Thursday, August 11, 2011

Avoid Poisonous Soy

Been promising a few people that I'd provide a bit of info on the dangers of soy, especially in an unfermented format.

Googling "dangers of soy" brings up too many links to even scan my eyes over, but fortunately the very reputable and respected Dr. Mercola has weighed in on the issue. My less informed opinion is that we should go back to thinking of soybeans as a useful legume for crop rotation for its ability to fix nitrogen, and soybean oil as a useful ingredient in industrial chemicals and paints.

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Kool Aid

Okay, obviously I'm not about to advocate Kool Aid or soda or any other sugar-laden death juices. Just happened to find a guy who drinks the stuff from the same metaphorical cup as I do. But maybe you'll listen to him because he's a doctor. Or maybe your know-it-all aunt will listen to him because he's a doctor. Or so he claims. I don't really know. I'm just trying to help someone or someones here.

Here's the link (a co-worker forwarded it to me)

It looks suspiciously like a book report on Good Calories, Bad Calories. Which is basically what Gary Taubes's new book, Why We Get Fat is. Which is great, because most peoples' grandmas aren't about to work their way through GCBC from start to finish. In either case, I recommend both the website and the book to your grandmas and uncles. Or your dad.

On other fronts, I'm back from vacation. I put on a few pounds through force-feeding myself delicious treats and forced sloth. I normally wouldn't, but I got several months' supply of vitamin D.

I'm thinking it's time to take some advice from one of the forefathers of the modern primal/paleo/whatever movement, Art DeVany and try to spend more time doing as little as possible. Which means I have to stop pushing myself to accomplish everything to the point that I feel like I'm rushed from the moment I wake up until the moment I go to bed. I'll post my results as we go.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Grass-fed local meat

Ate some delicious shell steaks last night (I believe this is the cut that looks across the T-bone at the tenderloin. Please correct me if I'm mistaken), with wild caught shrimp & scallops, and pancetta, the ingenious Italian pepper/garlic laden version of bacon.

Other than the few chances I've had to eat game, I think this was the first time I was able to get meat from an animal whose living arrangements I got to see first hand. Despite not having taken part in any activities related to the slaughter or butchering of the animal, I do feel like I'm one step less removed from my food as a result. I've recommended the farm where I got the heritage-breed beef to several people already, and after my first taste, I will be wholeheartedly continuing to do so.

Continuing to read The Butcher's Guide to Well-Raised Meat. Continuing to tell people the knowledge their grandmas knew, that bread and potatoes make you fat, that butter is good for you, that margarine is an abomination, that corn and soy oil belong in paint, not in food, and ultimately that it's better to pay the grocer than the doctor.

Continuing to mystify the bodybuilders at the gym with exercises they can't dream of doing, muscle-ups, ultra-low squats, single-leg squats. (Of course they do things I can't dream of doing as well. Bench-pressing 300 or 400 pounds, among others)  But showing them up in my own mind is sort of entertaining in its own right. And I'm still only mildly tired of explaining the reasons for the Vibrams rather than the cross-trainers.

Vacation's coming up and I plan to get enough vitamin D synthesized to last me until at least Thanksgiving. My refusal to wear sunscreen (other than a large-brimmed hat and long-sleeved shirt) have served me well so far this year. That and the base tan I accumulated in a tanning booth. Of course optimal would be to get real sunlight every day, but a desk job renders that all but impossible.

Navigating the neolithic in a vessel designed for the paleolithic is really the main challenge this blog is devoted to when you get down to it. I don't have logs and rivers available to play with year-round. Or the time. So I pay someone money to let me lift their heavy things and put them back down again. And I pay someone else money to let me use their imitation sunlight. And I pay someone else to raise food the way I would, and they pay someone else to carve it up the way I would. None of it's perfect, but I think I'm doing pretty well considering the circumstances. Hopefully you're reading this trying to make some improvement to how you're doing it. If that's the case, drop me a comment once in a while so I know you're around. I'll gladly tailor the blog to the audience, if I find that I have one!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Great success

Tonight's trip to the farm where I plan to buy most of my meat was a huge success. I got to see where the steers do most of their grass-eating, learned about the Highland Breed of cattle (a heritage breed that originated in Scotland) and found out that the farmer gets her animals from a nearby farm in Pennsylvania.

I also got to meet the next steer to make its way towards my dinner plate (he was scratching himself with his horns and eating tons of green grass), and bring home several pounds of the last one.

I can't wait for the chance to sample the goods. Unfortunately, that's going to have to wait until after this weekend's trip to our nation's capital.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Mystery solved

Okay, it was my very thoughtful father who sent me the books. I'm learning that I wish I had the opportunity to apprentice as a butcher.

Meeting with a local farmer tomorrow who sells meat from cattle she raises on her local (within 25 miles) farm. Extremely stoked about being able to buy meat from a farm where I can actually see how the animals live. From what I understand, they're not 100% grass-fed (it's hard to raise cattle in the New Jersey winter without supplementing their diets somewhat), but they're 100% soy-free, hormone-free, antibiotic-free, and the grains and legumes they are supplemented with are specifically selected not to cause the omega-6:omega-3 ratio issues that typically come with feeding grain to cattle.

Haven't measured body fat percentage too recently, but I'm up a few pounds and I think mostly in a good way. Got a 335-pound deadlift up the other day, raw, probably while weighing right around 140. If I got down to 135 (not a great feat) and kept all the strength, I'd be right at my 2.5 body-weight goal.

Ordered the recent Taubes book. Anybody who hasn't read  his other popular book, "Good Calories, Bad Calories" is missing out. If you need a copy, reach out to me, I'll see if I can dig one up to lend you.

Monday, June 20, 2011


I was surprised to arrive home today and find a box with 2 books addressed to me on my doorstep. I received The Butcher's Guide to Well-Raised Meat, How to Buy, Cut and Cook Great Beef, Lamp, Pork, Poultry and More, by Joshua Applestone, Jessica Applestone and Alexandra Zissu and also Good Meat by Deborah Krasner.

These are brand-new, hardcover books on subject matter I find spiritually and intellectually stimulating. I look very forward to spending some serious time with them both. I'm proud to own them already, after just a cursory flip through each of their pages.

I assume that whoever sent them to me was under the false impression that Amazon would put their name somewhere on the receipt. I would be calling that person with heartfelt thanks right now, but I don't know who to thank. So if you are that person, or know who that person is, please pass along my sentiments.

I will be reviewing and commenting on these books and their content right here at Adam's Big Five.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The more I think, the simpler it becomes...

The problem with trying to simplify the entirety of the wisdom behind the entire Primal-/Paleo-/Paleo2.0-/Archevore/whatever movement is that it's already painfully simple.

We've all grown up immersed in a cultural philosophy built on the very foundation of replacing things that nourish us with things that poison us.

The time since my last post has been spent debating what step one is towards navigating our primal bodies through a modern landscape.

There were 2 main contenders.

1: Providing our bodies the things that nourish us (real food from healthy animals, biologically appropriate movement with resistance, adequate sleep, adequate sunlight), or

2: Avoiding things that make us sick (grains, sugars of all types, faux-saturated fats, chemical corn products on every shelf and in every aisle, deadly chemicals from non-stick frying pans, 8 hour days seated at a desk, STRESS)?

The answer is that the dichotomy is false. Depriving our bodies of what they came to expect over the last 2.5 million years is as much a poison as eating hemlock berries. It doesn't matter whether I say that it's vital to get enough sleep, or that it's terribly detrimental to deprive oneself of proper sleep.

I've been struggling with stress for some time now. I've been telling myself it's a byproduct of my constantly on-the-go lifestyle. It is. But it also isn't. Stress causes poor sleep causes the constant grind of daily life to stress me even more. It's a positive feedback loop that I hope I've jumped the tracks of. I hope I can find time to post more thoughts here, despite my lack of readership. I hope I can find time to just be calm and quiet. I hope I can find more answers by thinking less. And I hope the same for you.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The hierarchy

Okay, the Taubes Article in the Times has me re-organizing this whole deal in my head once again.

Clearly, we can't all go live in some prehistoric jungle/cave scenario with non-depleted soils and non-contaminated wildlife. For one, I don't know how to make spears...

So we are left making the small choices throughout the day. Do we take the risk of getting cancer from dryer sheets or eating a bag of M&M's?

Mark Sisson and Kurt Harris have made two very good, useful attempts to put the entire subject into perspective. Mark has The Primal Blueprint Laws while Kurt has a list of 12 steps. I think Kurt's is closer to what I have in mind, but I'm still contemplating something a big more visual, more flowchart-like than Mark's multiple pyramids or a simple list.
So, hopefully that's something I'll wrap my tiny brain around soon enough and put up. How to navigate the modern world in an ancient (in design) body. By Adam. It might turn out cool, so stay tuned!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Recovery's a big issue in my mind lately. Not from some type of addiction, but from my workouts. I'm pushing (and pulling) to gain a few good pounds by lifting heavy weights approximately 3 days/week, and training jiu jitsu at varying intensities 5-6. Some of the days are the same days (e.g. I get up at 5 a.m., go lift, go to work, go to the academy, get home 10:15 p.m.), but it leaves me very few days to passively recover.

On reccomendation from a training partner, I have begun experimenting with Epsom Salt baths. So far, I have to say it appears to help, but that's purely anecdotal. I plan to look around for studies.

But there's a strange tie-in here that I'd like to address. Fabric softener.

We enlightened modern-day beings enjoy pretending that our skin is like some impenetrable, impermeable plastic-like barrier between our inner bodies and the world around us.

Claims that the chemicals found in liquid fabric softeners and dryer sheets alike are known carcinogens have recently been brought to my attention. Thus far, I've found no known, reliable sources claiming this information, nor any peer-reviewed medical studies testing whether these chemicals cause harm just from being used in your washer/dryer. That being said, I don't consider it remotely implausible that we make ourselves sick in the name of static-free, soft, lavender scented clothing.

It's a thin line you have to walk if you want to avoid the perils of the Standard American Diet, the dangerous chemicals that make modern life possible, and the moral hazards inherent therein. But we all have to find where convention ends and crazy begins and try to walk that thin line. It's not a small task, but one the educated amont us have no choice but to undertake. I hope I can be of help. Please feel free to comment and provide information, request information, or ask my opinion on any topics you find relevant.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

How to move

Brazilian/Gracie Jiu Jitsu is a sport that required agility, balance, and strength. It's basically a form of submission wrestling, for those who don't know. I was at the 2011 New York Open Tournament for most of the day yesterday, and I had a bit of an interesting observation.

While one of the heavier divisions of blue belts were competing, I noticed a 5 year old kid climbing and running around in the bleachers near where I was sitting.

I watched as 2 very muscular, clearly strong 200+ pound men, who looked extremely limited in their flexibility, and were basically pinned head to head trying to push each other harder than they were being pushed.

The 5 year old was leaping from row to row in the bleachers nimbly, landing on a single foot without hesitation.

The human body is extremely adaptable to stimuli. If you get a chance, look up some power lifters and compare how they look to body builders. Look up some of the guys who have videos on you tube doing sets of 20+ muscle ups. As a function of his size, I have to say the 5 year old had the far more useful body than the adults to which I was comparing him yesterday. It's easy to think of strength as just getting bigger, stronger muscles, but that neglects range of motion, flexibility, not to mention the more utile nature of fast-twitch muscle fibers for certain applications when compared to slow-twitch...

Next time you're in a set of bleachers, see if you can hop around them fearlessly, landing on one foot, scrambling up and down and changing the position of your body in as many ways as possible. If you can't, I suggest you work to change that.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Gym Rant

Okay, here's my gym advice, courtesy of the fine folks who inhabit my local gym in the early mornings:

1. The best lower body exercise is one I like to call the "Leg Press Shiver." You have to load several plates onto the leg press, then lower and raise the weight no more than 4-6 inches using your legs. This has the benefit of not only using none of your own body to stabilize any weight, but your self-esteem will rise because you're "lifting" such a large amount of weight.

2. There are only 2 real muscle groups. Biceps and Calves. If you aren't doing 3 supersetted calf exercises, you'll never be truly strong or athletic.

3. While exercising biceps, make sure to get the weight of your beer gut into the exercise by swinging it to and fro with each repetition. You have to justify that things somehow. Don't worry, everybody's attention is drawn away from it by your massive calves.

4. Please utilize any and all of the gym equipment in your pursuit of massive guns. It is appropriate to use the safety squat rack for bicep curls, especially if you refuse to rack your weights when you're finished. That will teach all those losers with the tiny calves who like to jeopardize their knees by actually doing squats.

I appreciate each and every one of your full compliance with these principles. Only if we all adhere to these fundamental tenets of gym usage and citizenship can we truly maximize the workout experience for ourselves and those around us.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Weight Gain

Okay, for the past 3 weeks or so I've been on a quest to put on some mass.

After carefully considering all the factors in Mark Sisson's post on the subject, I went about adding some heavy lifting (read: doing the squat, the deadlift, and bench press) to my already intense workout regimen.

I have to say, I really pushed myself to eat over the past 3 weeks. I didn't boil a dozen eggs every morning and stuff my pockets, as Mark suggested, but I increased the quantity of food at each meal, and I increased the number of meals I was eating.

Results to date are that I've definitely added mass, both muscle and fat (I did start this experiment pretty lean, so I guess it had to work that way). People have actually noticed that I look bigger in the chest and shoulders (thanks, Squats!).

Anyway, I want to keep the good mass coming, but I've reached the point where I'm not happy with the un-lean mass I've put on. I'm going to look for a balance between giving my body all the resources it needs to build the strong kind of muscle tissue without force-feeding myself to the point that I end up with love handles and wonder where my bottom 4 abs went.

Further results to follow. Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Paleo 2.0 Reflections

Okay, here's the point of Paleo 2.0, from my perspective...

First off, I was a Daniel Quinn and Jean Liedloff acolyte long before I ever found the Nora Gedgoudases and Mark Sissons of the world. These are people who looked at our modern society and compared it to our ancestral expectations and said "wow, here's evidence that people who lived in successful, workable societies may have lived richer, fuller lives than we do. Here's evidence that there were some stimuli that existed for 99.9% of our past, and it makes sense that we run into problems when we're deprived of them."

Despite hundreds of accusations, they never said:  "Let's pick up spears and go live in caves."

Likewise, Paleo 2.0 is not noble savage theory. It's about what works for people. It's about looking at how people are constructed, how they came into existence, and what works best for them based on the best science possible.

These concepts are seamless. DQ and Liedloff tend to concern themselves with our archaic, inherent needs as they relate to society, and culture. Paleo 2.0 seems aimed at nutrition, maybe with physical activity included, at this point. I'd love to see a single framework encompass this all. The Paleo Principle, basically, applied to everything. A unified Paleo Principle. I see trees of green...

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Paleo 2.0

Kurt Harris has done it again. He's a foundation thinker of a new paradigm within a paradigm. He's calling it Paleo 2.0 and I'm on board 100%. He is fast becoming my favorite blogger, and I sincerely hope he keeps up his recent post pace. You have my absolute permission and blessing to forget everything I've ever said and just read this one post.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Nicolay the poet

One of my favorite bloggers, Richard Nicolay at Free The Animal can come off as a bit caustic, direct, and harsh to some peoples' sensibilities. He's not as poignant as Lierre Keith, and not as technical as Peter at Hyperlipid or Nora Gedgaudas at, but he's poetic today. Here's the quote that prompted my post:

"You were lied to. A naturally fit, normal body is your birthright, just as it is for any animal so designed. Sacrifice and penance is not only an unnecessary, pernicious lie overshadowed by unearned guilt, but it delivers the exact opposite result for most people: it's not the key to Heaven, but a Rocket Sled straight to Hell."

Birthright. What a word. It is natural selection's contention that your predecessors were more suited/adapted/fit to survive to/and successfully reproduce than those contemporaries of theirs that failed to pas on their own genetic information.

There's a pop song by Jason Mraz that claims "It's our godforsaken right to be loved." The US Declaration of Independence claims that it is a self-evident truth that our rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are self-evident. But Nicolay is far more accurate in his analysis of what you are entitled to as a function of being born.

I've spent the past few years treating my body (to the best of my abilities) the way it was built to be treated. Feeding it the fuels it was designed to run on, attempting to provide it the stimuli to which it has been conditioned over its 2.5 million years of human development to favorably respond, and I can testify that it has responded by looking and working better than I ever imagined it could. I didn't ever imagine that I was weak, chubby, quick to sunburn but slow to suntan, and otherwise utterly physically worthless because I was subjecting my body to a set of circumstances diametrically opposed to those for which it was equipped.

Next post will be about the pertinence of "hacks" in your lifestyle.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Having the gall

I've had a few people approach me lately wondering what they can do about poor gall bladder function. My first thought was to recommend they take bile salts with all their meals, but obviously that's applying a band-aid to an axe wound, so I set off to do a bit of googling and learning...

Turns out that the gall bladder is signaled to do its thing (its main thing is to release bile salts, which help break down fats) by a chemical messenger called cholecystokinin , or CCK for short, which is released by the lining of the gut.

Now all of us primal-/paleo- diet proponents/dilettantes know that the guy lining is likely to be damaged by certain kinds of proteins, mainly glutens, although there are certainly other culprits.

Robb Wolf's recent book apparently went into this in more detail than I managed to absorb in a single reading. Fortunately, Tim Ferriss reproduced the pertinent parts here.

Alternative information that may be helpful: Apparently, even with impaired gall bladder function, the short-chain and medium-chain saturated fats can be broken down without too much trouble (e.g. those in butter and coconut oil, respectively). Intermittent fasting has also been shown to have a positive effect on the breakdown of fats, a process known as lipolysis.

Really glad that people sought my advice on this issue, or I never would have learned any of this. This blog isn't a platform for me to simply catalog what I believe/know about fitness and nutrition, but a place for me to learn, and document what I learn, and hopefully bring some people along with me on the journey towards greater wellness. I hope people will continue to challenge me, whether it be out in the real world, or here in the comments section, to think about areas that I've yet to explore. Thanks!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Final Frontier

I really want to explore the concept that the digestive system and the immune system are inextricably linked to the point that talking about them as 2 separate entities is misleading at best, but that's going to require a little bit of searching for things I've read and seen in order to not say anything factually incorrect.

Today, I'm just going to talk about the last category of dairy I'm adding back. I've had great success incorporating raw milk and grass fed fermented dairy, raw milk fermented dairy, grass-fed fermented dairy, and now fermented dairy. The final frontier is that drop of whipping cream in my coffee. I get to enjoy that tomorrow, and I'm quite excited about it.

That being said, I've definitely broken the habit of making cheese an easy go-to source of fats and protein, despite its relative portability and affordability. We'll see if I can keep it a role player rather than a team leader in my diet.

Upcoming competition means I'll be back to stricter intermittent fasting. Why I ever stray, I don't know. I guess it's the social thing. Eating (and drinking a bit) in the evening is just fun. But my 2 meals 3-5 hours apart, one late morning, one early-mid afternoon and then letting my body do its thing uninterrupted for the main part of a day always leaves me leaner, sleeping better, and performing better.

Re-joining my old gym as well, excited to get back to some hypoxic swimming and some sprinting (treadmill, concept 2 rower, versaclimber), and use of a glute-hamstring bench.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Crossing the line

Last night represented my first foray into pasteurized dairy since the beginning of my no dairy experiment. Bacon cheeseburger meatzza with Trader Joe's New Zealand Grass-Fed Cheddar.

To me, this is the first of 2 semi-drastic changes I plan to attempt in an immunodigestive sense. And yes, I just made that word up.

The pasteurized, fermented cheese has yet posed no issue whatsoever.

A few more days, and I will eat fermented conventional dairy. While I think this is nutritionally inferior to grass-fed, I don't think there's going to be any difference in my ability to process/digest it.

Then, the final frontier, which is unfermented, pasteurized dairy. I am looking forward to heavy cream in my coffee.

The news, so far, is no news. Haven't felt anything but great. Which is what I hoped would happen from the beginning of the experiment. And I've made cheese more of a compliment to the main course at meals, rather than the main course itself.

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Big Cheese

Okay, so I ate about a 2 ounce portion of grass-fed raw milk Colby cheese from nearby Pennsylvania yesterday. I have to admit, it tasted great, and I certainly have yet experienced no ill effects. In fact, it may be due to the fact that I was ending a long fast with the cheese-containing meal, but I felt the sense of my brain and body being populated with nutrients it had been starved for, much like I've read about in accounts from vegans and vegetarians when they "relapse" into eating proper foods. And raw milk cheese has that bitter/sharp taste that really makes you appreciate that you're eating something real, that prevents you from eating it by large mouthful like you might a block of Cracker Barrel Vermont Sharp White. It really was enjoyable with a small handful of raw almonds. One or two more days, and I'll run out of raw milk, grass-fed Colby.

I have been debating whether to add back raw milk non-grass-fed next or grass-fed pasteurized. Here are my thoughts:

Raw milk is probably better from a digestive/immunological standpoint. The heating of pasteurization kills some of the good micro-organisms along with the feared, deadly bad ones.

On the other hand, the nutrition value of grass-fed is likely superior. I think that with plenty of fermented products in the diet, I may be able to handle pasteurized dairy without any trouble. Ultimately, I think I will incorporate this into my diet more often than raw milk/non-grass-fed, but I'm thinking for the sake of the experiment, that it should probably come afterwards, just so that I'm adding things in ascending order of potential for digestive/immunological difficulty.

The next dairy category for inclusion will be full-fat, fermented dairy which is neither explicitly grass-fed nor made of raw milk. (e.g. Full-fat Greek Yogurt). The long term goal will be to minimize (or, at least to keep reasonably low) protein and sugar from dairy in general, due to the tendency of dairy to cause higher secretions of insulin than other sources of the same categories of macronutrient. I'll definitely be careful about sprinkling anything with additional sugar content on my fatty Greek Yogurt simply because I don't want to add sugar to already insulinogenic protein sources.

By that point, I'll probably be dying for some grass-fed butter, which I won't worry much about, because protein and sugar content are negligible. I do plan to add heavy cream to my coffee (although the fauxconut version I've been using is not bad at all), but in very small quantities, and with negligible protein contribution.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Day 30

Okay, Day 30 of the experiment is upon us. I have consumed 0 dairy or dairy-derived products for 29 days and change, and now the real fun begins.

That is, I get to start adding things back to see what, if anything, has an ill effect.

This is keeping in mind the idea that I want to make dairy less of a dietary staple than it's been in the past, due to several factors, mainly its tendency to cause high levels of insulin to be secreted.

I've always felt that I tolerated dairy well though, and I've been my leanest while including it in my diet pretty regularly.

But in the name of the scientific method, I've cleared my system, and now it's time to mess around. First up is grass-fed, raw, fermented (basically cheese from unpasteurized milk from grass-fed animals)

Why this first? It's the best of everything. (making it the hardest to find). Grass-fed cows produce less milk, the laws favor pasteurization, and fermentation takes time and effort. Of course, only grass-fed cows can ever be healthy (cows just aren't built to digest corn. See The Vegetarian Myth for the dirty details), fermentation makes dairy easier to digest, and pasteurization kills not only potentially bad bacteria and microbes (although feeding cows grass makes this less of a necessity), but also changes milk products to be less easily digested.

In any case, I'm all but certain I will feel every bit as vital and well on Thursday when I add this back to my diet (tomorrow's a fasting day, didn't mean for it to fall on day 31 of the experiment, but lacked the foresight to adjust). But only time will tell. Next post will address any ill effects of the first round of re-addition.

All for now.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Further consideration and deeper reading of the Mark Sisson post about the insulinogenicity of dairy (due to its specific amino acid profile) has really only served to reinforce my original contention: That at the end of this whole project, I'll decide to eat dairy less as an easy go-to condiment for everything, snack for all hours, and dietarily ubiquitous calorie source, and choose only to eat it in its raw and fermented forms, or at least the very high fat versions in miniscule quantities (i.e. using a drop of heavy cream in coffee, as this serves to minimize sugar and protein content in favor of fat content).

Finished my first Michael Pollan book last night. The Omnivore's Dilemma. He has a lot of good points, but I find myself seeing more eye to eye with Lierre Keith on a lot of the subject matter. I will once again take this opportunity to recommend The Vegetarian Myth, the best thing I ever read as it relates to our relationship to the world via food, and the lies we've been led to believe about righteousness, justice, and sustainability as it relates.

That's it for this morning. Back to my coffee with a drop of almond milk. (Yuck!)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

No time, no news, one relevant link

Gotta post quick, lunch break is coming to an end and I'm at work. Looking like a big snowstorm is coming our way, and I need to be ready for the unlikely event that they close work up for the day tomorrow.

No news on the no-dairy front. I'm not sleeping well, but I certainly can think of more likely culprits than the lack of dairy.

On the links and information front, Mark Sisson has a post up about the effects dairy has on insulin secretion (although this makes no inherent claims about the effect on insulin sensitivity, that I can see from a quick scanning).

Also, please note this would make an argument for disinclusion of dairy as a dietary staple, but not necessarily as a chronically excluded item. More along the lines of dried fruits, to be enjoyed on occasion, rather than glutenous grains, which are to be avoided at all costs.

That's it for now. I should expand on these thoughts, but time's up!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Day 5, no big deal, beef bacon

I broke down and brought some coconut 1/2 and 1/2 to work. I was tired of drinking black coffee all day.

So far, I don't really miss anything. But then again, I'm not eating prosciutto and a fig with a glass of wine and staring a gooey hunk of brie in the eye. The weekend may turn out to be a bigger challenge than the work week.

Been eating some beef bacon from US Wellenss Meats that came as part of a Christmas Gift. (8 pounds of the stuff!) It's very delicious, but reminds me far more of beef than it does of traditional bacon. I'm looking forward to enjoying some with some eggs over easy, rather than as part of the salads I bring to work.

I'm going to have to come up with a workout regimen I can preform at home soon, since I'm continually failing to find an adequate gym that fits into both my schedule and my budget. As a routine, I should be training Gracie Jiu Jitsu between 5 and 6 days a week, but I want to incorporate some true strength training, and my new apartment has some gorgeous wood beams running through the ceiling that beg to be used for pull-up type exercises.

I may spend a good part of my weekend building an adjustable sandbag apparatus. I have some ideas, but I'll post about my final results if/when I get around to actually doing it. The 117 pound bag didn't make the move with me.

That's all for now.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Dairy Free Day 3

No changes to report so far, as far as how I feel/perform/digest.

3 Days is a little soon to expect anything sufficiently drastic to be noticeable, however, so I'll plug on for another 27, as promised.

Not struggling at all so far to find things to eat, despite my pre-experiment concerns.

Lots of eggs, bacon, organic greens, wild-caught fish, supplemented with a handful of walnuts or almonds here and there have kept me satisfied. Drinking coffee black at work, faux-creamed with coconut 1/2 & 1/2 at home is keeping my caffeine levels sufficient.

I was hoping to fast today, but that's going to be postponed due to an obligatory breakfast sandwich party at work (Mine will be breadless and cheeseless, so more meats and eggs, basically).

That's it. So far, I don't really miss cheese, or cream. Full-fat Greek Yogurt is always an easy and tasty choice in the morning, but I don't miss it per se. I do miss its convenience.

Reading Michael Pollan for the first time. I'm most of the way through "The Omnivore's Dilemma." He seems not to understand how strong the body of research is suggesting that carbohydrates as a macronutrient staple is at the root of most of the diseases of civilization, but his exploration of the source of our foods has been extremely educational. Maybe he's just staying neutral in order to avoid alienating anyone, but I think he does so at the cost of the truth in some sense.

That's all for now. Come back often, bring your friends, and ask me some questions.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Day 1 Dairy Free

30 day dairy debacle begins today. That means that I will spend 30 days finding out if life is somehow better without cheese, heavy cream, Greek yogurt, and did I mention cheese?

I do foresee a bit of a challenge, because I admittedly eat a pretty dairy-heavy diet. Once you cut out grains and sugars and minimize fruits, you're not left with much of the supermarket to play in. Mainly, I hope to fill the gaps with wild-caught fish (sardines, salmon, and tuna are easy to bring to work for lunch), coconut milk/shredded unsweetened coconut, and lots of hard-boiled eggs (from the local farm if I can get them).

Should things go as I hope they do (meaning that I will decide to reintroduce at least some categories of dairy after the 30 days), I plan to reintroduce the following categories of dairy, in order, with a few days between each reintroduction to single out the causes of any ill effects:

1. Grass-fed, raw cheeses (Raw, grass-fed dairy)

2. Goat and sheep dairy products

3. Fermented live/active cultured dairy (Greek yogurt)

4. Aged cheeses made from conventional milk (brie, camembert)

5. Anything I missed in 1-4