As you may or may not know (if you don’t know, shame on you, because that means you missed my favorite day of the week! ), I’m currently in the process of experimenting with my diet.
Well…experimenting is a loose term. I’m just making one change, which is cutting out (for the most part) processed whole grain products. As in, bread, sandwich thins, pasta, pre-packaged waffles and pancakes, and the like. That’s not to say that I’m cutting out grains entirely; I’m still eating unprocessed (or minimally processed) whole grains–oats, buckwheat, barley, etc.
I love me some barley.
Why I chose to do this and how my body reacts will come in a later post. (Sarah, yes, that does mean more suspense. ) The point of this post is my (very short) journey with learning about Paleo.
I already had a pretty strong basis of knowledge for what the Paleo diet consisted of as a result of my low-carb attempts once upon a time. After my decision to forgo processed whole grain products and talking to a few bloggers about their decisions to go Paleo, I started reading about the diet more in-depth.
And a few days after, I stopped.
The information was actually really interesting to me. Being a science major, a nutrition nerd, and someone who intends to go into healthcare, I love discovering how different things affect the human body and how we can optimize the body.
But every time I’d pick up a book or read a page of a website or a post on a blog, I’d catch myself subconsciously wanting to go Paleo. As in–I don’t want to ingest anti-nutrients, so I’m going to substitute my whole grains for carrots at my next meal. Oh, dairy was only meant for itty bitty babies and will make my hormones go crazy, so maybe I should have something else instead of my daily afternoon cup of yogurt.
And then, I realized: why? Why should I be making substitutes for foods that I like and that my body is fine with? I like my whole grains. I depend on my afternoon cups of yogurt for a little sanity. (Plus, coconut Chobani is so. Freaking. Good.)
The thing with nutrition nowadays is that it’s such a foggy subject that no one really knows what’s right and what’s not. This problem is compounded by the fact that everyone is different, and what may be good for one person may not work for another.
I’m not trying to insult anyone who is Paleo, nor am I trying to discredit the Paleo diet as a whole. I think it’s really cool that some people choose to make that decision, and I respect them out the wazoo for listening to their bodies and wanting the best for it.
But my body is not theirs. My body is different. Without grains, my body drags. Maybe, as the Paleo theory goes, that does mean that my body is dependent on carbs for energy. As far as I know, I don’t have excess fat, nor do I have any serious health problems, so I’m not entirely concerned about that. Or my level of insulin resistance. Or the leakiness of my gut. Or anything else that Paleo touts.
I think the Paleo diet is too restrictive for me to be able to stick to for any extended period of time–err, or anything beyond like, two hours. I’m still not good with “eating rules”–they bring the disordered side of me out.
By this point in my life, I know basically how and what my body needs to function at its best (with a few tweaks every now and then, because your body is constantly changing!), and I’m going to stick with it, controversial science be damned. Unless science can prove that excess amounts of froyo and candy are great for you, in which case I’ll be more than willing to adhere to it.
Seriously though, science. I totally wouldn’t mind if you told me excessive froyo was good for me.
What are your thoughts on Paleo? Ever tried it? Ever wanted to try it?
How does your body function best?