Gluten Free Doesn’t Mean Paleo

I’m not saying this to you, I’m saying this to me. Because it’s easy to forget. It’s easy to get into bad habits, and let occasional treats turn into three times per week sorts of things, and then into every day things. There’s a lot I can get away with because of good genetics and a relatively active lifestyle, but it all catches up to me eventually.

So here’s the thing. I’ve been fudging things. A little 70% dark chocolate instead of the 85% I know I should be eating (Green & Black 85% is freaking amazing and is plenty sweet enough for me, I was just being lame), some ice cream, some potato chips, some brown rice pasta macaroni and cheese, etc. It was all gluten free, but it wasn’t paleo, and I wasn’t feeling as great as i know I can. I had also put on a little weight. From the 207-209 range up to 212 at my most recent high. I think some of that is actual muscle gain and some was probably water weight, but still. I like being down around 205, and working my fat ever lower and my lean mass ever higher.

So what have I done this week? I’ve started getting back on track. I eat a couple of hard boiled eggs for breakfast, usually with a little fruit and nuts. Lunch is my salads, or some chicken and broccoli or whatever. Basically, meat and veggies. You know, paleo foods. Dinners have been similar. Chicken, broccoli, spinach, etc. It’s really hard to get creative without a stove or oven. Or countertops. Yeah, it sucks. I’m so ready to have my kitchen back, you don’t even know. Anyway, I’m managing, and this morning, I was back down to 204.5! I think I was a little dehydrated, but it only took me a few days of getting back to the foods I know are good for me to get back down there. That feels pretty good. I really like knowing enough about how my body works to be able to adjust things and know they’ll work. If I go off the rails over the weekend, it’s just a few days of being good about my food again to get myself back to baseline. That’s empowering.

Also, I did a yoga class with my wife last night. It was fun and relaxing, and some of it was pretty tough. Not an intense workout or anything (it was a “Slow Flow” beginner’s class) but definitely a good time. Jenna loves yoga, and we love doing things together, so it’s nice when we can both do a workout. I’ve been meaning to get to the gym to do a class for a while, and now I think we might try to make it a habit. It’s good for her to keep the blood flowing in a non-jostling way, so yoga’s pretty ideal.

Anyway, things are going well. I want my kitchen, but I’m surviving, and I’ll have a better kitchen when all this is over so it’s totally worth it.

Okay, maybe some links?

Jelly Beans and Ice Cream – Dr. Davis hits on the same ideas I did. Just because it’s gluten free doesn’t mean it’s good for you. Also, I’ve heard of plenty of people who go gluten free and don’t lose any weight because they’re still eating a lot of refined starches. They tend to improve their health somewhat, but they’re not reaching all of their goals because gluten isn’t the only thing wrong with our modern diet.

Paleo Shepherd’s Pie – Did I post this before? I feel like I did, but not having a kitchen is making everything hazy. I want to make foods and I do not have the capability to make those foods. This is something I’ve been wanting to get right for a while. I love pot pies, shepherd’s pies and beef wrapped in pastry. I haven’t yet figured out that last one, but I’ll keep working at it. In any case, there is nothing wrong with meat and veggies and some delicious sauce all in a tidy package.

A calorie is not a calorie? – Interesting review of a recent study. The study was supposed to show one thing, but Dr. Feinman thinks it might actually be showing something else. I like where he’s going with this, and would love to see a clinical, metabolic ward trial to nail it down specifically.

That’ll do for now. Thanks for reading!

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21 comments on “Gluten Free Doesn’t Mean Paleo

  1. Amanda says:

    There is also a lot of gluten free junk food. You can eat a lot of crap that is still gluten free, and it is higher calorie and has lots of nasty additives to make it the right texture. I have had to go a very traditional route dietairily with the GF diet to A. not eat crap and B. not spend a million dollars a month on groceries. It is a lot of work and dishes though. God help me I need a house keeper.

    • Septimus says:

      I think part of what I need to do is to give up on some of the old staples. Gluten free chocolate cake is delicious, but it’s not helping me reach my goals. Blueberries and whipped cream, or frozen pineapple and coconut milk are much better choices and are still delicious. So it’s not about being totally deprived, it’s about saying “You know, I do like lasagna with brown rice noodles, but I also like roasted chicken and vegetables, and steak, and sausage/broccoli, and like a billion other things that aren’t made of refined carbs.” It’s tough, but it’s worth it.

  2. There is a lot of gluten free “snack foods”. I have gluten and diary free brownies, rice crispy treats, muffins, cereal, etc. for snacks, Eating gluten and dairy free does make one eat healthier, since a lot of gluten free “junk food” is very expensive.

    I definitely do eat healthier on a gluten and dairy free diet, lots of chicken and fish.

    • Septimus says:

      Yeah, no doubt. It’s pretty inexpensive to buy whole, quality foods, especially when compared to eating at restaurants or buying all the sugary, processed stuff. Especially buying locally and in season, veggies and fruits are so reasonably priced, it makes it easy to stick to the plan. Thanks for reading!

  3. sweetopiagirl says:

    Reblogged this on Inspiredweightloss.

  4. Carla says:

    A co-worker was recently telling me about her mother who has celiac’s and she said she felt bad for her mom because she has to eat all kinds of gross gluten-free breads and other products! I said to her why doesn’t she just eat natural foods – she doesn’t need to eat processed gluten free stuff! She just looked at me like I was crazy for suggesting that she actually live without those things!

    That’s really great that you can get yourself back to where you feel good right away. For me the problem has always been that when I would “slip up” I felt so guilty that it was next to impossible to get back on track! I would just continue to eat lots of junk.

    • Septimus says:

      Yeah, people have a hard time wrapping their heads around the idea, for sure. When you think about what most people eat, bread and pasta and other refined stuff really is about 50-60% of their daily calorie intake. I know mine was. When you realize that cutting out your bread just means more meat you get to eat, things start looking pretty shiny! Now I don’t feel guilty about putting away six slices of bacon in the morning, or eating a half a chicken for lunch. It tastes awesome, and I feel awesome. Big wins all around!

      I think part of it for me is having gotten super-obsessive about the learning with all of it. Knowing what I know now, I can’t imagine ever going back to what I ate before as the standard, so any mistakes I make are just bumps in the road. If I were still thinking of it as a temporary thing, like I had been with all my previous weight loss attempts (even when I refused to admit that fact to myself or anyone else), then the failures seem much bigger, because they’re part of a smaller whole. When it’s just a couple meals out of a lifetime, it seems vanishingly small. I don’t know if that helps, but it’s sort of how I’ve been looking at it, and it’s been making it easy for me to stay the course after a slip-up.

      I also saw your latest update. Congrats! You’re really kicking some tail!

      • The main problem I see in the paleo diet is that it is usually lacking in one key department, carbohydrates. On this diet, vegetables are essentially the only source of carbohydrates. For people trying to loose weight, this is ok, but for someone like me, who is trying to gain weight and muscle, carbohydrates are extremely important. Carbohydrates are vital to the proper digestion and usage of protein; this means that even if you have a ton of protein, without carbohydrates your body is not using them effectively or efficiently.

      • Septimus says:

        Actually most of the current thinking in paleo is leaning towards allowing for more carbohydrates in the diet, especially for people who are already lean and healthy and want to put on muscle. Mostly they advocate yams, sweet potatoes, and other tubers. Those give you the starch you need to replenish glycogen, help you bump up on your calories, but don’t have the gut-irritating issues that grains and dairy do. Paleo is a really versatile paradigm, and there’s enough variation within it to work for most everyone.

      • Ok, as long as you are having carbohydrates the paleo diet is great. I have just seen “Paleo Diet: High Protein, Low Carbs” too often.

      • Septimus says:

        It really depends on the person and their goals. As you said, lower carbs is great for losing weight, which is where most people want to start anyway. That’s why I try to keep mine reasonably low. I’m still trying to lean out, and I’m not lifting really heavy or doing any intense cardio stuff, so I really don’t need very many to fuel my activity. A lot of people do tend to view paleo as a high-protein, high-fat, low-carb diet by definition, but there’s a lot more nuance to it once you start digging into the literature.

  5. flamidwyfe says:

    Is there a way to follow your blog by email?? Not seeing the button and I’m lovin’ your posts! Thanks 🙂

    • Septimus says:

      Thanks so much! I just added the widget to the right hand side, so you should be good to go.

      Also, it’s awesome that you’re a midwife! My wife and I are expecting our first in just a few weeks, and are working with a midwife and doula here in CO. Can’t wait to meet our baby!

      • flamidwyfe says:

        If you tell me the doula is Joslyn, it is indeed a small world!

      • Septimus says:

        No, her name is Jacie. We just finished our Hypnobirthing class with her, and are gearing up for the big day.

      • flamidwyfe says:

        OK… I have a good friend out there named Joslyn (Josie is her nickname, I was her midwife in Florida for 2 of her babies) … she’s out in Denver now working as a doula and I also have a midwife friend out there named Janet who I worked with in Abu Dhabi… it’s a small world, so I thought maybe 🙂

      • Septimus says:

        Yeah, you never know. We’ve met a number of midwives, and just a few doulas, but doesn’t sound like they’re your friends. Too bad, that would’ve been crazy!

  6. LD says:

    hey dude I’m gluten and wheat free in extremo and also vegetarian- is there any hope for bulking up to 265lbs from 215lbs

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