Bagels used to be my absolute favorite food. I liked them with butter and raspberry jam. Way back when, Andy and I would go out for breakfast every Sunday (we are talking pre-kid days, of course) and we would read the paper and drink coffee and eat bagels. Man, I loved Sunday mornings.
Bagels were not always considered evil food. I grew up in the 70's/80's. The 80's were all about low-fat and no meat. Carbs were just fine... everybody loved carbs. In order to lose weight in the 80's you simply cut your calories to near starvation, ate no fat, and exercised to Jane Fonda or Richard Simmons.
Here is a snapshot of dieting in the 80's.
It's the summer after Mary's freshman year in college. Mary has made it her goal to be an itsy-bitsy, skinny minny coming back to school in the fall. Beer weight has caught up with her, and some....
Breakfast: an apple and one tall glass of water with lemon.
Lunch: One slice of 40 calorie non-fat fake cheese and one piece of iceburg lettuce and a little non-fat mayo sandwiched between two, 40-calorie pieces of white bread. For dessert -- a few carrot sticks, and a glass of water.
Snack: 0 calorie, non-fat, artificially sweetened Frozen Yogurt at TCBY.
Dinner: Bland chicken breast that had been pre-measured on a little white scale to insure it was not more than a few ounces. A glass of water. Iceburg lettuce, carrots, cucumbers and diet crotons with a little 0 calorie, non-fat, artificially sweetened salad dressing. Dessert: One non-fat, artificially sweetened Snackwell brownie or cookie.
Exercise: Aerobics (lift those knees!) in the basement while listening to Come on Eileen...
That's how we did it.
I remember I dropped more than 20 pounds in six weeks, so lest you think starvation diets don't work, (at least in terms of actually dropping poundage) I'm here to tell you that they do--at least as well as eating all lean meat and the appropriate (not starchy, non-legume, not too sweet) fruits and vegetables. Are starvation diets a la the 80's wise? Healthy? Reasonable? Well... nooo.....
but in my humble opinion neither is denying yourself 97% of the fucking foods in the ordinary grocery store when you attempt to eat like a cavewoman.
(Important aside** I should add that when I went back to school in the fall, I gained that 20 back in under six weeks drinking case after case of beer. Starvation diets don't work in that you gain it all back as soon as you stop starving yourself, especially if you are in college, drinking a lot, and ordering pizza at 3 a.m. in a drunken stupor. But you already knew that.)
These days carbs, especially refined carbs, are just. not. cool. In 2010 in order to lose weight you can't just cut calories to near starvation, eat no fat and jam to Jane Fonda. No, in 2010 we lose weight in quite a different way: we ban the carbs (except for the fruit and veggie carbs--and we even lose some of those), eat more protein, and often end up with ketosis (love that metallic taste and oh so barf-a-licious breath!). Jane is still fine, I suppose--but you no longer need to the leg warmers to lose weight.You just need to exercise for at least 30 minutes a day--preferably by doing yoga, pilates, or Zumba.
Yoga and Zumba are okay, but it's really a bummer about the refined carbs. I miss bagels.
So why the hell am I writing about this?
Same old same old... because....
I want to crush IM CDA. I want to crush every race I do this season. So, like you, I'm looking at all ways to do that--all things that contribute to the I can crush it picture. Diet is obviously one of those contributors. The message I keep getting is that I need to go back to my cavewoman roots in terms of diet. Agrarian life just fucked us all right up. The word is that you shouldn't eat anything that needs to be grown and you shouldn't eat domesticated animals unless they were grass-fed or fish unless they were able to swim in the wild and not in a little pen.
I've been thinking about this.
Listen, I know I'm jaded. But don't you think it's just a little bit possible that banning all foods that are associated with civilization (as in civilized, as in human-made and grown) --is ummmm, maybe, WRONG?
We were so damn sure in the 1980's that eating fat would make us fat. We are concrete people: fat in = fat on.
In the 1990's we began to realize that hey, maybe that just ain't right... hmmmm, although we still hung to the idea that calories were the problem. Nutri-system and Lean Cuisine made a butt-load on us by convincing us that if we just at their shit, we'd lose it all. Stupid, yes, but at least we were still allowed carbs.
By 2000 carbs were down down down. It's not that fat will make you fat. It's not that you need to buy pre-packaged meals to lose weight. No. That's naive. Atkins had come along with his ketosis revolution , and we got all-lighted and followed him like he was Jesus. That is, until he dropped dead of a heart attack. A little too much bacon maybe? Talk about irony.
We have it figured out now, though.
The problem is that over 10,000 years ago our super-smarty pants ancestors finally stopped moving around long enough to realize that if they just penned those damn animals and planted those damn seeds, they would maybe, just maybe, not starve! They could stay in one place! They could.... gasp.... have food at their disposal! So smart, our ancestors...
Except. By setting up shop, they denied their roots, and doing so caused them, and us, our health.
Crazy. Just crazy.
But you know what the really crazy thing is?
The crazy thing is that I am starting to buy it!
Just like I did the no fat starvation diet, just like a bought myself the Lean Cuisines, just like I purchased the Bible de Atkins....
I am now buying that I need to go Paleo, too.
And so tomorrow I'll go to Whole Foods and get myself some grass-fed elk and bison, I'll bring my list of good vegetables and bad vegetables (tough shit, though, I'm still eating legumes). I'll try to rid myself of my Wheat Chex breakfast, replacing it with low-sugar fruit and some eggs laid by grass fed chickens. And I'll remember that those Cro-Magnon men and women had it all right and that civilization just fucked me all up. Thank God I get it now.
Oh, and while I'm busy thanking, Thank God my ancestors were smart enough to start farming, so that there would eventually be places like Whole Foods, where I can buy the shit I need to be just like a fucking Cavewoman. Thank God.