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I might be missing it but I don't see how long it took you to lose the 12 pounds? If it was a short amount of time, just getting rid of grains could result in weight loss from water weight, glycogen stores and waste. If you're worried seeing a doc is your best bet.
Keep in mind that regardless of whether gluten is good or bad for you, grains do contain a lot of calories. So if you have cut them, you may be low on calories, or at least significantly lower than you were. You may need to make up those calories somewhere else (this of course depends on how many calories you need vs how many you're taking in). Just something to think about.
Also, just reading your post...whether you have an official gluten intolerance / sensitivity it seems you have your answer on whether grains are affecting you negatively.
Just wanted to add I know it sucks when it seems like you are doing everything right, and still not seeing the results you want.
It definitely does sound like something bigger, like Thyroid, may be going on. I'm not knowledgeable enough to comment on that. However, also keep in mind, that even when eating "clean", it still comes down to calories consumed, and whether you are burning more than taking in. It is definitely possible to gain weight while eating Paleo / Primal. Just to be sure, you may want to consider figuring out what you're caloric intake should be, then using something like Fitday (or one of the many variations) to keep track of your caloric intake. Try to come in at 500 calories less than you burn and see how that goes.
Consider ditching the milk too. I'm not saying milk is good or bad, but I think when someone is trying to lean out, dairy, and cow milk in particular, can be prohibitive.
You also are working out quite a bit. Consider giving yourself some days off. Days where you walk at a fast pace for two hours is not a day off either! Your body needs time to repair and rest. Maybe take one of those walks (on a work out day) fasted early in the day, and see if that helps out
Just my thoughts. Sounds like you are really doing some great things. I hope you get this sorted out.
You need to increase protein. Aim for .7 - 1 gram per pound. These are generally accepted amounts, especially with your weight work outs. This will probably put your protein intake closer to 30% - 40%. While I don't think you should overly worry about the macro breakdown, 20% is too low.
Also, Mark's carb break down is really overly simplistic, and I don't think there are many that even agree with it. If I'm not mistaken, he has even backed off from it a bit, though I'm not sure of that. Either way, his point was people with less activity need less carbs. I think its hard to argue with this. At the same time, 100 grams MAY be too low for someone as active as you. Experiment with this, and see how it goes. There are so many different ideas with carb levels and placements right now...look into some of them and consider trying them out. Check out "carb backloading" which is getting a lot of attention right now. Also, Robb Wolf just did a three piece article on carbs and exercise, and I think they are on his site. If you are tired and not recovering it may be too few carbs and/or calories.
Speaking of calories, 1200 seems too low. Especially on days you exercise. There are sites that help you figure this out, but again, if you are not recovering and getting tired after a work out it may be too few calories.
I agree with no lunch meat. Bacon may be ok if you get it directly form a butcher, or other ways to get it minimally processed. Otherwise skip it.
When I eat really strict my condiments of choice are yellow mustard and hot sauce (sometimes together, sometimes not). Very few ingredients and I think gluten free. IMHO, if you can handle ketchup. and its the worst thing you eat, then your doing pretty good. Still, ketchup is full of garbage (just read the label), so you'd be better off making your own or avoiding it.
I know of many that have seen success with a Paleo / Primal diet. Personally, I follow Paleo, and have seen some success.
Just need to add a correction to some posts above. The main difference between Paleo and Primal is that Primal allows dairy, not the other way around. Though this really isn't a big issue, as the main thing is to find out if dairy causes you problems, and if it doesn't, you might bring it back in. Some dairy hurts people worse than others. For me... Pasteurized cow milk DESTROYS me, where a bit of cheese is generally ok (sinuses get plugged up a bit). Still...I avoid all dairy. Anyway, a lot of people consider themselves Paleo + milk, as they feel they need milk.
Back on point... the foods in a Paleo / Primal diet are generally good for fat loss in that you are getting a lot of what you need in food that is satiating. Avoiding sugars and grains def helps with taking in quality calories, and because you're taking in satiating foods, some people see success with fat loss on these diets.
I would recommend ditching the chex. Get some almonds, cranberries, coconut flakes and other healthier things, mix em up, and it should satisfy you better than the chex.
Well RDB, since you want to avoid gluten, sugar and most dairy, I recommend Sarah Fragoso's - Everyday Paleo. It has great recipes that have no gluten / dairy / most sugars. Plus, if you're not worried bout a bit of dairy, you could always throw some cheese into some of them.
This book changed things dramatically for me...before it I was cooking food, after it, I was creating great meals I actually looked forward to. If you're not a Paleo proponent, you can still use a lot of the recipes, and add things in.
I ended up combining a couple suggestions and it worked beautifully.
I did one cup almond flour to four eggs. Put a bit of cinnamon in them and nothing else. They stayed together and cooked really quickly. They actually looked like pancakes too. From start to first pancake done was fourteen minutes. This included grinding the almonds into flour, and making a jam with fruit in the food processor. This is awesome that they stayed together and were so quick to cook. Exactly what I was looking for. These will be great for camping, a post work out meal, and other quick meals.
Only downside is the pancake itself doesn't have as good a taste as it did with the fruit and coconut milk in it, but I covered it with the jam I made and almond butter...so it's ok.
I can probably experiment a bit too with with the flax and Xantham that were suggested.
Kelley - I actually thought about making them smaller, and tried that last time...no difference though. I now make my own almond flour, but was using Honeyville and had the same results. I have used Bob's too. It is so much cheaper (and easy) to make my own that I plan on doing that now.
Darn - Good suggestion bout the berries, and I will give that a try next time. I actually throw some strawberries in a food processor and dump them in, in addition to at least two other kinds of berries, so maybe that will help to just leave em out.
Bunnie - I'll keep your suggestion in mind too...hadn't thought of that. I agree that three cups is a lotta almond flour, but that's how much I need with a whole can of coconut milk, or it is too runny.
Wow...lottsa good info here. I eat Paleo. I eat a lotta meat. Sometimes its all that's in my meal.
Bought a grass fed organic cow, and keep it in the freezer. Eat it several times a week. Slow cook roast. Make burgers with jalapenos, onions, and chopped up yams mixed right in the burgers. Grill em up Yummy. No bun of course. I smother them with homemade guac and salsa.
Also bought a pig, and slow cook hams and pork chops a lot. So easy, and always have meat on hand.
Actually saves money as now I don't spend money going out to eat as much, plus buying in bulk is cheaper in the long run.
So...yeah, break it up...lottsa good meat, and different varieties. I cook the ham and roast with sea salt, pepper, kayenne pepper and a touch on cinnamon...yum.
Recently discovered fish! Love to dip it in egg and bread it in coconut flour, and cook it in coconut oil...did I say yum?
Try different things. Last I saw the mercury and other stuff that might be in fish, is outweighed by all the good fish does for us. I could post that link if there's interest and I'm not breaking the rules.
Well...its been mentioned, but I gotta second the Peleo Diet which, if done traditional, does not allow gluten. In fact, I follow this diet, and am not Celiac, but still avoid gluten as much as a can. Yes, I realize it is a luxury that as a non celiac I can "avoid" gluten...though gluten does tend to make me sick. So I eat meat, veggies and fruit. I have a high fat / protein diet, and a lot carb diet....though it doesn't need to be that way, and one can mix those up as needed while still avoiding gluten.
Or...If you can afford to do WW, and find good gluten free foods, a lotta people do see success losing fat on that program.
I'd be happy to share some Paleo recipes I came up with, and give information to find other ones. It has taken me two years, but I am finally comfortable with Paleo cooking / eating.
Yes, I'm in agreement to many of the above posts. I find coconut was meant to be used with a more traditional flour, and not necessarily the only flour used when doing things like baking. It expands and throws off measurements, plus is doesn't cook thoroughly...in my experience.
The rule I follow is if I am going to use a flour as the main ingredient, like in a pancake, I use almond flour. If I am going to bread something like chicken in a flour, I use coconut flour. So coconut on the outside, almond the inside.