My Paleo Diet Blog

For all your pre- and post-PAW food and beverage recipes. Just because it keeps you alive doesn't mean it shouldn't be tasty.

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My Paleo Diet Blog

Post by Septimus39 » Fri Jan 13, 2012 1:06 pm

Hey everyone. I write a blog on my experiences with the paleo diet, and wanted to share it around. I've had great results with paleo eating, as have many other folks in ZSC:012 who've tried it. Since it's a lot easier to carry a 35 pound pack when I'm not also carrying an extra 35 pounds of ass, it definitely fits into my prep plans.

Happy to answer questions here or on the blog itself. For background, I'm 6'3", weighed in at 245+lbs when I started and am under 215 now less than 4 months after starting. Body fat has gone from 25+% to about 15% now and I'm still going. I think I'm down 4-5 inches off my waist, too.

Anyhow, I'm far from an expert, but I'm hoping to find other people on the forums who also do the paleo thing so we can exchange ideas on paleo prepping. I've got a lot of food in my basement that I don't eat anymore but I'm not sure what to do with it, or the best way to add paleo-friendly long-term food preps. If anyone has any tips, I'd love to hear them.

Here's the link to the blog: http://paleogeek.wordpress.com/

Thanks!
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Re: My Paleo Diet Blog

Post by Davo » Fri Jan 13, 2012 1:36 pm

Howdy!

I started the Paleo (Primal Blueprint) on 26 Dec, standing 6'2" and weighing 290. I'm down 10 lbs already, and loving it.

My wife and our friend/neighbor/co-prepper started on 02 Jan, but are easing into it, whereas I went all in at the start. We share a 20 acre farm in NC, with fresh eggs and chickens, and fresh veggies in season and canned during off season.

I figure that if we need to live off of our preps, we won't be as concerned with avoiding processed, chemical- and carbohydrate-laden stuff, because we'll be in survival mode, but we will still have basic fresh water, eggs, chicken and veggies to pad out with the stored stuff.
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Re: My Paleo Diet Blog

Post by dogbane » Fri Jan 13, 2012 1:48 pm

A friend of mine who is well known in primitive skills circles went on the paleo diet about ten years ago and never went back. He lost around 60 pounds and is in great shape for a 63 year old man. I'll see if he will give me any recipes.
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Re: My Paleo Diet Blog

Post by the_alias » Fri Jan 13, 2012 2:03 pm

Moved to Eats and Drinks.

Cool stuff, I've experimented with Paleo in the past - want to start again!

I have the Primal Blueprint as well :)
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My Paleo Diet Blog

Post by wee drop o' bush » Fri Jan 13, 2012 2:16 pm

Tagged for future reading once I google the Paleo Diet to see what it is. I've never heard of it.
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Re: My Paleo Diet Blog

Post by mr_slappy75 » Fri Jan 13, 2012 2:34 pm

I am rather curious about this, especially that based (on what little) I know about it is my understanding that an effort is made in keeping the level of processing of one's food to a minimun along with the food selection matching both environment and geography.
Ironically enough I was raised on a diet that delieverd on several of those points, alas that was another time and another land.

Bookmarked for further study.
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Re: My Paleo Diet Blog

Post by Werespaz » Fri Jan 13, 2012 3:09 pm

I changed my diet to this back in September or so and had significant success. I don't weigh myself (because that's a silly indication of health), but my pant size went from 36 to 32 and I can see my abs again (not super defined, but they're there). More importantly, I feel great, in ways that I didn't even know I wasn't feeling great in.

Now the issue is: long term food preps. The great thing about grains is their storage, and now that I'm not eating those anymore (turns out I don't digest wheat products very well), storing meat and veggies long term is much harder. I suppose I could buy a bunch of pre-canned stuff, but chances are that's much more processed than I would like.

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Re: My Paleo Diet Blog

Post by Septimus39 » Fri Jan 13, 2012 3:13 pm

the_alias wrote:Moved to Eats and Drinks.

Cool stuff, I've experimented with Paleo in the past - want to start again!

I have the Primal Blueprint as well :)
Thanks for the move. Wasn't sure where it belonged.

A friend got me the Primal Blueprint 21-day Transformation book and I really enjoyed that, but I haven't read his main book yet. I started with Robb Wolf's Paleo Solution, then read Primal Body, Primal Mind by Nora Gedgaudas and have since moved on to Taubes' Why We get Fat, which is less about paleo and more about low-carb in general. All fascinating stuff, though. I've got a bunch of links on the blog to various videos and such that will help explain it, but one of the best is Fat Head, a documentary by Tom Naughton. You can find it free on Hulu or stream it on Netflix. He's also not so much paleo as he is just generally low-carb, but it really helps to explain the basic concepts and some of the nutritional history.

I'm definitely happy to answer any questions people might have, too. Like I said, I'm not expert, but I tend to get a bit obsessive about things so I've dug into a whole lot of the literature on this.
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Re: My Paleo Diet Blog

Post by flsgear » Fri Jan 13, 2012 3:37 pm

Hey there. One question - how did you manage the cost of your paleo diet? Or was cost not a hugely limiting factor? Because I've done the paleo thing but with a wife and kid + mediocre income ( I can hear them saying now.. BUT YOU HAS A BIZNESS SITE U MUST BE RICH AMIRITE ) .. how did you swing that given that (at least in central pa) veggies + quality (organic fed, non antibiotic/treated/etc) meat is not exactly shall we say cheap
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Re: My Paleo Diet Blog

Post by Septimus39 » Fri Jan 13, 2012 4:01 pm

We used to eat out a whole heck of a lot, which was really expensive. We just started eating at home and spending that money on groceries and we're actually saving money now. I know a lot of people aren't in that same boat, so here are some other tips I've learned:

Eat grassfed when you can, lean when you can't. Grassfed is better, for sure, but if you can't afford it a nice lean cut is still pretty good. Lean cuts also tend to be cheaper, and you can learn how to prepare them so they're still delicious.

Buy things that are local and in-season. Stuff that has to get shipped from Peru has that cost built into it, so you can save by buying things that don't have to travel as far. If you have a farmer's market, you can often find some screaming deals on produce there, too. And coupons/sales flyers, too. Local and organic is best, but if you see a great deal on conventional spinach, I'd jump on it.

Costco. I buy tons of my food there. They have great organic options, both fresh and frozen. They also have gluten-free rotisserie chickens for $5 a pop. They're not pastured, but they make a great quick dinner.

Shop around. I'm in CO, which is kind of a hippie-food hotspot. I've got probably half a dozen or more health food groceries within 15 minutes of my house. The same brand of eggs costs either $4 or $6 depending on which store I go to.

Buy in bulk and freeze. My wife and I split a whole grassfed cow with a couple other families this year. We got about 150 pounds of beef for roughly $8/lb. Still not cheap, but that's $8/lb for filet mignon as well as for ground beef. We bought a chest freezer for $200 a couple years back and being able to buy in bulk and freeze has easily saved us more than that.

The big thing is that you want to do your best. Not being able to afford 100% grassfed beef for every meal doesn't mean your next choice should be a bagel, you know? You do as much as you can with what you have. Avoid grains, legumes and conventional dairy (I've had no problems with pastured dairy, ymmv) and just eat good protein, veggies and healthy fats like coconut oil. The internet is awesome for finding good deals on paleo foods. There are more paleo food blogs out there than I can name, and they'll post great money-saving ideas or links to good deals and such. Hopefully this helps!
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Re: My Paleo Diet Blog

Post by Davo » Fri Jan 13, 2012 4:11 pm

It's not all black and white; you do the best you can. I get some organic stuff at Whole Foods, but I also get regular stuff from regular places. Overall, it's reducing the amount of hormones, pesticides, etc., even if it's not eliminating them totally. If you improve a few things a lot, and a lot of things a little bit, you're moving in the right direction. A single grocery bag from Whole Foods costing $80 encouraged me to balance the best of the regular groceries and farmer's market with a few things from Whole Foods.

I've never been a big soda drinker, so eliminating artificial beverages wasn't hard at all. I find I'm drinking less coffee, but I do notice differences in it more, since I'm not masking any of it with sweetener. I used to drink beer regularly; last night I had some red wine, my first alcohol since going paleo.

After a week or so of loading up on meat and veggies (and some fruit - I'm consciously limiting my fruit intake), I don't miss the bread, pasta and rice very much. I do crave cheese, so I have some now and then. We go to cafeterias (lots of veggie choices, usually several non-starchy) and salad bars when we eat out.

It seems expensive, and it is, but when you subtract the expense of the high-carb staples and snacks that you no longer buy, it's not as bad.
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Re: My Paleo Diet Blog

Post by Septimus39 » Fri Jan 13, 2012 4:20 pm

Very good points. Another thing I've noticed is that I just eat less food than I used to. When I used to eat a bunch of carbs, I would be more hungry overall and eat more of the carbs as well as more of everything else. When I just eat protein and fat with some non-starchy veggies, I eat much less. Sometimes I only eat one or two meals a day because that's all I'm hungry for. That overall reduction in intake also adds up in savings.

Another thing I forgot to mention is that for chicken, the boneless, skinless breast is the most popular and the most expensive. You can buy whole organic chickens and break them down yourself, or even just buy organic legs and thighs. They're much cheaper, since most people don't want 'em, but they're delicious and you can do a lot with them.
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My Paleo Diet Blog

Post by the_alias » Fri Jan 13, 2012 4:33 pm

Do you eat dairy still?




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Re: My Paleo Diet Blog

Post by Septimus39 » Fri Jan 13, 2012 4:39 pm

I do. I try to eat pastured dairy as much as possible, because I've noticed that it doesn't make me feel sick like conventional dairy does. Organic Valley is a great brand. They sell tons of different cheeses, heavy cream, milk, etc. Some of the cheeses are even raw as well as being pastured, and those are fantastic. I don't just drink glasses of milk or anything, and all the dairy I eat is full fat. I just add cheese to salads and scrambled eggs, and put some whipped cream on my berries sometimes.

I'm really pretty far from being perfect paleo. I had a hell of a sweet tooth before making the switch (I measured servings of Skittles in pounds, not ounces), and I still indulge it a little with coconut milk ice cream, dark chocolate, homemade whipped cream (sweetened with honey), etc. It's not a huge portion of my diet, and I'm still losing weight at a healthy clip, so I'm not worrying too much about it. If I plateau before I reach my goals, I'll have to spend some time cranking it down a bit, I'm sure.
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Re: My Paleo Diet Blog

Post by Werespaz » Fri Jan 13, 2012 4:42 pm

Also, if you can afford it, but just don't like the idea of paying more for it, remember that there's a lot of evidence out there that suggests a paleo diet will significantly reduce the chances of chronic illnesses and diseases down the road. I'd rather spend a $100 more a month on food than $200 a month more on prescriptions and doctor visits and triple by-pass surgery. I like to think of it as investing in my future health (which naturally means I'll get hit by a bus "before my time" - sigh).

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Re: My Paleo Diet Blog

Post by Septimus39 » Fri Jan 13, 2012 4:48 pm

Definitely. I personally know at least one person who has MS who dramatically improved her symptoms by going paleo. I've also heard and read about tons and tons of people with problems from arthritis to diabetes to autism who have made significant improvements by switching their diet. Preventing or reversing those health problems can make such a difference in quality of life, it's kind of unfathomable. So yeah, it might be worth moving some money around in the budget, giving it a try for 30 days and see how you feel.
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Re: My Paleo Diet Blog

Post by JFlagg » Fri Jan 13, 2012 5:14 pm

I've been tossing around the idea of starting the Paleo diet, I just need to read up more on it to see what I can and shouldn't eat. Thanks for the good info to get me more interested, lol.
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Re: My Paleo Diet Blog

Post by Septimus39 » Fri Jan 13, 2012 5:24 pm

This is a great simple intro: http://paleodietlifestyle.com/paleo-101/

You'll learn more as you read and try things, so you'll eventually get a better feel for the nuances and subtleties, but this is a great starting place. I'd also recommend Mark Sisson's Primal Blueprint 21-day Total Body Transformation. It's a good book, well written, includes enough info to get you started, and has a full meal plan so you don't have to try to figure out what to eat. It's definitely a great way to get started.
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Re: My Paleo Diet Blog

Post by Murph » Mon Jan 16, 2012 10:58 am

I thought about giving this a try, but quickly realized that most of my lunches involved some sort of bread, bun, or roll.

The other thing that made it tough was that bag salad would always seem to wilt quicker than I could eat it.

Any ideas?
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Re: My Paleo Diet Blog

Post by Septimus39 » Mon Jan 16, 2012 11:27 am

Most every meal we eat in the western world revolves around grain, it seems. Sandwiches, cereal, pasta, rice, toast, etc. We even put bread on our salads, and wrap our meats in it. We even drink grains, in the form of high fructose corn syrup. It's kinda crazy when you really start thinking about it.

It takes some thought to get around, just because it's such a major habit. A good first step is to go just gluten-free with your diet, if you're struggling. It's not as good as going totally grain free, but it's easier for people a lot of the time. You can still do spaghetti, just pick up some brown rice pasta (Tinkyada makes the best gluten-free pastas I've found) at a health food store or even off of Amazon. You can find gluten-free pizza, sandwich bread, etc. You'll still get a lot of the benefits without it being such a big change for you right out of the gates. You can also work on minimizing your dairy intake. If you can find pastured dairy products, they're great.

Alternately, you can ease into it by doing a full week of paleo breakfasts, and eating whatever you would normally eat for lunch and dinner. The next week, eat paleo for breakfast and lunch, and do your own thing for dinner. The third week, eat paleo all three meals per day, and then you're on your way.

As far as the bag salad goes, that can be tough. I get big salad containers from Costco and just plow through them as fast as I can. I eat a big (3-4 cups greens) salad most days for lunch, and that can work through a tub pretty quickly. Honestly, when you start thinking of a salad as a delivery mechanism for dressing, olives, onions, cheese, bacon and hard boiled egg slices, it gets a lot easier to pack it away on a daily basis. I never used to like salad, but I really love them now that I know I can put a bunch of fat on there to make it more palatable.

Really, it's a lot easier to take things out of a diet than it would be to try to add things in. You eat all the same things you usually eat, just ditch the grain. Burgers and hot dogs work just fine with a fork and knife and no bun, and you can just use big lettuce leaves to wrap up your lunch meats instead of bread. Eat eggs and bacon for breakfast, or some fruit, or some combination thereof. I tend to do a couple eggs and some fruit most mornings, and bacon or sausage if I have some time to cook it up. Chicken pieces roasted in the oven with some broccoli (lots of butter) for dinner rounds out the day.
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Re: My Paleo Diet Blog

Post by Bobbicus » Mon Jan 16, 2012 12:02 pm

For anyone contemplating the switch, I strongly suggest going cold turkey. Trying to "ease in" just makes it so much easier to slip up. Once you commit and make the plunge, you (well, I did at least, and others seem to have as well) stop craving things like bread. After a week or two, bread just becomes unappealing.

If you can't buy local, try US Wellness meats. Pet burger (a combination of ground beef and offal) is $4 a pound, and they have regular sales. I strongly suggest you sign up for the newsletter, there's a 15% off coupon code every few weeks. I got a giant tub of beef lard from them that I use for most of my cooking, it's grand. Wierd taste at first, but delicious once you become accustomed to it.

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Re: My Paleo Diet Blog

Post by Velociryan » Mon Jan 16, 2012 12:17 pm

Man! I almost invented this diet a few years back. I was going to call it the "Hunter\Gatherer" diet. I need to get back into my pre-Christmas fudge shape so I'll be going strict paleo by the end of this week.

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Re: My Paleo Diet Blog

Post by Septimus39 » Mon Jan 16, 2012 1:14 pm

Bobbicus, I did the cold turkey thing myself. I definitely think it was easier, as well. Some people struggle with the idea of it, but I do think it's better overall.

You get to the point where you don't miss the bread and pasta, because grains just serve as a platform for things that are actually delicious. If you think about it, hardly anyone just eats dry toast or spaghetti without sauce and meat on it. Even bread is only good because it has eggs and butter in it. The actual grain part is nasty and tasteless. Grains are just filler and delivery mechanisms. Believe me, I loved them like few people ever have, but the more I started thinking about it, the more I realized that I could just eat the meat, the butter, the eggs, etc. without needing to eat the grains and everything got a lot easier.
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Re: My Paleo Diet Blog

Post by the_alias » Mon Jan 16, 2012 1:43 pm

I find cooking up stews a great way to go.

Sunday afternoon get a whole bunch of good root veg - avoid potatoes. Dice it up. Get some nice bits of meat , brown it in a dutch oven on the hob then add your veg , add some stock spices and stew it up.

You can then divvy it up for lunches in tupperware!

Saves a lot of money.

Failing that I always go with an avocado, salad, tinned tuna. Though I realise I'm in Europe and things are slightly different here.

Septimus - you keep mentioning 'pastured' dairy - what do you mean? I feel this is a lost in translation thing - I know American dairy standards are generally more strict than Europe...
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