The stereotypical Paleo diet consists of chicken, broccoli, and coconut oil. Same thing, day in and day out, no room for error or modification. You MUST stick to the
dogma plan or else you’re WRONG.
My husband, brother-in-law, and I watched “Fed Up” tonight on Netflix, and it was very well done and we all agreed on it. But it also sparked a conversation between the three of us about carbohydrate consumption – a hotly debated topic within the Paleosphere.
I wrote about my thoughts on carbs here, so that’s not what this post is about. It is rather about how we view the Paleo diet. Some people view it very narrowly: here’s the things you can eat, here’s the things you can’t eat, period. Better not step off the path or you’re going to die an early death! That is called dogmatism.
The other, more healthy, view is to embrace Paleo as a lifestyle and as a template with regards to nutrition. You have your basic framework, but almost every person will have some kind of modification.
I think the other thing that many people fail to realize is that the basis of Paleo is nutrient-density. You are NOT getting the proper nutrients if what you eat is chicken and lettuce at every dinner. It’s not just about avoiding certain things like gluten and processed sugar. It’s about getting the biggest bang for your buck. It’s about loading up on veggies at every meal – and having variety in the vegetables you eat so you get the maximum phytonutrients possible. It’s about eat the most nutritious food you can afford. It’s about the quality of your food, where it originated, and how it was raised.
It is NOT about sticking to a rigid dogma! It is NOT about following one person’s advice!
There are many voices in the Paleo world, and it’s important to draw information from many sources. At first, I got sucked into the “carbs are bad” camp, but with more reading and education I formed a more well-rounded opinion. Plus, my opinions and knowledge are ever-changing because that’s the nature of nutritional science! There are new discoveries or clarifications made every day – so it makes no sense scientifically to get locked into a dogma.
I understand that it’s easier to stick to a routine, especially if you’re not into cooking and have a busy life. But people make time for things that are important to them. If having a healthy life and a healthy legacy (yay epigenetics!) is important to you, I can assure you that you CAN and WILL make time and allocate money for doing just that.