In my quest to becoming a stronger, faster, healthier and happier person, I’m trying to adopt a more paleolithic lifestyle. The term Paleolithic is derived from the Greek words “Palaios” (old/ancient) and “Lithos” (stone). Translated it means “old age of the stone” or “Old Stone Age”.
I have attached a chart bellow to help outline a few things.
Photo Source: Metal Matters
There is way too much information to include here to sufficiently provide enough background knowledge on this topic and about our history, so this will have to do. If interested, you should keep track of the following terms: Old Stone Age, Paleolithic, Neolithic, Agricultural Revolution, and research them yourself.
I will be skipping the history lesson(s) and jump right into the things that have motivated me to create this blog.
To begin, take a look at the following food pyramid below:
Photo Source: Diabetes Diabetic Diet
Of course it does! We grow up being told that this is the nutritional key that will keep us healthy!
A typical day:
You wake up and have either a bowl of cereal with milk, toast or a muffin. Maybe you’ll wolf down a fruit or two while your at it. A few hours later (depending on who you are and when you woke up), you may have a snack. Some veggies? Maybe cheese with crackers? or maybe you just skip straight to lunch. You were in such a rush this morning to get to school / work that you had no time to pack food, so you find a place to buy some. Subway® is right across the street. AWESOME! You decide to order a whole wheat chicken breast sandwich with some veggies and you top it off with some light, low fat dressing sauce. For a drink you decide to skip the pop and go with the orange juice. A few hours later its time to go home from school / work and you are ready to relax and eat dinner. How about a nice fresh plate of pasta with tomato sauce? Maybe you’re in the mood for steak and potatoes! Yummmm. Of course we can’t forget the dessert!
After a long day you now have a full, satisfied stomach and get to relax. The tiredness begins to set in. You decide to sit on the couch and watch a few of your favourite shows. Ohh! Don’t forget to check your email, facebook and update your twitter account!
After all this is done, you look at the time and realize you should probably get some sleep because you have to repeat the same thing tomorrow. You go brush your teeth and head to bed.
Now lets take a look at this next image:
Photo Source: Fundamental Living
I bet not! Many of you are probably thinking “WHAATTT?!?” NO GRAINS?! WHERE IS MY DAIRY?!
At this VERY MOMENT, I want you to scroll up to the beginning of this post and re read the first comparison chart.
No seriously… go do it.
Ok, hopefully you have. If not, then I assume you already know where I’m going with this.
Now take a look at this chart to the right:
Modern humans eat extremely different than our ancient ancestors did.
Many people think, “well we live completely different lives than they did!”
Yes, we most certainly do live a completely different life than our fellow ‘cave man’ did.
“Exactly! So there is no way we can compare a modern day human to a ‘cave man’.”
… Our genes are identical.
“Well, we really can’t be doing all that bad since our average lifespans are on the rise.”
We are living longer than ever. But does chronological age equate quality of life? If you divide our average life expectancy by half, that is the age (if not before) that many people start showing signs of high blood pressure, diabetes and an excess amount of useless fat.
Photo Source: Blass Online
“I guess. But anyways, we live such busy lives… most of us are always on the go. I can’t start my day without a cup of coffee and I need to eat stuff that will give me energy.”
Um, I don’t think stepping into your car to drive to the local food market or sitting at a desk all day is any more difficult than stalking and running down your own food.
“But what about us athletes?! We are constantly training! We NEED high carb diets to provide us with sufficient energy to train at optimum levels!”
Again, I don’t think any amount of training a modern day athlete endures greatly outweighs the overall expended energy required for an entire day of traveling across plains, out-running prey (and successfully killing it) and or other life or death tasks.
I could go on like this forever and talk about how many anti-nutrients grains have in them, but basically what I’m trying to say is that the “Paleo Diet” focuses more on naturally grown foods such as fresh vegetables, lean meats, tree nuts and fruits. Our bodies are designed to respond efficiently to these foods. You will be surprised how many carbs you can get from fresh vegetables, let alone the obvious fruits! Stay away from the refined sugars and salt. Your body doesn’t need that processed crap. Its not designed for it and the sooner you realize this, the sooner you’ll be able to provide your body with the proper necessities it needs for optimal health and performance. Would you put shitty gas into your race car before a race just because its affordable and easily accessible?
Of course if you go from eating pasta and rice every day to completely eliminating it, you’ll notice an immediately decrease in your energy levels. Don’t worry, that’s just your body adjusting. Think of a drug addict on the path to becoming clean. Their body has become so dependent on that drug that they begin developing withdrawal symptoms. This in no shape or form means his or her lack of the drug is detrimental to their health! It just means the body needs time to adjust. Once they pass that period of withdrawal, rejuvenation occurs. A before and after will illustrate that this person is now flourishing in all aspects of their life. It is very much like that with the Paleo Diet.
Please realize though that having a plate of pasta once and a while isn’t going to kill you or make you FAT. I absolutely hate the term “diet” because of its constant negative connotation, so from now on I’ll be using the term “lifestyle” in my posts instead of “diet”.