Eating Paleo, Dreaming of Grain

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I'm five days into the Whole30 program, which is like going paleo intentionally for a month. I've been eating pretty decently and it's been fine until yesterday. I worked out in the morning with my trainer doing a weightlifting circuit, and then over the course of the day, I walked about 6 miles doing museums and walking to various locations in the city. I was tuckered out and went to bed early, then I dreamed of grain, cake, rice, and muffins last night. I never dream about food and eating, so it was bizarre. I usually wake at the crack of dawn without an alarm clock, but this morning I slept in two hours later than usual. I'm still groggy, again unusual for a morning person, and the idea of eating anything but a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast is unappealing.

Clearly, my body is trying to tell me something.

In a nutshell, paleo is fine on days when I'm mosting doing sedentary work, but an active day left me wiped-out and craving carbs. Anyone else struggle with energy levels at first? What did you eat to boost them?

To give you a sense of what I eat, here was yesterday's food, which has been pretty typical. It seems like a decent amount of food to me, but maybe my balance is off:

Breakfast - sweet potato sausage hash:
1/4 sweet potato
<1/4 tube sausage
fried egg
1/2 apple
1/4 red onion
1/4c orange juice
2c fruit salad (cantaloupe, raspberries, blueberries)
1/4c coconut milk (coffee)

Lunch - chicken salad:
1/2 avocado
1/2 mango
1.5 c shredded chicken
2c salad greens w/ lime juice
unsweet tea

Dinner - burger, no bun, salad
2c salad greens with vinegar/oil
1/4 pound hamburger patty
morrocan-style sauce
1/4 grilled onion
1/2 tomato
1/4c mushrooms, grilled
1/4 avocado
1/4c alfalfa sprouts
1/4 cucumber




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Replies

  • TimothyFish
    TimothyFish Posts: 4,925 Member
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    You know, even Adam and Eve ate bread, so if the goal is to eat the way people used to eat, eat some bread.
  • SezxyStef
    SezxyStef Posts: 15,268 Member
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    my first question is why are you eating paleo? Just out of curiosity.

    As for the lethargy yah...low carbs means lack of energy. That's what carbs do for you and are an excellent "brain food"...

    and the menu above does not seem like a lot of food to me...how many calories?
  • Nutmeg76
    Nutmeg76 Posts: 258 Member
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    I would add more carbs, 1/4 of a sweet potato isn't really much. Starches are your friend, white potatoes or green plantains are good options as are winter squashes. You don't need to eat low carb, especially when you have super active days.
  • snowflakesav
    snowflakesav Posts: 649 Member
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    I can relate to this. Not knocking the effectiveness of low carb or paleo but I can't get over feeling like dog doo when I exercise. I am a cardio bunny and to stick to paleo I have to really change my workouts.
  • lemurcat12
    lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886 Member
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    I always want more carbs when I'm working out more.

    In this case, Sexzy Stef's point seems like an important one, though.

    I personally know that grains don't affect me negatively, so wouldn't bother with Whole30, but if you are interested in trying out how you feel without them (and the other stuff you give up), I'd make sure you bump up other carbs as a replacement--sweet potatoes or I think even potatoes are now approved. I go through periods where I don't eat grains much (personal preference), but I eat other starches (and fruit) instead.
  • butlersoft
    butlersoft Posts: 219 Member
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    I'm on day 11 of Whole 30 ... OP - you may be experiencing symptoms of "low carb flu" if your diet was previously very high carbs / high processed carbs. It'll pass as you become fat-adapted.
  • ndj1979
    ndj1979 Posts: 29,136 Member
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    you mean you restricted whole food groups and want to know why you are feeling tired all the time?

    Also, paleo is totally unnecessary for weight loss, and the menu you posted is nothing how paleolithic people ate.

    SEt MFP for a one pound per week deficit
    eat to that number
    consume all foods and realize none are bad. Yes, eat nutrition dense foods, but you can also eat pasta, bread, ice cream cookies, etc.
    get a food scale and weigh all solids
    log everything into MFP
    keep working out
    repeat until you get desired results…

    ditch the paleo
  • pawamonster
    pawamonster Posts: 23 Member
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    Thanks, y'all. To answer your question, I'm giving this a shot for 30 days as a way to encourage me to be more deliberate about cooking and eating and to add more recipes to my repertoire. I hate to think I'm "cheating," but ultimately, I've got to listen to my body. I think I might start sneaking a bowl of oatmeal in in the morning to help fuel the runs and workouts.
  • SezxyStef
    SezxyStef Posts: 15,268 Member
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    Thanks, y'all. To answer your question, I'm giving this a shot for 30 days as a way to encourage me to be more deliberate about cooking and eating and to add more recipes to my repertoire. I hate to think I'm "cheating," but ultimately, I've got to listen to my body. I think I might start sneaking a bowl of oatmeal in in the morning to help fuel the runs and workouts.

    not a good reason to restrict a whole food group from your diet...esp considering the consequences you are experiencing now.
  • ndj1979
    ndj1979 Posts: 29,136 Member
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    Thanks, y'all. To answer your question, I'm giving this a shot for 30 days as a way to encourage me to be more deliberate about cooking and eating and to add more recipes to my repertoire. I hate to think I'm "cheating," but ultimately, I've got to listen to my body. I think I might start sneaking a bowl of oatmeal in in the morning to help fuel the runs and workouts.

    you can be deliberate about cooking and eating without doing Paleo ...
  • MalineVD
    MalineVD Posts: 649 Member
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    I've been eating paleo for almost 3 years now. Can't eat gluten due to healthproblems and also wanted to stop eating (added) sugars.
    You'll learn other ways to feel full :)
    The beginning is really hard. I was craving bread and pasta for weeks! You're also feeling the effects of no sugar.. Try to have moooooore protein and good fats. Snacks like an apple with almond butter always fill me up pretty good. I eat meat and fish and eggs like crazy and I always have home made soup in my fridge.
  • ndj1979
    ndj1979 Posts: 29,136 Member
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    MalineVD wrote: »
    I've been eating paleo for almost 3 years now. Can't eat gluten due to healthproblems and also wanted to stop eating (added) sugars.
    You'll learn other ways to feel full :)
    The beginning is really hard. I was craving bread and pasta for weeks! You're also feeling the effects of no sugar.. Try to have moooooore protein and good fats. Snacks like an apple with almond butter always fill me up pretty good. I eat meat and fish and eggs like crazy and I always have home made soup in my fridge.

    almond butter was around in the Paleolithic era….really???
  • CountryMom03
    CountryMom03 Posts: 258 Member
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    The grain we have today vs the grain we had back in the old ages up until around 1960's are totally diff, and also grown and processed differently on top of that. Low carbs does mean lack of energy but only because we have programmed our bodies to only burn carbs as fuel instead of burning our fat stores. It can take awhile for your body to get used to the change. The lethargy also very well could be your detox or rather "withdrawal: from grains, and the body does go through a withdrawal process. Thats just how addicting grain is. I had a few days of just pure crappiness, and then at about 2 wks it was amazing and I felt like a brand new person:) If you'd like to read up some more on it, theres tons of videos on YT about grain, but I think two of the best would be Grain Brain and Wheat Belly:) This of course is just my personal opinion, that may or may not be right, You can find well renowned scientist, specialist and doctors who can argue both sides well, but its worked for me in the past, loved the results in how I felt health wise and I personally trust all the evidence they have on it as being true:) Good Luck!!
  • wizzybeth
    wizzybeth Posts: 3,578 Member
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    Just eat normal foods at a caloric deficit and you will lose weight and feel good too. Pick nutritious foods, that will help you meet your protein, carb, iron, and fat (and other) macros... cook them, and eat them. Much easier and probably better on your pocket book.
  • ndj1979
    ndj1979 Posts: 29,136 Member
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    The grain we have today vs the grain we had back in the old ages up until around 1960's are totally diff, and also grown and processed differently on top of that. Low carbs does mean lack of energy but only because we have programmed our bodies to only burn carbs as fuel instead of burning our fat stores. It can take awhile for your body to get used to the change. The lethargy also very well could be your detox or rather "withdrawal: from grains, and the body does go through a withdrawal process. Thats just how addicting grain is. I had a few days of just pure crappiness, and then at about 2 wks it was amazing and I felt like a brand new person:) If you'd like to read up some more on it, theres tons of videos on YT about grain, but I think two of the best would be Grain Brain and Wheat Belly:) This of course is just my personal opinion, that may or may not be right, You can find well renowned scientist, specialist and doctors who can argue both sides well, but its worked for me in the past, loved the results in how I felt health wise and I personally trust all the evidence they have on it as being true:) Good Luck!!

    LOL oh really …

    what would those differences be?????
  • DMLC2014
    DMLC2014 Posts: 71 Member
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    I would take the orange juice out and replace it with a whole apple. Processed juices can have lots of sugar(they do add extra fructose) in them. Unless you make your own.

    Remember to change what foods you eat each day or you will get bored quickly. You want meals to be 350-400 calories each.

    Remember Carbs are energy for you. You can get these from all veggies. You start high in the carbs in the morning....... and drops. That could be the reason for you being tired! Just increase your afternoon carbs and see how that goes.

  • ndj1979
    ndj1979 Posts: 29,136 Member
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    DMLC2014 wrote: »
    I would take the orange juice out and replace it with a whole apple. Processed juices can have lots of sugar(they do add extra fructose) in them. Unless you make your own.

    Remember to change what foods you eat each day or you will get bored quickly. You want meals to be 350-400 calories each.

    Remember Carbs are energy for you. You can get these from all veggies. You start high in the carbs in the morning....... and drops. That could be the reason for you being tired! Just increase your afternoon carbs and see how that goes.

    so the sugar in orange juice is now worse than the apple sugar??? That is a new one.

  • MalineVD
    MalineVD Posts: 649 Member
    edited May 2015
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    @ndj1979 really? that's your comment? Just because you thinks it's *kitten*, doesn't mean it couldn't work well for other people. Paleo isn't about eating buffalo's in your cave. It's about trying to be natural and pure and don't consume too much processed food, but focusing on nutrients our body needs. At least, that's my opinion and vision on paleo and the way I eat. Before someone else starts bashing too.
    Paleo is also just a name..
    You should support people who care enough about their health to try and eat in a more natural way.
  • PeachyCarol
    PeachyCarol Posts: 8,029 Member
    edited May 2015
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    OP, I think you learned a valuable lesson. Adopting a way of eating because it's trendy or sounds interesting is all well and fine, but if it doesn't work for you, it's not a sustainable thing. And ultimately, we all need to craft a personalized diet for ourselves that sustains us, body and soul.

    Eat foods that you like, that fuel your activities, nourish your body, and eat them in reasonable portions to meet your goals. It's really that simple.

    You don't need to adopt any special rules or way of eating to do that.
This discussion has been closed.