Thursday, September 27, 2012

How to Win an Argument With a Nutritionist or Registered Dietitian

For reasons I have disclosed before, I prefer not to get in to online arguments with nutritionists.
I used to enjoy it, but ended up becoming frustrated so I gave it up.
But… I often observe these arguments online.
It’s fun. Usually.
There’s an annoying pattern I’ve noticed though.
The people who are arguing with the nutritionists, who seem to have all the facts straight and are trying to make their point, don’t cite any studies.
This is a problem!
I get it…
Not everyone has a ton of studies bookmarked on their computer and it can be quite a hazzle to start looking them up at the time of need.
But citing studies is critical in an argument about science. Nutrition = science!
So, with this article I decided to collect studies for the main arguments against some of the more foolish claims made by nutritionists, vegans and know-it-all low-fat zealots.
All of them are in a copy-paste friendly format. Just highlight the URLs to the studies and Click Ctrl+C (Cmd+C on mac) or right click and select “Copy.”
If you tend to get in to these online arguments a lot, I suggest you bookmark this page!
Remember Kris’s Law:
“Whatever the nutrition authorities have to say… the exact opposite is likely to be the truth!”
(Disclaimer: Many nutritionist are good people and seem to know what they are talking about, but the ones that seem to be the most active in the mainstream media seem to do little other than spreading potentially dangerous misinformation.)

Nutritionist Says: Protein is Bad For Your Bones

Put on: this face.
There are some short-term studies showing that the increased acid load from a high protein intake can lead to increased calcium excretion. That is true, but this is only a short-term phenomenon.
The long-term epidemiological studies on protein intake and bone health shows the exact opposite. Increased protein intake correlates with improved bone health and a lowered risk of fractures.

Nutritionist Says: Protein is Bad For Your Kidneys

Put on: this face.
There is NO evidence that increased protein is harmful for people with healthy kidneys.
In fact, the studies show that increased protein can lower blood pressure:

…and improve blood sugar control in type II diabetics:

High blood pressure and diabetes are the key risk factors for kidney failure. Consequently, eating more protein, not less, should be good for the kidneys.
The advice to restrict protein intake for the bones and kidneys is likely to have the exact opposite effect.
Here are two review articles that show no harmful effect of protein consumption on kidney health:

Nutritionist Says: Whole Wheat is Good For You

Put on: this face.
Whole wheat raises the blood sugar faster than most other foods and its glycemic index isn’t much lower than refined wheat..
Additionally, gluten is likely to be harmful for people who don’t have celiac disease.

Whole wheat raises small, dense LDL, which is extremely atherogenic and can lead to heart disease:

Nutritionist Says: Low-Carb Diets Are Dangerous

Put on: this face.
This is simply not true. There are no documented severe reactions to low-carb diets and they tend to improve all the main biomarkers of disease, including HDL cholesterol, triglycerides, blood sugar, LDL particle size, blood pressure and body fat levels.
Low-carb diets have an outstanding safety profile and appear to be healthier, more effective and easier to follow than low-fat diets:

A lot more studies on this here.

Nutritionist Says: Eating Fat Makes You Fat

Put on: this face.
This seems logical enough, but doesn’t hold up in practice.
Diets that are high in fat, but low in carbs, and eaten without restricting calories are usually a lot more effective than low-fat, high-carb diets that are calorie restricted.

Again, more studies here.

Nutritionist Says: Saturated Fat is Unhealthy

Put on: this face.
Not true. Saturated fat raises HDL cholesterol and changes the LDL pattern from small, dense (bad) to large, fluffy (good).
This has been studied extensively and an association of saturated fat with heart disease has never been proven.

Nutritionist Says: Eggs Are Bad For You

Put on: this face.
Not true at all. Eggs, especially the yolks, are incredibly nutritious and highly satiating. There has never been any proven association between egg consumption and cardiovascular disease.

Nutritionist Says: Diet Soda Can Help You Lose Weight

Put on: this face.
This is true in the context of a controlled diet. However, most people don’t count calories and do not eat a controlled diet.
In the context of a western, ad libidum diet, epidemiological studies show that diet soda consumption is associated with severe weight gain, diabetes and the metabolic syndrome.

Nutritionist Says: Sugar is Just Empty Calories

Put on: this face.
It’s true that sugar is empty calories, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Sugar can also lead to fatty liver, insulin resistance and may be a significant contributor to the metabolic syndrome.


Kris’s law still holds.
It doesn’t seem like it is about to change in the next few decades. Modern nutrition keeps on clinging to the old ideas that brought us the obesity epidemic and for some reason they seem completely unwilling to change their minds.
Are there any other myths (lies?) you would like me to cover? Shoot me a comment below and I’ll see if I can add them to the list.
I’d love for this post to become a “weapon” for all of us to change the world, one nutritionist at a time.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Modern Wheat a Perfect Chronic Poison, Doctor Says

Modern wheat is a "perfect, chronic poison," according to Dr. William Davis, a cardiologist who has published a book all about the world's most popular grain.

Davis said that the wheat we eat these days isn't the wheat your grandma had: "It's an 18-inch tall plant created by genetic research in the '60s and '70s," he said on "CBS This Morning." "This thing has many new features nobody told you about, such as there's a new protein in this thing called gliadin. It's not gluten. I'm not addressing people with gluten sensitivities and celiac disease. I'm talking about everybody else because everybody else is susceptible to the gliadin protein that is an opiate. This thing binds into the opiate receptors in your brain and in most people stimulates appetite, such that we consume 440 more calories per day, 365 days per year."

Asked if the farming industry could change back to the grain it formerly produced, Davis said it could, but it would not be economically feasible because it yields less per acre. However, Davis said a movement has begun with people turning away from wheat - and dropping substantial weight.

"If three people lost eight pounds, big deal," he said. "But we're seeing hundreds of thousands of people losing 30, 80, 150 pounds. Diabetics become no longer diabetic; people with arthritis having dramatic relief. People losing leg swelling, acid reflux, irritable bowel syndrome, depression, and on and on every day."

To avoid these wheat-oriented products, Davis suggests eating "real food," such as avocados, olives, olive oil, meats, and vegetables. "(It's) the stuff that is least likely to have been changed by agribusiness," he said. "Certainly not grains. When I say grains, of course, over 90 percent of all grains we eat will be wheat, it's not barley... or flax. It's going to be wheat.

"It's really a wheat issue."

Some health resources, such as the Mayo Clinic, advocate a more balanced diet that does include wheat. But Davis said on "CTM" they're just offering a poor alternative.

"All that literature says is to replace something bad, white enriched products with something less bad, whole grains, and there's an apparent health benefit - 'Let's eat a whole bunch of less bad things.' So I take...unfiltered cigarettes and replace with Salem filtered cigarettes, you should smoke the Salems. That's the logic of nutrition, it's a deeply flawed logic. What if I take it to the next level, and we say, 'Let's eliminate all grains,' what happens then?

"That's when you see, not improvements in health, that's when you see transformations in health."

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Truth About Fat

REMEMBER when chips were deep-fried in lard? When suet gave puddings a silky fullness and vegetables were served with lashings of butter?
For decades, health authorities have urged us to replace these ''bad'' animal fats with the ''good'' fats found in vegetable oils, to avoid heart disease. But some say such advice is killing us.
''There is no real evidence to show that saturated fats, found mainly in animal fats, cause heart disease,'' says David Gillespie, author of the polemical book Big Fat Lies.

''By contrast, polyunsaturated oils are actually what is giving us heart disease, with the assistance of sugar, and possibly also type 2 diabetes, cancer and obesity.''
Gillespie has no medical training but his work has been embraced by followers of new diets such as the ''paleo'' and ''primal'' diets. They hold that the key to good health is eating more like our ancestors - eschewing sugar and manufactured oils and embracing meat and natural fats.
Medical doctors are also among Gillespie's followers, including Melbourne anaesthetist Rod Tayler, who says he lost 11 kilograms in two years by following a more ''traditional'' diet, low in carbs and higher in saturated animal fats.
''I'm with Gillespie; I don't see that there is any problem with animal fat - we've been eating it for the past 3 million years as we've evolved,'' says Dr Tayler, whose daily breakfast is a three-egg omelet with cheese and butter, lardy bacon and yoghurt topped with cream and nuts.
''Since I've been eating this way my good cholesterol is up and my bad cholesterol is down.''
Australian nutrition academics say such diets are dangerous and Gillespie's conclusions are specious. ''He is a purveyor of 'big fat lies','' says Dr Jennie Brand-Miller, creator of the ground-breaking ''glycaemic index'' to treat and prevent diabetes.
''We know that replacing saturated fats with sugar, as they do in low-fat yoghurts, is bad … But that is not to say you shouldn't try to reduce your saturated fat intake and replace it with polyunsaturated fats.''
A former corporate lawyer, Gillespie buttresses his arguments with evidence from dozens of recent scientific studies, including a 2010 American analysis of past ''population'' studies, capturing a cohort of 350,000 people. It found ''no significant evidence for concluding that dietary saturated fat is associated with an increased risk [of heart disease]''.
Gillespie also cites several less comprehensive studies, including one in 1996 of Jewish Israelis, whose kosher diets are high in polyunsaturated fats and who have some of the world's highest rates of heart disease, diabetes and some cancers.
''All this suggests that the Dietary Guidelines for Australians, which tell us to avoid animal fat and consume lots of polyunsaturated oils, are actually a recipe for heart disease,'' he says. But nutrition expert Professor Peter Clifton, who co-wrote the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet, says Gillespie has cherry-picked evidence.
''His ideas are certainly gaining prominence but they're completely wrong,'' says Professor Clifton, who cites a later, more detailed American study that concluded swapping saturated for polyunsaturated fat meant a 10 per cent reduction in heart disease rates.
He also rejects the Israeli example, saying other lifestyle factors there promote heart disease.
However, different polyunsaturated fats have different effects, says Anastasia Boulais, a Port Macquarie hospital intern with an interest in ''ancestral health''.
''Omega-3, found mainly in fish, is good for us,'' says Dr Boulais. But she says a 2010 study found participants with a higher intake of omega-6 (found in vegetable oils) had an increased risk of coronary heart disease.
While the debate continues, the push towards low-carb, higher-fat diets is gaining pace. Pro-fat cookbook author Christine Cronau this year published The Fat Revolution, with the tag line: ''Why butter and real fats actually make us slim.'' In Melbourne, Palate restaurant in Prahran offers a ''paleo'' menu featuring full-fat dairy and meat, and there are scores of lard-loving, paleo-oriented gyms and clubs.
As the British-born chef at the fat-friendly Duchess of Spotswood says, animal fat never fell out of favour in some quarters. ''It's just honest food,'' says Andrew Gale, whose signature dishes include steak for two, sealed in dripping. ''If you can render fat and use it - duck fat, chicken fat, kidneys, suet or whatever - it keeps your costs down and it's bloody delicious.''

Read more:

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Low Carb Diets More Effective Study Shows

A review of 17 different studies that followed a total of 1,141 obese patients on low-carb eating plans — some were similar to the Atkins diet — found that dieters lost an average of almost 18 pounds in six months to a year.

Overall, participants had improvements in their waist circumference, blood pressure, triglycerides (blood fats), fasting blood sugar, C-reactive protein (another heart disease risk factor) as well as an increase in HDL (good) cholesterol. LDL (bad) cholesterol did not change significantly
"These improvements occurred during weight loss which is known to lead to some of these changes," says William Yancy, an associate professor of medicine at Duke University Medical Center and a researcher who worked on the analysis. It's being published in the journal Obesity Reviews.
Yancy has done several previous studies on the Atkins diet, including some that were funded by the Atkins Foundation. A low-carb diet is a reasonable one to follow to lose weight and improve heart disease risk factors, he says.
Low-carb eating plans slash the consumption of breads, pasta, potatoes, rice, cakes, cookies and some fruits and starchy vegetables while beefing up intake of fish, chicken, beef, eggs, butter, cheese and some vegetables and fruits.
Gary Foster, director of the Center for Obesity Research and Education at Temple University in Philadelphia, echoed Yancy's observation. "A lot of these favorable effects are due to the weight loss itself, not to the specific diet, with the exception of HDL, which does seem to have more favorable improvements on the low-carb diet."
He wasn't involved in this analysis but did research comparing a low-carb diet and a low-calorie, reduced-fat diet and found both produce similar weight loss and improvements in health measures.
"We have passed the time where we would say the Atkins diet is bad for you. That's an outdated position," Foster says. "This is a viable alternative for weight loss."
Robert Atkins, a cardiologist, published his first book on the diet in 1972. The revised version, called Dr. Atkins' New Diet Revolution, was a best seller two decades later. He died in April 2003 after a fall.
Nutrition experts have long favored a more conventional diet, which reduces the overall amount of calories and fat while allowing a wide variety of foods.
One small study published recently found that dieters who were trying to maintain their weight loss burned significantly more calories — about 300 more a day — eating a low-carb diet than they did eating a low-fat diet.
About two-thirds of people in this country are overweight or obese, which increases the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, many types of cancer and other chronic illnesses.

Friday, August 31, 2012

GMO Reality Check

GMO Dangers Ignored
Many countries, including those within the European Union, require strict labeling and testing of GMOs. As a result of this labeling, GMO products simply do not sell in most of the world. Here in the United States we do not require labeling or testing of GMOs. How is it that in the US GMOs seem to have had free rein?
“Unlike our European allies, unlike Australia, Japan, much of Africa and others, we have failed in the United States, for 25 years now, to pass a single law on addressing and assessing the environmental or health consequences of GMOs,” Kimbrell pointed out. “Every effort has been defeated by the biotechnology industry.
“What we have in this country is a complete regulatory failure with GMOs. We have no mandatory labeling, no mandatory testing. The USDA to this day has never come up with an environmental impact statement on a single GMO plant, though they’ve promised it over and over again, and court after court has demanded they do so.
“The USDA has illegally approved one GMO after the other and has been disciplined by the courts, by the General Accounting Office, and by the Inspector General.
“The problem is that the USDA has pretty much become a rogue agency and a wholly owned subsidiary of the biotechnology industry, and that’s really sad. Former Iowa governor, now US Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, was the biotechnology industrial organizations’ ‘Governor of the Year’ in 2001. He brought his current general counsel, Ramona Romero, directly from DuPont this year. The law firm that Vilsack worked for fought us on GMO cases after he wasn’t governor anymore.”
Another problem is a combination of outdated legislation and agency disparity when it comes to attempts to enforce it. “You have a brand-new technology without any congressional guidance, which then goes down to the agency level,” Kimbrell continued. “If you’re EPA, FDA or USDA, you are trying to regulate biotechnology in agriculture under laws that were passed 15 years before anyone knew this technology existed. Here you have corn engineered to contain Bt and they try to regulate it under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act. That means they’re trying to treat the plant as a pesticide—the whole plant. When they passed that law in 1972 on pesticides, they thought they were regulating chemicals; they didn’t think they were regulating plants. In another example, we’re now seeing GMO salmon, and the FDA is treating it as an animal drug—the salmon. So what happens here is that because of the failure of Congress to withstand the lobbying of the industry, the entire technology has been shoved down to the agency level. We have about seven different agencies under about twelve different laws that are trying to regulate biotechnology, with laws that were passed long before biotechnology came on line. So it’s a system that’s built for failure.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Palaeolithic nutrition that holds promise for the prevention and treatment of diseases of civilisation

A multidisciplinary reconstruction of Palaeolithic nutrition that holds promise for the prevention and treatment of diseases of civilisation
Nutrition Research Reviews, 07/18/2012

Kuipers RS et al. – There is ample evidence that ancestors lived in a land–water ecosystem and extracted a substantial part of their diets from both terrestrial and aquatic resources. Rather than rejecting this possibility by lack of evidence, the default assumption should be that hominins, living in coastal ecosystems with catchable aquatic resources, consumed these resources. Finally, the composition and merits of so–called ‘Palaeolithic diets’, based on different hominin niche–reconstructions, are evaluated. The benefits of these diets illustrate that it is time to incorporate this knowledge into dietary recommendations.

Read more:

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Species Appropriate Diets-Real Agricultural Sustainability

If your animals aren’t eating a species appropriate diet– you aren’t farming sustainably. End of story. Argue all you want until you are blue in the face. Organic, GMO, non-GMO, I don’t really give a shit. If it’s not fed a species-appropriate diet, it’s not healthy and it’s not sustainable. Write that down.
When human beings abandoned their lives of hunting and gathering to begin farming, a major decline in soil health and human health began. Leaving our species-appropriate diets of hunted and gathered foods in favor of nutritionally sub-par cereal grains in the hopes of leading a more sedentary lifestyle proved to be detrimental, and moreover, unsustainable. Our populations boomed, our health decreased and we got short, sick, and fat. This move was <em>unhealthy and unsustainable. </em>
The annual cereal grains depleted the soil of vital nutrients and eventually led to soil erosion and soil infertility that got people’s heads cut off. For instance, researchers from the University of Sheffield discovered with radiocarbon dating that there were three distinct periods of soil erosion in the Americas, the first coinciding with when the Highlands Indiands first began cultivating corn approximately 3,500 years ago, the second occurred on the slopes of cultivated hills, and the third and most recent loss of soil fertility and erosion coincides with deforestation. Yes, cutting down a bunch of trees at once can also #$%^ a bunch of stuff up. The decline of Teotihuacán was linked to crop failure, soil erosion, and soil infertility, and sacrifices were made. Usually that involved decapitating humans, rolling their heads and bodies down the steps of a pyramid like in Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto. Relying on unsustainable cereal grains isn’t a smart plan. Cereal grains aren’t sustainable.
Now back to the animals.
Most domesticated animals, from chickens to pigs to cows to farm-raised salmon are eating a diet of corn and soy. Now, from what we understand above, it was problematic for humans when we abandoned our species-appropriate diets. What about the animals?
Let’s start with what we know already: When a cow leaves a feedlot to an open grassy pasture, it doesn’t starve until it finds more corn or soy, it eats the grass. As we know, grass-fed cows are sustainable. Corn and soy fed cows are not. Duh, that’s easy. Grasses, forbs, and browse are species-appropriate for cows. Species-appropriate diet is sustainable, species-inappropriate diet is not.
Quick Aside: Nobody needs to micromanage fields of native grasses, so inputs like water irrigation systems and fertilizer (except from in the form poop) is extraneous. In a smart, species-appropriate system, inputs are on a closed-loop cycle so you don’t need to purchase corn or soy from your neighbor’s irrigated, pesticide and petroleum-based fertilizer-laden, monoculture.
You see, domesticated animals also have a diet that is species-appropriate, all you have to look at is their wild counterparts and their behavior without the “helping hand” of a human. If an animal usually scratches and pecks at the ground and eats mostly grubs and other invertebrates with a few plants and a few seeds on occasion, it’s safe to say that that is their instinctual, and therefore species-appropriate diet. Chickens that escape from their encampments don’t starve in the wild looking for corn and soy, they eat their species-appropriate diets– and they thrive and multiply.
Like the Hollywood Freeway Chickens, the two colonies of feral chickens that live underneath the 101. No, they aren’t being fed corn and soy to stay alive, there are plenty of cockroaches and crickets in that area that they eat. See, population control. That’s also part of the bigger sustainability picture.
I digress– back to corn and soy.
At some point we decided it was a good idea to domesticate animals, and remove them from their species-appropriate diets too. Then, like us, they also became sick and fat. That corn and soy that we are feeding those animals in our so-called “sustainable” operations is the exact same shitty corn and soy that we are eating. It’s coming from an unsustainable form of agriculture, isn’t it? We don’t eat wheat and corn and soy because it’s not healthy, and it’s not sustainable. So, is it that hard to accept that chickens, pigs, cows, and farmed-salmon that eat them are also unsustainable? I think not.
If you rely on an unsustainable form of agriculture to survive, by proxy you are not sustainable. Commit that last sentence to memory and it will change the way you look at “sustainable agriculture” forever.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Peer Reviewed Journal Article Supporting Paleo Diet

A diet of grain-free whole foods with carbohydrate from cellular tubers, leaves, and fruits may produce a gastrointestinal microbiota consistent with our evolutionary condition, potentially explaining the exceptional macronutrient-independent metabolic health of non-Westernized populations, and the apparent efficacy of the modern "Paleolithic" diet on satiety and metabolism.

Gastrointestinal Diseases Research Unit, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada

Abstract: A novel hypothesis of obesity is suggested by consideration of diet-related inflammation and evolutionary medicine. The obese homeostatically guard their elevated weight. In rodent models of high-fat diet-induced obesity, leptin resistance is seen initially at vagal afferents, blunting the actions of satiety mediators, then centrally, with gastrointestinal bacterial-triggered SOCS3 signaling implicated. In humans, dietary fat and fructose elevate systemic lipopolysaccharide, while dietary glucose also strongly activates SOCS3 signaling. Crucially however, in humans, low-carbohydrate diets spontaneously decrease weight in a way that low-fat diets do not. Furthermore, nutrition transition patterns and the health of those still eating diverse ancestral diets with abundant food suggest that neither glycemic index, altered fat, nor carbohydrate intake can be intrinsic causes of obesity, and that human energy homeostasis functions well without Westernized foods containing flours, sugar, and refined fats. Due to being made up of cells, virtually all "ancestral foods" have markedly lower carbohydrate densities than flour- and sugar-containing foods, a property quite independent of glycemic index. Thus the "forgotten organ" of the gastrointestinal microbiota is a prime candidate to be influenced by evolutionarily unprecedented postprandial luminal carbohydrate concentrations. The present hypothesis suggests that in parallel with the bacterial effects of sugars on dental and periodontal health, acellular flours, sugars, and processed foods produce an inflammatory microbiota via the upper gastrointestinal tract, with fat able to effect a "double hit" by increasing systemic absorption of lipopolysaccharide. This model is consistent with a broad spectrum of reported dietary phenomena. A diet of grain-free whole foods with carbohydrate from cellular tubers, leaves, and fruits may produce a gastrointestinal microbiota consistent with our evolutionary condition, potentially explaining the exceptional macronutrient-independent metabolic health of non-Westernized populations, and the apparent efficacy of the modern "Paleolithic" diet on satiety and metabolism.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Paleo or Bypass Surgery.

Just over a year ago, I weighed 298 pounds. At 5’ 3” and 35 years old it was not a question of if, but when, I would develop type 2 diabetes and other weight-related problems. The media is riddled with gastric bypass success stories, and I began to think that was my only option. A piece of me wanted to try once more to lose the weight on my own. So, I made a deal with myself; lose a significant amount of weight in the next year or have the surgery.
I hired a personal trainer and he required me to read The Paleo Solution. Over the past thirteen months, I have followed the diet and exercised. It has been quite a journey, and there have been many learning opportunities along the way. In the beginning, it was difficult to give up grain, soy, and dairy. Paleo meant more time in the kitchen and increasing my food budget, but it did not take long to start reaping the rewards and that kept me going. I derailed many times but I never gave up. When I needed inspiration I referred back to the book or read other Paleo success stories.
Everything in my life over the past year has focused on one goal, losing the weight and, ultimately, saving my life. The Paleo Solution provided the information, but I had to provide the commitment, hard work, and time. During a particularly tough time I developed, what I call, the five S’s; Sustenance (food), Stress, Sleep, Strength (exercise), and Supplements. When I feel like my weight loss is stalling, I ask myself if I am paying enough attention to all five S’s. It was difficult to increase my food budget and start buying supplements, but I told myself that I could pay for those things now or the medical bills down the road when I started to have health issues.
Treating my workouts as an unbreakable appointment has also been helpful. Honoring those appointments in the same way I would honor a doctor’s appointment or school conference is important to me. This mindset keeps me from making excuses and missing workouts for reasons that are not important. Exercise not only burns fat and creates muscle, it also reminds me that I am a different person now, a person who values my health.
Happily, I am no longer considering gastric bypass surgery. All of my hard work has paid off with a 100 pound loss. In fact, based on my current health and body fat percentage, I no longer qualify for bypass surgery. In the future, I know that there will be obstacles, but I also know that I will continue to lose. The goal is to shed 60 more pounds. Losing 100 pounds has been the hardest and most rewarding thing I have ever done. Along the way, there have been celebrations and tears, but I’ve never regretted the cookie I didn’t eat.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Go Paleo!

Are you eating right? That’s a question that many people ask themselves, and it’s a question that feeds many industries making billions of dollars every year. It’s a question that forces its way into your conscious and sub-conscious brain, day in and day out. News reports, medical studies, books, magazines, commercial advertising and word of mouth all creep their way into your information bank. There are countless claims as to what constitutes a “healthy” diet, and almost all of them conflict on some level, leaving the average guy with more confusion than enlightenment. So with such an itching, burning question just begging to be addressed, what is the official Hall of Manly Excellence take on the matter? The most reasonable one of course: The food you should be eating is the food that humans are designed to eat.
It’s so simple that it’s almost stupid, and yet it’s unfortunately something that needs to be said. Just like every other biological species on the planet, humans have a set of foods that are natural for consumption and another set (everything else) that isn’t. And guess what? The daily consumption of the average human is mostly getting drawn from that bad set.

You’re Eating Like a Cow

You’ve heard it many times in your life…in fact, you’ve heard it so many times by now it almost seems like you were born knowing it: a healthy diet is high in grains. The USDA puts it right in your face from the time you enter school: grains are not just edible and healthful in a human diet they say, but should literally be its foundation. Really? You wouldn’t think so if you were out in the wild, hungrily scanning the horizon for something to consume and spotted a patch of wheat sprouting towards the sky. Why not? Because it’s fucking grass! Some people might not have ever given this much thought, but as it turns out, humans can’t actually eat grass. Which brings up a couple of interesting questions: what exactly would a human being in a natural setting without the aid of modern industry actually be able to consume, and from that selection, couldn’t we call that set of foods the humans’ natural diet in the same way that we observe other species’ consumption and do likewise? Well, the hard work of answering those questions has already been done for us and its theory has a name: The Paleolithic Diet.

Stop Eating Like a Cow

Paleo DietSo the theory has a name, the Paleolithic Diet (AKA the Caveman Diet), but what does it mean? Its premise is very simple, elegant and straight to the point: human beings developed their digestive faculties for nutrition throughout the Paleolithic era, a period which covers 99% of our entire history of development as a species. The foods we ate then, are the foods we should be eating now because they’re native to our biology. The last 1% of our time on Earth has not only been an aberration in our nutritional intake, but has gone seriously beyond even the wide berth that our generalist, omnivorous nature provides.
Simply put, our ability as a technological species to extract digestible nutrition from grass has introduced an exceptionally unnatural food source into our gullets, and that very food source is making us fat, stupid and degenerate. How is it doing all that you ask? Grains contain chemicals in them that we call anti-nutrients, a name we give them because they are just that, against nutrition. These chemicals aren’t just in the grains for the hell of it, they’re there because they don’t want us to eat them! Within the bran casing which protects the germ from being digested, the grain stores phytic acid, which blocks the absorption of many key micro-nutrients including calcium, zinc, iron and magnesium. Also contained in the grain are enzyme inhibitors, which are designed to directly stop the digestive tract from breaking down the product.
Once you get past the nasty chemicals and actually extract nutrients from the grain, it encounters hard to digest (for humans anyway) proteins which cause mild to severe allergies. These chemicals can only be neutralized partially during the extensive processing phases which prepare the grain for market and human consumption. The cumulative effect of digesting this unnatural and poisonous material over the course of a lifetime is, as you might imagine, not good. Almost none of the degenerative diseases found in the Western world are seen in people who still eat Hunter-Gatherer diets: osteoporosis, macular degeneration, diabetes, arthritis, tooth decay, Alzheimer’s. Modern indigenous people that have been recently had grains introduced into their diet have seen their incidence of diabetes go from practically zero to as high as 50% within just one or two generations.

Eat Like a Caveman

raquel welch cavemanSo we have a theory: eat what a human is supposed to eat. We also have a name: the Paleolithic Diet. So what is the substance of the theory? We know some of the foods we didn’t eat, but how can we know what we did eat in the Paleolithic era if we weren’t there? Well, without getting into the arcane world of archaeological anthropology (which really is telling but we don’t have time for that now), we have a much simpler and more powerful method of determining what our bodies have been adapted to consume: if you can eat it raw, then you can eat it. That doesn’t mean that you have to eat food raw, it only means you have to be ABLE to eat it raw. If you have the ability to pick a handful of wheat grass and munch away happily then congratulations, grains are natural to your diet. If that’s you, then I’m certain I’m wasting my time writing this because in all likelihood you’re a multi-stomach possessing cud chewing ruminant and aren’t on the internet.
So what kinds of things can a human eat in their raw state? Contrary to misconception, meat is extremely edible and digestible for humans in the raw state. In fact, our digestive efficiency for meat is similar to a wolf, the absolute poster-animal of carnivory. Nearly all of the potential danger from raw meat comes from industrial contamination, but in nature, meat is the ultimate food source.
Other foods that are on the menu are fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, berries. The list is long, so there is no shortage of flavors and food combinations that can be enjoyed. Paleo isn’t low carb by default, so you don’t need to worry about how much you eat from each category. Some people feel better on a high protein diet high fat diet, and some people feel more energetic when they get more carbs. As long as you’re meeting your nutritional needs and eating natural human foods like fruits and vegetables, carbs are not going to plague you like they do when they come from dense grains and corn syrup. Eat what you want within the parameters of the the diet, and you’ll be on track.

Where Does Dairy Fit into the Picture?

There is some controversy about dairy and how natural it is for human consumption. Technically it’s only been on the menu for adults for as long as we’ve been herding animals (which is certainly longer than we’ve been cultivating grain), but on the other hand it’s been on the menu for babies for as long as we’ve been mammals, so we can’t say it isn’t natural on the whole, only that perhaps it isn’t natural for adult humans. The original versions of the diet were strict about not eating dairy products. This makes especially good sense for most people on Earth, who are lactose intolerant. But a certain percentage of people, especially in northwestern Europe, have a fortuitous genetic mutation that produces lactase, the enzyme that breaks down lactose, into adulthood. The proteins in milk are certainly not foreign to our digestive system, so if you don’t have a problem with lactose, then by all means, eat dairy.

Oh My God, Where am I Going to Get All My Fiber?

As a side note, quite a lot of people I’ve talked to have come to associate whole grains with the magical substance we all refer to as fiber, but one that could also be accurately described as “that indigestible non-food stuff”. It’s not like the wheat grows long strands of cellulose so as to ease the digestion of its consumer. It’s just “stuff” that you can’t digest. If humans were inefficient at digesting animal tissue, meat would serve as source of fiber too. In any case, humans don’t need fiber to be able to take a crap because we have a fully functioning digestive tract and could gloriously and healthfully survive on an 100% carnivorous diet (just like those pesky carnivorous Inuit that have been fucking up vegetarians’ theories for decades). That being said, if you’re still concerned about getting fiber into your diet, don’t be. Pound for pound and calorie for calorie, no fiber source is as rich as the foods that really ARE on the natural menu for humans: fresh fruits and vegetables. Just one large apple has about 100 calories and 5.4 grams of fiber. You would only get about 3 grams of fiber from the same calories worth of whole wheat. And veggies? A hundred calories worth of spinach would yield about 10 grams of fiber! Leave grains behind and fiber is definitely not going to be one of your problems.

The Breakdown

If you’ve made it this far and think this all makes sense, you might want to give it a shot. Even though the tenets of the diet are simple, some people like it REALLY simple, so here is a list of things to eat and things to avoid eating:

Do Eat:

Meat, fish, poultry, eggs, nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables/greens. Don’t eat: wheat, corn, rice, potatoes, beans/legumes, peanuts and cashews (these are not nuts, they’re legumes), refined sugars (our bodies are not equipped to handle pure sugar in a refined state, an advent of the Neolithic era along with grains).

One Last Lingering Issue:

It might have occurred to you during the reading of this article that it’s not manly to have a “diet”, that the manly thing to do is to simply eat whatever the fuck you want and give everyone, including me, the finger. Well my answer to that is 1) the term “diet” is not all that good, but it’s entrenched already in the discourse on the subject, so I’m sort of stuck with it…I prefer “nutrition plan”, 2) you could dress up in a skirt and apply lipstick and give me the finger too, and it wouldn’t be manly. And neither is eating a big plate of pasta with a loaf of bread on the side. When I speak of health I don’t mean longevity, I mean vigor, which is the cornerstone of manliness…the Caveman diet will give that to you, but it will also give you the longevity as a bonus.

What is it like for a Doctor to Prescribe a High Fat Diet

Sunday, July 8, 2012

A Registered Dietitician's Letter to the ADA

After all this research, I have come to the conclusion that both proponents and adversaries of the lipid hypothesis have blind spots. Proponents have recognized the role oxidized LDL plays in atherogenesis and the role the LDL receptor gene plays in getting cholesterol into the cells, but still insist that we should control cholesterol production to reduce the amount in the blood. They still insist on lowering LDL even though studies show it is not the amount of LDL but the amount of oxidized LDL that is the problem. They insist on a low saturated fat and cholesterol diet even though they admit that diet does not play a role in the lipid hypothesis. Adversaries of the lipid hypothesis insist that cholesterol does not play a role in heart disease, despite evidence that oxidized LDL promotes atherosclerosis.
It appears to me that we may be doing more harm than good in recommending a diet high in vegetable oils and low in saturated fat and cholesterol. After all, we developed heart disease, cancer, diabetes and obesity while decreasing saturated fat intake and increasing vegetable oil intake. It seems ridiculous to blame a fat that has been around for thousands of years for diseases that have only been around for the past 100 years. Vegetable oils have also only been used in the past 100 years. The currently accepted low-fat, food-guide-pyramid diet may be causing the very disease we are prescribing the diet to prevent. Based on the evidence, I cannot with a clear conscious recommend a diet high in vegetable oils and low in saturated fat. There is just no good science to support that recommendation and a good deal of science that would contradict that recommendation. I believe it is more important to be scientifically correct than politically correct. And politics has played a more significant role than science in our dietary recommendations whether we choose to believe that or not.
Dietitians are promoted as “the nutrition expert.” How can we possibly make that claim if we do not abide by what the science actually says? How can we claim to be science-based when we ignore every piece of science that contradicts the view we want to take? Our view should be based on the actual science, not the politics behind the science. The science that has come out in the last twenty to thirty years clearly contradicts the diet-heart hypothesis and the lipid hypothesis in its present form. So, trying to lower total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol is a waste of time because it does nothing to prevent LDL from becoming oxidized and, therefore, is not helpful in preventing atherosclerosis.

Based on all the evidence so far, I believe the following:

  1. There is no scientific support for the diet-heart hypothesis, the belief that saturated fat and cholesterol in the diet cause atherosclerosis and heart disease.
  2. The lipid hypothesis is not true in its present form. It is not the amount of cholesterol in the blood that matters, but the amount of oxidized LDL, so I would support the oxidized lipid hypothesis.
  3. I support diet recommendations that prevent the oxidation of LDL.
    1. Reduction of PUFA intake
    2. Increase in cholesterol and saturated fat intake
    3. Increase in antioxidant intake
  4. I support looking into ways to increase LDL receptor function. A recent study shows that curcurmin may be beneficial here (97) and thyroid hormone and iodine may play a role as well.

Great Steve Cotter Kettlebell Videos

Saturday, June 30, 2012

A diet high in cholesterol may help people with a fatal genetic disease which damages the brain, according to early studies in mice.

A diet high in cholesterol may help people with a fatal genetic disease which damages the brain, according to early studies in mice.

Patients with Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease struggle to produce a fatty sheath around their nerves, which is essential for function.

A study, published in Nature Medicine, showed that a high-cholesterol diet could increase production.

The authors said the mice "improved dramatically".

Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease (PMD) is one of many leukodystrophies in which patients struggle to produce the myelin sheath. It protects nerve fibres and helps messages pass along the nerves.

Without the sheath, messages do not travel down the nerve - resulting in a range of problems including movement and cognition.

Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Experimental Medicine, in Germany, performed a trial on mice with the disease and fed them a high cholesterol diet.
'Striking potential'
The first tests were on mice when they were six weeks old, after signs of PMD had already emerged. Those fed a normal diet continued to get worse, while those fed a cholesterol-enriched diet stabilised.

"This six-week-long cholesterol treatment delayed the decline in motor co-ordination," the scientists said.

Further tests showed that starting the diet early was more beneficial, leading the researchers to conclude that in mice "treatment should begin early in life and continue into adulthood".

This study was only in mice, meaning it is not known if there would be a similar effect in people - or if there would, how early treatment would have to start.

The authors of the report said: "Dietary cholesterol does not cure PMD, but has a striking potential to relieve defects."

It is thought the cholesterol frees up a "traffic jam" inside cells in the brain. The disease is caused by producing too much of a protein needed in myelin, which then becomes stuck inside the cells. It is thought the extra cholesterol helps to free up the protein.

Adding Cholesterol to Diet Reduces Autism Symptoms

Dr. Eugene Arnold of the Ohio State University Medical Center is researching the cholesterol link to Autism. Realizing that our brains are made up of a significant amount of cholesterol, he starts with the assumption that those with Autism may not be suffering from too much cholesterol, but in fact may be suffering from too little. After adding cholesterol to little Rose Barker’s diet, she started smiling, reading, and interacting with others like never before. Her mother comments: “The cholesterol has changed our life. It is exactly what she needed, and the development started almost immediately.”

Friday, June 29, 2012

20k Year Old Pottery Discovered

The US archaeologists involved have determined that fragments from a large bowl found in Xianrendong Cave, Jiangxi Province, are 20,000 years old.

The discovery, published in the journal Science, is the latest in recent years that have pushed back the invention of pottery by 10,000 years.

It is thought that the bowl was a cauldron to cook food, or possibly to brew alcohol.

Until recently, the majority view was that pottery bowls and drink receptacles were invented after the emergence of agriculture, when people began to stay in one place for long periods.

Part of the reasoning was that pottery items are large and breakable, and so not a useful technology for hunter-gatherer societies that moved from place to place in search of food.

Start Quote

People were gathering together in larger groups and you needed social activities to mitigate against increased tensions. Maybe the potteries were used to brew alcohol”
End Quote Prof Gideon Shelach Hebrew University

But in the past 10 years, researchers have found instances of pottery pre-dating agriculture.

One possible reason for the invention of pottery is that 20,000 years ago the Earth was the coldest it had been for a million years.

According to the lead researcher, Prof Ofer Bar-Yosef of Harvard University, pottery cauldrons would have enabled people to extract more nutrition from their food by cooking it.

"Hunter-gatherers were under pressure to get enough food," he told BBC News.

"If the invention is a good one, it spreads pretty fast. And it seems that in that part of southern China, pottery spread among hunter-gatherers in a large area."

Prof Gideon Shelach of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem speculates that there may also have been a social driver for the invention of pottery.

"People were gathering together in larger groups and you needed social activities to mitigate against increased tensions," he told BBC News.

"Maybe those potteries were used to brew alcohol.

Greek Urn Pottery emerged in Europe thousands of years later

"It used to be thought that the beginning of pottery was associated with agriculture and sedentary lifestyle," he added.

"Yet here we find it 8,000 years or more before this transition. This is a very puzzling situation."

The archaeological team estimates from fragments of the bowl that it was 20cm high and 15-25cm in diameter.

Prof Bar-Yosef is keen to discover what these ancient people were cooking 20,000 years ago. He believes that whatever it was it was either steamed or boiled in the bowl.

"It's probably not the first wok," he said. "Cooking with oil began later.

"We think it was used for cooking with water, so it is more like a caldron".

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

How Monsanto Is Sabotaging Efforts to Label Genetically Modified Food

How Monsanto Is Sabotaging Efforts to Label Genetically Modified Food

Lobbyists from the biotech industry are ardently opposing GMO labeling.
Photo Credit: illuminating9_11
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As the 2012 Farm Bill continues to take shape in the halls of the United States Congress, the immense influence of corporate interests is on display.
On June 21 the United States Senate voted overwhelmingly against the Sanders Amendment that would have allowed states to pass legislation that required food and beverage products to label whether or not they contain genetically engineered ingredients.
The amendment, proposed by Independent Senator from Vermont, Bernie Sanders, is particularly relevant as many states prepare to vote on a ballot initiatives that would require such labelling of genetically modified (GM) foods.
Lobbyists from the biotech industry have ardently opposed GMO labelling. These opponents argue that because food labelling has historically been handled by the Food and Drug Association (FDA), it is a federal issue and, therefore, individual states do not have the right to implement such legislation. Indeed, in the case of Vermont, Sanders' home state, Monsanto successfully intimidated the state legislature from voting on a bill that would have required GMO labelling.
Patty Lovera, the assistant director of Food and Water Watch, explained that states planning to vote on GM labelling in November could face a legal fight to defend their right to enact such laws.
"However, this amendment would have taken this threat away," Lovera told IPS.
In a move heralded by food advocates, Sanders introduced amendment 2310 on June 14 this year, after his own state legislature backed out of voting on the popular bill, H.722, also known as the Vermont Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act.
Vermont lawmakers allowed the bill to stall – and ultimately die – in the Vermont House Agriculture Committee in April, after a representative from biotech giant, Monsanto, threatened to sue the state if the bill passed.
Significantly, the Senate vote, 73-26, did not fall along partisan lines, with 28 Democrats voting against the Sanders Amendment.
Lovera emphasised that the powerful biotech lobby informs how politicians vote. "This doesn't happen overnight, this is a result of years and years of lobbying and pressure from the biotech industry," she said.
In a report published in November 2010, Food and Water Watch revealed that the largest food and agricultural biotechnology firms and trade associations spent a total of 572 million dollars on campaign contributions and lobbying over the course of ten years.
Importance of Labelling
The Senate vote comes amidst near global agreement that there is a need for GMO labelling.
Codex Alimentarius, the food safety arm of the United Nations, concluded last year after nearly 18 years of debate, that countries were free to label goods as containing genetically engineered ingredients and that labelling of genetically-modified organisms would indeed help inform consumers' choices.
"GMO labels are a risk management measure to deal with any scientific uncertainty," said Dr. Michael Hansen, a senior scientist with the Consumers Union, who has been a long-time advocate for mandatory testing and labelling of genetically engineered (GE) foods.
"Labelling is the only way to track unintended effects," Hansen said. "How can you know what you are allergic to if you do not know you are eating GMO's?"
In fact, the U.S. Food and Drug Association's hands-off approach to regulating genetically engineered foodstuffs runs contrary to international standards. Currently the U.S. is the only developed country that does not require safety testing for GE plants. However, the Codex Alimentarius instructs countries to conduct safety assessments of all GE plants.
According to testimony written by Dr. Hansen, "This means the U.S. cannot meet the global standards for safety assessment of GE foods. Consequently, countries that require food safety assessments for GE foods could block shipment of such GE foods from the U.S."

Stroke Victim Cured By Paleo Diet

Again the Paleo Diet succeeds where modern medicine fails!

I had always considered myself to be pretty healthy, and had no major health issues prior to that. The stroke occurred as a result of a lesion (most likely a blood clot) in the right side of my pons. I lost fine motor function on my left side, which was not very fun considering that I’m left handed. Besides having to learn how to walk again, I had to re-learn how to write, play guitar, hold a fork, etc. Luckily, my young brain quickly recovered, and after a couple months of physical therapy I was pretty much back to normal. I had to walk with a cool cane for a while. A lot of excellent doctors treated me, but no one ever figured out what caused the stroke.A little over a year later I noticed that I was having a hard time exercising. I kept thinking I was just way out of shape. It got so bad that I was out of breath even from walking, so I went to the doctor. I then spent the next month or so living in a hospital, being tested for a wide range of possibilities – long story short is they settled on a narrowing of my pulmonary arteries most likely caused by inflammation. I was diagnosed with the autoimmune disease Takayasu’s Arteritis, which is characterized by the narrowing of arteries due to inflammation. The cause of this disease, like most autoimmune diseases, is not known. So then I spent a year on heavy immunosuppressant therapy; we tried a wide range of steroids and other scary drugs, and they worked for the most part. I would still get winded upon exertion, but I could at least function.

Flash forward to 2010. My continuous steroid and immunosuppressant medication therapy was starting to take its toll, even though I was trying to slowly taper off the steroids. I felt lousy almost all of the time, and worse still was the fact that I couldn’t foresee it getting any better. I then happened across an article that mentioned this crazy diet modeled after cavemen that eliminated grains, and it could reverse autoimmune symptoms. Within a week I had devoured The Paleo Solution and just about every Paleo resource I could find, and switched my diet. My inflammation markers decreased significantly within a month.Since then things have been much better. I’m not cured – there’s no mistaking that I still have a serious autoimmune condition – but the Paleo diet has absolutely helped. I started exercising for the first time since 2006. I was able to get off of steroid therapy, which was causing all sorts of side effects (weight gain, brittle bones, memory issues, kidney stones, shingles, and so on). When I was on steroids, I would get sick at least monthly; since switching over my diet I rarely get sick. Lastly, my wife and son have joined me on this crazy journey, which gives me comfort that we’ll all three live long, healthy lives.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Foot and ankle strength, range of motion, posture, and deformity are associated with balance and functional ability in older adults.

Foot and ankle strength, range of motion, posture, and deformity are associated with balance and functional ability in older adults.


Musculoskeletal Research Centre, Department of Podiatry, La Trobe University, Bundoora, Australia.



To determine the extent to which measures of foot and ankle strength, range of motion, posture, and deformity are associated with performance in a battery of balance and functional ability tests in older adults.


Cross-sectional study of people over 65 years.




Participants (N=305; age range, 65-93y) recruited for a randomized trial investigating the efficacy of a podiatry intervention to prevent falls.


Not applicable.


Clinical measures of foot and ankle strength (using hand-held dynamometry), range of motion, posture, and deformity, and a battery of balance tests (postural sway, maximum balance range, lateral stability, coordinated stability) and functional ability tests (alternate step test, sit-to-stand, timed 6-m walk).


Most (67/88) of the correlations between the foot and ankle tests and performance on the balance and functional tests were statistically significant. Hierarchic linear regression analysis identified hallux plantar flexion strength and ankle inversion-eversion range of motion to be the most consistent significant and independent predictors of balance and functional test performance, explaining up to 25% of the variance in the test scores.


Foot and ankle characteristics, particularly plantar flexor strength of the hallux and ankle inversion-eversion range of motion, are important determinants of balance and functional ability in older people. Further research is required to establish whether intervention programs that include strengthening and stretching exercises for the foot and ankle may achieve improvements in balance and functional ability and reduce the risk of falls in older people.

Barefoot Running Biomechanics Tips and Videos

Forefoot Striking & Impact Forces
For millions of years, it is likely that runners landed with no single, specific foot strike, and rather landed with a variety of foot strikes including forefoot, midfoot and heel strikes, but we suspect that the most common form of foot strike was a forefoot strike. Midfoot strikes were probably also more common than they are today. These kinds of strikes (i.e. landing first on the lateral ball of the foot) lead to lower impact forces which may lead to lower rates of injury. We hypothesize and there is anecdotal evidence that forefoot or midfoot striking can help avoid and/or mitigate repetitive stress injuries, especially stress fractures, plantar fasciitis, and runner's knee. We emphasize, however, that this hypothesis on injury has yet to be tested and that there have been no direct studies on the efficacy of forefoot strike running or barefoot running on injury.
It strengthens the muscles in your foot, especially in the arch. A healthy foot is a strong foot, one that pronates less and is less liable to develop a collapsed arch.
  • It may cost less energy to forefoot strike because you use the natural springs in your foot and calf muscles more to store and release energy. Running barefoot or in minimal footwear (usually lighter than traditional running shoes) means that there is less mass to accelerate at the end of the runner's leg with each stride. Running barefoot has been shown to use about 5% less energy than shod running (Divert et al., 2005; Squadrone and Gallozzi, 2009).
  • Barefoot running feels great! Your feet have lots of sensory nerves. And because there is minimal impact forces on landing it can be very comfortable provided you develop calluses on your feet

  • Tips on Transitioning to Forefoot or Midfoot Striking
    Forefoot striking barefoot or in minimal footwear requires you to use muscles in your feet (mostly in the arch) that are probably very weak. Running this way also requires much more strength in your calf muscles than heel striking because these muscles must contract eccentrically (while lengthening) to ease the heel onto the ground following the landing. Novice forefoot and midfoot strikers typically experience tired feet, and very stiff, sore calf muscles. In addition, the Achilles tendon often gets very stiff. This is normal and eventually goes away, but you can do several things to make the transition successfully:
    • Build up slowly! If you vigorously work out any weak muscles in your body, they will be sore and stiff. Your foot and calf muscles will be no exception. So please, don’t overdo it because you will probably injure yourself if you do too much too soon.
      • Start by walking around barefoot frequently.
      • First week: no more than a quarter mile to one mile every other day.
      • Increase your distance by no more than 10% per week. This is not a hard and fast rule, but a general guide. If your muscles remain sore, do not increase your training. Take an extra day off or maintain your distance for another week.
      • Stop and let your body heal if you experience pain. Sore, tired muscles are normal, but bone, joint, or soft-tissue pain is a signal of injury.
      • Be patient and build gradually. It takes months to make the transition.
    • If you are currently running a lot, you don’t need to drastically reduce your mileage. Instead, supplement forefoot or midfoot striking with running the way that you normally ran before beginning the transition. Over the course of several months, gradually increase the proportion of forefoot or midfoot striking and reduce the proportion of running in your old style. Use the same 10% per week guideline in increasing the amount of running you do forefoot striking.
    • It is essential to stretch your calves and hamstrings carefully and regularly as you make the transition. Massage your calf muscles and arches frequently to break down scar tissue. This will help your muscles to heal and get stronger.
    • Listen to your feet. Stop if your arches are hurting, if the top of your foot is hurting, or if anything else hurts! Sometimes arch and foot pain occurs from landing with your feet too far forward relative to your hips and having to point your toes too much. It can also occur from landing with too rigid a foot and not letting your heel drop gently.
    • Many people who run very slowly find that forefoot striking actually makes them run a little faster.


    • Land gently on your forefoot and gradually let the heel come down
    • Transition slowly
    • Stretch your calves and Achilles tendon
    • Don’t do anything that causes pain
    • Listen to your body and run totally barefoot to learn good form
    • Buy minimal shoes that lack high heels and stiff soles
    • Consult a doctor

    Shoes Are the Primary Cause of Foot Disorders

    Dr. Rossi, a podiatrist with over 400 published articles, explains the details of how footwear design affects the health of our feet. Main points:

    • Elevated heels create a "domino effect" of bones
    • Shortened achilles tendons in shoe-wearing countries
    • Nearly all shoes neglect the weight-bearing function of the mid-foot & toes
    • Lacing shoes is nothing more than "foot corseting"
    • "The less a shoe does TO a foot, the better FOR the foot"
    Dr. Rossi explains how shoes both "deform and handicap" our feet from early development. He comes up with a solution calling for podiatrists to lead the way by encouraging healthy foot development in childhood which will force shoe manufacturers, for the first time in history, to introduce shoes that "do not deform and defunctionalize feet." Interesting points:

    • The Myth of Support
    • The Myth of Pronation
    • The Myth of Ankle Support
    "Many people know that high heels are more about fashion than being orthopedically-sound for walking. But what is wrong with athletic shoes? Even athletic shoes elevate the heel, extend the toes, and pinch the toes together. Instead of enhancing performance, this actually compromises the natural gait, leading to chronically tight extensor muscles and toes that structurally change so that they are crunched toward the midline. The foot functions best as a barefoot, that is, when the heel and forefoot are completely level, and the toes are allowed to flex, extend, and spread."

    "...the reality, the shoe market is driven by what “looks good” on the shelf and will therefore sell. This is as true of athletic shoes as it is of fashion shoes...Indeed, even when shoe designers are presented with findings that flat, wide shoes are optimal for foot function and health, they do not utilize this information, because such a style is not congruous with the fashionable look. Additionally, considerably more money can be charged for a shoe that boasts “arch support” or “motion control” than for a simple flat shoe. So ultimately, the very shoes that are supposed to enhance performance actually hinder it by altering natural foot shape and gait."
    quoted by Dr. Ray McClanahan

    Thursday, June 21, 2012

    Stop Monsanto From Poisoning Hawai' i

    For over 20 years, Hawai'i has been the global center for the open-field testing of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO's), including pharmaceutical crops. Over 5,000 experimental tests have been conducted by Monsanto, Dow, Dupont/Pioneer, Syngenta and BASF that spray chemicals on an almost daily basis on our most valuable lands. They are supported by tax-breaks, and beneficial relationships with ...landowners, regulators and politicians. We estimate GMO companies own or lease 40,000 -- 60,000 acres that are sprayed with over 70 different chemicals.

    A new vision for Hawai'i would promote small farms that grow chemical-free produce, employ our youth and restore the indigenous ahupua'a system. Hawai'i has less than 3,000 acres of certified organic farmland, which is 0.27% of Hawaiian farmland.

    Kamehameha Schools is Hawaii's largest private landowner. Despite Kamehameha's public statements about sustainability and conservation, they lease substantial amounts of land to multi-national biotech firms, including Monsanto, Dow, Dupont/Pioneer and Syngenta for GMO open field tests and seed corn production.

    Kamehameha is the only institution with the land, capital and resources to reduce our food imports, that are now over 90%, and ensure that Hawai'i does not run out of food in case of natural disasters or rising oil prices.

    Tuesday, June 12, 2012

    Six things that we need to know about cholesterol

    Here are six things that we need to know about cholesterol:
    i) It is virtually impossible to explain how vital cholesterol is to the human body. If you had no cholesterol in your body you would be dead. No cells, no bone structure, no muscles, no hormones, no sex, no reproductive system, no digestion, no brain function, no memory, no nerve endings, no movement, no human life – nothing without cholesterol. It is utterly vital and we die instantly without it.
    ii) Cholesterol is so vital to the body that our bodies make it. The body cannot risk leaving it to chance that we would get it externally from food or some other external factor – that’s how critical it is.
    iii) There is no such thing as good cholesterol and bad cholesterol. Cholesterol is cholesterol. The chemical formula for cholesterol is C27H46O. There is no good version or bad version of this formula.HDL is not even cholesterol, let alone good. LDL is not even cholesterol, let alone bad. HDL stands for High Density Lipoprotein. LDL stands for Low Density Lipoprotein. (There are three other lipoproteins, by the way, chylomicrons, VLDL and IDL).
    Fat and cholesterol are not water soluble so they need to be carried around the body in something to do their vital work. The carriers of such substances are called lipoproteins. We can think of lipoproteins as tiny ‘taxi cabs’ travelling round the blood stream acting as transporters. So, lipoproteins are carriers of cholesterol – oh – and triglyceride and phospholipids and protein. All lipoproteins carry all of these substances – just in different proportions. LDL would more accurately be called the carrier of fresh cholesterol and HDL would more accurately be called the carrier of recycled cholesterol.
    iv) The standard blood cholesterol test does not measure LDL – it estimates it. The fasting blood cholesterol test can only measure total cholesterol and HDL. There are two other unknowns in a four variable equation – LDL and VLDL. The estimation is refined further using the Friedewald equation (named after William Friedewald, who developed it).
    Total cholesterol = LDL + HDL + VLDL/5 (Ref 8)
    As any mathematician will tell you, one equation, with four variables, only two of which can be measured, is a fat lot of good. We need at least one more equation or known variable, to avoid circular references. This also means that:
    - All other things being equal, LDL will rise if a) total cholesterol rises and/or b) if HDL falls and/or if c) VLDL falls.
    - All other things being equal, LDL will fall if a) total cholesterol falls and/or b) if HDL rises and/or if c) VLDL rises.
    No wonder an inverse association is observed between LDL and HDL – it is by definition. More surprising is that a fall in VLDL (triglycerides), which would be welcomed by doctors, would be accompanied by an automatic increase in LDL, all other things being equal, which would not be welcomed by doctors. And you thought that this was scientific.
    v) Statins stop the body from producing the cholesterol that it is designed to produce. They literally stop one of our fundamental body processes from being able to function. The intelligent view on statins is that in the very limited arena where they appear to have some ‘benefit’ (men over 50 who have already had a heart attack), they ‘work’ by having anti-inflammatory properties and that the fact that they lower cholesterol (by stopping the body from being able to produce this vital substance) is a very unfortunate side effect. (Drug companies should work on developing something that has the anti-inflammatory benefit without this huge and damaging side effect – it’s called aspirin).
    One in 500 people have familial hypercholesterolemia and may have a problem clearing cholesterol in their body (rather like type 1 diabetics who can’t return their blood glucose levels to normal). For anyone else to be actively trying to lower their vital and life affirming cholesterol levels is deeply troubling.
    vi) “Cholesterol in food has no impact on cholesterol in the blood and we’ve known that all along.” Ancel Keys.
    Ancel Keys, the same man who did the brilliant Minnesota starvation experiment, spent the 1950’s trying to show that cholesterol in food was associated with cholesterol in the blood. He concluded unequivocally that there was not even an association, let alone a causation. He never deviated from this view.
    Cholesterol is only found in animal foods (it is a vital substance for every living creature). Hence the only foods that Keys could add to human diets, to test the impact of cholesterol, were animal foods. Given that he concluded that eating animal foods had no impact on blood cholesterol levels, it follows that animal foods per se have no impact on blood cholesterol levels (not that high cholesterol is a problem – quite the contrary – but that’s another story).
    There is no need, whatsoever, to avoid liver, red meat, other meat, fish, eggs, dairy products etc for any cholesterol that they may contain, or for any other reason.
    The body makes cholesterol. I worry about a number of things, but I don’t worry that my body is trying to kill me.

    Monday, June 11, 2012

    Cholesterol and Heart Disease

    Lowering Insulin Slows Cancer Growth

    Hmmmmm,  sounds familiar.

    Future of Fitness?

    Written by Ido Portal
    Interesting how the Fitness community is coming around to Movement lately.
    In the last couple of months I've been receiving major offers from around the globe to conduct more and more Movement seminars. The hosting gyms are major Crossfit facilities, traditional Yoga studios, martial arts academies and even many commercial gym chains.

    The reason for this shift is similar to the return to organic - we understand the price of the modern specialization and "development".

    Something is missing.

    All of our attempts to manufacture better foods, like the GMO approach - are failing on us. Something is not right. Its not as complete as what nature has provided. We have been missing something and in some cases - we are making LETHAL mistakes.

    So, similarly, the "joint isolation", bodybuilding and machine training are practically dead, but let me make a prediction, if you will, (how stupid of me but, whatever..) I believe that even the new modern concepts such as practiced, specialized sports and other dogmatic "newer" training systems are missing the human boat.
    We need something more...
    We need movement - in its varied, holistic, fulfilling, interesting and intelligent way.
    Whether this is because we are programmed to do stuff like hunt & gather, dance around the fire, fight, wrestle, climb trees and mountains, swim across or river, etc, I wont argue, but I will tell you this - we NEED a more MOVEMENT BASED APPROACH.

    So, why still the resistance from many people to this kind of practice? One reason and one reason only...


    They cant do it well, lack any good instruction and development because the various training methods that already offer such approach are mostly overhyped, stupid shit, (that most people cannot even recognize as shit - as they are beginners in this practice...) and finally despair and come back to their narrow focus training where they feel safe.

    That is in a good case.. In a bad case - they don't even try. They are intimidated, afraid to fail. Ego driven. Weak.

    But, there you go - the future of Fitness is the mother subject, the one that actually contains Fitness- it is MOVEMENT!