20 August 2009

Why is it so hard?

Why is it so hard giving up the breads, pasta, rice, sugar, and all those other carbs you've learned to base your diet around? I have two theories for this.

1. Evolution Nature simply doesn't provide sources of the dense carbohydrates we are used to eating today, so why do we crave them so much? In caveman times, we ate meat, leaves, nuts, and fruit (only when it was in season and only when we could find it). Not a lot of carbs there except for the tiny bit of fruit, right? Well, our bodies recognized the sugars in the fruit as a source of quick fuel for our body and brain and encouraged us to eat as much as we could find. In direct response to this, the sweetest fruit begun to be selected for. Sweet fruit tastes better so we are more likely to eat it so the fruit gets its seeds spread by you (whether you discard them or eat and pass them). It's a perfect mutualistic relationship with our food. It provides us energy and we help it reproduce.

Honey is one natural source of extremely dense carbohydrates (one I actually think is okay in small amounts) and we certainly crave it for the same reason we do sugar, but can you imagine the work a caveman had to go through to get a taste?

Long story short: your body craves sugar. It recognizes a quick energy fix when it sees one, however our bodies were not designed to handle 100g of processed carbs in one sitting like so many of us are eating. Eat vegetables and fruit to satisfy this need.

2. Culture Ah, good old American culture. We love our meat, potatoes, and bread. You've been brought up around a dinner table filled with casseroles, dinner rolls, and desserts. You've been brought up on a lunch box packed with sandwiches, chips, and soda. You've been brought up to eat breakfast on the go or sometimes not even at all (which is potentially worse). These things are as normal to you today as something like television. When these things that we've become accustomed to over many years begin to become the bad guy, we get a little upset, right?

Long story short: eating real, natural, whole food has somehow become a job and a nuisance and difficult. This is something that needs to be changed on a societal level and it can start with you.

Eating right is hard and is a commitment that is completely your decision to make. It begins with education, then action, then educating others so that they may also feel the benefits of eating "the way you were designed to eat." As I've said before, once you feel and see the benefits of eating this way, you won't want to go back.

I once read somewhere that if people aren't looking at you funny, you aren't doing it right. This is good advice if your goal is to change culture.

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