[QUOTE=racingsnake;266936]I agree on the testing approach, with one caveat. There is good science to show that grains, particularly gluten containing ones are biologically bad for you. That is, you can measure the effects in the vast majority of people. It's not a theory, it's a fact, whereas this sounds like a theory to me.[/QUOTE]
No, it sounds like an hypothesis. Theories have been tested and shown to work. Hypotheses have not yet been tested.
Sorry to nitpick, but the distinction is important.
I have been on and off primal eating for about five months now. I'm at the point when I am going to fully commit or put it away. My struggle to decide comes from after reading a book called "Intuitive Eating." The book discusses many things, but one is how our bodies need grains and dairy. How the author's describes our needs for grains and dairy makes sense to me. However, I have read many many articles on this website, and they make sense to me too! I'm stuck in the middle. I [/QUOTE]
Evolution makes sense to me.
[QUOTE=cillakat;267632]Evolution makes sense to me.
In terms of how one should eat, I tend to apply a fairly simple rule of thumb: [I]Is it edible in its raw form?[/I] If yes, then it is probably ok, because it's been around long enough for humanity to have evolved to process it properly even in pre-technological times, where technology is used here to refer to such esoteric things as fire. If no, then beware.
Applying this rule: meat, check, veggies, check, fruit, check, grains ... colossal fail. I cannot recall the last time I went by a field of wheat and felt compelled to run into it and start gorging. In the interest of empiricism, you may wish to try this with raw wheat or rice and tell me whether you think it is a fundamental or essential part of the human diet. I am exaggerating a bit here, since we have culturally deemed meat to need cooking, but from a physiological perspective this is untrue. With respect to grains, however, cooking and or further processing is essential for assimilation.
With this one basic rule, simplistic though it may be, you could get along quite well from a dietary perspective.
Note that "raw" means in a form commonly found in nature, not merely uncooked. This definition serves to define fruit juice, for example, as unnatural, because in nature, juices come packaged with rinds, pulp, seeds, fiber all of which are disposed of in the juicing process. This definition also relegates all refined carbohydrates to the dietary trash heap. Refining is unnatural, it is an industrial process. The amount of sugar cane that one would need to eat in order to extract the amount of sucrose present in one bag of sugar is staggering.
If you want to refine your approach ( that's a feeble pun, by the way ), the next question to apply is: [I]Is this food seasonal?[/I] If no, then you can eat it whenever you want, otherwise, you need to be careful. With this rule in mind, fruits and vegetables are not a home run, as both are seasonal. Consequently, when you walk into a supermarket where you can have fruit 24/7, 365, this is a distortion of conditions that humanity would have evolved to handle.
So, to come full circle with this, applying these questions to grains, they fail on both counts: they are inedible in their raw form, and they are seasonal, so at best you should only eat them at limited times during the course of a year.
I'm kinda sad that MBMT never came back to this thread. Not that I want to jump all over the OP or anything, I'm just always curious as to why.
So I read that section of the book online. I can't copy paste so I'll summarize.
The grains section introduces itself by declaring the food pyramid the latest set of healthy eating guidelines from the government. (so basically an appeal to authority approach?)
Then it goes on to say the best kind of fuel is complex carbs found in grains. (so... The slightly slower process of turning starch into sugar, in the absence of other redeeming factors like vitamins in fruit, renders them healthy? Mmmkay...)
They then state that chronic dieters and other Americans tend to fall below the gov't recommended six servings a day (really!) and don't be afraid of them. Casually bashes low-carb approaches in passing.
... Yah okay so basically there is nothing here that makes me less "afraid" of grains.
They go on to declare protein overrated and, in a section called "gentle nutrition", tells that beans have special nutritional qualities. (apparently the presence of fiber is the #1 thing making grains and beans good...)
And the argument for dairy is calcium.
Okay, enough of that. I was hoping to at least see some kind of new spin, but to me this looks like very, very standard CW dieter recommendations... The same ones people have been following during decades of the entire country getting heavier.
While I acknowledge that CW dieting does work for some through sheer willpower, it clearly doesn't for everyone and this book doesn't say anything new on that front other than don't be afraid and we always pull our clients off of low-carb diets. Also even aside from weight loss, completely fails to address any insulin or immunological concerns. (at least in this section)
Maybe, but judging by this and the op's long journal thread, sounds like s/he didn't find enough success with primal (perhaps due to not buying the premise enough) and split. Notice the posting gap between August and then this post's "I've been on and off primal" intro.
People that "fail" at primal to me are just REALLY into their grains and don't WANT to give them up. Sure, carb flu is tough and all, and I can see people making the connection of "I don't eat (bad/processed) carbs, I feel like shit, therefore I must eat (bad/processed) carbs" rather than toughing it out and seeing how the grass truly is greener on the other side, that's if they're on this site and have others that have gone through the same telling them that the rough times will pass.
One of my personality traits is that I like to be kinda thorough in my explanations of things, even if I'm not sure whether the listener is being receptive or not. I also like to adjust my level of "smart-ness" depending on who I'm speaking to (read: I do NOT think I'm smart, but I do think if you understand something better than someone else, then you can tailor that information according to what you think they can absorb in one sitting) I get that from my father who always explained things to me fully when I had questions, especially as a child, so I always grew up thinking it was best to get the whole bit, and not just the parts that are appealing (ie: "here's how to lose weight through ditching shitty carbs" vs "here's how to make your body healthy, leading to things such as weight loss, through ditching shitty carbs")
Anyway, I tried to help a friend out, she's about 5'3' and definitely falls under the category "does not need to lose weight... AT ALL" but is a bit soft in certain areas, etc, and wanted for a long time to tone up. I told her how I was doing so well on this "diet" and tried to give her some pointers without getting too deep into the science, and without delving too much into evolution, which I thought were topics of no interest to her. Knowing loosely how she already ate (a strict diet of processed carbs, every recipe being: open box, add water, enjoy!, and living off power bars, etc) I didn't think that it would be such a mountain for her to climb, since my road to primal was easier. I already had a cooking background and came from a cooking culture, i already ate plenty of meat, eggs and some veggies, so all I had to do was remove some stuff and add other stuff (coconut oil, better butter, better quality meats, etc) while she had to go and almost reprogram every aspect of how she ate, all the while not really having an appetite for meat, eggs, bacon, veggies, etc etc... so I almost felt like I set her up to fail and without a doubt that's what happened. She claimed she felt really shitty without her typical foods, and then said "thanks but no thanks, I'm gonna try to do this my way" and then I remembered she sometimes talked about what she ate on her Livejournal, which I also used to have, so out of boredom I decided to check it out. These are old entries from August, she had a countdown leading up to her birthday and I kid you not, everyday she ate the same thing, I feel a little shady sharing, but I doubt she'd ever find this here and if she did, she knows I wouldn't do this to make fun of her:
"Day 5 -FRIDAY
Breakfast- Special K Pecan cereal
Lunch- Three mini turkey meatballs wrap & Smart Food.
Dinner- Chicken ceasar Salad
Treadmill 20 min
Day 6 Saturday
Breakfast- Special K Pecan Cereal
Lunch- Smart food three mini turkey meatballs wrap & Plum
Dinner- TINY gross greek salad
also i ate another plum
no exercise but we walked a lot."
For about 13 days she ate the exact same thing, day in and day out and almost every day she did 20 mins on the treadmill. Her weight has always been around the same, as in, she never looks like she needs to lose a single pound. I have no idea what "smart food" is but I googled it and some popcorn came up, I really hope that's not what she was eating.
It made me pretty upset to read that, but it also gave me some insight into why this diet lifestyle change can be so challenging for people. Clearly she's under-eating, but most importantly for me she's got no notion of nourishment or nutrition, which is fine not everyone does, but it also made me a little mad because I spent a couple of weeks exchanging e-mails with her trying to give her the in and outs of eating REAL FOOD without making the entire affair too complex. I linked her to some of Mark's most "user friendly" articles, and other blogs, I told her to just google paleo and see what she found. I even told her I'd cook for the both of us a couple of nights a week so that she could both learn and have some food to eat so she didn't have to eat her quick-fix garbage. I told her how Jillian Michaels (she wants to look like her) couldn't give two shits if she ever got fit because it would mean one less customer for her (I think some of my ideas were too conspiracy-theorist) and I explained that all foods marketed as healthy aren't really healthy and that true healthy food needs no marketing. She didn't go for any of it.
I never revisited the subject, but I always did want to. She's a dear friend of mine and I hate seeing her stuck in that hamster wheel, thinking she's doing everything she can and not moving forward. It's even tougher for her because a primal diet may at first actually make her gain a few pounds, especially if she ditches the treadmill for some weights, and since she'd still be weighing herself she probably wouldn't care how healthy internally her body is if the scale is going up.
I also sometimes feel like I didn't give her the full scoop. I was still understanding Paleo/Primal principles and I made the irresponsible mistake of pinning ALL carbs as the culprit, neglecting to tell her (at least in my frail memory) that I DID eat plenty of carbs, just none of them were processed or refined, and they all fell under vegetables or fruits, so she just said "i can't not eat carbs, I'm sorry, end of story" ... I wish I had done more research myself or had spoken more properly, though I DID tell her to eat veggies until she dropped and to not fear them, safe a few starchy exceptions.
Anyway, I don't know what brought this rant on, but fuck it this thread was dead anyway, right?