Eat Like A Caveman Feel Like a Superhero
In my last post I touched on my weight loss success using the Slow Carb Diet from Tim Ferris’ book the 4 Hour Body. This is a high protein, very low carbohydrate, moderate fat diet that is very effective for rapid but healthy weight loss. The greatest part of the program for me was the once per week cheat day where all bets are off and I could eat whatever I wanted and however much of it I wanted. There are literally no restrictions at all short of a twenty-four hour binge of hookers and cocaine. My indulgence was never that fascinating but more like eating an entire pack of Oreos in one sitting or smashing a small pizza followed by a DQ Blizzard.
In Tim’s book he briefly mentions that his protocol is similar to something called the Paleo Diet, also called the Ancestral Diet by some. After nearly three months of Slow Carb I was quickly getting very concerned that this diet was not something that I could proceed with as a lifestyle and I decided to check out this Paleo thing. As I dug in I discovered that there is a whole culture that has emerged around this concept of the caveman diet. Paleo practitioners strive to only eat foods that existed during the Paleolithic era or, more generally, foods that would have been eaten prior to the advent of agriculture. It’s a little easier to create a list of foods that a Paleo follower usually won’t eat such as grains, dairy, legumes, processed and refined foods, and most vegetable oils. I’ve heard one commentator say, “If you dropped a caveman in a grocery store and he wouldn’t recognize the object as food, don’t eat it.” That’s a pretty basic way to grasp the idea.
I have found this Paleo Diet idea to be a much more sustainable way of eating and I have given up on cheat day, but now will just indulge by allowing myself an occasional item that is “off the plan”. I mostly eat lots of meat and vegetables, have replaced cow’s milk with coconut milk, and I try to avoid grains as much as possible, but managing five pizza shops and a coffee shop makes this a daunting task.
My adventures in Paleo land have led me to some very cool resources that I would love to share. Check out these links for some books, blogs, and podcasts that have guided me through the modern resurgence of the caveman era:
Robb Wolfe The Paleo Solution – a great book which chronicles Robb’s journey through many dietary experiments including vegetarianism and veganism which left him very ill and led him to Paleo. Robb is a biochemist by training and does an outstanding job of explaining the science behind the plan.
Nora T. Gadgaudas Primal Body, Primal Mind – this gets a little deeper in explaining the problems with the modern diet related to diseases such as cancer or diabetes
Blogs and Podcasts
The Paleo Solution – as you can see I have become a Robb Wolfe fan. The blog is good but the podcast is hilarious and informative as Robb and his co-host Greg Everett field questions from listeners related to the Paleo diet and working out
Latest in Paleo – Angelo Coppola compiles the latest in health news and runs it through the filter of the Paleo mindset to help listeners understand the seemingly conflicting dietary information we hear all of the time.
Fat Burning Man – Able James is easily the smoothest of the Paleo podcasters. From the smooth bluesy intro music to the laid back conversational style of his interviews Able makes you feel like you’re a fly on the wall during chat between old friends as he interviews the heavy hitters of the health and fitness scene.
Caveman Doctor – Dr. Colin Champ not only has the coolest name in the business but he speaks with a calm confidence that inspires you to at least try the suggestions he makes. He is a practicing cancer doctor who is shaking things up with a Paleo approach to treating illness.