Why the Metabolically Broken Can’t Eat Carbs

As we’ve posted about several times, the entire family went on the 21-Day Sugar Detox after indulging a bit this holiday season. This post is the result of Stacy doing the detox. Now, I want to be very clear about what “indulge” means for us because I think it’s important to understand in the concept of why my results are so drastic.

Why we ate sugar at all to begin with

We are not Paleo Perfectionists. We eat sugar, sometimes. Mostly it’s treats for the kids. Sometimes it’s treats for others. And not seldom, it’s recipes we’re making to perfect and share on the blog and our cookbooks. Sometimes these treats add up and sweep us off our feet, tricking our mind into needing more and more of them. It is at this point we sometimes need a “reset” in order to change our taste-buds and desire (or lack thereof) for sweets.

We’ve heard it before, “If you’re paleo why do you need a detox? Aren’t you already not eating sugar.” It is agreed that Stacy is and stayed paleo. We strictly avoid the big no’s as part of our everyday diet – no matter what – like gluten, grains, seed oils, low quality dairy, legumes and refined sugars. But it is absolutely not the case that this means we’re not eating sugar. That’s just not true. Dates, fresh fruits, maple sugar, and honey are all “sugar”. Also, hard cider, wine and gin aren’t exactly low-carb no-sugar, yet fall into that grey area that we paleos love to enjoy – especially during special occasions.

Sugar & Carbs are Highly Palatable Foods

You’ll note that the thing all of these foods have in common is sugar & carbs. Foods rich in sugar & carbs are the thing that I desire when given the remote possibility of an opportunity. They’re highly palatable foods. They’re addictive to a sub-section of our population, especially to those of us who have at any points in our lives been metabolically broken or obese.

Those of us who were metabolically broken and obese have compromised gut and digestion. I’m going out on a limb by making that blanket statement, but I’ve yet to meet a single person who defies that definition. I’m sure there are exceptions, and there’s plenty of “healthy” individuals with bad guts. If that’s you, then this also applies to you – so listen up!

What happens to someone who’s formerly been addicted to palatable foods is that the reintroduction of it, in most any capacity (even fruit) can trigger an emotional and chemical response in your brain that makes you want to add it back into your diet. Looking back, we were even serving starchy and dense veggies at almost every meal – it was carbohydrate city in our home for the month of December! Ultimately, these special occasions with special treats become less special and ultimately one find themselves without any pants that fit and a constant craving for more sweets and carbohydrates.

Why My Pants Didn’t Fit

Alright, maybe it’s just me that had tight pants. But, I know at least Matt was in the same boat too. And quite of few of you have let us know you also had this struggle… so, I found an interesting write-up from Jaminet on why carbohydrates (of any kind) retain water in the body.

Here’s the thing, the second I go back to a low carb paleo diet, my body drops an excessive amount of water weight (see this, this, and this to prove my point). I took pictures this time to prove I hold this water in different parts of my body; mainly I get an excessive belly bloat from too many sugary and simple carbohydrates.  This is not photography trickery. I am wearing the same pants and shirt. [edited to add, the 2nd set of photos does include a sports bra, as this was post-workout, which did not "affect" my belly] Both were taken with an iPhone (thanks to NoVAStrong.com for the 2nd set!). These pictures were taken NINETEEN days apart.

21DSD B&A frontview by @PaleoParents

21DSD B&A sideview by @PaleoParentsAdmittedly, I also started CrossFit during this time period, notice the arrival of a booty!

It looks like I lost a carb-baby (you have that joke in your house too, right)? You might be surprised to learn that the before and after photos are only 8.5lbs apart. What’s more interesting? I lost 7.5lbs the first week and then .5lbs each on the 2nd and 3rd week. That, my friends, is water weight that was lost. You’ll notice in these photos that my belly is completely distended in the “before” photos. Why, oh why, was my body so miserably bloated?

My body is jacked.

It could be SIBO. Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (or SIBO) is a chronic bacterial infection of the small intestine, characterized by excessive number and/or abnormal type of bacteria growing in a part of the gastrointestinal tract that normal contains relatively few microorganisms.  These bacteria can cause a variety of problems by interfering with digestion and absorption of nutrients and by damaging the lining of the gut, causing a “leaky gut” (I addressed the many health problems that can arise from a leaky gut in this post). The most common symptoms of bacterial overgrowth include abdominal pain, nausea, bloating, gas, belching, flatulence, chronic diarrhea, and chronic constipation. The Paleo Mom

It could be Candida. What are your thoughts on candida? How much does it affect cravings and weight gain? Is it possible to starve it and get rid of it with the right diet or not? “Candida is 100% an outgrowth of too many carbs…” - Robb Wolf

I think, however, that the answer is Insulin Resistance from years of obesity. I experience stable blood sugar and lack of cravings when I adhere to an autoimmune paleo protocol, take my digestion supplements (ox bile & HCL) and eat organ meats, bone broth and fermented foods. I know the reason for this is because when I fuel my body with nourishing foods it is able to easily absorb all of the nutrients I’m putting into it, instead of being unable to properly digest foods and craving more nutrients (food) as a result.

I hadn’t found material to put together that the gut health and nutrient absorption were linked to blood sugar until I read the recent genius series of posts on Carbs & Paleo by Robb Wolf: Lowering glycemic load can be incredibly powerful in reducing inflammation and metabolic derangement. One could likely get as much benefit from a moderate LC approach (75-100g/day) as a strict ketogenic approach. [interestingly, this is my exact problem and the range that works well to resolve it for me - Stacy] In addition to our knowledge that overeating is likely the impetus for insulin resistance, Mat Lalonde has made the point that nutrient deficiencies are also a big factor in all this. If we have inadequate substrates for antioxidant production, ROS species increase inflammation, which itself deranges metabolism and insulin sensitivity, regardless of calorie intake.

So how did I deflate?

  1. I followed Level 3 of the 21-Day Sugar Detox following a tailored autoimmune protocol that works for my body. [edited to add, this includes fermented food, bone broth & organ meat to heal the gut]
  2. I slept a minimum of 7 and a goal of 9 hours of sleep at night.
  3. I focused on de-stressing every and anything in my environment.
  4. Kick-starting my metabolism with a tailored exercise routine with NOVA Strength & Conditioning that would help my body heal and get stronger, while not creating an overly inflammatory or overly strenuous exercise that would ruin my cortisol or other hormone regulation.

Lesson learned. I can’t booze it up. I can’t eat a bunch of honey sweetened marshmallows and paleo cookies. I’ve got a past I’m looking to avoid ever seeing in my future. So, I was happy to have mango and berries for breakfast this morning. But I sincerely hope that the refined sugar baked goods will continue to taste sickeningly sweet for quite some time, because sugary treats are the last thing my metabolically broken body needs.

 

About Stacy

Stacy Toth has written 360 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lyrenne Ally Bishop

    I love how brave you are, Stacy. You are incredible, and such an inspiration. You make it easier for us to accept ourselves. :) I fought the last year unfounded weight gain, to which my holistic docs insisted I had candida. I’m not saying I don’t have an overgrowth, but that answer didn’t satisfy, and the diet for candida didn’t help. I finally discovered I have a hormone imbalance, no doubt have had it from my teens, but it was covered up with birth control. Now that I’m supplementing with bioidentical hormones and some compounded thyroid meds, I finally have decent digestion and the weight is started to come off (It’s slow, but improving). I think sometimes the metabolic issues take all sorts of forms. I’m hoping I’ve found the end of mine — and I hope you are able to discover the right path for you — it sounds like you are already going down the right road. Thank you for all you do. <3

    • http://PaleoParents.com Stacy & Matt

      Ally have you checked out PaleoforWomen.com? Stefani’s got a lot of great info about women hormone regulation and how fuel can help our bodies get healthier. Thanks!

    • Basil

      Ally – this is very interesting to hear. I also have a hormone imbalance and MAJOR digestive problems. You noticed your digestions improved a lot after the hormones were rebalanced? Can you give me a few more details so I can get an idea if this might also be the case for me? Thanks very much!

  • Iris

    Congratulations on sticking to the detox! I had to give my body a rest from the sugar after the holidays as well. Have you ever read Dr. Kharrazian’s thyroid book? http://thyroidbook.com/blog/ He has a cleanse in there for reversing insulin resistance, and I can’t say for sure if that is what made the difference, but ever since doing the cleanse, my body is responding so much more normally. I seem to handle sugar better than I used to and I’ve been able to add more foods into my diet. Anyway, just wanted to mention it in case you hadn’t heard of it. Might be a good resource for you to look into.

    • http://PaleoParents.com Stacy & Matt

      Iris, I think it’s very similar since I’m on a modified AutoImmune Paleo Protocol and sugar detox. My desire for sweets after doing this type of detox once or twice a year is significantly decreased. Genetically and habitually though, I unfortunately find myself back here after multiple social gathers or whatever the case. It’s a nice way to ground myself and re-learn the “right” way to nourish my body :)

      • Iris

        The cleanse is a version of the master cleanse, which I had always been against, but I decided to try it after reading it in the book. Anyway, yes, I tend to find myself back there too and have to reground myself.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lori.h.hurley Lori Heavey Hurley

    As someone who is metabolically broken, this is eye-opening!!! I just bought It Starts with Food. I struggle with carbs… really struggle. I have PCOS and Insulin Resistance out the wazoo! I need to really pay attention. Those pictures are amazing, especially your lower belly. Wow!

    • http://PaleoParents.com Stacy & Matt

      Lori I highly suggest checking out Practical Paleo, it’s really helped me form a better relationship with the whole lifestyle – including stress and sleep, which I was missing for a long time. It’s the same author as the Sugar Detox too :)

    • http://www.facebook.com/courtmcgregor Courtney McGregor

      Lori, I have PCOS and Insulin Resistance too! Or, at least I did. It was out of control before I met Stacy and took her challenge to go Paleo for 30 days. I’ve never looked back! And i do a sugar detox every six months to reset. Just about 18 months later I’ve lost weight (and have an *almost* flat belly), regulated my cycle, cleared up my skin, and feel AMAZING! Stacy is absolutely worth following – she knows her stuff and is super cool!

  • http://www.facebook.com/rbthreatt Rebecca Beyer Threatt

    You continue to be an inspiration. Thank you so much for being honest and real. The 99% of us real-life paleo people appreciate your candor. Congratulations and good luck!

    • http://PaleoParents.com Stacy & Matt

      Thanks!

  • Jeanne

    Does your awesomeness have no limit? I have been encouraged to shape a new relationship with my body, to accept it, to love it, be patient with it and try to understand it, and above all, to honor it. Keep doing what you are doing because it makes a difference.

    • http://PaleoParents.com Stacy & Matt

      Jeanne, I’m pretty sure my awesomeness only comes in bits and spurts ;) Thanks and you sound like you’re on the exact right path!

  • Karen P

    Stacy, I’m glad you are being honest and looking to see what works. I’m just finishing up 1 year of weight maintenance after a 70+ pound loss. I’m finishing my first whole30 at the end of the month and still learning.

    I also can trigger myself with dates, raisins, and almost all paleofied desserts. It’s taken me 40 years to get weight maintenance down pat. And still I continue to learn my optimal food template.

    Keep up the good work and keep fine tuning your diet. Just know, you are not alone.

    • http://PaleoParents.com Stacy & Matt

      Thanks!

  • Sunny Jones

    I too want to echo the thanks that everyone is sending your way! I have very similar issues to you (however, my husband can’t/won’t understand) and it’s really hard not to get down on myself. Especially this time of year. You rock! Thanks for putting yourself out there.

  • http://twitter.com/PDXHollyM Holly, NTA Student

    Nice job! Thanks for sharing! It’s a remarkable difference!

  • http://www.swisspaleo.ch/ Lisa@SwissPaleo

    Thanks Stacy…you’ve summed me up to a tee. I’m doing a very strict detox myself and also get asked “But why? You’re already paleo?”—those paleo treats, sweet potatoes, beets,free falls into coconut chips and nuts galore DO add up and start cravings. Dried figs? I could eat a whole bag (and have!). I think blogging makes me want to make more treats. My readers love posts with treat recipes and I find myself making them just so I can blog about them. I had hopes that paleo would somehow cure me to the point that I would be able to eat those things like my husband, but that will never be the case. Like you, I was broken for too long and carbs/sugars will never be things I can have too much of. Congratulations on starting your exercise program again and for completing your 21 days!

    • http://PaleoParents.com Stacy & Matt

      Lisa, “free falls into coconut chips” LMAO
      Yeah, I find myself saying, “I got fat the first time for a reason. I loved food. I still love food. I just respect and understand it now.”

  • http://twitter.com/pinkokitty Katherine

    You are an inspiration. Keep it up.

    • http://PaleoParents.com Stacy & Matt

      Thanks!

  • Sarah Kirkell

    It’s amazing how great it feels to give up sugar! Have you had your fructose tolerance checked? I thought all my sugar issues were insulin resistance and the classic things you hear about, but I recently found out that I also have fructose malabsorption. (I also found out that after all the work of eating primal for all this time, my insulin-glucose relationships are healthy!!) Basically, my body just can’t process fructose at all. It’s not clear if I developed it or was born with it, but it also means how much I eat of anything sweet (including fruit) and even some veggies!

    • http://PaleoParents.com Stacy & Matt

      Sarah, I should have listed that as something that it could have been but generally think of it associated with candida. I actually don’t have any of the symptoms and ate green apples on this detox without issue – but for other people it absolutely could be the problem!

      • Sarah Kirkell

        I didn’t have symptoms I could recognize as being directly related to fructose, except a long time struggle with candida, and an odd inability to digest watermelon that intensified over several years to the point that one bite of anything other than homegrown, heirloom watermelon left me in pain for a week! But none of my detoxes or eliminations ever revealed the frutose issue. Just before Thanksgiving, I did the fructose test with spectracell as part of the routine nutritional panel bloodwork with my new doc and I was really surprised when it came back that I was at rock bottom when it came to digesting fructose. I’m still trying to figure out what it means for me, someone who already avoids added sweeteners and starches and has cut way back on fruits. (I had berries once a day while I was pregnant–I just had a baby–but before that ate fruit once every week or two, because I noticed that frequent fruit affected my weight!) Anyway, before I got those results, I assumed it was all my insulin resistance. I did know I had gut issues though, and fructose malabsorption contributes to SIBO too. Now I’m wondering how much of my problem was rooted in that. I can trace lots of my troubles way back to childhood, when we ate grain, but mostly whole grain and lots and lots of fruit and natural sugars. Fructose malabsorption is often linked to gluten intolerance and celiac and a host of other things I’ve recognized as problems… anyway, you look fantastic and even better, you look like you feel fantastic!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/aysha.julie Aysha Julie

    Stacy, the change on the outside is amazing… My husband suffers from the same issue I think, he’s so sugar sensitive but it manifests not in water retention but with eczema, we’ve been paleo for 6 month now and. Now adhering the aip as he has this sugar issue. He can’t even have berries or he’s up all night itching let alone any of the delicious baked goods you guys are constantly tempting us with. Well done again x

    • http://PaleoParents.com Stacy & Matt

      Sorry for the temptations! Glad you’re able to resist… I have a hard time when surfing Pinterest too ;)

  • http://twitter.com/andloveittoo SunnyB

    This is one of my favorite posts. Thank you for standing up and showing all of us what is possible. xoxo

    • http://PaleoParents.com Stacy & Matt

      <3

  • Janelle Seymour

    This gives me so much inspiration! I am in the midst of my first Whole30 which I understand is pretty similar to 21DSD. I’m thinking of continuing my Whole30 into a Whole45 then enjoying my birthday with some coconut milk/honey sweetened ice cream and then launching into a 21DSD March 1st. I have not been able to weigh myself yet, though in my journey the last 3 weeks I have discovered that carbs make me feel tired and bloated and foggy. Even if it is a sweet potato or butternut squash. :(

    • http://PaleoParents.com Stacy & Matt

      When I did Whole30s I ended up with disordered eating, and over-consuming foods I don’t usually but are “allowed” like LaraBars and berries. Meanwhile, a pancake made out of nothing but eggs & coconut & almonds wasn’t allowed – it messed with my head, so I find this is better for me emotionally and physically. Glad you’re finding what works for you!
      Last night we celebrated our 11 year anniversary and had grain-free homemade Tiramisu. It was yummy, but also almost too rich. We put the rest in the freezer in individual containers for who knows when and I’m happy to be back on the low-sugar-fruit-only bandwagon for a while in the hopes that I can continue to feel great!

      • kristin

        every time i do a whole30 – i binge eat totally legit paleo foods (meat/vegs) and have nightmares about food, can’t sleep, and develop a horrible cortisol response. within 1 – 2 weeks i get these weird muscle sensations like i’m almost paralyzed, extreme fatigue, and muscle cramps in my legs (which i never have otherwise). i always quit within a couple of weeks and am worse off than when i started. its a disaster. i hate that program

        whenever i do a “clean paleo autoimmune protocol” diet (not defined by anyone but just based on the info i found on paleomom’s website, which is amazing by the way), and what i know my body tolerates well i do great. ironically this is way MORE restrictive than a whole30 but addresses my autoimmune issues and doesn’t stress me out w/ crazy rules. so i feel your pain! thanks for sharing!

      • AheadofStraight

        Ooh is that tiramisu recipe somewhere on your site?

  • http://www.facebook.com/jen.boudreau.161 Jen Boudreau

    Excellent, excellent, excellent! It’s not every day that someone helps you “identify” a piece of yourself, but you have done just that. Thank you!!! I am, and will probably to some extent always be, metabolically broken. I lost 200 pounds on my own through diet and exercise. I lost the weight in a healthy manner, but was so afraid of gaining it back, that I developed bulimia after the fact. I’ve been working as a trainer and food coach for 5 years now…and only recently have I been able to stop binging and purging…which people don’t necessarily realize is quite possible to do on healthy food…and has the same result of totally f$*%#g up your body, metabolically. I knew I was carb sensitive, but I think that ‘metabolically broken’ sums it up much better! I find that I can’t even eat fruit in the morning, not even a 1/2 cup serving of berries, or I’m craving crap all day long. I recently discovered that sweet peppers, which I love, and tomatoes are negatively affecting me also, so am off to do some research on the autoimmune protocol you mentioned. I knew it was there, but you just put it front and center in my mind. Thank you for your honesty and passion and take no prisoners, non-bullshit attitude. You are helping so many people! Have a wonderful day!

    • http://PaleoParents.com Stacy & Matt

      So glad to have helped!

  • http://twitter.com/AGirlWorthSavin Kelly Bejelly

    Oh wow, seriously amazing! I know that I’m going to have to kick sugar and carbs to lose weight. Thanks for sharing this now. I really needed to see this.

  • krystal

    Do you incorporate real Probiotics or Lacto Ferments into your diet?

    • http://PaleoParents.com Stacy & Matt

      If you search by autoimmune or gallbladder or paleo journey tags you should be able to read more about how I’ve healed my body over the past year in order to be able to focus on weightloss – part of that was incorporation of fermented foods. I do not take probiotic supplements other than whole food sources, like FCLO, kombucha and sauerkraut (I don’t have a FODMAP problem).

      • krystal

        FCLO, kombucha and kraut are great! Home made milk kefir is excellent for most gut disorders. That in large part is what healed my husband after 5 years with leaky gut. If you’d like any milk kefir grains/ culture I’d be happy to share.

  • NJ Paleo

    Stacy, thank you for your honest and open posts (as always!). You really are helping a lot of people! I didn’t last a week on Whole30 — it messed with my head that I “couldn’t” have a bit of dark dark chocolate, and I am not one to be “told what to do” unless I have a very strong reason for doing so. And yes, I had intense sugar cravings the several days I tried Whole30. I could have eaten a whole bowl of fruit. But hearing about your experience and seeing your undeniable results, perhaps I should give it another try….. Thanks again!

    • http://PaleoParents.com Stacy & Matt

      I had the same struggles with Whole30, maybe give the sugar detox a try? I found it made more logical sense to me and thus easier to follow without retaliation ;) Good luck!

  • http://twitter.com/CodicePaleo Codice Paleo

    I experienced something similar. Although I’ve always been quite skinny (no matter what I ate) I had serious malabsorption and terrible sugar cravings with strong hypoglycemic crisis after eating (which led me to faint-sleep for 1-2 hours every time). Especially after every meal. I had candida. Then I stopped eating sugar and finally discovered the Paleo diet. Still I had high inflammation, IBS, insomnia while eating strictly Paleo until I eliminated all veggies (bloating!) and reduced the carbs to 50-60 grams per day. I only eat avocato some sweet potatoes plus little berries (not everyday). The rest is protein and mainly fat (I eat a lo of fat). Inflammation has gone and I can finally sleep well at night.

    • Lauren

      Have you considered the possibility of fructose malabsorption? Check out Peggy Emch’s blog The Primal Parent for her story on that – she’d been eating nothing but raw meat for years before she figured it out

      • http://twitter.com/CodicePaleo Codice Paleo

        Yes, I did know and check Peggy’s story. Right now I’ve found my balance. Eating very little fruit and no veggies work well for me and after 20 years of problems and tries I’m not willing to change. The raw meat thing is interesting but in my country (Italy) grass fed meat is not available. Only corn fed and I wouldn’t feel comfortable to eat it raw.

  • http://twitter.com/DitchTheWheat Ditch The Wheat

    I prefer the low carb approach too. It’s the only way I keep the weight and cravings away without feeling deprived of food. Too many nuts really make me bloated. Thanks for sharing the before & after pictures.

  • Tracy

    I have been on the Paleo Autoimmune protocol for 2 weeks now (this is my third) I am following what I have found on the internet and am feeling so much better. My pictures look a lot like yours! I will not be taking a step backwards ever again. I can not believe the difference in they way I feel made me realize how sick I really was and that it was ME making me sick!!

  • fitmompam

    Yup after the holidays I got a bit of a belly too. Not that I splurged a lot but even the wine added up to me having a gut again. Whole 30 day 15 now and already smaller.

  • Elise

    What is an ROS species?

    • http://PaleoParents.com Stacy & Matt

      I have no idea?

    • Basil

      Reactive Oxygen Species

  • http://twitter.com/cavebaker Liz Davis

    Dr. Davis of Wheat Belly fame once talked about how the beta cells can become taxed in those who struggle with metabolic issues. Beta cells (which distribute insulin) are apparently difficult to recover. This is one of the main reasons why some people can’t assimilate carbohydrates properly. Very interesting–thanks for sharing. Gives us a lot to think about.

  • Robin (smoochbyrobin.com)

    Stacy, thank you for the inspiration!! I have decided to go for it as well and have inspired several others to do it with me. Keep up the great work!!

    • http://PaleoParents.com Stacy & Matt

      Fantastic!

  • Meri

    As you know, I don’t do Paleo, and I ‘count’ all my food. I gained 9 POUNDS in a week… because I stopped respecting my body! Crazy what the holidays can/will do to what we know is best for us! You’re an inspiration, Stacy!

    • http://PaleoParents.com Stacy & Matt

      Thanks Meri – it’s totally crazy how our bodies just want to just jump back to their old shape. It’s a life-long battle :/

  • Christina Monclova

    Seriously love your blog! I started paleo a couple weeks ago and find so much information and inspiration from you guys! Thanks!!
    Xoxo

    • http://PaleoParents.com Stacy & Matt

      Thanks!

  • Jennifer

    You’re awesome, I am blessed with the same body type, so I hear you :-/

    • http://PaleoParents.com Stacy & Matt

      We all have our burdens to bear, I’m just glad I got some muscles to accompany it ;)

  • Elenor Snow

    Oh, this is such a painfully mixed message for me. {sigh} I look like you (before; you look much better after!), and I try to stay low carb. My problem, which I’ve had since toddler-hood (if not before), is I HATE vegetables. (I’m what Monel Chemical Lab calls a super-taster.) I’m 57 and 280 pounds, and I’m trying to figure out a way to manage my eating. I DO try various veg, prepared various ways, now-and-again… and they just gag me. (I treated my thyroid and adrenal problem (5 or so years ago) and now seem to be okay there.)

    I am guessing my gut is all screwed up: about 4 years ago, I took just two probiotic pills of a brand I had never used (after having used (successfully?) a couple brands of drinkable probiotics) — and was sicker than I have ever been. Sorry about the TMI but: two weeks of uncontrollable diarrhea, lost 17 pounds in those two weeks. I blamed contamination of the pills, but I guess it could have just been a complete poisoning of my gut-flora? (The pill-company never answered my emails… {frown})

    I want to eat sauerkraut, but tried it and it gags me. I’m tentatively willing to try kombucha but leery of the taste. I figure my gut really needs some fermented stuff — but I can’t imagine trying to live paleo (or hell, at ALL!) while having to force myself to eat stuff that gags me. Can you point me to (can you even imagine?) something that could help me address/heal my gut while not requiring me to torture myself at every meal?

    (I remember reading that for vegetarians who hate the taste of meat, increasing their intake of… magnesium, was it? … moderates their bad reaction to the taste. What’s the reverse missing nutrient for carnivores who want to be able to eat veg?! I asked my (30-yrs-+) vegetarian sister if there were a vegetable with umami taste, as it seems that’s a taste I really like… Apparently only mushrooms, and I won’t eat fungus. {sigh})

    • Mission Driven Life

      Watch the film Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead…it is very inspirational and has helped me!

      • http://alittleitchy.blogspot.com/ brista

        That doesn’t help her at all. She is a super-taster and knows she SHOULD eat vegetables but the bitter tastes are too intense and so CAN’T. Telling her to watch a documentary about vegan juice fasts is NOT helpful.

  • Leigh

    Thanks so much for this! I added a few coconut biscuits to a meal for my hubby who misses bread, had some honey, and a few too many winter squashes and all of a sudden started to feel cravings and “hunger” where I had not at all following AIP. I couldn’t figure it out. Makes sense now.

  • Tracey Zimmer

    just came across this blog and totally love it…I think you’re right on the money with the insulin resistance…I know that when I get off the sugar many of those same symptoms disappear. I do throw in some probiotics though for good measure :D I will most def come back and read more of your posts!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001596268385 Pauline Campos

    you guys are amazing. this is me exactly. I have a billion food allergies I was diagnosed with last year including yeast, gluten, dairy, eggs, and other crazy things like cauliflower and apples. Traveling always messes me up and I instantly bloat and end up with full body inflammation issues every time I am exposed to or ingest a major allergen. Right now I’m sitting in Tucson, where I am severely allergic to mesquite, and fat and miserable. Upon returning to Maine, I’ll be sure to implement any changes I can to help heal myself including dropping almond for coconut milk and whipping up tons of bone broths for daily portions. thank you.

  • Alex Balmer

    Thank you so much for this post! I am 21 years old and have had soooo many of the same symptoms related to simple carb bloating. If I derail and go back to little to no sugars and only good starches I can tell the difference in under 24 hours. Of course, since it’s usually small changes at first I’ve always wondered if I am just picking myself apart too much and am not changing at all, but it’s good to hear some of the same stories.

  • King

    Have you ever considered juicing?

    Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against fat and meat, but juicing can help clean you out. It’s a bit of a reset. Me and my wife did it recently for a month–every morning we would drink a quart of green juice.

    Have you had your adrenals and your thyroid checked? Good idea to meet with a holistic doctor.

    • http://PaleoParents.com Stacy & Matt

      I am not interested in juicing, it’s all a heavy hit to blood sugar without fiber. Also, the nutrients are harder to digest and absorb without fat.

      • http://alittleitchy.blogspot.com/ brista

        Yeah, I was wondering why someone would suggest juicing in a post about the effects of excess sugar (even ‘good’ sugars from fruit).