Well, we just had the annual Eades/Cordain Tahoe picnic. When I first met Loren Cordain about ten years ago (He had invited me to speak at Colorado State University) I figured the only thing we would have in common was our interest in the Paleolithic diet, but it turned out to be much more than that. During his youth, Loren spent his summers working for the U.S. Forest Service in the Toiyabe National Forest up around the Tahoe area; I spent my summers working for the U.S. Forest Service in the Toiyabe National Forest about 60 miles south in Bridgeport, California. We both lived near one another growing up and both spent time in the same undergraduate school. And both ended up via a round about course being drawn into the Paleolithic diet.
Now MD and I live in the Tahoe area and Loren comes up with his family and spends a month every summer. Despite the fact that he and I email one another almost weekly and run into one another at various scientific meetings throughout the year, the only time we ever get together socially (since we left Boulder) is for the annual picnic.
Loren, me, Loren’s wife Lorrie, three of their kids and a loaner (Photo by MD Eades)
You may be wondering what two Paleolithic diet experts and their families eat on a picnic. Well, you start with Paleolithic wine. A little white to start; I think it was a Robert Mondavi Fume Blanc, which had just the right amount of crispness and fruit for a warm afternoon. Then it was off to the Paleolithic merlot. Loren had published a number of papers on the health benefits of wine, and, consequently, is known in the wine world. A little boutique winery (whose name I can’t recall) had sent him a case of merlot so we broke out a bottle. Normally, I loathe merlot because it’s so, well, merlot-y, but this one had more of a pinot noir taste to it, which set much better with me. Along with the Mondavi white MD and I contributed a wine from Bordeaux that we picked up at Costco, of all places. It was undistinguished and worth the 12 bucks or so that we paid for it. (I wanted to see what a $12 Bordeaux tasted like; I found out and probably won’t be repeating the experience.)
Aside from the Paleolithic wine we really did have a pretty much total low-carb spread. We had sirloin tips, giant prawns with MD’s low-carb sauce (made with sugar free ketchup, lots of horseradish, and a squeeze of lemon), Caprese on a stick (made by skewering strawberry tomatoes (a little bigger than cherry tomatoes), fresh mozzarella, and a basil leaf, all doused with a hand-mixed balsamic dressing), a fruit salad with lots of melon, smoked salmon on cucumber slices, crudites and a tapenade. And for dessert…a bag of fresh Rainier cherries. It would pretty much make any caveman (or woman) proud.
Photo by MD Eades
What do Paleolithic diet researchers talk about during a picnic. Paleolithic nutrition, of course. We discussed the new work coming out in the field, we discussed our differences on the saturated fat issue, we discussed his new research interest, which is diet and epithelial growth factor (EGF). He is doing some real groundbreaking work on what happens to EGF receptors with a non-Paleolithic diet. His data is so powerful that I won’t be surprised if he gets in published in either Nature or Science, the world’ s two leading scientific publications. I don’t want to spill the beans before he’s published, but I can tell you the take home lesson: don’t eat wheat, rice, or corn and drink milk.
It was a great evening with our little band of hunter/gatherers. Loren insisted that we (he and I) get into the water to stimulate our heat shock proteins. (And the cold water can sober one up, too.) We got in not once, but three times, and I’m here to tell you the water in Lake Tahoe is cold, even during a heat wave in July. My heat shock proteins are still circulating.
A note to my mother who is a faithful reader of this blog and MD’s, and who said to me yesterday on the phone after reading MD’s blog: “It sure seems like you two drink a lot.” Well, we don’t; it just seems that way. Honest.