65 million years ago, a massive asteroid slammed into the Yucatan peninsula, creating a giant dust cloud that contributed to the extinction of terrestrial dinosaurs. In the resulting re-adjustment of global ecosystems, a new plant tissue evolved, which paved the way for the eventual appearance of humans: fruit. Fruit represents a finely crafted symbiosis between plants and animals, in which the plant provides a nourishing morsel, and the animal disperses the plant's seeds inside a packet of rich fertilizer.
Fruit was such a powerful selective pressure that mammals quickly evolved to exploit it more effectively, developing adaptations for life in the forest canopy. One result of this was the rapid emergence of primates, carrying physical, digestive and metabolic adaptations for the acquisition and consumption of fruit and leaves. Primates also continued eating insects, a vestige of our early mammalian heritage.
The Eocene epoch began 55.8 million years ago, just after the emergence of primates. For most of the time between the beginning of the Eocene and today, our ancestors ate the archetypal primate diet of fruit, leaves and insects, just as most primates do today.
In contrast, the Paleolithic era, marked by the development of stone tools and a dietary shift toward meat and cooked starches, began only 2.6 million years ago. The Paleolithic era represents only 5 percent of the time that shaped our primate genome-- 95 percent of primate evolutionary history occurred prior to the Paleolithic. The Neolithic period, since humans domesticated plants roughly 10,000 years ago, accounts for only 0.02 percent.
Therefore, we are not well adapted to eating grains, legumes and dairy, and we aren't well adapted to eating meat and starch either. Our true, deepest evolutionary adaptations are to the foods that sustained our primate ancestors for the tens of millions of years prior to the Paleolithic. That's why I designed the Eocene Diet (TM).
The Eocene Diet is easy. You simply eat these three foods:
- Raw fruit
- Raw leaves (no dressing!)
- Live insects
Fruit and leaves are easy to find, but what about insects? With a little practice, you'll see that they're easy to find too, often for free. Here are some tips:
- Pet stores. They usually sell crickets and mealworms.
- Look under rotting logs.
- Find a long, flexible stem and stick it into a termite mound. Termites will grab onto it and you can eat them off the stem.
She looks pleased.