Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Archevore's 12 Step Program: Dr. Kurt Harris' Dietary Recommendations

A metabolically advantageous meal of kale, sweet potato, and steak
I've been following Dr. Harris' blog for some time now, which was originally called PaNu (for Paleolithic Nutrition), but has since changed names to Archevore. Says Harris, "I've taken the greek word Arche, which refers to the underlying or essential, and combined it with the latin -vore to create a word that means "one who eats of the essentials". Archevory refers both to a dietary approach which strives to focus on essentials without superfluity, but also to the yearning to consume or learn about essential principles in general."

Dr. Harris does not believe (nor do I) in paleo reenactment. That is, just because a food is from the paleolithic era does not deem it healthy, and conversely, just because a food is neolithic does not deem it unhealthy. Yes, yes, I know you think that just because a "caveman ate it" it's right for you. Well, not necessarily. Rather, we agree on the fact that one should look at the metabolic advantages/disadvantages and implications for disease instead of the era in which is comes from. An example of this is grass-fed butter. Clearly a neolithic agent, however, a great source of fat. (I probably have Kerry Gold butter five times a week, spread over a delicious sweet potato.)

I wanted to share with you Dr. Harris' 12 steps to getting started on a "clean" diet. This is not a crash diet, it is the way you should be eating to avoid disease. When I hear people going on diets to lose weight, I shake my head at the nonsense they are being told. Did you know there are doctors who are prescribing 1000 calorie diets made up of more processed materials than real food? (look up Medifast diet) I'm not denying that eating 1000 calories a day will allow a person to lose weight, however, I'm strongly against diets that are not sustainable nor healthy for a person. Just because you may lose weight does not put you in a healthier state. Also, paying $300/month for a shake or powdered food diet might work for a few months or even a year, but what happens after that?

These 12 steps are sustainable, allow the freedom to eat without neuroticism (NOT counting calories or macronutrients), and will move you away from a life of disease.

For the full post, check it out at Archevore.

1. Eliminate sugar (including fruit juices and sports drinks that contain HFCS) and all foods that contain flour.
2. Start eating proper fats - Use healthy animal fats  to substitute fat calories for calories that formerly came from sugar and flour. 
3. Eliminate gluten grains. Limit grains like corn and rice, which are nutritionally poor.
4. Eliminate grain and seed derived oils (cooking oils) Cook with Ghee, butter, animal fats, or coconut oil. Use no temperate plant oils like corn, soy, canola, flax, walnut, etc.
5. Favor ruminants like beef, lamb and bison for your red meat. Eat eggs and fish.
6. Make sure you are Vitamin D replete. Get daily midday sun or consider supplementation.
7. 2 or 3 meals a day is best. Don't graze like a herbivore.
8. Attend to your 6s and 3s. Pastured (grass fed) dairy and grass fed beef or bison has a more optimal 6:3 ratio, more vitamins and CLA. If you can't eat enough pastured products, eat plenty of fish.
9. Get proper exercise - emphasizing resistance and interval training over long aerobic sessions.
10. Most modern fruit is just a candy bar from a tree. Go easy on bags of sugar like apples. Stick with berries and avoid watermelon which is pure fructose. Eat in moderation. If you are not trying to lose fat, a few pieces of fruit a day are fine.
11. Eliminate legumes
12. If you are allergic to milk protein or concerned about theoretical risks of casein, you can stick to butter and cream and avoid milk and soft cheeses.

What do you think of these steps? Are you already at a certain step? Which ones are easy for you or hard to execute?

1 comment:

  1. I think that these are great principles if you already have committed to eating paleo, helping you dial in optimal food choices and reminding you why you do better without things like grains, legumes, and dairy. For me it's a good reminder.


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