I've heard a lot about people cheating or accidentally ingesting non-paleo foods and being sick for days. Is this the case for everyone, or just those with guts that aren't fully healed? For example, the GAPs & SCD diets claim that, if followed for 2 years or so, people can go back to eating everything. Do they have a period of regaining tolerance where they'd get sick too?
I'm not thinking of reintroducing these items myself, just wondering what others' experiences have been. We're thinking of taking our toddler off grains for awhile just as an experiment (he's showing no obvious intolerances to them, but we're interested in maximizing his health) but I wouldn't want to create a situation where his gut can't handle grains (Gramma likes to give him crackers, etc.). I don't think it would be fair to "make" him grain-intolerant, if that's what it ends up being.
I think it's more likely that after eating well people just start noticing how bad grains/sugar etc make them feel. I used to think a slight headache and sore tummy was "normal".
I have no problem with grains or legumes. I can go months with out eating them, then be at a party and have birthday cake and feel fine. Or make a bean soup when we're super broke and I'm fine with it (ok beans do make me feel kinda tired, but that's it).
The same goes for my kids- they have not had any issues. They eat paleo at home, but there are times in school or at a birthday party they cheat- and they have not had any issues.
Just my experience.
Once a week, I eat something with wheat in it. I would suggest everyone do this, unless they are truly celiac. I occasionally have green beans. Sometimes I will eat a chinese dish that has a little bit of black bean sauce. I make sure I don't get too much of it though. Doesn't bother me. So, I would suggest that after an initial period of weaning yourself from problematic foods that you reintroduce them now and again. While it may be important to severely reduce them, it's also important not to become a Food Fascist when you're out in public. So, I say, come down off of that high horse every now and then and eat these foods.
After nearly 2 months of Paleo:
So I'm pretty okay with all/most non-paleo foods. But I'm 18, didn't feel bad before Paleo, nor feel very special on Paleo, and quite fit. That does contribute to the tolerance I believe.
PS: experimenting with your toddler, sounds freaky :P
Kind of. I've been at this for a while and have experimented a lot. I think some people really do have sensitivities to certain foods. Safe to say that if you notice a bad reaction from eating something, it's probably not good for you. Other people do not and should be fine eating things that make me feel terrible, like cake (sob), in moderation.
Too many carbs, even 'safe' paleo-style carbs, make my blood sugar crash and affect my sleep and energy. Low carb isn't great for me either, but I rarely go over 200g per day even when I am very active. I do not notice any effects from moderate consumption of table sugar (which I usually have only in chocolate and ice cream). Neither VLC or high-carb is right for me.
Legumes are pretty much fine for me to eat. I like chickpeas and eat them often. Other beans can give me a little bit of gas and loose stool, but nothing more serious. I don't eat mass amounts anyway.
Most grains kill me and I have learned the hard way that I should not 'cheat'. White rice, however, is a-ok, and corn seems to be fine too (so far - I only really eat corn tortillas). Wheat is the absolute worst. Any other 'whole grain' comes with various side-effects. Everything from sudden severe energy loss with foggy head, to stiffness and muscle pain for days, to eczema flair-ups, to hives, to IBS recurrence, to worsened depression. They throw my body into turmoil. I think I'm grain-free for life. Except for white rice and corn. And that's just me; my cousin is not paleo and eats lot of wheat, but she has a corn sensitivity she was diagnosed with in childhood. It makes her severely bloated, among other things. People really are different.
The one thing that gives me trouble is beer. I used to be able to down a 6-pack with ease, but now I feel bloated after one or two. I'll get nauseated after something really sweet, like a big slice of cake, but some pizza or legumes don't seem to bother me.
More importantly, I know many adults that have never even heard of "Paleo," but because they were raised by parents who rarely ate desserts, etc, they don't like sweets. So whether or not your kids can tolerate grains and other non-paleo foods, they probably will be so unaccustomed to eating them that they'll avoid them out of habit.
I have been eating Paleo since October 2010. I would say I'm fairly srict most of the time, probably 90/95% compliant. I do sometimes eat pizza with my family or have store bought cake on a birthday. I get a sugar/carb high sometimes, but I don't get sick. The reason I continue to avoid these foods is that they do cause me to retain water which raises my blood pressure significantly.
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