Author Topic: Hello from a Paleo extremist  (Read 4264 times)

Offline dman

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Hello from a Paleo extremist
« on: March 15, 2012, 01:20:22 AM »
Hi everyone,

I've been eating paleo on and off since 2007, but I've been doing it almost entirely on my own, so I thought I'd try to connect with some fellow paleo dieters here. 

I'm what you might call a paleo extremist—I eat only unprocessed, natural meat and whole fruit, plus spring water and the occasional sprinkle of sea salt—no added fats, herbs, spices, veggies, seeds, beans, etc.—as close as possible to what I imagine our ancient, ancient tropical ancestors ate when their cooking was as rudimentary as possible and fruit was readily available.  To understand how I've arrived at such an extreme diet, keep reading.  I'll try to be succinct:

I started the Paleo diet because I was tired of taking medication for acne, and I came upon Loren Cordain's e-book: The Dietary Cure for Acne.  I then read Cordain's The Paleo Diet and was hooked.

Cordain's version of the paleo diet improved my acne probably 75%.

Then, in 2011, I was diagnosed gluten intolerant by some testing recommended by my primary MD from http://enterolab.com  The testing also revealed substantial intestinal IgA antibodies to the proteins of cow's milk, soy, egg, and nuts.  Another MD then ordered more testing for me from http://foodallergy.com  These tests found substantial blood IgG antibodies not only to the ingredients just mentioned, but also to garlic, broccoli, cauliflower, coffee, basil, all sorts of beans and seeds, and a few other herbs/spices/vegetables as well.

As a result of this latest round of testing, I have taken the paleo diet to an extreme:

I am trying to eat as much like our ancient, ancient ancestors as possible.

I try to eat foods completely uncombined.  That is, one food at a time, with zero mixing.  Also, I'm aiming for minimal processing and minimal farming.

Currently, my diet consists only of fruit and meat.  Nothing else.  No vegetables, beans, seeds, or added fats.  No herbs or spices beyond sea salt.

Whenever possible, the fruit I eat is organic and local.  I try to eat whole instead of juicing whenever possible.  As far as meat is concerned, I try to eat only fresh, wild, local seafood, and 100% grass-fed beef.

The biggest challenge is cooking without spices, herbs, and added fats.  I've tried baking, grilling with propane, grilling with charcoal, smoking, broiling, frying, and a modern technique called sous vide.

There is something about grilling over an open fire that is very satisfying, more than any other cooking method.  Perhaps there's an instinct that causes me to enjoy the smell, sight, and feel of the flames, especially as it sears and roasts my dinner.  I used to grill over 100% natural lump charcoal.  Currently, I don't have access to a grill, so I fry in a non-toxic, non-stick pan with no added fat, or I broil under a gas broiler.

Some of my favorite foods are pan-fried, grass-fed hamburger patties; broiled mussels; and raw oysters.  I also enjoy steamed, live crab, lobster, crawdads, and sweet shrimp.  I also enjoy sea urchin gonads (uni, in Japanese) raw, every now and then.

As a result of the modifications I've made to my diet, as a result of the intolerances with which I was diagnosed, my acne improved another 20% or so, such that it's now about 95% better than it was before I went paleo.  Also, in 2011, I was eating whatever I felt like, and weighed 187 pounds with 27% body fat.  A year later, after switching to the diet I just detailed, I weighed 146 with 14% body fat.  This is all with zero exercise routine and zero restriction of food quantities (I eat as much as I feel like, until I feel full).  And so, I cut my weight by about 40 pounds and dropped my body fat in half simply by simplifying my diet.

Anyway, just wanted to introduce myself.  If you have any comments or questions, shoot.

For details about my diet, see my Food Journal at http://cavemanforum.com/food-journals/dman's-extremist-meat-and-fruit-paleo-journal/

I hope to get to know some of you and to trade wisdom we've acquired throughout our respective paleo journeys :)
« Last Edit: November 18, 2012, 05:23:52 PM by dman »

Offline goodsamaritan

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Re: Hello from a Paleo extremist
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2012, 01:49:38 AM »
Hello Paleo Extremist!

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The biggest challenge is cooking without spices, herbs, and added fats.  I've tried baking, grilling with propane, grilling with charcoal, smoking, and a modern technique called sous vide.  Currently, I'm experimenting with grilling over an open fire.  I'm using a device called a chiminea—basically an outdoor fireplace—to contain my fires, to shield them from the wind and rain, and to prevent sparks from flying around and burning my landlord's house down.

I solved this point by eating all my meat RAW.

Every meat and fat can be made into sashimi.  It will make your life simpler.  And the health results you want will be absolutely amazing.


Offline dman

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Re: Hello from a Paleo extremist
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2012, 01:58:53 AM »
Hello Paleo Extremist!

I solved this point by eating all my meat RAW.

Every meat and fat can be made into sashimi.  It will make your life simpler.  And the health results you want will be absolutely amazing.


I tried that.  I like the purity and simplicity of it, but I didn't really enjoy it much, and didn't find it particularly satiating.  There are a few things I will only eat raw: uni (sea urchin gonads) and mirugai (geoduck clam).  Oysters I sometimes eat raw, sometimes eat grilled.  But everything else, I prefer cooked.  There was only so much sashimi I could eat before I got sick of it.  And there were only a few meats that I really enjoyed sashimi-style with zero condiments (albacore tuna was my all-time favorite, aside from uni).  If you add soy sauce, it completely changes the ballgame.  I could probably be quite happy eating a sashimi-only diet if I ate soy sauce.  However, even the finest steak sashimi can't compare to a well-grilled ribeye steak, for my taste buds.

The anthropology I've read seems to be pretty clear that cooking with fire was an essential component of human evolution, so I have trouble seeing how someone can justify foregoing fire on an evolutionary basis.  And if we evolved to eat our meat cooked, for the most part, I have trouble seeing a plausible argument for why it would be healthier to eat all or most of our meat uncooked. 

While cooking without seasonings, added fats, etc. is challenging, it's not impossible.  Some of the tastiest food I've ever eaten was grilled ribeye steak, oysters, clams, and mussels.  And these foods satisfied me and filled me up in way that sashimi never could (this is coming from someone who spent numerous months eating only raw food).  Plus, my digestion was much worse when I ate sashimi-only.

What do you think?  Do you still think you have a compelling case for eating raw-only?

And, out of curiosity, what are your favorite meats to eat raw?  Do you forego added fats, seasonings, condiments, etc. altogether?

Offline goodsamaritan

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Re: Hello from a Paleo extremist
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2012, 02:23:36 AM »
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What do you think?  Do you still think you have a compelling case for eating raw-only?

And, out of curiosity, what are your favorite meats to eat raw?  Do you forego added fats, seasonings, condiments, etc. altogether?

Compelling, yes.  Grave diseases and internal injuries in my experience with healing many people can only be achieved by eating raw only.  I'm talking serious to die for cancer, psoriasis, erectile dysfunction, kidney failure... stuff like those.  For example, check out this guy, sick of grave psoriasis for 20+ years and just by eating raw paleo diet in 1 month he cures himself. http://eczemacure.info/2012/03/08/jeff-in-hong-kong-eczema-cured-after-20-years-and-very-passionate-to-share-his-story/

Taste of meats... this is where the organic-ness and wild-ness of the animal comes in.  And also the part of the animal.  When you eat all raw and zero condiments, each animal and each part has a taste all its own.  And your body identifies each and every one just like when you pick fruit at a fruit stand.  Each fruit has a smell and a taste you can identify.  So when eating all raw fruit, all raw veggies, all raw meat... your natural INSTINCT is aroused and you can optimize what your body needs.

For example... grain fed meats and farmed fish taste so bad... compared to wild fish, wild meats, grass fed meats.  The difference in taste is night and day.

Between grass fed meats, you can discern the taste of one supplier with another.

I don't add any artificial fats because I choose really FAT beef or lamb, and buy fertilized duck eggs.  I also choose very fat fish such as BigEye Tuna and Blue Marlin.  I can also get fat from coconut milk, coconut meat, and avocados.  Durian is very filling.

I do not add seasonings or condiments to my food because it fools my instincts.  And besides, if a raw meat needs seasonings... it must be bad meat.  I'm a meticulous shopper and taste on the spot. 

Salt is not needed on raw meats because there's enough blood to give me organic salt.

Regarding digestion, you will notice after some time that you need to eat a lot less raw meat than cooked meat.  So if you force yourself to eat the same quantity as cooked, you will have digestion problems because that would be too much.

There is a technique to going raw.  You heat your food less and less seconds each week until you don't need to heat it at all.

And raw meat tastes better the hungrier you are... so you don't need to eat on the clock.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2012, 02:32:18 AM by goodsamaritan »

Offline dman

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Re: Hello from a Paleo extremist
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2012, 02:48:37 AM »
Compelling, yes.  Grave diseases and internal injuries in my experience with healing many people can only be achieved by eating raw only.  I'm talking serious to die for cancer, psoriasis, erectile dysfunction, kidney failure... stuff like those.  For example, check out this guy, sick of grave psoriasis for 20+ years and just by eating raw paleo diet in 1 month he cures himself. http://eczemacure.info/2012/03/08/jeff-in-hong-kong-eczema-cured-after-20-years-and-very-passionate-to-share-his-story/
No offense, but many dietary adherents have anecdotes and testimonials to support the healthiness of their diets.

What you're describing sounds like anopsology.  I know, because I practiced anopsology militantly for a few months.  And I ended up quitting because I felt miserable and hungry and had terrible indigestion.

I have no doubt that anopsology is much healthier than the vast majority of diets on this earth.  And I have no doubt that switching from most any diet to anopsology would cure many diseases.  But that does not mean that anopsology is healthier than an essentially anopsologist diet with the simple addition of fire.

Note that the wife of the founder of anopsology died of cancer.

For an interesting, eye-opening criticism of anopsology, from a former anopsologist, I suggest checking out http://www.beyondveg.com/nieft-k/instincto-guide/

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Taste of meats... this is where the organic-ness and wild-ness of the animal comes in.  And also the part of the animal.  When you eat all raw and zero condiments, each animal and each part has a taste all its own.  And your body identifies each and every one just like when you pick fruit at a fruit stand.  Each fruit has a smell and a taste you can identify.  So when eating all raw fruit, all raw veggies, all raw meat... your natural INSTINCT is aroused and you can optimize what your body needs.

For example... grain fed meats and farmed fish taste so bad... compared to wild fish, wild meats, grass fed meats.  The difference in taste is night and day.

Between grass fed meats, you can discern the taste of one supplier with another.

I don't add any artificial fats because I choose really FAT beef or lamb, and buy fertilized duck eggs.  I also choose very fat fish such as BigEye Tuna and Blue Marlin.  I can also get fat from coconut milk, coconut meat, and avocados.  Durian is very filling.
You're preaching to the choir, my friend. As a former anopsologist and current fruit fanatic, I've experienced everything you've referred to here.

(Interesting side note: Not all of us necessarily have instincts that are perfectly adapted to eating durian.  I happen to worship the fruit, myself, but the other night I ate so much that my kidneys literally started to hurt.  Apparently, durian has so much potassium that it can overtax the kidneys, based on the research I've read.  Perhaps the cavemen in my particular lineage didn't have access to durian.)

Anyway, as far as instincts are concerned, I wouldn't disagree with you if cooking were not an option.  When I ate all raw, my instincts inclined me towards things like fresh, local mackerel, from which I cut the sides and devoured them straight.  But now that I've let go of the anopsology dogma, and allow myself to use fire, as our ancestors apparently did regularly, my instincts drive me to cook 95% of my meat.

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I do not add seasonings or condiments to my food because it fools my instincts.  And besides, if a raw meat needs seasonings... it must be bad meat.  I'm a meticulous shopper and taste on the spot. 

Salt is not needed on raw meats because there's enough blood to give me organic salt.
I agree with all of this.  If my stomach were stronger, I would season my steak with blood.  Nonetheless, I find shellfish to generally be salty enough to not need any additional salt, which suggests to me that perhaps my ancestors subsisted largely on shellfish.  Thoughts?
« Last Edit: March 15, 2012, 08:04:59 PM by dman »


Offline el cogollero

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Re: Hello from a Paleo extremist
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2012, 05:38:50 AM »
Hi - you don't mention lamb - is it available for you? And liver... do you eat it much?

Offline goodsamaritan

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Re: Hello from a Paleo extremist
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2012, 06:56:47 AM »
Anopsology has a section on the www.rawpaleodietforum.com community called Instincto. http://www.rawpaleodietforum.com/instinctoanopsology/

If you read around that forum, there are very angry critics of anopsology there.  Raw paleo diet is not necessarily anopsology / instincto.  The argument is you can't just run on pure instincts.  There is a lot of science, experience, and results that have to be met and taken into account.

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Note that the wife of the founder of anopsology died of cancer.

The founder GC Burger (GCB) also posts in www.rawpaleodietforum.com and he explained that his wife made the mistake of over eating on raw beef.  That's GCB's take on that matter.  I would personally look at the possibilities of pollution related causes... diet is not the only thing that determines health, although it is a big factor.

This is what GCB said about his wife's case:
http://www.rawpaleodietforum.com/instinctoanopsology/is-it-dangerous-to-eat-too-much-meat/msg80452/#msg80452

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I can only recommend to people who experience systematic consumption of raw meat to remain very vigilant. Although initially everything seems to be fine, induced disorders may occur much later, and be fairly irreversible. I myself eat almost everyday an animal protein of various sources (meat, fish, shellfish, crab or eggs), but I stop as soon as it becomes less tasty or at the slightest feeling that I have eaten enough of it. So I’ve been able to put under control the disorders that had arisen at times when we experienced an excessive consumption of meat (mainly beef muscle) – whereas it went so far as to cause the death of my wife.

Thank you to GCB and his wife for experimenting for us to learn.

----------

I personally mix and match teachings, disciplines and my own experience with myself and the people I heal.  I listen to my instincts, but it is always qualified through an educated lens. 

----------

Shellfish.  Yeah, I get them 3 to 4 times a week.  Oysters, clams, squid, sea urchin, crabs and shrimp.  Salty stuff.  Sea weed too.
I'm a firm believer too that we humans should have shellfish as staple food.
I can rationalize that paleo man had an easy time with these foods as they are far too easily with reach as staple food... and they don't really run away or fight back.

I live in the Philippines so my food may be far different from yours.

-----------

Welcome to caveman forum! Your experience is immensely appreciated.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2012, 07:06:42 AM by goodsamaritan »

Offline Warren Dew

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Re: Hello from a Paleo extremist
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2012, 07:45:36 AM »
Welcome, dman!  Sounds like you'll fit right in here.

Offline Warren Dew

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Re: Hello from a Paleo extremist
« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2012, 09:17:28 AM »
Regarding some of the issues you raised:

- It may be difficult to get rid of salt; paleolithic humans almost certainly got salt from the blood in their meat, but that's not so easy if one doesn't kill the animal oneself.  I still use salt for this reason.

- I prefer my meat rare, with just the surfaces cooked.  However, I do cook ground meat more than that, not because I think paleolithic humans cooked more than the outsides of their meat, but because paleolithic man didn't have to deal with issues like salmonella contamination at large processing plants.

- As for pork, I'd think that truly pastured pork - not fed slop, just sent into the forests to graze - ought to be pretty good from a paleo standpoint.  However, it's much harder to find that grass finished beef.

Offline dman

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Re: Hello from a Paleo extremist
« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2012, 12:22:18 PM »
Welcome, dman!  Sounds like you'll fit right in here.

Thanks, Warren :)

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- It may be difficult to get rid of salt; paleolithic humans almost certainly got salt from the blood in their meat, but that's not so easy if one doesn't kill the animal oneself.  I still use salt for this reason.

I agree, for the most part.  If my only source of meat were shellfish, I might get away with not adding salt, but I enjoy a grass-fed ribeye every now and then, and it does taste better with blood or a blood substitute :)

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- I prefer my meat rare, with just the surfaces cooked.

Me too, for the most part.  Though I do enjoy steak medium-rare more than straight-up rare.  I used to think I preferred it rare, but then I read parts of Nathan Myhrvold's tome, Modernist Cuisine, in which he writes that even cavemen-types who claim to prefer their steaks bloody prefer the taste of a medium-rare steak in a blind taste test, and I realized he was right.  I like the idea of a rare steak better, but when I'm honest with myself, I have to admit that I prefer the taste of medium-rare.  Myhrvold writes about the chemical change the meat undergoes when it's brought to medium-rare (approximately 130 degrees fahrenheit) and how it makes the nutrients more available for digestion.  It may seem like I'm splitting hairs here, but I find these nuances interesting :)
   
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However, I do cook ground meat more than that, not because I think paleolithic humans cooked more than the outsides of their meat, but because paleolithic man didn't have to deal with issues like salmonella contamination at large processing plants.

I agree, though I try to eat steak instead of ground meat because (a) it's more in line with what our ancestors ate and (b) I enjoy it more.

By the way, I'm not trying to be snooty here, but if you don't mind my asking: Why are you eating ground meat from large processing plants in the first place?  Have you watched Food, Inc.?  If you do, you may never want to eat meat from large processing plants again.  When I had eaten ground meat in the past, I only bought ground meat that was hand-ground same-day by a reputable butcher.

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- As for pork, I'd think that truly pastured pork - not fed slop, just sent into the forests to graze - ought to be pretty good from a paleo standpoint.  However, it's much harder to find that grass finished beef.

I agree, but is this actually available to anyone besides hunters of wild boar?  If so, where have you seen it?

I suppose it also depends how you define "pastured."  The butchers who sell "pastured" pork in my area say their pigs roam about the pasture throughout the day, scavenging for wild edibles, but their diets are supplemented with high-quality slop.  I've had ham from Spain made from pigs who ate only acorns, but it costed $60 per pound, and I don't even know whether they roamed free and found the acorns themselves.

Offline dman

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Re: Hello from a Paleo extremist
« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2012, 12:40:00 PM »
I personally mix and match teachings, disciplines and my own experience with myself and the people I heal.  I listen to my instincts, but it is always qualified through an educated lens. 

Sounds wise.  Me too.

Overall, would you consider yourself an anopsologist, or not?

I suppose I'd consider myself a "cooked anopsologist," because I believe I follow all of the major principles of anopsology, with the exception of fire.  Would you agree?

Do you know of anyone who's written favorably about "cooked anopsology"?  If so, would you mind pointing me in their direction?

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Shellfish.  Yeah, I get them 3 to 4 times a week.  Oysters, clams, squid, sea urchin, crabs and shrimp.  Salty stuff.  Sea weed too.
I'm a firm believer too that we humans should have shellfish as staple food.
I can rationalize that paleo man had an easy time with these foods as they are far too easily with reach as staple food... and they don't really run away or fight back.

I agree 100%.

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I live in the Philippines so my food may be far different from yours.

Actually, our foods may be quite similar, given that neither of us use condiments, seasonings, or any sort of mixes of foods, and given that we both presumably live close to the Pacific Ocean (I'm within a few miles of it, myself)

Just out of curiosity, are you native Filipino, or were you born elsewhere (and if so, where)?

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Welcome to caveman forum! Your experience is immensely appreciated.

Thank you! Likewise :)  I hope you know that, as much as I like to debate, it's all in a friendly spirit, and I appreciate that our diets seem to have more in common than 99.9% of diets on this earth.

Offline Warren Dew

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Re: Hello from a Paleo extremist
« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2012, 01:31:39 PM »
With regard to rare steak, I'd note that there's a big difference between steak cooked rare from refrigerator temperature, and steak cooked rare after first being brought to room temperature - or better yet, body temperature.  Steak cooked rare from refrigerator temperature doesn't taste as good because the center is still refrigerator temperature.  I don't know if he took that into account in his tests.
   
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By the way, I'm not trying to be snooty here, but if you don't mind my asking: Why are you eating ground meat from large processing plants in the first place?

It's a combination of reasons.  One of my children will only eat meat in the form of hamburger; hopefully that will change as she gets older, but that's the situation I have to live with right now.  Also, grass finished steak is too expensive for the entire family to have it every night.  So, I end up buying grass finished ground beef.  I buy it online to save some money and in order to get a higher fat version than the overly lean stuff that I can get in my local supermarket.  It's not ideal, but that's my situation.

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I agree, but is this actually available to anyone besides hunters of wild boar?  If so, where have you seen it?

There was a place someone once linked to on this site which sold truly pastured pork who foraged for themselves in the forest; that's the only seller I've seen.  You had to order months in advance.  I haven't actually got my act together to buy any; it was as expensive as grass finished beef, so it wasn't like I could save money by buying that pork instead.

I do agree that different sellers have different interpretations of "pastured", so it's a buyer beware kind of situation.

Offline samjohn

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Re: Hello from a Paleo extremist
« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2012, 03:34:38 PM »
I like the way you think dman.

Surprised your acne hasn't totally disappeared though. What kind of fruits are you eating and in what amounts?


I far prefer steak straight from the fridge, as it means I can get a good maillard reaction on the surface while keeping it basically raw inside.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2012, 03:38:09 PM by samjohn »

Offline dman

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Re: Hello from a Paleo extremist
« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2012, 07:52:45 PM »
I like the way you think dman.

Thanks!

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Surprised your acne hasn't totally disappeared though. What kind of fruits are you eating and in what amounts?

I eat all kinds of fruit in copious amounts.  Fruit is never the problem.  It's various things of which I am intolerant (e.g., tomatos, garlic) that seem to trigger my acne, which I eat at restaurants when my cooking experiments fail :)

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I far prefer steak straight from the fridge, as it means I can get a good maillard reaction on the surface while keeping it basically raw inside.

I used to feel the same way until I tried cooking sous vide.  In a sous vide water bath, I could get the entire steak to a perfectly tender 130 degree pink, then blowtorch-sear the outside.  But sous vide made the steak too juicy, and it's not exactly paleo, so I'm back to grilling.  The problem with pink on the inside if it's grilled is that it usually means gray (i.e., overcooked) between the middle and the surface, because the heat travels from outside to inside.  So now that I'm back to grilling my steaks, it'll be interesting to see whether I prefer rare or medium-rare.

Offline samjohn

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Re: Hello from a Paleo extremist
« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2012, 08:56:58 PM »
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Surprised your acne hasn't totally disappeared though. What kind of fruits are you eating and in what amounts?

I eat all kinds of fruit in copious amounts.  Fruit is never the problem.  It's various things of which I am intolerant (e.g., tomatos, garlic) that seem to trigger my acne, which I eat at restaurants when my cooking experiments fail :)

I wonder about that sometimes. Some fruits like watermelon and banana have quite a high glycemic index, no real reason why they shouldn't also be involved in acne.