Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Back to the Stone Age

I gave up on the third round of HCG. My theory is that while I had great success on the first round, when I tried again, my body was onto me and didn’t fall for the trick. (I also didn’t have acupuncture support, but that’s a different issue). I may seem flaky for trying all kinds of weird shit in the quest for a smaller body, but I prefer to think of it as being open-minded and trying to find what works.  Eating sugar and starch don’t work. Sitting on my ass doesn’t work. When I did the Protein Power plan years ago (I have never done a full-on  Atkins), I felt great with the severe carbohydrate restriction and (percentage-wise) greater increase in protein.  From a couple of different people I trust, I had heard about something called the Paleo Diet.

On the Paleo Diet (or Caveman Diet), no processed food, no sugar, no grains, no dairy (No cheeseburger with ketchup). Food is organic (as clean as possible. I understand costs) and meat is organic: grass-fed, free range, no added growth hormones and preferably not fed on grain (You are not only what YOU eat, but you are also what you’re eating ate. I think Strunk & White just turned over in their graves).  If you’re into eating seafood (I am not), wild caught fish, nothing farm raised (and by the way, tilapia eats poo. I saw it on “Dirty Jobs.”)

There are varying versions. Hardcore folks insist on everything raw. Yeah, not for me: I am not a Border Collie. I am not about to eat raw chicken. I prefer to set the Wayback Machine (that’s for Kelly Goodman. She knows why) to a point AFTER human beings had figured out fire, but before the invention of Hamburger Helper (Stroganoff: GOOD beef, onions, sour cream, mushrooms, noodles. No freeze-dried powdered chemical shit. Brown beef, remove from heat, brown onions and mushrooms. Cook noodles according to instructions. Return beef to pan with onions and mushrooms. Add sour cream. Either serve over noodles or if you insist on the HH experience, dump the noodles into the pan. Voila: Beef Stroganoff).

You are allowed all the veggies you want, limiting the intake of starchy ones (potatoes, sweet potatoes). If you want to eat half a cow, medium rare, go ahead. Nuts, fruit, seeds? Okay (but be smart about quantities: fruits are high in sugars). It’s reminiscent of Atkins and Protein Power.

Here’s why this makes sense to me: I had been heading towards eating like this anyway over the past year. By eliminating gluten (wheat, rye, barley) from my diet, I had cleared up a bunch of issues, like eczema and bloody, clogged sinuses. I was finding that eating other grains (corn, rice, oats) would throw my metabolism into reverse. Sugar gave me zits. I’ve never had a problem with dairy, but I’ve been limiting my fat intake (except for the days when nothing would satisfy but bacon) and that limited my dairy intake and that fats + starch (buttered rice, potatoes, french fries, yams with butter, cheese nachos) was a bad combo.

No barley, rye, wheat or corn: this will severely cut into whiskey, bourbon and beer drinking. There’s always wine and rum.

I had heard Chris Jericho talking about this on the Mark & Brian radio show a few weeks ago. I’d heard the name, couldn’t tell you what he looked like (He’s a pretty decent rocker, too). Here’s what he looks like.

I have found another great website, Nerd Fitness, www.nerdfitness.com. I love this because it’s funny as hell, loaded with references to Star Wars (IV, V and VI, the REAL ones, not that Jar Jar Binks crap), Indiana Jones, Legos and video games.  And X Men. What’s not to love? It’s also wonderfully supportive and just plain resonates with me. Steve Kamb, the proprietor, gives you an introduction to Paleo if you sign up to join the Nerd Rebellion (I did) and offers some pretty compelling pictures of people who drastically changed themselves through changing their diet (Saint and Staci).

Protein is the essential building block of life: if it’s animal or vegetable, it’s made of protein. The vitamins and minerals you take in (and fiber) are to support the proper function and repair of the protein that makes up YOU. Leave the corn and the sugar cane and the carbs for ethanol production.

There really wasn’t much of a switch for me: I just had to finish up the last of the Greek yogurt I’d had in the house and use almond or coconut milk in my coffee (which is pretty good, actually). I will miss cheese. I have tried almond cheese and as an American adult, I cannot be compelled to repeat the experience.

Now, I just need to find a local photographer to help me record changes. There is a picture on Facebook of my collarbone, which I can finally see again. However, getting the picture was quite the experience: thank God for yoga, because the flexibility came in handy.

We’ll see if it makes me feel like running around in a fur mini-skirt.

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