Friday, August 6, 2010

Stupid of the Week #1: The Paleo Diet

Welcome to the first installment of our new series: Stupid of the Week. In this series, we will dive head first into the depths of stupidity and really check out that horse's mouth. But before we get started, my friend Bob has asked me share something he wrote.

Bob has struggled with his weight for a long time, but he recently found a diet that really works for him. Maybe it will work for you, too. Here's Bob's story:

Hello, my name is Bob, and I'd like to tell you about my success on the "Paleo" or "Caveman" diet. I've tried every diet ever mentioned in Good Housekeeping. Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, South Beach; I even tried a diet where you eat only pineapple and another where you eat only ice cream. I did Atkins in the late 90s, and while I got thin and fit at first, the weight came right back as soon as I started eating Krispy Kreme again.

My spirit broken, I gave up on life (looking back, I realize that what I *thought* was a broken spirit and lack of will was really just the insidious effect of vegetable oils and nitrates, but more on that later.) When a friend of the family suggested "going Paleo" I thought: well alright, I'll give this one more go.

 Let me tell you, the results were amazing. Within a month I had lost 20 lbs., just like on Atkins. I had energy all the time with no crash, just like on Atkins. I ate bacon, cheese, vegetables and nuts, just like on Atkins, except this time they were organic/unpasteurized/hormone free vegetables/cheese/bacon purchased at Whole Foods for approximately 3/4 the GDP of Burma.

The best thing about Paleo dieting is that it's easy to stick with because it's natural. Even though I ate the same foods on Atkins and experienced the same weight loss and energy results, I couldn't stick with Atkins because Atkins just didn't make sense to me. I tried to read Dr. Atkins's book, but it had too many words like "gluconeogenesis" and "tricarboxylic acid cycle." What am I, some sort of scientist-wizard? I don't have a PhD in pronouncing long words, thank you very much.

Paleo is much more consumer-friendly than Atkins. It doesn't try to confuse you with big words, it just appeals to your intuition (and really, isn't that what science is all about?) Dr. Weston A. Price, the founder of the Paleo diet, wasn't even a real doctor, he was a dentist who went around taking pictures of young, supple native boys from indigenous cultures around the world. While fondling and photographing, he noticed how nice these boys' teeth were. "You sure have a pretty mouth," he commented to one. "Ah ha!" he said, "I have discovered the secret to eternal life!" He died 5 years later, but his discoveries live on in the Super Adventure Club and Weston A. Price Foundation.

As the Foundation website explains, certain dietary elements are common to all native boys with nice teeth. They all eat: fish, animal organs, raw meats, sprouted/fermented vegetables, etc. They don't eat: processed foods, wheat, cane sugar, etc. The Foundation then turns this into dietary recommendations for we unfortunate modern humans burdened by civilization.

All of this made a lot of sense to me, and the results were clear (so similar to Atkins), but I thought "Couldn't we take this a step further? Aren't there other things we could do more like cavemen? Cave men didn't have soap, or sunscreen, or..." I quickly discovered I wasn't the only one heading down this intellectual road. Mark Sisson was already leading the way.


Mark points out that not only did cavemen avoid processed foods, they also didn't drive cars or work at computers. They walked for miles and miles every day, ran from cave bears, and often picked up large rocks. He then suggests that modern humans spend more time on their feet and lift heavy things.


This just blew me away. Where other diets recommend an exercise routine that includes both cardio conditioning and resistance training, Mark recommends being on your feet a lot and lifting heavy things. He is truly visionary.


Inspired by Mark's wise words, I resolved to start lifting heavy things right away. I decided to start with my car, because it is approximately the size of the rocks cavemen used to crush cave bears to death according to this drawing I saw when I was a kid. I ended up dislocating my lumbar vertebrae and crushing a disc. My body must have been even more damaged by processed foods and Crisco than I ever suspected!


As I writhed and howled in pain on my driveway, my neighbor ran outside and started dialing 911. "No, no, no!" I said, "Cavemen got by just fine without ambulances, and so will I! It's evolution!" My neighbor slowly nodded and walked away muttering something about "natural selection."


Not knowing of any caves nearby, I dragged myself under my porch (in only 3 hours!) As I settled in, I heard a strange hissing sound. I'm not too clear on what happened next, but when I woke up it was the next day and I was in the hospital with bandages all over my body. Apparently my cave was also home to a nest of vipers and the doctors had completely depleted the hospital's supply of antivenom trying to revive me.


Needless to say, I was furious at having been taken into a modern hospital and fed artificial substances against my will. I refused my Jell-O and after a few days the so-called doctors had no choice but to release me back into the wild.


Now I am free, as man was meant to be. Humans evolved over millions of years, and during those millions of years did we have feed lots and hormones and pasteurized milk? Did we have shampoo and antibiotics? Did we have cars and houses? No we did not! So why should we have them now? Just eat and live like a caveman and evolution will take care of the rest. It worked for me!


Yours in Nature,
Bob


I regret to have to inform everyone that Bob is dead. We're not sure if it was the snake bites, the fungal infection, the trichinosis, the E. Coli, the 3rd degree sunburn, the athlete's foot, or the fact that he was mauled by a mountain lion. His body, when found, weighed only 71 lbs., so we can at least say that his diet was a success.

Either way, there's one less stupid in the world.

  Love,

S. Misanthrope

18 comments:

  1. Wish I could show this to a girl in my camping group who's making everyone's life so much more difficult by being on the paleo diet.

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  2. Fuck the Paleo diet and fuck Whole Foods.

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  3. Nothing but a low carb diet. Organic food is not even different than regular food, they just write "Organic" on it and jack up the price. People who eat organic food are suckers.

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    1. After the Robot Wars, when we're all cyborgs, no doubt Whole Foods will begin selling us organic electricity and all-natural titanium-alloy replacement parts.

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  4. Anonymous #1 - You would think she'd find it incredibly easy, wouldn't you? I mean, camping is basically living in a cave, and eating paleo is supposed to be like eating what people who live in caves eat. Maybe you could suggest she forage for grubs, Bear Grylls-style. It's what evolution intended.

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  5. Anonymous #2 (and #1, for that matter) - Fuck "Anonymous" postings, even when you agree with my post. I don't need (or want) your social security number, but I do need an unambiguous way to address you in my replies.

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  6. I laughed so hard! This is hilarious and spot on! XD Any diet plan that forces you to cut out fast food, soda, and whatever else you shouldn't be eating, is going to cause you to lose weight and feel better. Were Atkins people as annoying as Paleo people?

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    1. Unless you somehow think having *more* bacon available is a bad thing, Atkins seems like a win for all involved to me.

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    2. Really...? A win for all involved? Have you considered the pig?

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  7. This... This made my day. I stumbled onto this from a google search, but I'm going to bookmark your site and become a regular reader.

    Edit: never mind, your captcha verification sucks. It's not 2007 anymore, hombre.

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    1. I...I...don't know what captcha verification is. *hangs head in shame*

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    2. It's a way of making sure someone is not a robot before they post something on your site.

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  8. Okay, I admit it took me a couple paragraphs to realize it was satire, because I think I've heard these exact words from devotees. It's just plain dumb. How do we know what paleolithic humans ate.

    LOL - bacon, big words like gluconeogenesis, ha ha ha.

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    1. I can't blame you for your confusion. Satire is effectively dead.

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  10. Weston A Price is completely different than paleo. Paleo is against grains, dairy, and potatoes. WEston A Price recommends all of these things in their least refined forms. The only similarity to the 2 diets is a recommendation to eat less processed foods which I believe could be considered a universal recommendation at this point. Your blog lacks facts and foundation, but hey this is the internet so let the opinions be heard. LMAO!

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  11. Oh, my bad. If the recommendation is universal, it must be a good idea. 10,000 paleo-dieters can't be wrong.

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