Some years ago, a dear friend of mine, and perpetually on the search for the miracle diet tried to rope me into following her path on the Atkins diet. It was hard for her to understand why I wasn’t going to join her, after all, she had lost plenty of pounds already, and was feeling great (ready skinny), and I after all, would benefit from loosing a few pounds myself.
No argument there. I could stand to loose a good many pounds. But the diet made no sense to me. Adding to that is the fact that while I eat meat, I am not crazy about it. I prefer vegetable and adore anything that swims. But try to pry carbs out of my hands and you are lucky if you escape with minor injuries like say a broken occipital orb, a dislocated shoulders and assorted, distributed contusions.
After moving to the USA I started to gain weight. Seriously. I blossomed from 115 lbs married weight to 145 within two years and boy did that piss me off. I am quite a bit larger by now (after all we married twenty years ago and I have had two kids since then), but lets not see those numbers in writing other than at my doctors office in my chart. My weight gain (although I’ve been steady in the last 9 years), can be ascribed to one thing and one thing only.
I went on a diet and hated myself. I became a skinnier but cranky, pissy, crabby, and unbalanced person. My husband one day just handed me a bag of M&Ms and begged me to please eat them. That day I realized that dieting isn’t the answer. I realized that I would need to change the way I saw and treated food in relation to me.
My husband hasn’t gained any weight. The pox on his skinny arse, I say. But he eats the same lunch and dinner as we all do. So why is he not gaining weight. And of course I do put into consideration the fact that men’s metabolism is a a bit stronger than women’s.
He doesn’t snack. I do. End of discussion. That is the difference. We eat healthy at home. We hardly have any processed foods at home other than pasta, bread, condiments, etc. My kids don’t even know what a Twinkie tastes like. Neither do I for that matter.
Now people are following the Paleo diet and lots of my various acquaintances and friends are frankly, in my opinion,
nut jobs misguided for buying into this. Human beings began agriculture roughly 13,000 years ago (some evidence found in the last two years suggest it may have begun as early as 15,000 years ago, but that is still contested). Is someone really going to tell me the human body hasn’t adapted to a larger variety of food items during this time? I think avoiding the food items added in the last say, 50 -100 years is a good idea. People started to cultivate a variety of plants all over the globe between 13,000 and 8,000 BCE onwards and even plant varieties before that eaten by hunter-gatherer nomadic and semi-nomadic peoples would have varied depending on where they are from. And even that changed depending on the migratory route their ancestors would have taken over the course of tens of thousands of years in pre-agrarian times.
Simply put, people’s diets kept changing even before Neolithic times, and the idea that one diet can be ascribed as Paleo is preposterous.
What happened to balanced eating? Strong on vegetables and legumes, whole grains, occasionally a small portion of meats, occasional dairy and eggs. Oh wait, that isn’t as sexy as dramatically sighing at the restaurant about how hard it is to find paleo foods.