Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A Little Pinch of This, a Dollop of That

Photo:  Macleans
I've been doing a cross between a WAPF/Primal/Paleo/GAPS style of eating for a long time now.  Whatever it's called, it's low on the carbs, void of nuts and grains, ample with cultured and fermented foods, and full of pastured animal products and healthy fats (no thanks to the refined veggie oils). I've lately been entertaining the idea of changing things up a bit by dropping the raw cheese (especially now that I finally clued-in that my favourite organic, raw cheese brand is coming from cows that are being fed grain which likely includes corn and soy). I don't think the cheese is really adding anything to my nutrition. In fact, the cheese is likely the culprit behind my stalled weight loss. Sigh..

I like WAPF for its focus on healthy fats, grass-fed meats, fermented and cultured foods, and on the quality of the food.  I also greatly admire and respect the support they show local, small scale farmers. Where I have a divergence in opinion is on the consumption of grains and nuts. I'm not a fan of either and don't understand how a food that needs such preparation to rid them of their 'anti-nutrients' can really be all that great for me. WAPF is also way too high in carbs for me.

Primal/Paleo eating is probably closest to how I eat right now with the exception of the aforementioned cheese. I also consume cultured dairy products which I attribute to my healing from leaky guy syndrome. While not emphasized on some versions of paleo/primal style eating, I think that cultured and fermented foods are integral to health. There can be a wide variation of opinions on the so-called "caveman diet" about the amount of fat one should consume with some touting low-fat meat, others suggesting we need plenty o' fat. There can also be the tendency to start making all sorts of little treats out of nuts and other goodies in the name of being 'primal'. That can be a problem.

GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome diet) was a God-send to me when I was dealing with that ole leaky gut of mine. I learned about the power of healing foods and it reconfirmed, for me, the magic of bone broth. Bone broth remains an integral part of our diets to this day. It was while on GAPS that I realized how negatively grains had been impacting our health. If you are suffering from any digestive issues or health ailments, I strongly recommend investigating the GAPS diet.

Suffice it to say that I don't think we can go wrong when we observe how our food is making us feel. Ask yourself if you are stronger/leaner/healthier/clear-minded/calm/happy when you eat certain foods. I don't think that there's a person on this planet that wouldn't benefit from dropping the sugars (in all of their magical forms) and refined foods from their diets. That's always the easiest place to start. After that, things get a little more personal.

Macleans recently did a decent story on a Paleo type way of eating, "Cavemen Who Walk Among Us".

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