Paleo people - I have some Qs for you.

(56 Posts)
JimmyCorkhill Sun 20-Oct-13 16:42:08

I have read Gary Taubes 'The Diet Delusion' and spent many an hour reading the success stories on 'Mark's Daily Apple' site. I really like the sound of this way of eating and did give it a sort of go before I got pregnant. I'm currently doing Slimming World because I know it works for me but I am eating loads of carbs and eek sweeteners. I want to become primal once I am happy with my weight because I want to get away from the diet = weight loss idea and move to a diet = energy way of life.

So, my questions are:
1) If processed carbs/sugars are responsible for weight gain, how come some people can happily eat this way and stay slim? (Not talking about exercise addicts/people who track their food)

2) In 'The Diet Delusion' it basically said to stop eating processed foods but on here and other sites I see people counting their carb intake. Is this just a hangover from doing diets? I want to stop all this counting malarkey and just eat.

3) Does anyone eat this way successfully in Britain with a young family?

Thank you smile

goodasitgets Sun 20-Oct-13 19:30:30

I don't have a young family but I do have a shift work job, a horse and a busy exercise routine!
I don't count carbs at all I literally just eat. And not always 100% paleo/primal blushblush
I've noticed the longer I eat this way, the more my portion control has become natural, and also that I don't really get hungry

JimmyCorkhill Sun 20-Oct-13 19:33:56

That sounds much busier than my family!!

I like the fact it has become natural to you. I want to get off this diet bandwagon.

Are you buying really decent meat or shopping from supermarkets?

goodasitgets Sun 20-Oct-13 19:41:25

Depends what I can afford tbh. I decided if I can't afford good meat if rather eat supermarket meat and veg than processed stuff
Today hasn't been great as not hungry but I'm food prepping for 3 night shifts at work
Made chicken marinated in lemon, olive oil and herbs, roasted veg with chipotle seasoning and sweet potato mash with butter
It's changed my body shape completely and I'm not longer hypoglycaemic which is a brilliant change
The best tip I got was shop the outside of supermarkets - all the crap is in the middle!

JimmyCorkhill Sun 20-Oct-13 19:44:18

That food sounds lush.

When I tried it before I got pregnant (then ate for 12!!) I was drinking lots of coffee with cream which filled me up. I'm guessing this is a no no? grin

So if you aren't 100% you don't get mad cravings for carbs when you eat them?

goodasitgets Sun 20-Oct-13 19:47:42

I still have tea with milk! And yes the odd coffee with cream. I had pizza last night as my cheat meal and there were 3 slices left. Chucked them this morning and had boiled eggs for breakfast
I can kind of take or leave it now. Like I said I'm not mega strict but I try to keep 90% clean eating
When I do eat stuff like chocolate (pmt week!) I've noticed I seem to balance the rest of my food intake without focusing on it

goodasitgets Sun 20-Oct-13 19:48:52

When I was pregnant (not a continued pregnancy) I realised what cravings were grin
All I ate was marmite on toast and bitter lemon with extra lemon in (wasn't sour enough without) hmm

JimmyCorkhill Sun 20-Oct-13 20:18:58

That's good to know that you can have 'cheat' meals and not undo all your hard work cutting out carbs.

I always struggle when I'm asked out to people's houses for lunch/dinner (only ever happens when I'm on a diet confused). So if you can have that as a cheat meal it won't cause problems.

Thanks for your answers smile.

goodasitgets Sun 20-Oct-13 20:23:16

Yeah definitely. Think the key is to pick what you actually want to eat and not just have it for the sake of it. So if the main was something and chips and the pudding was chocolate sponge, I'd not have the chips but I would eat the pudding!

Wiifitmama Sun 20-Oct-13 20:37:06

I have just finished Mark's Daily Apple 21 day challenge. I have been eating low carb on and off for the last 14 years (advised to by a fertility specialist who diagnosed me with PCOS and insulin resistance - very forward thinking in those days). I yoyo'd up and down with each of three pregnancies, gaining vast amount back each time I came off. 3 years ago, I went back to low carb and lost 110 pounds in a year and a half. I have been maintaining for a year and a half, but somehow around a year ago got sucked into the whole calorie counting thing. So although I was low carb, I was counting calories and staying low fat too. I got into a cycle of gaining half a stone and losing it again (always staying just within healthy BMI) and not being able to stick with it long and then binging. I decided to go Primal to break the bad habits. For me, that included also going dairy free.

So, 21 days of eating when I want to, whatever I want to so long as it is primal, and I have dropped the half stone and changed body shape already. I am loving not counting anything and just eating good varied food. On calorie counting I made separate meals for me than the Rest of the family as I kep my food very restricted to things I knew the count of. Now I cook a much more varied diet for everyone and we eat together. I just include ride, pasta or potatoes for them alongside the meat and veggies that we all eat. It has been very freeing, very delicious, and a real revelation.

To give you an idea of what I eat...

Breakfast for me is always eggs. Usually three eggs scrambled. On calorie counting I skipped breakfast. I also drink a black coffee. On calorie counting, I would just have a massive latte.

Lunch is usually a vegetable soup that I make in a big batch at the weekend so I can just heat a bowl for lunch. I am often out and about and can take some in a thermos. I always eat some protein too. Leftover chicken etc.

Dinner is a whole family meal. So much variety. Tonight we had slow cooked pork belly ribs, roast celariac (and roast potatoes for everyone else too) and green beans. The other night was a roast chicken with a side of chinese stir fried cabbage with rice for the family. Etc etc.

I snack on nuts once a day and also have a couple of black coffees and some herbal teas.

Wiifitmama Sun 20-Oct-13 20:39:29

Forgot to say that eating out is easy. Just chose the meat option without the carby bits. I had a fab meal out with a friend the other night at Jamie's Italian any I had pork belly and salad. Very yummy. At people's houses I just try to be polite and eat the meat and veggies. The biggest problem is if you are only offered something like sandwiches.

misscph1973 Sun 20-Oct-13 20:48:09

You shouldn't need to wait with going Paleo/Primal untill you are at the weight you are. If you eat low carb, the weight loss should follow, unless you stuff yourself silly, that is.

We started Paleo as a family just over a year ago. It's going very well now, although there has been some bumps along the road. We did it gradually with the kids (now 6 and 8) and they are doing great.

I also do a bit of intermittent fasting (skip breakfast twice a week) and that keep my weight and PMS in check.

I did count carbs and calories in the beginning to be sure I was eating what I should.

I can thoroughly recommend Paleo. It's enjoyable and improves your health.

JimmyCorkhill Mon 21-Oct-13 15:52:07

Great answers - thank you! I especially like the bit about just providing carbs as an add on for the rest of the family. I have been considering the 21 day challenge - might get it from Amazon. Thanks again smile.

PinkCustard Mon 21-Oct-13 21:00:58

I've just ordered a copy jimmy as I've been interested in paleo for ages but have struggled to get going properly with it. Maybe this will sort me out..?!

JimmyCorpseHell Tue 22-Oct-13 08:07:26

Good luck PinkCustard!

PinkCustard Tue 22-Oct-13 12:31:15

Thanks, although I'm very good at ordering books, reading them and agreeing with them in's the following them part that I seem to struggle with blush. I'm hoping that the step-by-step element might make things a bit easier, I'll report back once the book has arrived if you like?

JimmyCorpseHell Tue 22-Oct-13 12:36:37

Yes please. I know what you mean about being great at research but not moving on eyes bookcase full of 'great ideas'

BerylsDailyKumquat Sun 27-Oct-13 08:48:30

Book has arrived (this is Pinkcustard with a name change!). Have only just started it but liking it so far. I've got 3 occasions planned for the next 2 weeks which involve booze and eating out so I had intended to get started after these were out of the way, but I've already started making some healthy changes.

JimmyCorpseHell Sun 27-Oct-13 21:52:59

Keep updating! I am very impressed grin

BerylsDailyKumquat Mon 28-Oct-13 17:58:57

The book makes it sound much more do-able, and less complicated\strict than I had expected. I've already given up grains, so that's a big step already done, my next is to eliminate sugar!! This will be a really tricky one for me...

My plan is to finish reading the book, and then pick a date to start the 21 day challenge (once my weekend away and birthday are out of the way, over the next 2 weeks). I'm definitely going to give it a good, committed go though - will you be joining me..??!

JimmyCorpseHell Mon 28-Oct-13 20:03:24

There's a challenge grin.
D'you know, I really do want to do it as I have been reading all the success stories/testimonials on the Mark Sisson/Robb Wolf sites non stop for days.
The only thing stopping me is really stupid blush. We are being treated to Christmas dinner at a restaurant this year and I'm really looking forward to it. I was thinking that would be my last hurrah and I could eat primally (sp?) in the New Year....

BerylsDailyKumquat Mon 28-Oct-13 20:33:10

Or you could 'go primal' upto Christmas, then treat yourself to the day off..? I'm really inspired by the success stories too - I don't need to lose much weight but I would love a flat, toned stomach! <quite keen on the health benefits of course though too...>

JimmyCorpseHell Tue 29-Oct-13 09:20:51

That's a good idea. Or at the least I could cut out as much highly processed food as I can in preparation. Our cupboards are bare so this would be a good time to stop filling them with rubbish!

BerylsDailyKumquat Tue 29-Oct-13 12:58:41

Yes, and it will be nice to have a splurge event to look forward to (and Christmas is far away enough for you to make a good impact with change of lifestyle before then).

Whilst I'm going to be mega strict for the 21 days, I think it's unrealistic to think that I'm never going to have treats etc now and again. I just need a drastic change, so I can alter my eating habits from having sugary treats all day every day, to being ok with having them every once in a while. At the moment that seems quite hard to imagine...

RawCoconutMacaroon Tue 29-Oct-13 20:19:19

Do it NOW OP smile.

Christmas dinner can be a "day off", why delay?

You need to be careful about "cheats", Don't do it at all for the first 4 weeks, and be cautious after that - some people can cope with having the odd day totally off plan, and some people really can't, any increase in carbs (especially grain carbs which increase appetite and give you cravings), is problematic for them.

Good luck!

JimmyCorpseHell Wed 30-Oct-13 13:57:09

Ha ha, I'm running out of excuses aren't I?!!

I suppose that as a 'day off' a roast dinner isn't that bad carb wise.

How's it going Beryl?

BerylsDailyKumquat Wed 30-Oct-13 15:04:13

I may just have bought myself a giant white Toblerone blush but in my defence I have decided that d-day is going to be Sunday 10th November for the start of my 21 day challenge!! That means I can get parties etc out of the way, and be ready to give it 100%. So I'm allowing myself some treats now in anticipation of 3 weeks of misery wink

What have you decided Jimmy?

BerylsDailyKumquat Wed 30-Oct-13 15:13:48

By the way, my initial 'challenge' will consist of : No grains, no sugar (!!), no processed food, and no alcohol. I will be allowing fruit and some starchy veg to begin with, as otherwise I'll never cope. I'll see how I go with that, but would then hopefully aim to reduce starches and limit fruit.

BerylsDailyKumquat Wed 30-Oct-13 18:51:38

Hmmm although maybe it's best to eliminate all fruit and starches at the beginning, to kick the habit...think I'd better finish the book and see what Mark tells me to do wink

JimmyCorkhill Fri 01-Nov-13 08:41:51

grin @ 'better finish the book'!!

Hope you enjoyed your white Toblerone - I'm all for the 'last hurrahs'!

Okay, my thought process:

I have paid for Slimming World up till the end of the year, although that actually doesn't mean I can't do this, or some version of this.

We are poor. So on the one hand I think of how much we will save on junk, on the other I worry about being able to afford good (ish) meat.

I am knackered (non sleeping baby). A massive reason to do this but I'm worried about having to create my meals from scratch.

I don't know how to deal with eating at other people's houses. Do you just let that meal go, or do you undo all your hard work if that happens?

RawCoconutMacaroon Fri 01-Nov-13 13:19:25

Jimmy, there is no doubt about it, a nice bit of meat is more expensive than a processed, carb "enriched" meal, but there are ways to keep the cost down.

Buy a (large, 6ltr) slow cooker, you can batch cook cheaper cuts of meat in them, and they are much cheaper to run than an ordinary oven. Ignore the instructions that come with them that say everything needs covered in water- add only a very small amount or none at all!

Things like hock, or stewing steak, or brisket are good in the slow cooker.

Frozen New Zealand lamb joints, portions and mince are really good value too.

Eggs are also a good, cheap source of protein and fat.

JimmyCorkhill Fri 01-Nov-13 15:31:49

Thanks Raw. I hadn't even heard of some of those joints before blush

I don't know what's stopping me really. I totally believe the science behind this way of eating.

SolidGold Sat 02-Nov-13 18:34:57

Jimmy, I'm watching your thread, as I'd like to get away from dieting and counting anything. I'm trying Paleo, because I react to gluten and I think dairy. I've tried low carb, but found it very restrictive. I could do with losing half a stone, but more than anything want to stop worrying about what I eat and just eat when I'm hungry.

JimmyCorkhill Sun 03-Nov-13 19:06:08

I'm going to read my Gary Taubes 'The Diet Delusion' book again (eek - it's massive and full of hard words!) to remind me of the science.

I'm also very drawn to this site 100 Days of Real Food as it seems to be a less intensive move from eating crap to eating no processed food.

BerylsDailyKumquat Sat 09-Nov-13 16:09:50

Well I'm all set to start tomorrow, although I have been making some gradual changes recently too. I've been rereading my copy of The Perfect Health Diet, which is basically paleo but with a bit more fruit and allows rice and potatoes. That's what I'll be aiming for - no grains, so sugar, no processed crap. Wish me luck...!!

RawCoconutMacaroon Sat 09-Nov-13 16:23:10

Good luck! smile

JimmyCorkhill Sat 09-Nov-13 18:31:15

Good luck smile
Keep us posted!

BerylsDailyKumquat Sun 10-Nov-13 20:34:10

Struggling! Was doing really well, had eggs for breakfast then tuna mayo salad for lunch, but then stupidly had a slice of birthday cake, then went out to some fireworks where I had some treacle toffee blush then a glass of wine offered by the host - I'm clearly officially crap!!

JimmyCorkhill Thu 21-Nov-13 11:36:48

Oh no, it's early days. You're bound to make slip ups until you get used to it. Have you stuck it out or given up?

saragossa2010 Fri 22-Nov-13 15:48:27

This is how people in the UK ate, even people on low incomes before processed foods came along. Herrings were a staple for many. So were kippers and other fish, onions, liver etc etc. This was how people ate before most people got fat. Sadly they probably did quite a bit of skipping meals/intermittent fasting when money rang out before Friday too.

On this
"So, my questions are:
1) If processed carbs/sugars are responsible for weight gain, how come some people can happily eat this way and stay slim? (Not talking about exercise addicts/people who track their food)"

Whatever you eat if you eat fewer calories than you expend you don't put on weight. There are plenty of Parisians living on cigarettes, coffee and chocolate. It doesn't make you happy or healthy but some keep their weight down in those ways. Not good for them but they do.

"2) In 'The Diet Delusion' it basically said to stop eating processed foods but on here and other sites I see people counting their carb intake. Is this just a hangover from doing diets? I want to stop all this counting malarkey and just eat."

I don't count anything. I just eat normal foods or what I regard as normal (i.e not processed foods).

"3) Does anyone eat this way successfully in Britain with a young family?"
Yes, it is how most families ate until 50 y ears ago. In WWII people grew their food and bred rabbits for meat and no sugar was to be had. It is how man has eaten for millions of years. As for the cost issue many people eat much more than they should . If you don't eat out and avoid coffee bars and other places that burn through your money, it's not that expensive. Plenty of people if they are lucky enough to get an allotment grow their own veg and you can pick up veg quite cheaply. We eat a lot of raw swede for example. A roast chicken can last quite a few meals. Toddlers and babies eat what they are given so those with a young family find it easiest of anyone to have the family eat like this. It is teenagers used to junk food who are harder to change.
If you drink only tap water as I do you save a lot of money too. No tea or coffee or alcohol. Again after world war II plenty of families had only tea as coffee was too expensive and no one ever had wine as it cost too much. We forget how much we now have that is taken for granted which never used to be regarded as essential.

SeeYouNT Fri 22-Nov-13 15:55:49

this is really interesting, my friend does paleo and swears by it

i am thinking of trying it but am 19 weeks pregnant atm so will wait till after babys born.

RawCoconutMacaroon Fri 22-Nov-13 18:16:41

Seeyou, why delay? There is even MORE reason to eat some form of paleo/low carb now you are pregnant! Ditching the high carb processed stuff now and eating really well will be a great start for your baby, and breast milk from mothers on a grain free low carb diet has been shown to be nutritionally superior (because almost by default if you cut out grains and lower carbs, your diet will have more fats, protein and vitamins). I have been pregnant (at age 42!) and bf while eating this way.

The way we (society) eat today is neither healthy or natural - so don't be afraid to make changes now if you want to!

I should be on commission for mark Sissons, grin, once again I'm recommending his free blog "Marks Daily Apple" as a good, sensible and well written source if information - I'm pretty sure if you look on the blogs archive section he has written a number of articles about pregnancy, bf and child weaning (his articles usually link to scientific papers on each subject too).

Congratulations on your pregnancy!

SeeYouNT Fri 22-Nov-13 18:25:05

thanks rawcoconut

do you have any links?

giraffeseatpineapples Fri 22-Nov-13 18:55:50

Hi not specifically paleo but this obstetrician reccomends excluding wheat and sugar. I used the book a bit in pregnancy it is a bit airy fairy but shows that you could adopt some aspects of paleo during pregnancy, possibly with benefits

RawCoconutMacaroon Fri 22-Nov-13 20:45:26

Not sure if this will live link from my phone, but the archive on his website is searchable, if you search "pregnancy" "breast feeding" or whatever else you are interested in, you'll find lots of good info. The above article is really good.

RawCoconutMacaroon Fri 22-Nov-13 20:48:09

sad,I suck at tech! I really must get one of my DC to show me how to link from iPhone...

JimmyCorkhill Fri 22-Nov-13 22:13:12

Here it is

Thanks Saragossa2010, so true about portion size and wine hides glass behind laptop.

Rollermum Fri 22-Nov-13 22:28:11

I'm very sold on paleo / primal but struggle with dieting behaviour as an overhang of years of diets!

I really recommend Well Fed and Well Fed 2 - paleo recipes that are lovely. Much nicer and more doable than Mark Sisson's cookbooks. Also Well Fed has a great batch cooking method which actually works.

I am transitioning to paleo slowly - as breastfeeding and don't want to do anything drastic. I aim to do a Whole 30 at some point. The Whole 30 approach is strict but that suits me more at first when battling cravings. I tend to bend the 80 / 20 rule too far!

Good luck!

BerylsDailyKumquat Sat 23-Nov-13 17:22:08

Jimmy I haven't completely given up, but then again I haven't been overly successful either! I just can't shake off the sugar cravings - I do ok(ish) during the week, but then Friday night arrives and I feel I deserve a treat so the wine, chocolate and snacks come out! I know that I really need to give it a proper go in order to get over the cravings and kick the sugar properly...but it's easier said than done in my case. How do other people manage it??

saragossa2010 Sun 24-Nov-13 08:57:23

If you want to get rid of sugar cravings there are various ways and it will take a few days:-
1. Don't have those foods in the house
2. Force yourself to have 3 healthy meals a day and have your sugar snacks after meals (radiantrecovery website has tips on this) then later ditch the after meal sugars. Try not to have snacks.
3. Get to bed early
4. Perhaps try chronimum tablets and glutamine powder in water which supposedly stops sugar cravings although I am not a great fan of unnatural powders.

Once you are off sugar you can stay off as it's just a habit.

other sites worth looks at are paleohacks and also reddit keto - put those terms into google and they will come up (and mark's daily apple as mentioned above).

In coming off sugar don't try to reduce calories or fast. Start with 3 regular healthy meals with lots of good animal fat. Fat is actually the key for those who want to lose weight and eat well too - animal fat stops you snacking on other things. It's a magic formula. It is quite hard to get very fatty bacon and meat these days as all the shops market their low fat products and cut it off.

RawCoconutMacaroon Sun 24-Nov-13 09:54:11

What sargasso said - eat fat, reduce sugar cravings.

Also, you may (initially at least) need to cut carbs very low, to level your blood sugar and allow your metabolism to get off the carb-insulin spike-blood sugar crash-craving-carb... Roundabout.

If you are eating enough fat/calories and still having intense cravings, try cutting carbs to 20g or less total carbs for 5days to a week. And be warned, you are likely to get "carb flu", a few days of withdrawal symptoms, but at the end of that, you should not be craving sweet carby foods. You can then increase veg and fruit carbs a bit, to find your tolerance (how much you can eat before it starts to affect your blood sugar in such a way that it sets off the craving cycle). Unless you are very active, that is likely to be under 100g total carbs a day - for weight loss I'd suggest a target of around 70g a day or less.

There is no need to count carbs once you get going, but initially it's a good idea to learn what a portion of say, 5g or 10g carb of different foods looks like.

BerylsDailyKumquat Sun 24-Nov-13 16:56:46

Thanks for the tips - I'm resuming my efforts as of tomorrow...Attempting sugar cold turkey!

JimmyCorkhill Mon 25-Nov-13 13:25:54

Hope it's going well Beryl wink

BerylsDailyKumquat Mon 25-Nov-13 17:34:19

Argghhh! Due to a totally unexpected surprise event beyond my control (my lovely friends whisked me out for a belated birthday treat which involved pink champagne and afternoon cream tea!!) my start date has been rescheduled to tomorrow blush Although I think today's indulgence was a lovely way to mark the occasion!

I'm a little bit confused about potatoes - are they ok or not??

RawCoconutMacaroon Tue 26-Nov-13 07:13:56

Potato- well, it depends. If you are slim, active and don't react to them (joint pains, stomach pain or bloat), then probably ok in small amounts.

BUT, no not at this stage! You need to cut them out (and pretty much all starchy carbs), at first, and turn a few months down the line you can experiment with adding things back into your diet.

Good luck today!

BerylsDailyKumquat Tue 26-Nov-13 09:01:53

Thanks. I am slim and quite active, and am reading The Perfect Health Diet (which has a foreword by Mark Sissons) and they say potatoes are healthy and fine. I might try small amounts and see how I get on. Have had a cold, left over spanish omelette for breakfast and am just off to a Step class now - am feeling positive and determined this morning smile

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