Paleo™ ApprovED ... Enough.

11/29:  Another minor update.  There has been a ton of feedback both here and on Facebook and I'm personally quite touched that the overwhelming response has been positive.  These subjects are never easy to broach.  I will be posting an update as I have had many questions as to why I removed the picture that I did and inserted my sarcastic graphic in its place.  That too is a serious and extremely tenuous/touchy issue to address, but it really needs to be as it goes to the heart of this issue.  

In any case, just so everyone is aware, yesterday the MDA post was updated as follows:

This response is disheartening to say the least.  I think that most would agree that most if not all comments were respectful.  One of the last comments that was allowed was from one guy berating another for saying that she looked better before.  I don't see that as being any less appropriate than comments congratulating her for her after appearance.   Mark could have just closed the comments, but instead he (or whomever really runs that place in his name) attributed the term *trolling* to those who expressed concern.  No, name withheld here should not have to defend herself because someone over at MDA should have had the good sense not to publish this at all.  This is yet another characteristic of this community that is troubling.  I read many expressions of concern for this young lady's well being, concerns I share, and Mark's comments here will only serve to deepen her denial.  Shame on you Mark Sisson.  Shame.


11/28:  I hope all of my readers have a wonderful day today.   I'm uncharacteristically not too busy, as I am not hosting for a rare change.  But I have stumbled upon a bit of bad timing with my last post.  It requires followup and that will be forthcoming sometime this weekend.  But not today.  

Enjoy your self.  Enjoy your family, your friends, your pets, whatever.  The only thing I plan to do today regarding food is to make sure my stuffed mushrooms and shrimp-deviled eggs are perfectly delish, and that I leave room for my sister's amazing, once-a-year-at-T'giving, pecan pie.  I hope you will do similar whatever and whomever you are.



Minor Update 11/28:  You may also wish to read:  When Orthorexia Goes Bad  It fleshes out some background and some additional thoughts on ED in general.

Original post ...

Blogstress note
:  I had not intended to spend time on this until after my "desk clears" of projects in the works and my real life job.   I had to make an exception, as I am genuinely angry, and this is where I can express that anger.  This will read a bit disjointed, but I ask that you give this a full read before responding and bear with this aspect of it.  It's not my most concise or well written effort, for which I apologize but ... time ... or lack thereof is my excuse.  Some of this was written a while ago, the rest yesterday and today.  It got too long so I am publishing it up blemishes and all while it is timely, and hope to post a Part II shortly.

This post, or one like it, has been written and left unpublished, or even deleted, so many many times in the past couple of years or so, I've lost count.  I am using the acronym ED = Eating Disorder, not that other one you can't seem to avoid in commercials these days.  I had been struggling to put the exact words to the phenomenon of eating disordered behavior in the Paleo™ (I use this to denote the identification with the popular paleo lifestyle, as opposed to Loren Cordain's trademarked The Paleo Diet) community for quite some time.  Perhaps a year ago now, in a random conversation on the internet,  it gelled out a few off-hand comments of similar meaning:  

In essence, Paleo™ has become a community in which eating disorders are not only socially accepted, or even just ignored, but actually promoted.   
This is not to say that everyone who identifies as "paleo" has an eating disorder, but that the culture in this community is (a) conducive to developing an ED, (b) accepting of ED behavior to the point of even glorifying it, and (c) outright promoted by various "leaders" of the so-called "movement".   And no, I'm not talking some abstract orthorexia that the Paleo™rati easily brush off as the jealous gripes of some Monsanto-funded-grain-and-sugar-addled malcontents.  I'm talking full fledged, bona fide eating disorders of the DSM variety.

I have from time to time been bold about speaking up, and yet reticent.  This is a deeply personal issue but I have had to deliberately dial back on that side of my blogging due to the vicious personal attacks and harassment.  But I can stand by silently on this issue no longer.   I have always been somewhat sympathetic to the fact that Paleo™ has helped many people with health issues and "what could be wrong about telling people to eat real food" ... I was raised by parents, Mom especially, that were into nutrition and I suspect Mom would feel rather right at home at a WAPF conference even to this day.  It has been quite a journey for me in the kitchen these past few years, in many ways cooking like Mom used to when I was a kid.  You mean she was right about those things?!!  And I've added a few more things like using bone broths for soup bases and cooking liquids for just about everything if I can keep up with the supply.  I find it quite heartening to see young folks, especially the young men that infamously wouldn't give a darn for many years, getting interested in nutrition and health ... and the families, how cute are they?    I'm also personally drawn to the women that claim to eat ad libitum and freely of these real foods and bubble away about their boundless energy and freedom from SpecialK, Weight Watchers and Lean Cuisine.  Quotes like this one from this article epitomize the "sell":
"We're brainwashed as women to think that if you want to look good, then you have to restrict your calories and do hours of cardio," Fragoso says. "For the first time, you no longer feel like you have to deprive yourself. I don't have to eat low-fat, low-carb food, pound the treadmill for an hour a day, and have anxiety and depression."
Fragoso being Sarah Fragoso of Everyday Paleo fame.  You can read more about her here.  I'm not pinning anything on Sarah per se here by quoting her, unlike some of the other women I have not seen evidence of eating disorders or downplayed negative health consequences.  I have been disappointed by content on her website written by others, but that's a topic for another day.  However there are others who echo the sentiments (sans the low-carb) above ... over and over ... glowingly embellished ... proud and paleo!  

And then you peel back the "label" just a little bit ....

In a recent Scientific American article, Ferris Jabr hits the nail on the head with this:

Proponents of the Paleo diet follow a nutritional plan based on the eating habits of our ancestors in the Paleolithic period, between 2.5 million and 10,000 years ago. Before agriculture and industry, humans presumably lived as hunter–gatherers: picking berry after berry off of bushes; digging up tumescent tubers; chasing mammals to the point of exhaustion; scavenging meat, fat and organs from animals that larger predators had killed; and eventually learning to fish with lines and hooks and hunt with spears, nets, bows and arrows.

Most Paleo dieters of today do none of this, with the exception of occasional hunting trips or a little urban foraging. Instead, their diet is largely defined by what they do not do: most do not eat dairy or processed grains of any kind, because humans did not invent such foods until after the Paleolithic; peanuts, lentils, beans, peas and other legumes are off the menu, but nuts are okay; meat is consumed in large quantities, often cooked in animal fat of some kind; Paleo dieters sometimes eat fruit and often devour vegetables; and processed sugars are prohibited, but a little honey now and then is fine.
So when Fragoso goes on to say (same article as previous link):
"Honestly, if this wasn't my career, I wouldn't call it anything," she says. "But it's also good that there's a name for it because it helps spread the word." (She suggests renaming it the "Real Food diet.")
I protest.  There are many real foods on the Paleo™  list of "don'ts" and some paleos, Fragoso included, seem to make concessions to a self-selected (e.g. arbitrary) few.   While many real foods may be part of Paleo™, there are too many that are not only excluded, but vilified.  The Wheat is Murder tees being one of the more offensive examples I can think of.

It is the "don'ts" list in which the seeds of eating disorders can be sown.  There is nothing more noble about instilling phobias about grains (wheat especially), sugar (even fruit), starch, and dairy, than there is noble about vilifying meat, eggs and fat.  And if in your head you are saying "but" ... shush.  Shuttie.  There is not.   There is no but here.  I am not talking fake foods you can't find in nature such as margarine and sucralose so don't even go there.  I am talking about real foods.  Eggs were demonized because they contained cholesterol on the misguided notion that dietary cholesterol raised blood cholesterol levels.  Seemingly to a one, those opposing starch and sugar consumption have failed to learn from this monumental blunder as they insist that diabetes is caused by consuming carbohydrates.  It is not.  Again, a topic for another day.  Bottom line, there is no evidence that even a substantial minority of the human population needs to eliminate one of the Paleo™ proscribed foods (grains, dairy, sugar, legumes), let alone all of them, while there are people that are sensitive to foods that are "allowed".

If you are celiac, or allergic to peanuts, or lactose intolerant, or fructose malabsorbant, or allergic to shellfish -- DON'T EAT THOSE THINGS.  A person who avoids something that is personally harmful to them is not eating disordered.  Obviously.  But did you hear?  Tick bites can make you allergic to red meat!  What if this spreads to 5% of the population?  Will the Paleo™ now change their tune on beef?  Somehow I doubt that, nor do I think it would be wise.  Which is my point.  That some can't consume certain foods or must limit them is not evidence or reason for the rest of the population to follow suit.  And how is this Paleo™ anyway?

The term toxic is thrown around this community with no thought as to its meaning anymore.  It is, in and of itself a toxic term.  So often misused to drum up fear.  And if you can define certain foods as toxic then you can use labels for the opposite such as "clean eating"  ... that morphs to the embodiments of purity and righteousness ... and off we go.

When it comes to advice, nobody would think that recommending further restriction is a good idea for someone that is already afflicted with some manner of disordered eating brought on by restriction.  And yet this is the "cure" so often promoted in this community, especially the sizable and vocal low carb contingency.  This is irresponsible at a minimum, and if the people making the recommendations were real, practicing, licensed dietitians treating people with ED, they would likely not be licensed and practicing much longer.  That this information is often disseminated by those with active eating disorders themselves is unconscionable.

One more "catch up" before delving into what brought me to this post today.  A little while back I was in a discussion on Facebook about clean eating and orthorexia.  The host was of the opinion that orthorexia is a made up disorder like adrenal fatigue because it was not recognized with a DSM designation.  This is fair to a degree, but as I basically argued in that discussion, does one need to fit a diagnosis to a tee to be ED?  And the flip side, if one was ever ED, did that disqualify them from future study and discussions on nutrition?  I'll address those briefly when we get to relevant points here.

Where I was coming from, however, is that some time several months after my first diet, I lost sight of reality.  I was clearly underweight for my frame/musculature, but unless I was in a bikini top you wouldn't really see this.  I still had muscular arms, the collar bones weren't too out of the ordinary vs. "normal" skinny people, and I still had thighs so overall I was not as yet "skinny".  But my rib cage and hip bones were visible, as was my sternum.  I was eating around 800 cal/day and exercising in addition to sports.   I wasn't anorexic by weight criteria, I had yet to succomb to binging (it would follow in short order).  I obsessed over 20 calories here or there.  I was fatigued.  And yet, to most I was the image of health.  Blonde hair, tanned skin, bright eyes, big smile, decorated three sport varsity athlete.  Yet eating disordered.  Would my medical chart have reflected it?  Not at that time.   If we accept that anorexia is a mental disorder, then at what point does one become anorexic?  Is it only when the person has become sufficiently emaciated?  I would argue no.  It is the behavior of restriction and coping mechanisms to suppress hunger and evade discovery.

In this regard, bulimia and binge eating disorder (BED) are much easier to diagnose.  And yet, there's all manner of fuzzy as well, because these disorders are not definitively tied to weight.  Most bulimics look profoundly normal, and while BED can lead to obesity, most obese are not binge eaters.  Then there's the matter of frequency and degree, which also occurs with the pre-anorexic.  How many hours a day spent obsessing is the threshold?  Stuff like that.

Before I go on, let me say that between the "fitspiration" stuff about the web, your mass media fitness idols like Jillian Michaels to the flip side where naturally slender is confused with underweight, and clearly overweight is celebrated ... it's getting more confusing than ever this body image game.  I've seen people say "this one's too skinny" where I would say they just look very fit, perhaps in competition form, and on the other hand I've seen people react badly when an overweight famous person endeavors to lose weight when there is no compelling health reason to do so other than to feel better about themselves.  I cannot possibly address that in a post of this nature, so I won't address it at all except to say there are two absolutes:
  1. When overweight manifests in real health problems  
  2. When underweight is health and potentially life threatening
Ditto on the spectrum of eating behaviors, except to say that you have a problem if you are experiencing hunger throughout the day and obsessing over food, and you likely have a problem if you engage in any secretive behavior regarding your eating habits.  If you wouldn't want your spouse, parents, sig. other, sibling, best friend, etc. to know ... you have a problem.  Hiding one's behavior is a red flag ... and no, others are not just jealous of your commitment to your physique or health.  You certainly have an eating disorder if:
  1. You admit to it, even if not by name (e.g. binging)
  2. You have actually been diagnosed as having one

So ....

image from this article
What got me so riled up?  Well, I always get a little annoyed with Before/After transformations, because the truth is, most aren't real, and of those that are, many tend not to last.  And then you have the clearly exaggerated or photoshopped.  Remember this one of someone trying to look like they gained a ton of fat?  See, carbs are fattening!  

Some may have seen this other one as well ... it's a real eye opener.  It's personal trainer  Andrew Dixon, who transformed himself from slovenly to ripped in ... under one hour!! 

for more info, check out this article
Then you get the real transformations that just don't stick and there's little way to verify that they have.  In the paleo community, you have many that were never overweight to begin with, or only had 10-20 lbs to lose but never had any sort of real weight problem.  The issue here isn't the individuals, it's the selling of some "magic diet" that really has no better verified track record for success compared to anything else.  

Mark Sisson posts these transformations weekly.  Here is the most recent one:  My Transition from an Ill, Frail, Anemic College Student to a Healthy, Strong, and Fit Individual.  

Here is the miraculous transformation.

Here's what made me angry.

I am going to strongly urge you to please go read the story before reading on here.  I'll put in some spacers so as not to risk your reading of my comments.  I'll also ask that you read slowly so as not to miss the details.


Now you probably see why I asked you read first, then scan down.  You see, I flipped the before/afters.  More importantly than the pictures, however -- because as I tried to emphasize earlier, appearances can be deceptive -- is the story she tells.   

This girl is a lot like me, 30 years or so ago.  Without analyzing too much here, she was so very NOT fat before.  She was a well proportioned athlete with the kind of body one might expect for a tennis player of short stature.  I was a little taller, a little less well proportioned, a little heavier, but a lot like her "before".  In my story, a coach's prodding led to a deliberate weight loss, whereas this young lady's journey apparently began more innocently with unexpected weight loss after wisdom tooth removal.  
"My parents noticed how I seemed to drop a few pounds. Initially it bothered me because I am an athlete, a tennis player, and I thought I was losing muscle. Anyways, after five days since my tooth surgery I stepped on the court with barely anything to eat or drink and a swollen mouth. I managed to play the best tennis I played at the time and moved so effortlessly. I realized that those few pounds allowed me to be lighter on my feet. "
Now, when I started my diet journey, with a pretty reasonable diet initially, I experienced much the same thing when playing volleyball.  The first 5-10 lbs made me feel much lighter, like I could jump higher, move faster to the ball.   I'm sure if you measured this there was little if any real difference, but I can relate.
... I continued to eat smaller portions and transitioning into college that year and being on the tennis team I continued to eat smaller portions ... and worked out about two hours a day with lifts twice a week. I dropped about 14 pounds from late June to December that year (weighing in at 106.5 pounds).
That next semester I dropped an addition three pounds (103.5 pounds). I didn’t realize that when I started that weight loss journey I was so pudgy to begin with, but I liked what I saw in the mirror and I felt so much better about myself with that weight loss.

There are many red flags in the above paragraphs. However incidental the initial losses (5 lbs maybe?), she then deliberately continued.  Nothing wrong with that, particularly if the performance improvements continued.  But no doubt they did not, and there was decline.  But I'm sure that she was getting a lot of compliments and on a new scene, for those compliments to keep coming she needed to keep losing.  This begins the distortion of how *bad* you must have looked, and no way you want to go back there! Then the "just 5 more pounds" or "one more pants size" seems reasonable but you are in that weight loss -- my you look amazing, you've lost so much weight! -- glory/honeymoon. 

At this point, she had lost 17.5 lbs -- that's just shy of 15% of her initial body weight. I'm sure some in her life were already expressing concerns, but we hear none of that in her story.  But here is where it gets real:

When I came home for the summer of my freshman year I hit a plateau and was frustrated with the stalling of weight loss. I decided to drastically cut my calorie count and micromanage exactly what I consumed.        red flag 
By any objective measure her "plateau" would be her body fighting back.  This would be her normal weight if not a tad below.  I recognize where she was ... I've been there ... there was more weight to be lost and damn I will just have to eat less.  And she did.  Where we differ is in our timelines, was I had already done that to lose the bulk of my weight, but this makes little difference.  She was starving herself by her own admission.
With the drastic calorie cut, I started to beat that plateau.  red flag  In addition, I worked out more intensely than ever red flag  between playing tennis and running for 40 minutes or lifting daily.  I started to become over trained. My whole body and brain became fatigued. red flag  I initially took it as that I was just working out a lot and I tried to forget about being tired.  red flag  But, coming into sophomore year of college those symptoms never went away, only simply getting worse.  red flag  At this point I was down 24-25 pounds (96-97 pounds). red flag red flag red flag red flag red flag red flag red flag 
At this point of reading her story I want to scream. I know she's petite, but her body type is NOT that of an "natural ectomorph" as some MDA commenters would relate in support. This is a girl with thighs. A girl who was built with them and meant to have them, and saying that is not some distorted view from an obese American living among obese Americans that has lost perspective entirely.  Natural ectomorphs tend to be that way through childhood and tend to stay lean despite eating large amounts.  Natural ectomorphs do not require drastic restriction to break through frustrating plateaus.   But I digress ...

She is currently, by my math, down ~20% in body weight and under 100 lbs.  Her body fought weight loss with slow (3 lbs) losses in one semester and it took drastic measures, but the "plateau" budged, to the tune of another 7 lbs.  But I guess the MDA folks said to hell with the red flags, there's a "happy primal ending".  

At this point her body started to revolt.  She was tired, couldn't give her all in practice (she says barely 50%) and she was miserable.  Her relationship suffered.  She sought help.  Good.  But this part is probably the most troubling because it reeks of denial.  She says she had bloodwork done "in attempts to diagnose what was wrong".   The diagnosis was anemia, causes unidentified????  Also "extremely high" liver enzymes, causes unknown????  GIVE ME A BREAK.  THESE ARE CLASSIC SYMPTOMS/COMPLICATIONS OF UNDEREATING!!!!  Here is the very first link in a 2 second Google search on anorexia and liver enzymes.
click to
Multi-Organ Failure
In very late stages of anorexia, many organ functions deteriorate, which can lead to death. The main warning sign is high blood levels of liver enzymes, which requires immediate administration of calories.
Anemia?  Do I even have to "go there"?  Either her health services is utterly incompetent and ignorant of eating disorders in young college students ... or we're not getting the full story here.  Because if she wasn't referred for treatment for potential anorexia she dang well should have been.  No mention of suspected ED?   red flag

Now her digestive troubles begin including flatulence and stomach pains, to go with the fatigue. She's a little over the one year mark and she's continuing to lose weight. She would eventually reach a weight of 89-90 lbs. We are in danger zone there and if she is seeking medical attention, it is unfathomable that anorexia is not becoming part of the discussion.  No mention still.  She is down roughly 25% from her initial weight.   It is a good sign that 89 lbs frightened her, but her telling of the story here screams denial as if some outside force was causing her body to reject food and for her to keep losing weight.  There is no mention of her trying to regain weight ... tell tale ... when, in fact, as she tells us, her body took a "pause" at a reasonable weight until she forced it through drastic measures.  red flag red flag red flag red flag red flag  **eating disorder ... full blown** and it's been going on for months if not the better part of a year.

Lack of energy? No mystery. It sounds like she got some viral infection once tennis season was over, which forced her to stop the additional excessive exercising and gain a few poinds. Still, at 91-92 lbs but the digestive upsets still persisted.   She eats a bowl of Kashi that sends her insides in revolt, she researches, finds the anti-grain stuff and "our primal savior" Mark Sisson.   A ha!  It's the grains.  Go primal!!    She feels better immediately, no more flatulence and pains.  She uses the word epiphany.  So she continued on and began to improve.  But ...
Despite being strict on anti-grains and continual Paleo research, I had severe sugar cravings. Part of it was the tennis practices and the other was nutrient deficiencies and my body was craving instant energy. So I binged…a lot on cookies, brownies, fudge, ice cream, candy, etc… Other than that I was strictly grain free.  .... do I need a red flag here?
Frankly, I am surprised the binge monster didn't hit her sooner.  But there's at least an anecdotal lesson here -- further restricting the only thing that was giving her energy in her underfed, underweight state, caused her to crave those foods and binge on them.  Abnormal eating behavior to be sure ... but a normal response from her body!!!   I would note that her binges should have sent her guts into a tailspin, but there's no mention of gripping pain and vulgar flatulence.
Between January and June the cravings were unreal and my mood varied constantly and I would be so upset with myself for binging and getting cravings. As hard as it was I made baby steps. I said enough was enough and I need to be healthy and happy for myself. If I wanted a long, successful life I needed a healthy mind and the grains/dairy were not providing any of that for me.
 red flag red flag red flag red flag red flag  
**eating disorder ... full blown**

You have binging and the attendant guilt ... served up with a heaping pile of the garbage that is "carbohydrates can kill", "carbs give you diabetes", "fruit is not nutritious and turns to fat ... oh and can give you diabetes", "gliadins are scrambling your brain" ... Does she have a genuine grain and/or dairy intolerance?  I'm going to go with "not likely" -- until she forced her body down to an unnaturally low weight through, by her description, drastic caloric deficits, she had no such problems with either.  The sad thing may be that she's now given herself issues with these.  Sadder still is that if there is any hope that this can be reversed, she will receive no help and support from the scaremongering "experts" and followers of their largely baseless claims.  So now?
After deciding to completely cut out dairy, the cravings started to subside. I began consuming loads of meat, fruit, coconut, nuts, veggies, and most importantly BACON.
Ahh there it is.  The bacon.  It is a cure you know, for what I'm not quite sure anymore.

In comments, this young lady tells readers that the binging is a thing of the past but that it lasted 8 months.  Now she has improved since June of this year upon cutting out the dairy.  It is not really surprising to me that dairy might induce binging in someone restricting so much and at such a low weight.  At this point there is a likely physiological reason and reactive hypoglycemia from starvation-induced IR coupled with insulinogenic diary.

But there's a happy ending!!  She repeatedly tells us she's healthy and fit and happy.  Only she knows, but objectively anyone that deals with ED will tell you that we're not far enough out of the woods to declare victory here ...  Looking at this objectively you have:
1.  A young lady with no food or body image issues to begin with, loses weight incidentally
2.  Goes on diet to lose more weight, loses 14.5 lbs relatively rapidly, loses 3 more slowly before plateauing at 103.5 lbs down 15% of original body weight.
3.   THEN drastically cuts calories and increases exercise to break the "frustrating plateau"
4.  Experiences health problems and fatigue at 96-7 lbs but mentions no attempt to regain weight, and continues to try to exercise even when normal activity becomes tiring.
5.  Gets down to 89 lbs with troubling side effects that should have been red flags for medical treatment for an eating disorder.
6.  Gives up grains and develops 8 month binge disorder.
In the title of her "transformation" we are told she went from sickly to healthy and fit.  And yet, she says she has gained 3 lbs of lean mass compared to her low weight.  This puts her at 92-93 lbs by my math.  I really don't want to microanalyze someone else's body, but there is little improvement between the two pictures above, and what difference there is is almost certainly not lean mass.  

She has minimal flatulence ... a lot of energy ... manageable cravings.  She doesn't binge anymore.  But has she gained weight?  How are her liver enzymes?  Is she eating normally?  NO.  You can give up grains and dairy if they are problematic and still consume carbohydrates.  She is restricting carbohydrates to under 100 gram per day in an effort to maintain the weight loss that she forced through dramatic calorie restriction and overexercising (and if she's counting like Mark, that's probably 20-30 grams real carb from the fruit she eats, I see no starch on her list of foods).     Do you think this might be even the slightest bit influenced by Mark's Carb Curve and that insidious 151st gram of carbs?  Naaah .... that's just for the buy in.

But she is also intermittent fasting.  

Can you even imagine a doctor or dietitian or anyone thinking that this is a good idea for someone with an eating disorder ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????  Sorry, my keyboard got stuck there.  Can you imagine?   My first "coping" strategy to be able to eat somewhat normally some days was to fast one day a week, as in not eat for the entire day so around 36 hrs.  This worked for several months.  There can be no doubt about it, intermittent fasting is a way to restrict calories, and anyone that tells you otherwise, gives you a hormonal mumbojumbo story, glorifies some cultural eating behavior of the deep plains gathunters, is just fooling themselves.  

People can engage in IF without it being an eating disorder.  But people with eating disorders and fasting of any kind don't a good mix make! 

At best, this young lady is in the tenuous stages of ED recovery.  I say at best, because we're talking 2-2.5 years total now, of which she describes roughly 6 months of being over the binging.  It really does remain to be seen whether she has just found another coping mechanism that is working for now.  I hope I'm wrong, but I fear that I am right.  Again, no professional would condone this approach, and this has nothing to do with some misguided mainstream fat phobia.   Lots of comments there about her short stature and how her weight is probably normal for her, etc.  NO.  Her body told her, and everyone else, what a normal healthy weight was for her ~ somewhere around 105 pounds minimum.  Because she began practicing classic ED behaviors to get almost 15 pounds below that and her body revolted already about half way there.  

I cannot even express in written word how absolutely DISGUSTED I am at Mark Sisson and/or whomever is really responsible for the content on the website that bears his name.  Because this is not appropriate.  At best she really is in recovery -- wait a year and have her re-submit her transformation.   At worst, both the support and criticisms alike are bound to toy with her fragile mindset.  Compliments will reinforce her desire to maintain the restriction/low weight,  those of concern are being sidelined and this will cultivate her denial.   That she had a bona fide eating disorder is not in question (or should not be) and it is certainly too early to declare victory when she is still engaging in restrictive behaviors.

Yes ... I realize that in posting this I am guilty here too.  But I can't comment at MDA (never have been able to for some reason, even before Mark decided I was a sociopath since I couldn't be bought off) and I just cannot stay silent here.  I have, however, cropped the face from pictures shown here, and intentionally not used even her first name.  My hope, really, is that the post is taken down, but whatever cats are out of the bag anyway.  

Is there really nobody in paleo or at MDA capable of applying a "what if it were my daughter" gate on this sort of thing?  Or since these people fancy themselves doctors -- "what if it were my patient"?  Are these people really THAT clueless about eating disorders?  They can't be.  This is the height of irresponsibility.  There is NO question we are talking about an eating disorder here, not some fuzzy area.  She should be encouraged to continue to seek support, not put on display in some premature "success" story that is at the very least questionable.  WHAT is the message here?  That pure-paleo IF has cured this woman of her binge eating brought on by low carb primal, and has allowed her to maintain a less active underweight physique?  SICKENING.

Her fatigue may have been compounded by overexercising in addition to undereating, but it was caused by undereating, not by your usual scholastic athlete training.  C'mon, I am adrenally fatigued by this garbage!   When I was a varsity athlete in high school I spent at least 10 hrs a week in practice/training, and its not like I needed to sit on my butt to recover the remaining time.  In the summers I life guarded I swam between stations, and you could find me in the diving section when I was off duty, climbing the high board and diving unknown numbers of time.  Then sometimes I walked home, and I often did laps before my shifts, and then I'd go play volleyball or softball.   I started having fatigue problems when I stopped eating enough and added even more activity on top of this, but some are even saying cutting back to an hour a day is still too much for her.  Nonsense!   But part of her "success" has been to quit competitive tennis, and I can't help but think that this is because her energy is more of the "high" from being wired than genuine stamina.  I could be wrong, but since I've been there, done that, I don't think I am.

Ignoring, covering up and even promoting eating disorders is nothing new in this community.  But I've run out of time for now, and that will wait for a part two.   In the mean time, I will be thinking of this young lady and hoping she continues to improve in health.    I hope she stays off the internet and goes to a doctor to make sure she is indeed healthy -- that there is no more anemia or elevated enzymes, that she is eating an appropriate amount of food, that she has a regular menstrual cycle (I tend to doubt that she does, even now).   I HOPE we'll have an update in a year.  Because for now, all I see is someone who is still coping to control hunger to maintain a weight she had to force.  And who now has likely reduced her activity so that she can convince herself she has enough energy left for the rest of life.  I hope if she is reading this, she gets together with her HS tennis teammates to reminisce ... perhaps she'll remember the days when she had the energy to compete because she ate an appropriate amount of food. 

This kind of thing so very much tears at my heart because this was me.  Eventually my body caved ... I could cope no more.  And then it becomes a whole different ballgame when you've genuinely become "pudgy" to obese.   

I wonder what the psychologist to the ancestrals, Emily Deans, thinks of this.  She did, after all, speak on eating disorders at AHS13.  How you want to avoid the first diet.  I would hope she doesn't think this girl even needed the first diet.  I would hope she agrees with me that her current eating behavior is still not normal or appropriate.  I would hope she reaches out to Mark Sisson.   Perhaps Stefani Ruper might speak out.  I know she's busy, but this is her thing -- she so "bravely" called Mark out about women and fasting after all.  It would be nice to hear these two and others join in publicly opposing this sort of exploitation.   It would be nice if they worked to foster a welcoming atmosphere and healing from eating disorders rather than exacerbating them.

It is time for the paleo  community to address this VERY SERIOUS ISSUE.    Lives are at stake.  Do they care?

Also of interest?:  The War on Moderation

If your takeaway message from this post is that I blame paleo for causing ED, you may wish to read:  Diets and Disorders


Neddam said…
Oh my gosh Evelyn. This is so worrying, you are right, red flags all over the shop.
carbsane said…
Thank you for responding! I cannot imagine how anyone does not see those flags and at least say to themselves "this is not a story to share" at this point.
John Smith said…
I don't know why women make such a big deal about flatulence, if you are a guy flatulence is fun, if you are a woman it is a serious health issue, why is that? If you are feeling gassy go ahead and fart up a storm, it's not like people on the street will point their fingers at you and call you "Fart Woman!"
grinch said…
So is meticulously weighing your food and counting calories not an eating disorder?
charles grashow said…
Classic ED
Radhakrishna Warrier said…
How did coconut oil become paleolithic? :)

Here is my personal experience of extracting oil from the coconuts plucked from the trees in the yard of my home back in India. First, I know of no stone tool adequate to dehusk the large number of coconuts needed to get even a modest amount of coconut oil. In this video ( the lady is having a relatively easy time dehusking coconuts using the iron contraption. I had to dehusk my coconuts the hard way, somewhat similar to that shown in this video: Dehusking is only the beginning of the process. I had to break open all the coconuts, again the hard way, using an iron, not a stone, implement. Then I had to dry the cut open coconuts. It would take us more than 3 weeks of the hot tropical sun to convert the coconut to copra (dried coconut.) . Did our paleo man have the luxury of using three weeks of uninterrupted time to dry the coconuts in the sun? I had transparent plastic sheets and other products of our advanced civilization to a) protect the coconut/copra from predators like squirrels, mice, rats and crows, and b) protect the drying coconut from sudden, unexpected tropical rain. Once dried, I had to remove the copra from the shell (using a steel knife) cut the copra into small pieces (using the very same steel knife) and take the stuff to an oil mill powered by electricity. My great-great grandfather would have taken the copra to a mill "powered" by oxen. Did the Paleo man have mills and oxen to extract the oil from the dried copra? :)
carbsane said…
It really depends. Periods of meticulous record keeping and weighing and measuring can be an invaluable tool for people that need to get a handle on how much they are eating and it's nutritional value.

However this can get out of hand ... It seems this is what this young lady did first. It's what happened to me. The question is, when someone does this and has gotten out of hand, what do the "experts" say? They say to stop, eat more, etc. Not double down.
carbsane said…
Thank you for the support Bob!
Got out of hand for me. Started out healthy, happy and normal weight. Gradually ended getting obsessive about tracking almost everything and a BMI of 17.5.
Thumbdriver said…
Ho-ly crap. Ok. Carbsane, I don't know how you did it. A year ago I was enjoying Sisson's posts, Robb's podcast, and you annoyed the heck out of me. Now, I am officially tired of Paleo(tm) and low-carb everything. This eating disorder stuff, misogynist Paleo garbage, and overall moneymoneymoney sinkhole of Paleo is completely disgusting. Oh, and the libertarian preaching nonsense of certain gurus is annoying too, but that seems to only bother me.

It's really too bad, because there are all sorts of random truths (or, 'improvements on the conventional wisdom') which helps the Paleo/low-carb case, but then they are completely overblown, misused, and abused by gurus for profits.

Also, I noticed from yesterday you took down a photo of a certain someone. Probably a good idea, and she looks like she needs to go to a hospital. I would say however, that ED seem decently prevalent among dietitians and women interested in nutrition (anecdotal observation of my current occupation/environment). In every case I have seen vegan/vegetarianism as the overwhelming choice of those with an ED (not surprising for the environment I am in, but I would rather remain anonymous). I guess the question would be if Paleo is associated with more ED than vegan/vegetarian diets (ie. is it *causing* ED) - or is Paleo simply another diet, like vegan/vegetarian, for people who would have an ED no matter what... Either way, I agree with you that there are influential voices in the field who need to step up and address it.
carbsane said…
You've come over from the dark side! ;)

Yes, it is disappointing in the end that they have squandered the opportunity by overreaching. For me, there have been times when I have considered squelching some skepticism for the greater good. I have to say it was a huge turning point when Robb and Chris launched the supplement line. Even more than "errors" in the science, the woo woo is too much to bear and it is rampant. It is something in common with the vegan, raw and similar communities. I guess that shouldn't be surprising given how many paleos are ex-vegans.

Not sure about the ED per se, but also the whole detox, cleanse stuff is common to both.

I took the pic down because it was demanded and I acquiesce for now. I will not let them bully me, however, because if this person is not in a state of mind to deal with their situation, this further supports that she shouldn't be doling out dietary advice of the eating habit sort. Ultimately it is the "clear heads" that give her the floor at their seminars, on their blogs/sites/FB/etc., or podcasts that need to act responsibly. A lot of her advice could come from a pro-ana site, and while I am not accusing her of deliberately promoting such, she clearly cannot distinguish coping behaviors with normal eating behavior.

MANY have been concerned with her health for a couple years now, since at least AHS11 and each event she looks progressively sicker. I have tried to express that she needs to get help but, no surprise, nobody listens to me. I am just being mean and uncaring. (not)
Kevin Geary said…
Do you have proof that Sam Feltham faked his before and after pictures, or is that just speculation to help you write this article?
Tsimblist said…
Thank you for the heads up. I now realize that I am a Quantified Self. So far it is healthy (I think). But I have been accused of being OCD and also judgemental.
Stephanie said…
I am absolutely not an expert, just a nutrition student, but I don't necessarily think the Paleo diet *causes* the ED, but it is common among people with eating disorders (particularly anorexia) to eliminate entire food groups, which is where vegan/vegetarian diets and Paleo diets meet. I also think that because people with ED are so interested in/obsessed with nutrition/food, a lot will end up picking it up as a major… I'm not judging btw, I've been there...
jessica fleming said…
I think the way you read that story and the way I read it was much different. I took the first half of the story to say that she was knew she had some disordered eating and she knew she was overexercising. It was then that she found paleo, primal, etc that's when thing started to change for her. Then she began to gain weight, gain energy, and balanced out her hormones. While I appreciate your opinion on this topic, to lump all people who cut out wheat and beans into this category, seems a little excessive. Seems to me you have more of a problem with Mark Sission than the paleo/primal community.
ExEffectsGuy said…
As someone who is more of a lurker on these sites/forums, I have to say this is one of the best articles I have read in a long time. My personal story has taken me down some odd paths, some resulting in improvement in one area, but a worsening in others. I won't name the low-carb and Paleo gurus I've listened to, which often seem interchangeable depending on the audience they're pandering to at the moment, and have decided that these dogmatic approaches "stink" to put it scientifically! OK.... not scientifically. I'm no scientist. From eating nothing but fruit to eating nothing that has a gram of carbs, these ideas are silly to me. You want to live that way? Go for it! Does that put you on a moral and intellectual high ground and make any other ways of eating idiotic and/or evil? They might think that but they're as wrong as wrong can be. Tell me about breatharians again? Really??????? now I try to get my info from "reputable" sources. I know in some circles that's blasphemy. Are these reputable sources wrong? Sometimes. Are they slow to admit it? Sometimes. Is their intent evil? I'd say almost never. Are they driven by a profit motive? Sometimes yes. Like the low-carb/Paleo folks aren't right? Well... who do these web gurus answer to? No one. Anyway, I like your point of view, at least as much about it as I know so far, and wish you nothing but the best and success in your promoting that view. Sorry to be so long winded. Sometimes I just get like that!
Camila F said…
This is the story of my eating disorder, nearly 100%, down to the wisdom teeth, tennis playing, etc...but I found Paleo YEARS later...Paleo was my 'recovery' strategy, mostly because I believed I could eat a bunch and look lean like all the other gurus and crossfit advocators. Paleo did me ZERO favors. It was the nail in the coffin. I needed tons of carbs I wasn't getting in simple enough form. All the fiber from the fruit and was forcing food to run right through me.
She wonders why she had gas after a bowl of cereal? Because she had no enzymes and good gut bacteria left to digest it. When you have a top of the line digestive system after forcing in 3000-4000 calories a day for a couple weeks (or hell, in my case months to years...still at that count because I'm still hungry for it, and I don't want that 'you need nutrition not calories' need CALORIES energy to repair all the damage done) you can digest anything.
Poor girl. And poor people in that community who believe this tripe is going to lead to their happy, healthy, slim lives. Go be a righteous prick, or shake your head politely 'no' to a cookie, or insist you love vegetables and that meat gives you so much energy (adrenaline high from starvation...happens when you cut your calories) or say that carbs exhaust you (because they make you come down from the adrenaline high and your body wants you to f*cking rest so it can repair itself). Go do whatever makes you feel good about yourself. I get it. But don't tell me it's not disorder, even to the slightest degree.
lucyricardanon said…
I don't know if they're "faked" but they're not 100% honest simply because of the obvious differences in the photos. It looks to me like he's deliberately pushing out his belly in the "after" low-fat pic, which admittedly may or may not be the case. But I also find it a bit suspicious that he switched the arm positions. The "before" is a far more flattering position. The lighting looks different too. If you want a true before and after you need to have the same body position, in addition to the same lighting, same clothing style, same skin color, etc. Posing, lighting, clothing, tanner, etc. can make a huge difference.
Trina said…
Someone in the paleoshere actually typed these words re: orthorexia the other day. I can't even .... "Not sure if it was invented by Monsanto to gaslight anyone worrying over their nutrition." It's really shocking what passes for jokes and "normal".
Battousai said…
Seconded. Also, considering the ridiculously shoddy set-up of his "experiments", one cannot help but conclude that he is either a moron or a crook:

"First of all, the amount of nuts he consumed in the first experiment was pretty ridiculous, and who knows how many of those calories were actually absorbed. Second, he failed horribly to match protein between the two experiments, and of course, protein is the macronutrient with the highest thermic effect and has the largest impact on lean mass retention/building. In addition, he failed to specify exactly what his baseline diet was. I believe he said somewhere that it was around 30% carbohydrate. Dropping to very low carb from there could lead to water and glycogen losses and less bloat overall, which would certainly contribute to scale and waist measurements. And finally, his low fat, high carb experiment was not low fat at all (something like 130+ grams, if I recall correctly).

So the point is, there are too many confounding variables to consider Sam’s experiment any kind of evidence."

(Jake Johnson,
carbsane said…
No ... but that is my point to an extent as well. We only have his word on his experiments, and he's clearly gaming things with the slouch, angle, etc.

He also gamed things by taking shots from further/closer in his two experiments -- he grew taller eating carbs, shrunk eating fat ;-)

I'm making the point that they CAN be manipulated. He posted a pic a couple of weeks after the latest overfeed where he was quite a bit different looking shall we say than those pictures. It's no biggie really, just an example. I think his experiments are a joke no matter what b/c of lack of proper controls, etc., even if he could verify what he ate, etc.
Kevin Geary said…
Which brings me to my point: you can't make a compelling argument against people's lack of objective proof by using extreme speculation.

Furthermore, you went on to diagnose someone as having an eating disorder by a guest blog post they wrote about a snippet of their personal journey. In my book, there's a HUGE gap between someone having disordered eating habits (red flags) and a diagnosed eating disorder.

And then you used that bro-diagnosis to attack a prominent blogger (Mark Sisson) who is responsible for helping thousands of people find better health.

Of course, you could have legitimately attacked a countless number of charlatans and people who are using proven illegitimate pictures and exacerbating disordered eating to sell crazy programs, but you chose a legitimate and well-intended individual. I'll speculate (since it seems to be popular around here) that you did that because you're hoping they take notice and publicly acknowledge your existence, which would bring you personal benefit. I hope I'm wrong.

I'm sure you mean well, but this was in poor taste IMO and I had to say something.
Trina said…
Kevin are you trained in dealing with eating disorders?
ExEffectsGuy said…
This is from

Orthorexia is a term coined by Steven Bratman, MD to describe his own experience with food and eating. It is not an officially recognized disorder, but is similar to other eating disorders – those with anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa obsess about calories and weight while orthorexics obsess about healthy eating (not about being “thin” and losing weight).
Kevin Geary said…
I'm not playing that game with you. People don't need permission from a university to have a perfectly well-formed argument or to be well-trained in any specific area. I don't debate against logical fallacies.
Trina said…
Hahahaha ... I wondered how long until you played the "logical fallacy" card. Nothing if not predictable :)
Kevin Geary said…
Are you suggesting that I'm 100% wrong because I don't have a degree in diagnosing eating disorders?
charles grashow said…

Exactly what are your qualifications anyway? You look loke a schmuck with a blog trying to carve out a piece of the paleosphere to make a few $$
Drew said…
You're 100% wrong because you are simply wrong. IMO it is in poor taste to support this young woman's theory that the missing puzzle piece was the inclusion of grains and the exclusion of bacon. Her extreme weight loss, her fatigue, anemia, liver enzymes and intolerance to carbohydrates are all symptoms of starvation and disordered eating/ eating disorder whatever you want to split hairs about. The one gentleman on the comments very respectfully points out that she looked healthy before and perhaps she needs to eat more and then there's all this 'saying someone is too skinny' can be hurful, too, BS. For what it's worth (from the U of MD eating disorder site):

The first step toward a diagnosis is to admit the existence of an
eating disorder. Often, the patient needs to be compelled by a parent or
others to see a doctor because the patient may deny and resist the
problem. Some patients may even self-diagnose their condition as an
allergy to carbohydrates, because after being on a restricted diet,
eating carbohydrates can produce gastrointestinal problems, dizziness,
weakness, and palpitations. This may lead such people to restrict
carbohydrates even more severely.
lucyricardanon said…
I think the point is that she had an eating disorder that was never truly addressed, and Paleo (like veg*n or other restrictive plans) for someone with a history of disordered eating can be a socially acceptable cover for continued disordered behavior. I don't know how much you know about eating disorders, but they tend not to go away on their own, and a lot of people will find ways to cover them up, not only to others but to ourselves. We'll pretend we're ok now and just eating "healthy" when it's really just a fresh coat of paint on the same old shit. That doesn't mean that everybody who eats Paleo is disordered, but there are so many red flags with this young woman that it's really hard to imagine that she's perfectly fine with it.
carbsane said…
You are distracting from the point. The woman in this transformation has an eating disorder. Anyone that would even argue that needs to do some research on the topic.

I am criticizing Mark because posts like this are NOT helpful to people. I'm sure Bernie Madoff made lots of people rich and improved their lives. Does that excuse what he did? Yes that's an extreme analogy, but eating disorders destroy lives.
carbsane said…
Not Trina here, but yes, you are wrong as the red flags are just that ... symptoms of an eating disorder. You add them up and if she were to be evaluated by a professional there would be little doubt. On the off chance she skirted an official diagnosis at this point, she would still be high risk. It is irresponsible to highlight such a story. With great power comes great responsibility and Mark unfortunately doesn't take that seriously sometimes.
carbsane said…
BTW ... My reasons for including the other transformations was that Mark pretty much posts these weekly as some sort of proof of all his do-gooding and how wonderful paleo is. What these sorts of stories -- even the legit successes -- do not show is where the person is down the line. I don't read his blog. He is a two-faced asshole profiteer and I say that based on my personal interactions with him. He doesn't even write most of his posts. But these before/afters just don't tell the whole story. Yes, everyone does it.

In THIS case, this is a story far from completion and he or someone on his staff should have had the good sense not to publish it. I see you have a beautiful little girl. I hope she isn't taken in and used in this way when she grows up.
Kevin Geary said…
So your solution here is to attack people ad hominem? I suppose that implies that you're missing the required brain cells to form a legitimate argument.
Kevin Geary said…
In your estimation, do people with eating disorders suddenly stop almost all of the red flag behavior and gain weight with no therapy-related treatment?
Kevin Geary said…
"You're 100% wrong because you're simply wrong." -- Well that's intelligent. This site is just oozing with brain cell activity. Must be all that sugar eating.
Melissa said…
People have been questioning Amy Kubal's condition since at least 2011. Back then I was more in the cult's inner circle. And it really is a cult and it's only gotten worse since then with the inclusion of more and more woo woo charlatans and quashing of anyone who questions it.
lucyricardanon said…
I'm not sure what your point is. Are you saying you don't think she had a "full-blown" eating disorder? That she did but she was diagnosed and treated for it and just left that part out of her story? I'm also not sure what you mean about stopping 90% of the red flag behavior - she didn't. Nor did she gain much weight. It seems to me that you're not very experienced with eating disorders. They can take many different forms, even for a single individual over time.
Drew said…
"must be all the sugar eating"-- It probably is since the brain requires glucose for basic functioning and, for optimal functioning, you need a lot. What's strange is that you respond to that opening statement without replying to the argument I made as to why you were wrong. You had asked "Are you suggesting I am 100% wrong because I don't have a degree in eating disorders?" I don't think anyone is suggesting you are wrong because you don't have a degree but it may suggest that you have no idea what you're talking about-- especially when you just spend your time stating opinions that are unsupported by the facts.
I said you're wrong because you are wrong, not because of a lack of credentials. I also pointed out the reasons Evelyn is almost certainly correct that 'the success story'-girl's behavior and symptoms have the hallmarks of an eating disorder and were not caused by a bacon deficiency (though the higher calories of bacon may be good for her). The fact that she and the large majority of those commenting fail to show concern for her extreme weight loss and restrictions is worrisome. The onus should be on those saying that what this girl needs is to be more restrictive with her dieting and lifestyle. You haven't actually responded in any substantive way to the 'red-flagged' behavior, yet. Perhaps she just needs to tackle cross-fit and then she'll really achieve optimal health. Or perhaps you need a slice of chocolate cake-- then you'll be able to think clearly.
Gydle said…
Evelyn, this is SO right on. I read that "success" story and my ED red flags were flying high the entire time. She's STILL restricting - "doesn't eat after noon" or something to that degree... I fully agree that the paleo mindset, community and the entire thing are extremely dangerous ground for anyone with or recovering from an ED. I cannot "go primal" because it involves way too much restriction and moralizing around food and exercise - I tried and it triggered some bad stuff from which I am still healing psychically. Specific foods (grains, dairy, legumes) are not evil. Bacon is not paleolithic. Kale is not The Answer.
Kevin Geary said…
My point is that it's ludicrous to diagnose someone with an eating disorder based on a blog post and some cell phone pictures. Red flags are just that, red flags. They're not objective evidence. That's my point. She could very well have an eating disorder and I've never argued otherwise. But, think about the ramifications of seeing a blog post and some cell phone pictures and publicly telling the world that person has an eating disorder? That's the bottom of the barrel of human decency IMO.
charles grashow said…
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My program is successful because it does what many other programs fail to do: it combines the science with effective psychology.

And your qualifications are what??
Trina said…
Before everyone wastes too much time having fun with Kevin. I'll just leave this here. He's been exactly the same in any online interaction I've seen him in. He loves to use the words "logical fallacies" and "ad hominem". He is entertaining though.
Trina said…
Kevin just likes to talk in circles. You'd be wasting time even trying to get him to make sense.
Trina said…
One third of all people who diet end up on the restrictive eating disorder spectrum. [J Jones et. al., 2001; CM Shisslak, M Crago, 1995]. While not all of them develop clinical cases, they all experience lifelong anxieties and compulsions around food and weight gain (if left untreated). They can develop clinical cases at any point due to life stressors (anything from a cold to a break-up) and they can slide up and down the spectrum or express multiple facets of the same spectrum at once (anorexia, restrict/reactive eating cycles, bulimia, orthorexia (extreme focus on healthy foods) and anorexia athletica (over-exercise)).
DaveHPT said…
sadly this is a very common story. paleo, keto, elimination diets and so on... they all appeal to people who THINK they are in recovery but in actual fact are just switching from on disordered thought process to another. The problem is that people have no damn empathy. It's fine to say "this diet is working out nicely for me, I find it easy to stick to and it is based on the most nutritious foods... maybe you'd like to give it a try too". Usually though, that isn't how people promote things, it's more about how BAD everything else is. When there are clear cases like this one and many, many others that show how harmful this stuff can be when it starts to negatively influence vulnerable people, an ethical person with integrity would realise that they need to soften up on the hard sell / alarmism used to promote this lifestyle. Rather they do the opposite, and celebrate the people who have been damaged and encourage the idea that the solution is to paleo (verb) even harder.
It is a dire state of affairs.
Kevin Geary said…
yet, you've provided NOTHING and I've provided a legitimate argument against someone who is publicly attacking another human being claiming they have an eating disorder based on cell phone pictures and half a blog article. You've made, what, 6 or 7 comments now? And not one contains anything relevant.
charles grashow said…

An obsession with healthy eating could be dangerous, doctors have warned. So what's it like suffering from orthorexia?

I mean who else can identify the nutritional value of a product at 20 paces? Who else keeps a log book of the calorific breakdown of all their meals?

Who else painstakingly coasts the shelves for produce that is organic, no added sugar, low in saturated fats, high in essential fatty acids, locally produced, packaged in biodegradable cellulose, with a big fat fair-trade cherry on top?

Trina said…
Personally I think it can be the "trigger" for ED (through it's restriction) or can just be a cover for restrictive eating.
Kevin Geary said…
"Everyone else" meaning like three people? Lol. Again, how long are you going to go without saying anything of value?
Kevin Geary said…
When did the girl say that bacon changed her life?
Trina said…
Oh ... we both know it's WAY more than 3 :)
Kevin Geary said…
That's because, unlike you, I don't go around parroting everyone. Try thinking for yourself, it's refreshing.
Trina said…
Sure ... it's because you're an independent "thinker" ... I'm sure that's the reason.
Kevin Geary said…
It sounds like you need a hug. You came here to attack people and add nothing of value. That's said, just hours before Thanksgiving.
Lighthouse Keeper said…
We can't help it, it's just as addictive as cocaine.
charles grashow said…
What are your qualifications? Other than the fact that you lost weight??

And if you're not part of the paleosphere what would you say this is then

I go into Keto easily with bulletproof coffee for breakfast; bacon,
eggs, and avocado for lunch; and then fish/steak for dinner with more
avocado and maybe some asparagus in butter or broccoli in butter.
Kevin Geary said…
That makes me Paleo? I'm pretty sure butter isn't Paleo.
DH said…
It's gotten so confusing that even I have absolutely no idea what to eat these days. I suppose my vegan diet could be an example of ethical-mindedness-induced orthorexia. I don't know what's healthy and what's not. There is so much misinformation on the internet. I check my weight about once a week or so - is that considered overchecking? I am aware of when my BP dips too low as I get presyncopal symptoms - is that due to salt deficiency, since my diet is now extremely unprocessed (but not raw)? I read nutrition sites daily -- is that evidence of orthorexia? I have a BMI of 20 but still some visceral adiposity - should that not bother me, given my family history of type 2 diabetes (and personal history of previous metabolic syndrome)? I've pretty much stopped counting calories though. I don't think it's a good way to live. Eat well. Mostly plants. Not too much. Be happy. Don't develop an ED.
charles grashow said…
Bulletproof coffee + IF = paleo
Drew said…
No such thing as a bacon deficiency. That was a joke. You wrote a book?
Kevin Geary said…
Really? I think you missed the definition of Paleo somewhere. And you're using my response to someone about how I get into Ketosis as if it's my universal code for eating. That sweet potato I just ate probably doesn't align much with that. This is what happens when ignorant people try to puff up their chest online. I'd suggest you not pretend to know people you've never met.
Kristin said…
Did anyone see this?


Mark's Daily Apple Reader commented:

IMHO your body composition and weight in the high school pics is perfectly normal and healthy as well as totally attractive. The ones in college do not look healthy to my eyes. I realize that you had other issues, digestion and such that you were trying to address as well and congratulations on alleviating those symptoms. But it seems to me that you were obsessing on eating as well as exercising to excess.

Ideal weight for 5’0″ woman is 104 to 137 depending on small to large frame and you look to be under that range. You are young and now that you are eating better quality foods that agree with you, you should eat as much of them as you can to maintain your active lifestyle. You do not want to accustom your body to calorie deprivation, you need to fill that tank up and keep the metabolism revved up. Especially at your age, get your metabolism in an efficient high gear, do not restrict it. You are still exercising a lot and should absolutely reintroduce some healthy carbs. Carb restriction is only necessary for folks looking for big weight loss. My bet would be that your body is thinking it’s chronically starving at that weight and level of exercise. That will lead to problems that will worsen as you age. You are in this for the long term and believe me, the true test comes much later than the college years!

I restricted calories and skipped meals for years, had similar digestive issues as you. Now I eat a good deal more and have more muscle, less fat, back to my twenty something weight at age 59, my digestion is better than ever before! The joy of living Primal is being able to eat as much as your body needs instinctively and not obsessing over it.

I wish you good health and all the best in the many years to come!

bayrider wrote on November 22nd, 2013
Katrina followed up with:

I appreciate your comments; however, I’m doing what is best for my body. I am in no way depriving myself from anything; in fact, I have gained much more than just some weight loss. I eat foods to fuel my body and to keep me going through exercise and college. I’m a biomedical engineering major so I know how important proper health is for good academic performance. As much as BMI charts may say what people should weigh, the Standard American Diet also promotes the ingestion of grains and processed foods in which many people are intolerant too as well as the low fat, high carb myth. So as much as I do appreciate your comments, every one is different and things may work best for some people and not for others. I have found what works for me. In my story I mention my binge eating problem. The fact that I don’t get those urges to binge is honestly a true blessing. My mind is so calm and I have a healthy relationship with food. I apologize for such a long response, but I have received so many judgmental and hurtful looks and comments from when I was sick and even today, and being told I’m too thin and that I don’t eat enough or I need to eat different foods or work out less is very hurtful to me. I have such a more positive outlook on life now with the paleo and low carb lifestyle and I will be sticking to it.


I know how this girl feels...I was not a Biomedical major, but mine was: "I am a Personal Trainer. I know exactly what I need."

I am not in the field right now, and that has made me realize doing THAT work was an EXCUSE for me. It was simply a way for me to try and make my food and exercise habits look NORMAL.

Trina said…
If you know where the definition of "paleo" is please share.
Kevin Geary said…
Why are you asking me? It was Charles who definitively said, "bulletproof coffee + IF = Paleo" -- I pretty clearly already stated that from what I've read, butter isn't Paleo. And I've already stated that I don't consider myself to be Paleo. So, Trina, your question doesn't make much sense.
carbsane said…
Waitagoshdarn minute ... Kale is NOT the Answer?
charles grashow said…
Again - what are your qualifications - academic or otherwise?
BTW - if you google bulletproof coffee all you get are references to the paleo diet
Kevin Geary said…
Oh, so because the internet searches for bulletproof coffee bring up results for Paleo, that makes bulletproof coffee paleo and me paleo because I drink bulletproof coffee on occasion?

That's some crack detective work, Charles.
carbsane said…
The digestive upset is almost never a true allergy, auto immune or whatever response. I did find it interesting that during her binges she didn't really mention that ... but usually folks that restrict and then binge ... well of course you'll feel like crap! I know I did!!
carbsane said…
Thank you!
carbsane said…
I don't think I mentioned beans so this is an awfully odd comment. And where did I lump anyone together? She has gained 3 pounds from her lowest weight. She didn't start binging until she found paleo so that made her situation worse. I don't think the overexercising was good, but now she's cutting back on the tennis and I can't help but think that it is an inability to compete at the same level due to low energy. I could be wrong ... but I've been there and if I had the opportunity and vitality she claims I would never have given up my sports.
carbsane said…
Kevin, you're being ridiculous. She has an eating disorder. The red flag words are the most objective evidence. Or are you saying she's lying?
carbsane said…
What's with you and berating people here? Have you brought any value? I haven't seen any.
carbsane said…
Most do not. She has replaced one red flag behavior with another. Which is again classic ED.
carbsane said…
There are definitely fuzzy areas here. I wold say when you are pissing off your friends perhaps that's when it has gone too far ;-)
Kevin Geary said…
The record clearly shows that I've been personally attacked. I'm not berating anyone. My value here was to stand up and give a young girl -- who you publicly paraded around as having an eating disorder based on half a blog post and some cell phone pictures -- the benefit of the doubt.

My second dose of value was to stand up for a prominent blogger who I acknowledge as having done a LOT of helpful work in making people healthier -- a person who you attempted to tear down with class warfare and personal attacks.

The same could be said for you. "What's with you and parading people around on the internet making all sorts of outlandish claims about them with pretty non-compelling arguments?"

You do realize that young people can simply be doing what they're told or what they think is right based on the mainstream without having a clinical eating disorder? You do realize that there is no evidence that this girl still engages in all of the red flags you pointed out. You do realize that there are a lot of unanswered questions (that you're doing nothing to answer)?

At the MINIMUM, this article shows your lack of professionalism. For someone who said, "nobody checks in on these people to see what happens to them down the road" -- well, that sounds like a PERFECT thing for you to have done before parading this girl around on the internet. Did you reach out to this girl? Did you talk to her on a personal level and learn more about her? Or did you just slap her pictures up and start a public assessment about her alleged eating disorder?

If you can't see why that might be a problem, then I can't help you.
charles grashow said…
I see why Richard banned you. Talking to you is like talking to a 3 year old. Have a nice day - argue with yourself.
Kevin Geary said…
Yes, people HATE having to use logic in their arguments. I get that. The record also clearly shows that you couldn't form a proper argument if your life depended on it.
Trina said…
I tried to warn ya'll :) It's the same wherever Kevin goes. Kevin thinks he's the only one who can "use" logic. Yet, I've never seen one person back up his comments ... hmmm.
sarahbird said…
Yes so true. I have a degree in nutrition and I am an acupuncturist and herbalist yet I have not understood, until very recently, WHY EVERYONE WHO DOES ELIMINATION DIETS AND ANTI-ALLERGY DIETS ENDS UP WITH MORE FOOD SENSITIVITIES. Why is my friend, who has gone from eating a kind of crappy diet to a "candida" diet to an anti-inflammatory diet to a no-fat all veggie diet to paleo, still unable to eat ANYTHING without feeling sick or having horrendous body pain or stomach pains and is now being told that she has crohn's disease.

I bought into the food-allergy thing for years and i see it completely differently now. I realize that allergies exists. Perhaps "Sensitivities" do too. But I HIGHLY question this existence where people cannot so much as breath the scent of baked goods without going into some full-blown auto-immune reaction.
sarahbird said…
This is an excellent article. I am simply becoming intolerant of the socially acceptable eating disorders and the ignorant talking heads who promote them. I am recovering from a very serious illness which was brought on by "THE FIRST DIET". I was never even full-blown anorexic or underweight but I sufficiently destroyed my adrenals and digestive system enough to almost die of Crohn's disease in 2003. I attempted to cure myself of crohn's with a serious of restrictive diets, each one a bit different from the other but all surrounding the philosophy that some specific food was making me VERY SICK. Cleanses, juice fasts, the master cleanse, blah blah blah blah. I also deeply believed that some magical combination of herbs would cure me (Chinese herbs do help with health conditions, they help a lot, but they cannot replace what healthy eating and having a normal metabolism can do) 11 years later I eat literally whatever I want and am finally free of food neurosis. I am also relatively healthy and 5 months pregnant, something I was told I would ever be able to do. I am sure that Mark Sisson would tell me that I am going to give birth to some genetically inferior human because I ate about 5 snickers bars per week the year before I conceived as part of my metabolic recovery. Ha. I am sad for the people who still have to spend their lives obsessing about food and diet and spending every waking minute thinking about food and exercise and their physical appearance. Living like that was the most unhappy I have ever been in my life and I wasted years doing that.

anyway, thank you for educating us and taking the time to present such thoughtfully organized articles.
sarahbird said…
The more defensive someone is about how THEY DON'T HAVE AN EATING DISORDER, the more they probably do. These people who are taking up their time fighting with you are very attached to proving their point. They don't understand human physiology and biochemistry and will spout paleo rhetoric until their blue in the face.
sarahbird said…
Some of what you shared could be evidence of orthorexia. If you have BP dips and pre-syncopol symptoms something is going on with your adrenal glands and over-all metabolic system. Its not "normal" for those things to happen. It doesn't necessarily have to be caused ONLY by orthorexia or another eating disorder, It could be from too much exercise, not enough sleep, mineral/electrolyte imbalances. It would be a good idea to examine those areas of your life and see if eating more salt, exercising less and getting more rest helps. Perhaps you are forcing yourself to drink a lot of plain water because "people" say that it is "healthy" to force-drink 90 oz of plain water per day. This simple act causes low BP and fainting in people all of the time because it is diluting your electrolytes so much. and yes, the internet is a terrible place to find health and diet information because its mostly lies and people trying to sell things. My advice to you would be to alter basic habits to see if you feel better before trying anything drastic or assuming there is something very serious wrong with you. And don't get advice from anyone who is actively in the midst of their own eating disorder. i cringe thinking about the advice I used to give my clients when I was working as a nutritionist while in the full grips of an eating disorder myself.
sarahbird said…
A lot of orthorexics obsess about both.
sarahbird said…
well said
sarahbird said…
The post was demonstrating how certain behavior and language around dieting, food and exercise can be dangerous. It was an example of how someone went from a highly functioning athlete to a un-well, extremely fatigued person who binge-ate and weighed an alarmingly low amount for her height. It is illogical to think that someone who made them selves SICK from dieting and weight loss and who will not consider GAINING WEIGHT or EATING MORE to reverse weight-loss acquired health problems does not have an eating disorder. I am not clear why you are so passionately fighting the author on this article. But I suppose its a matter of perception. You seem to think she is better off at 90 lbs on the paleo diet, unable to play tennis and in "recovery" (I say in recovery because I think she should continue to eat dairy) from her binges (on dairy and grains, foods her body obviously desperately needed and wanted to reverse effects of starvation) than she was at her original weight, healthy and athletic and not spending all of her time thinking about dieting or what foods she has to avoid to not spiral down the rabbit hole. To those of us who have been to hell and back with dieting etc... it does not make sense that her current situation is indicative of health. It seems more that she is in a holding pattern and surviving but teetering on the edge of something quite catastrophic. Perhaps we are stretching to say that we KNOW she has an eating disorder (even though she demonstrates a myriad of behaviors and symptoms of someone with an eating disorder). But you are stretching to say that she does not.
David Pete said…
Do you have proof that Mr Sisson has made anyone healthier?
I thought that a bit of gas wasn't a bad thing. Or the idea that the GI should go through some effort to breakdown ingested whole food so as a means to make use of itself as a robust part of the digestive mechanism, including the gut bacteria.

I don't want to outright name names here, because some of these people have good ideas, but a lot of sensible folk in the paleo and 'other' spheres are starting to develop this view that a majority of things reaching the lower intestines are a potential health hazard. Now it's one thing to keep a passive eye on gut health, but taking something very physiologically normal--such as certain foods going into the lower gut--into bat-**** territory is a whole other matter.
Battousai said…
Dude, obtaining truly "objective evidence" with regard to eating disorders would have to involve a metabolic ward setting - but not even the professionals are usually that strict with their diagnostic criteria. Practically relevant is (drastic) unnecessary weight loss - meaning the respective person is starting out from a body fat percentage in the healthy range - achieved by means of restrictive eating behaviour( sometimes coupled with overexercising) and resulting in worsening health as indicated by clinical parameters - which is clearly the case here: The girl was a lean and solidly muscled athlete beforehand (as indicated by her "before pics"), then lost a substantial chunk of her bodyweight from there via drastic restriction/overexercising; her looks in the "middle pics" clearly suggest the assumption that this process was damaging to her health (she wouldn`t look out of place on the catwalks of this world), which is validated by the lab results she mentions (anemia and elevated liver enzymes are "textbook" indicators of starvation). In order to improve things, instead of easing up on her restrictive behaviour, she just changed its pattern - to "Paleo dieting" - , and while she states that this helped her, there is not even the slightest hint of "objective evidence" in favor of the notion that she managed to leave "starve mode" behind: She clearly did not gain appreciable weight (her "after pics" look exactly like her "middle pics" - okay, plus a tan, but there are clearly no substantial lean mass/fat gains to be beheld ), and there is no mention of her lab parameters normalizing. If anything qualifies as "the bottom of the barrel of human decency" here, it would be giving this girl validation by celebrating her pathological behaviour as a "Success Story".
Battousai said…
She writes - and I quote - that she "began consuming loads of meat, fruit, ...., and most importantly BACON (sic)". This formulation does indeed imply that bacon "changed her life" in a way, no?
carbsane said…
I am SOOOO tired of that "grasping the belly" stock photo on all of these websites as they discuss digestion.

On another note, many seem obsessed with prebiotics or probiotics or whatever, but then get upset if they actually get a result from all their gut farming ;-)
carbsane said…
Thank you Battousai. Well said.
carbsane said…

She is intermittent fasting and maintaining her too-low body weight and calling that "healthy and fit" instead of "frail and sickly".

I can't reach out to this girl unfortunately. Just as I have tried but cannot reach out to the paleo RD whose picture I have removed. Any comment or discussion from me would have been deleted if allowed to be posted at all.

You are out of line with your badgering here. Now consider that I've let you have your say and that further participation by you here is not going to help anyone. Please take your martyr complex and exit gracefully. Thank you.
carbsane said…
A friend related that she had my post open and her young son exclaimed how that lady had grown muscles or something like that. In a good way. That was with my "backwards" progression.

I'm besides myself just ... just ... can't even find a word ... that anyone is commenting on her improvement. There is none and she couldn't have made it more clear than with those two pictures.
carbsane said…
Kevin is trying to distract here for some reason by demanding things that were not the intent of the article. Do I have proof Sam phonied up his photos? I didn't say he did ... but everyone can judge for themselves that he gamed it a bit, no? Which was the point of the Dixon progression as he did it intentionally.

I'm not even going to give any more credence to Kevin's nonsense about ED and whether or not it is appropriate to "diagnose" her with one. Because anyone that does not believe she is ED is either ED themselves or I just don't know what, just not right.

But the bacon thing was in response to that quote -- "most importantly* ... BACON -- all caps -- It is the only word emphasized in that manner. I see this all the time on LC sites. I don't know why bacon is such a no no on traditional CRD's. Bacon and eggs can be one of the most satisfying relatively low calorie breakfasts! 2 eggs, two slices of bacon and a slice of toast is like 300-350 cals. How much is she really eating? Folks use bacon and eggs and "all that fatty meat" they supposedly eat as a ruse to imply that they are eating a lot. It's too bad Matt Metzgar took down his blog, because towards the end he was addressing various paleo diets and showing how most are in the 1000-1500 cal/day range.
Battousai said…
The girl in question has neither "suddenly" stopped "almost all of the red flag behavior", nor gained appreciable "weight with no therapy-related treatment" (see my other comments (above) ); considering that bashing the allegedly unsubstantiated antics of others while making baseless claims yourself has a distinct ironic tinge, may I humbly suggest that you take a closer look at the available evidence?
DH said…
Hi Carbsane,

Very helpful of you to point out that the little belly can be a sticking point. I need to keep this in mind.

Regarding the BP, should have given you the back-story. I used to be prehypertensive with some readings over 140 mmHg, perhaps a little white coat too. With the weight loss, my BP has actually settled around 106 mm Hg systolic when checked. On occasion, I can feel my BP getting low when I stand up suddenly or get up after being sitting for long periods. With a baseline of 106 mmHg and venous pooling, this is hardly surprising, but it is not due to undereating or fasting. I chalk it up to the fact that there is virtually no added sodium in my diet, I don't consume processed foods, my diet is relatively low-moderate carb (for a vegan), and the constituents of my diet include many bioactive substances which are vasodilatory and/or NO-enhancing. Also I exercise vigorously for an hour per day. In other words, my metabolic syndrome has completed abated, and I probably overshoot towards lower BP on a whole foods plant-based diet - I'm not worried about this, it's trivially inconvenient, and I am reaping the health rewards, as there is no J curve for BP in primary prevention populations (at least down to 110/75, where I usually sit).

I do tend towards orthorexia and overinterest in nutrition does not help that. Any suggestions on dealing with that? Obviously interest in other pursuits helps.
DH said…
Actually there is an acute gastropressor response to lots of ingested water - meaning that your blood volume and BP go up acutely. But I drink according to thirst, nothing more. Please see the rest of my response, to carbsane, above. I think my orthostasis is perfectly understandable - well may not perfectly, as I go by symptoms and not BP, so I haven't completely established the disorder (but transient visual dimming occasionally after standing can only be due to drops in BP to the occipital lobes). Actually, maybe someone shouldn't get orthostasis on a healthy, normal diet at my age, but neither should someone be prehypertensive/borderline hypertensive as I was before on the standard American diet. My father has hypertension and his diet is as healthy as mine, and probably even lower in sodium than mine.
Go Kaleo said…
Thanksgiving drinking game! Every time Kevin uses the term 'logical fallacy' or any specific logical fallacy, take a shot.
Melissa said…
The real villain here is Mark Sisson for publishing something like that in the first place and then digging his heels in instead of deleting it.
Melissa said…
I work recommend Jack Norri's stuff for vegans. Evidence-based non-orthorexic, free of unnecessary scare-mongering restrictiveness that defines Joel Fuhrman-type diets or raw veganism.

Maybe Ginny Messina too.
Melissa said…
I had symptoms like this and ended up hospitalized. They wanted to put me on drugs for low blood pressure, but I've managed to keep my blood pressure normal by eating more and that has involved me lowering my standards a bit.

To me the red flag is that you say "but not raw" which implies you have an interest in raw veganism, which is not only unnecessary restriction but also harbors a lot of health-harming woo. It's no coincidence that so many ex vegans were raw. I think if I had gotten info like Jack Norris' instead of getting into raw veganism I might not have had the issues that got me into low-carb. And then low-carb gave me its own issues.
DH said…
Sure I probably have orthorexia and an unhealthy interest in nutrition. But I said I don't do raw. I've been reading Jack and Ginny's stuff for months now. I swung from Atkins to pesco-lacto-vegetarianism for health reasons, but I then dropped the 'pesco' and 'lacto' parts purely for ethical reasons, not because of orthorexia. I do try to minimize processed food like those fake tofurkey sausages I used to enjoy. I try to make what I can from scratch, but I cook, so it's not at all a raw foods diet. Having said that, I was pleasantly surprised to see I tipped the scales at 123 lbs today, which is the lowest I've been since getting gastroenteritis earlier this year. But I have an explanation - honest! Have been exercising more reliably (daily) and have been eating a ton of fiber lately, so much of the loss is probably stool volume. Admittedly I probably exceed the US recommendation for fiber intake by a long shot.

What I can't seem to do is let myself enjoy a piece of cookie or chocolate at a social occasion (I never bring this sort of stuff home from the grocery store). I used to be on the standard American diet and I now see this stuff as fairly toxic. I'm sure these comments are raising all sorts of orthorexic red flags. But I am also a healthcare provider, and trying to get my diabetic, obese and stroked-out patients off junk food, so I have to practice what I preach. Not everyone is in this situation of not having to feel like a hypocrite to one's own conscience. I did have a cookie a couple weeks ago and it certainly didn't kill me, or set me down some slippery slope towards resuming the SAD. But I guess I find it hard to trust myself as I am not known for moderation in anything, more likely addictive and extremist behavior (at one time, I could put away a pint of ice cream and potato chips for dinner - in fact, it WAS my dinner).
sarahbird said…
You point out a very important fact which is that restricting sodium will not treat hypertension. Conversely, consuming sodium will not cause chronic hypertension. An initial BP increase from drinking water is a normal physiological response. However drinking excessive plain water WILL dilute your electrolytes and for many people will lead to chronic hypotension.
goodandgreen . said…
thank you for this blog post. i read mark's article and it triggered restriction and huge confusion. i really appreciate you making your opinions available for people like me.
sarahbird said…
looking forward to hearing more! Happy Thanksgiving
charles grashow said…
I swung from Atkins to pesco-lacto-vegetarianism for health reasons, but I then dropped the 'pesco' and 'lacto' parts purely for ethical
reasons, not because of orthorexia.

Why is that not a form of orthorexia??
charles grashow said…
What about your $297 (one time payment) program?
charles grashow said…
Why are you a vegan?
charles grashow said…
The fact is, to live is to kill. It cannot be avoided. Fruits and
vegetables come from living organisms, and farming them requires killing
insects, rodents and other animal life. The electricity and heat for
our homes may come from facilities that harm the environment. Don't even
think about the cars we drive. We are all entangled in a web of killing
and destruction, and as long as we live we cannot be completely free of
it. As Buddhists, our role is not to mindlessly follow rules written in
books, but to be mindful of the harm we do and do as little of it as

What so you say about that?
Donnie Reilly said…
That's a logical fallacy, Kevin Geary.
Donnie Reilly said…
Invoking American Thanksgiving is a logical fallacy, Kevin Geary.
Donnie Reilly said…
Anyone who got banned from Dick Nikoley's site AND can't get along here is a very special person. Yep, an AD HOMINEM (as you would likely define it, being that you're an argumentative-yet-simple sort)!
Lighthouse Keeper said…
Can Evelyn, Kade or anyone else please explain what Mr Geary was alluding to with his class warfare comment? That one left me completely flummoxed.
Battousai said…
So you mock people`s "solution" "to attack ... ad hominem", then immediately proceed to ... employ an argumentum ad hominem yourself!?
I hereby dub thee "Grandmaster of Hypocrisy".
Battousai said…
" ... people HATE having to use logic in their arguments."
I concur, and it is a sad state of affairs indeed. What I find curious, though, is that - as far as this discussion thread is concerned, at least - "people" appears to oftentimes include you, considering that you rather generously resort to baseless claims, red herrings, and ad hominem attacks yourself in order to get your point across. Thus, it appears that your own ability to "form a proper argument" is in dire need of polishing; how about getting to work on that instead of lecturing others about ratiocination?
DH said…
I am opting out of the horrendous factory farm system. From what I've read (e.g. Safran-Foer, Norris, etc), local humane alternatives just do not exist. Sure I drive, live in a heated home, eat field-grown crops. But every little bit counts, and opting out of the factory farm system is a huge bit. I recommend you read 'Eating Animals' by Jonathan Safran-Foer, which looks at all sides in an unbiased manner (though he comes to his own opinions as well, which he is happy to share). Going vegetarian was the best of all worlds for me, both ethically and health-wise. And I was aware of the arguments for low carb, paleo, high fat, etc. I won't name drop my credentials as it's arrogant to do so but I study this stuff for a living; it's my profession.

In the end, one does not have to be perfect. I am making my contribution, and I am aware I could do better, and I am certainly aware of the slippery slope argument and the need to avoid giving in to it.
carbsane said…
Thank you for that very important PSA. It is the sad reality.

I was turned away from giving blood twice by The Red Cross my freshman year. Once for being under their weight limit (which was 110 at that time if I recall correctly) and the second time for anemia. Even they asked and prodded about my anemia before sending me on my way, because, after all, it was a blood drive. That part of this story doesn't add up for me.
charles grashow said…
I believe that man is an omnivore - the fact that we live everywhere is proof of that.

My wife and I live in an area where small farms are very accessible.

I agree that large factory farms produce foo that is not healthy and that the animals are treated inhumanely

If you've made the decision to go vegetarian due to religious reasons then no argument will dissuade you from that

I respect your decision and we will agree to disagree
Melissa said…
I notice a lot of people formerly low carb getting back into realizing that lower gut bacteria fermenting things isn't a bad thing after having issues
DH said…
Man is man, regardless of labels or beliefs. I choose to be a vegan. You choose to be an omnivore. Follow your own conscience, and I will follow mine. I've looked into this and even small, organic and free-range farms typically produce a great deal of suffering to sentient life-forms, which I have chosen not to ignore. With every bite I take, I know that the suffering I have caused is far less than if I were to eat animals (though obviously it's not zero, for the reasons you've mentioned before). I've chosen to go vegan for both health and religious reasons. You may want to check out (where the health benefits of a plant-based diet are explored in great depth).
carbsane said…
And then there are other eating disorders ...

But his hypercholesterolemia is just fine so long as everything else is in perfect repair. Oh wait. It's not.

It is SO very sad to see how many are jumping on this bandwagon for weight loss.
DH said…
"but in real life I have never met a person with that issue who hadn't gone without food for a spell and/or was undereating in general."

In turns out it wasn't undereating, it was the lack of salt in my diet. My consumption had been well under 500 mg per day. After 'olive' therapy, I immediately feel so much better. The cognitive dysfunction has also gone away.
carbsane said…
Thanks for sharing your experience. Note I didn't say it was impossible ... just didn't know anyone :) Glad you found the root of the problem. Out of an abundance of caution it might be worthwhile to keep your eyes on your kidney function.

BTW this link looks OK to me, but it was just a quick search for a source.
DH said…
Yes one can wash out one's renal medullary sodium gradient with too much fluid, especially the case in elderly people. But I wasn't drinking too much fluid, only to thirst. The problem is that I don't eat much processed food. That type of food tends to be high in sodium (not just as sodium chloride but all sorts of sodium-containing salts - e.g. sodium benzoate, sodium bicarbonate, etc). Thus the lightheadedness, "dumbness", fatigue, low resting BP's, etc. Sodium is essential for life at the cellular level. Just to take one example, without the electrochemical gradient afforded by differences in sodium balance across the cellular membrane, nerve transmission becomes grossly impaired. You can also fry your pons (central pontine myelinolysis) and develop cerebral edema. Fortunately, I've caught this problem before it becomes too severe, and I am feeling dramatically better (olives to the rescue!). Orthorexics be cautioned!
David Madarro said…
Did Mr. Geary ever reply in regards to his own qualifications? It appears that he stopped posting as soon as people started to ask for it :)

I do agree with him about Bulletproof though, having researched the diet thoroughly and having listened through 3 podcasts with him on the Joe Rogan Experience (where he made some hilarious claims about kale, it's almost worth checking out for that alone) I'm pretty confident it is not Paleo (damn close though).

It's just another diet fad, which is based on partly some sound advice (eat veggies, grass-fed beef etc.) that are not unique to Bulletproof, but topped with a bunch of fear mongering nonsense in regards to certain daaangerous foods, such as tropical fruits, potatoes & mushrooms :-p

So it's just like Paleo, in that the foundational principals are decent advice, but not unique to the diets (eat veggies, organic meats, don't eat too much processed crap), whereas the uniqueness of the diets lies in the restrictions (can't eat this fruit or that vegetable, based on cherry picked data, or no data at all).
Paula Mcfree said…
Why not try this helpful tips. Glad if you could make it..
Donnie Reilly said…
From: Joe Rogan
Posted: 14 hours ago
Edited: 02/05/14 10:02 PM

Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 5819

Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up

Just a few facts for you guys to clear some possible confusion.

#1 it turns out Asprey never invented bulletproof coffee. Robb Wolf did. Asprey just took the idea and named it bulletproof and then when he got on my podcast it took off. Robb has since tweeted about it, and supports Tait's cavemean coffee.

#2 Tait and Asprey had a fallout because Asprey was talking shit about Tait's coffee saying that it's a knock off and that it doesn't have the "bulletproof" method for eliminating mycotoxins. Tait then had his coffee and Asprey's tested and it turns out that Tait's is mycotoxin free but, drumroll... Dave's isn't. We're in the process of testing more of it now to find out what's up, but the levels of mycotoxins were below threshold, but still they were present.

Tait and Dave were going to initially do business together but Dave backed out and Tait decided to go into business with Keith Jardine and open up his own coffee company. They had a relationship with some people in New Mexico that had family that run a coffee plantation and produce quality single source beans so they decided it was a good idea to give it a go.

#3 My "falling out" with Asprey simply consisted of saying that I thought him talking shit online about Tait's coffee was "famine thinking" and that there's a fuck load of people that sell and buy coffee out there. The idea that Tait shouldn't because he does seems incredibly selfish. I think Dave collects and recites great ideas about health and nutrition. He's not necessarily and expert in these areas, but he gathers good info. Sometimes he doesn't have the best relationship with the truth.

Anyway, thanks for listening to the podcast, and I hope this has cleared up whatever confusion some of you may have had.

edit: for those that aren't aware, the term "bulletproof coffee" is something that Asprey coined for Robb Wolf's (alleged) original invention of coffee mixed with grass-fed butter and MCT oil.
Donnie Reilly said…
Donnie Reilly said…
From: Joe Rogan
Posted: 12 hours ago

Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 5826

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To be candid I don't agree with the way they're marketing the coffee, and I hope that they tone down the claims substantially. Caveman coffee is great single source delicious coffee and they should just market it as that. All that other stuff is directly out of Asprey's handbook.

Having you guys shit all over the marketing claims, painful as it my be, is VERY important for a new company. When guys don't have any experience in marketing they can really go over board just based on enthusiasm and not realizing how goofy they come off. It's a real learning process, and one we had to go through with onnit. It's not enough to sell great stuff, you have to sell great stuff and not say stupid shit trying to hype up that great stuff. You guys goofing on it and making fun of the marketing claims are a valuable lesson. Everyone trying to sell something should try to shit on their own marketing just to see how other's can see what they're saying. Sometimes when it's your company and you're enthusiastic you can be too close to your own work and not realize how silly or "snake oily" it sounds. Criticism is crucial. Painful, but super important.
Donnie Reilly said…
From: Joe Rogan
Posted: 9 hours ago

Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 5832

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"FingerorMoon - So everyone is just ripping off Robb Wolf?"

I wouldn't say "ripping off" but it certainly looks like it was Robb's idea first.

What Dave Asprey is really good at is collecting ideas and information. What he's done with that information is market it with "bulletproof" attached to everything. How much he actually figured out on his own, I'm not really sure. There's certainly a lot of value in what he's done, but at least with this coffee with butter and MCT oil thing he wasn't the first guy to come up with it.
Donnie Reilly said…
From: Joe Rogan
Posted: 19 minutes ago

Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 5834

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Part of the problem with Asprey's claims is that he's never shown any test results. He doesn't want to tell people how he's supposedly preventing the coffee from mycotoxin contamination because it's some proprietary secret. Tait paid for an industry standard test and his coffee turned out mycotoxin free and Dave's didn't. I'm not sure how more sensitive testing would change those results, but onnit is looking into it to the fullest extent.

I certainly don't think that more sensitive testing would clear a coffee that's already tested positive for mycotoxins, but what do I know. It certainly doesn't look good for Dave, especially after all his claims. The results although positive were below threshold, so from what I understand it wouldn't have an effect on you if you drank it.
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