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One Man’s Quest for Paleo

Published on March 27, 2013 by in Healthy Eating

I have been reading a lot about Paleo eating lately. Without having a lot of knowledge on the subject, I was at first skeptical about it. Who are these grainless folk, and why do they hate my bread?! Okay, I wasn’t that ignorant, but I still wondered about the science behind the whole Paleo way of eating. Should people really eat this way?

So I picked up The Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson – I know there are probably some people that view Primal not as Paleo, whatever – and I began to read away. Furthermore I have read the works of Dr. Joseph Mercola and his reasoning behind grain-free eating. Long story, short:  I like what I see. I’m in. Where do I sign up?

Well, almost. I would love to stock my kitchen with nothing but fresh veggies by taking a trip to the market several times a week and also fill my fridge/freezer with pasture-raised meats and wild-caught fish. I have one problem. The nearest farm and/or orchard is a short 4 hour plane ride (that’s $500 in middle-class lingo) from where I live. No running down to Whole Foods 2 or 3 times per week for me. I live in Kotlik, Alaska (Google it), and while I have my share of good quality meat (moose, local fish, occasionally native fowl, and some organic fare picked up in Anchorage), still most of the food I buy needs to be shelf-stable, i.e. canned, boxed, sealed.

So here I stand. I really want to try the Primal plan, fully, ditchin’ the grains; mainly because I have hit the same plateau I have been at for years – 10-12% body fat. I know, things could be worse.

For now I am going to try to go “grain-light”, or Primal-ish, or Almost-Paleo. I am going to try to stick with mostly pseudo grains (quinoa, buckwheat) and maybe some wild rice. I don’t realistically see another way. The good news is I can fulfill my Paleo/Primal dream in about 45 days when I make way for the “Lower 48” for a 3-month vacation.

I am still not 100% convinced that grains are the food of Satan (reference: the Bible). When I think of really freakishly fit and ripped people a couple of names come to mind: Jack LaLanne and Bruce Lee, both grain eaters in their time as far as I know, both with like .5% body fat in their heyday. Then again my training regimen does not involve 2-finger push-ups and swimming from Alcatraz to San Francisco. But there also is my grandfather – in his mid-90’s still chomping down Cheerios, and his training regimen of the past 20-30 year includes walking, swimming, and yard work.

So are grains that bad? I don’t know…

I guess I will find out in about 45 days. This will be a time where I can eat multi-colored salads daily, fresh in-season fruits, a rainbow of other veggies, and be real selective on my meat choices. I’ll see then if I can break the double-digit body fat realm by eating Primal/Paleo. I’ll then be using the #paleo #primal lingo on Twitter like all the cool kids.

Until then,

Glen (a.k.a. “Desperately Seeking Salad”, Grain Apologist)

If you have any tips or Paleo/Primal ideas for the salad-deprived, comment away…

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