“Eat Like A Predator, Not Like Prey”:
Paleo In Six Easy Steps, A Motivational Guide
This article exists for one simple reason: I get asked, over and over, “So how does this ‘paleo diet’ work?” And I want to give people an answer that is simple, solid, and above all, motivational. I want you to finish this article and think “Yes! I understand, and I can do this.”
Here it is: a step-by-step guide, roughly in order of importance. Make progress at whatever pace you can. Don’t stress about perfect adherence, or obsess about making it all the way down the list: any progress you make will most likely improve your health, mood, and physical fitness.
“Do not eat” items are grouped with “Eat more” items at each step, so you’ll always have something to eat. Let’s go!
First, our guiding philosophy:
Eat like a predator, not like prey.
Predators gorge and fast; prey grazes.
Rephrased for modern humans: predators eat meals, prey grazes on snacks. This means you need to eat meals which will carry you through to your next meal, but that won’t make you tired or sleepy.
Step 1: Eat Meat, Not Birdseed
- Eat more meat. If it’s not meat, it’s not a meal.
- Favor ruminants—animals that eat grass and leaves. (That means red meat: beef, lamb, bison, elk, venison, goat.) Ruminants are far better at converting plants into essential fats, complete protein, and bioavailable nutrients than humans are.
- Buy grass-fed beef whenever possible: it’s better for you, and better for the Earth. Cows didn’t evolve to eat corn and soybeans any more than humans did.
- Buy fatty cuts, buy occasional organ meats. Do not avoid animal fat! If you try, you will become ravenous for fatty junk food. Fake low-fat ‘paleo’ is known as the Faileo Diet.
- Pork and chicken are permissible in moderation, but are far less healthy due to excessive omega-6 fat content.
- Frankly, you could stop here, as many native cultures did: as long as you eat organ meats and marrow, fatty, grass-fed ruminant meat provides 100% of your nutritional needs. But most of us enjoy more variety in our diets—and some vegetables and fruits offer tangible health benefits, even if they don’t provide meaningful calories.
- Eat more fish and shellfish.
Favor oily fish like mackerel, sardines, and wild salmon, but be careful of methylmercury content: keep your intake of tuna, shark, and other high-level carnivores low. (The FDA’s table of mercury content can be found here.) In a Paleolithic world we could eat all the fish we wanted…but we humans have polluted the entire Earth so badly (mostly by burning coal for power) that one of our healthiest food sources is now universally poisonous. Good job, ‘civilization’.
- Do not eat anything made with ‘flour’.
No bread, no pasta, no cereal, no crackers, no cookies, no donuts or danishes. Period. This is your most important step.
Flour is ground-up seeds. What eats seeds? Birds and rodents. If it’s poisonous to humans until we grind it into powder and cook it, and it causes mineral deficiencies and birth defects unless we add vitamins, it’s not food. (Read more about lectins, phytic acid, and the role of grains in autoimmunity and heart disease.)
- Do not drink your food.
No soda (even diet soda), no sports drinks, no milk, no soy ‘milk’, no smoothies, no fruit juice, no yogurt or vegetable drinks. Tea, coffee, and mate are fine in moderation. Learn to drink water: once you get used to it, you’ll find that soda and juices no longer quench your thirst. (You can potentially add small quantities of dairy and fresh fruit/vegetable juices back in later, if you’ve met your other goals.)
- Do not eat table sugar, or its equivalents.
This includes circumlocutions like “brown rice syrup”, “agave nectar”, and my favorite, “evaporated cane juice solids.” That’s what sugar is! Sheesh. Even honey is basically just sugar, though it has useful medicinal properties. Diet sweeteners are out, too, as are those goofy Atkins sugar alcohols.
- Get your ‘carbohydrates’ (sugars) from plants—not their seeds.
Prefer foods that are high in glucose and low in fructose, particularly root starches like potatoes, and only eat what your body needs: 15-20% of calories is plenty. (Do you want to lose fat? Then you’d better accustom your body to burning it for energy.)
Important! If you are active and not concerned with losing weight (or trying to gain it), you’ll want to eat more carbs than the average person trying to lose a few pounds. Sports nutrition is beyond the scope of this article…but in general, I find occasional starch refeeds, when necessary to refill muscle glycogen, much better than a constant diet of pasta, “energy bars”, and other sugary junk food. Basically, if you find yourself bonking during long, intense efforts, try upping your starch intake.
Don’t forget about sweet potatoes, sago, taro, sweet cassava, and tapioca…and always peel your potatoes, as that’s where the solanine is. If you must eat birdseed, white rice is the least bad of the grains…but give yourself a couple weeks to see if it’s just withdrawal symptoms, or whether you really need it on a regular basis.
Remember, fatty meat is your primary source of calories and nutrients. Quite a few ‘mainstream’ paleo books and sources sugarcoat or dance around this. You’re a predator: eat like one.
Congratulations! You’ve just made some massive, positive changes in your life.
You may be going through bread and cereal withdrawal, with periods in which you absolutely crave them. This is absolutely normal: you’re forcing your body to learn how to burn fat again, because it’s used to burning all the sugar (‘carbohydrates’) you’ve been eating.
However, you’re probably already noticing an increase in energy, a decrease in post-meal fatigue, and a lessened desire to snack. Stay on target! The cravings will dissipate, but the benefits won’t.
The best part about a primal/’paleo’ diet is that you don’t have to measure or keep track of anything: no counting calories, no ‘points’, no worries about macronutrient ratios. Eat real food, and you won’t have to worry about parceling out your addiction to junk.
Read the rest HERE.
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CLASSES: 9am Spin/Run & 10am Group Power
Member retention is an important goal for clubs of all types. We all know that the secret to success in this business is to keep members happy and coming back regularly. A well-known but often overlooked piece to the member retention puzzle is RESULTS! Members who achieve results tend to keep coming back.
So you wanna put on some lean muscle mass. And you want to do it within the context of the Primal Blueprint, but aren’t sure where to start. It’s a common question and it’s about time I addressed it head on.
As I’ve made pretty clear, our ultimate goal is to achieve positivegene expression, functional strength, optimum health, and extended longevity. In other words: To make the most out of the particular gene set you inherited. These are my end goals, and I’ve modeled the PB Laws with them in mind. But that doesn’t mean packing on extra muscle can’t happen with additional input. After I retired from a life of chronic cardio and started living Primally, I added 15 pounds of muscle, while keeping low body fat levels without really trying, so it’s absolutely possible for a hardgainer to gain some. The question is how much and at what expense?
Stop using your fat cells for storage and learn how to open the door and clean them out!
There is no such thing as discipline. There is only love. Love is the most powerful creative force in the universe. You are the result of what you love most. You either love finely etched muscular abs more than donuts or you love donuts more than wash board abs you could do your laundry on. It is as simple as that. Don’t beat yourself up that you have no discipline or further drown yourself in a sea of refined carbs. Admit that you like crappy food more than you love strength. Or ask yourself this, what do you really love? Self-esteem is the reflection of self-judgment. One of the best ways to raise self-esteem is to make truly loving choices that lead to increased strength of body and mind. For example, if you truly love yourself in the gym, you choose the full squat with chains over the leg extension machine. At the restaurant, if you truly love yourself, you pass on the heavenly smelling basket of bread and creamy butter, and ask for some more limes for the water. Limes alkalize your body which in turn helps your bones, muscles and your ability to deal with stress.
When you are faced with difficult choices, ask yourself, in context of course, what would a loving expert recommend? For example, when working chest, would a loving strength coach recommend the pec deck, or full range dumbbell presses. When choosing desserts, would the loving nutritionist recommend a bowl of berries or the triple decker brownie submerged under melting vanilla ice cream.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 22, 2011) — With every step of her first half-marathon on April 3, University of Kentucky alumna Emily Sandford will be fighting Parkinson’s disease.Sandford, 29, lost her mother, Claudette Hill, to young-onset Parkinson’s on April 3, 2007. To mark the fourth anniversary of her passing, Sandford is on a mission to raise $2,500 to further Parkinson’s research at theKentucky Neuroscience Institute (KNI) by participating in the Run the Bluegrass Half-Marathon.The day will also mark two other milestones for Sandford: the loss of more than 100 pounds, and her 30th birthday on April 5.