18 August 2015

Paleotards Are Doing It Wrong, Part Trois

As I stated in the previous entry, there is some confusion as to what "type" of paleo one should choose.  That's unsurprising, given that scientists seem to be even more divided on the topic than are the authors who tout the various types.  Thus, I feel fairly confident chiming in on the topic in spite of the fact that I don't consider myself necessarily an advocate of a paleolithic diet, though it's due in large part to the fact that paleotards are as intolerable as evangelical Christians and twice as misinformed.  The fact that they're misinformed is not entirely their fault, however, due to the disparity in information coming from paleo authors, archaeologists, and scientists, however, and I would posit that the disagreements in the field arise out of two fundamental issues:

1) Geographical diversity.  Even in Europe, for instance, there's avast difference in the native flora and fauna of, say, England, Spain, and Germany.  Each area, however, contained both Neanderthals and Cro-Magnon man, and both of those hominids shared similar diets.  Their diets would, however, have to have differed necessarily based on the food available to them at the time.  Thus, depending on the specimen studied, differing opinions about what is "paleo" might arise.  Some of them might have eaten more carbohydrate than others, and in Europe the "high carbohydrate specimens might have eaten grasses, berries, and turnips... but you know what none of them ate?  FUCKING SWEET POTATOES OR YAMS.  They're indigenous to South America, and you know what a wild yam looks like?  Take a gander.

I have never seen the likes of that in a supermarket.

Given that everyone who I have ever met who claimed to eat paleo was white, the last fucking thing on Earth they should be eating, save for a banana, is a yam or a sweet potato.  It's far more likely that Cro-Magnon man and paleolithic European humans supplemented their diets with grasses, a couple of root vegetables like turnips and parsnips, and berries, which were at that time tiny, bitter, and about as impossible to duplicate in the modern world as the Valley Temple of Khafre.  Paleolithic man has existed in every corner of the world, so it would make much more sense to eat the "foods of your people" and wild vegetation as much as possible if you'd like to eat paleo.  Modern berries contain far too much sugar, bananas are basically just badly flavored sticks of sugar, and oranges were hard, inedible fruits in the paleolithic (Texas).  I encourage everyone out there to research their ancestral diets, as there seems to be something to eating the way your people did for millennia. One non-profit, Oldways, has won awards for the work they've done to this end- they assert that if you eat foods in line with your genetic heritage, you'll be healthier, stronger, and less prone to chronic or degenerative disease.  If you check out their site, you'll note Northern Europeans and Russians are conspicuously absent from the list, but they detail Mediterranean, Latin American, African, Asian, and Vegetarian Diets and Pyramids.  

In spite of my nitpicking, I think the concept is definitely cool.

Frankly, lumping Asia into one group is fairly preposterous, as it spans everything from India to Korea and then back down to Southeast Asia, and they all eat markedly different things.  As I've already covered, the Indians would be remiss to skip meat eating if they were to eat an ancestral diet, as Indians at meat right up until the modern era, and Koreans would balk at eating a Chinese diet, so that's fairly silly.  Oceania is also skipped, but I suppose the diversity of the diets ranging from New Zealand to the Aboriginal diet would be hard to cover in a single pyramid.  As for Northern Europeans, it might behoove you to consult this list, which comes from the Capitulary of Charlemagne de villis vel curtis imperii, a cookbook written in 800 AD, and details the vegetables under cultivation at that time.  Note that potatoes, tomatoes, and beans are conspicuously absent from the list because they arrived from elsewhere later in history (Bulit).
  • Eggplant
  • Cabbage
  • Artichokes
  • Eggplants
  • Carrots
  • Gourds
  • Melon
  • Parsnip
  • Swiss chard
  • Spinach
  • Leeks
  • Peas
  • Turnips
  • Cucumber
  • Chickpeas
  • Celery
  • Leeks
  • Peas
  • Lettuce
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Shallots
As for fruit, unless you're picking wild strawberries, you're pretty much limited to red currants, super tart apples (the closest thing you can get to an old school apple, pears, raspberries, black currents, and damsons, which are plum-like fruits with an apparently astringent taste.  As you can see, choices on a truly paleo diet are fairly limited.

2) Scientists all have an agenda.  It's why they choose given fields- they spend their entire careers trying to prove a given hypothesis.  Some scientists want to go with the omnivorous theory, some want to prove that we have to eat carbs to be healthy, while still others want to portray humans as pure carnivores.  To say that they're carnivorous opportunists just seems to be out of their reach, and since one of them seem to understand that no two geographic groups ate the same and thus there is no one golden paleo, they're just busy confusing the fuck out of everyone.

And while we're at it- arrowroot is not strict paleo.  That shit has been in cultivation for 7,000 years in the Americas, and it requires extensive processing to obtain.  That's not paleo.  According to Mark Sisson, it's primal, but in terms of the strict definition of paleo, it's not.  If you're going for your ancestral diet, it's especially not paleo unless you're from the Caribbean.  Nevertheless, Robb Wolff posted a quote from Andrew Badenoch, “Paleo is a logical framework applied to modern humans, not a historical reenactment.”  As such, you should probably limit your arrowroot consumption, rather than include it in everything as I've seen some paleo chefs do.  In the event that you have a hankering for some biscuits, however, ol' Robb has you covered- check out his recipe for biscuits and gravy here (though I'd throw some actual sausage in there for extra protein).

But, what about the news saying that cavemen ate carbs?

If you've been following the news, you might have noticed that the media has picked up on a study from the University College London that states that the paleo diet did, in fact, include carbohydrates.  This, of course, comes as a shock to no one, because no author of whom I'm aware have ever advocated a completely ketogenic diet as "paleo"  In fact, every paleo author of whom I'm aware advocates carbohydrate consumption in one form or another, using various sources like the ones I've listed above.  It seems obvious that early man would have been more concerned with filling his belly than maintaining his six-pack, and would be eating anything and everything that would help him stab various megafauna to death while banging some hot cave chick.

Similarly, you might have read a piece of trash so pants-shittingly insane it might as well have been co-written by Gary Busey and Nick Nolte on Quartz.com entitled "Scientists confirm the paleo diet is nonsense."  In it, the author who clearly lacks a fact checker suggests that we all eat potatoes (which were considered unfit for human consumption in Europe until around the 17th century) because "cavemen and cavewoman ancestors loved—and needed—carbs as much as we do, even if they gathered them instead of cultivated them" based on the fact that "Examination of 3-million-year-old teeth and the plant-life in the regions where our ancestors lived also signal that they were eating tubers and other starchy vegetables" (Shanker).  The problem?  Modern humans are only about 200,000 old.  The hominid teeth being studied from 3 million years ago were australopithecines, which look like this:

Dunno about you, but none of my ancestors look like chimps.

From the above, you should be able to ascertain two things- one, my point about scientists having an agenda has been borne out, because that scientist blatantly lied about his findings.  Australopithecines aren't even in our genus- saying we should eat like them is similar to saying whales should eat like deer, because they both descended from a common ancestor.  Mischievous, and deceitful.  Chicanerous and deplorable.  Two, the author from the Quartz doesn't know her ass from a hole in the floor.  Oh, and that bit I mentioned about potatoes in Europe?
"Throughout Europe, potatoes were regarded with suspicion, distaste and fear. Generally considered to be unfit for human consumption, they were used only as animal fodder and sustenance for the starving. In northern Europe, potatoes were primarily grown in botanical gardens as an exotic novelty. Even peasants refused to eat from a plant that produced ugly, misshapen tubers and that had come from a heathen civilization. Some felt that the potato plant's resemblance to plants in the nightshade family hinted that it was the creation of witches or devils" (Chapman).
So, we're still working toward which paleo diet is right for you, which I will hit up in the next segment of this series.  Till then, eat a steak with some parsley on it- that should do you for veggies.

Bulit, Jean-Marc.  Vegetables in Medieval Europe.  Web.  16 Aug 2015.  http://www.oldcook.com/en/medieval-vegetables

Chapman, Jeff.  The impact of the potato.  History Magazine.  Web.  16 Aug 2015.  http://www.history-magazine.com/potato.html

Knapton, Sarah.  Paleo diet should include carbohydrates to be authentic, say scientists.  Telegraph.  15 Aug 2015. Web.  16 Aug 2015.  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/environment/archaeology/11804055/Paleo-diet-should-include-carbohydrates-to-be-authentic-say-scientists.html

Shanker, Deena.  Scientists confirm that the Paleo diet is nonsense.  Quartz.  13 Aug 2015.  Web.  16 Aug 2015.  http://qz.com/479123/scientists-confirm-that-the-paleo-diet-is-nonsense/

Texas oranges history.  TexaSweet.  Web.  16 Aug 2015.  http://www.texasweet.com/texas-grapefruits-and-oranges/the-history-of-texas-oranges/

13 August 2015

Baddest Motherfuckers Ever- "Judo" Gene LeBell

Now that is a fucking metal face.

Growing up, I had two martial arts heroes- Stephen Seagal and Jean Claude Van Damme.  Sadly, Van Damme, all 155 lbs of coke-fueled, stripper groping, splits-doing idiot of him, got beating like a housewife in a trailer home by Hell's Angel-turned-bouncer Chuck Zito, and around the same time, Seagal was literally forced to piss his pants by a 58 year old man- the incomparable, unbeatable, innovative, and crueler than Vlad the Impaler, "Judo" Gene LeBell.  According to the stories, Gene was working on the set of Out for Justice when Seagal started mouthing off like he was a frat boy in an 18 and over bar, claiming that due to his aikido training, he was immune to chokes.  LeBell, who was aware of Seagal's shitty reputation ("he would hurt actors and stunt performers, dislocated shoulders, kick guys in the nuts to see if they were wearing cups, etc") proceeded to immediately choke out Seagal and manipulate acupuncture points so that Seagal shit and pissed himself (Mancini, Mma.com).  Not bad for a who's 58 year old in a pink gi... not bad at all.  After all, he had to contend witht the likes of this absolute beast of a fighter:

And while it's known that LeBell really enjoys embellishing his stories, you have to see how fucking long he holds his chokes to truly appreciate what a mean motherfucker Gene is.  I mean, these demo chokes are so brutal you wonder what he'd do in an actual fight- would he pop the guy's head off and put it on his mantle?  I would say that is highly likely.

Never have I ever seen a person get choked so tightly that he couldn't even lift his arm to tap... but it's not like Gene gave a hairy rat's ass, anyway.

The man who might be considered one of the baddest man to throw ever throw fists with giant, jacked, hairy lumberjack-looking motherfuckers who rode the bull they rode into the ring on was born in 1932 in Los Angeles, of all places.  After he presumably choked his mom half to death with his own umbilical cord, he waited a few years and began training under one of the most feared men in catch wrestling, Ed "The Strangler" Lewis.  Either his parents dripped with testosterone like a 1980's era Randy Savage, or they were the most irresponsible parents ever, because 1) the man is called "The Strangler", and 2) the style being taught to a 7 year old was one in which " grappling, strangling, limb twisting, head butting, punching, kicking, biting and even eye gouging were legal" (Potenza).

Robinson is the one about to unload the world's craziest haymaker on mega-badass Jake Lamotta's face.

After four years of eye gouging and strangling, the dude decided to learn boxing from boxing legend "Sugar" Ray Robinson and a few years later trained in styles that were virtually unknown in the US at the time- shit like kenpo, Taekwondo, and Shotokan.  After mastering that insane list of styles, Gene went back to his crazy brutal strangling groups and moved to Japan to learn Judo and Jiu Jutstu, the sports in which he's a living legend.  By the time he was 59, this master of the choke had earned the rank of 9th Dan in jujitsu and taihojutsu (which is basically a style designed by the Japanese feudal police to kill armed criminals). Finally, at 73 the man in in the pink gi was promoted to the sport that made him famous: 9th Dan in Traditional Judo (Gene LeBell).  

Going fucking HAM.

You'd think the man basically did nothing but train martial arts all day, but you'd be wrong: he was a Hollywood stuntman with 246 stunt credits to his name, 130 small acting roles, and 9 goddamned books.  The dude must never sleep, because that list exhausted me to read.  Oh, did I also mention he fought in what is erroneously referred to as America's first MMA fight (rough and tumble predated it by century)?  According to Gene, "It was the first televised MMA match. It was billed as pitting a judo, karate and wrestling guy against the No. 5 light-heavyweight boxer. I was known mostly for judo because I’d won the Nationals a few times, but I’d also done boxing, wrestling, karate, taekwondo and kenpo, mixing them together before it was popular."  Prior to the fight, Gene threatened to take his opponent Milo Savage's eye out during the fight, and it just escalated from there.  Gene's hands got nerfed when he was told he couldn't punch (presumably because he'd have committed a murder in the ring, and then Savage entered the ring covered in Vaseline (Fightland).  Not that it mattered- when he won the fight in the fourth round by choke, "the ref, who was also the doctor, didn’t know how to resuscitate him with katsu. After he’d been out for 20 minutes, my coach went in and revived the guy. The next morning, the newspaper headlines said, 'The Savage Was Tamed'" (Young).

By the way, did I mention he wrled a bear?  Must've slipped my mind because it's so commonplace.

By now, you have to be wondering how he trained, and you will not be disappointed.  LeBell was basically like a proto Steve Justa, only without the terrible singing, overall look of a hobo, fat gut, and sleeveless flannel shirts.  For fight training and conditioning, LeBell likes six hour workouts of a combination of striking, grappling, and general cardio work... which is fucking insane on a scale I can hardly conceive (Salzano).  As for weight lifting, Gene thought it was fucking boring, which makes sense given his ridiculously diverse resume.  Instead, Gene would do something called the "Tire Toss", an exercise that made him so strong that he was often disqualified from judo tournaments by pussies who thought he was using too much strength.  Awwwwwww... isn't it adorable when pussies get into positions of power and fuck over their betters?  Described as being like the Incredible Hulk, Gene's method for building strength went like this- he'd snatch a motherfucking motorcycle tire, then throw it as far as he could.  He'd do that for the length of a football field, celebrate by throwing the tire over the goal post, and then turn around and head back the way he came in the same manner (Founding Member).  SHEER BRUTALITY.  

You have got to love a guy who writes an autobiography called "The Toughest Man Alive."

Because nothing I could possibly say about this man beats this story, I'll leave you with this little bit of awesome.  The back ground to this story is that there was an inexperienced female ref working a fight between Gene's protege, Ronda Rousey, and an inexperienced fighter who'd only been training for six months.
"So Ronda get’s the gal down and upside down, gets an armbar. And you can see on the film where the gal was tapping, giving up, tapping out, and the referee was just standing there and looking. And I’m screaming “roll her over and break her arm!” and of course she does what Uncle Gene tells her to do, and that was that. It made it look a little bit better, but you don’t want to hurt a kind person if you don’t have to…….unless it makes you feel good" (Judo Gene).


Fightland Staff.  Roots of Fight brings us the story of "Judo" Gene LeBell-- MMA pioneer and terrifying old man.  Vice.  3 Dec 2013.  Web.  13 Dec 2015.  http://fightland.vice.com/blog/roots-of-fight-brings-us-the-story-of-judo-gene-lebell--mma-pioneer-and-terrifying-old-man

Gene LeBell.  Wikipedia.  Web.  12 Aug 2015. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gene_LeBell#Early_life

Gene LeBell, Founding Member of Black Belt.  American Martial Arts Movement.  Web.  13 Aug 2015.  http://www.amam-magazine.com/gene_lebell.html

Judo Gene LeBell talks Kimura, Rousey, Elvis, Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee.  Wrestling Observer.  23 Dec 2014.  Web.  13 Aug 2015.  http://www.f4wonline.com/more/more-top-stories/118-daily-updates/40467-judo-gene-lebell-talks-kimura-rousey-elvis-chuck-norris-bruce-lee

Mancini, Vince.  A famous story about Steven Seagal peeing himself.  Uproxx.  pr 2011.  Web.  12 Aug 2015.  http://uproxx.com/filmdrunk/2011/04/a-famous-story-about-steven-seagal-peeing-himself/

Mma.com.  Gene LeBell talks Steven Seagal s----ing himself.  Mixed Martial Arts.com.  Web.  12 Aug 2015.  http://www.mixedmartialarts.com/news/390705/Gene-LeBell-talks-Steven-Seagal-s----ing-himself/

Potenza, John.  The Original No Holds Barred Fighting.  Snke Pit USA.  2012.  Web.  12 Aug 2015. http://snakepitusa.com/about-us/catch-wrestling-history/