52 Days of Paleo – Day 2

A simple lunch; spinach salad, boiled egg, grilled chicken, pear, apple cider vinaigrette.

Squeeze the sponge.

I have this theory, backed by my standing in the family as the person most willing to guess at medical diagnosis (my wife called my know-it-all-approach to tell people what’s wrong with them when they feel sick, Doctor Medcroft), that the human body is like a sponge.

Not everything that makes it into our bodies is good for us. Or usable. We ingest minerals we can’t absorb, toxins from the air, water, and even from within the food we eat. Then there are the things we put in our body knowing they cannot be used by our systems as fuel; smoking and some drugs are obvious examples, but depending on how your gut biome and basic biology, some foods and other substances that are processed easily by other people could be handled by your own as poison.

For me, that’s wheat and dairy. I am intolerant. My body produces an allergic reaction when I overload it with wheat and dairy. Not a going-into-shock-and-can’t-breathe allergic reaction, but a histamine-and-immune-system response that elevates my blood pressure and weakens my natural protections against stress and potential illnesses.

The human body can take a lot of abuse, but it has limits. There are numerous systems in place in the human body to protect itself from the toxins we take on (and those that are the by-process of the dirty foods we eat). Liver, kidneys, lymph nodes, adrenal glands all play a role. Our gut is another line of defense. Toxins end up enmeshed in other tissue. Let’s not even talk about how crap gets stored in stubborn, hard-to-lose fat stores, waiting like little time bombs waiting to be released when that fat is burned.

Think of your body like a sponge. A dirty, nasty, toxin-filled sponge. What it takes to clean a dirty sponge is to repeat a cycle of squeezing out as much of the filth as possible, then filling the sponge back up with clean water. Repeat the cycle enough and you can get an irredeemably-dirty sponge clean as new.

Exercise, for me, is my way to wring out the sponge of my body. I’ve never been a fan of drastic and questionable detoxifying techniques like fasting, overdosing on water, or reducing my intake to some hysterically-nasty concoction of lemon juice and cayenne pepper. I prefer to wring myself out with exercise.

Exercise, especially endurance exercise, warms the entire body up, increases blood flow, and burns off whatever stored energy you have in your muscles. A good hard workout is like squeezing a sponge. Eating clean is like filling the sponge back up with clean water.

For me, the whole point of eating clean for an extended period of time is to clean my system. I want to be healthy. I want to be fit. I want to have energy. This is the promise of Paleo to me; that it offers a way for me to honor my body by bringing only clean, digestible fuel. I want my body to stop stressing over the crap we’ve been sold as food, and revert to it’s best, most natural and healthy state.

Sleep quality: 99%. 8.5 hours in bed. A bunch of time in a deep sleep. Although, I went to bed with the beginning of a headache and woke up with what I would call a mini-migraine.

Breakfast: Black coffee sweetened with raw honey. Bacon. Sauteed cubed sweet potato, onions, and garlic powder in bacon grease. Eggs scrambled into whatever bacon grease was left.

Lunch: Grilled Chicken and Pear over spinach salad with spiced cider vinaigrette. Looking back on the meal, it was excellent, but could have used some crunch; pinion nuts maybe? Or crumbled bacon.

Dinner: Shrimp sauteed in butter and garlic with zucchini noodles.

Snacks: Banana with nut butter (Almond - kind of oily. I may look for a better option). Dark chocolate squares.

Exercise: 90 minutes of road cycling.

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