Friday, November 30, 2012

Exercise, Good. Obsession (and High Carbs), Bad

"What the new research suggests is that the benefits of running may come to a hard stop later in life. In a study involving 52,600 people followed for three decades, the runners in the group had a 19% lower
death rate than nonrunners, according to the Heart editorial. But among the running cohort, those who ran a lot-more than 20 to 25 miles a week-lost that mortality advantage. "

"Not everyone is lining up behind the new data. "The guys advancing the hypothesis that you can get too much exercise are manipulating the data," said Paul Thompson, a former elite marathoner and nationally renowned sports cardiologist at Hartford Hospital. "They have an agenda."
"Sports cardiologist James O'Keefe, an author of the Heart paper, counters that Dr. Thompson is an exercise addict. "He, like many chronic exercise addicts, is the one with an agenda," said Dr. O'Keefe, a sports cardiologist at Saint Luke's Mid America Heart Institute in Kansas City. "My 'agenda' is my patients."
Critics of the newer research say that the idea that running can harm the heart is based on research showing only an association—meaning that exercise may not be the cause of the problem. The note that in any large group of runners, high-mileage and high-speed athletes may be too few in number to be statistically significant.""

There is a huge confounder in the aforementioned associative risk - that being that elite marathoners almost all eat massive quantities of carbohydrate.  I think it's completely plausible that the risk of death reflects the diet of these people as much as their excessive, top end aerobic work.  Folks like Mark Sisson ( will also point to the high levels of oxidative stress associated with super high endurance mileage as a likely culprit for these folks' health compromises. 
What is oxidative stress?  It's the stuff that you are supposed to be preventing by ingesting massive quantities of "anti-oxidants" every day, under the assumption that if you eat an anti-oxidant it will magically make its way into your cells and do the magic anti-oxidants purportedly do.  As to that, I'll believe it when I see the intervention study that shows a benefit.
As to the topic of this article, though, it shouldn't take a rocket surgeon to figure out that many competitive endeavors rapidly degenerate into too much of a good thing, too much running/biking/swimming is a good example.

PS - the future of endurance running is going to look like this:

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Biggest Loser of All Time

"As the most successful "Biggest Loser" contestant in the show's history after shedding 185 pounds in his nine-month experience winning the $100,000 at-home prize in the reality weight loss program seen by millions weekly, Pete has spent most of the seven years that have elapsed promoting what it takes not just to lose the weight quickly but also keep it off for the rest of your life. He's written a brand new book about this subject in 2012 called Lose It Fast, Lose It Forever: A 4-Step Permanent Weight Loss Plan from the Most Successful "Biggest Loser" of All Time with a special foreword written by his trainer on the show Jillian Michaels."

I have listened to this podcast three times while driving or digging out a patio - it's a great show!  Pete has developed a fantastic and comprehensive approach to fat loss, and sustaining fat loss, including an exercise system.  I thoroughly enjoyed hearing his story, and recommend this podcast.  

Not Eating What the People We Eat With Eat

As we transition from young guys into full-fledged men, a few
things tend to happen.

We move a little less...and we eat a little more.

Our metabolisms slow down and we gain fat. Maybe a little of it;
maybe a lot of it.

If you're like most guys, you chalk it up to aging, like losing
your hair or suffering from a low sex drive.

Well, I have two words for you.

Screw. That.

The PN crew have one of the only online, large scale implementations of weight loss coaching I know of, and have many clients and some good before/after shots to show for it.  

In my book, though, they could state things a bit more clearly.  My bet is that we don't move less and eat more, we move less because we become less carb tolerant, and some of the energy we eat becomes trapped as fat (and inaccessible due to high insulin levels).  We are low on available energy, and act like it.  We are also high in inflammation, and low in sleep quality (a little sore, and somewhat tired).  

But either way, we need a change, many of us, and it can't be hours of daily running or other "cardio" - at least, not if we want loving relationships and a career that will let us support our loved ones.

"Eat meat, eggs, vegetables, nuts and seeds, little fruit or starch, and no sugar/wheat" is simple, perhaps too simple, because folks don't believe it.  The formula works, but the implementation is tough.  What do I eat for breakfast?  What about lunch at work or on the road?  What about dinner with no bread or pasta or rice?  "You can't get anything without wheat in it."  What about birthdays and holidays?  "I can't walk past all these sweets."  "I have to have my oatmeal."  Or, they try the Rx for a while, but eventually, revert to the norm.  

They do what humans do - eat what the people we eat with eat.  

The key is - what helps people change habits permanently?  Fear of looking fat doesn't do it.  Fear of disease does it - for the short term.  Even success only helps reinforce the right behavior in the short term.  What makes long term success, lifetime success, possible?

As I'm learning, being paid to help people regain health and lose weight in the process, there are three factors.  
1.  Do it with other people.  Find a group that eats like you want to eat and share food adventures.
2.  Keep learning and refining.  You get the lightening bolt of inspiration to do things differently, but it fades over time, and all the reasons you used to eat the shit that you used to eat will still be there.  If you learn every day, a little more about why it sucks to eat the shit you used to eat, you have a better chance over time of seeing that shit as shit, instead of the fun stuff to eat.
3.  Persistence.  I started carb restriction via the Zone in 1996.  I went into and out of weight loss from then through 2007.  In 2007 at 225 pounds and a belly of 39", I went back to the Zone and it worked.  But I found I could do as well or better without the weighed meals and five meals per day, in other words just focus on eating quality food, and that's where I've been ever since.  Turns out, the science shows that even intermittent carb restriction shows long term health benefits, so I was doing better with my start/fail carb restriction that if I hadn't been doing anything.

1.  Everyone quits when they try to change their behavior.  But don't quit trying to change.  Read a new book about diet and health every year.  Read a health and fitness blog you trust five days a week.  Keep thinking of things you can do to shift toward desired behaviors.  Find the easy changes and make them. Give yourself the question for the larger, harder changes - "how can I change this?"  As Tony Robbins says, and I believe him, if you want a better answer you have to ask better questions.
2.  Even if all you do is jettison some elements of the stuff that's killing you - bread for example - that's a win.  I sometimes look at the stuff I used to crave and wonder what the attraction ever was.  The attraction didn't die because I changed how I thought.  The attraction died because after a period of not eating that food, the taste that I had grown for the food just went away.  Short term deprivation became long term liberation.  And bread for example - how many people eat bread with no butter or other such topping to make it taste better than cardboard?   Ditto rice or pasta or oatmeal.
3.  It is about looking better, but the same changes that make you leaner make you healthier - so it's not JUST about looking better.  It's about living better, living well for longer.  The same processes that make you store fat and feel hungry are the ones that make you inflamed and sick.  You may be fighting for appearance, and eager to feel younger longer, but you are also fighting for your life, which is why it is critical to regulate blood sugar via, for most, carbohydrate restriction.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Inflammation, Autoimmune, What's The Difference

Crohn's disease and colitis, collectively referred to as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), both involve inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. Colitis only affects the colon, while Crohn's disease can affect any gastrointestinal area from the mouth to the anus.

Over the past decade, many genes related to Crohn's and colitis have been discovered. Evidence for a genetic basis of the diseases was first uncovered in 2000. But in 2005, only two genes linked to the diseases had been determined. Now, 163 IBD loci, or genetic regions, are known--71 of which were identified in this study.

As you read the press about disease models, virtually all cite "inflammation" or "chronic inflammation". Rarely do they state what that condition is, or what it is characterized by, which is, a heightened inflammatory response when one is not needed.
When you have a cut or an invasive microbe, you need an inflammatory response.  Other times, you need a normal inflammatory response.
In other words, if you buy the "inflammation" argument, the "diseases of civilization" are caused by the body attacking itself through a perverted inflammatory response.  Your genetic predisposition determines whether a diet which drives high, chronic inflammation levels results in, for example, ALS or CVD or pancreatic cancer.
Autoimmune diseases are all of this flavor, so a way to think of "inflammatory" diseases is as a spectrum from the least severe (CVD, cancer) to the most severe (autoimmune).
In either instance, dietary interventions reduce the out of control inflammatory response for many.  Best interventions include wheat elimination, sugar reduction or elimination, and reduction of omega 6 fatty acid intake (combined with omega 3 supplementation).  Other important interventions include vitamin D optimization, optimizing micro-nutrient levels in the body (different from just dumping more of them into your body), and reducing the body's stress response while increasing sleep quality.
Unlike "medical" interventions, these have no side effects.
Which isn't to say I think medicine has no place in disease intervention!  If I get cancer, I'm getting best treatment out there.  Waiting for dietary and lifestyle interventions until after cancer's got you by the liver - aka the late great Steve Jobs - is not my bag.
Eat meat, eggs, vegetables, nuts and seeds, little fruit or starch, no sugar/wheat.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Good Sleep, Good Performance, Good Health

The Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers spent the summer tearing through sleep studies-some of them commissioned by the U.S. military-looking for ways they might help their players improve their performance by sleeping more like teenagers. "We've looked at quite a few of them," said San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh.

And after sleep specialists visited the Jets earlier this year, linebacker Bryan Thomas said the team has made an extreme effort to make sure everyone is sleeping properly. This includes pre-setting all temperatures in the team hotel rooms to the sleep-therapy recommended 68 degrees and recommending players sleep in pitch-black rooms.

Baltimore head coach John Harbaugh, Jim's brother, has begun to take measures to combat jetlag on long trips: Before the Ravens fly west to play San Diego on Nov. 25, their plan is to stay at home but simply start practices and meetings later until they are operating on West Coast-time while in Baltimore.  

Of the four Pacific-time teams, three of them lost more than 75% of the time over the past decade when playing 1 p.m. games on the East Coast.

Physical performance is mental performance is emotional performance.  They are all powered by the same fuels and the same physiology and each affects the other.  What you eat affects how you sleep, and how you sleep affects what hormones your body makes, and what hormones your body makes has an effect on what your body does with what you eat.

This is a sad reality for a fitness coach, because if theres one thing that's harder for folks to fix than their eating habits, it's their sleeping habits.

Monday, November 26, 2012

In Which I Waste Time On A Hater ...

I wasted an hour today to respond to this critique.  I wonder if the author will post my response.

A Civil Critique on Crossfit

Summary of the author's argument:
1. Unless I specialize in running and body weight stuff, I don't get the results I value most.
2. I prefer a definition of fitness I found in a dictionary more than the one that CrossFit used to frame the methodology of CrossFit programming.
I suppose not everyone reads all the old CF stuff, but I did, way back when.  The point of defining fitness for Coach was that it wasn't defined in any useful way.  Somebody could claim fitness and mean anything.  Of course, folks did and do just that, and never bothered to define the term in any way that was subject to evaluation.  Coach's blinding flash of the obvious was "what if we defined it in a way such that training could be designed to achieve the end, fitness, in a way that is quantifiable."  So he defined it, published it, and strove to build a fitness system that achieved it.  The intellectual integrity of that approach is remarkable in a world of myth based marketing.
The desired outcome - fit for anything, fit for the knowable, fit for the unknowable.  Someone said above that CrossFit is about "excelling at being average."  That statement was intended as a critique, but it is just as much a compliment since the statement implies having no weakness.  CrossFit's founder wrote many years ago that CrossFit is about compromise - or as the old saying goes, "any strength to excess is weakness."
The author of this blog has made this completely uncontroversial claim: "if I don't specialize in running and body weight movements, I'm not as good at running and body weight movements as I used to be when I specialized at running and body weight movements (aka the Marine PFT)."
OK.  CrossFit says that too.
As for whether or not the CrossFit Games should be crowning the fittest on the planet, everyone has a right to their opinion, and each counts as much as the author's, which is zero except hopefully to yours and my friends and loved ones.
As for worthless anecdotes, I have several, but my PFA test scores for the highly unimpressive Navy PFA test were their best, as a forty + year old, after I found CrossFit (I only did better as a 25 year old officer candidate).  I did nothing but CrossFit, except I would practice the PFA 3-4 times prior to the test.
In summary, because the author didn't take time to fully understand the context of CrossFit's claim to fitness, he/she made a tedious, pointless critique, when all that needed to be said was "I tried CrossFit and the results of the CrossFit implementation I tried didn't match my goals."


In the aftermath of Thanksgiving, I am grateful to be associated with a community that finds a way to do things like this:

"Instead of seeing our son grow in independence, we were helplessly watching him back track," Kim says.

"Kim often neglected her own health to care for Nathan. She was miserable until a neighbor told her about CrossFit VO2Max in 2011. She started the V02Max boot camp in the summer, and by August, she joined the regular classes.

"When Nathan broke his left femur again that fall, Kim started to talk about her experience with her new VO2Max family. "We started talking about Nathan and if it would be possible to adapt a program for him."

"In December 2011, Coach Ron Turner approached Kim with a plan to train Nathan three days a week for 30 minutes, at no cost.

"Kim didn't want to push Nathan into an uncomfortable experience, so she brought him to a birthday party at the gym and let him explore. He decided he wanted to give it a try.

"It was the first time he felt like he might be capable of something 'cool,'" Kim says.

"Having an athlete with OI presents significant challenges. Turner "started him with simple things-- like learning to deadlift and squat-- and slowly did small CrossFit met-cons for conditioning," Kim explains.

"Nearly a year later, Nathan gave up the wheelchair. He can walk outside and he increased his grip strength."

There are a lot of CF "haters" out there, and many would say "any good S&C program would do just as well."  And that may be true, but it is irrelevant.  CF gets a chance to do so many things like this because CF has become prevalent in the marketplace with a fitness model that the S&C geniuses said couldn't work "for the masses."  Instead of taking their knowledge to the market place, they defaulted to machines, fad fitness magazines, "cardio and crunches", and supplement sales.  In the mean time, this crazy man named Glassman figured out how to apply real S&C methods in a novel implementation suitable for pro athletes and grandmothers.  Millions of lives have been changed as a result.

I'm thankful for moms like Kim.  I'm thankful for the health of my children.  I'm thankful for these moments of achievement for Nathan.  

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


I presented my training session on the Paleolithic Model of Nutrition recently (it was recorded - will have an online product available soon in conjunction with Faction Strength and Conditioning).  Getting ready to present, reviewing  my presentation, and refining it based on audience feedback is always fun; the most recent cycle of preparation was particularly fertile with ideas for how to tell the story with more impact, more clarity and more repetition.  It is, for example, really hard for people to believe you mean "eat more fat" or "eat a lot of fat".  If you say that once, or twice, it does not sink in.  Further, even if the whole point of the presentation is "if your diet produces wild excess in blood sugar, you are frocked" - I get questions about whole eggs v. whites only, or others that amount to a complete oblivion to the PRIMACY OF GLYCEMIC CONTROL. 
I should probably put "it's the blood sugar, stupid" on every slide.
You see articles all the time about one group or another's fears of "toxins" in the food supply.  Welcome to the industrial food chain, peeps, strap in and hold on. 
But that's not what is killing those who eat the Western diet.  What is killing you is the number one toxin, the undisputed killer toxin - blood sugar dis-regulated by diet (with compounding of the issue loop by lack of sleep and chronic stress). 
The good thing is that one does not have to take anyone else's word about which foods or meals will wreck your blood sugar - you can do that for yourself now, courtesy of a $100 (at most) investment in a glucose meter and test strips (go to Amazon or other web source for the strips!).  If you eat a meal with whole grain bagels or bread/pasta/orange juice, oatmeal - or whatever - when it spikes your blood sugar (on a whim I ate two doughnuts to test my glucose response, and it delivered an eye popping 212; I was back to 85 an hour later), it's not about dogma any longer.  It's about not killing yourself with high blood sugar.
This is, to me, a great development for the sake of less bickering, for one, and for the sake of less dependence on "experts" and their opinions.  More importantly, blood sugar meters, and blood tests being available on demand for a fee but without an MD's consent, means far more independence for those who wish to choose a safe, healthy path based on their own needs and values.
All of the arenas in which we find conflict are defined by the lack of definitive science.  The lack of certainty makes ego and opinion influential, and sometimes profitable.  Unfortunately, ego by its nature is unconcerned with the full picture of consequences - the greater the needs of the ego, the less likely the ego's owner will be able to see the victims of the contested ideology.
It dawned on me this weekend that many science of health and nutrition "experts" have for at least 40 years been saying the equivalent of:  "I think there's a (saturated fat) lion in the bushes over there", while ignoring the (excess blood sugar) alligator sitting in the boat.  It's taking them a long, long time to re-calibrate to the known killer vice the suspected.

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Bet

"Believe nothing you hear and half of what you read." Coach John Inman

I've always been fascinated by that quote, and this is a good example of the conundrum. How can you know what to believe?

I believe the info in this blog post because I can articulate a model for how it is correct, and identify corroborating research.

Then there's the practical side. Perhaps eating low carb does not help with the diseases of civilization, but while you are still alive you are lean, active, feel good, sleep better, and more fully "alive". That's enough for me.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Big Belly = High Risk

"Recent research suggests that even if your weight is in the normal range, if you have a high waist-to-hip ratio, you have a higher risk of death than those considered obese based on BMI
The risk of cardiovascular death was 2.75 times higher, and the risk of death from all causes was 2.08 times higher in people of normal weight with central obesity, compared with those with a normal BMI and normal waist-to-hip ratio
"Research indicates your waist size may also be a more effective measure for assessing obesity-related hypertension risk
"One of the simplest and most effective ways to determine whether or not you may be overweight is by measuring your waist circumference. I compiled a new waist circumference table that will allow you to easily look up your height and see what your ideal waist size and current classification is
"Your waist size is a powerful indicator of insulin sensitivity, as studies clearly show that measuring your waist size is one of the most powerful ways to predict your risk for diabetes."

Interesting for two reasons - one is, it is a possible indicator of why "skinny fat" folks have death risk equivalent to more typically fat folks - a model would be: skinny fat folks have a "lipo-phobic" body type, which does not handle fat storage well. They typically have little subcutaneous fat, little fat on their face, and you'll never see a person with this type of frame (long and lean, aka and ectomorph) on The Biggest Loser. They just can't get that large. But when they eat too much of the stuff that will kill you, they have to sequester all that excess blood sugar somewhere, so eventually it becomes fat stored in the abdominal cavity, making a big belly on an otherwise lean, not obviously fat person. BMI stays low, but health is compromised.

The other reason is that this study was done was to help "public health authorities" identify those at risk at very low cost. BMI can be a health indicator for populations, but even for populations, it's a poor correlate - those with well trained, dense muscles and bones will have a high BMI but low health risk, and the "skinny fat" will have normal BMI but high health risk. IOW - BMI is a crude tool, not applicable to individuals.

There is also the interesting element of the language - clearly stated, this is an observational study, and the language associated with those types of studies reflects that:
"risk of cardiovascular death was 2.75 times higher"
"risk of death from all causes was 2.08 times higher"
And the assignment of causality, or speculation about causality:
"The increased mortality risk accompanying higher ratios of visceral fat ... is likely due to increased insulin resistance."

In short, you can be on the lookout for this language and know this study proves nothing about causality. You can remind yourself that "risk" in this context doesn't have predictive value - it's just epidemiological language about correlation. Knowing this, you can reduce some of the confusing clutter in reporting on science.

What's the takaway? Nothing you don't know. Big bellies are neither attractive nor healthy, but that's already fairly widely accepted. ACSM has been saying for years that abdomenal circumference is an excellent predictor of mortality.  Even if a big belly wasn't a health issue - "nobody wants that."
Eat meat, eggs, vegetables, nuts and seeds, little fruit or starch, no sugar/wheat. 

The real takeaway for me is that folks who are starting a diet/health program need a measure for their belly as much as, or more than, a scale.  Weight loss without belly loss isn't good, and belly loss without weight loss is good.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Glutamine - What Is It, Why You Want It

"Take glutamine to prevent food cravings and maintain optimal body composition over the holidays. Glutamine is the most abundant free amino acid in the body and in addition to helping you avoid unhealthy food cravings, it can regulate blood sugar and nutrient metabolism. Taking a large dose of glutamine has also been found to help trainees break through muscle building plateaus and improve body composition.

"The cool think about glutamine is that it is involved in so many functions in the body that, by giving your body a larger pool to play with, you can improve health, brain function, physical performance, and metabolism. Here's how it works: First, glutamine is used along with the amino acids cysteine and glycine to make glutathione, which is a powerhouse antioxidant that needs to be made internally by the body rather than supplemented to be most effective. Glutathione regulates the immune system and helps you avoid everything from a cold to cancer."

Read more at the link - very interesting!  This supplement is also recommended by Dr. Ron Rosedale (The Rosedale Diet) to help folks make the low carb transition.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Jimmy Combat Secrets

The cheat sheet for high fat, low carb paleo eaters (like I am)!

Low Cholesterol Will Kill You

"Heart attack survivors live longer if they have high cholesterol"

"Low cholesterol levels increase the risk of death from stroke, cancer
and all causes"

"Low cholesterol levels predict death in patients with bacteria in the

"Colon cancer deaths increase in men with low cholesterol"

Are these joke headlines? Yes - and no. These headlines come from a
book entitled: Low Cholesterol Leads to an Early Death - Evidence From
101 Scientific Papers.

The death of the cholesterol myths is long overdue but still not close -
we're a nation of statinators. So it's nice when someone takes the time
to read scientific studies and report those findings which DON'T make
the abstract.

Thanks, Tom Naughton, for the review - and if you have not seen Tom's
work, Fat Head The Movie, in which he eats high fat fast food for 30
days and loses weight while improving his fasting lipid profile - do it!
The movie is funny and informative.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Hero WOD: Clovis

For time:
Run 10 miles
150 Burpee pull-ups
Partition the run and burpee pull-ups as needed.
Post time to comments.

U.S. Army Second Lieutenant Clovis T. Ray, 34, of San Antonio, Texas, assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, based in Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, was killed on March 15, 2012, in Kunar province, Afghanistan, when insurgents attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device. He is survived by his wife Shannon, son Dean, parents Bob Ben Sr. and Cecilia, brothers Eddie and Bob Ben Jr., and sister Jennifer.

Note:  Use this as an example of what CrossFit usually is not - long and low powered.  But part of why CF does not do a lot of long low powered WODs is that by focusing on short, high powered WODs, you can still do long, low powered WODs if desired. In this case, I desire, will try to find the 2.5 hours I'll need sometime this week.

I'm Just Sayin'

One of these things is not like the others ... and I don't think I'll be buying one of the previously opened but left on the shelf versions ...

Friday, November 9, 2012

Hero WOD: Ralph

Four rounds for time of:
250 pound Deadlift, 8 reps
16 Burpees
15 foot Rope climb, 3 ascents
Run 600 meters
Post time to comments.

British Army Second Lieutenant Ralph Johnson, 24, of South Africa, assigned to the Household Cavalry Regiment, based in Windsor, England, was killed on August 1, 2006, in Helmand province, Afghanistan, when insurgents attacked his vehicle with an improvised explosive device.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

What's Driving You Crazy?

Emily writes like I like it - and covers a lot of ground.  Read on to find out why low sugar intake - counter intuitively since the "conventional wisdom" is you need to eat a minimum of 150g/day of carbohydrate to adequately fuel your brain - may be the superior way to feed the grey matter in that bucket you call your head.

"The modern prescription of high carbohydrate, low fat diets and eating snacks between meals has coincided with an increase in obesity, diabetes, and and increase in the incidence of many mental health disorders, including depression, anxiety, and eating disorders. In addition, many of these disorders are striking the population at younger ages. While most people would agree that diet has a lot to do with the development of obesity and diabetes, many would disagree that what we eat has much to do with our mental health and outlook. I believe that what we eat has a lot to do with the health of our brains, though of course mental illness (like physical illness) has multifactorial causes, and by no means should we diminish the importance of addressing all the causes in each individual. But let's examine the opposite of the modern high carbohydrate, low fat, constant snacking lifestyle and how that might affect the brain."

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Home Gym Shopping List

This is a great list I've recycle from the CrossFit Journal.  A world class gym is within the reach of anyone with a moderate budget, given a couple of years.

Most useful, best cost benefit:
Jump rope
Pullup bar
Squat stand
Weight plates
Med ball
Plyo box
Back ext bench
40# DB

Classic Quote, Twain (And Implications Thereof)

"It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so."

Mark Twain
HT: @LibertarianMike

In other words what will kill you is thinking:
-Thinking that "heart healthy whole grains" are in fact suitable for human consumption - when a simple check with a blood glucose meter will show they are not - will kill you
-Thinking that saturated fats give you high cholesterol and heart disease, when in fact a high sat fat diet in conjunction with sane levels of carb consumption improves every measure the high fat worrier kings are concerned with - will kill you
-Thinking that industrially derived soy and polyunsaturated fats/oils are good for you, because the industrial producers of those products (and the USDA which exists to promote those producers) say they are, will kill you
-Thinking that eating vegetarian will save the planet/environment/the lives of animals - may not kill you but it would be a shame to miss out on all of that incredibly good tasting food - bearing in mind how many millions of years it took for your genome to reach the top of the food chain - on a myth.  The fact is, there's nothing more environmentally destructive than annual monocrops, whereas grass raised animals contribute to healthy top soil, do not require fossil fuels as fertilizer, and supports the growth of grass which sequesters carbon (if you care about that sort of thing).  AND, you couldn't possibly kill more animals by any other means of food production that industrially produced annual monocrops
-Thinking that exercise, "cardio" in particular, is good for weight loss may not kill you ... but the wasted hours "burning calories" you will in all likelihood just "eat back", while gaining very little fitness OR health, is crying shame

Eat meat, eggs, vegetables, nuts and seeds, little fruit or starch, no sugar no wheat.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Correlation or Causation?

Obesity also influences sleepiness. Obese people often report feeling
sleepier than their leaner counterparts. For a long time it was believed
this was due to sleep apnea, a condition-common in the overweight-in
which a person stops breathing repeatedly while sleeping.

But Alexandros Vgontzas, a sleep specialist at Penn State University,
and others have found that the obese sleep worse and report being sleepy
in the daytime-to the point of falling asleep at work or while
driving-regardless of whether they have sleep apnea.

Excess fat doesn't just disrupt normal bodily function; it can make
other diseases worse.

For instance, a study published earlier this month in the journal Cancer
Research demonstrated that, in mice, cancer-tumor cells appear to
recruit fat stem cells to help them grow. Fat releases molecules that
induce new blood vessels to grow, which then feed the tumor. Some fat
stem cells also travel to the site of the tumor and merge with it.

Earlier research has suggested that obese people are more likely to get
cancer, or see some cancers progress faster, but it wasn't clear whether
the excess fat or lifestyle issues were to blame, said the University of
Texas' Dr. Kolonin, an author of last week's paper.

Is it the fat that causes the problems?  Or, are the foods that make us fat making us sick, too?

In a way, the answer does not matter.  Carrying lots of body fat isn't always a sign of illness, but usually, it is - the condition isn't most serious due to the appearance issues, it's about feeling alive - not just being alive.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Water For Fat Loss

"... water has a lipolytic effect (fat burning). I read this in
a number of papers that had studied it, and the data clearly showed that
those who took in a lot of water had increased lipolysis. I didn't deny
the data, but I couldn't figure out the mechanism (and apparently
neither could any of the authors because none described it). I thought
on it a while and finally came up with what I think is a plausible

"When you drink water, especially cold water, you require some increase
in caloric burning to bring the water to body temperature, but that
increase doesn't amount to all that much (the authors did describe this
phenomenon), but you also dilute your blood for a bit until the water
equilibrates with the fluid in all the tissues, and effect that takes
some time. During this time, while the blood is more dilute, the
concentration of the various substances carried in the blood decreases.

"Which would mean that insulin levels would fall. The typical blood
volume is about 5 liters, so drinking a liter of water would increase
the blood volume temporarily by about 20 percent, which would mean the
concentration of insulin and other molecules in the blood would fall by
about 20 percent. A 20 percent drop in insulin levels would allow fat
to escape the fat cells and would facilitate its transfer into the
mitochondria for burning. At least that's my explanation for the
lipolytic effect seen in numerous studies of subjects increasing water

I love trailing after Mike Eades' thoughts, and since he can apparently
read about 100 times faster than I can, there's always fertile ground
for learning in his blog posts.

Thank you Mike!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Is That Sandpaper You Are Eating?

High fiber diets and bacterial overgrowth are a particularly dangerous mix. Remember, Almost all of the fiber and approximately 15-20% of the starch we consume escape absorption. Carbohydrates that escape digestion become food for intestinal bacteria.

Prebiotics, which can be helpful in re-establishing a healthy bacterial balance in some patients, should probably be avoided in patients with heartburn and GERD. Several studies show that fructo-oligosaccharides (prebiotics) increase the amount of gas produced in the gut.

The other problem with fiber is that it can bind with nutrients and remove them from the body before they have a chance to be absorbed. This is particularly problematic in GERD sufferers, who may already be deficient in key nutrients due to long term hypochlorydria (low stomach acid).

You need fiber like your skin needs sandpaper.