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Primal diet/lifestyle thread

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As for exercise (going to the gym), I don't think it's as important as the food that you eat. I've been really inactive lately, but I haven't gained wait and my figure is getting better. However, I do walk a lot. Anyway, my point is that exercise accelerates your progress, but your daily routine--walking to work, climbing up stairs, hanging out at the pool, playing with your kids/nephews/neices--is exercise too.

 

To paraphrase Marc Faber: We're all doomed, but that doesn't mean that we can't make money in the process.
Rabbi Lapin: "Let's make bricks!"
Stephan Kinsella: "Say you and I both want to make a German chocolate cake."

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Clayton:
 The only difficulty is practical... how do you hold your food without a slice of bread to put it on? Sandwiches are awful convenient. Mark Sisson suggests using a lettuce wrapp for this. I haven't tried it yet but it sounds good enough to me!

Clayton -

 

Make the sandwich or burger, but don't add bread (don't even buy it), and then use a knife and fork to eat it. At a restaurant, you can take the bread off and also use a knife and fork to eat it (plus, it makes you looks classy). Also, instead of fries, get salad or vegetables.

To paraphrase Marc Faber: We're all doomed, but that doesn't mean that we can't make money in the process.
Rabbi Lapin: "Let's make bricks!"
Stephan Kinsella: "Say you and I both want to make a German chocolate cake."

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Clayton replied on Thu, Jan 12 2012 4:07 PM

 

As for exercise (going to the gym), I don't think it's as important as the food that you eat.

With the caveat that sedentariness is positively bad for you (believe me, I'm an expert in this what with my cubicle job), I whole-heartedly agree. I'm down 6 pounds in just over 10 days ... no major exercise at all.

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Malachi replied on Thu, Jan 12 2012 4:46 PM
@Bert

am I correct in recognizing that your entire argument relies on data from the united states federal government?

Keep the faith, Strannix. -Casey Ryback, Under Siege (Steven Seagal)
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Clayton replied on Thu, Jan 12 2012 5:50 PM

Jimmy John's out by you, but they let you order any of their sandwiches in a lettuce wrap.

There are some locations out here and I've heard good things about them but haven't yet tried it... definitely will now that you've recommended it.

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Wheylous replied on Thu, Jan 12 2012 6:34 PM

As an aside, I have a theory that this mania for long-distance running ultimately comes from the military establishment. The military is the primary consumer of endurance cardio in the form of long marches, runs, swims, and so on. The ancestral human did not have the luxury of performing feats and was not interested in performing feats... he just wanted to eat his next meal at the least cost and risk to his person.

Remember, though, that nature wouldn't want to make man a fat-burning machine. Perhaps those "natural" workouts aren't the ones best for burning fat...?
 

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JH2011 replied on Thu, Jan 12 2012 6:57 PM

 

 

For me, it's more of an enlightenment analogous to the one that occurred when I understood that mainstream economics had it all upside-down and backwards. Facts are facts and the facts that mainstream economists study are mostly settled, so it's not about disputing reality or evidence. Rather, it's about rejecting flawed reasoning. What do you conclude from the facts? The typical news article covering a new economics study basically uses language that is rife with insinuations of causality while only discussing the correlations studied. The study itself never makes claims of causality (because, as statisticians, the authors know better and would never otherwise get published) but the point stands that the lessons that the average individual draws from this process are horribly flawed. But this is exactly the same process that occurs in medical science, as well. Somebody does some research, finds a correlation that they believe is significant or interesting or merits further study, usually without taking the risk of constructing a hypothetical causal mechanism. Then, the journalists write articles like "Study finds high cholesterol puts you at increased risk for heart disease" which is a weasel-worded way of not saying that cholesterol causes heart disease while saying exactly that in ordinary language. Medical science must be consistent with the rest of biology because all disciplines are studying the same reality. We know that humans didn't harvest grains before 10,000 years ago. Yet medical science upholds the USDA food pyramid which has grains at the base... you are supposed to be eating 6-11 servings per day! Clearly, something is amiss. Anatomically modern humans spent 190,000 years of their history not eating grains and only in the last 10,000 years have we begun to eat grains. Mark Sisson puts it in better perspective: if you include our pre-human "caveman" ancestors back to 2Mya, then you begin to see that the human diet is a protein-and-fat diet primarily derived from the consumption of animals and supplemented with whatever nuts and berries could be foraged. The primary psychological challenge is to get over the foolish idea that eating "grease" is going to "clog your arteries." Medical science doesn't even actually claim that, yet people widely believe that's the case! Go figure that one out. The big, unanswered question is how did we get it so wrong for so long? I never hesitate to engage in conspiracy theorizing and I think that, at least in the US, the answer is fairly simple. The big cereal industry magnates receive huge government subsidy and to keep the free money rolling in, they have been engaging in a century of intensive rent-seeking at the FDA, UDSA, medical schools, and so on. You could just wipe the bottom grain level of the USDA food pyramid off completely and you'd have a pretty good picture of what your diet ought to be. Follow the money.

Right on.  This is a very similar thought process that lead me to the Paleo/Primal diet a couple years ago.  I've been using it as a general guide since then, and in recent months a couple of my buddies at work started doing it very strictly and that's given me the motivation to do the same.  I've been listenly to my body as Mark Sisson says (i read mark's daily apple) and i've been included rice and potatoes to my diet, but no dairy and no wheat-based grains.  Going dairy and gluten free have done wonders for my energy level, digestion, skin, stomach and hair. 

I'm guessing you have heard of the book The Paleo Diet by Loren Cordain, but i thought i would mention it because this is the book that first introduced me to the paleo diet and i really liked it. 

Clayton, based on your attraction to the ideas behind the primal lifestyle, i would recommend the book Sleep for Success by James Maas.  I think you might find it very interesting. 

My following of the ideas in The Paleo Diet and Sleep for Success have given me levels of physical and mental energy that i haven't felt since i was a young kid.  (i'm in my 20's now and relatively active and fit for an office worker, but the eating the paleo diet and getting sufficient sleep has done wonders for me)

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Clayton replied on Thu, Jan 12 2012 7:07 PM

nature wouldn't want to make man a fat-burning machine

I don't understand what you mean by this. I understand the term "fat-burning machine" as Sisson uses it to mean that our metabolic pathways favor fat over carbohydrates as a fuel source and that this is the result of natural selection... the long history of our ancestors who were well-adapted to a high-(animal)-fat diet. Other animals have metabolic pathways that favor carbohydrates over fat as a fuel source.

If you mean that Nature inteded for us to be able to store fat, that much is obvious, just look around you. But it is just as obvious that our ancestors were insanely fit just by looking at our secondary sex characteristics. Most of our ancestral humans and pre-humans must have looked good naked. The typical rounding and flabbiness of modern humans (even humans that are within the medical guidelines for BMI can still have a "soft" appearance) is inconsistent with the primitive environment where you had to look great if you wanted to mate... the result is the modern human, an incredibly well-sculpted animal body form.

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AJ replied on Thu, Jan 12 2012 7:12 PM

Grass-fed meats, experiment, never go all-in to any diet but primal is almost definitely the closest to being being sensible. Did I mention grass-fed meats? Organs from very healthy, high-quality animals (Kobe beef liver, heart, tongue) is in fact delicious, even raw liver. I won't touch the stuff otherwise.

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Malachi replied on Thu, Jan 12 2012 7:17 PM
@Wheylous

why wouldnt nature want to make man a fat-burning machine?

Keep the faith, Strannix. -Casey Ryback, Under Siege (Steven Seagal)
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Clayton replied on Thu, Jan 12 2012 8:50 PM

i would recommend the book Sleep for Success by James Maas.

I will definitely look into it. My sleep patterns have been a wreck for years and I know it's dragging me down. What I need to find are strategies to reconcile my schedule demands with my sleep needs...

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Also take this into account: Hunting and Gathering. living freely means a return to nature.

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Bert replied on Thu, Jan 12 2012 10:41 PM

Seems some of the things said counters my diet, and I know different diets can work for different people, but it's interesting nonetheless.  Rice and pasta are a staple of my diet, and of course vegetables, but I could literally live off white rice with soy sauce.  I guess my diet takes in more carbs, but it works for me.  My weight hasn't fluctuated much at all, I think I've been 185 for the past few years (which should be more correct weight, I'm 6'2").

am I correct in recognizing that your entire argument relies on data from the united states federal government?

You are not correct.  If you view my blog in my sig (which I haven't updated in at least a month...) you'll see where I get my data from.

I had always been impressed by the fact that there are a surprising number of individuals who never use their minds if they can avoid it, and an equal number who do use their minds, but in an amazingly stupid way. - Carl Jung, Man and His Symbols
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Malachi replied on Fri, Jan 13 2012 8:48 AM
I will read your blog at my leisure. However the argument you mentioned in this thread to support your perspective on protein consumption relies on the us rda which is highly politicized and has no bearing on actual human beings with actual nutrition needs. You say that the fda's ceiling of 0.8g/lb is satisfactory for athletes, but athletes and physical trainers actually reccommend a floor of 1g/lb and many consume upwards of 1.5 to 2 grams of protein per pound of lean body mass. Just based on results, I will take bodybuilder conventional wisdom over the reccommendations of some nerdy public servant who got a degree in nutrition from a university.

you could live on white rice withsoy sauce but you would become malnourished quite soon. Yet somehow aborigines in the far north subsisted for generations on diets consisting of almost exclusively animal parts.

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TANSTAAFL replied on Fri, Jan 13 2012 9:13 AM

I've done a fair amount of research on this subject. I am convinced that poor diet is the greatest factor in poor health. I am also convinced that the paleo/primal diet is the way to go. The particular mix of protein/fat/carbs is less important than the quality of each. Eskimos lived on almost pure fat diet and had zero diabetes or heart disease until they began eating western foods. On the other end of the spectrum new guniaians eat mostly sweet potatoes, high gycemic carbs, and also had very little disease. More important than exercise if you are trying to lose weight is to know how many calories your body needs a day to maintain the same weight, eat less than this magic number and you will lose weight regardless of what you eat.

 

Some sources I would recomend (first three are books, last is a movie):

Change Your Brain, Change Your Body (this book is a great sourcce for supplements and also includes a battery of tests that you can have your dr run to get an idea of where your body is)

Food is Your Best Medicine (out of print but I found a copy at my university library. out of all these sources this one blew my mind the most. it was written by a dr who after 50 years of family practice concluded that poor diet is the cause of ALL disease. he does an excellent job explaining how your digestive and endocrine systems work and how our modern diet is incompatible and causes our bodies to become toxic waste dumps.)

The Paleo Diet (this is a good overview of what the paleo diet is, but most of the info in the book can be found online for free. the book is worth the read if you can get it from a library.)

Food Matters (this is an excellent documentary that is on netflix, maybe youtube? it opened my eyes to the importance of eating raw whole foods.)

 

 

If you guys are serious about changing what you eat I would recomeng getting a jack lelane juicer or one of the blenders montel williams was hawking awhile back.

If you know anyone suffering from cancer encourage them to look into gersen therapy, especially if they do not want to be cut up, irradiated, or poisioned with chemicals. Juicer Jack was once a pro football player. then he was disgnosed with cancer. Gersen therapy cured his cancer and saved his life. Gersen was working wonders with patients that had been diagnosed with terminal cancers. He used no drugs and cured ove half of his patients until he was murdered...

 

Finally, Clayton, if you have not yet had a sleep study done I encourage you to do so. It is possible you have sleep apnea.

 

 

 

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Bert replied on Fri, Jan 13 2012 10:19 AM

Malachi, I've come across a lot of sources, and thing is I'm sure they are vary to a degree, so from that I gather a general idea to go on, not just one source.  I also don't really cater to that of a bodybuilder, so whatever I do find is more in tune with someone like myself.  For example I have a "vegan food pyramid" on my blog, thus the conventional food pyramid loses it's role in my diet.  I also get sources from vegan doctors which I feel like are the experts who are "tried and tested".

For a while my diet was heavily in white rice, it was twice daily with something else later in the night.  Now the rice I eat is a variety, but I plan to go back to a more rigid white rice diet (mainly due to costs).  As you state aborigines had a diet who's staple was/is meat I can cite people who's diets are heavily vegan (eastern diets).  The thing with citing aborigines and more meat based diets is the meat they eat isn't like what's here, and from what I've come across they didn't have long life spans and/or they did have high cholesterol and heart disease just from their diet alone.

As far as body building goes, how about some vegan bodybuilding?

Vegan body builder Robert Cheeke.

I had always been impressed by the fact that there are a surprising number of individuals who never use their minds if they can avoid it, and an equal number who do use their minds, but in an amazingly stupid way. - Carl Jung, Man and His Symbols
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Clayton replied on Fri, Jan 13 2012 10:51 AM

eat less than this magic number and you will lose weight regardless of what you eat.

This is true and this is part of why I like Sisson's way of thinking. When I was a kid, I dropped 5-10 pounds whenever I felt like it without the slightest bit of suffering or hunger. I think my diet (Mom's home cooking) was just so much better that I could do that. When your body is working correctly, you should be able to invert your calorie intake-output and drop weight for a few days at will without getting hunger headaches and all that crap. Others may have a different experience but I'm finding in just the few days I've been doing this so far that Sisson is right on every count. Fats are good for you so eat plenty of them. Well, except hydrogenated crap and vegetable oils which I already refused to eat anyway, except when it was in junk food which I have now happily eschewed as well. It's time to get healthy again and feel like a real human being.

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Malachi replied on Fri, Jan 13 2012 12:16 PM
"a lot of sources" that dont even agree with each other is not very persuasive. The us fda, that gets its reccommendations from big agra is also not very persuasive. Its great that you can find small populations that consume nonprimal foods and supposedly dont have health problems, but its mostly irrelevant. Bodybuilders are a great resource for things like nutrition (when correctly interpreted) because they specialize in modifying their bodies through natural physiological processes and can manifest the results. Vegan bodybuilders are likely genetic outliers even moreso than other bodybuilders, and they generally are not very muscular.

Also, I find it hard to imagine that a vegan bodybuilder would consume at or fewer than .8g/lb in his mass-building phase. I will google it.

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Malachi replied on Fri, Jan 13 2012 12:26 PM
Mike mahler splits the difference, he advocates between .7 and 1g

Other articles I browsed were not very detailed. I bet they cannot eat much more protein than that because all of the protein sources have way too many carbs and anti-nutrients, and they would end up weighing a million pounds because of 4 bowls of oatmeal and 7 cups of lentils etcetera

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Bert replied on Fri, Jan 13 2012 12:31 PM

"a lot of sources" that dont even agree with each other is not very persuasive.

Difference in something that doesn't agree at all and something that varies in degree, which is what I stated.

Its great that you can find small populations that consume nonprimal foods and supposedly dont have health problems, but its mostly irrelevant.

Ha, small populations?  Irrelevant?  20% of India's population is vegetarian/vegan, that's about 2 billion people, but according to this site it's 40% of their population which should be accurate seeing that a majority of their diet is vegan (and the absence of beef for religious reasons).  That site also has numbers for other countries (as well as wiki).

Also, I find it hard to imagine that a vegan bodybuilder would consume at or fewer than .8g/lb in his mass-building phase. I will google it.

I'm sure it's on the vegan bodybuilding site I linked since that is Robert Cheeke's site.

I had always been impressed by the fact that there are a surprising number of individuals who never use their minds if they can avoid it, and an equal number who do use their minds, but in an amazingly stupid way. - Carl Jung, Man and His Symbols
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AJ replied on Sat, Jan 14 2012 7:00 AM

Dude, live on rice and soy sauce for a week and report back. Fifty bucks says you'll be a nervous wreck.

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z1235 replied on Sat, Jan 14 2012 10:17 AM

Clayton:
When your body is working correctly, you should be able to invert your calorie intake-output and drop weight for a few days at will without getting hunger headaches and all that crap.

...It's time to get healthy again and feel like a real human being.

Clayton, excellent. I would add that, from experience, I believe that a relevant (valid) transformation starts with/in the mind. The body then follows. A mind in the right state is able to listen to the body as to what its true needs are. A mind in sync with its body knows exactly when and what to eat and do (walk, run, hike, swim, sit, sleep, etc.). It's amazing how hunger cravings, aches, and pangs disappear when food is not used to fill the place of something perceived to be missing by an unbalanced mind. The biggest problem in today's ADD society is that people (their minds) are unable to listen to their own bodies. I strongly recommend moderation, meditation, and contemplation about where happiness comes from.

"If you realize that all things change,
there is nothing you will try to hold on to.
If you aren’t afraid of dying,
there is nothing you can’t achieve.
Trying to control the future
is like trying to take the master carpenter’s place.
When you handle the master carpenter’s tools,
chances are that you’ll cut your hand."
 
"Men are born soft and supple;
dead, they are stiff and hard.
Plats are born tender and pliant;
dead, they are brittle and dry.
Thus whoever is stiff and inflexible
is a disciple of death.
Whoever is soft and yielding
is a disciple of life.
The hard and stiff will be broken.
The soft and supple will prevail."
 
From "Tao Te Ching" - Lao Tzu
 
I hope this made sense. 
 
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Bert replied on Sat, Jan 14 2012 10:19 AM

My priorities aren't in the right place to pull that off yet, but I'll add in some other factors: rice, soy sauce, alcohol, and meditation.  I bet I can pull that off for a week.

I had always been impressed by the fact that there are a surprising number of individuals who never use their minds if they can avoid it, and an equal number who do use their minds, but in an amazingly stupid way. - Carl Jung, Man and His Symbols
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Clayton replied on Sat, Jan 14 2012 1:30 PM

Vegan body builder Robert Cheeke.

Obviously an insanely disciplined person. But that's the difference with Primal lifestyle... it's not about discipline (except the rather minor discipline required to not eat trash-food) and performance of feats, it's about being healthy and relaxed.

I work at a major corporation. When I walk out past the gym at 6:30pm, I see all the early birds (whose cars are in the parking lot before mine no matter how early I show up) sweating like pigs on treadmills and ellipticals so they can go home, have a tiny, high-carb dinner that barely satisfies their raging hunger, crash into bed only to repeat. This kind of behavior is the kind of soft servitude that people learn to love that Aldous Huxley spoke of.

I grew up in a rural area, I was homeschooled, so this is all very alien to me. I've worked a job where I had to wake at 4am, another job where I had to be in great physical shape in order to climb a tall building, etc. These jobs required discipline but none of them required this bizarre self-flagellation. For me, it is obvious that willingly inflicting more suffering on myself is not the answer.

So, I'm not interested in eating a raw or nearly-raw, all-vegetable diet and then hitting the gym daily to do weight-training on selective muscle groups so I can look like that. I want to look good naked but I want to do it (and I know it's achievable) without self-punishment. Being healthy should feel good and shouldn't entail privation or heroic exertion.

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Clayton replied on Sat, Jan 14 2012 1:42 PM

Clayton, excellent. I would add that, from experience, I believe that a relevant (valid) transformation starts with/in the mind. The body then follows. A mind in the right state is able to listen to the body as to what its true needs are. A mind in sync with its body knows exactly when and what to eat and do (walk, run, hike, swim, sit, sleep, etc.). It's amazing how hunger cravings, aches, and pangs disappear when food is not used to fill the place of something perceived to be missing by an unbalanced mind. The biggest problem in today's ADD society is that people (their minds) are unable to listen to their own bodies. I strongly recommend moderation, meditation, and contemplation about where happiness comes from.

Yeah, I think that "listening to my body" is what I've neglected. Until about age 24, I was in either excellent or good shape, never more than a 10 pounds overweight and I "looked good naked." After that, something changed and I started going downhill. At some points, I've literally felt like I'm going insane; agitated, unsatisfied (unsatisfiable), uncomfortable and generally unhappy all the time for no reason. I knew some of it had to do with sleep, so I worked on sleeping right for a while. That helped but it didn't fix the problem... I was still fundamentally unhappy.

So, as a result of circumstances, I've come to realize that what I am eating and how I spend my free time must be the problem. It's all that's left after eliminating all other variables. I distinctly remember the feeling, when I was younger, of "listening to my body." I could look at a luscious piece of chocolate cake and just literally feel too full to eat it. But it's been so long since the last time I felt that inner voice telling me what to do.

I've been doing the primal thing for about 12 days now and I'm feeling good. I've dropped 6 pounds and my gut has gone down visibly in size quite a bit. It really is amazing how quickly your body can "reprogram" itself. Another 30 pounds and I will be back in the best shape I was ever in and I'm looking forward to it big time.

I'll confess another motivation. When I was a kid, I was a stomach sleeper. Everyone thought I was nuts but whatever, that is what felt like the most comfortable way for me to sleep, so that's how I usually slept. It's been probably 7 years since I could sleep on my stomach. I can't wait to get rid of this gut and get back to being able to fall asleep on my stomach again. For all you non-stomach sleepers, I don't know what's the matter with you, but it's just heaven.

Nice Lao Tzu quote, I do get it.

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Clayton replied on Sat, Jan 14 2012 9:19 PM

Primal snack I just tried, was really great. In a small bowl or shallow cup:

  • 4-6 green, pimiento-stuffed olives
  • 2 or 3 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp chopped, raw garlic
  • pepper to taste

Scoop up each olive with some olive oil and chopped garlic from the pool under the olives.

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Giant_Joe replied on Sat, Jan 14 2012 11:28 PM

Clayton,

I did some "paleo" diet about 2 years ago for almost 3 months. I ended losing 55 pounds. (240 to 185) I've been eating like crap since and I'm at about 200 pounds now and pretty steady. Prior to all this, my metabolism was screwed and I wasn't eating enough red meat.

I followed the advice Kurt had put up at that point in time: http://www.archevore.com/ I'd read his site in chronological order from oldest posts to newest posts. It helps you follow his reasoning, and why he doesn't see bananas, carbs, and rice crispies as evil as he used to.

Kurt identifies as an austro-libertarian as well, so it helps me trust his reasoning on science. ;) There aren't many doctors out there that have a handle on epistemology as well as he does.

To lose fat as fast as possible and remain eating healthy, i'd suggest a 4-fold approach that I followed:

Intermittent fasting - get your insulin sensitivity up and allow for longer periods of low blood-insulin which allows lipolosis
Ketogenic - maybe a few months, but not too long term. It also helps with insulin sensitivity, and having a high-fat diet will help in becoming a fat-burning machine
Primal - nothing processed nor agricultural. I drank cream and cooked with butter, but avoided dairy otherwise. Other than that, I ate nothing that was invented in the past ~10,000 years.
Low reward - this means eating only 3 things a meal, at most. I didn't do it on purpose, but out of convenience. After the fact, Stephen Guynet started doing some research on how "the bodyfat set point" would be affected by how much we please our palette: http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/

Good luck on your efforts!

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This is good but if you want to be fully healthy I'd suggest trying out a real H/G lifestyle and spend a day or two in the woods hunting and gathering for real. I gather but I don't hunt since meat is poison. Human beings evolved to eat wild plants raw. There is a ton of evidence to support the idea that eating meat came AFTER ag.

 

 

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gotlucky replied on Sun, Jan 15 2012 12:26 AM

Freedom4Me73986:

This is good but if you want to be fully healthy I'd suggest trying out a real H/G lifestyle and spend a day or two the rest of my life never spend a day in the woods hunting and gathering for real. I gather but I don't hunt since meat is poison. Human beings evolved to eat wild plants raw. There is a ton of evidence to support the idea that eating meat came AFTER ag.

Fixed.

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Clayton replied on Sun, Jan 15 2012 12:29 AM

Thanks for the wishes, Joe. I've realized it's not just about weight. I want to be in great shape again and stay in great shape as I age so life is comfortable and enjoyable - like so I can sleep on my stomach.

As far as rewarding the palate, I'm not able to evaluate that at this point. I'm going to drop the weight and get exercising and sleeping right first, then I'll start experimenting with "breaking the rules" with what Mark terms sensible vices. I think that it's important to realize that human beings have adapted a bit in the last 10,000 years so individual sensitivity to certain kinds of foods varies. For example, I've acquired a lactose-intolerance at the age of 31; a lot of people are lactose-intolerant their whole lives after weaning and some people never become lactose-intolerant. I can eat small amounts of dairy with a lactase pill but I try to take it easy because I figure that my body is telling me "no" for a reason.

My recent discovery of Epicureanism is helping me with this. "What is good is easy to get" is one of Epicurus' maxims... it is easy to be satisfied with your food, you just have to re-adjust your relationship with the food. Eating is a way to bring in the best nutrients you can get your hands on in the tastiest way you can manage to prepare them. All diversions from this state of affairs have consequences... consuming nutritionless carbs (such as grains), consuming vegetable-oil soaked and toxin-infused junk foods, consuming excess alcohol, etc. Of course, you can choose to indulge a little and bear the consequences when you feel that the short-term enjoyment is worth the negative effects. But when your mind and body are dulled by a low-fat diet, anti-nutrients in grain, lack of sleep and sedentariness that deprive you of the ability to even sense the positive or negative effects of your choices, you are "flying blind" and I now see this is where I have been for the last 7 years now.

I was healthy and in-shape my whole life until about age 24, then things started going down hill. I could tell that I wasn't listening to my body... or that my body had been "muted" somehow and was not correctly telling me what it needed, like it used to. But I didn't understand why. Now I know. When I left home, my diet changed and it was a typical, carb-heavy, low-fat diet. After a while, I realized there was a problem and began experimenting with low-carb diets but to little avail. I'd lose 10-15 pounds and then the moment I stopped going to the gym every day, it would pile right back on and sometimes a few pounds extra. If I missed a meal even by 15 minutes, I'd get that back-of-the-head hunger headache.

So, this primal way of thinking about health really clicks with me... on a scientific level (evolution), on a philosophical level (Epicurus) and on an experimental level; I used to feel great, eat what I liked and work out only erratically and moderately. I wake up in the morning and cook some delicious bacon and eggs without feeling like "well, the protein's good, but the fat is going to give me a heart attack one day." No, the fat is not going to give me a heart attack. Spiking my insulin up and down with grain-based carbs all day will store fat, decrease activity and bring on the stages of deteriorating health that inevitably lead to heart disease... that's what will give me a heart-attack one day.

Breaking that cycle with delicious, nutritious foods cooked in animal fats and the safe vegetable fats (e.g. olive oil) will bring needed nutrients into my body, satisfy my hunger and my palate, keep my weight at its natural level, give me energy to play and move when I need to and make me look good naked.

I particularly like the primal way of thinking about exercise and how well it fits with Epicureanism. Look, our ancestors were insanely fit but they really weren't gym rats, finding a flat spot in the savanna to do sit-ups and push-ups while lifting rocks like barbells. If they didn't need to move, they didn't move except to play. So, they moved when they needed to (the pain of moving was less than the pain of going hungry) and they moved to play (the act of moving to play is pleasurable in itself).

The modern conception of the gym is purgatorial. You go there to pay for your daily sins at the table. This is insanity. How can people live that way? Even the Greeks - the inventors of the gymnasium - didn't use it that way. The gym wasn't for immoderates trying to keep their waistline from exploding, it was for athletes who wanted to compete in public games... where they would usually compete naked. Hence "look good naked." The adult human who is eating a diet rich in nutrition should be able to look good naked with a very minimal amount of exertion.

My goal is to reach 210 (I hope I can lose this 10 pounds in the next 3-4 weeks) and then sign up for Judo classes again. With less weight and better health, I believe I'll be able to take the trauma much better. In addition, I may study Tai Chi Chuan and Ginastic Natural (on my own, I'm not going to pay someone to teach me that, sorry) to augment Judo classes. Unlike a lot of people, I really hate running. I mean, I hate hate hate running. Maybe some humans have those "persistence hunting" genes and others don't... I certaintly don't. Even when I was in my best shape, I hated to run not because I couldn't do it but because it just feels pointless, boring and painful on the feet, knees, hips, leg muscles, etc. The advantage of running is that it's cardio without a lot of skill required. But I like the feeling of doing something that requires a little skill, so some gentle calisthenics would be a good substitute for me.

Clayton -

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Giant_Joe replied on Sun, Jan 15 2012 12:41 AM

I can't add much to your post, Clayton. I agree that there are things which vary from person to person and I realize it's also a health thing. Getting away from processed food, intermittent fasting, and getting good sleep really cleared up my mind and let me focus on tasks for hours on end.

As for exercise, I'd also suggest trying some of the "barefoot running" techniques. For the longest time, I had soreness in my patellar ligaments, and running in this fashion actually helped to eliminate the problem! (For this specific problem of the patellar ligaments, I suggest getting cod liver oil, vitamin D, stretching quads, activating gluts and strengthening hamstrings.)

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Marko replied on Sun, Jan 15 2012 2:14 AM

Primal snack I just tried, was really great. In a small bowl or shallow cup:

  • 4-6 green, pimiento-stuffed olives
  • 2 or 3 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp chopped, raw garlic
  • pepper to taste

Scoop up each olive with some olive oil and chopped garlic from the pool under the olives.

Is olive oil primal? It's made by processing a plant, no?

Also is primal different from paleo?

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Freedom4Me73986:

This is good but if you want to be fully healthy I'd suggest trying out a real H/G lifestyle and spend a day or two the rest of my life never spend a day in the woods hunting and gathering for real. I gather but I don't hunt since meat is poison. Human beings evolved to eat wild plants raw. There is a ton of evidence to support the idea that eating meat came AFTER ag.

Fixed.

What's wrong with rewilding?

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Clayton replied on Sun, Jan 15 2012 12:53 PM

@Marko:

Here's what Mark has to say about it.

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Clayton replied on Sun, Jan 15 2012 1:13 PM

That McDougall guy is rather disingenuous. First of all, he contradicts himself by stating outright that early humans did in fact hunt. They didn't hunt and they did hunt. Which is it, Dr. McDougall? Second, he tries to revise the date of the agricultural revolution back 40,000 years to 50kya. Well, there is clearly room for variation depending on how you define the agricultural revolution but the mainstream sets it at around 10kya. In any case, even if it were 50kya, that wouldn't change the essential primal dietary argument: anatomically modern humans were HG for the vast majority of their evolutionary history since emerging on the scene 200-300kya.

He simply repeats the main thesis of primal dietary theory: civilization has been built on the calories made available from grains. The point of primal diet is that this was done despite the consequences to our digestive tract! Our ancestors faced a stark choice: Eat grains and keep up with the Joneses or go back to the Savanna and risk being eaten by wild animals. So, they ate grains. And they got sick. In fact, they got sicker and sicker the more grains they ate and the more animals they domesticated (being exposed to new disease vectors).

And he also inadvertently spells out the solution. The Pharaohs could afford to feed some of their grain to animals so they did (why did they prefer to eat animals to grain???) Nowadays, we have tractors and industrial farming equipment that permits us to produce massive amounts of vegetative nutrients very inexpensively. Why not convert some of these corn and wheat fields to hay fields and pasture and start growing a little more free-range, grass-fed livestock?

Of course, this will require a shift in the demand curves of the public but that's exactly the point in primal criticism of the FDA and USDA. These agencies and the ecosystem of Establishment universities and lobbies surrounding them are heavily invested in making people believe that what they really want is more corn and wheat. We're not cows, we shouldn't eat like cows and we don't need to eat like cows, at least, those of us who are not at a 3rd-world level of poverty. In fact, we shouldn't even be feeding this stuff to cows, that's how bad it is. The health consequences of a grain-based diet are massive and as far as I'm concerned it's a big cover-up.

If grains are really so good for you, why are all those breakfast cereals "fortified"? I thought they were bursting with "heart-healthy" nutrition?? It's all a sham. Grass is probably the oldest form of life to exist on land. It has been fending off consumption by animals for maybe a billion years. A cow requires a large, energy-intensive digestive system (seven stomachs) to properly digest it. And even cows don't eat seeding grass. You don't think grass knows how to defend itself?

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Giant_Joe replied on Sun, Jan 15 2012 6:08 PM

Dog. Carnivore. Look at stomach and intestines.

 

Cow. Herbivore. Look at stomachs and intestines. (if you can point them out)

Human. Omnivore. Look at stomach and intestines.

Humans. Not quite cows, not quite dogs.

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AJ replied on Mon, Jan 16 2012 4:28 AM

Some counterpoint: http://www.jonbarron.org/weight-loss/paleo-diet-review-good-bad Further in-depth analysis on what people ate long ago and how to compensate for modern-world conditions: http://www.beyondveg.com/

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Some counterpoint: http://www.jonbarron.org/weight-loss/paleo-diet-review-good-bad Further in-depth analysis on what people ate long ago and how to compensate for modern-world conditions: http://www.beyondveg.com/

Yes. To reiterate myself human beings are natural raw vegans. There's a TON of evidence that eating meat only came after ag in human history. H/Gs were really just vegan gatherers which is what I hope to be. I'm already eating nothing but raw veggies and raw fruits/berries and raw nuts for my protein. I also only drink extremely filtered water to get all the fluoride (poison) out. As soon as I finish teaching myself the skills I'll start gathering my food from the wild.

Remember that H/Gs lived active lifestyles. They weren't couch potatos like us. Read Zerzan if you want more insights. I don't agree w/ Zerzan's anti-property and semi-statist views but his stuff on H/Gs and how civ turned us bad is legit.

 

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Bert replied on Mon, Jan 16 2012 10:21 AM

I do question the role of meat in our diet in history.  One could say a certain group of people were hunter gatherers 10,000 years ago, or even 5,000 years ago, but easily with the exception of the past 100 years for the past 2,000 (for Europeans) it's been more agriculture than meat consumption.  On another forum a topic came up of meat consumption during Medieval times and it wasn't that likely, if anything eating meat was reserved for festivals and celebrations, and not in daily consumption at all.  Even then it still depends on those populations, in Scandinavia fish was consumed more than red meat, for red meat it would either be horse or boar.  In India goat meat is consumed the most as far as red meat goes.

I had always been impressed by the fact that there are a surprising number of individuals who never use their minds if they can avoid it, and an equal number who do use their minds, but in an amazingly stupid way. - Carl Jung, Man and His Symbols
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AJ replied on Mon, Jan 16 2012 5:59 PM

Read the BeyondVeg site. It pretty well obliterates veganism.

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