Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Paleo Diet or Eat Bacon with Little Guilt.

Being on "The Paleo Diet," since mid-October, I felt I would share my experiences with this new "lifetsyle" I have specifically been on the plan published by Robb Wolf,  The Paleo-Solution.  There are a few other plans out there by other authors, notably, Dr. Loren Cordain.  But I think they are all mostly the same.

I can't remember the actual reason for making this move, but I had been hearing about the "evils of Wheat" for a few years from many sources, including my mom.  When Professional mountain bike and instructor, Gene Hamilton of www.betterride.net/ had switched over and was feeling great, I thought I would give it a try.  And I didn't go on it because I was overweight, I mostly tried it for the mental and other general health benefits.

So I immediately jumped into the spirit of the diet and eschewed wheat products while I researched the actual plan I was going to follow.  Immediately (like within 2 days), I felt better, with generally more energy. A friend of a friend recommended Wolf's plan, so I bought the book and dug in.

Wolf's premise is that our nomadic, hunter-gatherer ancestors were healthier than our agrarian ancestors.  He says that if you go to any anthropology department, they will tell you that.  Wolf is a former vegetarian and biochemist.  I got a B in CHEM 2 the third time I took it, so he could tell me whatever he wants and I would have no choice but to believe him...

Wolf states that grains contains toxins that are a part of their natural defense mechanism.  These toxins stick in the gut and block the uptake of other nutrients.  Meats, veggies, nuts and fruit don't do this so they are OK.

Foods that are GOOD:  Meats (including bacon!!!  Woot woot), nuts, berries, fruits and vegtables.

Foods that are BAD:  Wheat (including bread; white or whole wheat), grains (including corn and rice), and dairy (milk and cheese).

So after 3 months on the plan here are the pros and cons:


I feel great!  I rarely get the "afterlunch" zombie feeling.  I have more energy in general.

I get to eat lots of meat!  Especially bacon!!  And steaks too!

I lost weight, initially about 5 lbs of body fat.

I have gone off my anti-depressants.  I directly attribute this to the diet.  DISCLAIMER - I also talked this over with my Doctor.  And it is much harder to be certifiably insane now...

I heal faster.  The Paleo diet is also billed as anti-inflammatory.  I recover faster from my workouts, and my ibuprofen intake has been much lower.


It is harder to eat out.  Finding wheat free meals at restaurants is hard.  Fast food is nearly impossible.

It is harder to eat over.  Other people find it frustrating to have me over to eat, labeling me a "picky eater."  I tend to go off the diet when other people cook.

It is expensive.  Wheat products are cheap.  Substituting bread with fresh vegetables and nuts is more cost intensive.

I lost weight.  After losing the initial 5 lbs, I continued to lose weight, cutting into my lean body weight.  But then again, I haven't been lifting much lately either.

Bottom line:

The pros outweigh the cons for me.  The way I feel now trumps my craving for Oreos.  And it's not like I'm gonna die if I eat some, I just feel markedly better if I don't.

This diet may or may not work for you.  Everyone reacts differently to different plans.  But it worked for me.  It won't hurt you to try it.

Really, I think it's the gluten...  I think I could eat oatmeal and corn with no problem.  And i don't think I've ever had a bad reaction to dairy.  But I try to stick to the plan.

So there you have it.  No wheat, feel great.  I encourage you to try it, but read a book, don't just go off of my review!

Other Links:

1 comment:

  1. How's the Paleo diet going? I've been on it for just shy of three months and find most of the benefits you are experiencing. I immediately lost my acid reflux and my resting heart rate dropped about five BPM. I've lost almost 15 lbs. But still consider myself another old (56) slow (13-18 mph) guy (Tim).