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PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2013 12:45 pm 
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Hello Glade. A lot of people around me have been trying this way of eating, and I'm giving it a go.

A post I put together for my own motivation and to share a bit with other on various forums:

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What is paleo?

In a nutshell the idea is that humans adapted to eating a certain diet as hunter gatherers for hundreds of thousands of years. This ended about 10,000 years ago with the advent of agriculture and the introduction of grains to our diets as well as domesticated animals and dairy products.

Since we are not especially well adapted to some of the relatively modern foods, if a cavemen didn’t eat it, we shouldn’t either.

Eat non-processed whole foods. Meats, fish, veggies, fruit. No grains (bread, cereal etc), processed sugars, legumes (peanuts, soy and beans in general are the big ones here) and avoid dairy (milk, cheese, etc *note some variants allow dairy in moderation, notably the Primal Blueprint).

You’ll get some variation on what to eat depending on who you read, but essentially it’s the same principles. The main take home points are whole foods, nothing processed. No grains, no processed sugars.

Why should I try this?

In my view everything should be treated with both skepticism and an open mind. This is no different. If you have said to yourself "I need to start eating better", then this might be worth your while.

At the very least, the idea of eating whole, unrefined, unprocessed foods wherever possible has absolutely worked for me. Paleo brings that ideal and adds some other layers on top: No grains (various reasons), no sugars, no dairy, no legumes. I can't say if any or all of those are necessary to anyone, but I am compelled enough to try. I know quite a few people who eat this way and they swear by it. So I'm creating this thread to inform those who would like to know more about it.

How strict is it?

First, don't let perfect be the enemy of good. Shoot for 100% but even 80% compliance is said to offer the vast majority of the benefits. So if you eat a cookie, nobody will arrest you. Just be sensible. You get out what you put in.

Eliminating all grains seems daunting, but for me it hasnt been as bad as I thought it would be. Same with sugar. I still crave my oatmeal from time to time, and I even indulge it on rare occasion. I sweeten my tea with honey. I have milk post workout. But I also make sure I eat quality protein, veggies and good fats with every meal and that's the lion's share of my daily calories.

A good article on not paralyzing yourself by over analyzing or trying to be too perfect with this:

http://balancedbites.com/2012/06/paleo-perfectionism.html

”Life is about not just being healthy, but being able to enjoy being healthy!”

Is this Low Carb?

I would say it's lower carb than a typical western diet. I dont think that makes it "low", or at least it shouldnt. If you note the food pyramids veggies are #2 on that list so make sure you're getting them. If you currently eat a lot of bread, cereal, bagels, pasta, sugary drinks including fruit juice.. yeah it's low carb comparatively.

Speaking of carbs, I cut them and I'm not feeling so energetic. It's been about a week now:

http://www.marksdailyapple.com/low-carb-flu/#axzz2H2cyhzbE

Quote:
Nonetheless, for some folks, there’s a common, temporary but still bothersome bump in the road on the way to that Primal prize. Though it varies, it often means a couple weeks of mental fuzziness, fog and fatigue. Although your body might be off to the races, your brain can lag behind like a little brother in a stuffed snowsuit. It’s a game of “hey, wait up!” while the body’s mechanisms and metabolism align themselves. They call it “low carb flu,” and rest assured it’s just as temporary.


Whatever happened to "Eat less exercise more"? That works.

This works for pure fat loss, generally speaking. Paleo is not a diet in the sense of how many people use the word. It's not a fat loss diet. It's a diet in the sense of here's what you should try to eat to be healthy.

The other problem with "eat less exercise more" is when you run into the person eating only pizza, bagels, cereal, ramen noodles, take out food etc and say "well just eat half a bagel and run around the block". They may lose weight but it's not really hitting the core of the problem. They'll likely be even more hungry... less food more expenditure... and it will be much more difficult to keep that up. Once they fail, the weight comes right back. You're also more likely to lose muscle and lean body mass, which isn't very helpful at all.


So what do I do exactly?

Give it a try for 30 days. Try this way of eating and see if you:

Feel better in general
Are not hungry every 2 hours
Look better
Sleep better
Have more energy



Eat:


Vegetables
Fruit
Lean Meats
Seafood
Healthy Fat
Nuts and Seeds

Avoid:

Grains
Dairy
Processed food and sugars
Legumes
Alcohol

Food Pyramid: ****NOTE this is from the Primal Blueprint (http://www.marksdailyapple.com)****
Primal is a variant of Paleo that allows some dairy. If you have problems with dairy or suspect you do, avoid it for 30 days then introduce slowly to see how you react to it.

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WHY cant I eat grains on this diet? What's wrong with whole grains? I thought that was healthy.

There is no simple, satisfying answer to this.

People seem to agree if you have celiac disease, gluten is really bad for you. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/celiac-disease/DS00319

Then you get into a grey area of "gluten intolerant". Is that real? Is it bullshit? Some first world syndrome? Are you intolerant? You have to decide that for yourself it seems like.

WebMD article: Only people with celiac need worry about it.
http://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/celiac-disease/features/gluten-intolerance-against-grain

WSJ article: Celiac researcher says gluten intolerance exists:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704893604576200393522456636.html

If "they're bad for you" is not acceptable on the face of it (and it shouldnt be), there are a lot of people who are happy to break it down for you. I've read through the pro and cons and at the end of the day I keep coming back to "Try it for 30 days and see what happens". Again, even the people arguing gluten and grains are fine for the majority admit that those with celiac disease should avoid gluten at all costs. They also argue there is not a lot of evidence backing the no grain gluten free thing (some say no evidence). So far as I can tell there may not be much hard evidence but there is some, and it seems to be getting traction.

Basically the Paleo arguments come down to:

- Grains are calorically dense but do not contain much in the way of nutrition. e.g. compare 100g of wheat bread to a cup of broccoli.
- Grains contain a lot of carbohydrate in a small package, this equates to a insulin spike when consumed
- Grains contain a high concentration of lectins (gluten is a lectin but there are many others). Many lectins are harmless, some may even be beneficial but some can be bad for your health. Lectins found in grains, in high concentrations are thought to be harmful to the stomach lining and thus cause inflammation, autoimmune issues and insulin resistance.

All of the above come from these articles:

http://whole9life.com/2010/03/the-grain-manifesto/

http://life.dailyburn.com/diet-and-nutrition/paleo-sounds-great-but-why-no-grains/

And for balance here is an article arguing against all of this:

http://www.outlawfitnesshq.com/why-grains-and-gluten-arent-bad-for-you

Quote:
There is also a growing number of people who have begun to label themselves as gluten-intolerant, or gluten-sensitive. The medical industry now refers to this condition as non-celiac gluten-intolerance. This is not the same as celiac disease in that eating gluten is potentially dangerous to gluten-sensitive individual, but much less worrisome for the gluten-intolerant person. There are no antibodies for gluten present in non-celiac gluten-intolerant individuals and there is no observed damage to the lining and architecture of the intestine, unlike their celiac counterparts.

If you are an individual who is sensitive to gluten, allergic to gluten, or if you have full blown celiac disease, then gluten will make you feel miserable. It’s responsible for a whole host of health problems in these individuals, from headaches to IBS. The effects of gluten on celiac individuals are not new, and medical professionals have been using a gluten-free diet to treat these individuals for over 40 years.

While there is no doubt that gluten causes problems in the minority of the population, there is no evidence whatsoever that gluten is problematic for the average, gluten-tolerant individual.


And finally, Robb Wolf talking about the science behind gluten's effect on humans:

http://robbwolf.com/2011/01/12/hey-robb-this-person-said-gluten-free-diets-are-bogus/

in which he refers to (among other things), this article: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=celiac-disease-insights



So... no more bread or pasta... ever?

See above about the 80/20 adherence and "you dont need to be perfect". Try to be strict for 30 days. Reintroduce things slowly after that and see how your tolerance is. As I type this I'm getting ready to go over to my in-laws and she's making pasta. I'm eating some, with a lot of meatballs too. I also hit the gym 4 nights a week which gives me even more room for things like that. At least that's my rationale and I'm sticking to it...


MEALS

I personally find pictures to be the best way of communicating this way of eating. Below are examples of what I personally eat and a few things I plan to try. You may find some things not strictly paleo there, like cheese for example. See the above article on not having to be perfect.


Sample Breakfasts from Everyday Paleo: http://everydaypaleo.com/category/food/breakfast/

Italian Eggs:
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Sweet Potato Latkes:
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Roasted Eggplant Stacks
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Snacks: Some of the things I like to eat.

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Yes there is cheese next to the tomatoes in that picture… oh the shame of it all. Cheese isnt paleo. Primal allows some cheese. I like a little cheese now and then so I eat it in moderation.
Pictured: Cherries, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries. Macadamia nuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, munster cheese, grape tomatoes.

*Pro Tip on Macadamia nuts: they are crazy expensive. Try to find them in Costco or similar warehouse type food store.


Here is the closest I could find to what I do:

Image

Just deli turkey, wrap up some peppers, avocado, pickles whatever... No bread. I like them a lot. Try and get quality stuff. Ham or roast beef works well too. I also will put a slice of provolone in there. Tastes good.
Yes, deli turkey is processed. You're better off with a whole turkey breast and slicing that up... but nobody is perfect.


Sample Dinner: A couple of things I made.

Simple kebob with chicken, beef, peppers and tomato

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Greek Bifteki with a simple salad of greens, tomatoes and strawberries.

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Resources:

http://balancedbites.com/
http://robbwolf.com/
http://nomnompaleo.com/
http://www.marksdailyapple.com/

Benefits:

Image

Is this paleo?

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Common Criticisms:

Paleo is expensive!

http://robbwolf.com/2011/09/21/paleo-is-expensive/

Where do I get my vitamins and fiber?

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Books:

Practical Paleo: This is by far the best book that I own on the subject. It's full of great info, recipes, meal plans and guides.
http://www.amazon.com/Practical-Paleo-Customized-Whole-Foods-Lifestyle/dp/1936608758/ref=tmm_pap_title_0

Everyday Paleo Family Cookbook: This one is another go to book. Great recipes, geared for a family with younger kids and what they might like too.
http://www.amazon.com/Everyday-Paleo-Family-Cookbook-Real/dp/1936608634/ref=tmm_pap_title_0

Primal Blueprint: Excellent resource that goes into not only the hunter gatherer diet but exercising and general lifestyle changes that might help you. There is also a Quick & Easy Meals book for the Primal Blueprint. I've made a few of them and I like them a lot.
http://www.amazon.com/The-Primal-Blueprint-Reprogram-effortless/dp/0982207786/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1357355168&sr=1-1

Make it Paleo: Extensive recipe list with simple and easy to prepare meals. Worth the money if you need more recipes, if not Practical Paleo has more info.
http://www.amazon.com/Make-Paleo-Grain-Recipes-Occasion/dp/1936608863/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1357355200&sr=1-1

There are others but these four are the ones I use the most by far. If you're looking for information, then go with Practical Paleo and Primal Blueprint. Lots of recipes are online but it seems the ones in the books are exclusive to print.

Sample meal plan for fat loss from Practical Paleo:

Day 1:
Breakfast - Swirly crustless quiche. Perfectly baked bacon.
Lunch - Mustard glazed chicken thighs. Green salad. Balsamic vinegrette
Dinner - Grilled Garlic Flank Steak with Peppers and Onions. Spinach

Day 2:
Breakfast - Left over swirly crustless quiche, left over flank steak w/ peppers and onions
Lunch - Wild Canned salmon with olives, lemon juice, tomato, evoo.
Dinner - Sage roasted turkey legs, roasted pearl onions, green salad

Day 3:
Breakfast - Eggs, perfectly baked bacon, kale.
Lunch - Mixed greens with wild canned salmon, asparagus, lemon juice, evoo
Dinner - Citrus & herb whole roasted chicken, simple baked kale chips

Day 4:
Breakfast - Grain Free Porridge, berries, left over citrus and herb chicken
Lunch - Spinach salad with walnuts & artichokes, left over roast chicken
Dinner - Chinese 5-spice lettuce cups

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 1:15 pm 
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A friend of mine is on this diet and has been for quite a while. He feels better, I see no difference in his weight or appearance.

Take that how you will.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 2:30 pm 
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Since Thanksgiving, I've been on a very non-strict version of this.. basically almost nothing wheat based, and no processed sugars...

Pretty much every meal is a meat protein (including beef, chicken, turkey, eggs, tuna or salmon), some dark green veggies (broccoli, dark green leafy stuff, etc.. and something to make it interesting to eat (usually some form of unsweetened hot sauce or chili sauce).

I've lost 25 pounds since then, am sleeping better and just generally feel better...


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 11:10 am 
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I am still going to say moderation is better, and more maintainable than a wholesale lifestyle change.

http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/08/health/be ... ?hpt=hp_t2

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 12:30 pm 
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Eh, USNWR doesn't really hold a lot of credibility for ranking things appropriately. Especially since if you look at the reviews, cost and ease were a huge factor in the rankings, edging into every category if you look at the reviewer comments. I also think the "panel of healthcare experts" is a hilarious way to try to gain credibility. I also think the "cutting out dairy and grains runs the risk of severe nutrient deficiencies" is really funny, given that there are almost no nutrients gained from those food groups that aren't easily available elsewhere.

The primary research I've seen in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition supports a lot of what the Paleo diet pushes, as well as caloric restriction.

But then, it usually takes around 10 years for things to move from primary research to practice.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 12:32 pm 
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NephyrS wrote:
Eh, USNWR doesn't really hold a lot of credibility for ranking things appropriately. Especially since if you look at the reviews, cost and ease were a huge factor in the rankings, edging into every category if you look at the reviewer comments. I also think the "panel of healthcare experts" is a hilarious way to try to gain credibility.

The primary research I've seen in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition supports a lot of what the Paleo diet pushes, as well as caloric restriction.

But then, it usually takes around 10 years for things to move from primary research to practice.

I would say ease and affordability should be appropriately the number 1 and 2 criteria.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 12:34 pm 
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Depends on what you're ranking for.

If you're looking for what is honestly the healthiest and best diet, they're not important factors.

Also really funny that of their 22 panelists, not all of their reviews on each area of each diet were recorded or tallied, and how many they recorded varies depending on the diet.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 1:02 pm 
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Midgen wrote:
Since Thanksgiving, I've been on a very non-strict version of this.. basically almost nothing wheat based, and no processed sugars...

Pretty much every meal is a meat protein (including beef, chicken, turkey, eggs, tuna or salmon), some dark green veggies (broccoli, dark green leafy stuff, etc.. and something to make it interesting to eat (usually some form of unsweetened hot sauce or chili sauce).

I've lost 25 pounds since then, am sleeping better and just generally feel better...


That's great!

Avoiding the sugar and highly processed grains are the two big things I think. If you can do that and eat quality protein, fat and veggies for the majority of you calories you're way ahead of the game.

I'm doing it myself and so far so good. Work keeps trying to sabotage me by bringing in free bagels and pizza. Bastards.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 1:37 pm 
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I work in a network lab where we evaluate various vendor supplied hardware and software. They are not allowed to bring us swag like shirts and jackets, but they have no compunction whatsoever about bringing Top Pot or Krispy Kreme donuts every day.

Honestly, this far into it (about six weeks), I really don't have problems with craving sweets or breads. When I get into trouble is when I walk into my sisters house and she's baking bread, or when someone brings a fresh box of donuts and drops them on the table in our work area, and I have to walk by and smell them all day long. Or when the guy in the cube next to me heats up his bowl of home made chili when I'm sitting in my cube eating broccoli and grilled chicken....

Those days get kinda rough...


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I've been doing a lot of soups lately. Part of that is because my wonderful family got me a really nice copper cored soup pot for Christmas, but it's also the weather suits them.

I'm not hardcore paleo, in that I still eat beans and corn and lentils, I mostly avoid processed grains and sugars. I've tried with/without legumes, and with/without dairy, and found a balance that works for me. I think that's key for every diet, as well as making sure that you're eating everything as fresh and non-processed as possible.

Made a really good red pepper, poblano and corn chowder last week, then a fantastic french onion soup, and recently a lentil & greens soup (leeks, onions, peppers, garlic, shallots, red & black lentils and kale).

I should mention that I've dropped significant weight and feel a ton better, mostly from cutting out a lot of carbs (primarily processed) from my diet. The only time I use sugar is when I bake, and that only rarely these days. Dropped 45 lbs from May -> August, and have kept it off since.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 2:08 pm 
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Thanks for the post, Dash. My wife and I have been thinking about nixing as many grains as we can, this is gonna be a big help.


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Just to throw out the counter-point:
http://www.outlawfitnesshq.com/why-grai ... ad-for-you

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 3:54 pm 
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Yup I posted that in the OP. read his section on Gluten. Even he admits grains are a problem for not only people with celiac but for those who are "gluten intolerant". He also acknowledges intolerance has been shown to increase four fold in the past 50 years in some studies.

He also doenst cover the insulin spike of processed grains.

For all I know the gluten/wheat/grain thing is all hype. That said it's worth trying to restrict and eliminate them for 30 days to see how you feel. Then reintroduce and see how it goes.

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The bigger issue is that simple sugars are both neurotransmitters and one of the central metabolic signalling molecules of the body.

They are meant to be in relatively scarce supply, judging by our biochemistry, synthesized as needed and used to signal particular metabolic states.

When you take in a lot of simple sugars, it has a tendency to throw off your bodies metabolism in a number of ways.

More recent studies have linked diabetes and a large number of other autoimmune diseases to consistently sugar intake. There are also weaker correlations suggesting this is also part of the rise in levels of various cancers.

Hence why it's not so much about not eating grains, as about limiting the overall grams of carbohydrates you take in.

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Also, if you want a much more thorough and thought out dissection of the con's of the paleo diet, I suggest this interview tih Matt Lalonde- he's a pretty well respected scientist.

http://chriskresser.com/rhr-what-scienc ... at-lalonde

He gets further into the interview into the key issue- not whether we've had long enough to evolve to live on grains, but whether we've got a through adaptation that allows us to thrive and have long, healthy lifespans subsisting on them.

You might also check out Robb Wolf (a well-thought of biochemist) and Loren Cordain at Colorado State.

No offense, Hop, but that article you linked was pretty poorly sourced, imo, and the author didn't seem to understand a lot of the papers he read, past the title & abstract. Especially with the huge focus on dietary fiber, something that you can get much more efficiently through greens & fruit than through grains. He also only focuses on one paleo blog to pick apart (not one that I think is that spot on, personally) instead of looking at the many well sourced books and articles out there. It's also worth noting that most of the studies on whole grains he cites at the end of the article are mostly comparing diets with whole grains vs. non-whole grain carb sources, not whole grain diets vs. fruit & vegetable & lean meat heavy diets.

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NephyrS wrote:
Eh, USNWR doesn't really hold a lot of credibility for ranking things appropriately.{snip}


Hah, I thought you were referring to the US Navy's Surface Warfare Research (USNSWR?) for some reason. Just wanted to let all you paleo fans know that Los Angeles Magazine has an article this month on an advocate of the paleo diet out here.

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I have the day off today so I treated myself to a steak dinner. I wanted to try grass fed because I hear it talked up for taste and nutrition so I thought I'd give it a shot. I have to say it was AMAZING. I dont know if it was the cut, the grass fed, the way I cooked it... but highly recommended. I used this method to cook it:

http://offthemeathook.com/2011/02/meeeeeeeeeaaaat-how-to-cook-steaks-on-your-stovetop-that-taste-better-than-in-a-fancy-restaurant/

Price. This was expensive, 15 bucks for a steak, and a couple of bucks more for the spinach/mozarella/tomatoes. But it was one of the best steak dinners I've eaten and at a restaurant I'd pay a lot more than that. Very worth it:

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 1:20 pm 
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I use a stovetop double griddle to cook my steaks with those sexy grill marks. Freaking amazing. I almost always make a compound butter of some kind to go with them, too. Last week I made a rosemary thyme butter.

Also, grass fed is win.


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That looks fantastic.

I splurge on grass fed when I can, but I also do local free range/partial grass fed.

I'm to the point where unless I'm getting a really good, clean cut of meat, I don't find it worth cooking. Doesn't have to be a prime cut, just look healthy and fresh, and from a source I trust.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 9:11 pm 
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If I'm going to pay that high of a high price I'm going to buy bison online and have it shipped to me directly from the ranch/butcher. I love the flavor of bison, it's lower in cholesterol, and less fat than beef.

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If I am spending that much money on meat, it is going on the grill. I don't care if it is 29 degrees outside.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 3:20 am 
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Same here.. although it's never 29 degrees in south Texas.

Nowadays, whenever time permits I smoke my steaks too. Mesquite charcoal is as common as regular here, so I use that. 3 minutes a side over regular heat. Do not flip a second time, just move it off to the side for indirect heat for 45 minutes to an hour. Comes out tender like medium-medium rare even though the middle looks well done. Fantastic flavor.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 11:09 am 
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Before lauding the cromagnon diet, also take into account that prehistoric man also didn't live longer than 30 years.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 11:37 am 
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Taly: On average, taking into account lack of modern medicine, antibiotics, surgery, high infant mortality, and mastodon stampedes somewhere around 35-45ish years. However there is evidence that if they avoided being eaten, starving etc, they lived long lives. There are also modern hunter gatherer societies to look at.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-18985141

In any case, the only really controversial part of this I think is the grains. If you're not worried about grains then keep eating them. I'm trying to cut them out and see how I feel.

Raell I love steaks on the grill too but you should try this method. It was really good.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 11:37 am 
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Taly:
Sure, but that wasn't because of diet. That was because of things like infection and giant f-ing sabertooth cats.

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