December 30, 2012

The True Beauty of Paleo

I have a farrier for my horses that I have known for probably 20 years now.  At least 4 times per year, I see this person at my farm and he and I talk about various things for the 2 hours or so it takes him to trim 1 horse and 4 ponies.   We talk about many things, but we have a common interest in food and nutrition.  For the last three years at least, I have tried to convince him to go gluten-free with an emphasis on paleo over the last two.  I've lent him a few books, which he dutifully returns and he always said he wanted to try it, but never took the plunge.  

The ponies and horse were a bit overdue for a trim this time around and so it has been a good three months since I saw the farrier last.  I knew as soon as I saw him that he had indeed taken the plunge.  We jumped right into conversation and he told me he had lost 41 pounds, his blood pressure had dropped to normal levels, his arthritis had decreased considerably and any intestinal issues he had were gone.  He looked great - no more bags under his eyes, fit and trim, and just overall healthy and happy.  His only complaint was that he felt so much better that he tended to overdo things he had avoided in the past, aggravating some deteriorated discs in his back (a side effect of a profession that is notoriously hard on the back), but overall, even his back felt better.

He had always eaten pretty well, avoiding processed foods.  An avid hunter, he ate venison and even bear meat regularly.  So the major changes he made were to eliminate all grains and most sugar from his diet.  In effect, he was eating paleo - good meats, vegetables, and fruits.  He said he regularly had eggs, bacon, and potatoes fried in lard for breakfast and was still losing about a pound a week or so.  

The beauty of paleo is that there is no extra cost to it, no diet pills or drugs, no purchased meal plans, no special bars or shakes.  It is just eating real food that we evolved to eat over 2 million years - pastured (or hunted) meats, vegetables, and fruits.  It eliminates grains, processed junk, and frankenfoods.  It is simple and the information is free.  But the true beauty of paleo is seeing someone who has suffered various maladies from the inflammatory diet of our modern age return to health again and pass on that knowledge to others so they may do the same.

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