Is it Paleo?!
Earlier this week someone saw a cookbook I was holding and asked if it was Paleo. “Not really.” I answered. “Good,” he said, “because I don’t believe in Paleo, or anything that doesn’t allow you to eat cucumbers." Now this was one I'd never heard before... and definitely not a Paleo rule.
Chatting with friends and clients about food, I get that question often. “So is that Paleo?!” The funny thing is, no matter how I answer, yes or no, people tend to jump to a reaction of smiling approval, or head-shaking disdain.
Does your diet define you?
We often feel we need labels to define ourselves, to give us an identity, to make a claim to the world. We use labels to become distinct, to separate ourselves. It’s why our diet choice often holds so much emotional pull.
But being Paleo, Vegetarian, Gluten-Free, or Raw does not automatically make you healthy. I’ve seen plenty of hardcore “cavemen” crushing beers and burritos and calling it 80/20. I myself was once a cookies, chips, and macaroni & cheese eating vegetarian.
The fact is, Paleo is great – as a theme, a broad spectrum. Where it fails is as a strict set of rules, a diet-turned-religion. Our ancestors didn’t have to navigate ingredient labels, order at restaurants, or pick from vending machines. Not so long ago, our ancestors truly knew where their food came from. They also knew exactly what they needed without counting calories or sticking to a set of diet rules. They didn’t need to label it anything... and I’ll argue that they were a lot healthier than we are as a society today.
What if we drop some of our labels and start tuning-in a little more to what our extremely intuitive and intelligent body is asking for? Your diet should be more than just an announcement to the world. More than a set of rules somebody else has established.
The foods you choose are a way to communicate with your body, and your genetics. Every bite you eat is a message you send to your cells – how to fuel, store, survive, heal, grow. Send the message of thriving health!
P.S. – I’m still using #prettymuchpaleo. I like the conversations it starts.