A rundown of articles, recipes, photos and quotes that grabbed my attention this week. I think everyone should read, make and see these. Sorry it’s been so long since my last Inform Yourself Friday post!
This post has been a very long time coming. I’ve had it in the works for about a month now, but due to other posts needing published, it’s stayed in the annals of my mind until now. Today’s theme is perception: the way in which something is regarded, understood or interpreted. Throughout my primal journey, I’ve come to learn that everything I thought I knew about ‘healthy eating’ and exercise was based on scientist’s interpretations (and manipulations) of data rather than clear cut results. I followed mainstream guidelines and information – fed to us by the media, the government and my university – only to observe first hand that it didn’t work for me. No matter how ‘healthy’ I ate, how much exercise I did, I was still gaining weight. After months of doing my own research, I’ve come to learn that what I regarded as healthy eating and exercise was actually just my perception of it, what I thought I understood, what I thought I knew.
One major bugbear for primally-aligned folks is non-primal people often thinking we’re going to die from a heart attack because we eat so much fat and it will clog our arteries. This is so incredibly wrong and is the biggest misconception of a low-carb, high-fat way of eating. Fat is fuel, and our bodies love it (and need it). My favourite primal guy, Mark Sisson, wrote Top 7 Most Common Reactions To Your High-Fat Diet (and How to Respond) to help create a better understanding of how fat is our body’s friend, not the foe it’s long made out to be.
And staying with Mark’s Daily Apple (he’s just so good), read the Top 8 Most Common Reactions to Your Grain-Free Diet (and How to Respond). I know when I tell people Pat and I don’t eat grains, I’m either told that whole grains are good for me, or I get just complete silence; it’s difficult for most to imagine a life without grain-based foods. Read this article to understand why we now avoid grains, and why grains aren’t a necessity in our diets.
If you’re still not convinced that fat won’t give me a heart attack and give me high cholesterol – which is actually a good thing if it’s the right kind of cholesterol – then you should read Andreas Eenfeldt’s post Health Markers 8 years on LCHF. He is a medical doctor that has been following a low-carb, high-fat way of eating for eight years, as the article implies. He gets his blood work done annually to check in, but probably also to prove a point: that high-fat eating won’t kill you and is actually a savior. I plan to get my blood work done in the next few months to demonstrate this point as well, and to be an excellent primal spokesperson: it’s one thing to preach primal, but you need to be that living example as well. Now, I just need to get over my intense fear of needles….
Let’s now move beyond the fat. I confess, when I heard about the paleo diet, I thought that I’d have no energy if I did it, I’d be hungry all the time and that it was too restrictive. I had my own perceptions of the diet, but I didn’t actually know anything about it. And I know I’m not alone in this previous way of thinking. Mind Body Green posted 7 Common Misconceptions of the Paleo Diet as a way of debunking people’s assumptions and further explaining this way of eating. I’ve read some other articles from this blog and I haven’t been a huge fan, but this post is spot on.
Let’s move on to physical activity: how much do you know about exercise? Where have you obtained your knowledge of exercise? Did you know there’s such thing as too much exercise? And that too much exercise is actually really bad? I used to think that in order for me to be the size and musculature I desired, I had to exercise my ass off, and that the reason I was overweight was because I didn’t want to exercise my ass off, (I also didn’t want to count calories, but we’ll get to that in a second). I now know that that’s so wrong on so many levels. Crossfit 816 published this straightforward post, Is exercise keeping you fat?, as a way of clearing up the many myths about exercise that unfortunately too many people see as truths. If you are that person that works out almost daily, or twice daily, but aren’t seeing results, you should read this article.
Kinda reminds me of this quote… (which I know I’ve used previously, but is too fitting).
And while we’re on the topic of exercise myths, let’s look briefly at running, my main choice of physical activity. I used to think that in order to get faster, I should run more and run often, and do lots of speed work. I also used to think it would help control my weight. If you haven’t already guessed, I was wrong. Debbie from Live From La Quinta wrote 12 Running Myths You May Still Believe to dispel long held beliefs. I know I used to believe #1, #6 and #11 myself.
On to calories… another peeve I have with regards to diet and exercise is that old adage of Calories In vs. Calories Out. Again, it was something I used to believe because I perceived it as right. And again, I’ve since learned it’s not. I’ve written a post on this but haven’t published it because it’s 6000 words long, hence far too much for a blog post. Instead of me publishing it, you can just read Kris Gunnar’s post on Debunking the Calorie Myth – Why “Calories In vs. Calories Out” is Wrong. It’s a concise look at what I basically wrote, and blows another long-held perception clear out of the water.
While on the topic of calories, if you’ve been reading my blog for more than six months you’ll know it used to be called I Eat Therefore I Run. This was my cleverly-worded way of suggesting that as long as I ran, I could eat whatever I wanted to. Well, again, I. was. wrong. Too many people follow this idea of exercising to compensate for a bad diet, and that’s just wrong. A 6 mile run doesn’t give you carte blanche to gorge yourself on cake and ice cream. Do your blood glucose levels, and yourself, a favour, and read Slate.com’s article Calorie Miscounting: Why one slice of cheesecake does not equal 4½ hours of exercise.
Can I just point out that the posts on calories reflect the science behind primal eating?????
What have you read lately that’s caught your attention?
What’s your biggest pet peeve?
Happy Friday everyone!