In case you haven't heard, the Paleo diet is here to stay. And while I think there are close to an equal number of detractors as there are fans, there are actually plenty of reasons for going Paleo. While we were eating Paleo, my husband's Crohn's disease went into remission, my hypoglycemia disappeared, and we both felt more energized than either of us could remember.
Still, with the popularization of this way of eating (and its renowned association with CrossFitters), there has been some misinformation floating around, as well as a whole lot of stereotyping going on. When someone hears that I've been eating Paleo for a while, there are always a flurry of questions about it. Some of them I'm happy to answer every time, because I hate the misconceptions about this way of eating (for example, that it's all MEAT! MEAT! MEAT!).
Of course, there are always the questions that make me want to scratch my eyeballs out, too. If someone asks me about bread and pasta one more time, I may need to excuse myself and scream into a pillow. For now, though, I'll list them all here in the hopes that, if you aren't Paleo, you'll learn some new and interesting tidbits about this way of eating. And if you are Paleo, you can commiserate.
"Don't You Get Tired Of Meat?"
I suppose I would...if that's all diet consisted of. It isn't, though it's a common misconception, even of those who are following the diet. Also, meat is delicious so there's that too.
"Isn't It Just Like The Atkins Diet?"
Well, in some ways, yes, but in many ways, no. Both are low-carb, but Atkins is fine with junk food if it's low-carb, whereas Paleo eating is about whole foods. As well, the Paleo diet is more of a lifestyle than a means to an end (i.e., no single-minded focus on losing weight).
"Don't You Miss Bread?"
We just...aren't going to talk about that.
"You Voluntarily Gave Up Cheese?"
We're actually not going to talk about that either.
"So Do You Do CrossFit, Too?"
"It Must Be So Boring"
I think many people will agree with me when I say that going Paleo actually made me more creative in the kitchen. Take a look at this recipe index to see what's possible.
"Oh My God, That Diet Is So Unhealthy!"
Thanks for your input! And I suppose the burger and fries you had last night is better? What about the pizza you're planning on ordering this weekend?
"Why Would You Avoid Beans? They're So Good For You!"
There's actually some dispute surrounding this particular topic, though I have to say that my digestive tract does not miss them at all (and I was a vegetarian for 14 years so trust: I know beans).
"I Could Never Eat Like That"
Look, not to make this too specific to me, but fancy this, if you will: If switching to a Paleo diet meant the difference between you suffering from ulcerative colitis that had you in the hospital fairly regularly, and living a normal life, would you really not give it a go?
"Are You Trying To Lose Weight?"
Although some weight loss is a side effect of eating this way for a lot of people, most people go Paleo for their health.
"I Don't Like Enough Vegetables To Eat That Way"
"How Can You Eat So Much Meat? That's So GROSS!"
See my earlier point about eating lots of vegetables. It's all about the rainbow on your plate, man.
"What Do You Eat Instead Of Pasta Or Rice?"
Umm...more vegetables? And if you're really looking to reproduce the mouthfeel of noodles or rice, there are plenty of recipes and vegetables which allow you to.
"You Know, It's Bad For The Planet To Eat Too Much Meat"
Well, actually, one of the tenets of eating Paleo is to try and go with as humanely raised animals for meat as possible, because the nutrient profile of a grass-fed cow is completely different (and superior) to that of a factory farmed cow. So yeah, humans are a scourge on the earth no matter what, but since Paleo people rely on the earth for their food more than most people, please believe that we're pretty keen to do whatever we can to keep it healthy too.