“I’d like to order a medium-sized Italian salad, with extra chicken. And instead of the vinaigrette dressing, can I please have olive oil… on the side? And can I also get artichoke hearts on the salad.? Oh, and is there cheese in the salad? Okay, so no cheese either.”
That was me ordering a salad at a pizza place last night. High maintainence, right? A few months ago I would have cringed at making such a fuss at a restaurant. A few months ago I would have ordered a slice of cheese pizza and a beer. A few months ago I ate gingersnaps like they were going out of fashion and was running to get midmorning soy lattes from across the street.
Many things have changed.
What started as a casual experiment with the Paleo Diet and the Paleo Diet for Athletes has evolved into something more serious. It’s not a diet. It’s not an experiment. It’s just how I eat now. Here’s kind of what it looks like. Tasty, right?
Foods To I Eat To My Belly’s Contentment: Veggies- all kinds. Meat, eggs, nuts, berries, seafood, most fruit, nut butters like almond butter and hazelnut butter. Oils and fat including olive oil, coconut oil, walnut oil and seasme seed oil.
Foods I Steer Clear From: Grains- all of them -yes, all of them. which also means no bread or pasta. Potatoes, corn, peanuts, sugar, high fructose corn syrup, soy and dairy products.
Foods to Eat On Occassion: Honey and dried fruit.
There are a lot better resources, both in books and on the Internet, that explain better than I can the details and logic behind this diet. The basic idea is that you eat simple, whole foods, minimally processed and without perservatives, additives or chemicles. Basically, when you see a food, you ask yourself “Concieveably, could I have hunted or gathered this back in the day?” If the answer is yes- go for it. If not, put down the Twinkie, or the pizza slice, or the soy latte or the gingersnap and go eat something else. Pretty simple, right?
Except it’s really not that simple. Breaking habits, whatever they may be, is a difficult process and this one has definitely been a socially awkward adjustment. Say no to the bagels and donuts at work on Friday? Decline cupcakes? Walk past the award-winning French bakery and not stop for an Oregon croissant!? It’s hard stuff. But the results have been well worth it.
Changing my diet has been a humbling experience. It’s hard. It’s confusing. It’s demoralizing at times. But I do understand better those who struggle with weight issues. I sympathize with those who deal with dietary restrictions that are not, unlike mine, a lifestyle choice. So, while I’ll continue to write about running until you’re sick of hearing it, I’ll also be adding posts about eating like a Cavewoman in the modern world.