Paleo is certainly a buzzword in the diet and health communities, but do people really know what it means when they say they “want to eat like their ancestors?” National Geographic’s Evolution of Diet investigates what an original Paleolithic diet might have been, and how the modern diet developed.
To start, they first looked at the few groups of true hunter-gatherers remaining — those whose diets haven’t changed much in thousands of years.
“Hunter-gatherers are not living fossils,” Alyssa Crittenden, a nutritional anthropologist at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, told National Geographic. “That being said, we have a small handful of foraging populations that remain on the planet. We are running out of time. If we want to glean any information on what a nomadic, foraging lifestyle looks like, we need to capture their diet now.”
Betsy Talbot, 42, and her husband Warren, 41, are healthy, happily married, world travelers these days, but that hasn’t always been the case. The couple who used to be overweight, unhappy and tied to office jobs now travels the world “full-time,” living out their dreams.
At their heaviest, Betsy and Warren weighed 210 and 178 pounds, respectively. But today, Betsy is a trim 160 pounds (just 10 pounds shy of her goal weight) and Warren has already reached his goal weight of 145 pounds. We had the pleasure of speaking with this adventurous pair recently about their weight loss journey as a couple. Here’s what they had to say.
Tell me when your weight struggles began.
Our weight struggles really began in adulthood when we began sitting for our jobs and our entertainment instead of being active. And we “over-busied” ourselves into thinking we had to eat fast and cram meals in instead of planning and enjoying them. This is a deadly combination for weight gain that most people can relate to. (more…)
Grilled chicken is a food that’s often recommended as part of weight-loss plans, because it’s low in fat and high in protein, which helps promote satiety. However, that seemingly innocent chicken breast you ordered at Subway or Burger King is not really the healthy item it masquerades as, despite the grill marks on the meat.
That’s because few fast food restaurants are willing to actually grill. Instead, these chicken breasts are cooked with an industrial process and branded with char marks to make it appear as if the meat might have once touched a grill. The only major fast food chains we know of to actually grill its chicken are Chick-fil-A and Chipotle, while McDonald’s, Subway, Wendy’s, Burger King and Taco Bell all opt for fake char marks.
They call themselves freegans: people who live almost entirely on what others throw away, from furniture right down to the food they put in their bodies. Freegans reject the idea of a capitalist system and take pride in their limited participation in a conventional economy.
According to Freegan.Info, freegans live based on “sharing resources, minimizing the detrimental impact of our consumption and reducing and recovering waste and independence from the profit-driven economy.”
While trash touring or dumpster diving may not sound like reliable methods for sourcing food and nutrition, freegans rarely go hungry, as the Environmental Protection Agency states that Americans dump approximately 38 million tons of garbage daily.
One commenter on a Huffington Post article about a week in the life of a freegan said “While I personally can not see myself dumpster diving, I have seen the waste that restaurants, bakeries and grocery stores discard…it’s good food that can provide meals to the poor or unfortunate.”
Approximately one-third of the U.S. adult population and 17 percent of children are considered obese according to CDC statistics.
NPR’s special series “Living Large: Obesity in America” takes a look at what it truly means to be obese in the United States, a country getting larger and unhealthier by the second.
Why are Americans obese? Blame it on the lifestyle. Americans are eating–everywhere. We eat in our cars on the way to kids’ soccer games, on the way to work, in-between meals, and after school. With our lackadaisical view of standard mealtimes, we are not only eating more, but are eating processed foods that are quick and adaptable to our on-the-go lifestyles and it’s rubbing off on other countries. The French are getting fatter, too, according to NPR.
Although France is typically viewed as a counterexample to America’s growing obesity problem, obesity in France is rising slightly. The French pride themselves on their love of food and traditional meal times. The French also know how to properly prepare a meal, something that is vastly disappearing in the age of globalization and urbanization.