Friday, December 17, 2010

paleo reboot

So, um, hey guys. It's been awhile. What may have happened in the intervening year, you ask? Well, several things. I moved and had a baby, for starters. I also completely abandoned paleo for multiple reasons, including morning sickness, stress, and burnout on food in general. I really wasn't doing well on paleo near the end of it (around the time I wrote the shrimpy new year post back in Jan 2010) and the time off this past year has given me space to sit back and think about why it wasn't working for me and how I think I can improve it.

In short, I was "faileo" dieting. It had become about what I was excluding instead of what I was including and after 4 years of that my health was suffering. I've made myself a list of things that I think will vastly improve my version of the paleo diet, which I'll share with y'all partly in hopes it may help others and partly for my own reference. A lot of the old recipes on this site are probably more faileo than paleo, but I'm gonna leave them all up anyway in case someone finds them useful/tasty/whatever. So here are the guidelines for my new and improved ancient diet (har har):

1. Eat less meat. Shocking. My old recipes you'll see call for around 1/2 lb per person, and I've since found that this is WAY too much protein for me. I feel way better when I slash that in half.
2. Make the meat I eat fattier. Less chicken breast + olive oil, more fatty beef roasts.
3. Make a concerted effort to eat offal, including bones.
4. Make a concerted effort to eat seafood, including shellfish, roe, and seaweed.
5. Eat at least some meat/seafood raw.
6. Choose animal fats over plant fats whenever possible. I may keep butter around...even though it's dairy I think it's a better option than olive oil, which I previously used by the bucketful.
7. Eat more carbs, choosing tubers and squashes over fruit.
8. Severely limit nuts/seeds.
9. Add in herbal infusions like the nettle infusion that I posted about a million years ago and never kept up with. Tons of nutrients in that stuff.
10. Add in some fermented foods.
11. No "paleo" baked goods.

So I'll be back in January with recipes and pictures just like before. Anything in particular that people would like to see?


Anna said...

Sounds like good changes! Congrats on the little one.

Unknown said...

congrats on the baby!!

and i especially like change #2 :)

Zenseer said...

I agree with you, there's no need to eat large quantities of meat. In "primal body-primal mind", the author recommends about 3oz of protein per meal, I find it to be sufficient.
Roots vegetables bring variety, taste and color to your meals. I love them! You need to have some carbs (I personally can't go 100% paleo, my body requires a little bit of GF grains/carbs/starches).
Fermented foods/beverages are a must for health, digestion and to boost vitamin/mineral intakes.
As for organ meats/offal, I personally enjoy them (particularly tongue and heart) but if you want to start slow US Wellness Meats have some very good organ sausages ;).

Richard said...

What is your idea behind restricting fruit in favor of tubers? Just wondering because I'm more of a fruit eater and I feel great and still am losing weight.

Elizabeth said...

Richard - I start to feel oogie (that's the scientific term mind you ;)) when I eat too much fruit, but potatoes and such never make me feel bad.

Anonymous said...

Hello, I have only become a fan of your blog in the past year, some of the recipes have in inspired me a lot, so very glad to see if you are posting again. As regards getting put off the whole paleo thing and changing the rules to suit yourself, I think that's fair enough, depending on your goals. I hope you carry on going towards wherever you are trying to go.

Samantha Nicole said...

This sounds great! Sounds like exactly what happened to me (minus the baby - congrats to you!) -- I noticed I do better on less protein and am reevaluating my diet to reboot myself ASAP. I will be looking forward to your posts as I am a frequent cook of your meals. Nuts are the worst. Actually, if I eat too many I get terrible back pain, kinda weird but I read up that some people have a bad chemical reaction to too much of one source of fat/protein/sugar depending on what it is. For me, nuts. Anyway, no need to spill all my guts to you. I'm doing a project called WHOLE365 which I will be documenting HERE:
And using some of your recipes -- some tweaks maybe! Absolutely NO Paleo "SNACKS"
Following Whole9's Paleo guidelines (
EEK TMI again. Thanks for your blog, it's a real treat :)


Chelsea said...

I would love to see a recipe on how to cook/what to do with the marrow bones I got with my 1/2 cow purchase! The farmer said to bake them and spread it on crackers/bread but obviously I don't eat those...glad you're back!

Elizabeth said...

@samantha - good luck on your own reboot! Nuts are kinda bad for me too, especially almonds, man they sit in my stomach like a ball of lead. Looking forward to following your blog!

Elizabeth said...

@chelsea - Thanks! I will definitely do a post on marrow bones, I got my own 1/4 cow coming in the first week on Jan. :) In the mean time if you wanna try the cracker idea, I do have a cracker recipe made with nuts:

Lauren :) said...

I feel best on a high fat paleo diet (basically primal with my only dairy coming from ghee.) I also utilize traditional food prep techniques (ferments, bone broth, etc.) Love what you've written here. You may also like The Perfect Health Diet blog/book. Lots of science based info there on eating a low protein, high fat, moderate carb/starch paleo diet. Really good stuff there.

Look forward to reading more from you here! And congrats on your baby!! :)

Bombolino said...

Congrats and good luck on the reboot! Your plan sounds good.

Hearts and Stars said...

Hi and congrats on the baby! I can't wait til you come back- I read about your reboot yesterday and it totally, totally helped me out just as I was in the middle of contemplating how to change my nutrition around so that it would actually work for me. There are so many things I can't or shouldn't have, that it is so easy to get focused on that, and deprivation never works well for me. :) So, when you said that you have to focus on what you can have, it hit home. That is it! And making time to prep and cook and all that. Thank you so much for your blog- I look forward to your continued nutrition insights!

Hearts and Stars said...

@ Alchemille,
Thanks for the suggestion about US Wellness Meats. I was wondering where to get organ etc meats and there you have it. Very cool. It is surprising to me that they don't have almost ANYTHING at Whole Foods Market. Doesn't seem very whole to me to leave out all those other parts of the animal that humans have been eating forever. :)

Rachel said...

Thanks for posting this. I'm 10 weeks pregnant and dealing with that constant underlying nausea that seems to only go away when I eat grains: crackers, bagels, yeast, etc. I feel like I've fallen off the wagon hardcore but figuring out what to eat that will help me feel better/not make me sick the rest of the day is like navigating a minefield. Any suggestions for easy-to-digest paleo foods that are good for morning sickness (well, all-day sickness really)?

Elizabeth said...

@rachel - ugh, I totally empathize with the all day nausea, I had it too. I didn't stay paleo when I had morning (all day!) sickness bc if I had tried I think I just wouldn't have eaten anything. If crackers sound appealing to you I do have a cracker recipe here:

I also found avocado pudding to be soothing sometimes - 1 banana, 1 date, 1 avocado in the food processor until smooth, you can add cocoa powder if you want chocolate pudding.

Ginger really helped my nausea too. You can get ginger gum, crystallized ginger, or just grate some fresh stuff and make tea.

Hope you're feeling better!

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Compra Oro Plata said...

As regards getting put off the whole paleo factor and modifying the guidelines to match yourself, I think that's reasonable enough, based on your objectives. I wish you bring on going towards wherever you are trying to go.

James said...

I think there is a name for this way of eating called Paleo 2.0 which is basically the Weston A. Price diet as viewed through a Paleo lens with regards to grains and legumes.

I found this out for myself when I noticed that I felt a whole lot better when I omitted the grains (especially wheat!).

Anonymous said...

Stumbled across your blog -- very interesting.

I have severe psoriasis and my wife had me try the Paleo diet and it really made me feel much better, but I am a creature of bad habits and have fallen off it.

I had no hard, fast rule on what to eat other than eliminate grains and as much processed foods as possible and we raised our own beef and chicken, plus pastured eggs. It worked, so I need to get back to making it a permanent change.

Thanks for the ear.