I WANT to go Paleo, but..

I WANT to go Paleo. Really, I do.

I think it's a fantastic method of eating. If you cut out anything processed, and focus your food on plants and animals, you can't help but eat clean. I think the Paleo food prescription is more descriptive and defined than simply saying "eat clean." Eating Paleo will ensure you don't eat crap or get confused, because it either is food or isn't.

Paleo makes sense. We share 98% of our genome with chimpanzees. How do they eat? They're omnivores, so it's lots of plant matter, some small mammals, occasional eggs, and insects. The genes that differ in us deal mostly with structure: our jaws and larynx shape that allow speech, our muscle type, our larger brains, our upright skeletal structure. Very little, if any, of that genetic difference is involved in digestion and metabolism, we'd be better served eating insects than the stuff we call "food" today.

But I'm weak and like my food freedoms…

Have you ever explored, perhaps dabbled in religion, left it, then tried to go back? I have (duh, I'm from Texas). It's hard. You initially give it a whirl because you want to improve your quality of life. Then you fall off the train for whatever reason. Then something inspires you to try again but you've gotten used to the freedoms. Especially having given up certain freedoms, they are all that much sweeter to have back.

Any sort of serious lifestyle diet is similar.

Not saying you have to be some zealot to do Paleo. I was pretty Paleo (with the addition of milk after judo practice) for much of the time I did CrossFit. I was in the gym for an hour a day, doing judo four times a week, capoeira twice a week, plus the occasional rock climbing at the gym. I recovered fast, constantly had energy, was six-pack lean, and continually made progress in strength and speed. My diet undoubtedly had a hand in being able to handle all of that.

But then I fell off the wagon. I moved to California and began competing in weightlifting. When I moved up a weight class, I realized at the level I was training, I could eat nearly anything I wanted and not put on excess fat. And while I KNOW that cleaning things up could really assist me in recovery and progress AND vanity, being on this see-food diet is really fun.

So, I'm going to take a whack at it. I'm going to try to get back to the diet I had as a judo player (Paleo plus milk). I'm reading The Paleo Diet for Athletes, and while I'm upset it's primarily for ENDURANCE athletes, it has some good information in there.

Here's to attempts, in life and the weight room.