Friday, April 9, 2010
I've had some vehement arguments in real life with some friends and family members as of late regarding diet and nutrition.
It's getting real old.
The typical one begins like this:
"How did you lose all of that weight several years ago...and continue to keep it off? What kind of diet are you on?"
At first, I would use this occasion to launch into a lengthy narrative about how I discovered that the conventional wisdom regarding saturated fats, animal based proteins, and plant based foods was all wrong, and that switching to a low-carb/high-fat and protein diet was not only great for losing all that excess weight, but also for improving my overall health and well being.
Most people's eyes would glaze over after a certain point. The cultural programming is just too ubiquitous...the conditioning, too thorough. Even with a living, breathing example standing right in front of them, showing a literal embodiment that attests to the very things I'm arguing for...they refuse to make the connection.
I must be lying.
Or...if I'm not lying...well, yeah, maybe I did lose all that weight, and maybe I do look rather athletic and in top shape...but my arteries must be clogging up and I must be setting myself up for a heart attack at 50.
Or, because people that know me, attribute it solely to my physically active lifestyle....never mind the fact that I was just as active 3-4 years ago when I was 35 lbs. overweight and contemplating buying a whole new wardrobe to accommodate my expanding waistline.
So, after awhile, I got tired of it. I started telling people I "went paleo" or "primal." If people asked for sources, I'd tell 'em to check out Mark's Daily Apple or Free the Animal...both excellent sources of info on the entire genre of "primal" dieting.
Yet, I no longer call my "diet" primal or paleo either....because I'm not. The only time my diet would truly be "primal" is when I go hunting, and I catch a pig, and I eat it. While I do in fact do that frequently, it is by no means my primary method of subsistence. See, I like my dairy too much....and dairy is not "primal." Butter from grass fed cows, whole milk organic yogurt, sour cream and heavy whipping cream, and a wide variety of high quality cheeses are staples in my diet. Same goes for my eggs I get from my little flock of hens. Somehow, I doubt grok kept a flock of hens around for their eggs...he probably just killed and ate any chicken that he could get close enough to.
Nowadays, I simply call my diet a "as nutrient dense and naturally derived as possible."
I'm done with trying to hand out the dietary red pills to resistant blue pill addicts.
Unless someone persists, than I'll usually just say I don't eat "junk food" anymore. That's usually good enough. The only thing is that I know MY definition of junk food is usually much different from most people's ideas of what is "junk."
Nevertheless, I've finally come to realize one very important thing regarding diet: the search for dietary purity is impossible. It sucks the joy out of life to be the stickler in the room...the killjoy at the dinner party. So now, if I'm at a birthday party, instead of regaling the room with a lecture on the evils of high fructose corn syrup and partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, I just shut up and eat some of damn cake and ice cream.
Sometimes it's better to poison your body a little bit, than to poison your relationships.