A while back I had arrived early for a product demonstration at a local field in Double Bay. Having some time to kill, I simply kitted up and commenced running laps of the football field. It wasn’t until I ran into a friend of mine who asked in a confused way “What are you doing?” that I began to ask myself, “When did exercising become so complicated?” I mean all I was doing was running, and when I told her this, she seemed perplexed and began to question my, simply wanting to run motives. I began to think, if exercising had become so difficult to some, and the way of thinking was to only perform tricky routines or participate in intense sessions that left you fatigued and/ or injured, what was the common way of thinking when it came to food and eating well?
Ditch all sugars, don’t eat carbs, do not eat after 6pm, eat more fish and lean meats, add plenty of herbs and spices, have a morning pep-up drink, have a green juice a day, drink cold pressed juices, go paleo or “simply” don’t eat want your grandmother wouldn’t cook.
The truth of the matter is – we don’t need to convert to caveman ways to eat well. It seems since the dawn of crossfit that the mantra “Don’t eat anything that your Grandmother wouldn’t recognise as food” has meant we’re cutting out carbohydrates (bread & pasta), sugars, grains, nuts and legumes. Now, I don’t know about you, but when your grandparents cooked, they cooked! When Nanna made a cake… she baked that cake so it could last for 6 months in the back shed. There was enough flour, sugar and butter in that thing to keep the family satisfied for months. See, what people don’t get is that Nan and Pop weren’t deliberately “Paleo”, I know this may be hard to understand but they didn’t activate their almonds, they simply made bread from scratch, pickled vegetables, ate seasonally, shopped locally and got their milk delivered right to the door. They may have and possibly still do, grow vegetables and recycle scraps in the garden. And there is one thing for sure yesterday’s leftovers became tonight’s lunch or dinner. And yes Paleo trend setters… it was usually enjoyed on a good ol’ sandwich, and yes it was white bread. Yes folks, the only thing Palaeolithic about our grandparents was that life was simpler, people were less greedy and values were better adhered to.
But it seems now we can go one step further, lasts year’s trend has now turned into, “Don’t eat anything late Palaeolithic man wouldn’t have caught, captured with a spear, picked from a tree, slaughtered or cooked over a fire.” That’s right we’ve graduated and we are as primitive as ever. And don’t worry if you can’t cook it at home in your own fire – pit or wood fired BBQ, if you can’t cure it, dry age it or char it over some flame-cooking device, just go to one of the many paleo café’s or restaurants popping up everywhere where fermentation, charcoal-pit cooking, air aging, curing and smoking are hot on the agenda. What ever happened to sourcing the best local and freshest produce around to create healthy eating options… from paddock to plate, knowing how to cook and knowing what really goes into the food we eat?
Many of my clients would have heard me say, “If it flies in the sky, walks on the ground, swims in the sea or grows in the earth, EAT IT.” I understand the difficulty many people have with trying to eat well and looking to the past for ideas may have some good concepts, but I don’t think we need to look back at caveman to be inspired.
Image Credit: Banksy’s Caveman: Flickr Creative Commons