I’ve started this blog in order to chronicle my latest serious endeavor into the Paleo lifestyle. I intend to post lots of pictures of tasty, real paleo meals, along with recipes and my own thoughts on the benefits and struggles of this way of life.
I first came into contact with this way of eating when I worked as a consultant on the Swedish translation of Loren Cordain’s The Paleo Diet. My “consulting” basically consisted of proofreading the original translation from a scientific angle (I have a Master of Science in Engingeering in Molecular Biotechnology) to make sure all the technical terms were translated correctly. In retrospect, I’m insanely grateful for that gig as it was instrumental in opening my eyes to this new, different and logical approach to nutrition. Right from the get go, the material Dr. Cordain presented appealed to the scientist in me that had always remained skeptical of all the quick fix diets advertised in the media.
Sadly, I didn’t take all of his lessons to heart right away. It wasn’t until January of 2005, while I was working as a research engineer in biochemistry at the University of Washington, that I realized my life needed a change. I was depressed for the first time in my life. Not coincidentally, I was also at my heaviest ever, weighing in at 170 lbs. Certainly not a catastrophic number for a naturally muscular 5’7″ frame, but I honestly felt like crap. I put myself on a strict paleo plan and stuck with it until my return to Sweden in May of that year. In that time, I had lost 25 lbs, my skin was glowing and I felt like a million bucks.
After getting back to my old life, my diet gradually started getting increasingly “permissive” and I put about half of that weight back on (as of this writing, I weigh 160 lbs). For years, I’ve had an on again, off again approach to my eating that I’m officially hoping to put an end to, with this blog being one of the things to keep me in line. Fortunately, even my off-periods never meant a complete return to my pre-paleo life (I always eat my stir-frys without rice, very rarely eat pasta and never keep bread in the house), so the switch to one of my strict paleo periods has never been too demanding. For me, the hardest thing about the paleo lifestyle is the social aspect, and that – more than any other thing – has been what’s kept me from sticking with it, consistently, for the long haul.
As I said, that’s all about to change. I’m going to take what I’ve learned from my many paleo trials and make that permanent lifestyle change that needs to happen. I don’t doubt that I have the potential to live a long life on a less healthy diet (extreme longevity runs in my family on both sides), but I think I owe it to myself to not just feed my engine sub-par food, but to give it optimal human food. All the time.