Friday, January 21, 2011

My Primal Blueprint Experiment - Week 0

So I started reading the Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson.. So far, it is a very easy read and makes some logical arguments for eating and living the way that homo sapiens evolved to eat and live (at least as much as possible in the modern context). Now I do take issue with logical arguments being anything other than the start of a argument for how one should eat or live. The reason for this is is that just because it seems logical, those theories should be tested before we have any level of certainty that that logic holds up to reality. After all, when it seemed logical that 'fat makes you fat', the entire world went nuts for this and we ended up where we are, fatter than ever, unhealthier then ever and even more confused about what is the 'right' thing to do to get healthy.

Where I think the Paleo movement (which the Primal Blueprint seems to be a part of) has some merit is the fact that it agrees in large part with the low carb movement. The low carb movement has had years of experiementation that seems to back up it's philosophy of weight loss (especially for those obese and insulin-resistant people). Where Paleo and Low Carb seem not to agree is largely in the area of fruit. This is a bit of a questionmark for me as well. I don't know how much fruit one should eat while losing weight and I would assume that it would be dependent on how insulin resistant and carbohydrate sensitive one is.

They also emphasize trying to get the freshest, most naturally grown and harvested food available. So organic and local when possible. I haven't read any studies that say organic is significantly healthier than conventional food, but I don't believe it can be less healthy, right?

The thing I do like about the Paleo movement is it adds some lifestyle advice along with the dietary advice. Sleep and sunlight are discussed as being very important to health and from what I've read they have a strong point on this. Their ideas about exercise is very different from the 'exercise until you puke' mentality that seems to be out there right now. So far I've just read the summary of the advice but in general it is, exercise at a very low intensity frequently (walking, playing, etc), occasionally lift heavy weights (still have to read what occasionally means but I'm told it's at most 2 or 3 days a week), and once in a while sprint. When they say sprint it seems to be a very short all out sprint (5-10 seconds) rather than the HIIT sprints of up to a minute.

So here's my plan for my Primal Blueprint Experiment:
1. I plan to slowly introduce low carb high fibre fruits into my diet. Mostly berries. I'll still avoid the more sugary stuff, like bananas.

2. I plan on trying to get my food from organic sources where practical. It's inconvenient as the organic grocery store near my place doesn't sell meat and the one that does is a ways away but I'll try.

3. Once I've read the advice on exercise to see some specifics on the resistance training, I plan on doing that as well. Since it's so freaking cold here, I'll do the low intensity at the gym for now on the treadmill but once it's possible to walk outside, I'll go outside for a walk (my wife will enjoy that as I tend to beg off walking outside).  I'm hoping that since I'll be doing less intense exercise, it'll be easier to make it more consistent.

4. I'll try to get a bit more sunshine, when there is a sun out there. I don't know exactly how I'll do that. Possibly go for a walk around the block for a break at work when the sun is out. I'll see if there is another way to do that.

What do I hope to accomplish? Well, I'm hoping that a bit more weight will come off but that is secondary and I'm relatively happy where I'm at now. I'm also hoping my energy level will increase, my body composition will improve and that I will feel healthier. Not that I'm not feeling relatively healthy now but I'd like to have more energy.
It really isn't that much different from the lifestyle I'm currently leading except for the fruit and the consistent exercise. I started this morning by adding a small amount of blueberries (1/3 cup non-organic frozen ones heated in the microwave so not terribly paleo) to my almond flour/coconut milk pancake. It tasted good but I was surprised at how little sweetness there was in the berries. Probably because of them not being organic. It's about 2 hours afterwards and I do not have any cravings so that's a plus.

I weighed in at 212.2 and 25% BF. I'll weigh in again on Thursday and Friday next week and see what happens. I weigh in two days in a row each week because the daily fluctuations can change by a pound so I think doing it two days in a row gives a better picture of where I am.

I'll try to check in on my blog for a while, more for my own benefit but who knows someone might find it worth reading.

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