I Experimented With Paleo.

Firstly I need to tell you that I’m starving. STARVING TO DEATH. I am one calorie shy from starring in my own commercial with flies buzzing around my face.

The fella has embarked on another “meal plan”. You may remember me from the last meal plan. In case you don’t … this is me during his last meal plan.

scary me

Last time the meal plan was “Whole Foods”.  Not the grocery store.  Cooking with actual ingredients.  Nothing processed, nothing pre-made.  Which was astonishingly annoying considering I pretty much cook whole foods anyway. But it was weird recipes with weird ingredients and there were rules. I do NOT like rules when I’m cooking. But his Crossfit gym was going on a meal plan and he wanted to take part.

FOR TWO MONTHS. Two months of eating food I didn’t like. TWO MONTHS. By the end of it I had resorted to sucking on the hem of my pjamas and praying for the end.

That was 2 years ago.

I believe it took the fella 2 years to gather up the nerve to ask me to do a “meal plan” again.

This time, it’s Paleo. Which I hate. Now, to be fair to all of the people who love Paleo, if it’s working for you that’s great. Truly.  That mean’s it’s good for you. People who are Paleo are hardcore Paleoites. They love it, they live it, it works for them.

It does not work for me.

For one thing I like cheese. And bread. And toast. And stuffing. But the fella wanted to try Paleo so being the loving not-wife that I am, I’m doing the best I can to meet his needs.

I should take a moment here to describe what Paleo is. Which is difficult because even people who eat Paleo don’t really agree on what’s Paleo.

Basically it’s a meal plan that’s based on eating what a caveman would have eaten. So that means wild game, organ meats and vegetables. No grain, no potatoes, no legumes, no dairy. I’m not sure what the exact reasoning is behind it but the basic thought is our bodies are bred to eat what our caveman ancestors ate. Which I agree with to an extent. Just not the extent that would prevent me from eating bread. And toast. And stuffing.

And I’m gonna be honest with you.  I’m suspicious of anything that hasn’t been documented with an iPhone.  Who’s to say they weren’t eating Jelly Belly’s and deep fried corn dogs?  We don’t know.  Instagram wasn’t even invented then.

As someone who loves to cook and experiment with meals I find Paleo too restrictive. Please don’t yell at me Paleo people. I know you love Paleo and you’re allowed. I’m just talking about what’s right for me. The thought of not being able to throw some flour in a mound on the counter, crack some eggs and olive oil into it and make fresh pasta makes me all wiggly. And a little bit anxious.

So there you have a very brief, not at all well rounded explanation of Paleo.

Modern day Paleoites find getting their hands on wild game a bit difficult these days so they eat other meat. It’s supposed to be lean cuts of meat but you can’t take all the fun out of eating so most people who eat Paleo make exceptions and eat things like bacon, steaks and pork chops along with fresh vegetables, fruit and nuts. No cheese, grains, alcohol, coffee or dairy. Although I’ve yet to meet a Paleo person that doesn’t have a coffee every once in a while. Can’t blame them.

SO … let’s get back to the fella and this meal plan. He started it on January 1st and has been going strong ever since. That man has willpower. I do not. However, since I’m the one making dinner every night and I’m not about to make 2 dinners every night I’m eating Paleo for dinner too. Of course in between dinner one night and dinner the next night, I’m eating “not Paleo”.

BUT I’M STILL STARVING.  I swear to you I am.  I’m pretty hungry at the very least.  It’s because of the water wings. The ones growing on my back. The ones threatening to grow on my knees. You see. I need to lose 6 pounds or so. And this half heartedly eating Paleo thing seems to be …  working.

Which isn’t a shock. Take grains, potatoes, dairy, and cheese out of one’s diet and even someone with an enormous thyroid condition would lose weight.

The big plus of Paleo is bacon. Which technically should only be eaten every once in a while but if you were to take advantage of the bacon allowance, then you could in fact gain weight on Paleo I suppose.

I guess I’m not actually all that starving to be honest.  I’m missing potato chips.  And cheese.  And toast with real peanut butter not “my favourite nut butter”.  And tortellini en brodo and beets with goat’s cheese crumbled over top.

But I’m willing to do it.  Willing to put up with it.  Willing to do anything for my fella.

Even lie about what’s actually in his meals.  You think carrot soup *really* taste that good without a cup of cream?  Pfttt.

Sucker.  Never again I said 2 years ago.  And I meant it.

My first Paleo  Meal of the Week … coming up in tomorrow’s post.  And yes.  It really is Paleo.


Curious about how the first meal plan went?  Read about that debacle here in the post “I love you so much you make me sick“.



  1. Janine says:

    You are a good non-wife. I’m glad my fella prefers pizza.

  2. sera says:

    Karen, sorry I commented so much. I apparently got really excited to talk to you.
    or really bored at work.

    • Karen says:

      I suspect you’re bored and interested in the subject matter. Plus I *am* pretty cool. ~ karen

      • sera says:

        You are super cool! And since you open yourself up to “Ask Karen” somehow I feel like I can ask you stuff.
        And it’s true, despite my lack of ability to adhere to any diet, I am fascinated by the subject of food and healthy diets v. fad diets, etc. I just wish I could figure out how to turn it into a career. How do I get paid for that?

  3. Barbie says:

    I don’t have time to read all the comments which I usually try to do but you really hit the nail on the head when you answered “Miia’s” comment. Eat healthy, in moderation, and exercise! Daily or 5 x’s a week keeping ht rate at a pace you “should” be at and you should be fine. It is just what I have come to accept as being a part of my life at this age. If I don’t want back fat and thick waist…I have to do it that way. And because I HATE exercise I have to do things to distract myself while doing it. Such as an underwater ipod to listen to music while I swim and I always watch a funny movie while doing the elliptical.
    I had many many yrs of eating whatever I wanted whenever I wanted…..not anymore… sadly. I am a foodie too Karen….love to experiment and try new stuff…also share your love for chips and bread. I like the philosophy of the French, although admittedly I have not read that book … “French Women Don’t get Fat” …but heard the basic idea.
    Getting older just kinda SUCKS…..I don’t care what anybody says….It just does….you can flower it up all you want with stuff like “Oh you have such wisdom” and “The golden years” NO! I will take my youth and young body any day over the crap of growing older ESPECIALLY over 50!! Didn’t seem to notice till then. One of my favorite books on the subject is by Nora Ephron called “I Feel Bad About My Neck” LOVE IT!

    • sera says:

      I love that book!

    • Nancy Blue Moon says:

      I just saw this Barbie..since I fell asleep and just came back to the computer..I have to tell you a good one my cousin said to me recently when we were talking about how getting older sucks (I’ll be 60 in May)..”The Golden Years Have Come At Last..The Golden Years Can Kiss My A_ _”..Yep..

  4. Sean Kelly says:

    Here’s a little kinda-sorta-paleo recipe to help you through:

    1 avocado
    1/4 cup dutch cocoa
    1/8-1/4 cup raw honey
    1 tsp vanilla extract

    Blend it all together in a food processor…..and you get tasty pudding! Sounds real odd but tastes much better than it sounds. And if you stick it in the fridge it firms up like icing. Have fun!

  5. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    I agree with you Karen..that these “diets” are just fads..If all those cave people had to eat was sticks I’m betting they would have been munching away on those sticks..and then there is always what I call the “placebo factor”..That people go into these things with the belief that they are going to feel so much better and therefore they do..just like the people who are given a placebo feel just as good as those who were given an actual drug..Don’t hurt me people..OK..Having said that you are one hell of a great non-wife and I predict that Valentines Day is going to be exceptional for you this year..Right Fella???

  6. Jessica says:

    I’ve often wondered if people really “like” these diets because they probably have some undiagnosed food allergies. Paleo probably would make you feel great if you were mildly gluten intolerant and didn’t know it.

    It’s one thing to give something up that makes you feel ill though, and another to give something up because someone tells you it’s “bad.” I’m with you on this one Karen, food should make you happy and not miserable!

  7. Kathleen says:


    The Fella must be one helluva fella for you to want to torture yourself like this. Luckily, it’s temporary. It is TEMPORARY, right??

  8. Auntiepatch says:

    They only found those foods in caves because the cavepeople ATE all the good stuff!

  9. ray jay says:

    You’ll probably feel hungry after a paleo meal if you are eating not-paleo the rest of the time. I’m half-assed paleo and have been feeling great and lost 5-6 lbs without even trying. By half-assed I mean I eat cheese and yogurt and the occassional grain, but largely eat plants and animals. Are you using any cookbooks? At first I wondered what you could possibly make other than grilled meat and veg and why you would need a cookbook, but I have found some good ideas in a couple cookbooks. Anyway, good luck!

  10. Mary Werner says:

    The earth that animals eat off of doesn’t contain the same nutrients that used to be here and so neither do the animals. Erosion, fertilizers, pesticides, on, and on, and on have reduced most “earth” to cardboard. If paleo means eating animals raised on organic and nutrient enriched earth that is better but even “cave men” ate beans, leaves, roots, and nuts. But what do I know, I’m a cheese headed, bread butt of a woman. Good luck.

  11. Kitten Caboodle says:


    I don’t know if you have a Kindle but Amazon has a Paleo slow-cooker cookbook available for free TODAY ONLY. I checked, it’s free on the Canada site too.


    It can’t hurt and it might help!

    And it’s free. How bad could it be?

    Good luck! You’re a better non-wife than me.

    • Karen says:

      Kitten – Oh, it could be VERY bad, LOL. I’ve tried several paleo recipes from the Internet and not many of them are edible let alone good. I’ve made some adjustments to a few of them, but prefer to just stick with my fiddling with my cooking to make it Paleo friendly. But I *will* go have a look at the book. Thanks! ~ karen

  12. WittyMermaid says:

    So, I won’t even pretend that I read all the previous comments. A quick scan tells me that you’re indeed correct–the paleo-eaters (or worshipers) came to defend their cause. And like you, I say whatever they want to eat–I don’t care.

    Having said that, our son (also a devoted cross fitter), who is a college student and happens to live in our basement, has eaten paleo (in spurts) for a couple of years. And my synopsis of paleo is this: Not only are they miserable, but they make everybody else miserable too. And, there is some kind of kindred loyalty that prevents the from acknowledging that they’re miserable–or that they’re making others miserable. They do not realize, in my estimation, that they are literally salivating, while staring at my cheesy eggs.

    They are convinced, through some kind of ancient cave man mind-control, that they *like* that diet they’re on… And they stand up a little taller and straighter (and smugger) when they say, “No, I haven’t had *dairy* (pronounced with disgust) in two months…” I vote it’s the theory of “cognitive dissonance” that keeps them going.

    Then, ….. one day….., they go off the diet, and every cow and convenience store in your state better watch out…

    Haha. Okay, no really. Good for them and their “diet.” :)

  13. Lisa says:

    Alas, right now I have the enormous thyroid condition…. and the enormous thryoid on my neck. I get one month for it to go down or I have to have more tests.

    And yesterday, I started looking at the Paleo stuff too, so I am right there with you! However, I just ate a handful of potato chips for breakfast. I have to get rid of them, right??

    I see a similar comment about legumes – yes, the diet is supposed to pre-date the agricultural revolution but there were wild plant sources for legumes and some grains, just the same as there were wild plant sources for berries!

    Quinoa (technically a seed) pre-dates the agricultural revolution in Peru. Rice pre-dates it in China. Corn pre-dates it in Mexico.

    My weekend project is going to be to design something near-Paleo for me for a month, so my question is – would the Fella pitch a fit if you had rice with your stirfry and he didn’t? Or ate tuna fish with crackers while he ate a tuna salad?

    Also, sorry about the potato chip comment.

    • Karen says:

      LOL. No the fella wouldn’t pitch a fit at all. He encourages me to eat what I want. But I only want to make one dinner. And even though he has the resolve of a monk, I feel mean eating potatoes or rice or pasta in front of him. So … I eat what he eats. Although last night I put a few toasted bread crumbs on my Kale salad. Woooooo. Look at me. WHAT a rebel. ~ karen

  14. jackie says:

    agreed it’s awful. i baked 2 pies to celebrate the end of my trail period with that shiznat. the naturopath(ie snakeoil salesman) i went to put me on something like it that included drinking only homemade chicken broth before each meal. i have a job. i looked like a freak. and it made me annoyed all. the.time. but i wasn’t hungry. just a mad little woman. good luck.

  15. jamie says:

    I hear you. If I didn’t have an actual (medical) reason to eat paleo, I probably wouldn’t be so strict with it. That being said, I also think there are things you can do to help yourself through this.

    Here’s my advice as someone who’s been doing it since May with a similar body type:
    I drink coffee everyday. WITH HEAVY CREAM.
    I eat small bits of aged cheese.
    I eat whatever meat with whatever fat content I want.
    Occasionally, I eat white rice (never brown).
    I add extra olive oil or MCT oil (coconut oil), butter, and coconut butter to my food.
    I eat sweet potatoes and occasionally purple potatoes.

    And I’ve lot about ten pounds without meaning to. You have to add extra fat to feel satiated if you already have a lean frame.

    Good luck! It’s a hard diet, but you are an amazing person for supporting your spouse this way!!!

  16. Dawna Jones says:

    I never get people who are fussy about these things, and then say I couldn’t live with out….. Yes you can when you have no choice because of health issues you just do it, that’s right you man up and do it and enjoy the process for what it is, a journey to a better you. I haven’t had coffee, alcohol, dairy or wheat for a month. With a diet consisting of mostly vegetables and fruits, and I am just fine and feel amazing! Man up Karen!!! :))

  17. Kerri says:

    I love all the caveman these days. I highly doubt they were benching bison and worrying about fitting into their fur pants. Plus, they evolved and all, so even they didn’t agree with their diet ;) Cheese..

  18. Kristen S says:

    I was diagnosed with Celiac disease 2 months ago, and was immediately forced into a gluten free diet for life. I didn’t even get to say goodbye to croissants and fresh baguettes. Gluten free SUCKS. There is gluten hidden in everything (chicken stock, soy sauce, chocolate!). It severely limits what I can eat (and I want to try/eat everything!) If the fella suggest a Gluten Free meal plan next; run.

  19. JF says:

    . . .sorry. . .you lost me at “no alcohol”. . .

    Karen, I’ll see your water wings and raise you my kissing thighs — apparently, they have got to remain in close contact with each other — I miss my old metabolism

    maybe some chips will make me feel better. . .

  20. Deb J. says:

    Don’t know much about this paleo thing and am not much of a fan of any diet that cuts out whole food groups. But all that aside, weren’t cavemen hunter/gatherers? And weren’t grains one of the first thing they learned to eat? And, if I understand things correctly, mostly lived on ‘cos the hunter side of the hunter/gatherer equation weren’t always as successful as the gatherer side. Maybe you could launch an argument for a realistic caveman diet – and get your grains back :). Good luck on the wings. Get them under control and chicken wings won’t be far behind.

  21. Laurel McBrine says:

    If you think that is tough, try raw vegan, where you eliminate also anything cooked plus all the meat . . . just raw vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds.

  22. Branwen says:

    I cannot do Paleo. Because I’m a veggie. If I were to eat Paleo as well I would only be eating veggies and nuts. Therefore I have to include pulses and oils (for fat, I need fat). But to show you that I am feeling for you I will leave out the dairy for this month. So I can feel a bit like how you are feeling. (but I’m telling you, when I get hungry I will eat crisps, cannot help myself)

  23. Ann says:

    I think those Paleo people died young from things like wild boar attacks!! And lack of dental care. The archaeologists have a lack of many modern diseases in the few humans they have been able to unearth. But they found horrible dental disease and sometimes things like rickets and scurvy, all of which we can avoid easily now. But mostly they found that their deaths were due to injuries during hunting, gathering or squabbles with other tribes.

  24. Ann says:

    I am one of those people who swear by Paleo. And at Paleo, I am afraid. When I am living pure Paleo, my entire body works and feels so much better. I sleep well, which for me is a true miracle. My digestion is amazing and I lose weight without even thinking about it.

    But the reason I also swear at Paleo is the boredom factor. I am able to purchase and use all kinds of free range, organic meats. Not game meats but beef, chicken, pork and lamb. I also eat fish once a week but it is not a fav of mine. I love so many veggies and fruits but I have a bit of trouble with nuts so I have to keep them to a minimum. But not having dairy, legumes, and grains is so freakin hard. But if you look around you will find that a lot of hard core Paleo-ists do eat sweet potatoes, wild rice, millet and a few other oddities. Some even do cheese. So if you slowly add those things in and none of them change how good you feel on Paleo then you have the permission of many of the Paleo police out there.

    That said, I sure need to go back to eating Paleo. I have been eating whole since about Thanksgiving. As in eating whole chickens, whole pies, whole loaves of bread, LOL. Well, not really but I have been eating grains again and not feeling nearly as well. I ate some chili the other night and within an hour of eating the black beans I was sick as a dog so those may be out of my diet forever.

  25. Langela says:

    I clicked back to your first adventure. The photo of you cracks me up! Why do they think no grains were eaten? Were there no plants back then? Is there a paleo man around still that tells us what he ate back then? There are no modern day living paleo people who can tell us. Your fella is just looking for an excuse to drag you around by your hair while wielding a club.

    • Karen says:

      No grains because Paleo surmises that the agricultural revolution didn’t happen until a mere 10,000 years ago and our bodies haven’t adjusted to things like grains yet. Although there is *other* evidence suggesting the eating of grains hundreds of thousands of years ago. ~ karen

  26. Susan says:

    First, we only surmise what Paleolithic people ate, based on what we’ve been able to find that’s left over from their time on this Earth. So it’s a guess, at best, based on a very small sampling. Second, they ate what was available to them, based on their current technology. We’ve evolved, and our digestive systems are evolving with us. Our technology has evolved, and we now know how to make cheese, harvest grains, make truffles. Most current “ills” aren’t because we don’t eat like they did, it’s because we don’t get enough exercise and overeat. I’m pretty sure that if Paleo man could be brought back to life today, he’d eat the sour cream backed potato instead of some weeds and a rat he was able to catch.

    • Nancy Blue Moon says:

      So glad you pointed this out Susan..I have been thinking the entire time I am reading this..They ate those things because that is all that they had available to eat..I am also sure that they would prefer eating the sour cream potato if they were here today and had choices..

  27. Rebecca says:

    I’d heard kale chips are so good for so long, I finally made them a few days ago. Sorry, but so not good. They even made my garbage smell horrible. Kale salad is much better.
    Can’t even imagine eating paleo. I would be so sad. We tried gluten free a couple years ago and I was so damn happy it didn’t help with my son’s ADHD so I didn’t have to keep doing it. It was torture.

    • Kathleen says:

      Geez, how awful for you! Because kale chips are so amazing!! Making your garbage stink? You sure you weren’t using Collards?
      You need to set the oven faily low, like just below 300 degrees.
      Take out the thick middle stem from the kale and tear up the kale into sections, about an inch and half sections. Spread out onto a foil lined (or non stick) baking sheet. LIGHTLY drizzle the kale pieces with good olive oil, and then sprinkle sea salt on the pieces. If you are feeling particularly fancy, try sprinkling truffle salt on them (A-MAZE-ing.)
      Just bake them for about 20 minutes, watching them to not burn… and turn them over around half way through. They should dry up to be flaky, thin, crispy and delicious. Sort of like the deep fried spinach that our local chinese restaurant makes (but which is wayyyyy worse for you!) Do try it again, I promise you, if you even half enjoy the taste of kale normally, you might have just done something weird the first time you made it! Good luck.

      • Karen says:

        Hi Kathleen – On behalf of Rebecca. It’s true. Some people just don’t like Kale chips and think they’re gross. I’m one of them. ~ karen!

      • Stephanie says:

        Kathleen, I’m with Karen on this one: it’s not a matter of preparation. Kale chips are horrifically awful. And that’s coming from someone who likes kale.

        The only thing worse than kale chips, IMO, are brussels sprouts in any form.

        BTW: I will not do any meal plan that prohibits wine and coffee. It’s true I feel physically better by cutting grains from the diet, but can only sustain for 60-90 days before I miss toast so much the psychic damage outweighs physical benefits. So I go back and forth, a few months primal, a few months not. Currently not; am reading comments while finishing up a piece of whole grain toast with peanut butter, yum.

        • Karen says:

          Stephanie – I just joined your VIP club so I could get my free “present pillow” quilt pattern, LOL! I *love* it! Thank you. ~ karen!

  28. Renee says:

    Karen, Do you have Melissa Joulwan’s cookbook “Well Fed” yet? SO MUCH GOOD FOOD

    • Karen says:

      Renee – No. I won’t be doing this long enough to justify investing in a cookbook. ~ karen

    • Marcy says:

      I LOVE her cookbook.

      I was very strict paleo for a couple years and didn’t lose any weight, and I got progessively more tired as time went on – so I added back in potatoes, rice, corn chips, and all dairy. Plus ice cream, coffee, and alcohol.

      So I don’t call my diet paleo, but I don’t eat gluten or vegetable oils. I think Mark Sisson would accept it as ‘Primal’ except maybe for the corn chips.

  29. Robyn says:

    Are eggs allowed?

  30. Maria says:

    I’m sorry your starving Karen. You need to eat more BACON!
    Seriously- we eat “primal” here which is Mark Sisson’s version- its Paleo plus dairy. The idea is that not everyone is intolerant to dairy so you hold eat it if it makes you feel good. Honestly first time in my life I HAVEN’T been starving. Oh- and you get to eat lots of maple syrup!

  31. Ruth says:

    I eat neither meat or dairy, so I would kick the bucket on the first day without my nuts and grains. Are legumes allowed? How about smoothies, honey, coconut icecream? No? Paleo is not for the likes of me. LOL!

    (I realise peanut is not actually a nut, but I am still claiming it as my favourite nut butter….. because I can.) :D

    • ~JackieVB says:

      @Ruth – some legumes and grains are allowed if they are soaked/sprouted first. You could look into the Weston A Price foundation to get lots of info on that as it’s very similar to Paleo. And yes you can have Honey as well as coconut Ice cream if it’s made from natural ingredients. In fact coconut is considered a Rock Star in the Paleo world because it has so many health benefits. Plus there’s all kinds of Nuts you can have. Almonds, Brazil Nuts, Cashews etc… There are certain ones you want to steer clear of because they have a high Omega6 to Omega3 ratio(bad for inflammation in the body). But I go on… check out the diet Maria mentions in her post as well.

      • Karen says:

        LOL. SEE? Now this is one of the reasons I have an issue with Paleo. What you say is allowable others who adhere to a different Paleo plan say is banned. There are 2 or three Gurus of Paleo if I remember correctly, none of them agreeing exactly on what’s what.

  32. ~JackieVB says:

    I follow a Paleo, ‘not-Paleo’ diet. Meaning that I do have certain types of dairy like yogurt and heavy cream(if it’s from a healthy source) and some cheeses if they are hard cheeses like Parmesan. Can’t have it on my spaghetti anymore but I’ve become even more of a champ at making meatballs. And I do have some ‘healthy’ starches which include potatoes and -gasp- even white rice. I know you didn’t want the Paleo types to defend the diet but just wanted to weigh in with that. I was very strict during the first 30 days though, and it helped me uncover some food allergies/sensitivities that I didn’t know I had. Plus it fixed some long term health problems I didn’t think would ever be resolved. Didn’t mean to turn this into a platform but I’ve learned alot about the role of good food for our physical and mental well being and I’ve seen many people benefit from it so can’t help but be a cheerleader. By the way I had a big peanut butter habit before all this – was happy to know I could have some Almond butter (much cheaper at Trader Joes by the way) but I do miss the big glass of milk and squeeze bottle of chocolate syrup that went along with it!

  33. Reg says:

    Oh dear. No chips. I love potato chips, in moderation of course.

    I have to admit that I was imagining fella with a determined expression on his face, brandishing a spear at some beastie, and you at home in the cave tapping your foot because he was late getting back with dinner. By the way, you looked fetching in skins.

    Ah me, the things we do for the ones we love.

  34. Maggie V says:

    My daughter and son-in-law are on it. She has lost 8 lbs since Jan 7th and he 14 lbs. He dislikes it and says he will not last 30 days she on the other hand does all the cooking and likes the meal plan thingy. It is a life time way to eat not 30 days. We will see. Koodos to all who try it and can stick with that way of eating FOREVER.

  35. Holly says:

    Here’s my story since I know you are just dying to hear it. My sister talked me into Paleo when she found out I was feeling really crappy and lethargic. I started Paleo and followed it to a T. I felt amazing and lost 12 lbs the first month. I had never felt better in my life. But then….well, it started with Cheetos and went onto spaghetti and Philly Cheesesteaks. It’s been ugly ever since and I really feel like crap and I can barely hold my head up most days but I am sure loving those cheesesteaks so it’s kinda worth it.

    • Cat says:

      Sounds like your body might be unhappy with one or more of the things you are eating. I know that I feel spectacularly better when I don’t eat dairy (no cluster headaches) and that my boyfriend is a different person when he’s not eating wheat (like, he reads and is much more social and is generally a lot more engaged, he says that it used to feel like the world was always foggy). So he feels great on a low-carb diet, but I have a tough time because he relies so heavily on dairy to get enough calories.
      I guess what I’m suggesting is maybe taking out foods one at a time to see if it’s a particular thing that’s making you feel terrible, or if it’s just general diet. ‘Cause maybe it’s not so good for you to feel like your swimming through pudding all the time and if you could fix that by just changing one little thing wouldn’t it be worth it to not feel like you need to go to bed the minute you get home from work?

  36. Lisa says:

    Paleo has some good to glean. But it makes more sense to look at traditional cultures from around the world. Also, the food preparation of those cultures are key. Have you looked into the research done by Weston A. Price? http://www.westonaprice.org/ This dietary philosophy suggest eating and preparing foods the way your ancestors did. Check it out. The book, Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats by Sally Fallon is amazing. And with a title like that, it has to be a page turner.

  37. Ashley says:

    Paleo wouldn’t work for me either. I’m trying DASH which is backed by actual scientific research and verified by numerous independent studies. I don’t try diets lightly especially ones with not much evidence to prove it is actually healthy. Mayo clinic has a great breakdown on various diets and DASH was one of the top rated.

  38. magali says:

    I am on an no processed foods, no dairy, no refined sugar diet right now! Yesterday I sounded like you do in this post. I wanted cheese so bad. That’s all I could talk about. I started eating my stupid salad for supper (which really was delicious) while watching TV and while my boyfriend was having a good laugh beside me I was just staring. I couldn’t even listen to what was happening on the screen because I was thinking of cheese. So I got up and ate a piece and a half. Best cheese ever.

    plus side: I’ve lost three of the five pounds I want to loose before my wedding that’s in three weeks!

  39. marilyn says:

    my niece and her husband are on that diet…no thanks, not very realistic if you ask me..what ever happened to moderation for petes sake..less in and more out..life is way too short to never eat bread or cheese..just sayin’

  40. Dawn says:

    Have you checked out nomnompaleo.com? Lots of good recipes- I enjoyed reading her when I went paleo for a little while (like two weeks omg seriously gimme my cheese). It’s definitely striking how much dairy/butter makes life better!

    • Karen says:

      I have. And I like her. But Paleo recipes aren’t for me. I’ve found the biggest problem is most people who have Paleo “recipe” sites are people who never cooked to begin with and it shows in their “recipes”. ~ karen!

      • Christina says:

        YES! You hit the nail on the head! I think that’s the trouble with a lot of specialty diets (paleo, vegetarian/vegan, gluten-free, etc.). The people who come up with them are generally decent nutritionists or have a keen sense of animal welfare, but they aren’t really good cooks. I found a vegetarian soup cookbook recently that was actually written by a good cook: Love Soup by Anna Thomas. Her green soup is both vegan and paleo-friendly–and soooo delicious!

        • sera says:

          Have you tried the Mark Bittman “How to cook everything vegetarian”. It’s not paleo, but a lot of it is vegan and Mark Bittman can cook! Actually, of diets to follow, I love his “vegan before 6” concept. genius!

        • Karen says:

          Mark Bittman is GREAT. Love him. He loves food without being a food snob. ~ karen

        • B-Naz says:

          Amazing! My ex got this cook book for me one year. I’ve had it in my kitchen for YEARS now and have never made one single thing out of it. I think it’s just big and intimidating and doesn’t have pics so it’s never got my attention? I’m not a foodie. I’m not a cook. I just like decent tasting food that’s easy to make. Perhaps I shall FINALLY try a recipe or two…

  41. Janie says:

    Sounds like a serious case of ‘paleophobia’. Eat 2 bags of potato chips and call me in the morning.

  42. Susan says:

    What is the difference between Paleo and Atkins? Sounds exactly the same.
    If it’s anything like the Atkins diet, you lose about 5 – 7 pounds of water weight in the first week and if you stay on it the rest of your life, you’ll stay lean and mean. But the minute you start adding anything from those banned food groups, the weight comes back like gangbusters. And I speak from rueful experience.

    • Karen says:

      There are some similarities between Atkins and Paleo, but Atkins is more comparable to the French Dukan diet. ~ karen!

  43. Angela Meyer says:

    I can’t think of anything worse than eating like a caveman. I’ve lost 15 pounds since I switched to fruits, beans, and vegetables!

  44. Jan says:

    There is some spiral veggie cutter out there that makes thin pasta shapes out of veggies. I just use my veggie peeler to make zucchini ” noodles.” My youngest kid loves them but he actually loves veggies. He’s weird that way, thank goodness. The other 2 hate vegetables and could stand to lose weight. They are major carb lovers. Like me…I could live on good bread but Jenny Craig slimmed me, carbs and all.

  45. Nicole says:

    We sort of eat Paleo plus coffee, alcohol, sweet potatoes, quinoa, legumes, dairy and cheese. That’s been working well and we don’t miss the starches. My husband rarely does, but if we are out I’ll have a little bread, pasta, potatoes, rice. We are used to not having them now…we find this diet to be still tasty. :)

    • Karen says:

      Ohhhhhh Nicole. Trust me. That’s not even close to Paleo, LOL. ~ karen

      • sera says:

        I still don’t get the potato thing. Does that rule out all root veggies? Actually I don’t know why I’m asking. My husband and I hate the paleo thing. we make fun of the paleo people as we eat our pizza and chug a big glass of red wine. (or we will as soon as we start drinking again in February – effing diets.) I’m so sorry Karen.

  46. Karla C says:

    Not being able to have coffee would turn me into a caveman. I would take a club and beat someone to death for their coffee!

  47. Erica says:

    Paleolithic people only lived to be about 30 years old. That doesn’t say much for their diet as far as I’m concerned.

    • Karen says:

      To be fair, they also didn’t have modern medicine. Which they claim is around to fix the things we’ve done to ourselves through food. I don’t believe it for a second but thought I should mention it. To be fair. It’s also possible they died from sadness over not having mashed potatoes sour cream whipped into them. ~ karen

      • Diane says:

        I think they died from sadness, too. Their tongues fell out of their heads, because without yummy foods, the tongue is useless… but then they had even more trouble eating their sad, not yummy food.

    • ray jay says:

      They died because they were mauled by saber-toothed tigers, not because they were ill and diseased.

      • sera says:

        they died because they were mauled by tiger AND because they were starving. the tombstone I read on my iPhone said “RIP. Died of starvation. Eaten by tiger.”

  48. Amber says:

    Totally giggling over this post and comments. That is my new workout plan. Giggling.

  49. karenagain says:

    Two months ago I went glutten free for a month. I was so sad. I was sad the whole month.

  50. Ru says:

    Good luck, Karen. My husband and I are doing a meal plan similar to Paleo and the lack of chips is killer. I made baked kale chips tonight and highly recommend them. Didn’t even screw up on the first try!

    • Karen says:

      Ru. I appreciate the tip, but I hate Kale chips, LOL. I’d rather eat a Kale salad believe it or not. This is a VERY difficult thing for someone who loves food and cooking a much as I do. VERY. Good luck to you both! ~ karen!

      • I would say you learn to be an even better chef, there is no way to hide behind cream and sugar… And after a while you (or just me) start to think the food is for kings and queens and bread, rice and similar food are completely useless (please do eat these and I’ll have the veggies and the meats/fish).

        • Karen says:

          I appreciate what you’re saying because a lot of people do hide behind salt, cream and sugar, but you’re not going to find any true food lover adopting this way of eating. It’s too limited, too restrictive in it’s ingredients and too boring a way to live. Part of a person’s health is based on their happiness. A great deal in fact. And if food and cooking makes you happy this meal plan will not make you happy. And the thing is … bread, rice and similar foods are not useless. They simply aren’t. Paleo is not based on any sort of scientific evidence at all. I’m afraid it, like so many others is a fad diet that people have adhered to out of desperation and a need for something in their life. I realize you’re going to hate me after this comment, so go crazy with your reply if you like, LOL. Think throughout just the past 10 years at how many foods were deemed BAD and then a few years later deemed GOOD. Eggs, red wine, wheat, chocolate … The only way of life that has continually provided healthy results is eating food (all food groups) in moderation and exercising. Every other diet has been around for 5 years or so and then it disappears.

        • ray jay says:

          The Primal Blueprint does a pretty good job of explaining the science and theory behind primal/paleo way of eating if you’re interested.

        • Karen says:

          Hi Ray jay! I’ve actually done an extraordinary amount of reading and research. Which is part of why I’m opposed to the diet, LOL. ~ karen

        • Barbie says:


        • Barbie says:

          My comment was “supposed” to be under your reply to “Miia’s sorry, don’t know how it ended up in the wrong spot!

        • Miia says:

          Hahaha, ok I fully agree that my first comment might step on a few toes… Well just change the you into I, it was my experience. I have a feeling Karen is a slightly better chef then me and more experienced. And I am not saying this is the ultimate way to live life, just that the experience gives you… hmm experience.

        • Haha, I’ll go crazy with the length…

          I am a true food lover and I love to eat this way. I loved cheese, all cheese. I loved bread, specially my fathers (or mine) homebaked bread. And what is better than the memory of the sandwiches and tea after sauna (yes, Finnish) in the summer. My boyfriend does the most amazing things with cream in his cooking and his speciality is really cream sauces. I can go on, chocolate… Candy… Crisps.

          But why would I ever give those up? Health = I had to. And for six months I have been on a very restrictive diet. In the beginning I was crying for cake and completely clueless when cooking. Today it’s completely different. Now if I didn’t have to I would not have done it but now that I have I can honestly say it’s been a good experience. I would say “try it and be quite restrictive for 3 months, see how you feel”, but it is hell of a challenge if you do it restrictively and who knows what happens.

          About the happiness part… Well we can no longer buy a bag of crisps and celebrate friday, we have to do stuff that makes us happy. It was hard in the beginning but now I rarely feel the need, the habit has changed I guess.

          SCD / Elaine Gottschall and GAPS / Dr. Natasha Cambell-McBride both of these ladies done a huge amount of research on it from the healing perspective and I would say gives a good scientific ground on why paleo and similar diets do good.

          Then of course if one wants to completely hack our digestion and health this is good inspiration with references:

          I guess the question for me is: Once I get healthy will I continue a restrictive Paleo?? I love the diet. I will include cheese and well picked items but I have a feeling I will stick to it for quite some time.

    • Jan says:

      I want the recipe for kale chips. Please?

      • Ru says:

        It’s super easy, Jan. :)

        cut the stems out of your kale, cut the pieces to about 2″x2″, sprinkle them with a teaspoon of your preferred cooking oil and toss it thoroughly to coat the pieces. Spread them on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet, sprinkle with salt/spices and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-15 minutes. They are done when the edges brown but aren’t burned.

        I hope you enjoy!

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