A complete lack of testosterone. Not pictured: Drum circle and hemp clothing.
You weren't confronted with this motherfucker on your morning commute because one of your distant ancestors ate his entire family and picked their teeth with that cat's bones.
Though the old adage is that "Form Follows Function", I find that in life most things are circular, and in that very same way I think that dieting and exercise adhere to that circularity. Thus, you need to eat to look the way you want to perform, which in turn deepens the necessity for that food and training. As such, when I drastically alter my training or my diet in any way, I find that my appearance an performance suffer.
In spite of this fact, it's a colossal pain in the ass to train and eat the way I do when I'm being extra-serious about strength. Though many (generally fat and weak) people will contradict this statement, I find that I am typically weaker when I'm fatter, and grow stronger as I lean out. This is perhaps a result of the fact that I'm much more assiduous about my diet when training hard, and vice-versa, but that again returns to what I consider the circular nature of everything in life. Thus, it's occurred to me that though Michael Pollan might be right about ditching the modern diet of processed food, he's fucking up by eating like a goddamned bunny. I don't want to look and act like a like a bunny. I want to look and act like like the humans of yore- a musclebound predator that strikes fear into the hearts and minds of everyone and everything around me.
A pet hyena might help, but flip flops and a skirt definitely ruin the effect.
As such, I've found that I have need of a diet that will simultaneously lean me out while providing me with the necessary energy to train extremely heavily and frequently. This is by all accounts a tall order, and to most people is well-neigh impossible. Conventional wisdom can go fuck itself, however. Given that half of Americans thought the US "goes too far" in granting rights with the First Amendement, I'm inclined to do the opposite of what everyone thinks.(Paulson) That's what I decided to do with this diet, as I think it's total horseshit that one couldn't find a way to gain muscle and lose fat if they're re willing to break their ass, do a bit of research, and diet like a crazy person. Luckily, I'm crazy as a shithouse rat and have a hell of a lot of time on my hands. The following is the produce of my lack of a social life and insanity.
Insanity's not always a bad thing. This broad is crazier than a bag of wet cats.
On the one side there are the hard-liners like Ray Audette, who advocate eating nothing but lean meats, vegetables, northern fruits, and nuts, and eschewing all else. On the other side of the spectrum, you've got authors like S. Boyd Eaton, who basically advocated the Mediterranean Diet in 1988 with his Paleolithic Prescription. In the middle you'd got the keto-paleo guys like Robb Wolff, Mark Sisson, and Art DeVany, and headed in the direction of Eaton you've got probably the most recognized paleo author, and the one with (in my opinion) the most polished academic credentials, Loren Cordain.
Pauline Nordin- paleo dieter and all-around bad ass hot chick.(Addendum)
The reason behind all of the apparent confusion behind the nature of the paleolithic diet are two things: money and geography. Cordain's academic work explains the latter fairly simply:the proportions of plant and animal food in hunter gatherer diets range from a low of 26% protein and 74% plant among the Gwi of Africa to a high of 99% animal / 1% plant with the Nunamiut of Alaska. 8 out of the 13 cultures he outlined ate 68% of their calories as meat, while another 3 ate 41-48% meat and 2 ate less than 41% meat.(Ungar 368) Throw on top of that the fact that our knowledge about the foods ate in the paleolithic change rather frequently, and you get a geographic and temporal gradient and sundry disparities in the makeup of the "diet". As such, it's difficult to claim one universal "paleo" diet. That's where the second issue comes in- money. Because one can semi-rightly claim that any nonsense that happens to issue forth from their money-dirtied fingers is ostensibly paleo, all of the aforementioned authors probably (and in Cordain's case, definitely) made concessions to what they likely considered their target audiences. As such, Wolff went with paleo for the meatheads and Eaton went carb-crazy for the chubby housewives. For them, it was win win, but for anyone trying to make sense of their lunacy, it's a bitch.
Who could say no to this other than Ray Audette?
As you'll recall from previous blogs, I've long been a fan of ketogenic diets (you can now search past blogs with the search bar on the right, so I no longer have to link every motherfucking thing I've ever written). Though I've credited Bodyopus with giving me the kick in the ass I needed to start the diet, it was actually the fact that I was sick to fucking death of dieting on chicken breasts and turkey lunchmeat (in a sort of PSMF) and awoke craving the fuck out of breakfast sausage one winter day around 1997. That's actually what got me to start my experiment. I've had generally positive but mixed success with them over the years, and found that my previous extreme fatloss on a high calorie ketogenic diet was not easily replicated when sitting behind a desk at work. As such, I did a bit of research. I realized that while the calorie-festival style keto approach I had taken in the past worked while I was more active (as were people in the paleolithic era), it was not serving me well while I spent the vast majority of my waking hours chained to a desk, writing scripts in SQL and trying to explain financial accounting software to people who should already know what they're fucking doing, since that's their industry. From this, I discovered that impotent rage is neither anabolic nor metabolically stimulating, and came to the conclusion that I was going to have to rethink my return to awesome.
Looking like an ancient tank is a fairly compelling basis for a diet, frankly.
This trial lasted precisely three days, in which I came to but one conclusion: not eating SUCKS.
As this is running very long, I'll stop here and hit you guys this weekend with the remainder of my experimentation and the ultimate result.
1. Cities like Göbekli Tepe and Çatalhöyük. The latter was a 10,000 year old city that was home to as many people as lived in London in the early middle ages, but with what appears to be a much higher standard of living, and in which there is no evidence of the consumption of grains until the end of its 2000 year existence. The former, along with Nevali Cori, is over 11,000 years old and is one of the oldest man-made structures on Earth. For those feminists out there, all of these cultures appeared to worship the Mother Goddess, and all show signs of having been egalitarian societies without gender or class differentiation.
2. Paline Nordine's diet is called the Fighter Diet and is more or less a mashup of the Dukan Diet and paleo dieting. Check out descriptions here and here if you're interested.
CBC News. Diets: A Primer. CBC News Online, 5/17/2004.
Hirst, K. Kris. Why Don't We Call Them Cro-Magnon Anymore? http://archaeology.about.com/od/earlymansites/a/cro_magnon.htm
MacDonald, Lyle. Rapid Fat Loss Handbook. 2005.
Paulson, Ken. Too Free? American Journalism Review, 2002. http://ajr.org/article.asp?id=2621
Pollan, Michael. Food Rules. New York: Penguin, 2009.
Ungar, Peter S., ed. Evolution of the Human Diet: The Known, the Unknown, and the Unknowable. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.
Wikipedia. Çatalhöyük. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%87atalh%C3%B6y%C3%BCk
Wikipedia. Cro-Magnon. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cro-Magnon