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  • #16
    OK, I'm in!! The testimonials I've been reading really did it for me. I think I've gathered enough evidence to warrant giving this Paleo thing an honest try. It almost seems too good to be true, but hey, I tried the vegan approach and ended up sick and in worse trouble with my health. This can't be so bad.

    I do need a day or two to organize my food stash and I'll have to sit down with hubby tonight for a 'come to Jesus talk'. He's an Italian and I'm pretty sure would rather drive nails up his nose then to forgo his pasta dishes, but in this case I have to do this for my health, so we may end up fixing separate meals. Nice thing is that we don't have kids around to prepare meals for, so we can do our own thing.

    Please don't lynch me, but one confession here... on the way home just a bit ago I stopped at Tim Horton's for my 'last act of defiance treat'... I ate a German chocolate cake sundae from their Cold Stone Creamery signature collection. Gawwwddd I'm going to miss that, but if the Paleo experience lives up to it's promise, I should be kicking the sugar cravings pretty soon. I'm just wondering how many days of hell I'll have to go through before the cravings are gone. (Gulp). Will have to see what legal Paleo treats I can scrounge up for later. Of course there is always a handful of sweet grapes or peaches I can indulge in.

    Is there another spot on this forum where I can connect with people who are active? I'd like to join a group of enthusiastic Paleoites to chew the fat with (figuratively and literally speaking ). I enjoy the interaction and camaraderie of good forum. This seems to be the place.

    Thanks all for your great input. I've officially crossed over to the dark side, so there had better be cookies!!!!

    Love, Jenny


    • #17

      Can't wait to hear how it goes.

      Totally separate meals are not strictly necessary, you can serve your meat sauce without pasta, for example. Planning ahead is very helpful (and fun).

      Carb cravings don't take long to go. Everything starts to taste sweet when you avoid sugar. Even carrots.

      Results from eliminating wheat are VERY quick to show. Bloating diminishes, body feels lighter...

      Have a great first primal day (and remember, take those measurements now, if you haven't already).
      Annie Ups the Ante


      • #18
        I just started (as in today) a 30 day Paleo challenge with my Crossfit box. I could use the extra support too.


        • #19
          Will do! I'm actually kind of excited now! I'm aiming to start on Saturday, Sunday at latest! Tricialisha, you can buddy up with me if you want. Send me a PM and we'll connect!

          Originally posted by Annieh View Post

          Can't wait to hear how it goes.

          Totally separate meals are not strictly necessary, you can serve your meat sauce without pasta, for example. Planning ahead is very helpful (and fun).

          Carb cravings don't take long to go. Everything starts to taste sweet when you avoid sugar. Even carrots.

          Results from eliminating wheat are VERY quick to show. Bloating diminishes, body feels lighter...

          Have a great first primal day (and remember, take those measurements now, if you haven't already).


          • #20
            Jenny, welcome aboard. My wife and I are almost 2 years Primal, and we've lost weight and are feeling better. We get comments all the time about how great we look - friends, relatives, even the waitresses at our local pub.

            You asked about macro ratios, and I think you'll find a lot of conflicting opinions there. For some, low carb is a great way to lose weight, and for others, low carb just doesn't work. We lost our initial 10% of body weight by going low carb or even very low carb through the week, and then letting ourselves have some carbs on the weekends - very much the 80%/20% idea. Since then, we've loosened up on carb restriction without gaining weight back, making sure that the carbs we were eating were the right ones (vegetable and fruit sources).

            The thing with eating high fat is that you again are eating the right kinds of fat: no industrial seed oils, no damaged/oxidized fats, no hydrogenated fats; mainly saturated fat from quality animal sources, monounsaturated from olive oil and avocado, etc.; PUFAs primarily from fish. To give an example from last year when I was eating VLC during the week, I might have a breakfast of smoked salmon (with cream cheese), some thinly sliced red onion, and halved cherry tomatoes, and a shake of dill. For lunch, I'd eat roasted vegetables with a hunk of goat cheese. Dinner would be grilled meat or fish and non-starchy vegetables.

            The thing that amazes me is that the years I toiled under the misconceptions of CW... just how much I was eating in refined carbs and grains. I might have some pizza on the weekend, but I would agree that you begin to sense a change in taste and a change in attitude about foods with sugar and grains. Mrs. FW gets her sweet tooth on the weekend, but the idea of eating bread every day or pasta a few times a week would send us both running. She's said she feels like making some cookies this weekend. OK, make some cookies. But when the cookies are gone (probably half will be sent over to the neighbors so they're not around during the week), we will both agree that it was fun but that we crave good food again.

            Just don't overdo the splurges, and get creative with meat, fish, and veggies. Plenty of recipe threads here.

            And yes, we started jogging even pre-Primal, and although we're not as active as some on the MDA boards, it does contribute to our overall well-being. We love to go for 5Ks in a couple of places close by that are a relaxing stroll through nature, woods and lakes.

            I've also met several other PA folks and depending on where you are, there are some GREAT food resources close by. Plenty of farmer's markets where you can get local, seasonal, organic fruits and veggies, as well as meats. Lots of CSAs if you want a weekly delivery of local, sustainable crops. But there are also lots of farms you can buy direct from, which is what I do to get my beef, eggs, lamb, pork, and chicken. Check out and for what's close to you. Also, there's a place in PA called Wild for Salmon, this couple goes to Alaska a few times a year and brings back a whole bunch of flash-frozen wild salmon and other whitefish. Let me know if you need any help tracking down food sources!


            • #21
              Welcome, Jenny,

              Other than the blood pressure, you sound like me in 2008. I was diagnosed with diabetes more than 15 years ago, and for a long time, I was able to keep it under control without medications or insulin just by using my glucometer to gude what I ate and what I avoided. But by 2008, after a surprise late-life pregnancy, nothing I was doing was making any difference and my blood sugar was rising despite medications and insulin, my cholesterol was out of wack, and I had arthritis that kept me largely immobile. (Not literally, but when it hurts, we find ways to avoid doing it.)

              My doctor has now proclaimed me "cured of diabetes" because my hbA1C is 5.2, down from 5.7 earlier this year with no medication or insulin. Now, I don't think I am cured, because if I started eating SAD again, I know my blood sugar would rise again - but 5.2 is a prefectly acceptable blood sugar and I'd like to keep it brtween there and 4.7 for the rest of my life. My cholesterol is also back where it should be and my arthritis is gone. I can now walk 16 miles or more a week and love doing so.

              As many other have said -- try it for 30 days and see how you feel. You really have nothing to lose - if you feel bad, or your blood sugar reacts badly, you can always stop.

              Grain Free since 2009, WP from 2005
              ~100% primal (because anything less makes me very sick)
              Goal: hike across Sweden with my grandchildren when I retire in a few years


              • #22
                I've been there and am still doing that

                Hi Jenny,

                I'm ten years younger than you, and was diagnosed ten years ago with Type II Diabetes, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia. If I had stumbled upon Paleo ten years ago, I would have even better control of my meter readings and A1C than I currently do - in spite of the fact that my doctor refers to me as her model Diabetes patient. The Diabetic Nutrition courses or RD visit your doctor may order are a waste of your time and will most likely recommend ingesting too many carbs to keep your blood sugar under control.

                What I would recommend for the best possible control: Focus on food quality such as grass fed protein and pesticide free produce if you are able. Limit the fruit to one modest portion a day max, combine low sugar berries or apples with a fat source. Focus on high quality proteins (high fat meats and fish), eggs, nuts (Macadamia and Almonds are good choices), avocado, a variety of leafy greens and colorful low starch veggies. Hiqh quality fats are key - grass fed butter, EVOO, coconut oil, MCT oil, high fat dairy. Add fat to meat and veggies wherever is feasible to keep yourself satiated and blood glucose stable, keep your carbs between 30-50 for excellent blood glucose control and successful weigh management. Grains, sugars, and starchy veggies will only make glucose control more challenging.

                If you haven't viewed the sites already, I'd advise you to check out Blood Sugar 101 by Jenny Ruhl, and purchase her books on Diabetes and Low Carb Eating - clear, straight forward, jargon free. Whole 9 and Peter Attia's Eating Academy are also great sites. Check out the Facebook pages IPMG and Nutrition and Metabolism Society.

                Focus on sufficient, high quality sleep. No matter how clean you eat, poor sleep and illness will spike your blood sugar. Stress will do the same. Exercise a few days a week or more doing what is sustainable for you. Test your fasting blood sugars daily with a goal of 120 or less. Do your best to keep your post meal time blood sugars no higher than 140 within 60 minutes of a meal.

                Don't hesitate to ask if you have questions.


                • #23
                  A P.S., Love olives as a fat source, and I was a vegetarian when diagnosed.


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by jfedei View Post
                    I like the tempting and enticing way you say "Come on, join us..." Sounds like "Come to the dark side, we have cookies!" I might steal that for my signature! haha!!

                    Last night I did more research and found a gambit of 'testimonials' out there basically all saying the same thing you've each expounded upon. I went to bed with Paleo on my mind and now I'm sitting here noshing on 2 strips of microwaved bacon with 2 eggs cooked in a bit of olive oil thinking "I could do this!" Veganism be dammed (sorry, but after my bad experience, I had to let that out!)

                    I think I'm about 90% there, but I do have another important question...

                    With regard to percentages / ratios of fat and protein, is there a daily recommended amount? I saw posted on another forum that daily fat should be around 50%, and protein around 25 - 30%. I could easily do the 25 - 30% protein, but I'm having a hard time wrapping my brain around a 50% daily fat intake. If following the Standard American Diet, it's projected to be around 20 - 30% daily intake of fat and in some cases I've seen even lower percentages. Is there a recommended range of daily fat and protein for Paleo's to your knowledge? Is there also clinical data to back up the results of these numbers as well?

                    If I were to follow the 50% rule on a 1800 calorie diet, that would mean that 900 calories should come from fat. That's a whopping 100 grams of fat per day!! I'm freaking out here!! Sorry to be so anal-ytical, but I gotttaaa know before I throw caution to the wind and jump in head first!

                    I'm sooooo almost there though. I've also been gawking at Paleo food porn and drooling on my shoes. Are you freaking kidding me? This looks so good. I'm jumping up and down thinking about the fact that I can have steak again!!!!

                    By the way, if I need to present this question to another area of the forum, would someone please direct me?


                    P.S. Motivation #2 - Paleo men are 'hot' looking!!

                    You have a lot of nursing training to undo in your head regarding diet and health. That just comes with the territory of your career. My husband is an MD and he feels the same anxiety over thinking he'd ever eat as much fat as I do. On top of that, he is on a statin drug so fat is his phobia. I'm working on him.

                    You don't have to start out by eating 900 calories a day of fat. Work with what you can wrap your mind around at this time. Take out the gluten and the rest of the grains. Remove processed sugar. Eat whole foods that don't come with a 2 year expiration date on the box. Start moving your body and lifting heavy things.

                    You will feel like shit for the first few weeks. That I can almost promise you. Don't take it as a reason to stop... but instead the clue that you needed to show you how important eating whole/real food really is to maintain your health.

                    If you need to have all your ducks in a row before you begin, then it will never be the right time to start. Do the research as you go. There isn't a perfect way to do this. It is a little different for everybody.

                    I can tell you my experience: I am 47 and in perimenopause. Gaining body fat and losing muscle mass. Fatigue. Hormonal nightmare. Sad. Chronic injuries from exercise. Having my period every 4 months and barely having one when I did. I got a normal period within the first 30 days of Paleo (not even 100% Paleo) and have not skipped a month yet. I am in month 4. I have not lost weight but I have gained muscle mass. My clothes fit differently and my waist is smaller by 3" (that happened in the first 3 weeks). Weight loss isn't my necessary goal, but I eat far more now than I ever did. I just wanted to live to be 100 and I knew my diet wasn't cutting it. I've lost my intense craving for sugar although I still eat dark chocolate. I'm not perfect by any means, but I have some emotional ties to food that are quite unhealthy. That takes longer than any physical attachment.

                    I say jump in and tread water like the rest of us did in the beginning (some of us still do!).

                    Age 48
                    Start date: 7-5-12
                    GOAL: to live to be a healthy and active 100

                    "In health there is freedom. Health is the first of all liberties."
                    Henri Frederic Amiel


                    • #25
                      As of today it's finally official.... I'm a vegan no more!!

                      Alright, if I'm to do this, then I'm going to give it a 100% commitment. I ordered Mark's supplements and books last night and cleaned out my kitchen cabinets this morning. I've completed reading the Primal Blue Print on my Kindle and have done quite a bit of research over the past few weeks. I was also thinking back to over 12 years ago when I first attempted the Atkins program and I 'DO' remember feeling very healthy, losing weight at warp speed, and my skin was just amazing. I did this for about 3 or 4 months before I started listening to the "experts" about how I was depleting my body of vital nutrients by not including whole grain in my diet. I'm a nurse, so of course my inclination is to follow the SAD, it's what we are taught to recommend to our patients.

                      I think last night I finally had my "ah-ha" moment when I realized how closed off I've been from my own body. Why did I subsume to the norms instead of paying attention to the way I looked and felt? We are so programmed to follow what the FDA is telling us. It's everywhere we turn. Our supermarkets are full of carefully marketed processed foods, stripped of their nutritional value.

                      I've been banging my head up against a wall for years trying to follow the vegan diet, only to fail again and again with regard to my own health. When I would reach out to my vegetarian community, I was met with chastisement, basically blaming 'me' for doing something wrong. "I wasn't eating the proper way" or "I was looking for an excuse"... blah, blah, blah....

                      What I find ironic is that in coming here to this forum, I've been met with encouragement, intelligent dialogue, humor and lots of support. I know I need to get over this, but I'm a bit pissed off right now. Pissed off at the industry and people who have been feeding me false information all this time, but more pissed off at myself for listening to them instead of tuning in to my own body. It's crazy!..... Ok, I'm over it..... time to move on... veganism be damned. It's time for a bacon wrapped burger!!

                      In the spirit of making the change, I took the plunge and emptied my kitchen cabinets of all the processed garbage and I'm getting ready to load it all in trash bags and put it on the curb right now -- it's trash day!!! I took a picture so I can remember it fondly.......... not.

                      cleaning house 2.jpg

                      This is what my cabinet looks like now....

                      cleaning house.jpg

                      Now I have to figure out what to use the empty space for. Maybe I'll buy a nice rotisserie and store it there!!

                      Off to put the bags on the curb.



                      P.S. A heartfelt thank you to everyone here who took the time out of their busy day to offer a bit of encouragement and support. It means allot!
                      Last edited by jfedei; 10-25-2012, 07:26 AM.


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by PHaselow View Post
                        You will feel like shit for the first few weeks. That I can almost promise you.
                        Pam, curious to know what to expect here. Are you talking about withdrawals? fatigue? extreme cravings? I started this morning. Had a two egg scramble with some left over chicken meat and full fat cheese, all sauteed in a bit of butter. Mid morning I had some grapes because I was craving something sweet.

                        Feeling OK right now, but we'll see how it goes tomorrow etc...


                        • #27
                          Hi Jenny,
                          As I understand it your body has to switch over from a sugar burning machine to a fat burning machine. It affects everything from the liver, muscles down to the gut flora needed to digest different foods.

                          After being Primal, you will come to resent like hell the mandate from work about teaching patients SAD. You will want to scream inside and tell patients to put their fingers in their ears while you spout the party line about low fat etc. haha. Been there, done that.
                          Depending on where you work, most are NOT cool with nurses telling patients what to eat based on THEIR current diet beliefs. On one hand I get that, as it could mean some get the vegan speech, others the vegetarian, yet others SAD, and the lucky ones Primal/Paleo. Continuity and all that stuff... Lol

                          Good luck, don't beat yourself up if you slip, it is a process and being 80/20 or 90/10 is still BETTER than SAD any old day!


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by jfedei View Post
                            Originally Posted by PHaselow
                            You will feel like shit for the first few weeks. That I can almost promise you....
                            We all have different experiences I suppose but I never did. I felt fantastic from about day 2! Paleo just felt right for me from the word go. I suspect that I do eat a lot of fruit in comparison to many others though, so I expect my carb level is a lot higher than some.

                            Full fat cheese. Dairy is a bit of a of a grey area, some eat it others don't. Cordain from the Paleo Diet recommends no dairy at all (or only small quantities), Robb Wolf says exclude it from your diet for 30 days and then bring it back in slowly to see how it goes and I have not read Mark's take on it, but I gather he is more lenient towards diarly. In the end you make your own mind up, but I definitely think it is worth reading either Cordain or Wolf to get another perspective on Paleo and more information for a more rounded take on paleo anyway.


                            • #29
                              Jenny, if you really start missing your German Chocolate Cake Sundae... try making this. (I stole this recipe from Primal Papa. It's heavenly.)

                              Avocado Chocolate Mousse

                              2 ripe avocados, cut into cubes
                              1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
                              4 T vanilla
                              2 T heavy cream (optional)
                              1/3 cup maple syrup

                              Use a blender to mix. Refrigerate.


                              • #30
                                Hi Jenny Congratulations on your start.

                                Well I am not a long standing member but an enthusiastic newish one. I am 54yrs old and been doing this for around 4 months, starting weight 148.5, current weight past goal now at 116.5. at close to 5' 2". Will be interesting trying to just maintain for me, the weight has been flying off, which isn't the case for my husband who joined me on this new lifestyle. He has lost quite a bit, but has stalled and quite fed up with me for losing more than him. LOL.

                                The journey for me has been quite astounding, so many changes. I started on this after getting my yearly check-up and a warning from my doctor that things had to change, my cholesterol, but more importantly my triglycerides, were very high and he said either lower by less carb. and exercise or I would have to go on statins.

                                All three of my children found they couldn't tolerate gluten, years ago, one can't do eggs, they are all 3 limiting dairy somewhat. they all had issues, from depression to acne to big stomach flareups, all have pretty much cleared up by removing the offending foods.

                                I have been on most of the diets, yo yo'ing over the years, all have led me to this. I feel this is what I needed, got close to with the Zone, but hadn't clued in to the no grains at all.

                                I started on the first day by cutting out all sugar, all gluten and processed foods, still had oatmeal rice, dairy, potatoes, and eggs. My Son, who is a strong Daily Apple supporter, sent me the book. "It starts with Food" which convinced me to do the Whole 30 elimination diet, so from that I also cut out the rice, dairy, and eggs. I had felt very energetic and fantastic on the diet, no low carb flu. but after starting the whole 30 I had a huge flare up of my stomach problems, any weightlifting made it worse and it was a constant nag. Turned out to be a duodenal ulcer, with obvious scarring from the past also. So I have had to go onto meds. for that to heal.

                                I am now feeling fitter, clearer headed and happier than I have for a long time. I had been having really strong menopausal symptoms, mega hot flashes, palpitations and migraines.......all gone. After being period free for 6 months, my period has mega returned for the last 3 months (not so happy about that part ) It has been a journey of positives and negatives, issues have been lack of sleep, constipation, stomach problems, frustrations of eating out and finding nothing on the menu I can hardly eat. etc. the sheer work of planning, shopping and cooking. It has turned out for me that cutting out the gluten, dairy and eggs has resulted in me not being able to have them at all without fairly severe symptoms. I just had a food allergy test done to see what else I have to watch out for. Seeing a Naturopath tomorrow.

                                I think you will find your journey a very personal one. It is about finding out what you feel your best on. Listening to your body and going with the flow. I have had no hunger or cravings whatsoever on this diet, so that part has been really easy. For me the fat has made all the difference. If I feel low in energy at all then I have a spoon of coconut oil. It lifts me instantly with no after crash.

                                I will admit, I have done this all so far with very little of the proper Primal exercise. I do feel the need to go for a run, or long walk as I have the energy and feel the need for it, but must get on a more regular program and start "lifting heavy things" Part of the reason for not is it made my ulcer and hiatal hernia feel a lot worse, but things are improving now.

                                Ok enough of my 4 month life story for now. I hope it all works out well for you.
                                Started Primal June 2012 at 148.5lbs, and 5' 1", reached goal weight in 5 months.
                                Lowest weight 93lbs - too thin. Now stable at around 100lbs much better weight for me at my age.
                                Primal, minus eggs, dairy and a myriad of other allergens.