Hard to believe that it has been a full year of Paleo eating. We got notice in the mail again this year that the USPS was having its annual food drive. That's when we cleaned out our cupboards last year of all the processed crap. Several observations:
- Eating mostly (and heavily) meats, fish, veggies, plus (moderate to sparingly) fruits and nuts has had a profound impact on our body compositions. My weight is down about 30 lb, and body fat is reduced from almost 20% to 10%.
- Personally, I have taken more of an interest in cooking. I'm still a hack cook, but can make my way around the kitchen. By using the basic ingridients, this implies nothing out of a box and necessitates preparing things to build up a meal. I don't mind, and am always looking to improve my techniques.
- Without the wild blood sugar/insulin swings associated with simple carbohydrates, some things such as mood are improved (i.e., stabilized) and hunger pangs are greatly reduced. It is amazing that after a 20+ hour intermittent fast I can wait and prepare a time consuming, but wholesome meal without going nuts. Before I would be like a ravenous wolverine and would eat cardboard or anything in the house. We would order take-out probably about once a week beforehand. Now, it is once every 2 months or so - and we make healthy choices.
- Carb face is gone. I was looking through some older pictures and was shocked to see how puffy my face and my wife's face was. Some days I look through more recent pictures and am shocked to see how thin it is.
- The word diet implies two things to me: a) weight loss is the goal, and b) it is a temporary eating behavior. I somewhat cringe when I use this word, since I definitely do not view this eating as temporary, and our goal was not to lose weight (although it did happen). Our primary goal was really to eat healthier.
- With a Paleolithic approach to eating, counting points or calories is unnecessary. On non-fasting days, I'm confident I'm putting down at least 2000 calories if not more. I did count calories one day out of curiosity and that was almost 2500. Since wholesome, natural foods are consumed, the high calorie/zero nutrition foods are takend out of the equation.
- Although the Paleo approach is lower in carbohydrates, it is not Atkins. Atkins advocates zero carbs to start and works them gradually into the diet until a weight management threshold is achieved. (Note that I've never done Atkins, I've only read about it). Paleo allows complex carbohydrates that occur naturally in fruits and vegetables. These non-processed foods have a much less dramatic impact on blood sugar and therefore insulin response.
- Lipid panel improvement. Below are my cholesterol results for the previous few years. Bottom line is that despite eating mostly like a carnivore, my lipid panel was improved after several months of the Paleo way. Physical scheduled for July, so probably around August I'll update that.
2005 / 2007 / 2008
CHOL: 168 / 163 / 161
TRIG: 98 / 100 / 29 (not a typo)
HDL: 24 / 38 / 46
LDL: 125 / 117 / 120
- No after lunch crash. I used to really bonk and need a siesta around 2pm, but that is gone now. My energy level is pretty constant all day long.
- Exercise is a little different story. It has indeed changed. I've tried various protocols that I would have immediately dismissed previously. I could not put my finger on one that I think is best as I'm still experimenting with this. But slow and steady cardio treadmill work is much decreased as are the days of three sets of 10 for exercises. Increased variety in the exercises, both with speed, weight, and actual motion.
Sooner or later, when I'm feeling less shy I'll post some before and after pictures.