A Brief Note on Diet, or Why I love the Paleo Diet
I love the Paleo diet, but for different reasons than why most people.. Most people state that the Paleo Diet is the diet that we ate up until around 10000 years ago, which is probably mostly true (it’s hard to tell exactly, we weren’t around then). They state that our digestive system has not evolved quickly enough to eat the Standard American Diet that we eat today.
I’m not so sure about this. Our digestive system and its microbiota (the bacteria and other things living in our guts) can evolve quickly to our food intake. It’s becoming increasingly obvious that more and more people are becoming sensitive if not downright allergic to today’s food supply of processed grains, sugars, pasteurized dairy, eggs, and sometimes even fruit! I have observed that most of my patients cannot tolerate our now extremely processed food supply.
No, I like the Paleo diet not for its philosophy, but the results it delivers with patients. I’ve tried all different diets with myself, and with my patients, and Paleo delivers the best results clinically, hands down! It’s common sense: remove the highly processed, allergy producing foods from the diet and leave the real food ( fruits, veggies, meats, nuts, and unprocessed oils). This is what health is built on!
You can get any book on the Paleo Diet, or do a Google search, and you’ll probably come up with a million references to eating the Paleo way. Or, you can just look at the list below. It really is that simple.
As a caveat, there’s some disagreement as to whether beans and legumes should be in a true Paleo diet. I tell people to cut them out, at least until they are better, as they can bother a lot of people, even if they’re not aware of it.
I also tell people to cut out pasteurized dairy, although raw dairy seems to be perfectly permissible, if you’re not allergic to it. A qualified Nutrition Response Testing practitioner can test you for an allergy to pasteurized dairy. Blood tests won’t be able to pick this up.
A lot of people wrongly believe you must eat grains in order to get fiber and B vitamins. You can get plenty of fiber from seeds, nuts, and veggies. Likewise, you can get plenty of B vitamins from meat, eggs, and fish.
To start with, here’s what to cut out:
- Grains, even the “healthy” grains like quinoa, and brown rice. Our highly processed grain supply turns to sugar very quickly in the body. None of my patients tolerate grains well, even if they think they do. They usually feel much better after they cut grains from their diet. In my experience, nearly all of my patients have some kind of hidden immune system weakness aggravated by grains, even if they don’t know it.
- Processed sugar, including white sugar, brown sugar, pasteurized honey, cane syrup, maple syrup, corn syrup and agave nectar. Fruits, stevia, monk fruit extract, erythritol, and other natural, non-sugar sweeteners are usually fine. However, it is a good idea to tests these sweeteners with Nutrition Response Testing to make sure one is suitable specifically for you.
- Pasteurized dairy. Raw dairy products are fine for most people. Raw dairy is becoming more common as people become more informed, just read the label. If it says “Raw Dairy,” it’s for you. If it says “Pasteurized,” pitch it! Once again, Nutrition Response Testing will tell you yea or nay.
- Beans and Legumes. Don’t add these back into your diet until you feel nearly 100 percent better. Experiment by eating them once a day for 3 days. If they make you feel worse, cut them!
- Potatoes. Although potatoes are not bad for you, they are a starchy food and they turn into sugar very quickly in your body. Since we’re overloaded with sugar, cut potatoes from your diet until you start feeling better. Like beans and legumes, add them back into your diet once a day for 3 days, and record how you feel. If you feel worse, cut them. After they feel better, most people can eat potatoes once or twice a week.
That’s only five things you need take out of your diet! Cut down the QUANTITY of poisons, then work on the QUALITY of food. Before I give you the good foods list, please keep this in mind: it’s best to have everything GMO free, organic, grass fed, and such, but it’s more important to cut down/out the QUANTITY of poisons (the first 3 things listed above, followed by the next 2 for the first month trial), and then work on the QUALITY of the food below. Got that?
Here’s a list of some good foods.
- Fruits, preferably organic
- Veggies, preferably organic
- Free range meats
- Cage free chicken and eggs
- Wild caught fish
- Raw seeds and nuts
- Oils-I like Avocado, Olive, coconut, macadamia, etc. This isn’t an all-inclusive list. Try to avoid canola, and other processed vegetable oils, which are heavily processed and bad for you.
- Lots of purified water, at least 8 glasses per day. Tap water has too much chlorine, fluorine, and other toxins, so do your best to drink purified water.
That’s it! That’s my recommended diet, in a nutshell!
In the subsequent chapters, my wife Laura will go through various recipes utilizing the guidelines I went over above. Remember, a diet shift like takes time. If you nail it down in the next six months, you’re ahead of the game!
The sicker you are and the faster you make these changes, the quicker you’ll feel better. I know that when I was sick, I changed everything overnight because I was so sick of being sick. I felt 100 percent better within a week! So stick with it, whether you make changes fast or slow, you can do it!
Here’s a few additional steps to changing over to a Paleo Diet:
- Go through your kitchen, and throw out the poison foods! Just say no and get rid of them! Don’t give them away, they’re poison! Arguably, you could give them away someone you don’t like, but I’ll deny saying that if anyone asks!
- Make a list of the fruits, veggies, meats, nuts, seeds, and oils you’d like to have on hand. You can get an idea of what you’ll be eating by looking at the recipes in the subsequent chapters.
- If change is hard for you, make a plan, Stan! Week one, cut out sugar, week two, cut out grains, week three cut out pasteurized dairy, all while gradiently increasing your water intake to flush out toxins.
- Read this article, and look up other Paleo books. My favorite book is “The Paleo Cure” by Chris Kresser. Rob Wolff, and Dr. Loren Cordain also have lots of info on their websites. Feel free to read until you feel comfortable. And remember, the main idea is to cut out the three poisons: processed sugar, grains, and pasteurized dairy! Don’t get lost in the minutiae!
- Get a buddy and do it together! Better yet, make it a family thing! Who wouldn’t want to make our loved ones healthy! By the way, if your children need to go Paleo, the whole family needs to make the change! Children will not do what their parents won’t do!
- Write down how you feel now, and how you’ll feel after you make these changes. Be honest! Positive affirmation works wonders on willpower.
- Make a log. Write down everything you eat, at what time, and how you feel every day in a notebook. Include in it how you slept, how many bowel movements you had, etc. This will make you really confront what you are eating, so that you want to make changes.
- Keep these dietary guidelines in mind when eating:
- Breakfast-protein and fat. Bacon and eggs, meat and nuts, sausage, or even a protein shake (see section on protein shakes) are good choices.
- Lunch-protein and veggies and/or salad, and a piece of fruit if you like.
- Dinner-protein and veggies and/or salad, and a piece of fruit if you like.
- Snacks-fruit, nuts, raw cheese, seeds, and cut up veggies make great snacks.
- These are not hard and fast rules to live by, but they do help to keep in mind.
- Make an appointment with a Nutrition Response Testing practitioner. Just call 866-418-4801, and ask for a referral for someone in your area. A Nutrition Response Testing practitioner can tell you exactly which foods are best for you to incorporate, and which ones are most important to cut out. It takes all the guess work out of your own personal nutrition plan!
I know it sounds simple, but this is a good basic diet to start for 99% of patients. And remember, give yourself time with this diet. If it takes 2 years to incorporate, that’s 2 years well spent. The most important thing is that you get started today! A funny thing happens though when you start: you feel better and better the more change you incorporate, and all of a sudden, you like this diet! You like this diet because it makes you feel GOOD!
As an aside, if you do make these dietary changes, and you either don’t feel better, or don’t feel all better, it’s one of these things:
- Exercise related
- Stress related
- Toxic stress that has to be handled with nutritional supplements. This includes immune dysfunctions, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, organ dysfunctions, food allergies, metal and chemical toxicities.
- Attitude related. What are you doing that you shouldn’t be doing, and what should you be doing that you are not doing? This is a hard one for people to confront sometime, but I can tell you this: dishonest people do not heal! See the chapter on “Mindset for Healing” for more information on this.
- Time. Some things take a long time to heal, or have gone so far that they may never heal properly. I have to tell you, people not being able to heal, RARE, if take the steps I go over in this book. Usually people do not heal because they are not doing something right, NOT because it’s too late!