A little background on me: I am 43 years old, a husband and father, living in Northern California and, until recently, about 20lbs overweight with high cholesterol and a family history of high blood pressure and heart disease. About 9 months ago I decided I needed to do something. I didn’t want to be a skinny-fat man, having to take Lipitor, not feeling good about my health and relying on pharmaceuticals to be “normal.”
I came across a book called “The Paleo Solution” by Robb Wolf that completely changed my life. Essentially, i learned about our hunter-gatherer ancestors and how they lived a much healthier life than we do today. Most of this was possible due to their diet which was high in protein and fat along with a significant amount of vegetables and a small amount of fruit and nuts. Think pre-agricultural revolution. What this means is a diet that is gluten and grain free, legume free, and dairy free.
While we eat gluten and grain filled foods all the time, our bodies react to them as irritants (with the extreme case being Celiac) which causes “leaky gut” and a host of diseases including IBS, Crohn’s and even type 2 diabetes which has become a huge problem in the US. (more on this to follow)
I took a blood test early on to get a baseline for reference. When I told the doctor about my change in diet, he said if I hadn’t told him he would have put me on statins right then. A “no-brainer” considering my family’s history. I convinced him to give me a few months and see what happens. After being Paleo for 4 months I took another fasting blood lipid panel and my cholesterol had dropped 30 points! I had also lost a good deal of weight (don’t have a scale so I don’t know exactly how much). My doctor told me to keep doing what i’m doing.
It’s been 9 months (as of September 2011) and I am as close to my ideal weight as I’ve been in the last 20 years and I feel great. I will be taking another blood test soon and will post the results.
So down to brass tacks….why am I doing this?
Well, there’s a lot of noise and misinformation out there on diets, food, exercise, etc. and everyone is looking for a quick fix or miracle pill and the medical and pharmaceutical industries are happy to oblige to the tunes of billions of dollars. The only problem is, we’re not getting any healthier.
I have done a great deal of learning over the past year. My decision to “go paleo” was based on the convergence of a number of books and blogs that fundamentally changed the way I view the food I eat and where it comes from.
I’m passionate about this subject and have become an advocate for the paleo lifestyle. I have nothing to gain from this except the potential karmic upside of helping some people learn about being paleo and living in a healthier way. I want to live to the fullest of my human ability and I hope you’ll join me on this quest for knowledge, health and good food.
Eat well, hunger for truth and speak paleo.