• History
  • Books

Walt Whitman Was Into the Paleo Diet Before It Was a Thing

1 minute read

Literary giant Walt Whitman was an early advocate of what today sounds like the popular paleo diet, according to the author’s recently uncovered writings.

“Let the main part of the diet be meat, to the exclusion of all else,” Whitman wrote, according to a New York Times report.

The advice is part of a 47,000-word series advising readers on how to live a healthy life that the poet published in the now-defunct New York Atlas in 1858. In 13 parts, Whitman offers advice on a range of topics including sex, hygiene and footwear, according to a Houston Chronicle report.

The 13-part series was uncovered by University of Houston doctoral candidate Zachary Turpin amidst microfilm that has never been digitized. “It took about 24 hours for it to sink in,” Turpin told the Times of his reaction to his discovery.

More Must-Reads from TIME

Write to Justin Worland at justin.worland@time.com