The Paleo Solution podcast

November 9th, 2010  |  Published in Books, Learning, Stumpblog  |  30 Comments

book-PaleoSolutionRobb Wolf, The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet. Victory Belt; 2010.

Interview with Robb Wolf (55 min; right-click to download in mp3 format)

I don’t know about the rest of you, but some time in the last few years I hit a serious state of diet fatigue. It all seemed so… complicated. X grams of carbs after training, Y grams of protein x Z lb of body weight per day. Is coffee good or bad for me? Should I eat at night or in the morning?

When the hell did eating become brain surgery? (Possible smartass answer: When you become a zombie.)

Ask the average person what to eat and when, and their eyes will glaze over. Facial tics and twitching will appear. The consumer-on-the-street simply cannot make sense of the conflicting, cryptic, often overblown nutritional advice (eggs are worse than a Double Down! soy is good! no, wait, soy is Satan!) that appears in the mainstream media.

And no surprise. Much of what we “know” to be “good nutrition” is purposely misleading. Researchers such as Marion Nestle have busted the nutritional cabal of Big Ag food producers and agencies such as the USDA. These days, “healthy” food recommendations and much of clinical research have a lot more to do with the needs of the commercial food production and processing industries than with actual human needs. In other words, the diet advice you read probably came from the marketing department of an agricultural or retail consortium… and won’t make you any healthier.

Ever wonder why all of a sudden we’re being told to eat hydrogenated, bleached, rancid vegetable oils (aka margarine) instead of butter, and that machine-extruded, nutrient-stripped cereals and pesticide-laden, chemically reconstituted orange juice are part of a healthy breakfast? Eggs are the least of our problems when we’re chowing down Nutella smeared on white flour bagels, feeling smug because we’re eating “an important serving of dairy and grains”.

How did it all go so wrong? It’s understandable to yearn for the good old days when food was anything you smacked in the head or nibbled from a tree branch. Understandable… and luckily, says researcher Robb Wolf, a pretty smart idea.

A couple hundred years ago, scientists were stumped by what appeared to be nature’s randomness. Steam-powered travel and global exploration were offering all kinds of strange things to researchers.  Biology was still a bit of a bastard discipline. Specimens from all over the world, when brought back to home shores, prompted head-scratching.

Gee, these apes sorta look like people! (Ha ha! I betcha it’d be hilarious to put a chimp in a sailor suit!) Why don’t pineapples grow in England? What the hell is this platypus thing? Seriously, what is that about?

In its thoughtful, world-changing (and the time, shocking) description of Nature’s semi-random master plan, Darwin’s Origin of Species offered an elegant, basic solution to the puzzling weirdness of biology. Organisms adapt to their environment. Over time, those organisms change.

Nearly two centuries of scientific investigation and one discovery of DNA later, evolution is still a pretty darn good theory. (We’re all lucky that Darwin didn’t follow his father’s advice to become an accountant.)

So here’s the deal: No matter how many iPods you own, and despite your corneal lens implants, evolution applies to us too. And in terms of how we evolved to eat and live, we aren’t too far from naked apes (also possibly hilarious in sailor suits).

It ain’t glamorous. We evolved as omnivorous scavengers. That means we probably ate bugs or a lion’s semi-funky carcass leftovers as often as we ate the proverbial mammoth filet mignon.

But the point remains: We evolved in a natural environment. We are no longer eating and living as if we were in that natural environment. Our physiology hasn’t caught up to this new situation. Problems ensue: heart disease, diabetes, stress, cancer, and other chronic health conditions.

Thanks to the research of folks like Loren Cordain, Art DeVany, Staffan Lindberg, and now Robb Wolf, we’ve realized that, as Blur sang, modern life is rubbish. Our bodies haven’t kept pace with modern diets, and we’re getting fatter, weaker, and sicker as a result.

Luckily, like Darwin’s theory, the solution — as Wolf outlines in his book — is simple. The idea of ancestral diets offers a gentle, palate-cleansing sorbet of clarity to nutritional debates: WWCE? What would a cavewoman eat?

Riffing on Dan John’s “meat, leaves, and berries” concept, cavewomen are simple creatures. They’d eat whatever they could kill, dig out of the ground, or pluck from a shrub or tree. They would NOT eat the foods that form the basis of our 21st century diet: sugar, grains, dairy, and beans/legumes. And Splenda? Diet Coke? Gummibears? C’mon.

Wolf’s CV is impressive. He’s a former research biochemist and review editor for the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, is co-founder of the nutrition and athletic training journal The Performance Menu, co-owner of NorCal Strength & Conditioning, one of the Men’s Health “top 30 gyms in America”. He’s also a former California State Powerlifting Champion (565 lb. squat, 345 lb. bench, 565 lb. deadlift) and a 6-0 amateur kickboxer. He coaches athletes at the highest levels of competition and consults with Olympians and world champions in MMA, motocross, rowing and triathlon. He’s provided seminars in nutrition and strength & conditioning to various military entities including the Canadian Light Infantry and the United States Marine Corps.

Wolf is a voracious and wide-ranging researcher and a hell of a funny guy. (Ladies, if you like your men smart and buff, look no further than this poster boy for geeks gone swole.) And he believes fervently in the power of ancestral diets to help real people feel, look, and perform better.

But it’s not just his belief. Studies of indigenous populations worldwide, from the South Pacific to the Arctic, confirm that when people live on ancestral diets, they live long and surprisingly healthy lives free of the chronic diseases that we now take for granted. (Although as Wolf notes, “our ancestors lived a rough and tumble existence that left their skeletons looking like equal parts Olympic athlete and rodeo clown”.)

The Paleo Solution is a meticulously researched, coherently argued, and occasionally sphincter-looseningly witty book. Wolf guides the reader gently through the basics of metabolic derangement that accompanies a standard Western diet, explains the chemical mechanisms by which Paleo-style/ancestral diets work, and occasionally brings out the big guns on faddish modern dietary foolishness with bon mots such as: “If you do not sleep you will completely cock-block your fat loss.”

Whether it’s sleep, sex, sunlight, or how to make a NorCal margarita, no element of modern life nor oversight of nutritional science is spared in Wolf’s unflinching analysis (including the great philosophical question, “Won’t my bum forget how to poop without grains?”).  He offers sections on how to exercise (run fast for short times, lift heavy stuff, and amble or scamper), how to understand your bloodwork, and what to make for a daily menu.

Guess what: You already know how to eat Paleo. Ever had a salad with chicken on it? Ever had an omelet with veggies? Ever had a steak with grilled veggies? Perfect. You’re well on your way. However, Wolf also provides lots of handy tips about how to make the eating plan work.

Bottom line, he says: Try it.

Try it, it works. Try it like you’d try on a sweater. Give it a shot — full-on, no screwing around with gluten-free bread or sneaking in some spelt cakes — for 30 days and see how you look, feel, and perform. All you have to lose is a month of familiar foods and habits. All you have to gain is pain-free, inflammation-free living. And maybe seeing your abs.

I confess: I’m a believer. I have seen what this way of eating can do. It’s elegantly simple, just like Darwin intended. It works. My allergies and eczema? Gone. Joint pain? Gone. Skin? Clear. Digestion? Like clockwork. Hair? Bouncin’ and behavin’ — and growing so fast it’s becoming a bit of a drag to book haircuts so often.

So, Stumpfans, I challenge you: Check out Wolf’s book. Listen to his podcasts. Download the free stuff such as the Quick Start Guide on his website. Give this way of eating a shot for 30 days and let us know what YOU experience.

Responses

  1. Michel says:

    November 9th, 2010at 6:59 pm(#)

    My wife and are are following the paleo diet right now, and I’d have to say it’s been as positive for me as adopting a strength training regimen was. I had a bit of the ‘paleo flu’ for the second and third week, where I felt a little worn out, but after that, what a treat to no sail through pollen season without much ado, to rarely have heartburn where it used to be a daily occurence, and to no longer have that 3 p.m. energy slump. I cheat from time to time now, but I feel so good eating paleo that it’s a very occasional thing. I would recommend that anyone trying it do try to eat as close to 100% clean for the first 30 days at least, to see what kind of positive effects it has, before even considering a cheat or treat.

    As an aside: a somewhat paleo chocolate ice cream:

    heat 1 can coconut milk to scalding
    add 100 grams 70% cocoa chocolate, chopped
    let sit
    whisk or immersion blend until smooth
    pour into popsicle molds, or churn in ice cream maker

    Makes a creamy, delicious sugar and dairy free ice cream.

    Enjoy!

  2. Cassandra says:

    November 9th, 2010at 8:10 pm(#)

    It’s so good to hear that Paleo eating is beneficial for so many people. I get the wheat-avoidance thing, but I just don’t follow the totally no-grain idea. I feel that there are so many factors that influence how a person reacts to food and that we’re all a bit different and so can have slight variations on a good theme.
    Beans and legumes kill me… and although cashews are like crack for me, I do my best to avoid them. I know that this is not the case for every person.
    I love quinoa and whole barley and will continue to eat them as my issues lie more with other items in my diet. But again, for you, or Robb, that may not be the case.
    I agree that breads and refined grains are just the dumbest idea ever invented, but still don’t feel real whole grains like bulgur or even buckwheat (when you can actually see the grain and it takes quite awhile to cook) are bad.
    In fact, you mentioned chicken – if I eat chicken, I’m in the bathroom the entire next day. So, that’s a no go for me.
    But, all of this is anecdotal and I think we really need to do a lot of personal exploration and find what’s best for us. Others can lend us good ideas and suggestions, but in the end, if we listen to our bodies, do some solid testing and watch the results, we will find the answer best suited for our individual being.

  3. J.B. says:

    November 10th, 2010at 12:31 pm(#)

    Just finished my 30 days. Blogged the whole thing.
    I did not realize how screwed up my hunger and satiety queues were until week 2 of this experiment.
    Great stuff.

  4. Andrea says:

    November 10th, 2010at 3:41 pm(#)

    The quality of an interview depends on the interviewer as much as on the guest.You did a good job. Thanks for asking important questions. It was like “two smart people having a nice chat”. I really enjoyed it. I think the whole Paleo concept has huge implications not only at a personal level but for social change towards a more human (and healthy) society.
    And for a change of our rotten medical-industrial complex.

    Robb’s work, books like Lierre Keith’ Vegetarian Myth, Mark Sisson’s Primal Blueprint and all the Paleo bloggers and websites opened new horizions for me. And I see what is terribly lacking in social/political movements like the economic, feminist, queer or environmentalist movements.

    I went grain and sugar free about 1,5 years ago. Not 100% cold turkey in the beginning. It was a challenge at the crossfit mailforum. When I found Robb Wolf I quit dairy. I don’t like legumes anyway so that’s not an issue. Who can digest this stuff?

    First I had the withdrawal symptoms, from grain avoidance more than from sugar deprivation. This stuff is actually like drugs which I would never take because they mess up your metabolism and have nasty side effects – or so I thought. I didn’t realize that grains and sugar do the same. Oops! Self medication with “healthy whole grains” and “healthy” agave syrup….. It’s scary!

    For detox I did the Whole30 last month – 30 days strict Paleo and no chocolate and no alcohol. I lost weight without any food reduction.

    The concept works. Stable energy throughout the day, no carb/sugar cravings (except when in sleep deprivation), autoimmune symptoms vanished, problems got better. I also tried the HCL capsules. Poliquin has a nice article about stress and lack of stomach acid on his webite.

    Not all problems solved but as Robb says: sleep, stress level, training and social life is also important. Nutrition alone goes only so far. I like what Mike Mahler said (his lectures about hormone optimization are fun): No matter how good your diet and training, hormone optimization is not possible as long as you have too much stress (childhood abuse, wrong job, wrong partner or whatever).

  5. Eileen says:

    November 10th, 2010at 4:20 pm(#)

    I’m not sure I buy the whole evolutionary angle to this. Humans domesticated the goat more than 10,000 years ago, even before they settled down and started farming. So none of our bodies have adapted to be happy and healthy with dairy in all that time? And here my neighbors evangelize about how they are never healthier (no allergies, no join pain, etc!) than in the summers when they drink tons of fresh raw goat milk.

    I’m with Cassandra that no two bodies are the same when it comes to perfect diet.

  6. Chip says:

    November 10th, 2010at 11:30 pm(#)

    We all dig being part of a movement. In this day and age, as we trust the powers-that-be less and less, when big money seems to be controlling our tiny lives, it is comforting to rally ’round a flag of anti-authority. Heck, any of us who dabbled in punk or hip hop needed to hear what we always believed, that the man was keeping us down.

    So a nutrition movement that questions a great deal of the standard diet dogma has a noble appeal. Cut out all the nonsense and get back to what is pure. Ah, purity. If something brings us closer to it, we’ll ride that bus with the speakers blaring.

    And what seems more pure (to those who don’t embrace an ecclesiastical bend) than a caveman? Raw, basic, simple… pure. Like we’d like to live our lives.

    I’m all for a quest for purity. Lawd knows (as does Randy Roach, who wrote a great book called Muscle, Smoke and Mirrors) that our modern industrial complexes (food, medical, health, fitness) are actually greased by funds that want to steer us away from purity. But for us to claim an intimate connection of a time period (based on just a bit more speculation) by eating a certain way dooms such a diet to become a footnote in a book like Randy Roach’s. Kids, remember that quaint fad diet at the beginning of the 21st century?

    It is an eating idea that has some solid roots and very valuable points. But combine some real, valid ideas with a little bit of cool factor (and mix in a tad of fringe thinking) and ya already have those hyphenations that sent Atkins packing, like semi-Paleo (or even the above comment of “somewhat paleo”). If a salad with chicken is now “Paleo” (why, why, why, why do we need to label our eating choices?) then McDonalds has a Paleo option.

    What about just eating like a human?

  7. Mistress Krista says:

    November 11th, 2010at 8:38 am(#)

    @Cassandra: Buckwheat and wild rice are problem grains for me, which really blows because I LOVE them both! They just don’t love me back. :( Buckwheat in particular makes me sniffy and my skin itch, and wild rice shreds my insides.

    When it comes to dietary change, I just love the try-it-and-see approach. That’s really the only way to test a hypothesis, after all!

  8. JSweet says:

    November 11th, 2010at 11:30 am(#)

    I still don’t understand why educated experts promote this idea that our ancestors lived only to the age of 35. If that number is a statistical average, doesn’t it take into account a huge infant mortality rate? In some modern poor Third World nations current life expectancies can be that low, but does that mean everyone is aging and dropping dead at 35? No, if you manage to live past an infancy and childhood riddled with fatal disease risks, you are likely to live into an old age of 60s, 70, or higher. Yes, we’ve raised life expectancies in the modern West but only by a decade or so.
    This statement from this expert has to make me wonder about his take on the science behind this diet.

  9. Cassandra says:

    November 11th, 2010at 7:14 pm(#)

    @Krista: It’s part of this whole self-awareness issue that we’re trying to get more people to pay attention to. Our bodies are smart and we just need to listen.

    In your case, those grains kill you. In my case, beans, chicken and nuts (sadly… so sadly), kill me. I’ve always avoided dairy and hated it since I’ve been a kid, but I do know others that really thrive off it.

    Some people get sick from eating meat just because it’s meat, and so choose a vegetarian life, whereas when I tried to be a vegetarian I wanted to curl up in a ball and die.

    Anyhoo… I think we’re all saying the same thing. Eating styles are very individual and the best thing to do is to keep listening to how our bodies react and respond accordingly.

    Sometimes we don’t want to listen (like my love for nuts that just kill my gut…), but we have to for our health.

    Robb presents a way of eating that is going to work well for many people because it brings us back to eating real food and not food “products”, but there are always going to be outliers that need to follow a bit different path for their own well-being.

    As far as eating like a human… I guess it depends on what kind of human you are :)

  10. Roland says:

    November 12th, 2010at 1:49 am(#)

    I don’t buy the “try it and see,” approach myself. Grains, legumes, and dairy don’t give me any symptoms that I can outwardly feel (other than happy to eat them), but I am confident that they do things we cannot feel.

    Just like we can’t feel vitamin pills, I think grains, legumes, and high omega-6s are causing low level, long term damage to our guts and immune systems, eventually leading to autoimmune conditions in many people.

    I find it odd that many recommend that clients with AI disorders avoid these foods, yet fail to see that they (the foods) may actually be triggering them in others. Waiting until after I get dementia, RA, lupus, Hashimoto, diabetes, etc might feel a little late. I don’t feel like waiting.

    On the other hand, since they don’t actually make me feel bad, I just minimize them, ranked according to the ones I think are the worst offenders (wheat is #1).

    BTW, this was a great interview. I liked the female take on things, but the bone density and muscle loss would be important for all of us, whether we are female or misc.

    Later!

    Roland

  11. Mistress Krista says:

    November 12th, 2010at 4:25 am(#)

    @JSweet: You may be interested in this material:
    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/bone-dating-life-span/
    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/life-expectancy-hunter-gatherer/
    http://www.proteinpower.com/drmike/low-carb-diets/nutrition-and-health-in-agriculturalists-and-hunter-gatherers/

    I’m trying to find an analysis by Michael Eades or Loren Cordain — perhaps you will have better luck — that examined the specific claim of shorter lifespans and found it inaccurate. I remember seeing it and can’t locate it. Anyway, it makes the same point you do: that a statistical average lumps everything from infant mortality to being bashed in the head to dying of boredom over a cave-shuffleboard game together, and thus creates a problematically low life expectancy stat. Accident, infectious disease, childbirth for women, and interestingly, homicide, would be the top killers.

    Related:
    http://www.thepaleodiet.com/published_research/
    http://ca.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-1405197714.html

    The evidence suggests that folks who escaped infant disease, childbirth-death, and falling out of a tree lived more or less decently long lives. At the very least we appear to have the genetic capacity to live to at least 70ish-80ish, with genetic outliers such as the Okinawans living longer.

  12. Mistress Krista says:

    November 12th, 2010at 4:28 am(#)

    @Roland: In my experience with nutrition clients, many folks actually walk around not feeling as great as they could, but it’s only when they make change that they realize. Most folks walk around feeling around 5 to 6/10 in terms of their overall wellbeing, but b/c they’re so accustomed to it, it’s like a fish noticing the water. I never realized how shitty I felt until… I wasn’t! :) I took so much of poor health for granted as “the way it is”.

    Leaving aside of course that experimentation is fun…

  13. Roland says:

    November 12th, 2010at 9:05 am(#)

    Krista, I agree that most clients will see some improvement, but is that because their diet is crappy now, and paleo is a lot better? Granted many will have some sort of intolerance or something and definitely feel A LOT better, but going from shit to suck in one’s diet goes a long way right there.

    I have done 30 days strict and didn’t feel different. I still eat paleo, but tend to allow corn tortillas or rice once a week, and a treat might be ice cream. I really avoid gluten, even though I feel fine eating it.

    I’ve been eating “healthy” for 9 years, with the last 4 or 5 being a combination of “the 7 habits,” Metabolism Advantage, and Adam Campbell and Jeff Volek’s TNT Diet, so the switch to paleo wasn’t a huge one, more like fine tuning a few food choices. I might not have such a noticeable effect for me compared to someone on the SAD or with a noticeable intolerance or two.

    I think it’s the way to go, and I’m glad good communicators are communicating the message now. A lot of paleo people give paleo a bad name, so this makes me happy.

    Take care,

    Roland

  14. Jessica says:

    November 12th, 2010at 10:09 am(#)

    I think this is fascinating, but I’m also sure our household will never try it. My husband hasn’t eaten meat since he was four. At this point, I’m not sure that he could digest steak and turkey, even if he wanted to. Bless his skinny heart.

  15. Shane says:

    November 12th, 2010at 12:07 pm(#)

    @Roland: I have to agree 100% with what Mistress Krista said in her response.

    I thought I felt “okay” to “pretty good” most of the time. It wasn’t until I implemented Robb’s 30 day meal plan that I noticed a HUGE change in how I felt. Within the first week I felt the following significant changes:
    – no longer had trouble getting to sleep and walking up in the morning.
    – stopped having the early afternoon “food coma” from a carb/grain/sugar heavy lunch.
    – never feel like I need to have a nap during the day.
    – no indigestion/heart burn (used to take tums a few times a week)
    – reduced cravings to snack or eat junk food (no cravings after 2-3 weeks except if I don’t get enough sleep)
    – less sinus and chest congestion (probably from dairy, not sure)

    I always thought I had no problems with any particular food, but just trying Robb’s plan and strictly sticking to it has shown me how wrong I was.

  16. Roland says:

    November 12th, 2010at 11:56 pm(#)

    Shane, I hope no one thinks I was disagreeing with Krista. I’m not at all. I think I wasn’t clear.

    I see many people around the internet say “I eat wheat and I’m doing fine,” even after they’ve gone 30 days wheat (and other things) free. I still assume that many of them would do even better if they stayed off the wheat, but they just don’t outwardly “feel” the issues caused by the grains.

    I have done 30 days of strict paleo, myself and I just don’t feel different. I’m still paleo because I believe that I’m healthier that way and increasing my long term chances to be healthy in my old age.

  17. Shane says:

    November 15th, 2010at 9:29 am(#)

    Roland, yes your first post was a bit unclear, thanks for clearing it up. As Robb often says, and I’m sure Krista would agree, everyone is different and reacts differently to everything they eat.

    Krista, I’ve sent my fiance a link to your site. I think it would be great for her to read a woman’s perspective on health, exercise and diet rather than hearing it from me and what I’ve learned through Robb and others. Keep up the great work.

  18. dana says:

    November 20th, 2010at 9:25 am(#)

    I’m skeptical of the evolutionary angle for two reasons. The first is that a steak on a vegetable salad, while a healthy and excellent meal, is no more paleo than a loaf of bread would be; domesticated food animals by and large come along with agriculture, within the past 10,000 years. The second is that while evolution works slowly, much of our digestive capability is provided by gut flora, and we’re just beginning to understand how that works, and gut flora alone can radically change someone’s weight, health, reaction to a diet, etc.

    The diet recommendations seems to be sensible, but I’m skeptical of the evolutionary just-so story.

  19. michele says:

    November 22nd, 2010at 6:44 pm(#)

    I don’t know ANYBODY in the paleo movement who doesn’t understand (to frightening degree, considering 99.9999% are not scientists) the differences between the foods in our post-industrialist Neolithic milieu and those from the Paleolithic era. Most paleo eaters are NOT historical re-enactors.

    To quote Dr. Kurt Harris from the excellent blog PaNu:

    “The (paleo diet) is not a diet composed of prehistoric food items, it is a metabolic state that we are trying to live in while eating foods that exist now.”

    http://www.paleonu.com/panu-weblog/2009/6/13/using-dairy-to-substitute-fats-for-carbohydrates.html

    It’s crucial to the argument he and others are making that one is able to fully understand that.

  20. Chip says:

    November 24th, 2010at 3:01 pm(#)

    Michele, that sentence you quote is almost as damning, in that it seems like he’s saying he has first hand ideas of how the caveman’s metabolism worked. Truth is, we don’t. Nothing wrong with some solid eating decisions, like the tenets of Paleo, but does it need a label? It seems we’re too quick to want our identities to be tied up in something, and an eating label is no different. A recent case in point, I was teaching a workshop in southern California and the owner of the gym there presented me with very tasty bags of “paleo granola.” What made it Paleo? No wheat, she said. But that didn’t make it Paleo, that made it wheat-free. What made it Paleo was that is was made by someone who wore the label.

  21. Roland says:

    December 1st, 2010at 9:59 am(#)

    Kurt Harris has been pretty clear that we don’t know the exact conditions of what our pre-history ancestors ate, but that we can look to what we do know as a starting point for study and testing. Based on fossil records, etc., we assume their metabolism was cool (they seemed to be healthier).

  22. michele says:

    December 1st, 2010at 9:01 pm(#)

    Bingo, Roland.

  23. December 6th 2010 » CrossFit Lindy says:

    December 5th, 2010at 10:12 pm(#)

    […] The Paleo Solution Podcast Sunday, December 5th, 2010 Daily WOD […]

  24. Blog-watch: paleo diet links says:

    December 9th, 2010at 2:19 pm(#)

    […] have interviewed Robb following the book publication but I particularly liked the interview from Krista Scott-Dixon on Stumptuous since Krista has focused on several women-specific areas in the course of the […]

  25. Mamie Hatfield says:

    December 23rd, 2010at 2:48 pm(#)

    Shane, I hope no one thinks I was disagreeing with Krista. I’m not at all. I think I wasn’t clear. I see many people around the internet say “I eat wheat and I’m doing fine,” even after they’ve gone 30 days wheat (and other things) free. I still assume that many of them would do even better if they stayed off the wheat, but they just don’t outwardly “feel” the issues caused by the grains. I have done 30 days of strict paleo, myself and I just don’t feel different. I’m still paleo because I believe that I’m healthier that way and increasing my long term chances to be healthy in my old age.

  26. beth h says:

    February 8th, 2011at 12:31 pm(#)

    I wish I could DO the Paleo diet. But I can’t.

    As someone with lifelong Crohn’s disease, I’ve been told everything:

    “Well, if you have Crohn’s you should just give up because you’ll never be a real athlete.”
    “The Paleo diet would CURE your Crohn’s.”
    “Your Crohn’s is caused by stress and if you just changed your lifestyle you wouldn’t have it anymore.”
    “Leafy greens cause bowel distress? That’s just a healing crisis. Keep eating them for a few months and you’ll get over it.”

    Yeah. Well, I can tell you that none of the above is true.
    I can also tell you that anyone who insists that someone with a chronic condition can’t enjoy life on the same terms as someone without one is full of it.

    I eat carbs, and cooked veggies and chicken and fish. NO leafy greens, no broccli or cauliflower, no asparagus or celery or ANYthing else green that is leafy or fibrous, because it rips my gut to pieces. Twice a year I treat myself to my mother-in-law’s brisket (which is about all the red meat my body can handle). I drink coffee every day and generally avoid alcohol. And when I started reading the various Paleo diet books, I realized that if I tried to follow that kind of diet, I would get very, very sick. So I stick with stuff that won’t hurt my gut. I do yoga (I LOVE yoga). I ride my bicycle every day, and in the summer and fall I race singlespeed. I am pushing 50 and although I may never feel as eerily fit as the rest of you I feel the best I’ve felt in YEARS.

    The last time I had a discussion about the Paleo diet with someone, he made the unfortunate comment that those of us genetically predisposed to certain chronic conditions shouldn’t be having children, because in the real Paleo world we would have died out sooner anyway. That pretty much did it for me. I don’t intend to die off anytime soon, and if any of you see me on the road look out, because I just might kick your butt all the way up that steep hill.

  27. Mistress Krista says:

    February 9th, 2011at 3:52 am(#)

    @beth: Hey, I’d have been dead too! Running high-five for modern medicine, eyeglasses, and orthodontics — foiling mortality in the 20th century!! Yeah!

    The bottom line is that YOU MUST DO WHAT TRULY WORKS FOR YOU. You can only do the best you can with what you have. Robb’s always insisted that you have to be evidence-based in your decisions. Try X. Does X work? If yes, great! If not, try Y. Does Y work? Yes? Great — the end. Keep doing Y. Slap anyone who tells you to do X.

    There is no food, no dietary plan, no exercise, no ANYTHING that you must do if it — demonstrably — does not work for you, no matter how awesome that food, plan, or exercise is.

  28. Aly says:

    March 22nd, 2011at 3:45 pm(#)

    it’s interesting/amusing to see how similar Robb’s approach is to stage one of the Atkins diet (before Atkin’s Nutritionals invented low carb products and started pushing them on their members). the only differences are that Robb wants less packaging around his foods and eschews dairy, and Atkins wants more math.

    either way, Atkins worked well for me until I started increasing my dairy consumption. when I got off of it, I noticed huge GI problems revolving around dairy and grains, particularly those containing gluten. so Robb’s approach looks like a good one for me to try.

  29. Aly says:

    March 22nd, 2011at 3:54 pm(#)

    that is to say, thanks for another great post, Krista!

  30. Interview: Stumptuous!! says:

    June 22nd, 2011at 10:02 am(#)

    […] Well, Krista was kind enough to not only review the Paleo Solution, she also did a great interview. Check all that stuff out here and make sure to stomp around the Stumptuous.com site. There are tons of […]


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