Paleo & Other Diet Schmiets

16 Aug

Hello there friends! Happy Saturday.

Here I am on this cool summer morning sipping my coffee after indulging in what was a delicious breakfast.

I got to thinking, when did indulgence become a euphemism for guilt? I harbor no guilt for what I just ate. It was healthy and it tasted good. Really good.

But why should really good equate to instaguilt? This shouldn’t be how we are programmed to think.

Geez-us!

My breakfast was a toasted slice of wheat bread layered with a thin spread of butter (less than a quarter teaspoon) and ricotta cheese (half a teaspoon), decorated with a little less than a quarter avocado, a pinch of arugula and an egg sunny side up. For taste I added a dash of pepper and sea salt. Nom. Nom.

It was delightful.

I don’t feel guilty for what I ate even though I know what I ate goes against every diet craze out there right now. Why would I feel guilty over something that is heart healthy, filling and will help fuel my run a little later? Where’s the guilt in consuming 300 calories of yummy goodness?

Here’s my point…

I used a little butter to add flavor—fat! I ate carbs/grains—oh no, gluten. All NO NOs on the Paleo diet.

Holy shyster.

I committed and abhorrent sin in name of the Paleo Gods. I would be banned from their community. (I’d gladly accept their judgment!)

Marketing has ingrained in us that if we don’t follow the diets advertised we are failures. I’m not going to buy in to their schemes. The truth is, they don’t give a flying regard about you. It’s all a ploy to get you to buy-in to their notion of what healthy is and what healthy looks like because they need your money. They have a bottom line and their bottom line is profit. Think about it.

I don’t eat gluten-free intentionally. But I like some gluten-free products.

I’m not a vegan. But I love eating vegan-friendly foods.

I’m will never NOT eat carbs. I’d fail at Atkins every day. In that respect, I’d wear failure as a badge of honor. Screw you, Atkins diet.

On that note screw Paleo, too!!!

I should have prefaced my true thoughts of Paleo…In my opinion it is an okay diet. But can you make Paleo a part of your lifestyle forever? Seriously, I’m asking you.

Drink Gluten-free Beer, forever? Seriously?

Gross.

I could not be on a diet that robs me of these luxurious and tasty delights—delights that I crave after a long run. A cold, refreshing, tasty beer. Yes, please!!!

Diet schmiets. Why do you even want to be on a diet? Make it a lifestyle about health and moderation!

Gluten-free, organic, Paleo, low-carb, vegan, no trans-fat are all buzzwords. Why not indulge in a bump of cocaine while you’re at it. It’s also gluten-free. I mean seriously friends, don’t get lost in the hype of these diet crazes.

Back to Paleo. Paleo is unique. It’s not for me but it could be for you. As a distance runner, I couldn’t fathom restricting my carbs to its model. The exclusion of grains and legumes from my diet, which are essential carb sources for runners, would have me running on empty and prone to injury and quick exhaustion. It would counter all of my training efforts.

The diet models that of the diet in the prehistoric days. In simple terms, if a caveman did not eat it, you shouldn’t. Put the gummy bears down (there are bags of Haribo in the freezer waiting for me to, dare I say, indulge in). I recognize that our society eats too much processed foods and sugary drinks. But I don’t agree that the agricultural revolution is to blame. Additives and refined sugars, maybe, but the agricultural revolution? That’s like saying death is a result of a birth. We can all see the association but the nexus is far off. It’s an ignoramus connection. Farming is the cornerstone of our diet. So what gives with the topic of grains? Haven’t we been eating them since the beginning of agriculture? Ugh.

Paleo Shmaleo…

Did you know you can eat bacon on Paleo?

You’re new to Paleo and you have two options on the breakfast menu.

Option 1: Eggs and tons of bacon.

Option 2: Oatmeal with a teaspoon of brown sugar and berries.

Option 1 is your only choice. A breakfast laden with fat. Paleo. Yes. Healthy? No.

I suppose I should have whisked up a heaping serving of eggs and fried bacon this morning and then proceeded to lick the plate of its bacon drippings. Too bad I would have had to succumb to using my tongue instead of a slice of bread. J/K

Anyways, try to find out if Chia seeds are paleo-friendly. It’s an interesting debate. I want to eat and be happy. I want to run and have the energy to do so. I do not like to eat a ton of meat and I don’t want to follow a diet that tells me I have to. It creates GI discomfort for me. I listen to my body. That’s my diet. I prefer to eat salmon, yellowtail, tuna and halibut. I love fish. But I’m not going to go to any extreme to satisfy the requirements of a diet craze.

I’m not putting you down if you follow a diet. If you’re a Paleonite or a gluten-free gal or guy. If you have Celiac, I encourage gluten-free. That makes your lifestyle more comfortable! Yay. I just beg of you to be cautious with buzzwords. Pay attention to your body and what your body is telling you. Again, Paleo’s premise is great, it encourages lean meats (bacon when other alternatives aren’t available), and fruits and vegetables. I could eat fruit and vegetables all day long. But it’s too strict with the eradication of dairy, legumes and other foods that support a healthy diet, especially for me and you other distance runners out there.

I know I didn’t write much about the science and nutrition surrounding the diets and that of my opinion. I don’t feel I need to drown you with facts and research. I encourage you to read up on the diets. Read the good. Read the bad. Form your own opinion.

As for me, I eat what I want. My staples are pretzels, gummy bears and chia seeds, as well as tons of fruit and vegetables. I indulge in an occasional beer or shot of tequila. I’m a fan of wine.

I don’t diet. I live a healthy lifestyle with moderation. About 80% of my diet is good. The other 20% is comprised of chocolate, gummy bears or cookies…I might run a little longer than the usual on those days. I don’t believe in depriving your body and I don’t think you should.

If you remember one thing from reading this, remember this—cocaine is gluten-free! But it doesn’t mean it’s good for you.

Happy running!

XO

Valgal

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