Ancestral Health Lifestyle
This lifestyle is simple. Cut out processed foods and eat only real foods found in nature. Specifically vegetables, a few fruits, and meats/poultry/fish without breading or any bread products. Avoid all grains, dairy, legumes and potatoes.
Although the Paleolithic lifestyle is a kind of low carbohydrate diet, not all low carbohydrate diets are necessarily healthy. It is recommended that you stay under 25 net carbohydrates (total carbohydrates minus fiber intake) for at least the first 2 weeks. This will improved you metabolic ability to use and burn fat stores for energy which allows a much healthier ‘internal environment. This reduction in carbohydrates may result in 3-5 days of ‘detox’ during which you may be tired and/or grouchy.
The only vitamins or supplements recommended for the initial period include Vitamin D 2000 IU daily and fish oil capsules 1 gm with each meal or cod liver oil. Also probiotics, garlic 1000 mg daily and oil of oregano capsules – one daily but just for 2 to 4 weeks.
Do not count calories or fat. If hungry between meals then up the fat content of each meal. Just stay with real foods.
I recommend none. But if you must, try Stevia or Truvia which are not artificial sweeteners, but have little effect on insulin.
Drink water or herbal teas. Avoid caffeine. Remember individuals with a history of gluten intolerance should not use coffee products of any kind.
For the first 2 weeks stop all sugars, pastas, potatoes, breads, rice, pop, diet pop, artificial sweeteners, cereals, dairy products, fruits, and all grains. Fruits may be added back in the third week.
Cut net carbohydrates to less than 25 net carbohydrates per day.
For breakfast try bacon, sausages, ham or steak with eggs. However, avoid large amounts of nitrates which are often used as a preservative in meats and consider nitrate-free meats. Almond butter on a spoon, a coconut shake or even salmon are also breakfast options. Try to think outside the box when it comes to breakfast. And please, no fruit juices which are simply concentrated sugars.
Create lunch and dinner with any combination of vegetables, fish, poultry, meats or eggs which are whole foods found in nature and avoid processed meats. Remember to avoid grains, including corn, wheat, rye, barley, oats, rice, quinoa and chia as well as dairy products. Acceptable nuts include macadamia nuts, walnuts and pecans. After the initial 2 weeks you may consume 3-5 small servings of fruit per week, i.e. one half cup of blueberries after dinner.
Coconut Oil: Consume 1 to 5 tablespoons of coconut oil each day. Cook with it, add it to meals when cooking meats, sauces and vegetables and try a coconut shake. Some people eat it mixed with almond butter or in hot tea. Also try coconut butter by the spoonful.
Coconut Shake: Approximately 3 ice cubes (try making them out of unsweetened coconut milk or unsweetened almond milk) with 8 ounces of unsweetened coconut milk or unsweetened almond milk, 1 to 3 tablespoons of coconut oil (start with one and work up since too much may cause a stomach ache at first) and one scoop of flavored non-
whey base protein powder. Use a blender or Magic Bullet to mix.
Suggested foods for the first two weeks:
Vegetables – best cooked
Beef – hamburger, steak
Pork – pork chop, ham, bacon
Poultry – chicken, turkey
Fish – salmon, tuna
Bison – burgers, steaks
Exercise: Exercise that is strenuous is not recommended for the first two weeks. Afterwards, weight-lifting or high intensity interval training (HIIT) may add to your progress but no more than 2 to 3 times weekly with at least a day in between.
HIIT: This may be done on a treadmill, recumbent or stationary bike, stair-master, outside or with almost any exercise equipment. The principals are the same:
Start at a leisurely pace for the first 3 minutes.
As soon as the 3 minutes are up go as fast and as hard as you can tolerate, without hurting yourself, but just for 30 seconds. As soon as the 30 seconds are up, resume your warm-up pace for 90 seconds. As soon as the 90 seconds are up repeat the cycle of 30 seconds high intensity followed by 90 seconds of a warm-up pace for 8 cycles.
Finish with a 2 minute cool-down at a relaxed pace.
The Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf
The Paleo Answer by Loren Cordain, PhD
Wheat Belly by William Davis, M.D.
Why We Get Fat and What To Do About It by Gary Taubes
The Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson
Everyday Paleo by Sarah Fragoso
Make it Paleo by Bill Staley and Hayley Mason
Gavin Morrice says
“Remember individuals with a history of gluten intolerance should not use coffee products of any kind.”
– Curious to hear what Robb would say about that?
Me too! I have a gluten intolerance and drink one to two cups of joe a day. I love coffee, but am willing to cut it out with some info I can trust.
Interesting. I am gluten-intolerant, and I cannot drink coffee. It inflames my intestines. I used to really like it, too.
Cool handout. Might have to make some photocopies of it to handout. Just one thing stuck out for me. What’s up with the “people with gluten issues shouldn’t drink coffee” statement? Any truth to that?
Yeah that freaked me out a bit as well…
Wow, the well-read doctors are out there! I wish my doctor had told me about Paleo years ago; who knows what health disasters I could have avoided in the intervening time. Better later than never, and it’s never too late! 🙂
I had a similar experience going to my GP recently–I have been having joint pain and other symptoms, and she was thinking autoimmune. They drew blood for a panel of tests and everything, but in the meantime she told me the best thing I could do is go on a gluten-free, dairy-free diet! 😀
This doctor says to avoid coffee if you have a history of gluten intolerance. Obviously, I feel better without gluten. I’ve never been diagnosed as gluten intolerant or celiac. Do I still need to avoid coffee?
Great. I’ve never seen the connection between gluten and coffee made before. Can someone chime in on this?
You say that “Drink water or herbal teas. Avoid caffeine. Remember individuals with a history of gluten intolerance should not use coffee products of any kind.”
Whats the thing with coffee? Does it have proteins or something that may mimic the actions of gluten? If you know any references, it would be nice to read about that further!
Thx for an interesting writing btw!
Gluten intolerance and coffee? What’s up with that?
The gluten-coffee thing is addressed in the book Primal Body, Primal Mind (which I really enjoyed). My basic understanding is that when your gut has adverse reactions to gluten, it can also learn to be cross-reactive to things that you often consume with gluten (like coffee) or are genetically/structurally similar to gluten. The most common substances the author notes are casein (cheese included), oats (even “gluten-free”), rye, barley, spelt, kamut, yeast, coffee, and milk chocolate. Hope that helps!
Chris Pine says
Great, we need more doctors like this. That diet and exercise plan will definitely work.
Pretty good reading list too. I like how Robb Wolf’s book was first on the list!
Crunchy Pickle says
There is some evidence that coffee mimics the gluten protein. Therefore, if you are not seeing results from removing gluten (such as in the case of having Celiac or Hashimoto’s) some doctors suggest eliminating coffee as well to see if symptoms are relieved.
Robb Wolf says
Leave it to the Pickle! thanks girlie.
This is fabulous! I’ve heard that b/c coffee can be inflammatory, (caffiene and mold) and untreated Celiacs are inflamed already, it’s not a good match. Read somewhere that beans can be cross contaminated with gluten, but not sure I buy it. Might be worth googling.
This is pretty great. While some people will always be seeking a pill to fix problems, most people really want to know why they always feel tired, have GI problems, bad sleep, depression , etc… I’m an ER doc and practice in the environment of a ‘quick fix’ but have recently starting prescribing fewer antibiotics, fewer pain meds, but have spent more time talking about diet, sleep, and exercise. I also give a handout similar to but not as detailed as the one above. My patient satisfaction scores have gone up! Is there hope??
Dr. Mike Tremba says
Thanks for sharing this, Amy and Mike.
Although I’m still relatively new to it, many other chiropractic physicians have been proponents of ancestral nutrition for quite some time.
I’m glad to hear that it’s also beginning to catch on in the allopathic community as well.
That’s fantastic – an encouraging. Where there is one there are likely more and eventually there will be momentum!
What’s the deal with the garlic supplement?
Last time I got lean (leanish anyway), I was following Dr. Julia Ross’s “The Mood Cure” diet. Gave up caffeine and gluten for a week or two, along with eating three squares with 20g protein.
I didn’t know coffee could “mimic” gluten, I just thought it was adrenal fatigue. Whatever works. I might try it again as I went back to coffee and those 3-5 pounds came back.
I just hit PPN for the first time in a while.
Good news: 4 docs in my home state – Michigan.
Bad news: They are all chiropractors. Sigh.
Dr. Rick Henriksen says
This is a great handout. I’m a paleo medical doctor and I give a similar handout to all of the patients willing to take it.
Making changes for anyone is not easy. I have had some success with my patients. Keep up the good work.
In addition, I have been thinking a lot about the physicians out there who are trying to advocate a paloe lifestyle. It is not always easy to do this alone. I think we need to organize together.
Read my about my 5 principles for such an organization.
Give up coffee? Maybe. . .
Chocolate–NEVER!!! They’ll be prying a piece of dark chocolate out of my cold, dead hands!
Sorry, but chia surprised me. I’m still new to paleo but don’t recall seeing chia as a poor choice. Can anyone clarify for me? Thanks! Still learning and adjusting…
Amy Kubal says
Chia is higher in omega-6 fatty acids and short chain omega-3’s. The goal is to minimize the O-6’s and increase long chain O-3’s. Also, as a seed some may be sensitive to it and/or experience a cross reactivity.
Interesting stuff! I’m travelling 2 hours (closest I could find) next week to see a doc who is respectful of me choosing to eat paleo and is prepared to give me more than just pharmacological solutions to my thyroiditis. I live in Australia!!
Sharon Louis says
Amazing, the actual well-read physicians tend to be out there! I wish my personal physician experienced told me regarding Paleo years ago; who knows exactly what wellness catastrophes I could possess prevented in the all of the intervening period. Much better later than by no means, as well as it’s by no means too late!
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My doctor recommended this way of eating to me about a month ago. She follows this plan.
It said you could use non-whey protein powder, is that correct?
Amy Kubal says
Real food is always best! If you MUST use a protein powder a 100% egg white or 100% grassfed whey are the best choices.
Helen Lloyd says
Well that explains my bloated gut, if coffee mimics the gluten protein that is the answer. I am gluten free otherwise. I couldn’t understand the bloat coming home from work and only having a “cuppa” in the afternoon. Looks like me and my lifelong friend will have to part company, coming from Scandanavian heritage it’s not going to be easy.