Who is Grok?

So now that we’ve determined that 15 x 32 isn’t my shirt size, but rather a summary of my fitness goal of achieving 15% body fat by age 32, who is this “Grok” who will purportedly by my guide in this quest? Put simply, Grok is my relative, albeit a distant one. Actually, he’s your relative, too. In reality he’s the persona of our hunter-gatherer ancestors: human beings who lived in the Paleolithic Era, also known as the Stone Age.

Why choose Grok as my guide in the pursuit of a higher level of health and fitness? This is largely the result of a book I recently read by Loren Cordain, Ph.D., The Paleo Diet: Lost Weight and Get Healthy by Eating the Food You Were Designed to Eat. To be brief, the main premise of the book is that our modern diet has strayed drastically from that which we were evolutionarily adapted to as evidenced by our analysis of the diet of our early human ancestors. (Cordain points out that the human genome has changed less than 0.02% in 40,000 years. In his words: “Literally, we are Stone Agers living in the Space Age; our dietary needs are the same as theirs.”) And what were the staples of our Stone Age ancestors? Lean meats and fresh fruits and vegetables, with a smaller proportion of nuts, seeds, and eggs. It wasn’t until about 10,000 years ago, when the Agricultural Revolution took place, that cereal grains were introduced into our diets. Later on down the line dairy products, fatty meats, salted foods, and refined sugars and oils also became staples in our diet. With these dietary changes we started to see a rise in obesity and a number of chronic diseases. Here’s a video that gives a good summary and background for the Paleo diet:

So from a dietary perspective, The Paleo Diet will be my guidepost. But it’s just that–a guidepost. Even Cordain admits that it’s nearly impossible to eat Paleo 100% of the time, so he simply suggests eating that way as much as possible, perhaps leaving yourself about three of what he calls “open meals” per week where you allow yourself to eat non-Paleo foods. I think this is a good, reasonable approach. (Of course this doesn’t absolve me of still having to consider my total caloric intake. While eating 5 chicken breasts or salmon fillets at one time may be in some sense healthier than eating 5 Big Macs, I still won’t lose fat eating 5 chicken breasts at one sitting!)

As far as exercise, I plan to lift weights three times per week and do a little extra walking. (I’ll talk more about this later, but I’m a firm believer that diet is the key to fat loss, not exercise. Diet allows you to lose fat, while exercise serves to increase or maintain muscle mass. Exercise doesn’t burn nearly as many calories as people think, especially relative to the caloric deficit you can achieve through diet.) So as far as exercise, I think I’m following Grok’s example to the extent that Grok lifted heavy things and did quite a bit a bit of walking. (Hunting and gathering would naturally entail a fair amount of activity, although in his time it was necessary to survive. If Grok saw me doing three sets of dumbbell bench presses of my own volition for no other purpose than just to create work for my body he would probably be confused, not to mention the concept of elliptical machines and treadmills!)

And so my journey with Grok begins. Stay tuned for updates as I pursue the Paleo lifestyle and modern “cavemanhood.”

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7 comments on “Who is Grok?

  1. Maria Diaz Schmitt
    March 1, 2010 at 12:09 pm #

    Sounds like a healthy plan. I would miss my grains having grown up with rice virtually everyday and loving my hot cereal and pasta as much as I do. I have no doubt you will reach your goal!

  2. Kwiatek
    March 4, 2010 at 10:21 pm #

    Way to go man. You are still my inspiration !
    Lost 65 maintaning weight and starting to pack on muscle. Never look back !

    • Louis
      March 5, 2010 at 7:04 am #

      Kwiatek,

      You are the man! You were one of the few who supported me and didn’t jump on the “you’re too skinny” bandwagon. It’s all hogwash! Keep up the good work.

      -Lou

  3. lisa
    May 5, 2010 at 9:29 am #

    hey louis!
    i was just curious to see if you had watched Food Inc.? im curious to hear your feedback on the documentary.

    • Louis
      May 5, 2010 at 8:12 pm #

      Hi Lisa! Thanks for visiting my blog! I am ashamed to say that I haven’t seen Food Inc. It’s definitely in my queue to watch soon. I think it will confirm what I already know and believe about our food system having done a lot of my own independent research and reading Michael Pollan and others. Did you see it? What did you think?

  4. lisa
    May 6, 2010 at 11:36 am #

    Netflix…..AWESOME!!! yes i did watch it and when i did receive it, i watched it 3times. i highly reccomend you watch it when you get a chance. it opened my eyes to alot of things i wasnt aware of even though i deal with the food industry. i still have many other documentaries thats on my 300+ queue list which include the bad seed, supersize me, the beautiful truth, food matters and the future of food. have you watched any of those yet?

  5. Louis
    May 6, 2010 at 6:53 pm #

    I’ll have to add those to my queue!

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