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Diets Of The Greats

Discussion in 'Diet, Recipes' started by Markus, Aug 31, 2018.

  1. Markus

    Markus Member

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    I was thinking of creating a thread where members of the forum can contribute to compile the dietary practices of various great thinkers and other influential individuals of the past and present.

    As the thread starter, I begin with Mahatma Gandhi and Nikola Tesla.
     
  2. High_Prob

    High_Prob Member

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    Ludwig Wittgenstein

    Wittgenstein’s Powdered Eggs

    "Indeed. It seems that Wittgenstein stayed grouchy throughout his life, and that this grouchiness was in no way ameliorated by the pleasures of food and drink. In “The Philosopher and the Chicken: On the Dietetics of Disembodied Knowledge,” Steven Shapin gives some insight into Wittgenstein’s dietary habits. Later in life, Wittgenstein went to stay with his friend Maurice Drury in Ireland. Drury described the visit:

    Thinking my guests would be hungry after their long journey and night crossing, I had prepared a rather elaborate meal: roast chicken followed by suet pudding and treacle. Wittgenstein rather silent during the meal. When we had finished [Wittgenstein said], “Now let it be quite clear that while we are here we are not going to live in this style. We will have a plate of porridge for breakfast, vegetables from the garden for lunch, and a boiled egg in the evening.” This was then our routine for the rest of his visit.

    Shapin contrasts the event with a dinner given by Wittgenstein in 1945. A guest wrote that Wittgenstein prepared supper for us. The piece de résistance was powdered eggs. Wittgenstein asked whether I cared for them, and knowing how he valued sincerity, I told him that in truth they were dreadful. He did not like this reply. He muttered something to the effect that if they were good enough for him they were good enough for me."
     
  3. Wagner83

    Wagner83 Member

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    How can one sleep so poorly for 86 years. Also I didn't know Amazoniac was Tesla. It makes sense that getting by with less meals and foods would not only free some time for other activities but also spare the organs and digestive tract in particular some work.
     
  4. Elephanto

    Elephanto Member

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    Carbs intake is obviously important, it is agriculture that gaves us the Renaissance and an explosion in the rate of thinkers and inventors by allowing unprecedented levels of energy. Switching from the high protein/low carbs diet of hunters to a starch-based diet. Low fat is important too in my experience, making you feel physically lighter, being easy on the gut and making digestion easier. But more than diet specifics, I think that one of the most important things (and this is seen in the habits of many famous writers) is Intermittent Fasting. When you're constantly using energy to digest, less energy is available for thinking. It is also felt instinctively. Not eating for several hours doesn't equal to high stress levels, it depends a lot on your mental state. You can choose to be calm and preserve energy, even the positive/constructive but mentally-extensive thoughts are no where near as depleting as negative, anxious thoughts. In my experience, sugar and dairy makes it much harder to do IF by putting me in a blood sugar rollercoaster. When I switched to a rice, legumes and veggies diet, my glycogen storing capacity noticeably improved and I could now easily wait until late afternoon for my first meals without feeling an iota of stress, while doing all sorts of activity including moderate cardio/muscle training during the day. But I also won't take caffeine on an empty stomach as it would induce a stress that can only be solved by eating.
     
  5. Amazoniac

    Amazoniac Member

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    Interesting!
    So.. What do you usually eat?
     
  6. Wagner83

    Wagner83 Member

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    :lol
     
  7. Amazoniac

    Amazoniac Member

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    What about Leo?
     
  8. Ideonaut

    Ideonaut Member

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    Great post, thanks! The Tesla info is super. As for Wittgenstein, as I recall from a biography of him, when in Ireland he was always sick and was warned by the locals that he would ruin his health by "eating out of a tin" instead of fresh foods. In other words, he was a dietary fool; nothing worth emulating there.
     
  9. Sunny Jack

    Sunny Jack Member

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    Depends what you mean by greats. If you mean historical figures, we could look at Hitler's diet for warnings and ominous parallels:

    An obviously Nazi (authoritarian) trait was his love of PUFAs: linseed oil was used liberally. He liked lentils in the form of pea soup, though had to limit it as it gave him digestive troubles. Peppermint tea was a favourite during late night military strategy sessions.

    On the other hand, he did avoid estrogenic substances like alcohol, muscle meat and tobacco smoke.

    Hitler ate Peat-approved foods like cheese, mashed potatoes, and starches (albeit mainly pasta, noodles and rice). He liked coffee, and marmalade (though he did have it with bread). Ice cream was enjoyed by the Fuhrer, along with chocolate and in his final months in the bunker he ate a lot of stress-relieving sugar(in the form of cake).

    His cook also secretly added gelatin to his diet, despite his avowed vegetarianism. There are claims that he ate shellfish as well.

    So overall it seems we have a mixed bag. On the one hand, he ate polyunsaturated oil before it was even popular, as well as gluten, starch, and legumes.

    On the other, we see dairy plus sugar plus caffeine and an avoidance of tryptophan. I don't know his calcium to phosphate ratio but I imagine it wasn't ideal. Perhaps this explains his hateful, vengeance-based ideology alongside the strategic luck and hypnotic power he displayed win the early years of the war.

    The stress-based (adrenaline?) energy Hitler displayed sounds uncannily like that observed in high-serotonin individuals, especially those on SSRIs who suddenly find the confidence and motivation to commit mass-murders. Some members have claimed they feel more motivated on a high-serotonin diet.
     
  10. Mountain

    Mountain Member

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    Joins a few days ago and the first two people are both vegetarians. Wow what a coincildinkle. Gandhi was vegetarian for religious/cultural reasons so there's no reason to look deeper into his diet as though he's an outlier when his diet would have aligned with many in India. Tesla probably ate vegetarian because a dove told him to do so. If a dove told him to eat an all-meat diet then he probably would have done that instead. In other words, he lost his marbles after a while.

    Agriculture allowed some people to live close together and pursue goals other than food acquisition. This was probably a bigger factor than people eating more starches. Starches (and especially grains) are a slave food and made it easier to feed large concentrated masses of people, owing to their ability to be stored for long periods between seasons.
     
  11. Elephanto

    Elephanto Member

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    That's a good point but why put it in opposition to the argument of the drastic increase in carbs consumption contributing ? Both probably contributed. I don't know any genius who spent most of his life on a low carbs diet. Carbs intake basically cured what was functional hypothyroidism for all past history, with metabolism correlating to intelligence it could have been the crucial primer (even in the absence of food scarcity) to get people interested in higher thinking rather than only satisfying primitive urges. Do you think history would have been the same if all these people were able to live together and be fed the meat-heavy low carbs diet ?
     
  12. Mountain

    Mountain Member

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    Could just be that we live in a society that is mostly plant-based. Most people probably assume that we eat a meat-heavy diet now (especially in developed countries) but in fact, almost everything we eat now is plant-based. For example, all staples (wheat, rice and potatoes), vegetable side dish or salad, beer/wine/liquor, coffee and tea, fruits and nuts for snacks. As we know, even the cooking oil is now mostly plant-based.

    If pre-history was a period of heavy meat consumption, doesn't it lend support for humans being evolutionarily-adapted to eating large amounts of meat? And that the large amounts of carbohydrates brought by agriculture may be detrimental to our health? It's an interesting and difficult thing to think about since the world may have been a different place a long time ago -- so it's hard to say with certainty what we're designed to eat. I think most starches have enough drawbacks to warrant avoiding them though.
     
  13. Elephanto

    Elephanto Member

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    This is kind of the only argument of paleo/keto diets isn't it. I think that humanity evolves (ascends if you will), what was nutritionally suitable for cavemen/hunters with very little interest for spirituality, philosophy, higher thinking isn't for the later humans who developed creative and spiritual ambitions in a linear fashion. The evolution being closely associated with increased use of the mind, increasing the need for optimal brain metabolism as the need for intelligence increases. If you think that sugar is healthier than rice combined with antiseptics like coconut/olive oil, spices, salt etc like most traditional cultures have consumed it, it's fine. My point isn't about starches but the increased carbohydrates consumption having an important role in increasing intelligence. If I knew of tropical cultures with predominant sugar consumption who had shown great technological and creative advancements, I would have used this example. If I knew of ancient or modern cultures who eat meat-heavy low carbs diets who had shown great technological and creative advancements, I wouldn't make this argument.

    I find it funny that you accuse a new member of coming here to promote veganism but then you're questioning the idea that carbs raise metabolism and/or propose that the appropriate diet is the one of cavemen.
     
  14. Mountain

    Mountain Member

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    I never said that at all. I just said that starch is a slave food. Also I think it's unwise to conflate technological advancement with carb consumption since many cultures never made anywhere near the technological advancements as Europeans or Asians despite eating carbs. Such as people in Oceania and Pacific growing breadfruit or SEA people eating rice. There were other factors at play. Also his two examples were bad and clearly slanted towards vegetarianism -- something that Peat doesn't agree with. I personally eat a pretty standard diet around here of meat, milk, eggs and fruit.

    Lack of antinutrients and high vitamin and mineral contents of those foods are the main ones.

    We can't really say what cavemen thought about. But like I said earlier, ALL people had to contribute directly to their own survival in those days. In contrast, living in society means that the products of our labours is an abstraction of the labour -- we no longer need to directly obtain the necessities of life for ourselves -- we get money instead. This means that people pursue goals other than providing shelter, food, etc. Hence art, science, philosophy flourish. It can't be said that they come from carb consumption. But did agriculture allow for civilization which then produced cultural phenomena like this? Yes I think so.

    Whether these things are "good" is another topic.
     
  15. OP
    Markus

    Markus Member

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    This thread was not created to promote any kind of specific diet. What each and everyone eats should be in alignment with their individual constitution and physio-psychological needs guided by how they feel in response to food, and not determined by what some authority has to say about the matter.

    With that said, please don't contribute to the never-ending drama of "you should eat this and not that because so and so..."
     
  16. nwo2012

    nwo2012 Member

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    Not sure if your post is comedy or not. But gave me a great laugh nonetheless.
     
  17. pinacolada

    pinacolada Member

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    Hitler was a methamphetamine addict, along with many others in Nazi Germ-many
     
  18. OP
    Markus

    Markus Member

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    The way I see it, the general theme is that a diet should be simple and not complicated by scientific research isolating specific nutrients, although that might be interesting to some extent.
     
  19. nwo2012

    nwo2012 Member

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    You were there were you?
     
  20. pinacolada

    pinacolada Member

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    Wait - let me guess- the holocaust never happened?
     
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