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Are You/Is It Primal or Paleo? Primleo?


Who gives a shit?

The folks who separate Primal from Paleo annoy the hell out of me. The folks who separate those who go against conventional wisdom but aren’t really “Paleo” and those who are “Paleo,” annoy me too; just a little less so.

Who gives a shit about what is or who is Paleo or not? In the end, does it really matter?


Let’s stop playing games. All of us who are not afraid of going against conventional wisdom must be on each others sides. It’s ALL of us vs the food industry. Us versus the folks who are corrupt and don’t give a shit about your health but instead only those dollar bills that don’t add true value to their lives anyways.

I’m not against making money (I sell a “Paleo” smoothie recipe ebook to prove it). I’m against folks trying to earn every last penny in a corrupt way that damages the health of society. The worst part? This is what has been going on for decades.

It needs to stop. Now! This will only happen if we quit labeling humans and food in unnecessary circumstances.*

What I’m learning in the WISE 102 class through Hawthorn University class that I am taking right now is, well, it’s crazy. If the health of society is going to ever turn 180 degrees then the truth must be known. I’ll do my best to make this happen in 2013 and beyond.

A hilarious perspective

Now for some “softness” read the hysterical quote from Liz Wolfe that my sister transcribed from one of the Balanced Bites podcast episodes:

Well if you eat cheese you are not Paleo, your Primal, but if you don’t eat cheese then you’re Paleo, except for, if you have more than three slices in your refrigerator that your husbands gonna eat, then you’re probably primal, it’s just like who cares, you can make anything Paleo in some weird justifying type of way, like we could say “the only thing that’s really nutrient is if the earth…the only thing that’s really paleo is like the nutrients your eating, so Paleo people get lots of vitamins A, B, E and K2 so, lets eat tons of cheese, egg yolks and get some sun. Wow that sounds pretty Paleo, I dunno it’s like, just keep the focus on nutrients and see what keeps us super healthy and what is a real whole food. Umm, cuz I know when I first started the Paleo thing, I was chicken, broccoli, coconut and coconut oil. Yeah it sounded paleo to me but whatever.

And now for Diane Sanfilippo’s thoughts…

Well if you think about, I think too like just, the whole “is it Paleo or not” thing like, I feel like I’m a broken record sometimes but I think that the whole dairy issue got really muddyed up when we were really looking at pasteurized process dairy, it doesn’t mean, you know, yeah we took this word Paleo and maybe the Paleo man wasn’t chasing down a cow and milking it but that doesn’t mean that that food isn’t nutrient dense and valuable to us, you know it doesn’t mean that it’s good for everyone, you know, like we know that but, I think that that’s where you know the Weston A Price approach, I know that Chris Kresser is pretty keen on raw grass fed like good quality, I think it’s like A2 versus A1 milk…

What are your thoughts?

I don’t care about…

  • What Paleo man ate
  • What is Paleo or not
  • What the perfect diet is because, well, it’s an oxymoron
  • What works for thousands of folks in a non reliable study
  • The opinions from folks who think “low carb” is for all humanity (it’s not)
  • The opinions from folks who don’t educate themselves
  • The opinons from folks who don’t have an open mind

I care about…

  • What foods taste good to me
  • What foods nourish me
  • What I learn about my body from studying myself
  • Spending time outdoors
  • Fasting from technology
  • How to live a meaningful life which goes way beyond nutrition
  • The truth

*Note: There are GREAT instances where a label is appropriate. For example, I recently set up a Chase business bank account since I quit Fifth Third Bank. The business specialist had some questions about my business in order to set up the best type of account (they have like 3 or 4). I told her I had this website (the one you’re reading) on health and wellness. She wanted to know more specifics and I told her that I “eat a weird way” or something. She then asked what that was and I then stumbled for a moment and said… “well, have you ever heard of the word Paleo?”

“Yes!” she replied (or something like that).

Thus, the rest of the time that we set up my new account we talked about “Paleo.” It was one of the most amazing things that has ever happened to me. I didn’t care about the fact that she was Paleo per say but rather the fact that she understands that saturated fat is indeed heart healthy and what not.

Thus, labels can be both misleading yet very helpful and rewarding. Just please use labels, especially “Paleo” wisely. It is becoming a worldwide phenomenon and it’s not slowing down. The year of 2013 is going to be amazing for this community. Just remember that when it comes to what is Paleo or Primal you should really be thinking…

Who gives a shit?

Photo Credit


  1. I love this post, Todd!! I have to admit that while working and doing anti-inflammation counseling (yes, to include supplements and dietary changes and limiting NSAID use), I purposefully stay away from the words “Paleo” and “Primal” and “gluten-free”. I choose to counsel these individuals (mostly pain patients) on the nutrient density of their food choices over the fat content (though Trans Fat is an absolute “no no” in my book), calories, etc. When talking nutrient density and anti-inflammatory abilities always shows them that unprocessed foods are better. Makes sense… and keeps religion vs evolution issues out of the clinic! 🙂

    • This is definitely the way to go! More humans will be helped if we don’t slap a label on how we live unless folks really really want it.

    • What do you mean by processed/unprocessed? How about fermented/bletted fruits, beer, wine, tempeh, cheese, yoghurt, cefir, bee pollen, royal jelly, honey, yeast, tibicos?

      All cooking is process.

  2. Me too – love it! Thanks Toad for puttin git in words! For me, sitting across the big water, in Europe, it is quite hilarious to watch you americans – who may I say, have such a lousy food culture (sorry) – fight over “weather one should eat cheese or not”. I think in europe a lot of the primal/paleo food comes more natural because we already cook our food ourselves (well, not everyone – but most of us). Olive oil and “grass fed” butter was my standard long before we put a name on it because it was natural. In europe you seldom have to explain “how to” make your own salad dressing. I have never bought a “bottled” one! Why would I? You also don’t need a “recipe” over here to make “your own home made wipped cream” (we had a good laugh over that recently) – hello – you just wipp it! 🙂 Don’t get me wrong – I love the US, and have many great friends over there. I love eating Paleo – but we do that our own way. We are pretty much 100% (to our own version of Paleo :-)) and we’re happy with that no matter what it’s called.

    • Our food culture is beyond ridiculous in the US. I can’t wait to tour Europe for a few months. I may or may not do it in 2013 🙂 A recipe for whipped cream… ah ha!

  3. Well said, sir. I’m sick of hearing people tell me, “I don’t think cavemen ate that” or asking me how long I plan to do this “diet.” My answer to the first question: Maybe not, but I’m also not running from a sabre tooth tiger. Answer to the second question: Um, for ever.

    Yay for being healthy & thriving!

    • Haha yea I just laugh at it now. I mean, caveman did not do anything that we do today! Living “Paleo” or “Primal” is a far cry from living exactly how our hunter-gatherer ancestors lived. But there are and should be many similarities. Gazing at the stars, slowing down, building a fire, socializing, sleeping, hunting, gathering or growing your own food, dancing, having great sex, being naked, sunbathing and on and on and on…

  4. I love the list of what you care about and agree completely, with one exception: I no longer care about Truth, because I see it change all the time. it’s a trickster, by nature.

    • I disagree, the truth does not change at all. Only our understanding of what that truth is changes.

      • Well, then, how do you define truth? We made up all the truths. Think about it. We humans created the words two, one and three. Sure, it’s the “truth” that one plus two equals three. BUT we could have easily formed
        the letters and words to where cup minus pen equals home. We just all accept the 1+1=2 as true. And that is the beauty of the human connection and the power of our brain.

    • Ah, yes it is indeed a trickster! However, there is no doubt many constants amongst all folks who aren’t afraid of challenging conventional wisdom. One of them is saturated fat. I love Matt Stone, Danny Roddy and possibly Ray Peat (I have not read enough of his stuff yet to say I do). Not only are they not afraid to go against CW buy they go against the paleo protocol and they are helping thousands of folks this way. But one constant is the fact that saturated fat is the human’s preferred fat and that Omega 6 is a big NO!!! And this makes complete sense to me. I have yet to here from anyone that is NOT vegan and who doesn’t go against conventional wisdom say that saturated fat is bad. Not a single soul.

    • It can be I guess… I don’t now much about ketosis at all to say if one should go that route or not. I’ll assume that most are better off not going that route.

  5. Toad, your Smoothie Junior book is great! I can’t wait for the prizes. Just one question: now that you don’t give a shit about paleo or primal, will you be changing your name from Primal Toad to Who Gives a Shit Toad? Ha, ha…

    • Thanks! It’s not that I don’t give a shit about paleo or primal. I love the lifestyle and philosophy of it. And if it weren’t for Mark Sisson and Robb Wolf then would this incredible movement be happening? Not to the extent that it is.

      I just don’t care if a particular food is paleo or primal. This is also because I have been at this game for 2 years and 8.5 months now. In the beginning I did care so I think the question holds lots of value for newbies.

      It’s just not the be all, end all. But it’s possible that nearly everyone needs to go through this stage of caring and then they realize that nuts could be just as bad as grains, etc.

      I do like the “Who Gives a Shit Toad” idea though!

  6. Today, dude-man, how about a potato smoothie? Cold cooked potato + green herbs + milk or protein powder would rock dude. Ride the paleo potato craze while it’s hot dude.

  7. Yes! I totally agree. I do appreciate that Paleo is getting to be more commonly understood, I never distribe my diet that way unless it’s with someone who is trying to understand and most of the time they have heard of Paleo. But I don’t follow any perticular diet, I do what my body needs.

  8. Thanks for writing this. I really wonder sometimes if people are taking this whole Paleo/Primal/whatever and transforming it into some bizarre religion. Don’t get me wrong, changing my life really got me out of a terrible autoimmune issue and allowed me to change my entire life where I now am able to do highly demanding exercises for myself and for a living! 😀 But yeah, I agree. There is no “one-size-fits-all” approach when it comes to diet. There are principles that need to be implemented and sometimes, there is a lot of trial and error when it comes to finding out which foods are best for us to be consuming regularly. I wish people weren’t so perfectionist…so “holier than thou” about all this. Find what works and enjoy your life!

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