Search This Blog

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

'Manda's Musings: Loving everyone from "Primal" to "PAF"

 I was not gonna blog again until after the wedding because, let's be honest, there are "better" things I could be doing with my time. However, of course, I read some things and witnessed some things that got me all riled up and excited to write, so here it is.

If you have been out of your cave lately you might have noticed that the awesomeness that is Paleo Parents did a post this week about the defense of 'Paleo' in regards to the movement that many of us are a part of. There have also been posts about this same issue on many of my other favorite blogs (none of which I can find right now... you know me and resources). Not to mention the craziness that is Paleo and Primal groups on Facebook.

It is INSANE to me how much this 'revolution' resembles the mechanics and behaviors of 7th grade. Let's review shall we?

For some reason, (at least for me and most people I know) 7th grade is THAT TIME where everyone is awkward, all you want is to fit in, and people really start kind of making their own decisions and forming opinions about certain issues.

For example: When I was in 7th grade I decided that it didn't matter what someone was... it was who they were that was important. I had many friends who were still in the closet at the time and I loved them regardless. I had friends who were struggling with finding themselves, like I was, and we all kinda went through that together. It could have been because that was the year of Matthew Shepherd's Death and his cousin was in my class, or it could have been because I was sick of being treated like crap just because I was different. I was overweight and I was not popular... but I found who I am and have stuck to that as much as possible since.

I went to a middle school with an interesting dynamic. There were people from privileged families who were fairly well off and had everything they needed. Then, in the same exact school, there were children who were so poor they didn't eat if not at school. As a Caucasian I was considered a MINORITY at my school, but we were a part of one of the richest and whitest counties in Colorado... This gave way to a lot more changes, and this was when the great divide started to happen.

So how does this have to do with the Paleo Movement, Paleo Revolution, Paleo Sphere?

If you haven't figured it out already... we are hitting adolescence. There is starting to be a GREAT DIVIDE. There are the people who are doing it for health reasons, who started from the very bottom and are trying our hardest to work our way to better health. There are people who, to quote Paleo Parents "tend to be self-righteous, pompous, and were seemingly birthed into the world of Paleo eating liver and sweet potatoes from day one". There are also the people who were "born" into the Paleo world even less fortunate and struggle to even make it happen.

The similarities to my experiences as a 12 year old trying to navigate 7th grade are becoming more and more clear, and more disappointing to be honest. I have done nothing but love everyone in the paleo world (and the whole world really) and in return I have been bad mouthed on  Facebook Groups: IPMG and Primal and even in certain forums. I have some amazing friends who are experiencing the same type of immaturity in their efforts. The only thing I can say for all of us is this: Thank goodness we are capable of handling this kind of treatment better than when we were 12. At least in my case, instead of crying, I smile and tell people I love them. I just LEAVE the groups I don't agree with. Most importantly, I never ever waiver on what I feel is right. I won't tell you what is right for you, please don't tell me what is right for me.

As you all know, and as I have said hundreds of time on this blog, I am NOT the person you should go to for facts. I don't really care about facts as much as some of my EXTREMELY AWESOME counterparts. I take my Paleo (and other life) journey almost 100% based on gut feelings ... and my gut tells me what I am doing is right for my body (not to mention my PHYSICAL gut feels better when I do it).

Readers come to this blog for a few reasons, I am assuming:
 1. To be inspired by my story  (Which I still struggle with but through certain experiences am learning to accept and appreciate about myself.)
 2. To get love. There is NEVER EVER a lack of love on my blog, I believe that love is exponential, love begets love, and I love you, even if I don't exactly KNOW you... 
and 3. For enjoyment. This blog is pretty entertaining... especially if you like seeing people set plans, make promises, and then only keep them for like a month or two. I am the queen of starting something new, and then getting too busy to carry it out. It is a personal defect of mine, but I promise, I love you still even if I don't post for months ;)

I digress--People in the scientific world, more specifically the scientific side of the Paleo world, have very little patience for people like me. I have noticed, in my experiences, that stories like mine are undervalued because I don't have a science to what I do. I just do what feels right. There are people who think the best thing to do and the ONLY way to be paleo is to be (to use the fairly new and  somewhat irritating term) PAF (Paleo as F**k). It is just another way for us to segregate ourselves through labels...

As far as I can tell this is the equivalent of what it was to be Preppy  when I was a kid.  I remember one time there was a girl who was SO SWEET she just wanted to help me. She was one of the ones who fit in. I didn't, even if I wanted to I probably couldn't have. My hair was in a really awkward phase (due to puberty)... it was between wavy and its now beautiful curly... and she pulled me aside when her friends weren't around and said, "Amanda, you would be much prettier, and everyone would like you more, if you just blow-dried your hair straight. I can teach you if you want me to. Then you might be able to be preppy and no one would make fun of you anymore." What a sweetheart, she had my best interest at heart. What she didn't know was that 1. I am FAR too lazy to blow dry my hair... and 2. getting up that early was NOT WORTH having those jerks as my friends.

How does this relate? ... Well... a person on IPMG told me once in a private message after a whole big huge blow up on the board "If you just ate only meats and veg, and stopped having Primal Fuel for your shakes... just eat ground beef ... its PAF and people won't give you so much *crap*... also you'll get down to like 13% BF and everyone wants that right?" ... Just because it is SOME people's goal to be 15,% or even 20%... does not mean it is mine. And I am sorry but if eating barely cooked ground beef  or liver is what I need to do to fit in your little club... Meh, I can hang out outside of your club drinking my Primal Fuel and when no one is looking and your reputation isn't on the line, you can PM me and we can be friends... cuz I got nothin' but love. I get that this may be what is "best" for you... but my gut says "yuck"-so I will have to say "no".

The last topic is one I can't PERSONALLY relate to very much but is something that I think needs to be brought up. Again, I wish I had all the links ... I need to keep a folder (but we all know I won't)... there has been A LOT of talk about minority groups, impoverished families, and Paleo. Why is it that paleo is mainly a community of white, middle to upper class men (and recently a lot more women)?... BECAUSE It was geared toward that group to begin with. HOWEVER, that does not mean that we need to, nor do we want to, LIMIT ourselves to that demographic.

A HUGE goal of mine (that I haven't shared yet) is to start a local Paleo movement. Of course I live in the WHITEST city in America (I am not kidding folks, this place is wonderbread)... but I have to start somewhere, and hopefully it can expand. I think that we can easily survive on a Paleo diet without having to spend our savings. I ate Paleo my entire last year of college and it was CHEAPER than when I wasn't eating Paleo (I think it is cuz i had to eat MORE S.A.D. food to feel "full" and I was also an over-eater consuming addictive foods, so that didn't help). I think we CAN  (and will) integrate minorities. It is becoming more and more common for people to eat "Paleo" regardless of if that is what they call it or not labels don't matter. HOPEFULLY one day the government can even get on board and support a more whole foods focused diet so the WIC and Food Stamps government support groups can be geared toward this healthful way of being. (My lack of science knowledge really puts me at a disadvantage with this, but I am really nice and personable so hopefully I can help in the face to face or on the phone stuff... ;) )

NOW--My experience with this and middle school? Not many people know this story but as I said I was a part of the minority of my middle school. It doesn't matter how white your skin is or how big your parent's bank roll is if you live in a city that has high crime and gang rates which were growing when I was growing up... you were at the equal opportunity of being harassed. I had a friend who was black (I had/have a LOT of black friends... lol as my good friend Amber will tell you, I love black people :) )... This person and I were in choir together and we had been friends for like 3 years or so. At that time it was really popular to wear those sock buns (you know what I am talking about, they are coming back now!) and many people put a scrunchy around it or a bandanna... Well I was wearing this super cute red outfit one day and threw a red bandanna around my sock bun to go along with it. My 'friend' was apparently upset by my decision because as we were leaving class she grabbed by bun and bandanna and ripped it out (pulling out some of my hair) yelling at me: "You don't have the right skin color to pull this off! NEVER wear it again!" I didn't. The bandanna returned to my locker. I cried... fixed my hair, and never ever wore a sock bun OR a bandanna again (to this day).

I am scarred by that single moment in my life... and to think there are HUNDREDS of people who are subjected to that kind of cruelty daily... sometimes more than that. There are places in the world where you can be killed for what you look like and if you don't follow the "norms" for your skin tone or culture...

We are in America, (regardless of your political beliefs) a free country... There is ABSOLUTELY NO REASON we should be treating ANYONE with this cruelty... I can love you no matter what is on the outside. I love you if you agree with me I love you if you disagree with me. I love you if you speak my language, I love you if you don't. This is pretty obvious by just flipping through my Facebook friends, there are people of almost EVERY religious background, almost EVERY race, almost EVERY sexual orientation, etc etc etc... this is because I BELIEVE IN EQUALITY. People NEED love, ALL LIVING THINGS NEED LOVE. I will not accept or condone any behaviors which point fingers at someone because they are different... instead of getting uncomfortable at the idea of integrating minorities into our community... let's get loving... and share the love... we should be encouraging healthy behavior no matter what color or shape it comes in.

So... That was a long ass post. I hope you took something from it. If you made it this far, please leave me a comment. Let me know what you think... I want to know your thoughts.

Thank you

I love you all


  1. It definitely saddens me to see that some of this stuff is going on in our community. I guess I shouldn’t be so surprised. From my perspective, I just try to take the good and ignore any of the pettiness. I am the expert on me and I take others’ opinions with a grain of salt. I love your site and that you share your own story, your point of view. I’m not so much about the science either. I like hearing about people’s real lives and how they make this work within them. It’s what I try to do on my blog as well. I’m not here to justify my choices, just to share how I’ve gotten here and what I’m up to now. Not Earth-shattering, but hopefully, interesting. Thanks for being such a loving voice in this space. Good luck with the wedding planning! Congratulations!

    1. Holy moly! Thank you Amelia! I am so grateful for your comment, and thanks for the congrats... 17 days will fly and I can't believe it is so close!!! :) <3

  2. I had to come back and read it again. I really love this post!

    I've decided that like the terms "Witch" and "Redneck," I'm going to reclaim "Paleo" as well. I generally avoid grains. Dairy happens. Rice sometimes happens. Maybe I don't eat as clean as some people, but I do ok for my own goals.

    And goals change. My goal was once to have 20% body fat. My goal now... to be happy and not obsess over my food, or the size of my ass. When it all comes down to it, nobody has to live in my body but me, so really the only opinion that matters about my diet is... well... mine.

    Thanks for spreading the love, Manda. I always love stopping by here and reading. It always leaves me in a better mood than that which I came. <3

    1. <3 Thanks DR! You are so awesome! Such a wonderful friend an inspiration to me :) Thanks for all your sweet words :)

      Nice job reclaiming what you are. Labels don't define us but we can wear them like the BABs we are :)

      <3 Love ya