Evolutionary fitness with Arthur De Vany

Over two years ago a friend of mine sent me this link to an interview with Dr. Arthur De Vany. In it De Vany talks about what we were eating as hunter-gatherers, before the introduction of agriculture. I took me a couple of weeks before I tried this diet but when I finally did I could feel the positive effects almost immediately. The reason why I choose this as my first post is because my change of diet has had such an impact on how I feel today. I was allergic to pollen and strawberries among other things and since I stopped eating grains it has almost disappeared entirely. It has been a most life-changing experience.

This is an excerpt from that interview:

T-Nation: Can you give us a brief overview of what you call “Evolutionary Fitness” and tell us what it means to diet and training?

Dr. Art De Vany: Evolutionary Fitness is a blending of the Stone Age with the High Tech. It’s based on the following premises…

1) That our genes are from the Stone Age and they encode both behaviors and human physiology for a hunter-gatherer body and mind.

2) That modern research on human performance and health benefit from an evolutionary perspective.

3) That the science of complexity opens a vision that integrates these ideas in a way that’s novel and insightful. I’m a complexity scientist and an athlete and I’ve read thousands of articles and books on fitness, health, metabolism, and evolution. So, I know the relevant literatures well and have implemented them in my own life for many years.

It’s easy to see where these insights go if you realize that any of your readers could have been born 100 thousand years ago and be fully capable of functioning in that ancient world. Likewise, a baby born 100 thousand years ago would be fully capable of functioning as a modern human.

We are genetically indistinguishable from humans from the distant past. But, we’re trying to live a life very different from what our genes “expect.” Our diets, our activity patterns, and the rhythms of our lives are very different now. It’s remarkable that genes and behaviors thousands of years old are so capable that they could function in either environment.

Many modern diseases are diseases of metabolism: Syndrome X, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, and countless other diseases didn’t exist among our ancient ancestors. These diseases are produced by the clash of Stone Age genes and a modern life of chronic stress, routine patterns, little activity that’s challenging, and food that was never part of the long 3.5 million years of human existence.

All this means you should live more like an animal, a human one whose long existence on Earth was spent as a hunter-gatherer. Train, eat, and play, but do it in an intermittent and unpatterned way, just as wild animals do.

Read the full interview here


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