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BRIANLIEBERTH
BRIANLIEBERTH's Photo Posts: 504
10/15/13 12:54 P

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I have looked at Paleo and while I don't consider myself an adherrant I don't think it is crazy. True many people have different interpretations, but isn't that true in any way of eating? The constant I have seen is that they don't eat grains, legumes and sugar. There are differences in dairy consumption, some say absolutely none others say limit it.

We have on these message boards had many disagreements about the wisdom of eliminating grains. I personally have eliminated grains and am healthier than I have ever been. I don't eliminate carbs, just get them from veggies. This is true of Paleo as well. My thought is that if you feel better and are having healthy results any way you eat is healthy.

The constant with every successful diet is that they restrict or eliminate sugar. That too me is the most importatnt part of any diet

Today's quote:
Do or do not do; there is no try

--Yoda


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JOY73YL
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10/15/13 8:31 A

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The paleolithic diet (abbreviated paleo diet or paleodiet), also popularly referred to as the caveman diet, Stone Age diet and hunter-gatherer diet, is a modern nutritional plan based on the presumed ancient diet of wild plants and animals that various hominid species habitually consumed during ...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paleo_diet

OK 'WILD' Animals. WILD being a key word. It depends on what the domestic animal has been feed. Watch out it is getting that way with plants. Some weed killers are also effecting the fruits and veggies too. After all a weed is just a plant that a human hasn't found a use for yet.



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JOY73YL
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10/15/13 8:19 A

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I'll have to look up Paleo Diet --- I've recently gone to a Plant Based Diet. I have Heart problems. The heart specialist and statinS had me 90% turned into zombie.
Then I found a program "lifestyle choices" in 14days under medical supervision:
"Lifestyle Choices". WHY a PLANT BASED DIET
In 14 days my numbers went from ...to...
glucose 122. to 111. (128 is diabetic 2)
cholesterol 227. to. 203
**** weight 165 to 158.8. another couple of weeks 154 pounds. ****

energy - amazingly higher
spirit. " "
life is great!
I'm thrilled. It isn't for every one but it sure is for me
---- OUTDOORGAL1 keep up the great work



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OUTDOORGAL1
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9/4/13 9:31 A

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I have found that limiting processed foods like bread and limiting sugar has been more helpful to weight loss than any other lifestyle change I have made so far.



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EXOTEC
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9/2/13 9:13 P

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I believe the Paleo premise cuts out dairy, while Primal does not. I can't live without dairy, especially a little cheese!

Everyone needs to find their own perfect nutrition. This is an individual journey, and if you're following generalized recommendations (such as we've been doing the last 50+ years), it's not likely to be the "right fit" for you. It certainly hasn't been for many with heart disease, diabetes, and other diseases of modern civilization. As someone mentioned earlier, just eat real food. Eat what our even recent "ancestors" would have recognized as food. Dump all the processed junk.

...the problem with people these days is
they've forgotten we're really just animals ...
(attributation forgotten)

We did not create the web of life; we are but a strand in it.
~Chief Seattle

We don't have souls. We ARE souls. We have bodies.
~C.S. Lewis


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RUSSELL_40
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9/2/13 12:38 P

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Did not mean you personally Lisa. We just do it, to make sure we eliminate the bad carbs. We sweep the board clean, and then have to add them back in.

I would just prefer broccoli and cheese over rice or potatoes..lol. I agree with your post.

Russell - current BMI 28.6
197 - bmi 30 - done
164 - bmi-25


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LISAH101
LISAH101's Photo Posts: 63
9/2/13 11:53 A

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I was not trying to demonize carbs, sorry if it came across that way - I was trying to say not all carbs are created equal. Also - I don't think there is one approach to carbs for everyone. I think people react different. I got that from Gary Taubes book

"Whether you're born predisposed to get fat is beyond your control. What Adiposity 101 teaches us, though, is that this pr-disposition is set off by the carbohydrates we eat - by their quantity and their quality. ..... It's carbohydrates that ultimately determines insulin secretion and insulin that drives the accumulation of body fat. Not all of us get fat when we eat carbohydrates, but for those of us who do get fat, the carbohydrates are to blame; the few carbohydrates we eat, the leaner we will be."

"Not that all foods contain carbohydrates are equally fattening. This is the crucial point. The most fattening foods are the ones that have the greatest effect on our blood sugar and insulin levels. These are the concentrated sources of carbohydrates, and particularly those that we ca digest quickly: anything made of refined flour (bread, cereals, an pasts), liquid carbohydrates (beers, fruit juices, and sodas), and starches........"


I wish I could express myself as well as many of these writers.

Just saying - people tend to think all carbs are created equal and some authors take a one size approach fits all and I don't think that is true.

Edited by: LISAH101 at: 9/2/2013 (11:54)

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RUSSELL_40
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9/2/13 11:34 A

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The problem is that you aren't supposed to just cut out carbs.. that is the start. Since most of us have problems with some carbs.. gluten, sugar, processed foods etc., cutting out all the carbs but vegetables tends to get us into a weight loss mode, and help get rid of cravings, since our trigger foods are no longer part of our diet..

That is when the diet really BEGINS. Now we have to do trial and error to find out the 95% of carbs that are okay for us to consume. Whether you are okay with 50 grams a day , or 200 grams, the quality of the carbs you consume matters. THAT is the benefit of low carb. Cleaning up which carbs you eat. Adding back in beans, cheeses, fruits, vegetables, brown rice, quinoa, yogurt etc, might be perfectly fine for you after you break free from your cravings.

The problem is that everyone focuses on the Induction levels of the low carb diets, and not the Maintenance phases. You should want to eat more carbs, as long as it doesn't make you overeat. the problem is when you can't stop yourself from eating those carbs, which is usually a result of sugar or processed carbs. Not many people who binge on vegetables, fat, or protein.

I choose broccoli with cheese melted on top over potatoes OR rice, LISA..lol, but do agree that we are demonizing all carbs, when just some of them are bad. I also think we eat too many, but that is more of our fear of fat than anything else. Basically we have fat and carbs as our main fuel source, and 40 years ago we chose to cut fat, and up carbs. How's it doing so far? Not so good, but the problem may be that the increase in carbs was made up with sugars, not more vegetables, or beans.

Russell - current BMI 28.6
197 - bmi 30 - done
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LISAH101
LISAH101's Photo Posts: 63
9/2/13 11:05 A

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I love reading nutrition studies!

I've tried many ways to loose 20 pounds or so over the years as many in my family struggle with morbid obesity

I've read Dukan, Atkins, South Beach and tired most of them.

Then I started reading things like Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisso, Eat-Clean by Tosca Reno and it became more apparent we were good at seeing what we wanted to see in any clinical study or observation.

The last 2 books were "Why we get Fat" by Gary Taubes (My favorite) and all the Michael Pollan books

Synopsis: Authors can use the same data to twist things to their ideal.

I think processed food is more of a culprit than carbs and almost every book I read dealt with carbs. Some people have no control (I have my triggers also), so cutting out a food group is their response to their inability to maintain self control.

In the end, I choose carbs that are the least processed. You should read how we get white rice - extremely processed food. I'll pick a potato over rice or anything that comes from a box.

Anyway-- just my two cents about the carbs!



Edited by: LISAH101 at: 9/2/2013 (11:06)

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CAH-RD
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9/2/13 11:04 A

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I try to use common sense. Lots of plant-based foods and what we consume in our home. Many fruits and vegetables. We are not "low carb" but we consume healthy carbs. All whole grains unless we're dining out for a special occasion or something. We drink almond and coconut milk, use little cheese, etc. We are NOT vegetarian, but do consume very little meats. Red meats and/or pork is maybe 1-2x/month max. Chicken can be up to 2-3x/week, but right now we've been out of chicken for probably 3-4 weeks and haven't really thought much about it. We use a lot of nuts, nut butters, eggs, cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, etc for protein and those are all organic.

Organic is big in our home. To me, the worst food for you is the modified foods (GMO's) that they've grown/created by adding all the chemicals, pesticides, etc.

Balance is key. Think it through for yourself instead of trying to find a book or special "diet" to follow. What do YOU know is best for your body?



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RUSSELL_40
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9/1/13 7:39 A

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I have been following Atkins for a bit over 4 years now, and lost over 150 lbs. I totally disagree on the idea that low carb is not something you can do for the rest of your life. If it wasn't meant to be something you followed for the rest of your life, why would they have a MAINTENANCE phase?

The idea is not to avoid all carbs, and even on the most strict phase, it has 2-3 cups of vegetables, which is more than most people currently eat. Paleo is just another form of low carb. Sure there are some differences, but I think that is just so they can sell books. The benefit of low carb is that when you cut processed carbs, and sugars, you get rid of the cravings. This allows me to stick to 2000-2200 calories a day, and gives me the energy to exercise 45-60 minutes every day. When I eat processed carbs, and sweets ( most high GI foods ), I binge, and gain weight. By simply controlling my " hunger ", I eat properly, and am losing weight.

It would be nice to say I could eat these foods ( high GI ) in moderation, but even 1 spoonful causes my weight loss to stop, and my cravings to return. I am not sure if being diabetic makes it more necessary to be strict, but I find that I have to maintain a very limited diet. I can have cheese, eggs, very little fruit, and lots of vegetables. I do eat about 1.5 lbs of meat a day, mostly b/s chicken thighs, along with olive oil. I can eat beans, without any issues, but bread, pasta etc. aren't something I can eat. Even brown rice causes cravings.

That being said, it is up to the individual to determine if they have issues with certain carbs. A diet that is one size fits all, won't work. That is why there are low carbers sticking to less than 50 grams a day, and others at 120-150 g a day. Some people just need to eat healthier carbs. If they worry about the quality, and not so much the quantity, they are fine.

I think that people have the wrong idea about low carb. It is actually a lot higher in carbs than people think. The problem is when they just do the start of the diet, and then instead of increasing low GI carbs, they just go back to eating pizza, and wonder why low carb failed them. I think the Induction phase of Atkins is to blame for this. people hear 20 grams of carbs, and think " Wow! that is strict " If they saw a person eating 140 grams of carbs, with 40 grams being from fiber, and consuming 10-15 servings of fruit, and vegetables, they would ever think that person was in the maintenance phase of low carb.

What works for most people is something between the strictest low carb, and the most decadent high carb. Split the difference, and focus on the types of carbs. The biggest problem we have is sugar consumption, and processed carbs. We all know Hot Pockets, and banana splits are bad for us. All you have to do is switch to brown rice, vegetables,and chicken breast, and a side of raspberries for dessert.

We don't have to eat like a caveman, but eating like a person from 1950 might make us a bit healthier. Especially someone who lived on a farm. They didn't have this junk food available to them in the quantities we can now get it. They had real food.

Russell - current BMI 28.6
197 - bmi 30 - done
164 - bmi-25


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MISSSVJS
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8/30/13 2:57 P

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TKO - I'm curious about something. You don't say how long you've been following a paleo-type diet or how old you are, but I'm female and will be 56 in Nov. I'm only about 10 lb. over what I consider to be an ideal weight for me - I've been working out regularly doing both cardio and strength for about 3 years, but I'm still flabby - my upper arms keep waving long after I think I've stopped, my belly bounces when I walk, I have lots of cellulite on my thighs and butt, etc. and it's driving me nuts! I've read that people following a paleo eating plan and working out will lose more fat and add more muscle - has that been your experience? Thanks for sharing!



TKO48326
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8/30/13 2:48 P

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I know this is a dated topic on this string but I wanted to say my two cents. I have recently adopted the paleo "diet" and I feel great. I have lost a few pounds and only have about 10 more to lose. Before anyone wants to say it is water weight....no as I was already eating healthy, exercising and I drink close to gallon of water a day. I follow the plan about 80% of the time. I am rarely hungry. Yes some whole grains are good for you but I do not believe they are necessary. I get some carbs from sweet potatoes and squash and other veggies and fruits. I keep my fruit to 1-2 servings a day due to the sugar content.

Sample meal plan for me
Breakfast - "egg bread" (equals 2 eggs with veggies and sometimes a little feta) and 1/3 cup turkey breakfast sausage
Lunch - 1/2 cup cooked ground turkey, 1/2 cup roasted sweet potato, veggies and 100 cal guacamole
Snack - fruit and almonds
Dinner - lean meat with veggies




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TRINCHICK
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5/14/13 12:30 P

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Actually, if you read Wheat Belly you will learn that we are not eating the "grains we've been eating for over 10,000 years." In order to make wheat more hearty, drought, weed, pest-resistant, it's been modified so that it is very different from what our ancestors ate. In his book, Dr. Davis says that "the amber waves of grain" that we picture is no more, and that wheat has migrated to a dwarf variety that is addictive and not very good for our bodies.

I follow a mostly primal diet - not necessarily because I think I need to eat like a caveman or that I believe our bodies haven't evolved. I just think I can do better for myself by eating whole fruits, veggies, and meats than by eating a bunch of processed, manufactured foods that come in 100-calorie snack packs.

Editing my post to add that I agree with the PP about all of the coconut flour, etc. I am not replacing wheat/grains with any other processed fake foods. I'm just sticking to the perimeter of the supermarket - fruits, veggies, meat, dairy. Nothing (well almost nothing) in boxes, bags, bottles, packets, etc. I feel great, and I'm losing weight at a reasonable pace. Works for me. I don't think there's any special nutrient I'm missing out on by eliminating wheat.

Edited by: TRINCHICK at: 5/14/2013 (13:17)

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CHLOEAGH
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5/14/13 12:11 P

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My biggest issue with the paleo diet is that I think they are very misguided with grains. Yes, a lot of grains are bad, but not all of them. The ancient Romans regularly lived into their 80's eating little more than bread and oil! Furthermore, are you seriously trying to convince me that cavemen had coconut flour? I'm as northern European as you can get. I'm pretty sure I did not evolve eating coconut, let alone coconut flour.

I think it's a good idea in principle, but I prefer my clean eating to include the grains we've been eating for over 10,000 years.



GDBEAR65
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5/14/13 11:34 A

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I think the Paleo diet is misguided - it is not accurate as to the foods and preponderence of meat in the diet of pre-historic humans. It takes its' cues from the last ice-age which was a time when arable land (for lack of a better term) was greatly reduced, therefore vegetation was less available, however game was more plentiful as it became concentrated in the ice-free regions, which made it much easier for early man to be successful at hunting. Prior to this event it is well documented that primitive man was a poor hunter. His slowness of foot and lack of weapons and skill, meant he had to subsist mainly on gathering. And when you look at the diet of our closest genetic cousins (who share 99% of our DNA) a chimpanzee's diet is in excess of 90% vegetation, mainly fruits.

Edited by: GDBEAR65 at: 5/14/2013 (12:06)
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ROXIELU0422
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5/14/13 11:15 A

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I don't think taking carbs out of your diet is the way to go. White, refined carbs, yes, but we need carbs to keep our metabolism going. Fruits, veggies and lean proteins are great for you in any amount.

Moderation is the key. I believe that. I just wish i could get in that mind set. Eventually it will happen.

Atkins, Paleo, just like all the "latest diet pills" are not things you can sustain for a lifetime.

It is what it is....


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DORI36
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5/12/13 1:39 P

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I have to agree with the folks here who have observed that everyone is different. I found that Paleo works for me IN MODERATION, because I am intolerant of many foods, including most grains including corn and wheat, dairy from cows while goat dairy is ok, and sugars/sweeteners. I eat organic as much as it is practical, and definitely in the foods that have been raised with a lot of pesticides and herbicides.

In our country at this time, it is difficult to "eat clean" because there are so few "clean" foods left. Many are genetically modified, and their chemicals are consumed by the population. Animals that eat corn and other GMO foods are passing those chemicals on to us. So, in my opinion, it's safer to eat grass fed beef (and costlier) because that is their natural diet and I don't have to remember the odors of the humongous feed lots in Texas and Oklahoma (pe-euw!) Or organic/pasture raised poultry and eggs from chickens that never got antibiotics because they are overcrowded into teeny-tiny cages. Besides, they taste better.

Until the general population insists on "clean foods" we will continue to be flooded with processed, inferior food filled with carcinogens and chemicals. But I guess, if that's what folks want, the money maker at the corporations will be more than happy to provide.

Success is going from failure to failure without losing
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ARTEMISTHEGREEK
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10/19/12 8:31 P

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(Just as an aside: NEED2MOVE2, I truly wish I could moderate pistachios and pine nuts. I loved them, but they decided not to love me back...)

There is the possibility that some other food items have a more subliminal, but none-the-less not-greatly-beneficiary effect on those who consume them, than the above two substances now have on me. Perhaps... moderation must be moderated?

Yep, there I am, swimming through the desert sands. Might just be a mirage, after all. But this is life, and we learn best about it if we explore it, and take our chances. A life unexplored, after all, is one of the saddest things out there.


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NEED2MOVE2
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10/19/12 7:31 P

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I agree everyone needs to find what works for them. I like everything in moderation. Best of luck everyone! emoticon



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ARTEMISTHEGREEK
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10/19/12 7:12 P

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Hmm. Some people DO have to cut out entire food groups. Some are less sensitized or whatever.

The food groups we (as individuals) have to cut out may differ. I have to cut out the "nut" food group. The gluten food group for me also appears to be a bad idea. Others, who never got the lactose-tolerance gene, have a whole nother food group to subtract out.

Some of these culinary restrictions are more apparent in some people than in others. I am certainly on board with cutting out the "processed-food-group", and the "overly-sweetened" food group. I'm certainly on-board with the paleo-primal real food concepts, but I see no problem (except in the excess carbs if taken to extremes) with legumes or healthy forms of dairy. From what I see, eating a good paleo-primal diet is essentially mostly veggies with meat as a supplement for healthy fats. And opposed to the vast aisles of highly processed foods, which, frankly, my great grandparents never glimpsed.

Yes, paleolithic people had a wide variety of geographic and climatic backgrounds they came from, and there was NO cookie cutter recipe. But for those who rightfully remark how hard it was for Paleo Hunter to knock down a huge beast every day -- I sincerely doubt they did this every day or even, necessarily, every month. There were a lot smaller, less glamorous, animal foodstuffs they feasted upon. Not discounting fish, either. I do think vegetable matter was by and large (depending on where located) the prime source of sustinance, but animal foods were still quite frequent. Mastodons might be once a year, but meadow moles? (We get a little finicky in our food tastes in recent generations, but unfortunately NOT finicky enough about PopTarts and other sugar-laden ilk.)

Just thinking.

Edited by: ARTEMISTHEGREEK at: 10/19/2012 (19:16)
Yep, there I am, swimming through the desert sands. Might just be a mirage, after all. But this is life, and we learn best about it if we explore it, and take our chances. A life unexplored, after all, is one of the saddest things out there.


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KAPELAKIN
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10/19/12 6:11 P

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Fascinating posts, PRIM8PHD!

Paleo has its merits, but yeah, it draws some conclusions on science that is misinterpreted, or shaky at best. I just got the Practical Paleo book because I'm cutting down on grains and dairy, though there's nothing that I totally eliminate from my diet. Anyway, the book only has one short passage on why legumes are "bad" and it associates dried beans with processed foods. HUH? I can plant a bean in my back yard, and come back in the fall and get dried beans out of the pods and cook them up for dinner. That's a lot less processed than the almond flour and coconut oil that is used so abundantly throughout the book. I haven't found any other support in the book for eliminating legumes from my diet.

Like another poster said, take what you can use and discard the rest. I feel better when I limit my grain and dairy intake. Most of my carbs come from legumes, fruits, veggies and sweet potatoes.

I don't think we should be eating packaged foods no matter what sort of diet we're following, so in that respect, I don't think paleo is any less realistic than anything else. If there are "poison" foods it's the really processed, packaged foods that have come on the market in recent decades, not traditional foods like beans or cheese.

Voluntary Discomfort is the secret cornerstone of strength. We build our whole lives around increasing comfort and avoiding discomfort, and yet by doing so we are drinking a can of Weakness Tonic with every morning’s breakfast. ~Mr. Money Mustache
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DAVIS_6311
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10/19/12 4:10 P

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I feel like all you need to do is count calories..theres no need to EVER go extreme and cut foods you love out of your normal "diet". By "going Primal" or following the "paleo" diet you will certainly have to make a HUGE cahnge...and IM sure your body will really be feeling it.



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UNIDENT
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10/19/12 3:13 P

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Saying "you eat primal? that's dumb" would be "rarely helpful", yes.

However, saying "but cutting out whole groups of food based on a creative interpretation of evolutionary history is just dumb" is scientific and sound.

If you're going to do something like cut out whole food groups, then have a good reason. Eg, "I can't eat just one toast or just one cookie so I'm not eating any" is fine. "I don't eat bread because science proves bread makes you fat" is "dumb".

When people make decisions based on unsound reasoning, that needs to be called out.

Deb, in New Zealand


TANGERYNE
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10/19/12 12:47 P

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I tried it for a while and felt great. Didn't lose much weight and it's a very difficult diet to keep up as you can't eat most packaged stuff and I had a really tough time with snacks. Meals weren't that hard. Nuts were just too many calories for me and no dairy allowed so there goes that.

I gave up on it as it might have been a good diet but was just too hard to do. Now I just try to eat healthier in general and it's much less stressful than worrying about what our ancestors allegedly ate.


~ Em


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PRIM8PHD
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10/19/12 10:56 A

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Underinformed people's choices aren't dumb. Exploitation of scientific data definitely is. Fad diets absolutely are.

Avoiding high GI foods actually is based in sound scientific data, so of course eating highly processed grains and sugars is going to have an effect on hunger levels, so avoiding them is definitely a good idea. Cutting out whole plant-based food groups isn't.



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PARISAPRIL1
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10/19/12 6:20 A

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Any diet that puts a huge emphasis on eating lots of vegetables and fruit is good in my book.

I personally do much better with very limited grains in my diet. I eat more of a Primal diet though.



NEVERMIND2010
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10/19/12 6:20 A

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I'm trying to eat primal for a variety of reasons. I don't think grains or lentils or beans are poison. I'll eat them in small amounts. The same for tubers. But bread and sugar are, for me, very very bad. I can't eat just one cookie, or one piece of toast. So I'm not eating any. The paleo/primal diets I've seen don't say no fruit, so I'm not sure where that's coming from. I am trying to limit fruit because I am trying to break the sweets addiction.

I will say that being judgmental and calling people's choices "dumb" is rarely helpful.



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MICHELLEXXXX
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10/19/12 2:57 A

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My response to the original post question: I watch what works, educate myself on it, and implement changes based on that acquired knowledge. I believe what I see.
I think it is important to remember that we are all individual. It is a large collection of factors that determines one's health and thus what way of eating will best fuel them.

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16


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PSCHIAVONE2
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10/19/12 1:24 A

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I do find it funny that many of the eating styles that I have recently read about conclude that if one thing is really good for you then that must be the only thing you should eat. Like the raw diets, yeah eating a lot of raw food is good for you but in order to survive humans have always found ways to cook or preserve food to survive. I believe that the ancient people ate meat in moderation because it can be very challenging to get a kill daily. Can you imagine going out with a spear and taking down a large animal? It is not that easy. I also think that the ancients just didn't feast when food was available because they might not have food tomorrow. I think they moved to areas where vegetation was available and knew when to move on. There may have been times when food was scarce and then they may have feasted when they could get some. Also, if you ever have been truly hungry, then all of a sudden things like insects become very palatable. I also find it very funny that some of the authors of the Paleo diet look at a lentil as some sort of poison. I have taken what makes sense of these diets and incorporated into my own version of eating healthy. Basically I eat whole foods and lots of variety.

Weight is the result of what you have been doing for the past week.


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LEAHLEGS
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10/19/12 12:49 A

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I have a friend who swears by Paleo, but she's constantly super stressed about not eating any sugar, grains, or fruit, and any weight lost is immediately gained back when she's off of the program.

It seems to me like Paleo is the Atkins diet of the whole foods movement. We're omnivores, so take advantage. Plus bread is delicious, and someone can pry the baguette out of my cold dead fingers.




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PRIM8PHD
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10/19/12 12:32 A

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Oh, also, pet peeve #2 of the paleo diet is the assumption that our bodies have stopped evolving in response to changes in diet. NOT true, not by a long shot. Case in point: lactase persistence, which allows us to consume lactose-containing dairy products, has evolved independently in at least 3 geographic loci, and all within the last 10-20,000 years. That is crazy recent, but still, bodies can do that. Alcohol metabolism is another good example here. Incredible dietary breadth is a perfect example of primate traits scaled up into uniquely human adaptations, so I don't know why we're selling ourselves short here.

Of course, there are huge problems with processing our foods into what they've become--the ratio of sodium consumption relative to potassium being among them--but cutting out whole groups of food based on a creative interpretation of evolutionary history is just dumb. Ultimately, I've always liked the suggestions, 'don't eat anything your great grandmother wouldn't recognize as food', and keep it largely plant-based, with lean proteins, whole grains, dairy and alcohol in moderation--you really can't go wrong there.



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PRIM8PHD
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10/19/12 12:09 A

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I'm an evolutionary biologist and an anthropologist, and after spending a short time living with the Hadza in Tanzania, I'm consistently amused by just how wrong people get it. The biggest problem comes from people mistaking the hunter-gatherer diet as being excessively high in meat. The "man the hunter" paradigm championed early on is largely at fault, but guess what? Careful examination of the ethnographic record shows that actual hunter-gatherers (e.g., the !Kung, the Hadza, Mbuti) subsist on a diet that is largely plant-based, with some 67% of caloric intake coming from what is gathered, NOT hunted. Also, they eat honey, legumes, and grass seeds, and dig tubers that are very high in starches and natural sugars--things that would be taboo in most iterations of the "paleo" diet. Only a small (though significant) proportion of the diet is animal-based; even in the Kalahari they know better than to eat all the animals (or there will be no animals left!).

Of course, this doesn't hold true among Arctic hunter-gatherers, where they eat a diet very, very high in animal products sustained through low population size, but the jury's still out on health issues in those populations since they largely can't be teased out from the perils of modernity (high rates of contact in circumpolar groups = diabetes, alcoholism, increased rates of cancer reflecting tobacco, and higher rates of death by infectious diseases due to immunonaivety/lack of selection on certain disease-resistant phenotypes, etc.). Still, we're typically basing our assessments on African hunter-gatherers, since that's considered reasonably close to the environment of adaptation.

True, average life expectancy is less, but that's usually due to accidents (e.g., falling out of baobab trees when trying to get at bee's nests for honey), infected wounds, and infectious diseases (malaria is a major problem, and so are polio, measles, and everything else you've been vaccinated for). Heart disease, stroke, and diabetes are uncommon, so there's certainly something to be said for living a non-sedentary life on a plant-based diet with meat in moderation--but most people know this without ascribing to a fad diet.




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UNIDENT
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10/18/12 11:14 P

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The thing with Paleo is that it's not saying cavemen were healthier or anything. Just that we should probably eat the kinds of foods that our bodies evolved eating, rather than the kinds of foods we invented in the 20th century.

There is a lot of sense to that!

Eating clean and unprocessed foods in their natural state is certainly generally healthy.

However, remember that many foods are more nutritious cooked or processed in some way, and also many food processing advances have made us MORE healthy than our ancestral counterparts. We no longer lead the same lives, so that we should eat exactly as they did doesn't necessarily make sense.

So take from all plans what you want to take. If you think the plan offers reasonably sound advice, try it out. See how you go. Almost all approaches to diet "work" and very few are significantly unhealthy for you. So the worst that can usually happen is that you find this plan doesn't work for you and leaves you feeling lethargic or unsatisfied.

Just so long as you're not following a totally restrictive plan like the master cleanse or something... :)

Deb, in New Zealand


YOJULEZ
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10/18/12 11:01 P

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A lot of the principles of the Paleo diet make sense... ie eat whole unprocessed foods, etc etc. But I can't get on board with the no grains thing :)

I do know a few folks who like it though, it's helped w/ some of their health problems... probably due to eliminating the gluten.

Working on maintaining at 140!

If you're interested in checking out the food I've made and liked, come visit me on Pinterest, and feel free to follow me:
pinterest.com/julieanneco/foodz-trie
d-and-liked/


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PIXI_ELF
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10/18/12 10:05 P

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I totally agree it is crazy. Eggs are good for you, eggs are bad for you, no actually we had it wrong, eggs are good for you...Where will it stop??

After years and years of yo-yo dieting and using severe calorie restrictions and trying every diet under the sun, I have finally discovered that MODERATION is the best diet to have. Eat what you want so long as it is only small quantities. Fruits, veg and lean meats are all good food but even those is high quantities can be bad for you.

I guess whatever works for you. I read articles and then use a bit of common sense (like if an article says living of macdonalds every day for 3 years is good for you I will probably question it). I try and adapt to eating smaller portions of everything and limit the amount of "junk" I eat. For me, any restrictive diet doesn't work. I end up binging until I'm sick so portion sizes are the only thing that have helped me lose weight and keep it off for 7 months (a new record for me). No stupid Paleo diets for me emoticon




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PSCHIAVONE2
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10/18/12 9:09 P

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Just heard about the Paleo diet, it almost sounded like a joke so I decided to look it up. They not only have a Paleo Diet, they also have a primal diet. Of course many authors cannot agree on what you should eat just what you should not. Are we really trying to go back to the caveman days for better health? Are there any foods that we all can agree on that are good for us? The more I look into a healthy diet the more conflicting and what appears to be absurd recommendations I am finding. How are you sifting through all this information?

Weight is the result of what you have been doing for the past week.


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