In this blog, I plan on covering:
- Keto origins and early man. Were we plant eaters?
- Gear – new fitbit coming in
- General update. Where am I these days?
I was having a discussion with someone close to me, and the concept of early man came up. What did we indeed eat 10,000, 50,000, or even 200,000 years ago? We know about 10,000 years ago is about when we started with agriculture. Why is this important?
Obviously, you have the vegans out there. They feel like we should not eat animal products for a variety of reasons. I once saw a few movies and it spurred me to eat mostly vegan for 4 months. I did have some eggs, occasionally. I lost like 40 pounds and felt amazing. Alas, I could not hang up the cheeseburger and fries forever. Eventually, I crashed on this and gained all the weight back and more. I did have some lessons learned during this, which is why I still try and get the best eggs and meat I can. Yes, it makes the grocery bill skyrocket, but this is what I can do to have a more humane food supply.
But I digress. The concept presented to me was that early man ate mostly vegetation. It gave me some pause to think. I am presenting keto as THE diet of early man, and someone presented me with an alternative universe where man was eating nothing but vegetables and fruits. This kind of thing I love. I can disagree with someone – and they make me think. I then put myself in their shoes and try to run with it. In the wake of newer, and perhaps better evidence, I am open to changing my mind.
I don’t think the evidence is there. I’m also not an anthropologist or anyone that might study early man eating habits. What I can tell you, from the annals of the recesses of my mind, are some things I remember:
- I believe early man and primates ate primarily vegetation. EARLY. This had to do with flatter teeth to grind – no sharp teeth to tear.
- If you look at the evolution charts, you see man getting bigger and growing taller. I believe this was a function of adding lots of protein to the diet. Anyone who has studied what vegans generally look like notices they are typically very thin and don’t have a ton of muscle. There are exceptions, with the vegan bodybuilders who do the pea proteins and the like, but most vegans are on the thin and frail side. Meaning, I believe the introduction of meats led mankind to getting bigger and stronger, and this led to these persons reproducing more often, being able to defend themselves, and being able to live through harsher conditions.
- Look at teeth over the last 200,000 years or so, and you will see we evolved from flatter teeth from grinding to develop canines
- Early man had tools like spears to kill animals. Look at cave drawings from 40,000 years ago in france where they hunt.
So – it is entirely possible that most primates 200,000+ years ago primarily ate vegetation, but as mankind became more nomadic, they grew in size and became better hunters. At one point, I heard humans were down to 200 total people. And all of us today are related to those 200 people. Humans were more nomadic, chased herds, hunted animals. I do not believe that any larger settlements of 200-400+ people could have survived on simple vegetation due to no farming being available until 10,000 years ago. Meaning, we didn’t have organized crops. You then look at early civilization and what’s called “the fertile crescent” where people did grow a lot of crops and they stayed in the same area.
Conclusion: I believe keto is geared towards homo sapien:
- High fats/moderate protein: this is from hunting. Hunters would kill animals and eat to satiety. This would be fats and proteins. Our body REQUIRES essential amino acids and essential fatty acids to live. Without these, we die. Simple. Animals provide EVERYTHING we need. Vitamins and minerals can also be found in the fat stores and organ meats.
- Low carb: First, there is no such thing as an essential carb. Our bodies can live forever without ingesting one carbohydrate ever again. Think about that. What was available to mankind 40,000+ years ago? Leafy greens, most likely, as well as berries. I would posit that during warmer months north of the equator by a bit, that hunters would use the berries for energy for pursuit. They would eat their fill. Leafy greens have carbs, but have a ton of fiber – so do berries. Maybe during a great spring/summer/fall, these persons put on 10-20 pounds. During the colder months, humans would use stored body fats. No real vegetation would be around, and they could subsist on small animals once or twice a week.
- Ketosis: This is a natural state of the body. Our brain needs glucose to survive. Our body can make glucose from fats and proteins. When our glycogen stores are emptied in the liver, we start burning fats for fuel. Early man was HIGHLY fat adapted. When they had fruits, the fructose filled up the liver glycogen and kicked them out of ketosis. I would therefore posit that early man was in ketosis 95% of the year and would be accomplished at fasting for days on end, routinely.
My fitbit heart rate monitor just died. I got a good 26 months out of it. It was good to me. The GPS still works, but that green light no longer works. Just bought the new fitbit IONIC, it’s on the way here. I need the heart rate monitor for training. I really use that information in my training plans!
Of note with the Ionic, I wanted a few things from my new tracker:
- Long battery life
- GPS built in
- Songs on my tracker with wireless headphone capapbility
- Swimming tracker
My existing Fitbit had the GPS built in and a 5 day battery life. But it couldn’t do swimming and had no songs on it. Because of this, it would then require me to go jogging with a giant toaster of a phone I have. That sucked, so I had to dust off my old iPod from 12 years ago with the cracked screen. So…no.
I had looked up the new iWatch, but we’re talking $500 and a shitty battery life.
So I settled on the FitBit Ionic for $250.
I’m now at 238 pounds, at 134 pounds of weight loss. I have officially signed up for the Turkey Trot of York, PA. I heard there’s about 5,000 runners. Whoa! I’m now hitting about 11:20 for a mile on my 2.2 mile run – hoping to get under 11:00 for all 3.1 miles on Turkey Day. Shooting for a 35 minute 5k. To put something into perspective, my cross country team in high school won the PA state championship for 4 out of 6 years. They were utterly dominant, and most of my closest friends were cross country runners. So my time is probably….half as fast as they were. Don’t care. I’m almost 43.
Just yesterday, I hit 5 miles for the first time ever. My legs feel pretty good today. Why? I ensured the meal I had before it fueled me pretty well – it’s the unstuffed cabbage stew below. I also had two pickles afterwards, which really helped replenish my electrolytes. I drank about a gallon and a half of water. Lastly, I took a bath with lots of epsom salts and it helped a ton. The magnesium in that absorbs into your body after about 20 minutes. My dinner had a ridiculous amount of salad (10 cups, lots of potassium) and 1.25 pounds of chicken, for about 100g of protein.
What you notice about the run above is I did 4 miles at a really relaxed pace. I had to force myself to be dialed back to about a 15 minute mile. Funny thing is, 2 years ago when I started all of this, I was hitting a 15:30 mile with maximum effort. For me now at a 15 minute mile, it’s about the same effort as walking my dog. I do it for enjoyment. It’s also helping to build some distance. On my long runs, I usually try to then dial up the last half to full mile. This really taps my glycogen stores, gets me back into a deep ketosis – but it also helps build some strength through usage of anaerobic ATP.
With my light jog, I’m really not breathing hard, at all. Not sure I even had a sweat going at 4 miles, it was 62 and I ran in a shorts and T shirt and legit, not sure I even got a sweat. With the last mile, I dialed it up to as hard as I could go. It was about 40 seconds off of my record mile time, but at the end of that long distance. I was breathing really hard the last 2 laps – starving for oxygen. This creates an anaerobic condition, and actually seems to help me get faster for my next 2 mile “race pace” runs. I believe this also creates a decent EPOC situation, so I’m burning calories for a few hours later. When you create these oxygen deficits, whether through HIIT or sprints, you then spend the next few hours paying it back. I do it by running my last mile as hard as I can.
My advice to anyone. Run YOUR race. My fitbit with the GPS helps me keep a good pace, and the music helps me dial in and zone out.
I also signed up for triathlon in Lancaster, PA on February 10th. It’s an indoor triathlon, so no, I don’t plan on freezing outside. Here’s how this works:
- 10 minutes of swimming
- 30 minutes of biking
- 20 minutes of running
I can tell you right now, I did this 11 years or so ago, and I finished 2nd to last. I feel like given my talents the last year, I have a shot at finishing in the top half.
Lastly – got a new recipe I really love and want to show you how big my salads are.
First – here’s the giant salads….about 10 cups of lettuce. 1 pound+ of meats.
My recipe is based off of stuffed cabbage rolls. I loved making them up years ago, and with all of the cabbage I eat with my chicken thighs, I decided to try something new. This is an “unstuffed” cabbage roll soup. Rather than going through all of the pain in the ass of rolling everything up, just throw all of the shit in an instant pot.
The main ingredients here:
- 1 pound ground beef and 1 pound ground pork
- 1 head of cabbage
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 28oz can of diced tomatoes
So when I made this up, I browned the meat with an onion, green peppers, and garlic, then added the broth, tomatoes, celery, cauliflower rice, and cabbage. I then put it on 14 minutes, and when it was done…DEAR GOD it was amazing.
Due to the limitation with the amount of stuff you can put in the instant pot, I’m planning on making this up today on the stove. I’m adding baby carrots to this, but I’m also adding a whole head of cabbage as well as 2 cups of cauliflower rice. What I’m trying to do is dial back the ratio of meat to cabbage in this. Not that I don’t want the meat, but the cabbage is extremely filling and gives a “home cooked” feel to it. I had made this into 3 or 4 giant portions, which essentially is 1/2 pound of ground beef in the serving. That’s maybe 50g of protein. I usually eat one meal a day, and 50g is a little low. So I also have protein powders and quest bars to eat with this meal. So I’m going to dial it back a little so it’s like 35g of protein and lots of cabbage. These meals are mostly meant to be weekend lunches. Lower in protein, but great with salty liquids for recovery on exercise. Also, the carbs in these will most likely be right before or after high intensity exercise, so I’m not really concerned about the carrots here, for all of you keto purists.