From a mailing list I’m on:
> These long life diet plans always make me think of the Ninja warriors
> in Hollywood films who train daily for twenty years, then meet the
> American hero who pulls out a gun and shoots them dead. So much for
> their twenty years training!
That’s why I enjoy and advocate a more paleo-centered diet: because for me, and apparently for others, it results in an empirical increase in quality of life right now. I am leaner and stronger, my mood and attitude has improved dramatically, I don’t suffer food coma, I can skip meals at will, and I am both more creative and more capable. Any long-term life extension benefits are just a bonus, like avocado slices—though I am pleased to note that the research is pointing towards such effects.
Standard low-fat diets (Ornish, Pritikin, the “food pyramid”) basically eschew everything that tastes good. Sure, candy and donuts aren’t paleo: but prime rib, bacon and eggs, and a side of sweet potato with avocado slices most certainly are—and they beat the hell out of tofu, lentils, and brown rice. I deeply regret the year I spent trying to be vegetarian, and the decades I spent not eating the delicious food I eat now because it was ‘too high in fat’.
Most diets involve substantial suffering: eat seeds (‘grains’) like a bird or rodent, and force yourself to ‘do cardio’ on machines that go nowhere, like a hamster on a wheel. “You have to work hard and give up your vices if you want to live longer,” their proponents say, as if boredom and misery is the healthy and natural state of humanity. (Vegetarianism is religious in origin.)
It’s dispiriting to shop in a ‘health food’ store. I see gaunt, prematurely aging supplicants carefully filling their shopping carts with the nutritional equivalent of Styrofoam peanuts (‘rice cakes’, ‘low-fat’ yogurt, ‘high-fiber’ cereal), buying crumbly, unsatisfying accretions of industrial products designed to simulate real food (‘soy milk’, ‘veggie-burgers’), and seriously obsessing over which variety of processed, extruded birdseed soaked in diesel fuel (i.e. ‘crackers’, ‘granola’) is ‘better’ for them.
They are buying these food simulations and eating them. How do they live on that stuff? It’s not even junk food…it’s not food at all! Are they even the same species as me?
But then I remember: that used to be me. There are uncountable billions of dollars devoted to subsidizing and advertising non-food, and I myself was bamboozled for years. I wish I could retroactively vomit up all the soy nuts and Kashi I ate.
“Paleo” is not just a diet or an exercise program. It is living as humans have lived for millions of years, and doing the same things that shaped us from apes into humans. Go outside, climb trees and mountains, chase animals and people. Play in the sun and the snow. Make and fix things with your hands. Sprint, lift heavy objects, eat meat. This is fun! If it’s a chore, you’re doing it wrong.
I reject the bizarre concept that millions of years of evolution has selected us to enjoy only things that kill us, and to avoid everything that keeps us alive and healthy. I reject the false dichotomy that we must be either sybarites (“Live now, pay later”) or self-flagellants (“Pay now, live later”). I propose a more accurate and joyous maxim for the paleo movement:
Live now, live later.
(And I’m reasonably sure that the gnolls agree with me.)
Live in freedom, live in beauty.