A friend of mine who is a devotee of the paleo diet wanted to help us make proper cavemand food choices. She gave me this grid:
|Pick one from each column to make a paleo meal.|
Actually, that’s just the nutshell of what she gave me, which can be downloaded as a pdf here. It’s four pages, because the diet creator Robb Wolf tends to use ten words will one will do. The crux of the document is that the paleo diet isn’t boring — just pick a meat, brown it in the fat, add a vegatable and spice, and voila! A new recipe every time!
Of course, that’s only true if you think that one stir-fry isn’t just like the others. I do. I hadn’t realized that there was a concern about this diet being boring until I read that, and now I understand why!
So last night, I opted to cook fried chicken instead. Because it uses a lot of almond flour (ground almonds), it is a lot more expensive, but just as tasty, as breaded lard legs. (Mmmmm . . . . lard . . . )
This is the crux of the truth that I can’t get paleo followers to admit — if you’re committed to this diet, it will cost more money to put food on your table, particularly if you don’t want to eat yet another stir fry every day. When I have tried to ask direct questions about cost, I get formulas to compare cost per calorie, or a philosophical discussion about the cost of problems like diabetes, which this diet should help me avoid.
The problem with selling me on the long-range benefits is that I still have to spend money on food now, and I still have to enjoy eating food now, because my relationship with food and money are both complex. I don’t always eat when I’m hungry, and I don’t always have more money to spend now, even if it means saving money later.
I consider this shortcomings even as I watch my wife’s weight plummet — just a week in and she’s dropped more than a pound a day. More money on food, and a more tedious variety, are almost certainly worth it for a happier, healthier spouse — but I wish people would just give me straight information rather than a sales pitch.