Hooray! I am pleased to say I have been “PALEO” for the last 2 weeks!
If you don’t know what this term means, then get on the bandwagon and read up my friend! —-> The Paleolithic Diet
Main streamed and “colloquialized” into the 21st century by Loren Cordain and his Jedi-like pupil Robb Wolf through their books, The Paleo Diet and The Paleo Solution, respectively. To put it interestingly, eating PALEO refers to avoiding anything industrialized/commercialized/agriculturalized. (I will expand further down).
The new year resolutions-driven January has been a busy one to say the least. When I attempt to answer questions like how to lose belly fat, how to eat healthily, how to detox, how to gain lean muscle mass, etc, I can’t help but reply, “just google it”. Truthfully, these open-ended questions can take hours to explain. Everything we do is so relative and individualized, a one answer fits all approach is nearly impossible.
Generic “how to” questions test any coaches ability to regurgitate facts and data. It is unreasonable to provide a high-quality answer that is simple to follow, without sounding like an insincere “just google it” jerk….until last Wednesday!
Midway through my Wednesday evening Metcon3 class at The Yorkville Club, I was dropped the bomb of a question: “how do I lose this belly fat (motioning the oozing squeeze of her belly fat)”.
In a moment of sympathy/frustration/clarity, I put the question out to the rest of the class, in hopes of involving others (secretly hoping to have a dietitian or doctor step up to the plate). No luck. Crickets.
Instead of replying “just google it”, I set my feet, took a deep breath, and re-framed the question: “instead of looking at how to lose this belly fat, how do we gain this belly fat?” Critical thinking through inductive reasoning (bottoms up approach) was my methodology.
Instead of answering with a laundry list of best practices (as I have done hundreds of times) with “exercise 5 days a week, eat leafy greens, drink half your body-weight in fluid ounces daily, sleep 8 hours daily, meditate, do strength training regularly, don’t count calories, eat grapefruit, take omega 3 supplements, eat superfoods, etc.”, we worked through the bad practices, aka the limiting factors.
When you re-frame a question, you flip it upside-down and inside out, and are thus able to see it differently and answer it more effectively:
How do I lose belly fat? vs. How do I gain belly fat?
How do I gain muscle mass? vs. How do I lose muscle mass?
How do I eat healthily? vs. How am I eating poorly?
What makes me stressed? vs. What makes me calm?
*Negations of questions do not work as effectively as antonyms.
(E.g. “How do I gain belly fat?” is more effective than asking “How do I not lose belly fat?”)
My class ended up sharing solutions to the million dollar question, while I effectively guided a unique facilitation instead of answering in the “just google it” way or the dreadful “laundry list” lecturing way.
Back to Paleo:
1. Avoid industrialized/commercialized/agriculturalized foods, or
2. Eat Meat/Vegetables/Fruits/Nuts/Seeds.
>Two approaches to frame the process. Same outcome. Benefits to Paleo:
1. Gain energy, lean muscle mass, mindfulness, and productivity time.
2. Lose excess body fat, toxins, fatigue, and negativity.
Two approaches to frame the benefits. Same outcome.
To be honest, I have been 98% Paleo to 2% non Paleo, but nevertheless, I feel as accomplished with my eating habits and choices as I do if I were to have trained for a marathon. For me, the difficulty of working on diet and nutrition is much more difficult than physical activity. Not doing something is much more difficult than doing something. Saying no to baked goods, bread, rice, refined sugar, and oh so tasty wine, have been very challenging, but now having done so, it inspires me to continue forward because of the benefits I feel and see.
I understand there are many nay-sayers to the Paleo way, as there are to any and all forms of non-conventional eating, but if a process/system encourages you to do more good and less harm, then why not? Whatever the process may be, whatever the system may be, heck, whatever the way of thinking may be, if it brings good to your life; don’t mess with a good thing.
>Try Paleo for 30 days. If you never try, you’ll never know.
>The solution may not be your answer but how you frame your question.