Monday, December 16, 2013

Pork Rinds and Cider... "loose paleo" to the rescue!

If you are a paleo purist, please skip the rest of this post, as I will surely offend someone.

Recently I met a really cool woman who told me that her good friends were having amazing success eating paleo. She was "trying to do paleo", but had trouble with two key weaknesses: Cheez-its and beer.

What immediately came to mind is how I have managed to find "paleo-esque" substitutes for those kind of things in my life.

"Pork Rinds and Cider." I quickly replied.
She was thrilled. Her face lit up... "Wow, what a great idea!"

It then occurred to me how seamless my transition into paleo eating has been. I live in "Beer City, USA" and haven't had a beer in over a year. When my kids want pizza, my wife or myself can quickly whip up a "Chebe crust" pizza that would make anyone swear it was "real" pizza. (Admittedly, not the BEST crust from NYC, but still pretty darn good.)

Personally, I still prefer the "Meat and Veggies, some fruits and nuts." approach most of the time, but for some folks a little "loose paleo" can make a big difference.

Especially if we are living a crazy busy life (more on that later...) and/or have kids, it can be easy for many paleo folks to "fall off the paleo wagon" or to tell ourselves we can't do this paleo thing. For me, it's really not an issue. I truly love the food I eat, and am so thrilled with how good I feel on a daily basis.

When others are eating crispy crunchy stuff and I'm wanting some chips, I find pork rinds are convenient, delicious, and crunchy. Yes, I know they're from industrial hog farms, but these are an occasional indulgence, not a staple of my diet. Would you rather I eat canola-fried GMO corn? I'll take my chicharrones, thanks.

 I loved beer for years. I really don't find that I miss it now. When I want a fizzy-boozy thing, hard cider is a nice option. (or a Nor-Cal margarita in the summer sometimes.) I've found that alcohol in general is just playing a much smaller role in my life these days. Just as often, my cold and fizzy choice is just seltzer.

Chebe fills the "bread void" when needed for my kids. Yes, it's a load of starch, but I make it with a good dose of fat and eggs. Chebe can be found in Ingle's markets (in Asheville area) or at Whole Foods stores (for a considerably higher price!) Are any of these things health food? Not really. However, they are relatively harmless when compared to what they replace. I think there is a delicious balance between a happy and quite healthy person and someone suffering through a self-imposed prison sentence.

Willpower is HIGHLY over rated, By the way... That's why I refuse to rely on it! I really have no discipline, and no willpower. Instead, I remind myself of all the awesome things I CAN have now:

  • a pain-free body
  • youthful, exuberant energy
  • clear skin
  • no -ahem... "digestion issues"
  • better physical fitness in middle age than ever before in my entire life
  • I truly enjoy every meal!

OK, now go outside and play!

                                                                              Love, Mo the human

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Grace in every step: Regaining our natural human gait

As with everything on this blog, I am not telling anyone else what to do. I'm merely sharing my own experiences in exploration of human health. Think. Learn. Be your own teacher.

If you live in the Asheville area, you are lucky for a wide variety of reasons. One of them is that Synchronicity Wellness has gotten in the habit of hosting monthly "Paleo Potlucks" which are announced on the "Paleo Asheville" facebook page. At these events, I've met some wonderful people and had some truly amazing food. No wonder some folks call paleo eating "the foodie's diet"!
 I have also greatly enjoyed the various talks given at these potlucks. Each speaker has brought to the group a whole new perspective on a different subject. It's really cool to see how this "paleo thing" is encompassing so much more that just the classic diet and exercise stuff!

In October I got to give a talk at one of the potlucks regarding natural human gait.
The "lecture" is about 12 minutes, followed by a lengthy and somewhat funny Q&A/ discussion.
To watch the video click here:

If you watch, please let me know what you think. 

If you'd like some additional resources, including loads of shoe options that I consider healthy for our feet and Books for runners... Click here:

A simple exercise I have used with considerable success to regain a gentle, natural human stride is what I like to call...

The “Sobriety Test” Exercise:

Teaching Your Brain to See with Your Feet

by Mo Goldstein, happy human
Expect this to be a joyful, but possibly very slow process. Different people learn at different speeds. Approach this as if you are gardening. You cannot force a plant to bloom. As such, do not force your feet or brain to adapt too quickly. Let this be a short time you take every morning to experience the sensation you brain has been hungry for since childhood.
1.     Start completely barefoot on a flat, hard, smooth surface such as a wood or stone floor.
2.     Stand for a moment and gently shift your weight from foot to foot without lifting either foot off the ground.
3.   While looking forward (not down) with a soft gaze, begin lifting each foot very slightly, then gently placing it onto the ground as you lift the other foot.
4.     Gently place one foot just barely in front of the other foot, then WAIT for the front foot to “invite” your weight onto it. This will involve some gentle contraction of the Gluteal and hamstring muscles in the back leg.
5.     As you shift your weight to the forward foot, gently lift the back foot without “pushing off”.
6.     Repeat at a slow, gentle pace. If you are “thumping”, slow down.
7.     Try the same movement walking backwards. Notice the sensations in your feet.

After some time, you may wish to experiment with some different textures: rough surfaced concrete, dirt, etc… eventually even gravel. Do not rush this. With patience you can avoid possible injury as you slowly regain a very gentle and joyful gait. In time the muscles, tendons, and bones of the feet will become stronger as your brain-foot connection becomes “smarter”.

OK, now go outside and play!

                                                                          Much love, -Mo the human