OK, people, a simple one (in terms of the question, at least): Hack Epi-Paleo! What does it mean to you? Is it the next chapter in paleo - or just more hype?
You Know You’ve Embraced Epi-Paleo When...
... you're spending $248 per month for a membership in Swami Quiltananda's Temple of Woo.
Kruse's "epi-paleo" protocol was the missing link for me. I was fully on board with paleo ala Primal blueprint, safe starches, IF and all that jazz. Epi-paleo just added a new layer...seafood...and debunked the safe starch theory. Jack's writing/blogging has gotten a lot better in the past year and his forum rocks. He is a constant presence on his own forum, unlike Sisson who never goes there.
Epi-paleo should appeal to most following PB or any paleo iteration. It favors a healthy gut flora and is tracked by labs. Not rocket science but a point lost on most paleo blogs.
I have to thank Jack. I've never spent a penny on him, but he has given me a new lease on life and a roadmap I will follow for the rest of my life.
Winter: Ketogenic seafood only diet, no fruit, fermented veg, cheese, chocolate, deep cold
Spring: Ketogenic seafood heavy, eggs, green leafy veg, cheese, chocolate, mild cold
Summer: Seafood heavy, lots of fruit, lots of leaves, garden veggies, heat&sunshine
Fall: Seafood heavy, tapering off fruit, eating corn, potatoes, rice, cabbage, mild cold
One of these days Kruse needs to admit to himself and everyone that he is just completely lousy at promotion. This 'epi' prefix is lame. The argument about DHA being so important isn't lame- it is pretty interesting. But Kruse's self-promotion is so bad that he shouldn't even be allowed to pick his own outfits. I've seen used car salesmen who look more reputable. Epi-paleo is just low carb paleo + hey, everybody, let's eat more seafood- which is pretty much just low-carb paleo. Because seafood is paleo, ya know?
I read his stuff, too. I just wish he'd be more like Peter @ hyperlipid, or Lucas Tafur. Those guys are on my list of people I'd probably pay to blog, if I had any money.
I like Dr Kruse. And I believe that he's on the right spot proposing fish and shellfish over meat. Consider that the Cretans, who had the best diet in the world until recent years (before the Western World caught up with them), lived to be over 100 years old, and ate red meat very few times in a month. Fish/shellfish, veggies and lots of fruits is what they most ate, even if they had goats/sheep that they could easily slaughter. They used their animals mostly for (fermented, right casein) dairy.
I wouldn't say it's the next chapter in paleo. Nutrigenetics, epinutrigenetics and enterogenetics should fill that chapter.
But it's a structured variant that promotes a predominantly seafood diet aimed at lowering inflammation and optimising nutrition for the brain. It restricts certain food according to seasonality and promotes strict avoidance of US dairy, nightshade vegetables and all grains.
The evolutionary rationale behind this food plan is the claim that it best supports nutrition for the brain - and it is the human brain that has undergone the most dramatic evolution. There is no evidence to suggest it does not support brain nutrition.
I think it's certainly better than "I'll just decide what paleo is for me" type of regiment.
A comment needs to be made on the term "epi-paleo".
As most of you know, the "epi" prefix is most commonly associated with the term epigenetics, which includes a type of genetic regulation that can be transmitted between generations without changes on the DNA sequence. The implication is that rapid changes in gene expression are possible without needing to have changes occur to the genes themselves.
To a geneticist, epi-paleo would imply a version of the paleo template that incorporates individual epigenetic status. For example, it may be that a gene or genes associated with insulin response may be down-modulated (and insulin response blunted) due to long term consumption of refined carbohydrates. If it were possible to diagnose the epigenetic status of such genes one could prescribe an appropriate compensatory paleo template.
This is not what epi-paleo is about. Epi, in its strict definition means above, and I believe it is being used to denote that this form of paleo is above, i.e. superior to other paleo interpretations. However, a strictly marine based diet is not consistent with the broad geography, flora and fauna that ancestral man existed in and it would be inept to suggest that a temperate zone coastline is where human genes were forged.
I would suggest that meta- or para- is a more suitable prefix for this paleo variant.
Regardless of whether Kruse or his philosophies are whack, one should do with the information he provides as one does with all other information - Analyze it, critique it, then decide best how it fits into your life and what you take away from it.