Monday, April 22, 2013

The Uphill Battle Against Conventional Wisdom

Remember when you were eating a diet that the experts all said was good for you?  You know the one: high carb/low fat?  And remember when all you got for it was sicker and fatter?  Remember the medications you were taking or supposed to be taking?  Remember how you felt like a slug, unable to get out and move about very well without pain?  Remember when no one would believe that you were actually following your prescribed diet--including your doctors?  Then, do you remember when you ditched conventional wisdom for a more Paleo style of eating and living?  How much better you began to feel, almost instantly?  How your health began to improve, almost instantly?  I sure do.

What strikes me as odd is how despite the fact that my weight loss has been maintained, and how my lab works show great lipid and sugar levels, and all the other benefits I have gained from eating and living this way, that there are still those who tell me that I am going to kill myself with this diet.  I'm stunned by some of the responses I get when I tell people "no thanks, I don't eat grains."  Or their responses when they see me eating sausages, pork, butter, or using lard.

The knee-jerk reactions make me want to laugh.  The first reaction most of these people have is that I'm going to get fat, clog my arteries, and have a heart attack. Ummm, no, no I'm not.  In fact, I've reduced my risks for these health problems considerably with the way I eat.  I'm not taking any medications and I'm able to run several miles each day and weight train too.  I'm more flexible and fit than when I was a skinny teenager eating a "heart healthy diet" full of whole grains like those found in Roman Meal cereal.  I really hated that cereal, but my dad was a cardiac patient and made us eat it nearly every day.  If  my dad hadn't died from his clogged arteries, likely caused by all the inflammation created by eating so many healthy whole grains, I'm sure he'd agree with me: Conventional Wisdom is wrong.  I know he would see what I'm doing and say "hey, they got it wrong." He'd be right, too.  They do have it wrong.  They also aren't going to start singing a new tune just because they know they have it wrong.  They can't.

The fact is, the medical establishment, the government, and they myriad alphabet organizations that push the conventional wisdom have entirely too much invested in their dogma to back off.  They have painted themselves into a corner from which there is no escape.  For them.  That doesn't mean you have to stay in the corner with them.  You have the freedom to get out of that corner and reclaim your health.

Forget what they say about needing those grains for fiber.  There are plenty of sources of fiber, and it is something called vegetables.  One of the few things they got right was that your plate should be full of vegetables.  The difference between their style of eating vegetables and ours is that we can have butter or creamy sauces on ours.  Besides, how many of us couldn't make poop no matter how many grams of fiber, via whole grains, we crammed into our bodies.  I know what it's like to have to buy a ticket on the laxative train.  It was a vicious, never-ending ride.  Thank goodness, I jumped off that particular train and put an end to my irritable bowel syndrome.

Even now, my neighbors and friends who saw me transform my physical well-being are stunned each and every time they see the kinds of foods I eat.  One neighbor told her son about the amount of fat I eat, and his response was: Her arteries must be getting clogged.  Hah! She, though, is still a believer in conventional wisdom despite the evidence to the contrary right before her very eyes.

Family, too.  They'll tell me how they want to lose weight or maintain their recent weight loss, yet they'll scoff at my methods despite the fact that my methods are working.  They'll still continue to eat those grains which, in turn, causes them to eat too many carbs, and they can't understand why all the exercise and otherwise healthy eating isn't working: why they keep seeing the numbers on the scale go up, little by, insidious, little.

It doesn't matter how much you exercise if you are not eating right.  You will never get control of your weight or health if you continue to eat grains--especially wheat.  I still stand by what I've said on previous posts: not all grains are bad for everyone---except wheat.  No one can ever convince me that wheat is good for you--in any form.  That is also why I advise people stop eating wheat first, then gradually omit the other grains.  You can try adding some of the grains back, one at a time, after your system has been grain-free for about two months.  If you are sensitive to one or more of them, you'll know soon enough.  I tested each re-added grain for a week or two, on its own, because sometimes symptoms (like constipation or joint pain) won't show up immediately, whereas stomach upset and diarrhea will occur within an hour or so, if you are really sensitive. Wheat should never be added back. If carb cravings start again, then you should just eliminate the grains altogether.  Some of us just cannot eat any grains.

The issue of fat really throws people for a loop.  Conventional wisdom would have us believe that we need to reduce our dietary intake of fat in order to lose weight or just stay healthy.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  We need more fat--especially if we are trying to reduce.

I consume at least 60% of my daily calories from fat.  The fat comes from butter, olive oil, eggs, full-fat dairy, and meat.  All natural fats are required by your body and your brain.  Most of my carbs come from a variety of fresh, colorful, vegetables, and a small amount of fruit.  I try not to eat too much fruit and limit my intake to a very small portion each day.  I also keep my protein intake to about 8 ounces each day.  No, I don't weigh or measure anything, nor do I count calories, carbs, or fat grams--but after so many years of doing just that, I pretty much know the values of these numbers for most foods.

So, just rid your minds of the conventional wisdom because there is absolutely no wisdom to be found there.  Look around you.  Look at, and talk to, those who have eschewed conventional wisdom as all the proof you need.  I don't care what the diet books say and I certainly don't care what the various governments say: Conventional wisdom is wrong.  The only ones who benefit from your eating that way are the doctors, pharmaceutical companies, and the producers of the so-called food that lines the grocers shelves--and they gain from your illness.

Until next time...

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