Did Paleolithic Cavemen Die at a Young Age?

This is one of the arguments against eating a paleo-style diet. “Cavemen died very young, so why should I try to eat like them?” I don’t know, and I’m too busy sharpening my spear and gathering roots to think about it. I think this argument is silly, obviously, but I still thought I would explore it to see what the real life expectancy of people living in the paleolithic era was. According to this article (1), the life expectancy then was 33 years old at birth. So this included babies and children. If the person made it to age 15, the life expectancy increased to 54 years. This article is peer reviewed I believe, but it is still more anthropology and is considered “soft science.” Now some would say that babies and children should be included in the measurement, but think about this. Babies then were not born in sterile hospitals, there was no medical care, and starving was common. Infectious diseases are now well-controlled in developed countries, and so are wild animals that could eat you. It seems that agriculture was not the miracle we all thought it was. It makes sense to be able to conveniently produce more food, but not if that food is unhealthy. The following article is not peer reviewed, it’s merely an opinion of a researcher, but he makes some good points. The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race. One interesting point that is made is that a hunter-gatherer lifestyle means fewer people living in one place. They also moved around more to follow food. This spreading out kept diseases from killing huge amounts of people. A disease may be airborne, but it’s not going to travel 20 miles without a body. Agriculture allowed people to gather in larger groups and not move often. There was no tuberculosis and no diarrheal disease before the beginning of farming, and measles and bubonic plague were not around until cities began to develop. Yes, the crowding caused this, not necessarily the agriculture, but one encourages the other.

LOWER PALEOLITHIC

I am not the only blogger interested in this. Check out this post by Turning the Tide. There is no good way to conduct any hard science in this area as the subjects of interest are long dead. I encourage all readers to consider the information presented and make a logical decision on what they think happened, but don’t just assume that agriculture is the best thing ever. Do some research, and consider what the effects of agriculture have been on our society. I’ve posted a few more articles in the sources that are considered reliable. There are also plenty of articles out there that tell a different story. This has been debated for a long time, mostly because no one can really prove anything. I encourage you to read both sides and make a logical decision.

Ggas_human_soc

1. http://www.unm.edu/~hkaplan/KaplanHillLancasterHurtado_2000_LHEvolution.pdf

2. Tellier, Luc-Normand (2009). Urban world history: an economic and geographical perspective. PUQ. p. 26.

3. Jared Diamond (2012). The World Until Yesterday. Viking. p. 353.

No Rant Today

No rant today because I don’t have anything by which I am irritated. Also, my rant from last week was pretty popular, and there is still a debate going in the comments section. If you want something to be irritated about, go read that. I also want to remind commenters that YouTube videos and personally written books do not qualify as reliable sources. Believe it or not, anyone can say anything they want in a YouTube video and a book.

Sorry_but_it's_true

I’m feeling very happy today, but I do wish cheap wine was healthy. At least it’s paleo.

wine

This is me trying some elderberry wine at a small local winery. It was too sweet for me (hence the face), but it had a very different flavor than wines made with grapes. I’m sure there is a fancy way I could make my own wine to ensure that it’s paleo, but that just sounds like too much work.

Around the holidays, a lot of people like to have a few cocktails. Here is a list of all the alcoholic beverages that are paleo.

  • Potato vodka
  • Red wine
  • Rum
  • Sparkling wine
  • Tequila
  • White wine

 

I also wish beer was paleo because I’m a huge Steelers fan, and beer and football just go together.

steelers

The Nutrition Community’s Pitfall – Group Thinking

I just read a well-cited article by a fellow blogger. He is not a paleo advocate per say, but more like a low-carb, low-crap diet advocate. Group thinking is almost always a bad thing, and it runs rampant in nutrition communities. The purpose of my blog is not to start any sort of thread that is based solely on what a group thinks, but on what science has discovered. Group thinking is not just a general term. It’s considered an actual psychological phenomenon. Wikipedia says the following without specifying sources:

Groupthink is a psychological phenomenon that occurs within a group of people, in which the desire for harmony or conformity in the group results in an incorrect or deviant decision-making outcome. Group members try to minimize conflict and reach a consensus decision without critical evaluation of alternative ideas or viewpoints, and by isolating themselves from outside influences.”

groupthink

I highly suggest you read the article I posted above for more information. If I were to continue writing this blog post, I would pretty much just copy and paste what my fellow blogger says. I’m sure it could spark a great discussion. Here is the link again

http://authoritynutrition.com/10-myths-within-the-low-carb-community/#comment-50354

Feel free to challenge and consider everything fully. Even me!

you_want_to_challenge_me__by_vegeta_sensei-d5clqcy

Pros and Cons of Early Morning Workouts

I’m not one of those incredibly lucky people who love to work out. I kinda hate it no matter what I do, but I always feel amazing after, and I love how it makes me look. Anyway, no matter when I work out during the day, I’m not happy about it, but getting up to exercise before work makes it even harder. I decided to look into why people say it’s better to work out as a start to your day. There are no reliable peer reviewed sources on the topic, so I’ll try to discuss what I’ve read on Ace Fitness and WebMD.

morning-exercise

Both of these websites say that it is a fact that those who consistently workout in the morning are more successful at making it a habit. I can’t find a real source for that anywhere, but it seems most experts think it is true. However, they also say that working out in the afternoon yields the best performance because the body has already been warmed up. Higher body temperature is correlated with higher performance.

My List

PROS of morning workouts

1. When it is over, I feel like a million bucks. I go home, shower, start my day refreshed… I feel more awake and alert throughout the rest of my day. I get more done, and I tend to make healthy eating decisions moreso than when I exercise at night.

2. It’s done. I don’t have to think about it, I don’t have to worry what the traffic will be like later. I can relax, do laundry, cook a nice dinner, do some reading, catch up on some shows… I don’t have to squeeze in a workout and a shower.

3. This is kind of nit-picky, but I prefer to shower in the morning. CrossFit gets me pretty sweaty, so I HAVE to shower after. If I go to class in the evening and shower after, it’s pretty wasteful to take another shower in the morning. But I LIKE morning showers. So working out in the morning vibes better with my preferred showering schedule.

4. I don’t get as stiff. After a morning workout, I go home and shower and go on with my day. This includes various movements, walking, climbing stairs, standing, fidgeting… After an evening workout, I mostly just sit around, then go to sleep. It allows my muscles to stiffen up a lot more.

CONS of morning workouts

1. Getting up. Uhhh… There was also a lot of talk on those two pages about circadian rhythms and how you are either a night owl or morning sunshine psycho. JK. But seriously. My morning CrossFit class is at 5:30 AM, and getting up is awful.

2. I don’t perform as well. I’m stiffer, I’m groggy, I do a lot of yawning. I don’t have the same powerful focus that I do in an afternoon workout.

3. I need more warm-up. I’m very stiff in the mornings after 7+ years of running and intense CrossFit workouts, I creak and crack everywhere. I need more time to work out those kinks than I do late in the day.

tired-at-gym

I guess when I’m looking at this list, the pros outweigh the cons, but the bottom line is that you exercise regularly at whatever time works for you. Don’t force yourself to get up if you’re going to hate life all day after.

Paleo Korean Short Ribs – SLOW COOKER

Since I missed recipe Saturday, I’m going to do it today because it seems to be everyone’s favorite. This short rib recipe is adapted from NomNom Paleo –> http://nomnompaleo.com/post/3762844557/slow-cooker-korean-grass-fed-short-ribs

ribs

Ingredients:

2 pounds grass-fed short ribs
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
1/2 medium pear or Asian pear, peeled, cored, and chopped
1/4 cup coconut aminos
3 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
3 scallions, roughly chopped
1 teaspoons of Red Boat fish sauce
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup organic chicken broth

1 teaspoon arrowroot powder

Small handful of roughly chopped fresh cilantro

Preheat broiler, and place a rack six inches below the heating element. Season ribs liberally with S&P and broil for 5 minutes on each side. Then stack them on their ends in a slow cooker. I have a small slow cooker, so 2 pounds of ribs fit snuggly. You can cook more ribs in a traditionally sized slow cooker. Combine the pear, coconut aminos, garlic, scallions, fish sauce, and vinegar in a blender and puree until smooth. Pour the sauce and the chicken broth over the ribs in the slow cooker, and cook on low for ~9 hours. When finished, remove the meat and let the broth settle. The fat layer will come to the top. This can be skimmed off and frozen for later cooking. I added some arrowroot powder to the broth to thicken it a bit. Serve over mashed cauliflower “rice” with fresh chopped cilantro.

Serves 2 really hungry people. Might stretch to 3.