Would You ‘Go Paleo,’ Too?


He’s Paleo. And stuffed. Credit: Imamon

This week and last I shared a bit about my experience doing a 30-day Paleo challenge along with my tips for going Paleo. Seeing that we’ve preached for years that it’s all about “all good things in moderation,” me writing about my experience was a bit, well, weird. Because not eating legumes, dairy and grains is definitely far outside of that mentality. I mean, you’re ruling out three major food groups! But, for me, my health and my gluten sensitivity issues, it was just a must. And I didn’t realize how good I could feel until I went Paleo. Now that my 30-day challenge is over, I’m slowly introducing other goodies into my diet and seeing how my body reacts. (I’m about 90 percent Paleo now.) Dairy every now and again is fine, although I probably won’t poop right for a few days. Same deal with legumes. Any gluten will make me all kinds of brain foggy, moody and not very nice smelling.

But that’s me and my experience—and my needs and issues are certainly not yours nor are they representative of this site as a whole. Everyone is different and has to take her own health journey to see what works best for her (and I do think we’re all on a journey to be our healthiest and happiest—it’s called life!). Mine is not the same as yours! And that’s what makes all of it really fun and interesting, don’t you think?

So let’s have a discussion on it. Today’s poll is all about your thoughts on going Paleo. Have you done it? Would you try it? Think it’s a crazy person’s way to eat? Tell us!

And for the record, “all good things in moderation” is still a really, really good way to live and eat—Paleo or not! Because,  yes, you can eat too many almonds and drink too much coconut milk! And, pretty please, elaborate on your answer in the comments. Would love to hear your thoughts! Feel free to call me a crazy cavewoman… —Jenn

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  1. Sure have! Been there and done that for 30 days. Lost 12 pounds and day 31 I was celebrating with nachos and salsa! Hardest thing I have ever done. It’s hard to sustain but doable. You just have to have support from the family. It’s VERY expensive too.

  2. Christine says:

    I’m vegan for philosophical reasons–and this kind of plant-based eating seems to benefit health for many. A vegan, or plant-based diet is by definition dairy-free, can be gluten-free, and has considerable support from the medical community. As for legumes, one can get by without the common allergens, soy and peanuts, though I don’t need to do that. This plant-based approach seems easier on the environment than consuming animal products. I would suggest people consider this as an alternative to Paleo. My favorite book on a plant-based diet for active people is Brendan Brazier’s “Thrive Foods.”

  3. Stephanie says:

    I’m a vegetarian, and sometimes I eat vegan, so it seems to be “paleo” and still keep with the no meat/very little animal products means that I am eliminating a WHOLE LOT of things from my diet. I’ve read blogs about vegan/vegetarian paleo, and I think it can be done (and I’ve read about Thrive Foods, etc.) but it seems that many who do it modify it a little bit.

    In the end, I’m intrigued to see how my body might do without legumes/grains (I’m already experimenting with little to no dairy) but I don’t know if I could manage a lifestyle that doesn’t include so much. It’s not that I couldn’t, it’s just that it would be too much effort to keep it up as a long-term lifestyle.

  4. Christi says:

    The Paleo lifestyle changed my life. I was quite obese(always was, since childhood), smoked 1.5 packs a day, ached all over, worked 3rd shift, was severely depressed.. and a 25 yr old woman. My now fiance introduced me to the Paleo Diet and I fell in love with it. 2 years later I have lost 70+ lbs, my depression is a distant memory, I have quit smoking and taken up CrossFit, running, and team sports. I didn’t know what life was until I stopped the madness of low fat, low calorie, high cardio baloney and the constant self-hatred I battled for years. I have tried it all, and for me.. This is the answer. I think it’s worth a try for anyone in any state of health!

  5. lisa says:

    I have tried so many different ‘plans’ in the past, and after years and years of listening to my body, Paleo made the most sense. Living with food allergies, bloating, gut pain, etc, I discovered that eliminating most fruits, all grains, starches, and some vegetables, and eating more organic meats, was the easiest on my stomach. I dropped weight (not the goal but a nice bonus) and my stomach is flat, I finally digest food! I feel fantastic!

  6. Michele says:

    I’d rather see people eating too many almonds and drinking too much coconut milk than the current eating too many bagels and eating too much soda. There are just some foods that no one needs, ever; not “in moderation” (a meaningless term if ever there were one; you cannot define “moderation”). Paleo is, to me, common sense backed up by easy to understand science with provable results. I have done the Whole 30 three times, once extending it to 60 days. In “real life,” I occasionally eat one serving (half cup) of grains (brown rice or quinoa) per day, and one serving (1 cup) of plain Greek yogurt per day purely because I did not have any adverse affects when I added them back in after the Whole 30. The saying “you are what you eat” is the biggest truth in the world, and, for me, any food that does not contribute to my goal of long term good health and fitness detracts from that goal. Hence there is no need for a “moderate” amount of Pop Tarts, pizza, Luna Bars, diet Coke, hot dogs or any other junk food.

  7. Steffo says:

    I’ve tried every diet out there because as you said we are all different and what works for one may not work for another. Well of all the “diets” I’ve been on (vegetarian, vegan, low-fat, low-carb, WW, Atkin, Special K, South beach) I must say…Going paleo was the greatest choice I made for my health. I highly, HIGHLY, recommend all doubters or on the rope people to check out “The Primal Blueprint” by Mark Sisson. I had doubts too, believe me, the taboo about fat and the pedestal that grains are currently perched on has been drilled into our brains for so long it’s tough to suddenly break free of conventional wisdom but for those out there who are curious, I hope you give it a try. It’s changed my life for the better. Not just me, but seeing my mothers cholesterol improve, her weight drop, her mood so upbeat and calm. Sometimes you can’t notice the difference on yourself but when you see it before your eyes. It’s powerful.
    Great post, been waiting to hear about this from ya

  8. Brit says:

    Yes! I’m starting my own 30 Days of Paleo Challenge today! I’ve been intrigued by it for a while, so I figured I might as well try it. A month won’t kill me…well I hope it doesn’t!

  9. courtney says:

    I recently went gluten free, on the recommendation of my doctor, and I have been AMAZED at how good I feel. I don’t think I realized how crappy I felt before, it was just “normal” for me! I’ve been off gluten for a couple months now, and I have realized how my eating has changed towards the Paleo type style more and more. I haven’t given up dairy, but I have discovered that beans don’t make me feel good either. I didn’t notice before, because I always felt like crapola, I guess. I haven’t wholesale given up sugar, or pizza, etc. But when I do it, it’s gluten free (because I am not going back on it, since I feel so good) and it’s in moderation. This weekend we had an old friend in to visit, and we ate corn chips and salsa like they were going out of style, and probably overdid it on M&Ms. But that was a tiny blip, and really, I still feel amazingly good after that, which is a big win. Back in my gluten filled days, I’d have a food hangover after a weekend like that. So clearly, it’s working…

  10. Vicki says:

    Jenn, is your strategy to add back 1 thing at a time cumulatively or go back to Paleo each time before adding another thing? As a detail-oriented programmer, I think the latter would be the more pure test.

    1. Jenn says:

      Hi Vicki,

      Good question! The latter does make the most sense, and it’s pretty much what I’ve been doing. When I first “broke” Paleo, I had a little goat cheese, which didn’t affect me that badly. Then, about a week later, I had a beer. That did affect me. Then, another week later, I tried some beans. Now I just splurge here or there on something I really, REALLY want. Last Friday I had some killer dessert, and it was totally worth it. 🙂

      –FBG Jenn

  11. Melissa says:

    I ordered the book you recommended Jenn and planning to read it this week. I have been a Lifetime WW’er for 6 years and hope to incorporate Paleo with WW. I also know that I will not be 100% Paleo as I will need some ice cream every so often.

  12. Monica says:

    I tried it once…for a week. I dropped 7 lbs and it was the longest week of my life. I was literally shaking from the sugar withdrawal, because I am addicted to sugar. I’ve definitely thought about going back, especially now that I’m going back to CrossFit. The only issue I have is that I love dairy, but not meat. So I’m not sure how much I can actually devote to that lifestyle.

  13. Touche. Sound arguments. Keep up the good work.

  14. Katie says:

    I am starting by going gluten free. I am not sure I can go total paleo but I love the idea of getting my carbs from fruits and veggies.

  15. Patty says:

    I have been Paleo for four days now and it is the best I have felt in forever. I am not hungry all the time. When I eat it feels so good and right. I will say that it is expensive but my health is important to me and I would spend money on fad diets to loose weight so why not buy grass feed beef instead of cheap crap.

    Best thing of all it cured my insomnia! I am sleeping so much better now which is amazing! I can’t wait to continue and am learning more and more on this journey.