It seems like it's becoming more acceptable for people to avoid eating things like bread and cereal. It's even becoming more popular to say you eat like a caveman. Should we be worried?
Paleo has become popular in recent years and my thoughts are focused on what will happen when the Paleo Diet gets more mainstream. What would happen if a big food conglomerate took notice and started using the term "paleo" in its marketing and advertising?
What will happen when there are more conflicting opinions about what you can eat on a paleo diet? What will happen when different versions of the diet start popping up on bookshelves? By the way, is anyone interested in my new Two Week Paleo Fat Blast Diet? I'm kidding!
Is the Paleo Diet Lifestyle Getting Muddled?
I hope not. You already see large corporations jumping on the gluten free bandwagon. A lot of these foods are still heavily processed and total junk... but hey, at least they're gluten free! The food company doesn't care as long as it sells more bags and boxes of their man-made goodies.
My hope is that the paleo lifestyle will keep its integrity in tact. Right now paleo has a lot of roots at a local level. It promotes supporting local farms, eating organic foods, eating real foods and being a conscientious consumer. It has this fighting against the institution, grass-roots type of feeling to it and I like that.
And really... it is a fight. It's a fight for your health, for your well-being and for your life. I don't mean to be dramatic. I'm just saying that we are responsible for ourselves. We have to put up barriers to the bad information and mis-information that surrounds health and nutrition. We have to keep the weeds out of the garden so-to-speak.
Look around you. Most people are struggling to stay healthy and fit. In most cases it's a battle of the mind and a lack of good information.
I heard a story recently of someone who had no clue what they could do with a whole chicken. They didn't know how to prepare it, how to cook it or what type of meals they could make with it. When the person was asked whether they ever had chicken before they answered that they had prepared frozen chicken breasts from a bag several times but never a whole chicken. This is a grown adult that works for a living.
We've been trained to seek out convenience. We are bombarded with foods that come in a box, bag or are frozen. We think eating foods in these states will save us time. Maybe it will. But at what cost? Is your health and fitness worth it? I don't think so.
The paleo diet is not a quick fix. We have been marketed to for a long time that you can drop fifteen pounds in two weeks if you will just take the pills and follow the workout schedule.
That may be true in the short-term. But what happens when you stop taking the pills, stop eating three grapefruits a day or stop the insane workout schedule? What then?
The main reason I found the paleo lifestyle so attractive is that it's based on research and has been tested. It also has a foundation built on the common sense argument that as human beings we are meant to consume natural, organic, whole foods. We are not meant to consume large quantities of "fake" food that was thought up in a laboratory somewhere. If this is a radical way to think then I'm not sure I want to know what normal is.
Choose Your Paleo Gurus Carefully
Another thing to watch out for is the growing number of "experts" on the Paleo Diet. I don't claim to know even close to everything about health and nutrition but I have lived the paleo lifestyle for over two years. I've achieved results and I still continue to learn.
Whenever something becomes popular, especially when it comes to diet, it seems that more and more experts seem to pop up. Experts can also come in the form of large corporations that are seeking profits.
Angelo Coppola produces the popular podcast, Latest in Paleo, and he talked about this same topic in the most recent broadcast. He said, "Don't be fooled by the paleo label. We've come a long way in the last couple of years for one main reason, and that reason is that the paleo approach works and people have talked about it. And during the last several years where people have been exposed to the paleo approach and tried the paleo approach and have seen success, let's be clear, there have been no paleo products to speak of. Many have been successful despite of this, or is it because of this?"
I think there is always an opportunity to learn from other people. But there is a line to be drawn between someone doing their life's work and someone else engaging in a hobby or a big corporation looking to pad their bottom line.
As the paleo diet becomes more popular it will be important for you to look for useful sources of information from "experts" who know what they're talking about. Look for people who walk the walk as well as talk the talk.
It's also important to realize that your results will not be exactly the same as someone else's. We are all on this paleo lifestyle journey for our own reasons and goals. Seek out people who have achieved what you want to achieve. Take advantage of their wisdom and knowledge to help you achieve the results you're after.
Most importantly, take action on what you learn. Don't just focus on information, focus on implementation. Implementation of good lifestyle habits is that 10% that is responsible for 90% of your results.
Food is something that fuels your lifestyle. You can eat really delicious food with a paleo diet. Does it take a little more time to plan and prepare? Sure, I'll give you that. Is it such a large difference in time that it should cause you to just go ahead and eat the processed junk that lines the grocery store aisles? I don't think so.
Sooner or later you pay the price. Either invest a little time and money to eat better and healthier now or spend time and money later fighting health issues. This is the way it works.
There are the way things are and the way you wish things would be. You can wish you could just eat whatever you wanted and be fit and healthy for life. The reality is you need to take care of yourself by choosing to eat the best quality food you can afford and taking the time to plan and prepare your meals.
So learn everything you can from the best sources you can find. Utilize role models for inspiration and setting goals. Most importantly, take action! Remember that you can get results by keeping it simple and following the fundamentals of the paleo diet.
Hey there... if you enjoyed this post please give it a 'Like' on Facebook. We will wish for a bounty of grass-fed beef to show up on your doorstep if you do!
Image credit 1