Saturday, November 27, 2010

There is no such thing as will power. There is only the quality of what you are eating.

A quote from Jerry Seinfeld goes: “There is no such thing as an attention span. There is only the quality of what you are viewing.”*
My version of this is: There is no such thing as will power. There is only the quality of what you are eating.

For me, high quality food is not merely good for you, but it tastes good and is filling. Choosing high quality food over junk food does not require will power.
Picture this scenario- you open your fridge and see some homemade chili, rich with nutritious beans, beef, tomato, onion, and all sorts of chili peppers. And on the counter is some homemade cornbread, made with whole grain cornmeal, olive oil, and juicy kernels of fresh corn.
It doesn’t take will power to choose these foods and to decide not to go to McDonald’s. It just takes cooking with filling and healthy ingredients like olive oil, beans and grass-fed beef.
*“The Attention-Span Myth”, NY Times Magazine, 11/21/10, p. 22.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Did Paleolithic Humans Eat Bread?

Our ancestors thrived and evolved while eating a so-called Paleolithic diet, loosely interpreted as foods that could be hunted and gathered, foods that were around before industrialization, processing, refining and packaging. It’s easy to imagine that the Paleolithic diet would have included meats, seafood, eggs, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds, but what about small amounts of whole grains? Did it include bread?
If you are personally trying to adhere to a Paleolithic diet, you probably experienced more than a little joy upon hearing the news that “Paleolithic Humans Had Bread Along With Their Meat” (from the New York Times, 10/19/2010). Sorry to be a spoilsport- but what researchers think was actually eaten 30,000 years ago was stone ground starchy plants made into a flat bread.
Our ancestors probably ate starchy plants like potatoes, and they probably gathered a little grain, but bread and rice were not thought to be staple foods eaten in large quantities. A Paleolithic diet still involves asking the waiter to take back the bread basket. Maybe you should go outside, gather some tubers, and find a grinding stone.