I first read The Clan of the Cave Bear in high school; I don’t remember if it was 9th or 10th grade. Ever since, the series has been my favorite. They are my go-to books when I want to read but nothing else in the house is holding my interest.
I’ve always been fascinated with the Ice Age… cavemen, Neanderthals, saber-tooth tigers, mammoths… and how people must have lived back then. I think that is why I love the series so much … many readers complain about the author’s excessive descriptions about the world and the caveman life, but those are my favorite parts.
So when I first read about the paleo “diet,” I was intrigued. I did a lot of reading, and it just plain makes sense to me. So I tried it.
So what is Paleo?
Paleo is a way of eating and living based on the way that prehistoric man would have lived (ie: before agriculture). This means that you eat things that you can (theoretically) hunt (meat, fish, fowl) or gather (veggies, fruits, nuts). This means that there is no sugar, no grains, no processed foods of any kind, no legumes, and no dairy.
So what can you eat?
Lots! Including bacon! Last night I had roasted chicken, wilted spinach with bacon, and a small yam. For breakfast today I had an egg, and some almond “cereal.” Lunch is leftovers, and for dinner I’ll probably have a big bowl of chicken soup that is currently simmering in the crock pot.
Like I said, it just makes sense to me. Humans in their current form have been around for around 200,000 years, and had been evolving for millions of years prior to that. At that time we were pre-agricultural hunter gatherers, and like any other animal we are healthiest when we eat within the range of diets consistent with our body’s natural evolution.
The agricultural age only started around 10,000 years ago. It seems like a large number of years, but it’s only a short time when you look at the full scope of the evolutionary scale (it’s less 5% of our entire existence). It’s not much time for evolution to catch up with what constitutes the current standard of eating (refined sugars, grains, etc).
So how’s it going?
Not so well right now. I “fell off the wagon” around the holidays with the abundance of sweets and treats, but overall have been keeping at it. But a new year begets a renewed determination, which is why I’m writing this out here. I’m holding myself accountable for making these changes to become a healthier person.
I still have a lot of learning to do, and some tweaking on my food intake, but I totally can see myself living this lifestyle for the rest of my days. When I first started this back in September and was pretty strict about it, I would wake up with more energy, and I would have more energy throughout the day (the after-lunch slump is gone). My mood was improved, and some days I actually wanted to exercise. That last one is a big one for me — I’ve never wanted to exercise in my life. My face didn’t break out as much, and I wasn’t bloated.
I’m shooting for an 80:20 good:bad ratio. In that 20% I’ll eat some dairy or natural sweeteners (honey, maple syrup). I also have an occasional gluten or rice cheat, which makes me bloat up like woah, so I try to avoid as much as possible.
Though, I hate the word “diet.”
a regimen of eating and drinking sparingly so as to reduce one’s weight (going on a diet)
I’m not “dieting.” This is not something that I’m going to stop doing once I achieve a goal. Instead, I’ve made a lifestyle change that I believe is best for my health and well-being.
If you are curious, here are links to some of the sites I like to read.
- Mark’s Daily Apple ** This is the site that started it all for me.
- Being Primal
- Cave Girl Eats
- Everyday Paleo
- Fat Head
- The Food Lovers’ Primal Palate
- Growing up Paleo
- Nom Nom Paleo
- Paleo Parents
- The Paleo Project
- Primal Balance
- Primal K@
- Primal Girl in a Modern World
- Robb Wolf
If you have any questions for me, I’ll be happy to answer them. However, I will not enter into a debate.