If you’ve been watching or reading the news over the past couple of years, you may have noticed references to bizarre new terms: the Paleo diet, the Caveman diet, and the Evolutionary diet. Perhaps you’ve seen variations on these themes that that seem familiar.
What does the popularity of these “primitive” diets mean?
It means a couple of things. The most important thing it means is that something is wrong. You’d think we were in the Golden Age of sound, peer-reviewed medical, diet, and nutrition advice; it’s hard to go a day without seeing some news piece telling us what to eat and how to exercise. But for the past 30–40 years people in the United States have generally become fatter, weaker, and less healthy. They have become less virile as males, less sexually attractive as females.
Pictures of folks from decades past show that they were all pretty lean. Do you imagine they may have been starving? I don’t think so. Instead, might it be possible that the advice we’ve been given over the last four decades—advice couched as “Dietary Guidelines for All Americans”—has been completely wrong?
Have you ever wondered why one guy can “eat like a horse,” stay perfectly lean, and live to age 90, while one girl “eats like a bird,” seems to always be hungry and miserable, and yet carries around 50 pounds of fat that would only be necessary if she were about to go into hibernation like a bear for a few months? You can reverse the gender, because examples abound.
I think women and men should be hot and enjoy that status for as long as possible. Isn’t desiring each other what most fundamentally advances the human species? I think everyone should have the opportunity to jump, climb, run, and play—to be active like the animals we are for as long as nature allows. I think people should be aware of the adverse health effects of eating processed food composed of grains, refined sugar, and vegetable/seed oils, and equally aware of the fact that there's a different way to eat that can prevent and even cure the diseases of civilization.
A common objection to my pointing to governmental and institutional dietary guidelines as being behind the obesity epidemic is this: maybe it’s that Americans aren’t actually following the “Dietary Advice for all Americans,” as proclaimed from on high. They’re eating whatever they want, primarily junk food.
My answer is that Americans, in large measure, eat what’s available at their local supermarkets, and that it’s the multinational “food” conglomerates who have generally followed the dietary guidelines, selling their wares through clever marketing. Everything is fortified or “low in fat.” Those guidelines have presented a marvelous profit opportunity for companies that produce cheap, attractive, and tasty products. To access these “food” items, humans have only to place them in a shopping cart and later apply some pressure to the glue that seals the flaps of the boxes together.
Eat and repeat.
I’m not a doctor. Not a dietitian. Not a medical or health researcher. I have a degree in business administration, and my first few jobs after college revolved around helping to make ships in the American and French navies run right. Later, in 1992, I became an entrepreneur. I failed, failed again, and eventually got a few things right and built a great company. Unfortunately, that was when nature started taking hold of me in adverse ways, in terms of body composition and health.
At some point in the mid 2000s, I found myself fat, generally disgusting, and unhealthy on many levels.
And then I fixed it. I blogged about my journey on Free the Animal (freetheanimal.com), eventually building a following that amounts to over 100,000 visits and over 200,000 page views per month. I have acquired many readers and correspondents who are medical doctors, researchers and other professional health practitioners. I’ve been interviewed for magazine articles, radio shows and various podcasts. I’ve been invited to speak at a few conferences.
What I have to say is working for people. It has worked for me and it has worked for thousands who comment on my blog regularly, providing their own unsolicited testimonials. I have a story to tell and a few words of advice, if you want to take them in.
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