18

votes

Does the word *paleo* make you cringe?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 25, 2011 at 7:49 PM

Whenever I find myself in a position to discuss my diet I cringe as soon as I have to say the word paleo.

Here are some thoughts on why:

(1) It just sounds stupid. Its not as bad as the Shangri-la diet, but calling it Paleo just sounds illegitimate.

(2) As often noted on this site, theoretically there could not have been a single Paleo diet, so to sophisticated people the very idea sounds immediately stupid or ignorant. I tend to quickly address this charge as soon as the word paleo slips out of my mouth.

(3) The word paleo is deeply flawed because it doesn't capture the extent to which my diet is based on scientific research, self experimentation, fermented foods and certain types of dairy, etc.

Does the word paleo make you cringe? Any thoughts about that?

E7e7e1c856d4494d4a1b700b6869df90

(982)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

typos.. Atkins..

4b61b13ed39e5c5d01fe234900cadcf8

(1138)

on May 11, 2012
at 01:04 PM

ha! thanks for pointing out my mistake! They didn't eat meat until after the flood. I wasn't paying attention :) but because I believe God had everything planned from the start, he would have designed us to eat meat, knowing we would be eating it eventually :)

E7e7e1c856d4494d4a1b700b6869df90

(982)

on May 09, 2012
at 07:51 PM

It actually IS a lot like Atins and Atins was actually the first Paleo-like diet..like it or not..cringe and cringe again!! it is "not" new..most people do not understand what Atkins was and like many continue to knock something based on media or misunderstanding or bashing. If you took the time to research and understand all the data and research fueled by him which has resulted in the now "knew" paleo (sans Cordain) you would see how truly similar they are.

3cb90a0f7c1a54a67610b86448ea1a9d

(5)

on May 09, 2012
at 07:43 PM

Me too! My academic background is in paleontology, and when I hear "paleo," I think paleontology. And rarely does anything Quaternary come to mind.

Ebcbbdcb8b727e69e06eaa102d49a84c

(1804)

on May 09, 2012
at 02:12 PM

Haha! Yes, I think we are among the crazy ones. But who ever said there was anything wrong with that? :)

Bdc6244bdbd664d2168a8e326018ffbe

(431)

on May 09, 2012
at 02:04 PM

Bwa ha ha. Yeah, its all about framing. I preface it with a lot of hemming and hawing so they're prepared for an unconventional response. It feels sad and whinge-y that I'm embarrassed about it, but I guess pre-Paleo I always viewed being really picky about food as self-indulgent and a bit immature.

Ddfdaa75ac9f47e01fc71162dd0d38dc

on May 09, 2012
at 06:56 AM

Actually doesn't Genesis say "the lion laid down with the lamb," meaning no carnivory? ;) without tools or fire, wouldn't Adam & Eve have had to be vegan? ;)

A7768b6c6be7f5d6acc76e5efa66464c

on May 09, 2012
at 12:12 AM

That's not grand, it's just snarky.

A7768b6c6be7f5d6acc76e5efa66464c

on May 09, 2012
at 12:10 AM

People are always saying, "We weren't designed to eat this." When it's an evolutionary biologist saying it, I have to wonder. Why not say, "we weren't evolved to eat this" instead? I'm not really a Christian, but a Christian using the word "designed" makes perfect sense to me. And actually, the discussion of what Adam and Eve made seems congruent too. I like it--it's evidence we can have different belief systems and *still* agree on important stuff!

E7adfe31507efb7c935f618a829f56d6

(1507)

on May 08, 2012
at 07:44 PM

"anything you can do I can do meta."

737471a5bc1c8b81d968c3f3fcd13b71

(389)

on December 16, 2011
at 01:44 PM

Oh man, the perception of paleo as a fad diet... I went to Trader Joe's recently and someone who was helping me look for something said, "Oh, you're doing the paleo diet right?" Saying I'm >doing< the paleo >diet< makes it sound akin to working my way through the cabbage soup diet. Like I'm gonna finish with my month of dieting and be done with it.

219ce991d8c94447870c824680de53e0

(457)

on May 26, 2011
at 06:52 PM

I will usually just say I avoid processed foods and artifical foods/chemicals. Then if they dig deeper with questions, I will explain further. Almost without fail they say "so its a lot like Atkins then?" that is what makes me cringe.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on May 26, 2011
at 11:41 AM

Here, try a fossil. Tasty!

65430e39d7e9e9322718d016fe668051

(2944)

on May 26, 2011
at 08:45 AM

I feel the same.... I hate saying "paleo"

4b61b13ed39e5c5d01fe234900cadcf8

(1138)

on May 26, 2011
at 02:41 AM

Not really a stretch for me. We can all agree that this is the way to eat based on how our bodies work. I just choose to believe we were designed to eat this way originally by God :)works for me... I don't picture Adam and Eve baking bread and cookies in the garden, just eating raw meat and picking some veggies and fruit... Like apples.

B1fcaceba952861d0324bdb291edbbe0

(3159)

on May 26, 2011
at 01:38 AM

Omg. You rock.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on May 26, 2011
at 01:35 AM

So..you don't believe in evolution but you eat in a way that IS AT LEAST TO SOME EXTENT based on evolution? Impressive.

C23ec4b85f3cbeb9ddf6bf78317d56e3

(300)

on May 26, 2011
at 12:05 AM

I try to avoid labeling my "diet" at all, because people instantly file it in a box of preconceived notions. I normally just say that I eat real food as close to it's natural state as possible, and no sugar or breads/pastas except on very special occasions.

Ab19df3ededa28f7bf7daeba8435b205

(1471)

on May 25, 2011
at 11:45 PM

yes, and i roll my eyes when i describe the diet to anyone because I know next they will say "oh the caveman diet?"

Fe535c4994ac6176f76e1ff6d29eb08a

(4286)

on May 25, 2011
at 10:51 PM

+1 as that is exactly what I do

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on May 25, 2011
at 10:33 PM

yes. same same for me.

C9b0f49cc58a60afffe5ca15f823efb0

on May 25, 2011
at 10:21 PM

Bwahahahaha!!!!

4a585ea8059f71614597a56805cc60c7

(390)

on May 25, 2011
at 10:09 PM

That's pretty much my approach. I don't worry about what people think anyway. I also point them towards MDA.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on May 25, 2011
at 09:57 PM

3 of the top 10 nutrition books on Amazon are written by paleo douchebags. Now is a good time to be a paleo douchebag.

E7dc4f2e3998906dd3213973a3c10d50

on May 25, 2011
at 09:40 PM

I tend to say I avoid processed foods, grains, and sugar. If people want to know more, they ask.

1568416ef28477d1fa29046218d83ddd

(6235)

on May 25, 2011
at 09:07 PM

It is really hard to google eating patterns without names.

D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

(4134)

on May 25, 2011
at 09:00 PM

Great answer, UncleLongHair!

1471beca8e3adff4ae2f89d10e5f7acb

(6550)

on May 25, 2011
at 08:52 PM

See, I used *just* ancestral once and people looked at me real funny. Being a blonde with a German last name, I have to be careful talking too much about ancestry...

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on May 25, 2011
at 08:38 PM

I was going to post relatively the same thing. Looking at diet as what we might be best adapted to and eating the things that we are best adapted to the most and eating the things that we are least adapted to the least.

D30ff86ad2c1f3b43b99aed213bcf461

on May 25, 2011
at 08:36 PM

Squee indeed. :)

D30ff86ad2c1f3b43b99aed213bcf461

on May 25, 2011
at 08:35 PM

+1, especially for the "hur hur hur". :)

1568416ef28477d1fa29046218d83ddd

(6235)

on May 25, 2011
at 08:27 PM

Pardon me why I indulge in a brief moment of fangirl squee!

34a367e60db77270bd7096dc04270fdc

(4171)

on May 25, 2011
at 08:15 PM

I would try to not use paleo, I would just say - I eat pastured meat, veggies, some dairy and nothing processed. I think that encompasses enough to give someone an idea of what you're talking about. Whenever I've said paleo I feel dumb for having said it because I get a look like "I don't know wtf that means"

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on May 25, 2011
at 08:12 PM

What do you say instead? Do you just avoid using a single word to sum it up? Huntgatherlove Melissa once said that she eats vintage, which I kind of liked, but even *vintage* or *pastoral* sounds off to me, and they don't capture the components of the diet mentioned above.

34a367e60db77270bd7096dc04270fdc

(4171)

on May 25, 2011
at 08:12 PM

+1 just because you made me laugh

B61f6513a155cd874b42efdad55312f6

(231)

on May 25, 2011
at 07:54 PM

it does, I try to avoid using it.

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32 Answers

26
9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

on May 25, 2011
at 08:57 PM

I tell people that I stopped eating grains and sugar. That is simple enough and they get the point. People who are familiar with the paleo / primal / archevore / whatever diet usually pick up on this and will usually ask for details (low carb, dairy or no, etc).

I don't think that basic "Paleo" eating is a fad, but diets with names generally are. I would rather come across as someone who just has a healthy if somewhat unusual diet rather than a cheerleader for a diet label.

1568416ef28477d1fa29046218d83ddd

(6235)

on May 25, 2011
at 09:07 PM

It is really hard to google eating patterns without names.

Fe535c4994ac6176f76e1ff6d29eb08a

(4286)

on May 25, 2011
at 10:51 PM

+1 as that is exactly what I do

D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

(4134)

on May 25, 2011
at 09:00 PM

Great answer, UncleLongHair!

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on May 25, 2011
at 10:33 PM

yes. same same for me.

E7dc4f2e3998906dd3213973a3c10d50

on May 25, 2011
at 09:40 PM

I tend to say I avoid processed foods, grains, and sugar. If people want to know more, they ask.

737471a5bc1c8b81d968c3f3fcd13b71

(389)

on December 16, 2011
at 01:44 PM

Oh man, the perception of paleo as a fad diet... I went to Trader Joe's recently and someone who was helping me look for something said, "Oh, you're doing the paleo diet right?" Saying I'm >doing< the paleo >diet< makes it sound akin to working my way through the cabbage soup diet. Like I'm gonna finish with my month of dieting and be done with it.

14
1471beca8e3adff4ae2f89d10e5f7acb

on May 25, 2011
at 07:57 PM

Yes. I tend to say things like "I follow a lifeway informed by evolutionary and ancestral patterns," because a) I spent too much time in anthropology classes in college and b) I'm a douchebag.

Whenever I use "paleo," I get cracks like, "so do you take Flintstone vitamins, hurhurhur?" I think as paleo becomes more mainstream, though, it will be less cringy.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on May 25, 2011
at 09:57 PM

3 of the top 10 nutrition books on Amazon are written by paleo douchebags. Now is a good time to be a paleo douchebag.

34a367e60db77270bd7096dc04270fdc

(4171)

on May 25, 2011
at 08:12 PM

+1 just because you made me laugh

D30ff86ad2c1f3b43b99aed213bcf461

on May 25, 2011
at 08:35 PM

+1, especially for the "hur hur hur". :)

12
Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18472)

on May 25, 2011
at 08:40 PM

'Pity the Fool' who bashes the word Paleo too much on a site called PaleoHacks....

else you 'bout to get booted!

Respect. lol

does-the-word-*paleo*-make-you-cringe?

C9b0f49cc58a60afffe5ca15f823efb0

on May 25, 2011
at 10:21 PM

Bwahahahaha!!!!

B1fcaceba952861d0324bdb291edbbe0

(3159)

on May 26, 2011
at 01:38 AM

Omg. You rock.

8
93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on May 25, 2011
at 08:23 PM

There is no term that is all encompassing and hyper-definitional at the same time. For better or for worse, Paleo is here to stay.

My definition of the Paleo Diet is as follows:

The Paleo Diet is a meta-rule (a rule about rules) that only demands one thing; that one look at human nutrition through an evolutionary lens. End of story.

What Paleo Diet means day-t-day- will be different as over time better data and research surface through anthropological, genetic and empirical evidence.

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on May 25, 2011
at 08:38 PM

I was going to post relatively the same thing. Looking at diet as what we might be best adapted to and eating the things that we are best adapted to the most and eating the things that we are least adapted to the least.

E7adfe31507efb7c935f618a829f56d6

(1507)

on May 08, 2012
at 07:44 PM

"anything you can do I can do meta."

5
1d9af5db8833413037be3ac48964714f

on May 26, 2011
at 12:41 AM

It beats one of the early books on the subject--"Neanderthin" by Ray Audette. Now that was cringe-worthy.

5
166f449979d83186bd876e8f466d0a69

(1317)

on May 26, 2011
at 12:14 AM

You know as well, 'paleo' is such a broad spectrum, some people eat high-fat, more recently people seem to be eating more carbs, lots of people skip dairy, some skip nuts or fruit. It may be hard to google but that's maybe because every 'paleo' eater is just one little circle on a massive venn diagram that coalesces around "no sugar/ no gluten / no vegetable oils."

4
B1fcaceba952861d0324bdb291edbbe0

(3159)

on May 26, 2011
at 01:41 AM

Nope.

I like it.

It is simple yet relays itself well. A diet based on our PALEOlithic ancestors.

But if it makes ya cringe I have a rather grand solution ...

don't use it.

I know ... didn't see that one coming ...

A7768b6c6be7f5d6acc76e5efa66464c

on May 09, 2012
at 12:12 AM

That's not grand, it's just snarky.

3
1d02c0c2fa9946de88d8f24e81ca1cf6

on May 09, 2012
at 11:39 AM

Yep, it does make me cringe. Paleolithic is fine and dandy. It's a shortening that seems to emasculate and render twee. Like 'uni' for university. Despicable.

Around others, I anticipate derision by saying I eat a caveman diet. No fucking about. Sometimes, a 'caveman, with access to Pubmed and the health and beauty section of Amazon, diet.'

3
4b61b13ed39e5c5d01fe234900cadcf8

(1138)

on May 25, 2011
at 09:48 PM

I don't like using the word paleo either. No one around here has ever heard of it so it doesn't really explain anything. Also, I am a Christian so saying I eat a diet based on evolutionary biology doesn't work too well. haha (and no, I don't want to argue theology here please)

Usually I say I eat "low carb/high fat" or that I "eat a traditional diet, we avoid grains, sugar and processed junk". Them sometimes I ask them if they have ever heard of Weston A Price, that dentist from the 30's? and I always direct them to Marks Daily Apple. :)

4a585ea8059f71614597a56805cc60c7

(390)

on May 25, 2011
at 10:09 PM

That's pretty much my approach. I don't worry about what people think anyway. I also point them towards MDA.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on May 26, 2011
at 01:35 AM

So..you don't believe in evolution but you eat in a way that IS AT LEAST TO SOME EXTENT based on evolution? Impressive.

4b61b13ed39e5c5d01fe234900cadcf8

(1138)

on May 26, 2011
at 02:41 AM

Not really a stretch for me. We can all agree that this is the way to eat based on how our bodies work. I just choose to believe we were designed to eat this way originally by God :)works for me... I don't picture Adam and Eve baking bread and cookies in the garden, just eating raw meat and picking some veggies and fruit... Like apples.

Ddfdaa75ac9f47e01fc71162dd0d38dc

on May 09, 2012
at 06:56 AM

Actually doesn't Genesis say "the lion laid down with the lamb," meaning no carnivory? ;) without tools or fire, wouldn't Adam & Eve have had to be vegan? ;)

A7768b6c6be7f5d6acc76e5efa66464c

on May 09, 2012
at 12:10 AM

People are always saying, "We weren't designed to eat this." When it's an evolutionary biologist saying it, I have to wonder. Why not say, "we weren't evolved to eat this" instead? I'm not really a Christian, but a Christian using the word "designed" makes perfect sense to me. And actually, the discussion of what Adam and Eve made seems congruent too. I like it--it's evidence we can have different belief systems and *still* agree on important stuff!

4b61b13ed39e5c5d01fe234900cadcf8

(1138)

on May 11, 2012
at 01:04 PM

ha! thanks for pointing out my mistake! They didn't eat meat until after the flood. I wasn't paying attention :) but because I believe God had everything planned from the start, he would have designed us to eat meat, knowing we would be eating it eventually :)

2
A7768b6c6be7f5d6acc76e5efa66464c

on May 09, 2012
at 12:25 AM

I use the awkward "paleo/primal/ancestral" construction. As soon as the words fall from my lips, I then raise my eyebrows expectantly, and nod a lot. I'm using my body language to coax them into indicating that they understand, and they always do.

I often follow this ritual with some sort of self-effacing statement in order to demonstrate that I'm not one of the "crazy ones," and to conceal my natural tendency to feel superior (they're still eating SAD!).

Finally, I always assure them that I will gladly eat anything that is served to me when I'm a guest (and I do), partly because I know they are already wondering if they'll ever be able to cook for me again, but mostly to offer more evidence that I'm not one of the "crazy ones."

After these interludes, I almost always feel a profound sense of social regret, wonder if I really am one of the "crazy ones," and fret ceaselessly over whether I have shared too much this time.

Ebcbbdcb8b727e69e06eaa102d49a84c

(1804)

on May 09, 2012
at 02:12 PM

Haha! Yes, I think we are among the crazy ones. But who ever said there was anything wrong with that? :)

Bdc6244bdbd664d2168a8e326018ffbe

(431)

on May 09, 2012
at 02:04 PM

Bwa ha ha. Yeah, its all about framing. I preface it with a lot of hemming and hawing so they're prepared for an unconventional response. It feels sad and whinge-y that I'm embarrassed about it, but I guess pre-Paleo I always viewed being really picky about food as self-indulgent and a bit immature.

2
E7be2ce38158357f5dacae07b43d1b29

on May 26, 2011
at 05:54 PM

I had to get used to the term paleo in its use regarding diet, since I spent a good portion of the last four years hanging around with paleontologists. To me, the "real" word paleo has far different meaning! And MUCH older ;)

As far as eating, I only discuss things like paleo diet with people I know pretty well. I have celiac disease so that's how the conversation starts with others.

3cb90a0f7c1a54a67610b86448ea1a9d

(5)

on May 09, 2012
at 07:43 PM

Me too! My academic background is in paleontology, and when I hear "paleo," I think paleontology. And rarely does anything Quaternary come to mind.

2
9a9c41065fe9464c86f92511d421026f

on May 25, 2011
at 08:18 PM

I dislike using the term "paleo," too... although at this point, it does work as a shorthand for people in the CrossFit/clean eating community. For people who really don't know anything about nutrition, I usually say I 'eat clean' then elaborate on what that means.

1568416ef28477d1fa29046218d83ddd

(6235)

on May 25, 2011
at 08:27 PM

Pardon me why I indulge in a brief moment of fangirl squee!

D30ff86ad2c1f3b43b99aed213bcf461

on May 25, 2011
at 08:36 PM

Squee indeed. :)

2
1568416ef28477d1fa29046218d83ddd

(6235)

on May 25, 2011
at 07:58 PM

My basic problem with Paleo is that it makes me feel like I am eating rocks, but I can't think of a term I would prefer.

65430e39d7e9e9322718d016fe668051

(2944)

on May 26, 2011
at 08:45 AM

I feel the same.... I hate saying "paleo"

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on May 26, 2011
at 11:41 AM

Here, try a fossil. Tasty!

1
9beda76f4e91faedc8fa70ecdc01251e

(298)

on May 09, 2012
at 07:45 PM

I have a degree in paleontology, so I love it! Ha! So there!

I may be the only one, though.

I don't tell people about my diet though, because I just don't think they care much.

1
5e63e3fa78e998736106a4a5b9aef58c

on May 09, 2012
at 06:22 AM

I tell people I'm on a high-fat Meatatarian diet.

The ones who are rattled by the very idea make themselves scarce, and the idle askers who don't really care about what I eat or why just take it as a joke. And that's good, because I'm only interested in explaining why I eat as I do to people who are genuinely interested in it. It's pointless to try explaining it to anyone else; they bring too many erroneous assumptions and too much bad information to the table, then won't let go of it. I learned that much during my Atkins days (and I did clean Atkins--no LC food substitutes).

I still think the term "Paleo" is kind of doofy, however, for reasons I can't put a finger on. But I can live with it.

1
Bfa1c9eacfc94a1b62f3a39b574480c6

(3700)

on May 08, 2012
at 11:44 PM

I just say, I eat "real food."

Obviously there's flaws to this as well, as people don't understand what real food is (e.g., bread is not technically real food).

1
1eeaff4097f33330456dc8c17904e1d8

on May 08, 2012
at 11:33 PM

Paleo does sound a little dufus-y when you are attempting to explain why you won't eat the glow-in-the-dark nacho chips but you'll gladly take a spoon to the homemade guacamole. I usually tell people I'm trying to eat clean, healthy food prepared at home, and stay away from sugar and anything processed. Most folks aren't shocked when you tell them a typical day consists of eggs and sausage for breakfast, a Cobb salad (heavy on the meat) for lunch, steak and asparagus for dinner, and an apple for dessert. Sounds pretty All-American, really, just ditching the potatoes, bread, jello and other basura that comes out of a box.

I do get hit with the "isn't that just Atkins?" comment constantly, and it's a little tiresome to keep telling folks it's similar, but sort of a lactose-intolerant version that doesn't allow processed food (e.g., Atkins bars) and focuses on whole foods rather than glycemic index.

I do wear a tee shirt that says Grok sometimes, though, so I might just be a big dufus after all.

1
C61399790c6531a0af344ab0c40048f1

on May 26, 2011
at 08:22 PM

I use the term paleo - I don't see anything wrong with it. No-one seems to know enough about it to have negative associations - I usually have to explain what I mean and I usually end up in a rant about industrial agriculture. I suppose this helps people understand why I do it more as it hasn't cured me of anything and I didn't have any weight to lose. Sometime though I just say I eat a high fat diet because I love it when then they point out in amazement that I'm quite skinny!

1
0a46a71bd3dca60276717f099b350132

on May 26, 2011
at 06:49 PM

I'm starting to say gluten-free high-protein as a general net term because people have fewer past associations with those terms than with low-carb, etc. I also feel like I might really have a gluten intolerance after going on this diet and experiencing the after effects of some awful cheat days, so it's helpful at restaurants to ask for a gluten-free menu and go from there instead of searching for the "low carb" options.

1
922038b6c0ca6a051cc4858218931456

(392)

on May 26, 2011
at 01:54 PM

If forced to label it by someone I say Paleo otherwise I just say I eat a lot of meat and vegetables and some fruit. I hate labels.

Over-simplification? Probably. Does it get the point across? Definitely.

1
667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on May 26, 2011
at 01:39 AM

It does make me cringe a bit I'd say. But I still just say to people, yeah I eat that caveman paleo thing. Who cares what they think or if it sounds stupid, it's just a word to describe the food I eat. No big deal.

If they ask more then I tell them meat, potatoes, vegetables. Simple. They're usually like, oh that's not weird at all. I'm all, yeah I know;)

1
D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

on May 25, 2011
at 08:59 PM

I don't use the word. I sometimes say evolutionary diet, sometimes ancestral food plan, on low carb forums to distinguish my eating plan from other low carb plans. In everyday life, if needed, I just say I don't eat sweets and starches, and if someone is sincerely, earnestly interested, I let them ask specific questions.

What to avoid doesn't actually need a name, IMO.

Hope this helps some. :)

1
1c08a5addd6e17a59a8622fdf36b19c5

on May 25, 2011
at 08:54 PM

I try to not use the term Paleo. It seems people do not take it seriously and then try to apply the term to a type of weight loss diet. I feel it's important that people I talk to about nutrition understand it's not a fad diet but a lifestyle change. SO that said, I tell people that I have changed my diet to one free of grain and dairy. Things we were not meant to eat that have been capitalized upon by the free market for profit.

1
Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on May 25, 2011
at 08:51 PM

I use the term " ancestral" which I feel (and see by people's reactions) "translates" much better. And usually, I don't use any term at all. If people notice things I do and more prominently DON'T eat, then I tend to give them a very concise bit of the science behind it, rather than giving it a name or going into a long yak about it. If people are interested, they will ask more questions. In my explanations, I lean much more on specific info which explicates neolithic agents of disease, and why I believe eating these things would be crazy for me. ;)

1471beca8e3adff4ae2f89d10e5f7acb

(6550)

on May 25, 2011
at 08:52 PM

See, I used *just* ancestral once and people looked at me real funny. Being a blonde with a German last name, I have to be careful talking too much about ancestry...

1
89e6ee4796cc4b4fba5dc573618aa6f5

on May 25, 2011
at 08:40 PM

I just tell them I'm a lacto intolerant celiac, people then usually smile and move to a safe distance lol! Seriously though do you remember how you felt the first time you heard "paleo"? I didn't cringe at the word I just thought it was another crackpot diet with an Atkins twist. I think some of "us" cringe now because we use it everyday and familiarity is starting to breed some contempt for the word in this context, perhaps :]. What ever it is I'm in the best shape of my life and I don't mind a little cringing for that!

Darren.

0
E7e7e1c856d4494d4a1b700b6869df90

(982)

on May 09, 2012
at 07:55 PM

Yes the term makes me cringe..and sometimes the mentality "we are special" makes me cringe even more. I hope "paleo " eaters do not become veganated...sometimes it feels many are headed that way..if not already there.

0
3cb90a0f7c1a54a67610b86448ea1a9d

(5)

on May 09, 2012
at 07:32 PM

I occasionally use it if I'm talking to people who are familiar with it, but I tend to avoid using it if I can. I just tell people I don't eat grains, sugar or processed foods anymore. I also don't like making it sound like I'm "doing" a diet-- I've never been a "dieter" before and I'm interested in making lifestyle changes, not exploring diet fads.

My academic background is in evolutionary biology and paleontology, so firstly, the word "paleo" means something very different to me; and secondly, the "evolutionary" justifications for paleo really don't do it for me. I don't find those arguments very compelling, but I'm definitely convinced by the biochemistry.

ETA: I do agree with people that it needs a name, though, for convenience's sake.

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Bdc6244bdbd664d2168a8e326018ffbe

(431)

on May 09, 2012
at 01:49 PM

Not really, I think it's pretty amusing. What DOES make me want to retreat into myself is even reading the words "ancestral eating". It sounds like I'm some portly old woman who believes in Goddess-Celtic type things and has a bunch of cats.

I just say I try not to eat foods that weren't available to our paleolithic ancestors, but really its just because I feel better not eating those things. Its never been an issue.

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B3c62d89cd47b7d7209b6a99243d0ded

on May 09, 2012
at 01:01 PM

There are some alternative phrases I prefer...

'Evo', 'old-school, really-old-school', 'I just eat real food'.

And the one that gets the most nods of understanding?

"I just avoid overly processed food that comes from factories." I let it come up in conversation later that I think that most bakeries are factories, not just the Hostess company.

Come to think of it, that seems to be the kicker.

Most people agree that overly processed food is evil, but where they draw the line seems to be indicative of overall health.

(I have to say factories, because I think that even home cooking is a process. And then people get all nitpicky and start talking about words instead of good recipies.)

0
782d92f4127823bdfb2ddfcbcf961d0e

on May 09, 2012
at 06:07 AM

Paleo is a short-cut word. It's easier to say than "no processed foods, sugars, or seed oils" or "low-carb, high-fat". For better or worse it gets the point across and it rolls off the tongue nicely.

0
7cf9f5b08a41ecf2a2d2bc0b31ea6fa0

on May 08, 2012
at 10:59 PM

I don't see the problem, everything needs a name, feminism means different things to different people but it doesn't mean it should be nameless

0
5b5abb28f3cacf4f5a01497f2895d072

(238)

on May 08, 2012
at 07:40 PM

Paleo just means old, hence Paleolithic meaning old stone age. I prefer the term Primal or Evolutionary but it doesn't make me cringe. I mostly explain it to people along the lines of no grains, no processed carbs and no vegetable oils though as it's a convenient mental shortcut - even simpler is just telling them it's meat and vegetables!

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