I was just scanning over facebook there and Brad Pilon (author of the excellent Eat-Stop-Eat) had posted a link back to another trainers blog. He had highlighted Leigh Peele’s piece on the Paleo diet and it’s surrounding hype. Brad also said that if you don’t read the article, at least scan over the comments, of which there are many, some quite entertaining, others very informative from people both supporting and arguing against Ms Peele’s article.
Check it out for yourself here: http://www.leighpeele.com/the-paleo-diet-fad-religion-or-solution?ref=nf#
Ok, read it? Good.
The whole thing is timely as I’m about halfway through a paleo style book called the Primal Blueprint, and I’m enjoying it. Leigh’s work hasn’t put me of in the slightest, but I’m no supporter of the whole primal / paleo movement.
Before I get into it, let me just ensure that we are all on the same page, I am NOT a nutritionist, a guru or any of that nonsense. My expertise lies in Exercise, strength & conditioning and martial arts, not food. But I’m also no idiot (you may disagree with that one…)
All these diet books are written for one thing. They are designed to sell, and sell in big numbers so that the author can sit back and watch the dollars roll in. I know this, I have a training eBook out (yes, I know a shameless plug, but you can buy it here with a load of extras at a ridiculously cheap price……) and another eBook is on the drawing board. And while I am intent on providing the best info possible in the most usable format possible, I also wish to sit back and watch the dollars roll in.
Hell, it’s business after all.
Now that that’s cleared up, back to the diet books. The thing that these books have in common (and I’ve read a good few of them this year) is that they spend around 50% of their total wordcount convincing you that they are right before handing out any real info. It’s a bit like a Darren Brown show, at the end of it he explains his trick and you go “Holy crap, I’m an idiot for being so easily fooled!”
All the diet books at the moment say much the same thing:
They tell you what to eat and when to eat it. The styles are different, but the actual content is actually much the same, just like martial arts, Karate is Karate whether you follow this style or that style, it is still Karate. Sensible eating is no different. The rest of the book is creating an ethos, a legend, a cult that you so want to be part of. Remember all the fuss over Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code and all the church goers got in a tizzy and wanted him strung up. Non of them got the fact that it was a story, and entertaining story (crap film) but just a story.
IT IS NOT TRUE
Same with all the Paleo stuff, it is a few sensible recommendations all dressed up in a cool story. Ori Hofmekler does much the same in his Warrior Diet book. And I love the Warrior Diet, it suits me down to the ground.
And there we stumble onto the point.
It suits ME.
If it doesn’t suit you, so what?! The Wild Geese Muay Thai coach, Dave G (aka the Rasta) swears by Barry Sears and his Zone Diet and recommends it to everyone, he argued with me about it for a while when he rejoined us after his training camp in Thailand. After a month or so, he saw that my “Warrior” eating allowed me to work and train like a man possessed (the run up to the Irish Kettlebell lifting Championships) awhile maintaining good body composition and energy levels, on one main meal a day. He also worked and trained like a man possessed eating his Zone friendly chicken salads 6 times per day.
Two men, two heavy workloads including training, two diet plans.
Who was right?
We both were.
Neither of us have been on the Paleo, but I have found myself recommending it to one very obese person and my sister who is ceoliac. Is it right for them, only time will tell.
Should we get caught up in all the hype surrounding these books (“Get in the Zone, man!” “Are you a Warrior, a Hunter or are you a Scavenger”, “Live like a caveman, get Paleo”), no.
Read enough of these books and ignore the hype, get to the facts held within. Take a few notes. When you read the next one, do the same. Then compare the notes. The result will lead you towards the actual truth, without the bull.
But here’s my recommendation:
Eat lots of Fruit Eat lots of Nuts Eat lots of Fish Eat lots of Greens Eat lots of Meat Drink lots of Water Eat untill you are Satiated Avoid processed food Learn to cook.
It aint rocket science.
And in case you missed my shameless plug, here it is again:
Oh, one more thing before I forget,
ENJOY YOUR FOOD