I’ll be upfront and honestly say I’ve never promoted the ‘Paleo’ diet as the holy grail of eternal youth and all your CrossFit dreams. Yes, it is a way of eating that can get results (depending on what you want those results to be), but is it the only way to skin the cat? Of course not. Is there other ways of eating that WILL get you results and WON’T have you vilified as the ‘weirdo’ who only eats meat and raw veggies at bbq’s and parties? Of course there is.
As Paleo is becoming more and more mainstream so does the gross generalizations, misconceptions, and the more confusing it becomes for you. People ask and assume some really strange things when they hear the way I eat. So, all you eat is meat, right? No. Do you eat sugar? Yes, but not from junk food. So, you eat rice? I thought grains weren’t allowed? There is no Food Police. I can do what I want. Do you eat vegetables? Yes. Do you eat them raw? Not all the time. I’m confused. You should be.
There are many different interpretations of the Paleo diet. Everyone thinks their version is right and that everyone else is wrong. It’s confusing and frustrating. We just want to eat. And here’s the biggest problem when food becomes religion: dogma. It’s just food. There is no black and white. It’s all grey. I personally eat some dairy, grains, and legumes and I haven’t been smited by the Paleo gods. I don’t eat much sugar because I don’t have a ‘sweet tooth’. The frequency, quantity, and specifics of those foods all depend on my individual tolerance. There are certain foods that I react strongly to, so I make a conscious effort to avoid them. With certain types of dairy, I avoid lactose milk and most hard & soft cheeses, I have a stronger reaction to these so I look for substitutes. Not because I follow a certain diet, but because it is what works best for me personally.
When I work with CrossFit Caloundra clients, I strongly avoid my use of the word ‘Paleo.’ I only really use it as a search tool if the person wants to make an alternative version of a traditional dish or dessert. Do a search for ‘Paleo’ anything and you will find it. There is no shortage of paleofied foods. As a search tool, the word is very valuable. But when you start debating over whether or not something is Paleo, I tune out. It’s a waste of time and it’s not helping anyone. No one is eating a Paleo diet, as much as they’d like to think they are. The food we have now is not the same food that was around during the Paleolithic era. We eat a modern-Paleo diet, if you want to call it that. But why don’t we call it what it is: real food.
I think we’ve lost sight of what Paleo once was – a great starting point toward finding what works best for you as an individual in your dietary needs. If you want to have some milk and beer (hopefully not mixed together), go for it. It’s your life. Your choice. I’m not going to judge you. But don’t eat something because it’s ‘not Paleo.’ Make an informed decision based on your own experiences and choose not to eat something because it’s not the right choice for you.
I eat real food. I don’t do Paleo. We don’t do 30 day Paleo eating challenges either, we do 30 day ‘Unleash Your Inner Athlete’ eating challenges at CrossFit Caloundra. Paleo is dead. I follow the Marty diet. It’s what works best for me. You can’t follow my diet because you’re not me. You have to follow your own diet. It’s not a fad, and it will never go out of style.