TPV Podcast, Episode 43: Eating Disorders

Our forty-third show!
Ep. 43: Eating Disorders

In this episode, Stacy and Sarah are joined by George Bryant of Civilized Caveman, author of Caveman Feast, to discuss eating disorders. Learn the difference between physiological and emotional cravings and how to mange them, how to identify and address binge eating and more.

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The Paleo View (TPV), Episode 43: Eating Disorders

  • 0:00 – Introduction
  • 1:19 – News & Views
    • This week we are joined by a returning and frequently requested guest, George from Civilized Caveman (aka, Caveman Feast, king of bacon, resident male guest)
    • George noted that the Paleo Parents are challenging his bacon reign with Beyond Bacon that landed on his doorstep the day the podcast recorded
    • Sarah made plantain chips from Beyond Bacon the night the podcast recorded
    • The day the book arrived, Sarah and her daughters went through and marked all the recipes they wanted to try
    • Up first they are going to make the Caramel Praline Lard Fudge, and then The Best Brownies
    • When Juli was visiting the Paleo Parents over the weekend she discovered that the magic to the brownies is to use medium size chocolate chips
    • George had to brag about his recent baking success, which was a Bacon Chocolate Banana Cream Pie with a bacon crust, but he thinks he is going to have to do a side-by-side comparison using the Beyond Bacon pie crust recipe with his filling
    • George is doing a fundraiser for Mike, who is in need of a heart transplant, and chatted briefly about what he is doing to help him and his fiance – be sure to donate and help Mike!
    • The show theme for the week is on eating disorders with some deep questions that focus on binge eating
    • Sarah and Stacy have dealt with eating disorders, and George provides an additional outlook on the subject as he has dealt with eating disorders as well
    • Please check out this podcast for additional information on Stacy’s, Sarah’s and George’s background on their weight struggles
    • Stacy was obese her whole life
      • Was sent to fat-camp as a kid, was bulimic throughout camp and got really sick; came home and gained weight
      • She went back to fat-camp the next year and didn’t get sick, but her bulimia got worse
      • It took her a few years to work through the bulimia, but she still dealt with bingeing
      • Since Stacy was undiagnosed celiac for so long, she feels that her body dealt with such intense cravings because she was nutrient deficient
      • Now paleo provides her with a nutrient dense template and she focuses on many other healthy lifestyle factors, which has helped her move on from binge eating, but it can still be an emotional struggle sometimes
    • George’s problem with bulimia began at the age of 14 due to some bullying and comments from family members
      • Battled bulimia throughout high school
      • Joined the Marine Corps. and had to lose 40 pounds, and did so in an unhealthy way
      • Graduated boot camp weighing 155 pounds
      • Spent the next year getting ready for deployment and then spent 13 months in Somalia
      • While in Somalia both of his legs blew up from exercise induced compartment syndrome – had 6 surgeries, spent 12 months in a wheelchair, 18 months in physical therapy and became addicted to pain meds
      • During that time George’s weight ballooned up to 257 pounds at 5’8
      • After that he used triathlons, binging, purging, and carb loading to lose weight
      • Eventually he was deployed to Afghanistan and it was there that he discovered paleo and Crossfit, and the combination helped him discover a healthy way of living
      • When he returned home he created a paleo website as an accountability tool
      • The last time he had an issue with his eating disorder was in February 2012
      • It was at that time that he attended Paleo FX where he found amazing friends, and it was a tipping point for him because he found people that love him for him no matter what he looks like
      • He was able to begin his journey of recovery and it took him about six months after that to begin talking about his journey
    • Stacy notes that people have a preconceived notion of who deals with bulimia, and Stacy and George’s backgrounds prove that it has a lot more to do with emotions and other factors in life, as opposed to the notion that bulimia is something that only dancers and models deal with
    • Sarah has a history of binge eating
      • She stopped weighing herself above 265, but gained at least one clothing size after that and generally estimates that she was between 280-290 at her heaviest
      • Sarah lost 100 pounds in her early 20’s through a low-carb diet and marathons, and then she got very ill and was put on high doses of steroids, and that is when she slipped back into worse binge eating behaviors
      • It was also at this time that she was diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome, and she used laxatives to help with the IBS, but also used them as a weight-loss tool
      • After being so ill and being on steroids for a number of years, right around the time that her oldest daughter was one she realized she was pre-diabetic and as a new mom this moment was a major wake-up call
      • She found the strength to change the way she was eating and her behavior with food
      • Sarah wanted to make sure that she could be the mom she wanted to be, and was able to have a much healthier second pregnancy
      • While she struggled with weight with her second pregnancy, her eating behaviors were healthy and that is when she found a paleo diet
      • In the last two years of eating paleo and starting to look to food for nutrients, Sarah’s behavior towards food has been improved greatly and she has been able to address micro-nutrient deficiencies and blood sugar imbalances
      • Food is still a big part of her life and she still has cravings when she is stressed, but if she binges now it is not even remotely close to what it use to be, now it is 3 dates as opposed to a gallon of ice cream
    • As you can see from such differing stories, you are not alone if you deal with an eating disorder there is a way through
  • 27:25 – Science with Sarah: Food cravings, and the difference between physiological and emotional cravings
    • Physical cravings for food can be caused by a number of diet and lifestyle factors
    • Nutritional deficiencies will increase your appetite and you will crave food as your body tries to restore nutrient levels
    • Calcium, magnesium, chromium, CoQ10, and fat soluble vitamins are all common nutrients that cause cravings when low
    • Another important diet factor that contributes to cravings is blood sugar regulation, which leads to insulin resistance
    • Restoring insulin sensitivity and regulating your blood sugar are the two most important things that you can do to address food cravings
    • One of the biggest causes of food cravings is stress, which is a well documented interaction between cortisol and reward centers in the brain
    • Those food cravings actually exist because when you are stressed your body is having a hard time reaching stored energy and your brain is seeking readily available sources of fuel
    • The real solution is to manage stress
    • Inadequate sleep is another lifestyle factor that causes food cravings
    • There are studies that show that getting four to five hours of sleep a night, a few days in a row, directly increases food intake
    • Sarah feels that the number one thing that helped her lose weight was going to bed early, because then she was able to manage stress, repair her body, and break those craving cycles
  • 36:26 – Q&A
    • Sarah: Will I ever be able to eat starch again? Should I try an autoimmune protocol to help with my gut issues?
      • Reminder from Stacy to come to the Paleo Parents Meet-Up group
      • There are studies that show that Erythritol increases gut permeability, leading to a leaky gut
      • For many people sugar substitutes can still cause a release in insulin, leading to strong cravings
      • Sarah recommends for anyone dealing with sugar cravings to avoid all fake sugars
      • Stick with fruit because your body will know how to handle those sugars
      • If you are eating junk food with that level of consistency, your gut is not healing so it cannot handle the starches you are eating from whole foods like sweet potatoes
      • Reactions to food can take up to 5 days to surface, so it may look like it is the sweet potato, but it is probably related to the ingredients of the junk food
      • George’s recommendation is to look at the root of what is going on, what is the trigger for binges, poor sleep, etc.
      • Try to make this situation as real as possible and own what is going on and what is causing it – find accountability and support that will help you learn to love yourself
      • Before testing an AIP, Sarah suggests dealing with the binges and working towards a paleo diet for a chunk of time to see how far it gets you with your health
      • Stacy notes that she found a new way to comfort herself outside of food and she relies on her close relationships to give her the love she needs to work through those emotions
      • Try identifying nourishing binge foods that can help you transition away from the habit of binging, so that you can fully remove the items that are damaging your gut and focus on the emotional healing that you need
      • George notes that healing from an eating disorder is a process, every day you will learn how to manage your emotional and physical health
      • When you wake up, you have the choice on how you see the day and how you manage your emotions
      • When you do lapse or you have an issue don’t dwell on it or punish yourself for it, take it for what it was and learn from it and move forward
    • (57:26) Anonymous: How do I know if I have a binge eating disorder? And if I do, how do I stop?
      • The level of deprivation that you put yourself through when bodybuilding is incredibly intense – the culture and mentality creates an unhealthy cycle of habits that you need to take an honest look at and see how it is impacting your overall health
      • George loves nuts, seeds, dried fruit and coconut butter as well, but works to enjoy them in moderation
      • George doesn’t know if he would say that Anonymous has a binge eating disorder, as much as he might suggest that he/she has some disregulated hormones or some insulin resistance
      • Anonymous could be over-training or not eating enough, which may be leading to the cravings
      • Be careful with end-date eating structures as you need to find a lifestyle that feels long-term with few highs and lows in habits
      • Sarah and Stacy agree that Anonymous sounds like he/she is under-eating, which is stressing your body and causing your body to crave calorie dense foods
      • Bingeing is not something you think about, if you are a binge eater it is a compulsive emotional thing where you go into zombie mode and the food takes over, filling an emotional void
      • It sounds like this person’s body is simply telling them to eat more food, with more fat
      • If you have IBS and you are not absorbing your nutrients, working to eat from a paleo template will likely help you get to a healthy weight where you are better able to control the cravings
    • Stacy notes that people often answer their own questions in the actual question they are submitting, and agrees with George’s suggestion that you need to sit down and write your question, and a couple days later look at what you wrote to see if there are answers within it
    • When you are looking at your overall emotional health with food, it is important to look at your relationship with food and how you are responding to it
    • Try to make the steps that you can towards making better choices and if you don’t make the best choice move on because if you dwell on it you are only going to go to worse places
    • Sarah notes hmmmmmm…..bacon
    • George had bacon dipped in almond butter for dinner, he also does Italian sausage dipped in almond butter
    • Special thanks to George for joining Sarah and Stacy on another episode!
    • George’s other guest appearance on TPV can be found here, and he will be on the show again in a couple of weeks for a Beyond Bacon themed show airing on Tuesday, July 2
    • George will also be visiting the Virginia area for the Beyond Bacon release party
    • The party will be at the Red Apron on July 5 in Fairfax, VA – more details to come soon
    • In addition to George, Bill and Hayley from Primal Palette, Russ from The Domestic Man, Stefani Ruper from Paleo for Women, and Aimee Buxton, Stacy’s photographer – so come hangout!
    • Be sure to keep watching the Paleo Parents site in the upcoming weeks with all of the Beyond Bacon giveaway promotions!
    • Thanks for listening and happy bacon days!
  • 1:22:46 – Outro

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