Top 10 Reasons I’m Not Paleo

by Ann Marie Michaels on June 20, 2012

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Phil Hartman as Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer (Click the link to watch the video — hilarious!)

Update: I’m a big advocate of freedom of speech and believe in lively debate and sharing of opinions. That said, name-calling, fighting, and general nastiness will no longer be tolerated. I don’t have a comments policy posted anywhere on this blog, so I’m posting it now. Any comments that are disrespectful, rude, and/or contain foul language will be deleted as spam. If you get enough spam comments, your comments will no longer appear.

The paleo diet is the hottest fad diet since vegetarianism. If you’re not familiar with the movement, paleo folks eat a “paleolithic” or “caveman” diet of meat, more meat, and pretty much anything they can forage (berries, nuts and so forth). The only foods that are allowed are ones that were available prior to the dawn of agriculture 10,000 years ago.

If you’re following a paleo diet and it is working for you, more power to you. We can agree to disagree.

Here are my top 10 reasons why I’m not paleo.

Top 10 Reasons I’m Not Paleo

1. I Really Like Cheese

Which is why I named this blog CHEESESLAVE. But cheese is verboten on the paleo diet.

Yes, I know some paleo people eat cheese, but many of them think that eating a chunk of cheddar is equivalent to making a pact with the devil. You see, according to their logic, cheese is a “neolithic” food, and therefore not paleolithic. At best, it’s considered a compromise food for most paleo folks.

It’s true, cheese is neolithic. And yet it has been a staple food among humans for over 10,000 years.

If that’s not “old” enough for you, how old is old enough? Homo habilis? Homo erectus?

I ask you, do we really need to go back 1 million years ago to eat a healthy diet?

And if so, why? Why do we need to go that far back? Are the health benefits of homo erectus that much better than those of say, someone living 100 or 200 or even 500 years ago?

Do we really need to throw the baby out with the bathwater and throw out all dairy (and the foods of domesticated animals) and all grains? If so, why? Is there evidence for that?

Sorry, I’m going into Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer here…. :-)

But honestly, if you’ve been eating paleo for any length of time, don’t you miss grilled cheese sandwiches? Quesadillas? Pizza?

Speaking of pizza and grilled cheese sandwiches…

Sourdough Bread

2. I Really Like Bread

Crusty sourdough with lots of butter. Hearty brown German sunflower bread. Croissants. (Yes, croissants. They may be made with white flour, which is very low on the nutrient-density scale. But did you know they are almost 40% butter?)

And is bread really that bad for you? How can it be, when humans around the world have been thriving on it as a staple in their diet for over 10,000 years (and possibly up to 50,000 years)?

Is the modern epidemic of “gluten intolerance” really caused by eating wheat? Or is it possible that something else is causing gluten intolerance?

There is a theory that antibiotic drugs cause an imbalance of gut flora and cause prevent the digestive tract from secreting enzymes that enable us to break down complex proteins such as gluten. Sounds a lot more plausible than the idea that wheat suddenly started causing gluten intolerance out of nowhere.

I’m sure I’ll get lots of comments about Wheat Belly and the theory of “modern” wheat. Of course, I think that is a load of hogwash. Humans have been cross-breeding crops since the dawn of agriculture. And antibiotics are a LOT more harmful than modern wheat ever will be.

I will write a more detailed post about the flaws in the modern wheat theory at a later date when I finish reading the book.

Blueberry Pie

3. I Really Like Cookies. And Cake. And Pies.

Hey, I understand, you’re on the GAPS diet, you can’t eat grains. That’s cool. I totally respect that. I gave up gluten for 2 years when I was healing my gut in my 20s. (And yes, I did overcome gluten intolerance.)

But would I go without grains for life? No way. I don’t eat sweets every day, but I do enjoy them often. And of course, I do try to use unrefined sweeteners.

And what is wrong with pies exactly? Oh sure, there’s some white flour in the crust. But it’s also loaded with nutritious butter and lard. Can this really be so bad?

And do you really need to eat like Australopithecus Afarensis to feel like you’re eating a healthy diet? Have you seen a picture of Australopithecus Afarensis lately?

Here you go:

Australopithecus afarensis

Why not just go back one hundred years? Or even two hundred? That still constitutes a traditional diet. Heck, we could evren go back to the middle ages.

And you know what they ate in the middle ages? They ate pies.

4. Paleo is Low Carb

By default. And low carb messed me up. See my post: Why I Ditched Low Carb.

Be sure to read the bit about Chris Masterjohn, Dr. Weston Price, the people living near the Arctic Circle and fertility. That was key for me, and really opened my eyes. If you have to eat thyroid gland in order to reproduce, your low carb diet may not be working so well.

Hey, if you’re living in a place where you don’t have any access to carbs (i.e. the North Pole), then, yeah, it makes sense to go kill a bunch of moose and hand out the thyroid glands to the young people who want to have babies. But if you have ready access to carbs, such as potatoes and bread and rice, why not eat them?

And by the way, the Weston A. Price Foundation diet is not low carb. Dr. Price never recommended a low carb diet. There were some cultures he studied who ate low carb, but many others who did not. I’ll be writing a post about that soon.

5. The Paleo Diet is Too Restrictive

We live in a world dominated by pizza, nachos and chocolate chip cookies. Are you really going to tell your kids they can’t have these things — ever — because (ahem) “they’re not paleo”?

Why not, instead, learn how to make healthy versions of nachos and chocolate chip cookies and pizza (recipe coming soon)?

If you raise your children to be logical and good critical thinkers (and I hope you do), I don’t think they’ll fall for your flawed logic that a paleo is superior just because it is paleo. (See #6 and #7 below.)

I understand that we want our children to eat a nutritious diet. And there is nothing wrong with promoting nutritious foods and working hard to get our children to eat them. Obviously I am a proponent of that — otherwise, I would have never started this blog, and kept it going for almost five years.

I always tell my daughter she can’t have candy or cookies before dinner because they are foods that won’t make her grow big and strong. However, she’s allowed dessert after dinner. I try to serve nutrient-dense desserts like crème brûlée or ice cream made with grass-fed cream and egg yolks, chock-full of fat-soluble activators, vitamins A, D and K2.

I’d never tell her she can’t eat a cookie because “it’s not paleo”. That’s just bad logic.

And around here, we follow the 80/20 rule. A cookie here and there won’t kill you if you are eating a nutritious diet most of the time.

6. Paleo is Not Scalable

There’s a reason the hunters and gathers died out. Nothing against hunter-gatherers, but they were all almost completely wiped out by people who ate cheese and bread.

Why? How? Want the evidence? Read Jared Diamond’s fascinating book, Guns, Germs and Steel.

In the book, Diamond explains that there are advantages to learning how to domesticate animals — especially big herbivores such as goats, cows, horses and sheep. You can use them to plow fields faster. And they can provide you with high-protein, nutrient-dense foods such as milk, butter and cheese.

And there are benefits to growing grains, which will store for very long periods of time. If you’ve got a silo of grain, and a cow that gives you milk every day, you no longer have to spend your days hunting and foraging and scheming how you’re going to get your next meal, you have more time to do things like invent new kinds of technology. Like steel weapons, guns — and iPads.

Diamond tells an amazing story in Guns, Germs and Steel about the Spanish conquest of the Peruvian Inca. On November 15th 1532, 168 Spanish conquistadors showed up in the holy city of Cajamarca, Peru, where they found 80,000 Peruvian soldiers. Although seriously outnumbered, 168 Spaniards slaughtered over 7,000 Inca warriors within 24 hours.

How did this happen? (1) The Spaniards had horses and the Peruvians had no domesticated animals other than llamas, which could not be ridden. Soldiers on horseback had a distinct advantage over soldiers on foot. (2) The Spaniards had steel swords and guns. The Inca were unarmed.

While guns and steel killed many native people (as the above story illustrates), it was germs that were responsible for the genocide of the Indians:

European farmers, rearing cattle, pigs, sheep, goats, horses and donkeys, lived in close proximity with their animals — breathing, eating and drinking animal germs.

Native Americans had no domesticated animals, and when they were exposed to these germs from livestock, they perished in great numbers.

Is this to say that killing innocent people and taking their land is a good thing? No, Diamond is not defending colonialism; nor am I. He is simply making the point that there are very few hunter-gatherer tribes left on the planet because the world has changed and technology has advanced.

When we stop having to worry so much about how to find food, we are able to advance as a species.

Because hunting is so unpredictable, traditional societies have usually relied more on gathering. In this part of Papua New Guinea, the gathering is done by women. An important source of food here [in Papua New Guinea] is wild sago. By stripping a sago tree they can get to the pulp at the centre, which can be turned into dough and then cooked. Although it’s physically harder work, gathering is generally a more productive way of finding food than hunting. But it still doesn’t provide enough calories to support a large population.

Jared Diamond: This jungle around us, you might think it’s a cornucopia, but it isn’t. Most of these trees in the jungle don’t yield, don’t give us anything edible. There were just a few sago trees, and the rest of these trees don’t yield anything that we could eat.

And then sago itself has got limitations — one tree yields only maybe about 70 pounds of sago. It takes them three or four days to process that tree, so it’s a lot of work really for not a great deal of food, plus the sago starch is low on protein, and also the sago can’t be stored for a long time. And that’s why hunter/gatherer populations are so sparse. If you want to feed a lot of people, you’ve got to find a different food supply, you’ve got to find a really productive environment, and it’s not going to be a sago swamp. (Source)

7. Paleo is Based on Fantasy

The paleo diet is fundamentally flawed. It’s a diet based on misinformation about the past and the present. Paleo adherents believe that the hunter-gatherer lifestyle is somehow superior to that of the sedentary agriculturalist. It is a romantic ideal based on fantasy, not reality.

The reality is that living as a hunter-gatherer is not an easy life, and it was not a lifestyle people chose because they thought it was cool or better. Hunter-gatherers did/do not have access to domesticated animals and did not have the ability to grow crops. I find it very hard to believe that if they had cows or sheep that they would not have found a way to start milking them.

Why go forage for a meal or hunt for a wild animal when you can keep a cow who will give you milk every day with a lot less effort?

moss

I guarantee you, if you were living in the wild, subsisting on sago that takes 3-4 days to process and is very low in protein, and someone brought you a cow that would give you milk every day, or showed you how to cultivate honey from a bee hive, you would jump at the chance.

According to Jared Diamond in Guns, Germs and Steel, cannibalism may have arisen in New Guinea due to the scarcity of sources of protein. The traditional crops, taro and sweet potato, are low in protein compared to wheat and pulses, and the only edible animals available were small or unappetizing, such as mice, spiders, and frogs. Cannibalism led to the spread of Kuru disease, affecting the brain, similar to Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, prompting the Australian administration to outlaw the practice in 1959. (Source)

I’m not saying that if you become a hunter-gather, you will be driven to cannibalism. I’m just saying hunting and gathering isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. And maybe grains and legumes aren’t so bad after all. Balance is a good thing.

8. Paleo is Impractical

Is anyone really expecting people to get out and hunt for their breakfast? How about foraging? Are we expected to forage for our all of our meals? On top of working 9 hours per day plus taking care of the kids and getting them to soccer practice?

Dinosaurs and Cavemen

So how do we “do” paleo in the real world? Buy grass-fed beef and organic arugula from the upscale health food store? And is this really practical?

OK, I can see storing loads of meat and fish in the deep freeze. I do that.

But how do we stay on top of all the fresh veggies? We can’t serve beans or grains — so we must keep vast amounts of fresh veggies in the fridge and freezer.

If you ask me, it’s exhausting. Especially if you have a large family.

Now, I’m not knocking the GAPS Diet for those who really need it. If I had an autistic child and s/he was doing better on GAPS (and I’ve heard so many stories from moms whose kids have VASTLY improved on GAPS), you’d better believe I’d follow GAPS.

But GAPS is a temporary diet for people who need healing. It’s not, in my opinion, a lifelong diet. Dr. Campbell-McBride includes instructions in her book, Gut and Psychology Syndrome: Natural Treatment for Autism, Dyspraxia, A.D.D., Dyslexia, A.D.H.D., Depression, Schizophrenia, for how to reintroduce dairy products, legumes, and whole grains.

9. Paleo is Expensive

I can make a one-pound loaf of whole wheat sourdough bread for about 50 cents to $1. Compare that to anywhere from $4-12 for a pound of ground beef.

Dried beans cost around 25 to 50 cents after they are soaked and cooked.

If you’re in your twenties and you have a lot of disposable income, then sure, paleo is no problem.

But for a single mom who is struggling to put food on the table to feed her three kids, it’s another story. If she’s on the paleo diet, she’s not allowed to stretch meals with beans and rice and bread. Because it’s “not paleo”.

I’ve met plenty of people from Honduras and Mexico and Guatemala who grew up on rice and beans (and plenty of good fats and organ meats) who had no cavities or degenerative disease. Same goes for people from Russia and Slovakia.

Not to mention the healthy cultures that Dr. Weston A. Price studied. The Swiss who ate 50% of their diet as sourdough rye bread. Or the Scots who ate 50% of their diet as soaked oats. They were vibrantly healthy eating whole grains.

10. The Paleo Diet is a Waste of Time and Energy

I often see Paleo people on Facebook or Paleo Hacks arguing over whether or not honey is paleo. They proudly pronounce their disdain for milk and other dairy products, as “neolithic foods”.

I ask you, why do people sit around arguing about whether or not honey is paleo? Why not just go buy some honey at the grocery store? Or, better yet, a farmer’s market?

Why not just feed yourself with what is available, and then get on to more important things, such as inventing alternative energy sources or curing cancer?

Subscribing to an extremely rigid diet based on a load of misinformation and made-up ideas and sitting around defending it seems like a giant waste of time, especially when there are so many more interesting, valuable, and important things to be doing in the world.

I’m not recommending that we go out and buy boxes of Frosted Flakes. But what is wrong with soaked granola made with raw, local honey? My point is that there is a middle ground. We don’t need to travel back thousands of years to be healthy.

Want More?

If you enjoyed this post, you will enjoy this e-book by Matt Stone: 12 Paleo Myths. I read and loved it. I’ll be posting a review soon.

Update: I’m a big advocate of freedom of speech and believe in lively debate and sharing of opinions. That said, name-calling, fighting, and general nastiness will no longer be tolerated. I don’t have a comments policy posted anywhere on this blog, so I’m posting it now. Any comments that are disrespectful, rude, and/or contain foul language will be deleted as spam. If you get enough spam comments, your comments will no longer appear.

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{ 1061 comments… read them below or add one }

Grok April 4, 2013 at 6:50 PM

Ugh… you missed the point. Do you know what? We aren’t restrictive. We actually can have cheese. We can make paleo cookies! We can almost make paleo anything! The point is this: On the Paleo Diet we do one thing different. We don’t hunt our food. No sir, we buy our yummy paleo food from Whole Foods and other healthy, paleo stores. And do you what? I loved bread, and all that other stuff. But your life changes. And you can make paleo pizza, grilled cheese, and quesadilla. Please look up “MarksDailyApple.Com” on google for more info.

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non-grok November 7, 2013 at 9:07 AM

grok ate rats,bugs and weeds and had a life span of 15-40yrs.Legumes and beans are nutritious not anti-nutritious(Show me one scientific paper telling that Not that “manipulated” Marksdailyapple blog reason where he says it causes intestinal ruptures)

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Jon November 15, 2013 at 8:29 AM

I hope you know the average lifespan that you are quoting is also based on infant mortality rates which were extremely high. Those that got past infancy actually made it into their 60s and 70s as well. Plus if you look at the studies that show the nutrition content of legumes, those numbers are based off of beans in a raw state, which you would not eat like that. Also, the next question about the nutrition of these foods is the bio-availabily of these foods in our digestive system. Why do beans make people fart? Probably because they are not being digested correctly. Soy, which is also a legume, has been shown to increase rates of cancer because it contains an estrogen like compound which mimics the hormone and can cause disruptions and an imbalance in the body. How it affects cancer is because the cancer is actually shown to grown because of the increased presence of estrogen due to it’s consumption. I’m sure you’ve also heard about the anti-nutriant nature of legumes, and how they will actually block the absorption of other minerals and vitamins. Maybe you could find a source of these studies that are not being funded by the corporations that pay to see specific results because they have a certain product out that can be mass marketed to people who only read headlines. Once you start actually cooking for yourself, and stop eating prepackaged products that you can make on your own, then we can talk about what type of foods people are actually going to be able to live off of. I can tell you right now it’s not what modern day factories call health food.

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Mom2Rad March 23, 2014 at 12:28 PM

Well guess what? Legumes make me gassy and my gut feels shredded up and terrible. I agree it is perfectly fine for many but not for everyone. I’m not sure you actually understand the idea behind paleo. It isn’t supposed to be a “six weeks to get ripped” type of diet. It is a lifestyle overhaul. The best use of the Paleo diet is to use it as a basis for a diet that is perfect for YOU. You start by restricting and then can SLOWLY add foods back into your diet and see how your body responds. So for some, legumes are okay and for others, (myself included) dairy is acceptable in reasonable amounts. Wheat and grain are a whole different issue. We may never see eye to eye and that’s okay.
Wheat and grain is an addiction and are little more than sugar made to look healthy or hearty. Whole grains are better but that doesn’t mean good. Frozen yogurt is better than ice cream but you shouldn’t have either one often because they are both unhealthy. Gluten breaks down into sugar. Sugar is a drug. You like your breads and sugars the way a smoker loves their cigarettes. Just because you don’t like the science doesn’t make it untrue. You can live a very healthy life without grains. You can get very sick eating a diet heavy in grains. You can get fiber from all kinds of foods besides grains btw and the only reason you believe they are okay is because the American food industry is invested in and tied up with grains (i.e. Wheat and corn). They tell you these products are healthy. They are lying. Can you have some and still be healthy? Of course, but some people choose not to bother with grains because they are addicted (sort of like you saying you can’t live without them) and it’s easier to abstain then to try and eat them in moderation. Many alcoholics make the same choice.
I have cut grains from my diet and all processed foods. I feel better than I have in years and I have always been against these types of restrictive diets. To someone who used to agree with you, I know for a fact that all your reasons are either excuses or the monster that is carb addiction clinging on for dear life. I don’t mean that in an insulting way, but food is a very bad comforter. You have positive feelings attached to eating and eating certain foods. Find something else (like exercise) to comfort you and eat to nourish yourself. Sure you might live to 90 eating lots of grains and carbs but the last twenty years of your life will be on meds, have cancers, diabetes or strokes, be in and out of the hospital making big pharma their money. They’ll keep you alive because you aren’t work anything dead and these treatments cost a lot of money. Think I’m paranoid? You are the one living in a fantasy if you think the food industry or medical community in this country values your health over their almighty dollar. It’s not about length of life as much as it is about quality.

Stay fat, stay lazy and stay compliant America!

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Tee April 9, 2013 at 6:18 AM

You’re entitled to your opinion, but please source scientific studies to your claims. If not, then that’s just it…baseless opinions. Contrary to this wildly popular belief that Paleo is “low carb”, it is not. Carbs are plentiful via roots, fruits, and so on. Most paleo folks eat Sweet Potatoes, White Potatoes, and Fruits. As it evovles (the irony in this word, I get it), people start finding ways to re-introduce things they love, in paleo ways (Almond butter, almond bread, cauliflower rice, and so on). In all seriousness, this article should be named “Why I WONT do paleo”, instead of “Why I CAN’T do paleo”. It’s not a notion of you finding it impossible, it’s a notion of you failing to have the discipline to try it for 30 days. I’m all for people saying “I tried it for 30 days, and re-introduced things I missed; i had no issues”. That’s fine, your body clearly can cope with grains/breads/cheeses. However, if you haven’t even given it a chance…and you criticize it…it’s hard to take your opinion seriously.

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Tee April 9, 2013 at 6:20 AM

Let me clarify, studies from things like the National Library of Medicine. Armchair or controlled studies don’t seem to count as much. You can almost say anything backs up your claim if some random doctor, that isn’t peer reviewed does a control study which is given the environment for their bias to thrive.

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JTR September 21, 2013 at 7:34 AM

Not low carb, that’s a laugh. I get my best recipes for my low carb diet of paleo boards on pinterest. It might not be totally low carb. But has plenty of low carb influences. Btw, paleo is stupid, the premise is dumb. Cavemen lived to 50, we live to 73. Cavemen had good cardio cause they were always running in terror and working all day to survive, not sitting in desks or at the tv. Until paleo focuses more on exercise of the caveman than the diet, no respect. On a side note the above post about how ppl buy all their paleo food at whole foods is hilarious. :)

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TuberTam September 21, 2013 at 11:59 AM

Totally! It’s just like those vegans who claim they’re flesh free even though I get some of the best side dish recipes for my flesh entrees from their websites! Who do they think they’re fooling!

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Emma October 31, 2013 at 4:18 AM

Hahaha. That’s the worst argument ever.

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Holly April 14, 2013 at 2:34 AM

I find this blog very honest and after being a vegetarian on paleo and raw food diets ill tell you all that your wasting your time cutting out food groups that you will only end up eating down the line. Its all about the quality of the products we buy. Staying away from GMOs chemicals preservitives and unnatural things. We all agree we need to get back to a more natural place but that takes alot more then are diet. I find it easy to make paleo and yes it cost more but its better for you and your family but dairy is awesome and so is sprouted grains beans and legumes. All you can do is try your best and not say your 100% of anything. Its all about reducing certain foods and increasing others fruits and vegetables should be the center of every meal no matter what.

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Kenny Holland April 14, 2013 at 4:00 PM

Its not really a matter of whether your are or are not “paleo” you can follow a paleo diet mostly but still feel free to divulge occasionally on whatever you want.
1. Human health has declined in the past 10,000 years so I don’t understand how “It’s true, cheese is neolithic. And yet it has been a staple food among humans for over 10,000 years.” is a valid point.
2. The fact that those humans didn’t choose that lifestyle is exactly the point. They ate in a way that supported a much tougher life style and therefore put a heavier trial on their bodies, which is why they were healthier presumably considered that we are here and they were able to do things then that we could probably never manage.
3. Butter is both dairy and very fattening. Fat isn’t “bad” for you but won’t look to good if you don’t use what you eat.
4. The amount of carbs you need depends on many factors such as your weight and how active you usually are. What you don’t use will simply be stored in fat so whether or not that is “bad” for you just depends on A. How active you are and B. How much extra fat you want on you.
5. Guns were the only reason those who ate bread won, given time to be equal in advancement, the Indians would have by far won. Considering it was arguably Indian Guerrilla fighting tactics which won American Independence, and the fact that indians could be a force at all with only bows and tomahawks and the such. You can’t really argue that bread caused the development of guns so that point is void. Even so. it would make sense considering early brain development without those things, if anything, it was a cause of a harsher environment that required more innovation, and separate individual discoveries in different order from the different continents, but that is a different discussion.
6. It is definitely more expensive, but it is more expensive for a reason. It is better for you, and in most cases you can get away with eating less of that healthy stuff and still be filled up. Consider buying in bulk and ordering online for some things. If you love tea or coffee for exmaple, you can order a lot in bulk for a low price of good quality stuff depending on where you look. There are also farmers markets and other things to save on the fruits and veggies. Fruit is excellent for energy but is extremely high in sugar (albeit natural sugar). It is best to have maybe a banana or and apple in the morning in place of coffee (it is said to provide with more energy anyway).
7. Another important factor of diet is also when you eat, which is not talked about much. The best thing is to eat the most for breakfast and snack on small nutritional things such as almonds throughout the day and not to eat anything after 6pm. Ideally load your breakfast with protein and carbs (depending on how much you work out and whether or not you want to gain or lose weight) and, as a said previously, maybe half of a banana to energize you which you finish around the time you get the 4 o clock drowsiness.
8. Bottom line, you really don’t need to justify the way you eat. Healthier people feel better, think clearer, and are more awake. If you want to sacrifice those things for the temporary pleasure of cheese, sweets, and other things it is totally your choice. Don’t complain when you are to blame for all of these things not being there though. A little bit of cheese or the occasional cake is not going to totally ruin your diet though. Plus all of this changes when activity is mixed into the equation. The more you work out the more you can get away with in terms of eating, it would be most beneficial to study what you individually need to maintain/gain/lose weight and feel the best. :)

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Melissa April 22, 2013 at 3:06 PM

OMG…..THANK YOU for this post! My hubby had this brilliant plan to go primal for the month of April (primal is like paleo but WITH the cheese ((thought you’d like that!))…). Well, the first week I went through the carb flu. The second week I was just bored with the limited food choice. And here I am on week three and announced at lunch that I was DONE. Seriously, I run a home daycare, have two homeschooled children of my own and I do NOT have time to cook up chicken breasts and grind freaking nuts at lunch time. What a time-sucker paleo is. Honestly……I MISS pasta, bread and the good things in life. What’s the point in living life if you can’t even have a piece of bread? Life is far too short. And, yes, I hear you on ‘soccer practice nights’. Lord, I have two kids to get to Scouting…some nights I just need a one-pot meal of pasta.

I tried primal/paleo. I’m not a believer. I was miserable. Sure, I lost 8 pounds in three weeks (because I never cheated once) but I am also sure that most of that is likely water weight. Oh, and what fun it was the ONE time I went to a restaurant and thought the ribs I was ordering were the best choice….my body revolted in ways unimaginable. Is that what it’s like to be primal and then need to function in the real world where sometimes NON-paleo/primal foods are what is offered to eat?

NO thanks……pass the bread.

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SourPuss April 24, 2013 at 9:15 AM

Melissa,

No doubt, paleo or primal diets take more thought than the typical SAD, but are you at all familiar with the diet that Cheeseslave advocates? You complain about grinding nuts (why you’d have to do this for lunch every day is beyond me, but different strokes, etc.) but she actually grinds GRAINS. But she doesn’t grind them from their harvested state, first she soaks or sours them for 24 hours, then dehydrates them, and THEN she grinds them. She bakes her own breads from scratch because you can’t get ancestrally prepared grains (in any form) in most restaurants.

So though I get that actually having to think about and PLAN what will nourish you and your family is more energy consuming than eating the crap you find in a package in the stores- be careful jumping onto the WAPF badwagon– you certainly won’t be saving any time or energy there.

And I can’t resist asking, how does the addition of bread or pasta keep you from being “bored or limited”? You must have an extremely limited idea of what constitues food options to be so limited by the removal of two choices. Anyone who thinks their only paleo luncheon option is chicken breast and freshly ground nuts needs to spend a little more time learning what food is and that carbohydrates come in many other forms besides grains.

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EliseNJ July 1, 2013 at 1:18 PM

well said. :) People need to be educated about the Paleo lifestyle before making such comments.

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Piltdown Polly December 1, 2013 at 11:53 PM

Just zooming into this ice-cold thread because I couldn’t resist this:

“And I can’t resist asking, how does the addition of bread or pasta keep you from being “bored or limited”?”

If you have to ask…..

I also note cheeseslave has a picture of herself partaking in Paris. While I’m sure there must be French Paleos, in the main, Europeans are 1. not fat. 2. not AFRAID of food. 3. eat, as cheeseslave noted, small amounts of highly refined grains, plus butter, for breakfast.

Once you’ve been away from this country, looking back at the number of diets Americans put ourselves on, and the continually shifting fears we develop of so many types of foods as we dash from one guru to another, well, it’s an eye-opener. And tremendously sad.

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SourPuss December 2, 2013 at 5:05 AM

Oh Polly… you probably should have resisted and just zoomed on through.

This is from the WHO’s international page-

“Obesity is one of the greatest public health challenges of the 21st century. Its prevalence has tripled in many countries of the WHO European Region since the 1980s, and the numbers of those affected continue to rise at an alarming rate.”

Looks like Europeans are indeed fat, and what do you know, it’s on “small amounts of highly refined grains”.

So let’s be real, ok? I wasn’t BORN into a paleo diet, I spent the bulk of my life eating bread and pasta. So I repeat, “how does the addition of bread or pasta keep you from being “bored or limited”?” If you have to get snarky, it probably means you don’t have a valid response- which though not really an eye opener, is still tremendously sad.

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Skye December 2, 2013 at 12:56 PM

Geez, SourPuss, the only snarky one here is you.

Why do so many people feel they have to be so incredibly sharp in their comments and replies? I wish we could all discuss these things passionately but without so much thinly concealed meanness. : (

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Piltdown Polly December 2, 2013 at 2:07 PM

Thanks, Skye.

Actually, I don’t mind snark, if it is a combination of truth and humor, and really, humor isn’t humor if it doesn’t contain truth. And the truth is I was quite seriously gobsmacked that someone could not see how the spectacular variety of gorgeous breadstuffs and noodly wonderfulness eaten by active, healthy, non-neurotics around the world would be a boon to many people’s diets.

And post all the links you like to Fat Europe, SP, but anybody who’s been there has only to look around to see that fat is by and large an American phenomenon. Perhaps excepting Germany and Holland — I don’t want to be unfair to them, having been only to France, Spain and Italy, but in the bunch of times I’ve been to France, I remember meeting only ONE obese Frenchwoman, and a few old men with bellies, who I can bet you wouldn’t trade one inch of belly fat if it meant having no baguette to go with their saucisson.

Finally, overall, the Paleo people on this thread, including you, SP, haven’t covered themselves in glory; there was ONE pleasant lady upthread who said, “Well, I’m not eating bread, so all the more for you!” Thank you kindly, and may all your beef be grass-fed and tender!

The rest of you have by and large been snippy, insulting, supercilious, Paleo-er-than-thou, and altogether behaved in a cultish manner whereby you seem to believe nobody has a right to express an opinion about her own food intake decisions on her own blog lest it offend your delicate sensibilities. You demand that she read more Paleo tracts exhaustively, because the ones she has already read didn’t convert her.

I’m actually not going to your links, SP, because I have neither the time nor the inclination. I haven’t been to Romania or Hungary, just France and Italy and Spain, but I’ll take my own eyewitness observations, thanks ever so, and am willing to bet that any fat Romanians or Hungarians have discovered the modern, globalized diet of stress and sleeplessness.

Cheeseslave, if it’s any comfort, there was a thread one unsuspecting blogger person put up on cooking the kale in your green smoothie, and you should have seen the blood in the comments over that one!

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SourPuss December 2, 2013 at 2:49 PM

To be clear, you resurrected an “ice cold thread” just to criticize, and now you’re getting pious and scolding the other commenters for their tones? That is rich…

Perhaps you have a bit of confirmation bias going on there? Europe is simply behind the US, it isn’t immune in any way to the obesity epidemic, it just hasn’t caught up to us yet.

“The number of obese people in France, famed as the land of the slim, has doubled in the past 15 years to reach seven million, a new study has found.”

But I’m sure they were all slim in the parts of France that you visited.

What I think is funny here is how everyone is jumping on Cheeseslave’s bandwagon on the difficulties of paleo diets without actually paying much attention to how it compares to what she advocates. Her diet is UBER high maintenance compared to a standard paleo diet.

She ALSO eats grassfed and pastured animal foods and her ancient whole grains and beans take days (and sometimes weeks) to be edible, and then she grinds them. The fact that she eats a white flour treat ‘on occasion’ is no less neurotic nor more relaxed than most paleo dieters who also eat the occasional white flour treat (as we consider white far better than whole) and the occasional sugary treat– so the parts you are arguing for are as much paleo as they are WAPF/Cheeseslave-esque. And that was really the point.. the pot is calling the kettle black, even though the kettle [paleo] is more a shade of gray while the pot really is black.

WAPF’s Sally Fallon Morell recommends limiting grains too.

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Piltdown Polly December 2, 2013 at 11:05 PM

“but I’m sure they were all slim in the parts that you visited.”
—no, I saw one obese woman in the Auvergne, whereas, given the new findings on French obesity, I would now see, oh, two. France is still one of the slimmer countries in the E.U., and since the good old ultra-slim days of yore involved a tradition of eating in a distinctly NON paleolithic manner, you are making an argument FOR baguettes and butter. Also for controlled portions, no snacking, fresh, unprocessed produce from the market (a feature of both Paleo and just plain old sensible eating plans), and movement, as in walking around in those delicious town centers from charcuterie to boulangerie, rather than sitting fuming in front of a computer terminal.

Lordy, Sour, your rising cortisol levels are palpable from here.

As to “piousness,” just go back and look at your own, and other Paleo posters’ efforts; they speak for themselves. Unfortunately. It’s a commonplace that you can catch more flies with…oh, you know.

Is vinegar “Paleo?”

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Skye December 2, 2013 at 3:54 PM

Awesome reply.

I share many of your thoughts and much of your experience, Piltdown Polly. I have also been to France, Spain, and Italy (also Sweden, Greece, Serbia, and Croatia), and saw very few obese people in these countries. What I did see was a great enjoyment of food, a culture built around a food, robust family life built around food, and no food neurosis or fetishes (I can only assume they do exist to some degree, somewhere, but a very small degree if that; otherwise it would have been more apparent – as it is ever so apparent in my home city of Los Angeles, for example!).

Thank you for your good spirit, and sharing your thoughts in the way you did. : ) It makes me so happy to engage in these discussions when they are in a climate – no matter the diversity of our opinions – of friendship!

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Piltdown Polly December 3, 2013 at 12:18 AM

Thank you, Skye. It’s a pleasure to meet you, and I say amen to the spirit of sharing differing opinions in a civilized manner.

It’s so easy to act all Internetty (you know that “Someone is WRONG on the Internet!” cartoon) with people one will never meet. Would a Food Fetishist Flamer roll his/her eyes and hand out footnoted fliers protesting his/her 3D hostess’s hand-ground sourdough stuffing in person? Tell the other guests at the table that they were unhealthy, uninformed, pudgy yokels if they said, “but I like stuffing?”

To a surprising extent, we are all just food tubes stocked with highly individualized bacteria. Our siblings can’t necessarily handle the same foodstuffs we can, and as we age, the critters colonizing us change too. That’s why I doubt so many of the prescriptions handed out by enthusiasts; the real answer may be a million different answers, or a billion, all to be revised because of circumstances unforseen or undetected.

A friend of my husband’s just died of a heart attack at the relatively (now) young age of 70. Was he overweight? Not at all. He was a lifelong vegan, macrobiotic, and practiced meditation and yoga. He nevertheless developed colon cancer, which he survived, only to become so convinced he was having some kind of recurrence that he spent his last couple of years going from doctor to doctor, all of whom told him he was cancer-free. His bad health was all he talked about, and I think he actually scared himself to death. Perhaps he imputed warning signs to some more satisfying, exotic disease, or thought his lifestyle made him invulnerable; I don’t know.

I do know the world is capable of being vastly different than we perceive it to be, and that it’s a good idea to incorporate a certain amount of flexibility in one’s worldview: “Perhaps I might be wrong” is not a bad thing to keep in mind. : }

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Guitarian April 25, 2013 at 10:40 AM

I think your article makes a few good points. Mainly I agree that the Paleo diet doesn’t truly understand what Paleolithic people actually ate. In a true paleo diet, people would be eating the dandelions, chickweed, and purslane they are spraying in their yards with Roundup instead of the modern domesticated crops they buy at the grocery store. They would also be eating wild game, not domesticated animals.

The other part of the diet that doesn’t make sense is the “no potatoes” rule. People have been digging roots and tubers since long before agriculture, so why single out the potato? Kind if makes the paleo diet look a little more like a low carb diet in disguise. Here is a good article on that: http://www.primalpalate.com/blog/are-potatoes-paleo/

However, I think that paleo is good in the respect that it teaches people the value of unprocessed foods and recommends grass-fed and pasture-raised meats. (Though most people I have talked to who are “paleo” still eat the confined animal junk at the grocery store.

Personally, I believe the ideal diet is a hybrid of the systems. Agriculture isn’t going anywhere, and we aren’t about to let the land go wild again. Does ask any suburbanite to identify the weeds in their neighborhood. Many of them are healthy, edible plants that have a purpose if you took the time to learn it. I believe in permaculture systems that have room for everything in moderation and create abundance without the use of chemicals and fossil fuels, but thats just me.

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SourPuss April 25, 2013 at 11:56 AM

The paleo diet is FULL of starchy veggies and tubers- the reason white potatoes are “singled out” is because many people are sensitive to nightshades. (tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, tomatillos and white potatoes) So you eliminate them for 30 days, and then add them back and see how you feel. If they work for you, you can eat them.

If you ask the question instead of ignorantly suggesting the restriction is unfounded, you’re more likely to get educated.

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Guitarian April 25, 2013 at 12:09 PM

I’m pretty moderate when it comes these things, and quite frankly the use of the word ignorant is unnecessary. While I don’t claim to be an expert on “paleo,” nor do I generally engage in fad diets, I will site my source. Right on the Paleo diet website what to eat page: http://thepaleodiet.com/what-to-eat-on-the-paleo-diet/

It says to not eat potatoes. It’s great that the diet has some guidelines to make the diet less restrictive, but you must understand that it is clearly presented on the website as one of the main things not to eat. This is the information presented to anyone looking into the diet, and researching the basic principles of the diet.

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SourPuss April 25, 2013 at 3:36 PM

Guitarian,

I called you “ignorant”, not stupid, moronic, or idiotic– so perhaps moderating your response would be worthwhile too. If we don’t know something, we are ignorant of it. The negative spin you put on it is your own.

The heading for the page you site reads:

While our books on The Paleo Diet provide much more detail on the foods you should and shouldn’t eat, here is a basic scheme of things:”

So I do this magical anti-ignorance thing- I plug “paleo diet white potatoes” into a search engine and poof!, I get over 144,000 hits that point me to the data! The page says it isn’t detailed, so if I want to know what it left out, I need to actively LOOK for it. Surely this is a more productive way to gain knowledge than allying yourself with someone who is equally uninformed of the paleo tenets? Did you think Cheeseslave was going to tell you why?

We rarely learn anything from the people that agree with us. We also tend not to learn when we don’t actually LOOK for the information too.

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Skye April 25, 2013 at 6:04 PM

Such good points, Guitarian. I agree with you totally, especially about the beautiful vision of the permaculture systems! Thank you for sharing your careful and wise thoughts.

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Alina May 11, 2013 at 2:56 AM

You’re very misinformed about gluten – most humans didn’t start consuming massive quantities of wheat until recently, when obesity and diabetes skyrocketed. In many cultures wheat is barely consumed – for example my family is Asian and our primary grain is rice, and in our country people barely eat wheat. Personally it makes me feel constipated/bloated – and I have never taken antibiotics or any other medicine so there goes that silly idea. Modern wheat is also completely different from the wheat our ancestors ate, even 2 centuries ago.

I disagree with Paleo diet because: Anthropologists say it’s very different from how our ancestors actually ate – plants/animals have evolved a lot over the past 10,000 years! Cavemen got much of their protein from insects, not steak. Paleo also excludes nutritious food groups like lentils. Beans/peas offer a lot of nutrition and antinutrients are not an issue if they’re cooked properly. Paleo also bans all grains – I completely understand the aversion to wheat but I think rice and quinoa are good alternatives. There are many other reasons but I don’t want to make this comment an essay lol…

Tl;dr paleo isn’t great but the author is misinformed and made a terrible argument.

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Alina May 11, 2013 at 3:09 AM

I also do not agree with the Paleo diet, but this article makes no valid points. It basically equates to “I like pizza! I like chocolate! I like cake!” Too bad because there are many valid reasons to oppose Paleo. The author also foolishly assumes that everyone’s diet is high in wheat and that grains = gluten. But for the majority of people (most people are Asian) rice is the primary grain, not wheat, and rice is gluten-free. For those sensitive to wheat, brown rice especially is a good alternative grain. Your average overweight White American’s diet is not reflective of how most healthy people around the world actually eat. As for cheese, some people are sensitive to dairy. Fortunately I’m not one of those because like the author, I love cheese!

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jenn May 12, 2013 at 9:28 PM

Exactly everything you said! Also, I am a Christian and the Bible talks about bread a lot as an essential food in various cultures. Jesus refers to Himself as “the bread of life”. Not to mention Ezekiel Bread! I was grain free for a bit, but have since added prepared grains back in our diet and have been so much better off! I really believe it’s about cutting out all of the fake crap and figuring out what’s best for you and your family. Thanks for this great post! Love your blog!

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Steve May 12, 2013 at 10:10 PM

Way to justify your dietary practices with the scribbling of primitives instead of legitimate science. Faith involves surrendering logic in the name of mysticism, which renders your argument invalid from the start. The reason bread is mentioned so frequently through the bible is because it was a staple of life when the book was written. No reason greater than that.

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Jenn May 13, 2013 at 7:57 AM

Hi Steve,

My decision wasn’t solely based on my faith, since God doesn’t direct us to eat anything specific, except to refrain from eating food that was offered to idols (referring to the New Testament). I was merely citing a personal conviction that doesn’t necessarily apply to anyone else. I also didn’t feel it necessary to belabor previously made points or cite research on the nutritional availability of traditionally prepared grains, legumes, nuts, & seeds, since so many others have already done a much better job at that than I could! I was only sharing my own personal “balance tipper”, if you will.

But, I do believe the Bible is the living, breathing, active, authoritative Word of God, so I think it’s safe to say (based on your comments) that you and I obviously clash in our worldview. If God told me to never eat cheese again, I would obey. I would be sad! But I would obey. However, He said all things are permissable through the apostle Paul, with moderation of course. If you’d like a more detailed description of the decision-making process I went through before deciding that we would start to consume sprouted, soaked, and fermented grains and legumes as a family, I will gladly provide links and references to literature that helped me along in my journey! I’m happy that Paleo is working really well for you. :) We continue to eat Paleo meals throughout the week, and enjoy how much our bodies love these traditional foods!

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mark May 18, 2013 at 2:16 AM

please send the links! Thank you.

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Jenn June 4, 2013 at 1:27 PM

http://www.marksdailyapple.com/soaked-sprouted-fermented-grains/#axzz2VHRBNjSA
The author obviously doesn’t eat grains, but he does discuss how grains that are properly prepared are suitable for consumption.

http://wellnessmama.com/3486/do-you-have-a-wheat-belly-interview-with-dr-davis/
This book discusses the dangers of gmo and processed wheat. I fully believe that today’s wheat that we see on the grocer’s shelves is killing us. I know it made me fat! I had a chronically bloated stomach – my whole life. As soon as I cut out grains my bloating disappeared. However, adding sprouted grain bread back in to my diet hasn’t adversely affected my health at all. No bloated stomach! No weird digestion issues. No break outs. No fatigue.

My top health resource now is the Weston A. Price Foundation, and Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon. I’ll provide more links if you’d like. I don’t want to create spam!

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Gina July 11, 2013 at 5:46 PM

Jenn –
I came to a similar conclusion as you after a year of paleo. I am a science nerd with a biology degree and have read just about everything I can get my hands on regarding nutrition in the past few years. I transitioned from strict paleo into the WAPF-style soaking/fermenting of grains. Then I came across this article in my research and it really changed my thinking on some of the things I had read, and fell in line with my own experiences and preferences. Now I grind my own grain but I don’t bother with soaking and fermenting (unless I want the sourdough taste). I don’t have any gut issues or side effects and I get to eat delicious, hearty fresh homemade bread. Anyway, thought you might enjoy the read…

http://info.breadbeckers.com/phytic-acid

You can find any study to back up any claim you want to make regarding nutrition. I think it’s about eating real food and finding what works for you (your tastes, your wallet, your available time, etc.) and what doesn’t. The religious-like fervor that seems to come from the Paleo crowd is certainly a little off-putting, especially now that I’ve removed myself from the Paleosphere. I have to go now…fresh hot bread is calling from my oven…

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JTR September 21, 2013 at 7:37 AM

Actually, the Bible does tell us to eat two foods. One is honey. Yum.

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Casey May 22, 2013 at 10:39 AM

All I see in the entire article, is someone needs to watch the documentary “Fat Head.” I’m not really eating “paleo” mainly because I REFUSE to give up raw milk and cheese. I drink 2 glasses a day, and it’s a night and day difference in taste and feeling afterwards in comparison with the pasteurized junk. Well, all I can really say is you’re entitled to your own opinion, but if you eat meat, please make sure it is grass fed.

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Gustav May 28, 2013 at 3:02 AM

Thanks for your thoughts on The Paleo diet Coming from a family of 3 generations of bakers I find it ridiculous. That the Paleo people are baking this thing they call bread and then saying man should not eat bread for grain because it is bad for your health. Bollocks!
I make my own sourdough – bake it in my own wood fired oven here in my backyard and feel good when I eat it.
As for not eating dairy cheese and yogurt – get a life!

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lisa June 3, 2013 at 8:44 AM

I really enjoyed your post. I have been going back and forth with this whole “paleo” thing for the past year. So many things feel right like less/no processed food, grass fed local beef, high amounts of veggies, and no processed sugar. However others have not felt right such as limitless bacon, limited/no fruits and dairy, no brown rice, etc.. It seems there are many Paleo type blogs that have begun to modify the original Paleo rules to fit their wants and needs. Their are countless Paleo dessert recipes, which are suppose to be in strict moderation. What is moderation anyway?I’ve been looking for the definition for a long time. Once a day? Once a week? Once a month? It seems to be whatever each person wants to it be.

There are many testimonials available that “prove” the Paleo diet works, however there are also limitless amounts of information (by sources that appear very legitimate) contradicting the “science” behind the Paleo diet.

Bottom line, I agree with you, our time on this earth is limited and you cannot obsess about a cup of rice, a cube of cheese, or a cupcake. We can learn a lot from the Paleo diet, but it is not the gospel and should not be taken as such. I eat way more veggies than I did before, and I order local grass-fed beef, but I also eat more fruit. I laugh whenever I read comments claiming we must eat fruit in moderation. No one on the planet is obese because they ate too many bananas.

Wake up each day and be thankful for what you have and think of ways to show those important to you that you love them. Take your kids for a walk without your cell phone and try to eat food you enjoy that is the least meddled with, most of the time anyway. Drink lots of water, But most of all enjoy the beauty of being alive.

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Monique June 4, 2013 at 3:12 AM

I came across your blog because among other things food-related I have 2 new obsessions in my life: sourdough baking and cheese making, so I guess it is no surprise that sooner or later Google led me to you!

I found this post a breath of fresh air, so thank you for it! I have too much of a sense of self preservation to get into any arguments regarding the paleo diet, but I am very interested in food and health, but also food and pleasure. Having said that, I am extremely concerned about the current low carb trend. I think it may work well for a short period of time for people with very specific needs. But I am willing to bet money that in time we will learn about all the negative health effects of the low carb craze, much as we are learning about the problems with the low fat dogma today.

The reason I enjoyed this post is that you made a number of arguments from pleasure (I like cheese, I like bread etc)! That is quite rare these days in discussion on diet and even thought to be illegitimate, as a number of the comments you received illustrate. I don’t see why this should be! First of all, it is not like the science of nutrition has exactly given us all the answers or we wouldn’t be having this debate. Secondly, why is pleasure not a valid motivation for what we choose to eat? By way of illustration: just as I don’t engage in sex purely for procreation, I don’t eat purely to meet my energy requirements and nutritional needs. Alert the vatican and the diet police at once! ;)

My current favorite book is “Cooked” by Michael Pollan. I agree that “the most important thing about your diet is not a nutrient, but an activity – cooking.” He convinced me to finally toss out my baker’s yeast and cultivate my own starter. My life will never be the same and I am afraid I am ruined for commercial bread for ever. As I type this I am waiting for my cheese press and moulds to be shipped and I can’t wait to tackle my first hard cheeses.

As much as I refuse to give up eating for pleasure, I am very concerned with my health and my weight. I am also a type 2 diabetic. However, I have lost over 55 pounds and my diabetes is controlled without medication and I achieved this on a diet that is neither low carb, nor low fat, nor even low calorie! My only food rule at the moment is “eat whatever you like, just make it yourself from the best quality whole food ingredients.” Like the toast, butter and marmalade I had for breakfast – all homemade. Can anything that tastes that good really be bad for you? I think not ;)

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Skye June 4, 2013 at 10:48 AM

My favorite comment in the hundreds on this post! THANK YOU, Monique! You are awesome, and you have inspired me to order ‘Cooked’! Going to do that right now. : ) Thank you for your wonderfully heart-felt and well-expressed comment! You said so much of what I feel but didn’t and quite frankly couldn’t have expressed as well or as warmly as you did. Much love to you!

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Monique June 4, 2013 at 11:46 AM

@ Skye – thanks so much – you made my day! I am glad you ordered “Cooked” and I am sure you will get a lot out if it. I must confess that I have found it a little all-consuming because I now want to make everything myself! As someone who never cooked for the first 13 years of my marriage my poor husband doesn’t know what has happened to me, but I think he is onboard, judging from the satisfied grunts at dinner time :) I now see a potential cheese in every gallon of milk and am always dreaming of my next food adventure. I do have a demanding full time job, so this takes up all my leisure time, but it beats watching TV and snacking on junk food any day! Best of luck to you and I hope you love the book as much as I did!

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Kassy June 4, 2013 at 9:38 AM

I really enjoyed this, I tried going paleo, it is WAY too restrictive, the thing is Life is just too damn short to not enjoy a slice of cake now and then,I love love love OATMEAL, not giving that up! I just Love carbs, I’ve been breastfeeding for 3 years now, he’s nursing less, but I just felt like I was going hungry all the time when i didn’t have carbs and grains in my life, If you like Paleo, good for you, but I’m tired of some of these Paleo Nazi’s who shun grains like they are a plague certain to give you cancer and disease you eat them. I believe your mind is so powerful that if you are constantly telling yourself that grains are harming you, then yeah they will probably harm you. You can’t let fear rule you, you can’t be afraid of anything, not even food, If you are then you’re not free. I’m completely with you on the 80/20 rule, it just seems logical and balanced. I love baking pies cakes and cookies, and I will continue to do so, because life is too short to be anything but HAPPY! :D

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HealthFreak June 4, 2013 at 10:01 AM

I don’t mind people voicing their opinion on whether they like certain foods, thats great we all have food we thing taste great or we favor. But when you sit there and make excuses to justify why you eat unhealthy doesn’t make it heathly or good for you. Also bashing Paleo because its hard, or expensive, and restrictive doesn’t make it not healthy for you. Anyone who cuts out carbs will automatically be heathier because it stablizes your blood sugar levels. And any spike in your blood sugar levels has not one single benefits in your health. All of the people on here sitting there saying oh I love this article because I love cheese, bread, sugar too shows you are all just making excuses to be healthy! All carbs convert to sugar in the body, and when you have sugar in the body it has100% negative impact on your health. Sugar is toxic to the body. So go ahead and live life and eat unhealthy because you only live once, but once you get your diseases or cancers at the age of 60 and die at 64 because of panceatic cancer or some other disease caused by too much sugar/carbs in your diet then maybe you wish you did eat healthy to live a longer life past 60. Visit Dr. Mercola on whats healthy he is probably one of the most comprehensive and thourough people on health: http://www.mercola.com/article/carbohydrates/lower_your_grains.htm

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/05/02/is-sugar-toxic.aspx

If you are cutting out sugar/carbs from your diet you should be replacing it all with good healthy sources of fat in paleo. You wont be hungry as often and have energy levels. That is where your energy sources should come from Fat not Sugar.

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Skye June 4, 2013 at 11:01 AM

Hi HealthFreak,

Like you, I once believed sugar and carbohydrates were evil and toxic and the source of all disease in humankind. I cut both out of my diet, lost weight, and felt great. For a while. Then I started feeling not so great… in fact I started feeling SH*T (so you know, I was eating lots of traditional and healthy fats, and supplementing vitamins and minerals.) I did a lot of non-Mercola research (I still have a lot of respect for him, but let’s be honest, the man is insulin obsessed), and eventually toyed with the idea that carbs, grains, fruit, and yes, even sugar, might not actually be in and of themselves bad for me. Hey, they might even be GOOD for me! So I started eating them again, and what do you know, I felt amazing, and little health problems cleared up.

Since you are so well-read on Mercola, I would recommend you read Matt Stone to balance out your health-world viewpoint. One side of the story is never enough. You need to know both sides. I know it will likely be hard for you to accept the possibility that carbs are not the source of all evil, as it was very hard for me, but I feel a duty to encourage you, as it was ever so liberating for me, and has truly made my life so much fuller, richer, happier, and above all healthier. : )

I wish you good health and greater happiness!

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Monique June 4, 2013 at 11:38 AM

@HealthFreak: Actually I am extremely concerned about health and I already suffer some of the ill-effects brought on by a very poor life style of eating processed and fast food, which I have now completely rejected. My argument about eating for pleasure is definitely not at the expense of health, it is part of my plan to optimize my health! As a diabetic I am also extremely well informed about the impact of sugar and carbohydrates on my body. What you have said is not actually not as precise as you could be – all carbs don’t convert to sugar in the body, they convert to a specific sugar: glucose. Their impact on insulin depends on how the concentration and how quickly this conversion occurs. The far bigger problem occurs with refined sugar, which is roughly half glucose (that spikes blood sugar) and half fructose that puts a heavy load on your liver, ultimately causing fatty liver disease, insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome in many people.

However, is the correct response to cut out “carbs” – not for me. The solution for me is to ensure that the carbohydrate intake in my diet is kept in balance with everything else, and that I eat it comes from whole, traditionally prepared foods as much as possible – this means with plenty of the natural fiber (eg, the whole fruit, not fruit juice, whole grains, not refined etc) in order to ensure that it converts to glucose slowly so that my body has a chance to handle it. Instead of just cutting out bread, I have opted to mill my own flour or source it from a farm I trust that grows organic wheat that is stone milled and I then bake my own sourdough bread, which doesn’t spike my insulin like commercial bread and which I tolerate beautifully. If that isn’t a commitment to good health as well as delicious eating I don’t know what is :)

The main reason I am so concerned about “carb bashing” is that it simply provides another angle for the food industry to market crappy reformulated food to us (like they did with the low fat thing). I also find it leads people to reject wonderful healthy foods (fruit, vegetables, whole grains, legumes) with a long history of healthful consumption right along with refined sugar and white flour products. I am pretty sure we are going to learn that when we “cut out carbs” we did some good as well as some damage and that there are good carbohydrate-containing foods that provide a lot of what our body needs to function that we will be looking to reintroduce.

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kris June 28, 2013 at 10:41 PM

Gosh it is soooo frustrating to stumble across articles like this where it is very clear that the person is writing about something based on someone else’s misinformed view. Paleo doesn’t restrict food groups! It simply shows you how to get all the nutrients you need without resorting to over processed hormone filled foods! Actually this is quite possibly the LEAST restrictive way of eating I’ve ever come across. Every healthy eating style is going to seem extreme and restrictive at the beginning and when you are used to eating junk. All of the artificial ingredients and overly processed foods are the things that lead to inflammation. Inflammation is what leads to the diseases. Our bodies need fat(that we are getting from the meats)but when your arteries are inflamed the fat that you do take cannot pass easily and start clogging. The fact that all fats are bad has turned into a major misconception! And just because you like bread and cookies and cakes does not make paleo bad and doesn’t mean it’s just a fad diet….(and I’m someone who would sit down and eat 3 pieces of bread just as snack! )

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kris June 28, 2013 at 10:49 PM

And I guess I should add that your opinion is your opInion and that I do understand some people are over the top wIth it I just hate to see so much wrong information being given out.

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Ann Marie Michaels June 29, 2013 at 11:34 AM

@Kris

“Paleo doesn’t restrict food groups”

You’ve got to be kidding me.

How about all grains, potatoes, sweets, alcohol, dairy… That’s a whole lot of verboten foods!

“Actually this is quite possibly the LEAST restrictive way of eating I’ve ever come across.”

Were you a Breatharian before this?

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Brigit June 29, 2013 at 11:41 AM

Every diet has its restrictions, but the diet you follow appears to be as restrictive as paleo. Many of the paleo plans allow potatoes, sweets, alcohol and some dairy. So why even attempt a distinction?

Brigit, RD

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Allie June 29, 2013 at 6:15 PM

SAD or a cultural diet have no restrictions.
Only dieters or those health conscious or those who are put on specific diets by doctors/dieticians/nutritionists have restrictions.

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Lori July 10, 2013 at 9:26 PM

Thanks for turning me on to Matt stone, looked at his books on amazon and very interested as I have done paleo and vegan diets and both were not good for me.

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L.S. July 11, 2013 at 4:51 PM

LOL! Loved it! I’ve been saying much of this for years–and met with the same derision you’re being met with. I also do not soak my grains (OH MY!). I actually not only eat the non-soaked phytic-acid-ridden grains, but I also supplement with *additional* phytic acid (also known as IP6.) I beat lymphoma naturally–no chemo, no radiation–24 years ago and haven’t looked back. I swear by phytic acid (IP6)!!

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Brigid July 11, 2013 at 9:26 PM

LS,

I think you are confused about the reason ancestral methods are used to reduce phytate in grains– it isn’t because there is anything harmful in the phytate itself, it’s because it binds the minerals the grains contain and prevents them being bio-available. Phytate can have many benefits, but reducing the nutrient content of your grains isn’t one of them.

Brigit, RD

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L.S. July 12, 2013 at 1:57 PM

Nope. I didn’t misunderstand. I am not a vegan/vegetarian/or the like; therefore my diet doesn’t consist mostly of grains (which is when high phytates can really cause a problem). Eating meat with grains reduces the mineral-blocking effects of phytates. In addition, simply cooking grains also reduces phytates to some degree. Since I eat meat, cook my grains, and I desire some phytic acid, there’s no need for me to go through the extra steps of soaking, etc. This is what has worked for me. When you beat cancer–without any traditional medical intervention– AND stay cancer free for over 24 years, then you can try to convince me why your method is better.

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Brigit July 14, 2013 at 7:45 AM

L.S.,

You didn’t mention the binding action of phytic acid, only its nutritional properties, so you can understand my confusion. I don’t have any one method, my patients use many methods to gain or regain health through diet. Using your logic– I’ve never had cancer- so it could be argued that someone who’s never had cancer is in a better place than someone who developed cancer 24 years ago and therefore may be in better over-all health to begin with. I think it’s fabulous that you beat cancer, though folks often beat cancer without ANY kind of intervention at all. In fact, it is argued that since we know the body clears cancers all the time without people even knowing they are there, that rates may not be rising nearly as much as is suggested, but that with the far more sensitive diagnostic tools, we are simply more aware of them. We are such unique individuals that it’s impossible to apply what works with one person to another.

Dr. Price found that when people started replacing traditionally prepared grains with less nutrient-dense processed grains, they developed disease- not ALL of them of course, but that the rates of disease and decay were higher in these people– and most were STILL eating traditional animal foods.

Grains aren’t very nutrient-dense to begin with, so it just makes sense to try and get the most bang for your buck if you’re going to replace truly nutrient dense foods with them. You should of course always do what works best for you alone. I’m not aware of any mechanisms where combining meat with grains would reduce the impact of phytate. That could be important information for some of my patients. If you have any resources demonstrating this effect, I hope you’ll share them.

Cheeseslave eats a VERY high maintenance and arguably inconvenient diet. Your diet may not look like a paleo diet, but it doesn’t look like what she promotes either. Your support of her criticisms of the diet are a little odd.

In good health,

Brigit, RD

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L.S. July 14, 2013 at 10:18 AM

I only found this article via a Facebook post that another blogger (and not even a food blogger) re-posted. I don’t even normally follow Cheeseslave. I don’t know why you were confused (and if it was my fault you were confused, then I apologize). But I never said that I am a follower or supporter of Cheeseslave or her lifestyle. In fact, since I specifically said I do not soak grains, I thought that made it clear I don’t support that lifestyle (but again, if it didn’t make it clear, my apologies).
What I did say was that I loved her post. And I do! Simply because I applaud her for speaking out *her truths* in the face of criticism! I also said that for years I’ve been saying the same things about Paleo—and I have—but not for the same reasons Cheeseslave has given, as those are personal to her (and I feel she made that clear in her article, as well.)
To clear things up: suffice it to say that I do not support Weston Price or Paleo. I support ME! And there is nothing anyone can say to make me change my mind. Because I found what works for me! And I wish that would be the takeaway for everyone–find what works for you and stop stressing over it; because we are all different, and because stress is a killer even worse than many foods! There are many people who eat incredibly healthy diets who are still dropping dead of heart attacks, strokes, and even cancer. Stress is a major factor in illness, even if you eat healthy. So no matter what diet or lifestyle one chooses, let them be happy above all else and enjoy their days on earth, as they are short, even if they are 120 years.

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L.S. July 14, 2013 at 10:27 AM
Jen Wright July 12, 2013 at 12:33 PM

I think what the original post really shows is that one diet, like one size DOES NOT fit all! We all have different mixes of ancestors and what would cripple me internally does not affect another. You just gotta find what works for you.
Just one last thing, pies! Drool!

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L.S. July 12, 2013 at 1:57 PM

Totally agree!

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Panda July 15, 2013 at 1:39 PM

Paleo is not low carb! Bread is not only bad for you but all wheat is genetically modified…if you don’t like Masterjohn or price…then read J. Stanton….he wrote about Paleo before it was Paleo!

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Erin July 15, 2013 at 2:20 PM

I’ve been so turned off by the paleo movement…it seems like one big fad/trend. I’ve been big into WAPF for the past 5+ years but I’ve also been struggling with a difficult to treat case of Hashimoto’s and secondary infertility. I’ve done gluten free before for a few months after so many drs told me it was good for my autoimmune disease to go GF. After a few months, my symptoms were as bad as ever and I didn’t lose any weight. So I gave that up. I’ve also done dairy free after the birth of each of my children b/c they have had MSPI. Again, no improvement with dairy free.

All of that said, 2 months ago I finally caved to all the people who told me that my problem was not giving up all grains and not combining it with dairy free. I reluctantly decided to try paleo. I usually don’t say the P word, lol…but yeah, I’m dairy free, grain free and legume free. After not quite 2 months, my cycles have gone back to normal (they had been 21-25 days for the past 2 years) and my thyroid symptoms have reduced. I’ve also lose weight.

I don’t think the paleo diet is right for everyone. I’m not anti-grains. But I think for my situation, it is helpful. My husband seems unaffected by grains. He has no health or weight problems. But for those of us who do have these problems, I think it’s worth a try. So far, so good. I’m going to keep with it for a while and see if I continue to improve.

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James Fox July 20, 2013 at 6:07 PM

I would like to ask these folk who subscribe to this Paleo diet.. if you truly want to eat like people did 10000 years ago, why don’t you go out and kill your own meat? I get sick of these meat eaters who are happy to buy their meat all packaged and butchered for them in a supermarket but would baulk at the idea of putting a bullet though a rabbit’s head. Absolute hypocrites the lot of you. If you want to eat like a caveman then go out and kill your own meat. I guess not may of you would have the balls to do that though.

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Kevin July 27, 2013 at 3:07 PM

The article is titled “10 reasons why I’m not paleo” not “10 reasons why you shouldn’t be paleo”. All of these comments trying to convince someone why your diet is so awesome is really funny.

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Actually when someone doesn’t understand afterward its up to other users that they will help, so here it takes place.

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surfsnowgirl August 21, 2013 at 1:56 PM

I get the restriction about not eating anything processed. I have a friend who gave up sugar in all forms and she looks fabulous. However, I can’t wrap my arms around a diet that prohibits Legumes (alfalfa, clover, peas, beans, lentils, lupins, mesquite, carob, soybeans, peanuts, tamarin) and nuts which are an excellent source of protein and a lot of other things and allows you to over indulge on meant, particularly red meat which is notoriously bad for you.

I just spent time with my dear friend who is paleo. I do respect differences and it is great to see her not eat hamburger buns all the time and lots of veggies cause cutting back on bread isn’t a bad thing. However, seeing her eat 3 hamburgers in 3 days makes no sense. Eating a lot of meat is never a good thing. Sure give up bread, sugar and processed things but to give up legumes and nuts and overdose on meat really doesn’t make any sense. The paleo diet just seems like a regurgitated Atkins diet; another fad.

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Brigit August 21, 2013 at 2:17 PM

surfsnogirl,

A quarter pound ground beef patty (4 oz) contains only 13 grams of fat and only 5 of those are saturated (38%), so even if you still believe saturated fat is dangerous, that’s hardly something to worry about.

A grass-fed beef burger (popular among paleos) contains half that and a great omega 6:3 fatty acid ratio- 5:1.

Roasted chicken contains 8 grams of fat in 4 oz, and 4 of those are saturated (50%), and an Omega fatty acid ratio of 13:1.

The beef is the clear winner in my eyes, and with the exception of my vegan clients, I’ve never known anyone who thought that 4 ounces of meat a day was a “lot”.

Brigit, RD

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Goat September 25, 2013 at 4:43 AM

Brigit, I love you like I love sunshine and rainbows.

surfsnogirl, as Brigit (whom I love like the clear night sky), as already pointed out, red meat is falsely demonized. The problem with most studies is that they do no take into account whether the the meat is processed, grass-fed or how much is eaten.

As far as I know nuts ARE Paleo, and sprouts of the legumes you’ve listed contain greatly decreased levels of anti-nutrients that would make them debatable. I’ve always felt it was more about eliminating legumes as staple, when you could be eating something of greater nutrient density. There should be wiggle room in any diet.

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Ole September 1, 2013 at 9:15 AM

This article is really bad!

I don’t feel restricted at all, i bake cakes, bread, enjoy drinks, chocolate, ice cream, homemade Soda!

Paleo is not based on fantasy, but by science, and the fact that people get rid of their horrible lifestyle diseases!

Oh and according to the science magazine “Nature”, Paleo people did eat cheese ;)

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Ole September 1, 2013 at 9:16 AM

Oh and it is not more expensive, because you get more nutrition, and therefore don’t need a lot of middle snacks!!!

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Shannon September 21, 2013 at 12:31 AM

I totally agree but please don’t compare vegetarianism to paleo by calling it a “fad diet”. People mistakenly believe that vegetarianism is a new thing. Vegetarianism has been around for thousands of years, and it’s not a diet so much as it is a lifestyle choice based on an ethical decision to not harm animals and the planet. The paleo diet is just that: a diet. It doesn’t promote nonviolence, health, or the environment.

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TuberTam September 21, 2013 at 1:10 PM

Shannon,

My mom used to display this slogan on her desk, “If only ignorance was painful.” You could be the poster child. Primitive diets aren’t older than vegetarian diets? Paleo doesn’t promote health, environment or non-violence?

Girl, try getting your information someplace other than a vegan website and then you won’t appear so ignorant.

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Shannon September 21, 2013 at 2:49 PM

Now you don’t have to call people ignorant just because you missed the point. The point is that vegetarianism is not a fad diet because it has been around consistently for thousands of years and is not always done just for “dieting”. I don’t do it to be healthy or lose weight, I do it because I don’t want to be the reason an animal was killed. So that is why I don’t think of it as a “fad diet”.

“Primitive diets” are not the same thing as paleo. Paleo is a very specific “primitive diet” that has specific foods you cannot eat. It is only one approach to a primitive diet, and it may be old, but it’s a fad diet because for the past several thousand years the majority of people have been eating things like bread, pasta and beans.

If you know anything about how paleo condones nonviolence or promoting health and the environment, do inform me. It seems to me that paleo diets almost require you to eat meat, and while maybe grass fed beef is more environmentally friendly than regular beef, the amount of lifestock we breed to feed people is destructive to the environment and public health (methane from cows pollutes the air, the
runoff from fields pollutes water and other crops, as we saw in the E coli outbreaks, and of course, the high amounts of cholestrerol are contributing to heart disease).
While you can be a vegetarian or an environmentalist or a nonviolent person on the paleo diet, the diet itself does not promote any of these things. It may promote health, but it is a very narrow limited idea of what “healthy” is. Beans, and potatoes are not unheatlhy, but are not allowed on the paleo diet. And of course, paleo tends to be heavy on the meat, and I think most Americans already eat more meat than is healthy.

And I’m not getting my information from a vegan website by the way. The fact that vegetarianism has been around for thousands of years is just common knowledge, not to mention it is often part of ancient religions like (certain sects of) Hinduism or Buddhism. I also watch alot of documentaries involving food such as Food.Inc (no, not all of them are biased towards vegetarianism). Of course this is all just my opinion and you can think differently, but I do have valid facts to back up my opinion.
By the way, being rude to others just makes you look more ignorant. Only those who are insecure about their beliefs have to be rude to others.

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TuberTam September 21, 2013 at 4:25 PM

Like someone above pointed out, being ignorant is nothing to be ashamed of (unless you go into a discussion room and claim to be well-informed). I didn’t call you stupid or idiotic, just ignorant.

Paleo is -not- a very specific primitive diet. From http://paleodiet.com/definition.htm-

“—also called the Caveman Diet…”The Hunter-Gatherer Diet…”And other names are primal diet, ancestral diet, and evolutionary diet.”

If you spent any time at all reading the comments right here from the people that follow a paleo/primal/caveman diet, you’d know that pasturing food-animals protects grasslands from erosion caused by agriculture (cuts it down by over 80%) and uses few or no natural resources, and that eating these animals takes fewer lives than eating grain and beans, and that meat doesn’t even make it into the top 10 foods that caused disease outbreaks (though vegetarian eggs, ice cream and cheese do). And the meat that paleo (and WAPF) advocates doesn’t contribute to the system that causes these outbreaks.

Potatoes -are- allowed on paleo diets if you tolerate potatoes well, and cholesterol -doesn’t- contribute to heart disease and likely protects against it. Even the host of this blog is pro-pastured meat, eggs, and full-fat high-cholesterol dairy, so if you’re agreeing with her, (“I totally agree”), it seems safe to assume you are either ignorant of paleo or ignorant of the position you’re agreeing with.

There are paleo-vegetarians and paleo-vegans too and a big segment of the paleo community came from veganism and consider themselves ethical omnivores.

I didn’t miss the point. You are uninformed.

http://voices.yahoo.com/eating-paleo-doesnt-destroy-environment-12216154.html

http://www.ted.com/talks/allan_savory_how_to_green_the_world_s_deserts_and_reverse_climate_change.html

http://paleohacks.com/questions/12890/how-environmentally-responsiblegreen-and-sustainab.html#axzz2fZUtC698

http://robbwolf.com/2012/05/17/paleo-diet-sustainability-economic-growth/

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Goat September 25, 2013 at 4:22 AM

Damn TuberTam, that was an eloquent, compelling and well-informed response.

Shannon, did you know that rotting vegetation ALSO creates methane? And that it is landfills, not cattle, that produce most of the methane in the US. Cattle produce a whopping 2%. And if we’re going to get preachy about greenhouse gases let me ask you this, do you drive a car? And runoff is an issue of factory farming, where large groups of cattle are kept in small areas that fill with urine and excrement, a problem not relevant to grass-fed. Additionally, E. coli is almost unheard of in grass-fed cattle. It is the presence of grain in the diet of cattle that unbalances the PH balance of their first stomach and makes them vulnerable to E. coli.

Paleo is a lot about what is optimal, beans and potatoes are not inherently evil. It’s more about eliminating them as a staple when so many other foods are more nutrient dense, and/or lower in anti-nutrients. It’s not like Vegetarianism, where so much of your identity is tied into what you eat. If I eat a fistful of beans or a white potato once in a while, I don’t stop being Paleo.

While opinions within the community vary, I think most recognize that the foundation of the Paleo food pyramid is vegetables. At any given meal I eat, animal protein takes up maybe 1/4 the plate, the rest occupied by nutrient rich vegetables and fruit. Plus, grass-fed meat contains less fat than traditional meat, and the fat profile is higher in Omega-3′s and CLA, which are heart healthy. Think of wild caught fish. And as Tam said, dietary cholesterol is not a significant contributor to high cholesterol in the body. It’s smoking, drinking, drug use and genetics that do that.

As for nonviolence, I like to think I am. I also recognize that I am an animal and that being an animal by definition means to destroy life. We kill plants, animals, fungi, you name it. It’s what we are. I accept that, I don’t deny my genetic heritage in favor of moralizing a non-moral issue. Death is not evil, it is all part of life. What IS evil, is the current set of standard practices involved with the mainstream meat industry. All things die, but they should be allowed dignity while they live.

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Rebecca November 7, 2013 at 4:21 AM

I appreciate that for those just wanting to “diet” paleo may seem like too much effort or impractical etc. However, for those of us with health problems and food allergies this way of eating can be a blessing. I contracted a superbug in hospital a few years ago, nearly died. As a result of the battering my digestive system took I have been left unable to eat anything grain, bean or dairy based (full on allergies- throat closing, rashes and other nastiness). Nor can I eat starchy vegetables (cracking headaches). I was panicking and so confused about what I was supposed to do for quick food etc and then miraculously stumbled across the “Paleo Lifestyle”. Although what I’m left with being able to eat is more restrictive than Paleo it is not that difficult. I am at Uni at the moment on a very tiny budget of about £3 for food a week (I live off reduced food) and yet I cope very well. People have become so focused on convenience, grains, dairy, pre packaged, processed crap. And that is why the agricultural revolution changed the way homonids functioned on such a large level, convenience. As you said in your article, having a cow for readily available milk and a cluster of plants growing behind your house you can make food from, far easier than hunting or foraging. However, as a Geology student I find it confusing why people think that 10,000 years is a long time. It is an incredibly short time for such a huge dietary shift to grains, beans and dairy being the main staples of the human diet. And that is the truth, it is very rare to find people who manage to eat enough fruit and vegetables to fulfil dietary needs as they are so focused on what is quicker, easier and in their minds cheaper. When my family was growing up we lived off £10 a week for food for the three of us, all we ate was meat and veg and yet it cost so little. The perception of healthy eating is that it is time consuming and expensive. It’s not, people are just too fearful of change, even though it may benefit them so much in the long run.

Rebecca, UK

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Tanna M December 6, 2013 at 9:29 AM

Dear Ann Marie,

I agree that bread is delicious, nothing made me more excited than spaghetti dinner with garlic bread galore to carbo-load before my races. However, I know that the debate on paleo is about much more than bread. I would appreciate if you were to look at my blog work “The New Paleolithic Era: A Debate of Diet” in which I attempt to close the gap between paleo and non paleo eaters. I discuss the misconceptions, the facts, and the implications of how and why people choose to be paleo or not.

http://dev.isucomm.iastate.edu/thegreenroom/tmafnas/2013/12/06/the-new-paleolithic-era/

I would like feedback if possible about the ideas and writing.

Thank you
Tanna M
The Green Room at Iowa State University

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John January 9, 2014 at 11:47 AM

You know how I know the Paleo is some sort of cult with widespread sensitive people? That every opinion piece that I’ve encountered that is skeptical about it, or at least doesn’t support if fully, is met with very naive – thousands in this case – of the followers basically saying the same thing “studies have shown …”

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Brigit January 9, 2014 at 3:55 PM

John,

That’s a strange position to take– it seems to me that a diet that is based on science makes the most sense of all. Imagine people actually depending on science for their information? The idea isn’t all that mind-boggling and definitely doesn’t seem cult-like to me. I help people and their diets every day and I wish more were willing to look at the science.

Brigit, RD

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Non-Dieter January 15, 2014 at 7:32 AM

These comments are cracking me up. Everyone is always on a diet fad and I am sure this diet is just another one. Obvisiously carbs and cheese can’t be horrible. Yeah, we may be fat as a country but people live to be well into their 70′s, 80′s and 90′s now. I need to start my own diet trend called EIM (Everything in moderation). Get on the bandwagon it’s awesome. You can eat french fries on the reg and not gain weight! It’s called don’t eat them every freaking day but maybe once or twice a week. Oh and that plate of pasta. All over it, but only in a smaller portion and maybe once a week or so. People need to do their research and see what works best for you. Portion control and exercise is a diet everyone can do and not feel like your starving to death.

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Taylor January 31, 2014 at 3:36 PM

Dude, it sounds like you’re trying to splash venom and hate on something while wearing blindfolds. You’re bashing all the most misguided, silly, overly-restrictive, zealous, fantasy-based and inconvenient elements that are easily avoidable and (this is very important:) NOT part of the plan for someone who genuinely has their best interests in mind. Like, visualize this for me, it’ll help me explain. I’m standing behind you, you have a bucket of acid, and you’re splashing it at the guys in front of you while cursing my name. Judging by this post, you don’t know what you’re trying to disagree with, or at least are tragically mislabeling it.

That “because it’s not paleo” logic, I can’t express my disdain for it. I’ve scrutinized every decision I make, not because I feel compelled to or that’s necessary to achieve goodness in life, but because I want to. Never take this stuff on faith, and never take it on one guy’s side of the story–it’s your life and your health! Read the studies by companies that are trying to sell grains, and then by those who have other biases and motives. Cold, hard science is hard to come by on controversial subjects, though, (errybody wants their opinion to be agreed upon and factual) so maybe throw the studies out the window altogether, take a look around marksdailyapple.com and put together a thing for one month. The community will help you with every step if you ask, and don’t panic, I’m not selling anything. There’s actually a vast wealth of information for free, you don’t ever need to buy anything but you can if you want. Point is: Can the studies and logical arguments, and try it. The best proof for any individual is an open-minded, self-conducted, honest personal experiment with your heart sincerely in it. Not a toe in the water thinking “It’s gonna be cold, it’s gonna be so cold and I will not like this.” Lots of people come at new things with that mentality and don’t even realize it; they’re totally unaware that they’re getting in their own way.

It’s easy to do it right, in fact so easy a caveman could do it (I jest <3) and if you do it right there's no going back. I'm financially poor and I'm acing it, it's not a money sink or a damper on your ability to make money and survive; medical bills, pills and doctor visits are. The armada of physiological, hormonal, mental, emotional and other benefits are even helping my situation in every way. You will never want to return to poor health, unsteady energy, acne, frailty, difficulty losing/gaining weight, headaches–anything, whatever you don't want getting in the way of your life. Anyway, I'm rambling a bit. Let's get back to a big point about the science and logic front here.

If I recall correctly, the process for stating and proving a hypothesis does not involve stating the reason it 'should' be true, or why, from other logical and proven facts, it would make sense. However, see this: A man proposes that an herb growing by the side of a concrete road where it is exposed to exhaust fumes will fare the best. Another man approaches and says, "I believe the herb growing in the forest where it came to exist will fare the best. Why do you think the roadside herb should thrive better than mine?"
The first man has no reason for this line of belief, but he is happy to cite studies saying that his herb will be "normal" and "healthy." The other man explains, "Well, I think my herb will be better off because the forest is closer to its natural habitat. It evolved and adapted to live in that forest and be at the very best it possibly could with those learned conditions interacting with its genes, because it had to do so to survive and continue its species–and you know what? I've got studies contradicting yours, which say that my herb will be even better." Pretty transparent, right? I'm saying that I think while both arguments can be proven scientifically (which indicates bias and lying in some cases, and honest mistakes or unique cases in others), the one with a REASON to be true that agrees with other scientific principles is a little stronger. Plus, I'm not trying to sell you anything, uphold some wacked-out naturalist principle, convert you to a religion, or frantically convince myself that I'm doing the right thing by trying to tell others about it. I just want, out of the goodness of my heart (?! that feels weird to say, somehow) for other people to live good, fulfilling lives that are not wrought with unwanted difficulty. We can cooperate and apply intelligence and manpower so much now that there's scarcely an excuse for us to not all be happy. I have a problem with people suffering, especially when they don't even know that things could be better.

Honestly and in summary, I think you're close-minded on this topic and are trying too hard to not give it a sincere chance or even learn that the bad thing you're talking about is not the good thing you might benefit from. I know I'm like ~1 year late, more or less, I haven't checked the dates. I'm responding to old text, which may null the entire comment. Regardless, I want to say to everyone: it's not a bad thing. Life isn't bad, either, and it shouldn't be wrought with any measure of badness unless life itself is under threat–and most of us aren't in the dire situations that merit illness or social dysfunction. Just as the first step to species immortality for any race is a hard-working genetic makeup that wants a healthy, capable, well-adapted organism not weighed down or distracted from the tasks it must to do survive and propagate, the first step to happiness in one life is a capable and healthy body that can handle its situation, manufacture the hormones that we know as love, happiness, self-worth and fulfillment, and not distract you from delighting in them as your just reward for summarily succeeding at life. Run out of all your excuses first if you must, but do the right thing for yourself sooner than later. Again, not advertising a specific brand, label, or some religion. The link above was just cause that site was a helpful one to me on the path; my interest is moral.

I love green beans, milk, yogurt, banana bread (not as much as bananas), honey, molasses, ice cream, coffee, breaded chicken, even deep fried taquitos in vegetable oil–and I haven't the slightest care for what's neolithic or paleolithic until it is easy and beneficial to consider that. Some of those things I have seen scientifically proven AND proved to myself are bad for tangible, obvious and real reasons. So I don't eat the bad ones, because I'm eating the food and the effects it will have on my body and, by extension, my life. I eat the good ones at times when they will be good, and I enjoy them greatly: the flavor, the preparation of the food, and the physiological effects and shifts in balance that they cause. Food is more than taste, smell and texture, by a grand margin. It becomes you.

I love cheese, there's a lot (A LOT) a lot (very many, so many) of good things about it, and that's also scientifically shown in studies, but at the moment I'm mending a slightly permeable gut (egg white lectins, nightshades and milk in every meal = ouch) so I'm laying off most casein for a bit. This is not restrictive. This is not displeasurable to me. The displeasing thing is feelings of illness and pain which I now have the sensory capability of detecting now that they are so very very rare, when I was once bathed in them day and night and thus numbed to the signals my poor, precious body was sending to me. See, it's not about a restrictive or relaxed diet, or the aesthetically preferable one (though my personal foods score a 5/5 there). It's about the one that does not get in the way of your life and the things you want to be and do, but instead empowers you to chase every dream, and catch them. If you dream low and don't mind being weighed down by the foods you've learned to prefer and are familiar with, the aches and fatigue you're used to, the ailments you're accustomed to as part of life (I commend our adaptability), go ahead; food familiarity is a tough bond to break for some people, apparently. However, if there's an honest twinge of doubt that you could be closer to what you want, abandon complacency and put your heart into the search for something better, and know that you are more important than cultural standards of food, or the pleasures in eating things. In my human eyes, all my fellows deserve that goodness, happiness and freedom.

Much of a ramble. TL;DR, shall we? A diet is a component in a happy life, not a make/break. The point isn't "my diet vs. your diet" in any sense, but to live a good life that you enjoy, and to trash the diet that holds you even three centimeters from the best life you can imagine. For your sake, imagine big, cause you can make it there easily!

Happy Halloween, everyone. Only some 8-9 months to go. ^_^ Sorry for the huge comment. I'm gonna go dance and play outside.

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Bec February 6, 2014 at 12:44 PM

While some people may do well on the paleo/primal diet, there are just as many who don’t and I’m one of them. The high fat content of the diet made my body completely revolt. I was continuously nauseated after about the 4th day and I lost count of the number of times I threw up after a eating a “healthy” paleo meal. After a whole month of feeling like @#% and barfing after nearly every meal, I gave up and went back to my beans and grains. I felt better almost immediately. I’ll take a bowl of beans and rice any day of the week over a greasy, fatty paleo meal. BLECCCH!!

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Brigit February 6, 2014 at 2:47 PM

Bec,

Paleo diets have no set fat content, they can be ver high in fat or relatively low fat, high or low carb and high or low protein… or any moderate level in between. I tell my clients that if they find too much fat in the diet, just eat less fat. Many of my clients eat a diet similar to Cheeseslave’s diet (WAPF) too and it usually has more fat in it than the typical Paleo diet. If I remember correctly, she often gives advice to people on how to tolerate more fat in the diet. If your Paleo meals were greasy and fatty, it’s because you made them that way, not because Paleo is innately greasy or fatty.

If you find yourself vomiting from the fat, it might be a good idea to have your gall bladder checked out. Intolerance to dietary fat is often a sign that it isn’t functioning properly.

Brigit, RD

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Diane February 22, 2014 at 6:11 AM

Thank you! Something that finally makes sense. I’ve researched, but not fully tried, Paleo, vegan, macrobiotic, low-carb, etc. They all seem so extreme. I’m finding the best diet is to stay away from highly processed foods and refined sugars. Everything else is eaten in moderation. Now if I can only follow that directive.

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SteveEdz February 27, 2014 at 9:09 PM

I tried Paleo for a time, but then I desired a big bowl of Pho with real noodles, not freakin zoodles. I desired to eat these noodles with real humans in the real world at a real restaurant. My mother and many I know have lived long, relatively healthy lives without obsessing over eating choices or by demonizing food groups… BUT, the experience taught me the benefit of eating quality over quantity and I think that is VERY important, especially in this KRAFT-CONAGRA world.

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I hate food fads March 13, 2014 at 8:20 PM

*Sigh*

There is no “modern epidemic of gluten intolerance”. This is a myth promoted by the alternative diet industry (where there are quite as many vested interests as any other industry). There is a specific, fairly rare disease called “coeliac disease”, sufferers of which can’t tolerate gluten– the vast majority of people, however, are healthy and do not have this.

I repeat: gluten is fine for healthy people (most people). There is nothing wrong with gluten!

Besides, in a year or two everyone will have forgotten about this and moved onto the next fad diet, as always accompanied by the next bout of “COMMON FOODS THAT WILL ACTUALLY KILL YOU!” hysteria. Killer milk? Killer lettuce? Who knows?

–And I am sure there will now be 9,000 furious comments denying what I’ve just said, but it happens to be true.

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Bsharpe March 14, 2014 at 6:16 AM

Ill start by saying that im not paleo. I think the diet is probably pretty healthy but I would rather be able to go out to lunch with friends to normal restaurants or go to a dinner party without being ‘that person’ who brings their own food.

I agree that their is no “modern epidemic of gluten intolerance” but I do think that we eat way too much wheat which can cause issues. Many people in this country eat wheat as the main staple in most meals. When I limit gluten, and I mean gluten only, I still eat tons of rice, potatoes, etc, I drop 5-10 of inflammation in a few days and keep it off until I start eating normal amount of gluten again… something about that just doesn’t seem right to me. I think that paleo is pretty extreme but that incorporating some of those ideas and limiting wheat to a serving a day or so would result in better health.

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Brigit March 14, 2014 at 7:17 AM

I hate food fads,

I’m not Paleo either, but I have more clients who’ve been helped by removing wheat than all of the other dietary changes put together. I don’t necessarily believe that wheat itself is to blame for gluten intolerance, however, that doesn’t mean the intolerance doesn’t exist. Autoimmunity is triggered by so many different things, who could really point definitively to any one cause? However, we know for sure that allergies and food intolerances are on the sharp rise. Peanuts, nuts, soy, dairy, latex, pollen, shellfish, eggs, etc… allergies are worse than ever. It’s seems reasonable to conclude that several factors may be involved– a damaged/leaky gut, environmental toxins, lifestyle habits, eradication of immune-modulating childhood illnesses, vaccination practices, radiation and the crappy diets that most of us eat in our early lives. You cannot point to 10,000 years of wheat-eating and say that its proof that people aren’t intolerant today, when most of that time we weren’t dealing with many of the other factors that may have triggered intolerances.

The University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center says this about gluten intolerance-

“Non-celiac gluten sensitivity” (what many call “gluten intolerance”) causes the body to mount a stress response (often GI symptoms) different from the immunological response that occurs in those who have celiac disease (which most often causes intestinal tissue damage).

It is an established and recognized intolerance… and having people claim it doesn’t exist because they’ve never experienced it themselves helps no one. Removing wheat from one’s diet is hardly going to harm them, and if it helps them, who are you to say it doesn’t?

You can’t truthfully label something a fad until it has passed. So while I can certainly understand hating a fad, it’s not nearly as worthy of our scorn as are the people who hate based on their own faulty reasoning. It is THIS that happens to be true.

Brigit, RD

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seo March 15, 2014 at 10:13 AM

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I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyways, fantastic site!

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JP June 21, 2012 at 12:32 PM

was not my point at all…

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Fancy June 21, 2012 at 2:20 PM

LOL JP thinks you missed the point. >.< I think he needs to be more sensitive to sarcasm.

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Pegasus June 21, 2012 at 12:54 PM

I’m kinda curious about your take on the data that Huntress posted. It looks like a pretty legitimate piece of data… Are you going to comment on this?

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Fancy June 21, 2012 at 1:08 PM

I’d kinda like to hear your argument here too.

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Fancy June 21, 2012 at 1:09 PM

Potato chips are good food? FAIL. Where is that posted?

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cheeseslave June 21, 2012 at 8:14 PM

@Fancy

Potato chips are good food? FAIL. Where is that posted?

In the Weston A Price Foundation shopping guide.

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Sharon Lee June 21, 2012 at 8:40 PM

Wow, this is the most negative post I’ve seen since I first joined Cheeseslave. I am into Paleo foods, not 100% as I also consume raw dairy/milk/cheese. After reading Wheat Belly book, I learned a lot about grains, blood sugar spikes, etc. I cut out grains because of weight gain, cravings, etc. Since I started Paleo, cutting out grains, I no longer have cravings and feel more satiated eating full fat foods. I’m down to eating twice a day instead of three. I will only eat desserts on special occasions/holidays. I disagree with Ann-Marie that eating Paleo foods is very expensive. Buying grass-fed, organic foods is expensive! You can buy a quarter/half cow for beef at local farm at a reasonable price. We all have to listen to our bodies what foods work/don’t work for us, whether it’s Paleo, GAPS, Vegan, Vegetarian, etc. However, will say that low-fat diets do not work!

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cheeseslave June 21, 2012 at 8:35 PM

@Pegasus

I’m not going to comment on anything else Huntress says. I’m deleting all of her comments. I don’t need to put up with vitriolic personal attacks.

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Fancy June 21, 2012 at 10:04 PM

What happened to the post with data on children and tooth decay? I’m gonna go see if I can find it in my email- I think it came with notifications when I subscribed to the thread. You wouldn’t delete something like that just because it doesn’t support your argument, would you? That would be very disappointing.

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cheeseslave June 21, 2012 at 10:07 PM

@Fancy

No I deleted it because I was deleting all the posts by Paleo Huntress

I marked them all as spam

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Nicole Melnick June 22, 2012 at 9:03 AM

What’s all the hoopla about? This is an excellent post. It’s articulate and whimsical, Very well written..it’s someone’s opinion as to why they do not subscribe to the paleo ideas.Therefore, it is subjective to the personal beliefs of the blogger. If you don’t agree with it, then you don’t agree with it. If you do agree with it, you agree. It’s simple.

Ann Marie- Do you remember your post on hourglass figures? It was so liberating. This post has the same feeling to me. You are basically saying with these posts “be who you are, eat what feels good, and then move on and get over it. There is too much life that passes you by when you focus becomes so analytical,.”

I was on paleo for about a year and a half. I felt amazing for the first 6 months. I lost 30 lbs, I had energy (even though i have CFS) and life was a happier place. Then I had yearnings for bread! Then my stomach started to growl every 5 seconds. I could not give it enough meat and veggies. I even added in nut butters and more fruit. My body just wasn’t happy. Then I felt weak and shaky between meals. My hands and feet became very cold.

The worst symptom? I was afraid of food. I thought that somehow if I ate the perfect diet, I would be the healthiest person. If I let one “not advised” food slip in, I was a goner! I really believe I almost contracted an eating disorder. It was just too crazy for my mind to be focused on my every morsel, what I had to avoid. it was a lot of work. Can you believe I was afraid of carrots? Too much sugar “they” said. “It’s like eating a grain” they said.

I no longer subscribe to diets. The paleo ruined my metabolism. I gained back more weight than I lost. I just want to eat real food, and enjoy everything the next season has to offer. Any foodie will tell you that the realest ingredients taste the best. It should just be a bonus to us that real food is healthier to out bodies.

There is so much that can be said on this topic. So many intricate ideas and opinions. But I think life is better when things are simple. We need to stop dissecting every little thing. Our bodies are smart. I say we let them do the talking. If it wants a carrot, or even grilled corn (gasp!) then i say we best oblige.

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Fancy June 22, 2012 at 9:49 AM

I assume then that you’ll address it if it doesn’t come from her? I found the notification with the link in my email- I’m post in a primary comment so it doesn’t get lost in here.

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cheeseslave June 22, 2012 at 1:34 PM

@Nicole

Do you remember your post on hourglass figures? It was so liberating. This post has the same feeling to me.

Yes, that post pissed a lot of people off, too. Not sure why — I had no idea people would be upset by it.

I can totally relate to the fear of foods! I got to the point that I was afraid of fruit. So crazy! I just bought some cherries yesterday and it is so nice to be able to enjoy them again.

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Jeanette June 24, 2012 at 8:39 PM

Amen!

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Melanie July 1, 2012 at 7:48 PM

Nicole,I had the exact same experience adding in the mood swings. I too was afraid of food and it preoccupied my thoughts all day long. Thanks for sharing.

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Jill July 4, 2012 at 5:49 PM

That IS an eating disorder!
Orthorexia nervosa (also known as orthorexia) is not mentioned in the DSM[a] first used by Steven Bratman to characterize people who develop an obsession with avoiding foods perceived to be unhealthy.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orthorexia_nervosa

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amanda June 23, 2012 at 5:58 AM

if you were “afraid of fruit”, thats 100% your own issue, and not a paleo dictate. in fact, almost all of your reasons for not being paleo clearly stem from your own misguided interpretation of the diet, and not from anything outside of you. i think you should accept some responsibility here, and you just arent. its more than fine to say that paleo asnt right for you, but all this anger and lashing out that is based totally and completely on falsehoods (that fruit isnt an approved food), incorrect stereotypes (that paleo is low carb), and just outright incorrect information is absurd. and frankly, the article you wrote is a list of logical fallacies which is comically ironic considering you are accusing all of your dissenters of logical fallacies themselves.

im paleo and i dont eat red meat more than once a week. there are vegetarian paleo people, raw paleo people, WAP paleo people, moderate and higher carb paleo people…..the list goes on and on. i eat honey and fruit and rice and the occasional buckwheat pancake and none of my diet is incongruent with any but the most strict whole9 version of paleo. which is also a useful paradigm for many, many people.

i guess i dont get why youre so angry and sarcastic. so low carb wasnt right for you. big whoop. it isnt right for many women, but that dosent have to mean that its not right for ANY women, and like everyone else has already pointed out, paleo isnt necessarily low carb anyway.

i stopped following this blog a long time ago because of the authors angry soapbox diatribes, and utter intolerance for nuance. its very unfortunate because when i first discovered the world of ancestral eating, this blog was a wonderful resource for me. unfortunately, the lack of personal insight and intellectual curiosity from the author has become almost a caricature. even in this comment thread, the only time you address the dissenters is to tell them that you wont address their “ad hominem attacks”, of which i have seen NONE. you have not entertained the idea that maybe the majority of commenters here who are critical of this blog post ACTUALLY MIGHT HAVE A POINT. honestly, i dont know if im at cheeseslave or “free the animal” anymore.

i think ill stick to rawfoodsos from now on. denise eats a raw food, largely pescatarian paleo diet that consists mostly of fruit and fish. it works for her, and she dosent presume to think that it is the ideal diet for anyone but her, but she has an open mind that is plastic and flexible. she conducts herself with grace and maturity, and her blog reflects her own respect of the intellectual process and of scientific rigor.

i hope you find what youre looking for, and that you will someday no longer feel the need to slash and burn what hasnt.

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Keith Wilcox July 1, 2012 at 11:16 AM

I think most people read this and completely agree with you, cheeseslave. However, this is the internet, where everyone who can be offended is offended and where all of those people feel the need to tell everyone just to what degree they have been offended — while sounding like insufferable, whining babies. Nothing you have said is even remotely offensive. In fact, and I don’t give two flips about diets or anything like that (someone linked to this on facebook so I checked it out), I found your opinion refreshing. If a person out there wants to follow a paleo diet — whatever; it’s fine. But, you have an opinion about that diet, and you have stated why you don’t follow it without calling anybody names or being rude in any way. But, like I said — it’s the internet, where everything is a matter of dire importance. :-) Keep up the great work!

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cheeseslave June 23, 2012 at 9:02 AM

@Amanda

I did not blame paleo for my fear of fruit. That was low carb.

incorrect stereotypes (that paleo is low carb),

Most paleo people I speak to and read about ARE low carb. They argue on the internet about how many carbs are too many. Read Mark Sisson’s blog, read Nora Gedgaudus, etc. etc.

I’m sure there are high-carb paleos out there. Sorry for the generalization.

But MOST paleos seem to be low-carb.

the article you wrote is a list of logical fallacies which is comically ironic considering you are accusing all of your dissenters of logical fallacies themselves.

How are they logical fallacies? How is it a logical fallacy for me to say, I don’t eat Paleo because I like bread? And the paleo movement is not scalable. I don’t see how most people can give up the agriculturalist lifestyle and give up grains. Look, vegans have been around for a long time, they get a lot of press, and they are still only less than 5% of the population.

i stopped following this blog a long time ago because of the authors angry soapbox diatribes, and utter intolerance for nuance.

So why are you reading it? If you don’t like it, that’s cool.

its very unfortunate because when i first discovered the world of ancestral eating, this blog was a wonderful resource for me. unfortunately, the lack of personal insight and intellectual curiosity from the author has become almost a caricature.

If you want to attack me as being angry and hostile, having a lack of personal insight and intellectual curiosity, go right ahead. I don’t see how that helps you win your argument. It just seems mean. I am not attacking anyone personally.

even in this comment thread, the only time you address the dissenters is to tell them that you wont address their “ad hominem attacks”, of which i have seen NONE.

When someone says, “This post is wrong because you are dumb,” that is an ad hominem attack. Or “This post is wrong because you are fat” or “you are hostile and angry” — those are all ad hominem arguments.

If I am angry, which I am not, by the way, has nothing to do with whether or not my argument is valid. And trying to draw attention to my alleged anger, my stupidity, my weight, or WHATEVER, are all attempts to take the focus off the argument and onto something which has nothing to do with the argument.

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Glenn July 3, 2012 at 10:32 AM

amanda, I am working towards being paleo. I agree with what you are saying and how you are saying it.
I have been frequenting mark’s daily apple and recommend it for unbias (mostly) informative articles that are funny and well thought out.
It seems that in the paleo lifestyle has people that micro-manage every detail about what they eat and how they live. There are those that dont.
I think what bothers me about this article is that, if you follow the paleo lifestyle there is enough resistance as it is without anyone adding to it.

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ryan February 13, 2013 at 10:53 AM

I agree with Amanda. Cheeslave doesn’t really understand Paleo much at all.

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cheeseslave June 24, 2012 at 8:35 AM

@Fancy

I never said that I don’t like paleo people or that paleo people are wrong or stupid.

I do think the paleo diet is a trendy fad diet.

There are parts of it that are good, but I don’t believe that we have to be so rigid and extreme in order to be healthy

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Chandelle June 25, 2012 at 1:22 AM

Cheeseslave I liked your post and thought it was nice that somebody was speaking against the paleo diet for their own self. It seams that people think this is some miracle diet and I almost fell for it the way it was spoken so highly of. I do try to do a low carb diet for me and my kids because we do better, and have the room for other foods. But I can’t do a restricted diet like that, and would end up going crazy and eating more carbs than I would be used to because I would be obsessing over not eating them. Call me weak I don’t care. I have 3 small kids and they like tacos with sprouted corn tortillas, smoothies made with kefir, cheese and apples, milk with their oatmeal, what on earth would I feed them on a Paleo diet? They are picky enough. And I think people should try to remember that they can’t really hear the person who is writing so try not to assign a tone to them, it could just be the mood you are in and not the writer. And where is the freedom of speech here? It’s her blog. And I watched the Paleo guys video, he has an attitude of his own, nobody is saying anything about that. And weren’t cavemen probably eating raw meat? Seriously I coudn’t stop thinking about that. And why would all this food be on earth if we weren’t suppose to eat it? Especially the fermenting foods, like the kefir grains where nobody knows where they even came from and cannot be replicated and they are the perfect match for milk, or the yeast that float in the air and make a sourdough starter, piima culture, and the huge varieties of cheese cultures, and the lime to ferment the corn, even the kombucha that has to have sugar, it is all kind of amazing and to me completes a sort of circle.

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Grains Rock June 25, 2012 at 8:40 AM

Actually, they’re quite good, if you are accustomed to whole grains. If your taste buds are used to white flour, the transition would be difficult. At our house, my kids are used to whole grains. Freshly ground sprouted wheat makes some very tasty items. It has a bit more of a nutty flavor.

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Samantha June 25, 2012 at 11:54 AM

Admittedly, I tried to fully subscribe to the Paleolithic ideals at one point a couple of years ago. While I am glad that I did (so that I could kick ‘crap’ to the curb), rigid, full-on Paleo is impractical and unenjoyable for me and I truly feel that it is similar for most. I learned that I shouldn’t be eating crap pastries and breads, pop-tarts and hotpockets; I did, however, find that when I go to the farmer’s market, a real pastry made from real ingredients, or a calzone with real ingredients, or a real loaf of bread with minimal ingredients… it doesn’t affect me the same way that the aforementioned ‘crap’ does. Or negatively at all for that matter. I know that there are some people who are affected by consuming grains and yes, if that is the case, avoid what makes you feel sick.

Paleo taught me some wonderful things. Eat real foods. Eat foods that were grown the way they were supposed to be (be it plant matter or the meat from happy cows permitted to graze on pasture). But the LOCAL food scene is more important to me than eating 100% Paleo. And locally, there are beautiful artisan breads topped with in-house made, local, gorgeous, greasy, delicious sausages. I am not being the woman who throws that gorgeous bun away. If I had an intolerance to that food, certainly.

There needs to be more focus on eating real foods, fresh foods, foods that work for our own bodies… than simply subscribing to one dietary lifestyle. If regimented Paleo is what truly works for you, that is fantastic! But I have found that I can thrive by eating grassfed meats, fat sources, etc… fresh veggies & fruits…
but rice makes me feel just dandy! Fresh bread makes me feel… fresh! I eat what’s good and all in what I consider to be ‘moderation’. Provided it isn’t poisonous to you, enjoy what you will. Live life and enjoy!

I loved this post. It is clear that you consume real foods and are doing what works for you! Unfortunately, it took me a long while to do the same, but I am glad that I ‘got there’! :)

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cheeseslave June 25, 2012 at 11:59 AM

I make almost everything with sprouted whole wheat flour, from pizza crust to bread. Haven’t tried croissants yet, but I will!

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Libby June 26, 2012 at 10:38 PM

I love cereal, whole grain cereal, whole wheat bread, pasta, you name it I ate it, all whole grain. When we took a paleo challenge last July my husband’s blood sugar normalized within three weeks. We both lost 40 lbs without effort, exercise, or starving. Not eating grains has revolutionized our lives. So you can have my share!

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Norma June 25, 2012 at 7:40 PM

wow!! someones having a very bad day!!! to write such a negative post like this at someone, very childish.
I really hope you have a better day tomorrow.

AM has a lot of followers, there are a lot of us that really respect her and have learned so much from her. I don’t just take AM’s word for it, I do my own research.

Long may AM reign!!

Cheers!!

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Leah June 26, 2012 at 3:46 PM

“There are parts of it that are good, but I don’t believe that we have to be so rigid and extreme in order to be healthy”

I think this is a good point but I don’t think it came across at all in your post. I’ve been thinking about this for several days. This post really upset me and I’m not even that invested in “paleo.” I just thought the whole tone of the post was discouraging and not about being healthy by eating real food.

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Luis S June 28, 2012 at 12:21 PM

HI! I have never been in this website before but I guess I ended here because of a certain post ;). I would like to say I’m a bit disappointed with all the hate posts. I believe it really reinforces the image of Paleo as a religion and it really doesn’t help. I have been eating primal for about a year with good results but I have to say I really agree with this:

I do think the paleo diet is a trendy — diet.

There are parts of it that are good, but I don’t believe that we have to be so rigid and extreme in order to be healthy

The fad aspect I believe only time will tell and actually I think paleo is also evolving in many more flexible variations, therefore the primal and Paleo 2.0 and etc.

Many people resort to the Paleo diet to loose weight so in that context cookies and cake may not fit that well but I totally agree with you in the fact they can be quite tasty.
Paleo can be lowcarb indeed and as a tool to loose weight it has worked for many, also the idea of being able to run on fat instead of carbs all the time doesn’t seem completely out of place. Now the fact it didn’t worked for you is a very good reason not to do it.
I agree paleo as any other diet can be impractical but wouldn’t you agree with the fact that many health problems of society came from the practicality itself? like saying I like cookies a lot, I have easy access to cookies everywhere sort of thing?
Paleo can be indeed expensive, and bread is cheap, then again if you believe organic is better then the expense is justified and so on.

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Emma June 27, 2012 at 7:32 AM

Eating improperly prepared grains is completely different, health wise and for the health of the gut, than eating properly prepared grains. Of course you saw improvement after discontinuing the consumption of improperly prepared grains.

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Carlos Morales June 29, 2012 at 6:05 AM

That’s awesome. I’ve heard the same story from many different people. I’ve lost 130LBS and have never felt better.

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Carlos Morales June 29, 2012 at 6:07 AM

Just replied to the wrong post.

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Allegra June 29, 2012 at 9:27 PM

Hey Todd. I don’t obey the Old Testament Laws because 1. that was before Christ and 2. the OT Laws were given specifically to the Israelites (Psalm 147:19-20). That’s all I’m gonna say because I don’t want to get too off topic. But thanks for sharing that :)

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Skye July 1, 2012 at 11:27 AM

Keith, so PERFECTLY said! Ann-Marie, let Keith’s words be the words that you carry with you – since they are said without judgement, malice, or defensiveness, they are probably the truest words on this page.

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einstein July 2, 2012 at 5:50 AM

that one thing would make the whole shopping guide a worthless junk in my eyes. good i never read it :-)

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Sara February 8, 2013 at 10:11 AM

Cheeseslave,

If you were talking about making potato chips at home in olive oil, that is probably true. But have you ever seen how potato chips are manufactured commercially? There is no wasted oil, they never throw anything out. The oil is just fried-in until it’s completely absorbed by the product, and the oil levels are topped off as needed- meaning it’s spending days at high temperatures, bubbling in a giant fryolator, turning over and over, all particles circulating and being exposed to fresh oxygen over and over. Olive oil may be less prone to oxidation than corn, soy or safflower, but it DOES oxidize- and the commercial process used to make potato chips is basically a ‘rancidity machine’. There just really isn’t a commercially produced deep-fried food, fried in liquid oil, that is “good food”. -Sara

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Libby July 2, 2012 at 6:51 AM

@einstein – as one who had once been a strict Paleo follower for over a year, I can tell you that I am not misled by this post, nor do I consider this post “dangerous” as others have mentioned. It is being assumed that most, if not all, who read this blog are blind sheep listening to every word that comes out of Cheeslave’s mouth. We have brains and we do our own research. This is her journey, many of us have had the same as she has had on low carb or Paleo. Paleo has helped many people achieve their goal of health, most of these have come out of a S.A.D. way of eating for most of their lives.
I crashed on Paleo. I did not lose weight. I felt cold and tired all the time. My hair fell out. I felt as if I was in hibernation. White tongue. The worse I felt, the lower the carb I went, because carbs are evil, or so I thought. If I ate a potato I felt guilty. If I ate rice I felt guilty. If I ate a banana I felt guilty.
I did find going off of wheat that my waist is more shapely and my joint pain is less. Previous to going Paleo I was on a real foods diet.
My husband? He lost 30 lbs. in a short period of time. He lost his wheat belly. His sinus issues ceased. More energy. He came from a 50/50 real foods/SAD way of eating. He has since added back grains and does well with no weight gain. If wheat is added back his belly begins to pooch and sinuses begin to flare up.

I’m still working on health issues, Paleo was not my answer. One may not prefer the tone of Cheeslaves post, but it does bring some validity for people like me who have been traveling the Paleo journey without the success that all the Paleo Preachers promise.
I still read some Paleo blogs and make “Paleo” recipes, I just know if I ever comment on a Paleo/primal blog about my lack of results I get a backlash of how I did something wrong in carb count or it is totally ignored and dismissed.
This is my story and I think it fits many others who do not thrive on Paleo.

Btw- whoever it was that mentioned the einkorn, I have been looking that over – I think I will give that a try in the future as my body can handle it, as of the last few months I’ve been adding back some other grains/carbs….my white tongue is getting more pink.
Looking forward to other symptoms getting better as well.

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Roxanne July 2, 2012 at 11:55 AM

Dear Todd:

For the love of God, put a sock in it already. You’ve made your point, many times over.

The Paleo Diet is a nutritional theory, just like every other type of diet that is codified for therapy uses. It doesn’t fit all needs for all people (it could even be *GASP* flawed!). There is so much genetic diversity within the human population that it is erroneous to think that it does, or that it should. For some it works, and for some it doesn’t, no matter the reason. If it doesn’t work, we need to move on in search of a protocol that does. I’m of the opinion that our American diet pre-industrialization (which was peppered liberally with Native American food staples–beans and corn being high on that list–and pre-GMO crops) is pretty darn healthful for most people. Our nation thrived with great health on this type of diet before 1900. It was when our food system became highly industrialized and science got its greedy hands on it (beginning with WWI and reaching epic proportions soon after WWII) that our health went to crap. We pretty much forgot what food was and how to properly eat it.

Grains, beans, and real diary products are not empty calories. Whoever told you that is a fool. Either that or you don’t know the definition of an empty calorie. They are not devoid of nutrition, and I am really tired of paleo folks spouting off this garbage.

I do not need to give up grains, beans, or dairy to be at my healthy best. I just have to cook them and eat them properly. *MY* diet is pre-industrial American, and I’m living and thriving pretty great on it. Thank you.

If you need to eat Paleo to be at your peak, then that’s what you need to do. Nobody is begrudging you that, but please refrain from claiming that Paleo is the only way to eat healthfully. It’s not.

And that goes for the rest of you Paleo eaters lurking around here. If you don’t like that we disagree with you, go read something else.

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Ancestral Ann July 2, 2012 at 12:55 PM

Todd, I think that no matter the diet being discussed, people are going to believe that their version of it is THE correct way. It’s a bit like the folks that call Atkins the “Bacon and cheese” diet and then when they fail on it they bash Atkins for a nutritionally deficient diet. Well, the fact is that as it’s written by doctor Atkins, the diet includes loads of fresh produce and eschews processed foods. So low-carb (paleo, WAPF, Zone, etc) may not be your thing, but at least be honest if you weren’t faithful in your education about it, or your following of it. Know what I mean?

~Ann

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Ancestral Ann July 2, 2012 at 12:43 PM

Roxanne, it looks like Todd has said many times that he doesn’t follow a paleo diet (so he’s not promoting one), and I see that he said only that grains are ‘mostly’ empty calories… which is true. Somewhere further up was a comparison of nutrients between grains and other fresh produce items, and the grains were pathetically low in nutrients. He doesn’t say anywhere (that I’ve read so far) that dairy or legumes are lacking. So I guess he really does need to comment further because people can’t seem to read what was written. What’s interesting is that even someone who doesn’t follow a paleo diet can see the gaping holes in the OP’s original argument.

~Ann

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Suzanne H July 2, 2012 at 12:52 PM

I’m pretty certain that Todd is “Primal Toad”. I’m not sure why he says that he doesn’t follow a Paleo diet when on his “About” page (link below) it says “I sometimes love labels and sometimes hate them. I live a primal lifestyle. This can also be referred to as paleo, caveman, ancestral, and hunter-gatherer.” To people who are Primal maybe it seems like there’s a difference between Primal and Paleo, but to those who don’t know the difference it seems like he’s intentionally being misleading.

http://primaltoad.com/about/

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Roxanne July 2, 2012 at 1:54 PM

Grains are not low in nutrients at all. They are not nutritionally complete for sure, which is why you don’t base your entire diet on them, but they are FAR from being nutrient deficient (there is a huge difference between the two terms). Heirloom Indian corns, for example, are extremely high in iron, b-vitamins, calcium; are a good source of trace minerals, and when combined with beans (as has been done for centuries in the Americas) make a complete protein. There are similar nutritional profiles for every other “ethnic” grain in the world: quinoa, teff, amaranth, heirloom wheats, and the strains of rice grown in India and Asia. All heirloom grains have very good to superior nutritional profiles. Look up the profile for Khorasan wheat (trademarked as Kamut). It’s one of the world’s oldest strains of wheat, from Ancient Egypt. Kamut has high levels of selenium, zinc, and magnesium and a good profile of b-vitamins; and even though it has a very high protein content, it’s gluten structure has been shown to be more tolerable to gluten sensitive individuals. It’s also pretty high in fat, making it an energy dense food.

Nutritionally empty? I think not.

The problem of the industrialized Western nations is our almost total reliance on 20th century strains of wheat, corn, and to a lesser extant, rye. If the wheat and corn products you are eating are not organic, it’s most assuredly Round-up ready, which is probably why many people have an allergic response to wheat and corn in one form or another.

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Suzanne H July 2, 2012 at 1:06 PM

I apologize for imputing wrong motives. I saw that he had written a post refuting Cheeseslave’s blog post the other day, so I figured it was him commenting. Again, I’m sorry.

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Ancestral Ann July 2, 2012 at 1:06 PM

Suzanne, It’s awfully mean-spirited to make unfounded accusations against someone like that. I would imagine that if the person you linked to was commenting, he’d want everyone to KNOW who he was.

~Ann

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Roxanne July 2, 2012 at 2:28 PM

Dude, 34 g of kamut is like a 1/4 of a cup, maybe a bit less than that. That’s not even a serving size.

Why don’t you try this on for size (from that same website):

1 cup of uncooked kamut, which cooks up to about 2 cups, so split in half for a realistic serving.
http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/cereal-grains-and-pasta/10353/2

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Roxanne July 2, 2012 at 2:38 PM

And, I never said grains were nutrient dense. Many of them are energy dense, not the same thing. I’m saying they are not nutrient deficient. They are not empty. THEY HAVE NUTRITION. Get it? Hello? Anyone? The fact that they are not nutritionally complete or nutrient dense is why I don’t make them the major base of my diet. That doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t eat them, or that they don’t have value for what they DO have.

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Roxanne July 2, 2012 at 2:50 PM

Low nutrient density does not equal nutrient deficient. As any RD and registered nutritionist will tell you. A nutrient deficient food would be something like table sugar, a can of soda. I wouldn’t classify, and most holistic nutritionists, don’t consider grains to be even low nutrient density. Using the complete nutritional profile, they are considered moderate to high nutrient density based on the type of grain.

I see where you’re coming from, I just don’t agree on the meaning of your terms.

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Roxanne July 2, 2012 at 10:03 PM

Geez, you make it sound like all I, and all other non-paleo eaters, eat is grains. That is far from the case. The bulk of my diet is produce, as I consume between 8-10 servings of fresh produce nearly everyday, followed up with beans, meat and dairy. I don’t eat grains everyday, probably a few times a week (this past week I think I had something like 4 servings). I’m not lacking for nutrients I assure you, and my good health isn’t going to suffer from eating them the way that I do, not when my diet is so well rounded and varied. And my goal with my diet has never been to eat only nutrient dense foods, because that is too limiting in scope for me. As a professional cook and die hard foodie, I cannot conceive of a world of food with such narrow-mindedness. Food, eating, and cooking is so much more than nutrients. Not having grains in my diet, or beans, or dairy, means missing out on entire cuisines! If that’s the way Paleo eaters want to live, that’s their choice, but it doesn’t have to be mine. There’s room for every nutritional approach, and there is no reason to be so fanatical about it.

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cheeseslave July 6, 2012 at 4:36 PM

Todd

And yes, if I were in the same room with Cheeseslave and she was speaking about this subject, I would ask her about her obvious fat gain because SHE is promoting a diet that is supposed to support good health- and that much fat gain (on someone who isn’t underweight) is a sign of a lack of health.

You don’t know what you are talking about. I overate and gained weight ON PURPOSE in order to bring my body temperature up and balance my hormones. And it worked. My average body temperature is up from the low 97s/high 96s to a steady average of 98.6.

Since I stopped overeating and am just eating normally (when I’m hungry), since June 1, I’ve lost 8 pounds in 4 weeks without even trying. And yes, eating plenty of carbs and grains.

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cheeseslave July 6, 2012 at 4:38 PM

@Todd

I have clearly stated in the Comment Rules that there is to be no trolling and personal attacks. “Fat” and “foolish” are personal attacks.

You’re done.

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Skye July 6, 2012 at 4:42 PM

Woohoooooooooooooooo!

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Ancestral Ann July 6, 2012 at 7:47 PM

Not to be nit-picky, but isn’t it a little small to respond to a comment and then delete it? Seems the question was quite genuine, and you answered it genuinely. The only point Todd was making was that when a person is dispensing diet advice, their weight is relevant… and it is. Why take so much offense that he asks in the first place?

I wish I didn’t think that you were just waiting for a reason to delete some extremely thought-provoking and relevant comments, but I do. If you didn’t want him to post, you could ban future comments. If you felt that one was an attack, that is the only one that needed deleting. To me you simply seem embarrassed, and he gave you the excuse you needed to remove what embarrassed you.

You look smaller every time you respond here- and perhaps you’ll see that as an attack too and my comments will also be deleted, but better that than tiptoe around the elephant in the room.

~Ann

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Bread Lover July 7, 2012 at 1:54 PM

I’ve been following this post without commenting up to this point and I thought the discussion was pretty interesting up until now. You quote your own rules to justify deleting another poster’s comments, but when I read them for myself, I don’t see any mention of deleting ALL of the comments. I don’t know why anyone would put the energy into debating you when you may reach a point when you don’t like their comments and you not only delete the one that broke your rules, but all of the others as well.

“—-Any comments that are disrespectful, rude, and/or contain foul language will be deleted as spam. If you get enough spam comments, your comments will no longer appear.—-”

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cheeseslave July 7, 2012 at 3:55 PM

Hi, Ann

I have made it clear in my Commenting Guidelines (above) that we don’t tolerate trolling (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troll_%28Internet%29) or personal attacks.

Todd posted 21 messages in the past few days! I call that trolling. Which is why I deleted his messages.

Almost all bloggers I know delete the VERY FIRST troll-like message or personal attack. I’ve been busy with other things so I didn’t bother with them.

It’s my blog and I don’t have to take personal abuse in the comments, nor do I have to tolerate trolls.

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cheeseslave July 7, 2012 at 3:56 PM

@Bread Lover

Todd posted 21 messages in the past few days! I call that trolling. Which is why I deleted his messages.

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cheeseslave July 7, 2012 at 3:58 PM

I should have added to the guidelines:

I reserve the right to remove any comments I find offensive.

Period!

If I owned a bar, and someone I was serving was calling me fat, I’d throw them out on their ear.

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Bread Lover July 7, 2012 at 4:19 PM

But you don’t own a bar, you own a blog- and you don’t dispense alcohol, you dispense nutrition and weight loss advice and own a business that profits from further advice. If the term “fat” bothers you, you need to get a thicker skin. I notice he wasn’t the one who actually pointed it out- is “bigger” somehow less insulting than ‘fat’? That’s the price you pay for attempting to profit from celebrity- people will be critical- as they should. You should be a shining beacon for what you’re promoting, and people who want to lose weight don’t see you that way.

There’s no question that some of Todd’s posts felt trollish, but some of them contained some valuable nuggets of information and some thoughtful debate- do you think it actually hurt him that you deleted them? Nah, it only hurts the people reading your blog.

No doubt you can and should do what you want with your own blog… so if ‘small and petty’ is what you’re going for, keep on trucking. In your own words, “more power to you”. If the number of comments in a blog is how trolling is defined, my notifications show more than 150 from you alone. Perhaps you’re trolling your own blog… ahem.

(After this debacle about your misrepresentation of Paleo based on wiki’s definition, haven’t you learned yet that wikipedia is a TERRIBLE resource to cite?)

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Kenny July 7, 2012 at 11:46 PM

Where can I find heirloom corn chips made with olive oil?

Ya, that’s why I don’t eat corn chips. I cut out the high carb diet after reading Dr Barry Sears book on avoiding heart disease.

I was about to start eating GMO wheat products when I read about the Spaniards slaughtering the Incas, because I thought it would make me look all macho, but then I reasoned that genocide might not be a good argument for any certain type of diet.

If insulin cycling makes you feel alive, by all means, do it!

If you think primal diners don’t eat potatoes, bananas, fruit, honey or chocolate, think again.

Just kidding! Don’t think, research and learn, just keep eating your 6 to 11 servings of grain a day. Worked for Tim Russert, and he was one of Time Magazines 100 most influential people of the 20th century!

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cheeseslave July 8, 2012 at 12:10 AM

@Bread Lover

But you don’t own a bar, you own a blog- and you don’t dispense alcohol, you dispense nutrition and weight loss advice and own a business that profits from further advice.

I got nothing against a bar. In fact, I’m drinking wine right now.

If the term “fat” bothers you, you need to get a thicker skin.

Or maybe you need to have some empathy for other human beings.

I notice he wasn’t the one who actually pointed it out- is “bigger” somehow less insulting than ‘fat’?

As I said to Todd, you do not know what you are talking about. I *gained weight on purpose* to help regulate my hormones. If you don’t understand it, then maybe you should go read some of Matt Stone’s blog.

If you just want to complain about the fact that I’ve gained weight then, yeah you don’t get it and you’re not bothering to do your research — and that’s ignorance.

Please do a google search for 180 Degree Health and spend some time reading on that site before you comment again.

That’s the price you pay for attempting to profit from celebrity- people will be critical- as they should. You should be a shining beacon for what you’re promoting, and people who want to lose weight don’t see you that way.

Again, go read Matt Stone’s blog.

Calling me greedy and focused on profits is a personal attack which has nothing to do with the issues at hand.

There’s no question that some of Todd’s posts felt trollish,

21 posts in a matter of a few days? Calling me fat?

Yeah, OK, bye-bye. “What part don’t you understand, the BUH or the bye? BUH-bye!”

but some of them contained some valuable nuggets of information and some thoughtful debate- do you think it actually hurt him that you deleted them? Nah, it only hurts the people reading your blog.

Maybe Todd should start his own blog. He can say whatever he wants.

If he can make his points in my comments without harranguing people and making personal attacks against people, then he can post on here. But he could not do that, so he’s gone.

No doubt you can and should do what you want with your own blog… so if ‘small and petty’ is what you’re going for, keep on trucking. In your own words, “more power to you”. If the number of comments in a blog is how trolling is defined, my notifications show more than 150 from you alone. Perhaps you’re trolling your own blog… ahem.

Nope, just responding to the comments, which is what I’ve always done on this blog, in the 4 years that I have been posting.

For FREE, I might add.

If I really were as greedy as you say, I would not bother to answer the comments. I don’t make any money from it.

After this debacle about your misrepresentation of Paleo based on wiki’s definition, haven’t you learned yet that wikipedia is a TERRIBLE resource to cite?)

If I take out the Wikipedia link, people still have the same idea about Paleo.

Again, the post is 10 reasons *I* am not paleo. If you don’t agree, that’s fine. It’s my opinion.

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cheeseslave July 8, 2012 at 12:20 AM

@Kenny

We buy organic corn tortillas and we fry them in coconut oil. Every week.

If insulin cycling makes you feel alive, by all means, do it!

I guess I kind of know what you mean by that but whatever — I’m jut going to eat what I want.

If you think primal diners don’t eat potatoes, bananas, fruit, honey or chocolate, think again.

I never said primal. I said paleo.

I don’t get how any primal or paleo people can justify chocolate. It’s highly processed.

And I don’t eat 6-11 servings of grain a day. Just because I said I eat grains, doesn’t mean I eat that much.

But if someone does, that’s totally fine. I really don’t believe in dietary dogma.

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Medb July 8, 2012 at 8:07 AM

For what it’s worth, I’m finding this weight/attractiveness thing appalling. I know I’ve not posted here before and it’s not like you know me or anything, but I just have to say this is awful.

Fine, these people don’t want their bodies to look like your body looks. But why on earth say it to you? Just… don’t follow your advice. Their argument seems to be “I don’t want to look like you because I think you look too fat,” which is silly.

For one, would they look at a hairdresser and say “Your hair is hideous. Don’t touch me”? Or would they just quietly make an appointment with someone else? I mean, there ways to handle this without being rude, and “WELL YOU TALKED ABOUT FOOD” is not adequate reasoning. And it’s not really honest, either. It’s not that you talked about food, it’s that you talked about it on the internet. And for some, the internet is the Wild West so anything goes. It’s so easy to lose sight of the person on the other side of the screen. At least, I hope that’s the internet factor making them rude. I hope they aren’t going into restaurants, looking at the chef, and calling him fat.

Third, they’re making the ridiculous assumption that eating like person X wil make your body look like person X’s body. I don’t want my body to look like some Paleo bodies, some vegan bodies, some SAD bodies, some any-diet-ever bodies. And guess what? Mine probably won’t. It will look like my body on that diet because not all bodies look the same on any given diet. You can influence it, sure, but plenty of people who eat carbs have flat stomachs. There are chubby vegans. Heck, there are even entries on Paleo blogs like Ancestralize Me and Nom Nom Paleo talking about how women on Paleo “aren’t, well, quite so lean,” to quote Nom Nom. Do all Paleo women have the terrifying extra 15 lbs of weight? No, of course not. But some do, because bodies are different.

And I can’t find it now, but at least one person was actually directly talking about your body in terms of attractiveness. And they don’t see how that’s rude and awful? To act like their personal preference should ever have an effect on you? I know people love to act like there is science behind attractiveness, but let’s get real. Take any person on the planet: Some will be attracted to them, some won’t. Hell, I met a guy who thought Catherine Zeta Jones was homely. Does that give him leave to write to her and make sure she knows that? When she’s making her living by being publicly good-looking? Of course not. That would be kind of insane to do.

Sorry I wrote a novel on this, my mind is just blown that people are being such jerks and then acting like they can’t possibly see how it’s rude, inappropriate, and even illogical.

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PricerParent July 8, 2012 at 8:35 AM

MedB:

You make a good point about the hairdresser, but when is the last time you came across a hairdresser blogging about how her hair is best and your hair is silly, expensive, restrictive, etc? You better believe the product of her hairdressing would be up for discussion.

The same goes for the chef, if he blogs about his food being more nutritious or ideal for those trying to lose weight, his weight is fair game. The same would go for someone like Suzie Orman, would you take financial advice from someone in debt?

This post was the first attack, if I ate Paleo I’d be offended too- as it is, I’m embarrassed. If each of her claims ended with “for me”, that might have made all the difference, but as she says she never followed that diet, it is just a giant bash followed by dozens of defensive comments saying she didn’t mean to bash anyone.

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cheeseslave July 8, 2012 at 10:06 AM

@Medb

Wow, thank you.

And I can’t find it now, but at least one person was actually directly talking about your body in terms of attractiveness.

That’s because I deleted the comment. This is my blog, after all, and I should not have to have the comments defiled with insults and personal attacks against me (or anyone else for that matter).

I completely agree with you. Most of these people, people I don’t even know, would never have the cajones to say these hateful things to my face.

There’s a thing, it’s called basic manners and common decency. I guess many of these folks have not heard of it.

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Medb July 8, 2012 at 9:01 AM

PricerParent –

I think some of her anti-Paleo arguments don’t hold water, but I have to say I feel like insulting her body is bringing a gun to a slap fight. She says “I think your diet is impractical because it takes a lot of storage space” so people say “Ur fat”? No. Calling her “fat” or “not attractive” is an inappropriate response, even if she did upset them.

I get that she’s talking about food so some body stuff is relevant. The thing is, appearance preferences are way, way too subjective. So you don’t like this hypothetical hairdresser’s hair. Clearly she does. Clearly some other people do, too. Why do you feel like you absolutely have to publicly state that your preference is objectively correct and she is ugly? She called your method silly, she didn’t call your hair ugly. Cheeseslave didn’t say “Paleo women look mannish” or “Paleo women are not lean enough.” So why be all “Yeah, well, you’re fat so I don’t have to listen to you”?

There are many other options, like ignoring her blog, or saying “I tried that method and I didn’t like the results” or “Please don’t insult my preferred methods. They work for me” or “I think my methods are perfectly convenient.” People said those things and that’s great. I have no objection to disagreeing. What’s distasteful is pretending like she’s objectively bad or unappealing physically for not conforming to someone’s subjective preferences. Especially when it’s in response to such nuclear insults like “I find that diet too restrictive” and “Your history is incorrect.”

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cheeseslave July 8, 2012 at 10:16 AM

@PricerParent

The same goes for the chef, if he blogs about his food being more nutritious or ideal for those trying to lose weight, his weight is fair game.

There are many things that cause weight gain.

For example, overeating. Or low thyroid function. You can eat a super strict low carb and/or low calorie diet and STILL not lose any weight if you’re hypothyroid.

Saying my diet is wrong because I have put on a few extra pounds — which I did this spring ON PURPOSE to help balance my hormones — is not only absurd, but it’s rude.

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Medb July 8, 2012 at 9:20 AM

PricerParent –

And just to kind of illustrate what I mean, yes, I might take financial advice from someone who’s in debt. If it’s a professional financial advisor with a good track record who still has some student loan debt? Absolutely. It’d be ridiculous to say “I can’t listen to you, you’re still paying Yale back.” I’m sure there are other situations where debt is not a sign of financial irresponsibility. Similarly, I think it’s silly to look only at weight as a sign of someone’s wisdom about food. It’s not a perfect analogy, but I think it’s safe to say that going directly to “I think your body is ugly” when someone says they think your diet is too limiting about foods they enjoy is pretty awful.

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cheeseslave July 8, 2012 at 10:08 AM

@Medb

Yes, disagreeing with me is totally fine. Making personal attacks is out of line. And I also deleted PricerParent’s comment for that reason.

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PricerParent July 8, 2012 at 10:33 AM

I was just listening to a podcast about thyroid function from thyroid expert Chris Kresser- according to him, data shows that low thyroid does NOT cause weight gain- he also says if a person gains weight after switching to a higher carb diet, it’s because they’re overeating– that adding more carbs is all that’s necessary, but that the individual should cut some of the fat and protein so weight gain doesn’t occur. You keep saying I should read Matt Stone, and I have, but he isn’t a thyroid expert- and Chris Kresser is.

If you want folks to respect your advice about diet- you should specifically state that you’re not following the diet you promote- or that the diet you promote will correct your thyroid and may make you gain weight.

Some one above mentioned quoting comments and then deleting them. Hey, if you don’t want a comment on your blog, by all means you should delete it. But it’s just not cool to take pieces out of context and delete the rest.

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Pricer Parent July 8, 2012 at 10:35 AM

I was just listening to a podcast about thyroid function from thyroid expert Chris Kresser- according to him, data shows that low thyroid does NOT cause weight gain- he also says if a person gains weight after switching to a higher carb diet, it’s because they’re overeating– that adding more carbs is all that’s necessary, but that the individual should cut some of the fat and protein so weight gain doesn’t occur. You keep saying I should read Matt Stone, and I have, but he isn’t a thyroid expert- and Chris Kresser is.

If you want folks to respect your advice about diet- you should specifically state that you’re not following the diet you promote- or that the diet you promote will correct your thyroid and may make you gain weight.

Some one above mentioned quoting comments and then deleting them. Hey, if you don’t want a comment on your blog, by all means you should delete it. But it’s just not cool to take pieces out of context and delete the rest.

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Medb July 8, 2012 at 10:44 AM

cheeseslave –

Manners! Seriously! They don’t disappear because it’s the internet!

I don’t know. This whole thing is bizarre to me. I really don’t see where you were particularly inflammatory, and it’s really freaking me out that adults seem to think calling you ugly is not only fine, but the proper response.

At any rate, try not to let it get you down too much. You’re fine. Even if the extra pounds weren’t on purpose, I do not see the big deal. If that’s not someone’s preference for their own body, that’s fine. But it’s bodies and food. There’s no reason to turn it into a “one true way” war. So more power to you, and I mean that sincerely. :)

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Roxanne July 8, 2012 at 11:01 AM

Chris Kessler isn’t a thyroid expert, either. He just likes to think he is. The man’s an acupuncturist. He’s not even a licensed M.D. His nutritional MO is just to regurgitate what ever other paleo “expert” spouts off.

I really wish people would get off the-one-size-fits-all diet bandwagon.

I also got disgusted with Todd and his weight-based insults. None of that is called for, ever. Not only is that a personal insult, but weight and health have nothing to do with one another. I’m a follower and believer in the Health at Every Size movement, and I’m not down with that kind of nonsense.

This blog has NEVER been about weight-loss. It’s about eating well and promoting health through food. That would be HEALTH, not weight-loss. This is not a diet and fitness blog. We don’t diet around here; we eat, and we don’t feel guilty about it either.

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cheeseslave July 8, 2012 at 11:58 AM

@Pricer Parent

I was just listening to a podcast about thyroid function from thyroid expert Chris Kresser- according to him, data shows that low thyroid does NOT cause weight gain-

Which podcast is that? Weight gain and low metabolism is a well-known symptom of low thyroid. That’s common knowledge.

You keep saying I should read Matt Stone, and I have, but he isn’t a thyroid expert- and Chris Kresser is.

I think both Matt Stone and Chris Kresser are very smart people who have lots of excellent info on hormone health.

If you want folks to respect your advice about diet- you should specifically state that you’re not following the diet you promote- or that the diet you promote will correct your thyroid and may make you gain weight.

I’m not following the diet I promote? Sorry but I don’t understand what you are saying.

I’ve always been an advocate of cheese, bacon, butter, raw milk as well as sourdough and sprouted bread and other properly prepared grains. I’ve never waivered on that.

I did cut way down on grains and starches, as I was swayed by paleo and low-carb blogs, books and podcasts. I wanted to lose the baby weight I had gained after my pregnancy. All that did was make it HARDER for me to lose weight and make my thryoid worse.

Now that I’m eating a high-carb diet, the weight is falling off (2 pounds per week) and I’m not even trying. And my body temperature is a steady 98.6.

Some one above mentioned quoting comments and then deleting them. Hey, if you don’t want a comment on your blog, by all means you should delete it. But it’s just not cool to take pieces out of context and delete the rest.

If people don’t want their comments deleted then (1) no trolling (2) no personal attacks, and so on. (See comment guidelines above)

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Pricer Parent July 8, 2012 at 11:16 AM

The comments here have been pasted into the thread I mentioned and not a single one says anything even close to “I think your body is ugly”. You can’t see what the comments said because Cheeseslave deleted them, so you’re extrapolating. She also specifically states that she didn’t gain any weight and then says she gained it on purpose. The comments Matt made didn’t specifically say she was fat either, they said that if a diet makes a person fat, you have question the validity of that diet. The fact is, “fat” is such a provocative term these days that people automatically assume you’re telling them they’re ugly. Fat is fat… ugly is ugly. (Before my comment gets deleted, I’m not calling anyone here fat or ugly.)

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Pricer Parent July 8, 2012 at 11:21 AM

If you were truly familiar with Kresser you’d know that he isn’t in any way a proponent of paleo/primitive/caveman. Also, the appeal to authority based on degrees isn’t helpful. He’s an expert because he is– because he heals people’s thyroid. Not because he has an MD after his name. Sally Fallon Morell doesn’t have any letters after her name either, but few would argue that she isn’t an expert.

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cheeseslave July 8, 2012 at 11:52 AM

@Roxanne

This blog has NEVER been about weight-loss. It’s about eating well and promoting health through food. That would be HEALTH, not weight-loss. This is not a diet and fitness blog. We don’t diet around here; we eat, and we don’t feel guilty about it either.

Amen, sister!

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Medb July 8, 2012 at 11:22 AM

PricerParent –

Someone did have a pretty long comment about how she was “unattractive.” I distinctly remember that the person did use the exact term “unattractive.” I can’t remember the name, sorry, and it’s since been deleted.

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cheeseslave July 8, 2012 at 11:50 AM

@Pricer Parent

The comments here have been pasted into the thread I mentioned and not a single one says anything even close to “I think your body is ugly”.

You are pretty new to this thread. There were lots of comments that I received and have since deleted — so you would not have gotten email notifications for those.

She also specifically states that she didn’t gain any weight and then says she gained it on purpose. The comments Matt made didn’t specifically say she was fat either, they said that if a diet makes a person fat, you have question the validity of that diet.

Yes I gained it on purpose to help bring up my body temperature and help my thyroid function better. It worked. I went from low 97s to 98.6.

And now that I’m not purposefully overeating anymore, the weight is falling off — 8 pounds lost in June without trying at all. And I’m eating a high-carb diet.

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Pricer Parent July 8, 2012 at 11:30 AM

Medb

I just did a search for the word “unattractive”, and the only comment that comes up for it is yours. Unless it was spelled incorrectly, it wasn’t used in this thread anywhere. The person posting the comments has been getting them in email since the beginning of the thread. Aren’t you subscribed to this thread? It looks like you were one of the first commenters? If so, a search of your own email would turn up the word if it was used.

This applies to anyone else who is complaining that Cheeseslave is being called “fat” or “unattractive”- there have to be many with email notifications, so just do a search for the words. You’ll see, they don’t come up.

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Medb July 8, 2012 at 12:09 PM

PricerParent –

The first comment in this thread is from June 20th. I posted something and subscribed to the thread on July 7th.

The “unattractive” comment is one that was deleted before I subscribed. I can’t prove it was there, unfortunately. All I can say is that it was.

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Pricer July 8, 2012 at 12:50 PM

The thread is being re-posted in its entirety- the very first comment reads-

Kileah June 20, 2012 at 10:44 PM

A-FREAKING-MEN! Well-said;)

Is that the first comment here? It currently contains close to 900 comments. I assume that one of the first people who commented is responsible for the repost.

There are also 33 comments from Todd- and you only mention 20-something, so I believe they’re all there. There is discussion about you appearing to have gained weight and a comment about believing it’s OK to ask someone why they’ve gained fat- but not a single one that calls you unattractive or fat. I guess that’s the downside of deleting comments, you don’t have any evidence once you do.

Which podcast is that?

This one. All Things Thyroid (Thyroid 101) | Chris Kresser

“I’m not following the diet I promote? Sorry but I don’t understand what you are saying.”

I’ve read in several places throughout your blog (and the facebook page that comes up in google) that eating the diet you promote won’t make people fat. If you’re gaining weight on purpose as you say, then telling people that you’re over-eating on purpose is kind of important if you’re going to remain credible. A diet isn’t just the food that we eat, but how much and when. If people believe that the diet you promote will make them want to overeat, why would they follow it?

“If people don’t want their comments deleted then (1) no trolling (2) no personal attacks, and so on. (See comment guidelines above)”
Very true, and I already said as much. That doesn’t change what you’re doing in stealing a sound-bite though. If their comment is so bad that it deserves deletion, then delete it all rather than benefiting from a piece of it. It’s a bit like the “If you don’t play the game my way, I’m going to take my ball and go home.” argument. Yes you certainly can, but that kind of behavior smacks of immaturity, and based on what I’ve read of you, I don’t think that’s who you are.

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Pricer Parent July 8, 2012 at 12:24 PM

The thread is being re-posted in its entirety- the very first comment reads-

Kileah June 20, 2012 at 10:44 PM

A-FREAKING-MEN! Well-said;)

Is that the first comment here? It currently contains close to 900 comments. I assume that one of the first people who commented is responsible for the repost.

There are also 33 comments from Todd- and you only mention 20-something, so I believe they’re all there. There is discussion about you appearing to have gained weight and a comment about believing it’s OK to ask someone why they’ve gained fat- but not a single one that calls you unattractive or fat. I guess that’s the downside of deleting comments, you don’t have any evidence once you do.

Which podcast is that?

This one. All Things Thyroid (Thyroid 101) | Chris Kresser

“I’m not following the diet I promote? Sorry but I don’t understand what you are saying.”

I’ve read in several places throughout your blog (and the facebook page that comes up in google) that eating the diet you promote won’t make people fat. If you’re gaining weight on purpose as you say, then telling people that you’re over-eating on purpose is kind of important if you’re going to remain credible. A diet isn’t just the food that we eat, but how much and when. If people believe that the diet you promote will make them want to overeat, why would they follow it?

“If people don’t want their comments deleted then (1) no trolling (2) no personal attacks, and so on. (See comment guidelines above)”
Very true, and I already said as much. That doesn’t change what you’re doing in stealing a sound-bite though. If their comment is so bad that it deserves deletion, then delete it all rather than benefiting from a piece of it. It’s a bit like the “If you don’t play the game my way, I’m going to take my ball and go home.” argument. Yes you certainly can, but that kind of behavior smacks of immaturity, and based on what I’ve read of you, I don’t think that’s who you are.

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Brigit December 19, 2012 at 9:32 AM

Cheeseslave,

At a client’s prompting, I’ve been listening to The Paleo Solution podcasts for the last few weeks (there are 163!). I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Chris Kresser is a frequent guest as I have tremendous respect for him as a die-hard fact-checker. It was interesting to hear him state that fermentative flora don’t reach the gut as I’ve recommended raw ferments to my patients for restoring pro-biotic populations, so I’m in the midst of doing my own research on the subject. Something else that intrigued me was a new program he’s been developing for individuals with unusual health issues (thyroid dysfunction, gut permeability, autoimmune) where he recommends a heart-healthy diet and lifestyle, one that’s based on ‘paleo/primal’ and that when it comes to potential thyroid issues, that only a handful of people are prone to having them and that they are exacerbated by an extended very low carb diet, but that the primal diet isn’t low carb unless you make it that way. He went on to say that even so, a single high carb “re-feed” a week was more than enough to prevent impairment in those people.

I’m not as familiar with his positions as I’d like to be so I’m going to follow-up by reading what I can find of his after the holidays. It does strike me though that you seemed to think Kresser was anti-low carb and even anti-Paleo- and you’ve mentioned having tremendous respect for his thyroid work- but he doesn’t appear to be either.

Maybe we both have something to learn.

Brigit, RD

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Pricer Parent July 8, 2012 at 12:30 PM

Medb: Your first comment shows up on July 5th, and the conversation everyone is up in arms about took place that same day *after* your comment. This doesn’t mean that you actually got those notifications, I’m merely saying that if you have those comments from Todd in your email, THOSE are the only comments that address Cheeseslave’s weight.

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Pricer July 8, 2012 at 12:49 PM

Medb: Your first comment shows up on July 5th, and the conversation everyone is up in arms about took place that same day *after* your comment. This doesn’t mean that you actually got those notifications, I’m merely saying that if you have those comments from Todd in your email, THOSE are the only comments that address Cheeseslave’s weight.

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Pricer July 8, 2012 at 1:06 PM

–from Todd that is. I also don’t find the word “unattractive” anywhere in over 800 comments.

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cheeseslave July 8, 2012 at 1:55 PM

@Pricer

There are also 33 comments from Todd- and you only mention 20-something, so I believe they’re all there. There is discussion about you appearing to have gained weight and a comment about believing it’s OK to ask someone why they’ve gained fat- but not a single one that calls you unattractive or fat. I guess that’s the downside of deleting comments, you don’t have any evidence once you do.

This is what Todd wrote: “You know what else is attractive? A healthy body… something Cheeseslave does NOT appear to have.”

He’s saying I’m not attractive and not healthy. So yeah, rude, and incorrect. I’m very healthy. I may have a few extra pounds since I had a baby. How does that make me unhealthy?

This one. All Things Thyroid (Thyroid 101) | Chris Kresser

Thanks! I’ll check it out.

I’ve read in several places throughout your blog (and the facebook page that comes up in google) that eating the diet you promote won’t make people fat. If you’re gaining weight on purpose as you say, then telling people that you’re over-eating on purpose is kind of important if you’re going to remain credible. A diet isn’t just the food that we eat, but how much and when. If people believe that the diet you promote will make them want to overeat, why would they follow it?

The diet I eat does not make people fat.

I HAVE publicly posted on a number of occasions that I was “RRARFing” this spring — Matt Stone’s term for rehabilitative rest and aggressive refeeding. He advocates overeating for a period of time and gaining weight in order to help your hormones balance. As I said, it worked; I went from low 97s to 98.6.

Since I stopped overeating around June 1st, I lost 8 pounds (2 pounds per week) without even trying. Eating a high carb full-fat diet. Normal foods like sprouted bread, raw milk, grass-fed cheese and butter, pizza, nachos made with tortillas fried in coconut oil. I haven’t written a whole blog post about this yet but I will.

Honestly, I would rather have a few extra pounds and be HEALTHY than be slimmer and have a poorly functioning metabolism and all that goes with it: cold hands and feet, low sex drive, hair that’s falling out, poor immunity, etc. I definitely have noticed a difference in my immunity since I boosted my body temp and hormonal function… for example, my daughter brought a cold home from daycare. Normally I would have picked it up and it would have run its course. My husband got the cold and was sick for days. Instead, I just had a little frog in my throat and a little extra phlegm for a few days — and that was it. It barely phased me, even though I’m working 12-16 hour days right now.

However, I predict that I will continue to lose weight until my body has settled at where it wants to be. The good news — I’m still at 98.6, which I had not ever attained since I had the baby 5 years ago.

The bottom line: This is working for me. That’s all I’m saying. If it upsets people, I’m very sorry for them. But I won’t apologize for writing about what is helping me — in the hopes that it may also help others.

Low carb was a disaster for me and there are so many folks out there acting like low carb is the Holy Grail. It is not, not for many of us. If it works for you, that’s wonderful! I am just sharing that eating grains and a higher carb diet is good for me. Overeating and excessive rest also helped (RRARF). And others may also find that it works for them as well.

Very true, and I already said as much. That doesn’t change what you’re doing in stealing a sound-bite though. If their comment is so bad that it deserves deletion, then delete it all rather than benefiting from a piece of it. It’s a bit like the “If you don’t play the game my way, I’m going to take my ball and go home.” argument. Yes you certainly can, but that kind of behavior smacks of immaturity, and based on what I’ve read of you, I don’t think that’s who you are.

I’m just marking peoples comments as spam — so they all get lumped into spam when I do that. I’m super busy running the blog network and can’t keep up with all of these comments.

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Medb July 8, 2012 at 1:25 PM

PricerParent –

If the conversation everyone is up in arms did not include the word “unattractive,” then that’s not the conversation I’m saying did include it. There were multiple comments and conversations that I objected to. Todd’s comments were not the only comments. I do not have any comments from him in my email.

Was July 5 when I posted the comment about when ice cream was invented? My mistake. I didn’t hit the “subscribe to this thread” checkbox when I posted that one.

I’m not sure what else to say. You say it’s not in your source, I believe you. I know I read it, and I know cheeseslave’s been deleting comments, but I can’t prove to you that I did. If you think I’m mistaken, fine. The vast majority of what I said still applies.

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Pricer July 8, 2012 at 1:29 PM

My point was simply that once a person is “triggered” they often see what they expect to see rather than what is written.

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Medb July 8, 2012 at 1:36 PM

PricerParent –

I’m actually asking because I’m starting to feel like I was hallucinating – Where do you have all the comments, including deleted ones, starting June 20th? Is it in your email, or do you have a link?

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Pricer July 8, 2012 at 1:55 PM

They’re being posted in an invitation only Yahoo group so I can’t link you. I can copy and paste, but that would put them back in Cheeseslave’s blog. You’d think that SHE would have them, right? She must get notifications for every comment- so it should be easy for her to identify them, if she chooses.

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cheeseslave July 8, 2012 at 1:57 PM

@Medb

You are not hallucinating. See my comment above to Pricer.

I pulled up Todd’s rude comment in my spam folder, which is where it belongs.

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Medb July 8, 2012 at 1:57 PM

cheeseslave -

Thank you for posting that quote from Todd! Glad I’m not going crazy. ;)

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cheeseslave July 8, 2012 at 1:58 PM

@Pricer

LOL! Wow, people really have too much time on their hands!

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cheeseslave July 8, 2012 at 1:58 PM

@Medb

You’re welcome! :-)

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Pricer July 8, 2012 at 2:27 PM

@cheeseslave

["A healthy body… something Cheeseslave does NOT appear to have."] He’s saying I’m not attractive and not healthy. So yeah, rude, and incorrect.

Normally I wouldn’t split hairs, but for every paleo person on this thread that said your assumptions were incorrect and that you offended and insulted them, you argued that you didn’t directly insult anyone. Todd said you don’t appear to be healthy. Your actual health isn’t something he was commenting on, but rather your appearance of health to him. He also didn’t say you are unattractive, it’s something you extrapolated when he said a healthy body is attractive. How can you take offense over the very same thing you’ve done throughout both your post and the comments?

The diet I eat does not make people fat.

Then why did *you* gain weight eating it? If you’ve been deliberately overeating, overeating is part of your diet.

I HAVE publicly posted on a number of occasions that I was “RRARFing” this spring

I don’t know what that means yet- but since your blog is public and no one needs to subscribe to read it, why assume that people know something like this? If you want to avoid the “but why have you gained weight?” comments, wouldn’t it be simpler (and less potentially offensive) to restate it once with the entry than to repeat it in comments DOZENS of times where the next person who stumbles in may not see it? You state that you consider cheese, butter, eggs, bacon, etc. healthy, over and over so why not?

[I]t worked; I went from low 97s to 98.6. Since I stopped overeating around June 1st, I lost 8 pounds (2 pounds per week) without even trying

I think this is amazing! I’m really very happy for you. I don’t think it has much to do with what we’re discussing, but I’m always happy to hear a success story.

Honestly, I would rather have a few extra pounds and be HEALTHY than be slimmer and have a poorly functioning metabolism and all that goes with it

I think that most people would, but we’re all different. Most of us don’t have to choose- most of us can be quite healthy and also be lean. So why suggest there are only two options?

However, I predict that I will continue to lose weight until my body has settled at where it wants to be.

I hope this for you as well. :)

This is working for me. That’s all I’m saying. If it upsets people, I’m very sorry for them. But I won’t apologize for writing about what is helping me — in the hopes that it may also help others.

No one wants you to apologize for what works for you- they want you to apologize for suggesting that THEY (not you) are stupid and foolish for eating a diet that happens to work well for them, even though not for you. The fact that you still can’t see that is so disappointing.

I’m just marking peoples comments as spam — so they all get lumped into spam when I do that. I’m super busy running the blog network and can’t keep up with all of these comments.

Cheeseslave, you took the time to copy, paste and reply to comments and then you deleted them, something that someone to busy to pay attention doesn’t do.

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rebs July 8, 2012 at 2:56 PM

“The bottom line: This is working for me. That’s all I’m saying. If it upsets people, I’m very sorry for them. But I won’t apologize for writing about what is helping me — in the hopes that it may also help others.”

I don’t believe that people are upset that your diet is working for you. I think it’s more that they are offended by the demeaning and elitist tone of your article. You don’t want people bashing your dietary choices, but you find it ok to bash the Paleo diet because it didn’t work for you. Lots of hypocrisy going on here. Sections entitled “Paleo Is Based On Fantasy”, “Paleo Is Impractical” and “Paleo Is A Waste Of Time and Energy” implies that the people who follow this diet are impractical fools that are wasting their time and energy living in a fantasy land. Maybe you didn’t intend it to come out this way, but it did. The people who it has helped understandably felt offended by you bashing the diet that has turned their lives around and understandably want to defend it just as you defend yours. No one is asking you to apologize for writing about what works for you. But they would like you to apologize for essentially dismissing and making fun of a diet that has worked for them. As PricerParent said before, perhaps if you had followed your statements with “for me” it probably could have avoided all the backlash.

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cheeseslave July 8, 2012 at 2:55 PM

@Pricer

The point is, lean doesn’t mean healthy necessarily and healthy doesn’t necessarily mean lean. I’m aiming for excellent health, even if I have to gain some weight (hopefully temporarily) in order to get there.

If people want to follow my blog and learn about why I did RRARFing and all of that, awesome, they can follow it. I can’t update every single blog post with, “Hey want to know why I gained a few extra pounds? I’ve been RRARfing, that’s why!”

If they want to make assumptions and judgements about me not knowing anything about me, they can also do that. But if they make rude comments, I’ll delete those comments.

Honestly I do not care whether this Todd guy thinks I appear healthy or attractive. I don’t even know him, and what he thinks is none of my business. I found the comment rude, so I deleted it. I can’t imagine anyone would EVER walk up to someone at a cocktail party and say, Hey, you appear unhealthy, and that’s really unattractive.

If he wouldn’t say it to me in person, he should not say it on this blog. If he doesn’t like my blog, why read it?

I replied to comments first an then I deleted them (spammed them). I didn’t bother removing my own comments.

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Pricer July 8, 2012 at 3:06 PM

If he wouldn’t say it to me in person, he should not say it on this blog.

Fair enough. Which of these statements would you comfortably say to a friend following a paleo diet?
- “how old is old enough? Homo habilis? Homo erectus?
- “I ask you, do we really need to go back 1 million years ago to eat a healthy diet?
- “Do we really need to throw the baby out with the bathwater?”
- “I think that is a load of hogwash.”
- “do you really need to eat like Australopithecus Afarensis to feel like you’re eating a healthy diet? Have you seen a picture of Australopithecus Afarensis lately?”

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cheeseslave July 8, 2012 at 3:14 PM

@Rebs

Thanks for your comment.

I don’t believe that people are upset that your diet is working for you. I think it’s more that they are offended by the demeaning and elitist tone of your article. You don’t want people bashing your dietary choices, but you find it ok to bash the Paleo diet because it didn’t work for you.

I didn’t bash paleo just because it didn’t work for me. I think it is an elitist fad diet. If people don’t agree, that’s fine. This is my opinion.

I wrote what I truly believe. I do think a lot of people who are advocating a paleo diet are convincing people that it they need to go to extremes, and I do not believe the extremes are necessary. Not just for me, but for anyone.

YES, some people need to do an extremely restricted diet, such as the GAPS diet, for a period of time. I’ve seen amazing results with kids with autism, etc. But I don’t think it’s reasonable or necessary for most people to go to that extreme, and they certainly don’t need to follow a diet like that forever.

Again, my opinion. If you don’t agree, that’s fine.

I believe that a strict paleo diet is expensive, impractical, etc. I don’t think we need to throw the baby out with the bathwater to be healthy.

I’m sorry if you don’t agree and I’m sorry if people got offended.

Hey, I’d say the same thing about the vegan diet. I could have just as easily written a post called “Top 10 Reasons I’m not Vegan”. And guess what, all the paleo folks would have left me glowing comments and the vegans would have been pissed. The point is, I think they’re both extreme diets and I am not an advocate of that kind of dietary dogma.

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cheeseslave July 8, 2012 at 3:18 PM

@Pricer

Here’s the BIG difference. I didn’t go on a paleo blog and write those things. I wrote it on MY BLOG.

And yes, I have had cocktails with lovely paleo friends before and NO I did not say, and nor would I ever say any of those things to them.

Should I censor myself so that I can make everyone happy? Should I keep my mouth shut on my blog because some people take offense?

I’ve had people comment that I’m crazy for feeding my daughter butter and that she will die of heart disease. Don’t even get me started on the vaccine issue. Does that mean I should keep my mouth shut because “they” don’t like what I write?

As I always say, I gotta be me and I gotta write from my heart. If people get mad at me and don’t like what I say, that’s all right. But if they make nasty comments, I’ll delete them.

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cheeseslave July 8, 2012 at 3:20 PM

@Rebs

Oh and by the way PLENTY of people bash my dietary choices every single day. All over the internet, as well as on my Facebook page, on my blog, etc. etc.

If that’s what they think, that’s their opinion.

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Pricer July 8, 2012 at 5:36 PM

@Cheesesalve

Here’s the BIG difference. I didn’t go on a paleo blog and write those things. I wrote it on MY BLOG.

That’s true, but it’s akin to having paleo friends over to your home- these people are subscribers- they trust you… and you bashed them.

Should I censor myself so that I can make everyone happy? Should I keep my mouth shut on my blog because some people take offense?

Just like you think Todd could have approached his beliefs about your weight differently, you could have approached this differently. It’s one thing to say, “I really like cheese” in a heading- this is all about you… but then to follow it up with a diatribe about how foolish paleo folks are for believing neolithic foods are unhealthy is all about them. No matter how you try and justify it, it was an attack or a core belief system.

As I always say, I gotta be me and I gotta write from my heart. If people get mad at me and don’t like what I say, that’s all right.

It’s clearly not alright. You still seem confused by their upset.

It’s pretty clear to people reading blogs like this one that it serves as a platform from which to launch a business. Yes, the blog is free, but it serves you to have people feel welcome and I think you know this- happy, interested people will buy your product. You can do whatever you want to do in your blog though, no question.

At this point I don’t know whether you truly can’t see how you insulted people or if you’ve painted yourself into a corner and just can’t admit it. Either way, I suppose that you are going to learn anything from the experience, you will already have learned it, and there’s no point in harping.

I wish you and your readers the best.

PP

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cheeseslave July 8, 2012 at 11:12 PM

@Pricer

That’s true, but it’s akin to having paleo friends over to your home- these people are subscribers- they trust you… and you bashed them.

The vast majority of them were not subscribers. They were just coming over here from paleo blogs to read it. The vast majority were first time visitors.

Just like you think Todd could have approached his beliefs about your weight differently, you could have approached this differently. It’s one thing to say, “I really like cheese” in a heading- this is all about you… but then to follow it up with a diatribe about how foolish paleo folks are for believing neolithic foods are unhealthy is all about them. No matter how you try and justify it, it was an attack or a core belief system.

I don’t care what Todd’s beliefs are about my weight. I would not go on someone else’s blog and tell them they are fat or unattractive or unhealthy. Period. Full stop.

I do think that there is no evidence that neolithic foods are unhealthy. That’s my opinion. And I expressed it.

If you don’t agree, like I said in the original post, let’s agree to disagree.

I don’t expect everyone to agree with me, and I don’t write blog posts to make other people happy. If people don’t like this blog, they don’t have to read it. I don’t personally read low carb paleo blogs because I don’t enjoy them. Nor do I read vegan blogs. Likewise, it is your option not to read this blog.

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Kate September 24, 2012 at 2:17 PM

Beautifully said, Pricer.

“you could have approached this differently. It’s one thing to say, “I really like cheese” in a heading, this is all about you… but then to follow it up with a diatribe about how foolish paleo folks are for believing neolithic foods are unhealthy is all about them. No matter how you try and justify it, it was an attack on a core belief system.”

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Ginger Brown September 24, 2012 at 3:38 PM

Cheeseslave: You are awesome. Based on people I know who eat Paleo, the Paleo adherents are extremely narrow minded. They consistently take offense when anyone disagrees with the paleo logic or lack thereof. Bottomline Observations I have made from being around Paleo maniacs: 1) Paleo diet is not for everyone, but no one will admit it; 2) The diet is loosely based on theories that cannot be proven; many folks have problems, and they have to focus on “fixes;” 3) Although many Paleo and non-paleo healthy eaters pay strict attention to what they ingest, most people do not scrutinize their diet to the extreme. On low-carb, if they are not observant, they can run short on certain essentials like potassium. 4) Not all, but many Paleo adherents also do Crossfit, and end up with Rhabdo due to too much extreme exercise and too little carbs to support it. 5) This practice [paleo/crossfit mania] is dangerous to anyone’s health, however, the followers will not admit it!!!!! It is my observation among a small circle of friends that they would rather die, or see someone else die, than admit it.
So, thank you again for an opportunity to share my concern somewhere other than a Paleo/Crossfit website, because that is totally non-productive.

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Brigit September 24, 2012 at 4:35 PM

Ginger Brown,

Paleo is very popular in the CrossFit world, but CrossFit is not very poplar in the Paleo world. Originally CrossFit was closely tied to The Zone diet. I have literally DOZENS of patients that follow some form of primitive diet, but only one CrossFit enthusiast. Of course, I’d never claim that my personal experience is representative of an entire group, but I’m betting that as a dietician, it’s more representative than yours.

Rhadbdo is an incredibly rare condition that occurs when muscle tissue breaks down and cells get into the bloodstream- myoglobin in the blood can cause kidney failure. It is seen most often in long distance hikers or in places that are very dry and the people working out get severely dehydrated. The incidence among Crossfitters specifically is quite tiny.

Brigit, RD

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Ginger Brown September 24, 2012 at 7:00 PM

I know what rhabdo is. Close friends, among others in the paleo/crossfit crowd, have had it. So either the population I’m seeing is inordinately susceptible or the incidence of rhabdo among Crossfitters is not “quite tiny.” ALL of them are Xfitters.

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Brigit September 25, 2012 at 5:32 AM

Ginger,

My description of rhabdo was really for anyone else who came along and read the thread, I don’t doubt that you know what it is. However, there is a tendency for people to be alarmist about maladies that are actually incredibly rare. The one I hear most about the dreaded “ketoacidosis” that low-carb opponents are deathly afraid of, even though it occurs almost exclusively in Type I diabetics.

I cannot speak to the population you are seeing, perhaps they make up the entirety of ALL rhabdo occurrences among cross-fitters, who can say? But your experience doesn’t represent the whole picture. Rhabdo is incredibly uncommon to begin with, and occurs mostly in accident victims, addicts and alcoholics. The occurrences in cross-fitters are an even tinier percentage of that. The NCBI lists 11 potential causes of rhabdo, and physical exertion is 8th on the list. (Severe exertion, such as marathon running or calisthenics) So while I don’t discount your experience, I don’t put weight in it either.

I hope that you can understand that pointing to an occurrence and saying “but they’re ALL cross-fitters” isn’t the same as saying all cross-fitters get rhabdo. They’re all human too, they’re all athletes. Your correlation model is quite skewed.

Brigit, RD

["I know what rhabdo is. Close friends, among others in the paleo/crossfit crowd, have had it. So either the population I’m seeing is inordinately susceptible or the incidence of rhabdo among Crossfitters is not “quite tiny.” ALL of them are Xfitters."]

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Brigit September 25, 2012 at 5:53 AM

Ginger,

(I think I’ve figured out that this forum uses basic html tags for formatting so I’m going to give that a try.)

Below is data from the paper titled Exertional Rhabdomyolysis Early Recognition Is Key- Thomas P. Brown, DO- THE PHYSICIAN AND SPORTSMEDICINE – VOL 32 – NO. 4

In the United States, 26,000 cases from all causes are reported annually. Most reported cases of exertional rhabdomyolysis involve military personnel (ranging from 0.3% to 3.0%) or law enforcement and fire department trainees (0.2%). Data from these groups are deemed reliable, because both groups participate in similar strenuous activities with medical supervision.

Many theories about the causes of rhabdomyolysis exist, but all agree that excess intracellular calcium represents the final common pathway. Exertional rhabdomyolysis is not well understood, but energy requirements may exceed adenosine triphosphate (ATP) production. Individuals who have certain genetic defects of carbohydrate or lipid metabolism also experience a decrease in ATP production. ATP-dependent sodium-potassium pumps subsequently fail as ATP becomes unavailable, resulting in an electrochemical derangement across the cell membrane and an increased intracellular calcium level. The increased calcium initiates activation of normally dormant proteases and catalytic enzymes that destroy the cell membrane.”

I’m hoping this data can provide a more rounded picture.

Brigit, RD

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Brigit December 21, 2012 at 10:25 PM

Cheeseslave,

I am genuinely interested in the answer to the question posed above. I’ve written an email to the WAPF posing the same question. If you don’t know the answer yourself, are you able to direct me to a specific person within the WAPF who may be able to provide us with an informed response?

Thank you in advance.

Brigit, RD

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L.S. July 12, 2013 at 2:05 PM

Kessler definitely has some good stuff. He’s one of a minority who takes into account the balance of the TH1/TH2 immune systems, which is something many ND’s. nutritionists, RD’s, etc, ignore (or either aren’t familiar with) and cause damage by recommending Green Tea and Curcumin for people who should stay away from it.

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Twinkle May 15, 2013 at 9:57 PM

I just finished a Whole30. I don’t feel any different than when I ate high sugar foods. I did lose 8 pounds and eating a lot of plant matter is healthy but this diet is definitey too restrictive for long term. I am adding legumes and reducing my meat intake stat.

In regards to the article. Hysterical. Sarcastic humor at it’s best. Lighten up all of you Paleo die hards. It’s a funny article. People can eat what they want.

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mark May 18, 2013 at 2:39 AM

you are sooo right allegra!

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