Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Going Paleo?

Sort of.  Not really.  Not yet.  Actually, we just try to eat really well.  But maybe?

I have a fairly solid understanding of nutrition.  Certainly more than the average bear or perhaps even the average nutritional professional.  The science nerd inside me gets excited when you talk about health and nutrition especially related to biochemistry, athletics, longevity and disease.  And if I weren't such a slacker that is uber focused on my hobby of turning the pedals faster, it's one of the subjects that I would want to pursue a Ph.D in (with exercise physiology second and ethology third).

There have been a lot of individuals that have contributed to my nutritional self-education over the years - Lyle McDonald, Robb Wolf, Joe Friel, Chris Kresser, Ben Greenfield, Sally Fallon, Martin Berkhan, Leigh Peele, Chris Masterjohn, Stephan Guyenet, Mat Lalonde, Nora Gedgaudas, Cassandra Forsythe, Matt Fitzgerald and Jon Fass to name a small few.  Many of these professionals fall into different nutritional camps, but I definitely enjoy their viewpoints, dissections and disagreements on nutritional research and their opinions on the cause, effect and the mechanisms involved.

If I were absolutely forced to label my nutritional habits, I would say that Weston A Price Foundation and I are on similar pages.  I eat real food, minimize processed food (just don't take away my occasional Culver's trip) and the grains in my house mostly gluten-free and/or soaked/spouted.  Perfection isn't the goal, but health and wellness are definitely in play most of the time.

Our grocery bill does get out of control more often than not, but we are pretty ok with that.  If I had to put our nutritional purchases in the framework of "Paleo", this is what you would find:

Some of our typical, very-Paleo purchases:

Ok, some less-Paleo, but very tasty purchases:

I'm not going to lie, I like my wine and dark chocolate.  And I'll be one angry chick if you ask me to give it up.

Some of our Paleo-friendly cookware:

Some of our less Paleo-friendly cookware:

I'm a pharmaceutical chemist, but I did work in nutritional labeling for a number of years.  The Bachnessmonster is a semi-retired executive chef who traded his busy chef career in for a slightly less busy role as a corporate chef.  One way or another, food is has had a substantial impact on our lives and is very important to us.

The Bachnessmonster loves his sugar, bread and pasta.  Take those things away from him and I'm not sure what will happen.  After much investigation and soul searching, the Bachness has finally come to terms with fact that not only does he have a dairy sensitivity, he most likely has a gluten sensitivity too.  I finally have some buy-in to reduce the gluten in his diet.....but he is not ready to pull the rug out yet.  So yesterday I did this:

 1st baby step = gluten free grains and alternatives.
Gluten tests are highly inaccurate.  Some of the more advanced testing procedures are less inaccurate but extremely pricey.  What is the best way to figure this out?  Elimination diet.  What is the best way to execute this?  Paleo diet.  There is a variety of science behind this diet (some strong, some weak, some grey and some not yet tackled).  The bottom line being, if you have an autoimmune condition you would be very unwise to not to at least TRY a strict Paleo diet for a few weeks - grain, legume and dairy free and additionally removing the nightshades, nuts, seeds and eggs.

I offered to do a strict Paleo diet with the Bachnessmonster during my off season.  The question is, will he take me up on it? 

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