Getting Back to Basics…Way Back

This has got to stop.  It’s getting far too convoluted and confusing.

“Paleo” is being used far too loosely and as result, too many people who might benefit tremendously from following True Paleo are, in effect, being deprived of the opportunity to try it.

For example, if you have an autoimmune condition, the real Paleo Diet would be a fantastic fit for you due to its anti inflammatory nature and focus on rich Omega 3 fatty acids, huge variety of fresh, local veggies and wild, natural proteins, all of which will help the body to ‘calm down’, become less inflamed and consequently, result in less discomfort from symptoms to even eliminating symptoms completely.

However, if the lines of Paleo are so blurred that you’re presented with a skewed version of it which looks something like this:

  • A daily breakfast of “Paleo Pancakes” (yes, gluten free, but still high in inflammatory Omega 6s from the nut flours used in lieu of whole wheat), topped with grass fed butter (dairy is not Paleo)
  • A sandwich lunch made with “Paleo Bread” (which uses vinegar – not Paleo – and more of those inflammatory nut flours) and commercially available deli meat (most of which is far from natural, or pastured…or meat!)
  • A snack of “Paleo” trail mix including jerky made with soy (again- not Paleo) and dried fruit treated with sulfur dioxide ( need I say more?)
  • A dinner consisting of bacon wrapped (pastured, uncured bacon once in a great while – maybe- but not the mass market, inhumanely sourced types we see in the market, and certainly not eaten regularly), fried (hello?) fish on top of cauliflower ‘rice’ topped with ghee (again- no dairy is Paleo)

You’re not actually getting anywhere near the value you’d be getting if you ate a True Paleo diet.

The example above is not a figment of my imagination- it’s a real life representation shared with me by many different people who have approached me with concern and said they’d tried Paleo but it didn’t work.  

But they never actually, really tried Paleo.  They just tried a modified, sort-of Paleo, sort-of typical American diet hybrid.

Barely any vegetables or fruit, for a start. And all those processed, refined food-items?

Sure, raw nuts in moderation, as a garnish, not a main fat source, can be part of your Paleo regime, but not as a daily go-to source of fat.   Far too high in inflammatory Omega 6s; in fact, many with auto immune conditions would fare much better if they cut out all nuts and their derivative products for a full month, in addition to the nightshade plants, in addition to pure Paleo, and then try testing one at a time to gauge reactions.

Vinegar is not part of the Paleo diet and if anyone is dealing with an overgrowth of yeast in their gut or anywhere in their body, adding more yeast through food is the last thing they’d want to do.

Dairy is not part of the Paleo diet either; it’s acidic, inflammatory and not indicated for promoting ideal health in anyone…except calves.  I don’t know how all the controversy on dairy being Paleo ever began.  If there’s any doubt, check out Dr. Cordain’s latest book, The Paleo Answer, and you can read straight from the expert the scientific studies that explain why.  

I expect to receive some commentary on my stance on dairy, which is fine.  Often people will write in and comment ‘I tolerate grass fed dairy just fine’ or ‘Everyone has their own version of Paleo that works for them’.  That’s fine and totally understandable…however, the essence of what True Paleo is needs to remain intact, as stated in the introduction, otherwise too many people will never reap all the bounty of what the diet was originally intended to be.

To recap, this is Paleo, and this is how each meal should look (apart from meals eaten right before or after exercising):

  • About 2/3 of your plate should be filled with fresh, local, seasonal veggies
  • Add about a palm sized amount of wild protein
  • Add a dollop of healthy fat-such as olive oil or avocado
  • Sometimes, add some fruit

That’s it.  Very, very simple.   If you can make this your norm, and eat when your body tells you it’s time, you’ll be golden.   The, you can use the ‘sort of’ Paleo’ items mentioned above as the very occasional, once in a while treat instead of the originals that may have been heavy in gluten or white sugar and so on, and that can make up your 5% of un-Paleo foods, or whatever ratio you decide works for you.