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

Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Template: The Choice Is Yours

In my last post, I wrote about how I was going to go back to eating simply again (just animal protein and vegetables) due to my addiction to Paleo/Primal baked goods and sweet things (like fruit and sweet potatoes).  Since eliminating nuts (and nut flour-based desserts), dark chocolate, tubers, and fruit, I was able to clear up a rash on my arm that only appeared after eating the aforementioned foods in excess, and was also able to break my snacking habit.  Most importantly, however, this elimination experiment really cemented the fact that I cannot have sweet foods.  Ever.  Period.

One of the things I love the most about the Paleo/Primal/ancestral lifestyle is that there's no "one size fits all" way to eat.  Eating plans are like snowflakes: no two are exactly the same.  I don't do well with nuts and tubers, whereas other people don't feel well without them.  I stay pretty low carb (less than 30 a day) most of the time, but I've read stories of people who become irritable or moody unless they have a ton of fruit or sweet potatoes.  My eating plan does not include fish (I simply don't like it), but maybe yours doesn't include pork or chicken or beef.  I cook most of my food, but there are plenty of raw ancestral eaters as well.  Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera!  The leaders of the ancestral movement each have slightly different eating plans too.  Some include dairy (e.g. Mark Sisson's Primal Blueprint) or (white) potatoes (e.g. the Perfect Health Diet) or a lot of fat; others are low-carb or raw or similar to Weston Price or GAPS.  Some are specific to athletes or people with autoimmune conditions.


I've had people tell me that they could never try this lifestyle because they don't like [food X] and are allergic to [food Y].  Hey, it's totally cool if you can't/won't eat certain foods-- just pick something else!  There are countless types of fruits and vegetables, many types of animal protein and a ton of ways to prepare them ("you can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, saute it..."), and you don't need to eat nuts or tubers or dairy.  That's the beauty of the ancestral/Paleo template-- it can be tailored to your individual needs and taste buds.  There is general agreement that glutinous grains, refined sugar, processed/chemical-laced foods, legumes, and industrial seed oils are bad for you.  But outside of those, your eating plan is totally up to you.


Experiment!  Try cutting out dairy or nuts or nightshades to see what makes you feel at your best.  Taste new foods: you never know what you might love if you never give it a chance (or another chance-- just because you didn't like it as a kid doesn't mean you won't like it now).  Play around with different combinations of animal proteins, vegetables, fruit, nuts, and seeds until you achieve your goals.  Cook or don't cook, high carb or low carb or no carb, dairy or no dairy, sensible vices or Whole30-style... the choice-- and the power-- is yours.


Quote of the Day:
"All life is an experiment.  The more experiments you make the better."  -Ralph Waldo Emerson

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