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There is no such thing as a paleo diet!!

Paleo Diet

Paleo DietWhat?! No Paleo Diet?!?

That’s right! I have been scouring the web for the last week and I’ve come to a conclusion. There is no such thing as a Paleo diet!

What?! Sacrilege I hear some people scream. Ok, allow me to explain.

The term Paleo Diet seems to have been coined by Dr Loren Cordain. So I guess we could see his version as the Paleo diet. That said though, the term “Paleo Diet” has come to represent several ideas. These idea are slight variations on the original Paleo Diet as put forth by Dr Cordain. “Paleo Diet” has become a bit like Hoover or Coke. Yes, they are brand names but they now represent their entire branch.

So based on that I’d say that Chris Kresser has got a good idea. Rather than speaking of the Paleo diet (unless referring to Dr Cordain’s version perhaps) it might be better to speak of a Paleo template.

Why? Well, aside from the fact that there ar variations on the original paleo diet, I think there are some more reasons. First of all, like I already said in another post, we don’t know exactly what our ancestors ate. Sure, we can come up with some reasonable guesses. And we can add what we know about the few hunter/gatherer tribes that still exist to those guesses. And when we do just that we will probably come up with something that may be somewhat accurate. But we’ll probably never be 100% sure (if you have developed a machine that allows time travel let me know. We can go back together and see what they really ate).

Also, as Chris Kresser already said in his post:

A Paleo diet implies a particular approach with clearly defined parameters that all people should follow. There’s little room for individual variation or experimentation.

A Paleo template implies a more flexible and individualized approach. A template contains a basic format or set of general guidelines that can then be customized based on the unique needs and experience of each person.

But here’s the key difference between a Paleo diet and a Paleo template: following a diet doesn’t encourage the participant to think, experiment or consider his or her specific circumstances, while following a template does.

So I think I’m going to side with Chris Kresser and consider it a template (even though I’m in the middle of reading Dr Cordain’s “The Paleo Diet“). Thus, from now on, whenever I say Paleo please think “template”, not “diet”.


New workout options


In general cardio is something that is frowned upon in the Paleo community. One of the arguments is that our ancestors wouldn’t have used anything like that. I’m not sure I agree with that though. Even now there are still tribes in africa that hunt by wearing their prey down. 12+ mile runs are not the exception when that happens. Now I don’t know about you but most people I know are going to be running at least 2 hours to do that. To me that appears the conventional Paleo wisdom. But once again, I’m new to this so I might change my opinion as I read up on things.

Then there are also programs like Insanity. There is no denying that Insanity is a cardio program but at the same time, it is also a form of  interval training. Granted, extreme interval training but interval training nonetheless. So would that make it ok again as interval training is looked at favourably?

My plan was actually to start Insanity next week. That said, that plan was made before I started Paleo. Now don’t get me wrong, I think it’s perfectly possible to combine Paleo with Insanity. That said, I have opted to start out with a relatively low carb version of Paleo. And having done Insanity before I know I won’t be able to complete the program (at least not in a proper way) while I’m restricting my carb intake.

Aside from that I’m still at the beginning of my strength training and I think that adding Insanity to that will lead to overtraining. So given those 2 things Insanity is basically out of the question for me. At least, for now.

But, BeachBody was nice enough to offer a solution for my problem. They just released Shaun T’s new workout program called Focus T25. As the name implies it consists of 25 minute workouts. 25 minutes of focused workouts. And unlike Insanity these workouts are continuous (no breaks) and it appears to be not nearly as intense as Insanity is. The timing works quite nicely as well as they are doing a 10 week challenge that started today. So far so good.

I’m quite curious to see how this goes and whether or not I’ll be able to integrate it into my current workout program while continuing eating Paleo. As always, I’ll keep you posted.

How the heck do you know what people ate more than 10.000 years ago?

Paleo Earth Wind Fire Water
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That was the first thing a friend of mine asked after she  had read my post about me giving Paleo a try. About 40 minutes later another friend asked me pretty much the same thing so I decided to make life easy on myself (most likely more people will ask) and post my answer here.

Disclaimer: I’m only on my first book (The Paleo Solution). Anybody that knows me even a little bit knows that I get pretty obsessed about things I take an interest in (seriously, my head is full of pretty much useless info) so I am not claiming to be an authority. So given that this is only the first book I’m reading my opinion (and thus my answer) might change at some future point in time. With that out of the way, here goes…

Who cares? No, no, seriously… who cares?

– But you said you were going to do Paleo so you have to know! And as you have to know I challenge you to explain it to me! Or are you saying you don’t know what you’re getting into?

Do I have to know? I have an opinion but like I said, this is all new for me. Ah well, as I like my friends, here is my explanation; Paleo is not about eating and living exactly the way our ancestors lived (dude, I like visiting caves but I’m not going to live in one). I know… Shocker right? 😉

That said, it is living more in line with how our bodies are supposed to be treated. In short that comes down to eating whole foods that we (humans at large, exceptions not included) that we don’t have allergic reactions to and that aren’t harmful to us. Similar to what our ancestors seem to have done (see what I did there, “similar to”.. not “the same as” 😉 ) Aside from that, Mother Nature/your own mother/God/Yehowa/Allah/<insert deity of choice>* gave you a skeleton with a muscular structure (yes, there is more to it but for brevity’s sake I’m simplifying). Those muscles were meant to be active so… activate them (walking from the breakfast table to the car in your garage does not count as being active 😉 ). So that’s it. Paleo means, at least to me, treating your body the way Mother Nature/your own mother/God/Yehowa/Allah/<insert deity of choice>* most likely intended it to be treated. In short, be good to your body.

But… but.. but… if that’s the case why did they call it “Paleo” rather than “treat your body the way it’s supposed to be treated”?

I’m just guessing here but… cause it’s more catchy? And let’s face it, and here I’m going to go back to what I said before, who cares? I for sure don’t. Turkeys come from North America, not from Turkey. Earth, fire, air and water are called elements but they’re not elements at all. Delft’s blauw (Delft blue) comes from China. I could go on for a while but I guess my point should be clear by now. Perhaps a better name could have been chosen but it doesn’t matter. A name is just used to describe something. And as Paleo has become the word to describe a particular way of living (not just eating as some people seem to think 😉 ), just take it for what it is (a name) and move on.

That’s pretty much all I have to say on the topic. I hope it satisfied your curiousity. If not, feel free to call it something else. Just let me know you’re using a different word to describe the same thing or I might get confused :). And who knows, maybe I will give you another answer after I’ve read the other books on my list. Maybe… for now though,  you’ll just have to settle for this.

Have a great day!


*please choose whatever is s most applicable to your situation.

A workout update

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Paleo Running Exercise workout
Clip art from

2 Weeks ago I started going to the gym again. I hadn’t been there in ages and was almost surprised that I remembered what it looked like and what everything was for 🙂

After 2 weeks I have made some progress though. Weight training isn’t progressing as fast as I’d like it to just yet but I guess growing up in the “running era” created some muscle memory. On my second day in the gym I did a Cooper test. Just to see where I stood. Let me tell you, it wasn’t all that pretty. I barely made the “bad” category. How barely you ask? Well, for my age category “bad” starts at 1400m (about 1530 yards for you crazy non metric people 😉 ). Guess what I made? That’s right, 1400m. So I managed to keep myself out of the “very bad” category with pretty much a single step (give or take a couple, the treadmill measures per 100m).

So today I did the test another time and ran 2100m (you non metric people can do the conversion yourself this time. I suggest dividing the previous conversion by 2 and multiplying it by 3 🙂 ). So was this good? Well, that depends. First of all it’s a 50% improvement over 2 weeks. I’m quite pleased with that. Secondly, it just got me into the “good” category. Granted, by the same margin as I made it into the “bad” category but still, I skipped “average”. So all in all I’m quite pleased.

So how did I manage to get this result so quickly? Interestingly enough I did exactly what is recommended in The Paleo Solution but without knowing it was recommended. Interval training!

Back in the days (when I was young, strong and healthy) I did a lot of martial arts. And one thing we always had to do was interval training. As I’ve never been much of a long distance runner anyway (I get bored rather easily) I went to back to what I knew (and didn’t hate that much), slow, fast, slow, fast, slow, fast. And it worked!

I’m going to try again in 2 weeks to see where I’ll stand then. I don’t expect to make it to “very good’ (2500m), although that would be nice, but I should be able to put down a very decent “good” by then.

So if you don’t come back before then, make sure you come and if  another 2 weeks of interval can make a difference.

Until then, have fun!

PS. Yes, I know this dates me 😉

Ack! Time to try something new. Time for Paleo

Paleo Low Carb
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Time for Paleo

Yikes! Today I stepped on the scale for the first time in a long time and the result was worse than I even expected; 99.6kg!! Almost 100kg (that’s roughly 220 pounds for those of you not on the metric system). Given that I’m only 1.78 (5’10), and the weight is definitely not  muscle, it’s time to make a change.

Granted, technically I started making that change about 1.5 weeks ago when I went to the gym for the first time in ages but I know enough about nutrition (yeah, I too wonder how the heck it got this bad while I know enough about nutrition) and exercise to know that just working out won’t cut it.

So why Paleo? Well, why not. You’ve got to do something, right?

More seriously though, in the past I’ve had good results when I was eating the Atkins way (the original Atkins way, not the current “buy all our crazy products’ Atkins way). Not only did I lose weight and feel better but my blood test results improved dramatically. Looking at Paleo I found that I can do it pretty much the same way as I did Atkins.

For me there will be only 2 big differences compared to Atkins. No processed food at all and no dairy at all. I said those would be the  2 big differences for me but technically those differences aren’t really that big. I have always preferred ‘whole’ foods to processed foods  (and contrary to popular believe, that is what the good doctor recommended). And no dairy won’t  be a big change compared to Atkins either as all I used to eat in that category was cheese. Although time will have to tell I think I can manage to survive by  changing my  ham and cheese omelette to another kind of omelette that doesn’t have cheese as one of it’s ingredients.

I guess there will actually be a 3rd difference. More fruit. Or rather, more fruit from the start. While doing Atkins you start adding fruit back inas you go through the phases but during the induction phase there is no fruit. I’ll have to see how much fruit I’ll add but I think adding a bit will make my workout recoveries go just a bit smoother.

To be honest, the fruit was one of the main reasons behind my decision to give Paleo a try. Not eating fruit always seemed a bit strange to me (although I do understand Atkins’ reasoning for limiting it) so I want to see if it affects my weight loss or not.  Time will tell and I’ll keep you posted here.

Change of plans

Smart in NL

Yes, I know. A big surprise to those who know me… I changed my mind! Who would have thought 😉

The original plan was to use this side just to publish some pics and that was all. But, as I now have my other site for pics I figured I might just use this one as a blog.

What exactly does that mean? Well, basically that you’ll get my randomness here. Things that I find interesting will show up here. Will they be interesting to you? Who knows. Some things might, others might not. But there is only one way to find out, check here regularly (or subscribe to the RSS if feed if that’s what you prefer).

If we’re already connected through facebook there is a chance some post will show up there but probably not all of them. Then again, I might forget to share them there so that brings us back to the original option of checking here 😉

Enjoy your day and come back soon !




I’ve had my domain name for years but have never really known what to do with it. Until now. I’ve finally I found a use for it; display some of my photos. I hope you enjoy the pictures as much as I enjoyed making them.

Most of the images on this site are available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerics 3.0 Unported license (exceptions will be specified). To find out exactly what that meansjust follow the link at the bottom of this page. In human speak though it more or less means that you can copy and redistribute a picture as long as it is not used for commercial purposes, you don’t alter the image and you attribute it to me (mention me by name and link back to this site) as per the example text under the image below.

Enjoy the site!
Walter de Rooij

Creative Commons License
This work by Walter de Rooij is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.



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