Who am I?

Copenhagen, Denmark
I'm a 21 year old student of the Copenhagen Metropolitan University College's Global Bachelor in Nutrition and Health, Copenhagen, Denmark. The purpose of this blog is to record my experiences with different diet approaches and health techniques, which I try out for 30 days at a time, thus the name.

lørdag den 13. november 2010

Finished Weston a. Price challenge

So a little late (again) – sry

I completed my Weston Price/traditional diet challenge on the 30th of October, scoring a low 16 (this is good) on the previously mentioned health questionnaire by Mark Hyman, which is half of what I had when I began the challenge, in general my numbers where preety good – I will list them at the end of this post.

It was definetely way easier and more interesting to stick to than doing the raw food challenge, and I scored better on the health questionnaire, I din't loose as much fat though, proably because I ate more food this time.

Generally I think the diet experiment went well, I really like the food, compared to both a raw food and a paleo diet, even a vegan diet, I think it is less restrictive, and I have had some fairly good results.

This diet may be able to be improved by adding some of the additional things that traditional/native/indigenous people also made use of like fermented foods and beverages, bone broths and organ meats which I'm looking into at the moment, with help from Nourishing Traditions (by Sally Fallon and Mary G. Enig). I will also be adding some raw food dishes, like salads and green juices. In the future I will look into using the meal timing rules of the leptin diet and the low carb rules of the primal diet, and see whether this can improve the diet.

Weight - 64, 4 kg – 2,7 kg decrease

Estimated Muscle perecentage 47,8 – 0.9% points increase

Water percentage 67,6 – 1,8% points increase

Fat percentage 7,5 – 2,3 % points decrease

Average resting pulse 46,5

Lowest reading 45

Highest reading 59

Average resting blood pressure 97,35/52,55

The blood pressure seems unrealistically low – I wil have to compare my blood pressure reader to another one, next time I get a chance.

Total score on Mark Hyman's health questionairre from the ultra simple diet– 16 – a 50% decrease

tirsdag den 12. oktober 2010

Western A. Price Challenge

October 1st 2010 I began my latest diet challenge; a Weston A. Price inspired diet.

For those of you who don't know Weston A. Price, he was a dentist and (in function) anthropologist, who during the 1930's traveled the world to visit different indigenous tribes, and compare their diet, and resultant health, to the western civilization's health and diet of his time.

What he found was that these people were a lot healthier than both western people, and those indigenous people who had recently adopted a westernized diet. He specifically looked at cavities, and facial and skeletal development. He discovered that those indigenous people who still ate their traditional diet had a very low incidence of cavities, whereas cavities where rampant in both the western and westernized peoples. He also found that children whose parents had eaten a traditional diet had well developed skeletons, including broad dental arches with plenty of room for all teeth, as well as broad noses and faces in general.

These different tribes who all enjoyed good health compared to the westernized and western peoples, ate very different diets, as they lived in very different ecosystems – from rainforests to Alaska.

That being said Weston A. Price managed to find some similarities between them, which were different from the processed western diet. He also proved that what he had identified were at least some of the key differences, by implementing his findings in his practice, and drastically reducing the number of cavities occurring in his patients.

The dietary key differences between healthy indigenous peoples and the western diet -

The diets of the indigenous peoples contained:

No highly processed foods

At least ten times the amount of fat soluble vitamins (of the western diet at this time)

A good source of what he called activator X, a fat soluble catalyst/nutrient now believed to be vitamin K2.

No grains that were ground more than one day in advance of usage.

No animals fed an unnatural diet (such as grains).

Higher levels of minerals.

With this in mind I have started eating a diet that includes:

Lots of non-starchy vegetables

A small to moderate amount of starchy vegetables, such as carrots, potatoes, yams etc.

Moderate amounts of sweet fresh and frosen fruits

A moderate amount of traditionally prepared (soaked/sprouted/fermented) legumes, grains and pseudograins (quinoa, amaranth and buckwheat)

A moderate amount of high quality fats, oils, and fatty foods, such as – organinc pasteurized (can't get raw) butter, organic extra virgin olive oil, organic cold pressed coconut oil, organic eggs, small amounts of organic fatty meats, some nuts and seeds (mainly soaked first), small amounts of high quality seed oils, avocados, other coconut products

A moderate amount of organic lean meats

Small amounts of honey and dried fruits

Small amounts of traditional style alcoholic drinks, such as wine or unpastuerised organic cider.

Natural salts, like himalayan crystal salt


supplemental fats/oils – to provide sufficient omega 3's, as well as the high levels of vitamin A, D3 and K2 -

My plan was to supplement with two teaspoons (10 ml) of high vitamin butter oil, two teaspoons of fermented high vitamin cod liver oil and 9 grams of fish oil a day, however for the first week I had to make due with 20 ml of nordic naturals' cod liver oil with vitamin D added back in (they remove most of it) and 5 grams of fish oil (less was needed as I got more omega 3s from the increased amount of cod liver oil), due to delivery problems. I have received my fermented cod liver oil and high vitamin butter oil now (from green pastures).

ohh – and I also managed to get my hands on one raw organic cheese, from cows at least mainly on grass.

So thats basically what I eat at the moment – Im going to return soon with a description of how things are going so far.

If you want more info on weston a. price and his studies - visit http://www.westonaprice.org and/or http://www.ppnf.org/catalog/ppnf/

or read his book Nutrition and physical degeneration

Here are my start stats -

Start date October 1st 2010

Stats at day one:

weight – 67.1 kg

estimated bodyfat percentage (by electronic scale) – 9,8

estimated water percentage (by electronic scale) – 65,8

estimated muscle percentage (by electronic scale) – 46,9

average resting pulse – 50.5

lowest resting pulse reading– 37

average resting systolic blood pressure – 111.25

average resting diastolic blood pressure – 61.71

total score on Mark Hyman's health questionairre from the ultra simple diet – 32

Others – black circles below eyes, some acne in face, and othe places, white coating on tongue.

tirsdag den 14. september 2010

Finished raw challenge

So I finished my almost vegan, raw food challenge! It was meant to be a 30 day challenge, but I added in another day, in order to compensate for a night of drinking (important social event ;)).

Unfortunately I didn't have my body fat measured this time, so I only have my weight in that regard. I went from 68 kg at the beginning of this challenge, to 63,6 kg this morning (32 days later). Thats 4,4 kg lost, about a kilogram a week, which I think is a fine rate. I didn't really have problems with excessive hunger at any time, in fact my hunger seemed to decline as the challenge progressed, which was probably connected with my loss of interest in the food I ate, and my increased craving for whatever I hot meat containing food I made for my girlfriend. Now don't get me wrong, raw food isn't boring, and I could have made it more interesting, or I should say varied, than I did - however making tasty, interesting dehydrated meals successful, takes a lot of work, and experience - in my opinion anyway. I really like a lot of the food I made, but just as if I were to only eat any other kind of food, say only cooked food, or even worse - only animal foods - it just limits your palate too some degree, even if you are very creative. That said it can certainly be done - but it takes a lot of creativity, time and effort to live off of purely raw (and dehydrated) foods.

According to my questionnaire - I did really well - I scored only 20 points this time, the best so far (lower is better). I didn't feel awesome though - I didn't feel 'light', 'high', 'grounded', or even especially energized, as a lot of raw foodies describe.

I guess my conclusion is that it definitely works for weight loss, and it may be a healthy diet for some time, but I have to admit that it is hard to follow, and from a theoretical stand point, I have a hard time seeing how a vegan (or close to) diet can sustain us without heavy supplementation as a life long way of eating. As for the raw part of it, I think people need to be less fanatic about it, and see it less black and white - some ways of processing may, in some situations be a better option than eating/drinking it raw. Teas - infusions and decoctions, is obvisously a good example of this, fermentation another. Besides these one can argue, that even though you do loose some nutritional value by heating your food, it may very well in some situations also improve digestibility, as well as make it easier to consume larger amounts of vegetables.

On top of this I also have a hard time seeing the scientific basis for the 'enzyme theory of digestion and health' - if I am correct (if you have studies showing otherwise - please link), and this does not hold up to scientific scrutiny, the idea of setting the border between raw and cooked foods at 42 degrees Celsius must be dropped. This will hopefully be replaced by a discussion of food processing as sliding scale, as well as a goal and situation based approach. A discussion of the 'living foods' concept, in opposition to the more simplistic term 'raw food', may also be appropriate.

Thats it for now - I plan to start my next diet experiment on the 1st of October - a traditional style, Western A. Price inspired diet.

Ohh one more thing - I'm going to see Daniel Vitalis on the 2nd and 3rd of October, In Christiania, Copenhagen :D

Btw. this is posted one day later than intended -so if you count dates - this is why it didn't match :)

tirsdag den 24. august 2010

status thus far

As the title implies I'm going to brief you on my experience so far - the food is generally good, but I have been eating (or drinking) the same stuff A LOT, because a couple of weeks back I spilled buckwheat into my dehydrator, which meant that I couldn't use it for fear of them burning - yesterday I finally got it screwed apart, and cleaned out - so I'm looking forward to making interesting creations starting tomorrow (I have to work  today), and I will report back on how that goes.

Bodily I have been having some acne, but as my digestion seems great (judging on my stools), I am guessing that it is related to too much sugar (fruits and honey) - so, as I get dehydrating, I hope to replace some of the fruit and honey with dehydrated foods such as seed and nut crackers, bars, and cereal, as well as more interesting dips, and nut/seed milks.

So - I'm doing fine right now, but am missing more variety in my foods, and something crunchy. I will keep you updated :)

torsdag den 19. august 2010

started raw food challenge

I started my high raw 'beegan' (vegan + bee products) 30 day challenge last Friday (the 13th of august), and have been doing fine so far – to my slight surprise I haven't had problems with hunger, or cravings for forbidden foods. I have mainly been eating fresh and frozen fruit, fresh salad leaves, honey, oils and seeds.

During my vacation (and break between diet challenges) I put on some unwanted weight (fat), so that I weighted 68 kg at the beginning of this challenge, so I hoping this will help :).

I may have to skip a couple of meals (meaning not following the plan) this time around, because of some important social events, however I will compensate for this by adding an extra day to the challenge for each occasion.

So thats it for now, I'm going to keep posting about how it goes.

onsdag den 14. juli 2010

Finished vegan challenge - new challenges

I finished my 30 day vegan challenge some time ago, unfortunately I haven't been able to set aside time for the blog recently, something that I plan to change in about two weeks, when I will begin my next challenge - 30 days of high raw 'beegan' (vegan + bee products like honey) diet.

With regards to my experience of, and results on, the vegan diet, they were mixed, but generally good. Just prior to the challenge I ran my first marathon, something that didn't go well, as i ended up with pain in both my knees, something that has (and still is) made it impossible for me to continue my running - which has lead to a worse body fat percentage. Other than that I had some gaseous (to be frank) problems in the beginning of the diet, these disappeared when I changed soaked and cooked beans for soaked and cooked lentils, and cut down on grains, while adding in quinoa (a seed and so called pseudo grain).

At the end of the challenge I felt good, better than I did on the paleo diet, which is also expressed in my evaluation using the questionnaire from Mark Hyman. This time I scored 24, compared to 36 on the paleo diet and before 47 before that, remember less is better in this test. 

My average blood pressure measured 120,65 above 60,25, which is a definite improvement over what I normally get (if it is accurate), but worse than what I had after the paleo diet + running, also there were considerable variations in the readings, some being as high as 137 above 62.

So in other words, unfortunately mixed results, when compared to the paleo diet.

Ok thats it for now, I hope to get back to you soon with more on the next challenge.

btw. If you want more, here are some sites I recommend for more knowledge on health and nutrition - 











søndag den 30. maj 2010

Finished Paleo challenge, started vegan challenge

So I finished my paleo diet/ for athletes trial, culminating in running the Copenhagen marathon on 23rd of may. I will be honest and say that looking a couple of months back I had hoped for a better finish time (I actually don't have my exact time – but it was more than 4 hours and 30 minutes) however seen in the light of the situation, I had pains in both my knees the entire time, and from about 7 kilometers to about 15 my right foot kept falling a sleep.

So what is my general experience of the diet? And what measurable results have I got?

My general experience of the diet has been that it is doable, but it takes a lot of planning and preparation time, and on top of that it is expensive and hard (not impossible) to keep interesting. One of the pratical tips, for anybody out there interested in trying this diet – make some sort of 'pot dish' like say bolognese or chicken in curry (without the pasta/rice) for breakfast (you want to make it the day before, not in the morning). I found this sort of dish a lot more easy to chow down first thing in the morning than say a steak is.

I felt pretty good generally during my paleo trial, however I can't say that I have felt any particular surge of energy, or anything else indicating that this diet was just right for me. I may have felt less tired, and I defintely can tell you that meat in the morning keeps you full a lot longer than grains do (even oat porridge) however besides from that I haven't observed anything special.

Measurable results -  

Now -

Body fat -

36 mm skinfolds (between 13 and 16 %)

27, 33 mm skinfolds (8%)

weight – 62,1 kilograms

Bloddpressure– 118,6/49

then – 14/3 - 10

Body fat -

30 mm (13%)

24 mm (7%)

weight 64,7 kg

Bloodpressure -


So if these results are credible, then it seems like I have lost muscle mass, which may very well be the case, though it may be due to my changing training patterns (from medium distance and interval training 2 - 3 times a week, to long distance once a week) up to the marathon.

BTW. the different skinfold measurements are because I have come across two different sets of instructions that give two different results (says something about the reliability of this method), so I decided to include both.

I also filled out a health questionnaire by Mark Hyman, M.D. where you give points for how often and severe different ailments you have are, then add them together - the more points the worse you're off. I had 47 points when I began, and 36 after the first 60 days. It will be interesting to see what I get after the vegan challenge.

New vegan 30 day trial -

Thursday the 27th (of may 2010) I will begin my new diet trial; a vegan diet made up of what i would call real foods – meaning foods that have not have had all their nutritional value processed out of them. This is obviously not a very strict or clear definition, so to clarify; whole grain products are generally acceptable, whereas white flour is not. That being said I may choose to add in supplements, like fiber rich seed husks or vegan protein powders made from brown rice or yellow peas, that are highly processed and have had their fiber and starchy components removed. The difference however is that these things have been done with nutritional goals in mind, and that in some cases, these products have a lot of their micronutrional contents preserved, unlike white flour. For the record undamaged fats and oils are on the to eat list, while damaged fats and oils are not – that means cooking is mainly with coconut oil, and possibly olive or avocado oils (at low heat) while margarine and oils high in polyunsaturated fatty acids are no gos in cooking (however polyunsaturated fats can off course be consumed as part of spreads, dips, smoothies etc.).

Now why would I want to eat a vegan diet?!

First of all this blog is about trying to get an idea of what diet works the best for me, and that will include trying out different approaches, with radically different theoretical stand points, like the paleo diet and a vegan diet.

While I think the theory behind veganism, as a nutritionally superior diet, is fairly weak, the anecdotal evidence is somewhat strong, and it provides an important 'scale' (in lack of a better word) for me to compare the paleo diet against. Furthermore, adding in small amounts of high quality animal products after a period on a vegan diet may tell us something about how a frugivore great ape inspired diet compares.

This is interesting because: while the argumentation, for eating no animal products at all, is weak (in my opinion), the arguments for eating a lot less animal products, than both followers of paleolithic diets and the 'standard american/western diet' do, is a lot stronger - our closest human contemporary relatives – the great apes (more specifically Bonobos and Chimpanzees) all consume, small but highly priced portions of meat and insects (are insects classified as meats? - I mean it is a lot more than that – it is truly a whole food). Now this certainly does not prove that we should eat this way, in fact vegans would emphasize that meat is a small,unstable, and calorie wise rather insignificant part of the different great apes' diets, while proponents of paleo/primal diets would argue that this is were our ancestors diverged from those of the great apes; that, due to different factors like easier access to calories (less time spent gathering compared to hunting or finding and eating carrion, as well as less energy spent on digestion, because of less fiber, and higher energy density) and long chain omega 3 fatty acids, our gut size was decreased and our brain size increased (along with other changes).

This clearly shows that this theoretical standpoint is not clear from counter arguments, however it is a lot easier to defend than the more extreme vegan approach – when comparing this diet to both the 'standard american/western diet' and paleolithic type diets (as well as other diets containing medium or high amounts of animal products) the great ape inspired diet basically has all of the pro vegan arguments (I will get into some of those in another post), but at the same time it can pretty much avoid all of the (often strong) counter arguments against eliminating all animal products from one's diet. In a sense its taking the best of both worlds.

So to sum up there are three reasons why I am giving the vegan diet a chance: first of is off course because the diet concept is, in my opinion, at least worth trying (it is not the most convincing from a theoretical standpoint but there is a lot of people reporting success with it). Secondly it is very much in contrast to the paleolithic type diet I just tried, and thus will make for a good comparison. And thirdly it may tell us something about the great ape inspired diet, which has a lot more going for it on a theoretical level, and in my eyes is one of the best bets at a starting point for trying to find the optimal human diet.

PS. I am still planning on finishing the discussion on critique of the paleo diet theory, however it takes some time to put together - but it is still in the works :)

mandag den 19. april 2010

Paleo diet for athletes + Part 1 of arguments against the Paleo diet

So Wednesday I completed my original 30 day Paleo challenge. So far I have found the results to be hard to evaluate. So I'm giving it one more chance, to succeed or fail, 30 days more.

However this time I have changed the regimen a slight bit (explanation will follow). Last Sunday last i participated in a half marathon race, I finished, but at about 20 km through, I suddenly had no more energy, and just couldn't seem to move my legs as fast as I wanted (and had). My time was just under 1 hour and 48 minutes, which I think is acceptable, but not what I wanted. So Thursday I started the second 30 days, and this time I am following the Paleo diet for athletes. This is of course mainly the same diet, however with some modifications before, during and after exercise/race, in order to provide enough, and easily absorb able enough, nutrition for the special circumstances endurance elites have. The main differences are that fruit juice, potatoes, sweet potatoes and yams, as well as salt, glucose and non paleo protein powders are allowed in conjunction with exercise/races.

My result so far is positive. Yesterday (this Sunday) I ran another half marathon, this time having eaten potatoes and more fruit before, as well as having a mix of fruit and vegetable juice along with me. My this time i finished my 21,1 km in under 1 hour and 45 minutes, and where a week before I had been almost unable to move my legs after I was done, this time I ran 25 km :D

So hopefully this will keep working, and I will be able to run the Copenhagen Marathon in 34 days.

And now to first part of my promised post on arguments against the Paleo diet:

There are several arguments against 'the paleo diet' being the optimal diet for human beings. Some of them are directed at foundations of the theory of the paleo diet, while others are biochemical or statistical arguments that point in another direction, than the diet promoted by Loren Cordain.

I will try to make a (hopefully) easily understandble walkthrough of the ones I have come across, as well as possible counter arguments, and my own evaluation of their significance.

Saturated fat is not bad.

One of the first arguments against the eating regimen promoted by Loren Cordain, is an argument promoted by many other paleo/primal diet advocates as well as Dr. Mercola and the Western A. Price Foundation – In his book 'the Paleo diet' Loren Cordain adheres, at least in part, to the so called lipid hypothesis which claims that a high intake of dietary cholesterol and saturated fat increases the amounts of these nutrients in the blood and promotes athereosclerosis. Loren Cordain actually downtones the significance of cholesterol intake somewhat, but still puts a limit on egg (which is high in cholesterol) intake, at 6 a week. However he goes along with the idea that a high intake of saturated fats, cause, or at least promote, plague building up in the arteries.  

The counter argument is of course that this is not the case, and that saturated fats have lots of healthfull properties to them, in fact both cholesterol and saturated fats are both very important for different bodily functions. For instance it is described in the classsic 'Nutrition and Physical degeneration' by Western A. Price, how he found that idegenous people who had a high intake of fat soluble vitamins (which are often found in animal products with a high cholesterol and saturated fatty acid content) were much healthier than their counterparts, that had adopted a western diet.

It is also argued that the statistics that show a correlation between a high intake of saturated fatty acids and heart disease, do so, because they count the extremly unhealthy mostly artificial trans fatty acids together with saturated fatty acids.

Proponents of paleo/primal diets that are more heavily based on saturated fatty acids for calories also argue that our early ancestors had very high intake of these, from all the animal fat they consumed.

Loren Cordain's counter argument is that when you take into account the fatty acid composition of the entire animals, not just the fat situated around and inside the muscles (our ancestors ate almost the entire animal, not just the muscle meat), as well as their intake of nuts and seeds, the picture is one of an intake based more on mono and poly unsaturated fatty acids.

Furthermore he says that intake of saturated fatty acids increases LDL cholesterol, and LDL cholesterol is related to athereosclerosis. There are several counter arguments to this – First of all there is some confusion as to the exact realation between LDL cholesterol and athereosclerosis, however that is a discussion for another day. Secondly only some saturated fatty acids cause LDL levels to go up. And thirdly some saturated fatty acids cause HDL levels to go up, which is ascociated with protection from heart disease.

2. Grains and legumes are not (nescesarilly) bad

There are several sidses to this argument, the first being that grains and legumes have a lot of beneficial properties including water solluble fiber and long chain polysaccrides, thus giving a slow steady realease of energy, and at the same time nourishing the colon and preventing reuptake of cholesterol from bile in the small intestine.

The second part of the argument is that: yes they do contain antinutrients, things that are supposedly part of the plants immune system, but all plant foods do.

And thirdly the amount of these antinutrients can be severely disminished by sprouting and/or fermenting them, as well as heating them, something that 'traditional' cultures have long been doing. Asian cultures for instance fermented the soybeans they ate.

3. There is no good source of calcium in 'the paleo diet'.

This is set forth by people advocating the consumption of dairy products, such as the Western A. Price foundation. It is however, in my opinon, not a very good one, as it is easily refuted- Loren Cordain argues that because of the high intake of vegtables and fruits (which acording to him push the body in an alkaline direction), as well as an increased uptake of calcium caused by the high protein content of the diet, the need for calcium on this diet is less, than on a more acid producing diet, such as the standard american diet.

On top of that, there are several good sources of calcium in allowed in the paleo diet – most green leafy vegetables have a high calcium content, an most (not spinach for instance) also are more easily assimilated than calcium from dairy. Also sessame seeds have a high calcium content.

4. Our closest contemporary non-human relatives; the great apes (especially chimpanzees and bonobos) eat very small amounts of meat, therefore we should this way as well.

This argument asumes several things:

  • that because the great apes are so closely realted to us, the chimpanzees and bononbos share 98% of our genes, we have the same nutritional requirements as they do.

  • that great apes living in the wild are consuming their optimal diet, this part of the argument goes something like this: because the great apes don't have any culture (something that not everybody agrees upon) they don't have any rules or taboos about eating (which it is argued is the reason the human diet has gone astray), and thus eat whatever feels natural to them (again this builds upon the assumption that what feels best for them also is best).

    There are several counter arguments to this -

  • There are several key differences between humans and apes, for instance our digestive system is more like that of an omnivore (who eats more meat than apes) than that of the apes (frugivores – they live of a diet of fruit, green leaves, nuts, seeds and small amounts of meat), and thus we can handle less fiber, but more meat, than the great apes. On the other hand we have smaller canines than our close relatives do, just take a look at a gorillas teeth, and they actually seem better equiped to rip meat.

  • Brain started evovling after animal consumption arose -

    There is some evidence that early humans brain started to grow (beyond the size of for example the brain of a chimpanzee) at the same time that our intake of animal foods began to increase. This off course beggs the question of what came first, and wheter or not the two were related – the theory (of those that asume that the increased animal intake caused this brain growth) is that increased animal intake led to increased calorie consumption, which allowed the development of a bigger brain (brains use a lot of calories). Also nutrients found mostly in animals, such as EPA and DHA omege 3 oils, are essentiel for brain development, so an increased availability of these may have lead, at least in part, to bigger brains.

  • Another counter argument to this is that if we consumed so little meat (excluding the option of eggs or dairy as well) we would not get optimal amounts fo protein, especially not atheltes. This however is hard to belive, if you take a look at our hairy relatives – a large silverback gorilla is both way larger and stronger than any bodybuilding athlete, however they consume a diet largely made up of green leaves, fruit nuts, and seeds, in other words a diet low in animal 'products' and protein.

fredag den 9. april 2010

Short update

This is just a quick update here - the article on theoretical arguments for and against the paleo diet, is coming sometime next week. Meanwhile my experience of the diet so far is positive, but I have NOT experienced any huge health benefits, and I don't feel extremely energized - though my afternoon slump has become less pronounced. Also so far I don't seem to be having any problems with adding eggs back into my diet.

Stay healthy :)

Btw. I'm running a half marathon this sunday - so hopefully the diet will prove its worth, or lack thereof then.

onsdag den 24. marts 2010

What is the Paleo diet (now - in text!)

Ok so I know it has been a while - unfortunately I can't get the video thing to work at the moment, so instead, for now, you will have to do with the link I gave you - and a short text -

What we were meant to eat

So the paleo diet is a book written by Loren Cordain, however it is also a concept, sometimes referred to as the hunter gatherer diet, the caveman diet, or - the Paleo diet, which has been written about and developed by other authors as well. The shared idea or philosophy behind these different names, is that the optimal diet (from an individual health point of view) for human beings is the one which we are genetically adapted to. In other words the paleo diet builds its philosophy on what is probably the strongest theory in biology; evolution. Now which diet is that? - The argumentation that Loren Cordain uses, is that we have changed very little, since our ancestors were hunter - gatherers (that is, for most people, back in the Paleolithic - old stone age). He argues - that because we our genetic make up, is basically the same as it was back then, we also have the same nutritional requirements as they did. This is off course supported by biochemical evidence, as well as anthropological and archaeological evidence, that hunter gatherer societies were, and are, basically free of the generative lifestyle diseases, that are so common in our civilizations.

So that was the why - here is the what -

The diet consists of three mainstays - lean meat, non starchy vegetables, and fruit. Besides that nuts, seeds and eggs are also allowed in moderation, along with spices and herbs.

- That means no grains, no dairy, no legumes, no refined sugar, no added salt, or refined foods.

What? no bread, cheese, beans, cakes, salt?!  -

As I already wrote the idea is that we only that which our hunter-gatherer ancestors would have had access to on a normal basis. Also there are biochemical arguments for not eating these things, in other words, according to Loren Cordain they are unhealthy to consume, as we have not genetically evolved to be able to properly digest and assimilate them, without adverse reactions.

The diet is NOT, meant to be a low fat diet, though some people around the 'net, criticize it for being so. In fact the diet is meant to contain between 28 and 57 % of caloric intake from lipids (fats). The reason that he emphasizes lean meats, is he wants to hit the same overall composition of different fats (saturated, mono-unsaturated and poly-unsaturated) as a hunter gatherer who eats the entire animal, without people having to do that. Most people would not be too keen on starting a program that involved eating organ meats every day. However organ meats tend to have a different composition of fats, than muscle meats does - where muscle meats tend to hold more saturated fats, organ meats, like brains, contain more poly and mono unsaturated fats. So therefore Cordain advises us to eat lean meat, and then add fat back in, from plant sources, such as olive oil, that is higher in mono and poly unsaturated fats.

The diet is a so called 'high protein' diet, meaning that it contains about 30 % of calories as protein, mainly from meat, which is included  at virtually every meal. The idea is that you eat your full in lean meats, vegetables and fruit, and that the protein from the meat, and the fiber from the vegetables (and fruit) will make sure you stay full until next meal - it is not specifically a weight loss diet, however it is supposed to normalize any weight issues, one might have.

For me personally I consume three or four meals a day, each consisting of 200 - 300g of lean meat, and some fruit or vegetables, often both, possibly along with some extra oil. I also take a fish oil supplement as recommended in the book (as I don't like fish) - 8 1000 mg soft gels - all in all 1680 mg DHA omega 3 and 2400 mg EPA omega 3.

Ok that was it for today, I will soon be back with a discussion of the arguments for and against this diet/concept, as well as my initial experiences with the diet - stay healthy :D

tirsdag den 16. marts 2010

First challenge

Today I restarted my blog, and began my first new diet challenge - 30 days of the paleo diet. What is the paleo diet you might say, well in short terms it is a modern day version of the hunter - gatherer diet, that our paleolithic (old stoneage) ancestors ate. The purpose of this blog is to test different diets and health protocols, in order to find out what works. I am going to post about my experiences with the diets, as I try them out, as well as theoretical arguments for and against the different diets.
This short video explains more on what the paleo diet is - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uCFZoqmKf5M
I will however soon be posting about this myself, including what it is, and the arguments for and against it.

With regards to the current challenge I am going to try to follow the paleo diet (by Loren Cordain) as closely as possible; yet without eating any nuts, seeds or eggs, for the first two weeks. This is simply because the diet already eleminates most of the common allergenic protein sources (dairy, peanuts, soy, eggs, nuts, gluten, shell fish). So I am simply going to add these things back in again one at a time, probably every two weeks, and then observe if I have a reaction.