You have probably heard about the Paleo Diet.
Let’s take a look at some expert opinions and how you can tailor it to your needs. It probably represents a change from what you’re used to, but that’s OK. Just focus on the next few days. Don’t see it as a massive uncomfortable change to your overall meal planning.
Our son, Nathaniel, is 17. He has recently expressed to Susan and me that he is anxious about his future. He is putting pressure on himself to get into a top tier college and provide a comfortable living for his future family. I’m convinced that one of the roots of this anxiety is simply his growth into adolescence and young adulthood. But, that is compounded by him thinking that he needs to manage his entire future this month.
His conversations with his high school peers focus on the future more than conversations when he was younger. The upperclassmen on his varsity crew team talk about the Ivy League schools that they will attend next year. Young men start paying attention to their fathers’ careers and the cars they drive. Change is not easy… and in this scenario, change comes with social expectations. That can be a tough situation to navigate. My advice to Nathaniel is to focus on the next two weeks. Be ready for the next Chemistry exam. Do a great job on your Spanish project. Keep exercising according to your winter workout program. Don’t miss a volunteering commitment that you put on your schedule. Don’t try to boil the ocean.
These are basic success principles that Nathaniel and you and I can apply to any situation where change and anxiety are present. Don’t worry about “the future”. Just be your best during the next 24 hours. It is a mindset that is quoted by hundreds of successful individuals.
I’ve watched it work for my favorite football team, the New England Patriots. The coach and players constantly re-play the same tape when they speak with the media. “All that matters is the next game. We can’t concern ourselves with the Super Bowl, or even the late rounds of the playoffs. We will prepare for the next game, and the future will take care of itself in due time.” This mindset has set the foundation for the Patriots winning 12 division titles in the past 14 years… which is nice!
So, let’s turn that wisdom to our nutrition and eating habits.
Lisa Leake from 100daysofrealfood.com summarizes the Paleo Diet in a way that makes sense to me. She writes, “The Paleo lifestyle means eating real food with an emphasis on humanely raised meat, organic vegetables, and good quality fats like organic coconut oil, fats from pasture-raised animals, and grass-fed butter/ghee. That means no grains. And in some cases, depending on which Paleo eater you are talking to, no dairy. The other focus of the Paleo diet is to incorporate organ meats and fermented foods like sauerkraut and kombucha (the latter are for the benefits of probiotics).”
Kelly cites one government pub and one study to support her position: “Dietary Guidelines for Americans.” Your Portal to Health Information from the U.S. Government. Web. 05 Apr. 2012. <http://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/Default.asp> and Montonen J, Boeing H, Fritsche A, Schleicher E, Joost HG, Schulze MB, Steffen A, Pischon T. Consumption of red meat and whole-grain bread in relation to biomarkers of obesity, inflammation, glucose metabolism and oxidative stress. Eur J Ntr. 2012 Mar 18.”
Unlike all the other Paleo books out there, The Paleo Manifesto doesn’t spend a lot of time laying out any specific regimen to follow. Instead of lashing himself to the mast of a particular diet program, John kind of covers it all in broad brush strokes. “Mimic a hunter-gather (or herder) diet.” “Eat the right food groups.” “Don’t be afraid of fat.” “Eat nose to tail.” That kind of stuff. I discovered a number of scientific studies I wasn’t aware of.
My favorite has got to be the 2012 German study finding vegetarians to have a significantly greater likelihood of having mental problems than meat eaters. Knowing as many vegetarians as I do, and having been attacked by as many as I’ve been attacked by, I always figured this was the case. But I didn’t know it had been studied. I pulled the paper, and, sure enough, that was the conclusion. You can read the study Vegetarian diet and mental disorders: results from a representative community survey yourself.“
And, although we’re very busy, we can probably invest a few focused blocks of time in the next 24 hours.
@ 5:15 a.m. – 25 minutes of exercise to move our entire body and raise our heart rate, followed by a nutritious breakfast
@ AM commute – 15 minutes of listening to a nutrition or fitness or personal improvement podcast as we head to work
@ Lunch time – 15 minutes of walking or climbing the stairs… to combat our sedentary desk-work lifestyle AND eating natural nutrient-dense foods
@ PM commute – 15 minutes of listening to a nutrition or fitness or personal improvement podcast as we head home from work
@ 8:15 p.m. – Healthy snacks & 25 minutes of stretching, push-ups, or plank exercises while we watch TV… or during the commercial breaks
To discover how coconut products can support your efforts, please take a look at these posts: