Tuesday, October 29, 2013

You're going to die of a heart attack! a.k.a. My intro to paleo eating

"SPSHHHHHHHHhhhhh...." The smell and the sizzle were wonderful.

The worried look on my sweet wife's face was not so wonderful.

It was early in the morning on June 1st, 2011.

I was cooking my first intentionally paleo meal.

The cooked pile of grass-fed ground beef was waiting on a plate. I was sauteing a huge pile of purple cabbage, sliced carrots, and a few slivered almonds in the copious layer of beef fat that remained in the cast iron pan. This, along with some fresh dill from the garden, carrot sticks and an apple, would be my breakfast and lunch for "Day 1 of  trying to prove Robb Wolf wrong."

It was one of the best breakfasts I've ever had.

Eating paleo was to be an experiment for me. I had just read "The Paleo Solution" by Robb Wolf, and decided I would call his bluff; I would try eating this way for one month... Just to see what would happen.

Over my shoulder, I heard in a tone of dread,

 "Honey, I'm afraid you're going to die of a heart attack!"

My wife was genuinely concerned for my well being. Like most folks in our culture, (and like myself prior to reading this book) she thought saturated, DELICIOUS animal fat was the fastest way to slippery-slide yourself straight into the morgue.
We had a half-full bottle of organic, expeller-pressed canola oil that I was refusing to use... You know, the "heart-healthy" stuff! However, Robb Wolf makes some pretty good arguments, and I figured it was worth a shot to try it out, despite scaring my sweetie with my seemingly insane food choices.

Within 2 days, my chronic, ahem.. "digestive issues" (you know... the kind that would wake my wife up at night.) had disappeared!!!

Seriously, she had been putting up with my nasty, gassy, bloating guts for years. (What a kind, patient and wonderful soul she is.) The gas was GONE.

"Maybe the risk of heart attack is worth it," She said.

In her typical, understated sense of humor, she had given me approval to continue my seemingly dangerous experiment.

By the end of the month, The results were astounding:

-I had lost 15 lbs without trying.
I was back at what I used to call my "fighting weight" in the days before we had kids... (Back then I rode my bike daily, practiced Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu 5 or 6 days per week, contact improv and yoga twice per week.)
-My energy levels were soaring.
-The mild "old man aches" in my joints were completely gone!
-I was sleeping better.
-The chronic chest and sinus congestion that I've had for 20+ years was gone...
-Essentially, I felt like a 19 year old! (with a tad more emotional maturity, I hope...)

As I stepped out of the shower, my kind and previously skeptical wife said, "Ok, You didn't look that good when we met. I need to read that book."

Needless to say, within one month, her transformation was amazing as well:
-This mother of 2 who had been teaching yoga for a decade had to buy new jeans. (Her old ones were falling off!)
-She was STRONGER! Strong enough to do yoga poses she had never had the strength to do.
-Her PMS and cramps were gone... GONE! This was good for everyone.
-The bloating and discomfort she used to have after every meal were all GONE.
-Like me, her energy levels were soaring!

What did we eat? It's very simple... This is NOT a complicated thing:

-Veggies (not corn, it's a grain.)
-Meats (Primarily pasture raised mammals and birds, and wild caught fish) and "good fats" (coconut oil, fat from healthy animals, avocados)
-Nuts (not peanuts... They are beans)
-A little full-fat dairy for her, but not for me. (More on that later...)

Pretty much in that order of volume... picture it like a "paleo food pyramid"
 The bottom is animals and plants.
The top is fruits and nuts.

What was NOT on the plate?
sugary beverages (including juice)
Grains (ESPECIALLY Wheat!)
Beans (except a few green beans)
Sugar and other refined sweeteners.
"vegetable" oils. (actually industrial seed oil. Has anyone ever actually gotten oil out of a vegetable?)

Does this look like a restrictive diet to you?
This meal was a delicious, local grass fed beef burger, oven- roasted veggies, and an avocado fried in the high-quality beef fat left behind from the burger... YUM!

At this point, we've settled into a nice "paleo-esque" groove. We're not super strict paleovores, but that's basically how we eat.

The truth is, I have enjoyed food more in the last 2 years than ever before! (and those of you who know me know how I love good food!)

So far, no heart attack, and my bloodwork is quite impressive!

"Praise the Lard!" (Pasture-raised, of course.) -Mo the human

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