Maybe my jeans fit a little too snugly. Maybe I start to feel jiggle where I didn’t feel jiggle before. Maybe my fat pants are feeling a bit too much like regular pants. But whatever the reason, the result is inevitable: Every year (OK, multiple times every year), I tell myself it’s time to drop a few pounds.
I start where everyone starts — Pinterest — because when your brain says “health food” but your heart says “Krispy Kreme,” you need some outside inspiration. And Pinners seem to share the collective opinion that the Paleo diet is where it’s at.
Delicious-looking recipes abound, flanked by photos of the taut-tushed people who have apparently experienced a dramatic body change due to this amazing way of eating. In a nutshell, the premise is simple: You eat things that your primitive ancestors would have eaten, long before cupcakes and Oreos came along to make those things taste less enjoyable, so mostly meat and produce. And I enjoy meat and produce as much as the next girl, but here’s the thing: I’m gonna want some bread with that.
No offense to you hardcore Paleo peeps: I’m jealous of the lean hips and dimple-less buns that your diet affords. But I can’t help it, because the buns I covet even more are the soft kind with a cheeseburger between ‘em. Or like…some of those yummy, chewy pretzel buns. Or any bun prefaced by the words “warm” or “gooey” or “sticky” or “buttered” or “cinnamon” (or “warm gooey sticky buttered cinnamon” together. I don’t discriminate).
The way I see it, the only reason our Paleolithic ancestors ate like that is because no one had yet invented things like ovens and biscuits. You can’t tell me that a long day of woolly mammoth hunting wouldn’t have been much more enjoyable if they’d been able to carb-load beforehand with a big plate of pasta. Or that their simple rabbit and root vegetable stew wouldn’t have been taken to the next culinary level with the addition of a crusty roll.
And I suspect that prehistoric periods must have really sucked (No tampons! No heating pads! No ibuprofen!). Can you imagine lacking all those things and not having access to the sanity-saving staples of carbohydrates and sugar?! The horror! Our cave-woman counterparts would have had a much better time if they’d just been able to bury their faces in a jar of Nutella while they bled all over their…I don’t know, absorbent bundle of leaves?
Point is, as admirable as these dietary principles are, our ancestors didn’t adhere to them because their doctors were concerned about their cholesterol, or because Grog whispered to Ugg that Oona’s saber tooth tiger-pelt was looking a little tight these days. They ate meat and veggies because that’s all they had available in the pre-civilized absence of bakeries, bars, and Starbucks.
And I’m pretty sure that if they could see the Paleo dieters of today, turning their noses up at the heavenly scrumptiousness that is bread in the name of health, they’d be like, “Your loss, sucka!” (Or, you know, whatever that would sound like before the advent of a sophisticated language.) And then they’d take a huge bite of their doughnut and vow to hit the gym to kinda-sorta make up for it, just like the rest of us.
So all you Paleo peeps, you keep doing you — I admire your dedication. But I’ll be over here with a basket of rolls and a resulting muffin top. And I’ll be happy (at least until the next time I go swimsuit shopping). Because BREAD.
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