"I saw few die of hunger; of eating, a hundred thousand." -Ben Franklin

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

SAD (and Other Acronyms)

I've noticed over the last few months that the longer I follow the Paleo/Primal/Caveman/Real Food lifestyle, the more horrified I become with the Standard American Diet. Since becoming a health and nutrition enthusiast during the last year, I cannot believe that I ate like that for nineteen years (minus the millions of dieting attempts). It's no coincidence that the acronym for Standard American Diet is SAD-- it's sad that so many health problems are caused by it, and it's sad that so many people still follow it!

(If you choose to follow the Standard American Diet, I will not condemn you. I will, however, worry about your health and offer my advice about healthier eating if the conversation arises... and I'll probably advocate eating Paleo/Primal as well.)

So what brought about today's post about the SAD (besides my need for a midterm study break)? I was sitting in class and the guy in front of me was eating lunch. Normally I don't really notice when people are eating in class, but the smells of some of the components of his SAD lunch were absolutely overwhelming-- I don't think I've ever had a reaction like that to foods that used to be staples in my pre-Paleo days. This guy had a PB&J sandwich on white bread, a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos, a biscotti, and a Coke. Fake, fake, fake, fake, fake, fake, and more fake. There is nothing Paleo-approved in any of that "food"! How did I used to eat like that?!

I find it fascinating that since I've replaced bread with beef, Doritos with deviled eggs, and biscottis with blueberries, I've stopped all junk-food cravings... and that was thirteen months ago today. Any time I dieted, I spent all of my time wishing I was eating sugary, starchy foods instead, but this has not occurred since turning Paleo-- hell, now I just crave meat, fruits, and veggies. This lifestyle (rather than just another diet) broke my sugar addiction and opened my eyes (well, taste buds) to the plethora of real food options out there that I thought I didn't like because they were so far from the SAD. If you asked me a year and a half ago if I would ever eat vegetables on a daily basis, I probably would've laughed and called you insane! Me? Vegetables? Healthy foods 24/7 with no cheating? Joke! It's truly amazing how much has changed in a year though: if you ask me now if I will ever eat bread again, I'll just laugh and call you insane. Me? Bread? SAD 24/7 again? Joke!

Speaking of the Standard American Diet, I find it incredibly ironic that IHOP's National Pancake Day today raises money for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. While I'm all for giving money to hospitals, isn't it kind of counterproductive to raise money by potentially causing health problems in everyone who eats those pancakes?

The Food Lovers' Primal Palate asked today via Facebook and Twitter, "In 10 words or less, what does Paleo mean to you?" I responded with the following: Eating well, looking great, feeling awesome, being healthy, permanent lifestyle. I'd say that's the exact opposite of both being sad and living on the SAD!
So because I really don't want to go back to studying, I've come up with a few acronyms for Paleo:
Powerful, Awesome, Lean Eaters Only
Protein Addicts Living (and) Eating Organic
People Avoiding Lethargy, Exhaustion, Obesity
Proud Association (of) Lively, Energetic Omnivores
Population Aware (of) Living Exclusively Outstandingly

And here are a few for Primal:
Person Realistically Imitating My Ancestors' Lifestyles
People Really Indulging (in) Meat, Animals, Lard

Quote of the Day:
"He who has health, has hope. And he who has hope, has everything." -Arabian Proverb

Something really cool: I originally saw this on Primal Palette's page, but it's popped up on multiple Paleo/Primal blogs in the last few days... Enjoy!

P.S. Art DeVany and Robb Wolf will be on ABC's Nightline tonight. Go watch!

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