Thursday, September 23, 2010

A Kiwi Experiment

New Zealand - Land of Natural Beauty and Commerce
No, this does not involve kiwi fruit.  It involves a small group of New Zealanders who are sometimes known as Kiwis.  An innovative blogger actually reached out to her readers and asked them to take part in a little trial. Julianne asked them to eat paleo for 6 weeks and then report back their results.  She had 15 volunteers but 4 pulled out due to personal reasons.  Here is some feedback from the participants she reported on:
Kathy, age 56
 Lost 11 pounds.  Blood pressure went from 130/90 to 110/80.  Total cholesterol went from 296 to 228.  Here are some of her quotes:
 "My arthritis is much better and I have more energy. I’m continuing to lose weight slowly which is really fantastic. I will continue on the diet, and increase my exercise.  My Doctor is very very pleased (especially with the BP) and wants me to continue.  My doctor also said she saw a vast improvement in the condition of my skin."
Lost 9 pounds.   Here are some of her quotes:
"I’m seriously loving the programme!!!  I have been surprised at how simple it has been for me to stick to.  I have to say a big thanks to you and allowing me to be a part of this programme."
Peter, age 51
Lost 13 pounds.  Here are some of his quotes:
I have noticed improvements this week, it is amazing, my energy has picked up and my bloated tummy is flat.  I generally feel better, my thinking is sharper and I feel more calm and relaxed.  I have continued to notice things improving for me so this is a life changing event. I am so pleased I volunteered for this trail; it has consolidated a lot of what I thought but never put into practice!  I have noticed way more energy, it has picked up tremendously.  My hip has improved a lot so long as I stay off wheat products. Introducing wheat will aggravate it and interfere with my digestion which is the best it has ever been on years. Digestion wise, everything is running like clockwork now.
Therese, age 31
Lost 13 pounds, Blood pressure went from 134/65 to 120/70.  Here are some quotes from her:
 The Paleolithic Diet is challenging: to your food habits, your routines and your social circle. Despite this I plan to continue eating this way.  I now wake up refreshed instead of groggy. I feel mentally active all day, I don’t feel tired or bloated after lunch and I only eat when I’m hungry, not when I’m bored, tired or stressed.  I now treat food with the same respect as any drug, which makes me very aware of what I’m doing and has stimulated a previously undiscovered creativity in the kitchen. 
 John, age 54
Lost a little over 3 pounds.  Here are some of his quotes: 
I’ve become a fan because I seem to have way more endurance and find myself able to keep in the ‘mental zone’ while working and then later being able to enjoy engaging with people while socializing in the evening. I just plain feel positive and cheerful for much of the day.  I notice that my overall levels of hunger are much lower at equivalent times of day, and can often find myself eating early/mid afternoon rather than at midday.  Physically some hip arthritis pain has reduced so much that I can enjoy long vigorous walks, and my blood pressure has also dropped markedly. This last one is really important to me, because (at 54) I thought I was going to have to begin a life-long course of medication and now that’s in abeyance.
 Julie, age 62
Lost almost 6 pounds.  Here are some of her quotes:
"Other changes noted have been that I am doing harder workouts and seem to recover faster – leg-pressed 200kg today – two sets of 12, and that’s a first for me – okay for a 62 year old!  Not bloated either – much flatter stomach, and generally more energy. The hardest bit of my day was always late afternoon, when I craved sweet things, but that’s much less now.  So I’m sold – my trainer’s delighted, as it’s very much the diet he’s been advocating for me anyway, with no starchy carbs..." 
As you can see, almost universally, the participants reported a boost in energy.  Our own trial subject, Leroy reports the same increase in energy.  How can this be when we have been told all our lives that we need to eat a lot of carbs for energy?  Maybe we just need to eat how our bodies want us to and it will reward us by performing well and feeling well. 

Also, there were many mentions of reduction in joint pain.  Our own Leroy also reports the same result.  All these great results despite going against conventional wisdom..or is that wisdom at all?  This is not at all unique to these people.  The reactions to the diet change are common for people adopting this way of eating. 

Considering these results are not drug induced, I have to ask some questions.  If the short term improvements are so immediate, so positive, and so drastic, how could it even be possible that this could be unhealthy for you in the long term?  Conversely, if the Standard American Diet (SAD) makes so many people feel so bad on a daily basis, why would it be healthy for them to endure this misery for the long term?  Maybe it is time to listen to what your body is telling you today. 

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