What makes a person truly healthy? Being a yoga instructor who is obsessed with cookbooks, spreadsheets, and vegetables this subject comes up often as I’m cooking aromatic deliciousness in my work kitchen, feeding my friends vegan fare, teaching yoga, and constantly reading and trying new ways to improve my health. I like yoga, flexi-vegan eating, bicycling, fresh air, meditation, and good peeps in my life. One thing is fo’ sho’, it’s very personal. Way more personal than asking someone what they do for work or play. You cannot tell someone how they should eat or how they should exercise. You cannot think your way of eating is better than someone else’s. People will sense it and get that twitch in their eye. People seem to shudder at the tiniest thought that they can’t eat bacon, or whatever else it is that they are very loyal to that you aren’t eating. Tread lightly when discussing food my friends, people get crazy! Maybe it’s leftover from our feast or famine days.
On that note, my friend Jesse is taking health to yet a whole new level. Jesse actually got blood work done before embarking on the Paleo Diet this last week. He is one of the most active people I know, and I really appreciate the way he’s embarking on his adventure so I asked him to share it on my blog. I am going to do the same, get blood work, kick up the vegan diet, and see how it fares in comparison to the Paleo way of eating. Interesting it shall be.
Jesse’s Paleo Experiment – Week 1
Searching through my fridge Saturday morning I never thought it would come to this; Brussels sprouts for breakfast. Meal planning ahead of time is crucial. Oh well, lesson learned the hard way.
I’m five days into a planned experiment to test the effects of a rather extreme diet. No grains, legumes, or dairy. “Paleo” is the in vogue term for this diet. For 30 days I will have absolute compliance to the rules laid out in a book I read late last year called “The Paleo Solution.”
The Paleo diet is based on the theory that humans were better off eating what they could hunt and gather. The agriculture revolution 10,000 years ago caused a serious decrease in overall health with an increase in degenerative disease such as cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. This all sounds like crazy talk which is what initially sparked my interest. I mean, bread is the foundation of our government sponsored food pyrimid!
Why am I doing this? To increase overall health and wellbeing is the all encompassing answer; but really, I’m just curious to see what happens.
How am I doing this? By eating lots of veggies, fruits, nuts, meats, and wine. By not eating bread, beans, rice, ice cream, beer, and whiskey.
How am I tracking results? This part has a subjective and objective side. The subjective side is pretty easy and involves some simple self assessment. Do I feel better overall than usual? Am I sleeping well? Do I have more energy than usual? The objective side is a bit harder. I am getting before and after blood work to track cholesterol, triglycerides, inflammation, and blood sugar levels. I am tracking weight and body fat percentage daily although weight loss or gain is not a goal. Lastly I am tracking the circumference of my waist, hips, arms, and legs.
Do I blindly believe this change in diet will live up to all it’s claims? Nope. I’m totally skeptical hence the experiment. Time will tell.