what is the paleo diet? (plus how I’m doing it)

Posted on March 29th, 2012

Paleo is the new Atkins. I don’t actually think this. But it’s what everyone likes to say. It certainly is a way of eating that’s attracting a lot of attention…and with it some terribly hysterical mis-information.

infographic mages via greatist.com

Wondering what the hell I’m talking about? How about I give a bit of a Paleo 101 rundown…with some pointers to how I’ve chosen to interpret this way of living. Because, as hopefully you know, I’m not into doing “diets” or being strict and draconian with my eating, or doing what I’m told I should do (this extends well beyond food, I’m afraid) or getting caught up in a fad.

I like to eat my way… and gently. And so: the below is not a guide to how I think YOU should eat. I’m simply sharing my experiences experimenting, which perhaps might prompt you to experiment, too.

To be honest, I’ve resisted writing too much about it previously, although a lot of you who quit sugar are asking whether you “should also be quitting carbs”. (Should, should, should.)

I’ve resisted in part because I’ve been wary of boarding too many bandwagons and becoming a dreary bore who tells other people what to do. And in part because I’ve wanted to distance myself from the Paleo bores. And there are many. And they are vocal!

But mostly I’ve resisted because I like to try things fully before I buy it and share it (although I’ve written about it briefly here and shared recipes here.).

I’ve now tried out the caper fully – for about five months. So, time to share:

The elevator pitch answer: what is the Paleo diet?

Also called the cave man diet, it’s about eating in a similar way to the way our ancestors – up until the agricultural revolution about 7-10,000 years ago – used to eat.

This equates to: meat, saturated fats (from animals, avocados, nuts etc), non-starchy vegetables, nuts, eggs and a little low-sugar fruit.

It means not eating: anything that arrived on the scene since farming and processing began (grains, sugars, vegetable oils, Dunkin’ Donuts).

But Paleo peeps vary their take on the details (see below). To this end it’s an approach, not a diet (there’s no manifesto or original author who cashes in on the idea).

Why would you do such a thing?

Because we evolved to eat this way – and metabolise this way – over millions of years. Grains and other “processed foods” require radically different metabolic and digestive processes. Our bodies simply haven’t adjusted to these different processes (evolution is a damn slow process) and so we struggle with these “new” foods  at every mouthful. Our genes are 99 per cent the same as they were 10,000 years ago.

We haven’t changed genetically; our diets sure have. Ditto our waistlines and health…

The convincing bits for me:

Three things strike chords (and are good to take into the elevator with a doubter):

1. As our intake of grains and processed foods has increased, so has the incidence of diseases such as cancer and heart disease…at exactly the same rate.

2. Eating this way for five months had an impact on my health (see more below). By the way, it’s often suggested 30 days is long enough to try Paleo out.

3. Paleo eating, boiled down to basics, simply cuts out processed foods. If you follow the approach you can’t help but eat cleanly and ethically and environmentally better.

What, no grains? Won’t you get constipated or… something?

Actually, cutting out grains is the best thing you do for your guts if you have IBS, SIBO etc. For a good breakdown on “why no grains”, go here and download the fantastic podcasts from the Paleo Summit. The  no-grains argument is explained fully. As is the impact grains will or won’t have on your bowels.

This is how I do it:

I no longer eat grains. I quit gluten a while back for AI reasons. In the past five months I’ve dabbled a bit with them…to see what happens…but each time I’ve bloated up and felt foggy of head. Not massively so. And not enough to be a pain in the butt when my Aunt makes a beautiful stirfry with rice noodles, say. I just choose to lean away from them and, frankly, don’t miss them (and when I do, I just have a piece of gluten free toast with peanut butter without guilt or fear).

What about dairy and legumes and root veggies?

Yeah, the former have been introduced in the past 10,000 years, and the latter are made up of sugary starches that we struggle to break down. And, yep, some paleo obsessives don’t touch them. But me…

This is how I do it:

I eat dairy – happily. I used to think I had issues with dairy. But I tried a few things. I now eat full-fat dairy only (lots of people with issues find switching to full-fat is better on their guts… this is because when they remove the fat, they remove alot of the lactase, the enzyme that breaks down the problematic lactose). And I avoid soft uncultured cheeses (the cultured ones have less lactose). I’m yet to fully embrace the raw milk thing… but lots of reports suggest those with milk issues who switch to raw milk suddenly have no milk issues…and also see other health issues disappear! I’ll write more on this at some stage. For more  in the interim, the comments in this post are really informative.

I eat legumes occasionally. But I sprout them to break down the enzymes and limit them a lot. Not because I’m following a rule, but because too many do muck with my guts. Ditto too many nuts (I also sprout these and personally have to limit them heavily).

I don’t fixate on the “was it around 10,000 years ago” thing… I ask whether my metabolism can really handle the food. I’m lucky that dairy is fine by me. I don’t eat potatoes – never have…they hurt my stomach – and find sweet potato a little hard to swallow at times. But pumpkin makes me happy.

But what about all that meat?

Sure, it can all seem like a very meat-based way of eating. But…

This is how I do it:

I actually eat more vegetables than the average vegetarian. Serious. My eating is now very much based on eating large amounts of veggies (esp green ones), about 6-8 cups a day.

I eat veggies three meals a day.

I use meat as an addition, often for flavour, and not in huge quantities. So, I’ll throw into a bowl of vegetables a rasher or two (max) of bacon (cooked and crumbled), a small handful of cooked chicken, or a small tin of tuna or some grilled sardines. I’ll eat a meat-based dinner if I go out (eg a steak) once a week/fortnight (I’m careful to choose places who commit to good quality meat) and if, say, I make up a slow-cooked stew (with vegetables) it’ll use 500g of meat…which I eat over about 4-5 servings.

So, not so much meat.

My blog is full of different recipes for eating this way, if you’re interested.

And the fat?

Read my take on the whole fat argument here.

This is how I do it:

I pretty much follow the below. Also check out this great rundown.

I’ve lost weight eating more fat, as I’ve mentioned before.

Is it ethical?

All that meat? Carbon miles? The animals?

This is something I’ll discuss in a lot more detail soon, but my research is fast finding that a paleo diet is the most ethical way to eat. A central tenet is that animal products must be grass or pasture-fed (not grain-fed), free range, organic and untreated to fit the paleo philsophy. Until I give a proper account, you’ll have to take my word for it.

This is how I do it:

I invest in the best meat…and eat less of it. I buy locally-reared meat and eggs from the markets. If I couldn’t, I’d find a butcher or supplier who does (have a look here for starters) or I’d get it delivered. I know not everyone is flush with cash for buying organic meat, which can be expensive. If you’re not flush, maybe buy less-but-better meat? If you are flush, then I think there’s a responsibility to increase the demand for these more ethical foods…just saying.

Damn it’s expensive

Yes and no. Read above for my less-but-better approach. Also…

This is how I do it:

I make choices and prioritise. Read this post on which veggies you should buy organic, and which are OK to buy standard.

Also, I choose to buy better food and less supplements. Eating grass fed meat, for instance, supplies significant amounts of beneficial omega-3 fats such as EPA and DHA. Grass-fed meat also helps with a bunch of other health issues.

Are there health issues?

This info graphic kind of answers things…if your health is recalibrated, no. While ever it’s damaged from bad diet, there could be some problems, though.

Some other things to know:

  • paleo isn’t about grazing: it’s 3 – 4 proper meals a day.
  • it includes only a small amount of fruit – one serve/day of low-fructose fruit (which is my overall approach). In order of preference. For more go here: What about the fructose/glucose content of fruits?
  • Paleo also incorporates a particular type of fitness…. exercise that’s not about slogging it out at the gym or running marathons. I’ve been exercising this way for a while. Catch up here and here.
  • A big part of the paleo approach is to sleep as our ancestors did: off to bed early, get at least 8- 9 hrs of sleep, etc
  •  Here is a great paper from Professor Loren Cordain exploring how to build a modern Paleo diet.
  • the paleo diet often sees you lose weight, due to less sugar and more fat. You can read about this here.
  • The paleo diet helps halt (and prevent) a number of degenerative diseases, especially for autoimmune sufferers.  Here is a 7-part video series by Prof. Loren Cordain describing the etiology of Multiple Sclerosis. Keep in mind, this is the same process which underlies ALL autoimmune disease. Or check out Nora Gedgaudas’ Primal Body Primal Mind for the full dossier on why this is so. Or my podcast with Nora here.

 There’s much more I can share, but perhaps the most important bit is…

Do I like eating Paleo?

Yeah, I do. So long as I don’t have to say, “I eat Paleo” or “I’m a Paleo”. I take on many of the sensible Paleo principles, is all. And leave out the hysteria. Proof is in the pudding, of course:

* I have less bloating and gas. In fact, none at all these days.

* I still have bowel issues (I won’t overshare here, but suffice to say this is due to longterm issues which this way of eating is starting to unravel). Again I really recommend some of the lectures on digestion in the Paleo Summit podcasts if you have digestion issues too.

* I find cooking easier and eating out is just fine. It’s all quite effortless. Most pubs and restaurants cook meals that are meat and vegetables.

A tip: at breakfast, order the poached eggs with toast or the fritatta with toast…but ask for spinach or mushrooms instead of the toast. That is, make sure you stress the instead of bit, so you’re not left paying for toast and the side order. I think this is fair.

* I eat 3 meals a day instead of the 5-6 in the past

* I get less cravings and find it even easier to avoid sugar now

* I’ve lost weight – about 2-3 kilos – and my skin is the best it’s ever been. I don’t think this is due to anything too magical. Eating this way steers me away from crap.

OK. I’ve exhausted myself. If you find this interesting, why don’t you let me know if there are particular issues you’d like me to go into further…

By the way, you can find the rest of the infographics at Greatist.com’s the ultimate guide to eating paleo.

 

Related Posts with Thumbnails
  • http://www.princesseemma.com Emma

    Hi Sarah,

    Do you know if Paleo is good for your heart? Or where I can find out more about this? My husband’s family has a history of heart disease, and Paleo seems to have animal fats which I thought weren’t great for the heart, so would like to check this out before he tries it with me.

    Thanks,
    Emma.

    [Reply]

    Carrie Reply:

    The issue with meat & heart disease is from conventional, feed lot animals. Pasture raised animals have the best, healthiest ratio of omega 3′s & 6′s. which is very heart healthy. 1month on a paleo detox (only veggies, 4oz meat per meal, limited fruit, healthy oils, sweet potatoes & water or herbal teas) and my husband’s triglycerides were cut in half, blood pressure is lowest in YEARS, and chloesterol is excellent. His doctor is modifying his medication and we are looking at ultimately no medications by the end of the year. We have been adding in foods slowly to see his reaction…yes to eggs & dairy, no to potatoes.

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  • Emma

    Wow thanks Sarah. I love your approach- always have. Not the slightest bit preachy but super informative.

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  • http://www.glowsydney.com Makenzie

    Sarah, thank you so much for this post! I actually had assumed you were one of those die-hard extreme paleo people but after reading this it’s refreshing to know you are open-minded about it. I wish more people (health coaches especially) were more like this. Any way, great extensive info …PS the link where you say to check out local/delivery butchers isn’t working. If you know any good resources for straight-from-the-farm meat and dairy in Sydney that would be awesome to know, been looking for ages. xx!

    [Reply]

    Mel Reply:

    In reply, I think mirrool creek do free range grass fed meat and there is another ice seen who sell from the markets at fox studios on Wednesday and Saturday. Ahh just remembered it’s spring hill. If you google them they deliver as well I think. I’ve also seen them sold in the old school health food shop in randwick on belmore rd. Hope it helps.

    [Reply]

    Kate Reply:

    Hey Makenzie,

    Fantastic butchers for organic, free-range, grass fed meat are GRUB (Grass Roots Urban Butchery) in Vaucluse and Pott’s Point (they also deliver AND they sell good milk, cream and dairy – ask for Cleos brand). Other butchers include Hudson’s Meats in Surry Hills and Feather and Bone in Rozelle. I have not personally tried either of these but I hear they are good!

    [Reply]

    Emily Reply:

    In the inner west, there is Marrickville Markets and Eveleigh Markets which both have straight-from-the-farm meat suppliers.

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    Simone Reply:

    Orange Grove markets at Birchgrove normally have organic F+V sellers and farmer direct meat and dairy.

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    Lulu Reply:

    Orange Grove markets are at Lilyfield at Orange Grove Public School (just down the road from Rozelle and close to Leichhardt pool)

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    Simone Reply:

    Brainsnap! Thank you for correcting me..I know that :-)

    Jane Reply:

    I’ve used Sydney Meats (http://www.sydneymeats.com.au/) – the meat tastes fantastic, the food is direct from Southern Highlands farmers and delivered to my place. I’m looking forward to trying an order from Spring Hill Meats – you can pre-order and pick up from Fox Studio Markets.

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  • Kimberley

    I read a few Paleo blogs every now and again, but was quite put off by how strict it all seemed. There’s something about being told what I absolutely must not eat that seems to make me want to run off and scoff down a packet of chips. But your post really puts it into perspective. Not preachy at all and very informative (so many links!). After quitting sugar and wheat the idea of losing the grains/legumes is kind of scary, but I think this was just what I needed to be convinced. Thank you.

    [Reply]

  • Miranda

    Hi Sarah,
    I find that as an endurance athlete- marathons/ultra marathons etc, I do have to have some form of starchy carbs. But because of fructose issues and salycilate sensativities it can not be any type of vegetable – but I do have plain rice cakes. They don’t have any fibre, but that is also helpful for my IBS. Sometimes I do feel very lethargic and wondered if it is because my body actually needs the extra carb boost. I have investigated the Blood Type Diet and as I am an A- it suggests that my body would process better on a more plant-based diet and less on a meat/high protein like an O blood type would – what do you thin or anyone else have any thoughts on this? Cheers, Miranda

    [Reply]

    Kellie Reply:

    Hi Miranda
    I have also previously tried to follow blood type a principles and find eating paleo without following those principles can make me feel very sluggish and lethargic and also feeling a little liverish. So Im just about to start incorporating back in to the paleo mix the A blood type protocol, not so strictly but as a general rule to see If it helps. Obviously keeping out the grains and sugars still at least until Ive rebalanced my weight then I will bring back a little fruit.

    [Reply]

  • Renae

    I’m interested in paleo, Can you please recommend a book. There seems to be so many but some look harder to read than others.

    [Reply]

    Luke Brennan Reply:

    Hi Renae,

    Two books i can strongly recommend are:
    Primal Body, Primal Mind by Nora Gedgaudas http://www.primalbody-primalmind.com/
    Primal Blueprint, by Mark Sisson http://primalblueprint.com/pages/Mark-Sisson.html

    Mark also has a blog worth subscribing to called Marks Daily Apple.

    Cheers
    Luke

    [Reply]

    Kate Reply:

    Fantastic one to start with is The Paleo Solution, by Robb Wolf – gives both sciency and non-sciency options, and is quite witty.

    [Reply]

  • http://www.rachaelphillips.net Rachael

    Sarah,
    What an in-depth post! It’s great to read and I love the way that you’re not pushing it down anyones throats. I bought your book yesterday {as you know from twitter} and I’ve been trying to quit carbs for a while. I get sucked in though – every time!! Carbs make me feel like c*ap! I get a rash, feel rubbish and they actually make me more hungry!
    Going to have a good read of this tomorrow just wanted to say great post!

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  • Barbara

    Hi Sarah, great story, thankyou. I follow a similar paleo diet but still include buckwheat and quinoa and sometimes legumes like chickpeas and always green beans. Do you know if quinoa is considered paleo as it is a seed?
    Also, one question that bothers me about paleo – Why would a legume like green beans not be considered paleo when surely they would have been eaten by paleolithic man as they can be picked and eaten raw without any fuss and would have been around before agriculture? I find these easy to digest.

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    Jenna Reply:

    It’s true that quinoa is a seed, not a grain, but paleo generally rules it out, because it’s a “grain-like seed”.

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  • Brittany

    Great post Sarah, it is clear and easy to understand. Is there any alcohol that is paleo friendly? I am not a big drinker but enjoy a glass of red wine or a vodka, fresh lime and soda every now and again.

    Also can anyone suggest where to buy grass or pasture-fed meat and pork in Melbourne – I can find an on-line supplier but I prefer to walk into a butcher and have a look at the product.

    [Reply]

    Kristy Reply:

    Hi Brittany
    I recently discovered a butcher in Balywyn (on Belmore road) who has an entire shop full of organic meats. I bought an organic chicken and some organic lamb last week and they were lovely.

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    Kristy Reply:

    Oops that should say ‘Balwyn’

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    Lis Reply:

    Kristy, if you’re talking about Belmore Butchers they have also opened a shop in Glenferrie Rd, Hawthorn. All meat organic and they usually cook up some of their products on Sat morning for tastings.

    Brittany Reply:

    Thanks Kristy and Lis – Hawthorn is very close to me so I will have to check them out. Thanks again!

    A J Reply:

    http://www.littlecreekbeef.com/

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    A J Reply:

    Try

    http://www.littlecreekbeef.com/

    Grass fed and you buy in bulk and they deliver

    [Reply]

    Nat Power Reply:

    try the Farmers Markets around town. http://www.mfm.com.au/ or http://www.vicfarmersmarkets.org.au/ I note that the Boroondara one is this week. I note that the sausologist is at the one in caulfield who makes freerange sausages! amazing!

    [Reply]

    Chlo Reply:

    Hi Brittany,
    I’m a fan of the butchers at the Vic Market that supply kangaroo. This is as close as we can get in Australia to eating the type of meat available in paleo times as the animals get to live a natural life. Look for the store with the paintings of Australian fauna! Their other meats are also free range and chemical free – pretty much “organic” though not certified as such. They specialise in wild meats so the wild boar sausages are also great to try when they have them and their duck is superb. If you’re not convinced about eating roo check out this article http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/diet-and-fitness/blogs/chew-on-this/eating-to-beat-inflammation-20110801-1i7un.html – roo causes far less inflammation than other red meat (we also cull kangaroos in Australia so I think it’s better to eat them than to leave them to rot when culled). The only concern with it really is questions over the matter of how the roos die – but I think the same concerns can be raised with any animal. If you’re eating out, the Napier pub in Fitzroy has the peppered roo from this butcher on their menu – absolutely delicious!
    Check it out and enjoy!

    [Reply]

  • Mia Bluegirl

    I like the idea that you can adopt certain principles that work for you, and discard the rest. No point being dogmatic and fundamentalist about eating, life is too short. I LOVE a grains-free approach for bowel issues, I have the occasional problem still (I have since I was a kid) but it has improved a lot.

    Paleo eating is actually a lot of fun! I enjoy getting creative with salads, smoothies and kangaroo mince, and Mark’s Daily Apple has some amazing recipes you’d never know were modified to be healthy. The Primal moussaka is my favourite.

    Yay Sarah! xx

    [Reply]

    Carrie Reply:

    He also has a 30 minute meals book that you can find linked on his blog.

    [Reply]

  • Luke Brennan

    Great article Sarah!
    Though i tend to avoid labels in my lifestyle choices, I have enjoyed the many benefits of Paleo inspired health and fitness for a number of years now.
    Critically for me in nutrition terms, its all about whole foods, high nutrition – low calorie, maintaining proper insulin and leptin management.
    Body alkalinity and maintaining and supporting proper digestion and digestive track are all keys to long-term wellness (which includes weight management, avoiding autoimmune diseases, great sleep, consistent and high energy levels and good mental health…to name a few)
    With regards to exercise, for me its all about quality, rather than quantity. High Intense Interval Training (H.I.I.T.) such as Tabata takes around 20 minutes a day 3 times a week. Its intense, but over quickly and provides a full body workout, using mostly your body weight. This combined with normal exercise activities such as walking, cycling etc bookends my weekly needs.
    MInd you, I have to admit i do Crossfit a couple of times a week as it pushes me to another level…
    Lastly i avoid alcohol and sugar, like the plague…
    Both of those addictions were the hardest over the long term. As a 44 year old male, the effects of alcohol on my mood, my energy levels, my motivation and general well-being was severely compromised. Once given up (5 years ago), everything became clear, and my ability to achieve my wellness and lifestyle goals were achieved and continually improve.
    I am happier, stronger, fitter than i ever was, and am enthusiastically pursuing the years ahead.
    Thanks again

    Luke

    [Reply]

    Laylach Reply:

    Hi Luke

    What a great post, very motivating. I am a 45 year old femaie who struggles with giving up alcohol – any tips on how you managed to give up would be greatly appreciated.

    Many thanks in advance

    [Reply]

    Luke Brennan Reply:

    Both alcohol and sugar play such a social role in Australian culture it can be very difficult to not only stop consuming but to be allowed to stop via encouragement by our peers, work-mates, friends and family.
    What worked for me was making whole and fundamental changes in my lifestyle, i simply had to – i was constantly aware of how alcohol was diminishing my ability and my motivation and that annoyed and frustrated me. I reviewed and wrote down everything that i had wanted to achieve and reasons why i hadn’t achieved – and alcohol and alcohol related symptoms were the reasons behind it.
    I used my “annoyed-frustration” and turn that into a determination to stop…and i did.
    Yes, it did affect many friendships and challenged many social situations, but what happens over a period of time is that once you wean yourself off those environments, new scenarios and environments open up. You become exposed to new people and new environments that are not toxic and, by default, inspire and motivate you further.
    I keep a diary and use vision-boards, that i update regularly, to keep me focused on what i want to achieve. These tools were pivotal in eliminating these and other toxins from my life over the past 10 years – however i now use these tools to pursue and achieve future goals and dreams.
    Good luck and feel free to keep in contact
    Best
    Luke
    PS: maybe you will like this link http://tinybuddha.com/blog/6-powerful-questions-that-will-change-your-life-forever/?utm_source=The+Tiny+Buddha+List&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=9383df723b-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN

    [Reply]

    Laylach Reply:

    Hi Luke

    Thank you so much for such a generous reply and sorry for taking so long to acknowledge it (sick kids!). I am lucky in that I have friends who either do not drink very much or whom would definitely support a decision i made not to drink (plus a partner who drinks very little) – the issue is me! I use alcohol as my reward for getting through the day and my relaxation phase from the duties of being a mum to some adult time but i find it hard to just have one glass and I know it changes my mood negatively the next day sometimes. Problem is I really enjoy it at the time!

    I really appreciate the very practical info in writing down your goals and the frustration level of not achieving that. That is my goal for this week. I have just had a quick look at the link you sent and bookmarked to go back into in the morning when a little more refreshed.

    Thank you, thank you again for your frank and very supportive info.

    Clare (laylach)

  • Karli

    Thanks so much for this great post Sarah, I’ve been thinking about doing this for a while, and have really liked Mark’s Daily Apple for extra, detailed information. But your approach is fantastic. I’m in week 7 of IQS and feeling great – I think the same week by week philosophy experiment can be applied to testing a paleo approach. (My poor boyfriend can’t keep up with me!) Thanks again, you’re appreciated!

    [Reply]

  • casey

    Great post, Sarah. I’ve been toying with the idea but have been unwilling to commit. I can’t wrap my head around the idea of not eating legumes, and I don’t eat red meat, so I’m figuring out how I could make this work for me. I don’t think I’ll go paleo, but reading about this has made me aware of the amount of grains I eat – which is a lot – and how much of a ‘filler’ food they are for me. I’m going to swap in more vegies and reduce my grains consumption, but not eliminate them entirely. I love lentils and chickpeas, so they’re here to stay! Thanks for this post, it was nice to read about paleo in such an easy-going, no fuss, yet personal way.

    [Reply]

  • Sarah Isaac

    Thanks, Sarah!!!! 3 questions for you:

    #1 Is quinoa paleo? I can’t find a definitive answer. Should it be avoided for any reason?

    #2 When you eat gluten free bread, what is it made of?

    #3 Any reason to avoid almond butter?

    Thanks!!!

    [Reply]

    Ashley Reply:

    1. quinoa is a seed not a grain. so its great. largely, protein based.
    2. Its hard to find a gf bread that doesn’t have sugar in it. I would love to know what kind she eats too. I found a few that don’t have sugar but do have some form of fruit juice in them so I’m not sure they’re great either.
    3. She recommends almond butter several times on her blog. it’s great. love the stuff.

    [Reply]

  • Ange

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! So informative (and non preachy as always). I’m also have Hashimoto and have been ordered off gluten so your blog is a fundamental part of my life!

    PS Made you’re mum’s chicken soup recipe over the weekend. I had to blizt it to eat (just had my wisdom teeth out), and it was delish. The stock was made per your recent post. So – big thanks again.

    Ok, I’m sounding borderline stalker-like so I’ll go now.

    [Reply]

    Carrie Reply:

    The author of http://www.deliciouslyorganic.net also has Hashimotos. Great resource. She posts organic, grain free & gluten free recipes. And you can purchase the same as weekly meal plans to help you get started.

    [Reply]

  • linda

    thought you might be interested in my friend’s reflections on his month eating paleo stylee. The link is http://ourpaleomonth.wordpress.com/2012/02/29/127/ – all the best Sarah! I am probably eating paleo-ish more since I read Food Rules (which has been extremely helpful) – but here I am on a Thursday morning eating a big bowl of pasta in front of the computer! I probably don’t eat it as much as I used to (not that I was ever a massive fan) – probably once a week at the most. Thanks for introducing me to the wonderful world of quinoa!

    [Reply]

  • http://www.thesummerhouse.blogspot.com Jana Miller

    My favorite Paleo blog and book are Marks Daily Apple, The Primal Blueprint. I strive for 90% primal. Some times it just isn’t feasible but I find that I don’t crave teh wheat and sugars so much. I tty and fast one day a week and it doesn’t take much effort when you aren’t eating grains-no more sugar crashes. Another favorite book is Wheat Belly! And the Wheat Belly Blog. It goes right along with primal/paleo way of eating.

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    Jana Miller Reply:

    ps- my husband has lost 35+ pounds and finally my teenage son feels full :)

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    Gayle Reply:

    Marks daily apple is primal, which is different to paleo. Mark allows grains, potatoes, recommends eating fatty meats, coffee etc. Where as paleo doesn’t. Dr Cordain’s site is great for paleo info :-)

    [Reply]

    Simone Reply:

    I don’t think MDA allows anything or not….He pretty much espouses exactly what Sarah does…However he does put an arguement for and against most grains/starches/fat and leaves it to you to make up your own mind. From his own posts he states he does not eat grains/pulses/legumes.

    [Reply]

    Gayle Reply:

    That’s my point, his site makes it to confusing for a newbie, especially if you check out the forums. It’s hard to find even 10 people doing true paleo. Mark also isn’t a doctor who has devoted his career to the study of paleo eating like Dr Cordain has. I just think people starting out need to educate themselves on the true paleo which is what Dr Cordain studies.

    Hi FAQ section is briiliant: http://thepaleodiet.com/faq

  • Jan

    Sarah, I was a little surprised to hear you have only lost 2-3kg eating paleo. More so, just reading Jana’s husband has lost 35+ pounds. I also lost a substantial amount of weight cutting out sugar, grains & carbs.

    [Reply]

    Tanya Reply:

    I don’t think most people go paleo for the weight loss – it’s more of a lifestyle. Alongside that I think how much you lose depends on how much you have to lose. My boyfriend and I follow this type of diet most of the time and he has increased weight as he has been building a lot of muscle due to the more protein he has been consuming. I lost a few kgs, but I get my body fat measured as well and this has dropped significantly, but the scales not so much as muscle weighs more then fat so I think you have to consider this aswell.

    Thanks, great post!

    [Reply]

    Fiona Reply:

    Maybe she didn’t have much weight to lose? I think when you are thin and starting from a point where you already eat in a healthy way, you aren’t going to lose tons of weight.

    That said, I’m a pescetarian, so paleo is not for me. I only eat fish occasionally, and I’m not willing to up it so I eat it more.

    [Reply]

  • http://www.amyedmonson.com amy

    This is an excellent post about paleo – thank you for all this valuable information. I’m getting ready to try it out for a few weeks to see how I feel. I’m already glutten and dairy free – now need to remove the grains. Thanks again for a fab post.

    [Reply]

  • http://www.slimosophy.blogspot.com.au Slimosophy

    Hi Sarah!

    Awesome well informed and articulated post! Love it! Thanks so much for sharing!

    [Reply]

  • Simone

    Another who wishes to thank you! I heard you interviewed on the radio about IQS and it instantly resonated with me (had quit alcohol a year earlier and found a raging sugar addiction replacing it!) So I am 1 month in to quitting sugar and am so grateful to have gotten rid of those cravings.

    Also thanks to you I also found Marks Daily Apple and between the two of you and reading ‘Sweet Poison’ I have cut out wheat/grains/legumes also…early days yet but I feel so much better, have already dropped a few kilos and now have 2-3 meals a day (not continuously feeling hungry any more, thank goodness! My skin looks the best it has for years and my eyes shine :)

    Look forward to more of your posts.

    [Reply]

  • Nat Power

    I think it’s great Sarah that you self-experimented before you wrote all this down to share. I appreciate your advice, especially as a celiac. I also whole-heartedly support your eat less meat but of a better quality. It’s easy to do, especially at urban Farmer’s Markets and through online farm shopping. The tin of tuna is a contradictory environmental choice. It’s a massive industry that is killing the marine eco-system rapidly. I think peanuts fit into the legume food genre, which i note my naturopath said could be causing me some issues because of their yeast content, same as avocado. Peanut butter on GF toast is a staple for me as a snack on the go but i am in and out of stomach issues and wondering how much of that is contributing. I wonder if you have issues with yeast as an AI sufferer? Thanks again for all your tips. You just inspired my three indgredient lunch, scrambled eggs, sprouted/roasted almonds & a grated carrot with cumin & seasonings for flavour. Also, eggs had a dash of coconut milk.

    [Reply]

  • Gayle

    I am glad to read another person eating paleo the way I do! Which is vegetables as the basis. I tried eating more meat at first and felt disgusting. I have noticed woolworths are doing more and more free range and organic meats, chips (sweet potato), butter etc which is fantastic for all of us.

    Someone asked about quinoa – I have read articles saying it can punch holes in your intestines so is best avoided..

    [Reply]

  • Lisa

    Superstar explanation – love it. I’m kinda doing the same, taking on the paleo principles but adapting it to suit me. oh and love that paleo bread recipe, i make a loaf every week for my family now.

    [Reply]

  • Caroline Fagan

    Sarah, thanks for this. I also have Hashimoto’s (diagnosed only months ago), and am now avoiding gluten (mostly thanks to you – western doctors don’t even seem to acknowledge the link!) and sugar where possible. The only thing that stops me from following you into the Paleo diet is that I’ve been vegetarian for 20 years (that said, I have added fish to my diet in the past 3 years, for the omega 3s, that I was finding too difficult to get elsewhere). Like you, I have had ongoing bowel issues with digestion, bloating, elimination, etc. I know you said above that you don’t want to overshare (and fair enough!), but any tips or lightbulb moments would be very much appreciated (even if a whole blog post devoted to ‘number 2s’ might be too much to ask!)… :-)

    [Reply]

  • michael

    Sure that I’ve missed a few memos .. and slightly off track .. but I’m wondering what the deal is with palm sugar ?? Good ? Bad ? Ugly ?

    [Reply]

    Jo Reply:

    Bad and ugly – full of fructose (very bad). Try stevia.

    [Reply]

    michael Reply:

    thanks Jo !

    [Reply]

  • Madeleine

    Thanks, this is great. Nice and informative.

    [Reply]

  • Clara

    I agree on some things but you can’t really argue that a Paleo diet is “the most ethical”. A vegan diet, where no animal products are consumed, is of course more ethical, especially if the person (and many vegans do) also takes into account things like fair trade, organic and local, e.g. I only buy fair trade and organic soy products and limit my consumption.

    [Reply]

  • Misha

    Sorry, but it’s proven- livestock production is responsible for more greenhouse gases than every single car, bus, train, plane, tractor and scooter put together. Even if eating meat was proven to be the healthiest diet on the planet, the answer is simple. Less meat means less animal production, which means less greenhouse gases, less water consumption, less deforestation and finally, less global warming.

    We owe it to the Earth. We owe it to the animals.

    [Reply]

    Dani Reply:

    Local/free-range/organic/grass-fed meat is much better for the environment than your regular mass produced grain-fed livestock. The cattle actually produce less gas too, due to the fact they aren’t on a grain-filled diet.

    It may be more expensive to buy for the minute, but in the end $$ will do the talking and more farmers will cotton on.

    Disagree entirely.

    [Reply]

    Misha Reply:

    Since grazing animals eat mostly cellulose-rich roughage while their feedlot counterparts eat mostly simple sugars whose digestion requires no rumination, the grazing animals emit two to four times as much methane, a greenhouse gas roughly 30 times more powerful than carbon dioxide.
    This, and the faster weight gain by feedlot animals, result in significantly higher greenhouse gas emissions per pound of meat by grass fed animals than by feedlot ones.

    [Reply]

    Fi Reply:

    It’s not as simple as that. I wish I had more time to explain here, but here is a good article as a start.

    http://www.monbiot.com/2010/09/07/strong-meat/

  • Kate

    What a fantastic article – thanks so much! It’s easily the best explanation of paleo that I’ve read so far. And, I love your approach to it all. I liken it to religion – everyone’s view points are different, and you just need to work out what works for you. I discovered paleo via your blog, after starting your IQS program on 1 January. It’s been pretty life-changing, and much easier than I thought it would be. I try to eat paleo about 90% of the time, but have some bread or crackers occasionally, and still have milk in my coffee, but that’s working OK for me. Through eating paleo I discovered crossfit, which I’m also loving.

    [Reply]

  • http://www.thirdontheright.blogspot.com le_third

    hello there = GREAT summary – thanks :) we moved to this with two kids 7 and 9 in about Oct last year – we have all benefited in different ways …. we were already GF so not such a big shift really – still do dairy like you … still facing feedback – negative – but blah not their decision :) best le

    [Reply]

  • Patricia

    You mentioned you had gluten-free toast with peanut butter.

    Gluten free bread is still made from a grain/or grains. You mentioned you didn’t have grains any more.
    Peanuts are a legume not a nut, for memory you mentioned you did not eat legumes.

    Please correct me if I am wrong, or misinterpreted.

    [Reply]

    elle Reply:

    She said if she feels like it she will have it without guilt or fear but she LEANS towards no grains. The point was she is not super strict and doesn’t beat herself up if she has grains occasionally.

    [Reply]

    Becca Reply:

    I thought peanut butter was high in sugar. Is there a non-sugar version out there somewhere?

    [Reply]

    Alana Reply:

    Becca, in the health food aisle at any big supermarket you can buy natural peanut butter where the only ingredient is roasted peanuts! Delicious.

    [Reply]

  • Rose

    Awesome info Sarah!! I’m paying closer attention to what I eat, and this approach seems to be the healthiest approach that agrees with me. Though I’ve never had a problem with digesting grains, I am going to eat less grains and see how I do.

    My only concern is the weight loss. I have trouble keeping my weight at a healthy level, since my diet is pretty healthy and I limit sugar and processed foods, don’t drink pop, etc. I try to eat healthy fats, but in the past, lots of carbs meant my weight was where I wanted it to be (120 or so, at 5’6”). Now it’s roughly 110, not healthy for me.

    I will continue to experiment though!

    [Reply]

  • Patricia

    Sarah, I also meant to ask you in my previous comment as I have ibs and I would love to know about which vegetables you prefer and can tolerate.

    [Reply]

  • Jane

    What if grains (I eat brown rice and quinoa and good breads) don’t upset your gut? Feeling great after 3 weeks of no sugar, but don’t know how I’d go without the grains. I’m mainly vego and eat yoghurt and cheese but like to think I get a good hit of protein from quinoa…thoughts?

    [Reply]

    Katherine in London Reply:

    I’m thinking the same thing. I feel great after quitting sugar and I don’t really see the need to go off grains.

    However, I love experimenting with food and exercise to see how it affects my health. I’m going to try Paleo for a few months and see how it goes. If it makes a difference, then I’ll adopt my own version of it. If it doesn’t make a difference, then great. At least I gave it a go.

    :)

    [Reply]

    Ashley Reply:

    I think trying your own approach is great. If you feel good though don’t keep pushing yourself though because other people are. If you’re lucky enough to be the type of person that feels great with carbs/grains then don’t cut them out. Thats just a waste of time and energy. Take it from someone who has been ill a long time and would love to feel good eating carbs. Stick with what makes you feel good. Everyone is different.

    [Reply]

    Tatum Reply:

    What a great post! Good approach.

  • Jess

    I just started listening to the Robb Wolf podcasts about Paleo. They basically respond to emails so all sorts of topics are covered.

    [Reply]

  • http://www.againstthegrainnutrition.blogspot.com.au/ Kate

    If anyone is interested in chatting to some local farmers of organic, grass-fed meat and poultry, Grass Roots Urban Butchery (http://www.grassrootsurbanbutchery.com/)are having an open day at their Pott’s Point store tomorrow from 11-4. Great opportunity to learn about where quality food comes from!

    [Reply]

  • Becca

    Ohhh, I just picked up Aprils Madison magazine and another big article on the sugar. And Sarah, you are referenced!! Obviously David G & yourself are the sugar gurus now.

    It just seems now that journalists are jumping on the bandwagon, well over a year since Sarah first raised it. Wonder how long till Paleo makes the headlines…

    [Reply]

  • Stephanie

    I know I’m going to catch a lot of heat for this, but as convincing as it sounds, this is still correlation, not causation: ” As our intake of grains and processed foods has increased, so has the incidence of diseases such as cancer and heart disease…at exactly the same rate.”

    I understand someone with gut or other health problems pursuing alternate diets, and to each his or her own, but apart from that I have to admit that I don’t buy into this. Personally, completely unscientifically, I think that our permanently-high stress levels and obsessive compulsion over everything from diet to exercise to fashion to social status to what app to use is at the root of most of the morbidity patterns that we see, but that’s my bias. Also, as statistician, I tend to think of the probabilities of different things happening to me and realize that the things we fixate on are usually not the things that are most likely outcomes.

    In any event, an interesting read and “à chacun son gout!”

    [Reply]

  • Mel

    Loving the article Sarah… and have been toying with the paleo / primal approach for some time so was very pleased to read such an informative post! Keep them coming I say! :)

    [Reply]

  • Kate.

    Thanks for sharing this info, I find it really interesting but (and I hate to be this person) as someone who has spent the last few years studying human biochemistry and microbiology, this just does not make any sense to me whatsoever.
    Saying that our bodies have not evolved to break down grains is not really accurate at all.

    It also does not make any sense to me because even the most knowledgeable paleo anthropologists can not tell us exactly what cave men ate. But, I am almost certain that unless they lived on a small tropic island in the pacific, cave men did not eat coconuts.

    Also, does anyone think twice about being told “you can’t eat dairy because cave men did not farm cows, oh, but eating beef is fine” !?!

    There are also serious side effects to eating high-protein diets long term.

    Isn’t it possible that the benefits from this diet are purely from cutting out sugar and processed foods? As I agree that avoiding these can have major benefits on one’s health.

    I am really not trying to be nasty with this comment, just genuinely sceptical as there are so many elements that just don’t make sense to me.

    [Reply]

    Gayle Reply:

    It makes a lot of sense once you have read the research articles by Dr Cordain, who has devoted his career to the research of paleo. Paleo way of eating was actually brought back into fashion by a gastroenterologist Walter L. Voegtlin when he noticed all the gut problems his patients were having. That was back in the 1970′s. It’s true our bodies were never designed to eat grains, and this is why we our now in the midst of an epidemic of autoimmune diseases, heart disease etc. People with MS are significantly improving following a paleo way of eating.

    This is a good place to start reading and there is plenty on pubmed and in nutrition journals as well: http://thepaleodiet.com/published-research

    [Reply]

    Kate Reply:

    Well our bodies were not “designed” to do anything, because humans were not designed, they evolved.

    And we did evolve to eat grains, that’s why our digestive tracts contain all the necessary enzymes to break down all the various nutritional components in grains.

    And you were told last week (on this very website) that the epidemic of auto-immune diseases and heart disease was due to a rise in the consumption of sugar.
    So which is it? Sugar or grains?

    Also, for every single published article on paleo, you can find another one that claims the exact opposite (like every single debate on nutrition) there are also numerous studies showing that the paleo diet can be very dangerous to people with even normal kidney function.

    [Reply]

    Gayle Reply:

    If you had bothered to read the research articles all of your questions would be answered. Why are you here if you just want to bag paleo and be negative?. It’s nasty trolling.

    Patricia Reply:

    Kate is obviously well informed and her knowledge and opinion was very interesting to read.

    I don’t feel that her questions were unreasonable. How they were interpreted to be nasty is beyond me!!

    When one expresses a different opinion in a reasonable manner it is not bagging!!

    kassa Reply:

    Hi Kate,

    I agree about the different research out there that are designed to disapprove just about every point Paleo stands for. For me it comes down which source you believe and what makes sense, not very scientific I know, but that’s how I handle it and as I learn more, I might change my position. Also with kidney issues, the main consideration has to be made, that the diet,Paleo or not Paleo, what works well for Sarah or for me may not be as beneficial for others, even if we all had a normal kidney function.

    With regard to grains, my understanding is that the grains that we evolved to eat for thousands of years, are not the same as we find them in supermarkets today. In last 50 years the wheat and grains have been genetically modified to increase the crop productivity and it resulted in introduction of the type and amount of anti-nutrients which human body are not able to digest. While genetically modified dwarf wheat enabled the western world to harvest the crop in amounts never achievable before, its impact on a human health hasn’t been taken into account, for whatever reasons… again , Hitler was also voted and elected by people.

    Ability to digest grains also may vary based on what genetic background you come from, e.g. population form the middle-east who have been harvesting grains the longest through the centuries are more genetically conditioned to breakdown wheat, but again, it’s not the wheat that is growing in fields of North America and in Australia today, but the variety that it’s been produced locally by their previous generations. The quality of food is so important when it comes to the grain and the rice debate and what you eat along with it as well.

    Some paleo groups do recommend fermented grains and rice as the fermentation believed to partially eliminate those antinutriants. But will we ALL be able to tolerate fermented grains? Probably not, but some lucky ones will. You’ll find more about it on Weston A Price Foundation website which might be useful resource for your research and your studies.

    As Sarah said, it’s not a religion, but be open minded to consider and if you have health problems, it might be the answer for yo

  • alix

    Hi Sarah

    Would love to see what your meals Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner would be for one week.

    Love your blog and thanks for sharing your experiences.

    [Reply]

    Katherine in London Reply:

    Yes, I second that!

    I would love to see how this looks in everyday life. Pictures would be nice too. :)

    [Reply]

  • http://www.drronehrlich.com Dr Ron Ehrlich

    Great blog Sarah….. there’s got to be another eBook in that.

    Its the moderation of protein and eating like a vegetarian which I love. The meat are grass fed and finished. Its healthier for our body and our planet.
    Be Well:) Dr Ron

    [Reply]

  • Heather

    Very informative post…thankyou! Does anyone know where to buy grass fed meat in canberra region? I use to buy it at orange grove markets Roselle but since moving to canberra haven’t been able to find any.

    [Reply]

  • http://www.crossfitcatcave.blogspot.com Sabine Weijers

    Great post! Finally, Paleo gets more and more attention, although in my country bread is the ultimate food staple (The Netherlands) including cheese and milk.
    So still have trouble sometimes in restaurants. Never before have i felt better, more energized and had so much fun cooking! Spread the word!

    [Reply]

  • http://mymezzaluna.com Edwina

    I have candida and am also intolerant to gluten, dairy, eggs and about 36 other foods. Although I do not eat gluten I do,still eat other gf grains like buckwheat and teff and rice. After more than a year of eating this way, I am so much better but not totally. I still have joint pain and the odd bit of brain fog and now I find myself questioning whether I should give all grains a miss. I think I will turn my blog into a lab for testing this out on my own body. Thanks for your veryw informative blog.

    [Reply]

  • Harry Hotsox

    I’m wondering if the paleo diet is appropriate for everybody. Some time ago a naturopath called Peter D’adamo wrote a book about how and why different blood types evolved. Differing blood types affect more than just transfusions and transplants. Blood types affect digestive systems – type O’s have more stomach acid and are better at digesting meat. Blood type A evolved about 10,000 years ago as a result of modified diets from farming, so the digestive systems of type A’s are suited for grains. This would suggest that type O’s will do well on paleo diets while type A’s won’t. Any thoughts, anyone?

    [Reply]

    Angela Reply:

    I’m an A, but don’t do well on grains. SInce doing Paleo, I feel much,much better, after years of IBS, and no help from western medicine.I was gluten free first, which helped, but going totally grain free feels even better.So I don’t think the blood type diet is for me.

    [Reply]

  • Sue

    Sarah are you still following David withe quitting sugar??

    [Reply]

  • http://dashfieldvintage.blogspot.com Malayka

    Fascinating, I’ve never heard of this diet before. I was actually particularly interested in the 12 vege’s you don’t have to buy organic! Having grown up on an organic farm with an extremely healthy diet, I still find it strange to buy my vege’s from a regular supermarket now. The problem is that they are just far too expensive at the health food store. I love the idea that I might be able to buy half my vege’s organic and the others regular.

    [Reply]

  • Patricia

    Sarah I was reading back on your blog posts, read where you like Psylliyum Husks.
    Would be interested to know how much you have each day and in what form and what with and how much. Also how much to start with.

    There’s a tall order of quesions :) but would like to read what you have to say.

    [Reply]

  • Katherine in London

    This was really great, thanks Sarah!

    I’m spoilt for choice where I live, as I have both South Kensington Farmers Market and Whole Foods a short bike ride away. I have been doing the “buy more expensive, buy less” thing with my meat and it’s made such a difference! I still buy the occasional cheap mince meat to stretch over a pasta bolognaise at the end of the pay cheque though…

    I’m not sure I could go Paleo to be honest. I’m of Italian heritage and carbs are a really important part of my diet. However, I’m willing to try anything once, so after I do Maria’s (Scandi Foodie) 21-day vegan challenge, I might just give Paleo a go!

    On a side note, my husband is really interested in the Paleo thing, so I might also report back on how he goes with it. He is aiming to lose his winter coat before Spring really kicks in.

    [Reply]

  • james m

    Great update, but don’t be telling me there’s a Dunkin Donuts in Australia!

    [Reply]

  • Gayle

    More evidence showing the evils of sugar – http://www.dietdoctor.com/must-see-toxic-sugar-on-60-minutes

    [Reply]

  • Jane

    Ah Sarah, your perspective is so refreshing! I have read too many bossy, vociferous Paleo sites lately, and it is a turn-off, even though the Paleo way makes good sense. It’s great to hear the benefit of your experiences and realistic perspective.

    Thanks for your clear, honest writing – a friend and I follow your blog for support on our health journey (we’re working towards Paleo, frequently distracted by a love of baking), and we often find ourselves saying, “Sarah says…” – you’re a great advisor to us!

    [Reply]

  • https://twitter.com/AumyWellness Inessa

    Sarah, thank you so much for the info! Ive been doing a paleosih diet for a few months and I am enjoying it a lot. I haven’t noticed any radical changes but I know I’m healthier now which is fine with me. I had a few questions though! The workouts you do at Origins of Energy, are those similar to a crossfit type workout? And about the dairy, I have been struggling to find full fat yogurts and kefirs. Low-fat must still be the popular thing here in Southern California! I did find some at one health food store (Trader Joes), they had full-fat, and low-fat greek yogurt, and both had the same amount of sugar in it. So is it still better to buy the full fat over the low fat? Thanks!

    [Reply]

  • Marnie

    I started a very relaxed version if paleo 2 days ago. I didn’t do it for weight loss, just wanted to try it, but I’ve lost 4kg. In two days. Hells yeah!

    [Reply]

  • M

    Almost forgot. Sarah, was wondering if you had any negative symptoms when starting paleo? I’m talking about the kind that have you running to the bathroom every 15 minutes…

    [Reply]

  • Gayle

    M – what are you eating? It sounds like you need to eat more protein.

    [Reply]

  • Gayle

    Paleo shouldn’t give you the runs. I have been doing full paleo for a while and did not get the runs unless I ate to little protein…

    [Reply]

    Marnie Reply:

    Hi Gayle. Thanks for the reply. Protein might be the problem. Not sure how much you’re meant to get to be honest. I’m just trying to include *some* protein with each meal. I’ve also not had meat for about a year (not intentional, just noticed one day I hadn’t had any in months. It irks me.) and have read a few posts about vegetarians switching to paleo having digestive issues because their gut isn’t used to the meat and not sure how to process it. Thoughts? I haven’t been having a lot of meat and am trying to get the majority of my protein through dairy or vegetarian sources (excluding tofu), with a tincy bit of fish. Like I said, relaxed version of paleo…

    An example from yesterday:
    - I had a (grass-fed) protein shake with yoghurt and blueberries
    - Quinoa cakes with a big salad and organic cheese
    - 100g of snapper made into snapper a la grenobloise with brussels sprouts cooked in macadamia oil and pepper

    [Reply]

    Gayle Reply:

    Have you just introduced the dairy back in? It could be that. Protein usualIy causes constipation, not the runs..

    I only eat 2 meals a day now and have 100g-150g (in weight) of protein at each of those meals. So not a huge amount but enough to keep me satisfied.

    [Reply]

  • joan l

    I love the comments about the Paleo diet. It just makes sense. I have been altering my diet this year to include more protein and less carbs. I have lost weight, toned up, less bloating, improved skin appearance and I’m sleeping better. Where’s the down side to any of this?

    [Reply]

    Marnie Reply:

    I’ve got to agree. I started on Monday and have easily been getting 9 hours sleep every night since. I’m the kind of person that is still sitting awake at 11pm, struggling to keep her eyes open because she’s afraid she’ll miss out on me-time, but last night I was in bed at 8.30! I’ve also lost over 4kg since Monday. WHOPPING. And I can see it in my face.

    [Reply]

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  • http://www.eatwellnz.co.nz Nicola

    You say “As our intake of grains and processed foods has increased, so has the incidence of diseases such as cancer and heart disease…at exactly the same rate” which may be a wee bit misleading. Processed refined carbohydrates, including too much sugar, are things that will lead to poor health, but wholegrains don’t. In fact research shows time and time again that diets containing wholegrains can help prevent things like heart disease and cancer.

    [Reply]

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  • Maree

    What about coffee – latte, flat white etc? Doesn’t milk have a lot of sugar too?

    [Reply]

  • Jess

    Hi Sarah,
    Im absolutely loving reading your blog and I Quit Sugar book, they are great and i love your attitude and approach to food, you stick with whats right for you, not a set of rules someone else has made.

    For the blog readers, I just wanted to put my 2 bobs in regarding grass fed beef and organic produce, which is just an opinion but nevertheless i feel important to say. People have the right to their own opinions, but i feel they should be based on facts, rather than media frenzied misinformation.
    1. ‘Supporting the family farm to buy grass fed beef’ – is alluding that feedlot cattle are produced by the big corporates, but in reality most feedlot cattle would have been born and raised on family farms, and then sold to the big feedlots (which are mostly big corporates, but not all) – so the family farmers are still getting supported. Not all farms have grass all year round, and in drier years it is more cost effective for the farmer to sell to a feedlot than to purchase in extra feeds (hay and grain). The margin on beef is very tight. I think buying from local farmers markets is ideal, and if thats not available head to the butcher – it will not only be better quality but you are then making a choice not to support the big supermarkets, who are the ones that set the price the farmer recieves.

    2. Organic produce – is a great idea, and most certainly ideal – i know the veggies from my garden often have a lot more flavour and probably nutrients. In reality though its not a solution to feed the world – organic produce (livestock and crops/vegeetables) can often only produce about 1/3 of the amount compared to conventional farming. With a growing population and need to produce more food off less land, we need to become more efficient, not less. Whilst organic produce may be ideal, Australia produces fantastic food, with very strict guidlines on residues, animal welfare etc. There a always going to be the odd dodgy operators, as there are in every single industry – restaurant owners, doctors, polititians…the list goes on, but overall we grow good quality food and the dodgy ones are punished. Generally if a farmer is dodgy, they arent productive and will go out of business quick as a shot. I know people like to buy food that gives them a warm fuzzy feeling that they are making a difference, but people should be proud to buy Australian produce in general and support our farmers. I will always buy from the local farmers markets if i can, but it’s not always feasable. I’m not syaing dont support organic, just that dont assume non organic is not a good choice.
    I could also go on about the higher mortality rates of free range pigs and chickens due to fighting behaviour/pecking order, or that 1 egg has more oestrogen than 77kg of beef that has been given a HGP (Hormone Growth Promotant)….but thats a story for another day. Also, hormones have been illegal to use in chickens in Australia for over 40 years, so why do brands market their chicken ‘hormone free’? To allude that all other chicken DOES have hormones. It doesnt. Australian agriculture is very bad at promoting itself, hence the poor public image it has received. I appreciate everyone has there views on how they want to live their life and make a difference, all i ask is that people please do their research, and not listen to the media hype which is just that – hype. It puts fear into people, and creates hysteria, which often their views, ideas and ‘evidence’ couldnt be further from the truth. We all read New Idea and know that its all made up crap, but never think twice about the things that really matter in our lives.

    Be proud to support your australian farmers, they work hard for you to make good quality, safe, delicious food!

    Here is some further reading if anyone is interested:
    http://www.abc.net.au/landline/stories/s543233.htm

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  • http://thyroidlife.blogspot.co.uk/ Louise

    Great info, but is it still okay to eat little and often/the five times a day style on Paleo? Do you think it works? I absolutely have to eat that often because of an electrical disorder in my gut.

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    Adriana Reply:

    Gastroparesis?? Or something else?

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  • Tatum

    When I saw you referring to Paleo I had heart palpitations and thought, noooo, I thought this IQS was a great idea but Paleo fanatics put me off. So I’m glad I tracked down this post & read it because you don’t appear to be a Paleo nut!

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  • lea

    Hey Sarah, good to read all this, thank you for your frankness and generosity in sharing.

    I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s a few months ago and am just starting to research diet/lifestyle management stuff (mostly because my fatigue and joint/muscle pain seems to be getting worse – despite now being on Thyroxine).

    I actually quit sugar/booze/processed carbs about 10 years ago (due to having PCOS) and shifted about 10 kg (and lots of negative mojo) in the process – love it!

    I hoped that my PCOS low GI/sugar-free diet would help me with Hashi’s but the inflammation/joint stuff is really starting to bug me.
    Probably time to go grain-free but I don’t know if I can live without muesli and yoghurt for breakfast..?!
    Wondering: do you eat quinoa as part of this diet?
    And do you also subscribe to the view that Hashi’s folks should avoid goitrogens (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, pine nuts, kale etc). Seems hard to focus on vegies when you cut this lot out?? If so, which do you go for?

    [Reply]

  • http://cutarug.com.au Mel

    I’m just wondering if the Paleo diet is safe for young kids. I have a 21 month old toddler. I’m not planning on following it too strictly – I like the idea of including some grains but soaking them first, same with nuts. I suppose it’s more like a ‘Traditional’ way of eating than a strict Paleo way of eating. I’m just not sure if young kidneys are ok with such high protein (or maybe they’re better at processing it than ours are!).

    [Reply]

    Gayle Reply:

    Hi Mel,

    There have never been any studies done on kids longterm doing paleo. Your best bet is to follow what Dr Cordain does/did for his kids and that is cut out grains etc but don’t limit their fruit, potato and sweet potato intake. These are good sources of carbs for kids. Paleo isn’t actually heavy on protein. A protein serve per meal would be a palm size serve and nothing more. Then lot’s of vegetables.

    Check out Dr Cordans website. Dr Cordain is the world expert on paleo and has done a lot of scientific research on it. http://thepaleodiet.com/

    [Reply]

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  • andrea

    how can I get involved in a 30 day paelo challenge

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  • petal

    Hi Sarah, Have you ever been tested for coeliac disease. I know people who have hashimotos and were diagnosed with coeliac disease. This could be part of your problem.

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    Sarah Wilson

    Sarah WilsonSarah Wilson Reply:

    I have. I’ve done all tests and I’m clear. thanks for your concern. x

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