or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Natural Living › Nutrition and Good Eating › Traditional Foods › Am I doing something wrong?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Am I doing something wrong?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Ok, a little background. We've been doing TF, in some shape or form, for over a year now. If anything, I'm strictest with myself. Whole foods, most things from scratch, raw milk, wild game (venison,) farm eggs, coconut oil, etc. I don't soak grains--only oatmeal. Our beef, chicken, and pork is 90% conventional. Fish, about 50/50.
I have successfully convinced DH that we can live without sugar in the house! (He uses maple syrup in his coffee.)

But here's the rub. I've gained ten pounds. My blood pressure has gone from a 115-120/65-70 to 140/90! I'm significantly overweight to begin with, but now I have a true Belly. Before, I was all hips, butt, and boobs. I go to the gym....umm, sometimes three times a week, sometimes three times a month. But at least I go. I try to limit my grains to twice a day. Oatmeal may be breakfast, and then I may have 1/2 c. of rice with dinner. Sugary treats--like at our principal's retirement party--are special occasion items. Even something like honey or maple syrup is maybe a once a day thing--or every other day.

Two areas I see for improvement are: cutting out coffee and cutting out ALL grains/starches/fruits. (That seems rather drastic, and very challenging for the grocery budget.)

To make it worse, I know at least three girlfriends who have lost HUGE amounts of weight. Two on WW, one with the LapBand. So, they drink diet Coke and use spray butter, and look great. I use coconut oil to cook my spinach with my venison tenderloin--and look, well, fat. Unhealthily fat.

What gives? I'm very frustrated--I know whole foods are best, but I'm somewhat disillusioned. Especially with the blood pressure thing--that has me very concerned. Has anyone else dealt with this? What am I doing wrong.
post #2 of 17
What does your days menu's look like? Oh and portion sizes? See I am a very petite person. I am 4'11", and my ideal weight is 100 lbs. If I get to be 105, my back just kills me. I eat pretty much a non processed foods diet. You know everything just about from scratch. I am 48 yrs. old. I have found out it is really all about portion sizes, and everything in moderation. I wish you luck. Oh did I mention exercise? Even if it is just walking.
post #3 of 17
My first thought is a food intolerance (such as dairy, gluten, grains in general, etc.). I lost weight on Weight Watchers several years ago but I was always hungry and I gained it all back. I realize now I was literally starving myself. With TF I didn't lose any weight and gained a little. But 4 months ago I started eating a more primal-style diet by cutting out all grains, beans, potatoes, sugar (except raw honey). I eat meat, fish, nuts, eggs, fruits and vegetables. The only dairy I eat is ghee but that's because my nursing daughter has issues with dairy. I've lost 20 lbs. in 4 months. It's insane. I look and feel better than ever. I'm a firm believer that if your body doesn't like what you are eating--even if it's properly prepared the TF way--if you eat it it will cause you problems.
post #4 of 17
I too think it would be a food intolerance. I am morbidly obese and always ate healthy (not always TF but not enough to justify weighing as much as I do), but have recently discovered I cannot tolerate grains of any sort. I replace them with nut flours (particularly coconut). I would look more into that. I find losing weight almost effortless without the grains in my diet, especially if I also cut out anything starchy. Some people just cannot tolerate them.
post #5 of 17

Metabolic Typing?

Have you looked into metabolic typing? Dr. Joseph Mercola talks a lot about eating for your specific nutritional type. Some people need to eat more protein/fat rich diets, some need more carbohydrates and less fat, and some are in between. You can check out mercola.com for more information and to figure out what your nutritional type is.
post #6 of 17
I gained 25 lbs after switching to TF. I started losing when I cut out gluten and cut way back on the natural sweeteners. I also cut back on milk (goat because I'm allergic to cows milk) and started only consuming fermented/cultured dairy. Then I went and the GAPS diet to heal my gut and so I'm grain/starch free and am currently completely dairy free as well (except for butter which I tolerate). I've lost a total of 65 lbs and am slimmer than I've ever been in my adult life and I feel really great.

I've come to firmly believe that switching to traditional foods is not enough for most of us. We have to do a lot of gut healing to undo the generations of damage most of us start out with.
post #7 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by dogmom327
My first thought is a food intolerance (such as dairy, gluten, grains in general, etc.). I lost weight on Weight Watchers several years ago but I was always hungry and I gained it all back. I realize now I was literally starving myself. With TF I didn't lose any weight and gained a little. But 4 months ago I started eating a more primal-style diet by cutting out all grains, beans, potatoes, sugar (except raw honey). I eat meat, fish, nuts, eggs, fruits and vegetables. The only dairy I eat is ghee but that's because my nursing daughter has issues with dairy. I've lost 20 lbs. in 4 months. It's insane. I look and feel better than ever. I'm a firm believer that if your body doesn't like what you are eating--even if it's properly prepared the TF way--if you eat it it will cause you problems.


I'm grain and mostly sugar free (except *all* honey) and it has been a wonderful change as well. (I do eat starchy veggies like potatoes and some beans though, although I sprout them b/c I do much better w/ beans that way.) In the past year I've noticed that going grain free, even for short periods of time, always left me feeling lighter and less bloated etc. (so I've recently stuck w/ it and am loving it!)

And I've felt WORLDS better since dropping gluten, dairy, soy and corn over a year and a half ago...(I lost tons of weight by doing that--I think dropping the gluten along w/ most factory processed foods played a large role in that.)

If you're concerned a/b weight, this (from a primal/paleo perspective) might be helpful: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/the-p...ate-continuum/

Quote:
Originally Posted by janinemh View Post
I've come to firmly believe that switching to traditional foods is not enough for most of us. We have to do a lot of gut healing to undo the generations of damage most of us start out with.
I think this is true for very many of us. (And it sure is true for those of us in my house! )
post #8 of 17
Well, in my opinion, the coffee isn't doing you any favors, but it is the grain that is the problem. I have had to cut back to grains maybe twice a week! But I am adding them back in by soaking grains. Oatmeal doesn't need to be soaked nearly as much as the rest, I think. I wouldn't cut out fruit. Try adding more whole, living foods, like fruit, veggies, probiotic goodness like yoghurt, kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, etc. The enzymes help the gut to process whatever is already in it, and what it put into it. Honey is good, also raw vinegar, and sourdough bread. Have you heard of the Hibernation Diet? There is a lengthy thread on this forum if you search. But basically what I took from it is that we need to get enough sleep. I find if I don't sleep enough, I put on weight, and if I get enough sleep, around 8 or 9 hours, I lose weight. It has helped me more than exercise in losing weight. Also, raw milk is wonderful for all its enzymes, that has made the most difference for me. And if you make sure you are getting plenty of good animal fats (butter, lard) and good coconut oil, you may find you are much more satiated and don't want to eat grains, sweets, etc. Good luck!
post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by PeggyinNC View Post
And if you make sure you are getting plenty of good animal fats (butter, lard) and good coconut oil, you may find you are much more satiated and don't want to eat grains, sweets, etc. Good luck!
post #10 of 17
I agree with everyone here. I think I've always been a bit gluten intolerant, but after I had my daughter, it really kicked in. I gained 20lbs in about three months-- when I was supposed to be LOSING my baby weight! I cut out gluten and sure enough, the longer I'm off it, the faster I lose weight. It can't be an occasional thing, either (at least, with gluten) because it takes months to get out of your system, and you have to start all over if you ate even a little).

I'd suggest cutting at least gluten (or poss dairy?) out and see how you feel. Allow yourself, during the transition at least, to indulge in the occasional gluten- free treat (mine is Bob's GF pancake mix... :P ) so that you don't feel deprived. But yes, focus heavily on eating a lot of healthy fat. When I eat a lot of fat, I don't miss the carbs and I lose weight.

...And I'm talking a LOT of fat-- like, I eat four eggs and half a package of bacon for breakfast sometimes.
post #11 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by blueridgewoman View Post
...And I'm talking a LOT of fat-- like, I eat four eggs and half a package of bacon for breakfast sometimes.
post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaEli View Post
What gives? I'm very frustrated--I know whole foods are best, but I'm somewhat disillusioned. Especially with the blood pressure thing--that has me very concerned. Has anyone else dealt with this? What am I doing wrong.
I had the same weight loss others mentioned when I cut out gluten and dairy, so I won't rehash that. Maybe the increasing BP is just due to weight, but for my DH, it seems to be related to magnesium. He needs more than I do, even scaled for size--our DD, his clone, also needs more than most kids. A book called The Calcium Lie discusses mineral imbalances, and the health issues they specifically link to too much calcium, too little magnesium and other supporting minerals all cluster in DH's family and not mine. I'm not sure, from a TF perspective, I buy the "too much calcium" argument, but the lack (vast lack) of supporting nutrients rings true. I'm not sure we'll ever not supplement magnesium for him and DD, and I'm okay with that.
post #13 of 17
Haven't had much time to read/post here recently, but this is something I've been thinking about, particularly as my DH has gained a fair bit of weight in the last several years of enjoying my TF cooking. Based on my experience and reading, I don't think that the answer to "fine-tuning TF eating" generally lies in chasing down food intolerances. Nor does it lie in adding more of some magic ingredient (fermented foods, fats, sea salt, etc.). I think it would be more productive to go back to first principles, and consider the difference between "traditional foods" and "traditional diets."

Traditional foods are specific food items that are grown and prepared much as they were in healthy, traditional cultures: pastured eggs, raw milk, soaked oatmeal, fermented vegetables, etc. This term also covers those foods that are widely recognized as "superfoods," such as liver.

Traditional diets are the big picture of what/when/how people in these cultures would eat. How many meals did they have per day? Which foods were typically served at each meal, and in what proportions? How much animal vs. vegetable, raw vs. cooked, or fresh vs. preserved food did they eat? Did they practice any kind of fasting? Did children eat a different balance of foods from adults? How about pregnant and nursing mothers (again, talking about overall diet, not "superfoods")? What sort of diet was fed to the acutely ill, or to those recovering from illness?

From what I've read (and I seem to be amassing a small library of historical cookbooks and anthropological studies), it's a challenge to find well-substantiated answers to these kinds of questions. There are tidbits here and there, but overall, I still feel somewhat at a loss as to how to answer the big question: what to feed my family? To me, it seems like WAPF is largely ignoring this situation. TF is often presented as if we can just pick a selection of "traditional foods," and it will all work out fine. If it doesn't, we just have to add more superfoods. If THAT doesn't work, we're basically left with the conclusion that our ancestors' mistakes have left us and our children with inevitably poor health.

I very much disagree with this avenue of (non-)thinking. It seems much more likely to me that the true benefits of TF can only be realized when these foods are used in the context of a well-planned overall diet. Just as one example, mineral deficiencies are at the root of who knows how many health problems. Dr. Price would certain agree with this point (in fact, the reason he recommended foods such as butter and fish oil was because they contained "fat-soluble activators" which help us to process minerals -- not because he thought fat in itself was some kind of health tonic). Something to keep in mind about minerals, as others have mentioned, is that they have to be balanced: calcium with phosphorus, calcium with magnesium, sodium with potassium. What's more, our relative intake of carbohydrates, fats, and protein influences our need for specific minerals, and also influences our absorption and excretion of those minerals. Our bodies can balance this out to some extent, but this process in itself is nutritionally burdensome, requiring various vitamins, minerals, and enzymes to work properly. From this perspective, it seems as if blanket recommendations -- like eating more high-fat dairy, cutting back on grains, or adding plenty of salt to one's food -- could help some people, but actually make others' health worse, depending on their overall eating habits.

If we were somehow able to truly follow the typical diet of one of Price's healthy traditional cultures, we wouldn't have to think about these sorts of details. Since we're more or less all doing a cobbled-together version, though, I think we need to be more attentive to stuff like this. As far as what we can reasonably do about this, I can see two possible starting points (though there might be others):

1) Choose a traditional culture -- maybe one from your own family background, or maybe another that you consider to be especially worth emulating. Learn as much as you can about their recipes, typical meals, and seasonal eating patterns. Try to follow in their footsteps, making use of your TF knowledge and skills in obtaining and preparing these foods, to try and compensate for any details that might have been omitted from your sources.

OR

2) Use traditional foods in the context of a modern "scientific" diet plan, i.e. one that was developed by a nutritional researcher whose work you find convincing. This could be one of the great nutritionally-oriented physicians or dentists of Price's era (Page, Pottenger, Hawkins, Lee, or even Price himself), or one of the more recent advocates of low-carb, paleo, SCD, etc. Pick one that seems do-able, and that has a well established track record in improving people's long-term health. Give it a good try; follow the guidelines closely for several weeks or months, and see how you're feeling.

If it doesn't seem to be working, don't even bother trying to tweak it... just switch to another plan. Advice books for healthy eating are like buses. If it's not taking you where you want to go, just get off; another one will be along in a minute. If you feel like you're getting really far off course, you might even cross the street and look for one that's going in the opposite direction: low vs. high fat, mostly veg vs. mostly animal, etc.

We've been doing pretty well with Dr. Kwasniewski's high fat/moderate protein/low carb plan. Of course, this and the other research-based diets don't claim to be "traditional" in the sense of replicating the practices of healthy traditional cultures (apart from paleo, which is basically a bunch of competing theories). But what are you gonna do? One thing I like about many of the nutritionists from Price's era is that they based their plans on the ways Americans used to eat, before processed foods came on the scene. This gives us a cultural connection, and also keeps the social alienation to a minimum -- which is a big factor that's often neglected. Community is such an essential part of life, and shared meals are a HUGE part of that. (Especially this week, for Americans. ) This is a big, big drawback to Kwasniewski's diet, and it's the reason why I can't see putting my family on it in the long term.

This is turning into a hugely long post... sorry. I've started a thread to discuss the various "big picture" diet plans that were recommended by Dr. Price and his contemporaries (Page, Pottenger, Hawkins, etc.). I'm feeling called to try out their advice, starting with my children.
post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by blueridgewoman View Post

...And I'm talking a LOT of fat-- like, I eat four eggs and half a package of bacon for breakfast sometimes.


If it makes you feel any better, the other day I had bacon--and only bacon--for lunch. It was wonderful.
post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by dogmom327 View Post
My first thought is a food intolerance (such as dairy, gluten, grains in general, etc.). I lost weight on Weight Watchers several years ago but I was always hungry and I gained it all back. I realize now I was literally starving myself. With TF I didn't lose any weight and gained a little. But 4 months ago I started eating a more primal-style diet by cutting out all grains, beans, potatoes, sugar (except raw honey). I eat meat, fish, nuts, eggs, fruits and vegetables. The only dairy I eat is ghee but that's because my nursing daughter has issues with dairy. I've lost 20 lbs. in 4 months. It's insane. I look and feel better than ever. I'm a firm believer that if your body doesn't like what you are eating--even if it's properly prepared the TF way--if you eat it it will cause you problems.
I can't agree more with the last few lines. I am vegetarian, so it is odd even being here - but i am starting to question my dietary habits b/c I don't feel good. I've bean reading a lot about primal style diets - what was a good source of info for you?
post #16 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Soundtrack View Post
I can't agree more with the last few lines. I am vegetarian, so it is odd even being here - but i am starting to question my dietary habits b/c I don't feel good. I've bean reading a lot about primal style diets - what was a good source of info for you?
I really thought the book Primal Body, Primal Mind was immensely helpful. For a blog, www.marksdailyapple.com is excellent.

As a former vegetarian--I completely understand. I was constantly sick and couldn't lose weight. Not good for me all the way around.
post #17 of 17
Thread Starter 
Wow, thanks for the many replies! I'm really thinking it must be grains--that's just instinct telling me, having eliminated grains several times before and in doing so, felt good and lost weight. The magnesium deficiency is something I have never thought about, and will do more research on that.

I totally agree on the differences between traditional foods and traditonal diets. We're quite a mix--in order to reach both sides here, we would do traditonal German and Kenyan. What variety! But I'll never forget something my midwife told me when we were talking about diet--at the time, hitting Kenyan food pretty heavy--she said to include some more meat and potatoes, because my ancestry was German and I needed to eat for that. Interesting...

Anyway, I need to get some more variety with eliminating grains. I seem to be really stuck in my meal ideas.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Traditional Foods
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Natural Living › Nutrition and Good Eating › Traditional Foods › Am I doing something wrong?