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  • Discipline

    Hi guys!
    I'm a psychologist who's been primal, paleo and before that Spartan.
    (Not from the movie, the Spartan regime was a prophetic Australian health regime started by Anthony Bova 15 years ago, way before all the cool kids were doing it...anyone know of it?)

    Anyway, I study food and mental health connections, as well as discipline.

    Any thoughts, suggestions etc for my blog

    Let me know. Cheers!

  • #2
    Hi Connor,

    Like your blog, some good ideas / angles. I've found most of the stuff on nutritional psychology comes from Australia, including a guy called Jurrian Pleissman, and also this

    Hypoglycemic Health Association of Australia

    I used to think that Hypoglycemia was a kind of hypochondriacs thing, but it turns out that this was me for 34 years - eating a lot of refined sugar and getting low blood sugar, with the depressions and body clock disruption. The questionnaire on this website really opened my eyes.

    Obviously the primal/paleo community agree with this, but generally in the UK at least, medical treatment for depression pays no attention and I think its a massive issue - causing a lot of unhappiness.
    Last edited by Owen; 09-16-2013, 01:37 AM.
    Healthy is the new wealthy.


    • #3
      I've never heard of him, but will check him out. The links between diet and mental health are slowly building...I've got a paper coming out about it later this year or early next year (depending when journal publisher's pull their finger out, haha).
      It's a notoriously difficult field to study though....
      Diet has so many confounding variables and inner workings of the mind research has so many confounding variables that in combination...can be a nightmare to get clear, unequivocal results on...


      • #4
        Incidentally, how much of a role do you all think Discipline/Willpower plays in your adherence/.starting of a primal/paleo diet?
        It's kind of my research focus and focus of my blog.
        So, I'm genuinely curious. Let me know...


        • #5
          Thankfully I don't need willpower, because I eat as much as I want of the foods that make me feel good. And once in a rare while, a little fake food is just a drop in the bucket, not worthy of guilt or remembrance.

          For the record, I'm a born glutton, raised in malnourished poverty and given to eating ALL of anything I see in sight. My cravings only dulled slightly with the cessation of sugary things - it was the replenishment of total nutrition by way of micronutrient intake that finally quelled the beast. Once I got brave enough to begin eating liver, my world changed. At first, I ate two pounds a week. Then, after a few months of that something got topped off, maybe my vitamin A reserves or B12, and I suddenly cut back to one pound a week, which I've maintained for years now with great results. I only eat once a day most of the time, in a three or four hour window where I get around 2000 calories in general. This lets me feel that familiar fullness I'm so attached to, and then lends to a short period of "fasting" toward the next day. It's perfect.
          Last edited by Knifegill; 09-22-2013, 10:57 PM.
          Crohn's, doing SCD


          • #6
            I don't think the eating part takes a ton of willpower. I eat like a king; it's not like an Oreo sounds better than butter-topped steak and bacon. The hardest part about going primal was just learning and figuring out how to do it, not the discipline.

            I think it takes more discipline to progressively add weights to workouts, and to sprint regularly, but even that isn't that hard if you make it a lifestyle.


            • #7
              It takes me virtually no discipline to eat the VLC version of primal I'm on.

              Getting started took discipline, and getting through the withdrawal from sugar in the first few weeks took discipline, but now I'm just cruising right along as easy as can be, eating delicious things that help me feel good and help my body repair itself. I like everything I eat; it satisfies me well enough to make IF feel like the most natural thing ever; and it doesn't trigger any of the cravings that used to lead to binge eating. I used to have to exert tremendous discipline not to make the midnight pan of brownies, or buy the giant cake at Costco, or make a fast food run to satisfy my French fry craving. I often failed in that. But eating primal? It takes no discipline at all for me.

              Whenever I go into a supermarket these days I almost always make the big loop from produce to meat to dairy, around the perimeter of the store. I tend not to pay attention to all that stuff in the middle--until I need to go up an aisle for salsa, or spices, or some other odd thing. And whenever I do that, I'm blown away by how much stuff in a typical supermarket no longer registers as "food" in my mind.

              Sure, I suppose I could buy and eat some of those things--and I remember doing so in the past. I see old favorites on the shelves, and remember loving them, and bingeing on them, and getting really anxious at the idea of giving them up. I see things that used to be staples of my diet, that I always bought, and yet the idea of eating them now seems so strange. They aren't food.

              Supermarkets are just aisle after aisle of stuff that's being manufactured, sold, purchased, and consumed, all with the idea that it's perfectly edible and sometimes even nutritious--but I just can't see it as food any more. And I sometimes get a little dizzy, just contemplating that.

              I experience the same thing in restaurants, bakeries, and while standing in line at Starbucks. When I read menus, I'm looking for the actual food that's on them. It's easy at the better restaurants, but the cheaper the restaurant, the harder it is.

              And I do get asked how I can "deprive" myself of "indulgences" and "treats" that I used to enjoy and crave, and when I say, "Well, I just don't see them as food any more" people look at me as if I've gone off my rocker. But despite that, it's such a relief not to have my thoughts, my habits, my waistline, my self-esteem--my whole life--ruled by them any more.


              • #8
                good, lends to a short period of "fasting" toward the next day. It's perfect.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Artemis67 View Post
                  Whenever I go into a supermarket these days I almost always make the big loop from produce to meat to dairy, around the perimeter of the store. I tend not to pay attention to all that stuff in the middle--until I need to go up an aisle for salsa, or spices, or some other odd thing. And whenever I do that, I'm blown away by how much stuff in a typical supermarket no longer registers as "food" in my mind.
                  QFT. That's exactly how I feel. I do the same thing- perimeter sweep with brief forays into the aisles for very specific products (sardines, salsa, tea, coffee, coconut milk). The rest of the stuff I see more as "food substitutes" that people can survive on but not be healthy on. I utterly ignore those products now.
                  High Weight: 225
                  Weight at start of Primal: 189
                  Current Weight: 174
                  Goal Weight: 130

                  Primal Start Date: 11/26/2012


                  • #10
                    Hi Connor,
                    I just checked out your blog, and have a suggestion. Clicked on the "New, Start Here" tab and ended up at a page asking for my contact information and comments. It's great, of course, to have a place for people to comment, to get subscribers, etc, but I don't think anybody whose new wants to start with all that. Forgive my selfish bent, but I'm checking out your blog to see what you can do for me. I'm not so interested--at least not right away--with what I can do for you. So I'm not going to be interested in giving you my contact info if I'm new. That might come later after I've looked araound and figured out I'm interested in what you have to say. In my view, a "New, Start Here" page is to give me a broad overview of your site and what it's all about before I dig deeper into more specific posts.

                    Just my two cents.



                    • #11
                      Cheers for the heads up on the "New? Start here" page. That's quite unintentional actually. Seems something was lost in translation between brain, fingers and html. Thanks!


                      • #12
                        That's awesome.
                        I'm curious if you tried a more general, 'mainstream' version of paleo before going VLC Paleo? And if so what the difference in terms of sticking to it was.
                        I've find for me, and for clients in general (not neccessarily food related), that making something more restrictive is actually easier to do.


                        • #13
                          Thanks Anthony. That's awesome that you're kicking ass on the diet front. And sounds like the lifting part too.
                          How was it at first though? making that initial switch, resisting what you had been eating etc?

                          For myself in the past, and for many clients, the knowledge is all there...they know what they SHOULD be doing....but


                          • #14
                            Hey Knifegill,
                            So your take on it is that basically, for you, it wasn't a matter of resisting foods, but eating as much as you wanted of the good foods first so that there were no cravings for bad food left to resist?
                            What did the liver do for you?


                            • #15
                              Yes, you have it right. I eat as much as I want of Primal foods I like - most of the time. And lost 50 pounds doing just that! This was my first "diet" and I don't think I'd have touched it without the caveman label. It's kind of extreme, odd and fun, and scares boring people. I need to scare boring people to feel alive.

                              Liver fixed my lifelong malnutrition. I was a macaroni and cheese kid and rarely had real meat. So by my 20's I was falling apart, and my head was full of incorrect nutritional notions. I thought bready food had everything I needed (TV told me so, and my family knew no better, povertous folks), but since I was still hungry, I clearly needed to eat more, because the cravings were so strong. So I'd eat an entire pizza and a box of twinkies and have two sodas and just keep eating, eating, eating. Cutting those out helped, but I still wanted to eat - everything. It was like mild pika. Then I tried increasing my (good, real) meat, and that helped. But the liver finally hit the spot. Once I had adequate B vitamin intake (and all the rest, you know how amazing liver is!) my intense cravings finally went away. Whether I was B12 deficient or what, I'll never know. I never had labs done back then. But I lived on Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and soda. Everything I ate back then had a brand name and a half-mile of ingredients. I can promise you I was vitamin-deficient in a huge way.
                              Crohn's, doing SCD