The Primal Cycle
Our modern world has strayed too far from our genetic home–the environment our genes have programmed us to thrive in, to belong to–our home in deep time, the preagricultural Paleolithic Age. We evolved to thrive in the Paleolithic, and our health suffers in modern civilization captivity, like an animal in a zoo. We don’t want to go all the way back, but we can approximate parts of the primal cycle that tells our genes to make us thrive.
Here I share my thoughts and experience applying evolutionary principals to cycling and nutrition. Scientific references are provided for the curious, but they are by no means exhaustive–this is not an academic journal. Thoughtful feedback is always appreciated. Thanks for reading.
I’m more of a generalist than a specialist. I have an M.A. in Instructional Design and Technology and work in IT, with a focus on networking. I also have a lot of interests that I have never formally studied like health, exercise, nutrition, psychology, economics, genealogy, sports, weather, and traveling. I’m not a doctor and I don’t have any training in nutrition, but I understand science well and I know the difference between observational and clinical studies–something that a lot of experts in nutrition appear to fail to comprehend (along with evolution). This blog constitutes my thoughts on health and nutrition as a layman, not an expert.
I love learning.
As an infant I suffered from an acute intussusception of the bowel, and the doctors warned my parents that I’d probably only be able to eat baby food for the rest of my life. Thankfully, that didn’t turn out to be the case, but I have suffered from poor digestive function (everything you imagine “poor digestive function” could mean is true) for my entire life.
Although I was thin throughout childhood and my teenage years, at the the age of 26 my diet and sedentary lifestyle had caught up with me. I had several of the markers of metabolic syndrome. I was shocked. At 26, my health was quickly approaching a point of no return. I had a choice: take serious action to improve my health or go down the road to diabetes, heart disease, and cancer that the onset of metabolic syndrome signals.
I started reading, and I started cycling. Through high intensity cycling and dietary changes I dropped 25 pounds and reversed all of the markers of metabolic syndrome.
Then at age 28, I discovered the Paleo Diet, which helped me drop another 10 pounds and bring an end to the digestive issues I had resigned to suffer from for the rest of my life. My distended wheat belly was gone, my lactose intolerance was significantly reduced, and other digestive unpleasantries I had long suffered were gone, and I wasn’t doing anything the nutrition “experts” recommended. I also began to form a new perspective on the proper use of cycling for maximizing health.
Disclaimer (Stating the obvious to keep away blood-sucking lawyers)
Nothing on this blog should be construed as medical advice. I am not a doctor, nor am I qualified to give medical advice. I’m just a guy with ideas I’d like to share about health, nutrition, exercise and evolution. It’s your decision as to whether you apply any of this or not. Your health is your responsibility. Go find an expert before making important decisions about your health.
If you have, think you have, or are at risk of having a medical condition, close your web browser and go see a qualified doctor. If you have, think you have, or are at risk of having a medical condition and would like to follow any of the advice given on this blog, talk to your doctor first. If your doctor says “no,” listen to your doctor! I am not a medical/nutritional/health professional of any kind.
If you are sedentary and thinking about starting any exercise program, talk to your doctor first. High-intensity interval training places extreme demands on your body. Don’t do it without your doctor’s permission. If your doctor says “no,” listen to your doctor! It could be disastrous if you have an undiagnosed medical condition.