Q&A – Starting Paleo Diet

Ally,

“I have a question about the Paleo Diet. Is there a website with recipes or meal plans? I did a detox last year which worked but it cuts out everything!!! Now I try to do no gluten or dairy. I need to lose 20lbs by June.”

– Kris

Kris,

Right from the beginning, I would like to mention that I think that’s great that you are interesting in doing this. However – I want to make sure that this isn’t being approached as a “diet”, rather a permanent lifestyle approach. You already mentioned that you are avoiding gluten and dairy, but for this to be effective- I would like to see this being done with 100% compliance to reap the benefits. Think of it as pregnant – you either are or you’re not.

 

That being said – if you want to still continue, I think its important to understand the mechanisms of WHY this is important- not just for fat loss, but for health. Gluten, dairy and legumes are foods that harm the gut barrier. When the gut barrier integrity is harmed – things can enter INSIDE your body, which can start a downward spiral of issues. This issues can range from hormone disruption (which we need to be focused on because hormones are what is responsible for fat loss), allergies, autoimmune diseases, psychological conditions, etc. There are many great resources for this; Books; The Paleo Solution  by Robb Wolf or It Starts with Food by Melissa and Dallas Hartwig. With a little less science-y stuff but still great information and recipes: I highly highly recommend Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilipo  – And to save yourself some money – I would recommend buying these from Amazon.ca

My advice:

1) The Paleo Diet is not about a short term fix. Healing the gut takes time and consistency. You can’t “do” this for a week and except some massive changes to occur. Depending on the present situation, it could take anywhere from 30+ days to see some changes. Well worth every minute of it.

2) The Paleo Diet is requires preparation. This involves forethought, planning meals, having snacks on hand, etc. There are lots of websites out there with great recipes: ChowStalker.com, EverydayPaleo.com, whole9.com,carrotsncake.com, nomnompaleo.com, etc.

3) Gluten-Free Food is not Paleo. The Paleo Diet is all about food quality – minimizing processed foods – just because it’s a gluten-free donut- doesn’t mean you should eat it.When you have successfully reached your goal, we can than experiment  But its important to go about this as an all-or-nothing approach in the beginning. In my own experience and reading – doing a little at a time is NOT effective. Treat this as a “No Exceptions Rule” and you will have the best results.

4) You might come across the world “Primal” in your educational hunting and gathering. The difference between Paleo and Primal is the inclusion of dairy products. Most people do NOT tolerate dairy – I believe the statistic is around 60% of people are lactose intolerant. However- Primal isn’t yogurt in a tube. Primal IS not Dairy Queen. Primal is not milk for the “calcium” benefits. Primal is not cheese. I stand by the position that Primal should only be attempted after the minimum 30 day compliance and the one can tinker with adding in *some* HIGH quality, dairy products – under the right circumstances and physical activity.

Hope this is helpful. If you want additional resources, let me know and I would be happy to send some things your way.