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Posts tagged ‘Caveman’

Myth busting – Part 9

This post is Part 9 of a continuing short series of posts tackling persistent myths in the world of healthy eating, with a particular focus on the consumption of animal foods as a source of ill health and environmental destruction.

If you like to cut through the b/s you see on social media these days and understand, in plain English, what’s really going on, then you may like to read the whole series starting from Myth busting – Part 1

Myth: All this talk of our ancient ancestors, how we evolved eating a lot of meat and this talk of ‘prehistoric man’ is all very interesting, but didn’t caveman die at like, 35 years old?

 

Truth: Prehistoric man didn’t die at 35. Infant mortality was very high, and a lot of people died from predators, communicable diseases and accidents. The rest lived to a good age. Cancer did exist, but as far as we know (from fossil evidence, which isn’t much), it was quite rare.

I blogged this whole piece a little while back, so if you regularly read my blog then you may have already seen this one, but it really fits with the other myths we are busting and paradigms we are shifting here in this mini-series, so I thought I would run it for you again as we transition from ‘animal consumption and human health’ to ‘animal agriculture and the environment’ which is coming up next.

‘Caveman’ didn’t always ‘die at 35’

Don’t believe everything you see on social media!

bullshit caveman meme

Recently, a friend of mine shared this image with me and asked me “So what can we say…?” and it’s a good point, this is something I am often asked about, it’s a common myth about our ancient ancestors. I could write a whole book on this, but I’ll keep it brief here. Read more

Don’t believe everything you see on Facebook!

The other day, a friend of mine shared this image with me bullshit caveman memeand said “So what can we say…?” and it’s a good point, this is something I am often asked about, but it’s not come up for a while, so it’s worth me covering today.

I could write a whole book on this, but I’ll hit it here in super-brief form.

Frankly, it’s a common myth.

‘Caveman’ didn’t die at 35. Well, I am sure some did, but in reality, a third died in childhood, a third died young from accidents or predators or disease, and a third lived to old age. But when we look at millions of people over thousands of years, we arrive at a single figure for life expectancy, and many people then wrongly believe that this meant ‘the age that everyone lived to’, rather than a broad statistical average.

The trouble with data

Life expectancy figures are vast generalisations. Anthropologists look at a big base such as ‘the entire human race’ over a period of time such as ‘the paleolithic era’ which means “everything from 190,000 years ago to 10,000 years ago”.

So we are looking at ALL people, over 180,000 years of NON-written history, largely derived from the fossil record, and covering billions of lives over huge stretches of time, tens of thousands of years, spread across all climates and geographies around the planet. When statistical data for “caveman” is talked about, Read more

I’m not fat, so I can eat what I like! My food choices don’t affect my health!! (And other bullsh*t beliefs!)

Forgive me going off on a bit of a rant today, but I was just having this conversation with a friend and I thought I would share this with you, as it’s a relevant ‘case study’ and applies to loads of people.

What is this post about?

  • There are a LOT of people around who are not over weight, so they take an ‘I can eat whatever rubbish I like’ attitude to their diet
  • This is deep-held belief that people have, that if they are not grossly over weight, then there is no further connection between diet and health
  • Last time I checked the scientific literature, slim people still get sick. Slim people still suffer coughs, colds, flu. Slim people still suffer chronic fatigue, tiredness, skin conditions and bowel conditions. Slim people still get heart disease. Slim people still get cancer. Slim people still die! Last time I spoke to one of my Doctor friends, I don’t recall “Not being over weight” as a cure-all solution to living forever and never getting ill.

Conclusions in this post:

  • There are many factors involved in whether or not you are over weight
  • Body fat serves numerous function in your body, some of them are involved in keeping you healthy
  • Eating a diet high in junk food affects your health in many ways above and beyond whether or not you carry excess body fat

Read on to learn more.

I’m not fat, so I can eat what I like! My food choices don’t affect my health!!

I hear this one a LOT. I could write an entire book (seriously, 100,000 words, 200 pages, no problem!) just tackling this myth and all the threads and sub-topics that come off this. In the interests of time and sanity, I will try to keep this post brief, as you and I don’t have time for a whole book today! Read more

Real world, real workouts, real nutrition – keeping it simple and REAL with MND

As I wrote earlier this week, to help you get through my long posts, from now on I will put bullet points at the start, telling you in brief what the post is about, and in brief, the main conclusions or points that I come to.

This way, if you are short of time, you can read the bullet points, which only takes 30 seconds, and it should tell you the essence of the post – if it sounds interesting, you will find the 5 minutes you need to read the whole thing, but otherwise, the bullet points tell you enough to get the main idea.

I will try to remember to summarize all future posts this way. I hope this is helpful!

What is this post about?

  • We live in a time when we are drowning in information, the Internet offers more health, diet and fitness advice than you could ever read
  • The trouble is, most of it is rubbish!
  • The vast majority of diet and fitness information online, is unnecessarily complicated, usually because someone is trying to sell you something
  • I see far too many people wrapped up in all this time-wasting, complex detail, and yet they don’t have ‘the basics’ covered

Main conclusions:

  • In my opinion, the basics are simple things we can all do – eat real food, stay well hydrated, and demonstrate a solid. basic level of strength and fitness that can be adapted to all sports and fitness programs
  • Be able to run a few miles, do a few push-ups, lift your own bodyweight on a chinning bar – this is simple, basic stuff

Read on to learn more.

The diet and fitness industry online

In recent days, I’ve spent a few hours reading a variety of ‘health and nutrition’ pages on Facebook. I don’t want to put anyone else down, and I’m not trying to blow my own trumpet (well, maybe a bit, MND is the best page on Facebook!!)…but I have to say, there really is a total load of rubbish out there. There are loads of sites promoting supplements, loads focussed on weight loss, loads for body building, there are ‘disease-specific’ support groups, there are ‘tone up your tummy’ type diet pages, but there is an overwhelming amount of noise, with very little practical advice and sales-pitch-free useful information lost in the general hubbub of attention seeking marketing.

I’m not saying MotherNaturesDiet is all things to everyone, but this page is about REAL world stuff. I’m not a personal trainer, fitness model, yoga goddess, body builder or some other health and fitness professional. I’m a ‘normal’ guy, I have young kids, a day job and a busy life. I was fat and unhealthy for 20 years and I smoked and drank and made poor choices. But after 2 decades of making those poor choices, I figured out how to be healthy, and now I am sharing what I know with YOU. Read more

The 12 Core Principles of MotherNaturesDiet are very carefully balanced to help you focus on the MOST important issues in improving overall health.

The 12 Core Principles of MotherNaturesDiet are clustered in 3 groups:

Group 1: Things to quit 12 Core Principles - 3

Group 2: Things to consume

Group 3: Exercise and lifestyle factors

Each group contains 4 Rules. All these rules are brief and purposefully simplified – MND is all about keeping it simple, to help ordinary busy people cut through the ‘diet industry’ and ‘health industry’ marketing bullshit and get to what really works.

You’ll see that there are TWICE AS MANY Rules about ‘what not to eat’ as there are about ‘what TO eat’. This is structured this way on purpose, because I believe it is TWICE as important to get all the crap OUT of your life than to spend all your time worrying about the nuances and minutiae of what you should be eating. Diet perfectionism be damned, just eat real whole foods, eliminate chemicals from your body and avoid ALL processed foods, and you’ll have ‘the diet thing’ 90% licked. Read more

Two whole years without alcohol

Today marks TWO YEARS since I consumed so much as a drop of alcohol.

I can honestly say that quitting alcohol has been one of the smartest decisions of my life.

I quit refined white sugar a few months earlier, and the combined effect of eliminating alcohol and sugar from my diet has been life-changing.

Alcohol is an insidious poison, it slowly takes a hold in your life, and it changes how your brain works in ways you will never fully understand until you are free from this drug.

If someone invented alcohol today, as a new product, it would be outlawed the same way cocaine is.

I have no intention of ever drinking again.

https://mothernaturesdiet.me/2013/07/01/alcohol-are-you-in-control-of-your-relationship-with-alcohol/

https://mothernaturesdiet.me/2013/12/31/miracle-hangover-cure/

Training hard to resist aging and weakening

Some of you regular readers may have noticed a lot of recent posts related to working out, perhaps with more focus on strenuous workouts and less on the gentle workouts. This is not always the case, here on MND I talk about the need for regular gentle exercise – walking, outdoor play, an easy bike ride, a nice swim – but I also talk about the need for more strenuous exercise.

I am 43 years old. I keep myself super-fit. As a benchmark, at any time, with no warning or preparation time, I could bang out 500 push-ups in an hour and then jump up and run 20 miles. That’s a level of fitness which I maintain pretty much year round.

However, I notice that a LOT, I mean the vast majority, of people I meet in my age group, do not maintain anything like that level of fitness (in fact, most people I meet in their 20s and 30s too) and most people consider me to be rather ‘extreme’, an exercise addict and some kind of ‘fitness freak’. But if you re-read this old post from a year ago, and think about our ancestors before 15,000 years ago, they HAD to be this fit all the time, throughout their 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s.

Mortality rates in our ancient ancestors

While there has been much discussion about ‘caveman’ not living to a ripe old age, the data is not straightforward and should be carefully analysed. Read more

The MND Guide to Body Composition – free eBook

How do we know what is ‘too fat’?

How do we define ‘too thin’ at the other end of the scale?

Should men all aspire to the stereotype ‘6 pack hunk’ and are women unfairly pressured by the media to be ‘rail thin’ like catwalk models?

Is it healthier to be ‘a little chubby’ or ‘skinny as a rake’ or somewhere between the two?

Is it healthier to be ‘build like a brick outhouse’ or ‘built like a racing whippet’?

In short, what is the optimum amount of fat and the optimum amount of muscle men and women should aim for in order to achieve supreme good health and longevity.

This little book will answer those questions for you.

Download your free book here: The MND Guide to Body Composition. 2013.

A few words from the start of this little book… Read more

2000 year old advice…

“Thin people are generally the most healthy; we should not therefore indulge our appetites with delicacies or high living, for fear of growing corpulent.”

– Greek historian Plutarch (AD 46-122)

Yes folks, that interesting advice is almost 2000 years old, yet still we live in times of excess consumption, where there are more people dying from over-eating than starvation and malnutrition.

When will people learn?

 

Free greens for breakfast

This week, I’ve been eating dock leaves.

Not only are they great at stopping the itch from stinging nettles, but they go quite well in my scrambled eggs too.

I go out early every morning, at 6 am, either running or walking, and pick fresh young dandelion leaves and dock leaves on my way home.

Start with a drizzle of oil in the pan, thrown in the leaves, soften for a minute or two, then throw in a few free range organic eggs (and a few mushrooms, if you have them).

Breakfast in 4 minutes, nutritious and delicious!

Enjoy!

Eggs n greens brekky

Paleo-Reality Part 3: Why MND and The Pre-Industrial Diet offers all the answers.

Part 3 of 3.

How does MotherNaturesDiet differ from The Paleo Diet or The Primal Blueprint?

This post is a 3-part complete appraisal of how I see MotherNaturesDiet in comparison to the Paleo or Primal diet movement.

Please read...
Paleo-Reality Part 1: What’s right and wrong about paleo diets.
...and...
Paleo-Reality Part 2: Introducing The PI Diet – The Pre-Industrial Diet.
...first, these will help this to all make more sense, thanks!

Read more

Paleo-Reality Part 2: Introducing The PI Diet – The Pre-Industrial Diet.

Part 2 of 3.

This post is a complete appraisal of how I see MotherNaturesDiet in comparison to the Paleo or Primal diet movement.

Please read Part 1 first: Paleo-Reality Part 1: What’s right and wrong about paleo diets.

Thanks!

Read more

Paleo-Reality Part 1: What’s right and wrong about paleo diets.

Summary of this post:

MotherNaturesDiet is NOT ‘just another paleo diet’, copied from The Paleo Diet or The Primal Blueprint Diet.

While I truly 100% support The Paleo Diet and The Primal Blueprint, I think a lot of the people following the Paleo movement are, frankly, getting it wrong and missing the point.

I do not think we need to look back as far as The Paleolithic Era to see where things went wrong with the human diet.

MotherNaturesDiet is slowly becoming “The Pre-Industrial Diet”. I believe the Industrial Revolution is where it all went wrong. MND remains MND, but it is also ‘The PI Diet’.

This post is packed with masses of common sense thinking, explaining a few fundamental holes in ‘Paleo Diet’ logic, exploring the truth behind The Discordance Hypothesis, and looking at where so much about our modern diet really went wrong, with the mechanization and industrialization of agriculture.

Read on for more…

Read more

Love, Sex and Monogamy in Paleolithic Times and Today

This might be straying a little off topic for this blog, so I offer a link for those interested. I am deeply interested in all aspects of evolution and anthropology, including those aspects that go beyond health and nutrition.

I have been reading ‘Paleofantasy’ by Marlene Zuk. In the book, she discusses what she terms “paleofantasy love” and she quotes Sarah B. Hrdy and the ‘sex contract’ hypothesis.

Meat for sexual fidelity: the sex contract hypothesis

Hrdy and others suggest that our ancient ancestors traded ‘meat for fidelity’, and this forms the core of the ’sex contract’ hypothesis. Note: to be fair to Ms Hrdy, I have NOT read her original work, and I am basing any judgements in this blog on the quotes in Marlene Zuk’s Paleofantasy. The notion goes, that as our large brains grew, caveman became smart enough to realise that his best chances of producing offspring that reach adulthood was to provide for his woman while she nurtured the babies, so he hunted the meat, while cave woman sat at home tending the babies, and she gave him sexual fidelity in return for him bringing home food for his kin.

In my uneducated opinion, this is wrong.

To read more about how I see love, sex and pair bonding in the paleolithic period, click through to my other blog site and have a read. Feel free to let me know what you think. Thanks.

http://karlwhitfield.me/2013/04/25/love-sex-and-monogamy-in-paleolithic-times-and-today/

 

My honest opinion of Paleo Cookbooks

I have recently stated a few times that MotherNaturesDiet is not strictly a paleo diet, but it has evolved from my learnings and following the main principles of paleo. I think a paleo diet as laid out by ‘the masters’ such as Robb Wolf, Loren Cordain, Mark Sisson and others, is fantastic, but I think many followers in the paleo community have taken the paleo theme and then run with it to a point that they have strayed far from the original ideas.

I will write more on this topic, in much more depth, in a future post. For today, I just wanted to briefly cover a sub-set of this, a subject that gets my back up, the idea of publishing paleo cookbooks promoting hundreds of paleo recipes – and the misnomer of a ‘Paleo Desert Cookbook’ – like they ate desert in the paleolithic period! I have blogged briefly on this topic before, check this post for that.

So this short video just covers the latest ‘Paleo Desert Cookbook’ that I saw advertised. Sorry about the sound quality on this clip, it’s not so good.

http://youtu.be/EURspvarIpA

 

 

Reaction to PaleoFantasy Book #2

I am still reading Paleofantasy, a new book which aims to disprove much of the core beliefs of the paleo movement. This is my second video about this book.

The book is not shaping up to be what I thought it might be, I don’t find the arguments against paleo nutrition very convincing, but it is interesting reading all the same.

I do not present MotherNaturesDiet as ‘a paleo diet’ strictly, though we do follow broadly the same principles. However, as I explain in this video (link below), I actually think many in the paleo community are missing the point somewhat, as I don’t think we need to go all the way back to the paleolithic period to find what is wrong with our modern diet. I actually think we only have to go back to the Industrial Revolution to find the source of most of our biggest health and nutrition problems.

I see MotherNaturesDiet as a pre-Industrial Revolution diet, ‘The PI Diet’ more than just another paleo diet.

Watch this little video to learn more.

http://youtu.be/USIoJ2d7jb8

 

 

Avoiding injuries, training and eating ‘caveman style’

One year ago this day, I fractured my spine in two places falling 6 foot onto a concrete floor while training.

To be honest, I have a very high pain threshold, but that accident did hurt quite a lot. Especially after 24 hours, then it really kicked in and for a week or so all movement was very painful and very difficult and very limited.

I guess there is a certain amount of potential danger involved in the way I train. I climb rocks and trees, dangle from branches and bars, jump over things and run over uneven grass and mud. I have suffered a number of injuries, such as twisted ankles, stress fracture in my tibia, shin splints, fractured rib, several fractured fingers and toes, a couple of muscle sprains, compressed disc in my back, muscle spasms and the obvious trashed knee (from running, I had surgery last year) and a variety of cuts and scratches.

Life can be dangerous

Read more

Sick of Eating Meat!!!

This ‘headline’ will get the attention of my vegetarian friends!!

I trained hard early this morning, then came home and needed a good breakfast to feed my body after training, and to nourish me for the day, as I went out rock climbing all day and I knew I probably wouldn’t get the chance to eat much during the day.

As you know, if you have been reading this blog, I eat a lot of meat. Animal products make up about 50% of my diet (measured by calories) and fruit and veggies make up the other half. I like meat and when I started on my ‘paleo’ journey it seemed like a treat to have so much tasty meat in my diet...succulent roasts for lunch, juicy sausages and eggs for breakfast, tasty chicken any time, any day, any meal. But I have to say, since I massively ramped up my meat intake about 10 months ago, that novelty has now worn off, and while I still enjoy the majority of my meals, there are days I feel like I can’t handle any more meat!!

Read more

Controversial Rant – The Diet Industry is ONE BIG CON!!!

Some days I get REALLY annoyed about the whole 'diet industry', it makes me so angry that there is so much misinformation out there. I was looking at another nutrition training course the other day, costing a couple of thousand dollars, and selling itself as ‘cutting edge’ and ‘representing the new paradigm’ in diet and nutrition. This drives me crazy, really, there is NO cutting edge, NO new paradigm, there are no ‘amazing secrets’ or ‘miracle cures’...this is all just marketing speak to get you to buy diet books, supplements, powders, potions and fad exercise equipment.

I get so frustrated – we shouldn’t be looking for ‘the cutting edge’, or ‘the latest thing’, there is no ‘21st century solution’, in fact I would say the majority of the human population has never been so malnourished as they are now, they – WE – have never eaten so badly as we do now...yet at the same time, more humans eat more calories than ever. People are stuffed and fat, but malnourished at the same time, and hence suffering from such a wide array of health complaints, diseases and physical malfunction.

Read more

We wouldn’t feed pizza to a rhino, so why are we feeding it to our children?

Think about the so-called food available to us today.

Imagine you are visiting the zoo, and you see the zoo keepers feeding the animals. They put the food out for the big rhino, buckets of roughly chopped up vegetables, perhaps some pieces of fruit, and all seems well. During a demonstration talk, the keeper offers the rhino a jam doughnut as he cracks some joke about "even this big guy likes a treat each day" and most of the spectators laugh as the rhino eagerly gobbles down the doughnut. A few people would quietly be thinking 'you shouldn't give things like that to an animal, it's cruel' but they don't say anything, they keep their opinions to themselves for fear of appearing to be an extremist.

But now let's say things are different, let's picture a different scenario. Imagine if our rhino is kept in his muddy, grassy enclosure and fed bucket loads of pizza, burgers, chips, pies, pastries, cakes, ice cream, chocolate bars and biscuits. Every day the public visit this zoo and watch the keepers fill our rhino's drinking trough with cola or beer or milkshake, and the ground of his enclosure is littered with chewing gum, pizza crusts, cheese sandwiches and cookies. What would the vast majority of zoo visitors say then?

Read more

Eating a Paleo Diet

If you have read the Rules and My Story pages on this site, by now you will understand that I am a big fan of the primal/paleo movement, but I want to be clear about what this all means to me.

I broadly agree with all the fundamental principles of the paleo movement, but I think there are a lot of people out there who have jumped on the paleo bandwagon as 'the new Atkins' diet and they are using this as an excuse to feast daily on bacon and steak and all-you-can-eat meat, but they are paying little attention to the health aspects of living a life more in sync with our bodies natural biological origins.

True paleo means a deep respect and connection with Mother Nature

Read more

Vegetarianism and Facing the Harsh Reality of Animal Cruelty

I wasn’t going to blog today, but I will, as this discussion came up in another chat-group that I am a member of, and I feel compelled to share my thoughts. Having written the below for the other thread, I will amend a few words and re-post it here.

Earthlings

We were discussing the quite disturbing movie Earthlings.

The movie is frank, open, somewhat biased, and quite graphic and disturbing, and the message is vitally important. If you have a strong stomach and want to watch it, you can view the whole thing live online, at earthlings.com

I have to admit, this movie really IS pretty heavy! It’s hard to watch for anyone with a loving soul.

Read more

Taking a COLD Shower

Over the last few years I have read various articles about the health benefits of taking a regular cold shower. Some say cold showers improve your circulation, some say they help weight loss, some say they radically improve your libido and sexual stamina, some claim cold showers boost your immunity, some say they relieve depression and some say they just make you feel cold.

Read more

The Common Sense Caveman

Well, people keep calling me ‘Caveman Karl’ – it was not my choice, but as I am often talking about “caveman would have done this, or eaten that” I guess the name is obvious.

It was my son’s birthday today and I took this pic while we were out…it seemed appropriate!