Paleo Reader Questions Answered



We received a couple great questions recently – one on the role of nuts in the Paleo diet, and Paleo Plan in particular.  The other is on the importance of breakfast for weight loss.  Read on!

Here’s the first one on nuts.

I noticed in the menu that there is a decent amount of nut products used. I, however, just read an article regarding the anti-nutritive properties of nuts and their actual place in the paleo diet. I am confused? The information seems conflicted. Additionally, how much almond flour is used in the diet? I’d like to buy
some, but don’t want to have to keep buying tons of it. And (last one): what is the approximate cost of the weekly menu? I hate to be one of those people on a food budget, but I only have so much grocery money and it only goes so far.

And my answer…


Was that article by me? Because I just wrote one on that very topic here.

The conclusion is that we pick our battles. Grains and legumes have more anti-nutrients in them, especially gluten grains, and since we’re cutting those out there’s usually no need to cut out nuts altogether. However, a lot of people can’t deal with digesting and assimilating them, so you need to decide for yourself if that’s the case for you.

If it is, then the easy solution is to soak your nuts. There are about 1,000 videos on the internet showing you how to do that, if you don’t already know. It gets rid of many of the lectins and phytates – the anti-nutrients.

In my article I brought up the fact that if we were to be living even 100 years ago, we would be picking and shucking our own nuts, which really hampers any quick consumption of them. So if we take our cues from our ancestors, we’d eat fewer of them than a lot of people do today.

The Paleo Plan does include nuts. People seem to do well on the plan, despite their anti-nutrient content, and they’re a nice departure from veggies, fruits, and meat all the time. They’re not in there very often, though. You can see a sample menu here.

When they are on the menu, it’s in the form of a handful of nuts for snacks, a crust for meat or fish, or almond flour used in muffins. You won’t need to constantly be buying almond flour, that’s for sure. And you really won’t need to buy that many nuts in general, unless you decide you want more than what the menu suggests.

As for the cost of the plan, it depends on whether or not you’re buying organic produce and nuts, grass fed meats, and pastured eggs.  Those are all the ideals, but a lot of people choose for their budget’s sake not to go fully that route.  It also depends on how active you are and what size you are, which determine whether you’re eating 1,200 calories or 6,000 calories per day.  I’d plan to spend anywhere from $300-$600 per month on food on this diet.

I hope this helps – let me know if you have any other questions!

Here’s the second question on the importance of breakfast:

I don’t feel especially fatigued, but I am having trouble dropping the weight even though I’m following the plan carefully. I’m not even having fruit at the moment and very little (occasional) sweet potato. But I don’t eat first thing in the morning. I know I’m supposed to but can you explain why I should? Then I might be able to make more of an effort.

And my answer…

Yes, this is actually worthy of a blog series, but for now, I’ll do my best to sum it up. When people aren’t hungry in the morning, it’s usually because their blood sugar is whacked out. It’s gotten so low during the night that adrenaline and cortisol have kicked in and the result is nausea (or at least a lack of hunger). Are you having trouble sleeping, too? Because that’s another symptom of the blood sugar craziness at night. The only way to fix it is to start making yourself eat in the morning. Balanced blood sugar starts with a balanced meal in the morning which helps set the scene for your day (and into the next days).

You should want to eat then – you’ve been fasting for 6-10 hours by that point and your body needs food to start the day off right. When you start eating in the morning and then keep eating regularly through the day you’ll start to feel different and you’ll most likely start being hungry in the mornings. It shouldn’t take more than a week or two for the hunger to kick in after you start eating in the mornings.

You might want to start adding some carbs to see if it jump starts some weight loss, too. The clincher here is that cortisol promotes belly fat in particular, so when you have that hormone coursing through your body so often (which you likely do), it’s not so good for weight loss. Good luck and let me know if you have any other questions.