So, here’s my follow up post to yesterday’s Steak and Eggs video…which I love, by the way. I think I watched it about 20 times and then sang and danced it around the house the rest of the night; which Rick really enjoyed, too (not really).
I know some of you may have thought after reading the previous post, “But, I thought she ate Paleo and she’s always talking to me about it, or posting pictures of her Paleo creations…did she have a change of heart??”
My answer would be, “Well, yes and no.” I think my opinion would be better expressed by borrowing a line from Shakespeare,
“A rose by any other name smells just as sweet”.
Lately, I feel like the word Paleo has become over-used and sometimes mis-used. It is no secret that in the CrossFit community most athletes and coaches follow and highly recommend the Paleo way of eating; which is great. It’s a clean way of eating and for most people, it’s an answer to health issues, food allergies, better sleep, more energy; the list is endless. However, sometimes I think the whole word and name gets abused.
What I mean is, why can’t we just call it eating clean?
No processed foods; sticking to the basics of lean meats, veggies, nuts, fruit.
Does it have to have a name?
Do we all have to proclaim we are on a Paleo diet?
And if I want to have some feta cheese on my salad or more than one serving of fruit a day, Does that make me less of a person?
Does that make me less of a CrossFitter?
Does that make me a failure?
This is where I think the word becomes abused. It gives some people the notion that it’s either all or nothing; instead of encouraging their small efforts along the way of eliminating certain foods from their diet piece by piece. Some people don’t care to cut out all dairy or all grains, but they still eat clean or cleaner than they used to….and yet, they’re still not considered true Paleo. And that’s when I say, ” Well, at least this person is doing the best they can with what they’ve got” and if they truly are then great for them.
Then comes the question, “Is Paleo for everyone?”
I mean, this may be a rare case of extreme talent, but let’s look at Michael Phelps. I’m pretty sure when he won 8 gold medals in the Olympics, his diet was nothing close to Paleo. And who knows, maybe he could have won more if it was OR maybe he would have competed a lot worse. I also know many semi and pro triathletes and marathoners who don’t eat strict Paleo and they’re kicking ass and taking names at their sport.
I do think that a lot of people could benefit from eating Paleo, but not a lot of people are willing to eat this way and that is completely ok with me. Who says they have to? Sure, I’ll advocate for it and recommend it, but I’m not going to think less of a person because they still eat cheese or have a slice of bread. Because honestly, if I’m not 100%…why would I expect someone else to be?
The Great Debate on Twitter
I started getting annoyed with the Paleo-talk a few weeks ago when people were talking back and forth over twitter about Dr. Barry Sears, creator of The Zone Diet, reading one of the Paleo books; twitter followers were appalled. Everyone was making a big deal out of Dr. Sears possibly “converting to Paleo” and, blah blah blah. And as I was reading everyone’s conversations, I thought, “Who the hell cares?” So what if he’s reading about the Paleo Diet? And if he decides to eat this way, do we discredit all his previous research, writings, efforts? No. What does it matter? He’s not a god and neither is the person that wrote the Paleo book, and why are we so concerned about them and what they are reading?
Is it healthy or is it an obsession?
I’ve had an obsession with food before. Been there, done that, and I don’t care to go back.
Luckily, my obsession with food was the opposite of the contestants we see featured on Heavy or The Biggest Loser.
There comes a point when our passion for something can turn into an unhealthy obsession. We let it rule our life, it rules where we go, what we do, who we talk to or don’t talk to, etc. It’s not a very fun place to be and when taken too far, it becomes miserable; which is why I haven’t dove deep down into one way of eating or another. Personally, I know that I need and prefer balance in my life, and I’d like to think most people do, too.
For example, I know that if I run too much, too far, too fast, day after day, I get stress fractures.
Just as if I do too many pull ups, day after day, I develop bloody, callused, man hands.
I also know that if I eat too much sugar for multiple days in a row, I grow a food baby in my belly, I get lethargic, and I feel crappy.
So what do I do? What am I even talking about?
I eat the best that I can day to day, without preoccupation and without obsessing over it. I eat clean 90% of the time, and whether or not I call it Paleo or Primal or eating clean matters to me not. Sometimes I log my food, sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I eat cheese, sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I pass on a piece of chocolate cake, sometimes I don’t.
At the end of the day, food is fuel for our body; our means for living and thriving. Food is not and should not be our god. It should not rule our life. Yes, we should and do need to be concerned about what we eat, considering more than half of us are obese, have diabetes, or heart disease, but just as we all don’t have to exercise the same way, and we all don’t have to drink the same brand of bottled water, or wear the same brand of clothes, we all don’t have to eat the same exact way.
It’s as simple as the car analogy people often use: If we fill our cars with clean, pure gasoline it runs and performs better vs. if we fill it with the cheap diluted crap. The same goes for our bodies… We all don’t fill gas at the same station, we all have different brands of gas cards, yet our cars still run.
I know that was probably not the best comparison, but regardless…I’m done here. I could go on forever if you kept reading and I fear at this point I have lost many of you already. So, take whatever I said, “For What It’s Worth” a penny or a grain of salt, and thank you for reading.