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Any Paleo-eaters on Mumsnet?

(42 Posts)
megandraper Sat 09-Mar-13 13:26:39

Thinking about going (mainly) Paleo for our family (DH & I plus DCs age 5, 3 and 1). Two of our children are coeliac, so we're already gluten-free - main changes would be weaning ourselves off sugar, white flour, processed food etc. I see the biggest challenge as getting the kids to change what they eat (although we've already successfully managed one big change with the more to gf). Breakfast is the first target - the kids like g-f breakfast cereal, toast, pancakes etc. They do eat boiled eggs, so that's one alternative, but can't do that every day. Snacks will be the next on the list.

Would love to hear from anyone who is eating Paleo, especially with kids. Tips about good recipes would be great.

lljkk Sat 09-Mar-13 13:33:00

What would your DC eat for lunch every day at school?

megandraper Sat 09-Mar-13 14:21:13

My eldest (only one at school) has school lunches - they adapt them to be gluten-free. They would not be Paleo! But I think we can start at home, there is a lot we can do there before we look at the meals he eats elsewhere.

lljkk Sat 09-Mar-13 20:02:01

I am very impressed school has managed to rustle up gluten free for you.
Good luck with your journey.

looseleaf Sat 09-Mar-13 20:10:17

We did sort of start something similar after I bought an amazing book called Nourishing Traditions and it's really forced me back to basics with cooking in a good way. Our children are gluten free too .
My advice would be to not be perfectionist as you start out as for both a friend and I we took it quite seriously and it became stressful. We've both now reached a point where we have a balance of the diet we'd like to have (eg lots of veg soups in homemade chicken stock etc) to using gluten free bread (without preservatives when poss as I feel strongly about them) to make it all manageable.

Obtangle Sat 09-Mar-13 20:18:50

What's Paleo-eating?

I'm picturing chicken dinosaur shapes but I'm fairly sure the actual fact is far away from that......

Mooshbag Sat 09-Mar-13 20:21:54

I wanted to do it, but DP isn't keen. Loves his salami and chorizo type meat too much...

megandraper Mon 11-Mar-13 10:52:01

Mooshbag, would your DP go for biltong?

Obtangle - Paleo-eating is going back to how our hunter-gatherer ancestors ate - so eating grass-fed (not grain-fed) meat, fish, vegetables, nuts, seeds and fruit. No grains, legumes (beans/peas) dairy, refined sugar or processed food. Cutting food into dinosaur shapes is optional! (but would be popular with the DC...)

Iljkk - yes, we are lucky with school. It is small and everything is cooked on the premises. I take in some substitute ingredients (gf flour, bread, sausages etc.) They have a designated person who prepares the 'allergy meals' It seems to be working really well - there were a couple of slip-ups in the first week or two, but I think it has been safe since then.

Looseleaf, yes, I think not being too strict is key. I have decided I am not going to remove any of the foods that the DC like (potatoes, baked beans, sausages) until/unless I manage to wean them on to a wider variety of veg and meat. I did a roast dinner yesterday (they don't eat the gravy anyway) and DC1 ate roast sweet potato (as well as roast chicken, potato & carrots) which was a first (the other two turned up their noses at it though).

snoworneahva Tue 12-Mar-13 17:07:49

We have cut down on the amount of carbs we feed the kids but we are too keen on dairy to go Paleo.

Made them some lovely raspberry scones this morning - no wheat and only a small amount of honey....they scoffed them with double cream.

QueenofWhatever Wed 13-Mar-13 16:48:11

We've been doing the the Primal Blueprint which is paleo but realistic and backed up by evidence.

We started gradually and actually kept having porridge for breakfast for the first few weeks. But it gets easier, quicker and the benefits are great. I sleep better than I have down in years, my joint pains are going and DP has lost a stone (I've lost a quarter of a stone but not really looking to lose weight).

DD (8) still has normal school dinners but for breakfast, her and DP have chopped up fruit (apple, bananas etc.) with chopped up nuts and seeds with lots of full fat Greek yoghurt. I normally have scrambled eggs, bacon, tomatoes and mushrooms.

What has surprised me is how little we've (all of us) missed pasta, rice or bread. DP is vegetarian but DD and I eat meat. My appetite for alcohol has also really reduced. I like Mark Sisson's approach because it's 80/20 and he reckons dairy, some pulses etc. are OK. He's nearly 60, looks amazing and drinks red wine and eats cheese and chocolate daily.

There are lots and lots of recipes online, Pinterest is very good. I like the Primal Blueprint because it's more about an integrated lifestyle - reducing screen time, lots of walking, sunlight and sleeping.

megandraper Thu 14-Mar-13 08:38:01

Primal Blueprint looks very interesting, Queen, thank you, I will look at that more closely. It might be more achievable for us I think.

We have very limited screen time, walk to school and very regular bedtimes for the kids, so it sounds like the plan might fit us well. Particularly if you can eat cheese and chocolate every day!

MoreBeta Thu 14-Mar-13 08:50:25

Over the last 5 years I have gradually evolved my diet to something close to paleo by experimenting because I have severe gluten intolerance.

I obviously dont eat gluten grains at all but eat plenty of fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, eggs, lean meat and fish. No processed food at all.

I do eat white rice/buckwheat/potato flour which is not Paleo as I understand it but am thinking of moving more to ground whole grain rice/buckwheat flour and have been eating quinoa and whole gluten free oats for about a year now.

I very rarely drink fructose containing drinks but I break the alcohol rule at lunch times in moderation and have two cups of coffee in the morning only. Decaf tea or water the rest of the day. I do have some milk but it is lactose free.

My health has improved dramatically and I have lost about 20 lbs in weight.

MoreBeta Thu 14-Mar-13 08:56:27

Incidentally, my wife eats the same as me as she has had IBS type issues for a good number of years that have subsided a lot since she cut out gluten. The children are gradually moving towards our diet but there is no compulsion. DS2 expresses the strong desire not to eat much meat in his diet anyway.

I cook all our food from scratch so there is a fair bit of time and effort required but the result is clear in terms of my health. We never eat dinner in the evening and our main meal is lunch. Three meals a day is really not the way a Paleolithic human would have eaten. A long fast between meals is much more natural and allows the body systems to clear and process and rest.

megandraper Thu 14-Mar-13 10:19:39

Thanks Morebeta. I remember you from some threads about coeliac/gluten-free a year or so ago, when my son was first diagnosed. Lots of good advice there. We are strictly gluten-free (because of the coeliac) - and i have noticed a huge benefit, even though I am not coeliac.

I think I will be aiming to move gradually towards a more Paleo-type diet.
We eat a lot of potatoes, which is not Paleo, but I think I need to work on finding alternatives before I cut them out.

CalloftheHaunted Thu 14-Mar-13 22:19:26

I try to be but biscuits and puddings keep falling into my mouth. It's easier in the summer as it's simple enough to cook meat and prepare a side salad.

Breakfast I would do bacon & scrambled eggs or Greek yoghurt with berries and seeds. Tesco used to do cereal toppers, which were great on greek yoghurt, and I think were fairly paleo.

Snacks were seeds, nuts, dark chocolate, beef jerky, dried apple and cheese. Graze boxes are OK although can be sugary and £££ over time

Main meals something like, but without the rice and up the greens. I'm not too strict and if something catches my eye that may have rice, pulses or lentils in it as an ingredient I will still serve/eat it as long as the meal on the whole is fairly low carb.

The children do have cereal for breakfast and a wrap for packed lunch. I find that really hard to find a convenient alternative.

snoworneahva Fri 15-Mar-13 07:34:22

I now what you mean about puddings, I'm heading towards reduced sugar and grain free. I have tried pudding free but it's not for me.

I like the recipes and the flexible approach on this blog I need a focus on flavour, I favour complexity and interest in my food and I need to be trying new flavours otherwise I get bored with food and start to lose my appetite.

TotemPole Fri 15-Mar-13 09:24:11

What are you supposed to have for carbs, or is it low carb by nature?

How far do you go with returning to ancestors' diet. Do you limit it to foods that would have been found on the continent of your origin? What I mean is, if several generations of your family were born in Europe but your ancestors are e.g. Asian, would you stick to those foods originally only found in Asia?

megandraper Fri 15-Mar-13 09:45:19

I am new to paleo, Totem, but as I understand it, it's back to caveman days - so hunter gatherer stuff - meat, fish, nuts, fruit and veg. I guess if you go back far enough, we all came from Africa and migrated out from there!
Carbs are from fruit and veg.

No grains, legumes, dairy, or processed food.

Primal seems to be a more achievable version of paleo (some dairy allowed). I am looking at this website about it

bigkidsdidit Fri 15-Mar-13 09:49:25

I do a halfway version, really; I like the idea and think it is healthy but can't do it all the time, I work FT and have a toddler and need to do him a packed lunch etc. So we eat lentils and peas and sweetcorn, and I bake the odd small loaf of bread so we can have avocado or boiled egg on toast if really rushed.

For breakfast we do the same as a pp and mostly have greek yogurt with chopped banana and chopped apple.

Off to read about primal which might be more suited to my life!

megandraper Fri 15-Mar-13 10:59:22

DH and I, and DC2 and DC3 have Eat Natural muesli which is fairly paleo (it has a bit of buckwheat in but otherwise is just nuts, raisins and seeds) and the DCs and I have fruit with it. I may work on getting them to have it with coconut milk instead of cow's milk.

DC1 is an obstinate fruit-hater, and won't eat muesli either. He has a kids breakfast cereal with agave syrup and a slice of ham or a boiled egg on the side. That is the best I can do for the moment, but I am not satisfied with it. The cereal is too sugary and not nutritious enough. More work to be done!

snoworneahva Fri 15-Mar-13 18:19:29

Bed hopper I have heard v bad things about - agave syrup - it contains high levels of fructose which although don't affect blood sugar as much as sucrose they are not great for the liver - it's often compared to High Fructose Corn Syrup. Would your dc have honey, maple syrup or even sugar, I think these may be preferable from a health perspective. Apologises if you have considered all this already and have decided on agave anyway but many people are unaware of its health implications.

Willowisp Fri 15-Mar-13 21:37:31

snoworneahva I use agave syrup & am interested in what you are saying. I avoid fructose, but understood that agave, depending on how 'pure' it is, is ok.

Can you tell me more ?

snoworneahva Fri 15-Mar-13 21:49:26

I'm not an expert but I know that fructose is not good!!!! And they have been very clever about how they have marketed it, just as the HFCS people initially pushed its lack of insulin raising qualities, till people saw what it actually did to the body.

"Because fructose is digested in your liver, it is immediately turned into triglycerides or stored body fat. Since it doesn’t get converted to blood glucose like other sugars, it doesn’t raise or crash your blood sugar levels. Hence the claim that it is safe for diabetics.

But it isn’t.

That’s because fructose inhibits leptin levels — the hormone your body uses to tell you that you’re full. In other words, fructose makes you want to eat more. Besides contributing to weight gain, it also makes you gain the most dangerous kind of fat.

This has been verified in numerous studies. The most definitive one was released just this past year in the Journal of Clinical Investigation. The full study is available online, but for the sake of space I’m including Stephan’s (of Whole Health Source fame) summary here:""

Try googling but here's a link to the quote above to get you started

agave good or bad

Willowisp Sat 16-Mar-13 00:22:51

Thanks - I'm interested in Weston A Price et Al, who are quoted & essentially anti agave. I think I will contact the manufacturers of the 2 x products I have & ask some questions. smile

TheYamiOfYawn Sat 16-Mar-13 08:18:14

I have been eating paleo for a couple of years now, and am so happy with my choice. The kids eat a standard diet, but I'm planning to start gradually switching over for meals at home, at least to a more Weston a Price tye diet. Good breakfasts are boiled eggs, mini fitattas baked in muffin cases, kept in the freezer and reheated, meatballs, tuna mayo scooped up on romaine leaves, all with fruit or veg sticks. Also leftovers.

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