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New to Forums! Nutritional Coach & RN

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  • New to Forums! Nutritional Coach & RN

    Hi- my name is Annie.
    I am new to the Primal Forums although I have been practicing Paleo/Primal eating for about a year now. I am a nutritional therapist and RN part time in the hospital setting. I work primarily with emotional eating, eating disorders and chronic dieters to help heal the negative "self image" as well as promote dietary change. The transition for me to this way of eating has been quite profound as I was raised vegetarian. I have also seen amazing results with eating disorders as the hormonal imbalance from low fat dieting balances out.

    I am absolutely amazed at what this site has done for so many people. What an inspiration! I love to see people heal I guess that is why I am in the profession I am in.
    Anyways thought I would introduce myself.

  • #2
    Hi, that's very interesting -- specially the bit about low-fat eating causing problems for people. I'd heard that elsewhere.

    I find the stuff people like Julia Ross and Pam Killeen are doing with drug and other substance addictions and addictive behaviors (including eating disorders) interesting, from what I've heard. That seems to involve moving people away from contemporary eating habits and back towards "traditional" diets as well as giving extra support in the form of providing the precursors to particular neurotransmitters that particular individuals are low in.

    What do you think of that kind of approach? Would you agree that insufficient protein or low-quality protein sources can contribute to those problems? Insofar as supplying, say, 5HTP or tryptophan can help someone that would seem to be the inevitable conclusion.

    And, again, it would make one worry about the popularity of vegetarian diets. With good quality grass-fed dairy and plenty of free-range eggs and the right supplements I guess a vegetarian diet could be pretty good even if it were not the optimal approach. But I can imagine in many cases the person just might not get enough complete protein. And maybe people nominally eating meat but eating quite casually and thoughtlessly in a junky snacky way might be in much the same boat?

    Do you think there's a concern here in terms of the amount (and quality) of protein some individuals are getting -- even in "First World" countries?


    • #3
      Addictive Behaviors

      What do you think of that kind of approach? Would you agree that insufficient protein or low-quality protein sources can contribute to those problems? Insofar as supplying, say, 5HTP or tryptophan can help someone that would seem to be the inevitable conclusion.

      I promote 5-HTP based on symptoms. If I have a client with evening cravings, obsessive thoughts and behaviors, irritability, anxiety, negativity or anxiety (or a range of these symptoms) but specifically the evening or afternoon cravings then I suggest 5-HTP supplementation. I have a questionnaire I have people fill out to look at Amino Acid deficiency. If they have been vegan or vegetarian for some time they almost always are deficient in one or more of them. Another one I find people are often deficient in are catecholamines (sugar coffee chocolate cravings). These people lack focus and drive feel easily board and Love stimulates. For this if the deficiency is chronic L-Tyrosine and a high quality fish oil can help support them until there body is back in balance. Supplementation I use very carefully. It helps in the beginning when the person is really deficient. Healing the gut also helps a great deal.

      I work as a nurse part time too and 2 of my co-workers are Vegan. One thing I notice is they are always hungry and they carry more abdominal fat possibly due to increased release of cortisol - increased carbohydrate (fruit rice ect) and coffee consumption. Basically there adrenals are exhausted.

      As far as First world countries- absolutely if we could afford to feed them complete proteins the brain as well as the body would heal much faster in my opinion.


      • #4
        Thanks very much.

        I think the standard view -- and what I would have simply assumed at one time -- is that most people in wealthy industrialized countries are probably getting sufficient protein even though much else might be wrong with their diets.

        But that doesn't seem to be the view of people working in your line, and you've just confirmed that again.

        It's interesting if alarming that there seems to be quite a high correlation between vegetarianism and mental disorders:

        Vegetarian diet and mental disorde... [Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2012] - PubMed - NCBI

        I've also seen that eating disorders sometimes tend to appear in girls after they'e switched to vegetarianism -- presumably indicating that they've upset their biochemistry by doing so and that that imbalance is driving the behavior. (Rather than its being merely "psychological" or emotional, as people tend to assume.)

        The vegetarianism issue is a bit ... well, ouch! I mean I tend to see an adult vegan propagandist like John McDougall as fair game for the scorn he arouses in Paleo circles. The man obviously isn't trying to be truthful or accurate. But when it comes to teenagers -- I don't think they know what they're getting into, and what they obviously deserve is concern. I don't think I was responsible at that age -- heck, I'm not now, truth be told. This more likely means girls, too, since they're likely to be a little more tender-hearted than males and susceptible to the notion that animals shouldn't be killed and eaten. But they're not going to appreciate what they could be doing to themselves. And they're going to be the mothers of the next generation ...

        It seems to me that a lot of people in Paleo/Primal go a bit protein-crazy. Doubtless something like 1 to 1.5 grams per kilograms of lean bodymass per day, as most authorities seem to recommend, is ample for most people. But there are maybe a lot of people in the U.S./Europe not getting that much, though?

        I wonder if social change is also part of that -- fewer people, in our more fractured world sitting down with family members and eating "a cooked dinner" off a plate; more people just grabbing snacks on the move. That's might mean a sandwich rather than a doughnut, but that still mightn't add up to much in the way of sandwich-filling ...