Thursday, September 02, 2010

Paleo Diet Diary

I've been on the paleo diet (though with many interruptions for trips, meals in impossible restaurants, etc.) for about a month. That's the one that allows no grains, legumes, or dairy, but reasonable amounts of lean meat, fish and seafood, fresh fruits and vegetables, and nuts. It's also known as the primal diet and the hunter-gatherer diet. It's the original diet of genus homo.

I thought I'd write down a few things I've learned about it, in case someone out there is thinking of doing it.

So far, it works. I've lost about twelve pounds. I admit that's not spectacular, but as I said before, it is painless. Anyway, diets that do work fast are bad for you.

Oddly enough, you don't get hungry that often. There are days when I just forget to eat lunch. In my old high-carb regime, that would have been unthinkable.

Though you don't get hungry, you do get thirsty. I find that I drink a lot of water now. I have no idea why.

Though it is painless, this diet is not trouble-free. I have to prepare every meal I eat from scratch. Canned or frozen foods (as distinguished from canned or frozen ingredients, like tuna or strawberries) never seem to fit the diet. Hormel chili is off the menu. All the lazy, college-student-type foods: ramen noodles, pork and beans, canned hash. Gone. You have to start thinking and get to work.

For that reason this diet will probably be a tough one for people who hate to cook (and don't have domestic servants).

It is also expensive. As I said in my earlier post, the reason humanity went on the other diet, beginning about 10,000 years ago, is that it is based on cheap starchy staples. If you go back to the original diet of the human race, you are eating in a way that most of the people on the planet simply cannot afford. The most expensive, exotic legume at Whole Foods is cheaper per pound than the cheapest cut of beef at Bill's Food Center. On the other hand, though the ingredients I use are more expensive, I find that I eat more at home, spending less on restaurant food, so do I save some money there.

However, though it's a bad diet for people who hate to cook, it is a very good one for those who like to cook, and fortunately that includes me. It's challenging to have to re-think traditional foods and menus. Also, I find that I use a lot of new ingredients: kohlrabi, avocado oil, New York strip bison steak, many varieties of squash. If this keeps up, if it's not just a consequence of the switch from one regime to another, it'll be fun!

Finally, I can express my parting observation with just two words: less flatulence. Enough said?
Post a Comment