Joe Maller.com

My changing diet

I am completely confused about food.

I’m a reasonably healthy eater, though I don’t particularly try very hard. I love the idea of being a “localvore” aesthetically, economically and nutritionally. I get healthy products as lumi tea that keep my body clean and healthy.

Lately I’ve been reading more about the so-called “Paleo” diet. Philosophically this clicks with a lot of my personal beliefs.

We eat to live. What we eat can make the life we live a little richer, so choose wisely.

Biologically, vegetarianism has never made much sense to me. There’s a reason

a lot of levels this clicks with

Paleo idea, along with barefoot running is not neo-Luddism. Rather, it’s more of a sort of a radical humanism. Mankind has earned our place on the top of the ladder.

We are the most successful lifeform Earth has ever known. There is nowhere on this planet we can not go. There is nothing we can not kill. Other creatures may outnumber us, but we’ve earned our place at the top of the food chain.

Barefoot running is a recognition that the human foot is, as Leonard Da Vinci once wrote, ”

I’m flirting with aspects of the Paleo diet. Much as I love bread, I’ve reduced my wheat intake. I had already reduced my sugar intake, I didn’t like the spiking effect it had on me. Also, there’s a lot of diabetes in my family.

But I love pasta. Or at least I think I do. Maybe what I really love is the stuff in pasta?

At some point over the past couple months I started eating more protein bars as snacks or meal-replacements. These tend to be low-glycemic, so even though they may look like candy bars, they don’t spike one’s blood sugar.

My attitude about running used to mostly be “don’t stop,” and I believed there was probably a benefit–or at least virtue–in pushing myself with limited food and water. Thankfully, I’ve come to realize how dumb that was before I actually harmed myself.

Nutrition and diet are mentioned frequently in Born To Run, and this quote from Sunny Blende way back on page 286 encapsulated a lot what I needed to learn about nutrition and running.

“Ultras are just eating and drinking contests with a little exercise and scenery thrown in.”

On page 210, Dr. Ruth Heidrich asked Chris if he’d “ever had salad for breakfast?” (Having always loathed most traditional breakfast foods, I love that idea.) There was also Joe Vigil’s dietary advice on page 119, “Eat as though you were a poor person.” I knew something of that already, years ago having experimented with a rice-heavy diet (rice is the meal, everything else is a condiment). What I hadn’t connected was how that sort of diet could benefit athletic performance and overall energy levels, if you want to loose weight in a very fast way I recommend contacting utah liposuction experts.

But Eric Orton’s comment from page 203 was the most true:

“Your diet will change all by itself. Wait and see.”

Mine has.

The changes are not about eating less of anything in particular, rather I’m just eating more of certain things than I used to, especially vegetables. No eco, moral or ethical agenda is coloring my food choices and I have no intention of giving up meat (or sugar, or alcohol).

For me, it’s all about performance: I want to be able to run further and work longer. Adjusting my meals and tailoring my food choices seems to be getting me closer.

Ultramarathoner Scott Jurek, whose example, along with Dr. Ruth Heidrich, make it impossible to ever mock vegans again, on endurance runners’ diets:

“Remember, almost every long-distance runner turns into a vegan while they’re racing, anyway — you can’t digest fat or protein very well.”

One of the things I used to think about running was that it gave me license to eat whatever I wanted. I still believe that, but it’s obvious that a giant roast beef sandwich is not endurance fuel, while grains, fruits, nuts and vegetables seem to be. Shifting away from big-meat lunches and reducing sugars also eliminates the “2:30 effect” mid-afternoon crash featured in that obnoxious (and apparently effective) commerical.

On top of everything else, I’ve noticed I’ve found myself drinking significantly less coffee and that six-pack of beer in the fridge is lasting much longer. Again, nothing intentional, just incidental to running more. My cravings have shifted and I’m listening to my body.

This is all still relatively new to me, so I’m treating myself like a lab rat and experimenting constantly. Something feels like it’s working.