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There's a farm about 2 miles from my house that has superb fresh eggs from pastured hens. I eat scrambled eggs or an omelet for breakfast nearly every morning, often with good bacon or sausage. I was always kind of indifferent to eggs, but eating these is definitely not a hardship.

John Rosevear

"Brown food tastes better." - Chris Schlesinger

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ps. Why have you given up the stricter adherence to the regime?

We started the diet because my daughter has a medical issue (auto-immune related) that wasn't responding to medication. The diet really helps a lot but she is a teenager and resists not being able to go out for ice cream or coffee coolatas with her friends. So, we try to stick to it as much as possible. She fell off the wagon so to speak this last week and had symptons as a result.

As far as my husband and I are concerned, we ate pretty healthy to begin with. Try to follow Michael Pollen's philosophy - eat food, not too much, mostly plants. But, now in our 40's, even eating this way, we were starting to put on pounds, especially my husband who comes from a family of diabetics. He was getting frustrated because he really wasn't eating a lot and was exercising and couldn't lose the weight.

Long story short, the side benefit is that by us starting the diet, we are losing weight without planning to. More importantly, we have a lot more energy and feel a lot less tired. Cravings for junk food are non-existant. We realized we were eating a lot of low fat carbs - pasta, pretzels, bread. Once you start eating these, you eat too much of these, your blood sugar spikes and it makes you hungrier. But we did miss carbs, so we added in steel cut oats for some breakfasts and brown rice for some dinners. Also, a pasta made for diabetics (Dream Fields) occasionally because we really like our Italian Food. These are all low glycemic index foods so they do not cause blood sugar spike. We now eat roasted or mashed rutabagas or cauliflower instead of potatoes.

A good site to look at is drweil.com - he has an anti-inflammatory diet pyramid that I like a lot. Someone above made a good point saying that one diet does not work for everyone and I agree with that whole heartedly. We feel so much healthier eating this way but don't stress out if we go to friends house for a pizza once in awhile either.

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That's the second time today to Google. Never heard of a coolata before. :smile: We have made a variation of them, both hot and cold, for years.

Sorry your daughter has immune-related problems...and that she's a teenage too!!

Shall look up the drweil.com website.

Oh, one thing you can do vis-a-vis pasta is to use shredded cabbage. You'll be amazed at how it works.

DH doesn't like brown rice. Rats. :raz:

We do eat pretty simply, a lot of home cooked Chinese, and our large meal is at noon which is good. We are both almost 70 and while his metabolism has changed for the good...although we'll never know why...mine hasn't. I ended up carrying more weight than I should have after years of being OK.

After the last 9 months of wretched pain and not being able to walk or stand much, I am finally back on my feet...at least for a while. Dx of Spinal Stenosis with impinged L5. I've lost about 15 pounds without 'dieting' and that's to the good. And am at a sort of confused dietary cross-roads after too much food nutrition input. That happens. What to eat? I'll get it worked out again.

I had 2 eggs with cheese for breakfast and was once again not feeling all that well and cranky. Can't do that total lack of carbs thing. I didn't mean to...it just happened. Now I'm fine after a lunch of vegetables with a bit of meat. Someone on this topic suggested earlier that I probably had a candida infection and perhaps I do...but I've been like this since I first tried Atkins and that was decades ago. Have to each find our own path.

Thanks.

Edited by Darienne (log)

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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Just to be clear, diets like the paleo diet are based entirely on speculation, not science.

Even paleontologists' ideas about what humans ate during the paleolithic era are speculative (although educated).

The effects of diet on paleolithic people's health, and the effects of this diet on our health vs. other diets, constitute wild, uneducated speculation.

Also, please beware of doctors hawking diets in print and on the radio. An M.D. is not a nutrition researcher. Nutrition is not part of the curriculum in most medical schools. It's a title that helps people sell books.

Notes from the underbelly

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Not quite wild speculation. There's actually a considerable body of actual peer-reviewed research on precisely this topic. Really, thirty seconds with Google -- or simply a look at some of the secondary sources cited in this thread -- would tell you a whole lot.

John Rosevear

"Brown food tastes better." - Chris Schlesinger

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Not quite wild speculation. There's actually a considerable body of actual peer-reviewed research on precisely this topic.

Yep, I did a bad search on PubMed when I found nothing.

But I just did a good search, and found little of substance. The only controlled studies I found dealt with medicine-specific topics, like comparing paleo to other diets in terms of effect on diabetes, heart disease, or obesity. I didn't find any startling (or even strong) conclusions.

As far as the general premise, I can't find any authoritative source that claims authority on what people actually ate in the paleo period. Just some educated speculation. They're pretty sure about some of the things that weren't eaten, but other key points, like the ratio of meats to plants, are presumed to have varied wildly. Almost verything we believe about was eaten comes from circumstantial evidence ... dental development, tools, cooking implements, etc.

Notes from the underbelly

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Much of the historical... mythology, perhaps... around the diet is inferred from observations of surviving modern-era hunter-gatherer societies. But when you say the health effects are "wild speculation"... it is hardly unstudied speculation to say, for instance, that removing sugar and gluten from the Standard American Diet and substituting high-quality, organic meats and oils for factory-farmed equivalents would be anything but a very good thing. I mean, is that what you are arguing? That those sorts of changes are just wild crazy ideas? That there's no data? I sound like a broken record in this thread, but do read Gary Taubes.

John Rosevear

"Brown food tastes better." - Chris Schlesinger

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it is hardly unstudied speculation to say, for instance, that removing sugar and gluten from the Standard American Diet and substituting high-quality, organic meats and oils for factory-farmed equivalents would be anything but a very good thing. I mean, is that what you are arguing? That those sorts of changes are just wild crazy ideas? That there's no data? I sound like a broken record in this thread, but do read Gary Taubes.

Removing sugar and gluten? Can you show me any peer reviewed research showing health benefits of doing this (not counting people with celiac disease)?

It's a no-brainer to argue that people eat disproportionately too much of many things (top of the list: calories!) But god, the number of basic nutrients that have been demonized over the years as fundamentally bad covers just about all of them. Meanwhile, basic nutrition science, with regard to macronutrient ratios, hasn't changed significantly in 30 years or more. More and more research piles up, just slightly refining the same ideas.

As far as high-quality, organic ingredients vs. factory-farmed equivalents ... I don't even know how to address that. You are conflating several ideas that have no fundamental relation to each other. There are high quality orgainic ingredients and low quality organic ingredients; high and low quality non-organic ingredients; high and low quality factory farmed ingredients; even organic and non-organic factory farmed ingredients!

If what you're trying to say is that high quality food is healthier than low quality food, I don't think anyone would disagree ... but this thesis is a little too broad to test scientifically.

Notes from the underbelly

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  • 4 weeks later...

It's a no-brainer to argue that people eat disproportionately too much of many things (top of the list: calories!) But god, the number of basic nutrients that have been demonized over the years as fundamentally bad covers just about all of them. Meanwhile, basic nutrition science, with regard to macronutrient ratios, hasn't changed significantly in 30 years or more. More and more research piles up, just slightly refining the same ideas.

Not to mention that we are not paleolithic people. It's not like the evolution of humans ended 50,000 years ago. In fact, we've continued to adapt, genetically, to our own civilization. Modern humans are more lactose-tolerant than paleo man. We have more starch-processing enzymes. We don't need to eat like them because we are not them. Yes, indeed--early agricultural man was a little guy who suffered nutritional deficits. Worked hard for his little produce. But so what? We aren't him either. Eventually we discovered tilling and field rotation and fertilizer and artificial selection and irrigation. It's easy for us to eat nutritionally complete diets from a wide variety of foods. Some might say, too easy.

"I think it's a matter of principle that one should always try to avoid eating one's friends."--Doctor Dolittle

blog: The Institute for Impure Science

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  • 4 months later...

Being someone who loves to bake and cook, deciding to try an anti-candida diet to battle some long-term inflammatory damage has been a challenge at best.

I'd also like to hear more from others who are dealing with similar issues.

Thanks for the Wrangham reference... that article/interview was terrific, and I've already place his book on hold.

Regarding weight issues: I'd like to highly recommend Dr. Linda Bacon's "Health at Every Size," which neatly sums up a lot of the most recent obesity studies. The bad news: other than normal weigh fluctuations (different for everyone, but around 30lbs), it's really really hard to lose weight... and could cause not only damage to your body but even worse weight issues in the long run. The good news: being obese isn't necessarily a death sentence. It IS possible to live well when you're living large!

Thanks... looking forward to hearing more from other EG members!

Come visit my virtual kitchen.

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  • 9 months later...

I would like to see if I can get this thread some more love. I have been eating paleo for a while now to address a chronic health problem (with spectacular results, I might add) and I would love some new ideas to keep my momentum.

My biggest problem is how to replace the "filler" quality that grains often have in a meal. There are lots of delicious dishes that I know how to make that are a little strong to eat on their own, like a spicy Sichuan stir fry or a rich bolognese sauce. These things go terrific with their classic starches. I would love some ideas for how to serve dishes like this with non grain accompaniments.

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Lora - I have used frenched green beans with much success as the filler in such dishes when cooking for people who have eliminated grains. Yes- the frozen ones, but you could do fresh as the season starts up. The strands of spaghetti squash are a classic sub as well.

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I just make the sorts of things I ordinarily cook, and skip the starch; this just takes a little adjustment, but I found that this happens very quickly.

Anytime I switch to this style of eating, I feel fantastic, am almost revoltingly healthy and energetic, and lose weight. Too bad I think heaven is probably made of bread.

The name makes me cringe, however, since it is simply inaccurate: Paleolithic humans (i.e. before humans had migrated to arctic regions, or begun domesticating animals and cultivating grains) almost certainly relied on insect matter, raw eggs, and various small, easily caught creatures, for protein, rather than on meat from birds and mammals (hunting with primitive weaponry was pretty unreliable in terms of providing protein).

Michaela, aka "Mjx"
Manager, eG Forums
mscioscia@egstaff.org

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Hello everyone. This is an interesting thread. I have been around the paleo-diet for a few years now, mostly through my affiliation with the crossfit community. I have even done the strict paleo diet and the paleo-zone diet. I happen to be in the field of medical research and am trained in both human physiology and statistics. Needless to say I read a lot of research papers and more importantly I know how to read research papers. I have read Good Calories Bad Calories and think that it is an interesting book. It is important to keep in mind that Taubes is a science journalist and not a scientist. I acknowledge that he is a smart guy, trained in both physics and aerospace engineering, but he has no training in physiology or statistics. I don't have the book in front of me at the moment and it has been about a year since I have read it, but I do recall looking at some of Taubes' source papers and comparing to Taubes' inferences and being startled. I recall that he did not seem to appreciated the idea of statistical significance. That being said it is still a worthwhile read and I appreciate his attempt to popularize an important subject that will hopefully breed skepticism and encourage further research.

As far as the paleo-diet is concerned, I agree that the substance of the diet is at least not harmful and to a rational human being seems a better diet than fiery hot chee-tos and french fries. What burns me up about the paleo-diet is that to my knowledge there have been no randomized controlled clinical trials assessing the diet. I have read studies that have lasted seven days, but I have yet to read any trials that have lasted 6 months or a year. Cordain and his posse would profit greatly if they carried out a legitimate trial and showed a real difference between the paleo diet and the 'food pyramid diet'. Instead they seem to be more interested in writing glossy how to books and making money.

And if I could put in a little something about Dr. Weil. I work at the same institution as Weil. Take a look at Dr. Weil, do you really think he is a picture of good health?

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Not sure how paleo these are, but things like konyakku and kelp noodles work. There are the raw vegan standby grain replacements as well: processed & pressed jicama makes a relatively convincing cous cous (check out living raw food by sarma melngailis). Raw cookbooks are much easier to come by than paleo ones and provide some good ideas on this. The diet restrictions are remarkably similar in some ways, despite the vitriol on both sides of that debate.

As for cooked, I've heard about "cauliflower rice" as well, but never tried it. I've been working on paleo for a few months now and I admit I miss some of my favourite foods.

Edited by tangaloor (log)
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The name makes me cringe, however, since it is simply inaccurate: Paleolithic humans (i.e. before humans had migrated to arctic regions, or begun domesticating animals and cultivating grains) almost certainly relied on insect matter, raw eggs, and various small, easily caught creatures, for protein, rather than on meat from birds and mammals (hunting with primitive weaponry was pretty unreliable in terms of providing protein).

I'm an archaeologist by profession, and the name makes me cringe too. I wouldn't be surprised if starchy wild tubers also made up a significant part of paleolithic diets, something forbidden on the modern plan. You are absolutely right about the probable reliance on bugs, eggs, and microfauna as protein sources. Not to be pedantic, but your assumption about the reliability of paleolithic hunting is incorrect. There is actually quite a bit of evidence that paleolithic humans (and Neanderthals for that matter) were very effective hunters of large game, and in some cases were successful enough to hunt selectively.

If paleolithic people were fitter than their modern counterparts, its probably because of the daily strenuous physical activity their lives required. Its likely they lived with an almost constant caloric deficit.

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The name makes me cringe, however, since it is simply inaccurate: Paleolithic humans (i.e. before humans had migrated to arctic regions, or begun domesticating animals and cultivating grains) almost certainly relied on insect matter, raw eggs, and various small, easily caught creatures, for protein, rather than on meat from birds and mammals (hunting with primitive weaponry was pretty unreliable in terms of providing protein).

I'm an archaeologist by profession, and the name makes me cringe too. I wouldn't be surprised if starchy wild tubers also made up a significant part of paleolithic diets, something forbidden on the modern plan. You are absolutely right about the probable reliance on bugs, eggs, and microfauna as protein sources. Not to be pedantic, but your assumption about the reliability of paleolithic hunting is incorrect. There is actually quite a bit of evidence that paleolithic humans (and Neanderthals for that matter) were very effective hunters of large game, and in some cases were successful enough to hunt selectively.

. . . .

Although I'm aware that paleolithic humans reached a high degree of sophistication in the later parts of the paleolithic, my understanding was that there was little reliance on large game hunting, or even trapping, during the earlier parts of the period (and I understood the so-called 'paleo diet' as supposedly reflecting what humans ate during the earliest phases of their existence). Even if you grant the probability of a fairly steep learning curve, it would have taken a while to refine tools and skill to the point that they were reliably efficient.

I cannot bring myself to read the book: any idea of the author's stance on the consumption of grubs and such?

Michaela, aka "Mjx"
Manager, eG Forums
mscioscia@egstaff.org

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I know several people on this diet, none of whom are doing it in the interest of historical accuracy. We have all arrived at some variation on sugar free / grain free / dairy free / meat-heavy because of allergies, celiac, or other issues, and enjoy greatly improved health as a result. (I personally disagree with several of the paleo notions, and continue to consume legumes, starchy tubers, and some dairy products.)

What we really need is a better taxonomy, to shorthand the discussion of a diet like this. "Paleo" is the closest way I have to describe how I eat, but certainly not why I eat that way. I don't particularly care how caveman ate, but I would love to discuss how paleoids are eating today.

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Dr. Kurt Harris, one of the best thinkers in the movement, recently renamed his approach "Archevore," and while this is unlikely to catch on as "Paleo" did, the name and his definition of it make a ton of sense. The definition also goes a long way to explaining why people who eat this way, many of us at least, don't get hung up on the impossible attempt at historical re-enactment of a long-ago diet/lifestyle. That is a huge waste of breath; I don't go there at all anymore (it was fun when I was a newbie, but now... eh.)

http://www.archevore.com/archevore/

I have seen incredible benefits from eating this way and don't plan to stop.

Regarding the practical question of FILLER STARCH:

1. i use mashed sweet potato a LOT. i put it on the plate as a bedding for short ribs and their delicious sauce, as well as pot roast and many similar large joints of roasted meat. it is indispensable.

2. taro, plaintain and other similar tropical tubers fulfill a similar role. if you are also attempting to keep your carbs down, all these look less practical. if you're not, eat 'em, preferably swimming in fat.

3. i admit i also use italian-style slow-cooked greens in the same way.

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I can get behind "archevore," especially after reading Harris' rationale. His blog post "Paleo 2.0" is very informative. As far as (pre) historical accuracy is concerned, of course people (myself included) don't eat this way because of a desire to replicate a past lifestyle. I have had great success with weight loss, and some pretty amazing gains (for me) in athletic performance by eating basically how Harris advocates. However, the folks who market the Paleo Diet (Cordain, et al) do so by relying heavily on making linkages between diet and evolutionary history. As Harris points out, they got a lot of it wrong (see the Paleo 2.0 post referenced above). I don't think there's anything wrong with looking critically at these inaccuracies.

Back to Lora's question, I also use a lot of sweet potatoes as a filler, mostly baked or roasted. Greens really are the filler in my diet, both raw and cooked. I like to cut collard greens into julienne to use like noodles. I make something like the cauliflower rice mentioned up-thread by shaving thin slices of cauliflower floret and then crumbling the slices. It's more like cous cous than rice and very good sauteed in butter or bacon fat. I suppose you could steam it if you wanted something more neutral as a base for something spicy.

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  • 8 months later...

Hello everyone! I am new to this forum and very excited to be here. I love food and have recently began the Paleo diet. I am having very good success so far and would like to share info, recipes, and just experiences with everyone. I don't know any other people doing this diet so it would be nice to share my experience with other people doing this diet. So reply to my post and we can start sharing.I have lots of culinary experience and know my way around the kitchen. I'm sure I can help with any questions you might have as well.

A great place to get paleo diet recipes!

Thanks for your interest,David

Thank You For Having an Interest in Being Healthy and The Paleo Diet, David

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  • 3 years later...
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