Yeah, it's unfortunate but it's a real challenge. It's been the topic of more than one discussion at health symposiums and conferences. How do you feed the world paleo when the cheapest way to feed people is by feeding them grains? How do we make the switch? We're kind of seeing a natural shift anyway, because it's not sustainable to continue stripping our forests for grain production. But say you're on food stamps, and you want to make a change, you want to eat paleo-it's amazing how you can use your food stamps at the farmer's market at nearly all the stalls now. It takes a shift in your perspective. Where else can I cut back to eat healthier foods? And think of it this way : it's also a health insurance policy. In my opinion, yes grass-fed local is best, but I would so much rather somebody find the best cut of meat that they can afford than eat macaroni and cheese and white bread and baloney. You can go to Food Maxx and get a shopping cart full of vegetables for $20. Don't get a latte, don't go through the drive-thru, don't go out to eat.
And so we can't stop-we've messed with our natural physiological response to food by creating food that's not even food. We need to break that addiction and understand that we all know we can sit down and eat a giant plate of trench fries and way more cookies than we're supposed to and dust an entire pizza, but when was the last time you ate way too much steak, and way too much broccoli? You don't; you stop at some point, you're full and your body understands it's time to stop. That's true, nobody's ever laid out on the couch from too much broccoli. But we've all eaten way too much ice cream and pizza ; we've all been there. None of us have ever lost our cool over a pork loin, you know what I mean? I'm at my most vulnerable at night when I'm up late working and everybody's asleep. I hear my night-cheese calling from the fridge. What can I eat instead?
But bodies love bad food, it's so delicious!
I have a remedy for that : go to bed on time.
We have a dopamine response to food. If you look at it from an evolutionary or paleolithic aspect ... I don't even really like to call it paleo because it's such a trend now and I obviously don't live like a cavewoman.
However, if you look at our physiological makeup, when we didn't have everything that we wanted, then we'd have to rely on what we could find. If we came across some blueberries, we would eat them and they would taste sweet, and we would know that they were a nutrientdense source of food. So we'd eat as much of them as we could because we probably wouldn't run into them again for several months. So we gorge ourselves on blueberries, move on, kill an elk, eat as much of it as we possibly could, move on, maybe find some honey. But what we've done now is, we've extracted flavor from these foods and made these highly-palatable food sources. So when we eat something like a donut or a pizza-something where the flavor profile is super intense-our response is, "this is really nutritious; we'd better eat more of it or we'll starve."
It's so hard but it's a big part of your health. You can't just eat right to be healthy. Sleep, managing stress, fitness, and food. Those are the four keys to health. It's hard because we live in this crazy fast-paced world. Longevity means taking care of yourself, from every aspect. When you're not sleeping, your body thinks you're going on a long hunt or something and acts like you need more calories. So, what's the first step? If somebody doesn't feel well and they want to make a change, where do they begin? It totally depends on the person. There are some people who want to jump in with two feet and be like, ''I'm taking [out] all grains, dairy, legumes, soy, processed vegetable oils-I'm gonna do it all right now, starting tomorrow." There are some people who know that they're going to fail if they do that, so for those people I recommend starting with one thing. Start with breakfast-change your breakfast. Eat a paleo breakfast for a week or two. And then move on to lunch, and then move on to dinner. Sometimes it helps when people just eliminate one food group. One month take out grains. The next month conquer grains and dairy, and the following month take out sugar. If you don't eat strictly paleo for 30 days you're not going to know what it feels like to feel good, because you're still going to be a little bit inflamed; you're still going to be struggling with some sugar addiction, some carb addiction. If you finally get to the point where you're totally paleo, you've got to do it for 30 days before you start adding things back in. Because you won't know what it feels like to feel good. My approach is, however you get there, you need to really try it for at least 30 days. Maybe 60. You'll start to feel noticeable differences-digestion will be better, or migraines will be gone, or eczema is cleared up, or your insomnia will be gone. There are lists and lists of stuff that improve. You just gotta suck it up and do it.
via Pedro Lourenco on Tumblr
That's why I've written the books that I've written. Everyday Paleo is like a guidebook; it tells you how to get started. Everything is laid out for people because it's overwhelming at first. Tell me about the new book already-are you Italian? Cuz I'm Italian and I admit that I was skeptical. Nope, not even a lick. It's been a culmination of things; I wanted to travel and learn about other lifestyles, other cultures. European cultures are so much closer to a healthier lifestyle than we are; they rest, they take things a lot easier than we do, their work hours are more sane, they take better care of their mothers, their children. There's an Italian-food restaurant in every state in America. It's a huge part of our own culture here. So it felt like it was a great way to kick off the series. Learning how Italian people approach their food has been so enlightening and cool and amazing. The trip was unreal. We tried to go to places that weren't super touristy, and [went] to work with farmers and Michelin-star chefs. Italians eat foods that are really fresh and close to the source, and not giant plates of pasta with every meal or slabs and slabs of bread. You don't see problems like celiac's disease in smaller places, but in the big cities, gluten-free stores are everywhere. So when I was discussing the style of cooking that I was doing, they totally got it right away; it was pretty cool. I felt like we had that really authentic experience, and when we got back home we could be really true to the regions that we went to. It was an amazing journey. I learned so much about food and people. And then we just came back from Thailand so, the second book will be Thai cuisine. So what's your secret snack? What's your night-cheese? You're going to hate my answer. I don't eat at night. Sorry. Mark to the rescue: What about salami with bruschetta, plantain chips, slices of cucumber, put a little salt on it, eat it with the bruschetta or salsa? Green olives, black olives, pickles, artichoke hearts ... if you have a glass of wine, hey; work it off the next day and get things in balance. Snack time is the hardest for me at night so just, you know, make healthy choices at the store that can still be really tasty, and have that salty or crunchy or sweet flavor. If you're not eating a ton of it and you're exercising the next day and leading a balanced life, it's ok. Maybe don't drink the whole bottle of wine; maybe have a sparkling water. You'll still be able to help that craving. You also gotta have the No-Potato salad. It's better than potato salad and I'm not just saying that. Little things like those satisfy those cravings. And figuring out how to make homemade mayonnaise changed my world.
For more ideas, check out everydaypaleo.com. Be sure to make Brother Mark's badass paleo tamales. And pick up Sarah's new book, Paleo Around the World: Italian Cuisine. Also be sure to check out the video of Sarah cooking in my kitchen! She wrecked my honey. It's what she does.
It really helps to have a plan, and it helps to have support.
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SEPTEMBER 16 - SEPTEMBER 22, 2013