Thursday, June 6, 2013

Intro to Eating Caveperson-Style

So, I decided to bite the bullet and make a blog...Why not? All the cool kids are doing it!

I guess I'll start off with the story of how I found paleo, and eventually fell in love with it.

I stated eating paleo (or Primal, or lacto-paleo) about two years ago, but I first discovered the paleo way of eating almost four years ago, when I was in college. My roomate was vegetarian and healthy-eating-obsessed (eating disordered may be a better term), and I started taking an interest in "healthy" eating by way of food blog reading. In the course of combing through the internet, I discovered Mark's Daily Apple; naturally my initial reaction was "what do you mean grains and legumes are unhealthy? EVERYONE knows that that's what's good for you!"...but I kept reading on and off. I'm a bit of a science geek (and a history geek, and... okay, frankly, I'm interested in everything, and I'm a geek) and it really interested me, even if I didn't apply it to my life.

And I definitely didn't apply it to my life. Instead, I spent an hour a day on an elliptical, because obviously cardio is what ladies do to stay healthy (lots and lots and lots of cardio). I ate semi-vegetarian, low fat, low-calorie, with plenty of whole grains--food helpfully provided by the college dining hall in between the pasta and the cardboard-style pizza under hot lights.

I started at the slim end of a healthy weight, and then lost until I was nearly underweight. And I was exhausted, felt as though I'd been hit by a truck one or twelve times, and had blood sugar that would drop until I was dizzy (thanks, whole grains!) I looked good, but felt like something you find on the bottom of your shoe after walking in a dog park. (meanwhile, I kept reading about paleo)

Finally, when I went abroad to Scotland, I was shopping and cooking for myself, and I gave paleo a try. Eggs for breakfast, whole roasted chickens,venison sausages, turkey steaks or ground beef, with sweet potatoes or squash or green veggies for dinner--it was like a revelation. I no longer felt exhausted and achey and tired! All the unhealthy red meat that was supposed to clog my arteries and make me fat--yet my weight didn't change and I actually felt healthy for the first time in ages.

 I started taking a kettlebell class at the university gym led by a tattooed Scottish gentleman, and swinging around a 12 kg lump of iron made me feel like a badass--more than the elliptical had ever done for me.

Since then, I've stuck to a paleo way of eating. I'm not militant, I eat cheese and yogurt. I let cake or pie--gluten and all--pass my lips on special occasions with the family. But I feel better, and eat better than I ever did before, and that's what's important.

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