New to Paleo: Comments, Questions & Adoration

There’s sure a lot of new readers, visitors, and a number of people have let me know via comments, email, Twitter and Facebook that they’ve just started out on a Paleo diet. Some have questions and others just want to shout, like idumych on Twitter.

@rnikoley is my guru! I’ve been eating (and showering) #paleo all week and my appetite has crashed, energy level soared.

Well I really do blush when people haul out the guru thing, but I get it, I guess. I have some knowledge and experience, I pass it along, it works for almost everybody — because it’s based on principles and patterned after our natures as evolved wild animals — and makes me look like a "guru." But nothing could be further from the truth. The way of the guru, such as a Dr. Mehmet Oz, is to make you increasingly dependent on his advice. My aim, rather, is to make people independent. Animals don’t need gurus. As I wrote in that post:

"But then there’s that Guru factor, and I just hate that. I loath Gurus, and you should too. You know what I think a Guru is? It’s someone who sells you tantalizing, feel good, sound good lies or incomplete information that rarely if ever works for anyone as advertised. When it doesn’t work for most (i.e., it works for some, just like stopped clocks are right twice per day) there’s always the subtle implication that you’re just not applying the info right. But don’t worry. The next product speaks exactly to those problems. Repeat. Over and over."

Next up is a comment posted yesterday by William on my post some time ago on hunger.

Since I’ve gone on the paleo diet (1 week), I’m ALWAYS incredibly hungry. What can I do about that? Even though I ate carbs before, I wasn’t into junk food or bingeing, so I’m a little confused by these hunger pangs.

Also want to ask your opinion on a few things:

1. Mediterranean diet (French/Italians) with cheeses, wines, pastas, breads.

2. Is dairy as bad as grains or sugars?

3. Are fruits bad? (pineapples, mangoes, etc).

4. How strict are you on artificial preservatives?

5. How do you add variety to your diet? One big fear I have is that I’ll get sick of chewing leafs.

6. Can one drink anything other than water, and are there any primal/paleo deserts?

And what I’d like to do this time is to ask my readers to answer these questions; which, of course, fits right in with the introduction. If everyone’s a guru, then there must not be much too it, is there? So join right in folks and give William a helping hand, like you always do with the questions. Pick a number, or all six. And it would be really great to have as many who can field the hunger question. The more personal experience on that one, the best.

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More


  1. Patrik on January 6, 2010 at 22:19


    Here is my crack at your questions.

    Short version is do the following, in order of importance:

    Eliminate sugar and all flour, eat animal fats, eliminate grains, eliminate vegetable oils, avoid fruit, eliminate beans, eliminate milk,

    Derived from

    Long version:

    1. Mediterranean diet (French/Italians) with cheeses, wines, pastas, breads.

    The fact you are asking that question shows that you are looking to eat how you normally do and simply call it Paleo. Lame.

    2. Is dairy as bad as grains or sugars?

    Probably not. I’d eliminate grains and sugars first.

    3. Are fruits bad? (pineapples, mangoes, etc).

    They are probably oversold in terms of health benefits and undersold in terms of how they ADVERSELY effect your health. Go with berries and avoid others.

    4. How strict are you on artificial preservatives?

    Personally, I try to avoid them, but recognize that there are plenty of them. If you think you might be sensitive to them, check out the FAILSAFE diet. It has some interesting overlap with Paleo. But if you eat whole foods, you should be able to eliminate most artificial flavors and preservatives.

    5. How do you add variety to your diet? One big fear I have is that I’ll get sick of chewing leafs.

    Check out Richard’s food porn. Awesome. Plenty of variety.

    6. Can one drink anything other than water, and are there any primal/paleo deserts?

    Water is probably best. When it comes to alcohol, I drink Jameson rather than beer b/c I am very sensitive to gluten. I also drink coffee with whole cream, and ice tea unsweetened.


    If you can:

    Eliminate sugar and all flour,
    eat animal fats,
    eliminate grains,

    You are way ahead of the game. BTW I reiterate, this is a great start right here:

    • William on January 7, 2010 at 10:22

      Thanks Patrik.

      “1. Mediterranean diet (French/Italians) with cheeses, wines, pastas, breads.

      The fact you are asking that question shows that you are looking to eat how you normally do and simply call it Paleo. Lame. ”

      FYI, I’ve cut out grains (not dairy though). But it’s a legitimate question. I’m legit curious. Their relative good health shouldn’t be possible based on what they’re eating. Perhaps portion size is smaller? (though I think they make up for it in frequency.

      The basic steps to start are helpful and dont’ sound so restrictive when put that way. (All meats are fair game!)

      Do you “calorie count”?

    • Patrik on January 7, 2010 at 19:24


      No, I do not “calorie count”. For me, Paleo is a lifestyle and not a “diet”. What do I mean by that?

      Eliminating grain from my diet changed my life forever for the better. I wish my parents had somehow come across this as a child. I am probably NOT the typical person when it comes to grains, as they inflate/inflame me very quickly — and provide me with earth-shattering migraines.

      Anyhow, take the time to read Gary Taubes book, Good Calories, Bad Calories (Horrible name, great book.) — you will be like Neo taking the red pill – it will change your life forever.

  2. arlojeremy on January 6, 2010 at 16:03

    My housemates wonder how I can eat so few types of meals. My staples are curry, chili, salad w/meat/fish and just grilled meats and veggies. I could eat a piece of grilled meat along with grilled veggies every meal, every day for the rest of my life.

    Maybe I’m unique, but I don’t find myself getting bored with those meals. Maybe it’s also the fact that once you go paleo, after a little while food is just.. well, food. I enjoy it and everything, but that craving/desire/boredom isn’t there. Eat, enjoy, done, get on with my day.

    • Andrew S on January 7, 2010 at 06:02

      I think the variety demanded by Americans is because at its base most SAD meals are bland. Pasta, bread, ultra-lean factory meats, ultra-pasteurized factory dairy… You’ve got to work hard to make hearthealthywholegrain not taste like you’re eating dirt & grass.

      When we replace that crap with good-quality meat with fat and all, fresh veggies, real cheese — taste soars!

    • arlojeremy on January 7, 2010 at 11:55

      True. I always thought of potatoes, pastas, pancakes, bread, rice, etc, as substrates for more delicious things (usually fatty). Why not just eat the more delicious things that have all the real nutritional value?

      Take curry for example. I honestly don’t miss the rice. It was truly superfluous.

  3. Kyle on January 6, 2010 at 16:07

    He needs to read PaNu: .
    1. From Avoid Poison or Neutralize it? “We have here a class of plant proteins derived from the seeds of plants that do not want to be eaten and that we did not evolve eating – cereal grains”
    2. From comments of that article: “Dairy – like whole milk – is a complete food you could survive on with nothing else, designed to be eaten by growing mammals. Grass seeds are not designed as food at all.” Also, see the Massai, they live entirely on milk and beef and are very healthy.
    3. From Get Started: ” Fruit is just a candy bar from a tree. Stick with berries and avoid watermelon which is pure fructose. Eat in moderation.”

    From a comment: “Fruit is not healthy, it is something that tastes good that you can tolerate in small amounts”

    Try searching: fruit for more

    4. depends on the preservative. i avoid them whenever possible because they aren’t paleo.

    5. you still have lots of stuff to work with. just look around this site. fat and meat should make up the bulk of your diet. don’t worry about eating lots of leaves (though I have a salad before each meal)

    6. yep: coconut water, which is one of my favorite drinks. or coconut milk.

    from PaNu, What I Eat: “Water with a wedge of lemon. Iced teas made with regular or white teas.
    Coffee- sometimes decaf, sometimes not. Sometimes I still drink half and half but not often”

  4. Mary on January 6, 2010 at 16:27

    For me the most natural the better it works, the simplest the better too… My problem was (and somehow still is) binge eating and the only way to make a WOE work for me is sticking to plain natural food.
    1 meal/day, Main dish is meat, a huge piece, some veggies (no more than a cup because of my IBS), 2 cups of dark green leaf veggies and if i need desert some nuts, every other day some berries, That’s pretty much it.

    I know many people who hate the idea of going on low carb diet because they have to cook and they’ve never done it before, I’m one of those, we used to eat bread with cheese, ready to eat pasta, a bagel, pancakes and stuff like that so being too fancy and structured is a problem, thus the best is just sticking to the simplest, and believe me you don’t get bored, you only get bored if you are not nourishing your body.

    No dairy (can’t stop once started), NEVER-EVER Wheat and other grains, No fancy foods, nothing that takes more than 15 minutes to be prepared and NEVER more than 2-3 ingredients, just eating as Grok did works for me xD

  5. William on January 6, 2010 at 16:39

    The William who is asking these questions is not this William. I was ALWAYS hungry back in my grain,, fruit, starchy vegetable eating days. Since the paleo diet [really I consider my new diet primal] my hunger pangs went away. Also guilt feelings for eating fat no longer exist. Therefore, I eat lots of fat! Proof is in the pudding as they say; or in this case, proof is in the weight loss. How can fat make me fatter, when I lost fifty pounds? And the weight loss was fat, not muscle. Just something for the “experts’ to ponder.

  6. Beth on January 6, 2010 at 16:48

    FWIW, I eat almost exactly the same things day after day & I like it. Every meal, I am eating something I like. When I ate carbs, sometimes I would consider whatever I had to eat & just didn’t want to eat it. Now, all the time I like every meal. I think that basically, I am eating a lot of fat & fat just tastes good.


  7. Melinda on January 6, 2010 at 16:49

    I can address the hunger because I’m going through it right now – it’s sugar withdrawal and it’s temporary. The first time that I cut out all grain and sweeteners last summer, it took about a week. I’ve been bad the last two weeks, so now I need to repeat, and I’m hoping that the transition back is easier. My pointers – keep sliced meat or hard boiled eggs around and eat them every time you feel you need something. Hopefully in a few days, the cravings will go away and you’ll enjoy the benefit that most people do eating paleo – being fine missing meals. You may think that you are eating a ton the first few days, but it won’t last. Whatever you do, don’t give it and eat anything sugary or starchy – it will just make it worse and last longer. Note – I ate very “healthy” before I gave up grains, so I thought I wouldn’t have much of a transition, but I definitely did. Just stick with it and don’t loose heart. It’s soooo worth it.

    • Pat on January 10, 2010 at 10:04

      I had the same hunger issue when I first started. At first I tried to resist (too into the old diet routine of restricting calories) then I wised up and kept a jar of nuts at my computer and just ate a lot. Just like Melinda says, it passes with no adverse effects.
      For everything else, I subscribe to the 80-20 rule that Mark Sisson talks about in The Primal Blueprint. 80% of the effort is getting that last 20% right, but if you’re already 80% of the way there, don’t stress over the last 20%. Even if it’s not 100% optimal, it’s important to have a diet that’s easy to live with.

  8. Ed on January 6, 2010 at 17:01

    From most of the comments I’ve read before and from my own experience, the initial carb-craving period lasts about 2 weeks–so you’re about halfway through it. Don’t worry about calories or fasting for the first two weeks. Just go ahead and eat real food, such as salad, meat, eggs or nuts, when you get hungry. If you’re one of the fortunate who tolerate dairy products, go ahead and eat them, especially at first. A piece of cheese is a great way to take the edge off of a hunger pang. I wouldn’t get hung up on paleo “purity” at first. Start with a diet that’s doable and works for you, and keep moving in the right direction. You should look and feel better within a few weeks. Good luck!

    • Richard Nikoley on January 6, 2010 at 17:15

      Yep, and in fact I think Atkins induction is a decent way to begin paleo. Get that initial carb withdrawal over with. I posted on that here:

    • Cory Michael McKenna on January 7, 2010 at 06:55

      In my personal experience, the best way to get through “induction”
      is to simply fast for 18-24 hours (typically works for me) until you
      are in fat-burning mode. For me, this typically involves hunger setting
      in around 15 hours (e.g., feels like my stomach is going to cave in)
      and after a couple more hours the hunger dissipates (my body is
      now feeding off its own fat). I also think this is better because you
      immediately begin burning your own fat (which is the point if you
      are looking to lose fat) and, IMHO, you aren’t wasting a lot food
      that otherwise won’t be properly digested since your body is seeking
      carbs. I say this because some non-Paleo “foods” can cause
      mal-absorption issues, inhibit liplysis (insulin), inhibit protein
      synthesis, inhibit nutrient absorbtion, etc., so you may as well
      clear the junk out of your system first.
      On occasion I engage in short carb indulgences and noticed two
      things. When I indulge in the carbs I find my appetite sky rockets
      (because my body was previously expecting fat and is now getting
      carbs) and if I switch back to Paleo (without fasting) my appetite
      again sky rockets because I am now feeding it fat when it expects
      carbs (and this can last for several days instead of 1 day if I
      simply fast).

  9. Richard Nikoley on January 6, 2010 at 17:16

    My mom rings in with some newbie advice:

    “I would like to address “chewing leaves”. I have been on Paleo totally since March of 2009. As a result I am now off insulin, several other medications and working toward getting rid of them all. Do I chew leaves, sometimes, but only as a side dish or a main dish with some type of fish or meat. Many newbies carry over the old diet ideas of salads, salads and more salads. Nothing could be further from the truth. Let me give you an example of my day. Eggs and I don’t get along very well so I usually start with a small steak fried in butter and some type of vegetable such as Anaheim peppers sautéed in olive oil and garlic, or maybe some fresh tomato with balsamic vinegar. Lunch is usually small; today was cabbage soup with polish sausage and some raw vegetables. Dinner will be stuffed bell peppers. The stuffing with be ground beef from grass fed beef, lots of onion, celery, fresh tomatoes, mushrooms and anything else I find in the vegetable bin to throw in. Add a nice salad and you have a great meal. If I were to have dessert it would be strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries in heavy cream with maybe a dollop of real whipping cream on top.”

    That’s good advice. Thanks, mom.

  10. Zute on January 6, 2010 at 17:22

    “Since I’ve gone on the paleo diet (1 week), I’m ALWAYS incredibly hungry. What can I do about that?”

    Best way I’ve found is to eat more meat and fat. If you’re trying to only eat veggies then you’re not doing paleo right, dig into the fleshy world. 🙂

    • Richard Nikoley on January 6, 2010 at 17:32

      A lot of people buy into the notion that paleo was a plant-based diet. Perhaps for some, close to the equator, but if you’re white, chances are your ancestors survived an ice age. No plants. If you’re descended from those who crossed the Bering Straight into what’s now Alaska and migrated south, chances are your ancestors survived on marine life and life in the great plains of what’s now America — and long before they made it to equatorial and fruitful South America.

      The other mistake is that people eat too much “lean meat,” and I’ve heard complaints of diarrhea and I suspect that’s it’s chronic over feeding in protein causing it. It’s happened to me. This is why I now do less meat, but with more sauce with lots of fat in it, like butter.

      Fat is King. I’ll always say it.

    • Marc on January 6, 2010 at 22:25


      You were kind enough to answer my question about if I should wait to interject intermittent fasting into my diet during the first weeks and I wanted to share my results here because it is relevant to Williams comments.

      To give everyone else the background, I’m 6′ 270# and have been a major sugar/carb junkie. I started primal eating on Saturday of this week. I have not been hungry as I used to always be 2 hours after eating. In fact after large meals of meat and some veggies I feel satiated for a long while. This is contrary to my former experience of needing a snack 2 hours after I had just eaten a heavy lunch.

      So I asked Richard if he thought it was too soon to introduce IF and his response was, if you feel up to it give it a shot. Well I did, and it was awesome. I ate a large dinner last night, and then didn’t eat until this evening. I drank only water (a ton of water). I started to get a little hungry about lunch time but held out. I worked out at the gym (for the first time in a year) about 1:00 and that abated the hunger until about 3:00-4. I started getting pretty hungry then but knew I could make it. It wasn’t a painful hunger but I just felt a bit food obsessed. I kept imagining what I would prepare for dinner.

      So I guess in summary William, I think if you are hungry try adding more meat. I think I’m probably in a similar place to you, but the sugar hunger didn’t seem to last. Maybe because I cut it out completely right from the start.

  11. Dave on January 7, 2010 at 08:38

    Here’s my Health and Fitness RSS list:

    I’m a great example of the potential of the paleolithic principle, because I have such low willpower when it comes to food. I still eat breads and sugars (and various combinations of the two) because I love ’em so much. But by cutting out rice, beans, and pasta, and eating more meat, vegetables, and poultry, I’ve seen impressive improvements in body composition. If I can get the results I got with such a weak adherence to the diet, imagine what proper application can do!

    • Dave on January 7, 2010 at 09:12

    • Dave on January 7, 2010 at 08:40

      Oops, that wasn’t the link I thought it was. Was supposed to come out as a linkable list of all the feeds in that section. Stand by.

  12. earp on January 6, 2010 at 17:53


    Before I add my 2 cents, I would like to say that my interest in health and diet has grown enormously over the last 12 months. Partly due to websites such as this but also due to the “motivation” to self educate and improve the health of myself and family where practically possible.

    Unfortunately I am constantly under the big thumb of a term called FUD – Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt. As defined from Wikipedia,_uncertainty_and_doubt:

    “Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt (FUD) is a tactic of rhetoric and fallacy used in sales, marketing, public relations, politics and propaganda. FUD is generally a strategic attempt to influence public perception by disseminating negative information designed to undermine the credibility of their beliefs”.

    So while some of my post may not be in the true Paleo purity way, please bear with me as I am still learning and am very receptive to correction!

    Disclaimer: I have no dealings or affliliation with any of the website references in my post. I have simply done what millions do every day, use a seach engine and post what makes sense.

    1. It is reported that the French have one of the lowest rates of CVD in the West despite their rich (saturated fat) diet. So on one hand I was being told that cheese is bad for you (saturated fats clogging up the arteries) and then I hear the above statistic!

    Anyway, is this thing about cheese and CVD FUD??? The French don’t seem to think so and from this link below it appears that French cheese contains properties that are beneficial to the heart when consumed in “moderation”. What is moderation anyway?

    Similar to cheese the French are renowed for their quality breads. I have been to France several times and savour their breads. In the majority of French bakeries or “boulangeries” the breads are made fresh with ingredients free of preservatives, bleaching agents and refined flours. This gives the bread a real earthy, wholesome taste. Maybe these breads are lesser of the evils and I will tread carefully here as I do not wish to advocate their consumption per se but just highlight the difference between hand made French bread and the mass produced, highly refined, chemical laden breads you see in your supermarket.

    2. Dairy is a good one and a topic I would like comments on. Again, I have been FUD’ed. On one hand I hear that milk has multiple nutritional benefits for the body. But then the milk has to be “raw milk” from grass fed cows free from hormones and anti-biotics, unpasteurised and unhomogenised. Note that unpasteurised milk is illegal to sell to the public for consumption in some countries.

    Then I hear that we humans are the only species that consumes the milk of another animal. Is this natural? We have not been “designed” to consume dairy. Nature has only designed us to consume human milk…..sigh.

    So one for the Paleos that consume butter – did our Paleolithic ancestors consume diary? If not, have you added this as a supplement to the Paleo diet which by default would not have contained diary for other reasons? Why?

    4. Very strict. We need to stand back and ask what are we buying that needs to have artificial preservatives as an ingredient in the first place? Ready-made meals, biscuits, cakes, processed foods etc etc. It kinda points in the direction that if it has artificial preservatives in it, is the food its preserving good for you in the first place? Aside from the food, what harm do artificial preservatives do in the long term?

    I’d like to post a seperate question about the Paleo diet for Richard et al to comment on soon.

    Great community here!


    • Patrik on January 6, 2010 at 22:51


      All of your questions, which are all excellent BTW, have been answered. But you will have to seek them out.

      (I should note, that not everyone agrees 100%, but you can judge from the quality of the reasoning and logic for yourself.)

      Search this site as well as PaleoNu. Not to mention Mark Sission, Whole Health Source, Hyperlipid, Robb Wolf.

      For a complete list, go here:

    • Richard Nikoley on January 7, 2010 at 08:38

      I still have quite a few to add to the blogroll, as time permits. Here’s many more links in the comments to this post:

  13. Darrin on January 6, 2010 at 18:45

    Welcome, William!

    I too am a recent convert to paleo-type diets and would love to weigh in.

    1. Although the Mediterranean Diet is vastly superior to the Standard American Diet (SAD) when properly followed, it does have a few knocks against it being a “perfect” diet. Cheese, wine, pasta, and bread are still relatively new components of the human diet and it is unlikely we have the optimal adaptations to properly process them. (Although I am still a firm lover of both wine and cheese, ha.)

    2. Depends. Humans have been consuming grains for a much longer time than they have dairy and are in many ways more evolutionarily suited to do so. As an example, lactose intolerance is still the norm in the world and a minority of people have the enzyme to properly break down lactose, while only a relative few people have, say, gluten allergies in response to grains. Some dairy products (such as cheese) are processed in such a way to become palatable to people who are lactose intolerant and yogurt can contain healthy cultures and probiotics. Grains, on the other hand… we haven’t really found any ways to increase the natural value of whole grains without making it more pancreas-unfriendly in the process.

    3. Fruits are only bad if you are following a strict ketogenic diet, you eat too many, or you rely too much on tropical fruits. Fruits are higher in sugar than vegetables and are therefore more likely to have a high glycemic load. However, fruits are filled with vitamins and should best be thought of as “nature’s desserts.”

    4. Well, artificial preservatives are a much newer addition to the human diet than sugars, grains, and dairy. My advice? Keep away from ’em. I work in a chemistry lab and have seen the raw materials of a LOT of the stuff you see in ingredients lists. It’s not pretty, trust me.

    5. Go to the produce section of your grocery store and get something you’ve never tried before. If you’re like most people, you stick to only 10% of what there truly is to offer. Try to only eat fruits and vegetables in season. I only eat asparagus for the short time they are at their peak. I always look forward to it, I never get sick of ’em, and there are TONS of other veggies I feel the same way about. And getting sick of chewing leafs? With all the variety THERE? You’ve got kale, collards, spinach, mustard greens, turnip greens… haha.

    6. Water should be the main player in the game. You probably will be fine with small amounts of wine, tea, and coffee. Just don’t go overboard with sodas and whatnot. I’m sure there are fancy primal desserts, but I suggest sticking with fruits if you have a sweet tooth.

    Hope this helps!

    • Andrew S on January 7, 2010 at 06:12

      “Cheese, wine, pasta, and bread are still relatively new components of the human diet”

      Milk has always been a part of the human diet; the majority component of it for the first four years of life! It’s just us adults that are new to milk. 🙂

      I think it was some of the Weston Price research I was reading, but I recall some mention of African tribes eating meat that was rotting; something that would disgust most of the rest of the world. I think fermented foods (like cheese and wine) are likely to be very paleo, ie to have played a part in human nutrition over the last million years.

    • Darrin on January 7, 2010 at 07:30

      Whoops, you’re right! I was being too vague. What I meant to say is that non-human derived dairy is a relatively new component of the adult human diet.

    • Juan on January 7, 2010 at 07:45


      Why do you think we’ve been eating grains for “much” longer than dairy? And, the evolutionary suitability you mention is not supported by any evidence that I’ve seen, either. Do you have any sources? To me (FWIW) the logic of those statements just isn’t sound. For example, one can eat dairy while still being mobile (i.e., nomadic and following wild herds, etc..) but one cannot be mobile if eating grains because that requires more technology and sedentism or, in other words, agriculture. Once humans figured out how to get basic nutrition from animals without killing them all the time — which would be by milking them — they probably kept, perhaps, animals such as goats wandering around the clan area, or at least allowed them to tag along. They are low to no maintenance and will eat nearly anything. This may have happened for a long period in our prehistory prior to sedentary agriculture without its occurrence having left any evidence for us to discover. (That’s just my guess, of course.)

      Anyway, Dr. Kurt Harris of PaleoNu discusses dairy and all nutritional issues, particularly grain, clearly and logically from both the biochemical and anthropological viewpoints. It’s a must-read nowadays, I’d say.

    • Darrin on January 7, 2010 at 11:36


      “Remnants of wild emmer in early civilization sites date to the late Paleolithic Age 17,000 BC (Zohary and Hopf 1993).”

      “Generally, the emergence of milk as an industry traces back to the agricultural revolution, 10,000BC.”

      Of course, finding the exact date we as a species starting consuming a specific food is near-impossible for several reasons. Every source I’ve ever looked into has put the inclusion of grains in our diet as occurring before the inclusion of animal dairy as adults. These are just two sites I found quickly. So, maybe a 5 – 10,000 year difference? Does that count as being “much” longer, as I said? In the lifetime of our species, probably not. 7,000 years is a long time from an individual’s perspective, which I where I was speaking from.

    • Juan on January 7, 2010 at 14:28

      Thanks for the links, Darrin. Like you, I’ve seen many such studies and writings and I realise that milk is always put into the 10000BCE range but that the grains are always seemingly being pushed back further, although with little probative value, I’d say. For instance, the existence of “remnants of wild emmer…” in a late Paleolithic site doesn’t mean it was eaten by the people who put it there. Recently, Loren Cordain did a nice critique of another study (more recent) that found sorghum grains in a 23000 year old site! But, there’s no reason to think they were eating it and, in fact, technologically it was very unlikely.

      Incidentally, I have come across a reference to fenceposts having been found in a 20000 year old site in the Sinai, but haven’t been able to find it again. I recall from what I read that one supposition was that the fence, being small, could have been there to keep things in, not out. In other words, to corral animals. This in turn suggests dairy rather than butchery.

      Anyway, be that as it may, even if milk came well after grain consumption, we seem to agree that both are very late comers, no? But, as milk is from an animal source, I suspect we’re more adaptive to it, and its byproducts, than to the grains and their cocktail of goodies. Certainly Dr. Harris thinks it’s the grains that cause the leaky gut which then allows the milk casein to enter the body where it oughtn’t.

  14. Ned Kock on January 6, 2010 at 19:06

    A lot of good advice above, so let me suggest something that may go some way toward addressing the need for calcium, especially if you remove dairy from your diet. It does help with getting other nutrients as well.

    Eat fish whole. Since different parts of a fish have different types of nutrients that are important for our health, it makes sense to do that. You also get calcium from the bones. This is easier to do with small than big fish.

    One of my favorite types of small fish is the smelt. Another is the sardine. Small fish are usually low in the food chain, and thus have very low concentrations of metals that can be toxic to humans.

    For a recipe:

  15. CFS on January 6, 2010 at 20:10

    1. Mediterranean diet (French/Italians) with cheeses, wines, pastas, breads.
    2. Is dairy as bad as grains or sugars?
    Maybe not, but better avoided.
    3. Are fruits bad? (pineapples, mangoes, etc).
    No, but don’t overeat.
    4. How strict are you on artificial preservatives?
    Real food doesn’t have artificial preservatives.
    5. How do you add variety to your diet? One big fear I have is that I’ll get sick of chewing leafs.
    Buy yourself some cookbooks.
    6. Can one drink anything other than water, and are there any primal/paleo deserts?
    I only drink water. For dessert: fruits, dark chocolate (85%) occasionally.

  16. scott on January 6, 2010 at 20:36

    I found the best way to beat that initial 2 weeks sugar/carb withdraw is to EAT. Don’t worry about calories, just eat whenever you get the urge. Choose Paleo stuff when you eat, but eat. Make sure you have snacks with you, make sure you plan ahead on your meals. Don’t give yourself a chance to be tempted.

    After the two weeks you will probably be over the sugar withdraw. After the carb/sugar cravings subsided, I found myself naturally not having to eat so frequently and adjusting to RIchard’s common line “eat when you really get hungry”. This was the 1st time in my life that I wasn’t constantly fighting the hunger feeling (probably not hunger but up/down blood-sugar rollercoaster caused by all the carbs, either way it lead me to put more food in my mouth)
    Along with this was the soaring energy. I don’t know how much of this was physical vs. psychological, but that method helped me make the transition.

    The drink options were tough for me being a soda addict for many years. (and I mean addict in the crack addict type genre) I used some diet sodas for a while, but have since been able to ween those out and stick with water, flavored water, teas (both iced and hot teas), a cup of coffee or two a day, occasionally some dairy.

    As for fruit. Me personally, I have to be careful. It starts a cycle of more and more fruit. Kind of a slippery slope for me.

    As for variety, you have to learn and experiment a little. Use the weekends for trying a new paleo recipe. Quite a few paleo/primal recipe collections and in a pinch or as a place to start for further ideas/refinement Atkins/Low-Carb recipe collections as well. Richard here likes the meat sauce combinations for contribution to the recipe world. MDA has some good fare as well.

    I second the above reader on referencing PaNu: on the some of the “what about X” questions above.
    He has a very concise, practival intro and a good “getting started” list. Something I find new potential converts can read quickly, understand, and use as a basis to do further discussion/learning.

    BTW, thanks Richard for all the “liberating” advise you give.

    • Jeff on January 10, 2010 at 08:21

      “I found the best way to beat that initial 2 weeks sugar/carb withdraw is to EAT. Don’t worry about calories, just eat whenever you get the urge. Choose Paleo stuff when you eat, but eat. Make sure you have snacks with you, make sure you plan ahead on your meals. Don’t give yourself a chance to be tempted.”

      I think this is great advice. I never went through any hunger type withdrawals because I ate. Nothing cures hunger like a big steak! Don’t focus on what you can’t have. Focus on the foods you can now enjoy without the associated guilt.


  17. Sami on January 6, 2010 at 23:56

    Can anyone help me with a query I have?

    I generally eat lamb, chicken and fish during the week with eggs, sweet potatoes, spinach and asparagus, sometimes broccolli, some green apple and some nuts (brazil and walnuts).

    All the meat/fish is cooked in EVOO. Do I have a high protein or high fat diet? Is it OK to cook with EVOO? I ideally want a high fat/med protein/low carb diet. I also supplement with fish oil and vitamin D everyday. I have been getting ill quite a lot recently and thought it may have something to do with diet, I’m pretty sure a high protein diet isn’t ideal.

    Any help would be great, sorry to hijack the thread but didn’t know where else to post.


    • Robert M. on January 7, 2010 at 09:27


      It’s hard to say without knowing the proportions. I add coconut milk to my smoothies, for example, to add fats. Similarly I add avocado to my salads.

      I would avoid cooking with olive oil. Rather use clarified butter or extra-virgin coconut oil. These are saturated fats that are better able to avoid oxidation at high-temperatures. Pork lard and beef tallow are also options, if you want to render them at home, and they fall in-between olive oil and butter and coconut oil in terms of the amount of saturated fats.

  18. PK on January 7, 2010 at 01:44

    Regarding being so hungry: Most commenters have already said it all, but I just wanted to add that when I first started, I could eat a half pound of ground beef or other fatty meat, feel so incredibly stuffed that I thought I never wanted to eat again, and then 10 minutes later my stomach would have the knawing, empty feeling. It took about a month or so before this feeling went away, and a decent size meal of protein and fat would keep me from feeling hungry for hours. So until my stomach adjusted to what I assume is a lack of starch keeping it feeling full, I had to judge whether I was biologically hungry or not by my appetite (ie “Does that steak look good, or would I really rather play on the computer instead of eat”) In my case, my appetite normalized way before the traditional ways of judging hunger did. At first, I had thought there was something wrong with me, but I knew about carb withdrawal and I figured it would eventually work itself out, and it did.

    Now, it’s nearly the opposite… now that I trust my stomach to tell me when it’s actually hungry and not just missing the sensation of being full, I go by whether or not my stomach feels empty as to whether I’m hungry. I find that if I’m just “having a craving” type hungry, I feel the desire to eat stemming more from my throat. It sounds weird and incredibly unscientific but that’s the only way I can figure how to explain how I feel.

  19. Eric on January 7, 2010 at 04:25

    Good idea, this peer2peer Q&A. I (1.72 meters) started with a weight of 83 kg, currently I’m at 68 kg and I plan to get a bit lower in weight probably. I feel great, mentally and physically. Much energy, and I think I need less sleep now. Less hungry than before. For over a year now I’ve gotten interested in food and diet. Lost weight starting with less fat, less food, more exercise, got results and hunger. Tried SLD, lost weight, no hunger. Stopped all for a while and got a bit of my weight back. Became interested in health (weight, diabetes, cancer, alzheimers), read a lot (online and books) and went low-carb, high fat and am currently trying to implement a more paleo-style diet.

    1) Some people don’t think cheeses don’t fit paleo, but I don’t think there is a real issue. Cheese and yoghurt contain bacteria that might be healthy, but if you already eat paleo these bacteria probably are already in your gut in appropiate numbers. Milk still contains lactose, and some people are intolerant for lactose, others have no problem with lactose because quite ‘recently’ some groups of people evolved to cope with lactose
    Wine, I don’t think it can be considered ‘true-paleo’ but don’t see any serious problems with moderate intake. Just keep in mind that wine = carbs/sugars.
    Pasta and breads: gluten, grains, carbs. I don’t think so…
    2) See 1) Might not be true-paleo, but might be a nice source for some to get some extra vitamin D and calcium. You can probably also get calcium and such the true-paleo way if you eat some small bones from i.e. chicken, and scrape the bones of larger animals to get the marrow out.
    3) Bad, good, black, white. Fruits have some good properties. For example: avocados contain a nice amount of omega-3 fats. Berries contain a nice amount of antioxidants. But they also contain quite some amounts of fructose. I think that in moderation some fruit now and then is not problem. Paleo man would probably also eat some berries and nuts in the afternoon while finding an animal to bring back home for dinner.
    4) No ideas on this one…
    5) In the process of finding this one out myself at the moment. But there are lots of different meats and fish to try.
    6) I mainly drink water during the weekdays. I personally have no problem dinking some beers, some whisky or the odd coke during the weekends. I bet paleo-man did the same in the weekend if they had the chance 😉

    Don’t sweat it. Maybe it’s better not to be too strict when starting. Find out what fits your body. Paleo should not be a goal in itself, but health and/or weight might be.

    I really liked the book from Gary Taubes: Good calories, bad calories. It’s not really a book about diet for loosing weight, but more on research and debunking myths related to all things concerned with food and health.

    On the issue of being hungry all the time: I normally eat 1 (or 2) times a day. 1 main mail, mainly based on meat or fish in the evening. Sometimes for lunch a small snack, some nuts or some eggs or bacon. Lots of people seem to go hungry when their insulin is high. So keep your insulin low by keeping your sugar, starch, carbs intake low. You might still experience sugar cravings, I think Taubes mentions in his book that it might take 6~18 months the fully kick a sugar addiction. Not sure of that though… When still loosing weight, I’m taking some extra multivitamins as an extra. You also might go hungry if you don’t get all your nutrients, vitamins, fats your body needs.

    Good luck!

    • gharkness on January 7, 2010 at 09:33

      Reckon paleo man had “weekends”? 🙂

  20. splint on January 7, 2010 at 04:43

    I’ve pretty much simplified it to avoiding processed sugar and grains. This makes me happy and I feel it’s probably 75% of the entire point. I’m not giving up fruit (no one gets fat eating too much fruit) and same thing with dairy (You never hear people say, “I’m fat, I just can’t stop drinking milk”). I probably have 1-2 pieces of fruit a day (not including nuts or berries) and 3-4 dairy servings. I find it difficult to get enough calories for my weight training. I hardly ever get real hungry, likw when I was eating grains and sugars. I can easily eat only at night when I get home from work.

  21. Juan on January 7, 2010 at 07:31

    Hi Richard (great blog!!!) and all,

    First time poster; been reading for a while.

    @William the Questioner
    As a brief summation for you, here’s my story: I’ve been Paleo for over a year and I never feel hungry any more. This took about 2 weeks as others have stated. Before that, I was low-ish carb for 10 years or so but did not avoid sugar, in fact, I seemed to crave it. All throughout my sugar eating years, which was most of my life, I was hungry on the same regular basis as most people. Although I’ve never been overweight and have remained fit and trim, I definitely had cravings (Hell, I used to smoke, so I know about those things.). Now that I’ve given up the three biggies as completely as possible (sugar, grains, PUFAs) I feel better than ever. I’m stronger, more mobile, and leaner than ever. So, I say, keep at it and be as strict as you can without beating yourself up or making it hard. Concentrate on all the wonderful things you CAN eat, not on what you cannot.

    Dr. Harris’ blog contains razor-sharp logic and compelling science on nearly all of the nutrition questions one might have. Mark’s Daily Apple is very accessible, too, and has much of the best exercise info.

  22. jerry on January 7, 2010 at 08:08

    Spot on Richard as usual regarding guru’s
    1. mediterranean: yes enjoy fish and meat, ignore bread & pasta
    2.dairy: restrict milk, if you want stay ketoadapted
    3.fruits : seasonal berries only with heavy cream for puddings, but lose the idea of puddings unless entertaining
    4. preservatives : not present in real food
    5.variety: takes a while to get your mind round, does not feel essential to me as long as the quality of ingredients is high, but lots of LC food blogs
    6.other drinks coffee with cream, tea with half & half, dry reds & whites and spirits but not when trying to lose weight
    Hunger: don’t be afraid of fat, keep carbs between 50-100 g day. The sensation of hunger goes over time. If you achieve ketoadaption hunger returns instantly with anything that stimulates insulin. Don’t forget the water , don’t be afraid of fat , don’t be afraid of fat …

    • Marnee on January 7, 2010 at 09:29

      Recommending some carb limit to someone you don’t know is arbitrary. One needs to eliminate the variables first. Reduce carbs to zero first. See how you do for a while and then slowly add them back in.

  23. Jonathan on January 7, 2010 at 08:13

    I have been following paleo for a while, twice now I’ve gone on benders where I eat poorly for a length of period. The last was during the holiday season. I intend to make it my last bender as I really feel like crap when I go on them and it is an awful experience transitioning back. I find that when my body switches from using sugar to using fat for energy I go through a stage where my muscles all seem to be absolutely fatigued and they cramp up at the slightest effort. It is an awful experience, yet I know that just around the corner life is much better. Energy levels soar, aches and pains dissapear and I’m typically far more tuned into my bodies needs. During the transition phase, I too tend to be hungry. I don’t worry though. One, I know I won’t starve if I don’t eat and from IF I know I can resist hunger. Two, if it really becomes an issue, its okay to eat as much as I need. I simply choose not to, so that I can hopefully get through the stage quicker.

  24. Dave, RN on January 7, 2010 at 08:44

    About dairy… The problem with most cow milk, even raw, is the casein protein. Here’s a clip that explains it:
    “there is a protein called beta-casein in the milk-solid part of cow’s milk—but not in the fat (butter) and not in the whey. The type of beta-casein varies in cows according to their genetic makeup, but the most common types are known as A1 beta-casein and A2 beta-casein. A1Beta-casein, common in American and European cows, releases an opiate-like chemical upon digestion called BCM-7, which is the exact culprit in the myriad of symptoms I have seen all these years. These symptoms include joint and muscle pains, fatigue, digestive disturbances, and headaches. A1 beta-casein refers to the type of beta-casein that has histidine instead of proline at position 67 of the protein chain. As a result of this mutation from proline to histidine, the peptide that emerges from this amino is able to be liberated in the digestive tract of the animal or person consuming the milk. To simplify this, the cows themselves are either called A1 or A2 cows, depending on which beta-casein variant they have.
    So now, what cows are A1 and what are A2? Another clip:
    “Holsteins and Friesians — generally give milk that contains a small but significant amount of beta-casein type A1, which behaves like an opiate and which epidemiological studies have implicated in heart disease, Type 1 diabetes, autism and schizophrenia”.

    A2 cows are generally Jersey and Gurnseys and asian cows. Most milk, even the kind Iused to get raw, is from A1 cows, because they tend to produce more milk.

    So how do we get all that good milk and avoid casein?

    Drink raw goat milk. No casein issues. The closest thing to human breast milk you can get.

    • Swede on January 7, 2010 at 13:13

      What about people who tolerate milk quite well without any negatives? Perhaps someone with strong digestion can easily digest those proteins before they cause any problems? I have been drinking 4-5 gallons of whole milk a week for several years now, following a lifetime time of drinking milk (but not that much) and I feel better than ever. It’s probably my primary carb source now.

    • Melissa on January 10, 2010 at 07:19

      Swede, I think the consensus here is that if you tolerate milk well, go ahead and drink it. However to see if you actually tolerate it well, people are going to tell you to stop drinking milk for a while and then slowly reintroduce it to see how your body respond. If you’ve been drinking it your whole life with no break, you may not be aware of how it’s affecting your body.

  25. ReachWest on January 7, 2010 at 09:12

    For me, I’m convinced that it’s the fat in my diet that keeps me satiated for long periods of time.

    I’m no longer afraid of saturated fats – despite shows like “The Doctors” (which my teenage daughter loves), continually says that saturated fat makes you fat – garbage.

    Bacon (nitrate free), and eggs are a staple in our house to get the day started (unless we’re fasting) and that seems to keep me satisfied for many hours.

  26. Robert M. on January 7, 2010 at 09:14

    1. Mediterranean diet (French/Italians) with cheeses, wines, pastas, breads.

    Cheese maybe, depending on dairy tolerance. The alpha-Casein peptide found in dairy protein can have a similar effect to wheat gluten, although typically less pronounced. Goat dairy is superior to cow dairy in this regard. Clarified grass-fed butter can substitute for a number of the health benefits of fermented cheeses. Note that processed cheese is milk solids, not cheese.

    Wine, eh, why not? Just not half a bottle a day. Everything in moderation.

    How come no one ever mentions pate when talking of the French, or organ meats?

    And Italians are not especially healthy.

    2. Is dairy as bad as grains or sugars?

    No, but it does cause very many people serious problems. If eating dairy helps one transition to paleo-style eating, then that’s a reasonable step. Otherwise if you exclude too many food groups too quickly you may have trouble with your cooking. Some people claim to tolerance raw dairy better than pasteurized dairy. Certainly stay away from skim milk, which is basically sugar water.

    3. Are fruits bad? (pineapples, mangoes, etc).

    Whole fruits are far better than juices. Keep intake reasonable, say 2-3 servings a day. I tend to follow fruits seasonally as well as vegetables, which keeps the larder changing throughout the year.

    4. How strict are you on artificial preservatives?

    How wealthy are you? Not super high on my list of “bad things,” but buying say preservative-free coconut milk costs a lot more than the brand with sulfates. All sorts of food additives such as mono-sodium glutamate (MSG) are things you will primarily find in processed, boxed foods.

    5. How do you add variety to your diet? One big fear I have is that I’ll get sick of chewing leafs.

    Ha! Eat a variety of seasonable vegetables (e.g. roasted root vegetables in the winter), and a variety of meats (including organ meats like liver and heart) and I seriously doubt you will get bored.

    6. Can one drink anything other than water, and are there any primal/paleo deserts?

    Coffee, tea, iced brewed tea. Keep your caffeine intake moderate. Stay away from artificial sweeteners, many are sugar alcohols and likely have similar effects to alcohol and ethanol on the liver.

    I rarely eat desert anymore but there’s always dark chocolate, egg-based deserts, coconut-based deserts, tree nut-based deserts, baked fruit, etc. Just google for gluten-free deserts and go through the list, discarding those that are obviously milk or peanut-based. Flourless chocolate cake with a drizzle of raspberry coulis should make any friend or family member happy. Maybe restrict desert to a reward on the weekend?

  27. Dave, RN on January 7, 2010 at 10:25

    5. How do you add variety to your diet? One big fear I have is that I’ll get sick of chewing leafs.

    That’s one thing that I had to get over, eating to entertain my mouth instead of fueling my body.

  28. William on January 7, 2010 at 10:49

    Thank you all, this is very generous. A few followup comments, and some questions:

    – For reference and context I’m 28 male, and “active”. Moderate cardio 2-3 times a week (30 minute on treadmill) and lift weights twice a week. In spring & summer I do treadmill once or twice, and do sprints/intervals/hills twice a week. Are most of you into crossfit? I seem to see a lot of crossfit-paleo correlation.

    – I tried out the dark chocolate 85% as recommended. Here are the stats: Calories 210 (160 fat), 8g carbs (5 sugar), Protein 4 g. Odd thing was it tasted sweet! Are my tastebuds adjusting?

    – Related to the chocolate, I’m holding off on artificial sweeteners for now. Reason being for me it’ll be no good changing my eating habits if I’m still craving sweet stuff, which artifical sweeteners will be. In fact, they can be sweeter than actual sugar. One cheating way I’ve gotten around this (perhaps in line with the person that said flavored water) is to dilute juice heavily. I discovered this yesterday. I drank juice, but the glass was like 1 part juice, and 6-7 parts water. Odd thing is didn’t taste as bad as i’d imagined 🙂 BTW, have any of you heard of Stevia?

    – QUESTION: How do you know if you are lactose intolerant? I seem to be fine with dairy. I’m still on milk, in fact on reading fat advice I upgraded to whole from 2%.

    – QUESTION: do you limit your eggs? I overheard some guy at the gym say he doesn’t eat eggs because he has too much cholestrol.

    – Seems this white carb/brown carb distinction is one of the biggest diet myths that people buy into?

    – I’m very happy that some of you are taking cream & berries. That’s a releif, and will allow me to be able to play around guilt free.

    Cheers to all,

    William from DC

    • Jamie on January 7, 2010 at 13:05

      William –

      Yeah, your tastebuds will change. I can’t even tolerate a lot of things I used to eat because they’re too sweet/salty.

      Personally, I gave up most all sweeteners. I don’t need them anymore. On a rare occasion, I’ll use a tiny tiny bit of maple syrup.

      Ditch the juice, even diluted. There’s no reason to drink it.

      If it doesn’t bother you, it doesn’t bother you. Give it up for a while and see if you feel better. I still drink milk, but it’s raw Jersey milk. Dairy (milk, cream) doesn’t bother me at all.

      Some guy at the gym has been misinformed by his doctor, or the media, or whatever. I eat about a dozen eggs a week and have great cholesterol ratios.

      Yeah, better to focus on carbs from veggies/dairy/fruit vs. everything else.

    • ReachWest on January 7, 2010 at 13:46

      Eggs – one of the key staples in my diet – probably eat 3 to 4 every day. No cholesterol issues. That whole egg/cholesterol thing is bunk.

    • Ken on January 7, 2010 at 14:08

      Hey William,
      Thought I’d throw my 2 cents in.
      The thing with milk vs half and half/whole cream is that it is still mostly lactose (sugar). look at a carton of milk vs whole/heavy cream at the store. 2% milk has roughly 10-12 carbs (sugar) per serving and cream and half and half have zero and 1-2 grams respectively. as far as lactose intolerance goes, if you get the runs a lot, odd stomach issues etc, try limiting it and see what happens. I eat cheese, drink whole cream/ half and half and cook with butter and have no issues with it. I don’t, however, drink milk.

      White/brown carb conundrum is anathema. Basically, do you want to be shot, white carbs, of strangled, brown. The brown are slightly less bad, not necessarily good. SLIGHTLY.

      Eat eggs. LOTS of eggs. Great protein and fat, convenient-boil a tone of ’em up to have around. Please, for the love of god, don’t base your dietary guidelines on what “some guy at the gym” said. Not slamming you, just have found most gym rats to be staggeringly ignorant on nutrition.

      The chocolate will not only taste sweet, you’ll actually begin to notice more complex and subtle flavors in most food. Sugar so overwhelms the true taste of food you may find some things you used to load up with sugar taste like shit without it.
      A lot of your questions and comments seem to ride the edge of “what can I get away with” as far as dabbling with paleo/primal and keeping some of the old. I find trying to hybrid the old and new to be a recipe for failure. not only and I slimmer, but my energy, mental clarity, general feeling of well being are all up, I feel, due to eating like a human, not a goat.
      Go all in, read all the stuff you can, experiment, ask questions and most of all have fun.

    • Patrik on January 7, 2010 at 19:04

      @William from DC

      Skip the stevia. It will pop your insulin as well. In fact, skip all sweeteners, artificial or “natural”.

  29. William on January 7, 2010 at 10:50

    Oh, also should I pretty much disregard the recomended % of fat and saturated fat on labels? That one dark 85% chocolate bar had 55% “recommended daily fat allowance”.

    • Ken on January 7, 2010 at 14:13

      Gods, YES!!!!!!!!
      All that is based on BS. Please read Good Calories, Bad Calories, by Gary Taubes and hit all the links Richard has. If you only read 2 things make it Richard and Mark of the Daily Apple. I realize it is a BIG stretch to be a fairly healthy person and get told most of what you believe nutritionally is BS, but it’s better to educate yourself ,and try something new that hold on to old dogma.

  30. Paul on January 7, 2010 at 19:25

    Richard said:

    ….”This is why I now do less meat, but with more sauce with lots of fat in it, like butter.”

    Indeed Richard. Or, eat naturally fatty meat. The sausage patties I sometimes have at breakfast each contain 6 grams of protein, but 18 grams of fat. A whopping three times more fat than protein. (Take that and stick it where the sun doesn’t shine Mr. Ornish!)

    If you eat meat like this then your diet is not “high protein”, but high FAT. Then again, I often fry meat in butter or coconut oil to add even more fatty goodness.

    Great blog Richard. Thank you sir for your service to obese, insulin resistant men like me who are on the road away from the SAD diet, and on the way to health and vitality.

  31. 01/08/10 – Need a hand? on January 7, 2010 at 22:07

    […] Comments about Paleo Diet (Read the reader comments below) My hands after the CrossFit North East Qualifier last May […]

  32. Nicole on January 8, 2010 at 06:07

    I don’t see anyone addressing this, but you MUST get enough sleep. If you don’t, it’s very hard to get your appetite under control.

    Eat regular meals, and don’t snack. Snacking is total bullshit when it comes to controlling hunger – totally counter productive. Eat enough meat at each meal that you are satisfied, especially eat a high protein breakfast. I’ve been doing this for six months and I still don’t IF – I hate it and feel like complete crap when I do it. Don’t feel like you have to rush into it, but cut out snacking. I eat dinner at 6pm every night and don’t eat again until breakfast (usually around 8am). I don’t count that as fasting, but some might!

    Be cautious with fruit – fructose is *not* awesome.

    No one likes to hear this, but cut all sweeteners, even stevia. Sweet tastes on the tongue mess with your insulin and therefore your appetite.

    If I don’t follow these rules, I overeat, even on a low-carb Paleo diet. I have a *huge* appetite, and I love meat and eat lots of it. I can still consume 3,000 calories a day, easy, and start putting on weight. Maybe I’m an outlier, but there it is.

  33. mkowalski on January 8, 2010 at 06:27

    1. Mediterranean diet (French/Italians) with cheeses, wines, pastas, breads.

    -neither pasta nor bread on a regular basis

    2. Is dairy as bad as grains or sugars?


    3. Are fruits bad? (pineapples, mangoes, etc).


    4. How strict are you on artificial preservatives?

    -as strict as my budget allows me, fruit/veg are fresh or frozen without any preservatives, most types of slightly processed meat (i.e. sausages, bacon) have some in them, like sodium nitrite

    5. How do you add variety to your diet? One big fear I have is that I’ll get sick of chewing leafs.

    -i don’t see how that could be a problem. Learn to cook, use different spices

    6. Can one drink anything other than water, and are there any primal/paleo deserts?

    -of course! google is your friend 🙂

  34. William on January 8, 2010 at 06:32

    Interesting Nicole. Some followup questions:
    1. Would you consider yourself active? I’m asking that for a reference point.

    2. So scientifically, and in terms of body chemistry and function, it is NOT the sugar going into the bloodstream/liver but the “taste’ of sweetness that causes insulin spikes?

    3. Is 3,000 calories of hamburger, soda, bagel, rice, potato chips, fried chicken, etc the same as 3,000 calories of veggies, non-fast food meat, milk, spinach, etc? Reason I ask is I can’t figure out if a calorie-is-a-calorie-is-a-calorie in terms of body composition and weight. Because if one is putting on weight with excess calories regardless of weather they’re eating pizza or spinach, ultimately aren’t their health risks the same?

    In regards to sleep I’m getting 6. 8 is just not going to happen. Not because I’m watching TV, but I work daytime, then do extra-curriculars evening, not to mention I’m running a business and will soon be a grad student 🙁


    • Patrik on January 9, 2010 at 01:23


      I know you aimed your questions at Nicole, but I will give you my unsolicited opinion as well. 🙂

      2. So scientifically, and in terms of body chemistry and function, it is NOT the sugar going into the bloodstream/liver but the “taste’ of sweetness that causes insulin spikes?

      Certainly, the sugar entering your bloodstream pops your insulin, but tasting it/artificial sweeteners might as well. I don’t think we know just yet, but I have read somewhere insulin levels are effected by artificial sweeteners. To me, it makes sense that they would be. The taste is a signal to the digestive system of what is coming down the pipe and it should prepare accordingly.

      3. Is 3,000 calories of hamburger, soda, bagel, rice, potato chips, fried chicken, etc the same as 3,000 calories of veggies, non-fast food meat, milk, spinach, etc?

      No, it is not — and not even effin’ close. The effect that 3,000 sugar and grain based calores have on your body is completely different than 3,000 calories of high saturated fat, protein and non-grain carbs.

      Carbs induce you to eat more. Why do you think you get free bread at restaurants when you sit down while you order? So, that you order more than you would otherwise.

      Because if one is putting on weight with excess calories regardless of weather they’re eating pizza or spinach, ultimately aren’t their health risks the same?

      Nope. You need to learn what grain based foods (gluten and phytic acid) and sugars do to your body aside from weight gain. Inflammation, depressing the immune system etc etc

      Read this:

      And then buy his book: Good Calories, Bad Calories.

  35. Nicole on January 8, 2010 at 07:04

    I’m reasonably active. I do body weight type exercise, hike and backpack. Sometimes, I run, but not for more that 20-25 minutes.In the spring and fall, I usually do a 100 miles or so on the Appalachian Trail – about 15 miles per day. I’m in good enough shape to climb mountains with a backpack, so I think I’m active enough.

    I can’t answer that question for sure. I’ve heard it as an anecdote from several doctors on Jimmy Moore’s podcast (which is *excellent*, BTW) and it’s mentioned in Dr. Mel Anchell’s books as well. He says that he doesn’t care why zero-calorie sweeteners keep people from losing weight, but they seem to do so.

    There’s remarkably little research on it as it really isn’t in anyone’s financial interest to do the research. It’s also a really hard sell – you start suggesting that maybe people should try giving up their sweeteners, and things get *ugly*. I take this as evidence that they DO keep people on the carb-craving train. 😀

    I’ve recently given them up, and my weight loss has started again. I don’t have carb cravings in any real sense, and research I’ve seen indicates that my hip/waist ratio says I don’t have an insulin problem (.72). Keep in mind that I have celiac – I can’t eat virtually any treat casually anyway. I consider this a bonus of celiac, actually.

    I think the 3,000 calories of SAD is worse as it puts weight on me much faster than 3,000 of REAL food.

    Regarding sleep: it’s really important, especially this time of year. When the days are long, it matters a lot less. For more info on this, read T.S. Wiley’s “Lights Out: Sleep, Sugar and Survival”. Just enforcing bed times and, as a consequence of this meal times, has changed our lives, and my husband does *not* eat like I do – he’s a lacto-ovo vegetarian. He doesn’t snack anymore, and he used to constantly be looking for carby snacks between meals.

  36. Nicole on January 8, 2010 at 07:06

    Oops. I didn’t hit reply. My 2nd, 3rd and 4th paragraphs are responding to question 2. The rest should be obvious. 😀

  37. warren on January 9, 2010 at 06:37

    i realy think putting heavy cream or lite coconut milk in my morning coffee helps me not feel hungry throughout the day. I drink a full french-press so thats two large-ish cups with about 5 tblsp of cream or 1/3 cup lite coconut milk in each. for the coconut milk thats 8 grams of sat fat. not much i guess but it carries me through till after a workout or walk. I use very small amounts of pure stevia and imo this does not give me cravings at all. but that’s me. btw you can do full-fat coconut too. more fat=less hunger!

  38. Don Matesz on January 10, 2010 at 13:08

    Regarding mediterranean diet, a study compared it with paleo diet in people with ischemic heart disease:

    Paleo diet peformed much better.

  39. chris on January 13, 2010 at 10:39

    Jon Benson’s Every Other Day Diet book is an ebook on how to lose weight using caloric cycling. But it is not your average treatment of caloric cycling it is caloric cycling with a new twist. I have reviewed dozens of diets and I have to say that this one is unique.

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