I’ve written about what it was like when I first took on the Paleo diet as a template (and then moved into Paleo AIP for even more relief of my autoimmune symptoms) but I never really write about why.
Here’s why: I don’t see the Paleo diet as another random diet that excludes random things for magically improved health and weight loss.
Eating Paleo isn’t about conforming to a weird protocol (though Paleo AIP definitely feels like it). Eating Paleo is about returning to a natural diet that our bodies need for optimum health.
We were made to eat meat, vegetables, and a little fruit. Everything else we have cultivated to feed people more and and more cheaply — leading to countless health conditions that Americans struggle with every day.
If you don’t want optimum health, that’s a whole other problem. But if you do, take a look at what you are eating. We didn’t start eating processed grains until 1970s (though sprouted and fermented grain is a whole different mama jama, the wheat you eat now isn’t grown, prepared, or processed the same as it was hundreds of years ago). High fructose corn syrup is in everything. Eating massive quantities of grains and grain by-products is new to our bodies and we’re not adjusting well.
Am I a conspiracy theorist or are most consumers being too nice?
No one put additives into our foods until the 1970s, and suddenly you can’t escape it anywhere in any processed foods.
We might think that there are laws out there to protect consumers from anything that’s too bad.
But there aren’t. Caveat emptor, y’all. Buyer beware.
To save money on the business side of things, to make food last longer, and to make food more travel-save, tons of random chemicals get put in our food. No one is watching out for your stomach, and the FDA can’t keep up. Here’s just a sampling of things that are put in our food that are a pain in the butt to avoid:
- High fructose corn syrup
- Hydrogenated starch
- Sodium nitrate/nitrite
- Carrageenan/Guar gum, Xanathan gums (though these are naturally derived, still are gut irritants)
- Artificial colors Blue 1, 2, Red 2, 3, 40, Yellow 5, 6 (All banned in the other countries for causing tumor, cancers, or containing toxic compounds)
These additives don’t happen in cheez puffs by nature. Cheez puffs don’t happen by nature. So why are we putting unnatural things into our mouths, through our gut, and out our you know what?
There are bound to be consequences.
Shouldn’t we all be picky eaters?
The only thing I don’t like about Paleo (besides the lack of all those foods I grew up with) is the sensation (both from myself and from others) that I’m a picky eater.
But, listen: I was getting really, really sick. Poofy hands and feet. Stomach aches every night. A general sense of feeling crappy all the time. Tired, overweight. Cranky. That’s what not being picky about what you eat will get you.
Eating Paleo and subsequently Paleo AIP — that is, real foods that come from an animal or a vegetable garden and get cooked by me — has changed my life. Right away, I started losing weight at a healthy pace. I felt like I had more energy and creativity. I was nicer to my husband around the clock. I felt more in control of my life, and I slept better.
Whenever I deviate from this template, my symptoms return. I get foggy headed and cranky. My feet ache and I don’t do my best work.