Kurt G. Harris MD

PāNu means paleonutrition. The "paleo" here signifies "old" and not necessarily paleolithic. The PāNu approach to nutrition is grounded on clinical medicine and basic sciences disciplined by knowledge of evolutionary biology and paleoanthropology. The best evidence from multiple disciplines supports eating a pastoral (animal-based) diet rather than a grain-based agricultural one, while avoiding what I call the neolithic agents of disease - wheat, excess fructose and excess linoleic acid.

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PāNu Forum > What do you drink?

I've recently stalled a bit on weight loss after losing 15 lbs pretty fast. In examining what has changed in the way I eat compared to when I was losing weight ... the only thing I can come up with is the use of liquid sucralose or stevia in tea or homemade Italian soda (carbonated water, cream, some sort of DaVinci sugar free syrup). I have been drinking maybe two or three cups of sweetened tea a day and one or two VERY large sodas. I use the liquid version of the sweeteners to avoid the carbs from the bulking agents in the powdered variety.

In my first couple of weeks doing PaNu I eschewed anything with the taste of sweet and drank only water and unsweetened tea (blech). This is when the weight came off, but it was also pretty damn boring. I am perfectly fine with ridding sweet flavors from foods, but the drink thing is a problem for me!

I read some of the comments in Dr. Harris' "How to Lose Weight" post and decided to research the insulin response associated with zero-calorie sweeteners. The science behind it makes sense to me, so now I am looking for alternatives to sweet drinks that will be more interesting and palatable than just plain water all the time (although I do drink water a LOT).

I read a few recipes for Tibetan Tea and came up with a very simplified version that tasted great, by just mixing cream, a little salt, a little butter and a lipton tea bag with boiling water and steeping for a bit before shaking it up. It was very good. Anyone else have any recipes they can share for tasty beverages of the non-adult variety that contain no sweeteners of any kind?

January 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLAMF

Dominatrix here. Bite the bullet and learn to love water. I drank SF drinks from the age of 22 to 76 and finally abandoned that garbage last year. Even though Dr. Harris comments about the negative impact on digestion from drinking ice-cold water, I love it and have no plans to ever change that habit. I bought a beautiful glass and a unique ice-cube maker (the cubes look like icicles): every sip is a treat. I'm all for hedonistic pleasure but after endless reading and research, I find that water is the drink of choice.

January 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMarly Harris

i would like to kno others experiences as well with stevia.i am thinking about adding tea back in

January 30, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermallory

For the last 30 years or so I've made a habit of drinking coffee (black) all morning and beer in the evening - very seldom anything else. This habit didn't seem to interfere with the benefits of paleo eating, though I've found that lately (after 8 months on paleo) I don't especially want the beer. I sure don't want to replace it with anything sweet, and water straight seems odd. Your Tibetan tea sounds like a good idea - thanks for the recipe.
I've found that the paleo diet seems to kind of autimatically give one a new natural weight, and keep it in that vicinity without attention. (see Stephen at Whole Health Source on body set point) My new weight puts me in the "overweight" area of the notorious BMI, but my body-fat is about 14%, and I look and feel very good (old and ugly, but good). Are you sure you need to lose more weight?
((I'm paranoid -- I wouldn't touch an artificial sweetener with a stick -- sugar is bad enough!))

January 30, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterdjinn


You said:

"Even though Dr. Harris comments about the negative impact on digestion from drinking ice-cold water, I love it and have no plans to ever change that habit."


I definitely never said that - you must be confusing me with someone else. I drink iced water all the time.

January 31, 2010 | Registered CommenterKurt G. Harris MD

Mea culpa. I'm sorry that I attributed the ice water=impaired digestion to you. The back story is that I'm a singer (now an ancient one) and during my opera/concert days I was advised to never drink anything cold. When I finally segued to being a painter, I began to enjoy icy-cold water. My son thinks it's highly peculiar, but I get a buzz from ice water. I guess I don't get out enough.

January 31, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMarly Harris

All I drink is coffee with cream, the occasional 'herbal' tea (mint, ginger) and non-iced water. I love water.

I used to drink lots of sugary hot drinks (coffee, lattes, cocoa) and drink juice but I was never a soda-sipper, thankfully. I don't miss sweet drinks. Plain water is what I crave when I'm thirsty.

January 31, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBonnie

In the morning I drink one cup of coffee with heavy cream. During the day I drink room temperature water and occasionally some unsweet tea or yerba mate. At night a have a glass of red wine or a double scotch.

There's nothing wrong with drinking "boring" beverages. If you stick with simple unsweetened drinks you'll start to pick up on the more subtle flavors, but if you're looking for a little more excitement you could drink bone broth.

February 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCavePainter

Room temperature water. I have a Berkey Light water filter which is great and well worth the money for the quality of the water that comes out of it. I've never liked coffee, tea, or soda, and mainly drank raw milk until I sold the herd last year. I do milk a half dozen cows in the spring and make butter and freeze the milk, but it's really not worth the fuss to bother with the milk for me now. Water is just easier. Love the butter, though!

February 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

Since making this post I have stuck to water only ... and the result is startling. I went about two weeks previously without losing a pound. In the past 2 days or so I have lost 4 lbs. Absolutely nothing else has changed other than cutting out the few drops of liquid sucralose and stevia I was having each day.

There is my n=1 experiment linking insulin response with zero-calorie sweeteners. Anyone else have similar experiences?

February 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLAMF

Water, whole milk, coffee and bourbon :D

February 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterArthur

Hey, I'm a newbie to PaNu but have found dramatic results over just the past few weeks of eating low-carb and then PaNu (down to almost zero carbs and now eat mainly animal protein and sat fats). My health so far has improved dramatically (won't go into detail), which is great because I was actually missing work from feeling ill all the time.

To answer your question, I now drink tons of water. I've become more thirsty more often, so I drink lots of room-temp water. This is interesting considering that before PaNu I barely drank 12oz plain water a day, I just was hardly thirsty. Once in a while I'll have coffee with cream for breakfast. I've also found that having a spiced black tea (cloves, cinnamon, etc) is a perfect "dessert" for me. But I don't have more than two cups of coffee/tea a day.

I also like this one herbal berry/fruit tea that has no added sugar but just the slightest sweetness to it.

January 19, 2011 | Unregistered Commentervirgo

Coffee w/ cream in the a.m.
Yeba Mate in the Aft.
Red wine at supper

water in between

February 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKelly

no coffee
no alcohol
no soda

water and milk ( sometimes)

February 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterW3W3

I started drinking carbonated spring water when I was doing intermittent fasting while still eating a wheat-, fructose- and PUFA-laden diet. The carbonation seemed to help with the hunger pangs.

Now after eating paleo-ish for a while fasting is not such a big deal, don't need to deal with any hunger pangs, but I do still love the taste of that water. I like soda water even better because the carbonation is more intense.

February 2, 2011 | Unregistered Commentergarymar

Despite slavishly following the Paleo diet for several months, my only cheats being red wine, weight loss is not occurring. Could years of wine drinking affect metabolism to the point where proper eating (everything organic) and thanks to saturated fats, reduced appetite and calorie intake, is stalling weight loss? Or am I expecting too much movement on the scales too soon in following Panu principles, and should just remain patient. The dramatic weight loss which others are reporting, has not occurred here, although I do feel considerably better.

February 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDudleyP

Water, filtered through a Berkey, with the additional filters for removing fluoride.

Black or pu-erh tea, or water, w/ hwc, CO, and pastured butter, as wished.

Beef broth and bone broth, sometimes with an egg yolk stirred in. Sometimes with herbs or pepper, and extra CO, hwc, beef fat, or pastured butter.

February 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterS. J.

I'm experimenting with this currently myself.

I used to drink Coke Zero (about 1.25 Litres/day, but I never dropped too much weight. I currently do XFit, and I'm getting stronger, clothes are fitting better, but the scales aren't budging, so I've decided to drop the diet sodas for a month to see if it changes my experience.

The other hard part is giving up the beer. I love beer. It's pretty much a religion for me. For this to work I've decided to stop that for a month also.

Wish me luck.

February 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterThommo

I drink water now all day, I indulge in some vodka on the weekends. If you want to lose weight, pure water all day is the ticket.

I lost a lot of weight giving up coffee, cream, and stevia. Also my estrogen dominance got so much better by eliminating coffee and cream...not sure why, the chinese herbalist that I buy my herbs from says that coffee/caffeine is really hard on the liver which result in the liver having a hard time excreting estrogen. After I dropped the coffee I would take sips of cream during the day but that still kept me overweight and still with estrogen dominance symptoms...sometimes I drink green tea and that works well for me.

Drinking water all day is really boring at first but it gets a lot easier. I envy people on this forum that can drink coffee and cream! I don't know, everyone different, but I suspect being female adds another layer of hormonal complications! In the past everytime I tried to eat high amounts of heavy cream and butter I just gained weight and had awful periods....I agree with Marley, bite the bullet and learn to love water!

February 6, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterchristine m.

Water. Tea (hot and iced) and coffee, black. Dry wine. Cocktails with little or no sugar, like the vesper (Tanquery, Tito's, Cocchi Americano) sitting next to me as I type this. Every now and then I'll have a sweet-ish cocktail like a mai tai (but even then, one made with real, fresh ingredients, not "mixes"). Maybe 3 or 4 times a year I'll have a soda. That's the whole list.

February 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Rosevear

Water, green and black teas, unsweetened, cold brewed coffee, black, diluted 1:2 with hot water, and an occasional glass of red wine with dinner.

February 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPatricia C Psy.D.

I used to drink diet soda constantly and chew sugarless gum incessantly, but I gave both up once I started following paleo. I also used to drink a couple beers per day, which I also gave up. I currently drink a ton of water, and I also drink way more coffee (with cream) than I should. I've been thinking about cutting down on my coffee consumption, and Christine's post is providing me with additional motivation.

One thing that has happened to me, but seems very idiosyncratic to me since no one else seems to have had this experience, is that my alcohol tolerance went to hell after going paleo. When I gave up beer, I consoled myself by thinking that I could still have whiskey and scotch on the rocks when I wanted, and I could drink red wine as well. I love a good scotch, or at least I used to. I initially switched from beer to having one or two glasses of scotch with dinner. But in the span of just a couple months, my alcohol tolerance completely disappeared and thus I have almost completely stopped drinking. Four drinks would have barely affected me before, but is now enough to cause me to literally pass out -- literally, at a social event for work a couple months after going paleo, I had four drinks, which would have hardly fazed me before, and very embarrassingly my co-workers literally had to carry me home. Any alcohol consumption beyond one glass of wine is now enough to intoxicate me and to cause me to be sick the next day, and so I no longer feel any desire for any alcohol besides the occasional glass of red wine.

February 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEdward

Recently, I have found a sparkling water beverage from R.W. Knudsen. It's unsweetened, and the flavoring 'essense' is extremely subtle. So I usually add a tiny pinch of pure stevia powder and stir it in. Also, I sometimes add a dollop of heavy cream to make sort of a cream soda. Although I personally thought the cucumber flavor was disgusting, the rest are very good, they have pure ingredients, and they're only $0.89 each.

Sparkling Essense
- Blueberry
- Lemon
- Mint
- Cucumber

February 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJack Kronk

Water, coffee with cream or coconut milk, green tea
(no sugar or artificial sweeteners of any kind)
It took me some time to remove sweeteners because I used to put a lot of sugar in my coffee, but now I'm used to the bitter taste and don't even notice it.

I never liked soda drinks, they always tasted too sweet and artificial to me.
So, I don't understand why people say that plain water is boring???
When I'm thirsty the ONLY thing I want is water (room temperature, I don't like cold for some reason)

February 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMia