Have you heard of The Paleo Diet?
For practicing martial artists – indeed, for human beings in general – nutrition is crucial. Just as a car won’t run well on impure gasoline, your body won’t run well on crap food. You need good fuel to function at your best.
But when it comes to the human body, what is good fuel?
There are as many theories on this as there are athletes in the Olympics. More, probably. They all say something different, and they’re all probably a little bit right, a little bit wrong.
For this, as in most things, I don’t think there is one right answer. What may work for one person may not work at all for another.
There are certain basic principles to follow, of course:
- Avoid refined sugars
- Minimize processed foods
- Eat plenty of green vegetables
Just following these principles will make 99% of Americans far healthier than they are today. But of course, athletes, or anyone dedicated to health and fitness, want something more specific and refined to take their training and their lives to the next level.
A caveat before I start dispensing advice here: I’ve been vegetarian for fifteen years. Technically, I’m a pescatarian, because I eat fish, but since nobody knows what that word means, I simplify it. I get a lot of judgment from fellow athletes, who think I’m starving my body of necessary nutrients by not eating meat. It’s possible. But seeing as I’ve generally felt far healthier since I made the switch in my early twenties, I have no desire to change back.
But that doesn’t mean I preach that as the right way to eat. As I said – there is no ‘right way’.
The Paleo Diet interests me. Eating what our ancestors did in the caves, hunting and gathering to survive. Eschewing grains and legumes and processed foods and the nutritional end products of industrialized agricultural society. Eating lots of meat and fish and vegetables, and little else.
I can see the appeal. And I’ve heard from many of my friends and fellow martial artists that this diet does make them feel better and function at a higher level.
If you’re interested in Paleo, there’s an event happening today at Buck Books, where you can sign up and get a whole bunch of books on the subject for practically nothing. Check it out! I’ve picked up a couple of the books myself, to satisfy my curiosity. (I’m thinking of trying out a modified-Paleo, fish-and-veggie-only diet for a little while, to see how it works for me.)
Have you tried the Paleo Diet? If so, what did you think about it? If you don’t follow that right now, what nutrition plan or principles do you try to adhere to, and how well have they worked for you? Hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know!
P.S. For a FREE copy of my book The Martial Artist’s Mindset: Mental Practices for Fighters, Students, Teachers, Coaches, and Artists of All Kinds, CLICK HERE!