Nourish and Nurture

Paleo and Primal

January 18, 2024 Miriam Hatoum Season 4 Episode 85
Nourish and Nurture
Paleo and Primal
Show Notes Transcript

Episode 85: Paleo and Primal

Paleo can be the next step after Whole30, but you can go straight into it, as I did.  Paleo is known as the “hunter-gatherer” diet but don’t worry – you don’t have to hunt and gather except, maybe, for the best food prices in town! It is named for Paleolithic which relates to the early phase of the Stone Age. Honestly, I think it is partly conjecture about how and what paleolithic people ate, but we are sure it was not potato chips, eclairs, and French fries. The point is to eat foods as close to their natural state as possible. A paleo diet typically includes lean meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds — foods that in the past could be obtained by hunting and gathering. A paleo diet limits or eliminates other foods that became common when farming emerged about 10,000 years ago including dairy products, legumes and grains. 

In this episode I talk about my own experience with Paleo and I also introduce you to Primal, Paleo's cousin.  The episode goes on to discuss the reasons and costs of the mistakes we often make when trying out a new  eating style that is so different from what we are used to with the Standard American Diet. Your homework is to start reading labels and to pay very close attention to what you are choosing to put in your grocery cart.

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Episode #: 85  Paleo and Primal

 You’re Listening to the Nourish and Nurture Podcast, Episode #85, Paleo and Primal.

 Introduction

 Did you know that you don't have to spend money on a diet program or even weigh, measure and track your food unless you want to? What if you could learn to have success by learning how to change your mindset so that you can believe in yourself, which is the cornerstone to weight loss success? What if you could learn about what foods work best in your body for weight loss and why they work? Join me, Miriam Hatoum, health coach, course creator and author, as I give you actionable coaching advice that is sure to empower you so that you will finally find peace with food and learn to trust your body’s signals. You’ve got this, girl.

I am celebrating Season 4 with a brand-new party dress, Nourish and Nurture. The title has changed but not the insightful advice and tips that you enjoy and look forward to. And now, you can get all my free guides that are designed to help you in your journey, in one place, at Miriamhatoum.com/resources.

 

Oh, and before we start, I want to let you know that the primary purpose of this podcast is to educate and does not constitute medical advice or services. And please know that I’m keeping up with the science as fast as I can so I can share with you the latest breaking research in this area to help you achieve your dreams!

I want to thank you all for being faithful listeners. I have hit almost 10,000 downloads in my first 18 months on air. If you had told me I would have reached 100 people and would have lasted more than a few months, I don’t think I would have believed it. I do have a favor to ask of you. Please leave a review wherever you listen to your podcast. It helps other people find it by bringing it up in the various directories. Also, don’t be a stranger. Like or join my Facebook page, Breaking Free From Diet Prison, and let me know if there is anything you would like to hear on the show, and let me know you are a podcast listener. 

Now on to the Episode…

My first experience with these eating styles – Paleo and Primal, came when I found my first functional medical doctor in 2014. For those of you who may not be familiar with functional medicine, it strives to determine the root cause of each disease, particularly chronic diseases such as autoimmune and cardiovascular diseases. Rather than simply making a diagnosis and then determining which drugs or surgery will best treat the condition, functional medicine practitioners dive deep into a patient’s history. It is highly personalized and may even include an analysis of one’s genetic makeup. Often within a conventional medical practice there may be nurse practitioners who are trained in functional medicine, so you may have been lucky enough to experience this even if you see a conventional doctor. Unfortunately, because of functional medicine’s in-depth care, it is very rarely covered by insurance, making the best doctors the least accessible. However, I was lucky enough, in 2014, to find a practice that was still taking insurance, so I was able to go.

My journey started with Paleo and an elimination diet. The nutritionist on staff started me on an elimination diet based on Paleo. I worked with that functional nutritionist in the practice who guided me into a Paleo way of eating. In addition to being gluten-free, the Paleo lifestyle is all natural and whole foods. This way of eating wasn’t a stretch for me and my husband because this is the way we naturally eat. In addition, at this point, both my children were out of the house and on their own, so there was no excuse for buying snack packs of this or that or for using shortcuts to make meals and pack lunches. I fully absorbed the Paleo way of eating, and also learned about, and incorporated, Primal which is very similar with a few differences. My husband was totally on board except he continued to have his bread. 

I stayed with Paleo for years, but I never lost weight. This included eliminating dairy and artificial sweeteners. For me, that meant no coffee – which, at the time, I took only with cream and sweetener – a real commitment, believe me. Again, no weight loss. I would go back for periodic appointments with the functional doctors and nutritionists, and I believe they were secretly rolling their eyes when I insisted that I was not straying – not even one bite – from the Paleo food plan. As you are learning from this podcast, there is more to success than eating clean. 

We must listen to our hunger and satiety cues, which automatically helps you adjust portions. It is important also to understand what excessive carbohydrate consumption does to our bodies – whether those carbohydrates are processed like a bag of pretzels, or totally natural like a fruit bowl. At this point in my journey with Paleo, and later with Whole 30, I did not have any knowledge of carbohydrates, insulin or hunger and satiety cues, hence my lack of weight loss.

Paleo            

 Paleo can be the next step after Whole30, but you can go straight into it, as I did.  Paleo is known as the “hunter-gatherer” diet but don’t worry – you don’t have to hunt and gather except, maybe, for the best food prices in town! It is named for Paleolithic which relates to the early phase of the Stone Age. Honestly, I think it is partly conjecture about how and what paleolithic people ate, but we are sure it was not potato chips, eclairs, and French fries. The point is to eat foods as close to their natural state as possible. A paleo diet typically includes lean meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds — foods that in the past could be obtained by hunting and gathering. A paleo diet limits or eliminates other foods that became common when farming emerged about 10,000 years ago including dairy products, legumes and grains. 

 As with Whole30, this method of eating calls for eating whole and natural foods. However, that being said, there are plenty of packaged products that fit within Paleo and many of those products will say so on their labels. There are full lines of dressing and sauces that are both Paleo and Whole30 compliant. I talked about one of them, Primal Kitchen, last week. As much as both eating styles say no packaged and processed foods, there is a bit of fudging going on by offering fully processed foods but with allowed ingredients. There are also wraps and breads that are Paleo compliant because they are made without grains. 

 And, the most important difference from Whole30 is that indeed SWYPO (remember that from last week? Sex With Your Pants On)  is allowed. There are recipes for beautiful breads, pancakes, muffins and desserts.  

 However, just like with other diets and eating styles, you must use some discretion and certainly pull a good amount of intelligence out of your back pocket. Remember the saying: “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.” My downfall when first doing Paleo was because I could have fruit, I ate huge amounts of it. Because I could bake banana bread, I ate half a loaf in a couple of days. Because I could eat root vegetables, I would eat tray after tray of roasted vegetables for my dinners during the week. Paleo is an eating style, not a diet. And as such, it does not come with predetermined quantity limitations. You must tune in to your hunger and satiety cues and not eat non-stop just because something tastes good, and it is allowed. You must take what you know now about carbohydrates and insulin and make your own portions and allowances. For instance, if you are having a sweet potato for dinner, it might be a good idea to not also have fruit for dessert.

 Similar to Whole30, that I spoke about last week, Paleo does not allow diary, grains or legumes. There are various levels of Paleo, each stricter as your needs increase. The Auto-Immune protocol which you may see abbreviated as AIP – all caps – is one level of Paleo. Along with already unallowed Paleo foods, AIP prohibits nightshades which are eggplant, tomatoes, onion, peppers, white potatoes, Gogi berries, and all pepper-based spices like cayenne and paprika.  With AIP, nuts and seeds are also not allowed. All sugars are eliminated including those allowed on full Paleo such as coconut sugar and date sugar. Honey and maple syrup, while allowed, are limited. You would not want to do AIP unless you are desperately trying to reverse autoimmune conditions or trying to improve gut health. I just wanted to put that here because if you hear of some of these unallowable foods, just know that it is a certain subset of Paleo.

 There are wonderful Paleo cookbooks. My favorite cookbook – and where I learned so much about Paleo – is Well-Fed 2 by Melissa Joulwan. Any cookbooks by Danielle Walker and Sarah Fragosa are also my go-to books. You will never know you are missing certain foods if you dive right in. There are supportive Facebook groups, and a very good one is Paleo Diet for Beginners. Many people love this way of eating and have found remarkable improvement in their health. As with my doctor, it is a natural go-to for improved health – but not necessarily weight loss, unless you also watch your carbohydrate intake and portion sizes.

 Primal           

 The related eating style I want to cover today is Primal. Mark Sisson established the Primal lifestyle, and his important phrase is “Eat like your life depends upon it.”  I am quoting here directly from The Primal Kitchen website: “This is the core truth of the Primal diet. Food choices have the power to impact your life, so every meal, product and ingredient should be made and chosen mindfully. Don’t focus on caloric intake: Think about weekly calories, not the number per-meal. Food is about enjoyment, not regimented programs without wiggle room for real life.” As Mark says, “Eat when you are hungry, and finish eating when you feel satisfied.” 

 He goes on to say: “The Primal Blueprint is based on our ancestors' relationship to food: When food was available, fat and protein dominated the menu. Carbohydrates were scarce, and a repeating pattern of going without food led human bodies to store and access body fat for survival.”

 On the note of carbs, the Primal Diet was designed as a low or lower-carb diet, with the central guidance being based on what Mark Sisson calls the Carbohydrate Curve. The Primal Blueprint recommends these guidelines as daily targets for various goals:

·       0-50g: For diabetics or those seeking weight loss results.

·       50-100g: For more gradual weight loss results, with less restriction.

·       100-150g: For maintaining current weight, perhaps increasing carbs depending on amounts of athletic activity.

What I like about Primal is that it does factor in carbohydrates and if you follow these guidelines, you certainly won’t be gaining weight even though you are eating fruit and root vegetables.  As with Paleo and Whole30, you do not have grains, sugars and legumes, but it does allow dairy, which would be any raw, fermented and full-fat dairy.  He does say that diary is in “Primal limbo” for many reasons, and advises you not to fear dairy as long as you can tolerate it.

 The touchstone of Primal is not just it’s eating style. It is truly an entire lifestyle. Mark Sisson has written The Primal Blueprint with 10 laws and here they are:

1.      Eat plants and animals.

2.     Avoid poisonous things. 

3.     Move frequently.

4.    Lift heavy things.

5.     Sprint once in a while.

6.     Play.

7.     Get plenty of sleep.

8.     Get plenty of sunlight.

9.     Avoid stupid mistakes.

10.  Use your brain.

 I love this guy. All of these laws are expounded upon on his website, Primalkitchen.com. He also has a newsletter called Mark’s Daily Apple that always has good advice. Primal really stands apart from almost any other eating lifestyle, as his is a whole and complete lifestyle. 

 What mistake are we making?

For the most part I am going to repeat some these from last week not only because they are worthy of repeating so that you really absorb what I am saying, but also because the mistakes and costs tend to be the same for all three styles – Whole 30, Paleo and Primal.

 ·       We forget what all these people are saying, and that is what Hippocrates said in 440BC:  “Let food be thy medicine and let thy medicine be food.”

·       We think we can eat whatever we want and when we get things like diabetes and auto-immune diseases, that manufactured medicine will take care of it. First of all, they don’t. Second of all, if you ate for health – not necessarily quick weight loss –you might not get some of these conditions in the first place.

·       We make the mistake of not picking the right hard.

·       We make the mistake of being impatient.

Why are we making these mistakes?

·       We make these mistakes not because we are stupid or lazy. We make them because marketing is so strong and political lobbies are so strong, that we think that many food companies speak truth and know what is best for us. 

·       We make these mistakes because we don’t take the time to do a little research and discover for ourselves what foods feel best in our bodies and promote optimal health.

·       We make the mistake of thinking everything should be fast and easy. We don’t like things to be hard or time consuming. We want those 20 pounds gone yesterday!

·       We make these mistakes because we live in a fast, instant and super-sized world. We don’t want to shop and cook and research recipes. We want what we want now

·       Take time to go to the farmers market or grocery store, take time in picking the right foods, preparing them, cooking them, serving them in a pleasant and comfortable way. 

What is the cost of making these mistakes? Listen well. These are true and deep costs.

·       What can I say? Poor health or at least not the best health is the ultimate cost of making these mistakes. 

·       We are so used to feeling subpar and crummy that we don’t even know that we are feeling subpar and crummy. We also don’t realize that in most cases, it is the food doing this to us.

·       And because we feel subpar and crummy, and usually tired and lacking energy, we make poor food choices and give in to cravings and urges.

·       And often, because we do this, we once again beat ourselves up, which once again, might make us feel unworthy and fill our heads with negative self-talk.

HERE IS YOUR ACTIONABLE COACHING ADVICE FOR THIS WEEK:

·       Take a look at any Paleo website out there and just see what they have to say about the foods you eat on Paleo, and how the authors may have found eating this way helpful in reversing their medical problems.

·       If you didn’t do this last week, look in your pantry this week, especially if you are eating grain products, and see how often the label says “enriched.” These foods are enriched because in the processing, all the vitamins and nutrients were taken out. They are not better for you than original, whole foods. 

·       Look at labels of the food you have in your house. Are they made up of more than 3-4 natural ingredients? For instance, does your tomato sauce say, “tomatoes, basil, salt” or are there two dozen ingredients, half of which look like additives and preservatives? Does your coffee cream just say “cream” or is there gellan gum, carrageenan or other things than just plain cream? You don’t have to go milk the cow, but make sure you do not have extraneous ingredients in your packaged foods.

·       The overall assignment this week is just to stop and think about what you are eating. Eat real food. It doesn’t have to be only out of the ground or even grass fed or organic. It can even come from a package, can or jar. Just please heighten your awareness this week, and perhaps be open to more natural ways of eating.

Next week’s episode

Are you tired of rushing through meals and feeling disconnected from the food you eat? These two weeks I have been talking about the nourish side of the new Nourish and Nurture Podcast. Next week I want to share some of the nurture side.  It’s a new year. Let’s explore how we can slow down and use that to learn to feel our best. 

 Please share the new Nourish and Nurture Podcast with your friends, and invite them to tune in with you and learn how to become free from diet prison. And remember, if you are already subscribed to this podcast you don’t have to do anything on your end. It will automatically change the name behind the scenes without you having do a thing!

 Until then, go live free from diet worry — I’ll see you back here next time. I wish you, your friends, and family, a happy and healthy new year.

Get all my free guides
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