Physical health, diet and nutrition is something that has always been a big part of my life in one form or another. I haven’t always followed a good diet by any means, as I’ve used and abused my good genes pretty hard instead.
An athlete dad raising me on bodybuilding and nutrition helped get me jobs for fitness equipment companies and gyms. I didn’t work out during those jobs even though it was free for me then, but it’s just what I knew, so I got into jobs easily.
As I’ve gotten older, I can tell you how much that not taking care of yourself stuff can catch up to you, and quickly! I used to be able to eat, drink, and be merry in just about every way, but that hasn’t been the case the past few years, and it has affected my business as well as my personal life.
Much of the past five years has been spent actively pursuing my own good health on a more regular basis. Last year, I stepped it up even further, with all kinds of experiments to see what worked and didn’t work for me.
I’ve seen and watched others try every diet that you’ve ever heard of, and even tried a few in recent years. I did my best to live vegetarian for almost two years (technically pescatarian because I still ate fish, but fish meat is practically a vegetable).
There were many reasons why that just didn’t work for me.
After hearing Andrew over at Evolvify mention Paleo several times, I started looking into it a bit more. It goes by several names and detail changes, depending on who is talking about it. Some call it the Hunter-Gatherer diet, Robb Wolf and Dr. Cordain call it Paleo, whereas Mark Sisson‘s style differs slightly and he calls it Primal. The media likes to mockingly call it the caveman diet.
All I know is that it works well.
The first serious reading I did about it came when Tim Ferriss posted an excerpt from Robb Wolf’s book on his blog. I picked up Tim’s 4-Hour Body book when it came out, and decided to try his “Slow-Carb Diet” experiment.
I had done a bit of research on the ideas he talked about in there, mostly through Wolf and Sission. Tim’s book laid it out pretty basic, despite not being fully paleo. It was easy to follow and never left me feeling hungry. I lost weight without really trying and noticed immediate improvement in several areas I hadn’t even thought about being diet-related.
Things like skin issues and respiratory problems I’d developed. My blood pressure went down to lower than it had ever been, and my super-high cholesterol dropped down to well withing the “normal” range despite eating as many as 9 eggs a day (nine was an unusual day, but I eat at least 2 a day).
Remember when I said I abused my body for a long time? I smoked for 25 years. I quit years ago when I started having respiratory issues. Quitting didn’t seem to change them at all. A year or so later I started gaining weight, and the breathing problems got worse, which I attributed to getting fatter.
Partially right. When I took grains and sugars out of my diet, my breathing cleared up like I’d never had an issue on about the third day. Just gone. Even before the weight started dropping off.
After a short time, I tried removing other foods, and really began experimenting with different food effects. I have it pretty well dialed in now, so that I know when I eat any particular food, how my body is going to react to it.
I’ve still got a ways to go, and am not going to turn this into a fitness blog, but I’ve been doing this for a year now, and wanted to put the information out there in case others are struggling with weight, fitness, physical vibrance, or other health issues. There is a lot of good information out there, and you can get started with some of the links included in this post.
Do you have any experience with a Paleo diet or Primal lifestyle? Let me know if you have any questions below.