Fortis Fitness



The other day a guy told me that his doctor advised him that he should avoid gluten.  He then asked me if there is gluten in rice.  As a responsible Paleo-diet practitioner, my humble response was the following:


Now, the reason it just doesn’t matter is that our human evolutionary diet DID NOT INCLUDE GRAINS.  That means our ancestors, for millions of years didn’t eat wheat, barley, rye, rice, or any of the other grains commonly consumed today.

Does anyone know exactly what “gluten” looks like in its isolated form?  If I go to a restaurant, I can’t order a “bowl of gluten” or the “gluten casserole” or a “side order of gluten”.  Since this is true, I am therefore at the mercy of those telling me my whether or not the foods I eat are actually “gluten free”.

Alternatively, I can pretty much avoid grains all together.  In this way I will automatically be avoiding gluten.  Logically, that’s a really logical position to take.  I could also consider a meta-analysis involving real people.  That is, people who are not eating grains that are really, really, healthy, and tend to avoid many of our modern diseases of civilization.  In other words, it doesn’t make much sense to avoid the particular constituent ingredient that has been identified as particularly harmful to your health, when you should be avoiding the foods that it exists within – because they are not your natural human foods.

It just doesn’t make much sense to me to eat a very questionable food group, because we “haven’t yet identified or proven the specific constituent ingredients that are hurting us”.  If something is shown to be clearly not optimal for your health and well-being, you should avoid that thing, especially when there are wonderful alternatives that have been proven to be just the opposite – really good for you.  It is further enlightening, reinforcing and useful to understand that these wonderful alternatives are part of the evolutionary human diet.

The alternative course of action would be similar to NOT bothering to avoid radiation because you are not really sure exactly why this invisible, seemingly undetectable force (you can’t see it, taste it, or smell it) will likely kill you.  So, avoiding radiation as much as possible, regardless of knowing exactly why and how it is hurting you is a good idea.  Is finding out exactly why it is harmful a worthy endeavor? ABSOLUTELY!   But avoiding that bad thing and studying it are MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE events.  This is why evolutionary science makes so much sense and continues to be such a responsible and healthful guide in regards to our food choices.

This is sort of like “reverse scientific reductionism”.  In my opinion, the practice of scientific reductionism is manifest in its worst form in the following way.  An isolated nutrient from a typically healthy food is found to quite possibly improve one’s health or a specific condition.  Let’s use the example of beta-carotene which is found in high quantities in carrots and is known to help counter age-related macular degeneration, thus helping those with deteriorating vision.  Now, the folks at a large food processing company get hold of this information.  Then, they use  one of their really, really unhealthy, fattening processed cookie products or breakfast cereals as a method of delivery.  They infuse unnaturally high amounts of beta-carotene (which can be an unhealthy practice on its own) into the cookie or cereal and then package and sell it as a “healthy” food product that will improve your eyesight.  (Yup, this is basically legal).

Trying to avoid gluten, but not the less than healthy foods it naturally occurs within, would then be sort of like “reverse scientific reductionism”.  Yet, this very idea has spawned the nascent “gluten-free” movement and a completely new sub-industry that has conveniently popped up to fulfill the demand for every imaginable gluten-free food product.  This is making some opportunistic people in the food industry a ton of money.

In contrast, with Paleo eating, WE START WITH THE ANSWER.  Our ancestors didn’t have a clue what micro-nutrients or other chemical properties were in the natural animal foods, fruits, vegetables or nuts they consumed.  They just ate those foods and remained in a state of health that was far superior to our unfortunate modern day state of ill-health.

Now, I don’t want to get all “scientific” on anyone, but sometimes we need to bring this stuff out into the open.  Here is a pretty good summary of why one should avoid grains:

Saying NO to “gluten”, but not the foods that contain gluten is similar to being okay with mass murderer stay in your house with your family, BECAUSE YOU GOT RID OF ALL THE KNIVES IN THE HOUSE.  The fact is, he’s a bloody murderer.  He can still hurt you or your children with a blunt object, poison, a gun, or in an infinite number of other ways.

Back to the title of the blog; the fact is there is no gluten in rice, at least not the same kind that is in wheat.  Do I still eat rice?  I don’t buy it, but I love Japanese and Indian food, so I have a little when I am eating that stuff.  But otherwise, I avoid it.  I eat such a small amount of rice and other grains that my “glutin” intake is so close to zero as to be inconsequential.  Preliminary research shows that the lectins and the appropriately named “anti-nutrients” in rice are not as dangerous to human health as many others in the grain family.  Still, following the advice of the best that evolutionary science has to offer, and the wonderful, simple intuition to eat mainly what you genetically evolved to eat:



 Following this advice will make you seem like a genius, especially compared to the doctor or nutritionist who is suddenly telling you to “stop eating gluten”.

Dogs and Cats

Many of us have a pet dog or a pet cat.  Most of us love our pets and treat them as if they are part of the family.  Consequently, we spend millions of dollars on food, regular care and when they get sick, veterinarians.  Unfortunately, our dogs and cats are stricken with many modern diseases that do not afflict their wild counterparts to nearly the same degree.  The list includes obesity, tooth and gum disease, cancer (tumors), osteoarthritis, heart disease, kidney and liver disease, dementia and diabetes.  Sound familiar?!?  Yup, these are the same diseases that we are increasingly affecting us; some at epidemic levels.

I saw a pet food commercial just the other day describing how progressive their new pet food was and how all the other pet foods were inferior because of their ingredients.  One of the ingredients they touted was whole grains.  I scratched my head.  The true, natural diet of a dog would be primarily the raw meat and bones of a wild mammal such as a deer, chicken or rodent (and the occasional fish).  This diet would include the vegetable contents of the stomachs of the animals they ate.  The natural diet of a typical house cat would include primarily:  mice and other rodents, small mammals, birds, fish, snakes and other reptiles, insects, and the contents of their preys’ stomachs.  So, without getting too complicated – the healthiest diet you could possibly feed your cat or dog would be as similar to their wild diets as possible.  There is ample research to prove this.

I was in the park near my work the other day with a couple of friends and their dogs.  The dogs love me because I usually have some grass fed bison, elk, chicken and beef and always throw them some of the scraps or a bone.  I felt bad because a lady was walking her dog and he smelled the meat and ran over to join the other dogs.  The lady followed.  As I fed the scraps to the other dogs I explained to her that this was grass fed, naturally raised meat and I would be happy to throw her dog a scrap or two.  The lady reacted with shock.  She snapped back the leash of her dog as she strongly protested.  She then tried to pacify her dog with some kind of a peanut butter flavored doggy snack that resembled a ball of cookie dough.  The look on her dogs face as the rest of the pack ravenously gobbled up their natural food said it all.  If he could talk, I am quite certain he would have yelped out “please, just kill me”.

It’s remarkable to me how closely our dogs and cats have come to resemble us.  Obese, physically dysfunctional, riddled with tumors, going blind, stricken with dementia, diabetes, or worse.  Perpetually weaker and sicker, they are more and more dissimilar to their wild brethren – who, all things considered are much, much stronger and healthier physical specimens.

Now, knowing this, some people have begun to feed their beloved pets their true raw diets via responsible producers of more naturally authentic cat and dog foods.  I think this begs the question though, if we can dramatically improve the health, function, quality of life, and life span of our pets; (not to mention the thousands of dollars we can save on veterinary bills) then why wouldn’t we follow the same logic ourselves?

Allow me to make the leap here and address how we commonly approach our own diets or more importantly the diets of our children.  The scientific proof is absolutely conclusive.  Just like with the cats and dogs, people that eat the natural evolutionary diet of our species are not stricken with a plethora of modern deadly and chronic diseases.

I think cats and dogs provide a great analogy only because we are not so set in our thinking regarding what our pets are actually meant to eat.  The same thing cannot be said for us humans and what we commonly perceive to be “our diet”.  When even our government food guides include hearty quantities of highly processed dairy and grains the truth remains obfuscated from the vast majority of us.  As such, most people don’t realize what is, or is not, a part of the natural, human evolutionary diet – the diet that has been proven to be healthiest we could possibly consume.

Please follow this same “species agnostic” advice and proven path of reason when considering what you are going to eat.  Consume primarily human evolutionary foods:

  • Naturally raised meats (animal foods)
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Nuts and seeds

Simply make these foods your staples (try to make them at least 70-80% of your total caloric intake).  If not for yourself, at least do so for your children. If you’re not sure where to get started, we invite you to check out our natural weight loss diet and exercise program called “The Eco-Diet.” It’s scientifically based and centered on the natural diet our ancestors followed for thousands of years. This is a gift that will last you and your families a lifetime.