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Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff- Paleo Minutae

A growing trend has begun troubling me in the paleo sphere- concentrating on minutae.  Little things, in other words. 

Instead of just focussing on the large issues in what is wrong in health and fitness these days, most of the paleo “in crowd” seem to be trying to distinguish themselves by choosing some small niche in the field, and going on and on about how important that one small thing is!  I realize most folks that talk and write about paleo nutrition and wellness are trying to make a living from it, I get that.  But by stressing that most people need this exclusive test, or that one; while they might be carving out a lucrative niche for themselves, the are obscuring the important, vital overall message that everyone needs to hear, not just Paleo aficionados who study this stuff to death. 

While I might fall into that latter category, I am different in that I am not trying to make a living in the paleo field, or even to make a name for myself and become a recognized “expert”.  I do have an e-book on Perfectly Paleo Exercise that has turned out to be quite a good seller, but the reason I put that out was because I couldn’t find any other place that was really putting out what I considered good, safe, productive exercise information!  Everything was just recycled body building, long distance running, powerlifting  and Cross Fit types of stuff, most of which I consider largely useless, and oftentimes harmful.  So I decided to show a correct alternative using body weight, virtual, isometric, and self resisted movements since there was nowhere else really to find it.

But this is not specifically about exercise.  The Paleo, or now “Paleo-ish” lifestyle as it has evolved to become, is a really powerful, simple thing!  If all of the experts in the field, which also seem to be developing into a kind of exclusive club that recognizes one another for mutual benefit and exclusivity each stresses a few things, like SIBO or Candida, or goes into paroxysms in a wild debate over which is better, Paleo or Ketogenic- all they do is start to confuse the average person.  They take the message, and garble it.

Not to make this more important than it is, but think of it like what happened to Christianity.  Whether you are a believer or not, you probably know that Jesus had a very simple, understandable concept behind his preaching: Love One Another as You Love Yourself.  Of course there is very much more, but that is the basis- Simple, understandable, and very transforming in and of itself.

But think what has become of that simplicity over the ages, as self-serving folks tried to “explain it better, more fully”, and incidentally started huge, exclusive churches with elaborate hierarchies and overarching agendas focussed on money, prestige, and power!  The Paleo Kingdom is far newer and smaller, but I think the idea is the same.

Live as well as you can like our ancient ancestors- Eat real food.  Avoid chemicals things made in a lab, and live a life in the outdoors as much as you can, moving and exercising in a natural manner in nature, and sleeping and resting amply each night.  Enjoy family and neighborhood connections, and avoid stress, particularly the stress of modern drugs and the ill-advised procedures of modern medicine, which is profit-based, not health- based.

That is my off-the-cuff explanation, not perfect of course, but pretty simple and basic.  Of course there are variations: original, Loren Cordain Paleo allowed NO dairy, no legumes, and he was quite an endurance exercise proponent.  I do very well indeed with high fat dairy, some legumes are fine for me, and I have discovered that endurance exercise is a bad fit of the vast majority, who are in need of muscle tissue far more than aerobic endurance.   Everyone needs to find just what works for them, but the truth is:

Cutting out grains, eating a higher fat diet along with lots and lots of vegetables and quality protein TRANSFORMS PEOPLE’S HEALTH!!

Doing just that above, even for a couple of weeks, will literally begin to transform anyone who does it!  They really don’t need to have lots of expensive tests, visit naturopath professionals or functional medicine docs or even regular M.D.’s- they just need to get started on the basics, and then sticking to it!  It really is just that simple.

You don’t really want to have a “guru” of health, although there may be a few that you follow that make sense to you.  But just take from each one what they have that is valuable, try it out, and then carry on on your own.  YOU are your own best health advocate!  Make it your hobby, both for you and for your family.  No one, absolutely no one cares as much about you and yours as YOU DO.

So go thou, and be a paleo pioneer my friend.  Forget the testing, the many gimmicks; the clubs and groups and this and that- just eat paleo, exercise paleo, and live paleo.

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