Category Archives: Must-See Videos

Must-See Video: Andreas Eenfeldt interviews Loren Cordain

On this blog you will find a number of videos by Andreas Eenfeldt (aka the Diet Doctor). His collection of video interviews is a great resource. Andreas has interviewed most of the leading lights in the Ancestral Health movement. Check out his YouTube channel here.

This week Andreas released a video interview with Dr. Loren Cordain who many consider the founder of the Paleo movement.

This interview covers the following topics:

  • What the Paleo diet is and who can benefit from it
  • The consequences of ignoring evolutionary biology in our diet
  • Why saturated fat is healthy when part of a low-carb diet
  • Why Dr. Cordain believes a vegan diet is unhealthy
  • Why Dr. Cordain advises caution against milk products (but is OK with butter)
  • How leaky gut, chronic inflammation and a range of auto-immune diseases appears to be linked

Enjoy!

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My personal trainer at PaleoFX 2012

So, I have a bit of a guilty conscience. I have not posted any material to this blog for a while, and I have not done any exercise for nearly a week.

Work has been taking my attention, so there hasn’t been much time for play. In a week’s time I should be in the clear.

In the meantime, my personal trainer Darryl Edwards appeared as speaker at the PaleoFX 2012 conference in Austin, TX. He also did some Primal Play classes at the conference. I really like this video he posted of it on YouTube.

I am a fan of Darryl’s methods, and I really hope his appearance at PaleoFX helps raise his profile. Check out the testimonial I wrote about my experience with his Play Camp classes here.

How the Paleo/Primal diet works

 

One of the things my blog has been missing, is a dissertation of how the Paleo/Primal diet actually works. I have been wanting to post an article on this, because understanding the science made a big difference to me. I would like to think it could also make a difference to others.

The problem is the science is not easy to explain. To be honest I have been putting off writing an article about it because I knew it would be time consuming and challenging.

So, I was very pleased to find this video with Dr. Doug McGuff where he goes through the biochemistry of human metabolism to explains obesity, diabetics and why eating Paleo/Primal works for optimal health.

I have read a lot of material on how Paleo nutrition works, but this is by far the clearest explanation I have come across.

The whole video is 1 hour and 38 minutes long, but I have embedded it so it only plays the part where Dr. McGuff explains current understanding of metabolism. If you want to understand the science of Primal eating, these 36 minute are going to be worth your while.

Enjoy!!

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:

An overview of ancestral health communities

“The important thing is not to stop questioning.

Curiosity has its own reason for existing.”

Albert Einstein

When you read about ancestral health you come across a variety of terms that describe different sections of our community. Some of the more common are Paleo, Primal and Low-Carb. You may also have encountered the term LCHF. I often get asked what these labels cover, and what the differences are between them. It’s not entirely clear cut, but here is how I define them.

The Paleo Diet is based on the hypothesis that humans are genetically adapted to eat like our pre-historic ancestors. Paleo followers believe modern western diseases and obesity are due to changes in our diet that arrived with agriculture and industrialisation.

The Paleo Diet consists of meat, fish, poultry and vegetables. It suggests avoiding grains, legumes, most tubers, dairy, sugar and processed foods. Paleo dieters also prefers grass fed beef, wild game, organic poultry and wild fish over intensively farmed equivalents.

If you follow a Paleo diet, your carbohydrate intake will tend to be lower than on a typical western diet. But Paleo is less specific about the amount of carbohydrate you should eat than Primal, Low-Carb and LCHF. There are also researchers in the movement who argue for “safe starches”. One example is Staffan Lindenburgh who points to the Kitavans of Papa New Guinea as an example of aboriginal people who subsist on a high starch diet without incurring the degenerative diseases that are so common in the west.

In summary, Paleo is mostly about eating unprocessed and nutritionally dense foods to emulate the diet of our hunter gatherer ancestors.

The Primal diet is also inspired by our pre-historic ancestors. The selection of foods allowed on the Primal diet is much the same as Paleo. However, Primal allows high-fat dairy such as butter, cream, full-fat yoghurt and cheese. Some also argue a small amount of white rice is OK on a Primal diet.

Primal seems to me to be more prescriptive about your carbohydrate intake than Paleo. Primal diet books tend to give specific direction about the amount of carbohydrate you should consume to create optimal conditions for fat loss.

The most prolific advocate of Primal is Mark Sisson who runs a website called Mark’s Daily Apple.

The Low-Carb label is very broad. It covers over a number of diets that prescribe carbohydrate restriction for weight loss. Many followers started their Low-Carb journeys with the Atkins Diet, but there are many other Low-Carb diets such as the South Beach Diet and the Dukan diet.

Although it doesn’t apply to all Low-Carbers, in general this community is more relaxed about processed foods and Omega-6 rich oils than the Paleo and Primal communities. Low-Carbers tend to focus more specifically on the macronutrient balance in their diet. Some emphasise high protein, others emphasise high fat. What they have in common is the restriction of carbohydrate to trigger ketosis, which is when your body burns fat for fuel.

I think most people consider Atkins the founding father of Low-Carb weight loss. The research has since been moved forward by scientists such as Dr. Stephen Phinner and Dr. Jeff S. Volek.

You could argue that LCHF is the Scandinavian sub-section of the Low-Carb community. The LCHF label stands for Low-Carb-High-Fat. The term originated in Sweden where low-carb approaches to health appear to be moving into the mainstream.

I have seen LCHF defined as Paleo with high-fat dairy. By this definition you could argue it is similar to Primal. However, LCHF appears to be a little more relaxed about whether their food is organic and unprocessed, so to my mind their approach is closer to Low-Carb. But, as with all these definitions, we are splitting hairs.

High-profile LCHF people include Dr. Annika Dahlqvist and Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt in Sweden as well as Dr. Sofie Hexberg in Norway.

I like the term Ancestral Health because it is broad and inclusive. To me it covers all the four communities I describe here, along with some others (GAPS dieters and Western A. Price followers are notable examples). Inevitably when you try to define these movements, you emphasise the differences, which, to a degree, masks the obvious commonalities. At the same time, there are plenty of people in the Ancestral Health movements who don’t fit neatly into any one of these buckets.

I have learned a great deal from leaders and enthusiasts across the Paleo, Primal, Low-Carb, LCHF, GAPS and Western A. Price communities. We don’t all agree on everything, off course, but we do share some key characteristics. We are all sceptical about the low-fat grain-based diet dogma that dominates the mainstream. What drives us is the belief there is a better and more natural way of achieving wellness and vitality.

Further materials:

Diana Hsieh has published the best summary of the Paleo protocol I have seen online on her blog. It includes links to articles and materials that explains the rationale for each element of the diet. Click here.

Thought leaders in the Paleo movement include Loren Cordain, Robb Wolf and Art deVany. Here are som YouTube videos:

Mark Sisson more than anyone is responsible for popularising Primal living. Here is a YouTube lecture with him:

For visuals summarising of the Primal life-style click here.

I have posted this video with Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt recently, but it is so good it is worth sharing again:

How to unravel science

“The first principle is that you must not fool yourself,
and you are the easiest person to fool.”

Richard Feynman.

Headlines in newspaper, articles in magazines and programs on television offer new health guidelines every week and they often contradict each other.

You know the kinds of stories I am talking about. First garlic protects against heart disease, then suddenly it doesn’t. You read coffee is supposed to be full of antioxidants, then you see another story that says it causes cancer. It is all very confusing. It makes you wonder what information to trust and what to dismiss.

Tom Naughton did a lecture on this at the Low Carb Cruise:

Ben Goldacre also did a presentation on this topic at TED:

In summary:

  • If you really want to know whether you can trust the research you read about, you need to know how the research was conducted.
  • Don’t be intimidated by science. A bit of critical thinking is all you need to determine if the information you are given is worth paying attention to. Tom Naughton’s lecture offers tips on this.
  • Know the difference between an observational study and a clinical study. Observational studies try to find correlations between events and outcomes. They are useful for developing hypotheses, but are not conclusive proof of anything.
  • Be aware that most health coverage in popular media is based on findings from observational studies.

More than ever, it’s critical to think critically. Bad information travels fast on the internet. Guard yourself by learning how to sniff out the good stuff from the bad.

Further Reading:

Science 101 Tutorial by Tim Huntley at My Athletic Life

Book: Bad Science by Ben Goldacre

Article: Lies, Damned Lies and Medical Science by David H. Freeman, The Atlantic

Article: Why almost everything you hear about medicine is wrong by Sharon Begley, The Daily Beast

Primal Boot Camp

“Pain is temporary. Quitting lasts forever.”
Lance Armstrong

It’s Monday and I am walking like an old man. My gait is stiff, uncertain and slow. Colleagues in the office offer comments of sympathy and concern. They wonder why I am nearly always limping on a Monday. Sometime on Tuesdays too. They don’t know I spend Saturdays crawling around on all fours in an attempt to get fit.

Primal Boot Camp is unlike any other fitness class I have taken. Crab walking across a wobbly bridge in a playground is not exactly what I expected when I signed up. But it is great fun. Our trainer, Darryl Edwards, is very inventive. He runs a class that is physically challenging, and far from boring.

I have attended the class once a week for two months now, and I have seen progress in all areas of my fitness. Strength, stamina, agility, flexibility and balance are all improved. So I have decided I want more of it. I will be starting personal sessions with Darryl soon. My wife and I have also decided to have regular family session with him. We tried one before Christmas and our 7-year old son loved it!

If you happen to live in or around West London and you are interested in giving Primal Boot Camp a go, check out Darryl’s website and blog. The class is very affordable and open to people of all ages and abilities.

The Guardian newspaper recently pronounced this kind of class the latest trend in fitness. Hopefully, this is a sign that primal living is becoming more mainstream. I for one prefer this kind of outdoor exercise to stuffy indoor gym sessions.  Even on cold rainy winter days.

Must-See Video: Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt lecture at Ancestral Health Symposium 2011

This just became my new favourite YouTube video!!

Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt shares the horrifying statistics for obesity in the western world as well as the latest scientific evidence on the causes. He then goes through the extraordinary story of Dr. Annika Dahlqkvist’s fight with Swedish medical authorities to get low-carb nutrition recognised as a legitimate approach to addressing obesity and type 2 diabetes. Dr. Dahlqkvist won the case, and as a result, low-carb living is becoming mainstream in Sweden.

This video is well worth 55 minutes of anyone’s time, in my humble view!

Must-See Video: Enjoy saturated fats – They’re good for you!

This lecture by cardiac surgeon Dr. Donald W. Miller explains the history of how saturated fats became so demonised. Dr. Miller argues we should reconsider our attitudes to saturated fats and ensure we make it part of our daily diet. Thought provoking stuff.

Must-See Video: Loren Cordain Lecture

Loren Cordain is one of the scientists who provided the foundations of the Paleo movement through his research. In this lecture, he goes through the scientific principles and hypotheses behind Paleo nutrition.

I personally have a hard time with Dr. Cordain’s assertion that  you should limit saturated fats in your diet, and I am more relaxed about dairy than he is. But overall I find his research insightful  and fascinating.

 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. Please leave a comment by the relevant blog article.

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