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

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  • 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.
  • 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.
  • I just came upon this site : Julianne's Paleo & Zone Nutrition Blog she reinforces my resolve to stick to this life style (not sure if someone has already posted this link yet, as I haven't gone through all of the sites posted above )
  • Quote: I just came upon this site : Julianne's Paleo & Zone Nutrition Blog she reinforces my resolve to stick to this life style (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!!
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • +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.