Those of you follow PaNu/Dr Kurt Harris probably have read that he will be cross posting at Psychology Today Online. As a big fan of Dr Harris, I am very happy for him and the masses that will be getting exposure to Paleo principles.
In his latest post, he mentions the following - "I think this represents a fine opportunity for Paleo 2.0/ancestral health to penetrate the mainstream while avoiding some of the more dubious parts of the 'movement'."
What do you think are those dubious parts???
1) I dislike the vegan/vegetarian bashing. There is no doubt vegans are equally, if not more, critical of meat eaters. But as cliched as it might be, two wrongs don't make a right. I am confident in Paleo being the right approach to health and don't have the need to feel good about it by being critical of the "heretics". However, it seems like a lot of Paleo blogs / posts here feel the need to point out the nonsense of vegetarianism, incurring further criticism from the veggie-folks. Feels like we live in Gaza with this kind of b.s.
2) Paleo re-enactment. I don't care if Grok did it or not. Grok doing it might be a potential for consideration, but not the only condition. I, for one, do a lot of dairy even if Grok didn't.
3) To a much lesser extent than #1 and #2, I also think the zero-carb Hezbollah, as Kurt Harris has dubbed it. He has articulated this at the PaNu site far better than I can so I won't bother here.
Anyway, what do you think?
asked byAravindan_Balasubramanian (13682)
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on March 13, 2011
at 01:56 PM
To quote Logan:
"... but a fervent view that their way is the ONLY or best way for everyone what can make those paleos dubious."
The moment you start to believe you've found the one way of eating for everyone is the moment you start being wrong. If there's a dubious part of the paleo community, it's a tendency for individuals to believe that their particular experience is generalizable across the population. This is not exclusive to the "Zero Carb Hezbollah" - it's a pretty common behavior in all diet communities, I think, especially in people who are relatively new and still in the transition stage between old and new ways of thinking about diet.
The starch point is a perfect example; some people do well without starch, and so expect everyone to have the same experience, while others do well with starch, and then expect everyone to have the same experience. Soon they're bickering and throwing crappy science at each other to prove who's right. But they're both wrong.
on March 13, 2011
at 09:27 PM
Over zealotry, obsessiveness with each and every detail of one's body, each fart, pimple or lost hair. Some of it is I think part of the "neophyte's zealotry", extreme rigid look at diet, health and all the things.
Obsession with fat, making fun and judging everyone who doesn't have a six pack, unless this person expresses guilt and will to get to the six-pack.
Extreme male-oriented vision. Men judging female bodies, knowing nothing about them.
on March 13, 2011
at 03:14 PM
OK, since I've dealt extensively with the media, I'd place the press concerns paleo nyc has struggled with in two categories:
Raw paleo and VLC folks. I have no problem with these diets in theory, at least temporarily, but at least in our Meetup it seems to be correlated with extreme quackery, misogyny, and weird obtuse unscientific just-so stories. The media loves these folks, but they are a very small minority of paleos.
Using in-shape people, usually male trainers, as "experts" despite their complete lack of scientific training or qualifications.
I've been consistently cut from news stories I've participated in, while they've kept people from the latter two categories.
on March 13, 2011
at 03:25 PM
My opinion is a work-in-progress, and it may be only applicable to me, so YMMV.
Every time I would come across anything about a "Paleo diet", that term connoted sexist caveman stereotyping, and I never read further. When I finally opened my mind enough to get beyond the term and started to read and learn more, I appreciated the science underlying the diet and lifestyle.
However, Paleo still seems to favor males, people highly committed to CrossFit, sports hunting and the wink, wink, nodding to the Grok/caveman stereotype, and thus, reenactment.
Other than purchasing meat from grassfed animals, I have yet to read much about resource stewardship, honoring the animals which are killed and farmed for their meat and other products, supporting farmers who are trying to reduce runoff and manage manure and other waste products, and working to support vegetable and fruit crops locally and globally.
There doesn't seem to be much emphasis on community building outside of the CrossFit crowd, but perhaps this is more a factor of Paleoism being a nascent movement.
There is also a perceived degree of ageism. As one who is post menopausal and dealing with several seemingly intractable health issues, I pick up a blame the victim mentality sometimes when someone is posting a health management issue that isn't responding. Much of the discussions around activity and exercise do not include people with physical and mental limitations and vulnerabilities. Is this a Paleo concept? (In other words, ostracize the vulnerable to protect the health of the group) I read a fair number of posts which refer to people's perceptions that a benefit of a Paleo diet/lifestyle is "not looking their age". But what about celebrating and enjoying aging? Is age an enemy?
And as I look at photos of people who share that they are involved in Paleoism, so far I am seeing very few non-Caucasians and people who share that English is not their primary language. So I wonder if this is a North American/British/Australian/NZ dominated movement.
This comment isn't intended as criticism so much as just a beginner's list of questions.
Not sure I will ever fit in, but I will continue to use Paleo nutrition and activity principles as they are providing me with health and well being benefits.
on March 14, 2011
at 01:38 AM
Half the questions on the front page would make a good starter for this list.
on March 13, 2011
at 06:50 PM
...tendency by some to use Hunter-Gatherers as a panacea and narrow all options accordingly.
I.e. "H-G never did that, we shouldn't either".
Coming from a fundamentalist background, I get that sentiment, but it reduces all evolution to biological evolution. Versus also including technological, socio-cultural, informational, and cognitive evolution.
...along the same lines as others have said too...reducing notions of optimal exercise to crossfit, kettle bells, club bells, etc.
...it is hard to move on past Rousseau's romantic notions of pre-modern/industrial life...each of us Westerners has a bit of the Robinson Crusoe meme in us.
on March 13, 2011
at 03:40 PM
The hypochondriac tendencies of paleo are very iffy. It does not shock that someone could improve digestion issues by not eating some foods, but it seems like there are an inordinate number of people convinced that they are celiacs (and hence have immediate issues within minutes of eating - like when the food is still just sitting around in their stomach.....).
There is such a thing as food sensitivity certainly, and avoiding things like wheat may well be prudent, but how many people are really specifically allergic to all grains, fruits, nuts, potatoes, and "have" to only eat meat.
Kurt Harris's therapy post covered this pretty well from a carb prospective. Some foods are not ideal, but the idea that someone has a huge number of strange food intolerance just seems a bit off (some relating to food categories where allergies have never been documented even....).
on March 13, 2011
at 07:18 PM
Rules, hierarchy, and suffering. These are things that are inherent with other food lifestyles and it seems that people are pretty darn set on making them core principles of Paleo.
There should be no rules or laws. We were designed to eat the stuff that was freely available prior to agriculture. We consumed what was available based on the ebb and flow of the seasons. We ate carbs, just not all the time. We need to put on fat for the winters. We cannot replicate exactly what was available and we don't all have the access, nor is there enough, wild game meat running around to feed everyone so we make due with what is available. I look at Paleo/Primal as being about ratios. I don't know,(nor care really) what the exact ratios are, but I do know that if I get the bulk of my daily calories from fat and protein, I feel better.
Hierarchy, labeling, grouping, what have you. I hate these things. Especially when applied to people. I have spent a great deal of time being wrong, I assume that others have as well, and when I was wrong I still felt the need to be derisive to others who where not doing as I do. THat was wrong of me. Now I approach this with the awareness that I may still be wrong, or at minimum, that I can still do things better. I try and respect anyone who is attempting to do the same thing and I am happy to share the things that have worked for me. THis does not stop me from pointing out things that are wrong, but instead of screaming "Heretic!" I try and give reasons for my assessment and encouragement to people to research more outside their comfort zone. THere are blogs and people who are proponents of the damnedest things out there. Also, if you find yourself feeling superior to others because you only eat things that screamed when they died, please keep it to yourself.
THis is not to say that there are not certain lifestyles and choices that are not worthy of derision, but usually it is amply evident by the condition of the practitioners of the sodapop and potatochip diet that things are not working out so well and that pointing it out does nothing to help.
Suffering is my biggest worry. Seems that people are damned set on making themselves hurt. THis is a common thread amongst all other diets that needs not be in this one. I tried whole grains and suffered gut issues, pain, bloating. I tried eliminating meats just to be hungry all the time, I tried exercising and my body hurt too much to do it and I'd just need to eat more. When I was eating the "healthy" AMerican diet I suffered IBS and gut pain and so on. I even saw blogs stating that some of the IBS issues I was suffering, namely the cow patty stool, was supposed to be normal. I assure you there was nothing normal about it.
I am not suffering anymore. I do more because I can.
on March 13, 2011
at 10:10 PM
I started eating Paleo before Crossfit was even invented (or at least mainstream) by following Audette's book. If you've seen my previous "no potato" posts maybe that's where I got that idea... although lately I've relaxed my viewpoints a bit.
One thing that concerns me slightly with modern paleo is that it is so different and so individual for each person, there really isn't a commonality. Paleos low on funds might have to suffer with commercial meats/veggies. Some folks claiming they are paleo may basically withdraw wheat, and continue eating everything that was SAD before except for sugar and wheat (these folks will even eat corn/rice). Strict, original paleos are branded as zealots, know-it-alls, or at the worst, dogmatic.
Discuss paleo foods with 10 people and receive 10 different answers as to "why" and 200 different answers as to "how".
You have Wolf's combination of Cordain's Paleo For Athletes + tubers + supplements Harris' Organic SAD + No-gluten + no sugar Cordain's 80/20 condoning diet coke and attacking nightshades Audette's VLC paleo + nightshade berries (tomatos/eggplant ok)
So, what is paleo? The person who makes a dogmatic claim about that definition is 1) A liar, and 2) The real dubious nature of Paleo.
on March 13, 2011
at 08:37 PM
I might get in trouble here for this, but I'm not big on running round on concrete surfaces barefoot. I think the whole barefoot running thing is great, but just not in the city.
on March 13, 2011
at 07:29 PM
I've never bought into:
X # of carbs per day no matter what you do that day
Vegetables are worthless / let's take high dose magnesium every day
Fasting of any kind beyond what occurs during sleep
Not only reenactment, but reenactment based on false assumption of what paleo people/HGs did
There's no amount of fat you can eat that will get stored in adipocytes
Hero worship of various paleo luminaries
As far as Harris goes, I don't understand why he's trying to rewrite history as though he didn't spawn a good portion of the ZC movement. When I first read his blog a while back I hit several posts that essentially advocated human carnivory and stopped reading it at that point. He should just take responsibility, admit that it was a miscalculation and move forward. Certainly those who took his cue without skepticism are responsible, but he acts now like he wasn't advocating it.
on March 13, 2011
at 02:52 PM
The diatribe against certain workouts as "chronic cardio" is pretty dubious considering that nobody has defined with precision with chronic cardio is. In fact, the field of exercise phyisiology is so in its infancy that I'm not even sold on the idea that marathons are damaging to the body, although the two sides in the debate currently raging over at Chris Kresser's blog seem to think the issue has been decided with certainty. (Not that I have any interest in running one.)
The one thing I've taken away from the Paleo movement is to check all of the research data myself before deciding to adopt a certain way of eating or exercising and not take anyone's word for it, no matter how respected they are or how many credentials they have. I've seen too much advice change 180 degrees in the past six months that I've been Paleo to take anybody's word for anything anymore.
on March 13, 2011
at 01:46 PM
I agree with your three answers, but I'd broaden the third answer to include those strictly anti-starch and the VLC diehards who believe anytime they eat carbs they gain weight (they may but its not bad weight - glycogen restoration and its requisite bonded water).
By strict anti-starch, I mostly mean those who are so freakishly afraid of starch since it spikes insulin, the hormone harbinger of destruction. As explored in detail in the Perfect Health Diet and many other blogs, protein generates an insulin response and insulin is beneficial for certain processes in the body. In fact Mark Sisson quotes a study which described the insulin index, " High protein, virtually no-carb foods like meat and eggs, while low on the glycemic index, measured high on the insulin index. In other words, while the meat and eggs didn???t cause a spike in blood sugar the way most carbohydrates do, they did result in an unexpectedly significant rise in insulin." Of course protein sources also stimulate a release of glucagon (an insulin antagonist hormone), the insulin will help properly shuttle the amino acids into muscle cells. I agree you don't want chronically elevated insulin, but having an insulin spike post workout or once a day / in a while is not going to kill you and actually will be helpful - especially if it is consumed with glucagon promoting protein.
Also, the VLC diehards who are so staunchly low carb that they believe that if they eat any significant source of carbs i.e. anything over 50 grams - say they eat a sweet potato one day or too many carrots + other veg, they gain weight. Yes, they gain weight, but its water and glycogen weight given that you were in a glycogen depleted state and 1 gram of glycogen is stored with 4 grams of water. Weight isn't the best measure of health by itself, its important to factor in lean to body fat mass.
This is not to say there is anything wrong with Zero carb eating (though the folks at Perfect Health Diet discourage it due to potential issues), VLC eating, or starch avoidance. All can potentially be healthy ways for people to improve and manage their health, but a fervent view that their way is the ONLY or best way for everyone what can make those paleos dubious.
on March 14, 2011
at 01:17 AM
Thank you for your comments.
Stabby,I'm not taking magnesium (yet) since I'm awaiting the results of my magnesium levels in my blood. You are right,that is where the entire problem lies,loving my body/me unconditionally and not care about society anymore. Problem's that I've never felt like a beautiful female,bc I always had this big belly and relatively skinny arms and lower legs and a flat ass with little boobs. So I've never enjoyed shopping or dressing nicely,bc nothing would fit well seeing my body-composure.The crux is that now,I loathe the thought of shopping 4clothes,just bc I dont know what my natural body weight/comp will be like.I fear I constyantly'll keep gaining,bc I'll eat a small plate in front of me just as well as I can eat a massive plate.I don't know if it's bc I'm underweight or my satiety-meter is broken or my own unrest. I love smoked fatty fish like mackerel and eel and regular herring,but if I eat it everyday I'll probably gain in no time!It's just that,no offense, a lot of the Paleo movement is even more obsessed and judgemental with body image&exercise.
Joshua I do eat leafy greens,but there's only so much spinach and kale one can have before getting bored of it. I've even become frightened of eating too much beets&carrots and eating pumpkin,let alone fruit! I use coconut oil to cook,bc I can't handle cowdairy,though I love and can handle sheep cheese. (Though I'm afraid it's also a triggering food 4 me,bc I love cheese)
on March 13, 2011
at 10:00 PM
A lot of things mentioned above scared me and increased my "issues" even more, like low-carb (not exactly sure what is meant by that),fruits,no dairy,excruciating exercising/CF,IF.
Could some of you please help me out of my hell? My story in short; I'm a Dutch girl/woman (28) who's been overweight from childhood.I've played some teamsports during highschool,mostly one or 2 times per week. When I was 19 I all of a sudden suffered symptoms of paralysion which the docs thought to be a mild form of MS(which now turned out to be Lyme's disease),over time the symptoms faded. During that period and years after I gained even more weight while living my life,so a couple of years ago I decided to enroll in a gym and start Cardio 3x times a week to lose weight,because I never loved myself/thought of myself as pretty or a special person. After hitting a 'plateau' I became even more critical of what I ate and increased the exercises,until it dwindled into this obsessive-compulsive 5/6days a week thing,that I never enjoyed but out of fear of getting 'fat'(it really was bellyfat,the rest was slender.Which gave me an even worse figure) again. Things escalated and I ended up at a dietician,who 'tought me' how much carbs&proteine,little fat a day I needed for the body to burn it's own fat without having to exercise. I lost weight,but I started to experience these weird symptoms also after eating,like bloating/tiredness/blurry-vision/feeling like I'd pass out. Turned out my Lyme kicked in,very bad gut flora,acidic pancreas and almost diabetic. Now I'm on Paleo and underweight,I've lost my boobs and you can count my ribs,so I need to gain some weight.
This makes me very nervous,I've lived my life on the low-fat products and with the vigorous exercise which I've never enjoyed and can't do anymore bc I feel such resistance towards it and my knees hurt like hell. Although I rationally know the low-fat products were bad,I still experience a lot of obsessive mental issues&anxieties towards the amounts of fat that I'll get huge (fat stomach) on Paleo without exercising,mainly bc I don't experience 'belly hunger' (growling stomach) bc of the bad gut flora,so I never know when I'm hungry. I try to walk 45min. to an hour everyday,but still I'm afraid to sit still and do what I love. All these Paleo-people talking about the low-carb,fruits,IF,CF,The Paleo-lifestyle etc. made my anxiety even worse....I'm now scared of amounts of fat,fruits and certain veggies (like beets,carrots,pumpkin...let alone sweet potatoe!),coconut milk and dairy (though I love sheep's and goat cheese,which are high in fat too,which scares me). I'm caught in such a horrible thinking pattern (reading the Power of Now. Isn't helping me (yet)),in my mind I'm always calculating everything. Most people start to feel not only physically,but also mentally better on Paleo,whereas I seem to get in an even bigger depression. Most of the time I just don't know what to eat anymore it's all too big of a hassle,out of lethargy and boredom/lack of recipes/ingedients due to intolerances(like nightshades) and I'm starting to really miss all the 'bad' stuff like pizza,wafels,cake,breads etc.,bc if I'm in my mind getting fat anyway who cares what it is from....might as well have the temporary false illusion of joy my brains crave so much.and feel like a 'normal' part of society again. Apart from beef and eggs,grass-fed is impossible for me to get,though I buy biological meat...it's also very expensive and I'm struggling to pay the bills every month bc I'm currently not able to work.
I'm going to seek the help of a therapist (but I don't want antidepressants,although my family is trying to force me to take some) bc I don't want to be stuck in this thinking pattern anymore. If I'm ever gonna exercise again I do not want it to be connected to estatic image anymore or obsessive compulsiveness/fear,but bc I WANt TO/Love doing it. (Probably gonna be a teamsport,though it's kinda daunting to enter a team(sport) at this age). Once in a while I'd like to be able to indulge in stuff,without feeling guilty or getting bad thoughts or whatever. I just wanna be happy&healthy and get over the fear of living my life and letting myself do and enjoy what I want to do. The fat is probably prone to go to my belly,instead of my upper body(where it needs to go),bc my own 'mental anxiety' is probably keeping cortisol levels high.
Are there people who can maybe help me get out of this pattern/ease my mind a bit? who don't exercise either/constantly walking/active during the day?who have health conditions too or maybe experienced something similar?
I'd also love to get to know some Dutch Paleo/PaNu people.