Let me first say that I hold nothing against the various Paleo/Primal sites and books that offer up a 30 day challenge approach to anti-inflammatory eating. I think it’s great and the intent of their programs is to expose people to the diet and how it can significantly affect their health and fitness goals. All of which I think is phenomenal, I just do not agree that it is the only way to do it nor do I believe it is the best approach for almost everyone. The basis for why I say this is relatively simple, I eat in a Primal way (Mark Sisson’s version of Paleo with some dairy) most of the time. Per the protocol I occasionally partake in some grains (same with Paleo). All of which is normal and acceptable under what is known as the “20% rule”. Most of the 30 day challenges tend to be a bit more restrictive, this is where we differ.
Why I think 10 days is better
Let’s assume that we can get people to the point to agree that their life would be better without grains. That seems relatively simple to do right? Beans and Milk are arguable points but for a really restricted time period let’s make sure to add them in. Most people are now continuing to listen but they have a chalkboard in their head while they google “weight watchers online”. By the time you hit them with doing it for a month they are done, and it’s light beer and nachos time for 19 points (I really have no idea what the points are for light beer and nachos). Now let’s say that you offer a similar “very clean” paleo or primal program but for 10 days, now you have them back. The reason is simple, and it is not just because anyone can do anything for 10 days (though that is partly true). With all of our good intentions to share our “health secret” we have lost track of why people take on this challenge in the first place. Typically it’s just to lose a few pounds, maybe more than a few for some people. No matter what you call what we are selling let’s not forget that we have opposition that in a lot of cases are not long term health solutions for our friends and families. Forget the fact that the way we eat is not very restrictive when in practice because that is not what is going on in the heads of the people we care about. This is why I think 10 days is better.
I personally have used the 10 day protocol for extreme health and body fat loss
As a general rule this is what I do during those times, the rest of the time I use the 20% rule. I never count calories and I eat until I am full in both situations.
The simple approach to eating well, you may have heard this stuff from your mom
The other part that seems to be unclear to most people I will try and clear up with my anti-inflammatory foods list but we have made things too confusing. This is the simple answer:
Not these meats under these conditions, or vegetables but not fried or one fruit a day. If you eat Lean Meats, Vegetables and Fruits you are not doing it wrong, period. Now maybe that is not technically Paleo or Primal or Caveman or whatever other bullshit marketing idea but it most certainly is an anti-inflammatory way of eating. On my list I will continue to add and categorize to try and make things as easy as possible but remember that if you just eat those 3 things and nothing else you are not doing it wrong. Expanding from that list will be glorious and infectious and it will expose the people we love and care for to the miracle we know.