Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Exploring Whole30 and the Merits of a Paleo Diet, Part 2

Before I go any further with this series, I should outline a little bit about the paleo diet and the Whole30 challenge.  In my previous post, I mentioned that I once thought that the Whole 30 sounded too restrictive for me to succeed.  Well, Dallas and Melissa Hartwig, creators of the Whole30, suggest framing the paleo/Whole30 diet in terms of what you can eat, rather than what you cannot.
Image courtesy AllPaleoDiet.com
I eat “real” food – fresh, natural food like meat, vegetables and fruit.  I choose foods that are nutrient dense, with lots of naturally-occurring vitamins and minerals, over foods that have more calories but less nutrition.  And food quality is important – I’m careful about where my meat comes from, and buy produce locally and organically as often as possible.
It’s not a low calorie “diet” – I eat as much as I need to maintain strength, energy and a healthy weight.  In fact, my diet is probably much higher in fat than you’d imagine.  Fat isn’t the enemy – it’s a great energy source when it comes from high quality foods like avocado, coconut and nuts. And I’m not trying to do a “low carb” thing, but since I’m eating vegetables and fruits instead of bread, cereal and pasta, it just happens to work out that way.
Eating like this is good for maintaining a healthy metabolism, and reducing inflammation within the body.  It’s been doing great things for my energy levels, body composition and performance in the gym.  It also helps to minimize my risk for a whole host of lifestyle diseases and conditions, like diabetes, heart attack and stroke.