Dear Paleo, I Quit.


What is Paleo? There doesn’t seem to be one, simple defining set of words, and yet, for years, we tried so hard to fit our ideas of what a healthful diet was into the confines of the term Paleo. That ends today. We are not Paleo. We are Health-Bent, so go ahead and unlike us on Facebook.


We wrote about 80/20 living, X Number of Days Detox Deprivation Diets, and carbs in our book. So this really isn’t anything that’s changed with the way we think (Which is why we get pooped on for having carbs and dairy options in our book). We still eat and believe in the recipes in our book, but there a few things that lie outside the typical Paleo mindset.


I do not have allergies, autoimmune issues, or celiacs, and I’m not overweight, and that seem to be why a lot of people decide to “go Paleo”. So, if you “went Paleo” for any of the aforementioned reasons, some of the things I discuss below may not pertain to you. Personally, I eat for health/quality of life, performance, and to look good naked. The content below is based on my own personal experience. Everyone is different, and we don’t all do/perform/look the same on the same diet. Please be respectful of that. I reserve the right to delete your comment if you’re being an a-hole.


How it All Started

It’s 2006, I was in college, and went in for a colonoscopy, and later, an endoscopy, all so the gastro could tell me I had IBS  and here take this pill. I wasn’t impressed. A few months later, Brandon read The Paleo Diet, and thought it could help. I read the book, agreed that it made sense and thus the ball got rolling. We went full-blown Paleo. After years of reading and self- experimentation, we’ve 80 percented our diet as Paleo for almost seven years (That was weird to write, I feel old.). We started CrossFit in 2009, are pretty good at it, and are currently set to open our gym, Base 10 CrossFit, at the end of December.


Let’s Start a Blog & Tell People What We Eat

Throughout those years, we read the blogs and the books, and gave 2 hour long talks at the gym we worked out at. Our talks weren’t about cavemen and only eating what they had available, we talked about the science. Where we got it wrong was where we were looking for the science. We chose to reference the bloggers and books we read, from the people who were picking studies to prove their points; referencing PubMed and studies that, as a layperson, I couldn’t tell the grade A from the grade quack. I rarely (read never) clicked or looked up the reference links to read them for myself, and even if I did, would I even really know what it said (or didn’t say)? Probably not. I just believed the interpretation I was reading. I realized we were cherry picking the cherry pickers, and needed to find/read sources that were selling research, not a diet and a slew of products to along with.


From the very beginning, we always tried to convey ideas of 80/20, moderation, and enjoying the food we prepared and ate. We battled the Paleo Purists, and the “paleo-izing” of our favorite conventional foods & flavors, being told by one popular Paleo blogger that we had “sucrose sweetened venom” running through our veins. Lol. All so now those same dogmatic purists sell the same message, via hypocrisy, in the form of diet books, product affiliations, and cookbooks. Needless to say (but I’m saying it anyway), we don’t participate in the Paleo circle jerk (I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine) and don’t really find ourselves wanting to be associated with people who perpetuate perfection, dogma, treat/carb-shaming, and disordered eating a la guilt and excuse making when they eat “unpaleo” food. Anyway.


Eating “Clean”

Neither one of us are fans of the super strict challenges. Sure it helps people, and I’m happy if that’s what motivated you to make a change and you’ve experienced positive results because of it, but we think those types of challenges are completely unnecessary if you aren’t extremely overweight/obese, suffering from autoimmune/allergy issues, etc. Beyond that, I’ve never understood why craving something is bad. Why challenging yourself not to eat fill-in-blank for x number of days makes things better? What proof is there that some arbitrary number of days is going to “cure” you of those cravings anyway? And if you’re prone to disordered eating (more of us are than you realize), I really think these challenges of eliminating certain groups of food can makes things worse. It’s an unnecessary test of willpower. If the day after the challenge is over and you binge eat on the “not healthy” foods (who wouldn’t), that is proof enough for me that the challenge does nothing to “cure” you of any so-called “cravings” or “bad habits”.


Read it…it’s worth it, I promise. Why “Clean Eating” is a Myth


Orthorexia/Disordered Eating & Carbs

I came across the website and read about her weight loss success and her current diet. She’s vegetarian (I think), and eats a ton of carbs. I died. I couldn’t believe it. How did she not regain weight? How was she so ripped? Carbs are evil!


I was eating a typical paleo diet: lots of meat, vegetables with fat on top (butter, olive oil, etc.), virtually zero nuts, very little fruit, and I looked swollen & puffy, my face was broken out, and I consistently bonked during my workouts. I wasn’t happy.


This was when I began to realize that a.) I was eating too much and b.) I may have a tinge of disordered eating. Even with my disdain for 30 day detox deprivation diets, I realized that I was afraid to eat carbs. I didn’t vilify carbs per se, but how many carbs I ate took precedence over everything else. With no measurable results of my own, except that I wasn’t as lean as I used to be, I chalked it up to CrossFit and muscle (that you couldn’t see very well, because it was covered by a cushion). With all the hard work I was putting in to the gym, why wasn’t I happy? If calories don’t matter then why don’t I look the way I want to? That’s when I realized maybe I have this all wrong.


Energy Balance & Looking Good Naked

Let me be very frank here: If you don’t look good (my idea of good), I’m not particularly interested in taking your advice. Shallow? Snarky? Maybe. But if you don’t walk the walk, then, to me, you have have little credibility–I don’t care how many letters you have (or don’t have) after your name. And within the Paleo community, there are very few “credible” looking female figureheads. In other words, I’m not really inspired by many female paleos.


“Recently on the Internet, a common meme is that the application of thermodynamics to the human body is incorrect.  This usually comes out of people talking about something that they clearly do not understand in any way shape or form which is the energy balance equation.” – Lyle McDonald via


This is totally me (and most of us, I think). Paleo says don’t worry about calories, they don’t matter. Keep your insulin & blood sugar low, and you can eat all the meat, fat, and vegetables you want. That’s what I did. And that did not work for me (see above). I don’t have a science background, but I have enough common sense to know that if I’m doing what I’m told and I don’t like the results, then it’s time to stop, reevaluate and try something different.


“You have to be in energy surplus to gain weight and deficit to lose weight.  There are some dietary factors that dictate how much of that weight is fat vs. lean, but this appears to be largely dependent on protein and activity.  And it’s a lie that carbohydrates + high insulin favors energy storage as fat while fat + low insulin favors energy usage.  In the end, our carbohydrate stores are so small as to be negligible in determining long term energy balance.  We get fatter if we eat more calories because fatty acids have high energy density, and we store them in fat cells because that’s what they are designed for.  When you are in caloric surplus to the tune of 3500 calories, roughly one pound of lipid is deposited, hopefully in your fat cells.  How this exactly equates to a pound of adipose tissue or other tissue it might be deposited in and/or associated water weight is where the fuzziness comes in, but this doesn’t change the nature of calories and energy.  There’s no magic.” -Evelyn via



One of the biggest misconceptions regarding insulin is that it’s needed for fat storage.  It isn’t.  Your body has ways to store and retain fat even when insulin is low.  For example, there is an enzyme in your fat cells called hormone-sensitive lipase (HSL).  HSL helps break down fat.  Insulin suppresses the activity of HSL, and thus suppresses the breakdown of fat. This has caused people to point fingers at carbohydrate for causing fat gain.However, fat will also suppress HSL even when insulin levels are low.  This means you will be unable to lose fat even when carbohydrate intake is low, if you are overeating on calories.  If you ate no carbohydrate but 5,000 calories of fat, you would still be unable to lose fat even though insulin would not be elevated.  This would be because the high fat intake would suppress HSL.  This also means that, if you’re on a low carbohydrate diet, you still need to eat less calories than you expend to lose weight. Now, some people might say, “Just try and consume 5000 calories of olive oil and see how far you get.”  Well, 5000 calories of olive oil isn’t very palatable so of course I won’t get very far.  I wouldn’t get very far consuming 5,000 calories of pure table sugar either.” -James Krieger via


“Carbohydrates get a bad rap because of their effect on insulin, but protein stimulates insulin secretion as well(ZING!).  In fact, it can be just as potent of a stimulus for insulin as carbohydrate…The bottom line is that insulin doesn’t deserve the bad reputation it’s been given.  It’s one of the main reasons why protein helps reduce hunger.  You will get insulin spikes even on a low-carb, high-protein diet.  Rather than worrying about insulin, you should worry about whatever diet works the best for you in regards to satiety and sustainability.”-James Krieger via (my zing, not James’)


“As I mentioned earlier, people seem to confuse blood glucose control and insulin control.  It is the management of blood glucose itself that is partly responsible for the health benefits of low-glycemic carbohydrates, or reducing carbohydrates, or increasing protein intake, or consuming dietary fiber, or consuming fruits and vegetables, or consuming whole foods over processed foods.  It is not the control of insulin; the control of insulin ends up being a byproduct of these other behaviors through improvements in insulin sensitivity (how responsive your cells are to insulin) and reductions in blood sugar swings.” -James Krieger via


More about insulin and how it works in the body: Insulin…More of a Traffic Cop Than a Storage Hormone:


“It is clear that dairy products are extremely insulinemic, moreso than many high carbohydrate foods.  Thus, if the carbohydrate/insulin hypothesis were true, then we would predict that a diet high in dairy products should promote weight and fat gain.  However, studies fail to show any relationship between dairy product intake and weight gain…The evidence is overwhelming that dairy products do not promote weight gain, and they actually inhibit weight gain in animal studies.  This is despite the fact that dairy products produce very large insulin responses, as much or greater than many high carbohydrate foods.  Thus, it is clear from this article, as well as my previous articles, that the carbohydrate/insulin hypothesis is incorrect.  Insulin is not the criminal in the obesity epidemic; instead, it is an innocent bystander that has been wrongly accused through guilt by association.”-James Krieger via


And also, The Carbohydrate Hypothesis of Obesity: a Critical Examination via Stephen Guyenet:


Context, Dose, and Logic 

“So why is it in the field of nutrition and training that the majority seem to think in absolutes where the context of the situation is never taken into consideration?  Because as often as not, it isn’t.   Rather, individuals will state in absolute terms, regardless of context that such and such is good, or bad, or best, or worst.   Squats are good, squats are bad, carbs are good, carbs are bad, saturated fats are good, saturated fats are bad.  Pick a topic and you’ll find extremist, absolutist viewpoints on all sides…Because what might be perfect for a given situation could be the absolute worst choice for another situation.  Whenever someone starts speaking in absolutes, it’s clear that they aren’t thinking about the situation, they’ve ignored the context. In their mind, there’s only one answer (usually what works for them or whatever propaganda they’ve absorbed to the point of repeating it without thought) and the context be damned.” -Lyle McDonald via


“Yes, Kale does contain chemicals, all foods do. In very large amounts or in certain vulnerable people could cause problems. Many of the studies I chose involved animals with a diet almost completely based on kale, which I think anyone will agree is a bad idea. Most also involved varieties not sold for human consumption and consumed in ways that humans might not consume- uncooked, un-marinated, etc. A lot of the rest involved just scary language about various chemicals and studies involving isolated chemicals.” -Melissa McEwen via


Read the article. It’s satirical, but it makes a fantastic point–any food can be made to look unhealthy. It’s dose. Replace “kale” with “gluten” or “fructose” and this sounds like every excerpt I’ve read from someone tying to sell Paleo. Animal trials (I am not a mouse, and neither are you), or human trials on sedentary, overweight and deconditioned/untrained people (which I am not), dosage administered way beyond a normal intake, sometimes through the brain (I like to use my mouth to eat), and isolating the nutrient/food/chemical.


A few other interesting points from Alan Aragon via:


“Comparitive research favoring Paleo diets have failed to match macronutrient intake, making it impossible to isolate the inherent benefit of Paleo-approved foods.”


This includes calories, and should immediately raise your critical thinking flag.


“It’s impossible to universally define the diet of our prehistoric ancestors due to widely varying intakes according to food availability and geographical location.”


We’ve said this many times. Think about it.


On Grains:


Claim: “Grains contain phytates and oxalates, which are antinutrients (designed to protect the plant), reducing the bioavailability of essential minerals”


Evidence: “Phytates and oxalates are not exclusively contained in grains. They exist in a wide range of plant foods, including green/leafy vegetables…Selectively claiming that certain plants should not be eaten because they were designed to resist consumption is as illogical as claiming no one should eat animals with defense against predation.”


Question: “Are there some populations of people that you believe are extremely maladapted to Neolithic diets and therefore should avoid grains and legumes altogether?”


Answer: “I don’t think it’s practical or even accurate to assume population-wide extreme intolerance to grains and legumes. The issue with grains inevitably boils down to some level of gluten intolerance. The most current estimates of celiac disease prevalence fall below 1% of the population. As far as non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) goes, a very recent study led by Daniel DiGiacomo of the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University estimated that the national prevalence of NCGS is a smidge over 0.5%, which is about half the prevalence of celiac disease. I’ve seen higher gluten sensitivity prevalence estimates in less reliable literature, but the bottom line is that the gluten-tolerant fraction of the population is likely to be well over 90% of us. So, it simply makes no sense to view gluten-containing foods as universally “bad.” Adding to the illogic of banning foods that are tolerable by the vast majority of the population, the traditional Paleo diet doctrine selectively ignores the fact that ‘Paleo-approved’ foods (i.e., nuts, fish, and shellfish), have a combined prevalence of allergenicity comparable to – and by some estimates even greater  than that of gluten-containing grains. Another amusing fact is that 4 of the 8 “major food allergens” designated by the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act are Paleo-approved.” -Alan Aragon via


On Dairy:


Claim: “Cow’s milk is good for baby cows, but not humans. We are the only animal that drinks the milk of other animals.”


Evidence: “…Who gets to decide which parts of the cow we should consume? It’s perfectly Paleo to eat the cow’s muscle, but not the milk that laid the foundation for the growth of those same muscles?”


On Fructose:


“So, is fructose really the poison it’s painted to be? The answer is not an absolute yes or no; the evilness of fructose depends completely on dosage and context. A recurrent error in Lustig’s lecture is his omission of specifying the dosage and context of his claims. A point he hammers throughout his talk is that unlike glucose, fructose does not elicit an insulin (& leptin) response, and thus does not blunt appetite. This is why fructose supposedly leads to overeating and obesity. Hold on a second…Lustig is forgetting that most fructose in both the commercial and natural domain has an equal amount of glucose attached to it. You’d have to go out of your way to obtain fructose without the accompanying glucose. Sucrose is half fructose and half glucose. High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is nearly identical to sucrose in structure and function. Here’s the point I’m getting at: contrary to Lustig’s contentions, both of these compounds have substantial research showing not just their ability to elicit an insulin response, but also their suppressive effect. on appetite [3-6].” -Alan Aragon via


Performance & Fat Adaption


“Low-carb diets have never gained a foothold in professional sport for one simple reason; professional athletes are expected to perform consistently at a high level. Their very livelihood depends on it. If their performance suffers, all hell breaks loose. Sports columnists start writing savage critiques, fans start calling for their heads, sponsors start wondering whether they should continue with lavish endorsements, and team selectors start sizing up other promising athletes as potential replacements. So, apart from the occasional wayward Joey, low-carbohydrate diets are avoided like an infectious disease in the upper echelons of sport. Given that they’ve been repeatedly shown to kill performance in glycogen-dependent activities, it’s little wonder that top-flight athletes and their coaches avoid them like a bad smell…The bottom line is that both zero-carb and low-carb diets are a disaster for those engaged in regular strenuous exercise. And for anyone with a sound knowledge of the biochemistry of energy production, this is no big surprise…If you want to train, perform and look like a serious athlete, you better damn well eat like one. People who perform vigorous exercise have no business eating a diet best suited to diabetics and sedentary soccer mums.” -Anthony Colpo via


“So what we have from Phinney’s study is sprinting performance that promptly went down the crapper, worsening endurance performance in 2 of the cyclists even at low exercise intensity levels, no significant change in another of the cyclists, and extremely unlikely increases in “endurance” in the remaining 2 that are most likely an artifact of test familiarization. This, ladies and gentlemen, is the pinnacle study from which we are supposed to conclude that low-carbohydrate dieting will not hurt endurance cycling performance.” -Anthony Colpo via


“During an interview at the [CrossFit] Games every individual athlete was asked who follows a paleo diet, and not a single one raised their hand.” -Talayna Fortunato, CrossFit Games competitor, via


Sidebar Figuring Out My IBS


Issues with my gut would wax and wane over the years. Sometimes I felt okay, sometimes I was pumped up like the Hindenburg. It wasn’t until 2011 when I read about FODMAPs and realized what MY IBS was…I can eat a meal full of gluten, grains, sugar and dairy (pizza and ice cream is my particular favorite) and wake up the next morning with a completely flat stomach, and no bubble guts (you know the gurgle noise your tum-tum makes) to speak of. What really sends me running for the bathroom and gives me a food pooch rivaling a 2nd trimester pregnancy are vegetables. Not all vegetables, but certain FODMAPs (pdf). Bloat sets in after I eat cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts, eggplant, kale, raw zucchini, beets, most dried fruit, and chicory root or inulin. So, I avoid most of this stuff. It’s so funny to me the things that are unarguably Paleo are the things that mess me up the most.


What I Do Now

Within my routine below, there is some context that is important to know: I do CrossFit 4 times a week and want to eat to fuel performance, look good naked, and for overall health and enjoyment (that’s really important to me). I don’t have very much weight to lose, but I gain weight very easily–I’m the “last 5 pounds” kind of person. I have to work pretty hard and be very “present” about the food and quantities I eat to remain lean. My personal goal is to be a little bit leaner, not 6-pack ab- body builder lean, just leaner. It’s completely cosmetic and superficial, I know, but that’s what I want and I’m not ashamed of it.


1. My priorities are: Calories > Protein > Carbs > Fat


2.Within that hierarchy, I want to eat a varied diet, made of whole foods, most that I prepare myself. That’s nothing new.


3. Calories. Calories do count.  I believe that. First week, I weighed most of the food I ate (and I continue to do that off and on), so I could see what 4 ounces of meat looked like, or 1/2 cup of a rice, and stayed around 1800-2000 calories a day. I do CrossFit once a day, just whatever Brandon programs at the gym… strength, skill, and conditioning components are always there, but it’s a total of an hour of work, tops.


4. Protein. Most mornings I eat low-fat plain greek yogurt of low-fat cottage cheese for breakfast, mixed with sweetener like maple syrup or jam or a few eggs with some sort of toast, or very occasionally I’ll eat plain oatmeal with peanut butter and a banana. Lunch is leftovers or a salad with quinoa or a rice tortilla filled with meat and some cheese, snacks are vegetables (mostly cukes and red peppers) dipped in a yogurt dressing I make, fruit and/or a protein shake, and dinner is a lean protein, a veg, and some form of starchy carb.


5. Carbs. I eat a lot more of them now. Things like potatoes and sweet potatoes, but also non-paleo things like: quinoa, rice, rice noodles, and really good sourdough spelt bread with lots of butter. I don’t completely eschew gluten, but I don’t eat it everyday either.


6. Fat. It’s lower than it used to be, for sure, not because I think it’s bad, but because it’s not helping me reach my goals. I don’t eat bacon very often. I’m kind of sick of it anyway. I stick to leaner cuts of meat and add things like sour cream, cheese, avocado, etc. on top of the meat, so I can have greater control over the amount of fat I eat, because the #1 priority for me is calories.


7. Breaks. Once or twice a week (sometimes more) we’ll go out or make and eat whatever we want. It’s usually pizza and either Ben & Jerry’s or Häagen-Dazs. Yum.


Simply put, I’m eating fewer calories, eating food that I like, and food that makes me feel full. It’s been really easy.


That’s how things have been for the last 6 months. I lost 6 pounds easily, and have kept it off for the last 3 months, all without feeling deprived. I look better naked, my clothes fit better, I feel and do better in the gym, my skin has cleared up (with the exception of a minor blemish here and there) and I eat what I want when I want, in moderation. I feel really good. What else could I ask for?


At the end of the day, we started this blog and called it Health-Bent, because that’s what we are. We’re not Paleo-Bent. We want to eat the way that makes sense to us, even if what makes sense changes. We don’t know what we don’t know, so that’s why we believe it’s paramount to continue to read, learn, experiment and keep an open mind.


Resources: Who I Linked To & Who I Read


Alan Aragon

Lyle McDonald

Melissa McEwen


Evil Sugar Radio

Armi Legge


Go Kaleo

Whole Health Source

Anthony Colpo

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  • Reply
    October 24, 2013 at 8:48 am

    I’m looking forward to some healthy less “paleo” recipes in the future. Thanks for all the reading material. Good luck with the gym!

    • Reply
      October 24, 2013 at 11:36 am

      Thanks so much for this post! I constantly felt pretty terrible about craving non paleo things and on top of that depriving myself and not losing weight. I’m glad I’m not the only person out there that has questioned the school of thought.

    • Reply
      October 24, 2013 at 11:48 am

      Look better naked….bravo! You are funny (and brave hahahaha!). Thanks for your great perspective.

  • Reply
    October 24, 2013 at 9:02 am

    And…. this is why I love you guys.

  • Reply
    October 24, 2013 at 9:19 am

    Howdy. Wondering if you can speak to stress/cortisol impact on your education perceived ‘weight gain’. I personally put on 10 pounds since February due to super-high job stress and 5-5.5 hours of sleep per night. This is typical during March through October, when I have consecutive deadlines. During November through February, I typically DROP more weight and actually ‘lean-out'(for me, anyway). [Yes, during holiday eating season, I have more fitness gains . WTF. ] I am sleeping longer an my major project stuff is done. = lower stress and lower cortisol.

    So I am wondering if you take stress/cortisol into consideration? Opening a gym, writing a book, other life things, all are really stressful. Can you give any insight into how (if at all) these factors may have also acted upon your gains/setbacksfr om a health/fitness/look-good-naked perspective?

    Thanks for writing this. It’s a lot to take in and contemplate, but I appreciate the honesty and courage it must have taken to blog about this concept. Thank you. 🙂

  • Reply
    October 24, 2013 at 9:27 am

    QUITTING IS AWESOME! Congrats you guys. Welcome to the ‘dark side’ 😉

    I quit paleo earlier this year. After many months of fuming/thinking/internalizing, I wrote my own blog post about it. Feel free to have a lookie at my site to read about my experience.

    Proud of you guys! Really and truly. It’s a huge step, and a seriously huge sigh of relief. EAT THE FOOD! ALL THE FOODS!

  • Reply
    October 24, 2013 at 9:34 am

    Ha love it! Also thanks for the info on FODMAP stuff! I had no idea why I would have food belly after healthy meals but not after some unhealthy meals. I will now rock my broccoli/brussel sprout food belly proudly! And also lay off those on beach days haha

    Eat what you love and do what makes you happy and rock on!

    • Reply
      October 24, 2013 at 11:25 am

      My wife and I have been through the ringer on diets and came to a similar conclusion with FODMAPS being the main culprit. The Monash University in Australia seems to be leading the research on this topic and they have a great iPhone app that provides a searchable list of foods with the FODMAP ratings. Just like everything, it’s not a one size fits all diet, instead you need to test foods and see what works for you and what doesn’t.

      I hope this helps. 🙂

  • Reply
    October 24, 2013 at 9:34 am

    Love it! Love your recipes and your blog, I really hope you don’t stop posting! Although I want to eat healthier due to an auto-immune disorder, I don’t want to be full blown paleo either. Good luck!

  • Reply
    October 24, 2013 at 9:37 am

    Great points. We try to live by the 80/20 rule, but incorporate healthy grains and dairy in moderation. I cannot eat gluten, never been tested for celiac (that whole testing is a joke) but listen to my body through trial and error. It’s hard raising a family and keeping everyone strictly paleo, impossible! Your book has been wonderful in allowing me to keep my kids choices healthy, nutritious and delicious at the same time. I can make snacks for the kids school and still keep primal/paleo without having to worry about nut allergies. Today’s post was so good to read and helps me feel not alone in the “mostly” paleo world.

  • Reply
    October 24, 2013 at 9:40 am

    I am so proud of you for writing this much needed article. I, too, have been struggling with not achieving what I want on high-fat, high-protein and low-carb. Plus, I’ve noticed I’m more tired during my work outs. I also worry my serious “I’m-going-to-die-if-I-don’t-eat-some” ice cream cravings are due to always being obsessively worried about carb consumption. I mean when I feel guilty over eating a banana, I started questioning what I was doing. Thanks so much for writing this post. Your cookbook was the first primal cookbook I purchased, and it kick-started my enthusiasm for cooking good food.

  • Reply
    October 24, 2013 at 9:42 am

    Thank you. Thank you for being real. I have said this to my husband “I just want to eat” many times. When did it become so complicated to just eat real food? I am overweight, but I am 4 months into my journey of fitness after 12+years of inactivity due to rare bone diseases and hip replacements and the only things I want are to be strong, cute in clothes and look good naked. But I don’t want to perpetuate food issues that I have and obsess over everything that I put in my mouth. All in all – I hope you keep being Health-Bent and doing what you are doing, b/c it is awesome.
    *A Big Fan in Greenville, SC!

  • Reply
    Father Nature
    October 24, 2013 at 9:43 am

    Well written. Loved your book. It is interesting to watch as more and more “Paleo” bloggers/people start to make this transition.

    What’s funny is that *most* (although I know not all) Paleo books and authors have some sort of 80/20 rule or some acknowledgement that you don’t have to be perfect 100% of the time to get the benefits of healthier eating. I’ve always accepted that as true and never had a problem with including non-Paleo foods in “my” Paleo diet. I guess the question is whether the Paleo authors/bloggers just put that in the book to broaden its appeal and sell more copies, or whether they really believe it.

    I eat plenty of potatoes and rice and some corn and gluten free products (gluten does cause me gi problems). But I still consider myself Paleo just because it is an easy shorthand. But then again, I don’t have to justify my choices to anyone. I saw some reviews of your book where people were *shocked and outraged* that you would include tapioca flour or sweeteners in a recipe. At some point, the Paleo shortcut stops being a shortcut and causes more problems as you have to defend reasonable choices against the “Paleo Purists.”

    Good luck with the gym!

  • Reply
    October 24, 2013 at 9:45 am

    You guys are awesome!! Love the post AND your cookbook. Well done!

  • Reply
    kimberly kiczuk
    October 24, 2013 at 9:55 am

    I think your website is great, i think each person is different in their “issues” with food and living. The one thing that seems more common sense out of everything that i read is that you’re better off when you have clean foods, prepare them yourself…the less ingredients in the food product the better (or words you actually understand). That’s why i enjoy your cookbook and your recipes. I understand and can find all the ingredients listed. I LOVE crossfit b/c i love my “box” i belong too, the people, and I feel great doing it afterwards. I find many similarities with you in the IBS category, the forever losing 5 lbs (now maybe 7), and loving the pizza whenever i can eat it along with (gasp) white wine!!! Thanks for everything that you and Brandon do, I will still keep following you no matter if you started a sat fat only blog. Good luck with the opening of your gym!

  • Reply
    October 24, 2013 at 9:59 am

    I started eating a more paleoesque diet after starting to work out with a trainer last spring. At 39 and always battling my weight issues, it was time to try something new. Your site was the first one that really resonated with me. I am eating this way to lose weight too, and look good naked. LOL. But life’s to short to not enjoy what you eat and enjoy the tasty non-paleo treats. Its all about moderation, really.

    Good luck with your gym and thanks for taking the time to post sooo many amazing recipes. And thanks for writing such a badass book. Its my favorite! I even bought one for my trainer. 🙂

  • Reply
    October 24, 2013 at 10:05 am

    Love it! Thank you for the references and real world approach. If it feels good, eat it!

  • Reply
    October 24, 2013 at 10:06 am

    I just wanted to post that I think it’s really refreshing to see skepticism and science on a health/food blog instead of the typical woo. I really enjoyed this post, thank you!

  • Reply
    October 24, 2013 at 10:06 am

    Virtual High-Five!

    Sorry some people are being ridiculous.

    I will read your blog and make your recipes regardless of what you eat because I am health-bent, too. And I heart you guys.

    Good luck with the gym!

  • Reply
    October 24, 2013 at 10:09 am

    Thank you so much for this article! I ditched “strict” paleo after, like you, feeling worse off and gaining weight. I completed a whole30 to slim down and ended up pudgier and more bloated with a weight gain and the end to really put the final nail in the coffin. I am highly active as I am a boot camp instructor, a runner, and cyclist. I recently read a lot of things concerning caloric needs and have reverted back to my pre-paleo diet. ( which is similar to the one you outlined) eating white potatoes, Greek yogurt, rice and quinoa. Really, I could have written this myself. I have 5 pounds to lose and hope that I have success as you have as I know it will take some time toose my paleo weight gain. 🙂 i read Rusty Moores books and he said that the fitness world has been ignoring the fact that not everyone want to be bulky and it’s ok to wish to be leaner ( look good naked) thanks for stepping up and calling out. Xo

  • Reply
    October 24, 2013 at 10:10 am

    I have been a lurker on your blog for some time but never felt compelled to comment until now. Thank you for writing this post! I have been struggling with quitting paleo for some time. It started when I noticed myself feeling guilt over food choices and a constant obsession with what I was doing wrong. This just helped to solidify that I am not alone in my choice. Thanks again for being brave enough to say, “I quit!”.

  • Reply
    October 24, 2013 at 10:12 am

    My dad, who was a pediatrician, only had two pieces of advice on diet: to lose weight you have to eat less calories than you use, and everything is acceptable in moderation. Clearly there are people with certain food intolerances and we are lucky today to have many substitutes. But for me, eliminating whole food groups just feels totally wrong.
    I stumbled across your website when I was looking for answers to eating for osteoarthritis. I avoid advice that is dogmatic, and this post has convinced me that you are someone to listen to! Thanks for all the reading resources. I look forward to trying your recipes and exploring your site.

  • Reply
    David Abram
    October 24, 2013 at 10:18 am

    Its never easy to look back and say you might have been mistaken about something, and I went through exactly that this year. In May I went out West with Brian and Danna, ate basically only carbohydrates because we camped for two weeks but were incredibly active, and I came home weighing about 8 pounds less than when I left. Ever since then I’ve increased my carb intake, trying not to screw up a good thing.. I haven’t necessarily cut out any fats, I just don’t find myself eating as much of them or anything because I just don’t need to. I still eat whole eggs fried in butter and bacon, except now I have a loaf bread or a bag of potatoes to bolster the rest…

    Anyways, just saying I agree..and thanks for writing

  • Reply
    October 24, 2013 at 10:19 am

    I appreciate your honesty! I eat Paleo for Crohn’s (and have been for so long that even eating gluten-free crap makes me really sick.) BUT! I’ve experimented and found that i’m a-okay with beans, sugar, cheese, and butter! I just think everybody is too different to follow one diet. But I’ll continue to follow your blog because your recipes are SO GOOD. I’m Southern and your version of chicken bog made me weep with joy. I’m glad you are feeling good and thank you for sharing!

  • Reply
    October 24, 2013 at 10:22 am

    Thank you for posting this. Its really great to hear someone talk about the logic and science of eating for who you are, what you do and what you want to be. I’ve lost 75lbs over the last 3 years, and its amazing what people will me I’m doing wrong to lose weight.

    Thank you. This article is wonderful.

  • Reply
    October 24, 2013 at 10:24 am

    Your post just about made me cry. Thank you for these words! I consider myself a pretty clean eater, and I have done many of those XX# day detox. I had great results at the first few attempts but not so much on recent ones, and it makes me nuts. I wonder how I could any more healthy then I already do. I am really struggling right now with some weight. I started CrossFit 6 weeks ago and have been going 3x a week. I have not lost a single pound. Most people say I look fine, but I want my clothes to fit better and want to feel better when I look in the mirror. I know what feeling good, and this is not it. I can’t be uncomfortable in my own clothes! I am kind of tired of some of the paleo blogs and what they offer. It seems like more and more items and being labeled as paleo, and it seems as if they really reaching . . . there is a need for a more healthy balance. I hate feeling like I am being bad if I eat something that is not “pure paleo,” and I think I am getting that from some of the blogs that I read regularly. This blog entry is what I needed to allow me to relax a bit–hopefully. I moved out of Columbia earlier this year. I would so want to try your new place. thank you again for a great post!

  • Reply
    October 24, 2013 at 10:24 am

    Good for you for being so honest about all of that! I Love all of you recipes and look forward to many more in the future. Best of luck opening your gym!

  • Reply
    October 24, 2013 at 10:25 am

    My story is pretty much the same as yours in the beginning – doing everything “right” working hard in the gym and not seeing any results. However I work out a little more than an hour usually but not at one time. Maybe a strength workout, take a 15 min break, different strength again, then a metcon. Sometimes ill do a short metcon later on in the day again or some cardio.

    You say you don’t have much weight (fat) to lose. I do. What would you recommend I do to find out my calories? TDEE calcs say I need about 2550-2600. Seems very high. But that would mean about 2000 would help me lean out? I’m lost and frustrated

    Thank you

  • Reply
    October 24, 2013 at 10:31 am

    LOVE THIS. My crossfit box is doing a paleo challenge this month. I passed. I like greek yogurt and the occasional bread (I just eat sprouted grains). I avoid gluten because it seems to upset my IBS but guess what. I like quinoa and other clean, healthy grains sometimes. And yes I like beer and wine and ice cream and chocolate cupcakes. I don’t have those everyday but whatever. I do realize I like having more protein for breakfast i.e eggs and bacon so I’m probably 80:20 paleo? or just tries to eat unprocessed and healthy and limit grains. whatever the eff you want to call it 🙂

  • Reply
    October 24, 2013 at 10:39 am

    Thank you for your research and being willing to speak about what you have learned. It is helpful to see other points of view. I think the most important thing is for people to figure out what works best for them. Not hop on a crazy train looking for a quick fix.

    I too, look forward to seeing your future recipes.

  • Reply
    October 24, 2013 at 10:42 am

    Thanks for sharing this. I think so many times we get so caught up in what is “right” or “healthy” that it definitely becomes an unhealthy obsession!

    Great links and support, too. I write about my similar thoughts recently, too.

    I say if you are happy with your body, feel great, and are rocking the workouts, keep doing what you’re doing! 🙂

  • Reply
    Lisa May Huby
    October 24, 2013 at 10:44 am

    Interesting read and well-presented. I agree that we tend to go to extremes in diet and nutrition, and need to keep things in perspective of what works for US to fuel performance, recovery, health, weight maintenance, etc. And, as always, research all sides of the argument(s), AND their sources.

  • Reply
    October 24, 2013 at 10:55 am

    I’ve always been a huge fan of your recipes and posts, and found this one most intriguing. Like you, my paleo journey has morphed several times and continues to evolve. I have no major issues with dairy or gluten that I know of. My joints tend to ache more when I eat a diet higher in sugar or gluten so I’ve tried to drastically reduce that. However, from time to time, I will enjoy something not so paleo friendly and have no regrets about it. I like all the resources you linked and will investigate them further. I think it’s important to gather ALL the facts and decide what works best for the individual, because we are all so different in our needs and goals. Like you, I am that “last 5 lbs person” too and as much as I don’t want to admit, it could be the extra Kerrygold butter or the salted pecans that may be my downfall. At the end of the day, calories do matter as does context. Will be experimenting more to see what really works best for me. Thanks for you insightful post.

  • Reply
    October 24, 2013 at 11:08 am

    Good for you. I love it when people admit that they have found new information, and have changed their opinions and habits based on this new information. Life is not set in stone.

  • Reply
    October 24, 2013 at 11:09 am

    Great article! I was always skeptical of the paleo food of thought, just like vegetarian food of thought (to me they looked one in the same, just insert food you think is “bad”.) Make your food from scratch (and from humanely raised sources) and eat based on your individual needs and goals is all it boils down to.

  • Reply
    October 24, 2013 at 11:18 am

    no more paleo guilt!

  • Reply
    October 24, 2013 at 11:23 am

    I’ve followed you for years and am SO glad to see this post. 🙂 Moderation FTW! Welcome to the “dark” side – we have ice cream.

  • Reply
    Jen Woodmansee
    October 24, 2013 at 11:23 am

    God bless you, child. AMEN! Ha! But really…my story is VERY, very, very similar to yours. Way to stick your neck out there and call it like you see it. Critics will be critics regardless what you say/post/write. Thank you for going a step beyond interpretation and seeking out the facts. Diet is personal and custom. Everything in moderation, right?

  • Reply
    October 24, 2013 at 11:24 am

    I love this. It made my day. You were one of the first blogs I followed when I “went paleo.” I have never full stepped into the paleo realm because it never felt completely right to me. I’ve been messing around trying to find the right diet for me for two years now. I have always been drawn to your recipes, your writing and philosophy. Thank you so much for your complete honesty today. Its just awesome!

  • Reply
    October 24, 2013 at 11:30 am

    Thanks for the great post. I believe that the label of paleo has become overused and I am guilty of trying to use paleo as a replacement for healthy, responsible dietary habits. I am looking forward to seeing the evolution of this website.

  • Reply
    Cassidy Hewitt
    October 24, 2013 at 11:30 am

    Yay!! I’ve never been paleo, nor have I ever thought it healthy! I enjoy your blog and many of the recipes you’ve posted, as my family eats whole, healthy foods, made at home with simple, real ingredients. I haven’t cared enough to engage in the argument with my die hard paleo friends, but I am so glad that you’ve posted a well thought, well researched article on why it isn’t the best diet ever! I applaud you!! Good luck reaching your goals, which, in all vanity, are the same as mine!!

  • Reply
    October 24, 2013 at 11:31 am

    Loving this! I look forward to seeing more of this here.

  • Reply
    October 24, 2013 at 11:32 am

    AMEN and Thank-you for all the great links. Just ordered your book after this post.

  • Reply
    October 24, 2013 at 11:32 am

    Wow! So much of your story is relatable. Earlier this year I had health problems and much like your story I turned to the Paleo Diet. I will always and forever be thankful to you because your cookbook gave me the ability to make good tasting foods that were gluten free and that’s how I was able to stick with it. Quickly, I found out that I have a severe issue with gluten.

    A lot about the Paleo diet made sense, but as a health care professional a lot didn’t make sense. I did the 30 day challenge and since then I’ve adapted it to what my body tells me is best for me. You are so right in that we have to listen to our bodies because they are often smarter than we are.

    I LOVE your cookbook and I still use a lot of your recipes like your strawberry shortcake waffle because omg they are amazing! And your chunky monkey cupcakes are a staple in my house. I hope that you continue to give us some gluten free recipes because you guys make the best bread products! If you don’t want to make gluten free recipes anymore then PLEASE email me and tell me your secrets!! 🙂

    So I thank you for being a part of my journey and I applaud you for having the guts to come out and say what you did. It took a lot of courage!

  • Reply
    October 24, 2013 at 11:32 am

    Thank you! I’ve been Paleo for 2-1/2 years because that’s what CrossFit people do. I’ve steadily gained weight and lost performance. I keep feeling like I’m doing it wrong–but maybe it’s just wrong for me. Thank you for saying this loud and proud. I love your recipes and hope you keep developing new ideas for real food made with real ingredients. Best wishes!

  • Reply
    October 24, 2013 at 11:37 am

    I LOVE today’s post! I am a 50 year old perimenopausal woman who was looking to a. Lose weight b. learn and maintain a healthier lifestyle.

    I started out “low carbing” it. As I wanted to learn more I was exposed to all kinds of blogs that ranged from Atkins, low carb, keto adapted,paleo, primal to real foods and whole foods.

    What I didn’t want was to be in a group of black or white thinking nutritionists. That is what a life time of being obese is filled with. “ON a diet”. “OFF a diet”. Hence I was turned off by the Paleo community.

    Don’t get me wrong….tons of good stuff in EVERY single blog I subscribe to. But I have finally figured out that NO ONE way is going to work for EVERYONE.

    I feel really lucky to have found what works for me, through trial and error. It wouldn’t work for everyone. I pick and choose between all of the above that I mentioned.

    For the first time in my life I feel like I can live like this forever. I am freed of this constant hunger. The feeling of hopelessness that I would never get to a normal weight. In the meantime have lost 45 of the 80 lbs I need to lose.

    (ok, sorry for my rant) What I wanted to say is kudos to you for sticking up for what YOU believe in. What works for you. For not being afaid of the nay sayers.

    Go! Go! Go!

  • Reply
    October 24, 2013 at 11:51 am

    Love, love, love your recipes! Keep doing what you do. I personally try to follow and 80/20 plan as well. I don’t believe life is very fun without some of my favorites like cheese and beer. Thankfully I don’t have any sensitivities, but I know I feel better when I eat better. I don’t like like the all or nothing approach. Each person needs to educate themselves on what works for them and use their body as their own science experiment to figure it out. If all I can think about is pizza, I get a pizza. But, I also love experimenting in the kitchen and making recipes my own. Your blog is my go to choice for inspiration. Thanks!

  • Reply
    October 24, 2013 at 11:51 am

    YESSSS! TO EVERYTHING! At first, I was the Paleo-perfectionist, even making myself feel nauseous with the thought of eating seed oils if I ate out or picturing gluten tearing holes in my gut. Stayed away from carbs most days and felt awful. Incorporated a “high carb day” of 80 g of net carbs and felt somewhat better. But my hormones were even whackier (I have PCOS) and my symptoms were getting worse and worse. Just like you, I want to look good (meaning lean and with no facial hair, dang you PCOS!) and be healthy. I found GoKaleo while looking for PCOS diet tips. Then I found Stephanie for Paleo for Women. They both advocate eating nutrient dense, moderate carb, moderate protein, moderate fat to tackle my stress-induced non-insulin resistant type of PCOS. So here I am eating carbs, including white rice and Ezekiel bread, and seeing my facial hair go away and having more energy. Paleo may be a good starting off point but every person is different and needs to go thru tons of trial and error to figure out what works for them. Quick question, do you monitor your macronutrient ratios?

  • Reply
    October 24, 2013 at 11:57 am

    Wow, wow, wow. Great info and very much in-line with the way I’ve been thinking (and eating) the last few months. Thanks for posting! I do hope you will continue creating your fantastic recipes. I love your cookbook and use so many of your recipes. Way to go with this decision and your honesty. I think there a lot of us who feel this way.

  • Reply
    October 24, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    Thank you !!!! Thank you for being REAL and for opening up about doing what works for YOU not following a “diet”, “lifestyle” or whatever just because x told you to! I have been crossfitting for 4 years and I love it. I have followed the paleo lifestyle for about 2 years now but only because that is what my coaches pushed even though it wasn’t working for me. I LOVE this post! It really has opened my eyes a lot to what I already knew but needed someone to push me over the edge on, so seriously thank you! I love that y’all are in SC that makes it even better! I am an upstate girl but love USC so I will def stop by the gym next time I am down that way! Thank you again for being real! I love yall’s cookbook and will continue to support and follow y’alls blog!

  • Reply
    October 24, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    This is great – shouldn’t it always be about our health and what makes our bodies feel good? What works for one may not work for the next, which is why experimenting and finding what works for YOU/ME is so important. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    October 24, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    Preach it! Always appreciate your honesty and knowledge. I’m 100% on board. Health bent, not paleo bent.

  • Reply
    October 24, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    Wow…I think maybe we are soul sisters? I have never gone Paleo (ok I did try it for 4 days, wrote about why I hated it, and got reamed by the Paleo police) but I’ve done my fair share of following and preaching nutritional dogma since i have a background as a naturopathic doctor. I am also super into Crossfit. Sounds like we are currently listening to/reading all the same people/research and questioning all the same things…spending more time thinking critically and practicing moderation…nice to know I am not alone!

  • Reply
    October 24, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    Awesome post! Looking forward to future posts.

  • Reply
    October 24, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    I’m sorry you’ve been the victim of the unfortunate fundamentalist streak that can arise in any community. However, don’t let that cloud your judgment or lead to a personal backlash. In his presentation that you link, Alan Aragon does his fair share of cherry-picking and straw-manning as well. I don’t think anyone in the serious paleosphere at this point makes all of the claims that he’s attempting to refute.

    No one has claimed, or should claim, that there was a uniform diet that our ancestors ate that we should reproduce in the modern world. That’s not the goal of the paleo movement (paleo being an unfortunate moniker that seems to generate the majority of criticism). It’s about eating more like our ancestors did, and not eating the foods that they did not eat or did not eat in quantities that moderns humans do. Carbs are not inherently evil. But, without looking for a citation, I bet if refined carbs are 90% of your caloric intake, you’re gonna have a bad time.

    No one has singled out the agricultural revolution at the exemption of the industrial and digital ones for blame in the modern health crises. The vast majority of foods that paleo admonishes you not to eat are products of industrialization. It’s blame is kind of a given. Paleo, like many many other diets, advocates a pre-industrial diet, it just also advocates a pre-agricultural, primarily pre-industrial agricultural, diet.

    I don’t think anyone claims anymore that pre-agricultural man did not consume any grass seeds. The hypothesis is that at that time grass seeds did not constitute the vast majority of consumed foods, we are not well-adapted to eating a majority of calories from grass seeds, and therefore if that’s what you’re doing, like many Americans, you’re going to have health consequences. The occasional piece of bread or pizza is not going to kill you. Basing your diet on bread, pasta, baked goods, etc., will probably kill you.

    Anyhow, I don’t want to go through the whole presentation slide-by-slide. I just want to point out that most criticism of paleo is based off a misunderstanding or misrepresentation of what it is, citing outdated and/or extreme interpretations of it, building strawmen, and conveniently interpreting data and studies. This can be true within paleo itself, as well, so you should always do your homework. I wish you nothing but success in your future endeavors. Stay skeptical and always experiment.

    And thank you for all the delicious recipes that my family has enjoyed over the years.

    • Reply
      October 24, 2013 at 4:21 pm

      “I bet if refined carbs are 90% of your caloric intake, you’re gonna have a bad time.”

      Especially if 90% of our diet is strawmen. That is just way too much straw.

    • Reply
      Go Kaleo
      October 24, 2013 at 8:21 pm

      Who is promoting a diet of 90% refined carbs? Can you post a link please?

      Most processed foods are pretty high in fat as well as carbs, I think it would be VERY difficult to eat a diet that high in carbs if you were eating processed foods. Oreos, for instance, get 40% of their calories from fat (and only 35% from sugar).

    • Reply
      October 25, 2013 at 12:58 pm

      From what I gather, those “outdated and/or extreme
      interpretations” you dismiss as a silly target for refutation are
      very much alive in the “Paleosphere”; for example, Mark Sisson
      (whom most people consider to be a rather laid-back guy open to
      “moderation”) has just written an article implying that “safe
      starches” are only “safe” for olympic athletes, dedicated
      crossfitters invloved in glycogen-torching amounts of sisyphean
      daily training and “traditional peoples” whose lifestyle is
      otherwise perfectly dialed in and has been for generations. But
      even assuming otherwise – if Paleo boils down to “eat mostly whole
      foods, basiing your diet on refined carbs and other processed foods
      is probably a bad idea”, what exactly does it add to “Pollanesque”
      common sense?

  • Reply
    Cindy @theflippingcouple
    October 24, 2013 at 12:57 pm

    High five. I’m actually in the middle of a Whole30 right now, simply because I want to see if my heavy cream/feta cheese/whatevertheheck is negatively impacting my body or not. Otherwise, I’ve been tweaking paleo to fit ME and MY goals. For me, that’s actually meant eating more and like you said, upping the carbs.

    But the bottom line for me is figuring out what works for you, your body and your goals. Also, paleo is now such a fad and I’m tired of explaining why I don’t care about the fad. Or what cavemen ate. For the love.

    Best of luck opening your gym!

  • Reply
    October 24, 2013 at 12:59 pm

    This is a breath of fresh air. While primal/paleo principles have helped me in many ways, they haven’t exactly changed what I’ve come to understand is a disordered way of thinking about food, and maybe even helped perpetuate it (you have to avoid X, Y, and Z, etc. as much as possible to be a healthy human! so exhausting). Go Kaleo has helped me a lot with this obsession with perfect eating, and I’m pleased to read this post; I’ve learned quite a bit from your various quotes. I’m again reminded to try and treat food as food and not a blanket panacea for all that ails me. I need this reminder regularly.

    Your comments about belly bloat and FODMAPs made a light bulb go off in my brain, btw — I freaking LOVE cabbage, cauliflower, zucchini and brussels sprouts, but I’ve noticed that my stomach manages to stick out so much that I could pass as five or six months pregnant when I eat a lot of those things.This seems like another disordered-about-food kind of thought, but I wonder if one must entirely avoid FODMAPs — that would be pretty sad from what I’ve read on the internet about what is a FODMAP and what isn’t — or just limit them and enjoy them responsibly?

  • Reply
    October 24, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    I hate that people have gotten so dogmatic about paleo. The message of “eat real foods and avoid processed crap” is such a good one…and it’s being smothered by people bickering over decisions that are ultimately none of their business. I can’t possibly care less what other people are eating. If I see an ingredient in a recipe that doesn’t jive with what makes me feel good, I tweak it, omit it or just don’t make the recipe in the first place. Free will. It’s amazing stuff. (Oh and anyone bitching about a recipe that they’re reading FOR FREE, that someone else developed, needs to just shut up. Seriously)

    I’m glad that you guys are doing what is right for YOU. I think y’all’s recipes are fantastic. Your desserts are especially perfect because they let me have a treat, but its one that won’t wreck my waistline or disappoint me by being too heavy on “sweet” and too low on “flavor”. Your pumpkin muffins have totally ruined me for “normal” pumpkin muffins this year…and I am grateful!

    Anyway, keep up the good work. LOVE your cookbook and your blog.

  • Reply
    October 24, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    “What is Paleo?” Really?

    Did you read The Paleo Solution? It is all clearly explained in scientific, yet engaging text. It explains the WHY, we don’t eat grains, beans, etc. and what happens in the body when we do.

  • Reply
    October 24, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    P.S. I received your cookbook in the mail the other day (it sold out in Canadian stores almost immediately and took a long time to be restocked!). The arugula balsamic onion prosciutto pizza… so amazing. My girlfriend and I ate the entire recipe in one sitting! Except for a single piece which I kept for breakfast the next day. The crust is amazing — and it held up just fine overnight. I made the sauce recipe and the zucchini pasta salad, too. It was all really awesome with a glass or three of red wine. It’s my new favourite cookbook.

  • Reply
    October 24, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    Thank you! I couldn’t be happier with what you had to say. At last, a voice of sensibility.

  • Reply
    October 24, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    I love the idea of Paleo but have found that I couldn’t ever be strict with it. And with the way my mind works, the challenges do me good. Each has to figure out his/her own best way and I’m so glad to see the evolution of an eating mindset (sans accompanying miracle cure for sale) amid all the absolutism. One size definitely does not fit all and I’ve told my friends, to whom I’ve recommended anything that I’ve found on eating, “Read it, see how you feel about it, take what you can accept and leave the rest. In the end it’s about what works for you.”
    Congrats on your steps forward. I am realizing success on my food journey as well and your site, among others, has really been a huge part of that. I’m very grateful for everything I’ve found here and I fully intend to keep reading because your advice has worked beautifully for me (not to mention the recipes). I haven’t looked this good, naked or otherwise, in decades…LOL!!

  • Reply
    October 24, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    Well said. Can’t wait to see how you guys evolve. Paleo or Not… Your recipes still keep us coming back for more!

    • Reply
      October 24, 2013 at 11:01 pm

      ditto this!

  • Reply
    October 24, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    Thank you, thank you thank you!!! I have recently been caught up in the paleo craze…. I am fit I am a lifeguard and a runner (trail run) I have always considered myself a healthy eater, with the occasional slip up, but did the same as you read blogs etc…. All the right stuff that I wanted to hear!! All the while ignoring my inner voice eating simple fresh and whole foods in moderate amounts and maintains a healthy routine is way more important!! What works for me might not work for others I don’t do cross fit but I do some interval training and weights using my body weight(not tabata)!
    So thank, thank you for bringing a realistic view and some reading material to the table I hope you continue to post I love your recipes!!

  • Reply
    October 24, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    Love this post! I enjoy eating paleo, but I am 100% with you! Excited to see some fresh not-perfectly-paleo recipes!

  • Reply
    October 24, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    One more voice in the chorus of “Thank you”.
    Reading this today openned by eyes to possibilties that the “vanity bloat” that bugs me may be some of the “paleo” foods I’m eatting. (it’s the “vanity lean” I want!)
    As so many others I progressed to Primal/Paleo due to health issues and had marked improvement (and the loss of 23 pounds).
    I sometimes still deal with fatigue/exhuastion and now wonder if I’ve been too low carb? (my job can be physically demanding and I workout 5-6 days a week)
    Maybe it’s the not the wine and the occassional bit of cheese!

    As an aside I so appreciate your cookbook, it’s so nice to bring “treats” to family events that everyone enjoys and doesn’t wonder if it’s some of my “flaky health nut stuff”!

  • Reply
    October 24, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    I LOVE this. Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply
    Stanford Girl
    October 24, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    I love quitters! Just kidding. But seriously I love this blog and your book. I have actually gotten 3 of them already and given them away as gifts Kept one for myself. And have promoted the heck out of it every chance I get since it has get delicious recipes that are outside the norm of the Paleo movement. Plus it is called Primal cravings! The title in itself tells what it is about. The primal movement is less rigid in it’s view on what we should eat. First and foremost we should eat for our health and our own body types. I myself need to lose weight and heal my stomach issues so I know that I can make those amazing coconut cookies and other dessert in the book but I prob. won’t lose weight. I am a full believer in your 80/20 rule. It means I can actually live a more full life of eating and not feel the guilt if I am not “perfect” Cause seriously who the heck really is.

    I hope you continue to write more books cause you rock! and the recipes are amazing. My only request would be recipes for people that only want to make a few servings or at least show the serving size for the recipe. I am single so most Paelo/Primal recipes are huge portions that make too many leftovers.

  • Reply
    Sara Weeks
    October 24, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    You put words to my EXACT feelings about Paleo. Thank you for your honesty. I can’t wait to see where your blog goes from here.

  • Reply
    October 24, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    This. Just yes. EVERYONE (paleo, vegan, whomever) can benefit from this kind of thinking. And screw the a-holes who try to tear this down from their paleo pedestal. They have no place here. “We don’t know what we don’t know.” Those are truly words to live by on our individual quests for health and happiness. Thank you for this.

  • Reply
    October 24, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    Um, yeah. I feel you. I love Paleo for what it is, and I am hearing and seeing more and more of the die-hards that are in public, move away from low-carb and crazy strict behavior. I had to distance myself from some of the craziness as I need more carbs that some of the forums can stomach. And it didn’t heal me. It helped — my gall bladder issues are gone, and my overall health as improved via a focus on sleep and de-stressing. But low-carb, whole foods nearly killed my thyroid. medium-carb/protein/fat, with a consciousness towards what I desire, and yes, mostly whole foods, has thus far been my medicine. And I feel a hell of a lot better. Thanks for your story — it’s inspiring. 🙂

  • Reply
    October 24, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    Love this. Just another reason why you’ve been and will continue to be my favorite “Paleo” blog. Common sense is so refreshing. I wish you guys the best and if you are ever in the Maryland/PA area, I’d love to go out on a double date for ice cream and pizza 😉

  • Reply
    October 24, 2013 at 1:51 pm

    You guys are my favorite bloggers and I have always loved the recipes I made from your posts. I bought your cookbook because I wanted to support you and I love comfort food. You make some great points and living by the 80/20 rule is the best most of us can do. I am diabetic and have to go for the lower glycemic food choices and sweeteners, and so far I am not taking any meds. If I get worse, that will change. Thank you for speaking out and I know it’s because of the zealot Paleo purists. There are zealot low carbers (Atkins followers) that are just as stringent. Let’s just do what is right for us, eh?
    Pizza, I can live without but…… I love ice cream. I just eat it 20% of the time. 🙂

  • Reply
    October 24, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    Thank you! This post comes at a time when I am in the same space, evaluating Paleo and it’s effect on my IBS. Just this week I started eating oats again, and some cheese…(oh the horror! I can hear the Paleo purists saying) and they were sooo good. Cauliflower rice make me feel like a bloated whale, yet regular rice gives me no problems. Onions and garlic give me indigestion and diarrhea. Inulin is a non-go if want to leave the bathroom this week. At first, Paleo seemed like the cure all for my woes, but now I realize (as I continued to get sicker and sicker), that moderation is key. It is much more important for me to focus on the things that I can eat without getting sick, rather than eliminate a whole category of food based on some self-appointed internet guru’s dogma. (Yes, I am guilty of cherry-picking as well).
    So, again, thank you for having the balls to speak what I am sure many others are feeling. I for one, am a fan of your ‘Health-Bent’ approach.

  • Reply
    October 24, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    This is really interesting! I was strict paleo before I got pregnant earlier this year (I’m 16 weeks along now) and I quickly had to shed paleo entirely when I developed a powerful repulsion to red meat, dark meat poultry or poultry skin, eggs, and most vegetables, but still make sure I was eating every hour or so to keep my intense nausea at bay. I was pissed that I didn’t have “paleo superpowers” and felt massively betrayed by my body for letting me be so sick and dictating a diet I thought was so unhealthy and horrible. Gradually I rebuilt my healthy diet, and the food cravings/aversions and nausea let up somewhat, but the way I’m eating today is still way off from paleo. The thing is, I feel no ill effects from it – my IBS (the reason I initially went paleo as well, in addition to the fact that I was also obese until the past year) is now under control even though I’m eating rice, tortillas, gluten free crackers, hummus, yogurt, cheese, and even some wheat. I was so terrified of not being able to get my eating under control and setting my baby up for a life of obesity and sugar craving, but now I’m wondering if I’ll ever really be paleo again or if this diet – which sounds very similar to your current one as you described – is just fine for me. I totally understand why you feel the need to “cut ties” with paleo a bit, as people can get downright nasty when they don’t agree with how you’ve labelled yourself. The bottom line is you have a lot of great recipes and that’s why I love your site, not because I need you to tell me what it’s ok to eat. I have enough critical thinking skills to read recipes and evaluate whether they fit into my personal template for healthy eating or not, and it shouldn’t be your responsibility to do that for anybody. I just hope you keep sharing your amazing food with us!

  • Reply
    October 24, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    I gained back all the weight I lost following Weight Watchers which preaches low-fat/fat-free everything by following this “new” way of eating. Needless to say, I started back with Weight Watchers and points system this week along with more exercise. I look forward to checking in with your website for new recipes. A lot of Paleo recipes are good and I love the freshness of veggie with meat but I do like a small side of starch whether potato, pasta or rice. I wish you much success..thank you for a well-thought out and researched article. I won’t burn your cookbook or write bad reviews because I truly love the book and respect you guys. Good luck with the gym!

  • Reply
    ashley schroth-cary
    October 24, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    just when i thought i couldn’t be more in love with you guys you posted this! thank you for showing people how silly paleo shamers really are and that you can eat a really healthy and beneficial diet that isn’t strct paleo!

  • Reply
    Anne W.
    October 24, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    What a fantastic post. Thanks so much for stepping up and sharing your experience. I always find it so fascinating how us Americans take such extreme views on everything we do. It’s all or nothing! And whenever that happens, all common sense goes right out the door. As well as any fun. I have done both the paleo thing as well as extreme 30 day paleo craziness. And let me tell you, it sucked the joy right out of life.
    Since then, I have been reading lots of information on Europeans, and how they use common sense in their eating, and therefore, are healthier, look better naked, and are happier then Americans. Eat beautiful, seasonal, whole foods, everything in smaller portions. No exclusion of any food groups. Done. Simple. Now I need to implement that smart common sense into my own life.
    Your post came at just the right time for me. With 20 pounds left to lose, I was being swayed into the LCHF diet yet again. Of course I know better, but they’re just so damn convincing. Thanks for bringing me back to reality. I can’t wait to see what your blog has in store for us in the future!

  • Reply
    October 24, 2013 at 2:45 pm

    I have always appreciated your willingness to stray from the herd. It’s such a turnoff when someone is so militant about Paleo. Or bacon. I get the science behind the diet and I do love me some good quality bacon. But I’d rather not put *that* much thought and effort into my eating habits. I know what’s right, what’s wrong, and what’s in-between.

    I’ve never expressed it before, but thank you for being HUMAN.

  • Reply
    October 24, 2013 at 2:52 pm

    Thanks for sharing your story! It can be easy with any dietary approach to fall into a “just do it better” approach, and it seems particularly prevalent in paleo. (Not seeing the results you want? Try eliminating nightshades. No? How about soaking your nuts? And on, and on…and on) Having people who are recognized within the paleo/primal community discuss that “paleo” isn’t a panacea helps people who may otherwise be getting bombarded with ‘just be more paleo perfect’ messages.

    Like you, Go Kaleo’s website inspired me to look long and hard at my eating habits. I’d been “Paleo” for years. It started out well enough, but, ultimately, I became increasingly rigid in the hopes that if I just got *strict enough* those stubborn problems everyone swore would disappear would finally go away (adult acne, blech!). If anything, things got worse the stricter I got until I went “F it” and started eating (generally) whole foods that taste good and don’t make me feel like crap.

  • Reply
    October 24, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    Yah, I still use a lot of paleo recipes b/c I’m gluten and dairy intolerant, which I discovered while trying to figure out my chronic fatigue problems. But it was already frustrating whenever a blogger went “I’m so awesome at paleo! NOW LETS FRY EVERYTHING IN BUTTER!” *headdesk*

    I tried strict-paleo for a few months, but a) it’s very expensive, unless you have easy access to a farmers market or a CSA, and those stop being fun when you have chronic fatigue and no car. b) I ended up having severe immediate IBS reactions to dates, ‘raw’ nuts, and sweet potatoes, so most of the paleo-ized baking recipes were out. c) Lingering IBS problems from lots of other vegetables, despite how much I really like veggies. I only quit gluten a year ago, and have always had a problem with too-much-fiber, so I think my insides haven’t quite healed enough to eat all veg all the time. And yet beans and peanuts don’t seem to hurt me. d) Low carb = even worse fatigue for me.

    So I’ll gladly do a paleo beef stew in the crock pot, organic if I can afford it that week, with a side of nice cheap rice 😛

  • Reply
    October 24, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    I will continue to read your blog, cook from your cookbook, and look forward to your posts. I, too, have become fed-up with everyone calling things “paleo” and getting bent out of shape when things are “exactly, perfectly paleo…” I would rather eat healthy, have things taste wonderful, and enjoy life, and without a defined illness I do it for health, life, and “too look good naked” now, has it also helped my fertility, yes, has it helped me to get cravings under control, yes. is how I eat for everyone else – no! but at our house we do what helps us live better. and I LOVE your book. I would love MORE from you all as well. so please, please, please keep it coming.

  • Reply
    Armi Legge
    October 24, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    Great article. It’s awesome to see you being so open about changing your perspective. Sounds like you all have an excellent approach. Look forward to reading more.

    – Armi

  • Reply
    October 24, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    A great post! Thank you for taking so much time to write this and cover everything that I myself have been struggling with.

  • Reply
    October 24, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    Thank you. I am beginning to take this approach as well. I have always loved your guys’ attitude and approach. Plus, the recipes I try are always delicious (mustard on my chili… hello!).

    Thanks for what you do, I am excited to see what recipes you come out with next.

  • Reply
    October 24, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    Thanks soooooooooo much for this. I have tried paleo multiple times without success, and I am sick of people telling me I didn’t do it right. Even when I try to eat higher carb paleo I feel terrible. For me paleo is more like an eating disorder than a healthy diet–I’ll stick to it trying to go into ketosis until my hair falls out and I can’t even think anymore. After this last stint with paelo, when I added rice and other carbs back into my diet, my body was so much happier. If I avoid foods that make my stomach feel good I’m usually ok, and I think I’m going to avoid most diet websites from now on and just listen to how my body feels. That’s so much more important than what the latest article says. Thanks again, that was lovely!

  • Reply
    October 24, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    Thank you so much for this brave & honest (& very informative) post!

  • Reply
    Go Kaleo
    October 24, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    Wonderful post! 🙂

  • Reply
    October 24, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    This is really refreshing because, as many people as the Paleo diet has helped, and as often as it is a beneficial template with which to start on a journey toward restoring health, everyone is different. Thanks for sharing what works for you and, meanwhile, not feeling pressured to maintain a “perfect Paleo” facade or pressure others to do the same.

    Personally, I find that I feel better with less carbs and more fat (although I’m not CrossFitting), although I’m still finding the balance between understanding that calories DO count without actually counting calories. I also feel awesome when I eat local pistachio ice cream and whiskey. Boom. #mypaleo

  • Reply
    October 24, 2013 at 4:24 pm

    Love this! Really appreciate you putting it out there. I figured out pretty quickly that the standard Paleo template didn’t work for me. It was good to try, but the main benefit was gaining mindfulness about what I’m putting in my body. I have a lot of respect for you for writing this post.

  • Reply
    Heather Gammel
    October 24, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    Holy Cow, I LOVED this!!!! Thank you!

  • Reply
    October 24, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    Best blog I’ve read in ages. Totally agree with everything you wrote and loved reading something that finally sounded right for me also. Thankyou

  • Reply
    October 24, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    I’m enjoying your cookbook, and I only recently discovered your blog. I’m still trying to absorb this post. I’ve bookmarked several of your references. The latest world division (“there are two kinds of people in the world:…”) seems to be those who think counting calories matters, and those who don’t. I tend to fall in the latter camp.

    I’m listening to Jonathan Bailor on the Real Food Con right now. As you may know his thing is demolishing the “calorie myth.” He’s very research-based and seems to harmonize with my experience. It’s free to sign up, and if you sign up today, you can watch his presentation up until 8 a.m. Pacific Time tomorrow. Worth the hour.

  • Reply
    SD & Co.
    October 24, 2013 at 5:34 pm

    Great post! Bottom line: do what works for you! Health-Bent works for me and my family. Thank you for another fantastic post.

  • Reply
    October 24, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    Very interesting. I totally respect the decision to go a different direction in your blog. I can’t stand all the paleo judge-y people. I’m following a certain paleo blogger on instragram, and one day several people attacked her in the comments of her picture because they thought mashed potatoes were on her plate………….turned out it was mashed cauliflower. But who cares if it WAS potatoes? It’s her food!! Then, several months ago I was subscribed to this girl’s blog, who posted a tirade about people who were “doing paleo wrong” or “doing paleo for the wrong reasons.” One of her points was that if you start eating paleo to lose weight, then you are DOING IT WRONG. Huh? I think that’s such a ridiculous and condescending thing to say. I think she assumed that everyone who eats paleo is an ideal weight or only a few pounds overweight. Anyway, I immediately unsubscribed. I am quite overweight, and personally paleo or paleo-ish/primal eating has helped me SO MUCH. I did my first Whole30 last year when I was at my highest weight ever, and it was such a tremendous help. It really helped me to step back and look at the way I eat. It has helped me to lose 38 lbs. I truly believe that at this point, low-carb or paleo eating is the only way I can lose weight. However, it is different for everyone. Many people can still eat low-calorie/grains/whatever and lose weight. I used to be all about the calorie-counting, and it just doesn’t work for me anymore. And I can accept that. However, I don’t think I’ll ever be strictly paleo or pay any attention to how many nuts or pieces of fruit you can have in one day. I think the basic template of paleo is right for me but I believe there should be some leeway given. Anyway, I’m kind of rambling now…but I’m keeping you on my blog reader…I’m curious to see your future posts. 🙂

  • Reply
    October 24, 2013 at 6:06 pm

    Love that you found what works for you!!!! Keep on keeping on!!!!! And a huge excited congratulations on opening Base 10 Crossfit!!!!

  • Reply
    October 24, 2013 at 7:11 pm

    This was like reading my exact ‘journey’ over the last couple of months! I’m so glad you posted this and are able to actually take a stand and admit that you changed things because it wasn’t working for YOU! I wonder how many people are afraid to admit that going ‘paleo’ didn’t work for them and just keep doing it. Coming for a disordered eating background I thought paleo was the answer for me and yet a year later I felt worse than I ever did and had just moved my bad habits to a new type of restrictive eating and called it ‘paleo’! The moment I stopped needing a label to define how I eat was possibly one of the most liberating moments and I haven’t looked back, and guess what, my skin has cleared up, my performance at crossfit has skyrocketed and I have energy for once (I was so lethargic eating all that meat and green veg). And you know what, carbs are yum! Thank you for this great post, it almost felt like I’d written it myself. Keep up the fantastic work!

  • Reply
    October 24, 2013 at 7:31 pm

    I’m obsessed with this post. Amen girlfriend.

  • Reply
    October 24, 2013 at 7:50 pm

    I’ve been on a quest for nearly 20 years now to find what diet works for me. It wasn’t until my introduction to Paleo and Crossfit several years ago that things got interesting. It sparked a passion within me to spent about 2 years of my life intensely researching nutrition. To my surprise, I’ve become almost completely vegan (based on diet). I eat a whole food plant-based diet and rarely consume animal proteins. I like meat, just choose not to eat it based on what I’ve learned and discovered how much better I feel when I don’t eat it. I have more energy to blow through my workouts, and more mental clarity than I ever before. Thank you Paleo for opening my eyes.

  • Reply
    Brenda A.
    October 24, 2013 at 10:59 pm

    Good for you! I too quit Paleo. I did learn so many good things, especially to not eat processed foods. That part of it I’m grateful for. But ultimately I tired of the religious like fervor of most of the bloggers. And yes, some of the Paleo approved foods made me feel awful. I’ve allowed some rice, potatoes and corn (Hello Popcorn!) back into my diet. And nothing bad has happened. And I’m happier. I’m considering having occasional beans and legumes. I’m still avoiding wheat. Oh my….some hot oatmeal sounds amazing though. Hmmmm……… 🙂

  • Reply
    October 24, 2013 at 11:12 pm

    Wonderful post! I agree that we all need to listen to our bodies and just do what works for each one of us! Thanks so much for the total honesty and great webste, recipes and cookbook. Love your blog and how all of the food you prepare is from healthy whole fresh foods! I will definitely continue to read your blog and support you both!!

  • Reply
    October 24, 2013 at 11:18 pm

    Congrats on the gym and Good Luck!!

  • Reply
    October 24, 2013 at 11:53 pm

    What a relief!! I am glad someone I have enjoyed reading and learning from is saying exactly what I have been thinking for months. Best blog and most sensible I have read in ages. Thank you!!

  • Reply
    October 25, 2013 at 12:55 am

    what a beautiful, honest, breath of fresh air post. it is all about what suits YOU and YOUR goals/aspirations/lifestyle etc. So good to read honesty not airy fairy on the surface fluff 🙂 thank you

  • Reply
    October 25, 2013 at 7:38 am

    Thank you! Thank you for stepping up and saying what makes sense. I’m so over the “Crossfit” and “paleo” cults. Neither my workouts or what I eat need a fad label. I enjoy using my own brain and doing what works for ME and what makes SENSE, according to research and my own trial and error.

  • Reply
    October 25, 2013 at 9:19 am

    This is just great. I’ve been slowly working up to this point and this post helps me know I’m making the right decision.

    • Reply
      November 8, 2013 at 2:45 pm

      Agreed. This post is a great support to the transition I have been timidly making to fit me and my needs.

  • Reply
    October 25, 2013 at 10:57 am

    The recipes in your cookbook stand on their own, paleo or not, and I would recommend it to any cook regardless of how they eat or who they’re cooking for. Wherever your personal views on nutrition take you, Primal Cravings is a triumph that has brought back the joy of so many beloved foods to grain free eating. If I could only keep one cookbook from my collection and had to give away all the rest, I would choose yours.

  • Reply
    October 25, 2013 at 11:48 am

    Labels of any kind are just foolish. No one should need to justify their decisions to anyone. Keep up the great work you do. I love the cookbook, the online recipies, and I look forward to seeing many more. Should something fall outside of my personal food template I will wait for the next recipie. I wish the rest of the foodie internet would do the same. Can’t we all just eat for our personal health and enjoy life?

  • Reply
    October 25, 2013 at 11:58 am

    Sounds like everything I hear from reasonable paleo/primal/lchf people. Not sure who you’re associating with that you felt the need to publish a manifesto of why you should be able to live the way you choose and eat the way that works best for you. I have never heard that all carbs are bad (in fact I have read that when you do are more active you can and should consume more if that works for you), that it’s never ok to splurge on non paleo treats, or that “strict paleo” works best for everyone. It’s funny that you do cross fit. I loathe cross fit. Partly because I tore my meniscus doing wall balls in a class led by incompetent “trainers.” The incessant shirtlessness of the men and the inability to accept that people need to work out differently and the way those folks tend to mock more mainstream forms of working out annoyed me so I left. It wasn’t working for me and I left. I found something that works for me. Sounds like you did too regarding diet. Similarly, although I enjoy your recipes very much I delete the sugar from the ones that call for it or I just don’t try those. That’s because I know that will screw with my body. Besides, I’d rather have a heavier carb day eating something besides frigging table sugar. It’s just about sticking to the core principles because you know darn well they work and finding ways to work in the day to day realities of modern living.

  • Reply
    October 25, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    I started to read other’s comments and then stopped because I realized it didn’t matter to me at all. Thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for this post. I have literally had an awakening because I feel exactly the same as you.
    I researched Paleo for years and became about 80-90/10 compliant over the last two. I felt more stable and sort of “better” (bread/gluten-y things always make me want moremoremore and bloat, so that was mostly gone) but the weight did not fall off by any means. I’ve never been over weight at all and I’m very tall and lean, however I too am carrying an extra 8 pounds.
    I chalked it up to crossfit as well; I’m in smaller pants by a size and look pretty good, but I, too, feel like there’s a layer of puff over my muscles. The definition isn’t there, the lean look isn’t there – no cut at all.
    I like brown rice and feel fine when I eat it! I like quinoa! And everything you said about certain veggies totally applies to me – I blow up like a rootin’ tootin’ balloon.
    So thank you. This post gave me permission to accept what I’ve already suspected: That calories are crucial, that all carbs aren’t evil, and that I HAVE TO LISTEN TO MY OWN BODY.

    Wonderful job today. And I love your cookbook.

    • Reply
      October 28, 2013 at 1:41 pm

      ditto!! So good!

  • Reply
    moriah sawtelle
    October 25, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    Amazing post – my thoughts exactly. Im so glad you wrote this! Your blog is my new favorite!!

  • Reply
    October 25, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    This. Is. Awesome. Amen and thank you!

  • Reply
    October 25, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    I wrote on the importance of defining what is “healthy” for yourself a few months ago –

    It’s all very relative and specific to life phase, too.

    The example you give about cruciferous veggies is a good example because between their goitrogenic effects and their “indigestibility,” they are actually “unhealthy” for a great many people. (Especially lots of IBSers.)

    I still think the “paleo template” is a solid one. Within that, there is a great expanse – VLC, LC, keto, couldn’t care less about carb counts, treats, no treats, splurge with gluten, avoid gluten like the plague, supplements, no supplements, etc.

    This isn’t religion and it’s not dogma. We don’t have to swear allegiances and pay dues. Just do what works for you.

    And, when it stops working, change.

  • Reply
    October 25, 2013 at 2:28 pm

    Long-time reader, first time poster here. My copy of the cookbook just arrived this week and I can’t wait to make some of these recipes! So, first and foremost, thanks for all your hard work experimenting in the kitchen! While I’m glad to hear that you continue to discover what works best for you and aren’t tied down to the label of paleo, I’m sad that the dogma of ancestral health has gotten to you! You guys have always had an “eat what works for YOU” approach, which I’ve appreciated since I take a similar angle with my diet. Furthermore, you’ve always been frank about “sugar is sugar is sugar,” which was refreshing to me when I first started paleo. These folks who eschew table sugar but see nothing wrong with honey, fruit juice, etc really confused me. I guess I don’t see why you would be a target for others in the blogosphere. They feel threatened, maybe? My must-read blogs are the ones who don’t buy into the dogma, and yours is one of them. Don’t let the haters get you down. Looking forward to what you guys conjure up and share with us!

  • Reply
    October 26, 2013 at 9:34 am

    I’m a “paleo follower”, if you will. And I I do agree w/doing what works for you. Paleo works for me. I’ve eaten this way for 3 years — didn’t even know there was a word for it til I joined a crossfit gym and heard the word “paleo”. That being said, I’m the exact same weight that I was before paleo…..and actually the same weight since stating crossfit 1 1/2 yrs ago. BUT my body composition has changed tremendously! I’m super lean, muscle definition is very evident and very energetic! I have never been the person who eats huge meals, even w/the “you don’t need to count calories” philosophy. For me – it’s about eating real food to fuel your body and that certainly doesn’t mean eating lots of bacon at one sitting or a tub of almond butter. I won’t give in to eating grains, sugar, soy or dairy because I’m fine without it. But I also don’t overload on fat either. It’s all moderation and actually just common sense. So when I have people come up to me at the gym asking how/what I eat, I simply say, “I eat real food….paleo, if you will but all in moderation.” So I guess all I’m saying is that you can blast the “paleo diet” for your personal reasons of how it made you feel and/or look but it does work for a lot. And tho I hear why you choose to add back in “non-paleo foods” , it doesn’t necissarily mean that it or should work for everyone else either. To each is own and it’s just kinda sad to hear you blast the paleo lifestyle – kinda contradicts what you’re suggesting the paleo followers do to the “non-paleo” peeps.

  • Reply
    October 26, 2013 at 9:39 am

    I just want to say thank you for the book and for this post. It really couldnt be more timely since I’ve been struggling with this same internal battle for the past couple of weeks (YOU ARE NOT ALONE! :). I turned to paleo four months ago because I also hoped it would help with my digestive issues. Although I am very happy with the fact that my blood sugar has regulated substantially, I was disappointed when my digestive issues reappeared. I’m convinced that FODMAPs are the real culprits behind my digestive distress. I can also appreciate your stance on wanting to look a certain way and not feeling like you can truly achieve those results with a paleo lifestyle. I hope you continue to blog and post recipes that fit in with the lifestyle you are embracing, because I have some of the same issues and goals and would love continued inspiration. PS…I felt the same way about the paleo research as I read many of the leading publications ;-).

  • Reply
    Evelyn aka CarbSane
    October 26, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    Thanks for the shout out, and I’m honored to be among such wonderful company and that you have been helped through something I wrote on my blog.

    Wishing you two the absolute best in opening your new gym! I’m sure it’s going to rock!!

  • Reply
    October 26, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    Good for you! I quit paleo a few months ago myself. But you definitely aren’t eating enough calories to be healthy IMO. I only walk 5mi a day and lose weight at 2300 calories. You should be eating 3k if doing crossfit!

  • Reply
    October 27, 2013 at 4:12 am

    This rant is an example of what a self absorbed, shallow person would write because they enjoy pointing others down to feel temporarily better. I don’t see any science still in your post, but opinions and immature comparisons of womens’ bodies. If anyone thinks this should make you credible, they are wrong. All I could see is that you’re that type stuck in high school that looks at women up and down, inspecting their every imperfection. The women who do that are the ones who are the most insecure.

    If you want to eat dairy, nuts and grain, go for it! One question though, have you ever considered the style of workout you’re doing (crossfit) could actually be hindering your metabolism? It certainly isn’t for every person either.

    People are able to choose how they eat, thankfully. I was most put off by how shallow you are in this post. I hope that you are more sincere in person and learn to move past your body obsession.

    • Reply
      October 29, 2013 at 9:45 am

      go stick your head in sand.

      • Reply
        October 30, 2013 at 3:31 am

        Nah, Laura is 100 percent correct.

    • Reply
      October 29, 2013 at 9:03 pm

      WOW! How did you get shallow, self-absorption from that? Because someone has a body ideal? If you have followed posts here at all, you would know that these people put their ides out there and even give people options in their recipes to follow whatever they believe. I don’t think the Keatley’s are the shallow, self-absorbed ones. How about a “thank you for the awesome recipes”?

  • Reply
    Will Levy
    October 27, 2013 at 5:25 am

    Great post! Very similar to my own story going into and coming out of the Paleo rabbit hole, as seems to have been the case for many.

  • Reply
    October 27, 2013 at 8:56 am

    I can totally relate to a lot of what you say here, but I’m not really happy about your comments about female paleos and how their opinions are not valid if their bodies do not look like yours. This is why I don’t do crossfit – this attitude seems to be the norm there. I’ve heard all sorts of condescending things about how people who don’t crossfit just don’t care about their fitness as much. It’s a really slippery slope to start shaming women about their bodies, especially if you don’t really know their reasons for going paleo.

    For me, paleo has corrected a hormonal imbalance that has plagued me since high school. I am distance running for the first time IN MY LIFE (I’m 35) and have actually started to see muscle definition as a result of my workouts for the first time ever. But if you saw me on the street, I bet you’d look at me as one of those fatties who doesn’t care about her health or fitness and that makes me sad. I hope you’ll reconsider that part of your piece because I think it takes away from the awesome points you make in the rest of this post.

    • Reply
      October 27, 2013 at 8:00 pm

      Yeah, that bitchy comment struck me too. I read a lot of paleo blogs and those women look healthy. I agree that you need to eat how you feel is right, and I have diverged from paleo/primal, but putting down women with healthy bodies was not necessary. Nothing wrong at all with wanting to get to the low end of healthy lean, but it isn’t easy and it is unnecessary for health. As women, we need to stop putting down healthy bodies as being “not good enough”. And some of the women with the bodies we envy most are not living healthy lifestyles. It was insulting. I wish you the best of luck at getting the body you want, but putting down others will not get you ripped. Hard work will.

  • Reply
    Andrea @Pencils and Pancakes
    October 27, 2013 at 9:00 am

    Honestly I agree with most of what you’re saying…you should eat the way that makes YOU feel good. I completely agree with that. What didn’t set well with me for this post was the way you made very obvious personal attacks on people. I haven’t even been following the Paleo community for that long and I know exactly who you’re targeting. And I don’t think that any of those people ever personally attacked you saying YOU HAVE TO EAT THIS WAY. Maybe they did, I don’t know. But never since following the Paleo community have I felt pressured to eat a certain way or seen anyone who was super strict Paleo Police-ish as everyone keeps saying. Who are these super-strict Paleo people because it hasn’t been any of the people I’ve been following? So I don’t think it’s fair that you kind of go on the defensive and personally attack some people for no (apparent) reason. I’m sure they would say “you know what, eat dairy and grains if it makes you feel good”. I really don’t think anyone ever said you couldn’t eat what you want. Also, I don’t really think anyone ever said calories don’t matter! Okay, I just read Cordain’s book and he does say that….but it’s for people JUST starting Paleo. If you’re transitioning from oreos to brussels sprouts, yeah, don’t worry about calories. But I don’t think anyone who is remotely educated in the realm of nutrition could honestly believe that calories don’t matter. When you’re trying to become lean, they definitely do. I think the point most of the women in this community are trying to make is that is way too stressful- weighing food, counting calories, obsessing, worrying, etc. And if it’s not stressful for you, fine do it! It is for me and a lot of people.
    So I don’t mean to be rude to you, like I said I honestly agree with a lot of what you’re saying, however it came off very defensively and seems like you’re making specific attacks at people who don’t deserve it.

    • Reply
      October 27, 2013 at 12:38 pm

      I have seen ‘calories dont matter’ plenty in the paleo circle and I do believe it started in the Atkins diet, it specifically says to not count calories, BUT not to over eat either. I think it leaked into the paleo movement. Well, calories do matter obviously.

      • Reply
        October 29, 2013 at 6:29 pm

        I always felt the idea of not counting calories was to get out of the micro-managing mindset that was so prevalent in earlier diets. Also, those diets didn’t seem to care where you got your calorie – “a calorie is a calorie” – which seems so crazy to us now. So, I think that idea was to change the focus to eating good food and real food instead. Hopefully, once we start doing that, we will be less likely to overeat because we feel more satiated. So, if you are stuffing yourself every day and not listening to your body’s signals, I suppose you could eat way too many calories on a whole food diet.

    • Reply
      October 29, 2013 at 9:18 pm

      Perhaps in your perusal of the paleo sites you haven’t come across the bashing that goes on when people aren’t “pure” but I’ve seen extreme bashing when someone posts a “paleo pancake” recipe for propagating a flwed SAD diet staple with paleo approved food for no better reason then we should rise above it. I’ve seen this site get a TON of people complaining that the free, delicious recipe that they posted had dairy in it, even though they made an effort to post substitutions. So are they maybe a little sensitive? I think they have good reason to be. They have always given their time and creativity to help those of us looking to make something more exciting than meat and veggies. Anyone who’s followed them would’ve seen the abuse they’ve taken for their generosity. It isn’t as rare as you think.

  • Reply
    October 27, 2013 at 9:29 am

    Paleo doesn’t work for you so you got smart and tried something else. Cool.
    You criticized the bodies of other women who put them self out there. So uncool – your garbage isn’t worth reading anymore.

  • Reply
    October 27, 2013 at 9:40 am

    Ditto what Valerie said:
    I’m a “paleo follower”, if you will. And I I do agree w/doing what works for you. Paleo works for me. I’ve eaten this way for 3 years — didn’t even know there was a word for it til I joined a crossfit gym and heard the word “paleo”. That being said, I’m the exact same weight that I was before paleo…..and actually the same weight since stating crossfit 1 1/2 yrs ago. BUT my body composition has changed tremendously! I’m super lean, muscle definition is very evident and very energetic! I have never been the person who eats huge meals, even w/the “you don’t need to count calories” philosophy. For me – it’s about eating real food to fuel your body and that certainly doesn’t mean eating lots of bacon at one sitting or a tub of almond butter. I won’t give in to eating grains, sugar, soy or dairy because I’m fine without it. But I also don’t overload on fat either. It’s all moderation and actually just common sense. So when I have people come up to me at the gym asking how/what I eat, I simply say, “I eat real food….paleo, if you will but all in moderation.” So I guess all I’m saying is that you can blast the “paleo diet” for your personal reasons of how it made you feel and/or look but it does work for a lot. And tho I hear why you choose to add back in “non-paleo foods” , it doesn’t necissarily mean that it or should work for everyone else either. To each is own and it’s just kinda sad to hear you blast the paleo lifestyle – kinda contradicts what you’re suggesting the paleo followers do to the “non-paleo” peeps.

    It is not about calories but about nutrient dense real food and moderation in eating in everything. I think you perhaps missed the point entirely and are angry for many reasons.
    Good luck opening you new gym.

  • Reply
    October 27, 2013 at 9:48 am

    Wow. Shallow indeed. If you think you’re one of the “right” looking females, take a harder look. Drop the treats, sweet cheeks. Keep your snarky to yourself. Let people be healthy and feel good in their skin. Don’t perpetuate the fat-hating that’s going on right now. Be bigger than that. Leave the gym and get outside to throw dirt, runs and lift heavy things. Don’t be the follower you claim not too. Go ahead and delete my post but know that you’re not serving anyone but yourself. Carry on.

    • Reply
      October 29, 2013 at 9:49 am

      wow. bitchy.

    • Reply
      November 3, 2013 at 1:55 am

      Wow. I had to go back and find the “bitchy comment” because it sure didn’t strike me that way when I first read it.
      I don’t see how her comment is any different than this: if you are seeking marital advice, do you ask the person currently in a long, healthy marriage or the person that has been married and divorced five times? Or how about parental advice? do you ask the parents of the well-behaved children who are good in school or the parents of the misbehaved trouble makers? Don’t be shallow now……
      If I wanted some reassurance that I was getting good, Sound advice that appears to work, I’d go for the former in both cases.. Does that make me “bitchy” and “shallow” for basing my decision off of the judgments I made of the couples and their kids? If so, I’m ok with that.
      Y’all are too sensitive and taking this too personally!

      Keatley’s- love your blog, creativity, philosophies and recipes. Thank you for the time you dedicate to putting such thoughtful posts together. Haters gon’ hate- so keep doing what you’re doing and know there are still a bunch of us out there that appreciate you! Good luck with the gym!! 🙂

  • Reply
    October 27, 2013 at 9:49 am

    I like and dislike this article. I applaud you for coming forward and saying that how you were eating before isn’t working for you and you are making changes. I am sad that we have to label how we eat, be it Paleo, Vegan, etc. You can like the principles of a way of eating but with your own “custom” tweaks. It’s what works best FOR YOU. The best thing I have found with Paleo, is that it has made me do more research in how and what I eat. It has opened my eyes to different foods, products, and exercises. I think that is the best result for anyone, regardless of how they eat. Education.

    What I disliked about the article is your wording regarding blogs you used to read. Maybe unintentional, but it comes across as bashing them for not having the “perfect” or “ideal” body. Not everyone’s genetics will allow them to look perfect regardless of their diet and/or exercise. I really wish you would have worded it more on the lines of- blogs you used to read no longer fit what you were looking for. Which is true without saying that the women you were reading don’t look the way you think they should look.
    I have read your blog for a while, and will continue to do so. I am not 100% anything- I strive to make better decisions everyday regarding the foods I eat. And everyday I find out little things that work or don’t work for me. It will always be a life-long process. Best of luck to you!

  • Reply
    Leanna Tufts
    October 27, 2013 at 10:01 am

    Great post. I eat to perform now and feel a lot better. If something is not working we should be able to change it without people getting mad and taking it so personally. Restricting myself from certain groups of food set me up to fail because I would “mess up” then binge on food I “shouldn’t” be eating. I don’t want to have that kind of relationship with food. I crave less “bad” food now that I know I can have whatever I want if it fits in my macros for the day. I agree: calories – protein- carbs- fat.

  • Reply
    October 27, 2013 at 10:31 am

    Wonderful, awesome post. As a nutritionist and a Crossfitter, I have seen and experienced first hand all that you blog about. There are many, many times I just want to open my mouth and scream at what I hear being said by my CF coaches and the like.

    You have gone out on a limb here knowing you may be bashed and banned from the “Paleo Jerk Circle”, and I applaud you for that.

    I had never heard about you before and actually came across your name when a food blogger who is part of the “circle” ranted about your post. I am glad she did, I found your site.

    • Reply
      October 27, 2013 at 12:34 pm

      Same here!

  • Reply
    October 27, 2013 at 10:44 am

    Good for you! Paleo isn’t the only answer. People’s bodies are different and different diets work for different people. I’ve been piecing together a health plan from many different bloggers and diets. I also think people are lying to themselves and everyone else when they say they don’t care about being thin, no one wants belly rolls and muffin tops.

    You should ready about the GAPS diet for your IBS. I recall dreading specific information about ibs and vegetable irritants. It’s an intense diet plan designed to health your leaky gut and supposedly heal almost everything! I’ve been wanting to try it as I’ve always had gastric problems and allergies. I am also becoming allergic to more and more food which is making it increasingly difficult to eat in general. Good new is, once healed you can work yourself off the strict diet plan. It’s an interesting read.

    I also enjoy stance on food.

    Again, good for you! Your goals and stance on food are realistic. I’m way jealous that you get to enjoy Ben and Jerry’s but glad that you get to! I’ll continue to read along with your blog and take what works for me from it.

  • Reply
    October 27, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!! I jumped off the paleo band-wagon about a month ago because I couldn’t complete my work outs and I was not losing weight. As an active duty military member, I NEED to be able to work out. It’s not an option in my life. Plus, when I thought about it, my ancestors ate fruit, and more importantly, did NOT eat paleo-muffins!! I needed carbs. I feel so much better now. It’s exactly as you described; I eat good food, I eat less and fill satiated and I have the energy I need for my work outs.
    Thank you for coming forward! PS- I cant stand almond flour, LOL

  • Reply
    October 27, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    First, I’d like to say kudos to you for finding what works for your body. It is different for each of us. There is no ‘perfectly right’ way of eating or exercising. You should do what works best for you. That said, shaming other female bloggers over their bodies in a public forum is what holds us all back as women. If you can’t leave junior high behavior behind and let other people choose what is best for them, then you are missing your own point. Shame on you for criticizing others’ bodies. I won’t read your blog again, and I thought you should know why.

    • Reply
      October 27, 2013 at 1:11 pm

      I’m not the Amy from above – but I wanted to say “amen” . . . (see below)

  • Reply
    October 27, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    I think it’s great to always be evaluating and re-evaluating what foods are promoting health for you. It’s what has stopped a lot of vegans from being vegan, and a lot of low carbers realized that they personally do need a little more carbs. No human is identical. We all have different genes and different epigenetics from our lifestyle as well. I too share your loathing of paleo police – or paleo legalists, as I call them. The legalism and hypocrisy I’ve seen on a few blogs and facebook pages caused me to unlike some of the leading paleo writers.

    For me, I’ve got IBS too – and some FODMAPs don’t like me either – but the biggest thing for me is non-celiac gluten intolerance. As soon as I eat gluten, symptoms come back within 24 hours. Some other whole grains don’t like me much either, but I can still enjoy them in small amounts (no more than 20% of my diet). I’ve also got a family history of diabetes and know that genetic predisposition puts me at higher risk than most of the general population – meaning sugar for me is more poisonous than for others. For me, 80-20 primal, with moderate-low carbs and some dairy is what I’ve discovered works best for me. But I’m still a work in progress too. I’m not at my goal weight. I’m not at my goal cardio fitness level. I’d like to build more strength too, even though I’m nearest to my goal in that area.

    Which brings me to my last point . . . the snarky – no, let’s be honest – bitchy and rude – comment about many paleo women not meeting your personal definition of “good looking” sent me over the edge in an article I otherwise mostly agreed with (at least, in terms of needing flexibility within our diet choices – not dogma). I mean, wow. Just wow. Even without considering the fact that many paleo women are themselves, just as you, works in progress – still losing weight, gaining strength, curing health problems (and for many, I’m sure, curing those heath problems is a much higher priority, rightly so, than “looking good”) and also learning more about what diet choices work best for them personally, just as you have done . . . . even without ALL of that in consideration that comment would STILL be bitchy and hateful – because who died and made you arbiter of what beautiful has to look like? Why is your personal standard the only valid standard? Why does the attractiveness of the person, in your own eyes, even matter if they are only sharing their own research and experience?

    That kind of mean girl behavior is what leads so many people to have an unhealthy relationship with food in the first place. That kind of mean girl behavior has NO PLACE on ANY website claiming to promote holistic health. That kind of mean girl behavior just discredits every other reasonable thing you said. Don’t be a mean girl. Skinny bitches may be skinny – but they are still a BITCH and aren’t someone I’d EVER listen to health advice from.

    • Reply
      October 27, 2013 at 1:36 pm

      Very well said, let’s hope she wakes up and realizes this. It completely holds women back as a whole and discredits everything else said. I have zero respect for it.

    • Reply
      November 2, 2013 at 10:53 am

      Amy- in her post she did not say that she decides what “beautiful” looks like; she did not say that her personal standard is the only valid standard. That’s exactly what it was- HER personal standard. So why should that matter to you anyway? We all have personal standards- even you! Isn’t that why we do anything that we do? Isn’t that why you eat Paleo, or work out or whatever? Because you are trying to better yourself and live up to your own standards? Duh! What she expressed was her own opinion. And I am POSITIVE that many, many other people look at their TRAINERS, or DIETITIONS, or HEALTH COACHES and think “well, if they don’t look like they walk the walk, why should I do what they are telling me to do?” It’s common sense. You really just sound bitter and angry. Put all of that energy into working out or cooking some paleo meals………….

      • Reply
        November 3, 2013 at 2:08 am

        ^^^amen to THIS Amy!!! well said

  • Reply
    October 27, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    Why I like the folks of Health-Bent:

    1.) You strive to be different, and DO what satisfies YOUR lifestyle.
    2.) You are brave and keep it “real” w/o fear of what others might say. I love your honesty.
    3.) You are tired of the Paleo mainstream mumbo jumbo that’s more about making money than just living healthy. There are more Paleo DON’TS out there than Paleo DO’s and it has gotten out of hand — the Paleo Police are bound to catch you and point out your mistakes.
    4.) You published a cookbook that is different from all others in swearing off almond flour! Wooo hoo! Amen to that. The popular Paleo paradigm says “eat small amounts of nuts” yet you can’t scroll through a single news feed on FB w/o seeing dessert after dessert — it’s what SELLS and I think that’s bullshit.
    5.) Oh, and last but not least — you are the makers of the very best chunky monkey muffins known to man. Thank you for THAT by the way. 🙂 See, I told you the dessert recipes sell! haha You have amazing plantain buns as well.

  • Reply
    October 27, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    Not sure why you would think low carb is good for someone doing cross fit or doing any other high intensity workout. Low carb and grain-free are not synonymous. Wish you luck. Don’t really care what you eat or what you call it. But Paleo means many things to many different people. You make the basic tenets of it work for your particular situation. To me, paleo is clean, local food – high fat, moderate protein and carbs according to my activiity. I include raw milk and eat rice. So I describe it as paleo-ish. Personally, I quit cross fit, because I looked around and didn’t see a female trainer or athlete that I aspired to look like. And none of them were paleo.

  • Reply
    October 27, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    I am glad that you are learning what works best for you and that you want people to listen to their bodies. Its sad though that your message is weakened by your lashing out at others. Its sad that you feel the need to tear others down to make your point.

  • Reply
    October 27, 2013 at 4:48 pm

    I fully support everyone living a lifestyle that is their choice and makes them feel their best whether that be paleo or other. I do find much of your stance hypocritical as you bash paleo female figureheads for not looking paleo perfect but you are quitting because of how others have poo pood you for lacking paleo perfection. Good for you for doing what you believe in but shame on you for trying to bring others down along the way.

  • Reply
    October 28, 2013 at 11:58 am

    Everybody is different and I think people who assume that there is one right type of diet or food for all the people in the world are wrong. Plus I truly believe that paleo needs some modifications to work better for women. I’ve tried it several times in the past and had results like yours but this time with my own personal small modifications I’m feeling much better and it’s working out much better. So whomever the people are who are getting under your skin, just ignore them. Still love your cookbook though I am having a hard time getting past the breakfast and baking sections since everything turns out so good and I want to just keep making the same recipes! LOL. I hope you guys will write more cookbooks in the future!

  • Reply
    October 28, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    Love reading this. So happy that you figured this out while you’re still young instead of stressing about this for most of your life. We are all created differently. Any wonder God created the vast amount of foods he did? I believe if he created it, it can’t be bad for everyone. I personally thrive on more meat… not paleo strict, but just making sure protein is very sufficient in my diet. My husband on the other hand would be keeled over on the floor if he ate paleo. So we simply follow this rule in our house: We eat what we’re hungry for, and then stop when we’re full. He also suffered from IBS for years. We did an elimination diet and figured his triggers are potatoes, dairy, and modern-day hybridized wheat. Once we cut them out, and included a plethora of fermented foods for him, he feels 100% better. If you haven’t discussed it yet, replenishing our gut bacteria with fermented foods is a HUGE benefit for a lot of people. Good luck on your journey with an appreciative view of food. 🙂

  • Reply
    October 28, 2013 at 4:13 pm

    I resonate with 100% of the philosophies of Health-Bent, but about 99% of the contents of this post. If you’re going to say, “If you don’t look good (my idea of good), I’m not particularly interested in taking your advice”, I suggest NOT citing Lyle McDonald and Evelyn from CarbSane, considering they are a far cry from “looking good”. Unless, of course, they look good to you. It’s unfortunate that you had to stain your post with this hypocritical statement since I think Lyle and Evelyn are intelligent people.

  • Reply
    October 28, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    Naming the way you eat always gets you in to trouble…IMHO. You might get some cr*p from some people about changing the way you think about Paleo (shmaleo), but I know after reading your well thought out/researched post that it won’t make a bit of difference to you. You’re authentic to yourself which is all that matters! You GO!! 🙂

  • Reply
    October 29, 2013 at 12:20 am

    Great post Megan. I’ve been on my fair share of awkward diets that I eventually realized made no sense too … and I’m sure I’m still being a moron about some things.

    Good luck!

  • Reply
    October 29, 2013 at 7:41 am

    I’ve got to say, while I fully agree with many points made, this post is self-indulgent crap. You don’t like the strict paleo dogma? Ignore it. Do your thing. Do what works for you. Let the extremists have their narrow views and be the bigger person. You don’t have to justify your lifestyle, or any changes therein, to anyone.

    I bought the cookbook. Love the recipes. However, I’m now questioning the place this blog has in my rotation.

  • Reply
    October 29, 2013 at 10:00 am

    wow! it’s incredible how many people are complaining about the “shallow” and “bitchy” attitude that seems to negate all of the “reasonable” things said.

    my opinion:
    we’re all so very different (obviously) and there is no real mould in which our individual dietary needs sit. what works for you may not work for me. if you’ve figured out what makes your belly happy and what helps you to feel good about yourself, then hooray!

    deep down, I think a lot of people are shallow. they want to feel good about themselves. people want to be attractive and feel confident about that, even if it’s just kept quiet.
    what’s that advice people give you when finding a hairstylist? look for one that has great hair themselves? how is that any different than taking advice from someone who has the physique you’re aiming for? I don’t see much of a difference.

    so, to all of the poopy butts with bad attitudes: shh.

    • Reply
      Becky Ryan (@rBecky94)
      October 29, 2013 at 11:49 am

      Thanks Stephanie. Well said. 🙂

  • Reply
    Becky Ryan (@rBecky94)
    October 29, 2013 at 11:47 am

    All I want to say is this…it’s super profound: Eat what makes your body happy, in MODERATION, and stop eating when you aren’t hungry anymore, not when you’re FULL or STUFFED. It’s simple, if it makes you feel tired, bloated, unhappy after eating/drinking it, stay away from it. Exercise 20 minutes every day, either cardio or weights, or both. Nothing fancy. Simple. I lost 10 pounds not even meaning to and I feel happy and healthy again.

  • Reply
    October 29, 2013 at 7:58 pm

    Wow! I can’t believe I got through this self indulgent mess of a post. Of course, it’s your blog so you have the right to post whatever you want. A question: everything you wrote in the beginning of your cook book? Should we disregard? Do you no longer believe that? I just find it incredible that you literally “wrote the book” on Paleo, or at least a primal take on it, and then a short time later you post this. I have to be honest and say that I used to read your blog religiously but you lost some major credibility today.

    You seem to be ranting against common sense and after talking about cherry picking the cherrypickers you went on to do just that that. Layperson or not anyone who thinks you can eat as much as you want of anything deserves whatever they get. Of course calories matter! Just because some people take Paleo to the unsupported extremes and get their panties in a wad over Paleo desserts doesn’t mean you have to throw the baby out with the bathwater. That is in itself extreme, don’t ya think?

    And the bitchy comment directed towards other women? Just wow! Completely unnecessary.

  • Reply
    Jil Cornaby
    October 30, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    Approx 6 years ago I was diagnosed Celiac. From that time up until the present I’ve been trying to find a way to feel healthy. I gained 40 pounds when I first went on a GF diet. I have since tried to lose the weight. I began by reading the Green Smoothie Girl diet, then I found the Original Fast Foods Diet and so on an so forth. I finally started reading blogs about Paleo. They seemed ok and I found I lost 20 pounds on that diet. Then I hit a plateau and I’ve stayed there for a year.

    I am eating healthier than I have in years and have found that table sugar does a number on me as well as the gluten. However, in all of my reading and dieting, I like you feel that there are foods out there that are shunned that are good for our bodies. Like Becky said, we just need to eat in MODERATION. We can eat a cleaner diet that isn’t so full of sugar or isn’t as processed, but once in awhile it’s ok. I’m glad you found a way of eating that fits what is best for you. I think it’s all a process of finding what is best for us and sticking to it. We are the only ones that know what is best for our body. There is no one out there that can tell you what is best for you, except you!

    Kudos for you. I will continue to read your blog and I love your cookbook. Thanks for the honesty and for helping me to feel like I’m the one in control – not the said “Pro’s”. I feel more empowered today just from reading your blog than I have felt in a long, long time!!

  • Reply
    Anna McClurg
    October 30, 2013 at 6:54 pm

    I really enjoyed reading this post and am grateful you shared your thoughts! I actually didn’t find your comments bitchy at all. I think a lot of people think and feel this way when they are searching for a “diet” or a lifestyle for themselves. I know I do. For instance, I hear a lot about how you should eat a lot of fat and meat and how you don’t have to worry about how much of this you are eating or worry about counting calories. It will somehow automatically make you lose weight. And then I see some people following this plan (who have been following it for years and years) and they look terrible, worse than they did before they started eating this way. And I have to wonder if what they are telling me is actually true or are they just fooling themselves into thinking it’s true? I do think that everyone is different and not everything will work the same for everyone. It’s all a journey finding what is right for you and your body. I really appreciate it when people like you have the courage to share when things aren’t working like they are supposed to or the way others tell you they should work. There is no point trying to make something work just to “fit in.” I personally don’t like how Paleo feels more like a cult or religion. I definitely don’t think it’s healthy to be obsessing so much about food. For now, I try to eat as much “real food” as possible without getting TOO obsessive about it. 😉 Anyway, thanks for sharing and thank you for being HONEST!

  • Reply
    November 2, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    Your website and cookbook are awesome — it all makes sense to me. The 80/20 or 90/10 rule, whatever, you do the best you can and know what your particular body needs to fuel and feel it’s best. I am so glad I came across your cookbook — I can’t wait to try the recipes. I thought the layout was the best I have seen — love the picture on one page and the directions on the other. It has EVERYTHING I look for in a cookbook. Thank you!

  • Reply
    November 2, 2013 at 7:58 pm

    Oh my… is your blog and you ca write whatever you want. I am super happy you found what works for you. My diet has had to change with a recent onset allergy to wheat and gluten, a true allergy, not celiac. Even wheat dust, aka flour, causes extreme allergic reactions-sneezing, rashes, itchy eyes, compromised breathing. It is horrible. When the allergy developed I had to redo my diet, which was actually pretty great. For me eating unprocessed foods, as natural as possible, are the key. I do use almond flour for my morning protein muffins and sometimes cookies. Otherwise no goodies for me. That is a lie, I love chocolate . I love cheese and yogurt. I do not crossfit. I do not drink for medical reasons.
    So who cares? No one. Just me, and hubby of course. I am happy, the hives, terribly itchy skin, exhaustion, and general malaise are gone. I am sane again and that is all that matters.. And, at 56 I can still rock a bikini! After laying off the chocolate that is.

  • Reply
    November 4, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    Wow. I read your post and I like you even more than before. I found so much of it to be relatable and REAL. Thank you for being honest. I read a lot of the comments and they pissed me off. Its your blog, if they don’t like it they can find another blog to read and ‘carry on’ themselves. Thanks for being you, thank you for sharing your feelings, opinions, and observations. Most of all, thank you for sharing your kick ass recipes. They. are. the. best.

  • Reply
    November 6, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    Thank you!

    I have your book and just ordered a copy off Amazon for my brother-in-law (because he cooks for my sister). I don’t read the blog and didn’t know about this post until reading a 1 star review of your book on Amazon. And, so I came here to read this post. And I will now read your blog as well. About me- I exercise and try to be healthy, but still have 20 lbs to lose. However, I lost 80lbs using the calories in less than calories out formula and it works. 15 years ago, I did try strict Atkins and I lost a few pounds, but nothing to shout about. That’s when I realized that even if my body is programmed to burn fat, if I’m are ingesting all the fat necessary to sustain my activity level and BMR, then my body won’t need to burn the fat sitting on my butt. I’m also an analyst by training, and given my history of weight issues, I read everything with a skeptical mind. I know about the anti-nutrients in legumes. But I also knew about them in nuts and green leafy veggies….and as I read Paleo books have never been able to understand why one is allowed and another isn’t. If it’s ok to soak nuts to get rid of anti-nutrients, then why not legumes? And why green beans and not others? The only real difference I can see is the carb count in legumes…but then, why not be authentic and just say that instead of trying to convince me that a hungry cave person wouldn’t ever have consumed such a food as a bean? The point is to rotate everything so that no substantial amount of a single type of anti-nutrient is ingested. I rotate the leafy greens in my green smoothies for this reason. I want to eat healthy, whole foods diet instead of processed junk and use Paleo cookbooks as a way to get there…happily substituting milk and butter for for things like coconut milk (yuck!) and almond milk (better, but not milk) in recipes. I shop the outside of the grocery store and avoid the aisles. My mother does have Celiac and my sister is a diabetic…so I do watch carbs and try for low-carb, gluten-free if I’m cooking for them. But, I’ve also learned that if any food is ‘off limits’ then that will be the food craved by my family…so all things in moderation…including fat. I appreciate real honesty and like to support those that live by that…I’ve happily sent your cookbook to my brother in law and will continue to use it myself.

  • Reply
    November 6, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    Thank you for sharing your story and for what works and doesnt work. Paleo is not a size fits all and for some us it just isnt enough. Please still share your recipes and creativity, you truly have a gift for making the ordinary taste delicious!!!

  • Reply
    November 7, 2013 at 2:54 pm

    This post has given me a lot to think about, thank you. Ultimately we all get to decide what to put in our mouths and only our bodies are the true experts. What can’t be argued is just how bad processed ‘food’ is but everything else I believe is healthy.

    I was obese but lost 60 lbs by eating aproximately 1200-1400 calories of mostly fruit, veggies and occasional healthy fat and meat. I only faultered when I started reading how bad fructose was….as soon as I got back on my plan I felt so much better! Plus I’m able to endure serious training sessions with tons of energy to spare.

    I applaud you for not only educating us but for being who you are and doing what is right for you! That is the definition of healthy : )

  • Reply
    Suz Garten
    November 10, 2013 at 10:59 am

    They say there’s no such thing as “bad PR”, and that negative review of your book on Amazon proves this philosophy true, astoundingly so.

    First of all, let me tell you the internet path I travelled to end up here, at your blog. I was reading Mark Sisson’s post on “Managing Cravings”, posted October 31. As I read the comments from other readers, someone commented about your book helping them immensely with their non-Paleo cravings by providing wonderful paleo substitutes. So I jumped over to Amazon to take a peek at your cookbook and since I always read customer reviews on Amazon, I read that one-star review, then noticed there were follow-up comments to THAT review and well, here I am.

    Kudos to you for morphing to this phase of not subscribing to all the paleo dogma. I think people, in general, have a bad habit of becoming too immersed in current diet fads. And yes, even though I ‘ve done the Whole30 challenge, and feel that it truly helped me change my eating habits to a more paleo/primal style, I still allow myself some cheats from time to time. Like you, I’ve never been really fat, maybe 20 lbs or so overweight at the most, but as I age, I want to eat the healthiest I can to FEEL the best I can. That is my main purpose and following close behind, my #2 reason is to look good and not feel like I am bulging in my jeans!

    I don’t ever believe 100% everything I read or research. There are ways to manipulate numbers and informational data to support anyone’s claims, and it’s done all the time! I think the general population needs to be careful and ever-vigilant so as not believe everything they read as gospel – when a person becomes fanatical about a certain way of eating, that’s when they need to be careful and re-evaluate. Realize that we are all individuals, and what works for ONE person may not work for another.

    My bottom line will be to continue adapting my diet to what works for me, eating the things that do not provoke unpleasant bodily responses, including foods in my diet that, to the best of my knowledge, are the healthiest foods for me. Common sense and logic tell ALL OF US that the processed foods by the giant food industries are NOT, nor will they ever be, the healthiest foods for our bodies. Just staying away from processed foods can do huge favors for your body – from the way it looks and feels, to the harmful changes going on at the molecular level which we can’t see.

    My diet continually evolves, and from this day forward, it evolves yet again. I now will not beat myself up when I eat something which I perceive (according to Paleo tenets) to be “wrong”. In fact, I don’t think I will call my diet “paleo” from this point forward. I will simply adjust my diet to what’s best for me, and include everything that my common sense, logic and available research tells me is the healthiest way for me to eat.

    Thanks for your viewpoints and the presented links to add support to what you have found. I’m adding your blog to my bookmarks. Even though I haven’t read another post (yet), I’d hazard a guess this might be your best post to date.

    • Reply
      February 21, 2014 at 8:34 pm

      I agree with you. I actually started with more of an elimination diet model then started following paleo after finding paleo recipes in searches for gluten free and whole food recipes. I realizes that I felt best when I was in a nice in-between of the two. Strict paleo is too restrictive and I think it eliminates too many foods because there “may be a small trace of an anti-nutrient” which I think is going to far. I’ve almost always called my diet more of a “holistic” eating plan. Personally, I know that gluten causes problems for me, but beans and rice do not. I started my own list of “foods to eat often”, “foods to eat often, but watch portions”, “foods to eat ocassionally” and “foods to rarely, if ever eat”. It helps me keep track of my goals and I can move foods as I eat them or have issues. It’s what works for me and my situation.

      • Reply
        Suz Garten
        March 26, 2014 at 4:20 pm

        I like your list idea, Clif. Very good idea to keep track of the foods you eat and which ones work the best for you. Everyone is certainly different, and no single food plan is going to work for every single person. It’s up to each one of us to determine which foods work the best for our god-given body!

  • Reply
    November 11, 2013 at 2:36 am

    Love it.. absolutely love the flip-out that just happened.. kudos to you! I’ve picked up that there’s so many critics in this paleo living.. eat what makes your body feel good Nicola Jane Hobbs always says.. it doesn’t have to be tied to a particular way of eating nor defined by the many diets going around, figure what you want for yourself and your body and adjust accordingly.. good for you guys, that’s the best part about this all.. you wanted to share your journey, I can very much appreciate this.

    Health bent, not paleo bent, love your book still.. I mountain bike, cross fit, run but battle soo with my weight.. I’m still trying to figure my body out and how to lose the excess weight with all this intense training,its stressful but I think things are starting to come right as I learn about lchf, paleo/primal and the many options available.. anyway, all the best!!


  • Reply
    November 12, 2013 at 11:09 am

    Nice post. Do most paleo-followers eat low-carb?? I see so many paleo recipes with sweet potatoes, dates, honey, bananas…truthfully I think that the non-paleo things you describe (i.e. a salad with quinoa) sound healthier and lower-carb than many of the paleo recipes I see.

  • Reply
    Libba B
    November 13, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    THANK YOU for being a quitter! I have developed a similar mindset to yours and feel better than ever, especially mentally. The shame spiral can grow and grow fast in the Paleo world.
    Very impressed with your links and research. Best of luck to you and hubs on the gym opening!! Your cookbook is on my Christmas Wish List!

  • Reply
    herpa derpa
    November 18, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    To be honest, soon after this post I decided to give up trying to be completely grain-free paleo also; it’s just too difficult to not eat all the horribly delicious things with grains (the avoidance actually stresses me out, there is only so much willpower to go around) and like yourself, I do NOT have any issues with gluten actually; I can eat fast and conventional food and provided I do not overeat it, my body handles it perfectly fine. The only issue I have with wheat is that if I eat too much of it for lunch I will crash hard and want to sleep after a burrito with a huge tortilla, so I just try to avoid that and any other huge servings of carbs at once. It is also stressful to try to push the diet on others; after getting into paleo I was unhappy and upset with what my parents were eating, but really I’d rather enjoy my time with them than make a big stink about all the grains and carbs they eat (better to just make paleo dishes while I am visiting and let them try them, or not, as they wish). It is better to just let it go than to create friction, if they are not interested to change their diet.

    I have been interested in eating paleo for about a year; I did remove a lot of unhealthy things from my home kitchen, I got rid of my pasta and quinoa (wasn’t into it anyway), and all the unhealthy fats. My big take-away from my interest in paleo is changing up the types of fats I eat and increasing my vegetable intake; I am definitely on-board for organic, grass-fed, butter, and coconut. Beans make me bloated so that alone is worth avoiding them for, but I still like them. I also liked re-embracing home-made bone broth as I believe that is definitely valuable and supplies a lot of nutrients missing from the lean and boneless conventional meat approach. In the end it’s more about moderation and portion control. I remain very interested in low-carb and vegetable-heavy foods but I’m not going to make myself stressed out and crazy avoiding all sugar, conventional foods, or whatever else paleo restricts.

    Let’s face it, humans have come up with some amazing foods that, while perhaps alsmost entirely unhealthy and not to be eaten daily, should still be enjoyed occasionally. Life is short, after all, so unless you have some extreme health issues requiring you to be strict paleo (which I do not), I think it is better to enjoy yourself somewhat, and eat what you want, in moderation.

    In short, some paleo principles have very much improved my diet, but I think it’s better to leave out the all-or-nothing absolutes and rules if they cause too much stress to follow.

  • Reply
    November 18, 2013 at 5:43 pm

    Coincidentally, today I bought Matt Stone’s book 12 Paleo Myths. Long ago, I grew somewhat disenchanted with the vegan culture (although I still loved its emphasis on compassion for animals) because they seemed to repeat questionable science and rely too much on gurus and bloggers for information. I took a tour through paleo out of curiosity, and was actually not surprised to see much of the same religious devotion and mistreatment of science that I’ve seen in the vegan world.

    I haven’t been paleo for very long, but uncomfortable enough with labels that I didn’t want to tell my friends what I was doing. I just told them I was “experimenting with grain-free” and left it at that. I admit I’m still in the stage where I’m reaping some great results (blood sugar balanced, brain fog lifted, more energy) and I’m nervous about losing those benefits. However, I never really accepted the low carb part of paleo, and was attracted to your site and your book in part for that reason. I will continue to add healthy carbs to my diet, even though I am trying to lose “that last 20”.

    BTW, of all the paleo baking recipes I’ve tried, yours are the best. No comparison, hands down. I don’t even care about the almond flour thing. Your recipes using coconut flour and tapioca taste incredible. The chocolate chip cookies are better than my sainted grandmother’s chocolate chip cookie recipe. I love the rustic apple pie. The biscuits are better than Cracker Barrell’s. So–no worries here about getting enough carbohydrates! Just, perhaps, a better quality.

    • Reply
      November 21, 2013 at 8:36 pm

      I have added carbs back into my diet–love sweet potatoes and potatoes with more fruit. I especially like the pizza crust recipe in the book and my non-Paleo husband said it was terrific. I really can’t handle wheat and gluten. If I get exposed, I can track the bad results through 4 to 5 days. One side affect a day, actually, ending with extreme anxiety. It explained much of what I was feeling during my life–now 65 YO woman. I am not celiac, but very sensitive. I enjoy the Paleo/primal life and my cooking has been resurrected and I feel much calmer inside. I find the whole thing kind of fun and creative. I hardly ever cooked the last couple of decades and now I asked my hubby for a cast iron dutch oven for last Christmas. Who knew? He is a happy camper along with me. I know I don’t want to end up in a nursing home like my mom did so maximizing my health is a win-win for me and my family. Happy Holidays to all!

  • Reply
    November 21, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    THANK YOU THANK YOU! I too was a very strict paleo follower for over 9 months. I felt great at first, lost that “last 5 lbs” but then began losing my hair, STOPPED WORKING OUT BECAUSE I COULDNT” GET THROUGH A WORKOUT..and I have been a hard core aerobics/crossfitter/runner…anything for over 12 years. So for me to quit working out was so out of character for me. My whole body and brain became unrecognizable to me. I was not myself.

    I realized I was going to have to give grains a try again. It has taken me awhile to “recover” from my paleo coma, but I feel much better. A balanced diet is crucial for me.

    thank you for being true to yourself and honest. Many people feel the way you do.

  • Reply
    November 21, 2013 at 5:35 pm

    Thanks for taking the time to share the details of your journey with us! I also really appreciate you sharing the research you have done so that it’s easier for the rest of us to make informed decisions of our own. The fact that your stance could be phrased as “I’m going to be a rational and sane person and do what works for me, and also: SCIENCE!” is a thing of beauty to me. Isn’t doing what makes you your personal best the whole point of lifestyle choices like going Paleo (or not) anyway? I see nothing to hate on there. Your writing is enjoyable to read, your recipes are tasty and nutritious, and you share your findings instead of telling us to just believe you because you know better than we. That’s pretty awesome.
    That said, I’ve never managed strict Paleo myself, nor do I ever intend to. I adore dairy, and don’t see how moderate alcohol consumption can be all that bad. Besides, for those obnoxious purists on all things Paleo, I’m pretty sure mankind discovered the joys of fermentation WELL before the agricultural revolution. I’m of the dietary philosophy that nothing more is needed for good health than eating real food, and not eating toxins, natural or artificial. If I can look at it and figure out where/what it came from, then it’s probably safe to consume. Barring things that are actually poisonous, of course.
    I actually am one of those (apparently very rare) folks with an actual gluten sensitivity/intolerance. In my case, it runs in the family. My mother suffered for years from joint pain that confused her doctors, because it was exactly like rheumatoid arthritis, but without the degeneration that normally goes with it. Well, it turns out that once she cleared gluten out of her diet completely, she was pain free for the first time in over a decade. The familial thyroid issues are also much less severe when avoiding gluten, so I ended up ditching the substance for good when my TSH came back rather high. Sites like yours where the recipes are pretty much always safe for me and my family are a delight to me. The fact that I might have to do some substituting in the future if you feature recipes with gluten-containing ingredients? Eh, I’m used to it by now, and everything else you share makes your site more than worthwhile to me. I love your stand on starches, by the way. Sweet potatoes are one of my all-time favorite foods, especially the purple Okinawan ones.
    So thank you once again for being awesome. Those of us here on the other end of the internet from you appreciate it greatly. Now I’m off to find that biscuit recipe, because Cracker Barrel biscuits used to be my obsession and something better than that that I can actually eat?! I think I’ll make a double batch, or else I’ll eat them all myself.

  • Reply
    November 23, 2013 at 7:54 am

    Good for you! Great article! I will refer to it often. Thank you for taking your time to research this subject!

  • Reply
    November 24, 2013 at 9:14 pm

    THANKS SO MUCH FOR THIS!! I almost got up and danced when I read this! While trying to manage MY IBS, I pretty much banished everything from my diet EXCEPT lean breast of chicken and a few select veggies, which did NOT include potatoes. However, I began to lose an unhealthy amount of weight, so I introduced them back in and have been maintaining my weight. Surprisingly enough, the times when I have a higher carb intake are the times when I tend to be more stable in that area. I have suffered from disordered eating for a time and even developed anxiety over eating after a while. I have a list of healthy items, i.e. garlic, broccoli, cabbage, etc that cause SEVERE gastric disturbances for me, yet I have continuously tried to consume them. The madness stops today! I could go on and on. I’m still a fan of your cookbook, but again, THANKS for this insight!

  • Reply
    November 26, 2013 at 8:54 am

    I love this but please don’t quit the health-bent website!

  • Reply
    November 29, 2013 at 1:58 am

    Interesting personal insight about what to eat, why you have changed from a fairly strict Paleo diet to maybe an 80/20 approach, and the claims/evidence research that supports your thoughts on the foods to eat. Being the lone male to respond, I did see where both you and your husband eat pizza, ice cream, and other goodies once in a while. But, does he eat the same diet and portions as you do. I realize he may eat more, but just curious if he is eating the same diet as you to get optimum results for training and good health overall? I crossfit too but tend to run low on energy after the 3rd workout of the week and am slow to recover from the workouts. Eating Paleo with sweet potatoes has been my diet for a year. Maybe I will include fruit to determine if this improves performance and recovery. Reducing sugar has helped me with colitis issues in the past so there is a need to control the amount.
    Keep up the good work!

  • Reply
    November 29, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    You might like to know this. I was shopping for a new cookbook on Amazon and had heard good things about yours. Then a negative review pointed me to this blog entry. “Huh,” I thought. “Won’t get that cookbook then.” Then I read this. And I bought the cookbook.

    I TOTALLY agree with what you’re saying. I went Paleo about a year and a half ago, lost about 70 pounds and got my health back. I’m still overweight, but not morbidly so. I love my life now. I run, I lift weights, I enjoy having my picture taken instead of running from the camera. And I also relaxed and listened to what agrees with me and what doesn’t. I learned I can relax and have a pizza and it’s not the end of the world. I strive to keep whole, good foods in my everyday life, and if I’m not 100% the Paleo police won’t take me away.

    Anyway, thanks for this article. I look forward to getting your book!

  • Reply
    November 30, 2013 at 6:27 pm

    You just convinced me to buy your book. I love parts of Paleo, but hate the dogma. I know that I, in fact, feel better with a certain amount of carbs in me. I also don’t do well with dairy. Honestly, gluten doesn’t do a thing to me, but I find grain products far too easy to overeat (a problem I’ve had forever) I do find it hard to get enough calories when eating paleo. More because it takes so much time to make food, and I get so busy with other things in life, I stop eating in lieu of eating something “bad”. It’s a terrible mindset I’m trying to get out of.

    I’ve loved your guys recipes and blog for a while, and I applaud shaking the shackles of the “definition” of paleo (even though you guys are more primal than paleo) In the end, know your limits and don’t exceed them. That’s the way to be healthy. I feel paleo is how you find those limits. And I find 80/20 to be more healthy than 100.

    • Reply
      December 28, 2013 at 12:48 pm

      Daniel, Well said. Thank you.

  • Reply
    December 1, 2013 at 3:45 pm

    Thanks! Good read. I like.

  • Reply
    December 2, 2013 at 11:20 am

    I love this article for so many reasons. Such a great post that I’m passing on to all of my fitness and nutrition focused friends. Thank you.

  • Reply
    December 2, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    I like what you’re doing here but you may be a little bit overzealous. Paleo is not an evil unguided practice. It sounds to me like you were just eating way to much fat. Have you thought about zone? Since you’re opening your own gym I’m assuming you have your CF-L1. In your cert you learned about zone diet right? Nobody is avoiding carbs there, you just need to eat the right ones. The idea is that you eat more NUTRIENT DENSE foods like leafy greens and fatty meats because then you don’t have to overeat to get everything you need. Eat the right number of blocks for you to exercise your hardest without sustaining body fat. 1 block = 7 grams protein / 9 grams carbs / 1.5g grams fat.
    That being said I love your blog and recipes and your book is in the mail now. Thanks for putting these great resources out there for us!

  • Reply
    December 2, 2013 at 4:48 pm

    LOVED this!

  • Reply
    December 8, 2013 at 4:25 am

    i basically love you right now! okay, so it was like fate-(about to get real too much information and personal right now) i woke up today with stomachs issues at my usual 3am and spent a good few hours on the toilet, yup, another normal day for me. my husband has been trying to tell me to quit pale/primal for years – i randomly type in your blog remembering it- and bam, this is your post. I know pale/primal has been doing me no good at all, yet i persisted- wracked in fear, actually, because i used it to recover from a 12 year anorexia- no more though, im quitting today, because: no periods on pale, dry skin, horrendous ins. thankyou for being honest.

  • Reply
    December 9, 2013 at 2:23 am

    Hi there! I am really glad that I found this post because I’ve been struggling with whether or not to continue eating Paleo and this finally pushed me over the edge and I’m much happier for it! I am pretty sure that I have the exact same problem that you have concerning FODMAPs and I was just wondering if you could write a post about that or suggest some meals for someone considering trying to reduce those foods.

    Thanks again!

  • Reply
    December 11, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    Such a great post – I started eating Paleo as a competitive distance runner even though I didn’t have any autoimmune or problems beyond IBS. I felt great on it, but my running performance plummeted. What’s more, I got anxiety craving carbs at 70 mpw, and felt like I was “cheating” when I ate cereals or popcorn. It took me a while to realize that eating strictly Paleo was another form of disordered eating for me – the need to control what I ate and what I forbade just took on the form of another beast. I now eat what I want, whether it’s gluten, dairy, meat, or peanut butter (for goodness sake it’s delicious). If something hurts my stomach (I have found coffee and acidic fruits cause problems) I don’t eat it! If it makes me feel okay, I eat it! My running performance is improving, my body is keeping muscle and weight (minus those good ol’ hibernation lbs) and I don’t stress about eating or food nearly as much as I used to. Thank you so much for posting this!

  • Reply
    December 12, 2013 at 9:35 am

    I agree that you should go 100% any diet. If you are dedicated enough to stick to whatever rules you pick about 90% of the time, you will see results. I say that I’m a “vegetarian,” but if someone offers me a free slice of pepperoni pizza, there’s no way I’m turning it down!

  • Reply
    December 18, 2013 at 7:53 am

    There is a big PR spin on the paleo/primal take on the world without a doubt. When it all comes down to it, it is about how active you are, and even more about how many calories you are taking in vs. how many you are taking out.

    I don’t eat 100% “clean”.. it is just difficult to pull that off with all of the social aspects of eating in today’s world.

  • Reply
    December 18, 2013 at 3:35 pm

    I have been dabbling in a Paleo lifestyle for maybe a year now. I’ve gone through very strict and very loose phases of it during that time. The reason for my inconsistency of following it was because of the inconsistency of the diet itself. I couldn’t understand how the “no” foods could have similar problems that some “yes” foods had but they were okay for some reason. Examples being the whole legumes thing. Dont ALL approved nuts have antinutrients, too? I can eat almond butter but peanut butter is the devil? They both contain things like oxalates which besides being an antinutrient can contribute to things like kidney stones. Than the shaming got to me. And the fear mongering- I got really fed up when a blogger I followed posted an article about how eating your leftover vegetables will kill you, too. Now I’m supposed to cook fresh meals for a family of 5 EVERYDAY or we’ll die? Ok. I’ll get right on that. Where I felt like if I slipped myself or if Grandma let my kids eat crackers we were all doomed. Like you, I didn’t start this journey with any problems. I don’t even suffer from anything like IBS. Grains don’t bother me. I am just looking for a lifestyle to keep me and my family healthy for the long haul. I do, however, suffer from being UNDER weight. The only thing that seems to put weight on me is junk. Chips, cookies, bread, etc. I also needed a lifestyle that would put HEALTHY weight on me. I thought Paleo might be it. That was the biggest reason I went in and out of being strict. When I went strict, low carb and limited fruit I felt AWFUL! I was dizzy, weak and steadily losing pounds I did not have to spare. I tried Whole30 and 4 days in I had lost 5 pounds and couldn’t stand at the kitchen sink one morning to make my breakfast. I had to lie down. I was down to 108 pounds at almost 5’9. I realized carbs are not the devil. I absolutely need them to stay afloat. My body requires them to keep on weight. Which I’m still trying to figure out a way to gain 20 more pounds (yes, it will take me 20 pounds to hit the lowest level of the normal BMI range) Like you said, I want to look good naked. And skin and bones is just as unattractive is a muffin top! I followed a LOT of Paleo blogs and I’ve been trying to decide for awhile which cookbook will be my first. After reading this you’ve put my indecisiveness to an end. I think the almond flour thing has really kept me from a lot of these cookbooks. It just didn’t make sense to me (rather hypocritical, IMO). I actually found you mentioned on another paleo blog (Taylor Made. Love her!) And this is the first article I read here. And its what I’ve been looking to read in the paleo community for a long time. It’s exactly how I’ve felt and you’ve reciprocated my feelings. So thank you for that. It finally put my mind to ease on this nerve racking diet journey I’ve been on. So, to show my appreciation, your book will my first I buy!

  • Reply
    December 19, 2013 at 9:20 am

    Thank you for this! Can just point out I have spent the past two days searching for info about the downside of paleo or harm done from the paleo diet, but the popularity of the diet is so popular that I have to go through pages and pages of pro paleo crap before I find anything decent. I do not think this speaks to the success of the diet, but more to the fad like quality it has attained.
    Anyways I have been strict paleo for 9 months. Started because of fatigue and extreme cold – adrenal fatigue. I immediately felt awesome and began looking awesome. I started feeling like death 3 months in and 6 months later and am only beginning to admit the correlation. I have no energy, I am talking extreme fatigue, I ache all over, like arthritic and deep muscle pain, my muscles are so weak I can hardly grasp and open a jar at times. I have been obsessing about taking more food out of my diet to try and remedy all of this debilating nonsense, but I believe that my body may have rejected this diet long ago. I btw have gone to doctors and naturpaths, blood tests are ok.
    Point … I think this club can be dangerous and some members leave little wiggle room. It may not be for everyone. Some of it rocks like cut refined crap and eat clean, buuuut …. The rest may not be so awesome. I will start a post if I reintroducing grains helped my newly developed fibro pain and here’s to hoping that I lose the weight I gained!

  • Reply
    December 19, 2013 at 9:25 am

    Thank you for this! Can just point out I have spent the past two days searching for info about the downside of paleo or harm done from the paleo diet, but the popularity of the diet is so great that I had to go through pages and pages of pro paleo crap before I find anything decent. I do not think this speaks to the success of the diet, but more to the fad like quality it has attained.
    Anyways I have been strict paleo for 9 months. Started because of fatigue and extreme cold – adrenal fatigue. I immediately felt awesome and began looking awesome. I started feeling like death 3 months in and 6 months later and am only beginning to admit the correlation. I have no energy, I am talking extreme fatigue, I ache all over, like arthritic and deep muscle pain, my muscles are so weak I can hardly grasp and open a jar at times. I have been obsessing about taking more food out of my diet to try and remedy all of this debilating nonsense, but I believe that my body may have rejected this diet long ago. I btw have gone to doctors and naturpaths, blood tests are ok.
    Point … I think this club can be dangerous and some members leave little wiggle room. It may not be for everyone. Some of it rocks like cut refined crap and eat clean, buuuut …. The rest may not be so awesome. I will start a post if reintroducing grains helped my newly developed fibro pain and here’s to hoping that I lose the weight I gained!

  • Reply
    December 19, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    Nice post. You did a very good job on presenting your experience about paleo diet. This post is very helpful. KUDOS!

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    December 30, 2013 at 6:54 am

    Thank you so much for this!! I did a 30 day challenge a year ago and lost a ton of weight but I felt so deprived the whole time. . .I’ve been going on and off strict paleo for the last year since and always feel guilty when I break down and eat ‘something I shouldn’t be eating’. I’ve gained all my weight back and feel crummy because I can’t stick to paleo. Your post is inspirational- We should all be listening to our bodies and do what works best for ourselves, I will from here on out. Thank you 🙂
    p.s. my stomach hates brussel sprouts, cabbage, and kale too!

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    January 1, 2014 at 11:41 pm

    My husband got me your cookbook for Xmas and so far, we love the recipes. The pumpkin chili is a favorite. We’ve been doing paleo for 2 months to be healthier, and neither of us felt any great immediate effects. We did lose a few pounds but were expecting lots of energy, etc, that we read from other blogs. Anyway, we are adding back white rice and potatoes. We are reading A Perfect Health Diet, and the authors, like you, were doing paleo but found it was not helping them reach their goals. As scientists, they researched the literature to figure out what to eat and how much of every nutrient to eat. According to their interpretation of the literature, it’s necessary to have carbs and even dairy is healthy on occasion.The back of their book has a pic of an ice cream sundae. I think you are eating for health and sanity, but who cares what anybody else thinks! Just keep coming up with your awesome health bent recipes!

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    January 3, 2014 at 2:23 pm

    My fiancée and I have read your blog for a few years and love your recipes. We’re both Chemists and appreciate the options that you offer. I think a lot of purists (no matter the topic) turn people away from good things. Everyone has to find what makes the most sense for them, and it starts with experimentation. I commend you for figuring it out.

    I still hate the comments about paleo being a fad diet or having no basis (not what you’re saying). Strict paleo perhaps, but so many in our world have such a far stretch from a good diet that it’s good to see the science coming out more and more. There is a lot left to be learned, but the important part is to get past some simple things that simple are no more than folk lore.

  • Reply
    January 3, 2014 at 2:23 pm

    My fiancée and I have read your blog for a few years and love your recipes. We’re both Chemists and appreciate the options that you offer. I think a lot of purists (no matter the topic) turn people away from good things. Everyone has to find what makes the most sense for them, and it starts with experimentation. I commend you for figuring it out.

    I still hate the comments about paleo being a fad diet or having no basis (not what you’re saying). Strict paleo perhaps, but so many in our world have such a far stretch from a good diet that it’s good to see the science coming out more and more. There is a lot left to be learned, but the important part is to get past some simple things that simply are no more than folk lore.

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    January 3, 2014 at 5:29 pm

    There are always people looking to cut you down for doing what you do. So many haters out there and people who believe they are holier than Thou. Who cares how “paleo” you are according to one person’s rules vs. another’s…your recipes are way healthier than half the garbage out there and they are f@%#ing delicious! I am in love with the Primal Cravings cookbook and have turned umpteen of my friends and family into butternut squash lasagna addicts. Keep keepin’ on.

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    January 4, 2014 at 3:33 pm

    I really loved this article! I am currently on day 4 of The Whole 30, a 30 day elimination diet. I’ve been pondering whether or not I should go Paleo because I feel great. My husband has always said everything in moderation, even moderation. I love that you hilighted so many of the misconceptions that come along with the diet. I love bread and so many other things that I don’t swear off completely but I do need to just be careful about over-consumption. I’m going to finish my 30 day challenge because I committied to it but I am going to think alot about the points you’ve presented in this article and share it! Thanks so much!

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    January 5, 2014 at 10:46 am

    Thank you thank you for this putting these thoughts on paper (your cookbook is sitting next to me and going to start making some recipes as soon as I’m done traveling). The number 1 thing you can do with our diet is figure out what works for YOU. Not some overarching, strict diagram of a diet. It’s like being strict democrat or republican, making a decision on an issue before even hearing what the issue is. After being strict paleo/primal for a while, low carb, carb back loading, etc. etc. I QUIT too. I’ve narrowed down what works for me best, which is a diet based around the paleo principles but tweaked to fit my body and fitness goals. I also go through periods of body manipulation where I change my diet based on what I am trying to accomplish in the gym and the mirror during that particular phase. All the recipes in your book and any other paleo cookbook will offer tasty dishes I can fit into my diet or manipulate as I see fit. Learn the principles and biohack your way to an awesome body. Thanks!

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    January 9, 2014 at 2:45 am

    I totally agree with you! It is interesting how we humans have the need to categorize. I am quite pragmatic myself and I hate to be put into a box. I have found a lot of help in the Paleo approch, but I think it is so strange that rice etc is “evil” even if it doesnt hurt your specific body. Weird. As a scientist, I also like how you adress the cherry picking tendency. A social scientist adressing this and how science becomes science through peer review, is Bruno Latour. Good luck with your gym and keep those recepies comming 😉

  • Reply
    January 10, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    You are awesome! Just want to give you a little encouragement. My husband and I have never been paleo (although we LOVE meat and veggies), and we enjoy many of your recipes. Many times I added non-paleo things into your recipes anyway, haha. I am glad to see that you are not only doing what is best for your life (and let’s be honest, french bread and ben and jerry’s are very good for our lives), but that you came out and said it on your blog. Yay! Let’s be friends!!

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    January 10, 2014 at 1:25 pm

    This post couldn’t have happened at a more perfect time. I love the concept of paleo but it’s incredibly hard for me to stick to. To be honest, I feel completely deprived when I eat paleo. Thank you thank you thank you for taking a more reasonable approach to food. It’s really changed my outlook and my mood towards food. You guys are awesome!

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    January 13, 2014 at 6:30 pm

    Right on the money with this post. I have been cooking from your blog off and on for about 3 years now. Everything I have made has been spectacular. I am a serious foodie. My parents are chefs, I grew up in restaurants. I love eating healthy, and whenever I eat something bad, I ALWAYS make it myself. But sometimes I just really want that crusty loaf of fresh baked bread or something and die hard paleo person would want to burn me alive for. Just because of this post I am going to Amazon right now and buying your book to support you! Cheers and keep up the good work!

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    January 17, 2014 at 2:37 am

    I loved ur cookbook. Seriously. I found myself making the same things over and over and eventually decided to work my way through julia to julia childs style. I’ve about tried everything and gotta say there are some real keepers. Its all fairly familiar and homey yet inventive. I might also have a cookbook obsession so dont take me lightly.

    As far as not being Paleo, I still follow it myself irregardless, I found ur blog early in my paleo experiment and it really helped me ease into it, because u did include dairy and potatoes and ate carbs.. and its all tasty. The more I read i see that your 80/20 approach is not only great for beginners but also those who have been through the strict phase figured out their intolerance and are now personalizing it for their body. That’s what health is all about right, making choices & doing good (not following generalized rules).

    So you may call out on paleo and good for you, but ur not leaving it behind ur just evolving ( I think there is a large group in that community that would benefit from y’all) .

    That’s long blurb but really just wanted to say THANK YOU.

    Ps that chicken pot pie on ur blog is one of my favorites fills up the whole house with such aroma.

    From a Megan to a megan 🙂

  • Reply
    January 23, 2014 at 11:26 am

    Are you ever going to blog again? Hoping you haven’t quit that. Miss the new recipes and such.

  • Reply
    January 25, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    You guys are great!! I call my diet paleo-ish b/c I occasionally add few carbs and dairy to my meals. Always in moderation and healthy. But I don’t strict myself. I always at least stay gluten free b/c it helps with my IBS. I believe everyone is different and so are their bodies. No one “diet” is great for everyone. Keep up the great work and delicious food. I will always be a follower!!

  • Reply
    January 30, 2014 at 11:01 pm

    I don’t disagree with anything you say, except one thing: paleo, even strict paleo, is not necessarily low-carb. It ends up being low-carb for a lot of people, because when you cut out bread, pasta and cookies, etc., you end up not eating a lot of carbs if you’re not making an effort to do so. But I have to say that I’m 95-100% paleo, and I eat potatoes, sweet potatoes and dark chocolate quite regularly. I eat maple syrup or honey almost daily, too. I’m nowhere near low-carb, and it works for me.

    I think the problem seems to be that a lot of people think paleo = low carb. It isn’t, unless you want it to be. And I’m so glad that I haven’t run into the paleo dogma that you and your commenters seem to – I’m on a paleo group on Facebook that is very open-minded and inclusive, and the message I get from most members is “do what works for you/what feels right to you.” That should be true of all diets/ways of eating.

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    January 31, 2014 at 11:43 am

    Please come back! I check your website off and on to see if you have posted a new blog. I love your recipes and use them a lot! It is sad that people are so judgmental and bring people down. Who is 100% perfect? Nobody is! Even if you quit ‘paleo’, please come back as health bent!

  • Reply
    February 1, 2014 at 2:22 pm

    Call me cra-cra, but doesn’t it feel like these two milked the paleo cash cow and skipped town? And now I have another worthless cookbook on my shelf, DOH!!!

    • Reply
      Rich Cordrey
      February 4, 2014 at 1:51 pm

      This is exactly what happened, and it’s very distasteful… Definitely won’t be interested in anything else they happen to cook up in the future.

    • Reply
      megan keatley
      August 27, 2014 at 9:43 pm

      i happily posted recipes for free for 3 years. and really, i feel that just because i don’t want to call myself “paleo” anymore, doesn’t make the recipes less tasty.

  • Reply
    February 1, 2014 at 8:06 pm

    Good luck with your gym. Too bad you chose to bash paleo on the way out…the dishonesty was really unnecessary.

  • Reply
    Michelle T
    February 9, 2014 at 8:25 am

    Yes yes yes on everything you said! Paleo’s really a hard diet to follow. I understand it’s not a great habit to form, quitting, but it just reaches the point where you realize it’s not for you.

  • Reply
    Michelle T
    February 9, 2014 at 8:31 am

    Yes yes yes to everything you said! I know it’s a bad habit to form but there will come a time when you realize that something is not meant for you.

  • Reply
    February 17, 2014 at 8:00 pm

    Great post! So timely for me. I was struggling with whether to stick with it or give my body what it needs. I found with strict paleo I was always hungry! Now I’ve added in a bit of steel cut oats in the morning and quinoa at lunch and I’m finally full! Not to mention my workouts are much better and more effective. I believe in the basics of the diet but you have to learn your body and give it what it needs – naturally!

  • Reply
    February 20, 2014 at 7:28 pm

    I can’t love this enough. There is no anthropological evidence to the “paleo” lifestyle whatsoever and most of them are in for a big shock when they get their cholesterol checked. Calories don’t count, eat as much as you want whenever, fast and then eat, carbs will kill you, pure saturated fat in enormous quantities is fine—are we crazy?! The fad diet bandwagons are completely out of control.

    Thank you for such a wonderful piece.

  • Reply
    February 23, 2014 at 5:08 pm

    Did you quit blogging too?

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