Monday, May 27, 2013

Blog One Year Later

   As I approach my second Paleo anniversary in August, there is another anniversary to report and celebrate this month; FewPaleoThoughts (my humble little blog) is one year old this month. A year ago, I started this blog mainly for my friends and family to teach them the basics of Paleo and give them inspiration by chronicling my Paleo journey. I am a bit disappointed that many of my friends are not doing the Paleo and many have simply stopped or gone back to eating breads and grains. However, there are few friends who are sticking with the diet and are seeing its benefits. A friend has seen his allergies completely disappear. Usually, he would walk around with a mask in the spring season to avoid the pollens, he is reporting that his allergies have completely disappeared. He has also shed 28 pounds, and is reporting that he has not taken his diabetes (Glucophage) and cholesterol medicine (statins) in months. I have another friend who tried Paleo on and off for the past two years, and he is reporting that his allergies did not come back this year. Even though he has not been Paleo but his allergies still diminished. He normally walked around with a antihistamine inhaler in the allergy season. I realize these anecdotes are not real science and will never stand the scrutiny of real science, but there is some merit to these anecdotes. These anecdotes should make us think and by seeing the results in front of us should trigger some investigative curiosity in us.

   A year ago, I visited my family in Boston and was met with immediate disapproval of my Paleo lifestyle, but how the tide has turned. Couple of weeks ago, I saw my father who is being told by his doctor that he needs to take a daily insulin injection. The diabetes medicine that he has been taken for years is not effective any more. Over the last several years, the doctors have been increasing the dosage of diabetes medicine to lower his blood sugar, so he can enjoy his wheat toast. Of course, with any medicine or recreational drug, the slow increase in dosage simply leads to that medicine/drug becoming ineffective on smaller dosage. That is why a drug addict always needs a bigger hit as his addiction progresses. The users of allopathic medicine experience the same fate. I once again told my father about the Paleo and told him to reduce or eliminate simple carbs, sugars, legumes, and grains from his diet. The fear of taking an injection daily made him listen and he is willing to try. It is amazing that doctors tell their patients to eat whole wheat toast and egg whites yet, diabetes and high cholesterol cases continue to climb.

   It is very common to see young children diagnosed with diabetes these days. When on road trips, we end up stopping at mini marts attached with gas stations. The mini marts are exploding with junk foods and sugary drinks. Of course, everything in the store is super sized. You can buy a 12 ounce can of Coke, but the better deals are always for the bigger sizes. My kids end up getting some kind of sport drink or Arizona tea. These bottles are huge and easily contain about three servings. My fourteen years old nephew can easily down a large Arizona tea or huge bottle of Power Ade in one sitting. Luckily he is very active and plays sports, but you can easily imagine that a child who eats a bag of chips and few cans of solda and watches television will end up having diabetes in very young age.

   There are few good things you can find at Mini Marts, but like everything else in life the choice has to be made by the consumer. I enjoy a coffee, carbonated water, or coconut water products. These days the coconut water drinks have become very popular. These drinks are very refreshing and actually healthy for you. I am also pleasantly surprised to see many grocery stores dedicating an aisle to healthy gluten free foods. One of the Raley's in my neighborhood is converting a large section of the store to healthy food options. This kind of change indicates that public demand is there and the retailers have no choice but to listen to the consumers to retain their business. For example, when I buy nuts or grass fed beef, I have to head to Trader Joe's. This is a special trip away from the super market. If Raley's want to retain all of my business and stop me making a trip to Trader Joe's, then they must carry few of the items in their store. As a matter of fact, I am able to buy grass fed ground beef, hormone free chicken meat, and sometimes even bison meat at my regular grocery store. Once again, it is the consumer being the driving factor behind retailer behavior modification.

   I am going to end this blog post with a great $8 lunch idea that is very healthy, nutritious, and of course Paleo. All you have to do is head to your local grocery store. I usually go to Safeway for this lunch once a week. The lunch has three ingredients:

A ripe avocado ($0.5 in season) ($1-1.50 off season)

Kita smoked Salmon ($4.99)

Coconut water ($1.99) (Sometimes on sale for $1.50)


   The three lunch items are less than $8 and very satisfying. Who says Paleo is boring. There are endless possibilities of creating good food combinations. So next time you head to a mini mart and are stumped by the coolers staring at you with sugary drinks, just remember, in some obscure corner in that very store, there is a coconut water waiting for you. The good things require a little bit more hard work.

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