Friday, January 21, 2011

3 weeks and counting

It's officially been 3 weeks and I am way into this. I am enjoying cooking and food shopping and arguing with people online who say things like "if you were really eating like our ancestors, you'd be eating raw meat", or "you will die without grains!" Seriously, I am the self punishment queen of reading inane post article comments. (follow that link at your own risk, Yahoo is chalk full of hateful, ignorant commenters to get you all riled up) It is very rare that an informed, educated human being makes a comment that actually leads me question the information I've gotten and the things I believe, which is unfortunate as I am all for differing points of view. That is how you learn.

More importantly, let me get more specific with my update. I feel great. My skin looks better than it has in forever. I haven't had problems with pimples in years now, but it just looks healthier to me. My eyes look brighter as well. I would often go the entire day thinking I look kind of tired. I've been chalking that up to getting a little older but apparently not so. My tummy is flatter and when I wake up in the morning I feel like getting out of bed rather than laying around...even when it's still dark outside. I should also add that I've completely stopped using an alarm and allow myself to wake up naturally. My motivation is definitely up overall.

Pretty crazy right? I'm still puzzling over that profile shot. That's a pretty noticeable difference!

My plan for the next 3 weeks is to eliminate yogurt and honey entirely. This is going to be difficult as yogurt is my morning blanky essentially, but it's also the only thing I put honey on. That'll get rid of almost all of the sugar left in my current diet.

Not Without a Few Drawbacks

During this epic journey spanning an unfathomable amount of time-3 whole weeks, I've done a lot of thinking about the name of this particular method of eating (Paleo or Primal) and the ethical impact (well, specific to my particular set of ethics and on the whole, a lot of yours as well, I'm sure) of eating, frankly, a lot of meat. I actually wrote what amounted to a 5 page blog post about how I feel being an animal loving, environmentally conscious human on this diet. Some of it was funny, but man, it was kind of too long. I'm aware of the limits of people's online attention span and I'm pretty sure if it were someone else's blog, I would've taken one look at the length and been like, hmmmm, I think I'd rather spend that time reading Stephen King's "The Stand" thanks. I'll include passages from my ridiculous monologue here and there over the next several posts, essentially tricking you into reading the whole damn thing eventually. Very sneaky, I know.

The Word Paleo: A Bit of a Curse at Times


Regarding the name of the diet, "Paleo" (this also applies to Primal), I'd like to take a moment to say that this word, along with the quick explanation of the root theory behind this way of eating, gets this diet dragged through the mud by all kinds of people. The "authorities" on this diet, for lack of a better word, have never ever claimed that we are eating exactly like our ancestors 20 million years ago. In general, I've found that the people who are vocal proponents for paleo/primal eating are pretty damn smart. They understand that we're not literally eating like our ancestors but rather we are taking the basic principles behind their diet & lifestyle and applying them to our modern life. Not unlike Orgy bastardizing New Order's "Blue Monday" back in the late 90s, we can only do our best to interpret the past with what we have in the present. I'm assuming none of you out there took the name/quick description literally, but just in case I have an odd stranger or 2 lurking out there, please know that the paleo community is aware it's not eating like actual cavemen. We're just inspired by them.

Vegan Guilt

Much like the agnostic ex-Catholic bears the guilt of a tiny Jesus in their heart, a former vegan bears the tears of the animals they've consumed.

What? too dramatic?

I am way into this lady's illustrations: Cecilia Levy's Blog

OK fine. The bigger trick here, how does an animal and environment loving girl, who also cares significantly about her personal health, reconcile eating a paleo diet? I'm still struggling with this a bit but I'm doing what I can to make sure I am purchasing my food in the most conscientious way possible. I buy wild caught fish from sustainable stock (SUPER important!!!) when available and I just found a truly wonderful meat supplier in New York state that delivers to NYC. All of their meat is raised within 50 miles, humanely, organically and has a much much lower environmental impact than your typically raised meat products. I highly recommend checking them out and I'd like to thank one of the members of CFSBK for giving the heads up on this place-my apologies for not remembering exactly who it was. The name of the company is Fleischer's and the man behind it used to be vegan which warms my heart.
Grain Not So Fun Fact #2

What's that you say??? You want another not so fun fact on why grains are not good because the first one just didn't do it for you?? Oh, alright...but pay close attention as this one is going to be a bit more complicated than the last one.

Grains contain proteins called lectins. Lectins in some grains are more harmful than others, but they are all problematic. Lectins are not broken down in our body's normal digestive process, leaving large intact proteins in our guts. They attach to receptors (essentially by "tricking" them), are transported intact through our intestinal lining and, in doing so, cause damage to the lining. In response to the lectins escaping out of the intestines, our bodies react to them as if they are invaders and produce antibodies to attack and kill them. (high school science fun fact reminder: antibodies are specific to the invader they are fighting hence why we are given vaccines containing tiny amounts of dangerous viruses, so our bodies produce antibodies specific to that particular virus) Unfortunately, the lectins tend to look a lot like other useful proteins in our bodies that are supposed to be there, causing our bodies to essentially attack these proteins we need in addition to the lectins. End result? A variety of autoimmune disorders. Also, because of the damage to the intestinal lining, other things are able to pass through into your body leading to a variety of food allergies (again, specific antibodies are developed that attack say, for simplicities sake, nuts) and exposure to chemicals that would normally remain in your digestive system.

Alright, did you follow all that? Take a moment to thank Robb Wolf if you did because that was basically the cliff notes version of part of his book...which you should read.

This has nothing to do with anything. I'm running out "motivational kittens" that are specific to what I'm writing about, so please just enjoy these kittens in socks.

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