Top 10 Reasons I’m Not Paleo

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…. 🙂

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

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 [easyazon-link asin=”1609611543″ locale=”us”]Wheat Belly[/easyazon-link] 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 cheeseand bread.

Why? How? Want the evidence? Read Jared Diamond's fascinating book, [easyazon-link asin=”1565115147″ locale=”us”]Guns, Germs and Steel[/easyazon-link].

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 [easyazon-link asin=”1565115147″ locale=”us”]Guns, Germs and Steel[/easyazon-link] 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 [easyazon-link asin=”1565115147″ locale=”us”]Guns, Germs and Steel[/easyazon-link], 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, [easyazon-link asin=”0954852028″ locale=”us”]Gut and Psychology Syndrome: Natural Treatment for Autism, Dyspraxia, A.D.D., Dyslexia, A.D.H.D., Depression, Schizophrenia,[/easyazon-link] 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: [easyazon_link identifier=”B008ZGBFOQ” locale=”US” tag=”cheeseslave0e-20″]12 Paleo Myths[/easyazon_link]. 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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Ann Marie Michaels

I have 25 years of experience in digital and online media & marketing. I started my career in Silicon Valley and Los Angeles, working at some of the world’s top ad agencies. In 2007, after my first child was born, I started this little food blog which I grew to over 250K monthly unique website visitors and over 350K social media followers. For nearly 15 years, I've helped my audience of mostly moms and women 25-65 cook for their families and live a healthier lifestyle.

 The year after I started the blog, I founded a blog network in the health & wellness space called Village Green Network. I started the company on my coffee table and bootstrapped the business to over $1.3 million in annual revenue within 5 years. During that time, I helped a number of our bloggers become six figure earners. After being censored on almost every social media platform for telling the After being censored on almost every social media platform from Facebook and Instagram to Pinterest and Twitter, and being deplatformed on Google, I am now deployed as a digital soldier, writing almost exclusively about politics on my blog Cheeseslave.com. Because who can think about food when we are fighting the second revolutionary war and third world war? Don't worry, there will be more recipes one day. After the war is over.

995 thoughts on “Top 10 Reasons I’m Not Paleo

    1. I’d hazard to guess that practically every single one of us here likes bread, cheese, pizza, croissants, etc. Heck, let’s add A&W Root Beer–I love that stuff. Oh, and tomatoes. I love them, too. But I don’t eat them anymore because they do something TMI to my bowels. A lot of us have had to quit eating foods we love and have found it worth letting them go because our health is so much the better for it.

      I don’t subscribe to anyone else’s diet. I listen to my own body and try to do what it tells me it needs. I get lots of great *ideas* from paleo cooking blogs, but I ignore what’s not useful to me. And instead of complaining about all the foods I’ve let go, I find myself enjoying the challenge of creating NEW foods for my family and I to enjoy.

      It’s funny that AM ridicules those who waste their time arguing about what is and is not paleo, yet here she is, wasting her blog on this ridiculous, logic-devoid rant.

      1. I agree with you. I cannot eat grains. Just can’t. I just cannot for the life of me understand why the “Pricers” have to go after the Paleo folks. I don’t do either specifically, I lean more towards the “Pricers” but I can’t understand why the Pricers have their panties in a wad about the Paleo stuff. Why can’t we all get along? And I see a lot more Pricers complain about Paleo but I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a Paleo bad mouth a Pricer. Find what works for you and do it. We all agree that processed food is crap.

          1. When I go just a little past all the squabble over “what is the right way to eat” I land at “… its because we want the best for each other”. We want to know the best way for all concerned. When there is alignment, heart contenment abounds, and peace on earth is realized.

        1. @Molly

          And I see a lot more Pricers complain about Paleo but I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a Paleo bad mouth a Pricer.

          Obviously you have not spent much time on my Facebook page. I’m constantly getting nasty hateful comments from paleo and low carb folks. Or actually, just scroll down and read the comments from Paleo Huntress. SHe’s really good at it — and she’s representative of the kind of comments I get all the time from paleo and low carb people.

          1. @Fancy

            Sorry you feel that way.

            This is my take on the paleo diet. I think it’s impractical, expensive, too restrictive, and going over board. And this is why I don’t follow it.

            Like I said, we can agree to disagree.

            1. @Fancy

              I don’t like all the nasty comments I get from paleo folks telling me I’m “flip-flopping” and how they’re mad at me for eating carbs, etc.

              Honestly, I’ve never been a paleo blog. I’ve never claimed to be paleo. If you don’t like my blog, don’t read it. There are plenty of other paleo blogs out there.

              1. @Fancy

                And YEAH I do try to be entertaining. I could write really dry, crisp, super-scientific boring blog posts.

                Some people DO like my style. And I guess those folks will keep reading my blog. If you don’t like it, don’t read it.

                1. And PS:

                  “Why not be an adult about it and admit your intention was to stir things up?”

                  That’s calling me childish.

                  “Feigning ignorance”

                  That’s calling me a liar.

                  “disingenuous at the least”

                  Also calling me a liar.

                  “and outright condescending at the most.”

                  Calling me a b*tch.

                  You can call me names all you want. Again, these are all ad hominem attacks. If you disagree with what I’m saying, that’s fine. If you want to debate, that’s fine, too. But don’t attack me personally.

            2. Paleo changes lives, it is the closest we can get to a diet that is species appropriate. It’s about health, not re-enactment.
              I did healthy diets before switching to paleo. None fixed my swollen knees, PMS, severe menstrual cramps, gangion cyst, raynauds, dyshydrotic ezcema, the way paleo did / does. Pay me a million to eat grains again, I wouldn’t do it.

              If you don’t have health issues and auto-immune disease, fine, but if you do – I haven’t found a more effective tool for treatment. You are so lucky you are not in this position.

              1. My autoimmune issues have been completely healed by turning back to traditional grains and carbs properly prepared. On Paleo for 2 years my body temps were 96 degrees and I was needing more thyroid supplement than every – I felt like crap and was a completely hormonal and had NO sex drive. I have healed so much in the last 9 months of bringing traditional grains back into my diet – my body temps are way up and I was able to back off on thyroid supplement. Every BODY is different – it may work for YOU but no one is one size fits all. I find Paleo people to be so dogmatic about being the *only* way. It’s just not that simple.

                1. @Renee

                  That is wonderful!

                  My temps were always in the 96s and 97s when I was low carb and avoiding grains.

                  Now that I’m eating grains and carbs again, I’m averaging between 98.3-98.6 every day.

        2. When I was racing competitively our team had a nutrition coach. She had us keep a food diary and a training diary. I wrote down what I ate and then recorded how I felt and performed. EZ-PeeZ. As a result I ditched pasteurized dairy, garlic, processed sugar and salt, tomatoes in excess, non-organic coffee, cocoa nibbs, doughnuts, wheat pasta, cheap wine, white bread, and some other things I don’t remember. Some foods were always bad; others were portion dependent like sourdough bread – more than a slice or two and I have problems, and coconut oil – more than a tablespoon and I get GI issues. I always had my best results when I ate a carne asada burrito (steak, beans, rice and flour tortilla) two hours before a race.

          We’re all individuals and we each need to figure out what works. I would fall into the WAP camp because I do a TON of dairy these days (raw and pastured), eat a little sourdough bread, lots of veggies and a moderate amount of meat and fruits and fish. But I don’t eat this way because it’s part of any diet, I eat this way because this is the food that makes me happiest and healthiest.

      2. Chris, AM is just saying, “chill out” to all those fundamentalist diet people. ‘Chill out’ is a good message for EVERYONE. 😉

        1. @Christine

          Yes, that is what I’m saying. Chill out! People are getting way too orthorexic and on their high horse about what the right diet is.

          We all need to chill out and enjoy the food!

          1. I’m reading the ‘Nourishing Traditions’ cook book and a Julia Child cook book right now. They are amazingly similar in 99% of the techniques and ingredients: Lots of fresh veggies, lots of creme, lots of butter, lots of fresh wild game. The main difference is Julia’s cooking temps are quite a bit higher. And didn’t Julia live to be in her 90s?

  1. I love this post!!!! Thank you, I have had friends ask me about the paleo diet and you just summed it all up for me perfectly. We are a traditional foods family and I wouldn’t have it any other way. It makes sense to us and it has been paying off by saving money on Dr. and Dentist visits! Well, except for the other week when my 4 year old was pretending to be a super hero and jumped onto his sister and bit through his lip. That ER visit and 7 stitches cost us quite a bit.

  2. Well written!
    Did you know that recent historical anthropological study has shown that grains were already used by the hunter-gatherers in Europe. As far as at least 40.000 years back, possibly longer ?
    Makes the whole grain issue very vague.
    That study prevented me from going down the paleo road.

  3. AWESOME post, Ann Marie! You cracked me up! I love cheese too. I can’t imagine avoiding dairy for life. THAT would be hard! I giggled at the phrase “sedentary agriculturalist.” Ha! We own a farm, and we are NOT sedentary! 🙂 🙂 I know what you (or, they) mean, though, that agriculturalists are not moving around like hunter-gatherers. But you’re absolutely right, hunting and gathering is a neat ideal, but it’s impractical now days. (Not that feedlot beef is the practical alternative–of course!). Thanks for getting me thinking (and giggling ;).

  4. Hello cheeseslave,

    Thanks for the post, it was quite interesting to read for me because I eat and promote Paleo. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and you’ve written an entertaining piece. Let me tell you about MY Paleo diet.

    I include dairy so I enjoy chunks of aged cheddar & Parmesan, butter and cream from grass-fed, happy cows, and plenty of raw cheese whenever I can get my hands on it. I eat a large variety of meat, fish and seafood that I do not hunt and roast over a fire (unless camping). I get it from quality butchers, markets and farms making sure it’s free range and sustainable. I eat more vegetables and fruit than a vegan and I certainly eat natural honey. I make and eat delicious sweet treats and baked goods made with non-grain flour, free range eggs and many other unprocessed ingredients. I cook with oil, butter, ghee, bacon, lard, and coconut oil and make sure to include plenty of good fats, just like you promote on your blog. I also eat what is normally considered high carb foods such as potatoes, sweet potatoes and plenty of fruit so it’s not exactly a low carb diet unless you’re really trying. I don’t find this way of eating restricting or limiting – it just takes a bit of planning and cooking at home. And if you know how, there are many choices when dining out.

    To eat this way is not to mimic the Paleolethic era – you’re absolutely right that it would be rather tricky running around with spears, half naked, and giving up my much loved Le Chasseur cookware – but rather take principles from how our ancestors used to eat, move, sleep, socialise and apply to that modern day studies and research. The most important thing to remember is Paleo is not a one-fits-all diet and lifestyle, hence so many debates and arguments amongst the crazily obsessed followers. For the majority of us Paleo fans, we just prefer to eat whole, unprocessed food that don’t come from a plastic packet.

    Best regards 🙂

    1. I do my “Paleo” pretty much the same way as you do. I also add fermented foods. I couldn’t go totally Paleo but I think it’s a great plan if you are able to.

    2. “For the majority of us Paleo fans, we just prefer to eat whole, unprocessed food that don’t come from a plastic packet.”

      Exactly!!! This is why people need to tailor it to there own needs, I feel you need to begin with an understanding that what works for one person, may not work for another. That’s why it’s important to discover a healthy plan that will lead to improved health that matches your needs. It should suit your body, lifestyle, energy requirements and personal preferences.

    3. AMEN! Your last paragraph WAS SPOT on. I think AnnMarie was making a lot of assumptions about the paleo/primal community. And now we shall all agree to disagree 🙂

    4. We follow Paleo the same as you except we don’t do dairy due to allergies and we add fermented foods. Well said!

  5. I think it is crazy to knock paleo so much just because you don’t see the need to follow a paleo diet yourself.

    If you bother to look at the science – Mat Lalonde’s (PhD biochemistry) OPT lecture series is amazing – I really don’t think you would be so quick to say grains are so safe.

    Yes paleo may be more expensive, less convenient, less practical, and take more effort. But it is nonsense to say it is based on fantasy, nonsense to say it is low carb, it is none of those. It has unfortunately become entwined in a dysfunctional relationship with the low carb movement.
    There are many in the paleo movement who are frustrated with this, as we see the damage low carb is doing to people who dont need to be low carb. I agree with you that most of us do not need to be – in fact should not be eating a low carb diet.

    It is also simply not true that once the gut is healed we can all tolerate grains again. Please do not give this impression.
    I do think though – that many people – gluten intolerant or sensitive can quite easily go back to some non gluten grains and legumes, and will tolerate them. But not everyone.

    1. +1 julianne.

      And why the energy spent defending paleo *myths*. A paleo diet isn’t dairy free (see Sisson, Jaminet etc) and those that are dairy free aren’t dairy free because dairy is a neolithic food.

      And a paleo diet need not be low-carb. At all.

    2. I agree. So many people assume that the gut can be entirely healed. This is true for some individuals, but everyone’s body is different and has it’s own unique biochemistry. While healing is the goal, it’s not 100% possible for everyone.

      1. The point here is – the gut can be entirely healed with a gaps, paleo, etc diet. But adding grains back in for most – will just mess it up again – grains are highly aggravating if you are genetically sensitive.

    3. I found Cheeslave’s post to be highly insulting and disrespectful. Thanks to Julianne and others for defending the Paleo diet. It is hard to understand how someone who follows a diet that most Americans would consider ridiculous (the WAPF diet) could so easily ridicule her non-mainstream dietary cousins. Go ahead and defend your own choices, that’s fine, but please don’t make assumptions about other people. And, if you are going to eat grains and dessert, please share your fasting blood glucose and trigliceride numbers.

      1. If you don’t like her blog, don’t read it, I don’t know why you’d waste your time. But regarding the blood sugars, at the time I had my blood work drawn for life insurance I was eating a couple servings of grains and ice cream every night and my blood work was this: Total cholesterol: 180, HDL 60, LDL 102
        Normal/good according to the life insurance company is Total 160-240, HDL 35-80, LDL 90-171 (I may have written the LDL normal wrong). Blood glucose was 107.

        1. And for the record, eating that much ice cream did make me gain weight 😉 but my cholesterol numbers were fine. I’m keeping grains in a serving or two a day, and cut the ice cream and the weight’s coming off..

          1. If that is a fasting blood glucose, I don’t think everything is “fine”. And it would be curious to know triglycerides as well, they tend to go up as blood glucose goes up.

            Fasting blood glucose tests are done to detect the risk of diabetes (prediabetes) when glucose levels are 110–125 mg/dL (5.6–6.9 mmol/L), as recommended by the American Diabetes Association. (webMD)

            Besides that, cholesterol numbers are not the be all, end all. What about inflammatory markers? It would curious to see if they were elevated.

            Just “food for thought”. I think everyone should do as they see fit for their own body. I just hope they aren’t mislead to believe everything is ok inside their body when it may not be.

            1. It wasn’t fasting. My blood glucose has always been well within normal (other than when I did the hypoglycemia thing in college, but I was living on candy bars and coffee- my blood sugars have been fine when my diet is relatively normal).

              Whatever they screen for on life insurance was enough for them to give me the best rate… I don’t think they check inflammatory markers for life insurance and i’m not about to randomly get checked unless I don’t feel healthy. I seriously doubt I’m right on the edge of getting diabetes because I eat a few pieces of bread every week lol.

        2. You say “if you don’t like her blog, don’t read it” – well up until this post, I did like it. I like the WAPF links, the natural links, the raw dairy links, etc. But if something included grains, then I ignored it, didn’t post, didn’t complain (it has always really annoyed me that the anonymity of the internet seems to give people the right to be rude and abusive). And to tell you the truth have always wondered why WAPF seems to think that Paleo is the devils food when most of what everyone is talking about is the same!!!! I recently went to a Sally Falloon talk and she briefly put down the paleo diet in her talk, when practically every point she made was the same as the paleo principles.

          And then this post – it is confrontational and along the same lines as all the people that post abuse on blogs because they don’t agree with what the blogger is saying.

          Did AM expect to post this and get no replies, expect there to be no backlash (given all the negativity that she had previously got along these lines?).

          I read the post, didn’t agree with it, I think some of the points are a little bit extreme (seriously, I eat paleo and I am not a hunter gatherer – I simply eat grass-fed beef from the butcher – lucky I live in NZ where we don’t have much grain-fed beef – organic and non-organic vegetables, raw milk and sure, I use honey as well).

          So anyway, I think I will that “we can agree to disagree”.

    4. @Julianne

      “I think it is crazy to knock paleo so much just because you don’t see the need to follow a paleo diet yourself.”

      I would knock the vegan diet just as vociferously.

      Why? Because there are a lot of loud voices out there trying to convince people that everyone needs to follow paleo or vegan or whatever the latest fad restrictive diet is. I’m just saying I don’t agree with any of that. It’s my opinion. If you don’t like it, you don’t have to read my blog.

      I’ll look at Mat Lalonde (who cares about credentials — that’s an appeal to authority) and listen to his lecture.

      But I highly doubt anyone is going to convince me to ever stop eating grains. 10,000+ years of people eating grains and thriving is good enough for me. But like I said, I will look at it. And I’ll be the first to admit I’m wrong if I am.

      “nonsense to say it is low carb”

      Maybe not everyone who is paleo is low carb but most are. If you eat lots of potatoes and/or fruit or white rice, maybe you’re not low carb. But it’s easy to default to low carb on the paleo diet.

      “It is also simply not true that once the gut is healed we can all tolerate grains again. Please do not give this impression.”

      I agree, there are some people who can never eat grains. However, most people can. Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride says that 1% of people have true (incurable) allergies to foods.

      1. I actually took a real close look at issues that people have following a vegan diet and why
        You might find it interesting
        https://paleozonenutrition.com/2011/03/26/why-i-dont-recommend-a-low-fat-raw-vegan-diet/

      2. It’s hard not to be offended when you lump paleos and vegans in to be “vociferously knocked” when Price did actually find traditional peoples who were healthy without grains. I have no problems with eating grains or people who choose not to do so. And I can’t blame people for feeling you can be inconsistent when you say “people can decide for themselves” about your blog entries but that they need to be saved from all the paleo blogs. Why can’t you trust them to decide for themselves if they read the other blogs?

        1. @EC

          Here’s my point. Price found people who ate not grains but that’s because THEY HAD NO ACCESS TO THEM. They didn’t reject them because they “weren’t paleo”. The Eskimos didn’t have grains so they didn’t eat them.

          I’m not telling anyone THEY shouldn’t be paleo. I’m just saying this is why *I* am not paleo. I have access to healthy, properly prepared whole grains. So I eat them. I don’t see a reason not to.

          If you don’t want to eat them, you don’t have to.

          1. Perhaps they ate grains because it gave people the opportunity to settle down in one place. This article is fascinating – it looks at how traditional culture processed grains – fermentation in particular.
            https://www.fao.org/docrep/x2184e/x2184e00.htm#con
            Interesting bits: Antinutrients found in grains, that people needed to learn how to diminish before eating
            https://www.fao.org/docrep/x2184e/x2184e05.htm#ant
            Cereals and other plant foods may contain significant amounts of toxic or antinutritional substances. In this regard, legumes are a particularly rich source of natural toxicants including protease inhibitors, amylase inhibitors, metal chelates, flatus factors, hemagglutinins, saponins, cyanogens, lathyrogens, tannins, allergens, acetylenic furan and isoflavonoid phytoalexins (Pariza 1996). Most cereals contain appreciable amounts of phytates, enzyme inhibitors, and some cereals like sorghum and millet contain large amounts of polyphenols and tannins (Salunkhe et al. 1990). Some of these substances reduce the nutritional value of foods by interfering with mineral bioavailability, and digestibility of proteins and carbohydrates. Since legumes are often consumed together with cereals, proper processing of cereal-legume mixtures should eliminate these antinutrients before consumption (Chaven and Kadam 1989; Reddy and Pierson 1994).

            A look at each cultures lengthy fermentation processes required to release nutrients in grains and decrease anti-nutrients
            https://www.fao.org/docrep/x2184e/x2184e07.htm

          2. Price’s point was they didn’t need grains in order to be healthy. (Unlike the animal fats.)

            Today the issue of access has been turned on its head in the Western world. We have access to foods from around the world and we all reject some – I think you’ve said yourself you tend not to eat vegetables.

            And vociferously knocking an eating style *is* more than saying what you eat.

            1. @EC

              Price’s point was they didn’t need grains in order to be healthy. (Unlike the animal fats.)

              Dr. Price never said that people didn’t *need* grains. In fact, he heartily endorsed properly prepared whole grains. He wrote: “Cereals (not cold cereal, but whole grains), milk and sea foods are the foods that Nature has provided us with in natural form, which will satisfy our hunger and will at the same time take care of our body’s requirements.”

              He also wrote: “The basic foods should be the entire grains such as whole wheat rye or oats whole wheat and rye breads, wheat and oat cereals, oat-cake, dairy products, including milk and cheese, which should be used liberally, and marine foods. All marine or sea foods, both fresh and salt water are high in minerals and constitute one of the very best foods you could eat.”

              And: “Reduce white flour products and pastries to a minimum.”

              Note that he didn’t say don’t eat ANY white flour. He said reduce to a minimum. Hence, my statement that a croissant every once in a while is not going to kill you.

              Today the issue of access has been turned on its head in the Western world. We have access to foods from around the world and we all reject some – I think you’ve said yourself you tend not to eat vegetables.

              I love vegetables on my pizza. And I like a good chopped salad. But I don’t go out of my way to eat vegetables.

              And vociferously knocking an eating style *is* more than saying what you eat.

              I’m saying what I don’t eat. And why. I also said we can agree to disagree. So let’s do that! 🙂

              1. I think he said that mostly to his Western audience. Did he tell the Arctic peoples and the Masai they needed to include fermented grains into their diet because theirs was incomplete or lacking in some way?
                It’s my understanding that the foods he found in common, among the peoples with virtually no degenerative disease, was the fat soluable vitamins. With all respect, yes, grains have much to offer, I had sourdough rye with butter and meats for lunch most days as a kid, I still miss that bread. (I can’t find it outside NYC.) I can see how some people don’t see the work in properly preparing grains as worth it, though, nutritionally speaking. Nothing so sacred as carefully dried roe or raw liver split among a tribe.

  6. Thank you!!! You just saved me a lot of time and energy trying to figure out how I was actually going to make this work.Now I know I don’t have to try and make it work. And thank you for defending small amounts of white flour in our baking. I can’t get over the taste of whole wheat flour in pie crusts and who would EVER even consider a whole wheat croissant? Blasphemy! 🙂

  7. LOVE THIS! We eat mostly Paleo/GAPS, but that is simply because of severe intolerance to dairy and grains. But we do ok with wild rice and some beans, the former of which I make almost every day. GAPS has had its benefits for our healing for sure, but it sure is challenging to do and not something I want to do forever.

    Because I came to Paleo/GAPS by illness and not by choice, I can readily attest to almost all of these (never been a fan of bread). It is a pain, it is expensive, it is antisocial, its impractical. Keeping a fridge full of meat and fresh produce is a lot of work—even in 2012!

    And like many “diets” (as opposed to “foodways,” which are about lifestyle, heritage and culture), they attract dogmatic personalities who set and police rules about which foods are kosher. Some people just want a certain path that ensures everything will be ok if they just do A, B and C. And if they think they found it, they’ll fight hard to defend it, even against hard evidence to the contrary.

    But the funniest thing about Paleo to me (as a farmer) is the fact that almost NONE of the fruits and vegetables we eat today existed in Paleolithic times. Carrots, broccoli, tomatoes, avocados, apples, citrus, eggplant, squash, peppers, bananas, spinach, beets—oh and the beloved cauliflower—almost any vegetable or fruit you can name… Heck, even chicken… are all actually NEOLITHIC foods! Ha!

    That said, an honest person (like Mark at Mark’s Daily Apple) will say that Paleo/Primal folks are just trying to recreate the metabolic effects of a Paleolithic diet and lifestyle which appears to have conferred greater health and longevity to our ancestors, not actually eat like cavemen. The truth is we just don’t know enough about Paleolithic human biology or Paleolithic food sources to be able to say whether or not those cavemen were really onto something healthwise.

    However, even though I think Paleo is an unsustainable diet fetish, I do appreciate that it has brought us a newfound interest in earthing, getting outdoors, using our bodies, and going barefoot. That’s good stuff.

    1. @Dawn

      “almost NONE of the fruits and vegetables we eat today existed in Paleolithic times. Carrots, broccoli, tomatoes, avocados, apples, citrus, eggplant, squash, peppers, bananas, spinach, beets—oh and the beloved cauliflower—almost any vegetable or fruit you can name… Heck, even chicken… are all actually NEOLITHIC foods! Ha!”

      So true!

      I really dislike this whole business of making some foods “good” and others “bad”. There are some foods that are nutritionally superior, like liver, but that does not mean we should ONLY eat liver.

      Even Dr. Weston Price said that all we needed was 1 egg per day to meet our daily protein requirement. He advocated the Swiss diet (among other varied diets) which was almost 50% bread, almost 50% dairy, and calves liver once a week.

      1. One egg a day? I’d pass out! Seems some of us need more protein than that to function in our daily lives. Beans are out, I just get gassy, and that’s sad, because I love hummus in large doses. And calf liver? No thanks. I ate that as a kid. Wouldn’t touch it now unless I had to.

        I’m not Paleo, but have a wheat allergy (any form of the plant causes a nasty reaction in my gut) and can’t do animal dairy in any form except small amounts of butter or ghee. Personally, I’m somewhat baffled by how some people (including my son) can consume so much cheese and other dairy products. One tablespoon of organic, cultured yogurt (you know, the good stuff that costs a mint) and I’m sick for days.

        Wouldn’t it be nice if the USDA could accept that people all have different needs and build a system which supports that, instead of the institutionalized hodgepodge of subsidies and lobbying we have now?

        *I really dislike this whole business of making some foods “good” and others “bad”*

        Absolutely. Eat what works, don’t eat what doesn’t. Seems simple enough, but I suppose it’s far more complicated than we think, otherwise we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

        1. @Carol

          Yep, some people do better with more carbs, some with less. That is why strict dietary fads such as paleo are so silly. There is no one right diet for everyone.

      2. Isnt’t more like 40-80gm per day depending on your weight? 1 egg is 7-9gm. Am I missing something?

        1. @ Irena

          Dr. Price wrote:

          “The protein requirement can be provided each day in one egg or a piece of meat equivalent to the bulk of one egg a day. The meals can be amply modified and varied with vegetables, raw and cooked, the best of the cooked vegetables being lentils used as a soup.”

          1. Did they have a different understanding of protein back then? Because lentils contain a considerable amount of protein.

            1. @Jessica I think he’s just saying that you can get by with just the equivalent of protein in one egg per day. So that could be protein in lentils or cheese or what-have-you.

              1. I guess that could be, but to me it really sounds like he is recommending having the lentils along with the egg or piece of meat.

                1. He’s saying you can make meals with a variety of vegetables, and the best vegetables to use are lentils.

                  This is from his letter to his nieces and nephews in which he writes about how to cook healthy food, and how to eat well on a budget.

    1. Agreed. Thanks for this very reasonable post. Well said. In my own experience, I will add that Paleo is so easy to implement if you are not totally addicted to grains and feel like you “need” them (which is usually a sign of addiction!). Just pass on the bread, rice, and beans. It’s almost that easy. Almond flour and coconut flour are easy to work with. So it’s not like you can never have pie, etc again! Most Paleo people eat dairy from what I have seen, too. The premise is that blood sugar spikes cause weight gain and a host of other health problems. Grains cause the blood sugar to spike like sugar. So do beans. I have noticed that those critical of Paleo diets shy away from even addressing this issue with grains. This is NOT about intolerance. They will cause a blood sugar spike in EVERYONE. This was my answer to losing the few pounds I needed to get back to my weight before I had my 4 kids. Avoiding blood sugar spikes. Now I can “cheat” sometimes, in very small amounts (sweets, not usually grains), as Wheat Belly instructs, to avoid the sugar spike. Paleo has NOTHING to do with needing to heal the gut. That seems to be a common misunderstanding on blogs. It is not about intolerance. It is about blood sugar spikes. I think Paleo is different and not a fad at all. I liken it to when people finally woke up about refined sugar being bad for you. Same with grains (BECAUSE of how wheat especially is now so high in starch due to agricultural practices). Hence finding alternatives. Or avoiding it. My motto: “You can get used to anything”. So many people are addicted to food and really stress out about changing their diets. Paleo should not be as stressful as this blog post states. It’s so easy to implement, and yet it may be hard for those who cannot imagine their lives without grains. That is food addiction in my mind.

      Nickole

      1. Agreed. I’ve tried so many different ways of eating, but now I’m mostly an omnivore who eats fresh, organic, whole foods.

        I’m not sure what the author means by her suggestion that “Wheat Belly” is hogwash. It’s very well researched and makes plenty of sense. More to the point, I quite eating wheat nearly three weeks ago and already feel way better — especially the lack of constant cravings for wheat-based snacks (crackers, cookies, etc.).

        So at worst, quitting wheat (as long as you’re also mindful about eating too much sugar) forces you to forgo sandwiches served on white rolls, flour-based snacks, and many desserts. I also love croissants, cake, etc., but after nearly three weeks I’m really not craving these things.

        And it’s not like wheat, which was cultivated relatively recently in our history, is vital to our diets. There’s nothing in wheat our body needs that can’t be found elsewhere.

        So I’m really curious to hear what the author has to say about wheat. For me, at least, it wasn’t working (bloating, huge belly, noxious gas, bad complexion, fatigue, constant cravings, etc.).

        -s

        1. EXACTLY Steve. They can call “Wheat Belly” a fad diet all they like, but the sheer numbers of people following it and feeling better and better are astounding, and cannot be ignored. This is precisely why the wheat and grain industry is nervous – even “THEY” realize there’s something to this.

          You simply cannot ignore the numbers of folks who’ve had reprieve from such a huge range of inflammatory conditions just from giving up grains. Relief from arthritis, Lupus symptoms lessening, relief from reflux, chrones, and IBS symptoms, reversals of diabetes diagnoses, reversals of heart disease symptoms and markers.

          Doubly condemning for the grains are the incidents where patients have eaten the offending foods to test them, thinking maybe it’s all a “lark”, and become very ill again.

  8. Hello. I’m absolutely impressed with the effort that has gone into your post. For that a big well done. Do you think the energy could have been aimed at something usefull though? Like the poor dietary advice dished out by government departments that has been underpinning the horrid health the majority of the western world finds itself in. Maybe your talents could expose the massive influence big food and big phara have over so many? You could have addressed the GMO issue or the feedlots and endless corn crops grown to feed & slowy poison, sorry, fatten the cattle before they are slaughtered with just enough marbling for the taste of people on a standard western diet? Do you think going at Paleo will not fire up some extremists, annoy the sh#t out of many more moderate health conscious people who are living examples of better health and make the veg’ns laugh out loud? I personally don’t have the talent to write about such things. Even as a mere paleo/primal advocate. Maybe that’s the reason I look for it from others……

    Regards, Lee ‘primal & proud’ Smith

    1. Amen! Fire at the SAD, not paleo! We need to stand together as Real food people and fight the way our foodshed stands.

      1. Yes- could we please act against the REAL problem diets out there? All of my son’s classmates want to eat at McDonalds– can we attack that? Or the insistence that every holiday and birthday be marred with pounds of sugar? And the government shaking their heads and saying “It’s a MYSTERY that obesity is an epidemic! Let’s have another doughnut and brainstorm for awhile!”

        1. Yes! Thank you! At least SOMEONE is thinking of the real issue out there! My family and I all eat Paleo, my children eat raw dairy, and we are absolutely not low-carb. Plenty of fruits, sweet potatoes 1-3x/week, and almond and coconut flour treats. I have lost *30* pounds since last November. For us Paleo means not allowing our normal to equal the absurdity of the way people today eat – processed foods galore, fast food garbage, pounds and pounds of sugar. We eat REAL food, and yes we spend extra time doing it – we are more than happy to put that investment into ourselves and our children.

    2. Dear Lee Smith, You wrote
      “Do you think the energy could have been aimed at something usefull though? Like the poor dietary advice dished out by government departments that has been underpinning the horrid health the majority of the western world finds itself in. Maybe your talents could expose the massive influence big food and big phara have over so many? You could have addressed the GMO issue or the feedlots and endless corn crops grown to feed & slowy poison, sorry, fatten the cattle before they are slaughtered with just enough marbling for the taste of people on a standard western diet?”
      Doing a post about these things would be like writing a post about how to breath or blink. It is all quite obvious.
      I admire AnnMarie’s bravery at posting something she feels strong about and doesn’t worry about the flack she will get for it. Maybe it is you who should use your energy to be a bit more accepting of other peoples opinion. She is entitled to it and it is her blog by the way. You don’t have to listen to her view, no one is making you. I personally got caught up in the low carb lair and it seriously affected my health for the worse. It is because of Ann Marie that I got myself out. Yes, she may have been a bit harsh about paleo but some people should not be on paleo (me being one). And without some sort of support for the others out there, we may not be able to find out where we need to be. Lighten up, just because you believe so much in paleo it doesn’t mean other people have to share the same views.

      1. Yes, but again, low carb and paleo are not synonymous. Neither are carbs and grains. If she did too low carb, that is her doing, not the paleo/primal movement. You can do higher carbs just fine WITHOUT grains. This is one reason why we are so irritated. Because this is misinformation that she is spreading. You can do high carb on paleo. Grains don’t HAVE to be part of the equation. You can live just fine on a paleo existence. Grains are carbs. Carbs are not necessarily grains. Potatoes are carbs. Eat one.

    1. It’s not Hate, it’s frustration. It is not enjoying the fact that an intelligent foodie would nit pick at another “real food” movement. It feels more like firing back at a group of people that have “done one wrong” than it does at legitimately calling a dangerous diet on the carpet. I know that there are a lot of zealous Paleo folks out there, but that is like saying all Muslims are bad because of some crazies overseas. If anyone who eats paleo goes on the forums at all, they will see that paleo does not equal low carb. And that if there isn’t enough carb for that person in the veggie world, they make suggestions for the most healthful adaptations to add to the paleo diet. Like white rice, for example. Or a potato. But I feel like this article was a knee jerk response and not necessary, especially for someone for whom I had respect.

  9. Great post, and if Seth is ever crazy enough to leave you, call me and we’ll go out for a pizza. 🙂

  10. I am on a VERY healing road to recovery through you and a few other bloggers journey to diet recovery. I appreciate this post. I to have conquered a gluten intolorance brought on by what I now think was from heavy antibiotics during labor and delivery of both of my girls because they “made me” for the strep B thing – I know better now that it most likely distroyed my gut and after years of being gluten free I’m really fine now with a big piece of sourdough or even real pizza 🙂 I really really really wish I had known this stuff a few years back as I feel like maybe my nursing experiences with my girls would have been better and I would have been less crazy 🙂

  11. Have to say, I agree with you. I use some paleo recipes to healthify things, but i definitely do not limit my diet.

  12. I love your post!!! So ironic that I had just published a post about the very same thing then went to Facebook and saw what you wrote…. High five, I’m so with you!! Thanks!

  13. Great post! I’m on a message board for “real food eaters”, and many of them are paleo. I have to give them props, because they are not eat processed foods (mostly) and have seen definite health improvements because of it. They are definitely a lot closer to eating well than most of the US! And, with my son being allergic to milk and on GAPS, paleo recipes are usually my go-to for his snacks.

    But, I could not agree more on the points! Throwing out all grains forever is like throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Just because processed grains make you feel like crap doesn’t mean that properly prepared grains will.

    Also, as a Christian, I find strong Biblical support for Weston A Price traditional eating. They immediately began domesticating animals after the fall. Abel was a shepherd, and since they weren’t eating meat yet (God said it was okay at the flood), you think they were spending all that time on sheep just for their wool? Heck no. They were drinking milk! God praised the promised land as being a land that flowed with MILK and honey. God commanded them to eat bread at passover, and Jesus compared his body to bread. There are a thousand other examples too on why bread and milk are a-okay!

      1. Abel’s epigenesis of lactase persistence is curious, considering his twin brother had terrible IBS, if I recall the footnotes in the Scofield reference correctly…

  14. I always say that any diet based on cutting out entire food groups in the long-term is not healthy. You haven’t even touched on the “science” behind the paleo diet. High protein diets are hard on the kidneys. They can also cause the body to face increasing blood sugar issues over time. My research and personal experiences have shown that people who avoid grains for more than a couple years without significant need (i.e. continued gut damage/autism/etc.) start to experience wild swings in their blood sugar and have difficulty controlling it. (If they’re low-carb.) The body can make glucose from protein, but it’s very difficult to do and causes a lot of problems. Of course, because people have a simplistic understanding of carbs –> blood sugar and think that fat and protein are exempt from an effect on blood sugar (not true), they often see these swings as a need to “crack down” even more, eliminating even honey and fruit, if they were eating it. Magically, this makes the problem worse….

    I believe we need to eat a “balanced” diet. And by that I mean, balanced in macronutrient ratios. About 50 – 60% fat, 15 – 25% protein, 30% carbs. Roughly. And the diet should be omnivorous. There will be some individual exceptions, and some people will eat a lot of one food group and less of another (lots of meat/few grains; lots of veggies/little meat, etc.) so I don’t need a bunch of people telling me “Well I’ve been paleo/vegan/etc. for years and I’ve never felt better.” That is an anomaly, generally.

    I just don’t understand why we have to keep coming up with all these special “rules” for eating. Eat real food. Eat what makes YOU feel best. And life is too short not to enjoy homemade fries, soaked donuts fried in pastured lard, real buttercream frosting, and so on…. 🙂

    1. It seems like you are using the terms “carbs” and “grains” interchangeably. Cutting out grains does not mean cutting out carbs. Also, the reason for cutting grains and legumes from a paleo diet is not because of carbs. It’s because of lectins. Yes, soaking and sprouting seem solve that problem, so if I were to eat grain, it would either need to be prepared this way or be completely white – no bran. I personally think its a big inconvenience to deal with soaking and sprouting grains and baking my own bread all the time. I’d rather just avoid them altogether. It’s easier for me to buy meat and fish and fresh vegetables and make a huge batch of chicken broth once a month.

    2. @Jeanmarie

      They are not saying that everyone has to eat this way but they do say that if you don’t eat low carb, you will end up obese and diabetic.

      Case in point: https://www.marksdailyapple.com/press/the-primal-blueprint-diagrams/#axzz1yV0aFbHS

      I really don’t understand why anyone who claims to be paleo would feel the need to badger Ann Marie about her dietary choices.

      I don’t understand it either, but they do. And quite frequently.

      1. “the higher the carbohydrate content, all else being equal, the greater likelihood of problems with obesity and diabetes. ”

        There is just no scientific evidence to back this idea up. Populations eating very high-carb diets tend to be extremely thin (i.e., asians, kitavians).

        Following a 50-100g “sweet spot” diet may lead to short-term weight loss, but it will also make you prone to weight gain the moment you add carbs back in.

          1. @Fancy

            I’ve read Mary Enig’s articles about the Japanese diet, and they eat almost no fat. They also don’t eat WHOLE grains or soak/sour/ferment/sprout them. (with the exception of the Okinawans who eat almost no grain.)

            Yes they eat almost no fat (although they do eat fatty fish and lots of salmon roe which are high in cholesterol) but they do eat a lot of white rice and they also eat wheat (udon and soba noodles, panko breadcrumbs, etc.)

            As far as your claim that the Japanese diet is low carb, that is not true:

            Data from the 1980 National Nutrition Survey in Japan indicates that the average intake of calories was 15 percent for proteins, 24 percent for fats and 61 percent for carbohydrates. Source: https://www.kikkoman.com/foodforum/thejapanesetable/29.shtml

            More sources:

            https://douglerner.com/gary-taubes-and-his-flawed-logic
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Okinawa_diet

            And by the way, I am not making dietary recommendations for anyone. I’m just saying that I eat more carbs. So why does anyone care? I’m not telling you what to eat. Again, let’s agree to disagree.

  15. I am a nutritionist and I loved your very balanced point of view. I have seen paleo work wonders for some people, but you are right, restrictive diets really only work best if they are for a short period of time and undergone in order to heal a condition. What I often see happening with restrictive diets in the long run is the development of “orthorexia” in people, where they become obsessed with “eating perfectly”. This is not healthy. I have also seen some of my paleo clients have problems down the road with constipation and their gall bladders. Though these are good foods for other reasons, there is no fiber in meats or fats.

    1. I don’t agree. You can’t get all the fiber you need from vegetables, fruits and nuts on the Paleo diet. Moreover, fiber is not necessary for health bowel movements if you have a healthy gut flora.

      I don’t think the Paleo diet is the end-all be-all diet, but it is an excellent starting point for people to figure out the best way to eat. The Paleo diet is not a strict diet, it is a template to build on to design your own optimal diet.

      I think the Paleo diet is totally sustainable in the long-term. It is not a religion. It is just about eating real food, there is nothing complicated with that!

      1. Aglaee, excellent points. Seriously, what is more healthy than fruits , veggies, fat and protein?? I eat butter as well and cream, so I’m not pure Paleo. And Cheeselave , cannabalism was not for a life sustaining endevour. It was battles between tribes..I saw an extensive series on this topic on National Geographic. It was all about sorcery, or projected sorcery between tribesmen.

      2. I am just telling you about some of the clients I have seen who were put on paleo diets by other practiitoners. They were eating whole foods and they were attending to thehir gut flora. but for these particular people, they becasme constipated and they had pretty serious gall bladder issues. One almost lost hers. But others I have worked with do well on the paleo diet. It depends on the person.

  16. I can understand where you are coming from but….I have found from going paleo that dairy has caused my face to break out in red spots since I was a teen until I recently went paleo and dropped dairy. First time in 45 years I have had spots and If I cheat with a little dairy the spots come back. As for grains they all cause an allergic reaction in my mouth and since it happens in my mouth I figure it happens all the way through my digestive tract. As for starchy vegetables I gain weight very easily if I eat anything but green veggies. For me paleo is the only way I can eat without some kind of negative reaction. Also gerd comes back with a vengeance if I stray from pretty strict paleo. I am glad you don’t have reactions from neolithic foods.

      1. I just noticed I had a typo in my original post. It is the first time in 45 years I have not had red spots on my face.

  17. Single mom of not three, but four children, providing a dairy-including Paleo diet here.

    I’ve had this feeling for months now that all of this sudden ‘Paleo hating’ business is the result of people who just want to eat grains so they feel the need to knock the diet that doesn’t include them. If it’s “too much work” for you to eat this way, do what you have to do; but don’t knock the diet that so many feel optimally healthy on.

    1. Yes, I’ve noticed more of these ridiculous, logic-devoid anti-paleo posts ever since someone started promoting an e-class about grains. Coincidence?

      1. @Chris

        Ad hominem attack.

        If you want to dispute what I’ve written, go ahead. But saying that I’m writing it because I’m out to make money is an ad hominem argument and therefore illogical.

  18. 11. PALEO IS BASED ON THE THEORY OF EVOLUTION – TO WHICH MANY OF US DO NOT SUBSCRIBE.
    Sorry, I’m being politically incorrect here, but this has to be said for the many real foodies who believe that the universe began at creation….and that humans (according to the Bible and other historical accounts) have been eating grains since pretty close to the beginning of time. What did Esau sell his birthright for? A bowl of pottage. How did Joseph’s brothers find him in Egypt? Their father sent them to but GRAIN!

    1. I don’t believe in evolution myself, but I think that the grains of the Bible times are history (so to speak) and gluten is now a mutated grain that doesn’t digest for any of the people in my family. We have found that we all feel better with fewer grains. Thank you for your point!

      1. My guess is that the majority of the foods we eat today have changed a lot in 10,000 years – not just grains.

        1. @A.B.

          “My guess is that the majority of the foods we eat today have changed a lot in 10,000 years – not just grains.”

          Absolutely true. I loved the chapter in Diamond’s book about how much fruits and vegetables have changed. Apples used to be tiny and sour (think crab apples), not big and sweet like they are today.

          We humans stepped in and purposefully created sweeter, bigger fruits to meet our own needs. We also domesticated dogs to help us hunt and horses for transportation and plowing. I don’t see why these are bad things.

    2. Funny…I was having similar thoughts prior to reading your response! Thank you for voicing my opinion so well.

      With that said, I had absolutely no idea how heated a topic this was. Thanks for the education everyone!

    3. I try to view things through a Biblical lense so I don’t buy the whole humans from apes neanerthal biz (I didn’t buy it in gradeschool either). BUT I do feel better eating Paleo-ish. I think avoiding the offending foods for now, healing the gut and what not, and then preparing grains and dairy the traditional ways is the key (for ME not necessarily everyone else). I don’t believe in “races” either but I think going back a couple hundred years to look at what our nearest ancestors ate makes sense. I know my French and Swedish ancestors were pretty sturdy/stout folk and they didn’t have a special diet AND they lived mostly into their upper nineties! My husband’s Dutch ancestors were “giants” who lived into their nineties as well. It’s my husband’s folks (in their upper 60’s) and us in our upper 30’s who are doing poorly……why? And now most of our kids are doing worse than we? Why? My step grandfather will be 98 this year, he was a logger, tree topper, half native american, half irish, he ate eggs and spuds (potatoes) fried in bacon grease most of his life. He also chewed Copenhagen and drank a little whiskey. He’s had a great life and also jokes to all of us that he will be attending our funerals and he’s probably right.

      1. Sorry I am typing all replies with my phone so please forgive typos and mispellings! I really am smart, lol!

        1. I agree 100%, Hope. My Polish ancestors were the same way and I have a 98 year old great great uncle who still tills his own garden. I know he didn’t eat paleo, but he was born with great genes and I agree some of us might need it as a healing diet.

  19. That’s all very practical (well, most of it), but I’m not sure it addresses the real point of paleo eating. I’ve been looking into this way of eating on advice from my holistic doctor. Take a look at this excerpt from Jonny Bowden. I have a hard time arguing with his logic. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YomIHT9zznw

  20. I don’t want to defend the paleo diet, but I do think your discussion of the ease of life with agriculture compared to foraging is mistaken. Diamond himself has called agriculture the biggest mistake in human history, since it was an ecological disaster, led to poorer health, warfare, and class stratification. It was not easier but much harder and more insecure. Famine affects staple crops causing starvation much more than scarcity was a problem among hunter-gatherers. Most hunter-gatherers spent very little time getting food compared to the back-breaking labor (leading to disk and joint problems) associated with agricultural work. And no, the middle ages were not a model of a healthy society, but one with poor nutrition and short stature. Most agricultural societies have been like that even if many societies have gotten better at making agricultural a healthier option, at least for those rare few who can afford meat and don’t just survive on bread and beer. Diamond also believes that agriculture led to massive population growth which is why going back to that way of life seems to be blocked short of a truly massive die-off. There are some options that may help, like Richard Manning’s call for restoring bison in depopulated prairie states and hunting them in a sustainable way that would match the beef production of factory farms. That being said, the scalability of foraging is a real issue, as you point out. I also could not afford a low carb paleo diet.

  21. …So does this mean you’re not grinding your own wheat? I’m actually thinking of doing that since reading Price’s “Nutrition and Physical Degeneration.”

    I love this post! I’ve been everywhere from vegan to Atkins, and I’ve finally settled in at “quality.” By quality, I mean nutritional quality. The more we process our food, the more nutrition we lose. So, for me, it’s the “caveman of the 21st century diet”: whole foods (whatever I can find by hunting & gathering–usually at the health-food store, and as organic as I can find it), processed/cooked by me with fire and 21st century equipment. Once in a while I still eat something made of white flour or sugar, but it’s a rare treat. The key, I believe, is getting the daily diet right, not eliminating everything outside of the “rules” forever.

    1. @Cathy F

      I buy storebought whole wheat, and I eat some white flour, and yes, I also grind my own flour when possible. And I buy a lot of sprouted flour. Depends on what I have time for.

  22. Your post is right on time for my life. Thank you! Last night I stood arguing with my husband about how stressed I was because we are trying to eat healthier and I am killing myself trying to follow all the rules, and be more “paleo”. I had reached the point of giving up and going back to processed foods. (somedays it just seems easier with two small children.) But your post has given me a new hope and maybe a new direction! Thanks! I still have lots to learn. 🙂

    1. Sharon- The stress you refer to is exactly what Matt Stone is wanting us to avoid. He says that time and time again he has helped people who became so caught up in what was “allowed” and what wasn’t, that some of us can become obsessed with it to the point that now we are putting undue stress on ourselves by worrying about having a piece of toast with butter. What generation before us did that? And why are we doing it now? Sure our grandmothers might have avoided dessert to watch “their girlish figures” but I highly doubt they shopped with a paleo or vegan mindset. They just bought (or grew or raised) the food and served it.

      Food, as we all know, is meant to nourish us, comfort us and help us heal from the daily stress of life. If eating has become stressful then we have robbed our bodies of of the very purpose of eating in the first place! I know many people don’t agree with Matt, but I hope that most of us can concur that he has one message that is dead-on for all of us and that is to simply “Eat the Food” !! (ETF) Just make the best choices you can, eat as well as you can and enjoy the experience for the savory and healing adventure that it should be. If that means we, on occasion, want to enjoy a piece of pie because it is tasty and makes us feel warm and fuzzy, then by all means do so! The damage we do to ourselves worrying about that one piece of pie is far more harmful than that piece of pie could ever be.

      So many people will often bring up the diet of the Europeans and how amazing it is that they are eating many of the foods that WAPF so enthusiastically endorses. But their superior health goes so far beyond that: Its their mindset. They LOVE their food. They enjoy it with family and friends. They savor the company of their friends and the taste of their food. They eat it slowly as they enjoy the conversation around them. There were times, I noticed while living in Europe, that it is almost a soulful experience. Something most Americans couldn’t begin to wrap their heads around. I also loved that they would meander home to a nice nap. Something Matt also strongly suggests.

      To be honest, I find the whole “I eat this, but never that” to be exhausting whether it comes from a vegan or a paleo/primal follower or whatever. Who the f**k cares? Lets stop spending so much energy comparing diets. Its so stressful! Wouldn’t we rather be spending that energy making a delicious meal for our loved ones, drinking some wine, napping, making love or cuddling our kids? Seriously, life is too short for this nonsense! I have enough stressors in my life with phones ringing, emails to answer, obligations to meet.

      I now officially declare myself French and will no longer stress myself out over whether I ate some flippin’ cheese or ate a sweet roll. I will enjoy the food for what it is: A beautiful gift from my Maker.

      1. Well said, Susan! Your post reminds me of ‘The French Don’t Diet”, a wonderful book by Dr. Will Clower. Highly recommended.

      2. Thank you! Your response actually made me laugh out loud and brought tears to my eyes at the same time. I intend to transition off the GAPS diet soon and work on re-normalizing my obsessive relationship with food. (Frustrating though when I’m still all bloated and sluggish after eating certain foods – I guess it will be a slow transition)

        Thanks, Cheeseslave for stirring the pot. It’s healthy to have these discussions.

        1. Thanks, Allison

          It’s not easy writing these kinds of posts because I always know I am going to get slammed. I don’t mind when people debate the actual facts.

          I do really dislike all the personal attacks though (people saying that I’m fat, that I’m unhealthy, that I’m obviously writing posts like this one because I’m trying to make money, etc.)

          But I do see a lot of orthorexia out there and I just want to remind people that we don’t need to be so extreme to eat a healthy diet.

      3. Let’s not assume that all paleo/primal followers are obsessed or stressed about what they eat or don’t eat. I get so much joy from cooking and eating and it has not, for one minute, decreased because I don’t have grains in my kitchen. I think I have a very healthy relationship with food and often when traveling or going out I wi’ll eat a cupcake of beautiful bread if it’s what I really feel like. So are most of my Paleo friends. I know you didn’t mean to generalise.

        1. @Irena

          That’s great! That’s not what I hear most of the time from most of the paleo folks out there. Go on Paleo Hacks — they’re freaking out about EVERYTHING!

    2. @Sharon

      I wrote this post for people like you.

      People attack me for “stirring the pot” and putting down other diets and whatever.

      I wrote this post because I see so many people online becoming orthorexic and freaking out, thinking all grains are bad etc. I just don’t see the need for people to be so extreme. And I wanted to encourage others who are feeling the need to be “perfect” — it is not necessary.

  23. Good article, and good reasons not to eat paleo. The only reason I eat mostly paleo is because I feel good eating this way. I went off grain(mostly. I still eat corn) when I was pregnant with my daughter and had to give up dairy while she was breastfeeding(she still is at 13 months and is still having problems with it, even raw goats milk), so by default, we eat mostly meat stock, liver, fish, veggies, fruit, meat, eggs, nuts and seeds, and very little dairy. I give my kids brown rice pasta and soaked grain every now and then to stretch meals because yes, it is expensive, but since I can’t eat gluten, I don’t make a lot of “bread” from scratch because it’s just a lot of work to do gluten free and actually be healthy and unprocessed. I don’t give my kids gluten because my entire family has issues with gluten, so my kids most likely do too, and it’s easier to cook the same thing for the whole family. So, I make one meal at each mealtime and it suits all of our dietary needs. Did I mention I feel amazing when I avoid grains and dairy!? Yes..I do and I have a ton of energy. I think people should eat the way they feel best. Some people need to eat vegetarian. I can’t imagine eating this way but I have friends who thrive on it and feel awful eating meat, so to each their own!

  24. Another problem with the Paleo diet is that it assumes we evolved from apes m-i-l-l-i-o-n-s of years ago. Good scientific evidence suggests that evolution is not correct. (https://www.dissentfromdarwin.org/index.php) Scientists such as Michael Behe, Dean Kenyon, Phillip Skell and others have shown that the evidence tells us that there is an Intelligent Designer. Further scientific evidence suggests man was created only 6,000 – 10,00 years ago. So, grains and dairy are not that far removed from our origins as the Paleo folks and other Darwinists would have you to believe.

    1. Yeah, the theory of evolution is total garbage. How did, and do so many people still, blindly believe it?! Puts a lot into question regarding the theory of certain dietary practices/recommendations. Puts a lot into question period! Something to look into for those that still buy into the idea we came from apes… please!

  25. Lots of great posts. I’ve been the same route as AnneMarie and am now in a place where I enjoy all food groups (even properly prepared grains) with no weight gain, no gluten issues, no more cancer. At 52, I’ve come to believe that while there may be a place for some of these diets to heal a damaged system for a time, they should be viewed as “healing” protocols because they’re too restrictive nutritionally to sustain us long term. Go back to Dr. Price…read his “wisdom” to thrive for the LONG term. It works.

  26. Music to my ears! I went back and read your other post “Why I Ditched Low Carb” and saw myself in so many ways. I eat a whole foods, WAPF based diet and have for years. Lately I’ve been hearing and reading about Paleo and thought I’d at least try going grain-free for as an experiment and see what happened. I should have left well enough alone. I felt bloated, tired, and hungry all the time. I could never get full, even with protein and fat. After two weeks, I had gained about 4 lbs. I reintroduced grain, and the weight went away. I tried it again, just to confirm. Sure enough….only this time, I’m hoping I haven’t tipped my thyroid into something it can’t get out of. The extra few pounds are a struggle, and I am someone who works out daily and has never had a weight problem. I am still bloated. It just goes to show you. My diet of real food, whole grain, limiting sweets, etc. worked for 25+ years. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, as they say.

  27. Not sure what your agenda is, but you seem to have a chip on your shoulder when it comes to Paleo. I’m sure next week you’ll be posting about another sprouted grain or crockpot beans class. It’s really not that far out of any idea to eat plants and animals…no matter how weird you try to make sound. I’m in the best shape of my life at 50 after years of ups and downs. I’ve cured my gut problems, no longer have seasonal allergies and sleep like a baby. I’ve educated myself….tailored Paleo to my needs…I drink raw milk, eat raw cheeses on occasion, but have no more need or want of pies, cakes, cookies, etc. My favorite thing in the worlds was pancakes. Now? Could’nt care less. It’s not difficult. It doesn’t have to be low-carb. It’s as expensive as you want it to be. And it’s been the best thing I’ve ever done. Not sure why you feel to the need to knock it often. Maybe you are looking for “hits” in the blogosphere and more traffic to your site. But, sure am glad I’ve never really listened to your advise.

  28. I look at the fact that in the Torah, God promised the Israelites a land of “milk and honey”. I think our problems stem from toxic overload, antibiotic overuse, and processed foods. My family of six are all blonde haired blue eyed, of Dutch and other Scandinavian heritage. my eldest son has Autism, my husband was an allergy kid (he grew up on a dairy farm), I definitely have digestive troubles, and my other 3 children have minor issues. I am entertaining GAPS so that we can heal and get back to our heritage foods. YUM! Sourdough, and a thick slice of raw Gouda cheese (loaded with vitamin K), soaked muesli with homemade yogurt, dreaming…..what could be better? I have been a WAP fan for many years, makes the most sense, although I do have a few “paleo” cookbooks. I would love to build a sauna, I think it’s important. Many of the immigrant Russians I know of will build a sauna in their basement. I think that’s an important key to their longetivity, that and kvass and kefir! Rambling here….

  29. Thank you for this fantastic post! I’ve been hearing so much about grains and legumes and dairy being bad for us that it was making me crazy! If we’ve been consuming them for thousands of years – and surviving no less – then maybe there’s another cause for the sudden issues and intolerances that we’re seeing. The huge load of antibiotics we’ve ingested (both from our overcrowded livestock and from over-prescription by doctors), the amount of genetic modification (and I’m not talking about mere hybridization here), the tons of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides sprayed on the crops each year – those are the factors that need to be called into the spotlight.

  30. This is a wonderful post. It doesn’t cover the one (and in my opinion) most important reason why I dismissed paleo out of hand. Because I don’t believe in “cavemen”. I believe God created humans (who walked upright and were intelligent creatures made in his image) around 7000+ years ago. And they were cultivating the ground from the get-go, since he told them to take care of the garden.

  31. I respect your opinion. “Paleo” is not for everyone, however, there is a wide range of what can be considered Paleo. People Inuit people who ate 90% animal products, much of which was fat, and South Pacific people who ate lots of roots and tubers and not much fat, except from coconuts, were both Paleo at some point.

    I eat 80/20 Paleo. I eat cheese and raw milk. I eat tubers (sweet potatoes mostly). I do avoid grains because it works best for me, though I cheat.

    I’d like to point out that Jared Diamond, author of Guns, Germs and Steel, that you cited, also wrote an essay about agriculture called “The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race.” https://www.ditext.com/diamond/mistake.html Agriculturists may have overrun hunter gatherers, but that’s because there were more of them. They were certainly not healthier.

    1. In that essay he also wrote, “For most of our history we supported ourselves by hunting and gathering: we hunted wild animals and foraged for wild plants. It’s a life that philosophers have traditionally regarded as nasty, brutish, and short. Since no food is grown and little is stored, there is (in this view) no respite from the struggle that starts anew each day to find wild foods and avoid starving. Our escape from this misery was facilitated only 10,000 years ago, when in different parts of the world people began to domesticate plants and animals.”

      I disagree with a lot of what he says in that essay, but it would take a whole ‘nother post to make my arguments.

      1. @Jeanmarie
        And other scientists think the hunter/gatherer lifestyle has a lot more free time than the agricultural lifestyle, based on studies of surviving hunter/gatherer populations.

        The surviving h/g populations are the lucky ones. They must have had access to more protein, etc.

        Let’s face it, being able to store food does make life a heck of a lot easier.

        But eating a paleo/primal diet (real, nutrient-dense unprocessed food that we’re well adapted to) is not a call to become a hunter/gatherer, certainly not in the historical sense of the term.

        I guess maybe we are arguing apples and oranges and then. It has always been my understanding that paleo/primal folks are promoting the hunter-gatherer lifestyle as ideal.

      2. I can speak up here. I am a cultural anthropology major, and the few societies we studied that were hunter gatherers had a more leisurely lifestyle than the agricultural societies. Yes, there was time spent hunting for food and preparing it. But there was also a lot of time spent socializing, dancing, and plain old sleeping. Is it easy? No. No lifestyle is easy unless you are old money and have everyone work for you. However in general, the hg’s have a less intensive lifestyle.

  32. Beautiful post Ann Marie!
    I also looove cheese, adore pies, and bread with butter. To save on meat, we also eat lots of liver! Liver keeps me full for a long time (sometimes I can skip a meal even) and gives me superhuman energy (for painting the house and running my business, for example!) For me though I have to have more protein and fats than carbs – so I learned how to combine them carefully, and it works so well that I don’t need any snacks if my main meal has proper combo of foods! I do eat bread, rice and beans, they just have to be in smaller amounts! Basically, I am try to eat according to my metabolic type (I am originally from Russia and grew up on lots of pork, saurekraut, potatoes, buckwheat, barley, raw milk, butter, cheese, cottage cheese, liver and fresh veggies and fruit only at summer).

  33. I don’t really feel comfortable calling my diet by any label. I eat what works for me and sometimes I do better than others. I eat real food.
    Anywho, I agree with the person who said that these were “cartoonish” arguments. There are valid reasons not to eat “Paleo” but this just seemed like an effort to stir the pot. I’ve noticed that this blog swings pretty wildly from fad to fad. I understand that it is just one persons experience and I appreciate it for that, but I don’t base my dietary choices after the information that I find here.
    Also, I have many friends who are quite subscribed to “paleo” and I have NEVER heard the argument [to not eat something] “because it’s not paleo.” That’s just silly.

    1. Leah,
      I also used to get upset with this blog for “swinging wildly from fad to fad”; I found it frustrating and confusing. But, then I realized that Ann Marie is just being honest about her journey to health and her own personality. Don’t we all swing around wildly trying to figure out what works best for our own bodies? I know I have, and do still. It’s how we learn. At least Ann Marie is being upfront about it. I used to be all egotistical and prescriptivist about my lifestyle and dietary choices, but the more I research the more I realize it is impossible to have all the “answers”, and I’m ok with that. Let’s just keep continuing this journey to wellness!

      1. that’s why I said, “I understand that it is just one persons experience and I appreciate it for that, but I don’t base my dietary choices after the information that I find here.” *shrugs*
        It’s somewhat laughable to look back at the Q&A’s from last month and the answer to almost everything was GAPS! Now people are saying “should I do GAPS?” and she’s saying not to. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s ok to change your mind about things. I guess I feel like this blog is a little more than a personal journey. It seems to tout itself as some sort of food/health authority and I think that there is some ethical responsibility that comes with that. I ALSO think that individuals have the responsibility to decide where they are getting their information, so I’m not blaming Ann Marie. I just hope that people new to this blog will read it for a few months before jumping into anything.

        1. @Leah

          It’s somewhat laughable to look back at the Q&A’s from last month and the answer to almost everything was GAPS! Now people are saying “should I do GAPS?” and she’s saying not to.

          I do think GAPS helps a lot of people. Something similar to GAPS helped me overcome food allergies and reverse arthritis. But I see a lot of people thinking they need GAPS when they don’t. I don’t think everyone needs GAPS, and even Dr. Natasha says that.

          1. I have no problem with the fact that your opinion has changed. And as long as people know that they are just getting your opinion, I think it’s fine. I think some people view you as an authority of sorts (and I think you represent yourself that way to some degree). When just a few months ago you literally said that you “hate to sound like a broken record” because you were suggesting GAPS for everyone and now your not…. I don’t know, it just seems like it’s not fair to be advising people when your opinions seem to jump around a lot (to me anyway!).

      2. I agree, flip flopping all over the place is MUCH better than someone who touts a certain diet or idea and realizes it may not be the best (or even dangerous) and then won’t admit that they were wrong to save their ego. While people are still following the idea and doing harm to themselves.

    2. @Leah

      Also, I have many friends who are quite subscribed to “paleo” and I have NEVER heard the argument [to not eat something] “because it’s not paleo.”

      I guess you don’t go on Paleo Hacks. They analyze everything, questioning if it is paleo.

      I don’t think my blog is faddish. I’ve always been into whole grains, properly prepared, the WAPF Diet, and whole raw dairy, seafood, and other real foods. Never swayed from any of that. I did go more low carb for a while but have now realized that does not work for me.

  34. How ’bout some real science? Here’s some hard facts transcripted from a recent podcast with Kresser and Lalonde: https://chriskresser.com/rhr-what-science-really-says-about-the-paleo-diet-with-mat-lalonde

    I was paleo for a long time and never once hunted or gathered, except once when I tried to eat dandilion buds from my yard (ok w/ plenty of garlic, salt, and oo). Paleo diet was amazing for my health, but it’s a shotgun approach. Most folks can dial in what is important and what’s not in less than a year. The rest is all about time and money: save money and spend 3 days soaking and sprouting beans, or save time and throw a flanksteak under the broiler. The most important part about Paleo lifestyle for me now has nothing to do with food, but the 3 S’s. SUN, SLEEP, and STRESS MANAGEMENT.

    1. I’m all for sun, sleep and stress management.

      AND pie! 🙂

      One of my favorite quotes of all time: ““When you die, if you get a choice between going to regular heaven or pie heaven, choose pie heaven. It might be a trick, but if it’s not, mmmmmmmm, boy.” — Jack Handy

      1. Aha! Therin lies the difference. Longevity and vanity are the name of the game for the strict paleo-adherent, presumably by avoiding insulin-spike fueled inflammation and gut permeability.

        Heaven implies death; the paleo ideal is to roam this earth with washboard abs into a pieless eternity.

        1. Heaven implies death; the paleo ideal is to roam this earth with washboard abs into a pieless eternity.

          LOL!

          I’d rather die young with a jelly belly full of pie.

  35. Great post, Ann Marie. So, how does one heal from intolerance to grain/dairy/nightshade, etc. ? Do you just have to avoid the offending food for awhile a la GAPS and then slowly re-introduce the foods? Will that build tolerance? What if the intolerance is caused by antibiotics/steroids – how do we get the organisms back into our gut so they can help us digest and assimilate foods again? I’ve been reading Dr. Art Ayers blog – Cooling Inflammation – he talks about fecal transplants and eating unwashed garden vegetables as ways of re-colonizing our microbiome. I wonder how much a role beneficial organisms play in regulating metabolism and thyroid function.

  36. I know that this is not going to be the most popular comment in the comments section, however I am going to give it a go. For some people reading this might not agree with me on religious views, and that is ok! We can agree to disagree. I believe that Gods word is true, and a true account of history. There is mentioned in the bible many times ” land flowing with milk and honey” speaking of the promised land. God is so smart!, I did not realize all that milk and honey had to offer, until I found out about raw milk and raw honey, truly life giving foods. Also, Jesus is compared to bread ” bread of life” Give us this day our daily bread! There are two meanings to that, bread was a staple, and God in all his wisdom wanted us to partake of Jesus in the same way. Jesus is a picture of Grace, and we are to feed on Grace everyday. We could never be perfect, whether it is our actions or our diet, we are going to make mistakes, but God tells us to feast on Grace everyday!

    1. With much respect to whatever you believe, sadly grain production has changed so much in the last few years due to mono-culture and processing that the ‘staff of life’ kind of bread mentioned in the Bible is faaaaaaar different than what’s available now. Back then it was organic, sprouted, and used a variety of grains and seeds which are now extinct. 🙁

    2. As much as I admit to liking Anne Marie’s post (mostly because of cheese & sourdough & potatoes)…what you’ve commented gets us to the heart of the matter – are we what we eat or is there grace in all things? No diet can keep us from death, but our spiritual diet affects our body and soul both here and after we breathe our last. Along these lines, I really appreciated this voice of perspective amidst the whole food obsession:

      https://www.stacymakescents.com/food-is-not-your-god

  37. I never post comments to blogs but I am just so disappointed by this post that I feel compelled to comment.

    I LOVE this blog. It’s one of my go-to nightly reads for great information about real food. Ann Marie is cute, funny and real. But I am also a huge fan of many Paleo blogs (like Balanced Bites, Daily Apple, etc.) I feel like this is an exercise in throwing the baby out with the bathwater. It smacks of being contentious for contentiousness’ sake. I have purchased, read and incorporated recommendations from Matt Stone’s Diet Recovery AND Nourishing Traditions AND Robb Wolf AND WAPF literature; I am developing a way of eating that works best for my health. What I don’t understand is vitriol that happens when you disagree with someone’s attempt to better their lives and health through diet. I’m not expecting a big kumbayah, all of us singing from the same hymn book. I am expecting this type of open-minded community to stop squabbling about differences and start celebrating our MANY similarities. This post is a step in the wrong direction.

    Am I missing something? Does the Paleo community and its proponents need a little kick in the butts? I recently went to a Balanced Bites seminar in North Carolina and Diane and Liz were down-to-earth, flexible and generous. They seem to be very open to learning, studying and growing their base of nutritional knowledge. (And they are supporters of Weston A. Price.)

    I still adore you and your blog, Ann Marie. No hard feelings.

  38. I absolutely love to hear other people’s opinions on food and diet, but I gotta say, this post is so negative!! Most people I know don’t follow a restricted diet because they *want* to, most came to it out of necessity for health reasons. As an example my website is for people who need/want more recipes for dairy, grain, soy and sugar free eating but can’t easily find them. The only reason I don’t include other recipes is because there’s plenty out there. I’m not ‘anti’ any way of eating, but wanted to collect a bunch of recipes for people who needed them. I don’t define the limitations of the recipes I post, because everyone can enjoy some of them. I love all the information you’ve presented here, I just think the tone is defensive. I am a health practitioner and deal with these topics everyday, it strikes me that no one is ‘fighting’ about this stuff in the real world, only online – HA! Again, I really enjoyed all your back up for your opinions. The grains topic is particularly interesting to me, and I don’t argue that for some, they are truly a great source of nutrition (alas, not for me, I feel like hell on them) Whether or not they are ‘good’ or ‘bad’ based on when we started using them is another point I find confusing, as the production and processing of grains has changed dramatically in the last few years anyway (some say it’s the reason so many people are becoming gluten intolerant, it’s not just better diagnosis) Joseph Mercola has a few interesting articles on the topic. Thanks for the thought-provoking blog post!~

  39. Jeanmarie, I could never have said it better myself….I whole-heartedly agree. We follow a varied diet, but it’s always 99.99999% properly prepared REAL FOOD with a focus on grass-fed meats & dairy, organic fruits and veggies (including some tubers), pasture-raised eggs, homemade bone broth and less of an emphasis (but still included) on gluten-free grains and natural sweeteners. I’ve rebuilt my health on this type of diet, I help clients rebuild health on this type of diet, and it’s one endorsed by WAPF, most of it’s also paleo, a lot of it is GAPS friendly too. There is a time, a season, for more restrictive diets and less restrictive diets, but for a good, all-purpose diet, you really can’t go wrong with REAL, TRADITIONAL FOOD 🙂

  40. I dont think you can compare a hunter gathering lifestyle to todays culture so easily. Of course it is not practicle to “gather” your food and then work and have kids. If you got all your food in that manor you wouldnt need to work. And more so, our foodsheds are so vastly different from what they were a few hundred years ago it may not work to do so. There is a lack of good research going on about the orgins of the paleo diet. Not all native cultures simply hunted and gathered. And your example of New guina tribes I feel is a really poor example because they live on an island, many island cultures have had issues with food due to limited resources of being on a island. I just got done studying native foods for a wild foods class. We read a lot of Nancy Turner who is a fantastic researcher, and she has shown that Native people (at least in the pacific NW) were NOT hunter gathers in the way we think of them. They had gardens. They tended to the lands. They took sustainably. They had specific spots rounds they would make for food. They stored and dried alot of food. They were not roaming around waiting for the next meal. I, myself, am not paleo, but like some of the concepts due to the lack of process food in the diet. But yes, I do agree without that diets should not be super strict or set in stone. But what I want to say is there is alot of great things happening in the food blogs community but really also alot of poor research. Trying using google scholar to learn about tranditional foods and see what happens.

    1. I believe were all entitled to an opinion but seriously there is a time and a place to vent off if you don’t agree with others way of life! The proof is already out there and in my opinion grain is not as it once was as I’m sure thousands of years ago they did not spray chemicals on the food they were going to eat and we know for a fact it wasn’t genetically modified as it is in this day and age! And if you look at the big picture it isn’t just antibiotics making people ill it’s the fact that the so called food is so altered people don’t even know what there eating!!! The Paleo community does what works for them and I for one am grateful for all the information and amazing recipes with real food and from very real people. We all have our own choices in life to make!

  41. Jeanmarie’s comment is a superb rebuttal to some of the more ridiculous points from the article.

    I’m honestly not sure if this was a serious article or not – it might be moderately successful in getting affiliate sales for Matt Stone’s eBook – but the chosen characterization here of the paleo diet concept (#’s 6,7,8,9,10) was way out in left field.

    1. @David Csonka

      “I’m honestly not sure if this was a serious article or not – it might be moderately successful in getting affiliate sales for Matt Stone’s eBook”

      Ad hominem attack. I’m happy to debate the points in the article but attacking me for having written the article to make money is not logical.

  42. This is a very well thought out argument (discussion?). I was starting to get all caught up in the Paleo thing since I am gluten intolerant and I don’t tolerate other grains well, either.

    It is kind of liberating to stick with a prescribed set of what to eat and what not to eat (like the paleo diet) instead of having to constantly make decisions on your own about what works for you and doesn’t. Yes, you can say it – being lazy! It’s true.

    Thank you though – I appreciate this intelligent presentation of the opposing viewpoint. It makes a lot of sense. And I wasn’t ready to give up dairy, either! 🙂

    1. After reading all the nasty comments to this I thought I should clarify what I said earlier. When I said it was being lazy to subscribe to a set diet instead of making your own decisions I was only referring to MYSELF – not anyone else. Certainly not the followers of the paleo movement as a whole. I just wanted to clarify that.

  43. I’ve learned a lot from both the WPF foodies and the Primal/paleo foodies. I’d venture to guess that most families are like ours, we take from each food movement what works best for us and discard the rest.

    For my family, we have found that cutting way back on grains (trying to stick with soaked/fermented), way upping our dairy (raw/organic when possible), cutting back on sugars (mostly using coconut sugar now), having plenty of veggies and meat (organic whenever possible) has really helped with both generally feeling healthier and weight issues.

    As long as we’re moving away from processed junk towards more whole foods, we’re better off than where we started. It’s not about perfection. It’s about the journey 🙂

  44. hi Anne-Marie,
    loved this post – SOOooooo controversial! You will get support about these ideas here, but go onto paleohacks.com and you will get your head bitten off and probably eaten 😉 – I suggest you don’t go there……

    here is my two penneth:

    cheese, bread and cookies (sugar) are great for SOME people, for others, it is not so good. The chances are that if you are from a Mediterranean-region ancestry then, yes, go for it, all these things are great for you.

    paleo IS low carb, but there aint nothing wrong with that, IF you are suited to a low carb diet, not everyone is. Mark Sisson of the primal solution def. is. Gandi prob was not.
    Again it depends on ancestry.

    Weston A. Price himself noted that people from around the world had very different diets, if you read his findings you will see that this is truly the case – his conclusion was this and only this – IF WE DEVIATE FROM OUR ORIGINAL/TRADITIONAL DIET (whatever that may be) then degeneration occurs.

    A paleo diet is just as restrictive as a vegan, lactose, wheat-free or organic diet, it is all much of a muchness; when we start a new diet it seems very restrictive, then when we ‘let go’ a little we feel liberated, it is the same with any of the many diet plans out there.

    The paleo diet is not based on fantasy, we have just made our lives so convenient that hunting and gathering seems like a fantasy; the generally poor health of SAD eaters today shows however, that it is not.

    Meat supports less people per square mile of land than grains, therefore meat is more expensive than grains, that is why population explodes in fertile river deltas, there can be no other way. Unfortunately, for today’s inhabitants of the earth, the meat eaters are at a disadvantage when it comes to paying for food. Most paleo people I know however, care enough about their health to wisely proportion their wealth towards nourishment rather than other luxury goods, (which actually was the way it has always been up until about the 1950’s – I think the change may have had something to do with Henry Ford).

    Native Americans did not need to domesticate animals as they followed the herds, but this applies only to the tribes that lived on the plains, other (more southerly) tribes were vegetarians – depending again on where they lived and what they could grow/gather.

    Hey, don’t throw the baby out with the bath water! I think that you are perhaps unnecessarily ‘dissing’ the paleo eaters because you yourself find that this diet is unsuitable for you. Thousands of people do amazingly well on the paleo diet, millions of people do extremely well on a vegan diet (and have beaten cancer to boot) and hundreds of thousands more do absolutely fine on a mixed type diet of equal proportions of carbs (un-fermented), proteins and fats (including pasteurised dairy).

    I totally believe in the adage ‘one man’s food is another man’s poison…….’

    It is all about knowing what ancestry/metabolic type you are, and there are ten types to chose from, which means that each person’s dietary requirements are as unique as the next person’s, the secret is trying to find out what the right diet is for you.

    At the moment I am nearing the end of my metabolic testing which will more than likely show me to be a mixed type leaning towards higher purine protein, favouring lower G.I. carbs. This ties in with my ancestry which is predominantly northern english / scandinavian…….those people who would have thrived (in the Weston A. Price sense of the word) on oily fish, oats or barley, seasonal land vegetation and sea/estuary plants.

    Over the last 20 years I have eaten a nourishing traditions diet (5 years), a paleo diet (3 years), a vegetarian diet (12 years) and a wheat/dairy free diet (1 year), but none of these have come close to being right for my metabolic type…….

    love Lou x x x

    1. Anne Marie,
      I loved this post! You are saying what so many people are thinking and afraid to say! I hope comments like Frank’s don’t discourage you. And isn’t it interesting that he is STILL reading your blog after all this time of thinking you are a buffoon. I love that you are always trying new things and exposing us all to them – because one of those things you try will help someone along the way. Please keep doing what you are doing!

    2. I disagree with your assertion that the wheat-free diet is hogwash, only because I feel way better after having given it up for nearly three weeks (fewer headaches, less gas, better complexion, more energy, actual weight loss, etc.).

      I’m not saying everyone should give up wheat, but it works for me.

      Anyway, I was hoping to disagree with you in a more civilized manner. Ad hominen attacks are for cowards!

      Thanks for exploring these important issues all the same.

      Cheers,
      Steve

      1. @Steve

        I didn’t say the wheat free diet is hogwash. I myself had to go off of gluten for 2 years when I was in my 20s. Now I can eat it just fine. I said that blaming wheat for our health problems is hogwash.

  45. For nachos in a pinch, there is a chip on the market that I find acceptable and you might too: Unsalted Baked Organic Corn Tortilla Chips from La Reina available at my local Whole Foods market (clear package with an orange and yellow label). Ingredients: stone ground organic white corn and a trace of lime. That’s it. They have a salted variety, but they use some oil (safflower I think) to make it stick. I just add our grass-fed cheese and sea-salted beans or spiced grass-fed ground beef to the chips for plenty of fat and flavor and I never notice that the chips themselves were not salted or fried.

  46. Dumb
    Dumb
    Dumb.
    I also love twinkies, fried chicken and velveeta cheese, so that’s cause to eat them and remain healthy.
    Flawed.

    1. @Tonja

      “Dumb” = an ad hominem attack.

      Which is totally illogical so I’ll dismiss that.

      And you got my argument wrong. I did not say twinkies or velveeta are healthy and I would never recommend eating them. Read the post again.

      1. Although it’s unfortunate that she chose to use a pejorative tone, I believe Tonja’s referring to your #3 justification for not being paleo Ann Marie. The one that reads: “I really like cookies. And cakes. And pies.” when she says “I also love Twinkies, fried chicken and Velveeta Cheese…” and then with a fair amount of sarcasm includes “…so that’s cause to eat them and remain healthy.”… as in “yeah… right.”

        I myself loved Kool-Aid, Kraft Macaroni, Pixie-Stix and Oreos when I was a kid, but you’d better believe that I wish my caregivers would have offered a firm “No” along with a variety of nutrient dense traditional food options instead; especially while my body was still ‘under construction”.

        It does raise the question… is “loving” to eat something a practical rational for it’s regular inclusion in the diet? Perhaps in some cases, it may be. Joy certainly helps in the quest for balance and well-bing. Ultimately though, I agree with Tonja in that it’s simply “flawed” logic.

        Cookies, cakes and pies are indeed yummy. That’s why many of the formerly indigenous/healthy cultures that Dr. Price studied accepted them readily when they became available. Sugar and white flour (the main ingredients in c, c & p) are the backbone of the self-same “displacing foods of modern commerce” the good doctor so vehemently derided.

        As history illustrates, this bastardization of indigenous diets ended in tragedy the world over. At a minimum, consuming these foods leads to a desire to consume more… which in the short term results in unhealthy (not to mention unsightly) weight gain in much of the population, as well as dental caries and malocclusion in our growing children.

        Eventually, regular consumption of these addictive treats leads to things like widespread emotional ‘discontentedness’ and sub-optimal reproduction readiness in our adolescents, parental gut-dysbiosis resulting in epidemic Autism-spectrum disorders in our sensitive children, bone loss, frailty and dementia in our elders and even heart disease, cancer and crippling autoimmune disease in our ‘prime of lifers’.

        The (relative to American) healthy French culture may in fact relish their croissant, but as Sally Fallon astutely points out in Nourishing Traditions, they’re fast losing their leg up, as the traditional ‘left-over’ bone broth soup breakfast has given way to an insidious white flour/sugar morning habit instead.

        As sad as it may be to admit Ann Marie, you will surely agree that denatured foods = denatured people. Dr. Price’s admonition that there simply isn’t enough room in a limited calorie diet for these nutrient-minus foods is not a convenient one and certainly not any more popular today than it was in his day.

        Nevertheless, to achieve robust good health in the context of our modern, limited calorie diet, and especially to achieve the reproductive perfection our wise ancestors prized, every single bite of food must be worth it’s weight in nutritional gold. If we did enough physical labor to justify a 4000 calorie day, then perhaps like our “Farmer Boy” agrarian forefathers, we could indulge in cookies, cakes and pies, and still be poster children for slim, perfect health. The truth is that the extra weight this culture caries is the proof-in-the-pudding that many of us are sub-optimally nourished, this is because because deep nutrition always results in economy of scale.

        The foods you say you “love” are referred to as “displacing” because they do precisely that; they displace the foods high in the vital nutrients necessary for building, and repairing our bodies. They are in fact ‘anti-sacred’ foods. Two-thousand calories a day simply isn’t adequate to the task of providing enough of these building and repairing nutrients to do the job when you include these displacing foods in the mix, especially given our worn out soil and our hyper-stressed lifestyles.

        In my opinion, this argument should be viewed through the lens of mathematics and physics rather than politics with it’s inherent and unproductive name-calling. This is not a personal issue, but rather a truly universal one. Every precious soul on this planet longs to be healthy and to birth and rear healthy children.

        A.

        1. @Annie

          Although it’s unfortunate that she chose to use a pejorative tone, I believe Tonja’s referring to your #3 justification for not being paleo Ann Marie. The one that reads: “I really like cookies. And cakes. And pies.” when she says “I also love Twinkies, fried chicken and Velveeta Cheese…” and then with a fair amount of sarcasm includes “…so that’s cause to eat them and remain healthy.”… as in “yeah… right.”

          I stand by that statement fully. I never said that cakes and cookies and pies should be industrial foods. You guys are reading into what I wrote.

          You can make cookies with sprouted whole wheat flour, unrefined natural sweeteners, pastured eggs, and grass-fed butter. In fact, I do it all the time and the recipes are here on this blog.

          Pie crust is made with butter, lard and tallow (grass-fed), and sprouted flour.

          You see, I think these things are healthy. We don’t eat cookies and pie for breakfast but we have no problem eating them for dessert.

          Nowhere on my blog do I ever recommend eating Kool-Aid, Kraft Macaroni, Twinkies or Velveeta Cheese. To imply that that is what I’m saying is incorrect and it’s putting words in my mouth that I did not say.

          Cookies, cakes and pies are indeed yummy. That’s why many of the formerly indigenous/healthy cultures that Dr. Price studied accepted them readily when they became available. Sugar and white flour (the main ingredients in c, c & p) are the backbone of the self-same “displacing foods of modern commerce” the good doctor so vehemently derided.

          Dr. Price did not say that whole wheat flour and unrefined sweeteners are bad. The WAPF recommends them. You may think all flour and all sugar is bad, but WAPF does not. Again, I’ve never claimed to be a paleo blogger. I follow the WAPF Diet.

          I don’t recommend Oreos to anyone but I see nothing wrong with sprouted flour shortbread cookies made with unrefined sucanat. Croissants do contain white flour, but they won’t hurt you every once in a while. I just wouldn’t eat them every day.

          But whole wheat sourdough bread? Sure, I’d eat it every day — and I do. As the Swiss did that Dr. Price studied.

          1. Ann Marie,

            I think you are still missing two key points. Number one, I don’t believe either Tonja or myself are implying that you are in favor of processed junk food. What we’re drawing attention to is the connection you make between simply “loving” a food and justifying it’s inclusion in a nutrient-dense traditional diet like the one you espouse.

            Secondly, the type of grain and sweet ingredients, as well as the methods employed to make “cookies, cakes and pie” are profoundly different from the ones our wise ancestors (as represented in Dr. Price’s research) included in their diets. Indigenous people may have had access to honey, maple syrup, raw sugar cane and other whole food sweeteners, but no doubt in amounts too scarce to make the regular baking of treats like “cookies, cakes and pies” an impractical choice.

            Moreover, unlike sourdough bread “cookies, cakes and pies” are not fermented. Cultures like the Swiss that you referenced as grain-eaters consumed their (mineral-rich and heirloom) grains at least somewhat sprouted by default (no combine harvesters or hermetically sealed grain silos) then stone milled and subjected to a long sourdough ferment, followed by a second ferment while hanging from the rafters. When the bread was thus predigested and anti-nutrient neutralized, they consumed it in conjunction with one of the most nutrient-dense foods in the world, namely the June butter and cheese from cows grazing on some of the richest pastureland on the planet.

            Likewise, the Scots (also beginning with sprouted grain) acid soaked, long cooked and then fermented their oats before consuming in conjunction with chopped cod liver stuffed inside a cod’s head. To my knowledge, “cookies, cakes and pie” played no role in the diet of either of these healthy traditional communities; if they did, Dr. Price apparently didn’t see fit to mention it. Regardless, the treats you praise go through no such processing.

            Being a whole grains expert yourself, surely you know that it’s the long fermentation step that renders flour products much safer to consume, which is not to say that it makes them particularly nutrient dense. Unlike the case of intact whole grains, throughout history flour has been (and will always be) a compromise food; in no small part because the milling of grain introduces the likelihood of rancidity. In any event, whether whole seed or flour, cultures known for grain consumption in any capacity relied on fermentation to make this food source a safer and more viable addition to their diet.

            I understand the concept of using grain as a conveyance for other nutrient dense foods; butter, lard, fish eggs, cream cheese, pate, etc, and I do so on a regular basis myself. However “cookies, cakes and pies” clearly have little or no place in the diet of a person attempting to lose weight or procreate (two things you’ve been vocal about attempting in previous posts) build a little-person’s body from the ground up, avoid dental caries and more importantly, impart immunity to childhood illnesses without vaccination or simply to grow old with grace, beauty, strength, stamina, bladder and bowel continence and intact mental faculties in this modern depleted and toxic environment.

            They certainly have no place in the diet of someone attempting to recover from longstanding nutritional deficiencies, abnormal gut ecology or outright disease, which includes so many of your readers.

            With all due respect, I think your energies as an educator might be better utilized emphasizing and re-emphasizing the importance of preparing grains properly, following the example of our wise ancestors; many of whom included grain foods in their diets with little or no impact on their immunity to dental, infectious and degenerative disease. Sadly the same can not be said for a culture who regularly indulges in “cookies, cakes and pie” made with “sprouted whole wheat flour, unrefined natural sweeteners, pastured eggs and grass-fed butter” or otherwise. As I mentioned in my previous entry, but you chose not respond to, there simply isn’t room.

            A.

            1. @Annie

              What we’re drawing attention to is the connection you make between simply “loving” a food and justifying it’s inclusion in a nutrient-dense traditional diet like the one you espouse.

              Point taken. Maybe I did not make myself clear. I think cheese and sourdough bread and butter and cookies are ALSO very good for you, if they are made with good ingredients and prepared the right way.

              Secondly, the type of grain and sweet ingredients, as well as the methods employed to make “cookies, cakes and pie” are profoundly different from the ones our wise ancestors (as represented in Dr. Price’s research) included in their diets. Indigenous people may have had access to honey, maple syrup, raw sugar cane and other whole food sweeteners, but no doubt in amounts too scarce to make the regular baking of treats like “cookies, cakes and pies” an impractical choice.

              Sally includes lots of recipes for cookies, cakes and pies in her book, Nourishing Traditions.

              Here is the advice from the WAPF re: sweets:

              https://www.westonaprice.org/beginner-videos/natural-sweeteners-video-by-sarah-pope

              Excerpt:

              “Sweets need not be avoided completely, however. It is possible to be healthy and still satisfy the natural and instinctive desire for sweet things with homemade desserts that are both nutritious and delicious. The key is to use only whole, unprocessed sweeteners.

              Since individual reactions to even natural sweeteners vary widely, it is a good idea to test your pulse before and after eating different ones. An increased pulse of more than a few beats per minute likely indicates a reaction

              The key to eating sweets safely once you have determined which whole sweeteners suit you best is to always consume them in the presence of fat –whether that be cream on fruit, egg yolks in custards, or butter and eggs in cakes, cookies, puddings and pies.”

              Moreover, unlike sourdough bread “cookies, cakes and pies” are not fermented. Cultures like the Swiss that you referenced as grain-eaters consumed their (mineral-rich and heirloom) grains at least somewhat sprouted by default (no combine harvesters or hermetically sealed grain silos) then stone milled and subjected to a long sourdough ferment, followed by a second ferment while hanging from the rafters. When the bread was thus predigested and anti-nutrient neutralized, they consumed it in conjunction with one of the most nutrient-dense foods in the world, namely the June butter and cheese from cows grazing on some of the richest pastureland on the planet.

              I make all my cookies cakes and pies with sprouted flour.

              Likewise, the Scots (also beginning with sprouted grain) acid soaked, long cooked and then fermented their oats before consuming in conjunction with chopped cod liver stuffed inside a cod’s head. To my knowledge, “cookies, cakes and pie” played no role in the diet of either of these healthy traditional communities; if they did, Dr. Price apparently didn’t see fit to mention it. Regardless, the treats you praise go through no such processing.

              Yes, actually, they do. See my recipes page.

              Being a whole grains expert yourself, surely you know that it’s the long fermentation step that renders flour products much safer to consume, which is not to say that it makes them particularly nutrient dense. Unlike the case of intact whole grains, throughout history flour has been (and will always be) a compromise food; in no small part because the milling of grain introduces the likelihood of rancidity. In any event, whether whole seed or flour, cultures known for grain consumption in any capacity relied on fermentation to make this food source a safer and more viable addition to their diet.

              Sally only calls white flour a compromise food. She does not call whole grain flour, soaked or sprouted, a compromise food.

              Dr. Weston Price was a staunch advocate of whole grains.

              He wrote, “An excellent program then will be to use a cooked cereal made from freshly cracked wheat or oats, this to be eaten with cream or milk and a limited amount of sugar sufficient to flavor the cereal. Have them follow this with one or two glasses of milk. Recently baked whole wheat muffins made from freshly cracked wheat and spread liberally with a high vitamin butter are excellent in both their mineral and vitamin content.”

              I understand the concept of using grain as a conveyance for other nutrient dense foods; butter, lard, fish eggs, cream cheese, pate, etc, and I do so on a regular basis myself. However “cookies, cakes and pies” clearly have little or no place in the diet of a person attempting to lose weight or procreate (two things you’ve been vocal about attempting in previous posts) build a little-person’s body from the ground up, avoid dental caries and more importantly, impart immunity to childhood illnesses without vaccination or simply to grow old with grace, beauty, strength, stamina, bladder and bowel continence and intact mental faculties in this modern depleted and toxic environment.

              I am not advocating that people eat cookies cakes and pies every day. But I don’t see the harm in eating them on occasion.

              I do want to lose weight but not at the expense of my hormones. I’m working to heal my hormones first. My temps have come up from the 96-97 range to 98.3-98.6.

              With all due respect, I think your energies as an educator might be better utilized emphasizing and re-emphasizing the importance of preparing grains properly, following the example of our wise ancestors; many of whom included grain foods in their diets with little or no impact on their immunity to dental, infectious and degenerative disease. Sadly the same can not be said for a culture who regularly indulges in “cookies, cakes and pie” made with “sprouted whole wheat flour, unrefined natural sweeteners, pastured eggs and grass-fed butter” or otherwise. As I mentioned in my previous entry, but you chose not respond to, there simply isn’t room.

              Thanks for your opinion about what I should be writing about on my blog

              1. “Sally includes lots of recipes for cookies, cakes and pies in her book, Nourishing Traditions.”

                Yes, and in my opinion (note, I’m stating an opinion regarding a personal observation of someone who willingly puts themselves in the limelight for just such scrutiny) Sally is heavier than I’d feel comfortable being. Many people I’ve referred to Nourishing Traditions have commented on what appears to be her excess weight, and voice concerns about adopting a diet that the author follows herself. It’s like the pink elephant in the room in the “Nourishing Traditions” community.

                I respect and admire Sally Fallon greatly, and nevertheless am convinced that a diet that includes more that “cookies, cakes and pie” on very special occasions will inevitably lead a great majority of the population into excess weight gain and it’s inherent reduction in overall health.

                You have used Marilyn Monroe to illustrate the beauty and desirability of an “hour glass figure” but that’s not what I’m referring to. Sally does not have an hour glass figure, and people who regularly indulge in these treats typically don’t. It’s not nearly so much a matter of the weight a person carries, but rather the distribution of the weight that indicates whether or not a person is tolerating sugar and grain (as in the form of baked goods) well enough to continue the practice without compromising their metabolism.

                “Thanks for your opinion about what I should be writing about on my blog.”

                Sarcasm is cheap and frankly beneath your level of intellegence.

                Enough said.

                A.

                1. … intelligence. Ha, ha… I can admit that irony and humor of that sentence.

                  Let’s just all lighten up and be friends. We have WAY more in common than not.

                  A.

                2. Sally is heavier than I’d feel comfortable being. Many people I’ve referred to Nourishing Traditions have commented on what appears to be her excess weight, and voice concerns about adopting a diet that the author follows herself.

                  I wish we women didn’t judge each other so harshly. It’s quite sad to me. We’re always pointing fingers, this one is too fat, that one is old, that one has wrinkles. How sad!

                  I think Sally looks great for her age. We don’t look like we are 16 when we are 65. That’s just a fact of life!

                  My grandma and my mother (and my aunt, my sister, and pretty much all women I know) have always been heavier after they had children. And you know what, I think they look great. They have always been and will always be very beautiful to me.

                  I truly believe that most of this is hormonal. Up until I was 38 and got pregnant with my first child, I was very slim, 135 pounds at 5’5, and I ate whatever I wanted. Pasta, cookies, sandwiches, sweets, etc. etc. Never watched my weight and never gained a pound.

                  Then I got pregnant and had a baby and WHAMMO! — now I can’t lose weight no matter what I try. And yes, even on Low Carb. I’ve never been able to get back down below 143 pounds.

                  And by the way, I don’t think Sally eats much in the way of sweets either. In an interview I heard with her, she said she eats pretty low carb.

                  And, I don’t mean to sound harsh, but who are you to judge her anyway? I’m not trying to be mean, it’s just that really, you don’t know anything about her, how she eats on a day to day basis, and what her particular challenges are.

                  Also, I’d rather be a little heavier and healthy than be too thin and be unhealthy. But that’s just my opinion.

                  “Thanks for your opinion about what I should be writing about on my blog.”

                  Sarcasm is cheap and frankly beneath your level of intellegence.

                  Honestly, I was not being sarcastic. Sorry, text doesn’t always communicate well — it is so one-dimensional.

                  I really meant thank you for your opinion. It is your opinion, and you are welcome to share it. And I thank you for it.

                  That said, it is my blog and I don’t share the same opinions as you; we can agree to disagree.

                  1. Also, I’d rather be a little heavier and healthy than be too thin and be unhealthy.

                    Yes, this. Studies actually show that overweight people live longer than those who are underweight or even of “normal” weight. So the thinking that everyone needs to be as thin as possible in order to be healthy is very flawed.

                  2. “I truly believe that most of this is hormonal.”

                    That’s exactly what my mom used to say to rationalize her weight/diet choices. When I was growing up she used to tell me “Just wait until after you have a baby… or… just wait until you start heading into menopause, be ready to put on weight” In fact, that’s what all the women in my family believed, and subtly tried to prepare us young girls to accept as our eventual fate. DON’T BUY IT GIRLS!!!

                    I’m now a nearly 50 year old, 5’8, 137 lb., size 6, peri-menopausal mother of four grown sons, and guess what? Four years ago my 73 year old mother finally saw the light, stopped eating the foods that inevitably result in excess weight gain and within just a few short months transformed her body from a size 14 to a size 8. She’s literally gone from looking/behaving like the typical matronly grandmother stereotype, to experiencing nothing short of an absolute renaissance; she looks 15 years younger and has the energy of a 40 year old. I guess it wasn’t “hormonal” after all. She tells me now that she could just “kick herself” for holding on so stubbornly for so long to her misguided justifications.

                    “And, I don’t mean to sound harsh, but who are you to judge her anyway? I’m not trying to be mean, it’s just that really, you don’t know anything about her, how she eats on a day to day basis, and what her particular challenges are.”

                    To extrapolate from my comment regarding Sally being “heavier than I’d be comfortable being” (at any age by the way) that I am “judging” her is illogical. Discernment is not the same thing as judgement. Judgement would be if I said “and therefore she is a bad person… stupid… greedy… slovenly, whatever.

                    We are talking about the author of multiple books on diet and nutrition Anne Marie. If political correctness requires that we not use our powers of observation to discern whether or not the proponent of a particular diet is personifying what they espouse, then I just have to throw up my hands.

                    Like you, I think Sally is a beautiful woman. What I’m commenting on is primarily excess belly fat as a health issue. I believe that in the vast majority of cases, carrying that kind of weight is nothing more than too many empty calories or nutrient-minus foods; specifically crowding out (displacing) other foods that normalize and regulate metabolic function.

                    You said “I’d rather be a little heavier and healthy than be too thin and be unhealthy.” but who says being “heavier” is “healthy” or that being thin is “too thin” and therefore “unhealthy”? If you’re going to chasten me for observing that, in my opinion someone is “heavier than I’d like to be” then who are you too judge anyone as “too thin”… anyone…a stranger… just walking down the street… even in your head? That discrepancy in your argument just doesn’t make sense; it feels like an emotional oversight on the part of an otherwise very intelligent person.

                    In fact, current research indicates that waist circumference as a measurement of visceral fat is a valid indicator of a person’s predisposition towards metabolic syndrome and heart disease. So observing a diet guru’s waist circumference and discerning that her cookbook, which by your own admission “includes lots of recipes for cookies, cakes and pies” might not be the one to follow (at least those chapters) if you want to avoid these diseases is simply common sense, rather than the personal attack you seem bent on making it out to be.

                    A.

                  3. I really don’t buy into the judging of other bodies to make or break a diet, or to pass moral judgment on someone. I know a lot of healthy heavy people and a lot of unhealthy skinny people. The kind of logic that says Sally is “overweight” because she eats sweets is laughable. It’s not that simple.

                    https://www.haescommunity.org/

                    1. With all due respect Kendahl, what’s “laughable” to me is that you don’t see the irony in attempting to use politically correct rhetoric to shame a skeptic into silence, when said skeptic is only using their God-given powers of discernment to conclude whether or not the author of a weight loss book (with the words Lose Fat in the title for pity’s sake) personifies the stated intention of the book.

                      “Judging” the author for her weight was not and is not my intention, but rather observing that the validity of the weight loss program itself is thrown into question when the author’s own person doesn’t present a clear and indisputable advertisement of the goal. Duh.

                      Despite the attempt to paint me as a mean spirited dissenter, I am not the only one who has had this thought. Weight loss issues aside, I promote the author’s books enthusiastically and often, because I believe her program to be 90% spot on; the “cookies, cake and pie” recipes being my only sticking point.

                      The question that often comes back to me is “Yeah, but isn’t the author on the heavy side? I mean… why would I follow the diet of someone who doesn’t look like what I hope to achieve by following the weight loss program she espouses?” Sadly, I don’t have a good answer to this fair and reasonable question. If you do, then by all means share it with the rest of us poor confused souls.

                      A.

  47. I just love your blog posts so much. You have such a wonderfully healthy, balanced, open, and generous view on health and life. Thank you for sharing your valuable opinion! May we all relax and enjoy life a little more, as you do, Ann-Marie!

  48. Some good and some bad in this post. Do I think you deliberately took the tone you did to strike up controversy and up your hit count? Probably so. Do I think that you bash low carb/paleo because you’re selling a lot of grain related products? Probably so. As a blogger, that’s part of what you do at times to make an income from your blog. Do I still agree with a far amount of what was said? Yep.

    Here’s my two cents:

    As someone who lives out of town, picking up fresh this or that from the store requires significant driving and time. I grow a lot of my own food, but live up north, so I have a limited season. I need to have a pantry (and fridge and freezer) stocked with food that has a good storage life – this includes grains and beans. If I were in a warmer climate, I might be able to eat more like Mark Sisson, or some mythical hunter/gatherer ancestor. Here, it’s not going to happen.

    As someone who is in to preparedness, having food and medicinal plants in storage only makes sense. Again, legumes and grains store very well. (I’ve got an entire post on my blog about real foods that store well. Sugar made the list.)

    Grains and legumes are very economical. I do enjoy a good piece of bread and butter and I make some pretty tasty pie. Could I live without them? Yes. Do I want to? No – but like AM we limit their consumption and put food that’s higher in nutrition first.

    As for ease, caring for large animals can be a *lot* of work, depending on conditions – but it does produce a more reliable food supply, and it’s pretty hard to argue that the introduction of farming is closely tied to the development of civilization as we know it.

    As for foraging, I actually do a fair amount of foraging for wild edible and medicinal plants as part of my Weekly Weeder series. Harvesting wild plants for food and medicine has really made me appreciate my garden a lot more. Sure, the weeds are tough and “free” for the picking, but most require a significant amount of effort to harvest and/or processing to get to pretty minimal edible parts. (Have you ever stripped down a thistle leaf to eat the center stalk, or dug up a burdock root?) I’m certainly glad to know how to use these plants, but I’m also extremely grateful to have their domestic counterparts, which produce much larger edible parts.

    Everyone is different and should find out what works best for their bodies in their current situation. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing, and I hate to see bashing of other real food eaters when there are so many other food issues that are truly in need of change (like herbicides, pesticides, toxins, GMOs, etc).

    1. @Laurie

      Some good and some bad in this post. Do I think you deliberately took the tone you did to strike up controversy and up your hit count? Probably so. Do I think that you bash low carb/paleo because you’re selling a lot of grain related products? Probably so. As a blogger, that’s part of what you do at times to make an income from your blog. Do I still agree with a far amount of what was said? Yep.

      Sigh… more ad hominem attacks. All of that is irrelevant to my arguments. That said… (1) My tone is not deliberate to up my hit count. I make very little money from this blog and I don’t care much about the traffic. (2) I make very little money from my “grain related products”. I make much more money from my grain-free classes. If I were focused on making money, I never would have written this post! I’d just write posts about why grain-free is the way to go since that’s where I make money.

      As someone who is in to preparedness, having food and medicinal plants in storage only makes sense. Again, legumes and grains store very well. (I’ve got an entire post on my blog about real foods that store well. Sugar made the list.)

      I agree. I’m into preparedness, too.

      Harvesting wild plants for food and medicine has really made me appreciate my garden a lot more. Sure, the weeds are tough and “free” for the picking, but most require a significant amount of effort to harvest and/or processing to get to pretty minimal edible parts. (Have you ever stripped down a thistle leaf to eat the center stalk, or dug up a burdock root?) I’m certainly glad to know how to use these plants, but I’m also extremely grateful to have their domestic counterparts, which produce much larger edible parts.

      Great points!

      I hate to see bashing of other real food eaters when there are so many other food issues that are truly in need of change (like herbicides, pesticides, toxins, GMOs, etc).

      I like debate. I think it’s good to discuss and have conversations. It is my opinion that the paleo fad is just that, a fad. That’s why I wrote the post.

  49. Good for you. You’ve successfully written a post that is going to drive traffic to your blog from people who either want to thank you for allowing them to eat whatever they want and call it “healthy” or people to bash you for TOTALLY misrepresenting Paleo.

    There are too many points to argue your misunderstanding or just blatant disregard of what “Paleo / Primal” entails. It’s quite sad because for some, this way of eating could literally SAVE THEIR LIFE.

    Meanwhile, you told them more cake and pie, hooray!

    Pretty irresponsible of you, don’t ‘cha think?

    1. @Sarah

      people who either want to thank you for allowing them to eat whatever they want and call it “healthy”

      I’m not telling people to eat whatever they want. I’m saying to eat REAL FOOD prepared correctly. If you’re going to eat pie, eat pie made with butter and lard. If you’re going to eat cookies, make them with sprouted whole wheat flour.

      That’s NOT saying eat whatever you want. I don’t think it’s a good idea for anyone to eat pies made with Crisco or cookies made with hydrogenated soybean oil and HFCS.

      Cake and pie CAN BE good! If they are properly prepared, that is.

      Just like milk, when it’s raw and whole and organic, from grass-fed cows, it’s really good for you. I’m just saying don’t stop drinking milk just because most milk is not organic from cows eating GMO grains. See the distinction?

      I don’t see how that is irresponsible at all.

  50. Once again, another “real food” blogger goes on the attack. This just sickens me and I am getting tired of it. Paleo is a legitimately healthy lifestyle and steeped in real and traditional food – fighting many of the same battles for access to quality food and against the dietary “dictocrats”. This lashing out against fellow real foodies and real food movements is disgusting. I’ve seen it another time and it left an equally bad taste in my mouth.

    1. @Tina

      As I said above, we can agree to disagree.

      I like vegans as people, but I completely disagree with their diet. I could just have easily written a post called, “Top 10 Reasons I’m Not Vegan”. And that’s a post I WOULD write because so many people think veganism is good for you and good for the planet and it is NOT.

      1. Amen… and folks often overlook how soybeans are grown in this country — usually as a monocrop in an ecologically dead agricultural zone. And soy causes a host of health issues (for me, when I was a vegetarian, soy gave me frequent pounding headaches).

        I’m picking on soy because it’s the staple of vegans.

        But then you also have to consider how to fertilize those crops organically — cow manure and chicken manure are staples. Just some food for thought.

        -s

  51. This should be titled, “10 reasons I’m not lean or fit!” After all, doesn’t every unhealthy, overweight person complain about how much they love the foods they don’t want to give up and claim that it’s too expensive to eat healthy food? Duh. You’ve managed to succinctly put together a “lame excuses of all dieters” checklist. Successful paleo dieters really needle the crap out you, don’t they AnneMarie. Do you think you’ll ever get done grinding that ax?

    1. @Huntress

      I don’t know why you keep coming back when I keep banning you from my blog and Facebook page.

      I don’t appreciate nasty comments or people who put me down. Calling me unhealthy and overweight just got you booted again.

      Please don’t come back.

      1. In other blog posts, she’s mentioned that she’s working on dealing with thyroid issues and adrenal fatigue, both of which cause weight gain or at least an inability to lose. I know I’m in the same boat – heavier than I’d like to be, but stuck where I’m at until I get my hormone issues sorted. You don’t know the whole story, so you really shouldn’t judge. Besides, I don’t see how someone else’s weight is ever fair game unless they’re saying “eat like me and you’ll be as thin as I am”. She didn’t mention weight loss once in her blog post.

        1. It can take longer than six months to heal your metabolism and get thyroid and adrenal issues sorted out. I’m six months into trying to heal and fix my thyroid issues and haven’t gotten anywhere.

      2. @Fancy I put weight on after I had a baby. I was always thin before I got pregnant and ate whatever I wanted. I’ve had symptoms of low thyroid ever since the baby was born.

        I was eating low carb for most of the past 5 years since the baby was born and I never lost all of the weight on low carb — I lost some of it but it always came back). I’m not any heavier now that am I’m eating carbs than when I was eating low carb.

        And I’m not *that* overweight anyway so I don’t know why this is an issue. It’s not like I’m 100 pounds overweight. I could stand to lose 20 pounds. So what?

        And, as Suzanne H commented, I did not bring up my weight in the post. For whatever reason, Paleo Huntress is fixated with my weight and always brings it up. Seems like she has more of a problem with my weight than I do.

        1. paleo huntress probably has a bigger weight problem, that is why she is focusing and critiquing you!!! She’s JEALOUS of you!! she wishes she could be like you and as famous as you!!! the green monster, jealousy.
          Very interesting post, I bet paleo h is tempted to eat like you do after seeing your pie and bread posted here!! YUM!! Good food.
          thanks for the post.

  52. I agree with almost all of your points except for one thing – in Point #2, however, there is something wrong with our wheat, the way we grow it, the state it is in at harvest, and the highly-bred type of wheat we’re obligated to eat nowadays, all to aid in the processing of wheat into an industrial food product. I love bread and I will continue to eat it, but I prefer bread made from sprouted grains now, because of what they’ve done to our wheat. Wheat should be harvested when it’s at the soft flint stage – then left on the stalk to dry to the hard flint stage. That doesn’t work in the industrial food system. We let the wheat stay on the root til the hard flint stage, which allows too much phytic acid to build up in the grain – that’s what people are intolerant of. So, to get around this, sprout the grain first, then dry and grind to flour. Lots of work, but if you have ‘gluten intolerance’ you won’t from breads made from flours produced this way. I agree, humans have been eating bread for eons and not getting sick from it – it’s only since the industrial food system got hold of our wheat that we’ve developed this ‘problem’.

    1. Very interesting Ann–do you have a source? I’d love to read more about this. And would love to grow my own wheat and harvest it like it should be!

      1. Josefina, I’m trying to find the article where I read it – it was in Mother Earth News, but it cited a few studies, if I find it (and I’m pretty upset that I can’t) I will post it here.

    2. Something else that came to mind is what Rami Nagel says about wheat in Cure Tooth Decay, every variety requires its own very unique preparation method to successfully deal with the antinutrients. We don’t live in a time and age that’s conducive to develop methods to suit new varieties.
      It’s possible too that people are eating whole grains when they shouldn’t, and thus are reacting to a much higher level of phytic acid and lectins than in past societies.

  53. Thank you for this. After having above normal Hashimoto’s antibodies and slight hypothyroidism I decided to try a strict autoimmune Paleo diet starting in January (excluded nuts, nightshades, and eggs). I also started thyroid medication about three months ago. Well, I got my test results back yesterday and my antibodies are down, but my thyroid hormone levels are worse than they were before! I don’t know if this has something to do with the Paleo diet, but I definitely feel like I haven’t been thriving on it like some seem to.

    I recently added nightshades and raw milk in and seem to be tolerating both. I’ve been considering testing grains, but have felt guilty (dumb) for considering it. The Paleo community is very good at dealing in absolutes and making ideas come across as fact. I felt like if I added in grains then I would be making a decision to consciously harm my health. However, as you’ve already discovered, those supposed negative effects of grains are eliminated just by soaking or sprouting the grains (except for maybe gluten, which I already know I can’t tolerate, for now anyways). And it’s not like nuts (which many Paleo folks consume in massive amounts) don’t have the same set of possible negative health effects if not soaked as well. So, what’s the difference? If Paleo folks are looking for ideal health, shouldn’t they cut out the nuts and seeds as well?

    1. And I have nothing against people choosing to eat a Paleo diet or live a Paleo lifestyle. It’s the fact that some are so antagonistic and put down anything that doesn’t fit into their ideals. I see Paleo food bloggers defending their choice to eat some dairy or have occasional grains and it just seems so silly that they should have to defend their food choices to others who are more rigid in their diet.

    2. Not all “Paleo folks” eat nuts and seeds in quantity- most especially in the quantities that others eat grains. Many even practice many of the ancestral prep methods recommended by the WAPF. The problem here may be in the short-sighted definition of “Paleo” as what it IS is endless, it’s better defined by what it isn’t.

      “If Paleo folks are looking for ideal health, shouldn’t they cut out the nuts and seeds as well?”

      1. Well then, if properly prepared nuts and seeds are fine then why wouldn’t properly prepared grains be ok? Is it just because of the evolutionary theory side of Paleo?

        1. For starters, the quantity is vastly different. Primitive man would have eaten a lot of nuts and seeds when in season, but didn’t likely eat many cereal grains- too tiny, too much work to eat, toxic raw. And today’s cereals are not the same- we have no evolutionary adaptation to handle them well. They also significantly higher in carbohydrate and poly fats.

          1. Again, there’s a huge difference between grains used to make bread all those years ago vs. the way we treat them now. The weight issues have ‘evolved’ over the past forty – fifty years – with the rise of the industrial food system. Properly raised, harvested and processed grains are not our enemy.

            1. I don’t know whether they’re your enemy or not, but they most definitely are mine. I gain weight instantly when I eat them… my energy suffers and my workout endurance drops off. So does Ann Maries, since going high carb, she’s bigger than I’ve ever seen her.

              1. @Huntress

                I don’t know why you care so much about my weight.

                I’ve blocked you from the site. You are rude and I will not accept any more comments from you.

                1. @Paleo Huntress

                  YEP I will gladly delete every one of your comments. With relish.

                  Or I’ll pay my assistant do it.

                  You are a mean-spirited person and I have no energy for people like you.

              2. I’m off grains and I have no energy, no workout endurance and am 15 pounds heavier than I was when I started all of this. If you’re dealing with thyroid and adrenal issues it takes time to get all of that sorted out before you can begin to lose weight. And your body heals better when there’s a caloric surplus. It can’t heal under the stress of a deficit. Until you’ve been there you can’t understand, believe me.

                It’s good that you’ve found what works for you though Huntress.

    3. @Suzanne, I too have Hashimotos. I found I got my very best result on auto-immune paleo diet. But – I did not skimp on carbs. Low carbs is (IMO) not a good idea for peope with Hashimotos or hypothyroid. It just contributes to a slow down.

      Dr Kharrazians Thyroid Book blog is excellent for information on diet for Hashimotos.
      I’ve also written a blog post about my 30 day auto-immune paleo experiment and it’s effects on my thryroid and health

    1. and AMEN to AnneMarie for posting this, KNOWING all the nasty comments she’d get! WE all make choices, knowing AM’s education and background, we all can see that Paleo just doesn’t make sense for our modern lives and bodies. I eat a traditional diet but I am not a caveman and don’t think that is something to aspire to be. the question is about SUSTAINABILITY

      1. Hi Annabelle!

        I’ve really been intrigued with these side debates and comments, although a little disgusted with that self-righteous “Huntress” jerk. It saddens me, though, that everyone here is genuinely concerned about health and eating right but insists on tearing each other down.

        In the words of the late Rodney King: “Can’t we all just get along?”

        I try to avoid conflict by avoiding discussions of why I’m no longer a vegetarian when in the company of vegetarians, or why I think veganism is one of the least healthy fundamentalist diets out there when in the presence of vegans.

        -s

  54. wow. Interesting article. I do like where Paleoians come from but never would I follow it strictly-it’s unrealistic in my world….because it is time consuming, expensive….basically all that you said. And for me, good raw cheeses, butter and milk work for me and I consider healthy. And there’s NO WAY I would ever give up cookies and cupcakes and pies!! I make them with healthy ingredients and eat randomly so it’s ok for me. I always give people a thumbs up for going against the grain and stating how they really feel and think:)

  55. How do you keep a paleo-dieter dinner guest from eating all your pie?

    Invite 2 paleo-dieters over for dinner.

  56. I found your comments rather amusing… amusing because, you can’t possibly be serious? Do you really think that the majority of people that follow a Paleo/Primal lifestyle stick to it 100%? There are the die-hards, no argument there. but if you want proof that the SAD doesn’t work just take a trip down to your local shopping center food court and have a look around, PEOPLE ARE HUGE…

    Paleo for me means ‘making calculated choices’ about Diet and health, its about ‘celebrating food’ not some wierd fad diet that is a pain in the butt to follow but chosing Prime Grass-Fed cuts of Beef, Organic Veg grown locally that helps support local farmers (not Monsanto GMO crops) experimenting with Almond Meal instead of just crumbing Lamb with Bread like my Mum used to… Paleo is about discovery… its about being Health conscious… If you want to justify eating Bread and Pizza which are basically ‘Accessory foods’ eaten by peasants, you go for it… BTW, I enjoy Organic Honey daily and a glass of wine most days, just no longer chose to have Grains or Dairy which have had a dramatic effect on my health in both weight loss and improved sleep, digestion and general feeling of well being.

    I have a feeling you have written this blog to ‘become famous’ as your argument against Paleo is not only offensive but lacking in any form of argument…

    Enjoy your Pizza and your Statins which if you are not taking yet you will be down the track…

  57. Oh wow! It’s been a while since I’ve agreed with anything you’ve written but this sounded reasonable LOL

    We’re on GAPS so we eat closer to Paleo than Nourishing Traditions but obviously GAPS includes dairy too which I love. We’re low dairy at the moment as it’s not tolerated well around here but I couldn’t be without butter! Well, I could if I had to. Just like I can now live without grains as it’s worth it for the healing my autistic son is experiencing.

    Looking forward to homemade ice cream and pie one day 🙂

  58. 🙁
    Dadgumit, I was really hoping for something a bit more coherent and convincing.
    We were primal (not paleo) for a year, but have since gone back to ‘normal’ eating, because we didn’t get what we wanted out of it, we often didn’t enjoy the food options, and it was EXPENSIVE.
    I’m always excited when I see an article that purports to contradict the paleo dogma, but this one…not so much. It seems as though there’s no actual understanding of what the primal/paleo diet is all about, and instead spends all its time ‘refuting’ things that are irrelevant or untrue, or just plain saying, ‘I like this stuff, so I’m eating it anyway!’- which is probably exactly the rationale most Americans use to stuff their faces with junk food. NOT trying to be mean-spirited (at all!), but I’d hoped for something with more reasoning and less emotion from this blog.

    1. Hi, Breezy!

      Sorry you didn’t like it. Maybe you should write your own post. This is the top 10 reasons why *I* am not paleo. You may have other reasons of your own. These are mine.

      “‘I like this stuff, so I’m eating it anyway!’- which is probably exactly the rationale most Americans use to stuff their faces with junk food.”

      That’s not at all what I said. I said that Dr. Weston Price studied people in the 20s and 30s who ate grains and legumes and were optimally healthy.

      I am not recommending that anyone eat junk food. I AM saying you can make perfectly healthy versions of nachos and bread.

      1. Above you wrote that you like debate… but it sounds like you just want people who agree with you to post. “Maybe you should write your own post.” is not a comment that invites debate.

        1. @Pegasus

          If you are addressing me yes I do like to debate! However, I like to debate the actual arguments at hand. Not personal attacks directed at me which have nothing to do with the arguments.

          This is my post, it’s what I think. If you don’t agree, as I said, let’s agree to disagree. If you want to express yourself, write your own post.

      2. “I said that Dr. Weston Price studied people in the 20s and 30s who ate grains and legumes and were optimally healthy.” ” I AM saying you can make perfectly healthy versions of nachos and bread.”

        Fair enough Anne Marie, but grains and legumes are not the same thing as “cookies, cakes and pie”. The same can be said for nachos and bread… they are not the same thing as “c, c & p”. Depending on ingredients and preparation, one group in theory could be considered for inclusion in a traditional diet, the other group never was, can not and never could be.

        Perhaps those of us actively engaged in disseminating ancestral food information are put off by a traditional food educator advocating foods that Dr. Price never endorsed nor did his research support.

        Eat “cookies, cakes and pie” if and when they suit your appetite; you don’t have to defend your choices to anyone. We all desire to be part of our cultural continuum, and these treats are status quo in our continuum. Preparing them with the best available ingredients no doubt contributes to mitigation of the damage they can potentially do, and certainly those of us indulging in them should take extra pains to do so.

        However, justifying them as part of a healing/health promoting diet comes across as naive and self-serving. In any event, I don’t think Dr. Price would have agreed with you.

        “Sorry you didn’t like it. Maybe you should write your own post.”

        Please be fair here, if we won’t allow our statements and opinions to be scrutinized graciously and in the spirit of voluntary accountability, then in my opinion we bloggers are just blowing smoke and don’t deserve the air space.

        A.

        1. @Annie

          Fair enough Anne Marie, but grains and legumes are not the same thing as “cookies, cakes and pie”. The same can be said for nachos and bread… they are not the same thing as “c, c & p”. Depending on ingredients and preparation, one group in theory could be considered for inclusion in a traditional diet, the other group never was, can not and never could be.

          See my other comment to you re: the WAPF position on sweets. They are OK with sweets in moderation as am I.

          Perhaps those of us actively engaged in disseminating ancestral food information are put off by a traditional food educator advocating foods that Dr. Price never endorsed nor did his research support.

          Eat “cookies, cakes and pie” if and when they suit your appetite; you don’t have to defend your choices to anyone. We all desire to be part of our cultural continuum, and these treats are status quo in our continuum. Preparing them with the best available ingredients no doubt contributes to mitigation of the damage they can potentially do, and certainly those of us indulging in them should take extra pains to do so.

          Again, I’m not saying people should be eating cookies cakes and pies at every meal or even every day. But I see nothing wrong with following the advice of the Weston A. Price Foundation or the Price Pottenger Nutrition Foundation, both organizations dedicated to the work of Dr. Weston Price:

          “Enjoy sweeteners in small amounts from unrefined and natural sources.” (https://ppnf.org/resources/guidelines-for-good-health)

          “Use natural sweeteners in moderation, such as raw honey, maple syrup, dehydrated cane sugar juice and stevia powder.” (https://www.westonaprice.org/basics/dietary-guidelines)

          That is the advice I follow. If you disagree, that’s fine. But I’ve repeatedly made it clear that I follow the WAPF diet, and this is what they recommend.

          However, justifying them as part of a healing/health promoting diet comes across as naive and self-serving. In any event, I don’t think Dr. Price would have agreed with you.

          If that is true, then I guess he wouldn’t agree with the WAPF or PPNF either.

          “Sorry you didn’t like it. Maybe you should write your own post.”

          Please be fair here, if we won’t allow our statements and opinions to be scrutinized graciously and in the spirit of voluntary accountability, then in my opinion we bloggers are just blowing smoke and don’t deserve the air space.

          I’m just saying if you don’t agree with me, that’s fine. I stand by my post. I have taken a lot of time to discuss this with you and answer your objections.

  59. Reality check – Paleo is a huge step up from the processed SAD world. Only in the USA would we take the time to blog or comment or debate on paleo or wapf. It’s all real food and plenty of it.
    My daughter lives in a place where children are put into slavery to beg for money on the streets from tourists for a bite of meat and some rice. If they do not meet the quota, no food and they are sent back to a government orphanage. Guess this diet would be called the PEPD (poor enslaved people’s diet).

  60. Wow – my phone is blowing UP with all the comments coming through on this one! It sure is a touchy subject – but may I make an observation for those saying AM changes her mind on diet thoughts? I think we have ALL been there. If I were to have been a blogger for the last 10 years you would have seen me go from believing low fat was the way to go, to thinking elimination diets were the way to go, to thinking Paleo diet was the way to go…etc etc etc…we are all growing and learning together – no one is one size fits all – we are all trying to find what works for our bodies. I think anyone that has done anything to move away from SAD diet is doing well – in personal experience I think that how real food bloggers have generally guided us in the direction of a low grain/carb diet in the last few years, I have felt like we have all gotten irritable, hormonal, and prude – maybe it’s cuz we have all had our hormones wacked out from too low carb of a diet 🙂 I applaud AM for being real enough to say that she felt the effects of too low grain/carb of a diet and admits she needed to change thought process. I find it amusing how HEATED the paleo-ers are on this subject – seriously ya’ll have a bowl of soaked oatmeal or a sourdough bread sandwhich for a week – I promise you will lighten up, enjoy life a little more, your adrenals will chill out, and you will have hormone balance again 🙂

    1. Agreed – not being able to change our mind would show a complete lack of intelligence and humility. Hopefully we all continue to grow and learn, both from other people and from listening to our own bodies. For those of us who love food that can mean changing our way of eating many times over a lifetime.

  61. “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”?

    No, I will tell my kids they can’t have those things because they aren’t good for them!

    There are always (rare) exceptions, just like there is for me on Paleo/Primal. But eating cakes, pies, and other grain-based foods on a regular basis is not only unhealthy, but empty useless calories as well, There is nothing grains can provide that cannot be found in meats, vegetables, nuts and seeds. You are using the reasoning of a child – give into all their whims just because they “want” it. I don’t buy that for a second. In this day and age of broken metabolisms from so much bad dietary information combined with the attitude of entitlement that so many unhealthy Americans have who think “I want it, so I’m going to have it!” and viola – we have a nation of fat, overindulged, unhealthy kids and adults.

    Just “liking” something isn’t reason enough to add it to the diet if it’s going to cause our health to decline, and there is evidence aplenty that grains do just that – archaeological and anthropological evidence suggesting that we were indeed healthier before the advent of grain agriculture. We were taller, and more robust without much inflammatory disease, as was seen in populations world-wide, when grains were grown and added to the diets as regular staples. And soaking wouldn’t have made any difference to that – we know the South American populations were soaking and using lye to process their corn. Humanity has and does try many ways to make grains palatable and healthy, but it’s just not meant to be.

    And calling paleo/primal “low-carb” just because they don’t eat grains or beans is just plain ignorant Ann Marie. I’ve never heard anywhere in the paleo community that we should restrict the amount of vegetables we can eat. If anything, many of us are eating way more vegetables than we did prior to paleo/primal. Vegetables and fruits are carbohydrate micro nutrients, just like grains and beans. They’re just better for us without the inflammatory side-effects. So what’s so “low-carb” about paleo?

    In this day and age, when diabetes and other inflammatory diseases are so prevalent, it seems so irresponsible to me that *anyone* would be giving the advice that we should be eating more pizza, pies, and cookies. These are the foods that got us so fat, sick, and unhealthy – does that really seem like common sense to you?

  62. I am on GAPS because I want to heal my gluten and dairy intolerance. I want more than anything to be able to drink our raw milk (and the wonderful products I can make from it) and learn to make good sourdough bread, instead I am eating almond and coconut flour and making ice cream from cans of coconut milk.

    So I really want to know, how did you heal your gluten intolerance?

    1. Hi, Andrea

      It took me about 2 years on a gluten-free sugar-free diet, taking lots of therapeutic-grade probiotics to heal my gut.

      There is nothing wrong with going off grains and dairy for a while and I do recommend the GAPS Diet for many people. I just don’t hink people need to do it for life. Dr. Natasha says for most people it takes anywhere from a few months to a few years to heal.

  63. I quit paleo and low carb about 2 months ago in favor of intuitive/Spirit-led eating because I just could not handle any form of dieitng after doing some type of diet most of my life. (I still stay off gluten and casein because my body still does not handle those yet and generally eat in a traditional foods framework).
    I feel great, I am saving lots of money and time, and, here is the SHOCKER, I am not getting fat eating fat and starchy carbs in the same meal! (I have gone down 1-2 sizes and I am at my ideal weight). I feel like I can always find something to eat socially now and Mexican food is a lot better with the tortillas and beans!
    If paleo or any diet is working for someone else though I am happy for them!

    1. Congratulations! This is exactly how everyone should lose weight – tune in and listen to your body. This is how I healed my own metabolism.

  64. Is number 6 a good argument? Some people certainly got more time on their hands with the advent of farming, but pretty sure the majority of these societies worked their asses off to provide for that technologically advanced minority of oppressors. I have no problem with the idea of farming, but to suggest that as a society we have reaped this and that benefit, it’s sort of like saying that African-Americans should be grateful for the work that their ancestors willingly provided to build up the wonderful and advanced country that the US is today.
    Farming simply does not free up more time than does hunting-gathering. It’s a food system that enables a certain few to parasite off a vast number of slaves, and so that small group obviously has more time on their hands to engage in developing technologies, the majority of which is absolutely useless for survival and don’t really add that much to our quality of life.

    The only reason *we* (that undefinable ‘we’) need a large population is for use as work force to produce as much as possible. Now that technology has become so advanced, a large population is no longer needed.

  65. Wow! Best article I’ve read yet about the “why’s” against the paleo diet! Kudos on a fabulous article! Thank you!

  66. Honestly, I’ve been following many of the guidelines the Paleo diet includes because like any food plan, I think we all know our own bodies and we can take from it what works for us. I have insulin issues and a metabolic disorder, so the lack of bread and grains is good for me, as is the lack of milk. I still add cheese to some things when I feel like it. I love almond milk for my coffee. So, that being said, I don’t follow it religiously but use the recipes. I’ve never felt better. I try and follow foods that are a) not processed and b) not containing refined sugar and flour and ultimately ask myself if the things I am eating are the foods God intended our bodies to process and benefit from. That being said, I didn’t seek out the paleo diet to be like a cave dweller, but use it as a resource for healthy eating.

    1. Just wanted to add also that if you think eating whole foods/paleo is expensive, I beg to differ. What’s expensive is the medications and health care treatment needed when your body breaks down from lack of health. Since following this type of diet I have dropped 4 medications and as I stated earlier, never felt better. I found your post a bit closed minded, but hey, at least it sparked some great conversation.

  67. The Paleo Diet/lifestyle is complex in nature because we as humans do not have a complete understanding of ourselves before written records or the human body for that manner in the present moment. If we did, blogs like this wouldn’t exist because they would be unnecessary in the sense that we would have all the answers to what ails us and no uncertainties about what we are doing to fix it. It is that uncertainty we have in our minds that drives us to search for answers which will then leads individuals to an ideology much like with a religion.

    With that being said, the motivation to eat more whole foods is great, no one will debate that. However, the problems stems from the justifications behind the dietary philosophy and/or ideology being pushed by some (not all) paleo advocates that may preach superfluous restriction. Their understanding of nutrition is not wrong, it’s just incomplete. With incompleteness comes speculation about the unknown. The Unknown being those foods that are “bad” or “good”. Any dietary philosophy that advocates a select list of foods based on limited information is dangerous in the wrong hands because most people have a very limited understanding of bio-chemical processes or basic human physiology. Just the other day My dad said he was taking Vit C to acidify his blood. I explained to him that blood has to remain between a PH of 7.35 and 7.45, said acidification of the blood is not only unneeded but dangerous. Thus making the principles behind an alkaline diet seem silly when viewed from a different/more complete point of view.

    Which brings me back to the main point, limited information. Something can seem right or wrong based on what you know at any given time. It is therefore necessary to point out that ideologies that make someone feel trapped or confined due to lack of information are dangerous because of a lack of understanding basic modern scientific principles before delving into such a complex ideology. In some formats a diet can be a god send but in others it can feel like a mental prison or bring about physically crippling events. It’s important that we further our understanding of human physiology and evolution and not confine it to a myopic paleo sphere. The Man in the box only knows what is inside the box, his view of the outside world could change his life forever, if he so chooses to see.

    That is the mistaken logic with a paleo diet, not the food or the exercise, but the “logical” conclusions drawn from limited/ incomplete information. I think we can all agree on that, we as a human race have much more to discover; thus confining our views to only one set of ideas does not leave any room for exploration. Much like when we thought the earth was flat, but that ended up being falsified. If we work together to better our understanding of each other and the environment we can make more progress then any diet book ever has.

    Peace be with you all

  68. LOVE this post!! What really gets me is when people post recipes for “paleo” ice cream (using coconut milk), or “paleo” chocolate chip cookies. Thousands of years ago, in places where coconuts grew (hot climates), there wouldn’t have been access to ice. I’m not knocking coconut milk ice cream, but there’s nothing “paleo” about it.

    1. Widespread consumption of dairy-based ice cream dates back to at least the 10th century, possibly earlier depending on what you consider to be ice cream.

      I’m actually asking – would a 10th century food not count as ancestral? I’m not clear on how that gets defined.

    2. Consumption of dairy-based ice cream dates back to at least the 10th century, possibly earlier depending on what you consider to be ice cream.

      I’m actually asking – would a 10th century food not count as ancestral? I’m not clear on how that gets defined.

  69. 1. Who is the writer of this “article”? She simply calls herself Jeanmarie.
    2. There are no references in the article hence there is no single evidence of what she is saying. Does she have any qualifications? We don’t know – hence I don’t think that any naturopathy or nutrition student of AIAS should even read it.
    3. 3 of her sentences in the reasoning statements start with “Because I like …” – very scientific and objective, isn’ it???
    4. Paleo is not low carb. It is 45 – 50% carb. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Australians it is 45-60%. And this is an official, mainstream recommendation. The Paleo diet is simply low in processed carbohydrates. The writer obviously does not have a clue about the real Paleo Diet.
    5. The Paleo diet is too restrictive only if you don’t know that you can buy everything you need for food in supermarkets – it just shouldn’t be processed – and if you don’t know that if you eat 85% of your diet according to the paleo recommendations, it is still alright.
    6. “Hunter gatherers died out” – says the writer, stating that the reason was their diet. Again, missing the real reason. Read some history.
    7. “Paloe is based on fantasy” – says Jeanmarie, even pointing out that a sedentary lifestyle is absolutely ok. Do you agree? I hardly think so: you are all naturopathy and nutrition students, I believe.
    8. “Paleo is expensive”. Isn’t the same thing said about organic food??? Well, if your answer is yes, I don’t need to explain why the writer is so superficial again.
    9. She does not take our genes into consideration at all: we all know that our genetic makeup changed very little in the last 10,000 years. Doesn’t it make sense that, natural selection still working at that time, made us be best digesting and using the food we ate at that time??
    10. To summarise, the article absolutely superficial, unscientific, should not even be on this page. If you are interested in the real, evidence-based Paloe diet, go for example to thepaleodiet.com/ where researcher and Author Dr. Cordain explores and advises on health and nutrition.

    1. Hi Krisztina,

      Don’t forget that Ann-Marie (not Jeanmarie) is giving HER top ten reasons for not being Paleo, and since she’s not a scientist, her reasons are not necessarily going to be scientific. And really, science isn’t always the best teacher when it comes to food and nutrition. For example, the healthy cultures that Weston A Price studied didn’t arrive at their food choices from anything that we would call scientific. I would say experience and trial and error are much better teachers!

    2. Hunter-gatherers didn’t die out- there are at least 229 HG cultures still thriving in the world.

      As I said in the post, if you want to be paleo, more power to you.

      I personally do not want to join those people.

  70. I ditched paleo! I’m so proud of it – I thought it was a sort of one-way street, and I began really marrying into the whole idea, but it wasn’t working. On low carb, I started losing hair (which is catastrophic for me, since I’m a model), and I had no appetite. Low-carb kills your appetite, and I remember being miserable that I couldn’t just join people for lunch because I was never hungry, and I just felt sluggish all the time. A break from grains was probably good for me in the short term (GAPS – style), but most certainly not something I’d do forever – after all, I’m Russian, and I grew up on clabber, buckwheat and rye bread! As you yourself said in Nourished Kitchen’s grains interview, ‘I’m sure my ancestors weren’t eating whale blubber!’

    1. @Milla

      I’m Russian, and I grew up on clabber, buckwheat and rye bread!

      Yum!

      As you yourself said in Nourished Kitchen’s grains interview, ‘I’m sure my ancestors weren’t eating whale blubber!’

      LOL! I forgot I said that.

      I don’t want to eat whale blubber either. People ate whale blubber because that is what they had access to. But we have access to lots of delicious foods now so why not eat them? 🙂 <3

    2. @Fancy

      I grew up eating the SAD, drinking kool-aid, eating McDonalds and hot dogs and Pringles and Twinkies. Maybe I should go back to that, after all, I’m American.

      Those are all modern industrial fake foods, not traditional American foods.

      Traditional American foods include lard, butter, whole grains such as corn bread and sourdough biscuits, etc.

      1. @Fancy

        I don’t care what paleo people say about me. I’ve never claimed to be paleo. Not once.

        I follow the WAPF diet which is what I’ve always stated on my blog.

  71. How the HECK does this have so many views and comments already?!?! YOU LITERALLY JUST POSTED THIS DAMMIT

  72. Well said! Ironically these are many of the same reasons that I am no longer vegetarian. As a child my whole family was vegetarian, and my mom would avoid many different types of foods because they didn’t fit her definition of “veggie” (much like avoiding something because it’s not paleo). My husband and I do tend to avoid grains and beans because of health issues he has (till I can get him to do the full GAPS diet for a while…) but I could never permanently give up cheese, bread, and double chocolate cookies! 🙂 This is not to say that people who eat a Paleo diet are wrong or bad, but I do know from sad experience that sometimes what starts out as a quest for better health ends up as a crusade for one particular “right” lifestyle.

    1. I still love you, too, Jeanmarie! xoxo

      I’m disappointed by some of the nasty comments in response. It’s ok to disagree and stimulating to have vigorous debate, but why do we feel the need to question each others motives??

      I thought your comment was very well argued. I think a lot of people just have a knee-jerk reaction and attack me personally (ad hominem) because they don’t take the time to think critically.

  73. I’m really glad that after the birth of our third child my midwife and assistant suggested strongly that I drop gluten– so strongly that they told people who were bringing us meals to bring GF. I never would have expected it to make a difference for me, but my debilitating reflux got so much better that I could drop both morning and evening daily prescription meds. I had friends going on a Whole 30 some months later and did it with them just to see if I could learn more about what my body did and didn’t like through a one month elimination type diet. Turns out I can handle moderate dairy but feel MUCH better without either grains or beans. And I didn’t need a diet to tell me I was eating too much sugar and convenient foods.

    So even though we’re not really full-on Paleo or GAPS, we find recipes from both areas helpful at our house. We like WAPF. We don’t care about whether or not honey is Paleo– raw honey makes sense to us, as does full fat dairy.

    I’m not celiac, and I haven’t tried GAPS other than using some recipes. But I know I believe in real food and I’m trying to get more of that into our family. My midwife thinks Paleo is bunk, but she’s how I found it, and I feel a lot better.

    When I met my husband he was on D’Adamo’s blood type diet, and I expressed continued concern for his leaving out whole food groups. It took this experience for me to connect to my body and realize that perhaps there were things I didn’t tolerate well either. I wish people could open their minds enough to let people who are trying to listen to their bodies do so without feeling even more weird than they already might be skipping foods that even other family members may still be eating. We love real food. We love our bodies. I think we should also love each other enough to not judge them for it. Let’s all stick together!

  74. Thanks Jeanmarie, for your thoughtful response. <3 <3 <3

    The two are not the same, and seeking to learn from the wisdom of our ancestors doesn’t mean eschewing modern conveniences anymore than following a Real Food diet makes you Amish.

    People following real food/WAPF are not trying to be or claiming to try to be Amish. We are not calling ourselves Amish. We just want to go back to eating foods that our great-grandmother ate. Like butter and lard and unpasteurized whole milk.

    Paleo people, by the very nature of their NAME, want to go back to eating paleolithic food. They eschew neolithic foods. And I don’t personally think there is anything wrong with neolithic foods, domesticated animals, or agriculture.

    If you’re going to cite Jared Diamond in defense of an anti-paleo diet, you should also know that he has called agriculture the single-worst mistake in human history. His words, not mine. Here’s the source: https://anthropology.lbcc.edu/handoutsdocs/mistake.pdf

    Sorry, but that is illogical. I can cite something that Diamond said without agreeing with EVERYTHING he says. A person can be right about one thing and wrong about something else.

    I quoted what he wrote in Guns Germs & Steel because he was making the point that most of the hunter-gathers got wiped out and because he was saying that the hunter-gatherer lifestyle is too time- and energy-intensive and it prohibits people from doing other things like inventing modern technology.

    I follow a couple of Paleo podcasts, and some blogs, and have read several books on the subject, so I’m reasonably familiar with what’s going on in that world, and I see more and more convergence of paleo/primal, Weston Price, etc.

    That’s part of why I wrote this part. I completely disagree with the “convergence” of paleo/primal and WAPF. Paleo/primal is just one diet and it’s not The Best Diet.

    Dr. Price said that we could eat any number of different diets — low carb or high carb, grains or no grains — and still be healthy. This is where I disagree with paleo people. The paleo diet is not superior because they avoid grains.

    Paleo is *not* by definition low carb, and claiming that is sure to annoy and offend a lot of Paleo folks. That’s simply incorrect, and paleo is not “meat and more meat. There is a lot of emphasis on eating vegetables, and adding starchy tubers if one’s activity level requires more carbohydrates. Most have rejected Loren Cordain’s early mistaken idea that only lean meat should be eaten, if you choose pastured meats. Cordain himself has changed his mind on that. (Otherwise, the typical recommendation is to trim the fats off conventionally raised cuts of meat, and get your added fat from other sources, to avoid the excess of Omega 6 fats as well as antibiotic residue, etc.) There is growing recognition of the need to soak nuts before eating them, and to not overdo nuts, and to eat lacto-fermented foods. Jimmy Moore, the king of low carb, is increasingly promoting both Real Food (pastured eggs and meat) and paleo. As I said, convergence.

    I guess I don’t want this convergence you speak of.

    I am *constantly* harranged by paleo and low carb folks who say I am bad (fat — see comments below, and weak and addicted, etc. etc.) for eating grains.

    Dr. Price never had anything against grains, nor does the WAPF. I’ve seen paleo people at WAPF conferences attack people and call them fat for eating the French toast at the Sunday morning banquet.

    I’ve NEVER claimed to be paleo. I’ve always been WAPF. So if people want to hate me for eating grains, so be it. I’m not paleo. Never have been.

    You ask lots of rhetorical questions and then move on as though you’ve explained away all the evidence. Dismissing an argument is not the same as disproving it. No doubt the result of antibiotic overuse is part of the reason for difficulty with gluten digestion, but that’s not the entire issue with gluten, or with wheat, by any means.

    You may have noticed that I’m not a super active blogger. I blog maybe 2-3 times per week. If I really wanted to be a blogger, and grow this blog, I’d blog 5 times or more per week. But I’m busy running the network.

    I didn’t write this post to PROVE anything. If people want to be paleo, they can do it. I said in the beginning, if paleo works for you, more power to you.

    I do not like paleo, I am not paleo, and I’m tired of people harassing me for eating the diet I eat. (Medium to high carb, lots of whole grains, etc.)

    This post was just meant to say, GUESS WHAT FOLKS! I’m not Paleo! Never was, never claimed to be! So I wish people would stop bugging me and saying I’m “flip flopping” or “being irresponsible” or that I’m fat or I’m out for money or any of the other things people say.

    NOT PALEO. NEVER WAS. I follow the WAPF Diet. And the WAPF Diet heartily endorses properly prepared whole grains. Period.

    Personally, I’ve gotten great ideas from Nourishing Traditions, Cheeseslave and other Real Food bloggers, the GAPS diet, and several Paleo and Primal cookbooks. I don’t know why we have to take sides.

    I think we can all get along. But I just had to set the record straight. I’m not low carb. I’m not paleo. If you want to be, fine. But I’m not. Nor am I vegan or vegetarian or SAD. If anyone else wants to be those things, again, more power to them. But I don’t follow those diets.

    Let me try to put it this way… if suddenly WAPF started melding with, say, vegans, and all these vegans started coming on my blog getting mad at me because I eat butter, I’d have a problem with that. WAPF is not vegan. It’s not paleo, either. If I lose readers because paleos are mad at me, that’s OK. I want readers who like what I write and who get me. If they want to go read a paleo blog, there are plenty of those out there.

    Dismissing paleo as too expensive is exactly what many people say to disparage organic food, or food from the farmers market, or biodynamic food, or, say, fermented cod liver oil.

    But Paleo is a LOT more expensive than a WAPF diet based around whole grains and dried beans. You can’t deny that.

    Look, I’m not saying that people should not eat GAPS if they need to. I totally believe that some people really need GAPS. And they should do it to recover. But I do not believe it is necessary to do paleo for life in order to be healthy. I just don’t buy it. I think it’s extremist and unnecessary.

    As to which dietary approach is most sustainable, I’d suggest reading, or rereading, The Vegetarian Myth, by Lierre Keith, for some ideas.

    I loved The Vegetarian Myth. One of my favorite books of the past decade.

    But I disagree that agriculture is the great evil. If the paleo ethos was correct, than even Joel Salatin and Mark McAfee would not be on the right track. They are farming. They are sedentary agriculturists. They are not hunter-gatherers.

    Oh and I also don’t agree with Keith that we should stop having children. I wrote that in my review of her book.

    https://cheeseslave.com/book-review-the-vegetarian-myth/

    The cultivation of grains, even done “organically,” wastes topsoil, water, petrochemical fuel, and the lives of myriad animals, plants and insects. If we take all the other species down, we’re going down with them.

    Sorry I don’t agree with this. I guess we’re talking apples and oranges because I think we can produce grains and other row crops AND raise domesticated animals AND build topsoil. I don’t think we need to throw the baby out with the bathwater and fill the plains with bison we can hunt.

    Even Keith said that in her book, in her praise of Salatin’s Polyface Farm. She even quotes the amounnt of topsoil he builds annually: “Salatin’s rotating mixture of animals on pasture is building one inch of top soil annually.”

    Thanks for all you do to spread the Real Food word, but lighten up a bit on paleo, will ya?

    I don’t need to write about paleos again for a while. I needed to say that. There a lot of people out there who will read this post and will feel relief that they don’t have to be so restrictive and orthorexic. That was my intention in writing it.

    There’s more that unites than that separates us, nutritionally speaking. After all, we can even team up with vegans to fight the evils of factory farming.

    Actually, we can. I met a lot of very wonderful vegans at the Take Back Your Health conference last spring. I can join forces with the vegans to fight factory farming (and I do) but I do NOT agree with their diet. I think a lot of what they believe is responsible for destroying the planet (like eating all the soy they eat).

    Like I said, we can agree to disagree.

    1. Great comments, Jeanmarie. I think there must somehow be room for balance. Animals on pasture to rebuild the topsoil, and vegetable gardens, and grains grown in soil that is then re-nourished with the fertilizer. Clearly we don’t have the balance now, with way too much corn and soy, but I don’t think it needs to be an either/or. If animals went back on pasture instead of being fed grains and soy, and we stopped growing corn for ethanol, I think the balance would come pretty quickly.

  75. Love this post, AnnMarie! And I couldn’t agree more that this whole paleo thing is just the latest diet fad and is not founded in facts. That’s why, I guarantee that you will NEVER see the word “paleo” on my site or FB page. My number one reason is because similar to what you said in #7 – the paleo diet is based on fantasy, not reality. As a believer in God, and the fact that He created us and the world in which we live, I reject the fantasies of evolution and all that come with buying into this farce that something came from nothing and then over millions of years miraculously became complex life in a variety of forms that co-exist in an incredibly complex balance that also somehow also happened with unfathomable complex synchronicity. The fact is, mankind has (since the dawn of creation) been eating a very NON-PALEO diet. The earliest writings of man contained within God’s Word discuss men/women eating grains/bread, cheese, milk, honey, beans/legumes, etc… With that said, there are legitimate reasons to go gluten-free or grain-free for those with serious illness/disease, and so I honor and support those on healthy, well-balanced GF diets in their pursuit to heal their gut. But I never recommend paleo to anyone who is seeking a healthy diet for the reasons you list above, as well as the fact again that this is a sheer farce, in that our parents – Adam and Eve, the first humans and father and mother of all generations. were not paleo! Thank you for allowing me to voice my opinion. Blessings and eHugs to you, AnnMarie! 🙂 kel

    1. My father is a Baptist minister, and creationist. He also follows a paleo diet. Not because it is called paleo, but because cutting out grains transformed his health. My mother who has small ariways disease, with lung inflammation and mucous – had a dramatic improvement after 3 weeks of paleo eating.

      So if they are creationists – why do they follow a paleo diet? Because they saw my health transformation. PMS and menstrual pain -gone. Joint inflammation, swollen knees (like my mum also has – lupus) Gone. Large ganglion cyst on wrist – they watched it shrink – after 10 years.

      I do not like the term paleo – because of the connotations, like people thinking we have to re-enact some cave man diet. No we eat this way not because of history – we eat this way because of health. It is teh closest we can get to a species appropriate diet.

    2. Adam and Eve were vegans, for how long we do not know, at least while in the Garden. Genesis 1:20
      After the Fall they were put out of the Garden and as you know God sacrificed the first animal as a covering for their nakedness (physical and spiritual), we are not told if they ate part of the first sacrifice. Genesis 3:21
      Up until Genesis 5 we are not told what they had been eating.
      It is recorded of people living close to 1000 years, Genesis 5:27.
      Then Noah, Chapter 6. Animals two by two on the Ark. There we see the first reference to seeds (whatever kind we do not know). Genesis 8:22. We are also told Noah grew a vine for wine.
      Genesis Chapter 9:1-5 ~ God gives them every beast, everything that creeps on the ground, all the fish of the sea, every moving thing, as I (God) gave the green plant. Only do not eat flesh with the life blood in it.
      Wheat in Genesis 30:14. Joseph in Genesis 41:49 stored up grains.
      Exodus 3:8 flowing with milk and honey.
      Exodus 16 -manna & quail
      Leviticus is chockfull of “clean” eating and then changes the “every” animal to “clean” from that which he gave to Noah. God also asks for grain offerings.
      Butter/oil is mentioned in Job 28:6 which some believe is one of the oldest books in the Bible.
      Proverbs30:33 – milk produces butter.
      2 Samuel 17:29 – honey, butter, sheep, and cheese.
      Ezekiel 4:9 – wheat, barley, beans and lentils, millet and emmer. (context.)

      Our first mother and father were vegans – the perfect diet…until the Fall. We are in a broken world with broken down terminal bodies. There is no perfect diet in this fallen world. I think most who follow this blog all are looking for the “perfect diet” for our bodies. I have been SAD, vegan, vegetarian, low fat, high organic processed, low carb, high carb, raw, no dairy, high whole grains, paleo, and wapf over the years. I eat real food and have for numerous years now. I still have some physical issues that I have tried to address with diet and supplementation to no avail. I’m finding out some of the issues may be neuro related and injury to the vagus nerve. The last couple of years I have settled to wapf/levitical/gf/low-mid grain way of eating. I know my new doc(funtional neuro chiro who specializes in thryoid issues when labs are normal) will ask me to give up raw dairy and all grains. When on Paleo I was cold and fatigued, add in carbs/grains and blood sugar issues arise.
      Being able to eat what you want and not have to stress or think about it is only for those on the SAD diet. 🙁 What do they blog about? Twinkie Jello Coke Zero Sugar-free Lowfat Easy Cake Recipe. They seem to be the ones that are truly “free” in eating as they please and enjoying their “food.”
      All this to say that no matter how one chooses to eat..sickness is part of us at some time in our lives…fallen world.

      1. This sentence is flat out disturbing: “Being able to eat what you want and not have to stress about it is only for those on the SAD diet.” Quit beating yourself up! Do you really think all those early Hebrew stories are meant to be taken literally for westernized health recommendations? God snapped his fingers and suddenly dietary needs changed for non-herbivores? My takeaway is that we should feel guilty for eating meat, since its onset was due to a “fallen” world.

        1. @jp – sorry that sentence is disturbing to you. My SAD friends are the only people I know who do not debate or even ponder the nutritional value or lack thereof that which they put in their mouths. If they want Sonic, they eat sonic. If they want snow cones and cotton candy they eat it without a thought as to the ingredients. If they want Krispy Kreme go for it, the only decision to be made is, what flavor. If they feel fat, they join weight watchers and they are cheered on by their peers. No name calling – no nasty replies, no defending their decison to eat as they please.
          In the “nutritional world” there are numerous conflicting ideas of what is best for the body.
          I am not beating myself up nor do I harbor guilt for anything I eat or do not eat or anything else for that matter. Romans 8:1
          I have an attitude of being grateful for the food that I’m able to eat.
          All of these foods that are demonized in the nutritional world today are recorded in the Bible. some in the nutritional world believe there is a perfect diet, I do not believe this is true.
          My point is that there are so many differing views within the nutritional world that one could try every way of eating under sun and still live in a body dealing with illness. This is where my frustration lies – a nutritional naturopath, a holistic M.D., a functional doc, nutritional blogs may all give differing advice as to how you should eat to help your particular illness or how to stay healthy. One wants you off this or that and include this or that….it is frustrating. I’m just saying, food choice is not always the simple answer for all that ills us.

          Yes. I do believe the Bible is literal and is to be interpreted in its literary form and historical context.

  76. OUTSTANDING ARTICLE! BRAVO!

    My brother originally introduced me to the Paleo diet and though I did not understand the science of nutrition, it did not make sense to me. I thought to myself, “people have been eating grains and legumes for 10000 years (or even more), yet obesity has been around for only about 100 years. Why should we exclude all these products?” It was a really hardcore-ish version of paleo (basically no carbs except from leafy greens which don’t count, lean meats, very small amounts of dairy, and absolutely no grains), but I stuck with it. I did not feel very good and remember having really bad headaches. Finally, I ran into the Perfect Health Diet by Paul Jaminet and felt immediately better (perfecthealth.com). His diet is a much more saturated fat friendly, carbohydrate friendly, dairy friendly, refined, logical paleo diet. The addition of carb sources and dairy made me feel so much better and I was very happy with how I was eating. Though my eating was good, I feel like it improved even more when I ran into the Weston A Price Foundation and Stephan Guyanet of Whole Health Source. I began incorporating more traditonal foods in my diet, a lot more gluten free grains, and some legumes. I began making dosas, idlis, sourdough buckwheat pancakes, lentil soups, and injera (however my injera recipe failed miserably! Please post a 100% teff injera recipe, there are none online!) Now, I am researching a good method to make a sourdough rye bread and trying to find a source of raw milk.

    Paleo makes little sense to me now. Numerous traditional societies have been extremely healthy for the last 10,000 years, many even healthier than hunter gatherer societies. If it was not for the Neolithic and agriculture, society would not be where it is today.

    Thanks,

    Real Food Eater

  77. Ann Marie,

    4. I don’t know any popular Paleo blogger who still recommends low-carb as anything more than a temporary solution for the very sick and diabetic. Starchy tubers–nutrient-dense and definitely NOT low-carb–are highly lauded. There was even a whole book dedicated to them, Sweet Potato Power: Smart Carbs; Paleo and Personalized.

    6. This is a terrible argument. You’re using the military superiority of a culture to defend their diet? A small squad of US soldiers can wipe out any of the Wise Traditions peoples. In terms of killing power, the USA is at the top. Should we all eat a SAD then?

    8. I don’t personally hunt down, field dress and butcher all my food (although I would like to at least once someday). Do you personally till, plant, fertilize, maintain, and harvest all your food? Impracticality swings both ways here. I would say the main reason I’m not WAPF is “impracticality” too. Soaking, sprouting, and fermenting are more time-intensive (per calorie) than just throwing a couple pounds of meat or a couple pounds of tubers in the oven.

    That, and grain agriculture is not sustainable, unlike rotational grazing as practiced by Polyface Farms and Operation Hope.

    Ann Marie, Paleo folks in general (the silent majority, not the angry minority you find leaving rude comments) have a great deal of respect for what Dr. Price and the Foundation have discovered and disseminated. I couldn’t help but feel a bit shocked to see such ignorant remarks coming from someone we consider “on the same side.” And forgive me for using the word “ignorant” as it is a bit harsh, but I can’t think of a more appropriate word for some of these top 10 reasons.

    1. Hi, Mountain Evan Chang

      Thanks for your comment.

      4. I don’t know any popular Paleo blogger who still recommends low-carb as anything more than a temporary solution for the very sick and diabetic. Starchy tubers–nutrient-dense and definitely NOT low-carb–are highly lauded. There was even a whole book dedicated to them, Sweet Potato Power: Smart Carbs; Paleo and Personalized.

      Seriously?

      How about these:

      https://www.marksdailyapple.com/press/the-primal-blueprint-diagrams/#axzz1yV0aFbHS

      https://www.primalbody-primalmind.com/?tag=carbs

      https://carbsanity.blogspot.com/2012/02/live-blogging-from-paleo-summit-vi-nora.html

      6. This is a terrible argument. You’re using the military superiority of a culture to defend their diet? A small squad of US soldiers can wipe out any of the Wise Traditions peoples. In terms of killing power, the USA is at the top. Should we all eat a SAD then?

      You misunderstood my point. I was making the argument that hunting and gathering takes a lot of time and effort and it doesn’t make a lot of sense to go back to that when we have food sources that we can store.

      8. I don’t personally hunt down, field dress and butcher all my food (although I would like to at least once someday). Do you personally till, plant, fertilize, maintain, and harvest all your food? Impracticality swings both ways here. I would say the main reason I’m not WAPF is “impracticality” too. Soaking, sprouting, and fermenting are more time-intensive (per calorie) than just throwing a couple pounds of meat or a couple pounds of tubers in the oven.

      Nope, I buy sprouted bread a lot of the time. Or I buy sprouted flour. When I have time, I sprout grains and make sprouted flour. I do a combination of these things.

      My point is NOT that all paleo people should hunt and forage for their foods. My point is this: WHY should we give up “neolithic” foods just because they are neolitihic? What is the rationale? Why limit ourselves to paleolithic foods?

      That, and grain agriculture is not sustainable, unlike rotational grazing as practiced by Polyface Farms and Operation Hope.

      Sure it is. If we replaced all the feedlot animals with Polyface farm style grass-based farming, that alone would reverse all the carbon-based damage we’ve done back to the stone age. (according to Joel himself)

      So why do we also need to give up wheat?

      Ann Marie, Paleo folks in general (the silent majority, not the angry minority you find leaving rude comments) have a great deal of respect for what Dr. Price and the Foundation have discovered and disseminated. I couldn’t help but feel a bit shocked to see such ignorant remarks coming from someone we consider “on the same side.” And forgive me for using the word “ignorant” as it is a bit harsh, but I can’t think of a more appropriate word for some of these top 10 reasons.

      Ignorance is a state of being uninformed. I am very informed. I just don’t agree with you.

      And maybe the “silent majority” should speak up more often if you guys like me so much. Ever since I started posting more about carbs and whole grains, all I ever get is nasty, hateful comments from the paleo/low carb crowd. I wrote this post to let the world know that I’m not paleo; never have been.

      If you want to eat paleo, that’s totally fine. It’s none of my business and I honestly do not care. It doesn’t bother me that other people eat vegan or SAD or whatever — to each his own. What I’m personally tired of is all the paleo folks who feel that it is their place to lecture me on how fat I am, how I’m going to get diabetes, etc. etc.

      Hey, I don’t go on the paleo blogs and lecture you guys for saying grains are bad!

      Please note: this post is entitled TOP 10 REASONS *I* AM NOT PALEO. Not Top 10 Reasons Paleo Sucks, or Top 10 Reasons You Should Stop Being Paleo. I am not telling anyone else how to eat. I’m just stating what I eat and why. What is wrong with that exactly?

      And hey, if I lose paleo readers over this, I’m really OK with that. Not that I don’t like you guys, but I’m tired of the harassment. I like readers who like what I write. If you don’t want to read it, that’s totally cool! Just like vegans would not like my blog, it’s fine if you don’t either.

        1. @Libby

          Honestly I don’t think I am either. I am a few pounds heavier than I was before I got pregnant. But I don’t think I’m fat.

          But there are a whole lot of paleo/low carb folks out there who like to tell me how fat I am.

          1. That’s because they’ve lost touch with reality. Up to 31% body fat is considered acceptable for a woman, but it seems like a lot of the Paleo folks (and others, I suppose) are looking for visible abs, which usually don’t show until you’re under 18%. So, their perception of fat is definitely skewed. They think if you’re not lean then you’re fat. There is a middle ground there.

            1. @Suzanne

              I agree. Leanness is not something that is necessarily good in women.

              Ancestralize Me wrote a good post on this a while back:

              https://www.ancestralizeme.com/2012/03/27/paleo-women-are-phat/

      1. Thank you for the reply.

        4. Mark has cooled off on the LC thing ever since posting about rice and potatoes in Fall 2010. But I stand corrected with Nora.

        6. Since you brought up Jared Diamond, I’d like to point to another of his works, “The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race” https://anthropology.lbcc.edu/handoutsdocs/mistake.pdf I’m not saying we should return to the paleolithic (we can’t), but if you’re to promote the benefits of agriculture to humanity, it’s important to know what it cost us.

        There is nothing wrong with the nature of your post. Notice I said nothing about your love of cheese and bread, reasons that you make in the first person. But when you present statements of “Paleo is X,” the article does begin to sound like “Reasons Paleo Sucks.”

        I know you’re well-informed in many areas, but I do believe you are uninformed (thank you for providing that better word) as to what Paleo is. Yes, some people get way too spun up on this paleolithic vs neolithic dichotomy. I myself know full well that the meat I eat comes from domesticated livestock, a neolithic innovation. Evolvify.com put it best: “Paleo is a logical framework applied to modern humans, not a historical reenactment.” I guess a lot of people who call themselves Paleo never got that memo.

        Beyond telling you myself that I like your blog and WAPF, there isn’t much I can do about the silent majority. Although, I’d like to point out that I found your blog in the first place through Mark Sisson’s. I bought Nourishing Traditions after it was recommended on the Latest in Paleo podcast. Chris Kresser, Melissa McEwen, and without doubt many others make frequent, positive mentions of WAPF. And really, I do like your blog. I’m literally making your Vanilla Kefir Ice Cream right now!

        I’m very sorry to hear how often and how nasty some Paleo commenters get. And I can see how this post would be an efficient way to tell them to STFU and GTFO. But I sincerely believe that Paleo and WAPF should be working together, to promote real food and access to it. To have a rift form between the movements would be a shame.

      2. you asked:”WHY should we give up “neolithic” foods just because they are neolitihic? What is the rationale? Why limit ourselves to paleolithic foods?”

        to try our BEST to avoid things like heart disease and heart attacks and cancer and to live as long and healthily as possible.

        1. Yes but the people Dr. Price studied who ate neolithic foods were also optimally healthy. I don’t see the reason to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

  78. @Fancy

    Those are recent studies. People in Mexico are eating mostly corn oil these days instead of their traditional lard.

    The people I’m talking about grew up in Mexico, Slovakia, Russia, Slovakia etc. 30-50 years ago.

  79. Great article, AnnMarie!
    The vast majority of healthy people Weston a Price found were NOT eating a low carb diet. Price also said that those with the best physical development included seafood and properly prepared grains into their diets.

  80. Hey Ann Marie! As part of the “silent majority” of Paleo dieters I feel it is my job to let you know that we are not all die-hard cavemen worshippers pondering the benefits of squat-a-potty and all day interval sprinting (although even Mark Sission preaches the benefits of raw dairy!)

    As with the WAPFers, vegans, vegetarians, whatever, there are bound to be some overzealous Paleoains who will try to virtually eviscerate you when you question the validity of their diet. But that is true of any group of foodies, even real food bloggers like yourself.

    I am not here to criticize your argument or expound the personal benefits I have found on the Paleo diet. I just want to let you know that the bulk of “Paleoians” are not as crazy as you might think. From Balanced Bites to Food Lovers to Cavegirl Eats, many paleo/primal converts actually embrace the work of Weston A. Price, detailing the many benefits of cod liver oil, butter oil, and raw dairy. The term “Paleo” is one that can be interpreted by zealots, apathetic, and impassioned people alike. But please know that above all else, the “Paleo” way of life is about constant learning about ancestral methods of eating, from bone broth to fermented foods to yes, sometimes even a hunk of grass-fed cheese. We are all biologically individual and we all choose just how far to take the Paleo concept. I can’t handle grains but guess what, you will have to pry my ghee out of my cold hands if I suddenly keel over from a microdose of good old butter fat.

    Virtual hugs to you for all the vicious comments you have endured. While I will not abandon the Paleo framework anytime soon, I will continue to read your blog because the fact is that Paleo and WAPF have more in common than you might think.

    1. @Julia

      [smiles] Thanks for that!

      I agree, WAPF and Paleo have a lot in common. That is why I never really had a problem with paleo before. I never wrote any negative posts about paleo or low carb and I even embraced low carb.

      Until it didn’t work for me, and then I posted about why it didn’t work for me (Why I Ditched Low Carb https://cheeseslave.com/why-i-ditched-low-carb/). And that was when I got BLASTED with tons of negativity, hateful remarks (you’re fat; you’re addicted to grains, etc. etc.) I mean, people were coming on my Facebook page DAILY to tell me how much they hated me.

      So I just wanted to write a post to say, Hey, I’m not Paleo and by the way, WAPF and Paleo are not the same thing. Grains are totally OK in WAPF (ideally whole grains, and as long as they are properly prepared).

      It just seems like WAPF has totally gotten swept up in this whole paleo/low carb thing and A LOT of people are really self-righteous about it.

      And I KNOW here’s also a lot of people out there who, like me, don’t do well on paleo or low carb but they are confused, thinking they have to eat that way to be healthy. I wanted to write this post to let them know that that just isn’t the case.

      Oh and I KNOW There are lots of really cool paleo folks out there. I really like Richard Nikoley — what a sweetheart he is. And Mark Sisson is such a nice guy. I could name a bunch of others I’ve met or whom I know “virtually”. Great people. I’ve got nothing against paleo people — I just wanted people to know that I myself am not paleo.

      So anyway, thanks for your note. I appreciate it!

      Virtual hugs back at you! xoxoxo

      1. Haha thanks, Ann Marie. Just wanted to let you know that not all Paleoians have put you on their blacklist because of this post 🙂

        Low-carb paleo did not work for me either. Bring on the sweet potatoes! Then again, I am a seventeen year old just bouncing back from a parasite disguised as “Crohn’s disease” for over four years! Since reaching 100lbs (from 80) and FINALLY getting my period two weeks ago, I feel completely…free! No longer a slave to obsessive eating/dieting, the dismantling of which was probably your larger purpose in writing this post. Thanks for that! I love both Paleoians and WAPFers and it’s nice to know that skeletal thinness doesn’t equal beauty and that if I want to make myself a coconut flour cake for my birthday I won’t drop dead from insulin resistance! Food is about LIVING, after all!

        1. No longer a slave to obsessive eating/dieting, the dismantling of which was probably your larger purpose in writing this post.

          Yes that is why I wrote the post.

          Thanks for that!

          You are welcome!

          I love both Paleoians and WAPFers and it’s nice to know that skeletal thinness doesn’t equal beauty and that if I want to make myself a coconut flour cake for my birthday I won’t drop dead from insulin resistance! Food is about LIVING, after all!

          Me, too! Food is about enjoyment and celebration AND nutrition, not just nutrition.

          It’s very sad to me that just because I like to eat bread and sweets, that some paleo/low carb folks feel the need to call me fat and unhealthy. Hopefully those folks will stop reading this blog after this. 🙂

  81. Very well put! I would say I’m “paleo” even though I eat fermented dairy, occasional properly prepared legumes, and I love me some potatoes. What I think Paleo should be is us figuring out what does well for us. My brother gets a stomachache if he eats wheat – I feel sorry for him that he’ll never be able to eat a nice piece of crusty sourdough toast without pain, because I can and do so occasionally.

    I do tend to agree with much that has been said (especially the incessant and inane debates of “is this paleo?” that drive me crazy) but much of what you (AM) are saying to dismiss Paleo doesn’t make sense coming from a “Real Foodist” for the reasons Jeanmarie stated. It almost seems like you (AM) are writing for the simple purpose of stirring up people. I don’t think that’s a bad thing, actually, and this post has succeeded quite admirably 🙂

    1. @Bethany

      I feel sorry for him that he’ll never be able to eat a nice piece of crusty sourdough toast without pain

      When I was in my 20s I had arthritis and chronic fatigue. I stayed off gluten and sugar for 2 years, healed my gut, and reversed all my symptoms. I’ve been eating wheat and sugar ever since with no problems.

      I’m not saying that your brother will be able to reverse his food allergy — but he very well may be able to.

      It almost seems like you (AM) are writing for the simple purpose of stirring up people

      Nope. I don’t see any point in just stirring up emotion for no reason. I’m trying to make the point that paleo is not better or superior than a WAPF diet. It’s fine for people who want to eat paleo, but you don’t have to go to that extreme to be healthy.

      1. Well I totally agree with you on both points – I’m just glad my brother started (*with his family) on real foods. I imagine it will get better for him eventually, although admittedly I have heard about some people where eating paleo/primal caused the body to become MORE sensitive to gluten and whatnot.

        And regarding stirring people up… I guess my perspective is that it is a good thing to stir people up with something and raise their emotions because it gets them thinking about their diet.

        Before I went Primal last year I remember getting in a very vocal debate about food with someone on Facebook, talking about how it couldn’t possibly be healthy to go against the food pyramid guidelines, and high fat/low carb was a recipe for disaster, etc.

        I wish I knew who it was because the debate, as passionate as I was, planted a seed in me that eventually turned into me going first Primal, and then learning about WAPF, and takes me to today where I have learned so much about proper food preparation and traditional cooking methods. I’m healthier, losing some of the weight I’ve been accumulating, and all sorts of problems have been alleviated.

        I always cooked from scratch before, but if it wasn’t for that woman raising an emotional reaction in me, I probably never would have fully understood why we should soak beans, ferment foods, etc.

        The sad part is she will never know what a difference she made for me. I defended 11 servings of grains during that discussion out of my own pride and not wanting to be wrong… I honestly wish I remember who she was so I could email her and tell her how I had to eat crow 🙂

        Primal & paleo was a great starting point, though I will never, ever give up my Christmas morning cinnamon rolls loaded with cream cheese frosting. Not ever.

  82. Obviously you have a very skewed view of Paleo/Primal/Ancestral. I have been eating Paleoish for over a year, and there was not one day that I ate meat, meat, and more meat. Also, have you ever considered that there are individual who just cannot digest grain? I may be going out on a limb here, but have you ever experienced an eating disorder, cancer, and/or gone through menopause? For me eating Paleo has given me my health back because my body is actually receiving nutrient dense high quality food. In my younger years, I loved all the typical foods that most americans eat on a regular basis. This type of eating did not support a healthy body as the years went by. No reason to be sad about it, but I am so thankful that I was able to reverse all health issues and continue to enjoy a healthy, fit body well into my 50s. Some of us just smile and realize that wisdom comes with experience – many years of experience………

    1. Hi, Kim

      I’m 43 and I reversed gluten intolerance and arthritis and chronic fatigue when I was in my 20s. Had to go off gluten for 2 years. Been in perfect health and have been eating gluten ever since.

      1. Having thyroid, hormonal, and adrenal problems does not qualify as being in “perfect health”
        I enjoy your blog. Just thought I would point that out.

      2. AnnMarie, I find it very concerning that you are saying you are in “Perfect Health” when you have revealed to the world just this year a long list of your health problems, including thyroid problems . . . . very upsetting to mislead your followers this way. Disheartening really.

  83. Hi Anne Marie
    The most interesting feature of this diet is that the world is no more than 6 – 8,000 years old according to the bible so if you really study what the research around that statement has discovered there is actually never been a paleolithic era (they are words and ‘theories’ made up by man and are not science as there is no way for these theories to be proven) Go to www.creation.com and learn some fascinating facts about the age of the earth, As a Christian I don’t even have to consider if it’s a viable diet as the very basis of the paleolithic era is flawed. God gave us dominion over all the birds in the air fishes in the sea and animals on the land and to me that means butter and cheese are in!! Hope you found that interesting.The creation website will really ‘pop your navel’ if you have been believing that all the Darwin theories etc are proven science – it did for me 🙂 Yay! to cheese and all the other good things……..

  84. Oh! that’s not to say that I don’t agree with healthy eating and I love your blog…..it was just a plug for Jesus lol I think it’s important to get the spiritual side of us in line with the truth too 🙂

  85. I am finding this debate very fascinating. I just recently went to my naturopath for a zyto reading which showed my kidney numbers way off. I am now on a protocol to deal with this. I wonder if a high protein diet is part of the problem.

  86. Actually, this article is written with a lot of misinformation. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but paleo is not low carb. (I have made the mistake of calling it low carb once). It’s just not carbs from crap that affects your blood sugar the second it touches your tongue.
    Paleo is not necessarily about becoming super lean. Some people will never get that way. It’s about helping your body maintain/regulate it’s own hormones, not ones given to it by soy, or processed or grain/antibiotic fed animals.
    The reason it is restrictive is because most foods contain crap – gluten and soy especially. If you do research on why we’ve gotten so fat in the last 50 years, it’s because of genetically modified soy, which is in almost every food nowadays. And wheat is also not genetically modified compared to early 1900s even.
    Many people who choose to eat this way have health issues that are helped and even cured by cutting out the bad stuff.
    People like me, who are not ill in any which way or form, do this for prevention, and to become healthier. No one has ever eaten a big bowl of cereal and toast and said, Man I feel good and fueled and ready for the day…

  87. I find it incredible that Pricers have such a hard-on for the GAPS diet, but one that can be virtually identical (in both food choices and rates of efficacy) – Paleo, Primal, whatever – is apparently ridiculous. Yes, Dr. Natasha says that only 1% approx. cannot go back to eating grains, ever. That is a single, unverifiable source. One.

    It sounds a lot like those who say that if you don’t have REAL celiac disease, your gluten intolerance is just first-world-problems. So if people feel better on Paleo, that’s an anomaly, but if they feel better on GAPS, they must have a legitimate problem and have taken the CORRECT course? This is dogmatic bullcrap. Even your new God, Matt Stone, has similar thoughts on GAPS.

    You can piss and moan about how people are being mean to you about eating carbs all you want. You can pick up the worst trends in Paleo and call them out. But the implication of virtually this entire post is that Paleo followers are idiots: Unlike WAPF followers, they apparently have the complete inability to gauge their own bodies’ responses to particular diets. People stick with diets for any amount of time do so because it works for them, not because a textbook suggested it might be right.

    I also don’t see how sourcing whole grains, soaking, fermenting, sourdoughing, and then baking them (all for $1!) is any less of a pain in the ass then not eating them. Oh, but that’s just my opinion.

    Some of your arguments are good. Most just show how dogmatic and incendiary you like to be.

    1. Hi, Jade

      I find it incredible that Pricers have such a hard-on for the GAPS diet, but one that can be virtually identical (in both food choices and rates of efficacy) – Paleo, Primal, whatever – is apparently ridiculous. Yes, Dr. Natasha says that only 1% approx. cannot go back to eating grains, ever. That is a single, unverifiable source. One.

      Funny — I’ve never heard anyone call us “Pricers” prior to this comment thread.

      Lots of people have excellent results with reversing food allergies with the GAPS Diet.

      It sounds a lot like those who say that if you don’t have REAL celiac disease, your gluten intolerance is just first-world-problems. So if people feel better on Paleo, that’s an anomaly, but if they feel better on GAPS, they must have a legitimate problem and have taken the CORRECT course? This is dogmatic bullcrap. Even your new God, Matt Stone, has similar thoughts on GAPS.

      I think it’s great if people feel better eating a grain-free dairy-free diet. I just don’t think it has to be a life sentence in the vast majority of cases.

      You can piss and moan about how people are being mean to you about eating carbs all you want. You can pick up the worst trends in Paleo and call them out. But the implication of virtually this entire post is that Paleo followers are idiots: Unlike WAPF followers, they apparently have the complete inability to gauge their own bodies’ responses to particular diets. People stick with diets for any amount of time do so because it works for them, not because a textbook suggested it might be right.

      Like I said, if it works for you, go for it!

      I also don’t see how sourcing whole grains, soaking, fermenting, sourdoughing, and then baking them (all for $1!) is any less of a pain in the ass then not eating them. Oh, but that’s just my opinion.

      Yep, you’ve got your opinion and I’ve got mine.

      Oh and by the way a loaf of organic sprouted bread costs around $3 – $3.50. Still less than meat.

      Some of your arguments are good. Most just show how dogmatic and incendiary you like to be.

      Perhaps it’s the pot calling the kettle black?

  88. @Jeanmarie

    Somebody referred to the Japanese diet as being low-fat. I don’t think that’s particularly accurate, and low fat isn’t particularly desirable.

    I think that’s probably true… they do eat a lot of fatty fish and roe, don’t they? And things like tempura and other fried foods.

    Dairy products, wheat and bread products, and refined sugar are now common in Japan, though they weren’t part of the traditional diet.

    That is correct. The main staple is rice.

    However, I think wheat noodles (udon) have been around for a pretty long time, haven’t they? Or did they traditionally eat rice noodles?

    Unfortunately, rapeseed oil (similar to canola) is probably the most commonly used cooking fat, unless things have changed drastically since I moved back 12 years ago. However, chicken skin and fatty cuts of pork, for example, were highly prized.

    I believe they traditionally cooked with lard, as did the Chinese.

    The most prized sashimi is toro, the fatty belly of tuna. When I lived there I was still in the grip of low-fat mania, and it really put me off that someone would eat chicken skin, but I always loved the melt-in-your-mouth deliciousness of toro. It qualifies as WAPF-friendly, paleo/primal, and traditional Japanese as well.

    I LOVE toro! I always order it, along with flying fish roe with a raw quail egg yolk on top.

  89. The fact that anyone here or really any “expert” for that matter is claiming to know what is truly the appropriate diet for humans is really ridiculous. None of us know what is truly the end all be all correct diet, and no one ever will when you factor in that each human being is different, genetically, ancestrally, emotionally, environmentally….

    Grains have caused a lot of damage to multiple people in our family. And celiac is present as well. When there are genetic predispositions to the complete intolerance and damaging effects of a certain food, why would we think we know what is the perfect diet for every human? What about the perfectly healthy people who live without grains? And the perfectly healthy people who did eat bread regularly? What about the other groups that Price compared where the non grain group were in better health than the grain group? These were people from different parts of the world. Maybe paleo is ideal for some and some grains is ideal for others? Why are we pretending to know up from down an attacking others because of it?

    All grains give us terrible reactions and yes we are on GAPS now and have seen a dramatic change. My adrenal fatigue hit its low point prior to GAPS and I am now on the road to recovery. My hair fell out when I ate grains and GAPS stopped that.

    If others eat grains and don’t get abdominal pain, gain excessive weight, aren’t bloated all the time, aren’t constipated, don’t have slow bowel transit, don’t have chronic inflammation, don’t have chronic dark circles under their eyes, no dry/oily skin etc., then have at it people! But this is the experience of OUR family. Gluten precipitated that whole downward spiral in most of us. What is interesting to me though is that only foods that are considered “paleo” don’t provoke negative responses in our bodies, so it is a safe resource for us for recipes etc. The more aggravating foods come in the form of those not on the paleo “okay list”. I don’t consider us paleo, but it provides a good basis for people like me who can’t indulge in grains, legumes, and overly starchy foods.

    While some people can eat certain foods and feel just fine and dandy, this doesn’t necessarily mean they’re fine for everyone or even an ideal food. While the “paleo” diet thing can get extreme in it’s “rules”, my interest in it has been it being a source for non-aggravating fundamental nourishment. Properly prepared grains and legumes absolutely are a source of nourishment, but for many people including myself are still very aggravating. I can’t even tolerate any fermented foods.

    Even if years of GAPS heals the intestinal lining, for my family as sensitive as we are, I can’t see us adding back in grains to much of an extent, as we have been doing so much better without them. And for some people health overrides indulgence. But regardless of what works for us, I would never presume to know what works best for another person. Hopefully through these extremes in diet fads, people can use the experience as a tool to find what works best for them personally and not follow the herd. Being paleo is not a waste of time and energy, but people arguing over which diet is correct and bashing others is.

    1. While some people can eat certain foods and feel just fine and dandy, this doesn’t necessarily mean they’re fine for everyone or even an ideal food. While the “paleo” diet thing can get extreme in it’s “rules”, my interest in it has been it being a source for non-aggravating fundamental nourishment. Properly prepared grains and legumes absolutely are a source of nourishment, but for many people including myself are still very aggravating. I can’t even tolerate any fermented foods.

      The fact that you can’t tolerate fermented foods shows that it’s not the grains or legumes that’s the problem. It’s your digestion.

      Being paleo is not a waste of time and energy, but people arguing over which diet is correct and bashing others is.

      I agree, bashing others is bad. I did not write this post to bash anyone, and I did not bash anyone personally. I wrote this post to question if the paleo diet is everything it’s cracked up to be, and to firmly separate this blog from the paleo movement. People keep thinking I am paleo and think they have the right to lecture me about eating bread. I’m not paleo and I just wanted to make that point.

      1. When I say I can’t tolerate fermented foods, I mean I actually have an immune response. Swollen lymph nodes, neurological symptoms. Fermented meaning sauerkraut etc. I agree my digestion is screwed up. But years of eating foods that damaged my gut caused the problem. And those foods are not SAD foods. I’ve been into health food all of my life and could never figure out the issue until we cut out the gluten. I have an overreactive immune response to many foods, but grains and legumes are irritating.

        1. @Lily

          The body does heal. I would recommend (unsolicited advice) taking fermented foods VERY SLOWLY a tiny bit at a time. Maybe like 1 tsp or less per day and slowly, slowly working up.

          Best wishes and good health to you

  90. I certainly was low carb when I was Paleo. My nutritionist and docs all said to go low carb and to look at Paleo.
    I’m confused when Paleo followers say they a not low carb, so I googled low carb and this is what I found first up:

    “As with the Paleolithic diet, several advocates of low-carbohydrate diets have argued that they are closer to the ancestral diet of humans before the invention of agriculture, and therefore that humans are genetically adapted to diets low in carbohydrate.[citation needed] Direct archaeological or fossil evidence on nutrition during the Paleolithic era, when all humans subsisted by hunting and gathering, is limited, but suggests that humans evolved from the vegetarian diets common to other great apes to one with a greater level of meat eating.[12] Some close relatives of modern Homo sapiens, such as the Neanderthals, appear to have been almost exclusively carnivorous.[13] A more detailed picture of early human diets before the invention of agriculture may be obtained by analogy to contemporary hunter-gatherers. According to one survey of these societies, a relatively low carbohydrate (22–40% of total energy), animal food-centered diet is preferred “whenever and wherever it [is] ecologically possible”, and where plant foods do predominate carbohydrate consumption remains low because wild plants are much lower in carbohydrate and higher in fiber than modern domesticated crops.[14]” Wikipedia

    So, when you say Paleo is not low carb, please define low carb. How many grams a day? What carbs do you eat on a daily basis? This will help me understand what you mean by “low carb”. thanks.

    1. @Fancy

      Anytime grains replace more nutritious food in the diet, there is a loss.

      Dr. Weston Price did NOT think that grains were lacking in nutrition. He recommended whole, properly prepared grains as part of a healthy diet.

      I NEVER said I was paleo! I follow WAPF. Weston Price said grains are good, and that is what I follow.

      So PLEASE stop coming on my blog and telling me what YOU think I should eat. I don’t go to your house and lecture you about what you should eat. Show me some respect.

    2. I think the average person recognizes Paleo as low-carb. most all practitioners today see it as such.
      I only lost 5lbs on strict low carb Paleo for over a year, but I did get my curvy waist back from dropping wheat. I was cold with other low thyroid symptoms while on it. then I get a 5.9 a1c reading and told it’s because I “eat too many carbs and who knows how high it was before you went low carb.”
      I have sense added more carbs back in and few grains, no wheat, because I felt like my blood sugar was dropping a bit low at times.
      I’m not sure how to eat anymore.

      1. I agree that most seem to view it as fairly low carb. A few months ago I spoke with a Paleo RD (fairly well known one) and she told me to eat starchy veg only after intense exercise, which wasn’t every day. And she told me to only eat fruit with snacks, so I was having about one serving a day. So, her recommendations were pretty low carb. I ended up losing four pounds the first week and regained it all by the end of the month. And it didn’t help my energy levels at all. I upped my carbs again after a month, but I’m still not doing great, so I’m going to start testing soaked and sprouted grains.

    3. just an FYI wikipedia is not a creditable source

      there is no definite number for low-carb; it varies from site to site and from person to person…one could argue that 200 g of carbs is low-carb while to another 50 is low-carb. the most important aspect of paleo is that you cut out the processed foods, wait until you feel better and then slowly try a food out to see how your body handles it. For me my body does just fine eating beans although paleo-zealots would snub me for it, and yes I eat cheese, lots & lots of cheese because my body does just great eating it. most of the pages that I follow {& I follow over 50 paleo pages} all of them state repeatedly to do what works for your body. And honestly none of them have ever referred people paleohacks; the only time I heard it mentioned was during that debacle with Kruse & the cruise…its a bunk site in my opinion…

  91. wow, unsubscribing. don’t need all this negativitey.
    paleo happens to really work for a lot of people!

  92. Bravo! All excellent reasons. My husband is an evolutionary biologist, and when he was reading about the paleo diet, he started getting really upset with their concepts of history. Humans *have* evolved to eat the products of agriculture– the lactase-producing gene, various genes for breaking down starches– and even before that, they were using methods of fermentation to make those foods accessible. Do people really think evolution stops and takes a break for a few thousand years? Our gut biota, especially, are able to evolve rather quickly (having short generations and all), and it would be absurd to think that they haven’t. Now, changes in the last 50 years? THOSE have been significant, and that is a different story.

    I have no doubt paleo is an effective weight-loss strategy, but why is it that everyone who diets thinks they only diet that works is the one that worked for them, this time? I’ve lost weight on Atkins. I’ve also lost weight counting calories, doing ADF, using cognitive-behavioral modification… I know first-hand that lots of diets work great for losing weight. I also know that when you stop overeating, the reduced strain on your gut makes you feel better, sometimes dramatically. But losing weight is not the same as living a full life at a healthy weight.

    I’m sure there are nice, moderate paleos, just like there are nice, moderate low-fat-diet adherents. But there are also a lot of extremists on every diet who act like they’ve obtained the secret knowledge (from the ancient past! Sexy!) and strength of will (like bronzed warriors of old!) that makes them better than those of us who would prefer to continue eating pie. And a lot of them do say scary things to warn you away from prohibited foods. Just like the low-fat crowd they so love to criticize. So props to you for saying it. 🙂

    1. We all just want to ‘square the curve’, if you’re familiar with the term. (Gerontologist and longevity researcher Roy Walford, MD used it, if not coined it.) It just means dying relatively quickly with minimal discomfort no matter at what age. Longer life is better of course but not at the price of a long slow decline. So we know our species is marvelously adaptive to what’s available. Good news.
      But I feel most of this conversation is of secondary importance in the face of the worldwide propagation of genetically modified seeds and resultant ‘phude’. Talk about NEW! Evolution-wise this is as new as it gets, for us, these current several generations, now eating transgenic phude daily. (I have a hard time sullying the word ‘food’ by putting it next to ‘transgenic’). To say the least, I’ve seen enough to be 100% convinced this is a failure in safety, a failure in yield improvement and a failure in nutrition improvement. And it’s sterilizing millions of acres of soil. But the momentum of this financial goliath is awesome and it literally controls the USDA and the FDA at this point. GMOs have already contaminated a huge portion of the food products that are mass-produced/mass-distributed; this process has metastasized globally for the last several decades. Bad news. So unless you have a food-related ailment already, there really is no time to continue tweaking an optimum diet when we are under such an insidious attack. What else can you call it? If you DO have a food-related ailment can you disprove it was exacerbated or even engendered by eating genetically engineered phude, especially if the timeline is congruent? Same with autism and all our other Top 40 diseases. We had best put our resources to personal defense, if not toward the efforts it would take to put the GMO and nuclear devils back into Pandora’s Box (according to the myth that’s impossible…). From research I’ve seen, my guess is that the most dramatic negative effects will show up soon, if they haven’t already, in the form of infertility 2-3 generations removed from the first unwitting consumers of transgenic produce and all the stealth additives made from them.
      Here’s a straight-up report from the American Academy of Environmental Medicine: https://www.aaemonline.org/gmopost.html
      It makes sense to me that if you want to follow the Precautionary Principle in regards to diet, you would not consume any GM food. The other choice is be a lab rat in the field.

  93. Well… I went full-paleo in order to lose 20 lbs. It worked for me. However, I do agree that it’s expensive and impractical to maintain in the long term. Also, I love cheese… And milk, and have never seen a single reason why I should justify excommunicating them from my refrigerator. I understand why many people go full paleo. It seems to be a very healthy diet, but I don’t think all grains are bad if one doesn’t have a sensitivity to them. I would say my diet is 60% paleo. I try to get most of my calories from vegetables, meat, fish, and eggs (and fish eggs because, yum). Once in a while I still have a couple slices of pizza, and several times a week I indulge in a nice chunk of artisan sourdough with a big smear of ghee or butter or soft cheese. I keep my carbs low, because ultimately grains are really a filler food and offer a big hit of glucose (and the mineral-depleting phytic acid). I just don’t see the reason to avoid them entirely.

    I think this entry is a little bit on the offensive. You can say why you don’t want to go paleo without attacking people who choose to do so (and have more willpower than you to give up cheese and bread). More power to them. I don’t have the willpower to give up grain, even though I know it’s not the most nutritious food and would be better replaced by more meat and vegetables and fats. Don’t judge people so hard, man!

    1. I did say more power to them. See the post.

      And I don’t think it’s my lack of willpower that is responsible for me still eating bread. I like bread and I think it’s good for me.

      And I personally don’t believe that grain is any less nutritious than meat and vegetables.

      1. @Fancy

        Again, to repeat, Dr. Price found that a balanced diet that included properly prepared whole grains (up to 50% of the diet in some of the people he studied) was sufficient to feed people who were optimally healthy.

        I don’t see why you feel the need to keep commenting on this post, trying to prove me wrong. If what you are doing works for you, keep doing it. But you are not going to convince me to stop eating grains.

        Again, as I’ve said, let’s please agree to disagree. I’m not telling you or anyone else what to eat. I’m just saying what I eat and why.

      2. @Fancy

        I’ve never ever heard that before. I did not mean it like that. I really meant “more power to you!”

        According to freedictionary.com it’s an idiom that is meant to express genuine support:

        More power to you! – Well done!; You really stood up for yourself!; You really did something for your own benefit! (The stress is on to, and the you is usually “ya.”) Bill: I finally told her off, but good. Bob: More power to you! Sue: I spent years getting ready for that job, and I finally got it. Mary: More power to you!

        https://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/More+power+to+you!

        1. Uh huh, but ask the British is “bloody” means they have an injury.

          When used after a comma, “then more power to you” can mean:
          1. I couldn’t care less.
          2. That’s your problem; you’re on your own. Face the consequences.
          3. You are unreasonable.

          1. If you prefer to use software which plays Yankee Doodle Dandy with every keystroke, then more power to you.

          2. If you want to date Georgina, then more power to you. I would just check to see there’s not an ice pick under the bed.

          3. If you still disagree with me after understanding how this sort of labor is treated in different parts of the world, then more power to you.

            1. @Cheeseslave: I believe you, but understanding how others view that phrase may help you better understand why they find it so offensive in this case.

      3. “And I personally don’t believe that grain is any less nutritious than meat and vegetables.”

        I’m not sure if you’re being serious when you say this or not, but just in case….
        Vitamins & Nutrients in bread:
        https://freetheanimal.com/images/2011/09/500/Screen-Shot-2011-09-26-at-2.43.09-PM.png

        Vitamins & Nutrients in beef liver:
        https://freetheanimal.com/images/2011/09/500/Screen-Shot-2011-09-26-at-2.43.28-PM.png

        Vitamins & Nutrients in salmon:
        https://freetheanimal.com/images/2011/09/500/Screen-Shot-2011-09-26-at-2.45.13-PM.png

        All pulled from:
        https://freetheanimal.com/2011/09/wheat-how-about-against-the-grain-and-zero-servings-per-day.html

        You can eat grains all you want, but you should probably avoid blanket statements like the one you made when trying to make arguments or seem credible at all.

      4. Thank you cheeseslave for what IMO is a thoughtful and entertaining outlook on Paleo.

        Julia, where your argument falls flat is that we have learned to utilize many healthy foods that in their raw form are inedible. Olives are an example, taro another. As has been noted, a grain sensitive person should avoid them, but they have been responsible for improving the live and health of countless generations from Asia and Europe to the Americas.

        In moderation and lacking any particular sensitivities, all foods are health giving. Sheesh, even that smelly stuff Eskimos eat

      5. Julia, I would love proof that “bread isn’t good for you”. What bread? How you do you know? What isn’t good about it? How do you know that just because it does something to your body that it also does it to mine? And what bread making process are you talking about? Did you know if you sprout wheat and make it into bread it basically turns the wheat berries into a vegetable? Did you know that einkorn wheat is completely chemically different from modern wheat and is amazingly full of nutrients and very low in gluten? The thing is, everyone believes their own source, but how many of us have actual proof through our own experimentation that something is BAD?

          1. @Todd

            I honestly do not believe it’s crap. Twinkies, yes, but bread (esp. whole grain sourdough or sprouted), no.

            If you do, that’s totally cool. You don’t have to eat it.

            I don’t think everything is equally nutrient dense. But a balanced diet is what I aim for.

            Best of luck and good health to you!

      6. @fancy, I find it interesting that you write “in the realm of religion rather than truth” as if they are mutually exclusive. I was going to bring up elsewhere the fact that wheat, barley, beans, and lentils are prescribed in the Bible (Ezekiel 4:9), so I’m happy to continue eating them, having faith that they are therefore healthful for me.

        1. @gin, I totally agree! I’ve thought this for a long time. In fact, in Genesis we find that the Egyptians are storing up grain in light of a great famine in the land. This in the very 1st book of the Bible. Not to mention, a little later on, that the land God has promised to the Israelites is “flowing with milk and honey”. Our Creator obviously has instilled nutritional value in these foods. I use a lot of paleo recipes just because they are good and whole, but I don’t think I could ever be fully paleo. As the author of this blog said, I really like bread and cheese and have no ill effects from them. But, I do understand that we live in a fallen world and that not everything (grains, dairy, hearts and minds) are as they should or could be.

          1. @Lindsey T — thank you for your encouraging response and elaboration on my idea. “Flowing with milk and honey” indeed (hopefully raw and unprocessed). 🙂

            1. I agree! But the grains eaten in biblical times were way different than the grains we consume today. Ancient grains were non-hybrid and usually soaked/fermented before eating to improve digestibility. I think modern wheat is the worst! It has been crossbred and processed so much, in order to improve texture and yield. But in the process the harmful properties (such as starch and gluten) have been enhanced. These create inflammation in the body and lead to disease and obesity.
              Just like the milk and honey was raw/unprocessed, the grains were healthier as well. And I’m sure the fact that people got a lot more exercise back then than we do today helped.

  94. @Fancy

    There is a big difference between this:

    “I don’t eat Paleo and here’s why.”

    Or even:

    “I think Paleo is dumb so I don’t eat that way.”

    And this:

    “You are fat and stupid and wrong.”

    The people who are calling me fat and stupid and wrong are attacking me personally. I’m not attacking anyone personally. Just saying I don’t agree with that diet and that’s why I don’t follow it.

    It’s fine if you don’t want to follow the blog. I write it for people who like to read it.

    Best wishes!

    1. I like it, so I thank you for writing this post in particular, and the blog in general. 🙂 I have been vegetarian for ten years, and my friend became a committed paleo follower last year. It’s been a challenge to understand the mindset, but she seems to think it works for her, and I’m happy for her in that. I think you make an excellent point that I’ve read over and over in books, journal articles, magazines, and blog posts — follow a traditional food-based diet (rather than industrially-processed food-like substances), and you’ll be healthy. Inuit populations who eat high percentages of fats are healthy, and Latin American cultures focused primarily on beans and rice are equally healthy. That amazes and impresses me. 🙂

      In conclusion, I’ll still follow your blog, so thanks for writing. 🙂

  95. This is one of the things that makes me crazy. You don’t like paleo, because you love bread and cheese so you dismiss it as a fad and send out all this misinformation. Well, paleo is about eating REAL food. Something that I *thought* you agreed with. Forget the evolutionary aspect, if you like, it’s about eating real food that doesn’t disturb your digestion or irritate. I’m glad you can eat bread and cheese with impunity. I can’t. I find it bloats me and makes me ill. I have been eating this way for over a year, I don’t find it in the least bit difficult. I simply say no to the things I can’t eat and yes to the ones I can. I don’t find it that expensive either. I find that eating bread and beans, just made me hungry an hour or two later. a small portion of meat with lots of veggies and grass fed butter lasts me a lot longer and isn’t that much more.

    Frankly I don’t miss much of the foods I used to eat, especially now that I feel so much better and can think more clearly. I’m GLAD I discovered paleo. 🙂

    1. Some people really need a paleo diet, which is fine. It is a real foods diet, which is the important thing. I tried paleo/primal eating for a while, and it completely trashed my budget. I was spending more money on food than I could justify (I have this thing called retirement that I need to plan for, and in this economy, saving as much money as I can has to be a priority). Also, I really didn’t see any difference between eating paleo and eating the whole foods diet I was eating before–which includes whole grains and legumes. Lately, I’ve become fascinated with the traditional diet of New Mexico’s Pueblo Indian tribes, after having spent a couple of weeks in New Mexico. These are people who have thrived for centuries on Indian corn (heirloom corns are amazing food plants–nothing like what is grown commercially today), squash, beans, tomatoes, peppers, and wild plants like cactus (cactus is one of the most nutritious foods on the planet). They ate meat when it was available, but they didn’t rely on it. They also took up herding sheep when the Spanish introduced them in the 16th century.

      What really bugs me is when someone emphatically says “This –insert diet here– is the only true diet people should be eating!” That’s a load of hogwash. There are many types of healthful of diets. There is only one thing that we truly know about nutrition: It is the SAD of highly, processed food that is killing us. A traditional diet of whole grains, legumes, veggies, fruit, and the occasional serving of meat can be just as healthful and life sustaining as a diet of grass-fed/wild meat and veggies. Just as the Pueblo people of New Mexico.

      1. I agree with you completely, Roxanne! I think the single most important thing is a diet of real, unprocessed, whole foods – in whatever form the individual chooses/prefers, or is dictated by the body. Surely that was the most exciting discovery of Weston A Price in his travels around the world – that many DIFFERENT kinds of diets can support full health and longevity? The one thing every healthful diet he observed had in common was that it was free from the “foods of commerce,” or in today’s speak, processed or adulterated foods. How amazing, really, that is! How blessed we are to each be able to choose what works for us, what we prefer, and be healthy?

  96. Pingback: Another blogger gets “paleo” wrong. | Welcome to ispeakpaleo.com! A blog about health, real food and the paleo lifestyle.
  97. Wow! If we can’t tolerate differences in oppinion on what we think is good to eat, what CAN we tolerate! I follow this website because I enjoy the insights into traditional ways of preparing food–not that I do so as much as I’d like. But reading the comments from these paleo diet enthusiasts has really shocked me! The anger is palpable–could it be their diet?

  98. Pingback: “Top 10 Reasons I’m Not Paleo” | Happolati's Miscellany
  99. On another blog, you comment: “…Then I started eating the Weston Price way — cod liver oil, raw, grass-fed milk, butter, cream and cheese, pastured meats and eggs, organ meats, shellfish and wild seafood, fermented foods and drinks, and if I ate grains/seeds/nuts/legumes they were soaked and/or sprouted.”

    And here you say: “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”

    Croissants and sourdough certainly aren’t made from sprouted grain.

    Make up your mind.

    1. @Julia

      We eat sprouted whole grain bread every day. I bake with sprouted flours, make pizza with it, bread and cookies, etc.

      We eat croissants occasionally. I don’t keep them in the house but I would eat one if I were out at a restaurant or cafe.

    2. Both croissants and sourdough can be made with sprouted grains. It isn’t that complicated to do.

      1. @Grains Rock

        You know that’s a very good point. I hadn’t thought of that but there is no reason why you couldn’t make croissants with sprouted grains.

  100. Wow, this is just unbelievable. I must say that I haven’t read many of the posts because I just don’t have the time, but from what I have read I am so disheartened by. There are some nasty people out there. Don’t you paleo high horse people know that anger and venomous words are just as toxic as eating a squishy white piece of Wonder bread. It is amazing how brave people are behind the protective wall of the internet. Did you not really read her post. I saw several references to things that totally took her words out of context. Understanding should have started at the title which is “Top 10 Reasons I’m Not Paleo” Annmarie is talking about HER, not anyone else. She is stating HER reasons and she is not telling anyone that they must follow her or that they are wrong for not following her. So you vicious anger people need to get over yourself. In my experience the people who defend their opinion so vehemently are the ones who have internal doubts.
    I have been on enough paleo sites to know that I don’t want go follow that diet but I have never, ever attacked anyone for their opinion. BE NICE, all you are doing is hurting people and yourself.

  101. Not only is this post a lot of bad information and conjecture, it’s dangerous to those who are looking for information on a real food diet. Paleo is not low carb, grains are not only an unsustainable food source but have very little nutrient density. I was always curious as to the name ‘cheeseslave’. It’s obvious that since you do not have personal willpower to say no to cheese or bread, you defend your position by saying ‘hogwash’. If it’s not obvious to you how many people are helped by giving up bread, dairy, etc. and find it very easy to be ‘social’, then you’re missing something. But don’t make erroneous claims just because you ‘like bread’. Many people like cigarettes, that doesn’t mean it’s healthy no matter how much they justify it.

    1. @Anthony

      I said this to someone else but I’ll say it again, as it is worth repeating:

      I don’t call this blog Cheese Slave because I have no willpower. I happen to love these foods and they make up a large part of my diet.

      Dr. Price studied people (the Swiss) who at around 50% cheese/butter and 50% bread. They were optimally healthy. How do you explain that if these foods are so bad? You might want to read his book, Nutrition & Physical Degeneration.

      1. Cheeseslave,

        “Dr. Price studied people (the Swiss) who at around 50% cheese/butter and 50% bread. They were optimally healthy. How do you explain that if these foods are so bad?”

        Dr. Price found this “optimal health” in a very small group of Swiss (Loetschental Valley), isolated from the majority. He concluded that their elevation and location provided them with unusually nutrient-dense foods (for their animal feed as well) and that this was as much a contributor to their better health as their isolation from modern foods. He also specifically mentions vegetable consumption.

        “High immunity to dental caries, freedom from deformity of the dental arches and face, and sturdy physiques with high immunity to disease were all found associated with physical isolation, and with forced limitation in selection of foods. This resulted in a very liberal use of dairy products and whole-rye bread, in connection with plant foods.”

        He mentions too that using lime (an ancestral preparation method) in grain prep for bread in the diet of the “modern” Swiss did nothing to improve the rates of dental decay. This would suggest that the grains in the diet had little to offer either way.

        “Another procedure to which my attention was called consisted of adding to the bread a product high in lime, which was being obtained in the foothills of the district. Clinically, tooth decay was not reduced.”

        I explain it this way- the remainder of their diet was SO nutrient dense that the void created by the grains wasn’t very significant. However, the larger, more modern Swiss population, eating the less nutrient dense diet couldn’t afford the void. The foods we eat today, even those pastured and raised organically, don’t come close to the nutrient density of the foods grown at those elevations.

        Brigit, RD

        1. @Brigit

          Yes they did eat some vegetables but not a lot and only in the summer.

          According to Mother Linda on the WAPF site:

          “Their diet primarily consisted of dairy products (raw milk, butter, cream and raw milk cheese) from cows grazing on lush alpine slopes, and rye bread, or roggenbrot, from rye grown in the valley. They ate meat about once a week, usually veal, using all the parts and making soup with the bones, and some vegetables during the summer months.”

          https://www.westonaprice.org/in-his-footsteps/switzerlands-loetschental

          “I explain it this way- the remainder of their diet was SO nutrient dense that the void created by the grains wasn’t very significant. However, the larger, more modern Swiss population, eating the less nutrient dense diet couldn’t afford the void. The foods we eat today, even those pastured and raised organically, don’t come close to the nutrient density of the foods grown at those elevations.”

          I’ve met lots of people from all around the world who have perfect piano key teeth with no cavities and no braces. People from Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, Russia, India.

          All of them ate grains. Lots of grains.

          Some were even vegetarians (the Indians).

          But they were usually (although not always) properly prepared whole grains as part of a balanced diet including grass-fed dairy, organ meats, bone broth, fermented foods, seafood, etc. Interestingly, they almost all took cod liver oil as well as kids.

          The Indian vegetarians are especially interesting. The ones I met did not eat meat or organ meats or bone broth at all growing up. They only ate dairy products and eggs. But the eggs were pastured and the dairy was grass-fed. And they cook everything in grass-fed ghee.

          1. Ann Marie/Cheeseslave,

            “Yes they did eat some vegetables but not a lot and only in the summer.”

            I think perhaps I wasn’t making my point clearly, my apologies. Besides the direct vegetable consumption by the people, the animals that produced the dairy, meat and organ foods they were eating were ALSO eating a far more nutrient dense pasture- something that is a product of volcano activity, elevation and glacial waters, our food animals do not have access to.

            “I’ve met lots of people from all around the world who have perfect piano key teeth with no cavities and no braces. People from Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, Russia, India.

            I don’t doubt that. But you are talking about individuals and not entire cultures. Most of the cultures these folks belong to DON’T have good dental health in general- in fact they have some of the worst dental health in the world, making the individuals exceptions and not rules. I see people in my practice all the time who don’t have the “expected” problems associated with a poor diet, but that doesn’t change that their diet is poor. Here in the US, where most people eat a pretty crappy diet, there are people who are genetically blessed with hard teeth who boast perfect smiles. These individuals can’t be used to evidence the idea that the SAD is nutritious.

            “All of them ate grains. Lots of grains.”

            If they weren’t one of the lucky few with good genetics, they may simply eat nutrient-dense foods as the remainder of their diets. Dr. price doesn’t say these people were carie-free- he says he found one in three children with caries. We can assume that if it’s possible that the children eating this “ideal” ancestral diet could have decay, then there are also children who were eating the more modern foods, who had none.

            Some were even vegetarians (the Indians).

            They did eat eggs and dairy, though. In my practice, it is really only veganism that stands out as presenting severe nutritional deficiencies (apart from gut issues that may precipitate mal-absorption). So this doesn’t strike me as a strong counter-argument for eating grains.

            They only ate dairy products and eggs. But the eggs were pastured and the dairy was grass-fed. And they cook everything in grass-fed ghee.

            I think that this point actually supports my argument about the nutrient density of the remainder of the diet. I think grains can be beneficial in many ways- they can add calories/energy to the diet, they can provide a good “pairing” for nutrient-dense foods like cheese and butter, and people just like them and some would be miserable without them. But in my opinion, the people that thrive eating grains are doing so despite their grain consumption, and because they manage to take in significant nutrition in the rest of their diets. For most people, a diet high in grains, even properly prepared grains, means a diet significantly lower in nutrients- so even those patients who include grains in their diets are advised to prepare them properly and limit them.

            I know how much you love your grain foods, and I respect that. The importance of getting pleasure from our diets is often minimized by healthcare professionals. I understand that you believe the remainder of your diet is nutrient-dense enough to compensate for any possible loss, and you may be absolutely right.

            A final thought, the majority Swiss population was still eating pastured meats, butter, eggs and dairy. Adding the lime to the grains they used for bread didn’t make any difference in the health of their teeth- they were also eating some refined sugar (as you say you do as well). That tells me that even though they were eating a diet far superior to anything we can get here today, they STILL had deficiencies caused by the foods displaced by the grains. Meaning that we are already way behind them nutritionally, even without the grains- and that we bump ourselves back even further when we include them. This is how I explain what makes grains so bad.

            Brigit, RD

            PS. Your daughter is absolutely ADORABLE and her resemblance to you, remarkable. (:

          2. Grrrr… that’s what I get for having two WAP pages open at the same time.

            Correction- he founds caries in-

            “2.3 teeth out of each hundred”

            A much smaller incidence, but not total elimination. If 1/3 of those eating the “modern” diet had caries, that means that 2/3 had none. That’s an impressive number, still.

    2. I can’t believe that I’m even commenting here, but since when do people think that finding a blog with any information means it is good information? “It’s dangerous to those who are looking for information on a real food diet..” They should be looking for that information somewhere else, shouldn’t they, like with their doctor, nutritionist, homeopath, etc- not a blog. It’s her blog and she has the right to write her opinion, which is exactly what she’s done and anyone looking for the key to a perfect diet here is sadly misinformed. (No slam on you Cheeseslave, I just don’t understand why people have this belief that YOU need to be responsible to provide medically or scientifically based information.)

  102. WoW! You seem to have really struck a nerve with some people. Ouch! I choose not to do any eating plan that I considere “extreme” and true paleo IMHO is. I also don’t take offense to anyone else thinking my choices are ill advised in any way. I don’t think it’s a good idea to hand pick a single part of a lifestyle from a culture or any part of history and try to adhere to it. I read somewhere that many of the western settlers (Little house on the Prarie) era people ate 4000 calories for breakfast. To take that eating plan and put it into a modern lifestyle seems foolish to me. Unless you are going to also integrate the exhaustive sun up to sundown physical work you won’t have the same health benefits. For me the same goes with the paleo diet, unless you are going to have periods of calorie deprivation, which would have been common during that period, because they would feast after a kill and go hungry until the next kill, how can you say you are being true to the period.

    It’s too bad that someone would unsubscribe over your opinion of why you don’t choose to participate in particular eating plan.

  103. Hey Cheeseslave,
    I’m so sorry to see all the negative backlash you are getting about this post. I thought it was very well-done and realistic. These days, there seems to be many dietary “fads” happening and it’s hard not to get sucked into all the reason why you *need* to execute them. As a mother of three (almost four), it’s tough just to be able to feed my family good-quality sprouted bread and raw milk. The raw cow’s milk in the store is very expensive so we settle for the raw goat’s milk from our neighbor’s goats in the backyard. For us, this is a sacrifice. If I felt I needed to restrict my family to only specific, high-priced items in order to maintain our health, I would be in a whirl-wind of stress and chaos and my entire life would be about the next meal we were going to eat.

    Anyway, just wanted to say thank you for a refreshing post and that contains realistic motives without cursing anyone for the way they choose to eat and live their lives. Bravo for your bravery!

    1. Thanks, Kyla

      I wrote this post for folks like you — I just don’t think we need to get so crazy with this.

      Kudos to you for working so hard to feed your family well. 🙂

    2. Hi Kyla,

      Please don’t feel you are “settling” for raw goat’s milk! I chose to keep dairy goats instead of a cow for our family’s milk because I strongly believe the milk is healthier. I find it curious that the WAPF seems to hold cow’s milk up on a pedestal considering goat’s milk is superior nutritionally and is a more traditional dairy product. In addition, goat’s milk is more easily digestible, doesn’t contain a certain troubling casein protein, is alkalinizing in the body (as opposed to acidic like cow’s milk and cow’s milk products…remember that cancer cannot survive in an alkaline environment). I don’t have to worry about butterfat either…my does have their milk tested and have a wonderful butterfat content of 5.2%. From a management perspective goats are also more adaptable than cows, more efficient milk producers, easier to handle, make it easier to collect milk in a sanitary way, and are very easy to keep in a relatively small suburban backyard. Some people think goat’s milk tastes bad…but that’s only because they’ve only experienced either store-bought (pasteurized & UHT milk) or milk from poorly managed animals. When handled properly, raw goat’s milk is wonderful, sweet, and creamy! When people try the milk from my Nubian goats, they react either in an anti-climactic way (“Gee, this tastes just like cow’s milk.”) or in a pleasantly surprised way (“Wow, this tastes so much better than the cow’s milk we normally drink!”).

      Enjoy that wonderful raw goat’s milk! 🙂

    3. This message is for Kyla: Kyla I’m just curious, why do you feel that drinking raw goat’s milk from someone you know as opposed to raw cow’s milk from the store is a sacrifice? Thank you

  104. I was pondering this topic myself and my main disagreement (with Paleo/Primal) is that it is all based on false, God-dishonoring, evolutionary theory. Man was cultivating the ground from the time they were removed from the Garden of Eden (even before that God said that He gave them everything growing from the ground as food); shortly thereafter they were keeping livestock for meat, milk, and skins. If you have a sensitivity to a food you obviously shouldn’t eat it (and with all of the pollution and contaminants most of us are sensitive to something, even if it isn’t a full out allergy), but to say that man wasn’t created to eat it is ridiculous.

    1. I agree with the FAIL of the basis of that way of eating. I think instead, of how Noah’s family would have eaten. I think *that* is the best basis for our diet. Wellness Mama has a great Christian blog about eating grain-free.

      I have seen more of the hatred shown by some of the commenters here throughout the Paleo world. If you question them, you are a target. It’s as if Paleo is their religion. I enjoy the recipes and incorporate many of them in my diet, I just stay out of “the community”.

      1. Also, Primal (Mark’s Daily Apple), though still flawed in the evolutionary theory, is a much wiser way of eating. They don’t disallow dairy.

    2. I think you need to re-read Genesis. Agriculture was part of the punishment of disobeying God “By the sweat of your brow will you have food to eat…” Agriculture (grains) is a LOT more labor intensive than just walking around the garden picking fruits and vegetables. Also, if you think about it, agriculture is what has caused poverty, inequality, slavery, etc. Look at hunter-gather societies, they don’t have these things.

      1. Jessica, You need to re-read Genesis as well. Adam and Eve were not hunter-gatherers either, they ate what was in the Garden of Eden, all readily available to them, no work required and it was just plants, not animals. It was the toil of having to deal with weeds and working the ground that was punishment. Even a hunter-gatherer would have to deal with this punishment as he was not in the Garden of Eden and his food (wild animal, wild fruit, plants) came from the cursed ground. This is no way a base to say that paleo is the way to eat from Bibical standards. Paleo avocates eating unclean meats, pork, shellfish, rabbit and so on (Deut. 14:3-21). The curse of leaving the Garden of Eden is a direct result of sin and is a reminder to us that Jesus is our only salvation. Jesus ate bread, wine, and fish…and His disciples picked grain from fields they passed through and ate it.

        1. Agriculture did not cause poverty, inequality and slavery, man did. We now have agriculture without slavery here in the states. Blame corporations like Coca-cola and giant food companies that sell there processed junk to developing countries. A poor African can buy a cheap Coke and pringles and hunger subsides with no nutrition all the while lining the pockets of the CEO. Organic, local and substainable agriculture is not the same thing, in fact using grazing, domesticaed animals on ground that cultivated and would otherwise go to waste would help to end poverty. And inequality is gone when one begins to live the book of Acts…read that and see how no one went without.

        2. You need to re-read my comment. Nowhere did I say that Adam and Eve were hunter-gathers. I also never said that the Bible advocated a paleo way of eating.

          1. For those commenting about grains in the Bible and for those interested in a bit of context/commentary on Ezekiel 4:9:

            “Ezekiel 4:9 “But as for you, take wheat, barley, beans, lentils, millet and spelt, put them in one vessel and make them into bread for yourself; you shall eat it according to the number of the days that you lie on your side, three hundred and ninety days.

            BUT AS FOR YOU, TAKE WHEAT, BARLEY, BEANS, LENTILS, MILLET AND SPELT, PUT THEM IN ONE VESSEL AND MAKE THEM INTO BREAD FOR YOURSELF:

            Why mix the ingredients all of which were common in Israel’s diet according to (2Sa17:27, 28, 29)?

            The severity of the 18 month siege of Jerusalem would make it necessary to mix all available grain to derive sufficient material to bake into bread. Some modern references record that “spelt” is a species of hardy wheat regarded as inferior, since the hulled grains could not be freely threshed and which in some regions of the world is grown for feeding livestock. To be sure the final mixed grain produced a grade of flour inferior to pure wheat or barley flour.

            Cooper notes that

            “Wheat” and “barley” were the most important and widely used grains in the ancient Near East. “Beans” and “lentils” also were staple products usually not mixed with grain or used for flour. These four items, wheat and barley, beans and lentils, often are listed in pairs. “Millet” is mentioned only here in the OT but was used in Mesopotamia. “Spelt” sometimes was planted as a border to wheat or barley. ” (Vol. 17: Ezekiel. The New American Commentary. Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.)

            As alluded to above, the final siege of Jerusalem began in January 588 B.C. and lasted 18 months, during which the supplies of food became scarce. In times of scarcity in order to make the supplies last longer it was customary to mix several coarser grains (picture is of lentil) with the finer less readily available grains such as wheat and barley and grind these together to make flour.

            “The outcome of this mixture would be a coarse, unpalatable bread, not unlike that to which the population of Paris was reduced in the siege of 1870-71. This was to be the prophet’s food, as it was to be that of the people of Jerusalem during …siege.” (Pulpit Commentary)

            “If you live near a health-food store, see if they carry “Ezekiel Bread.” It is made according to the recipe that God gave Ezekiel. While it may not be palatable to those who are accustomed to refined sugars and flours, it is interesting to note that when made according to God’s recipe it produces a complete protein. God, the Creator of all things, knew exactly how to illustrate the reality of famine without jeopardizing the health of His obedient servant, Ezekiel!”
            www.preceptaustin.org/ezekial_49-17.htm

    3. DavetteB,
      I am a Christian and run a paleo blog. I am not a fan of the emphasis on the evolutionary aspect mainly because I believe 1) it is unnecessary -there are better reasons to eat this way than because “we evolved” to eat this way- and 2) it alienates a percentage of the population who could benefit from eating this way but are turned off by the focus on evolution. Having said that, the bottom line is many of us eat a paleo diet because of food intolerance and/or auto-immune diseases. When I google a recipe and use the word paleo I know that I have a better chance of finding something that excludes the grains, legumes, dairy (in some, but not all cases) and lots of processed sugar that I (personally) do not want. So not all of us focus on evolution or eating like cavemen or “dishonor” God. Quite the contrary.

      1. I think this is really the crux. Our food system is bastardized, poisoned, etc., and we are all burdened with heavy metals (more than we should be and are able to process.) In this case, eating the paleo way can be a good idea. If you don’t have any immune reactions to grains, nuts, beans, etc., then fine. And the people bringing up the Biblical aspect of things (as a Christian) is a good point. Yes, they were given bread and grains. Heck, in the era of W. Price, I can believe that they were healthy. However things have changed drastically in the last fifty years or so, and I think that what made people optimally healthy back then doesn’t work so well for today. Having said that, I cannot ignore that some people DO do well with grains. Better, even. I don’t believe that is the majority of American society, though.

  105. @annie dru…I’m curious to know if when your mom changed her diet if she changed it from typical American diet or a traditional real foods diet to Paleo? Did she go low carb?
    I’m 55 and my weight gain did not begin until age 51, only 5 lbs that year, 5 more each year until 55. I’m still peri menopause. Thyroid, adrenals and other hormones are wacked….a lot of this while on strict Paleo for over a year when I was 52-54. I only lost 5 lbs. of it on Paleo, then put it back on. I began Paleo when already on a real foods diet, so i wonder if that’s why i didnt lose as much as others. The weight would only come off from doing the Master Cleanse a few months ago, 10 lbs. have remained off since then. Most people who lose a good amount of weight on Paleo are coming out of a typical American diet.
    I have noticed that women do begin to gain weight close to menopause and more after menses have ceased for over a year. They naturally begin to lose that weight in their 70’s. I have watched it happen to family members and many other older women I have known over the years. Just my observations.

    1. Hi Allie,

      My mom was not only overweight, but also ill. She had migraine headaches, joint and muscle pain, insomnia, fatigue and depression. She borrowed my Nourishing Traditions one night, read the introductory section, and then the next day she opened up her cupboards and fridge and had my dad haul garbage bag after garbage bag full of ‘food’ to the trash (as you can imagine, he wasn’t too happy about it at first!).

      She replaced her stores with things like grass-fed butter, raw milk, sourdough bread (no she did not go paleo) coconut oil, calves liver (which she already loved) sauerkraut (which I made for her in the beginning) soaked and dried nuts, bone stock and kombucha (both of which eventually she also began making for herself). She’d always loved vegetables, but after reading NT, she made an effort to purchase only organically grown produce.

      In addition to industrially produced foods, what she also let go of were ‘treats’ mainly because she didn’t seem to crave them any more. In four years I have yet to see my mom put a fork full of cake to her face. She has enjoyed the Almond Cookie recipe from NT when I’ve made them on holidays, birthdays, etc, and she enjoys homemade ice cream made with raw honey in the summer. Other than that, I don’t think sugar passes her lips.

      She was 68 when she began her new program, and within a matter of weeks, literally weeks, she was 30 lbs. lighter and years younger in her mental outlook and energy level. The entire family was flabbergasted. Her two years younger sister battles excess weight, recently had her gall bladder removed, has had knee surgery and takes ‘the medications of the aging; blood pressure, cholesterol, etc, but my mom hasn’t had an operation and doesn’t take a single prescription.

      She’s up at 5am every morning so she can drive to my brother’s house to care for his son and special needs daughter while he’s at work, as he’s a single dad. She lives alone and attends to all her own ‘life-maintenence’. These are things that would have been impossible for her before she regained her health.

      My mom doesn’t hesitate a moment to credit her new diet with this transformation, and believe me, she preaches it to anyone and everyone she knows and loves who will listen, and who’s suffering like she once did.

      A.

  106. Most bloggers do respond to the comments left on their blog posts. What is strange is the way those of you who disagree with the post just can’t walk away, the way you guys keep responding to every comment, as if it were your blog.

  107. I love what you had to say about grains! Sprouted grains are loaded with vitamins, minerals, protein, and dietary fiber. I don’t know why the paleos are trying to compare the nutritional value of wheat to that of meat. A balanced diet doesn’t make us choose one or the other. There are nutrients in grains that we need, yet can’t get from meat. And there are nutrients in meat, especially grass fed meat, that we can’t get from grains. We need both. Thank you for having the courage to speak out against the current anti-grain fad.

    1. A balanced diet doesn’t make us choose one or the other. There are nutrients in grains that we need, yet can’t get from meat. And there are nutrients in meat, especially grass fed meat, that we can’t get from grains. We need both.

      Hear, hear! I couldn’t agree more.

      1. Rodeo,

        You wrote-

        “Betaine.”

        in response to Pegasus’ question-

        “Could you share what those nutrients are? More specifically, what do grains contain that we can’t get in greater quantity from vegetables?”

        You are mistaken- shellfish, quinoa, beets and spinach are ALL excellent sources of betaine- and are denser betaine sources than grains.

        Brigit, RD

  108. I agree with this blog post. The extreme rigidity of paleo and the lack of carbs in the form of grains (shock!) did my health no favours after about the 2 month mark. I actually ended up worse than when I began with more food sensitivities. Now I’m enjoying some fluffy white rice with no ill effect.
    When we create rules around our diet it is a disaster waiting to happen. I was my healthiest when I ate what I wanted, when I wanted and yes I was always a healthy eater enjoying lots of variety, but I still had occasional cake, bread, sweets, dairy etc.. It’s when I started to restrict my diet that I began to have even more problems, and now I wish I never had.

  109. id say a lot of paleo people eat dairy (for example, i eat butter as my main source of fat)

    wheat and other grains are REALLY bad because of gluten and lectins and antinutrients. however rice and potatoes are “safe”, which means that i eat them as a convenient source of carbs, but they are not strictly necessary like meat and fat and vegetables are. im sure avoiding grains is pretty easy.

    low carb is better for older, overweight people, because carbs break down to sugar which increases insulin resistance. high carb is better for younger, more active people. you can get carbs from vegetables, rice and potatoes.

    after agriculture people can still eat meat, fruit and vegetables, but they can have grains as a backup plan. but grains as a significant proportion of a persons diet for the most part is bad.

  110. I really appreciate this post, it shows that you are willing to change your opinions based on observation and new information. And you’re not afraid to tell people what you’ve learned and how it changed your thinking. That’s awesome. I did low carb for two years and though I lost 40 pounds and kept it off for the whole time it eventually really screwed me up. I gained it all back right in the middle and am having a heck of a time getting it off again even doing traditional. It’s taken me a year to recover from some of the health problems and still working on others. But at the time, I was all for it, my energy went up and the weight came off. Until I hit the physiological carb wall. I do have one paleo cookbook because it had some really tasty looking recipes in it and was recommended by a friend. I am still considering GAPS for an interim approach because I do have a child with behavioral issues linked to food. But I’m a closet foodie and severe restriction just won’t sit with me. I think Great-Grandma had it right all along: “Moderation in all things.” I recently found our local WAPF group and they’re great. I still take everything with a grain of salt though. Anything that feels too rigid gives me pause and makes me do research. i.e. A recent discussion with an herbalist about the true traditional way to consume raw milk made me reconsider how I purchase. I still love our raw milk and wouldn’t give it up, but now I strive to drink it within two or three days and don’t get more until the next milking delivery. This is because raw milk was not traditionally held under refrigeration for long periods of time and the biological profile is 80% dominated by psychrotrophic organisms by the 4-5 day. I’ve done my research on this and have a degree in food science, biology and chemistry. Traditionally, the milk was fermented or cultured after a day or so. Not refrigerated. So I have stopped letting my hubby have it after the first two days – he has a chronic lower colon problem that I don’t want exposed to a heavy load of those organisms. But up until that discussion, I was all for the benefits of raw milk up to the full pull date. So I appreciated the challenge and stretch to my scientific horizons just as I truly like this post!

  111. If you don’t like a blog, just don’t read it. No need to be unkind!
    PS. If you want to get angry over food…Let’s get angry a the fact that millions of people are literally STARVING.

  112. I can’t believe that Ann-Marie, a blogger, is now being questioned for responding to comments on her own blog. Seriously, people, you should be embarrassed. And if you’re not now, you will be in a few days when your anger finally subsides.

    1. All I can say is wow. She responds respectfully to people who disagree with her post and now she is being criticized for that? Would you like it better if she just ignored all of you?

  113. Wow! I agree totally and you hit it on the head “balance is a good thing”. That’s my theory. We have evolved since tahat period in time. I enjoy your blog.

  114. I’m sorry that you have been attacked by this post. Food and diets are such a touchy subject and is easily picked apart by many. I hope this will die down soon and everyone can relax and know that this was just a blog post explaining how you feel you should eat and why.

    In La Leche League meetings we have a saying and that saying goes like this: “Take what you want and leave the rest behind.” This is what we all need to do when we read other peoples’ blogs.

    One good thing I like about paleo is how it made me and my family eat more veggies. Because I took grains away, we had to fill that hole with something and it happened to be more veggies. However, we don’t eat paleo 100%. My family members wanted their breads and pizza back, but I stuck to making sure we all eat more veggies.

  115. Pingback: Top 10 Reasons Your "Top 10 Reasons I'm Not Paleo" Are Silly | Primal Family LivingPrimal Family Living
  116. @jessica

    You may want to read Genesis over – while in the garden they only ate “seed bearing plants” as did all of creation. Genesis 1:29-30. There was no death up to this point, not even for the animals, all ate from what God provided in the garden.
    Adam did not hunt while in the garden, nor eat meat.
    The ground and serpent were cursed, not man. Genesis:3:14-24
    One consequence for man is that , now they “hunt and gather” food by the “sweat of his brow” instead of being able to just pick whatever they desire to eat as they had done before being put out of the garden.
    It is clear in the Bible that grains are not a forbidden food.

    1. Yeah, I never said they ate meat before the Fall. Gathering food is something that they would have still done before the Fall, so it wouldn’t have been instituted afterwards. Hunting is something that people regularly do for fun. So is gardening (fruits and vegetables). But have you ever heard of anyone growing grains for fun? No, it doesn’t happen, it’s back breaking work that historically the poorest have been made to do. It’s not something that Adam would have been doing in the Garden. Now this doesn’t mean we can’t eat grains anymore than not eating meat before the Fall means that we can’t eat meat. I think you read way too much into my comment based on your own perceptions of what Paleo is.

  117. Just a quick FYI. Regardless of your opinion or personal preference for a style of diet, a Paleo style diet is not a “fad”. It’s the original diet that sustained our species for maybe 100,000 generations. All other styles of diet are a fad because they’ve been nothing more than a tiny blip on the radar of our total culinary history.

  118. I am 71. I rarely comment on blogs, but read several. When I read this post I smiled and enjoyed the obvious humor and good writing. I do not understand the vitriolic comments and extremely rude remarks of several people.
    I have lived through butter, olive oli, and carbs being our food enemies. Diet and food hates come and go like waves and trends. While I kept enjoying olive oil and butter and shunned margarine, I was told it was not healthy. I did what made sense to me. I never told anyone else to do what I did. Since when have diets and ways of eating become like fanatical religions? We live in a country where free speech allows people to have their own opinions. However, extreme negativity and nastiness are just rude and uncomfortable. Eat what you want, when you want. We are fortunately to live in a country with all kinds of food being available and plentiful. Don’t become my food police and I won’t become yours. Do what makes sense to you based on all of the wonderful choices and abundance in this country. But stop being negative, insulting and rude!

  119. Great post Ann. I do have to say that the way I eat is somewhat Paleo, and it isn’t expensive at all, at least the way I do it. I don’t eat a lot of meat, so that’s one way. Also, I can still have chocolate chip cookies, cakes, pies – I just make them with almond flour or coconut flour.

    I definitely support your way of eating, and will continue to subscribe. I think we can all learn things from different ways of healthy eating, as no one way is “the right way”. Instead of complaining about food, we should be grateful we have a choice in what we will or will not eat.

  120. I disagree strongly that it’s expensive and impractical. I eat a near-archevore diet with my family of 6 and do so without spending more than we did before. If anything, we’re spending less seeing that we don’t have to rely on allergy medication for our kids like we did before. Further, the long-term costs of the Standard American diet are far more expensive than the costs of our near-paleo diet.

  121. Paleo is low carb? Really?

    And Paleo is impractical because who has time to hunt and gather? Who said you should hunt and gather to eat Paleo food?

    Seriously!

  122. Eat what makes you feel good, don’t eat what makes you feel bad, and adjust your carbs to a level that is healthy for you.
    This is how I eat, which, to me, encompasses the whole issue. Some people can eat certain foods with no problems (and thrive, not just survive), while others get deathly ill eating the same food. Some people can eat higher carbs (and thrive, not just survive), while others gain weight, develop unhealthy blood levels, develop diabetes, etc.
    Arguing about the nutrient density of food (among real foods), and what to eat based on that, is actually a personal argument because we are all genetically different. Ultimately, that is a personal decision for each person. If eating a lower percentage of higher nutrient dense food is the choice that someone makes because it makes their life overall better for them, we need to respect that choice; they know their own body better than anyone else. If a person is healthy and thriving, why waste time arguing over percentages? Even Gary Taubes acknowledges that genetics plays a role in how many carbs a person can handle without ill effects, and based on one’s health, may need to adjust it up or down. The science out there is not to argue that ALL people should eat a low carb diet, but, rather, explains how hormones, enzymes, etc. work. How the hormones, enzymes, etc. plays out in the body will be different for each person. The science is there for those who need to make changes, to help them understand what changes they may need to make, and why. Low carb is just another valid way of eating. Insert whatever word you want for how a person eats…Paleo, WAP, GAPS, low carb, high carb…and the bottom line remains the same – if a person is healthy, thriving, and happy with their diet, then it is the right way of eating for them; not better than or worse than any other “diet”.
    If eating low carb (with or without grains) was a universal truth, then everyone would do well on that diet, but that’s not true. I’ve seen people do great on low carb (with and without grains), and I’ve seen people’s health decline on low carb (with and without grains, eating healthy, whole foods, not low carb crap). Obviously, there are reasons science has yet to understand about these differences in individuals, but they are there, and cannot simply be dismissed out of hand.
    I know that paleo is not low carb, but can be, so you can insert the word paleo in the place of low carb, and the issue remains the same. What one person thrives on will be different from what another person thrives on. We are all genetically different to think otherwise.

    Here’s a blog I think would would enjoy, paleo or not, called Paleo for Women.
    https://www.paleoforwomen.com/

  123. First off, I think you knew when you were writing this blog that it would create controversy and invite comments and bring people to your blog. Well done!

    There is no way I can read or will read every comment posted but from what I have read both sides are totally ridiculous and both sides are being rude, idiotic fools to each other.

    Paleo is not a diet but a way of eating, just like Weston Price ideas are a way of eating not a diet. When I say “diet”, I mean in todays definition of diet. Eating a balanced, clean, whole food palate is what is the healthiest way to go.

    You are very supportive of the GAPS diet for many reasons, but many people go on Paleo for the same reasons that they go on GAPS. There is nothing wrong with it.

    I went on Paleo to heal myself and I did and what I found out is I cannot tolerate cheese in any form but I can drink milk. I cannot eat wheat without my mouth breaking out in sores and my skin in a rash, even sprouted grain items. I have been able to go off of all medications. I have lost 35 lbs. and am healthier ant 44 than I was at 24.

    I believe the reason people are up in arms about your post is because you are so dismissive about it all and actually come off sounding like you think anyone who follows Paleo is an idiot. With that said, I do agree that there are way too many people who are paleo perfectionist.

    Here is a great post by on a paleo site that speaks to this very matter.https://balancedbites.com/2012/06/paleo-perfectionism.html?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=paleo-perfectionism

    Everyone should be able to get along and be open and accepting to what others do.

    IMHO

  124. Have you ever read It Starts with Food? Sounds like you should read it and the studies in the appendix. This is one of the most uneducated post I’ve ever read on this blog. So disappointing. Unsubscribing.

  125. You really should take the time to educate yourself about something before writing a blog post about it. I honesty don’t mean this as an insult but you display a lot of ignorance here about what the Paleo diet actually is and how it is applied. You are misleading your readers by not giving a fair representation of the Paleo diet. Try reading a few books on the topic. I suggest the Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson, The Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf or a great new book called “It Starts With Food” by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig. A lot of great information can be found within these pages and might just open your mind a little.

  126. The paleos talk about Dr. Leila Denmark being their hero. She died at 114 and was a practicing physician until age 103. She didn’t drink milk. I’ve been trying to find out more information about her diet. Does anyone here know more? I guess it’s a co-incidence that she didn’t drink milk, because plenty of people on a traditional diet around the world have lived to 100 or older.

  127. I thought this posting was quite entertaining and meant to get people upset. I would consider myself Paleoish and before I started eating this way I thought the same way you did. I worked out with crazy Paleo people and thought they were insane and flawed. I ended up getting very sick. I couldn’t play with my children. I was depressed. I was fainting all of the time. The doctors were sending me to all kind of specialists. They thought I had lupus. I only started to feel better when I went Paleo. I ended up having Hashimoto’s and a few deficiencies. I also just found out that I possibly have thyroid cancer. I think the reason people are so passionate about this type of diet is because those of us who don’t do it for weight loss feel like it saved our lives. I can play with my children again. I can think straight again.

    For the record, my children eat pizza and cookies, but not in the same way others do. Paleo parents make it work and we don’t deprive our children.

    I will say that I use to absolutely love cheese, but my body didn’t. Good for you that you don’t have the same issue.

  128. Pingback: Tuesday «
  129. I am not understanding why this many people care what you think- enough to comment to the extent that they have- repeatedly. Shame on you for saying what you think and your ‘dangerous conjecture’ on your blog Cheeselover! I think they also missed significance of the title of this post and your name, which I find hilarious. Do they seriously think someone named Cheeselover is going to support paleo?! Anyone that goes to a blog thread to learn about diets is going in the wrong direction anyways. That should be your first clue you are doing it wrong, second the fact you are doing a diet called paleo yet cooking your meat. Learn to coexist people, not everyone is going to have the same viewpoint as you. It disturbs me too how this paleo idea is sweeping the nation. There have been several diets identical to this one fizz out so I expect the same to happen. And newsflash!!! Eating healthy fresh foods low in carbs and grains is not something new! Secondly, there are literally millions of other nations that have subsisted on grains as the majority of their diets for centuries that are 100% healthier than we are.

  130. My take on the paleo diet is that it is about eating healthy whole food, that hasn’t been overly processed (like wheat turned into flour, for instance), or laden with preservatives, or loads of sugar. You’ll have to do your own research on this, but I read somewhere that back in the mid to late 1800s, the average comsumption of sugar was around 12 lbs. per year. Now, the average consumption is closer to 160 lbs. That’s what’s doing us in, but if you want to eat your cakes, and pies, and cookies, be my guest. A paleo diet is impractical, but taking part of it along with eating fresh vegetables and fruit, drinking lots of water, and taking a good multi-vitamin, is a good thing. Another thing, hunter/gatherers became agrarians, which the central americans were already doing, i.e. growing corn, beans, chiles, etc., and north americans might have followed the same trajectory given an opportunity.

  131. @wapf groupie – is this really how you disagree with someone? Wow.
    Crazy rude AND ugly AND yes, maybe tomorrow will be better for you and then you can humbly apologize.
    Hope you get some sweet sleep tonight.

  132. How very sad that you have such a misinformed view of the Paleo diet/lifestyle choice, and quite a few other things might I add! You really shouldn’t be making statements without the evidence to support your views, as you are doing exactly what you claim you will not accept and tolerate yourself! Your blog has just lost another follower…

  133. Interesting. You could have called this ‘The Top 10 Misconceptions About Paleo’ also. There are hard-core zealots out there, for sure. But most paleo eaters view it more as a framework, not as a re-enactment, and tweak it to fit their personal needs/wants. It sounds like you’re railing against zealotry – so do a lot of ‘paleo bloggers 🙂

  134. A clarification on points #6 and #7 – There are modern hunter-gatherer groups, too. They didn’t “die out.” As for whether their lives were/are easy, it all depends on your definition of easy. Anthropological studies show that hunter-gatherers work about 15-20 hours per week foraging and hunting, with the rest of their time spent in leisure and household chores. I don’t know about you, but I’d love a 20-hour workweek. It sounds pretty relaxed compared to my current 60-hour workweek. And I’d get to eat whole foods?

    This of course is neither here nor there on the discussion of paleo diet, as paleo diet and hunter-gatherer lifestyle are quite different things (one can easily produce paleo foods in a sedentary agrarian/horticultural setting), but I did want to share since a lot of people still have misconceptions about what life is like for these groups.

  135. Oh you are bound to get some interesting comments about this topic, to be sure. I agree with some of the things you say and disagree with others. C’est la vie.

  136. Have you read any paleo books? The easiest one to start with is probably the Paleo Solution by Rob Wolf. Please do, because a lot of the assertions you’ve made about what paleo is, and why people eat that way, are just plain wrong. The paleo diet is not motivated by what we ate thousands of years ago – that was the inspiration for the investigation into WHY it is that modern hunter-gatherer societies and our ancestors were so much healthier than us, why they managed to avoid any of today’s degenerative diseases. There is a LOT of science behind why one should avoid grains and dairy and sugar.

    None of the people I know that do paleo are trying to be historical recreationists. They are all convinced by the science of what goes on in our bodies. Google some videos of Matt Lalonde, Harvard PhD in Organic Chemistry, if you want to take a few minutes to research your assumptions about what paleo actually is. (Honey is allowed in small quantities, by the way, and dairy can be reintroduced once the gut is healed…and the diet is primarily for nutrition, weight loss is just a nice side-effect. It’s not even a low carb diet like you said, as you just replace the carbs from grains with more nutrient-dense carbs from tubers and vegetables.) Do some more reading maybe?

    1. There may be a lot of science, but much of it is flawed or one sided. What about the traditional Native American farming tribes of the America’s? They have thrived for centuries on growing corn, beans, squash, and other veggies, as well as foraging for wild foods and hunting. They ate meat when it was available, but they didn’t rely on it. These people, when living on their historical diet, don’t suffer from modern diseases that the SAD causes, have low rates of cancer, and live to ripe old ages.

      So what about that? Hmmm? It is eating whole foods, no matter what type of eating that might look like, that is life and health sustaining, and it is the SAD diet of highly processed foods, too much sugar, and too many additives that is killing us.

      Too many people around here insist on throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

  137. Any response from Cheeseslave about all the controversy surrounding this article? I’d like to read one.

  138. Tyou for posting this! I lost 135 pound on basically the zone diet and doing crossfit which for crossfitters paleo can work becaue of the okayness of fat metabolization but now thatt I am a competitve olympic weightlifter I was not able to lift heavy as I wanted and the nutritionist with a masters degree mind you as opposed to thesse paleo people who have opinion and not education said oh no u need to get off paleo and put me on a healthy diet including dairy and whole grains and I have to say I felt soo much pressure on paleo it mad me nuts so I am glad I have variety in my life and am muchh happier I also hid all the paleo elitests off my fb. I say if you want to know exactly what to eat see a registered dietician or nutritionist way worth the money!

  139. Thank you for this! I had my family on GAPS for 3 months last year (to help me detox after 30 years of the usual American diet, and detox us all of lead poisoning), and since then I’ve tried doing a mostly GAPS diet, with grains as a treat now and then. I had TONS of energy (a plus with kids 6, 4 and 3!), and our immune systems were stronger than ever. But I’d been thinking lately that having soaked, fermented grains more often really can’t be that bad. I lost sight of the fact that GAPS is a temporary thing! And I had looked at paleo lately, too, but I like your perspective about it. It really validates what I’ve been thinking!

    The price thing is such a big thing, too. We were going broke on food with that diet! We’re low income, I stay home with the kids, and we just can’t afford to spend a lot. So we joined a CSA and upgraded to raw milk last month, and the trade off was eating a lot more grains because they fill out our diet for less money.

    Also, thanks for the reminder about the 80/20 rule! I’m finally getting that down, and I don’t freeze in horror if someone gives my kids graham crackers. The book “Bringing Up Bebe” also reminded me to have balance, and to give my kids healthy, responsible desserts to give them balance. I don’t want them gorging when Easter and Halloween come around because they never get treats!

    1. Also, thanks for the reminder about the 80/20 rule! I’m finally getting that down, and I don’t freeze in horror if someone gives my kids graham crackers.

      I think so many of us can relate to that look of horror. My husband is so much happier now that I’m a lot more relaxed about our diet.

      1. There is a much better atmosphere in our house since I have relaxed my “food nazi” attitude. 😉

        1. Yeah, my family is enjoying a much more peaceful atmosphere too because of me loosening up! It was so hard to really get it through my head that when we’re out and people give us treat foods, it won’t send my kids hurtling into sickness and bad health. For some reason it was so extreme in my mind before. I like being able to shrug things off now!

  140. I watched a couple of documentaries about the remaining hunter-gatherer tribes and quite frankly, they are diminutive, have bad teeth and do not have figures anything like the paleo-fantasy. Every great civilization in history has been powered by breads, beans, rice, milk and cheese. Nuff said.

  141. At the end of point #2 you say that you’ll write more on the flaws of the modern wheat theory when you’re finished reading the book… Which book are you referring to?

    Thanks for the great post.

      1. Well, I think “hogwash” is a little presumptuous, but as I haven’t begun to read it I have to point out just one series of posts by Dr. Davis: einkorn bread. I don’t doubt that if your biome and your gut are perfect you can eat properly prepared gluten-grains, I just think those two suppositions aren’t so common in the occidental population and a less dangerous approach is to not eat them. I am personally not fanatically committed to paleo (certainly for the same reason as you it seems: I love hard cheeses ;-)) nor primal. I still occasionally eat some wheat but not on an usual day (and if I would feel some re-exposure sign I would skip those), and I certainly eat white potatoes and white rice, a la Perfect Health Diet, and some orange juice (a la Peat) at breakfast time half of the days; pre-soaked legume less often.

        What do I want to say? Some more of Tom Naughton’s spirit should be advisable: you have to look for what works for you, and everyone should just try first stopping to eat industrial crap to check for any changes. And look for the common ground more than the differences: more well prepared food and less omega-6 industrial food.

        Best regards!

        PD: Some people are not short on imagination for calling you fat.

  142. You know what’s funny? This is the exact reason I don’t tell people that I eat paleo anymore because everyone on here supporting this lifestyle, and everywhere else most of the time, sound like a bunch of looney obsessed, preaching whack jobs. I mean seriously, take the time and actually read and listen to yourselves!? You all take this shit way too serious and way too far (I’ll be waiting for the “Nothing is more important than your health!” replies for that one), to the point that I hate being involved in the Paleo community. You all make it sound like we have not evolved at all, and that eating Paleo actually makes you stupid and can’t think for yourselves. As long as you eat meat, fish, veggies, full and healthy fats, and workout 2-3 times a week, everyone will stay healthy until the day they die. Speaking of which, our ancestors have been processing and consuming grains for thousands of years, and you know what!? We are still here, living, thriving, and growing old and that isn’t going to change no matter what. And unless your full blown Celiac, eating grains every once and awhile is not going to kill you either. I bet if 90% of you never had switched to living a Paleo lifestyle that you would all still end up living full and healthy lives in to your 80-90’s +. @Cheeseslave, thanks for posting this, your points are valid and it brought out the Paleo idiots from their socially deprived CrossFit communites, especially the ones that sound like they constantly post the stupid questions and answers on Paleo Hacks. Oh and by the way, my fiance and I eat paleo 80-90% of the time, but we also like to live and enjoy our lives to the fullest, so if that means enjoying a really good IPA or eating a really good slice of pizza or Turkey club sandwich, then so be it. I’m going to enjoy life, and I’m starting to realize that living Paleo seems to take that away. I await your null and unexciting responses, sheep.

    1. You don’t have to be full blown celiac to have to remove grains. Just thought I’d correct you on that. A lot of people with Autoimmune issues do best when removing grains. I thought I handled them well too until I removed them from a diet. It changed how I felt immensely. So yes, if you can eat them, go ahead. But after having been in the Autism, Down Syndrome, generally sick community, I can tell you that a LOT of people do better removing grains, at least until their guts heal up.

      1. @Julie Leonardo

        I agree, some people do need to remove grains for a period of time. I just don’t think it has to be a life sentence.

        For me personally, I reversed my rheumatoid arthritis and chronic fatigue syndrome and I only had to remove gluten for about 2 years. I kept eating rice and corn and other grains. I also took sugar out of my diet.

  143. How about we all just agree on the point that we should eat things that are actually FOOD?! That way, we can all decide what’s best for our body and our family, since we are all different! Seems reasonable to me!

    By the way, I thought this post was very informative and interesting – and freeing!

    1. I’m looking for the “like” button! ;D Well said Melissa!!!

      PS: I want to add to all the paleo lovers out there that in my 7 months of paleo I began to have worse and worse mood swings on a nearly daily basis. No matter how I adjusted my protein/carb intake or rest or all the other recommendations, the mood swings continued. Finally my husband told me I had to try adding wheat back in and so I ground up some fresh einkorn and baked. Instantly over night I was calm and happy. Now if I go more than a day without wheat the mood swings come back!! I never had this problem before paleo 🙁

  144. We have been paleo for the past 7 months and I couldn’t agree with you more. We are Christians and believe in Creationism and therefore believe agriculture has been around since Adam and Eve left the garden. But all that aside, I have an answer to your baked goods dilemma. It’s called Einkorn. It’s the original God-designed wheat with only 14 chromosomes and a very gentle non fraken-gluten :). The wheat we have today has over 40 chromosomes and a very harsh gluten: which is why we have so many problems with eating it today! So you’re right, if it’s worked for so long, why can’t we eat it? Cause it’s been modified into oblivion for easier growth and resistance by farmers. So buy yourself some einkorn, grind it up, and enjoy those baked goods :D. PS: I like cheese too. yuuummm.

    1. Wow, fascinating about the Einkorn wheat. I have never heard of it, but am grateful to have learned about, and thank you for sharing!

      1. 🙂 I’m so glad to have helped! Since I switched to Einkorn my digestion is SO much better and I don’t have any issues in that department like I did before. Oh, and its texture is sooo smooth and it’s taste is so light! Perfect for baked goods!

        1. Amazing, Melanie, I can’t wait to try it! Thanks again. Thanks for all your other great comments, too. I enjoyed your thoughts. : )