What is Paleo? What is Gluten, and why go through such an uncomfortable challenge?

Paleo is simple. It is eating in a way that is congruent to your genetic needs. You don’t have to hunt or gather. No raw meat or foraging for huckleberries. It is following a few simple rules:

No grains, No Processed Foods, No Dairy, No Legumes (beans and peanuts), No Salt

The Paleo Diet is not a weight loss diet. It has equal value for those trying to gain weight as to those trying to lose weight. The strength of the Paleo Diet is in the quality of the foods you consume, not in the amount of calories you take in. That is why it is not necessary to weigh or measure any of the meals we eat.

What is Gluten?

Gluten is the protein found in all grains.

It is a mild to moderate irritant on the stomach lining and in those who are vulnerable (due to increased stress, decreased sleep etc.) can lead to a condition called “Leaky Gut”- see this month’s cover article in Scientific American.

Leaky gut is a condition when the stomach lining is so damaged that gluten protein passes through the stomach wall into the bloodstream before they are even digested!  This results in inflammation as your body creates antibodies to these proteins to eliminate them from your bloodstream.  The more protein antibodies that your body creates, the greater the likelyhood of creating an antibody that attacks your own body’s protein.  This is the definition of an Auto-immune disease and is commonly referred to as Celiac Disease. There are some who believe that this sort of reaction is responsible for a number of auto-immune disease. For example- if your body creates an antibody for the mylin of your nerves the resulting damage is called Multiple Sclerosis.

This is not an elimination diet. This is an insulin regulating diet that eliminates Gluten. The purpose of this diet is two-fold:

  1.  Lower blood insulin levels and increase insulin sensitivity
    1. Insulin is a master hormone.  Your insulin sensitivity determines:
      1. If you will be lean or chubby
      2. If you will live long or short
      3. It’s pretty important.
  2. Remove Gluten from the diet to establish levels of gluten sensitivity which can lead to:
    1. General inflammation/ Pain
    2. Leaky gut
    3. Auto-immune disease

Paleo Challenge Food Log