a picture i took of Slash at Canadian Music Week. I heart SLASH!

 

Lately I’ve been trying to learn more about emotional eating and have been reading a lot about Mindful Eating (google it!) – my friends at Athletics By Nature (aka Strength Box) did a blog post about this recently that you should check out.  In my quest to learn more, I recently picked up the book “Women, Food and God” which is all about mindful eating and how to practise it.  I was really hesitant to buy this book because 1) it was endorsed by Oprah and 2) I most definitely judge a book by its title.  Alas, I decided to buy it and started reading with low expectations.  It’s actually a really good book!  I HIGHLY recommend it if you’ve ever struggled with over-eating or emotional eating (who hasn’t?).  It’s also a really easy read and short.  Don’t get turned off by the title…the book has nothing to do with religion and is not specific to women.  In a very simplistic explanation, the point of the book (and mindful eating) is to learn how to have total awareness and be in the moment with your food in order to get in touch with what hunger vs being full feels like.  Stop and mentally assess how hungry you are while you’re eating.  If you’re still eating when you’re full or you’re beginning to eat when you’re not truly hungry, then you need to stop and ask yourself why.  Usually there is an emotional reason behind over-eating and eating when you’re not hungry and this process forces you to stop, assess why you’re doing it and address the emotional issues head-on.  It makes total sense.

Having read this book, I now realize that following a Paleo/Primal diet is only 3/4 of the nutrition battle…. it’s like Guns n Roses without Slash.   Sure, Axl can still pull off most of the songs on his own, but without Slash it is not the same and you end up waiting 10 years for a new album by the name of Chinese Democracy.  I digress….

Anyways, you can still overeat or suffer from emotional benders on a Paleo/Primal diet.  It is possible to satisfy your emotions via trail mix (i have done this!).  Having a super clean Primal/Paleo diet is paramount, but if you can integrate mindful eating, then you’ve found the November Rain of eating. 

On the contrary, you cannot successfully lose weight from Mindful Eating alone…Yesterday I got roped into another Oprah episode (it’s on at 7pm on time-delay, ok?) because she had on Geneen Roth who wrote the book, ‘Women, Food and God’.   I saw these poor women standing up and admitting that they just couldn’t stop thinking about cake (seriously, one woman just couldn’t stop thinking about cake).  You can see these poor ladies (and Oprah), hanging onto to every word that Geneen is saying and no doubt they’re going to go home and practice her new techniques.  I feel like this solution is a ½ baked pie (no pun intended).  Without the quality food, you’re absolutely going to be craving more food or make bad choices – There is no way in hell that woman is going to slowly eat cake and expect to lose weight….honestly!?! In my opinion you can practice mindful eating until the cow’s come home, but if you’re not eating clean you will not succeed and you will feel hungry all the time.  You need to have both quality food and mindful eating.  Look what happened to Axl when Slash was no longer in the picture? He ended up fat, with horrible hair plugs and no eyebrows!  

The point is that Paleo/Primal alone is fantastic, but if you can integrate Mindful Eating then you work on healing any emotional ties that you have to food which will result in greater success with your diet and happiness.  

From now one, I’m going to make sure my nutrition practices are more like a classic GnR track that includes a Slash interlude….  Preferably one where he is shirtless, in leather pants and has a smoke hanging off his lip.

 

Bring attention to your mouth!

 

A sure sign that you are old is when is you PVR an episode of Oprah and watch it on a Friday night….that is what I did on Friday. I don’t normally like watching Oprah unless she is interviewing people who were attacked by monkeys, transgendered or hoarders. I PVR’d this episode because it was called Food 101 and had on Michael Pollan, author of such books as “In Defense of Food” and “Omnivore’s Dilemma”. I was happy to see that the message of eating real food was finally hitting the mass market…we all know that once you’ve been featured on Oprah, you’ve really made it (so sad, but true). The second part of the show featured Alicia Silverstone who recently wrote a book called “The Kind Diet” which is essentially a Vegan diet and cookbook. I had to cringe at a few of the things that she recommended because she uses soy-based alternatives and also vegan processed foods which is not real food, nor is it good for you (that requires its own post so go google “dangers of soy” to learn more). I did however think that she had one good tip that aligned to my approach to adopting the Paleo lifestyle – “Flirting”. It all goes full circle because as a teenager I learned how to score a guy and basic flirting tips from the movie Clueless….some of my favourite tips which Cher (Alicia Silverstone) teaches Tai (Brittany Murphy) are: “pretend you’re laughing at what someone else is saying” ”make him want you, never go after him” “bring attention to your mouth”.  I swear it works!  Just ask Semi-Primal Husband!  

Moving on, Alicia Silverstone is promoting a less aggressive approach to having people take interest in her diet – this idea of “Flirting”: Take it in baby steps and try 1 thing at a time.  The approach is to adopt one aspect of the diet, adjust your life, see how you feel and then take on another aspect.  This resonated with me.  I feel that people need to flirt with the idea of Paleo…go to First Base before moving to Second.  Be a bit of a prude and hold out on going all the way in order to make it a solid and lasting relationship.  My approach to adopting the Paleo diet was definitely prudent – First Base was removing grains, starches and processed foods from my dinner.  Second Base was fixing lunch.  Third Base was breakfast – that was hard!! I held out on moving to third base for a few months – I thought I was going to die without my english muffin or quaker oatmeal.  Going all the way was when I finally ditched my 3pm Zone Bar in favour of some veggies, chicken and nuts.  Much like a long-lasting relationship you need to start with flirting and take it slow in order to grow into it and fall in love.  No one wants to take a one-night stand to the altar!  (mom will be so proud that I said that)

Some people may be able to do the ‘one-night stand’ with Paleo and make it a long-lasting relationship.  If you can do that, then good for you!  Seriously, I admire that.  That would not work for me – what did work was taking it slow and doing 1 thing at a time.  The Paleo diet is a lifestyle change and it requires you to marry the concept and be committed to it for the rest of your life in order for you to fully thrive and live healthy.  I’d rather have someone take it slow and in baby steps successfully then go all the way fast, get freaked out because you’re afraid you can’t commit and end up ditching the program because you were dying without your whole wheat bread (serial dater!).

I encourage you to flirt with Paleo and continue flirting until you’re ready for that life-long commitment…If you’re currently at Third Base, what’s holding you back from going all the way? Do it! Just like in that Meatloaf song Paradise by the Dashboard Light, except you can’t take it back after you’ve gone all the way.