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Paleo diet

 
Phil Hawkins
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I have never had any interest in my diet, aside from what tasted good, but lately I had become more aware that I just didn't feel great a lot of the time.

So a few days ago, I decided to take the plunge and "go paleo". It's early days, but I must say I haven't felt so good in a long time - none of the "sleepies" after eating, feeling full for hours and hours after eating, and I just feel more alert and energetic.

From the permie/homesteading point of view, it's great to see that you could grow most of the things you're eating (coconut and macadamia nuts notwithstanding).

So if, like me, you have been thinking about it, I'll add my own voice to the call to give it a go.
 
Fred Morgan
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I have no problem at all growing coconuts and macadamia nuts...
 
Neal McSpadden
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Welcome to the paleo world!
 
greg patrick
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Welcome to the tribe! Going Weston-Price/Primal is what got us into permiculture and goats. We ferment the milk into yogurt and kefir, and despite what Robb Wolf says, raw milk is Da Bomb. Robbs problem is that most dairy is grained and pasteurized, which ours is not. Lots of primal oriented strength trainers like John Welbourn love fermented raw milk. Lots of good protein with most of the lactose fermented out. Lots of CLA and K2 too. Raw milk was expensive and our local producers grain their animals so we got a few goats. Now we have pastured chickens too. We feed our goats and chickens almost exclusively local green waste.

For breakfast today I'll start with 'primal coffee' which is raw goat milk, foamed with pastured butter, coconut oil, cinnamon and nutmeg and local raw honey (along with some organic decaf french roast).
 
R. Peacock
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There are many good things about the paleo diet, there are also some drawbacks. For most paleo people five foot was tall and fourty was old. A strick paleo diet would not be good for growing children, a "balanced" paleo diet with more fresh veggies, some lactose, and whole grains food would be better. Also if you are on any medication, make sure your health care provider is aware of major changes in diet so they can watch and change you medication if needed. My wife when on a high protein diet and the body chemestry changes with her medications not changed almost killed her.
 
Tyler Ludens
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R. Peacock wrote: For most paleo people five foot was tall and fourty was old.


Actually people became smaller when they became agriculturists. This has been documented by anthropology.

'Excavations at Dickson’s Mounds show a sharp drop in all the customary benchmarks of health and nutrition, and also signs of immediate malnutrition. They evidence a catastrophically shorter life expectancy and smaller stature (indicating greater malnutrition). (Goodman & Armelagos, 2000) It is only in the past fifty years that the heights of Western Americans and Europeans, with the modern “affluent malnutrition," have come to match those of their Mesolithic forager ancestors.'

http://rewild.info/anthropik/2005/10/thesis-9-agriculture-is-difficult-dangerous-and-unhealthy/index.html
 
greg patrick
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Paleo isn't a A diet, it's a spectrum. There is lots of debate over what's best in the community, and to a large extent 'paleo' is just a starting point. Every individual needs to discover the specifics of what works best for themselves. This being said, in the name of a healthy open debate, we can't make unsupportable or incorrect statements based on anecdotal evidence. Nor can we parrot what is widely held as true as it often (and when it comes to diet, usually) is not. If we can't point to studies that support our statements, we should research it a bit and see if what we 'know' is actually true. For example:

R. Peacock wrote: For most paleo people five foot was tall and fourty was old.


From Mark's Daily Apple 'According to one study on remains of early Europeans, prior to 16,000 BC, European males stood 179 cm tall, or 5’10.5″, and females stood 158 cm, or 5’2″. Between 8,000 to 6,600 BC, average heights had dropped to 166 cm for males. Heights fell even further in Neolithic populations, dropping down to 164 cm for males and 150 cm for females, only reaching and surpassing 170 cm at the end of the 19th century.'

Primal diet man was tall, but neolithic man was short and had lower bone density and poorer health after he added grains to his diet.

R. Peacock wrote: A strick paleo diet would not be good for growing children
I'd love to see the peer reviewed studies you base this claim on. The studies I've seen, and there have been many, show the opposite. And by the way, fresh veggies are key to paleo et. all, and raw dairy, especially of the fermented kind is included in heavily in W-P and Primal. Thousands of paleo kids, mine included, are extremely strong and healthy and the peer reviewed data support it. Healthy kids grow up to be healthy adults. Giving kids autoimmune disease and diabetes by feeding them an ADA approved 'heart healthy diet' of whole grains is NOT good parenting, IMHO.

Be warned. Followers of Paleo, Primal, Ancestral, Weston-Price, etc. are a VERY informed group of people. You will not sway them without some very compelling peer reviewed research, and I would be very surprised if you could come up with a debunk when so many others have tried and failed.

 
R. Peacock
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My apoligies, what I was misinformed that paleo was a meat and fruit diet.
 
Tyler Ludens
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I think a primal/paleo diet makes a huge amount of sense in the context of permaculture. Though grains can be grown in a permacultural way (Fukuoka Natural Farming, Bonfils, etc) I think for many people interested in food forests grains aren't going to be the staple of the diet. For one thing they take up a huge amount of space to grow. My main problem with transitioning to a paleo diet grown at home is trying to learn how to base my cooking on what I am growing; too much of my cooking relies on things I don't grow that aren't that good for me (rice, pasta)....It makes sense for me to use root crops as my staple, they grow well here for me, but, I'm not that good at cooking with them. By "root crops" I mean turnips, radish, beets, carrots, etc, not Irish potatoes. I would love to be able to grow nuts but so far have had little success getting nut trees started. Only pecans are likely to do well here and I've failed twice with them....

What are the staple foods you grow and have you had any trouble learning to base your diet on them?

I have chickens but I'm not sure how many eggs we should eat per day. I've heard the opinion of eggs is changing in the medical community, but are there any studies about dangers of eating too many eggs grown using natural means (not commercial feed)?
 
greg patrick
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Tyler Ludens wrote:...It makes sense for me to use root crops as my staple, they grow well here for me, but, I'm not that good at cooking with them. By "root crops" I mean turnips, radish, beets, carrots, etc, not Irish potatoes. I would love to be able to grow nuts but so far have had little success getting nut trees started. Only pecans are likely to do well here and I've failed twice with them....

What are the staple foods you grow and have you had any trouble learning to base your diet on them?

I have chickens but I'm not sure how many eggs we should eat per day. I've heard the opinion of eggs is changing in the medical community, but are there any studies about dangers of eating too many eggs grown using natural means (not commercial feed)?


I cooked some rutabagas last night that were to die for. I ran them and an apple through the grater on the food processor, then fried them up in the pan drippings from the hamburgers along with some grass-fed lard. OMG! We put carrots in everything and always have a big pot of yams going. We currently have carrots and beets and rutabagas in the kimchee. We love to low temp 'fry' sweet potato chips in some coconut oil. I love to boil yams and then drench them in pastured butter or coconut oil, then add some cinnamon and nutmeg or cardamom. We make cookies with sourdough and yams. The possibilities are virtually endless.

I'm not as big a fan of nuts because they have very high n-6 oil in them. Only macadamias and walnuts are in my diet, and only in small amounts.

Regarding eggs or any animal fat source, it's only as healthy as you make it. If the animals are on pasture then go nutty and eat as much as you want. If the animals eat grains, I'd limit my intake whether it's meat, dairy or eggs as the fatty acid profile will suffer as a result of any graining.

Just my 2¢.
-greg
 
Tyler Ludens
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Thank you, that's extremely helpful.

 
Phil Hawkins
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I've been eating macadamias and olives as my 'snack' foods. Macadamias are my favourite nut, but they sure are expensive (about $15 per pound) - I guess that moderates consumption somewhat.

I probably need to vary my diet a bit more, but I'm just really not that excited about vegetables. I love carrots and lettuce, and happy enough eating broccoli and cauliflower. I also like green beans, snow peas, and normal peas, but I'm trying to steer clear of those at least initially.

I was thinking that grains would still have a place in permaculture for chicken feed over winter - sprouted barley sounds like it would be good for them (and good for the occasional beer brewing, of course).
 
Tyler Ludens
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Chickens can eat chopped root vegetables, winter squash, and non-grain seeds like sunflower over the winter; grains are not necessary to a chicken's diet.
 
paul sanass
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greg patrick wrote:Welcome to the tribe! Going Weston-Price/Primal is what got us into permiculture and goats. We ferment the milk into yogurt and kefir, and despite what Robb Wolf says, raw milk is Da Bomb. Robbs problem is that most dairy is grained and pasteurized, which ours is not. Lots of primal oriented strength trainers like John Welbourn love fermented raw milk. Lots of good protein with most of the lactose fermented out. Lots of CLA and K2 too. Raw milk was expensive and our local producers grain their animals so we got a few goats. Now we have pastured chickens too. We feed our goats and chickens almost exclusively local green waste.

For breakfast today I'll start with 'primal coffee' which is raw goat milk, foamed with pastured butter, coconut oil, cinnamon and nutmeg and local raw honey (along with some organic decaf french roast).


I tried milk kefir but couldn't get a system going, could you please tell us about your system and some pics or video would be great if possible.
TIA
 
Phil Hawkins
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A couple of weeks in now putting on muscle in my upper body and losing fat from around the middle (7-8lbs or so).

I have noticed an interesting side effect of paleo - your teeth stay cleaner between brushings! I guess that makes sense given that paleo remains show people with excellent teeth, thousands of years before the invention of the tooth brush.

Powerfully motivated to get my pasture raised meat chicken project going now - I want n-6 free chicken!
 
Michael Radelut
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Phil Hawkins wrote:I want n-6 free chicken!


You'll have to carbonise them to achieve that; chicken meat will always be rich in n-6.
Put positively: It's quite easy to get chickens to lay n-3-rich eggs
 
Tyler Ludens
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Michael Radelut wrote:
Put positively: It's quite easy to get chickens to lay n-3-rich eggs


Can you briefly describe that process? Thanks.

 
Michael Radelut
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It's just a question of keeping chickens on pasture and keeping in mind that oxidised vegetable fats (in commercial feed) will drive omega-6s through the roof.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Ok thanks!

Another question regarding eggs: If they are raised on forage, not commercial feed, how many eggs per day is considered healthy for an adult to consume?

 
Michael Radelut
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In an Ancestral Health/Paleo scenario you mean ?
I'd say about thirty
Seriously though, you probably won't find anyone mentioning a limit for eggs, except along the lines of "Eat when/while you're hungry".


If you're generally unsure which limits are to be adhered to, here's a rough summary:

There's a limit for carbohydrates (50-100g/d for weight loss, around 100g for simple maintenance, around 150g if you're physically active)
There's a limit for fructose within that carb limit (ideally close to zero, less than 20g is probably a good idea)

There's a limit on omega-6-rich "allowed" foods (fatty pastured meat ad lib, but preferably lean meat if of inferior quality)
Ranking of meats: Lamb, beef > pork > poultry

 
Tyler Ludens
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Thank you! I'm slowly trying to go paleo and it helps if I know I can eat something I have in abundance.

 
Michael Radelut
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I'm still in my experimental phase with this as well; currently trying to up my fat intake and phase out the bloody vegetables .

If you're looking for a middle-of-the-road-ish kinda book on this, 'Perfect Health Diet' is the most recommended.
 
greg patrick
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paul sanass wrote:I tried milk kefir but couldn't get a system going, could you please tell us about your system and some pics or video would be great if possible.
TIA


It's extremely easy to make. Get a 1 gal glass container and fill it with raw milk. Add some kefir culture (a couple cups from a previous batch or a commercial product, or grains), set the jar in a coolish place. Shake once a day. When the whey and curds just begin to noticeably separate (1-4 days depending on temperature and the amount of culture added), pop it in the fridge and continue to shake every day or two. It will be drinkable at any point, but after it sits in the 'fridge for a week it's amazing! If you forget it and it goes too far and you have cheese floating on whey, just shake the hell out of it and let it sit in the fridge a week. Add a little honey or coconut milk powder if it's too tart. -g
 
Phil Hawkins
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I got one step closer to paleo perfection - making my own biltong!



"Snacking" was probably the toughest thing for me - there's only so many nuts you can eat.
 
paul sanass
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greg patrick wrote:
paul sanass wrote:I tried milk kefir but couldn't get a system going, could you please tell us about your system and some pics or video would be great if possible.
TIA


It's extremely easy to make. Get a 1 gal glass container and fill it with raw milk. Add some kefir culture (a couple cups from a previous batch or a commercial product, or grains), set the jar in a coolish place. Shake once a day. When the whey and curds just begin to noticeably separate (1-4 days depending on temperature and the amount of culture added), pop it in the fridge and continue to shake every day or two. It will be drinkable at any point, but after it sits in the 'fridge for a week it's amazing! If you forget it and it goes too far and you have cheese floating on whey, just shake the hell out of it and let it sit in the fridge a week. Add a little honey or coconut milk powder if it's too tart. -g


Thanks Greg, would it be a useful addition to the diet if I could only get organic pasturised milk to make the kefir?
Cheers
 
Warren David
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R. Peacock wrote:My apoligies, what I was misinformed that paleo was a meat and fruit diet.

The diet rules are pretty simple. Allowed foods are eggs, meat, fish, nuts, seeds, fruit and non starchy veg.
Nowadays there are some people that say that dairy, rice and starchy veg are also paleo but I don't consider them paleo. When I started on paleo, about 7 years ago, they were not included and I still don't include them. I have no problem if people want to eat those things though.
Phil Hawkins wrote:I have never had any interest in my diet, aside from what tasted good, but lately I had become more aware that I just didn't feel great a lot of the time.

I had a lot of problems with food allergies and intolerances in the past. Over the course of several years, I eliminated all the foods that were causing me problems. I ended up on a diet of eggs, meat, fish, nuts, seeds, fruit and non starchy veg. I didn't know what the paleo diet was but I followed a link to a paleo website one day and found that there were these people that had eliminated the same foods as I had and were eating the same foods that I was and that they called their diet "The Paleo Diet". I was amazed that my way of eating actually had a name.
I have made adjustments to it over the years. I eat a lot more fat than I did when I started, less protein and a lot less carbohydrates. It might not suit everyone but I have found that it suits me.
 
Cj Sloane
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I'm now almost 2 weeks and -5lbs into this diet but I'd consider my version a No Refined Carbs Diet. A great free read is THE SACCHARINE DISEASE - Conditions caused by the Taking of Refined Carbohydrates, such as Sugar and White Flour. From there I started Gary Taubes Good Calorie, Bad Calorie. Heavy on the science. Also Sugar: The Bitter Truth which is an hour and a half and heavy on the science. He does mention Paleo and confirms it works.

Tyler, about the eggs. You can feed a certain amount of grain and still be n-3. If the yolks are insanely orange you've got it. Mine get less orange in the winter.

FYI, for breakfast or lunch I've been making a frozen yogurt in the food processor with 1 banana, 1.5 c frozen berries, high fat (10%) Greek yogurt, and just a few raisins (20g) or dried pineapple. It's relatively high carb but unrefined so I'm good with that.
 
Mike Underhill
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Great thread. Paleo eating has been something I've wanted to shout from rooftops since starting in early 2008. A purist at first, I've been buying 2 gallons of raw milk per week for the last year or so. I drink most of the cream in my coffee and the kiddos drink most of the milk. I finally chucked my kefir grains after about 6 months - I just didn't like the taste and didn't want to futz with it anymore.

Like Warren above, I would describe the paleo diet as "eggs, meat, fish, nuts, seeds, fruit and non starchy veg." I add raw milk and starchy vegetables, maybe even some rice a couple times per month. I mostly eat vegetables, especially green leafy. There's meat from good sources every day too, but I try to keep about a 2:1 ratio of veggie bites to non-veggie bites. The results for myself have been remarkable (weight loss, body re-comp).

You can boost n-3 in chicken eggs by feeding them flax seed. I suggest buying quality (refrigerated, if possible). I eat about 9-12 eggs per week and I think that's reasonable.
 
Jeanine Gurley
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"are there any studies about dangers of eating too many eggs grown using natural means (not commercial feed)? "

Tyler, Mother Earth News has had an ongoing study of back yard eggs vs. factory farmed eggs for over 10 years now - possibly closer to 20? They provide so much info that I won't even try to go in to it here but lots can be found at their website.

I eat lots of eggs, 4 a day, more if I'm cooking with them in other dishes. No cholesterol problems, I'm convinced that is a problem induced by factory farmed eggs.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Thank you!

 
wayne stephen
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True paleo people would probably eat just about anything. An account in the Lewis and Clark diaries has Plains Tribe folks squeezing the half digested forage from deer intestines and enjoying that . Most of us do not even want to see sausage being made { or legislation } I wonder what else was part of the true paleo era diet that would not be welcomed onto the modern paleo diet plan ? My freind has spent some time in Amazon with Kaiapo People . They take their hunted prey and just throw it onto fire without skinning or field dressing - hair , feathers , guts and all. Then they enjoy . Who needs marinade ?
 
Michael Radelut
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Adrian Lloyd wrote:I am also fed up of my bad diet and need a change in my diet plan. I am thinking of switching to Paleo diet plan because i have heard so many advantages plus benefits of this diet plan. But i would first consult a health professional before going for it.

What you guys say ?


That depends on your physical condition: If someone had a condition like hemochromatosis, consulting a doctor beforehand would definitely be important.
However, having to listen to some ignorant doctor telling you things like "You mustn't eliminate food groups" is purely a waste of time and money.

Your first two or three weeks will be a transition period anyway, so just give it a try.
See how you feel after a month of doing it; there's plenty of time for adjustments after that.
 
Jeanine Gurley
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Adrian Lloyd wrote:I am also fed up of my bad diet and need a change in my diet plan. ..........
What you guys say ?


When we go back to eating a variety of unprocessed foods and animal products that are not factory farmed I just don't see how we can go wrong.

Having done that myself I understand that, at first it seems quite difficult as we have too many fake and contaminated food choices today. But once the switch was made I found it was the easiest thing in the world.

If I can find any health professional that eats better quality food than I do I will consult them but in the meantime I'll stick to the advice of Michael Pollan who freely admits that he is just a journalist - not a nutritionist - who is trying to get people to eat real food.
 
Michael Radelut
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Jeanine Gurley wrote:When we go back to eating a variety of unprocessed foods and animal products that are not factory farmed I just don't see how we can go wrong.


Simple: By eating unprocessed whole grains, large amounts of (unprocessed) nuts and seeds, detrimental amounts of raw fiber ... there is actually quite a list of unprocessed awfulness.
 
Jeanine Gurley
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Maybe I should have put the word variety in caps for emphasis.
 
Michael Radelut
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Jeanine Gurley wrote:Maybe I should have put the word variety in caps for emphasis.


Not really; for 'variety' read 'list' (of unprocessed awfulness).

Having a large variety of foods to choose from doesn't automatically ensure good health;
much like following the standard caveat uttered by almost every doctor that 'eliminating food categories is dangerous' doesn't.
 
Roger Union
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It's been great for me! Here's a fun guide to cow offal:

http://cavemanforum.com/diet-and-nutrition/a-guide-to-cow-offal/
 
Rion Mather
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Never heard of this. Am I reading this right, a Paleo is similar to a low carb diet?
 
greg patrick
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Rion Mather wrote:Never heard of this. Am I reading this right, a Paleo is similar to a low carb diet?


Paleo isn't low carb. The more you exercise, the more carbs your body needs for fuel. Where paleo differs from Atkins and Zone diets is with grains and seed oils.

All camps of primal/paleo/Weston-Price agree that high Ω6 oils are toxic and should be avoided. These include soy oil, corn oil, etc. The only veggie oils that are OK would be coconut, olive. macadamia, and possibly a small amount of sesame.

When it comes to grains, there is MUCH debate among the community. Weston-Price says a little grain is OK as long as you're healthy and the grains are 'properly prepared', which differs on the grain, but usually means soaking in whey and some sort of fermenting. An occasional slice of real sourdough bread is OK per Weston-Price. Others would say see what your body tolerates and don't eat grains in excess. Others say avoid grains, period.

So what do you eat for carbs? Veggies. Lots of them. Tubers like yams and potatoes are OK too. And a little white rice is OK. Pseudo-grains like quinoa and amaranth are hotly debated, and amounts should probably be limited.
And if it's tolerated, pastured raw dairy is OK too.

So no, Paleo isn't low carb by any means.
 
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