Ohiofarmgirl's Adventures in The Good Land is largely a fish out of water tale about how I eventually found my footing on a small farm in an Amish town. We are a mostly organic, somewhat self sufficient, sustainable farm in Ohio. There's action and adventure and I'll always tell you the truth about farming.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

My Paleo Includes Donuts

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!


Ann P said...

Such a timely post. I've recently decided to head down the paleo path myself. After a year of weight watchers that didn't include any weight loss I realize that all the pre-packaged "diet" food I'm eating isn't food at all. So I'm chucking it & getting back to eating real food.

Now if I could only convince DH we need to move to the country & raise our own. One step at a time.

freemotion said...

Preach it, Sista!!! What a balanced view....mostly whole, real, nutrient-dense foods in your diet with an occasional gooey-sticky. And having that donut AFTER the porkchop and creamed coffee is the way to go, not instead of the good breakfast. Great post!

IanH said...

Great post! I agree with you 100%, so much that I am copying this out for a couple of friends that have the symptoms.

Tombstone Livestock said...

Hmmm, good post, donuts, my downfall is Bear Claws, LOL. I agree Sugar vs. Equal, Whipped Cream vs. Cool Whip, real cream vs. Coffeemate, I like the real thing, just need to pratice moderation. Me vs. Close Relative, no medication vs. hand fulls of medication. I wonder how many meds are necessary do to country living vs. city living or relying on over processed additives to food.

RebelGrrrl said...

I've recently started down the paleo path myself! I kept telling myself, as I was trying to lose weight, that alllllll I needed was to exercise more... Which never helped at all. As soon as u started eating paleo I immediately felt better/healthier - no afternoon slump, and a lot of my carb cravings are subsiding. Not to mention my physical appearance changes.

I'm so excited to read that you're eating this way. I've read your blog for a while now and always love hearing your thoughts - and it makes me feel good to know I'm on the right track when I see that you're doing similar :)

now if only I had the money for my dream farm...

Weekend Cowgirl said...

So, the pork chops for breakfast is sounding really good!

David said...

Hear hear! Well said

Ohiofarmgirl said...

Great work, Ann! You'll see fast changes in how you feel. Until you get to farming check out Local Harvest to connect with small producers:

Free, i never understood why breakfast didnt already come with a dessert option...

Thanks Ian, all that weird stuff we eat has been so firmly ingrained its hard to break its hold. But its so much better once you take control of your nutrition.

Tombstone, you said it. I think folks are trading health for convenience... but poor health isnt too convenient if you ask me.

Yay Candice! I feel for that "just work harder" crap too - I ended up with a permanent joint injury. So to heck with that - just eat better is right! I can't wait to hear about your success - let us know how it goes!

Hi WCG! tell that cowboy to go and grill you up a chop while you keep your feet up. :-)

Your know it Dave, nothing but meat and veg.. and donuts...possibly some tequila..

Sharon said...

OFG, I love you so much. XD

Cleveland girl said...

Amen!!! I weighed 180-190 8 months ago(too afraid to step onto a scale so I am guesstimating). Now I weigh 137 most days. Just cut way down on the starch and sugar. I eat meat, dairy, green veggies and lots of flax (ever tried microwaved flax muffin in a mug).

So I can identify with your post. Also nothing wrong with the doughnut treat if you have cut down on the unnecessary sugar and starch.

Dana Seilhan said...

You don't even have to eat the SAD donuts. There seem to be about fifty bazillion paleo donut recipes out there and I'm sure at least some of them are yummy.

Ohiofarmgirl said...

hi Dana! yep i've seen some of the non-traditional donut recipes ... some look pretty good.

Diana said...

Hey lady! Can't believe I somehow missed this one. I started baby steps towards paleo at the end of April - been fully compliant for about 3 weeks now. It's a lot easier than I'd thought actually (have been trying to give up white sugar, or flour, for years and couldn't... but getting rid of them together, no problem!). I've got great hopes that it will help all those niggling aches and complaints that suddenly crept up on me a couple years ago. I haven't yet gotten to the point of emptying our cabinets, and my hubby's still addicted to Doritos, butcha know... baby steps. :) And donuts once in a while!

Ohiofarmgirl said...

yep Diana... them Itos will getcha every time! i've been leaning this way for a long time and really i didnt know it was a "thing" until recently. but it totally makes sense for me.... plus who doesnt love meat!?! :-D

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