What is as controversial as politics and religion? Diets. The more health conscious a person is, the more adamant he is about his diet. Everyone has his reasons why his diet is better. Many of the reasons make sense, so how do you decide what is right for you?
Where to start
Knowing my holistic medical background people often ask what “diet” I follow. Over 30 years ago I gave up dairy. Within a month I lost a layer of baby fat, had more energy and just felt healthier. Over the next couple of decades, while continuing to eat organic foods, I essentially eliminated eating gluten grains (i.e., wheat, oats and barley). Now my diet has the minimum amount of any grains. I eventually realized that I’m eating the Paleo Diet.
About 15 years ago, a naturopath published Eat Right for Your Type, which outlines unique diets based on your blood type. I found this approach explained the missing link I was noticing with clients. Some clients needed more animal protein than others. The blood-type diet matched what I was seeing.
The Meat of it
Whole organic food is better than processed food—that’s something we can all agree on The debate usually centers on meat and dairy. In my practice over the years, I have seen only a few vegetarians who had good muscle tone. Many don’t have the tone or vitality I would want. Some have muscles that are downright flaccid. Vegetarians who have tone are either new to not eating meat or have type-A blood (the vegetarian blood type).
A vegetarian diet (without heavy grain and dairy usage) is a great diet to clean your body out. But after a couple years of eating no meat, I’ve seen people lose their hair, develop chronic soft tissue and joint problems, have low energy and low sex drive. After vowing he would not touch meat, even Ghandi went back to eating meat—as did his followers. I’m seeing more old time vegetarians eat meat.
My personal and clinical experience, along with recent research, shows that it’s not meat that causes health problems. It’s the quality of the meat. When it comes to eating meat, I recommend you eat the most natural meat you can find. Stay away from grain-fed meat. Just as grains aren’t good for us, they aren’t for animals.
Many years ago I was sitting in a bar in Santa Fe, NM, speaking to a gentleman who was Native American. He claimed the demise of the Native Americans was due to not eating grass-fed meat. He inspired me to research grass-fed meat and to experiment with my own body. For decades now, that’s all I eat for meat. The only problem is that it gives me so much energy I can’t eat much of it at night, or I can’t sleep.
I used my body as an experiment. When I eat foods that aren’t on the O diet (which is essentially the same as the Paleo Diet) I noticed a reaction. No great loss. There is plenty to eat. Because the Paleo Diet is simple – eat what the caveman ate–you can use that as the basis of your experimenting.
Terry Wahls, MD, a physician and researcher speaks eloquently in this TED video about how she cured herself of severe MS on the Paleo Diet. She goes on to explain the science behind this diet along with how simple it is to practice.
There are many tweaks you play with as you enhance your diet. One I’m playing with is intermittent fasting, where you don’t eat for a day. Not only is it easy, it shows you how much eating is just habit, stress reduction and a social phenomenon. A short fast is a safe and simple way to clean out your body. New research shows it helps brain function.
Enjoy eating like a caveman. Let us know what you discover.