Friday, April 30, 2010

The Sous Vide Review #002

By Diana Hsieh

Welcome to this month's edition of Modern Paleo's second blog carnival, The Sous Vide Review!

The Sous Vide Review is a monthly blog carnival featuring the best blog posts on sous vide cooking from members of Modern Paleo's SousVide e-mail list. What is "sous vide"? As Wikipedia explains:

Sous-vide (pronounced /su ˈvid/), French for "under vacuum", is a method of cooking that is intended to maintain the integrity of ingredients by heating them for an extended period at relatively low temperatures. Food is cooked for a long time, sometimes well over 24 hours. Unlike cooking in a slow cooker, sous-vide cooking uses airtight plastic bags placed in hot water well below boiling point (usually around 60°C or 140°F).
Sous vide is an up-and-coming cooking method, one still quite new for most of us home cooks. The Sous Vide Review aims to expand our horizons. It highlights the best blogging on this emerging culinary art every month.

Now, without further ado, I present this month's edition of The Sous Vide Review:
Extreme Cook presents Beef Ribs with Tamarind/Chipotle Glaze - Sous Vide posted at Extreme Cooking Blog.

Jason Logsdon presents Sous Vide Corned Beef and Cabbage posted at Cooking Sous Vide.

Will presents Reheating Sous Vide Beef posted at Engineer Chef.

Diana Hsieh presents Sous Vide Eggs in a Mason Jar? posted at Modern Paleo, saying, "I made fabulous scrambled eggs in a mason jar in my Sous Vide Supreme. Strange but true!"

Fritz Cloninger presents Double-Sous-Down-Vide Sammich posted at beef and whiskey, saying, "my take on the media hoopla regarding the KFC Double Down sandwhich."

Fritz Cloninger presents Sous-vide grass-fed beef-a-palooza! posted at beef and whiskey, saying, "Using sous-vide to produce tender and tasty grass fed steaks."

Neil Syham presents The ramps and the egg!- 143f - 1 hour posted at Sous Vide Supreme Blogspot.
Many thanks to the members of SousVide who submitted to this edition of the The Sous Vide Review!

I hope to see The Sous Vide Review grow in the future as more people try sous vide cooking -- and blog on their adventures. If you blog on sous vide cooking and you'd like to submit your posts to the carnival, please subscribe to the SousVide e-mail list. You'll receive instructions and reminders via that list.

Finally, you can find the blogs of the SousVide bloggers on this continuously-updated list:
Enjoy!

Read more...

The Paleo Rodeo #006

By Diana Hsieh

Welcome to this week's edition of The Paleo Rodeo!

The Paleo Rodeo is a weekly blog carnival featuring the best paleo-related posts by members of the PaleoBloggers; e-mail list. The past editions are collected on this page.

What is "paleo"? As I say in Modern Paleo Principles:

A "paleo" approach to health uses the evolutionary history of homo sapiens, plus the best of modern science, as a broad framework for guiding daily choices about diet, fitness, medicine, and supplementation. The core of paleo is the diet: it eschews grains, sugars, and modern vegetable oils in favor of high-quality meat, fish, eggs, and vegetables.
The purpose of The Paleo Rodeo is to highlight some of the best blogging of the ever-growing paleosphere. As always, you'll likely find some new paleo bloggers that you'll want to read regularly!

Here is this week's fabulously hefty edition:
Girl Gone Primal presents Show Me The Recipes! posted at Girl Gone Primal, saying, "Here's my Recipes page, which I update every time I blog about a new culinary experiment. Enjoy!"

Frank Hagan presents Low Carb: Is Kidney Failure a Possibility? posted at Low Carb Age

Greg Perkins presents A Better Test of CrossFit: "Toughest Half-Marathon in the Northwest" posted at Modern Paleo, saying, "It was test time. Would my unspecialized training let me "perform well" at this fabled exercise in running brutality? Or, failing that, could I at least finish the horrid thing and not be prevented from using stairs for a week? Here's how it all went down..."

Naomi Kooiker presents How to convert friends and family to a paleo lifestyle, Part 1 posted at My Paleo Kitchen.

Sara Hatch presents Budget Menus for the week (and shopping list) posted at Edible.

Aaron Fox presents Live Blogging from PrimalCon 2010 (plus Day 2 and Day 3) posted at Mark's Daily Apple, saying, "Mark Sisson presents the ultimate gathering of Primal enthusiasts at the first ever PrimalCon. The editor of Mark's Daily Apple, Aaron Fox, live blogged from the event, showcasing the feasts, activities and breakout sessions attendees enjoyed."

David Csonka presents The Paleo Diet Makes My Teeth Happy posted at Naturally Engineered.

Kristy A. presents Diabetes Doesn't Have to be Part of a Complete Breakfast posted at Feasting on Fitness, saying, "From the vault: a "relatively" oldie but goodie. Compares the traditional breakfast of champions with real food to see which is healthier and why."

Josephine Svendblad presents Live-r for life! posted at Nutty Kitchen.

Richard Nikoley presents A Conversation with Mark Sisson About Primal Business posted at Free The Animal, saying, "We cover Mark's general entrepreneurism in the paleo / primal arena, his book, The Primal Blueprint, self publishing, the Amazon push that got him to #2 overall, PrimalCon, and his new soon-to-be-released cookbook. ...And other odds & ends paleo /primal."

Brian presents Stage 3 posted at The Caveman Diet.

Paleotron presents Feta and Beef Stuffed Mushrooms with Tapenade posted at Paleotron, saying, "This week I made feta and grassfed beef stuffed mushrooms with tapenade. It's a little heavy on the dairy, so keep that in mind, but if you tolerate a little bit of cheese, you'll love this dish."

Nicole Markee presents What I Eat (While Backpacking) posted at Astrogirl, saying, "This is about my paleo meal plan for a backpacking trip I'm doing next week. It's five days and about 85 miles."

Diana Hsieh presents Sous Vide Eggs in a Mason Jar? posted at Modern Paleo, saying, "As an experiment, I made sous vide scrambled eggs in a mason jar -- and it worked!"
Many thanks to the PaleoBloggers who submitted to this edition of theThe Paleo Rodeo! I hope to see this blog carnival grow in the future. If you blog on paleo-related matters and you'd like to submit your posts to the carnival, please subscribe to the PaleoBloggers e-mail list. You'll receive instructions and reminders via that list.

Finally, you can find all of the blogs of the PaleoBloggers on this continuously-updated list:
Enjoy!

Read more...

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Learning From the Kitavans

By Christian Wernstedt

Sometimes we paleo folks cringe a bit in our seats when the Kitavans of Papua New Guinea are brought under discussion. The existence of the Kitavans seems to somehow challenge some of our assumptions about what aspects of a paleo diet really drive its health benefits, or even what a paleo diet is.

The Kitavans is a hunter-gatherer/semi-agriculturalist population whose members eat a diet composed of a whopping 70% of calories from carbs, only 20% from fat, and the remaining 10% from protein.

Yet with this high carb diet, the Kitavans are exhibiting the absence of obesity and disease that we associate with our standard paleo template which typically prescribes a diet much lower in carbs, much higher in fat, and higher in protein than the Kitavans' standard fare.

Further, as we tend to be fans of Gary Taubes' meticulously worked out thesis that carbohydrates drive insulin, and that insulin drives fat storage and obesity, we might be tempted to pull an Ancel Keys on the Kitavans and relegate them to some sideshow of "irrelevant" outliers.

So what's really going on with the Kitavans and how do they fit within our paleo world view?

The following discussion doesn't try to cover all the factors that may be at play, but I think that it will illustrate how the integration of observations of the Kitavans into our big picture actually deepens and strengthens our understanding of the virtues of a paleo approach to diet.

In order to proceed we need to recognize that Taubes' carbohydrate hypothesis must be interpreted within the context of additional hormonal- and environmental factors besides insulin and carbohydrates.

One of the most important factors in this regard seems to be hormone leptin, and the ways by which its function may be interfered with.

Leptin is a hormone secreted by the fat tissue which speeds up metabolism and acts as an appetite suppressant. Leptin also helps to ensure that fat is neatly stored in our fat cells, and that it is not instead packed between- or inside our organs, which is a very disruptive situation associated with Western disease.

One could say that leptin is the fat tissue's way of ensuring a peaceful relationship with other tissues in the body so that an appropriate amount of spare calories can be stowed away as fat, but no so much that the fat deposits grow dysfunctionally large.

Now, quite unfortunately, there is such a thing as leptin resistance, which makes our brains deaf to the fat tissue's leptin signal. This deafness to leptin in turn makes us hungrier than we should be, and thus allows fat deposits to expand more readily, and also into places, such as the liver, where we absolutely don't want any fat. (With a nod to Tabues, I must say that eating insulin-spiking carbs certainly doesn't help in this situation, but there is such a thing as over-eating fat and protein too, especially in the context of a slowed down metabolic rate.)

Leptin resistance can be caused through different avenues (one of them over-consumption of carbs, particularly fructose), but more to the point in our discussion of the Kitavans is that certain proteins (lectins) in grains may be a powerful causal factor in leptin resistance through blocking leptin receptors in the brain.

This potential for grains-induced leptin resistance helps to explain why Westerners eating a 60% carb diet based on a large amount of grains become leptin resistant and wind up with obesity and associated metabolic problems, whereas the Kitavans who might consume the same proportion of carbs in their diet, though from non-grain sources such as root vegetables, instead maintain leptin sensitivity, a lean body composition and the absence of disease .

The above line of reasoning is put forth and supported by two very compelling papers by Staffan Lindeberg, et al, and Tommy Jönsson, et al. (The latter is a particularly excellent example of a carefully constructed hypothesis that integrates observations from epidemiology and evolutionary biochemistry - highly recommended for the science geek.)



Another set of hormonal- and environmental factors that potentially have bearing on why the Kitavans are so healthy may be the hormone adiponectin and the nutrional factors that impact its production.

Adiponectin is a hormone that (as is the case with leptin) is secreted by the fat tissue, which quenches inflammation and increases insulin sensitivity. Adiponectin thus acts as the body's own antidote against the metabolic syndrome's hall mark symptoms which are precisely insulin resistance and inflammation. Similar to leptin, adiponectin is likely one of natures' way to make sure that we can expand our fat stores without adverse systemic side effects.

In people with metabolic disease, the levels of adiponectin have been found to typically drop off rapidly as the affected individuals become more obese, though this doesn't happen uniformly from individual to individual. The correlation between a given person's level of obesity and corresponding drop in adiponectin (and associated rise in metabolic problems) seems to be determined by genes and gender (women tend to produce more), but levels of adiponectin have also been positively correlated with the presence of the minerals magnesium and calcium in the diet.

Interestingly, a dietary factor that is recognized as interfering with the absorption of magnesium, calcium, and other minerals is the lectins and phytic acid present in grains and legumes.

In other words, foods that mainstream Westerners tend to eat as dietary staples (particularly grains) block the minerals that promote adiponectin, while the Kitavans do not eat these mineral blocking foods!

I haven't seen any data on this, but I would not be surprised if it is the case that to the extent that the Kitavans actually become a little chubby (such as the individual to the right in the picture above), they probably also have higher levels of adiponectin compared to Westernes with similar body composition, and that one potential explanation for this is that the Kitavans are less prone to mal-absorption of crucial minerals. (Of course the absence of mineral deficiency also has other wide ranging positive effects.)

To wrap up this discussion, we can see that qualitative aspects of a diet (such as, in this case, the presence or absence of grains) may quite dramatically condition how our bodies deal with a particular ratio of macro nutrients, or availability of calories for that matter. (A person with his leptin receptors blocked by grain lectins tends to be a hungrier person! )

This in turn hints at a really cool epistemological aspect of the paleo dietary approach: Paleo doesn't focus on individual nutrients in a narrowly mechanistic manner. Instead it provides us with a integrative framework that isn't at all threatened by new observations or the presence of unusual cases. I don't know of any other dietary- or lifestyle approach that accomplishes this.

PS. Eating 60% of calories from carbs may not be for everyone. Those who struggle with obesity and/or insulin resistance should try low carb paleo.

Read more...

Sous Vide Eggs in a Mason Jar?

By Diana Hsieh

Note: I'm pretty sure these eggs would work well with the Sous Vide Hack of warm water in a beer cooler. So even if you don't have a fancy sous vide set-up, you can try them out!

Every few days, I make a fantastic breakfast of Eggs Scrambled in the French Manner in my Sous Vide Supreme. They're truly phenomenal, such that I've not made scrambled eggs in a pan since my first week of sous vide cooking back in December.

My sole problem with the dish is with the vacuum bag. In the process of mushing around the eggs, the bag has popped open or torn a few times. And it's somewhat of a challenge to get all the egg out of the bag and into the bowls once it's cooked.

Yesterday morning, I tried a somewhat different technique. I used my standard recipe for two servings. (Mine differs slightly from that of M.D. Eades, mostly because five eggs will not make enough eggy deliciousness for Paul and me.) I set my Sous Vide Supreme to 167 F, then I mixed together:

  • 8 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 oz cheese
  • pinch of sea salt
Cooked bacon or ham is also particularly fantastic in these eggs. Instead of putting the mixture in the usual vacuum pouch, I poured it into a quart-size mason jar. It filled the jar up about 65% of its height, as you can see.

I put on a plastic lid, then set it in my well-heated Sous Vide Supreme. The water in the bath was slightly higher than the height of the eggs in the jar.

I cooked the eggs for about forty minutes, stirring it every ten minutes. Next time, I'll likely let it be for the first 20 minutes, then stir. Then stir in another 10 minutes, then in another 5 minutes, etc. Note that the eggs expanded upwards a bit.

Undoubtedly, the eggs in the jar cook somewhat slower than in the bag due to the reduced surface area. However, unlike with the bag, I could easily tell when the eggs were perfect. Plus, the results were spectacular: the eggs were more consistently creamy than when I cook them in the bag. Also, it was far easier to get the eggs out of the jar than out of the bag!

Technically, cooking the eggs this way isn't "sous vide" since that means "under vacuum." However, the basic technique and the results were very much the same. I want to try some more experiments along these lines. In particular, I'd like to cook scrambled eggs in the mason jar, but at a lower temperature for longer time, without stirring. I'm thinking maybe at 145 or 150 F for two hours. That might be yummy!

P.S. If you want to acquire the fabulous device that is a Sous Vide Supreme....

Special Offer: Easy Sous Vide Demi Promo Package. Shop Now!

Read more...

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Experimenting with Recovery Time in High Intensity Training

By Hoyt Chang

A while ago I blogged about reading Body By Science (BBS) and starting high intensity training. Since then, I’ve been collecting data and experimenting with the recovery time in between workouts.

Advocates of high intensity training hold that the purpose of exercise is to perform the minimum amount of work necessary to stimulate a positive adaptive response, which is muscle growth. A workout consists of several different exercises, each involving one set of repetitions, to failure. Only one set is performed, because additional sets cause more fatigue but do not stimulate more response. Training to failure is needed, otherwise the stimulus is too small to trigger a response. If your body can easily handle what you throw at it, no adaptive response is triggered.

But the workout itself is only half the story. The other half is the recovery period, in which the fatigue to your muscles is being repaired and additional muscle mass is being developed. Based on data collected on clients of the authors’ gyms, BBS recommends working out once every seven days, in order to optimize muscle gain in the long run. Everyone has different recovery capabilities, but this 7-day interval is an average and should work well for the vast majority of trainees. At the very least, it is a good place to start and can be tweaked to meet your personal attribute. Insufficient recovery time leads to a plateau, or even retrogression in performance.


During the recovery days I make an effort to get enough sleep, eat well, reduce stress levels during the day, and avoid any unnecessary physical activity, except for a leisurely walk if it’s sunny outside. All these things can influence the recovery.

BBS also states that as you get stronger, recovery time will increase, because you are putting greater fatigue on your body each time you train to failure. Based on this logic, and since I weigh about 100 lbs and had been sedentary for some time, it should not take much work for me to train to failure, and thus my needed recovery time should be short. The data in the chart below starts on April 3. At this point, I had already trained for a few weeks, but I did not take any time-under-load (TUL) data. From April 3 to April 15, I trained once every 3 days, as you can see from the spacing of data in the chart.
Progress can occur in two ways: either TUL has increased for a fixed weight, or the weight has increased for the same TUL. Thus I created a new parameter, plotted on the vertical axis of the chart, which is the weight multiplied by TUL. If either one increases, it will be reflected in the parameter. (In this data set, all the weights remained constant. In the future, weights will increase.) I don’t count the number of repetitions. I just focus on keeping good form and on keeping the weights moving slowly and smoothly. I make sure my joints don’t lock out and the weight doesn’t rest on the weight stack after each repetition, so that the TUL really reflects a continuous period of time in which the muscle was loaded.

As you can see, the bicep pull down was added at the second workout on April 6. This had the effect of drastically reducing the performance of the seated row, which was performed after the bicep pull down. These two exercises have overlap on the muscles required (both use the biceps). This shows that performance is sensitive to the ordering of exercises within a workout. After that workout, the ordering of the exercises was kept constant for the remainder of the data.

Even if two exercises use different muscles, metabolic resources will be consumed during the earlier exercise, and the subsequent exercises will be more difficult. I think this is reflected in the squats, which was the last of the 5 exercises. The performance in the squats jumped around, because it is sensitive to variations in fatigue level of the previous 4 exercises. Also, the squat is the hardest for me to maintain good form, and if I’m too tired to keep my back straight, I stop immediately. Reducing injury risk is far more important than trying to edge out a bit more intensity. But this also causes the squat performance to fluctuate.

Overall, this period of training in 3-day intervals was a total failure. There was no significant overall progression, if you look at all 5 exercises together. If you look at individual exercises, the seated overhead press and the bench press trended up slightly, but the seated row was mostly flat (neglecting the first data point) and the squats jumped around with no trend, but most importantly, the bicep pull down, which was the first exercise, trended downwards significantly.

At this point I figured I was over-training and needed to increase the recovery time. I switched to a 9-day interval, so my next workout was on April 24. When I walked into the gym, I didn't feel particularly strong or energetic. But when I started lifting, I felt that everything was easier than I remembered, at least for the beginning and middle of each set. But towards the end of each set, my muscles were shaking a lot harder than previous workouts. As you can see, I improved in all 5 exercises, and blew away the bicep pull down, the first exercise.

This proves to me the supreme importance of sufficient recovery time. Neglecting the first workout, which only had 4 exercises, there are 3 workouts with 3-day intervals and 1 workout with a 9-day interval. This may not seem like much data, but if you count by exercises, there are 15 exercises with 3-day intervals, and 5 exercises with 9-day intervals. Plus, the first, unfatigued exercise, the bicep pulldown, showed the strongest trends. With a 3-day interval, I performed a ton of work, and reaped zero benefits, aside from the “feel good” that results in working out. With a 9-day interval, I did less work but showed great progress. My data is consistent with BBS' recommendation of a 7-day interval.

Some people think high intensity training is boring. I think it is anything but. By it's very nature, it requires maximum mental concentration and physical work, so it's impossible to be bored. When I watch other people work out, they are listening to music, tapping their fingers to the music, looking around, etc. They are bored because they are not doing high intensity training.

Additionally, there are countless variations within the high intensity framework. In the future I might test: fewer exercises, different ordering of exercises, alternating between exercises, half-reps, max contraction, max pyramid, rest-pause, etc.

Read more...

Monday, April 26, 2010

A Better Test of CrossFit: "Toughest Half-Marathon in the Northwest"

By Greg Perkins

Recall that the goal with CrossFit training is not to be elite at anything in particular, but rather to perform well at everything in general -- to "specialize in not specializing" athletically. CrossFit's founder thinks this is possible, and that their methodology is the best way to pull it off. Of course this just begs to be put to the test, as I explained last time with the story of Tammy taking on her first ultra run.

We had a lot of fun with that test, but wouldn't it have been even more interesting to use someone who didn't start out as a trained runner? Sure!

That would require finding the right lab rat. Maybe someone who wasn't athletic and sporty growing up... think "classic band-geek who's into computers." Like me. :^) Even as an adult who became active, I simply didn't enjoy running. "Sorry dear, I know you looooove running, but it's mountain biking for me -- your 'fun' hurts too much!" So of course I've never trained to run any of the races I would never have thought to enter in the first place. Like Robie. (Cue the ominous music.) Growing up in Boise, I was well aware of this annual rite that draws thousands of masochistic runners from all over: The Race to Robie Creek, billed as "the toughest half-marathon in the Northwest." No kidding.

It's so easy to be all macho about stuff in the future, isn't it? "Alright, T -- if you actually run that Moab ultra, I'll run Robie!"

Then, wouldn't you know it, the future arrived. It was test time. Would my unspecialized training let me "perform well" at this fabled exercise in running brutality? Or, failing that, could I at least finish the horrid thing and not be prevented from using stairs for a week? Here's how it all went down:



As for the stairs question: happily, no problem! While I could certainly feel tightness in my legs for a couple of days, I wasn't hampered. Case in point: the Monday morning following the race I turned in a strong performance on our regularly-scheduled random CrossFit beatdown, which happened to be dominated by lunge-walking and squats.

(P.S.: Did you notice who was already there, waiting for me at the finish line? Yeah, the little sandbagger. Even that morning, Tammy was saying she didn't expect to be able to do more than jog/walk Robie in a social way because of training for, running, and having only three weeks to recover from a very different kind of race. Yet she ended up being the 25th female over the line and outright won her age division! Needless to say, she's thrilled with having gained the capacity to so casually demolish the best results she ever saw with her previous training methods.)

Read more...

Health-O-Rama

By Diana Hsieh

  • Alternatives to BPA containers not easy for U.S. foodmakers to find. It's interesting to read about the work going into solving the problem, but I wish that food manufacturers would be more open about what they're doing. Go capitalism, go! [Christian W's note: Trader Joe's asserts that their canned wild Alaskan salmon comes in BPA free cans. Same goes for Trident (a manufacturer) and their canned salmon product.]

  • F.lux is a nifty little program for Mac or PC that "makes the color of your computer's display adapt to the time of day, warm at night and like sunlight during the day." I rather like it: the computer screen seems easier on my eyes at night. Mostly though, I've experienced a dramatic improvement in the quality of my sleep over the past few weeks due to wearing a sleep mask. It blocks out all the small lights from various gadgets in our bedroom at night, and it allows me to sleep beyond daylight, if needed. [Christian W's note: I've been running F.lux for some time, and it feels very soothing. I'm also using a sleep mask at night, but I always wake up with it around my neck...]

  • Michigan Governor Says "Go Vegan". Ugh. We need a separation of food and state.

  • Speaking of vegans, here's an interview ex-vegan Kaleigh Mason. I love her last answer. [Christian W's note: Another great ex-vegan interview here (Melissa McEwen).]

  • Three killer posts on the metabolic advantage of low-carb from Dr. Eades: Thermodynamics and the metabolic advantage, AC Fat Loss Bible critique part II, and More on the thermodynamics of weight loss.

  • Dr. Kurt Harris has another post showing pretty remarkable damage to the heart in long-distance runners: Still Not Born to Run. It's a follow-up to Cardio Causes Heart Disease. I wonder: (1) Is the damage done just by long-distance running alone? Or does the high-carb junk diet that most such runners eat also a factor, perhaps a major factor? And (2) What's the dose-response curve here? Is some running beneficial -- or is it all bad? I don't think we've got answers to those questions ... yet.
  • Read more...

    Sunday, April 25, 2010

    Open Thread #006

    By Diana Hsieh


    (Photo courtesy of otterpix)


    This post hosts Modern Paleo's weekly open comment thread. Please feel free to post any random questions or remarks you have in the comments on this post. Personal attacks, pornographic material, commercial solicitations, and other inappropriate comments will be deleted.

    Read more...

    ObamaCare: Insurers Need Permission to Survive; Citizens, to Live

    By Paul Hsieh

    [Note: This post is part of Modern Paleo's weekend schedule of blogging on Objectivism on Saturdays and free market politics on Sundays.]

    The April 25, 2010 edition of PajamasMedia has published my latest OpEd, "ObamaCare: Insurers Need Permission to Survive; Citizens, to Live".

    My primary theme is that ObamaCare and other recent developments in Massachusetts bring us perilously close to what Ayn Rand calls the "ultimate inversion" where tyrannical government can do anything it please, whereas ordinary citizens can do nothing without government permission.

    My secondary theme is that the Tea Party movement must move to the next level of promoting proper limited government, based on the principle of individual rights.

    Here is the introduction:

    Suppose our government declared that everyone had the “right” to a nice steak dinner. The government would require restaurants to sell $50 steak dinners to all comers. But to keep prices affordable, restaurants could only charge $25. No restaurant could survive long under such a scheme, and most Americans would be outraged at such a blatant violation of restaurant owners’ rights.

    But that is exactly what is happening with health insurance in Massachusetts. Events unfolding now in the Bay State should serve as a warning to the rest of America of the danger ObamaCare poses to our health insurance, our health care — and ultimately our lives.
    (Read the full text of "ObamaCare: Insurers Need Permission to Survive; Citizens, to Live".)

    Read more...

    Saturday, April 24, 2010

    Objectivist Roundup

    By Diana Hsieh

    As part of Modern Paleo's weekend schedule of blogging on Objectivism on Saturdays and free market politics on Sundays, I post a link to "The Objectivist Roundup" every week. The "Objectivist Roundup" is a weekly blog carnival for Objectivists. Contributors must be Objectivists, but posts on any topic are welcome.

    Erosophia hosted this week's Objectivist Roundup. If you're interested in learning more about what Objectivists are writing and doing, check it out!

    Read more...

    Electricity Is Good

    By Diana Hsieh

    The heavy rains and six inches of wet snow we've gotten over the last few days seem to have taken their toll chez Hsieh. One of our electric lines somewhere in the few hundred feet between the pedestal and the breaker box in the garage has been damaged, likely due to some penetration by water in some crack. We have partial power in the house, but the fridge, freezer, stove, oven, and internet are out. BooHoo! (We can use the Sous Vide Supreme though!)

    Right now, I'm typing this laboriously on my iPhone. Hence, I won't be posting anything substantive on Objectvism today, as I usually do on Saturdays.

    The electrician will be here in about an hour. I hope that it's an easy fix. I eat paleo, but I'm not interested in learning to cook over an open fire!

    Read more...

    Friday, April 23, 2010

    The Paleo Rodeo #005

    By Diana Hsieh

    Welcome to this week's edition of The Paleo Rodeo!

    The Paleo Rodeo is a weekly blog carnival featuring the best paleo-related posts by members of the PaleoBloggers; e-mail list. The past editions are collected on this page.

    What is "paleo"? As I say in Modern Paleo Principles:

    A "paleo" approach to health uses the evolutionary history of homo sapiens, plus the best of modern science, as a broad framework for guiding daily choices about diet, fitness, medicine, and supplementation. The core of paleo is the diet: it eschews grains, sugars, and modern vegetable oils in favor of high-quality meat, fish, eggs, and vegetables.
    The purpose of The Paleo Rodeo is to highlight some of the best blogging of the ever-growing paleosphere. As always, you'll likely find some new paleo bloggers that you'll want to read regularly!

    Here is this week's edition:
    David Gillespie presents Big Fat Lies posted at Raisin Hell, saying, "Australia centric - but you get the idea ..."

    Laurie Donaldson presents Kale Chips and Dog Heaven Marrow Bone Soup posted at Food for Primal Thought.

    Paleotron presents Paleo Paella posted at Paleotron, saying, "This week's recipe is my best so far. I made paella. It's a perfect paleo meal with chicken, spicy sausage, mussels, shrimp, and lots of vegetables."

    Nell Stephenson presents Citrus Lime Shrimp- Main Entree or Tapas Style posted at TrainWithNellie.

    Chris Kresser presents Get rid of heartburn and GERD forever in three simple steps posted at The Healthy Skeptic, saying, "The final article in a series on heartburn and GERD. Contrary to popular belief, these conditions are caused by too little - not too much - stomach acid and bacterial overgrowth. They can be cured by a paleo type diet and restoring stomach acid."

    Kristy A. presents The Study Everyone Talks About Part 1: Correlation is NOT Causation posted at Feasting on Fitness, saying, "The China Study is often used as evidence against a meat-based diet, but have its authors fallen into the very trap they warned against?"

    David Csonka presents The Paleo Diet, By David Csonka Part One posted at Dear Thyroid™, saying, "This was a guest post on DearThyroid."

    Tara Grant presents Boost Your Immune System - Vitamin D posted at Primal Living, saying, "I've been experimenting with Vitamin D for a while now, and have some results. A recent cold has given me some more insight into how my immune system works."

    Richard Nikoley presents One Potato, Two Potatoes posted at Free The Animal, saying, "A continuation of the exploration of the Unpardonable Sin of white potatoes, vs. the Everlasting Virtue of sweet potatoes. "Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition! Our chief weapon is surprise...surprise and fear...fear and surprise.... Our two weapons are fear and surprise...and ruthless efficiency.... Our three weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency...and an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope.... Our four...no... amongst our weapons.... amongst our weaponry...are such elements as fear, surprise..."

    Nicole Markee - Astrogirl presents Salt: Again, the Conventional Wisdom Isn?t. posted at Astrogirl, saying, "As usual, the FDA is preparing to regulate something based on an unproven hypothesis. I'm sure it will work out as well as the fat recommendations have."

    Earl Parson presents Figueroa Produce: Provisioner for my Inner Caveman posted at Modern Paleo, saying, ""I sing the praises of my local paleo provisioner, Figueroa Produce. It is extremely clean, extremely well run, and I value the efforts of Luis, Anthony, and Ruben, its proprietors." They have the best grass-fed beef in L.A.!"

    Jeff Pickett presents Do You Have Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome ? And Don?t Know It? posted at Primal Chat, saying, "Feeling tired? Your Paleo/Primal choice of foods may not be at fault. Read this post to learn what more and more people are discovering - Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome."
    Many thanks to the PaleoBloggers who submitted to this edition of the The Paleo Rodeo! I hope to see this blog carnival grow in the future. If you blog on paleo-related matters and you'd like to submit your posts to the carnival, please subscribe to the PaleoBloggers e-mail list. You'll receive instructions and reminders via that list.

    Finally, you can find all of the blogs of the PaleoBloggers on this continuously-updated list:

    Enjoy!

    Read more...

    Thursday, April 22, 2010

    Lierre Keith Attacked by Anarchist Vegans

    By Diana Hsieh

    Some weeks ago, Lierre Keith, the author of The Vegetarian Myth, was attacked by militant anarchist vegans with three pies laced with cayenne pepper while speaking about her book. (This news report is pretty worthless, except that it does show a video of the attack. It was worse than "attacked with three pies" probably sounds.)

    I don't have time to say much about the matter, but I wanted to express my disgust and outrage at this vicious assault -- and point folks to some further information on the attack and on The Vegetarian Myth.

    First, we have some excellent posts on the attack:

    I've not yet read The Vegetarian Myth. I've bought it, and I plan to read it. I'm looking forward to doing that based on the reviews I've read, such as:
    I also want to listen to Jimmy Moore's original interview with her:
    From the reviews that I've read, I'm sure that I'll disagree with quite a bit of the underlying philosophy of The Vegetarian Myth. That's neither here nor there, of course. The woman has a right to speak her mind, even at an anarchist bookfair.

    I hope that her attackers are brought to justice, but sadly, that seems unlikely.

    I'm not sure how to contact Lierre Keith to send her a message of support, but you might post something on the Facebook page for her book.

    Read more...

    Wednesday, April 21, 2010

    Figueroa Produce: Provisioner for my Inner Caveman

    By Earl3d

    For several months, I have been transitioning my food intake (I dislike the word 'diet' because it is usually used to connote a short-term change of eating habits in effort to lose weight, which is neither my strategy nor my goal here) to correspond to what it generally described as 'paleo'. 

    In short, the paleo diet food intake strategy is based on the idea that there were certain foods at the center of the diet of our ancient ancestors, as they emerged from the primeval jungles, millions of years ago, to become hunter-gatherers.  These are the foods that our bodies' DNA is coded to respond favorably towards, because these are the foods that our DNA itself was mutating and evolving in response to.  Foods in this category include fresh meats and veggies.

    Then there are other foods that entered the diet later, which, although easy to grow, turn out to be pretty bad for you.  These include grains and legumes, which entered the human diet at the onset of the agricultural revolution, which was only about 10,000 years ago, roughly.  Apparently there is lots of anthropological evidence that human nutrition took a nose-dive when this happened.

    Lately (and here I mean the past several decades), there have been even more additions to the diet that are also highly destructive to your metabolism, like all the modern oils derived from grains, sugar and high-fructose corn syrup, processed starches, trans-fats, and the like.  For more in-depth info on all things paleo, including a blog and lots of links + resources, check out the website Modern Paleo.

    So I have been transitioning to this mostly-meat-plus-some-veggies diet, and haven't felt this good in a long time.  I used to have heartburn, indigestion, and all kinds of stomach discomfort.  Now these are very rare, and are pretty much confined to lapses of judgment when I eat something completely ridiculous like pizza or pasta (and which happens less and less.) My weight has stabilized around 178, which is pretty good for being 6'-1" tall, and my body fat is pretty low.  I don't know exactly how low, but you can kinda see my abs peeking through.  My energy has been great, and I feel, overall, really healthy.

    One thing that has made this whole new way of eating a really fun part of my everyday routine has been the discovery of a great little market, right in my neighborhood, called Figueroa Produce.

     They sell everything a modern-stoneage caveman could want!  

    The produce is gorgeous, and they have a wide selection of both organic and regular:


     
    They sell raw milk, Lurpak butter, and Greek Gods yogurt, in addition to a great selection of other dairy products:


    But the thing that is the most amazing of all, to me, is the meat department.


    They have both regular and grass-fed beef.  The grass-fed comes from a local California family farm called Open Space Meats.  I have really enjoyed the grass-fed beef, and it doesn't seem strong or gamey at all to me, like I have heard some people describe grass-fed beef can be.

     Check out that giant grass-fed marrow bone! 

    But wait - it gets even better: they make all their own ground beef right there in the store, daily.  Even their regular, non-grass-fed ground beef is better than any ground beef I have bought outside the Midwest (and I have lived in California for 19 years.)  Or, if you prefer, you can ask Rick, the friendly butcher peopleguy, and he will take any cut of meat right out of the case and grind it for you on the spot!  And their prices are far lower than a certain well-known, big organic supermarket chain (that no longer sells raw dairy products by the way.)

    I realize at this point this blog post is starting to sound a bit like a commercial.  That's because it is!  Seriously, I have a selfish interest in seeing this store succeed, so I can keep shopping there.  Also, there's my natural enthusiasm for seeing an enterprise start up from scratch, and watching the owners, Anthony, Luis and Ruben, in there working hard day in and day out to make it succeed.   I really value their efforts.  If anyone deserves success, they do.

    One last thing, I almost forgot.  If you give them your email address, they'll email you a coupon for 10% off your entire order.  So if you live anywhere near Highland Park, South Pasadena, Pasadena, or Eagle Rock, start getting your caveman supplies at Figueroa Produce!

    Cross-posted from Creatures of Prometheus.

    Read more...

    Tuesday, April 20, 2010

    My Paleo Experience and Favorite Dishes

    By Hoyt Chang

    I've been eating a Paleo-style diet for close to a year now. Before, I ate large quantities of bread, rice, pasta, and sugary foods, at just about every meal. Now I eat beef, pork, chicken, fish, veggies, and eggs. I'm not always 100% strict Paleo. For example, I still use some dairy products such as cheese or heavy cream, although I've stopped drinking milk recently. On rare occasion I eat some rice, if it comes with the fish or beef I order at a restaurant, but I absolutely avoid pasta or bread. As a result, there have been several benefits I've enjoyed:

    1) I used to lie in bed for an hour or two, wide awake, before falling asleep. I was that way for as long as I could remember and I just thought it was normal for me. Now I fall asleep within 10 minutes. The carbohydrates made my energy levels fluctuate, whereas fats provide a more stable energy source. I'm also more awake and alert during the day.

    2) Hunger used to be sharp and painful. Around 11:30 am and around 4:30 pm everyday, I used to be forced to interrupt whatever I was working on in order to eat something, because the hunger was so overwhelming. Now hunger is dull and easily ignored. I can fast for 24 hours and hardly notice it.

    3) Eating large portions used to make me feel bloated and uncomfortable. (Think about the stomachache after eating four plates of pasta.) Now, eating large portions makes me happy and content. Eating has become a positive pleasurable experience, not merely an avoidance of the negatives of hunger and death.

    Here is what I've been eating. I tend to favor dishes that are easy and fast to prepare, and require few ingredients.

    Eggs are one of the most awesome foods in the world. The egg yolk is the most delicious, especially if I fry it over easy. It drives me nuts when I see people order eggs with the yolks removed. Anyways, I usually scramble it with a bit of heavy cream. Often I add vegetables, such as spinach, sauteed in olive oil. For breakfast, bacon makes an excellent addition. Below, the superb combo of nutrition and flavor includes uncured Canadian bacon, which looks like ham (good) but tastes like bacon (better).


    Beef is delicious and I firmly believe everyone should eat it (especially vegetarians) but make sure you go for grass-fed beef, because cows should not be eating grains (kind of like humans) and the cheaper grain-fed beef will have less omega-3, more omega-6, and toxins and chemicals stored in the fat. Sometimes I pan-sear a beef steak such as a ribeye or a porterhouse, but usually I just put it in the oven for 30 minutes at 375 F. Most marinades contain way too much sugar, and eating fatty meat with a sugary marinade makes me feel really sick, so sometimes I use a teriyaki marinade which is more salty than sweet, or often I use spices such as cayenne peppers, black peppers, and curry powder.


    I don't weigh or measure my food. I just eat when I'm hungry and until I'm full. Sometimes I have leftover steak, which I end up slicing and stir-frying into a meal, the next day. The combo of eggs, spinach, and red meat is unbeatable.



    Salmon must be the most delicious fish in the world. Haddock and cod just don't do it for me, because they have no flavor. Catfish is pretty good too, but I usually end up eating salmon. Even canned salmon tastes great. Alaskan wild caught salmon is far superior to the disease-ridden, improperly-fed farmed variety. I usually bake it with zucchini or broccoli.


    Chicken breasts, widely hailed as a healthy lean white meat, is in fact dry, flavorless, and thus inedible. Chicken legs, especially the thighs, are far more delicious and nutritious, with all the fat and skin. Also, I like to suck the nutrient-loaded marrow out of the ends of the bones. Here is some baked chicken, sprinkled with basil and black peppers, along with broccoli dipped in heavy cream. Sometimes I replace the broccoli with other cooked vegetables or a fresh salad with mixed greens and olive oil.

    Read more...

    Monday, April 19, 2010

    My New Standing Desk

    By Diana Hsieh

    Since mid-March, I've been seriously wanting to work at a standing desk.

    I've never been terribly comfortable sitting at any desk, and my laptop causes some kind of mysterious muscle pain deep in my thighs if I use it on my lap. That's not due to the heat of the laptop because the pain will develop even through a pillow and blankets, when I can't feel any heat. Plus, the pain fades only over the course of hours after I've used the laptop. I find the whole thing quite alarming, not to mention uncomfortable, so I try to avoid using my laptop in that otherwise-comfortable position. (Has anyone else had that problem? Any ideas what it might be?)

    However, standing desks seem to be insanely expensive. So I've delayed switching to a standing desk because I've been afraid of spending a boatload of money for a standing desk that I don't much like.

    Happily, a few days ago, I realized that I could make the perfect standing desk just by moving two filing cabinets in our office. So I did! So far, it's working quite nicely. I like to stand while I work, particularly for podcasting. I feel so trapped sitting at a desk, whereas standing allows me to wiggle. (Ultimately, I'm all about the wiggle!) My feet and legs ache, but that should be temporary.

    Here's my set-up:



    I had to make the desk deep rather than wide to avoid the glare from the windows to the left of my standard desk. I like having the computer far back though. That allows me to lightly rest my whole forearm on the desk, something helpful for my still-lingering carpal tunnel problems. Plus, I can drive my computer from my traditional desk by just turning the monitor slightly, as well as use my traditional desk as an additional surface while standing.

    When my feet grow particularly weary, I can use the barstool, appropriated from upstairs, to sit for a spell. I hope that I won't need that often or for long. The small stool is for resting one leg at a time, something that I've seen recommended. I'm going to buy some standing pads from Costco too, as those will add some more padding to our rather thin carpet.

    I'm sure that I'll do some tweaking, but I'm pretty pleased with this set up. Best of all, I didn't pay a cent for it!

    As a bonus, don't miss the sorrowful look of doggie Conrad. Yes, I did require him to lay on his fluffy dog bed for all of about three minutes while I took the picture. The horror!

    Read more...

    Link Love Roundup #003

    By Diana Hsieh

    I want to thank all the bloggers who linked to Modern Paleo over the last week -- and what better way to do that than to offer them some link love in return?

    Modern Paleo's two posts on carb cravings -- Dealing with Carb Cravings by Rick Kiessig and Carb Cravings - Type 1, 2, and 3 by Christian W -- turned out to be quite popular! Check them out, if you've not done so already!

    If you've blogged about Modern Paleo but I've missed you -- or if you do so -- please drop me e-mail. I'll add you to the next "Link Love Roundup"!

    Read more...

    Sunday, April 18, 2010

    Open Thread #005

    By Diana Hsieh


    (Photo courtesy of jamiedfw)


    This post hosts Modern Paleo's weekly open comment thread. Please feel free to post any random questions or remarks you have in the comments on this post. Personal attacks, pornographic material, commercial solicitations, and other inappropriate comments will be deleted.

    Read more...

    The Persecution of Dr. Sara Myhill

    By Valda Redfern

    [Note: This post is part of Modern Paleo's weekend schedule of blogging on Objectivism on Saturdays and free market politics on Sundays.]

    The case of Dr. Sarah Myhill in the UK presents an object lesson on how government intervention corrupts the practice of medicine. Formidable obstacles confront any doctor who cares enough about the health of his patients to defy the medical establishment. The easiest way -- for a while -- is just to toe the line. I say "for a while", because most health care practitioners who start out with a love of medicine and attempt to combine that with obedience to the National Health Service (NHS) find that they can't -- they either burn out or lose their souls. Focusing on the destructive targets and decrees of the NHS is not compatible with good health, physical or mental, theirs or their patients'. Fortunately for her own patients, Dr. Myhill marches to the beat of a different drummer, but this is what she has to endure for doing so:
    Extracts from the About.Thyroid.Com website:

    The troglodytes at the British General Medical Council (GMC) are at it again, trying to destroy yet another doctor who cares about patients and is willing to tackle difficult cases of chronic fatigue syndrome and hormonal imbalances, including thyroid issues.

    ...

    [T]o summarize: the GMC has decided that Dr. Myhill is "a potential risk to public safety" and should lose her license to practice medicine. And what is this serious accusation based on? It's based on the vague complaints of a small group of doctors who compete with Dr. Myhill, and one typo-filled anonymous letter complaining about her website. That's right, the GMC has not received even a single complaint from patients! In fact, they have received hundreds of emails, letters, faxes and phone calls from Dr. Myhill's satisfied patients, in support of her work.
    The GMC says this about itself:
    We register doctors to practise in the UK and have the powers to either issue a warning to a doctor, remove the doctor from the register, suspend or place conditions on a doctor's registration.
    A visit to Dr. Myhill's website reveals that she advocates many of the principles of paleo nutrition and has an integrated approach to health care. Her practice is entirely private (a rarity in the UK, where I cannot find any non-NHS doctor outside of London). From her site you can also find details of the case, a link to her Facebook appeal, and other suggestions on how to help. I have written a letter of protest to the GMC, reproduced below:
    Mr Paul Bridge
    Investigation Officer
    Standards & Fitness To Practise Directorate
    General Medical Council
    3 Hardman Street
    Manchester M3 3AW

    17 April 2010

    Dear Mr Bridge

    Case Reference: PB/C1-314994282

    I am writing in support of Dr. Sarah Myhill, who is not being allowed to follow an integrative approach to the treatment of her patients but instead is being persecuted by the GMC. I have difficulty believing that the GMC care about evidence-based medicine, when they can't even discern the difference between evidence-based accusations and malicious slanders.

    The GMC do not appear to have any interest in the well being of real doctors and their patients. What seems to matter to the GMC is not health and scientific truth, but the preservation of restrictive practice, dogma and convention. When doctors aren't free to practice according to their own consciences, and patients aren't free to select the health care they prefer, no one's health is safe. The GMC purports to protect patients from poor medical practice; but who can protect us from the GMC?

    Dr. Myhill's website is a useful resource that offers reasoned advice - advice that her patients and others are free to take or leave, according to their own best judgement. Her advice, unlike that of the GMC, is not backed by government force.

    I am glad that Dr. Myhill has insisted on a hearing. If she does not receive a just verdict I for one will do what I can to ensure that the GMC never hear the end of that.

    Yours sincerely
    This is just one instance of what happens when the state, instead of defending individual rights, makes itself everyone's keeper. My health doesn't belong to the nation, it belongs to me -- and yours belongs to you.

    Read more...

    Saturday, April 17, 2010

    Objectivist Roundup

    By Diana Hsieh

    As part of Modern Paleo's weekend schedule of blogging on Objectivism on Saturdays and free market politics on Sundays, I post a link to "The Objectivist Roundup" every week. The "Objectivist Roundup" is a weekly blog carnival for Objectivists. Contributors must be Objectivists, but posts on any topic are welcome.

    Sacred Ego hosted this week's Objectivist Roundup. If you're interested in learning more about what Objectivists are writing and doing, check it out!

    Oh, and be sure not to miss The Power of People from Jennifer Iannolo of Food Philosophy. Thanks to the power of social media networking with benevolent folks, Jennifer's awful experience of being robbed was made somewhat less awful.

    Read more...

    Explore Atlas Shrugged: Podcasts and Questions

    By Diana Hsieh

    [Note: This post is part of Modern Paleo's weekend schedule of blogging on Objectivism on Saturdays and free market politics on Sundays.]

    Yesterday, I released a new podcast in my series called Explore Atlas Shrugged. As you might guess from the name, these podcasts concern Ayn Rand's epic novel Atlas Shrugged.

    If you're a fan of the novel, this post on those podcasts is for you! If you've not yet read it, then I envy you: you have the unrepeatable experience of reading Atlas Shrugged for the first time ahead of you!

    These podcasts grew out of the Atlas Shrugged Reading Groups created by Front Range Objectivism. The reading groups consist of about twelve regular members: some of us are knowledgeable Objectivists while others are new fans of the novel. We meet for twenty sessions total -- ten in the fall and ten in the spring. We meet every week for an hour an a half, except during the holidays, to discuss about 65 pages of the novel. I've lead two of these groups so far, and I've learned so much about the novel in the process. Others have said the same. Amazingly, we always have far more to discuss than time permits. Oh, and as a great bonus, I've met some fantastic new people that I'm continuing to discuss Objectivism with in a new monthly discussion group.

    These Atlas Shrugged Reading Groups have been such a wild success that I want to see them done in cities outside Colorado. Plus, I want people -- whether fans of the novel, professors teaching it, or long-time Objectivists -- to dig deeper into the book than they ever have before. It's too easy to get wrapped up in the drama of the action! One needs to pause to consider and reflect on the meaning of the characters and events. But that's hard to do with Francisco at your fingertips!

    To those ends, I've been recording podcasts and posting discussion questions for each of the twenty sessions of the Atlas Shrugged Reading Groups, under the heading of Explore Atlas Shrugged. The podcasts tend to last about an hour, plus or minus twenty minutes. So far, I've done fourteen of twenty. (I got a bit behind, thanks to my hypothyroidism and then the launch of Modern Paleo. I expect to have the final six podcasts done by the end of May.)

    Happily, I think my podcasts have been pretty darn successful. Here's what some of my listeners say:

    "Speaking as someone who listens to a lot of podcasts, I have to say that your Atlas Shrugged podcasts are the most pleasurable and exciting series to which I've listened. ... You really bring the novel to life, both as a work of fiction and as a work of philosophy. Listening to your podcast is simply exhilarating, which is not something I've ever said before about a podcast. I find myself looking forward to listening to it each time it downloads."

    "I wanted to tell you how much I've been enjoying your superb podcasts. From the terrific content to your incredibly fluent delivery, I'm just staggered by the quality: I must say that as a child of the Internet generation, even I am amazed that such content is available for free!"

    "I just wanted to let you know that I have been listening to your podcasts on Atlas Shrugged, and I am really enjoying them. It makes me wish that my commute to work was longer, since I mostly listen in the car. I have read the book three times in the past, but it has been about 15 years since the last time. Your podcasts have me thinking that it is probably time to read it again."
    If you'd like to try a sample, here's my latest:
    You can find the full list of these podcasts and discussion questions on Explore Atlas Shrugged. All the completed and forthcoming sessions are listed below too.

    If you want to subscribe to the podcasts via iTunes, choose your format:
    Those NoodleCast podcasts include a bunch of my earlier podcasts on practical ethics and basic philosophy. I hope to get back to those sometime in the next few months, but for now, I'm working on a new way of doing them.

    Finally, I'd love your feedback on these podcasts! I hope to turn them into a book, so I'd love to hear what you found confusing, what you'd like me to discuss more, where you think I'm wrong, and so on. Please e-mail me at diana@dianahsieh.com with any such comments.

    One final note: The pagination of the two larger hardcover and softcover editions differ from that of the smaller mass market paperback. I recommend using the larger edition. It's easier to read, and I don't always list page numbers for the smaller edition.

    Completed Sessions

    Session 1
    • Pages 1 - 63 (larger) or 9 - 67 (smaller)
    • Part 1: Chapter 1: The Theme
    • Part 1: Chapter 2: The Chain
    • Part 1: Chapter 3: The Top and the Bottom
    Session 2
    • Pages 64 - 126 (larger) or 67 - 124 (smaller)
    • Part 1: Chapter 4: The Immovable Movers
    • Part 1: Chapter 5: The Climax of the d'Anconias
    Session 3
    • Pages 127 - 185 (larger) or 124 - 178 (smaller)
    • Part 1: Chapter 6: The Non-Commercial
    • Part 1: Chapter 7: The Exploiters and the Exploited (Part A)
    Session 4
    • Pages 185 - 252 (larger) or 178 - 241 (smaller)
    • Part 1: Chapter 7: The Exploiters and the Exploited (Part B)
    • Part 1: Chapter 8: The John Galt Line
    Session 5
    • Pages 253 - 309 (larger) or 241 - 294 (smaller)
    • Part 1: Chapter 9: The Sacred and the Profane
    • Part 1: Chapter 10: Wyatt's Torch (Part A)
    Session 6
    • Pages 309 - 378 (larger) or 294 - 358 (smaller)
    • Part 1: Chapter 10: Wyatt's Torch (Part B)
    • Part 2: Chapter 1: The Man Who Belonged on Earth
    Session 7
    • Pages 379 - 438 (larger) or 358 - 412 (smaller)
    • Part 2: Chapter 2: The Aristocracy of Pull
    • Part 2: Chapter 3: White Blackmail (Part A)
    Session 8
    • Pages 438 - 495 (larger) or 412 - 465 (smaller)
    • Part 2: Chapter 3: White Blackmail (Part B)
    • Part 2: Chapter 4: The Sanction of the Victim
    Session 9
    • Pages 496 - 566 (larger) or 466 - 531 (smaller)
    • Part 2: Chapter 5: Account Overdrawn
    • Part 2: Chapter 6: Miracle Metal
    Session 10
    • Pages 567 - 632 (larger) or 531 - 591 (smaller)
    • Part 2: Chapter 7: The Moratorium on Brains
    • Part 2: Chapter 8: By Our Love
    Session 11
    • Pages 633 - 697 (larger) or 591 - 650(smaller)
    • Part 2: Chapter 9: The Face Without Pain or Fear or Guilt
    • Part 2: Chapter 10: The Sign of the Dollar
    Session 12
    • Pages 699 - 751 (larger) or 651 - 699 (smaller)
    • Part 3: Chapter 1: Atlantis
    Session 13
    • Pages 752 - 815 (larger) or 699 - 758 (smaller)
    • Part 3: Chapter 2: The Utopia of Greed
    Session 14
    • Pages 816 - 863 (larger) or 758 - 802 (smaller)
    • Part 3: Chapter 3: Anti-Greed
    Forthcoming Sessions

    Session 15
    • Pages 864 - 936 (larger) or 802 - 869 (smaller)
    • Part 3: Chapter 4: Anti-Life
    • Part 3: Chapter 5: Their Brothers' Keepers (Part A)
    Session 16
    • Pages 936 - 999 (larger) or 869 - 927 (smaller)
    • Part 3: Chapter 5: Their Brothers' Keepers (Part B)
    • Part 3: Chapter 6: The Concerto of Deliverance
    Session 17
    • Pages 1000 - 1040 (larger) or 927 - 965 (smaller)
    • Part 3: Chapter 7: "This is John Galt Speaking" (Part A)
    Session 18
    • Pages 1040 - 1069 (larger) or 965 - 993 (smaller)
    • Part 3: Chapter 7: "This is John Galt Speaking" (Part B)
    Session 19
    • Pages 1070 - 1125 (larger) or 993 - 1045 (smaller)
    • Part 3: Chapter 8: The Egoist
    Session 20
    • Pages 1126 - 1168 (larger) or 965 - 1045 - 1084 (smaller)
    • Part 3: Chapter 9: The Generator
    • Part 3: Chapter 10: In the Name of the Best Within Us

    Read more...

    Friday, April 16, 2010

    The Paleo Rodeo #004

    By Diana Hsieh

    Welcome to this week's edition of The Paleo Rodeo!

    The Paleo Rodeo is a weekly blog carnival featuring the best paleo-related posts by members of the PaleoBloggers; e-mail list. The past editions are collected on this page.

    What is "paleo"? As I say in Modern Paleo Principles:

    A "paleo" approach to health uses the evolutionary history of homo sapiens, plus the best of modern science, as a broad framework for guiding daily choices about diet, fitness, medicine, and supplementation. The core of paleo is the diet: it eschews grains, sugars, and modern vegetable oils in favor of high-quality meat, fish, eggs, and vegetables.
    The purpose of The Paleo Rodeo is to highlight some of the best blogging of the ever-growing paleosphere. As always, you'll likely find some new paleo bloggers that you'll want to read regularly!

    Here is this week's edition:
    Mark Sisson presents When Science Trumps Grok posted at Mark's Daily Apple.

    Kelly Elmore presents Breastfeeding and the Paleo Child posted at Reepicheep's Coracle, saying, "Why breastfeeding and the paleo lifestyle go hand in hand."

    Laurie Donaldson presents Variation on a Theme posted at Food for Primal Thought.

    Nell Stephenson presents Grains- Don't Do It! posted at TrainWithNellie.

    Paleotron presents Beef Bourguignon with Spaghetti Squash posted at Paleotron, saying, "This week I made the quintessential French dish: beef bourguignon and served it over spaghetti squash. It's a little more challenging than a lot of my recipes, but it has a great, classic French flavor."

    Kristy A. presents Adventures with Grass-Fed Beef Part I posted at Feasting on Fitness, saying, "Read about why grass-fed beef is DEFINITELY worth the price and gain a new recipe for your repertoire: Roast Beast: Dry-Roasted Grass-fed Sirloin. Simple and delicious!"

    Shantel presents Queen of My Castle posted at Urban Cave Girl, saying, "Just my weekly vlog I do. Usually on Tuesdays. Random chatter about my paleo/primal progress and a bood review on 'the unhealthy truth.'"

    Nicole Markee - Astrogirl presents What's Wrong with Polyunsaturated Fats? posted at Astrogirl, saying, "Why I've stopped taking fish oil and cut way back on nuts and seeds."

    Lucky Martinez presents Top ten reasons NOT to camp with my paleo mom posted at Paleo Princess, saying, "I just finished a week of living (completely! even made my own outfit out of an elk skin... from an elk I killed myself!) off the land... with my two teenagers. My oldest son, 15, wrote a funny Top Ten list of reasons you shouldn't go camping with your Paleo Mom!"

    Jeff Pickett presents Start Spreadin' the News! posted at Primal Chat, saying, "This is a nice media piece on the Primal/Paleo lifestyle with quotes from both Loren Cordain and Mark Sisson."

    Richard Nikoley presents Metabolism & Digestion: A Key to Weight Loss & Health, Part II posted at Free The Animal, saying, "The second post in my series calling into question the prudence of the High Everything Diet 'HED' being promoted out there and its willy-nilly fretting with out-of-context attempts to raise body temperature by overeating ('everything') in some fools journey to 'cure your metabolism.'"

    Diana Hsieh presents Speak Out Against the Food Safety Bill posted at Modern Paleo, saying, "The proposed "Food Safety Bill" would impose costly regulatory burdens, particularly on small farmers, without ensuring food safety. If you want to protect your freedom, write your representatives!"
    Many thanks to the PaleoBloggers who submitted to this edition of the The Paleo Rodeo! I hope to see this blog carnival grow even more in the future. If you blog on paleo-related matters and you'd like to submit your posts to the carnival, please subscribe to the PaleoBloggers e-mail list. You'll receive instructions and reminders via that list.

    Finally, you can find all of the blogs of the PaleoBloggers on this continuously-updated list:;

    Enjoy!

    Read more...

    Facebook Exchange

    By Christian Wernstedt

    A little debate on Facebook this the week centered around a recent excellent post on FatHead named "I Doubled Down And Lived To Tell".

    My opening shot accompanied with a link to the FatHead post:

    From a paleo perspective KFC is junk food (way too much omega 6), but nothing is junkier than a "heart-healthy" low fat cereal meal as this article shows. The KFC meal produced blood sugar of 94 mg/dl whereas a bowl of "heart-healthy" Cheerios spiked blood sugar to 250 mg/dl (followed later by a crash and cravings). Cycling through that kind of ordeal a couple of times a day is a recipe for cataracts, kidney disease, and atherosclerotic plaque development. Someone should sue the American Heart Association into oblivion.

    Someone (let's call her Ms. X) apparently didn't like my lash out against the establishment and replied like this:

    Well, this will not be a popular reply, but it's obvious that the author knows very little about nutrition. For instance, he seems to think more protein is better, when an overconsumption of animal protein in our culture is a major factor behind the climb in heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis... Take time to find out the truth. You can go to the Web sites of Jeff Novick, John McDougall, T. Colin Campbell, RIp or Caldwell Esselstyn, Joel Fuhrman, Pam Popper and find out the real reasons why people in this country are getting sicker and sicker.

    My answer:

    All of the "authorities" that Ms. X mentions are mainstream anti-animal-product dogmatists. They have never been able to explain why hunter-gatherers who primarily get their calories from animal products show supreme health (cancer and heart disease unheard of) compared to Westerners eating according to these vegetarian myths or worse.

    On the other hand, the frequency of heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis, diabetes, Alzheimer's, etc, have all grown epidemic as consumption of sugars, grains, and processed vegetable oils have increased in the Untited States.

    T. Colin Campbell et al are going to be laughed out of court in a couple of years as the evolutionary perspective on diet takes hold.

    There is no way that anyone in logic can defend a low fat, low protein, grains-laden vegetarian diet in the face of millions of years of man's evolutionary history during which we wouldn't have survived as a species if we didn't eat animal protein and fat.

    It should also be preferable to look like Art Devany and his wife in old age rather than like an emasculated corpse like the vegan T. Colin Campbell. Is Colin able to move without a wheel chair? He looks sarcopenic to me.

    Read more...

    Thursday, April 15, 2010

    Thyroid Update: My Energy Levels

    By Diana Hsieh

    As my regular readers know, I've been able to beat back the worst of my hypothyroid symptoms in recent months, largely thanks to desiccated thyroid and iodine. Happily, I'm still improving with each passing week! So I wanted to post an update on my ever-better energy levels and conditioning.

    When I was in the nasty depths of my hypothyroidism in December and January, I was completely sedentary. I was so lethargic that I couldn't possibly lift weights or otherwise workout. So I stopped. I couldn't even manage to walk down the driveway -- or walk across the room -- without being tired. So I did as little of that as possible too.

    When my worst symptoms cleared in early February, I was horrified to discover just how much conditioning I'd lost in those months. I'd be sore for days with light weightlifting that would have been nothing more than a warm-up before. Over the past few months, I've been slowly pushing myself to do more, and I've definitely made some progress. Mostly, I've been weightlifting, plus rowing one or two mile sprints.

    Happily, I enjoyed a kind of milestone in the first weekend in April. On a gorgeous day, I went for a hike with some friends from Front Range Objectivism that turned out to be eight strenuous miles over four hours, with about 1600 feet of total ascent, including through some snow. On one portion of the trail, I'd routinely fall through the snow up to my knees or deeper -- while I was wearing my Vibram Sprints. (Hooray! It was an adventure!)

    Amazingly, I didn't suffer any crash or decline in energy. I was raring to go the whole time, and even at the very end, the limiting factor was that my feet and knees were aching a bit, not my energy levels. That's good in itself -- and even better that I didn't eat anything while on the trail. I'd had a breakfast of eggs and sausage some hours before the hike started, but I didn't eat any of the snacks I brought. In contrast, when I was seriously hypothyroid, I would crash and burn if I didn't eat every four hours or so.

    I remember too clearly the feeling of complete exhaustion at the mere thought of walking upstairs -- and wondering whether I'd ever be myself again. So I'm really quite pleased to be discovering life after hypothyroidism!

    Read more...

    Back to TOP