A Few Paleo Thoughts

Tuesday will be exactly four months since we made the switch to a Paleo lifestyle.

I can still hardly believe how much meat we consume each week because I have never in my life been a huge meat eater. The previous 12.5 years of vegetarianism, over a third of my life and nearly all of my adult years, has been thoroughly tossed out the window in favor of meat, meat, and meat! Combined with this is the greatly increased fat intake which is just as huge of a change from how I ate all those years.

Its really no wonder that it takes a body time to make such massive shifts in how it processes food. I think it is safe to say that our health is playing a key role in how we adapt to this new lifestyle. Provides some answers for why we have more ups and downs, even now four months in, than others who are healthy and make the change.

Overall impression of having shifted our diet this dramatically?

I think the long term benefits will be stellar. We are already seeing small improvements that are a little hard to define, largely because our memory has become so poor as to make any sort of quantitative analysis extremely difficult for minor changes. But in our world any improvement is a vast step forward after having been stalled out at such a low level of health these last several years. These improvements feel more solid and less likely to give us the house of cards effect we had last summer - one very bad thing causing us to crash and loose two years of improvements.

My pseudoscience guess is that the changes in us are slow because of how far down our health has fallen. I distinctly feel like my nutrition is greatly improved and my body feels calmer because of this. It just feels more 'happy' eating this way and I have the distinct impression that much healing is occurring behind the scenes and waiting to make a spectacular debut someday.

This has been a very life changing event for us and one which I am still awed by our ability to make it work so well from a tent, two burner hot plate, and a small refrigerator/freezer.

I can not speak highly enough of giving this diet a try if anyone has major health problems. As with us, the benefits might be slow in coming but in the long term will provide a huge increase to quality of life. It will likely seem daunting at first thought (I know it was for us!) but we started one step at a time and never gave up.

This change was six months in the making for us and most of that time was spent feeling very overwhelmed with the knowledge that we had to change our diet but not knowing in what way. I am incredibly grateful for Jeremy's hard work and willingness to try something new.


Hey Lisa - can you talk more about the Paleo diet? Do you have any urls on it? Congratulations on your progress!
well, i highly doubt that eating meat brings any advantages given the fact that it acidizes the body just like sugar and all this other unhealthy junk food and abets viruses/candida etc. however, i am a vegetarian but i wish you good luck.
DavidJ.;bt1747 said:
well, i highly doubt that eating meat brings any advantages given the fact that it acidizes the body just like sugar and all this other unhealthy junk food and abets viruses/candida etc. however, i am a vegetarian but i wish you good luck.
LOL. Well I don't know you David but you sure don't hold back on your opinion. Might want to read up a bit on the paleo diet facts next time before posting though. With only removing fruit from it as we have, its the same as most candida diets out there to help control the yeast problem through starving it out. The amount of vegetables eaten off balance the acidity of the meats and paleo has been shown to be a net alkaline diet which promotes much better vitamin and mineral absorption while also helping to inhibit viruses.

Its very much not about eating junk food. At its ground belief is to stay clear of manufactured and processed foods, sugar and all artificial sweeteners, get off the lousy foods that cause inflammation in the gut and systemically, and provide massive amounts of nutrients.

You're welcome to stick to being vegetarian. I did that for 12 years and don't regret having given up a way of eating that was putting an added toxic load from the lectins found in all grains/legumes as well as some of their gluten which was adding to my body's gut irritation and inflammation. It was keeping me sick. Simple as that.

Besides, this way you leave more meat for us omnivores. :D Lisa
Cort;bt1743 said:
Hey Lisa - can you talk more about the Paleo diet? Do you have any urls on it? Congratulations on your progress!
In a nutshell:

Grains and legumes have lectins. Lectins are bad, they inhibit important enzyme activity in our cells, they are toxic (a defense mechanism to protect the seed from being eaten), and are just generally not something you want to consume. Cooking neutralizes some of this, but not all. When your health is very low, as mine is, even these small burdens are too much on the system.

Many grains have gluten and gluten is very, very bad for nearly all people. It promotes systemic inflammation as well as leading to leaky gut. Its a condition in which the gut stops being able to absorb nutrients well but also as the name implies - leaking toxins from the gut into the rest of the body, which isn't supposed to happen. This can lead to greatly increased allergies and all sorts of problems. I've seen my allergies going down slowly and the inflammation from my joints decreasing for less pain and more mobility since removing all gluten from my diet.

Then add in the no sugar or artificial sweeteners of the program and you see much improved insulin responses. I used to feel like I had a low blood sugar crash weekly with a small crash from it a few times a day near meal time even though I only had a small amount of sugar in my daily oatmeal, never anything else. Now my blood sugar crashed only once this last month and I know its from other health problems I have.

The added stability of blood sugar levels and insulin response will have a positive effect on the adrenal system by not needing them to take up the slack when blood sugar levels drop. This will help heal my undoubtedly tired adrenals by letting them rest more. It will also have a good effect on the cortisol level, same reasons.

Even though I do not have much of a candida gut problem, I did have some problems with a chronic bladder yeast infection. Usually something that was mild and uncomfortable, only once had I needed a prescription to take care of it - but then it came back a year later. Two months into paleo it was mostly gone. Now it makes a weak presence known maybe once every two weeks and even this is getting less frequent. There is very little for yeast to eat with what I provide as I do not even eat fruit right now - just tons of veggies.

The meat is loaded with carnitine - a vital nutrient for mitochondrial functioning.

I'm slowly losing weight yet eating tons of fat each day - but its good fat. Stuff that helps pull my omega 3/6 ratio back into balance and is partly responsible for the reduction in inflammation - too much omega 6 is no good. The coconut oil we use in cooking also helps heal my gut, kill the candida, and has many other good properties. Jody wrote a good article about the benefits of coconut oil. Bottom line - eat it! lol

The insulin normalizing effects of this diet are the reason for the fat loss. Slowly metabolic changes are occurring in me that are unlocking my body's fat stores and letting me actually burn them for calories as needed. The insulin resistance caused by a vegetarian diet for me was keeping the fat locked up tight.

The added nutrition from eating this way has been helping to normalize my hormones too.

I've gone a little further with paleo than the average healthy person has to. We have also eliminated eggs, nuts/seeds, dairy, fruit, and nightshades in an effort to pull out of our eating anything that can cause gut irritation. I've certainly seen the difference in removing the nuts. I do feel better with a meat meal instead of egg. The nightshades I miss but have seen how they cause some irritation in my gut. Dairy we never ate much of so its not a big loss. We could still eat grassfed butter because its lacking in the stuff that is bad in dairy, but again not something we do/afford. We also don't do any 'cheat meals' like some people do - what's the point, I want to get healthy and they'll just set me back.

That about summarizes it I think. There is so very much information out there that really hits home with why this diet is needed to mend my body.

I have a lot of good links on my blog Sundog Tales. They are down on the right hand side in the link section marked "Paleo".

The three best starter links though would be:

Loren Cordain's Paleo Diet FAQ

Snazzy video on why eating Paleo is healthier than not.

My hero - Robb Wolf. This guy takes time each week to answer anyone's questions on how to make Paleo work for them. He is extremely knowledgeable and it is amazing the amount of information he is giving for free. All he wants to do is help people, not profit from their misery, and its what makes him my hero.
i didnt say that meat is junk food it is just very acidic.
but if you feel better and this cures you then i am happy. i know this blood- type diet book and the author was also constantly writing about the bad lectins but i have never really found a confirmation for this from experts. i wanted to try the blood diet for my blood group, but i didnt have the heart to eat tons of meat again.
however, good luck!
Hi Lisa,

Good to hear that you're doing so well on the Paleo diet. Welcome to the Dark side ... lol ...

FWIW. I've been Paleo since 2008 but since I'd already been GFCF + free for 2 years, I'd already witnessed a good deal of healing. Since going Paleo though my fasting glucose level is up to 97 now up from my previous test GTT result of 67 from 2006 and 2008. I have no idea what it was previous to 2006 but I no longer feel weak if I go several hours without food in the morning and I had that symptom forever. : )

Thanks for the links. Loved the cartoon video ... Marcia

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