What is Paleo and why it changes everything
It’s not a meat diet!
It’s not a carb counting diet!
It’s not more,more and more of healthy fats diet!
...and goes much deeper than that, although most food manufacturers would like you to just leave it there as yet another fad diet, to pass by when moving on to next thing they want to sell you.
What is so different about Paleo then?
Paleo, as in paleo diet, the way we ate in paleolithic - stone age times. Refers to the last time in human history when we were still gathering and hunting our food.
Basically having what our mother -mother nature- put on our plate.
This has certain advantages, that we learn to appreciate as we mature and our understanding deepens, if “eat your greens” didn’t make sense when growing up you could rely on your mother’s knowledge on it, that knowledge got us here, able to look back, reflect, and add our own layer of information and pass on an even more comprehensive understanding to our children and loved ones and to whoever is listening.
Paleo diet is the most recent and profound layer of that deeper understanding, new information, about who we are, and always who we always were. Every “mistake” that has happened on the way to this understanding didn’t happen for nothing but precisely to guide and direct us towards deeper understanding, to became the only animal on the planet that can knowingly choose what to eat.
Food is sustenance, building blocks and energy, in perfect proportions we co evolved with.
But food to us has also became part of our culture, a culinary joy and habit while engaging with others.
Along the way it has also became problematic, and it is this change of role food has experienced as well as the change in the very stuff we regard as food that forms the problem
What to do about it ?
Why us? Why do humans have less of an intuitive eater, than a squirrel or a wolf ? Animals like these don’t count calories, hope to burn fat more by timing their breakfast or exercise, actually they don’t even need the treadmill to stay in an optimal body composition throughout their life.
What makes humans so different is not our physiology and biology - our genes haven’t had time to change enough since those paleolithic times.
Even according to conservative estimations, an adaption to new sources of nutrition takes about 40 000 years. We have been keeping cows and growing grains for about a half of that time.
Grains and Dairy has made up about half of our a standard (western) diet for a much shorter time, add the changes modern processing has made to our food and we are speaking of decades.
A very short time indeed, for a physical complex system like body to cope with the changes of this magnitude.
It took about hundred years of trying to make a car run on different fuel, the human system is like a combination of superfine efficient and ecological sports car engine combined with a supercomputer able to design supercomputers, while too complex to understand itself. yet it runs on simple substances found around us in nature, and uses them not only for energy but to build and rebuild itself.
If you think an electric car is an achievement, bring me a car that is made of electricity and we are on par with the compatibility we have with nature.
The real difference ?
It is our mind and imagination that sets us apart from the other creatures, and that is great, but what it means to us from a nutritional perspective is that we are the only animal on the planet able to manipulate our food.
Manipulation being about simply to selectively grow, heat, and mix our food to include more drastic measures such as hybridized crops, genetic manipulation and pest control with chemicals that are poisonous to us and most living organisms.
This is why Paleo is such an applicable answer to such a vast problem.
It’s a general solution to everything that interferes with our physical - paleolithic- bodies
not a patch fix to individual problems arising from modern chemicals, foods and behaviours.
It is about acknowledging the complexity of nature and us as part of it , doing so allows us to look ourselves and learn from what we see, although we won’t be able comprehend and solve all the mysteries of our mind and existence just yet , we have reached a maturing point in our evolution where tackling a problem we created with modern food - our manipulated source of sustenance, doesn’t seem so enigmatic anymore.
Don't get lost in details!
Back in time, the macronutrient ratios; protein/carbs/fats, varied probably more than they do for most of us today, listen to your body, and that is part of the reason why it works so well, plus the seasonal variety it provides.
The processing: refined vs. unrefined, cooked vs. raw didn’t vary much if at all.
Let food, in it’s least processed form to make majority of your food intake and nature will do the calorie counting and appetite control for you.
Many Paleo diet gurus - excited about the new found freedom when eating the good for you foods, forget that this includes practicing moderation with refined good stuff too, that is because it’s more refined, condensed or available than it would be in nature.
Prime examples are:
Meats in moderation unless you spent the time, energy and will hunting it.
Nut meals and oils, unless you cracked all the nuts.
Condensed healthy fats such as coconut oil and olive oil ( your body naturally regulates appetite for coconuts and olives, not for their refined oils or butter if you choose to keep that in your diet.)
It takes some time to get used to, but in return you’ll re-learn the language your body communicates you with, and there are some safe but effective tips and tricks to get you through, I will write more about these “cheats” that give your mind more freedom without betraying your body, in much more detail later.
Your intuition - like for a squirrel- will be your best guide again, after a only few simple changes.
There is more than enough information on the internet about what to eat on a paleo diet but this piece of understanding written here makes you able to reason it yourself without needing to read hundreds of pages.
It also allows you more freedom when you choose to occasionally diverge from this path for social or cultural reason (be it a birthday cake or wrongly timed dinner date or anything in between).
As it allows you to see the big picture behind details; the wisdom that can be gathered from the information:
Our bodies are a primal vessel to our soul and mind and it is our minds responsibility, and our souls choice to maintain that vessel in primal condition, while embarking on a shared journey of joy discovery and learning this life is.
Nourish your body like you nourish your soul, with your best understanding.
In health and happiness. Namaste