Duuuuuuuuuuuuude… [takes a humungculous bong rip] It’s all a big F’ing conspiracy maan. Like… From like, I don’t know, like… even that Quaker Oat guy. That smug F’er and his rosy cheeks might be the F’ing king pin for all I know. It’s all lies! It’s all F’ing lies! What is going on here? [drinks bong water] I’m freakin’ out.
I recently realized that I had been lied to my entire life. I spent 31 years blindly worshiping the nutrition and wellness advice from the conventional wisdom gods. I desperately counted calories. I ate a low-fat-whole-grain diet. I eliminated all red meat from my diet. I committed to a life of chronic cardiovascular exercise. I honestly don’t know anyone else who worked as hard as I did to be “healthy”, and still, STILL I gained weight and had high cholesterol. Was there something physically wrong with me? Did I really just have a slow metabolism? Was I simply suffering from lack of willpower? Conventional wisdom would say “yes”. It’s no wonder that I, and countless others, have just thrown in the towel with their diet plan when getting fit and maintaining good health seems to takes the discipline of an Olympian. Is it really that complicated? Is health a delicate art form of hitting that sweet spot between calories-in vs. calories-out or face sudden diet disaster and failure?
I call bullshit.
About three months ago I fell down the rabbit hole when I stumbled upon a diet movement that looks to the evolutionary clues of our past to determine the optimal human diet. This type of diet is often referred to as “paleo”, “primal”, “ancestral”, or “caveman”. For the time being I am just going to refer to my diet as “paleo” because it is short (I’m still a lazy typist) and is general enough to encompass many flavors of the diet. Paleo looks to eating as we humans did before the advent of agriculture. In short, the paleo diet isn’t so much about what you eat, but what you do not eat– grains or processed foods. We can’t say for sure what our caveman ancestors ate, but it’s safe to say they didn’t nosh on bagels and guzzle Diet Coke.
What do you eat on a paleo diet? A lot actually, but mostly high quality meats, a wide assortment of vegetables, a little fruit, and some nuts. I know this sounds limiting, but here is the pay off. You will not be hungry. You actually get to eat on a paleo diet. Forget counting up every last calorie. Forget your fear of eating fats. Just put down the loaf of whole grain “heart healthy” bread and watch your life change for the better. Seriously.
Most anyone who asks about the diet changes I have made want to know how I deal with the sacrifice of giving up bread and beer. The thing is, giving up bread and beer doesn’t seem like a sacrifice at all in comparison to the benefits I have received, and the benefits came almost instantly. I lost over 30 pounds within three months without counting calories or worrying about getting enough intense cardio. For the first time in my entire life managing my weight was not an epic struggle, and for the first time it was truly easy. The benefits of this new diet didn’t stop at weight loss. My skin and scalp cleared, my mood stabilized, and my energy levels are more constant throughout the day. It’s amazing how much impact food choices can have on one’s overall wellbeing. The way I feel and look today is night and day from the guy I was three months ago. I’m excited about continuing down this road to see where I will be and who I will become.
And yes. One of my goals is to look good naked. Be on the watch for an adult version of “Not in Moderation” in the near future where I will be sharing heath tips and recipes all while bare-ass-naked. Ladies?