The Paleo Diet: A Good Alternative For Those With Celiac and Gluten Intolerance?

I’m a carb and sugar lover, and I’m guessing I’m not alone among Americans.  Pizza, bread sticks, pasta, bread. . . we are a nation that loves carbs.  For many of us, though, digesting carbs is a challenge.  Dr. Joseph Murray of the Mayo Clinic analyzed blood samples from the 1950s to those now and “confirms estimates that about 1 percent of U.S. adults have [Celiac] today, making it four times more common now than it was 50 years ago”  (CBSNews.com).  Nearly that same amount has Celiac disease but have not yet been diagnosed

Even if you don’t have Celiac, you may have trouble with carbs.  I’m intolerant to gluten, wheat and many other grains.  When I eat them, I feel like I can’t breathe and get dizzy.  Thanks to my many intolerances, I turned to the Paleo Diet.

What Is the Paleo Diet?

The Paleo DietThe Paleo Diet is based on the idea that you’re health will be optimal if you eat like our Paleolithic ancestors did.  That means eating grass fed meat, fish, fruits, vegetables, eggs and nuts.

What’s off limits?  Grains, rice, sugar, beans, processed foods, dairy, and certain types of oil.  If you’re like most Americans, the off limit items probably make up a large portion of your diet, so if you’re thinking of moving to a Paleo diet, I recommend transitioning slowly.  Maybe first give up sugar, then dairy, then grains, etc.  Give yourself at least a month to transition off each so you don’t feel deprived giving everything up at once.

Why Grass Fed Meat?

Traditional meat on the market today comes from animals that are fed a diet heavy on corn and are fattened up on feed lots.  Their diet causes them to produce less omega-3.  When we consume the meat, we develop high levels of omega-6, which is bad for the human body and can cause inflammation.

Cows and lambs especially that are fed an entirely grass fed diet are rich in omega-3, which is good for your body.  According to a 2011 study in the British Journal of Nutrition, “Eating moderate amounts of grass-fed meat for only 4 weeks will give you healthier levels of essential fats.  The British research showed that healthy volunteers who ate grass-fed meat increased their blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids and decreased their level of pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids.  These changes are linked with a lower risk of a host of disorders, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, depression, and inflammatory disease” (Eat Wild).

If you’re going to be eating a large quantity of meat on the Paleo diet, you want it to be the best meat available.

Other Health Benefits of the Paleo Diet

You may have seen the project where a photographer captured what families around the world consume in a week.  What is most startling is how much processed foods and how few fruits and vegetables Americans eat.

If you follow the Paleo diet, yes, you’re eating a diet heavy in meat (but if it’s grass-fed, it’s healthier meat), BUT you’re also eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables.  Before I began the Paleo diet, I’m ashamed to admit that I only ate 2 to 3 fruits and vegetables a day.  Now I easily get 7 to 10 servings of fresh fruit and vegetables a day.

What Comes Next

Sure, maybe now you’re convinced that there are benefits to following the Paleo diet, especially if you have a gluten or even dairy intolerance.  However, I’m guessing you’re probably ready to argue that the Paleo diet is too expensive to follow.  While it IS more expensive than a traditional American diet, there are ways to cut corners and make the Paleo diet more affordable, which I’ll explain in my next post.

Have you tried the Paleo diet?  What are your thoughts?

Original Image Credit: Banksy’s Caveman by Lord Jim, on Flickr

Earning > Saving

Saving is a finite solution. You can only save so much, can only be so frugal. Your power for earning is unlimited with the right resource (you), the right tools (knowledge), and the right force (hard work).  That isn’t to discount saving.  Saving is an important part of the equation too.  But, because of it’s limited ability, it can only be so much a part of your overall wealth and financial independence equation.  Do you know what limits savings’ ability?  Your earnings. You can only save so much as you earn.  If you only earn $8 an hour, you can only save $8 an hour.  Far less, really, because who can live on $0 an hour?  Not many.  So, the more you make, the more you can save.

There’s another side to that, even.  The more you make, the more ability you have to make more.  That’s the root of the old saying, “It takes money to make money”.  While you can actually make money without having much money, the more money you have, the more opportunity you will find to earning more money.

Earning > SavingIncreasing your earnings isn’t always an easy equation to solve, though.  Many people feel like they’re trapped in the job they have, the payscale they’re in, and the life path they’ve chosen.  Not at all true!  Your earning potential is unlimited if you combine the resources at hand and improve the ones that aren’t.  You’ve already got you.  Increasing you knowledge of the work you want to do is pretty easy as well.  It just takes a bit of time, and some crafty searching online.  Pretty much anything you want to learn about is available online.  Heck, there are even entire sites dedicated to free college courses.  All you need is to dedicate some time to learning whatever it is you want to learn.  You can find that time by taking it from some of your TV watching time.

Follow all that learning up with some good old fashioned hard work.  That’s it.  Just hustle a little.  Unfortunately, there isn’t any magic formula for that one. I don’t know how to motivate you to work.  I don’t know the right things to say to you to make you want it.  You’ve got to provide that part.  If you can’t find the motivation to pull yourself away from American Idol for an hour to learn something, or work on making yourself a better earner, there’s just nothing that I can do for you.  You’ve got to find that part for yourself.

But, listen.  If you’re capable, like me, of getting your finances under control; of learning how to keep a budget, pay your bills on time, and learn from mistakes, there’s no reason you can’t learn how to earn more.  You CAN learn how to do something you want to do.  You CAN learn how to make yourself more marketable.  And you CAN earn more.  And, if you do, you WILL tip the scale in your direction.  You’ll start to earn more.  You’ll be able to save more.  And you’ll find that opportunities will present themselves to you.

How are you going to improve yourself today?

Attention Google Reader, um, Readers

Be warned. This post has absolutely nothing to do with personal finance. It does have to do with how some of you get your personal finance articles from Beating Broke, however.

More specifically, with those of you who use Google Reader to read the articles here on Beating Broke.  The latest stats show that there are a couple hundred of you or so.  Last month, Google announced that they would be discontinuing the Google Reader service on July 1st, 2013.  As a result, if you use Google Reader, you will no longer get updates from this and other websites.

Now is the time to make a few changes to make sure that you can keep updated.  Lifehacker has a good roundup of some other popular RSS readers that serve as replacements for Google Reader.

There are a couple of other ways that you can make sure you don’t miss any of the content from Beating Broke.  Use one of the services listed in that Lifehacker article, or subscribe to receive new content via email by clicking this link (Subscribe by eMail) and then entering your email and clicking subscribe.  You can also subscribe to the Beating Broke newsletter for additional content (it doesn’t include the regular articles).

You’ll likely want to rinse and repeat that for each of the sites that you currently subscribe to through Google Reader.  Be sure to do it before July 1.  I’m not sure what their plans are for after July 1, or if you’ll even be able to access the site, so getting it done earlier is better.