Ask Dave: Paleo Friendly?

Posted on April 26, 2013 by


Dear Dave,

 My wife and I have been eating Paleo very strictly for over a year and have had mixed results.  At first we both lost lots of weight but now our weight has gone up and some aches and pains have returned.  What’s the deal?

 Dan, Phoenix


Dear Dan,

Paleo, as you know, is HUGE these days – it is a trend.  With all trends that I have seen there are as many variations as there are participants.  This is certainly the case with Paleo.

The Paleo (or primal, paleolithic, caveman, ancestral) diet seeks to replicate ‘early peoples’ lifestyles by avoiding processed foods, grains, and anything artificial.  This does leave some room for interpretation, and opens the door for indulgence into ‘paleo-friendly’ foods.

I found a perfect example of this in the following article, from Better Nutrition magazine:

The article does a decent job explaining the basics although it misses the mark on a few points, and THEN shares this ‘Paleo-friendly’ dessert:


Awesome Fudge Brownies

1 ½ cups walnuts or pecans

3 cups Just Like Sugar Table Top natural chicory root sweetener, divided

1 cup medium-shredded unsweetened coconut flakes

¾ cup pure cacao powder

1 Tbs. roasted carob powder (optional)

1 ½ tsp. coffee powder

½ tsp. unprocessed salt

½ tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. nutritional yeast (optional)

½ cup warm water (or unsweetened coconut milk)

3 large eggs, at room temperature

1 ½ tsp. chocolate extract (optional)

1 Tbs. pure vanilla extract

½ cup roasted almond butter

2 Tbs. raw yacon syrup (optional)

1/3 cup coconut oil

Powdered Organic Zero Erythritol, for dusting (optional)

MMMMkay where to begin…I’ll start with ingredient #1, NUTS.  How many of our ancestors had 24/7 access to nuts?  This is an OCCASIONAL food, as per the way it grows in nature, yet on ‘Paleo’ you can eat all you want.

Ingredient #2: Just Like Sugar Table Top natural chicory root sweetener –   Have you ever eaten chicory?  It is not sweet, nor just like sugar.  Survey says?  PROCESSED.

And how about that Powdered Organic Zero Erythritol?  Sound like it grows in the dirt?  No?  Okay, how about the chocolate extract? Coffee powder? Nutritional yeast? Baking powder?  Can you hunt, pick or dig up any of those things?

All told almost every ingredient on this list is processed so even though it clearly states “PALEO FRIENDLY” this does not mean ‘EAT ALL YOU WANT AND YOU’LL BE FINE!”  Dan, I hope you are catching my drift here, that the essence of Paleo is a good one; it focuses on whole foods, clean foods, no grain, healthy fats, and can easily incorporate treats.  However if this approach is not taken carefully it will harm your body and put back on the pounds, the aches, the pains, and leave you looking for the next best thing.

Ruining Your Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and now Dessert for over 5 years,


Posted in: Ask Dave