Sunday, April 11, 2010

Paleo dieting, Phase 1

Chris has been reading up about the Paleo diet (Also known as the Cave Man or Stone Age Diet) and he REALLY wants to do it.  He's been talking to me about it for a few weeks, and I told him I'd support him but I wasn't going to participate.  Well, he might have convinced me to give it a shot.  I'm still skeptical, but the author he has me reading makes a lot of great points (you can check out his site, ) and Chris thinks it will greatly help out the pain and progression of EDS.  Most of my pain comes from secondary Osteoarthritis which Mark claims can be helped by changing the way we live.  It's so much more than a diet, it's a complete lifestyle change. 

A few of the things he advocates are 1) a change in food (obviously).  If our caveman ancestors didn't eat it, neither do we.  If you strive for perfection he believes you'll succeed 80% of the time, so he doesn't expect you to be perfect.  This means eliminating a lot of my favorite foods though, amongst them are potatoes and bread.  The Paleo way does not allow for grains - so no rice, bread, corn, ect....  I could live off bread and potatoes so that is going to be very difficult for me.  I figure my cheat meals will probably include bread and potatoes, lol.  He differs from the Atkins diet in the Atkins is a low-carb diet.  His is not a low-carb diet, it's more a natural carb diet.  You get your carbs from fruits and veggies instead of breads and pastas.  I haven't read the whole book yet, so I hesitate to put too much information out in case I'm wrong.  Chris says that dark chocolate is allowed though, so that makes me happy.  He also advocates for

2) a change in exercise.  He believes we should exercise the way our ancestors did.  Meaning, we should move frequently, but slowly with occasionally sprinting (something I won't be able to do because of the EDS).  Occasionally you should lift heavy things as well, but hard core cardio is out.  This is going to be difficult to find an exercise regime I CAN do with EDS that still fits into this lifestyle.

3) No wearing shoes.  He claims that shoes make our ankles weaker which weakens our lower body and causes pain.  Sarah, my PT, had a similar philosophy about strengthening your lower body strengthens your whole body.  So I can see this.  Obviously in our society no shoes isn't really plausible (no shirt, no shoes, no service) so Chris and I are looking at buying moccasins for the whole family.

As I read more of his book I'm sure I'll have more to write, and as I go through this massive lifestyle change I KNOW I'll more to write/vent about.  It's not going to be easy, but if it helps my EDS how could I not do it?  How could I possible complain about how much pain I'm in, and how much this sucks if I am unwilling to try to change it?  It's similar to people who don't vote. If you don't vote don't complain. 

Phase 1 will take place next weekend.  The Boy Scouts are doing a food drive so we are cleaning out our pantry of unopened items that we won't be able to eat once we begin this and donating them.


  1. The book you are reading is by just one proponent of the paleo diet. There are variations on it, and there are people that disagree with some parts of Cordain's take on the diet. For example, most would not consider chocolate to be paleo.

    I don't understand cheating. Would you tell a recovering alcoholic that occasional cheating is okay? You need to completely give up sweet foods to get over the cravings. They will go away, but not if you cheat. The same with salty foods.

    This page lists all the variations on the diet: Paleo diet explained

  2. I like Sisson's take on cheating though. We are all human and no one is perfect. It is expected there will be slip ups and it's best not to beat yourself up over them. I'm not sure we'll plan to cheat, but when it happens we won't beat ourselves up over it. Thanks for the link, I'll be sure to read it :) I'm still learning about the diet and what it entails. I know that a lot of Paleo advocates don't really agree with Sisson's views, but so far I'm liking his book.

  3. Wow. I really hope it works for you. (I know I've said I'm really skeptical about some of the ideas behind this, but I hope you don't take that as criticism. I think the justifications are different from the possible outcome,kwim?)

  4. You won't believe how much better you will feel. The diet will provide you with an amazing transformation in terms of improving your health. I do want to echo what Don Wiss said though. Cheating is probably not a good idea because you may miss out on some of the health benefits.
    Best Wishes,

  5. Kim - I don't take offense at all. I've been naysaying Chris for weeks about this, but after reading the book and looking at the site I'm coming around to it. A lot of it does make sense, at least the way he describes it.

    Ron - I think we plan to phase it out slowly, and then do the 30 day challenge. From what others have told us, after 30 days it becomes difficult to cheat because your body won't tolerate the foods any longer.