Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Paleo-Diet: Not The Way To A Healthy Future (?)

The article below is by an anthropologist who think the Paleo-Diet/Lifestyle is not a good idea and a potential catastrophe to feeding a 7+billion global population.  The author is a vegetarian and advocates that lifestyle.  Vegetarianism is a great lifestyle and there are amazing athletes people that live >100years eating that way.  The reason a paleo hominid left vegetarianism is the more upright we walked, the narrower the hips became, the stomach shrank.  We could no longer hold the gallons of hay you'd need to get ample proteins into our diet.  Nutritional density became increasingly important in the upright walking hominid.  In today's world of surplus, we can support vegetarianism because we can process nutrients into the foods or eat as often as we want.  This was not an option for the paleo-man. Often, the food they ate would have to give energy for a week while they looked for more.
Today we have the advantage of hindsight AND the ability to pick and choose.  I want to eat paleo, but i choose not to die while defending my mate in a brawl with a Neanderthal - see, I can choose.  When we say we want to eat Paleo we refer to the deserve to have whole foods in their natural forms in quantities that match the way our bodies evolved. How about "We desire to have the blood glucose levels of our ancestors, and the rates of dietarily preventable diseases that our ancestors had"?
Apart from diet, paleo-man was sedentary much of the time (me at my desk job), they had to expend enormous energy occasionally (me at my crossfit box), and they had to complete tremendous feats of endurance (my ultra-running).  I can choose not to live in their constant danger and likely dying a violent death.  pick-and-choose, baby!
In a few days, the world's population will reach 7 billion. Only a tiny fraction of this number still makes a living by hunting and gathering, the way all our ancestors did before about 12,000 years ago.
According to a set of claims relentlessly pushed in some books and blogs, as many modern humans as possible should adopt a hunter-gatherer diet. That is, we should eat lean meat and vegetables because our Paleolithic hunting-and-gathering ancestors did. At the same time, we should refuse dairy, grains and sugars because our hunting-and-gathering ancestors didn't eat these items.
You might think that, as an anthropologist, I'd greet this embrace of the human prehistoric past with unalloyed delight, especially in a country where a high percentage of our population is evolution-averse. Like most anthropologists, though, I don't think there's good science behind these claims
It's best to clarify right off that leaders of the paleo-diet movement don't think monolithically. Lean meat and veggies take center stage, but the emphasis may vary in details such as how much seafood to eat. A look at the current issue of Paleo — a magazine devoted to "modern primal living" — indicates that, in addition to food, paleo-faddists think hard about exercise and lifestyle choices.

Some of them, in fact, take a paleo-lifestyle to startling lengths. In profiling this "modern-day Stone Age subculture" and its leaders, Arthur de Vany and Loren Cordain, the German magazine Der Spiegel interviews disciples who run through the undergrowth and eat wild boar in explicit emulation of their Paleolithic forebears.... Continued Here

Weight Lifting or Weightlifting??

What's up Running-Paleo type people??  

Time to talk about Strength - Adding strength will make you fast - or 'allow you to play without injury' = should be our fitness goals!!  Strength training can be done many ways, using bars and performing powerlifting moves, simple gymnastics, even running hill repeats.  (Combined with proper recovery)All contribute to making you stronger - adding that ever important component to your fitness.  

It's paleo to be minimalistic, and it's paleo to be strong - strong for YOU.  You may not be interested in throwing beer kegs on roofs, but you should be able to throw your own weight around effectively.  

Below is taken from the crossfit journal, an explanation of weightlifting, vs. weight lifting.  Some of the suggestions below involve movements that are involved and take a degree of skill.  I was a gym-rat for years and years- and I have recently relearned how to make myself strong.  You should try it too, it's a gift to yourself.


“Weightlifting” as opposed to “weight lifting”, two words, and “weight training” refers to the Olympic sport, which includes the “clean and jerk” and the “snatch.” Olympic weightlifting, as it is often referred to, develops strength (especially in the hips), speed, and power like no other training modality. It is little known that successful weightlifting requires substantial flexibility. Olympic weightlifters are as flexible as any athletes. 

The benefits of Olympic weightlifting don’t end with strength, speed, power, and flexibility. The clean and jerk and the snatch both develop coordination, agility, accuracy, and balance and to no small degree. Both of these lifts are as nuanced and challenging as any movement in all of sport. Moderate competency in the Olympic lifts confers added prowess to any sport. 

The Olympic lifts are based on the deadlift, clean, squat, and jerk. These movements are the starting point for any serious weight-training program. In fact they should serve as the core of your resistance training throughout your life. 

Why the deadlift, clean, squat, and jerk? Because these movements elicit a profound neurodendocrine response. That is, they alter you hormonally and neurologically. The changes that occur through these movements are essential to athletic development. Most of the development that occurs as a result of exercise is systemic and a direct result of hormonal and neurological changes. 

Curls, lateral raises, leg extensions, leg curls, flyes and other body building movements have no place in a serious strength and conditioning program primarily because they have a blunted neuroendocrine response. A distinctive feature of these relatively worthless movements is that they have no functional analog in everyday life and they work only one joint at a time. Compare this to the deadlift, clean, squat, and jerk which are functional and multi-joint movements. 

Start your weightlifting career with the deadlift, clean, squat, and jerk then introduce the “clean and jerk” and snatch. There are many excellent sources for learning the deadlift, clean, squat, and jerk but for the clean and jerk and the snatch we know of only one outstanding source and that is a couple of videotapes produced by World Class Coaching LLC ( These tapes are not only the best instruction available anywhere they are as good as any instructional tape we’ve seen on any subject. Much of the material on the tapes, both in terms of pedagogy and technical understanding, is unique to the producers. You need both tapes, “The Snatch” and “The Clean and Jerk.” 

Much of the best weight training material on the Internet is found on “powerlifting” sites. Powerlifting is the sport of three lifts: the bench press, squat, and deadlift. Powerlifting is a superb start to a lifting program followed later by the more dynamic clean and the jerk and finally the “clean & jerk” and the “snatch”. The movements that we are recommending are very demanding and very athletic. As a result they’ve kept athletes interested and intrigued where the typical fare offered in most gyms (bodybuilding movements) typically bores athletes to distraction. Weightlifting is sport; weight training is not