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Posts for: January, 2018

By Dr. Doug Williams
January 29, 2018
Category: Paleo
Tags: paleo eating   paleo diet  

Paleo Eating - What Is It?

Last week's newsletter introduced the concept of a "Paleolithic Based Lifestyle," or what is commonly called Paleo for short. We talked about how the Paleo movement looks at how people lived and ate in the past, and how it relates to the chronic physical and mental health issues of today. Paleo attempts to extract helpful lifestyle choices of those eras and apply them to modern living to help people live fuller, healthier lives.

The six areas we are going to cover are:

  1. Eating
  2. Sleeping
  3. Unplugging
  4. Connecting with others
  5. Sunlight
  6. Movement and Play

Over the next few weeks, we are going to move a little deeper into the eating approach. Today's newsletter is going to cover:

  • Overarching Principles
  • Food Pyramid

Just like I mentioned last time, you can find the bulk of this material in the Special edition of Paleo Magazine, "Go Paleo: The Step-By-Step Guide," which is available at Barnes and Noble until April 2018.  You can check out Paleo Magazine Online as well.

Overarching Principles of Eating

I love the concept of an archway. Archways bear an incredible load, all while allowing passage through to another location. Plus, they just look cool! When considering overarching principles of eating, it can also be seen as a passage way that bears a huge load; specifically, that of all of the ideas and science behind how we fuel our bodies, while at the same time allowing us to pass through to hopefully something more healthy.

According to the Paleo Guide, the overarching principles emphasize the following:
  • Eating real, whole food, not processed products
  • Eating local, seasonal food
  • Eating animal protein that was raised according to their species needs; ie, not living in restrictive pens or forced to eat drug infused inappropriate foods
  • Eating organic food grown in a nutrient rich soil
If you think about these for even a few minutes, it really is common sense!

The more foods are processed, the more likely they are to have chemicals, filler, salt, sugar etc. in them that work against our health.

Just like the seasons change, our bodies change with the seasons. We sleep more and crave fattier food in the winter. We are more active, and eat more fruits and vegetables in the spring. Why wouldn't we want to eat food that matches that?

Stressed out animals that are fed lots of things they wouldn't normally eat produce stressed out low nutrient meat and eggs. That same principle also holds true for fruits and vegetables. I am not sure you can "stress" out a carrot, but I can tell the difference between one from the store that is "forced" and the ones people bring us from their gardens!

We may not be able to get back to Eden, but eating food with regards to its more natural state just makes sense!
 
 
Paleo Food Pyramid
 
Pyramids, like archways, are another one of those iconic images that stand the test of time. However, pyramids and archways differ in where the emphasis of the load is carried. In an archway, the load is carried at the peak (key stone), while in a pyramid, the load is carried at the base.

The authors in the Paleo Step-by-Step Guide outline the food pyramid as follows:
 
Nuts 
&
Seeds
Fruit
Fats
Meats and Fish
V-e-g-e-t-a-b-l-e-s
 
One way to investigate this is to view it in relation to how we have traditionally thought about eating healthy. The food pyramid most of us learned in school looks like this:
 
Fat, Oil, Salt
&
Sweets
Meat, Fish, Eggs 
Beans and Dairy
Fruits and Vegetables
G-r-a-i-n-s and C-e-r-e-a-l-s

Some things to notice: 
  1. The Paleo Pyramid has no grains or cereals
  2. The Paleo Pyramid has no sweets or salts
  3. The Paleo Pyramid has no beans or dairy
  4. The Paleo Pyramid separates out fruit from vegetables and puts it higher on the pyramid
Like the archway analogy, most of this makes common sense. For instance, grains and cereals are pretty much pure carbohydrate, raise your blood sugar high quickly, and can lead to diabetes. In addition, one particular grain we eat a lot of in the U.S. is wheat, which contains a protein called gluten. Gluten has been related to everything from digestive issues to brain fog and everything in between for some individuals.

How about sweets and salt? Who doesn't know that too much sugar also has the potential to cause diabetes and that salt raises blood pressure?

Milk and beans cause problems for many people as well because humans lack the enzymes necessary to breakdown milk sugar (lactose) and much of the surrounding material in beans. For many of us, our bodies fight back against these foods.

Finally, while fruit is tasty, it is also high in sugar and lower in fiber than vegetables. Taking in more vegetables and less fruit can help manage blood sugar and diabetes, along with its related issues. Besides diabetes, diets high in vegetables show lower rates of cancer, especially in the colon.
 
 
Um, so I've read your post and found it very interesting, but really, who can eat that way?
 
That is really the million dollar question, isn't it? First, let me unequivocally state: I DON'T EAT THIS WAY! At least not all the time. The way I look at eating healthy is through the lens of the 85/15 rule. When I was in chiropractic college, I knew that I was not ever going to be Magna Cum Laude (that was actually Dr. Sue and probably Dr. Markley as well!). What I wanted to achieve was a good solid education and, at the same time, have a balanced life. I figured if I could get a functional understanding of how to help people get out of pain and stay healthy, while at the same time do the things that kept me healthy and sane, that would be a good outcome. That's how I look at eating right. I figure, if I can hit it hard 85% of the time, I can coast the other 15%. That way I can stay fairly healthy and still enjoy my life!

A few suggestions:
  1. Pick one thing from each of the lists above (Overarching Principles of Eating,  Paleo Pyramid, Traditional Pyramid) to start working on.
  2. Don't go for the jugular! For instance, with regard to knocking things off the Traditional Food Pyramid, if you love your bowl of ice cream, keep it (for awhile, anyway)! Pick something that you eat, but wouldn't have too much trouble doing without, like changing out your morning breakfast cereal for free range scrambled eggs (you can get free range chicken eggs at Walmart).
  3. Don't try to make your spouse or kids comply. It just won't end well, it really won't. Pick a meal that you usually eat by yourself - lunch is usually safe. Say, for instance, you don't eat enough vegetables. Make it point to start having at least one fresh vegetable with lunch most days this week.
  4. Don't beat yourself up if you don't follow every time. Remember the 85/15 rule: it doesn't have to be spot on all the time, just the majority of it. If you are one of those people who start out having to do the things all or nothing, you are going to have to plan to fail part of the time. Life is hardly, if ever, an all-or-nothing event. You are in it for the long haul!

I hope you found this intro section to Paleo Eating interesting and helpful. Next week, we will start covering some more specific things on protein.

Yours in Health,

Doug Williams, D.C.
Care Chiropractic
Lafayette, Indiana

 


By Dr. Doug Williams
January 23, 2018
Category: Paleo

Happy New Year! 2018, who would have thought! Well, it is here like it or not, and I am trying to be grateful for another year, even if it is 9 degrees outside.

Since it is a new year, I figured I would start out with a new blog series. For those of you who have been getting our newsletter for awhile, this is old news, and I hope it will help you as you continue to live a healthy and full life.

For those of you who have not received our newsletter before, welcome! I would like to say it comes like clockwork, but it usually comes in bursts and series followed by lulls (not to be confused with Laugh Out Louds). You will never receive any offers or solicitations from us or from anybody else using our name. Everything you find here is for you and at no cost. You can find our previous posts and a wealth of information on my blog, Doug Williams, DC. Also, you can unsubscribe at anytime by clicking the link at the bottom of this newsletter. Far be it from me to add to any additional stress or strain in your life with one more item in your inbox that you don't want! No offense ever taken if you decide you don't want this stuff!

This current series is going to focus on what is called the "Paleo" movement in health and wellness. I think you will get a lot out of it, I know I have really enjoyed doing the research for it.

Paleo in a Nutshell

The word "Paleo" has a lot of different connotations today. Commonly, it refers to eating the way our prehistoric (Paleolithic era) ancestors did in order to diminish or avoid many of the common physical maladies of our modern world. Much of the Paleo Movement is accredited to Loren Cordain Ph.D - you can search his site here.

I have followed the Paleo movement, both as a health practitioner and in terms of integrating some of its principles in my life, and found it to be really pretty sound and beneficial. Recently, I picked up a special edition of the Paleo Magazine with the title: "Go Paleo: The Step-By-Step Guide".  I hadn't read an edition of the magazine for awhile and I was surprised that they really have started covering a lot more than just what to eat in the last few years - it has expanded to become a whole lifestyle approach. In fact, it is the lifestyle approach that I am going to primarily focus on in this series; only a portion of this series will be attending to nutritional principles.

The topics we are going to be covering are as follows:

  • Eating
  • Sleep
  • Unplugging
  • Connecting with Others
  • Sunlight
  • Movement and Play

Doc, Do You Believe in Evolution?

Since the bulk of Dr. Cordain's work is based around the theory that mankind has been around for tens of thousands of years and the study of how pre-recorded historic man (and woman) lived, this is a legitimate question. That can also be a very politically charged question! When it comes to science, I try really hard to avoid politics and, in the immortal words of Dr. Teeth from the Muppets: "Hey man, just play the gig, never get involved in politics!"

Interestingly enough, however, how long mankind has been around may not actually be relevant to the whole Paleo movement. One only has to go back 100, 500, 2000, 4000 years (all of which have volumes of written historical evidence) to find we eat and live VERRRRRY differently than we did even  in the recent past. In fact, the approach that Cordain attributes to paleolithic man can just as easily apply to those other time periods.

Whether one believes in evolution or not, the truths that Dr. Cordain has brought to light work in today's approach to health. As for me, personally, I believe Genesis 1:1: "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth."

How is This Going to Play Out?

So here we go! Over the next few months, we are going to flesh out the topics above in each email/blog post. Each topic will take three or four sessions. At the end of a topic, I will be putting together a quick and easy application sheet for you to print off and start working on some of those principles in your life. Most of the material I will be drawing from, and the general outline, is found in the Paleo Magazine I noted above, specifically the "Go Paleo Step-By-Step-Guide." You can get this at Barnes and Noble. They do have a "display until stamp" on the cover until March 26th, 2018. If you want your own copy I recommend you pick one up. While it is kind of technical and involved, it is definitely written for the layman. I see my job as to distill this material  down into understandable and usable chunks. I am really looking forward to bringing you this information, I think really going to be helpful at impacting your  health! The newsletter format is going to be great for this, since it is way to much in depth to cover in an office visit.

I hope you enjoy this series! Please feel free to leave any comments at dougwilliamsdc.com!

God bless you in 2018!
Dr. Doug