Following up on the last post Why Crossfit, this post will talk about why I settled on Paleo as my eating plan for the last year. Since there are so many resources on Paleo I will try to stay away from the science and just talk about my reasons for deciding to give it a try. Not to sound too cliché but the first reason comes down to one word and one word only.
I know, everyone talks about bacon on Paleo, personally I believe that it is God’s second greatest gift to mankind. I even had a discussion with a friend about how much more awesome it would be at church if instead of wafers there were little pieces of bacon at communion time. She disagreed but she’s vegan and that means she doesn’t count anyway, right? Seriously though I do enjoy the stuff, and a big absence in any diet that I had done before was that the consumption of bacon was an early casualty in any “low fat” diet. So when I heard that I could still have a couple strips of bacon at breakfast Paleo had my ear.
Bacon couldn’t be the only reason to start a new diet so here are some others. First, the science was convincing. Without getting into the technical side of things too much the arguments that I saw being made against grains and refined sugars made sense. I knew from the way that I felt that something was wrong with the way I was eating, and even when I was very strict on my diet and didn’t eat large amounts of fast food I still would weigh in at 300 pounds or more. How can a person that eats rice, wheat bread, and chicken breasts still be that big? I had no idea what was wrong at the time, but as I read more about it the more I became convinced that it was the grains and sugar that was in my diet that was holding me back. I decided that it made sense to give this a try, the other ways had not worked up to this point and I guess I could try to find a way to live without my beloved pizza. Second, the portion sizes of the meals that I was seeing were not the ones that I was used to seeing when I had been on other diets. I’m a guy that loves to eat, even now at my smaller size I’ve still got a raging fat kid inside that I sometimes have to keep in check. In fact going back to reason 1 if it was up to my inner fat kid I’d eat nothing but dry roasted almonds, bacon, and dark chocolate all day. The fact that I could cover my plate in food and eat it and still lose weight made me interested in trying this thing out.
So Paleo it was, I really didn’t put a lot of thought into it at first. I had read the Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf, took a look at some websites like Marksdailyapple.com and was really only going to give it a try. In the book Robb says to try it for a month, and just see what it does for you. My decision to try Paleo was really only a commitment for that first 30 days, I just realized in that first month that it worked well for me. At first my diet was really basic and boring, I ate a lot of piece of meat with onions and peppers on the side. I had never been a big eater of things other than meat, bread, potatoes and since I had eliminated two of the three from my diet I had some adjusting to do but I was moving forward with it. I tried to find things to make myself eat. I settled on broccoli and asparagus at first, and from there started eating other things. Even today there are things that I’m not a big fan of, and I still don’t think I eat enough of the leafy greens but I’m working on it. I guess you could say that I’m still a pretty picky caveman, but it works for me, and everyday I’m getting a little better about increasing the variety in my intake.
I’ve stayed on Paleo because it’s worked so well, and while I would say I dance the Paleo/Primal line a bit it still works out alright. I’ve found that dairy doesn’t bother me so I get to have cheese sometimes. The meals that I have I enjoy and there’s a great variety to it, and I must say that eating organic, and grass fed really makes a difference in the taste of the food that I eat daily. Besides that there’s always the cheat day from time to time to get those things that you just can’t get eating Paleo.