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Rice is a grain, and grains are a paleo no-no for sure. Our family has recently re-introduced small amounts of white rice and even smaller amounts of red potatoes. We don't eat it often, and when we do, we don't eat large portions. For the most part, we are an active family (especially Rob and I, what with CrossFit and all) and replenish every now and then with a little extra starch. We don't have any medical conditions that can be aggravated by eating these starches, so it's a personal choice that we have made. White rice is making a comeback in most paleo circles, but this is a personal choice for you. Don't do it just because it's in this recipe if eating white rice doesn't agree with you.
A number of randomized clinical trials have compared the paleo diet to other eating plans, such as the Mediterranean Diet or the Diabetes Diet. Overall, these trials suggest that a paleo diet may provide some benefits when compared with diets of fruits, vegetables, lean meats, whole grains, legumes and low-fat dairy products. These benefits may include:
Sweden's Staffan Lindeberg has a home page Paleolithic Diet in Medical Nutrition [archive.org]. A recent study of Staffan's has A Paleolithic diet improving glucose tolerance more than a Mediterranean-like diet in individuals with ischemic heart disease. Also see his first web page, an overview of his Kitava study: On the Benefits of Ancient Diets. Now he has a book Food and Western Disease: Health and nutrition from an evolutionary perspective. Here's a book review: Easy to Read, Informative, Packed with Footnotes on Studies.
If you've been on the Whole30 and counting down the days until February 1st, step away from the cheese! Before you transition back to your normal diet, here are five solid lessons that I learned from the eating plan that I stuck with even after the 30 days were up. Not only did following them beyond the 30 days prevent me from rebounding back to my higher weight, but they also help keep me on the straight and narrow the rest of the year when I’m not following the program.
In my first CrossFit experience three years ago, I almost made myself puke because I wanted so badly to finish with a good time. Last year, I did another CrossFit workout that I hadn’t properly prepared for and cranked out 100 pull ups quickly…and I ended up walking around with T-rex arms for a WEEK because I physically could not straighten them. Not kidding.
If you have been in a state of dependency on food--be it sugars, alcohol, chips, ice cream, just about anything--or if you have been unwell, unsuited to the world physically or emotionally--or, if you simply feel blah and would like to lose a little bit of weight--please consider trying this program. You might think, "I don't eat that badly! I eat a lot of whole foods!" which is what most people think of themselves (I sure did). But when you actually make a conscious decision to eliminate foods from your diet, you will see that even the small amounts of crap that you've been eating regularly matter. Prepare to be amazed. I sound like an evangelical, I know. It's a little embarrassing. But it is all true.
This one was hard for us to grasp, so it deserves some explanation. If a Paleo pancake calls for nothing but Whole30-approved ingredients (eggs and bananas), the flapjack is still off-limits. The Whole30 wants you to change your habits and your emotional relationship with food. "Your brain doesn't know the difference between an almond flour brownie and your mom's recipe; it just knows you crave sugar. So if you keep eating those sweets during the 30 days, your habits aren't changing," Hartwig says. Don't shoot the messenger!
As someone who isn't a "sweets person," I was surprised at how much I craved sugar during my first Whole30 — until I started reading condiment labels. "So much of our food is filled with sugar and unknown chemicals and substances, and it falls on each person to find out what is in the food and make an informed decision on whether or not they want to consume those substances," says Cohn. "Read all food labels and ingredient labels, and look up any of the ingredients on a label that you have not heard of to find out what it is."
Ideally one should eat a wide variety of proteins from as many animal sources as possible. One need not and should not avoid fatty cuts of meat, particularly if consuming pastured sources. An often overlooked piece of the paleo diet in popular culture is an over-reliance on standard cuts of meat, at the expense of organ meats, bone broth and other collagen sources. For more information on the historical and practical aspects of consuming a more balanced protein intake, check out the Weston A. Price Foundation. If weight-loss is a goal, protein makes you feel satisfied between meals.
The Whole30 program is only 30 days, but it’s a very restrictive 30 days. You’re urged to eat real, whole foods, including lots of veggies, while carving out things like sugar, grains and dairy. There is no “cheating” – even a chew of sugar-free gum or splash of skim milk in your coffee sends you right back to day one so the body can completely heal from inflammatory foods, diet co-creators Melissa Hartwig and Dallas Hartwig say.A couple things you don’t have to worry about on the Whole30 plan are counting calories and weighing or measuring yourself. In fact, the plan forbids the latter in order to bring participants’ attention to the benefits of healthy eating outside of weight loss. If you usually go out to eat or order take-out, you’ll need to learn to meal prep, grocery shop (with a plan!) and cook. If you’re a social butterfly, you’ll need to strategize how to order water and carrot sticks at the bar instead of beer and wings – or stay home. Fortunately, the program’s resources suggest solutions to these and other conundrums that may pop up. What’s more, the program’s strong emphasis on social – much of it virtual – support can keep participants inspired and accountable.The Whole30 program is outlined neatly online, where followers can read FAQs, lists of foods that are and aren’t off-limits and download a program guide. Melissa Hartwig’s latest book, “Food Freedom Forever: Letting Go of Bad Habits, Guilt, and Anxiety Around Food,” details how to stay in control of food, rather than allowing it to control you, for a lifetime.
When the 30 days are up, you can continue eating this way or gradually add some of the foods back in one by one to see which may have been causing your issues. Many people who become devotees of the lifestyle stick to a Paleo diet afterward (The Paleo diet is interpreted differently by different people, but in general, it’s a less strict, long-term lifestyle version of the Whole30).
When the clock struck midnight, I couldn't wait any longer: I helped myself to a serving of plain white rice. I sat on my couch cross-legged, eating each spoonful with my eyes closed like one of the yogurt commercial ladies. I even smiled. The next day, I ate more gluten-free carbs, like rice and paleo pancakes. I also had wine and tequila, a grain-free liquor option. I didn't get bombed like I was worried about, but I did have a worse-than-usual hangover the next day. The fun night out was worth it, though.
You can easily turn this butter and Brain Octane Oil combo into a Whole30 recipe: Simply swap your butter for grass-fed ghee. You’ll still get all the benefits of clean coffee beans and healthy fats while sticking to the Whole30 rules. (Bonus: If you need an extra dose of protein in the morning, blend your coffee with Whole30-friendly collagen peptides.)
Certain food groups (like sugar, grains, dairy and legumes) could be having a negative impact on your health and fitness without you even realizing it. Are your energy levels inconsistent or non-existent? Do you have aches and pains that can’t be explained by over-use or injury? Are you having a hard time losing weight no matter how hard you try? Do you have some sort of condition, like skin issues, digestive ailments, seasonal allergies, or chronic pain, that medication hasn’t helped? These symptoms are often directly related to the foods you eat—even the “healthy” stuff. So how do you know if (and how) these foods are affecting you?
Ever start a diet and get immediately discouraged when the number on your scale hasn't budged after a week or two? Whole30 forbids weighing yourself — a practice which can help shift your mindset to how you're feeling as your success metric. "The scale shouldn’t drive your mood, food choices or overall mindset," says Amy Shapiro, RD. "Continue to live a healthy life and measure how you feel energy and clarity wise." Which means being honest with yourself about how your body feels after going to town on that cheese plate. One of the biggest realizations for me was how much clearer and more energetic I feel when my weekend diet doesn't consist of vodka-sodas and takeout food.
The plan focuses on unprocessed foods and foods with very minimal, or, better yet, no added ingredients. Whole30 requires dieters to cut out a lot of items, including sugar, dairy and legumes, and then slowly reintroduce these food groups back into their diets after the 30 days. The purpose of the reintroduction phase is to see if any of the foods cut out are the culprit for any health issues.
Meetup has a growing number of paleo groups, now numbering in the dozens. Each has a local message board. They have a map of Paleo Diet Meetups around the world. Initially I tried listing them all here. The number grew and Meetup wasn't letting me find groups in newest order, except for my zip code. You now have to go there to find the one nearest you.
Evolution of the Human Diet: The Known, the Unknown, and the Unknowable by Peter S. Ungar. Diet is key to understanding the ecology and evolution of our distant ancestors and their kin, the early hominins. A study of the range of foods eaten by our progenitors underscores just how unhealthy many of our diets are today. This volume brings together authorities from disparate fields to offer new insights into the diets of our ancestors. Paleontologists, archaeologists, primatologists, nutritionists and other researchers all contribute pieces to the puzzle. The book has four sections: Reconstructed diets based on hominin fossils--tooth size, shape, structure, wear, and chemistry, mandibular biomechanics. Archaeological evidence of subsistence--stone tools and modified bones. Models of early hominin diets based on the diets of living primates--both human and non-human, paleoecology, and energetics. Nutritional analyses and their implications for evolutionary medicine.
In the long term, you have to be sure you’re getting calcium and other nutrients you’re missing by not having dairy products and certain grains. Some paleo-approved foods, such as salmon and spinach, contain calcium, so you have to be sure you’re including them in your diet. It would be a good idea to check with a registered dietitian, too, to make sure you’re meeting your calcium and other nutrient needs.
Adoption of the Paleolithic diet assumes that modern humans can reproduce the hunter-gatherer diet. Molecular biologist Marion Nestle argues that "knowledge of the relative proportions of animal and plant foods in the diets of early humans is circumstantial, incomplete, and debatable and that there are insufficient data to identify the composition of a genetically determined optimal diet. The evidence related to Paleolithic diets is best interpreted as supporting the idea that diets based largely on plant foods promote health and longevity, at least under conditions of food abundance and physical activity." Ideas about Paleolithic diet and nutrition are at best hypothetical.
The night before, he had rolled up with his entourage about 20 minutes late to a packed lecture hall of 500 CrossFitters at the University of Washington campus. He had been invited to speak there by the Freedom Foundation, a local libertarian group. Libertarians love CrossFit. It's neither a wholly owned chain of gyms nor a franchise, but the nucleus of a sprawling worldwide network of entrepreneurs. A local CrossFit gym is referred to as a box, because it can be anywhere and any style, and the culture of any box may be nothing like that of Glassman's company, or of any other CrossFit box. Boxes may even have different business models. And yet, there in the audience was the order spawned from the chaos: rows and rows of passionate CrossFitters, united in their love of the WOD, their muscled physiques rippling beneath T-shirts and hoodies.
Update: So today is day 18 on my Whole30 journey. I just wanted to let you guys know that there is a lot of cooking involved with this program. I'm actually tired of cooking, which is why I started making large meals to freeze for the week. It actually works out well for me, especially since I don't mind eating the same food everyday. I've also been drinking a lot of tea and water. I feel like it is helping to flush out more toxins from my body. I has been approximately four days since my previous review and I lost an additional 2 pounds on this journey. I have so much energy that I actually am unable to sit still like I used to. I guess I was depressed before going on this journey so the Whole30 has actually improved my mood as well. I go for a walk every day and I've actually started a new workout program!
The only way this works is if you give it the full thirty days: no cheats, slips, or “special occasions.” This isn’t a hazing, a boot camp, or us playing the tough guy. This is a fact, born of science and experience. The Whole30 is, at its heart, an elimination diet. Just a small amount of any of these inflammatory foods could break the healing cycle; promoting cravings, messing with blood sugar, disrupting the integrity of your digestive tract, and (most important) firing up the immune system. One bite of pizza, one spoonful of ice cream, one lick of the spoon mixing the batter within the 30-day period and you’ve broken the “reset” button, requiring you to start over again on Day 1.
If you have more questions on specific foods, we’ve included a comprehensive list of paleo diet foods below. We’ve provided a list of the foods that are allowed on the paleo diet. We’ve also broken this list down into the specific food groups, so you can see which meats, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and fats are on the paleo diet. In addition to all of that, we’ve also included a comprehensive list of foods not allowed on the paleo diet.
For totally dippable and kid-friendly chicken, give this Whole30 recipe a try. Chicken gets breaded in an easy mix of unsweetened coconut flakes, coconut flour, and almond meal, then bakes for a totally crunchy main dish. To stay more Bulletproof, use pastured chicken, swap almond milk for full-fat canned coconut milk, and trade the pepper for your favorite fresh herbs.
All this said, I still think it's worth buying if you are looking for more variety in your Whole 30 meals. I think the least complicated section is breakfast and lots of them look delicious. However, anticipate that this cookbook may surprise some people who were used to the recipes and format from the 30 Day Guide. This one is definitely more work. I would love to see one like the 30 Day Guide, with more one pot meals, "make it a meal" options, etc...