I've been eating paleo - fairly strictly - for almost exactly six months now. Upsides - asthma better than I can remember. Weight loss good, energy improved, sleeping better and - people commenting on how well I look.
Downside is an unfortunate tendency to diarrhea. And the last few days the skin on my face has gone very dry, with wrinkles and lines forming beside and under my eyes.
I am eating abut 110 grams protein a day, plenty of animal fat (lard, meat dripping, cream, butter) fish a few times a week, lots of eggs (at least one a day) and plenty of veg, with some berries and occasional bananas. Too much wine - not paleo, I know. Total calories around 2000. I feel I must be doing (eating) something wrong - or not eating something I should.
Any advice from those of you further along the track than I am would be greatly appreciated.
I noticed drier skin after about a year of paleo too.
I did a bit of research, and learned some interesting information about iodine. Apparently, one potential downside of cleaning up your diet and ditching processed foods, is that you get a lot less iodine in your diet. The theory is that by eliminating processed food high in sodium (and iodized salt, since 70% of industrial salt is iodized) your body's iodine - the substrate for thyroid hormone - is depleted over time. Lower thyroid function (due to inadequate iodine) can cause dry skin, cold extremities, low energy, and a whole host of other symptoms (Google hypothyroid symptoms).
I've never restricted salt usage, but in addition to giving up packaged, processed foods, I switched from regular processed iodized table salt to a minimally processed sea salt awhile back. Obviously, it would not be artificially iodized. Another factor, is the increased consumption of goitrogenic foods (which block iodine uptake) like cabbage, Brussels sprouts, kale, broccoli and cauliflower - even strawberries and peanuts contain goitrogens. Speaking for myself, I KNOW I eat a ton more of those foods than I used to - especially cabbage and cauliflower. Chlorinated, fluoridated tap water doesn't help either - both chemicals block iodine uptake.
Dr. Weston Price wrote in his book that the people who lived in the mountains (I think it was the Peruvian Indians) would go to great lengths to trade for dried fish eggs. When he asked them why they consumed the dried fish eggs, they said they didn’t want to get “big necks like the Americans” (goiter). So... if you're not eating fish and seaweed everyday, you might want to consider iodine supplementation. About a month ago, I started taking several drops of Lugol's 5% Iodine Solution in my coffee each morning. My skin is noticeably softer, I don't get chapped lips anymore, and my hands and feet seem warmer.
Dr. Davis talks about this stuff in his blog too: http://heartscanblog.blogspot.com/2009/08/iodine-deficiency-is-real.html
Richard Nikoley blogged about iodine as the "Hidden Benefit of the SAD" here - http://freetheanimal.com/2010/01/the-hidden-benefit-of-the-sad-iodine.html
Hi there Andrew,
Dry skin could be sign of omega 3 and omega 6 imbalance. Our paleolithic ancestors most likely had a diet which provided omega3:omega 6 to a 1:1 ratio. Unfortunately with todays composition of our foods, ie the quality of our meats etc it is practically impossible to reach this ratio even for the most strict paleo-follower. Basically the only good source of omega 3 today is blue fish (mackerell, sardines, tuna fish etc). You would have to eat this fish almost everyday to get the right ratio of omega 3 and omega 6. Sdaly though, even if you would do that, you would proabbly get to much heavy etals in your self (especially from the big fish tuna). SO to supplement with omega 3 daily is almost a must. There are no recommended levels to take, but suggestions are to take 1,5g (1500mg) of DHA and EPA per day.
With regards to your diarrhea: DIarrhea often comes from an imbalance in gut flora. Historically, we got billions and billions of good bacteria through our natural and organic food. Today however, with the use of pesticides and insecticides we do not only kill off the bad one, but also the good bacterias. Alcohol and antiiotics have also been shown to create an imbalance. So my advise there is to get as much organic whole foods as possible, cut down on the wine and supplement witha high quality probiotic bacteria supplement A good one is a mix of plenty different ones.
So in conclusion, supplement with omega 3 and probiotics, cut down on the wine and get as much organic fruit veg and game meat as possible.
Hope this helps,
Kind Regards Per Chiropractor
For dry skin I use coconut oil. It seems oily but is absorbed by the skin in a short time. My skin has never looked healthier. I was coconut oil for many things- #1- cooking oil, eat as my breakfast fat by the spoon when I'm on the run.
On a side note to the dry skin, eating excess fats in your diet can make your stool soft. I have seen this from experience. Do you only weight 110lbs? You might want to increase protein consumption to 1g per 1lb of bodyweight.
Have you always been 145 at 6 feet as an adult? Are you then only Paleo eater in your kitchen?
The Diarhea and the dry skin are possibly caused by trace gluten. Many people report improvements in their asthma when they go GF. The Paleo diet does not contain gluten, but if you have a gluten sensitivty you may need to be more careful - check your suppplements, possibly replace cutting boards, have the grill cleaned before your meal is cooked at restaurants. People also report becoming more sensitive over time.
Calories in whole cow? 7 Answers