OK, so that’s not strictly true, since the Engine 2 diet was started by a fireman, who going by his pictures may be considered by some to be even more of a macho guy than I am (he’s also named “Rip”), even though he has been photographed wearing this.
But let’s just say he’s definitely a guy, and he invented Engine 2, and is therefore a traitor to his gender, and just leave it at that. Let’s set it aside, because I don’t want any actual facts interfering with my over-broad generalizations.
So, back to my point: Men are from paleo, women are from Engine 2. At least, it works that way in my house.
Several months ago, my wife and my daughter who works at Whole Foods started attending some cult meetings at that fine establishment, because they had decided to take the Engine 2 28-challenge, which describes itself this way:
The guiding principle is simple: Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds give your body the fuel it needs to function at its best. When you fill your belly with these whole, minimally processed plant-based foods, you take charge of your health and become plant-strong®.
Although, of course, it’s really about what you do without:
- Zero animal products
- No added oils
- 100% whole grains
- Minimal added sugar, if at all
- Less than 25% total calories from fat
- 1:1 ratio of milligrams of sodium to calories, with the exception of condiments
You lost me at “zero animal products.”
This was all very well and good for 28 days — as long as it’s someone other than me doing it — but subsequently, my wife has continued to live this way. And she likes it.
Meanwhile, I have decided, since my pants are all too tight, to go back to my strict paleolithic diet — which means meat, as much as you can hunt down and kill (or purchase at the grocery, and then cook yourself since you’re the one who eats it). It also means you don’t eat any grains, or any peas or beans — which are where the plant-strong® crowd get most of their protein.
I felt great and went out and bought some skinnier pants last year when I was doing paleo pretty strictly and working out every day, and I want to get back to where I can wear some of those pants. Not to mention the new blue blazer that I had taken in at the time.
So basically, my wife and I a complementary pair, like Jack Spratt and wife, although we do overlap on some cruciferous vegetables and sweet potatoes.
So as I hunt and she gathers, more or less, our brains get retuned so that we notice different things. For instance this morning I noticed, was inspired by, and reached out to share with my spouse this important breaking story in The Washington Post:
Why salad is so overrated
…There’s one food, though, that has almost nothing going for it. It occupies precious crop acreage, requires fossil fuels to be shipped, refrigerated, around the world, and adds nothing but crunch to the plate.
It’s salad, and here are three main reasons why we need to rethink it.
Salad vegetables are pitifully low in nutrition. The biggest thing wrong with salads is lettuce, and the biggest thing wrong with lettuce is that it’s a leafy-green waste of resources….
It’s not just lettuce. Cucumbers, radishes, lettuce and celery are essentially just water, too. They are things that go crunch and fool people into thinking they are eating and not drinking.
My favorite line in the piece:
Lettuce is a vehicle to transport refrigerated water from farm to table….
Good one, huh? Well my wife read that, acknowledged that yes, lettuce is worthless (and it is to be noted that the salads she makes these days are made from more solid stuff), but then told me to take a gander at this:
Beef: The ”King” of the Big Water Footprints
When a Prince talks farming, you listen. This is nothing new for the GRACE food program folks, but as the “water guy,” that’s all I could think about shortly after reading Chris Hunt’s roundup (or “knowledge dump“) of the speakers and themes from May’s Future of Food conference. The “Prince” in question is sadly not his Purple Majesty but rather, Charles, the Prince of Wales, who issued a stern warning –and in the process stirred up a long simmering debate among Americans – that resonated with me because of its virtual water conservation message: Beef production and consumption are water intensive and a drain on our world water supplies.
According to His Royal Highness:
In a country like the United States, a fifth of all your grain production is dependent upon irrigation. For every pound of beef produced in the industrial system, it takes two thousand gallons of water. That is a lot of water and there is plenty of evidence that the Earth cannot keep up with the demand.
Quite resounding, old chap! While it’s a well-established fact that meat production requires more water than fruits, vegetables or grains, an average water footprint of 2,000 gallons per pound of beef is enormous indeed. You might be wondering how the water footprint of meat – using Prince Charles’s statistic – compares to the water footprints of other agricultural products…
I think she chose HRH as an authority because of my well-documented Anglophilia. (Right after 9/11, I put an American flag out by our front door, and I wanted to add a Union Jack, but she forebade it, on account of being Irish.)
But obviously, based on some of the choices he’s made in the past, the prince is not an infallible source.
That’s all I’ll say about that for now.