My Paleo Eating Journal

So my weight has held constant at around 137 lbs for these last few weeks since I returned from travelling. I couldn’t be happier with my weight loss, which is 5 lbs lower than the goal weight I had originally set for myself. I look and feel really good, have put away the “fat pants” and have treated myself to a couple pairs of new cords this month. I could probably get even lower if I focussed harder on my carb intake and cut down a bit on the nuts, but I’m happy where I am and I’m loving the foods I eat so I’m happy to stay put right here.

Meanwhile, with fall here (and winter close at hand: we got our first snowfall yesterday) I’ve been enjoying some wonderful new recipes and I wanted to share a few of my favourites.

First, I am completely in love with Squash of all kinds. I toss spaghetti squash in chunks of organic butter and grate real parmesan cheese over it. Makes a fabulous side dish for pork sausages. I also like roasted squash but I used to do it with maple syrup or brown sugar and it wasn’t quite the same otherwise. Then I found out about SQUASH FRIES.

My first clue was a recipe posted on a Paleo blog for Delicata Squash Fries. I’d seen lots of these squash around; they grow well here and several local farms sell them. So I picked one up and followed the incredibly simple recipe: just cut the squash into french-fry size slices (after scooping out the seeds of course), toss them in olive oil and sea salt and pepper, then bake them at 425 for about 30 minutes, flipping them over at least once partway through. Delicata are one of the few squashes with edible skin. It’s actually quite tasty! Anyways, I dipped them in mayonnaise that I’d spiked with paprika and OMG it was sinfully delicious!! Then I learned you can do this with other kinds of squash so later I tried Acorn Squash Fries and they were equally delightful (though I peeled these). I’ve since bought a few squashes so I can have this delicious treat around any time I want – the bonus is that squash keep super well just out on the countertop and they make the place look very festive for fall.

And speaking of squash, last year I was enjoying a lovely Butternut Squash soup recipe from a book I have, but it contained potatoes and I was wondering if I could find something just as thick and tasty without the extra carbs and starch. I tried this recipe for Spiced Apple and Butternut Squash soup and fell in love. Making the soup is very satisfying, as the squash is roasted in the oven first. Our local farmers sell lots of butternut squash around this time of year and it keeps a long time so it’s easy to have a few around so there is always soup to be had!

My second great recipe to share is Paleo Bread. This isn’t like sandwich bread, it’s more the texture of banana bread or zucchini bread. It’s a dense loaf with a lovely, nutty flavour to it. It’s not sweet at all but tastes delicious with a slab of organic butter on top. I eat a couple slices with my soup for lunch, sometimes if the morning is busy I’ll have a couple slices with my tea for breakfast. What I love about this is it isn’t “pretend bread”, it’s not trying to recreate a “forbidden” food with a really substandard knock-off that only makes you long for the real thing. This is an honest to goodness “loaf” with no grains and only 1 tbsp of honey (which you could probably leave out since I don’t notice it).

When people discuss the health benefits of certain diets they often refer to the centuries or even millenia of history behind them. Of course, generally they refer to specific cultural groups. For example, the Mediterranean diet is based on the traditional diet of people living around southern Italy and Greece. Vegetarianism is largely associated with parts of India, although apparently other cultures followed this diet as well. What I found interesting about the article I just linked to is that it appears these diets were part of a spiritual or religious observance. Since religious practitioners seem to thrive on the denying of earthly pleasures, I’m not certain this can truly be considered an example of an unrestricted diet that evolved naturally based on optimizing nutrition. People tended to base their diets on what they could easily obtain in their part of the world. Vegetarianism, on the other hand, seems to have been taken up in cultures where meat or fish was available, but it was deemed undesirable due to spiritual/metaphysical beliefs.

Nevertheless, some of these cultures are centuries old. This seems to be evidence enough for many people that these diets were Good For You. After all, the so-called Western Diseases – the triad of heart disease, hypertension, and diabetes – are relatively modern. Surely if long-lived cultures could sustain themselves on such diets, and do so in the absence of these illnesses, then that must be proof enough of their value as a way of eating. The problem I see with this approach is that over the last 10,000 years or so, since the Neolithic Revolution, there have been huge variations in diet among different cultures. There are those who sustained themselves largely on coconuts (South Pacific), or root vegetables (Central Africa), or animal protein (the Inuit). Diets vary so widely across time and place that it is difficult to figure out which diet to choose from based on the “logic of centuries”. Why not go Ethiopian and eat a diet based on teff (an ancient grain) and legumes (note that this diet was developed due to religious practices that forbade eating meat most days of the year)? Or go Inuit and enjoy blubber and seal blood? How does one decide which culture, at which time in history, had the “right” diet?

However, if we recognize that the period from the Neolithic Era to “modern times” is merely a drop in the bucket of evolutionary time, then the varied diets across the globe and time could be thought of as a period of dietary experimentation. Sure, you can live on a diet that is based on root vegetables and virtually no animal protein, but is this the Optimal diet for humans? And if not, how would we know? If we can all agree that the Western Diseases didn’t show up anywhere until the last two or three centuries (and that may be stretching it) then surely that can’t be useful as a marker when speaking of cultures that are many centuries old. And yet even a few millenia are not enough for the possibly deleterious effects of diet to manifest in terms of evolutionary success.

Coming from an evolutionary perspective, which I find useful for answering many questions about human health and behaviour, it is the diet that constituted the first 150,000 years or so of our existence as a species that really holds the weight of proof. During the Paleolithic Era there were at least a few different species of Homo that arose from the earliest members of this genus, and Homo sapiens developed as a species in its own right during this time. By the dawn of the Neolithic era, we were the only ones left standing. Seems to me that the diet consumed by a species over the vast majority of its evolutionary history is more likely to be indicative of fitness than one adopted for a mere few centuries. As various evolutionary pressures exerted themselves on members of the Homo genus, our little branch would have evolved in the context of these pressures, including what was available to eat at the time. We are omnivores, and have been so since long before our twig on the evolutionary tree branched off from other omnivorous primates. So it is of no doubt to my mind that humans ate meat and animal products whenever and wherever they could obtain them, and didn’t bother themselves with trimming the fat and throwing it to the dogs. It’s really almost comical to imagine that, which I think says a lot about how removed most of us have become from our food and our natural place in the world.

And then came the Neolithic Revolution when our species made the switch from a hunter-gatherer existence to that of pastoralists. Growing crops certainly provided a host of new opportunities in terms of developing culture, specialization of tasks, etc. But it isn’t the wonderful time of salvation that many historians have traditionally painted it to be. From a nutritional perspective it was a huge blow, one that we are only just finally catching up with in our modern age with its almost limitless availability of food (in the First World, at least). As Jared Diamond wrote in his best-selling book Guns, Germs, and Steel (confession: I’m a huge Jared Diamond fan):

“The adoption of agriculture, supposedly our most decisive step toward a better life, was in many ways a catastrophe from which we have never recovered.”

Moving to an agricultural lifestyle took a serious toll on human health. As described in this article, anthropologists have long understood the dramatic change in nutritional status brought on by this “advance”:

“Hunter-gatherers had better bones, had no signs of iron-deficiency anemia, no signs of infection, few (if any) dental cavities, fewer signs of arthritis and were in general larger and more robust than their agriculture-following contemporaries.”

Being someone who enjoys reading popular science type books and have, over my many years, engrossed myself in a number of topics this wasn’t really news to me. I remember reading about this many years ago in some “history of our species” books. I recall even as recently as a couple of years ago doing a report for a client about congenital spinal diseases and reading a fascinating paper by an anthropologist that described, among other things, the devastating effect that the manual and repetitive labour involved in farming had on our spines and joints following the “agricultural revolution”.

When it came to feeding my babies I didn’t look to culture to answer my questions. Reading Our Babies, Our Selves by Meredith Small convinced me that much of cultural practice around child-rearing was so steeped in old-wives’ tales and superstition that it was no objective way to approach the problem. Instead I looked at human development and our evolutionary history and the answer was clear that breastmilk was the optimum food for human babies. So when it comes to feeding myself, I’m similarly wary of using any particular “modern culture” (and by that I mean any culture within the last 10,000 years or so) as an objective measure. Instead, I look at the course of our development and it seems obvious to me that we evolved to eat the sorts of foods we were eating as we evolved. Optimal nutrition doesn’t involve trimming the fat off our cuts of meat, or choosing the “lean parts” of the animal. Nor does it involve freaks of modern food-processing technology like the Tofurkey. In conclusion, when one is pursuing the Optimal human diet, being the one that results in optimal human health, we must look beyond the recent “food experiments” of the agricultural era. Choosing any one culture’s diet as The Best for human health means depending on an experiment that is still ongoing. I know where I’m placing my bet.

This was my dilemma: I recently discovered and harvested a huge batch of wild blackberries on our property. I stuffed myself silly as I picked them but ended up with way more than I could possibly eat fresh. In my suburban-raised chest beats the heart of a homesteader, and wasting such a bounty was unthinkable. But what’s a low-carb Paleo/Primal girl to do when it comes to preserving berries?

Google jam recipes and you’ll find that they are loaded with sugar. Your options if using a “no sugar” pectin are either huge amounts of sugar hiding in a more natural-looking disguise (honey, maple syrup, agave nectar) or simply going with the fake stuff. Frankly, it seems silly to me that something so sweet as a natural berry seems to require huge amounts of added sugar to serve in any other form, but I appreciate that in the magical transformation to jam the sugar serves other chemical roles besides flavouring. Anyways, I needed to do something with the berries ASAP and I didn’t have the special pectin. I wanted something that would keep in the fridge for a bit, and the rest I’d freeze in jars. Knowing pretty much nothing about canning and preserving, what I wanted was a way to preserve the wild harvest so that I could enjoy it for months to come, without adding a significant amount of sugar.

Before I could research the matter further a friend solved my dilemma by providing me with her favourite blackberry recipe. Basically I just cooked the blackberries in a pot with a wee bit of maple syrup (~ 1/2 cup in ~ 4L, or one gallon, of berries) and added the juice of one orange, plus a couple tablespoons of lemon juice. My friend suggested adding fresh thyme, but I only had the dried stuff, so I added it sparingly because while I found the idea intriguing I wasn’t sure I would like it. Next time I’ll leave it out, though I’m sure with fresh herbs the taste experience might be better. Anyways, I boiled it all down until it had lost over half its volume, then I poured it into six 250 mL canning jars (plus half a 500 mL jar which I kept out for eating now).

Now, when I have my Paleo Cereal (a mixture of chopped almonds, macadamias, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, and flaked coconut all sauteed in butter), instead of heating up a cup of frozen store-bought berries I add about 2 teaspoons of my blackberry “jam”. Mixed in with yogurt and a splash of milk to thin the mixture (I use either full-fat cows milk or coconut milk beverage), the combination is delicious! Those little teaspoons go a long way with the flavour, let me tell you, and my cereal is as berrylicious as ever. In fact, I consider it a better option than the frozen berries, which come from who-knows-where and were probably grown using pesticides and other chemicals in a monocropping scheme that is robbing the soil of nutrients and life while padding the pockets of some multinational food conglomeration*.

My blackberries grew right here on my own property, with no help from me at all (other than clearing an area of land last year that unintentionally provided the perfect environment for the Himalayan Blackberry to take up residence). They are as local as you can get, the plants are part of a healthy ecosystem (some call them an “invasive species” but I (and others) question the usefulness of such a term), and I even share the berries with birds, deer, elk, and whatever other wildlife wants to partake in the bounty with me. And it’s free! We’ll see how long this batch lasts me, and then I will know how much I need to pick next year. That will save me approximately $300 in annual grocery costs alone!

So in case you thought that jams, preserves, and “putting by” the summer harvest of berry crops were off-limits to us low-carbers, think again. You can have your jam, and eat it too. Just skip most of the added sugar, stew the berries instead of doing the pectin-thing, and add some lemon juice to aid in preserving and flavouring. What you’ll end up with is something that will keep well in the freezer, and that you can enjoy in moderation as part of a healthy Paleo/Primal diet.

 

* I’ve not been happy with having this product on my list of staples, but I so enjoy berries with my cereal, and plain yogurt is just too sour for me. One cup of these berries contain 17 g of carbs, so its definitely acceptable from that standpoint. However, they are expensive and even more so if I go for the organic stuff. 

There’s an old cartoon (it’s not the one above), a clipping of which was posted on my mum’s fridge years ago, that depicts a freshly baked pie calling out to a woman “Edna, Eeeeaaat meeee!” The joke is that for some people, especially people like I used to be, having something sweet and delicious around was a temptation that was all but impossible to ignore. Throughout my life I’ve had to be careful about bringing sweet things into the house, because I will eat pretty much all of it in relatively short time. My husband often complained that when he finally got around to wanting some of the treat, it would be all gone. I felt awful, but I couldn’t explain the pull such foods had on me. It was as if they were calling me from the refrigerator/freezer – I thought about them constantly and practically measured time relative to when I’d allow myself some more.

Today while rummaging around in the freezer I saw a tub of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, my favourite flavour, Cherry Garcia. I bought this tub a couple weeks ago when they were on mega sale at the supermarket. Now, long into my low-carb diet, sweet cravings have become a thing of the past. That tub sat for days before I finally decided to have a few bites. I ate about 1/4 of the tub. Technically that constitutes “one serving” but I don’t know many people who don’t just eat the whole tub in one sitting.* Certainly that has been my habit over the years when I indulged. It was over a week before I had another serving, and I haven’t had any since then. I know it’s there, but when I think about it I just don’t feel like having any. I know there will come a day when I’ll be wanting some ice cream and then I’ll enjoy it with a normal serving size.

My husband saw the tub today and was duly impressed. Despite our combined weight loss of over 60 lbs, it’s the little things like this that drive home just how all-encompassing the effects of this diet can be. The simple fact that that tub has been sitting there for weeks, that it is still sitting there, and that night after night goes by and I just don’t feel like indulging…well that, folks, is a minor miracle.

 

* an interesting side story: 10 years ago my husband and I eloped to Vermont, and before our wedding we toured the Ben and Jerry’s factory in Stowe. During the tour they showed us these adorable little ice cream tubs, miniature versions of the pint-sized ones found everywhere in North America. We were told that these little tubs were sent to Japan and Europe, where they were considered a “single serving size”. Even though they state on the label that a one-pint tub is actually four servings, for all practical purposes it was considered a single serving size for North American customers

 

Someone recently suggested to me that, while my diet is clearly producing weight loss, it is not a healthy diet. That got me thinking. What does “healthy” mean? How is it measured? And sure, I’ve read the books and blog articles demonstrating that a diet high in saturated fat and low in carbohydrates is healthy, but I wanted to see for myself.

First, a bit of background on myself: I spent over 15 years in medical research before I had kids and left my career. My field of study was cardiac electrophysiology, arrhythmia mechanisms, and cardiac pharmacology. I’ve published in journals such as Circulation Research and have served on peer-review panels for submissions to other cardiac health-related journals. I currently own a small consulting business in which I am often called upon to perform searches and reviews of evidence in the medical and scientific literature on various topics. So, I’m not only very comfortable with such search engines as PubMed, but I have access to original articles through my professional affiliations, and I have the training and experience to read and understand them.

I started with the first question: what do we mean by “healthy”? In this day and age, most of us Westerners are concerned about cardiovascular health (i.e. coronary artery disease, or cardiovascular disease – CVD) and diabetes is also gaining epidemic status. There is an important relationship between the two (diabetes and heart health) for which the evidence is rapidly growing. Metabolic syndrome, which is essentially a combination of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease risk factors, is a newly defined indicator of risk that emphasizes the growing understanding of the role of blood sugar regulation (i.e. the insulin system) in cardiovascular health.

How do we measure “good health”? Traditionally people have focussed on overall cholesterol levels, with emphasis on HDL concentration and LDL concentration. However, it is now generally accepted by the medical community that these are not nearly as strong or powerful predictors of risk compared to lipid profiles that go into more detail, specifically with reference to the size of the particles and their relationship with triglyceride levels. It turns out that small, dense LDL particles (often called LDL Pattern B) are much better indicators of risk than total LDL concentration. For example, a report from the Framingham Offspring Study reported that total number of LDL particles (which, for a given amount of cholesterol, would be higher if particle sizes are smaller) was a markedly significant predictor of CVD, whereas overall concentration of LDL was not [1]. Regardless of where a scientist stands on the saturated fat debate, there are certain assumptions to which they all agree: HDL is good, small/dense LDL are especially bad while large/fluffy LDL are neutral, and triglycerides are bad.

Where studies start to conflict in their conclusions is when they look at the effects of diet on these indicators, as well as others such as insulin-sensitivity (a measure of risk for diabetes). This is a difficult field to study because there are so many variables. I found many studies of so-called “high fat” diets that did not distinguish between saturated fats vs. mono- or polyunsaturated fats. Those that did often included a carbohydrate count that would be considered very high by proponents of Primal/Paleo diets (i.e. carbs were kept at the “normal” level for a Western Diet). “High carb” diet regimes often didn’t distinguish between complex vs. simple carbs. Then there’s the fact that a diet low in fat is often lower in calories, so that must be controlled for as well. I found plenty of scientists who are questioning the traditional advice of a diet low in fat – especially saturated animal fats – and high in grains and starches but also plenty who are sticking firmly to that story. I decided instead to focus on what we all agree on – the indicators of cardiovascular and diabetic risk: the lipid profile.

I don’t have the time or space to list every article I read. My findings can be summarized by a recent review paper[2] (essentially a summary of studies to date) that summarized what we know about the effects of diet on “atherogenic dyslipidemia” (which basically means: low HDL, high LDL, and high triglycerides). To summarize: high carbohydrate diets altered lipid profiles towards atherogenic dyslipidemia.

Switching from a low-carb/high-fat diet to a high-carb/low-fat diet caused LDL sizes to shift from big and fluffy (Pattern A = “good”) to small and dense (Pattern B = “bad”). Yup, the low-fat high carb diet made the lipid profile worse. Those who were Pattern B on the high-fat diet showed no change on the low-fat diet. Furthermore, those with Pattern A on the high-fat diet who remained Pattern A after switching to the low-fat diet were later switched to another, even lower-fat diet and then they switched to Pattern B.

And here’s another interesting fact: those with Pattern A or B on the high-fat diet experienced a decrease in overall LDL concentration when they went on the low-fat diet. Lowering LDL concentration is considered a “good thing”. And this decrease was much greater for Pattern B folks when they switched to low-fat compared to Pattern A folks. However, when you look at the size distribution it turns out that Pattern A folks saw their small/dense LDL go up while their large LDL went down a lot. Thus, overall, their LDL went down when on the low-fat diet, but it shifted to an unhealthy prevalence of small/dense LDL over large/fluffy LDL. The Pattern B folks saw an even greater reduction of overall LDL when they switched to a low-fat diet, but here the decrease was due mostly to decreases in large and intermediate sized LDL, with no change in the “bad” small/dense LDL.  So while switching to a low-fat diet reduced LDL concentration, it did so while shifting the balance towards the small/dense (“bad”) LDLs.

Similar results have been found in a number of studies covered in this review. And it has been determined that it is the carbohydrates, not the fat, that is the issue. Turns out that low-carb diets are consistently associated with increases in the amount of good, fluffy LDL whereas high-carb diets convert people from that healthy Pattern A to an unhealthy Pattern B, even if the overall LDL concentration has decreased.

I could go on, but most of what I read agreed with this review. Basically, you get a better increase in HDL and a better decrease in triglycerides by eating a low-carb diet versus a high-carb diet. Overall serum cholesterol tends to go up or stay the same and so does LDL with the high fat diet, but only because of the increase in light/fluffy LDL (which have no association with CVD), whereas decreases in serum cholesterol and LDL associated with a low-fat/high-carb diet are the result of preferential decreases in the amount of large/fluffy LDL in favour of small/dense LDL. Overall cholesterol appears to be a rather useless measure of cardiovascular health, and despite decades of research nobody has ever been able to convincingly link total cholesterol to risk of CVD, whereas other measures (such as the triad of HDL, triglycerides, and LDL) have been convincingly demonstrated to be good indicators of risk.

So, I propose that in order to determine whether a diet is truly healthy, one should get a lipid profile that measures HDL, LDL (with distinctions between Pattern A and Pattern B), and triglycerides.  Unfortunately it has been a very long time since I had a lipid profile, since I have never been considered at risk for CVD, diabetes, or metabolic syndrome, and when I did they did not routinely test for LDL particle size (even today it must be requested separately).

However, one can make predictions on what the lipid profile should be for someone who has been on a low-carb, high fat diet for some time. Those who follow conventional wisdom might predict that overall cholesterol would be elevated, serum triglycerides would be elevated, HDL would be low and LDL would be high. This would be the profile of someone at high risk of CVD, metabolic syndrome, and perhaps diabetes too. But the latest evidence in the literature does not support that.

Instead, I predict that the profile would look like this: high HDL and low triglycerides, with a possible increase in serum cholesterol and LDL due to a preferential increase in large/fluffy LDL and a significant decrease in small/dense LDL. Here’s an excerpt from an abstract from a recent study[3] in the journal Metabolism that explains my hypothesis:

To test whether a short-term dietary intervention affects LDL particle size, we conducted a randomized, double-blind, crossover study using an intensive dietary modification in 12 nonobese healthy men with normal plasma lipid profile. Participants were subjected to 2 isocaloric 3-day diets: high-fat diet (37% energy from fat and 50% from carbohydrates) and low-fat diet (25% energy from fat and 62% from carbohydrates). Plasma lipid levels and LDL particle size were assessed on fasting blood samples after 3 days of feeding on each diet. The LDL particles were characterized by polyacrylamide gradient gel electrophoresis. Compared with the low-fat diet, plasma cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol were significantly increased (4.45 vs 4.78 mmol/L, P = .04; 2.48 vs 2.90 mmol/L, P = .005; and 1.29 vs 1.41 mmol/L, P = .005, respectively) following the 3-day high-fat diet. Plasma triglycerides and fasting apolipoprotein B-48 levels were significantly decreased after the high-fat diet compared with the low-fat diet (1.48 vs 1.01 mmol/L, P = .0003 and 9.6 vs 5.5 mg/L, P = .008, respectively). The high-fat diet was also associated with a significant increase in LDL particle size (255.0 vs 255.9 Å;P = .01) and a significant decrease in the proportion of small LDL particle (<255.0 Å) (50.7% vs 44.6%, P = .01). As compared with a low-fat diet, the cholesterol-raising effect of a high-fat diet is associated with the formation of large LDL particles after only 3 days of feeding.

If it turns out my HDL is high, my triglycerides are low, and my LDL is Pattern A, then I think I will have demonstrated that my diet does not only produce effective (and nearly effortless) weight loss without restricting caloric intake (i.e. creating an energy deficit and essentially ‘starving’ my cells) but also produces a lipid profile associated with a decreased risk of CVD and metabolic syndrome.

My husband did get a lipid profile when he began our diet. It has been six months now for him and he’s going to go for another one (when he started he had metabolic syndrome – obesity, insulin sensitivity, high LDL and triglycerides and low HDL). I’ll publish his results when he gets them (he has already lost over 40 lbs). I will also go for a lipid profile although I don’t have a baseline from which to make comparisons. Still I will be able to demonstrate whether, after 5 months on my diet, my profile fits that of someone at risk for CVD or not.

 

[1] Cromwell WC, Otvos JD, Keyes MJ, Pencina MJ, Sullivan L, Vasan RS, Wilson PW, D’Agostino RB (2007) LDL particle number and risk of future cardiovascular disease in the Framingham Offspring Study—implications for LDL manage- ment. J Clin Lipidol 1:583–592

[2] Musunuru, K (2010) Atherogenic Dyslipidemia: Cardiovascular Risk and Dietary Intervention. Lipids 45:907–914

[3] Guay V, Lamarche B, Charest A, Tremblay AJ, Couture P. (2011) Effect of short-term low- and high-fat diets on low-density lipoprotein particle size in normolipidemic subjects. Metabolism  [epub ahead of print]

I recently watched the documentary, Fathead. It’s a funny movie, and very entertaining. It also very clearly explains the logic behind the Paleo/Primal way of eating. If you don’t have time to watch it all (it’s on Netflix) skip ahead to Part II, where they get into the science and evidence behind the “rediscovery” that saturated animal fats are necessary and Good For You.

I weighed myself this morning: 135.5 lbs. I have not weighed this little since I was in my mid-to-late twenties. I was stunned and thrilled.

I have now lost 19.5 lbs, effortlessly. No calorie counting, no portion control, no exercise regimes, just simply cutting out sugar, grains, and other high-carb foods. I eat wonderful, satisfying foods cooked with butter, coconut oil, bacon grease, and pork fat. I cheat, fairly regularly, but always in moderation. I still enjoy sweets like dark chocolate and whole fruit, the occasional squirt of honey if I’m feeling indulgent. And I can still say yes to pancakes, cinnamon bagels, and the sinful McChicken Meal but do so sparingly and thoughtfully.

I don’t know what else to say. I think the results speak for themselves. :-)

The Basics

My way of eating is based on a Paleo/Primal diet and is comprised mainly of saturated animal fat (grass-fed meat, pastured eggs, butter), nuts and seeds (almonds, pecans, macadamia nuts, coconut, pumpkin seeds) and their oils (coconut oil, avocado oil) and lots of vegetables and fruit. I eat virtually no sugar (other than that contained naturally in fruit), potatoes or sweet potatoes, beans or legumes, and no grains or grain products.

Weight Loss Tracker

Start date: May 13, 2011
Total weight loss (updated every Sunday): 19.5 lbs

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