Primarily Paleo

A path to wellbeing

Are You Paleo, Ancestral, or Primal? And Who Really Cares.


Newsflash: In case you missed it there is no one Paleo diet. Everyone tweaks what they eat based on the same guiding principles which act to help you choose the most nutrient dense food that your own body will thrive on. Some people achieve more success than others, meaning if you don’t feel well after the initial transition period and you aren’t seeing body composition changes or performance enhancements you desire then you need to better evaluate your diet choices — such as adding more or less carbs, stop re-introducing gluten or alcohol, or relying on sugar to fuel you.

What got me started on the this post was seeing a lot of questions on various message boards and Twitter about whether a someone is Paleo, Ancestral, Primal, Low-Carb or the term I am sometimes use Whole Foods- based. Frankly, it’s a bit of a marketing scheme. If you have a book or want people to follow you, you pick a camp and work with it.

It’s hard to label the diet you choose to follow.  When a client was asked how he lost a bit of weight and was looking so toned, he answered he follows a low carb and no sugar diet. I asked him why he wasn’t calling it Paleo and he explained because he is avoiding dairy and all carb-rich starches like sweet potatoes. Yes, by most definitions he is Paleo but he’s defining his diet based on the rules he’s choosing to follow. I know a handful of folks who describe their diet as Paleo, but when they fall off the wagon they indulge in plenty of neolithic foods like pizza and beer.

I would define my diet as a gluten-free, low-sugar and occasionally lacto (in the form of grass-fed and raw dairy) Paleo.  In the end, does it really matter how we label ourselves? I think not. I just find it interesting that there’s great importance placed on what community  you fall into. There’s still great debate about carbohydrate level intakes, controversy about eating too many Omega-6 fatty acids in the form of chicken skin and almonds, finding the right acid- alkaline balance, and whether to avoid legumes in the form of peas. It’s enough to make your head spin about what you should eat and what you shouldn’t.

In the larger ancestral community, including the Weston A. Price followers, we are all fighting for the same cause. Aiming to eat as whole-foods based of a diet as we can. That’s my goal for all of you reading this blog: to find a way to maintain and be satisfied with a whole-foods based diet while living in the modern world, taking vacations and celebrating life with food.

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