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Hina Goes Caveman for 2 Weeks!

I must get asked at least 2-3 times a week about what I think about various types of diets. There is so much conflicting information out there and it’s confusing to try and make sense of all of it. There is the gluten free diet, the vegan diet, no carb diet, sugar free etc… I honestly could not give people a straightforward answer because I have never really tried any of these diets myself and therefore did not have firsthand experience. My husband, a cardiologist, was also getting the same questions from his clients. So, we both decided to try different diets and see how we felt for ourselves. We cannot speak on whether one particular diet is better than the other because there is just not enough objective data for a comparison but we can say for sure that limiting sugar, processed foods, hydrogenated products and eating more whole foods are the healthier way of eating.

We decided to give the new crossfit/“buzz” diet a try with the Paleolithic or “Paleo” diet for a two week period. This diet focuses on eating the way our ancestors during the “caveman” era ate—eating foods that have not been processed, eating lean meats, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. No dairy, no soy, no legumes, no grain whatsoever.My first thoughts were:

1. Only for 2 weeks…that’s it, NO MORE than that!

2. This is not a sustainable diet.

3. I am not a heavy meat eater and this diet definitely is meat heavy.

4. What “paleo” snacks can I stock up on for my 10am, 3pm, and 10pm cravings?

5. This is more of a diet for men.

6. How am I going to feed myself and my little kids on this diet?!

It’s been two weeks and I have to say my husband and I have noticed some pretty cool changes. The big things we noticed were:

1. We are not reaching for my arsenal of snacks and really only need to eat 3 meals a day. This is weird because ever since I can remember, I always ate 6 times a day. I needed plenty of snacks to sustain my energy, but didn’t need it the past 2 weeks

2. Didn’t need the mid afternoon caffeine at all. No energy crashes during the day.

3. No gas at all!!! Super bonus here.

4. Our digestive systems functioned great. Best stools I have ever had.

5. Did not feel bloated.

6. Fit into my clothes better…I did lose 3 lbs but hope to gain this in muscle soon 🙂

7. There are many people for whom this diet would not be sustainable and not a great choice, such as vegetarians.

The only negative that I can report (and I wouldn’t necessarily say this is a negative) is that I did crash a few times earlier in the evening than usual. Many mention that this could be my body “detoxing” or that I am simply not getting in enough calories. Whatever it is, I don’t think it’s a bad thing but might require some adjusting on my body’s part.

Now I am not saying that I am an advocate of this diet entirely, but I have to say I feel pretty good. I also feel that I could stay on this diet for longer than the two weeks because I feel significantly less bloated, less gaseous and my digestion improved.

All in all, I would say that I am going to incorporate many of the paleolithic habits into my diet, among them being eating many more whole foods and limiting my grain and processed food intake. I am thinking of limiting the amount of dairy and perhaps keeping with more fermented dairy products such as yogurt and kefir. I also can’t live without my sushi so I’m keeping rice in the the mix!

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