Those of you follow PaNu/Dr Kurt Harris probably have read that he will be cross posting at Psychology Today Online. As a big fan of Dr Harris, I am very happy for him and the masses that will be getting exposure to Paleo principles.
In his latest post, he mentions the following - "I think this represents a fine opportunity for Paleo 2.0/ancestral health to penetrate the mainstream while avoiding some of the more dubious parts of the 'movement'."
What do you think are those dubious parts???
1) I dislike the vegan/vegetarian bashing. There is no doubt vegans are equally, if not more, critical of meat eaters. But as cliched as it might be, two wrongs don't make a right. I am confident in Paleo being the right approach to health and don't have the need to feel good about it by being critical of the "heretics". However, it seems like a lot of Paleo blogs / posts here feel the need to point out the nonsense of vegetarianism, incurring further criticism from the veggie-folks. Feels like we live in Gaza with this kind of b.s.
2) Paleo re-enactment. I don't care if Grok did it or not. Grok doing it might be a potential for consideration, but not the only condition. I, for one, do a lot of dairy even if Grok didn't.
3) To a much lesser extent than #1 and #2, I also think the zero-carb Hezbollah, as Kurt Harris has dubbed it. He has articulated this at the PaNu site far better than I can so I won't bother here.
Anyway, what do you think?
To quote Logan:
"... but a fervent view that their way is the ONLY or best way for everyone what can make those paleos dubious."
The moment you start to believe you've found the one way of eating for everyone is the moment you start being wrong. If there's a dubious part of the paleo community, it's a tendency for individuals to believe that their particular experience is generalizable across the population. This is not exclusive to the "Zero Carb Hezbollah" - it's a pretty common behavior in all diet communities, I think, especially in people who are relatively new and still in the transition stage between old and new ways of thinking about diet.
The starch point is a perfect example; some people do well without starch, and so expect everyone to have the same experience, while others do well with starch, and then expect everyone to have the same experience. Soon they're bickering and throwing crappy science at each other to prove who's right. But they're both wrong.
OK, since I've dealt extensively with the media, I'd place the press concerns paleo nyc has struggled with in two categories:
Raw paleo and VLC folks. I have no problem with these diets in theory, at least temporarily, but at least in our Meetup it seems to be correlated with extreme quackery, misogyny, and weird obtuse unscientific just-so stories. The media loves these folks, but they are a very small minority of paleos.
Using in-shape people, usually male trainers, as "experts" despite their complete lack of scientific training or qualifications.
I've been consistently cut from news stories I've participated in, while they've kept people from the latter two categories.
Over zealotry, obsessiveness with each and every detail of one's body, each fart, pimple or lost hair. Some of it is I think part of the "neophyte's zealotry", extreme rigid look at diet, health and all the things.
Obsession with fat, making fun and judging everyone who doesn't have a six pack, unless this person expresses guilt and will to get to the six-pack.
Extreme male-oriented vision. Men judging female bodies, knowing nothing about them.
My opinion is a work-in-progress, and it may be only applicable to me, so YMMV.
Every time I would come across anything about a "Paleo diet", that term connoted sexist caveman stereotyping, and I never read further. When I finally opened my mind enough to get beyond the term and started to read and learn more, I appreciated the science underlying the diet and lifestyle.
However, Paleo still seems to favor males, people highly committed to CrossFit, sports hunting and the wink, wink, nodding to the Grok/caveman stereotype, and thus, reenactment.
Other than purchasing meat from grassfed animals, I have yet to read much about resource stewardship, honoring the animals which are killed and farmed for their meat and other products, supporting farmers who are trying to reduce runoff and manage manure and other waste products, and working to support vegetable and fruit crops locally and globally.
There doesn't seem to be much emphasis on community building outside of the CrossFit crowd, but perhaps this is more a factor of Paleoism being a nascent movement.
There is also a perceived degree of ageism. As one who is post menopausal and dealing with several seemingly intractable health issues, I pick up a blame the victim mentality sometimes when someone is posting a health management issue that isn't responding. Much of the discussions around activity and exercise do not include people with physical and mental limitations and vulnerabilities. Is this a Paleo concept? (In other words, ostracize the vulnerable to protect the health of the group) I read a fair number of posts which refer to people's perceptions that a benefit of a Paleo diet/lifestyle is "not looking their age". But what about celebrating and enjoying aging? Is age an enemy?
And as I look at photos of people who share that they are involved in Paleoism, so far I am seeing very few non-Caucasians and people who share that English is not their primary language. So I wonder if this is a North American/British/Australian/NZ dominated movement.
This comment isn't intended as criticism so much as just a beginner's list of questions.
Not sure I will ever fit in, but I will continue to use Paleo nutrition and activity principles as they are providing me with health and well being benefits.
...tendency by some to use Hunter-Gatherers as a panacea and narrow all options accordingly.
I.e. "H-G never did that, we shouldn't either".
Coming from a fundamentalist background, I get that sentiment, but it reduces all evolution to biological evolution. Versus also including technological, socio-cultural, informational, and cognitive evolution.
...along the same lines as others have said too...reducing notions of optimal exercise to crossfit, kettle bells, club bells, etc.
...it is hard to move on past Rousseau's romantic notions of pre-modern/industrial life...each of us Westerners has a bit of the Robinson Crusoe meme in us.
The hypochondriac tendencies of paleo are very iffy. It does not shock that someone could improve digestion issues by not eating some foods, but it seems like there are an inordinate number of people convinced that they are celiacs (and hence have immediate issues within minutes of eating - like when the food is still just sitting around in their stomach.....).
There is such a thing as food sensitivity certainly, and avoiding things like wheat may well be prudent, but how many people are really specifically allergic to all grains, fruits, nuts, potatoes, and "have" to only eat meat.
Kurt Harris's therapy post covered this pretty well from a carb prospective. Some foods are not ideal, but the idea that someone has a huge number of strange food intolerance just seems a bit off (some relating to food categories where allergies have never been documented even....).
Rules, hierarchy, and suffering. These are things that are inherent with other food lifestyles and it seems that people are pretty darn set on making them core principles of Paleo.
There should be no rules or laws. We were designed to eat the stuff that was freely available prior to agriculture. We consumed what was available based on the ebb and flow of the seasons. We ate carbs, just not all the time. We need to put on fat for the winters. We cannot replicate exactly what was available and we don't all have the access, nor is there enough, wild game meat running around to feed everyone so we make due with what is available. I look at Paleo/Primal as being about ratios. I don't know,(nor care really) what the exact ratios are, but I do know that if I get the bulk of my daily calories from fat and protein, I feel better.
Hierarchy, labeling, grouping, what have you. I hate these things. Especially when applied to people. I have spent a great deal of time being wrong, I assume that others have as well, and when I was wrong I still felt the need to be derisive to others who where not doing as I do. THat was wrong of me. Now I approach this with the awareness that I may still be wrong, or at minimum, that I can still do things better. I try and respect anyone who is attempting to do the same thing and I am happy to share the things that have worked for me. THis does not stop me from pointing out things that are wrong, but instead of screaming "Heretic!" I try and give reasons for my assessment and encouragement to people to research more outside their comfort zone. THere are blogs and people who are proponents of the damnedest things out there. Also, if you find yourself feeling superior to others because you only eat things that screamed when they died, please keep it to yourself.
THis is not to say that there are not certain lifestyles and choices that are not worthy of derision, but usually it is amply evident by the condition of the practitioners of the sodapop and potatochip diet that things are not working out so well and that pointing it out does nothing to help.
Suffering is my biggest worry. Seems that people are damned set on making themselves hurt. THis is a common thread amongst all other diets that needs not be in this one. I tried whole grains and suffered gut issues, pain, bloating. I tried eliminating meats just to be hungry all the time, I tried exercising and my body hurt too much to do it and I'd just need to eat more. When I was eating the "healthy" AMerican diet I suffered IBS and gut pain and so on. I even saw blogs stating that some of the IBS issues I was suffering, namely the cow patty stool, was supposed to be normal. I assure you there was nothing normal about it.
I am not suffering anymore. I do more because I can.
The diatribe against certain workouts as "chronic cardio" is pretty dubious considering that nobody has defined with precision with chronic cardio is. In fact, the field of exercise phyisiology is so in its infancy that I'm not even sold on the idea that marathons are damaging to the body, although the two sides in the debate currently raging over at Chris Kresser's blog seem to think the issue has been decided with certainty. (Not that I have any interest in running one.)
The one thing I've taken away from the Paleo movement is to check all of the research data myself before deciding to adopt a certain way of eating or exercising and not take anyone's word for it, no matter how respected they are or how many credentials they have. I've seen too much advice change 180 degrees in the past six months that I've been Paleo to take anybody's word for anything anymore.
I might get in trouble here for this, but I'm not big on running round on concrete surfaces barefoot. I think the whole barefoot running thing is great, but just not in the city.
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