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Some say they eat 85-90% paleo...


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What do they mean?


I am seriously considering starting to live the paleo lifestyle. But I am horrified to think that I can never eat anything non-paleo ever again. I love my pancakes and such things way too much (Not in unhealthy amounts tho and no syrup) and any information on this would go miles to help me prepare for when I actually start the diet.


Are they doing cheat-days? Or just having a bit of bread with their otherwise all-paleo meal?


And since I have your attention (and to avoid opening another topic) I have a couple of questions regarding the paleo diet, I did read the beginner paleo diet that we get sent when we register for this site but:


1. I read that I can eat fruit. But how much is acceptable? Are bananas something to avoid? (I tried out the keto diet recently and the emphasis on no fruit at all (too much carbs) was killing me).


2. In what other ways does this differ from Keto? Is paleo just keto with fruits?



With sencere gratitude for your time,


<Goal status : 12.3lbs/54lbs = 22%>

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First things first, there's nothing that says you can never eat anything non-paleo again. Its just that when you do, you'll have a better idea of how your body will react to those things - be it more likely to gain weight, stomach doing flips, indigestion, or whatever. It's less about a strict diet and more about understanding how your body reacts to food. Its less scary if you think about it that way :)


Your first question is both, as far as I can tell - sometimes its cheat days, sometimes its just certain things they'll still eat.


Question 1 - depends on your system. If you're trying to lose weight, less fruit is probably better. If you get sugar spikes from fruit, less is probably better. If fruit just tastes yummy and does nothing else to you, eat away.


I defer on question 2 - don't know enough about keto. But I will say, paleo isn't necessarily low carb. Again, that part about figuring out how your body reacts to food.


Hope that helps at least a little!

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Don't panic.  it's not so hard to transition one step at a time.  I started not even by CUTTING anything- but my first step was REDUCING.


So my first step (and not even when I was like- oh I wanna try paleo) I just NEW I needed to have some sort of structure/frame/regulations - I moved in with a slightly alcoholic roommate- so there was beer CONSTANTLY in the house. 


These were month long eperiements/challenges- mini challenges. Ultimately I was free at the end of the month to return to my regular eating schedule.

Step 1 

Alcohol ONLY Friday/Sat.  it was off limits Sun-Thur.


Step 2.

No bacon egg cheese bagels.


Step 3

start eating breakfast


Step 4.

No Wheats Breads or Grains (I'm going to call them Brains from now on b/c that's what I originally typed)


it was a very slow process.


I still eat grain in the form of sushi- fuck you world- you will not take my sushi.

I eat nan (LIMITED) with Indian food- or pita with Moroccan (LIMITED)  I use a spoon to scoop not the bread. bread goes on top in little bites.


I eat that food- maybe once a month.  


I cut out processed sugar for the last challenge- it was HARD.  So I substituted with fruit.  This challenge I'm trying to cut back a little on it (I was eating 2 pints of strawberries a week!!!)   


The big emphasis on paleo is fresh clean grass fed- nothing processed- going back to your roots.  If you are getting super aggressive with your diet- yeah fruit can be limited- sugar *can* be detrimental to weight loss- but having a peice or two of fruit a day is fine- it's way better than snacking on low carb low fat fruit snacks- processed garbage. 


You need to find what works for you. 


I still eat other stuff- but I find I don't like it- it doesn't make me feel good.  I binged like a mother fucker after the last challenge- it was glorious- big ole friendlys ice cream platter... instant sugar headache and now a week later- my face broke out like someone stabbed me with an ice pick.  


Alright universe/body- lesson learned!



I don't do cheat days really- I just work on ONE thing for a set time- and kind of eat around that- the stuff I HAVE worked on- it tends ot just become habit and I only indulge on the weekends- or special occasions.  


ergo- I'm paleo-ISH. 



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Thanks for the answers guys :)

You are greatly easing my treipidations with going paleo.


Franchise : Keto is obsessed with keeping carbs under the 50 gram mark, it does not seem quite so stringent on paleo.


I-Jo : By your line "No bacon egg cheese bagels." did you completely cut out bacon? I thought that was one of the big bonuses of eating paleo, as in, bacon = good.

<Goal status : 12.3lbs/54lbs = 22%>

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nope- bacon egg and cheese bagels- from Dunkin Dougnuts- I wasn't really big on breakfast- but I would be starving by the time I had driven an hour to a job site- so I would get another coffee and one of those.... and my only occasionally deal was turning into a regular habit for me.


no no no- I eat almost 2 packs of bacon a week.


but technically bacon isn't pure paleo.  we paleo-ish folks love it though ;)


I owned up to not spending the money- and now I make a 6 egg scrambled egg disaster thing with tomatoes green peppers onions (recent addition of sausage ZOMG HOW HAVE I MISSED THIS AWESOMENESS) and then 6 slices of bacon. 


I eat half for breakfast- and the other half around 3 PM. 




yeah- I had a completely visceral negative reaction to the paleo lifestyle when I first read about it a year ago- like SUPER negative.  I was like- why- why would you want to go on iwth your life NOT eating all these yummy things- why do that to yourself- it's taken me over a year to get aggressive about what I put in my body and just eating better.  People were like ZOMG you're loosing weight working out more/changed your workout bla bla bla Nope- still 170 fat ass lbs.  My workouts have been roughly the same for 3 years (style wise and super aggressive)

​ But all that hard work I was doing- you could actually see.  I have always worked out.  Dropping some of this stuff wasn't about loosing weight- it was more about trying to be healthy and support my working out.  


And as soon as I realized I wasn't THAT miserable w/o something- and it was making a difference-AND more importantly- I was still eating GOOD food- and LOTS of it- I was hungry to see what being more specific and aggressive was going to do for me.


I think that's what's scary- people are afraid to give up food- and not replace it.... they are going to cut cut cut and eat only what's left in their current diet- but you don't JUST cut- you actually replace it with other super tasty things too.  

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I can answer your keto-related questions because I actually tried keto before going primal!


First, there is definitely no rule about never eating non-paleo again, but a lot of people find that after they remove grains it's difficult to add them back in.  Our bodies are kind of weird and if we're not eating something, adding it back in might make you ill.  Even removing the issue of grains, some vegetarians, after being no-meat for so long, don't do well after they eat meat again (either because they have changed their philosophies or by accident.)  Some will get physically ill and some just feel really bad for a few days.  OTOH if you don't actually remove it for a prolonged period of time and just eat a bit on a weekend or something, you probably won't have any problems.

On the OTHER other hand, a lot of people find they feel so much better when they don't eat grains that they don't really have any desire to add them back in.  For me personally, I used to be sick all the time, and when I went paleo and stopped eating wheat, suddenly I just... stopped being sick all the time.  There were other factors as well that started falling into place to reveal a wheat intolerance, but I don't want to go back to eating wheat because I don't want to go back to being sick all the time.  (I mean, don't get me wrong - I would like to stuff my face with wheat-laden stuff that is no longer approved.  BUT I don't want to do it at the expense of being sick.)


I get what you're saying about liking pancakes and stuff too much.  When the doctors told me they wanted to test for celiac disease, I was horrified, because "But I love pizza and pasta WAY too much to deal with this!"  Well, I still wish I could eat pizza and pasta.  But turns out I REALLY like not being sick all the damn time too much.

It is of course up to you, but don't like "but I really LIKE that!" get in the way of doing what's good for you.  Something we really really like is not necessarily good for us.



As far as the fruit goes, I agree with the above that if weight loss is your biggest concern you should take that into consideration when it comes to how much fruit is allowed.  Paleo is not by nature low carb but there are a lot of people who eat low carb while paleo.  Also some people who eat a LOT of fruit and aren't low carb at all.


I was bloody miserable eating low carb.  Just. miserable.  Like I said, I enjoyed pasta and pizza and all that kind of stuff.  Now it's not allowed?!  I gave it a fair shake, I really did.  I ate low carb for almost two months.  I was miserable the entire time.  HATED it.  And I wasn't losing any weight either, which everybody SWORE to me low carb was going to be the Magic Bullet.

The turning point came when I was at the grocery store, glumly walking up and down the aisles, trying to find something I could eat.  Nope, can't eat that.  Nope... too many carbs.  Nope nope nope.  Can't have that.

I was standing in the produce section looking at bananas, and I thought to myself "I can't eat a banana.  A banana is like fifty carbs."

And then it occurred to me how RIDICULOUS that was.  Did I seriously just think to myself "I can't eat a banana?"  It's a BANANA.  Seriously.  I had just been back in the baking aisle looking at a box of Truvia, which goes through a TON of processing before it hits the shelf.  And that somehow is supposed to be better than a BANANA?  It comes off a TREE.  It's a banana.

Eat the banana.


That is when I made the switch.  First I just went to "clean" eating.  I went to eating non-processed foods, or as minimally processed as I could find.  Fruits, veggies, meat!  I had already been obsessed with the ingredient lists you find when you shop at Trader Joe's ("The ingredient list on this hot sauce says Tomatoes, Jalapeno Peppers, and Salt.  THAT'S IT.  THAT'S AMAZING.") but started to insist my ingredient lists looked like that.  After that it wasn't much of a huge leap to give paleo/primal a try.


Right now my carbs are higher because I'm making a point to eat plenty of sweet potato (half-marathon in ten days!)  But on average, I eat fewer carbs on primal than when I was actually eating low carb.  And also, I'm not miserable and wanting to kill myself anymore.  Go figure.  There are days I have sub-30 carbs; other days I'm closer to 70 or even up to 100, but the average per week is usually about 40/day.  AND I'M NOT EVEN TRYING.  It just happens because I'm not eating all kinds of processed foods loaded up with grains and sugar to make it taste good.


So I would say if you wanted to go paleo-ish and stay in keto, you definitely could.  But really, nobody is going to scream at you about the number of carbs you're eating.  Also, around here, I've noticed people are far more laid back.  Nobody really has the "I AM MORE PALEO THAN YOU" superiority complex attitudes that I've come across anywhere else.  It's all about eating what's good for you (and what doesn't make you sick!)

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Everyone's definition of "paleo" is personal and specific to their goals and eating philosophy and any food intolerances.


For me, I still have dairy (in raw milk form and grass fed cheese/butter) because I have no ill reaction to it. I absolutely avoid gluten and soy, because they both are bad for my skin and contribute significantly to hormone issues. I personally drink kombucha, still have coffee, and occasionally have rice. But I truly mostly eat the best meats and fish and produce I can afford, including huge amounts of veggies. And if it's a special occasion or simply because I'm eating at a place that has my favorite desserts (creme brulee or tiramisu) I will eat them and enjoy them and not worry about it.


Beyond that, for me there is no reason to avoid fruit or be low carb, because I can easily maintain my weight without worrying about it. That may or may not be true for you.


Paleo is at its most fundamental, about eating real food. If you like pancakes and experience no ill effect from gluten, they are fine as a treat. And as you get further into your new lifestyle, you might find yourself switching to more organic/natural ingredients when you make them, which is all positive stuff.


Like I-Jo said, as you transition, you'll find that there's actually so much great stuff to try, and plenty of options for making delicious/decadent/amazing foods and even desserts, that are less filled with weird additives, chemicals, and sugars that allow you to enjoy life and food without including tons of garbage. I never would have tought I'd love brussels sprouts, but now I have them at least once a week. And I have never cooked with coconut flour, but now I can make delicious, protien filled waffles that don't cause breakouts. It's about figuring out what will work for you and elminating the overly processed junk that makes up most average "diets".

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another thread of awesome on this topic - people weighing in with excellent insight.  I love you guys!


I am 99% paleo with the occasional planned cheat.  and yes, I've eaten pancakes.  But I planned for it and chose carefully.  One agreement we made when going this root is that "cheats" or as we call them "off diet eating" would be intentional and something we really enjoyed.  For example, this place in our neighborhood makes good, old fashioned pancakes.  We've been there 2 or 3 times in the past 1.5 years.  Intentionally.  But we don't care for IHOP or diners, etc. so it's not "oh I'm out let's eat food just cause". Make it good.  For example - your favorite pizza place.  Not any old pizza just cause it's sitting in the break room and you're there.  That's how we manage it. 


I rarely eat off diet.  Just a choice.  A lot of other people do it differently.  I found out I don't do dairy well (spousal unit does and still does full fat, farm yogurt).  Play around with it.  Consider reading the Primal Blueprint for a slightly different take.


Fruit - you got the answer above.  If you want to lose weight, cut fruit.  In general, fruit is a dessert not a staple for every meal.  Fruit is sugar w benefits.  You want to control sugar and insulin spikes to control chronic inflammation.  Etc etc. 


Keto - I live very low carb.  I'm very very very happy here and I function very well (spousal unit too).  I am under 50g each day.  this is a choice I made and then turned out I was really happy here.  Most people are not.  Primal blueprint suggests around 100g/day max. 

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I am not full paleo because I do not have the budget for grass-fed meat or range free eggs. I also have a little peanut butter every now and then.


I have been off sugary foods for over 10 year and now I have given up all grains which is not really that difficult for me. Im off dairy because i have a slight reaction to milk but still eat greek yogurt.


My only difficulty was giving up alcohol which i havent had any problems with...yet.


Id say, don't sweat not being 100% unless you are doing a 30 day cleanse. Do what works for you and makes you feel good.

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In reaching out for help on this topic through several sources, a common answer I get about not going "full paleo" is to just "be smart" about what your cheat foods are. Obviously having a potato as a cheat food is a lot different than a deep fried twinkie. (may the twinkie RIP.)

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I like what was said above (just said it somewhere else too)- several times. 


if I'm going to eat something I don't normally eat- it's going to be the best or my absolute favorite.  The ice cream I indulged in after the last challenge caused a massive face break out. WHAT THE FAK.  


so yeah- that's not happening.... ice cream or whatever- will have fresh fruit and be a special probably expensive and top shelf treat.   none of this snickers at walmart shit any more.  it's just not going to cut it. 

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I always say paleo is this:  knowing the truth about what your body wants and needs,  knowing what is and is not good for you, and making informed decisions from there. 


If you, as a grown adult who understands the ramifications of insulin resistance and the impact of gluten on the body, choose to eat cake, that's your call and you made it.  that's just fine. It's not "paleo" no, but it's legit.  Do what you need to. 


that said, I think most people want ot eat right most of the time. 


My paleo looks a lot like this:  for the majority of any given month I eat really clean.  For the rest of it I eat "pretty clean" (meaning maybe a diet soda here and there or some dried fruit or chocolate).  1-2 days I'll eat "fuck all" and just have whatever is there that I want.  Those are usually days when we're eating out with family, or when we go to a nice restaurant and get dessert, or I have cake and ice cream at a birthday party .... something that is not a regular occurrence. 


Last month it was a day with some easter candy and pizza with friends.  I've been clean since then.  This month I already know we're probably going to an amish buffet for one day, so that will likely be my worst day for the month.  the rest will be clean. 


One bad meal here and there will not derail you.  it's eating meals that are always "just a little bit cheaty" every single day.  


If you're paleo "except for 1-2 dinners a month" that's legit.  If you're paleo "except for toast in the morning and beer at night" you're not.  Those two things are not the same. 

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My Current Challenge

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No Wheats Breads or Grains (I'm going to call them Brains from now on b/c that's what I originally typed)



Pair that with your makeup in your profile picture and the zombie reference in pretty perfect :)


Kristinn, I like the idea of Paleo, but at this stage of things, I'm just cutting a few things out and limiting others.  Bread, pop and sweet tea (cry!) are gone.  Rice is limited to 1 cup 3x a week.  Potatoes to 1 meal per week. 


If my wife fixed her mashed potatoes and I couldn't eat them, well what is the point? :)  I love stir fry.  Its a great way for me to make sure I'm getting plenty of vegeteables, it reheats well and easy to take to work.  Hence, rice stays in my diet in a limited amount.  No sweet tea sucks, but Ive done pretty well on my banishments.  Since getting the last of the pop out of the house, I caved last Friday for a glass bottle Pepsi with real sugar.  Nostalgia won over.  That's been it.  Wednesday my wife was out cold when I got home b/c she had bad insomnia the night before and sleep finally caught up to her.  We didn't have anything that was quick and easy for dinner and I had to get the kids fed.  So I caved in and ordered Papa Johns.  A couple of breadsticks and 2 slices of pizza was very tasty after no bread for a week and a half and I ended up eating my other 2 slices yesterday b/c no one else in the house will eat the Italian Sausage that was on my part of the pizza. 


Have I kept to my plan 100%? No.  Do I do a good job most of the time? Yep.  I don't have a set number of planned "eat more freely" meals b/c it's still just the 2nd week of my changes and I'm trying to be more strict on myself at the moment.  No always working, but over all I've been doing pretty well.  My main problem at the moment has been making sure I stick to my workout routine, but that's another thread I have posted around here about Baby steps :)

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If you cheat, the Paleo Police will find you and take away your powers!


Just to be clear - those are the Vegan Police :D The Paleo police are way more bad-ass :D

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Lol when i decided to give paleo a shot, my dad was all into it and wanted to try...needless to say with his work schedule it was NOT possible. The first couple weeks are definitely a hard transition and he could barely make it a day working 12 hours and being starving. Giving up brown rice and oatmeal just was not going to be realistic for him.


For me, i at first started going more paleo...then it turned into primal...and now i just say its whatever works for me! 


Think of paleo/primal as guidelines. Clean eating, whole foods, healthy foods. 

Limiting makes things a lot easier than cold turkey, but really it just depends on the person.


You can cut things out, add things back in, the main thing is LISTEN to your body when you eat things.

If you don't feel well after eating wheat (intolerance or celiacs) then definitely keep it out. If dairy does the same (lactose intolerant) then keep it out. 

I am gluten intolerant and became really in tune with my body when it reacts to certain foods.


I do fine when eating milk products, so i allow some into my diet.

I don't do well with gluten, white rice, onions, apples, so those are a no.

I do fine with brown rice, corn, etc, but i choose not to eat it. But if i wanted to, its okay.

I tried giving up peanut butter...almond butter is good, but seriously its NOT the same. (sorry steve)


my point...its what WORKS for you and your goals. Your eating doesn't have to follow strict guidelines or  be perfect. Dont sweat the small stuff, just work towards your goals. 

Level 1 Elf Adventurer STR 2|DEX 2|STA 2|CON 2|WIS 3|CHA 4

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So I'm curious... how has it been going?

I started on the 19th so so far its only been five days on paleo :) I am easing into it. I have started taking steps to get more fresh foods and cut down the carb intake (in hindsight, I was eating staggering amounts of carbs) so it has been a few days of eating fresh. More vegetables, practically no dairy nor sugar and steering clear of carbs as much as I can (for budget reasons I have found it hard to live purely paleo, around here carbs are cheap, meat is not). So all in all I feel that I am heading in the right direction :)  (I can not attribute it to the diet but when I stood on the weight this morning I weighed two pounds less than I did last friday, but it does help my motivation. I hope a combination of this and body weight exercises every two days will melt the fat and get me healthy)

<Goal status : 12.3lbs/54lbs = 22%>

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I find that scales are evil, evil things, personally!


Congrats on the start, though! The way I off-set the expense of more meat/veggies, less starches was by cutting the eating out. Realizing that one "nice italian dinner" became two steak dinners at home made that easy.


Don't forget to load up on eggs, too! Although if you're still keeping wheat in your diet at all, makes sure to have your cholesterol checked from time to time... cholesterol rich foods + lectin is the real killer, not cr foods by themselves.

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I eat quite a bit of eggs (one dozen per week or so at the moment) and some wheat in the form of the occasional noodle cup (and the occasional "cheat" day where I can eat some carb stuff to keep me sane, sloowly phasing these out tho atm).

I did have a blood check a few weeks ago where they said my cholesterol was slightly too high. I might start doing the checks monthly. I live in fear that whatever lifestyle choice I make I will end up damaging myself in some way (be it impropper exercise, diet (paleo or junk) or not enough exercise. Seems you rarely manage to win in these choices).

<Goal status : 12.3lbs/54lbs = 22%>

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