Saturday, November 17, 2012

going caveman

i’ve been adhering to the “paleo diet” since the beginning of november.

to eat more like my caveman ancestors, i’ve cut grains and potatoes and legumes and beans and peanuts and dairy from my diet.  i’ve quit eating the foods that were domesticated, farmed; that began appearing in the diets of humans only after the advent of farming.  this leaves meats, eggs, vegetables, fruit, nuts, and seeds.  the idea is to concentrate on a high protein, fatty diet and to consume carbohydrates in low levels in fruits and vegetables.

this strategy makes some sense to me for losing fat and gaining muscle.  furthermore the diet prohibits the intake of foods to which large numbers of humans have historically been allergic or intolerant, specifically wheat (gluten) and dairy.  i know personally i have problems drinking milk and it will interesting to see how giving up dairy (which i love) and wheat (i live on bread and cheese) will affect my body.  i know those with a gluten intolerance can see significant changes to their health and body after removing gluten from their diets.

what i like and find simultaneously ridiculous about the adherents of this “paleo diet” is the fluidity of the practice.  some practitioners add dairy back into their diets, or rice, or certain grain substitutes.  they analyze nutrient levels to absurd degrees, research to which cavemen would not have had access.  they romanticize our paleolithic ancestors as healthier, taller, more muscular - all attributed to their diets.  they praise unprocessed, organic food, then expound upon the use of powdered protein shakes for exercise, for bulking up, for building muscle.  i am writing they, but really i mean something of the opposite.  as a group they all eat a paleo diet, but each member of this community has adapted this general diet to his or her own needs or desires.  this exemplifies for me the flexibility of the human diet, the range of pleasure and satisfaction that can be derived from eating.  from a basic human diet, in this case referred to as a the paleo diet, humans have and can start at a basic nutritional point which can then be added to and modified to explore and enjoy a range of tastes.

on the quotidian level i am discovering that this pared down, conscious diet may promote and sustain for me a better health.

here at almost three weeks following this diet i want to believe i already feel healthier.  i understand this may be psychosomatic.  i have lost some weight, though i believe the diet will help me build muscle (if i can get my workout routine together.)  i cannot say that i have more energy.  when i started the diet i felt constantly hungry, while my body craved bread and rice and potatoes, protesting the sudden lack of carbohydrates.  these foods had been staples in my diet previously.  but i have adjusted to the change.  i no longer feel constantly hungry, but i think i have been eating more frequently, finding myself hungry more frequently.

i have been cheating.  once a week i may take myself out to eat.  mostly because at the weekend i find my house foodless meaning i need to go to the grocery store.  and i’ll be honest, sometimes i get lazy.  too lazy to make myself dinner.  and i meant to keep myself mostly sober during november.  i have been drinking a lot less than i had been this summer, but i haven’t fallen completely off the wagon.  i’m still on the wagon.

and i’ll eat thanksgiving dinner.  all the fixin’s.  everything.  it’s a holiday and this diet is not a religion.  it’s more like an experiment.

No comments: