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Paleo/Primal Lifestyle Causing Physiological Change in Personality?

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  • Paleo/Primal Lifestyle Causing Physiological Change in Personality?

    Hello friends. I have been living this way for just over two years now and there is something I have experienced that is difficult to express, especially to those who don't live this way.

    Two years ago I began this way by learning about the lipid hypothesis from Fatheads. I used to eat only the leanest meats and the only fats I ate were peanut butter, canola oil, and soybean oil from dressings and mayo. I was into some watered down fitness nutrition and I ate negligible amounts of saturated fats and huge amounts of whole grains.
    I think my nervous system and gut were so sick that simply reintroducing as much saturated fat as possible caused a period of euphoria. I felt this biological click after a day or so of eating nothing but fatty meats and adding butter to everything. This rush came over me that caused me to be up for about three days without feeling tired. I felt this heat go through my body and it was as if every rewarding, mood enhancing and excitatory chemical was potentiated.
    Ever since this rush and subsequent "going fully paleo" this general state of a euthymic mood and energy has been more and more of my baseline. (sorry for the psyche words, I have an MSW).
    Even a year before this I has a mini episode of this since I learned that in my former career as a paramedic, I ate too quickly, and consciously slowing down my eating seemed to cause this healthy manic like energy to arise.

    Ever since this time I have had vastly more energy and mental focus. My character structure seems to be shifting. I was a very quiet adolescent and spent my twenties working through what was left of the shell I lived under since that time. It became difficult to break out of that shell of my own world fully in my mid twenties because my almost always "not quite right" gut seemed to worsen and I began experiencing severe "fatigue spells" and a general sense of a fog. I remember not feeling right as a kid until I cut out dairy. I can't help but entertain the fact that a good amount of the reason for being in a schizoid-avoidant shell was due to the lack of resources due to food insensitivities, combined with innate traits.

    Now I feel more and more like an extrovert. I am mentally intense, engaging, fun loving and quick witted. I can attribute some of this to much inner work I've done, but I swear that this reworking of my gut and thus having a healthy and fully functioning nervous system for the first time since childhood and possibly my life has brought out who I was meant to be.

    Has anyone had a similar experience? Is it possible that a shift in the neuroendocrine system to such an extent can literally rework character?

  • #2
    Paleo/Primal Lifestyle Causing Physiological Change in Personality?

    Yes. I am a butter, er, better person since I replaced vegetable fats for animal fats 4 years ago. I was raised on high grain/fake low fat my whole young life. I thought I had (and was diagnosed with) ADHD. I was a flighty self centered procrastinator. And while some of that may indeed have been youth, there was always this nagging sensation that that's not the person I was meant to be. I have become much more focused, thoughtful, responsible as I've shifted to a whole foods diet with real fats. My nervous system thanks me. I even notice a difference in skin sensations, I enjoy being touched softly now where it used to make me cringe.

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    • #3
      I've become a bit of a raving beast ever since I changed my diet and I LOVE it!

      Not only do I have more energy, but I also have a far more positive/'can do' attitude about life and more drive than I've had for years... I've also noticed an 'awakening' of urges that I thought were long dead and buried (and me such a dashing fellow too... hmmm) The change is rather astonishing, and I've only been at it for about a month now.

      Diet seems to have a LOT more to do with overall well being than I was lead to believe back in the SAD days.
      Eat like a Beast, feel like a Beast!
      Eat from a huge bag of processed junk... Well... You know.

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      • #4
        It's not that it's everyday but I sometimes feel that feeling of wanting to go and be active and engage all day until I drop, like I did as a child. I feel this sensation of all of my peripheral nerves buzzing. I think that's either dopamine or seratonin or both.

        I read something recently about being neurotransmitter deficient. I must have been very very low on testosterone and excitatory, reward neurotransmitters. I used to remark all the time that I felt shut down, and that there was always a nagging tendency that there was some abstract vitality that is my birthright that I was missing. Well now I found it. I've noticed many people note more energy and mental focus when they made this change. For me, this hit me over the head like a sludge hammer!

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        • #5
          I have noticed in myself when I just eat meat fats and veggies with only one piece of fruit if any at all I feel awesome. Never could have believed I would feel so great with the lack of sugars. My guess is that you go from sugar burning to fat burning. Lots of energy, hyper focused. Other people are noticing too.

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          • #6
            Now I feel more and more like an extrovert. I am mentally intense, engaging, fun loving and quick witted. I can attribute some of this to much inner work I've done, but I swear that this reworking of my gut and thus having a healthy and fully functioning nervous system for the first time since childhood and possibly my life has brought out who I was meant to be.

            Has anyone had a similar experience? Is it possible that a shift in the neuroendocrine system to such an extent can literally rework character?
            I wouldn't go so far as to describe myself as quick witted, but, in a word, yes.
            Ancestral Health Info - My blog about Primal and the general ancestral health movement. Site just remodeled using HTML5/CSS3 instead of Wordpress.

            My MDA Friday success story - Stubborn Senior's Testimonial

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            • #7
              I'd hesitate to say that one's "character" could be reworked by this change in diet. And yet I have certainly experienced positive changes in my attitudes - less uptight, more patient, less rushed, more relaxed. Definitely more energetic, but also I seem to be becoming more "sporty" always having been a non-participant particularly in team sports.

              My new normal does seem to be a different plane - both compared to what it was before and compared to what most other people seem to be experiencing. It even feels like a spiritual change, not just a physical one. Even though I already have a strong faith, it seems to have grown stronger and I don't quite understand this, except perhaps to say that I feel as if I have better aligned myself with the way I'm meant to live. You're right, it's difficult to express these experiences in words, I give up for now.

              Great topic
              Last edited by Annieh; 08-17-2013, 09:43 PM.
              Annie Ups the Ante
              http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread117711.html

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Annieh View Post
                I'd hesitate to say that one's "character" could be reworked by this change in diet. And yet I have certainly experienced positive changes in my attitudes - less uptight, more patient, less rushed, more relaxed. Definitely more energetic, but also I seem to be becoming more "sporty" always having been a non-participant particularly in team sports.

                My new normal does seem to be a different plane - both compared to what it was before and compared to what most other people seem to be experiencing. It even feels like a spiritual change, not just a physical one. Even though I already have a strong faith, it seems to have grown stronger and I don't quite understand this, except perhaps to say that I feel as if I have better aligned myself with the way I'm meant to live. You're right, it's difficult to express these experiences in words, I give up for now.

                Great topic
                Couldn't agree with you more

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                • #9
                  i changed from an owl to a lark
                  When I'd had enough of the grain and starched based 'diabetic eating for health' diet (eating for health, my ass!) my weight was 242.5 lbs. On starting primal- 18th April 2013 weight : 238.1.
                  27th July 2013. weight after 100 days 136.9 weight lost 101.2lb ; that's 105.6lbs since I stopped the 'diabetic eating for health'
                  new journal http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum...ml#post1264082

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by CarbDodger View Post
                    i changed from an owl to a lark
                    That would take you by surprise!
                    Annie Ups the Ante
                    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread117711.html

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                    • #11
                      About a year ago, on my 3rd or so attempt at hanging knee-lifts as an ab exercise, I had a dream-world kind of vision in a flash; there was an egg-shaped violet/pink and pulsing ball of light, and a dinosaur fetus in it, curled up, like a raptor sort of dinosaur. It opened its one visible eye wide. The way thoughts feel like they are occuring in your head, this picture came from my belly button where I was experiencing physical sensations of muscles that I probably never used.

                      I opened my eyes real excited like, and noticed that I felt more...3-dimensional? I had never been actually conscious of being a 3-dimensional being it feels like, before that moment, with an actual physical sensation of a center.

                      Totally different life now.
                      "Ah, those endless forests, and their horror-haunted gloom! For what eternities have I wandered through them, a timid, hunted creature, starting at the least sound, frightened of my own shadow, keyed-up, ever alert and vigilant, ready on the instant to dash away in mad flight for my life. For I was the prey of all manner of fierce life that dwelt in the forest, and it was in ecstasies of fear that I fled before the hunting monsters."

                      Jack london, "Before Adam"

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                      • #12
                        First of all, let's all give a round of applause for all of us social workers! I too have an MSW, LCSW, LCADC etc. I can definitely relate to the lack of sleep and more energy thing. I had some major insomnia after changing from vegetarian to paleo. I would not say I noticed any change in mood. I did have an overall lack of endurance type strength. The day before switching to a Paleo diet, I ran 7 miles at 7:40per minute pace. After about 10 days into the dietary switch, I am struggling to manage a 3 mile run at 8:45 per mile. I assume this will improve after I get more into the burning fat instead of carb as fuel.

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                        • #13
                          reply

                          Originally posted by Mr.Perfidy View Post
                          About a year ago, on my 3rd or so attempt at hanging knee-lifts as an ab exercise, I had a dream-world kind of vision in a flash; there was an egg-shaped violet/pink and pulsing ball of light, and a dinosaur fetus in it, curled up, like a raptor sort of dinosaur. It opened its one visible eye wide. The way thoughts feel like they are occuring in your head, this picture came from my belly button where I was experiencing physical sensations of muscles that I probably never used.

                          I opened my eyes real excited like, and noticed that I felt more...3-dimensional? I had never been actually conscious of being a 3-dimensional being it feels like, before that moment, with an actual physical sensation of a center.

                          Totally different life now.
                          Wow, that's an amazing experience you had. I have had vision-like experiences such as that too. What I believe is that whether it's spiritual or deeply physiological is up of the individual, but the vision part of it is the mind's way of representing a deeply felt experience that cannot be intellectually understood. I refer to Jungian active imagination ideas.

                          Maybe a better way to describe this process is not a reworking of character but a full and true expression of what one's character truly is. If my nervous system is constantly dealing with wave after wave of attack, I won't be able to express myself as I truly am wired to be.

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                          • #14
                            I also notice when shifts like that occur, perceptions seem more clear and things just seem more real and immediate.

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                            • #15
                              Word. Simultaneous with coming out of the experience and the 3-d feeling effect was an ah-ha moment where whatever the fuck a chakra is finally clicked for me- I was in the belly one I thought, and understood them from that point to be sensory-information relay nodes that serve as hubs for different physiological systems, circulating physiological energy and gaining from that transfer a lot of information about the environment and the condition of the organism as both relate to a given biological system. Before that moment, I always wrote off any exploration of that whole idea, because when people discuss it, it sounded too academic and conceptual and jerkoff to me.
                              "Ah, those endless forests, and their horror-haunted gloom! For what eternities have I wandered through them, a timid, hunted creature, starting at the least sound, frightened of my own shadow, keyed-up, ever alert and vigilant, ready on the instant to dash away in mad flight for my life. For I was the prey of all manner of fierce life that dwelt in the forest, and it was in ecstasies of fear that I fled before the hunting monsters."

                              Jack london, "Before Adam"

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