Skip to Accessibility Tools Skip to Content Skip to Footer

Me Eat Like Caveman

I’m sure by now you’ve all heard of the Paleo diet, right? Its another one of those fad diets that being praised as the next best thing. Or is it? Is the Paleo diet really a fad? I actually don’t think so. I think eating Paleo might just be the key to a healthy life that many of us are looking for and that it isn’t a “diet” but it’s a complete lifystyle. Now before you get all skeptical on me, let me just say this — I’m not pushing Paleo on you. I’m not saying its going to cure you. I’m just saying that its a great option for a healthy lifestyle that might have some added perks in terms of living with MS.

The principles of Paleo are easy—you eat like the cavemen did. So what exactly does that mean? Paleo has been coined the “caveman diet” because what you eat goes back to basics. We’re talking meat, fruits, vegetables, nuts and that’s about it. We’re also talking clean eating and what that means is that your goal is to eat as many organic fruits and veggies and grass-fed meats as possible. So this means cutting out all processed food…all of it. All sugar except those that are found in natural foods, in addition to all wheat products and most dairy. It means baking with almond or coconut flour and using coconut oil or olive oil to cook with.

The beauty of paleo is that you can go as deep into as you like. It’s sort of a “choose your own adventure” lifestyle. Some people go all in and never have “cheat days”, never eat any dairy and only eat organic. Other people see no problem in having a beer and eating a pizza every once in a while. In my experience, the great thing about Paleo is that you still see the benefits even if you’re not 100% all in. I mean, it’s hard to give up ice cream amiright?!

So with all this organic produce and grass-fed meat, its expensive right? I won’t lie, living a Paleo lifestyle can be a bit spendy but again this is a choice. The reality is introducing more protein via chicken or turkey into your diet will be good for you no matter what. Ideally, you’d pick grass-fed meats but if you can’t afford that, don’t worry. Just do as best as you can.

I have to admit, I have fallen off the Paleo bandwagon. I think I got sick or something, and for me with all of my IBD issues, when I get sick the first thing that goes out the window is healthy foods because they are hard on my stomach. But I can speak to my experience and say that I know I felt better, healthier and had more energy. I have recently started training for roller derby (cool, right!) and immediately I noticed that my energy levels were really low. I’m talking needing a 5 hour nap after practice, low. So I’ve been toying around with the idea of going back to paleo for overall general health but also to help get me through training. It’s a hard lifestyle to switch to, but its really not that hard to keep up once you’re doing it. It means a lot of trips to the health food store, a fair amount of money, and a whole lot of will power, but for me the benefits were very strong.

The final kicker for me to start eating Paleo originally was watching this Ted Talk from Dr. Terry Wahls.

The video is about 17 minutes but I assure you, you won’t be upset if you can take the time to watch it. It might change your eating habits and frankly it might even change your life. I really respect this doctor for her scientific reasoning and also her compassion for patients as she is a patient herself. Dr. Wahls doesn’t give her “diet” a name. She hasn’t marketed it. Its not a get rich scheme for her. The foods that she eats and that she talks about in this video literally changed her whole life. While I personally don’t believe that food is the cure to all that ails us, I do believe that eating healthier in general and cutting all the crap foods out of our diets will have a huge change in all of our lives.

So watch the video and let me know what you think. Is a Paleo lifestyle something you’d be interested in? Do you eat any particular way and does it help with your MS?

 

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The MultipleSclerosis.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

  • Phil
    5 years ago

    Hi Jackie, I enjoyed reading the above I think the more it is discussed the more people will see that what my Grandparents ate is the way to go. They were farmers. lived till they were in their 90’s. Like Terry Whal I was DX with progressive MS in 2003 and have never believed in drugs and always believed in the motto “Make medicine you food and food your medicine” I do take one drug for the MS and that is low dose naltraxone. But for me it was a tool to get rid of the fatigue which was threatening to stop me working as an accountant in 2004. I retired from work in 2011 as they were expecting me to work 80 hour weeks. I use a cane and around the house I use a walker for ease. I was pressured by my neurologist to use tysabri. I found Dr Whals video in 2012 and have been slowly building a recipe book for this diet. At present I eat 2 meals a day a smoothie with 6 cups of vegies and a can of coconut milk/cream with kelp powder, also have bone broth as Terry discusses in her book 400ml/day and then for my main meal I have meat and vegies. I have spent 2013 establishing garden beds to grow my own vegetables and as I am passionate about health i decided to go back to school an become a naturopath. The Dean only wanted me to do one subject because of the MS but I was able to push him to 2 Biomedical Science and History of Natural therapies which I received a Distinction and higher Distinction so my brain is still sharp lol. I believe we are what we eat. I have never given up I do have dark days but I keep on pushing on.

  • Lees MSketeers
    6 years ago

    Jackie I truly enjoyes this article. I was dxed in October 2010. After 2 years of constant exacerbations while on Avonex and Tysabri I learned of the Paleo Diet. When I tested JC Virus positive in September 2012, I went off Tysabri and decided I would give Paleoa try. I made an appointment with a nutrionist and set my goal to go 100% Paleo by January 1, 2013. Like you, I stuck to it for 6 months, maybe a cheat here and there. I felt so much better. No It did not cure my MS, but I felt human for the first time since my dx. In June, I fell of the wagon and I dont know if it was a coincidence, but had an exacerbation that landing me straight to the hospital for some iv solumedral for a few days. When I got out, I just didnt have the energy to get back into Paleo. I do believe we are what we eat. Eating clean helps you to think better and fuction more efficiently. I am back on Paleo for the 3rd week. I know the benefits and they are worth it. I am also considering starting Aubagio when I see my MS specialist in May. I have been DMD free since September 2012. For me, it was a personal choice thar worked and not for everyone. I know now that I need to incorporate both the Paleo and a DMD.

  • JK Collins
    6 years ago

    I’m a Wahls Warrior! I’ve been doing my best to follow the Wahls Protocol for 6 weeks now. I will say, when I have a day where I slide and eat off plan, I sure feel it the next day! Makes me more mindful to stay on plan going forward! Dr, Wahls has some terrific resources both in her book and on her website. It takes some doing, and you have to re-learn how to cook and plan meals, but definitely worth it!

  • Jackie Zimmerman author
    6 years ago

    She’s pretty great isn’t she!

  • Pooch
    6 years ago

    Thanks for commenting on an approach that “works” for some with MS. I am trying for positive results by paying more attention to diet. I am frustrated by DM drugs that are merely blocking/disguising devices for some and that bring their own, long term issues. Finally, I am, at least, making decisions for my own health which may have positive impacts. At least these dietary choices will ‘do no harm’.

  • Jackie Zimmerman author
    6 years ago

    I sometimes wonder why we all find it so hard to eat in a way that helps us instead of hurts us. You’d think it would be one of the most basic and natural strategies for health but we’ve trained our bodies to crave these really unhealthy foods. We all need a good rewiring!

  • Bobbi
    6 years ago

    I was diagnosed with MS at age nineteen in 1979. There were no drugs or even different kinds os MS. It was “You have MS. Good luck” After the first 2 years of constant exacerbations that luckily disappeared as fast they had come, (RRMS), I started seeing a hypnotherapist to deal with pain. I went into an unexplained but welcome remission for what I thought was 26 years. There was plenty going on but I never knew it was MS related and it was not life altering. I was just a tired,emotional,clumsy person. For some reason my weight has always gone up and down, always under my own control. My closets holds sizes 2 to size 12 clothing and every 1-2 years I manage to wear all of it. Of course I looked and felt best when I was thin. I finally faced the fact that MS was affecting me and found a wonderful neurologist. I went on Tysabri because it was the only drug that would not have those flu like symptoms,and since I was almost symptom free, I wasn’t taking anything that would make me feel sick. I loved the Tysabri and almost instantly felt its healing effects. After I developed immunity I went on Gylenya. Even better than Tysabri. About 10 years ago I went on the South Beach Diet and lost 35 lbs. I felt great but after a year I gained it back , plus! Since then I’ve been up and down until about 14 months ago when I finally went to my own version of South Beach. NO grains and only 1 treat a day so I wouldn’t feel deprived, usually a diet ice cream. After the first 6 months, and 20 lbs. I noticed how well I was feeling. No more indigestion, constipation, unbearable fatigue and other assorted symptoms. I “worked out” at a small gym 2-3 times a week. Never pushing myself but working on core strength and balance. Every time I stray from my diet, at a wedding or just because, I feel terrible. My body seems to rebel almost instantly. I am tired and irregular for weeks. I think at the age of 53 I have finally realized that certain foods are just poison to me. Now I only eat grains and sweets “at my own risk”, knowing that I am making the choice not to feel great. I am now holding at what seems to be the right weight for me. I’m going to look at Paleo but it sounds a lot like what I have been doing. It’s great to feel good and I know how lucky I am but I can’t help but think that after years of denying it diet and exercise have a lot to do with how I feel.

  • kimber
    6 years ago

    I started paleo for lent. It really has not been that hard. I realized after doing some research this is for my health. So I have no choice but to do it. I do feel like I have more energy, I am sleeping better, and I have also lost weight. I have even found a gluten free pasta that I like. (SCHAR) I think that is the spelling. As for ice cream – I am still eating that but I do like the soy ice cream. Kim

  • Jackie Zimmerman author
    6 years ago

    With true paleo diets be careful with the gluten free products. Most are not actually paleo. Same goes for soy. But that is the beauty of paleo you can pick and choose what works best for you and I think you still see the perks.

  • Kim Dolce moderator
    6 years ago

    Jackie,

    I’m tempted to try it because you started training for roller derby after dabbling in the paleo diet. It seems to have brought out your inner cave dweller. If I started eating primitive, will I get the sudden urge to wander into the woods and club a few small animals for dinner? I’m intrigued.

    Kim

  • Jackie Zimmerman author
    6 years ago

    Lol Kim. I’m not so sure about that but if it does happen please take pictures!

  • Mr.Stoneguy
    6 years ago

    Sorry Jackie, I am just finding myself frustrated navigating around this sight. I like your post here and am trying the Whals Protocol myself. 27 years with MS and still kicking!

  • Mr.Stoneguy
    6 years ago

    I just tried to comment on a comment someone made to my earlier post and it was locked out. I do not know why. The comment seemed to be within the rules, so I’m stumped, and disappointed.

  • Poll