This is not to say that the Paleo diet does not have some great ideas to offer. It encourages us to get off of all processed food, yay! It encourages us to stop eating grains and legumes (may be good for a short time for some or a long time for others), but how does someone else even know what is going to work in my body or not? It does inspire many people to completely change their diet, usually for the much better, and to experience significant weight loss (but I notice many gain it back). It gets people eating a lot more veggies, woohoo! It gives people a framework to work within and a good starting point. But, I see many flaws as well, and most of the flaws I see are equally flaws with any overly strict eating regimen.
The first flaw I see is that following an eating plan to perfection typically lacks balance and freedom and sets us apart from others and often-times gives us a feeling of superiority. And if you think long and hard about this, why do we need a feeling of superiority? Well, for one, it gives us a false sense of feeling powerful and if we need a false sense of feeling powerful, well, in short, we must feel pretty powerless in our lives. So, any strict eating regimen can make us feel better-than but it can't solve the root issue which is that we don't actually feel powerful or noticeable or important or we don't have a place to belong and we are just looking for a false way to cover over the real issue.
Next, when we think we have found THE answer, this closes us off to other possibilities. It creates a state of mind that only allows us to play the game of life within a certain size playing field and anything outside that playing field becomes off-limits, which creates a limited experience of living. It also creates a feeling of righteousness or 'rightness' which inevitably leads to seeing anyone outside of our limited scope of vision as 'wrong'. This creates a sense of separation. And so, then we might want to look at why we feel a need to create a sense of separation between ourselves and others. Hmmmmmm.
Thirdly, if we subscribe to 'one way' thinking, especially when it comes to our food choices, it actually creates a disconnection between ourselves and our bodies. Instead of listening to the needs of our bodies, we are following a predetermined set of rules that may or may not be right for us. We are each created biochemically individually. Some of us do well with more carbs and some of us do well with more protein. Some need a good amount of fat, like me. Some will get well on a Paleo diet, others will become sick. It is much more important to learn to tune into our own bodies than to follow someone else's prescription for health.
Of course, it is possible to eat a Paleo diet and be healthy and be doing it for healthy reasons. The tell-tale sign will always involve balance. The important thing is to become curious with ourselves. What is really the motive behind our motives? It certainly is not wrong to eat Paleo and Paleo certainly is not the end-all be-all diet for everyone. I eat very healthy because I want to take good care of myself and feel well. But I also have a lot of freedom in my relationship with food and that freedom took many years to acquire because it involved being courageous enough to wipe the mirror clean and become very, very honest with myself. When I did that I saw that how I looked was where I got my sense of worth. So, it involved finding my worth, not getting more strict with my eating.
The Paleo diet is a very high protein diet and there is now evidence that this kind of a diet (consisting of more than 100 grams of protein per day) can actually promote cancer growth because of the increase in IGF-1 hormone in the body. This is our growth hormone and too much of it may actually cause tumors to grow.
If we have poor digestion, this diet can be very hard on the body and cause inflammation in the gut. Inflammation is the root of may diseases, so we need to be easy on our body in this regard. If you are eating Paleo, I highly suggest adding fermented foods into your life to improve your ability to digest all of the protein.
For me, disorder means out-of-order. Our eating is out-of-order when we eat for reasons other than physical hunger, when we eat so we can get outward approval or when we don't eat when we are hungry. If you eat when you are not hungry or you keep eating when you are full, these are also signs of our-of-order eating. So, if you find yourself stuck in any out-of-order way of eating, I encourage you to notice it, and notice any shame or judgments that you may be feeling right now, and just get curious about why you feel a need to be so restrictive in your life. What is the bad thing you are afraid will or won't happen if you find balance in your relationship with food?
If you'd like to do some discovery work in this area, feel free to set up a complimentary consultation with me here.