Original Thin: the Paleo Diet in the Bible and Ancient Literature
The Paleo Diet has helped thousands lose weight and keep it off. It’s the way our
earliest ancestors ate, and so it’s the best way to stay lean and strong.
But now, Dr. Keith Massey has uncovered evidence that the Bible and other
Ancient Literature preserved a distant memory of this diet.
From the Garden of Eden all the way to the Greek Olympics and beyond, ancient
people knew that Man should not live on Bread alone.
Excerpts from Original Thin: the Paleo Diet in the Bible and
The Iraqi Diet Plan
The Iraq Ground War ended and my life returned to a more normal schedule. A
year later came a life changing event. I was offered the chance to go to Iraq for
three months. There, from June to September 2004, I lived a highly regimented
life. I awoke at 4 AM and worked out in a gym on our base. I had access to
weights, exercise machines, treadmills, you name it. And my meals were in a
small cafeteria where I could control portion sizes. Something about the fact that
I knew exactly when my next meal was happening made it easier to not fill up
every time I ate. I had free access to candy bars and ice cream, but I avoided
them. And the meals were frequently designed around lamb’s meat. We had
lamb balls, lamb chops, ground lamb, and lamb surprise.
I settled into a schedule of eating well and working constantly. By the time I left,
I had worked ninety-three consecutive eleven hour days. In that whole time, I
took a break from the normal schedule just once. One day, after working all
morning, my boss ordered me to go to bed after lunch because I was shivering in
a hundred degree heat with a virulent flu that was going around the base. I spent
three hours in a fever dream and then returned to work for three more hours.
But during those three months in Iraq I lost thirty pounds! I had gone from a fat 220 down to a muscular 190. I had
to add three new holes to the belt I wore to hold the holster for my pistol (a requirement for American personnel in
Iraq at that time).
So I returned to the US in late September of 2004, in the best health and fitness of my adult life. I had to go and buy
all new pants because nothing I owned fit any more.
Back to Bad Habits
Since I was doing so well with my weight, I felt I could certainly afford the indulgence of eating fast food a few days a
week. And pretty soon that became every day, except days when I just threw a frozen pizza in the oven.
And then, to my horror, by the spring of 2005 I had put on all of my lost weight.
How had this happened? I was fit again for the first time since college. And somehow I had discovered a way to
cancel it all out in a matter of months.
The Agricultural Revolution and the Fall of Man
And this brings us back to the Fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. In this story, humans rebel
against God by eating the one thing they were told not to. The story of the Garden of Eden is telling us that humans
departed from some idyllic past when they centered their lives around what tastes good. And our bodies were already
geared to experience deep pleasure in foods laden with carbohydrates.
The Agricultural Revolution didn’t happen overnight. But it happened fast enough that people at the time were
aware that their ancestors hadn’t taken part in extensive farming under the orders of growing city states. And they
were also aware that nomads in the area were still living a more pristine lifestyle. And so, a story in which eating
effects a fall from a state of grace resonates with that experience.
At some point in the Neolithic period, people were seduced by the taste of grain products and began to order their
lives around them. They began planting grains and harvesting them later. They began storing the grains and thus ate
even more of them. And these societies organized themselves around planting and storing even more grain until
finally they no longer hunted and ate meat as they used to. And once they headed down this path, it was impossible
to turn back. Soon organized city states pressed the growing populations into servitude in support of the vicious cycle
of growing and storing the agricultural harvest. And the Story of the Garden of Eden preserves cultural memories of
The Paleo Olympians
The eating habits of ancient Olympians have been described to us in interesting detail. A famous athlete, Milo of
Croton, reportedly consumed in one sitting an unbelievable twenty pounds of meat, just as much bread, and nine
quarts of wine. Now, this is certainly not a Paleo Diet. While he’s eating a lot of meat, he’s eating way too much
bread. But Milo is also described as eating an entire bull in one sitting, which implies that he had a reputation for
heavy intake of meat protein, more so than the typical diet of the time.
Milo once challenged a cowherd named Titormus to a test of strength. Titormus lifted a massive rock, carried it eight
paces, and then threw it down. Milo couldn’t even move it, at which the great athlete proclaimed Titormus to be
This same Titormus is reported to have challenged Milo to an eating contest to see who could eat an entire ox the
quickest. Again, while these stories are unbelievable, they are hinting at a memory that these super athletes ate diets
based on meat.