7

votes

Seriously, what the hell is paleo?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created May 22, 2012 at 12:54 PM

Can someone please explain what the paleo diet is to me? because after 3 months of research I still have absolutely no idea.

What is everyone eating?

Db8ddbebcb3d9b59658fdebc37c47bac

on September 11, 2014
at 05:05 AM

Just a....really brainy marketing tool for a- looks like- diet or some such.

Pah-LEOH or payleeoh??

go figah.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

The paleo diet is very simple. What many people on here call "paleo", is not paleo. This site is really just a gluten free site with different variations on eating gluten free.

0e395acc856e3353f3f5892e6b09b0e7

(1227)

on May 24, 2012
at 02:06 PM

SAD = Standard American Diet.

3b38bcc91dbfc6a114f4bdce544103d3

(409)

on May 24, 2012
at 01:13 PM

Warren I've checked books out of the library, not bought them because I happen to agree with you. If I find I will use it on a regualr basic then I might buy one on sale somewhere, but otherwise I use the library to check out books

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 24, 2012
at 04:43 AM

Thankyou Veriria.

B04787f664abf9bebc28f71bf7825a3c

(877)

on May 23, 2012
at 09:35 PM

^This last comment. +'s to Warren D!

14e1dbdd25db00d2c9db36d6a695f6cb

(159)

on May 23, 2012
at 08:47 PM

My perimenopausal self is finding she can't eat as many calories even while staying paleo AND pumping iron...sniff!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 23, 2012
at 07:15 PM

I'm not really impressed by any of the "thinkers". I read some of their stuff and occasionally find something interesting but I am mostly interested in finding what works for me by experimentation, rather than just blindly following some "thinker". Paleo is fairly simple. The individual just needs to find what fits their own situation.

870fdea50f2a9f1cd2890c8e22549300

(2056)

on May 23, 2012
at 06:25 PM

I'm not going to downvote this, but I think this technique is a little harsh, especially given that some fairly impressive thinkers have changed their mind about specific points over time (e.g. Kurt Harris).

870fdea50f2a9f1cd2890c8e22549300

(2056)

on May 23, 2012
at 06:23 PM

Post-menopausal ladies, too!

5ef574d7893bc816ec52e04139e9bc09

(6097)

on May 23, 2012
at 05:31 PM

And I don't eat expensive nor organic stuff.

5ef574d7893bc816ec52e04139e9bc09

(6097)

on May 23, 2012
at 05:29 PM

-1 Rose. To say that Paleo has become diluted is to express sadness that reality is supplanting dogma.

5ef574d7893bc816ec52e04139e9bc09

(6097)

on May 23, 2012
at 05:21 PM

Dave: You were right; my answer was not well thought out. I've changed it entirely.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 23, 2012
at 05:06 PM

I never felt that Cordain's version woud have suited me, so I never tried it. I just experimented with various foods until I found out what works best for me. It just so happens that those foods can be classed as "paleo".

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on May 23, 2012
at 01:23 PM

That's because we have come to the conclusion that the basic paleo diet (ala Cordain) is retarded. It requires tweaking if not a complete overhaul.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on May 23, 2012
at 01:21 PM

So, you're okay with canola, soy, peanuts and HFCS?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 23, 2012
at 06:13 AM

Thank you, Esther. (I think? lol)

7cf9f5b08a41ecf2a2d2bc0b31ea6fa0

(4176)

on May 23, 2012
at 06:08 AM

This question was more of a commentary on how complex the definitions for paleo have become and how bewildering it can be for a person to understand exactly what they're supposed to be eating every day, it's probably my own fault for researching every aspect instead of starting with (what I thought) were the basics gleaned from MDA. not stupid, just confused

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 23, 2012
at 05:47 AM

The thing is, you dont need a book. The books are for the authors to to make money. I have never owned a paleo book but I have been doing a so called "Paleo diet" for about 6 or 7 years I think? The basic diet is easily explained in just a couple of lines.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 23, 2012
at 05:36 AM

@spayne, my comments are helpful. Hopefuly my comments will discourage people from asking stupid questions.

6ec8d30130a6fb274871314533b5536b

(581)

on May 22, 2012
at 11:24 PM

Warren, I usually love your comments, but not this time. Although, I have to admit, you DO have a point. 3 months? Wow. I knew the basic foundation of paleo after 3 minutes. But then again, I've been explaining everything I know and research to my family for the past year, and THEY still don't know either, just like the OP. -___- Actually, maybe I do like your comment... lol.

121a16aded2bed8dca492d3c9662ef4c

(1327)

on May 22, 2012
at 09:39 PM

Perimenopausal ladies should still try pumping some iron!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 22, 2012
at 08:55 PM

I'll say something. Just because they need some clarification does not mean they are stupid. Why comment if you are not going to be helpful?

8d5dc34c219659afd7bb321745fd1c97

on May 22, 2012
at 05:43 PM

granted! trjones

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on May 22, 2012
at 05:30 PM

Commercial paleo? More like conventional, and that's not a bad thing!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 22, 2012
at 05:27 PM

but at least have the guts to say something?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 22, 2012
at 05:26 PM

Yeah pile on the down votes. I really don't care. lol

Ccacf7567273244733bc991af4ac42ed

(5198)

on May 22, 2012
at 05:08 PM

It's whatever you want it to be. It's very zen.

345c1755efe005edd162b770dc6fb821

(8767)

on May 22, 2012
at 04:41 PM

Must be a full moon coming up because lately this board is making me laugh alot!

B1859f696e88d25460a6b8a333412ea3

(837)

on May 22, 2012
at 04:39 PM

+1 for the Perimenopausal ladies, because yep, we do gotta eat different.

4ec0fe4b4aab327f7efa2dfb06b032ff

(5145)

on May 22, 2012
at 04:37 PM

Oh god, have we gotten to the point of commercial v. "real" paleo? Can we just stop please? MDA is a great resource.

5ef574d7893bc816ec52e04139e9bc09

(6097)

on May 22, 2012
at 04:09 PM

Yes, bears are a good source of meat.

5ef574d7893bc816ec52e04139e9bc09

(6097)

on May 22, 2012
at 04:08 PM

This is the definition of commercial paleo.

B3c62d89cd47b7d7209b6a99243d0ded

(10778)

on May 22, 2012
at 03:02 PM

+1 for clarity.

0d0842381492a41b2173a04014aae810

(4875)

on May 22, 2012
at 02:22 PM

David: I really like that.

0d0842381492a41b2173a04014aae810

(4875)

on May 22, 2012
at 02:22 PM

This is probably not the best place to hang out when you're getting started. We argue a lot about semantics. I'd second Kelly's advice of checking out MDA.

4ec0fe4b4aab327f7efa2dfb06b032ff

(5145)

on May 22, 2012
at 02:20 PM

I love the bird seed thing, but for newbies you might want to explain that bird seed=grains.

E05b8d2c9ae8a9a92341785f342f131d

(346)

on May 22, 2012
at 02:13 PM

Yeah, if only there were more scientifically unjustified restrictions to give the paleo diet definition. It just feels so much more diety that way!

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on May 22, 2012
at 02:06 PM

There isn't a paleo *diet* there's a paleo *heuristic* which can generate lots of diets.

0905a0f8cd1e48f6d39fe625a65b6ef1

(2890)

on May 22, 2012
at 01:59 PM

Amen, Rose. Amen.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on May 22, 2012
at 01:37 PM

Well, I'm not surprised by this question at all, and I don't think it's dumb, either. Paleo started off being defined by Cordain, for better or worse, but it was clear. Now you can eat potatoes and rice, some say you NEED to eat potatoes and rice; it's low-- no wait, high-fat; watch your carbs; don't watch your carbs; eat a lot of meat; no, eat more vegetables. And so on. Paleo has been diluted from a strong theoretical framework into a quirkier-but-still-yuppie way to say "I eat expensive, organic stuff from Whole Foods and Trader Joes."

De641ff2accb4975e1f42886b43009db

(2227)

on May 22, 2012
at 01:20 PM

lol wow........

Ac29311ded0f01e36d9021085bd8326f

(50)

on May 22, 2012
at 01:05 PM

I'm having trouble believing that after 3 months of "research", that you still don't understand paleo or primal.

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10 Answers

24
345c1755efe005edd162b770dc6fb821

(8767)

on May 22, 2012
at 01:26 PM

heres where I started: www.marksdailyapple.com

345c1755efe005edd162b770dc6fb821

(8767)

on May 22, 2012
at 04:41 PM

Must be a full moon coming up because lately this board is making me laugh alot!

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on May 22, 2012
at 05:30 PM

Commercial paleo? More like conventional, and that's not a bad thing!

4ec0fe4b4aab327f7efa2dfb06b032ff

(5145)

on May 22, 2012
at 04:37 PM

Oh god, have we gotten to the point of commercial v. "real" paleo? Can we just stop please? MDA is a great resource.

5ef574d7893bc816ec52e04139e9bc09

(6097)

on May 22, 2012
at 04:08 PM

This is the definition of commercial paleo.

17
87b7d250ea30415ed4c1afd809f4053f

on May 22, 2012
at 12:59 PM

Natural Food dude. Meat, Veg, Fruit, Nuts and seeds.

And then everyone does there own tweaked version after that, aka the chit chat on this site.

This is a good book to start off with... http://thepaleodiet.com/store/the-paleo-diet-revised/

14
8d5dc34c219659afd7bb321745fd1c97

on May 22, 2012
at 02:05 PM

Paleo has a very basic set of rules:

  • Eat plants
  • Eat animals
  • Don't eat lab experiments.
  • Don't eat bird seed.

I'd also add, if you see it advertised in papers, magazines, TV, etc chances are high you may not want it on your plate.

From there you do what seems right to you.

There are those who will argue that this food or that food aren't paleo. Such as rice and white potatoes. I don't eat the later, but as for the former, i do. In moderation (twice a month). But remember, our ancestry is very diverse. Those who come from Indo-China, their diets would have varied greatly to those from the America's, say. So to say something is or isn't paleo is a bit silly IMHO. If mother nature provided it, it should be excepted. The line is drawn when man interferes with that schema (such as grains, GMO, etc)

Paleo "diet" (i really dislike that word) is up to the individual. Stick to what you believe works for you. Do some research on foods you're not certain about. You ultimately decide what goes into your mouth. Paleo isn't doctrine.

As for what I eat -I eat what comes naturally. I stick within my basic framework the best I can, and every now and then, i may step out for part of a meal (i usually regret it afterwards). Kids birthdays...are you seriously not going to have a small piece of cake, or ice cream that a family member whipped up? Or opt out of having a slice of your mothers lasagna (and insult her), just because it isn't Paleo?

Trust your instincts is the last I will say.

8d5dc34c219659afd7bb321745fd1c97

on May 22, 2012
at 05:43 PM

granted! trjones

4ec0fe4b4aab327f7efa2dfb06b032ff

(5145)

on May 22, 2012
at 02:20 PM

I love the bird seed thing, but for newbies you might want to explain that bird seed=grains.

10
3351f6c8ec1ea64435e419f380ca6468

(1255)

on May 22, 2012
at 02:32 PM

I like this version, but I generally agree with most of the rest of the answers. Here are some quickie rules I use:

  • if it comes in a box, avoid it
  • if it's a seed unprotected by something hard to open (i.e., grains as opposed to nuts), avoid it
  • if it's sweet, don't go crazy on it (unless you're fattening yourself up for winter)

B3c62d89cd47b7d7209b6a99243d0ded

(10778)

on May 22, 2012
at 03:02 PM

+1 for clarity.

5
4ec0fe4b4aab327f7efa2dfb06b032ff

(5145)

on May 22, 2012
at 02:30 PM

I don't particularly like negative definitions, but I think that it is most helpful to describe paleo as what you shouldn't be doing. Outside of these things, it's all up to your personal preferences and experiences.

Don't:

-eat grains, especially those containing gluten

-eat "vegetable" oils (canola, corn, peanut, etc.)

-eat sugar

-eat legumes

-eat dairy products (with the exception, maybe, of butter)

-eat processed foods (are all the ingredients recognizable as real foods that fit into the above guidelines? If not, don't eat it. This will include most anything that comes in a box.)

Different people will disagree on one thing or another, but if you stick to these principles and eat what's left (mostly vegetables, meat, fruits and nuts), then you'll be getting 95% of the benefit of paleo. The minutiae that is fought over on this site is only trying to perfect the last 5%.

5
Ddfdaa75ac9f47e01fc71162dd0d38dc

on May 22, 2012
at 01:04 PM

N=1 here, Bears. Everyone will be eating Real Food and most avoiding wheat, white sugar, and canola/corn/soy oil. Otherwise, your personal goals & tolerance determine the rest. These are unique to each person. There just isn't going to be 1 or 2 or 5 simple answers. The younger weight lifters will eat much differently than the perimenopausal ladies. And that's ok. :)

5ef574d7893bc816ec52e04139e9bc09

(6097)

on May 22, 2012
at 04:09 PM

Yes, bears are a good source of meat.

B1859f696e88d25460a6b8a333412ea3

(837)

on May 22, 2012
at 04:39 PM

+1 for the Perimenopausal ladies, because yep, we do gotta eat different.

14e1dbdd25db00d2c9db36d6a695f6cb

(159)

on May 23, 2012
at 08:47 PM

My perimenopausal self is finding she can't eat as many calories even while staying paleo AND pumping iron...sniff!

121a16aded2bed8dca492d3c9662ef4c

(1327)

on May 22, 2012
at 09:39 PM

Perimenopausal ladies should still try pumping some iron!

870fdea50f2a9f1cd2890c8e22549300

(2056)

on May 23, 2012
at 06:23 PM

Post-menopausal ladies, too!

4
Bbd349fe334481d99c091333b87cacb5

on May 22, 2012
at 04:31 PM

My best advice is to stop complicating it all. Just chill out, take a deep breath, and think basic. In the grocery store, shop on the outside edges. Don't touch the center. Don't get hung up on grass-fed/grain fed, organic/not organic, etc. to start out. Get used to not eating gluten, dairy, or sugar (which, to me, are the main hurdles) and then expand your knowledge later when your mind is clear and your body is rid of all that garbage. It gets too overwhelming when you're first starting out and making this gigantic lifestyle change to try to understand every tiny component. It's also different for everyone. I like heavy cream in my coffee and ice cream once in a while. Dairy also doesn't affect me as badly as it does others. Learn to have a relationship with your food and listen to your body. This is a journey, embrace it.

1
3b38bcc91dbfc6a114f4bdce544103d3

(409)

on May 22, 2012
at 04:50 PM

Hunting Bears, Great question! You are right to be confused. I'm new to this too, and one book states don't eat this, or this or that. The next says those items are okay because they grow in nature somewhere and are not modified to some extent. One thing they all agree on is no man made products in a box, no grains, and no legumes. Most have been modified and our bodies have not evolved to be able to digest them. There are some really good answers here and I'm glad that they where given. Ignore the sarcastic people, either they have a type A personality or forgot what its like starting out when theres so much different information out there. The one thing I find hard to figure out is when they use appreviations that are paleo related but theres no guide in case you can't figure out what they are talking about anywhere. . The idea is to listen to how you body reacts to foods. It is telling you when you are feeding it something that's not good for it. We just have to learn to listen to our bodies all over again when we come off the SAD diet. (Not sure what the letters mean, but my general understanding of SAD is the average americans diet of junk) Good luck and don't stress about it

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 23, 2012
at 05:47 AM

The thing is, you dont need a book. The books are for the authors to to make money. I have never owned a paleo book but I have been doing a so called "Paleo diet" for about 6 or 7 years I think? The basic diet is easily explained in just a couple of lines.

0e395acc856e3353f3f5892e6b09b0e7

(1227)

on May 24, 2012
at 02:06 PM

SAD = Standard American Diet.

3b38bcc91dbfc6a114f4bdce544103d3

(409)

on May 24, 2012
at 01:13 PM

Warren I've checked books out of the library, not bought them because I happen to agree with you. If I find I will use it on a regualr basic then I might buy one on sale somewhere, but otherwise I use the library to check out books

1
5ef574d7893bc816ec52e04139e9bc09

(6097)

on May 22, 2012
at 04:11 PM

I think the majority of the paleo benefit is from avoiding seed oils.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on May 23, 2012
at 01:21 PM

So, you're okay with canola, soy, peanuts and HFCS?

5ef574d7893bc816ec52e04139e9bc09

(6097)

on May 23, 2012
at 05:21 PM

Dave: You were right; my answer was not well thought out. I've changed it entirely.

-2
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 22, 2012
at 04:03 PM

If you don't know now, you never will.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 22, 2012
at 05:26 PM

Yeah pile on the down votes. I really don't care. lol

7cf9f5b08a41ecf2a2d2bc0b31ea6fa0

(4176)

on May 23, 2012
at 06:08 AM

This question was more of a commentary on how complex the definitions for paleo have become and how bewildering it can be for a person to understand exactly what they're supposed to be eating every day, it's probably my own fault for researching every aspect instead of starting with (what I thought) were the basics gleaned from MDA. not stupid, just confused

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 22, 2012
at 05:27 PM

but at least have the guts to say something?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 23, 2012
at 05:36 AM

@spayne, my comments are helpful. Hopefuly my comments will discourage people from asking stupid questions.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 22, 2012
at 08:55 PM

I'll say something. Just because they need some clarification does not mean they are stupid. Why comment if you are not going to be helpful?

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on May 23, 2012
at 01:23 PM

That's because we have come to the conclusion that the basic paleo diet (ala Cordain) is retarded. It requires tweaking if not a complete overhaul.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 23, 2012
at 05:06 PM

I never felt that Cordain's version woud have suited me, so I never tried it. I just experimented with various foods until I found out what works best for me. It just so happens that those foods can be classed as "paleo".

6ec8d30130a6fb274871314533b5536b

(581)

on May 22, 2012
at 11:24 PM

Warren, I usually love your comments, but not this time. Although, I have to admit, you DO have a point. 3 months? Wow. I knew the basic foundation of paleo after 3 minutes. But then again, I've been explaining everything I know and research to my family for the past year, and THEY still don't know either, just like the OP. -___- Actually, maybe I do like your comment... lol.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 23, 2012
at 07:15 PM

I'm not really impressed by any of the "thinkers". I read some of their stuff and occasionally find something interesting but I am mostly interested in finding what works for me by experimentation, rather than just blindly following some "thinker". Paleo is fairly simple. The individual just needs to find what fits their own situation.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

The paleo diet is very simple. What many people on here call "paleo", is not paleo. This site is really just a gluten free site with different variations on eating gluten free.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 23, 2012
at 06:13 AM

Thank you, Esther. (I think? lol)

870fdea50f2a9f1cd2890c8e22549300

(2056)

on May 23, 2012
at 06:25 PM

I'm not going to downvote this, but I think this technique is a little harsh, especially given that some fairly impressive thinkers have changed their mind about specific points over time (e.g. Kurt Harris).

B04787f664abf9bebc28f71bf7825a3c

(877)

on May 23, 2012
at 09:35 PM

^This last comment. +'s to Warren D!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 24, 2012
at 04:43 AM

Thankyou Veriria.

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