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Cal Jones 04-05-2007 05:16 AM

I'm not following a specific diet to the letter, but from looking at the posts here, it seems I'm eating more or less a Paleo/Zone-type diet at the moment (mostly fruit, veg and meat - no grains or other starchy carbs currently).

I still feel a bit weak (especially in the morning before breakfast) but largely feel good on it. I've had poor skin most of my life (fortunately not the sort of acne that scars, but I've suffered breakouts for about 30 years now) and suddenly my skin looks so much better. I don't have to put thick foundation on and use concealers every morning!

So, although I will have the odd cheat meal (I'm human and I take great pleasure in food), this is what I'll be sticking with for the long term.

One thing I'm not clear on is where things like beans and peas fit in. I generally have a salad of green (string) beans and edamame beans at lunchtime with chicken, and I'll have some peas in the evening along with the mountain of other veggies I eat then. I also like things like kidney beans and chickpeas though I don't eat them often. Are these good or should I be avoiding them? (I know there's talk about the oestrogenic properties of soy but as a woman, should I be concerned?)

Scott Allen Hanson 04-05-2007 07:51 AM


Green beans are fine and considered to be paleo by Cordain, although some other proponents of paleo do not consider them to be okay. Dried beans and peas (legumes) are considered to be non-paleo. The main problems with these foods, according to Cordain, are 1) the glycemic load (higher density carbohydrate) is high; 2) lectins, which act as anti-nutrients and bind minerals such as magnesium, calcium, etc., making them unusable by the body; 3)the acid/alkaline balance. Legumes contribute to a net acidosis in the body (causing inflammation), although they generally aren't as problematic in this respect as grains, dairy and animal proteins.

From what I've read of the phyto-estrogen in soy, the biggest problem is from heavy consumers of soy, especially processed soy. I'm not a woman, but I would certainly avoid soy altogether if I had a family history of cancer. If strictly paleo, avoid all soy.

Hope this helps.

Cal Jones 04-05-2007 12:15 PM

Thanks for the info. I'm not strictly Paleo. I'm just looking for a diet I can live with, longterm. I figure something based around meat, fruit and veg is pretty good, with the occassional cheat meal if I go out with friends or on other special occassions. Currently I consider myself doing really well because I've not eaten chocolate or desserts for about a the idea I can't eat anything other than chicken and broccoli for the rest of my life isn't greatly appealing. :-)
As long as I know which foods should not be consumed too often, that's fine by me. It's always a bummer when you find out an apparently healthy food you have grown to like turns out to be not so healthy after all!

Scott Allen Hanson 04-06-2007 09:05 PM


Sounds like a good diet plan to me. Personally, I tend toward paleo but my family doesn't buy in, so there's plenty of temptation. I think Cordain said something to the effect that if 80% of your diet is paleo, you'll see 80% of the benefit. I don't think you can go too far wrong if your diet is centered on meat/fish/eggs, fruit, and veg.

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