Confusing and Contradictory


Last time, I told you that I had done a lot of reading and researching in my blogging absence.  I also mentioned that a lot of what I was reading conflicted with the knowledge I had previously accumulated.  Let me expound on this…

Shortly after we went on GAPS, I began to see a lot of articles in the blogosphere about the Paleo diet.  This was awesome, because GAPS and Paleo are very similar.  The Paleo diet suggests no grains, dairy, legumes, or refined sugars.  GAPS allows certain legumes and some dairy, but is more strict about sweeteners.  Still, most recipes coming across the Paleo blogs were GAPS legal.  As the Paleo movement has continued to grow, more and more science has come in to back it up.  More and more people have success with it.  And more and more, it aligns with GAPS, especially something called Autoimmune Paleo, which is another healing diet specifically for people with autoimmune disorders.

I also began to read more blogs promoting “Traditional” diets such as are described in the book Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats
and promoted by the Weston A. Price Foundation (WAPF).  These often crossed circles with Paleo and GAPS, because all of them endorse REAL food.  The major difference is that most WAPF’ers eat grains, especially if they are soaked or fermented (think sourdough).  Still, a lot of helpful information.  I knew GAPS was a temporary diet, so learning about proper preparation of grains is something I wanted to do.

So far, so good, right?  And then came Matt Stone.  And you’re thinking, who is he and why do we care?  I thought the same thing at first.  But he kept showing up.  Seemingly everywhere I turned, there was someone talking about Matt Stone and his wonderful ideas.  So I followed the rabbit trail…

Matt Stone has a blog called 180 Degree Health, which I am not linking because I find his writing to be brash, rude, and sometimes foul-mouthed.  I don’t care how good your ideas are, there’s no need for that.  Google at your own risk.  However, there are a whole lot of other ways to find out what he is all about.  One of the WAPF blogs I follow, Cheeseslave, embraced his teachings early on and has since been very vocal about his ideaology.  Here it is in a nutshell: Health is all about metabolism, at the cellular level.  The best way to track metabolic health is to track your body temperature.  If it averages less than 98.6, you are not in good metabolic health.  To raise your body temperature, you need more carbs, more calories, more salt, more sleep, less water, and less strenuous exercise (cardio).  The advice being thrown around the blogosphere is this: JUST EAT THE FOOD.  Whatever it is, whatever you want, just eat it.  No restrictions.  No special diets.  No calorie counting.  Just eat whatever you want to get that body temperature up.  Bloggers started latching on to this, shouting it from the rooftops.  Gladly proclaiming that they have gained 10, 20, 50 pounds but it didn’t matter because they had raised their body temperature and felt really great!  Those same bloggers saying that Paleo is terrible and GAPS should be dumped.

Now, I’m not saying that he’s completely wrong.  Most of what he says makes a lot of sense.  I get what he is saying about metabolic health, at the cellular level.  I understand the science.  We do need carbs, salt, sleep.  We probably don’t need as much water as society tells us we need.  Maybe there are other ways to exercise that are easier on our body.  But I really take issue with “eat whatever you want”.  It’s not that simple.

Then I started second guessing myself.  What if it is that simple??  As I began to get tired of cooking, tired of restricting food, I thought maybe we would test his little theory.  We brought back grains, potatoes.  We eat cake and ice cream at parties (and sometimes in between).  We ate whatever we wanted on vacation.  We get frozen pizzas.  Very non-GAPS!

The result of all this “just eating the food”?  My body temperature has not gone up.  Not one iota.  My joints hurt.  I’ve gained over 10 pounds.  I’m tired.  I think it’s not that simple.

So here we are, in a no man’s land of sorts, trying to sift through a whole lot of conflicting information.  Almost all of it makes perfect sense in theory.  But in practice, for me, it doesn’t seem to work.  My body does not approve.  Even though I have many of the symptoms of an out of whack metabolism, “just eating the food” isn’t helping.  I’m obviously missing something here.  I’m going to keep digging, try to find out what my body needs (or doesn’t need) to be happy again.


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