Reader Results and Dot Connecting

Time for one of my favorite kind of posts, again. This is from Gethin Rees of Great Britain

I’ve noticed recently that you grately appreciate feedback from those who have enjoyed your website, especially those who have stumbled on the site and then been inspired to implement some ideas.

Firstly let me say how much I enjoy the blog. Secondly it may amuse you to find out that I initally stumbled upon it after a google search on sous-vide cooking at home! The funny thing was that so many strands of interest for me come together in your site.

My ‘transformation’ may be modest in comparison to some of your posters, but I have dropped 15 lbs since the start of 2010, by a combination of diet and exercise. I have not always been truly ‘primal’ in my eating, and I was working out regularly beforehand, but the inspiration has been very valuable and significant.

I had noticed the following:

A friend of mine has always impressed me with her general stamina, and how it contrasted with mine. Despite being much ‘fitter’ than her, I once found myself feeling faint on a morning walk, just because I had skipped breakfast. She was suffering no ill effects. It struck me that she naturally follows many primal ideas despite nobody ever telling her to. She eats only a little starch, and very little processed or sugary foods. She often skips meals, eating only when hungry, but has great stamina and energy. She also tends to eat late at night.

Often after having eaten lunch, I feel unbearably sleepy. At work this was a problem! I had noticed long ago that a solution to this problem was to cut out potatoes or fries at lunchtime – again arriving at a ‘paleo’ solution without understanding why.

I had been exercising regularly doing circuits at home but noticing little gains in strength. Karate classes (which I have been doing for 20 years) always left my joints feeling sore. Seeking to get aerobically fit and burn calories, I really feel I was doing what Mark Sisson calls ‘chronic cardio’. Having modified my approach to increase intensity within the circuit (rather than increasing repetitions of the whole circuit) I noticed immediate benefits.

The other strands of interest that your blog brings together are my love of food, and my interest in human evolution.

I greatly applaud your stance on real food. I have always shied away from ready-made food (with the exception of occasional takeaway indulgence) simply because I don’t like it. I’m also very fond of cooking, and love your ‘food porn’ posts.

Even 20 years ago I was known amongst my friends for regularly commenting on trivial aspects of daily life by saying ‘What would stone age man think if he saw us right now? Since then I have become a huge fan of Jared Diamond and his book ‘Guns, Germs and Steel’ which indicates how many things adopted by civilisation have been successful for the societies themselves (in a Darwinian sense of their competition with other groups), but sometimes extremely harmful for the health of the individuals. Our diet and lifestyles are perfect examples.

Many thanks for your blog. Keep up the good work.

That’s the great thing about a real food, paleo, primal styled diet. You suddenly begin to understand the elements in play during the past when you felt good and when you felt bad.

This is the power of reinforcement and why paleo in general is likely destined to have the highest retention rate of any diet or style of eating. But that would make perfect sense, since it’s the diet we evolved to eat.

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  1. Sebastien on August 18, 2010 at 17:46

    The fact that everything starts to make sense when looked at from a paleo point of view is very true to my experience as well.

    My own health problems have been a mystery for my whole life and the more I saw doctors about it, the more confused I got. Only after tinkering and eating Paleo for a while was I able to put everything together and now it seems so evident to me that I can’t imagine myself not seeing that for years and years. I feel somewhat stupid honestly for not having seen what is so evident.

    I think some of it also comes from the fact that the conventional wisdom thinking likes to accuse bad genes or willpower and most people tend to just accept their condition as bad luck and learn to live with it. We could also make a case for religions also causing us not to question our health and happiness levels and forcing us to just accept our faith. Talking about religion though as opening up another big can of worms.

    Anyways, good job Gethin!

  2. JIM on August 18, 2010 at 19:29

    Dude, don’t knock potatoes, Nick is a potato whore.

    • Richard Nikoley on August 18, 2010 at 21:35

      Ha! And I just got done with a big plate of homemade home fries ( in bacon drippings) from from six strips, followed by three jumbos ss/up. Happy camper. :)

      • Flying Burrito on August 19, 2010 at 13:28

        But that’s because you’re going that extra mile right now and pumping iron and x-fit, right? Otherwise, what’s the deal on the potatoes–are they a kind of good starch?

      • Richard Nikoley on August 19, 2010 at 13:41

        It’s just generally the way I like to get some carbs on my workout days. Since I don’t do grains or refined sugar it’s actually a challenge to get above 100g for a day.

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