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Thread: GI Issues while going Primal page

  1. #1
    fidelity's Avatar
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    GI Issues while going Primal

    Primal Fuel
    I followed a primal diet for a few months and over time I became chronically constipated having a bowel movement once every three days. I tried upping the fat and that would help for a while but eventually I would plateau and fall back into bad bowel habits. Ever since adding grains like quinoa and brown rice, I've been having a bowel movement just about everyday. My theory is that fiber really is essential and I wasn't getting enough when I was primal but adding in the grains worked like a charm.

    Let me know your thoughts!

  2. #2
    emmie's Avatar
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    If you want to avoid grains, but still get the fiber, you might try psyllium husk powder. That works for me. Actually, I've just tried an experiment in returning to my bran crackers (just 3g carbs), which I used to eat with my tuna salad daily, and they kept me regular. I know that grains are heresy on primal, but if I can eat just a few of them and stay regular, I might use them.

  3. #3
    hbeck's Avatar
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    Eat more vegetables. And more fat.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by fidelity View Post
    I followed a primal diet for a few months and over time I became chronically constipated having a bowel movement once every three days. I tried upping the fat and that would help for a while but eventually I would plateau and fall back into bad bowel habits. Ever since adding grains like quinoa and brown rice, I've been having a bowel movement just about everyday. My theory is that fiber really is essential and I wasn't getting enough when I was primal but adding in the grains worked like a charm.
    it would be hard to not get enough fiber while following the PB. After all, it's a produce dominated diet, not a meat dominated diet:
    Primal Blueprint and Produce
    Here's what The Primal Blueprint says about produce:

    p40 TPB
    "The gathering of berries and other fruit, leafy greens, primitive roots, shoots and other vegetation, nuts and seeds provide the bulk of Grok's food supply."

    p.112 TPB
    "'it may take some acclimation to center your diet around vegetables....Dont follow the example of restaurants that serve skimpy vegetable portions seemingly just for decoration; serve yourself heaping portions that crowd everything else on your plate"

    p.111
    "Plant foods..naturally promote a beneficial balance between acidity and alkalinity..inyour bloodstream. Almost all cells prefer a slightly alkaline environment to function properly, but many metabolic processes, including the normal production of cellular energy, result in the release of acidic waste products. The buildup of acidic waste is toxic to your body so it works very hard at all times to preserve a slightly alkaline environment, measured by the familiar pH levels."

    p110 TPB
    see food pyramid: the base is produce indicating that in terms of volume, this is a produce dominated
    diet. His food pyramid is a clear supportive visual to both his writing, and the evidence available
    regarding a primal diet (diet in our environment of evolutionary adaptation). Volume-wise, we're
    eating mostly produce, though in terms of a percentage of calories, we are getting more calories from
    protein and many more from saturated fat even when we don't add much, if any, free fat.

    In this blogpost regarding inflammation and gut health, Mark said:

    "I mentioned Dr. Art Ayer’s Cooling Inflammation blog last week, and I’m
    to do so again. First, Art suggests adopting an anti-inflammatory diet. His dietary
    recommendations are essentially identical to mine – high SFA, moderate animal
    protein, low O-6, O-3 supplementation, leafy greens, some fruit and nuts."


    ❑ 3,500 mg potassium (K) is the "Daily Value" (DV) intake per the FDA, NIH,
    ADA etc. Consdering that nutrient intakes from these organizations reflect
    standard intakes, not optimal, consider viewing potassium needs through a
    'primal' lens based on K intakes in traditional diets and what we know of diets
    in environment closer to those in which we adapted.

    ❑ Potassium intakes in the above 'primal' diets - likely ranges
    based on potassium to sodium ratio
    5mg K:1mg Na to 16mg K: 1mg Na

    based on potassium to calorie ratio
    2-4mg K per calorie ingested

    ❑ 10-13 servings produce will often be required to supply potassium at
    optimal or nearly optimal levels

    ❑ if needed to bring K:Na ratios or K:Kcal ratios into balance, tomato products
    at each meal or by drinking homemade veggie peeling broths are easy, low
    calorie, high potassium supplements. adding 99mg from a potassium tab
    is essentially worthless when total potassium needs are 3,500-12,000 mg.

    Think of magnesium and potassium as the relaxors and calcium and sodium as
    the contractors. We need both - but it's all about ratio just like it is wrt Ω3 and Ω6.

  5. #5
    fidelity's Avatar
    fidelity is offline Junior Member
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    Some pretty good points. I'd say I didn't go hard enough on the vegetables. Can't wait to get my PB cookbook and give it another good shot.

    Quote Originally Posted by cillakat View Post
    it would be hard to not get enough fiber while following the PB. After all, it's a produce dominated diet, not a meat dominated diet:
    Primal Blueprint and Produce
    Here's what The Primal Blueprint says about produce:

    p40 TPB
    "The gathering of berries and other fruit, leafy greens, primitive roots, shoots and other vegetation, nuts and seeds provide the bulk of Grok's food supply."

    p.112 TPB
    "'it may take some acclimation to center your diet around vegetables....Dont follow the example of restaurants that serve skimpy vegetable portions seemingly just for decoration; serve yourself heaping portions that crowd everything else on your plate"

    p.111
    "Plant foods..naturally promote a beneficial balance between acidity and alkalinity..inyour bloodstream. Almost all cells prefer a slightly alkaline environment to function properly, but many metabolic processes, including the normal production of cellular energy, result in the release of acidic waste products. The buildup of acidic waste is toxic to your body so it works very hard at all times to preserve a slightly alkaline environment, measured by the familiar pH levels."

    p110 TPB
    see food pyramid: the base is produce indicating that in terms of volume, this is a produce dominated
    diet. His food pyramid is a clear supportive visual to both his writing, and the evidence available
    regarding a primal diet (diet in our environment of evolutionary adaptation). Volume-wise, we're
    eating mostly produce, though in terms of a percentage of calories, we are getting more calories from
    protein and many more from saturated fat even when we don't add much, if any, free fat.

    In this blogpost regarding inflammation and gut health, Mark said:

    "I mentioned Dr. Art Ayers Cooling Inflammation blog last week, and Im
    to do so again. First, Art suggests adopting an anti-inflammatory diet. His dietary
    recommendations are essentially identical to mine high SFA, moderate animal
    protein, low O-6, O-3 supplementation, leafy greens, some fruit and nuts."


    ❑ 3,500 mg potassium (K) is the "Daily Value" (DV) intake per the FDA, NIH,
    ADA etc. Consdering that nutrient intakes from these organizations reflect
    standard intakes, not optimal, consider viewing potassium needs through a
    'primal' lens based on K intakes in traditional diets and what we know of diets
    in environment closer to those in which we adapted.

    ❑ Potassium intakes in the above 'primal' diets - likely ranges
    based on potassium to sodium ratio
    5mg K:1mg Na to 16mg K: 1mg Na

    based on potassium to calorie ratio
    2-4mg K per calorie ingested

    ❑ 10-13 servings produce will often be required to supply potassium at
    optimal or nearly optimal levels

    ❑ if needed to bring K:Na ratios or K:Kcal ratios into balance, tomato products
    at each meal or by drinking homemade veggie peeling broths are easy, low
    calorie, high potassium supplements. adding 99mg from a potassium tab
    is essentially worthless when total potassium needs are 3,500-12,000 mg.

    Think of magnesium and potassium as the relaxors and calcium and sodium as
    the contractors. We need both - but it's all about ratio just like it is wrt Ω3 and Ω6.

  6. #6
    emmie's Avatar
    emmie is offline Senior Member
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    Just an update on my 'grain' experiment. Big mistake! I had just a few of my bran crackers yesterday, and this morning I woke up 3 lbs heavier with stiff joints--feeling terrible. I'm convinced it's the grains--i.e., big bloat. No more grains for me!

    I'm going to try to veggie route because in order to focus on protein, I've only been having about 5 servings of veggies a day. I'm going to try increasing the veggies to see if that helps because I hate taking the psyllium for more fiber.

  7. #7
    Bushrat's Avatar
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    Fidelity - were you truly constipated or just not having bowel movements but otherwise feeling ok? Lack of bowel movements may just be a sign that you have nothing to pass because you are eating less garbage so you body spends less time getting rid of it all.

  8. #8
    Primal Toad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by emmie View Post
    Just an update on my 'grain' experiment. Big mistake! I had just a few of my bran crackers yesterday, and this morning I woke up 3 lbs heavier with stiff joints--feeling terrible. I'm convinced it's the grains--i.e., big bloat. No more grains for me!

    I'm going to try to veggie route because in order to focus on protein, I've only been having about 5 servings of veggies a day. I'm going to try increasing the veggies to see if that helps because I hate taking the psyllium for more fiber.
    It's got to be those bran crackers - grains truly mess ya up!

    I think most of us forget about the fact that veggies do make up the bulk of our diet. No in calories obviously... but in servings or whatever. We all love the taste of meat and knowing that grok ate a lot of meat probably allows us to forget about them delicious veggies!

    So, for fiber, eat more veggies and fruits! I have been enjoying a lot more fruit lately... BUT that includes a small apple, 1/2 banana when its a banana, cherries, and all kinds of berries
    Find me at aToadontheRoad.com. Cheers!

  9. #9
    Helen in Oz's Avatar
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    I had CONTINUAL digestive problems (to the point that I was beginning to fear something serious). Upping the fiber just made things worse and I'm now convinced that adding wheat bran is a bad idea. I've noticed significant improvement since I've become more strict about ditching wheat. I include quite a bit of coconut, quite a lot of nuts, especially Macadamias, and some fruit. (and veggies of course).

    are you quite strict? I am suspicious about dairy and especially whole milk.

  10. #10
    BeachGrok's Avatar
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    I used to be one of these high-fiber diet dudes.....even baked my own whole-grain breads. This made me accustom to a daily bowel movement. After going Primal, it did take some time (few months) for my body to adjust to going less often and in the beginning, I felt constipated. But after a while, things "normalized" and now things move along nicely, just less frequently. I do eat lots of lower-carb veggies, some berries & nuts and plenty of fats. I also add cream to my coffee when I am not fasting and enjoy some whole-fat yogurt for my dairy.

    Hopefully things will get better. Stick with the diet and you will find the overall positives outweigh the negatives by a long shot.

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