Two weeks ago, I wrote a post called GAPS vs Paleo Part 1, and then a couple of days later, GAPS vs Paleo Part 2. Well, I am always learning, and I realized (thanks to many of YOU! :)) that I had something wrong. I thought that there were hugely differing Paleo views out there. And there may be (I haven’t read every Paleo book, just a few). However, what I had read about was actually TWO DIFFERENT DIETS, and I was calling them one. There is a distinction: The Paleo Diet (Cordain, & Wolf), and The Primal Diet (Sisson). They have similar beginnings and many likenesses, but also many differences. Their main difference is the stance on saturated fats. Because of this, I believe that the Primal Diet is very much like GAPS (while Paleo has only a few similarities to GAPS and many irreconcilable differences).
This is such a big topic, I’ve made a page about it: GAPS vs Paleo vs Primal
I think the Primal Diet is a healthy way to eat, and I greatly respect Mark Sisson’s writings (though I wish the guy would put on some clothes ;)). My only beefs (ha!) with the Primal Diet are:
- I love dairy. I NEED cheese. No. I mean, I REALLY do. I read an article tonight by Dr. Natasha about how our body tells us what we need (when it’s healthy/not bogged down by processed foods and environmental chemicals). It tells us what we need by our cravings (again, only if we’re not eating JUNK!), etc. I CRAVE cheese. A LOT. I think my long-ago-ancestors must have been dairy farmers!
- And along with cheese, homemade yogurt is pretty amazing (especially with oranges). And cultured sour cream. YUM. Can I just scoop about 2 cups on top of my dinner? 😉 And grass fed butter (have you tasted the difference? Oh, you MUST!). My body needs it. I can tell. I am STARVING when I don’t have this wonderful stuff in my diet. It’s what I was lacking when I was weak and shaky (well, the processed foods and grains were depleting my body, too).
- I can’t have nuts. There are so many almond-flour recipes, and I can’t have them. Not if I want to breathe, anyway.
- I’m not a fan of fermented soy or edamame. I don’t think they’re healthy foods. Mark Sisson says they’re ok to eat.
- Pressure cookers can be used in Primal cooking. Dr. Natasha says that quick-cooking food damages it. I agree.
The things I like about the Primal Diet:
- Sweet potatoes are yummy with a gob of grass fed butter. Sweet potatoes aren’t GAPS legal.
- No beans. Beans are an issue for me, as for most people with autoimmune diseases. I’ll feel perfectly well, and then I’ll eat a soup with beans (soaked! Home cooked! I’ve even tried fermented!) and all of the sudden my muscles will feel weak. Beans attack my system. Again, if you’ve got autoimmune stuff going on, you should avoid them. So I agree w/this element of the Primal Diet.
- I believe in the exercise aspect of the Primal diet. I believe that weight/health is 75% diet, 25% exercise (and lifestyle–stress, etc. fits in there somehow). Dr. Natasha doesn’t mention an exercise routine–but GAPS was originally written for autistic kids. Kids don’t usually have any trouble getting their daily exercise in! Â I’m thinking about including some of the Primal exercises in my day, as a way to stay healthy. I love the idea that Sarah Fragosocan lift 220 lbs (almost double her weight). I want to be like her. 😉
Anyways, go look at my GAPS vs Paleo vs Primal page to check out the differences!
What about you? Are you on GAPS? Paleo? Primal? What are your thoughts about these diets?