Commenting Note

I've discovered a problem with TypePad's new commenting platform (TypePad Connect) that those who comment need to be aware of.

If you look at my three comments in reply to the troll on this post, let me inform you that I composed that as a single comment and could not get it to post no matter what (via email, directly on the form, with Safari, Firefox, IE; Mac or PC). Nothing worked. And, what happens is that when you post, the comment just goes away. No error with a return to your compose screen. Nothing. So, if you haven't saved what you've written, it could be lost.

The way I got it all up there was to break it into three parts, and that worked. So, that suggests the problem is with the length -- fabulous news for those who put the most effort into adding value to a post.

So, if this has happened to you, I'm dreadfully sorry. I have alerted TypePad and will keep on them. What I suggest is that when you compose a comment, select the text and copy into your clipboard. For added safety, a good method is to paste it into an email and email to yourself so you've at least preserved your work. I have no idea what length causes this blowup, so you'll just have to work that out each time; but if you're preserved your work you should be able to accomplish it.

Later: Please let me know via email (list on my about page) if you experience any issues with comments.

More Later: I believe I have found the issue (have alerted TypePad). It seems that if your comment has up to four URLs, no problem. If you have five or six URLs (and presumably more, but I only tested five and six), it blow up, doesn't post, and worse, you lose your work unless you've saved it elsewhere. This is probably not an issue for most, as it's rare to put that many URLs in a comment anyway. Just something to be aware of until rectified by TypePad.

Reader Questions and Results

Let's plow through another group. First up is some results from Deborah.

I stumbled across your site probably on a blogroll from someone else (Mark Sisson maybe), and have been enjoying your writing immensely. I'm trying very hard to stick to a Paleo diet (or the Eades plan or Atkins ... anyway, a way of eating based on principles of all three), and I find that it really helps to read all the bloggers. I just turned 56, and have had the same 25-30 pounds on my frame for so long I surely can't call it "baby weight" anymore. The babies are 21 and 19, for pete's sake. My husband, who is most marvelous in every other way, isn't particularly supportive of this way of eating, though at least he doesn't try to sabotage it (he's been told by the doc to skip the chicken skin, lay off the butter, all the usual doctorly advice).

Anyway. Deciding to take control of my own diet, I've finally lost a few pounds (I need to get from 185 or so down to at least 160, which on a large-boned woman who does weight training is, I think, reasonable), by eating protein and fat, cutting the bad carbs (yay, cauliflower) and weight training. And though the fat is now starting to come off slowly, I just feel so much better that I really relate to the posts on your blog about the major changes in well-being fostered by this way of eating. When energy, sleep, concentration and mood improve so drastically, there's no question about falling off the wagon.

Absolutely! Patience. The fat will come off, and in the meantime you get to feel great. As I saif in my email reply to you, you're husband is more likely to "evolve" into a Paleo-like approach as he observes the results you obtain. Be sure to always gently point out when he's tired and weary, and you're not, and can go and go.

Next, minneapolis J asks:

If I just want to grill hamburgers what sauces could I use that are more accomdalbe to paleo eating?

Well, I personally like to do the same sorts of sauces that I do for steaks and other meats (see the Food Porn category). Use a beef stock, reduce, and go to work. The possibilities are endless. Here's a couple of posts showing what I did sauce-wise for ground beef.

Low-Carb Meatloaf

How About Some Food Pics?

Another thing you can do is make your own tomato sauce, or get canned, and then spice it up with various things to make it Italian like, or more wild, such as with rosemary, sage, savory and such. Again, possibilities are endless, experiment, and never do it exactly the same way twice. That's my policy. Let us know how it goes, J. Also, I'll point out that J has decided to do some blogging, so I wish him well with that.

Brock emails:

I know nanotechnology isn't your normal blogging topic, but I thought this was relevant to why we should approach diet as scientists: confidently assuming we can understand with enough data, but humbly assuming we don't have all the data yet. This fascinating protein structure is common to all forms of life (which means it must be -really- important to be genetically preserved through a billion years of evolution), and we have no idea what it's for. Humbling.

It's important, now and then, that I reiterate my profound respect for science, medicine, and technology, as well as my confidence in man's mind, along with its ability to continually gain knoweldge, build, and improve human life.

Frankly, I would like nothing more than to pop a pill every day for perfect optimal nutrition, and plug into the wall to recharge. Well, perhaps that's going a little far; suffice to say that I strongly support efforts leading to "escape velocity".

Next up is Mario:

Great blog. I've been following your progress for some time now. I am a university instructor at UNM and CNM here in Albuquerque, and I must say, your enthusiasm for D3 is persuasive, which is why I thought you might find the following line of thought interesting. Taubes (who's book I know you've read) tells us (p.439) that seasonal weight fluctuations in hibernators suggest that annual fluctuations in insulin drive the yearly cycle of weight. He then speculates that this same mechanism might explain the annual patterns of weight fluctuations in humans as well. He cites two studies and states that "when researchers have measured seasonal variations in insulin levels...they have invariably reported that insulin in late fall and early winter [is] twice as high...and lowest in late spring and early summer." What is signaling these changes? Vitamin D3 may be a likely candidate since it is the one thing we know of for sure that is radically influenced by seasonal changes, especially since its peak synthesis occurs in the spring and summer in temperate climates.

I found two studies to support this notion (though I didn't really look very hard). A study from the Int. J. Clin. Pract. 2003 May, 57 (4) 258-61 evaluated the effect of D3 supplementation on insulin resistance and found a 21.4 % decrease in insulin resistance after one month. Another more recent study in Diabet. Med. 2009 Jan, 26 (1) 19-27 showed a similar effect. In light of your recent trip to Mexico and your extensive reflection and experience with this topic (and supplementation), I was wondering what your reflections are regarding this line of conjecture.

Well, this is probably a bit out of my league, and so those better educated, please chime in on the comments. By coincidence, this very thing was alluded to in Jimmy Moore's interview of Dr. Steven Gundry I blogged the other day.

Enlightened Heart Surgeons and Cardiologists

Bears, for instance, actually become insulin resistant, i.e., temporary T2 diabetic (perhaps signaled by eating sweet berries, length of day, sunlight, internal clock, or some combination). The body seems to know just what to do to pack on massive weight in advance of hibernation.

So, some of the same is likely going on in humans, only the hibernation never comes and the fat just stacks up year after year.

Well, that's it for this session. I'll hopefully be able to get to the rest by tomorrow.

Grassroots Health D Action

Thanks to commenter Dave, who alerted me to a great vitamin D study and service at GrassrootsHealth.

It's called D Action, and for $30 you can get a your vitamin D levels checked. You can do it once, participate for a year for two tests, or every six months for five years.

I just signed up for a year's participation.

The Latest Nonsense

By now, many have heard of the latest "study." Oh, sure. It's already in the news.

We randomly assigned 811 overweight adults to one of four diets; the targeted percentages of energy derived from fat, protein, and carbohydrates in the four diets were 20, 15, and 65%; 20, 25, and 55%; 40, 15, and 45%; and 40, 25, and 35%. The diets consisted of similar foods and met guidelines for cardiovascular health. [emphasis added]

That emphasis hides a lot of sin, I'll bet. Well, no need to guess, as they provide a reference for such guidelines:

...consume a diet rich in vegetables and fruits; choose whole-grain, high-fiber foods; consume fish, especially oily fish, at least twice a week; limit intake of saturated fat to <7% of energy, trans fat to <1% of energy, and cholesterol to <300 mg/day by choosing lean meats and vegetable alternatives, fat-free (skim) or low-fat (1% fat) dairy products...

No wonder "high fat" is only 40%, and I'll bet they had a tough time getting even to that level. If I recall correctly, the average American diet is already about 30% from fat, so what are they showing? They certainly aren't emulating the Tokelauans at 50% saturated fat, or anything. Massai, Inuit? Forgetaboutit.

Well, I'm not going to spend a lot of time on this, because it's just ridiculous (with a shout out to: Frank M. Sacks, M.D., George A. Bray, M.D., Vincent J. Carey, Ph.D., Steven R. Smith, M.D., Donna H. Ryan, M.D., Stephen D. Anton, Ph.D., Katherine McManus, M.S., R.D., Catherine M. Champagne, Ph.D., Louise M. Bishop, M.S., R.D., Nancy Laranjo, B.A., Meryl S. Leboff, M.D., Jennifer C. Rood, Ph.D., Lilian de Jonge, Ph.D., Frank L. Greenway, M.D., Catherine M. Loria, Ph.D., Eva Obarzanek, Ph.D., and Donald A. Williamson, Ph.D. -- hey, guys & gals; enjoy).

Simply A few points:

  1. There's no such thing as a "low fat diet." They're all high fat diets if fat loss is the goal.
  2. The lowest carbohydrate intake of all the diets was a whopping (yea, I can do the media hype, too) 35%. Presuming an average 2,500 kcal intake per day, that's about 220 grams of carbs -- not "low carb" by any means. So, this is merely a comparison between various moderate to high carb approaches -- approaches that leave insulin high and fat mobilization low.
  3. The highest fat intake is only 40%. A true high fat diet is 60%+ of energy from fat. You can't go above about 35% from protein, and that's pushing it (25% is more realistic). Simple: protein remains about the same, and the tradeoff is between carbs and fat. This study was heavily weighted in favor of carbs, particularly when one considers that carbs hammer insulin and fat has little to no effect. High insulin = no fat mobilization.

In conclusion, they proved that all diets with excess carbohydrate are crap and deliver virtually no results for most people. Hopefully, Dr. Eades will take this up. Stephan, at Whole Health Source, hadn't seen it until I emailed him. He laughed, of course, and might take it up.

I'll stay tuned.

Warning: Respond Immediately to Philip Downey’s ([email protected]) Emails

No, really. Seriously. This is serious...

Judge for yourself.

~~~

From: Philip Downey <[email protected]>

YOu are nothing more than an internet scammer trying to make money

I really appreciate how you totally IGNORE my emails

You asshole.

2 emails longer than a week

Paleoman did nto live long you nut PLUS Loren Cordain an actual REAL educated man, KNOWS 800 year old Eskimos who ate an all meat diet had EXTENSIVE ATHEROSCLEROSIS

YOU OR I OR ANYONE ELSE WAS NOT AROUND THEN. YOU DON'T KNOW.

FURTHERMORE WE DON ;T KNOW HOW HEALTHY THEY WERE

GET IN THE MODERN WORLD

~~~

Yea, sorry about that; I've been busy counting all the money I'm making off all of you scam victims. But thanks, y'all. And you keep coming back for more.

Anyway, what's sort of instructive about the sort of person Mr. Downey is can be found in the question I did answer for him (in the order received, so I guess I owe a big apology to Michael, Marc, Liana, madmax, Paleo Newbie, and Ankit, all of whom waited even longer for answers or acknowledgement). The second email, incidentally, was yet another question about what Art De Vany advocates.

I'll simply point out that's it's ironic that I'm the "scammer," yet I am a paid, legitimate subscriber to Art De Vany's private blog and Mr. Downey apparently wishes that I essentially pass along Art's information to him for free so that he doesn't have to go to the time and expense himself. Incidentally, Art and many of his subscribers are very thorough at answering these questions in the comments of his subscription blog.

Alright, enough. For your general amusement, I've copied the other emails that have come in from Mr. Downey this morning. An abuse report has been emailed to Comcast after I warned him to stop, and he sent two additional emails. Finally, why am I doing this? Character matters. This will stay up forever; Googlable, forever. My apologies to the other Philip Downeys of the world, but I suspect those who know this one will understand what they're looking at.

[Read more...]

Reader Questions (Part 1)

I accumulated a number of questions while away, so this is where I'll attempt to deal with them. I'll have Part 2 up tomorrow (I went from oldest working my way to newest).

Michael asks:

I recently subscribed to your blog. I had tangentially followed dietary issues over the years, but never put much thought into what I ate. A few months ago, though, due to some new medicine I was on which decreased my appetite quite a bit, I started eating a lot less and what I did eat tended to be relatively high in fat. I've lost 15 pounds since then. Now, having discovered that there's a whole way of managing diet that lines up with my recent experience, I want to start doing it right. So, what's the best place to start for someone who needs to learn from the beginning about paleo eating? Any advice you can give will be very much appreciated.

Well, I think right here is a good place, as well as my other resources. It's not well organized, but over time -- not much -- you'll really start to pick up on things. I am attempting to organize things better on this page, and I'll try to get some more updates in there soon, but check out the links already there. In the meantime, feel free to ask further questions in email or the post comments.

Marc asks:

Question for on Vit. D supplements. Do you take sublingual tablets or regular (swallow) capsules? Curious if there is a big difference that you know off. Thanks in advance.

First, make sure it is D3 you are taking and not anything else. I take Carlson gel caps, 2,000 units each, three per day. They're the size of a raindrop. According to Dr. Davis, he has had no success with D3 in tablet form. See here.

This next is a comment from Liana. No question, really, but I did want to highlight its importance for you vegans and veggies out there.

Next is a comment from madmax:

This is tangentially related to this post but I am really curious of what you make of this. Is it me or does McDonald just not get it?

Without digging too deeply into it (I've read enough of his stuff in the past), I think he has not given adequate thought or attention to hormonal signals and hunger.

For me, it's about hunger, not calories at all. If you're hungry all the time, and it's usually that deep, gnawing, nauseating hunger when you are, you're going to fail. Now, whether you're fat 'cause you eat too much (McDonald), or you eat too much because you're fat (Taubes), it doesn't really matter in that context. Cure the hunger (Paleo-like does it every time -- as well as fasting), and you will revert to a natural human being in body composition over time.

Next, not a question as much as an admonition from an MD. Paleo Newbie says:

I used to try (I am out of my general medicine internship and into specialty now) to get all my diabetic patients to low carb diets but they cant quit the fast food and refined carbs and barely got any physical activity. I know you are very critical of pill pushing doctors but we don't get much to work with. Also, our hands are tied by medicare practice guidelines (we are reimbursed this way) or malpractice will follow. For example, a 6 month trial of diet and excercise for a patient with high blood pressure before we offer an anti-hypertensive unless the patient declines. In my personal experience, 1 out of every 30 or so patients gave a reasonable effort to get out and walk and change their diet. As such, I just added on the diabetic drugs and anti-hypertensive until control and wean once they do better. Do that, and you get labeled a pill pushing drone doctor. I could debate this for hours but I can't do much unless the patient takes some responsibility. I can't cure double cheeseburgers and milkshakes, but I can give you an extra 10 units of insulin!

Hah! "I can't cure double cheeseburgers and milkshakes, but I can give you an extra 10 units of insulin!" Beautiful, and you're exactly right. Thank Zeus (and all the gods who've come along later) that we have that stuff available. So, I agree. Help them however you can, even if it means giving them insulin so they can eat Snickers bars.

That said, I wish doctors would 1) think more independently, and 2) learn about proper nutrition and give patients the choice: "red pill, or blue pill," to reference The Matrix. T2 patients should know that insulin is an option but not generally a necessity. Looks like you're one of the good ones, Doc.

Ankit asks:

When you have a minute, could you tell me what you have against legumes? I'm curious to learn more, so if you could point me toward any information; I would appreciate. Its my understanding that if I were to remove the toxins via soaking; they would be an acceptable foodstuff. Look forward to your thoughts.

Well, I deal in principles and for a Paleo-like plan, legumes are somewhere on the scale that's worse then dairy (for most), better then grains. I just don't do them much. Yea, a couple tablespoons of refried beans (hopefully with lotsa lard) every now and then. I like things simple, I don't really need legumes (I like animal fat lots better), so it's my choice to avoid them 95% of the time. But, if you do, I believe lentils are the best in terms of available protein and low anti-nutrients. Also, always soak them. The Weston Price Foundation has a good article on that.

Philip asks:

Art seems to really know what he is talking about. Could you tell me how to do an Art DeVany approved workout. What does he advocate for cardio? (I already lift) A long one hour walk with random sprints? How often?

I don't really want to speak for Art, and I especially don't really want to be a surrogate for his paid subscription blog. That said, he explains his workout routine reasonably well in his EvFit essay. Unfortunately, the link to that is not working -- though it was very recently. I've sent Art an email to let him know, in case that was unintentional.

From what I recall, he does a hierarchical workout, i.e., he lifts until a burn sets in, increases the weight and immediately goes again until burn, then increases and immediately goes again. So, it might be something like 12, 6, 3 in terms of reps. Of course, you'll need to figure out the proper weight through trial. He doesn't advocate cardio at all. The heart, he contends, is designed to operate on randomness and not steady state. As for walking, we are of course evolutionarily designed to do a lot of it. I walk 3-4 miles per day and have been doing so for about 7 years. Yes, sprints are great (and Art had a post on it on his subscription blog just today).

Personally, I get good enough results with my trainer (an exercise physiologist), and so have never been that interested to follow Art's exercise advice in terms of weights (though, one day, when I decide to go it alone), so sorry I can't be of more help.

News Flash: Above 40% Dietary Calories From Fat Virtually Eliminates Heart Disease

The data is in:

Picture 11

Now quick, quick, and go see the shocking rest.

(Note: Ancel Keys was an utter fraud.)

And later: I hope everyone gets the tongue-in-cheek about this post...

Do You Need to Gain Weight? Try Paleo

For the most part, because it's the chief problem most face by far, people come and follow this and other blogs in order to lose weight (fat), recompose their bodies (lean to fat ratio), and to maintain.

But for a (lucky?) few, that's not the problem. Rather, they are skinny and can't seem to add muscle mass. For that, here's Nathan's story.

~~~

Two years ago, I tipped the scales at just over 130lbs. I'm 5'10" and living in Southern California, that didn't make for me feeling especially great about myself when hanging out at the beach. Don't get me wrong, I was not horribly depressed with the way I looked or anything, I just knew I could be better. I have always been the skinny guy, was sick of it and wanted some shape. I started hitting the gym 4x/week and following the "standard" bodybuilding diet of eating as much as I could, with very little effort to make sure it was quality food. Last summer, I was at a solid 150 and quite pleased with myself. On Oct. 1 I crashed my motorcycle and that quickly led into the holiday season, so I went for three months without going to the gym. In the meantime, I had been reading your site and began taking steps toward a paleo-style diet.

Immediately after Christmas, I started in on the paleo diet in earnest. On Jan. 5 I started hitting the gym again, still 4x/week, this time with a modified paleo diet and the difference has been amazing. Before, when doing a tough leg workout I used to get nauseous and/or lightheaded nearly every time from the strain. Neither has happened once since starting up again in January and I've been hitting it harder than before. I only rest 30 to 45 seconds between my sets except for when I switch exercises, when I grab a drink of water and then immediately start back up. My workouts went from an average of 60-75 minutes to 30-40 minutes and are much more intense. I have also been hitting the major muscle groups harder, as you suggest, to help stimulate the release of GH.

I was gaining lean mass previously, but was also gaining a bit of fat along with it. That is no longer the case. I checked my weight after the first week of lifting, 150 dead on. I am not looking to get huge, 170 or so should be good for me depending on how I look and feel. I have not checked weight since after that first week and won't until my birthday in April, but I have seen some great progress in six short weeks, much more than I saw in twice the time with my previous diet. Three of my shirts, which fit perfectly at the New Year, are now too small and I have yet to lose any definition in my abs, which is my only gauge for whether or not I'm gaining fat.

I just wanted to relate that this lifestyle will not only work for those who wish to lose weight, but for those who want to gain weight as well. It is a far cry from the "standard" bodybuilding diet of constant eating, but I have found it to be much more effective... not to mention easier to stick to. All the constant eating takes up lots of time. Instead I am eating good food when I'm hungry, feeling great and seeing great results.

Thank you for all the great information. People I talk to still think I'm slightly crazy but there is no denying the way I feel and the results I see.

~~~

Thanks for the great story, Nathan; and congratulations to you for listening to your body and making that your primary guide. It never surprises me. That's because this blog is about the principles of evolutionary biology. That is our guiding light. It should be no surprise that when living in accordance with sound principles delivers the goods every time.

Enlightened Heart Surgeons and Cardiologists

Hopefully, this sort of ignorance, that I blogged about here, will someday be a thing of the past.

Surgeon Shyam Kolvekar from The Heart Hospital at University College London, who performed Mr Haj's triple bypass, said cases like this were increasingly common and highlighted the dangers of eating too much saturated fat.

A priori thinking: "his heart is clogged with saturated fat, thus eating saturated fat is what caused it." That's false, as well as being ignorant of the research; it's also ignorant of the fact that high saturated fat-eating primitive cultures don't get heart disease.

As you know, I've many times highlighted the work of Dr. William Davis, a cardiologist who used to be ignorant, just like the guy above, and who now detects and reverses heart disease, all the while his patients eat plenty of fat.

Then just recently, I highlighted another hero: heart surgeon Dr. Dwight Lundell, in two parts (Part 1 / Part 2). You know what Dr. Lundell says about himself? He says that he "made a big mistake."

Picture 10 Now comes Dr. Steven Gundry, Director of The Center for Restorative Medicine at The International Heart and Lung Institute for Advanced Cardiac Surgery in Palm Springs, California, as well as being Clinical Professor of Surgery and Pediatrics at Loma Linda University School of Medicine. He was named America's Top Doctor by Castle-Connolly Publications, for three three years running.

He has also invented many of the instruments used in heart transplants, and specialized in infant heart transplants. So, don't listen to me. But please do listen to Dr. Gundry.

And, you can. Jimmy More did a two-part interview with him a couple of months back. Jimmy called it his favorite interview yet, and that's inclusive of many great people he's interviewed in about 200 podcasts so far. I have to agree. It was very fascinating.

Dr. Gundy himself lost 70 pounds on a Paleo-like diet, although he advocates that after the initial super high-fat, high protein, low carb phase that one gradually transitions to a sort of modified raw vegan approach, i.e., mostly greenish vegetable matter (which is about half vegetable protein, by the way) with about 5-10% of calories coming from animal and fish protein. He points out, correctly, that no primates are vegetarians. They eat lots and lots of bugs in the process of eating leaves, limbs, and stalks. At any rate, I'm fine with that, if that's what you prefer. Not for me in a million years, but such a diet is in every way vastly superior to the SAD (standard American diet).

Now, how do you think Dr. Gundry became enlightened? He tells the story in the first part of the interview, but let me just recount it to wet your appetite. It was about 7 years or so ago that a male patient in his 40s came to him, had already had several heart attacks, and had been pronounced inoperable, as every single artery was 95% clogged. In essence, he had been given a death sentence, and it was only a matter of time.

About a year later, the gentleman returned to see the doctor and begged him to do another angiogram. Guess what? The 95% blockages had been reduced to 50% blockages. So, a "know nothing" -- kinda like me -- cured the profound ignorance of one of the world's top heart surgeons and changed Dr. Gundry's life and medical approach for good.

Now, go listen to these marvelous interviews.

‘Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb Show’ Episode 179: Dr. Steven Gundry Takes Low-Carb Through A ‘Diet Evolution’ (Part 1)

‘Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb Show’ Episode 180: A Closer Look At Dr. Steven Gundry’s ‘Diet Evolution’ (Part 2)

If you want to know more, then you can also get his book: Dr. Gundry's Diet Evolution: Turn Off the Genes That Are Killing You--And Your Waistline--And Drop the Weight for Good.

Sprinting

Still trying to get to the lingering emails and comments I've not replied to. They will all be handled today as my head is now above water.

Well, I had hoped to maintain or even lose fat on my vacation, but it was not to be. I gained 3 pounds. I ate pretty Paleo the whole time, excepting a few sessions with a few corn tortilla chips with salsa and/or guacamole (I usually felt awful for several hours after -- I've simply lost my tolerance for them, just as you can build and then lose tolerance for alcohol, nicotine, caffein). Speaking of alcohol, that was another issue, most likely. I consumed it daily in immoderate amounts of spirits over a long period of time (afternoon to late evening), though never enough to become noticeably intoxicated. The other thing is that I didn't fast until beginning the trip home on Sunday, where I had breakfast in Puerto Vallarta, then went trough the process of enjoying the last few hours on the beach, getting to the airport, flying to LA, driving 1 1/2 hours down to Vista, spending the night, then getting up in the morning for the 7 hour drive back home. I finally ate Monday evening and accounting for the two hour time gain on the way back, the fast was just shy of 36 hours.

Traveling is an excellent opportunity to fast.

I also didn't work out in the standard fashion. Instead, I sprinted barefoot on the beach for three sessions during the week. I was impressed with the results, especially when I consider how little time of actual exercise is involved. Once again: high intensity wins the day. Here's what I learned:

  • For the first session, I did two sprints, all out for about 20 seconds each (about as much as I could take). Running on moist and slightly packed beach sand is quite different from running on grass or a paved surface. In each, I exploded off the line with full intensity, and quickly developed quite a tightness / cramping in my quadriceps, especially the left; and in exactly the same way I used to get it in HS playing soccer -- a sport that requires explosive bursts. So, the explosive off-the-line bursts limited what I could do that first time. 
  • Also, I was trying to do long strides and I quickly found that a long stride seemed to equal less intensity. Think about it. A sprint is mostly push, little if any pull. If you get your foot way forward, you can't push until the weight of your body gets over the point of pivot. So, more time equals less intensity. I shortened my stride substantially in sessions two and three and got way more intensity out of it, with full-body results that were quite noticeable. I suspect that for world class sprinters, the name of the game is to develop a lot of intensity with a long stride. Of course, part of why they use spiked shoes is to give them the ability to pull with their foot until their body weight going forward gives them the leverage to instantly shift to push.
  • Though I want to be able to develop the ability to explode off the line with full intensity, I let that go for now in sessions two and three. As such, I was able to get in four sprints in each of those sessions instead of two. So, a bit of a tradeoff; no benefit from the initial explosion, but double the sprint time. What I did was begin with a jog and immediately and steadily accelerated to all out, in a time compressed to maybe three seconds, at most. You want to very quickly get to full intensity. So, rather than 1-2 strides to full speed off the line, it was maybe 6-7 strides. 

I was really blown away by the results. I've sprinted now and then in the mornings, walking the dogs, out on a paved surface. However, I never felt any particular result I could identify. This is perhaps because I was doing my two intense sessions at the gym anyway, so it would have been difficult to attribute any results to the sprinting. However, I didn't do any workouts this vacation week and I can definitely say that the sprinting essentially gave me the same feeling, i.e., that wonderful substantial muscle tightness for the next two days, and not just in the legs, but over my entire body. In essence, I felt as though I'd gotten a good workout of my arms, chest, back and shoulders.

Quite amazing. I'm now firmly sold on sprinting as part of my weekly routine.

Later: Having thought about Keith's comment setting me straight on the push/pull issue, I have to conclude he's right. If you watch sprinting, bodies tend to be erect / vertical, so it has to be more of a pull than a push once off the line.

Sugar Feeds Cancer

I've previously posted on this, one post you should definitely read. Via a comment on Art's private blog, I see even more evidence that that ingesting sugar (including too much grain and/or fruit / juice) in the presence of cancer kills people a lot faster. Read what Patrick Quillin, PHD, RD, CNS has to say.

A mouse model of human breast cancer demonstrated that tumors are sensitive to blood-glucose levels. Sixty-eight mice were injected with an aggressive strain of breast cancer, then fed diets to induce either high blood-sugar (hyperglycemia), normoglycemia or low blood-sugar (hypoglycemia). There was a dose-dependent response in which the lower the blood glucose, the greater the survival rate. After 70 days, 8 of 24 hyperglycemic mice survived compared to 16 of 24 normoglycemic and 19 of 20 hypoglycemic. This suggests that regulating sugar intake is key to slowing breast tumor growth.

In a human study, 10 healthy people were assessed for fasting blood-glucose levels and the phagocytic index of neutrophils, which measures immune-cell ability to envelop and destroy invaders such as cancer. Eating 100 g carbohydrates from glucose, sucrose, honey and orange juice all significantly decreased the capacity of neutrophils to engulf bacteria. Starch did not have this effect.

A four-year study at the National Institute of Public Health and Environmental Protection in the Netherlands compared 111 biliary tract cancer patients with 480 controls. Cancer risk associated with the intake of sugars, independent of other energy sources, more than doubled for the cancer patients. Furthermore, an epidemiological study in 21 modern countries that keep track of morbidity and mortality (Europe, North America, Japan and others) revealed that sugar intake is a strong risk factor that contributes to higher breast cancer rates, particularly in older women.

If I had to speculate, it would be that cancer is brought about by unnatural foods in our diets (grains & vegetable oils, primarily) that generate and promote chronic inflammation and this inflammation, in-turn, causes cancer. And, once that job is complete, sugar takes right over to feed that cancer.

Wanna read something really dumb, then, continuing with Quillin?

In 1990, I called the major cancer hospitals in the country looking for some information on the crucial role of total parenteral nutrition (TPN) in cancer patients. Some 40 percent of cancer patients die from cachexia.5 Yet many starving cancer patients are offered either no nutritional support or the standard TPN solution developed for intensive care units. The solution provides 70 percent of the calories going into the bloodstream in the form of glucose. All too often, I believe, these high-glucose solutions for cachectic cancer patients do not help as much as would TPN solutions with lower levels of glucose and higher levels of amino acids and lipids. These solutions would allow the patient to build strength and would not feed the tumor.

Good job, folks. Give them intravenous nutrition, 70% of which is the primary fuel for cancer cells, a medical fact know since 1931 -- a discovery by Otto Warburg that earned him a Nobel prize in medicine.

Oh, well, even though high fat-eating gunter-gatherers don't get cancer, we certainly couldn't feed cancer patients high fat.

Finally, if you read that previous post of mine that I highlighted at the beginning of this post, then you are aware of the anecdote of a man putting his metasticized lung cancer into remission via a high-fat diet a-la Jan Kwasniewski (see here, too). Well, Dr. Quillan has another similar one.

A female patient in her 50s, with lung cancer, came to our clinic, having been given a death sentence by her Florida oncologist. She was cooperative and understood the connection between nutrition and cancer. She changed her diet considerably, leaving out 90 percent of the sugar she used to eat. She found that wheat bread and oat cereal now had their own wild sweetness, even without added sugar. With appropriately restrained medical therapy -- including high-dose radiation targeted to tumor sites and fractionated chemotherapy, a technique that distributes the normal one large weekly chemo dose into a 60-hour infusion lasting days -- a good attitude and an optimal nutrition program, she beat her terminal lung cancer. I saw her the other day, five years later and still disease-free, probably looking better than the doctor who told her there was no hope.

Now, if all this is true, and we know what other bad things sugar does -- like making you fat & diabetic -- then why in the world would you want to touch it in any significant way?

Oh, and by the way, can you guess the other thing we talk about here a lot that actually protects you should you get cancer and require chemotherepy? (hint: it starts with an 'f')

Why You Got Fat

I'm back and getting in the swing of things. I hope to get to most, if not all lingering emails and comments throughout the day, among other business matters to attend to.

The day before leaving for Puerto Vallarta, I was fortunate to get my Amazon order for Fat Head and watched it during the flight down. This is a must see, folks. It's really two movies in one. In the first part, he thoroughly discredits that lying, opportunist bastard, Morgan Spurlock. Tom Naughton also goes on a fast food diet for a month, but a sensible one, keeping total calories to about 2,000, and total carbs to 100 grams (400 calories, so 20% of total kcals). He loses about 8-10 pounds, as I recall, and most of his blood work is improved.

The second half (the best) is about the awful state of nutrition science and dietary advice in America. Naughton even employs an evolutionary basis, as seen here. Now Tom has up an additional clip from the movie that explains pretty well how you get fat and diabetic. Do note: I am always hearing people talk about "diabetes in the family." That's utterly false, folks -- for Type 2, anyway. You get Type 2 diabetes because and ONLY because you eat too much sugar, fruit juices, sodas, grains and all the processed products those things are found in. There's a genetic component for how easily you can get Type 2, but that's not the cause. The cause is eating too much sugar (all those things above equate to sugar; yes, bread is essentially sugar, once metabolized).

Consider this: for the average person with normal blood glucose levels, you have about the equivalent of one single teaspoon of sugar circulating in your entire body. One. Single. Teaspoon. So, what that means is that when you drink a regular Coca Cola at 27 grams of carbohydrate (or a six-pack plus per day, for some), you are ingesting in a very brief period, over 5 times the amount of sugar as is contained in your entire body. How about an 8 oz. glass or orange juice? Same thing (26 grams). Now, consider that as you go throughout your day. Look at food labels, and divide the amount of carbohydrate by 5 to see how many times your total blood sugar you're ingesting all at once.

Dr. Eades does the math, in case you're skeptical.

Wrapping Up & Heading Home

Well it has been a glorious week, and we fly out this late afternoon just around the time we arrived last Sunday. It's a flight to LAX, a drive down to Vista, CA, spend the night, pick up the doggies, and drive back to San Jose tomorrow morning.

Here's a fruit plate mom cut up the other morning.

Fruit plate

On another note, I profiled Erwan Le Corre of MoveNat a while back. Chris Highcock also did an interview.

Got an email from Erwan the other day. He's in the LA area, just now, and Steve Maxwell did a writeup. Take a look and enjoy. I'l be back with you soon.

Feelin’ Like a Million

I really can't believe how good I feel, here in the sunshine. I'm convinced that while heavy supplementation of D3 is huge in terms of well being, there's simply no substitute for the real thing. Actually, I'm doing both. Since this is just a week, I've not backed off the 6k IU per day. I've also been spending about two hours in afternoon sun each day and I'm now pretty damn dark -- even more that at the end of last summer and I spent some time at least 4 days per week in the sun.

Anyway, here was my dinner tonight. A whole red snapper, grilled, with some fruit (coupla slices of star fruit, and about a half a lime squeezed on it). Couldn't finish it, and other than a few raw oysters and (small) raw scallops prior, I had nothing else.

SANY0019

On a different topic, there are tons of free roaming dogs here, all extremely lean, but with solid musculature -- rather like wild cats. Guess what? Every single one is of the most docile temperament I've ever seen in dogs, pits included. We've seen dozens of then, and have yet to see an agressive action, even a bark. Probably cause they're more likely to be fed real food instead of filled with crap grains and rice. Where in the EFF do people come off feeding carnivores that shit? Muther of Eff! Already.

So the restauranteurs at Maricos Tino's, Punta de Mita, were kind enough to let us let a stray dog accompany us for dinner. While he wasn't keen to the octopus or shrimp my wife offered, he very gently, almost tentatively and with apology accepted the few last bites of the snapper. My dad gave 'im some of his, too.

SANY0017

Paleo for Everyone, All the Time, for Universal Health Improvement

I noted this a few days back, here. And now Stephan-the-Great has really done a wonderful and fascinating job interpreting the whole deal. Read the whole thing, please, but here's the punchline.

On to the results. Participants, on average, saw large improvements in nearly every meaningful measure of health in just 10 days on the "paleolithic" diet. Remember, these people were supposedly healthy to begin with. Total cholesterol and LDL dropped, if you care about that. Triglycerides decreased by 35%. Fasting insulin plummeted by 68%. HOMA-IR, a measure of insulin resistance, decreased by 72%. Blood pressure decreased and blood vessel distensibility (a measure of vessel elasticity) increased. It's interesting to note that measures of glucose metabolism improved dramatically despite no change in carbohydrate intake. Some of these results were statistically significant, but not all of them. However, the authors note that:

In all these measured variables, either eight or all nine participants had identical directional responses when switched to paleolithic type diet, that is, near consistently improved status of circulatory, carbohydrate and lipid metabolism/physiology.

Translation: everyone improved. That's a very meaningful point, because even if the average improves, in many studies a certain percentage of people get worse. This study adds to the evidence that no matter what your gender or genetic background, a diet roughly consistent with our evolutionary past can bring major health benefits. Here's another way to say it: ditching certain modern foods can be immensely beneficial to health, even in people who already appear healthy. This is true regardless of whether or not one loses weight.

This solidifies my thinking along several lines:

  1. It's not about weight / fat loss, primarily (these study participants were overfed to keep them from losing weight during the study).
  2. It's not about carbohydrate within reason (they kept the same carb ingestion levels as before).
  3. It is all about Real Food all the time. Just dump the shit. Eliminate all grains, all legumes, all sugar, all processed vegetable oils, and all products derived therefrom. Eat as much as you want of the following: natural fats (animal, olive, avocado, coconut), meat / fowl / seafood, vegetables (starchy ones within reason), fruits (focus on berries), and nuts (peanuts aren't nuts).

It is so simple, so enjoyable, you'll feel better than you can remember in your entire life, and it works 100% of the time for 100% of the people.

Shit: Don't. Eat. It.

Later: I see Dr. Eades has a post on it, too.

I Know What I’m Doing

But not everyone agrees. Here's an email I got yesterday. While I appreciate the effort and obvious concern that went into it, needless to say that I disagree with most of it. The one part I do agree with is that's it better to eat free range animals eating their natural diets, rather than grain fed. That said, I do not believe it's the issue that some make it out to be. While I do eat a lot of grass fed / finished meat, I still do eat some from decent quality sources that's grain finished, out of convenience. However, my napkin calculations suggest my n-6 intake is not all that high (no processed oils or foods), and I take n-3 in the form of fish oil and CLO, I eat lots of seafood, and so my ratio intake is pretty Paleo even in the face of some less than optimal meat.

Also, legumes are in no way, shape or form part of a Paleo diet (nor are psyllium husks). In my opinion, ingesting toxins from legumes is orders of magnitude worse than eating grain-fed meat. So, here's the email, and I hope it generates some discussion (Monica, Dr. BG, Stephan? Others?).

BTW, here's the lipid panel she refers to. And my wife's, after about three months on my high fat regime.

~~~

Hello Richard,

My brother-in-law turned me on to your website as I'm a Naturopathic physician practicing in Portland, OR who specializes in nutrition and diet. Currently I'm doing a lot of research on the effects of various foods and diet on our endocrine function, especially on insulin. In any event, I applaud your obvious (visual) progress. Good on ye! I did want to comment on your "lipid" profile though. I don't know if the profile you have on your site is your most recent one and/or whether it represents an improvement from a previous state or not, but I wanted to fill you in on a few things.

First, just because the lab has reference ranges doesn't mean they're truly optimal, they often just concur with the average numbers seen by that lab. I don't know what lab your doc uses, but I haven't seen a lab in years that sets its total cholesterol reference range limit above 200 like yours does, and in terms of optimal health even that is too high. Frankly, I find your lipid levels to be of concern, particularly given your ideas about fat consumption.

Know that over half of all heart attacks occur with people who have a total cholesterol levels between 160 and 200, and half of all fatal heart attacks occur in people with no prior symptoms of heart disease, not even high blood pressure! The bottom line is that how you look and feel on your new diet will not warn you if you have a potential MI coming right around the bend. Below 150 (total cholesterol) heart attacks are virtually non-existant. Just telling you to beware that you've got a ways to go if you want to protect yourself from this.

While paleolithic man did consume game regularly and craved fat given the amount of calories consumed by their level of activity and exposure, keep in mind that wild game typically has about 3 - 5% body fat, whereas commercial meats often contain 30% to 50% or more! So make sure you're comparing apples to apples in what you're consuming. Your relationship to fat consumption, despite the weight loss you're experiencing, is off if you're committed to your health as well as your looks - which it seems to me you are.

If I were you, I would cut back on your meat consumption and/or at least consume only grass fed graisers/completely freerange chicken or turkey - ie: animals that are consuming their own paleolithic diet. And I would definitely cut back on your apparently eager fat consumption. Because for what it's worth, if you're eating unhealthy animals that were fed grain, they will pass on poor health to you regardless of your weight.

One other thing I saw on your site about constipation; you suggested consuming more fat. This is very unsound advice to be giving people. In order for fat to cause enough lubrication to promote a BM in someone who has constipation, they would have to consume more than they can properly digest. Typically fat is emulsified by elements in bile, and so it doesn't appreciably improve lubrication of the bowels unless it's not being digested properly. If it seems to do so in your experience, it is a sign that you have less than optimal digestion, and are either eating too much for your body to deal with at one time or that you may have subpar liver or gall bladder function.

But more to the point, in the case of humans the way to maintain healthy bowel tone and function is by consuming large quantities of fiber, period. This is that way nature designed us omnivores who have such long GI tracts compared to the extremely short ones of pure carnivores. Meat, fish, foul, eggs, milk products & fat (all animal based foods) contain ZERO fiber. That's "0" as in none whatsoever. We need lots of fiber to remain healthy and that's just the way it is. Psyllium husks certainly provide fiber and are a much more appropriate choice than increased fat intake which frankly is inappropriate for this purpose and will only increase your risk of cancer and heart disease. But why not consume fiber in the form of actual food - fruits, veggies, legumes, and consume more water to keep your bowels moving as well as prevent future bowel cancer, diverticulitis, etc.?

While a high meat & fat diet can definitely lead to weight loss, looks aren't everything when it comes to actual health. There is no doubt that the more meat and fat you consume the higher your cancer and heart disease risks. So if you're truly committed to keeping your new figure in great health until you die a very old man in your sleep, you should stick to a TRULY paleolithic diet. One that consists of fruit, a LOT, LOT, LOT of vegetables, legumes, nuts & seeds, and wild fish/foul/game (or domestic critters themselves fed a paleo diet, not the grain diet we feed them - even our farmed fish!).

While you didn't ask for any advice, since so many others are apparently reading your blog and you seem authentically interested in optimizing your health I assumed you would be interested. Hope that's the case and I haven't overstepped myself here (something I've been accused of in the past I must admit, though my heart is in the right place). If you're not personally interested, I hope you'll still post this to your blog (although I'm not a "member") for the sake of those who want information from various sources. I was impressed by your sketch about no guru's, so I assume you're willing to consider information from a variety of sources and pass it on to those reading your blog.

Here's to your health!

Carole A Warner, ND, LAc

Mid-Week Check in from Puerto Vallarta

Yes, I know there are emails, comments, links and such to get to, comment on, et cetera, et cetera. Here's why I've been so lax. First, a view from our master bedroom terrace, past one of the two guest bedrooms,  with me on the living room terrace (this is one huge condo, in excess of 3,000 square feet).

Rn on veranda

Now, down at the pool, a daily affair.

Rn in pool

And what would a trip to a place like this be without a huge platter of grilled fruit de mer? All to myself? This one had fish, a lobster, octopus, shrimp, prawns, mussels, and crab. It was excellent. This was at La Laguna Tino's.

Fuit de mere

Maybe a post or two more a bit later, unless I get sidetracked, which as you can see is quite possible.

Results from Others

The other evening I ran into a couple of friends of mine, Kevin & Joseph, and was glad to see a big improvement in both of them. Kevin had contacted me a few month back, had been reading my blog, and expressed frustration at trying for so many years to lose "a measly 15 pounds." We met for breakfast, I gave him a few insights, he picked up The Paleo Diet and went to it.

A few weeks back, he emailed to say that he's cut 10 pounds already. What I didn't know is that his partner, Joseph, was apparently following the prescriptions as well.

Well, let me tell you: they both looked great, and Joseph's face, in particular, was markedly leaner and thiner -- and shined with health and vitality. His progress, so far? 17 pounds. I asked Joseph how he felt, and he said something quite relevant: "I feel like a normal person, again." I wish the both of them much continued success in their new life way.

Now, keep Joseph's insightful comment in mind as I quote an email from Aaron:

First of all, I just wanted to write thanking you for the work you're doing on your blog. I forget exactly how I originally became a reader; probably it was something Billy Beck had linked, back in the Honesty Log days. But your posts about Paleo eating, IF, etc. really convinced me. I've recently switched to a low-carb, high-fat diet, with intermittent fasts and occasional intense workouts and I'm amazed: it just works.

If anybody had told me 18 months ago that I could skip meals without even noticing, I would have laughed---I needed to eat every 4 hours. If anybody had told me I could go 30 hours without eating---not just once, but several times a month---I would have thought they were insane. Yet now I do it all the time. So, again, thank you for the information and the inspiration.

I recently read Gary Taubes's book, Good Calories, Bad Calories. Even though I was already in the choir, so to speak, his evidence is so overwhelming that I'm amazed at how people can still insist on "low-fat, whole grains." Churchill's quote about "stumbling over the truth" comes to mind. I did not know the history of the McGovern report. In fact, I had not considered the political dimension of the thing at all, and I suppose no ideology has a monopoly on the "it failed, so do it again, only harder!" mindset. But still, it fits my prejudices to blame this on the Left-Statists. :)

As a contrast to Taubes, I give you my in-laws: the anti-Taubes. My father-in-law is a retired pharmacist, and my mother-in-law a retired nurse. They subscribe to the latest health bulletins from God knows where. Everything in their kitchen is "low-fat, whole-grain." They use Country Crock instead of butter. Even their ice cream is "Lite."

And they eat ALL. THE. TIME.

Now, my father-in-law works out just about every day, and he looks fit. He's a runner, and he's a pretty fast runner for being nearly 70. But he measures his raisin bran to make sure he's getting exactly One Cup, and of course it's got skim milk on it. My mother-in-law nibbles all day long: crackers, fig newtons, etc. (but all Low Fat!). She does not look fit as fit, but she has bad knees and can't work out as much.

They are convinced, of course, that eating all that animal fat is really bad for me. They think I'll fall off the wagon eventually, too. I don't know why I would---I kind of enjoy not being hungry all the time. That and not being 20lbs overweight like I used to be.

"They eat ALL. THE. TIME." That's not normal, folks. Congratulations to Aaron.

Another “Nutritionist / Trainer” Moron: Bob Harper of The Biggest Loser

You know, I'm going to name names every damn time I see it. With Google's help, we can do a lot of teeth kicking of supposed "experts."

In this case, I'm spared the task of the know-nothing, dumbshit takedown, because Dr. Eades has already done a superb job.

What are the many reasons that “you can’t cut an entire food group out of your diet?” First, carbohydrates aren’t a food group; they’re a macronutrient. And why can’t you cut them out of your diet? Are there carbohydrate deficiency diseases, Mr. Harper, that you know about that the rest of the nutritional world doesn’t? I’ll clue you in: there aren’t. But there are both fat and protein deficiency diseases written about in every internal medicine textbook.

What about fat? You recommend cutting that. Why aren’t those people who are totally deprived of fat not going to “rebel and fall off the wagon in a big way?” Or is that different than cutting carbs? [...]

And how about your idiotic statement that people who do choose to exercise need carbohydrates? Another whopper. Most studies show that after a period of adaptation, people who exercise while following a low-carb diet have better endurance than those following high-carb diets. Have you seen all those studies, Mr. Harper? I guess not or you wouldn’t have made such an idiotic statement.

Much more over at Dr. Eades' site.

But for now, hey, Harper, here's a suggestion: how about I put you in touch with my personal trainer who'll tell you about how 90% of my very high-intensity workouts are not only on a very low carb diet, but when I'm fasted from 18-36 hours.

Maybe you'll learn something, cure your stupid textbook regurgitative ignorance, and stop being such a Big[gest] effin' Loser.

Correction: It was pointed out to me that I had the first name wrong (It's Bob Harper, not Don Harper). Thanks to Aaron for pointing that out to me.

Poison Soy

I last blogged about the dangers of unfermented soy here. And, actually, I'd only use fermented soy very sparingly.

Here's another article on soy (Thanks, Uwe), and interview with Kaayla Daniel. The whole thing is worth a read (though I do wish they'd ditch the exclamation marks), but what comes out most prominently is the danger of feeding infants soy-based baby formula.

Soy lowers Testosterone levels! Just about all soy products on the market contain the phytoestrogens (plant estrogens) known as isoflavones. Plant estrogens have lowered Testosterone levels in rats, monkeys, and other animals as well as humans. For grown men, this usually leads to decreased libido and lower sperm count. There's an old wives tale that Japanese women punish their straying husbands by feeding them a lot of tofu!

We can joke about that but not about the effect on baby boys fed soy formula. Pediatricians are reporting more and more cases of emasculated boys reaching puberty with breasts and tiny penises. Undescended testicles are also far more common than they were in the past. [...]

Infants on soy formula are extremely vulnerable. Remember that soy formula constitutes most if not all of their diets. Based on figures from the Swiss Federal Health Service, some of my colleagues have calculated that an infant on soy formula is getting the hormonal equivalent of the estrogen found in three to five birth control pills every day! [...]

Studies on rats, sheep, monkeys and other animals suggest that the estrogens in soy infant formula can irreversibly harm the baby's later sexual development. And this is exactly what we're hearing from both parents and pediatricians.

Did you know that baby boys are supposed to experience a Testosterone surge during the first few months of life and in the large amounts you'd expect from a grown man? Most people don't, but all that Testosterone is needed to program the boy for puberty, the time when his sex organs should develop and he should grow facial and pubic hair and start speaking with a deep voice. If receptor sites intended for the hormone Testosterone are occupied by soy estrogens, however, appropriate development may be delayed or never take place.

For girls, soy formula has the opposite effect. It's likely to accelerate puberty and may cause reproductive difficulties later in life. The studies which supposedly prove that infants on soy formula develop normally consider only height, weight and other measurements of growth as measured in infancy and early childhood. Many of the negative effects don't become obvious until puberty.

Folks, if you eat processed foods, you're getting a lot of soy. Even those low-carbing without a Paleo approach to what you eat are getting lots of soy.