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Thread: The Paleolithic Diet

  1. #91
    Registered User billl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neely View Post
    A very slight variation on paleo is the primal diet as detailed by Mark Sisson:


    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/#axzz2Apc8uFgG

    This is virtually paleo with greater tolerance towards dairy. I would recommend his book and website/blog for further information if you are interested. Mark also at length about exercise in the spirit of primal living. His website includes a free ebook on fitness. In a sentence it involves lots of low level activity, some brief intense weight sessions and some sprints once a week/every ten days and not over-training.
    Nice to see the thread pop back, I thought you had maybe reverted to caveman entertainments or something. I'm loving that link, I think the other dude I mentioned earlier (who I read talking about sprints and so on in an article a while back) maybe got his ideas from this guy in the link up there, or maybe they both got it from some other guy or whatever. Anyhow, I love the link because (and I know this isn't an awesome reason) it's affirming I guess, basically--there's some new stuff there for me, but a lot of it is just stuff I've been doing. I ended up looking at things in that basic way due to things I'd read and how certain things worked out for me in practice. I can't say enough about the sprinting--it's absolutely bewildering for me to casually monitor what's going on within a certain day (from one sprint to the next) as well as during the course of a week (maybe fewer or maybe more sprints than the norm for me one day, or during a week, etc.). I'm sort of naturally at a certain point with it, but my fitness level can get really elastic in either direction (up or down). The good thing is that recovery from a lapse or surging beyond the norm are both really easy now.

    Anyhow, on top of the sprinting, another key ingredient of his workout plan is lifting heavy things--and I LOVE lifting things, it used to be my job! Always blew my mind when kids would come in to work and not want to lug boxes around, dragging themselves reluctantly around and groaning, and then rush off to the gym to build muscle mass afterwards, jesus. Me, I'll take any excuse to move something heavy--I'm often scrambling to take care of something before an assistant or some sensible mechanical aid can arrive. And through the repetition from dealing with awkward items I learned to do it safely (a lot of people get way too paranoid about their backs--but a lot of other people get reckless about them too, especially when they have my sort of enthusiasm for lifting things).

    I guess the exercise ingredient I'm missing is the 'long walks' type of stuff--I used to get a lot more of that (I used to go on exactly the sort of hikes he's recommending every weekend). Actually, when I look at the modest levels he's recommending, I probably do make the cut, or come close--but I know my body used to really benefit from once-a-week hikes that were a lot longer and more difficult than any walking I'm doing nowadays.

    And then the food... I'm not really looking at that angle now, so I didn't view those parts of the site too closely (low-carb, basically, I noticed, of course) but I'm glad to hear about the dairy products because I eat so much cheese. I don't eat meat/fish, so for me it's tons of cheese (peanuts/almonds/etc. too). I liked the prominently displayed bell peppers as well! I having some chip-sized pieces of the raw peppers right now...
    Last edited by billl; 10-31-2012 at 02:18 AM.

  2. #92
    Hi Bill, I'm glad you enjoyed the link. It's good to note that you were already covering most of his fitness recommendations and I remember now you mentioned sprinting before. He talks about how sprinting improves both aerobic and anaerobic fitness at the same time. It's also a case of training less for more. 20 minutes doing sprints (6-8 short sprints with rests between, and warm-ups) instead of what he calls 'chronic cardio' training excessively. He used to be a marathon and ironman runner in his youth, training 20+ hours a week. He now does 4-5 hours max (including lots of low level stuff, walking for example) and is in the shape of his life at 58 or whatever age he is now. So he's as critical of over-training as he is a sedentary lifestyle. He also stresses that you should be in-tune with your body and not to follow a strict programme - his once sprinting, twice lifting heavy things and lots of lower level walking/cycling, is really just a general guide you should follow your own energy levels which makes perfect sense to me as well.

    In terms of diet, yes that's the bigger picture. He puts diet as high as 80% of fitness and the other 20% made up of correct exercise and a little for genetics. Having been going on the forums there and in other paleo one's (Robb Wolf's) paleo/primal is very much an individual interpretation around things like dairy and differences in carb vs fat in-take levels. It is about what is right for you and what your goals are obviously. Naturally someone who is 100lb over-weight will have differences from someone trying to build muscle and put on weight. The core of it is still very much the same though and there is no grey area regarding grains, in particular wheat, which Mark Sisson puts into the same category as tobacco! Sisson is also not so critical as Cordain in terms of legumes as well, I think he regards these as moderation foods. If you don't eat meat then the substitution to eggs and cheese would work in terms of primal. As I say the big one is the elimination of all grains. I've done so much reading on it that my head is almost at spin with it sometimes but I have found what works for me within the paleo/primal set-up and I'm more than happy with that.

    Going back to sprints for a second and running. I'm trying to build up to runs as this is something I want to do. It's something I can do over the autumn/winter especially in place of tennis and cycling at least - though I managed a tennis session the other day as well. I have done a couple of sprint sessions and short runs - it's easy as I can take the kids to the park and do a few sprints as they are playing or I can race them while they are on the bike. I'm also looking into building some longer runs as well. There are many 10k races around that I might be interested in getting into. There are a few family members and friends who run 10k, so it would be interesting to see I could keep up now. As a teen at school I was hopeless. I always only just managed to finish in front of the asthmatic kid who was puking his guts up in a bush! I also used to get the stitch after about 200 metres as well. I am obviously much better than that now, but being able to do an occasional decent 10k time would be good and would help reverse a lot of my embarrassing past.

    Anyway, good stuff. I would recommend Sission's book which I'm reading now but there is a load of info on his site for free if you look around.

  3. #93
    Registered User billl's Avatar
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    I guess I'll have to look around the site at least for more of what he has to say about wheat then. If I can get really scared, or intrigued by possibility, maybe I'll make a move. For now, I'll just keep with trying not to be stupid about it. I'm at least familiar with the difference between stupid and 'not as stupid' with this, I think. Like, I'm aware enough that it won't be a bagel in the AM, bread for lunch, and a giant plate of pasta for dinner. But I do like a somewhat large plate of pasta once or twice a month, and find "the sandwich" to be a really convenient delivery device for other food (and no dishes!)--I could cut more of that stuff out, but don't have the inspiration just yet.

    Sounds like it could be fun/rewarding to work on the 10K thing, and it'd be interesting to keep an eye on what sort of training is most effective. Of course, it isn't as simple as that--there seem to be stages of development, and gains can vary on account of where the body is in the process of reacting to the work. I'm not a scientist, but I do know that any one form of training can suddenly produce results that are out of line with earlier sessions--this is what I've noticed with the sprinting recently, sprints are a nice little lab for this (lab! ..not a scientist of exercise, though!). Anyhow, with that in mind, I do get the impression that you'll have an interesting time applying some of these ideas you've been researching, as you apply yourself to the project. I'm not hungry for long distance myself, but I do wonder how long I might be able to extend a pseudo-sprint intensity sometimes. Like, it might be interesting to focus on a half-mile or mile, if I had a regular convenient place and time for it--but right now, I could honestly do a bit more just with the sprints (and those occasional feats of strength!).
    Last edited by billl; 10-31-2012 at 09:50 AM.

  4. #94
    Well I think you are spot on the money with the sprints, according to stuff I've been reading anyway, I'm far from an expert on it. Mark says regarding 10k that if you follow the fitness blueprint you should be more than fit enough to do the occasional 10k to a decent standard anyway. I think that is the beauty with sprints as it improves your aerobic capacity as well. Personally, I intend to stick to the blueprint as close as I can, doing a bit less if I manage to get out on the bike, or more likely, play tennis and slotting in occasional slightly longer runs. I'm thinking for example of doing 2 mile runs once a week on top of the sprints and lifting, so as not to do too much. And then perhaps do one 10k per month. I've not really decided about that, I'm just going along with it bit by bit and see what happens. It's just that all the races that are around seem to be 10k. I think I would be suited to shorter distances, I don't really know though to be honest. I do have bags of energy so if I've not done anything much for couple of days, usually on account of the weather, I naturally have the urge to run or to smash balls around a court!

  5. #95
    Registered User billl's Avatar
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    I learned something interesting a few months ago in connection to a discussion of athletes using performance enhancing drugs. Someone was asking whether an athlete who stopped using the drugs (e.g. anabolic steroids or whatever) would continue to benefit from them after stopping. The answer was Yes, but not in the most direct way. What happens is whether an athlete is using performance enhancing drugs or not, any gains they make and sustain for a period of time will tend to become a sort of baseline. Keeping at that level, or returning to it after an injury, becomes easier than initially attaining it. For a very basic example, an athlete who severely tears a muscle and can't exercise it for a couple months will return to training with some atrophy, but will return to normal strength much more quickly than a similar sized person who had only just begun training for that sort of strength.

    Anyhow, that's a long way of leading into what I think might be interesting about your 10K plan: You'd obviously would want to try running that distance at least once before joining an actual race, and maybe practicing once a month would be a good way to do it. After actually racing once, it might be interesting to see how effectively sprints or whatever else you do regularly can keep you prepared for a 10K. Like, if you could do 1 or 2 races per year while doing just 1 or 2 practice races (or eventually even none?) during the year, then what this Mark guy is saying would appear to be right.

    You're right, though, as far as joining races, 10K seems to be the overwhelming format. I've heard of a 5K before, but I think I only heard of that once ever, I forget where it was. I wonder if there could ever be a shift towards shorter races? One problem is that a one or two mile run is maybe not so good for a large group of people--some might just be getting past the start as others are finishing!

  6. #96
    Yes it would be interesting to see if that works. The alternative of running 3 or 4 10k runs a week (like a friend of mine) is just not attractive to me and is probably pushing towards 'chronic cardio' as Mark terms it - especially on top of the weights and sprints and tennis/cycling/walking. I also don't want to lose muscle mass and too much cardio will do this. Sprinting will also build muscle mass - you just have to look at the bodies of sprinters to see the truth there! Plus, why run for an hour when I can get the same results in 20 minutes?

    I have a base level fitness with my cycling and tennis but I am virtually starting from scratch with the runs so I don't expect immediate results. So yes overall Mark's plan might be the best option for me, I'm going to give it a good go anyway, six months or a year and see how things come along. I'm already in the physical peak of my life so I am happy either way. (Though true there wasn't much to beat...) No one expects me to hit a good time anyway but I may just surprise them, you never know.

    I had a thought about the fitness plan and occasional 10k runs, an analogy, and maybe you could compare it to the way they train horses for the Grand National? The Grand National is four and a half mile endurance test but they say the best horses for the event are two mile specialists. One of the winners the other year never even ran above two miles in his career and yet went on to win in style. A silly analogy perhaps but I think it is the same principle at play.

    In terms of diet though, I hope Mark is correct in regards to his 80% of fitness because I'm totally confident that I'm eating a optimal diet here. In terms of energy levels alone I have gone from a fluctuating 4-7 (out of 10) throughout the day/week, to a constant 8 with touches of 9, so I think this can only give me an edge and confidence to go forward.

    As I'm off work at the moment, tomorrow I plan to go for a two mile run in the morning and maybe some sprints ir tennis in the afternoon. I've never even ran a constant two mile before - I've cycled 50, 60 and 70 but never ran apart from the sprints, a couple of one milers and one four and half mile run/walk. So it will be interesting to see how I feel after a steady/brisk two miler.

    Edit: oh you have a point about the format of the 10k. There are also many charity 10ks and a much shorter distance just would not work obviously. My brother finished 130th, or something like that, out of 7000 people last year with just one training session as preparation! (He is ex-army so maybe that would account for some of that but still impressive. Imagine what he could have done if he had stopped drinking and smoking!)
    Last edited by LitNetIsGreat; 10-31-2012 at 04:45 PM.

  7. #97
    Maybe hints that the mainstream media are finally beginning to catch up with the common sense of 'Paleo' as featured in the news today?

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/ar...ts-flawed.html

    No **** Sherlock.

  8. #98
    the beloved: Gladys's Avatar
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    The issue seems to revolve around what replaces saturated fats removed from the diet. For instance, increasing refined foods including sugars ain't good.

    I heard recently that the combination of high saturated fats and high sugars is particularly bad.
    "Love does not alter the beloved, it alters itself"

  9. #99
    Yes, high fat and high carbs together is a total recipe for disaster.

    The thing with the Paleo diet is the name. If you called it, I don’t know, ‘the All-Natural Diet’ and advised people to try and eat natural food, food not ‘invented’ before 1960 you wouldn't get so much resistance.

    Meanwhile, the media machine selling ‘healthy low fat foods’ is slowly having to admit that all that natural stuff people have been eating for thousands and thousands of years is actually not that bad for you...

  10. #100
    the beloved: Gladys's Avatar
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    So few processed foods are commendable. Considering a digestive condition that runs in my family, I was shocked to read last month that common emulsifiers, introduced several decades ago, induce metabolic diseases in mice.

    So much for cottage cheese.
    "Love does not alter the beloved, it alters itself"

  11. #101
    Registered User Iain Sparrow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gladys View Post
    So few processed foods are commendable. Considering a digestive condition that runs in my family, I was shocked to read last month that common emulsifiers, introduced several decades ago, induce metabolic diseases in mice.

    So much for cottage cheese.
    Humans are far more nutritionally flexible/tolerant than are mice, especially the mice that are typically used in research studies. Processed foods won't kill you, however not exercising on a daily basis will. Remember, not only did our ancient ancestors eat natural foods, they had to hunt and gather those foods. Which is great exercise.

  12. #102
    the beloved: Gladys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iain Sparrow View Post
    Humans are far more nutritionally flexible/tolerant than are mice, especially the mice that are typically used in research studies. Processed foods won't kill you, however not exercising on a daily basis will.
    I often wondered how applicable mice studies have been to human health, an issue never raised.

    That processed foods won't kill you is patently false. For instance, consider the millions who die or are disabled from stroke through the salt in processed foods. The full story on the health effects of processed foods is millennia away, at least. In the meantime, I think more caution is warranted.

    Not exercising, it now seems, is as life threatening as smoking - and more life threatening than typical consumption of processed foods.
    "Love does not alter the beloved, it alters itself"

  13. #103
    Registered User Iain Sparrow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gladys View Post
    I often wondered how applicable mice studies have been to human health, an issue never raised.

    That processed foods won't kill you is patently false. For instance, consider the millions who die or are disabled from stroke through the salt in processed foods. The full story on the health effects of processed foods is millennia away, at least. In the meantime, I think more caution is warranted.

    Not exercising, it now seems, is as life threatening as smoking - and more life threatening than typical consumption of processed foods.
    I completely agree.
    Lab mice have been taken out of the evolutionary process, and aren't the best yardstick to base much of anything on. Rats, field mice and such can eat just about anything and survive just fine. Likewise they've built up tolerances for manmade pollutants, as well as poisonous animals that prey on them.
    However, as you mention increased salt intake... that has indeed been linked to an entire host of health problems, same with "bad fat", and consuming too much sugar.
    Best to just eat sensibly and exercise regularly.

  14. #104
    Registered User Calidore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iain Sparrow View Post
    Best to just eat sensibly and exercise regularly.
    Also, eat regularly and exercise sensibly.
    You must be the change you wish to see in the world. -- Mahatma Gandhi

  15. #105
    the beloved: Gladys's Avatar
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    I heard a criticism of the Paleolithic Diet on ABC RN's The Science Show yesterday. If you wish to eat generous serves of red meat - be it beef, pork or lamb - make sure it's not from farmed animals. And do not eat processed meat, at all.

    "Love does not alter the beloved, it alters itself"

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