1

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Is Paleo too simplistic of a solution for people to accept?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 06, 2012 at 6:12 PM

First let me say that I am not referring to simple in terms of applying a Paleo diet to ones lifestyle, but as a possible medical solution to many health related issues that on the surface is pretty simplistic. In my opinion, our current state of affairs pushes society to expect something genius or beyond comprehension to prevent, cure, or mitigate autoimmune diseases, obesity, heart disease, cancer or other common or uncommon health problems. Therefore, causing us to put all our faith in doctors and individuals with various medical degrees, who prescribe drugs that we can't pronounce and talk about solutions that we blindingly believe are sound based on research only the best and brightest can understand and conduct.

When I talk with someone who has digestive issues, auto immune disease, heart disease, or some other ailment, I get blank stares, quirky facial expressions, or dismissive responses. The majority of the responses I get, whether verbal or non-verbal, can be translated as "it just can't be that simple." And maybe in some cases it's not that simple and I'm not trying to imply that Paleo cures all, but compared to some of the medical advices or solutions given by the so called best and brightest, Paleo is simple and can be life changing.

At the core of Paleo, based on Robb Wolf philosophy, you eliminate grains, legumes and dairy for 30 days. I know there is other protocols beyond that, but that's the core or meat of it. On Robb's podcast he has probably said this statement 1000 times. But I believe that the average American can't possibly believe that this simple step may make the difference between suffering and relief or living and dieing. I've spoken with people who have arthritis, diabetes, cancer, multiple sclerosis, colitis, Crohn's, diarrhea, constipation, acid reflux, and people who are on blood pressure or lipid medications. They all respond with the same confusion as I described above, "it can't be that simple."

Maybe it's my delivery, maybe it's people wanting a quick fix with not lifestyle changes, or maybe in age where technology and innovation has become almost incomprehensible to the average man we cannot possible believe that a big problem can have such a simple solution.

What are your thoughts?

disclaimer: Again I am not trying to imply that paleo is black and white or that it can and will cure all health related issues.

B1859f696e88d25460a6b8a333412ea3

(837)

on July 10, 2012
at 06:21 PM

Actually, I'm wrong, it is simpler this way, just not easy. I just turn down the invites, and don't host any holiday eating fests. It's just not easy telling everyone sorry, I can't cook the foods you love for you anymore. My son attended Christmas dinner at his mother in laws house, and though assured that the few foods he thought would be ok did not contain gluten, they did, and he got very sick afterwards. I used to just 'live' with being sick after happy hour or eating at friend's houses. Now that I know what feeling well is like, I'm not willing to risk it. Simple, but not easy.

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on July 08, 2012
at 02:53 AM

I think we're confusing "simple" and "easy." The concepts behind why Paleo works so well for so many diverse conditions are simple. But is this *easy?* No. It's not *easy* to eat this way--not in America in 2012, anyway, surrounded as we are in a sea of utter garbage passing itself off as "food."

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on July 07, 2012
at 04:08 PM

Same with my friend. Morbidly obese, T2 diabetic, and deals with constant staph infections. He's in the process of opening up a pizza restaurant and is constantly posting photos of him "sampling" pizzas from competitors. I see at least two of his three kids shaped just like him in 10-15 years.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on July 07, 2012
at 04:04 PM

You CHOOSE to turn down invites, you don't HAVE to. There is a difference. You can make this as simple or as difficult as you choose to. We still enjoy dining with friends and family, we just make sure we have food that we can eat. Only Paleo/Primal foods are cooked in my home. A guest is welcome to bring something with them that does not fit into our lifestyle, but it must be brought prepared and any leftovers are taken home. We still host family and friends and are hosted elsewhere. Does it take some preparing? Sure, but it isn't difficult.

4929a87e3f7438f18a0afbdde291ed5e

(752)

on July 07, 2012
at 02:15 AM

I agree MathGirl. With everything you said, actually. Most people want that magic pill - they don't want to do the work or take personal responsibility for their actions (or inactions). It makes me crazy to watch my very good friend struggle with Chron's disease when I KNOW that 30 days on Paleo would make a huge difference in her life. *sigh*

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on July 06, 2012
at 08:40 PM

Correction made to my post.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on July 06, 2012
at 07:21 PM

fixed that, tyler!

276a5e631b62f8e0793987c0496364bb

(1644)

on July 06, 2012
at 07:16 PM

too .

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6 Answers

4
B1859f696e88d25460a6b8a333412ea3

on July 06, 2012
at 09:23 PM

It wasn't simple, and I would never tell someone it was. I had to empty my cabinets, freezer, fridge and pantry of food. I think I gave or threw away 80% of the food in the house. I had to learn to cook differently - my years of memorized recipes no longer worked. I had to find sources of grass-fed meat - they just don't have decent meat at the grocery store that's 20 minutes from my house. I have to stock my freezer with meat when I can get it. So far, there are four or five restaurants we trust not to poison us. I no longer do family Holiday dinners at my house, and we don't attend at others, though that may change this year, as my adult children have converted to Paleo/Primal eating.

Thank goodness my closest friend is a celiac, and follows a meat-centric, Weston Price diet. Her husband is the one who started us down this path by recommending two movies to us, King Corn, and Food, Inc. But I no longer see any of my other casual friends, as we have to turn down invites to pot lucks and happy hours.

I was on 2 blood pressure medications when I started down the path of a lower-carb diet / PHD version of Paleo. We've been eating this way for over a year now, but it took 8-10 months for my blood pressure to lower to the point that I could get off one of the easy to stop meds, and then I had to wean myself off of Atenolol. Pre-medication, my BP was as high as 200/110 when I was agitated and this morning it was 120/80, but goes as low as 110/65. I'm still overweight, but no longer obese. So I don't know if it was the weight-loss that did it, or the change in food quality. It didn't happen in a month, however. I automatically lost the weight, as I did no calorie counting. But my joints don't hurt anymore (could be the weight loss) and I sleep better, but I also now supplement with D3. I also switched from sitting all day at my computer to a standing desk about 10 months ago.

I've had lactose intolerance /IBS/digestive issues most of my life, and just going low-carb eliminated most of that within a couple of weeks, because I was no longer eating any breads or crackers or pizza (ie: no wheat!). The rest of the benefits really didn't show up until much later.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on July 07, 2012
at 04:04 PM

You CHOOSE to turn down invites, you don't HAVE to. There is a difference. You can make this as simple or as difficult as you choose to. We still enjoy dining with friends and family, we just make sure we have food that we can eat. Only Paleo/Primal foods are cooked in my home. A guest is welcome to bring something with them that does not fit into our lifestyle, but it must be brought prepared and any leftovers are taken home. We still host family and friends and are hosted elsewhere. Does it take some preparing? Sure, but it isn't difficult.

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on July 08, 2012
at 02:53 AM

I think we're confusing "simple" and "easy." The concepts behind why Paleo works so well for so many diverse conditions are simple. But is this *easy?* No. It's not *easy* to eat this way--not in America in 2012, anyway, surrounded as we are in a sea of utter garbage passing itself off as "food."

B1859f696e88d25460a6b8a333412ea3

(837)

on July 10, 2012
at 06:21 PM

Actually, I'm wrong, it is simpler this way, just not easy. I just turn down the invites, and don't host any holiday eating fests. It's just not easy telling everyone sorry, I can't cook the foods you love for you anymore. My son attended Christmas dinner at his mother in laws house, and though assured that the few foods he thought would be ok did not contain gluten, they did, and he got very sick afterwards. I used to just 'live' with being sick after happy hour or eating at friend's houses. Now that I know what feeling well is like, I'm not willing to risk it. Simple, but not easy.

2
61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on July 06, 2012
at 07:58 PM

On the surface, yes, I do think many view it as too simple and, since their doctor (AKA god) didn't suggest it, it must not work. Many want a magic pill to fix what ails them, regardless of what havoc is wrought on their fragile system by said pill.

What I find turns people off faster than the simplicity of it all, is the perceived lack of convenience. Heaven forbid they have to take an additional 5 minutes to prepare a sack lunch or actually put thought into a meal, instead of randomly pulling processed foods off of the grocery shelves. It's the most frustrating part for me when I describe my dietary changes in response to a question.

My friend is seeing my results, yet refuses to give up all of his processed junk and drive-thru foods and feeds his kids the same junk.

4929a87e3f7438f18a0afbdde291ed5e

(752)

on July 07, 2012
at 02:15 AM

I agree MathGirl. With everything you said, actually. Most people want that magic pill - they don't want to do the work or take personal responsibility for their actions (or inactions). It makes me crazy to watch my very good friend struggle with Chron's disease when I KNOW that 30 days on Paleo would make a huge difference in her life. *sigh*

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on July 07, 2012
at 04:08 PM

Same with my friend. Morbidly obese, T2 diabetic, and deals with constant staph infections. He's in the process of opening up a pizza restaurant and is constantly posting photos of him "sampling" pizzas from competitors. I see at least two of his three kids shaped just like him in 10-15 years.

2
3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on July 06, 2012
at 07:56 PM

Of course its too simple!

People are taught to first you must name the disease pattern (very important). Then you must make everyone fear that it could strike at any instance. Then sell drugs specifically for said pattern. Take money to bank....Rinse and repeat.

If your method veers in any manner from the above allopathic paradigm you will find resistance to it in our culture. Whether we want to admit it or not being inundated with commercialism and marketing of medicine has had this effect. It has taught the public to see health in a reductionist manner. This of course is not how health is achieved.

I think many in paleo fall for the same process. IMO over testing results in unnecessary intervention. People trying to micromanage and "optimize" every hormone in their body at once when they have no symptoms is scary. Treat health not disease and be well.

0
35b2cb4d450e5288895c255dfdfff35d

(5828)

on July 06, 2012
at 10:32 PM

I may get some downvotes for this but if I wanted to convince someone who was really sick that there was a relationship between diet and health I'd steer them towards a serious cleansing program like Dr. Schulze's Incurables program or some sort of serious juice fast. If someone wasn't in a hurry (i.e. they weren't facing a death sentence) then I'd encourage them to remove the sugar and the processed foods from their diet. If that didn't help then the grains.

As I've said before, for many of us, I think it's about eating real food more than it is about getting more saturated fat or clean sources of meat. I bet plenty of people heal from all sorts of things on a Weston Price (WAPF) way of eating. Why would I want to get someone to give up the grains unless it was clear that grains were causing them a problem? And, adding lots of fat isn't a cure-all either although I have to admit I do LOOOOOVE those animal fats!

0
485bcefe7f1f7a6df1a293a826bf6137

on July 06, 2012
at 08:25 PM

Perhaps it's nitpicking, but Paleo is "simple," not "simplistic." In other words, the facts boil down to very basic and simple concepts, easily demonstrable. OTOH, an example of "simplistic" would be blaming hot weather on man-made global warming. That's taking very complex, involved, and multi-faceted issues and reducing them to catch phrases without any rhyme or reason.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on July 06, 2012
at 08:40 PM

Correction made to my post.

0
Cf416725f639ffd1bb90764792ce7b8a

(2799)

on July 06, 2012
at 07:56 PM

People?

They're bombarded with bad and conflicting dietary advice (vegan, food pyramid, blood type diets, etc.), don't know who to believe and so tune it all out.

They tend to only believe tall and pretty people (see Hollywood).

"Maybe it's my delivery" Could be. Post a video and we'll have at it.

-Insert any of the other 10,000 rants about the sheeple-

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