I remember when a friend first told me about the Paleo diet. Although I tend to approach things from a scientific point of view, I had a hard time opening my mind to the idea that the Paleo diet was anything more than hype to sell the latest fad diet. When I did some digging though, it started to make sense. What’s “fad” about a diet that asks folks to eat real food that’s been in the human diet for thousands of years? In reality, the modern Western diet is the fad; we’ve only been eating the way we eat today for forty to fifty years.
When I took an interest in diet and nutrition back in 1996, I learned that the way Americans eat today isn’t based in science. It’s based in the agendas of lobbyists and government officials who said looking at the science would take too long. It’s based in Big Ag and Big Pharma who have a lot to loose when their newest GMO grain or cholesterol-lowering medication falls out of favor. I’m not a conspiracy theorist, but I certainly do know how to follow the money.
It’s not surprising that, coming from a low-carb background, I’d see the appeal to an eating plan that asks us to eat real food. As a low-carber, I won’t say that I’ve never used the “convenience foods” because that’d be a lie. What I CAN say though is that I’ve always felt better eating real food that’s as unprocessed as possible. And since I shunned grain a long time ago, following the Paleo diet seemed like a natural extension of my low-carb eating plan.
Apparently, however, I’m not alone. And folks aren’t using the Paleo diet just for weight loss. They’re using it to stay healthy and strong as athletes, they’re using it to handle severe GI issues, they’re using it to manage autoimmune conditions, and the list goes on. I always thought that there weren’t that many of us who were interested in a primal-type eating plan, but it seems that I’m wrong.
Whatever you want to call it — the Paleo diet, the “caveman” diet, the primal diet — it’s basically the same thing. Avoid the new (or neolithic) foods that make us sick and fat in order to get healthy and lean. And today, folks are seeing the logic in the idea that an eating plan like the Paleo diet can visit health and wellness on anyone who’s willing to give it a fair shot.
“Fair shot” seems to be the key. Robb Wolf always likes to ask people to give it an honest try for 30 days, see how you look, feel, and perform, and if you want to go back to what you were doing beforehand, then go for it. The thing is, we Westerners are so addicted to the unhealthy fats, the highly refined sugars, and the grains that are NOTHING like the grains that even our grandparents ate that it’s hard to let go of that “crack”. I always say to folks though, “What’s 30 days? In the grand scheme of things, 30 days is nothing, especially when the benefits far outweigh the risks.”
As evidenced by some of the news coverage I’m seeing and the chatter that I’m reading in forums and online email groups, more folks ARE giving it a try. They’re succeeding, and they’re loving the results.
If you’re on the fence about changing your eating plan or if you’re looking for something new because what you’re doing isn’t working, climb aboard the Paleo wagon for 30 days and see what you think. At the end of 30 days, if you’re miserable, try something else, but give it a fair shot. I think a lot of folks will be completely surprised by the way that real food can change your life and bring you that much closer to claiming your own personal liberty.