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Paleo"ness" How much is too much?

by (220)
Updated October 31, 2014 at 3:04 AM
Created June 10, 2010 at 8:16 PM

So, we all love (or soon will love) the paleo lifestyle. The question is remains where is the line you have drawn in the sand between pursuing optimal health and fitness, and being a crazy person who romanticizes the stone-age. I am all for being of optimal health, but I for one am not prepared to dissect all of the non paleo aspects of my life until I have my diet, exercise, body-composition, and sleep dialed in. Once I have those aspects of my life the best they can be. Maybe I will be prepared to obsess over the details.

What's your line in the sand?
And what's the most extreme act of following paleo you have taken?

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56616 · February 06, 2011 at 4:01 AM

lol I reviewed that book here http://huntgatherlove.com/content/sex-dawn

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2427 · February 06, 2011 at 3:15 AM

An interesting book published recently named "Sex at Dawn" argues we evolved with multi-male, multi-female relationships, which was a win for everyone.

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78422 · February 05, 2011 at 8:43 PM

What should I brush with? Just the toothbrush? There's no way I'm using fluoride-laden/artificial sweetened toothpaste!

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787 · February 05, 2011 at 8:13 PM

TV is just storytelling! You just have to choose your raconteur wisely. I'm sure you've heard this before, but brushing with baking soda is a bad bad idea (and hardly paleo). It's extremely abrasive and destroys not only the plaque, but also the thin protective biofilm that we need. If it's making your teeth whiter, its because its wearing them down :(

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1061 · February 05, 2011 at 3:50 AM

So stop, pfw, stop.

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9812 · February 05, 2011 at 3:30 AM

I've only done it once, but it did work- I slathered on a couple layers & let it dry before going out (apparently you will fry if you don't let it absorb). I went to water country USA from I think about 2-5 in the afternoon, in full sun, and I was totally fine. I've read mixed reviews, so proceed cautiously!

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7821 · February 05, 2011 at 1:12 AM

Dude, I already called GG. Why keep going?

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1061 · February 04, 2011 at 10:21 PM

It is only too bad you do NOT what logic are discussion are, pfw. As you obviously allow [yourself] to [say] things that you criticize other people for. You should read what you write before you post it, pfw, and maybe clean up your logic and get rid of your BLATANT double standards. Please note - When I read what I posted earlier, I re-posted it with corrections. Other than that -your emotional OVER REACTIONS remain RISIBLE, pfw.

1f96ce108240f19345c05704c7709dad
1061 · February 04, 2011 at 9:52 PM

It is only too bad you do NOT what logic are discussion are, pfw. As you obviously allow to things that you criticize other people for. You should read what you write before you post it, pfw, and maybe clean up your logic and get rid of your BLATANT double standards.

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7324 · February 04, 2011 at 8:52 PM

Does the coconut oil actually work? I am very very pale so I need sunscreen of some sort

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7821 · February 04, 2011 at 8:40 PM

Although also well played. GG

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78422 · February 04, 2011 at 8:39 PM

I think being too attached to a person can do more harm than good. Just my opinion, most relationships that get too "serious" become EGO struggles and neither person can actually make the other happy. Loving oneself is important. I think sex should be fun and not restricted, but perhaps in modern day culture this is something that's hard to digest. We have been conditioned by culture since our birth, so this plays a huge part in how we perceive the world and the society we live in.

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7821 · February 04, 2011 at 8:38 PM

Obvious troll is obvious.

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1061 · February 04, 2011 at 7:39 PM

Your MASSIVELY OVER REACTION speaks VOLUMES about you, pfw. VOLUMES. Your OBVIOUSLY thin skin shows how UNSURE you are of your OPINION. YOUR INCORRECT, unfounded ASSUMPTION about me deciding "to fly off the handle" as "the basis for ... [my]... outrage" is LAUGHABLE, pfw. You "have zero information about my beliefs" or my state of mind, pfw, ZERO. It is risible for you to even dream about, let alone state, that I am OUTRAGED, especially when you rant on about ME making assumptions about YOU! RISIBLE, pwf, RISIBLE.

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7821 · February 04, 2011 at 6:19 PM

And on the subject of bad philosophy, your STRONG ASSERTIONS in ALL CAPS about my beliefs, when you clearly have no clue whatsoever what I believe or profess, is yet another example of confirmation bias. Somehow you got it in your head that I have some bias about monogamy, and instead of testing your belief with a question or re-reading the text, you decide to fly off the handle using your INCORRECT assumption as the basis for your outrage. You have zero information about my beliefs when it comes to marriage, unless you're actually my brother Terrance and are just screwing with me. Unlikely.

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7821 · February 04, 2011 at 6:16 PM

You've wildly misunderstood my answer. I have neither bias nor opinion, and neither is implied by the statement you quoted; I take no position for or against either practice. I'm not sure how to reduce it any further, but to restate: any individual picking out paleo behaviors to confirm their existing biases is engaged in bad philosophy (specifically confirmation bias). A guy who decides that polygamy is the way to live because he can find polygamous tribes is engaging in confirmation bias.

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1061 · February 04, 2011 at 5:58 PM

pfw -your statement, "I've noticed that this reasoning is often used as a way to justify any random bias a person might have (Melissa's answer about polygamy highlights a perfect example), which is just bad philosophy.", is really bad philosophy. You are of course entitled to your opinion, just as Melissa is. It is a point of FACT that many HG tribes were strictly monogamous. If your opinion differs from the facts, fine; but, at least acknowledge that it is your OPINION - and is no more valid than Melissa's. As it stands, YOUR bias about monogamy makes Paleo look bad.

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20411 · November 02, 2010 at 12:04 PM

Yeah, but I can't get over the ick factor. I should probably add brains and rotting fish to the list. I don't really care how healthy they might be. Frankly, anything that is gross is off my list (very subjective). Not going to MovNat or PrimalCon either.

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1638 · November 01, 2010 at 10:45 PM

Dave S - in some states with a strong hunting tradition, if you hit a deer the police will give you the option to take it home and, if you don't want it, they will deliver it to the local soup kitchen. And I will say, we came across a good-sized buck once that we KNEW had only been there less than 30 minutes; seemed a shame to let all that fresh vension go to waste! So, maybe next time you see one ...

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3651 · November 01, 2010 at 9:27 PM

bugs covered in dark chocolate are actually pretty good.

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3651 · November 01, 2010 at 9:24 PM

i kinda want to retag this. sort of offensive to certain groups of people other than paleo who really don't need to be picked on.

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1215 · November 01, 2010 at 8:07 PM

A real cave-man doesn't need an excuse to get around any way. People should be free to do what they want as long as they are honest and don't hurt anyone.

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20411 · November 01, 2010 at 7:03 PM

Like leotards - ie. caveman dance wear. Okay, I'm not gonna stop and pick up the dead deer at the side of the road - I did think about it though.

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7821 · June 11, 2010 at 7:40 PM

@Girl Gone Primal: I just posted up my theory and what I'm doing.

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7821 · June 11, 2010 at 3:25 PM

My only caution with the SCD is that they seem overly complacent about nuts and nut flours. My angle is based on research done by Alan Ebringer, who found elevated levels of a specific bacterium in Crohn's patients, and further established that the auto-immune response might be related to a particular enzyme produced by that bacteria when it digests starch. The SCD also attempts to avoid starch but for whatever reason doesn't seem to exclude nuts, which also have a decent amount of starch in them.

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105 · June 11, 2010 at 2:53 PM

@Girl Gone Primal Have your sister-in-law look into the book "Breaking the Viscous Cycle." It's a diet similar to paleo (no grains, only sugar allowed is honey) but encourages eating homemade yogurt with probiotics. There are probably thousands of testimonials of Crohn's patients who have used the diet successfully to control their disease.

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7821 · June 11, 2010 at 11:43 AM

Yep, that's the blog and the story. I've been meaning to write a post explaining the scientific basis for the experiment for months now but I always get lazy and fail. You're the sixth person to ask about it in the past month though so maybe I should get off my ass and just do it.

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2319 · June 11, 2010 at 2:59 AM

his very interesting blog is here: http://crohnscarnivore.blogspot.com/

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2520 · June 11, 2010 at 12:29 AM

Oooh, my sister-in-law has just been diagnosed with Crohn's and I've been searching for anecdotal and scientific evidence to support my assumptions that cutting the grains and possibly other fibre would help her find a solution to her pain and problems. Do you have your story written anywhere? What else helped you find your control tactics?

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1165 · June 10, 2010 at 8:56 PM

From what ive read couples were monogamous, it was just serial monogamy and the women were the ones who moved on. I dont think polygamy came until we settled the land and could build resources that made us more attractive than other mates. I actually think that serial monogamy is still in our genes its just that in modern society it is indeed better to settle with and be faithful to one person.

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220 · June 10, 2010 at 8:38 PM

Was suppose to say paleotards, in reference to people who take it way to far. Not sure how to edit the tag, I'll work on it.

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220 · June 10, 2010 at 8:36 PM

Wow, thats a good one. My mind never even went that direction.

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13983 · June 10, 2010 at 8:34 PM

What does "tards" mean?

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7821 · June 10, 2010 at 9:02 PM

Line in the sand: The point where I actually try to emulate anything paleo on the basis of my belief that it's paleo.

Paleo is a heuristic. You use it to generate hypotheses and to figure out what to eat for dinner. Then, crucially, you test the hypothesis (and eat the dinner) and see if it actually works for you.

You become a "paleotard" when you start pretending like you actually know how paleo people lived and begin trying to emulate it. We don't know to any degree of certainty and emulation on the basis of "they did it" is not well founded, especially given the massive variety in human behaviors across populations. I've noticed that this reasoning is often used as a way to justify any random bias a person might have (Melissa's answer about polygamy highlights a perfect example), which is just bad philosophy. Test those ideas, don't blindly follow them because you think they're paleo!

Most paleorific thing I've done: Dunno. Since the above is my philosophy around the whole thing, I guess I haven't done much on the basis of "following paleo". To date, my paleo interventions are:

1) Wearing moccasins. Appears to have solved a weak arch thing I've had since puberty. Win.

2) Stopped using soap except in extreme cases. Appears to have had zero effect on cleanliness/body odor/etc. Removal of unnecessary activity = win.

3) Zero carb/VLC/no starch/no fiber. Appears to have successfully controlled Crohn's. Ongoing experiment, though. Not ready to declare a win, although I'm excited with the results. It's also an extreme variation of paleo which you wouldn't settle on unless you limited your paleo research to Stefansson and the Alaskan Arctic Inuit; it took modern feedback to justify it in my mind.

4145b36f1488224964edac6258b75aff
7821 · June 11, 2010 at 11:43 AM

Yep, that's the blog and the story. I've been meaning to write a post explaining the scientific basis for the experiment for months now but I always get lazy and fail. You're the sixth person to ask about it in the past month though so maybe I should get off my ass and just do it.

4145b36f1488224964edac6258b75aff
7821 · June 11, 2010 at 3:25 PM

My only caution with the SCD is that they seem overly complacent about nuts and nut flours. My angle is based on research done by Alan Ebringer, who found elevated levels of a specific bacterium in Crohn's patients, and further established that the auto-immune response might be related to a particular enzyme produced by that bacteria when it digests starch. The SCD also attempts to avoid starch but for whatever reason doesn't seem to exclude nuts, which also have a decent amount of starch in them.

1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01
2520 · June 11, 2010 at 12:29 AM

Oooh, my sister-in-law has just been diagnosed with Crohn's and I've been searching for anecdotal and scientific evidence to support my assumptions that cutting the grains and possibly other fibre would help her find a solution to her pain and problems. Do you have your story written anywhere? What else helped you find your control tactics?

13c5a9f1678d75b93f269cdcf69f14d5
2319 · June 11, 2010 at 2:59 AM

his very interesting blog is here: http://crohnscarnivore.blogspot.com/

4145b36f1488224964edac6258b75aff
7821 · June 11, 2010 at 7:40 PM

@Girl Gone Primal: I just posted up my theory and what I'm doing.

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105 · June 11, 2010 at 2:53 PM

@Girl Gone Primal Have your sister-in-law look into the book "Breaking the Viscous Cycle." It's a diet similar to paleo (no grains, only sugar allowed is honey) but encourages eating homemade yogurt with probiotics. There are probably thousands of testimonials of Crohn's patients who have used the diet successfully to control their disease.

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7821 · February 04, 2011 at 8:40 PM

Although also well played. GG

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1061 · February 05, 2011 at 3:50 AM

So stop, pfw, stop.

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1061 · February 04, 2011 at 5:58 PM

pfw -your statement, "I've noticed that this reasoning is often used as a way to justify any random bias a person might have (Melissa's answer about polygamy highlights a perfect example), which is just bad philosophy.", is really bad philosophy. You are of course entitled to your opinion, just as Melissa is. It is a point of FACT that many HG tribes were strictly monogamous. If your opinion differs from the facts, fine; but, at least acknowledge that it is your OPINION - and is no more valid than Melissa's. As it stands, YOUR bias about monogamy makes Paleo look bad.

1f96ce108240f19345c05704c7709dad
1061 · February 04, 2011 at 10:21 PM

It is only too bad you do NOT what logic are discussion are, pfw. As you obviously allow [yourself] to [say] things that you criticize other people for. You should read what you write before you post it, pfw, and maybe clean up your logic and get rid of your BLATANT double standards. Please note - When I read what I posted earlier, I re-posted it with corrections. Other than that -your emotional OVER REACTIONS remain RISIBLE, pfw.

4145b36f1488224964edac6258b75aff
7821 · February 04, 2011 at 6:16 PM

You've wildly misunderstood my answer. I have neither bias nor opinion, and neither is implied by the statement you quoted; I take no position for or against either practice. I'm not sure how to reduce it any further, but to restate: any individual picking out paleo behaviors to confirm their existing biases is engaged in bad philosophy (specifically confirmation bias). A guy who decides that polygamy is the way to live because he can find polygamous tribes is engaging in confirmation bias.

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7821 · February 05, 2011 at 1:12 AM

Dude, I already called GG. Why keep going?

1f96ce108240f19345c05704c7709dad
1061 · February 04, 2011 at 9:52 PM

It is only too bad you do NOT what logic are discussion are, pfw. As you obviously allow to things that you criticize other people for. You should read what you write before you post it, pfw, and maybe clean up your logic and get rid of your BLATANT double standards.

1f96ce108240f19345c05704c7709dad
1061 · February 04, 2011 at 7:39 PM

Your MASSIVELY OVER REACTION speaks VOLUMES about you, pfw. VOLUMES. Your OBVIOUSLY thin skin shows how UNSURE you are of your OPINION. YOUR INCORRECT, unfounded ASSUMPTION about me deciding "to fly off the handle" as "the basis for ... [my]... outrage" is LAUGHABLE, pfw. You "have zero information about my beliefs" or my state of mind, pfw, ZERO. It is risible for you to even dream about, let alone state, that I am OUTRAGED, especially when you rant on about ME making assumptions about YOU! RISIBLE, pwf, RISIBLE.

4145b36f1488224964edac6258b75aff
7821 · February 04, 2011 at 6:19 PM

And on the subject of bad philosophy, your STRONG ASSERTIONS in ALL CAPS about my beliefs, when you clearly have no clue whatsoever what I believe or profess, is yet another example of confirmation bias. Somehow you got it in your head that I have some bias about monogamy, and instead of testing your belief with a question or re-reading the text, you decide to fly off the handle using your INCORRECT assumption as the basis for your outrage. You have zero information about my beliefs when it comes to marriage, unless you're actually my brother Terrance and are just screwing with me. Unlikely.

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7821 · February 04, 2011 at 8:38 PM

Obvious troll is obvious.

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56616 · June 10, 2010 at 8:33 PM

"What's your line in the sand?"

Polygamy. Some paleo men seem to think this is "natural," but I think it's just an excuse to get around.

I'm too territorial to tolerate that one.

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220 · June 10, 2010 at 8:36 PM

Wow, thats a good one. My mind never even went that direction.

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1165 · June 10, 2010 at 8:56 PM

From what ive read couples were monogamous, it was just serial monogamy and the women were the ones who moved on. I dont think polygamy came until we settled the land and could build resources that made us more attractive than other mates. I actually think that serial monogamy is still in our genes its just that in modern society it is indeed better to settle with and be faithful to one person.

154bf5c84f7bd9f52b361b45d05dbc3a
1215 · November 01, 2010 at 8:07 PM

A real cave-man doesn't need an excuse to get around any way. People should be free to do what they want as long as they are honest and don't hurt anyone.

C2502365891cbcc8af2d1cf1d7b0e9fc
2427 · February 06, 2011 at 3:15 AM

An interesting book published recently named "Sex at Dawn" argues we evolved with multi-male, multi-female relationships, which was a win for everyone.

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78422 · February 04, 2011 at 8:39 PM

I think being too attached to a person can do more harm than good. Just my opinion, most relationships that get too "serious" become EGO struggles and neither person can actually make the other happy. Loving oneself is important. I think sex should be fun and not restricted, but perhaps in modern day culture this is something that's hard to digest. We have been conditioned by culture since our birth, so this plays a huge part in how we perceive the world and the society we live in.

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56616 · February 06, 2011 at 4:01 AM

lol I reviewed that book here http://huntgatherlove.com/content/sex-dawn

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8255 · February 04, 2011 at 8:56 PM

Lines in the sand are negotiable depending on the situation. Example, hunting/gutting/cleaning for me. Can I do it? Yes. Well? No. Do I WANT to do it? Hell no... Hurrah for the modern age!

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78422 · February 04, 2011 at 8:37 PM

I don't use soap or shampoo anymore

I squat, it's comfortable!

Don't use deodorant

Don't use toothpaste, instead I brush with baking soda.

Hardly shave, I always feel more natural when I have a beard.

I wear shoes less

Started doing "movnat" type things like working out by sprinting in nature, climbing and picking up logs.

Don't watch ANY television. I see TV as one of the worst drugs on earth.

(I do however use the computer but it's not brainwashing like starring mindlessly at a TV!)

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78422 · February 05, 2011 at 8:43 PM

What should I brush with? Just the toothbrush? There's no way I'm using fluoride-laden/artificial sweetened toothpaste!

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787 · February 05, 2011 at 8:13 PM

TV is just storytelling! You just have to choose your raconteur wisely. I'm sure you've heard this before, but brushing with baking soda is a bad bad idea (and hardly paleo). It's extremely abrasive and destroys not only the plaque, but also the thin protective biofilm that we need. If it's making your teeth whiter, its because its wearing them down :(

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9812 · February 04, 2011 at 6:39 PM

I was playing with going no-soap, but I guess I don't really see the value added in totally cutting it out (I am only shampooing once a week though, and my hair is looking pretty good!), so i guess that's my line in the sand.

Cutting down to one shampoo a week may be my most extreme thing; I'm a lightweight ;)

Ask my CW friends though, and they'd probably call me extreme on the following counts:
Wearing VFFs to the store
Using coconut oil as sunscreen (and I'm a pale girl!)
Making lard
Buying a cow heart

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9812 · February 05, 2011 at 3:30 AM

I've only done it once, but it did work- I slathered on a couple layers & let it dry before going out (apparently you will fry if you don't let it absorb). I went to water country USA from I think about 2-5 in the afternoon, in full sun, and I was totally fine. I've read mixed reviews, so proceed cautiously!

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7324 · February 04, 2011 at 8:52 PM

Does the coconut oil actually work? I am very very pale so I need sunscreen of some sort

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4086 · February 04, 2011 at 5:38 PM

line in the sand: squatting

http://www.marksdailyapple.com/squat-poop/

some things are just not worth the hassle!

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39841 · January 13, 2011 at 10:32 PM

I'm interested in health and longevity, not regression and poorly-informed historical reenactment.

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4089 · November 02, 2010 at 12:43 PM

This ties in very nicely with a recent blog post by John Durant. And I think that the point he's trying to make, that Paleo role-playing in the fantasy sense might get a little silly, needs to be balanced against the fact that there are some people who've come to the primitive living thing from an anthropological background, and who've been experimenting with primitive skills for scientific or personal-interest reasons, and who have arrived late at Paleo with a headpalm, asking ourselves why the hell didn't we think of that ages ago.

I'm one of those people. That being said, my line in the sand would probably be moving into a primitive shelter wearing primitive clothing for more than a few days. I'd miss my wife. So I gues I'm a Paleo-wuss.

There is no way that I am going deer hunting this fall without my Gore-Tex. Small game hunting in Utilikilt and Fivefingers? Been there, done that. The brambles were a bitch.

Bowhunting? Once I'm good enough with a bow. I already gave bowfishing a try; only downside is that the only legal game around here is carp. Spearhunting for feral pigs? I'd do that in a heartbeat. I'm saving up and I already have the spear. Foraging for wild foods? Occasionally. Mushrooming? Studying up for it. Flintknapping? For a N00b, I can make a pretty creditable projectile point, TYVM. Build primitive shelters in the woods? Been doing that since I was a kid.

But my outdoors/primitive skills shenanigans aren't an outgrowth of my interest in the Paleo diet; the Paleo diet is an accessory to my primitive skills interest (which motivated me to do my first degree in anthropology these many moons ago) that I stumbled upon by accident. So based on your question, I'm guessing that a lot of what I do for kicks might seem pretty odd to an urbanite who came to Paleo as a fad diet. And to answer it, there's not a lot that I wouldn't experiment with doing (except perhaps for polygamy; my wife is a very good shot), but the desire to do so is not driven by interest in the Paleo diet. It's driven by a larger constellation of interests.

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20411 · November 01, 2010 at 7:11 PM

"What's your line in the sand?"

Going barefoot all the time.

Creating my own stone tools.

Actual hunting and gathering (okay I might try it...)

Only living on:
A: Coconuts and Salmon
B: Whale blubber and Caribou
C: Cattle milk and blood

Eating Insects

Killing and eating other humans. (Soylent Green anyone?)

-- I really haven't done anything really extreme. I still get flak for my VFF's, eating meat, and telling people that all the nutrition is in the yolk...

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3651 · November 01, 2010 at 9:27 PM

bugs covered in dark chocolate are actually pretty good.

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20411 · November 02, 2010 at 12:04 PM

Yeah, but I can't get over the ick factor. I should probably add brains and rotting fish to the list. I don't really care how healthy they might be. Frankly, anything that is gross is off my list (very subjective). Not going to MovNat or PrimalCon either.

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1165 · June 10, 2010 at 8:47 PM

I think it depends on the individual. When my girlfriend is out of town for work I do a "caveman week." I minimize all electronics as much as I can, have no artificial light after sunset, go for a 45 minute walk before my first meal and eat only organic food. I get more done in this week than I normally get done in three. My girlfriend as youve probably guessed is not Paleo and is a night owl so this goes out the window when she's back.

I still take showers, wash my hair and use sunblock on my face. I dont think that nature deemed it as necessary to have nice skin past the age of "breeding" so if this is important to us we need to implement a 21st Century strategy.

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