The Paleo Diet Loren Cordain

I just finished reading The Paleo Diet by Loren Cordain. Personally, I disagree with the fat/salt-phobic approach, the “open meals”, and the large amount of fruit being OK’d. But other than that, the book contains a lot of valuable information.

Here are the nuggets I particularly liked (I’ve included the page numbers for reference):

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This elimination diet reinforced the idea for me that just because something is considered paleo compliant, and all the other paleo kids are eating it, doesn’t mean that you should eat it too. I believe that the basic paleo guidelines fit everyone, but from there, you really have to do your own experimentation to see what is right for you. And that doesn’t  just go for people who have autoimmune diseases. I have some occasional unresolved joint aches, mostly after exercise, but I don’t have an autoimmune disease (no such symptoms, and ruled out by blood tests). Yet apparently I’m sensitive to tomatoes and potentially to other nightshades as well. I wouldn’t have known this if I hadn’t done an elimination diet. After all, I’ve eaten tomatoes and tomato paste when dining out with no noticeable ill effects.

Unless you eliminate potentially gut irritating foods with an elimination diet and then individually re-introduce them, you may never learn which foods you are sensitive to. And if you keep unknowingly eating foods that irritate your gut, things could end badly. People don’t get autoimmune diseases overnight. Just like it takes time to heal a leaky gut, it also takes time for it to become increasingly leaky to the point of experiencing symptoms and potentially developing a disease. Doing an elimination diet gives you the opportunity to find out which foods you are sensitive to. It’s up to us to decide what we do with that information, but ultimately knowledge is power. Keep reading…



First Re-introduction: Tomato Paste

So on day one of the re-introduction part of my second elimination diet, I decided to eat two 6 ounce cans of organic tomato paste (the only ingredient being tomatoes). In hindsight, I probably should’ve only eaten one. But, the quantity seemed so small that I didn’t feel like one would be enough of a test. I heated the paste for a few minutes just to make sure it was cooked through. I then ate a third of the 2 cans at breakfast, another third at lunch, and the last portion before dinner.

Honestly, I didn’t expect to experience anything. And I didn’t for most of the day. I felt a hint of achiness when I went for a walk before I had the third portion, but it wasn’t enough to be sure it was from the paste. I had the third portion on an empty stomach, before dinner. Shortly thereafter, my joints started aching. It was a strong enough of an ache, and in enough of my joints to be able to definitely blame it on the tomato paste. I’ve never had such an experience before. I also felt a little bit bloated.

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Elimination Diet Round Two

October 30, 2012


I just completed a 30 day elimination diet, followed by two weeks of re-introduction. I’ve done an elimination diet once in the past, to test for eggs, butter, cream, and dairy in general. The main purpose this time around was to “reset” my eating habits. As many of you can probably relate to, I relaxed my diet a bit during the summer, mostly in terms of sugar consumption. I figured I was due for some super clean eating to break those patterns. I also figured that if I’m already going to cut out quite a few items from my diet for a month, I may as well take it a little further and do a full on elimination diet.

The only thing left to do was decide what to test for. I opted for nightshades because I’ve been generally avoiding them as a precautionary measure. Since nightshades are paleo compliant, I wanted a definitive answer as to whether or not they affect me.

The actual elimination portion of the diet went well. Last time I did an elimination diet, I felt rather deprived. I focused a lot on all the foods I wasn’t allowed to eat. This time around, I decided to focus on nourishing myself. I made sure I ate enough food so that I wasn’t hankering after snacks. I sipped on bone broth to help with the nourishment. It worked. I didn’t have cravings and I felt well-fed. Keep reading…

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Photo by stevendepolo

Whenever I eat out, I’m pleasantly surprised by how mainstream gluten-free has become. I’ll be the first to say that gluten free doesn’t equal healthy, and I know that a lot of restaurants still have work to do in terms of cross-contamination and not making gluten-related mistakes, but a) it’s a start and b) it gives me hope for paleo catching on.

Many restaurants now offer entire gluten-free menus. A large number list gluten-free options. And at the ones that don’t, the majority of servers now know what gluten is and can suggest gluten-free dishes. If they don’t know, they at least aren’t flabbergasted by the question, and can find out from someone in the kitchen.

I’ve seen the words “gluten free” on menus many times now. But I still catch myself being  amazed at how many people must be avoiding gluten for restaurants to bother adjusting their menus. I know it’s good business and marketing and such, but if gluten avoidance was not common, they would not have bothered. And I don’t remember ever seeing anything about gluten on menus a few years back.  Gluten-free has gone from being obscure to very mainstream relatively quickly.

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