Thursday, May 15, 2014

Paleo update

If you're wondering how our whole "paleo diet" thing is going, I'll tell ya.  It's still going.  I absolutely love it.  I can see in the mirror that I've traded some fat for some muscle.  And my clothes are fitting better.  I wouldn't mind dropping a bit more weight, but I'm not in any rush, and I don't care about it enough to make a big push (such as experimenting with intermittent fasting).  I'm staying the course.  The biggest difference for me is that my thought and hunger patterns have changed.  I rarely find myself mentally eating stuff I shouldn't have, like bread or desserts.  And I'm not negotiating with myself for permission to eat stuff I had told myself I wasn't going to have anymore.  It feels like a strange sort of freedom, and I'm learning what it's like for people who can stop eating when they're full - even if there's more food on their plate.  I am learning what it feels like to be clear of addiction thinking and to listen to my body.

Furthermore, I had a visit with my chiropractor this morning - Dr. Christopher Mango of Mango Chiropractic.  I've been seeing Dr. Mango for a while.  He is the last in a long line of doctors, physical therapists, etc. to whom I had been visiting to treat nerve pain and numbness I had in my hand and arm (history here).   I started out seeing him once a week, and there were times when I would have been happy to see him more than that.  But since getting my sugar levels under control, I can feel the difference in my arms and shoulders as my inflammation reduces.  I'm now down to visits every three months, and my joints feel progressively more oily and flexible.  I've also noticed that my recovery time from hard work is unexpectedly faster.  If you're in New York and have some stuff to work out with your health, I highly recommend visiting Dr. Mango.

Speaking of hard work, I mentioned in my 40 Paleo Days and Nights post that I don't like "working out."  I thought I'd say a couple of further words on the subject.  In my opinion, our lives are full of too much luxury.  We have machines that do almost everything for us, and that's good.  But much of the time, it's TOO good; we're getting flabby.  So then people go to the gym and lift heavy things or climb staircases that aren't there... I say we should do more real work instead.  Take walks.  Do stuff around your house.  Better yet, do favors for people!  When my neighbor's giant fallen tree branch needed to be cut up for our little backyard fire pit this weekend, I spent an hour or two breaking and sawing it into pieces by hand.  It was great!  It was also hard, but what's wrong with hard?  When you're doing hard things, you can always take breaks.  And, then, if you're like me, you can practice the art of determination, because the Sirens always come singing their Song of Lazy, trying to convince you to quit before you're done.  If you persevere, you can make a pretty little wood pile like this:


Besides using mostly hand tools around the house, I cycle commute in dry weather.  Both avenues present ample opportunities to practice patience, focus, and perseverance while allowing me to avoid the gym.  That's Buddhism on the go!

Anyway, it was a lot of sawing this weekend.  Before I started getting my sugar levels and such in order, it would have taken me days to recover.  But I woke up the morning after my sawing project pain free.  Proper diet... exercise in a way that makes the world better... this shit is starting to come together.

Cindy's also still eating mostly paleo, although she bought a box of matzoh for Passover, and she occasionally buys a sandwich or sushi for lunch.  Cindy has never had troubles with food addiction, so she is free of some of the "slippery slope" problems I have, and she can adopt a more "80% - 20%" approach.  She is also keen to lose a little weight, so she's putting a bit of effort into it and restricting her calories.  Cindy is down about 8 pounds from where she started, and she seems to be having a lot of fun.   In addition to challenges, Keiter really likes counting and keeping track of things.

There are a lot of opinions about the Paleo Diet out there - both positive and negative.  As I've said before, we got our start with MarksDailyApple.com and Mark Sisson's book, The Primal Blueprint.  But if you're interested in learning more about what we're doing specifically, feel free to ask us questions in the comments below.

P.S. My sincere thanks go to Bernadette, who found and recommended Dr. Mango to me a couple of years ago.  Thanks, sister.


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