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Maybe I can't be Primal/Paleo?? :(

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  • Maybe I can't be Primal/Paleo?? :(

    I've been researching, reading, listening about the Primal/Paleo/Ancestral movement about nutrition and I fully believe in it 100%. I have many health challenges I've begun to see clear up by going on/off a Primal diet many time over the past few months. Why do I go off? My STOMACH!

    It seems I'm having a very hard time digesting meat. I was mostly vegan for about two years then started adding meat again and suddenly started suffering from IBS symptoms: terrible "plugged up" abdominal pain then an unannounced 'cleansing' (lovely...). If I eliminate red meat from my diet I don't get the 'emergencies' any more but any other type of animal product leaves me with a painful tightness in my intestines, like someone is tightening a belt around my midsection. It's the worst!!

    I've tried to stick it out for several weeks and adding more veggies and drinking water, but the only relief I get is to eat grains (gluten-free): so things like beans, rice, and quinoa give me relief. But that's not primal (and I'm gaining weight from the grains). I feel I'm damned if I do and damned if I don't. Anyone else have this experience? Adding fat to the primal diet also makes things SO much worse! I really want this to work for me.

  • #2
    Alas I have had the same experience. I tried the Primal Diet for 4 months and was completely into it but my IBS symptoms were killing me and I lost a lot of weight. You might try instead the Low FODMAP diet. look on this site in the forums under 'Diet'. It helped me tremendously
    (Sign In - IBS Self Help and Support Group Forums -
    These days I eat mostly complex carbohydrates (vegetables) with a little brown rice and quinoa, and salmon once a week.


    • #3
      Hi Korga, thanks for your insight Is that still considered primal? I have PCOS and don't get a cycle... except when I go full-out primal for a week with full animal fat (and I just suffer through the IBS that week) I'll get a cycle! Works every time like a charm. Going grain-free really starts immediately reversing my PCOS but it's my darn stomach that stops me.


      • #4
        have you tried digestive support, like the Now Food Superenzyme. It really helped me when I had low stomach acid. You start by taking one with a meal, and then increase that dose until you feel warmth in your stomach...then slowly wean yourself off. Now I don't need it at all. Robb Wolf talks about it in a lot of his earlier podcasts.
        Heather and the hounds - Make a Fast Friend, Adopt a Greyhound!


        • #5
          What do eggs do for you?

          I'm in (almost) full support of a meat-less sort of primal diet. Still avoiding grains/legumes/etc but with..

          - vegetables, fruits
          - Fats by way of coconuts, avocados, eggs (I don't care for nuts at all)
          - protein from eggs and any animal flesh you can tolerate

          If eggs don't cause you discomfort, seek good farmers eggs and chow. A few times as week introduce a flesh protein and see what happens. It's very curious to me that humans and meat wouldn't jive, but I've been a meat eater my whole life. I don't think protein requirements need be as high as others, especially for people without serious athletic aspirations. I think you can be perfectly healthy on a pseudo-vegetarian diet if you can sneak in some animals every now and again. Consider also more marine life beyond fish, get oysters, muscles, see how you fare with those, highly nutritious. Have you tried offal? maybe heart, liver, kidneys etc wouldn't bring about any issues and are also power-houses of nutrition.

          Don't worry about "being primal" worry about being the healthiest you can be working with what your body is able to handle. There's no point need to gulp down meat, leave that to me.
          I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.


          • #6
            Kennelmom and iniQuity, thank you! I'll try those enzymes for sure, and try the other meat suggestions. Hopefully I can build up some acid!


            • #7
              I recommend using the capsules, not the tablets. I had to order them from the company, as no stores around here carried anything but the tablets (tried 'em and they don't work as well): NOW-2-U I initially had to take three pills with a (meat/fat containing) meal to get proper digestion.
              Heather and the hounds - Make a Fast Friend, Adopt a Greyhound!


              • #8
                How do you do with fish? Maybe you could eat a lot more fish for now, instead of red meat.
                Can you eat chicken legs/thighs/quarters? Broil in the oven so they don't taste "fatty".
                If you can handle those, then move on to pork, and then beef.

                For now, don't worry about adding fat to your meat, just start increasing meat gradually.

                It might also help to eat many small meals with little amount of meat throughout the day, rather than say, 2 big meals of meat.
                Later on, hopefully your body gets used to meat, so you can eat bigger servings at once.

                Also, chew longer than you think you need to. Chew until the meat becomes a liquid paste. If you chew and it still feels like meat, then chew some more. I know, it sounds gross, but it should help your digestion.

                You could also make bone broths, and drink it when you eat meat. That should also improve digestion.

                I know that's a lot to take in, but I hope atleast some of it helps. Tummy pain sucks :-(
                Last edited by abstractpersona; 12-13-2011, 10:19 AM.
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