February 22, 2010
This article exists for one simple reason: I get asked, over and over, "So how does this 'paleo diet' work?" And I want to give people an answer that is simple, solid, and above all, motivational. I want you to finish this article and think "Yes! I understand, and I can do this."
Here it is: a step-by-step guide, roughly in order of importance. Make progress at whatever pace you can. Don't stress about perfect adherence, or obsess about making it all the way down the list: any progress you make will most likely improve your health, mood, and physical fitness.
THAT was magnificent! Thank you.
I loved the bite of this article. I'll be referring people to this blog for a no-holds-barred introduction to the paleo way. I especially liked the emphasis on eating fatty meats from Ruminants. I'm going to add Robb Wolf as a good resource for people wishing to explore paleo.
ahem... I see no mention of beer in this diet?
February 22, 2010
This article took a long time and a lot of work. I thought at first that it was going to be a simple 12-step plan, but quickly realized that I couldn't do justice to the 'why' without writing more. And I didn't want to promulgate yet another long list of "don't do this, don't do that"...I wanted to give people who aren't paleo some idea of WHY we go to all the trouble, and why we won't eat their delicious homemade muffins. I'm glad it spoke to you.
Drinkable food made of grains...sorry, right out. If you need alcohol, stay classy with wines and distilled liquors.
Plus, you're a woman, so you get to drink Midori and all that delicious fruity stuff.
That is an awesome article, really enjoyed it!
Just one thing: You've swallowed the Enviro-Gestapo's kool-ade about tuna and other predatory fish. They're not poisonous, nor are they dangerous. The EPA's(Eternal Pollution Assumed) guidelines have a tenfold safety factor built in, and the idea that "detectable = dangerous" is one of the insidious little headgames the Veganist Jihad uses to scare people into eating like cows.
Here's a website which does a good job of illustrating this point: http://www.howmuchfish.com/. So, feel free to nosh away on tuna, swordfish, crab, shrimp, etc. with no (BOOGA-BOOGA!!!) terror of "Demon Mercury".
Note from JS: The site above blithely assumes that the EPA levels are set ten times too conservatively, and calculates based on ten times the EPA-permitted level. I don't know enough about the science to make a definitive statement on the issue, but: proceed with caution.
Reading the "postscript", one might get the impression this is equally derived from butter-fearing Dr. Davis and variety of other sources. Certainly the science is found in many places.
But not the hierarchical concept.
You can read the original 12 step list, whose recommendations are basically identical, published almost 2 years ago by an MD here:
Follow the links on that page to fill out the details
(Note from JS: Dr. Harris and I have since communicated privately and reached an amicable resolution.)
Best article and advice I've read in years!!!
so all the research on fatty meats,butter,cholesterol,coconut oil,etc. and the effect on not only the heart and blood vessels,but also colon,bladder cancer,etc. is wrong and you are right.
not to mention that your paleos enjoyed a life expectancy of 20.
Nada, don't be envious :-)
Man, I’m Ok with it, but I WILL NOT eat organ meats.
I am from South America, and when growing up we ate orgam meats just because it was all we could afford. As a matter of fact, I think that when my dad did not have a job (which happened every so often), we were in the Paleo Diet. We eat organ meats, fruits and cashews - from the mango and cashew trees that grew like weeds in our backyard!
No way I’m eating organ meats. I hated it! And the cashew fruit is gross! It tastes like vomit… The cashew nut is Ok.
I wonder why “Amerricans” like to digress in history. Why?
However, I have to say, that we ate better than many do in the States (e.g McDonalds Diet)
I love this article. Its so direct. All the other paleo stuff I've come across is all over the place, lean meat here, fatty meats there, pork and chicken, lots of seafood, no seafood (mercury!). What's your opinion on Game, because here in Australia one of our major meat options is Kangaroo and Wallaby, which aren't very fatty but are absolutely delicious and a key in the Aboriginal Australian Diet.
February 22, 2010
I'm honored to hear from you, and apologize for the delay. I'm happy to credit you and have revised
the post accordingly. Let me know if you find this credit acceptable.
February 22, 2010
Thanks! Glad I could inspire you.
"so all the research on fatty meats,butter,cholesterol,coconut oil,etc. and the effect on not only the heart and blood vessels,but also colon,bladder cancer,etc. is wrong and you are right."
What research? Give me references and links. I bet you'll be surprised when you find out that the research says things like "A meta-analysis of prospective epidemiologic studies showed that there is no significant evidence for concluding that dietary saturated fat is associated with an increased risk of CHD or CVD." (link) and "Red meat intake was not associated with CHD (n=4 studies; relative risk per 100-g serving per day=1.00; 95% confidence interval, 0.81 to 1.23; P for heterogeneity=0.36) or diabetes mellitus (n=5; relative risk=1.16; 95% confidence interval, 0.92 to 1.46; P=0.25)." (link)
"not to mention that your paleos enjoyed a life expectancy of 20."
"The average modal age of adult death for hunter-gatherers is 72 with a range of 68-78 years. This range appears to be the closest functional equivalent of an "adaptive" human lifespan." (link)
Someday you'll taste a nice fatty steak, seared in butter, and you'll realize that it's what your cells have been craving all your life. We'll be here to welcome you home.
You ate better than 98% of Americans are eating right now, even if you didn't like it at the time. I agree that it's nice to be able to afford tender, fatty muscle meats, and only eat the occasional bite of liver for nutrition purposes.
I'll make sure not to try cashew fruit. Isn't it covered with poison oak-like oils anyway? How do you pick something like that?
I'm not an expert on Australian fauna. The only nutrition information I can find indeed shows roo meat to be ridiculously lean...and though it's proportionally higher in polyunsaturates than most red meats, and doesn't have a particularly favorable n-3/n-6 ratio, it's so lean that this isn't really a concern. You're going to have to cook it in fat to make it palatable anyway, and with such little intrinsic fat it can't make too large a proportion of your diet. Think of it as eating protein powder shaped like a steak.
Based on the data I have, I'd say it's fine in moderation...but you'll need an extrinsic source of fat to balance it out. I'd be putting a fried egg on top, myself. Then there's the old standbys of butter and coconut oil...but my favorite for cooking lean meat will always be grass-fed beef tallow.
You might ask someone else who lives there for a confirmation. I was going to say Jamie Scott, but he's a Kiwi. Anyone else know any Aussie paleos?
Great article! I just have one question:
So fatty meat, fatty meat, fatty meat is apparently the way to go. But what if my only source of meat is grain-fed? Is it still best to go for the less lean choices? Would it be better to get leaner cuts of the grain-fed meat since I can't get my hands on grass-fed?
Thank you so much!
February 22, 2010
No, eat the fatty stuff anyway. Consider some EPA/DHA supplementation along with it, though, to keep the PUFA ratios more in line. I am not of the school that thinks "just eat as much n-6 as you want, and eat gigantic amounts of n-3 pills to compensate"...but since even grain-fed beef is very low in PUFA, you can take reasonable amounts of fish oil to balance it out. (And keep in mind that EPA/DHA content is the ONLY important number in fish oil supplements, particularly DHA.)
Keep in mind that there are many vendors of grass-fed beef, perhaps even one near you:
And quite a few of them ship! Shipping is reasonable for larger orders ($1/pound or less). Check this sub-directory for details:
Hi - I love your post and the more recent one 'does meet rot your colon' which was the one that brought me here.
Can I ask, what is the issue with cooking in lard? I use butter and coconut oil, but lard is another one I use.
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