Sunday, June 5, 2011

Getting Healthy By Going Grain-Free: The Paleo Solution - Eat Like A Caveman

The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet
In the words of a famous gecko, "it's so simple, even a caveman can do it".  

Years ago, we began our organic journey, when we found out we were expecting our little girl.  That quickly evolved into making smarter ecological choices for everything we buy and use, and I know we are healthier for it.  There are so many helpful resources nowadays, to make it easy going green and choosing organic.  Still, I have to thank another source for our family's most recent lifestyle change: my beloved dogs and cats.

After much research, I recently switched our fur babies over to grain-free food.  Our pets' wild ancestors certainly did not sit down to meals of ground corn and bowls of wheat, and more and more pet food manufacturers are acknowledging this.  While reading into the health reasons for pets to go grain-free, I couldn't help but wonder why we human beings are eating grain, too?  That's when I picked up a copy of The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet, the New York Times Bestseller by Robb Wolf.

Once in a while, a book makes your eyes open wide, and makes you question everything you thought you knew.  The Paleo Solution certainly did this, and turned my whole view of diet and nutrition upside-down.  My friends and family already know how much I detest the food giant Monsanto.  I firmly believe evil food conglomerates, the pharmaceutical industry, and crooked politicians are all in cahoots, poisoning our environment and us, taking advantage of hard-working farmers, and squashing those who do try to do things right.  I was so pleased to find someone else who feels the same way, in author Robb Wolf.

We've all grown up with the belief that we need to eat grain (whole grain at that) to be healthy.  Every little pyramid and diagram that has been put in front of us has included this as a recommended "food group".  Robb Wolf, who comes from a bio-chemist background, prior to being a health and fitness consultant, is quick to present data, showing just how little nutrition is in grain.  Our ancestors lived for thousands of years without agriculture; living as hunter-gatherers.  Our diets consisted of meat, fruits, vegetables, seeds, and nuts.  It wasn't until wide-scale farming of grain began, that anthropologists began seeing evidence of health problems in the remains of our ancestors.   

Bringing the story up to modern-day, Robb Wolf paints a detailed picture, showing how the ingestion of grain causes chain reactions in our bodies, throwing everything off-kilter, from our cholesterol, insulin levels, and most visibly, our waistlines.  I myself have retiree parents, and my mother in particular has been plagued her whole adult life with cholesterol issues, high blood pressure, and in recent years, osteoporosis.  The whole time I was reading Robb Wolf's explanations, I kept picturing my own mother.  Mom, you and I are going to sit down and have a long chat about Paleo eating, when we come visit.  We want you off your medications and with us for a long, long time.

So, it's been a week since I began my Paleo eating shift; focusing my meals on lots of vegetables, roasted meats, broiled wild-caught seafood, and snacking on fresh fruit and nuts.  The result?  I feel fantastic!  No more midday slump at the office, my skin looks clearer, and I can visibly see myself getting leaner!  You know where your own "problem spots" are, and I can tell you, mine are shrinking before my eyes!  WOOHOO!  This switch has honestly been very easy.  The meals are surprisingly filling, and keep me full for a longer period of time.  I haven't missed the cookies, bread, or pasta.  As a bonus: Paleo meals are so incredibly easy to prepare, which is fantastic for this busy working mom.  Just steam/roast/sautee some vegetables, while broiling/roasting some meat, and voila!  Dinner is served!  I could seriously get used to this.

So, my apologies to the grain industry: you've lost a customer.  To the pharmaceutial industry: I won't be following in my family's footsteps, and you can keep your high cholesterol/blood-pressure/diabetes medications.  I'm off to say hello to a healthy, long life, and my pre-pregnancy clothes ;)

Thank you, Robb Wolf, and the Paleo Solution!

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