21

votes

Don Matesz: The Impact of 'Farewell to Paleo'

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created June 15, 2011 at 8:11 AM

Anyone care to opine about the wider impact of Don's 'Farewell to Paleo' post?

Undoubtedly we'll get some triumphalism from 30BAD et al, but the real question is how can this diet have failed for Don so emphatically?

Should he have leaned more towards 'Paleo 2.0'? Is failure amongst paleo-types inevitable given that there is no standard paleo model?

7a6529ea25b655132fe58d793f95547a

(2030)

on September 16, 2012
at 05:02 AM

So he never really believed in the diet himself to begin with and perhaps used his blog as a way to supplement his own conviction. When you put it like that it does seem a bit rotten.

8949bf87b0e0aefcad10f29975e4fa2b

(8989)

on December 16, 2011
at 06:01 AM

+1 for picking eggs. I wanna do that.

8949bf87b0e0aefcad10f29975e4fa2b

(8989)

on December 16, 2011
at 05:59 AM

I agree with others on his site, seems to point to a virus or something.

8949bf87b0e0aefcad10f29975e4fa2b

(8989)

on December 16, 2011
at 05:58 AM

I am also baffled by the mix of paleo and woo. I usually love woo, but I don't get where he is going with it at all.

C00e493393828df34be65ddc25456c7c

(610)

on December 13, 2011
at 11:46 PM

Jack by lying to himself do you mean like (as an example)radical vegans lie to themselves and ignore health issues they may be experiencing putting it down to other factors?

E01a48d56452f3e5b48d99839e8c0974

(55)

on November 18, 2011
at 10:17 PM

You are telling me that you think it's the "fat free cheese" and other processed foods that the South Beach recommends that are making you feel great? It can't possibly be the whole foods?

70030f45cc23175fc212d83c83011758

(-2)

on August 24, 2011
at 08:57 PM

I noticed you haven't addressed the issue that your godfather of Paleo, Mr. Cordain now looks fat. I could say more about the fairly recent photo I saw of him, but I won't. And hopefully his new book coming out won't have the same photo of him taken 20 years ago. He looked like a different person back then. Let them be honest and post the present. Oh, and since I'm posting here on the Don Maetz thread, no I am not vegetarian. I'm happily following South Beach diet, thank you. Feeling fantastic on it. Sayonara for good. Won't waste any more time calling a spade a spade.

695b82d856d4bd9314b865864ff6df5e

on August 24, 2011
at 12:36 AM

My dogs are healthier than ever, and they are paleo,,,

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on August 24, 2011
at 12:34 AM

If "Paleo" made you feel sick you weren't doing it right. Paleo is too huge an umbrella of food choices to point a finger at like that. If something doesn't agree with you for some reason don't effing eat it. If you're eating too little or too much of something you have no one to blame but yourself. I am sick to death of people making these sweeping, generalized condemnations of a concept. Do you not know how foolish you sound? You clearly have no idea about Paleo eating and that's why you were sick as a dog. You go follow Don and I hope you'll be feeling fabulous again very soon.

7636e1e02ef91a46f20a42e07b565a4b

(367)

on July 22, 2011
at 06:30 PM

Awesome. "Area man" ftw

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on July 22, 2011
at 01:33 PM

I'm confused as to why he is going to be there in the first place given he's left paleo for greener low-fat, plant-based diet pastures. His last blog entry was so far from paleo it made me cringe. I certainly don't plan to attend his talk at AHS and I don't even think he should be afforded the respect of having the opportunity to speak given his vocal disdain for paleo.

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on July 15, 2011
at 01:35 PM

@LLuckyB - great answer

B0454de6d4f4cdd9ca2e59021dc105bf

(606)

on June 28, 2011
at 10:33 AM

Heh, I wondered whether to start with "Area Man..."

26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

(7967)

on June 28, 2011
at 04:44 AM

I'm quite open to some aspects of traditional Chinese medicine but it must be taken with very large grains of salt. Like any 'ancient wisdom' it's well-laced with ignorant bullshit that we only had the wherewithal to test empirically within the last couple centuries.

26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

(7967)

on June 28, 2011
at 04:41 AM

I've been paleo for coming up on two years and my experiences are still opposite from his. However I moved far away from the high-protein, low-carb model in short order!

50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10

(5838)

on June 28, 2011
at 12:06 AM

The Onion rocks, lol.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on June 27, 2011
at 11:48 PM

Nice, straight out of The Onion....

Fff58a1fd1e29d93fd6a25d3fdebbade

(400)

on June 27, 2011
at 11:48 PM

Er.... Don who?

B0454de6d4f4cdd9ca2e59021dc105bf

(606)

on June 27, 2011
at 11:29 PM

Great scrap going on in the comments. Fight! Fight! Fight! Love it.

C074eec3b3c0325ef3018a128111823a

(1012)

on June 20, 2011
at 09:17 AM

Good point in general, however in this case we're talking about a self-professed experimenter who has been monitoring his health and reactions closely over that time.

Ff6560918e3b3cede8958b070cc07822

(407)

on June 18, 2011
at 09:26 PM

xyz, why can't things people were doing beforehand fit into a new system? If what people have been doing for 50 years fits into crossfit (or paleo, for that matter), why can't we say "oh, yeah, that's..." whatever? Does it diminish what those people have been doing? If anything, I feel like it's a way of saying "hey, look, these people have been doing this for years, let's learn from them."

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on June 17, 2011
at 07:46 PM

His latest post discusses how he now drinks soy milk. http://donmatesz.blogspot.com/2011/06/micronutrient-comparison-high-fat-vs.html uh huh, definitely the wifey

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18452)

on June 17, 2011
at 04:35 AM

NP - can you imagine if I really believed that people can't change their minds? Surely you can find more depth in my perspective than that.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5147)

on June 17, 2011
at 02:18 AM

I don't understand your point. He went from Paleo to Ornish. Ornery? No. Why would he lie for all these years? He has the right to change his mind. Wimmen do all the time! When a guy does it, he's called "devious." He's changed his views. It's like converting from Islam to Catholicism. Then converting back to Islam. This is a free country.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5147)

on June 17, 2011
at 02:14 AM

But isn't this really Ornish than Paleo? Fish, veggies, no processed foods ... very little meat. This is really Ornish. If so, does Ornish fit into Paleo? I think so.

F040035b2008ec80b205481afbd39ad4

(1837)

on June 16, 2011
at 06:08 PM

I think Shari's comment above tells it like it is, "the wife [is] driving this bus to low-fat-ville". He can shout out directions from the map, but he is not the one at the wheel.

425aa4bfb79556ed50ea693c3edd7e13

(609)

on June 16, 2011
at 05:39 PM

This like of reasoning is like when crossfit people look at stuff people have been doing for 50+ years and say "that's really crossfit because..." Cutting out processed foods, eating whole foods, etc. have been part of near-mainstream dietary recommendations since at *least* the 70s.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on June 16, 2011
at 04:14 PM

gn, that's very interesting. Thanks for the explanation.

1f8384be58052b6b96f476e475abdc74

(2231)

on June 16, 2011
at 03:54 PM

ay geez if he is eating dfairy i sure hope it aint low fat or fat free! that throws his whole health idea in the toilet IMO

1f8384be58052b6b96f476e475abdc74

(2231)

on June 16, 2011
at 03:51 PM

i disagree people come to paleo in their 30s and 40s who have been prgressively gaining weight or have become obese... really, didnt they figure out it wasnt working and they were doing something wrong???

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on June 16, 2011
at 01:52 PM

He's the one hatin' on "paleo" and he hasn't figured out that he still is... Maybe he should change the post title to "Farewell to my stupid idea of what I thought a paleo diet was."

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on June 16, 2011
at 01:49 PM

He's the one hatin' on "paleo" and he hasn't figured out that he still is...

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on June 16, 2011
at 01:37 PM

#1 Rule of Paleo: PLAY WITH YOUR FOOD! Which reminds me of Garfield who once said "Don't play with your food, unless you've already eaten your toys."

91c2e2a35e578e2e79ce7d631b753879

(2081)

on June 16, 2011
at 01:17 PM

Shari, also up-voted for the laugh, but because I think that smacks more of the truth than ANYTHING else. "My girlfriend's a vegetarian, which pretty much makes ME a vegetarian, but I love me a good burger."

1568416ef28477d1fa29046218d83ddd

(6235)

on June 16, 2011
at 01:13 PM

I like acupuncture because it treats pain more effectively than opioids for me, but my needle guy hates woo too and has no patience for reverence in the place of evidence.

Ef228708abd5f082f633b1cd1d64eee1

(892)

on June 16, 2011
at 01:05 PM

Eh, I know plenty of people who've eaten grain-based diets for more than 14 years and are still going strong. I imagine many people on this site fell into that category before going paleo. Maybe they're the experts. :) well really maybe someday I'll be older and wiser and more respectful of experience, but I tend to immediately ignore when someone talks about how long they've been at something, even when I probably shouldn't.

Fe9564da32d84d7213ef2a203f97de48

(279)

on June 16, 2011
at 01:00 PM

He is leaving his version of paleo. For me paleo includes thinking for yourself and deciding what works and what does not work. Only obligatory part is avoiding 3 major sources of problems - grains, industrial oils and sugar.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on June 16, 2011
at 12:51 PM

then why is he saying farewell to paleo? sounds like he's still eating a paleo diet to me.

02736efa3fda31740e8890eed0cb663d

(1813)

on June 16, 2011
at 12:42 PM

Exactly right, Melissa. I think there's something in American culture that pushes people toward extremes. A lot of folks go from "fat is not bad for you, and has some benefits" to "OMG I CHUGGED 2 CANS OF COCONUT MILK AND ATE A STICK OF BUTTER!!!"

E34fbfa1bca9ae970c9c7313bf9de9f8

(1436)

on June 16, 2011
at 12:40 PM

Agreement on the Woo factor of Chinese medicine, which varies from baffling to downright disgusting. I submit as evidence, bear bile (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bile_bear).

E34fbfa1bca9ae970c9c7313bf9de9f8

(1436)

on June 16, 2011
at 12:38 PM

Agreement on the Woo factor of Chinese medicine, which varies from baffling to downright disgusting. I submit as evidence, bear bile (http://www.wikipedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Bile_bear).

630c94db61d822a0855533fafbeb11bc

on June 16, 2011
at 09:06 AM

Gods I hate woo! Or was it woo I hate gods?

F040035b2008ec80b205481afbd39ad4

(1837)

on June 16, 2011
at 08:23 AM

@Shari - Up voted for making me laugh hard! ;)

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78417)

on June 16, 2011
at 04:55 AM

@Bree Agreed, it is NOT a one size fits all approach. I need to eat more sweet potatoes, fruit, occasional white potatoes and other vegetables than most people. I've been strict paleo for over a year but if I don't I am not the positive upbeat person I normally would be. Had terrible moods from time to time going too low-carb and avoiding anything with sugar or a reasonable glycemic load.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on June 16, 2011
at 04:28 AM

I'm pretty sure the new wife driving this bus to low-fat-ville. She got fat "eating paleo". That was the nail in his paleo coffin right there. I think ultimately this comes down to compromise in order to have peace at home. She got the ring on her finger. No need to pretend to be paleo any longer. She wants to go back to low fat and she's taking him with her. Yes women really are THAT good.

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on June 16, 2011
at 04:20 AM

Nah he just thinks that paleo can never be anything but low carb. But yeah you would expect one of the bigger paleo bloggers to know what paleo is. I think he also eats some dairy and maybe some other stuff, but most people are accepting of a little neolithic food.

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on June 16, 2011
at 04:19 AM

Nah he just thinks that paleo can never be anything but low carb. But yeah you would expect one of the bigger paleo bloggers to know what low paleo is. I think he also eats some dairy and maybe some other stuff, but most people are accepting of a little neolithic food.

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on June 16, 2011
at 04:18 AM

Nah he just thinks that paleo can never be anything but low carb. But yeah you would expect one of the bigger paleo bloggers to know what low carb is.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5147)

on June 16, 2011
at 04:02 AM

Paleo is a big tent and Don still fits. He's eating safe starches and moderate proteins, while limiting fat. I think his restriction of fat is more limiting than De Vany and Cordain. That's probably the reason why he's being excoriated. I have no problem with fat and I do not restrict my good fat intake. But I have experienced exactly some of the sideeffects he mentions while following a LC Paleo diet. I attribute that to lack of good carbs, not excess fat. But reasonable men can differ.

A15af22bd729ec030e8f47d1189b6eaf

(774)

on June 16, 2011
at 02:56 AM

"The Paleo that works (and is coherent) is the one that is a negative/exclusionary behavior - avoid eating things which were not available." -> This makes you a locavore too, right?

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3531)

on June 16, 2011
at 02:18 AM

I am currently eating a paleo diet based on starch and feel much better.

072fd69647b0e765bb4b11532569f16d

(3717)

on June 16, 2011
at 02:16 AM

Upvoted for saying only like Melissa can. A pound of bacon every morning or an entire can of coconut milk would make my stomach and intestines spin circles but I damn sure enjoyed my 20 oz ribeye, sweet potato and greens tonight.

C0fcb48d7da4f76fac17318efd2cd6b8

(4069)

on June 16, 2011
at 02:15 AM

Dang I kinda like this comment thread.

072fd69647b0e765bb4b11532569f16d

(3717)

on June 16, 2011
at 02:15 AM

Upvoted for saying only like Melissa can. A pound of bacon every morning or an entire can of coconut milk would make my stomach and intestines spin circles but I damn sure enjoyed my 20 oz ribeye tonight.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78417)

on June 16, 2011
at 01:28 AM

+1 LuckyBastard. Paleo can be very subjective. Some things have and haven't worked for me. The biggest benefit I got from paleo is learning to experiment with my food. If the whole thing failed that one piece would make paleo a winner for me.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on June 16, 2011
at 12:16 AM

I guess they don't hate each other either since she mentions his new wife and eating dinner with them in her blog http://www.thehealthycookingcoach.com/2011/01/got-cabbage-tracys-thai-cabbage-noodles.html

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on June 16, 2011
at 12:12 AM

and one getting hot flashes...

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on June 16, 2011
at 12:11 AM

I wish I could unsee the wikipedia article about lipomas

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on June 16, 2011
at 12:10 AM

it's funny because as long as I've been reading her she's been high-carb

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on June 16, 2011
at 12:09 AM

http://www.thehealthycookingcoach.com/ is his old wife

F571bcba0e6196c3e53f599924eecab6

on June 16, 2011
at 12:05 AM

"Where is the middle way in all this?" - exactly. Also, all the yin yang talk... I checked his wife's blog and couldn't believe the almost religious view on food and health.

Medium avatar

(19469)

on June 15, 2011
at 11:59 PM

If "dried Tiger penis" isn't paleo I don't know what is.

4145b36f1488224964edac6258b75aff

(7821)

on June 15, 2011
at 11:00 PM

If anything, Paleo has a severe problem in that a significant percentage of people seem to cling to the definition you espouse: find some HG tribe and religiously live like them. That's a crapshoot and it's irritating as hell to see it in action. But that's not what it MUST mean, and while your opinion is your own it does not define the universal semantics of a term.

4145b36f1488224964edac6258b75aff

(7821)

on June 15, 2011
at 10:55 PM

Thomas, Paleo _does_ mean you're modeling your life according to a certain epoch. However, it does _not_ mean you are doing so in a positive way; that you are trying to emulate some specific set of inclusionary behaviors. That is broadly unsupportable and it seems that most people grasped this quite some time ago. The Paleo that works (and is coherent) is the one that is a negative/exclusionary behavior - avoid eating things which were not available. This is as "paleo" as saying "well this tribe ate that so I will too", except that it's far more supportable.

A727956fa3f943057c4edb08ad9e864e

(4173)

on June 15, 2011
at 10:21 PM

Ouch, Melissa, ouch.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78417)

on June 15, 2011
at 09:58 PM

raises overall effectiveness of digestion and thus reduces both the amount of times one has to eat and the amount (in terms of both absolute energy (calories) and volume) of food one has to eat - this is why i believe that to be successful with 'paleo' one has not only to change the content (from an evolutionary viewpoint) but to change the feeding pattern as well - at least this is the only way it works for me personally

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78417)

on June 15, 2011
at 09:53 PM

@Rose - my statement is largely based on an n=1 personal observation: if i'm on strict paleo, there is no way my body can handle not only 3-4 meals but even 2, so i'm left with one meal in the evening, more over i have to almost completely separate animal based and plant based (alright, i maybe just broken): one day eggs, one day meat... fast... then maybe on the 4th-5th - some plant matter (=carbs) - this approach shrinks the gut so that you can almost link your hands around it (feels great) - as i see it, paleo WOE (when there is no constant digestion-slowing grain-sludge in your gut) -->

8e3782b68e033763485472f414f507a5

(2433)

on June 15, 2011
at 09:29 PM

Daddy and Nothing91 are puttin' on a hurtin' in the comments section.

00c8eb3f6e6a1884216044ca29cf868a

on June 15, 2011
at 09:27 PM

Another upvote for woo detection. "Traditional Chinese medicine" believes that dried tiger penis and rhino horn cures impotence, powdered tiger bones cure fever, etc.

Medium avatar

(12379)

on June 15, 2011
at 08:40 PM

Ah - I see Thomas - we differ here in the semantics of the word Paleo, not in the approach. For me this 'diet' was never about eating what an h-g ate, it was about eliminating processed crap. I get so frustrated with people assigning 'rules' to "paleo" - but i don't like anyone telling me what to do ;).

F040035b2008ec80b205481afbd39ad4

(1837)

on June 15, 2011
at 08:23 PM

Up voted for recognising the amount of 'woo' in Don's post.

66e6b190e62fb3bcf42d4c60801c7bf6

(12407)

on June 15, 2011
at 08:19 PM

which h-g's inuits? masai? kitavans? ache'? all totally different diets. i don't try to eat what they ate per se but not consume the toxins that they don't consume either. there's no one running around here subsisting off of blood and milk like the masai, eating armadillos like the ache or eating 90% of their calories from starchy vegetables(possibly the latter maybe). most are just trying to eat whole foods without the toxins. i don't think about what these uncontacted h-g's eat when i prepare my meals. i just make sure not to eat poisonous substances.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on June 15, 2011
at 07:56 PM

you mean his wives. I'd be curious what his former wife has to say.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78417)

on June 15, 2011
at 07:03 PM

Here's my definition of Paleo. Eat what (we think) H-Gs ate or something very similar. When you break from that paradigm, you are outside of Paleo in my opinion. He's broken from that paradigm. So have I. It is limiting. Now you can go on creating versions of Paleo and you can call it anything that you want to...Paleo 1.0, Paleo 2.0, Paleo NT, Paleo Vista, Paleo Solaris. Fine. You're call. However, the problem you have with that is the name "Paleo" which implies that you model your diet/lifestyle according to that of a certain epoch.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78417)

on June 15, 2011
at 06:52 PM

At what point does a diet become non-paleo? He is saying that there is not just something that needs to be tweaked but something incomplete in the modality. He feels limited by the Paleo point of view.

8e3782b68e033763485472f414f507a5

(2433)

on June 15, 2011
at 06:12 PM

@Thomas: Why would that be anyone's first thought regarding someone who apparently took 14 years to realize a particular diet was harming them (and their wife) in countless ways?

8e3782b68e033763485472f414f507a5

(2433)

on June 15, 2011
at 06:11 PM

Why would that be anyone's first thought regarding someone who apparently took 14 years to realize a given diet was harming them?

66e6b190e62fb3bcf42d4c60801c7bf6

(12407)

on June 15, 2011
at 03:18 PM

@bree i'm right there with u.

66e6b190e62fb3bcf42d4c60801c7bf6

(12407)

on June 15, 2011
at 03:15 PM

i think the only problem someone would have going paleo is if they're definining it by macronutrient ratios or by what they're adding into their diets instead of taking the toxins out. being that in h-g societies there are and have been macronutrient ratios as diverse as the places which these uncontacted people reside, the common denominator for their health is what is NOT in their diet- the industrial seed oils, the excess fructose, the gluten containing grains. with that being the baseline of what an ancestral/paleo/h-g diet is, i really want to know who doesn't do better on that protocol?

Medium avatar

(12379)

on June 15, 2011
at 03:13 PM

Thomas - I find it interesting that you see the Paleo diet as a one-size-fits-all approach - my experience has been completely different than that. I guess diet and lifestyle is all what you make of it. I think that the 'paleo' diet to me is not a religion or a dogma - but rather it was a new framework for me and my family to build from

66e6b190e62fb3bcf42d4c60801c7bf6

(12407)

on June 15, 2011
at 03:10 PM

@asclepius thanks and i have the same feelings about kgh's manifesto.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78417)

on June 15, 2011
at 03:09 PM

Why isn't your first thought, "he's been doing this 14 years and maybe there is something he knows that I don't"?

F040035b2008ec80b205481afbd39ad4

(1837)

on June 15, 2011
at 03:06 PM

Excellent comment luckybastard (and excellent username). There is no 'The Paleo Diet'. There is room for LOTS of variation. Archevore's broad title of 'Paleo 2.0' is the best attempt at a definition yet.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78417)

on June 15, 2011
at 03:02 PM

Upvoted (and given "best question" star)for asking a challenging question and posting an important article that many of us-me included-would not have seen.

66e6b190e62fb3bcf42d4c60801c7bf6

(12407)

on June 15, 2011
at 02:09 PM

@uncle longhair. the paleo diet that i follow as defined above- i don't see how anyone does better on industrial seed oils, excess fructose and gluten grains.

Fd504de9b242f4cd7009db70af5e2121

(558)

on June 15, 2011
at 02:07 PM

look at his food log,he was eating twice a day...gut busting large meals IMO

9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

(15833)

on June 15, 2011
at 01:57 PM

Actually there are a fair number of people who post here who say that they have problems with the Paleo diet. You just don't hear from them much because I suspect they don't stick around. The diet isn't for everyone, but it is great for some.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on June 15, 2011
at 01:29 PM

Just to make sure I understand: Are you saying that if he eats three meals a day of a high-fat/protein, low-carb diet that he'll get the symptoms he reports? In other words, if he ate two times or fewer per day he would have been fine? If that's what you're saying, can I ask why you think that would be so?

66e6b190e62fb3bcf42d4c60801c7bf6

(12407)

on June 15, 2011
at 01:15 PM

i agree, dave. i like to think of ketogenic type low carb diets as a healing protocol and something to rapidly shift the bodyfat setpoint- not something that most have to remain in forever. people will have different levels of carb tolerance but once the metabolism is healed, the vast majority do pretty well on moderate carb.

B3c62d89cd47b7d7209b6a99243d0ded

(10778)

on June 15, 2011
at 12:48 PM

Very well said, LB.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on June 15, 2011
at 12:05 PM

The comments to his post are well worth reading. It's well known that many do not do well on a high fat low carb paleo and it's his mistake to assume that paleo = high fat + low carb. To me, high fat low carb is a regimen for certain metaboloic disorders (probably caused by SAD) that include obesity, T2 diabetes and certain brain problems such as epilepsy, ADHD and Alzheimer's that respond well to ketones. Everyone else can eat some starch and fruit for gosh sakes!

66e6b190e62fb3bcf42d4c60801c7bf6

(12407)

on June 15, 2011
at 09:25 AM

i don't want to be speculative because it seems like his experiences are an outlier as opposed to what almost everyone else experiences. he talked alot about macronutrients but spoke very little about sources of various micronutrients- some of his symptoms smack of nutrient deficiencies which would dovetail with delayed onset of problems. but i'm just speculating. but more importantly, i reject his perception of what he thinks everyone else thinks paleo is. it seems to be a roundabout way for him to set up a strawman argument.

F040035b2008ec80b205481afbd39ad4

(1837)

on June 15, 2011
at 09:07 AM

I have to agree with you - it is observational/n+1 stuff, but the list of symptoms he gave surprised me. I got the impression that he and his wife had been poisoned or something. I was also curious why it took him 14 years to figure out paleo wasn't working, whilst his wife took 12 months. Assming he got the Paleo 2.0 diet sorted, I wonder if Don's experience points to a further (evolutioanry) necessity to fast/deplete glycogen to get optimal results?

  • F040035b2008ec80b205481afbd39ad4

    asked by

    (1837)
  • Views
    8.2K
  • Last Activity
    713D AGO
Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

24 Answers

best answer

32
66e6b190e62fb3bcf42d4c60801c7bf6

on June 15, 2011
at 08:50 AM

considering that all of his observations appear to be n=1 at best, i doubt it gets too many people stirred up.

i think many paleos have already figured out, like the paleo 2.0 manifesto stated, that there is no set paleo macronutrient ratio. In my mind paleo is more about removing the modern sources of toxicity from your diet(gluten containing grains, industrial seed oils, and limiting fructose) and going from there to tinker to see what is optimal for you given your current health/goals.

if he wants to shake up the paleo orthodoxy, the way to go about it is to write a series using actual studies that challenge the current thinking, a la stephan guyanet in his most recent series.

66e6b190e62fb3bcf42d4c60801c7bf6

(12407)

on June 15, 2011
at 03:10 PM

@asclepius thanks and i have the same feelings about kgh's manifesto.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78417)

on June 16, 2011
at 01:28 AM

+1 LuckyBastard. Paleo can be very subjective. Some things have and haven't worked for me. The biggest benefit I got from paleo is learning to experiment with my food. If the whole thing failed that one piece would make paleo a winner for me.

66e6b190e62fb3bcf42d4c60801c7bf6

(12407)

on June 15, 2011
at 02:09 PM

@uncle longhair. the paleo diet that i follow as defined above- i don't see how anyone does better on industrial seed oils, excess fructose and gluten grains.

F040035b2008ec80b205481afbd39ad4

(1837)

on June 15, 2011
at 03:06 PM

Excellent comment luckybastard (and excellent username). There is no 'The Paleo Diet'. There is room for LOTS of variation. Archevore's broad title of 'Paleo 2.0' is the best attempt at a definition yet.

66e6b190e62fb3bcf42d4c60801c7bf6

(12407)

on June 15, 2011
at 09:25 AM

i don't want to be speculative because it seems like his experiences are an outlier as opposed to what almost everyone else experiences. he talked alot about macronutrients but spoke very little about sources of various micronutrients- some of his symptoms smack of nutrient deficiencies which would dovetail with delayed onset of problems. but i'm just speculating. but more importantly, i reject his perception of what he thinks everyone else thinks paleo is. it seems to be a roundabout way for him to set up a strawman argument.

B3c62d89cd47b7d7209b6a99243d0ded

(10778)

on June 15, 2011
at 12:48 PM

Very well said, LB.

F040035b2008ec80b205481afbd39ad4

(1837)

on June 15, 2011
at 09:07 AM

I have to agree with you - it is observational/n+1 stuff, but the list of symptoms he gave surprised me. I got the impression that he and his wife had been poisoned or something. I was also curious why it took him 14 years to figure out paleo wasn't working, whilst his wife took 12 months. Assming he got the Paleo 2.0 diet sorted, I wonder if Don's experience points to a further (evolutioanry) necessity to fast/deplete glycogen to get optimal results?

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on June 16, 2011
at 01:37 PM

#1 Rule of Paleo: PLAY WITH YOUR FOOD! Which reminds me of Garfield who once said "Don't play with your food, unless you've already eaten your toys."

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on July 15, 2011
at 01:35 PM

@LLuckyB - great answer

9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

(15833)

on June 15, 2011
at 01:57 PM

Actually there are a fair number of people who post here who say that they have problems with the Paleo diet. You just don't hear from them much because I suspect they don't stick around. The diet isn't for everyone, but it is great for some.

best answer

39
9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on June 15, 2011
at 08:02 PM

The whole thing is a straw man. It seems like everyone is like Art and Loren who recommend trimming fat off of grass-fed meat and avoiding fatty cuts of meat OR eating bowls of coconut oil and pound of bacon for breakfast and dousing their chicken with heavy cream. Either people who advocate low-carb OR people eating just fruit. Either people saying fiber is teh devil or people scouring their poor colons with the stuff. Where is the middle way in all this?

I'll tell you that if I ate the diet his new wife describes my stomach would turn to sludge too.

I'd also be a lot more interested in his manifesto if it weren't laced with woo.

Also, I was reading his wife's blog and she was saying how she regrets eating beef and how bad conventional beef is for the environment blah blah blah. I'm like...who the heck is eating conventional beef? Then I remembered his stupid primal on a budget thing involved eating factory farmed meat, which I do believe is somewhat unhealthy. IMHO it's not a coincidence that he spent an entire series on how conventional beef is AOK. It all stems from his really quite un-compassionate libertarian worldview, he started the dumb experiment because he saw Food Inc and didn't believe that a poor family couldn't afford good food (hint: it's not just about money!!). So to prove that he started eating meat from a system that is cruel to both humans and animals. I don't believe in woo, but I'm surprised that he doesn't see the karma here.

00c8eb3f6e6a1884216044ca29cf868a

on June 15, 2011
at 09:27 PM

Another upvote for woo detection. "Traditional Chinese medicine" believes that dried tiger penis and rhino horn cures impotence, powdered tiger bones cure fever, etc.

1568416ef28477d1fa29046218d83ddd

(6235)

on June 16, 2011
at 01:13 PM

I like acupuncture because it treats pain more effectively than opioids for me, but my needle guy hates woo too and has no patience for reverence in the place of evidence.

072fd69647b0e765bb4b11532569f16d

(3717)

on June 16, 2011
at 02:16 AM

Upvoted for saying only like Melissa can. A pound of bacon every morning or an entire can of coconut milk would make my stomach and intestines spin circles but I damn sure enjoyed my 20 oz ribeye, sweet potato and greens tonight.

072fd69647b0e765bb4b11532569f16d

(3717)

on June 16, 2011
at 02:15 AM

Upvoted for saying only like Melissa can. A pound of bacon every morning or an entire can of coconut milk would make my stomach and intestines spin circles but I damn sure enjoyed my 20 oz ribeye tonight.

02736efa3fda31740e8890eed0cb663d

(1813)

on June 16, 2011
at 12:42 PM

Exactly right, Melissa. I think there's something in American culture that pushes people toward extremes. A lot of folks go from "fat is not bad for you, and has some benefits" to "OMG I CHUGGED 2 CANS OF COCONUT MILK AND ATE A STICK OF BUTTER!!!"

F571bcba0e6196c3e53f599924eecab6

on June 16, 2011
at 12:05 AM

"Where is the middle way in all this?" - exactly. Also, all the yin yang talk... I checked his wife's blog and couldn't believe the almost religious view on food and health.

F040035b2008ec80b205481afbd39ad4

(1837)

on June 15, 2011
at 08:23 PM

Up voted for recognising the amount of 'woo' in Don's post.

Medium avatar

(19469)

on June 15, 2011
at 11:59 PM

If "dried Tiger penis" isn't paleo I don't know what is.

E34fbfa1bca9ae970c9c7313bf9de9f8

(1436)

on June 16, 2011
at 12:40 PM

Agreement on the Woo factor of Chinese medicine, which varies from baffling to downright disgusting. I submit as evidence, bear bile (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bile_bear).

630c94db61d822a0855533fafbeb11bc

on June 16, 2011
at 09:06 AM

Gods I hate woo! Or was it woo I hate gods?

E34fbfa1bca9ae970c9c7313bf9de9f8

(1436)

on June 16, 2011
at 12:38 PM

Agreement on the Woo factor of Chinese medicine, which varies from baffling to downright disgusting. I submit as evidence, bear bile (http://www.wikipedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Bile_bear).

8949bf87b0e0aefcad10f29975e4fa2b

(8989)

on December 16, 2011
at 05:58 AM

I am also baffled by the mix of paleo and woo. I usually love woo, but I don't get where he is going with it at all.

13
32dd97296fac06e1e36763a91d6c01d4

on June 15, 2011
at 11:11 AM

References to a supposed body of evidence for a specific stance, but without a single source attribution?

Irrelevant opinion piece.

10
C074eec3b3c0325ef3018a128111823a

(1012)

on June 16, 2011
at 08:03 AM

Whatever he calls it, if it took him 14 years to figure out it wasn't working, he's doing it wrong, and I have to question his powers of observation and judgement.

1f8384be58052b6b96f476e475abdc74

(2231)

on June 16, 2011
at 03:51 PM

i disagree people come to paleo in their 30s and 40s who have been prgressively gaining weight or have become obese... really, didnt they figure out it wasnt working and they were doing something wrong???

8949bf87b0e0aefcad10f29975e4fa2b

(8989)

on December 16, 2011
at 05:59 AM

I agree with others on his site, seems to point to a virus or something.

C074eec3b3c0325ef3018a128111823a

(1012)

on June 20, 2011
at 09:17 AM

Good point in general, however in this case we're talking about a self-professed experimenter who has been monitoring his health and reactions closely over that time.

9
B0454de6d4f4cdd9ca2e59021dc105bf

on June 27, 2011
at 11:33 PM

Breaking: "Man Realizes Paleo-Diet Is Not For Him: Only Takes Him 14 Years"

50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10

(5838)

on June 28, 2011
at 12:06 AM

The Onion rocks, lol.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on June 27, 2011
at 11:48 PM

Nice, straight out of The Onion....

7636e1e02ef91a46f20a42e07b565a4b

(367)

on July 22, 2011
at 06:30 PM

Awesome. "Area man" ftw

B0454de6d4f4cdd9ca2e59021dc105bf

(606)

on June 28, 2011
at 10:33 AM

Heh, I wondered whether to start with "Area Man..."

9
1f8384be58052b6b96f476e475abdc74

(2231)

on June 16, 2011
at 02:03 AM

why is everyone so offended by him and his change of diet is beyond me....

  • he doesnt need someone to tell him he must have a beef allergy b/c he feels better without red meat often
  • he isnt unpaleo, at all. if anything he is expanding paleo to WHAT IT SHOULD BE
  • he has tried every diet out there and settled on one... good for him. who is anyone here, or any paleo eater to say his diet isnt working for him...what, because it not YOUR relgious-like cult-of-high-fat paleo so it must be wrong?

  • he isnt out to PROVE to you or convince you that you should eat like he does. he is simply stating his experience, and attempting to make sense of it and back it up if anyone is interested in changing

there is NO DENYING that the high protein high fat paleosphere is NOT working for MANY people. myself included, i convinced myself to keep going, keep eating high fat, keep waiting for the miraculous whatever of health and it aint happening. so because i dont coconut oil my food and eat bacon and 75/25 beef mean i am not paleo? because i dont eat a bowl of bone marrow at every meal and cook extra egg yolks with a cup of cream mean i am not paleo? i dont touch dairy either....but i may not be this way forever. i see no point in it being added mostly because it is expensive as $hit.

i like fish. my body loves red snapper, trout, flounder, redfish and everything else i can go catch for myself because i live on a coastal state. i go TO a farm and PICK my own eggs every week. i attend the farmers market every thursday and eat what is offered from local families. its wat is in season, its real food. i dont care what it is macro wise that is so far from a determinant of my food intake. i eat paleo because the grounds of eating local, nourishing, correctly grown food makes sense. this implies you eat with the seasons, your macros change, your nutrient surpluses and deficiencies change.

when there is free access to food i sure as hell am not going to the grocery store and buying beef pork or chicken.

and about deficencies...did it ever occur to anyone you just might NOT want a surplus of vitamin D 365 days a year, you may NOT want a high potassium iodine selenium ratio and high fish oil intake makes NO sense if you approach food seasonally. you just might want to stop throwing back supplements and looking for the answer to health when it lies in listening to your own body. so few people are actually WILLING to test a range of food on themselves without preconceived notions of whether or not it 'should' be healthy

instead of question whether you can eat mushrooms and onions, EAT THEM and figure out how you handle them. instead of knocking don for how he eats i can guarantee you havent tried it so who are you to say? how many people have actually attempted a low fat HIGH carb PALEO PALEO PALEO diet. everyone and their mom has tried a low fat diet, but not a paleo one. that doesnt mean a PSMF, that means a paleo diet based around starch, not protein.

8949bf87b0e0aefcad10f29975e4fa2b

(8989)

on December 16, 2011
at 06:01 AM

+1 for picking eggs. I wanna do that.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on June 16, 2011
at 01:52 PM

He's the one hatin' on "paleo" and he hasn't figured out that he still is... Maybe he should change the post title to "Farewell to my stupid idea of what I thought a paleo diet was."

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on June 16, 2011
at 12:51 PM

then why is he saying farewell to paleo? sounds like he's still eating a paleo diet to me.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on June 16, 2011
at 01:49 PM

He's the one hatin' on "paleo" and he hasn't figured out that he still is...

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5147)

on June 16, 2011
at 04:02 AM

Paleo is a big tent and Don still fits. He's eating safe starches and moderate proteins, while limiting fat. I think his restriction of fat is more limiting than De Vany and Cordain. That's probably the reason why he's being excoriated. I have no problem with fat and I do not restrict my good fat intake. But I have experienced exactly some of the sideeffects he mentions while following a LC Paleo diet. I attribute that to lack of good carbs, not excess fat. But reasonable men can differ.

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3531)

on June 16, 2011
at 02:18 AM

I am currently eating a paleo diet based on starch and feel much better.

8
Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18452)

on June 16, 2011
at 03:26 PM

I read his whole shpeel. Quickly came to a conclusion well before finishing it.. >> Bogus.

There's something inherently slippery about his approach. It oozes rottenness, never a good thing.

People who don't know how to process information and think correctly will flock toward him now, foolishly believing that they can 'trust' him because of his openness and willingness to 'tell the truth'.

Not me. I think exactly the opposite. I think he has been lying to himself and those he was teaching for all these years.

I always wish everyone well, even those who don't believe "Paleo" is right for them, of course.

But this exit is the opposite of classy. If he is willing to do this, what's next?

FAIL.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5147)

on June 17, 2011
at 02:18 AM

I don't understand your point. He went from Paleo to Ornish. Ornery? No. Why would he lie for all these years? He has the right to change his mind. Wimmen do all the time! When a guy does it, he's called "devious." He's changed his views. It's like converting from Islam to Catholicism. Then converting back to Islam. This is a free country.

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18452)

on June 17, 2011
at 04:35 AM

NP - can you imagine if I really believed that people can't change their minds? Surely you can find more depth in my perspective than that.

C00e493393828df34be65ddc25456c7c

(610)

on December 13, 2011
at 11:46 PM

Jack by lying to himself do you mean like (as an example)radical vegans lie to themselves and ignore health issues they may be experiencing putting it down to other factors?

7a6529ea25b655132fe58d793f95547a

(2030)

on September 16, 2012
at 05:02 AM

So he never really believed in the diet himself to begin with and perhaps used his blog as a way to supplement his own conviction. When you put it like that it does seem a bit rotten.

7
866780044aeae4e8787d251aa6f17cb7

(70)

on July 22, 2011
at 05:46 AM

So let me get this straight: Paleo is awesome for the first 14 years. So awesome that I'll be inspired to create a blog and act like pedantic pr*ck to all of the non-paleo advocates. Then, at the stroke of midnight, it all turns back into a pumpkin?

That's the only explanation, because otherwise it would have been intellectually disingenuous of Don to have had the symptoms all along and not to have been honest about it...

7
246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21415)

on June 16, 2011
at 12:01 PM

Using "Traditional Chinese Medicine" as a marker for the Paleo Diet being good or bad is pretty ridiculous IMHO - isn't this the same quack-culture that brings us 1,000+ cure-alls for "impotence" and "the lungs" (the majority of which involve ingesting dried phallus from endangered animals) ?

/dodge

26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

(7967)

on June 28, 2011
at 04:44 AM

I'm quite open to some aspects of traditional Chinese medicine but it must be taken with very large grains of salt. Like any 'ancient wisdom' it's well-laced with ignorant bullshit that we only had the wherewithal to test empirically within the last couple centuries.

6
1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5516)

on June 15, 2011
at 11:55 AM

It seems he is diverting from meat and fat-based paleo to a higher starch and more wholehealthsouce type of paleo, or paleo 2.0. I see nothing wrong with him doing that, but saying "farewell to paleo" is somewhat of a misnomer.

Fe9564da32d84d7213ef2a203f97de48

(279)

on June 16, 2011
at 01:00 PM

He is leaving his version of paleo. For me paleo includes thinking for yourself and deciding what works and what does not work. Only obligatory part is avoiding 3 major sources of problems - grains, industrial oils and sugar.

5
8c5533ffe71bd4262fedc7e898ead1ba

on June 15, 2011
at 12:18 PM

Hmm. Maybe I'm doing something wrong 'cause my diet isn't particularly "high fat, high protein", but maybe it depends what you are comparing it to? I do eat higher carb than a lot of Paleo people because I run long distance. But it seems very, very odd to me that it would take him 14 years to figure out he had a problem. As for the symptoms -- what deficiencies would cause those? In so many ways, I've had exactly the opposite experience as him, though I've only been Paleo for 4 months.

26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

(7967)

on June 28, 2011
at 04:41 AM

I've been paleo for coming up on two years and my experiences are still opposite from his. However I moved far away from the high-protein, low-carb model in short order!

4
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78417)

on June 15, 2011
at 02:59 PM

I hope everyone reads Don's article. Thanks for posting it. He is right to mention other modalities, like Chinese medicine. What I like about the Chinese medicinal diet approach is that it considers everything in context and considers the bio-individuality of the person. How it works out in practice is another question, but I think this general approach is the correct one.

The One-Size-Fits-All approach of Paleo and other diets is simplistic and, quite frankly, dumb. We should know better than follow some kind of mechanistic diet like Paleo. Paleo has made its contribution. Yes, we should consider evolution when thinking diet, but there are other parameters to consider as well. It's time to realize that, become more nuanced and sophisticated and move on.

I don't know what the wider impact of this article will be. Dissolution is already taking place, it seems to me, in the Paleo community. You might (or might not) be surprised at how many people contact me off list and admit it's not working that well for them). People want to cling on to the notion of "versions of Paleo", because the name "Paleo" gives them some kind of comfort and, besides, people don't like to admit they were wrong (when they were quite recently singing praises...it's embarrassing!) Nonetheless, these versions are the first steps away from the diet, or so it seems to me.

Medium avatar

(12379)

on June 15, 2011
at 03:13 PM

Thomas - I find it interesting that you see the Paleo diet as a one-size-fits-all approach - my experience has been completely different than that. I guess diet and lifestyle is all what you make of it. I think that the 'paleo' diet to me is not a religion or a dogma - but rather it was a new framework for me and my family to build from

66e6b190e62fb3bcf42d4c60801c7bf6

(12407)

on June 15, 2011
at 03:18 PM

@bree i'm right there with u.

66e6b190e62fb3bcf42d4c60801c7bf6

(12407)

on June 15, 2011
at 08:19 PM

which h-g's inuits? masai? kitavans? ache'? all totally different diets. i don't try to eat what they ate per se but not consume the toxins that they don't consume either. there's no one running around here subsisting off of blood and milk like the masai, eating armadillos like the ache or eating 90% of their calories from starchy vegetables(possibly the latter maybe). most are just trying to eat whole foods without the toxins. i don't think about what these uncontacted h-g's eat when i prepare my meals. i just make sure not to eat poisonous substances.

4145b36f1488224964edac6258b75aff

(7821)

on June 15, 2011
at 11:00 PM

If anything, Paleo has a severe problem in that a significant percentage of people seem to cling to the definition you espouse: find some HG tribe and religiously live like them. That's a crapshoot and it's irritating as hell to see it in action. But that's not what it MUST mean, and while your opinion is your own it does not define the universal semantics of a term.

A15af22bd729ec030e8f47d1189b6eaf

(774)

on June 16, 2011
at 02:56 AM

"The Paleo that works (and is coherent) is the one that is a negative/exclusionary behavior - avoid eating things which were not available." -> This makes you a locavore too, right?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78417)

on June 15, 2011
at 03:02 PM

Upvoted (and given "best question" star)for asking a challenging question and posting an important article that many of us-me included-would not have seen.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78417)

on June 15, 2011
at 07:03 PM

Here's my definition of Paleo. Eat what (we think) H-Gs ate or something very similar. When you break from that paradigm, you are outside of Paleo in my opinion. He's broken from that paradigm. So have I. It is limiting. Now you can go on creating versions of Paleo and you can call it anything that you want to...Paleo 1.0, Paleo 2.0, Paleo NT, Paleo Vista, Paleo Solaris. Fine. You're call. However, the problem you have with that is the name "Paleo" which implies that you model your diet/lifestyle according to that of a certain epoch.

Medium avatar

(12379)

on June 15, 2011
at 08:40 PM

Ah - I see Thomas - we differ here in the semantics of the word Paleo, not in the approach. For me this 'diet' was never about eating what an h-g ate, it was about eliminating processed crap. I get so frustrated with people assigning 'rules' to "paleo" - but i don't like anyone telling me what to do ;).

66e6b190e62fb3bcf42d4c60801c7bf6

(12407)

on June 15, 2011
at 03:15 PM

i think the only problem someone would have going paleo is if they're definining it by macronutrient ratios or by what they're adding into their diets instead of taking the toxins out. being that in h-g societies there are and have been macronutrient ratios as diverse as the places which these uncontacted people reside, the common denominator for their health is what is NOT in their diet- the industrial seed oils, the excess fructose, the gluten containing grains. with that being the baseline of what an ancestral/paleo/h-g diet is, i really want to know who doesn't do better on that protocol?

4145b36f1488224964edac6258b75aff

(7821)

on June 15, 2011
at 10:55 PM

Thomas, Paleo _does_ mean you're modeling your life according to a certain epoch. However, it does _not_ mean you are doing so in a positive way; that you are trying to emulate some specific set of inclusionary behaviors. That is broadly unsupportable and it seems that most people grasped this quite some time ago. The Paleo that works (and is coherent) is the one that is a negative/exclusionary behavior - avoid eating things which were not available. This is as "paleo" as saying "well this tribe ate that so I will too", except that it's far more supportable.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78417)

on June 16, 2011
at 04:55 AM

@Bree Agreed, it is NOT a one size fits all approach. I need to eat more sweet potatoes, fruit, occasional white potatoes and other vegetables than most people. I've been strict paleo for over a year but if I don't I am not the positive upbeat person I normally would be. Had terrible moods from time to time going too low-carb and avoiding anything with sugar or a reasonable glycemic load.

4
1568416ef28477d1fa29046218d83ddd

(6235)

on June 15, 2011
at 02:01 PM

If changing his diet helps him and his wife than I am happy for them both and think they are doing the right thing.

What I don't quite get is the assumption that if the diet didn't work for his wife he should change as well.

3
4e184df9c1ed38f61febc5d6cf031921

(4999)

on June 16, 2011
at 07:19 AM

As a result of this thread, I've just read Don's "goodbye to Paleo". And the diet he is coming to - which has veg, non - gluten carbs, fish, no sugars or precessed foods - is very much what I have conceived Paleo to be about for the past 2 years. I found after a fortnight that very low carb, high fat and high protein gave me shocking diarrhea and added back carbs and reduced fats.

The results have been brilliant - asthma gone, all medicinal drugs gone, weight gone - so Don has adopted what I feel is paleo anyway.

Surely it is a matter of eating what suits each individual with the proviso that gluten grains, seed oils, processed foods of all kinds are eliminated for everyone following "paleo"?

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5147)

on June 17, 2011
at 02:14 AM

But isn't this really Ornish than Paleo? Fish, veggies, no processed foods ... very little meat. This is really Ornish. If so, does Ornish fit into Paleo? I think so.

3
Ff6560918e3b3cede8958b070cc07822

(407)

on June 15, 2011
at 11:50 PM

I'll second the sentiment that he is still eating paleo, since (in my understanding) paleo is about cutting out processed, neolithic garbage from your diet, and he's doing just that. High-fat, low-carb just happens to be the easiest way to eat after doing so (for me, at least).

That said, though, the fact that he's having such a change of heart after 14 years (and 12 months of his wife trying it) make me wonder if he's being influenced by his wife.

Now, don't misunderstand; I don't mean that in a "Pfft, paleo is perfect, it's his own fault" sort of way. In trying to sway my wife toward paleo, I've thought about offering her a "try it for x days, and if you don't feel great, I'll _" deal. (The reason I haven't is that I worry her answer will be "if I don't like it after a month, I want you to give it up.")

Never underestimate the power of a wife. Mine is a force to be reckoned with if she wants to be.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on June 16, 2011
at 12:12 AM

and one getting hot flashes...

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on June 17, 2011
at 07:46 PM

His latest post discusses how he now drinks soy milk. http://donmatesz.blogspot.com/2011/06/micronutrient-comparison-high-fat-vs.html uh huh, definitely the wifey

425aa4bfb79556ed50ea693c3edd7e13

(609)

on June 16, 2011
at 05:39 PM

This like of reasoning is like when crossfit people look at stuff people have been doing for 50+ years and say "that's really crossfit because..." Cutting out processed foods, eating whole foods, etc. have been part of near-mainstream dietary recommendations since at *least* the 70s.

Ff6560918e3b3cede8958b070cc07822

(407)

on June 18, 2011
at 09:26 PM

xyz, why can't things people were doing beforehand fit into a new system? If what people have been doing for 50 years fits into crossfit (or paleo, for that matter), why can't we say "oh, yeah, that's..." whatever? Does it diminish what those people have been doing? If anything, I feel like it's a way of saying "hey, look, these people have been doing this for years, let's learn from them."

3
66974b2cb291799dcd661b7dec99a9e2

(11121)

on June 15, 2011
at 01:45 PM

His words are just his personal opinion, he may be looking for a convenient scapegoat instead of taking personal responsibility for his choices, or lack of choices, he has made over the years re his nutrition and health. He makes the mistake of boxing himself into a narrow view of what paleo is, this way it's easier to blame. Paleo is a broad spectrum lifestyle that incorporates nutritional and physical ideas as well as mental and even spiritual elements.

After reading his words I get a sense that there is more here than meets the eye, it's not so much what he said but what he didn't say.

2
26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

on June 28, 2011
at 02:08 AM

Chinese medicine? I think he's lost his mind. I'm loving the uproar.

I honestly do hope he feels better. I've eaten similar to how he used to (VLC most meals, lots of stone fruits [which makes me itchy and affects my digestion for the worse], loads and loads of meat) and not felt my best, so I can understand him wanting to fine-tune things. I even agree that excessive protein is Not Good in the long term. But how he is going about it flummoxes me! I see 'paleo' as such a flexible, broad-spectrum way of eating... apparently he does not.

I would bet money he's going to gain at least 20 lbs eating this new way. Wonder if he'll be honest about it.

2
Ef228708abd5f082f633b1cd1d64eee1

(892)

on June 15, 2011
at 03:05 PM

My first thought was maybe he has a beef allergy. And probably both him and his wife should try some probiotics. I agree that it's very appropriate to adjust the diet when you see symptoms like this, but I don't think you can make blanket statements that lay the blame on high fat intake in particular, there are just too many variables.

Anyone with biochemistry knowledge care to weigh in on the "high fat intake leads to increases blood coagulability" assertion? I don't have the background to know whether this makes any sense or not.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on June 15, 2011
at 07:56 PM

you mean his wives. I'd be curious what his former wife has to say.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on June 16, 2011
at 12:10 AM

it's funny because as long as I've been reading her she's been high-carb

C0fcb48d7da4f76fac17318efd2cd6b8

(4069)

on June 16, 2011
at 02:15 AM

Dang I kinda like this comment thread.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on June 16, 2011
at 12:09 AM

http://www.thehealthycookingcoach.com/ is his old wife

Ef228708abd5f082f633b1cd1d64eee1

(892)

on June 16, 2011
at 01:05 PM

Eh, I know plenty of people who've eaten grain-based diets for more than 14 years and are still going strong. I imagine many people on this site fell into that category before going paleo. Maybe they're the experts. :) well really maybe someday I'll be older and wiser and more respectful of experience, but I tend to immediately ignore when someone talks about how long they've been at something, even when I probably shouldn't.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78417)

on June 15, 2011
at 03:09 PM

Why isn't your first thought, "he's been doing this 14 years and maybe there is something he knows that I don't"?

8e3782b68e033763485472f414f507a5

(2433)

on June 15, 2011
at 06:11 PM

Why would that be anyone's first thought regarding someone who apparently took 14 years to realize a given diet was harming them?

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on June 16, 2011
at 12:16 AM

I guess they don't hate each other either since she mentions his new wife and eating dinner with them in her blog http://www.thehealthycookingcoach.com/2011/01/got-cabbage-tracys-thai-cabbage-noodles.html

8e3782b68e033763485472f414f507a5

(2433)

on June 15, 2011
at 06:12 PM

@Thomas: Why would that be anyone's first thought regarding someone who apparently took 14 years to realize a particular diet was harming them (and their wife) in countless ways?

A727956fa3f943057c4edb08ad9e864e

(4173)

on June 15, 2011
at 10:21 PM

Ouch, Melissa, ouch.

1
98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

on June 16, 2011
at 03:51 AM

It seems to me that leaving paleo means adding back crappy oils, pasta and bread and the like. Oh and let's not forget about the processed food he needs to start eating again. If he seriously thinks that that is going to be his salvation he is not as smart as I thought it was.

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on June 16, 2011
at 04:20 AM

Nah he just thinks that paleo can never be anything but low carb. But yeah you would expect one of the bigger paleo bloggers to know what paleo is. I think he also eats some dairy and maybe some other stuff, but most people are accepting of a little neolithic food.

F040035b2008ec80b205481afbd39ad4

(1837)

on June 16, 2011
at 08:23 AM

@Shari - Up voted for making me laugh hard! ;)

1f8384be58052b6b96f476e475abdc74

(2231)

on June 16, 2011
at 03:54 PM

ay geez if he is eating dfairy i sure hope it aint low fat or fat free! that throws his whole health idea in the toilet IMO

91c2e2a35e578e2e79ce7d631b753879

(2081)

on June 16, 2011
at 01:17 PM

Shari, also up-voted for the laugh, but because I think that smacks more of the truth than ANYTHING else. "My girlfriend's a vegetarian, which pretty much makes ME a vegetarian, but I love me a good burger."

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on June 16, 2011
at 04:18 AM

Nah he just thinks that paleo can never be anything but low carb. But yeah you would expect one of the bigger paleo bloggers to know what low carb is.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on June 16, 2011
at 04:28 AM

I'm pretty sure the new wife driving this bus to low-fat-ville. She got fat "eating paleo". That was the nail in his paleo coffin right there. I think ultimately this comes down to compromise in order to have peace at home. She got the ring on her finger. No need to pretend to be paleo any longer. She wants to go back to low fat and she's taking him with her. Yes women really are THAT good.

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on June 16, 2011
at 04:19 AM

Nah he just thinks that paleo can never be anything but low carb. But yeah you would expect one of the bigger paleo bloggers to know what low paleo is. I think he also eats some dairy and maybe some other stuff, but most people are accepting of a little neolithic food.

1
3a833804187fe8926214e6c0bd8a0766

(1023)

on June 15, 2011
at 10:38 PM

I thought the point of this diet was to focus on quality of foods, rather than quantity of macronutrients.

Itching after eat 6-8 oz of beef, return of seasonal allergies, development of lipomas, cramping and tension... those don't sound like symptoms of a high fat diet, they sound like allergies, genetic predisposition and either dehydration or possibly stress caused by worrying about lipomas, allergies and itching.

If his new diet works for him, great. Other than my family, I do not care what other people eat... I'm not a vegan.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on June 16, 2011
at 12:11 AM

I wish I could unsee the wikipedia article about lipomas

0
76f3ead3aa977d876bcf3331d35a36e9

(4620)

on June 28, 2011
at 03:13 AM

Looks like he'll be speaking at the Ancestral Health Symposium about "shamanism as evolutionary medicine". Would be incredibly interesting to hear what he has to say. Report back here in a month people!

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on July 22, 2011
at 01:33 PM

I'm confused as to why he is going to be there in the first place given he's left paleo for greener low-fat, plant-based diet pastures. His last blog entry was so far from paleo it made me cringe. I certainly don't plan to attend his talk at AHS and I don't even think he should be afforded the respect of having the opportunity to speak given his vocal disdain for paleo.

0
9e1dedf12f6ee75b7fe460960971fd21

(624)

on June 16, 2011
at 04:48 PM

Don's new thinking just seems to be a sort of extension of the higher carb rice and potatoes based paleo. Maybe he sets up a low carb straw man, but whatever. I will wait to see where he takes it in future posts.

F040035b2008ec80b205481afbd39ad4

(1837)

on June 16, 2011
at 06:08 PM

I think Shari's comment above tells it like it is, "the wife [is] driving this bus to low-fat-ville". He can shout out directions from the map, but he is not the one at the wheel.

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78417)

on June 15, 2011
at 09:57 AM

on the one hand, it all boils down to the issue of clear and strict definition / interpretation - or rather lack of it - of what is "paleo": and for this reason, he could just as well have claimed to discover the "true paleo" rather than abandoning "paleo" concept altogether

on the other hand, if his description of "paleo" (="animal-based, relatively high in protein and fat and relatively low in carbohydrate") is correct, than there is an issue that it is (quite likely) IMPOSSIBLE [[[i, for one, personally tend to believe so]]] to have both the paleo content (foods / macro ratio) and the modern neolithic form (feeding pattern): that is, if one goes "animal-based, relatively high in protein and fat and relatively low in carbohydrate" while eating three square meals a day as they used to with non-paleo way of eating, there is a possibility they would end up with all those unpleasant issues he blamed paleo for

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on June 15, 2011
at 01:29 PM

Just to make sure I understand: Are you saying that if he eats three meals a day of a high-fat/protein, low-carb diet that he'll get the symptoms he reports? In other words, if he ate two times or fewer per day he would have been fine? If that's what you're saying, can I ask why you think that would be so?

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on June 16, 2011
at 04:14 PM

gn, that's very interesting. Thanks for the explanation.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78417)

on June 15, 2011
at 09:53 PM

@Rose - my statement is largely based on an n=1 personal observation: if i'm on strict paleo, there is no way my body can handle not only 3-4 meals but even 2, so i'm left with one meal in the evening, more over i have to almost completely separate animal based and plant based (alright, i maybe just broken): one day eggs, one day meat... fast... then maybe on the 4th-5th - some plant matter (=carbs) - this approach shrinks the gut so that you can almost link your hands around it (feels great) - as i see it, paleo WOE (when there is no constant digestion-slowing grain-sludge in your gut) -->

Fd504de9b242f4cd7009db70af5e2121

(558)

on June 15, 2011
at 02:07 PM

look at his food log,he was eating twice a day...gut busting large meals IMO

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78417)

on June 15, 2011
at 09:58 PM

raises overall effectiveness of digestion and thus reduces both the amount of times one has to eat and the amount (in terms of both absolute energy (calories) and volume) of food one has to eat - this is why i believe that to be successful with 'paleo' one has not only to change the content (from an evolutionary viewpoint) but to change the feeding pattern as well - at least this is the only way it works for me personally

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78417)

on June 15, 2011
at 06:52 PM

At what point does a diet become non-paleo? He is saying that there is not just something that needs to be tweaked but something incomplete in the modality. He feels limited by the Paleo point of view.

-1
70030f45cc23175fc212d83c83011758

(-2)

on August 23, 2011
at 11:49 PM

Paleo made me feel sick as a dog, and I gave it a fair try.

Plus, and not to be rude, but has anyone seen what Loren Cordain looks like lately? Not exactly a poster boy for paleo. Sorry, I know that sounds awful, but someone has to say it.

695b82d856d4bd9314b865864ff6df5e

on August 24, 2011
at 12:36 AM

My dogs are healthier than ever, and they are paleo,,,

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on August 24, 2011
at 12:34 AM

If "Paleo" made you feel sick you weren't doing it right. Paleo is too huge an umbrella of food choices to point a finger at like that. If something doesn't agree with you for some reason don't effing eat it. If you're eating too little or too much of something you have no one to blame but yourself. I am sick to death of people making these sweeping, generalized condemnations of a concept. Do you not know how foolish you sound? You clearly have no idea about Paleo eating and that's why you were sick as a dog. You go follow Don and I hope you'll be feeling fabulous again very soon.

70030f45cc23175fc212d83c83011758

(-2)

on August 24, 2011
at 08:57 PM

I noticed you haven't addressed the issue that your godfather of Paleo, Mr. Cordain now looks fat. I could say more about the fairly recent photo I saw of him, but I won't. And hopefully his new book coming out won't have the same photo of him taken 20 years ago. He looked like a different person back then. Let them be honest and post the present. Oh, and since I'm posting here on the Don Maetz thread, no I am not vegetarian. I'm happily following South Beach diet, thank you. Feeling fantastic on it. Sayonara for good. Won't waste any more time calling a spade a spade.

E01a48d56452f3e5b48d99839e8c0974

(55)

on November 18, 2011
at 10:17 PM

You are telling me that you think it's the "fat free cheese" and other processed foods that the South Beach recommends that are making you feel great? It can't possibly be the whole foods?

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!