A Look at the Paleo Diet
The Paleo Diet is also known as the Paleolithic or Caveman diet. Basically you eat meats, vegetables, fruits and nuts. Many believe that this is the way humans ate as they evolved over millions of years. The hardest part of this diet is the no grains bit. But for a gluten-free person, or someone who already knows that they don’t do too well with bread and other carbs, it’s pretty doable.
I’ve been mostly gluten-free for awhile now, but after I’d eat Udi’s bread (the best gluten-free bread I’d found), made from rice, my fingers would flare up a little, letting me know that something I’d eaten was not the best choice. So it’s a happy discovery that this Paleo way of eating has prevented that finger reaction from happening. And so we get into the topic of gluten cross-reactors.
If gluten intolerant, you may also be cross-reacting to other foods that have a gluten-like “molecular signature”. This means all grains, dairy and coffee. When I first heard this from my doctor, I thought: “Well then that answers that question! I will not do this diet as it is way too hard, and I will even throw the gluten back in since I’m already damaging my gut with the other grains!” As time marched on however, and I continued to have symptoms, I made the switch. And it is a great thing! Because I’m forced to eat more vegetables (I like to cook mine), I get to have fruit (something I’d minimized for years due to yeast), and I feel good. This morning I made nitrate-free bacon and a shredded carrot/apple/raisin/cinammon salad. I was totally satisfied. I was not tired afterwards, which used to happen after eating gluten-free toast and an egg in the morning.
To most people, “whole grain” means “healthy”. Research proves that this isn’t true. Here is Chris Kresser’s, L.Ac, excellent article on why not to eat cereal grains, sugar and soy.
The Paleo Diet, by Loren Cordain, Ph.D, is a good start to learn about the evidence that proves the connection between modern Western diet and chronic illnesses like cancer, diabetes and arthritis. It also has great recipes, like that carrot/apple/raisin salad I mentioned above. I’d love to hear what your experience is like on the diet. Please feel free to leave a comment.