I've known about paleo for years and always felt that paleo made a tremendous amount of sense as a way of thinking about food and health. I've adopted some of the basic principles but never fully followed it. A month ago I decided to really follow it, to see what would happen.
I'll describe what I did below, but to cut to the chase what I found is that I felt OK, but not very different from how I usually feel. I didn't feel reborn, or more energetic, or super-happy. Just fine, able to function, normal.
Which has me wondering - what is a realistic expectation from a month of paleo? How should I be feeling? Do I need to do this for a longer time to really see any benefits?
About me: 45, female, slightly underweight (BMI of 18.2), have always been healthy, rarely if ever sick. Normal markers (triglycerides 31, cholesterol 147, HDL 59, LDL 82, BP 90/60). I try and do 500 calories' worth of exercise everyday - either fast walking, cycling or running.
I've always eaten a relatively healthy diet (eg almost no processed food, a lot of vegetables and some fruit, pastured meat and eggs, fish inc oily, only fermented dairy, only small amounts of alcohol).
What I had to give up for paleo: daily bowl of oat bran, occasional beer, daily treat (couple of pieces of chocolate), legumes, canola oil for frying, occasional slice of wholewheat bread or roll, corn, peanuts, brown rice, wholewheat pasta (small amounts).
During the paleo trial I ate only a little dairy (a bit of full fat Greek Yogurt here and there, pastured butter). I added coconut oil and ghee.
I stayed around 125g of carbs a day. My percentages ended up being 20% protein 35% carbs 45% fat.
Changes: - I did not want to lose weight but ended up losing one pound. - No more bleeding gums when brushing teeth. - I was hungrier than before, eg would start thinking about lunch mid-morning even after a rich breakfast, when a bowl of oatmeal used to just fill me up.
That was about it.
Part of me thinks perhaps I was just fine with my regular diet, so I'm trying to figure out whether it's worth continuing full-blown paleo.
What kinds of early improvements did people see who weren't sick or overweight?