Jody Cullen is training for her first Ironwoman competition.
Before she went on the popular Paleo diet, she didn't think her body was strong enough for the grueling triathlon.
"I just feel so much better, especially when I'm out running or doing something athletic. I don't feel this heavy weight that I'm caring around. I feel strong," Cullen said.
The Paleo diet dates back thousands of years to the time of cavemen and women. It consists of meat, fish, eggs, vegetables and nuts. It excludes beans, peas, grains, dairy, refined sugars and processed foods. The diet is based on the idea that eating as our ancestors did in prehistoric times is much healthier than how humans eat today.
Providence Internist Dr. Miles Hassell said any diet that excludes those refined carbohydrates and increases vegetable consumption is good for you, but he is not a fan of the Paleo diet.
Hassell said it's an especially bad idea to cut all grains from your diet.
"People who have more fiber from cereals, grains, beans and legumes have lower rates of every disease possible – diabetes, cancer and heart disease," Hassell said.
Hassell also points out there have been no long term studies of the Paleo diet, whereas the Mediterranean diet, which he advocates, has been studied long and hard.
The Mediterranean diet has the Paleo diet as its core but adds dairy, whole grains, beans and olive oil. Dark chocolate and wine are also allowed on the Mediterranean diet.
Still, Cullen maintains the Paleo diet is working for her. She tells FOX 12 she no longer suffers from joint pain now that she's cut out whole grains.
She admits the diet has been an adjustment. For instance, show now eats tortillas made from cauliflower, but she says she's reaping benefits.
"I feel great and I'm training and I'm looking forward to just killing it," Cullen said of her upcoming race.
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