How Do You Feel About The Paleo Diet?

Lounge By akrainis Updated 6 Feb 2013 , 9:53am by cazza1

akrainis Posted 4 Feb 2013 , 3:17am
post #1 of 20

I've recently started exercising and changing what I eat. So many people on Facebook and Pinterest and some exercise blogs I visit are into Paleo. For those unfamiliar, it's based on the Paleolithic era and also called the hunter/gatherer diet or caveman's diet. Basically it's anything they would've eaten back then- meat, vegetables, some nuts and some fruits. No legumes, grains, dairy or refined sugar. 


Frankly, I have a hard time seeing wheat, milk, cream, butter, mascarpone, cream cheese, etc as the enemy. I'm curious what the CC community thinks... any Paleo dieters out there? Anyone with an alternative that works with our dairy and wheat filled lives?

19 replies
fearlessbaker Posted 4 Feb 2013 , 3:25am
post #2 of 20

Sorry, I don't mean to be rude or critica. why is this on a naking site?-- OK, I see it's in a forum I was not familiar with. you could Google Paleo Diet reviews. I dislike meat so thiis wouldn't be for me. I am into eating raw, smoothies etc with some cooked food,fish and chicken, but only those that are without hormones are grass fed on non-Monsanto ground. No GMOs. And try not to eat any processed food. What keeps me going is Eleanor Roosevelt's  quote which is something like: Do  something you think you can't do. 

akrainis Posted 4 Feb 2013 , 3:32am
post #3 of 20

Umm... well wheat, dairy and sugar have a lot to do with baking. And since people started telling me to cut them from my life, I'm curious if anyone else has encountered similar, being that we are in the business of wheat, dairy and sugar. 

fearlessbaker Posted 4 Feb 2013 , 3:43am
post #4 of 20

I only bake for family and friends, birthday cakes etc. I am not into telling (mostly) intelligent people how to live their lives. They already know. I taste very little of what I bake. If you read up on sugar you will see it causes everything from cancer to dementia. I am not where I want to be. I cut one thing out at a time. I conquered coffee and think I am getting close to the wheat thing. Next will be cheese and that will be tough. I don't drink milk because it is one awful thing to put into your body. 

jason_kraft Posted 4 Feb 2013 , 3:50am
post #5 of 20

AIt's quite possible to make pretty good paleo baked goods, they typically use nut flours and coconut.

For example:

fearlessbaker Posted 4 Feb 2013 , 3:57am
post #6 of 20

Have you tried them and do you like them?

jason_kraft Posted 4 Feb 2013 , 4:06am
post #7 of 20

AUnfortunately I can't try them since I'm allergic to nuts, but my wife was on paleo for a while and she said the desserts were good. Not as good as traditional baked goods of course, but good enough to have as dessert.

I would advise giving paleo a try for at least a month, and if you can see yourself switching to that diet permanently, go for it. Otherwise you can make your own diet by picking elements of paleo you can live with long term. Talking to a dietitian will help a lot.

rsquared02 Posted 4 Feb 2013 , 4:43am
post #8 of 20

I follow the Paleo diet and I LOVE it.  I feel better than I ever have before, even my skin is better.  I have my moments, it can be a difficult lifestyle if you don't plan ahead or you travel a bit like I do.  


I know it's strange for a baker to be Paleo...I'm honestly not a big cake eating person.  I love to make beautiful tasty things for other people (not nearly as fabulous as most people here, but good enough, lol).  


I haven't given up dairy completely.  I also splurge here and there.  I feel that all desserts are a splurge, not a daily occurance, so baking meshes my lifestyle fairly well.


Can you use coconut flour?  There are some nice Paleo desserts that use coconut flour.  Like I said though, if I'm going to splurge, I'm going to splurge and go all out.  I have loads of links and such if you are interested.  


At the very least, I am a HUGE advocate of giving up processed foods.  My motto is, if you can't pronounce the ingredients, you shouldn't put it in your mouth!   Best of luck!!

fearlessbaker Posted 4 Feb 2013 , 5:09am
post #9 of 20

Thanks for the info. I will look into it. I go to an M.D who practices alternative medicine and he's on a paleo diet. have been vey lucky health wise. I am in my 70s and have lots of energy and exercise a lot. I know it not good genes. I think it's because I never liked sodas and about 45 years ago gave meat up. You see food was aot different in the 40s and 50s. Milk was a treat. It tasted good and fresh. Butter was white then without additives too, and meat didnt taste like cardboard. Tomatoes were so sweet that they tasted like candy. Or course workers then were earning enough money to afford the best food. Not so now for a lot of people. So in a way, because I ate so well as a child, it's difficult to eat adulterated food now. I do it though. I have my struggles too. 

akrainis Posted 4 Feb 2013 , 5:25am
post #10 of 20

rsquared02- I'd love to see your links. 



I don't eat processed foods, I eat mostly organic, all GMO-free. I don't eat a lot of meat, because the humanely raised, grass fed kind is so expensive. It's become a luxury, not a staple of my diet. I should eat more vegetables, I just need to learn how to cook them so I like them (I can't stand anything mushy, needs to be crunchy for me). I work at a place that provides a staff meal every day... and I should really just bring my own because I'm never guaranteed to get anything healthy out of that. 


If I were to try Paleo for a month, it wouldn't be 100%, I have to try the bread, mousses, cakes, pastries etc. that we make every day. If the executive chef asks me how the bread is today, I have to have an answer. And I just love having toast with breakfast.... icon_smile.gif

rsquared02 Posted 4 Feb 2013 , 5:45am
post #11 of 20

Can we put links here?  


I love Mark Sisson's site:

Cave Girl Eats is awesome:

Nom Nom Paleo:


My very favorite cookbook is Make it Paleo.


There's some great ebooks too. I've purchased Well Fed, but haven't had to chance to really dig into it yet.  


I roast nearly any vegetable, it makes them DELICIOUS!!  400*, coated in olive oil.  Usually I add salt and pepper, almost always garlic too.  


I wish grass fed wasn't so expensive. I'm fairly lucky, I live in an area where I can purchase beef that is mostly grass fed by local farmers.  One is my boss, he always jokes that he grass fed before it was cool because he's cheap, lol.  

fearlessbaker Posted 4 Feb 2013 , 8:38am
post #12 of 20

This has been really helpfull. It's basically no processed foods,right? I can get grass fed non Monsanto meat for my husband, he eats meat. I would have ET tweak for me. Any suggestions?

cazza1 Posted 4 Feb 2013 , 11:58am
post #13 of 20

Sorry, I couldn't give up cake, chocolate, ice-cream etc for very long.  I exercise daily and follow the Dukan diet.  It restricts the things I love initially, whilst you are losing the weight, but then slowly introduces them back over a period of time.  Lost my middle age spread that people kept telling me was impossible to lose.  Occasionally I will put a bit back on, especially round holidays cos I'm a guts, but I make myself lose it straight away and so have managed to maintain my favoured weight for the last 18 months and will continue to do so into the future.

rsquared02 Posted 4 Feb 2013 , 1:24pm
post #14 of 20

I like to talk about what you CAN eat first, lol.  Loads of meats and vegetables.  Some fruits and nuts.  


No sugar.  Some people are good with natural sugars, such as honey, agave nectar, etc.  I find that it still causes an insulin reaction for me, so I tend not to use them.  No grains.  Beer is probably my biggest weakness!  I had given up pasta and bread long ago because I found that they raised my cholesterol.  


I know I sound like I "drank the Kool aid", but this is a lifestyle change for me, not a diet.  While I've generally been at a decent weight (I could stand to lose a few, but ya know!), my cholesterol has always been very high.  My dad died of a heart attack when he was 52.  My mom nearly died from a heart attack last year.  My family history is rampant with heart disease and diabetes.  I had to do something.  Plus, my body just feels so much better when I give it good food...I always liken it to fuel in a racecar.  You wouldn't put questionable quality fuel into your fabulous shiny fast car, you shouldn't put questionable food into your fabulous body.  


Eggs are a rather cheap form of protein, and so many places have farm fresh eggs available.  Again, I'm lucky, my neighbors have chickens.  We've talked about getting some, I'm just not up to another project right now.  


If you're a book person, I'd recommend Why We Get Fat by Gary Taubes and The Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson.  Both great reads that aren't too technical.  

tabathaba Posted 4 Feb 2013 , 2:02pm
post #15 of 20

From my perspective as a Personal Trainer, the Paleo Diet has a lot of positives, but I am hesitant of any diet that completely eliminates a food group other than for allergic reactions.




(It is also humorous to me that the diet is based on the Hunter/Gatherer diet and grains have been a part of ancient cultures for centuries, but that's besides the point. :)



Grains (Brown Rice, Quinoa, whole wheat, etc) are wonderful sources of carbs (essential for energy) 50%-60% of your diet needs to be carbs especially if you are exercising.



The diet can be great to help lose a lot of initial weight and cut out junk foods. It is not a good diet for energy levels for athletes or for long term permanent use without some modifications to include essential food groups.



Another thought, what's the point of making desserts with coconut and nut flours instead of wheat when you are still getting the sugar and calories. Why not just eat a reasonable portion of a regular dessert that has the same caloric value. Obviously, allergies are different but it just seems like cheating the system to me.

BakingIrene Posted 4 Feb 2013 , 3:59pm
post #16 of 20
Originally Posted by akrainis 

I've recently started exercising and changing what I eat. So many people on Facebook and Pinterest and some exercise blogs I visit are into Paleo. For those unfamiliar, it's based on the Paleolithic era and also called the hunter/gatherer diet or caveman's diet. Basically it's anything they would've eaten back then- meat, vegetables, some nuts and some fruits. No legumes, grains, dairy or refined sugar. 


Odd.  My Anthropology 101 taught us that "gathering" included the seeds of grasses like primitive wheat, flax, barley, oats, buckwheat, millet, amaranth, and many other plants that are borderline edible.  I guess they would have watched the squirrels, and they would have eaten every seed the squirrels ate. That would have included legumes in areas where they are native.


Ditto for milk--the sight of a young animal suckling would have been a real obvious sign that milk was a nutritious commodity.  The gatherers quickly figured out that milk could be available with a lot less effort than a kill.  All you had to do was trap and tether nursing animals. Then you could simply herd their young.


And where's the fish/shellfish that was an absolute staple of gathering activity? The insects? The honey and pollen? The roots and shoots?


Hunting on the other hand was a dangerous and high-energy activity--it is not likely that they caught many meals of meat per week on plains or in jungles.  So how much meat does this modern fad give you? 


So this "paleo" diet is missing many essential elements--and it is as unbalanced as any other diet that excludes all grains and dairy. 

tabathaba Posted 4 Feb 2013 , 4:08pm
post #17 of 20

My point exactly. Dairy is "iffy" to me mostly because of the inability of such a large percentage of people to process lactose (even if you are not allergic, there is a high percentage of people who cannot process the lactose in milk) so I don't drink a lot of milk. Calcium can be found in other sources. On the other hand, the cultured dairy products such as yogurt and kefir are super good for you.


Anyway, for a short period of time this type of diet can help lose weight mostly because you are cutting out junk food and white flour products. Seems simpler to just do that.


Also, watch your cholesterol and lipid panels on this type of diet. The increased quantity of meats can cause an increase in these levels if you aren't careful. Especially the higher fat red meats. Make sure you are having your labs checked at least annually.

akrainis Posted 4 Feb 2013 , 4:20pm
post #18 of 20

From what I've read, it's not like Atkins where you can eat the triple bacon hamburgers (hold the bun) all day... it's focused more on vegetables, reasonable amount of meat, poultry or fish, small amount of fruit and nuts. 


I eat only whole grains, sprouted if available. I try to get raw milk when possible (much easier to digest and so much tastier) but it's technically illegal in FL (unless sold as 'pet food') and also incredibly expensive. I buy butter from pastured cows. I eat a ton of fruit, especially berries. I don't believe the sugars in fruit are bad for you as refined sugar, and the fiber, antioxidants and other vitamins/minerals are worth it. 


I've enjoyed reading what everyone has to say, it's been enlightening and makes me feel better for not trusting this diet 100%.

jason_kraft Posted 4 Feb 2013 , 5:42pm
post #19 of 20

AFish, roots, insects, and honey are all OK for a paleo diet. The whole idea for paleo is to mirror a pre-agriculture diet, and since cows were not domesticated it would not have been easy to get milk. Coconut milk is OK though.

If you are looking for a less restrictive diet check out the "whole foods" diet (not related to the retailer), it focuses more on removing processed foods:

cazza1 Posted 6 Feb 2013 , 9:53am
post #20 of 20

Unlike nowadays their basic way of life was not sedentary but fairly active.  And at what age did they die???  Modern foods have their faults but these are generally caused by over eating.  Once you have lost your weight a balanced diet with plenty of exercise will also keep your cholesterol in check unless it is hereditary based.  Even losing a few kgs can bring your cholesterol down if you are overweight.

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