I turned 36 this week. I’m now closer to 40 than 30 and closer to 50 than 20.
I feel like I’m healthy at 36 – certainly more than I was half a life ago at 18. At 18, I was close to 30 pounds heavier than I am now. My diet consisted of a lot of snack foods and fast food (that’s what the typical American high school or college student eats).
At 36, I’m more than a year and a half following the Paleo diet, to the point I don’t really think about it anymore. I’m able to subsist on longer fasts when I need to because my blood sugar is really stable through the whole day.
But it’s not without mental and physical challenges.
My last physical showed increased total and LDL-C blood cholesterol. It has lead me to make additional dietary adjustments – a little more awareness of fat intake, and increasing my carbohydrate intake away from what was frequently very low carb dieting (although I’m still in what would be low carb compared to my old diet).
My biggest plan for the next 4 years until I turn 40 is to be aware and to continue making small changes for performance and longevity.
Just before I graduated from college, I decided to stop eating beef.
I decided that beef, along with its saturated fat load, questionable production methods, as well as emerging health risks (Mad Cow disease) was a good thing to remove from my diet. It was pretty easy to do, and I didn’t miss it.
A few years later pork followed suit. I decided pork was at least as questionable – and probably equally easy to eliminate. Probably the only meal I missed in pork was Southern Pulled Pork Barbecue.
Since my adoption of Paleo, my food attitudes have adjusted. Back in October, real Bacon returned to my diet regularly for the first time in probably 15 or 20 years. The world didn’t end – and in fact, my good cholesterol rose versus last year. I’ve also mixed in a few high quality Pork shoulders, slowly smoked to my diet occasionally. My pork source: Thompson Farms in Dixie, Georgia. They use pastured animals, raised from infants to slaughter in the same location and have earned one of Whole Foods highest certifications for animal welfare.
It’s great to see family run farms being rewarded for raising animals well and allowing them to live as naturally as possible. They also were quick to respond to a question I sent via e-mail.
I’m now on the verge of reversing direction on my first food exclusion – and mixing some grass-fed beef back into my diet. I’m thinking about a large cut – like a brisket or a tri-tip for smoking. Again, it’s another Whole Foods-certified local farm – either White Oak Pastures in Bluffton, Georgia or Brasstown Beef in Brasstown, North Carolina as the source.
Grass-fed has a lot of advantages – all originating because it’s how the animal was intended to eat.
Have you reversed direction on a specific food because of Paleo?