It seems that some of the people who influenced me when I first went "primal" or "paleo" back in 2011 are squirming a bit under those labels.
That actually pleases me, because I just can't seem to be comfortable with those labels myself these days. I played with the term "easygoing paleo" lately, but that was because I didn't know what else to call myself.
Here's the thing: I have no patience for conversations based on "Is it paleo?" I agree with Melissa McEwen over at Hunt Gather Love that it's about eating in whatever way works to improve or sustain your health. It's a process of discovery, not an education on how to conform to a label or some one-size-fits-all set of rules.
As we experiment over time, some things that work for me won't work for you and vice versa. I don't see that as failure. Ideally, as we learn from our experiments and personal reactions we can all succeed in becoming and staying as healthy as possible. We can share information at community level for testing at the individual level.
As Melissa's current post points out, what works in one month or year isn't necessarily what works later. We start with different problems and our bodies change over time based on so many factors that we're trying to catch raindrops with a sieve half the time. Sometimes the changes allow us to be more indulgent and other times they force us to retreat back to "safe" foods for a while.
So, where does that leave me? I'm doing very well, thank you. I am ignoring, quite cheerfully, all the conflicting admonitions about what are/aren't the correct paleo foods, ratios, macros, schedules, etc.
I don't care what is/is not paleo or [insert label here.] I care how I'm reacting to my last few meals and what that says about planning my next few meals.
Please note that I'm not anti-paleo or [insert label here.] The latest findings and recommendations are of interest and may generate new ideas for me.
I know that how quickly/slowly I lose my remaining excess fat will be influenced by how often I choose to indulge in a sugary treat or extra fruit. Right now, I'm not indulging often because losing fat is a higher priority than dessert.
The only problem I have is coming up with a label that does describe my current eating habits. There's some overlap with paleo, vegan and other regimens that emphasize whole foods, but I don't think I'm in full compliance with any popular approach. I suspect that means I'm doing it right, so if we must have a label for my eating habits I choose "common sense."