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Get the Paleo diet to work for you by doing a Paleo Redux

Updated on September 12, 2014

What is a Paleo Template?

While most people have heard of a paleo diet, and have seen varied success, a paleo template or paleo redux is entirely new to a lot of people. Depending on genetic background, health status and other factors it may take some work to get a paleo diet to work for you. It may even require adjusting or finding the balance of carbs, fat and protein right for you. I first came across this idea when I came across Chris Kresser's website at www.chriskresser.com.

Commonly people lose weight or improve their health through a paleo diet of some sort. There is a minority though that either plateau or may even reverse the good changes they've made so far. There are some common areas people run into though when on a paleo diet though. The three main areas are detox capacity (which can involve methylation), digestive issues and blood sugar issues.

Paleo Redux basics

The basics of a Paleo Template

For those unfamiliar with the paleo diet, it is similar to the Atkins diet but distinguishes itself by being based on individual needs, body type, activity levels, and in some cases grains (gluten free), dairy, even rice is included. Traditional paleo doesn't allow for any grains, rice or dairy but I find in my own experience and some others rice and gluten free grains can be tolerated. A paleo template is more flexible, open minded and isn't strict like some adherents of the paleo diet which don't allow for any cheating or trying things differently.

Some may need to take the route of an anti-inflammatory paleo diet which would lower the consumption of nightshades (tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, potatoes), nuts and seeds and also onions, garlic and some cruciferous vegetables as well (such as cauliflower and broccoli, carrots are generally fine). Also eliminating FODMAPs foods can be very helpful, especially those with digestive issues. For a complete list of FODMAPs foods check this link: http://ibs.about.com/od/ibsfood/a/The-FODMAP-Diet....

No matter what diet you choose to go on, soy, legumes and wheat (anything containing gluten) should be eliminated. Generally speaking most vegetables are okay for consumption, unless you are allergic, are ammonia/sulfur sensitive, or have digestive issues. The best fruits to eat are berries, a lot of other fruits can be too high in fructose which can cause either blood sugar issues, or digestive issues, generally speaking the sweeter the fruit the higher in fructose it is.

Gluten free grains should be added and tested slowly by the individual. Corn and oats are generally best avoided unless you soak them. Rice should be fine as well, as long as they are well tolerated. Fiber can either have a helpful effect or detrimental effect on the digestive system and the body, too much insoluble fiber can cause problems, and lead to bacterial overgrowth and gut dysbiosis (bacterial imbalance)

What diet are you on right now or have tried?

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The Bulletproof Diet: Lose up to a Pound a Day, Reclaim Energy and Focus, Upgrade Your Life

The Bulletproof Diet: Lose up to a Pound a Day, Reclaim Energy and Focus, Upgrade Your Life
The Bulletproof Diet: Lose up to a Pound a Day, Reclaim Energy and Focus, Upgrade Your Life

The revolutionary biohacking plan to lose up to a pound a day, regain energy and focus, and upgrade your life!

In his mid-20s, Dave Asprey was a successful Silicon Valley multi-millionaire. He also weighed 300 pounds, despite the fact that he was doing what doctors recommended: eating 1,800 calories a day and working out 90 minutes a day, six times a week.

When his excess fat started causing brain fog and food cravings sapped his energy and willpower, Asprey turned to the same hacking techniques that made his fortune to "hack" his own biology, investing more than $300,000 and 15 years to uncover what was hindering his energy, performance, appearance, and happiness. From private brain EEG facilities to remote monasteries in Tibet, through radioactive brain scans, blood chemistry work, nervous system testing and more, he explored traditional and alternative technologies to reach his physical and mental prime. The result? The Bulletproof Diet, an anti-inflammatory program for hunger-free, rapid weight loss and peak performance.

The Bulletproof Diet will change what you think you know about weight loss and wellness. You will skip breakfast, stop counting calories, eat a high-fat diet, work out and sleep less, and handle stress with ease. By ditching traditional "diet" thinking, Asprey has maintained a 100-pound weight loss, increased his IQ, and reached a level of health that seemed unattainable. His 40s are truly better than his 20s, and The Bulletproof Diet brings his best hacks to the masses.

 

Detoxifaction, Digestion and Blood sugar

How to fix them

For the most part paleo is very beneficial to those with a variety of genetic backgrounds and even varied health status. Detoxifaction, digestion and blood sugar are three important areas to fix or work on though if paleo isn't working for you. Detoxification is an important part of your body's natural process to rid itself of toxins, impurities and if it isn't working properly foods will not be fully digested, and digestion can be hampered by improper detoxification.

Detoxification capacity may be impacted by genetic imbalances which can be determined by taking a 23andMe test to find out which genes may be affecting detox. There are also a number of herbs and supplements that can help with detoxification as well. Taking an epsom salt bath with charcoal, oatmeal and baking soda can also enhance detoxification as well.

Digestion can be affected in a number of ways, due to genetic imbalances, bacterial overgrowth, candida/yeast problems or even affected by past diets such as a standard american diet. Low stomach acid and digestive enzyme levels are a very common digestive problem. There are tests for stomach acid and enyzme levels but the simplest and most cheapest is to fine tune the amount of betaine HCL you will need to supplement with.

Enzymes are simpler to work with and digestive bitters can also be taken in addition to Betaine HCL. Papaya digestive enzymes are typically all that is needed, taking more may not be needed, especially since some are sensitive to some digestive enzymes. Taking bone broth as well can help with digestion (as well as adrenals), which can be easily made in a pot or crockpot or pot with beef bones or chicken bones, water, vinegar and salt and pepper (i also add some liver in as well).When digestion is fixed it can also help detoxification as well as increase immune function.

Blood sugar can be affected in a number of ways as well. Transitioning from a higher carb diet (such as a standard american diet) to a lower carb such as a paleo template there are often carb or sugar cravings when going lower carb. For most people lower carb is better but some people do better with higher carb by having rice and even sweet potatoes. Limiting sugar, honey, fruit can help a lot as well. Cinnamon can help control blood sugar but be sure not to take too much as it can thin your blood. Supplementing with amino acids may also help with carb cravings as well, and have found that carb cravings are lower when supplementing with amino acids. If you need to eat lower amounts of protein (ammonia intolerant due to mthfr and methylation issues), supplementing with amino acids will help offset lower protein amount as well.

Taking bone broth can help stabilize blood sugar levels by helping out your adrenals which can affect blood sugar as well. By taking care of your blood sugar and adrenals they will help each other out (much like adrenal and thyroid health are influenced by each other). If you have insulin resistance or something requiring help and input it is best to find a paleo compliant health practitioner via www.paleophysiciansnetwork.com which is how I found my current Naturopathic doctor.

Methylation is an important part of your body's natural processes. If you do find that you have any number of detoxifaction and/or methylation snps (singular nucleotide polymorphisms), you may need to find an mthfr specialist to address these. Typically about 10-30 percent of the population have one or more snp mutations which affect methylation and/or detoxifaction. After taking a 23andme test and getting results you can find a specialist to help you at www.mthfrsupport.com and also get it analyzed as well. You can also get a preliminary analysis for free at www.geneticgenie.org.

Well Fed: Paleo Recipes for People Who Love to Eat
Well Fed: Paleo Recipes for People Who Love to Eat

I've used her recipes a lot in the past, such as soy-free mayonnaise. Her recipes and blog are wonderful as well.

 

What is a Paleo Redux?

In some cases a paleo diet isn't enough and can require a different strategy which may require outside help, supplements or curtailing the diet to your body and needs. A paleo redux or template is a more open minded approach since people have varied biochemical makeups which affect their dietary needs. For some higher carb may be better, especially if someone is doing a lot of cardiovascular conditioning or working out.

Rice, gluten free grains and perhaps even legumes if soaked can work out for some people. It is a wise idea to find out what works for you, by varying levels of protein, fat and carbohydrate. Some may do better with a lower fat and/or lower protein due to digestive issues, as some people have trouble breaking down fat. Others may be sensitive to ammonia/sulfur levels due to genetic issues and may require lower protein levels until fixed or stabilized.

Paleo vs Atkins and all other diets

Many people often confuse the paleo diet for the atkins diet. There are a lot of similarities but they are very different in some crucial ways. The paleo diet and especially a paleo template diet is more flexible, especially when it comes to carbs. The atkins approach also doesn't emphasize organic, free range and natural meat and protein. The atkins diet also allows some grains as well which aren't healthy in the long run (unless gluten free and then it may take some experimentation). The zone diet is also similar but I don't have much experience or knowledge about it. There seem to be a lot of unconventional diets which can be very unhealthy, and sometimes even dangerous.

I have heard a lot about the human growth hormone diet which requires periods of extreme calorie cutting combined with taking hormones. Such diets I would never advise someone to try. Even with the paleo diet its important to have a balance, and find what works for you individually. I have even seen the complete opposite of a paleo diet as shown by Epic Meal Time on youtube or by Matt Stone of 180 degree health. They may be needed in some rare circumstances but shouldn't be used long term. The slow carb diet is similar but with the addition of legumes and a cheat day. I think for the sake of your sanity it may be okay to occasionally cheat but not every week and only if you aren't overly sensitive to some foods.

Although vegan diets have been popular for some time I do not personally agree with them and would never try a vegan diet. If someone wants animals to be treated better I would rather they eat organic, free range meats and protein instead of avoiding it altogether. Some may require less protein with others as well it depends on a lot of factors. Meat, protein and fat often get a bad reputation by doctors and mainstream media but looking more carefully and closely into the facts show they aren't so bad at all and are often beneficial.

The 4 Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat Loss, Incredible Sex and Becoming Superhuman
The 4 Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat Loss, Incredible Sex and Becoming Superhuman

While not technically paleo but "slow carb", the information, exercise and information on bloodtests can be very helpful.

 
The 4-Hour Chef: The Simple Path to Cooking Like a Pro, Learning Anything, and Living the Good Life
The 4-Hour Chef: The Simple Path to Cooking Like a Pro, Learning Anything, and Living the Good Life

This will make you a better cook and can teach you how to cook. Also has great recipes as well.

 

Books and resources to help with transition to paleo diet

These are books or resources which I personally recommend and have helped me transition and get the most out of a paleo diet.

Practical Paleo: A Customized Approach to Health and a Whole-Foods Lifestyle
Practical Paleo: A Customized Approach to Health and a Whole-Foods Lifestyle

I've used some of her recipes as well and they are awesome recipes and has a unique approach to paleo.

 
Paleo for Beginners: Essentials to Get Started
Paleo for Beginners: Essentials to Get Started

This is to help you get started on a paleo diet.

 

Chris Kresser's book which largely inspired this squidoo - The author of this book first introduced the idea of a "paleo template" diet when reading and researc

Your Personal Paleo Code: The 3-Step Plan to Lose Weight, Reverse Disease, and Stay Fit and Healthy for Life
Your Personal Paleo Code: The 3-Step Plan to Lose Weight, Reverse Disease, and Stay Fit and Healthy for Life

I would highly recommend getting this book, especially if dealing with complex health issues and wanting to start a paleo diet. It's currently set to be released in December 2013. Chris Kresser has an amazing website at www.chriskresser.com

 

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    • VladimirCat profile image

      Vladimir 4 years ago from Australia

      I'm just a plain old-fashioned carnivore myself

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