
My responses are in blue...

Not completely against the grain (good pun!).

Yeah, I'm a goofball :D

Not long after successfully counting calories and losing I learned the importance of protein. Nice, real, natural protein. That's one of the things that I've known for a long time that was simply reinforced by the books and things I read.

So true, S. -- I, too, realized years ago that eating cereals (even my beloved oatmeal), breads, pasta -- even if prepared low cal and/or low fat -- tended to retain weight on me and make me puffy. But I truly believed the last few years that it was my creeping age that made it so tough to lose... not what I was eating (since I always thought I ate so healthy).

On a further note wrt simple. It is so easy! What's for supper? Chose a meat and away ya go! Vegetables? Salad? Sauces?

True again! I"m headed to Trader Joe's today - list is easy-peasy: lots of veg, meat, fruit, coffee, coconut milk, macademias, vanilla extract, few odds and ends - pretty basic. One of best parts, too, is feeling full for hours after meals... not chasing my eternal hunger any more ... actually feeding it. Had Asian Lettuce Wraps for dinner last night (sooo yummy) and didn't even need a snack before bed, and I'm a lifetime night time snacker - yay!

walking2lose
01-09-2011, 11:49 AM
... the preference is to get involved in finding unprocessed, grass fed, organic types of food. It also depends on how much high carb natural food is eaten, fruits, roots and so on as to whether low carb benefits are being utilized that were very much a part of the ongoing health of our ancestors prior to the introduction of grains into the diet.

Chocolate was not part of a diet of a hunter gatherer.


Hi Martinimouse - To clarify: the second goal you mention is much closer to my reason for shifting my eating to primal/paleo in the last 8-9 months. I'm not a cave woman living in 2011 -- hmm... paleolithic people didn't drink coffee or eat chocolate, so neither can I! That would just not work for me, and I just don't see the point, but I know there are fanatics who latch onto theories and lifestyles and take them to the extreme. I'm sorry to hear that some of those people have turned you off to paleo/primal.

My initial introduction was via books by well respected science/food writers. Two books especially changed the way I think about food and my (our) relationship to it. The first was Michael Pollan's Omnivore's Dilemma and the second was Gary Taube's Good Calories, Bad Calories (a super tough and scientific read - he has a new one called Why We Get Fat which explains the same concepts in a more "user friendly" way).

After reading both books, I had a much better idea of how I wanted and needed to eat. I then read Mark Sisson's Primal Blueprint. His ideas were practical, and I began applying them to my life about 8-9 months ago (paleo is a little stricter than primal - I sort of do my own blend of the two - but the general concepts are the same). The results on on my health (and my husband's) have been AMAZING, which is why I wrote this post initially.

Thanks for your response, and I hope you are still incorporating some of the concepts even though you don't like all of the messengers.

Pint Sized Terror
01-09-2011, 12:13 PM
That sounds like a normal healthy diet and lifestyle to me. :/ Well, besides the not eating grains part.

I mean, seriously, everything you listed (with the exception of NO grains) are the basics of any healthy diet and lifestyle. I don't see anything particularly special about it, imho.

walking2lose
01-09-2011, 01:05 PM
That sounds like a normal healthy diet and lifestyle to me. :/ Well, besides the not eating grains part.

I mean, seriously, everything you listed (with the exception of NO grains) are the basics of any healthy diet and lifestyle. I don't see anything particularly special about it, imho.

+1!!!!!! :carrot:

myyear
01-09-2011, 04:28 PM
I don't care for it.

I feel the human body was meant to adapt to various eating patterns. In fact I was reading a great article on an archeology blog (let me know if you want the link), dated 12/10, where they were discussing new finds about how Neanderthals liked sweets and ate carbs. They found dates and barley remnants stuck in teeth fossils.

So much for paleo not allowing dried fruits and grains!

I am following the ABS diet and love it. That said, I did give Paleo a try a while back. (As you can see, I am interested in archeology). It was extremely restrictive and just not for me.

Arkansas Kel
01-10-2011, 09:21 AM
To tell u the truth, I don't much care what a caveman ate - so much as I care that I get results with this WOE. And, the activity/lifestyle part is working for me. It's easy, it's working, and I feel better. Anyone can split all the hairs they want about what a caveman ate, I just know it works for me. Of course I'm slowly adopting more than just the eating, like I get up and dance around and such. So, as always, I don't believe one diet is the answer for all, but I wish all could find their answer.

Ilene
01-11-2011, 12:07 AM
I just came upon this site : Julianne's Paleo & Zone Nutrition Blog (http://paleozonenutrition.wordpress.com/) she reinforces my resolve to stick to this life style :yes: (not sure if someone has already posted this link yet, as I haven't gone through all of the sites posted above )

walking2lose
01-11-2011, 09:12 PM
I just came upon this site : Julianne's Paleo & Zone Nutrition Blog (http://paleozonenutrition.wordpress.com/) she reinforces my resolve to stick to this life style :yes: (not sure if someone has already posted this link yet, as I haven't gone through all of the sites posted above )

That's a great looking link, Ilene -- thanks! I just bookmarked to read later.

I'm feeling absolutely great this week - woot!!

kaplods
01-12-2011, 01:10 AM
When I read some of the paleo diet books and the anti-grain books (like Neanderthin, The Paleo Diet, The Paleolithic Prescription, Primal Blueprint, Against the Grain, Life Without Bread, and Cereal Killer) I was still skeptical about the anti-grain theory. Some of the books cited research implicating grains in autoimmune disease, but I assumed the information was biased (especially before I was diagnosed with autoimmune disease).

But after I was diagnosed with autoimmune disease, and started reading books on the subject and finding them also citing the anti-grain research and suggesting a Zone or lower carb diet for autoimmune disease, I started to consider the possibility that carbs and grains played a role in my own symptoms.


I couldn't easily unlearn 40 years of being taught that grains were the foundation of a healthy diet - what you were supposed to be eating the most of. I probably wouldn't have ever been convinced that grains can be problem foods, if I hadn't started experimenting and keeping a meticulous health journal and seen undeniably that grains (and to a lesser degree high carb foods in general) aggravated my autoimmune disease symptoms.

I had oily skin and acne breakouts all of my life. I also had significant rosacea that was beginning to scar my face with spider veins. I had deep pores on my nose created by chronic inflammation, and I'd flush in the stereotypical malar rash associated with lupus (another autoimmune disease) and rosacea (which is considered an overeactive immune response rather than an autoimmune one). I also had seborrheic dermatitis on my face, especially my nose and cheeks so bad that it would become an extremely ugly and painful impetigo like rash (the skin swelling so deeply it took on an orange-skin appearance, turned bright fuschia and would weep fluid and crust over into a weeping crusty rash that burned and itched like mad. I felt like I wanted to tear my skin off it hurt and itched so bad).

Giving up wheat and limiting grains dramatically improved my skin issues. My skin looks amazing as long as I eat no wheat and few grains, and keep my carb intake in the moderate to low levels. If I have to use my steroid cream, 9 times out of 10, it's because I ate wheat or very high carb.

For a while I even thought maybe some of my conclusions were coincidence - or a result of low-carb eating rather than low-grain eating, so I added back in small amounts of wheat and other carbs, and I learned that wheat was a major aggravator, but rice and corn didn't cause problems unless I ate quite a lot of them.

I knew I was onto something when my husband could tell when I had eaten wheat, or when I'd been eatingh high carb.

I still do eat some grains and grain-like foods. I prefer the non-grain grains like quinoa and buckwheat.

I do eat many modern foods, but because of my health issues, I've used my health journal to determine which foods don't agree with me. I've been trying to make more paleo-friendly choices, because I've learned that the foods paleo diets say to eliminate or limit are the ones that aggravate my health issues.

It's hard to discount the claims, when I've found them so true for myself. The more paleo foods I eat, and the less high-carb modern foods I do, the better my health has gotten. I just had a doctor's visit today and all of my lab results have been amazing. My doctor said "whatever you're doing, keep it up."

The only change he suggested was to drastically increase my Vitamin D intake. I'd been considering doing so myself because of what I'd read in the autoimmune research about the link between Vitamin D deficiency and autoimmune disease.

walking2lose
01-12-2011, 07:09 PM
Hi Colleen - I haven't talked to you around here for ages -- glad to "see" you!

That's extremely interesting to hear about your skin issues and how they've improved. I'm impressed with how you've pinpointed so many links to your health issues through journaling -I know that takes a lot of discipline. I haven't journaled per se since eating primal; I just know that I feel amazing, the weight has just come off, and so many other little issues (skin,sore joints, etc.) are better - it's wonderful!

My skin experience has been similar although my problems were more just run-of-the-mill acne and oily skin (the kind that doesn't even go away when you hit 40). It's been so clear since dropping grains and softer too. I regularly had rough dry patches on my cheeks along with break outs along my jawline or forehead. Not only have the zits cleared up, but the dry patches have too - skin is softer and nicer in general. I'm not sure if it's from gluten free or adding more fats to my diet-- I guess maybe a combination of both.

Thanks for sharing your perspective - very interesting.

saycindy
03-28-2011, 10:38 PM
Great thread!!! I have just had lots of blood work done which coincides with my recommitting to eating Paleo. My doc wants me to come back in 6 months to get a recheck since my Cholesterol is considered a bit high. No way to I want to be on meds for that. I think it will be interesting to see the results at that point.
I have to also add, my BIGGEST benefit to eating this way, I do not forage through my cupboards every night. I'd start this crazy routine after dinner like a crack addict, looking for my fix. No matter what and how much I ate, it was not what I was looking for. After about day 4 of strict Paleo, the problem was 90% solved. I have to just readjust my habit in my mind to get the 10% to go away.

souvenirdarling
03-29-2011, 09:19 AM
Initial Post - perfect, in my opinion.

Not eating grains, especially beans for me, is strange. It's also at conflict with a lot of conventional, common nutritional information I've heard all my life.

That said, from personal experimentation, so far, so good. Everyone's body is different :)

walking2lose
03-30-2011, 01:34 PM
+1 on not being so hungry... especially at night.

Souvenir - I grew up on beans (we ate meat maybe once a week), so I know exactly what you mean! However, once I got used to it, I am 100% fine without and don't miss them a bit.