04 Sep Paleo, Vegan, Keto: Can’t We All Just Get Along?
Growing up in the 90’s exposed me to an unending amount of right vs. wrong battles:
1. Britney vs. Christina
2. N’Sync vs. Backstreet Boys
3. Eminem vs. 50 Cent
4. Barbie vs. Polly Pocket
5. Vince McMahon vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin
Who was right and who was wrong? Who was good and who was evil? It seemed there was no in-between and we were stuck choosing one side only.
Fast forward to today, and we’re all in a similar predicament.
This time, with diets.
Paleo vs. vegan? Vegetarian vs. pescatarian? Keto vs. the world?
What do we choose?
When it comes to nutrition, it seems you have to choose one way or you’re fucked.
Paleo, vegan, and keto die-hards will argue to the death that their way of doing things is best for all of humanity. Their arguments:
You’ll avoid cancer.
You’ll lower your blood pressure.
You’ll burn fat.
You’ll marry Khaleesi.
This reminds me of a time when I was at the bar, and a woman sat down next to me. The conversation went like this:
Woman: “What is that drink you have?”
Me: “A sangria.”
Woman: “That sounds amazing. I think I’ll get that too.”
Me: “You should!”
Woman: “I’m Keto, but I can have sangria.”
Excuse me, but what the actual fuck. At no point did I inquire about her diet. But hey, that’s keto zealots for you. They’ll be the first to broadcast it to the world.
Instead of brushing her statement under the rug, I decided to be a prodding asshole.
Me: “So how’s that going for you?”
Woman: “Amazing! I feel great! Although, I gained 15 pounds back, but I’ll get back on track soon.”
Me: “So would you say Keto is working for your goals?”
Woman: “It was for a while, but then I was overeating and drinking.”
As much as I could end the article right here and finish with the one-liner, “calories matter,” then drop the fucking mic, I won’t.
There’s another layer going on here and its people need to choose the diet that works for them.
Paying attention to this woman’s demeanor, she appeared frustrated and shameful that she gained all that weight back, which begs the question: was she truly happy being keto? Was it *really* working for her?
My guess would be no.
Adding on, I believe touting your diet to the world is problematic when you fail to realize you’re a different human being than the stranger you meet at the bar.
And as much as I wanted to tell this woman, “I eat burritos, Lucky Charms, and charcuterie plates” and slap my healthy blood panels, fat free mass numbers, and body fat and muscle percentage charts on the bar top, I didn’t want to be that pompous.
Well, my diet is unique to me and it’s not my place to force it upon her.
Though a hardcore meat and carb eater, I’m internally healthy, physically lean, and mentally sharp.
However, it’s worth mentioning none of this is to say anyone is right or wrong. There’s only the diet that resonates and serves you.
And I know what you’re thinking, ‘gee, Erica, that sounds like some pseudo spiritual bullshit.’
Awesome. Let’s get fucking spiritual.
Here’s what you need to know: everyone’s body is their own solar system of sorts – the way they digest food, the way they store fat, the way they synthesize protein, the way they absorb nutrients.
Given the complexities of each human, to say there’s only one way of doing things, whether that is Paleo, Keto, or Vegan, is bullshit.
I’ll admit: I was Vegan for a year. While it worked for that finite moment in time, eventually, I had to move on due to hormonal and emotional issues. Once I introduced meat back into my diet, life was good again.
So if there’s anything you get from this article, it’s to let people be people. Oh, and stay in your own lane, asshat.
Coming back to spirituality, there’s more than one truth to everything. It’s tantamount to telling people to deadlift with JUST one modality. Given differences in hip anatomy and biomechanics, it’s downright ignorant to say everyone should deadlift with the barbell.
Same thing goes for diets. Different person, different needs, different diet.
With that said, adopt a diet that works for you and your truth only.
*Steps off podium*