Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Is There an Elephant in the Paleo Room? Desserts, treats, and snacks

For those of you who subscribe to our companion FaceBook page, I posted a vent the other day in which I voiced my frustration over the amount of Paleo-ified desserts being shown on other Paleo/Primal/Clean-eating lifestyle blogs.  I thought I'd go a little more in-depth with my thought here, and I hope you will bare with me.

Now, I love pretty pictures as much as the next person. And as my belly will attest, I love sweets. I am of the mind, and most Paleo* Food bloggers probably are too, that if you are going to eat sweets, swap them out for clean-food sweets, ie: getting rid of white flour in favor of coconut or almond flour, etc. Use unsweetened chocolate and honey, or maple syrup, or dates pulverized into a paste.

I get it. I even choose to practice that philosophy of making cleaner, high GI treats for myself when I need a "sugar" fix. I'm not perfect at it, but I try. I make the effort.

But it's the sheer volume of posts and pictures of scrumptious looking treats that's killing me!

I can't be alone in this. If you subscribe to as many Paleo food blogger's FB pages as I do, your news feed is loaded with Paleo Donuts, Paleo Muffins, Paleo Sweets galore!

Why do they do this to me???? Is it because the sweet stuff draws people into their blog, generating ad revenue and spiking their pageviews?  Is this just sour grapes on my part?

I don't think so. I go looking for specific recipes a lot of the time, usually for meal idea, and I can look at a recipe index of most Clean Eating food blogs, and the dessert and snack links are usually longer than the actual meal ideas.

Am I the only one bitching about this?

*When I say "Paleo," I am referring to most clean-eating food blogs out there. Paleo is my personal catch-all phrase for Primal, Gluten-Free, Clean-Eating, yadda yadda.  Not everyone is the same flavor, and I'm not debating Paleo over Primal over Whatever the flavor of the month is.  I look at it all for ideas.

For someone cleaning up their food intake for health reasons, who is going to benefit from Almond flour cookies? Well, most likely anyone who doesn't have a sensitivity to almonds, but still. 

It's these circular arguments that go around and around in my brain. YES, it's better for you than a white flour cookies.  But what's the lesson here? I can eat the almond flour cookies and be satisfied? Or, can I eat almond flour cookies all the time, and lose weight, heal my gut, put my diabetes into remission, clear my skin, and feel badly for the poor saps out there who can't get off the processed goods?

Who out there is promoting their Veggie and Lean Protein laden meals over Paleo Cheesecake?

Or are you just providing what the masses are asking for?

I just peeked at my Recipe Index Page, to make sure I wasn't talking out of my ass here.  We have 4 dessert and snack recipes, 9 main dish recipes, 3 side dishes, 6 soups & stews recipes, and 4 breakfast recipes. Does this make this blog as bad as the rest? It's smaller, sure, but I think that the balance is good.

I checked another blog that is much larger than mine. 6 PAGES of dessert ideas. 3 PAGES of breakfast recipes, and an average of 6 pages each of main dish recipes, broken down by source: Beef, Chicken, Fish,

ok, maybe it's just me. Maybe I shouldn't be complaining about this.

I just want to see more meat and veggie-laden recipes getting the same attention that the cookies, popsicles, and muffins do.  Is that so difficult?

1 comment:

  1. Here is the uncomfortable truth... the real elephant in the room: People want to do "paleo" or whatever diet yet keep all their bad habits going strong. People want to resist changing at all costs and these bloggers are giving people what they want: Validation that they can still eat the same crap they always did as long as they use "paleo" ingredients.

    This is called "sex with your pants on" and it doesn't work if you want to be healthy.

    Having desert is a fine thing, I AM NOT ANTI-DESSERT, but whether it's a "paleo" dessert or an honest to goodness apple pie with a real crust it's still dessert and it's still not the best thing for you. People need to realize this and process this fact.

    This means that if you eat tons of bread and pasta and dessert and you go paleo you aren't going to get healthy eating "paleo" desserts, fake paleo bread, and fake pasta. You have to recognize an unhealthy pattern and change it to a healthy one. This starts with understanding the eating guidelines of the diet you are supposedly following.

    Here is what people need to realize: If you eat 100% paleo (ingredient wise) you might not be following the paleo diet at all. The paleo diet is meat, vegetables, a little WHOLE fruit, and a few WHOLE Nuts. Pretty restrictive right? Sure.. but that's what it is.

    I eat real ice cream, french bread, honest to goodness pie with a real crust, beer, wine, liquor, pizza, and milk chocolate that doesn't taste like a baking ingredient. Guess what, you can eat all of that and still be healthy! In fact I 100% believe that controlled cheating is the KEY to success.

    You need to recognize the patterns of your diet and create a diet that is follows a healthy pattern. Creating a healthy diet does not involve trying to scheme ways in order to get the better of your diet and try to 1 up your diet. "Can't have pizza... I'll show you diet!! Can't have bread.. bahhh... I'll make a "paleo" version.. take that diet!"

    If you want to lose weight and be healthy you are going to have to recognize that your eating patterns don't just need an ingredient facelift. You are going to actually have to CHANGE they way you eat to CHANGE your body. You have to recognize that context is everything: 1 tablespoon of an "outlawed" ingredient such as table sugar in a homemade salad dressing is healthier than eating 4 tablespoons of local honey, it just is. Why? Context is everything. The pattern of your diet matters. You can't get healthy trying to beat the system.

    Sorry for the rant, but people need to stop fooling themselves.

    There are some people who are celiacs or have legitimate reasons to stay 100% strict but for the vast majority of people spending tons of time and mental energy trying to avoid having an occasional beer or slice of cake is a massive waste of time, and they aren't going to be in for the long haul until they understand their diet and come up with a sane way to live their lives... meaning they can actually go to a social event and eat a piece of bruschetta and not feel like they instantly have "leaky gut" or some other nebulous disease.