Tuesday, October 4, 2011

What is Paleo? It's All in Your Prospective!

Someone recently commented on this blog that I'm not following a true "Paleo" diet since I periodically eat potatoes, only buy commercially-produced fruit, veggies, and beef, and do not partake in coconut oil.  And let's not get into the "you're poisoning your children" because my kids do not follow a 100% Paleo Diet.

I deleted the comment but her words have stuck in my head for the last week.  So, I thought I'd take a moment to respond here, publicly, just in case others has the same concern. 

If you do a Google search, you'll find that everyone seems to have their own definition of what is and is not Paleo. People have morphed and evolved (yes, pun intended ;-)  ) the Paleo Diet to suit their needs and taste.  Some buy only organic or grass-fed fruit, veggies, and proteins.  Others have decided not to eat so much fruit to help regulate their weight.  A few have even figured out how to eat Paleo while on the run or traveling a lot - kudos to them!

My Paleo Diet revolved around whole foods with limited fruit and potato intake (I still have at least 10 more pounds to lose) and very limited sugar.  I don't eat anything out of a box (aka - processed foods).  I don't eat nuts (I gain weight when I eat them), beans, or grains,except for a rare treat made out of oatmeal.

I do not eat organic fruits and vegetables mainly because of budget constraints - hell, I can barely afford the conventionally grown ones these days!  The same goes for grass-fed beef and chicken and coconut oil.  When you're on a tight budget, these luxuries are just not possible!

Even though I "poison" myself with non-organic items (her words, not mine), my health still continues to improve.  I've lost 70 lb, finally bringing myself under the 200 pound mark, I have lots of energy, and my blood pressure has dropped from dangerous levels to "high normal". 

I'm a living example of what the Paleo Diet can do for you, even without the "curative properties" of organic or grass-fed.  ;-) 

And when it comes to my kids, I only have one thing to say - my kids, my rules.  Yes, they are not 100% Paleo.  They enjoy oatmeal, a piece of candy, or a slice of gluten-free goodie every once in a while.  I buy individually-wrapped string cheese from Costco to be used as a cheap and convenient snack for when we're on the go or to hold them over while I finish dinner.  And yes, they have one sandwich a day - an easy lunch and it keeps their tummies used to eating wheat so when they go to their dad's house, they don't get sick.

Oh yeah, I'm "poisoning" them.  *rolls eyes* 

So, to the person who made these comments (See how I'm keeping names out of it?  I'm so nice!) - I'm glad that you have the extra money in your budget to invest in your food like that but like a lot of people these days, I don't.  So, you follow your organic-lined path and I'll follow mine - I'm sure we'll both end up in the same place....


  1. Anita, I'm sorry you received a comment like that. That was uncalled for. Each of us, 100% Paleo or not, should be striving to do the best we can given our situation. I think you are doing an awesome job and I wish you the best!

  2. I had a troll recently as well. Called me an f'n r*t*rd. Delete!

    Must be something going around!


  3. Can I vent?
    It's easy for people to *say* we should eat all organic, grass-fed, pastured, local food. But when you have limited income and more than one mouth to feed *doing* it is not so easy. I am so sick of people making us feel like we are going to die tomorrow if we eat conventional foods. I mean if we cut out boxed foods and sugar we are doing 80% better than most Americans. Give us some credit for trying to eat healthy and pay the rest of our bills.

  4. Thanks for your support, guys! I was wary about posting a reply, scared of starting up a flaming war. ;-)

    @Anonymous - You are always welcome to vent! That's exactly how I felt...my first post had a few interesting curse words and insults which I later added out to be "politically correct". You attack how I raise my kids, and Mama Bear will come out and flatten you!

  5. Sorry, I'm a complete stranger here too (google searching paleo stuff). To anonymous, I have to say, my family lives off a very small income (and I'm not exaggerating that, we're starving artists). But, we eat 100% paleo because we 1) don't have cable (reading is more fun and the internet is awesome), 2) learned how to fix our cheap, old economy cars ourselves, and 3) got very good at budgeting and saying no. We don't even have debt, so it sounds like an excuse to me ;-)
    I have a one year old who started out eating paleo but grandmas and dad have since "ruined" it. The whole snack on the go thing is especially difficult and I have yet to figure out how to pull this off. All the snacks you can buy babies are processed crap (and it hurts my heart that she gets fed that stuff). I like the string cheese idea, even though it isn't paleo, but is it really so much better than the gluten finger snacks gerber sells, you think? That's an honest question.

  6. Hi, Casey! Welcome to my little Paleo blog!

    For my kids, dairy is a better snack choice than grains (though my kids eat sandwiches and such, I do try to restrict their grain servings to a couple a day - a sandwich for lunch and maybe 1/2 cup of oatmeal in the AM).

    Also, the Gerber baby snacks are super processed...which I hate. We don't eat anything out of a box or bag (though I do enjoy the convenience of canned veggies to make dinner easier/faster). I'd suggest trying to get rid of those.

    If I remember correctly, the diet of one year olds still center around formula or breastfeeding, with adult food being a "let's see if baby likes this!" sort of thing. I remember with my two, they ate whatever we ate for dinner with snacks of fruit and veggies in between (and a few non-paleo stuff, but that was way before my diet change). That's probably why my two love so many veggies, even during that normal "picky" three year old stage.

    I'd suggest going over to the Everyday Paleo website ( http://everydaypaleo.com/submit-a-question/ ) and submitting your question to them to be answered on an upcoming podcast. The women that are on that show have kids of their own and can give you some great tips on what to feed kids that are so young.

    Good luck!

  7. "To anonymous, I have to say, my family lives off a very small income (and I'm not exaggerating that, we're starving artists). But, we eat 100% paleo because we 1) don't have cable (reading is more fun and the internet is awesome), 2) learned how to fix our cheap, old economy cars ourselves, and 3) got very good at budgeting and saying no. We don't even have debt, so it sounds like an excuse to me ;-)"

    That's awesome for you. But you may not know a person financial situation before they learned how to eat healthy. Whose to say that people haven't already given up all the luxuries? You can't make a blanket statement that it sounds like an excuse without knowing all the details. As I said before, give people some credit for trying to eat healthy without making them feel bad for the compromises they do have to make in order to take care of the other necessities like having a place to live.

  8. I do have to agree with Anonymous. I am what they classify as "working poor" (god, I hate that label!) I don't have cable, drive a 14 year old station wagon, stay home a lot to save on gas, borrow books and DVD's from the library, repair broken/torn clothes and electronics or replace via the thrift store, bulk buy when possible, surf the grocery ads....and still grass-fed / organic items are not on our menu.

    When you're on a VERY tight budget, your priorities shift from the normal "Paleo" quite a bit. My priority is to get the most nutritious food I can for my dollar. I'm sure you can see the logic - if my choices are 5 lbs of conventionally-raised ground beef for $10 OR 1.5 lbs of grass-fed for the same amount, I'll always pick the conventionally-grown. There's more bang for the buck...and these days, I just don't have as much "bucks" as I used to!!! ;-)


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