Monday, January 13, 2014

Paleo's Wearing Wine Goggles

There are many subtle disagreements between the various main proponents of Paleo (Loren Cordain and Robb Wolf) and Primal (Marc Sisson)  ways of living that don't really matter. For example, some argue that sweet potatoes are okay, others say they're no better than the average white potato. At the end of the day, it's kind of immaterial - if we're all an experiment of one, we can find our own path as we try to improve our health and feel better.

However, there's one notion they all seem to agree on: alcohol is a-okay. Sure, beer is out because it's made from grain, but wine is delicious and so very good for you, right? Marc Sisson even posts a list of all the drinkable options. Even though these authors all admit that wine isn't Paleo (strictly speaking <wink>), it's just possible that our ancestors ate fruit that had fermented, right?

I know it bugs me because I'm an alcoholic. But it also bugs me because they make a special exception for alcohol, fail to recognize that there are deep connections between immune disorders and alcohol use, and overlook the simple fact that continuing to drink while transitioning to Paleo will limit the benefits you gain from your 21 or 30 day trial. (Who can't give up booze temporarily to see how it affects their health and well-being???? Hmmm. Oh yeah. Alcoholics like us couldn't have ever done that.)They take a hardline on grain and legumes, so why not apply the same logic to alcohol? Or at least be as hardline as they are about dairy....

Personally, I think anyone who drinks during a "health reset" misses out on a real opportunity to evaluate their relationship with alcohol. Include it in your list of "don'ts" and then try reintroducing it at the end of the experiment, just as you'll do with grains or dairy. (Of course, if you're a big alcoholic like I am, all experimentation has previously been completed so there's no need for a test-re-introduction...that would be utterly stupid. YES - you are still an alcoholic even after you do convert to Paleo). Even if it's not that difficult to give it up, you may discover things you wouldn't have otherwise known, like perhaps it contributes to your pollen allergy, or it makes you really sleepy the next day. With that knowledge, you can better plan how and when you drink. OR you may find it near impossible to remain compliant and completely reassess your drinking patterns. Who knows unless you try?

The only exception to this rule (that I've found) are Melissa and Dallas Hartwig over at the Whole9. They take alcohol off the menu during the 30-day nutritional re-set. I felt much better when I discovered that. At least somebody has taken off the wine goggles.

If you're sober, keep on keeping on. If you're not, give it a whirl - you can always drink next month.


  1. The whole time I was reading this I was thinking, "not the Whole 30!" Then I saw you already knew that...LOL.

    I couldn't agree more. I've never once seen a healthy diet that included wine. It's always an, "if you must" thing. (Of course I always musted.). And you're so right...that should have been a dead giveaway that my relationship with wine wasn't exactly what anyone would call healthy.


    1. I actually didn't know - I did some research before I finished writing this post. Now I'm reading the book. It's really interesting.

  2. I find irony it is as well. If you are REALLY going to eat healthy, putting poison in your body doesn't really make sense.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...