Paleo for Lifters (sneak peak)

This is a slightly edited version of the introduction to my new book, “Paleo for Lifters”. It will be available very soon. 

I just spent way too long trying to find a pic for this post, and finally chose this one.

The history of nutrition and strength training has roots in hearty caloric-dense meals – with good reason. Strength training places a toll on the body that requires adequate amounts of protein, carbohydrates, and fat. There are stories from strength training legends that talk about how young, hard training men would go to the local diner for cheese burgers and milk shakes to recover from training. Other stories detail the amount of eggs, milk, cream, ice cream, and protein powder that they would throw into their shakes. This is what was necessary to get bigger and stronger, so that’s what you should do too. Right?

The old school nutritional paradigm is based on the misconception that dirty foods are the only foods that can help someone gain muscle and get stronger. The mindset probably evolved from the stories told in powerlifting magazines of super heavyweights. After all, the heaviest guys are the strongest guys, so their dietary habits are naturally highlighted. While a lifter like Lamar Gant is impressive, his 688lb deadlift at 132lbs pales in comparison to Bill Kazmeir’s 886.7lb raw deadlift at a body weight of over 300lbs. Furthermore, the impressive eating stories printed in strength training literature typically highlight young men during pubescent training. Teenagers and young adults have fiery metabolisms due to their high testosterone levels and are able to convert massive amounts of calories into solid muscular gain.

Every adult in Western society soon finds out that their teenage eating habits will result in fat accumulation through each aging decade. When people get old, their metabolisms slow and their body adapts to stress slower. “Body fat is 90% diet,” is a common phrase that has risen from trainees that are disappointed with their body composition despite hard training in the gym. Lean, athletic physiques require a lot of effort and will power.

Quality food doesn’t just yield a lean physique; it plays a role in how efficiently the body works. There will always be new fad diets that claim to lose weight quickly and easily – nutrition is a habit that is extremely difficult to change and capitalizing on laziness funnels money to pseudo-nutritionists. There have been huge nutritional advances in the last two decades that are yet to permeate mainstream nutritional and fitness knowledge. It’s possible to combine the lessons from unconventional nutrition knowledge with strength and conditioning to have an efficient dietary approach that will provide enough calories for recovery and gaining muscle without superfluous fat gain. Paleo for Lifters — a new book I have been working on that will be out very soon — will show how to do this in a variety of scenarios with guidelines.

Please voice any concerns or questions you have about trainees, athletes, and lifters using the Paleo diet as a nutritional foundation to achieve their goals.

87 thoughts on “Paleo for Lifters (sneak peak)

  1. While I have seen the effect of eating clean on my physique (I’ve been cutting out pretty much any type of dirty carbs for training for The Arnold, and I can see a definite difference in body fat) I haven’t seen much difference in my lifting from it. Being someone who doesn’t give much of a fuck about looking good, I’ll stick to putting nutella on ice cream after The Arnold is done.

  2. I’m excited about this book! I’m cutting weight and when I’m at my goal, I want to know how to eat to get strong and not put the fat back on. Thanks!

  3. I ate a very strict Paleo diet for about a year, and had the best physique I’ve ever had in my life. Then, I got convinced that I needed to stuff my face and chug milk to get bigger. Now, I am stronger but I have a lot of fat around the waste. So, I am going back to a Paleo diet, but trying to keep my fat and protein intake high to avoid losing all of my muscle.

  4. Really looking forward to this book. I can see this selling really well!!
    Will it be digital book or paperback? I imagine digital seeing as you have stated it will be out very soon, usually amazon would be pre selling it, if it were paperback.

  5. Fuck Yes. As someone who eats paleo and sees strength increasing while body fat decreases, I’m excited to see someone who I consider extremely influential and who I feel many people respect preach the gospel of eating clean while training. Thanks Justin.

  6. I own and enjoyed The Paleo Solution and The Paleo Diet for Athletes. The Paleo Diet for Athletes seemed to be more focused on endurance athletes, but I was able to take a lot away from it and help my diet. How much of your book will be introducing the fundamentals of Paleo as opposed to building on the basics and focusing on the lifting segment? I assume since you are using the term Paleo, you agree at least with the core of Wolf/Cordain’s writing? I like your writing and will probably buy it anyway, just curious.

    • Oh, I definitely agree with the purpose of a Paleo diet in general. I’ve tried to make that clear any time I’ve written about nutrition in the last 18 months.

      The big knock on “The Paleo Diet for Athletes” is that it’s not really for athletes. It’s for people that run, or swim, or cycle a lot.

      Lifters need calories in a different way, but there are old misconceptions about how to eat for lifting.

  7. Whenever I don’t eat grains, I seem to get ravenously hungry and gassy. I’m not trying to be a dickhead troll when I say that. Just curious if the book addresses these kind of things?

    • Well, to be specific, the book is not going to have a case study on what you have eaten your entire life, what you eat when you eat grains, and what you eat when you remove grains.

      As for your situation, I do know that tons of people will “eat paleo” and do it wrong. Either they don’t give a proper adaptation period or they complete miss certain types of foods or nutrients that cause a secondary problem. It’s like if a vegetarian eats meat, they will feel sick. Does that mean meat is bad? Of course not, but they are not adapted to it.

    • How long do you try to eat paleo before changing to something else? When I get my act together and eat paleo, I am also ravenously hungry for the first few days or a week, but it goes away. Others I know feel tired all the time, have gastric distress, etc, but like me it goes away in a week or so.

  8. The guys at work always make fun of me and my “big bowl of meat” I bring for lunch every day. In response, I added up all the weight for the sets and reps I perform every week for a tonnage total. Between squats, presses, pulls, and accessories, that turns out to be a big fun number (25,000) moved once over 30 inches or so.

    I’d like to use my weak interweb skills to try to figure out what the energy cost would be for a machine to perform such a task. Any smarter folks out there willing to chime in?

    • Hmmm… According my feeble calculations;
      25,000lbs x 30 inches(2.5ft) = 62,500 foot-pounds
      Google tells me 62,500 foot-pounds is only 20 kcal.

      This seems crazy.

      • You’re also making the ol’ CrossFit mistake of equating “work” to just mean the movement of the body or an implement. The body doesn’t quantify work like that. That’s why I try to teach you about acute and systemic stresses. How you respond to these will be dependent on a shit-ton of variables like your age, weight, height, gender, training history, current program, etc. — AKA your current state of adaptation.

        Not to mention moving, say, 350 pounds in a squat is not the same as moving it in a bench press, even if the distance it moves is equal. There is a completely different acute and systemic stress between those two things.

        In other words, don’t try to relate mathematical amounts of “work” to caloric usage. If you are going to calculate tonnage, just do it for each exercise or body part and use that over time to see if there is any correlation between performance and tonnage. In retrospect you may have a bad week, and you may see that your tonnage in the previous week was higher than average.

        In other words, tonnage values just give you more information to analyze when judging the efficiency of a program, not to calculate energy expenditure.

    • I probably won’t be getting into actual recipes, but I will be making cooking suggestions on the fundamental food items. A recipe portion would require a lot more work, especially since I make stuff up a lot in cooking.

      Recipe stuff is probably on a distant horizon though.

  9. I’ve experimented extensively with paleo for over two years now and I’ve found that my cost/benefit ratio is maximized when I eat clean paleo + dairy, but still allow beer in my diet (because I fucking love beer and I don’t react that poorly to it).
    My question is: How much am I costing myself in the gym by allowing beer to be a significant portion of my diet (200-300 kcal/day)?

      • Wow I’m surprised by this, would I be correct in assuming you don’t consider whey protein dairy or in a different class?

        Btw I will definitely be buying this shook and dude it would be awesome to hear u as a guest on the paleo solution podcast. Just say the word and I will begin obnoxiously sending them emails requesting you as a guest.

  10. This e-book idea sounds great! I’ve been essentially paleo for about 3 years now and have been tempted to go to ‘dirty’ eating every so often to help with recovery/mass gain. If I didn’t feel so crappy when I stray I would actually jump off the wagon, but it’s just not worth it to me. I always just reason that I should just eat more of what I already eat, like an extra meal a day. I’d be interested to know if your e-book will be a lot more in depth/specific for strength trainees than what is available via people like Robb Wolf.
    I like you Justin, you’re always thinking.

  11. I cannot wait to get my hands on this. I have always struggled figuring out my diet for what i want. Constantly ridiculed for my 7 egg breakfasts with sausages and heaping amounts if meet and veggies at dinner, i still have my chubbed lower midsection. While my short torso does not help and i have gotten bigger, i need a fresh approach to keep my strength and clean up the areas i want to improve. I have never totally cut out dairy and whey protein and maybe thats why (mr wolf i think would say so) but i do not want to sacrifice strength progression for body comp (preaching to the choir). Its a frustrating balance i have not learned. I will be buying the book as soon as it is offered.

    Thanks for all of this besides the books as well.

    • Thank you for your support. The book will help someone in your position lose that body fat, but I will admit that you probably contain the knowledge on how to do it right now. I think there’s a specific topic that you are neglecting though: insulin sensitivity. I talk a lot about it.

  12. I’m very excited for this book Justin. I’ve only recently (6 months ago) gotten back into lifting since I quit playing football about 4 years ago. I’ve been on the Paleo/Primal thing for a little over a year and love it.

    I’d be particularly interested in some sort of 80/20 for Paleo and Lifting. Ie. What should my diet/training look like if I’m trying to put the least amount of work in to get the most out. I can’t realistically train at a gym more than 3 days a week and travel frequently at work so even then it’s inconsistent. Any recommendations on how to best compensate for that via diet would be really interesting to me, though that may be beyond the scope of this book and what most of your readers are interested in.

    Anyway, thought you might want a little feedback. Regardless, thanks for the great content.



  13. I know the internets are pretty riled up over whether calories matter more than manipulating hormones. Will you weigh in on this or recommend any kind of target/optimal macronutrient ratio?

    Also, will you talk about intermittent fasting or fasted training in general?

  14. Very excited to pick this up, Justin. I’ve been eating mostly low-carb paleo for not quite two years and it has made all the difference in training, recovery, and body composition.

    Do you touch on macronutrient cycling at all in the book? I have been half-assedly trying some carb cycling (mostly putting carbs in PWO) to support strength and hypertrophy. Robb Wolf’s recent blogs on low carb and paleo basically helped get me eating more carbs in general. He suggested moving from high-fat low-carb to a carb/protein plan with lower fat in general (1 g/lb body weight protein, 0.5-1.0 g/lb body weight carb, lowish fat, spike calories every 3-4 days). Tried this but my digestive tract just can’t handle the carb content at this point.

  15. I have been on Paleo for about a year and a half and started the Texas method about 6 months ago and thought I should add in some grains to help build some mass so I deviated from a strict Paleo to about 80% and my strength increased but my health took a hit (got sick for the first time in 14 years and I know it was from eating shitty for a month) But I am back to strict and feel great and haven’t seen any decrease in training only bodyweight so we will see how that goes.
    I am excited to read this and see your approach to Paleo for lifting. I find you to be a great resource for strength training and it would be cool to see how you handle it cause I’ve been shooting from the hip trying to figure it all out

  16. I’ll be curious to read this. I haven’t read the paleo literature but my exposure to those eating paleo has largely involved people low-carbing it who weren’t particularly strong. Given your predilection for potatoes and maximum jackage, I’m guessing this won’t be an issue.

    I am curious about your notion of targeted cheating. Is that just cheat days or will you give advice about how to time regular non-paleo munching? Not pigging out, but enjoyment of decidedly delicious things on a regular basis. I am open to the idea that keeping strict to a diet can help with weight loss and perhaps a heavy training cycle, but I find that a lot of the paleo chatter seems to neglect that some of man’s greatest inventions are non-paleo foods. Bread is fucking delicious (at least here it is). Chocolate is delicious. Cheese is delicious. I don’t mind keeping these things as somewhat rare treats in my diet, but I’m reluctant to become a food bore who is always trying to come up with decent recipes because I’ve sworn off the ones that are actually delightful.

    I’m completely ok with you saying that I’m SOL.

    • My wife has created/found some amazing recipes that replace problematic ingredients with more benign ones, such as subbing almond flour/flax flour/white rice flour in for wheat flour. I don’t miss bread at all, so we don’t try and make it, but cookies and cakes and muffins are always a great way to enjoy a treat w/o getting off track. Dark chocolate is a nice treat now and then as well. As for gluten, there is not cheating for me, I simply don’t tolerate it and keeping away becomes a simple matter of not wanting to curl up in a ball for half a day.

  17. Hey Justin

    I am pretty solidly Paleo and have been for a few years. The odd bit of gluten sneaks in now and again by mistake, eating on the road etc when you sneak a look at the back of some pork rinds or some such and realise they have wheat flour but all in all, we eat lots of grass fed meat, loads of seasonal veggies, some fruit (not loads), good fats: extra virgin coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, grass fed beef tallow etc.

    Just over a year ago I purchased a power rack and some olympic weights and decided to (in the words of Arnie) “Get Serious” and have been following a starting strength style linear progression gig since. To be honest, I think it took me and my buddy really six months plus to really get proficient at the lifts and we went back various times when we realised our squat was totally wrong etc.

    So, at a year in, I am at around 1.5x body weight back squat, 2x body weight deadlift, 90% body weight bench press, 75% body weight shoulder press and things have slowed right down.

    I have also never managed to get rid of that last say 10 pounds or so of body fat from around my middle. Paleo got rid of a lot, lifting got rid of some more, but I never quite leaned out.

    Sorry that was the background really but the bones of my question is related to Carb Refeeds, Carb Backloading and Cyclic Low Carb type diets. I have been pretty low carb really for this year, possibly too low and have been sticking with my meat, fat and veg dinners after lifting.

    Should I look at adding in a weekly carb refeed? Or, should I just introduce carbs after lifting and stay low carb on my off days. Also, what do you make of the talk that post workout, fast, simple, sugary carbs are better? Get that insulin up and get that sugar deposited away in the post training insulin sensitive muscle tissue to aid growth and recovery.

    Obviously, I want to do this all within a Paleo framework and with clean, Paleo foods. You know, a couple of overripe bananas post training, maybe some kind of shake with bananas, honey etc.

    Will certainly be picking up the book as whilst we eat primarily Paleo for health (it put my wifes MS into remission) I want to tweak it to better support my strength goals and of course, to get 70’s big!


  18. I switched to paleo almost 2 years ago, right around the time I switched onto SS coming back from my collarbone break. My gains were insane compared to my first go round of lifting with the traditional “healthy” diet style.

    I feel like shit now when I eat gluten, but I kind of like that, since it keeps me on track. I really only eat that when I’m eating out or someone gives me free food for some reason (pizza, brownies, shit like that). But my kitchen is nothing but meat, eggs, milk, fruits/veg, potatoes, spices and teas.

    And my strength and leanness just keep increasing while my weight stays the same and I feel better constantly.

  19. I just finished reading FIT, and it is excellent, so I am looking forward to this one as well.

    I appreciated in FIT how you included guidelines for us older trainees. I’d love to see guidelines for macronutrient consumption as we age. I have recently started experiencing the longer recovery times, and it would be useful to know if there are any specific eating strategies to continue to augment lean mass gains as we age. I don’t want to get brittle, ever, but I also don’t want to get weighed down with unnecessary body fat.

    As I write this, I am wide awake in the middle of the night because I did not eat enough last weekend to support this week’s linear progression, and went down HARD as a result (fell asleep at 8 pm and woke up with elevated heart rate). “Eat more” is the obvious answer, but maybe there are other tactics as well?

  20. Nice!! And even more nice that it will be an ebook since I’m in Sweden!
    Was about to ask if shipping here was possible but know I don’t need that.


  21. Justin, this sounds awesome and I’m definitely excited for the book. The market will love it.
    As far as Paleo and strength goes, there is no doubt that the two can go hand in hand, but it helps to have a big appetite.
    Personally, at 30 yrs old, almost 6’4″ and 230 pounds (12-13% BF) and working an active job 6 days a week, it is a bit uncomfortable to hold weight on a strict paleo approach. Tons of fat and fiber (3-4 lbs of potatoes a day) make my digestive system a bit unhappy. If i was to truly “listen to my body” I would probably end up at a very lean, but skinny 210. Fuck that. So for me, added fats (coconut milk and ghee, mostly) and rice on training days really helps a ton. The fiber-free starch helps fill in some calories and keeps my belly happier. Adding dairy does not help the stomach and I seem to tolerate rice really well.

    I think for many folks who hop on paleo/primal, they forget that to push into the more elite levels of strength, athleticism and muscular leanness, macros still matter. Unlimited paleo eating will work for most for a while, but eventually we need to toggle with the details to get that last bit of awesome out of each individual.

    I’m hoping this books gives some insight into that topic specifically.

    • Finally somebody mentions rice. Half the world is eating it 3 times a day. You can bet your sweet snatch that the ultra-jacked Chinese lifters who won gold in London are consuming plenty of it.

      Justin, talk about rice in the book! I know most of us are in America, but I never liked bread much, and my Idaho-born mama burned me out on potatoes as a child. I eat about 1cup of rice or rice noodles everyday, and as @leodesforges mentions, it digests really easy. And FFS, don’t even mention brown rice. Asians don’t eat that shit, it’s for hipsters who believe that whole grains are the secret key to fitting in to their skinny jeans.

      • Yes.
        Most of my rice comes from rice cakes and white rice.
        Also: sushi fucking rocks. All you can eat sushi is an invitation for an establishment to lose a shitload of money on me. Sushi should never include brown rice.
        I don’t hate brown rice, but it is not special.

  22. thanks for the book idea man. One thing that I really would like to see would be adjusting food intake levels for someone who sits at a desk all day, but then wants to hop into training about an hour or so after they leave work. I eat 90% paleo but do include dairy in the form of greek yogurt, cottage cheese, some other cheese, and protein powder. It has been about two years of trial and error between finding out what I need to eat during the work day and then right before and after I work out. Thus, far I have found that I feel the best when I eat a large breakfast comprised almost entirely of protein (maybe a few chunks of mango in my morning shake), a large meaty lunch with green veggies, and then eating 2 small or one large sweet potato around 4, going home and lifting at 6 and then eating more sweet potatoes after lifting. The biggest problem that I see with people doing paleo and the crossfit/ wanna look good crowd is an aversion to carbs. I dont know where it started, but it definitely mindfucks some people and it definitely messed with my head as well. Since I started doing the pre and post workout carb up, I have had better and more productive workouts.

    • In juxtaposition to the desk job, I have constantly been looking for the best way to maximize strength and muscle gain while working a highly physical job. Lifting heavy shit for ~8 hrs/day while trying to get in adequate calories and satisfactory recovery has been quite a challenge. Some input on situations such as these would be mighty advantageous

  23. I lost 40 lbs over 6 months or so by eating pretty strict Paleo, but then learned I had to drink copious amounts of milk and eat shit to get stronger. I’m looking forward to the book because I’m going back to Paleo. Plus milk of course, just less shit.

  24. Hey Justin,

    Just wondering…your bound to cover it actually….if your going to cover post work out window eating in terms of carb intake – potatoes etc? (sort of non paleo but good pwo) and what is sort of advised limit etc.

    I struggle with recovery when eating clean paleo. Maybe its in the mind but if i eat a spud after training i feel that im ready to roll sooner.

    Anway, good luck with the book. Its a great idea. Look forward to bittorrenting the shit out of it.


  25. Justin with regards to the comment on energy consumption and tonnage lifted I found this quote quite helpful and interesting. Taken from a SS article.

    “Obtaining precise values for energy utilization during anaerobic and mixed aerobic-anaerobic exercise is notoriously difficult. This isn’t running or Pilates, where the consumption of oxygen correlates nicely with the amount of energy consumed, and the energy expenditure after exercise stops begins to approach baseline again…
    …you need to incorporate into your thinking the tremendous caloric requirements of recovery, including architectural remodeling at the tissue level. If you could find a way to accurately measure it, you’d find that a heavy set of squats consumes calories at an increased rate for days, although the rate would be variable depending on the individual…Moreover, a lot of consumed energy would be used not for production or fat-storage, but for repair, growth, and glycogen deposition.”

  26. With regards to Paleo and Low Carb I think that ship has somewhat sailed and the big Paleo heads are now longer promoting low carb as anything other than a tool. Obviously, by nature of what you are eating, it is lower carb than the SAD but still, if you are doing exercise and want to grow + recover some fast carbs in the post work out window from potatoes or even Paleo safe treats should not be a problem.

    Damn, even rice, really, unless you have a problem with grains then as long as it is kept post workout then I don’t really see rice being a huge issue for most folks.

    Have any of you come across Kiefer from Dangerously Hardcore and carb backloading? He was on the Robb Wolf podcast a few weeks back and seemed to have a good, science based argument for carb loading post workout. They also talk about how this can be done with paleo safe fast carbs.

    Ultimately, this is seemingly only a tiny bit different to cyclic low carb with carbs on workout days and low carb other times but it tweaks that and just keeps carbs on workout days in the post workout window.

    • Ok so i checked out this Kiefer site his carb backloading book sells for 57$ beans. I dont mind spending my hard earned money however have you or anyone you know tried this book?

      • I have not bought it, am toying with it, dude seems super credible and seems to be really digging into the science of all of this.

        In essence, you can get the basics of the plan from the Robb Wolf podcast and his site if you want to give it a go and then if it works out, grab the book to fine tune.

        Be interested to hear how you get on. I am, after being probably too low carb for a while, adding some carbs PW so hopefully will see some benefits from that.

        • cool if i make the leap ill let you know. My main issue i guess is overall health and longevity. eating cake ice cream etc for carb loading might make me stronger ut what are the long term effects?

          • If I do this, it will be in a Paleo framework and they talk about three ripe bananas being enough to do the job. Maybe some smoothies or something, some honey etc. Get that insulin burst, get the glucose squared away in muscle tissue and be done with it quick time.

            So, longevity etc seems okay but then, what the hell do I know!

            I am going to give this a go, start carbing up so ill post back. Maybe fire me an email man and we can swap notes?

            marcus primod

  27. The sooner this book is out, the better. I’m hopefully completing in my first powerlifting meet this Summer and looking to impliment a Paleo diet, but one geared less towards CrossFitters and more towards lifters. This book would be perfect.

  28. I’m looking forward to reading this book. I’ve enjoyed your two Texas Method books and refer to them from time to time.

    You’ve written a little bit about the best ways to cut your losses when you “mess up” your diet, like how if you eat too much sodium in the afternoon it’s best to increase water and potassium intake that evening. I’d be interested in reading more about that kind of thing.

    Also, I’d be interested in your take on wild (hunted) vs. farmed meat. For instance I’ve always assumed that venison from a mountian/forest deer (not one that lives near corn fields) is nutritionally superior to beef from even a pasture-raised cow. Same with wild caught fish from clean waters vs. farmed, or wild duck vs. pastured chicken. This may be outside the scope of the book.

  29. Do you address how to replace the concept of GOMAD for skinny people (not that I am one of them). Mark Sisson of vourse denied it and thinks it would be better to go with 1 dozen eggs.
    Robb Wolf understandably says protein supplementation is not paleo (e.g., protein powders). So a 200# guy would need to eat 250g of protein from eggs and things with a face. That is about 12 eggs and 23 oz of meat product. This seems unachievable. Is it basically about ponying and destroying meat?
    Does the book discuss caloric requirements for LBM gains without accumulating adipose tissue?

  30. Awesome; I can’t wait for this book! It seems like so much of the specific dietary advice for lifters out there is aimed at young men who want to gain weight — and advice for women is usually an afterthought along the lines of ‘eat less.’ Which is not so helpful. So, I’m stoked that you’re covering a larger audience.

    I blathered a lot about this in that consult email I sent you a while back, but here’s what I’d like to see in the book, FWIW:

    REALLY stoked you’re covering insulin sensitivity. If you covered the metabolically-challenged, that’d be beyond awesome. (And by that, I don’t mean the people who blame ‘bad genes’ and are just lazy; I mean those of us who actually see an endocrinologist.)

    Are you going to cover ketogenic diets?

    Also, I’m really interested in figuring out how to figure out how much I should be eating. The meal plan my endo. gave me has so few calories that I perform abysmally in the gym. The formulas I’ve found online give so many calories that my fat loss stalls out.

    Hope that’s not too special-snowflake. :)

  31. I’m curious to see if you’ll find any room for protein powder in this diet – a most unpaleo product.

    For me protein shakes have always been invaluable. And if you throw in a fistful of spinach and a big lug of peanut butter you pretty much have a whole meal on your hands.

    I’ve never been sold on the idea that whole food is sooo superior that shakes should be left out. But then again, maybe I just haven’t seen a compelling argument yet.

  32. Hi Justin,

    What’s your opinion regarding grains such as oats and rice for those people who react well to them, avoid them anyway?

    Also, given the large amounts of meat and fats that would be consumed by those who require big calorie numbers to build while being on paleo, is there such thing as excessive consumption of any one food type?

  33. Very excited about this. I’m not paleo but during the week, lunch and dinner are generally paleo recipes. Up to this point I loved my milk, peanut butter and Dave’s killer bread too much. However I’ve been having bad acid reflux and am getting an endoscopy in a month and my research shows that cutting out wheat could help…so I’m now wheat free and limiting milk to a glass or two a day.

    Ive been hitting a wall with my squats which I could probably eat my way thru but I’m not excited to put on more weight. Im guessing I have about 10lbs of junk weight I’d be happy to lose while pushing thru that wall.

  34. Justin,
    I recommend being very careful getting into the paleo thing. While paleo is much better than the SAD, it may not be what humans used to develop the brains that set us apart feon primates and not be the actual ideal diet for humans. Look into for more specifically the brain-gut series. Humans need a lot of seafood and iodine to thrive.

    • A lot of seafood and iodine – which any sensible Paleo diet would include a bunch of? I don’t get the logic here.

      If you follow the work of Richard Wrangham it would seem that humans likely developed bigger brains when the costs of digestion allowed for it which was when we started to cook food. Chimps and the like can spend up to 12 hours a day eating, trying to wrestle enough calories from their diet yet a cooked food diet allows for quick, easy digestion and plenty of calorie density.

      This is the same time that our guts started to shrink and other adaptations allowed us to get cleverer.

      This is all from memory but the general idea was that we developed some when we started to scavenge meat and then a bunch more when we started to cook food. The gut and brain are closely interlinked and when the gut requires less energy, it allowed more energy to go to the brain and our head cavities got bigger, we got smarter and we did more cooking and hunting.

      Read Catching Fire by Richard Wrangham – it’s a really great read if you are interested in evolution etc.

      • Im not saying a lot of seafood I’m saying a diet based around seafood and particularly shellfish. You need dha to grow a human brain and seafood kicks meat’s ass and its not even close. Please read

        “The Paleo template is a very good diet because it is is better at controlling inflammation than most other diets. When I discovered the Epi-paleo Rx seven years ago, I kept researching all the biochemistry links of why it worked so well in those with serious diseases and illness risks. It destroys inflammation while providing the human with massive quantities of brain specific nutrients to rebuild your neural circuitry. This current series is showing you how these dietary principles directly link to optimal brain health. Optimal brain health is a requirement for illness prevention in humans based upon our evolutionary design.

        We are only as good as our weakest link based upon on our evolutionary construction blueprint. Humans are unique because of their brains within the mammalian clade. The Epi-paleo Rx is how we evolved from transitional apes……… decide now what you want…….effective or correct.”

        • humans likely developed bigger brains when the costs of digestion allowed for it which was when we started to cook food – paleo dogma, i used to believe it too

          • Sure, seafood is great, but there are lots of humans that grew up away from the oceans and that developed perfectly well, how would that theory account for that?

            I had a quick read and it seems pretty Paleo to me just focusing on fish as a base for the protein which seems like a reasonable idea if what he says is true but seemingly there is no references there for the nutrient density claims. I would be interested to see some kind of comparison of shellfish vs grass fed liver etc?

            Grass fed meat provides plenty of PUFAs in the right ratios as well, it is only our torrid, grain fed animals that are problematic and especially if we are eating organ meats etc. As it goes, I eat a load of sardines, wild salmon etc along with our grass fed beef & lamb (and of course, pastured bacon) but

            Ha, and I have been reading around Paleo for years and never came across the digestion allowed for bigger brains thing till I read the Richard Wrangham book. It seems pretty science based but I am just a casual observer so I can’t really call it either way.

            I am at work at them moment but I will give those links a better read a little later and am always happy to find improvements to my diet if they are in fact improvements.

          • I’m just warning you to be careful of being an echo of Robb Wolf and Mark Sisson. There is more to the “paleo” story including artificial light, cold exposure and EMF and those guys are missing a lot of it. I used to be a huge fan of those guys too and they are doing a lot of good but they are not painting the entire picture. Id love to discuss this more with you. Sorry but Richard Wrangham is wrong.

            • sorry just read your post after I posted. Ya dude check this guy out he really knows his shit and I recommend listening to some of the podcasts hes done.on jimmy moore and able james. Humans migrated out of africa along coastal waterways. Its pretty crazy shit and I still dont get all of it but it makes a lot more sense then we just started eating organ meats.

            • Hey, I totally agree, I have read a lot around the subject of light, evolution etc. I am actually reading Lights Out at the moment. Not sure what EMF is but I can be pretty sure you are not talking about the British dance band from the 80’s!

              I simply don’t have the steeping to call Richard Wrangham wrong, I mean it’s a theory, obviously but I would not know how to call it one way or the other.

              So, what would be the alternative theory?

              Enjoyed this discussion though buddy and I am in no way trying to claim to be right or wrong. Catch me on marcus at if you want to talk about it a some more.


              • Checked out your site. The alternate theory is what I said. Humans evolved in the east african rift along coastal waterways eating shellfish and seafood. There is no fossil remains of this because the oceans destroys them. But dont you think if you were a hunter gatherer it would be a lot easier to gather shellfish than kill an animal. Not only that but it makes sense because you need dha and iodine to form a human brain and the best source of this is shellfish and sea vegetables. Our brains are what set us apart from primates so its pretty important to have a well working one. EMF explains how our mitochondria work because our body is entrained to work on a circadian rythym and it is entuned to light, temperature, and also magnetic fields in the earth. Humans are messing up that magnetic field with all our modern technology ie cellphones. Thats why grounding is becoming popular. I know it sounds kooky it did to me too at first but it makes sense. Read about it here.




                I’m telling you I dont totally get all of it and the science but its all really interesting. I was totally unaware of this stuff and was into paleo and came across Dr Kruse on a podcast and was like what the hell is this guy talking about. The more I read though the more it makes sense.

                • He also talks about how humans are adapted to live in cold because we have come from different extinction events on earth and to do so had to be able to adapt to the environment being really cold over night. Thats why humans are best adapted to eat a high fat low carb diet and become cold adapted. He calls that Factor X.

                  • Also how “diseases” like diabetes and cancer arent diseases at all they are epigentic responses. In diabetes glucose in the blood actually acts as antifreeze its why for example wine has a lower freezing point. Humans are the only mammals that can control our environment we live in heated houses and drive heated cars.

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