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

Thursday, March 31, 2011

This Week: Paleo on the Internet

The Internet has been exploding (more than usual) this week with Paleo-related articles, musings, blogs, results, and information. Take a look!

Naturally Engineered has posted the results to the 2011 Paleo Community Survey, and the results are pretty fascinating. Here are some of my favorites:
-The numbers of men (51.94%) and women (48.06%) were very close. This clearly isn't just a caveman diet!
-A very large percentage (42.76%) learned about the Paleo lifestyle in 2010, which is a huge increase from the 25.77% who reported learning about in 2009.
-The largest percentage of people (37.52%) learned about Paleo from blogs... and 85.34% prefer to get their information from blogs too. Yay blogging! (However, I'm glad to see that 76.47% of people prefer books too!)
-74.68% of people believe that Paleo is a sustainable solution for feeding a large population.
-The majority of people believe that Paleo will never become mainstream (54.03%).
-63.98% of people seem to use the 80/20 principle, and 23.06% consider themselves 99%+ Paleo.
-55.63% reported eating less than 50 carbs a day.
-33.39% were former Atkins/LCers, and 27.54% were former vegetarians.
-85.21% said they do NOT consume sugar-free drinks or diet sodas. GOOD!
-75.61% of people reported getting 7 or 8 hours of sleep a night... and 79.85% reported increased energy levels. That's awesome!

Perez Hilton (yes, the celebrity gossip guy) posted about Paleo on his site earlier this week. It was quite a short article, but I can't believe all of the ridiculous things he said. Like:
-"So really all you can eat is meat and veggies." Um... no. How about fruits, nuts, seeds, and spices? I hate this misconception!
-"It's pretty much the Atkins diet minus the cheese." SO false. See my last post.
-"But whole grains are good for you." That's also false. He is clearly misinformed and just listens to Conventional Wisdom. Ugh. Check out this link from Mark's Daily Apple.
-"Also, caveman all died really early! We live way longer than the cavemen! Why would we eat like them again?" Besides the fact that it should be cavemEn and not cavemAn (sorry, I can't help but pick on his spelling too...), the cavemen had a lower life expectancy because A) They didn't have modern medicine/conveniences, and B) They were being chased and killed by wild animals. And why should we eat like them again? Because they were leaner, taller, stronger, and much healthier than people are today too. They didn't suffer from all of the diseases and health problems that plague our society!

Which brings me to the next link I'd like to share! Dr. Kurt Harris of the fantastic PāNu site released Paleo 2.0 - A Diet Manifesto yesterday, and I highly, highly recommend reading it. He essentially breaks down the Paleo lifestyle and talks about various misconceptions, the term "Paleo," the Neolithic Agents of Disease, and more. It's extremely well-written, easy to understand (not overly scientific!), and provides a plethora of fascinating and insightful information.

I came across this article a few days ago that starts off with, "Like a cavewoman, I love raw meat." I immediately thought to myself, Paleo! Keep reading! The writer talks about her experience going on a raw food tour of New York City: lamb carpaccio at Morimoto, raw liver and heart at Takashi, live lobster sashimi at Jewel Bako, and chicken sashimi at Yakitori Tori Shin. I don't think I'd ever be able to eat raw chicken or lamb, but at least now I know where to go for NYC raw meat!

There's no doubt that Paleo eaters love meat. However, it turns out Paleo eaters actually eat more vegetables than...... drum roll, please!.......... vegetarians! This post from Paleo Playbook compares four vegetarian food pyramids with four Paleo/Primal food pyramids and finds that "vegetables average (an inflated) 20% vegetable-intake on the pyramid," but "Paleo wins with about 25% vegetables in the diet." He also discusses some factors that could explain why this is, but still-- it's quite an interesting find!

Some other cool Paleo-related links:
-Petition to Request Robb Wolf as a Guest on the Oprah Winfrey Show

Quote of the Day:
"But no one owns the Greek word palaios. The English paleo- is just a modifier. And language evolves. We can use Paleo 2.0 until it means what we want it to." -Dr. Kurt Harris, from "Paleo 2.0" at PāNu

Also from PāNu:

Monday, March 28, 2011

No More Counting, and Other Atkins Musings

April 1st marks 14 months of 100% low-carb eating. As I've mentioned before, my Paleo/Primal journey originally began as yet another attempt (#234238432432 since 2004) at low-carb/Atkins that turned into the Cave(wo)man Lifestyle pretty early on and has completely changed my life. Following Paleo makes me feel so much better than Atkins ever did-- I'm not eating anything fake, I can actually eat fruit(!!), and I don't have to count carbs. From January 2004 to February 2010, I counted carbs... even when I was following the SAD. After that first time doing Atkins, however, carb-counting took over my life-- even now, I can probably tell you the carb-count of probably every food (and food product), and I still sometimes calculate how many carbs are in a certain meal. Old habits die hard, I suppose...

Atkins knew what he was talking about, of course-- weight loss/maintenance is carb-related. Does the magic number of 20 carbs (during the first phase) really matter, though? Eh, maybe, if you're on the SAD. Counting to twenty so many times certainly worked for me (and many others) during my SAD years, but I still feel much better (and healthier) eating many more carbs now.... because they're good carbs. Not all carbs are created equal-- one slice of bread is about 12 carbs, but so is one cup of strawberries (and one Oreo is about 22, yet so is one banana), which is why carb-counting can sometimes be a bit silly too. Speaking of fruits*, I obviously avoided them while on Atkins because they'll make you go over 20 carbs-- yet fruit is definitely a necessary part of a healthy lifestyle.
*Note: if you're trying to lose weight, limit your fruit intake due to the high sugar-content in some of them. But if you're eating just to maintain a healthy weight, fruit is fantastic!

Atkins also lets you eat low-carb (henceforth LC) protein bars and shakes; LC versions of bread (and other bread products), ice cream, milk, and candy; and allows artificial sweeteners. None of that stuff is real! Legumes, grains, and other non-Paleo foods are also allowed (and, sometimes, encouraged), which makes no sense now. So it's okay to eat chemicals, but not fruits? I can eat twenty carbs of artificial crap, but I can't have an orange because god-forbid I go over the daily carb-count? Insanity!

I'm so glad I'm done with that.

The point I'm making here is that you don't need to count anything while eating Paleo/Primal. When all your food is real and healthy, it's completely unnecessary! What a relief! You will not gain weight if you follow the Paleo/Primal lifestyle.
Dieters are always so obsessed with carb and calorie counts that food consumption goes from "I'm eating this delicious salad" to "I'm eating X-amount of calories/carbs." My meals are so much more enjoyable now that I think of food as food and not a bunch of numbers.

And that is why this has become a permanent lifestyle.

Day 9 Update:
I'm wearing those jeans that were just a little too tight over a week ago!

Anyone else super pumped for this?:
Paleo Magazine!!!! So exciting!!!!!!

Quote of the Day:
"My patient population has a low recidivism rate, but if they haven't made up their minds that it is permanent, then of course, they will fail." -Dr. Robert Atkins

Awesome comparison chart (Atkins/LC vs. Paleo vs. Weston Price) from Weight Maven:

If you're starting out and need to carb-count, Mark Sisson's got you covered:

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Day 5: Paleo Challenge Update

It's Day 5 of the Whole30 Paleo Challenge and so far, so good. However, I originally thought I'd use this as a way to curb my coffee addiction by cutting it out all together, but I couldn't fight through the blinding withdrawal migraines while attending classes and trying to research/write a term paper. So coffee came back on Day 3. To follow the Whole30 rules, however, I've cut out my tiny splash of half and half and am now drinking it black. It's not as awful as I thought-- I can do this. And who knows: maybe at the end of the 30 days, I'll never need to put dairy in it again! (Also: coconut oil in coffee is amazing.) Drinking coffee black, I've realized, doesn't make me nauseous like usual-- perhaps that tiny bit of dairy (which I didn't think was a significant amount at all) was the cause of the nausea. Remove the dairy, and the nausea goes away. Magic!

For the first time ever, I'm also keeping a food diary. Everything I eat is healthy, of course, and has been for quite some time-- however, I've become a notorious snacker lately (mostly on nuts and dark chocolate, and occasionally pumpkin and/or sunflower seeds), so I'm hoping that if I actually see what I'm eating every day, I can figure out what's maybe preventing weight loss or making me feel gross. If I've learned one thing from Paleo over the last year or so, it's to listen to my body and act accordingly.

I find it amazing that after only a few days of strict Paleo, I don't need to snack anymore. I attribute this to two different things:
1. The offending foods (dark chocolate and nuts) are no longer around. "Clean out the pantry" is the first step in switching to Paleo/Primal in the first place, so I should've just never bought them to begin with-- if I have these foods, I will snack on them, whether hungry or not. Okay, so nuts and dark chocolate aren't exactly on the same level as SAD snacks like chips, Nutella, and cookies; but snacks are snacks, and they needed to go.
2. I haven't felt nearly as hungry in between meals. Perhaps this is just a mental thing, as a result of #1-- food's around, so my mind tells me I'm hungry, even though I'm really not. Whatever the cause, though, I'm only eating meals again-- as a result, I just feel better.

Twenty-five days to go. No problem!

Quote of the Day:
"Drinking your coffee black. Is. Not. Hard. You won't get any coddling, and you won't get any sympathy for your 'struggles.' YOU HAVE NO EXCUSE not to complete the program as written." -Whole30

Something to check out:
I did a guest recipe post on Hive Health Media a few days ago. It's a really great site with some fascinating articles about a lot of different health and nutrition issues-- I highly encourage you to check it out!

Two interesting articles connecting health and religion... in totally different ways:
-^^Not if they're pole dancing for Jesus!

Today's lunch:
Baby spinach salad with egg, tomato, shredded coconut, flax seeds, and parsley in EVOO and apple cider vinegar. Yum!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

30 Day Paleo Challenge

As I mentioned in one of my previous posts, I recently reintroduced nuts and dark chocolate back into my diet after a year without them. I thought I'd be okay handling them because I've gained some pretty good self-control when it comes to food over the last year, but now I know why I cut them out in the first place: they're addicting. Really, really addicting. What starts as one handful or square turns into an entire bag or bar. The result? I just feel pretty gross, and I know I've gained weight for the first time in a year (I haven't stepped on a scale since last spring, but I can just feel it in my clothes). I clearly can't handle these foods in moderation just yet-- my self-control isn't that good.

I'm also way too dependent on coffee. I've been an addict for the last few years, and I get awful headaches if I don't have my morning coffee. I've tried cutting out coffee before-- last spring, I tried detoxing off of it, but ultimately failed. During my few months of Primal vegetarianism, I had a lot of digestive issues (maybe from the soy?) and attempted cutting out coffee then too... but also ultimately failed. No more of that. I don't want to live my life dependent on it.

I also don't usually have dairy, but if there's high-quality cheese around (oh man, brie!), I'll go crazy. Again, not enough self-control. That can't continue.

Tomorrow thus begins the 30 Day Paleo Challenge (as outlined by Whole30... but without any nuts or coffee). I need to regain my control, break my coffee addiction, and make my jeans fit perfectly again. No coffee, no dark chocolate, no dairy, no nuts. Wish me luck.

The

Quote of the Day:
"I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is over self." -Aristotle

Friday, March 18, 2011

A Quest for Coconut Milk

I've noticed that since I started eating Paleo/Primal more than a year ago, I spend a lot of time in the supermarket each time I need to buy something. It's not because I have a huge list of things-- usually there are less than five items. It's also not because I can't find the things I'm looking for (though Fro Gro is organized pretty terribly). Like Michael Pollan suggests, I shop the peripheries of the supermarket because that's where the real food (presumably) is kept, but I'm simply baffled by all of the artificial crap (usually claiming to be real) sitting next to the real stuff. I can't help but spend an unusually large amount of time reading the labels of things that make health claims (another one of Pollan's rules: avoid foods that make health claims) just to see if any of them are legitimate.

Conclusions:
If it's not a fruit, vegetable, protein, nut, or seed, don't go near it. (*Except for a few things like dark chocolate... not totally Paleo, but 80/20, right?)
If it has a label on it, don't go near it.

Of course, I knew that already-- that's the basis of the Paleo/Primal lifestyle! But this really hit me last night when I was shopping for coconut milk. I'd never bought coconut milk before, and I didn't really know where to look (especially since it was kind of a last-minute decision, so I didn't do my research), so I walked along the peripheries in hopes to stumble upon it. Sure enough, I saw Silk PureCoconut Milk and thought that I was really lucky to have found it so easily. Wrong. While it looked promising at first-glance ("pure" and "all natural" being on the carton, of course), the ingredient list horrified me. Xanthum gum? Evaporated cane juice? Dipotassium phosphate? What the heck is carrageenan? With more than five ingredients (most of which I didn't recognize, couldn't pronounce, or knew to be totally fake), I moved on. I should've known: "too good to be true" foods are never what they seem.

I still couldn't find real coconut milk, so I went through the rest of my list: chicken, shredded coconut, almonds, mint leaves, dark chocolate (I found the 87% cacao-content Dagoba Eclipse and 77% XOXOX Chocolove that Mark Sisson talked about! I preferred the richness of the Dagoba more.). As I was shopping, I couldn't believe that there were things like chocolate dip (whose first ingredient is high fructose corn syrup!) right next to fresh fruit, or that there were six shelves of peanut butter of probably twenty different brands, yet only one brand of almond butter (which had crap ingredients in it too) that took up maybe six inches of one of those shelves.

So by this point I'd spent an insanely long time in the supermarket, trying to hunt down coconut milk. I'd already been down the baking aisle for shredded coconut (which I actually couldn't find there-- the only unsweetened kind was in the kosher section), and I'd been around the edges multiple times. Because Fro Gro has the worst organization of any supermarket I've ever been to, I ended up walking down every single aisle... which led me to stop and read labels of things that looked possibly Paleo. (Is anyone else obsessed with label-reading, or is that just my former Atkins-mindset of reading [a.k.a. obsessing over] carb counts taking over?) Did I find anything? Of course not! As I mentioned earlier: if it has a label, it's probably not good, and the center aisles of supermarkets are filled with horribly unhealthy/fake/evil things.

Eventually I found the coconut milk, hiding in the international aisle between quinoa and teriyaki sauce, under beans, and above rice. It's about time! My what-should've-been short shopping trip turned into a full-on hunt... but it was totally worth it. Coconut is always worth it!

Quote of the Day:
"Shop the peripheries of the supermarket and stay out of the middle." -Michael Pollan

What I made with ingredients from my supermarket adventure:
Coconut-almond-cinnamon chicken! (I dipped the chicken in the coconut milk instead of using egg, water, or regular milk.) For my first cooking experience not following a set recipe, not bad!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Paleo Community Survey

The Paleo community is expanding every day. From blogs to ABC Nightline to Facebook and Twitter to simply word-of-mouth, information about this lifestyle keeps spreading and converting more and more SADers. But there's still a long way to go before Paleo isn't just a "crazy caveman fad diet" anymore in the eyes of mainstream dieters and Conventional Wisdom-followers, so we need your help!

The Paleo Community Survey was recently created with the purpose to "collect information about paleo diet community members, including demographic information, medical conditions, dietary preferences, and physical activity. The resulting data will be invaluable in terms of understanding the nature of the paleo movement. It will be provided to other bloggers and researchers with the goal of providing a clearer picture of how the paleo diet has affected the lives of its adherents."

Click here to take the survey!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Paleo Recipe: Super-Rich Dark Chocolate Espresso Cake

Ingredients:
-1 lb unsweetened dark chocolate
-1/4 cup espresso
-1 tsp. vanilla extract
-1 tsp. cinnamon
-5 eggs (separated)
-10 tablespoons butter
-1/4 cup Stevia

-Heat oven to 425 degrees. Line base of an 8-inch pan with parchment paper.
-Melt chocolate gently over hot, not boiling, water. After melting, mix in the butter, Stevia, espresso, cinnamon, and vanilla extract.
-Beat the egg yolks lightly and whisk into the chocolate mixture gradually.
-Beat the egg whites and fold into the chocolate mixture. Pour into the pan and bake for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat, open the oven door and leave it ajar, and allow the cake to cool completely in the oven.

Our beautiful super-rich Paleo cake:

The cake was a bit crumbly... Next time, we're going to add coconut oil to the batter to make it a bit more moist.

But otherwise, it was delicious!

Quote of the day:
"All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt." -Charles Schulz

Thursday, March 10, 2011

"The western diet and lifestyle and diseases of civilization"

The Paleoverse (Primalverse?) has been exploding today with a report called "The western diet and lifestyle and diseases of civilization" by Pedro Carrera-Bastos, Maelan Fontes-Villalba, James H. O'Keefe, Staffan Lindeberg, and the author of The Paleo Diet, Loren Cordain. This paper scientifically details how eating the way our Paleolithic ancestors did improves your health and how food created thanks to the Agricultural Revolution harms it. It ultimately concludes "...a diet composed of meat, fish, shellfish, eggs, fresh fruit and vegetables, roots, tubers, nuts, and seeds may be superior to the so-called healthy diets such as the Mediterranean diet." This is precisely why we Paleo/Primal/Caveman enthusiasts eat this way!

Abstract: It is increasingly recognized that certain fundamental changes in diet and lifestyle that occurred after the Neolithic Revolution, and especially after the Industrial Revolution and the Modern Age, are too recent, on an evolutionary time scale, for the human genome to have completely adapted. This mismatch between our ancient physiology and the western diet and lifestyle underlies many so-called diseases of civilization, including coronary heart disease, obesity, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, epithelial cell cancers, autoimmune disease, and osteoporosis, which are rare or virtually absent in hunter–gatherers and other non-westernized populations. It is therefore proposed that the adoption of diet and lifestyle that mimic the beneficial characteristics of the preagricultural environment is an effective strategy to reduce the risk of chronic degenerative diseases.

I strongly encourage you to read this paper to explore precisely why this lifestyle works so well and why so many people are so enthusiastic about it! The western diet and lifestyle and diseases of civilization

From this paper, page 19:


Quote of the Day:
"It is highly unlikely that genetic adaptations that allow us to thrive on a western diet and lifestyle have occurred." -Carrera-Batons, Fontes-Villalba, O'Keefe, Lindeberg, and Cordain

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Recipe: Chicken breast with a bunch of good stuff

Chicken breast with spinach, pine nuts, gorgonzola (optional) and raisins

Ingredients (makes 6 servings):
1 1/2 cups (1/2 pound) fresh spinach
6 ounces Gorgonzola (optional)
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/4 cup raisins, soaked in Marsala wine and drained
1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary
6 boneless chicken breasts

Blanch spinach in boiling water; drain and squeeze out excess water. Add cheese, pine nuts, raisins, and rosemary and mix well. Sear chicken on stove until nicely browned. Add together and enjoy! (We garnished ours with flaxseed and sun-dried tomatoes. Yum!)





Leftovers!


Quote of the Day:
"You don't have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces-- just good food from fresh ingredients." -Julia Child

Sunday, March 6, 2011

A (Re)Introduction to Nuts and Dark Chocolate

I've been eating Paleo/Primal/Caveman for a little over thirteen months now. For the first twelve of those months, however, I was absolutely terrified of eating certain foods that, even though considered to be okay to eat, were thought to cause weight gain or that I associated with non-Paleo foods. In the last few weeks, however, I re-introduced two of these foods back into my lifestyle: nuts and dark chocolate.

Nuts
I stopped eating nuts within my first few weeks of this lifestyle because I was trying to lose weight. While there's no doubt that they're a fantastic source of protein, they ruined any weight loss (SO addicting-- I'd just eat them all day!), so they went on my "Absolutely do not eat unless you're stranded on an island and have no other food source" list. I avoided nuts like they were bread or cookies or some other evil food source-- even after I reached my goal weight/size (and have maintained it!), I still refused to eat them. Since networking with other Paleo/Primal enthusiasts in the last few months, however, I slowly became more and more okay with the idea of eating nuts, so I reintroduced them a few weeks ago. Are they still addicting? Absolutely. But in moderation, they're great-- they're filling, are wonderful on-the-go snacks, add a nice crunch to salads, and are good for making crusts. While there's certainly a lot of debate about nuts, I think the health benefits outweigh everything else (unless you're easily addicted and are trying to lose weight). Like seeds, however, nuts should only be consumed raw-- don't buy anything salted or with added sugar/questionable ingredients. You can always toast them yourself on the stove and add some cinnamon or other spice if you want some added flavor.

So what are some of these health benefits? Nuts* are full of nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids**, manganese, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus, copper, selenium, and fiber. They also contain Vitamin E, thiamin, riboflavin, Vitamin B6, tryptophan, Vitamin K, and other essential amino acids. Studies show that eating nuts lower cholesterol, decrease the risk of Type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer, help prevent gallstones, and have anti-inflammatory properties that are extremely beneficial to cardiovascular health. So enjoy in moderation!
*Note 1: Peanuts aren't nuts. They're legumes. Avoid them. (Read this article by Loren Cordain, author of The Paleo Diet.)
**Note 2: Many nuts (particularly walnuts) contain high omega-6 fatty acids as well, which aren't good. Moderation here is key: eat nuts as a snack, not a meal replacement, and be sure to get omega-3s somewhere else (fish oil, perhaps?) to balance out the omega-6s.

Here are some really great nut-related links to check out:
-"Dear Mark: Nuts and Omega-6s" at Mark's Daily Apple
-"I Go Nuts for Nuts" at Liver Specialists of Texas
-"I Am Going Nuts about Nuts: Part 1 and Part 2" at Primal Toad's blog

Dark Chocolate
I started eating dark chocolate again a few days ago. I had avoided it for so long because chocolate-- no matter the kind-- was always associated with unhealthy eating, sugar, and weight gain and, therefore, should not be eaten at all. Yes, I've read the countless studies on the benefits of dark chocolate. However, the "chocolate = bad" mindset was hard to break-- would eating dark chocolate pull me back over to the Dark Side (a.k.a. the Standard American Diet)? Would months of perfectly Paleo/Primal eating be unraveled with one bite of Lindt?

The answer, as I found out a few days ago, is absolutely not because A) Paleo is a permanent lifestyle and there's no way in hell I'm going back to the SAD, and B) Not all chocolates are created equal. A bar of 85% cacao-content Lindt is not the same as eating a milk chocolate Hershey bar-- the 3.5oz Lindt bar yields only 12.5 net carbs, whereas the milk chocolate Hershey bar of the same size yields 57.5! Whoa! Dark chocolate is also a lot richer, so it makes you feel full after just a small bite or two-- there's no way I'd be able to finish an entire bar! Also, the ingredient list for Lindt is: chocolate, cocoa powder, cocoa butter, sugar, vanilla. The ingredients for the Hershey bar, however, looks like a chemistry vocabulary list: milk chocolate (sugar; milk; chocolate; cocoa butter; lactose; milk fat; soy lecithin; PGPR, emulsifier; vanillin, artificial flavor). What the hell is vanillin? Or PGPR? Congratulations, Hershey, you just broke Michael Pollan's "Avoid products containing ingredients that are A) Unfamiliar, B) Unpronounceable, C) More than five in number" rule.

So let's discuss some health benefits of dark chocolate*. Dark chocolate is full of antioxidants and contains copper, magnesium, potassium, calcium, and iron. It lowers blood pressure and cholesterol, improves blood circulation, boosts the immune system and cognitive function, protects against cardiovascular disease, has anti-inflammatory and anti-aging properties, contains serotonin (which helps with fighting depression), improves digestion, and is used to treat patients with anemia, kidney stones, and poor appetites. Like anything else, dark chocolate should be consumed in moderation-- a small piece or two is plenty, especially of the higher cacao-content, high-quality kinds.
*Note: The higher the cacao content, the better. Stick to 70% and higher, and buy the high-quality stuff.

Not sure what type of dark chocolate to buy? Want to bake with dark chocolate? Check out these sites:
-Chocolate reviews at Modern Paleo
-"The infamous Paleo Brownie recipe" at Crossfit South Philly
-"Chocolate and hazelnut pavlova" and "Chocolate mousse" at Not Just a Man's World
-Member Paleo Desserts at Crossfit El Paso

Quote of the Day:
-"It should be a matter not only of concern but deep alarm that human beings can degenerate physically so rapidly by the use of a certain type of nutrition, particularly the dietary products used so generally by modern civilization." -Weston A. Price, author of Nutrition and Physical Degeneration

The aforementioned foods:

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

What's a Bagel?

In case you didn't catch ABC's Nightline last night, check out this article/video. I'm really excited that information about the Paleo/Primal/Caveman lifestyle is spreading-- it's so healthy, easy to follow, and allows the most delicious and nutritious food in the world.

For those of you who are reading this and are new to/wondering about this lifestyle, here's my suggested reading list:
-The Paleo Diet by Loren Cordain
-The New Evolution Diet by Art DeVany
-The Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf
-The Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson
-Exuberant Animal by Frank Forencich
-Why We Get Fat by Gary Taubes

If you don't have time to read a whole book, I highly recommend these sites:
-Cordain's The Paleo Diet
-Forencich's Exuberant Animal
-Sebastien Noel's Paleo Diet Lifestyle
-Jenna Shannon's Lean Machine NYC
-Andrew Badenoch's Evolvify

Quote of the Day:
Reporter: When was the last time you had a bagel?
Art DeVany: What's a bagel?

Cool link: I'm currently taking American Sign Language, and my professor sent around this link from The Wallstreet Journal today, which has to do with our evolutionary history and language. It's certainly possible the cavemen signed too!

Paleo Food Pyramid (taken from here):

If you prefer some more explanation (from here):

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!