I’ve been on a paleo diet for 9 months. No grain. No legumes. No dairy. No fun.
It’s been one big-fanny experiment. And now I’m tired of it. I’m tired of having to defend it.
Socializing with other humans almost always involves food and I’m tired of having to explain why I’ve chosen to try out this diet. A waiter at a restaurant was the person who helped me define this choice as he was privy to dialogue at lunch one day. Upon declining the bread basket and specifying no cheese, please, on my Cobb salad, I was immediately grilled by my dining companions as to why on earth I was on a diet. I had to explain that I was choosing not to include certain things – grain, legumes, dairy – to see if it makes a difference in my health, vitality and over all well-being. “Yeah”, said the waiter. “She’s making a lifestyle choice.” And lo and behold, that’s all it took to diffuse the dialogue. My fellow diners sank back into the booth, satisfied, since it wasn’t a diet anymore but a “lifestyle.”
Until then when asked why I was passing on the pizza and having, yet another, salad, I felt obligated to explain my food choices and I had no quick answer. For some folks, “I’m trying to stave off disease and the indignities that accompany old age” is just not a good enough explanation. Raised eyebrows compelled me to further defend my dietary experiment and I am just getting sick and tired of talking about it. I’m a person who likes to explain something in 10 words or less and it’s just downright impossible to describe paleo to the uninitiated without going way over the 10 word rule.
Explaining to my mother why I haven’t had grits in 9 months takes the 10 word limit, stomps it to a pulp and slings it out the window. In her opinion not eating grits is totally unthinkable and one shall surely keel over and die if one doesn’t eat grits at least every other day. That, coupled with her utter inability to understand my husband’s gluten intolerance is pushing her toward dementia. She. just. does. not. get. it. Defending my “lifestyle” to this otherwise intelligent woman just slap wears me out, especially since I have to re-defend it every time I see her. No wonder I dropped 12 pounds like a sack of potatoes! I burned up thousands of calories just talking!
Other than the weight loss I’ve noticed no changes of any significance. My energy level is the same. My sleep patterns are the same … nothing else very noticeable. Except for one thing; I’ve become a very boring cook. Therefore, I have become a very boring person. For me, I am what I cook. The kitchen used to be my studio where I produced art. Now I avoid my kitchen. Paleo has strict rules. Rules have no place in a studio. There is dust on my countertops.
I believe following a paleo “lifestyle” can benefit a person’s health. After all, if you eliminate grain, legumes and dairy there’s not much left to eat except vegetables and protein, and that can be pretty healthy. I’m grateful that I’m an average person without health issues that do not demand a certain diet, but now, I’m just tired of talking about it.
As of this moment I haven’t fallen off the paleo wagon, and I may not. But, I am dusting the kitchen, trying to remember where I keep the pots and hoping the bag of grits I’ve had stashed in the freezer doesn’t have too many mealworms.