Thursday, September 30, 2010

Little Jake is Now a Happy Boy

Not Actually Jake but He is Just as Happy
It is a common misconception that we get sick or have allergy attacks only because of tiny "bad things" floating around in the air.  While that may be the case in some instances, it is very often not the case.  I have a friend who I agreed to not mention her name.  Her son, whom I'll call Jake, suffered through a long period of misery.  Conventional wisdom, in this case the pediatricians, put him through many comprehensive and expensive drug therapies.  You know what, she wrote out the whole experience in an email to me.  I'll let the story be told in mommie's own words.
"I'll try to make this as short as possible. It all started January 2010 when we were in Florida and Jake was coughing like crazy and ended up with pneumonia.  After our trip he continued with a chronic cough that we shrugged off because it was happening all the time.  He was constantly getting sick, but again we thought he was picking up everything from his older sister.  The last time we were on vacation in May he had another coughing attack.  He couldn't catch his breath and we had a Doctor come in.  They said he was probably suffering from allergies which was causing the coughing fits.  They diagnosed him with allergy induced asthma.  From then on we always carried an inhaler and also have a nebulizer at home.  
In June we were giving him a breathing treatment every other day.  I finally took him to his pediatrician and they prescribed Singulair.  I was very hesitant about putting him on a long term medication so I took him to a Wellness Doctor. There they did a stool sample and blood test to see exactly what he was allergic to.  When the results came back we were shocked.  He wasn't at all allergic to anything in the environment it was all food =  Wheat, Dairy and Eggs.  On top of that he never had asthma.  The Doctor said that we had to remove all products that contained these ingredients.  I was very overwhelmed, but realized I had to do this to keep him off any type of medicine.
 It's been over two months now and we've only had to give him one breathing treatment because he had pizza at a party.  It's been amazing the changes we've seen in him.  He's not tired, doesn't cough and sleeps through the night without waking up.  He's only 2 1/2, but he's realizing what kinds of foods make his stomach hurts and causes him to cough.  It's also been a great change for our family.  We hardly have any sweets in the house unless they are dairy, wheat and egg free.  Most of our diet now consists of all natural foods.  Rice, some type of meat and veggies. Jake hardly has any type of Carbs unless it's made from a rice base.  For example his pizza is a rice crust with rice cheese.  I'm shocked that regular carbs were making him so sick.  I'm hoping that eventually he'll grow out of this, but for now we've adopted a very low carb, no preservative diet and are feeling great!"
Wow, can you imagine the prospect of having your 2 year old child take medications for the foreseeable future just to function normally???  Unfortunately this just accepted as the way it has to be all too often.  Whether it be children or adults, people medicate themselves to mask the symptoms caused by eating foods their body cannot tolerate.  I see the symptoms especially in children because they don't do a good job of hiding their misery like adults are required to do for appearance reasons (you know the old term "put on a happy face").

Here is a list of just a few health issues improved by diet that we have discussed on just this site alone (we have only been around a little over a month so I am sure there will be many more to come):
It is time to be open minded to this alternative approach, especially in cases of long term medication.  If you or a loved one has minor or major health problems that just won't go away, it is time to consider whether the food is the root cause of the problem.  A lifetime of medication is a very risky and ultimately expensive proposition.   CP 

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Things are Nuts Right Now

Hopefully things will slow down soon and I will be able to post some new stuff.  In the meantime if you are looking for something to read check this out.

America: A Big, Fat, Stupid Nation

I don't know about you but I don't like being called stupid or fat.  I am doing everything I can to not fit into this stereotype.


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Have Heart Burn, Acid Reflux, or GERD and on Medication For It?

Please do what our own Don J did, cure it in a day just by changing your diet.  Not willing to make that sacrifice?  Keep reading and maybe you will.

With many drugs, side effects are typically only discovered after they have been released to the public for a while.  Yes, you read that right, you are a test subject in ongoing experiments.  How much are you paid for that???  Nothing?  You actually have to pay for these medications?  Seems like an unfair trade off to me.  

Here is a link to the latest warning from Food and Drug Administration regarding proton pump inhibitors.
The FDA is revising the prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) labels for proton pump inhibitors to include new safety information about a possible increased risk of fractures of the hip, wrist, and spine with the use of these medications.
 Some studies found that those at greatest risk for these fractures received high doses of proton pump inhibitors or used them for one year or more.
Proton pump inhibitors are better known to you and me as antacids and evidently they make your bones weak.  By the way, this was reported as far back as August 2006 but it took them nearly 4 years to make a formal proclamation to their customers, the US citizens.  It takes a lot for the FDA to admit they were wrong.  They, in fact were the ones who originally  approved these drugs for consumer use.  Oops, maybe a few hundred or a few hundred thousand people broke a leg, a vertebrae, or an arm (just speculations).  No biggee right?  Makes you wonder what other lesser known side effects are out there that they haven't warned the public about...yet.  Pneumonia is one that has been talked about in medical circles. 

OK, here comes the broken record....ready to hear it again?  It is the same message because damnit, it just works.  Eat what you are meant to and you will not have to rely on symptom masking drugs with dangerous side effects.  If you choose to stay on these drugs, be careful banging your head against the proverbial wall, you just might break a bone.  


Monday, September 27, 2010

Frustration From a Doctor on the Frontlines

This is not Dr. Eades but I think this is how he feels
Readers may think two people like myself and Don J are not qualified to be discussing such complicated subjects as nutrition and wellness.  We are by no means doctors or scientists or even health care professionals.  We are just curious guys with a passion for finding the best way.

If you are tired of our rants....that is fine but  we are not stopping.  Or is it that you just need someone else's perspective?  Maybe another site would be good for you to explore.  Either way, you should go over to the blog of Dr. Michael Eades M.D.  He and his wife put out a book called Protein Power back in 1995.  I read it about two years ago and it is amazing how 15 years later the same philosophies work and are actually becoming pretty popular.  They are board certified medical doctors with a focus on nutrition and metabolism.  Their nutritional recommendations  are very closely matched to our ancestral food choices.

Dr. Mike recently put up a post titled The Pitiful State of Medical Ignorance.  From his perspective as a physician, he reiterates much of what you read here along with foreshadowing some topics you will read here in the future.  If your eyes aren't wide open yet, maybe this post from an M.D. will do it.  Here is an excerpt from the rant:
For the most part I face widespread medical/nutritional idiocy with a fair amount of equanimity, but every now and then, when I brood on the cost in human suffering this idiocy all too often causes, I want to do the Howard Beale and scream “I’m mad as hell.”  Problem is the idiocy is so widespread that my pitiful efforts to counter it are on par with King Canute’s trying to hold back the tide.  If I can make a little difference here and there, I suppose it’s worth the effort, so I keep trying.  But I still want to scream.
He goes on to describe several instances where doctors prescribe conventional wisdom and thus made their patients even sicker.  Here is his response to those stories: 
Why do these stories make me mad as hell?  Not just because the people involved suffered as a consequence of medical hubris, incompetence and intransigence, but because so many millions of other do suffer miserably and aren’t lucky enough to escape their fates as these few were.
Notice how he used the word "escape" in the last sentence.  Pretty profound considering the title of our own little blog.  I don't want to reveal everything he wrote.  If you want the perspective of an extremely qualified professional fighting on the frontlines of this battle, please go read the post.  It is worth your time.  CP

Friday, September 24, 2010

Do you use a Neti Pot?

So in line with my efforts to cut out all medications as much as possible, I found out about something called a Neti Pot about a year ago. Prior to that I never knew this wonderful device even existed! Almost like I was living in a cave, but that wouldn't be so bad now would it :-) Many years of snoring, stuffiness and plowing through boxes of Kleenex could have been avoided. Sometimes the over the counter meds worked, sometimes they didn't. But I have to say the Neti Pot works most of the time for me and gives me clear breathing for hours when getting stuffed up.

For more information about Neti Pots and how they work, check out this WebMD article...


Thursday, September 23, 2010

A Kiwi Experiment

New Zealand - Land of Natural Beauty and Commerce
No, this does not involve kiwi fruit.  It involves a small group of New Zealanders who are sometimes known as Kiwis.  An innovative blogger actually reached out to her readers and asked them to take part in a little trial. Julianne asked them to eat paleo for 6 weeks and then report back their results.  She had 15 volunteers but 4 pulled out due to personal reasons.  Here is some feedback from the participants she reported on:
Kathy, age 56
 Lost 11 pounds.  Blood pressure went from 130/90 to 110/80.  Total cholesterol went from 296 to 228.  Here are some of her quotes:
 "My arthritis is much better and I have more energy. I’m continuing to lose weight slowly which is really fantastic. I will continue on the diet, and increase my exercise.  My Doctor is very very pleased (especially with the BP) and wants me to continue.  My doctor also said she saw a vast improvement in the condition of my skin."
Lost 9 pounds.   Here are some of her quotes:
"I’m seriously loving the programme!!!  I have been surprised at how simple it has been for me to stick to.  I have to say a big thanks to you and allowing me to be a part of this programme."
Peter, age 51
Lost 13 pounds.  Here are some of his quotes:
I have noticed improvements this week, it is amazing, my energy has picked up and my bloated tummy is flat.  I generally feel better, my thinking is sharper and I feel more calm and relaxed.  I have continued to notice things improving for me so this is a life changing event. I am so pleased I volunteered for this trail; it has consolidated a lot of what I thought but never put into practice!  I have noticed way more energy, it has picked up tremendously.  My hip has improved a lot so long as I stay off wheat products. Introducing wheat will aggravate it and interfere with my digestion which is the best it has ever been on years. Digestion wise, everything is running like clockwork now.
Therese, age 31
Lost 13 pounds, Blood pressure went from 134/65 to 120/70.  Here are some quotes from her:
 The Paleolithic Diet is challenging: to your food habits, your routines and your social circle. Despite this I plan to continue eating this way.  I now wake up refreshed instead of groggy. I feel mentally active all day, I don’t feel tired or bloated after lunch and I only eat when I’m hungry, not when I’m bored, tired or stressed.  I now treat food with the same respect as any drug, which makes me very aware of what I’m doing and has stimulated a previously undiscovered creativity in the kitchen. 
 John, age 54
Lost a little over 3 pounds.  Here are some of his quotes: 
I’ve become a fan because I seem to have way more endurance and find myself able to keep in the ‘mental zone’ while working and then later being able to enjoy engaging with people while socializing in the evening. I just plain feel positive and cheerful for much of the day.  I notice that my overall levels of hunger are much lower at equivalent times of day, and can often find myself eating early/mid afternoon rather than at midday.  Physically some hip arthritis pain has reduced so much that I can enjoy long vigorous walks, and my blood pressure has also dropped markedly. This last one is really important to me, because (at 54) I thought I was going to have to begin a life-long course of medication and now that’s in abeyance.
 Julie, age 62
Lost almost 6 pounds.  Here are some of her quotes:
"Other changes noted have been that I am doing harder workouts and seem to recover faster – leg-pressed 200kg today – two sets of 12, and that’s a first for me – okay for a 62 year old!  Not bloated either – much flatter stomach, and generally more energy. The hardest bit of my day was always late afternoon, when I craved sweet things, but that’s much less now.  So I’m sold – my trainer’s delighted, as it’s very much the diet he’s been advocating for me anyway, with no starchy carbs..." 
As you can see, almost universally, the participants reported a boost in energy.  Our own trial subject, Leroy reports the same increase in energy.  How can this be when we have been told all our lives that we need to eat a lot of carbs for energy?  Maybe we just need to eat how our bodies want us to and it will reward us by performing well and feeling well. 

Also, there were many mentions of reduction in joint pain.  Our own Leroy also reports the same result.  All these great results despite going against conventional wisdom..or is that wisdom at all?  This is not at all unique to these people.  The reactions to the diet change are common for people adopting this way of eating. 

Considering these results are not drug induced, I have to ask some questions.  If the short term improvements are so immediate, so positive, and so drastic, how could it even be possible that this could be unhealthy for you in the long term?  Conversely, if the Standard American Diet (SAD) makes so many people feel so bad on a daily basis, why would it be healthy for them to endure this misery for the long term?  Maybe it is time to listen to what your body is telling you today. 

Omega 3 Fatty Acids Verses Omega 6 Fatty Acids

This is a subject that Leroy touched on a bit in his last Experiment Update.  A simple thing to know regarding this subject is that too much omega 6 fatty acids in the diet causes chronic multi-systemic inflammation.  While omega 3 fatty acids actually reduce inflammation.  Today's Standard American Diet (SAD) has a ratio of about 20:1 in favor of omega 6 fatty acids.

The overabundance of omega 6 in the diet is causing chronic, low-grade inflammation for many people.  This usually undetected inflammation is showing to be an underlying cause to many degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's, heart disease, osteoarthritis, diabetes, obesity, and cancer just to name a few.  Inflammation is our immune system's way of reacting to a foreign substance or an injury.  If this reaction by our immune system persists for no reason, it begins to attack our own cells and cause problems in the form of the previously mentioned degenerative diseases.

Archaeological evidence shows that our primitive ancestors did not have problems with the degenerative diseases that billions struggle with today.  They had an omega 6 to omega 3 ratio closer to 1:1.  I am sure you are sitting on the edge of your seat wondering what foods have omega 6 or omega 3.  Well here is a site that list foods that are highest in omega 6.  What you will notice is seeds, seed oils, and animals that are fed those seeds are high in omega 6.  These were food stuffs that  cavemen did not eat.

Here is a site that lists foods high in inflammation lowering omega 3.  Not on this list are the unconventionally raised, grass fed animals and pastured chicken eggs which are also high in omega 3 fatty acids.  What you will notice on that list is a lot of fish which were very much eaten by cavemen.  This is the reason why fish oil is often recommended as a daily supplement.  It helps to cool the inflammation that diet can cause. 

Now remember that inflammation is an immune response.  Chronic low-level inflammation means that your immune system is constantly being taxed.  This puts our bodies at greater risk when any actual bacterial or viral threat comes along.  The immune system is not at full strength to put all it's efforts into winning that single battle because some of it's resources are off fighting false battles throughout the body.

There is a constant fear of invisible germs and the thought that they are gonna get us thus making us sick.  People slather only slightly effective antibacterial gels all over themselves several times a day.  There is always a mad rush for the seasonal flu shot but are those effective?  Why don't the concerned people stop to think if they are doing everything they can to assure their immune system is as strong  possible?  This is another case, where eating what the body wants will give the greatest short term and long term benefit.  Eat fish, supplement with a good fish oil; cook with butter, lard, or olive oil, and avoid consuming the following; corn oil, safflower oil, soybean oil, vegetable oil, margarine, and vegetable shortening.  You will have much greater success avoiding sickness by bolstering your immune system than by trying to protect yourself from airborne microscopic germs.  Or maybe just get yourself a nice, big bubble to live in.   CP

Monday, September 20, 2010

Does Doctor Know Best???

Do the trusted physicians have a clinical understanding of how food affects our health on a daily basis or 10, 20, 30 years in our future?  This New York Times article creates some skepticism.  Read some of the interesting stuff below:
Years later, as a newly minted doctor on the wards seeing real patients, I found myself in the same position. I was still getting a lot of questions about food and diet. And I was still hesitating when answering. I wasn’t sure I knew that much more after medical school than I did before.
One day I mentioned this uncomfortable situation to another young doctor. “Just consult the dietitians if you have a problem,” she said after listening to my confession. “They’ll take care of it.” She paused for a moment, looked suspiciously around the nursing station, then leaned over and whispered, “I know we’re supposed to know about nutrition and diet, but none of us really does.”
She was right. And nearly 20 years later, she may still be.
Research has increasingly pointed to a link between the nutritional status of Americans and the chronic diseases that plague them. Between the growing list of diet-related diseases and a burgeoning obesity epidemic, the most important public health measure for any of us to take may well be watching what we eat.
But few doctors are prepared to effectively spearhead or even help in those efforts. In the mid-1980s, the National Academy of Sciences published a landmark report highlighting the lack of adequate nutrition education in medical schools; the writers recommended a minimum of 25 hours of nutrition instruction. Now, in a study published this month, it appears that even two and a half decades later a vast majority of medical schools still fail to meet the minimum recommended 25 hours of instruction.
 “You can’t just keep writing out script after script after script of new medications when diet is just as important as drugs or any other treatment a patient may be using.
Let's make something very clear, I respect most doctors and I know there is a place for modern medicine in the care of sick people.  Unfortunately, most doctors today are educated by pharmaceutical companies so they will in turn prescribe more of their drugs.  The studies in the medical journals they read are funded by pharma companies. Their continuing education courses are funded by pharma companies.  Their daily lunches are funded by pharma companies.  It is a vicious cycle that doctors of America have to get out of.

It is time to learn how eating the right foods and avoiding the wrong ones can have more powerful effects than a drug.  Drugs typically mask symptoms caused by food....they don't fix the problem.  Changes in diet can fix the problem.  For instance, comedian Drew Carey changed his diet and overall lifestyle and to quote him, "I'm not diabetic anymore. No medication needed."  His daily medication couldn't do that.  How about our own Don J's example of curing acid reflux?  His drugs couldn't cure it.

Let's face it, most doctors aren't reading blogs like ours.  Many of them probably do read the New York Times.  Hopefully they will be influenced to spend some time learning more about nutrition as a first line of treatment and prevention.  


Saturday, September 18, 2010

Feeling Old, Weak, and Sloppy?

It doesn't have to be that way.  Stop feeling sorry for yourself and do something about it.  You can start with baby steps but the important part is deciding to just do it.  I know this is off the nutritional focus of the site but exercise is important to sustained health too.  Maybe these grandparents in their late 50's will give you some inspiration like it did for me.  CP

Friday, September 17, 2010

Cavemen In the News Episode #3

Recreating the Caveman Diet 

Here are some quotes from the above linked BBC News article. 
So are we programmed to eat what we do today - or are we better suited to the diet of our ancestors? 
Global brand giant Unilever has brought scientists and experts from fields as diverse as evolutionary genetics, anthropology, food science and botany together to find out the answer.
Dr Mark Berry, who is in charge of the research at Unilever, says the aim is to create a healthier diet for people today, drawing inspiration from that period.  
So was it a healthier diet?

"It seems so," said Mark Thomas, professor of evolutionary genetics at University College London. "Palaeolithic man may have died earlier than we do now, but he didn't die of bad nutrition."
Previous research has shown that the diet and lifestyle of hunter-gatherers was characterised by a lower incidence of "diseases of affluence" such as type 2 diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease. 
"We need to decrease our reliance on refined sugar and a heavy carbohydrate diet, and replace some of the things we have lost," she says.  
By looking into the past, we may just discover how to lead healthier lives. 
Wow, when a $50 billion dollar consumer products and food company like Unilever takes notice and invests in the Paleo way of eating, conventional wisdom and the mainstream have to take notice.  My fear is they will figure out how to shoe horn processed foods into what they deem as a healthy, paleo friendly option.  I hope they aren't trying to capitalize on a new diet fad because paleo is not a fad.  

In my opinion, this is a huge milestone for the paleo way of eating.  I believe it gives it much credibility when recognized by a very large and well known food company with brands like Bertolli Pastas, Country Crock Butter, Hellmans Mayo, Lipton Teas, and Slim Fast products.  I doubt the products they come up with will atract many dedicated paleo enthusiasts who rely on whole meats, and whole produce as the staples of their diet but the saying that applies here is A Rising Tide Lifts All Ships.  It will bring more exposure and hopefully convert more people over to living a healthier more vibrant life.  


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Site's One Month Anniversary

'Paleo Diet' Google Search Trend
The graph above charts the rise in popularity of the search term "Paleo Diet" on Google.  As you can see, there has been a steady rise in the it's popularity since early 2007 with a meteoric rise in 2010.  In our short existence, our site has also seen a rise in popularity.  The one month anniversary of our first post came and went with no fanfare at all.  Oh well, we are not at all offended that no one cared to send a card.  The fact of the matter is everyone is very busy yet they still find time to check the site when they can.  Thank you!

I don't want to scare you that big brother is watching but he kinda is.  This blogging platform provides some reporting information that tells us some non-specific information about the site traffic.  Don't worry, your identity remains private, I don't know who you are or your street address.  We want to thank you for reading and continuing to come back.  Here is some of the info on the site traffic, not earth shattering but not bad for the first month either. 
August 11th 2010 to September 15th 2010:
  • 2,244 Site Visits
  • 408 Unique Visitors 
  • Traffic From 8 Countries
  • Traffic From 38 US States and the District Of Columbia
Don J and I thank you for visiting.  Hopefully in this short period of time we have caused you to at least think more analytically about your food choices and taking control of your personal health.  Stay tuned for some more interesting posts and please continue to pass the word.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A Reader's Self Experiment Weeks 3 and 4

Well, Leroy is about a month in and as he told me, "I'm Lovvvin' Every Minute of It" (anyone recognize the Seinfeld reference).  As you will see in his latest update, the student has been reading ahead in the textbook.  That is GREAT!  I encourage everyone to do their own research.  Read the sites we reference on the right and the many more that those sites reference.  There is a ton of great stuff out there that even if we posted every day for the next 5 years we wouldn't be able to keep up with everything that keeps coming out in the paleo/evolutionary lifestyle world.
Oh well, enough of my blabbing, let's hear how things are going for Leroy:
Week 3 & 4 (Aug. 30 - Sept. 13):
Well, it’s been 1 month since I started this diet & I feel great!  It’s funny…the same thoughts/comments I used to say to Chucky back when he starting talking about this “way of eating” are now being said to me.  However, you have to be careful when getting into conversations about this, as you don’t want to offend the people who have a plate of pasta & bread in front of them while chasing it down with a cold Pepsi.  It’s not as risky as discussion religion or politics, but people can take great offense when discussing their foods.

When I first started, I was basically trying to separate the good food from the bad food.  Now, I am trying to make the “good” food “better” food.  For instance, I am buying grass-fed beef at a farmer’s market instead of grain-fed/hormone injected beef from a grocery store.  My eggs are pasture-raised eggs from a local farm, which contain high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids.  Almost all eggs sold in supermarkets are commercially-raised eggs, which contain high levels of pro-inflammatory Omega-6 fatty acids.  I am fortunate enough to get most of my produce from my dad’s garden, so I know exactly where it came from & how it was grown.  Last Saturday, my family made 95 lbs. of sausage…no preservatives, just meat, water & spices.
MMMM Homemade Sausage
My cravings for chips & salsa, pizza, bread, pasta, & cookies are still there and I am not sure if they will truly go away; however, its becoming easier & easier for me to not give into those cravings because of the way I feel.  I am full of energy throughout the day, my joints don’t ache anymore after running….AND…my last allergy attack was Aug. 25th! 
My total weight loss is now 10 lbs and it is NOT from the lack of food!  I eat until I am full for breakfast, lunch & dinner and periodically snack on fruits & nuts.  I really don’t want to lose anymore weight & I think that my body is just finding its ideal weight.  Remember in my first post when I was concerned about getting that wheat belly…well, that’s no longer a concern.
Glad to hear things continue to go well for you Leroy.  I agree whole heartedly regarding the whole food choice discussion.  I can be very In your face regarding this subject because I am so passionate.  I have heard it compared to discussing politics and religion a lot lately.  I just want people to see the light.  It took Leroy years of prodding for him to try this and now he loves it so much he doesn't want to turn back.

Here is a question I will leave with you all.  How can we do a better job of convincing people to try this way of eating for just one month without offending them?  I would love to get some feedback on this.  


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Lunch Nutritional Report

Fat 73% Carbs 14% Protein 13% Calories 1,083
For Example Purposes and to satisfy my own curiosity, I decided to do a nutritional analysis of my lunch.  I went to the Giant Eagle salad bar at which I do occasionally gather my lunch.  It actually has a nice variety of fresh vegetables but is kinda pricey.  Today I got some mixed greens, spinach, red cabbage, small pickled beets, carrots, red onions, multi colored bell peppers, bacon, cheese, and vinegar and oil dressing.  I always like to have a very colorful salad because the more colorful it is the more variety and quantity of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants you will get.  My wife does a great job of this too when she cooks at home.  I also bought a whole avocado which I ate with a spoon right out of the shell.  When they are ripe they are smooth and creamy like butter....yummy.

I ate at about 12:15 and I still feel full over 3 hours later.  I probably will not want to eat again till well after 6.  I haven't felt tired at all this afternoon.  I have never done a nutritional food analysis before and I can tell you I am a bit surprised at how much fat I really eat.  I would guess based on this that my daily calorie intake is probably in the average range of 50-60% fat.  Don't get me wrong though, I am happy about this fat consumption because that is what I use for energy.  I typically eat more protein than this for lunch but I do like to pretend I had a bad hunt and only was able to eat the foods that were gathered in the morning.  You know, like a caveman might experience.  

This is how I've eaten for the last 45 months or so (started January 2007).  I feel great and am leaner than I have been since college when I trained 5-6 days a week.  I now exercise at a much lower intensity only about 4-8 times a month on average.  I will have blood work done in a month or so but I am very confident it will be much better than if I were eating a low fat diet for the last 3 years.  I actually hope my total cholesterol goes up a bit as it is typically real low.  Stay tuned for that report. 
*****UPDATE*****  I ran the numbers for my whole day yesterday to include a morning smoothie with whey protein, half an apple, and 2 TBs of fish oil (I know, not real food).  For dinner I had a bowl of homemade chili with ground pork in it.  I also had several handfuls of mixed nuts throughout the evening.  My portion estimates may be off a bit but here is the final tally for the day:
3,494 Calories, 71% from fat, 15% from protein, and 14% from carbs.  This is how I typically eat.  I feel great and have to eat this much to maintain my weight.

Monday, September 13, 2010

A Low Carb Diet Will Kill You?

The picture on the left is very obviously two men enjoying a passionate, sexual moment.  The picture on the right is a photo between the legs of a woman wearing a thong bikini.  Couldn't be anything else right?  If you look closer things may not always be what they seem.

An Animal Based Low Carb Diet Will Kill You.  That is the message in a recent study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine titled:  Low-Carbohydrate Diets and All-Cause and Cause-Specific Mortality.  The study followed the health of men for 20 years and women for 26 years.  There were almost 130,000 participants and the study started in 1980 for women and 1986 for men.  It concluded in 2006.  

What they surmised from documented deaths and from food questionnaire surveys was that a "low carb", animal protein based diet had a higher mortality (death) rate versus a high carb low animal protein diet.  Ok, so maybe this whole eating like our ancestors who never got cancer, heart disease, diabetes, or auto immune disease was all wrong.  Maybe it does make sense to invent a whole new way of eating that has nothing to do with what man ate for 99.95% of their existence.  Those cavemen who thrived on animal proteins, animal fats, fruits and veggies but only died because of injuries and bacterial infections were way off base.  They needed processed grains and sugars to avoid death and extend their lives.  NOT SO FAST!

This study has been referenced on many sites including herehere, and here.  It is flawed in many ways.  Here are a two of the more glaring misrepresentations:
  1. The supposed "low carb" groups ranged from getting 60% of their daily calories in carbs down to 35%.  The average recommended daily calories being 2,000, that is a range of about 300 grams to 175 grams of carbs per day.  The paleo diet, where carbs only come from fruits and veggies, have an acceptable range of about 25 to 100 grams per day.  This study certainly is not representative of a truly low carb diet or a paleo diet.
  2. The study used food questionnaires to determine what category the subjects fit into.  Food questionnaires are often inaccurate because people are too embarrassed to share what they actually eat.   They administered the questionnaire once at the beginning of the study.  Yes, that is correct.  They asked what they ate once 20 or 26 years ago and assumed nothing changed the during the duration of the study.  RIDICULOUS! Obviously the study organizers have no idea that in the last 30 years, America has eaten less saturated fat and more carbohydrates.  To not do a follow up food questionnaire at the end of the study is irresponsible bordering on unethical.  See graph below illustrating America's change in macronutrient consumption.
This is the kind of information that may be shoved in your face if someone hears you are eating unhealthy like your healthy ancestors did.  Tell them things aren't always what they may appear to be on the surface.  Be aware, be informed.  


Thank You Mom and Mom-In-Law

I have to thank my mom and my mother-in-law.  Both my wife and I grew up in homes where our mothers who cooked most of our meals.  They were nourishing meals mostly made from scratch.  Did my wife and I learn to cook from our moms?  Indirectly yes.

I think if you grow up on fast food and carry out you may think that food is magically put together into a tasty package in the back of great smelling buildings.  To learn to cook after growing up in that setting might be so intimidating that people are afraid to attempt to create their own meals.

My wife and I subconsciously thought, if our Mom's can do it so can we.  I cook some but I have to say, my wife is a very good cook.  Many of her friends call her Martha because of her skills in the kitchen not because of shady financial transactions.  Home cooking of real foods is a dying art in America.  I think it also threatens the health of our families and especially the children.  A lot of kids do not see their parents cook.  They don't know what real food looks like.  They wouldn't know raw chicken from a raw rack of pork ribs.  They couldn't tell you the difference between spinach and lettuce.  My kids see us cook and actually like to help sometimes.  I vow to teach them more everyday so hopefully they are better cooks of healthier foods when they get older.

Below is a video of Jamie Oliver discussing the serious problems we face regarding food and the health of American children today.  He had an interesting show called Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution.  On the show, his noble vision was to completely change the way children ate in a small town in West Virginia.  His presentation in the below video talks about much of what I've said in this post, kids don't recognize real food because they don't see it at home.  If you have some time, watch this video.  Although I do not agree with all his food choices, it is inspiring none the less.  CP