The philosophy of the Primal Blueprint, currently one of the most popular semi-low-carb diets --- er, sorry, lifestyles --- around, makes more intuitive sense than did The Atkins Diet's unabashed bacon-slinging.
The premise? Man's biological evolution has not caught up with the evolution of the world we live in, so to achieve optimum health, we need to revert to caveman ways. They didn't have the tools to render grains edible, for example, so they didn't eat them, and our bodies are still not equipped to digest and utilize them today. As Mark Sisson, author of The Primal Blueprint, puts it: "The fundamental problem with grains is that they are a distinctly Neolithic food that the human animal has yet to adapt to consuming." So, The Primal Blueprint advises you to stop eating them. Same goes for dairy products, by the same general logic.
So what does a modern caveman eat? Grass-fed meat (Sisson says even grain-fed meat is a no-no) and loads of organic vegetables, and fruits, primarily.
Richard Xiques, a systems analyst from Coral Gables, first heard about The Primal Blueprint two years ago when he started working out at Crossfit305 in Downtown. He dabbled with the rudiments of primal eating for a bit before more investigation made him a convert.
"What caught my attention about The Primal Blueprint
is how conventional wisdom does not apply to the majority of the human
population," Xiques says. He's talking about, for example, people who
point to the FDA's food pyramid, with its broad base composed of grains,
as a reason why grains are essential.
scoffs at this. "Governmental endorsements are not points in your
favor, grain-eater; they are strikes against you," he
writes. "An appeal to authority (unless that "authority" is actually
a preponderance of scientific evidence, of course) does not an
effective argument make."
These science-based challenges to the American diet and lifestyle
are what drew Xiques further into the program. "And once I began reading
about the physiological benefits of The Primal Blueprint, I was
hooked immediately," Xiques says. These include the potential to reverse
diabetes, repair sleep patterns, increase immunity, alleviate
depression, build muscle, and obviously lose weight, according to
have noticed a decrease in body fat, increase in energy levels and
mental clarity, among other things. I have taken an interest in
cooking," Xiques says. One of his favorite meals now is unbreaded baked
chicken wings with organic greens, tomatoes, and avocado, topped with
apple cider vinegar and olive oil. He eats organic raspberries or
blueberries for dessert. "It's funny, most people around me are
interested in learning about it because of my experience with it. It
truly changed my life and how I view dieting and exercises."
recommended caveman lifestyle changes go beyond eliminating grain and
dairy and eating organic meats, fruits and vegetables. Exercising
barefoot, playing in the sun, and even squatting to poop
are among the practices he advocates. Xiques hasn't incorporated every
recommended change, but his lifestyle shift does have him actually
feeling like a caveman.
"I am always eating and
always talking about the primal lifestyle," Xiques says. "I think if I
got myself a club and minimized my wardrobe, like Barney from The
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Flintstones, I'd fit the description to a tee."
more about The Primal Blueprint, go to Sisson's website.