Hello everyone, this is a question about my diet and spots and I'm hoping people can give me some advice. Sorry in advance, it's a long one. The question is in the last paragrph for those who want to skip the boring background info (I got a bit carried away but hopefully it's useful to some people).
I'm Tom, a 27 year old male, in pretty good shape but I've always been a bit on the skinny side. I have never been a spotty person (occasional spots and little outbreaks in the winter but nothing very noticable) that is until recently...some months ago I started crossfit and was recommended to drink lots of milk. So I did and had maybe 2 or 3 pints of whole milk a day. The aim was to put on some weight and it really helped, I put on a stone and a half - some fat, some muscle - but basically looked a whole lot better. Unfortunately it gave me big angry red spots on my face which was a nightmare...I guessed that it was the milk since that was what had really changed in my diet and via google this lead me to Cordain and the paleo diet. Woop!
I cut back on dairy and noticed a definate improvement (although my skin still wasn't as good as it had been previously). After a month or so I stumbled across marksdailyapple and then paleonu and started to enjoy the way of eating and lifestyle and felt that this was the right way to go. Much tastier and more enjoyable than Cordain's take on the paleo diet. Anyway, I guess I convinced myself that if I just stayed of milk I could have other dairy products. But, over the last couple of months my skin has gradually got worse and now I have quite bad spots again. I seem to have a load of tiny angry red spots on my forehead (quite different to the big red ones I had before - odd and ouch!)
So, looking back on it I am convinced that reintroducing dairy has had a lot to do with it. The obvious solution is to cut out dairy and see how it goes. Ok, and I am going to do that as of ...now! But, the thing I worry about is how I am going to get enough fat into my diet without dairy. Since I started eating paleo I have lost the stone and a half that I put on during the milk diet. (Gutted!) I am now back to 12 stone but with reasonable muscle tone and look a lot better than when I started. That said I really don't want to lose anymore weight and if possible I would still like to gain some. (I am doing crossfit a couple of times a week so this should be possible).
So, I am going to say a bit about my diet below and invite any recommendations for how to modify it - without dairy, with high fat content and making it tasty and convenient. (Tall order?)
I eat omlette for breakfast most days (4 or 5 eggs, loads of butter, a few rashers of bacon, onion tomato or whatever is about). It's massive and I love it. Lunch I have a big salad with chicken breast and random veggies, olive oil and vinegar dressing or I have leftovers from last night's dinner. Then at night I have stew or could be anything really - traditional homecooked stuff no pasta or bread etc. occasional potatoes...pretty much paleo but not 100% by any means.
Vices and snacks: I eat cheese as a snack and lately have been having quite a lot (this has coincided with particularly bad spots which has reminded me about previous dairy problems), alcohol - wine a couple of times a week in moderation but also every so often beer and unfortunately this is rarely in moderation. (I like getting drunk with my friends but I don't think it's this that is the major cause of spots as this has always been present.)
Anyway, I was very happy with paleo eating and I currently enjoy every meal... I really don't want to take my friend's advice to go back to a "normal" diet since I didn't have spots when non-paleo. I will also be very sad to see dairy go as I love it and it's now just one more thing I will have to turn down. But that's life...so, my question is this, how can I get enough fat calories in an easy, tasty paleo diet without any dairy? Any posts of your non dairy paleo diets would be really useful too.
Any thoughts appreciated. Thanks, Tom.
First, I would say that if you are looking to gain weight, fat may not be the way to go. You may want to add extra protein or carbs instead. But to increase dietary fat:
Eggs are great. You can also make some fantastic sauces from them like aioli or hot bacon dressing (I skip the sugar and it's still good). Bacon is good, but fresh pork belly is also awesome, as are most fatty cuts of pork. Salad of roasted bone marrow with parsley is a big hit around here (skip bread, stir the rest up in a big bowl). Confit. Salami. Avocados are good with mexican food, but also as a raw pudding, or in cumin carrot avocado salad(which is excellent with eggs for breakfast). Coconut is another easy way to get in fat, either with soups or curries that have a coconut milk base, or by using coconut oil in cooking, or by making coconut oil based hot drinks. You could even make coconut oil bark. Liver pate is another good one.
Personally, I would recommend avoiding using nuts and seeds to increase fat, as I don't believe that the high omega 6 ratio is beneficial to anyone.
Hi Tom. Often it is the dairy protein, especially whey, that aggravates acne, not the fat. You may be able to stop milk and cheese, but continue eating butter and heavy cream. Also, there may be something about your workouts that could be irritating your skin. You may be perspiring excessively, or maybe your gym is contaminated with bacteria. Do you wear a hat or headband? Do you wipe your forehead frequently with a towel, glove or sweatband? These things could exacerbate acne on the forehead. Sometimes soaps or shampoos can irritate the skin on your forehead. Consider trying a "no-soap-no-poo" lifestyle ( http://paleohacks.com/questions/593/any-women-tried-no-soap-or-shampoo ). Finally, you can treat the acne with benzoyl peroxide and/or antibiotics, and see if that gets it under control.
I eat omlette for breakfast most days (4 or 5 eggs, loads of butter, a few rashers of bacon, onion tomato or whatever is about).
Then at night I have stew or could be anything really - traditional homecooked stuff no pasta or bread etc. occasional potatoes...pretty much paleo but not 100% by any means.
Am I the only who saw that? I had acne my whole live and when I went paleo I read a couple of article suggesting acne is diet related, so I kept changing my diet to find out the reason. Today I am completly acne free and considering it was so bad that I was taking medication against it this is quite surprising for me. There are three things that give me acne:
I tried to cut out the dairy, but unless I drink milk it doesn't affect me.
Hope I could help, try to cut out the nightshades first for me they are the worst problem.
First, choose fatty cuts of meat like ribeye. I also save fat from cooking beef and pork, and even buy extra beef fat and render it. Then I cook with it, add it my meat, or use it for making pemmican. Butter is a good source of fat, but some people who do not tolerate dairy, do not tolerate even butter. You could try ghee, which is butter that has been clarified of the non-fat particles. Coconut oil is also a good choice if you must use a plant oil.
Do you know those coconut cream blocks? They are extremely yummy and most people can´t stop eating. I call it my white chocolate. Red palm oil is also very delicious, healthy and somehow underrated. I like it most with beef and use it more like a sauce than a fat. I also get pimples from dairy except ghee. Because I don´t tolerate neither casein nor beta-lactoglobulin.
Just did a post about some easy cooking tips you might enjoy. The best would probably be bone marrow. It's cheap and can be cooked in a toaster oven.
Another favorite of mine is pork belly. If you cook it the way I tell about in my post, you also get lard, which you can cook veggies in to boost your calorie intake. Gourmet stores should also have duck fat, which serves the same purpose.
I don't eat much in the way of eggs or dairy, so I rely on these things. When I first reduced my egg consumption, I just cooked everything under the sun in coconut milk. Got tired of that, but it's another great source of fatty calories.
I too, have some sensitivities to dairy but mine is manifested mostly in sinus congestion. I have found that sheep and goat cheeses and goat's milk do better for me. Like you, I don't have a problem with butter at all.
Another thing to consider - do you take fish oil? It can have an anti-inflammatory response, even in the skin.
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