Don’t buy what they are selling

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This afternoon, I stopped into a very small (ie 20′ x 40′) drug store in a little NC town. Half their shelves are dedicated to normal over-the-counter stuff like hydrogen peroxide, band aids, and decongestant. The pictures above are from the other half of their shelves.

There is a lot of talk out there about gluten free, paleo, and low carb, and, honestly, I buy most of it. Following a contrarian nutrition path has helped my health. And in my journey, I’ve come to believe that the most dastardly villain of all – the one that increases susceptibility to and amplifies just about every illness from depression to cancer – is not carbs or gluten, and it’s certainly not saturated fat. It’s refined sugar.

Refined sugar in all its forms is in just about all packaged foods, most baked goods, and practically every condiment except mustard.

Read labels, avoid refined sugar, eat real food, and you’ll find yourself needing the stuff they sell behind the counter less and less.


How I got started on paleo, and some resources for beginners

I began this post as an email to a friend who had called asking about some paleo resources. I now receive those sorts of calls at least once per week, and his call finally prompted me write something down in a place that’s more easily sharable. This post assumes you know at least a little about paleo. If you don’t, go here.

Some history: I started “low-carb” at the end of the summer of 2007, a few months after my daughter’s birth. I remember seeing some pictures of myself from a beach vacation, comparing those with pictures from college, and deciding that it was time to pay attention to my health. Technically, I re-started low-carb, as I had experimented with it in my mid-20s after reading about the evils of sugar in Sugar Busters. Back then, though, I didn’t really appreciate my mortality and health, so I didn’t stick with it.

I moved (evolved?) from low-carb to paleo after reading this interview with Nassim Taleb about four years ago. The article isn’t about paleo at all, but I found his occasional references intriguing enough to do some research. The little information I found was compelling enough (and resonant enough) that I got started immediately. At the time, the mainstream still labeled it downright crazy (just as they had labeled Taleb several years before). Now that all sorts of folks are writing about it, it might be high time for me to find a new eccentricity. Read the rest of this entry »