Monthly Archives: February 2012

My before and after photos

Convention says a weight loss blogger must have a before and after picture!

I have struggled a bit with this one. I discovered I had very few pictures of myself when I was at my heaviest. You just don’t want to appear in photos when you are unhappy with your appearance.

Anyway, I finally found a close-up picture of myself from before I started loosing weight. So here is my before and after photo:

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Primal Beginners’ Q&A: How much fruit on a Primal diet?

Question:

Hi Peter – Came across this interview with Michael Arnstein, a dedicated frutarian marathon runner, who is a running mate of my friend Ben Ko. From an ancestral health perspective this kind of diet not only doesn’t make any sense: it shouldn’t be possible at all. Yet, Michael is proof that this diet not only works for him – but his athletic performance is the best it has ever been (he’s in his mid-thirties). I’d be curious about your response – I am a huge fruit fan, and I notice that you don’t eat much fruit at all. So Michael’s diet would be a different as it is possible to be from yours – yet it works for him. – Martin

Answer:

On first sight Michael Arnstein’s diet does seem to go against ancestral diet principles. He suggests 80% of daily calories should come from carbohydrate, leaving just 10% for fat and protein respectively. Furthermore, most of the carbs come in the form of fruit, which means Mr. Arnstein ingests a lot of sucrose and fructose daily. The typical Paleo or Primal dieter would have concerns about all those things.

But there is another way to look at it. You could argue Fructarians eat a part-Paleo diet. Mr. Arnstein’s diet basically consists of raw vegetables and fruit, and Paleo advocates would approve of the following characteristics of these foods:

  • If you set aside the sugar content of fruit, Fructarian foods are anti-inflamatory and dense in nutrients.
  • A Fructarian regime eliminates pro-inflamatory grains and seed oils.
  • Eating raw fruits and vegetables means you avoid all processed foods and dairy.

So, at a stretch, you could view the Fructarian diet as a raw food variant of the Paleo diet without the meat, fish and eggs. In fact, it seems to me the Fructarian and Paleo diets have more in common with each other, than either have with the typical Western diet.

The ancestral health community would say a diet without meat, fish and eggs would not be optimal for your health. I tend to agree, but I also think it is a personal choice. The key principle here is to eat natural nutrient dense foods, and avoid toxic and processed foods. Beyond that I think it’s about eating a diet that makes you feel and perform well. I would also take the guess work out of it by having blood tests regularly to make sure you are staying healthy.

I do think these things have to be viewed in the context of what I believe to be widespread metabolic damage in the western population. It is clear that most overweight people suffer from poor blood glucose control, and, for a growing number, this eventually turns into type-2 diabetes. So, I personally think a low-carb approach is the best remedy we currently have for returning overweight people to normal weight.

Going low carb does not necessarily mean you have to eliminate fruit from your diet. But the problem is fruits have widely differing sugar content. To illustrate this, here are two examples coutesey of SugarStacks.com:

Particularly for someone who has just started a weight loss program, fruit can be a bit of a minefield. I made the choice not to eat fruit at all when I first started loosing weight. I now eat a little, but I tend to stick to berries, which have a lower sugar content than other fruits.

If you really enjoy fruit, I see no reason why you couldn’t incorporate it in your diet in a way that allows you to still achieve your health goals. I would suggest you initially track the fruit you eat and see how it affects you. If you find your weight is sensitive to fruit, then you may have to track your consumption permanently to manage your intake. Alternatively, you could have periodic “fruit frenzies” where you eat as much fruit as you like on a nominated day per week or every fortnight. You will find there are a lot of diets out there, including some Primal and Paleo diets, that advocate “off days” or “cheat days”. A regular off day makes it psychologically easier to stay the course if you find your diet restrictive. It also seems consistent with the Paleo/Primal principle of eating like our hunter gatherer ancestors.

I believe we all need a healthy dose of curiosity, critical thinking and independent thought to manage our health. Particularly since government guidelines and prevailing wisdom has led us down a path of widespread obesity, diabetes and chronic disease. So, it would be inconsistent and disingenuous of me to insist everyone eats as I eat. Instead, I advocate you eat real food from natural sources and otherwise do what works for you.

Disclaimer

This blog reflects my personal opinions and experiences. None of the material I make available should be construed as medical advice, nor should it replace proper medical consultation. If this blog inspires you to start your own weight loss program, I encourage you to consult a medical professional. If you, your friends or your doctors wish to question or challenges any information on this blog, I welcome your feedback.

Must-Hear Interview: Jimmy Moore interviews Ned Koch

To listen to this interview click here.

Ned Kock

Like me, Ned Koch is a private individual who spends some of his spare time blogging about weight loss and human health. His analysis of the science is very rigerous and his blog contains a lot of good material. In this interview with Jimmy Moore, he talks about his conclusions on optimal nutrition for weight loss and longevity. Ned’s blog is called “Health Correlator”.

There are a lot of very high quality Ancestral Health podcasts out there, and they can be a great way to get a good broad understanding of nutrition and health. It is also true there are an awful lot of Paleo/Primal/Low-carb Podcasts available from a multitude of sources, so it can be difficult to know where to start. To help you with this, I have started this series of Blog posts to guide you to the best Ancestral Health podcasts on the internet.

For information on how to download and listen to Podcasts check out this article.

Must-visit website: DiabetesNewsStand.com

Here is a new website I discovered yesterday. DiabetesNewsStand.com showcases video interviews with the best and brightest in the field of diabetes research and treatment in the world today.  Right now there are two excellent interviews on the front page with Dr. Alan Einstein on the Metabolic Syndrome and Dr. Mary C. Vernon on Insulin Resistance.

Must-Hear Interview: Sean Croxton interviews Robb Wolf

There are a lot of high quality Ancestral Health podcasts out there, and they can be a great way to get a good broad understanding of nutrition and health. But the amount of Podcasts available can be overwhelming. To help you with this, I have started this series of Blog posts to guide you to the best Ancestral Health interviews on the internet.

For information on how to download and listen to Podcasts check out this article.

Robb Wolf

In this episode of the Underground Wellness podcast Sean Croxton interviews Robb Wolf who is one of leaders of the Paleo movement. Robb Wolf talks about his book The Paleo Solution and explains some of the fundamentals of the Paleo life-style and how to put it into practice.

Must-See Video: Dr. Terry Wahls reverses effects of Multiple Sclerosis

This TED video went viral in the Ancestral Health community immediately after it was released late 2011. In it, Dr. Terry Wahls recounts the remarkable story of how she reversed the effects of her Multiple Sclerosis through a Paleo diet adapted specifically to address her condition. She started regaining her mobility within weeks of changing her diet.

Aside from this remarkable transformation, one of the things that really inspired me on this video is Dr. Wahls’ shift from a supplements focused approach to an exploration of real food as medicine. Here is how she describes it:

“Then it occurred to me that I should get my long list of nutrients from food. That if I did this I would probably get hundreds, maybe thousands, of other compounds that science had yet to name and identify, but that would be helpful to my brain and my mitochondria. But I didn’t know where they were in the food supply. And neither did the medical texts nor the food science with whom I consulted……….but it turned out the internet did.”

Jimmy Moore’s interview of Dr. Terry Wahls in January is one of the best he has had recently. Here is a link.

You can also learn more about Terry Wahls on her website: http://terrywahls.com

Finally, Dr. Terry Wahls appears to have done an admirable job as a parent despite the challenge of her MS. Here her son is making a powerful address to the Iowa House of Representatives:

Book Recommendation: More favourite Primal reads

 

 

 

 

 

“Ignore the awkward! How the cholesterol myths are kept alive.” by Uffe Ravnskov (8/10)

Dr. Uffe Ravnskov methodically goes through the research relating to the Lipid Hypothesis and demonstrates why we should question the validity of this theory.

 

 

 

 

 

 

“The New Evolution Diet: The Smart Way to Lose Weight, Feel Great and Live Longer ” by Art De Vany (8/10)

Art De Vany is often referred to as the Grandfather of Paleo. He has lived according to ancestral health principles for more than 30 years, and is one of the strongest and healthiest looking 73-year olds you will come across. In “The New Evolution Diet” De Vany explains the principles of Paleo life-style along with the science that supports it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

“The 4-Hour Body” by Tim Ferris (7/10)

You may be surprised to find this book on my list. Tim Ferris is neither Paelo nor Primal. He is his own man. A dedicated body hacker who conducts extreme experiments on himself to uncover how to achieve maximum results with minimum input. My weight loss really gathered momentum when I started Tim Ferris’ Slow-Carb Diet last year. I now believe the Primal and Paleo diets are more sustainable and healthier, but I am fascinated by Tim Ferris’ perspective on how to affect self- transformation.

For more book recommendations click here.

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