Paleo Vs Plant based

My Brother and his wife a kickin it Paleo style... as are a few friends of mine and from what I can tell... a handful of folks I know who are posting their struggles and successes with it on Facebook. The Paleo Diet promotes eating habits that reflect those of prehistoric Paleolithic men & women. The theory here is that Humans are designed to thrive on lean meats, non-starchy fruits and vegetables and some nuts. It's been that way since the beginning and we, as a society and as a species, have veered WAY off track from the diet and nutrition a we need and that's why we are all fat, sick & nearly dead. The sounds a little melodramatic. I'm just using that phrase because it refers to the documentary about the guy who drank fresh juices for 60 days and lost like 70 lbs and cured himself some rare immune disorder.

THAT guy, certainly wasnt kickin it Paleo style.

The "Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead" guy was obviously implementing a PLANT based strategy... but going even one further than the average vegan/vegetarian by consuming nothing but fresh fruit and veggie juice blends... with his uber cool juicer... that he took everywhere with him.

So there's FAT, SICK & NEARLY DEAD... and there's FORKS OVER KNIVES... both urging people to consider a plant based diet and having no meat whatsoever. Quite the opposite from Team Paleo.

(I'm starting to sense a new TWILIGHT trilogy here)


In my varied circles of friends, family and "other," THE CHINA STUDY has been a name dropped on occasion to support Team Plant Based. Hmm... team Plant Based doesnt quite hit the spot. "Team Vegan?" Thats not going to work. Team Paleo vs Planet Plant? Team Paleo vs The Green machine? Nah, kind of an oxymoron. I got it...

Plant Camp!

Team Paleo vs Plant Camp.

Who wins?

I'm confused. I love meat. I could totally buy into the idea that I should eat like a caveman. Buy myself some turkey legs and hang out, watch tv and tear some tasty flesh from the bone. Thats a good time in my mind.

But THE CHINA STUDY says that eating meat can contribute to disease.... and thats not good. There are a lot of people out there with stories about major health upheavals and cancer recovery... ALL of which are centered around eating fruits ad vegetables. AINT NOBODY every said "Hey guys! I just beat cancer by eating a bunch steak and chicken. Check me out! Yeehaw!" I have yet to catch wind of that conversation.

So wait... NO MEAT? At all? Beans, legumes? I guess I could swing that... if I had to.... if the CHINA STUDY says so....

"the book, called “The China Study,” has since sold 500,000 copies, making it one of the country’s best-selling nutrition titles. The book focuses on the knowledge gained from the China Study, a 20-year partnership of Cornell University, Oxford University and the Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine that showed high consumption of animal-based foods is associated with more chronic disease, while those who ate primarily a plant-based diet were the healthiest." 


I think one important thing to note in that quote there is that it says a "high consumption of animal based foods." A lot of what I'm reading about Team Paleo is that many people, as usual, are dong it wrong. They hear at a party that someone they know is on a paleo diet and that means eating a bunch of meat and they go home a devise a cocka-maymee plan to kick it Paleo style.... complete with its own "korean pop star" dance moves. Then they go out and buy a bunch of cold cuts and feast on Italian subs.... sans the bread. A proper paleo diet should be roughly a 1:1 ratio, animal to plant, and that the animal should be high quality, lean meat... not salami or prosciutto... and plenty of vegetables.

My Brother just chimed in on facebook (This morning I posted "Paleo or Plant Based? Revolution or Civil War?"). He said "If you are doing Paleo right, you are eating tons of plant-based food." Dave does his research. He doesnt pick up pointers at parties. I always trust his conclusions.

But all the hoopla from Plant Camp makes me wonder. My wife is a proponent of plant camp. She also has a HUGE soft spot for animals, so theres that.

A little more on Paleo...

The Paleo Diet: Can We Really Eat Like Our Ancestors Did?

So... here's what I think... and I preface this by saying I'm dont claim to have the answer. I can only do my own research. Mull over and ponder the options and try to make an educated guess as to the best course of action.... for ME.

When is doubt, do everything in moderation... that way you're not overdoing it on some method that might someday prove to be a fad with fanfare that could actually kill you (being melodramatic here. Neither Team Paleo nor Plant Camp will kill you.... drinking too much, smoking and eating too much Carl's Jr might... but not Meat and veggies)

Learn to listen to your body. Your phyiscal self is always sending you messages. Figure out how to read those notes and adjust accordingly. YOU are the only one that knows whats truly going on inside. I DO believe that one persons diet is not necessarily the answer to another persons woes. I think that there is some truth to all the "eat for your blood type"  hype.

(THATS an entirely different angle. Dont have time to go there)

I used to read a lot of new age self help stuff and TONY ROBBINS... I know I know.... Anthony Robbins is SO 1996... but HE preached a lot about diet and put a lot of emphasis on vegetables. His philosophy focused on beng able to properly digest everything and he would say that those things that we dont digest properly sit in our digestive tract and unless they find a way OUT of your system, they sit inside you and become toxic. Those toxins reside in your body for who knows how long and your body slowly absorbs those toxins, which promote disease. I think there is a lot of merit to that idea. I actually made a few dietary habit changes back when I read a few books of his and I feel like those adjustments have helped me tremendously.

What I'm trying to te at here is how important it s to eat vegetables. Like you CAN'T eat too many. I like the Paleo 1:1 ratio. Whether its high quality lean meat... or you just woofed won 4 slices of PIZZA... eat some VEGETABLES. If you can match all the questionable stuff you eat with some fresh vegetable... you can win the battle. You dont have to DEPRIVE yourself of comfort food forever, but f you find yourself enjoying something that you KNOW is a high calorie train wreck. Come back with a counter attack and eat a big salad for dinner.... or get a fruit smoothie the next morning for breakfast. Anthony Robbins urged people to eat nothing but fruit in the morning.... basically fruit only until lunch. If you ate a big disgusting... but delicious... dinner last night.... then limit yourself to an orange, some grapes, a banana... and then have a reasonable lunch the next day.


Anyway, I could go Team Paleo. Ha! I know how that sounds. I just screamed EAT MORE VEGETABLES from my patio and then I'm back to being a caveman with a turkey leg in my mouth. BUT... I can't hate on Team Paleo. I see the benefit. I know, personally that when I eat some quality grass fed beef or some organic or maybe cage free chicken... and some VEGETABLES... I feel pretty good. I can feel my system churning and absorbing and turning that meal into energy.

BUT.... if I was diagnosed tomorrow with cancer.... I would drop everything and start juicing my ASS off.

Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead is no way to go through life people.

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