I have a confession to make. I’m a reformed Paleo.
Nope, I didn't used to be a cavewoman. I mean, I used to do the diet. From 2010 through 2012 I was all 'whole eggs, no dairy, grains-are-the-devil, eat fatty meat and be merry'. Minimal fruit. No refined sugar. Except on special occasions, where I would eat cake for a birthday, or the occasional weekend piece of sourdough at my favourite brekky spot. Which would inevitably make me feel sick from not being used to that kind of food. Reactions that made me even more convinced that non-paleo food was some kind of poison.
I trained personal trainers for a job. When it came to the nutrition part of the course, I advocated Dr. Robert Lustig’s ‘Sugar, The Bitter Truth’ and told all of my students to read Gary Taubes ‘Good Calories, Bad Calories.’ I was convinced that the public health doctrine of ‘fat and cholesterol lead to heart disease’ was false, and that the rise of refined sugars and carbohydrates in our diet were the cause of obesity and chronic disease. Me and Pete would’ve got on great guns.
So what happened? Well, for all my restrictive eating, I was still a bit...fat.
Besides avoiding diabetes and feeling good, the reason for this regime was to look amazing in denim cut-offs! And it wasn’t happening.
So, I went to a new gym, tracked my food intake for a few weeks and realised I was eating way too much fat, and it was sending me in to calorie surplus every day. Fat ass, explained.
Long story short, I now eat a more ‘traditional’ mix of food groups, grains and dairy included. Not to mention my penchant for champagne. I’m slimmer, satisfied and feel pretty good. Do some of my meals still qualify as Paleo? Absolutely. Replacing carbs with veggies is a great way to increase the volume you can eat without 'overeating' in a caloric sense. It's a huge win. But I don't want to do it all the time. Sometimes I want to eat real pasta. And I'm stoked that pasta and bread are a part of my life again.
So imagine my mixed feelings towards attending a Paleo convention to listen to Pete Evans wax lyrical about bone broth, zucchini noodles and the benefits of cutting out all of my favourite foods. Ugh. But hey, I scored free tickets and the opportunity to review it for a fab Brisbane magazine, so off I went to devote the best part of my Sunday to hanging out with these two:
Pete and Luke Hines last Sunday at BCEC in Southbank.
Pete has copped a lot of flak for his advocacy of the Paleo diet. The My Kitchen Rules judge is a household name, and has undergone quite the transformation over the past four years. Just Google 'Pete Evans before and after' and see what I mean. I'll wait.
Right!??? Impressive. I mean, my theory is a calorie deficit achieved by any diet, some fake tan (sorry Pete, I know you said it's real) and some teeth whitener could achieve this, but he attributes it all to his Paleo regime. And fair enough, there's a lot of healthy gear going on.
Despite Pete punching out salad after salad, The Dietary Association of Australia does not support the Paleo diet. Conspiracy theorists, on your starting blocks! Murmurs of funding from the agriculturul industry, Kelloggs, dairy farmers, corruption, bias, etc.
Despite The DAA and some dieticians renouncing the diet, Paleo is gaining m