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And Why Are You Paleo?

Sometimes I'll put up a post in an euphoric buzz of exuberance -- in the act of writing it -- and then begin to regret it. ...Never seriously enough to take it down, materially edit or qualify it. Now and then, I don't get the comment enthusiasm I was expecting, but that always goes with the territory. You can never tell what's really going to resonate and why, and since you also can't predict comments or how some comments will beget others, it gets complex quickly.

And so I do what I always do: try to be as real as possible and see what happens.

But I tend to get into an almost trancelike, tunnel-vision state, where I cannot even tolerate the slightest interruption in the train of thoughts going through my head -- most of which won't be remembered long enough to have a shot at being in the final draft; that is, when I hit the Publish button, for better or worse.

It's usually the heavily profane posts that lend the most buyer's remorse; but just the other day, I had the same sort of thoughts about admonishing everyone to go to Paleo hell with me. It's not like I don't talk about a cheat meal now and then, or my scotch. But this was a post devoted to Paleo debauchery.

And what happened? For the most part, I felt like I was heading up PA (Paleo Anonymous) for a time. Only, most everyone used their names, they didn't admit to their inherent helplessness and above all, there were no calls for a "Higher Power." People really seem to have a handle on what they're doing, and they're doing it all by their little ol' selves. ...That can't be good. Independence? Oh Nos!

Andrew had a beef with it. That's a link to a nice, short comment exchange. To answer the unanswered question, I use religious terms metaphorically, sarcastically, or both, because I'm a recovered religious person who took it so far as divinity school (as a surrogate for a real first year of college). And unlike other recovery programs where you're helpless forever, in need of support from real terrestrial entities, imagined heavenly ones, or both, I broke with it in a literal middle finger to the heavens in symbolic gesture, in October of 1990, and was instantly recovered, for life. Not for a single microsecond have I ever had the slightest doubt about it, and since, have just felt an obligation to help others to recover, because...it's just so fucking awesome.

Same impetus today, but there's far more enthusiasm in me helping others instantly recover from unhealthy eating habits than there is in instant recovery from unhealthy faith and belief habits...and Paleo is simply the most effective tool -- just as Rational Recovery beats The Church of Alcoholics Anonymous hands down.

Andrew's other beef was with the -- my term -- "snapshot" of what he perceived to be anti-intellectualism in the post.

After all, there are all those good folks out there digging through PubMed each and every day to deliver to you that which you could not have possibly known otherwise: that an evolutionarily appropriate diet, focussing on Real Foods is going to give you a foundation of suitability from which you can then build individual optimality.

Do we really need confirmation over and over and over and over and over that the saturated fats and lipoproteins in natural plant and animal foods is OK; indeed, even good for us?

What in the fuck are we searching for?

So in honor of sayin' fuck all that, for good...

He did not take this out of context. For one, it's well within the overall spirit of the post, and for two, it's in a comment thread for the post itself. Fair game both ways.

But is it in the context of my overall approach, over four years at this thing? Well, that was the brunt of my comment that ends the thread, linked above.

But I don't want to rain on, disparage, or otherwise even discourage Andrew. I read his very intellectual and more than sufficiently referenced blog and will continue to do so. This is Andrew's approach, and I prefer a shtick. But this is not to say that I did not engage in the somewhat intellectual. For the first 2-3 years, I heavily posted on dietary studies, saturated fat, cholesterol, nutrition, and primitive societies that serve for falsification of conventional wisdom, and just plain wisdom. Even though I was pretty much immediately convinced, I wanted to do two things: really get into it and build an archive.

That archive is there for the searching.

Becoming somewhat of a very well read blog (110,000 visits and 180,000 page views so far this month), I really take to heart my personally perceived "social responsibility" to do what I do best. I can't ever save the world, but all ya'll can help make a dent, and I'm just here to keep you charged up with whatever it is you seem to need; which, in any case, I don't really know...so I just do what I do, fearing to do otherwise. It's life and death...when you're talking about visitors in the hundreds of thousands from who even knows where, or what for. You simply have no idea who is going to to be stricken next with that life changing middle finger; and that's all, and only, what I'm always and will always be about.

So why are you Paleo? Does it matter why, other than that it seems to work for you and yours? Does it matter how Orthodox you are? If you're a Paleo blogger, do you do it to signal how righteous you are? How about Twitter, the quintessential den of Paleo Righteousness? Why do you search PubMed? Why do you tell everyone about any study that seems to let saturated fat and cholesterol off the hook? Is it only from intellectual motivations and learning, or an an agenda to be regarded as authoritative?

I'm authoritative. When it comes to me. And that's why I'm Paleo. I can tell the world to fuck off, and still be healthier, look better for my age, and have substantially more general well-being than the lot of them.

Let me know in comments exactly why you're Paleo and what that decision has done for you. I would also like to know if you consider yourself recovered, or if you're taking it one day at a time, and will for the rest of your life be a "recovering SAD eater."

I'm Paleo-ish because I fucking love it. ...And psychologically, keeping it real, I do love to feel superior to others, and this is the best way I've found. Recover from religious fantasies, and you also get the -- FREE BONUS! -- chance to live in my psycho-mastubatory world, where virtually everyone is broken, or a moron.

...If you're into that. Or you can just cuddle up, content in your own skin, and that works too (for girls) :)

Comments

  1. I am Paleo because I was built out of cheap Teutonic parts and got a bum rap with the genetics, and because I am the sort of woman who says FUCK BEING WEAK and FUCK HURTING and FUCK BEING LESS THAN AMAZING.

    I am Paleo because it helps me to be amazing, a mean and lean and whip-smart primate who can survive just about anything. It’s goddamn rocket fuel for my trips to space.

  2. “Tone it down”? I understandeth not what these words mean.

    • Ack, meant to thread this under your reply to my previous comment. I are idiot.

    • Sorry, I lost my head for a second, forgetting who I was dealing with.

    • Hahahahaha. Yeah. Us crossfitting paleo steak eating people do not tone anything the fuck down. If anything, we get louder, more obnoxious, and are the devil to deal with. Though I admit, I am nowhere near as witty or as beautiful as Lindsay…

      • yeah that much seems to be obvious, as if being a loud, obnoxious, ignorant bore were something to be *proud* of…here’s an idea, try transcending your ignorance and un-consciousness and live in the light instead of whatever self-created darkness you’re in right now (I’m guessin’ it’s the over-indulgence of dead animals in your system has your neuro-endocrine system COMPLETELY fucked up!)

      • “…and live in the light…”

        Ironically, posted at comment 10 out of 135.

  3. Justin M. says:

    I’m Paleo because when you take a young, strong, healthy human male eating processed crap and feed him real food he becomes unstoppable; physically, mentally, and emotionally.

  4. David Rourke says:

    I’m paleo because it works. I look, feel, and function so much better than I did before, it’s like a freaking miracle cure–with delicious food as a free bonus.

    It’s just about criminal that the medical establishment didn’t come up with this approach to health and start pushing it decades ago.

    • Aaron Curl says:

      There would be no medical establishment if they told humans to eat real food. This is exactly why the healthcare system is the second largest money making business in the U.S.

  5. Richard,
    I went through self experimentation and allergy testing because of fucked health. I am not paleo per se, nor do I define myself as such for a variety of reasons, but I have been eating grain free and dairy free 90% of the time long before I heard of paleo. Part of my diet however is to eat sad once a week, and go hog. It helps me eat cleaner the rest of the week. I could not be fucked using a screening rule like – “is this paleo or what does paleo mark eat and therefore I need to follow his diet”. I look at the Weston price foundation photos and think hmmmmm, not sue they’ve got it sussed etc. Weston price seem to advocate certain things that could be paleo based. I go by a lot of criteria and am trying to lean out to 8%, and then stay there. I read your blog because it entertains me, pisses me off, and it reminds me that meat can look and taste fantastic, and another dry chicken breast grilled is not suistainble or fucking pleasurable to ear. I also get angry and concerned when i see people following any movement without discernment. I have come to the conclusion that grains are fucked for me, but my wife thrives on them. A high carb diet is fucked for me, but my family thrive on it. The paleo movement is another approach like any other, where the great experiment will take time. In 10 years, something else will be blowing up. Paul d.

    • David.

      It is a shame that people blame the medical establishment and follow any diet approach without critical thinking and examining the results. My drs I have visited on a repeated basis to get scans etc of my organ function and who saved my life etc are amazing and honest people. The fact that we have a massive obesity crisis in the USA and Australia is due to issues like a sedentary lifestyle, high availability of calorie dense cheap and mass marketed nutrient poor foods, and the interaction between these factors and other biopsychosocial factors. Nutritional interventions are part and parcel of addressing these issues, and at the end of the day, adherence to eating real foods to a large extent requires an acceptance of personal responsibility, the capacity to link how we feel and look to the foods we eat, immense social support to make long term changes and the right availability and cost of food plus to a lesser extent and exercise program to complement and reinforce behaviourally the cleaner eating program. The medical establishment is way down the list. Paul d

  6. Because I do not need a book to do it. I can strip down to my pure humanity and follow my ‘gut’ while checking my results. I swerve and change as needed.

    No counting.
    No gimmicks.
    No special color charts.

    I need awareness.

    This applies to food, work, relationships and my own mind. I need only to have fidelity to the orignal (truth/integrity). That original is self. Dishonesty creates stomach aches.

    (Nice stepwork there chief ;P)

  7. Lute Nikoley says:

    I went paleo (about 80%) more than 2 years ago. At first just to try it and see what happens. I love sour dough crunchy crusted bread and that was tough to give up, also I loved to have my daily sandwich for lunch. But then something happened, the pounds started to come off. That convined me.

    On the religious thing? Nope, never will.

    • “On the religious thing? Nope, never will.”

      The force is strong with you.

      But I didn’t actually realize until today a critical aspect. It was instantaneous, and I never relapsed. Never even had urges.

  8. Brett Legree says:

    I am Paleo because today my blood pressure was 110 over 70, and in January of 2010 it was about 190 over 140.

    I weighed about 215 back then, today I am about 145, and I am not a weak lean.

    I did this for my four children, so that I will get to see their children.

    (As a bonus, I feel great, look great, and get to eat like a fucking beast every day…)

  9. I’m Paleo Because I Chose to be, it Makes Sense, if you’re even marginally intelligent you can’t fuck it up. My Paleo is -MY- paleo, the journey is individual, validation from peers is nice, but I don’t need it to be healthy.

    I’m Paleo because I was Tired of being sick, Fat and unhealthy. I keep learning and applying Paleo, it’s a lifestyle with more than Diet to offer, I’m not a unique or Beautiful snowflake, but I’ll be damned if I’ll be the slush that falls off your car in the garage during winter.

    • Brett.

      Fucking awesome for you

      Paul d

      • Brett Legree says:

        Thanks, Paul d. And good work on your part as well.

        Richard – my take-away from your place has been an incredible amount of information, especially Leangains (which I’ve been doing, in my own way, since encountering it here – the 16-hour fast works for me, and works well).

  10. I’m paleo because I accept my personal responsibility for my own life.

  11. Mary E. Clark says:

    I went Paleo because gluten free isn’t disorder free like the nutritionists want you to think.

    Thank you for your blog; it’s fantastically thought provoking and you bring up the important social elements of Paleo living, the elements we tend to forget about as we delve rabidly into the biochemistry of it all.

  12. Because once you have experienced the joy of a nice big steak for breakfast, there’s no going back to a bowl of cereal.

  13. In short?
    I’m Paleo because it gives great results. And it’s damned easy.
    But I “cheat” on it just enough that it doesn’t affect those results.
    And that makes it even easier.

  14. Why do I do paleo?

    Because the “american diet” made me fat, weak and sick. Because I was tired of this crap, and eating naturally was the way for me. And when I say naturally, I mean eating lots of steak :)

    Because really, I want to be fast, strong and healthy. Nothing else has worked besides primal + crossfit. But I’ll be the first to admit that I strongly believe in being able to have a bit of fun, and am not opposed to drinking scotch or having an occasional hamburger. So your post on the debauchery of food and giving the finger to paleo every once in a while? Awesome!

  15. turnupie says:

    works for me! the tanita says metabolic age of 32 for my 64 years in the morning when it not as good as the evening reading!

  16. As a blogger, and a terribly transparent one who (tries really hard) not to give a fuck what people think of me, I write about Paleo because Paleo helped me overcome some seemingly insurmountable obstacles – both mental and physical. (OCD, infertility, depression, joint pain, digestive problems, skin problems, and the list goes freakin on and on.)

    Six years ago, when I started this, there were no bloggers that let me see into their lives and the intricacies of their relationships and their diets so that I could know if I was crazy and truly alone or if I was on the right track to getting happy and being normal. I stumbled around in the dark just searching for health until I eventually I found it.

    Now I just can’t help but to share the details of my long journey. As much as it sometimes gets me down to hear insults and to be judged by people who don’t know shit about me, I am compelled to keep doing it. Some days my inbox fills up with thank you notes and pleas for help and I remember the days when I begged the universe for help in the same way (since there was no one to ask).

    Paleo saved my life on so many different levels, as much freaking time as it takes to keep this blog, I just want to give something real to people that are looking for answers. Loren Cordain’s The Paleo Diet and other books just aren’t getting on that level.

    Of course, Richard does, and a few others, and those are my favorites and my friends. Sometimes I think that if Richard can handle all the “fuck you”s then so can I.

  17. I’m not “Paleo”Richard. My diet consists of meat, fat and green vegetables; and the occasional nuts (let’s not forget alcohol). I didn’t mention cheats because there is no such thing – for me – I just don’t look at it as food, but I’ve been doing this for 20+years and my physiology has perhaps completely turned around.

    I was obese by adolescence at a time when nobody was obese. I’ve has a dysfunctional physiology for as long as I can remember, and been lied to about eating possibly even longer. I currently eat the way I do because it allows me to thrive – period. It’s really is, and has been, no longer a choice – it’s just how I live, as if I am not in the driver’s seat any longer. And that is the best part.

    Thanks for your blog, Richard. You always have the ability to cause me to come out of lurking.

    -Al

  18. I’m Paleo because it’s the only diet that doesn’t leave me hungry all the time.

  19. I am Paleo-ish because I got tired of people telling me that how I felt was “just getting older”. I looked at my grandmother, who lived in good health until the ripe old age of 99, and my great-aunt, who lived in good health until 95, and I called BS. If they could feel good, look good, and have boundless energy right up until weeks before their deaths, then, damn it, I wanted the same thing. So, I ignored everyone and kept looking. I found Paleo via Nourishing Traditions (which made a lot of sense but didn’t work for me) and I was stunned at how quickly I felt better. From that I found Crossfit and have just gotten stronger and healthier at 48 than I’ve been in 15 years. I’m not an acolyte, though, because I pick and choose what works for me.

    It didn’t hurt that this was the easiest thing I’ve done in a long time, eliminating guilt and remorse for lusting after “bad” food. As one of the comments said, “No counting, no gimmicks, no color charts”. This just feels right.

    • “I called BS” on just getting older, too! I’m only in my 20s and doctors and family/friends were telling me I was just getting older. What kind of crap is that?

  20. I’m paleo because it got me off the carb / blood sugar rollercoaster. I love bacon and eggs for breakfast, cream in my coffee, and don’t miss that dry, woody stuff called toast that I used to live on.
    And I read your blog cause it balances out all that wholesome niceness over at MDA.

    • Aaron Curl says:

      “And I read your blog cause it balances out all that wholesome niceness over at MDA.”
      Hilarious!

  21. mehitabel says:

    I have found a strange niche.
    I don’t blog. I post occasionally.

    In ’02 i was dx with non-hodgkins lymphoma in my stomach. A bit of radiation, nothing to it. A clean PET in ’07 and ’09 and onc cut me loose. I got fat. 6′ 265. Double-bypass in ’06. Stumbled across Devaney, then Sisson, then here, then Peter, then Masterjohn. Easily shed 80 lbs. and read a lot about ketogenic diet, near-ketogenic diet and just did a lot armchair research into paleo in a concerted cancer direction.

    Now, I sorta feel my lymphoma makes me legit enough to post on a few cancer support boards about nutrition topics — and so I do. And you wouldn’t believe the flack. It’s just so sad.

    Without posting links and making the entire case, I’ll just state the American Diabetic Assn., The American Heart Assn., The American Cancer Society and all other purveyors of public health information in this country have dietary position papers that are all nearly identical in their promotion of a “fruit, veggie, whole grain, low-fat” dietary meme.

    None of them provide any proof — because of couse there isn’t any — but they all point to each other as proof, in an endless circuit that never goes to any science. It’s a completely consensus-based-model of health care and the physician who dares to publicly go against it, does so at his peril.

    So, very sadly, I see so many newly dx with cancer who show up needing support and information, and they are nearly told become a vegan and get your juicer on order — and they do. All the hospital sites recommend a predominately plant-based diet to fight disease.

    Never mind evolution — god gave us produce. Eat all the colors.

    I’ve been driven off, and told “good luck with that,” many many times.
    The funny thing — the delicate thing is — there are people fighting disease, and sometimes these people are much more fragile in mind than body — and sometimes the paleo point is better not made.

    I post occasionally.

    • Mehitabel:

      Can we talk? Email me and I’ll give you my number.

    • starfish says:

      There is a website you might be interest in called Carbohydratescankill.com. Dr. Robert Su is the website creator and has recently introduced a forum dedicated to cancer called “Cancer and Diet Education and support” He has a great link to a just published article (hot off the press October 26, 2011) called Is there a role for carbohydrate restriction in the treatment and prevention of cancer? Anyone who has been diagnosed or who has a friend or loved one struggling with cancer should check this out. This article is referenced and peer reviewed. The sad part is that this is that these types of articles are a rarity. The ignorance of the medical establishment is mind boggling and tragic.

    • Hi, mehitabel

      what you wrote strikes a chord except i’m not the patient; my husband was (despite years of our supposedly “healthful” eating )

      you’re right that American Cancer Society & others just spews out the typical useless stuff/ hence i had to do my own research & journey.

      stay healthy,

  22. I am paleo because I was diagnosed with a chronic illness and decided I didn’t want to take it lying down.

  23. Stephanie says:

    First, my husband went paleo to prove a point to a coworker that it could be done. Once he started doing it, I began researching it to ‘see what he was getting himself into’ and to be a nice wifey and cook things to support his recent endeavor. Upon researching it, I had moments of ‘well, that makes sense’ and a lot of facepalming. After supporting him for a few weeks, I too joined in, and haven’t looked back since. I never experienced the carb flu because I unknowingly eased myself off of them when I was catering to my husband’s new dietary change. As soon as I made the switch I felt so much better, things that I would have never attributed to grains went away, pain, joint stiffness, being sore after working all day (christ this makes me sound old… I was only 28 at the time!) The biggest benefit was when I realized I didn’t get mentsural cramps anymore (and mine were always horrible, like fetal position, don’t bug me, horrible) gone. just gone. for that reason alone it’s worth not going back! A few months after embracing my new paleo life I learned I was pregnant with Baby #3… she’s 3 months old now and simply amazing! Why did I go Paleo? to help my husband prove a point to a friend… and I’m never going back!

  24. You said it. I eat a paleo diet because it works. It is that simple. If it ever stops working, I’ll stop eating it.

  25. I’m paleo because it makes me feel and look awesome. It’s made me the gorgeous, lean fucker that I am today :)

  26. Katherine says:

    My body made me do it lol

  27. Paleo is just a minor tweak on a life of eating real food. I had absolutely no idea that some of the things I was eating were bad for me – outright bad, like grains and just keeping me fat, like excess carbohydrate.

    Once I had started to enjoy the wonderful outdoors that I have on my doorstep – literally, step out into woods, mountains, high moorland, valleys, mud, slopes, ruins, I was converted. I quite probably did not need to alter my diet for fat loss, but the total surprise that my lifelong gastric reflux problem left me in an astonishingly quick time, I now know that keeping away from grains is something I will always do. I don’t miss them.

    I guess I’m fixed – I don’t take any form of medication, I don’t have anything you’d call an illness, I’m fit, healthy, focussed and only getting better with every day. I can eat what I like, be active when I like, don’t have to if I don’t want to.

    My body tells me when I’m full, tells me when to keep eating, tells me when to rest, tells me when I can have a blast and tells me when it’d be fun to have a total blowout, and doesn’t leave me feeling terrible the day after.

    I think when people get to this level of feeling so awesome they want to put a word on it, if only to acknowledge the dietary regimen that got them there.

    I call what I eat paleo. I call my activity paleo. I call my outlook on life paleo.

  28. Curmujeon says:

    I do Paleo/Primal because I want to show Sis that there is a better way than the oatmeal, WeightWatchers, low-fat, as-much-fruit-as-you-want, metformin, simvastatin, lisinopril, nightly-lowfat-big-fruit-smoothie, antacid conventional wisdom. We don’t talk about it anymore but I know the statins gotta hurt. I know I have just improved my odds of outliving my parents and siblings. Not that this is a longevity contest but I think life will improve in my second half century as I continue my recovery from the SAD.

  29. Aaron Curl says:

    I eat paleo because I had a what the fuck? moment. I went from being in great shape ( rigorous exercise while eating the sad) to being 60-70 pounds overweight twice in my life. Both times I put on the weight was from life getting in the way, so I had to quit exercising (compulsive cardio and weights). Well, in my case when I continued eating a “healthy” diet for an extremely active person but didn’t exercise like crazy, I put on 60-70 pounds of fat. The first time I lost all the weight all I did was start exercising like a maniac again and had no trouble losing the weight while still eating the sad. When I put the weight on the second time and started exercising again like a mad man, I asked myself “what the fuck are you doing?” I ‘ve been here done this! I started looking around the net and found MDA and your website. I slowed way down on exercise, ate real food and did a lot of ifing. Been in the best shape of my life ever since. I have occasional cheat days and drink beers every now and again and live life to it’s fullest.

  30. labbygail says:

    I eat Paleo out of fear, sadly. I’m afraid of getting diabetes, which is in my genetic history. I’m afraid that my best isn’t good enough (cliche but true) to keep my toddler from growing up needing braces and glasses. I’m afraid that there’s something I could be doing better. Now that I’ve discovered Paleo and the ability to prevent “diseases of civilization,” I can’t go back to SAD because of the guilt (I know, that’s a bad word around here) that I’d feel if I did, but I’m never going to be one of those with 100% compliance.

  31. I am paleo because I got tired of listening to my body. I listened to it for decades and all it did was complain! It gave me plenty of problems, but no solutions. I was eating “healthy” (low-fat, high-carb), but I finally had to ask myself: If I’m so healthy, why do I feel like crap? I had daily headaches, TMJ and carpal tunnel syndromes, tendonitis that would not heal, all my joints ached, a gastric ulcer from all the ibuprofen and Robaxin, and finally, ischemic colitis. I was kinda depressed too.
    I had to stop listening to my body, and start using my brain. I found “Protein Power” first, and paleo wasn’t too far from there. So after dumping chronic cardio (I was never good at it anyway ;)) and adding safe starches, the only thing my body says is “Thanks!”
    I am 58, and I feel better than I did when I was 28! I don’t want anyone to have to take care of me in my old age. I guess that’s what it it is all about for me.

  32. I am paleo because it works.

    In 2010, my husband and I decided to adopt a baby. We went to class, filled out paperwork, and then got to the physical. My husband was dx with HBP, and Metobolic Syndrome/possibly DMt2. We put the adoption on hold in order to get a handle on the problem. I thought we had to go low-carb because of the DMt2. We had tried Atkins in the past and lost weight, but couldn’t sustain the diet. My husband didn’t want to “do low carb” again because he felt deprived on it.

    In an effort to help (there had to be something, didn’t there?), I dove into the interwebs and found Steve Cooksey’s website, http://www.diabetes-warrior.net. From there, I found MDA, and between them I think I’ve found all the major resources out there.

    I started out doing my own version of a 30-day challenge in Feb or Mar. 2011 to see what would happen. I lost weight like mad, and my MD said my cholesterol/BP were looking good. So, I asked my husband to look over the information and see if he could get behind it. He did, and does, and we’re both here now.

    He’s off his HBP meds. He’s off his diabetes meds. We’re both down at least 40 lbs. We intermittently fast, we eat real food when we’re hungry, we even work out now and then. We ocassionally still eat things with wheat or corn in it, but grains are no longer a staple. Pastured meat, veggies, pastured eggs, cheese, cream, butter, coconut oil, fruit & nuts – it works for us. I’ll add that while we are fairly low carb, that’s just a product of the lack of grains. We still eat potatoes and other starches when we want them – which isn’t all the time.

    Adoption is back on track. We just cleared 1 inspection. 2 more to go (I think!). Thanks to all you Paleo/Primal advocates and bloggers out there.

  33. I am paleo because it works. I am not paleo because sometimes I don’t have the heart or the will power to turn down the SAD food that is offered at restaurants/social occasions.

    btw, I LOVE your religious musings. I am religious but I share your desire to call b.s. on everything. But I like these debates anyway (the gold standard: G.K. Chesterton v. Bertrand Russell, who would debate and then go out for drinks), I think it is simply fantastic. Sometimes I think the only sin is to be bored, and this blog is certainly not boring. thankyou.

  34. I’m Paleo because I am adamant about not being medicated up the wazoo like my parents are. Such sick people. I don’t live near them anymore, but when I visit them – or they visit me – I’m stricken by how ill and feeble and medicated they are.

    My doctor told me a couple of years ago that I was pre-Diabetic – this after 15+ years as a fitness instructor exercising 20+ hours a week and eating a “healthy diet!” And I said “Fuck that,” stopped eating grains, lost 20lbs or so, kicked pre-Diabetes to the curb, and found the easiest way to sustain my health, happiness, energy levels and sanity.

    I shy away from all the proving and decrying of studies. It seems to make this simple lifestyle choice more complex than it needs to be. I get it – there are people who NEED ALL THE INFORMATION OMG, but I’m not one of them, and honestly it makes my eyes glaze over.

    I started by buying all the must-read books – Cordain, Devany, Sisson, Taubes, Wolf, you name it. I made it through about 1/4 of each of the books before I got bored. I began questioning myself as to why I so desperately needed to know WHY it works. I know it *does* work, and that should be enough, Then I decided I was probably just trying to educate myself so that I could maybe educate others , or so that I could offer a sensible answer to the CW fearmongers that ask me “But WHERE do you get your FIBRE?!”

    I came to terms with the fact that it’s not my job to educate. Nobody educated me – I sought out the information when I needed it, when what I had been told to do my entire life stopped working. For the most part, I don’t care why it works, nor do I care if the people around me ‘get it.’ It made me get better and BE better – in almost every way. That’s why I’m Paleo.

  35. realLife says:

    Methitabel & others this is not a schrill call to sell… have read most all the Paleo bloggers, many good, some great and realistic like here…
    the bridge to advanced medical science and a fore front leader is the best selling author’s subscription blog of Dr William Davis of Wheat Belly. trackyourplaque.com it’s a good work in progress similar to PerfectHealthDiet.com
    not all genome types will have equal benefits to Paleo, I’m midway.
    it works for me..

  36. I like it when women pay attention to me, as compared to when for all practical purposes I don’t exist.

    Being in the “does not exist” category sucks.

  37. Michelle says:

    I went Paleo initially to lose weight – then I discovered one very pleasant side effect…increased libido! Need I say more?

  38. I’m paleo because I’m human, and humans largely evolved in the paleolithic era. I want my descendants to remain Homo Sapiens Sapiens, not become Homo Sapiens Degener.

    Studies exploring the human phenotype are nice, but the burden of proof is on those who would deviate from the evolutionary environment, not on those who emulate it. Studies that explore the unknown details of that environment are much more interesting and useful to me.

  39. Travis McBride says:

    It’s the only way of eating that has worked for me. All of the rest of the ways of eating including vegetarian, low-fat, and SAD made me add a pounds every year. I look good and feel good. I’m stronger, much leaner, more muscular, and ready to kick ass. My blood work has proved to my doctor that this can turn metabolic syndrome around. He’s amazed that I’ve lost 30 pounds and kept it off.

  40. I am paleo because I got tired of being miserable.

    I got tired of being labeled with one more diagnosis that required another prescription drug; fibro, chronic fatigue, bladder this, depression that. One day I tossed out all drugs, threw out the ‘no cure’ label that had been shoved down my throat, and started experimenting. Gluten went first and that started a snowball effect.

    7 years later I was lower carb, almost no grains, gluten free, and a completely changed person. I went from kraft mac & cheese to making my own bone stocks. I experimented on myself, always questioning anything unless I had truly given it a try first.

    One day I stumbled on Marks Daily Apple, found the primal and paleo definition and realized that all my experimentation had brought me to roughly the same place. The biggest change, now I actually belonged to a group of people who believed and practiced similar habits. That has been the best part of finding paleo for me.

  41. I went paleo, in short, because I don’t want to die until I’m damn good and ready.

    I went paleo because I don’t want to be 45 and clutching my chest after walking up a flight of stairs and wishing I hadn’t just spent the last few decades treating my body like I’m still a college freshman.

    I went paleo because I am NOT going on statins, like everyone else in my family with high cholesterol, because that is the convenient thing to do.

    I went paleo to live and that’s just what I’m doing.

    Jon

  42. Alex Good says:

    I’m paleo(ish) because I’m gentically perfect and want to show everyone else just how perfect I am.

    Yes I’m being serious. I’m a genius (Mensa puzzles for fun), I rarely lose a fight and I’m 6’4″ and starting to get to the ripped stage.

  43. Well, this has become the perfect post, which is when the comments overshadow the post and the post need not even be read.

    Thank you.

    I’m so in love with all the comments. Everyone has their individual reasons and many differences abound.

    Pleas, please, pump this up on Twitter, FB, email or whatever your fav is, to both have people read these powerful comments or, make one of their own.

    Thanks you again, Pure gold.

  44. I’m paleo because I get to eat ass-kicking food and feel like I could run through a goddamn brick wall every day. And I don’t even have to spend hours in the gym or on a treadmill like a caged animal. A nice side effect is that I’m no longer incapacitated at the end of every day by debilitating gut pain, that often caused me to double over in pain. Instead, I get to play with my kids.

  45. I started Paleo because what I was doing (basically eating SAD, not thinking about diet, and never exercising any more) had turned me from a smokin’ hot, excellent athlete into a pumpkin-shaped bag of sand. There are some medical reasons as well, but those only amplified the problem.

    Then one day I read a post somewhere in which Diana Hsieh mentioned Paleo and FTA and MDA. So I came here (here first because you have the cooler blog title), read my first ever paleo article, and had that “middle finger” moment. (I’d had my “middle finger to religion” moment long before.) Apart from a detour where meds I had to be on fucked everything up for about 9 months (despite remaining Paleo), everything has been smooth sailing.

    So Diana was the trigger, and you, Richard, are the smoking gun.

    • I thought I’d seen your name before. By chance were you around USENET, APO & HPO back in the day when it was Diana Mertz Brickell, and I was Nicholas Rich?

      It was a funny moment a couple of years back when Diana emailed me and I told her.

      “No way!”

  46. Tom Pentzer says:

    I am paleo because I was subject to the same diseases of civilization that I was studying for my anthro degree. I’m almost done with my degree, am some 63 lbs lighter, and will continue to study paleo nutrition academically while living in accordance to my construction.

  47. I’m leaving my remark… first off fuck fuck fuckety fuck… just trying to get off all the fucking meds western medical doctors have me on! I need to lose a total of 98 lbs and am down 32 now… still not off meds but keeping on keeping on!

    • Travis McBride says:

      Congratulations on dumping 32 pounds. That’s fantastic!

      Just be patient but vigilant with your doctor(s). I’ve been paleo for 1 year now and I’ve already dumped 2 medications. I’m about to dump a third. After that, there’ll be one more to go. I’ve been working with my doctor on all of this. As the results roll in, the medications go by the wayside.

      • Ty I remember doing Atkins years ago I was off all but thyroid meds…my blood pressure skyrocketed at first but Dr Kruse explained it and it’s already come back down…I started out with low blood pressure which I guess goes with adrenal fatigue

  48. I’m not sure I lump myself into the Paleo category but here’s what I support: common sense. And the framework itself makes sense. Just like any framework there are parts I don’t buy into or call absolute bullshit on.

    What I do know: as much as humans may learn, if we ever do understand “it” all we are in for a lot of trouble. I seriously doubt we ever will. This is why the mantra “eat real and whole foods” makes sense. But hey, even I need my icecream and cookies once in a while….

  49. I eat paleo because twenty years of believing all sorts of new-age hippy bullshit about whole grains and beans did nothing but make me a fat, lethargic, carb-addicted blob.

  50. Robb Wolf got me into this! And CrossFit Auckland. They asked me to teach their gym members the Zone Diet.
    I found the then CrossFit nutrition guru’s site, and read and read, I read Loren Cordain…
    I tried paleo because Zone was hit and miss.
    I had -
    PMS; really sore breasts
    Monster menstrual cramps (doubled up and vomiting)
    Mild lupus – knee swelling, stiff neck
    TMJ (jaw joint pain)
    Ganglion cyst – a big swelling on my wrist
    Dishydrotic eczema on hands and feet
    Constipation
    Reactive hypoglycemia
    Hashimotos – auto-immune thyroid disease. (no symptoms, but sky high anti-bodies)
    Raynauds

    Now I have no symptoms of anything if I am strict. Zip, zero. Miraculous.

  51. I am paleo because Dr. Jack told me to. Well, that and primal living / eating makes sense. I believe that, as Angelo Copola says, “Humans are not broken by default”. Day after day I see so many people who are fat, sick, in pain, barely surviving on fistfuls of medication and have just general difficulty living and accept it as part of aging. I refuse to accept that inevitability.

  52. James Howell says:

    I am “strict” paleo because:

    1) I had VERY high blood pressure and
    2) was diagnosed as “late” pre-diabetic, i.e., one step from being a full-blown Type 2 diabetic.

    I am now 30 pounds smaller, my blood pressure is down to low normal , and my blood glucose stays within the 75 – 85 mg/dl range.

    There are those that do fine on the Paleo-ish Plan but not me. My mildly obsessive personality dictates I go whole hog, no pun intended, into the very-low-carb lifestyle–less than 20 mg/day– and it works. (I do not proselytize. When someone asks about my weight-loss, I tell them. If their curiosity ends there, I do not say anything else.)

  53. I eat a paleo-high-saturated fat diet because it keeps me from running a razor blade across my wrists.

    For years I suffered from severe non-situational suicidal depression, with schizophrenia starting to knock on my brain’s door (just about that time that I read “Real Food” by Nina Planck, which led me to “Nourishing Traditions”/Weston A. Price, which led me to the paleo foods way of eating).

    It was about two or three weeks of eating a high- saturated fat, Weston A. Price diet, and eating lots of food high in Omega-3 fat (yes, I decided to tip the balance to eating more O-3 fat than O-6 for a few months) that the depression went away, and the schizophrenia never took a hold. Whew! I dodged a bullet!

  54. I do paleo to help people like Mehitabel above. When you get disease you should not initially realize the incongruity that exists in medicine today about treatment and disease and nutrition. It is my duty to slowly change the establishment and show them how to adapt clinical medicine to this tribe. That is my paleo. To constantly improve my former self so that when your healthy bastards need me, I and my legions can meet that challenge in congruent fashion with treatment, nutrition and recovery strategies that are evolutionary congruent. Some like Scott above think they don’t need me. He is correct to be jaded because of how the purveyors of popular medical advice have spewed much nonsense for too long at the detriment to many. Some of us are committed to making paleo healthcare for prevention of illness a new paradigm. With people like Brent Pottenger now on board I’m confident that we won’t fuck it up much longer. Be patient. Paleo healthcare is undergoing fractal organization under your noses. I do paleo because I’m chasing change.

  55. I eat Paleo for the most part, because in trying to keep from going from pre-diabetes to full-blown diabetes by lots of checking of blood sugars, I discovered I must eat very low carb. If I don’t eat very low carb, my blood sugars get too high, and I immediately gain weight in my stomach. I also discovered that dairy keeps me from losing weight.

    I also discovered that I am a carb addict and easily get onto a binge if I eat more than a few. These binges then cause very fast weight gain, and I feel totally out of control. I had just started the Fast-5 plan recently to try a simple approach to out of control eating, when I developed gastritis. I’m thinking the gastritis probably came from too much daily red wine over the last few years. I’ve stopped that and given up coffee for now. Hopefully I’ll make a complete recovery and can then enjoy coffee and wine now and then. The Fast-5 approach definitely led to weight loss and works really well for those of us who are basically compulsive, obsessed eaters regardless of what we’re eating.

    I’m agreeing with the commenters that it’s probably best to keep all this to yourself unless someone asks you about it. I’ve had no support from anyone but my husband in trying to solve my health and eating issues. Everyone else thinks it’s all nuts. Maybe that’s natural when they don’t have health problems they are worried about or don’t mind that they are overweight that much.

    I think Paleo just makes sense. “Wheat Belly” is also a great read. And occasional cheats, within reason, I think could work for me. And I’ve stopped talking about it all with ANYBODY. I no longer have a need to convince people of anything. I just need to focus on what works for me. If they have a problem, they can find the answers for themselves, just as I did.

    Great blog, btw. Enjoying all the commenters also.

  56. What’s your take on different cuts of meat? Do you eat the tough cuts, the stew meats, the fatty ones, or the modern lean and tender cuts?

    I had problems eating a Paleo diet. I ate a lot of saturated fat and animal protein. My problem was that I ran out of sugar, and became much more hypothyroid than I already was. I got allergies and increased sensitivity to foods. My digestive problems, which were initially fixed on paleo, came back after just a few months. Now I eat fruit and white sugar and feel a lot better. Aside from the sugar, the rest of my diet isn’t that much different from a high fat paleo diet.

  57. I’m mostly Paleo because I was tired of being puffy. I was never fat, but I was puffy from being inflamed. My face even showed it by becoming red & irritated. The puffiness is almost gone & most of the redness is gone as well.

    I like it because I am never hungry. An added benefit is that I quit having hangovers! I have a bad habit of hanging out in bars :)

    I like the way of life because the only recipe I need to know is: Take a large chunk of meat, cook it slowly, eat it, boil the bones & drink the broth. Maybe some veggies. Even living downtown, it is easy & cheap to buy a rotisserie chicken & gnaw on that all week for lunch. It just makes a lot of sense & I look & feel pretty fantastic.

    • Oh yeah my psoriasis is almost totally gone…I had roceasea (sp?) When I was visiting my sister in texas she complimented me on my pretty pink skin…coming from her THAT’S a compliment!!!

  58. I am paleo because 27 years of being a vegetarian nearly killed me. Slowly of course. Not only was I so very sick in every way, despite being in a gym for an hour a day and then running 6-10 miles I was softer than the Pillsbury dough-girl. Did I mention riddled with ailments and sickness from head to toe?

    “Shut it” is my response to ANY criticism of my Paleo lifestyle.

  59. I’m paleo because I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired. I’m on track to be the most amazing person I can be – I started 8 months ago and have tamed my IBS, lost 10kg so far, and started seriously exercising in the last few weeks so I can feel the joy of a strong body. I tend to live in my head a lot, and this way of life has provided me with a fantastic way to connect with my body and live each day more fully. Richard, your blog challenges me to stay in that ‘present’ place. I love it!

  60. I’m paleo/primal because my dad ate the SAD, became obese and diabetic, then had gastric bypass surgery. I love him, but I didn’t want to follow his footsteps. My job had become more sedentary, with bigger dinner breaks, and I was slowly gaining weight, even while prepping for a half marathon.

    I stumbled upon a combined review of Taube’s “Why We get Fat” and De Vany’s “New Evolution Diet” and I bought and read both. More research led me to MDA and I was hooked since then. I feel better, I look better, and my weight is more stable, even if I’ve been” cheating” too much lately. It’s back to “strict” Primal as of tomorrow morning.

    I live in the South, so it can be tough to explain that no, I don’t want to eat deep fried garbage or drink enamel melting sweet tea. Being an atheist here has helped me become accustomed to not fitting in anyhow.

    • I can sure relate to that super-sweet tea. I used to live on it, as most in the South do. Now it amazes me that people still drink that much sugar every day. I’m from the South, now live in the Mid-Atlantic area, but I became agnostic-so I relate to that also.

  61. I’m paleo because it is the thing that can work for me. I can do it for the rest of my life. It will give me longevity. I can eat delicious foods. I also no longer have any major rumblings in my intestines nor the flatulence that I used to embarrassingly have.

  62. Richard Jones says:

    I’m Paleo-ish because …. I give a fuck. (PERIOD)

    ‘Diet effects each persons body in different ways, hormones regulate body,’ blah blah blaah….

    I. Give. A. Fuck.

    When I did, it changed my life. I started giving a fuck about my health, and that lead me to my current lifestyle. Eating the way I eat, leaving a high stress, no time with the family job, to a no stress, leave me the fuck alone and let me work so I can go home to my wife and kids kind of job (that now pays more than I have ever made ta boot!).
    My health isn’t perfect, yet, but its awesome compared to others. I have my own transition health story, but it really only started to make a difference when I started to care more than SAYING that I cared; about my health and my family.

    People can be guided, or misguided, as we only truly know/believe what we experience, read, or are told, but they WILL NOT make REAL changes until they care (Read: GIVE A FUCK).

  63. Top 10 reasons…

    I am paleo because…

    1. It’s the first thing that gave me actual results.
    2. It’s sustainable. ie. calorie restricted diets (read starvation diets) are not. It answers one of my the questions I use to decide whether to invest in something or not: Could I be doing this 5 years from now (Answer is No then I don’t do it).
    3. There are other aspects of my life that are evolutionary in nature, so it seems logical to assume the diet is as well.
    4. It embodies a lifestyle; it’s not just a way of eating, but a way of moving, thinking and being.
    5. It’s based on sound principles. Eat whole foods…organic if possible. Local if possible. Lose the crap.
    6. It restored my confidence and then took it to a whole new level (it continues to rise…it’s like a fever baby!)
    7. It helped me release that guy that was trapped in my imagination for 25 years…that guy I always knew I could be
    8. My new story now inspires others to know that change is possible.
    9. I like the community of people that it attracts and the information it compels people to share.
    10. It gave me certainty. For the first time in my life I knew I was doing something that I could successfully do for the rest of my life.
    Bonus…
    11. it inspires me to be more. It inspired me to blog. It inspired me to build a career around it. It inspired me to approach big names in this niche and ask for interviews (Sir Richard being one of them). It inspired me to seek a book publishing contract. It inspires me to take more risks in all other areas of my life. It inspires me to be a better human being. It inspires me to give back. It inspires me to believe all problems can be solved. It inspires me to keep pushing the boundaries of what I am capable of.

  64. I’m paleo because I’m lazy. I don’t want to exercisce “30 to 60 minutes most days of the week”. I eat paleo foods and stay lean, whether I exercise or not. Plus…….my duodenal ulcer hasn’t bothered me in years.

  65. Paleo because I can eat great foods in large quantities and feel fantastic. Paleo because I can skip meals or go days without eating and feel fantastic. Paleo because it has fueled the transformation from a dwindling away vegan of 13 years with dry skin, thinning hair, aching joints and low energy, to the bad-ass, tough as nails 44 yr old CrossFitting athlete who is stronger and healthier than the college athlete I was 20 years ago.

  66. It had me at bacon.

  67. I am “paleo” because just about everything we do in modern Western civilization is wrong and it so happens that a paleo-style life goes against those wrongs in just about every way.

  68. Samantha Moore says:

    ‘Cause I’m not a fat, blowsy, middle aged bingo playing bracelet jangling bread eating white lady cunt and now I never will be.

  69. Why am I “paleo”? Because, for me, it works, I feel better when I eat that way and between a combo of slow carb and paleo I’ve dropped 30 pounds.

    But I don’t think I’m a zealot about it – I prefer it, but I don’t tell everyone they should do it. I realize, as with most things – people need to want to try something, not be told to do so. If I’m asked how I lost weight, I share with them – and I’m proud to share with them. But I don’t go out of my way to be Paleo-er than thou for lack of a better term. I also have cheat meals/days regularly – I love me some McD’s Angus burgers…

    As for the religion part/aspect – as with all things, I think those are very personal decisions/beliefs. I have my beliefs – and they are probably on balance with the most of US society, but I hate being told about it (pro or con) or being shown it in a public display and so I do my best to avoid those discussions/debates…

  70. The Ice Man had heart disease altho only in his 40′s and being in excellent shape. Too much meat probably.

  71. I drifted towards a way of eating and living and then a friend pointed out to me that it was paleo. I am not paleo, and am busy still pulling off all the sticky labels that others seem to want to attach, so my answer to you is no, I am not fully recovered from all that yet. I visit your blog regularly because I see you as a lost soul who has a chance of redemption if there is enough readership. You are the rare bird entertaining the spirit, despite your professed disdain for religion. Your perspective is a perfect flower in midst of coldest winter. In fact, you may already be saved, and despite your professed affinity for the digital middle way, you still have quite a savior complex that will not go away just because you have plucked bacon off the tree and bit into it.

  72. I’m befuddled how you can ask for comments when you so often respond to comments in a way that doesn’t actually encourage them. Kudos to the blog as dictatorship (it’s America after all), but I’m more interested in a conversation. That’s why I blog and write this stuff. And before you accuse me of being humorless and missing the point, I’m as cynical, sarcastic, sailor-mouthed, and occasionally whiskey-imbibing as they come. It just doesn’t feel…generous, you know?

    • I ask for comments in order to get comments, but it’s always an at your own risk sort of deal. I try to respond in as real of a way that I post. I never worry about how any individual is going to react. It’s just that simple.

      • Aaron Curl says:

        ” I never worry about how any individual is going to react. It’s just that simple.”
        Most people just don’t understand this concept Richard. I try and help people understand what this means by saying ” I, myself can not offend anyone…..it is the person that gets offended….they are allowing someone outside of their own head “hurt” their feelings. This is very ridiculous! This level of thinking is half of the reason the world is in such shitty shape right now!

      • AMEN!!! I have learned through the years to take what I like and leave the rest!

      • I’m not talking about reacting to his post, I’m talking about the way he reacts directly in comments. As a blogger with a readership, I’m just taken aback at the way he responds to folks who are on his side. I can’t imagine deliberately needling someone who takes the time to read anything I’ve written, especially with all the other options they have. It seems like bad business. I just prefer approaching these things as an invitation to either agree or disagree respectfully.

        But, you know, over 100,000 masochists a month can’t be wrong. :) Good on ya, Richard. Everyone likes what you’re selling. Don’t ever change.

        @Aaron, you do actually have a responsibility as 1/2 of a conversation. You can’t place the blame entirely on interpretation. Cop. Out.

      • Aaron Curl says:

        Karen if you knew me personally, you would know I do NOT blame anyone for anything. Placing blame is a concept of living in a dualistic society, which I take no part of. Granted those who know me well think I am bonkers but it’s because I do not behave like a blind sheep following the herder. People SHOULD say exactly what they want at any given time…..but they don’t…they sugarcoat shit because they feel they have a responsibilty to the other person. NO they don’t. Don’t get me wrong….I don’t go out of my way to piss people off either but I and all humans NEED to start saying EXACTLY whats on their minds……Know what I mean?

      • Yup. I’m also a student in trying to dissolve dualistic thinking, though I think it’s ultimately a project for failure unless you give everything up to be a monk on a mountaintop. Language, with all its flaws, is all we have, you know?

        Someone once told me that we’re not responsible for what we think, only what we do. And speech is an action. So I guess if you’re going to just spout off without thought for the receiver, that’s fine as long as you are COMPLETELY unattached to the results. Not stuck in the dualistic thinking of rejecting or denying their response, but truly not minding that they are upset or pissed off. And you also can’t mind when they write you off or react in kind.

        When you circle the drain of all of this, silence is the most responsible action. (Which I’m modeling very well right now, aren’t I? ;) )

      • Karen P. I am mulling over a post on Paleo Dualism. If you want to get a leg up, consult Tne Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind, Julian Jaynes, Nd perhaps the most interesting book I ever read. 20 years ago.

      • Aaron: I suspect you’ll be OK with my next post. Top of the blog, now.

  73. 1.Mourning wood.

  74. I am paleo because I want to be able to survive,..save my own life- be able to be physically fit enough to weave my way out of any situation…but the feeling of superiority is an added bonus – I admit, I love the look I get from people when I order coffee with cream or stick a huge pat of butter on my steak…

  75. I think a lot of it depends on your age, I have no idea what the appeal is to people in their 20′s, for those of us in middle age … you get tired of saying “when I was young, I was quite athletic, when I was young, I was quite athletic ….”

    And getting a condescending look in return …

    When something gives you the chance to be yourself again, instead of gradually falling apart while consuming more and more prescription medications intended to extend your period of gradually falling apart …. you grab it and you run with it as far as it will take you.

    “Holy crap you look good” beats the hell out of “What the fuck happened?”

  76. I’m missing something… where the hell did Richard act like a dictator here? Yes he’s straight forward and honest and quite frankly I like people like him because I don’t have to worry about some “nice” person talking behind my back!

    After all he doesn’t delete comments just because he doesn’t agree with them… THAT would be dictatorship!!!

    If you don’t like his blogs don’t worry yourself by reading them!

  77. MamaLovey says:

    I am paleo because it is helping recover my autistic daughter. As a side effect I feel great on this diet too!

  78. “I’m Paleo-ish because I fucking love it. …And psychologically, keeping it real, I do love to feel superior to others, and this is the best way I’ve found. ”

    Funnily, I am not Paleo and I feel superior to Paleos because I don’t take some wild conjectures as basis for my lifestyle ;)

    • And yet these “wild conjectures” have helped so many.

      Doncha hate that?

      • No, I don’t hate that. In much the same vein that I don’t hate that being religious has helped many.

        Interestingly, arguments for lifestyle choices such as these and religious fervor are often strikingly similar :)

      • Evilcyber

        You really don’t have a rational dog in this race. Now, you can choose to concoct a witty comeback for the zero fans you have here, or you can stumble through the archives to cure your ignorance you’ve exposed.

      • Richard, don’t take it so personal when you are paid in kind.

        As for your archives, well, I actually read through quite a bit of those and would happily follow and actually defend your views – if they held up to scientific scrutiny.

        I’ll give you an example: The bioaccessibility of beta-carotene from raw tomatoes is low, while vitamin E’s from white bread is high – yet one is a raw fruit, while the other is a highly processed food item – http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf061818s

      • “As for your archives, well, I actually read through quite a bit of those and would happily follow and actually defend your views – if they held up to scientific scrutiny.”

        Good. Since they do.

        But the problem is, you don’t know my views and I think you’re lying when you say that you have “actually read through quite a bit of those.”

        “I’ll give you an example: The bioaccessibility of beta-carotene from raw tomatoes is low, while vitamin E’s from white bread is high – yet one is a raw fruit, while the other is a highly processed food item – http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf061818s

        Nobody could have the slightest familiarity with my views on Paleo diets and post something so non-sequitur and irrelevant to anything ever discussed here.

  79. Wild boar says:

    Put aside any thoughts of being a cultured higher being, biologically-speaking we’re animals. What sort of animal do you wanna be?
    Do you wanna be the hog, held captive in its stall (home/office), feed industrial crap with the specific purpose of getting fat and slaughtered, selling your freedom for cheap feed and a mud bath?
    Or do you wanna be the wild boar, roaming free, eating wild, displaying a proud physique to potential mates, terrorizing everything that gets in your way and living it up until the day you die from a bullet to the head or, with a bit of luck, finding old age before becoming lunch for the scavengers? There’s no comparison.
    Ditching sugar almost a year ago and then finding the paleo community 6 months ago was all I needed to bust out of the pigstall. I love the passion everyone here shares. Oink oink!

  80. I am paleo because I was sick of thinking like the prey. Now I think like a predator. Paleo has abolished my anxiety and depression, my self hatred and my victim consciousness. It gave me the strength to walk out on my abusive marriage.

  81. I’m paleo, because it just works. Skeptical of it through and through, after a dozen or so N=1 experiments (before I started using N=1 in my vocabulary!), I ended up with something approximating paleo. Another half a dozen or so experiments, and I graduated into full-fledged paleo, knowing exactly what I run best on. I don’t rely on what any paleo guru might say I should be doing.

  82. Cat Alberts says:

    I eat Paleo because after 20 years of crippling fatigue and depression and (as it turns out) ADD I had a complete break down. A year later someone advised me to try some really good supplements, and yes I had more energy. I realised in that moment that it was not a psychiatric thing that drained my energy, but a nutritional definciency.
    Google galore and I became a raw vegan. And yes I had more energy but I blew up like a balloon and had several gallstone colicks. When I finally realised that 95% carbs and 5 spoons of olive oil was not the way to go, I added meat and lost 20 pounds in 4 months. Google some more and (thanks Tim Ferriss) I ended up at RobbWolf’s site.
    Bought a freezer, bought grass fed meat, fixed my VitD deficiency, ditched grains legumes dairy nightshades coffee and chocolate (that hurt!) and I am finally beginning to feel strong energetic happy. Lots of fat and little carb has evened out my energy and has helped a lot with ADD symptoms (more dopamine?). Fat soluable nutrients are soooooo important, and a lifelong low fat diet did some damage.
    All in all, a life saver!

  83. I visited my grandparents this week. I visit because my grandad has increasingly severe dementia and had two strokes and two cardiac incidents this past summer. It was a good day for him because he thought I was my mom. Once upon a time he was the sergeant in charge of the USMC’s silent drill team. He was a real swingin’ bachelor who used to live on a sailboat in the bahamas. And now it’s a good day when he plays cards. He gets winded moving from room to room. My grandmother’s mind is slipping too. She’s having trouble connecting thoughts and integrating new ideas. She can barely make it down the stairs. And I’m pretty sure she’s lying about going to a support group for spouses who are being widowed in a lingering fashion. But they take their statins and drink their Ensure and eat their whole wheat bread with margarine and jam before washing it down with soy milk. Just like the doctors ordered.
    That’s why I’m Paleo.

    Because, seriously, fuck EVERYTHING about that.

    • Lxv,

      By way of gesture, Beatrice just got home as I was reading this and I handed over the pad so she could read the sadness,

      Yes, spred the sadness and debilitating, not just the jubilant happiness, though the latter should never be hidden in the slightest.

      • Lute Nikoley says:

        I totally concur with Richard. Sorry though about your grandparents, as I am one myself plus great gp.

      • Thanks for the thoughts,

        Any other week I’d say I do paleo because it makes me feel like the goddamned Batman. But this week . . . . I’m not afraid of dying, I’m afraid of merely existing as everything that is me crumbles and erodes. And you’re right. It does need to be shared. It’s so different to think about aging badly in abstract. Experiencing a concrete example first (or third) hand is just so hearbreaking and devastating. It’s the same difference between a genuinely heartwarming story and the glurgey steaming shit you get from those Chicken Soup for the Soul books.

        My dad’s side of the family dies very suddenly – in their 90s. And generally at home. They are leathery, gristly farming folk who eat the way they always have. Every part of the pig, lard cooked green beans from the garden, and none of that exotic spaghetti stuff. They also are the stubborn type who don’t go see doctors unless there’s a bone at a funny angle or they can’t stop the bleeding. There is no question in my mind which side of the family I want to age like.

  84. I was diagnosed with MS in May 2009 and went searching for root causes and ways that I could help myself. With the help of your blog and Mark Sisson’s blog (pointed out to me by my friend Aaron Blaisdell) and many other resources since the early days I feel great and haven’t looked back at my pre-Primal/Paleo self except in stunned disbelief and horror. Keep pushing the boundaries and fighting the good fight, Richard!

  85. I’m paleo because I wanted to look like paleo people.

    Actually, I started because I was a formerly happy, energetic person who couldn’t believe that the anxiety and depression that was overtaking me was something I was destined to live with forever. I just knew, deep down, that wasn’t how I was supposed to feel. After reading everything I possibly could on the topic, I figured I had nothing to lose. And, maybe I’d look like the paleo people. I felt better in ONE WEEK. What a waste of my mid 20′s. But, 30′s, here I come!

  86. I’m paleo because I can admit having to eat crow when it comes to paleo. I’m paleo because after mocking the diet and thinking it was insane…I tried it for a week and was hooked on how good I felt (not saying I didn’t struggle a lot in the beginning). I’m paleo because during this past year and 8 months, I have become a new person…through weight loss (65 lbs in the first 11 months and maintained after), through caring about what I do to my body AND what I put in it, through realizing I am strong (not just mentally now) via this lifestyle and crossfit, and through being excited about nutrition and sharing it with people (even amidst my travels and work). I’m paleo because I like the challenge of creating and experimenting in the kitchen and on the road (hello finding food in airports, gas stations, and at different parties). I’m paleo because I like how I feel and don’t have as many issues with allergies or headaches from sugar crashes. I’m paleo because I used to eat my emotions in carbs (a box of velveeta or a whole loaf of french bread dipped in olive oil and cheese when I was upset) and now I know I can just knock the shit out of a WOD and appreciate the relationship I now have with food. I’m paleo because I like being part of a community of people who care about food, farming practices, nutrition, and who are, generally, a great bunch of intelligent folks. I’m paleo because I like being a bad ass and having self-control. I’m paleo because I wanted to live longer and enjoy life more.

  87. I like to eat meat. Nothing else satisfies me.

  88. I’m paleo(ish) because fake/processed/artificial “foods” are not good enough for me. I’ve seen the consequences of indulging in these things, even the ones that are “healthy” and I’m not impressed.

    My mom has always been a “healthy” eater and an active person but she has had a belly pooch for the past ~8 years, despite being more active than I’ve ever seen her (chronic cardio). This year, her doctor tells her she’s pre-diabetic.

    Paleo is so easy and just makes sense. My weight is healthy, my mind is clear, and I just feel better when I eat clean and exercise in a paleo way.

    Plus, being paleo means that lying in my hammock in the sun is being responsible and healthy! 8)

  89. A tad late commenting, but figured I’d throw mine in as well.

    I’m paleo because, like many have said, it saved my life. Six months ago (at a mere 28), I was morbidly obese, in constant pain, clinically depressed and hearing voices, most of which have been occurring throughout my entire life. I was (falsely, as it turns out) diagnosed with Schizophrenia, and put on a variety of brain-numbing medications. When I wasn’t curled into an exhausted ball unable to so much as function, retain the most basic of information, or read a single sentence without having to repeat the action seven times in order to properly parse it, I was having panic attacks due to a sudden and overwhelming phobia of leaving the house, or encountering another human being. Aside from a host of massively self-destructive behaviors, I was also binging on terrible food until was in pain, or sick. At it’s worst, my father stepped in, convinced me to move in with him that he could better care for me, and demanded I switch doctors; the single best thing that ever happened to me.

    Within twelve hours of my first appointment, the Schizophrenia diagnosis was thrown out of the table, a round of tests were performed, and I was (correctly!) diagnosed with Celiac’s and gluten-based psychosis. My father, who has eaten a paleo-based diet for over 20 years (and, indeed, at 59 looks like a young man in his early 40s, lifts impossibly heavy weights at the gym, and climbs mountains like they’re goddamn hills), once again demanded I follow his way of eating to a T.

    Six months later, I’ve lost 60 pounds, I no longer hear voices, my moods are stable, I’m no longer in pain, and have not the slightest trace of depression or psychosis lingering in my head. I’ve certainly more weight to lose, but for the first time in over a decade I am functioning like a healthy, intelligent, capable adult.

    Apologies for the ramble, but thought it might be useful for anyone else out there that may be suffering some seemingly unexplained psychosis.

    • Great story Rachel. So glad you’re doing well. Keep it up, and come ramble any time. You never know how it could hit just the right person at just the right time and save a life.

      • Thank you, Sir, very sweet response, I appreciate it. And I am absolutely loving your site; long-time reader/lurker.

    • Awesome Rachel you give me hope for the Bi-Polar I and panic disorder!!!

      • I’m very glad! The difference is truly amazing, and not one I was suspecting. Must admit I went into it very skeptical, but it’s done absolute wonders. Upping dietary fat can do extraordinary things for those of us that suffer various psychological issues. Good luck to you!

      • I’m not sceptical Atkins did it for me years ago so I can only imagine what goin organic and grain free meat is gonna do!

    • Amazing story Rachael! Congrats on your success :)

  90. QUESTION… I’m still 25 lbs heavier than when I did Atkins and was working out every day last year but just got home from the clothing store and am a full size smaller than I was then… CRAZY!

    I’m now almost the same size I was when I met my hubby (1 size bigger) and 40lbs heavier… is this common doing Primal? I know this is Paleo site but won’t give up my dairy in small amounts lol… no Richard you’re not allowed to beat me lol… I’d like it too much ;-)

  91. I am paleo because it works. I feel better, perform better, look better. This year has been the best year of my life. There is no way back to grains.

  92. I am Paleo because I took the 30 day challenge for the he’ll of it and…
    Even though I am normal weight with no known metabolic issues my normal BP dropped from 110-120/70-80 to a steady 105/55 at 53 years of age. My skin improved to soft rather than dry and scaly. The scabby skin patches in my hair disappeared. The 5 hot flashes an hour from menopause just stopped. The sugar addiction seems conquered. The blood sugar dips and crashes are gone. I don’t need to eat between meals and am not that hungry. When I am really hungry it’s like a low rumbling rather than cold sweats and nausea. I haven’t lost any weight after 6 months but wasn’t really expecting too. My socially unacceptable excessive wind is gone thank goodness and my brain cells feel like they have been lubed which I suppose they have been.

  93. I’m paleo because I refuse to waste another day feeling like crap. I spent several years feeling sick almost every single day- sometimes I feel pissed about being failed by my doctor, but I mostly feel badass for fixing myself.

  94. I am Paleo because it resonated with me. After years of University fast food, I was tipping the scales at over 312 pounds. 10 weeks after starting, I’ve lost ~40 pounds of fat and have a goal to drop another 80. I’m eating the way I’ve always wanted to but always allowed myself to be shamed into not doing. I’m physically and mentally healthier, getting more fit every day, and have more energy than I’ve had since before I was medicated for ADHD as a young child. No more pain meds, no more inflammation, and the damage to my digestive system starting healing almost immediately. No more nausea when hungry, no more light headedness, no more feeling miserable from wake up to pass out.

  95. I’m Paleo because in one year I turned the clock back and look and feel better at 48 then I did at 28. I’m Paleo because my sons aquatic club had a Navy Seal Challenge and I did more pullups (25) then every guy on the team, that raised a few eyebrows and my teenager had to admit he was proud of his old man.

  96. I’m Paleo because being pre-diabetic, having early non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and using two inhalers a day wasn’t living. Friends my age are starting to complain about aging while I’m in the best health I’ve ever been in. I’m Paleo because it’s easier than being sick.

  97. I don’t know if I would completely describe myself as Paleo, but I eat a diet adequately rich in various fats to give the finger to the fraudulent National Cholesterol Education Program.

    Richard , have you seen this video from Jimmy Moore’s forum? An EXCELLENT expose of the fact that not only do these panel members get massive money from as much as 10 DIFFERENT drug companies ( 8 out of the 9 members) but SOME HOLD STOCK in statin drug companies.

    In 2004, an open letter was written by independent scientists from Harvard , UCLA etc. to the NCEP stating that thier own analysis did NOT find any scientific backing to the NCEP’s guidelines.

    This truely is a FANTASTIC video that ALL should see:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=3vr-c8GeT34

  98. I am Paleo because I am tired of people like Barbara J King towing some stupid line.
    I am Paleo because my parents and their parents have an unbroken lineage for the last 2 million years living and thriving as people.
    I am Paleo because I am tired of having crappy digestion and being 100+ pounds overweight.

    I have lost 60 pounds since March by eating real, actual food. Not brownies or cupcakes or corn nuggets -but- meat and freaking vegetables. If I hear one more crap response about whole wheat, balanced diets, “variety” or any other made up bullcrap I might just blow a gasket.

    I am Paleo because I finally got my sense of smell and I know what the backside of a ribeye smells like now, and that is what all the paleo haters who are playing at a mono-culture vegan mentality smell like.

  99. How can you not be paleo, or at least trying, once you see science poke holes in every other idea that is pushed by Dr. Oz, the medical establishment, etc. I still like pizza, but at least I know now what the tradeoff is every time I enjoy a slice…Until paleo has all the holes shot in it that the High Carb Low Fat approach has, it’s Paleo for me.

  100. cndnrose says:

    I was anxious and depressed, with low energy, acne, and dandruff. My knees were starting to ache when I climbed too many stairs, my libido was dwindling, and my brain was foggy. My moods would swing like a pendulum.

    I’m paleo-ish because that is all gone or getting better since starting 2 months ago. I haven’t lost any weight yet, I have almost 50 lbs to lose, but the other results are good enough to encourage me to keep going. I have a feeling the dairy is stalling me.

    Anyone else have one thing that the found really hard to give up? I feel almost like t’s unfair, I’ve given up so much already…

    • It’s sugar for me! Gluten makes me feel sick (small amounts don’t seem to bother me, so I cheat occasionally), but I have ice cream and Reese’s PB cups from the office candy jar fairly regularly. I have dairy sometimes too; the ice cream, sometimes heavy cream in my coffee, small amounts of cheese a few times a week. Some folks do better giving up everything early on, some do better by easing in. I do find that it’s easier to lose when I have less dairy; maybe you can cut down on it some and see if that helps?

  101. I never do anything by halves. When I found out I had high cholesterol at the age of 22 and several family members, including my dad succumbed to heart disease, I followed the “heart smart diet” to a T. Despite avoiding all sources of fat religiously, my triglycerides went up up up along with my weight. And for the first time in my life I was over weight. 10 years later I had my first pregnancy and consulted the doctor with concern about the 40 extra pounds I gained on this “heart healthy diet.” And, isn’t being over weight a risk factor for heart disease? Her response was…wait for it…”welcome to middle age.” I was 33 at the time! 3 years later after my second pregnancy, I happened perchance to see a story in the local paper about celebrities using the Atkins diet to loose weight, and read it expecting to find nothing more than fluff, but what really caught my attention, was one line which stated that recently there was mounting evidence that low carb diets not only lowered triglycerides, but in fact may improve all heart disease risk factors. Well, I immediately went on-line and looked up this Atkins diet, and bought the book that day, figuring that nothing could be detrimental to my health if tried for a few months. And of course you’ve guessed the rest. Triglycerides were better than better, HDL was up. LDL didn’t budge despite eating gobs of fat. This was worrying at first since I suffer from, what I now know to be, the non-disease of familial hypercholesterolemia. I have been reading avidly ever since. And Experienced the best health (and looked better with increased muscle mass) I have ever had in my adult life. That is…until the doctors insisted on removing half of my thyroid due to a benign lump found shortly after my 2nd pregnancy, likely caused by two pregnancies on the SAD. This is of course another story. 3 years after discovering Atkins, despite being in excellent health and having a perfectly functioning thyroid, as evidenced by blood tests, they did the surgery, and the past 5 years have been a quest to get back to the excellent health I enjoyed for those 3 wonderful years. Through everyone’s comments and blog posts, I have been plodding along, and slowly feeling better. I won’t bore you with the story of my attempts to seek help from conventional medical parishioners. Belief in the current conventional medical system is akin to following a religion. And I haven’t been religious since my catholic grade school days converted me into an atheist. Fortunately there are the Dr. Eades, and Dr. Kruse’s out there to name a few, along with all the other brilliant bloggers such as your self. Keep up the great work Richard!

  102. I am a 20-something graduate student. I have never been obese (but had a bit of padding), suffered mild acne (now gone), and had formerly struggled with what I was told was an “addictive personality”. Some part of me always said “bullshit–you just LOVE living and feeling”. Nonetheless, I did have some issues that led to poor academic performance and a weakened ability to delay gratification. You can imagine how, then, I was anxious about my ability to stick to paleo. Well…as of today I have kept a 99% strict paleo diet with great results. I have gained tremendous willpower from eating p

    I have lost 20 lbs of fat (maybe more, since I have gained more lean mass). I am brimming with confidence and best of all my mental abilities have dramatically improved! I am sharper, more focused, funnier in presentations, more extroverted (perfectly OK to be introverted, mind you), I think I am smarter, my baseline mood is much better and I am the guy paying rapt attention to the professor at 9:45 pm on a Tuesday night while other students are getting caffeinated (so late at night!) or eating potato chips (shudder!) or munching on a bready deli sandwich with the thinnest sliver of faux-meat barely visible, and a sorry excuse of lettuce poking out (SAD). Can you sense a hint of self-righteousness? You should hear what some say about my eating style. In short, I am much more capable as a graduate student managing incredible reading loads of up to 5hrs of dense reading per day.

    As an added bonus: I like the feel good chemicals that my gut releases (gut lining has more neurons than brain btw) when I eat real food. I also like the online paleo community at blogs like this and MDA.

    Thank you for your blog Richard!

  103. I ate a fuck-load of free grapes & cheeses at a meeting last night, so I’m not strictly Paleo. I am nicely full. Mmm, cheese Gromit!

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