So in brief the Paleo diet claims to take us back to the diet of our Paleolithic ancestors, as clearly this is what we were supposed to be eating (not sure how the logic stacks up on that really) and the claim is made that Paleolithic Wo(man) was strong and healthy(how the hell do we know that?) and a large proportion of modern day Wo(man) are now overweight and unhealthy. Paleo preachers put this down to our move away from the hunter- gatherer diet but personally I think it could be just as much to do with how much easier hunting and gathering food is now. Driving through McD's is so much less energy expending than spending the day trying to hunt an animal- god I'd be fit if I had to regularly do that and I'd really consider how hungry I was before I took to the pursuit, unlike a quick stroll and grab at the pantry or fridge. The thing is, my beef with these fad diets is the sensationalism, the packaging, the obsession, and the preaching.
We all know what makes us fat- eating too much food and not exercising enough- that is the MAIN thing. Most people with half a brain also know what a healthy diet looks like- mostly unprocessed foods, a high intake of fresh fruit and veges and some proteins like meat and stuff. It's not rocket science. And the growing problem of obesity- treat foods are available everywhere from the garden centre to the petrol station and all places in between and they're super affordable. These treats contain giant amounts of energy from whole foods all condensed into a tiny mouth sized morsel. So why does this regular fascination with a new, end all illness and obesity diet keep raising its ugly annoying head. It's because people can't accept that they are just fat and lazy!
I've found that the most successful Paleo dieters are the genetically athletic build type, the stressy perfectionists and the majorly OCD who get obsessed with something and make their whole life about it. These are the most annoying people who rub their food in your face all the time and arrogantly claim that they are super healthy due to this amazing eating regime. The thing is, these people probably never struggle with their weight yet arrogantly believe that it's their amazingly sensible choices that has led them to this wonderful state of being. Recently I stopped following a well known(in NZ) nutritionist on facebook for precisely these reasons. Her know it all attitude, and arrogance all garnished with pictures of her 'winning at life' pure paleo food did not make me smile and think about how I could improve my diet. It actually made me want to chew up chips and spit them in her face!!!
One must only search instagram for #paleo for the real world(in pictures) of competitive eating, high-fiving and preaching the paleo way. The thing is, I'm not sure I've seen a picture of this amazingly healthy paleolithic (Wo)man- probably there were no camera's back then - they were too busy hunting and gathering to invent camera's. Well here's a picture of some art from the paleolithic period...
It looks like this Paleo artist either had special powers which allowed them to see into the future or this model has discovered the secret power of grains before her time!!! The shocking truth might just be that in fact- wo(man) just eat what ever is edible about them and as much as they feel like given its availability.
Aside from the jaw grinding annoyance of this untasty trend I think what really makes me hate this indulgent attitude is that it is such a 1st world sport. We have so much food that we are bulging at the seams but still we just smear it in the faces of the starving by using as much as we can in televised reality cooking competitions and singling out certain foods as not good enough to travel through our precious bodies. Could you stand in front of a starving family(and I mean literally starving) whose only sustenance is rice and tell them that you don't eat rice because your Paleo ancestors didn't, or that at home you eat food while you watch people cook food on TV?
Lastly one of my pet peeves is the desire people have to recreate an meal that is now deemed basically poisonous for them to eat as part of their new paleo religion. Last week I saw on facebook a post about a brownie that had nothing resembling brownie ingredients in it. It was proudly toted out to all the loyal Paleo followers to praise the Paleo lord that they could eat something that apparently tasted like a brownie but is actually healthy. Ok, if you want a brownie in your gob just eat a brownie- it's a treat. If you are obsessively creating recipes so that you can still eat the same tasting diet out of obscure possibly really expensive ingredients then your problems go further than your diet- find a better obsession like feeding those that don't have food to play with.
So to be clear- no I don't want to try your brownie free brownie made from mushed up dates and spinach, and no I don't believe that going Paleo is going to make sunshine shine out my eyes, solve all my ailments and make me live forever. I think you are an annoying OCD freak and I'm going to mess up your instagram searches of #paleo pictures by tagging all my food pics with #paleo. Also I might just start carrying a pocket full of white flour(yes white) and sprinkle it over your food when you're not looking.
P.S- to be honest, I'm a sucker for the cooking shows...
P.P.S- check out my facebook page for my Paleo hotdog recipe and the brownie free brownie recipe
P.P.S- It's ideas like these that really make me roll my eyes...Pale Coffee- desperate times