Yup I did it – I said a dirty word: Paleo
Many of you are getting ready to ridicule me with comments about Paleo “Cavemen didn’t have ovens so how can you make Paleo baked goods?” “Paleo food is so gross and bland and boring!” “Why do you have to LABEL it as Paleo, you don’t eat raw meat or like a REAL caveman!” or my absolute favorite “A caveman wouldn’t eat that so you can’t!” What I am going to say next will probably infuriate these people: SIMMER DOWN. Listen, I get that it’s marketed as the “caveman diet”, but let’s be honest it’s 2013. We have more technology now than they did back in the Paleolithic era… if they had ovens they would have used them. Obviously. Here’s the BASIC idea that I take away from the concept of Paleo: get rid of all the junk. All the junk that is in / called food, stay away from things that are overly processed, and try to stay away from things that your body wasn’t necessarily made to digest. Take dairy products for example, we are the only species on earth that once we learn how to chew food continues to eat and drink dairy.
An aside to get you thinking: When a puppy doesn’t need its mother’s milk anymore, they eat food and never go back. So why do we do it? Especially when there is a large percentage of people who are Lactose intolerant. That says something if you ask me, but I digress…
Moving on to why I chose to eat Paleo
Back in 2010 I deployed to Iraq (we had a war there…..maybe you have heard of it) where I was stationed for about a year. Unfortunately for me I wasn’t living on a traditional military base; well I was, but it belonged to the Iraqis. We were often cut off from supplies like food and water and were forced to live off of the local fare. Now don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing like fresh eggs, homemade bread, and local fruits and veggies…..but along with all of this food came parasites that our bodies weren’t accustomed to. Fast forward to when I redeployed to America and settled back in at home again, I was sick as a dog. Every time I would eat “normal” food I would get sick and couldn’t figure out why. Well apparently some sort of fun parasite decided that it was going to take me hostage and not give me back (this was, come to find out, quite “common”). Well played parasite. Well played.
After losing ten pounds that I couldn’t afford to lose and talking to some CrossFit friends, I decided to give Paleo a try – I mean at this point what did I have to lose right? Right. I admit it was hard for the first month or so when my body was “detoxing” from all the crap that I had fed it. Sure I was tired, hungry, and eating all the time – but I was also GAINING weight and not getting sick anymore. Can I give any scientific explanation for this, no I can’t. All I know is that over the past two years between eating Paleo and doing CrossFit: I have gained weight, muscle mass, and am now at what I would consider a normal or ideal weight for my body frame.
Of course people are STILL going to find something negative to say about Paleo, but next time someone says “I eat Paleo” maybe they aren’t that “elite self-centered narcissist” you jump to conclusions and think they are. Maybe they have Celiac and can’t eat grains or gluten, or maybe they have a lame Iraqi parasite, or maybe eating Paleo just makes them HAPPY. Whatever someone’s reason is, it doesn’t affect you directly that they eat Paleo.
So why do YOU care? That’s right, you shouldn’t.
Pam Rehal is a Paleo eating, CrossFit addicted, adrenaline junkie from Boston Massachusetts that spends the majority of her free time at the gym or blogging. Pam served in the United States Army in the Military Police Corps and did one tour of duty in Iraq. When not at the gym, she can be found going on adventures with her dog Sydney or being the life of the party at a local bar with her friends. Twitter: @pamrehal Huff Post author bio