Hunter Gatherer

Brimming with ideas and a fascinating read. STEVEN PINKER, Johnstone Professor of Psychology, Harvard University

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Caveman Classics: Encino Man

Who remembers Encino Man?

It’s the brilliant 1992 movie starring Pauly Shore, Brendan Fraser, and Sean Astin.  Astin and Shore find a frozen caveman (Fraser) who they thaw out and bring to school.  Scoring an 18% with critics at Rotten Tomatoes, it is well on its way to becoming a timeless classic.  It was a surprise hit at the box office, and will forever be remember as the film that launched Pauly Shore’s movie career.

Just goes to show: cavemen have always been funny.

ABC Nightline features the Paleo Diet

Okay, here's the ABC Nightline article, and below is the piece.  It actually wasn't bad.  I loved Art's line about "What's a bagel?". 

If you're new to the site and would like to learn more, here's the basic concept:

So if you want to be healthy, this is what you have to do:

  • Eat the types of foods humans evolved to eat in the wild
  • Mimic key aspects of life in the wild: sleep, sun, moving, walking, and social contact

Follow this advice and most of your health problems will melt away.  Here's a good way to get started.  To stay on the cutting edge, you can do a few things:

Post-game analysis of ABC Celebrity Diets and 1st Look NY

I always get a kick of out media portrayals.  Okay, here are the videos from two recent press pieces: ABC Celebrity Diets and NBC 1st Look NY.

The celebrity diet piece was hilarious (if it weren't so sad how many crazy things women do to lose weight).

Here are the ones they covered:

  • The Baby Food Diet.  My main thought during this piece was, why in God's name do they make macaroni-and-cheese flavored baby food?  And is the baby food diet even healthy for…babies?
  • The Raw Food Diet.  Talk about an enormous FAIL.  The first thing we learn is that the female trainer lost her menstrual cycle on a raw food diet (presumably a vegetarian raw food diet).  Then, immediately after, one of the "health experts" gives raw food the highest nutritional rating.  Say what?  An interview with a raw foodie chick reveals that she is HAVING TROUBLE DATING because of her diet.  You have to see it to believe it.
  • The Caveman Diet.  You see a beautiful shot of some delicious bone marrow at one of our paleo meetups, including a shot of yours truly running barefoot through Central Park.  The Caveman Diet gets good reviews.  Megan Fox is the celebrity who supposedly eats paleo, but I'll believe it when I see it.
  • The Dukan Diet.  I had never heard of this, but turns out it is a Protein Sparing Modified Fast.  Eat protein, some fat, and not much else.  Sounds ideal for the goal of rapid weight loss.
  • The Cookie Diet.  Celebrity endorsement by Snookie.
  • The HCG Diet.  Chemical drops you put under your tongue.
  • The Master Cleanse.  Cayenne pepper, lemon juice, maple syrup hocus-pocus.  
  • The Twinkie Diet.

This 1st Look NY piece was a ton of fun to film.

Got a chance to go through my freezer chest.  And George, the host, wanted me to help him prepare for the Tough Mudder.  So I put together an obstacle course in Central Park.  Running, pull-ups (and a muscle-up), picnic table jumps, uphill sprints, balancing, army crawls across a field (Japanese tourists were staring at us) and actually jumping into one of the lakes.  Yeah, that might have been against the rules.  Oh yeah, and tons of stairs, while soaking wet.

Here is the obstacle course map — maybe we can make this a regular event. on ABC Primetime Celebrity Diets

Welcome to anyone who saw the paleo diet on ABC Primetime.

I don't know about celebrities, but cavewomen don't get fat.  Here are three ways to learn more:

1. Sign up for our monthly newsletter, Live Wild, at right.  The very best in Homo sapiens health.

2. Like on facebook and follow me on Twitter to hear about updates and blog posts

3. Or you can learn right now…

Despite everything you've been taught, you are a wild animal.  And you will be healthier when you start acting like one.  Replicate the most beneficial aspects of living in the wild.  Eat the foods humans have been eating for millions of years (books), move in the ways we are adapted to move (MovNat, CrossFit), go barefoot or wear minimalist shoes, get some sun, and so much more.

January Paleo Challenge

It's almost 2011.  And since so many people make New Year's resolutions to improve their health, we're going to do a Paleo Challenge for the month of January.  I'm going to blog it, as will Melissa McEwen.  If any other bloggers want to join in, feel free.  And for those in NYC, we're going to schedule a different event every week.

  • A kick-off beginner's session early in January
  • Art De Vany is giving a book talk on Thursday, January 13th at 7pm.  As most of you know, Art is one of the pioneers of the ancestral health movement, and his new book is out: The New Evolution Diet.  Sign up for the talk here.
  • Fred Hahn will give a fitness lecture and demonstration of the Slow Burn method.  Lifting extremely slowly, heavy weight, for only 2 to 4 reps, to exhaustion.  I gave it a try recently, and it was intense.  The Eades co-wrote Fred's book. 
  • On New Year's Day, come join us at Coney Island for the gigantic Coney Island Polar Bear Club swim.  It's quite a spectacle.
  • …and more

Maybe you're read about paleo but haven't quite given it a shot?

Or doing it 60% but want to try 100% for a month and see what results you get?

Have a friend or a relative who needs a nudge?

January is your month.  And here's the thing.  You don't have to make a resolution for the whole year.  Just make a resolution for one month.  Take that month seriously.  And you can decide at the end of that month whether you want to keep doing it.

Stay tuned…

Against Caveman Role Playing

Okay, this one has been nagging at me for awhile.  I'm worried that someone is going to start doing it, and then it will take on a life of its own.  DO NOT START with the paleolithic role-playing.  Role playing is silly, and if you've started to even think about it, you need to stop.  Luckily, I haven't seen it so far.

In defense of my position (as if it needed to be defended), I'd like to make a three simple points:


  1. This is not a Renaissance Festival.  I'm not even talking about attending a Renaissance Festival (great turkey legs) or building full scale replicas of Medieval war engines (and throwing flaming pianos and cars with them).  I'm talking about dressing up like a professional troubadour on nights and weekends.
  2. This is not a Star Trek convention.  I love SciFi.  Really.  Asimov, Bradbury, Orson Scott Card.  And I'm happy to geek out at the Singularity Summit and talk about the future of technology until 4 in the morning.  But I refuse to learn how to speak Klingon.
  3. We do not have blue skin and live on Pandora.  I thoroughly enjoyed Avatar.  Hell, I'd even consider dating someone with blue skin and a tail if that someone were Zoe Saldana.  But I am not going to paint myself blue, rub tails with strangers, and pretend that nature is harmonious.

You are not a hunter-gatherer living in the wild.  You are mimicking select aspects of early human lifestyle that are key to being healthy.  Do I imagine that a wild animal is chasing me when I sprint?  Yes.  Do I do a number of things like a wild animal?  Upon request.  BUT I DO NOT ROLE PLAY.  Leave the role playing to the professionals (aka ACTORS).

I leave you with the very hilarious LARP — Live Avatar Role Playing.

Thanks to Mark for the link to the video.

Assorted links

1. The military exposes the myth of the modern running shoe

2. Raids are increasing on farms and private food-supply clubs

3. Former vegetarian rips into the religion of veganism

4. Do men and women have significantly different dietary requirements?  Maybe, maybe not

5. The Barefoot Bandit movie

6. AM New York (free subway newspaper) covers the caveman diet (pg. 20)

Hunter-Gatherer Diets

There is no single "Hunter-Gatherer Diet".  There have been innumerable hunter-gatherer tribes who ate different foods depending on their time in history, geography, season, and culture.  Yet they had many commonalities in what they ate — and didn't eat.
Similarly, this growing evolutionary movement goes under many names.  Here's my list.  Am I missing any?  What other terms does this movement go by?  Are their more neighboring tribes?  What terms do you use and why?
  • Ancestral (Ancestral Diet, Ancestral Health)
  • Caveman (Caveman Diet)
  • Evolution (Evolutionary Fitness, The New Evolution Diet, The Evolution Diet)
  • Human (Human Diet)
  • Hunter-Gatherer (Hunter-Gatherer Diet)
  • MovNat (MovNat Lifestyle)
  • Native (Native Nutrition, Native Diet)
  • Neanderthal (Neaderthin, Neaderthal Diet)
  • Paleo (Paleo Diet, Paleolithic Diet, Paleolithic Lifestyle, Zone Paleo)
  • Prehistoric (Prehistoric Diet)
  • Primal (Primal Diet, Primal Lifestyle)
  • Stone Age (Stone Age Diet)
  • Miscellaneous: Meatatarian, Comanche Diet, Pre-Columbian

And approaches that share some commonalities, despite including more grains and dairy:

  • Warrior Diet
  • Weston A. Price / WAPF


List updated on 07/05/10.