Hi Paleo friends! i have been having so many issues this summer, it's my first summer 100% paleo, but i am experiencing a new very low energy. i am pretty strict paleo, mostly meat and veggies, and rarely (if ever) eat fruit, nuts, seeds, or chocolate. i have been getting in tons of sun and am very, very active! but, like i said, ive been having such low energy, and extreme cravings for sugar for the last couple weeks. i have been wondering if maybe i need a little more fruit (or something??) this summer season to help balance out all the sun and longer days?? i do eat seasonally as far as veggies are concerned, but other than that, i havent made any significant modifications for the summer? anyone else seem to have an unusually strong craving for sugar this summer? has anyone else modified their diet considerably for the summer?? any luck with that?? any tips or advice? is it hard to come off the fruit after the summer? did the fruit in the summer lead to an increase in body fat storage? thanks for any input!
I think eating seasonally includes fruit. When the days get long, my fruit cravings go way up, and it makes sense to me.
Fruit offers the orange, red, and blue antioxidants that work as a natural internal sunblock, so definitely your friend if you are out in the sun a lot.
Melon is also hydrating and makes me feel great when the weather is hot. Other times of year, I might eat a piece or two of cantaloupe at a salad bar and be more than done, but in the summer, I could easily eat a whole cantaloupe for breakfast and then go about my way. Somehow my tolerance of fruit sugar goes way up, and I'm normally a fairly low carb person the rest of the year. Watermelon (the white rind bit in particular) is good for preventing UTIs, if I'm not being good about staying perfectly hydrated in hot weather, I find it to be a good addition to my diet.
I don't take those fruit cravings into the fall, squash and potatoes usually start sounding better then. I try to eat whatever is in season until I'm sick of it, I usually reach a point where I don't even want cherries anymore when the season is done, same with peaches, melon, and berries.
A sugar craving is a sign of a stressed liver. Which could very much explain your low energy.
One common paleo pit fall is getting too much vitamin b12, which in excess will make you sleepy. Red meat contains 4/5 times more b12 than white meats and organ meats have huge amounts of b12, if I were to eat nothing but red meats I would soon feel fatigued. as an example, 1000cals of beef has 450% of your estimate b12 need, wheras 1000cals of poultry/pork is more like 100%
You might also want to consider eating starchy tubers, there is some debate about this but I believe if a person can make fire to cook meat, he/she can also bake a potato or yam. It requires no technology to cook (just bury a potato in hot ash for a few hours - easily achieved by a caveman), unlike grains with of course require some kind of pot to cook. Afterall, we do have highly developed bodily functions to digest, process and storage glucose digested from starch - remove digesting starch from the equation and these facilities our bodies have make no sense.
A little side note to add, before humans left the African plains (pre paleo era I think) we would have had exposure to fire, very dry African plains would have had many naturally occurring fires because of the lack of moisture. Even if they couldn't light a fire, keeping one going would have been pretty easy.
Those cravings will subside with time. For me it took about 10 months on Paleo.
What really helped me to curb my sugar cravings was to eliminate ANY source of sugar, such as fruit, berries, honey, ANYTHING sweet. I was able to add them back later on, but the cravings are gone. I would not recommend doing it now, in the summer. When there is abundance of fresh fruit and berries - why deny yourself some macronutrients? Do it in the winter.
Also, try to eat at least ONE RAW vegetable with every meal. It really helps. If some vegetables are too gross to eat raw, juice them - they might be more palatable that way. You need to have raw foods for your liver to function well.
If a craving for any particular item is too strong, I would give in, but wait for at least a couple of days to see if this craving is real.