Paleo In The Media: Misconceptions and blatant misdirection

It appears that the media doesn’t like paleo…

I have read many articles online about the paleo movement. Most are positive and seem to understand the benefits of following a high protein, high fat diet and whole hartedly support it. Others, and most of them I have found are unfortunately articles written in an inflammatory tone (hehe, get it), are flat out against everything paleo teaches.

Now, I’m all for opinions and intelligent, rational conversation

But then you get those few who just seem to be hell bent on trying to tear down something which mostly they posses insufficient knowledge to comment. It appears as though in many cases, certain websites publish articles on how the paleo diet can “negatively effect” your diet have an unspoken agenda of created publicity of said article through the instigation of a flame war.

This is totally unacceptable, and we should really stand fast and take the abuse head on. Nip it in the bud, so to speak.

I totally get that there are some pro-paleo people (and I’ve probably done this on the odd occasion) who try to impose their beliefs and knowledge of dietary optimisation onto other people, but I am pretty sure they are insignificant in number to the “other side” of nutrition advice. A good real world example of this occurring is on sites which cover a multitude of subjects, niches and viewpoints. I don’t really understand how one site can be pro-multiple view points, but whatever.

Anyway, these sites generally have an army of authors which are, to my imagination, prescribed work loads in the form of articles. The articles are in essence their products, and my oh my are some of them of shoddy workmanship.

For example, today I was sent the following article:

Paleo Diet
Click the image to be taken to article

This article is one of many that I have found. Fortunately, it appears that more and more people are enlightened of the evils of grains and eating bad fats (trans fats) as reflected by the comments. The most monumental screw up in this particular article though is perhaps the confusion of ketosis and ketoacidosis by Berna Harmse, a “registered dietician”. Interestingly enough though, she isn’t to blame. More than likely she is misquoting what has been taught to her in her “dietetics” training. Either way, she inaccurately describes the way in which ketones are used in the body and rather than explaining their function, alludes to their potential for bodily harm, which, as you may already know would be difficult to achieve.

You would probably have to starve yourself.

I must appologise for the less than positive position of this article, but I strongly feel that if the media keeps pushing the same crap down peoples throats both literally (through eating) and figuratively (through the spreading of lies and half-truths) then those who aren’t searching for great dietary advice and merely are accepting of what is told to them will always be on the trailing edge of healthy lifestyle. It is our duty to defend what we know is healthy, right and accurate.

Luckily for the paleo/primal movement, we have some great voices out there. Remember people, there is a Professor in front of Tim Noakes title, he didn’t get that from guessing what was right. He actively tries to prove to himself firstly, and then the world what constitutes a healthy lifestyle, through eating, exercise and everything else.

Keep well,
Keep open minded!


Mark Sisson And The Paleo Diet

Who Is Mark Sisson?

Mark Sisson is a very influential, inspirational guy in the paleo and primal areas of health and healthy lifestyle. He owns and runs his own paleo and primal conforming supplement company, and has written several books. I personally have learnt a great deal from Mark, and have purchased a few of his products, including the highly acclaimed “Primal Blueprint”, and they are fantastic sources of information on nutrition, living according to primal paradigms and looking after your body. He has spoken at many events and is an integral part of PrimalCon, a primal nutrition and lifestyle orientated conference.

 Mark Sisson and Paleo

Mark Sisson’s relationship with paleo and primal lifestyle starts with his interest in the human body and how it performs in optimal condition. He was a particularly successful athlete during the 1970’s and 1980’s, having competed in multiple triathlons and finishing 4th in the 1982 IronMan World Championship triathlon. After exercise for many years had left his body tired and in some ways “worn out”, began to pursue his interest in optimal nutrition and body efficiency.

Sisson has qualifications in biology and was a pre-med candidate, this shows in his extensive knowledge of nutrition and why the body benefits from eating healthy, high quality foods. He acted on his ambition of finding out what the secrets to health were, and so began a journey of discovery that ultimately shaped one of the most influential people in diet and lifestyle today.

Mark Sisson’s “discovery” of the paleo way of eating came about when he discovered just how much medication people actually take in order to maintain their health. This saddening fact prompted him to draw on his extensive knowledge of nutrition and his past experience as an athlete in order to design a state of the art eating and exercise program. This product was not so much a diet as it was a lifestyle by design, and ultimately he wrote a book which has paved the way for many to reap a similar level of health success that Mark possesses.

Mark has a vision of helping 10 million people realise true health, and I certainly hope that he achieves that goal one day.

Click here for a great presentation by Mark at the 2010 21 Convention

That probably won’t stop Mark though, he’ll keep pushing on and helping people. Mark admits that he worked too hard as a mid twenty something, and ultimately pushed too hard in terms of training, so much so that in his own words “the wheels fell off”. He was however, intensely focused, and through that time he realised certain factors that contribute to living healthy and primal. He realised that he wasn’t eating correctly and needed to optimise and improve his diet. He began eating more fat and noticed improvements in his nutrition. 

Ironically, even though he has operated at such a high physical level he only discovered major paleo principles around a decade ago. He decided that after doing so much research, that cutting grains out of his diet was required. He went on a 30 day self initiated grain-free push, a push that fundamentally changed his life. His IBS that he had been dealing with for most of his life disappeared and he knew he was on to something.

He then went on to develop the Primal Blueprint after realising that humanity could benefit from an easy to interpret, easy to digest book on health and primal living. He understood that the average human would not easily interpret with some of the “controversial”. His book came in hard and brought about an awakening amongst both those interested in health and the general media.

Mark founded, and it has subsequently become one of the most viewed and revered health and fitness blog in the world. There are multiple articles that have been written over the years by Mark and other guest posters, and they are all about common questions people may ask about the paleo diet and how it affects their health, as well as very informative articles on science, “urban legend” and living as close to our genes as possible.

Mark has subsequently launched the marksdailyapple forums, and again, landed it big with the paleo community, with the forums now probably the most active forum on the Internet in the paleo/primal sphere. He has also launched one of his most impressive ventures in the form of his own supplement company.

He has also written a Primal Blueprint recipe book called The Primal Blueprint Cookbook, which is a great addition to the Primal Blueprint series. The book clears up the sorts of meals that you can expect to enjoy when following a primal/paleo lifestyle.

Who Mark Sisson is to me…

Mark is without a doubt the single most influential person in my life in terms of diet and how it affects  my lifestyle. I think that without him the paleo environment wouldn’t be where it is today, and I certainly wouldn’t have come as far as I have without his expert advice.

I would love to meet him one day and have a chat about life and what it would have been like to be a caveman. At the very least I’d just like to shake the man’s hand.

If you are interested in further reading what Mark Sisson has to teach, I strongly recommend buying his books.

Keep well, and thank you Mark Sisson!