Thursday, December 08, 2011

What Three Plates Of Vegetables Can Do

Several times a day, every single day, we make choices about what to put in our body. For instance, every day that I haven't thrown it away (and I haven't done this yet), I choose not to eat more of that Flan I baked for a Spanish-food-themed party this week. It's calling my name, but instead I reach for the vegetable drawer and a fresh red pepper or celery stalk. Okay, okay, I confess, I did have a piece after my bike ride on Tuesday. But I really should throw the rest away, even if that goes against the whole "starving children in China" thing that we were all raised with.

What is the net effect of those changes? We don't feel them instantly. If we make bad choices, we can't feel our mitochondria shriveling or our liver being taxed. In a way it's too bad, maybe with some more instant feedback it would be easier to make good choices. Or maybe not. How many people have you watched in a coughing fit after smoking a cigarette, but the pack still goes back in their pocket. Unless it delivered an instant electrical shock or something, we humans are very good at ignoring the poor outcomes of our choices in favor of instant gratification (and Mmmmmmm, that Flan is so gratifying...)

Yet day in and day out, I'm reminded of the ways in which my move to a Paleo eating style has positively impacted my health. I'm doing some really hard workouts these days. I'm following a plan from Endurance Nation (who TOTALLY ROCK, but that's a different post) called the "Out Season". This is different from the "Off Season" that triathletes normally follow in that instead of lolling around the winter months putting in a lot of long slow miles, I'm having to actually do intervals and hard hard work.

At the end of each workout, my muscles feel absolutely flogged. I am certain that the next day I'm going to wake up and be stiff and sore and too fatigued to work out again. Yet miraculously the next morning arrives and I pop out of bed feeling refreshed, energized, and ready to hit another hard workout. The miracle, I am certain, involves what I am eating. Specifically, lots and lots of vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and grass-fed meats.

But don't just take it from me, watch this amazing video, a Ted Talk by a doctor who cured herself of advanced MS with a paleo-style diet. Believe me, even if you think you eat well, even if you think you know a lot about nutrition, you will learn something and be inspired by this talk. I have known for awhile that the paleo diet is changing me on a cellular level. I've talked before about how it has affected my healing from everything from a challenging trail marathon to a broken bone, but this explains the Why of all that. I'm also showing it to my kids today, so that they understand that it's not just Mom As Usual telling them to eat their vegetables (isn't that in the Mother's Manual they hand us when we're pregnant?). And the reason it's in the Mom's Manual? It's a good rule for life. Check it out:

1 comment:

Marv said...

we humans are very good at ignoring the poor outcomes of our choices in favor of instant gratification

Ageless truism. Amen Robin