Are you hard core restrictive or open minded about what you consider paleo or do you vary it based upon your environment your new hormonal balance or as you age into your later life?
Continuum. I'm already in 'later' life (50+), but hope to get to much-later life. ;-)
It's part of my desire for improving my life and the life of my partner, through self-experimentation, which is something that will continue until we are no longer able to experiment.
I think it's important to be a doubting Thomas to some extent, and avoid wholesale drinking of the kool-aid. Test test test.
So far, the only thing we're hard-core about is grains and legumes - but only because of our personal self-experiments.
That's a hard question. I don't know about a continuum - maybe more of a response to shifting ground? For example, my primary motivation is firstly managing and then healing my IBS. I'm pretty hard core on that right now; Buddha himself could tell me that the way to enlightenment is to drink milk or eat almonds and I won't do it. As I feel better, I get less hard core about staying with the basics, and try introducing new or previously damaging things to see what happens. If that works and I stay well, I get hard core about weight loss/appetite/energy enhancement. In the future I see a time for getting hard core about fitness and strength. Right now I'm bouncing between a couple of hard core issues, but I can't seem to maintain them both all the time. Maybe it's cyclic, maybe it's random??
As Josh so eloquently put it, "open minded, open ended, always evolving". I am one of those that isn't really wild about the whole "paleo" label as it IS so full of variety and i'm sure as time goes on they'll discover more and more about what that actually scientifically means. I've stated before i'm heading towards more and more unprocessed eating (with a few exceptions here and there). I can't imagine being so strict and single minded that I couldn't allow myself to "never" eat something considered "un-paleo" again in my life. So for me it could never be "all or none". I know some people function better with that mentality, to each his own, but as for me, nope.
I think there are benefits at almost any level of compliance, though I do also think that when you get to a certain level of compliance you start to get more positive feedback loops that can bounce you into a qualitatively different state. What that takes for an individual is somewhat idiosyncratic.
I'll maintain that paleo= avoid grains, legumes, and dairy.
We've been through this before: within that framework you simply tinker with the macros dependant on your goals.
That beig said, as I've really gained solid confidence in my gut health and overall strength and health I've added in sprouted corn tortillas as an afternoon snack maybe 3-4 days of the week.
So I suppose it's a "continuum" though that's a poor word choice.