New member from Gainesville, FL with questions
Hi folks, thank you for a great and very informative site. I'm almost finished with the PB book, and I've accumulated a few questions. Conventional Wisdom perhaps does not shed itself so easily.
But first, I'm a 29-year-old male who works in the fitness industry and has a very good handle (unlike seemingly 98% of the population) on nutrition. And as I'm cleaning house today and about to throw away my McCann's steel cut oats and other grains considered top of the line such as quinoa, I pause, because it's hard to fathom that although 98% of the population doesn't eat this stuff with regularity and I'm in the very healthy 2%, that I'm about to throw it away because I'm supposed to raise to a level even higher than where I'm at right now? I think, sheesh, if you had to put some carbs in your system, I imagine these would be some of the best carbs you might actually want? Or am I dead wrong?
The arguments are easy to understand in all facets of the book, but "chronic exercisers" I know don't seem to be aging so poorly - I see them in the gym, I work with them, and they look healthier and younger than their irregular exercising peers. Like my father, who still runs circles around me despite his not yet 50 years of age, I seem to look younger than most everyone my age, and although oxidation and excessive exercise are touted as causing aging, people like Chuck Norris (to name one well-known avid exerciser) don't seem to be doing too bad despite their lifelong devotion to what I suppose would be considered chronic exercise. My father was Special Forces, and you can't get more chronic or extreme than that when it comes to what the body has to endure, so I have a little skepticism on the fitness part of the argument contained within the book.
The diet makes sense, and I hope that the chains of the American diet can forever be cut off (I have a sweet tooth and often crave treats). Did you all encounter some of the same mental roadblocks before your launch into PB living? What did you find through personal experience?
Thanks so much, and keep it healthy!
Also, almost forgot (hoping for better memory with all this, too!) what about powder greens like Athletic Greens (such as Tim Ferriss advocates) or wheatgrass? Are those PB approved, and if not, why?
I would highly recommend Gary Taubes's book Why We Get Fat. It really goes into the mechanism behind all of this. The short answer to your question is that you are probably genetically programmed (especially hearing about your dad) to be fit. Taubes talks about this and will turn your thinking on its head about why people are fat and that it has nothing to do with how lazy they are.
Also, once you understand what carbs do to our bodies, you may find yourself never wanting to touch another one again. So even though you look good, I'm not sure that saves you from some of the other side effects of carbs, such as acne or heart disease. I know a very fit 39 year old who just had a heart attack.
So yeah, toss that quinoa and don't look back. I, too, ate "healthy" stuff like quinoa and amaranth for years and it got me nowhere. One month into this and I lost the five pounds that years of diet and exercise couldn't budge.
The grains are considered top of the line by people who advocate grains. They contain a lot of starch which probably won't hurt you if you are insulin sensitive (lean, sounds like you are?), but actually very little in the form of vitamins/minerals/phytonutrients. The dealbreaker though, is that they contain a lot of gut irritants, which in the long run will make you more susceptible to food intolerances and compromise your immune system (possibly messed up bowel movements/diarrhea aswell). Paleo accepted starch sources are yams/sweet potatoes which bring a lot more to the table in the form of micronutrients in addition to being without gut irritants. Foods that are on the err-side of primal are potatoes (high quality and stored&prepared properly imo there is nothing wrong with them) and white rice (very very little in the form of antinutrients, but very few micronutrients as with other grains).
Cronic cardio: My unscientific impression is that cardio such as running up to 5 miles every day isn't going to be detrimental to a trained individual. Doing cardio for an hour or more, or running half-marathons/marathons etc. will most likely be detrimental. I don't think an exact border exists so yeah experiment and if you like doing some cardio and it doesn't hurt you then go on.