Paleo diet

For the first 28 years of my life I rarely though about what food I put in my mouth. I didn’t REALLY need to. Sure, I gained and lost a few pounds, and my waistline was steadily creeping up a notch or two every year, but when I looked around the community I was able to justify it by thinking “I’m certainly not as heavy as that guy“. Seriously, where would we be without the ability to justify our own actions (and inactions) by comparing ourselves to others?! A lot healthier and happier, I’m guessin’…

Then came the diabetes shocker. Holy shit, talk about an ah-ha moment. So…refined sugar isn’t good for you? What! Wheat too? What the hell am I going to eat?

Enter some key people: Dr. Bernstein and his book The Diabetes Solution. He’s living testimony to a diet severely restricted in carbohydrate and sugar content. I read it. It made sense.

Then some good friends Jason and Shauna provided me with some great info and motivation to try the Paleo Diet (aka, Caveman). They lent me a copy of Robb Wolff’s book “The Paleo Solution”. I read it. It made even more sense.

I’m not even going to try and give you a recap on what the paleo diet is, or “what you should and shouldn’t eat”, aside from a few basics. The rest you will get when you follow the great links to people who are smarter and more experienced with the ‘lifestyle’ than I am. The basic premise of eating paleo is to try and mimic a pre-agricultural diet. Think hunter-gatherer. Protein, fat, berries, foliage, nuts, seeds, etc. If you find yourself walking through a forest or wildland somewhere, and you find some food, chances are you can eat it. If you’re walking through the middle of the grocery store, chances are you shouldn’t.

Take a break from reading for a second and watch this.

Alright then Jeff, makes some sense. Do you REALLY just eat Paleo and nothing else? Didn’t I read a post awhile back about the Wildrose Brewery 12-pack you were carrying? Yup, I’m not a hardcore caveman. I’m probably an 80% caveman. I enjoy the odd beer. I also really like dark chocolate (and because I’m diabetic I have to have the 90% cocoa, 2g of sugar/serving kind). And I haven’t cut out dairy completely, although the dairy I do have is full-fat (cream, cheese, yogurt). And yeah, I found some Chapman’s sugar free ice-cream and did a little happy dance.

Keeping in mind that my main objective here is to control the sugar disease, we should be asking…is it working? YES.

The A1C is a blood test that measures the average blood sugar level in your body over a 3-month span. When I was first diagnosed it was 11.0 (HIGH). Normal is below 6.0. I went on a light dose of Metformin and started eating paleo. 3 months later it was down to 6.7. 3 months after that it was at 5.8. I went from being a full-blown diabetic with nurses teaching me how to shoot up with insulin, to a guy that forgets he has the disease on a regular basis. Not too shabby. The “living well with a chronic condition” clinic nurses were shocked.

Do not eat like this. If I had continued eating like this I would be using insulin to control my diabetes. Cut the grains. Cut the sugar. More meat, more veggies.

Some other interesting numbers in the cholesterol department. You’re probably thinking, “with all that bacon and eggs and fat, his cholesterol must be through the roof!”. Not so.

  • Triglycerides down from 0.88 to 0.74
  • HDL (good cholesterol) up from 1.46 to 1.88
  • LDL (bad cholesterol) down from 3.6 to 2.5
  • Doctor: thoroughly impressed, double checked the charts to see what statin I was on.

OK, enough of me. Go do some reading and watching and listening.

The 15-minute paleo primer

Paleodiet.com. Not the most user friendly but TONS of good links.

Paleo Table. Awesome recipes and meal plans.

And think about giving it a try for a month or two. Not much to lose, a helluva lot to gain.

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