My journey of vastly improved heath and fitness started when I brought home this guy:
Being my first dog, I wanted the absolute best for the little ball of razor sharp teeth. I spent a lot of time hunting down the best quality dog foods. The common theme is that the best kibble seemed to come from meat, contain no grains or filler ingredients. And I kept coming across the words 'raw' and 'prey-model'. The argument was simple, dogs are related to wolves, therefore we should look at what a wild wolf eats and model the domesticated dog's diet after that.
Meat. Bones. Organs. What. The. Hell. I was highly skeptical about feeding bones (don't they splinter?), and organs creeped me out. Raw meat? How am I supposed to afford that (especially if I want any)? The convenience and price of standard dog kibble had its pull. But how was I supposed to tell this guy he deserves Old Roy:
I wanted the absolute best for him. He trusts me. His quality of life is directly related to my actions. Maybe the prey-model diet wasn't as crazy as it seems.
Chicken was the gateway meat. It was easy to buy a whole roaster or a bag of quarters and feed that. Soon I was watching the grocery store sales like a hawk. Finding and buying any meat that fell under $1 a pound. And I would feed a few eggs every now and then. No, not cooked, but raw, shell and all. Soon watching him break the egg with his nose, or crunch through chicken, I started getting a little more adventurous. I tried liver, brains, tripe. I managed to obtain venison, squirrel, and some stillborn farm animals. He ate it all. With gusto.
My vet was far more skeptical than I was. And even today I don't think she supports it, but she has at least started asking questions about the quantity, quality, and frequency of meals. My dogs are physically fit, their coats glow and are extremely soft, and their teeth look like they have been professionally cleaned. Here I was feeding against the conventional guidance provided by my vet and yet I had a dog with superior health as compared with the other dogs she sees. As I reflected on this, I changed the question from What should a dog eat? to What should I eat?
So trying to model the diet of a wolf gave me a dog that thrived. Simply tapping into what an animal evolved to eat had results that no one could argue with. That got me thinking. What if the nutrition advice given by doctors was as far off and as misguided as advice given by veterinarians? I started digging.
Enter Mark Sisson. Enter Robb Wolf. Enter Cordain, De Vany, Harris, Nikoley. Enter the NY Times article presenting people more my age like Durant and McEwen. Soon I was philosophically standing side by side with many intelligent, interesting and fit people. Badasses too. People willing to question the conventional wisdom handed to us from the government, from big pharma, and from special interest groups. You really cannot look to any one other than yourself in regards to your health.
By generally following guidance from the above people, I have made many lifestyle changes that try to model a hunter-gatherer living in a modern world. Let it be said that I do not romanticize about living like a caveman. I like the internet. I like having heat and air conditioning in my house. I like being able to go to a doctor or to the movies when I need to. I just want to to it all while feeling great, looking good, and ultimately thrive. Paleo gives me that.