But for me it was not always thus. When I first discovered the Paleolithic nutrition plan, I was neurotically strict.
No grains means no grains, right? I was so strict that I would discard the rice bowl at the Korean BBQ. I was that guy.
But something always bugged me about the eliminationist aspect of Paleo. Ethnic differences are a matter of evolutionary forces. I don’t look like other people. Maybe I shouldn’t eat like other people?
It’s not so far-fetched. Geneticists know that most Asians lack the enzyme that metabolizes alcohol. (Which explains the red, puffy faces you see at the karaoke bar) If most Asians don’t tolerate alcohol is it so unreasonable to think that most Asians do tolerate rice?
My theory was put to the test the first time I visited my mom after going Paleo. In my mother’s house you do not refuse food. So I ate the rice she put in front of me, convinced that I would be convulsed and retching into the toilet within minutes.
Lo and behold, I was fine. I did not get a headache and drive my car into a tree. My butt didn’t explode. Cool.
In the ensuing months I learned something very important. Rice doesn’t make me sick but it does make me fat. I eat rice sparingly now, primarily in the context of a recovery meal, when I am very motivated to get my insulin levels up.
The main point I want to make here is that I only made this discovery because I started from a clean slate. I knew what it felt like to be on a clean diet so I had a point of reference when I started to introduce a questionable food.
If you want to learn how to thrive; if you are sick of one-size-fits-all diets, join us in our Eat Well challenge. The challenge is six weeks long. The first four weeks will be a reset where we rid our diets of foods that are known to be problematic (think processed foods). During the final two weeks we will systematically reintroduce the foods we eliminated to see how our bodies react to them.
It’s going to be awesome. Register here.