The Tao of Paleo: Finding Your Path to Health and Harmony

CHAPTER THREE: WHY?

“I think, therefore I am.” ~ Rene Descartes

JS: You think, therefore you are Rene Descartes?

JG: (ignoring him) We figure the first question you’re going to ask us after “What is ?” is “Why ?”

JS: This whole line of questioning usually starts with something like: “Hmm…paleo…is that the same thing as the caveman diet?”

JG: And your answer?

JS: Well…yes and no.

JG: You sound like a lawyer.

JS: I am a lawyer. But I am still a nice guy.

JG: I think that’s an open question. It’s definitely true that there are issues with the concept of paleo being “the caveman diet.”

JS: The caveman diet or ancestral diet premise asserts that we should follow the paleo lifestyle because it is based on the way our ancient forefathers lived. Specifically, that we should eat the foods that our ancestors - Paleolithic man - ate. Speaking loosely, we mean from 100,000 years ago to about 10,000 years ago - before the agricultural revolution took place and before the Neolithic era started.

JG: How do we know what people ate 100,000 years ago? I haven’t seen too many Paleolithic-era videos on YouTube.

JS: We logically assume that they didn’t eat many grains because most cultures did not develop the tools needed to process grains until approximately 10,000 years ago.

JG: We can also analyze bone samples and determine how much protein our ancestors ate. We do know for sure that Paleolithic man didn’t eat chemicals and processed foods because they didn’t exist back then. It’s important to realize though, at the end of the day, we can’t tell you with precision exactly what our ancestors ate.

Joe, let’s talk about the disease theory.

JS: The theory goes that our ancestors did not have many of the diseases we have today, like heart disease, obesity, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, epithelial cell cancers, autoimmune diseases, and osteoporosis, and that they did not have these diseases because of what they ate.

JG: Clearly, archeologists have discovered the chart room from Paleolithic Memorial Hospital. How else would we know what diseases our ancestors had?

JS: Well, there is no evidence of those diseases in the fossil record or among present day hunter-gatherer societies.

JG: Ok, but just because our ancestors didn’t have certain diseases and ate a certain way doesn’t mean that the reason they didn’t have those diseases is because they ate that way. Scientists refer to this as “correlation” as opposed to “causation.” If you sleep with your clothes on and wake up with a headache, it doesn’t mean that the reason you woke up with a headache is because you didn’t find your favorite Batman pajamas the night before.

JS: Are they footsie pajamas, Jason?

JG: It’s not necessary to delve into the details of my pajamas. The point we’re making is that we can’t say for sure exactly what our ancestors ate, or the reason for the absence of certain illnesses present today at epidemic levels. And to be perfectly honest, we don’t really care. We’re going to leave that debate to the anthropologists, archeologists, and all the other people who wear fuzzy sweaters and jackets with elbow patches and smoke pipes.

JS: Bingo. The ancestral diet debate is one reason we have a problem with the word paleo. We’re going to keep calling this lifestyle paleo in this book as a convention, but you might as well call it the Awesomesauce lifestyle, or the Magenta Wombat lifestyle.

JG: When we start explaining to people that the question of whether or not this is an authentic ancestral diet is something like the question “Could Batman could beat up a Tyrannosaurus?” we usually get the questions “Why eat this way? Why LIVE this way?”

JS: The answer is: Because thousands of people who have found their paleo Tao have achieved unbelievable health benefits. They no longer suffer from the diseases we mentioned. Their blood work and body chemistry is exemplary. They sleep well. They look younger. They feel incredibly energetic. They have lean, strong, attractive bodies.

JG: Why eat this way? Why LIVE this way? It’s very simple: Because it works.

JS: After you read this book, hopefully you’ll begin to seek out more information on the paleo lifestyle. There’s no doubt you’ll discover endless iterations of the debate on the authenticity of paleo.

JG: Did our Paleolithic ancestors eat this? Did they eat that? Did they run long distances or sprint short ones? Did they cultivate grains or simply forage them occasionally? It’s all a very interesting debate, but on a practical level, we don’t think it really matters. What matters is that it works.

JS: Maybe you find yourself asking “Wait a second - do I really want to try to find my paleo Tao if I can’t be sure that the paleo lifestyle means living in authentic, strict accordance with the ways of my Paleolithic ancestors?”

JG: That depends. Do you want to feel better than you did at 25 years old, improve your overall health and energy, enjoy restful and refreshing sleep, help insulate yourself from a horde of diseases and conditions, and look younger, fitter, and more attractive?

JS: If you do - isn’t it worth trying what we recommend in this book for 30 days to see if these claims are legit?

JG: We see you nodding your heads yes.

JS: See? We knew you were smart the second you bought this book.



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