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97: John Durant — The Past Leads the Way Forward

By June 3, 2017Podcasts
Reading Time: 4 minutes
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John Durant is the author of The Paleo Manifesto and co-author of Spartan Fit! with Joe De Sena, founder of the Spartan races. He is also the founder of Wild Ventures, an angel syndicate focused on consumer health products and technology. He advises Thrive Market, Exo, AOBiome, Greatist, Brilliant Bicycles, Hu Kitchen, and Power Supply.

John DurantJohn studied evolutionary psychology at Harvard under Steven Pinker before moving to New York City and becoming a “professional caveman” — mimicking a hunter-gatherer diet, running barefoot through Central Park, experimenting with intermittent fasting, and doing polar bear swims in the Atlantic.

He has been featured in The New York Times and The New Yorker, interviewed on The Colbert Report and NPR Morning Edition, and has been rated one of The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness. Prior to becoming a professional caveman, he spent three and a half years at an ad tech startup after a stint in management consulting.

In this podcast, we talk about what happens when you feed gorillas food they were never meant to eat, why bending the nutrition rules is recommended, the proven benefits of intermittent fasting and whether you should try it, how having fun is the best motivation to exercise, and how to get started with an evolutionary diet.

Join us for a fascinating conversation with John Durant that could change the way you think about food and feel about exercise.

Episode Bullets:

  • 8:00 — What happens when you feed gorillas “human” food?
  • 13:40 — How well lions responded to intermittent fasting
  • 16:20 — The biological changes the Neolithic revolution produced in humans
  • 21:25 — What other changes did settled living bring on for early man?
  • 22:50 — Was prayer the beginning of hygiene, and religion the beginning of health consciousness?
  • 41:58 — What can we learn from what we still share biologically with early man?
  • 44:00 — Why John trusts the nutrition lessons of the past
  • 46:40 — Why you shouldn’t sweat bending the [nutrition] rules!
  • 47:30 — The benefits of intermittent fasting you may be missing out on
  • 53:08 — Caveats you should consider before fasting
  • 57:20 — How John made his exercise fun (again)
  • 1:03:55 — How we lost the power of purpose in our exercise, and how to get it back.
  • 1:07:27 — Can healthful movement be made as addictive as your phone?
  • 1:10:47 — Ways to “try on” an evolutionary diet
  • 1:18:20 — The bone broth experiment that almost cost John his apartment


Andy Petranek Whole Life Challenge

P.S. If you only have five minutes, listen at 57:20 when John confesses that he just isn’t that into exercise, and why he’s okay with that.

BIG THANKS to John Durant! If you enjoyed this podcast, click here to thank him on Twitter.

Episode Resources:
The Ancient Roots of Modern Hygiene — Antiquity Now
Apes shed pounds while doubling calories on leafy diet — Science Daily
A Survey of Diabetes Prevalence in Zoo-housed Primates — ResearchGate
How Intermittent Fasting Might Help You Live a Longer and Healthier Life — Scientific American
Win Big by Going Small — Bending the WLC Rules for Success
Whose Food Rules Are These, Anyway? — Michael Stanwyck
Addicted to Your Phone? Try This Practice —
The Case for Replacing Exercise With Play — Zen Habits
Slow Cooker Bone Broth —

Connect with John:
John’s website
John’s Facebook page
John on Instagram
John on Twitter

If you enjoyed this podcast, here are some others to check out:
Ryan Hurst — How to Exercise with Purpose and Playfulness
Robb Wolf – Diets, Epigenetics, Longevity, and Going Foodless for 9 Days

Connect with Andy to offer feedback or ask a question:

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Andy Petranek on FacebookAndy Petranek on InstagramAndy Petranek on Twitter
Andy Petranek
Andy is what you’d call a modern day Renaissance Man: a former professional trumpeter who attended the Eastman School of Music; a snowboarder, mountain biker, surfer, kayaker, outrigger paddler, mountaineer, and former Marine (Gulf War veteran); a professionally sponsored adventure racer; and the oldest participant to qualify for and participate in the CrossFit Games at the age of 43.

Andy is a certified CHEK Practitioner and holistic lifestyle coach. He holds a spectrum of certifications from CrossFit and is also a Vivobarefoot certified running coach. He has trained as a Zen buddhist and graduated with a Master’s degree in spiritual psychology from the University of Santa Monica.

Andy founded CrossFit LA one of the first and most successful CrossFit training centers in the world and the first to be featured in national media. He is the co-founder of the Whole Life Challenge, Inc, currently its president, and is also a consultant and life/business coach. Andy lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Julia, and son, Dashel.