This has come up a couple times in the last few days so I'm figuring now is a good time to talk about the sack-o-crap hogwash that is popular nutrition. Isn't everyone just sick of it? Or rather - are you sick because of it?
I recently saw an article that said one in three women are using sleeping pills, over a third of the US population is considered obese, and a shocking number of people take antidepressants.
Not to put too fine a point on it... but maybe what's keeping us up all nite and making us all fat and unhappy is all the crap we are eating. Could it be the Standard American Diet (SAD) chock full of sugar, processed flour, loaded with who-knows-what convenience food is to blame? You gotta wonder.
What about food allergies. I was in high school or college when the first peanut allergy story hit the news. Now kids can't hardly take PB&J's to school because its so common. And how many folks do you know who are on some kind of restricted diet because they are gluten intolerant or have been diagnosed with celiac disease?
I think its high time we took all the popular books and women's magazines "nutritional" information and threw it directly in the trash where it belongs.
My pal Freemotion just did a terrific post about how she got control of her weird sleeping patterns by adjusting her diet. You can read about it here and also how she's learning to become a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner. Not only is she sleeping better but she feels better! And her hubster is loosing weight - he's practically a new man.
But its not just her. More and more people I know have had to give up the SAD because it was ruining their health. Chances are its ruining your health too but you just don't know it yet. What's the problem? Processed flour, sugar, and the general degrading of food to "food like substances" that are easily sold and marketed.
What we eat is largely cultural and almost always because we are senseless victims of marketing. What's the difference between eating vegetables for breakfast and a sugary cereal? Answer = Marketing. What do you think is better for you? I'd rather eat this for breakfast than a bowl of Sugar Puffed Whatnots. In fact, I can't eat cereal... or most processed foods. It just makes me feel bad. Most cereal gives me a twitch in my eye and makes me hungry about 35 minutes later. Heck, half the time we can't even go out to eat because it just makes us sick.
So what's the answer? Well, someone smarter than me will have to answer you but for me its a mostly Paleo diet. What's Paleo? I just found out myself. I've eaten this way for a while but just didn't know it had a funny name attached to it.
For all of my 20's I felt like crap most of the day. I ate what everyone else ate...but it wasn't doing me any good. I fell for the low-fat, carby, eat only 1200 calories a day stuff that I was fed from women's magazines and pop culture. I ran from meat because the lady who did my facials told me that just having some soy-like-food was good enough.
It took me a while to realize that I didn't feel good until after lunch. Which was my allotted turkey sandwich - the only meat for the day - since its commonly known that we all eat "too much protein." But I'd have to prop up my blood sugar with juice or soda to try and make it thru the day. Someone finally told me I shouldn't have to do that. So I stopped.
By chance I read the spectacular Joslin Guide to Diabetes - and even tho I'm not a diabetic, it sure gave me some good learning. And a huge wake up call. And information about how my body actually works to process food...and what I should be doing.
So I stopped all the stupid stuff and started eating more meat, fat, and real foods. I threw out all the frozen "entrees" in my freezer and started making food. And limiting the processed carbs and high glycemic fruits and such. For the first time I started noticing how much sugar was in processed foods. Do you know that one of those little fruity yogurt containers can have as much sugar as a soda? I immediately switched to plain yogurt and added my own fruit. Much better.
About that time I also switched to organic milk - mostly on a dare - but then I lost five pounds without doing anything different. Then I switched to all organic dairy.
Eventually I ended up here on this farm - growing and making most of our food from raw materials - most of which come from our yard. Now I'm mostly Paleo without even know it... but you know, my Paleo includes donuts. Sometimes. Not as often as you might think. But it happens.
My favorite breakfast is a pork chop, I never cut the fat off our pasture raised meat, and don't turn down raw, whole milk. The food police would burst into flames if they saw how much cream I put in my one perfect cup of coffee per day. I use butter and lard and I'm not afraid to say it - I even cook with bacon grease. According to popular lore I should be about 500 lbs. But I'm not. I also am not depressed, I sleep like the dead, and I don't have any of those ailments you see advertised on TV. Not a one.
Another thing I shook off was what culture thinks the picture of "health" should be. I know a lot of very unhealthy skinny people. I don't think that a woman should look like a 12 year old boy with big fake boobs. Who wants to starve themselves down to be a size 0 (a nothing?!) just so they can implant their bodies with silicone and pretend that's womanly? No way, this baby's got back and I don't feel bad about it. I love this gal and how she talks about the distorted way our culture views health and beauty. And this gal had something to say about it also.
So I think I'm doing OK. And I figure I can have some donuts now and then because my body can tolerate some carbs .....and because we aren't assaulted everyday by the added sugar and junk in processed foods. And because donuts are good. If I was a cave man I'd go hunt me down some donuts for sure.
If you are wondering why you can't lose weight, why you feel bad, can't sleep, and are riddled with health problems - you might want to look into what you are eating. A couple of good references are:
Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon
The Weston A Price Foundation
You can also check out the blogs: Cheeseslave and PaleoOMG (warning: she swears more than I do but the recipes for snacks are worth it!). There are others out there but I'm not as devout as some. I just can't carry the flag in the battle between Paleo and Primal. What works for me might not work for you - so I'm not sure there is a "right" answer other than... do what is best for your body.
And now I think I hear a primal donut calling my name... I'm gonna go and slay it with a paleo pork chop, fry it up in bacon grease, and then dunk it into a cup of cream with a splash of coffee... or something like that.
Happy Wednesday everyone! Now stop eating that crap and go and make some real food!