Her tirade on her blog seems to paint paleo as a low carb caveman reinactment community. I can understand this from the mainstream nutrition people, but I thought Paleo and WAPF were actually overlapping and cousins so to speak.
In general I'm a fan of Ann Marie. I think she does a lot of good to spread the message about real food, natural health, and taking responsibility for restoring and maintaining one's own health and wellness.
She works very hard bringing attention to issues that most of us agree with. (Wholesome food supply, government intervention in small family farms, etc.) And I think she also runs the Real Food Media group, which seems like a great resource for bloggers and people who care about this kind of stuff.
I don't want to badmouth her, because I know her heart is in the right place, and she's given a lot of scared, lost, chronically ill people some fairly good advice. I met her briefly at the WAPF conference in 2010 and she really is a genuinely friendly, positive person who truly wants to help people and spread access to the kind of nutrition information we value here.
BUT...(and you knew there would be one)...
She tends to get very very excited about new diets, exercise regimens, and wellness protocols. She goes off the deep end for a while and then fizzles out. She bounces from one program to the next, absolutely certain that it's THE ANSWER. She's working on several issues at once (thyroid, adrenals, weight loss, getting pregnant), and seems to blame "low carb" for most of her hormonal imbalances. I think we've all read enough on PH about very low carb for very long periods of time, and how it's not the panacea some of us might have once thought it was -- at least not for everyone, and especially not for someone as busy and stressed out as Ann Marie seems to be. (Running the blog, plus her media company, and I think she also home schools.) From what I've read on her blog, she was having trouble getting her basal body temp up to "normal," and she accomplished this by following Matt Stone's advice (from 180 Degree Health) to basically eat more of everything. Yes, everything -- grains, sugar, whatever. I'm not saying this is good or bad, just summarizing. And she claims to feel much better. I don't doubt it. I've followed her blog for a long time, and for the most part, she was very meticulous about her food. Probably just "letting up" a bit and relaxing about food for a while has done wonders for her mood and probably even physical energy. (I think relaxing my diet a whole lot would make me feel better in some ways, but I know it would catch up with me eventually -- not to mention the guilt/anger I'd feel at stuffing myself with who-knows-what. But I think this is exactly what AM is trying to get away from, and to share with her readers -- that it's OKAY to not be perfect, and it's okay to not be some Paleo, low-carb, or even WAPF god/goddess.)
So in adding back basically more food overall, and more of the foods she'd avoided for many years, she feels a lot better. (At least for now.) So she's sharing that with her readers, because many, many of them write to her desperate for advice. (And yes, I do mean desperate. The tone of some of these questions is flat-out begging, at-their-wit's-end type stuff for all manner of issues -- fertility, weight loss, thyroid, GAPS, acne, you name it.) I think Ann Marie is trying to do the right thing by telling what her experience has been. And that's legitimate. But her saying that low carb is bad across the board, or that Paleo is bad because it excludes certain food groups doesn't help matters. I think she feels her experience with low carb and/or excluding grains was damaging enough that she wants to "spread the word" to others who have been LC for a while and aren't seeing and feeling the stellar results they thought they would.
Unfortunately, because of her own personal results, she might be condemning the entire Paleo movement, despite the fact that she has never really even followed a Paleo plan. (And she might be assuming--like many people do-- that Paleo is by definition LC, which we know it certainly isn't.) Just like you can muck up LC and not come close to the results you thought you'd see, you can muck up Paleo/Primal and also not be a "success story."
Overall, I like Ann Marie. Like I said, her heart is very much in the right place and she's done a great deal of good. She's trying to reach out to women who, like her, just weren't happy being so strict about their food, regardless of how they "defined" their eating style. And I think there's a certain amount to be said for just living. Just enjoy your food and love life. And if trying to stick to some arbitrary percentage of best-of-the-best is driving you crazy, in terms of overall health, you might be better off just taking a vacation from it all for a while.
BUT...in badmouthing Paleo and low-carb, she's doing a disservice to the many people who would benefit from it. And saying it's perfectly okay to go back to eating most of the foods that got some of us sick and fat to begin with? I'm not so sure. An occasional big-@ss piece of pie, or cake, or bowl of spaghetti if you really love it and don't have intestinal/allergy issues? Have at it! Your psyche will thank you for it! But cereal, pancakes, and stuff like that on a regular basis again? Not for me. I'll pass.
I don't think there's any contention between the WAPF and Paleo communities. We are WAY more similar than we are different. (REAL FOOD, for one. Local, small farms, sustainability. Fermented foods, nutrient-dense organ meats, natural animal fats.) Some people who do WAPF find their health improves by leaps and bounds, but those last niggling symptoms and "problems" don't go away completely until they cut out the grains -- even soaked/sprouted/fermented. Or dairy (unless it's raw, which is very hard to come by in most places). And on the other hand, some Paleo folks find they have no physical issues and life is just a tad happier when they add back in rice or soaked oats.
I'll say this about AM as well -- in her last several Q&A posts (every Sunday), she's been much more careful about not saying anything that could be construed as medical or nutritional advice. (Probably because of the scare with Steve Cooksey and the North Carolina Board of Dietetics.) As much as she knows about all this WAPF and natural healing stuff, and as much as people seek her advice, she's been uber clear lately that she is not a doctor and can't tell people what to do for health anymore.
Anyone who wants the truth about anything is going to have to do what we all do -- go to the source. Want to know about paleo? Read some books. Want to know about WAPF? Read Weston Price's book -- or at the very least, Sally Fallon's Nourishing Traditions. Whatever Ann Marie says about Paleo, people will either take it for gospel, or decide to do a little research for themselves. Unfortunately, I'm afraid many of her readers will take it for gospel...
You are getting trolled hardcore. Imagine how many hits she is going to get from angry paleos. TrollSEO at its finest.
Her post is really very silly, setting up and attacking the straw men of re-enactment and low-carb, and the whole thing is rather cartoonish. I don't see the point of it. I usually enjoy her blog, but that was just a bizarre, immature rant that really doesn't have any merit. She doesn't actually make any points.
I don't think she represents WAPF feelings overall -- there are plenty of people here who straddle Paleo and WAPF, leaning more towards one or the other. I'd forget it and move on.
I agree with Amy B. I noticed the change in tone when she started following Matt Stone, who does a lot of paleo-bashing of his own. I had enjoyed her blog up to that point, but removed it from my reading list when it started to annoy me more than give me good information. I think some people really fight against giving up grains and will find excuses to reintroduce them.
I don't think her opinion is the norm, lots of people who post here are more WAPF or have gone paleo after having been WAPF.
Seems like she just wanted to be an ass - everyone likes all of those foods she says she likes and therefore won't go paleo. By that logic, I've read that heroin makes you feel awesome, we should all be doing that too cause we'd like it!
I think she just got carried away writing up a defense of her way of eating, as if Paleo is a radical threat. It's a bummer because I usually enjoy her blog- but this entry really turned me off. Okay, we get it, you don't want to give up nachos, pizza, and cheese. Great. But lots of people simply don't have an option. They have tried eating 'her' way, and usually it helps but not enough- hence moving on to Paleo. It is fine for her to state what works for her (she can apparently eat gluten, sugar and dairy without practically dying) but why does she have to discount a diet that is working wonders for TONS of people with science backing it up?
I don't begrudge people who are seemingly well adapted to neolithic staples, but that rant was total bollocks for all the reasons previously stated. Personally, I was WAPF before I was paleo, and I continued getting fatter and feeling crappier until I finally started cutting way back on the starchy, suboptimal garbage that tends to be the focus of WAPF diets.
One thing I will say....I do agree with some ofher sentiment (#10) about wasting time and energy arguing, debating, wondering, lamenting and general freaking out about "is it paleo". Everyone has to do what WORKS FOR THEM and not get all weird about it. I try to distance myself from even the term "paleo" because all the arguing and debating about what is and isn't "paleo" takes away from all the GOOD it can and continues to produce. I tell people that I try to eat as sustainably as I can, I choose a majority of the time to not eat grains and stay as unprocessed as possible. Paleo doesn't enter into the equation any more. It is a term I use to look stuff up, for reference and the basics. But that doesn't make it my religion which it seems a lot of folks "go there" if you don't agree.
From what I understand, Mr. Price (Dr. Price?) came from a background of dentistry but did a great deal of research regarding nutrition of different populations, and his finding refuted much of the CW that was believed at the time (and much that still is today). Essentially, he noticed that diets lacking in modern processed/packaged foods and processed grains (bread, pasta, etc) produced genrally healthier individuals. The benefits of natural, organic food and animal protein and fat, as well as the detriments of hydrogenated oils and all synthetic products.
Sounds like paleo, right? You could break the group down into WAPF/paleo/primal/caveman/carnivore, but why bother? The vast majority of the principles are shared between the groups, and someone who eats cheese from raw goat's milk is a lot closer to "paleo" than someone who eats cheese out of a can on nacho chips.
She seems to think that bread, cheese and sugar are great things to eat. I disagree. I also don't think paleo needs to be VLC.
However, even if I wasn't Paleo, I woul want to join this friendly, witty, supportive, intelligent community.
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