Thursday, March 28, 2013

Going Paleo

So we (hubbie & I) have been on a mainly low-carb, gluten-free diet up till now without much difficulty. It takes some amount of creativity to find substitutions in recipes (cauliflower instead of rice, agave nectar instead of granulated sugar, spaghetti squash instead of pasta..you get the picture), but it hasn't been all that hard.  Naturally, I thought I could take on any sort of health-diet challenge because of this..that is, until I was introduced to the Paleo diet a few days ago.

What is a Paleo diet? To be honest, I didn't even know the diet existed until my midwife recommended the book Practical Paleo. The author, Diane, also has a blog on the subject. In short, it's a full-fat, omnivorous diet that avoids all legumes, all grains, and all factory-processed, refined foods.

Coming from a gluten-free diet, I sort of understand the no-grains part. But..oats and brown rice? Quinoa? And forget the no-legumes part. I thought tofu, miso, and soy milk are healthy?? My Asian self is screaming in defiance.

Diane explains that any food that causes excessive gas indicates that your system doesn't digest that food well. Eating legumes (beans) makes you gassy - hence legumes should be avoided. Part of me agrees with her. Before I found out about my gluten sensitivity, I was extremely gassy (chill people, it's a natural phenomenon). After I began avoiding gluten, my system stopped producing so much gas. And yet I still can't accept why home-made soy milk (which requires soaking the beans overnight) or freshly-made tofu from a mom-and-pop tofu shop would be unhealthy. But, I have a feeling it's the Asian culture that's embedded in my brain, willing me to believe that soy products are healthy without scientific proof.

Or, I'm just resisting change..which is, sadly, a natural human tendency.

Whatever the case, I'm still willing to give this Paleo diet a shot.

If I count today as Day 1, I failed already, since in my hurry to get out the door this morning I had a cheddar melted on a corn tortilla as breakfast. For lunch I made "egg in a nest" with sautéed kale & bacon as the nest, and a raw chocolate milkshake. Tea-time was chocolate mousse (made with a sprinkling of refined sugar since I was too big of a wuss to use an alternate sweetener for the meringue) with banana, and for dinner I'll probably make mapo tofu (another no-no). Great.

Hopefully in a few days I'll have the hang of this new diet and maybe some new recipes to post.


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