Nowadays, just about everyone has their own nutritional philosophy that they cling to as if it were their religion, and feel the need to push it on you at every given opportunity. It is exhausting, and creates confusion, insecurity, and stress. Paleo, raw vegan, macrobiotic, vegetarian, pescatarian, high fat low carb, low fat high carb— I have a headache just listing all of those. So... Paleo or Vegan?
Simple answer? NEITHER!
Because of how different we all are, in our genealogy, lifestyle, and habitat, there simply is no one way that works for every person. While one person can thrive on a vegan diet, another may feel weak and experience hair loss. Someone may feel strong and energetic on the paleo diet, and another may feel heavy and lethargic.
Look at your genes.
Someone who is from the Caribbean will require different nourishment than someone from northern Scotland. Your ancestors evolved the way they did by eating what was available to them in their natural environment.
Look at your environment.
Ever wonder why all of the raw food vegans live in LA or Florida? It is because that is the only place that is warm enough to make it work! It is not kind to your body to eat such a cooling diet in a frigid place! In the same way, eating loads of animal protein and heavy fats (all of which are very warming in the body) in hot and sunny Puerto Rico doesn’t work either. If you lived where you do and didn't have a grocery store, what would you eat? What would you be able to grow? What would you be able to hunt?
Look to your body.
At the end of the day, your body knows way better than you do. Learn to listen. Eat simply and notice how you feel. What foods leave you feeling lethargic, and which leave you feeling energized? What gives you a belly ache, and what makes me feel strong, or balanced, or whatever it is. Begin to observe your body’s communication with you and what makes it feels its best.
Practice the No-Eating-Philosophy Eating Philosophy
Combining this all together, figure out for yourself what works best for you. And once you do, don’t cling to that way of eating, because it WILL change. Our lives are not calm and steady and unchanging. When life bumps up and down, so will what nourishes you. It is our job to stay in the flow, and always be in a place of listening to our bodies. One year meat may repulse you, and the next you crave it. You may find yourself wanting to eat mostly raw in the summer, and more paleo in the winter. The weather, our lives, as well as our age, ebbs and flows, changing constantly, and the teaching for us here, in what we eat and but more importantly how we live, is to learn how to dance with the change, always fostering the relationship with our bodies and with ourselves.