Sunday, August 7, 2011

Going Primal!

It's been an interesting week of eating with Paul and I experimenting with eating a "Primal" diet - or close to one at least.  After reading bits and pieces about the principles behind primal/Paleo/caveman nutrition over the last couple of years, it was when Paul became interested from his Crossfit circles that we both finally dove in head first and did some serious reading and research to see what it was all about.  And the principles behind it made enough sense that we decided we had to at least give it a try! For those not familiar with the recommended dietary guidelines, that means eating mostly a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables along with pastured, wild caught and/or naturally raised meat products.  Also eggs, nuts and seeds, and sometimes raw dairy (everyone has their own opinion on that one!) . Sounds good so far, right? The hard part is that the list of allowed foods pretty much stops there. Grains, beans, other legumes and sugars of all kinds are on the off limits list.

I can imagine what you might be thinking. What kind of crazy diet plan is that? Why in the world would someone want to avoid eating whole grains and legumes? Aren't they the healthiest foods out there? But the more I read, the more I think what they say makes sense. Genetically, our bodies have not adapted to eating grains. Most of us have probably heard about how common gluten intolerance is now and how much better these people feel on a gluten free diet. The truth is, all humans would feel and function better without gluten. But it doesn't stop there. Other grains, even beloved brown rice, also have anti-nutrients in them that make it very hard for us to digest. Traditionally when humans first started planting and eating grains, they were always soaked, sprouted and/or fermented to make them edible and easier for us to digest. Over time, most have stopped these practices, but continue to eat grains. The Paleo/primal diet advocates say this has contributed to a whole host of sicknesses and disease. Auto-immune disorders, diabetes, obesity, etc. 

So you'll likely hear more from me about this in future posts. I'm planning to figure things out over the next few weeks, then commit to 30 days of a 100% Paleo diet (dairy free too) in September. Anyone wanna join me??

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