I’ve been inspired to write up a bit about what I have been eating. The long and the short of it is that I’m basically following the “Paleo”/”Primal” diet (since July 2012), for health reasons (as in my goal was not for weight loss).
It breaks down into two lists: the “allowed/encouraged” and “not allowed”. Here’s how I play it:
- greens (love me some spinach!)
- vegetables (bell peppers, zucchini, onions, etc.)
- nuts (almonds, walnuts, pine nuts)
- oil (olive oil, avocado oils, coconut oil)
- vinegars (balsamic, etc.)
- no grains (flour, wheat, cereals, etc.)
- no potatoes
- no legumes (peanuts, soy)
- no beans
- no corn
- no refined sugar
- semi-restricted dairy (butter and cheese are fine for me)
A small rant about the name. Paleo is short for paleolithic, as in the time period. It is also referred to as “caveman” diet and probably a few other names. I dislike this name because I find it misleading and unhelpful. The reason I do or do not eat the above things is that I’ve found it to be healthy to eat (or avoid) the above lists of food. That’s it. Not for any other reason that’s justified because “we evolved to eat this way” or other such claims. I do suspect that there’s something to the idea that grains (not just gluten) can cause reactions in some people like an inflammation response.
I don’t want to go into the details, but I just want to say that I’ve found that following these rules has been beneficial to me. As a scientist, I insist that my anecdote isn’t conclusive evidence, but it might lead to some interesting future experiments.
Also note that I decided to follow this diet after watching the following TED talk and reading a number of resources (which didn’t all agree). I decided that at the worst the diet was healthy (and likely healthier than I was eating at the time). At best, it could improve my health.
TEDxIowaCity Dr. Terry Wahls
Your mileage may vary/buyer beware/consult doctor before changing stuff.