What do you know now,that you wish you knew long before starting Paleo? Are your views changed forever? Did you say to yourself, never, never, again about eating a food or supplement?
Over a year ago, I was at a cross roads in my life. I had enter into a relationship with someone that got me into all types of new foods and supplements. At the time, I didn't know the foods weren't for me. My girlfreind moved into my place and started to buy soy milk, flax seed oil, soy and whey protein and all different types of so-called health foods. She was extreme. In the morning we would have oatmeal or some type of grain cereal, then a protein shake made with soy milk and other supplements. She didn't eat meat and we had a lot of pasta for dinner. After 6 months my libido hit the wall and so did our sex life. It seemed I gain 30 lbs over night. I had no idea what was going on. I also dropped meat from my diet, and was adding a lot more starchy carbs to my meal plan. Before I knew it, my mood started to change. I was restless, withdrawn and very tired in the morning and late afternoon. I had to take responsibility for my health and well being. Luckily, I ran into a friend that was doing Cross Fit. He turned me onto the Paleo way of eating. Well, that became a major conflict with my girl. I was going to eat radically different from her eating style. I started drinking raw milk, eating lamb, coconut oil and sweet potatoes for breakfast. My energy went through the roof and my libido started to come back. By that time our relationship had faded, sad to say. I could not convert her to the Paleo way. After that experience, this is what I know now, that I wish I knew then.
Fats are great for my sex drive.
Grains cereals made me gain weight and made me tired.
Proteins powders made me sick. Flax seed oil didn't help my libido or help me stay lean. Soy milk ruin my libido, made me depressed and made my hair thinner. Oatmeal made me hungry within hours. And be careful to get involved with someone that eats radically different from you.
Looking back, what knowledge did you wish you knew long before starting Paleo?
Much like you, I wish I knew to not start drinking soy milk. My sister drank it, and it was always the vanilla, but my choices were that or milk so I, being the person I was at the time, looked at the fat and thought "This milk is awful" (it was 2% and relax I'm not saying it is good and I now drink it all the time or anything). That was full of soy and sugar because of the vanilla flavor and what not, which I didn't think could be that bad for me unfortunately. Also, the biggest problem with me, was the whole wheat issue. I constantly tried to make healthy whole wheat items but still used so much sugar that the combination was just killing me.
My mom always has had a great diet, in general, but my father is awful. He loves his grits and oats. My parents are both southern, born and raised, so grits and beans were staples in our diet often times.
My most unhealthy point in my life was when I became one of the usual low-fat kind of people. I wouldn't touch avocado, I always read nutritional info not for carbs, ingredients, or allergy warnings as I do now, but strictly fat and calories from fat. I would allow myself "cheats" from this low-fat idea when I would go eat Carls Junior, and Subway was, in my opinion, some sort of health crazy. My post-workout shakes would be filled with soy milk, oats, and lots of strictly fruit. I crashed hard all the time because I own an expresso machine and would make myself latte's filled with honey and vanilla extract, and I loved chai tea latte's using the bottled chai concentrate stuff.
Naturally from this I had the lower stomach pooch even though I would run 4 miles (assuming my stomach didn't hurt at the time) and for almost 2 years total I was in and out of the doctor's office trying to figure out what was wrong with my constant discomfort. My doctor found out that celiacs ran in my family, only after my mom mentioned it, and had me try gluten free for a week. I found it awful because I wasn't really doing it right, and still just eating poorly, but I felt somewhat better which slowly led me to paleo and where I am today.
That animal food is the answer.
Nothing made me feel good until I started eating lots of fish, eggs, meat, bone broths and organs. Even within paleo, all the little tweaks with macros, taking away grains, dairy, fruits, nuts, etc., had no real effect. I'm actually back to more of a WAPF philosophy now, even though I don't eat like most WAPFers (they seem to eat lots of butter fat and grains). But I do eat rice, homemade corn tortillas and occasional gluten free baked goods with modest amounts of sugar and of course plenty of potatoes and fruit. And now I'm trying to add in a little dairy (first test - raw cow's cheddar was a fail, but second test - pastured sheep's milk yogurt is a pass!)
I think the most important thing to health is traditional home cooking and whole animal nutrition. I think when you have that, then you can probably do well even with grains, dairy and legumes and even (gasp!) gluten containing bread.
Wheat will always be out for me - my stomach won't accept a bit of it, but I don't see why a properly prepared (fermented with yeast or starter, or sprouted) bread would be that harmful to people who do not have any digestive issues with it.
Also I wish I knew about the FODMAPS thing, which isn't even paleo, although I learned about it on paleohacks (what? honey is more acceptable to paleo than cane sugar? but honey makes me want to curl up and die while evil white sugar passes through my system unnoticed! oops). I am really sensitive to many fructans and figuring out that has made me comfortable in an incredible way that I've never felt before.