Friday, February 3, 2012

apologies to Amazon and early hominids

Ok, it's time for a confession. I'm not a mean person. But I am prone to making harsh, swift judgements. When presented with something new, I either love it or hate it passionately. Ninety-five percent of the time, I hate it. A lot.

For instance, my first reaction to Chaco sandals was instant hatred and contempt. Minimalist running shoes? Stupid and too thin. iPads? Awful, pointless, and terrible compared to laptops. Greek yogurt? Disgusting.

But ninety-eight percent of my judgements are wrong. Now I'm a yogurt-eating, Chaco-wearing, minimalist running enthusiast who loves playing with her mom's iPad.

Recently, I realized that I was wrong about a couple more things. For instance, both things in this photo:

1) the Amazon kindle. Since my grandmother got one last year, I've classified kindles in my brain as "Grandma iPads". As stupid as iPads, but slower-moving and easier on the eye. When I saw one of my friends using one last year, I scoffed loudly and rolled my eyes.

I feel bad about that now, since I haven't put mine down for the past 48 hours. The web-browser is slow and sometimes freezes, and typing on the screen is a bit challenging. But it's almost a nostalgic activity - back to the days when we had rotary phones and had to block off twenty minutes of the day to check our email.  Plus it's about half the size of a book and weighs the same no matter how many books you stuff into it. I think it'll really come in handy for traveling. Five thumbs up.

2) the Paleo diet - lots of meat, vegetables, fruits, and no refined anything. I heard about the Paleo Diet from a friend. Stop eating grains? Even rice? I was already gluten-free and couldn't see any sense in nixing more food from my diet. I'd rolled my eyes obnoxiously and called my friend a stupid hipster.

In hindsight, it's amazing I still have friends.

Then I came across this article on Outside magazine's website. It's an experiential review of Loren Cordain and Joe Friel's The Paleo Diet for Athletes, an adjusted Paleo diet that suggests eating "modern" carbs (bagels, rice, corn, granola bars) before and after you exercise. That sounded a lot more reasonable.

When I got my kindle, I saw that Cordain's book was only ten dollars to download. Why not? I read it yesterday at "work."

This book was great. Although it's occasionally riddled with athletic elitisms (for instance, the constant degradation of "the couch potato" and phrases like "[the athlete's] day might look ordinary to the rest of the world, but it really isn't"), Cordain gives solid, simple nutritional advice for endurance athletes.

The bottom line? Humans are animals who were built to hunt and gather, not sit around shoving grains into their faces - that's what deer are for. So keep it simple and fresh - the fewer processed foods the better. Get your nutrients from food, not vitamin capsules. Replace carbs after you exercise (or during, depending on the amount of time you're active). Don't restrict calories, and cheating on your diet is encouraged to keep you sane.

I think I might give this Paleo thing a try. I can even browse for new recipes on my kindle.


  1. Your mother says: Don't be so hard on yourself. You have the O'Neil genetic trait of being critical about and resistant to change. It's called the Creature of Habit gene. But eventually we come around.

  2. I've been on the fence about the whole paleo-scene. I read Mark's Daily Apple pretty regularly though. It's awesome.

    Maybe I should give Cordain's book a read.