After a week at home on Cape Cod, doing almost nothing for the entire time, I’m back in Atlanta and ready to get back into my routine. I didn’t have a gym membership up there and I didn’t feel like paying 15 bucks for a single-day pass at the gym in town (WHICH IS RIDICULOUS), so I decided I’d take a week off from lifting weights and let my muscles go on vacation as well. Let’s start things off with the two major developments that came out of my trip back home:
The Paleo Diet
I read Loren Cordain’s “The Paleo Diet” on my plane ride home. After reading about so many benefits of this diet, I decided that I’m going to give it a shot (after another week of food preparation and research on the diet). Tomorrow’s post will try to poke holes in the Paleo Diet, as I scour the internet and medical journals for reasons to go against the diet. The most scathing review I found of Cordain’s book is here, but I’m not wholly convinced of the critiquing author’s issues with the diet. More research is necessary.
Personally, my concerns are that as somebody who’s trying to build muscle mass, the Paleo Diet will actually cause me to lose weight, the opposite of what I want. I know the weight I’ll be losing is fat, which isn’t a bad thing, so once I start the diet I’ll take both pictures and measurements before and after to quantify my results. Next, I’m a really picky eater which means I’ll be struggling to find enough variation in my meals to stay motivated on this diet. However, this could also work out really well for me, forcing me to try all kinds of new, paleo-approved foods. Lastly, I plan on researching the effect of the Paleo Diet on life expectancy, considering Japan has one of the highest life expectancies in the World and a typical Japanese diet is loaded with rice, a Paleo no-no.
I placed an order this afternoon for Loren Cordain’s follow up book, “The Paleo Diet for Athletes,” along with Mark Sisson’s “The Primal Blueprint” and I’ll have reviews up here on the site when I finish them. Although I don’t think I’ll ever be able to go completely Paleo (come on, my favorite food is Chicken Parm), I’m very interested to see how my body deals with this new diet. Cutting out dairy and grains is going to be difficult, but I can’t promote something on this site unless my full support is behind it, so I’ll be taking the plunge when ready. I expect to eventually find a happy balance between the Paleo diet and moderate consumption of whole grains, oatmeal, skim milk, etc. We’ll see!
Vibram Five Fingers
My friend Saint, who will be embarking on this Paleo-Diet trial with me in a week or two, is one step ahead of me in the caveman lifestyle: he owns Vibram 5-finger shoes, and I’m jealous as hell. For those of you who don’t know, Vibram Five Fingers were Time Magazine’s 2007 invention of the year. Everybody who I know who owns a pair swears by them. Tim Ferriss, Life-Hacker and Author of the 4-Hour Workweek, wrote a fantastic piece on the shoes that really opened my eyes to the world of barefoot running. If you have 10 minutes, make sure you read the article, because it will probably make you want to buy a pair as well. Alleged side-effects of wearing Virbams include: improved posture, elimination of chronic lower back pain, decreased joint inflammation, decrease in injuries related to running, increased strength and stability in every muscle of your legs and feet, and an improved social life because everybody will come up to you and ask about them. Sounds good to me!
Of course, I didn’t read about all the benefits of barefoot running until recently, which means the two pairs of Nike’s I bought three months ago will soon be collecting dust. I’ve never been a huge fan of running, but that might change once I pick up a pair of Vibrams this afternoon (as long as the store in Atlanta has my size and style).
Here’s another benefit of Vibrams that hadn’t occurred to me until yesterday – when doing exercises like squats and deadlifts, many serious trainers and powerlifters would recommend that you lift weights barefoot. Obviously most gyms won’t let you go barefoot for sanitary/safety reasons, so I’m excited to wear my five fingers to the gym on my next deadlift day and see how my lifts are affected.
Paleo and frog feet, here I come.