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Is Paleo Causing my existential crisis and can anyone else relate?

Asked on May 25, 2015
Created May 20, 2015 at 12:41 AM

When I went down the Paleo rabbit hole, I began to see everyone in the world do things the wrong way. Over the course of the last 5 years, I went from a standard American life to being a social outcast. It started with going gluten free. Then eating no packaged foods, processed food, conventional produce, meat or eggs, and no more dairy. All of this while while maintaining high fat low carb. So basically it all started with food and seeing the world as eating the wrong way.

Then as I went deeper into the Paleo world I began to see that the world doing EVERYTHING wrong. From sleeping (late bedtime late wake up), exercising (chronic cardio vs hiit; going inside a gym instead of outdoors), sitting in chairs, shitting (not squating), and even partying and taking drugs the wrong way (coffee and alcohol vs pot), even wearing shoes that damage our bodies. I could go on and on and that is what happens in my head all day. The result is I get so angry at the world and I am depressed which I know is not healthy. In maintaining the perfect Paleo lifestyle with no compromise when it comes to eating food I didn't prepare (any restaurant), staying up late, drinking alcohol or coffee. I know I could compromise, but I really don't want to. The fact is that I feel great and my health and overall body function has never been better. My severe seasonal allergies and allergies to cats is totally gone. I also have had oily skin and cystic acne since early teens that has vanished into strong skin the doesn't need to be washed with anything other than water. I was a hyper kid with official adhd medicated from a young age and now my thought patterns and ability to be in the moment has never been better. Yet there is still this lingering sadness when I question what we humans are doing to ourselves with the world we created.

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5 Answers

2
176df582f340f8274534b18f905f4843

on May 21, 2015
at 07:07 PM

Hey man , Depression is a disease not caused by nutrition so if your depressed id advise you see someone about that, in my own experience on paleo when i went full on paleo i wouldnt have much energy to go out and do the things that make me happy ...which made me a bit socially withdrawn which does commonly lead to such existential thinking (i guess because we are social creatures right) ....anyway man id be curious how your getting on with the diet , the reason i got fed up with full on paleo is because i got too skinny .....i got brought to the doctors and it turned out i really just had an eating disorder and needed mental health therapies....the eating disorder is called orthorexia ,,,check it out incase you can relate to it and get back to me....i feel like this question is to be looked at in a mental health way you know......

 

Medium avatar

on May 22, 2015
at 02:00 PM

I have been paleo long enough to get through the initial low energy and brain fog.  I've never felt better throughout the day and can comfortably fast if food is not available. It is possible I am orthorexic but to me this seems like semantics.  It's very simple to me. I see people all around me who want the same thing: good energy, clear skin, healthy bmi, joint health, and long life.  But the way they live their lives is a direct contradiction to this. To me these people are just plain stupid or too busy doing things that don't actually relate to themselves.  If I participate in the world, I will be surrounded by people like this.  It is only in todays, world that a fat, unhealthy person can be "successful"

Regarding orthorexia, I'm still not sure I understand it.  I now just look at all food as fuel and I eat for almost no taste pleasure.  I do enjoy the sweetness of fresh fruit or a savory steak but my overall goal each day is to give myself the best fuel possible for the least amount of money. If I can't find meat for a decent price, I will just eat canned sardines instead for days in a row.  I don't mind eating the same food over and over. I don't look at eating as anything more than fueling myself and my life doesn't revolve around food.  I try to fuel myself so that I can go out and do things. To me anyone eating for taste pleasure is weak.

 

176df582f340f8274534b18f905f4843

(75)

on May 23, 2015
at 12:12 PM

Ah to say u need to be fat to be succesfull is just ridiculous ,  and to me anyways being successful is such a small part of life because success is extremely subjective . Being happy and satisfied with your life on an emotional level is more important then eating extremely healthy , if u put eating healthy ahead of being happy you are in trouble as i was , because your question seemed to suggest that your diet was holding you back , some day you will be on your death bed with your perfect skin and perfect teeth and good joint health and i just dont want you to regret how you spent your time in life , everybody dies but not everybody lives you know (sorry for the cliche quote) anyway im a young 'successfull' student and successful in many ways having overcome my depression and overcome my anxiety which caused things like IBS for me ,(i did CBT therapy and im on antidepressants , which work for me) i am not fat ...i am healthy and happy ,i hope this helps :)

2
56c28e3654d4dd8a8abdb2c1f525202e

(1822)

on May 20, 2015
at 10:00 PM

This has happened to many of us, though perhaps not in such an extreme form. People don't like to change their ways and have no curiosity. It used to break my heart to see family eat the wrong way. I am fairly sure my father's Parkinson could have been avoided, as well as the childhood diabetes of a niece. Now I am a bit more accepting, I talk more to those who listen more (some friends, one of my sisters), and accept that some things are unavoidable. There will be no widespread interest in health through food, until medical help is severely curtailed.

Medium avatar

on May 22, 2015
at 02:04 PM

Wow, you are much stronger than I am.  I could never respect anyone who is sick and complaining and trying to do the right thing, but in reality is doing all the wrong things.  I would be angry at them for believing the mainstream bs and be angry at the system that put them in this position.  We live in a messed up and very crowded world.  What happens in crowded places is that the individual gets fucked over.

56c28e3654d4dd8a8abdb2c1f525202e

(1822)

on May 25, 2015
at 02:59 AM

you know, we don't really know what it was like to have been born in a rural village in Europe under a nasty regime many years ago. there may be very strong pressure to accept a number of assumptions about life very early on, which you can not then change later in life. you have to be understanding of others. not everyone was born with the internet at his disposal.

Medium avatar

on May 25, 2015
at 01:48 PM

I guess I have no idea what kind of pressure others have been under to accept societal expectations.  I find it hard to accept when as I'm now sitting in a starbucks and I see already unhealthy people come in to get a "grande mocha cappacino and a banana nut bread" for a total of $8.  The worst part is some of these people in starbucks work at the walmart across the street or chipotle next door.  They are basically spending an hour of pay on terrible food and are in and endless cycle of this work and buy and work and buy and giving away their whole life.

I guess if it weren't for all these zombies walking around, I wouldn't be able to mooch as much off the businesses they frequent.

1
56c28e3654d4dd8a8abdb2c1f525202e

(1822)

on May 24, 2015
at 11:59 PM

There is also the fact that numerous aspects of diet, which are recent or relevant for human well being, are almost completely out of the paleo model. Most important

1) there has been a huge increase in knowledge about our gut flora and how important it is for health. Really, it is better to eat cornmeal with a top notch flora than steaks a sweet potatoes with some of the wretched biofilms some westerners have. Keep in mind that beri-beri and pellagra always affected only 1% of the populace. The rest had bacteria able to create niacin and thiamin out of any substrate.

2) there is very little mention of the enzyme content of foods, yet I believe this is very important to improve the body's performance and ageing. If you have enzymes in your food, you do not have to produce them yourself. in particular

- you have to eat raw foods at every meal. that is a very paleo thing to do, yet it is not stressed

- it is best if these raw foods are in fact sprouts, which have so much more enzymes than anything else. I do eat raw with every meal and sprouts once a day. One can go to finer points, for example lipase is to be found in precious few foods, yet we intake a lot of fats that need to be digested. I have figured out on my own that it is best to eat avocado or olives in fatty meals. This year I am going to make my own preserved olives (2 gallons). Sprouts of fatty seeds work too (sunflower. I will try flax eventually).

There are other things that mimic the paleo lifestyle, raydawg has mentioned them, such as eating fats with meat, and carbohydrates alone, to improve metabolism. But I think it all starts with a top notch gut.

 

Medium avatar

on May 25, 2015
at 01:56 PM

Thanks Glib. This is something I haven't though too much about but I try to eat a spoonful of raw sauerkraut with each meal.  Perhaps sprouting seeds will take me to the next level.

Medium avatar

(10601)

on May 25, 2015
at 07:13 PM

I watched part of the PBS Lewis and Clark series a couple days ago, and it hit home Cordain's conclusion about the importance of eating meat. All winter long they ate boiled elk. No vegetables, nothing raw. At 45 degrees north latitude you get no vegetables and fruit from September to June.

1
Medium avatar

(10601)

on May 23, 2015
at 04:31 PM

Perhaps. You have to take what Paleo gives you and move on with your life.

Cordain refocused us on eating a higher meat and low/no grain diet, but more important than that he's an exercise prof recommending 900 kcal a day of exercise. Unfortunately he pushed a simple diet reset to the level of crazy orthorexia. Paleos don't eat solanaceae as a group? Yeah right. I start to get skeptical at that point.

For me the most important part of paleo is getting out of the sedentary rut. Cordain's original emphasis. Banning tomatoes, potatoes and peppers from my life is down around #113 in order of importance. 

Medium avatar

on May 25, 2015
at 01:54 PM

Yes, I should do just that as that is what the stoics would say.  I'm no cordain follower and I do eat lots of sweet potatoes and peppers and even some corn chips with guacamole.  I try to be very aware of how my body reacts to these foods so that I can adapt for what is best for me.

0
1215bd63d966298f602504fa2bbd89dd

on May 24, 2015
at 02:23 PM

I have the same thoughts and feel the same. Man I hope the world is gonna catch up on healthy lifestyle. I want to believe it will happen in a few years, thanks to word  of mouth and because it feels so much better to live like this. When I get angry at the world I tell myself that what get us there is our incredible ability to shape the world so that it's convenient to us. I believe this ability can get us out of any situation no matter how bad it is, because we will always find solutions. Unless our civilization destroys itself before. Oh well...

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Medium avatar

on May 25, 2015
at 01:37 PM

I hope so too.  Sometimes these convenient solutions seem ok until we see the long term consequences.  I bet the first farmers to cultivate wheat were really patting themselves on the back that they could feed hundreds (thousands?) from a few fields of grain.  Then a few generations later the wheat farmers families had bad teeth and shorter stature compared to hunter gatherers.

 

If paleo were to enter the real mainstream, we would be flooded with packaged paleo foods and gluten free versions of snacks.  Even  paleo would be perverted by this world and this is already happening. I may just be disenchanted.

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