I’m almost finished with the book, ‘The Plant Paradox‘ by Dr. Steven Gundry. I am enjoying it, though he would definitely not approve of this month’s experiment. He’s very against meat but he’s also very against grains and pseudo grains, which I fall in line with. He’s also against protein, stating that humans need only 0.37 grams of protein per Kg of body weight. In my case, that means he recommends no more than 27 grams of protein per day, and definitely not from red meat. Over the past 7 days, I have averaged 200 grams of protein per day and 130 grams of fat per day. The protein based fear is that the body will turn protein into sugar via gluconeogenesis and I’ll become a raging diabetic by the end of the experiment and gain a lot of weight.
So far my experience is the opposite. I have trimmed body fat. I had a suspicion by my pants getting looser in the waist. The confirmation came this morning at the gym when I put a weight belt on before lifting. Normally the belt I use is pretty tight after the 3rd hole. Today, I was comfortable cinching it to the 5th hole.
The other concern from the animal based haters is that it’s inflammatory. My joints weren’t achy previous to the challenge and they haven’t gotten achy since starting. What I have noticed is that even with eating dairy, which has made me mucousy in the past, I’m not mucousy at all. I was expecting to have a constant runny nose this month. Nothing, even with the new growth of environmental influencers here in Colorado from all the rain we’re getting.
I’ve had people ask about my strength. This morning I increased my 3 rep front squat PR by 10 pounds, just tested a month ago. So despite thinning and losing weight, it seems I have gotten stronger or in the least definitely haven’t lost strength.
I say all that to bring up a point that Gundry makes in his book…“Is the benefit of changing a diet more what a person is adding or what a person is avoiding?” In his book, he’s advocating the avoidance of strong lectins. Lectins are the plant’s defense mechanism against bugs, animals, and anything that might eat them. They are extremely prevalent in grains but also fruits (if not in season and definitely if picked too early), seeded veggies (which he considers a fruit), and legumes (beans, peanuts, cashews, etc). In that case, his diet looks pretty similar to the paleo diet, with the big difference being in protein and fat allowances. With millions of people having success on both types of diets, is it more the avoidance of lectins (which are also avoided in a keto diet and non-grain based vegan and vegetarian diets), than the adding of ‘super’ foods.
I’ve yet to see a lifestyle based way of eating that encourages regular intake of processed foods. There are some crash course weight loss diets that do but not ones hoping for long term implementation.
Why get emotional over what someone else is eating? If you believe one way of eating is not sustainable for the planet, then guess what? It won’t be sustainable and those resources will dry up and so too will be the people that eat that way. If you think a certain food is going to kill someone off, then let it. Then you don’t have to worry about the popularity of that food spreading or zealots for that way of eating spreading. It may be a loved one but you have to let people make decisions, even if you perceive them as bad ones. But regardless if the diet is vegan, carnivore, or the white potato diet, if people are feeling and functioning better, you can’t argue with those results. If the person is struggling with health issues yet unwavering in their dietary choices, just ask ‘how’s that working out for you?’ Their diet isn’t about health, it’s about being right and putting the dawg in dogma. If they deny it’s a problem, that’s a ‘them’ problem, not a you problem. Get over it.
Be tolerant with others and strict with yourself. – Marcus Aurelius
Random Thoughts form this Journey
Chicken breast is not my favorite. Give me the dark meat any day but the white meat is unappealing (unless it’s covered in tikki masala sauce). The couple of times I’ve had chicken breast, I’m craving something more. When I have red meat, I’m done and satisfied.
Thank you to those that have reached out when I mentioned the heart pounding thing. All of you suggested that I needed more electrolytes and minerals. Good reminder. The water I drink primarily is reverse osmosis so everything has been taken out. And I haven’t been salting foods much because the taste doesn’t need it. Yesterday, within minutes of adding some minerals back in my system, the heart pounding calmed down to normal. This could be part of the reason my HRV readings are stellar.