[Five Deadly Everythings]

Caveman diet refuses to die off

Posted in food, Healthiest Everythings by Jef on March 26, 2010

The National Post’s Adam McDowell is spending some time living the trendy caveman lifestyle, and he’s blogging about it here. The caveman diet and exercise plan has been garnering some press as of late, and it’s easy to see why — sound diet advice plus easy puns for headlines? Lifestyle section WIN.

Whatever sound advice comes with the diet though — that whole foods are better than processed foods and that intuitive, functional-strength-building activities are better than repetitive-motion isolation exercises — seems to also come with a bunch of kitschy rules: no beans or tomatoes; no whole grains; occasional fasting to imitate cavemen running out of resources (or in McDowell’s case, a slight budget that may require fasting to stretch); donating blood to mirror circumstantial blood loss, etc.

Weakness or sluggishness seem to be common afflictions. Says John Bradley of when he tried the lifestyle during his year of sampling diet trends for Outside magazine:

Halfway through, I broke down and bought an egg-cheese-and-potato-laden breakfast burrito, writing in my food diary, “Woke up with a hunger way beyond what the fruit and vegetables in my house could cover.”

I dunno. If the idea behind the Paleo diet is optimal health — and it should be — the constraining guidelines seem to be ridiculous rules more appropriate for LARPing than wellness. The central wisdom advertised here that cavemen had a common-sense approach to living that we’ve lost sight of over the years with our agriculture and over-processing (of everything!) and development of foodie sensibilities is obscured by the fact the diet and exercise plan itself seems to balk at both common sense, because beans are good for you so why not just fucking eat them, and consistency, because you know, cavemen did not use toothbrushes.

I’m sure we can all agree though, it’s best to keep a re-working of modern hygiene off the caveman’s health agenda for now.

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