Monday, January 31, 2011

Why We All Need To Lift.........

From Crossfit Anaerobic Inc.com

Ok, so there’s no "real" Fountain of Youth, but lifting weights comes pretty darn close! There’s good news and bad news about aging, let’s get the bad news out of the way first!

THE BAD NEWS
We all, regardless of gender, begin losing lean body mass (muscle) at between age 25 and 30, at a rate of approximately (for sedentary people) 1% each year until age 60. Then it increases to about 1.5% each year until age 70, then increases to about 2% each year after that! Strength decreases even faster than muscle mass; on the order of DOUBLE!


Bone density peaks at approximately age 30; then it begins to decline. A number of factors accelerate the loss of bone: diabetes, menopause (Women may lose up to 20% of their bone mass upon completion of menopause!), smoking, excessive alcohol use, lack of physical activity, vitamin D deficiency, and chemotherapy.

Less bone and muscle means a greater risk of injury, lack of strength, decreased range of motion, poor balance, a lack of confidence, and a less independent, active lifestyle as we age.

THE GOOD NEWS
We can stop our bone density and muscle loss! We can even reverse it and gain it back! The most effective way to do this is to resistance train. Yep, it’s hard work, technique intensive (insert picky trainer’s voice here!), and not always fun. However, it is the only proven, natural way to be healthy, happy, and active as we age. Sounds like a Fountain of Youth to me!

What this means is lift weights, please! It doesn’t mean high reps-low weight, Pilates, Yoga, Zumba class, or spin class! These activities have a specific application and can be fun. Unfortunately, increasing bone density and muscle mass are not by-products of these activities.
(If you don’t believe me, or think I say these things ‘cause I really enjoy lifting weights and have a skewed point of view… Google "strength training benefits"! It’s not just me, I promise!)

Resistance training not only positively impacts bone and muscle, it does other great stuff too!

* Improves glucose control (helps with diabetes)
* Reduces hypertension (high blood pressure)
* Reduces the symptoms of arthritis
* Reduces depression
* Reduces cardiovascular disease (CVD) by up to 30%
* Boosts self-esteem and self-confidence
* Impacts hormone levels: growth hormone (helps break down fat and bolsters the immune system), insulin (lowers blood glucose levels), and others
* Decreases insulin resistance, a precursor to Type 2 diabetes

The National Strength and Conditioning Association reported in June, 2010 that only 27% of the US population resistance trains! The numbers drop significantly at age 50. Of those 75 years and older less than 10% resistance train.

The positive impact of resistance training has been known for years, but it can be difficult at times to stick to a routine. Perhaps the next time you feel less than motivated to go to the gym you’ll remember some of the information presented here!

Let’s all be as active, strong, and healthy as we can for as long as we can! Modern medicine can do a great job of helping us live a long time; it’s up to us to behave in ways that contribute to a high quality of life!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Brighten Up Your Diet

by Charles Poliquin

Nutrition has to be simple, as I learned from one of my top mentors Robert Crayhon.



Depending on the study, most Americans center their diet around 12 to 17 foods, with French fries being the most commonly eaten vegetable; ketchup being often the only fruit product they consume. A trick I use when working with new clients is to give them this homework: “next time you go grocery shopping, put three new colors in your shopping cart”.

Why?

Phytonutrients are associated with colors. What are phytonutrients? Phytonutrients are plant-based compounds that offer multiple health benefits through their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory or other properties. Many of the bright colors, flavors and aromas in fruits and vegetables are attributed to phytonutrients. Here are the associations you can make for three specific colors:

• Beta-carotene can be associated to the color orange: mangoes, sweet potatoes, winter squash, apricot, cantaloupe, carrots. Beta-carotene is most beneficial to the eyes and skin.
• Lycopene is associated with pink/red: tomato, pink grapefruit, guava, watermelon. The greater the content of lycopene in your diet, the lower your risk of cancer.
• Anthocyanins are associated to the colors reds and purple. Anthocyanins protect the brain, heart and eyes. You will find anthocyanins in cabbage, purple or red grapes, raspberries, red apples, Acai berries, blackberries, blueberries, cherries, cranberries (or sauce), red wine, eggplant, plums, prunes, red pear, red pepper and strawberries.

Of course there are more colors in nature such as green and yellow, and hence more phytonutrients. The point being very simply, that if you vary your colors, you broaden the source of phytonutrients

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

How Running Makes You Less Fit

Written by: Matt Fitzgerald

In exercise science laboratories, the Wingate test is often used to assess various dimensions of fitness. It’s a simple, unpleasant test consisting in 30 seconds of all-out pedaling at a fixed resistance level on a stationary bike. Power output is recorded in five-second intervals throughout the protocol.

As you might imagine, Wingate test subjects almost always achieve their peak power output in the first five seconds of the test. After that, power begins to decline as the subject fatigues. The power output level in the first five seconds of a Wingate test is therefore a good assessment of maximum power output capacity in the legs. Trained strength and power athletes typically put up the best numbers in this part of the test.

The average power output for the full 30-second span of the test is a decent measure of a person’s anaerobic capacity—that is, a person’s capacity to sustain very high levels of work output. Anaerobic capacity is largely a function of anaerobic glycolytic metabolism, which is the use of carbohydrate to fuel muscle contractions without the aid of oxygen. As you might expect, athletes who engage in a lot of anaerobic efforts in their training and competition tend to put up the best numbers in this aspect of the Wingate test. Think hockey players and boxers.

The Wingate test can also be used in a somewhat oblique way to assess aerobic capacity. As I mentioned above, in the typical Wingate test, peak power is attained in the first five seconds of the test and then power declines through the remainder of the test. However, there is a high degree of inter-individual variation in the rate of power loss. Trained endurance athletes tend to lose significantly less power than other types of subjects. That’s because a Wingate test is not a purely anaerobic challenge. Endurance athletes are able to call on their well-developed aerobic systems to help out their failing anaerobic systems as the test wears on.

Here’s an interesting fact: On average, trained endurance athletes record lower peak power outputs in a Wingate test than completely untrained, sedentary couch potatoes. Put another way, if you performed a Wingate test in a state of peak 10K race fitness, then stopped running cold turkey for eight weeks, and then did another Wingate test, you would more than likely record a better peak power number in the second test.

Endurance training does a lot of great things, but it saps power.

But is that a good thing or a bad thing? The answer is complicated. It certainly is not necessarily a bad thing. In a study performed a number of years ago, researchers took measurements of various characteristics of the muscle fibers of collegiate cross country runners over the course of a season. They found that the maximum force production capacity of individual muscle fibers decreased. But the cross-sectional area of individual fibers decreased even more. In other words, the muscle fibers basically shrunk. In fact, they shrunk enough so that the ratio of maximum force production to cross-sectional area of the muscle fibers actually increased. Loosely put, the runners got weaker, but they also got smaller, such that their “strength-to-size” ratio improved. And oh, by the way, so did their running performance.

Endurance training works like this: It curtails an athlete’s top-end speed, but it increases the percentage of top-end speed that he or she can sustain over race distances even more.

Does endurance training necessarily curtail top-end speed, though? I don’t think this question is quite answerable as framed, but I can say this: Plenty of research has shown that endurance performance improves when athletes make some training efforts to preserve their top-end speed.

These efforts must not go too far, however. A long time ago I read an article about how endurance athletes train all wrong, which was written by a well-known expert on…weightlifting. He argued that endurance athletes should try not merely to preserve but to increase their maximum speed. His logic went like this: If your 10K speed is 50 percent of your maximum speed, and your maximum speed is 18 mph, then you can run a 10K at 9 mph (or in 41:20). But if you increase your maximum speed to 20 mph, then 50 percent of your maximum speed becomes 10 mph. Now you can run a 10K in 37:12.

Except it doesn’t work like that. The problem with this weightlifting expert’s argument is that the training required to increase your maximum sprint speed will reduce—sharply, in most cases—the percentage of maximum speed that can be sustained over long durations. So the runner who begins with a maximum speed of 18 mph and the ability to sustain 50 percent of that speed over 10K, and who then increases his or her maximum speed to 20 mph, is now able to sustain only 40 percent of his or her maximum speed over 10K and goes from a 41:20 10K runner to a 46:30 10K runner.

I think there’s a happy medium. Distance runners stand to perform best in races if they do more sprint training than distance runners typically do but not so much that speed gains come at the expense of endurance gains. Besides, you don’t really want to lose a Wingate test to a couch potato, do you?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Flu vaccine causing infant seizures; FDA to investigate

(NaturalNews) The Sanofi-Aventis flu vaccine known as "Fluzone" is causing febrile seizures in children, the FDA revealed yesterday. According to the FDA, 42 cases of seizures have been reported in children receiving the Fluzone vaccine. Most of the children suffering seizures are under the age of two.

The FDA went out of its way to claim that even though these children suffered seizures, they're all fine now. "All children recovered and no lasting effects have been seen," the FDA said. Can you imagine them making such a statement about an herb that was found to cause seizures? This is a case where the FDA has clearly put itself in the position of defending the safety of the vaccine and downplaying the risk that it sends children into convulsions.

Nearly all the reported seizures occurred within 24 hours after the children received the Fluzone vaccine. This, according to vaccine apologists, is mere "coincidence."

It is well established that only 1% - 10% of vaccine side effects are ever reported to the FDA. This means that potentially thousands of children have suffered seizures due to this flu vaccine.

Not surprisingly, the maker of the vaccine claims there's no proof that the vaccine caused any seizures at all. "At this point no correlation between influenza vaccine and febrile seizures has been established," said Sanofi-Aventis. "Adverse events after vaccination may be causally related to vaccine or may be coincidental."

Both the drug maker and the FDA take the position that "vaccines are safe until proven dangerous." This is the opposite of what commonsense precaution would require: That vaccines should be proven safe before being injected into the bodies of children.

And yet, as NaturalNews has reported many times, flu vaccines are never tested in randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled studies because the flu industry is unwilling to subject vaccines to actual scientific scrutiny. All flu vaccines are approved by the FDA without adequate safety testing, and then side effects (seizures, etc.) are "monitored" by the FDA to see if anything goes wrong. As the side effects reports begin to pour in, the FDA simply downplays those reports and claims no "causal link has been established."

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/031075_vaccines_seizures.html#ixzz1BiTegolk

Friday, January 21, 2011

Krispy Kreme Ingredients Deconstructed

A homemade doughnut recipe may call for 8-10 ingredients consisting of flour, sugar, eggs, butter, yeast, oil, salt, milk/water, and few others depending on variations and flavors.

This is the ingredient list of a plain sugar glazed Krispy Kreme doughnut;

KRISPY KREME ORIGINAL GLAZED DOUGHNUT

Serving size 1 doughnut (52 grams)

Ingredients: Enriched bleached wheat flour- (contains bleached wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamine, mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), dextrose, vegetable shortening (partially hydrogenated soybean and/or cottonseed oil), water, sugar, soy flour, egg yolks, vital wheat gluten, yeast, nonfat milk, yeast nutrients (calcium sulfate, ammonium sulfate), dough conditioners (calcium dioxide, monocalcium and dicalcium phosphate, diammonium phosphate, sodium stearoyl-2-lacrylate, whey, starch, ascorbic acid, sodium bicarbonate, calcium carbonate), salt, mono-and-diglycerides, ethoxylated mono- and diglycerides, lecithin, calcium propionate (to retain freshness), cellulose gum, natural and artificial flavors, fungal alpha amylase, amylase, maltogenic amylase, pantosenase, protease, sodium caseinate, corn maltodextrin, corn syrup solids and BHT (to help protect flavor).
Glaze also may contain: Calcium carbonate, agar, locust bean gum, disodium phosphate, and sorbitan monostearate.

Enriched bleached wheat flour - white flour. . Bleaching is usually done with chlorine which destroys more of the vitamins and must be added back artificially.
* bleached wheat flour,
* Niacin – a B vitamin made from water, air and petroleum,
* reduced iron Generally recognised as safe,
* thiamine – a B vitamin, made from coal tar,
* mononitrate,
* riboflavin – a B vitamin commonly made from candida yeasts or other bacteria,
* folic acid – vitamin made from petroleum (mostly from china),

*vegetable shortening (partially hydrogenated soybean and/or cottonseed oil) associated with heart disease, breast and colon cancer, atherosclerosis and elevated cholesterol, and obesity. Trans fat is known to increase the “bad” cholesterol (LDL) and decrease the “good” cholesterol (HDL). It can clog your arteries and cause Type 2 Diabetes, as well as other serious health problems. They disrupt nerve cell intercommunication – associated with ADHD and ADHD like symptoms. May contain undeclared synthetic antioxidants (310-312, 319-321), most likely BHA 320 or TBHQ 319, which affect children’s health, behavior and learning.

*sugar – mostly from sugar beets. Refined sugars can promote obesity, tooth decay, and heart disease,

* calcium sulfate – Dietary Supplement, Dough Conditioner, Firming Agent, * ammonium sulfate – may cause mouth ulcers, nausea, kidney and liver problems,

dough conditioners

* calcium dioxide - irritating to the skin,
* monocalcium and dicalcium phosphate - skin and eye irritant,
* diammonium phosphate – also used as a fertilizer, fire retardant, used in animal feed as a source of non-protein nitrogen and phosphorous,
* sodium stearoyl-2-lacrylate - emulsifier, plasticizer, surfactant,
* ascorbic acid – Antioxidant, Dietary Supplement, Nutrient, Preservative
* sodium bicarbonate – Alkali, Leavening Agent
* calcium carbonate – in general can cause mineral deficiencies,
*ethoxylated mono- and diglycerides – dough conditioners used to increase volume, emulsifier – may be soy, corn, peanut or fat based. They may cause genetic changes, cancer, birth defects, and allergic reactions,
*cellulose gum – made from cotton byproducts, used as a stabilizer shown to cause cancer in animals,

natural and artificial flavors – A single natural or artificial flavor can contain many ingredients; for example the artificial “strawberry” flavor contains 49 ingredients or chemical compounds. Companies keep the identity of artificial (and natural) flavorings secret. Flavorings may include substances to which some people are sensitive, such as MSG or HVP, another way to avoid declaring them on the label – associated with allergies, asthma, hyperactivity, possible carcinogen, allergic or behavioral reactions,

fungal alpha amylase – enzyme secreted by many fungi,

amylase – enzymes from various fungi used as antibacterial additives, imparts flavor, causes the bread to rise. Workers in factories that work with amylase are at increased risk of occupational asthma,

maltogenic amylase – an enzyme preparation produced by recombinant DNA techniques,

pantosenase - information not found,



sodium caseinate – casein texturizer, chemically produced milk powder,

corn maltodextrin – starch used as a texturizer and flavor enhancer. Produced by the chemical or enzyme breakdown of corn starch,

corn syrup solids – produced by the chemical or enzyme breakdown of corn starch, corn sugar may cause allergic reactions,

BHT – (to help protect flavor) retards rancidity in oils, can cause liver and kidney damage, allergic reactions, hyperactivity and behavioral problems, infertility, weakened immune system, birth defects, cancer; should be avoided by infants, young children, pregnant women and those sensitive to aspirin, may be toxic to the nervous system, (BHT – banned in England),

Glaze also may contain:

Calcium carbonate – chalk, used as an emulsifier, may cause constipation, occurs naturally in limestone,

agar- stabilizer and thickener obtained from various seaweed,

locust bean gum – a thickener and stabilizer in cosmetics and food extracted from the seeds of the carob tree,

disodium Phosphate – used commercially as an anti-caking additive in powdered products. May cause mild irritation to the skin and mucus membranes,

and sorbitan monostearate – referred to as a synthetic wax, emulsifier, defoamer, and flavor dispersing additive.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Pre-Workout: To Eat or Not to Eat...

from Fuel as RX

That is a question that lots of people have. And for everyone that asks there are at least three people waiting to give their 'expert' opinions. Before the question gets answered let's take a look at each side...

The "Empty" Exercises:
This group claims that working out on an empty stomach is the best way to burn fat. They argue that if carbohydrate (glycogen) stores are empty then the body has no choice but to use fat for energy. Are they right??

Well... When you exercise without eating it does increase the amount of fat broken down in the muscles. So you may improve how the muscles burn fat, but unfortunately this will not affect overall body fat. It may be possible that more intense exercise could stimulate the burning of fat in other areas of the body - but it would take quite a bit of training to see significant results.

The First-Thing 'Fuelers':
This bunch says eating prior to exercise provides the energy and fuel necessary to perform optimally. This may be especially true when training first thing in the morning or following an extended period without food. The body has a limited supply of glycogen, (the storage form of carbohydrate), in the liver and muscles. Even though the body may have plenty of fat to use - it can't be burned in the absence of some glucose - more specifically, ATP (the first step of fat breakdown (oxidation) is an energy requiring reaction). When you go into a workout with an empty tank results in depleting the body's energy stores completely. This may result in a less intense workout (therefore you will burn fewer calories) or 'bonk' (trust me - you don't want to do it).

So, you might be asking, where did the energy to get me through my workout come from? It gets a little complicated here. It may be that your body entered a state of ketosis or a 'starvation' mode. What that means is fat starts being used for energy. That's good right? Well, yes and no... Ketosis is not an 'efficient' process. It doesn't happen immediately, may result in muscle loss; and since it's a survival mechanism, causes a drop in metabolic rate. Also, most people tend to 'overcompensate' on food intake later to plug the hole. So the net result ends up being a less than optimal workout, decreased metabolism, loss of muscle, and overeating. Additionally, exercising empty results in prolonged recovery time and potentially, a cruddy next workout.

The Verdict:
A recent study, published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, compared energy/fat utilization markers (VO2 - oxygen consumption) and (RER - respiratory exchange rate) in fasted versus fed athletes. The VO2 and RER levels in the pre-workout eaters were greater than that of those in the fasted group at all measured intervals (during exercise, as well as 12 and 24 hours post-workout).

Ultimately the choice is yours; you've got some facts - granted there's also stuff out there claiming the opposite. My advice is this - if you're serious about performance and if recovery counts, definitely do not go in 'empty'. In the event you do decide to take the fasted approach don't expect to see the fat just 'melt' away, have your best workout, or recover quickly and optimally. Your meal doesn't have to be huge - some carbohydrate to fuel your muscles, a little protein to preserve them, and possibly a bit of fat to keep your stomach from growling if you're going long. And remember, you have to "Eat to Compete"!!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Farewell to a true leader





Dick Winters, a highly decorated World War II hero who became a household name when his heroics were chronicled in a Stephen Ambrose book that later became the HBO miniseries “Band of Brothers,” has died. He was 92.
A very private and modest man, he died last week but requested that the news be withheld until after the funeral, a family friend told the Associated Press.
After enlisting in the Army on Aug. 25, 1941, the Pennsylvania native enrolled in Officer Candidate School, eventually being commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant in 1942. He was assigned to the 506th regiment of the 101st Airborne Division — known as Easy Company — and was deployed with his regiment to land by parachute in France on D-Day, June 6, 1944.
By leading the takeover of a German artillery bunker on Utah Beach, Winters and his company saved countless lives from relentless cannon fire — an action that earned him the Distinguished Service Cross, the second-highest honor an American soldier can receive. Winters and Easy Company later fought near the Belgian town of Foy during the Battle of the Bulge, liberated the German concentration camp at Dachau, and occupied Hitler’s mountainside retreat, Eagle’s Nest.
In 1945, one of Winters’ soldiers, Floyd Talbert, wrote a letter to Winters from his hospital bed to express appreciation for his leadership in battle.
“You are loved and will never be forgotten by any soldier that ever served under you,” Talbert wrote. “I would follow you into hell.”
Below is a brief video that opens with Winters talking about being a leader, and follows with some of the soldiers who were under his command talking about his exploits:

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Turn down the lights well before bedtime

from Conditioning Research

Here is another interesting one for the #sleep discussions.

"On a daily basis, millions of people choose to keep the lights on prior to bedtime and during the usual hours of sleep," said Joshua Gooley, PhD, of Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, Mass. and lead author of the study. "Our study shows that this exposure to indoor light has a strong suppressive effect on the hormone melatonin. This could, in turn, have effects on sleep quality and the body's ability to regulate body temperature, blood pressure and glucose levels."

Friday, January 14, 2011

Can Fruit Make You Fat??

The five most nutritious fruits

An apple a day just doesn’t cut it anymore, and too many apples could make you fat.

That’s the advice of Iva Young, a nutritional expert who warns that the wrong kinds of fruits can actually do more harm than good.

“We really should be smart about the fruits we consume,” said Young, author of Healthy Mom (www.ivayoung.com). “After all, remember that fruits are very similar to breads, pastas, rice, and other high carbohydrate-rich foods in that fruits are high in carbs. That is one reason why we should only consume a certain amount, and choose the fruits that are lower in sugar. If you pick the right fruits and eat the proper portions, then you will give your body what it needs and it will benefit greatly from your efforts.”

So, which fruits offer the biggest health boost? Young named the following fruits, all of which are comparatively low in sugar, as her top five:

· Raspberries -
· Blackberries -
· Kiwi -
· Strawberries -
· Oranges -

“Sugar is also something that you should keep your eye on, because it affects the health of your teeth and the functioning of your hormones, specifically leptin,” she added. “Leptin is the important hormone responsible for telling the body that you should stop eating. With excess amounts of sugar in your body, the amount of leptin is diminished, which causes you to overeat. Excess sugar also has been known to cause intestinal issues increasing the chances of bloating, which causes your stomach to stick out and look like you have extra fat. That’s how consuming too many sugar-rich fruits can actually make you look fat, and make you feel less healthy than if you didn’t eat any fruits at all.”

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Fats and Smoke Points





A stove top range or roughly 35 degrees per number...

The stove top heats in the temperatures between 200°F - 500°F. That would equal 300 degrees between 200°F and 500°F. Dividing that into 10 equal partitions.

On my stove top it starts at LOW so that would be 200°F. It goes all the way up to HIGH, which would equal 500°F. Divided out that would be about 33.3 degrees per number. Round up to 35 degrees.

Basically:

Low = 200°F
2 = 235°F
3 = 270°F
4 = 305°F
5 = 340°F
6 = 375°F
8 = 445°F
9 = 480°F
High = 500°F

Achieving 375°F will be a little less than 6, but more than 5... Round up... 6.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU STOP TRAINING?

 
Please answer the following question: When you take a break from training, your body starts to turn to mush: a) after a few months; b) after a few weeks; c) after a few days; or d) almost immediately. Most runners apparently believe the correct answer is (d), and that the fitness gains of years of running are in danger of quickly vanishing into thin air. This behavior is manifested in phenomena such as running streaks, double workouts, and a propensity to run through such potentially life-threatening conditions as blizzards, electrical storms, and bronchitis.
The good news is that the rate at which detraining occurs is slower than you may think. In fact, most elements of your fitness go down at about the same rate at which they go up. Let’s take a look at the evidence concerning how long it takes physiological improvements to be lost and running performance to go down the tubes when you are forced to stay off the road due to illness or injury, or (now here’s a novel concept) when you take a planned break from training.
A surprisingly large number of scientific studies have been conducted on detraining, and although not all results are in agreement, the evidence is reasonably consistent. The journals Medicine and Science in Sports & Exercise and Sports Medicine recently published reviews of over 60 detraining studies, which provide insight into how quickly you can expect to lose your hard-won adaptations to training.
The table below summarizes some of the physiological adaptations that occur during a 2 to 4 week break from training. Your VO2 max will decrease by up to 10%, primarily due to a reduction in your blood volume. One of the adaptations to endurance exercise is an increase in blood volume, and when you stop training this adaptation is lost relatively quickly. When your blood volume decreases, less blood returns to your heart to be pumped with each heart beat. This means that your stroke volume (the amount of blood pumped per heart beat) decreases. Your heart rate must increase, therefore, in order for you to run at the same pace as before.
Other effects of detraining include a loss of flexibility, a decrease in your lactate threshold pace, and large reductions in your muscle glycogen concentration and aerobic enzyme activity. Interestingly, the fitter you are, the greater these losses tend to be.
Physiological effects of 2-4 weeks of detraining
VO2 maxdown 4-10%
Blood volumedown 5-10%
Heart rateup 5-10%
Stroke volumedown 6-12%
FlexibilityDecreases
Lactate thresholdDecreases
Muscle glycogen levelsdown 20-30%
Aerobic enzyme activityDecreases
Running economyUnchanged
What happens to your running performance?
Endurance performance tends to remain the same or actually improve after a few days without training. This is not surprising because when you are in hard training you are perpetually fatigued, so a short break allows your body to recover and adapt to your previous training. Between 1 and 2 weeks off from training, however, the benefits of recovery start to become outweighed by a loss in fitness. Although not many studies have measured loss of performance in runners after several weeks of detraining (would you volunteer?), performance is likely to decrease by about 3-5% after 3 to 4 weeks of detraining. A 40-minute 10K runner could expect to slow down by about 1 to 2 minutes after a 3 week break.
How about if you just reduce your training?
If you cut back the volume of your training (i.e. how often you train or how far you run), you can maintain your fitness level for a surprisingly long time. Studies have found that when either the frequency or duration of training are reduced (while the intensity of training is maintained) that aerobic conditioning is maintained for up to 15 weeks. When the intensity of training is reduced (while the volume of training is maintained), however, then aerobic fitness declines more quickly. If you must reduce your training volume, therefore, maintaining your training intensity is the key to maintaining your running performance.
Similarly, if you are injured, you can maintain a reasonably high level of aerobic conditioning by cross-training hard several times per week. The closer that your cross-training activity simulates running, the more slowly you will lose your running fitness.
On the road again
When you start running again, you can expect your fitness level to go back up at about the same rate at which it went down. Of course, if you have been injured, the increase in your training will be dictated by the recovery of your injury. If you haven’t run for two weeks or more, during your first run back you will likely feel as though you have never run before. It just takes a couple of runs for your various body parts to become reacquainted, and by your third run you should feel almost normal. After a week or so back on the road your blood volume will be increasing, and you will be regaining all of the other fitness factors that will allow you to regain your previous level of running performance.
(This column originally appeared in Running Times Magazine.)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Keep It Healthy While You're Ill


From Nell Stephenson
Got a stomach bug?  Or even worse, the flu?

Typical recommendations for when you're feeling under the weather range the gamut from 'only drink liquids' to follow the B.R.A.T (as in Banana, Rice, Applesauce. Toast) diet.
Well, if your GI system is in distress because you're fighting a virus, the LAST thing you'd want to do is to add more insult to injury by inflicting grain and gluten upon it!
Yes, you may find that your body is telling you that certain foods sound great and others awful, but you needn't stray from Paleo,
Some of my best recommendations include:
-Smoothies- make them at home with water, egg white protein powder and berries or pumpkin puree (see my blog for past recipes posted!).
-Lots of herbal tea.
-Veggies steamed and then pureed into soup- with garlic, garlic, garlic!
-Other 'mushy' foods like natural applesauce with some hard boiled egg would work as well.
Try and keep your diet ultra alkaline and even lower in fruit sugars than normal; if you're taking a few rest days in a row, you don't need that starch and also, certain bacteria and viruses thrive on sugar so you certainly don't want to supply food to them!
Ultimately, you'll have to see what your body is asking for.   If something makes you nauseated, don't eat it, but do know that you needn't go for saltine crackers or dry toast!
Get well soon!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Soybean Oil vs Coconut Oil

from Josef Brandenburg

What is one the things most often repeated in college nutrition classes and the press?  Don’t eat sutured fat!  Saturated fat is bad.  Coconut oil is the worst thing for you as it is 90% saturated – more saturated fat than even lard.  Instead, as the American Heart Association would say:
“Polyunsaturated fats an have a beneficial effect on your health… when eaten in moderation and when used to replace saturated fat or trans fats.”
We always got charts like this in college and were told that the stuff on the bottom was the worst for you and the most fattening.
personal fitness training washington dc
they even put sat fat in red
Its funny, but most of our clients will drop a dress size fast and easy when they cut out the so-called “good” oils at the top – all you have to do is cook your eggs in butter instead of PAM… and your food tastes way better.
I actually got rid of my season allergies when I cut that crap out of my diet and have settled into the leanest I’ve ever consistently been by cutting out that crap.  Why are clients able to get off their high blood pressure, triglyceride and cholesterol meds when they replace their “healthy” grains and “healthy” oils with egg yolks and beef?
Well, lets put the AHA’s theory to the test (again):


Look familiar?
Let’s take 2 groups of overweight women, give one group 30ml of soybean oil* and 30ml of coconut oil**, and double blinded this – neither the researchers nor the participants know what they are eating, so nobody’s prejudices could influence the results.  Both groups were on the same diet and exercise program except for the change in 30ml of oil.
In 12 weeks both groups will have lost a similar amount of scale weight, but the soy oil group dropped no belly fat.  None.  While the coconut oil – all saturated fat – dropped a lot of belly fat.
So, just 2 tbsp of soy oil is a powerful enough stimulus to stop all belly fat loss.


better tasting and better for you
What’s more is that the soy oil group’s total cholesterol went up, and their “bad” cholesterol (LDL) went up, and their “good” cholesterol (HDL) when down; while the coconut oil group had exactly the opposite – positive – results.
Where Does Soybean Oil Even Come From?
Soybean oil is something that you could only ever get in the past century.  It is a very new food, and something requires an industrial process to make – you’ve got to heat it up a lot, and then use very nasty solvents like hexane to extract it.  (We were always told to wear gloves in Organic Chemistry lab when using hexane – “don’t let that stuff get on you and don’t sniff it for a buzz!”)
As far as I can tell humans have been eating coconut oil for some 4,000 years, and to get virgin coconut oil you don’t need an industrial process.
Why does it even make sense that a brand new food that we had to invent in a factory is better for you than a food that we’ve been eating for millennia?  Why would our bodies evolve to be destroyed by the foods we have evolved with – fatty meat, coconut oil and the like; and have evolved to only thrive off brand new foods like soybean oil?  Why would we have ever survived?
The above is taken from the new Client Success Manual 3.0.  Current clients will be getting the contents for free in the near future, and, if people who bought the last edition send an email to Natillie (info@thebodyyouwant.com) you’ll be put on the list to get a free digital copy of the new manual.  The version for purchasers for the manual (non-clients) will take longer to put together as it is a different product.
Notes:
*soybean oil is 58% polyunsaturated fat (PUFA) and 14% saturated fat (SFA)
**coconut oil is  quite possibly the most saturated fat that you can eat – it has 2% PUFAs and 81% SFAs.  Lard, by contrast, has just 62% SFAs.  However, that does not mean that coconut oil is bad for you.  There is no compelling evidence that SFA content in your diet is in anyway bad for you.  The Atkins diet always beats the AHA’s diet when it comes to both fat loss and heart disease risk factors.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Roger Pierce

I was lucky enough to race against Roger Pierce during one of the BU Mini Meet. Roger is a beast at the 400.He runs about 61 in the 400 probably faster at times.Roger kicked by butt in the 400 wasn't really close.. He runs for Mass Velocity a master track club. Master track is 50 plus. I didn't have much luck against any of the Mass Velocity running in the 400. They got me each week......




Roger Pierce is a man on the run. And at 65, he shows no signs of slowing down; in fact, he just might be getting faster.
Last month, the Essex sprinter competed in the World Masters Indoor Track & Field Championships in Kamloops, British Columbia, and returned with two gold medals and a pair of silvers. He earned gold in the 400 meters, as well as running a leg with the 4x200 USA relay team, and silver in the 60 and 200. His runner-up finishes were photos and totaled less than half a second.
Nonetheless, Pierce was pleased with his showing, and now he owns 13 golds in World Masters competition to go along with his 27 indoor and outdoor US national golds. He’s won his other world titles in various age groups in venues in Australia, Spain, Austria, Puerto Rico, and Italy.
Not bad for a man who didn’t start running seriously until he was 39, because “I was upset with myself for not staying in shape.’’
He was very much in shape, though, when he competed at Beverly High in the early 1960s and then as a walk-on at Northeastern in the late ’60s and early ’70s. Both those schools eventually found room for him in their Halls of Fame — Beverly in 2004 and Northeastern in 2008. The USATF also inducted him into its hall in 2008.
“Sprinters were pretty much done after their college days back when I competed,’’ recalled the 5-foot-5, 139-pound Pierce. “There were no programs or age groups back then, so no matter how hard you trained, you were always going to get beat by the younger guys. As age groups developed, things started to get more interesting and more inviting.’’
Pierce was an assistant track coach at Stoneham in the early ’70s and then head coach at Beverly in 1993. He taught English in the Woburn school system before leaving that job to concentrate on music. He became a master on the 12-string guitar, turned professional, and still performs at pubs and coffee houses in the North Shore area.
His return to competitive running came in 1984. One day, he stumbled across a masters track meet in Waltham. He was 39, ran in the 30-39 age group, and finished third behind two men in their early 30s.
“It was at that point I decided to get into shape and compete on a serious level,’’ he said. “At 40, I won the 50-yard dash at the Eastern Masters Championship and after that I felt good enough and motivated enough to continue. I knew if I stayed in shape I could compete on a high level. I pretty much stayed local until I discovered there were national and world championships out there for men my age and older.’’
Pierce said training is the key to his success, but that it can’t be overdone. He trains every other day doing intervals of walking and sprinting and figures he averages just 2 1/2 miles a week.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Protein Restriction and Longevity: My Initial Impressions

From Primal Wisdom

A recently received a copy of Perfect Health Diet by Paul and Shou-Ching Jaminet, in which they suggest limiting protein consumption to promote longevity.  Until I started reading this book, I did not put any effort into reading and evaluating research in this area, although I have had several people point me in that direction.  Reading PHD gave me reason to look into it.  Overall I like the Jaminets' book, so I thought they might be on to something.


The Jaminets cite six scientific papers as support for the idea that protein restriction will promote longevity.  All of these papers report on experiments done with rodents (mice or rats).  I have read five of the papers (I did not read the sixth because it appeared not to be original research) and have some thoughts about them.

Just to experiment, for a couple of days Tracy and I reduced our meat intake by half.  I reduced my meat intake from more than a pound daily to just about one-half pound, and,  as the Jaminets suggest, replaced the protein with starchy carbohydrates (potatoes and sweet potatoes).  For both Tracy and I, this resulted in a noticeable decline in mood and a dramatic increase in hunger and intestinal gas, along with a disruption of bowel function.

So I remain unimpressed with the results of these studies, and find in them no reason to believe that making any attempt to deliberately restrict my protein intake by conscious decision will have any significant effect on my longevity.  Which brings me to another point.

One of the benefits I have received from paleo dieting has been a sharpening of my primal, unconscious guidance system.  Basically, the longer I have eaten in a “primal” fashion, the less conscious effort I find myself putting into food selection.  I follow my natural inclination to eat meat, fat, vegetables, fruits, and nuts in amounts determined by appetite rather than reason, and I get rewarded with pleasant moods, smooth digestion, abundant energy, and good health.  Every time I interfere with this by trying to impose on my food selection some guidance from the haughty conscious mind, I have negative results, almost always appearing first in the digestive tract and mood. 

The lesson I take from this is that the conscious mind does not know enough to regulate food intake, and, so long as I eat practically primal foods, I am better off if I leave regulation of food intake to primal wisdom of the body.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

More than 25% of Kids and Teens in the U.S. Take Prescriptions on a Regular Basis

Gage Martindale, who is 8 years old, has been taking a blood-pressure drug since he was a toddler. "I want to be healthy, and I don't want things in my heart to go wrong," he says.
And, of course, his mom is always there to check Gage's blood pressure regularly with a home monitor, and to make sure the second-grader doesn't skip a dose of his once-a-day enalapril.
These days, the medicine cabinet is truly a family affair. More than a quarter of U.S. kids and teens are taking a medication on a chronic basis, according to Medco Health Solutions Inc., the biggest U.S. pharmacy-benefit manager with around 65 million members. Nearly 7% are on two or more such drugs, based on the company's database figures for 2009.
Doctors and parents warn that prescribing medications to children can be problematic. There is limited research available about many drugs' effects in kids. And health-care providers and families need to be vigilant to assess the medicines' impact, both intended and not. Although the effects of some medications, like cholesterol-lowering statins, have been extensively researched in adults, the consequences of using such drugs for the bulk of a patient's lifespan are little understood.
Many medications kids take on a regular basis are well known, including treatments for asthma and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.

But children and teens are also taking a wide variety of other medications once considered only to be for adults, from statins to diabetes pills and sleep drugs, according to figures provided to The Wall Street Journal by IMS Health, a research firm. Prescriptions for antihypertensives in people age 19 and younger could hit 5.5 million this year if the trend though September continues, according to IMS. That would be up 17% from 2007, the earliest year available.
Researchers attribute the wide usage in part to doctors and parents becoming more aware of drugs as an option for kids. Unhealthy diets and lack of exercise among children, which lead to too much weight gain and obesity, also fuel the use of some treatments, such as those for hypertension. And some conditions are likely caught and treated earlier as screening and diagnosis efforts improve.
Gage, who isn't overweight, has been on hypertension drugs since he had surgery to fix a heart defect as a toddler, says his mother, Stefanie Martindale, a Conway, Ark., marketing-company manager.
Most medications that could be prescribed to children on a chronic basis haven't been tested specifically in kids, says Danny Benjamin, a Duke University pediatrics professor. And older drugs rarely get examined, since pharmaceutical firms have little incentive to test medicines once they are no longer under patent protection.
Still, a growing number of studies have been done under a Food and Drug Administration program that rewards drug companies for testing medications in children. In more than a third of these studies, there have been surprising side effects, or results that suggested a smaller or larger dose was needed than had been expected, Dr. Benjamin says. Those findings underscore that children's reactions to medicines can be very different than those of adults. Long-term effects of drugs in kids are almost never known, since pediatric studies, like those in adults, tend to be relatively short.
"We know we're making errors in dosing and safety," says Dr. Benjamin, who is leading a new National Institutes of Health initiative to study drugs in children. He suggests that parents should do as much research as they can to understand the evidence for the medicine, confirm the diagnosis, and identify side effects. Among the places to check: drug labels and other resources on the FDA's website, published research at www.pubmed.gov, and clinical guidelines from groups like the American Academy of Pediatrics.
When a child psychiatrist diagnosed their then 8-year-old daughter with bipolar disorder four years ago, Ken and Joy Lewis, of Chapel Hill, N.C., sought a second opinion from another child psychiatrist.
They also worked with a psychologist. Dr. Lewis, who leads a company that does early-stage drug studies, reads all the available research on each medication suggested for the girl, now 12, who has taken antipsychotics and other psychiatric medications including Risperdal and Haldol.
"If your child has a chronic problem, then you have to invest the time as a parent," he says.
Parents and doctors also say nondrug alternatives should be explored where possible. Tom Wells, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences who sees patients at Arkansas Children's Hospital in Little Rock, frequently pushes diet and exercise changes before drugs for hypertensive kids. "Obesity is really the biggest cause I see for high blood pressure in adolescents," he says. But only about 10% of families adhere to his diet and exercise recommendations, he says.
Beverly Pizzano, a psychologist who lives in Palm Harbor, Fla., spent years struggling with behavioral therapies for her son Steven, 10, who showed symptoms of ADHD at a young age. She worked with a counselor on a system of rewards for good behavior, and even had a research team watch him and suggest interventions. But she turned to medications after he struggled in kindergarten. "We tried everything before I would get to that," she says.
After a drug is prescribed, children must be closely monitored, doctors say. They may not recognize or communicate a possible side effect, or whether their symptoms are improving. They also don't always follow prescription instructions.
Robert Lemanske, a professor at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, says patients at his pediatric asthma clinic are checked regularly for side effects such as slowed rates of growth. He quizzes parents and young patients on details like where they keep their inhalers to make sure they're taking their prescribed medicine.
Nichole Ramsey, a preschool teacher whose 9-year-old son Antwone is a patient at the clinic, watches her son's basketball practices so she can head off any wheezing or other symptoms. She also makes sure she's around when he gets his regular Advair dose. If Antwone stays at a friend's house overnight, she asks the parents to watch that he takes steps like rinsing out his mouth to avoid a fungal infection that can be a side effect of the inhaled drug.
"You're still the best monitor of what's going on with them," she says of a parent's role.
Ms. Ramsey is particularly concerned about Advair, which has been tied to rare instances of asthma-related death, but says it works better than a previous drug he was using. Before he started the medications, Antwone was hospitalized several times for asthma attacks.
As children's bodies change and grow, they often need different drugs or doses, says Greg Kearns, chairman of medical research at Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Mo.
Jennifer Flory, a homemaker in Baldwin City, Kan., says that after her daughter Cassandra, now 16, started taking a higher dose of the asthma drug Singulair a few years ago, she became more moody and sad. Ms. Flory didn't connect the change to the drug, but when she eventually mentioned it to a nurse practitioner at the girl's asthma clinic, the nurse suggested stopping Singulair, which currently has a precaution in its label about possible psychiatric side effects. Cassandra, who continued taking Advair, became far more cheerful and didn't have any increase in asthma symptoms, Ms. Flory says.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Becoming a Better Fat Burner


from  science of running

One of the fitness indicators that we hope to improve in the Base period has to do with using more fat and less glycogen (carb) for fuel during long endurance events. As your body becomes better at using fat to produce energy essentially your aerobic fitness improves. This is especially important for very long, steady-state events such as half- and full-Ironman triathlons, century rides, marathons and the like.
I once coached a triathlete whose fat metabolism was so ineffective that he would have had a hard time finishing an Ironman. This was discovered during a VO2 max test by looking at his Respiratory Exchange Ratio (RER).He would not have been able to take in and process enough sugar to keep the engine running that long without going very slowly. He was by far the worst athlete I’ve ever seen when it comes to fat burning.
So what influences your ability to use fat during exercise? There appear to be several. Here they are.
Genetics. I’ve never seen any research to confirm this, but it stands to reason that how well we do at preferentially using fat for fuel must be some how related to our parents. This could be as simple as how much type I (slow twitch) muscle we have, to perhaps how abundant our aerobic enzymes are and probably many other variables. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately) it’s too late to do anything about this. You have what you have. Life isn’t always fair.
Training. There are several studies and reviews that support the notion that endurance training causes a shift in metabolism toward greater usage of fat for fuel [1, 2, 3]. Trying to nail it down any tighter than that to what type of training is most effective is pretty complex. The research here is not in agreement. For example, one review of the research suggests that training below 75% of VO2 max is the best way to become a fat burner [4]. Another review suggests it’s even lower than that – 59-64% for trained athletes and 47-52% for sedentary subjects [5]. But to further muddy the water a third found that untrained subjects doing 4-minute intervals at 90% of VO2 max, 3 times a week for 6 weeks saw significant improvements in fat burning [6].
This is a critical area for athletes, especially in the Base period, so I’m currently doing an experiment with n=1 (me) to see how various chronic training intensities may affect RER. It’s a 5-month project which I’m only 2 months into. But I’m seeing some interesting results already. I’ll share them with you when it’s done.
Pre-Exercise meal. Most of the research shows that if you eat a high-fat meal before exercise (as opposed to high-carb) endurance at low-intensity improves but high-intensity usually suffers [7, 8, 9, 10]. The bottom line here is that if you eat a lot of carbohydrate before a workout your body will have little need to use fat as a fuel. It’s probably best when doing workouts that are short (for ssome numbers to perhaps give you a reference, let’s say that means less than 3 hours on the bike, under 2 hours of running, or shorter than 90 minutes of swimming) and fully aerobic (below threshold) to eat a low-glycemic-index (LGI) meal or snack prior to the workout. LGI means foods high in fat and/or protein, some fruits (apples, peaches, pears) some grains (rye bread), legumes (soy, lima beans, lentils) and others. Such a meal or snack eaten no less than 2 hours prior to exercise will encourage your body to rely more on its fat stores thus improving metabolic efficiency.
There are lots of variables that go into how much you eat pre-exercise and how long the workout is. How much depends on when your last meal was, how much you ate and what you ate. The suggested workout durations above are more likely to work for experienced athletes who train a lot (more than 12 hours per week, perhaps).
Pre-Exercise fasting. There is some research suggesting that fasting before a workout causes the body to use more fat for fuel during exercise thus training it to become more metabolically efficient [11, 12]. This may or may not be a good idea for you. I would definitely not recommend this before very long workouts (relative to what you are well-trained for). The risk of bonking could be very high. I think a better option is to eat a LGI meal a couple of hours before the workout and then use water only during shorter exercise sessions. As with fasting, I think this would cause the body to become better at using fat for fuel. But again, how long the workout is that you use water only is determined by the individual. Your shortest workouts should not be a problem at all. The question has to do with at what duration you use sports drinks, bars, gels, blocks or whatever. The suggested durations under “Pre-Exercise Meal” above may help you decide here. Regardless, when doing any length of workout it’s a good idea to have sugar handy, such as in a back pocket – just in case. Better safe than sorry.
Chronic diet. Most studies show that chronically (for several days, weeks, months or perennially) eating a diet that is low glycemic index (some day I will write about the difference between this and “glycemic load,” which is probably a better standard but less understood) causes a shift in metabolism favoring the use of fat for fuel [13, 14, 15, 16, 17]. This is what Loren Cordain, PhD and I suggest in our book, The Paleo Diet for Athletes. It’s the type of diet the athletes I coach follow and it nearly always produces good results. I should point out that not all of the studies listed here show better performances – only improved fat utilization. I’ve come across only one study that found no improvement in RER with a low LGI diet [18].
Conclusion. There are four options suggested here to improve your body’s capacity for using fat for fuel (changing genetics isn’t an option – yet). No one knows for sure, as I suspect this has never been studied, but I believe the most effective are your chronic diet and training. I’ll have a bit more to say about training in a few months after I complete my semi-scientific, personal study. Until then I’d suggest that training in zones 2 and 3 are probably the most effective for improving fat utilization through training.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Don't exercise too much

from Conditioning Research


The two key terms for energy researchers in 2010 have been BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) and VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor): BDNF stimulates the formation of new connections between brain cells; and VEGF produces new blood vessel-lining cells, potentially keeping the arteries free of flaws that are the potential sites of clots, and therefore preventing heart attacks and strokes.

Regular exercise increases levels of both, so it should be good for you – but there's a snag: too much exercise lowers BDNF levels. Does that have a damaging effect on brain cells? We don't yet know, but anecdotal evidence of the breakdown in health of athletes and enthusiasts who train to near-exhaustion every day tends to suggest that it does.

The main message, then, is to give your body time to recover after exercise. The current advice is to exercise to breathlessness (it doesn't matter what you do – anything you continue to enjoy) for around 30 minutes, and avoid exercising more than three or four times a week.

Do something....but not too much.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Orange and Green Vegetables Linked to Longer Life


Unlike McDonald's, which is mostly shades of brown, new research claims colorful vegetables, specifically oranges and dark greens, maybe help extend lifespan and decrease mortality.
Published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, researchers from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), found that among the 15,000 study participants (American adults, ages 20 and older) taking part in a national health survey, individuals with higher blood levels of alpha-carotene had lower overall health risks after 14 years, regardless of lifestyle habits.
The World Health Organization (WHO) says insufficient intake of fruits and vegetables is a major risk factor for increased mortality worldwide. A 2003 WHO report claims as many as 2.7 million lives may have been saved each year, if more fruits and vegetables were consumed.
In the new study, experts report that both alpha-carotene and beta-carotene, present in orange and dark green vegetables, provided health benefits, but the effect was most pronounced with alpha-carotene. Our bodies convert alpha-carotene and beta-carotene into vitamin A. Carrots and red, yellow, and orange colored vegetables are all good sources of carotenes.
Individuals with the highest blood levels of alpha-carotenes had a 27% lower risk of death, especially dying from cardiovascular disease and cancer. Beta-carotene and alpha-carotene are antioxidants and have been shown to reduce risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer.
Antioxidants prevent the oxidation of other molecules. Oxidation causes chain reactions that release free radicals into the body, which can damage cells; a risk factor for cancer. Antioxidants stop these chain reactions.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

For the Love of Almonds (and Some Omega 3/6 Fats Talk)


by Diane Sanfilippo

Oh, almonds! People have such a love affair with almonds. The trouble is, they're really not something we should be eating lots of all the time. Really. Especially not if they're straight from the bag to our mouths. That's like a double whammy of the Omega 6 Fats we are aware we're consuming followed by a hit of phytic acid (a mineral absorption inhibitor) to which we may not have given much thought.

Here's my deal with almonds (and most nuts in general): I rarely keep them in the house or snack on them anymore. And by rarely I mean I maybe eat them a couple of times a week if that, and I try to keep it to some almonds, macadamia nuts and possibly some walnuts.

So now you're thinking... "But I thought nuts were healthy, good for me, a super-food and... paleo?!"

As someone who admittedly hates supplements and tries very hard not to supplement with anything that I can't chew and eat or stand outside and soak up (ie: the sun)... here's my take: To regulate my Omega 3 to Omega 6 essential fatty acid intake, I work largely on REDUCING MY OMEGA 6 INTAKE and then eating my Omega 3s in the form of grass-fed beef, wild-caught fish and minimal amounts of flax oil or Omega 3 enriched eggs. "Omega 3 enriched," when referring to eggs, means is that the chickens were fed flax seeds and that the Omega 3 from the flax in the form of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is converted by the chickens to the more usable forms for us as humans of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Humans aren't able to make the conversions from ALA to EPA and DHA as effectively which is why consuming your Omega 3s in the form of flax oil alone will likely not be sufficient for optimal health. All that said, I typically buy the Omega 3 enriched eggs only if I can't get my regular pastured eggs.


Reducing Omega 6 intake is best approached by eliminating vegetable oils in the diet (largely canola, corn, soybean and sunflower or safflower- all very high in linoleic acid), grains and legumes.

Nuts and seeds tend to account for a large proportion of continued Omega 6 intake for those of us who abandon grains and vegetable oils and move towards an evolutionary diet but are searching for other snacks and easy, on-the-go foods on which to munch. And I'm not the only one dishing out this advice. Check out this podcast interview of Matt Lalonde conducted by Jimmy Moore of Livin' La Vida Low Carb. Matt is an organic chemist and a Harvard-educated PhD and is also a big advocate of reducing these types of Omega 6s in our diets. I've also heard Robb Wolf comment on his podcast that in order to monitor our nut consumption, actually shelling the nuts we plan on eating is a good idea. I like this concept, and if I had a goal of not over-consuming nuts on a regular basis, I'd go for that method for sure. Aside from the Omega 6 content, nuts do contain some other potential gut irritants and lectins so their consumption really should be moderated which is why they're at the tippy top of the Paleo Pyramid.