First Q&A from Stacy & Matt

Our good friend Patti went Paleo a few weeks ago and has been asking a lot of good questions we thought you all might benefit from.  Then, while on the topic of Q&A we opened it up to the site and here are the results!

Q: If I’m going to treat myself, it’s best to stay way from gluten entirely, right? 

A:  I would say being gluten-free is my #1 and only rule.  I tried “treating” myself in the beginning with pizza but soon found out it made my intestines feel like I was being murdered and then I had what ended up being a depression hang-over for 48 hours after.  Give yourself at least 30 days without it to really heal the gut and then see how you feel – but yes, that’s my rule.

Q: Do you think you were having gluten problems before?  I have never really suspected a gluten intolerance. I guess it’s just difficult for me to feel like before I ate them fine before and now I won’t be able to eat them anymore!  Some people can treat themselves to it occassionally and feel OK, right?

0A: No, in fact I even told people, “I’m starting Paleo to be dairy free, I’ll go back on grains after a few months” but WHOA I had no idea how it was affecting me.  As more time went on (specifially 6 months without gluten) the more I realized how amazing I was feeling without it.  I’ve mentioned many times everything from sleeping, digestion, depression, energy and every aspect of my life has improved since removing gluten.  I literally had no idea how it was affecting me.
And I honestly LOVE our new almond flour and coconut flour goodies.  I miss gooey cinnamon rolls, but when I imagine myself eating one and then being sick the next day it honestly is enough to turn me off and no longer want it.  So, I come home and beg Matt to make gluten-free versions.
Matt thought he could, he swore he had a “stomach of iron” but after his gut healed from a few months clean, he started having problems too.  That does not stop him from treating himself though – just means I end up dealing with sick and cranky Matt the next day!
I think over time you’ll come to a place where you decide if you want it or not.  For me, I feel so good without it I don’t want it.  For some people, they splurge to remind themselves why they don’t eat it anymore
I genuinly don’t see grains as a food group anymore – to me, they’re bird seed and food to eat in an emergency or when I’m desperate.

Q: Does it matter if I use raw or roasted almond butter?

A: We use roasted (we like MaraNatha from Costco or Trader Joe’s roasted almond and sun butter).  Some nuts are best soaked, dehydrated or roasted – but we’re just not in a point in “dialing in” our nutrition where we’ve gotten to that level.  We don’t over-do our nut consumption (since they have phytic acid and Omega 6) and just relax about it otherwise.

Q: How important is getting organic/grass-fed meats?  We eat out most of the weekend and often that just isn’t an option.

A: At the beginning, just the removal of grains, legumes, refined sugar and dairy will be a huge improvement.  Then, start worrying about oils, meat type, etc (IMO).
When we started, we switched eggs to free range omega 3 added and that was it.  Over time we switched our fattier meats (bacon, chuck roast, dark chicken meat) to grassfed because the toxins from factory meat store in the fat.  Right now, we get about half from local farmers and half from the store, but make an effort to choose anti-biotic free and “natural” as much as we can – since those standards are better than no standards at all.
Meat glue scares the crap out of me, so we don’t buy any redmeat from stores anymore.   Food Inc. was the grass-fed straw on our camel’s back.  We realized that corn and soy fed animals are causing serious E. Coli and staff infection issues worldwide so we want to avoid it where we can (afford to).

Q:  How does Paleo work with being pregnant? With my first, during the first trimester I got VERY sick and could not keep any vegetables down, even potatoes and corn. Fruit was okay with my stomach and so was stuff like crackers. Fish were completely out of the question until end of the 2nd trimester. So, if I managed to conceive again sometime this year and have the same issues with severe morning sickness…what should I do if veggies come up but starchy gluten stays down?

A: I’ve never done Paleo pregnant, so all I can offer is what I’ve read and heard from other people.  I think there’s something to giving your body dense nutrition and it liking it.  That said, when I hear “morning sickness” I think of a very good friend who was hospitalized through her pregnancies because of severe dehydration, so I take it seriously.  In that instance, I can think that bone broth, chicken breasts, avocado, bananas and root veggies as being excellent recovery foods that offer much more nutritient value than crackers.  I would suggest devising a plan based on reading testimonials (here’s one at Growing Up Paleo) and sticking to it.  If you’re Paleo pre-pregnancy, it’ll just make it that much easier to transition.  Your great-great-great-great-great-grandmother survived a pregnancy without grains, so I’m sure you can too!

About Stacy

Stacy Toth has written 380 post in this blog.

Stacy is the matriarch of the Paleo Parents family. After beginning a paleo diet and founding PaleoParents.com in 2010, she lost 135 pounds and found health and happiness for the whole family. The following three years have been a progressive journey with a mission to educate people about nourishing their bodies by eating real foods. Stacy can be found on all forms of social media as @PaleoParents as well as the top-rated The Paleo View Podcast and her two cookbooks, Eat Like a Dinosaur and Beyond Bacon.

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  • http://profiles.google.com/kerrygrannis Kerry Grannis

     Here’s one of my sticking points: if you are a long-time vegetarian who hasn’t eaten meat in a long time and then you eat some meat, you will feel sick. You wouldn’t argue that it means meat is bad for you, just that your body is out of the habit of dealing with it. I wonder if at least some of the bad feeling after eating “cheat” grains is from lack of practice?

    Then again, after a couple of months of this, I don’t feel any different. Could be because I’m doing it wrong, could be because I really don’t have a gluten intolerance, could be because I’m not particularly in tune with my physical self.

    • http://PaleoParents.com Stacy & Matt

      My argument to that would be that if you go 6 months or years without cantaloupe or spinach, you aren’t going to have digestive problems eating it again. 

      I think the reason that vegetarians have issues with going back to meat is because their gut is likely leaky from a huge intake of grains, carbs, soy, processed foods and MSG (I know that’s what I ate when I was vegetarian for 7 years and hear it frequently in the community).  When switching your diet radically from that point, it’s a compromised system that needs help to resolve itself.  Extra digestive enzymes or even just massive amounts of coconut might do the trick, but ultimately the gut heals and recovers.

      I realize now from grains that my gut didn’t “heal” after eating it again for a while, I just got used to the symptoms and thought of them as normal.  I realized it the more “strict” I was and the longer I was “clean.”  Perhaps there was a light bulb moment when my gut “healed” or perhaps it just all came together eventually.  It’s not the case for everyone, but for us and most of the stories we read it is what we come across. 

      Even if it’s not a digestive miracle you notice, it’s giving a boost to your system to help with skin, sleep, etc – right? :)