I am 47 years old and I am in the best shape of my life. I recently dropped about 35 pounds and about 5 inches off my waist. I have more muscle definition and less body fat than I have had since college. My cholesterol is through the floor. I have more energy than I have ever had. I am sharper; I literally think more clearly.
In short, I feel 20 years younger.
How did I do this? About a year and a half ago I stopped eating things that are bad for me. I adopted a paleo lifestyle. I eat like a caveman.
Chiefly, I stopped eating grains (wheat and corn) and processed sugar.
“Wait a minute! What? Grains?” you say. Sure, sugar is not so great — everyone knows that — but grains are the very foundation of the food pyramid, aren’t they? The FDA says so!
Turns out, grains hurt you.
So yeah, I stopped eating grains. And sugar. I also stopped eating soy, legumes, seed oils, and unpronounceable chemicals of all kinds. The basic paleo trip is to avoid eating classes of foods that were not available to our cave-dwelling, pre-agricultural ancestors. These foods make us fat and sick because we haven’t evolved a good way to digest them.
The point of eating paleo isn’t to eat exactly what our primal ancestors ate. The point is to eat foods that your body is prepared to digest and grow healthy from instead of foods that cause inflammation, disease, or digestive turmoil. And it turns out that many foods we humans began eating after the dawn of agriculture and civilization — like grains — aren’t so good for us. We’re healthier if we stick to the kinds of foods we ate when we were hunter-gatherers.
Let me restate, because I know it’s hard to, um, swallow, but it’s true. I, a red-blooded American man, have stopped eating bread, pasta, flour, corn, beans, soy, refined sugar, peanuts, and most everything that comes in a package or a box. I don’t eat pizza. I don’t eat sandwiches. I don’t eat big macs or tacos. I don’t eat cake, pie, or doughnuts.
I don’t eat oatmeal or granola or whole grain anything.
I eat plants and animals. I eat beef, pork, poultry, fish, eggs, fruits, and vegetables.
That’s pretty much it. That simple lifestyle change has put me into the best shape of my life.
Everything I eat comes in its natural package. I eat bacon and eggs for breakfast just about every day (did I mention that my cholesterol has never been lower?). I eat a lot of red meat. I eat a ton of almonds and coconut. I am never without salmon. I shop mostly in the perimeter of the grocery store and stay out of the aisles.
Many people respond to paleo eating with revulsion. “How can you give up bread?” they demand. “Oatmeal is good for you!” they insist.
Turns out, it’s not good for you. Not at all. Grains and sugar make you fat and make you sick. So do artificial sweeteners, preservatives, and food colors. They poison you.
If you want to be healthy and fit, eat real food.
Note that I am not talking about Atkins or low carb diets. I eat a lot of carbs. I just get them from fruits and vegetables instead of grains.
I also eat a lot of fats. When you see “low fat,” read “chemical soup.” When you see “fat free,” read “filled with crap.”
If you don’t believe me, hey that’s cool. I’m just a caveman. Your modern ways frighten me.
But I do know one thing. A year and a half ago I was putting on the love handles and creeping into the unhealthy miasma of afflictions typical of a middle-aged American lawyer.
Today I’m a young, thin, muscular guy in near perfect health. And that is because I went paleo.
Take a page from my book. Stop eating poison. Go paleo.
If you’re interested in the science that proves that what I say is true, read The Perfect Health Diet by Paul Jaminet, Ph.D. and Shou-Ching Shih Jaminet, Ph.D.
If you want to see more stories of amazing paleo success, check out The Paleo Miracle by Joe Salama and Christina Lianos.