Kickass Womanhood at The Big Fat Paleo Symposium


Since Richard Nikoley has "declared war" on me and linked to this post, let's keep it all here shall we?  I'm going to keep this short and simple:
  1. It is simply mind boggling that someone who threatened me from the get go and called me all manner of names throughout, finds anything inappropriate in my -- gasp!! -- calling him a misogynist.  Which is really the worst thing I've said about him.  It is rather amusing to see how it seems to have affected him over the past months, however.
  2. This is not a threat, it is a promise that I will make good on in my defense.  In his post, Nikoley made some things clear:
Accordingly, and as it is a "war," I go "nuclear and chemical-biological" early. I will make zero pretense at "objectivity." This is for the purpose of smear and annihilation in words and images, with no mercy. I have no intention of fact checking, caring a lick about context, posting a scintilla of extenuating or exculpatory evidence. I will be seeking as much dirt, as much that is unflattering, as much inside information that's likely to be taken in the wrong way as possible. And I won't let up until I'm satisfied, and I don't even have a standard for that. I'll know it when I see it.
And let me be equally clear.  This is actionable stuff here and I will take action against Nikoley and/or anyone who decides just for the fun of it to participate in his war.  I've already begun the process of contacting the internet distributors of his content, and will be contacting his publisher tomorrow.  For anyone else so inclined:
Contact Hyperink
For general communication, please email
You can also call us at 650-395-7596
Or he could take it down, and apologize fully like a man -- alpha, beta, or freaking omega, matters not to me.  

UPDATE: I have several additional thoughts related to the topics in my original post as well as the aftermath of both AHS12 and posts such as mine. I had thought about posting another post, but here are three reasons why I chose instead to update this one.  {my apologies for formatting, Blogger is not cooperating :( }

1.  Yes, this will pop this to the tops of feed readers, but it won't add to the post count of those devoted to gender politics in "The Community".

2.    This post rapidly rocketed to #4 on my all time hits list, and while writing this has reached the #2 spot.  This is The Carb-Sane Asylum, not Carbsanity for Women or somesuch. Yet I have been impacted directly by much of what has been discussed in this post, and therefore consider this to be important content for this, my, blog.  That and ...

3.  The recent dispatch from LLVLClue-land held promising news.  The era of TWICHOO may indeed be in its declining days.  While I don't expect that to happen overnight, and expect the legacy of this to linger on for many years to come, having the sidebar be reflective of this trend by knocking Gary Taubes' email post off of its current top spot would be great.  Amongst LLVLC readers, in just one year, Gary Taubes went from topping the list of most trusted health resources with 60% to third with 21%.  I'd like to see my sidebar reflect this by knocking his email post from the top.

If you haven't read the original post, you can scroll down to the horizontal line break, or use your browser search to skip to "Original Content".  This is new material but I cannot promise there won't be some repetition.   I think the gender tensions in the community have their origins in the fact that the movement is dominated by male authorities and leaders.  Eaton, Cordain, DeVany, Sisson, Wolf ... when you think paleo diet, one or more of the latter four were likely your introduction to the modern day paleo diet.  And when you're casting your net wider in the general community, the big websites/blogs/podcasts are/were also male:  Sisson, Wolf, Nikoley, Harris, Moore, Eades, Croxton, heck, even Naughton, and let's include the more science-based blogs:  Guyenet, Masterjohn, and PeterD/Hyperlipid.    Forgive me if I missed any obvious names....

The diet/lifestyle was envisioned by men, romanticized and gimmickified to appeal to men, and even tweaked to accommodate the SAD entrapments most commonly problematic for men (beer or alcohol in general).  About the only thing about the paleo culture that seems more female than male would be the super-curious obsession with dark chocolate as a paleo-approved food.   

In all the various posts and discussions about the demographics at AHS12, nobody seems to have mentioned that by-and-large, the community gender demo/role makeup is not all that unlike stereotypical America circa the 60's & 70's -- men as executives/breadwinners/policy-setters/scientists and women as wife/mother-or-partner/assistant.  It's actually kind of strange to me, because in my lifetime -- spent in many a traditionally male dominated arena -- I've seen such distinctions blurred to the point of reversal in some areas (anyone look at college student demos lately?), and stereotypes dramatically altered if not obliterated.  Yet here we go again?   ...  I'll make no further comment here, nor comment on pros or cons of this.  And yes, this is a generalization to which there are exceptions so don't start listing them please.   But this IS what it so obviously is and ignoring it doesn't change it.

So anyway, there really do seem to be two undercurrents intermingling here:  the young beautiful people vs. the old and ordinary, and the gender divide.  And when push comes to shove it appears the phallus trumps as it historically has, and maybe that's just about the most ancestrally congruent feature of the community after all?!  Most were aware of these undercurrents all along, but I think it's fair to say they began bubbling up after AHS11.  So many of the reports mentioned the looks of the speakers and crowd.  There was a thread on Paleo Hacks that expressed reservations of those who didn't fit the bill.  And then there was PaleoFX in March of 2012 where the bubbles broke the surface ....

On Nom Nom Paleo's blog, the following comment ignited a sheetstorm.  
“One question, and I know this will likely come out wrong and I may even regret going there, but I have to put it out there: I can’t help but notice that, while the men all are lean and mean, most of the female Paleo figureheads aren’t, well, quite so lean.What do you think? Am I way off the mark? If not, why do you think this is?”
In response, Laura at Ancestralize Me blog penned:  Paleo Women are Phat, which referenced Diane Sanfilippo and Liz Wolfe weighing in with Jimmy Moore as guest on their Balanced Bites podcast.   Here's my outside-lookin-in view:  I was not there, I saw pictures from a wide variety of sources.  In my opinion, while the crowd was dominated by visions of health and fitness, there were representatives from both genders that might fall outside some arbitrary ideal of "looking the part" -- and going back to AHS11, this would have especially included many older male presenters:  Eades, Cordain, Feinman & Nikoley.  To me, the different impression of male vs. female attendees at such and speakers at such conferences simply mirrors the disparity of expectations in our general society.

There was a recent incident of Tim Tebow taking off his jersey in the rain and running that brought about this YouTube comparison.  I'm willing to bet that those looking for imperfections will still be more harsh on Bo than Tebow, and you know what?  It's probably more of the women than the men that this comes from.
Bottom line:  Different standards for attractiveness are nothing new, nor are they particular to the paleo community.  For better or worse, that just is.  Having an attractive face also seems to be far more of a requirement for overall attractiveness for women vs. men, and no degree of altering ones body through diet and fitness can change this. If the women of paleo feel somehow under greater pressure to meet some objective standards of beauty and fitness than they feel in the world at large, perhaps there's a lesson there?  Dunno.  But let me tell you ... if I looked like Liz or Laura or Diane and I felt I didn't "measure up" to some paleo standard, I'd be outta that scene.   Who wants to affiliate with a group that makes you feel even more objectified or held to an even higher standard than the greater already pressuring society??  C'mon!!
But I guess it isn't just women and obese men who notice the focus on appearance.  Ned Kock made the following observation in his AHS12 Wrap-up:  "I could not help but notice a tendency among some participants (perhaps many, judging from online threads) to pay a lot of attention to how other people looked in a very judgmental way. That person is too fat, his/her face is too red, she/he looks too old etc. So was this supposed to be the Ancestral Health Pageant 2012?"   I saw quite a bit of this after AHS11, but not so much after AHS12.  If you go to the link you'll see my exchange with Ned about this. I will not apologize for being very critical of many of the leaders in the LC Community, but I want to make it clear this is largely irrelevant to the paleo community that I see, Jimmy Moore excepted if you think he's paleo baayybeee.  Any of you paleo types who feel some sort of judgmental animosity coming from me are mistaken -- this is Moore's modus distractus operandi as he dragged some of this into the paleo community, just as he dragged the Taubes drama into it before this.  This man's book has "sensationally skinny" in a book subtitle when he was never so, but that could be debated if he still weighed 230.  That the formerly 410 lb Jimmy did not achieve perfection at 215 lbs is not the issue, but he likes to make it one to distract from his disordered eating, out of control weight gains, faddish weight loss schemes, utter hypocrisy, and the fact that for a very long time he has resembled a classic "before fill-in-the-diet" picture.  
I have never disparaged anyone in that community for their weights out of context.  This is the strawman.   The reactions of those discussed in my LC Morphing to HAES series were the inappropriate behavior.  Trash me -- someone who has lost around 100 lbs but remains overweight and researching whether continuing an LC diet absent further weight loss is healthy for the long term -- rather than cleaning up their own acts.  I simply exposed the elephant in the room and they didn't like this threat to their scamming livelihood. If you became famous for losing weight, you better darned weigh less than before you started this all, and if you're singing the glories of the diet vs. traditional "failed" methods, you better darned well keep it off in a sane manner.  And lastly, if you're touting health, you better darned well look healthy and not be blogging about all the metabolic derangements, off the chart lipids, using HCG and new diagnoses for which you take prescription drugs and hormone creams while decrying Big Pharma.  
I will not apologize for making people aware of the health issues these "healthy" low carbers have, how they don't look like their outdated avatars, and  how -- despite claims made in LC diet book after Atkins-inspired diet book -- few if any of them are slim.
I don't see this in the paleo community (and I don't count Lustig and Eades in that group) -- trying to think of examples and only perhaps Cordain comes to mind ... oh, and Nikoley.  There may be a few others, and since they haven't denounced him officially, I guess paleo "owns" Kimmer Kruse and his Polar Bear Surf Board.   Granted, there is a lack of follow-up with success stories touted on sites like MDA, and "fails" like weight gain, developing ED and deteriorating health are largely swept away or under the rug.  But by and large the folks promoting their versions of paleo have achieved some form of success or another whether it be weight loss, fitness or remedying a health issue.  I do think it helps that many of these people were not overweight to begin with -- the most objective overt "measure -- and many come from athletic backgrounds and thus "look" healthier in general.  But they look the part, as well they should. There are examples of partial success.  Here I speak of Stacy from PaleoParents.  After PaleoFX, her husband Matt wrote The Fattest People in Paleo.  Seeing Stacy out of context, by her own admission, she sticks out like a sore thumb and I'm willing to bet a good many of my detractors think I'm remiss in not pointing her out.  You are right.  I have been remiss.  But not because she deserves any sort of Laura Dolson-style call-out, but because in the end I really don't "move" much in paleo internet circles.  Matt and Stacy talk kid-friendly paleo foods, and since I'm not big into the paleo recipe scene nor do I have kids, there's just no impetus to "go there".  But go there today I will.  More recently Stacy wrote what is hands-down one of the bravest, open and honest posts I've read anywhere, ever:  What Losing 135 lbs. Looks Like.  Go read that people.  It is AMAZING.  Stacy is amazing.   If I have any criticism of her, it is more a general comment:  Junk food is junk food, and making it from paleo ingredients and slapping a paleo label on it doesn't change that.  But that's not unique to the Paleo Parents by any stretch.
But Stacy's recent interview on Stefani Ruper's fledgling podcast is one of the reasons why I'm so disgusted (sorry that's not a gentle word) with Stefani for having Jimmy Moore on her podcast.  The ladies of Balanced Bites did the same thing before her.  It diminishes greatly the real concerns of women, to kvetch and get choked up discussing body image with a Jimmy Moore.  This man can't even admit he has an eating disorder.  I mean Diane and Liz fretting over not looking the part and being self conscious, and the 300 lb Jimmy chimes in how he doesn't look the part.  Ummm ... context people!  Jimmy's situation is nothing like what the BB women were talking about.  N.O.T.H.I.N.G.  And Stefani was bemoaning not having gained enough weight prior to attending AHS12.  But ya know, it's all about those unnamed antagonists out there that these women should be blaming.  And we got another dose of it in the LLE/PFW podcast.   That attractive, young, fit looking women are self conscious has nothing to do with this man's situation.  But he's masterfully co-opting this "crisis", just as he capitalized off of the safe starch *antagonism* martyr-fest.   You really would be hard pressed to find two more different people/situations than Moore and Ruper.  Stefani, like myself way back when, lost too much weight, and her fertility to go with, in pursuit of some elusive image of female perfection.  She's right.  Women were never meant to be super-low-bodyfat-percentage, and if that is the unspoken ideal furthered by paleo it needs to be countered and not by stupid podcasts with Jimmy Moore.   I tweeted at the time, that if Ruper were really interested in a women's issue in Mooreville, it would be his wife Christine.  Perhaps what effect going on two decades of marriage to an obese man has had on her own weight/image issues.  After all, we learn that she weighed a mere 90 lbs when they first met, and though Jimmy repeatedly claims Christine has never had a weight problem (dismisses?), she once weighed 157.  I don't know about you, but in my opinion that IS a weight issue, a pretty serious one actually.
But ultimately, promotional alliances with Moore pale in comparison to the more egregious alliances with Nikoley.  It's one thing to not take a side and sit quietly by in blissful ignorance (which I can only guess is the case with Sanfilippo).  It's quite another to know full well what's going on and choose to engage Nikoley.  There is no other purpose but to drive website traffic, because this man brings nothing else to the table.   He is really the only man that comes to mind who is directly responsible for the gender discord in the community.   I guess Nikoley assured Sanfilippo sufficiently of her hotness that she's now confident in herself and blissfully ignorant of what's really going on at FTA.  I suppose I can forgive her that if she's really unaware, but not so for Ruper.  
I know Ruper is known for her Nikoleyesque foul mouth, but surely she's not so stupid as to buy into the whole "it's just a word", "it's not a bad word in Thailand", or whatever other excuses were meted out for this abusive behavior.  Everyone, including Nikoley himself, knows exactly how he used that word.  It was in the context of threats, and everyone knew who he was talking about.  Dick, Jack, Jimmy, Tom, Andreas and all the rest of the freaking wimps (oddly enough mostly BMOC types) don't get a pass on their attacks and finger pointing just because they lack the balls to take ownership of their words.  Say what you want of me, when I make an accusation you know who I'm talking about and I don't play stupid games of "well I didn't say it was so-and-so".   That is cowardice personified.
The 3 C's hailing from the greater Chicago, NY and Boston areas were Melissa McEwen, myself and Emily Deans, and Nikoley lied from the start denying Jack had named us as I've got communications stating otherwise.  What happened next was very different for each of us.  We are all women, but an apology to one (Dick has now apologized unconditionally to Emily, though he was too much the coward to do it in person) doesn't have any bearing on any of the others.  Initially it was I who had entire posts devoted to further sexist abuse and threats.  It is undeniable and has not been unequivocally apologized for.  Given the nature of all that transpired, Nikoley owes more than an apology.  (Some of this is summarized in my letter to Aaron Blaisdell and Brent Pottenger that I gave permission to be posted here).  I too am a sucker for redemption that is earned.
You don't reward behavior like this by doing guest posts on the guy's blog.  You just don't.  And yet in the aftermath, Stefani who seems bothered by a woman (me) getting angry over being threatened with annihilation, is planning to do another one.   I do wonder what you would think of Nikoley were Stacy to have been the subject of his rants.  Because if there's anything to your empty platitudes then the target of the rants matters not.  We are ALL beautiful in our womanly self-hood and lover of all things lives ... right?  Or not.  Because there is NO middle ground.  If Stacy dare speak out of her paleo place, Nikoley would go off on her, and if he met her outside the community you know what he would think and say and how he would treat her if, for instance, she happened to block his way to the john or take up too much space on the barstool or in the airplane seat next to him.  Stop lying to yourself if you think any differently.  And speaking of those platitudes, I heard it all from Susie Orbach in the 80's.  Hooey.  Just stop looking to men for affirmation ... ahem.  It's a great first start, and you know what?  It doesn't require you to become a reflexive man-hater!  Amazing that.
In the wake of his trash piece, he tries to hang his hat on one or more folks who disagree with me.  Hiding behind those who "get it" that he was just being sarcastic, or pointing to women who find his misogyny acceptable doesn't cut it.  Oh ... and rape jokes and examples of men taking bullets to protect their women doesn't save him.  I said YOU Dick are a misogynist, not all men.  Your behavior proves me right repeatedly, and no number of examples of female relationships changes that.  But congratulations Stefani, you erected a nice protective umbrella for this guy to hide under.  I can only hope his wife knows not of his internet behavior because if she does, that is truly troubling.  And now we're treated to pick-up-artist views on gender roles and racial politics and whatnot.  All because this man thinks he gets to make his own rules and there are apparently enough women stupid enough to fall for it.  If women are offended by my use of the word stupid, then stop acting that way.
Oh ... but the strong, intelligent women who speak up against it?  We're the problem ....  No laf ... No laughing matter.   As I stated in my original post, I'm uncomfortable ranging into gender issue territory.  I do not identify as a feminist, although I have in the past.  I just think label-advocacy is misguided.  Ironically, I agree with Nikoley that AHS was not to blame for whatever the demographics or undercurrents were.  The organizers did have control over the faces they put forward though, and thus the image/reputation/credibility of their organization.  But if there's any gender or demographics gap in the community, the only way this should be addressed from the top down is in crafting a more coherent and inclusive message.  I don't see that happening, but go ahead and surprise me.  Tokenism won't cut it.
I had high hopes for PFW, I thought it was going to focus on applying a paleo-based diet to dealing with and healing specific women's issues.  To discuss how women tend to react differently to the more common versions of the paleo diet and perhaps how the diet can be tweaked to benefit us better.  Stefani was on a good path looking into the gender specific differential effects of the practice of fasting.  This is not what is front and center on her website these days.  So IF you're going to go into the feminism thing, then you really have to walk the walk and Stefani clearly is walking in the opposite direction.  Sorry, no gentle way to say the truth.
I am not clutching at pearls and swooning at the use of a bad word, nor have I ever played the victim card.  I'm not even calling on women to act in some sort of solidarity of the ancestral sisterhood moment.   There are just some things that are such no-brainers they should be near universally responded to in similar fashion regardless of one's demographic affiliations.  This extended situation, from Kruse through AHS12, is one such no-brainer.     

Original Content - First published Sunday 8/19/12 Mostly written on Friday ...
Just when you think you can't get much more disgusted with an animal like Nikoley, he goes and out does himself.  I can think of no other reason but to vent his hatred of most women, the world, humanity in general, or whatever moves him,  in the name of defending the honor of the organizers of the recent BFPS, otherwise known as the Ancestral Health Symposium.  I won't link to his post or the post of the woman he mercilessly attacked (if you're really interested you can go look for yourselves though this is one of those rare times I shall encourage you not to).  I guess he was too wrapped up thinking of what he was going to say during this weekend's Ideal Man conference in Austin  (no comment ...) to consider the possible consequences of his behavior.
You see, this somewhat insider blogged her criticism of the organizers and atmosphere at AHS and feelings of not fitting in.  Whether or not anyone agrees, isn't this what Nikoley is all about?  Nope.  You see there is only value to the opinions of hot,  desirable to men (by his standard)  thin women who support unflinchingly the great work of Aaron Blaisdell and Brent Pottenger and the larger community.  This person acknowledged what others have at both of the AHS symposiums and other paleo events.  The demographics are skewed.  Whether that's a bad thing or not, and/or what if anything should be done,  is for each to decide for themselves.  But no, RN rants:
Shame on Brent and Aaron for not bussing in uneducated, unhealthy, post-menopausal, fat people who could not pay...and who were also black, hispanic, asian, but comprised mostly of lots and lots of sexually undesirable women—all screened to make sure they they're lefty democrats: racist while protesting to be not, sexist while protesting to be not, and bigoted—but the life of the party sort of bigot.
WOW!  Personally I don't think one can pin the demographics of AHS attendees on the organizers of an event intended to serve a community that is ... erm ... demographically challenged.  What they did have control over, however, was who they included in the conference and to whom they awarded coveted speaking slots.  From my personal perspective, they are also jerks for not even acknowledging the concerns of a paying attendee (well before I had any doubt I'd be attending) with regard to the being the subject of vulgar, abusive, sexist, misogynistic rants and threats in not just one, but several blog posts.  It hardly makes them look good to totally ignore -- as in no response -- such concerns when:
Failure to act in good faith and civility may result in revoked membership. We don’t always have to agree (scientific discourse and debate is encouraged), but we must be respectful of other members and of the Society as a whole.
Last I checked, my ticket purchased in February made me a member of the Society.   Personally I have a bit more issue with the unprofessional cliqueish fashion with which this organization is run which is why in my head I call it the Incestral _ealth S__mposium.   Over on Chris Kresser's site, Aaron made the following comment in response to someone who complained how LC researchers had been shut out (huh?? and LOL!!)
I was a member of the program committee. Due to space constraints, we were only able to accept about 60 of the 120 or so proposals to present at AHS12. This necessitated many hard decisions in who to accept and who to cut. We tried to keep a broad mix of topics. But we unfortunately had to decline many deserving proposals.
Given as the final schedule wasn't finalized and had considerable holes until a week or so out, I find this credulity challenged.  Many of the talks did not have titles on preliminary versions of the speakers list, and when they did, several of those changed.  So there's just no way they selected speakers based on the content and mix of topics ... and there's definitely no way they based it on credentials.    Which, by the way is what conferences such as this usually do -- they put out public and publicized calls for abstracts and select from them.  In my last post, Emily Deans expressed concerns about trying to make AHS a purely academic conference and I never got a chance to respond.  I don't think AHS needs to do that, it's not the mission, but it would be a matter of structure to separate out the academics from the debate and from the drama and from, frankly, the salespeople.  And certainly separate out the true academics from those looking to capitalize off of unsuspecting, sometimes desperate attendees who paid good money to try to learn something to improve their lives rather than subject themselves to pronouncements from sponsor-whores and manipulative self-promoters.  It's mixing them together as if some of these people have any qualifications or have done any research -- primary or otherwise -- to substantiate the scientific claims they make that's the problem.
Ahh, but fear not!  Nora Gedgaudas is the epitome of diversity in the community.  She's a friend of Richard's, and a lesbian, and he makes a point of letting us know that and of  his many other homosexual friends.  She's also at least reaching menopausal age if not menopausal, she's just not overweight and I guess she sufficiently rises to Nikoley's idea of hot.  What all that info has to do with anything is beyond me, but it was information  Nikoley thought was of *value* to share in his rant.  Nora Gedgaudas has no business presenting on anything other than her neurofeedback.  None.  Her book is an utter disaster of misrepresented, misunderstood and outright made up out of thin air crapola -- much of which was gleaned from the diet books written by others.  If anyone has her original 2009 book, just go to page 151 and I'll donate $25 to the charity of choice of the first person who emails me with all of what's wrong on that one single page.  Her book is so easily demolished ON THE SCIENCE it is not even funny.  It's a disgrace it got picked up by a mainstream publication and she is seen as some sort of "expert" or "authority" on human evolution, physiology or anything related.

Speaking of Nora, she inspired change in a young up and coming paleo feminist.  This part of this post pains me greatly to write, because I was a fan of this woman and believe she means well.  I also think she has gone off on the wrong rail.  I'm speaking of Stefani Ruper, Paleo Pepper and now Paleo for Women.  I used to get a few hits from the PP site when I checked random stats, which is how I found her blog.  Since she didn't link to me, I figured it must have been her checking out my posts.  Back in January of this year, Stefani wrote Hungry or angry as hell.  In it she described a decade of going hungry to maintain an unnaturally low bodyfat/size.  In the comments you'll see an exchange between she and I where she says:  "I LOVE your blog, ps. Have been a big time reader for a long time."   She reminded me of my younger self a lot, though wrote as if she were an early 30-something.  Turns out she's 23.  A bit younger, but here's me at 17 going on 18 on HS graduation day.  I weighed somewhere in the 105-110 lb range here.  It is difficult to see in the blur (can't find the original just now that the scanner is working, cell phone pic), plus I've got a thick denim dress on, but my hip bones jutted out at this weight, and you could make out every rib on my chest.  The only thing that saved me from looking like a sac of bones was my inherent muscularity accentuated by sports participation.   I was in no shortage of attention from men here and presume the whispers about me would have been positive were that girl to have attended AHS.
And yet if Stefani has a cause in paleo, it is female fertility.  On her PFW site she writes:
Paleo women are fertile.  Paleo women are natural.  Paleo women are attractive, youthful, and healthy.  Paleo women are feminine, and they are strong.  They have many years of healthy libido, energy, and life ahead of them, and it’s so exciting it makes my head spin
Yeah, I was all that ... except the fertile thing.  I had not menstruated in at least 5 months at that time.  And nowadays, I suppose I'm also not a paleo woman, because though I'm several of the descriptives above, I'm again now infertile -- apparently for around as long as Ms. Ruper herself  (In 2009 I stopped menstruating. This month, March 2012, marks the 29th month in a row that I haven’t had a period.), though my infertility is now do to menopause.  I guess I'm disqualified at this point?  
Stefani wrote two posts about AHS.  In the first, she admonishes Rosedale for being sexist.  Rosedale is a lot of things to me, but sexist isn't one that comes to mind from his writings.  She writes:
He said that evolution primed us for reproductive fitness, but that’s not a good aim if we want to be healthy. If we want to be healthy, we should use longevity as our health-determining paradigm.
What I heard was: forget women!
Last time I checked, fertility is not just a female issue, you need fertile men too.  Granted you need more fertile women to be able to sustain a pregnancy than men for survival of the species, but I don't see Rosedale's position as "forget women" ... I see it as individual-centered.  Stefani sounds rather upset with L.Ron here, but I guess in a way, he's being an advocate for post-menopausal women like myself.  However misguidedly, he believes his keto diet is most beneficial to my health and wellbeing.  Oh that's right.  I'm not a fertile paleo woman ... forget me?
She weighed in on diversity in general with her follow-up call to action.  I find it odd that having yet to promote any sort of kickass womanhood, she's already thinking on ways to bring paleo to people of color and lower socioeconomic classes.  If I may be so bold as to suggest ... perhaps making paleo welcoming to ALL women, short, tall, young, old, attractive, butt-ugly, skinny and fat should be the primary focus of a website entitled Paleo for Women.  Just sayin ...  She sure turned her back on many women by writing a guest post on Nikoley's blog -- well aware of his c*nt rants.  Don't give me the rationalizations.  But she actually bragged on that post in this one!  Really, really!  By now she should be well aware of what went down.  Silence.   If you cannot even address those of us older women who feel left out and marginalized because we aren't the exact image the middle-aged sexist men want us to be, what is the point of having a blog called Paleo for Women.  
I contend that the problem with paleo is not lack of outreach, it's lack of coherent ideas.  Sarah wrote in comments:
You need to articulate why diversity serves the interests not only of the paleo community, but of the people you want to get involved. Whose interests does it serve? Too many times I have seen movements try to embrace diversity, but they do it out of their own passion for the issue and not passion for the people and with impartial understanding of their needs, concerns, etc
Look, there's nothing wrong with a lack of diversity -- it is far preferable to tokenism and elitist evangelism of a lifestyle to others because "it will be better for you".  If paleo could somehow turn the USS Pseudoscience around and craft a unified vision of what the diet is, why it's at least worth trying, etc. then people will come.   I think that ship has definitely sailed too far.
So I suppose the movers and shakers can recruit a Latino to go paleo or someone can start a Purple Paleo movement to bring in women like myself.  But paleo is the new vegan, sad to say.  Only at least the vegans agree on the diet they promote, while "paleo" seems to mean whatever the heck someone wants it to mean, and if that's incongruous with evolutionary history, just make some shit up.
[ profanity alert ]  I say fuck the pandering, fuck the pious attitude, fuck the preaching and fuck the patronizing.  It is insulting as all hell and it hasn't worked in other areas. [  /profanity ]
Get your scientific ducks in a row and turn the community and the "movement" into one based on facts and ideas -- not fantasies and sales slogans.  When I go into the voting booth, I vote for the candidate who shares my ideas, not what they are going to promise me or whether they've held a fundraiser at my local chapter of the Society of Menopausal Women.  The diversity will come, if it was meant to be, when sound big ideas are presented with integrity, and if it doesn't, perhaps it shouldn't be.    That's no reason to disrespect those who don't fit the majority part.  And yes, I can hear it now how I've criticized many.  There IS a difference ... if you are a public figure advocating for something, that matters and you better dang well look the part.  If your story is such that you look less than ideal, that's fine ... I'll never reclaim that girl above, it's impossible!  And people can't change general body shape, the size of their nose, the spacing of their eyes and all that jazz.    But to quote Ron White "You can't fix stupid!"    Some humans are more generally attractive than others.  I think that's probably paleo, though I may have to check with my guru to make sure ....
The traditional healthy diet of the Pima was heavy on legumes and grain.  Yet to regain their health, the pompous purveyors of paleo will lecture them how gluten is Satan's excrement and legumes are bad, they are addicted to supermarkets and should be eating grassfed beef and organ meats as part of a high fat diet that is anathema to their healthy traditional diet.  They'll go to MDA and ask if amaranth is paleo and I imagine the answer will be not much different than he gave about the evilz buckwheat:  
At first glance, buckwheat certainly looks promising. Unlike grains, it’s not a grass, but rather a flowering pseudocereal. The triangular seed from the buckwheat plant, called a groat, is harvested and can be milled into flour or used whole in cereals. Seed? Seeds work, right? Not necessarily. While I love most seeds for their high fat content and protein, they do have to be low in carbs to pass the test. Buckwheat groats are decidedly starchier than, say, flax (another story altogether) or pumpkin seeds, so we must use caution. Buckwheat’s glycemic index is 54, which is still fairly high despite being lower than actual grains.
Historically speaking, buckwheat certainly isn’t paleo. You can put lipstick on a pseudocereal, but it’s still a high-carb, high-glycemic-loading grain wannabe. It also requires significant amounts of processing (grinding, roasting, rinsing, sprouting) to become edible to humans, and the earliest known domesticated cultivation of buckwheat was in Southeast Asia, probably around 6000 BC, well after the advent of agriculture. A wild form obviously existed before, but – as with grains and legumes – not in large enough quantities for it to become a regular food source for early man.
Evil starch!  Oh and the less glucose you consume in a lifetime ....   What is early man?  Mark said in a more recent interview that paleo was anything more than 200 years ago.  There is significant evidence of non-cultivated legume consumption in traditional cultures as major staples of their diet from around the globe.   The bottom line is that paleo has problems beyond it's elitist bent.  You can probably do reasonably well in urban squalor so long as the purity police don't come down on you for consuming pasteurized dairy and regular eggs and chicken.  They'll tsk tsk you for the yucca fried in veggie oil, but you can ignore them well enough I suppose.  The bigger hurdle is to present a case that some "me caveman" diet is better and more appropriate for them than the traditional foods of their ancestors.   Especially when it almost certainly wasn't the traditional diet of your own!  At least the diet better darned well be working for you ....
I thought "ancestral" was a more encompassing term.  I guess not.  I'm sorry, but to turn the tide on the lifestyle problems of the past 30 or so years, telling people they need to try to eat like nobody can even agree on how paleolithic humanoids ate isn't going to sell.  This is why the carb wars are so divisive to the movement.  Not the people on either side, but the controversy itself, especially since it is almost never argued on the available evidences of historical consumption.
I'll level with you, I'm not big on feminism per se, though I came of age during the raging debate over the ERA.  I'm into humanism.  I want people to judge me --  for better or worse -- as a person.  Not as a woman, or as a person of German and Scandanavian ancestry, or as a college educated person, a geek, a former athlete, a fill-in-religion/atheist, or fill-in-political-affiliation, ....  That's how I try to judge others, ever cognizant that personal biases do sneak in from time to time.  But if you're going to advocate for women, then advocate for all of them and take action when others tear them down.  Meanwhile I hope this woman upon whom Nikoley unleashed his wrath at least gets a t-shirt.  And since my bio pics are currently down, here is another montage from a scattering of ages.  I'm wondering which of these women would be considered fertile, attractive, hot, strong and/or kickass enough to be embraced by AHS/paleo folks -- and which would be ridiculed as unattractive to men and thus unworthy of having an opinion.
Womanhood, self-hood, whatever the heck you're talking about is so much more than appearances.  And kicking ass as a paleo woman in recent days should without question be to rally around this woman Nikoley thrashed -- whether or not you agree with her.  Because all she did was express her opinions on a blog, in far less inflammatory manner than her abuser I might add.  And speaking of those pictures above, the brain in each of those heads is the same brain, but it contains more knowledge in some than in others and a scatterplot of knowledge vs. hotness factor would show no correlation.  Oh yeah, and I left out the 300+ pound "before" pic from 2007.
I hope if Stefani reads this she'll reflect on it and her mission.  It seems to me she's gone the way of putting some sort of career cart before the horse here.  She describes herself in one bio as a nutritionist and eating disorder counselor, yet has no formal training in either.  Her cause is fertility but she apparently hasn't been able to re-establish her own (please, I wish her well, but there are so many women who have despaired over at PaleoHacks alone about paleo not magically restoring menstruation, it is important to keep paleo expectations real).   So she's going to make her name with a flashy website, slogans, tee-shirts, and guest posts on popular blogs run by middle aged men who can take her under their wing and guide them into contributing to the community. Only the book deal is missing, or do we just not know about it yet?  Sigh. 
I blog about science here (and the gossipy stuff is mostly about advocates that either butcher science and/or have no clue about it in their advocacy).  I'm one of the few women in this wider community to do so, and yet a purported fan, at least for some stretch, doesn't even put me on her blog roll?  I get a lot of female support mostly from outside those who identify with the paleo community.  But oddly enough, my support and encouragement from within the paleo community comes almost entirely from men - young and old white educated men -- that nasty demographic I suppose, that I prefer to just call men, or rather just people.  I don't hold the actions of an animal against them.  These are obviously not absolutes, and I don't even like to think about things in such gender divided terms.  But I'll take that over a stupid tee-shirt any day.  
A gender neutral, kick ass on one and one peeps!  ~ Keanu Reeves as Shane Falco in The Replacements


log said…
awesome post! I'm glad your willing to stand up to freetheanimal's ridiculous rants. i wish others in the paleo community had your courage. i get the feeling that if someone like robb wolf would publicly call Richard out that would shut him up pretty quickly. i doubt that will ever happen though, bad for business.
Gwen said…
Dear Evelyn,

I just knew YOU would be the ONLY blogger to address this issue. Thank you for being woman enough to stand up to these loud mouth bullies. It's just a damned shame that you are the only one willing to do so.

Unknown said…
As a woman who is trapped in the body of a man who is trapped in the body of a woman, who is trapped in the body of a man, who is trapped in the body of a woman, who is ... damn now I've confused myself.

Anyway I wasn't at AHS so I can't say if the charges of bigotry and white supremacist behavior are true. Can someone who attended provide a little feedback on that?
Gwen said…
Also, a lightbulb went off for me about a year ago when I realized the whole elitist, paleo diet was largely promoted by young men and some women, many single or with no children, hence plenty of time to spend on yourself and money to spend on the approved foods. I stopped trying to keep up.

Throughout my younger years my height and weight were proportionate. Once 40 hit the weight started to creep on and stay on. I'm about 40 pounds over my ideal weight. My one and only child was born when I was 44. My pregnancy was perfect. In fact, my midwife seemed a little disappointed once when she said, "you don't really need me". :) I'm recovering right now from surgery (removal of a rather large lipoma). The surgeon, when I first met him, went through a whole bunch of questions, looked me over, then said, "So. You're as healthy as you look". :)

I've decided that what makes the most sense is to eat real, homemade food. If the vegetables are not organic, it's ok. If the pot roast is not grass fed, it's o.k. If the eggs don't come from free roaming hens, it's o.k. Sometimes I can make the better choice happen and sometimes I can't. I don't freak out about it.

My exercise regimen has become one that makes sense and includes my son. Every week my son rides his bike and I walk to the grocery pushing a largeish bike stroller. I bring home a weeks worth of groceries in that stroller. The round trip is about 6 miles. I've actually been stopped a couple of times on the walk home by women who see what's in my "cart" and say, "you walked to the grocery?" One woman said, "I've thought about walking there and I live closer than you do. Maybe I should start doing this." We also both bicycle to the library which is about an 8 mile round trip. We've also made the farmer's market on bicycles, also an 8 mile round trip.

When I realized that I didn't really fit with what "paleo" in its current form is, I stopped reading the blogs that didn't "fit" me. Fortunately, I had already been reading Guyenet, Masterjohn, Harris and then included you about a year ago and will continue to read you all since I appreciate the focus on science. Not to mention the civility. ;)

I'm not a "hot" babe by the standards of these younger people, although I suspect I'm pretty attractive to those in my age group. But more importantly, my husband thinks I'm gorgeous.

By the way, in looking at your photos, you've been an attractive woman at every age!

P2ZR said…
I read the post (and some comments on other blogs) from the lady in question. I think she has taken down her post in response to the FTA hate spiel, but I'm pretty sure she didn't actually couch it as 'bigotry and white supremacist' behavior (a' la KKK) in her post.

What she seemed to be getting at (and indeed, in a very civil way, if clearly expressing her feelings of hurt) was that it felt exclusionary both in effect (people's habits/behaviors, the somewhat-subconscious and the more fully intended) and by design (that the target demographic really does not 'naturally' include people like her).
P2ZR said…
'Look, there's nothing wrong with a lack of diversity -- it is far preferable to tokenism and elitist evangelism of a lifestyle to others because "it will be better for you".'

Thanks for so clearly stating this extremely important (but ignored or often not 'gotten') point.

The only thing worse than a diet/lifestyle/[way of existing] group being sanctimonious among itself (and the immediate family/close friends of its members) to start proselytizing to those who are 'different from' (i.e., disadvantaged compared to) them. It is invariably done to (1) present a prettier/rainbow-er public image (and thereby net more followers), and (2) to assuage their consciences (which apparently, not all of them have) about their own elitism. Though obviously, buying tokenism through 'for your good!' evangelism instead merely further entrenches that elitism.

~Cue sonorous Rudyard Kipling reading now...~
P2ZR said…
*'disadvantaged' meaning socioeconomically, but also culturally, etc. (because we all know how accurate our perceptions of our own true perceptions are...)
Unknown said…
Why would she couch her post in terms of bigotry and white supremacist behavior if that isn't what she meant?

I am very disturbed by any such behavior in a public forum, it is a violation of the Civil Rights Act in addition to violating many other state and federal laws.

I would like any white supremacists in the Paleo movement to be brought out into the light.
Victor Venema said…
I do think the lack of diversity is a pity. The paleo lifestyle could help more people. It is a pity not to be able to help people because they do not find an attractive voice. Being European, the libertarian and self-centred tone in the paleo community is not attractive. I presume this goes for many more groups. I keep reading because many ideas have helped my health.

(And even if it is not clear what exactly constitutes a paleo lifestyle or even diet, and there is also probably not one fixed set of rules, many ideas are a clear improvement over the status quo.)

My main problem with the Free the Animal post is that you simply do not attack a normal volunteer in such an aggressive fashion. This is something else as writing a post about a public figure, and especially about publicity seeking figures giving advice that you feel is dangerous. Just as you do not hit people on the street without being provoked. Not just woman should defend her, but all people who want to life in a civilised society. The main thing she wrote is that she does not feel welcome; that is important feedback.

GwenAugust: " I just knew YOU would be the ONLY blogger to address this issue."
Unknown said…
Imo we need a clearinghouse for ALL instances of bigotry during AHS so that we can take it to the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, it is long past the time when this sort of thing can be brushed under the rug. If you were the victim of bigotry, then please report your experiences HERE. Hopefully we can get a few attorneys to take the ball and carry it to the relevant office of the federal government. It is nigh time to tell the perpetrators of these acts that THIS WILL NOT STAND!
Sue said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Christopher said…
Amen... You're the type of person paleo SHOULD be reaching out to. People like Richard seem to be stuck in a perpetual mid-life crisis - with all that entails.
Craig said…
This line of discussion now has me wondering about the story that John Galt and Dagny Taggart both followed a paleo style diet, and did an exercise routine that was similar to CrossFit!

It seems so right, it just has to be true....
Unknown said…
The Libertarian movement is authoritarian and exclusive in nature. It's usually about white males (like me) who have been lucky and believe they would be great leaders if only the rabble (moochers) would get out of their way.
The "cave man" stuff appeals to these people.
I wonder how many "paleo/crossfit" types won gold at the Olympics. I wonder how many have served in the military.
In summary, the Paleo Club is mostly a boys club for spoiled eccentrics, a few sincere nuts, and con-artists making a buck.
Galina L. said…
Evelyn, I like your pictures, you look confident and full of life on every one.

I think that when Richard is functioning as an expert on hotness it looks and feels awkward. He is not some young guy and doesn't look particularly
'hot' himself, especially on his profile picture. I read his blog, sometimes comment there, and I don't want to be hard on him at all. Often he sounds reasonable and leveled, sometimes he is quite off. Like in his blog post when he was telling that he wouldn't touch everybody who commented on your blog even with a long pole , wrongly assuming that we all wanted some sort of sexual attention from him. Well, not really. I guess some rants happened when he was drank.
Jeff Consiglio said…
@ CarbSane = I know you're not a huge fan of paleo per-se,(And truthfully, I find some aspects of the "movement" very annoying myself) but what do you think when you watch this video of Dr. Terry Wahls who seems to have cured herself of a rather nasty form of MS (Progressive MS) with a paleo diet?

As well as others healing of auto-immune issues?

That just doesn't seem to occur with diets based on grains/legumes, etc. At least that I'm aware of. Thus it seems the concern over "neolithic foods" may actually be very valid...if removing them cures serious auto-immune diseases.

CarbSane said…
Hi Jeff, Actually I'm pretty agnostic about paleo, mostly because there's no coherent definition of what it is. Kruse used to say "eat a paleo diet" and that used to include a lot of foods he now says aren't epi-paleo such as nightshades. He's a huge fan of Wahls, who on her website is holding a basket of veggies that includes some nightshades. I don't know we don't have miracle cures from those who adopt Joel Fuhrman's diet. Seems he has a testimonial list as long as any ... Would it reverse MS? I don't know, but I guess a better question would be where is the high incidence of MS in all of these legume and grain based cultures? The Arizona Pima were sprightly before the white man destroyed their ecosystem. Mesquite (tree legume), tepary beans and amaranth were part of that sprightly culture with the same genes as those who become obese and diabetic at disgusting rates on the SAD. There are organizations cultivating these tepary beans and such to assist these Pima in reclaiming their traditional/native diet that was very 80-10-10. Paleo peeps have no interest in such "assistance", they want to "educate" them to eschew all legumes and grain and adopt a low carb high fat diet.
bentleyj74 said…
The Pima already have a high fat diet by percentage. If you dropped their carbs you'd be dropping their total cals. Gasp choke faint.
CarbSane said…
Thank you Galina. Judging from his Twitter feed from AHS, it would seem he writes more in the inebriated state than not. I can see women making polite small talk if they run into this man, but actually socializing with him in meaningful manner just seems such a no-brainer NOT. The organizers of AHS should have not even made that an issue by publicly disinviting him -- it would have gone a huge long way in elevating the seriousness and integrity of the organization.
CarbSane said…
One doesn't need to say something outright to display bigotry. Last I checked it wasn't against any law for someone to be a white supremacist either, so long as they aren't acting on their beliefs overtly in terms of discrimination and/or violence. I don't know if her descriptives are accurate, but there is definitely an elitist air there. There are a number of people who seem to think that finances shouldn't even be an issue in attending!

I'm still intellectually-smarting from Joel Salatin's presentation at the Real Food Summit, which judging from the #AHS12 tweets repeated the "addicted to supermarkets" meme. Up until very recently my husband managed a store in one of the most impoverished areas in NYC, mostly black and immigrants from DR. He was only allowed to pay his workers minimum wage because of the union. He used to get some great ethnic foods -- yucca, jicama, goat, chicken -- both on the street and from friends who cooked and brought him food. He also routinely had to throw out expired milk and eggs he was required to carry but went unsold. I envision the paleo outreach brigade going into that neighborhood and telling them that it wasn't enough to stick to the goat but ditch the rice, boil the yucca in coconut milk instead of frying it in oil, and insist their bodegas source their chickens from proper sources. Fry in pastured lard or coconut oil or pastured butter ... that regular stuff just won't do. And get your burger meat mail order for $5-6/lb to store in your chest freezer ... order on the first of the month when you get your check, and if you have your lights turned off, just cook it all up on a propane burner and eat it up -- you won't need to eat for a week -- fasting is the in thing dontcha know?!
bentleyj74 said…
If you know anything about the 21 know where that comes from and what purpose it's intended to serve.
CarbSane said…
Thank you Gwen! I'm also honored to be among the blogs you read. The VLCVHF things seems to mostly (not entirely, there are some examples of women who seem to thrive) work in the middle aged male with 20 or so lbs to lose. Not so well in the younger set who seem to be the ones eating carbs on their paleo diets or suffering and eventually ditching it.
CarbSane said…
The only thing worse than a diet/lifestyle/[way of existing] group being sanctimonious among itself (and the immediate family/close friends of its members) to start proselytizing to those who are 'different from' (i.e., disadvantaged compared to) them.

Yes! But certainly before they go forth and convert the masses, they should at least coalesce around some common idea they are trying to convert them to!
CarbSane said…
Interesting post Victor, and welcome!

Not just woman should defend her, but all people who want to life in a civilised society.

Yes! One of the most disillusioning things when he unleashed on me was that anyone defended the behavior. It's one thing to ignore it or participate for the accident-rubbernecking-whatever ... it was quite another to see people defending the name-calling, threats and more.
CarbSane said…
I'd never heard of it before. That so many guys in this greater community participate is ... well ... no comment ;p
bentleyj74 said…
No, no, no...this all assumes that they are supposed to survive! Reproduce even. Weston A Price was interested in and involved with eugenics as were most wealthy white men [and women] in his position at that time. Did this sh*t just get real? Everyone clearing their throats and shuffling their collective feet yet? Survival of the fittest means the unfit don't. That dark little corner of reality [and history] is unavoidable any time this type of philosophy rolls into town. Is it so surprising then that the young, single, fertile yet childless [eyelash flutter 'cause that so represents reality sans tech intervention], relatively wealthy population is the target demographic?
Susanne said…
Hi, sorry I've been away so long, but as someone pointed out in the comments on an earlier post, this is the time of year when the anthro and archaeo people are in the field or the library, so I've been trying to catch up. I wonder if they would be welcome to AHS at all in any case, since I suspect they would inject too many disturbing evidence-based arguments into this little fantasy world. Also a significant number are female, and not of the approved appearance and youthfulness, although they do tend to be active to a fairly advanced age. Does no one at AHS ever notice or question they don't seem to have anyone with closer contact to their primary human historical data than the University of Google? Or do they prefer it that way?

Also there is no way you're going to decoy me into reading another Nikoley post, so nice try there.
Victor Venema said…
Survival of the fittest does not mean that you have to kill the unfit ones. A difference in reproduction is sufficient for evolution to work. (In the end everyone dies.) And fitness is defined as having a reproductive advantage. So the slogan is quite tautological. Survival of the Fitness does not mean, survival of the most intelligent, strong, most libertarian, or what ever. If only because all these features come at a cost.
Susanne said…
One more thing:

Just for fun, I took an informal poll of the 6 archaeologists present at the library lunch table today (1 male, 5 female not including me) and not a one had heard of the "Paleo Diet". As a followup I went to the basement bone-and-botany lab, where the forensic pathologists and faunal folks strew their bones, and none of them (3 females with experience ranging from Neanderthal to 21st century mass graves) had heard of it either. Like you and me, they wanted to know what the definition of "Paleo" was. I think the AHS would be very hard pressed to find many with archaeology and anthropology degrees to testify for them, especially if they won't define which "Paleo,", and when, and whose. And on historical diet I would rather trust someone who can identify the difference between an Ovis aries and a Dama Dama metatarsal at 5 paces, or knows her Lathyrus sativus, than a kinesiology major or even neurosurgeon with a blog. (In return, we will refrain from attempting to perform major surgery using a manual from the internet, or hawk our physical therapy programs.)

On Ms Ruper's: "Paleo women are fertile. Paleo women are natural. Paleo women are attractive, youthful, and healthy." Hee, hee. What is the upper limit for "youthful"? Or is that one of those "not a number but a mindset" thing? Also, it may be that "Paleo" women are all these things, but actual Paleolithic women? Very frequently, none of the above. Case in point: There's an article on my desk right now that talks about the nutritional stresses that !Kung and other women from traditional foraging groups suffer at the end of the dry season (cold season in temperate latitudes), that causes cyclical periods of infertility. Probably part of the reason that historically, groups which switched to agriculture usually show a big rise in fertility rates. Yes, year-round fertility is a Neolithic Agent of Disease. Food surpluses FTW!

Also on the legumes, Lens (lentil) and Faba (broad bean), just off the top of my head, are known from Mediterranean and Near Eastern sites from the Upper Paleolithic, as is wild oat and barley. (It's possible they were used earlier but very few sites from earlier periods either have the sort of preservation or have seen the recovery techniques needed for plant remains.) So even if you want to keep strict Paleolithic you can eat them in good conscience. Soy bean is used pretty early too, don't know exactly but I can look it up if you want. Now black, navy, pinto, kidney beans, they are all New World Phaseolus species! Don't know which schools count those as Paleo and which don't, but they helped build some pretty impressive civilizations, so let the boys go Galt, I'll enjoy my refried beans. As far as I'm concerned "Paleo" is mostly another ploy to make others anxious about what the "right" way to eat is, while letting you feel smug that you have the real answer.

OK, going back to the books now.
Victor Venema said…
Also this time, a disappointing number of comments support Richard. I always hope and expect that the readers are more sane as the people leaving comments. Many probably fear standing up to the bully and prefer to click away.
bentleyj74 said…
Yes, a difference in reproduction is sufficient. Women who are starving to death are not optimally fertile. In western civilized culture where death by starvation is frowned on this is reversed. Of course if their fertility is manifest by actually having children during the biologically optimal period of time their desirability and marketability takes a significant hit. Conundrum :) Just another utopian fantasy hitting the gravel face first.
Stefani said…
Hi Evelyn.

That one piece on my blog, the "paleo women are fertile" piece -- it's about embracing our evolutionary health and needs to move towards those goals. And it was-- goodness. It was a tiny piece that I put on a photo moving through the homepage the week I set up the website-- albeit a "grab" for paleo marketing, but a small one, and the only piece, the only four sentences, in my opinion, anywhere on my website that I even approach idealizing the paleo woman. And I apologize for that-- and you are right-- a few weeks ago I toyed with taking it down but let it slide down my to-do list, considering the fact that no one has ever paid attention to it before and I didn't think it really spoke much to or influenced the overall message I was sending. My apologies if that plays any kind of role to any women coming to my website and feeling alienated. It'll come down now. At it's best, it is about becoming paleo and embarking on journeys towards those things. At it's worst it may make us feel pressured or "less" for not quite being them yet. I do not like that idea and it makes me sad that I may have (and clearly have) made women feel that way.

I have a lot of menopausal readers and comrades and I love them and think they are beautiful... and I think that if people engage my writing without nitpicking my website and my missteps (can we not be gentle and empathetic with each other? I feel a lot of anger coming from you and other women, (right?) which is fine, but I would so love to engage in positive, constructive and empathetic conversation).

I have zero desire to antagonize anyone. And I have a life that is difficult (like all of ours) and I do my absolute best to love as many people as possible and be in healthy dialogue. And I have toyed with the idea of stepping into the paleosphere actively and arguing for female empowerment / consideration of female health needs (a la Rosedale, Sisson) -- and done it from time to time. But I do not like doing it. Not at all. I do not like how confrontational it can get. It's stressful. My primary aim is to speak to the women who feel resonance with me. To empower them as much as I can. And men as well. I want people to love themselves and to develop healthy relationships with food and to heal themselves. That is all I am trying to do. The only thing.

Re: Rosedale. Reproductive fitness requires men and women, but women suffer infertility with a wide variety of side effects which include significant mental health disturbances, among others. This is why I believe it is so important-- reproductive health for a woman's well-being.

Re: Dick. Not getting into it. This is not a discussion that would lead to productive ends, I do not think.

Re: my stance. I think my desire is clear in my work. I may misstep from time to time and appreciate when it is pointed out. But I do what I can with the time that I have, and I love. I do what I can.
Stefani said…
Now reading:

Paleo womanhood is about self-love and health. Paleo womanhood is about fertility and the natural arc of a woman's life cycle. Paleo womanhood is about being natural, and sexy as hell because of it. Paleo womanhood is about being attractive in our own skin, and youthful, and energetic, and healthy and loving. Paleo womanhood is about empowerment, and being embodied, and strong of will and body and heart and life.
Unknown said…
CarbSane said…
Speaking of fertility and eugenics, "reproductive health" (aka birth control, aka population control) grew out of the eugenics movement. Planned Parenthood's founder Margaret Sanger was part of all of that. So here's yet another conundrum because hormonal birth control is most certainly not paleo, nor would birth control or planned reproduction be either. Or abortion, bottle feeding, c-sections, a NICU, IVF, etc.etc. for that matter ... oh no she di-n't!
Galina L. said…
I don't feel that the paleo message about females fertility affects me in a negative way (I am 51)at any degree. Probably because I feel very positive that all things associated with fertility will be over for me soon. I am accepting it as going into the next relaxing stage of my life. Being young is hard, being pregnant and raising children are very demanding occupations. I still look good and physically in a very good shape, but my environment demands less from me. I can use my extra-energy for fan things like yoga, tai-chi and some dancing. I want to look good according to my esthetic standards, not because I care how many random guys want to grab me ranking me or not into the "hot chick" category. I am not some disposable "chicken". They could go to hell or any other place with their positive or negative opinion. I am at a very comfortable place now. Some day I hope to have grandchildren, but it will be more watching.
bentleyj74 said…

"Re: Dick. Not getting into it. This is not a discussion that would lead to productive ends, I do not think." it really depends who is talking and whether it suits your current agenda whether or not standards are applied. Nothing much new under the sun is there? I mean that in the most empathetic, beautiful, natural, fertile, positive, and constructive way of course so I'm sure the sarcasm won't bother you a bit. Even if I call you or your comrades a fat ugly c*nt, right? No one finds it very empowering having their hypocrisy exposed and your likely feelings of anger are completely understandable. I won't take it personally :)

I vote the theme for AHS 13 is "Propaganda and profit...follow the money baaaaaaybeeeee"
bentleyj74 said…
Well...infanticide, exposure, and abandonment will get the job done all the same as tribal folk well know but those stretch marks are forever dah-ling.
CarbSane said…
Welcome back! University of Google. ROFL!

He he ... specifically not trying to decoy you :D
CarbSane said…
Thanks for the legume info. I may have to pick your brain sometime on some of the others I've come across.
Victor Venema said…
Having your period every month is also not paleo. There is so much not paleo. The idea is not to live like a caveman again, but to get ideas (generate hypothesis) about in our modern behaviour may be bad for us. Let's keep the good parts of modern life.

Planned reproduction is paleo (breast feeding, herbal medicine, not sleeping with each other). Having too many children is not a good idea. Having many children who do not reproduce also makes for a low reproductive rate. Which makes survival of the fittest such a bad slogan, that mainly serves to confuse. You can only determine after the fact who survived and apparently was the fittest.
Amy said…
I have an enormous problem with the Paleo fertility concept. Yes, people reproduced when they were Paleo, but not to an extreme.

A lot of populations weren't overly fertile until "grasses" were introduced into their society. People can most certainly reproduce eating tons of "grasses". Yes, historically those "grasses" were fermented. But, who knows how that impacts fertility. I've had a lot of friends feed their fetus primarily soda, that produce perfect children. I don't like the competitiveness in the Paleo, WAPF world of just eat a certain way and you'll have the perfect child. I know too many parents that feel guilty about having an ADHD or autistic child as it is. They don't need more guilt based on incomplete science that merely "suggests" that certain vitamin/minerals/omega 3 oils cause less birth defects. There is too much speculation and not enough science in the Paleo/WAPF world.
bentleyj74 said…
Hang on...bear with me a minute as I collect myself and recover from the suggestion that tribal/paleo women choose whether or when they have sex.

Just...almost...okay I'm back :)

The elderly or ill don't get a vote about whether the tribe just stops feeding them or leaves them somewhere to die when they can't take care of themselves. Breastfeeding is such a reliable contraceptive it's known as a great way to be parents of many children. Paleo/tribal people don't have many adult children because a lot of them die. Paleo/tribal people don't menstruate every month when they experience famine or disease sufficient to interrupt their cycles. The list could stretch on forever. For a modern person to presume they are experiencing anything remotely paleo as they sit in their central air with a freezer full of food and a plethora of antibiotics just a phone call away [after taking two with clean water from their sinks [plural] doesn't fix the problem]

There's no confusion there for anyone who has any familiarity with how tribal people really live. Survival of the fittest means exactly what it says.
CarbSane said…
You are right, there's actually way too much guilt-based crap brought down on women in general ... the last thing we need is a woman blaming herself for eating a loaf of bread during pregnancy possibly causing her child's whatever-syndrome.

What bothers me most is this trend for some women to desire ketogenic pregnancies. When I find the darned citation (sometimes I could just shoot myself when I fail to download or bookmark something!), I will blog on why I believe gestational diabetes occurs and it is because the fetus lives solely on glucose and lays down fat during the last part of gestation -- e.g. it has an RQ of >1 -- it does not burn fatty acids. GD is unrestrained gluconeogenesis to meet these needs so a keto diet will only put more stress on the liver to produce the glucose needed by the fetus.
bentleyj74 said…
I have actually seen that sort of thing asserted straight up before. When your family Dr mercifully calls BS it's only because s/he's a sell out of course.

I would not want to confuse the pain and grief of real women who have real infertility with this notion of "Paleo" fertility that is undoubtedly an entitled expression of magical thinking no different from any other cultish mentality.
bentleyj74 said…
Although at least the tribal folk are frank about it rather than trying to veil it in "For your own/the greater good" language. I'll give 'em that :)
bentleyj74 said…
"Speaking of fertility and eugenics, "reproductive health" (aka birth control, aka population control) grew out of the eugenics movement."

Aka control of undesirable populations :) Not much change there really.
bentleyj74 said…
"(In return, we will refrain from attempting to perform major surgery using a manual from the internet, or hawk our physical therapy programs.)"

CarbSane said…
Hi Stefani, I thank you for giving your side of the story, but I have to say, I'm profoundly disappointed.

Firstly, yes. I'm angry. Very angry. You act like that is a bad emotion for anyone to ever have or feel, perhaps moreso a woman? When anger is justified, sugar-coating lovey dovey doesn't cut it. This man has now perhaps contributed to the destruction of a woman's life. That's some serious shit. He doesn't care. He just does what he does, but he'd be a whole lot less emboldened to continue to do so were supposed lovers of women and all humankind to have spoken up against his displaced anger.

You know EXACTLY what went down with the threatening 3 c's tweet and the fallout vis a vis me:
Cunt is NEVER a term of endearment when used by this man. The shitstorm this man had a part in bringing down on me was inexcusable and there were many more posts because I dared call him out for misleading his readers about how the MRSA stuff went down.

But your response was to continue to engage and write a guest post for his blog (hits, exposure, potential profit?). For some reason you took down your own blog post about that because you wouldn't stand for the criticism? Now you won't speak up? Nah ... by his telling you treated him like an older brother at AHS12.

So no, I wasn't nit picking just one thing from your blog, it was the sum total of everything you've been doing ever since. You go on Jimmy's podcast and lament with him over the antagonism, then -- HUH??? -- have him on episode 5 of your own podcast. This man can't even admit he HAS an eating disorder, but if you really read my blog you know what part he had in trying to take me down and silence me as well. Listening to that made me almost physically ill.

You do realize Nikoley is just using you for cred, right? See, I've got a hot young feminist friend (and a Latina wife, whatever that has to do with his disgusting internet behavior) so I can't be all that bad. And now you can't speak out because he'll likely unleash a tirade upon you, perhaps worse than the one he unleashed on this woman or myself or Melissa McEwen or Emily Deans. I'm a strong person, the words do not hurt, but the intent behind them does when there are supposedly female advocates out there who support the words or just stay silent.

It sounds like you are doing well building your business. I wish I could show you the love and wish you well, but I just can't muster it while I worry over the fate of an innocent woman who's worst crime was just blogging how she felt. It sickens me. When you love everything, it dilutes the emotion and makes it meaningless. That's how I feel the "love" from you.
S SD said…
I'm 51 and never ever thought about fertility. Okay, admittedly, I'm an 80s lesbian who back in the day, thought having babies was a strictly hetero thing to do. On a different note, why did Dickoley (love this moniker - I'm stealing it) feel it necessary to 'out' Wahls and Gedgaudas, as I think he kinda did? I have gaydar and wouldn't have even considered the two of them as tribsewomen. It just wasn't and still isn't important, but he needed to out and report his connections with menopausal lesbians. The guy is a mess (by the way, every time I see him in pics 'n' such, he's flanked by dudes who are MUCH taller than he. . . This . . . is making more and more sense. . .
Galina L. said…
May be when somebody who doesn't look particularly young and attractive, calls somebody else something like an "ugly c*nt" the first reaction is to dismiss all that as a self-incriminating and self-humiliating rumble than to get angry.
TAnderson said…
I stopped reading Richard some time ago because if his hopeless vulgarity and lack of compelling content. However, I made an exception to read his post against the criticism of an AHS volunteer. While his post is a typical two dimensional libertarian rant, fully lacking in style or wit, he does not attack this woman ad hominum. And this woman's complaints about the AHS are themselves fine until she gets to the part about a 'whiff of racial supremacy', a claim so outrageous that, absent any compelling evidence to the contrary, are illegitimate and pointlessly destructive.
CarbSane said…
Well, he didn't really out them -- Nora dedicates her book to a woman by name (it escapes me right now and don't have the book handy), which is kinda a tell, and on Wahls' website she mentions her son who is coming out with a book about being adopted by a lesbian couple. I just find it funny he thinks this is somehow relevant except to dispel the myth that he's friends with feminists of a certain bent?! If you're into sociology and psychology and all that, I'd love to hear your thoughts on his gay male masculinity post and food art. I'll link later if you like, there were two right around end of May early June featuring non-paleo foods -- tacos and corn dogs. Curious if you see what I saw ...
CarbSane said…
Welcome! Her comments would not be pointlessly destructive were there not a whiff of truth to the matter. Otherwise nobody would not have even cared. That's the way I see it anyway ... it's not like she's got a blog read by 100,000 unique eyeballs each month or anything. Paleo oh oh is so insecure and lacking professional integrity, one person expressing their impressions without even naming names threatens them? He did attack her ad hominem -- or did you miss the crap about fat unattractive to men post-meno hags? Sigh.
CarbSane said…
@Galina: I can do that. Others apparently do not, and even defend it. I dismiss them and will stick up for those who may not be as confident/centered as I am to let crap roll off my back.
bentleyj74 said…
Well, there's that but also the whole primal "lookin' out for number 1 I do what I want" thing really only works in your favor [outside of 21 conventions naturally] if you are in fact the alpha male in your current location. If you aren't it's likely something to meditate and reflect on during your series of reconstructive surgeries.
P2ZR said…
@Bentley (your comment 1):

'Course it damn easy 2 stand up 4 your principles, gurl--when that don't include standing up 2 your 'friends' who live 4 sh*tting upon them!

[insert big pink/purple flower/heart gurl power logo here]

Succinctly but impeccably deconstructed. Thank you.
Unknown said…
P2ZR said…
'Breastfeeding is such a reliable contraceptive it's known as a great way to be parents of many children.'

Well, in Robert Sapolsky's Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers, he mentions that people have the notion of breastfeeding as contraceptive bass ackward. It works perfectly well (e.g., for African tribeswomen) when you have the baby in a sling to nurse continually THROUGHOUT the day!!! Yeahhh female empowerment--we gonna be Paleo WO-men doing all our upper-middle-class high-functioning things with babies attached to us 24/7!

'Hey, boss. I'm coming back from maternity leave tomorrow. So you know, about that conference in the morning. So I'm, err, gonna bring my newborn with me because she needs to feed. Breastfeed. But don't worry, my blazer will make it pretty discreet....'
P2ZR said…
^Err, that was supposed to go in the thread upstream with Victor Venema and that discussion on fertility, eugenics, etc. Mighty apologies for any confusion (though can't be as bad as *my* very real confusion over 'unlimited gay' in another post!).
P2ZR said…
Dickoley loves to trot out his stint in the military whenever he finds it opportune. Pretty sure he was never involved in any combat duty, though.

But even if it were combat duty, what would that mean? Then all the countries that have compulsory military service for men--which includes combat training and even deployment--must be the badass-est Paleo-worthiest bunch of people out other. Hang on. The Israelis eat enormous amounts of PUFA's. The Asians eat tubers and enormous amounts of rice (which is going down due to more meat...that is now usually stir-fried in liquid veg oils). What a conundrum!
bentleyj74 said…
It works to some extent for child spacing, not contraception and there is a difference. If you are nursing full time on demand you will likely not get repreggified 12 weeks post delivery. This is an unreliable generalization though because there absolutely ARE women who get pregnant even nursing full time even on demand even when it's early and the hormone levels are higher. It's less likely but less likely doesn't quite cut the mustard for most women who are not members of third world tribes. My best friends husband and his younger bro are 12 months apart in age. I believe his mother required valium :)
TAnderson said…
Richard is such a jerk, it's barely worth the effort to keep track of the vulgarity. Technically, the crap about fat hags was not directed at the AHS volunteer. His point was, oh, who the hell cares? Richard represents the worst stereotype of the paleo lifestyle as embodied by antediluvian knuckle-draggers. Your contention that the part about the whiff of racial supremacy having some truth to it? Well, your sense of smell may be better than mine, or perhaps it is overly sensitive. The problem with accusations like this is that they are so hostile and inflammatory that they should be never, ever, be trotted out unless there's something very real to point to. Otherwise, all you'll ever get is shouting.
Unknown said…
You are a coward.
Unknown said…
YOu don't get the privilege of other women being " gentle and empathetic " if you are going to enable anti-intellectual misogynist bullies and not speak out about it. What happened to roaring?

I don't need your empty "pro women" platitudes, actions speak louder than words. Ask Nikoley to remove your guest post. Denounce him. Then we can talk.
bentleyj74 said…
I'd want it pulled because it's a mess of misdirection and misinformation if for no other reason but that's just me.
Galina L. said…
About breast-feeding being contraceptive, I know too many breastfeeding families with unintentionally very closely spaced children to think about it as a reliable method. My dentist in Moscow even managed to sent her two boys in the same fist class at school.
Galina L. said…
Evelyn, I just went and re-read the post in question more carefully. I am not finding excuses or defending anyone, but I want to be completely fair, and after a careful reading, it seems to me that most outrageous things Richard said were meant to be said sarcastically, not literally, in the response to the volunteer's critique (which he thought was unfair) about the attendants of the conference being all white, young, professional, well-off and in the defense of the organizers of the conference. In US political correctness indeed often goes too far and creates ridiculous situations.
Probably, he felt he would be safe from a misunderstanding to say all that because at the end of the post he brought up a personal history which he thought would be uncompilable with being suspected a chauvinist (employs many women), racist (has a multiracial personal relationships), a hater of women of menopausal age (has an attractive, beloved and successful wife slightly over 50). I also don't think he was drunk while writing that post, unlike during the "c*nt" runt.
Rosa Park said…
It is precisely this kind of behavior that led me to develop a destructive relationship with food. Once upon a time, I was a healthy, ambitious, 18 year old aspiring female doctor/biochemist researcher interested in nutrition. Then I saw all the paleo blogs, the carb-demonizing posts, the constant emphasis on looks in paleo/fitness blogs and how women are attractive with pounds and pounds of "muscle" and like 0% fat, etc etc, and thus spiraled orthorexia/exercise bulimia/restrictive eating disorder, and constant fights with my family, and almost 8 months of no period. I can't even eat fruit normally without the urge to binge now...And all the meat just made me feel so darn sick. The constant demonization of carbs just made me more hungry. When I read this post, I felt so angry. I'm so angry at all these dogmatic, bigoted jerks, and I can never eat normally ever again. I remember all those nights of reading those blogs all night with so much fear, anxiety, obsession, and self-hatred. How I told myself it'll be another "day tomorrow" after binging on fruit because I was so malnourished. And now that I'm trying to recover, I don't ever feel satisfied with eating a meal even if I'm stuffed. I can't eat a "small snack" to stave off the hunger without my body freaking out and trying to shove all the calories in. Nothing I eat is ever right for my body. In the past, I always automatically ate till 80% full and could walk away from food with ease...I've lost that ability now.

I'm only 18 for god's sakes! I haven't even finished my puberty (at least that's what I think). I am so angry at all these self-righteous "paleo gurus" and carb-haters for deceiving me and causing me to go crazy. I am angry at the constant emphasis of looks in these so-called "health blogs." They're all mad...orthorexic! I'm still interested in nutrition, because I do love the science behind it and it is something I want to research on (I love Whole Health Source!), but I'm still just so angry at being deceived by "bad science" (more like "religion")!
Susanne said…
Happy to oblige where I can (on the legumes etc. ... my witticism supply is limited, as my students well know, so I have to conserve it carefully). I'll send you an email from my university address.
CarbSane said…
I really thought you were wiser than to fall for the "I can't hate women because I love my Latina wife" schtick.
Galina L. said…
I mostly thought after the re-reading that most degradation comments were meant to be sarcastic. He still crosses the line big way when attacking that volunteer on a very personal level.
Unknown said…

I Dropped My Metabolism and Now It’s Broken

And speaking of garbage excuses, readers should take careful note of Eades’ pathetic “broken metabolism” ruse. Eades pisses and moans that he and his wife were able to stay slim when they were younger, but then a pesky metabolic defect of unknown identity and origin appeared on the scene and lathered their bodies with layers of stubborn fat.

Take careful note that Eades cannot name this “metabolic defect”, he cannot describe its origins, causes, biochemical nature, nor the organs, tissues or metabolic pathways it has allegedly corrupted. He does not present any personal blood work, muscle biopsy results, or calorimetry data to document the existence of this defect.

That’s because it does not exist.

His metabolic defect claim is simply an exercise in deception, of both himself and his readers. Eades has invested far too much in his metabolic advantage nonsense, and has spent far too much time vigorously defending it, to ever acknowledge that it’s a load of bollocks and that the real reason he has struggled with fat gain for decades despite being a best-selling weight loss author is because he’s failed to acknowledge and obey the inescapable primacy of calories in versus calories out.

Eades and his wife, as well as the overwhelming majority of the overweight population of the world, got that way because they ate too much and moved too little. Pure and simple. In The Fat Loss Bible, I discuss a study carried out by researchers from the Department of Medicine at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York. They took obese folks who swore black and blue they couldn’t lose weight no matter how little they ate. These folks had convinced themselves, and in many cases their doctors, that they suffered unusually slow metabolisms. They believed there was a genetic cause for their obesity and evinced a disproportionately high use of thyroid medications in their quest to correct their so-called “slow metabolisms”.

The dieters who claimed they ate like sparrows and yet still couldn’t lose weight in fact underreported their actual food intake by an average of 47% and overreported their physical activity by 51%! The average daily intake reported by these subjects was 1,028 calories, but their actual intake was 2,081 calories![1]

Like Eades, these folks had become masters of self-delusion.

So too had many of the 29 female subjects in another study who claimed they could not lose weight on energy intakes as low as 1000-1500 calories per day. When researchers took the women to an isolated country house and fed them a 1500-calorie diet for 3 weeks, 19 of them began shedding their excess chub. The remainder did not, indicating that some people do have lower than normal caloric requirements. In this study, failure to lose weight was correlated with lower basal metabolism, which in turn was correlated to lower initial weight and degree of fat mass. This raised the possibility that a past history of excessive duration/severity of dieting may have been a contributing factor to their low RMRs[2].

Excessive dieting and crash dieting place inordinate stress on your physiology and your hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. As do diets that supply insufficient nutrients, screw with your mineral balance, and leave you glycogen-depleted…you know, diets like those very low in carbohydrate.
Galina L. said…
I have a son close to your age, and I am sorry to learn that reading nutritional blogs caused so much problems for you. He wants to eat healthy due to having a problem with an eczema, as a result he cooks his food, doesn't buy soft drinks and snacks, avoids gluten only but not carbohydrates in general,limits sugar, chooses good fats like Kerrygold butter, coconut oil, olive oil and avoids O6 oils. I myself follow a diet low in carbohydrates because it helps me to solve my problems, not create new ones. There are a lot of conflicting information on the web, and probably, different people pay attention to different things. I didn't notice that Paleo-people were particularly against fruits or tubers or advocating extreme leanness, but a very young person may perceive all differently. You are very young, everything will be sorted out, and I hope your interest in nutrition will bring you only benefits in a future. Don't think about yourself as a damaged person, you are not, you are just going through life trying new things, making unavoidable errors and adjusting accordingly . Sometimes it is what it takes to find out what is right for you. Many young people are trying even more questionable things like vegetarianism, heavy drinking, extremely dangerous sports or activities. People are adaptable and resilient by nature, especially at the young age, and you are tougher than you think, don't feel sorry for yourself. Just imagine what the generations of your ancestors went through. Did you see the book by the famous dentist Dr.Weston Price who studied different healthy human societies all over the world on-line version)? There is a foundation in his name, there web-site contains a lot of interesting info. The blogs and are also very balanced.
Diana said…
"An animal like Nikoley" - Evie, I nearly spat out my coffee on my keyboard when I read that. Have to learn not to drink coffee and read Carbsane at the same time.

Well I took the bait and read Nikoley's website, but the link to the offending comment didn't work for me. However I think I got the gist.

Look: it's clear that all this ancestral health bullshit is more of the same from more of the same people. Desperately searching for the dead paradise that never existed. I suppose if I was out looking for roots and berries and grubs, or tracking game 12 hours a day, I'd be skinny too.

It's also clear that most of them are looks-obsessed dickheads. They don't care about treating the obesity epidemic, they don't care about health, they only care about a certain kind of latter-day porn film physical appearance.

I wish these people would trade in their modern lifestyles for yurts, and STFU but they won't. There's too much money selling hope in a bottle.
Victor Venema said…
Dear Charles, what an interesting theory: "obey the inescapable primacy of calories in versus calories out."

Question, do you also assume that children grow because they eat too much or move too little? If not, what is the difference.

How should people measure within a few percent how much they eat and how much calories they burn? I am not sure, that even if you measure everything you eat and put them into fitday, that you get such accurate results for the input. The output is even more difficult.

Do you also think that other organisms keep their weight using scales, fitday, stopwatches and tables?

Finally, do you think it is healthy to eat less as your hunger tells you to?
CarbSane said…
Not Charles here, but I get so frustrated by the growing child analogy. A child must consume more than (s)he expends to grow. They must also consume sufficient protein. When a child gets insufficient nutrition their metabolisms will adapt to conserve energy. It is not uncoincidental that the most common side effect for children on epileptic ketogenic diets (that are also calorie restricted/controlled and relatively low protein) is growth retardation. The supposed paradoxes Taubes cites as proof that CICO/ELMM is nonsense prove very well just the opposite -- undernutrition in childhood will predispose someone towards obesity in adulthood. An obese child gets that way when they consume in excess of the calorie surplus that supports growth.

Other organisms also don't cook, make goodies, mix foods, create artificial foods, eat socially, for comfort, to punish, out of guilt, etc.etc. Nor do they wear clothes, makeup, do their hair and/or lose their hair, have physical appearance standards rising to the level of competition, etc.etc. So I think that argument is largely irrelevant.
S SD said…
Lisa is her name. And I should have qualified that I don't think he outted them per se but he mentioned it in a way only he can do to sorta give the impression he has that special knowledge only an insider could have. Frankly, I didn't know and didn't/don't care they are lesbians. He does, though! I mean, he wants readers to think he's connected -- Dr Deans can do a better job at figuring out this specimen.

I recall reading a post or two on the subject matter of masculinity and or gay or food.
CarbSane said…
The one way cycling is most detrimental is that, for whatever reason, folks tend to put back on more weight than is lost. But in a way, I can see how cycling can preserve a metabolism vs. long term maintenance ... which may be a reason it's so difficult.
bentleyj74 said…
I think there is still cycling involved in maintenance though really. Some days may be slightly deficit, others slightly over. You are still dipping in and out of deficit on a very frequent though less extreme pendulum.
Victor Venema said…
I am not Taubes and I do not advocate eliminating carbohydrates from our diets. I hope that solves most of your frustrations.

If undernourishment is bad for children, then why advocate it for adults by making people count calories and ignore what their bodies tell them? I would expect that ignoring your hunger is unhealthy and that an important reason why the paleo diet improved my health so much is that I could eat a lot more and all cells were nourished, not just my fat cells.

I do not think that cooking, goodies, mixing and artificial foods make the questions irrelevant. I think it points to were we should look to improve our health and we should investigate the influence of these human behaviours, starting with the most modern ones as these are most likely the culprits.

If your feedback systems work well, eating too much one day (for social, comfort, punishment, guilt reasons) will only lead to eating less the next day(s). We have to find the trick to make the natural feedbacks work again. For me intermittent fasting was important in learning my body again to burn fat. Once in a while no carbs probably does the same and is not the same as under nourishing someone by refraining from carbs all the time. Variability is an important aspect, which is discussed much too little.
James Krieger said…
Hi, Victor,

You said:

"making people count calories and ignore what their bodies tell them?"

How does counting calories mean ignoring what your body tells you? Counting calories is nothing more than an awareness tool...just like weighing yourself, getting your blood cholesterol measured, or having your body composition estimated.

CarbSane said…
I would go so far as to say there probably should be some cycling -- though far less extreme, like +/- 1-to-2 percent BW depending. It is probably better to have a big meal from time to time and compensate (deliberately if need be) with a lower calorie day later in the week than to consistently eat low calories.
Sherry said…
This is for Rosa Park.

I have a beautiful, enchantingly slender sister who is in her late 50's. But she wasn't always this way. She was overweight from about age 16 through about age 27. What went wrong? I can't say exactly, but in her teen years, she developed an unhealthy relationship with food. There were no blogs to read in the early 1970's, nor much health information being disseminated through the media. We sure didn't have any notion of what a "paleo" way of eating meant. Running did not even come up as a viable cardio way of fitness until about the late 1970's, as I recall, and this was largely due to the work of Dr. Kenneth Cooper, the "Father of Aerobics."

So without a smart phone in 1970, and with very little access to nutritional information, my sister kept doing things that had the potential to be very harmful over the long run (I'll give no details). But she came out through to the other side, without any serious damage. She's maintained close to the same weight for over thirty years now.

Those late teen/early twenties years are rough for anyone! You will change so much over the next seven years that you will be amazed, because your brain is not finished with its development until about age 25. It may not help you that much, but I believe your currently held notions about body image, female attractiveness, and fitness are more dynamic than they are static. I urge you to hold fast to that thought.
Anonymous said…
The studies about weight cycling are really about the lose-regain-lose cycle. More calories one day, then lots less calories the next, repeat, vs. consistently eating low calories is a matter studied with 'alternate day fasting'; if memory serves, they are both efficacious approaches to cutting calories. For myself, eating a lot one day and then fasting the next is not any easier than, say, keeping to a steady calorie limit. But it's nice to know, eh? If you really overdo it one day, you can 'recover' momentum by fasting (or just eating, say, 500 calories) the next.
bentleyj74 said…
Most of the alt day fasting stuff is really extreme though, I was referring to numbers probably much more like say 200-300 +/- that just happen by themselves.
Victor Venema said…
Fundamentally, how many calories you eat per day is a flux. Weight, cholesterol and body composition are state variables. The thermostat in your room reacts to a state variable (temperature) and not to a flux (solar heating, central heating, heat loss, all measured in Calories per hour). There is a reason a thermostat works this way. Minor uncertainties in the flux will make the temperature in your house unbearable after some time; minor uncertainties in the temperature measurement are not much of a problem.

You can use all of these variables (fluxes and state) as feedback on how your personal metabolism functions. By watching my weight, I have seen that exchanging yoghurt for eggs for my breakfast has reduced my weight. Otherwise, I would just have had the subjective feeling that I was suddenly less hungry. If you only use your counted calories this way, that is fine.

Counting calories becomes a problem if you stop eating while you are still hungry because you have reached a certain limit you have set yourself. Which is what "eat less move more" people suggest to do. Counting calories may work to reduce weight, some years ago I have lost 12 kg this way, but I felt miserable and was continuously ill. Next to this, ignoring your hunger almost 24/7 (except maybe a some hours after a meal) is not something for everyone. It is hard; lean people cannot imagine how hard this is. And you will have to do it for the rest of your life, otherwise the weight comes back. It is better to repair the heating system of your house (the feedback system of your body).

Counting calories can also be useful in communication. I wish I had counted my calories in the days I was overweight, so that I could compare it the much larger amounts I eat nowadays. That huge difference would have been a convincing argument against the eat less move more dogma.
bentleyj74 said…
I agree variability is an important aspect but again calorie AWARENESS is not slavery. Hunger is not starvation and it comes in degrees. Would it be inappropriate that I experience hunger an hour or so before dinner or is it a testimony to my excellent satiety signals processing food and prepping for more in congruence with my actual intakes? These types of generalizations lump normal physiological response together with disordered eating and are conversation stoppers.
bentleyj74 said…
"I wish I had counted my calories in the days I was overweight, so that I could compare it the much larger amounts I eat nowadays. That huge difference would have been a convincing argument against the eat less move more dogma."

I wish you had as well. In fact I wish you had done it under supervised formal conditions although I don't think you'd like the results nearly as much as the anecdote. Perception is a cruel master sometimes.
Galina L. said…
I think it would be inappropriate to experience a hungry signal after two hours of a normal meal . I noticed that for my husband and son it doesn't happen after any macrko-nutrient composed breakfast, but for me eggs+butter breakfast is way more satisfying that , for example, pancakes + sausage breakfast or PB+wholegrain toast +banana combinations. I think the hunger signals give a very important information for individuals. When hunger of an individual depends more on mackro-nutrient content(or a type of protein, for example) than on calories count, it is wise to adjust the diet accordingly. It is a way to consume less calories.
bentleyj74 said…
Agree completely. Part of the reason why the ELMM is so misunderstood. I can be satisfied- even stuffed- on appropriate calorie levels. 400 cals of oatmeal and bananas w/walnuts feels a lot different to me than a 400 cal slice of banana bread. Satiety signaling is complicated. They taste similar. The macros of those two are probably not super different and they both certainly contain fat/cho/pro but they impact my experience and perception differently.
CarbSane said…
Oh Lordie Victor! If you've lost weight you are eating less (fewer calories) than you did before, with the possible exception that perhaps you have a fat absorption problem.

I don't think I've ever advocated that folks must count calories, just that they do count. I just think most obese have a dysregulated hunger/satiety system. As Bentley stated, hunger from time to time is NOT starvation. Nourishing one's body with real whole foods (and in my opinion sufficient protein) can go a long way towards resetting things and naturally reducing intake to levels consistent with a normal body weight, but it doens't always happen. Just folks who gain weight on WAPF, LC &/or Paleo tend not to start blogs chronicling their "failures".
CarbSane said…
Galina, Richard told the world exactly what he thinks of people in that post, then tried to make people believe that's not how he really thinks by listing reasons that are supposedly contradictory.

Someone can be bigoted against Generic people and have a friend who is Generic. You see the friend is just not like all the other undesirable Generic people in some way. And said Generic friend can simply be being used as a prop to distract from one's bigotry and when they no longer are useful for that purpose, they'll be thrown under the bus.

One of Nikoley's tweets from AHS was of an injured foot, not sure if it was his or a buddy's but it was the result of an accidental run in that could happen to anybody. Why did he feel the need to mention that it was caused by a fat person? Yet he'll fly off on profanity laced rants against those who dare point out how many LC & paleo diet book authors are fat, when the weight of a person is pertinent when they are selling a weight management product.

Sanjeev said…
> Question, do you also assume that children grow because they eat too much or move too little? If not, what is the difference.
millions, perhaps hundreds of millions of people worldwide have lost fat mass on billions of occasions via conscious calorie control

None have lost vertical mass this way

IMHO this could be the poster child for the concept of "motivated reasoning"[0] ... one so badly wants a conclusion to be true that one nd makes the most inapposite, (NOT EVEN SUPERFICIALLY) plausible arguments to support the pre-established conclusion

[0] further IMHO we need new categories of logical fallacies beyond "confirmation bias", to wit, its flip-side: "motivated blindness to the ridiculous"
CarbSane said…
Some further thoughts upon reflection, Stefani.

You said:

I have a lot of menopausal readers and comrades and I love them and think they are beautiful... and I think that if people engage my writing without nitpicking my website and my missteps (can we not be gentle and empathetic with each other? I feel a lot of anger coming from you and other women, (right?) which is fine, but I would so love to engage in positive, constructive and empathetic conversation).

A woman who finds your website with it's new format sees that "nit picked" quotation first and foremost and decides ... should I explore further? I saw enough interesting and relatable at your former blog to read further. In all honesty what I see today is a load of rahh rah bunk. Platitudes, what an appropriate word Melissa used.

The things for which and ways I have empathy for/with you are probably more than you might think ... I also tend to think you'd not be happy with me for expressing them as it would involve relating some boneheaded things I did at your age. On the other hand, why is it that you seem to demand love, empathy and positive and constructive dialog from just the women? Why do you not demand it from Nikoley, or so long as he's nice to you, it matters not how he treats others?

I have zero desire to antagonize anyone.

This is fine, I suppose, but that makes you the embodiment of the DISempowered woman. You aren't averse to antagonism or you wouldn't write in the fashion that you do. You had no problem saying you would like to kick Rosedale down a flight of stairs for a general comment that needs some interpretation to be considered sexist. It was not overtly so. Why didn't you react that way to Nikoley for statements that are unequivocally not just sexist but ABUSIVE to other women?

That is a rhetorical question, because clearly some attention was sent your way when Nikoley noticed you. Why is it that having a moderately unattractive asshat call you hot was so appealing to you that you forgot your standards? You did the guest post which was Nikoley's way of using you to pretend to the world he's not the man that he is. Even giving you the benefit of the doubt that you hadn't yet figured this out, you surely should have by now.

What is it that you're afraid of if you rebuke Nikoley's actions? Again, rhetorical question, because you fear being the subject of a trashfest and no longer considered "hot" by Nikoley. And that fear is very real, but inaction out of fear is how bullies win. What would it mean to you were he to pick on some imperfection of yours and go on an ethanol fueled rant about it? Do you think your website traffic would suffer? Your acceptance in the hot-girl clique in paleo circles would suffer? I can guarantee you that women such as myself would rally around you in support but perhaps we can't guarantee you the site traffic and other opportunities being noticed by Nikoley would.

I would hope the other women in the community would rally around you, but sadly I fear many won't. Don't take it personally, it's just a business decision. The big power brokers in the community are all men, you don't want to get on anyone's bad side if you hope to become as popular and influential as they'll ALLOW you to be. But you're very pro paleo so you should do fine if you work with the right men and don't rub them the wrong way. ... to be cont.

Sanjeev said…
> How should people measure within a few percent how much they eat and how much calories they burn? I am not sure, that even if you measure everything you eat and put them into fitday, that you get such accurate results for the input. The output is even more difficult.
few suggest this outright. It's generally recommended to work with deltas.

Establish what one burns in activity regularly. Increase that

Establish what one eats on a regular basis.

Reduce that, Use any and all tricks that are needed. Add a lot of salad and fruit - use Wansink's proposals, Kessler/Guyenet's proposals.

Eat low carbohydrate IFF[0] one's response to that is better control.

[0] the strictly defined mathematical term
CarbSane said…
Working with the wrong ones, and Nikoley is just that, will alienate the segment of the population you claim to represent and/or advocate for. So in the end you'll have a kickass website with content constrained to that which is acceptable to your male benefactors who you dare not criticize because they can pull the plug ... only then you won't have the support of anyone, because you've alienated the women.

Heck, you're already trapped because you can't speak up now w/o risking the progress you've made. Oh, you do, against pussy cats like Rosedale, but not against the wild hyena. That ain't kickass anything.

Sanjeev said…
> but inaction out of fear is how bullies win

Give Kruse a pass for clear obvious nuttiness and immediately try to slam a woman for far, far less.

Typical of bullies, typical of RN; bully the perceived weak and tiptoe with care around males.
James Krieger said…
Fundamentally, how many calories you eat per day is a flux. Weight, cholesterol and body composition are state variables.

Weight, cholesterol, and body composition are not state variables. Weight is constantly in flux. My own weight can change 3-4 pounds from one day to the next based purely on factors such as water retention.

Body composition is also not a state variable. Body composition can change from day to's just that the change is so small on a day-to-day basis it cannot be detected using any known techniques. The same holds true with blood lipids.

Counting calories becomes a problem if you stop eating while you are still hungry because you have reached a certain limit you have set yourself. Which is what "eat less move more" people suggest to do.

This is a strawman. ELMM people do not suggest such a thing.

Counting calories may work to reduce weight, some years ago I have lost 12 kg this way, but I felt miserable and was continuously ill.

Once again, you are confusing calorie counting (the tool) with your method of dieting (the types of foods you are eating and how much of those foods you are eating). They are not the same thing.

huge difference would have been a convincing argument against the eat less move more dogma

If you lost weight, you ate less and you moved more. It doesn't matter how you did it...whether paleo, low carb, etc. But the fact is, you did. Your perception may have been different, but research shows that people's perceptions of what they eat and how much they eat and how much they move are quite different from what they actually do. This is not "dogma" is scientific fact.

Paleo is just another way to eat less. Same thing with low carb. Both fall under the EL component of ELMM.

Gabriella Kadar said…
Hear! Hear! Brilliant.

I've mentioned some of same here and there but realized that reality is not paleo.

Or primal. Or ancestral. Or whatever.


Galina L. said…
Wow, we agree completely with each other!!! Individual reaction on food is the common denominator, not the amount of calories or type of the food. For some reasons eating any type of yogurt of kefir makes me eat more afterwards. I don't care much about why, just act on my observation. Conveniently, I don't like yogurt much. Dr. Dean said she was experiencing a hypoglycemia after eating something like caramel-dipped pop-corn, but bananas for breakfast worked just fine for her, while for me it would be not a good breakfast choice. Eating like somebody else while ignoring own experience is the next thing to a religion. There is still some room for nit-picking, like amount of stress or sleep may interfere into the picture.
Probably, it would be more useful to discuss not the toxicity of starches, but the types of individual reaction on food, or more long-term markers like dental health or a frequency of infections.
Victor Venema said…
@James Krieger. A strawman? So the advice of ELMM is not to "simply eat less and move more"? They are not the people who tell the obese that they should simply show some spine and shove less food into their mouths? And that these lazy people should just get up from the couch and move more? In that case I was not referring to the ELMM movement, but to the 90% of the comments below any article on obesity in a major newspaper, which tell the obese to either eat less or move more. Sorry for the confusion.

I am a physicist, I know that the calories add up. Thus if you would extend ELMM with conversion efficiencies, absorption efficiencies and changes in the metabolic rate, it would become a trueism: you loose weight when your body uses more energy as it gets. If you include improving the quality of your diet into ELMM, the term become so all encompassing that is does not say anything any more.

I am not that sure that Paleo is in the eat less part of ELMM, it may fit better into the move more, because you then have the energy to move more and it is most likely also due to an increase in the base metabolic rate. I guess that I am not that often ill any more is because my immune system gets apportioned more energy and also my body is simply warmer, especially at night my legs are nowadays glowing, especially after eating offal or fruit, and especially if eating these things after exercise.

The question is how to get a body to the point that it wants to eat less, wants to move more and increases its metabolism. Advising to "just" eat less and "just" move more starts at the end and ignores all the feedbacks in a human body.

@bentleyj74. Being hungry once in a while before dinner is fine. Nowadays I actually enjoy hunger, it has become a pleasant feeling, very different from the time I starved myself over decades to keep or lose weight.

@James Krieger. A state variable can also change. They describe the way a system is at a certain time. This can change, for instance, due to fluxes in and out of a system. I was unable to find a good explanation for the concepts. Wikipedia was the best I found, but is still not very clear.

Oh Lordie Evelyn! I agree with your comment, except for the assumption that I nowadays eat less as explained above and I do not see what the last sentence has to do with the rest. Failures are very interesting to learn about the weak points of a theory and give the opportunity to learn and improve. You can also blog about failures, see this fruitarian example. Failure does not seem to be that common in the paleo community, that makes this blog potentially interesting.
Victor Venema said…
"I am not that sure that Paleo is in the eat less part of ELMM, it may fit better into the move more, because you then have the energy to move more and it is most likely also due to an increase in the base metabolic rate."

I wrote this sentence too fast. In my case, I am reasonably sure that I eat more calories nowadays, but many people will probably be less hungry eating a paleo diet and will consequently automatically eat less. Especially people who lose weight (fat) rapidly and thus get much energy from their fat reserves, will be less hungry.
James Krieger said…
************A strawman? So the advice of ELMM is not to "simply eat less and move more"? ****************

It's a strawman because you equate "eat less" with "starve yourself". They are not the same thing.

They are not the people who tell the obese that they should simply show some spine and shove less food into their mouths?

It sounds like you have fallen for the rhetoric and appeals to emotion of Gary Taubes that implies that anyone who says "eat less" is automatically saying that obese people lack willpower. This is completely untrue. Are there people who exist who make such an implication? Yes, there are, but it is mistaken to imply that everyone, or even most, people who subscribe to ELMM make that same implication.

And that these lazy people should just get up from the couch and move more? In that case I was not referring to the ELMM movement, but to the 90% of the comments below any article on obesity in a major newspaper,

Do you have any evidence to support that 90% of the comments below any article really are referring to what you are referring to? Have you read all newspaper articles on obesity?

which tell the obese to either eat less or move more.

Because you DO need to eat less and move more. The question then becomes is how you do it in a sustainable fashion. There are a variety of approaches that can work for people, including paleo or low carb, but they are all still subsets of ELMM. When you try to make them out to be anything more than that, that's where you get into trouble. That's where you get people like Jimmie Moore who tries all sorts of crazy stuff that doesn't work. That's where you get people like some of my clients who were into paleo and weren't getting anywhere...because they thought that all they had to do was eat paleo and everything else would take care of itself. They were surprised to find out that it didn't.

If you include improving the quality of your diet into ELMM, the term become so all encompassing that is does not say anything any more.

Actually it does say more, because the bottom line is, you can eat the highest quality diet in the world but if you aren't losing weight, you know that you're going to somehow have to either reduce your calorie intake, increase your expenditure, or both.

I am not that sure that Paleo is in the eat less part of ELMM,

It's going to be the biggest component of it, because Paleo is high protein (usually), and there's huge amounts of scientific evidence that people spontaneously eat less when they consume a lot of protein.

it may fit better into the move more, because you then have the energy to move more and it is most likely also due to an increase in the base metabolic rate.

There is very little scientific evidence that your diet will alter your basal metabolic rate. There is, however, animal and human data that indicates a Western diet or overfeeding reduces spontaneous physical activity levels. Thus, it makes sense that a positive dietary change in dietary quality would have the opposite effect, but currently there is no scientific evidence to support it.
James Krieger said…
I guess that I am not that often ill any more is because my immune system gets apportioned more energy

How do you know your immune system gets "apportioned more energy"? What is happening to your T-cells? To your B-cells? To immunoglobulin A?

Advising to "just" eat less and "just" move more starts at the end and ignores all the feedbacks in a human body.

There are plenty of people who have actually had success simply doing just that. They've even commented here on this blog. In fact there are studies showing that even simple changes like reduction in portion size helps people lose weight, without any other change in their diet.

Especially people who lose weight (fat) rapidly and thus get much energy from their fat reserves, will be less hungry.

Scientific evidence indicates the opposite...that the more rapid the fat loss, the more hungry people feel.
Sanjeev said…
I personally severely discount this type of report because of memory schematization error: the tendency to forcibly cohere memories to current worldviews.

copy and paste:

or click here

or another search

on a past diet that one no longer believes in, the past hunger gets worse. Associated health problems are remembered as worse, health problems that began before the diet that allegedly caused them shift their start date to during the diet, or health problems are entirely confabulated.

I'm deeply suspicious of anything to do with memory absent accurate logs and other physical evidence ever since the false memory syndrome incidents of folks being jailed for memories of ritual satanic abuse (drawn out by overzealous "mental health professionals"). These lines of research continue to find more ways that memory deceives.

Now those who insist on reading moral condescension into my writing can also accuse me of calling low carb "mighty mouse metabolizers" liars, as well as calling the obese lazy & glutinous
Sanjeev said…
> "mental health professionals"

I put it in quotes not because I'm a psychiatry basher a la scientology, but just WHY professionals were getting their education from

this :

is utterly beyond me.
garymar said…
Can't remember where I saw this, but one big problem with yo-yo dieting is that severe caloric restriction results in muscle loss as well as fat loss -- but when the weight is regained, it's all fat! So your fat percentage increases with every cycle.
Galina L. said…
@James Krieger,
Indeed, ELMM gets interpreted in different fashions. The worse possible (besides comments after an obesity article), I think, is doing some sort of exercise is the reason for many to get relaxed (usually disproportionally) with the diet. The more you move, the less you care about what you eat. Many people feel stack in the situation when they get injured and can't continue moving, or get too busy and just give-up. They try to eat less of "balanced food", but most I know accomulate some unwanted weight during their recovery.I wish EL would be separated from MM, if the whole abbreviation means finding ways to eat less without relying on a will-power too much and spontaneously have a desire to move more.
There are a lot of people who made simple changes (like changing regular soda to a diet one, or just cut on a fast food) and lost weight, there are also a lot of people who have no problem with their weight regardless of their life-style. My guess it should be them who live comments like "Why thous fat people are so lazy and stupid? It is so easy, just move your fat ass from that couch and stop staffing your face with a junk food!". I wonder why people who think that solving obesity is really easy read such articles at all.
Anonymous said…
They are not the people who tell the obese that they should simply show some spine and shove less food into their mouths?

It sounds like you have fallen for the rhetoric and appeals to emotion of Gary Taubes that implies that anyone who says "eat less" is automatically saying that obese people lack willpower. This is completely untrue. Are there people who exist who make such an implication? Yes, there are, but it is mistaken to imply that everyone, or even most, people who subscribe to ELMM make that same implication.


I'll also point out that it's not just a matter of getting the obese to "eat less and move more" it's to realize how little they are actually moving and how much they are actually eating. I see this in my practice all the time. I had a 400+ pound man in my office telling me that "all I eat is salad and I don't lose weight" while his girlfriend is rolling her eyes. When I asked the girlfriend if she agreed with what he was saying she said "Well honey I do think you eat to much sometimes." This whole conversation took place with a 32 oz soda under his seat. This isn't the exception.

There are many, many studies that show this under-estimation of intake and exercise, I can provide references if that is in doubt.

Sanjeev said…
> It's a strawman because you equate "eat less" with "starve yourself". They are not the same thing.
I initially classed it as black and white, all or nothing thinking, but OK, I get now how it's a straw man as well.
Sue said…
Are you sure all weight regained is fat. If eating at a surplus perhaps some of it will be muscle?
Also, all dieting results in muscle loss as well as fat loss - just different degrees.
There was a study just recently showing that yo-yo dieters still able to lose weight - no detriment from the constant weight loss and gain.
Victor Venema said…
Okay, now I understand your strawman argument. I would expect that someone with a broken metabolism losing weight with "just eat less" as only strategy will be very hungry.

Eating less as an minor last tweak of a weight loss strategy is probably okay. If you make the dietary adjustments you need to keep your weight without hunger, consciously eating a little less once in a while to reduce the weight is probably not harmful. Especially as in my experience, the body is more responsive to eating less once the metabolism works like it should.

Telling people to just eat less suggests that this is the largest if not the only part of the strategy. It might be an idea to find a name that better reflects a complete strategy with eating less as the last tweak as the coarse slogan ELMM, which makes me allergic, having experienced both sides.

Is it known to which part the health problems of the obese are due to their fat cells and which part is due to dieting by eating less as the body needs and consequently moving little due to lack of energy?

If you reduce weight by just eating less, yes then the people who lose most weight will have most hunger, but that was not the scenario I was talking about and not my ideal strategy.

"There is very little scientific evidence that your diet will alter your basal metabolic rate."

Did they test this with quality food? Or with lots of food?

"There are plenty of people who have actually had success simply doing just that [just eat less,red]. They've even commented here on this blog."

As I commented on this blog, I did it myself and lost 12 kg. It was a horrible time and I gained them all back again in the years after. The few studies that care to do follow ups several years later tend to see this pattern. The percentage of people keeping the weight of by "just eating less" after several years is small. You need supporting strategies. I did not read many comments, stating that the did this long ago and kept the weight of.

@Sanjeev. If you go back to the discussion, you will see that it started with me lamenting that I did not make any measurements, not to have to rely on memory. (And only as answer to the question, why counting calories can make sense.)
garymar said…
Yes, my statement's an exaggeration. I think it was, more muscle would be lost in the weight loss phase than was regained during weight gain.

It could have been on Suppversity -- I just remember the graph showing muscle percentage decreasing as fat increased.

Of course resistance training can slow or even halt it.
bentleyj74 said…
Wow, we agree completely with each other!!! Individual reaction on food is the common denominator, not the amount of calories or type of the food. For some reasons eating any type of yogurt of kefir makes me eat more afterwards. I don't care much about why, just act on my observation. Conveniently, I don't like yogurt much."

We agree on more than we disagree from where I'm standing anyway. Yogurt has the same effect on me, other people can last on it for hours. I know what my body looks and feels like when it's got it's proverbial mojo and I've sorted out most of the relevant factors at this point. It's the nonlogic and religion of food belief that generally gets me fired up since I slid into it with embarrassing ease despite obvious and measurable negative effects AND despite not having any compelling reason to be so inclined.
Unknown said…

Diana said…
@Suzanne, cattails. Don't forget about the cattails.

And there must be a whole host of other starchy plants that "Paleo Man" was eating.

These people are sickening.
Breckenridge said…
This place really is going to the shits... bitch, bitch, bitch, bitch, bitch...

Why don't you bitch that there are no white females walking a dog at a Muslim baseball game?
Anonymous said…
'Next to this, ignoring your hunger almost 24/7 (except maybe a some hours after a meal) is not something for everyone. It is hard; lean people cannot imagine how hard this is. And you will have to do it for the rest of your life, otherwise the weight comes back.'

Real hunger is different from 'wanting something to eat, some X or Y dipped in Z would taste really good right now.'

I've experienced real hunger - not having money to buy food and going days at a time without eating. I have met a few people who tell me they also had periods in their lives when they literally could not afford to buy any nutrition. It's not that common to find people like that, in my experience.

Lately, having lost weight by limiting my calories, I've had to say 'no' to myself late at night when I wanted a snack. Am I hungry if I want a snack? Not like 'hungry because there's nothing to eat and I don't know when there will be something to eat'! It is a choice to think you're miserable and deprived when you are in fact a bit 'peckish.'

I also know that saving some calories for bedtime would save me all the 'suffering.'

For the rest of my life, I will have to watch what I eat. Hmmm. What's the alternative? The rest of my life, I WON'T? If anything is stressed by low-carb, Paleo, fruitarian, vegan, macrobiotic, 'red meat only on a day that begins with a consonant' (in short, ANY way of eating), it is the message that you must watch what you eat.
Galina L. said…
Diana, did you read the cattails recipes? Paleo-man could hardly follow them. It doesn't mean they didn't eat starchy plants,I am sure they ate everything eatable, but most recipes on the web-page you linked ask for an added flower, bread-crumbs, milk and so forth. Indians in the North Florida where I live now used some plant foods for sure when it was in season(I attended a lecture about eatable plants here), but it was very seasonal. It looks like the bulk of their diet consisted of small creatures they collected in estuaries (like oysters). Living creatures are usually available year-round. As an artifact from Indians there are huge hills consisted of shells here. There are also some whild pecans in out area (also seasonal but probably easily stored). When we just arrived to Florida 12 years ago, I enthusiastically collected some pecans and was disappointed. Extremely hard and resilient to pounding shells almost required the use of tools to crack it, the eatable part was really tiny. Not like the wild hazel-nuts from the more temperate climate where I am originally from.
Galina L. said…
Ya, slam remarks are definitely in Richard's style. I still have trouble to comprehend how he could be comfortable to despise the group of people he and his wife belong to at least partially. Probably, I should not. I met during my life antysemitists with Jewish wife and having Jewish friends.
Diana said…
Galina, Yes, I read the recipe and the fact that "Paleo man" couldn't make them isn't the point!! They ate cattails. They ate starch. They ate carbs. Let's stop the nonsense. The carping. The pettiness.

AND THE MISINFORMATION. We are NOT Paleolithic creatures. We are as Neolithic as we are Paleolithic. Evolution hasn't stopped.

What is your issue, Galina? What are you trying to say?
CarbSane said…
Case you didn't notice, I'm not bitching about the lack of diversity.
Galina L. said…
I am trying to say that animal sources of food are more important and nutritional components of human diet, and starches and leafy parts are secondary in importance.
"They ate cattails. They ate starch. They ate carbs." Did I say they didn't?
Since I am not shouting and having nervous break-downs while commenting I don't think I have an issue.
Galina L. said…
I wonder when people complain on the lack of diversity, what do they want? Special discounts for under-represented groups? Unfailing but unreachable social justice? My son was attending the best in our part of the state public college-preparatory "magnet" high school strategically situated in the worst part of our city (surrounded by a very good fence) because on the paper it made statistics for the city better from the diversity point of view. It was to our advantage, because we didn't have to pay too much money for a private school (and the private school was academically worse, plus it would be some awkwardness for non-religious child going to a religious school), but all that looked like a stupid game, every year I was scared that somebody would awake, realized how stupid it was and cut additional funding for long-distance school buses.I didn't need to worry. Beautiful decorations are more important than common sense. Just one example, I saw much more.
Are there some regrets among volunteers that people who organized the conference didn't figure out how to avoid reprimands for the luck of diversity? When I tried to read the link in Richard's post, it didn't work.
For clarification, I am just ranting, not asking questions.
Craig said…
Perhaps it is possible to 'observe' that there is a lack of diversity, and express 'regret' or 'frustration' that a message isn't getting to a wider audience without having the purpose or intent of making that a criticism of an event organizer?
Victor Venema said…
Exactly, Graig, just being aware that there is a problem is important and that there is still a "hole in the market", may give some people an idea to fill it.

Condemning people such as Breckenridge would be an easy way to make the community more inclusive.
Sanjeev said…
> @Sanjeev. If you go back to the discussion, you will see that it started with me lamenting that I did not make any measurements, not to have to rely on memory. (And only as answer to the question, why counting calories can make sense.)
The memory comments were directed at the fruitarian example you linked to, not to you.

I thought I had copied and pasted that from your comment but somehow it didn't make it to google. blogger...
CarbSane said…
Well I'll just rant ;-)

To be clear, I'm not advocating for diversity. The point of my point was that if a coherent, cohesive and science-based argument can be put forth to advocate for paleo, the diversity will come, or it wasn't meant to be. As I said, this is far preferential to the tokenism and such that outreach brings.

But if women choose to participate in this community they should be judged on the merit of their content/arguments and not on anything else. Period. I know that is impossible in a society in general, but at least it should be self-policed in the community at large. This cuts to the core of my issue with Stefani who is all about roaring and womanhood and all that but whose guest post, in the wake of hostile anti-woman and personal rants, was a slap in the face to all women she claims to advocate for.

The thing about outreach to lower socioeconomic classes is somewhat but not entirely different. But yes, since they did offer limited reduced rate admissions to college students, they could offer the same for those with limited financial resources. And no amount of outreach can compensate for demonizing whole classes of foods that are staples in the traditional diets of various cultures, or making people feel inferior for not being able to afford everything raw, grassfed, pastured and all that.

I have looked into such sources in my area. They are now rather affordable for those with cars and chest freezers (I've expressed my preference for fresh meat). But I live in a rather affluent area and if just 10% of my town decided to go paleo and source their food in such a manner, just watch the prices soar. It is odd, our former home is in a semi-rural area -- farm stands and stores are a great bargain, exactly the opposite in my suburban area. Salatin's idea of having a few chickens associated with each household is a pipe dream. I have the land, but no way zoning would allow chickens, and many don't have the land. Oh ... but I couldn't let them roam free either, that's even more of a pipe dream. So I find his supermarket addiction meme HIGHLY offensive -- and I have the means to "kick my addiction". Literally millions within a 25 mile radius of my home do NOT.

So when you read how CAFO is cruel poison, pasteurized US sourced milk might as well be Elmer's glue, and whatever, I can only imagine what my husband's former employees in one of the most destitute NYC neighborhoods would have to say about that. I know they're just happy to be able to get cheap animal protein, including $1/piece fried chicken at Kennedy's and a McD's burger, at least knowing it's not prepared in a roach and at infested tenement with questionable running water. Bone broth for these folks? My husband's store didn't sell through several pallets of water a week because his clientele were bottled water snobs ... I can assure you that. And BPA were also the least of their worries.

Craig said…

I'm curious - when you say 'broken metabolism', what exactly do you mean? What is broken? How do you diagnose that some part of the metabolism is malfunctioning?

Also, you do realize that there are some morbidly obese people who consume enormous quantities of food, sometimes in excess of 10,000 calories a day, while sitting/lying essentially immobile for most of the day, barely able to stand, much less walk. Would restricting calories be a modest last tweak for these people?
CarbSane said…
Welcome Rosa!

First off, having been in your boat at your age, I may be able to help. I say may, as this will only be my own insights, but I'm happy to share via email carbsane at gmail dot com.

Also Sherry has some good input below (and welcome as well Sherry!).

I have often thought that had I found LC or Paleo as a teen I'd never gone through the binging and all that. Reading about the web with the promotion of these highly restrictive plans, I've come to the exact opposite conclusion.

Only failure and especially ED are ignored and swept under the rug on such nourishing diets. Bull and sheet. These people love to coo about success stories (rarely substantiated or followed up on in the long term) and ignore and poo poo those who fail. Because if it doesn't work for you, YOU were doing something wrong or too weak to adhere to the dietary purity. Sigh.
bentleyj74 said…
One tiny addition in favor of distinguishing between reality and paleo recent years my hubs spent some time roaming the outback villages of the middle east where there is no such thing as a fridge or supermarket and running water is for doctors who live in cities. Nuthin' but fresh kills and fermented raw dairy for miles :) People shrug off several days long episodes of food poisoning like westerners shrug off nasal congestion. Except with far fewer daily demands. Anyone want to spend a few days puking at work every month or so? Any takers? Anyone? Beuller?
Diana said…
"I am trying to say that animal sources of food are more important and nutritional components of human diet, and starches and leafy parts are secondary in importance."

You're wrong. If something is important even in trace amounts, it's just as important as something that is important in larger amounts.

I wrote this in response to Susanne, who added important information. You added none.

Actually, you're not exactly wrong - you are NOT EVEN wrong. There was a physicist, Wolfgang Pauli. He would dismiss junk science that didn't rise to the level of the falsifiable by saying, "Not even wrong."

So it is with you and the Paleo crowd. Not even wrong.
Victor Venema said…
Broken metabolism? My personal unfounded theories are (i) that in the past the energy was either apportioned too much to the fat cells and the other cells got too little (and send out warning signals: hunger). This could be due to increased insulin levels, to which every cell type responds differently (how it changes its insulin sensitivity in response to long-term high levels) and this is most likely not well tuned if the insulin level is above levels that were common in the past. The better diet may have decreased the insulin level to the normal span.

Or alternatively that the mechanism to remove fat from the fat cells was not working right, probably due to not using it for many years by eating a continual stream of carbs (use it or lose it). Once the fat is no longer released when needed, the cells that need the energy will signal their lack of fuel and signal hunger. A period of low carb eating and occasional meal skipping and intermittent fasting could in this case been a good exercise for the fat metabolism and could have increased the concentrations of the enzymes needed to release fat or increased the formation of new blood vessels in the fat tissue. (In this theory there is no need to stay low carb once this works again, but experiencing hunger once in a while would be good exercise and something people do not experience naturally any more in our modern times with ubiquitous cheap food.)

I would love to do some research on this. At the moment all I know that this is how it feels and that I am very happy that the dietary change has worked. Happy, that the perpetual hunger has stopped. Happy, that I am nowadays not even able to increase my weight whatever I eat (except maybe if I would eat Jimmy Moore sized portions), while in the past I would grow 1 or 2 kg when I went to a one-week conference and could not control portions as effectively as at home.

Those obese people are probably hungry that they eat so much. I would definitely first try to improve the quality of their diet and try to find out which foods they have problems with. Hopefully that will give them more energy and help them to start walking more and later do some exercise.

If calories need to be restricted, I would prefer doing so by (intermittent) fasting and not be eating less. Research seems to indicate that this has at least a higher short-term success rate as eating less as people find it easier to execute. (I do not know of long-term studies.) At least my personal experience is that you feel less hunger while fasting as when eating less, especially if there is food in the cupboard.

Do you know of any successful method to help these people in the long term? Are there any studies that show that telling them to just eat less was a successful intervention? Sorry, for the rhetorical rhetorical question. :-)
Victor Venema said…
Nomadic hunter gatherers in a village. Interesting concept.

Anyway, I would suggest keeping the good part of modern life. Actually, I think I never heard someone suggesting otherwise. We had a discussion about strawman above.
Diana said…
Stefani, why is fertility such a big issue with you? When women in their 20s try to get pregnant, they mostly succeed. 4M babies a year are born in the US. Fertility becomes a problem mostly when women reach their late 30s. Isn't that what nature intended?
bentleyj74 said…
That's the rub though. What are the good parts and once is that anything at all congruent with "paleo" whatever that even means at this point?

Once you are sitting in your central air conditioned non parasitic infested circumstances taking antibiotics instead of dying when you get sick you're pretty much down to the basics of "Eat a nutritious diet rather than swilling coke and cheetos and go to bed at a reasonable hour rather than play video games or text all night and try not to be watching TV for 60% of your waking hours." This is well into "duh" territory and has been the advice of mainstream GPs for decades. Nothing "paleo" about it.

Re nomadic hunter gatherers: Nope, Villagers. My H was the reluctant nomad in that scenario :)
Galina L. said…
Middle-East villages are not the only place where food poisoning could be shrugged-off. When I used to live in Moscow being young, it was normal to get some food poisoning there once in a while, with me it happened probably yearly, often the source was a milk product, somehow mostly a sour-cream, but could be anything like tomato juice, deli item, even bottled soft drink. If a person got admitted to a hospital because relatives called to a medical emergency service, he/she was simply kept there for a week in order to be sure it was not a cholera or dysentery or something similar, and it was it. We all knew the drill what to do in such situation without going to a doctor, and it lasted less longer than a nasal congestion. It is just a story.
Unknown said…

Jimmy, Jimmy have you no shame - this company sells

nstant Mashed Potato Mix
33% less starch than the leading potato mix
Low Glycemic with 5 grams of Fiber
Same great taste, less blood sugar response
Glycemic Value – 31

Organic O's with 33% less starch
than the leading O's cereal
Lightly sweetened with All Natural Sweet Sense
Low Glycemic with 8 Grams of healthful fiber
Same great taste, less blood sugar response!
Glycemic Index Value – 22
Sweet Sense™ Frosted Cornflakes made with
Organic Corn and 33% less starch
Low Glycemic with 8 grams of healhful fiber
Same great taste, less blood sugar response!
Glycemic Index Value – 27

Sugar Sense™ Lactose Free Real Milk
Half the Sugar of Milk
Low Glycemic
Fiber Fortified
Same great taste, less blood sugar response
Glycemic Value – 20

I give up.
Galina L. said…
During my life I experienced different income situations during different periods of my life. Right now we have more income than expenses, but it was not so all the time, I am still cheep in my spending and I will not be surprised with any set of events in a future. Life is unpredictable, it is all I know. I think for people with a tight budget going to a conference where Ancestral way of eating was discussed would be a frivolous unjustified expense. All information could be found on internet, who doesn't have a computer with the internet connection could go to a library and use computer there. When my husband didn't have extra money to pay for a ticket to go to Pink Floyd concert in Vancouver,BC, where he was holding a post-doc position with a very little pay ($26 000 a year in a very expensive city), he volunteered to be in a security. There is nothing wrong with a life according to the current level of an income, and the organizers of the conference had nothing to regret or apologies about. It is great there were enough people to afford such expensive entertainment who of course were people in a comfortable money situation. Why is it different from the LC cruise?
Because of my experience, I sometimes think what I would do if money became very tight again? There are cheep sources of grass-fed fat in my area, chicken raised without antibiotics are quite affordable, even pastured eggs are not too expensive. Pork is cheep and raised without hormones (but with antibiotics). Usually the best-priced place for veggies in any city I lived was an area with a lot of immigrants from China and South Asia, and usually such areas are cheep and accessible by public transportation. I started to drive a car only in Florida, after 40 years old, I know it is quite possible to live without it. Local people will not compete with me for a grass-fed beef tong soon. Too many people here with even tight incomes don't cook, continue to waste money on breakfast serials and soft drinks and unnecessary snacks. I saw homeless person two days ago drinking Latte and smoking on a Starbucks veranda. It could be once a year thing. My money situation may change unpredictably, but hardly same could be said about the way how people around me live.
bentleyj74 said…
It makes my point exactly though. The paleo sell has people re-enacting whatever it is they think paleo means as though there were no actual consequences to living without the very things we might now categorize as a negative contributor. Electricity means you can stay up all night long with lights shining on your retinas...or it means you can go to bed super early in climate controlled ideal temps for sleep. People with few demands have the freedom to get sick for a few days on a regular basis, people competing for jobs don't. What modern civilization really brings is *options* and it's options that people are generally failing to manage. Villagers don't have much in the way of choices and I'm guessing that people living in a collapsed economy aren't rolling in them either.

The impoverished populations Evelyn mentioned are more or less living as though they were villagers without really having the benefits of either situation. They are preyed on by every snake in the grass known to mankind including each other and well meaning "outreachers". Marketable skill training will go a lot further toward empowering them and improving their living circumstances and health than bone broth and fairy tales.

Unknown said…
JQF said…
I hope you're going to tell us all the errors on p. 151 of Gedgaudas' book so we don't have to read it ourselves.
Victor Venema said…
An the paleo template gives you some ideas which of the option you may want to try and see whether it improves your health, energy, mood, whatever and then determine which option you like best. It is not much more than a generator of good ideas.

People needing certainty and interested in a well-defined diet can just eat the rat chow that is used to make rats obese. A beautifully scientifically well-defined diet of processed components. Bon appetit!

For the problems were you do not immediately notice improvements, science will have to help us and give some advice which life style choices are likely beneficial for most. Unfortunately, science does not seem to care much about life style.
bentleyj74 said…
How does the paleo template give you some ideas? It's ill defined to the point of being incoherent and the few solid claims they actually make are factually incorrect according to all the nice people waving their degrees in paleo anthropology around in the air. What you wind up with is fear mongering from profiteering hucksters who evidently can't get the facts straight in their OWN field of study but rely on the ignorance of the gen pop to be considered experts in fields they play no role in whatsoever.

The apocalyptic and emotionally charged choice between nutrient dense food and rat chow as though paleo held some sort of monopoly on this and there was no such thing as a reasonable spectrum is suggestive to me of conditioning.
Victor Venema said…
Fear mongering? I just curiously tried some life style changes and observed what happened. All the ideas I tried are for free and were explained in detail on free blogs. No one made a profit out of me. Afterwards I did buy the Primal Blueprint. Just as a thank you for improving my health, not really expecting to learn more and indeed the book has much less substance as the blogs.

I never bought paleo supplements (that is an idea as funny as paleo villages) or expensive super foods and I have the background not to fall for an ion generator or buying a earthing mat, which needs to have silver wires, which unfortunately is only sold by one specific supplier.

In this respect, you and Evelyn are right, you should not copy any idea floating around, which unfortunately makes life harder for people without much education. That will probably only improve when science starts taking life style seriously. As a scientist, this clear lack of our current knowledge has always been clear to me and I do not see any blogger as an expert or any topic discussed in the paleosphere as more or less settled.
CarbSane said…
Victor, what is YOUR definition of a paleo diet?
Sanjeev said…
> All the ideas I tried are for free

committing time and effort ... the process of doing something that could turn out to be dumb ... these things elicit commitment from most people

"try it; you have nothing to lose", even leaving opportunity costs out of consideration is in fact a complete lie.

> All the ideas I tried are for free

It's a recipe for generating followers/customers/believers via a calculated gamble on the propagandist/seller's part - he's gambling that if you have ANY positive outcome he'll get a sale/follower.

Even a negative outcome can in benefit the seller/propagandist - the reader has expended effort on his behalf; WHY did the reader try something that on its face is dumb? Is the reader dumb? Cognitive dissonance has a good chance of making a committed believer out of someone who by all rights should have been a skeptical non-believer or even an opponent.
CarbSane said…
Welcome JQF! I plan to some time next week, including a scan of the page. :D
Victor Venema said…
Sanjeev, I have no problem investing some time (or even money) in my health and well-being. Of course, you should filter well, you can not try every crazy idea ever made up. If I would have given some charlatan money for bad advice, I would feel conned. Your problems exist for any website, for all media. You have to get information from somewhere.

Evelyn, I do not have a definition. For me it is just a range of ideas you can try and see if it works. Without the paleosphere, I would never have noticed that grains are not good for me as they are so ubiquitous that you never accidentally go without them for a week to notice the difference.

What seems to have helped me, as far as I can judge with only one life: no grains, no processed foods, no mattress, regular hiking, intermittent fasting, tanning, eating offal and fruit. (I notice no problems with normal amounts of sugar and starch.) This list may get shorter or more specific in future. Maybe it will also get longer; I still have myopia. Let's see what the future brings. No fear on my side, just enjoyment of how wonderful life can be and maybe a little sadness I did not try these things before. I am currently experimenting with exchanging yoghurt for eggs for breakfast; seems to reduce hunger and make weight loss easier (up to now I did not lose weight on paleo).

Such a list will be different for everyone.
CarbSane said…
"Evelyn, I do not have a definition. For me it is just a range of ideas you can try and see if it works. "

This is fine for the individual, but it underscores one of the problems I was getting at not so much in this post, but in this one. You mentioned elsewhere that perhaps paleo doesn't work so much by EL but by MM because quality food improves metabolic rate and energy level. This is why I ask what is paleo?

I'm ALL for raising awareness of the problematic nature of grains for SOME people. But Wheat Belly is a DISGRACE-- full of woo woo (sulfuric acid content of wheat and oatmeal) and made up false claims (the "Dunlap" belly and love handles are visceral fat and wheat predisposes you towards such fat deposits). If you look at my archives for the Paleo Summit, you'll find I was quite positive about the presentation on gluten, which I'm sure surprised some people though it shouldn't have.

The thing is paleo by definition is a diet based on the concept that our genome was done evolving in the paleolithic era and hasn't evolved one iota more in the intervening tens of thousands of years. But the fact that some eat dairy without incident shows otherwise ... but that really negates the basic premise of paleo.

I used to like the idea of a paleo template, but I'm souring on that as well, because it pretty much means use a popular term to gain attention/followers/sales but individualize it any which way you want. If you can tolerate fill-in-the-blank then go ahead an eat it on your personal paleo-based plan, that is NOT paleo-based. Not saying that's wrong, because individualized approaches are THE best thing everyone can do (find what works for them). But then we get those who write the This-Worked-For-Me-So-It-Is-The-Right-Diet-For-Everyone diet book.

I may write books in the future, but they will not be diet books. The closest I'll ever come to that is a strategy book.

Victor Venema said…
There is a system to the template of paleo things to try. It does not contain: do not eat meat, use extra bright blue lights in the evening, stay out of the sun, buy a mattress based on decades of NASA space research. (For some people these may be the things they should try, but they would not be inspired by paleo or traditional life, and are thus more likely only suited for a small group of people) I understand that some people like clear definitions and rigid rules. If only because that is the way science progresses. Unfortunately life is more messy. On the other hand that is also part of the fun.

I do not know how it was in the past, but I feel that most bloggers do realize that some adaptation has takes place since the agricultural revolution (if only for lactose tolerance). They just assume that the adaptation is not perfect for every modern behavior or food stuff. Then you get to an individualized approach. At best to a list of things everyone (with problem x, y, z) would be well advised to try. Most of the increase of chronic deceases is a matter of decades to centuries, that is really too short for meaningful adaption.

Looking forward to your book. Strategies are important. The 30 day trial is one of the good strategies I learned, makes trying something new less "scary". Making changes in small doable steps another one.
Sanjeev said…
what I replied to:
>> All the ideas I tried are for free and were explained in detail on free blogs.

Were I to try some advice I would add to this
>> looked for dis-confirming research (pubmed, google scholar) preferring controlled studies and giving low weight to epidemiology, searched for counter arguments from proven skeptical sources (disinterested resources in the field who have in the past admitted mistakes when these were pointed out to them - on nutrition this is carb sane asylum, Aragon, McDonald, Krieger, Colpo - on other issues JREF, science based medicine, and so on)
Victor Venema said…
Good idea. Also takes a lot of time, though.

That is even how the story started, I had asthma, my doctor was only interested in chemical powders (reading the science based medicine literature she picked the right ones, which are indicated for light asthma). Fortunately, I looked for alternative ideas and found a scientific study that intermittent fasting may help for asthma. The nice thing about being a scientist is that you can actually read the articles, not just the pubmed abstracts. Via the keyword intermittent fasting, I found Marks Daily Apple, you know the rest.

Thank you for the 5 names of people you can recommend unconditionally, I had not found such bloggers yet, I will have a look. Are you sure they are disinterested? Some of these sites do look a bit cheesy (6 pack body builders) and commercial at first glance. Sanjeev, did your advice suggest that I wrote anything, which is scientifically proven impossible?
Dracil said…
"The thing is paleo by definition is a diet based on the concept that our genome was done evolving in the paleolithic era and hasn't evolved one iota more in the intervening tens of thousands of years."

I believe that is the very definition of a strawman. Besides, I thought one of your (and others') complaints was how paleo was so undefined and incoherent. Can't have it both ways. ;)

I feel the only people in the paleo community who think that are the ones who just started out. Maybe that's a failing of the more popular paleo writers, but it's not a general sentiment I find in discussions by people who've been following it for a while, what with things like generic food allergy/sensitivity/intolerance to paleo foods, epigenetics in general, and other non-paleo bloggers/writers also being popular within the paleo community.

It reminds me a bit of the strong atheist/weak atheist arguments back when I was really into religious arguing. It's easy to knock down the strong position, but most people actually take the weak position, which by its nature is less dogmatic and thus less open to attacks.
CarbSane said…
C'mon!!! If there is ONE defining concept of paleo it is that our genes were programmed way back when. The differences in what paleo is described as come from (a) no friggin idea what paleo man actually ate or where we evolved -- there are the tropical and ice age camps here, and (b) selective acceptance of some adaptations over others. But the evolution thing is key -- well, except for the neo-paleos who are banking off of the name and adding their own spins.

What ever happened to the inclusive term "ancestral"?? Anyone? Bueller?
Dracil said…
Since we're criticizing here, it would probably make sense to also link to the response to the criticism.

Honestly, as someone who reads both blogs, I find all the drama between the two sides entertaining... but that's really all it's good for. :)
Dracil said…
What the heck is this bueller thing? I've heard it much but never bothered to look it up.

While that's true, you added on the part about "and then, on the seventh day, according to the Paleo Genesis, our genes rested" ;) That's what I'm taking issue with as the strawman.

Now, we can argue about the degree of adaptation since then, and how different populations may have different levels of adaptations to different things, and I'd find such discussion interesting (though I don't think our level of knowledge is complete enough for a truly meaningful discussion, though maybe I'm wrong). But it's a far cry to state that's the official paleo mantra of its followers when my experience is it's clearly not.
Unknown said…

"The paleo diet movement began with a basically reasonable idea – that maybe we should try to mimic the diet of our ancestors, since we inherited traits from them that will influence our own health – but seems since then to have contorted itself into a grain-phobic meat cult based on a vision of human evolution that has no resemblance to what the fossil record tells us about ourselves. No paleontologist or anthropologist doubts that hominins ate meat – and, during the Ice Age outside of Africa, probably quite a lot of it – or that doing so shaped our evolution, but we’re not obligate carnivores who evolved in high latitudes. We come from the African tropics, and the ancestors from whom we inherited the plan for our digestive and masticatory traits are generally considered to have been largely frugivorous. Some australopithecine fossils even show evidence of grass consumption."

"Paleo dieters are always pointing to our “evolutionary heritage” for hints about the “optimal” diet, but no one ever seems to be more specific than that. Which hominin species are you counting as ancestral to us? Which traits on your laundry list of “proof” are primitive and which are derived? Do you even understand what that question is asking and why it’s important? If someone making evolutionary claims can’t answer these questions, I for one see no reason to take their opinion seriously."

"Fruigvory is our base gut adaptation, but it’s flexible enough to allow primates to digest meat, especially cooked meat. When our lineage adopted a greater degree of carnivory as a survival strategy, nature selected for those variations of the base “frugivorous” gut that were slightly better at meat-digestion. But just because we got better at eating meat, that doesn’t mean we got worse at eating fruits, seeds and foliage. We didn’t specialize to become obligate carnivores."

"... modern human guts are adapted to a diet of soft, energy-dense foods, a condition they inherited from “frugivorous” ancestors but that accidentally also allows them to be better at digesting meat than other primates. To put it succinctly, H. sapiens are functionally omnivorous because of their frugivory, not in spite of it (a point that threatens to undo the whole debate before it even starts)!"
CarbSane said…
Why should it make sense to link to that? Dikoley is pissed at me because I exposed his lying to his readers about the Kruse crap and basically I called him on it and I didn't back down nor did I see any value in his efforts to help and guide me to Paleo-primadonahood. His way of venting that is rather unimaginative cunt rants thought the food porn showed a whole different imagination on his part (thought I'm always a sucker for redemption). He made VERY specific threats against me which were anything but entertaining. For sport of course ... :(
Dracil said…
What were the very specific threats against you?

From what I recall of it back then, I saw you and the others alleging that the comments were specific about you, and maybe there were some behind-the-scenes stuff I don't know about, but from what was actually posted on both blogs, I don't think that claim would actually hold in court.

I'm not sure how you're reading that response, but he does not sound pissed at all. If anything he sounds apologetic enough and admits he made mistakes and should have rectified it earlier.
CarbSane said…
Bueller refers to Ferris Bueller's day off (spelling?) I guess you're a young un. Google Ben Stein (character who played the teacher) and Ferris on YouTube and you'll see.
Sanjeev said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sanjeev said…
I find little of what you wrote, or its tone, objectionable. What I personally require proof appear to be far different from yours.

My comments were aimed at adding a skeptical slant to your comments, which mirrored what I might write but with much less skepticism.
Sanjeev said…
> did your advice suggest that I wrote anything, which is scientifically proven impossible?

I won't risk my body and sanity[0] trying something based on "is it possible".

Even if science says something is possible IMHO many more criteria need to be met.

Are there well controlled trials that find decent effect sizes?

Do half the studies find no effect (and therefore when someone quotes studies that work it's obvious they're cherry picking a non-existent effect into existence.

Do badly controlled studies find massive effects while well controlled studies find none? (bogo-puncture, chiroquacktic, homeoquackery, psychic surgery, therapeutic touch, and on and on and on ... )

[0] not again anyway ; (
Sanjeev said…
[0] not again anyway ; (

I can thank Gary[0] & Jimmy[0] for committing to this mind set

[0] I am thanking them now by making an allegedly Italian gesture with my fist & elbow
Victor Venema said…
Sanjeev, and I find it objectionable that you keep on suggesting that I am saying or doing something wrong, but in such a general way that there is no way for me to defend myself with arguments.

I am a scientist, it is my job to proof that what other scientists say is wrong. I will thus never believe something just because it is science. I need arguments.

Do you have "well controlled trials that find decent effect sizes" for every food stuff you eat? (And in its combination and in its variability in time?) It sounds to me you require high levels of proof for any other diet as your own.

For me the modern processed food diet and a vegan diet are the hall marks of untested diets. Ancestral diets have been tested over centuries or longer. Not rigorously scientifically tested, but no diet can claim that. But its use in a real population is probably a stronger test as science can offer.
Victor Venema said…
Sorry, I misread your "objectionable" statement. Then we seem to agree fundamentally. I would also love to see more proof, which I why I find it such a pity that science is not that much interested in life-style questions. Until that proof is there, we do have to life somehow.
bentleyj74 said…
"Ancestral diets have been tested over centuries or longer. Not rigorously scientifically tested, but no diet can claim that. But its use in a real population is probably a stronger test as science can offer."

While I take your point and agree to some extent the lack of defined terminology makes for a lot of weak arguments. Is ancestral what my grandmother ate [white bread, crisco, no formal exercise, currently experiencing better than average good health and longevity] or her grandmother or people from Okinawa a few hundred years ago? Illness from chronic diseases like CVD decrease during stresses like war and famine...should we base our diets and lifestyles thusly?

The question I think that's missed with generalizations like "ancestral" is what specifically we are hoping to gain from them. Unless we think they are magical/life force/metaphysical woo enriched in some way there are specific markers and distinctions that can be measured and qualified as true or false at least as far as their claims go. This wouldn't help the poor suckers who jumped the gun and wanted to remove all chelating whole grains and fiber from their now iron heavy diets and paid the price of course but at least the information that whole grains can interfere with mineral absorption to a greater degree than tubers is correct. It is at least a valid piece of information. Too bad it was marketed as more than that on a false premise loaded with embellishments, pseudo science, and revisionist history.
ProudDaddy said…
It seems to me that those who believe paleo/primal/ancestral concepts are a total bunch of nonsense need to ask themselves first whether "diseases of civilization" are in fact just that.
Victor Venema said…
Maybe it is even an advantage that these diets are so badly defined. The large range of ancestral and paleo diets suggests that there are many diets we are well adjusted to. It is likely difficult to do something wrong.

I like simulating war and famine once in a while for a day. Intermittent fasting is great and at least one of the topics on which even science is working a little.
Unknown said…
"paleo/primal/ancestral concepts"

All of these are mutually exclusive - define further

After all - paleo usually means no grains, dairy while ancestral (Sally Fallon) includes grain and dairy
Diana said…
""The thing is paleo by definition is a diet based on the concept that our genome was done evolving in the paleolithic era and hasn't evolved one iota more in the intervening tens of thousands of years."

I believe that is the very definition of a strawman."

Nonsense. This is the definition of the Paleo diet.

"Besides, I thought one of your (and others') complaints was how paleo was so undefined and incoherent. Can't have it both ways. ;)"

Then you go on to deny the definition itself. This is what Evelyn is saying. Can you guys hear yourselves speak? Because if you could, you would hear this:

"It is what it is except when it isn't."

Look, Paleo is bullshit. We didn't stop evolving with the end of the Paleolithic era. We are as Neolithic as we are Paleolithic. Most of us descend from at least 400 generations of Neolithic ancestors. And, get this, there is evidence people were eating starches as long as 200K years ago, but certain 30K years ago.
Diana said…
@PD - although I suspect you are asking the question in a loaded fashion, I happen to think it is a good question.

1. Define 'diseases of civilization.'
2. There was a time when anthropologists thought that hunter-gatherers lived healthy and stable lives. Then a funny thing happened. Information. Damn that stuff.

Bones were discovered that showed evidence of blunt trauma, to the head and to other places.

Some of those bones showed signs of arthritic degeneration. Teeth as well. Abscesses. All kinds of bad stuff.

Regarding cancer, diabetes, who knows? Does a population that dies by age 28 (average) have the time to develop that sort of stuff?

You tell me, Proud Daddy.
Diana said…
A link about the good old daze, when people clubbed each other into a daze:
bentleyj74 said…
I'm a fan of fasting myself Victor but no one is simulating war and famine for a *day*. That's just called working up an appetite.
CarbSane said…
Victor said: I am a scientist, it is my job to proof that what other scientists say is wrong. I will thus never believe something just because it is science. I need arguments.

Uggh ... that sounds like a Taubes/Eades/Naughton/ I spent close to 20 years of my life as a scientist -- research, not theoretical -- and I could never envision any of my colleagues ever making such a statement. The job of a scientist is NOT to prove other scientists wrong! A researcher observes, formulates a hypothesis to observe their observations, then constructs experiments to test that hypothesis. If the results of those experiments are consistent, the hypothesis is supported. When the results of experiments by various groups all support the hypothesis and none refutes it, it becomes theory or law (depending on the semantics). I suppose as a scientist one could dedicate one's life to refuting established theories (not necessarily an unconstructive pursuit -- see global warming hoax), but most of the time that's not what scientists do.
Unknown said…
Leading causes of death - 1900 compared to 2004
Life Expectancy by Age, 1850–2004
Leading Causes of Death, 1900-1998
Deaths: Preliminary Data for 2010
Victor Venema said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
bentleyj74 said…
Victor, I know that was tongue in cheek...mine was too but that sort of thing can be lost absent facial expression/tone.

If you are interested in further stuff re fasting are you familiar with Prad Pilon? He wrote his masters thesis on the subject and then later published eat-stop-eat re the science. He is an enthusiast and certainly just one mans research and opinion but at the very least he is practicing from an educated position in his own field. Something that can not be said for most in the area of diet/health/fitness.
CarbSane said…
Victor, I deleted your comment for some content. I'm reposting most of it here. I hope you understand the part I deleted. Feel free to email me carbsane at gmail dot com if you have other questions. :)

Victor said:

Evelyn, do your hypothesis really come out of the blue? Is there anything that guides your initial observation? Do you never test an existing hypothesis or at least try to find its limits?

I am climatologist and I see it as my job to proof that anthropogenic warming is a hoax. Unfortunately I was unsuccessful up to now, any part of the theory I looked at up to now turned out to be okay, but the day I stop trying, I will stop doing research. Currently, I am trying to proof that many of the papers on changes in extreme weather are wrong, that they often analysing changes in the way the weather was observed and not in the weather itself. Wish me luck.

Yes, it is not what scientists do most of the time. Today I was editing a research proposal, next is a review. But it is on my mind most of the days, while reading the literature, reading climate blogs or hiking in the woods.

Anyway, no matter how do science, one will convince me by saying "just look in the literature", you can only have a fruitful discussion when people actually use some arguments.

P.P.S. The links in the top banner do not seem to work.

EDITOR'S NOTE: I addressed this in

Bentley, I was using hyperbole, but many of the health benefits of war and famine may be achievable with intermittent fasting and hopefully without too much of the disadvantages. Let's see what the science will show the coming years.

August 24, 2012 4:40 PM

Rosa Park said…
Hi Evelyn!

Thank you for the offer! I am glad to know there are people who are always willing to help!

And thank you also, Galina and Sherry for your comments. :) I have actually been faring very very well since this post, and it all comes down to attitude. I sincerely hope I can return back to normal eating.

Which brings me down to my next point. I started becoming more sane when I added back my traditional staple food: white rice. It made that much of a difference. All the time, the Paleoers tell me "fats, fats, fats, more fats! with no/only a little bit of rice." Then the Crossfitters/crazyfitspos "protein protein protein protein carbs ONLY after your work out or you get fat" (or something of that line)...When I started eating lots of meat, I felt crappy, aggressive, depressive, my appetite disappeared off the face of earth, and I became very sickly looking. The constant intensive workouts also fatigued me, and I could barely stay awake during work. Then the fats...oh my gosh. The fats. I know that there are people out there who really do feel better eating lots of fats, but I'm one of the few that feels like cr__ eating fats. They swish in my stomach, then cramp up my stomach, or just make me feel plain grumpy/heavy. I never liked greasy foods. All these paleoers rave about how they eat like 1/2 an avocado for breakfast, with 3 fried eggs, and bacon, AND butter "minus the wheat" and how they do not eat for hours and feel great. Sure, I can eat that and not feel hungry for hours, but my body sure hates it! I just felt really sick with all the fats and meats. I would lie down on bed after a hard core LC night, and just think to myself "I never want to touch an animal or grease up any food EVER again."

I remember when I was just a little noobie to dieting, and just restricted my calories, I was quite hungry but it didn't get as bad as when I started to just TOUCH upon LC. The day I started LC, my body just stopped functioning. All appetite hormones--out of whack. I guess for lots of overweight people, they feel really elated when they stop feeling hungry, but I NEVER had a weight problem really. I guess it's an Eastern Asian thing, but we just can't ever get "fat"--only "vertically" from the belly, but that's really only about it. The fact that my body no longer wants food in the morning, shuts off hunger for the rest of the night completely if I only hold my hunger for about one hour, etc, was scaring me. I missed being hungry.

And what else? Fats promote weight gain for me. Butter. Fatty steaks. I know, a "weight gain" for me is like +0.2-1% body fat, but this is coming from someone with thin genes with no history of fattening genes in almost all my relatives. What also promotes weight gain for me (mainly in the middle) is cheese, nuts, wheat products, sugar. (So it's not all about macronutrients, I really do think Food Reward has A LOT to do with this). Tubers dry up my skin or promote indigestion.

For god's sake, I started eating rice again, cut back on the meat, fats, and my appetite is kind of functioning properly again, and my body temperature feels warm again. I feel great eating veggies, rice, low fat, with some fish, and no meats. I probably ate more calories than I did before...but I am just fine. My skin isn't a piece of cr__ anymore. I feel less anxious about my outward appearance/looks. I know vegan/mainly plant based, low fat can be dangerous/very problematic for lots of people, and often lead many people towards disordered eating, but that's not the case for everyone, actually. I am feeling a lot better eating more plant based foods...Perhaps because that was what MY ancestors have been eating for ages and ages...
Galina L. said…
Glad you feel better, ofter people comment on the pick of their problem. Just, please, don't think that something bad or damaging happened with you just because you tried a different diet regiment, you are built stronger than that. Also, try to take emotional reverence out of diet choices, just pay attention on your personal reactions, health markers, try to accumulate a knowledge about how your body works. It may be useful to learn how to prepare your food in few simple steps out of un-precooked ingredients. Foreman grill is your friend even when it comes to vegetables. All your life you will be surrounded by conflicting information about how to eat healthy, most of the time it will be an appeal to your emotional side (like beautiful fresh vegetables, wonderful freshly backed bread, horrible greasy food, humane or kind diet, primal way of eating). It is better to intentionally ignore embellishments because it will take attention from the main purpose of your diet - to keep you in the best possible health and resolve not create problems. Eating is not a religious or cult ritual.
I think people who enthusiastically shared their positive experience about eating fat belonged to another generation than you, and suffered of another extreme during their life - an unreasonable fat-phobia or a red-meat phobia. It doesn't matter how healthy a diet looks in theory or appeal to your emotional side (like saving Earth, or living similar to a group of people who reside in a tropical paradise), it may not bring an improvement into your life. I have a very negative experience with so-called anty-inflammatory diet recommended by Dr. Andrew Weill in his book who had excellent credentials, helped a lot of people, but it backfired on me when I started to eat less red meat, fats, more whole grains and some tofu. Now I feel very well on a diet with no grains and sugars, moderate amount of protein and rather high in fat.It took me a while to get adapted to higher level of fat because my gallbladder was removed 10 years ago. I am different than you in age, health, genetic, body type. I can enthusiastically share my thoughts how beneficial it was for ME, but it doesn't mean it will be exactly wonderful for everybody else. There are some common denominators, but I am sure you know about it already.
Anonymous said…
Where is the exhortation to walk everywhere? Or at the very least, use a horse and buggy? Civilization has created monstrous effects, not the least of which is riding (=sitting) to work each day, and even riding (=sitting) to leisure activities. Riding down a highway in a horse and buggy will eventually encourage people to work close to home, and then they will walk to work and leisure activities, because it is so much easier.

The horse and buggy is acceptable because the wheel cannot be outlawed - only 'tamed.'

Civilization has certainly handed us all a raw deal.

OK, if you must work farther from home, there is the solution of having subways accessible to each small area, to which people will walk, and then be forced to stand (for hours, if need be), simply because the very few seats provided would be only for the disabled.)See, there ARE solutions.
Sanjeev said…
> riding (=sitting) to work each day, and even riding (=sitting) to leisure

SITTING while exercising (not talking about cycling)

other than hospitals & rehab clinics Where does THAT make sense?

and there's MORE:

sitting. WATCHING TV. WHILE. exercising

wondering why your penis is orange [0]

using a burn-one-calorie electronic "ab simulator" while lying down while watching commercials about exercise equipment

using a burn-one-calorie electronic "ab simulator" while lying down while watching commercials about exercise equipment, and the bed you're lying on has 5 pieces of old exercise equipment already under it.

[0] eating doritos while watching porn and thinking about exercise
Galina L. said…
Probably, the difference between healthy people and people who suffered from the diseases of the Western civilization was illustrated well enough with very convincing pictures in the book "Nutrition and Physical Degeneration" Weston Price(free on-line Paleo-people want to escape all that cluster of CVD,allergies, cancers, dental problems, Alzheimer, diverticulitis, IBS. During 10 000 years of agriculture people developed effective methods to limit the grains toxicity and made starches in grains relatively safe. Probably if they didn't, we would be better prepared to live healthy on modern breads, like Europeans adapted to consume milk. The methods are not well compatible with Western Technologies and life-style. On paleo-blogs sometimes people say that it is more easy to just skip grains (except a white rice because it is a pure starch) than to get engaged into a proper grain-preparation, which only limits but not eliminates problems associated with lectines, phytic acid and gluten consumption. So the most wide-spread methodology of modern version of Paleo life-style includes hunter-gatherer food choices plus white rice, milk products,salt, bone broths and fermented veggies, minus smoking and use of stimulants.
Anonymous said…
'sitting. WATCHING TV. WHILE. exercising'

I watched an exercise DVD with a friend. All the exercises were done while sitting (as per the instructions and shown by the DVD 'trainer'). I did the exercises with her to encourage her to use the DVD. It was fun!

Did I mention my friend is 90 and post-surgery?
Dracil said…
And if you actually take a look on paleo/primalforums, faceobok groups, reddit, or paleohacks, you'll see that a good many if not most people don't believe we stopped evolving. People talk about the wheat containing soy sauce (oh no!) not giving them problems so they eat it, the dairy that they eat without problems, all the pictures of potatoes and other starches they eat, their love and agreement of Mat Lalonde about *incomplete* adaptation and epigenetics, and so on.

Hence yes, you are very much strawmanning.

You can keep insisting the no more evolution part is part of the definition of Paleo, but when the actual Paleo followers tell you it isn't, well, again, that's the defition of a strawman. You're knocking down an obviously faulty point that you claim we're arguing that we aren't actually arguing.
Dracil said…
Again, this goes to my stuff about "weak" positions. There's the dogmatic versions of things that get sound bited and popularized in the media and the subject of ridicule. But what is actually followed by majority of the people tends to be a more relaxed, practical, undogmatic version. There's always the fringe/extremist part of group, but then, you're talking about the fringe an already fringe group. ;)
CarbSane said…
Oh me oh my!!!

You can keep insisting the no more evolution part is part of the definition of Paleo, but when the actual Paleo followers tell you it isn't, well, again, that's the defition of a strawman. You're knocking down an obviously faulty point that you claim we're arguing that we aren't actually arguing.

How about this?

However, we are genetically identical (in virtually all respects relevant to human health) to our hunter-gatherer ancestors, owing to the fact that evolution ground to a halt when the major selection pressures of starvation and predator danger (eat or get eaten!) were
eliminated. Thus, we can achieve effortless weight loss, vibrant health, and boundless energy by living according to the Primal Blueprint.

Mark Sisson ... fringe of the fringe, eh? LOL
Sanjeev said…
> Did I mention my friend is 90 and post-surgery?

I would add that as another qualification in the future but rants of excessive pedantry kind of miss the point of ranting.

Probably my "other than hospitals & rehab clinics Where does THAT make sense?" may apply there.
Diana said…
The Paleolithic era ended 10K years ago.

The Paleolithic diet is based on the notion that the genome of AMH (anatomically modern humans) hasn't changed since then.

It's wrong.

And you are arguing out your ass.
Galina L. said…
Probably, it would be more accurate to think that the adaptation to the grains-based diet is going on but still is not complete for many people because there is an evidence of the celiac disease in populations even in regions where wheat consumption was ongoing since 10 000 years ago, and many benefit from the grain elimination in the diet , especially when gluten is eliminated. Also, people who were eating grains for such long time developed technologies to limit the grain toxicity, which are now abandoned in Western World. For a person who lives in a Western society and can easily afford more affluent diet it could be more practical to avoid or limit grains (with the exception of a white rice) than to bother with fermenting, sprouting , mixing with something in order to remove substances like phytic acid and diminish gluten. Of course, such diet will not fit the description of a Paleo style eating, but I think it is not bad that some people try to intentionally introduce other practices that they think were present unintentionally in pre-neolitic societies like fasting and eating foods according to seasons, that can minimize the over-consumption of food which is a problem nowadays and causing problems independently of the choise of foods.
CarbSane said…
I see celiac more of a disease of modern invention (e.g. things like NSAIDS that alter gut permeability) than one of neolithic "agents" such as gluten. TTBOMK soaking and sprouting does not alter gluten content.
Galina L. said…
I agree, it looks like only fermentation affects gluten to some degree

, and the flour has to be specially prepared to really make it safe for a celiac sufferer.

I discussed it with my son who doesn't eat gluten because of the eczema , but I regularly bake since May a sourdough rye bread for my husband, and I suggested for my son to give it a try because it had less gluten to begin with and the main part of the dough spent 3 - 4 days in a refrigerator waiting to be made into another bread. Unlike me, he is not a person open to compromise. Looking at him, I can see how unflexible young people could be about their choices.

Josh said…
Evelyn said: "I suppose as a scientist one could dedicate one's life to refuting established theories (not necessarily an unconstructive pursuit -- see global warming hoax)"

Can you elaborate on this further as I'm not sure if I'm interpreting it correctly. Are you saying that global warming is a hoax?
Bret said…
I think it is very odd that a man who looks like an overweight, inbred troll (mythological, not internet, although that's also appropriate) should call a good looking woman "fat and ugly." His high pitched, nasally voice doesn't do much to prop up the bad ass facade, either. His exchange with James over at Weightology was a classic, especially if you enjoy seeing people make complete fools of themselves.

The hypocrisy that gets penned by this man makes me even doubt he's for real. Maybe that's just an elaborate bit of sarcasm or parody on the animal man's part? Perhaps Dick is just too clever for everyone else.... Or maybe he's just doing impressions - of a less fit and more vulgar Fred Hahn.

Anyway, thanks for the further insight into this issue, and to your past. The collage of Evelyn through time was great. You looked pretty rad in the 80s! :)

Susanne said…
You might be interested in this article I ran across last week that connects with the historical genetics of coeliac:

I know it's PLoS ... but there are other articles along the same lines in very respectable journals like Cell and Nature which discuss the wide-ranging immune system implications of the mutation:

The investigators started with the question, Why does the coelic mutation persist in grain eating populations in spite of being clearly maladaptive in grain-eating populations? — that is, one would expect the mutation would die out since coeliac sufferers are much less likely to be successful in producing children during most of history. (The link between gluten and coeliac was not recognized until the mid-20th century, so there was no effective treatment.)

They investigated other potential effects of the mutation which causes coeliac disease and suggest that it might have a beneficial in fighting infectious disease, which would account for its persistence. Infectious disease in humans (especially since the rise of cities with dense populations) can be a big factor in genetic selection (John Hawke has several articles on this). There are other genetic conditions which persist in populations despite having quite severe effects on individual's fertility — the examples you find a lot in human bio textbooks are the hereditary anemias, sickle cell anemia and thalassemia. Homozygous individuals (people who carry two copies of the gene, one from each parent), which often historically makes them deadly at a young age. However having only one copy of the gene appears to convey a benefit against malarial infection. (If you look at the "sickle cell" article in Wikipedia you will see how well the sickle cell mutations map across areas where malaria is endemic). Favism (which is found in Mediterranean populations and basically makes a commonly eaten legume toxic to people who carry the gene) may be similar.

Interestingly in the time period the authors calculate for the development of the mutation (I have no way of assessing the validity of their calculations since this is not my department), 1800-1200 years ago, the first great wave of bubonic plague spread across the Mediterranean and Europe from Asia. It's often called the Justinianic Plague after the Roman emperor whose reign and foreign policy were first dramatically affected by it in the 6th century AD.
Susanne said…
Oops, this is the article I meant that talks about possible adaptive advantage for the coeliac mutation:
I think I got it from a Wikipedia bibliography originally. The PLoS one is a general about the selective pressures of infectious diseases on human genetics.
Also, comment #200!
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