When you first discover an unknown band you feel something special. You want to tell everyone about how awesome they are, but at the same time you want to keep it to yourself because you don’t want anyone else to know about them. In a way you don’t want them to get too big because then it will ruin some of the magic for you.
As this indie band starts to go mainstream, some of the luster is lost. If everyone is into it, it’s not as cool as it was when it was this small, underground thing. For me, the Paleo diet is moving in this direction.
Paleo is still a fringe word but as it becomes more and more mainstream along with that comes gross generalizations, misconceptions, and the further I want to distance myself from it all. People ask and assume some really strange things when they hear the way I eat. You do that Paleo diet. So, all you eat is meat, right? No. Do you eat raw meat? With the exception of sushi and sashimi, no. So, you eat rice? I thought grains weren’t allowed? There is no Food Police. I can do what I want. Do you eat vegetables? Yes. Lots of them. Do you eat them raw? Sometimes. I’m confused. You should be.
There are many different interpretations of the Paleo diet. Everyone thinks their version is right and that everyone else is wrong. It’s confusing and frustrating. We just want to eat. And here’s the biggest problem when food becomes religion: dogma. It’s just food. There is no black and white. It’s all grey. I eat some dairy, grains, and legumes and I haven’t been smited by the Paleo gods. The frequency, quantity, and specifics of those foods all depend on my individual tolerance. I react strongly to gluten-containing foods, so I make a conscious effort to avoid them. With certain types of dairy, like milk and cheese, I have a stronger reaction than butter or heavy cream. For this reason I choose to limit these foods. Not because I follow a certain diet, but because it is what works best for me personally.
When I work with clients, I strongly censor my use of the word “Paleo.” I don’t like the word and what it’s become. I only really use it as a search tool if the person wants to make an alternative version of a traditional dish or dessert. Do a search for “Paleo” anything and you will find it. There is no shortage of paleofied foods. As a search tool, the word is very valuable. But when you start debating over whether or not something is Paleo, I tune out. It’s a waste of time and it’s not helping anyone. No one is eating a Paleo diet, as much as they’d like to think they are. The food we have now is not the same food that was around during the Paleolithic era. We eat a modern-Paleo diet, if you want to call it that. But why don’t we call it what it is: real food.
I think we’ve lost sight of what Paleo once was – a great jumping off point toward finding what works best for you as an individual. If you want to have some milk and beer (hopefully not mixed together), go for it. It’s your life. Your choice. I’m not going to judge you. But don’t eat something because it’s “not Paleo.” Choose not to eat something because it’s not the right choice for you.
I eat real food. I don’t do Paleo. Paleo is dead. I follow the Larry diet. It’s what works best for me. You can’t follow my diet because you’re not me. You have to follow your own diet. It’s not a fad, and it will never go out of style.