New Evolution Diet
Has the typical list of worst-foods - grains (esp potatoes, esp-esp FrenchFries), pizza.
- also anti-bean (legume), contrary to vegan (Joel Fuhrman)
What he does eat:
- Intermittent Fast: skip 1 dinner/week, walk during dinner time, go to sleep early
- a lot of fish: salmon, shrimp, "fish or seafood", "fish", salmon, "swordfish or orange roughy", "seafood", "smoked salmon or fresh grilled tuna", grilled shrimp, grilled salmon, shrimp or tuna, salmon steak, salmon, fresh lobster tail or crab legs, steamed shrimp, fresh or canned tuna, salmon steak, steamed mussels, shrimp cocktail (that's the list of fish included in 2 weeks of his sample meals)
- steak, ribs, pastrami, lean turkey, chicken, etc.
- likes to start people off with the Abdominal Brace position, and balance/posture
- then Walking (not briskly, just a lot), Standing Desk, etc.
- then on to "real" exercise
HomoErectus, our ancestor from almost 2 million years ago, could go out today and buy a suit (42 long) at Ralph Lauren and walk the streets of New York with little notice. He would be tall and lean, built like an NBA guard. A more modern Cro Magnon, who roamed the earth 40,000 years ago, might buy an Armani (44 long)—he would have a better sense of style than Homo erectus, as evidenced in the art objects and cave paintings he left behind. A Cro-Magnon might look more like a rugby player; he would be taller than most males now and would be lean, muscular, and very powerful—a devastating athlete. He would also have a bigger brain than we have.
We are, in essence, hardwired to be lazy overeaters.
One thing we can do in that regard is to eat properly. A forager moving over the savanna in the quest for food will encounter patches of edible plants in great variety and in seasonal abundance.
As with food, variety in activity is beneficial to health. I believe we should model our physical activity after the movements of children at play or predators at work. This leads to a rather radical but peaceful departure
I take life easier than almost anyone I know, but when I do exercise, I move as though my life depends on it—which it does. I never work out more than an hour and a half per week, and I sometimes go days without exercising at all. I spend more time doing nothing than most people I know—really nothing, not reading or watching television, just taking easy walks with my wife, or roaming the hills near our home, or lying on the grass with my dogs and watching the sky. I even organize my work life that way, mixing intensely
The strategies of the New Evolution Diet are simple and powerful. Here are the guiding principles: Enjoy the pleasure of food and do not count or restrict calories. Eat a diet low in glucose and starch that is similar (but not identical) to the one humans lived with for thousands of years as human metabolism evolved. Glucose restriction offers antiaging benefits, too. Do not starve yourself, but do go hungry episodically, for brief periods. This means you should practice partial fasting once a week or so. An easy way to fast is to skip a meal when you have something else to do. Exercise less, not more, but with greater playfulness and intensity. Exercise for the pleasure of the sensation, not to burn calories. Exercise to create a beautiful, strong body with a high resting metabolism and a large physiologic capacity that will help you move through life easily and handle stress and challenges easily.
By exercising more like a wild animal than like a robot, you will build a physical capacity that brings a kind of fearlessness and a sense of confidence that you are up to any situation you may face.
My education in metabolism began the year I was a visiting scholar at the University of Chicago, during the blizzard of ‘79. My youngest son, Brandon, had developed type 1 diabetes, probably from a viral infection that triggered a strong immune response.
My education in metabolism was furthered when my wife, Bonnie, also developed type 1 diabetes, 12 years after Brandon.
I began to examine Bonnie's testing numbers and correlate her blood glucose with her meals. I used my training in statistics to look for patterns in her readings;
Pasta and potatoes sent her blood glucose through the roof, requiring a large injection of insulin to bring it back down. So pasta and potatoes were the first entries on our list of offending dishes. We identified all such foods and simply cut them out. We did not just reduce her intake of these foods—we banished them. I did not want her reactivating old metabolic memories by eating small amounts of offending dishes.
In 2003, after I retired from the university, I established a blog of my own. I posted some articles that had been written about my work on movie economics (the best was in The New Yorker, a piece by John Cassidy titled “Chaos in Hollywood: Can Science Explain Why a Movie Is a Hit or a Flop?”). Like Nassim Nicholas Taleb, I was by then studying the consequences of extreme events on economics and elsewhere, and I put that research on the blog, too.
I am very happy with my blog, which is available only to subscribers—and
The New Evolution Diet is a smart diet. It is relaxed, because it does not restrict calories—you eat all you want from a wide selection of fresh and nutritious foods that are delicious, aesthetically pleasing, and satisfying.
A command-and-control diet creates stress.
Many fad diets encourage snacking throughout the course of the day. I think this is done to avoid scaring dieters away, but it's not a good idea. You should be eating enough in your regular meals to keep you satisfied.
My diet eliminates many of these foods: dry beans and peas, starchy vegetables, grains, and dairy. Oils are restricted, with the exception of olive oil, and are primarily treated as spices or flavor enhancers. I add fresh spices as a category for their flavor and antioxidant value and add cheeses such as feta, romano, and Jarlsberg in sparing amounts strictly to add flavor to your meals.
The brief exercise that most of us engage in presents no danger of dehydration. Leave the water bottle at home. It slows you down at the gym, and going a little thirsty now and then produces a hormone response that makes you better able to withstand actual thirst.
The New Evolution Diet Food Pyramid
Research suggests you need to eat 1.5 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight daily. That comes to about 3 or 4 ounces of meat or fish in each meal, up to 15 ounces per day.
Four or five servings of fruit a day is plenty; more than that and you're getting a lot of fructose,
You'll notice that my list does not include cashews, which are toxic to eat raw; “raw” cashews are actually processed, though not roasted, and are high in carbohydrates. Neither should you eat peanuts, which are actually legumes, not nuts. Stay away from seeds, too, which are loaded with toxins and antinutrients.
But most common kitchen oils—canola, vegetable, corn, palm—are unnecessary. If you must cook in oil and want to do so at a higher temperature than permitted by olive oil, then use canola oil (made from rapeseed but called “canola” because it is a more felicitous name).
A yam (which is different from a sweet potato) every now and then is fine because it contains a lot of fiber, which slows the release of the starches. The occasional beet or raw carrot is fine, too. Other starchy vegetables to avoid include green beans and lima beans.
Soy and soy products (including soy sauce, tofu, textured vegetable protein, soy milk, and edamame) should be avoided because soy is high in lectins and estrogen.
For a variety of reasons, none having to do with counting calories, I recommend that you undertake the occasional mini-fast. Once a week or so, you should eat little, skip dinner, or eat nothing at all for a day.
I skip one dinner a week, chosen at random. On those nights, I go to bed early. You burn fat while you sleep. The more sleep you get, the leaner you will be.
The New Evolution Diet is intended to alter your metabolism to favor muscle and brain tissue over fat.
I eat heartily and never gain weight. For example, here's what a typical day's diet looks like for me: Breakfast: half a ham steak cooked in a pan, three hard-boiled egg whites, and half a cantaloupe Lunch: a huge salad of romaine lettuce, raw broccoli, cauliflower, red cabbage, kalamata olives, half an avocado, and about 9 ounces of smoked salmon, dressed with balsamic vinegar and olive oil Dinner: half a rack of barbecued baby back ribs, asparagus sautéed in garlic and olive oil, and half a red pepper grilled with the ribs
Week 1 Monday....
Learn the abdominal brace. Stand tall and bend slightly forward from the hips as you feel the erector muscles tighten in your lower back. Hold them flexed and stand straight. Then, holding that position, push your stomach out a bit. Then lift your heart and look out over your cheekbones as you walk without tilting your head down. This is a position of power that protects and strengthens the spine and lets you see the world in a different way.
Make four hard-boiled eggs, but don't eat two of the yolks. Eggs are healthy, but you should skip the yolks now and then. The yolk is mostly fat, while the white is mostly protein (that's what the hatching chick eats). Eat some fresh fruit of your choice.
Cold is exercise. Brown fat (adipose) tissues are furious fat burners
Here is my list of the Worst Foods You (and Your Children) Can Eat.
- Wheat bread.
- Soy sauce and other soy products.
- Refried beans.
- Processed white flour.
- Energy bars and drinks, trail mix, soft drinks, and sports drinks.
- Foods and drinks containing artificial sweeteners.
- High-fructose corn syrup and cereal.
How to Exercise
I visit the gym anywhere between one and four times a week, depending on how I feel. When I work out hard, I may take 2 or 3 days off to recover.
I spend as little time as possible working out, usually no more than half an hour or so.
I go to the gym in the morning, not long after I wake up, for the simple reason that a workout is more effective if done on an empty stomach. You burn more energy this way.
Later I'll explain why it is better not only to exercise hungry but also to put off eating afterward for up to an hour.
The main goal here is to reach for intensity.
His findings include evidence that “doing a few intense muscle exercises, each lasting only about 30 seconds, dramatically improves your metabolism in just two weeks.”
The first thing I do at the gym is head for a stationary bike.
Unlike most people at the gym, however, I don't stay on the bike for long—just 6 minutes total, which is enough time to break a sweat and get a good burn going, if you ride as I do.
Professor Leila Barraj's research actually shows that doing just 7 minutes a week on a stationary bike, riding intensely as I do, can make significant improvements in your ability to metabolize glucose. Other studies show that intermittent, intense sprinting can double endurance capacity in 2 weeks.
After the bike I head for the leg machines.
First up are leg curls.
I build my sets in a hierarchy, like this: First,
There's a good reason for this hierarchy of repetitions and weight levels. It matches the sequence in which your three main types of muscle fibers go to work.
The conventional wisdom requires you to wait a minute or even more between sets—”recovery time,” as it is called. This, too, is wrong-headed, in my opinion.
However, I do not perform an exercise “to failure,”
After working the hamstrings, I go directly to the seated leg extension machine to balance out the movement I've just done. On this seated exercise, start with the knees bent and straighten them against resistance, working the front of the thigh. Again, I do this in the 15-8-4 rep sequence,
The final stop for the lower body workout: the leg press.
This is a good measure of strength—men in good shape can move at least double their body weight in this exercise;
We are made more for walking and sprinting than for jogging.
As in all exercise, intermittency and variety are the goals in aerobic workouts. You want to stop and start, go in an instant from walking to running at top speed for 40 or 50 yards, then amble along until the urge to sprint overtakes you again.
You get a good cardio workout just by lifting weights, as I suggest, without a break between sets or stations. When you do it vigorously and with a sense of purpose, your heart will be pumping and your lungs will be working. If you still feel the need for more aerobic exercise, find a game or sport to play.
Lately I've been playing a lot of tennis, maybe four times a week, which is all the running I need. When I do my sprints, I will go once a week to a nearby field and race 40 yards, then stop, and repeat this a few times.
Here's another great aerobic workout: Simply jump as high as you can and land in a squat with your thighs parallel to the ground. Do a dozen of these in rapid succession and see how you feel.
My upper body training routine also starts with the biggest muscles, to keep the growth hormone flowing and the heart pumping. So let's begin with the back. There are many ways to work those muscles, but I'm going to start with a seated cable row, in a hierarchical 15-8-4 set.
After the barbell row exercise, I move on to the chest workout,
I tend not to spend much time working abdominal muscles as such.
But there is one abdominal exercise to do—and only one: an ab curl. I make this quite intense by contracting the abdominal muscles before beginning the exercise. The curl is done by lying flat on the floor or on an elevated bench, bending the knees, and placing the feet flat, just under the hips. Once in this position, raise the upper trunk from the pelvis to lift the shoulders. I imagine that I am pressing some object in front of me upward by holding my arms out and curling with the abdominal muscles.
Finally, whenever I walk, I focus on maintaining the abdominal brace posture.
Now that you're done with our workout, you might be tempted to reward yourself with a big meal. But that's a bad idea. Your body only begins to burn fat after the workout is over. This is why you shouldn't eat anything right before or after exercise.
The third and final element that connects all the dots and accounts for my fascination with the subject of this book: The ways in which the New Evolution Diet has intersected with my intellectual life.
At some point I realized that a human being is just another economic system.
I learned about the limits of control when caring for my first wife, Bonnie, through her terminal illness. I learned it again in my studies of the movie industry, and now in the course of my ongoing education in health. It has even allowed me to recognize, in this thought, the Zen of the hunter-gatherer lifestyle: There is no failure, only feedback.
My two main supplements provide amino acids and antioxidants.
I take a potent antioxidant supplement (Ultrathione Health Packs made by Antioxidant Pharmaceuticals Corporation) to fight inflammation.
I have boiled down the practical aspects of the New Evolution Diet to what can fit on a single page. Here are the essential principles:
When the Human Body Needs (Extreme) Randomness by Nassim Nicholas Taleb (Nassim Taleb)
A few facts that will follow explain that I had some of the ingredients of what I call an “ecological,” nonludic way of living (avoiding what Art De Vany calls the gym equivalent of laboratory rat to living an “evolutionary” lifestyle), but didn't make an obvious connection. 1) Lumpy Work:
Then I realized the following: I didn't understand the application of my own ideas on complexity and randomness. The reason that I was fit didn't come from the hours of bicycling I did every week, but from the two or three grueling hills on my ride that pushed my heartbeat to about 210 beats per minute—only 5 minutes of severe straining workout every ride, but these 5-minute periods were all that mattered.
So I will discuss the following two points in sequence: a) the need to put randomness into our life; b) the need to put kurtosis into such randomness.
In short, the human body is a complex information machine, not an engine. Exercise conveys information, and genes up-regulate and down-regulate in response to stimuli—taking the information machine outside its normal, pre-agricultural habitat leads to the disruption of its equilibrium (or its various states of dynamic equilibria).
Hence a workout and diet regimen needs to match what follows.
- No Moderate Exercise Sessions:
- No Yoga—Just Long, Very Long, Walks:
- Occasional Sprints:
- No Purely Aerobic Exercise:
- Food Intake: No carbs that do not have a Biblical Hebrew or Doric Greek name (i.e., did not exist in the ancient Mediterranean): No oranges (only citrus), no bananas, no mangoes, or anything of that nature.
- Starvation: Work out while starving.