Free Republic
Browse · Search
Bloggers & Personal
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Living Prehistorically In A Modern Age
WBUR-FM ^ | May 5, 2010 | Andrea Shea

Posted on 05/23/2010 10:38:14 AM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet

BOSTON — The word “Paleolithic” might evoke images from the 1980s film “Quest for Fire” — or, more recently, the scruffy cavemen in those Geico commercials. But Nate Rosenberg says going back in time to eat like a Neanderthal doesn’t make him one.

“It’s obviously not a reenactment of Paleolithic life,” Rosenberg says.

The 27-year-old foraged through his contemporary kitchen in the cute Somerville apartment he shares with his Paleo partner Michal Naisteter.

“We eat modern foods,” he says. “In the Paleolithic era they did not have ground beef or, you know, dried oregano from Whole Foods and stuff life that, which we benefit from. But we try keep in mind our evolutionary history.”

Added Naisteter: “I eat fish, I eat eggs, I eat vegetables and I eat berries and nuts.”

Naisteter and Rosenberg are part of an international fitness and nutrition movement known as “ancestral health.” The theory is that while the food humans eat has evolved and gone “high-tech” through the ages, our bodies have not. Primal eating is pre-agricultural. “Going Paleo” means no processed foods, no sugar, no whole grains, legumes or dairy. But they eat lots of meat. Naisteter gave me a tour of their fridge.

“I would say we have about six pounds of ground beef right now,” she says.

There was some buffalo, and even a vacuum-sealed boneless free-range turtle.

“What is this big thing?” she continues. “A fresh pork ham. Don’t tell my mother, we’re Jewish.” Naisteter says her mother thinks her lifestyle is really weird, but she’s also trying to convince her mother to try it. “He’s already convinced his parents to do it,” Naisteter says.

Because, they say, eating Paleo has drastically improved their health. No more eczema, allergies, acne or stomach issues. Even so, dietitian and Boston University Professor Joan Salge-Blake is a Paleo skeptic — saying that was then, this is now.

“We should all be going back,” he says. “I don’t think we have to go all the way back. Let’s go back to grandma, and how grandma cooked, and she made dinner and she had fruits and vegetables and she had more grains and there was less sweets and treats.”

Salge-Blake also points out that the life expectancy for Paleolithic people was only 30-years-old. Of course Neanderthals lived in a much more threatening environment than modern-day Somerville. No sabertooth tigers here. Regardless, the life-span issue doesn’t deter Rosenberg and Naisteter from embracing their diet — or a clan of other like-minded eaters who showed up for a recent Paleo potluck. They’re all members of a Paleo group Naisteter and Rosenberg formed a few months ago.

On the menu: “Meatza” — a pizza-like pie with a ground beef crust topped with crispy bacon and veggies.

At the party, 32-year-old Evan Ferrell — outfitted in curious-looking flexible shoes called Vibram Five Fingers — brought coconut chard. He explained how going Paleo has changed his life.

“I’ve been suffering from this auto-immune disease, Ankylosing Spondylitis, for almost 10 years now,” he says, “so to be able to go off my medication, which I did about a few months ago, has been outstanding.”

The Paleo lifestyle isn’t only about food; it’s also about fostering physical prowess. Paleolithic man had to be strong and quick to pursue his prey — or run away from it. Modern hardcore Paleo athletes (and gurus of the lifestyle) scramble around on all fours and toss boulders for exercise. At CrossFit in Natick, it’s not quite as extreme, but there was a Paleo Challenge underway, where athletes lift and drop huge barbells.

Paleo fitness emphasizes heavy-duty strength and agility training, rather than cardio. No machines. Just leaping, crouching, sprinting and endless dead-lifts.

Vicky Hadden, a slight but taut 46-year-old mother of three, lifted a mammoth amount of weight over her head.

“This is 135 pounds, which is more than you!” she says.

Everyone at the gym says eating like a hunter-gatherer has increased their athletic performance. They’re stronger, faster, fitter. And they tend to eat lean cuts of meat.

But like any diet that rejects whole food groups, it’s always best to proceed with caution — and consult a doctor. There are a number of books and blogs on “ancestral health” espousing moderate-to-extreme tactics for living Paleo. Some people fast intermittently (the “feast-or-famine” approach) — or grow facial hair. Others donate pints of blood since early man likely lost a fair bit of it “on the hunt.” Most Paleos sleep for extended periods of time and get as much sunlight as they can. Then there’s the self-proclaimed New York “caveman” who likes to run — barefoot — across the Brooklyn Bridge.


TOPICS: Food; History; Science; Weird Stuff
KEYWORDS: exercise; food; health; paleolithic

1 posted on 05/23/2010 10:38:15 AM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: 2ndDivisionVet
apartment he shares with his Paleo partner Michal Naisteter

Homo-Ridiculous.


Frowning takes 68 muscles.
Smiling takes 6.
Pulling this trigger takes 2.
I'm lazy.

2 posted on 05/23/2010 11:05:01 AM PDT by The Comedian (Evil can only succeed if good men don't point at it and laugh.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: neverdem

Ping. Not sure if you’re interested.


3 posted on 05/23/2010 11:06:59 AM PDT by MetaThought
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: 2ndDivisionVet

I don’t see where any of these people are catching and killing their own meat... Or is that a little too primitive?


4 posted on 05/23/2010 11:13:07 AM PDT by Redcloak (What's your zombie plan?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Redcloak

Oh, there are people who do that. Apparently these people just aren’t hardcore enough.


5 posted on 05/23/2010 11:22:34 AM PDT by MetaThought
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: The Comedian
The 27-year-old foraged through his contemporary kitchen in the cute Somerville apartment he shares with his Paleo partner Michal Naisteter.

Never fear there's no procreation here!

6 posted on 05/23/2010 11:23:41 AM PDT by STD (islam an absolute theocratic system of governance which cannot be questioned;)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: 2ndDivisionVet

I’ve lost count of the number of times some friend or stranger has lectured me about how my medical problems are my own fault, then proceeded with the “You Just Have To . . . “ dieting advice. “You just have to avoid gluten”, “You just have to avoid meat”, “You just have to eat organic”, “You just have to avoid processed foods”, “You just have to stop drinking cola”.

I’ve tried most of those at some point. The best ones had no effect whatsoever. At least one of them made me sicker than I’ve ever been (it seems I have trouble absorbing vegetable protein, going vegetarian was a bad idea).

For those it works for: great! Good for you! Just don’t expect it to work the same for everyone. We are as different on the inside as we are on the outside.


7 posted on 05/23/2010 11:27:27 AM PDT by Ellendra (Can't starve us out, and you can't make us run. . . -Hank Jr.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: STD

Michal is a she.


8 posted on 05/23/2010 11:30:44 AM PDT by Old Professer (The critic writes with rapier pen, dips it twice, then writes again.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: 2ndDivisionVet

Lifespan of Paleolithic man?


9 posted on 05/23/2010 11:35:06 AM PDT by Anitius Severinus Boethius
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: STD

I think they might just be roommates.


10 posted on 05/23/2010 11:37:38 AM PDT by MetaThought
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: 2ndDivisionVet
Ummm, we were hunter / gathers, right?

Knowing how much energy it takes to get an animal down - and how little to send women out to find berries - I suspect the "gathers" did a lot of the contributions. Dandelion greens, anyone?

11 posted on 05/23/2010 11:40:03 AM PDT by GOPJ (...man was meant to be doubtful about himself, but undoubting about the truth-Gilbert K. Chesterton)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: The Comedian

You can pry my bacon from my cold greasy fingers....


12 posted on 05/23/2010 11:45:02 AM PDT by central_va (I won't be reconstructed, and I do not give a damn.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: 2ndDivisionVet
But like any diet that rejects whole food groups, it’s always best to proceed with caution — and consult a doctor.

Of course, because the food group they reject is bread. And neither Archer Daniels Midland nor their privately owned politicians can allow any talk to the effect that grains are actually animal food, and not conducive to good digestion in humans. They would rather invent whole new categories of disease than admit it.

13 posted on 05/23/2010 11:48:12 AM PDT by Mr. Jeeves ( "The right to offend is far more important than any right not to be offended." - Rowan Atkinson)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: 2ndDivisionVet
“I would say we have about six pounds of ground beef right now,” she says.

I wonder if anyone has found fossilized meat grinders from the Paleolithic era?????

14 posted on 05/23/2010 11:58:40 AM PDT by raybbr (Someone who invades another country is NOT an immigrant - illegal or otherwise.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: 2ndDivisionVet

Makes sense, I guess, IF you believe in evolution! I don’t.


15 posted on 05/23/2010 12:00:43 PM PDT by buffyt (Abortion is the ultimate CHILD ABUSE!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Ellendra

Man I know just what you mean, we gave up cake, candy, cokes, pie, nachos, brownies, cookies, ice cream, sugar, etc and I didn’t lose a darn pound. In fact when I used to eat a lot of junk, and I mean a LOT, I was skinny.


16 posted on 05/23/2010 12:02:10 PM PDT by buffyt (Abortion is the ultimate CHILD ABUSE!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: central_va

“You can pry my bacon from my cold greasy fingers....”

When you outlaw bacon, only pigs will have bacon!


17 posted on 05/23/2010 12:06:27 PM PDT by DaxtonBrown (HARRY: Money Mob & Influence (Expose on Reid on amazon.com written by me!))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: 2ndDivisionVet
The book that started it all. I have it, and it is worth every minute you spend reading it.
18 posted on 05/23/2010 12:08:35 PM PDT by redhead (West/Palin. Or, Palin/West 2012 I'll take either.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: 2ndDivisionVet

Audette: “Paleo is what you can find to eat if you are naked and armed with nothing but a sharp stick.” LOL! The book is well-written and enjoyable.


19 posted on 05/23/2010 12:11:09 PM PDT by redhead (West/Palin. Or, Palin/West 2012 I'll take either.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: 2ndDivisionVet

Meat

Yeah


20 posted on 05/23/2010 12:40:37 PM PDT by PeteB570 (NRA Life Member and Black Rifle Owner)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: The Comedian

I know. Back in the cave man days, these guys would have been on some big animals lunch platter.


21 posted on 05/23/2010 12:43:18 PM PDT by Vermont Lt (This nation, of the people, by the people, and for the people has perished from the land.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Old Professer

Oops. Perhaps he is more of a cave-man than I thought.


22 posted on 05/23/2010 12:44:50 PM PDT by Vermont Lt (This nation, of the people, by the people, and for the people has perished from the land.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Mr. Jeeves
Of course, because the food group they reject is bread.

And we all know, grain is best utilized to make beer!

23 posted on 05/23/2010 1:06:29 PM PDT by kitchen (One battle rifle for each person, and a spare for each pair.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: The Comedian

Psssst. Michal is a girls name.


24 posted on 05/23/2010 2:17:09 PM PDT by Melas
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: buffyt

The diet works. Belief in evolution not required.


25 posted on 05/23/2010 2:19:26 PM PDT by MetaThought
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: 2ndDivisionVet

Sounds like the 20-somethings are rebelling against their hippie vegan/vegetarian parents.

And here’s their web site, if you want to go to one of their meetings:

http://www.meetup.com/Living-Paleo-in-Boston/members/10995027/


26 posted on 05/23/2010 3:16:53 PM PDT by LibFreeOrDie (Obama promised a gold mine, but will give us the shaft.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: 2ndDivisionVet

I opting for a KFC Double Down!


27 posted on 05/23/2010 6:38:20 PM PDT by golf lover
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Bloggers & Personal
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson