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My husband and I had a date with our neighbors recently, who I learned over dinner are on the “Paleo diet” and faithfully practice the workout sensation “CrossFit”.  I actually learned a great deal about both these health trends during our meal because they were the only things we talked about for three hours.  By the end of our evening the diet seemed more like an addiction and I was concerned that their gym might be a cover for a cult.

Which was mildly entertaining at the time and fun to laugh at over pillow talk with my man, until the next day when he joined their gym.  Having just read Going Clear – on the history of Scientology – I feared the neighbors may have actually been sent to recruit us.  So I began to do some research of my own.

Turns out the Paleo diet tries to replicate the diet of a caveman in the Paleolithic era.  Not kidding.  Eat only that which you can find or kill.  Well, not find or kill anywhere in America today as I would have to eat people’s household pets since hose are the only animals in my sights.  Which I believe is illegal, or at least immoral and depressing, and will get you thrown out of your neighborhood watch program.

But aside from the Mindcraft-like fantasy side of the Paleo diet where we live in a simpler world, you basically leave out all carbs and many kinds of vegetables that grow below the ground, as Paleo people apparently didn’t plant either.

Shockingly, there is some science behind this.  Perhaps good science but at the very least, extremely popular science.  Dr. David Perlmutter’s book Grain Brain has been number one on every book list for more weeks than our latest military action in Iraq.  He puts together swelling arguments that cutting carbs and fruits while adding fat and cholesterol will not just help you drop weight but also restore your brain and possibly prevent things like dementia, ADHD and depression.  And he’s not alone – Nina Teicholz has another best seller on the subject as does Micheal Moss.

But I’m not giving up beans and bananas just yet.  Comfort food is a real and effective thing in my modern life.  I don’t see my husband or my children for most of the day, everyday, nor do I enjoy the comforts of the cave we sleep in at night during modern business hours.  The only thing feeling warm and loving to me from sunrise to sunset in my very non-paleolithic life is oatmeal for breakfast and a sandwich at lunch and sometimes even a bowl of pasta for dinner.  Not usually all on the same day as I am well within the standards for healthy body weight – but I’m not willing to give any of that up, ever.  Especially considering that the run, catch and kill menu they live by would still come from a store for me, then go to my refrigerator and then hit a microwave before I eat it anyway.  Which defeats at least the ethereal concept of the diet.

No less, a quick perusal of CrossFit’s website and it’s haters opinions found in abundance around the web, did not assuage my fears of cult-dom.  Barbells can surely be a wonderful thing for A-type over-achieving alphas who gather together to get stronger in their desire to dominate.  As can “community” which is a basic tenet of the gym – or box as they call it instead of a gym and isn’t renaming simple, already-named things one of the markers of a cult?

However, community is something I have never found in any gym, even when I was young and very fit and going to them solely for the purpose of finding community (read dates).  So I see the allure of the whole group, class, or so-called box of people cheering you on.  But it also confirms all my fears about my life-partners new “program.”

As I feared, it only took about a week before he and the neighbors ganged up on me on my front lawn and threatened to drag me along with them.  Not gonna happen you animal-eating barbell-raising addicts.  I’m going to Yoga where legumes are revered.

I will go along with my husband’s new love of CrossFit and his not surprising loose adherence to the paleo-diet that has come with it.  I’m just going to keep baking his favorite muffins filled with multiple fruits every weekend and offering other fun things to do at least once a week during his gym time – while in bed – to be sure that I can still lure him away from the dark side before they ask him for a tithing.

  1. Nicole Baugh on Friday 10, 2015

    For me, I’ll never give up on bread/pasta and sweets (only in moderation). Crossfit is so challenging. I’ll do any exercise to fight the fat.