Coming Soon to a Diet Craze Near You!

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Blog 1

NEWSFLASH!! (As seen on a website (or three) near you.) –  If you want to be healthy, lose body fat, kick ass in the gym, gain muscle and dominate the world then you better make sure you’re drinking Bulletproof coffee, bone broth and kombucha; eating liver (and other organ meats), coconut oil, MCT oil, sauerkraut (and other fermented foods), seaweed, cold potatoes (for the resistant starch – duh…) and copious amounts of _____________ (insert vegetable that you cannot stand here); and you’ll also need to take Fermented Cod Liver Oil, and roughly $300-$500 worth of miscellaneous supplements with varying functions. But that’s not all! Intermittent fasting, carb backloading, carb cycling, and very low carb/keto protocols should be incorporated liberally (because 2 out of 3 internet experts recommend them…) . **DISCLAIMER** Results received from following the above procedures may vary. Success is not guaranteed and results seen in internet testimonials are not typical.  Additionally, if you can’t stomach the thought of any or all items listed or if you are completely miserable following the above protocols, suck it up or be unhealthy.**

Okay, that scenario might be a little over the top, but I think you get the idea. There are SO MANY ‘expert’ voices telling us what to do and what not to do – in terms of food, exercise, diet type, etc.  Some of the advice might sound like something you can get behind – I mean eating eggs and bacon for breakfast doesn’t sound too shabby, and maybe you REALLY like coconut oil or liver; but there are some other things that maybe trigger your gag reflex a bit or that make your life kind of miserable. Case in point: You’ve started doing the intermittent fasting thing – you wake up a little hungry, but your ‘fasting window’ doesn’t end until noon; by 10:30 am you can’t concentrate, your stomach is growling and your left hand is starting to look like a nice snack. Yeah, you’re miserable –but you’re gonna do it again tomorrow because that’s what’s ‘healthy’. Does anyone, besides me, see the irony in that?  Isn’t the goal of this to optimize your health and doesn’t that include physical, mental and emotional aspects?  And who are these experts and gurus? Just because it ‘works for them’ it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s right for you and that, my friends, IS OKAY. There’s nothing wrong with you if eating low carb makes you feel like crap, you can’t stand Cross Fit style workouts or if the thought of eating liver brings to mind images of projectile vomit.

There isn’t one perfect definition of what eating well and living a healthy lifestyle is. But when it comes to food especially, there are a lot of people that think they have the correct answer.  And if you’re one of ‘those people’, I’m sorry, but, you’re WRONG! I’m not going to try to tell you what you should or shouldn’t eat – and I’m the last person that is going to judge you for your choices. I’ve spent two-thirds of my life villianizing food; lost in rules of what was and wasn’t okay. It’s an obsession that only distanced me from optimal health, isolated me and made me miserable.  While I’m not going to outline the perfect diet for you here, I am going to tell you what it’s not. Brace yourselves, here it comes…

The ‘perfect diet’ should not be something you obsess over.

If your mind is constantly focused on what you’re going to eat or not eat; what you can or can’t have; how many grams of carbs, fat or protein you need; or if you start bringing your own food to gatherings and restaurants; become anti-social and/or spend every free minute you have on the internet visiting food/diet related websites and forums then you have stopped living. This is not healthy – even if you do have 6-pack abs because of it. You may look, feel and perform like a champ BUT (yeah, a BIG but) are you ENJOYING life? When is the last time you ate something you WANTED – I mean, really wanted? And what would happen if you let yourself have, say, a donut? Is one donut going to be the end of you? Let me answer that for you – NO. Your odds of getting killed in a car accident, getting struck by lightning or attacked by a mountain lion are better. So just come to terms with that – it’s not the donut’s fault.

I’m not telling you to eat donuts everyday – but damn it, if you want a donut go and find the best donut ever. Take that donut, sit down with it and ENJOY every bite of it. I’d venture to guess that if you do that, there’s a pretty good chance that you’ll be satisfied and probably won’t want another donut (or six). There’s something to be said for: 1. Giving yourself permission to have a treat, guilt free with no shame. 2. Actually being AWARE of what you’re eating and ENJOYING it. One donut becomes six donuts when we tell ourselves we CAN’T have any donuts and if we do take a bite, we’ve failed. In that scenario, you probably didn’t let yourself enjoy the first donut, shoot, you might not have even tasted it – it was more of a “Hoover’type” action – just sort of inhaled. There’s no satisfaction in that – absolutely none, zero, and all that you’re thinking about is how awful you are, how guilty you feel and that you’ve failed. You’ve entered the ‘it doesn’t matter at this point mentality’ and that leads to donut number two, three, four, five… You’re left feeling sick, unsatisfied, angry and maybe a little scared.

Moral of the story: Food is a gift. It’s meant to be enjoyed; and if you’re afraid of it – your ‘perfect diet’ is not ‘perfect’ for you.

The ‘perfect diet’ should NOT be directly linked to your self-esteem, self-worth or value.

Does even thinking about eating something ‘off plan’ lead to a self-led mind lecture? Does eating that “donut” we were talking about leave you angry and frustrated with yourself – does it make you feel weak, ugly, unworthy of happiness? If you answered yes to any of that, you are giving food way too much power. I don’t know about you, but I know some pretty awesome people that eat “donuts”. They aren’t awful, weak, ugly or unworthy of respect and love, so why the heck are you? What you eat has nothing to do with who you are as a person nor should it dictate your feelings about yourself. If someone judges you because of what you eat (or don’t eat), they probably aren’t worth your time or energy. And, if you’re one of the ‘food judges’– you need to step back and get over yourself. Food does not determine the worth, value, or awesomeness of anyone and when you’re perfect in every aspect of your life, then we’ll talk.

Bottom line: YOU are more important than what you eat. It’s true that some foods make you feel better and make your body healthier – but, if you eat something that’s not on your ‘good food’ list, it doesn’t make you a bad person. The End.

The ‘perfect diet’ should not feel like or be a total life suck.

(Last one for today, I promise, just stick with me.) If you don’t look forward to eating, you’re doing it wrong. Food is a GIFT.  Say that with me; FOOD IS A GIFT. TASTEBUDS ARE A GIFT.  When what you eat starts being a gift that you wish you could return or that you wished you’d never opened; things have gone a little too far. If you’re preoccupied with how many grams of carbs you can have, what kind of oil something was cooked in or how many calories you have left for the day; you’ve pretty much entered a sub-division of Hell. If you’re living here, it’s time to step back and reevaluate what ‘healthy’ really is.

So, let’s wrap this up (yes, FINALLY). I’m telling you right here, right now, it is OKAY (in fact it’s downright healthy) to give yourself some grace!  It’s not the end of the world if you are a little ‘softer’ (or don’t have a 6-pack) but you’re happy, not obsessed with every bite you take, and are actually enjoying your life (that’s the way it’s supposed to be). Drop the ‘diet’ mentality. Give yourself permission to eat, and most importantly, ENJOY the food that you eat.  Listen to your body, eat mindfully – to the point of contentment not explosion, and know (and believe) that health is about more than a number on the scale, perfect abs, a magazine cover body and/or eating 100% ‘on plan’ all the time.

What’s it going to take for you to be HEALTHY – physically, mentally and emotionally? What does your life look like when you’re there? I can tell you right now that a having a perfect abs and/or losing those last 5-10 pounds, are not the keys to happiness.

You need to sit down and think about this stuff -I mean really think about it – not a quick 5-10 minutes – this is your LIFE and if you’re not enjoying it – you aren’t truly living and then what’s the point?

 

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  1. Elenor
    March 5, 2014 at 6:52 am

    {sigh} Writes the man who has never weighed 285 pounds (at just 5’6″). I think there are actually two huge demographics in the paleo/primal/low-carb/real-food/etc.etc. world. (Two groups with very loose and/or overlapping boundaries.) One is the Robb Wolf/Mark Sisson/etc. group — who may have been overweight, but never grossly overweight. The other is those of us out here trying very hard to get back down (or at least closer, dammnit!) to “normal” weight, but we’re starting this race so far behind the pack that we can’t even see y’all’s backs disappearing over the health horizon!

    Group one — I’ll call them the ‘nevers’ — changes their eating, goes to real food or low carb or paleo, and has success. Maybe not world-shaking “make me an underwear model” success, but they DO get close to their normal weight. (Of course, they were never that far away!) The ‘nevers’ (even unintentionally) sometimes seem like those folks who blame fat people on the basis of (as Tom Naughton has been brilliantly describing in his six-part blog entry) “Character, not Chemistry” but who WERE born near the finish line and believe they ran the race! (Notice too, how very many men are ‘nevers'; and how most of the women are young…)

    I’m in Group Two (as are lots and lots of old(er) women). Should we call them “always were”? I AM that 285 pounds, and have been for many years. I actually lost 60 pounds going low carb, but then stalled (a decade ago?!)and began treating my adrenals (what a miracle that was! There was MY life-changer! Except, alas for weight…) and then/next/now my thyroid. The ‘always were’ are trying the measuring, tweaking, IFing, RSing, this-and-thating in the desperate hope that ONE of those will make a difference! The obsessing comes because the ‘nevers’ have such success and we’re not getting there.

    Robb — I love your stuff, you’re fantastic — but I can’t just “forget it all and eat real food”; eat whatever is allowed, acceptable, normal, real, or, sometimes: tasty, desperately craved but only eaten once a year! (I don’t have cravings, I don’t struggle not to eat sugar. I do a bit with some starches, but since they ‘give me back’ my carpal tunnel and arthritis within an hour, I can usually resist!)

    I watch the back-and-forth arguing in these overlapping worlds, and think with despair: THIS person is describing the ‘nevers’ but that hasn’t worked for me. And THAT person is discussing medical intervention with hormones, but I can’t afford that. (And no, Commie-Care is NOT helping! I had/have to pay out of pocket for all the adrenal and thyroid work… now I order my thyroid pills out of Mexico (mfg by a German firm) and my occasional blood tests from LEF.org; occasional because I can’t afford often). This person is suggesting IF, and that one says IF is not for women. This one says white potatoes are fine, that one says no-never, and this other one says they’re great if you cook them, freeze them, and reheat them.

    I wish there were some way to have disclaimers or a flow diagram: if you are a ‘never’ take this path and you’ll have buckets of success and happiness! If you’re an ‘always were,” if you’re an old fat lady (or man? or is that even a third group?) do NOT go down that path — there be monsters!

    And I realize this sounds like whining … and probably, to some extent, it is … I realize everything has we try to be N=1 and everything is worth trying… but it’s SO discouraging when all you bright, beautiful, happy, successful nevers chirp: “just quit TRYING so hard and eat real food, you’ll be fine!”

    • Robb Wolf
      March 5, 2014 at 8:25 am

      Elenor-
      This piece was written by Amy. Amy has been battling anorexia almost her whole life, has been hospitalized for it, nearly died. For her, too much food scrutiny has caused problems. Then, we have your situation…so, how exactly do I get a one size fits all message out that fits every unique situation?

      That’s easy, I can’t. I have no idea why some folks enter into disordered eating, or others just do not get the “brochure paleo” experience. All I can take away is we either keep trying or roll over and give up.

    • Amy Kubal
      March 5, 2014 at 10:03 am

      Elenor,

      Robb didn’t write this one, I did. I’m a female that has struggled with food issues for 2/3 of my life. I get it. I wish I could give you a perfect answer – I know everything is confusing, but there is a way to make peace with all of this and it doesn’t necessarily depend 100% on what you’re putting into your mouth. Our relationships with food run DEEP – there are emotional, mental and physical ties. Unless it all gets addressed, there will be no rest, no peace, no ‘true’ and whole health. If there’s anything I can do to help you, I’m here. Know that there is a ‘happy place’ with all of this – but it does take some self experimentation and exploration. It’s not always easy or fun – but it’s worth it.

    • Amy B.
      March 5, 2014 at 4:50 pm

      Eleanor, I think you just need to realize that Amy wasn’t necessarily talking directly to *you* or to every single person who might read this post. She was talking to the people who literally let food choices rule their lives — they won’t go on vacation to someplace nice because they won’t be in control of their food prep 100% of the time. *Gasp*…What if something was cooked in canola oil? That kind of thing. The people who miss out on family events, parties, or just plain *human socializing* because they’re terrified of a nutritional misstep.

      I think Amy’s message is aimed at the group of people — and it’s a big one — whose “food fears” actually cause more health troubles than they solve. The incredible amounts of mental and emotional anguish some people have when they “cheat” (not the right word, but that’s how *they* would see it) on their plan and eat a slice of pizza, a candy bar, or a milkshake, can be worse than any physiological effects of the food itself.

      She’s not saying that if someone’s looking to lose 100 pounds they should eat whatever they want, whenever they want, because we just need to calm down and enjoy life. (Although that person, too, can benefit from the occasional — read, *occasional* treat.) She’s talking more to the people who become slaves to their particular regimen, be it diet or a workout program. They plan their lives around the regimen, rather than vice versa.

      • Amy Kubal
        March 5, 2014 at 5:17 pm

        Exactly! Thank you, Amy B.! :)

    • Debbie
      March 6, 2014 at 2:09 pm

      Armi Legge did an excellent podcast on how Eating Disorders occur and the signs to look for – http://evidencemag.com/eating-disorder-podcast/ And a blog – http://edbites.com/

  2. Jason Seib
    March 5, 2014 at 9:01 am

    Absolutely beautiful, Amy! Most people are looking for a set of rules that will deliver them to the promised land. Commenter Elenor expressed exactly that. What are we to do when one person tells us it’s all about _______ and another says something completely different? First, we can stop pretending that “dieting” will ever hold the answers we seek and start asking, “What does it take to build a healthy human body?” Remove desperation and emotion to the best of your ability and pursue health through nutrition, exercise, sleep, and stress management in a fashion that makes perfect sense to your ancient genome. Leave one of these inputs out at your own peril. All trick and gimmicks be damned!

    • Amy Kubal
      March 5, 2014 at 9:55 am

      Jason,

      You need to write a book. ;)

  3. Karen
    March 5, 2014 at 9:06 am

    I’ve noticed a lot of people commenting on paleo recipe blogs with “how many calorites/carbs” are in this. To me, that is the point of Amy’s post. Who gives a . If you want it, eat it. The whole point of paleo is the ability to free yourself of deprivation and calorie counting. There are people who aren’t happy with being “fit” but feel they can only be happy with x% body fat. This is also disordered, in my opinion.

    For me, eating paleo (and currently AIP) is a way to reclaim my health (I have RA). I am free from thinking about food all day, I am free from intense sugar cravings. I am no longer eating in the car or the bathroom so that nobody either a) sees what I’m eating or b) expects me to share. Now I eat good, nourishing food. I look amazing – healthy and fit. I’m at my lowest weight since I was 14 (I am 37). I feel great (i.e. no bloating/stomach pains, etc), but still have morning stiffness, joint pain and swelling, so I will continue along with the AIP (this actually felt like a “diet” and deprivation, but now, 30+ days in, it feels more natural). Having a donut would be a huge step backwards, for me, as I know I would immediately feel horrendous – gluten doesn’t like me; sugar doesn’t like me. So, instead, when I “break down” for a treat, it’s something in my “lesser of evils” category, like a tbsp of honey or a handful of dried apricots. These are treats that taste good to me, make me feel good, but also don’t reverse the repairs I am trying to make. We have to do what works for us, but it’s definitely true that looking at paleo as deprivation is not the way to go. We have been enlightened, we have left the cave, we are free. Let others see the changes in us, and see that they too can make those changes.

    Then there won’t be donuts at all – or if there are, they will be grain-free and sugar-free :)

    • Beverly
      March 5, 2014 at 10:52 am

      “We have been enlightened, we have left the cave, we are free. Let others see the changes in us, and see that they too can make those changes.”
      This is beautiful Karen. I’m also AIP, though I’ve successfully been able to make a few reintroductions. It was so difficult to start, giving up so much, but the healing that came slowly but surely made such a difference to my quality of life. After being Paleo for years but not seeing the healing I was reading about everywhere, I was ready to try pretty much anything. I had stressed out my body so much with IF, low-carb, Crossfit. Turns out what I needed was almost the opposite. You have to listen to your body and don’t give up.

    • Amy Kubal
      March 5, 2014 at 10:57 am

      “We have been enlightened, we have left the cave, we are free. Let others see the changes in us, and see that they too can make those changes.” That was BEAUTIFUL! :)

  4. healthyservesone
    March 5, 2014 at 11:15 am

    What a lovely inspiring post and great comments too!
    From my N=1 perspective, I needed to regain confidence in myself and my body to let go from the “rules”. Having lost a shed-load of weight, I was always scared that one mouthful too much would make me wake up fat again. Over time, I am realising (still an ongoing process) that listening to my healthy body is the best “rule”. Although I am a complete hypocrite because I was just searching for tips on performance goals diets for women…ah, look bright shiny biohacks!
    Good stuff, Amy.

  5. Phil Jones
    March 5, 2014 at 11:38 am

    I understand Elenors feelings it is sometimes disheartening when people who have never been really overweight say to relax and go with the flow. I’m attempting paleo for the second time. 1st time I lost around 140lbs and it was easy I wasn’t obsessed we with food and weight fell off. Then I hit a roadblock after attending cross fit for 4months I managed to end up with a partial tear in supraspinatus and a 270 degree labrum tear! This sent me into major depression and I stopped paleo and reverted back to my old ways. A year later and a reconstructed shoulder and I have put back on nearly 100lbs. My shoulder is just about back to full use but still weak and I have returned to paleo and this time is a huge difference. Unless I obsess and consciously watch everything I eat I don’t lose weight. Paleo as I knew just doesn’t work this time I always feel hungry this time and it really is a battle. I am going to stick to it as I believe in the science and think its still the best way of eating for me.

    I know a lot of people use it just to feel better and slipping off isn’t a major setback for them but it is for me and sometimes looking at people like Mark Sisson who skips breakfast to go paddle boarding followed by a game of ultimate Frisbee is a million miles away from me sitting at home in UK with crappy weather trying to fight the urge to demolish a bag of Doritos.

    Anyway boohoo to me my life is my responsibility so I’ll just have to deal with it!

  6. Scott Milford
    March 5, 2014 at 1:03 pm

    Amy,

    I’m sure that many people who hook into the “healthy eating” track of life start off a bit overzealous, judgmental, condescending, and a bit like a food Nazi. When I first started being an advocate for quitting sugar, I was amazed how how many people kept trying to fix me. As good as I was eating, there was always yet another person telling me that I could be doing better.

    The sad thing is, I started falling in-line right behind them. I found myself saying things like, “Wow, that’s great. Except for [insert food], that’s actually not healthy. If you just eliminated that, and [insert a long list of other foods], you would be doing wonderfully.”

    The more I got annoyed with other people doing that to me, the more I began to realize that I wasn’t helping anyone by pressuring them to eat like me.

    So, I got tire of that fast. And that set me on my path as an advocate for healthier eating for common, every day people who face common, every day challenges when it comes to eating better and getting fit. When someone makes one small change, and they’re proud of it, now I congratulate them, even if they’re eating other things that aren’t so healthy. Because IT’S NOT EASY to change a lifetime of programming. Baby steps are good enough when someone is just getting started on the path to better health.

    So I’m completely in agreement with you, Amy! And I applaud you for shouting this message for all to hear! Sometimes good enough actually IS good enough.

    Cheers,
    Scott

    • Amy Kubal
      March 5, 2014 at 1:33 pm

      Thank you so much! And it’s good to know that not everyone out there is a ‘Food Nazi’! :)

  7. Ellen
    March 6, 2014 at 7:50 am

    Robb, great reply! There are people all across the spectrum. It’s really hard to encompass everyone, but…

    Amy: Hallelujah! Thanks so much- I am going to read this every day. I am not a “never” by any means, but this ED recovery has left me healthier in body…yet doing a lot of obsessing. Spending my time on exactly the wrong focus. So what if I am “soft” for a while, if it helped me cycle again (at last)? Having a period (sorry, tmi) is way more important than a little extra padding.

    • Amy Kubal
      March 6, 2014 at 8:45 am

      Ellen, I am right there with you. I’ve spent SO MUCH time focusing on the WRONG things – I’m totally okay not having a 6-pack and a “thigh gap” if it means that I get to start LIVING!!! :)

      • Ellen
        March 7, 2014 at 8:07 am

        Woohoo! Here’s to a better focus and a bigger life.

  8. Juanita
    March 6, 2014 at 10:11 am

    Hi Amy — Funny that I stumbled upon this at a very timely point in my life. I have struggled with binge eating for about a decade and have gone through every diet imaginable, thinking it would be the “perfect” one to cure my behavior. Trying to do the Whole 30 triggered the worst binging behavior of all, so I have finally, completely given up the idea of dieting, counting calories, or following a specific eating plan. I’d hit “rock bottom,” I guess.

    So the past week I’ve been eating exactly what I want, with the one rule that I follow a “hunger scale” and really pay attention to what my body is telling me. And I lost 2 pounds! (I need to lose about 40.) It’s miraculous. And such a relief to eat the foods I was restricting (which was becoming a longer and longer list).

    Your post was really helpful to me and emphasizes the fact that when I want something “forbidden,” I can have a small portion of it and really OWN it and savor it. Thanks for being a voice of reason!

    • Amy Kubal
      March 6, 2014 at 11:03 am

      Juanita! You are on the right track!!! Listen to your body, eat mindfully and enjoy every bite. The only ‘bad’ foods are the ones you don’t enjoy or that make you sick. Focus on the stuff that makes you feel AWESOME and never forget that food is a gift.

  9. Eddie Strike
    March 7, 2014 at 2:33 am

    Why did Robb give Bulletproof Coffee a shoutout? I thought he was onboard with the caveman coffee guys?

    • Amy Kubal
      March 7, 2014 at 4:08 am

      I wrote this, not Robb and I just called out a bunch of stuff – no rhyme or reason. I think you may have missed the entire point of the article.

  10. Bonnie
    March 7, 2014 at 1:50 pm

    Elenor – I understand your post – I could have written it! It is too easy in any kind of diet article to see the readers as all being one type. To add in the the exceptions, to say “most people” or “some people” very often can make the writing a bit turgid.

    As a T2 diabetic using a low carb diet to stay off meds as well as lose weight, there is no way I can eat off-plan. When I do, my blood glucose goes up. I have only planned to eat off-plan once (so far) and that was a small dessert after a mostly meat meal on a special occasion. Thankfully, it didn’t raise my BG too much.

    I am also a compulsive overeater – a binge eater. OA has given me help on that.

    If I didn’t obsess over the carbs and on my BG numbers, I would be on oral meds that have bad side effects for me, and eventually on insulin. I’ve seen what happens to other diabetics and that is not what I want for me.

    I know that I’ll never be able to eat like a “normal” person.

  11. Boundless
    March 8, 2014 at 9:55 am

    “There isn’t one perfect definition of what eating well and living a healthy lifestyle is.”

    It may be possible to know this, but we probably aren’t going to have unconfounded data supporting the answers for decades. Further, significant variations may be required by genotype (Apo E2/E4 being perhaps the most extreme example).

    To approach “perfect” from the other end, we DO today know what an imperfect diet is (lethal, actually): USDA MyPlate, which is mindlessly echoed by any number of agencies and associations we’d expect to know better.

    Where does this leave us?
    And what’s for lunch?

    “I’ve spent two-thirds of my life villianizing food; lost in rules of what was and wasn’t okay.”

    It is key that people working toward some ideal future diet be very careful about “rules”. It is far too easy for what, at some point, seemed like sensible guidelines to become nouveau dogma protected by an emergent priesthood increasingly resistant to contrary data (i.e. zealots).

    We need to do what the Ancel Keys class of researchers did NOT: keep a skeptical eye on the actual consequences of the guidelines, and be willing to periodically reconsider every tenet of our chosen Way Of Eating. This is particularly the case for supplements.

    “.. but damn it, if you want a donut go and find the best donut ever.”

    When the focus is consequences, and we understand what ingredients are in various things sold as food, rules matter less.

    No one in this household would now chose to eat a current standard donut. One family member would be rapidly miserable, having figured out an acute wheat sensitivity well before “Wheat Belly” was published. We also see all too clearly that even GF donuts are glycemic bombs that are apt to cause prompt insulin power naps (which is dangerously inconvenient while driving). The paleo donuts we make at home, on the other hand, well, we can eat those all day with zero adverse consequences.

    I’ve learned a lot more about food in the last 3 years than I’d planned, having previously been content with a Zone-like diet. Observing the wheat thing emerge caused me to wonder: what else don’t I know? I’m still poking around.

    Because there is no single trusted authority yet, we all have to personally piece together a big picture, with a lot of the pieces missing. Some pieces may turn out to not be part of this puzzle.

    We’re entirely content with how we eat. We keep safe treats on hand, know what few packaged foods are OK, and know that restaurant eating is apt to result in a small exposure to ingredients (PUFAs in particular) that we don’t use at home. Subject to change without notice. Batteries not included.

    Be nutritionally aware, and cross-check everything on the internet.

    Be cautious about being a nutritional evangelist.

    Avoid being a nutritional zealot.

  12. walkfit
    March 13, 2014 at 11:58 pm

    This is a good post and people should not take it personally. The article just makes a very good point: that being happy and content with your life is likely healthier than taking to extreme any of the so-called health diets being thrown around these days.

    If you look at all of the important nutrients you get from a certain diet and all of the poisons you avoid, then you might also want to consider all of the good chemicals your body creates in a blissful situation and all of the bad chemicals it creates in an unhappy situation. A body with a healthy condition can fight off a lot of bad, but a body with an unhealthy condition is probably going to need more than some diet to turn itself around.

  13. Nicole
    March 14, 2014 at 3:50 pm

    Amy, I love this. Thank you. That was me several years ago when I found paleo; I was a paleo proselytizer and doing everything “right.” However, despite my commitment and fervor, it couldn’t combat five years of deployments in Afghanistan that gifted me with four parasites, a leaky gut, H Pylori, a yeast overgrowth, zero cortisol, hypothyroidism and some nasty food allergies. Suddenly I was the sickest person I knew despite my claims paleo was THE way to go. It would’ve been easy to blame my version of paleo and either get super obsessive about what I was doing “wrong” or just say F it and go on a beer and pizza binge. Thankfully, I’m able to listen to voices of sanity and reason like you, Robb, Chris Kresser, etc. that continually remind me that real food IS a gift and is always going to be the solution; I just need to adjust my mindset, be patient and give myself a break. Sorry for sounding woo woo, I’m not like that I promise :)

    Please continue to share your thoughts as honestly as you are. You guys rock.

  14. Chris
    March 24, 2014 at 8:18 am

    Well I read that and thought “bloody hell, she is talking about me!” Although I do actually enjoy learning about health and experimenting I hadn’t actually stood back and looked at what I had become. Thank you for bringing it to my attention!

    So the question is: how do I become less obsessive? I don’t think that will be so easy!

  15. Christy
    April 4, 2014 at 4:50 am

    When I read this, I found myself saying “well that’s me on a ‘diet'”. It makes sense that I usually give up after a few weeks because I get tired of it all.

    I don’t like all the diet fads out there, and I get nervous when I hear a new one. I go back to the way I ate when I was a kid, I just ate when I felt like eating and I didn’t care how many calories, fat grams, carbs, etc. I was consuming. I just liked what tasted good. Funny how I actually ate better then….

    Now, my mother is an “always were” and I don’t know how to get her out of that mindset to count everything meticulously, but maybe someday we can just eat simply and healthy but not care about the numbers so much :)

    Thanks Amy.

  16. Lana
    April 12, 2014 at 8:02 am

    Great article but what about the person like me who has autoimmune issues and needs to heal the gut and needs to do the autoimmune pale protocol. That’s obsessive to me because I can’t eat out really or eat a huge variety. I know its short term though but it does cause me to be obsessed.

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