At the start of 2014, I decided to try little experiment: Follow a strict paleo diet for 10 weeks. Test my cholesterol levels before and after.
Why paleo you ask? After all, isn’t the paleo diet loaded with high saturated animal fats? Foods like bacon, sausage, fatty brisket, coconut oil, hamburger patties that load cholesterol straight into your bloodstream? Well, I suspected something wasn’t right about this long-held belief. After all, scores of my crossfit friends follow the paleo diet and not only do they look fit, but they are full of energy and vitality in all that they do. Surely they don’t have high cholesterol.
I’ve struggled with elevated cholesterol levels much of my adult life. Never taken medication for it, but have had doctors tell me I should. In the past, my numbers were consistently in the 200’s (235, 229, 208). My mom takes medication for it, as do many of my relatives. “It run’s in the family. It’s hereditary”, I’ve been told. And I believed it. Until now.
I’ve come to believe that American society is too focused on profitability/greed on the supply side, and convenience/laziness on the demand side. As consumers, we have fallen prey to quick, packaged goods instead of the slow, natural foods (and recipes) that our parents and grandparents used to eat. What that means is that we choose chips, cookies, bread and all kinds of processed foods before we reach for carrot, tomato, fish, chicken or a simmering bone broth. We serve our kids frozen nuggets breaded with processed ingredients or frozen waffles with 30+ ingredients before we give them a farm fresh egg and some grass-fed meat. We have lost touch with the source of our food and depend instead on a giant, manipulative machine hawking fake stuff to us in search of higher profits. Don’t believe me? Stand at a checkout line at your local HEB and take inventory of what people have in their carts. Well over 80% of it is packaged, franken-food crap.
So I gave all that up for 10 weeks. The best I could anyway. On occasion at a social function I would partake in small samplings of fake stuff so people didn’t think I was weird, but for the most part I “ate clean”. Grass fed meat, butter and milk. Lots of eggs. Some bacon and sausage. Avocadoes, coconut, almond butter, nuts, seeds, berries and lots and lots of organic green veggies. And absolutely no bread or flour products. When it was all said and done, I dropped my cholesterol level from 193 to 132. I have more energy and I feel great.
I may not be a doctor or a nutritionist, but I know results when I see them. Judge for yourself (links below) and let me know what you think. And as for what this all has to do with real estate? Well, eating clean will help ensure I can keep doing what I love for a very long time. (And I can also give good advice on living near the best supermarkets and restaurants!)