If you scroll through my blog postings you will see that I have endeavored to improve my athletic performance,achieve overall health and reach a desirable(competitive)body weight over the course of the last several years.
It`s been a journey of education and common sense but I have managed to improve my diet following the premises of portion control,avoiding the "whites"(rices, flours and sugars),acknowledging the GI index and limiting/avoiding processed foods.Often it was a case of just doing what feels right and using biofeedback as a gauge of what works for me.
Weight loss has always been elusive although I feel better with each change to my diet and my athletic ability has improved. Nagging ailments have deminished and,between weight control and core strength routines I have said goodbye to my debilitating lower back issues. To the point I have begun running again and started participating in duathlons.
Each winter I try and tweak my winter diet to prevent seasonal weight gain before the start of the cycling season. This January I decided I had the willpower to curtail my carbohydrate intake and(mostly)eliminate processed foods from my diet. After surviving the holiday season with no repeat of last year`s ailment but having gained 10 pounds I decided it was time to change.
Essentially I began to consume a diet focused upon lean proteins,fresh fruits and vegetables supplemented by my "Geo`s mix"(almonds,sunflower/pumpkin seeds and Brazil nuts).Lots of fresh water,limited dairy and only tiny amounts of grains in the form of breads....(I prefer my eggs on toast).The protein(lean meats,eggs and seafood)keep me feeling full and has sped up the metabolism. The fruits and veggies have supplied me with fiber and essential vitamins and minerals. The nuts and seeds provide me with additional monosaturated fats, protein and omega 3 fatty acids.Low salt tomato and orange juices. Extra Virgin Olive Oil.A little red wine....yeah...I know.Tried to sneak that indulgence in unnoticed.(wink)
Needless to say I was reading the Chronicle Herald at work one morning and saw an article on the Paleo Diet and was surprised to see I (inadvertantly)had began eating more like a cavemen.(wink) The Paleo(hunter-gatherer, caveman,Neaderthal)Diet basically says for optimum health and fitness one should eat like our Paleolithic ancesters.It was a diet of meats, seafood, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and water.Basically unprocessed foods that can be hunted or gathered and,in terms of vegetables,eaten raw.
Sugars are to be avoided except honey(in small amounts). Funny enough the only sweetner I started using a couple years ago was unpasturized honey.
Legumes and starches(potatoes)are verboten.....they need to be cooked before consumption and cause digestive issues. Everyone close to me knows how they affect me! Not pretty! I basically stopped eating them on a regular basis years ago.
Grains(and resulting high carbohydrate foods)were not known to our caveman forebears and were a fairly recent introduction to the Homo Sapien timeline(10 000 years ago - the beginning of the Neolithic age). As a result the proponents of the Paleo Diet say we are not predisposed to a grain heavy/high carb diet and that 10 000 years is not long enough to warrant any evolutionary adaptation.Ditto for dairy. Animal domestication did not begin until well into the Neolithic Age. Kinda makes you wonder about all the folk who suffer from Lactose and Gluten allegies?
For the record I don`t agree with ALL the theories of the Paleo Diet but my (unplanned)adaptation of the basic principles of the Diet this month is paying dividends. I feel better, I sleep better, I perform better and I am feeling well balanced and strong. I have lost weight and I am slimming down at a never seen before rate.At the end of the day I think it`s best to apply the KISS principle to nutrition and diet. Keep It Simple Stupid.
Maybe I can live up to my cartoon namesake,hopefully only in lifestyle and not his predisposition of smacking into trees.