Moving Beyond “One Trick Pony” Paleo

In many ways the Paleo playbook in retrospect—back to when I got involved in 2008—models a tendency in humans to have easy, formulaic answers and solutions to complex problems—rather like church and state as just-so solutions to complex philosophical and social problems.

At various times and places, the predominant emphasis was on one of these things:

  1. It’s the grains
  2. It’s the high PUFA vegetable & seed-based oils
  3. It’s the toxins and anti-nutrients
  4. It’s the corn and corn-fed livestock
  5. It’s the carbohydrates
  6. It’s the processed food

I’m sure I’ve overlooked a devil or two (I just can’t get excited about avoiding certain light spectrum!). But these evils gave rise to various fads all along the way, sometimes emphasizing one evil, sometimes integrating several. I’ve participated in and promoted a number of them myself, if not all of them.

  1. “”paleo” baked goodies from breads, to cookies, to various treats, desserts…even candy
  2. “”paleo” enterprises with a giveaway a day
  3. “”paleo” echo chambers called conferences and symposiums
  4. Thousands of “paleo” How-To and Cookbooks
  5. “”paleo” orthorexia in the form of hysterical fear of “toxins” and “anti-nutrients””
  6. Fear of starch, followed by a limited embrace, dubbed “safe”
  7. “”paleo” Low-Carb
  8. “”paleo” Very-Low-Carb
  9. “”paleo” Ketosis, dubbed “nutritional”
  10. “”paleo” for Women, Girls, and Mothers
  11. Wheat Bellies and Grain Brains (the apparent fad du jour)

There are many others but for purposes of brevity I’m only touching on the mostly diet related stuff and setting aside all the various lifestyle, fitness, athletic stuff like workouts, play, fasting, footwear (and lack thereof), cold exposure, sleep, sex, social relationships, workaholism, etc. And frankly, I find the endeavors in all of those lifestyle things to be far more “paleo” than virtually all of the dietary and food stuff, which, frankly, has kinda been a Royal Fucking Mess.

I really just wanted to toss this out there for thought and discussion, so rather than a long essay, let me show you some of what I’ve been reading and chewing on during my recent low-activity status after spine surgery.


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Richard Nikoley

I started writing Free The Animal in late 2003 as just a little thing to try. 20 years later, turns out I've written over 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from diet, health, lifestyle...to philosophy, politics, social antagonism, adventure travel, expat living, location and time independent—while you sleep— income by geoarbitrage, and food pics. I intended to travel the world "homeless," but the Covidiocy Panicdemic squashed that. I became an American expat living in Thailand. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. ... I leave the toilet seat up. Read More

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