Tuesday, April 06, 2010

The Paleo What?

If there is one area of my fitness where I am lacking, it is what I eat, especially at dinner.  Case in point.  I had a healthy breakfast (homebrewed protein shake blended with a banana, two Clementine oranges, frozen spinach, carrots, berries, pineapple, chia, and green magma) and a sensible lunch (turkey sandwich with lettuce and tomato), followed by a completely ridiculously couple of slices of pepperoni pizza and three Cajun buffalo wings with ranch dressing.  Oops.

There's no excuse for it, but I'm going to offer several anyway. 

Eating a healthy dinner was much, much easier when I was single and living by myself.  (Granted, that was eight years ago, so it's probably no longer something I can lean on, but it's out there anyway.)

And it was much, much easier pre-Ezra.  (This one is legit.  At the end of the day, after working, working out, and playing with a two and a half year old, it's just a lot more appealing to call in some junk food than to cook.)

What irks me is that these excuses are ones that I used to dismiss when others made them.

"Come on?  You can't take 15 minutes to prepare a meal? This is your health!"  I'd chastise them.

About six years ago, after Nell and I had been married for six months, we both started feeling a little, um, how shall I put this... soft. So we decided to go "hardcore" fort a month, eat healthy six days a week, and workout more. And it worked. I dropped about 5-10 pounds and felt great.

So, as after being pinched and prodded by my trainer (and after learning that my body fat had crept up over 20%), I recently picked up "The Paleo Diet for Athletes."  I like it because it doesn't read like a "diet" book.  Rather, it is more about enhancing performance, especially for endurance athletes (as I like to fancy myself).

So what is "The Paleo Diet?"  The authors (Loren Cordain, PhD, and Joe Friel, MS) lay it out succintly on page 7:
You can eat as much lean meat, poultry, seafood, fresh fruit, and veggies as you like.  Foods that are not part of the [Paleo Diet] include cereal grains, dairy products... legumes, alcohol, salty foods, fatty meats, refined sugars, and nearly all processed foods.
. . .
Immediately before, during, and after a workout or competition, certain non-Paleo foods should be eaten to promote a quick recovery.
Sounds sort of like a leaner/healthier version of Atkins, doesn't it?

Back in 1998, I ate similarly and dropped about 65 pounds.  (I used to be really, REALLY out of shape.)But it's easier when you have that much to lose.  Right now, I'm at most about 10 pounds heaftier than I'd like to be.  Unfortunately, than 10 pounds is stubborn as hell and doesn't want to pack up and head for the hills.

So we will try the Paleo Diet for Athletes.  I'm not going ape-shit on it, though.  I'm going to give myself one day off a week.  And I'm not going to kill myself.  I'm going to guage my energy level after a week.  My biggest concern is cutting pretty much all carbs except those I get from fruits.  We'll see how it goes.


johnt said...

be careful man, that cheat day that you are building it, will turn into cheat weekend in a heartbeat.

Anonymous said...

paleo man almost never tasted anything sweet. Thanks to modern horticultural science, modern fruits are very, very, very high in fructose. of all the macronutrients in your diet, fructose is the one which passes most quickly and cheaply (from you liver's point of view of spending energy to do the conversion) into stored fat.

Jenny Schouten Short said...

May I make a suggestion that worked for me as a tired and busy mom of five? Plan your meals for the week on Sunday and put them on your calendar. Shop Sunday afternoon for all the ingredients so you have them on hand. Then Monday you are ready to cook when you get home and don't have to think. Most meat, veggie and grain meals don't take over 30 minutes today. Organize. You can do it

Jenny Schouten Short said...

P.S. All three of you sit down at the table together to eat. Ezra will eat what you eat and learn good eating habits with you.

Sean said...

Dude, I did the same thing yesterday and woke up feeling like a boat. Damn dinner time.

Dave Fannin said...

I've heard good things about this diet from smart people in the industry.

And I've seen some really good results on clients that have used it.

It seems to be the answer/solution to that final 5-10lbs of fat that seems to stick around.

Keep us informed.


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