Animals Don’t Need Gurus

Let me dispel a notion I know some are thinking. “Oh, Richard found out some things that worked and now he wants to be a ‘Diet & Exercise Guru’ and cash in.” The truth is that I’m doing fine with everything on my plate already. I love the new direction of this blog and it would be child’s play for me to churn out a half-dozen substantive posts per day. I love it because it’s completely devoid of bullshit, I know it’s genuine, and I don’t have to spin or exaggerate anything in the slightest. It works. It’s fun. You’ll love yourself for doing it, won’t be able to imagine how you could have lived any other way for so long, and it will be with you forever. That said, taking my experience (not access to the blog, or its quality) commercial represents a significant challenge, and I’m always up for them. When it’s something I’m passionate about as I am with this, it’s nearly irresistible. But then there’s that Guru factor, and I just hate that. I loath Gurus, and you should too. You know what I think a Guru is? It’s someone who sells you tantalizing, feel good,…

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Brand New Reader Email

I want to share with you an email I received this morning only minutes after initiating my reader survey. Do you believe in fate, Karma, nothing is coincidental, and all that? I was searching for info on our Winchester 30-30 and for whatever reason your blog was included in the search. I started reading and am interested in your health regimen. I am 43 years old and a mess. I am active, I try to ride my bicycle everyday for about 30 minutes, but weigh around 350 and am sick of it. I have started lots of programs, bought almost every book, could probably write one but can’t seem to stick to anything for very long. I answered your survey and it intrigued me. I will be married 20 years next May and would love to weigh 50 – 75 pounds less by then. ( I have learned to set reasonable goals). I have two daughters that are 7 and 9 and I would love to be more active with them. I am going to go through your archives and see what I can glean but it seems like you are on to something. Please publish your program. It’s quite…

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I Really Need Your Help

Greetings, readers. Can I take just a moment of your time to fill out a brief survey? Your opinions and judgments concerning this blog and where I take it are very important. A significant number of individuals, in person and via email, have requested that I put together a clarified and simple method, in a book format, to enable a rapid and clear understanding to digest the health, diet, fitness and lifestyle programs… to be made available to my readers on a purchase basis on the internet and hard copy. The blog is too cumbersome to glean the information in a clear manner. So, I propose to initially put together a simple and basic, but all encompassing book. It will cover three fundamental areas and my own experiences with what worked and didn’t. Those areas are the foods to eat, how to exercise, and when to fast, how often, how long. It will also include critical information on how to “mix it up.” From there, I can do webinars, live seminars, and even private consultation. The goal is success, both for the venture, and also for those who participate in the programs I’ll outline. I believe that the information I’ll…

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This Article Made Me Hungry; So I Stopped For Breakfast

One of the things I’ll discuss often is getting off the “mealtime” bandwagon. Why would you want to eat when you’re not hungry? Some days, I’ll eat five or eight “meals” a day. Others, one or two. Some days, none at all. Today at 11am, I suddenly realized I was hungry. So I ate. Imagine that. A simple five strips of bacon (uncured, organic, from Whole Foods) and three Jumbo eggs. The cooking oil melting in the pan is one of my favorites: ghee. If you get tired of your butter smoking and browning (when you don’t want browned butter), use ghee. It’s on about par with lard, but both take a backseat to the greatest cooking oil of all: coconut oil. But before I get into one of the long digressions for which I’m infamous, let me get to the point. It’s about the ghee. Here’s the article from the BBC: “Hidden heart harm of fatty foods” Ahmed Al Haj is only 48 and looks healthy on the outside, yet this Bangladeshi waiter has ended up on the operating table for a triple heart bypass. As a Muslim, Ahmed does not smoke or drink, but his diet has been…

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A Little Heads Up For Beginners

I’ve been receiving emails for the last couple of weeks from people new to my blog, and in general, people either not dieting at all, or those on the SAD (standard American diet). Many are just starting out to give this Life Way, as described by Art de Vany, a try (“lifesyle” implies a simple preference among choices; while you can certainly choose against this way of life, you can’t choose to avoid the consequences of a less optimal way, or, perhaps more aptly: you can’t choose to avoid losing the benefits). Some have already posted spectacular weight gains in only a week or two. My brother in Texas reports 9 pounds in the first two weeks, for instance. To save a bit of time in replying to emails, let me give a few brief things to look out for, so that you don’t get discouraged. Expect these things to happen, and if they don’t, great. If they do, you saw ’em coming. Ever heard of “hitting the wall?” It’s a term long-distance and marathon runners use to describe glycogen (stored carbohydrate) depletion. When that happens, your body has to convert to lipolysis (fat burning). This is where you want…

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How Simple: Mark Sisson’s Primal Blueprint

As I’ve tried to emphasize in this new venture of mine, I owe a lot to others. I intend to make good on it. Nothing disappoints me more than to see other bloggers out there ripping stuff off, presenting it as their own. In truth, very little of anything is new; I mean: we’re talking about ancient wisdom here, long lost to most of the modern world, whether by ignorance, stupidity or downright arrogance (that last one described me). The simple truth is that modernity is a double-edged sword. While our 3 millionish years of evolution adapted us marvelously to our surroundings, lots of people died very young lots of the time. Those who managed to avoid early death passed on their genes, and so on. But today, through modern miracles of science, medicine and technology, we have the ability to overcome such natural selection. In essence, we can now preserve the “more feeble” among ourselves well into old age, so the less adept survive to pass on their genes. That’s a good thing. Human life is precious. It’s everything to us, and thankfully, we also evolved a conscience. We should treat others just as well as we’d like to…

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Thanks to You

Well I’m thrilled and thankful for the visit and page view results for the first weekday in the new way. The picture says it all. Thank you for the help. I hope you’re enjoying the content as much as I am creating it. My biggest problem is deciding what next. I could easily come up with two dozen things at a moment’s notice. In time, it will all be revealed.

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More Proven Results: The Wife Unit

Back in July I posted the results of my lipid panel, after about a year of setting out to get fit. HDL of 106, triglycerides at 47, with insanely good ratios across the board. Arguably the best marker for CVD, Triglyceride/HDL, is at .2, where 2.0 and below is considered good. A “normal” triglyceride of 200 and HDL of 40 comes out at 5.0. I repeat: 0.2. And I eat lots and lots of animal fat; virtually no [concentrated] vegetable oils except olive oil and coconut oil (lots of that one; it’s 98% saturated). Turns out I’m not a fluke. And even though my wife comes from entirely different genetic stock than I (I’m Euro, she’s Hispanic), seems that eating real food and getting in the sort of brief but intense resistance exercise I do yields similar benefits. Here she is, after only about 2-3 months getting serious, not to mention me feeding her lots and lots of protein and fat. Total/HDL: 2.2. I’m 2.1, average is 4-6, and ideal is 2-3. HDL/LDL: 0.9. I’m at 1.0, average is 0.3-0.4, and ideal is above 0.4. Triglyceride/HDL: 0.6. I’m at 0.4, and optimal is <2.0 But how about before? Maybe her...

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Keeping it Real: Food

You’ll read here often, and other places: nutrition is 80% of your overall health. The rest is accounted for by activities such as work, exercise, and play. I’m going to be doing some bits of review over the next few days, as there’s quite a few new subscribers. I’m also reorganizing the general “fitness” category from the old blog into more specific categories on this one, such as diet related, exercise, cooking (food porn), and so on. I was all prepped to give a brief primer on what foods to eat and by coincidence was reading Scott over at Modern Forager, where he drew attention to a post of his from a few months back that really explains it perfectly. There’s also a Part II. Even though I’m predominantly “low carb,” as it goes well with my inner carnivore, I do eat vegetables, very often have fruit for breakfast and desert, and I even eat starchy potatoes now and then. What I very nearly never eat is stuff that is not real food. I also avoid grains, most particularly wheat, because we simply didn’t evolve to eat it. Refined sugar? Same thing. In both cases, it’s the concentration that’s the…

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“Cold Shower”

That’s funny. Turns out the top search term on the blog over the last few days has been for “cold shower.” I suppose it’s because of this, a bit of “Richard-Lab.” Now, that’s actually a bit of a longish post, but I’d say one of my more important ones, because rather than an assemblage of good work by others (for which I’m eternally grateful and will always acknowledge), this is original work. The rest of this isn’t going to be fully comprehensible unless you go ahead and take the 5 to read it. Well, that was just over a week ago. I was unable to attempt a duplication last Monday due the holiday, with the gym closed by 3pm. And, out of the overnight 4.5 pounds of fat loss, I retained 1.5 pounds of it. However, even though I didn’t do the cold plunge on Monday, I did do a fast and ended up back at 195ish. Then, Thursday, I ate a huge breakfast at around 10am. 1/2 pound burger, four eggs (cooked in butter), 4 strips of bacon, and fruit. I slathered the eggs with a good tablespoon of butter to boost the fat. I went to the gym…

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Your Inner Animal

Aristotle, in the most classic description of man, called him the rational animal. It’s a double-edged sword; for, rationality necessarily implies the ability to be irrational as well. Taken together, we’re beings of free will — of volition. Where other animals simply operate according to a very simple set of “values” that are contingent upon their environment, man can freely possess whole realms of complex (even contradictory) values, or eschew values other men might posses. For purposes of this post, I’m going to use rational value to mean those values that generally promote individual well being, and irrational values to mean those values that are generally harmful to the individual. Then there are values — lots of them — that have no clear impact one way or the other, and so are simply matters of preference. What’s unique about man is that we can change our environment when it suits us. Other animals have no choice but to move elsewhere, i.e., to “greener pastures,” or die; and the only way to get there is by whatever means the species has for moving around. Man, on the other hand, can employ reason (essentially: the ability to identify reality in objective, non-contradictory…

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We’re Live

The new name and design is up. Went ahead and deleted the domain map for honestylog.com and enabled forwarding (as well as for the old uncsense.com as well). Those haven’t fully propagated, yet, so they’ll probably remain broken for a few more hours. The design and look isn’t by any means final. It’s simply a stock TypePad template for now. I’ll be designing something custom in the days or maybe weeks ahead (suggestions welcome). I may hire a pro, though WordPress designers are a lot easier to come by than those who know how to work with CSS in TypePad. We’ll see. I’m pretty much going to stay away from most things but health/fitness; maybe a very occasional foray, or a link to something political. There’s plenty out there. For the foreseeable future, this is an exclusively health and fitness blog. To those disappointed about that, well, I’m sorry. I hope you can still find some value here anyway, but it is what it is. All of the material going back to 2003 when this blog began is still right there, and all links should work, whether to the old uncsense.com or honestylog.com URLs. However, I have removed the categories…

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Buffalo is What’s For Dinner

You all know my affinity for beef steaks — especially ribeye — on the grill. Why? Because of the healthful animal fat content that we evolved and — are perfectly adapted — to eat. Actually, that’s a secondary reason. The fat just makes them delicious. One thing I’m really thankful to my mom & dad for is that when we were kids, having steaks was just the ultimate dinner. Nothing in the world could top it, with the possible exception of lobster tail. That’s not all. Dad was a medium rare guy, mom was an only-half-dead rare gal, so I got my share of taste for both, and can handle it either way — except for breakfast. For some reason, a rare steak for breakfast turns my stomach, though I can eat a seared rare steak for dinner, completely raw in the middle. The other thing is that they completely eschewed any sorts of rubs or steak sauces. They saw those as just hiding the flavor of the meat. Better to get good tasting meat. A bit of salt, pepper, and perhaps a bit of garlic, of maybe a garlic butter after the grilling. The other day I went to…

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Admin Note

I’m going to get to fooling around with the blog design, including implementing freetheanimal.com as the new mapped URL. I’ll leave honestylog.com mapped for a while, but I’ll be modifying the feeds. All that’s to say that you might need to re-subscribe to the new feed to keep the RSS updating properly.

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Reader Real Food

Reader Adam, who described himself as “skinny fat,” and who began using some of my methods and those of other’s I’ve pointed to, has dropped from 215 to 201, a loss of 14 pounds that equates to a body fat reduction of about 6.5%. “Skinny fat” is the term used to refer to being skinny, yet fat, i.e., an excessive body fat percentage. Adam sends along a photo of a recent meal preparation consisting of real feed. Spinach salad: feta, sunflower seeds, dried cranberry, shrimp, avocado, olive oil & balsamic. And melon for dessert.

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Free the Animal

After much consideration into this blog’s new name in the light of my new direction, the decision has been made. “Free the Animal” Why? First, if you read that post linked above, you know that my health and fitness approach is perfectly in harmony with my philosophical approach; and hence, my approach to politics and all that. In other words, a big part of the reason I have discovered something that truly works; and moreover, is the simplest, most natural, downright fun way of living: that gets you lean and fit; gets you feeling and sleeping great; and gets you looking years and years younger is precisely because I don’t believe in the gods of heaven or earth, we evolved over millions of years and are conditioned by survival pressures that in no way include all vegetable diets, gorging on bottled water all day, eating ground grass seeds (grains and derivatives) running on a treadmill or elliptical, or involving ourselves in social schemes and cons that leave us powerless, with no influence, and at the mercy of the crowd and collective (the cannibal pot). Some have a lot of the pieces and do good work. I have all of the…

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A Salad

Running down quite a collection of food photos I’ve yet to publish, but will, here’s a salad from a couple of months ago. There’s some baby greens that form the base, baby spinach, onion and celery, green and red bell pepper (1 slice each, not chopped), and cucumber. For the protein, one can of white whole albacore tuna spiced with salt, pepper, paprika and cumin, all toped with kalamata olives. Dressings now are simple, and never from a bottle. Greek kalamata olive oil and about a half lemon squeezed on top. Yea, it was delicious. Maybe 5 minutes, start to finish. Depending on your lean body mass, the tuna alone can account for 1/4 – 1/2 of your daily protein requirement.

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I’ll Never Do It

Accept paid advertising for products or serices I can’t unequivocally stand behind. Much to my surprise, I received an email the other day from a gentleman wishing to engage about a half dozen specific posts on this blog for paid advertising. I replied, asking that I’d be happy to discuss it, so long as it’s a no-BS deal. I got the details today. It’s not a lot of money, but it’s not pennies, either. Problem is, the advertisements are in the diet, health area, and I can’t support either of them. Email out: Chris: I very truly appreciate the offer, am flattered, a bit surprised, and uplifted all at the same time. Thank you. However, I am very principled in my approach to diet, nutrition, exercise, etc. And, I can’t support or advocate the products/services offered via the advertising links you sent, and so must regretfully decline your offer. If in the future you have occasion to advertise something you think I might be able to stand behind, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I’ll gladly take the time to review any such offer.

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Part of Why I Do This

Foremost, I have blogged about my path to fitness in order to hold myself accountable. Honestly, I’ve tried to make a go of it many times in the past, always falling away, always ending up worse. The one thing I stuck with was the morning walk, 3.5 miles, 5 days per week (which I still do). Over the next five years I walked over 5,000 miles and gained 30 pounds. Walking alone won’t do it, at least not for ‘only’ an hour per day. Maybe two? Perhaps, but why not just an hour per week in two intense gym sessions, a good diet of real food, and perhaps some intermittent fasting that’s good for you anyway? At any rate, whether it’s the accountability, the ease, simplicity, and enjoyment of this new Life Way, or some combination of all, it’s here to stay. There’s another aspect as well. Turns out that by holding myself accountable to you, the reader, benefits not only me, but apparently others as well. Bea was telling me the other day that the wife of a longtime school-teacher friend of hers reads the blog religiously and gets benefit from it. Then yesterday, this email: Hey Richard, Remember…

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Damn!

Commenter Beth points to something pretty amazing in a recent comment. Take a look at 61-yr-old Lorinde Williams. The results of 20 years of aerobics classes can be seen to the left. The results of 2 years of resistance training and better diet to the right. Case closed. More Body for Life results here.

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