Occasionally, a paleohacker will pipe up with this particular diet variant:
"I don't eat a set diet. Some days, I'll pretty much just eat meat. Some days I'll have no meat and a bunch of fruit and nuts. Other days, I'll eat typical paleo meals. Or I'll eat a bunch of tubers and butter. Sometimes I'll fast, occasionally I'll gorge."
The above quote is fictionalized, but I've seen this type of thing several times. In theory, I like the way it sounds. It also mirrors what I would think a hunter-gatherer would eat (large amounts of whatever is available). Eating randomly provides a less steady influx of nutrients, which could possibly affect aging (MTOR?) It's also kinda kooky, which would help separate you from your normal-eating friends even more than regular paleo would.
On the other hand, this way of eating seems difficult in certain aspects. Like planning meals, satisfying cravings, eating with others, etc.
Does anyone eat like this, sporadically or regularly? What are the different names that this "diet" goes by? Has anyone seen tangible benefits from this way of eating?
Our appetite for and assimilation of food is a complex process governed by hormonal and metabolic processes that are much more significant than our volition.
I think that trying to force ourselves to eat a "balanced diet" everyday goes against nature (not in a meta-physical sort of way, but in a factual, food availability is seasonal and transient sort of way).
Although this isn't a human example, it is an example of how animals (and we are animals after all) typically "fail" to eat a "balanced diet"...
From "Give Your Dog A Bone," by Dr Ian Billinghurst
"When a wild dog or modern dog fed in a primitive way, receives it's nutrition, each meal is likely to be different in size, timing, and content. It will certainly not be complete or balanced. One meal may be totally vegetarian, e.g. the guts of some herbivore. That meal will have very little protein and no minerals whatsoever. Another meal may be all protein, e.g. some muscle meat. Another meal may be mostly liver and kidneys and other internal organs. Another meal may be mostly fat. Another meal may be mostly minerals as that dog chomps on and consumes some bones that have been stripped of meat.
"Over a period of weeks to possibly months, that dog's diet is balanced. This approach to eating is in stark contrast to the way modern dogs are fed using the so called "complete and balanced diets" produced by dog companies. The need for each meal to be complete and balanced is the notion we get from a quarter century of feeding dogs artificially on prepared dog foods." (106)
In college, often I was cooking just for myself. Look at my diet over a week, and it was pretty well balanced (pre-paleo for me). But any given day was very specific. It was easier to eat a few pounds of beef for dinner one night, an enormous salad the next, and a pound of pasta the next, than to have side dishes.
I think eating like that is very realistic from a paleo perspective. Do you think cavemen typically paired their foods? I'd bet they ate as much meat as the could after a kill, cured the rest, and went back out the next day to forage, eating as much as they could stomach whenever they happened upon something plentiful, and storing the rest.
Complete guess, but it is what I would do if stuck in the wild... besides cry about my lack of internet access...
Alex from PaleoPax
I definitely eat like this. The biggest benefit I get from this is the benefit of not going insane from monotony.
I sometimes go several days without any meat. Just now I ate a pound of steak for breakfast. Tomorrow I'll probably drink sweet potato/coconut milk soup all day. Sometimes my lunch is two bananas. Other times it's 4 eggs. The other day it was a pint of beer. O_O
Interesting OP. This chaotic eating pattern would result in periods without protein, which could possibly induce autophagy? (garnering some benefits of fasting)
Myself, I just had a few bananas for breakfast today. Managed to scare myself. Like what am I, a vegan? barf.
I do fishy Friday--no meat. Sardines or tuna for breakfast. Sashimi for lunch usually(tuna today because I'm stuck at work) and whatever wildcaught I find at the market for dinner. Maybe some eggs, cheese or 10% yoghurt to help fill it in. Meatless Monday too, with some eggs, cheese or 10% yoghurt. Mixing it up!
I sorta eat this way - but not in a planned way. I don't like to plan my meals very far in advance, so I tend to eat what I find that day.
Last night I just had a lamb steak, no sides. Sometimes I'll just eat some fruit. Really I just go for whatever looks good or I feel like at the time.
I stop at the store regularly (there's one conveniently located on my way home from work) and grab 2-5 items in a little hand basket - I can't stand big shopping trips, so I buy whatever looks good for my next meal and move on. "Whatever looks good" might be a nice piece of fish from the seafood counter, or whatever veggies are in season and cheap. "Whatever looks good" might also simply be something I haven't eaten recently. I like to get as much variety in my foods as possible. When the weather permits I often walk from work to a store to buy whatever I'm going to eat for lunch that day, and I'm never sure what it will be until I walk into the store and see something yummy.
Add me to the mix. i sometimes can kill a plateful of curried beef and feel great without anything else. Other times the thought of meat just disgusts me...(well, disgusts is a harsh word) but you guys get the point. I just eat whatever my body is craving, unless the scientific side tells me otherwise, i.e. eat protein after a strenous heavy-lifting activity. I think this is best because i believe when you eat clean 7/10 your body sends you the right hormonal responses in terms of hunger and/or craving. I been eating almonds all day and tomorrow and my spider senses tell me there's a chicken breast sitting on the eastern wing of the kitchen exactly SW from the avocados( PUNISHED)
I do zero carb for half to a whole day on Fridays, depending on if I go out at night. Three eggs for breakfast and then a burger patty or some "street meat" for lunch. I find it helps mitigate damage from social eating on weekends (I still generally stick to Paleo but restaurant oils are questionable and I like to have a few drinks.) Plus, it debloats me so I can look super hot for the weekend.
I read this (link) today and thought of this thread. See 2nd page, "A 'Balanced Meal'" I would just insert the quote here, but I'm already flouting his request not to disseminate, so I'm refraining. I'd love to see his sources, alas the book is yet unfinished.
btw, I eat like your fictional example, but not by design. I just suck at planning.
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