Originally Posted by Desiderata
Getting caught up in diet dogma has never been helpful to me. In the past, I've excluded even considering other plans because they weren't MY plan -- to my detriment, as I was overlooking something useful for me. (I used to eschew Atkins and was dismissive of the whole low carb thing. Yet now that I am paleo/primal and wheat-free, I have a renewed appreciation for Atkins and have borrowed certain elements to great reward.)
My advice would be not to get too hung up on labels. When there's so much overlap, you can only benefit by being open and listening to what your own body tells you as you experiment with different eating choices. I'm glad you've found something helpful in the Wheat Belly book! I've never read it, but eliminating wheat has been very helpful for me. Paleo has been as well - but again, I've found it most helpful when I take inspiration from it instead of following it dogmatically, and instead use my body as the final arbiter for how well I tolerate things. (Wheat's out, but caffeine and dairy are in, I'm happy to say!)
Good luck to you!
This is what I've been trying to say. It isn't about the label, it's about the way of eating, and paleo and wheat belly are so similar that it makes sense to come together in the same thread, because there may not be enough of us to support individual threads.
Dieting in our culture is very much like religion - more divisionary than inclusive - even when the beliefs and religious services are nearly identical, to the point that a casual observer wouldn't catch the differences.
I lived in a town where even the Catholic churces were so divided that there was true animosity between the polish, italian, and slovac churches. The parishes wouldn't cooperate or accept help from one of the other churches, even if it was offered. One church school oferred to share it's computer lab with a poorer school, and the school board refused. Why? Because the school with the computer lab had school uniforms and allowed the girls to wear slacks to school (the smaller school had no uniforms, but an incredibly complicated dress code including past-the-knee dresses for girls).
I've seen the same thing in dieting over and over. People living and eating almost identically, but refusing to be a support for the other, because of one tiny difference in philosophy - even if it doesn't apply to them.
What? You won't consider my plan because it includes coffee, but you don't drink coffee?
Doesn't matter, the plan just isn't the same, because there's a single difference.
The pseudo-religious dogma is incredibly frustrating, and it kept me fat for decades. Oh, it wasn't the only reason, but it was a very big contributor - because if a plan didn't work for me, even for a tiny reason I could easily adapt to, instead I ditched the plan and went looking for something else.
I finally learned the lesson when I started South Beach maybe ten years or so ago. I loved sweet corn, watermelon, and fresh pineapple, and I thought the diet was insane for considering them foods to avoid or eat rarely. I never had a problem with any of those. In fact, every summer I lost weight on my "sweet corn and watermelon diet." I would eat as much sweet corn and watermelon I wanted, along with some protein (maybe from a rotisserie chicken or something easy). It was only a few days, but I wasn't willing to give up those foods.
I almost ditched South Beach entirely, and then I realized I only eat sweet corn and watermelon in late July and August for a few weeks. And pineapple I eat 3 per year at most. I was going to ditch something because I quibbled over something such a small part of my diet.
The thing is, I couldn't admit to eating sweet corn, watermelon, or pineapple when talking to folks on South Beach (either here or IRL), because they'd say "if you're eating that, you're no on South Beach." Even though these weren't foods that Dr. Agatson banned in his book, they were just labeled "limited," or "eat rarely." In fact, Dr. Agatson never outright banns anything. The food people translate as "forbiden" he uses the term "eat rarely" (or something to the effect, it's been a while since I read the book).
It frustrates me when I see people eating almost identically, who focus on the differences instead of the similarities, because there are zillions of diets out there (and zillions more if you count all the inventions and adaptations people make on their own). And yet, everyone seems to want a thread with people following the exact, same, not-just-nearly-identical, but exactly-identical-not-just-in-practice-but-in-every-minute-detail.
It means that someone following Wheat Belly as written, but puts a tsp of honey in their tea is considered "cheating" or "not really following the diet."
I know I'm ranting a bit here, but I just see all the lost potential in people not coming together because of a few minor differences, when they have 95% of their plan in common. Refusing to see the common threads means everyone has less support available than they could.
Wheat Belly is new, and a there aren't a lot of followers yet. An individual thread is great, but you may have little or no company until it gains momentum. Even then, many people knowing it's history, may be responding in the paleo threads, because they were following paleo first and have read Wheat Belly but don't see differences distinct enough to "convert" and have simply integrated Wheat Belly's information into what they already have.
I understand the desire to say "Wheat Belly isn't paleo, it's something new entirely," because people like following new and unique plans (so if they're not unique, they find some minor element to prove a difference).
I think it's pretty clear from the transcript I referenced, that Dr. Davis considers his diet paleo. Now, that doesn't mean anyone has to use the label. Wolf praises Dr. Davis for not using the label, so that it will appeal to the mainstream - who have already rejected or will reject the term. And that's kind of sad. He's essentially thanking Dr. Davis for disguising paleo so it's palatable to the masses. Wouldn't it be great if it didn't have to be disguiesed?
The label is meaningless (which was really my point). However, if Dr. Davis himself embraces paleo, it seems a bit strange to exclude the folks Dr. Davis himself includes.
I know the paleo thread would embrace anyone following Wheat Belly. No one who understands paleo will say, "that's not paleo." And I think a Wheat Belly thread should do the same. Embrace any paleo folk who stop by - because odds are you're eating pretty much the same, for pretty much the same reason.
I tend to rant a bit on this subject, because I see far too many people excluding each other and refusing support from people who are "a little different" even when the difference is 1% of the total. None of us are on 100% the same plan. Everyone will be interpreting their plan and eating just a little bit differently. We can focus on the differences or we can focus on the similarities.
I think the way that offers the most support is focusing on the similarities - so I'm going to point out the similarities when I see them (sometimes to the point of being a bit of a nuisance). I'm sorry for the nuisance to anyone, but I feel it's so important I can't keep silent when I see people creating divisions that don't need to exist. I'm not saying they don't have a right to create that division if they want it, but I also think the similarities are far more important than the differences. After all, how much are the differences really going to come up? Are we really going to spend that much time discussing whether or not we had a teaspoon of honey once a week or whether dairy is something a person should or shouldn't eat?
For the most part, the paleo threads don't get into those arguments. No one is sent away or criticised because they choose to include/exclude a bit of dairy or honey.
None of these plans is about perfection, it's about eating less man-made food and more food that our ancient ancestors would recognize as food - and eliminating the foods that our great grandparents might not recognize.
I just think that an inclusionary thread would be more supportive, than focusing on minute differences.