Original article from http://www.crossfitoffremont.com/what-the-hell-happened-to-paleo/

What ever happened to the “Paleo Diet”???

I always thought that “paleo” was short for “paleolithic”. With just a quick look via Google, I learned that the paleolithic era is defined as 2.6 million years ago until about 11,000 years ago. Many people refer to the paleo diet as the caveman diet. The premise is that we are wired to eat what our early ancestors ate. They were hunter/gatherers, so it is fair to say they ate meats and plants. I’m gonna guess that our early stone age ancestors ate a lot more plant life than they did meat. Think about it. It has to be hard as hell to catch animals with sticks and stones than it is to shoot them with a rifle and scope.  Back in the day, plant life had to be way easier to get your hands on. I’m sure our cavemen ancestors would have loved to buy their meat in bulk at Costco, but the genius who thought that up wasn’t born for a few more years after the paleolithic era ended. 

The paleo diet was all about eating meats and plants. Basically if you couldn’t pluck it off the bush or a tree and eat it raw or kill it with a spear or stick, it wasn’t paleo. So, what the fuck happened? Now we have magazines touting recipes for paleo cookies, paleo cupcakes, paleo pie, paleo cake, paleo ice cream, paleo, paleo, paleo. I don’t know about any of you, but I stab a piece of cake with a fork, not a spear. 

Can someone please yell out that the king has no clothes?

Did our cavemen ancestor mommies bake a batch of paleo brownies for her caveman kids when they got home from caveman elementary school? Did caveman families celebrate caveman birthdays with paleo cakes and candles? An even better question…Did our caveman ancestors ever get the opportunity to eat only “80% paleo” or were they always “strict paleo”???

I think a big problem is that people have intertwined “paleo” and “gluten-free.” Gluten-free takes no account for sugar. Sugar is the demon. Gluten-free lets you eat as much sugar as you want. Did our cavemen ancestors add sugar to all their desserts? (Did they eat desserts?) When you want to “eat paleo,” but you add all the yummy gluten-free desserts, what are you trying to accomplish? You definitely aren’t eating like a caveman.

I don’t want to downplay the gluten-free movement. Gluten jacks some people up. BUT…. A true story: Some years before I even heard about CrossFit, a fellow officer I worked with found out that his little boy was totally allergic to gluten. It SERIOUSLY jacked the little guy up when he ate food that wasn’t gluten-free. My co-worker went on to explain how they had to monitor his diet and buy all these special gluten-free foods. “My son can’t eat crackers, cookies, cereal, or bread.” All I could think was how horrible it must be to be allergic to gluten. No kid I grew up with ever got jacked up eating Frosted Flakes. I was 38 years old and had never heard of such a nasty allergy. I guess the gluten when I was a kid was not as strong as modern day gluten.

You can’t talk about nutrition without starting a shit storm of people arguing about their dietary choice being better than yours. Nutrition is like religion. People get cray cray. It’s important to remember that everyone is different. What works great for some might not work well for others. Hopefully you find what works for you. I’ve always believed that the eating plan from “World Class Fitness in 100 Words” is still your best and easiest game plan:

“Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat.  Practice and train all major lifts: deadlift, clean, squat, presses, C&J, and snatch. Similarly, master the basics of gymnastics: pull-ups, dips, rope climbs, push-ups, sit-ups, presses to handstand, pirouettes, flips, splits, and holds. Bike, run, swim, row, etc…hard and fast. Five to six days per week, mix these elements in as many combinations and patterns as creativity will allow. Routine is the enemy.  Keep workouts short and intense. Regularly learn and play new sports.” ~Greg Glassman

Now stop eating all that sugar.