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Saturday, April 19, 2014

PaleoJay's Smoothie Cafe episode #75 Be Paleo- Eat Like a Spartan!

PJSC #75  Be Paleo- Eat Like a Spartan!

Not that the ancient Greek Spartans were hunter gatherer, paleo peoples... but they weren’t that far removed from it.  All of the greek peoples lived quite natural lives, out in the sunshine almost all of the time, and enjoyed hunting animals and training not only barefoot, but nude!  Talk about barefoot sprinting!!  This is taking it to the next level...

The thing about the Spartan, though, is that they purposely had food that was not super tasty- for them, food was a “means to an end”- a fit, healthy, strong body!
What a concept!  The thing to marvel is not the Spartan way of thinking about food; the thing to marvel at is the modern, western concept of food as being all about taste- the nutrition within that food is rarely even considered.

We spend much of our days now just... grazing like cows, eating, and snacking, and then eating some more.  The Spartans would usually eat one meal per day, usually in the evening after their training and hunting was done.  Their legendary Spartan Black Broth was made from boiled pork, with salt, vinegar and blood - this thick soup or broth was not considered a delicacy.  It was simply sustenance, along with their game meat.

We can surely use some Spartan ideas in our Paleo arsenal!  I like their dictum:

“APPETITE IS THE BEST SAUCE!”   I use that phrase often, to explain my indifference to hyper-palatable foods, that tend to be the least nutritious kind.  Things like donuts, candy, all kinds of snack chips and munchy things like pretzels and potato chips, french fries, ALL fast food, ALL soda pop- worthless, and worse that useless fake foods, everyone!

So, how do you change over to a Spartan/Paleo diet, since you were not raised on black broth and game meats?

Just use the phrase- appetite is the best sauce- and actually use it to your advantage!

I never used to like sardines.  Now, I love sardines!  How can this be?  Has my palette and taste buds transformed?  Well, maybe a little, but I’ll tell you how it happened-

For my lunch at work, I started packing a tin or two of sardines, along with my Paleo Green Smoothie in a mason jar.  By the early afternoon, I would be getting hungry.  I would wait longer, and longer.... and when I finally opened those sardines, I was so HUNGRY that they tasted GREAT!  It worked so well I even started packing a tin of anchovies to go with them!

You can use this strategy in many ways- clean out your house of any sort of hyper-palatable, super sweet or super salty JUNK FOODS.  But make sure you are always stocked up with plenty of wonderful, super nutritious, nutrient dense foods- like grass fed beef, pastured butter, beef jerky, some nuts, pastured cheeses, greek yogurt (hey- you are a Spartan now!), and always have some of your Paleo Smoothie, packed to the brim with veggies, kefir, green tea, coconut milk, and every other super nutritious ingredient on the list in the fridge.  Leave some sardine tins out on the counter...

And then, just wait!

As my wonderful Mother always said, (and still says!), “If you’re hungry enough you’ll eat it”!

Perhaps my mother is a Spartan!  Because this is another way of saying that appetite is the best sauce!  And, it is so true, because after a while, those sardines will begin to call to you like the Sirens- in an irresistibly sweet voice.

The other way to use this idea is in a compressed eating window, or Intermittent Fasting.  This is a wildly growing concept that is the polar opposite of what we’ve been told for many years- eat often, eat small meals, “graze”.

Like most dietary advice we’ve gotten in the past 50 years or so, it is completely the opposite of what we should be doing.  Be a Spartan- only eat one, or ideally two meals per day.  You can use the PaleoJay method of skipping supper, and eat a big breakfast and a big lunch, and then don’t eat until the next big breakfast.

Most Paleo gurus say to skip breakfast, and that will work too- it’s just not that great for people who do physical work for a living, like myself.  But, on days off, like Sunday, it’s a great strategy.  Just have some coffee with coconut oil in it, perhaps topped with whipped cream and cinnamon- this won’t interfere with your burning of ketones in the form of body fat, and you will be happily fed by your own dwindling fat stores throughout the morning.  Break your fast by having a late lunch or brunch, and you are accomplishing the same thing as skipping breakfast- you have a compressed eating window!

Congratulations, you Spartan you!  You are Intermittently Fasting!