Monday, November 26, 2012

Movies, Runs, the Paleo Diet

Here's a photo from the day I went to the field earlier this month.

I spent Thanksgiving with The Bit. We watched Happiness, In a Lonely Place, Quantum of Solace, Headhunters, Lady in the Lake, When We Were Kings, Saturday Night Fever, and Skyfall. Those whose titles start with the letter "H" were quite good; the rest were stinkers.

I put in for Hardrock and Western States. Lotteries are next month. I kind of hate running hundreds, so I'll probably only sign up for 2 or 3 more on December 1 when the registrations opens up.

At a work dinner I had a conversation with a nutritionist about veganism. She thought I'd be low in iron. I said I don't really take supplements, and wasn't especially worried about it. She seemed to  advocate more of a paleo diet than the whole foods plant-based thing I swear by.  I'm pretty easily swayed by evolutionary arguments, so this gave me pause, and made me think I eat too much grain (though it's usually whole, which may be good for other reasons, but isn't fortified.) I think I'm easily convinced by these arguments because I don't know enough to refute them, whereas I basically have a PhD in calling bulls--- on bad correlation implies causation statistical claims. That is, I can tell all the more-expensive-running-shoes-lead-to-more-running-injuries claims in Born to Run are utter rubbish, but the we-evolved-as-persisence-hunters arguments just plain sound cool to me. 

Anyway, the moral of the story is that I got some blood work done, and my iron level is high, and hemoglobin and hematocrit are all in the middle of the normal ranges. So suck it, meat-eaters. To be fair, my B12 was actually low. So I guess I need to take supplements more regularly, or just use nutritional yeast.


  1. I extend the Jarret Diamond argument and say that we evolved along with our food sources. I mean, if we have been selecting these grains for certain characteristics for tens of thousands of years, then maybe we have evolved with them. Why does evolutionary selection apply to domesticated dogs but not to the humans who live with them? To think otherwise is anthrocentric.

    Also, remember that evolutionary pressures (and therefore our evolutionary-predisposed diet) don't say "live a long life free of chronic diseases well past sexual reproduction age" - they say "live long enough to pass on your genetic material as effectively as possible."

  2. Good point about longer lifespans and passing on genetic material. I think we've certainly evolved along with our food sources, but the relevant length of time is important. Homo sapiens evolved millions of years ago, but the agricultural revolution was 10,000 years ago ( I think. I could be wrong with those numbers.) I think Diamond says we lost 6" of height after becoming agriculturalists, but I also think we've gained most of that back. Maybe only in the last couple centuries? Myself excluded, that's for sure.

  3. Nutritional yeast on popcorn is bomb.

  4. Sweet. That sounds easy. I'll give it a whirl.

  5. Good point - the length of time is certainly important, but I'm not sure why there is a bias against assuming evolutionary processes can be in play for canis lupus over, say, the 1000 generations that led to domestication, but not humans over the 500 generations since the invention of agriculture.