Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Pragmatics of Paleo

Originally, dating back to the middle of the last century, diets were low calorie, carbohydrate-rich, and fat free. Nowadays, these assumptions have all been challenged. While calorie consumption is still to be casually monitored, the present belief is calorie 'quality' is much more significant than the arbitrary measuring of caloric-intake. 

Counting calories can be useful if one is fully aware of the differences between veggies and starches, natural and commercial, paleo and pathetic. All calories are not created equal. Some foods are better at satiating our appetite, like fat-rich foods, while some foods stimulate our addictions. In my case that would be sugar and sugar-substitute 'treats' dressed-up as tempting psychological substitutes, soft and creamy carbohydrates. As sexy to me, and as ineffective, as all addictions tend to be.

My low carb experiment has proven to me, there is a direct relationship between the amounts of carbohydrates consumed and weight gain. Surrender to my sweet tooth, impulse eating, means a two to four kilo gain within weeks. Meat and vegetables, with sufficient fat, in the form of coconut, butter, and avocado, works... with only an infrequent carbohydrate extravagance, as in the white rice of sushi. 

Shopping, diligently, in the green grocery, and preparing my own meals, makes a world of a difference when adjusting my belt buckle. This reality of domestic persistence, house and garden domesticity, has become a health essential. For as my weight goes, so does my blood pressure, vulnerability to diabetes, back pain, and a slew of other  old man symptoms too embarrassing to list here. Staying as trim as possible is a prerquisite to senior survival.  

The final foundational stone, to Paleo perfection, is exercise... Cross-fit disciplines, or for seniors, simply, counter balancing the stiff joints of maturity with habitual walking. Paleo is an abbreviation for Palaeolithic... a time when our ancestors ate what they could chase down or grab from the ground, a time of natural essentials. For contemporary hunters and gatherers, paleo makes dietary sense, a pragmatic game plan for staying alive. 

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