More Paleo Variations… Including Rice!?

I’m continuing to come across even more variations on the paleo diet. One blog that I came across is called Living in the Ice Age and I absolutely love this one because the food is presented beautifully (some of the dishes are quite chefy heh!) and also, the author is British! He hails from Yorkshire and as such he has traditional English meals like Bangers & Mash and even a paleo version of a Doner Kebab! For you non-Brits reading, this is a typically late-night, post-drinking-session takeaway that is often greasy and pretty disgusting but it’s extremely popular over here and I’ve never seen anything like it in all the US blogs & recipe books that I have.

Anyway, this blog follows what he calls Paleo+ which adds in dairy and some ‘safe’ starches. I didn’t take much notice of this until I came across a recipe that called for rice! In the post he referred to something called the Perfect Health Diet which is similar to Paleo but much less restrictive and allows for certain starches deemed safe including white potatoes & rice. Very interesting. I wanted to find some more information on this diet and I couldn’t find much but I did come across an interesting post by Chris Kresser that discusses these variations and suggests thinking of Paleo as a template allowing for individual variation. This makes good sense to me.

The inclusion of rice would massively open up the food possibilities as if you read further down the page in the link above you’ll see that it includes not only rice itself but products made with rice such as rice noodles, crackers etc. I’ve seen use rice flour used in pastas and bread recipes so that would really open up the spectrum.

However this is not something I would want to try now. Right now I have a lot of fat to lose and I want to concentrate on keeping my carbs low to facilitate that fat loss. Adding extra starch will only make it more difficult to do. Also, by not having pasta, rice, bread etc it forces me to get creative with vegetables and this has been a goal for years – I’d really love to actually enjoy all vegetables. It would make cooking so much easier! I see so many recipes that look delicious but I know I just dont like half the veggies in them which I find really limiting.

However, if I get to a point where I have dropped most of my fat and I’m eating more vegetables then it would be interesting to experiment with bringing some of these additional foods in and see how I fare on them.

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5 Responses to “More Paleo Variations… Including Rice!?”

  1. Paul Jaminet says:

    Hi Caroline,

    Some people lose weight more effectively when including “safe starches.” For example: http://perfecthealthdiet.com/?p=5181. Generally speaking, those who are insulin sensitive lose weight better with moderate carbs (~30% of energy), those who are insulin resistant may lose weight better with restricted carbs (~10% of energy).

    A good clue is if you have hunger or sugar cravings on low carb and they go away when eating more starches.

    You might consider an experiment!

    Best, Paul

  2. Caroline Middlebrook says:

    @Paul, thanks for stopping by :-) Just to clarify… if hunger and cravings go away after eating more starches what does that indicate? That some safe starches should be included? So far I’ve not had any cravings but I am including quite a lot of carbs overall – I think I’m around 30% most meals.

  3. Hi Caroline – the other Paul here :)

    I’m really glad my food blog has struck a chord and I do hope it is useful to you. I applied the term “paleo+” since I am very much of a similar mind to Paul Jaminet, Chris Kressler, Kurt Harris and J Stanton – we’re “beyond paleo”.

    I think I came to this once I had achieved my goals – namely, weight loss, although being completely healed of medicated gastric reflux was very welcome.

    First, with regard to starches, the glycemic load is dramatically reduced when eaten with fat – you can find the detail on Paul’s Perfect Health Diet website, or there’s a great article on J Stanton’s gnolls.org. The Perfect Health Diet should not be confused with a higher carb diet – Paul maintains that keeping below the requirement for glycogenesis is still the optimal level, and shows us that starchier carbs are useful for more than mere energy. I’ll let you read up on that last bit for yourself.

    Second, to things like rice, rice noodles, puffed rice and so on, even potato crisps, these are all perfectly good so long as there are no artificial enhancements and that good fats are used in the process. Ironically (for paleo people), these are probably more useful as snacks than nuts and dried fruit! Nuts are actually not that good for you, certainly less than the more centrist paleo view would have us believe.

    But this is what people “beyond paleo” have considered.

    Carbs should not be feared, but once understood, the perfect level can be found. Personally, I keep starches to occasional meals, but do cycle “carb refeeds”, “protein restrictions” and “intermittent fasts”. These kind of carbs do make it very easy to overrun a sensible intake, especially since so many very convenient meals can be made from rice and potatoes.

    Once you’re down to your ideal weight and health, there is no reason why these ingredients cannot be back on your plate, but do take care not to let it run away.

    We should not strive to make every meal a perfect balance, but have variety – some days, fatty meat, some days lean, with carbs, some days little food at all, others, totally pig out! The seasons are very important, too, and one thing I am very interested in is marrying paleo to seasonally available produce. That’s my thing for this coming year …

    Once again, thank you for the positive words about my website.

  4. Caroline Middlebrook says:

    @Paul (the other one!) Thanks for the great reply! I think a lot can come down to individual variation and experimentation is going to be needed. It’s certainly interesting to read other variations and perspectives but one thing is for sure – I feel a lot healthier having ditched the white carbs, sugar and processed rubbish and this is still common amongst all variations that I’ve seen.

    Looking forward to your future blog posts in 2012 :-)

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