Friday, November 25, 2011

What We Think Is Food

Somewhat of a Manifesto:

In his talk at the Ancestral Health Symposium, Andreas Eenfelt mentioned that he thought that the Low-Carb movement and the Paleo movement had some lessons they could learn from one another.  In particular, he mentioned that the low-carbers would do well to focus on "Real Food".

I know that what I regard as "food" has changed a great deal since March.  This, I think, is the largest key to success with diet.  It's one thing to change our behaviors, but to change our views will have longer-lasting results.

Running for 2 hours on a treadmill, then rewarding yourself with cake is sure route for failure.  Cake becomes a reward for exercise, something greater than food, while exercise becomes some form of penance we must pay.

Likewise we reward ourselves for working hard at our jobs, for surviving another year, for anniversaries, for Christmas.  We work very hard, and often have little to show for it at the end of the day.  We may have what Dr. Lane Seabring calls Insufficient Reward Syndrome.  

We take our pills, our vitamins, and we work out so that we can be healthy.  We see these things as a way to "pay the piper."  We do these things and file them under "work hard" so that later, we tell ourselves, we can "play hard."

What if we worked out a few times a week, and each session was an invigorating hedonistic experience?  Paleo life has taught me to enjoy each of my 20 minute workouts each week.  I have started to look forward to my weekly sprinting session.  I wish I had more time during the day to soak up the sun, or to hike in nature.

It is also important to enjoy each meal on a hedonistic level.  We are confident enough to skip a meal rather than compromise.   We experience real hunger rather than blood sugar crashes.  We eat real food (veggies, fats, lean meats and organ meats) and regard food as being a singularly good experience.  We shun tuna-and-mayo on wheat toast and eat red-meat and veggies cooked in real butter with gusto.  We refuse tasteless Fiber-One bars, and other "healthy" products which are overflows from wood, soybean, and corn industries.

We don't reward ourselves with food, because we already enjoy the full experience of cooking, eating, exercising and occasionally, fasting.  

So, for those of you not yet with me. Take a leap of faith and put down the egg-whites.  It's time to start living.  

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