The Paleo-Diet: Not The Way To A Healthy Future

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.

I would’ve preferred a little more back-up to her lack of science claim since I don’t care for those sorts of drive-by statements from someone claiming some authority – but whatever.

My personal reason for choosing to eat the way I do largely stems from learning what works for my body, anyway – not science.

I don’t care what it’s called or how it came about or who else does it – largely because I think I’ve determined that trying to understand the science and make the “right” informed decision about nutrition is nearly impossible.

People learned what worked in local context for survival and reproduction, and surely, just as in other primates, cultural traditions began to play a role in who ate what.

My body craves protein in a very physical way – MUCH different than sugar (mental) cravings – as I’m sure it would have done a couple million years ago, so I think I likely would’ve learned that I needed someone to hunt for me.

Several years of trial and error have taught me that I feel best when I eliminate grains, eat moderate amounts of fruit, limit all processed/sugar-based crap, limit dairy to yogurt and occasional cheese and include lean meat as my main source of protein. So – I try. Even though it’s harder to lose weight.

(I’m aware that what I just described isn’t technically paleo thinking, but it’s close. I just don’t have the fortitude to be a fanatic.)

I might be making a huge mistake – but at least I physically feel well while I’m doing it.

This article reminded me about I, Caveman – a (2-episode) discovery channel show (part of the Curiosity Series) Jon and I watched a couple of weeks ago.

Paleo blogger/author Robb Wolf was a participant and wrote about it.

Episode 1 – Were we better off as cavemen? Morgan Spurlock (“Super Size Me”) joins nine ordinary men and women in an attempt to survive in the wild using only stone-age technology. Cold, dehydration, and hunger threaten to derail the experiment from the start.

Episode 2 – The group continues their experiment to live in the wild. Hunger and deprivation push the group to the brink of failure. Can a successful elk hunt save them?

My favorite part: his detailed recaps.

I was much more interested in the social aspects (group dynamics, etc.) than the actual hunting/gathering stuff (and did not watch them kill or chop up the elk) – but it’s quite interesting from either perspective. Crazy, but definitely worth watching.

I largely exercise right out of bed in old t-shirts and random shorts that I’ve picked up here and there (mostly on sale at Target). My current (un)employment status + new fancy gym membership means I encounter a lot of people (women) during the day who obviously put a LOT of effort into their workout attire, though, so I’ve been thinking about extending a little more effort so as to not be quite so shabby looking.

This was BEFORE heading to a session with the trainer this morning. Imagine the aftermath.

Here’s the thing: I had no idea these people (some of whom I often encounter in grocery stores buying the cheapest/lowest quality stuff available) are standing around in $100 YOGA PANTS and $60 TANK TOPS.

Different priorities, I guess.

Today’s lunch:

Jon lightly coated the pink banana squash (the tall one) …

… with coconut oil and sprinkled it with curry powder before roasting it. The soup stuff in the middle = turkey breasts (cubed and coated with cumin + S&P), mushrooms, onions, garlic, tomato paste, coriander seeds, honey, turmeric, garam masala, plain yogurt + chicken broth. No recipe.


(Have I mentioned how sad I’m going to be when he goes back to work next week and leaves me alone with hours full of crazy-making unemployed time? So many reasons.)

Our poor neurotic dog either yanked a bunch of his hair out (something he did once when boarded so it’s not all THAT narcissistic to assume it might have something to do with the 4.5 days we spent at the hospital despite having Jon’s mom here at night taking good care of him) – or he’s experiencing an allergy to something and scratched it out – or he somehow ingested some corn (a known allergy) and his body is freaking out.

Either way – he’s got some bald spots, so he got a massive haircut and a bath with medicated shampoo today … and he’s been getting benadryl when he appears itchy.

He was overdue for a haircut, but it’s so weird to see him so bald.




Oncologist tomorrow.