I'll try to make this short and quick, since what I am actually doing right now is writing a paragraph on "testimonies" as a research method, an major breakthrough in my own research, and I should not use my braincells to ponder about healthy food right now. By the way, I think testimonies would be an excellent research method for anyone who would like to study how the low-fat paradigm came to be challenged through personal testimonials on blogs and other social media outlets...
But about what I wanted to tell you now, I have to let off the lid a little bit. Because I wanted to let you know that I am changing my perspective from being an extremist that supports most of the paleo-preaching towards a more moderate food advocate. Why? Because I am starting to think that there might actually be some nasty side effects also to an extreme paleo diet that is being silenced in the fierce debate on who is right and who is wrong regarding what people are meant to eat. And because I have started to think that maybe some of my own problems lately are not only due to stress, but actually one of the main reasons I feel stressed in the first place. Could it be that I am stressing my body by being too harsh on it through what I eat? Could it be that when bloggers talk about magnesium deficiencies and problems to fall asleep, what they are actually telling us is that there are wide spread side effects to a very strict low carb diet? Dr Cate does talk about the risks of converting to a low carb diet too fast in that it can cause thyroid problems (read here).
So I have started to embrace some of the things Cheeseslave is talking about (here and here). However, I am still very aware that gluten might be dangerous particularly if celiac desease is the root of the problem. And by the way, when I say that my body is stressed because of food, I recognize that I might not be getting enough carbs (although I have been eating rise and potatoes for quite some time) but endulging in sugar and sweets are by no means the way back to a more balanced diet...although I am considering using cane sugar this fall to make jams and juices of the berry harvest...
I have been thinking a lot about what is the root problem of so many people having serious digestive problems these days. It is hard for me to swallow that grains are the evils on this planet. Afterall, they are (or at least used to be) a natural source for energy, particularly for us living on these altitudes in need of foods that can be stored over the winter. Instead, in my mind (when I am not thinking of my research project that is) I am coming up with two hypotheses, or actually three, hypotheses that needs further exploration. 1) the increased digestive problems among the Western population is due to the increased amount of pesticides and industrially processed ingredients in our food system. 2) the problems are related to our dependency on chemical medication such as antibiotics and pain killers, which has lasted for more than two generations already, 3) stress is causing major problems in our body.
These hypotheses above have completely wrecked havoc on our microbacterial flora in our gut making us more susceptible to allergies and food intolerance. These allergies and food intolerances appear gradually, almost so we do not notice them, but the foods that become first problematic are those that are the hardest for our digestive system to handle. This would be why many now react to dairy (milk protein casein is difficult to digest) and grains (gluten is not easy either). And if we do not clean up our system and the food we eat (read: start eating less pesticides and get rid of the processed foods completely) our body will react by making us allergic to an ever growing amount of foods (nuts, nightshades, fish, egg, etc). So what to do? Eliminate all healthy foods and live on air and water? No, absolutely not - fortify the good bacteria and clean up the kitchen mess, get rid off bad habits of popping ibuprofen every time a headache hits and start relaxing to give ourselves a stress free life. I think that is the way to go! For me, it is that last part that is the hardest: to relax! Just need to get the hang of it, that's all!
While I was writing this, an interesting text written by Michael Pollan appeared in my Facebook feed. He seems to be supporting similar hypotheses as I do regarding out food system! Look Processed food killing friendly bacteria-gut - Can eating home pickles fight infections?
Oh, and by the way - all the thoughts above are HIGHLY hypothetical. I do not have ANYTHING to support my claims! Just thinking out loud. That is all!