So I consider myself in pretty good shape, at least above average in fitness and health. I’m 21 years old, 6’0″ tall and I float somewhere between 165 and 170 lbs. I live a pretty active life: I’m a full-time student, I workout sporadically (with occasional spurts of consistency), I travel a lot, I like to play sports and I eat well. I always thought the food I ate didn’t really have much to do with health other than as it relates to weight and obesity. Now I believe the complete opposite: the food we eat has everything to do with our health, fitness and even how we look and feel.
As a former athlete, I used to look at food as fuel. Fuel to give me energy for a game. Fuel to get me through the day. Fuel to fill my stomach when I got hungry. And that’s it. Sickness, fatigue, skin conditions, muscle and joint ailments…I thought these were all just a natural part of life. But recently, I was introduced to the Paleo Diet, a theory that revolves around the concept that our bodies are not designed to handle the foods we eat today. It’s pretty much a derivative of the “you are what you eat” mantra, only taken a bit further. Looking at our evolutionary past (if your more for intelligent design, humor me by taking a Darwinian view for a second), humans have eaten a certain way for over 2.5 million years. Only in the last 10,000 have we began to eat things like grains, starchy foods, refined sugars, dairy products, the hundreds of derivatives of corn that pervade our snack foods and the fatty meats that come from corn-fed animals (thank you, Food, Inc.).
After the documentary Food, Inc. scared the crap out of me about where we are headed food-wise (think Wall-E), I didn’t know what to eat or what other choices were out there. Then, I read The Paleo Diet: Lose Weight and Get Healthy by Eating the Food You Were Designed to Eat by Loren Cordain, PhD. I don’t need to lose weight but this book made me really want to adopt this diet, the natural diet of real foods (lean meats, fresh fruits and vegetables) that humans evolved on. (Watching Avatar and falling in love with Neytiri might have had a little something to do with it also).
So, I’ve decided to do this thing. And to keep myself accountable / test how long I can keep it up / track the changes I feel, I am starting this blog. To start, here’s what I’m generally like, regarding stuff that could relate to diet…
- I eat 4 or 5 times a day – breakfast, lunch and dinner and a snack or two
- Sometimes I skip breakfast and eat a lot more at lunch
- I get drunk munchies a lot on the weekends
- I feel hungry between meals / I could usually eat again about an hour later
- I eat burgers, fries, fast food, chips and lots of greasy foods out of convenience and frugality, even though I feel like death afterward
- I don’t drink soda much
- I’m always tired throughout the day and usually verge on falling asleep at least once a day
- I have trouble sleeping (at night; sleeping during the day doesn’t seem to be a problem for me) / a huge problem waking up in the morning (damn the invention of snooze)
- I get break outs on my back and upper arms sometimes, usually from working out (yes, I’m attributing pimples and blemishes to diet)
- I have awful knees and flat feet and get shin splints if I run a lot – could this be diet-related? Who knows? If they were, might it be too late to reverse? Probably.
- Update (1/19/10): Also cracked skin around fingernails, vertical ridges on fingernails and frequently chapped lips – who knows, it could be related
That’s about it. If I think of anything else, I’ll update later. This is already getting to be a long post, but here’s my Day One of the journey…
Woke up at 9:30am. Surprising because I was out drinking last night. Spent all morning re-scanning through the Paleo Diet book, researching places to order naturally raised and pasture-fed meats and making a grocery list. I also ordered a food dryer today (for making beef jerky!) and created an account with FreshDirect – let’s see if I actually use it. Haven’t eaten anything yet other than an orange that tasted slightly off because it was leftover from our trip to Tremblant and Montreal last week (which, btw, was a terrible week Paleo-wise).
That is all for now. Need to get to the grocery store and make myself a Brockway Tuna Salad from the book. I’m starving.