Paleo A Lifestyle – 5 Answers

Q & A

In this article I would like to deal, in one place, with what I think are the 5 big questions that I hear frequently, in relation to adoption of a Paleo Lifestyle. Hopefully this will dispel some myths and better inform readers of the difference between a Paleo Diet and a Paleo Lifestyle

Why Lifestyle

In all of my Paleo articles I spend time stressing that I do not see paleo as a diet. The reason for this is that, in my opinion, diet has become a much misused word. It implies a treatment for something gone wrong; most often weight control. In my mind this gives it a quite negative connotation that brings with it visions of constraint and limitation that I think cause psychological blockers to long term success. The notion being that a diet is something that you ‘go on’ and then when you reach your targeted result you ‘come off’ it.

The reality is that this kind of ‘dieting’ seldom provides the dieter with a sustained result and what actually happens is what a friend of mine would call the heart attack cycle……, improvement, plateau, fall off, weight regain, depression, next diet experiment and off we go again!

What Is The Origin of Paleo

The Origin of The Word Paleo

In simple terms Paleo is short for Palaeolithic which is a period of human prehistory, a large part of which covers the existence of our ancestors Hominins. The term Palaeolithic was coined by John Lubbock in 1865, its derivation is Greek and it essentially means Stone Age. This is a reference to the tools used by hominids for the largest part of the 3.3 million years that the period covers.

From this description you can guess why the Paleo Diet is often called the Caveman Diet!

Why Paleo

The simple hypothesis is that until about 10,000 years ago, which heralds the beginning of primitive farming, plant and animal cultivation, the use of fire and cooking, Homonins were hunter-gatherers and their physiology was tuned over 3.3 million years to cope with that diet.

The 10,000 year period, referred to above, when cultivated, beans, pulses, grains, dairy and processed carbohydrates came into the Homosapien food chain, is not long enough for our physiology to have properly adapted to these foodstuffs.

The hypothesis would therefore go on to suggest that many of the ills that we see involving insulin based illnesses high blood pressure, gut irritation and weight gain leading to obesity are inevitable for this reason.

Paleo therefore concentrates on cutting out those cultivated and processed elements of the food chain listed above that have only become available in the last 10,000 years. Bread by the way did not appear in Europe until about 5,000 years ago and even later in certain areas of Western Europe including the British Isles.

Why Is It Different from Keto

There are many similarities as there are to the well-known Atkins diet when we examine the emphasis on limiting processed carbohydrates. The biggest difference between the two is the exclusion of Dairy in Paleo and the emphasis on fats in Keto.

In macro terms Paleo restricts particular food groups as listed above while Keto is about controlling and balancing the macro nutrients to force a physiological effect.

Can I Be A Paleo Vegetarian

I really am asked this question quite often

My personal opinion is that this is almost impossible if in the first instance one subscribes to the need for protein in a diet. As dairy is not part of the Paleo regime the exclusion of meat would mean that protein sources would be sought in legumes such as soy and tofu, which again are not part of the Paleo regime.

So again in simple terms if you are a vegetarian then you are a vegetarian not a Paleo lifestyler LOL.

Is Paleo OK For Children

I have written a post about this Paleo and Kids Some Advice which you can read for more detail on the subject and I intend to do more research on this for other upcoming posts as it is becoming a more frequent question popping up in the commentary in my posts.

That said my basic line while I do that research is that we need to be quite cautious with our children’s diets as they are growing and developing. I would advocate as far as possible that we should be centred on making sure that they are getting the freshest, healthiest, organic where possible, produce that you can get into them. As with Paleo it makes sense to ensure that their meat protein sources are coming from free-range humane, home kill, grass or pasture fed animal stock.

Sta away from the sugary drinks and confectionery (sugar is the killer) pre and adolescent obesity and diabetes and another like conditions are on the rise and we need to address this.

Jury is out on dairy I am looking for some clinical evidence that proves, or otherwise, that dairy is either greatly beneficial or greatly harmful to our children.

The final point here is about achieving balance for our children as I will address in the next section of this post.

Balance Is All

Again, I have some consistent messaging for readers of Paleo Posts:

  • I do not subscribe to slavish adherence to a Paleo Diet (read my question answered above)
  • For me it is about balance in all things, Paleo works for my physiology it might not for yours.
  • Whatever your chosen dietary regime resist making an episodic experience it should be a lifestyle that balances:
    • Fresh, healthy, organic, humanely sourced foodstuffs
    • Regular appropriate exercise
    • Good sleep hygiene
    • Healthy social interaction
    • Medication in a form that suits you

Above all, you should be happy if you adopt a lifestyle that makes you miserable, then it is most probably the wrong lifestyle.

Guidance Feedback and Comment

Here for the first time?

If you are reading this Paleo article for the first time it might help to see what food items make up the Paleo Lifestyle please go and have a look at my Paleo Food List for Beginners. This will give you a very good idea of the healthy and fulfilling options that are available to you in moving away from the processed, salt heavy diets that many of us suffer today

Need a good guide to hand?

I have written a review on the Paleo Beginners Guide a book available through if you wished to have something to hand to get you started as a ready and available reference. If you click through and buy it via my review it will cost you no more than if you go to Amazon direct. I can highly recommendation it

Feedback and Comments

I would be delighted to accept any feedback or commentary on this article and I guarantee to reply to any comment left within one working day.

I hope that you have found this useful and that I have achieved what I set out to do in writing this article; you my readers are the best judges of that!

Be healthy and have fun.

Hamish ????

P.S. If this post has inspired you to become a Blogger yourself, you can find out, how to do just that by taking a look at my other Blog which I encourage you to visit.

This includes an easy FREE method to get started and FREE hosting of a website upon which to base your Blog.



  1. Very interesting post. I have read and heard a lot about paleo and I agree that it would be better to call it a lifestyle instead of a diet. Diets are indeed – most often – temporary. As for protein in veggie sources, there are more vegetable sources than just soy or tofu, there are also plenty of greens, beans, etc that provide enough protein. But then again, beans were not cultivated in Europe 10,000 years ago, but they were cultivated by the native Americans in Mexico and countries south from Mexico. (Not sure about the timeline though 😉 It’s worth checking out, now I’m curious 😉 )

    What I like about paleo is that it cuts out all the processed foods and sugary drinks. All the bad stuff basically. I will have a look at your paleo food list for beginners. I’d like to find out more. 

    • Yup thanks the reference to soy and tofu was representative, beans and legumes are not Paleo Christine hence my closing statement in that paragraph, if you are a vegetarian then you are a vegetarian not a Paleo Lifestyler LoL.

      Don’t get me wrong I have no objections at all and hats off to vegetarians but a life without BBQ for me is an a pity life!

      Thanks for the comment and for visiting feel free to have a look at some of my other Paleo posts if you are interested.

      Hamish 🧐

  2. I first came across the word Paleo many years ago. Although I wondered what it meant regarding eating, I didn’t research the topic. I had that question in my mind and was relieved that you actually answered that question for me. 

    You hit the nail on the head saying that using the phrase going on a diet can be detrimental. Our eating regimen should be a regular process in our lives. What we eat should be a balance like you explained. In my book, it is OK to occasionally eat food that is not good for you as long as it doesn’t become a habit. It’s like satisfying a craving to prevent that craved food item becoming a regular part of what w eat. 

    I was glad to hear that it doesn’t make sense to be a vegan, or even vegetarian and a Paleo person. You mentioned that Paleo also refers to a way of life, other than what we eat. I would like to learn more about that.

    It was mind blowing to read that the stone age lasted for 3 million years. I imagine that humans, or whatever form our ancestors were must have lived more like animals rather than the species that we know existed 10,000 years ago forward. 

    Thanks for writing this article I found it very helpful.


    • Some great points Edwin thanks. My point about Paleo being seen as a lifestyle is in reference to balance.  I mention this in may of my posts.  While Paleo works for me I am not slavish about it. I use it as a guiding principle and it benefits me.

      My central thesis for all is whatever dietary regime you might choose it is not enough on its own to stay mentally and physically healthy.

      We need to think about exercise, sleep and social interaction and balance it all out.

      Where can I find your book sir I would like to read it?

      Hamish 🧐

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