Why Paleo, you ask? Well, I am so glad you asked! If it’s all the same to you, I would rather not get in to the deeply philosophical discussions about diet, and which foods are the right foods for us humans to be eating. There are some very smart people who have already done an amazing job of researching and cataloging that information; so to save us all the trouble, I will provide some links to them here on this page, as well as my thoughts on their online personas and work. Similarly, while I am very well educated on the subject of the Paleo Diet lifestyle, and the why’s of choosing that lifestyle over other typical choices, that’s not my focus here on this site. For me, the choice to change my lifestyle to a Paleo lifestyle was all about the logic of the lifestyle, how it was based on the understanding of our past as a biological species. And it was about the food. It was definitely about the food. The results that my body has seen, and they are remarkable, are to my understanding nothing more than what is to be expected by eating, and exercising in the way that our bodies were actually meant to.
And that just made so much sense to me at the time that I couldn’t ignore it. So, I tried it. What can it hurt – removing grains and beans from my diet? After all, the nutrient profiles of meat, vegetables, and fruits are certainly complete enough to keep me nourished without grains and beans for a month, while I see how I feel. Well, my wife and I made that decision on January 17th, 2010. And the only reason we’ve ever looked back was to ask: “Why did it take us so long to figure this out?!”
Before going on, I’ll provide here the links that I referred to above; these are excellent resources on the Paleo/Primal lifestyle. These are people who have greatly assisted in my education and search for knowledge:
Mark Sisson is a health and exercise guru, and author of the Primal Blueprint; a guideline on how to manage your body. His site, and his books, are amazing resources for someone looking to understand the Paleo/Primal lifestyle. I read Mark’s thoughts, research, comments, and anything else he chooses to post almost every day.
Robb Wolf is a Registered Dietician, and formerly a vegan, who discovered the Paleo lifestyle through a friend of his. His book The Paleo Solution, and his blog, have been immeasurably valuable to me.
And finally: Dr. Loren Cordain has been a professor in the Department of Health and Exercise Siences since 1982. His book: The Paleo Diet really solidified my decision to change to a Paleo lifestyle, and I have never doubted this decision.
I have been an active recipient of the so-called “Health Media” for as long as I can remember, and over time I have come to understand that media is generally far more interested in a good story than they are in anything resembling truth, fact, or information. As a result of that willful ignorance, the media has been perpetuating a horrible notion as “truth”: that fat is bad for you, and that grains are good for you. And the public, in their ever expanding waistlines, have nearly panicked in their attempt to find a “safe” diet to combat the awful result of this public health policy. Unfortunately, there is no grappling with the expanding waistline without changing your notion of healthy. An extremely oversimplified message that I have come to understand over time is: reverse the public health policy – the experiment failed, miserably. Fats are not actually bad, and grains are very very bad.
That’s about as detailed as I feel appropriate for me, a chef, to be getting in to the discussion of which macro-nutrients are appropriate dietary choices. That said, my blog is all about food, so I’ll take just this short piece of it to allow the results of my dietary lifestyle change to speak for themselves. You’ve seen the “Before” pictures in the descriptions above. Here are the much awaited “After” pictures…
For reference: The first race shot above of me in the green shirt was taken in 2009, after finishing a 4 mile race in Central Park. I was 27 years old, and I actually thought I was pretty healthy, and in generally good health. The shot below, in the yellow shirt was taken at the 2012 New York City National Ironman Championships, where I was a volunteer. I was 30 years old, and had never felt better in my life. And finally, the shot to the left was taken in September 2012, after a 1 mile race on 5th Avenue in New York City. Yes, I have lost weight, and a lot of it. But more importantly, my general health has improved immensely. My skin tone, my muscle definition and tone, even my facial features tell the tale.