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

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Old 01-08-2011, 12:59 PM   #1
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Default Primal/paleo - what is/isn't it?

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
Everyday Paleo - wonderful recipes here
More yummy healthy recipes here
Mark Sisson's forum - my introduction to primal/paleo
Gary Taubes breaks down the science of it
Whole30 - the 30 day challenge I'm doing in January 2011, after having eaten primal/paleo for eight months
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Old 01-08-2011, 01:08 PM   #2
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Hm, how does the chocolate get in there?

Jay
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Old 01-08-2011, 01:46 PM   #3
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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!

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Hm, how does the chocolate get in there?

Jay
I'm assuming it would have to be 85%-95% cacao.
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Old 01-08-2011, 02:18 PM   #4
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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*

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Old 01-08-2011, 02:51 PM   #5
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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".
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Old 01-08-2011, 03:34 PM   #6
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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.
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Old 01-08-2011, 04:28 PM   #7
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I don't care how far back you go, my ancestors did not eat cacao beans!

Jay
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Old 01-08-2011, 08:30 PM   #8
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Jay, the Paleo or Primal Blueprint has an 80/20 principal:
Quote:
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 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....
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Old 01-08-2011, 09:56 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ilene View Post
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.
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Eat clean -- I've been primal/paleo since May 2010 Click here for more on how I feel.
Move everyday-- options - walking, biking, dvds - Jillian Michael's, pilates, or yoga
Get plenty of sleep - everything else will be easier when I do this![/color]

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Old 01-08-2011, 10:06 PM   #10
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Quote:
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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....
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Old 01-09-2011, 09:34 AM   #11
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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?
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Old 01-09-2011, 11:26 AM   #12
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My responses are in blue...

Quote:
Originally Posted by srmb60 View Post
Not completely against the grain (good pun!).

Yeah, I'm a goofball

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!
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Eat clean -- I've been primal/paleo since May 2010 Click here for more on how I feel.
Move everyday-- options - walking, biking, dvds - Jillian Michael's, pilates, or yoga
Get plenty of sleep - everything else will be easier when I do this![/color]

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Old 01-09-2011, 11:49 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martinimouse View Post
... 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.
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Eat clean -- I've been primal/paleo since May 2010 Click here for more on how I feel.
Move everyday-- options - walking, biking, dvds - Jillian Michael's, pilates, or yoga
Get plenty of sleep - everything else will be easier when I do this![/color]

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Old 01-09-2011, 12:13 PM   #14
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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.
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Old 01-09-2011, 01:05 PM   #15
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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!!!!!!
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Eat clean -- I've been primal/paleo since May 2010 Click here for more on how I feel.
Move everyday-- options - walking, biking, dvds - Jillian Michael's, pilates, or yoga
Get plenty of sleep - everything else will be easier when I do this![/color]
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