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The Paleo Manifesto: Ancient Wisdom for Lifelong Health [Format Kindle]

John Durant

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Descriptions du produit



Becoming the Caveman

What would it look like if a caveman were interviewed on TV? America was about to find out. On February 3, 2010, I was backstage at The Colbert Report, waiting to be interviewed by the razor-sharp comedian. Colbert's interviews are among the most difficult on television--and it was going to be my first ever TV appearance.

Colbert had invited me on because of my so-called caveman diet. Admittedly, my health regimen sounds unusual at first. I attempt to mimic aspects of life during the Stone Age--or, as many people jokingly refer to it, "living like a caveman." Heck, I even look the part, with a shaggy mane and scruffy beard.

In popular culture the "caveman in civilization" is a reliable source of punch lines. In 2004 GEICO ran an award-winning series of commercials showing a pair of well-dressed cavemen offended at the insurance company's tagline, "So easy a caveman can do it." On Saturday Night Live in the mid-nineties, Phil Hartman played Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer, a thawed Neanderthal who enrolled in law school and won over juries by pretending to be a simpleton ("Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I'm just a caveman!") before delivering the clinching argument.

The jokes begin as soon as people find out about my lifestyle. Whenever I use a piece of modern technology (a cell phone, a Styrofoam cup, a spoon), someone reminds me, "Cavemen didn't use those!" People tease me about the caveman approach to dating: clubbing a girl over the head and dragging her by the hair back to my apartment. And if I ever eat anything other than raw meat straight off the bone, my co-workers kindly inform me that I am doing it all wrong. Apparently, watching reruns of The Flintstones turns anyone into an expert paleoanthropologist.

Given the widely held cartoonish perspective of Stone Age life, I had a pretty good idea of what kind of jokes to expect from Colbert. My job was to point out that our impression of how humans lived in the Stone Age is exactly that: a cartoon. In the same way that Mickey and Minnie Mouse tell us little about the lives of real mice, The Flintstones tells us little about the lives of real Stone Age humans. In fact, the terms "caveman" and "Stone Age" are inaccurate and outdated. Though some early humans lived in caves, particularly in cold or mountainous climates such as Europe, our Paleolithic ancestors lived for millions of years underneath the big open sky of the African savannah.

These early humans were hunter-gatherers who foraged for a variety of wild foods, and whose lifestyle was quite different from the lives people lead today. This ancient, ancestral lifestyle is more important than we realize--especially when it comes to being healthy in the modern world.

Here's the simple truth: genetically speaking, we're all hunter-gatherers.

Of course, we're not just hunter-gatherers. We also carry the genes of primates; herders and farmers; factory workers and explorers; office workers and computer programmers. But at our biological core we are still largely hunters and gatherers.

My path to discovering my inner hunter-gatherer began during my junior year at college. Two important but seemingly unrelated events took place at the same time. First, I went through a long breakup with a girlfriend and watched my physical and mental health suffer. Second, I began studying under cognitive psychologist Dr. Steven Pinker, learning about the evolution of the human mind over millions of years and how that evolutionary history shapes the way our minds work today.

In the middle of the breakup I had an epiphany: If I got fewer than eight hours of sleep, it felt like my world was coming to an end. But on the days when I got more than eight hours of sleep (and exercised), I was able to put it all behind me. It blew my mind that my entire outlook on a relationship could be so noticeably influenced by my bedtime. Rather than having a mind or spirit that rose above my base body, it seemed like I was nothing more than a bunch of cells and chemicals sloshing around in a big, leaky sack.

As the geneticist Theodosius Dobzhansky said, "Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution." Pinker's course on evolutionary biology examined the capacities of the human mind through the lens of the survival and reproductive pressures faced by our ancestors. It addressed questions like "Why do many people have a visceral fear of snakes, which kill only a few people each year, but not of automobiles, which kill tens of thousands of people each year?"

Evolutionary theory points out that snakes were a real and deadly threat to our ancestors--but automobiles were not. Our ancestors with an innate fear of snakes would have been less likely to risk a deadly encounter with one, and thus would have been more likely to produce more offspring. This hypothesis wasn't just an after the fact rationalization of a fear. The fear of snakes is widespread among other primates, which share similar predators. The same line of thinking can be used to explain a variety of common fears that were past evolutionary threats, such as darkness, deep water, and heights. The power of the human mind is such that instinctual fears can be overcome (and novel fears can be imprinted), but the predisposition still looms in our minds.

Evolutionary psychology can also explain some of our moral intuitions. For example, why is there an almost universal aversion to incest? Inbreeding is far more likely to result in birth defects; just ask the owner of a purebred dog. In our evolutionary past, people with an aversion to having sex with their close kin would have been more likely to produce fertile and healthy offspring. Cultural norms almost always reinforced this instinctual aversion to incest, even though people may not have understood why the norms existed. They just worked, and the people who held such norms ended up flourishing.

This newfound perspective redirected my entire course of study halfway through college. I shifted away from my major, history, and toward evolutionary psychology, culminating in an interdisciplinary thesis advised by Pinker. I wanted to explore mankind's murky origins--and their lingering effects on us today.

Then I graduated. I moved to the urban jungle and joined the daily grind. Abstract ideas about cavemen gave way to the concrete reality of paying the rent on a cave-like apartment in New York City.

I worked long hours, including weekends, at a consulting firm. My company would buy takeout when I worked late, which meant I ate takeout almost every night. I sat most of the day and rarely found time to exercise. I didn't sleep enough, and when I had the opportunity I usually went out drinking with friends. "Work hard, play hard" meant being hard on my health all the time.

Like most others starting their first desk job, I found that my metabolism seemed to slow down in a big way. I gained about twenty pounds of solid fat. This actually didn't bother me that much. I had been lean before, and now I was "normal" (meaning, kind of hefty). To me the more important issue was my energy level: It was up and down. I often couldn't even stay awake, let alone function productively, without large amounts of caffeine.

Just like during that breakup, as my energy went, so went my mood. Low energy meant pessimism, impatience, irritability. High energy meant optimism, confidence, and an upbeat perspective. My outlook, my judgment, my decisions--things that were central to who I was as a person--seemed to be influenced by something as simple as what I had eaten for lunch (often a footlong Subway meatball sub) and whether I had made a Starbucks run.

I don't know why it took me so long to make the connection--it certainly wasn't a lack of coffee--but one day I considered the situation in a new light. Could I take control of my health and diet in order to improve my mood and outlook? Could I be "up" all the time?

I began where most people who want to get healthier begin: my diet. Maybe, as so many nutritionists advise, I needed to nibble on lots of small snacks throughout the day to keep my blood sugar up. Or maybe my metabolism was just naturally slowing down due to age. Or maybe I was eating too much fat or too many calories. Or maybe I was supposed to eat organic. Regardless, I knew I had to eat healthier--which is what most people would call "going on a diet." But I had never been on a diet in my life.

As any rugged man age eighteen to thirty-five can tell you, diets are for women and organic food is for hippies. The only time I had ever counted calories in a meal was to brag about how many I had just eaten. If I was weighing myself, it was probably because I wanted to gain weight (i.e., muscle). It's not as if the diet industry had a great track record of success. From an outsider's perspective, it seemed like a constant churn of celebrity-endorsed double-talk that gets renamed, repackaged, and resold to desperate women straight out of a Cathy cartoon. Ack!

I needed a scientific framework that worked and made sense. I needed something that had the power to explain why.

That "something" popped into my inbox at 4:01 P.M. on February 14, 2006. It came attached to an email from my older brother Clark, who sent me a twenty-six-page essay by Dr. Art De Vany, a retired economist from the University of California. De Vany titled his essay "Evolutionary Fitness." The title was an academic pun: it referred to "fitness" in the common definition of exercise, as well as "fitness" in the evolutionary biology sense of reproductive fitness, meaning an organism's overall ability to leave offspring.

The essay was based on a simple premise: There is a mismatch between our genes and the lives that we lead today.

Humans aren't adapted to sitting at desks all day long, eating Twinkies and drinking Pepsi. Humanity spent most of its evolutionary existence living as hunter-gatherers on the African savannah; therefore humanity was better adapted to that type of lifestyle. Many modern health problems, such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer, are rare to nonexistent among contemporary hunter-gatherers. Our hunter-gatherer ancestors were healthier and lived longer than most people realize. If we wanted to be healthy, then we might be able to learn a thing or two from them.

Old knowledge didn't need to be wrong knowledge.

The general mismatch hypothesis wasn't original to De Vany. A wide variety of academics and authors had written about a disconnect between our ancestral lifestyles and our current ones, but in the age-old scientific tradition of self-experimentation, De Vany was one of the first to take it out of the classroom, apply it to his own diet and exercise, and then share his experience with others online.

Because I had studied evolutionary psychology, the general evolutionary approach to health immediately struck a chord with me. Instead of reading a diet book to learn about what to eat, I could find out what humans naturally ate. Lions are well adapted to a carnivorous diet. Gorillas are well adapted to an herbivorous diet. Humans are well adapted to an omnivorous diet, based on the foods eaten by hunter-gatherers.

Online I discovered a small but growing group of people who were "eating paleo," and, more broadly, following a paleo lifestyle. But what did that actually mean?

Not only did eating paleo imply avoiding processed foods, as most conventional health authorities recommend, but it also meant casting a skeptical eye on allegedly "healthy" agricultural foods like whole grains and legumes (wheat, corn, soy) and dairy (milk, yogurt, cheese), which didn't enter the human diet in any meaningful amount until the Agricultural Revolution roughly 10,000 years ago. Also suspect were two common approaches to healthy eating--low fat and vegetarianism--since humans have been eating animals for millions of years.

As for exercise, other animals don't "exercise" so much as they either play or just do what is required to survive. Birds fly. Fish swim. Humans are well adapted to moving in our own natural ways: ranging across the savannah, hunting, gathering, fighting, and procreating.

Modern humans are more sedentary than ever, and the evolutionary perspective agreed with the modern conventional wisdom. Want to be healthier? Move more. Yet many people exercise in highly routinized and monotonous ways, like running on a treadmill in a gym. They focus on abstract goals, like burning calories, and lose sight of functional, goal-oriented movements such as sprinting away from a threat or carrying an animal carcass back to camp. At a minimum, the evolutionary approach implied injecting variety into the types of movements and intensity level; hunter-gatherers did not do the elliptical for thirty minutes a day, four days a week. But there were limits to this line of thinking. The hunter-gatherer's source of motivation was running from a lion; the closest modern analogue is chasing down a cab--and no matter what we tell ourselves, there's hardly the same sense of urgency.

There were specifics to fill in, but the general evolutionary approach was sound. It was the appropriate starting point for any intelligent discussion on how to be healthy--even if it wasn't the last word.

Theories are nice, but would it work? Things were going to get real Darwinian real fast.

I started eating paleo in September of 2006.*

I stopped eating industrial foods: no ketchup, mac and cheese, mozzarella sticks, or sweets. I stopped eating grain products like wheat, corn, and rice; legumes like soy, peanuts, and beans; and dairy. I also eliminated starchy foods like potatoes (though I would come to learn that roots and tubers are a staple in many hunter-gatherer diets, both Paleolithic and contemporary).

Surprisingly (to me), there was still a wide range of foods available to eat. My status as an "omnivore" was not in question. I ate meat, seafood, fresh vegetables, and a modest amount of fruit, nuts, seeds, and eggs--basically any category of food that seemed like it would have been available in the wild that also happened to be available in my local grocery store (except for my prejudice against potatoes).

I moved away from "three square meals a day" and interjected a little variation into my eating routines. I even fasted once a week for the first three months, skipping dinner and going roughly eighteen hours from lunch to the following breakfast.

I never counted calories or measured macronutrients (fat, protein, and carbs). Relative to what is considered "normal," I ended up with a high-fat, moderate protein, low-carbohydrate diet.

I found it hard to give up alcohol entirely, but I completely cut out sweet mixers and cut back on beer, which is grain-based. I reduced my coffee intake to about a cup a day, only in the morning.

I did my best to get at least seven hours of sleep at night, and I got more sunshine during the day.

After about ten days of eating paleo, I knew I had something. My "diet" was working.

* My current diet has "evolved" from my initial experiment at eating paleo. A longer discourse on food can be found in Chapters 7 and 8, and a summary is located in Recommendations.

Revue de presse

“In an age of material abundance and high technology, why are we failing to thrive? Why are so many of us fat, tired, achy, depressed? Starting with the insight that every species is well suited to its natural habitat, John Durant explores how we might alter our own habits and habitats in ways that allow us to flourish. Durant is original, open-minded, and the nicest and smartest caveman you’ll ever meet. The Paleo Manifesto is brimming with ideas and a fascinating read.”
–Steven Pinker, Johnstone Professor of Psychology, Harvard University, and New York Times bestselling author of How the Mind Works and The Better Angels of Our Nature
“Anyone who runs barefoot from Harlem to Brooklyn, argues with Harvard anthropologists, and rips the lid off Bambi’s lies in the name of science is a writer worth listening to. John Durant’s goal is simple--to make everyone as strong as Tarzan--and to achieve it, he’s ripping apart decades of dangerously misguided medical opinions in search of ancient human truths. He’s not taking us back in time; he’s using his own body as a testing ground in pursuit of a healthier future.”
–Christopher McDougall, New York Times bestselling author of Born to Run
“To paraphrase George Santayana, those who forget the past are doomed to be fat, sluggish, and sickly. John Durant is here to help us remember. In this fascinating and wide-ranging book, Durant gathers the best lessons from human history--and not just the Paleolithic. We also learn health tips from Moses, Victor Hugo, 19th century British undertakers, and lowland gorillas. Read this book as a hardcover, e-book, or stone tablet, but read it.”
–A.J. Jacobs, New York Times bestselling author of The Year of Living Biblically and Drop Dead Healthy
“Amid the mass confusion of our diet-obsessed culture, The Paleo Manifesto stands out as fun, refreshing, and sensible. Durant has a knack for story-telling, weaving his exploits as a modern hunter-gatherer into lessons for healthy living--all based on solid evidence from evolution and biochemistry. The Paleo Manifesto is the new common sense.”
–Mark Sisson, author of The Primal Blueprint and publisher of
“Whether you are a skeptic or a believer, you’ll admire Durant’s passionate and highly personal advocacy for living a paleo lifestyle.”
–Daniel Lieberman, Professor of Human Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University
“Durant’s provocative manifesto is bound to inspire necessary discussion about the nature of our food and the role of evolution in determining a healthy diet.”
–Gary Taubes, New York Times bestselling author of Good Calories, Bad Calories and Why We Get Fat

"The Paleo Manifesto is likely the most important contribution to the concept of ancestral health since Boyd Eaton's original The Paleolithic Prescription."
–Robb Wolf, New York Times bestselling author of The Paleo Solution

“In many respects we have become ‘zoo humans,’ living unnatural lives--and the cost of this disconnect from our wild origins is greater than we imagine. John Durant is a bright and original thinker, and here he makes a compelling case for the health benefits of a life rooted in evolutionary principles. Insightful and inspirational, The Paleo Manifesto is a masterpiece.”
–Erwan Le Corre, founder of MovNat
The Paleo Manifesto explores a way of life that we’ve forgotten, and convincingly argues that we should re-think the way we live.”
–Will Dean, founder and CEO of Tough Mudder
“John Durant offers a guided tour of our evolutionary heritage, showing how an ancestral lifestyle can improve our health and happiness. (And it works for animals, too!) Entertaining yet profound, The Paleo Manifesto is a book you won’t want to stop reading--but you will, because you’ll be so eager to start living its advice!”
–Paul Jaminet, Ph.D., author of Perfect Health Diet
“John Durant has a gift for relating complex and seemingly disparate ideas in an engaging and accessible way. His habitat-based approach on how to eat, exercise, and enjoy a healthy lifestyle invokes the same concept we use to promote animal health and welfare in zoos: the natural history of the species is paramount. Those deeply committed to the survival of species--our own and others--will gain a unique and fresh perspective on the biological, cultural, and anthropological underpinnings of longevity by reading this book. It should not only be in the hands of human and animal health experts but be required reading for anyone who is--or takes care of--an omnivore, carnivore, or vegetarian.”
–Dr. Kristen E. Lukas, Curator of Conservation & Science, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
The Paleo Manifesto is now the definitive guide to going paleo. Smart, compelling, entertaining and accessible, it’s the book I’ll be recommending to our members at CrossFit NYC, and to anyone interested in looking, feeling and performing their best!”
–Joshua Newman, founder of CrossFit NYC
The Paleo Manifesto is the most up-to-date user manual for the human animal. A splendid synthesis of ancient wisdom and modern science, this book is essential reading.”
–Barefoot Ted McDonald, ultrarunner, primal athlete, and founder of Luna Sandals
“A first glimpse of a new and better world.”
–Seth Roberts, Emeritus Professor of Psychology, UC Berkeley, and New York Times bestselling author of The Shangri-La Diet

“Durant groks hackers of all kinds -- and he places biohackers in their rightful place at the cutting edge of the health movement, pioneering new and better ways of living. Biohackers will love The Paleo Manifesto.”
-Patrick Vlaskovits, founder of and New York Times bestselling author of The Lean Entrepreneur
“Don’t let the stone tool on the cover fool you, John Durant is no caveman wannabe. On his thoroughly entertaining adventures, Durant discovers that all of our ancestors – from unicellular bacteria to present-day parents – have a little something to teach us about how to be healthy in the modern world.”
-Aaron Blaisdell, President, Ancestral Health Society, and Professor, UCLA Department of Psychology

From the Hardcover edition.

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  • Format : Format Kindle
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  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 368 pages
  • Editeur : Harmony; Édition : 1 (17 septembre 2013)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 4.5 étoiles sur 5  205 commentaires
66 internautes sur 71 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 This is the answer to the question of "Why Paleo?" 23 septembre 2013
Par Ben M - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle
I didn't know what to expect from The Paleo Manifesto. My original thoughts were "Oh, great. Yet another paleo diet book. How many times/ways can we talk about the paleo diet?" But I was quite relieved while reading this book and finding out that it was not another diet book. As John has discussed many times during his interviews, he did not set out to write another diet book. He wanted to write a book about the paleo lifestyle. He has said that he hates reading diet books. I'm beginning to feel the same way; so this book is a welcome relief from those.

The Paleo Manifesto is divided into 3 parts: Origins (the past), Here and Now (the present), and Visions (the future). After Chapter 1 - where he tells the story of "Becoming the Caveman" including his appearance on Colbert - he starts Origins by discussing the health and behaviors of captive gorillas, comparing that to modern day humans being kept in a "zoo city" away from our natural environment. Then in the Paleolithic Age chapter, he tells about his trip to Harvard's Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology where he got to hold a skull from 80,000 years ago. He tells about the changes our Paleolithic ancestors went through leading up to the Agricultural Age. Chapter 4 is mostly a discussion about disease, cleanliness, and the rise of cities.

In the chapter on the Industrial Age, John discusses the rise of modern society and medicine: "we learned how to not die." I really liked the discussion about habitat features in that chapter: "features that were constant (e.g., gravity), features that were cyclical over a certain period (e.g., day and night), and features that were varied within certain bounds (e.g., temperature)." This reminded me of Nassim Taleb's Antifragile which I read recently. The last chapter in Origins is on the Information Age, titled "Biohackers." Here he talks about all the new technology and information we have, and how people use it to "hack" their health.

In Part Two: Here and Now, John does give the obligatory discussion of food but not in a typical, boring way we've read in diet books (sorry diet book authors!). He discusses topics like counting calories, eating earth/clay/dirt, cannibalism, and fasting. Then he moves on to a chapter about movement (exercise). He tells of his experience with CrossFit and MovNat, and about humans needing the proper motivation to exercise. Then a brief chapter on barefoot walking and running with a cool sidebar of authors who wrote standing up. I found the chapter on Thermoregulation very cool! John writes about his experience as a part of the Coney Island Polar Bear Swim Club; taking a swim on New Year's Day in the Atlantic Ocean! In contrast, he mentions the benefits of sweat baths and saunas. This is stuff I'm really looking forward to experimenting with. He ends Part Two with a discussion of circadian rhythm (Sunrise, Sunset). This is an incredibly important chapter with good info about SPF levels of sunscreen lotion and vitamin D.

In Part Three, John talks about the future of the paleo movement and our evolution. He tells about his first experience hunting and discusses the arguments vegans and vegetarians make against the paleo lifestyle, including sustainability.

This is definitely an essential book for everyone who eats and/or follows this paleo lifestyle. It's very well-written and fun to read. It's more of a beach book than a text book, for sure. My overall "feel" for the book is that it's more of a why we should live this way. But not necessarily the in-depth science behind why; more of the evolutionary, anthropological reason. Get it! Read it!
29 internautes sur 34 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A good broad overview, especially for folks new to Paleo/Primal/Ancestral concepts. 21 septembre 2013
Par sefase aefas - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
I just finished John Durant's new book, The Paleo Manifesto. It would be a total misunderstanding to say it's "another book on the paleo diet." If your only concern is what to eat and why, you might want to pick up Jaminet's Perfect Health Diet, a book that Durant himself cites. Paleo Manifesto is a very broad overview regarding what it takes for humans to thrive in an environment that shares very little in common with any historical time period.

I think my favorite section is a historical overview of humanity running from our animal predecessors to man living today. Within this section, I particularly enjoyed reading about the adaptations ancient Jews made when living in densely populated areas. Despite living more than two-thousand years before the discovery of the Germ Theory of disease, early Jewish peoples, through the Law of Moses, adopted hygienic practices that were remarkably successful at reducing the impact of agrarian civilizations' biggest scourge, communicable disease.

Another theme running throughout the book is the rediscovery of "why", with respect to many cultural practices. For example, South American Indians pre-processed maize/corn using a process called nixtamalization. When Europeans started raising and eating corn they never adopted the process. Many Europeans who ate this corn developed pellagra, a terrible disease caused by niacin deficiency. Now with the benefit of hindsight we know that nixtamalization freed up niacin into a readily absorbable form. The book covers many such rediscoveries.

The sections on exercise, fasting, sleep, thermoregulation, hunting, are as much narrative/self-discovery as they are instructions on adaptations the reader should make. The book does a good job weaving n=1 research, historical traditions and modern science together into a very readable package.
31 internautes sur 39 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Well-written synthesis of the science and history behind how we ought to eat and live 17 septembre 2013
Par A. Wiederman - Publié sur
Although most current writing on "paleo" living focuses primarily on diet, Durant's new book goes far beyond just that -- providing the science, history, and overarching philosophy of why a paleo lifestyle makes sense -- and how adhering to one can alleviate a vast number of the health problems that plague us today.

In the first part, he begins with a fascinating overview of the history of the prehistoric human diet. He walks you through a compellingly-written reflection of the Mosaic law and the profound impact (for the better) it had on the health of the early Jewish people. And then he writes of how, beginning in the industrial age on through the information age, so much of what our bodies were used to (diet, environment, activity level) fell apart.

In the second part, he explains how a paleo lifestyle might be lived today. He covers not just the food one should eat and avoid (as countless others have), but many other aspects that keep our bodies operating at peak efficiency: fasting, exercise, standing, a variety of temperature (hot and cold to extremes), as well as the natural cycles of the day (the importance of sunlight, along with the necessity of sleep.)

In the final section, he gives mention to some more extreme practices that have lost favor but make sense in a paleo lifestyle: hunting and fishing for your own food. And then he does an adept job at covering the ethical debate that surrounds these practices in the modern day.

Durant does a brilliant job of bringing together so much research from a variety of disciplines. Nothing that he writes about is ground-breaking or new (the only reason I gave it four stars instead of five), but the stories he tells, the research he cites, and the commentary he provides (which is prescriptive without the air of superiority -- a tough line to walk, but one that he did marvelously, admitting that even in many social situations he does not strictly adhere to a paleo diet, which is refreshing to read an author admit) altogether make this book thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining.

If you have spent little time researching evolutionary biology and how out of whack our modern system is, this would be an excellent primer to educate you. Or if you are investigating the paleo diet, this would be the perfect introductory text to give you the background you need on your new lifestyle.
6 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Paleofuturism 3 novembre 2013
Par Jack Donovan - Publié sur
The paleo diet is an attempt to approximate a diet closer to the diet of our ancestors. Modern humans are partially domesticated animals with wild ancestors. Just as you’d try to feed a trained monkey what it would eat in the wild to improve it’s health and happiness in the zoo, it makes sense to feed people what they evolved to eat in the wild.

John Durant makes this point in his recent book, The Paleo Manifesto, and takes it a step further. The Paleo Manifesto covers the basic guidelines of the paleo diet in plain and sensible language, but it’s not another diet book and it’s not a cookbook. The Paleo Manifesto pushes a total lifestyle change. Durant isn't just concerned with what you eat, but when you eat, how you exercise and how you work. The big idea is to bring all of this into better harmony with the lifeways we adapted to in our species’ first few million years on the planet.

However, John Durant is not the unabomber. He lives in New York City, and he’s not trying to get you to move to a cabin in the woods. He wants to help you live happier and healthier in the modern zoo. This is the mainstream appeal of The Paleo Manifesto, which is full of fun facts about fasting to beat jet lag, standing desks (I became a fast fan), the footwear industry, sunscreen, cancer, thermoregulation and sleep. It’s an easy, engaging read and a jumping off point for further thinking on how to use what is known about evolutionary biology to improve the way primal humans interact with modern technology and the demands of life in the 21st Century.

Durant is often called a caveman, but The Paleo Manifesto doesn't argue for some ascetic retreat into primitivism. Durant looks forward with a reference to and some reverence for the past. The Paleo Manifesto is paleofuturism.
6 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Art 10 décembre 2013
Par bmack - Publié sur
I don't know anyone who who's told the story of time like Mr Durant. Breaking down biblical interpretation as nobody I've ever heard or read. I'm quite certain many will not appreciate this, but I can tell you, most people are angered by those who seem to be impervious to specific things or do things well. For instance: The Jews have been persecuted as no other race on this planet, and as someone who's looked deeply into religion and spirituality Durant gives an incredible execution as to why. Forget for a moment that it is his opinion (which is well documented and educated) think more in the fact that the Bible itself was written by many, and many who were attempting to interpret things they were not around to see either.

Durant chronicles "a brief history of time" in a new fashion. Giving validation to the fact that no one way of eating is superior to another, but simply laying a foundation for principle based living in what we have to work with today. Moving from the dawn of our existence to modern day in a way all of us can understand and interpret.

I have more or less lived by the principles this book has discussed for almost a decade, and have never been happier. I have not seen ONE case of someone properly applying this lifestyle have negative affects, and Durant's timeline of treasure pretty much sums up why.

Of course, you could always go back to eating what the American Diet Association recommends, but if you look at their statistics they have failed miserably.

I love that the Paleo Diet was voted the worst diet by "news" sources like USNews. It tells me we are doing something right.
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