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More about this fad diet humans ate for millions of years | dooce® dooce® » I'm Heather B. Armstrong. This is my website. » More about this fad diet humans ate for millions of years
  • Putnam

    I agree about the Larabars! I have been eating very similarly for 8 months; I never realized how crappy I felt until I started feeling GOOD! And I am continually amazed by how sensitive my body is to certain foods. I can tell within minutes if I’m going to have a negative reaction. I do allow myself raw goat or sheep cheese – that is like heaven to me.

  • melinda

    Welcome to the tribe! I have been paleo for a year and a half (and a reader of yours for much longer) and I can’t even begin to list all of the improvements in my health and outlook on life. But the biggest change is that I no longer have migraines and that is worth its weight in bacon. I have a recipe blog in case you ever need a change of pace – http://myprimalkitchen.blogspot.com

    Yay you!

  • barbara

    Thank you for providing some good resources and insight. It seems like an effective diet.

  • Joe

    Perhaps this has been posted before, but a US News panel ranked this dead last out of twenty diets. Rankings were based on how easy the diet was to follow, nutrition, safety, and effectiveness for weight loss and against diabetes and heart disease. Just sayin’. URL: http://health.usnews.com/best-diet/best-overall-diets

  • Squeetthang

    I REALLY wish I had the money to do something like this, but it would cost me about 30% more in groceries to eat this way. Also, I live in deep south Georgia and the notion of eating this way is FAR in the future! The organic isle of the grocery store is just that…ONE isle. Now the fried chicken section is massive and (naturally) located next to the bait, bibles and grills. Just kidding…mostly.

  • workroom

    Has no one else mentioned that those sausages look like two healthy poops?

    : P

  • Murgan

    We just celebrated my boss’ b-day yesterday. He’s on the Paleo diet as well, so we made him Paleo brownies. Pretty good! You should try ‘em out.

  • SouthernDink

    For those interested in learning more about America’s food industry, “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” by Michael Pollan is a good read! It is a well written and filled with both humor and disturbing eye openers.

    @Joe I read the link you sent. It actually doesn’t have much to say about the Paleo “diet” itself. There has been no research, and as the article says, more studies would have to be done. In addition, they are basing their opinions on government plans, so that doesn’t hold much weight with me.

  • iampinkdog

    I struggle with PCOS, and my doctor has recommended that I try it out too. I’ve looked around the Internets and it would appear that others with similar conditions have had some success with this. Glad to hear it is working for you!

  • lmgood

    I just wanted to thank you for taking the time to answer all these questions so thoughtfully. I’ve heard of paleo from several people and my parents just started it. Unfortunately, I haven’t figured out how to work it into my working lifestyle or convince my husband to go along with it. I can’t do it without support, and I really need to do something.

  • slcEB

    My husband & I have been Paleo since last December — DH has lost about 40 lbs and I’m down almost 20. It’s been easy and tasty and I don’t miss any of the stuff I used to eat too much — bread, rice, pasta. What I like about Mark Sisson’s plan is his “80/20″ rule — eat Paleo 80% of the time. The other 20%, don’t sweat it — if you eat out, and want some of that delicious bread in the basket, it’s not going to kill you. He’s also a fan of red wine & dark chocolate so it works for me! For anyone sitting on the fence, or worried about giving up cheese (I haven’t), just make the leap. It’s easier than you think.

  • dianemaggipintovoiceover

    do you know about these good slc folks with a farm in wanship? best. chicken. evar. and pick-up after “processing” is around 900 S and foothill:
    http://mcdowellfamilyfarm.blogspot.com/
    i hadn’t eaten chicken in forever until this was recommended to me.

    also, rico’s roasted tomato salsa is to. die. for.

    oakdell is local (cache county) … yay!

    and it’s fairly easy to buy a share (1/4, 1/2, what-have-you) of organic, grass-fed, utah cow. we’ve done it. i was just looking in the freezer this morning for those steaks. i found a tri-tip roast instead!

  • caitmarie

    Yeyyyyyyy! This is so exciting that you’re doing this, and letting people know you’re doing it. Because so many more people will get to know about it now.

    I found paleo semi-accidentally via convergence after finding the bodybuilding community (which taught me about the importance of food and muscle) and trying to figure out what was making me ill (chronic illnesses and joint pain and fever). Left the bodybuilding idea because I want functional fitness not weird muscles, found crossfit instead, whee! Got diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis when things got worse (couldn’t lift my arm above my head or walk up stairs). Was told that I had a 30% change of living a relatively normal life and to come back for a massive steroids dose.

    Magic cure? Boyfriend doesn’t eat wheat because he doesn’t feel well with it, tried going wheat free for a couple of weeks, magical cure! From there, easy step to paleo.

    I have not been this healthy my whole life. I have energy to burn, as you say am never ever hungry, skin’s great, haven’t had a cold or a flu or a virus for more than a year, massively happy and healthy. It’s awesome stuff.

    I know several people with other immune system issues which have also made a massive swing on paleo. It’s awesome stuff. I never would have believed it.

    So Yay Heather! And Yay telling everyone about it!

    Caitlin

  • caitmarie

    @Squeetthang You’d be surprised. Veggies aren’t that expensive, you end up often cooking less elaborate/fewer ingredients meals (some meat and some veg on a plate for me! :) , and it’s been pretty easy to make gradual change.

    For example, cutting out wheat/grains and sugar doesn’t take any more cash, right? If it’s not organic, so be it. And if you end up thinking it’s worth it or circumstances change, then you make the decision later.

  • AlexSmiffy

    I have lost 120 lbs and keep it off easily by eating a low carb paleo diet. Other than an occasional piece of birthday cake, grains will never again be part of my diet.

    You and your husband should check out Robb Wolf’s podcast, he has talked about gallbladder illness and says that it is connected to a gluten intolerance.

    best of luck

  • ElizBatman

    Heather- thank you for writing about your experience with Paleo! I’ve been Paleo/Primal for two years now and have never looked (let’s be serious, I really only do this to look good) and felt better.

    I try to tell my friends and family to give it a shot, but they all think it’s weird or too extreme. Apparently my banging body doesn’t convince them. ;) I think it’s only because they don’t hear it about it much. Hopefully by you writing about it, more people will consider it and it will become more “normal.”

    Once you get used to it – I’d re-examine your med situation. I used to suffer from bad anxiety and it’s gotten so much better since going Paleo.

  • Mrs. Alex

    I have not done much research on paleo diets, but nothing I’ve seen has addressed the issue of quantities of meat/animal products available and consumed today vs. even 100 years ago–let alone hundreds of thousands of years ago. What I mean is, yes, people were hunters and gatherers who would eat only meat, plants, nuts, etc., but the amounts of animal products they would be able to eat would necessarily be miniscule compared to what we have access to thanks to factory farming.

    Maybe it’s because I’m in the middle of reading “The China Study” and am extremely concerned about the amount of animal products in a Western diet, but I can’t see a good argument for the issue. I really like the diet in theory, but I’m having trouble getting past this aspect…

  • dianemaggipintovoiceover

    p.s. i <3 the camilla series. this coming from a tee shirt and skirt girl who brushes her hair coupla times a year. i especially like that she’s just a gal, not a model, and puts together zany, workable outfits. basically, i sukk.

  • Tracye

    So now you know the joys of pooping…isn’t it grand :D

    The diet sounds like how I eat anyway. Whatever makes you feel good and works is what you should be doing.

    Thanks for the links!

  • FeelinFroggy79

    I am super excited to do more research and start this diet after I have my second baby. My husband is a work out guru who consumes 2700 calories a day and is always looking at our daughter like she would taste good grilled.

    One thing, I read an article on eggs that said terms like “cage free” are not regulated so “cage free” could mean anything from running about in a pasture full of hopes and dreams to sitting in a dark damp warehouse with 14,000 other chickens just not in an individual cage.

    Thank you for sharing this information with us and I am glad your pooper is in good working order!

  • Joe

    SouthernDink,

    I certainly hope anyone interested will do their own research. In any case, every statement you made is either misleading or incorrect.

    1. The article says just as much about the Paleo diet as it says about the other 19.

    2. There has been research, although it’s meager at this point. There has been more research about the very similar Atkins diet, which sits at the bottom of the rankings with this one.

    3. The opinions are not based on “government plans.” They’re based on current nutritional science.

    There are other questions about this diet. It’s far from clear that this is how people ate in the Paleolithic Era, or that our bodies haven’t changed since the Paleolithic Era, etc.

    Anyone thinking about this or any other diet should do their own research, and not rely on blog comments, or for that matter on the subjective experience of an influential person.

  • Paleobite

    That breakfast looks hella delicious :) I love Grokamole.

  • sherrye22

    “Since I can afford to buy meat that has been raised humanely and without hormones or antibiotics, I do. I think I have a responsibility to do so.”

    Thanks for saying this. I too feel obligated to buy humanely raised beef but I certainly understand that people in this country need to not be swimming in medical bill debt and home foreclosure before they can afford (figuratively and literally) to eat as organic/humanely/privileged as I do.

  • BigSkyMum

    NUT CHEESE!

    I am not on any particular diet (I try to limit processed food, sugar and white flour) but I am always open to try foods I’m unfamiliar with. I tried this cashew queso at a local restaurant and it was surprisingly good! It was a little less thick than I’m used to but it was rich and very authentic tasting. There are various brands available and you can also make your own. Something to consider…

  • IfByYes

    I’ve been trying to get up the nerve to go back to this kind of diet again. I did it ONCE. ONE SUMMER. It was brutal, because I love carbs more than anything on Earth. I might sell my husband’s body for carbs.

    But that one summer – damn. I lost 30 pounds and felt AMAZING.

  • Submommy

    Long time reader, first time commenter (isn’t that what people on radio call-in shows say?)

    http://www.eatwild.com is a fantastic resource for grass-fed pasture raised meat – the site includes an interactive map that helps you find information on farms that are close to you raising animals the way they’re SUPPOSED to be raised. You know, eating grass.

    On a side note – it’s reassuring to me to see you say, in writing, that you wouldn’t risk going off your meds. I haven’t been off of mine since 2003. I had PPD very bad – bad like, I almost packed my bags in the middle of the night and left my baby and husband because I was convinced that I was insane and therefore useless as a wife and mother.

    Meds work. I thank God for them daily.

  • J. Bo

    I am commenting only to say that I’m not commenting. While I am full of nutritional opinions, I think whatever works for you in your dietary choices? ROCK IT (or, as Tim Gunn would say, “MAKE IT WORK”).

    And congratulations on the poop, by the way.

  • AshesVonDust

    Now, reading up on Paleo, I am more confused than ever. I have been wanting to go vegan for awhile (or at least vegetarian with very limited dairy/bee vomit) but this paleo thing makes a lot of sense. Genius idea: COMBINE THE TWO. Except! WTF does that leave me to eat, besides lettuce? *sad face* I am the most ethically and socially confused fat person I know.

  • SouthernDink

    @Joe,

    Absolutely, everyone should do their own research. My opinion was based on how I read that article. I actually read it twice. That being said, my statement is true to me, as that is how I interpreted the article.

    1. Paleo/Primal is nothing like Atkins. Of course, do your own research.

    2. Dr.’s make their opinions on science, nonetheless it is still an opinion based on one’s research. If you would take “Wheat Belly” author Dr. William Davis, MD – a leading Cardiologist for an example. His opinions on wheat are greatly detailed here: http://heartscanblog.blogspot.com/ of course, these are his opinions. Backed up by over 2,000 patients. Great research for anyone.

    And I certianly agree readers thinking about making any lifestyle would not rely soley on blog comments. But dismissing others opinions based on their lack of “credentials” is not necessary either. It is after all… just an opinion.

  • Square Peaches

    I’m late to this party, but I had to share. I commented on the initial post (I was the one who asked how you felt after the tostada) and since then hubby and I have been making the change to the Paleo/Primal diet.

    It’s been one week and my husband has lost 6 lbs, I have lost 3 (damn Aunt Flo); we are no longer hungry all of the time, and hubby has already noticed an improvement in his achy knees.

    You mentioned Food, Inc., which is on our list to watch. Have you seen “King Corn?” We watched that last night, and to say I was gobsmacked is an understatement. Not only does it discuss the mind-boggling over abundance of corn grown in this country (thanks to farm subsidies) but corn, that for the most part is not suitable for human consumption.

    What is it used for you ask? Well, obviously HFCS (do you know that the first step in preparing that chemistry experiment is soaking the corn in sulfuric acid??), but a large part of it goes to feed the cattle in commercial pen operations. Feed that would actually kill the cattle if they weren’t slaughtered first — because their bodies are not equipped to eat it. At the end of it, I was saddened and sickened at the thought of what I have been putting in my body.

    To drive the point home, we went to the store and looked at the grass-fed beef available (yes, it is definitely more expensive). The color difference alone must be seen to be believed. We will get what we can, when we can. I just think it’s imperative to get educated about our food supply. We are looking into farming co-ops to see what we can do to improve our food and support local, independent farmers in any way we can.

    And I agree with the comments above — if it works for you, then great. I have seen it myself the reactions people have when you say you don’t eat processed food/sugar/grain products. It’s as if you are saying you enjoy drowning puppies in your spare time. Crazy.

  • luv2cats72

    Good for you, Heather. I’ve been doing Paleo for a couple of months, and I have noticed that my mad sweet tooth is GONE, plus I’m losing weight without counting calories, or going hungry, or even thinking about it. It also appears to be improving my hypothyroidism. On top of all that, I have unbelievable amounts of energy, even when I forget to drink my unsweetened coffee (this would NEVER have happened on my old diet–the unsweetened coffee, or the energy).

    There are some great recipes on Melissa Joulwan’s blog, http://www.theclothesmakethegirl.com. And anyone who wants more info on Paleo should check out the blog posts at http://www.whole9life.com, in addition to the sites you listed.

    Now, I’m off to have some paleo crabcakes with roasted red pepper mayo (from the Everyday Paleo website) and veggies for lunch. YUMM.

  • turinia

    My boyfriend and I did the P90x diet starting last March. We followed the diet that went with it and the first three weeks was basically Paleo. When we started adding back grains, we both felt extremely sick. We have now embraced going gluten free and here’s the biggest kicker: I have IBS (from getting Salmonella) and my symptoms completely, 100% went away after cutting out gluten. OMG, never thought I would actually be cured! I tested negative for Celiac disease but I guess I still have an intolerance which irritates my IBS. So now if I do have a piece of cake, I know how my body will react and am willing to make that trade. But otherwise, we don’t eat gluten. And I’ve lost 15 pounds. And I don’t have IBS. And I have more energy along with everything else you described. Rock on with your Paleo badassness!

  • H2Mama

    My husband and I have gone to a completely whole foods diet..nothing processed and preferably local. My husband has lost 10 lbs and his skin has cleared up like crazy. It takes some careful meal planning but I feel so much better! Downside..the neighbors look at like we’re crazy because we grill breakfast on the weekends AND we go through alot of TP.

  • strick52

    You can get your eggs from the McDowells – very good and local.

    http://mcdowellfamilyfarm.blogspot.com/

  • greeblemonkey

    I don’t know what it is, but I bet I can find something in there to be pissed off about. WAIT. My husband is lactose intolerant and you talked about cheese. What the fuck, Heather???

  • The Naked Redhead

    I’ve been doing primal for about two months (a lot like Paleo, except MOAR CHEEZ :) ) and I LOVE it. Like you said, it was such an easy transition, I can’t believe how good I feel, and my poop is totally rad.

  • Enatural7

    I’ve read about many people eating the paleo way. It seems as if me and my family would benefit from making these changes. I need to change something before I get so big that I can’t wipe my butt.

  • kimfromaustin

    After reading your post I ordered the book “the Paleo Solution.” I couldn’t put it down and read it in two days. For me the funny, interesting explanation of our bodies endocrinology system and hormones made it incredibly easy for me to change my diet and to understand my cravings. I never craved sugar. Fried okra was my weakness. I immediately felt better and no longer felt bloated and I’ve only been following it for less than a week. Thanks!

  • over.it.already

    THANK YOU DOOCE! Our house has recently gone gluten free, so this “cave man diet” (as my teen calls it) sounded interesting. We were talking about going vegan, but I can’t eat soy/tofu and said teen won’t eat beans. She cheered when I told her about this. I’ll tell you what: it feels great to wake up without feeling like I have a 3 margarita hangover.

  • swilliams38

    Your a bleepin’ moron who should keep her own twisted agenda to her damn self. I am sick of your “I am so skinny and healthy and muscular and energetic” crap. Get over yourself you beyotch.

    Just kiddin’…

    (Feel better?) :)

  • DoubleDs

    Thank you so much for sharing. I wanted to know more and was going to ask you for some resources since you said you did so much research. I’ve made such a huge change in my life in the last few months and workout every single day. I’ve changed my eating habits just a bit (I never considered myself an unhealthy eater…I Love fruits and vegetables!). I’ve lost 30 pounds since March and in so many ways feel so much better and so much healthier. It’s amazing. But, like you described in your first post, I feel tired a lot. I expected to have loads more energy considering how much weight I’ve lost and how much I am working out. I also feel so hungry and many times so bloated. I think I can try this Paleo diet, but want to see exactly what it’s all about first. Sugar would probably be the hardest for me. I am a COOKIE MONSTER!

    Thanks for the info, and kudos to you, Heather, for making such healthy changes in your life. You’re a good example for all of us and most important, for your daughters.

  • reneewvu

    What about booze?? Dairy I can live without. Meat even. But wine? Not on your life.

  • MarchelineB.

    Just to clarify for people who are new to paleo eating: Larabars are not good to stock up on if you are trying to lose weight. Heather is already at a healthy body weight, so she has more room to make decisions like cheese and Larabars and etc.

    If you are starting paleo in an obese or considerably overweight condition and want your body to slim down to its proper proportions, you will need to be a little more strict with your paleo diet. Giving up bread and potatoes and chowing down on six Larabars for breakfast isn’t going to get you where you need to go.

    Check the websites Heather mentioned and look around for guidance on the right way to start, and later maintain, the healthiest body you can get!

  • mjryates

    My only question is why don’t you make your own guacamole? It’s so easy! You can make your own salsa too. :)

  • Becosh

    I used to be the biggest pasta and dessert lover EVER so the idea of this diet was crazy to me. However, after trying it for about 6 months, I can’t imagine ever going back to my old diet. I was diagnosed with IBS by multiple doctors but after being on this diet, I have no more issues.

    I also have been diagnosed with endometriosis and in doing research on it, I read that you should avoid gluten and sugar because they can make it worse. In fact, you would be surprised how many medical conditions can be improved or even cured by following this diet. My father had really high blood pressure and after going paleo, his blood pressure went down to normal, he lost weight without exercising at all and his energy level skyrocketed.

    Also, there are so many recipes out there that can be used when you have a bread or sugar craving. I never feel deprived.

    Good for you and thank you for writing about this. People often think I’m insane and that this diet is impossible to follow. Maybe if we get the information out there, people will realize it is totally possible!

  • CalissaLeigh

    As this is a diet supposedly to revert to how cavemen ate, most people neglect to mention that cavemen only had a life expectancy of about 30 years.

    I’m teasing. Eat what you like, live better for it. :D

  • Nicky

    Hi!

    I don’t care what ya eat. As long as you’re happy. Do what you like. Like what you do. That first post about the new diet def. gave a sense of being beat down. Like all of those negative people who comment have won over how you feel and accordingly, write.

    Who cares what you eat/feed your family/ etc.? I sure don’t. I’ve just begun a vegetarian lifestyle and love it and couldn’t care less if other people think it’s not making a difference in the world. It is making a difference in mine.

  • cynsmith

    I switched over to Paleo 7 days ago today. Thank you for the post that educated me on this fantastic “diet”. I cannot believe how much better I feel inside and out. Go Paleo!

  • jan001

    I think I’ll do a little research on this just to see if I can do it. I’m kind of thinking not because it looks like a LOT of animal products which, don’t get me wrong, I LOVE, but too much cholesterol blah blah blah.

    I asked my endo about the Atkins Diet many years ago and got a swift “no” because of the high protein and the fact that kidneys are something diabetics are funny about.

    No legumes?? I lovelegumes! Why no legumes? Don’t take away the legumes!

  • dooce

    @CalissaLeigh actually, even though you’re only teasing, there are still hunter/gatherer societies on earth today, and their lifespans resemble our own. They also are mostly void of heart disease.