… I mean, really old-school.
(This children’s book is coming out in March!)
Let me paint a little picture for you: Once upon a time, our ancestors walked the Earth feeding off the land. They ate the fruits and vegetables they found growing along their paths. They caught and ate fish in the stream, and birds from the air, and anything they could kill and skin. Sounds normal so far, right?
But what our ancestors did not eat are items that are very prevalent in the American diet:
Grains. Dairy. Sugar. Processed foods.
These items weren’t available to our ancestors mostly because agriculture did not begin until, at earliest, 8,000 BCE. That means that Homo sapiens – in all our intelligent, creative, culturally aware glory – ate in the manner I stated above for about 42,000 years prior to the Agricultural Revolution.
This information was originally presented to me when I was studying nutrition at LSU a couple of years ago. We also discussed how perhaps our bodies (and digestive capabilities) are not physically on-par with our eating habits, and that has been detrimental to us and our general health (the development of diseases such as heart disease, obesity, diabetes, etc.)
So what does any of this mean to me?
Early last year (once again, thanks to my boyfriend), I got into Metabolic Effect, where I learned how to eat for fat loss properly. I ate more protein, more vegetables/more fiber, and fewer carbohydrates. I made an effort to cut foods out of my diet, like white rice and pasta, dairy, fast food, and snacks like potato chips. (Of course, I am a human being and sometimes I slip and eat those things anyway, but for the most part, I do not consume those foods.)
Also, one of the reasons why I stopped being a vegetarian is because I had started to work out more regularly, and was interested in acquiring some new and different sources of protein. Ever since then, it’s been pretty easy to feed me – if you ask me what I want for dinner, the answer is usually “Meat”. Sometimes I get a little more specific and say, “Chicken. Oh, and vegetables.” Apparently, this means I “eat like a dinosaur.”
Well, this dinosaur is moving on up!
In 2012, I have decided to take my dino-diet to the next level. I have acquired a few books about eating paleo, including the one pictured above with me and my pajamas. The Paleo Diet for Athletes, by Loren Cordain and Joe Friel, is aimed more at endurance-type athletes (such as runners), so I’m hoping that I will be able to use the information I glean from it to balance my diet for the physical goals I am setting for myself this year (more on this next post – probably Monday.)
I will be talking about this style of eating on and off throughout the life of this blog, most likely in the form of recipes or talking about how to adapt certain eating environments to suit my needs. This is one of those things that I think will be moderately difficult for me, especially as I have less and less time on my plate as I enter grad school. Bonus for you all though: once I learn how to make it easy, I will let you know and you can try it out for yourself!
So here’s to 2012, and learning to really eat like a dinosaur – or, as I guess is more appropriate, like a caveman! As for me, it’s time to go shopping.