Paleo Girl and Me

Gluten free. Paleo. Primal. Low-carb. Nowadays, dietary ID-tags sit alongside the utensils on the everyday dinner table. They all promise health, happiness, beauty and brains. They all claim to be the safest, most sating menu to ever join the American menu. It's complicated enough to ruin one's appetite.

Personally, I've never been one to embrace labels. Before my diagnosis, I ate anything and everything within arm's reach. French fries? Check. Pizza? You bet. A four egg omelet from Denny's? Gone in one sitting. I can honestly say that I never would've given the gluten free diet a second thought if celiac disease hadn't entered my life.

I was a foodie…big time
And I probably wouldn't have realized the similarities between my required gluten free and dairy free diet and the paleo lifestyle if Leslie Klenke, author of the newly released book, "Paleo Girl," hadn't reached out to me on Instagram. Her request was simple: she wanted to find a handful of college girls who ate a primal diet to quote in a free Ebook that would accompany her new book. And, even though I don't wear "semi-paleo" stamped on my forehead (Casey the Almost-Paleo College Celiac just doesn't have quite the same kick), I agreed.

The paleo diet is known as many things. The food that fuels atheletes of monstrous porportions. The menu dominating Instagram, twitter, and Dr. Oz. And, of course, the spoils laid out on a caveman's stone table. According to Klenke, though, it's really a lifestyle that involves eating the "primal diet"of caveman. That means no grains, legumes, or processed foods and a ton of fruits and veggies, animal protein and eggs, healthy fats/oils, nuts, and chocolate (I guess the sweet tooth developed early on!).

Eat like a caveman! (Source)
When I typed in my advice for paleo college students, my hands nearly trembled on the keyboard. Even as I found myself joking about the amount of bananas I buy each week (for banana nice cream, of course) and reminding readers to not take it personally when someone forgets their food preferences, worries flooded my brain. I couldn't help but think of my quinoa flakes and lima beans and wonder, "Am I paleo enough?"

And then, suddenly, I laughed. I laughed at the absurdity of worrying over whether my foods fit into a specific label. I laughed at the idea that this E book - whose main goal is to empower college students to take charge of their health and happiness through diet and exercise - would fail if I ate a bowl of quinoa for breakfast one morning. And I laughed in relief when I realized that a diet that doesn't need a label beyond that-looks-good-let's-eat.

This won't ruin anything...
As I share the "Paleo Girl: IRL" e-book with my friends and family, I couldn't be more proud. Not only of Klenke's hard work to gather 4 college girls to share advice, but of the gluten free/paleo (those labels again!) community for joining together to help readers find the right diet for them. It may be paleo. It might be gluten free. It might be a vague set of concoctions with everything but the kitchen sink.

In today's society, labels latch onto eaters like flies on Grandma's leftover apple pie, and the names are more sour than sweet. As my awesome experience with Klenke's free E-book has shown, though, the exact label doesn't matter. What does matter? How people use their lifestyle to connect with and aid others.

Meeting my best GF gal pal is what matters!
And I think Paleo Girl and Paleo Girl IRL is doing just that.

**Check out how you can get Primal Girl IRL here! and check out Leslie Klenke's website for more info!**
*Also featured in Runningwithspoon's link party!*

Do you label your diet? Have you heard about Leslie Klenke's new book? Comment below!


  1. Casey you are too dang awesome! Your imperfect paleo, gluten free, whatever doesn't make your tummy angry diet is exactly what other college kids need to hear about. Nobody has all the answers, and they will be so happy to hear that there are other people out there who understand that :) Miss you girly!

    1. I learned from the best ;) Miss you lots girlie!! And so true - no diet is perfect, but I'm hoping to find the one perfect for me! And to you the same, of course! :)

  2. I loved this post. I finished the paragraph about quinoa and I had seen your picture of a bowl with bananas and suddenly thought, "are bananas paleo?" because I totally ate some in a salad today.

    Then after I saw the drama and discussion, I flipped back over to finish your blog post and cracked up because your very next paragraph talks about how silly it is to worry whether or not our diets fit in with a label.

    I ate those bananas and they were fucking delicious. Good enough for me.

    1. Haha! Your comment made me laugh so hard, I had to share it with the family. It is so funny how ingrained it is in us to want to fit a certain diet label - society strikes again! And yep, I can't live without my bananas! Some things just aren't worth the sacrifice! ;)

  3. My diet = GIGI APPROVED FOODS! HA HA! Yep. I cannot eat pretty much EVERYTHING so.... That's what I call it ;)

  4. Great post, Casey! Labels SO don't matter. As long as you feel good about what you're eating, that's what counts. (And obviously our ancestors ate chocolate; the species wouldn't have survived long otherwise.)

    1. Thanks for the comment and praise. And yep, chocolate has definitely played a big role in the establishment of the human species :)

  5. SIGH, again I leave a long comment and it gets deleted :( your blog hates me!
    Congrats on being in the e book, that's AMAZING and Labels don't matter, what makes YOU feel good is what matters :) I get a lot of flack for my diet, some say it's too repetitive, or too limiting, but I say, what works for me, is what I will stick with! IF I had to label it: GF, LF (except greek yogurt), Anti-Gas Diet, avoidance of certain high FODMAPS, and avoidance of most IBS irritants!

    1. My blog doesn't hate you…just your phone (any phone really, I think). Boo hoo though! Who knows. Maybe the positive vibes I get out of nowhere are your lost blog comments ;) Good for you to stick to your guns (or guts, more accurately) and eat what you love and what loves you back!

    2. I was on the computer that time! sigh! anyway, love your "stick to your guts" :)


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