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There Is Another Level Above "I'm Doing Fine"
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February 15, 2013
3:28 am
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Marilyn, Beowulf:

I'm sure those factors contribute, though I wouldn't know how to measure them!

pam:

"this is how being healthy feels like."  Quite true.

Victoria:

There apparently aren't enough teenagers on oral contraceptives to make the "most frequently used" list.  Even among adults 18-44, just 15.7% of females were using them.

dave, rn:

I've heard some good things about prolo...but I'm hoping to resolve it without the time and expense.  It's improving, just very slowly.

JL:

People freak out about the bread thing, in my experience.  Tell them "You can't eat eggs?" No problem.  But when you say "No bread," many of them just shut down.  "I could never give up bread."

 

More tomorrow!

JS

February 15, 2013
7:21 am
Juan
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Thanks for another excellent article. A topic well worth discussing.

My own experience has been nearly identical to yours regarding the benefits of paleo. I had forgotten the sense of liberation and I'm glad you mentioned it. I'm never hungry and I never snack. (fwiw, I eat a predominantly animal based diet. Lots of fat, moderate protein, very low carb. Maybe one potato every month or so and it lasts about 3 meals. haha)

I have a couple of things to add to the liberation idea, as well as further retorts/fuel/talking points when met with the quizzical incomprehension and, as you say, fear of others when they consider all of your "sacrifices". One thing I will often say to people is that I don't miss (insert non-paleo element, such as bread or pizza) because I don't crave it any longer. In the same way, I don't have to "deny" myself cigarettes because I don't crave them, nor do I miss them. I used to smoke, but after finally quitting 10 years ago, I don't continually crave them. Same with food. Often I'll then say to the person, "Are you denying yourself heroine right now?" No. Because you do not want heroine; you are not craving it, so you cannot be "denying" yourself.

The same sense of freedom and self control that comes from quitting addicting things, such as cigarettes, also follows when finally getting off of sugary and birdseed-based foodstuffs.

@Tim, thanks for your great story
@JS and @Jen, I've had a long bout with epicondylitis that is slowly becoming better and better. I continue vigorous exercise, including heavy lifting, but am able to rehab using some mild protocols that I've slowly accumulated. No ibuprofen. If you wish, I can share them in private emails rather than clutter this corner of cyberspace with the deets.

Thanks for reading.

Juan

February 15, 2013
8:26 pm
Madison, WI, USA
Gnoll
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@Juan that would be great, but I'm not really comfortable giving out my email out in a forum.  Could you possible "private message" me?

"Often we forget . . . the sky reaches to the ground . . . with each step . . . we fly."  ~We Fly, The House Jacks

February 16, 2013
12:36 am
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Manythings:

It does seem to be true that the older people get, the less able they are to dispose of excess carbohydrate without fat gain. This is another piece of evidence pointing toward a primarily metabolic explanation for obesity, as opposed to a model primarily based on addiction.

Marilyn:

Lifespan is still slowly increasing and cardiovascular disease is slowly waning, so apparently the drugs do help.  However, functional lifespan is slowly decreasing, so the evidence is that our baseline state of health is deteriorating even as medical technology helps keep us alive longer.

Jenny:

The more restrictive or non-mainstream the diet, the harder you have to work to justify it.  Thus the crowd of Peatarians who have basically taken over Mark's Daily Apple, replying to every single thread with "YOU NEED TO EAT MORE STARCH".  Completely dysfunctionally crazy case in point.

pam:

Hargrove's stuff looks great, and I'll spend more time there in the future...but lateral epicondylitis isn't a minor strain.  It's an actual tear, in a place that doesn't heal well.

Stipetic:

Absolutely!  That's why eating like a predator fixes so many of these problems...we've created them by eating an evolutionarily inappropriate diet.

John:

That's a great list!  The mental aspects are difficult to quantify...but I bet something about a diet of adequate cholesterol, saturated fat, and DHA is highly beneficial to brain function, not to mention the lack of violent blood sugar swings.

I'm glad I could help you in some way.  Keep us posted on your progress!

Jen W:

I don't seem to get spontaneous "flares"...I just have to avoid certain motions that reliably cause pain, like picking up significant weight with the palm down.  Frying pans are the worst day-to-day offender.

 

More coming!

JS
 

February 16, 2013
2:36 am
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Paul:

"it is now my life … it's what I do. I cannot see myself going back."

Exactly.  This isn't a diet...it's a way of life.

And I very much understand your point about hangovers...the impairment is much more obvious when you're functioning optimally.

Exceptionally Brash:

If I'm the new leader, it's because people like yourself are following what I do.  It's an honor.

Tim:

"I saw my allergies dramatically lessen and my asthma completely go away...I have so much energy and focus, it feels like I can finish any project I start."

That's amazing and wonderful to hear.  

But, of course, "My allergist thinks I am insane".

Most people simply don't have the ability to critically evaluate what someone in a position of authority tells them.  "Who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?"  I'm glad you've been able to make such progress despite the doubt.

"I am a low potato guy. I can stomach maybe a single plantain or a half a sweet potato a day but more than that and I will start to see the scale grimace uncomfortably"

I've become quite disenchanted with the alarming number of paleo "experts" who cheerfully advise everyone that this is an imaginary situation -- and that you're doing grievous, irreparable damage to your health. 

Mo: 

Visual sun sensitivity is an interesting one that I hadn't heard before.  Welcome, thanks for sharing, and do stick around!

Chris:

I'm reasonably sure mine isn't a nerve problem...but if it stops slowly improving, I'll look into that.

Paul N:

Sunburn resistance is, I think, a consequence of eating more saturated fats (chemically stable) and less polyunsaturated fats (less stable, easily oxidizable).  Also keep in mind that coconut oil is about SPF 8 by itself.

Juan:

Please feel free to send the protocols to me...you have my email.

I've noticed the same thing: my cravings for non-paleo foods have diminished remarkably over time.  I think that once we develop a robust association between paleo foods and feeling great afterward, the desire to cheat diminishes.

The heroin analogy is great...I'll probably steal it.  Thank you!

Jen W:

I can send it to you once Juan sends it to me.

 

I'm finally caught up!  Thanks, everyone, for sharing your thoughts and experiences.

JS

February 16, 2013
5:57 am
Madison, WI, USA
Gnoll
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@JS:  That would be great.  ThanksSmile

"Often we forget . . . the sky reaches to the ground . . . with each step . . . we fly."  ~We Fly, The House Jacks

February 16, 2013
12:25 pm
Paul N
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JS,

I'm sure the increased sat fat and reduced unsat fat help enormously with skin resistance to sunburn - I do eat lots of cocnut oil (and butter) not just on the skin.

I also think the natural vit d, from (10-20 minutes of) midday UVB exposure helps too.

I guess it is a case of *healthy* skin can resist the sun, as it has for millennia. the remarkable increase in skin cancer rates in Australia is not due to stronger sunshine, or more sun hours - indoor workers are *four* times more likely to get skin cancers than outdoor ones - it has to be an environmental cause.

PUFA strikes again...

February 19, 2013
6:18 am
Juan
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@JS
Will do, regarding the elbowitis protocols. Working on it. As regards the frying pans -- well, I feel your pain! I definitely don't want to forever need to "warm up" my arm before picking up my cast iron frying pan painlessly. With lateral epicondylitis it is slightly easier (i.e., less painful) to pick up such things "cold" if you use a supinated (palm up) grip. You may have already tried this.

And, yes, I'd be honoured if you were to use the heroin analogy (rather than the heroine analogy that I suggested).

February 19, 2013
10:40 am
Manythings
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@JS, sorry to be pedantic, but (as I am sure you know) I would like to point out that weight gain in middle age is arguably the least of our problems with carbs - metabolic syndrome affects 44% of people over 50, according to the Wikipedia article, and rising fasting blood glucose levels are a sign for many of us that we can tolerate fewer and fewer carbohydrates as we age.

February 19, 2013
12:24 pm
Bill Strahan
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Unexpected benefits? How about the return of morning wood, and the best sex of my life at 45 years of age with my wife of 16 years?

Seriously.

I shared this exact issue with an older friend of mine who was not exercising, and not eating well. It took him a year to finally read the Primal Blueprint after I gave it to him. From that dietary change, and lifting some heavy weights, 6 months later he's telling me how he didn't realize how he had changed with age...until he changed back!

He didn't share it with me at the time, but when I talked about morning erections, it turns out he hadn't had one in a year or more. That was what finally got through to him. Now, to use his words, he's a teenager again. Mid 50's and just had his testosterone test come back in the high 600s.

Eating is a small but enjoyable part of life. And real food is tremendously enjoyable. But synthetic counterfood (counterfeit food) has rewards as well. If you actually spend 30 minutes a day eating, that's less than 4 hours of total eating time per week. That 4 hours has the potential to make the other 164 totally awesome or totally suck. Even if you have an occasional craving for counterfoods, it's worth ignoring it for the benefit of that 164 hours being much better than just "fine."

Great article.

February 19, 2013
2:27 pm
Chris B
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Just as a little side note:
So many people overlook this simple little item from your list:

I sunburn far less easily.

But I can tell you that as a light-complected Nordic type living in Florida this is HUGE. Not only can I now just go for a walk and not worry about having to choose between either becoming a painful boiled lobster or loading my skin up with nasty chemicals BUT I can also go to the beach for an hour or two - ANY time of day - and not worry then either.

Too bad I was over 50 years old before I discovered how easy it could be to enjoy being outdoors anywhere anytime.

February 19, 2013
4:10 pm
pam
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@JS & Jen W,

pain can come from injury/damage (real threat to survival)
or sometimes it's just the _perceived_ threat by our brain. (this is "overdesign")

understanding it can also help us heal better for real injuries (in addition to minor sprain, sorenss)

stay healthy,

ps. just dawned on me about another n=1 observation. for the last few months, i have never come down once with ailment when people around me have been decimated by flus/colds. i'm sitting next to 2 colleagues who seem to be perpetually sneezing & coughing. a few times i felt mild headache, scratching throat, stuffiness, then i'd be ok in a day or 2. (from someone who used to have MONTH-long cold, wow!)

February 19, 2013
5:17 pm
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Juan:

Yes, I pick up many things palm-up now, which doesn't bother me at all.

Interestingly, I can deadlift very heavy weights without bothering it, either!  It's only a few very specific motions that cause pain.

Manythings:

Agreed.  There's some evidence that fat gain is protective against insulin resistance/metabolic syndrome: it may be when you stop being able to store excess nutrients in fat cells that the real issues start.

Bill Strahan:

I've seen some research that suggests the decline in testosterone "due to age" is an artifact of poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle, and that this decline is not experienced in some cultures.  I know that I'm definitely feeling younger than my own age!

The reward of junk food lasts until it slides down your throat...the reward of real food is continuous.

Chris B:

That's a good point.  Removing yet another barrier to going outside results in being outside more, which is good for us in so many ways.

pam:

Many people report increased resistance to sickness...another important benefit, especially this year, which seems to have more than its share of seasonal colds, sore throats, flu, and general blahs.

JS

February 19, 2013
5:54 pm
Madison, WI, USA
Gnoll
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Pam:

 

Again thanks again for the link to bettermovement.com.  I'm working my way through it now.  I have also, since going "paleo" not gotten sick at all.  In fact, I'm the only one that hasn't been sick at work, while everyone else dropped like flies!

 

Jen

"Often we forget . . . the sky reaches to the ground . . . with each step . . . we fly."  ~We Fly, The House Jacks

February 20, 2013
10:53 pm
JayJay
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People are starting to notice I've lost weight, even though I don't notice it on myself. It's freaking me out as usually no one takes any notice of me, I never know what to say except "I eat lots of fat and meat and bread is sugar joined together"

I think I was pretty ill and I'm a paleo newbie so positive effects are slowly occurring once I got over the horrible headaches. I've learnt to drink more water now and yet pee less.

I don't have horrible sugar homicidal swings. My digestion is improving slowly.

I like to cook new things and show off to my parents whom I cook for once a week. (Look it's inside out burgers!).

I'm also slowly confronting my squeamishness for dead things and killing things. (I couldn't even kill flies!) I accidently ran over a rabbit, so I stopped and picked it up and bought it home for the animals. It was warm and gross, but I didn't throw up.

February 22, 2013
2:46 pm
Sakura
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Does anybody else notice that the drug chart maybe have more than 30% error? Just want to bring that up...

February 22, 2013
8:53 pm
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JayJay:

It sounds like you're on the right path!  Expect things to continue slowly improving...and don't be discouraged if you hit a temporary plateau.

Sakura:

Look more closely.  Only the figure for "12-19 year olds on 5 or more prescription drugs" has that large a margin of error, most likely due to a tiny sample size.

JS

February 23, 2013
10:15 am
Issabeau
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Thank you for this article. I've read all the replies, too, and enjoyed them very much.
I've been paleo/primal/predator for 3 full years now and have never felt better. Xept, I caught a nasty sinus infection due to my braces and dirty house vents...which will cost us $400,- in March to get cleaned out.

February 25, 2013
12:06 pm
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Issabeau:

That time in the fall when the heat comes on for the first time after several months can be a problem.  I live in a very dry climate, so it usually just smells kind of dusty -- but for people who live with more humidity, all sorts of mold, fungus, and bacterial nasties can build up in the ductwork.

JS

February 26, 2013
9:48 am
Tim
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"Most people simply don't have the ability to critically evaluate what someone in a position of authority tells them. ”Who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?” I'm glad you've been able to make such progress despite the doubt." -JS

I'm an art guy J. Questioning people in authority is my primary mode of thought.

That said, the real impetus for our switch over from raw vegan/Conventional 'Mediterranean diet' wisdom was our son who is a type 1 diabetic. His numbers were impossible to control and as you are likely aware the ADA recommends that he stuff his face each day with massive amounts of sugar (in the form of breads and cereals of course). It just didn't make sense to keep drowning someone who can't process sugar with more sugar over and over again every day. A cursory search brought me to Dr. Bernstein which worked incredibly well for the diabetes. Then when I later stumbled across MDA and you it really filled out the 'WHY'. Today my whole family eats like predators, except for the occasional b-day/holiday splurge and my Son's HBA1C is typically below a 7, which is unheard of for kids in their growing years.

Of course, being an art guy is a double edged sword. We are more likely to consider the new and different but are also completely dismissed by the 'normal' as nuts. I readily admit it though, I am a nut... an asthma free, allergy free (mostly, cats still mess me up), happy as hell, on the way to being ripped 35 year old nut.

-Tim

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