Here’s the catchall post, where we look at things that didn’t really fit into the other topics, or that I just didn’t get to.
Let’s review. If you are feeling good, and don’t have excess fat, and are sleeping well, and have the energy you need to do whatever it is that you do, and your medical markers for health – blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides, etc – are all within healthy parameters, and your body parts are doing what you require of them, and you recover from injury the way you’d like, Congratulations! You are healthy! Keep doing what you are doing! And I’m really not being snarky when I say that; I really mean it. There’s enough variation in physiology and disposition and habit to account for a wide variety of experiences in nutrition and fitness results.
If however, some of those things are not optimal, I’d recommend giving ancestral nutrition a try. The science is sound, the results are consistent with the science, and if you don’t have success, what’s the risk? Which leads me to my first point:
How to begin? There are a couple of approaches. One thought is that any improvement will benefit your health, and therefore if you start small, by changing one nutrition habit a week, incorporate one new rule at a time, you will be more likely to manage a lifestyle change that you will stick with. Another idea is to go all in, whole hog, the full monty in one big step. I’d like to suggest a hybrid of the two.
Go all in – for 30 days. Do a little research, hit up some of the websites I’ll add links for, pinpoint a starting date for sometime this week, plan your shopping day before you begin, and then do it. Go grain-free, sugar-free, grass-fed meat, scads and scads of veggies, a little fruit, healthy fats — for one month. Don’t look for 30 days 4 months down the line when you won’t have a wedding or party or trip – that ain’t gonna happen. Do it now, in spite of the wedding, party, or trip. Just commit – it’s 30 days! But don’t cheat! Not one cheat day or cheat meal or even cheat bite – full-on clean eating for 30 days.
Then at the end of the 30 days, reevaluate. Are any of those markers better? Feel better, sleep better, work better? Lose a little fat? Focus a little better? After that evaluation, have a little sit-down with your bad self. Decide if it’s worth it. If the answer is no, have another little sit-down, because it should be. It’s your health, folks, the only body you’re gonna get. And for those of us on the backside, evolution is not very nice to us. Once we’ve passed those child-bearing years, nature is kind of over us, so to speak. You’ve gotta give back a little, and this nutrition is exactly the way to do that.
Another point I want to make is that there is more to Paleo living than just nutrition, although nutrition is a major part. There’s movement, which is a whole other series of posts, but I’ll link to my favorite sites where you’ll find info from the experts. There’s footwear, which is a surprisingly big deal since it affects our posture which affects our digestion and skeleton and muscles. There’s play, and community, and sleep, and a whole lot more!
I want to quickly touch on managing life swimming upstream. How to handle the pizza, pasta, cake, ice cream, donuts, pancakes that surround us every minute of every day? Here’s what works for me (most of the time): Making these choices of what to eat are no longer dependent upon willpower, like other calorie-counting-based diets. When you are empowered with the information of what foods are healthy and what foods are not, your choices are based on reason, education, and logic, and that beat the hell out of willpower! One of my dearest besties has had such a recovery of her health eating cleanly, that she says she can’t even bring herself to eat those former treats and temptations. That’s the power of good nutrition!
The next little mini-lecture is about the time and money it takes to eat this way. Yes, it takes more money to buy grass-fed meat and local produce. Yes, it takes longer to chop and prepare all those veggies, and it’s a whole new way to cook, which has a learning curve.
A. When you’re not buying all the other crap, it’s actually better than even, depending upon how much interior-grocery-aisle shopping you’re currently doing.
B. Eating should be an event. The instant availability of food is what has gotten us where we are in the first place! I have learned to love this part. I have these beautiful clear stacking containers and when they are full of colorful veggies all chopped and ready, it makes me joyful! Plus, the weekly chopping task goes well with a partner jamming out in the kitchen after a bike ride to the farmers’ market and back!
So now the links:
This is Protein Power. It’s a husband and wife MD team who have been nutrition physicians for years. Theirs was the first book I read on my journey, so even though other blogs are more active, I have huge loyalty to them.
This is Mark’s Daily Apple. I met Mark in Atlanta in August at the symposium. His blog is active, and he has great freebies at his website, including several free ebooks. His site is a great resource for the fitness piece of the lifestyle.
Here’s Robb Wolf’s site. Robb is one of the Ancestral Health rockstars. I got him to sign his new book and chatted with him for a while. He gave several presentations and was interesting every time he spoke.
Now for the recipe sites:
Here’s The Clothes Makes The Girl. Melicious! You will love her!
This is Nom Nom Paleo. She posts a lot of family-friendly recipes, and she’s great!
Here’s PaleOMG. More great recipes, with lots of funny commentary.
Here’s Paleo Parents. They do lots of creative stuff because they have 3 little guys, so lots of lunch box foods and treats.
Now, back to law school, farm living, traveling, and kids!
Thanks for reading, both this post, and the whole series!