Can we talk about "Paleo" - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 01-18-2013, 09:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Ya know, "Caveman Diet"

Have any of you tried and seen positive results? 

It has been referenced everywhere, and I am beginning to hear firsthand accounts of people curing their ailments. 


What are your opinions about it? Do you think there are pitfalls?  (Like no oatmeal for breakfast!!!! greensad.gif)


And if you do follow paleo guidelines, how do you make it kid friendly? 

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#2 of 9 Old 01-18-2013, 10:17 AM
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I have heard the same and can't wait to hear responses from those who are doing it. DH and I would like to try this.

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#3 of 9 Old 01-21-2013, 10:46 PM
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I have some experience but I still did eat dairy.  I started with this about 1.5 years ago, but switched back to a very relaxed diet after I lost more weight than I even wanted to!  (I was not trying to lose weight and was down under 125 at 5'8" which was too low for me--and swimming in anything bigger than a size four pants.)  My energy stabilized and some persistent joint pain I had disappeared. 


I do not consider it a miracle diet or anything but it really made me think a lot about nutrition assumptions.  I am pretty happy continuing with my high fat and animal foods diet, and feel worse when I deviate much.


I am still about halfway primal, very low sugar and very low grain, happily carnivorous, lots of eggs...  I feel like it is great for me but not for my kids.  I am the only one in my family avoiding wheat and much grains.  I found it tiring to encourage my kids to eat this way and a little rough trying to shop for a crew with the limited choices and the costs.


I regained half the weight but that is a perfectly good weight for me.  Now it has been over a year since then and stable. I keep on eating my "lite" version of this but I am not active enough.  I am not trying to "diet" just sticking with the foods that feel good/right, and I'm not creating conflicts with my kids over it.  So I get to be comfortable and cook a lot of primal style dinners that are appreciated although I allow for some potatoes, some rice.  I make some very nice almond meal pancakes regularly everyone loves.  Other nights there is still some pasta, tortillas, pizza crust because it's cheap and easy and the kids like it.  I can then have salad or something instead. 


PS I eat oatmeal once or twice a week.  I would not suggest that you start that way but that you first get it out of your habits and out your system for while then see if bringing it back in in moderation works well for you.  That and occasional rice are my main grain allowances that still work for me.  No breads/crackers at all.  If you are including kids I think they need more sugars so fruit is good for them, I eat very little fruit though.

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#4 of 9 Old 01-22-2013, 05:52 AM
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introduced me to 2 things:

macademia nut oil



both have a great omega 3 to 6 ratio and ghee is great for cooking I think macademia is supposed to be too but I dont use it for that.


I try to follow it loosely. So even though I might not do a great job I do eat salad and vegetables with every meal now. 


I didnt have any ailments to begin with and I dont have any kids so I can't say on that count.

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#5 of 9 Old 01-25-2013, 01:17 PM
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We follow it pretty closely. We have several food issues in our family, my nearly 3 y/o being the worst. Almost all manifest behaviorally or with mood related things (anger/aggression). We do on rare occasion have some rice/quinoa or cheese but it is rare and not until recently (we've been on this diet for over a year with many, many benefits). We also are nightshade free on top of it. We eat a very balanced diet and I have had a wonderful pregnancy thus far being paleo. No food aversions, or morning sickness. I was raw vegan with my first son. We have tried GAPS, SCD, Raw Vegan, WAPF as well as vegetarian and Standard American and none have worked for us except this diet.


I feel great, energy level is very even, no mood swings or PMS pre-pregnancy.


I would highly recommend checking out Eat Like a Dinosaur if you are looking for kid friendly. The Paleo Parents also have a blog and a podcast that they run with The Paleo Mom (who I adore).


A few things I do differently then most who are paleo (or even traditional foods). We don't consume any meats that have been fed soy or GMO ingredients (these are the building blocks of these critters bodies and we did notice some mood issues when we tried it here and there, usually at families houses). We don't eat any night shades (due to my son's and my reactions). My husband doesn't eat eggs (suspected autoimmune condition) as he reacts very badly where as I eat at least 4 egg yolks raw a day (in a smoothie). I eat way less of the rice/quinoa then my son and husband. We don't do sweet potatoes except on very rare occasion as they cause me to react poorly (too much starch).


I would highly recommend this diet to anyone on a trial basis. It's not going to work for everyone but a lot of people have really wonderful success with it. It pretty much goes hand in hand with CrossFit now. It is trendy and there is a lot of information. I would highly advise (if you give it a go) paying very close attention to your mood when and if you slip. I would also suggest consuming Fermented Cod Liver/Butter Oil with this diet.


Another note, it can get expensive especially if you eat the way we do. I highly recommend sourcing local meats and utilizing freezer space to get it by the 1/4 or side. You will save a lot of money and won't be running to the store 3+ times a week.


That all being said, it has done wonders for my son who had constipation and eczema on top of the behavioral stuff. He is the most even keel kid and regularly gets compliments on how healthy he looks. He eats more fruit then I would like but I also try to trust his body.


During the pregnancy I am in a lot less pain (I had a lot of sciatic) then the previous pain. My son made it a habit of kicking my ribs out on my right side.

If you have any other questions I can answer I'd be happy to! Just be specific so I don't go into rants (hopefully). ;-)

Momma of an amazing little man on 3/16/10, pregnant with #2 due in June...married to the man of my dreams. Living in a little town in the rural world of New England and loving my life. <3

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#6 of 9 Old 01-26-2013, 10:46 AM
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We follow it pretty closely but only because we fell into it while eating around multiple food intolerances (dairy, soy, gluten & corn) combined with my laziness (which removes rice, beans and potatoes).  We occasionally do eat rice, beans or potatoes, it's just pretty rare (mostly if the CSA sends potatoes home).  We don't do oatmeal for breakfast because we have blood sugar/insulin problems in our house--so there's pretty much no starch in that respect.  Again--it might happen rarely (although oatmeal for breakfast is really rare because we FEEL that!)  I didn't even know my family was eating paleo until I had to study it during my health coaching training.  And honestly, we eat very little meat.  We are carnivores for sure, but it's 1/4 or less of our plate.  When we cut down those portions, we found that our food budget for grocery store meat (when we were eating the larger portion sizes) was enough to buy grassfed meat (now eating smaller portion sizes)


Needless to say, yeah--this is how we feel best.  We've been eating this way much longer than the media hype about paleo so at this point, when we deviate from it for too long, we notice.  In our family, that means mama gets into the roller coaster of tired and cranky.


We do a lot of raw food recipes, too.  Like we discovered nut creams that way--which was really neat.  But my 9yo & 4yo have no problems with this.  We still take them for the occasional ice cream in the summer, but we find that it's a drop in the bucket to our overall eating--so the backlash isn't significant (they are dairy-intolerant). 


I'm not exactly sure what you mean by "kid-friendly"?  My kids eat veggies for snack instead of crackers (we are severely limited on fruits because of sugar/insulin balancing) with hummus or guacamole.  If they have fruit, it's dipped in a nut cream of nut butter.  Olives are another really good snack for us.


It definitely requires that you're thinking about your food more.  Because it's just different from what you're used to and the world is set up for a different way of eating.  So yeah, it's going to take an extra 10 minutes if you're last minute running into a store because you forgot a snack... kwim?  But it can be done!  "Practical Paleo" is a cookbook that's gotten some really good feedback for busy families.


Are you thinking of specific things that wouldn't be kid-friendly?  That would be helpful so we could address your specific challenges.

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#7 of 9 Old 01-29-2013, 01:56 PM
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My family eat's Paleo-ish as I like to call it. I think its good for the same reason that many other lifestyle/diets can be that focus on whole, unprocessed foods. Everyday food consists mostly of vegetables, fruit, nuts, and meat. I thought it would get boring, but really there are so many different ways to cook things, and I honestly don't miss rice or pasta at all. However, we do eat some dairy as well, yogurt in particular. We have butter and cheese around too, and milk mostly for coffee. I buy or make sourdough bread sometimes as well. When we go out or have a special meal I will sometimes eat grains or sweets and not feel bad about it, I just don't buy them or keep them around the house. 


I feel absolutely great when we eat this way, energetic and not hungry. If I want to lose any weight I don't need to count calories or cut fats, because fats are good for you and keep you healthy. I know the foods I am eating are very nutrient dense and not just "filler food" like grains that wreak havoc on blood sugar. 


I do think it is a tad more expensive than "regular" eating, because grains are so cheap, but not significantly and we're just really careful not to be wasteful. I thought I would miss oatmeal for breakfast, but I really don't. It made me full for sure, but it also really spikes blood sugar and left me really sleepy in late morning. I am much happier eating eggs, bacon, and sauteed spinach for breakfast. 


It is somewhat challenging with my toddler daughter, but I'm not as concerned about her not sticking to it closely. I know kids go through phases with foods so I just try to make sure she is eating whole foods and we're all happy. Most of her diet consists of fruit honestly, but I always give her some of what we are eating and she'll often nibble on it a bit. Some days she refuses to eat something she loved the day before, but oh well. I do have crackers and Cheerios around for her too and those aren't Paleo, but they don't make up the majority of her diet so whatevs. She eats more dairy (yogurt and cheese) than we do but its a good source of fat, protein, and calcium for her since she doesn't eat a lot of meat. A recent favorite of hers has been dipping apple slices or celery in almond butter, and she mostly just licks the almond butter off, but again I am pretty laid back and know she is eating well overall regardless of her little quirks. 

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#8 of 9 Old 04-03-2013, 03:55 AM
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Hi I follow the Maximized Living lifestyle- it's gluten free, sugar free (xylitol, stevia, honey sweetened) and low natural sugars (berries and Granny Smith apples mostly) Zero processed foods and I definitely feel a difference. It's kinda paleo-ish but beans are okay. (Neeeed my black bean brownies and hummus!!) I was intro'd to it by my chiropractor friend who suggested it for pelvic congestion syndrome- of all things. Zero surgery and no pain after a few months of this inflammation-free diet. My resource is - her recipes are amazing- especially her desserts (search for signature brownies, oh. My.) my kids love some of the recipes but I'm not as strict on them as I could be- they do love a lot of veggies so its not bad- bread is sooo hard!! I make my own but I'd like to cut that out altogether- but I'm married to a man who survives on stumble carbs and Mountain Dew :/ He thinks I'm nuts, I think he's gross-- never the twain shall meet I guess and the kids are somewhere in the middle :P
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#9 of 9 Old 04-03-2013, 06:02 AM
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After gong back and forth on and off a Primal-ish (you'll have to pry cheese out of my cold, dead hands) diet for both me and the kids, I can say with certainty, the more primal we all eat, the better we all feel, and act.  After slipping WAYYYYYY off track in the last 6 months, I am determined to get us back "on" and back to a more harmonious household.  I've done different incarnations/levels of potato/rice/corn/dairy/sugar  and I know what seems to work best for us; I think it's a matter of tweaking things until you hit you/your family's sweet spot.  There is NO question in my mind that food influences our moods and behaviors, and our family definitely benefits from being almost wheat-free.


As further personal proof - even on my very, very imperfect pimal-ish diet that looked like  - wheat once-ish a week, rice/corn/potato once-ish a day, some sugar, some dair - even on that imperfect plan,  my cholesterol went from 212 three  years ago to 161 this year, and my triglycerides went from the 150s to 105.  My DO asked what I was doing differently, and I said, "Well, I don't eat bread or pasta anymore, and I have eggs and bacon every day for breakfast".  She laughed and said, "Well, keep doing that then."  lol. 

Heather, WAHM to DS (01/04)DD (06/06). Wed to DH(09/97)
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