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13 November 2015

Winter Is Upon Us, So MOAR STEW-ROIDS

I'd sort of abandoned this series, thinking there was no place to go with it, but that's about as sensible as the Christians' collective spazzing about the "War On Christmas" they allege Starbucks is waging with their redesigned holiday cups.  One can have too much stew like one can have too many blowjobs- the shit just isn't fucking possible.  Moreover, I've not even delved into hearty soups, which is partly where I'm going with this, as I didn't even know the actual difference between a soup and a stew until googling it.  Apparently, the difference is mostly theoretical.  According to "Taste of Home":
What's the difference between soup and stew? In theory, a soup is a combination of vegetables, meat or fish cooked in liquid. A stew is any dish that's prepared by stewing - that is, the food is barely covered with liquid and simmered for a long time in a covered pot.

In short, they're pretty much the same fucking thing.  Meat and vegetables in a broth, with all of the deliciousness and nutrition you can possibly pack into them.  They're both easy as all hell to make, they're endlessly modifiable, they warm you up on cold days, and they can be fucking crucial for bulking diets jest because they add an easy-to-digest calorie bomb to any meal or serve as a meal in and of themselves.  Ori Hofmekler loves the holy hell out of soups and stews, and his diet, the Warrior Diet, revolves around them because they're what the ancient Romans lived on.
"I'm a big believer in soups and stews, not just in cold seasons, but even in warm weather.  I think having veggies and soup is one of the best ways to start a meal.  Hearty vegetable soups and stews, where everything is cooked together- often veggies, roots, meats or seafood, and whole grains- have a great advantage in that many tastes, textures, and aromas combine in one hot, hearty meal.  This thousands-of-years-old-tradition is extremely good for your satiety" (Hofmekler 69).
If you're an American male, it's likely veggies are noticeably absent from your diet, so it probably makes sense to add soups and stews to your diet just to ensure you don't contract cancer at age 40or end up with some horrible nutrient deficiency.  That's not to say that you necessarily will have either of those things happen if you subsist on a diet of naught but meat, but it makes sense to hedge your bets when you can... especially when doing so is fucking delicious.

Split Pea Soup

I have no idea why it became a fad to eat peas in the Roman Republican era, but for some reason, Romans thought peas were the unadulterated shit.  They ate them like Michael Moore eats doughnuts, and peas soup was so popular that the comic playwright Aristophanes mentioned it in his bizarrely themed play The Birds, and street vendors all over the Republic sold hot pea soup (Pease).  You might be thinking to yourself that hot pea soup is a pretty fucking stupid thing to try to eat while walking, and I'd have to agree with you... especially when you're busy tripping over the bedsheet you wrapped around yourself in an idiotic attempt to clothe yourself according to Roman fashion.  Nevertheless, pea soup was a cornerstone of the Roman diet, and fueled the Roman army to victory first over the Etruscans, and later over the rest of the world.

I've no idea how the fuck the Romans made their soup, but it's entirely possible they made it the way I make it- in a clay pot.  Clay pots are awesome for beans (peas are legumes) because for some reason the beans get a kind of velvety feel when cooked in a clay pot.  If you don't have one, I highly recommend Romertopf- that's what I use in my pea soup.  No matter how you cook it, whether it be in a crock pot, a clay pot, or a regular pot, split pea soup is badass both from a taste standpoint and a nutritional standpoint- even without meat in it, pea soup has 8 grams of protein per cup.  No meat, you say?  Fuck all that shit- my dad imparted to me long ago that the best way to make split pea soup is with smoked pork, both bones and meat.  Using smoked pork gives off salt, which enhances the flavor, and the marrow from the bones adds both nutrition and flavor.  It does, however, add an extra step- making the broth.  That's really not all that hard, however, so I'll just throw it in with the rest of the soup and let you guys have the fuck at it.


8 cups water
1 large ham bone
2 cups dried split green peas
2 large carrots, peeled and diced small
1 medium onion, halved
6 large garlic cloves
2 large celery ribs, include leaves, chop small
1 large bay leaf
2 beef bouillon cubes
1 teaspoon salt
1⁄4 teaspoon black peppercorns, crushed
1 pinch dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom


Dump the peas into a soaked 4-quart clay pot (you're always supposed to soak clay pots before using them).  On the stove, bring your water to a boil, add everything but the peas and garlic, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 1 - 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.  After 60-90 minutes, use a slotted spoon to remove all of the solids from your broth, remove the ham bone,and cut off any remaining ham into bite size pieces.  If there are any big chunks of ham floating around, dice those, too, and add them to the peas in the clay pot.  Dump in your broth, add the garlic, and.put the clay pot in a cold oven.  Once that's done, set the oven temperature to 450 °F and cook for an hour to an hour and a half, stirring occasionally to check the consistency- the peas should be soft and mushy.  After that, you just season to taste with pepper.

I generally eat split pea soup with buttered french bread- for some reason the two go together in my mind.  Additionally, if you're bulking, you'll want the extra calories anyway.

Marha Pörkölt – Hungarian Beef Paprika Stew

If you're not familiar with what badasses the Hungarians are, you've not been paying attention.  Hungary is literally littered with statues of Attila the Hun, as the people who founded Hungary, the Magyars, were horse nomads who joined the Hunnic confederation when the Huns swept into Europe.  Consummate badasses in their own right, the Magyars regularly raided the neighboring Slavs and shared a culture with the cannibalistic murder-machines the Scythians and the Sarmatians.  What fueled their endless raiding, slaughter, and general awesomeness?  Stew, of course.   The following recipe literally translates to "beef stew", as the Hungarians are apparently unconcerned with nomenclature because they're too busy being violent badasses.  This stew is no joke.


2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 large onion, minced
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/2 medium green bell pepper, chopped
1 lb. beef stew meat
2 tbsp paprika
1 tsp caraway seeds
1 large tomato, cored and chopped
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley for garnish (optional)


In a large saute pan, heat vegetable oil over medium, and if you're using olive oil, make sure it's regular olive oil rather than extra virgin, because extra virgin burns ridiculously easily. Add the minced onion and saute for about 8 minutes, when the onions should be softened.  Add the garlic and green bell pepper and continue to saute for another 5 minutes till garlic is fragrant and bell pepper is tender-crisp.  Add the beef to the pan and season lightly with salt and pepper. Cook for 5-6 more minutes, stirring twice, till meat is browned.  Sprinkle paprika and caraway seeds evenly across the top of the meat. Add diced tomatoes to the pan. Pour 4-5 cups of hot water into the pan, till the meat is almost covered. Stir and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to a simmer and cover to pan. Let the mixture simmer slowly for about 90-100 minutes, replenishing the water as needed to keep it from getting dry.

The stew is ready when the meat is fork tender and the sauce is thick. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste before serving, if desired.  Because we're all about the permabulk over the winter, I recommend that you eat this over some sort of starchy carbohydrate, like rice or noodles.  I'll hit you with a recipe for herbed noodles in a second, but before I do so, you guys need to know about the hot pepper paste Hungarians put on everything- Erős Pista.  This stuff tastes as badass as can be, is an awesome condiment for this stew, and is easy as hell to make.

Erős Pista


Red spicy peppers
Red sweet peppers
The ratio of spicy to sweet peppers is to taste, but a 1:10 ratio (1 sweet pepper for every 10 spicy peppers) seems to work best.


Wash the peppers and remove the stem.  Process the peppers in a food processor or grinder.  Add 2 tbsp of salt per 5 ozof ground peppers.  Place in jars that have been washed and thoroughly dried.

Herbed Egg Noodles


Kosher salt
12oz wide egg noodles
1 cup fresh Italian parsley, minced
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, minced
2 tbsp fresh chives, minced
2 tbsp butter
2tbsp extra-virgin olive oil


Bring a stockpot of salted water to a boil.  Drop in the noodles and cook according to the directions on the package.  While all of that is going on, stir together the green stuff.  When the noodles are done, strain them, toss in the butter and oil, and return the noodles to the pot (with no heat).  Toss the noodles until the're coated in butter and oil, then season with salt and stir in your herbs.  BOOM- you've got un-boring noodles to throw your stew onto.

Next time you're in Starbucks, don't forget this.

So, there you have it- a couple of new recipes to try out while I finish up a couple of new training articles and test more hearty soup recipes.  Also in the works are a new series on meat pies that will contain entirely home-gown recipes that I'll be doing in collaboration with the owner of Bello Foods, a startup specializing in pizza and cheesecake that won't tear up the digestive tracts of people with sundry shit-your-pants style GI diseases.  That series will ultimately culminate in a cookbook- yup, a motherfucking Chaos and Pain cookbook.  So, there's a bunch of cool shit in the works and the articles should start coming fast and furious again.

Until that day, motherfuckers.

If you didn't like the recipe for Erős Pista, there's always this.

Hofmekler, Ori.  The Warrior Diet.  St Paul:  Dragon Door Publications, 2003.

Vegetarians in Paradise.  Pease Porridge Hot, Pease Porridge Cold.  Web.  11 Nov 2015.

07 October 2015

Paleotards Are Doing It Wrong, Part Quatre

Identifying Which Type of "Paleo" Dieting is Best for You

​By this point, it should be apparent  that there is hardly any consensus on what, exactly, comprises the diet of our Paleolithic forebears, be it in the media, scholastic circles, the general public, or even the hard sciences.  The debate on this topic, which is generally about as civil as those witnessed between the heavily tanned, overly medicated, and utterly worthless, vapid cunts on Real Housewives of New Jersey, seems to have no logical ending point.  Due to the reticence of the scientific community to support it (ostensibly due to massive pressure more nefarious than Ivan the Terrible's secret police), no clear answer in regards to what constitutes an ancestral or Paleolithic diet can be reached.  Moreover, due to modern agriculture and the unwillingness of most people to accept the facts that 1) no one who eats modern produce is truly eating "Paleo" and 2) there is no one "ultimate" or "perfect" Paleolithic Diet, this question literally cannot be resolved because we cannot recreate the diet without foraging and because the answer is far more complex than a simple yes or no.

Happy hunting!

Interestingly, I stumbled across an article in Scientific American that echoed my sentiments regarding the relative futility of attempting to isolate the "ultimate" paleo diet- you might as well hunt for the Lost Ark, the Fountain of Youth, and Lemuria while you're at it.  According to the author of the article in SA, "the Paleo diet is founded more on privilege than logic" (Jabr).  Another author, Marlene Zuk, supported that argument in her book Paleofantasies, stating that "'Paleofantasies' call to mind a time when everything about us- body, mind, and behavior- was in sync with the environment... but no such time existed" (Ibid).

Every single species consumed today, as I've mentioned previously, is about as different from its Paleolithic ancestor as Mini Me from Austin Powers is from a prototypical, bloodthirsty, take-no-prisoners-because-we'll-eat-them-before-we-get-home Cro-Magnon man.  Whether flora or fauna, we've selectively bred everything we eat for desirable traits, rendering them totally dissimilar to their Paleolithic forebears.  The entire Brassica family (brussel sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, kale, bok choi, etc) is derived from a single plant that wasn't domesticated until 4000 BCE.  Contrary to the assertions of the popular media, J. Stanton suggests that the most damning evidence to the conception of Paleolithic starches, fruits, and veggies as wholly similar to those of the modern era (in terms of glycemic load and carbohydrate content) is the utter lack of tooth decay in Paleolithic remains.

"There’s some currently fashionable dogma out there that “we found some starch stuck in a dead guy’s teeth, so cavemen definitely ate lots of carbs,” but the condition of the teeth disprove that: carb-heavy diets = tooth decay in a land without toothbrushes and fluoridated toothpaste, and Paleolithic teeth, including the ones found with starch stuck in them, are uniformly excellent.  The single exception: someone found a place they were eating lots of acorns in the almost-Neolithic (15 KYa = 15,000 years ago) and they indeed had shitty teeth.  Unlike every other “starch in teeth” site, they also found the remains of woven baskets for storing those acorns: there’s a world of difference between “we ate it because it was on the ground for a few days and we’re hungry” and “we gather it, store it, and live off it for a substantial part of the year.”
The “starch in teeth” carb apologists also neglect to note that Paleolithic digs often contain thousands of handaxes, scrapers, flakes, and other meat-processing tools, and thousands of animal bones. (Example: 18,500 stone artifacts.)  And the wide variation in salivary amylase gene copy number between different races and cultures of modern humans (Perry 2007) suggests that the adaptation to high-starch diets is both very recent and incomplete" (Stanton).
Throw on top of that brutally damning heap of factual pain the ridiculously stark lack of diversity in modern Paleo diets, and the idea that modern humans could eat a truly Paleolithic diet is nailed shut harder than a porn star in a 500 man gangbang.

Another issue I previously mentioned was the conception of regional diversity in Paleo and hunter-gatherer diets, which vary widely in food selection and macronutrient profiles.  The Scientific American again backed my assertions in this regard, pointing to four different hunter-gatherer societies and their respective diets- the Inuit, Hiwi, !Kung, and Hazda.  To see exactly how disparate their diets are/were, check out this badass infographic.

As you can see, their versions of Paleo are about as different as African carnies would be from a pack of white bread assholes in an East Coast country club.  Having made all of those points and covered all of the caveats, it's about time to pick a Paleo diet.  Before we delve into the abyss on making the determination that people seem to think will either provide the meaning of life or utter and complete physical destruction, it seems it would behoove us to rehash their various types, however.  There are four main types:

Strict Paleo

  • Allowed: Meat, fat, organs, and any other unprocessed animal product from animals fed and finished on grass (or forage, in the case of non-grass-eaters like chickens); fish and shellfish; eggs; tree nuts; vegetables; roots; berries; mushrooms; certain fruits in limited quantities; raw honey in small amounts.
  • Forbidden:  Dairy products, legumes, grains, potatoes, sugar, added salt, and processed foods of any kind.   

Strict Paleo Pros

  1. It works very well for fat loss and recomposition.
  2. It is very black and white, so there is no confusion as to what is and what is not allowed.

Strict Paleo Cons
  1. It was based on incomplete information, so it's about as restrictive as a whalebone corset on one of those fat pinup girls who think that good lighting and a shitload of makeup take off 50 lbs, and the corset takes off another 50..
  2. Saltless could mean electrolyte imbalances if you're doing a lot of GPP, cardio, cutting weight, or training in the eat.  You could end up cramping like 
  3. It's bland as all hell.
  4. It's pretty low calorie, so it would be hard to gain muscle or even maintain a lot of muscle on this diet.

Traditional Paleo

  • Allowed:  Everything in strict paleo with the addition of salt, and other spices (except soy sauce and other grain-derived sauces); sweet potatoes; cooking oils made from animals or fruits (tallow, coconut, palm, olive); clarified butter; limited amounts of coffee, tea, mate, and other stimulant-laden beverages.  Red meat is encouraged over white, eating the entire animal (offal and all) is encouraged.
  • Forbidden: Legumes, grains, white potatoes, sugar, and processed foods of any kind.   

Traditional Paleo Pros

  1. It falls much more in line with what we know about the eating patterns of Paleolithic man.  One Paleolithic site in Egypt showed residues of 157 different plant and herb species, and it's believed that even more were used that left no residue (Moore 327–99).  Robb Wolf espouses the use of a variety of spices for their medicinal purposes, and it's known that Paleolithic man used spices as medicinal aids as well (Karnes)
  2. The use of oil was in place during the Paleolithic, though they seem to have used nut oil for cooking.  Loren Cordain suggests that good modern cooking oils, other than animal fats, are flaxseed, walnut, olive, macadamia, coconut, and avocado (Vuolo).
  3. It's well known that hunter-gatherers dating back to the Neanderthals utilized stimulants ranging from coca leaves to khat to ephedra.  As such, it only makes sense that stimulants be allowed in a paleo diet.

Traditional Paleo Cons
  1. It's still light on carbs, for people who are very carb-centric, but not on calories, as fattier meat is encouraged to stave off "rabbit starvation."


  • Allowed: White potatoes (which I've explained are not only not paleo, but they were not even considered edible food in medieval in Europe), dairy if you tolerate it well, and gluten-free soy sauce is OK.  Carb recommendation is around 150g/day.  Occasional cheating on the diet is ok- i.e. the “80/20 rule.”
  • Forbidden: Grains and “vegetable oils” like corn, soy, sunflower, grapeseed, and canola; corn syrup; textured vegetable protein.

Primal Paleo Pros

  1. It's easy.
  2. It offers a lot of food choices.
  3. It's a simple way for normal people to eat "clean".

Primal Paleo Cons

  1. It's really not paleo.
  2. It allows a lot of high GI carbs.
  3. I'd not going to afford the same kind of fat loss or lean muscle as the previous types of paleo.

Perfect Health Diet

  • In short, this is Primal with the addition of white rice and a few other tropical “safe starches” (e.g. cassava, sago, taro, tapioca), and is in no way, shape or form, actually paleo.  This is paleo-lite for housewives.  Avoid it.

There should be a man selling meat on a stick on every street corner in the world.

​So, this leaves us with a choice.  To me, the choice is clear- I've done it and it works.  Traditional paleo kicks ass.  I will say that I've included a post workout meal of durum kebab most of the time that I've done the traditional paleo route, so as to get more calories and some post workout carbs, so I was eating about a half pound of roast chicken slathered in hot sauce on a burrito shell / flatbread.  This was necessary because at the time I was eating far too low fat, but one must remember that when Ray Audette wrote Neanderthin, the study of Paleolithic diets was in its infancy, so he's off base in some ways.  Strict paleo left me hungry and weak most of the time, and eating food without salt is like having sex without penetration.  Robb Wolf knows his stuff and a higher fat diet that includes seasonings is exactly what I espouse with my Apex Predator Diet.  I will agree that identifying the “type” of paleo is an issue, but to me this is a problem in and of itself.    Wolf’s recommendations (Traditional Paleo), to my mind, fall best in line with what archaeology tells us Paleolithic diets were like, but none of the rest resemble Paleolithic diets in any way.  Instead, they’re ridiculous alterations of a very simple concept simply to make the diet palatable to the general public.

Lastly, it should be mentioned that pretty much everyone who slams into the weights like a rhino into a Land Rover on safari modifies whatever paleo diet they've chosen in some way.  I mentioned I included protein shakes, one flatbread a day, and weekly cheat meals, though I still consdered my diet to be paleo.  That's what Robb Wolf refers to as your "paleo percentage." According to a writer for Robb's website,
"Logically, we all ‘get’ what these paleo percentages mean, right? It’s not rocket science. You eat clean paleo (this means no paleo pancakes, paleo cookies, or other hybrid paleo creations that are showing up on some Paleo cooking blogs)a given percent of the time (like 80 or 90) and then the other 10-20 percent of the time you enjoy some non-sanctioned deliciousness. That’s really all there is to it. Everybody got that" (Kubal).
I might also mention that I chug Diet Coke, or as it was called in Vienna "Coke Lite", like a man dying of dehydration, so no matter what paleo diet type you choose, remember that you're a human being living in the Modern Era and none of the stuff you eat will actually be Paleolithic, so just don't take yourself as seriously as an Evangelical Christian who accidentally wandered into a sex toy shop and just eat as closely to the diet of your choice as possible.  Pick the type of diet that suits your goals and personal food preferences and you'll be solid.

So there you have it- Paleolithic dieting broken down like a fat kid in gym class.  As Wolf's famous for saying "Eat to live, don't live to eat."  Just don't take this shit too seriously- YOLO, bitches.

Jabr, Ferris.  How to Really Eat Like a Hunter-Gatherer: Why the Paleo Diet Is Half-Baked.  Scientific American.  3 Jun 2013.  Web.  8 Oct 2015.

Karnes, Amber.  The Paleo Table: 8 herbs & spices you should get to know.  Robb Wolf.  29 Nov 2010.  Web.  19 Aug 2015.

Kubal, Amy.  90/10, 80/20, 40/60… What’s Your Paleo Percentage?  11 Jul 2013.  Web.  8 Oct 2015.

Moore AMT, Hillman GC, Legge AJ, ed.  Village on the Euphrates.  Oxford University Press: 2000,

Stanton, J.  Personal Correspondence.

Vuolo, Stephanie.  Paleo diet primer: fats and oils.  The Paleo Diet.  Web.  19 Aug 2015.  

18 August 2015

Paleotards Are Doing It Wrong, Part Trois

As I stated in the previous entry, there is some confusion as to what "type" of paleo one should choose.  That's unsurprising, given that scientists seem to be even more divided on the topic than are the authors who tout the various types.  Thus, I feel fairly confident chiming in on the topic in spite of the fact that I don't consider myself necessarily an advocate of a paleolithic diet, though it's due in large part to the fact that paleotards are as intolerable as evangelical Christians and twice as misinformed.  The fact that they're misinformed is not entirely their fault, however, due to the disparity in information coming from paleo authors, archaeologists, and scientists, however, and I would posit that the disagreements in the field arise out of two fundamental issues:

1) Geographical diversity.  Even in Europe, for instance, there's avast difference in the native flora and fauna of, say, England, Spain, and Germany.  Each area, however, contained both Neanderthals and Cro-Magnon man, and both of those hominids shared similar diets.  Their diets would, however, have to have differed necessarily based on the food available to them at the time.  Thus, depending on the specimen studied, differing opinions about what is "paleo" might arise.  Some of them might have eaten more carbohydrate than others, and in Europe the "high carbohydrate specimens might have eaten grasses, berries, and turnips... but you know what none of them ate?  FUCKING SWEET POTATOES OR YAMS.  They're indigenous to South America, and you know what a wild yam looks like?  Take a gander.

I have never seen the likes of that in a supermarket.

Given that everyone who I have ever met who claimed to eat paleo was white, the last fucking thing on Earth they should be eating, save for a banana, is a yam or a sweet potato.  It's far more likely that Cro-Magnon man and paleolithic European humans supplemented their diets with grasses, a couple of root vegetables like turnips and parsnips, and berries, which were at that time tiny, bitter, and about as impossible to duplicate in the modern world as the Valley Temple of Khafre.  Paleolithic man has existed in every corner of the world, so it would make much more sense to eat the "foods of your people" and wild vegetation as much as possible if you'd like to eat paleo.  Modern berries contain far too much sugar, bananas are basically just badly flavored sticks of sugar, and oranges were hard, inedible fruits in the paleolithic (Texas).  I encourage everyone out there to research their ancestral diets, as there seems to be something to eating the way your people did for millennia. One non-profit, Oldways, has won awards for the work they've done to this end- they assert that if you eat foods in line with your genetic heritage, you'll be healthier, stronger, and less prone to chronic or degenerative disease.  If you check out their site, you'll note Northern Europeans and Russians are conspicuously absent from the list, but they detail Mediterranean, Latin American, African, Asian, and Vegetarian Diets and Pyramids.  

In spite of my nitpicking, I think the concept is definitely cool.

Frankly, lumping Asia into one group is fairly preposterous, as it spans everything from India to Korea and then back down to Southeast Asia, and they all eat markedly different things.  As I've already covered, the Indians would be remiss to skip meat eating if they were to eat an ancestral diet, as Indians at meat right up until the modern era, and Koreans would balk at eating a Chinese diet, so that's fairly silly.  Oceania is also skipped, but I suppose the diversity of the diets ranging from New Zealand to the Aboriginal diet would be hard to cover in a single pyramid.  As for Northern Europeans, it might behoove you to consult this list, which comes from the Capitulary of Charlemagne de villis vel curtis imperii, a cookbook written in 800 AD, and details the vegetables under cultivation at that time.  Note that potatoes, tomatoes, and beans are conspicuously absent from the list because they arrived from elsewhere later in history (Bulit).
  • Eggplant
  • Cabbage
  • Artichokes
  • Eggplants
  • Carrots
  • Gourds
  • Melon
  • Parsnip
  • Swiss chard
  • Spinach
  • Leeks
  • Peas
  • Turnips
  • Cucumber
  • Chickpeas
  • Celery
  • Leeks
  • Peas
  • Lettuce
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Shallots
As for fruit, unless you're picking wild strawberries, you're pretty much limited to red currants, super tart apples (the closest thing you can get to an old school apple, pears, raspberries, black currents, and damsons, which are plum-like fruits with an apparently astringent taste.  As you can see, choices on a truly paleo diet are fairly limited.

2) Scientists all have an agenda.  It's why they choose given fields- they spend their entire careers trying to prove a given hypothesis.  Some scientists want to go with the omnivorous theory, some want to prove that we have to eat carbs to be healthy, while still others want to portray humans as pure carnivores.  To say that they're carnivorous opportunists just seems to be out of their reach, and since one of them seem to understand that no two geographic groups ate the same and thus there is no one golden paleo, they're just busy confusing the fuck out of everyone.

And while we're at it- arrowroot is not strict paleo.  That shit has been in cultivation for 7,000 years in the Americas, and it requires extensive processing to obtain.  That's not paleo.  According to Mark Sisson, it's primal, but in terms of the strict definition of paleo, it's not.  If you're going for your ancestral diet, it's especially not paleo unless you're from the Caribbean.  Nevertheless, Robb Wolff posted a quote from Andrew Badenoch, “Paleo is a logical framework applied to modern humans, not a historical reenactment.”  As such, you should probably limit your arrowroot consumption, rather than include it in everything as I've seen some paleo chefs do.  In the event that you have a hankering for some biscuits, however, ol' Robb has you covered- check out his recipe for biscuits and gravy here (though I'd throw some actual sausage in there for extra protein).

But, what about the news saying that cavemen ate carbs?

If you've been following the news, you might have noticed that the media has picked up on a study from the University College London that states that the paleo diet did, in fact, include carbohydrates.  This, of course, comes as a shock to no one, because no author of whom I'm aware have ever advocated a completely ketogenic diet as "paleo"  In fact, every paleo author of whom I'm aware advocates carbohydrate consumption in one form or another, using various sources like the ones I've listed above.  It seems obvious that early man would have been more concerned with filling his belly than maintaining his six-pack, and would be eating anything and everything that would help him stab various megafauna to death while banging some hot cave chick.

Similarly, you might have read a piece of trash so pants-shittingly insane it might as well have been co-written by Gary Busey and Nick Nolte on entitled "Scientists confirm the paleo diet is nonsense."  In it, the author who clearly lacks a fact checker suggests that we all eat potatoes (which were considered unfit for human consumption in Europe until around the 17th century) because "cavemen and cavewoman ancestors loved—and needed—carbs as much as we do, even if they gathered them instead of cultivated them" based on the fact that "Examination of 3-million-year-old teeth and the plant-life in the regions where our ancestors lived also signal that they were eating tubers and other starchy vegetables" (Shanker).  The problem?  Modern humans are only about 200,000 old.  The hominid teeth being studied from 3 million years ago were australopithecines, which look like this:

Dunno about you, but none of my ancestors look like chimps.

From the above, you should be able to ascertain two things- one, my point about scientists having an agenda has been borne out, because that scientist blatantly lied about his findings.  Australopithecines aren't even in our genus- saying we should eat like them is similar to saying whales should eat like deer, because they both descended from a common ancestor.  Mischievous, and deceitful.  Chicanerous and deplorable.  Two, the author from the Quartz doesn't know her ass from a hole in the floor.  Oh, and that bit I mentioned about potatoes in Europe?
"Throughout Europe, potatoes were regarded with suspicion, distaste and fear. Generally considered to be unfit for human consumption, they were used only as animal fodder and sustenance for the starving. In northern Europe, potatoes were primarily grown in botanical gardens as an exotic novelty. Even peasants refused to eat from a plant that produced ugly, misshapen tubers and that had come from a heathen civilization. Some felt that the potato plant's resemblance to plants in the nightshade family hinted that it was the creation of witches or devils" (Chapman).
So, we're still working toward which paleo diet is right for you, which I will hit up in the next segment of this series.  Till then, eat a steak with some parsley on it- that should do you for veggies.

Bulit, Jean-Marc.  Vegetables in Medieval Europe.  Web.  16 Aug 2015.

Chapman, Jeff.  The impact of the potato.  History Magazine.  Web.  16 Aug 2015.

Knapton, Sarah.  Paleo diet should include carbohydrates to be authentic, say scientists.  Telegraph.  15 Aug 2015. Web.  16 Aug 2015.

Shanker, Deena.  Scientists confirm that the Paleo diet is nonsense.  Quartz.  13 Aug 2015.  Web.  16 Aug 2015.

Texas oranges history.  TexaSweet.  Web.  16 Aug 2015.

13 August 2015

Baddest Motherfuckers Ever- "Judo" Gene LeBell

Now that is a fucking metal face.

Growing up, I had two martial arts heroes- Stephen Seagal and Jean Claude Van Damme.  Sadly, Van Damme, all 155 lbs of coke-fueled, stripper groping, splits-doing idiot of him, got beating like a housewife in a trailer home by Hell's Angel-turned-bouncer Chuck Zito, and around the same time, Seagal was literally forced to piss his pants by a 58 year old man- the incomparable, unbeatable, innovative, and crueler than Vlad the Impaler, "Judo" Gene LeBell.  According to the stories, Gene was working on the set of Out for Justice when Seagal started mouthing off like he was a frat boy in an 18 and over bar, claiming that due to his aikido training, he was immune to chokes.  LeBell, who was aware of Seagal's shitty reputation ("he would hurt actors and stunt performers, dislocated shoulders, kick guys in the nuts to see if they were wearing cups, etc") proceeded to immediately choke out Seagal and manipulate acupuncture points so that Seagal shit and pissed himself (Mancini,  Not bad for a who's 58 year old in a pink gi... not bad at all.  After all, he had to contend witht the likes of this absolute beast of a fighter:

And while it's known that LeBell really enjoys embellishing his stories, you have to see how fucking long he holds his chokes to truly appreciate what a mean motherfucker Gene is.  I mean, these demo chokes are so brutal you wonder what he'd do in an actual fight- would he pop the guy's head off and put it on his mantle?  I would say that is highly likely.

Never have I ever seen a person get choked so tightly that he couldn't even lift his arm to tap... but it's not like Gene gave a hairy rat's ass, anyway.

The man who might be considered one of the baddest man to throw ever throw fists with giant, jacked, hairy lumberjack-looking motherfuckers who rode the bull they rode into the ring on was born in 1932 in Los Angeles, of all places.  After he presumably choked his mom half to death with his own umbilical cord, he waited a few years and began training under one of the most feared men in catch wrestling, Ed "The Strangler" Lewis.  Either his parents dripped with testosterone like a 1980's era Randy Savage, or they were the most irresponsible parents ever, because 1) the man is called "The Strangler", and 2) the style being taught to a 7 year old was one in which " grappling, strangling, limb twisting, head butting, punching, kicking, biting and even eye gouging were legal" (Potenza).

Robinson is the one about to unload the world's craziest haymaker on mega-badass Jake Lamotta's face.

After four years of eye gouging and strangling, the dude decided to learn boxing from boxing legend "Sugar" Ray Robinson and a few years later trained in styles that were virtually unknown in the US at the time- shit like kenpo, Taekwondo, and Shotokan.  After mastering that insane list of styles, Gene went back to his crazy brutal strangling groups and moved to Japan to learn Judo and Jiu Jutstu, the sports in which he's a living legend.  By the time he was 59, this master of the choke had earned the rank of 9th Dan in jujitsu and taihojutsu (which is basically a style designed by the Japanese feudal police to kill armed criminals). Finally, at 73 the man in in the pink gi was promoted to the sport that made him famous: 9th Dan in Traditional Judo (Gene LeBell).  

Going fucking HAM.

You'd think the man basically did nothing but train martial arts all day, but you'd be wrong: he was a Hollywood stuntman with 246 stunt credits to his name, 130 small acting roles, and 9 goddamned books.  The dude must never sleep, because that list exhausted me to read.  Oh, did I also mention he fought in what is erroneously referred to as America's first MMA fight (rough and tumble predated it by century)?  According to Gene, "It was the first televised MMA match. It was billed as pitting a judo, karate and wrestling guy against the No. 5 light-heavyweight boxer. I was known mostly for judo because I’d won the Nationals a few times, but I’d also done boxing, wrestling, karate, taekwondo and kenpo, mixing them together before it was popular."  Prior to the fight, Gene threatened to take his opponent Milo Savage's eye out during the fight, and it just escalated from there.  Gene's hands got nerfed when he was told he couldn't punch (presumably because he'd have committed a murder in the ring, and then Savage entered the ring covered in Vaseline (Fightland).  Not that it mattered- when he won the fight in the fourth round by choke, "the ref, who was also the doctor, didn’t know how to resuscitate him with katsu. After he’d been out for 20 minutes, my coach went in and revived the guy. The next morning, the newspaper headlines said, 'The Savage Was Tamed'" (Young).

By the way, did I mention he wrled a bear?  Must've slipped my mind because it's so commonplace.

By now, you have to be wondering how he trained, and you will not be disappointed.  LeBell was basically like a proto Steve Justa, only without the terrible singing, overall look of a hobo, fat gut, and sleeveless flannel shirts.  For fight training and conditioning, LeBell likes six hour workouts of a combination of striking, grappling, and general cardio work... which is fucking insane on a scale I can hardly conceive (Salzano).  As for weight lifting, Gene thought it was fucking boring, which makes sense given his ridiculously diverse resume.  Instead, Gene would do something called the "Tire Toss", an exercise that made him so strong that he was often disqualified from judo tournaments by pussies who thought he was using too much strength.  Awwwwwww... isn't it adorable when pussies get into positions of power and fuck over their betters?  Described as being like the Incredible Hulk, Gene's method for building strength went like this- he'd snatch a motherfucking motorcycle tire, then throw it as far as he could.  He'd do that for the length of a football field, celebrate by throwing the tire over the goal post, and then turn around and head back the way he came in the same manner (Founding Member).  SHEER BRUTALITY.  

You have got to love a guy who writes an autobiography called "The Toughest Man Alive."

Because nothing I could possibly say about this man beats this story, I'll leave you with this little bit of awesome.  The back ground to this story is that there was an inexperienced female ref working a fight between Gene's protege, Ronda Rousey, and an inexperienced fighter who'd only been training for six months.
"So Ronda get’s the gal down and upside down, gets an armbar. And you can see on the film where the gal was tapping, giving up, tapping out, and the referee was just standing there and looking. And I’m screaming “roll her over and break her arm!” and of course she does what Uncle Gene tells her to do, and that was that. It made it look a little bit better, but you don’t want to hurt a kind person if you don’t have to…….unless it makes you feel good" (Judo Gene).


Fightland Staff.  Roots of Fight brings us the story of "Judo" Gene LeBell-- MMA pioneer and terrifying old man.  Vice.  3 Dec 2013.  Web.  13 Dec 2015.

Gene LeBell.  Wikipedia.  Web.  12 Aug 2015.

Gene LeBell, Founding Member of Black Belt.  American Martial Arts Movement.  Web.  13 Aug 2015.

Judo Gene LeBell talks Kimura, Rousey, Elvis, Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee.  Wrestling Observer.  23 Dec 2014.  Web.  13 Aug 2015.

Mancini, Vince.  A famous story about Steven Seagal peeing himself.  Uproxx.  pr 2011.  Web.  12 Aug 2015.  Gene LeBell talks Steven Seagal s----ing himself.  Mixed Martial  Web.  12 Aug 2015.

Potenza, John.  The Original No Holds Barred Fighting.  Snke Pit USA.  2012.  Web.  12 Aug 2015.

28 July 2015

You Don't Have to Train in a Gym to Be a Jacked Badass- Bodyweight Training of the Experts

In the dark, misty depths of history, when men were violent, bloodthirsty killing machines and women were slightly less prone to fomenting a bloodbath, access to gyms was essentially limited to Sparta, Greece and India.  While neither of those nations are known for producing hulking mounds of sinewy muscle in the modern era, they were the only two places in the ancient world that boasted gyms.  The Spartan version, called the agoge, was likely so nightmarish that one would prefer to have sex with a broken-glass-filled-vagina'd Rosie O'Donnell.  Beginning at the age of seven, Spartan boys were underfed, underclothed, overworked, beaten, and taught to be fucking hard.  They were regularly forced to fight to death in an über, super fucking brutal version of MMA called pankration, in which fish hooking and eye gouging were encouraged.  Though they were gyms, they had no weights to lift- instead the students of the agoge regularly lifted and carried stones and logs for distance as if they were in the modern World's Strongest Man.

The Spartans also did a lot of group-oriented calisthenics which, interestingly, led Xerxes to think that they were weaker than a twink with AIDS.  After sending spies to watch the Spartans train, Xerxes discovered that the Spartans exercised in unison with rhythmic movements, which the Persians misinterpreted (hilariously) as dancing.  Thus, they thought they could just roll the apparently light-of-heel Spartans up, and then unknowingly walked right into the teeth of a well-oiled, incredibly strong war machine (Kagkelidou).

 Frankly, this is the closest thing to Greek Calisthenics you'll see unless you go to a Greek Calisthenics revivalist school, find a Crossfitter obsessed to death with calisthenics, or build a fucking time machine and haul your happy ass back to the 2nd Century BC.

The Greek gymnasium was basically Curves for Women in comparison to the more-brutal-than-the-end-of-A-Serbian-Film agoge.  In a gymnasium, Athenian men over 18 received all manner of physical instruction, the basis of which were calisthenics. For those of you (like myself) who are slobbering history and archeology nerds, the word calisthenics is actually ancient Greek and derives from the word kallos, which means beauty and strength.   The system of calisthenics was essentially a system of bodyweight exercises that combined the goals of hypertrophy, balance, strength, and endurance (with a healthy dose of philosophy thrown in on top, because the Greeks were awesome like that).  Thus, it wasn't so much a sport as it was a training system in a cool-ass community center designed to make people awesome.
Somebody had to have modeled for this, so I'd say calisthenics are pretty fucking effective.

Greek calisthenics have been revived and popularized in urban areas, more or less, by teams like Barstarzz or other street performers.  The system as the Greeks originally conceived, consisted of ground work like pushups, ultra wide grip static hold pushups, handstands, handstand pushups, situps, leg raises, lunges combined with a sort of Thai push kick, pistol squats, leaping front kicks, high knees, and the like.  They also did bar and ring work for the upper body, much as you'd see modern gymnasts do- varieties of pullups and muscleups and static holds.  No one died (probably) but given the state of the physiques on Greek statues, they were some ripped motherfuckers.        

It appears you can get a jacked-ass upper body with nothing more than a set of monkeybars on a public playground.  

Modern street calisthenics, as it's known, mostly consists of work on pullup bars, dip bars, and jungle gyms.  It seems to build some incredible upper body hypertrophy and strength, as well as seriously ripped physiques.  Beyond that, it seems to have become a bit of a performance art, so like the calisthenics of the Spartans, it could almost be construed as dance at times.  In reality, however, it's simply a rhythmic demonstration of incredible strength and muscular control, which is after all, pretty fucking cool.  There seems to be no real set program for street calisthenics- the goal is to just get strong and work on body control.  Thus, a heavy dose of dips, pullups, planks, and squats are encouraged at the start.  Then, you basically just play- try shit and see if you can do it.  Then, get stronger and try again.  For those of you looking for linear periodization, you won't find it here... because linear periodization sucks, and we're not fucking robots.

Pretty serious hypertrophy.  These guys are Lee, Ranjit, and Sai of Recession Proof Body (a cool fucking moniker).

Clearly, none of the above is mind-melting or ground breaking, but people rarely think of it in terms of strength building.  I can personally attest, however, to the fact that I am far stronger when I include a couple of 20 minute sessions of bodyweight work every week.  In fact, when I was in college, a buddy and I used to "play cards" a couple of times a week, and that kept us ripped in spite of the fact we were facing a couple of Blizzards from Dairy Queen every day like we were college girls sticking their faces under the frozen yogurt machine every day in the caf.  You know- chasing the freshman 15 (which I guess due to inflation seems to have become the freshman 25, because I'm seeing a lot of livestock wearing college sorority t-shirts lately).  When we played cards we'd watch either Rocky 3 or Rocky 4 and place a deck of cards between us.  We'd take turns drawing cards, and would do either pushups (black) or abs (red).  Black diamonds were diamond pushups, and red diamonds were double the situps.  We'd go through the deck a couple of times, and kept me as ripped as a phone book at a strongman competition and ready as an evangelical Christian dude on his wedding night. In other words, "playing cards" was awesome addition to my 5-6 days a week of training.  These days, I simply do dips and pullups, which I find to be more useful.  If I can find a tall stack of mats, I might do high jumps in between supersets of pullups and dips, or maybe ab wheel.

As this random Russian shows us, it's all about the muthafuckin' pullups. 

The third group I mentioned at the outset were the Indians, who actually predated the Greeks and Spartans in terms of having a codified system of exercise. There are extensive historical texts from early antiquity regarding exercise, wrestling, and the sport that was eventually bastardized by hippies in the 1970s called "yoga".  Physical fitness was prized among the Indians, and every village had a gym in which villagers trained and wrestled.  The calisthenics regime followed by the Indians is what led to them being the most dominant wrestlers in the world for centuries, and it's more brutal than an Al Qaeda execution video.

 Body built entirely by milk, veggies, almonds, chickpeas, and clarified butter, plus bodyweight exercises. 

The program Indian wrestlers use arose out of this millennia-old system of training do over 2000 dands (dive bomber pushups) a day, and can do 1500 of them an hour, and the upper body specialists in India do over 5000 a day.  Additionally, they do two to three thousand bethaks (free squats standing on their toes) a day, and the fewest a wrestler will do in a day is 500.  On top of that, they do tons of somersaults to build flexibility and core strength, wrestler's bridges for their necks, and headstands.  Though they're now considered weightlifting implements, another feature of their training that could be replicated without spending a single dime was club swinging, which could be replicated simply by swinging a heavy tree branch or log.  Again, they had no program for training- they'd just bust their asses harder than a slave coal miner in Scotland on the same exercises every day because they wanted to be better than the next man.

Across the Pacific Ocean, thousands of blood-crazed, heavily tattooed, hulking monsters of men, screaming hakas and wielding weapons made of bone, wood, and sharks teeth built their massive bodies not with calisthenics, but with the manliest of leisure pursuits- stone lifting, tug-of-war, wrestling, and boxing.  The Hawaiians were, at the time of their discovery, considered to be some of the most physically striking people in the world.  It's not hard to imagine Captain James Cook fawning all over the Hawaiians like a preteen over the Jonas Brothers because he basically landed on an island filled with clones of The Rock.  Additionally, their strength was considered unparalleled in the Western world, even at a time when weightlifting and strongman were physically one of the most, striking native races in the world (Aipa).

Just as in India and Greece, physical excellence was prized above all in Hawaiian culture for men.  The most famous king in the history of Hawaii, Kamehameha, was as famous for his strength as he was for his military prowess.  As the 14 year old gripped a stone no other man on the island could flip, the 2.5 ton “Pöhaku Naha,” he screamed:
“Naha Stone art thou:
And by Naha Prince only may thy, sacredness be broken.
Now behold, I am Kamehameha, a Niau-pio
A spreading mist of the forest.”
Badass that he was, he strained so fucking hard that blood shot out of his eyes like he was a superheavy squatting in the WPO, and with blood dripping from his fingers, he flipped that motherfucker to the amazement of everyone in attendance (Aipa, Monster). 

It's pretty awesome that the greatest king in Hawaiian history was as famous for his strength as he was for his conquests, but it's unsurprising- pretty much every leisure activity the Hawaiians participated in showcased physical dexterity or sheer muscle power.  Basically, the Hawaii of yore was like an island filled with hot, strong women and ultra-tan Hafthór Júlíus Björnssons.  Boxing, wrestling, stone lifting, and tug-of-war were all that were needed- no gym required (Games).

Then jumping to the mainland were the native peoples of the Americas.  Obviously, they were a very diverse group of people, but from North America to South America there was a culture of exercise.  Unfortunately, there isn't much written about any of their specific exercises, but there are anecdotes.  Both the Apache and Iroquois were known for their extreme endurance and toughness.  They were rugged and incredibly strong, according to explorers like Oglethrope expedition member Edward Kimber.  He commented on the appearance of the Seminoles, stating, “As to their figure, ‘tis generally of the largest size, well proportion’d, and robust, as you can imagine Persons nurs’d up in manly Exercises can be" (AIHDP).  Likewise, South Americans were equally strong and tough, and participated in crazy ass strength and conditioning sports that were so tough they'd kill Rich Froning- shit like the favorite pastime of the Ge Indians of South America- log relays, where participants would carry short logs weighting as much as 200 lbs over courses as long as several hundred yards (Crego 189).  As I said, there is only anecdotal evidence of how they trained, but I found a video of a Native American warmup that shows that the Native American warmup is extremely similar to the manner in which the Ancient Greeks trained.

Not a bodybuilder, but the 54 year old world record holder in the pullup.  

In summary, if you think bodyweight exercise is bullshit, you're wrong.  Enough hard training in bodyweight work should, if done right, turn you into a bona-fide badass.  And for those of you who think you can't build big, stong legs with bodyweight work, consider this- Indian strongman Monohar Aich had a 660 squat at 159lbs mostly from doing thousands upon thousands of free squats in prison.  Most pehlwani have tree trunk legs despite eating a meatless diet, all from free squats, and if you look at Grecian statues, all of the models for those statues had good to great legs, without weighted squats.  Thus, you might want to add in some bodyweight work if you want to achieve your potential, because it certainly won't hurt, and it will almost definitely help.

Now, go do some fucking pullups.  Then do some more.

AIHDP.  History of Indigenous Activity.  American Indian Health and Diet Project.  Web.  28 Jul 2015.

Aipa, Daniel. Is Weightlifting a Hawaiian Practice?  The Ku Project.  16 Mar 2015.  Web.  27 Jul 2015.

Crego, Robert.  Sports and Games of the 18th and 19th Centuries.  Westport: Greenwood Press, 2003.

Games of physical strength.  Hawaii History.  Web.  27 Jul 2017.

Kagkelidou, Evangelia.  Calisthenics, the Yoga of Greeks.  Greek Reporter.  9 Oct 2013.  Web.  27 Jul 2015.

Monster, Higa.  Lifting Stones.  AnimalPak.  Web.  27 Jul 2017.

07 July 2015

Paleotards Are Doing It Wrong, Part Deux

For those of you who read the foregoing entry, you'll note I generally side with Ray Audette on the subject of paleo dieting.  Unlike his contemporaries, he seems to understand the necessity of fat, the fact that modern fruits in no way resemble ancient fruits, and the fact that hominids of the past were largely carnivorous in nature (Stanford).

That's not to say, however, that I am some kind of mark for Ray Audette.  He might have done some homework, but he didn't do all of it.  That's unsurprising, because he's neither a historian nor an archaeologist nor a nutritionist- in fact, he is a former computer salesman.  And while his motto for dieting boils down to "A natural diet is what is edible when you are naked with a sharp stick.... When you have no technology" (Sherman).  For some reason, many paleo advocates have taken paleo authors' recommendations against salt to indicate that seasonings are bad.  Bodybuilders, for some reason, seem to share the concept that seasoning their food will somehow make them fat.  This is, of course, retarded.

I didn't even know garlic mustard was a plant.

Archaeologists have found that, instead of what was previously believed (in spite of common sense), ancient man spiced the everloving shit out of their food.  Garlic mustard has been found in ancient cooking utensils (Saul).  The paleo community, then, is basically like the Christian community- they take what they like from the texts and discard the rest, and their "gurus" are no different.
"Even if eating only foods available to hunter–gatherers in the Paleolithic made sense, it would be impossible. As Christina Warinner of the University of Zurich emphasizes in her 2012 TED talk, just about every single species commonly consumed today—whether a fruit, vegetable or animal—is drastically different from its Paleolithic predecessor. In most cases, we have transformed the species we eat through artificial selection: we have bred cows, chickens and goats to provide as much meat, milk and eggs as possible and have sown seeds only from plants with the most desirable traits—with the biggest fruits, plumpest kernels, sweetest flesh and fewest natural toxins. Cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and kale are all different cultivars of a single species, Brassica oleracea; generation by generation, we reshaped this one plant's leaves, stems and flowers into wildly different arrangements, the same way we bred Welsh corgis, pugs, dachshunds, Saint Bernards and greyhounds out of a single wolf species. Corn was once a straggly grass known as teosinte and tomatoes were once much smaller berries. And the wild ancestors of bananas were rife with seeds" (Jabr).
A Himalayan salt lick.

And as for salt, which Audette rails against in a manner so prolific it rivals the Westboro Baptist Church's hatred of the homosexuals, it's not only necessary, but critical.
"Certain isolated groups in areas such as Brazil, Papua New Guinea, and rural African communities have been found to live on sodium intakes of as little as 1150 mg per day. However, despite finding generally low blood pressure in these remote communities, the little evidence that exists on these low salt societies suggests shorter life expectancy and higher mortality rates" (Kresser).
Paleo authors will often rail against sodium intake, suggesting that paleolithic man consumed less sodium than is recommended by the government to maintain optimal health.  Apparently, however, they lack access to Wikipedia.  Wild animals, of whom our ancestors were a part, utilize natural "salt licks" to maintain healthy bone and muscle growth.  These mineral licks are so important to wildlife that they're illegally used to bait animals for hunting, and even the Vikings mentioned them prominently in their mythology.  According to Norse mythology,
"In Norse mythology, before the creation of the world, it was the divine cow Audhumla who, through her licking of the cosmic salt ice, gave form to Buri, ancestor of the gods and grandfather of Odin. On the first day as Audhumla licked, Buri's hair appeared from the ice, on the second day his head and on the third his body" (Wikipedia)
A bro this jacked could not have been a stranger to a salt lick.

In other words, no matter what the paleo authors might say, they're fucking morons- salt is important in your diet.  Nevermind seasonings, which have been used since time immemorial- you need to salt your food.  The issue with salt isn't too much salt- it's an imbalance in your salt and potassium intake.  Prehistoric man ate a hell of a lot more potassium than we did, which kept their electrolytes balanced and kept them hydrated.

Ancient India seems so much cooler than modern India it's hard to compare the two.

Likewise goes for intoxicants.  With the exception of Robb Wolf, paleo authors treat intoxicants as if they were child porn- partake and you should be thrown under Gitmo and raped by a thousand super-hung bulls.  Ancient man and even primates, however, have always loved to get fucked up.  Take alcohol, for instance- primates have been getting fucked in half on alcohol for ten million years.  It's literally hardwired into our brains to drink for the last 10 million years- exactly the amount of time it took for tree dwelling primates, who cannot metabolize alcohol, to split off from apes, who can (Zolfagharifard).
"'Ancestral reconstructions of ADH4 demonstrate the ancestor of humans, chimpanzees and gorillas possessed a novel enzyme with dramatically increased activity toward ethanol and we suspect this novel metabolic capacity was adaptive to this hominin ancestor,' said Professor Carrigan.
'This transition implies the genomes of modern human, chimpanzee and gorilla began adapting at least 10 million years ago to dietary ethanol present in fermenting fruit.
'This conclusion contrasts with the relatively short amount of time - about 9,000 years - since fermentative technology enabled humans to consume beverages devoid of food bulk with higher ethanol content than fruit fermenting in the wild.'
He said the history has implications not only for understanding the forces that shaped early human terrestrial adaptations but also for many modern human diseases caused by alcohol today" (Ibid).
So, as you can see, the conception that alcohol is forbidden on the paleo diet is nonsense, as Robb Wolf affirms in his seminal text.   Similarly, other intoxicants are forbidden by paleo authors, though evidence overwhelmingly shows that paleolithic man consumed intoxicants.  Consider, first, that both the ancient Indians and the Neanderthals consumed ephedra (Loporto, Block).  Coffee beans were combined with animal fat to create a protein rich snack (Avey), and coca leaves have been in documented use for over 4000 years.  In short, it's not unpaleo to get fucked up... and in fact it might not be paleo to be 100% sober.

Paleo Diet misinformation- what caveman would have avoided eating boar?  Ridiculous and deceitful.  Chicanerous and deplorable.

Going back to the diets themselves, though, you’ll note that (with the exception of Perfect Health Diet) none of these diets prescribe specific goals for macros, calorie intake, or anything beyond “don’t just eat the same damn thing every day.”  So the point of paleo dieting is not to of it as “Should I do the Paleo Diet?”, but rather to ask yourself “How can I meet my dietary goals, whatever they are, using Paleo or mostly-Paleo foods?”  Assuming that, if you’re reading Chaos and Pain, you have some idea of how much you need to eat and what macros you’re aiming for, and that you’re probably not obese, Type II diabetic, or otherwise physically dysfunctional, you’re probably looking to bulk up, cut down, boost your T and GH levels, reduce recovery time, or otherwise improve your Wilks.  Given that, it would behoove us to discuss the effective differences between the various versions of paleo as they apply to mostly healthy people.

If this is you, throw yourself down a goddamned well.

Bear in mind, the benefits of the stricter versions of Paleo are often subtle and incremental if you’re mostly healthy -- though it's recommended that you do a month of Strict or Traditional Paleo to see what nagging annoyances might clear up.  Some examples of what you could eliminate would be: recurring fungal infections, falling asleep after lunch, acne, gas and bloating, GERD (aka acid reflux), gout.  Frankly, I've never had any of these, but I'm more or less Wolverine when it comes to my immune system.  Aside from allergies, I heal insanely quickly, get sick only ever couple years, and really only suffer from allergies as a general rule.  From what I see online though, paleo is the last dietary bastion of the glutard/hypochondriac crew, who thing they're "sensitive" to everything from wheat proteins to tapioca and pretty much every dumbass thing in between.  As preposterous as that is, there is something to be said for the placebo effect, as I've written about before, so I suppose it's worth trying even for those halfwits.

Body most definitively not built by paleo.

Another thing to bear in mind is that some or most of you will find it more difficult, or even impossible, to bulk on Strict or Traditional paleo because the foods are far more nutritious and less calorie-dense than bulking staples like protein/milk shakes.  It’s tough to get to 2g/kg of protein when you have to do it by actually eating meat and eggs.  Furthermore, you’re not going to be “carb backloading”, consuming “super starch”, or any other plan involving pathological candy consumption or powders sold in a tub.  In spite of that fact, turn of the century strongmen were able to get huge and strong eating more or less paleo, so you can too- it's just going to require a hell of a lot of stuffing your face.  I can personally attest to having attempted a modified paleo diet that included a tortilla day post workout, and the rest of which was Granny Smith apples, almonds, chicken breast, chicken thigh, and broccoli and cauliflower.  In 10 months, my lifts all increased considerably, but my bodyweight dropped about ten pounds as I got much leaner and stronger.

If it can make dudes who eschew meat and weights and live off of chickpeas and pushups look better than most of the bros at your gym, there's likely something to Ayurvedic medicine.

As for nutritional supplements, they're really not paleo.  As I stated, paleolithic man used herbs for performance enhancement, and all of Ayurvedic medicine is based on the use of herbs for health improvements and performance enhancement, but they were hardly slamming protein shakes and preworkouts on the regular.  It might be worth experimenting with ditching them for your month of clean paleo, however, because you could then determine upon adding them back in exactly what works and what doesn't.

Cro-Magnon man was almost entirely carnivorous... likely so he could beat the shit out of Neanderthals and bang their wives.

If that a bit confusing and daunting, you're not alone.  In my research I was honestly perplexed by the disparity in diet recommendations by paleo authors, just as I was with the authors who wrote about the Ph of various diets- literally no two agreed on anything.  As such, I enjoin you to read up on this stuff and do a bit of your own research- check out ScienceDaily, for one, and do an occasional search on the diets of Cro-Magnons and Neanderthals- it will do you a world of good.

Up next, we've got an article headed your way on picking the type of paleo to best suit your lifestyle (even though none of them are really "paleo"), the use of protein, and a couple other topics.  Till then, keep it beastly!

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