I used to tell family, friends and strangers that I was Paleo or Primal. I have always used these words interchangeably. Then, at the beginning of last year I wanted to toss both labels into the ocean. I do not remember what the catalyst was for this thinking but I was debating with myself whether or not I should start a new blog. The Paleo label was not resonating with me much.
During the middle of 2012 this feeling subsided. In May I had this crazy idea to walk across America from coast to coast while sticking to eating Paleo foods as much as possible. I took a Tyrannosaurus leap by flying to Olympia, Washington to live with my soon to be walking partner. Well that lasted 3 nights as I quickly rushed back home to Grand Rapids, MI to continue living with my parents.
Then the urge visited me again. It was on and off throughout 2012 but last week I decided I was in fact going to begin a new blog. And so I started a new fan page – Wellness Toad – to go with the new blog which was going to be WellnessToad.com. I’ve had it for less than one week and it already has 900 fans. But now that I am no longer starting anew but rather taking this very blog in a different direction for the better, that fan page will soon decease.
I’ve spent nearly 3 years building this website. I’ve published more than 400 blog posts, although there are now less than 200 since I have deleted the worst of the worst. It takes time to write blog posts, to market, to engage with you in the comments, to work on projects, build followers and fans on social media sites, etc. I have way too much going on ( yes, I’m in Hawaii but I’m not on vacation and trying to balance work and play has been a stressful challenge!) and so starting a new website seems not so grand after all.
Paleo is taking the world by storm. I’ve made 6 real friends (real as in not just on facebook) since I’ve been in Hawaii and 4 of them know what Paleo is. Two called it a fad diet. I reassured them that while it may seem like it depending on who you talk to, if you ask 200 random humans what it is then calling it a fad diet would be illogical. Another was on a strict Paleo protocol but currently isn’t eating this way. Nontheless, she seems to enjoy my perspective and is now a reader of this blog as I help her begin hers.
This is a small example but it is spreading really fast. The more it spreads the more you have to rethink the entire concept so it does NOT get looked upon as a fad but instead as an eating plan that focuses on real food.
My personal banker for my business account knew me before we met because of this blog that you are reading right now. This was one of the best moments of my life. The power of the internet is awesome. I ditched Fifth Third and first signed up for a personal checking account with Chase in Austin, Texas last year. I chose to wait until I got back to Grand Rapids, MI to sign up for my business checking account. Sure enough the lady who helped me out (who is now one of my two personal bankers) had read this blog before.
I don’t remember how the conversation went but I believe it was when she asked me what my website is about. I always hesitate to ask this question but it seemed right to ask it this time: “Have you heard of the word Paleo?” She said yes very enthusiastically.
I love eating Paleo foods. You don’t have to label yourself as Paleo in order to eat Paleo foods. Just like how you don’t have to be religious to reap the benefits of prayer and how you don’t have to label yourself as a republican or democrat to have similar beliefs on different issues. It’s said that things like grass-fed beef, lamb, fish, lobster, veggies, fruits, tubers, butter and coconut are Paleo. I love these foods.
I love eating non Paleo foods. This is why I will not be calling myself Paleo. I have a strong desire to try buckwheat pancakes. I want to make sourdough bread and tons of dairy products. I love real ice cream made from real ingredients. Since I landed on Oahu on January 22 I have been eating Cold Fyyre ice cream almost daily. It’s made with local, real ingredients: Island Cream from Naked Cow Dairy Waianae, whole milk, cane sugar, yolks, swiss chocolate chips, mint extract and mint essence from Evonuk Farms, Maui. I’ve begun to enjoy oatmeal again. My body feels good after ingesting a significant amount of oatmeal while it fails to digest nuts. Yet nuts are Paleo and oatmeal is not. Do you see the problem?
Primal means fundamental. If you were to go to dictionary.com and look up ‘Primal’ then you would see this definition: of first importance; fundamental. And so that is the definition that I am going by. Fundamental Toad may not make sense but take a look at my current slogan: An epic quest for fundamental wellness. Ha! So while I am all about overall wellness and love the idea of WellnessToad.com, it does not mean that I can’t take this blog in a different direction.
I will be publishing a post on Oatmeal soon. But like I said, I do not define myself as Paleo. I just love Paleo foods but I love non Paleo foods too because they taste awesome and make me feel awesome!
And isn’t this what matters in the end? If you are clueless as to where to begin then go buy Practical Paleo. It’s a fantastic book that I think I’ll recommend highly for the rest of my life. But venture out and read more too. Take everything you read with a grain of salt. Experiment so you know what works best for you!
Doesn’t everyone love and eat Paleo foods? Yes. Based on the common agreement of what is Paleo, every human being eats Paleo foods even if they are not technically from the Paleolithic time period (broccoli apparently isn’t but I don’t eat broccoli).
But the reason why the concept of Paleo is making a positive difference in the world is because it focuses on real, nourishing food. It defies conventional wisdom and suggests that you use drugs as a last resort. If it’s truly life or death or I’m in severe pain then I’ll take the drug. But for acne? For my Cold Urticaria? No thanks. My focus is to heal my mind and body. I’ll chase wellness while living an adventurous life.
Fortunately, most folks who know what Paleo is realize that it’s not a one size fits all approach.
Lastly, white potatoes are Paleo. If you peel the skin and boil them, then the white potato becomes an extremely nourishing food. Add salt and butter. Yum.
We can argue about the details all day long. I’m all for civilized debates, but let’s be careful with how certain we believe our thoughts are because as I’ve been saying more and more…
Nothing is black or white.