I'm kind of in a rut lately.
As I take my probiotic capsules at night and my oregano/peppermint supplements during the day, I can't help but think the following to myself:
Before I began living a primal/paleo/whatever lifestyle, I never had to take supplements. I never had GI, poo, tummy, or digestion issues (except for a couple of weeks earlier this year). I never spent truck-loads of money buying a little bag of almond flour or vitamins. But now I am.
I've always believed "if it ain't broke, don't fix it", yet I haven't done that lately. Three months ago, I wasn't overweight. I wasn't unfit. I wasn't sick - no diabetes, allergies, flu, high blood pressure... nothing. I didn't feel sick after eating diary, sugar, or corn products. In fact, my only ailment (if you call it that) was bloating after meals (any meal, regardless of what was in it), which will supposedly be fixed as I continue with the peppermint/oregano supplement. My cholesterol is (was?) high my whole life, but my last 3 cholesterol panels show that my ratios are perfect, and my tri level is "ideal", as is my HDL; it's only my LDL that is "borderline" and from all of my reading on the subject, I feel that it isn't just about the amount of LDLs but the size of them.
I think the reason for me joining the primal/paleo community and lifestyle was to find answers to problems that I don't have. Sure, I want to get stronger, but I think my main problem is not lifting heavy things on a regular basis and doing too much endurance anaerobic cardio.
I do believe in the fundamentals of the PB, especially:
- the existence of chronic cardio
- the fact that modern wheat is garbage
- the fact that pre-packaged "food" is garbage
- the fact that modern society (not just Americans) are not eating as well or are being as mobile as we should be for optimum health
- the fact that we don't need to be scared of eating fats or cholesterol regularly
I'm not denouncing primal living. Not at all. Again, the fundamentals are sound. I just have always, always hated the idea of a diet regime. Everybody is different and thus have different dietary needs. I consider myself lucky to not have celiac, food allergies, hypertension, or fibromyalgia; and, because I don't have these issues, I don't see the need for me to be so strict with what I eat.
I'm not broken. I don't need fixing.
I still plan on abstaining from wheat products, with the exception of fermented grains on very rare occasions. I don't want to freak out because the pre-marinated pork tenderloin I made last night had bread crumbs and parmesan cheese in the coating. I plan on eating a bite or two of challah with apples and honey on Rosh Hashanah. (Hell, I may even bake a loaf myself!) If I feel like it, I will eat french fries topped with cheese and bacon when I watch football with friends this season. I'm going to eat sushi with rice once in a while. I'm not going to bother worrying if there is some kind of wheat by-product in the barbecue sauce at our local bbq joint. If the occasion calls for it, I'm even going to eat ice cream - maybe the stuff made from cream, maybe the hippie coconut-milk stuff from the small vegan shop down the street... who knows!
You know why? Because my body doesn't rebel nor do I feel like shit after eating these things.
And guess what else I will do! I will still say "no" to the neon-pink-frosted cupcakes sitting on a table in my office's kitchen right now. I will snack on pistachios instead of cheetos. I will only eat when I'm hungry, instead of force-feeding myself at 7am just because some General Mills-funded researcher said I should. I will use wasabi instead of soy sauce on my sushi. I will eat fat and protein, tons of leafy greens, sweet potatoes, squashes, fruits and berries as my main source of carbohydrates, and naturally-sweetened desserts on occasion. I will re-subscribe to my CSA next year so I can continue to support local organic farming. I'll keep cooking new recipes and coming up with my own, made from real ingredients. I will go for short runs a couple of times a week, ride my bike with my boyfriend on the weekends, and do some strength-training so that someday I can do a freaking pull-up.
You know why? Because I enjoy these things, and always have (even before beginning this primal adventure).
I feel like I'm outing myself here, but am I really doing anything wrong? Some vegan friends of mine would condemn other vegans for eating white sugar, buying lip gloss that has honey in it, or for dating an omnivore... because they were not "vegan enough" or not "true vegans". What the hell does that mean? Labels are for clothes, not dietary choices.
If a non-primal person asks why I'm not getting a pasta dish at an Italian restaurant, I'll say I just prefer meat over wheat, not "I'm primal". If a primal person asks why I'm eating mint chocolate chip ice cream, I'll say it's because it makes me feel good, not "I'm not primal".
I should have to search for excuses for what I choose to eat, which is what I've been feeling I've been doing lately. I'm done with the labels. Done done done.
So, how are you guys doing?