This week, doing my modified Paleo, I lost two pounds. (I still attend Weight Watchers faithfully, even though I’ve gone rogue where what I eat is concerned.) Naturally, I’m pleased–but I feel compelled to stress the word ‘modified’ here. In my opinion, 100 percent Paleo–or almost anything else–is not only impossible, but not necessarily something to aspire to, either. Carbohydrates, at least, the complex ones, are part of a healthy eating style–and even simple carbs have their place in some instances. As an example, I try to avoid refined sugar, but I have coconut sugar in my coffee and tea–not Paleo. In moderation (today’s keyword), I think even raw organic sugar-sugar is okay–certainly better than artificial sweeteners. Just yesterday, in fact, I had a serious craving (I almost never get them, since increasing my consumption of healthy fats and good veggies) for soft vanilla ice cream–and I had a waffle cone, with great enjoyment and zero guilt. When I was young, and naturally thin I might add, I ate this way–when I really wanted something, I ate it–if it was available. (Soft ice cream was a rarity in Northport back then, and even if it had been on sale, I probably wouldn’t have had the money.)
The more I study health, the more convinced I become that I, like so many people, have lost touch with my own body. When I stop and pay real attention, I usually know what’s needed–often, it’s a fifteen minute lie-down, or a cup of herbal tea, a hot bubble bath or a quiet prayer.
I’ve had good experiences with activated charcoal tooth-brushing, and with oil pulling, too, but one or both of these techniques could be all wrong for you. I like to share my discoveries and experiments, but I sure wouldn’t want to come off as an authority, because I’m not. Nor do I want to disparage doctors or other health practitioners–alternative medicine is great for prevention, etc., but when you have a serious medical problem, such as a grave illness or a broken bone or anything else that qualifies as a crisis, Western medicine is the way to go.
Too, there is a lot of conflicting advice out there, and some of it is flat-out crackpot crazy. One authority touts the benefits of consuming mega-ounces of water, another disputes that–turns out over-hydration can kill you. One camp swears by green leafy vegetables, while another decries their high content of certain minerals. It goes on and on, and with the plethora of information out there on the web, a reasonably intelligent person could make a case for or against just about anything. Confusing? You bet. And all the more reason to consult your health care practitioner if you have any doubts whatsoever. Herbal supplements, for instance, are unregulated, and are generally assumed to be totally safe and beneficial–but a little research will prove than this is not so. St. John’s Wort, for instance, is sometimes used to treat depression, but it is potent stuff, and can be deadly in combination with prescribed medications–in fact, it is SO potent that, in Germany, it can be dispensed ONLY by prescription. All that said, while I like to experiment, I also like living, and hope to go on doing so for a good long time. My message is simply, use your noggin, and err on the side of caution–just because someone has written a book, put up a website, or has fifty gajillion people on their mailing list does not mean you should entrust your most precious possession, your health, to what all too often amounts to plain ole ordinary hokum. Keep in mind, a number of these people have (or claim) fancy degrees, including M.D.s, and that STILL doesn’t mean their word is gospel. Your own doctor, frustrated and overworked though he or she may be, knows your body. He/she sees you, face to face, and hopefully listens to what you say, and that personal contact is invaluable.
If you’re wondering what prompted this diatribe, here’s the answer–I got to thinking (usually a good thing, but not always) that some of you might mistake my enthusiasm for true knowledge, and be harmed in some way as a result. I would never forgive myself if a single one of you suffered on account of something I said. I know, to a certain degree, what’s good for me, but that’s the end of it. Only you–and your doctor–should determine what is good for YOU.