2

votes

bye bye, Paleo, I won't miss you

Answered on September 16, 2014
Created March 02, 2013 at 9:58 PM

Enough with all that meat and the bacon and the demonization of grains, legumes and dairy. Return to my beloved mediterranean way. Thank you for your advice, it was fun and helping, but I find the whole approach hysterical and dogmatic.

I' ll leave with a link of a nice article demonstrating the lifestyle of some centenarians who eat legumes every day.

"Their diet was also typical: a breakfast of goat???s milk, wine, sage tea or coffee, honey and bread. Lunch was almost always beans (lentils, garbanzos), potatoes, greens (fennel, dandelion or a spinachlike green called horta) and whatever seasonal vegetables their garden produced; dinner was bread and goat???s milk. At Christmas and Easter, they would slaughter the family pig and enjoy small portions of larded pork for the next several months."

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/28/magazine/the-island-where-people-forget-to-die.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1&

3eca93d2e56dfcd768197dc5a50944f2

(11697)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

Greek Mountain Tea does not grow in the plains, it requires high rises and a specific climate. You might have more lucky buying the tea directly. I buy it from my local Mediterranean shop, I have a guide on my blog on how to prepare it (it requires special preparation).

24c27817ad9ac518946dda4a131737b5

on March 03, 2013
at 04:12 AM

A conversation-worthy post. And written in good faith. Shouldn't be closed solely because it doesn't follow the question format. A lot can be learned from the rebuttals, such as Eugenia's.

24c27817ad9ac518946dda4a131737b5

on March 03, 2013
at 04:10 AM

A conversation-worthy post. And written in good faith. Shouldn't be closed solely because it doesn't follow the question format.

24c27817ad9ac518946dda4a131737b5

on March 03, 2013
at 04:09 AM

A masterpiece of a comment.

04a4f204bc2e589fa30fd31b92944549

(975)

on March 03, 2013
at 02:07 AM

Thank you for explaining why the Mediterranean diet is so healthy...most sources on the subject seem to oversimplify it. Anyway great rebuttal to the original poster :)

32652cb696b75182cb121009ee4edea3

(5802)

on March 03, 2013
at 12:40 AM

Read your blog post - that was great! I started digging for greek mountain tea seeds, and found this: https://www.horizonherbs.com/product.asp?specific=1953 Might order some and see if I can grow it ...

Medium avatar

(2417)

on March 02, 2013
at 10:47 PM

A-f'ing-men. Every word.

32652cb696b75182cb121009ee4edea3

(5802)

on March 02, 2013
at 10:33 PM

Wow Eugenia. Wish I could triple like!

0382fa263de4c83328dc34a56e25437f

(4238)

on March 02, 2013
at 10:29 PM

Bye! And best of luck.

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4 Answers

best answer

25
3eca93d2e56dfcd768197dc5a50944f2

(11697)

on March 02, 2013
at 10:30 PM

I'm Greek and I grew up on a similar diet to that mentioned in the article. However, I had failure to thrive (I'm just 4'11", for example). Things indeed got WAY worse when I came to the US and started eating the US wheat. But I wasn't on top of my game before either.

My point is this: this was a one man's story. There are very few cases of cancer going away, but they do exist. He's an anecdote, not something that could happen to all of us if we move to Ikaria and eat the food there. The food helped compared to what he was eating before, but he was ultimately, LUCKY.

Also, you must realize that most of the remedies and superfoods suggested by the Ikarians ARE Paleo: Greek mountain tea (a true superfood, new research is amazing for it), raw honey, many types of wild greens, unfiltered local olive oil, offal, more seafood than meat. I grew up like this too. But wheat was overthrowing all these good things for me and was taking the upper hand.

As for legumes: SOME legumes CAN become benign when they're soaked for a long time, especially lentils. There's research about it that confirms it: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09540100220137655

Traditional Greeks FERMENTED their legumes, they don't eat them out of a can. Ikaria is also a small island, so until recently people were baking their own bread too: FERMENTED, also (with a special yeast called zymari, that was fermented multiple times, increasing its strength each time in breaking down gluten). Also, until the last few years, most Greek islands where using SPELT, not wheat (spelt has less gluten than wheat). This is true for Cretans as well, who also used to live until very old.

So when you say "I'm going to go back and eat Mediterranean food", be careful how you mean that. If you mean it like "I'm going to the bakery and buy bread, and open a can of lentils", that is NOT a Mediterranean diet. It requires way more work to follow a true Mediterranean diet as the Ikarian or the Cretan people followed it. It requires you to go up the mountain to get tea, to go down to the fields to get wild horta (greens), it requires you to chase antibiotic-free goats to milk them, it requires time to do some real feta/yogurt/butter, it requires time to ferment your spelt bread and bake in a wood oven, it requires time to go catch olives and get them yourself to the olive pressing place to make sure they give it to you cold-pressed/unfiltered, it requires you eat real eggs, 4 year old hens instead of 6 weeks old ones etc etc etc etc.

So, are you going to do all these things? I'm Greek, from Epirus, and I WILL do these things when I go back in Greece to live the last years of my life. But as long as I'm in the US, I can't possibly do these things. That's why Paleo saved my life: offering me the best manageable solution for health, in a place (US) that doesn't offer me the same things as Greece does.

EDIT: A few months ago I wrote an article comparing the old Cretan diet to Paleo: http://eugenia.queru.com/2012/08/23/why-the-mediterraneancretan-diet-was-the-best/

04a4f204bc2e589fa30fd31b92944549

(975)

on March 03, 2013
at 02:07 AM

Thank you for explaining why the Mediterranean diet is so healthy...most sources on the subject seem to oversimplify it. Anyway great rebuttal to the original poster :)

Medium avatar

(2417)

on March 02, 2013
at 10:47 PM

A-f'ing-men. Every word.

32652cb696b75182cb121009ee4edea3

(5802)

on March 03, 2013
at 12:40 AM

Read your blog post - that was great! I started digging for greek mountain tea seeds, and found this: https://www.horizonherbs.com/product.asp?specific=1953 Might order some and see if I can grow it ...

3eca93d2e56dfcd768197dc5a50944f2

(11697)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

Greek Mountain Tea does not grow in the plains, it requires high rises and a specific climate. You might have more lucky buying the tea directly. I buy it from my local Mediterranean shop, I have a guide on my blog on how to prepare it (it requires special preparation).

24c27817ad9ac518946dda4a131737b5

on March 03, 2013
at 04:09 AM

A masterpiece of a comment.

32652cb696b75182cb121009ee4edea3

(5802)

on March 02, 2013
at 10:33 PM

Wow Eugenia. Wish I could triple like!

4
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on March 02, 2013
at 10:22 PM

You can make Paleo as miserable or as enjoyable as you like. Apparently you chose the miserable dogmatic path. Enjoy whatever you choose to eat, paleo or not.

1
Medium avatar

on March 02, 2013
at 10:56 PM

Dogmatism ruins even the purest, simplest, and most effective idea. If you throw out the baby with the bath water, your loss.

More likely it was hard and you got tired of it. Flame if you like.

Personally I guess pigs pass. Not the best. I find ruminant flesh and organs, greens, and tubers, in their elegant simplicity, are powerful and health inducing. I've lost more fat, gained more muscle, and broken more life long sport plateaus with this change from my Mediterranean eating than I could have dreamed of. Your choice.

Who cares if its paleo. The above food works, and our ancestors ate it while conquering the world before they got lazy and started settling down to grow wheat.

FEW are allergic to basic starchy tubers or rice. Millions react to wheat, spelt included.

Traditional cultures around the world SLOWLY LACTO FERMENTED any legumes they ate, and treated corn and grains similarly. White rice was never treated so; nothing to fix.

Do whatcha like. But if you were truly convinced in your mind, you'd have quietly gone out the door, instead of calling out "I'm leaving" with a pause.

0
Medium avatar

(167)

on September 16, 2014
at 08:09 PM

All "diets" have a certain amount of dogma, including the SAD diet and all its proponents.

Paleo was a great jumping-off point for me, and it helped me get back into a more natural, chemical-free way of eating and taking care of myself. I don't stick 100% to paleo - like you, I missed my traditional foods, and I missed eating rice with the rest of my Japanese family. So I allow myself rice on a regular basis - lots of 100-year-olds eat it every day. But I will never go back to wheat products (even my soy sauce has to be wheat free) and since doing paleo and learning to prepare and eat more healthy fats, I've lost several pounds and I feel way healthier.

And I still love this paleo community :)

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