It’s the infinite variation within that paradigm that make this lifestyle legitimate, beautiful – and demanding.
I call it “demanding” because I refuse to follow someone else’s rules. It’s on me to compile the knowledge to make the best decisions for myself. I believe that’s why Robb Wolf, in The Paleo Solution, goes to great lengths to supply the scientific as well as the practical, and why in his Podcasts he often says things like, “you’ll have to play with it, see how you do” in response to questions seeking definitive answers.
There are so many Real Food bloggers – from the MD and PhD to the everyman – because this life is so multi-faceted. The Experience Pool is Olympic-sized. And I love that. This isn’t a blind-follow situation. It’s an empowerment lifestyle.
If I wanted to Paleo-fy my comfort zone, I’d have eliminated bread and brownies and started living on ground beef, sweet potato and bacon. But I think there’s more to the story than just eliminating “modern foods,” then eating within the confines of what I already like. Certainly a baseline “Paleo diet” is effective enough to bring greater balance to the body and mind. But from there, it’s time to go one (or many) better.
This series isn’t meant to complicate something that should be simple – rather, it’s meant to celebrate the amazing potential of food to heal, strengthen, and optimize; and the incredible capacity of our ancestors to discover ways to stay healthy in the modern world.
There are certain vitamins, minerals, “intestinal occupants,” and intangibles that are tools for enjoying even better health than a baseline “Paleo diet” might provide. Most of us are unique in our balance – as well as our imbalance. Where one may need to emphasize probiotic foods, another may need to emphasize preformed Vitamin A. One may need to add starchy carbs for optimal function, while another may need to up their cholesterol intake and add some sunshine and stress relief. Some need to emphasize a gut-healing protocol while others are concerned with athletic performance. These needs all require different strategies that can only be self-tasked.
Above all, you’ve got to keep seeking, trust your instincts, and have faith in what your body is telling you.
In the upcoming Paleo Plus series we’ll discuss everything from milk products to stress relief. We’ll emphasize power-healing foods like Cod Liver Oil and bone broth. We’ll look at ways to actively heal the gut. All in all, we’ll explore ways to optimize the Paleo lifestyle. Be on the lookout for the next item in the “Paleo Plus” series: All About Dairy!