Diet: di·et /ˈdī-it/:
Noun: The kinds of food a person, animal or community habitually consumes.
Verb: Restrict oneself to small amounts or special kinds of food in order to lose weight.
Would you rather have a “restriction” or a “habit”? Personally, I’d rather form a healthy habit. So I’ve decided to incorporate the Paleo Diet into my normal routine.
The idea behind eating paleo is to “eat like a cave man”. But why? Humans have been evolving for a very long time. A few centuries ago, we discovered if you stayed in one place, you could grow your own plants and raise your own animals. We also found out it was easier to live in larger groups, and share the work. Communities were born. Farming was invented. We could build fences to keep predators out, pool our resources and help each other. The fact that we didn’t have to work as hard to gather/hunt for our food, find and/or build shelter among other things, made life MUCH, MUCH easier.
Due to how “easy” life became, our evolution came to a grinding halt. Literally. As a human race, we are essentially genetically identical to our hunter/gatherer ancestors. Therefore, our bodies TODAY are made to function the same way they did thousands of years ago when we were eating real food that was available from mother nature. In other words our modern diet, including breads, grains, pasta, dairy, and perhaps worst of all sugar, is sabotaging our bodies, our health, and our society as a whole.
To maximize your genetic* potential and function optimally, not only should you be getting adjusted regularly to maintain your nervous system, you should be fueling your body with the substances it was meant to consume. You can be sure that you wouldn’t get very far if you put water in the gas tank of your car. So, why do we take better care of our automobiles than we do our bodies? Cars are replaceable, bodies are not.
*Note: Your genes are simply a blueprint for your body. Think of your genes as switches that turn on and off depending on what they are exposed to. Science has now shown that our lifestyle and environment determines how our genetic switches are flipped on and off. They turn on and off based on what signals they receive from their environment… AKA whatever is in your body. This means, just because something “runs in your family” does not mean you will definitely get it too! If you do, chances are it is probably because you learned a behavior from your relatives that resulted in you developing the same ailment (for example, same eating habits, work ethic, how you respond to stress, posture, etc).
So what is this Paleo Diet? Simply stated it is: fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, meats, oils and herbs/spices. Easy! To be sure, there are varying opinions on what truly constitutes “paleo”, and varying degrees of “strictness” if you will. However if you focus on one step at a time, and find what works for you, it will all come together.
I am fortunate to have a great support system on this journey! I am working on this together with the community at CrossFit Ambition in Chili. So for the rest of you looking to truly improve your quality of life I am happy to be part of your support system! Regardless of what office you visit, I am always available to help! Just send me an email or call me in Chili.
The Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson.
Practical Paleo: A Customized Approach to Health and a Whole-Foods Lifestyle by Diane SanFilippo.
The internet – Fastpaleo and Paleomg are good websites
Photo courtesy of Monstruo Estudio via Unsplash