Paleo on The Dr. Oz Show – My Musings

Dr. Loren Cordain and Nell Stephenson showed up on the Dr. Oz Show yesterday, April 22nd.

Paleo Oz
Paleo Wizards on Oz

Good thing, or bad thing? In my view, very good. I’ll tell you what else I actually like. I like the rather pure, strict nature of it as presented—something Stephenson has always been consistent about; and while it’s not my style, I applaud those who take their take seriously. I’d also rather see the “cheat meals” included for beginners rather than compromise the daily plays out on the field. At least know and get a sense of how to do it in that original way from the outset. You’ll have plenty of time to screw it up later.

Sure, I differ daily now—not counting for my various experiments—and so do a lot of other “paleo fans,” but not sticklers. For one, the whole starch thing seems to be widely accepted as an individual thing—as well as dairy, at least the fat faction of it. Milk will eventually be accepted too, as a wholesome animal food, a part of animals worth consuming just like any other part.

I like paleo; I like the evolutionary thinking behind it, even though in many cases we don’t know a lot of things for sure. And I’m grateful it’s getting the attention it deserves for having helped so many people with their body compositions and their health. Cudos to Dr. Oz for giving it a fair and enthusiastic hearing.

And BTW, I thought all of those meals Stephenson presented looked excellent and appetizing. I’d not have turned my nose up at a single thing, nor would I have bemoaned that each didn’t come with a pound of bacon on the side. In fact, if you ask me, bacon is the Original Sin of the popular paleo movement. I eat less of it anymore than before I was Paleoish (it’s usually bits in various things, now—like an herb or spice). I’m tired of hearing about gluttonous bacon consumption, gluttonous fat consumption, gluttonous protein consumption…gluttonous anything. We don’t live in a paleo world of feast & famine anymore, so an occasional fast, followed by a reasonable re-feed will suffice most of the time, thank you very much.

OK, here are the videos, about 5-min each and unfortunately, there’s apparently more to the segment that was not included at the end.

…Why craze? Well, because it just is, and that’s a very good thing. Sure a lot better than trying to sound important by endlessly poo-pooing everything…basically being a perpetual killjoy, a quintessential turd in the punch bowl—Paleo punch, that is.

I’m glad it’s turning out to be “The paleo Diet Craze” I suspected it would be back in 2008 when I noticed how many people were getting dramatic results. Call it a fad all you like and see if I care.

…Oh, and yea, one more thing: I’m glad she said “It’s Not Atkins!” That’s because it’s not even close as she outlined it, or in how it’s best practiced—either in terms of her pure approach or, for those who like a pound or two of starchy vegetables and tubers per day.

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More


  1. Eric R. on April 23, 2013 at 16:27

    Eeeeehhh. I know it doesn’t make for good TV, but I wish someone would just say, “look, it’s pretty simple: just eat real food, in as close to its natural state as possible.”

    I remember the first time I heard Mark Sisson describe paleo it was like someone hit me over the head. It was just so obvious I couldn’t believe it had never occurred to me. It seem so arbitrary when we list all the “rules.”

  2. Richard Nikoley on April 23, 2013 at 16:32

    I hear ya, Eric, which is why after running through all the rules, the entirely of Dr Oz’s audience needs to come listen to you and I. We’ll call it Adavanced Paleo, Where the Rules are Simpler. The catch? Easier to follow, eh?

    One of the longstanding Paleo rulz that’s also simple: IF you COULD eat it raw (like, if you had to), good to go.

  3. Chuck Currie on April 23, 2013 at 17:33

    I think the “eat it raw, good to go” rule is the best rule for any diet. I think we need a t-shirt or bumper sticker.


  4. Andrew on April 23, 2013 at 21:53

    The only thing I’d add to that is that the question should be if you could eat it raw in nature (ie, not after decades or centuries of plant husbandry.)

    Wild lettuce, for example, is poisonous.

  5. Dr. Curmudgeon Gee on April 23, 2013 at 22:53

    can be eaten raw in nature is not a necessary condition.

    tubers can’t be eaten raw.

  6. Gadfly on April 24, 2013 at 04:53

    Agreed, Doc. To cook is human. Perhaps one of the defining characteristics thereof.

  7. Mark on April 24, 2013 at 19:59

    Dr. Oz seems as if he wants to over complicate it. The paleo diet is so simple,eat clean real food.

  8. Sean on April 24, 2013 at 06:27

    Huh? Tubers cannot be eaten raw? Like potatoes, turnips, carrots, beets?

  9. Andrew on April 24, 2013 at 06:40

    Cooking defines humanity? Why not milling, then?

  10. Joshua on April 24, 2013 at 08:16

    DCG – Potatoes CAN be eaten raw. It’s not as calorific as eating them cooked, but it will fuel the machine. Stay away from the green bits of the skin though.

    “look, it’s pretty simple: just eat real food, in as close to its natural state as possible.”
    I don’t think this is enough. Grains are real food, but they’re in the 20% of my pareto. Also, in their natural state, they’re the worst for you as far as I can tell. It’s not until you sprout/ferment them that they become more edible.

    Natural state would also preclude fermented vegetables, which I gather are actually pretty life-sustaining.

  11. Eric R. on April 24, 2013 at 09:06


    Yes, of course fermented veggies are fine. What I’m saying is, when it comes to *introducing* people to paleo, it’s helpful to stick to the core concept: this is real food, eat it. You’re much more likely to buy into something that makes sense intuitively.

    This ain’t Jenny Craig.

  12. Richard Nikoley on April 24, 2013 at 09:56

    Not sure if there are any veggies that will ferment on their own, but fruit will. In fact I recall a video somewhere where monkeys specifically search out fermented fruit to get drunk off it.

    Perhaps that’s where forbidden fruit comes from and not Eve.

  13. Richard Nikoley on April 24, 2013 at 11:04

    Joe, the problem is, that’s what a lot of people think. When I read Atkins first, in 1991, guess what I thought was perfectly safe? Bacon & cheese, as much as you wanted, zero cost.

  14. Elenor on April 24, 2013 at 12:08

    Nope. Can’t do it. “Dr.” Oz destroyed even the teeniest bit of respect I had for him (and I actually had HUGE respect for him as a pioneering cardiac surgeon), but he blew it all entirely when he got in with Oprah and began his 100%-sell-out to his sponsors and producers… ANY ability I had to listen to him — even as a matter of curiosity — was blown to hell when he played his “entertainment tricks” on Gary Taubes. He should not be ALLOWED to call himself a doctor on that show!!

  15. Richard Nikoley on April 24, 2013 at 12:33

    Elanor, suit yourself. Who cares?

  16. Jojo on April 24, 2013 at 17:33

    I’m glad Paleo is now getting the attention that it is. Call it a fad, call it a gimmick, i don’t care, but in the end the message of it is in the end, real food. Stick to the outer sections in a grocery store and steer clear of all the aisles (with the exception of seasonings) – for the most part. I consider fads such as the cookie diet, liquid diets, etc – but a diet that wants you to eat protein, vegetables, some fruit, little bit of nuts? This is bad? It’s a good thing.

    I like what you guys said, ““look, it’s pretty simple: just eat real food, in as close to its natural state as possible.” One big thing that can bug me about paleo is people thinking that, “oh, this is Paleo so i can eat a pound of it”. Or “Paleo-fying” your everyday meals. Just eat real, clean foods that don’t cause inflammation. I’m ranting now, I’ll stop 🙂

  17. Dr. Curmudgeon Gee on April 24, 2013 at 20:11

    i’d still stay away from raw tubers/roots. probably cause indigestion for me.
    cooked is more efficient (easier to consume more calories; don’t like to spend so much time on chewing; jaws get sore.)

  18. Dr. Curmudgeon Gee on April 25, 2013 at 08:56

    oops, i forgot; carrots can be had raw, daikon probabl.
    (but then i have an aversion to raw veg in general — rabbit food)

  19. Bill on April 25, 2013 at 19:32

    I’m definitely going to get ripped for this, but here it goes anyway:
    I like the idea of the Paleo diet. A lot. But not because it has anything to do with what our ancestors ate. It’s because avoiding processed junk foods, empty calories, and huge servings of pasta/rice/bread are good things to do (regardless of our [epi]genetic makeup).
    There might be foods which make us biggerstrongerfaster that were historically unavailable, but this doesn’t mean they should be avoided simply for that reason.
    all best,

  20. Richard Nikoley on April 25, 2013 at 20:02

    Bill, allow me to get ripped along with you. I’m into 8 weeks mostly milk & kefir and enjoying amazing bod composition changes mostly sitting on my ass.

  21. Kincaid on May 16, 2013 at 10:13

    Where would you say the line is drawn between enjoying your food and gluttonous consumption?

    Because I’m a proper glutton for fat, and, in my mind, there’s naught wrong with that. When you’re talking about your body’s main fuel source, eating a huge pile of it and relishing every bite is exactly what needs to be done. And the more you’re doing with it, the more gluttony is required. When studying, I cram in a huge meal bananas, coffee and dates, because it keeps me going steadily through the day. But most days I do the same with fat. Eat as much as I like, so my body can make good use of it and exercise as much as it likes.

    You have to fuel the engine if you want it to give back its best performance. :p

  22. Joey Santiago on January 19, 2015 at 16:42

    Great post. Paleo is the way to go!

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