Tag Archives: Parker Paleo Diet

Two Month Recap of the Parker Paleo Diet Trial

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Potato chicken soup

I’ve completed my two-month paleo diet trial.  I’m proud to say I’ve been fairly compliant with it, although certainly not 100%.  Perhaps 95%.

My major transgressions have been:

  • three diet sodas
  • a bottle of wine around Thanksgiving holiday
  • two or three pies around Thanksgiving (I couldn’t stand throwing them out)
  • other grain and refined sugar products around Thanksgiving
  • four servings of salad dressing made with industrial seed oils when I had no good alternative
  • a Blizzard (thick milk shake) from Dairy Queen
  • on 10–15 days I’ve exceeded my 2-ounce (60 g) limit on nuts

Results and Overall Impressions of Paleo Eating

It’s fairly easy, even when dining out or away from home.  Nevertheless, it requires some discipline and willpower.

My sense is that my meat, poultry, egg, and nut consumption stayed about the same as my baseline, pre-paleo levels.  I eliminated cheese and didn’t miss it much.  I ate more vegetables and fruit.

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I took my lunch meals to the hospital

My wife says paleo eating is at least a little more expensive than my prior eating habits, mostly related to fresh vegetables and fruit.  Grain products like bread, pasta, and rice are cheaper calories.  On the other hand, we saved money by not buying wine even though I don’t drink expensive wine.

I don’t miss grain products much at all.  I had already cut back on them over the last couple years as part of my experimentation with low-carb eating.  I do enjoy whole grain breads but could live a happy life without them if necessary.

I miss sweet items like cinnamon rolls, other pastries, cake, pie, ice cream, diet soda, and candy bars.  I don’t care for sugary soda pop and fruit juices.

I didn’t do this to lose weight, yet went from 171 lb (77.7 kg) down to 164 lb (74.5 kg).  So an unexpected loss of 7 lb (3.2 kg).  I hovered between 162 and 166 lb for the last few weeks so I don’t think I’ll keep losing weight if I stay with the program.

Do I feel any different eating this way?  No.  I’m blessed with good health, so wasn’t looking for any upgrades.  I have noticed more sweetness in a few foods, such as nuts and carrots.

I take nothing away from those who report more energy, better sleep, improved digestion, increased strength, less joint pain, etc., from paleo-style eating.  Undoubtedly, some of those apparent improvements are placebo effect, some are coincidental, and some are bona fide results of the paleo lifestyle.

Steve Parker, M.D.

PS: The paleo diet is also called the Paleolithic diet, hunter-gatherer diet, Stone Age diet, caveman diet, or ancestral diet.

Update December 16, 2012:  I wondered if lack of alcohol for the last two months had any effect on my weight loss.  For the last week I ate my usual paleo diet but added 3 fl oz (90 ml) of whiskey daily.  Weight today 163 lb (73.9 kg), so no real change over the short run.  That’s enough whiskey for a while.

Update December 27:  After three days of unrestrained Holiday eating, my weight is up 8 lb to 171 lb (77.7 kg).  Mostly thanks to pie, cookies, and candy.  I’m sure some of that extra weigh is glycogen, water, and intestinal contents, rather than fat.  Back on the paleo diet today, a low-carb version.

Update December 29:  Weight is down 5 lb to 166 lb (75.5 kg).  Amazing.

Pace salsa, paleo diet, Parker paleo diet

The contents of this salsa jar are all paleo-compliant

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Pure paleo contents unless there’s BPA in the can liner

pumpkin pie, paleo diet, Parker paleo diet

Definitely non-paleo pumpkin pie

wine bottle, red wine, paleo diet, meal,

Wine is not “paleo” by most definitions

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L. Cordain likes the low omega-6/omega-3 ratio of macadamia nuts

Week 3 Recap of the Parker Paleo Diet Trial

Still going well.

Raw oysters qualify as paleo

Weight is down to 165 lb compared to 166 a week ago—not a reliable or significant difference.  Again, I’m not in this for weight loss, but wouldn’t mind losing another five pounds.

Transgressions?  You bet.  I was off my usual schedule, being out of town for the funeral of my favorite aunt in Baytown, TX.  I had a small praline (pure sugar and pecans), a small tamale (cornmeal), and four oysters breaded with flour and fried in industrial seed oil.  I passed on the carrot cake my two dinner mates shared.

Eating paleo at restaurants on the road is fairly easy, especially if supplemented by the nuts and fresh fruit I travel with.  We had breakfast at Denny’s in Corsicana, TX, and I was amazed at how many of the menu items incorporated cheese.  I loved hearing that Texas, “How ya’ll doin’?”

I’ll not do more weekly recaps until I have something interesting to say.  I’m planning to cheat on the diet for 24 hours around Thanksgiving holiday, and at least once I’ll get a pumpkin Blizzard from Dairy Queen.  It’s a very thick milk shake.


Update October 31, 2012

Dairy Queen pumpkin pie Blizzard: 780 calories, 116 g of digestible carbohydrate. That’s more calories than many of my meals.

Update November 8, 2012

Weight 168 lb.

Update November 14, 2012

Weight 165.5 lb.  Only a few transgressions. I miss sugar, as in cinnamon rolls, cookies, and pies.

Update November 19, 2012

Weight 164 lb.

Update November 21, 2012

Weight 162 lb.

Update November 22, 2012

Weight 165 lb.

Update December 3, 2012

Weight 165 lb (had been up to 167 in last week after Thanksgiving pies)

Update December 6, 2012

Weight 164 lb

Week 2 Recap of the Parker Paleo Diet Trial

It’s going well.  (Click for the Parker version of paleo.)

Overton trail at Cave Creek Regional Park, Arizona

Only one transgression.  I attended my son’s Boy Scout troop campout last weekend and had some salad with a small amount of cheese and salad dressing made from industrial seed oil.  Not a big deal.

These campouts are often carb-heavy affairs involving copious grains and refined sugars.  The adults get together on meals so there’s usually some compromise involved.  We always have meat or eggs at mealtimes, along with fresh fruit.  It’s not too hard to eat paleo, particularly if I bring some nuts.  I was sorely tempted by blueberry muffins, white chocolate/macadamia nut cookies, and oatmeal raisin cookies.

Although I’m not trying the paleo diet to lose weight, I lost 3.5 lb (1.6 kg) in the last week, adding to the 1.5 lb I lost in the first week.  Starting weight was 171 lb and I’m down to 166.  I gotta admit I’m pleasantly surprised.  I haven’t even been exercising for the last couple weeks.


PS: The paleo diet is also known as the Paleolithic, Stone Age, Old Stone Age, hunter-gatherer, or caveman diet.

Hamburger, mixed veggies, raw cucumbers

Go John trail at Cave Creek Regional Park, Arizona, where the troop camped

Rosemary Chicken (garnished with pico de gallo) and Rosemary Roasted Potatoes

Week 1 Recap of the Parker Paleo Diet Trial

I really didn’t need all that meat, but I ate it anyway

It’s going well.  No adverse effects.  Pretty easy to follow.

A prior post outlines the paleo diet version I’m following.  It’s a little more hardcore or purist than some of the others you’ll see.

Only two transgressions.  I absentmindedly drank a diet Coke and I purposefully ate four bacon-wrapped stuffed jalapeño peppers that held a little cheese.  The peppers were too hot for anyone else at home and I couldn’t stand to see them go to waste.

I’ve been working a string of 12-hour shifts.  My wife has cooked my meals; I eat one hot and fresh, and take the leftovers to the hospital for my mid-shift meal.  So two meals a day.

I’m not doing this to lose weight, but I’m down to 169.5 lb, a loss of 1.5 lb in one week.  I think the loss is real, not reflecting my state of hydration or contents of bladder and bowels.

This is fun.


PS: The paleo diet is also known as the Paleolithic, Stone Age, Old Stone Age, hunter-gatherer, or caveman diet.

Sirloin steak, salad, cantaloupe, 3 raspberries

Pan-fried chicken and vegetables

My wife heats these in the microwave for five minutes then sautees them in olive oil with garlic slices

Thick chicken breasts sliced down the middle and opened up like a clam to reduce cooking time

Only $3.50 (USD) for the whole bag at Sam’s Club

Day 1 of My Paleo Diet

Why do it?

  • Direct experience with implementation obstacles
  • Potential health benefits

My first Parker Paleo Diet meal: sautéed mixed veggies and pan-fried chicken breast

I’m not doing this to lose weight, although I wouldn’t mind losing 10 lb (4.5 kg).  I weigh 171 lb (77.7 kg, BMI 23.4).  Regarding health benefits, I’m just going to monitor how I feel.  No blood work.  My blood pressure’s normal already.

My current version of paleo is not designed for someone with diabetes or prediabetes.  That may come in the future (Dr. Frassetto, when can we see your latest research results?).  By “current version,” I mean I’ll quite likely tweak it over the coming months.  One of my major issues is whether to keep or delete potatoes.

Here’s what I’ll eat (or not) on the Parker Paleo Diet:

FORBIDDEN FOODS: Grains (e.g., corn, wheat, rice), Dairy, Legumes (peanuts, beans, peas, green beans), Industrial Vegetable Oils (soybean, corn, safflower, etc.), Alcohol, Refined Sugars.

PROTEINS: Meat, fish/seafood, eggs, poultry, and wild game.  Bacon OK; minimize other processed meats.

NUTS & SEEDS: Especially walnuts, macadamia, cachews, almonds.  Limit to 1-2 oz/day.

FRUITS: Limit 2 pieces/day?


Lower-Carb: Greens (lettuce, spinach, chard, collard, mustard geen, kale), radicchio, endive, bok choy, herbs, celery, radishes, mushrooms, cabbage, jicama, avocado, asparagus, okra, cucumbers, cauliflower, broccoli, peppers, summer squash, zucchini, Brussels sprouts, green onions, tomatoes, eggplant, tomatillos, eggplant, artichokes, turnips, rutabagas, spaghetti squash, carrots, onions, leeks, water chestnuts (small serving).  This list generally starts with the lower carb items and gradually increases to higher carb grams.  All these have 5 or fewer carbs per serving; most are  much less.

Starchy, Higher-Carb: Beets (6 g, GI 64), winter squashes (acorn, butternut), water chestnuts, parsnips (9 g, GI 97), potatoes (35 g, GI 87), sweet potatoes, (20 g, GI 61), cassava (37 g), taro (21 g), plantains.  Some categorize carrots as starchy.

HERBS & SPICES: Cilantro, parsley, basil, rosemary, thyme, etc.  Salt (minimal), pepper, vinegar.

OILS: Extra virgin olive, canola, flax, avocado.

CONDIMENTS: Olive oil vinaigrettes, mayonnaise from olive oil & egg yolk, and ?

LIQUIDS: H2O, coffee, tea

I’m not counting calories, fat grams, or carb grams.  I’ll eat until full or satisfied, not stuffed.  This is a two-month trial, excluding 24 hours around Thanksgiving.

Steve Parker, M.D.