Whenever I find myself in a position to discuss my diet I cringe as soon as I have to say the word paleo.
Here are some thoughts on why:
(1) It just sounds stupid. Its not as bad as the Shangri-la diet, but calling it Paleo just sounds illegitimate.
(2) As often noted on this site, theoretically there could not have been a single Paleo diet, so to sophisticated people the very idea sounds immediately stupid or ignorant. I tend to quickly address this charge as soon as the word paleo slips out of my mouth.
(3) The word paleo is deeply flawed because it doesn't capture the extent to which my diet is based on scientific research, self experimentation, fermented foods and certain types of dairy, etc.
Does the word paleo make you cringe? Any thoughts about that?
I tell people that I stopped eating grains and sugar. That is simple enough and they get the point. People who are familiar with the paleo / primal / archevore / whatever diet usually pick up on this and will usually ask for details (low carb, dairy or no, etc).
I don't think that basic "Paleo" eating is a fad, but diets with names generally are. I would rather come across as someone who just has a healthy if somewhat unusual diet rather than a cheerleader for a diet label.
Yes. I tend to say things like "I follow a lifeway informed by evolutionary and ancestral patterns," because a) I spent too much time in anthropology classes in college and b) I'm a douchebag.
Whenever I use "paleo," I get cracks like, "so do you take Flintstone vitamins, hurhurhur?" I think as paleo becomes more mainstream, though, it will be less cringy.
'Pity the Fool' who bashes the word Paleo too much on a site called PaleoHacks....
else you 'bout to get booted!
There is no term that is all encompassing and hyper-definitional at the same time. For better or for worse, Paleo is here to stay.
My definition of the Paleo Diet is as follows:
The Paleo Diet is a meta-rule (a rule about rules) that only demands one thing; that one look at human nutrition through an evolutionary lens. End of story.
What Paleo Diet means day-t-day- will be different as over time better data and research surface through anthropological, genetic and empirical evidence.
You know as well, 'paleo' is such a broad spectrum, some people eat high-fat, more recently people seem to be eating more carbs, lots of people skip dairy, some skip nuts or fruit. It may be hard to google but that's maybe because every 'paleo' eater is just one little circle on a massive venn diagram that coalesces around "no sugar/ no gluten / no vegetable oils."
I like it.
It is simple yet relays itself well. A diet based on our PALEOlithic ancestors.
But if it makes ya cringe I have a rather grand solution ...
don't use it.
I know ... didn't see that one coming ...
I don't like using the word paleo either. No one around here has ever heard of it so it doesn't really explain anything. Also, I am a Christian so saying I eat a diet based on evolutionary biology doesn't work too well. haha (and no, I don't want to argue theology here please)
Usually I say I eat "low carb/high fat" or that I "eat a traditional diet, we avoid grains, sugar and processed junk". Them sometimes I ask them if they have ever heard of Weston A Price, that dentist from the 30's? and I always direct them to Marks Daily Apple. :)
I dislike using the term "paleo," too... although at this point, it does work as a shorthand for people in the CrossFit/clean eating community. For people who really don't know anything about nutrition, I usually say I 'eat clean' then elaborate on what that means.
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