Tuesday, 9 September 2014


I've been blogging about food before. Naturally, since it is a thing that I enjoy a lot. (Especially baking. I've been called a "cake extremist" recently, and man, I'm proud of that. My cakes tend to feed legions.)

With my recent forays into different-nutrition-land, due to the elimination diet, I have read what feels like gazillions of articles about food and what you should eat, and what not. Eliminating a lot of the previous staples and mainstays of a diet does pose a challenge, and I was happy to find that there are a lot of suitable or almost-suitable recipes out there already. You can find them if you search the 'net for "paleo AIP recipe". AIP stands for "Auto-Immune Protocol", and that's basically the elimination diet scheme. It is a sub-section of eaters who eat what they call "paleo".

Now. I'm of the opinion that "who heals is right" - no matter what the approach. But I am also, due to my profession, attentive to things such as proper terminology. And calling a modern diet "paleo"... that just... gah. GAH. (I'm not alone in that, by the way! See here. Or here, where "archaeologists officially declare collective sigh over the paleo diet". I'm in!) I have enough colleagues who try to learn more about diets from the past - medieval, 19th century, and inbetween - and if you talk to them at any length, one of the things guaranteed to come up is the impossible task of sourcing raw materials that are like they used to be back then. (Just like in textiles. Ah, I can so relate.)

Mind you, we're talking about foodstuffs less than 300 years old, in some of these cases. Or less than 2000 in most. Paleolithic stuff? That's at least 12 000 years ago. More than twelve thousand! Folks! We know about nothing on how food was back then! (I blogged a very nice video about that ages ago, by the way. Here.)

There are a few other things that irk me. Some are due to personal tastes, such as the liberal use  of coconut flour about everywhere where baking is concerned, or the liberal use of other coconut products. (I like coconut a lot - but only in very specific circumstances. Not everywhere.) Some are due to a different personal stance on things, such as the declaration that sugar is really, really bad because it's so nutrition-poor and has been processed so much - but then these same authors happily use stevia (processed) or other weird sugar replacements, also very much processed; or honey which is less processed and yes, not as nutrition-poor as honey, but not that far away from sugar either. (There are some who agree with me in that stance, though. Like this one.)

So. My summary? There's this scene that calls itself "paleo". While the name still makes my hackles rise, a lot of the articles and essays on nutrition for healing are interesting, helpful, and do give food for thought. As always, though, every person is different, and different things will work for each and everyone, so finding out things for yourself is still the thing to do. That said, the recipes - both "normal paleo" and AIP - are really worth looking at, if only for interesting combinations of things to cook or prepare. And if you suspect having a food intolerance, they will be insanely helpful when you try to figure out what to eat and what to forego.

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