Do you remember the cartoon Captain Caveman? That’s exactly the image that comes to mind every time I hear someone mention the Paleo diet. Don’t worry. I’m not going on a tyrade about how it’s the latest diet fard or even questioning the legitimacy of its claims…or wondering out loud why it pretends like we haven’t evolved over the last 10,000 years.
What if we ate like our Paleolithic ancestors? That would be lots of lean meats, nuts, fresh fruits and vegetables; no grains, salt, sugar, legumes or dairy products. Some people do, and it’s called the Paleo diet — short for Paleolithic, which refers to the era before agriculture took hold, a movement away from a hunter-gatherer lifestyle that resulted in settled societies, and, eventually, Twinkies and couch potatoes.
I would like to start a conversation about the ethics of this diet.
Did you cringe when you saw the picture at the beginning of this post? Many yogis choose to eat a vegetarian diet based on the first yama on the Eight Limb Path of yoga, ahimsa (non violence). And yet the paleo diet is becoming more and more popular in the yoga world. So how about it, what do you think about yoga and vegetarianism?
Eating meat is inherently inefficient, as it takes 16 pounds of grain to produce 1 pound of flesh. And because the industrial world is exporting grain to developing countries and importing the meat that is produced with it, farmers who are trying to feed themselves are being driven off their land.
Is this dietary regimen sustainable for our planet?
Do you follow the Paleo Diet? How does it conflict with or support your yoga practice, on and off the mat?