Bad Gas vs. Good Gas (It’s not what you think…)

From time to time I enjoy tinkering with cars.  Now I admit that this is kind of a weird thing to hear in this day and age of instant gratification, overly-complex machines, and no time to “do-it-yourself”.  I guess my desire comes from spending time with my Dad when he didn’t have money to pay someone to fix his car back in the day.  Anyway – one of the cars I particularly enjoying messin with is my 1974 Triumph TR-6.  I realize that this car is probably older than most of the people reading this blog but that is, in fact, the beauty of the car.  The Triumph TR-6 is a tiny little British-made car that is so incredibly straight forward and simple that anyone with a set of wrenches and a little bit of desire can figure out how to fix it.

So what does an obscure little British sports car have to do with a Paleo blog?  …Glad you asked…  Let’s get on with it.  One day I got the itch to go out and get the TR-6 running, yet again, and all cleaned up for a nice Sunday drive.  Well, after jump starting the dead battery and a few other minor adjustments she actually started up.  I washed the car by hand and ran it for a while when I started to take note of how rough the car was running.  And by rough I mean, sputtering, stalling, backfiring, and smoking terribly almost to the point of being unsafe to drive.  In my infinite wisdom I decided that my car was very very sick and needed the help of a skilled professional.  I thought that surely I must need new spark plugs, spark plug wires, and a carburetor adjustment just t for starters.

So later that week I went to see my “TR-6 guy.”  He’s the professional I found who knows how to work on these cars and doesn’t charge me an arm and a leg.  I told him what was going on and he just stared off in the distance for a while the way country boys do.   Then he asked me;  “how long has she been sittin up?”  I replied that the car hadn’t been seriously driven in a number of years, and had sat for at least the last year and a half.  He then asked me how long the gas had been in the tank.  Of course I thought to myself, “what the hell is he asking me about gas for when I told him this car has serious problems!?  We can worry about the damn gas later.”  Well long story short is that he told me that before he would even look at the car he thought I should siphon all of the old gas out and replace it with brand new gas.  Then, if I needed to, come back to see him.

So I bought myself a little $4 hand pump and a bucket like the man said and I pumped all of the old gas out of the tank.  I replaced that old gas with premium gas fresh out of the pump and guess what?  Exactly…!  That old girl ran like a dream.  The engine was nice and smooth, and quiet, no hiccups or stalling, and the smoking problem was completely gone.

I drove it around for a while and it felt like a brand new car.  And while I was driving I got to thinking…  This is the perfect analogy – Fuel for a car is exactly like fuel (read: Food) for a human body.  If you continue to put garbage into a car or a person, how could you possibly expect to get anything more than poor performance out of it.  In the case of a human body we all know that poor performance shows up as low energy, no strength, unexplained weight gain, assorted diseases, depression, achy joints, bad skin, and the list goes on and on and on.  In short, the body breaks down just like your car.

This was about 2 years ago and it’s exactly when I had my “ah-ha” moment and realized that it was quite silly of me to think that my body is any less of a machine than my car, and that it might not be a good idea for me to be more concerned about what I put into my car than I was with what I put into me.  Jus sayin….