Friday, August 20, 2010 » Food For Thought: Meat-Based Diet Made Us Smarter

Grass-fed Beef - 3 Sirloin Steaks
Our earliest ancestors ate their food raw — fruit, leaves, maybe some nuts. When they ventured down onto land, they added things like underground tubers, roots and berries.
It wasn't a very high-calorie diet, so to get the energy you needed, you had to eat a lot and have a big gut to digest it all. But having a big gut has its drawbacks.
"You can't have a large brain and big guts at the same time," explains Leslie Aiello, an anthropologist and director of the Wenner-Gren Foundation in New York City, which funds research on evolution. Digestion, she says, was the energy-hog of our primate ancestor's body. The brain was the poor stepsister who got the leftovers.
Until, that is, we discovered meat.
NPR has a great series going on right now, The Human Edge.

Check it out.

Also Semi-Related, a Great Book Recommendation:

Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us HumanCatching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human


Anonymous said...

Some good point written.
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ben said...

Hey Steph, i trade comments with you a bit on paleohacks, and you seem pretty common sense and pretty knowledgable. I was wondering if i could get your two cents about PWO nutrition:
I am 6', 145-150lbs, fit, lead an active lifestyle, usually workout at home with a pullup bar and kettlebells. I eat strict paleo: meat, fish, and veg. No dairy, no grain, nothing processed. I feel good, love life, etc.
I started Olympic weight lifting with a personal trainer. He is adamant about me bringing food so I can eat post workout without a delay. This is fine but I am really wondering about how I should partition the macronutrients of my meal.
Keep in mind that I would like to increase muscle mass over the coming months. In other words I'm not trying to slim down or anything like that, I'm looking to get ripped and add muscle. Simply put I'm looking to gain rather than lose. That being said, after my workouts I don't have too much to do through the rest of the day so I'm not too concerned with feeling pretty beat up through the rest of the day.  So i was thinking that just protein PWO, rather than protein and carbs together would be ok.  My trainer, while being flexible and nice, would rather me have some carb in the sweet potato style with protein. PWO the muscles being ready to take up glucose, etc.
If my workout is done until two days later (I'm on Monday Wednesday Friday workouts) and like I said the rest of my day is just normal life stuff like errands, dog walks etc, do I NEED that carb?
I really don't wanna waste any effort I'm putting out through these workouts tearing down my muscle fibers etc by mistakenly avoiding carbs and thereby accidentally missing out on real muscle gain.
So I suppose that is my nutshell Q: does the PWO carb intake actually BUILD new muscle or does it just prepare that muscle for more work in the following, say, 4-5 hours?  Or put slightly differently, what exactly does the carbohydrate do in the PWO window that eating protein only would miss?

Elise Lowerison said...

I just came across your health and fitness blog. Your article about eating smarter with eating meat was especially interesting. I especially liked your comments about how meat gives us the energy (and gives our digestion a break) to function in our daily lives. I am adding you to my favorites. We're in the same industry, the business of encouraging health and fitness. We market a product called The AbStand: We would love for you and your readers to check out our ab workout product. Any feedback would be appreciated as well. Thanks!

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