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  1. #1
    kellysensei's Avatar
    kellysensei is offline Junior Member
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    Disappointed so far...

    Primal Fuel
    I've been primal for nearly three months now. The first month, I ate absolutely no grains or dairy. Since then, I've had grains (white rice or 1-2 slices of gluten-free bread) once a week and organic dairy about twice a week. I eat lots of eggs, meat, fish, vegetables, nuts, and some fruit. No processed foods and minimal sugar. I also take magnesium, fish oil, and vitamin D. I was hoping this way of eating, as well as the supplements, would give me more energy and help my headaches and my sinus problems.

    But...I'm still always tired and short on energy. I still get headaches (fewer; frequently after I've had milk or cheese). And now my seasonal allergies have kicked in as always, and I am miserable with congestion and a cough. I can't take allergy meds because they give me bad side effects.

    So, basically nothing has changed. Were my expectations too high? Do I need to give it more time? Do I need to go back to my functional medicine doctor to get more expensive testing done? Any advice would be appreciated. It's kind of a bummer to have such a strict diet and not see results...

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    I think many people come to this way of eating with unrealistic expectations. I too have seasonal allergies. I'm allergic to pollen or whatever - not eating dairy or rice or corn or what not is not going to change the fact that I am still allergic to pollen/cats/hard work.

    That said, if you are noticing more headaches after eating milk or cheese perhaps your body does not react well to dairy. Many bodies do not. Perhaps eliminating them to see if the headaches go away for a while might be a good plan.

    If you're low on energy you might want to increase how often you eat carbs. Keep them healthy - rice, some potatoes, vegetables and the like - I'm not suggesting you start downing tablespoons of highly processed flour or some such - but do not be afraid to eat them. Just fit them into your daily calories/goals and see how it goes.

    Sometimes it takes the body a while to adjust. Sometimes something works for 6 months and then your body tells you to change it up. Sadly, this body of ours is a complicated thing. Believe me, I wish it wasn't.
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    Elliot's Avatar
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    I would cut out the nuts and fish oil. I don't know if that would help your apparent symptoms, but it's a good idea nonetheless.

    Also, fatigue and headaches are symptoms of hypothyroidism. You may benefit from eating more carbohydrates.

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    How old are you? If you are older than 1 year old, you could probably be sure that 3 months is but a drop in the bucket of your eating career. Stick with it for much longer and hopefully the inflammation and other evils from poor diet will eventually subside. You might need to tweak things as you go along. My allergies and sinus troubles have greatly lessened to being a background issue as opposed to a life altering horrific experience. I'd say it took 1 year for that to start happening and 2-3 years for a total makeover.

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    It's different for everyone.
    For me, removing grains from my diet resolved, almost in days, decades of digestive issues which had been (mis)diagnosed as IBS. While removing dairy didn't completely cure my hayfever & cat allergies, it did greatly reduce the symptoms, though that took longer to take affect.

    I also haven't noticed a change in energy levels, in that I don't feel more energised in general. What I have noticed though, is that my energy levels are more even throughout the day, no more spikes and crashes and I don't feel faint or dizzy if I don't eat every 2 to 4 hours. Instead I can easily forget to eat all day if I'm busy/active without hunger pangs, while still having plenty of energy.

    A lot of it depends on where you're coming from I guess. If you've been eating absolutely crap for years and have lots of weight to lose, switching to paleo/primal may have a more immediate and noticeable effect than to someone who had been living a more healthy lifestyle prior to changing.

    Also, it is possible that diet may not be related to any of your issues.
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    If you are new to the PB - please ignore ALL of this stuff, until you've read the book, or at least http://www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-blueprint-101/ and this (personal fave): http://www.archevore.com/get-started/

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    Elliot, why should I cut out nuts and fish oil? My doctor has recommended high doses of fish oil...I've been taking just a "normal" dose (1-2 softgels) but was going to switch to a double or triple dose when my next bottle arrives in a few days. I do have nuts almost daily now, because I like them and I don't know what else to eat for fat if I can't have cheese. I already have eggs and avocados multiple times per week. Sometimes I think I'm not eating enough calories, but I don't know how to get more calories without grains or dairy or sugar...

    I do plan to avoid cheese and milk for now. Plain yogurt seems to be fine. I'm still experimenting with grass-fed butter; I made bulletproof coffee for the first time last weekend. YUM...

    I'm 35 and just 114 pounds, so I don't need to lose weight (though I've lost four pounds eating this way). I work out three or four days a week.

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    You need to be eating enough food and getting enough sleep. Stress or health problems will also affect you regardless of diet as will caffeine and other things like that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kellysensei View Post
    Elliot, why should I cut out nuts and fish oil? My doctor has recommended high doses of fish oil...
    Fish oil is great, when you're eating it as part of the whole fish. Unfortunately, because fish oil is a polyunsaturated fat, it's very prone to going rancid. So taking pure fish oil can have dubious benefits.

    Quote Originally Posted by kellysensei View Post
    I've been taking just a "normal" dose (1-2 softgels) but was going to switch to a double or triple dose when my next bottle arrives in a few days. I do have nuts almost daily now, because I like them and I don't know what else to eat for fat if I can't have cheese. I already have eggs and avocados multiple times per week. Sometimes I think I'm not eating enough calories, but I don't know how to get more calories without grains or dairy or sugar...
    I eat butter and meat for my fat. Mutton flaps are incredibly cheap and produce about a cup of lard when you drain the fat off roasting them.

    Quote Originally Posted by kellysensei View Post
    I do plan to avoid cheese and milk for now. Plain yogurt seems to be fine. I'm still experimenting with grass-fed butter; I made bulletproof coffee for the first time last weekend. YUM...

    I'm 35 and just 114 pounds, so I don't need to lose weight (though I've lost four pounds eating this way). I work out three or four days a week.
    Perhaps you're not eating enough? Vegetables are great, but part of the reason why they are so good for you is that they are incredibly energy poor, and in a culture of overconsumption it's a way of restricting calorific intake since it displaces more energy dense processed foods.
    Disclaimer: I eat 'meat and vegetables' ala Primal, although I don't agree with the carb curve. I like Perfect Health Diet and WAPF Lactofermentation a lot.

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    Wildrose's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kellysensei View Post
    Elliot, why should I cut out nuts and fish oil? My doctor has recommended high doses of fish oil...I've been taking just a "normal" dose (1-2 softgels) but was going to switch to a double or triple dose when my next bottle arrives in a few days. I do have nuts almost daily now, because I like them and I don't know what else to eat for fat if I can't have cheese. I already have eggs and avocados multiple times per week. Sometimes I think I'm not eating enough calories, but I don't know how to get more calories without grains or dairy or sugar...

    I do plan to avoid cheese and milk for now. Plain yogurt seems to be fine. I'm still experimenting with grass-fed butter; I made bulletproof coffee for the first time last weekend. YUM...

    I'm 35 and just 114 pounds, so I don't need to lose weight (though I've lost four pounds eating this way). I work out three or four days a week.
    We just tend to prefer eating fish to taking fish oil. The oils are delicate and tend to oxidize, so the best way to take them is the way nature intended... in fish. I wouldn't worry too much about nuts. People like to avoid them for PUFA's but they are a whole food and if you're not trying to lose weight I wouldn't worry.

  10. #10
    Elliot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kellysensei View Post
    Elliot, why should I cut out nuts and fish oil? My doctor has recommended high doses of fish oil...I've been taking just a "normal" dose (1-2 softgels) but was going to switch to a double or triple dose when my next bottle arrives in a few days. I do have nuts almost daily now, because I like them and I don't know what else to eat for fat if I can't have cheese. I already have eggs and avocados multiple times per week. Sometimes I think I'm not eating enough calories, but I don't know how to get more calories without grains or dairy or sugar...

    I do plan to avoid cheese and milk for now. Plain yogurt seems to be fine. I'm still experimenting with grass-fed butter; I made bulletproof coffee for the first time last weekend. YUM...

    I'm 35 and just 114 pounds, so I don't need to lose weight (though I've lost four pounds eating this way). I work out three or four days a week.
    Nuts and fish oil have significant amounts of polyunsaturated fat, which is toxic. I don't want to hijack this thread into another PUFA war so I'll leave it at that.

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