3

votes

Is a Paleo cookbook or recipe book just a contradiction in terms?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 22, 2012 at 9:29 PM

I have been mulling over Paleo cookbooks/recipe books, and in conjunction with a bit more reading on Guyenet and his ideas.

In those terms, isn't it both inauthentic (less of a problem but still an observation) and counter-productive (bigger problem) to have Paleo recipes at all.

My way of thinking is that it is the combination of various things in a "recipe" which increases the food reward of otherwise classically Paleo nutritious yet low reward foods.

Some examples: . steak vs steak in peppercorn and cream sauce . spinach vs creamed spinach with garlic and sesame seeds

So my real question is this: Should we protect Paleos that want to lose weight from Paleo cookbooks, which should be exclusively reserved for Paleos at ideal weight?

Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823

(9402)

on April 14, 2012
at 12:37 AM

Although, I guess that's only if you're interested in eating extremely low food reward. Many of us can likely eat moderate food reward with paleo cookbooks and remain perfectly healthy.

Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823

(9402)

on April 14, 2012
at 12:14 AM

This is a great question

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on April 13, 2012
at 11:43 PM

French put nutmeg on EVERYTHING. My boyfriend hovers around the kitchen with his micro-grater and nutmeg waiting to swoop in. Don't get me wrong, I love me some fresh nutmeg, but I don't always cook French- and no one thanks you for throwing nutmeg in your enchilada sauce...

6cdc6b1e75690cfcc4804a6c9eaa910a

(2171)

on January 23, 2012
at 09:56 AM

Loads of great comments and answers which I'm having great fun reading...but I still can't get the full reconciliation between what's being said and Guyenet's findings which also make complete sense tome. Anyone have the magic missing link to make it all work? Or is it just palatability vs reward? All the great comments here about tasty Paleo food essentially refer to palatable food, but do not recommend classic high-reward foods in SAD...?

Medium avatar

(10601)

on January 23, 2012
at 12:35 AM

Yeah my ID check wouldn't keep the vegans out.

7e1433afbb06c318c4d90860d493c49d

(5959)

on January 22, 2012
at 11:11 PM

Who says paleo food has to be bland, boring, and joyless? My lunch was chicken breast, cabbage, and habanero pepper sauteed in a little red palm oil, with the fresh squeezed juice of one lime drizzled over it. It was delicious, filling, and only 550 calories.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 22, 2012
at 11:09 PM

I couldn't agree more, thhq! But I have noticed lately that about 1-2 days per week all I need is a nice bowl of fatty marrow broth to go with my vegetables and I don't miss meat. The next day, though, meat is about all I want so it balances out.

26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on January 22, 2012
at 10:58 PM

Don't forget about the acidic pee-smell test. "Here's your cup, ma'am. You can use bush #3."

Medium avatar

(10601)

on January 22, 2012
at 10:55 PM

Don't forget who your friends are when you're losing weight. Boredom and carby foods are the enemy. A well cooked beef roast is your friend.

26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on January 22, 2012
at 10:49 PM

I did it for a week, and it did become easy. I am a great cook, though, and my husband wanted tasty foods.I found that I had a lot less anxiety and cravings for alcohol, by eating my fill of a soup comprised of unseasoned meat, animal fat, and leafy greens. I also ate boiled or poached eggs. I found that with low-reward, I didn't overeat, as I normally tend to do with seasoned foods. It isn't very exciting, but it did have an impact, at least for me. I keep my lunches pretty bland now, and save the flavor for dinner.

Medium avatar

(10601)

on January 22, 2012
at 10:45 PM

A simple ID check at the door should do. Smelly breath? No detectable deodorant? You're in.

Medium avatar

(10601)

on January 22, 2012
at 10:42 PM

The point of LC diets of all types is to eat more fat and feel satisfied eating less overall. The spoonful of lard that makes the medicine go down. Eating bad tasting food is a completely different approach, and not remotely paleo. Want low reward food? Eat sawdust and kitty litter. Stay away from roasted and smoked meats by all means.

Medium avatar

(10601)

on January 22, 2012
at 10:36 PM

Bad food is easy to make and the perfect thing to eat by yourself. It brings back memories of Boy Scout campout food, diarrhea and all. IMO it's nothing to strive for or feel proud of.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 22, 2012
at 09:59 PM

Very well said!

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 22, 2012
at 09:58 PM

I think Guyenet is accurate in the context of SHAD. Once you are happily eating ancestral foods, my wager says ancestral women had many tricks and techniques for enjoying their foods. It doesn't have to be super-high-artificial-reward vs. no-reward. It can be SHAD vs. well prepared/mixed ancestral foods.

6cdc6b1e75690cfcc4804a6c9eaa910a

(2171)

on January 22, 2012
at 09:52 PM

so while being careful to distinguish between palatability and food reward, you think Guyenet is wrong?

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12 Answers

18
F92e4ca55291c3f3096a3d4d3d854986

(11698)

on January 22, 2012
at 09:54 PM

I don't think the key to weight loss is to reduce all food reward to the lowest possible. For me personally, the more satisfied I am by a well-prepared meal, the more easily I can put that meal behind me and get on with life, instead of going back to the fridge to pick at things to try to "make up" for a sucky meal.

Also, hasn't the failure of "diets" in the past shown over and over that when people feel deprived, bored and unsatisfied by their meals, they stray from the plan?

Eat tasty, flavourful, beautifully-presented healthy (read: Paleo) food in reasonable amounts. If a cookbook helps get you there, all the better.

Medium avatar

(10601)

on January 22, 2012
at 10:42 PM

The point of LC diets of all types is to eat more fat and feel satisfied eating less overall. The spoonful of lard that makes the medicine go down. Eating bad tasting food is a completely different approach, and not remotely paleo. Want low reward food? Eat sawdust and kitty litter. Stay away from roasted and smoked meats by all means.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 22, 2012
at 09:59 PM

Very well said!

9
26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on January 22, 2012
at 09:34 PM

Are you proposing some sort of secret underground cream-laden, nut-topped cookbook coven for the trim folks? :) Instead of a secret password, perhaps there might be a caliper-wielding guard at the entrance? LOL! You're kidding, right? Good one.

Medium avatar

(10601)

on January 22, 2012
at 10:45 PM

A simple ID check at the door should do. Smelly breath? No detectable deodorant? You're in.

Medium avatar

(10601)

on January 23, 2012
at 12:35 AM

Yeah my ID check wouldn't keep the vegans out.

26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on January 22, 2012
at 10:58 PM

Don't forget about the acidic pee-smell test. "Here's your cup, ma'am. You can use bush #3."

7
96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 22, 2012
at 09:36 PM

I'll speak only for myself . . . NO!

I'm 9 months in and possibly just past the halfway point of desired weight loss. I'm very interested in variety of foods and recipes so I can continue to thrive on this lifestyle. Regardless of location or level of technology, humans have always applied creativity to their resources and I guarantee there have always been recipes even if they could only be based on "watching grandma."

I continue to learn on a daily basis little things that make my food interesting and tasty and help me stay totally uninterested in all the food commercials, billboards and store displays.

I don't think boredom is your friend when you're trying to lose weight; I think the opposite is true. I would agree, however, that every cookbook should include at least one chapter of recipes about how to make simple foods taste their best without destroying nutrients or adding artificial elements. The creation of "almost-neolithic" desserts gets a little too much ink IMO.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 22, 2012
at 09:58 PM

I think Guyenet is accurate in the context of SHAD. Once you are happily eating ancestral foods, my wager says ancestral women had many tricks and techniques for enjoying their foods. It doesn't have to be super-high-artificial-reward vs. no-reward. It can be SHAD vs. well prepared/mixed ancestral foods.

Medium avatar

(10601)

on January 22, 2012
at 10:55 PM

Don't forget who your friends are when you're losing weight. Boredom and carby foods are the enemy. A well cooked beef roast is your friend.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 22, 2012
at 11:09 PM

I couldn't agree more, thhq! But I have noticed lately that about 1-2 days per week all I need is a nice bowl of fatty marrow broth to go with my vegetables and I don't miss meat. The next day, though, meat is about all I want so it balances out.

6cdc6b1e75690cfcc4804a6c9eaa910a

(2171)

on January 22, 2012
at 09:52 PM

so while being careful to distinguish between palatability and food reward, you think Guyenet is wrong?

3
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on January 22, 2012
at 09:42 PM

Paleo skeptics already think paleo takes all the joy out of food and you propose making it even more bland and boring? A little cream sauce never hurt anybody.

7e1433afbb06c318c4d90860d493c49d

(5959)

on January 22, 2012
at 11:11 PM

Who says paleo food has to be bland, boring, and joyless? My lunch was chicken breast, cabbage, and habanero pepper sauteed in a little red palm oil, with the fresh squeezed juice of one lime drizzled over it. It was delicious, filling, and only 550 calories.

2
246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21430)

on January 22, 2012
at 10:56 PM

IF you are a reenactor, yes. But then again, I don't think the internet has made it's way to stone tablets yet.

Otherwise, it's not only harmless, but a great way to incorporate ancestral eating into a modern lifestyle, and make it tasty enough to stick with it.

I will admit, many recipes are very high on the food reward scale and are loaded with products that are not very helpful to good health (such as paleo muffins, pancakes, etc made with various combos of nut flours and bullshit sweetners). The well-intentioned folks behind those recipes tried to make paleo something it isn't... Caveman Adkins. If you can wrap your head around "NO BREAD, NO BEANS, NO SUGARS, NO ARTIFICIAL OILS" then you will have no need for these recipes.

BUT...

There are plenty of ingredients in the realm of paleo, even if you are LC, classic, 3.0, whatever... there is no reason to deny yourself that certain foods, cooked in a certain way, with a combination of other foods, isn't damned tasty. Why would you needlessly make yourself miserable about food?

2
Medium avatar

(10601)

on January 22, 2012
at 10:24 PM

The point of cookbooks is to sell books. If the word Paleo makes them fly off the shelves, Emeril and Paula Deen will write one. The authors could care less whether the buyer meets the P-17 requirement to buy one.

My favorite cookbook right now is Anne Willan's "Country Cooking of France". Not because I slavishly follow the recipes, but for the outlines on seasoning and technique. A few weeks ago I ate a gratin dauphinoise in a restaurant, which was delicious, and paleo if potatoes and dairy fit your program. And here it is on pg 225...pinch of nutmeg...who knew? It's also gratifying to know that bone broth is a close cousin of pot au feu.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on April 13, 2012
at 11:43 PM

French put nutmeg on EVERYTHING. My boyfriend hovers around the kitchen with his micro-grater and nutmeg waiting to swoop in. Don't get me wrong, I love me some fresh nutmeg, but I don't always cook French- and no one thanks you for throwing nutmeg in your enchilada sauce...

2
7e1433afbb06c318c4d90860d493c49d

(5959)

on January 22, 2012
at 10:17 PM

IMO, making crappy food in hopes that I eat less of it is completely dumbassed compared to making my usual tasty fare and simply counting calories and making sure that I'm in caloric deficit. When I want to lose weight, I measure all my food and count calories on FitDay.com... works every time.

Medium avatar

(10601)

on January 22, 2012
at 10:36 PM

Bad food is easy to make and the perfect thing to eat by yourself. It brings back memories of Boy Scout campout food, diarrhea and all. IMO it's nothing to strive for or feel proud of.

0
78cb3c4f70de5db2adb52b6b9671894b

on April 14, 2012
at 12:36 AM

I don't use any recipes, but then again, I just throw things in to cook and poke around it until I think it's done. I have no idea how long I'm supposed to cook meats so I always overdo it a little to be safe. I used to cook most meals in the microwave in college...as simple as you can get, but not exactly awesome. I cook very plainly, but that's just a personal thing.

I think for someone coming off of a SAD diet, a paleo cookbook would be helpful, especially if they came from just eating packaged foods and takeout. We don't just eat to live. Food is part of our culture as well. Certain foods just taste better with others and someone who is used to McDonald's or chips might have a hard time knowing what combinations taste well together. My mom's friend used to make pasta with mayo, peas and tomatoes and it was disgusting. She was trying to cook with "American" ingredients and in my opinion, failed:(.

Eating optimally means something different for everyone. If someone wants a higher fat intake, it might be helpful to find a recipe for a higher fat dish that tastes good with all the nutrition they need, rather than just eating "plain" and then just drinking melted butter on the side, ya know?

0
Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823

(9402)

on April 14, 2012
at 12:20 AM

I think this is an important question, but I think you're mixing two questions together:

(1) The question you asked - is paleo and cookbook contradictory? I guess it depends on how you define paleo. If you're asking "did paleolithic man write down instructions on how to cook foods and share them with others so they could replicate the meals?" then the answer is obviously no. But of course most PHers do not believe paleo means reenactment. If you're asking can you follow the commonly held paleo guidelines and follow a recipe book, then the answer seems like an obvious yes.

(2) I think the more important question and maybe what you intended is - is a low food reward diet and cookbook contradictory? I think I would lean towards yes on that. At least if you follow Stephan's guidelines, I think the less preparation/variety/mixing of your foods, the lower the food reward value. Lowest food reward diets I think are those where each food is eaten separately.

Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823

(9402)

on April 14, 2012
at 12:37 AM

Although, I guess that's only if you're interested in eating extremely low food reward. Many of us can likely eat moderate food reward with paleo cookbooks and remain perfectly healthy.

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 13, 2012
at 11:47 PM

There is a difference between avoiding hyper-stimulating food and eating bad food.

I really hate the characterization of Food Reward as eating bad tasting or boring food. That really isn't the point.

0
518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on April 13, 2012
at 11:44 PM

Me eating low reward food: "EFF THIS ORDER A PIZZA ALREADY, GODDAMNIT".

0
A727956fa3f943057c4edb08ad9e864e

on January 22, 2012
at 10:35 PM

Although I think that there are always going to be people that want to get their 'candy-cigarette' fix, (I cringe when I see recipes calling for a tonne of almond flour) I do believe there is a 'food-reward setpoint' as well as a body fat one.

In my own experience I can only go very low on reward for about three days, then if I don't have something of moderate (but not necessarily high) reward I WILL binge on crap. It is predictable as the tides and has been proven over and over again.

I think that's something that Stephan has neglected somewhat, that if you go from high to low reward and 'white-knuckle' it for two weeks it will automatically become easy, but I've yet to see any evidence of this!

26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on January 22, 2012
at 10:49 PM

I did it for a week, and it did become easy. I am a great cook, though, and my husband wanted tasty foods.I found that I had a lot less anxiety and cravings for alcohol, by eating my fill of a soup comprised of unseasoned meat, animal fat, and leafy greens. I also ate boiled or poached eggs. I found that with low-reward, I didn't overeat, as I normally tend to do with seasoned foods. It isn't very exciting, but it did have an impact, at least for me. I keep my lunches pretty bland now, and save the flavor for dinner.

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