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Robyn Openshaw - Aug 09, 2013 - This Post May Contain Affiliate Links

The GreenSmoothieGirl View

I do agree with Paleo theory that hybridized grains are a bad idea. Ditto processed foods. Any diet that gets us OFF PROCESSED FOODS will make you feel better. People get very emotional defending Eat Right for Your Blood Type–because people who followed it felt better. Sure they did! Every single one of the blood types are told to not eat refined flour or sugar!

Again, correlation does not prove causation. Just because you feel better not eating junk food doesn’t mean there’s any validity to being pigeonholed by your blood type. After all, ALL cultures of the world have ALL the blood types represented! So how much sense does it make to tell A-positive folks that their blood type means they came from Europe and therefore they must eat grain and no meat like their ancestors did, who were all A blood type? Whereas Type O folks need to eat a lot of meat and do a lot of yoga rather than cardio. Or whatever it is. I read it once. I studied its scientific assumptions, which are head-scratchers, and moved on.)

But not all grains are bad. Fruit is good food. Many vibrantly healthy people don’t eat cooked animal flesh, which has very low energy, which you can measure. A leafy green has 30 times the megahertz of energy that a chicken breast does.

Meat Concerns

Humans have a GI tract that is 35 feet long, unlike carnivores that have short digestive tracts. This means that animal flesh putrefies before it leaves the body. Meat ages us quickly. If you don’t believe me, take a look at the faces of long-time bodybuilders and fitness competitors. Eating so much protein draws heavily on our limited digestive enzyme stores. The China Study is the biggest piece of nutrition research in history, and its clear conclusion is that a 20%+ animal protein diet puts us at high risk for all degenerative disease, especially cancer.

If we do eat animal protein, it should be clean, and it must be a minor part of a meal that is mostly high-fiber, raw plant food. Like a small portion of fish or poultry with a huge salad or big green smoothie.

Dangerous Diet

Atkins went away when so many people got sick from it, and the data about this began to be well-known. Atkins followers had bad breath, constipation, and plenty of heart disease and cancer. Its overweight founder died of heart disease.

I hope Paleo dies soon, too. I agree with Paleo followers about eating whole foods. They make no distinction between cooked and raw vegetables, and that’s a critically important difference, since raw foods require far fewer resources for the body to digest, leaving more energy for higher brain function, creativity, athletics, and just generally doing great things.

The Golden Nugget

My agreement with Paleo principles ends with eliminating refined foods and advocating for whole ones. I am sure I will get some backlash from Paleo followers. That makes sense, because they’re spending a lot of time and dough following that “diet.” Sometimes we over-commit to things we’ve spent a lot of time and energy and money on. Plus, as you mentioned, Marianne, this diet is taught by Crossfit instructors.

The Truth Will Set You Free

But, I’m not going to endorse a fad just because it’s popular. I’m going to tell the truth as I see it. Feel free to reject it if you want. Just remember: you may feel better and be leaner on Paleo. But anyone will, who gets off refined carbs. There are better, easier ways to get ripped and get healthy, that don’t harm your health, break the bank, and bankrupt the environment.


Posted in: Whole Food

23 thoughts on “WHAT DOES GSG THINK ABOUT THE PALEO DIET? part 2 of 2”

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  1. Roxanne says:

    Most Paleo folks that I know are well aware that subsidies are what created cheap, unhealthy, polluting, CAFO meat and dairy, and that they need to end! Many paleo folks are highly against subsidies, CAFOS, and unsustainable farming. We are well aware that ending subsidies and banning CAFO operations would push back meat eating to celebrations and Sunday dinner (like it was before WWII) for most people.

    We acknowledge it and support this realization as necessary to the health and survival of the planet. But healthy, sustainable meat doesn’t have to be expensive. My local rancher where I get my organic, non-GMO, grass-fed, pastured beef and pork, does not receive government subsidies, and he still makes a decent living by selling directly to consumers and higher end restuarants, and I get beef for 4.50/lb. and pastured pork for 6.00/lb. The trick is to buy in bulk. A side of beef lasts me almost an entire year, and I buy 30# of pork that lasts us about 18 months. I also buy pastured eggs from a local farmer for $4.00 a dz, and I buy 3 whole pastured chickens a year for $16.00 a piece.

    I use my stash of meat very frugally, never waste ANYTHING, and I don’t eat meat 3x a day, everyday. Most of the Paleo advocates that I know are HUGE fruit and veggie eaters (I know I eat almost 10 servings a day, and I have a green smoothie 3-4 times a week), eat tubers and roots regularly, and many eat quinoa and some legumes once or twice a week when they are prepared properly. You cannot pigeon hole all Paleo eaters into one category. For many, the term Paleo is just another name for a whole foods lifestyle.

    Personally, I eat this way because most grains and beans (even soaked or sprouted) cause intense amounts of inflammation for me and send my blood sugar into enormous swings that cause intense cravings for carbs that pushed me to eat all day long. I tried a near vegetarian diet for a year, and it didn’t work. All I got out of it was raging bouts of hunger, widespread joint pain, and hypoglycemia.

    1. Robyn says:

      Ah, Roxanne, if this were what the Paleo diet taught, in general, from the beginning, and if it were what most were doing, it would just be a whole-foods diet. I’d be excited about it. All the Paleo folks I know are eating more whole foods (good thing!) and also lots of meat—grocery-store meat—which is what they can afford. And the diet does promote a great deal of animal product and is soundly criticized for that in many venues by many experts.

      Many places in the country, the very resourceful obtaining of lower-cost organic meats is very difficult or impossible. Lucky you!

      Paleolithic man wasn’t eating vegs or fruits from around the world, of course, nor grains, even quinoa.

      I think what we’re seeing is educated, sophisticated people like you co-opting the diet and adding other good stuff that makes it a far more balanced approach. Which is great. Atkins Diet was a similar phenomenon: when it was criticized, for so long, as being permissive of a harmful bacon-and-eggs type of menu, it changed. Eventually, though, it has practically gone away, as other “diets” and food cults have taken over.

      I think we just have to find the right diet, within our modern means, that leverages the best of times when people were truly healthy. Paleo has some good ideas, and you’ll read in my Part 2 of this report that I agree absolutely on hybridized grains. But Paleo should be balanced with the important findings of the biggest nutrition study in history, the Oxford/Cornell China Project, where longitudinal studies examining 6,500 people showed that eating a 20% animal protein diet is not a good idea if we wish to decrease disease risk.

      1. Marjorie says:

        Roxanne and I must follow the same Paleo blogs, because the ones I follow advocate 2/3 veggies on a plate with 1/3 fruits and meat. Just as a general guideline. Not meat, meat, meat….I have seen those…ugh!

        I LOVE GSG and have learned a lot, but my body needs a little animal protein. (Little being the operative word) I like that you realize everyone is different and you know what your body can handle and what works. I love my green smoothies and have gotten many others introduced to just that concept knowing it is a gateway for them to change.

        I really like how you do not randomly support one thing over another and really research and find out what has worked for most and also what has worked for you.

        My boss for my short-term job in the fall cannot tolerate animal proteins at all and she asked me for help and I pointed her to your site. We plan on seeing you when you come to Houston in October.
        Thank you for your continued desire to help others and your gracious way of pointing out differences.


  2. Cathy Beatty says:

    I also here that we should not eat fruit with veggies they should be consumed 2-3 hours apart.Would like to hear what your ideas about that is.
    Thank you
    Cathy B

    1. Robyn says:

      Cathy, I disagree with that “food combining theory.” If you don’t feel good with certain combinations (like animal meat, and fruit—one takes many hours, maybe days, to digest, and one digests in 20-45 minutes), avoid those. But eating a plant based diet, we shouldn’t need to make rocket science of combining foods. They all digest within a few hours and I don’t worry about that AT ALL. I haven’t seen any real science backing up this food combining stuff, and it flies in the face of logic. People ate 3 meals a day for thousands of years.

  3. Jenny says:

    You make it sound like all people who eat paleo, that all we eat is meat….NOT true! But when I do eat meat,it’s good grass fed meat. I do eat fruit too. It’s about balance and what works for ME. Not anyone else. Eating paleo has enabled me to live a life that has made me stronger, healthier and mentally, more stable than ever before. And I have been eating paleo for over 5 years. I have yet to break my bank, in fact, I spend less for food for my family. I spend my hard earned money wisely and we eat everything that comes into our house. We eat and juice foods I never thought I would like. Paleo has opened up a whole different world of food for myself and my family. For me to eat grains, makes me very sick, so I don’t eat them at all. But that works for ME. I believe that every human needs to find the balance that works for them. Paleo is to a fad diet for me, it’s my way of life and for me that works.

    1. Robyn says:

      Jenny, that’s great. Sounds like you took some Paleo principles (anti-grain) and opted into some of the principles that work for you, like high vegetable consumption. If “Paleo” were synonymous with just “eat more whole foods and don’t eat processed food,” of course I wouldn’t have written this answer to the question. There’s some good stuff there for sure. Glad you’re feeling well now!

  4. Robyn says:

    Well, Dr. Atkins had heart disease, cardiomyopathy, and saying he slipped on the ice does not accurately tell the whole story. His story does include a heart attack. Lots of things about his death are hotly debated and I don’t know exactly what happened. I heard the news along with others, and Newsweek and others reported he died of eating his own diet, which may or may not have been a contributor. But his diet is not a good way to eat. Not healthy, not sustainable.

    I am glad that you got started on a path away from the Standard American Diet—even a flawed means to that end is good in many ways!

    But there are lots of “diets” that are truth mixed with fiction. My observation is that when people feel better eating according to a fad diet, sometimes they overinvest, emotionally, in that diet. IMO, it’s best to take principles that are true from various diets, but also use good critical thinking skills about where the diet has become lopsided, extreme, erring against good judment and what we know about what a good, disease-preventative diet is.

    That’s what I’m saying here.

    1. Kim says:

      I understand what you are trying to say. I do take some advice from your site as well as others and I do what works for me. My blood work is great and I east some meat. I don’t “do Atkins” and haven’t for a few years. I still admire a doctor that was willing to go against the government guidelines. I only wanted you to be careful and not lower yourself to “talking trash” about other people that might compete with your advice. I recall very well when he died and I truly felt then that the people who bad-mouthed him were ones that disagreed with his method. He dared to go against the USDA guidelines and people didn’t like that. There is no proof that the cause of death was the “Atkins Diet”. I don’t think there is ONE way that works best for EVERYONE. I personally eat a little meat, lots of vegetables (some raw, some cooked, some fermented) some fruit, nuts and seeds. I do my best not to have ANY grains because they instantly bloat me. I don’t do much dairy for the same reason. (not even yogurt or kefir) I take bits and pieces of advice from several sources. I tend to believe those that have physical proof/ case studies. That’s all I’m trying to say.

  5. julie says:

    thank you robyn i think it was well put ,i personally do crossfit, but dont do paleo and i dont like the way people think if your vegetarian or vegan either that you take in soy or carbs ,like breads and other refined flours

  6. Ellen says:

    Robyn, I greatly appreciated your comments on the Paleo diet. IMO, you are spot on! Thank you for standing your ground.

  7. Thank you, Kim. That mis-statement was upsetting.

  8. Hanna says:

    Robyn, I think you are amazing! I have never felt better in my life than when I started drinking green smoothies on a regular basis. I have tried Atkins before: what a waste of time and health!!! Thank you again for doing what you do: spreading the word about this miracle: GREEN SMOOTHIES!
    You helped me change my life for the better and I truly admire you!!!!!

  9. allisonm says:

    I am not paleo… but this study kind of shows that the “aging issue” that eating meat has is… not that true after all.

  10. I just wanted to share the study that Robyn referred to in her blog post about the Paleo diet being ranked last by a panel of nutrition experts:

  11. S says:

    I’m not saying you’re wrong but I’m pretty sure it’s incorrect that raw foods require less resources to digest. When starting a baby on solid foods you have to cook and purée it, otherwise the baby won’t be able to digest it as the raw food is too harsh on its system, so to me it doesn’t seem intuitive that as you age this suddenly reverses. Could you possibly shed some light on your source/s for this statement?
    I agree with this article a bit though, mainly that people should be wary of fad diets, instead (in my opinion) merely stick to basics and try to develop a positive relationship with food – don’t feel guilty or stressed about it; enjoy it! I also think that ‘raw foody-ism’ is a fad diet also as it’s very restrictive, cold and at times texturally displeasing. Also there are many accounts of people with serious health problems which have developed after an extended period of raw food exclusivity, despite the initial high. As a species who has cooked their food for millennia after millennia, I feel cooking food has its place in the preparation of human food.
    Good article though, the diets/food regimes you mentioned (including paleo) are all just money making fads which will inevitably be overtaken by yet another dietary fad in the future.

    1. Robyn says:

      Shannan, when a food comes with its own enzymes, it doesn’t draw on the body’s limited reserves of digestive enzymes from the pancreas and liver. Raw foods (also fermented foods) are, in some ways, pre-digested and very easy to digest. They also tend to have lots of fiber undamaged by cooking to carry through the GI tract.

      1. allisonm says:

        raw food is not pre-digested…. it’s not processed in any way. something you have to understand… meat and raw veggies (cooked also) alike… we have evolved to eat them both. humans have both canines (carnivores) and incisors (herbivores). meat isn’t detrimental to the health. raw food isn’t either….. now, referring to digestive enzymes, lots of probiotics (unfortunately) are missing from the modern diet, just because well… it’s modern. We have so many more new chemicals in the environment and we emphasize our “cleanliness”. However, you have to give credit to the human body. If your liver isn’t constantly irritated by foods that are processed, inflammatory, or foods that you have an intolerance to (some people grains, others dairy, others certain vegetables), then your pancreas and liver might develop tons of problems. (excuse the grammar, i’ve just woken up). This is just my opinion.

  12. Diana says:

    “Meat ages us quickly. If you don’t believe me, take a look at the faces of long-time bodybuilders and fitness competitors. Eating so much protein draws heavily on our limited digestive enzyme stores.” That is a poor example and a statement made out of bias and not fact. It is not an example that will encourage people to take you seriously. Bodybuilders’ daily activities put their bodies under extreme stress and inflammation. They tend to eat high volumes of “white,” proteins with a lower nutritional density- egg whites, chicken breast, whey protein powders, cottage cheese, etc. Many also tan excessively to get ready for competitions (or use artificial, chemical-laden self tanners) because it makes the cut of their muscles stand out more. Suspect supplements and steroids also find their way into the mix. I don’t believe it’s fair to blame their ageing appearances simply on eating protein. There are too many other confounding variables.

    1. Robyn says:

      Diana, those are surely all contributors as well. But with vegetarian foods measuring 50 – 250 MHz of energy, and meat products measuring 0 – 2 MHz, a human’s energetic vibration of 62-68 is aged quickly by a heavily meat-oriented diet. (Also whey protein, processed food, etc.) Just one of the factors, but an important one.

  13. Pat says:

    I highly recommend that everyone with strong opinions on either side of this issue approach this debate open to the possibility that both extremes of dietary composition recommendations may be missing the bigger picture. Denise Minger does a beautiful job of articulating this in her recent book, Death by Food Pyramid. If everyone can push their ego attached biases aside and look at the flaws in research, politics, big agriculture, and the numerous distortions of what is right and wrong…and then look at what threads run strong, true, and common among the cleanest observations in studies…we might see a much more balanced perspective that,heaven forbid, takes us back to somewhere in the middle but with the common thread of good clean, honestly produced real food.

  14. maheadibell says:

    Hi Robin,
    I believe that Dr Atkins died after a fall on ice. I think they said on news at time that he hit his head – not sure. He did have heart problems, but not reason for his death (news said at the time). I did try his diet for a while but couldn’t stick to it. The first couple of steps were really restrictive with no fruit at all. When I look back I see it wasn’t healthy. I was glad to read your opinion of Paleo because know someone doing it and have a book intended to read about it but what you said made a lot of sense.

    1. Robyn Openshaw says:

      Hi Diane! Someone I really like a lot is Michael Greger, MD. You may have organically found his stuff at online, over the years. His book How Not to Die was probably 2016’s best health/nutrition book. I highly recommend it. But his first, much lesser known book, Carbophobia, is also a great read, and like many others have, he explores the real story of the heart attack and eventual death of obesity and heart disease that Dr. Robert Atkins died from, besides big coverups by his family and billion-dollar diet empire. It’s a good read on many other levels, too, especially the terrible travesty that his diet was, for public health, the total, foundational nutritional ignorance of telling people to eat no-fiber, low-micronutrient foods…..his diet was a calorie-restrictive one that caused digestive stoppage and halitosis, not to mention the longterm damage to metabolism through this ridiculous obsession with “ketosis” that keeps reappearing in new food fads, today. His family/empire went bankrupt a year or so after his death, but to this day “Atkins-approved” lives on, and now we have morphing new food fads to feed the mega-billion dollar diet industry. None are as bad as Atkins, telling people to eat all the bacon and eggs they want. But they still try to capitalize on telling Americans to eat what they want to eat anyway…..and conning them into believing that’s somehow good for them. Dr. Atkins may have slipped on the ice. But he died in a hospital and his own doctor AND his family, in some venues, admitted to his long battle with heart disease and even a full-on heart attack.

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