Friday, December 30, 2011

The Paleo Rodeo #093

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 of the Rodeo 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.

Here is this week's edition:
Robin presents Countdown to Ironman, Week 27: Have a Plan for the Holidays posted at Everymom To Ironmom, saying, "Stress, travel, overeating, inactivity - going into the holidays with a plan in place can solve the typical holiday pitfalls"

John A. Heatherly presents The Most Paleolithic Man in the World... posted at THE SURVIVAL TEMPLATE John A. Heatherly - Blog.

Tony Federico presents Urban Foraging: B-a-n-a-n-a-s posted at FED - Fitness in an Evolutionary Direction, saying, "Whether it is for economic, spiritual, or political reasons, the act of gathering food for oneself can be powerfully liberating."

Ruth Almon presents Magical Two-Ingredient Halva Cookies posted at Ruth's Real Food, saying, "Do you miss the texture of baked goods? Have I got a cookie for you! Two ingredient halva cookies have a cookie texture with no flour of any kind."

Scott Lee presents Introducing Caffeine - For Better or For Worse? posted at Scott Free Thinking.

PaleoWorks presents Make It a Full Fat Paleo Christmas posted at PaleoWorks: How To Diet and Live Longer.

Laurie Donaldson presents Primal Fish Stew posted at Food for Primal Thought, saying, "A little break from the usual holiday fare."

Kris presents SoFAS – The New Reason to Hate Saturated Fats posted at Kris Health Blog, saying, "An explanation of the term SoFAS, which was invented as the new reason to hate saturated fats, now that evidence shows that they do not cause heart disease."

Meghan Little / Angel Torres presents Sweet Potato Casserole posted at Paleo Effect, saying, "This simple but amazing Sweet Potato Casserole is a must to try and hard to believe that it is completely Paleo. Happy New Year! Stay tuned for our upcoming Paleo Mobile App."

presents Chocolate Tart. Dairy Free Gluten Free Sugar Free Egg Free Soy Free posted at Health Freak Revolution, saying, "Recipes from me are rare, but thought this was worth sharing! Be ready to improvise if you have a go!"

Nell Stephenson presents Getting a Paleo Head Start for the New Year posted at Paleoista.

Lisa Reynolds presents Quick Weight Loss Tips posted at Personal Hack, saying, "Are you thinking of shedding your excess body weight? Is that your immediate goal? Searching for some tips that might help you? This is the right place for you. I have given some hints below that might assist you losing your body weight."

Ritu Riyat presents Primal Meditation posted at Nutritionize!.

Angie presents Paleo/Primal Cinnamon "Rolls" posted at Angie's Suburban Oasis, saying, "For breakfast on Christmas morning Hubby makes his traditional cinnamon rolls. They are so good, but I'm sure the level of sweetness will just be too much for me this year and I may not feel great after eating all of that wheat-based pastry. So while he was making his recipe, I made a version of a cinnamon "roll" muffin that was perfect for me. Not that it needs it, but I made a coconut cream frosting to go on top as well. I think they turned out very cinnamon-y and will be a good substitute for the traditional Cinnamon Roll. Give them a try and see what you think."

The Cavegirls presents Paleo Pancakes: Variations by Angie and Kate posted at Northwest Cavegirls, saying, "Cavegirls Kate and Angie share their recipes for Paleo Pancakes. Kate's pancakes include pumpkin puree for an additional yummy twist. Angie's can be made to order and customized to fit everyone's pancake preferences. Enjoy!"

Melissa Fritcher presents 21-Day Sugar Detox posted at Less of Mimi, saying, "Used this so far in December - down 10 pounds, and 5 inches off my waist! Clean eating, FTW!"

Amy Kubal presents Higher Education: I want to be a Paleo RD – but… posted at Robb Wolf, saying, "It's not all USDA Food Plate. An education in nutrition is SO much more!"

Julia Campbell presents fried plantains + avocado salad posted at the crankin' kitchen!, saying, "the perfect contrast to all those Christmas leftovers: crispy, caramelized plantains with an avocado salad with quick pickled onions"

Diana Hsieh presents My Elimination Diet posted at Modern Paleo, saying, "I've just begun a serious elimination diet. Here's the what, the why, and the how."

Vanessa presents Turkey Bacon is Not Bacon posted at Healthy Living How To, saying, "Bacon makes everything better and a hot salad dressing made with bacon is no exception. Hot Bacon Dressing is a German classic, featured in just about every church cookbook from the 70's. While your grandmother's version probably calls for unhealthy vegetable oil, sugar and cornstarch, with a few substitutions, you have a healthy dressing."

Mark Samson presents Natural Weight Loss Tips posted at Personal Hack, saying, "Are you on trying to find some natural weight loss tips to shed your uninvited body fat? Then this is the right place you are looking for. Nowadays that most foods have at the least some amount harmful greasy substances, I mean the cheese, butter and oils. Naturally, when you consume a lot of such foods you will end up looking like a couch potato. You?ll find yourself in an embarrassing position when others call you a couch potato. Let?s go ahead for some tips."

David Rourke presents You may not understand how odd you are posted at Paleodyssey.

Joe Lindley presents People Magazine, Half Their Size, Low Carb Atkins on Today Show posted at Stop Craving Sugar with a Low Carb Diet Plan or Paleo Diet Plan, saying, "I was pleased to watch a news story on NBC’s Today show yesterday, December 28th, 2011, about some dieting success stories. Savanna Guthrie, the news anchor, introduced 3 dieters who have successfully lost more than half their weight with various weight loss approaches. They will be featured in People Magazine’s January 2012 “Half Their Size” edition which will be published tomorrow, December 30, 2011. The 3 weight loss approaches were Jenny Craig, Medifast, and Atkins.The Paleo Diet is roughly as low carb as Atkins so this may bring some additional publicity for both Paleo and low carb diet approaches."

Meghan Little presents Comments for Paleo Diet Recipes , Chicken Salad posted at Paleo Effect, saying, "Chicken Korma is an Indian recipe that we really enjoy. It has a hearty tomato-curry flavor and pairs perfectly with our Coconut Almond "Rice" for a complete meal! Try this and more at www.paleoeffect.com!"

Crystal Meadows presents Rocky the CaveDog posted at Against the Grain, saying, "Do you have a Paleo Pet? I do!"

Clara Myers presents The Paleo Diet Rules: To Eat or Not To Eat posted at What Is Paleo?, saying, "Just getting started? Here's what to avoid and what to looking for."
Many thanks to the PaleoBloggers who submitted to this edition of the The Paleo Rodeo! This blog carnival has plenty of room to grow! So 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!

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Question of the Week: Resolutions for 2012

By Diana Hsieh

1

This week's "Paleo Question of the Week" is:
Do you have any resolutions for 2012? If so, what are they and how to you plan to accomplish them?
We want to hear your answer in the comments! You're also welcome to post a comment or question on any other paleo-related topic.

If you'd like to submit a question for an upcoming question of the week, please e-mail me at diana@dianahsieh.com.

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Thursday, December 29, 2011

My Elimination Diet

By Diana Hsieh

On Monday, I began a serious elimination diet. Why? Some unknown foods don't seem to agree with my gut: I feel bloated and pained for a day or so after eating them, and while I'm in that state, my hunger sensors seem to be broken, and so I overeat. Also, some tests that I've done with our own Christian Wernstedt of Vital Objectives show gut inflammation, plus high sensitivity to certain foods. If I have problems with leaky gut, that could be a contributing factor in my autoimmune hypothyroidism, as well as my adrenal insufficiency. If so, I want that fixed!

My basic strategy for this elimination diet is slightly complicated because I want to make sure that I'm not just wasting my time by introducing confounding factors.

First, the results of my "MRT" food sensitivity test labeled foods as "green" (little reaction), "yellow" (moderate reaction), and "red" (severe reaction). I've started with just a few "green" foods -- like pork, zucchini, and bananas. Over the first two months, I'll gradually add more "green" foods. After two months, I'll try eating some of the "yellow" foods. After three months, I'll try eating some of the "red" foods. Hopefully, my gut will have healed enough by the time that I reintroduce these foods to be able to tolerate them, but if not, then I'll have to cut them permanently from my diet.

Second, I'm eliminating common autoimmune triggers -- particularly nuts, dairy, nightshades (tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, and eggplant), and eggs -- for at least a month, even if they're "green" by the MRT test. I'll also not drink any alcohol for that first month, nor consume any added sugar. I've been eating strictly gluten-free for ages, so that's a given. I'll also avoid all forms of soy. (I eat wheat-free soy sauce on rare occasion.)

So what does that mean for my diet? What's on the menu... or not?

Red Foods: Eliminate for Three Months

  • Beef
  • Mushroom
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Cabbage
  • Corn
  • Avocado
  • Watermelon
With a half freezer full of delicious grass-fed beef, I'm not too enthused to give that up for three months. Plus, not being able to eat beef means that I won't be able to eat out, since a plain steak or hamburger is off the menu. I'm also mighty unhappy that onion and garlic are on the list -- as they're two of my favorites. However, last week I made a ground beef dish with lots of onion, garlic, and tomato, and I was miserable for two full days. Since then, I've been more reconciled to this three-month deprivation!

Alas, I just saw that my favorite breakfast meat -- the Italian Pork Sausage by Boulder Sausage -- has garlic powder in it, so that's not an option for three months. GRRRR! I wonder whether the "spices" listed on my Whole Foods 365 bacon and Applegate Farms Canadian bacon include garlic or onion. I'll have to inquire.

I do like mushrooms, cabbage, and avocado too, but I can live without them for a while. The watermelon result seems strange to me, since I eat watermelon about once every three years! Corn, however, doesn't surprise me, as I've had some serious belly aches from that.

Yellow Foods: Eliminate for Two Months
  • Basil
  • Broccoli
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Lemon
  • Mint
  • Peach
  • Scallop
  • Tuna
  • Yellow Squash
  • Cashew
  • Green Pea
  • Papaya
  • Pear
Happily, there's nothing too exciting on this list, nothing that I'll really miss.

Green Foods, But Eliminate for One Month
  • Bell Pepper
  • Tomtato
  • Potato
  • Eggplant
  • Walnut
  • Almond
  • Pistachio
  • Pecan
  • Hazlenut
  • Sunflower
  • Yogurt
  • Cheese
  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Sugar
  • Honey
  • Maple
Mostly, I'll miss my morning cup of tea, which absolutely requires cream. I'll also miss the eggs, tomatoes, and bell peppers. I'll definitely miss the cheese too, but I know that I eat too much cheese, so that's probably for the best.

So, you might be thinking, what's left? What can I eat?

Green Foods
  • Pork
  • Chicken
  • Lamb
  • Turkey

  • Salmon
  • Crab
  • Shrimp
  • Tilapia

  • Zucchini
  • Carrot
  • Olive
  • Sweet Potato
  • Spinach
  • Beet
  • Lettuce
  • Cauliflower
  • String Bean
  • Leek
  • Asparagus
  • Celery
  • Cucumber
  • Coconut

  • Orange
  • Apple
  • Grapefruit
  • Strawberry
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cherry
  • Mango
  • Pineapple
  • Raspberry
  • Grape
  • Blueberry
  • Honeydew
  • Apricot
  • Cranberry
  • Plum
  • Banana

  • Coffee
  • Tea

  • Black Pepper
  • Cayenne
  • Cinnamon
  • Cocoa
  • Cumin
  • Dill
  • Ginger
  • Mustard
  • Oregano
  • Paprika
  • Parsley
  • Tumeric
  • Vanilla
That's a pretty good variety of foods, so I won't be terribly bored with meals for the next few months.

Also, I'm back to keeping a food diary, and I'm cutting out my bad habit of snacking. Oh, and if I cheat, I plan to confess it here, so as to keep me on the straight and narrow!

Read more...

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Neglected aspects of effective & injury free strength training

By Christian Wernstedt

There is a lot of debate about the technical aspects of how to best lift weights for strength- and muscle gains, but, in my opinion, not enough discussion about some core psychological- and physiological aspects that can make all the difference regardless of what specific training techniques one choses.

#1: Be Howard Roark. Focus on your exercise set, and your body's signals. Don't think about what the meat-head across the room is doing, or what he thinks of you - a recipe for injury. (This is part of the reason that I'm a bit skeptical of Crossfit - many people just can't handle the outward focus inherent in the competitive element.)

Also, if you ever got repetitive strain injuries from plain office work, you may want to learn to listen to the signals of your body better. You may want to seek out a really good coach to watch your technique.

#2: Control inflammation by eating right. Train hard enough to turn some acute inflammation on - the trigger for muscle acquisition. Eat a paleo diet to make inflammation turn off properly. (This is why pro sports teams eat gluten free diets.)

#3: Optimize cortisol to control inflammation and to maximize training intensity.

Not enough cortisol will contribute to inflammation, which weakens tissues and makes them more prone to injury and soreness. Many people aren't even aware that they have the problem (advanced "Adrenal Fatigue"), until bang! orthopedic surgery is needed.

On the other hand, chronic cortisol elevation is catabolic and hence counterproductive. Ideally, you'll want to have acutely high cortisol during training to maximize intensity, but after training cortisol should rapidly drop off to a healthy baseline. (Not too high and not too low.)

#4: Optimize androgens. Get enough sleep and control all types of stress, including stress from food sensitivities, gut pathogens, and annoying relatives.


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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Video: Rationality in Face of Overwhelming Emotions

By Diana Hsieh

In Sunday's Philosophy in Action Webcast, I discussed rationality in face of overwhelming emotions. The question was:

How can a person regain his rationality in the face of overwhelming emotions? On occasion, I find my rational judgment swamped by strong emotions like anger and anxiety. In such cases, my thinking seems distorted by my emotions. While in the grip of such emotions, what can I do to re-establish my powers of rational thought? Also, how can I prevent myself from saying or doing things that I'll later regret?
My answer, in brief:
You need not be at the mercy of your emotions: you can take charge of own mind in friendly way. So when your emotions rage out of control, you should (1) notice them, (2) analyze them, (3) work to defuse them, and (4) later, prevent the same from happening again.
Here's the video of my full answer:
If you enjoy the video, please "like" it on YouTube and share it with friends in e-mail and social media! You can also throw a bit of extra love in our tip jar.

All posted webcast videos can be found in the Webcast Archives and on my YouTube channel.

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Objectivist Links

By Diana Hsieh

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

Rational Jenn hosted this week's Objectivist Roundup. If you're interested in seeing the latest and best from Objectivist bloggers, go take a look!

Also, my Philosophy in Action Webcast is taking two weeks off for Christmas and New Year's. Join us for the next live webcast on Sunday, January 8th www.PhilosophyInAaction.com at 8 am PT / 9 am MT / 10 am CT / 11 am ET. In the meantime, check out the show's extensive archives by topic, peruse the upcoming question queue, and submit your own questions.

Mostly though... Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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Friday, December 23, 2011

The Paleo Rodeo #092

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 of the Rodeo 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.

Here is this week's edition:
Andy presents What Are Omega 3 Fatty Acids: Effects and Benefits of Fish Oil. Why Omega 6 vs Omega 3 Ratio Is Important! posted at feel awesome.

Tom Hass presents Why You?ll NEVER Lose Weight posted at Personal Hack, saying, "Almost everyone focuses on the 'outer game' of weight loss: dieting, eating right, exercising and so on. This is why they never lose weight or if they do, they always gain the weight right back. Many people have never even heard of the 'inner game' of weight loss."

Tony Federico presents Lindt Excellence 99% Cacao Dark Chocolate Bar Review posted at FED - Fitness in an Evolutionary Direction, saying, "Is unsweetened baker's chocolate a little bit too much for you? Perhaps this is the bar you have been looking for! With only a touch of brown sugar to take the edge off, the Lindt 99% cacao bar is chocolate heaven."

Clara Myers presents Fat and the Paleo Diet posted at What Is Paleo?, saying, "Begin to associate fat with antioxidants and you'll come to see how they calm inflammation."

Ruth Almon presents How Western Medicine Gets it Right... and then Wrong posted at Ruth's Real Food, saying, "Western medicine has made remarkable accomplishments. But often, treatments are overused to the point where they do more damage than good."

Tara presents Menu for December 18-24 & Holiday Travel posted at The Foodie And The Family, saying, "This is how our large Paleo family is going to deal with the food situation while traveling for the holidays."

Riki Shore presents Gluten Free Hanukkah Latkes posted at Three Squares, saying, "These latkes are delicious on Hanukkah or as a party appetizer anytime. Enjoy!"

Amy Kubal presents The 12 "Do's" of Christmas posted at Robb Wolf | The Paleo Solution book and podcast | Paleolithic nutrition, intermittent fasting, and fitness, saying, "Stay on track this holiday season with 12 easy tips!"

Crystal Meadows presents Greasing the Groove posted at Against the Grain, saying, "Grease the Groove with small sets of work throughout the day."

Tim Huntley presents Paleo Bacon Burgers: A Breakfast for Champions posted at My Athletic Life, saying, "Juli Bauer from PaleOMG has a great idea for shaking up breakfast."

Eddy presents We Are Still Fat: How to Cure Obesity, Another Way posted at Health Freak Revolution, saying, "Just my rambling thoughts about how this obesity epidemic my be sorted out.... trying to think outside the box..... feel free to chip in!"

Megh presents Remediating My Magnesium Deficiency posted at Yolks, Kefir, and Gristle, saying, "Why I haven't had a chocolate craving in months ..."

Peggy Emch presents 18 Tips for Improving Food Discipline posted at The Primal Parent.

Megh presents Gumbo Soup posted at Yolks, Kefir, and Gristle, saying, "A delicious soup!"

Kris presents 9 Reasons Why You Should Not Eat Breakfast posted at Kris Health Blog, saying, "A compilation of nine reasons why you should not eat breakfast, but it turns out that despite the hype, breakfast may after all be an unnecessary meal."

Nell Stephenson presents Think You NEED Cream in Your Coffee? NO, You Don't! posted at TrainWithNellie.

Angie presents Paleo/Primal Christmas Recipes posted at Angie's Suburban Oasis, saying, "I've compiled some of my favorite paleo holiday recipes into one post including apple crumble, sage stuffing, mulled cranbery sauce, eggnog and cut out cookies. Merry Christmas!"

Cavegirl Angie presents Almond Butter Cups Candy posted at Northwest Cavegirls, saying, "With only 2 ingredients, dark chocolate and almond butter, it's hard to believe that these little paleo/primal candies could be so amazing. But after only one bite you'll know these almond butter cups are must-have holiday treats."

Diana Hsieh presents Learning to Snowboard at the Ripe Old Age of 37 posted at NoodleFood, saying, "Last week, I learned to snowboard. The first two days were hell, but the third was fun! If you're thinking of taking up the sport, don't miss my advice on the padding that you should arm yourself with."

Stacy Toth presents What losing 100lbs feels like posted at Paleo Parents, saying, "An old post gets revived as it makes it's way getting shared on Facebook. Find out what it feels like to lose 100lbs the Paleo way. Shame, guilt, energy with kids and physical recovery from life long symptoms are among many topics discussed."

Julie Sullivan Mayfield presents Paleo Comfort Foods Is Giving Away A Food Processor! posted at Paleo Comfort Foods, saying, "What better gift this holiday season than a brand new, pretty awesome Cuisinart food processor? We're also giving away 3 personalized copies of our book (for you to give to whomever has been really nice on your list). Stop on by paleocomfortfoods.com to enter!"

Arsy Vartanian presents some observations about osteoporosis posted at 30 days of paleo.

Vanessa presents Ghee Whiz! posted at Healthy Living How To, saying, "Last week I shared with you my Casein Confessions, how my body revolted after a recent run-in with Greek style yogurt. After a few miserable days and rationalizing that I could still have butter and perhaps goat cheese, it became very apparent, casein whether from a cow or a goat, in small or concentrated amounts, did not agree with me. I replaced my beloved heavy cream with Coconut Creamer, ditched cheese & sour cream and made my own butter. Lactose-free, casein-free, whey-free, golden, delicious, velvety smooth, spreadable butter, or what is also known as GHEE."

Joe Lindley presents The Perfect Storm of Insulin Resistance posted at Stop Craving Sugar with a Low Carb Diet Plan or Paleo Diet Plan, saying, "As I traveled on my own journey to lose weight and follow a low carb diet I discovered a paradox related to weight control: the role of insulin resistance in accelerating weight gain.As I unraveled this paradox and discovered how insulin resistance affects us, I also discovered that it was a Perfect Storm of trouble for any of us who tend to gain weight."

Paul Jaminet presents Around the Web; Happy Holidays Edition posted at Perfect Health Diet, saying, "In this latest of our weekly round-ups, we look at a few disease recovery stories, some Christmas-related videos, and the latest action around the Paleosphere."
Many thanks to the PaleoBloggers who submitted to this edition of the The Paleo Rodeo! This blog carnival has plenty of room to grow! So 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!

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Question of the Week: Christmas Dinner

By Diana Hsieh

2010 Dec.25.Christmas Dinner.

This week's "Paleo Question of the Week" is:
What do you plan to make for Christmas dinner? What will you enjoy eating the most?
We want to hear your answer in the comments! You're also welcome to post a comment or question on any other paleo-related topic.

If you'd like to submit a question for an upcoming question of the week, please e-mail me at diana@dianahsieh.com.

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Monday, December 19, 2011

Learning to Snowboard at the Ripe Old Age of 37

By Diana Hsieh

Last Sunday afternoon, my husband Paul and I headed out to Breckenridge, Colorado for a few days of much-needed vacation. I decided to try to learn to snowboard on this trip. (I'm a pretty good skier, but I've not yet skied this season.) I wanted the challenge of learning a new sport, and snowboarding seemed like a good fit for me. Plus, I suspect that snowboarding might be easier on my increasingly painful Morton's neuroma. (That's an inflamed nerve in the ball of my right foot, acquired by wearing bicycle clip shoes.) So with three full days to play in the snow, I decided to take the plunge into snowboarding!

The first two days were pretty darn miserable. I'm not exaggerating. On the first day, I took a full-day lesson to learn the basics, and that was essential. (We had one instructor, plus an instructor-in-training, for four people. That was awesome.) The class worked on the bunny hill of Peak 9 for most of the day, but our final run was on a green slope. While I improved over the course of the day, I struggled to learn how to shift my weight properly in order to steer. Still, the green run was good... including the bit of real hill toward the bottom.

The second day -- my 37th birthday -- was the worst. I still struggled to steer, even just on my heel edge, and often I was sucked into the edges of the run by seemingly insignificant fall lines. Also, I had serious troubles "skating," i.e. moving with one foot detached. That's tricky to learn, and because I switched from regular-footed to goofy-footed after the first day, I had to relearn it. (I'm pretty sure that I could go either way in my stance, but my bad foot is always strapped in with a goofy stance, and that puts far less stress on my neuroma. So goofy I am!) Alas, I had lots of skating to do on this day because I was stupid enough to return to Peak 9, with its long stretch of flat with that strong fall line to the right. (I'd never even notice that skiing!) That was a mistake. However, the absolute worst was the platter-pull lift on the bunny slope: it was not merely ridiculously difficult to skate on a snowboard while being dragged uphill, but also extremely tiring. I was always more winded at the top of the slope than I was at the bottom. After switching to the green run later in the day, I got better at controlling my direction and speed, but I'd not even been able to think about turns yet.

On the third day, I dreaded returning to the slopes. Every muscle in my body ached, and after my first two days, I didn't see much hope for fun. However, I was determined not to permit all of my pain of the first two days go to waste by my giving up, so off to the slopes I went.

Happily, I had a blast! I went to Peak 8, and I stuck with an easy green run and an easy two-person lift. (I could only stay for three hours.) That was perfect. The hill posed enough of a challenge that I never got bored. I worked on my heed-side traversing, then my toe-side traversing, then my j-turns, then c-turns, then s-turns. If I tried to turn on a steeper portion of the hill, I'd crash in a most spectacular way, but I was able to do the turns pretty well on the flatter sections. Control over my speed and direction began to come naturally to me, meaning that I didn't have to think through every body motion. Also, I was able to practice my skating to get on and off the lift. I even managed to skate off the lift perfectly a few times. (Really, that was a feat!) Oh, and it was awesome to have an inch of powder on the slopes that day too!

I'm now eager to return to the slopes to continue learning the basic skills of snowboarding. Obviously, I have much to learn yet, but I think I've gotten over the painfully frustrating portion of the learning curve.

I've never fallen much in skiing, even while learning. I fell over and over again in my three days of snowboarding, often suddenly and hard. However, I didn't suffer any other aches or pains or bruises from that, apart from muscle soreness. (The only exception is a dark circular bruise, two inches wide, on the side of my thigh. I have no idea how I got that!) I stayed out of trouble because I wore a slew of protective equipment, including:

  • A helmet. I bonked my head slightly a few times, so I was very glad to have protected my beloved noggin. I plan to wear a helmet whenever I ski or snowboard from here on out.
  • Wrist guards. They weren't just useful for when I'd catch an edge, but also for helping to prop myself up when attempting to stand up. My instructor cautioned against relying on them for too long: to prevent broken bones, you want to learn to break your forward falls with your shoulder, rather than your arms.
  • Knee pads. I used some knee pads that we'd bought at Home Depot years ago, strapping them on over my ski pants. They definitely cushioned me on some very hard forward falls. I'll likely wear these heavy-duty knee pads for a few more outings, then look for some snowpants with built-in knee pads.
  • Butt pad. This was sheer brilliance on my part, even if the ideas were borrowed from others. I secured the perfect pad to my rear by taking an inch-thick "kneeling pad" for gardening, again from Home Depot, and securing it in the proper place with spandex shorts. (It worked best to put it on over my long underwear.) It was sheer brilliance, I tell you! It really worked: despite some bone-jarring falls, my butt was never sore. The set-up did require large ski pants, however.
My only equipment failure was my mittens. My usual skiing mittens, which are lovely and warm, weren't large enough to fit over my wrist guards, and the wrist guards weren't large enough to fit over my mittens. Doh! Since the wrist guards needed a layer of cushion underneath, I decided to wear my warmer-weather gloves. It wasn't too cold for that, but wowee, they got soaked. As a skier, my hands just aren't in the snow. As a snowboarder, my hands were digging into the snow every time I'd fall, sit down to rest, or get up -- meaning about once every three minutes. That meant soaking wet gloves. I was too cheap to buy new gloves in Breckenridge, but I found an excellent pair of large waterproof gloves and a pair of large mittens at Costco in Denver.

Now I just need to buy myself a used snowboard and boots... and get back out on the slopes!

So what are the lessons here for learning a new sport? I'd say (1) don't give up too soon, (2) pad yourself like crazy, and (3) keep working toward the fun!

Read more...

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Videos: An Early Look at the Election and GOP Candidates

By Diana Hsieh

In Sunday's Philosophy in Action Webcast, I took an early look at the 2012 election, then surveyed four GOP candidates -- Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, and Gary Johnson. I've posted all five questions as videos, and so here they are! (Obviously, I'm speaking for myself here, purely as an individual, not for anyone else involved with Modern Paleo.)

The first question was:

What's your view of the upcoming 2012 election? By what standards do you judge the presidential candidates?
My answer, in brief:
In a presidential candidate, I'm not looking for either John Galt or "Anyone But Obama." I'm looking for someone who will do more good than harm to the cause of liberty in America.
Here's the video of my full answer:
The second question was:
Should I support Mitt Romney for US President? What's the proper evaluation of his principles and record on the budget and the debt, health care, foreign policy, immigration, the drug war, abortion, and gay marriage? Does Romney deserve the vote of advocates of individual rights in the primary or the general election?
My answer, in brief:
Mitt Romney is a smooth talker, but his proposal reveal that he has no understanding of individual rights or the economic problems facing America. He's no better than Obama – and likely worse, because the opposition will vanish. I cannot recommend voting for him in the primary or the general election.
Here's the video of my full answer:
The third question was:
Should I support Newt Gingrinch for US President? What's the proper evaluation of his principles and record on the budget and the debt, health care, foreign policy, immigration, the drug war, abortion, and gay marriage? Does Gingrinch deserve the vote of advocates of individual rights in the primary or the general election?
My answer, in brief:
Newt Gingrich is explicitly theocratic, and a major threat to the separation of church and state. He advocates and practices "active governance," meaning right-wing social engineering, not liberty. Like Obama, he is enamored of bold transformative ideas, which could be okay or horrible for liberty. I cannot recommend voting for him in the primary or the general election.
Here's the video of my full answer:
The fourth question was:
Should I support Ron Paul for US President? What's the proper evaluation of his principles and record on the budget and the debt, health care, foreign policy, immigration, the drug war, abortion, and gay marriage? Does Paul deserve the vote of advocates of individual rights in the primary or the general election?
My answer, in brief:
Ron Paul is not even libertarian, but a neo-confederate conservative Christian, albeit with some grasp of basic economics. He's a rationalist, driven by ideology, and not open to facts. He would be very dangerous to elect as president, not just for actual policies, but as a supposed advocate of liberty. I cannot recommend voting for him in the primary or the general election.
Here's the video of my full answer:
The fifth question was:
Should I support Gary Johnson for US President? What's the proper evaluation of his principles and record on the budget and the debt, health care, foreign policy, immigration, the drug war, abortion, and gay marriage? Does Johnson deserve the vote of advocates of individual rights in the primary or the general election? Also, should supporters of Gary Johnson vote for him on a Libertarian Party ticket?
My answer, in brief:
Gary Johnson is not John Galt. However, he's fundamentally oriented toward facts, plus he has good basic principles about liberty. Alas, he was shut out from the race by the media and the establishment GOP. I recommend voting for him in the primary, as well as in the general election, if he runs as the Libertarian Party candidate. I still reject the Libertarian Party, but a protest vote can be delimited to endorse him and not the party.
Here's the video of my full answer:
If you enjoyed these video, please "like" them on YouTube and share them with friends in e-mail and social media! You can also throw a bit of extra love in our tip jar.

All posted webcast videos can be found in the Webcast Archives and on my YouTube channel.

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Saturday, December 17, 2011

Objectivist Links

By Diana Hsieh

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

Erosophia hosted this week's Objectivist Roundup. If you're interested in seeing the latest and best from Objectivist bloggers, go take a look!

Also, in my live Philosophy in Action Webcast on Sunday morning, I'll answer questions on rationality in face of overwheming emotions, the value of reading literature, balancing introspection and productive work, optimism or pessimism about the future, and more. It's on Sunday, 18 December 2011 at 8 am PT / 9 am MT / 10 am CT / 11 am ET at www.PhilosophyInAction.com. Please join me for this hour of lively discussion, where we'll apply rational principles to the challenges of living virtuous and happy lives!

Here are the questions that I'll answer this week:

  • Question 1: Rationality in Face of Overwheming Emotions: How can a person regain his rationality in the face of overwhelming emotions? On occasion, I find my rational judgment swamped by strong emotions like anger and anxiety. In such cases, my thinking seems distorted by my emotions. While in the grip of such emotions, what can I do to re-establish my powers of rational thought? Also, how can I prevent myself from saying or doing things that I'll later regret?

  • Question 2: The Value of Reading Literature: What value do you gain from reading literature? I've never much connected with literature, particularly not the classics. I know that you read them routinely. What value do you find in them? Or, what am I missing?

  • Question 3: Balancing Introspection and Productive Work: How can I achieve a better balance between introspection and productive work? Particularly I've made some mistake, I'll get wrapped up in the process of introspection until I get the problem sorted out. However, that consumes time – and often my projects suffer and I miss deadlines. How can I find a better balance between these two important activities?

  • Question 4: Optimism or Pessimism about the Future: Should we be optimistic or pessimistic about the future of the culture? What do you think will happen to the culture in the next 20 to 50 years? Are you optimistic or pessimistic – and why? What do you think the value and certainty of such predictions based on philosophy are?
After that, we'll do a round of totally impromptu "Rapid Fire Questions."

If you can't attend the live webcast, you can listen to these webcasts later as audio-only podcasts by subscribing to the RSS feed. You can also listen to full episodes or just selected questions from any past episode in the Webcast Archive. Finally, don't forget to submit and vote on the questions that you'd most like me to answer from the ongoing Question Queue.

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Friday, December 16, 2011

The Paleo Rodeo #091

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 of the Rodeo 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.

Here is this week's edition:
Tony Federico presents Caveman Cuisine: Coco-Chia posted at FED - Fitness in an Evolutionary Direction, saying, "Chia Fresca, or "Iskiate", is a traditional beverage of the ultra-marathon running Tarahumara tribe of Mexico. By adding coconut water and sea salt to the original recipe of water, lemon/lime juice, and chia seeds, the dehydration-fighting effects of chia-fresca are enhanced even further."

Ruth Almon presents What Causes Anorexia? posted at Ruth's Real Food, saying, "The instinct for survival and the desire to nourish oneself are so basic to the human condition, and yet, anorexics defy this instinct. Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride offers what sounds to me like a more complete hypothesis. Here's my summary."

Todd Dosenberry presents Coconut Egg Nog posted at Toadally Primal Smoothies, saying, "Enjoy a dairy free egg nog in the form of a smoothie during the holiday!"

Mark Siegrist presents My Cholesterol Test Results on LCHF (Low Carb, High Fat) Diet posted at Low Carb Learning.

Melissa "Melicious" Joulwan presents Well Fed - Now on Sale! posted at theclothesmakethegirl, saying, "I'm really proud and happy to announce that my cookbook "Well Fed: Paleo Recipes For People Who Love To Eat" is now on sale. It's 115+ original recipes and variations that include no grains, sugar, legumes, soy, dairy, or alcohol -- and they're all Whole30 approved... except for one yummy dessert. Hope you like it!"

Lindsey presents Peppermint Coconut Blondies posted at Enjoying Healthy Foods, saying, "These blondies can be made as Paleo or Primal as you want or you can add just a few little (treat) things to make them a wonderful Christmas treat!"

Riki Shore presents Gluten-Free Cranberry Chocolate Chip Cookies posted at Three Squares, saying, "These cookies are inspired by The Food Lover's Primal Palate and are great for any kids or adults following a Paleo diet."

Suz Robinson presents Health in a Bottle? posted at The Paleo Network, saying, "Do people buying Vitamin Water really think they're buying a health product?"

Tim Huntley presents How I Improved My Blood Glucose Control posted at My Athletic Life, saying, "Some self-experimentation with a blood glucose meter, Paleo, and strength training."

Chris Tamme presents The New Diet Paradigm posted at Primal Roar.

Nell Stephenson presents Paleo Purees... posted at TrainWithNellie.

Dr. John presents November 15-20: EcoCamp posted at Paleoterran, saying, "A base of activity for Paleo hikes in Torres del Paine National Park in Patagonia, Chile."

Angie presents Paleo/Primal Maple Walnut Muffins posted at Angie's Suburban Oasis, saying, "I had a craving for a nutty, maple-y muffin and concocted this moist yummy treat the other day. Give it a try and tell me it's not your favorite paleo muffin!"

Melissa Fritcher presents Day 10 of the 31 Days of Christmas & Food Porn! posted at Less of Mimi, saying, "My 31 Days of a healthier Christmas 'experiment' is showing promise. Broke a 2-year dry spell Monday. This post is from a couple of days before - awesome food and even more awesome motivation from my husband. Today is day 14. Almost 1/2-way there!"

The Cavegirls presents Paleo Curries on a Bed of Cauliflower Rice posted at Northwest Cavegirls, saying, "Is it just a British tradition to make curry with left over Christmas Day turkey? I would imagine with Thanksgiving and Christmas Dinner, Americans have even more leftovers... right? There is nothing nicer than a "Ruby Murray" (that's cockney rhyming slang for curry, BTW) during the week after the big day."

Eddy presents Really?! Lifestyle Can Cause Cancer! posted at Health Freak Revolution, saying, "A slightly satirical reminder that the way most people view health and disease is miles apart from those who take it upon themselves to explore the world of health eating and paleo."

Megh presents Fennel Chicken Sausage Soup (GAPS-friendly, Nightshade/Onion/Garlic-Free) posted at Yolks, Kefir, and Gristle, saying, "Making chicken soup without onions or garlic -- or tomatoes -- can be pretty tricky, I've found after some unfortunate experimentation. But this recipe came together rather nicely on a weeknight, and it was really quite good!"

Megh presents I may be a wimp. But I'm not hurting for it! posted at Yolks, Kefir, and Gristle, saying, "I went rock climbing (in a gym! not on actual rocks!) over the Thanksgiving holiday ..."

Joe Lindley presents Beware the Leptin Kick posted at Stop Craving Sugar with a Low Carb Diet Plan or Paleo Diet Plan, saying, "Most people on a weight loss diet have run into a problem I call the "Leptin Kick". It occurs after you've successfully lost weight and you decide to celebrate with something sinful to eat. Even if you don't overdo it on this little break from your diet, you end up totally surprised and dismayed by the result. Your weight literally jumps up over the next few days much more than you have expected due to your splurge. This is the Leptin Kick."

mark owen-ward presents want a recipe for surviving Christmas? posted at new habit.

Vanessa presents Casein Confession & Coconut Coffee Creamer posted at Healthy Living How To, saying, "My friends, I have a confession to make. It appears I am not cool with casein. Specifically the casein found in cow's dairy. I have been using heavy cream in my coffee, eating delicious sharp and stinky cheese, enjoying sour cream with my salsa and yogurt in my protein shakes without problems for years. Or so I thought. A little over a week ago, I had a bad (and when I say bad what I really mean is I was sidelined for 6+ days bad) episode with casein."

Jennifer Hunt presents I would quit Paleo if it weren't my bare minimum posted at Vibrant Sexy Strong, saying, "If there was anything easier than Paleo that yielded the same results, I would be doing that instead."

Patty Strilaeff presents What do you do with the head of a fish? posted at following my nose....

Paul Jaminet presents Around the Web; 'Tis the Season of Reward posted at Perfect Health Diet, saying, "I do a weekly roundup of interesting web content with commentary ... this week had a number of interesting items."

Laurie Donaldson presents Sausage and Peppers posted at Food for Primal Thought.

Julia Campbell presents world's best brussels sprouts posted at the crankin' kitchen!, saying, "This is my favorite way to eat Brussels sprouts and it's really easy. I also show a way to fancy them up a bit."

Robin presents Paleo Fueling for Interval Training posted at Everymom To Ironmom, saying, "Plenty of people say you can't fuel hard intervals on a paleo diet, but with some prior planning and cupboard stocking, it's entirely possible."

Rodney Flores presents Yam Wedges posted at Primal Effect, saying, "The quick and easy on how to make Yam Jojo's."

Tony Federico presents Caveman Cuisine: Green and Clean posted at FED - Fitness in an Evolutionary Direction, saying, "When your body needs a break, get down with some greens!"

Peggy Emch presents Are You Really Primal or Are You Just Grain Free? posted at The Primal Parent, saying, "This post is not an attempt to define Paleo or to chastise those who eat un-paleo foods. It is a merely a kick in the pants for those who eat a bunch of sweet "Paleo" treats and wonder why they don't see results."
Many thanks to the PaleoBloggers who submitted to this edition of the The Paleo Rodeo! This blog carnival has plenty of room to grow! So 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!

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Question of the Week: Paleo Presents

By Diana Hsieh

Present

This week's "Paleo Question of the Week" is:
What are your favorite paleo-friendly gift ideas?
We want to hear your answer in the comments! You're also welcome to post a comment or question on any other paleo-related topic.

If you'd like to submit a question for an upcoming question of the week, please e-mail me at diana@dianahsieh.com.

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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Kabocha Squash

By Diana Hsieh

A few weeks ago, I saw kabocha squash on sale at the grocery store. I bought a boatload -- four large squash -- then cooked and froze them. Since then, we've been slowly eating them, as they make a perfect vegetable for dinner when I'm feeling lazy or the larder is bare.

I forgot to take any pictures of the intact kabocha, but here's a good example from Flickr:

Kabocha


Here's how I made them, thanks to instructions from my mother-in-law:

Slice open the kabocha, and remove its seeds. Cut off any "warts" from the outside skin. (You'll be eating the skin, not just the flesh.) Cut into pieces: I prefer about 1 inch by 2 inches.

Spread the pieces, skin side down, on a baking sheet or pan. (You'll want it to have some kind of edge.) Brush with oil, e.g. coconut oil, and sprinkle with salt. You can also sprinkle the squash with a bit of cinnamon, nutmeg, or other spices.



Add a bit of water to the baking sheet, then cover with foil. Bake in 350 F or 375 F oven for about 40 minutes, or until tender.



If you plan to freeze it, allow the squash to cool to room temperature on the baking sheet, then move it to containers (even ziplock bags work fine) to freeze. (You can also cool it in the fridge or freezer, but I'm not fussy about leaving food out to cool. The risks are wildly overblown, in my experience.)

Don't forget that you eat the skin and the flesh!

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Monday, December 12, 2011

Interview with John Heatherly

By Diana Hsieh

Daniel Wahl was kind enough to permit me to publish the following interview with John Heatherly, the author of The Survival Template. I've not yet read the book, but it sounds quite interesting... and you'll definitely see some paleo connections here! -- DH

I recently had the pleasure of speaking with John Heatherly, author of The Survival Template -- a short book that applies survival skills and the mentality of those who survive extraordinarily harsh conditions to the task of succeeding in ordinary, modern times.

Daniel Wahl: I appreciate you joining me today, John. What motivated you to start learning survival skills?

John Heatherly: Growing up I always did well academically, so in college started looking for knowledge outside of the academic realm. My childhood and upbringing were good, but like a lot of college-aged kids, I wondered if I had missed something or if suburban life had neglected to teach me some of the truths I was looking for. I studied primitive survival skills and the cultures that surrounded them as part of a personal approach to education, and continued to practice them after I joined the military.

DW: How did you acquire these esoteric skills -- from others, from trial and error?

JH: Much of my early training came from survival classes. The first survival course I attended was at Tom Brown's Trackerschool in New Jersey, a school that presents information clearly with little dogma. I remember Tom saying, "Don't believe every word I tell you -- prove me right or wrong." Later I went on to complete a number of military survival training programs that would serve as a foundation for trial and error learning to come. Unfortunately the "error" parts of the process became my biggest teachers, though I am happy now about what I learned from these many mistakes.

Books have been important teachers as well. Viktor Frankl, Hyemeyohsts Storm, Tom Brown, Norman Vincent Peale -- all of these authors have been helpful to me. Even fiction has been helpful at times. As Stephen King says, "Fiction is the truth inside the lie."

DW: In The Survival Template, you say something that may surprise readers -- namely, that one of the most important survival skills is the ability to identify objectives in writing. Does this mean that being able to jot down "gather firewood" is more important than being able to, for example, run an 8-minute mile?

JH: Yes, after attitude, which I consider to be the most important skill, written objectives can make all the difference. In your example, jotting down "gather firewood" is definitely more important than physical fitness, assuming that firewood is a legitimate objective in your circumstances.

DW: Most people in the West today never have to worry about surviving life-threatening conditions -- but you argue that the "object-oriented mentality" needed to do so remains vitally important. Can you share an experience in your own life -- or that of a friend -- where this mindset has proven especially effective in the modern world?

JH: Definitely. Often people allow familiarity or the lack of familiarity with a given environment to determine their mentality. For example, many of us (myself included) have developed an object-oriented mentality when dealing with nature, and then revert to a confused, helpless mentality when faced with problems in our day-to-day personal lives. Failures in relationships, jobs, and financial matters have occasionally caused us to "punt" mentally without considering that the mental faculties used in a survival scenario can be applied to a personal scenario. The written lists of objectives prescribed in the book help to capture and focus your mental abilities in any environment.

DW: Whether struggling to obtain a life-serving object out in the wilderness or achieve a life-serving goal in the city, how important is it to specify exactly what it is that's wanted? For example, will "seek shelter" and "get in shape" do -- or is "find stones to reinforce shelter" and "do 100 push-ups" better?

JH: In both pursuits it is best to consider a term (from Jim Collins' book Good to Great) called "The Stockdale Paradox." This paradox describes Vice Admiral James Stockdale's mentality during seven years of captivity in Vietnam. He said, "I never lost faith in the end of the story, I never doubted not only that I would get out, but also that I would prevail in the end and turn the experience into the defining event of my life, which, in retrospect, I would not trade."

When asked who did not survive captivity, Stockdale answered: "Oh, that's easy, the optimists. Oh, they were the ones who said, 'We're going to be out by Christmas.' And Christmas would come, and Christmas would go. Then they'd say, 'We're going to be out by Easter.' And Easter would come, and Easter would go. And then Thanksgiving, and then it would be Christmas again. And they died of a broken heart...

This is a very important lesson. You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end -- which you can never afford to lose -- with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be."

So concerning your question about the nature of obtaining an object: it is better to define exactly what is wanted, and then to flex as conditions dictate. Note that Stockdale chose to make the negative experience of captivity a defining event. This mental device can be valuable when things do not go exactly as planned.

DW: I particularly enjoyed the parts of your book where you discuss the three-day ruck rule, which highlights the importance of sticking with some new habit for at least three days -- after which it becomes easier -- and the creation of "crucible" experiences that are both opportunities to use and tests of what you learned. Which if any of these skills did you find helpful in writing your book?

JH: After carrying a heavy ruck sack beyond the "three day barrier," and feeling my body adjust to the stress, I decided to mentally frame other circumstances in my life as similar "crucibles." Over time these experiences became part of me, so in writing a book I had no doubts whatsoever in the effective value of my ideas. Much like my teacher Tom Brown, I do not expect readers to believe every concept in my book, but to try them out and prove me right or wrong.

DW: At one point in The Survival Template, you encourage readers to write out what they want to achieve over different lengths of time and then to connect those goals to the extent possible. How do you connect such seeming unrelated goals as "be able to do a certain number of pull-ups" and "make a certain amount of money each year"?

JH: First it should be noted that great minds like Richard Branson, Tim Ferriss, and others have pointed out that physical exercise improves productivity. I also agree with Mark Sisson (author of The Primal Blueprint) who says that our genes have evolved to handle physical challenges, and exercise can "optimize the expression of our genetic potential." All of these efforts tie together, and writing them down helps.

But it is not necessary for every single goal, like achieving a certain number of pull-ups or a certain amount of money to be directly related. Most important is that a person learns to develop an awareness of the mental mechanisms that they use to accomplish things, and an awareness of how their thoughts are tied to the reality that they experience. A written template facilitates this kind of awareness.

DW: How and when did you come to realize the universal value of survival training skills?

JH: Over a three-year period in my early twenties I trained hard, dealt with lack of food, lack of sleep, extreme cold, etc... and began to realize that the worldview I had grown up with was limited. Truthfully, I had more control over events than I gave myself credit for. After experiencing a new perspective in the woods, and then considering the heroic experiences of Frankl, Stockdale, and others like them, I started to believe that this type of study had hidden value. Later on, many of these concepts were tested in the unexpected ups and downs of life, and I learned to appreciate them in a real way.

DW: Interesting. Did you decide to write the book at that time or did something else spur you to make that decision?

JH: The idea for the book was born in those days, as I saw people succeed in the woods by chronicling objectives before wasting energy on plans that were not well conceived. Over the next decade I experimented with personal "survival templates" to manage my own life, eventually coming to the realization that these techniques are extremely powerful.

In 2010 my son was born, and I finally wrote and published the book with him in mind. When he is older I want this book to help him to avoid many of the mistakes that I made along the way as well as teach him how to use a survivor's mentality toward the development of his abilities.

DW: As a new father, I definitely understand that feeling. It's amazing how much more motivation I have for any project that my son might one day get value out of.

JH: So true. Your whole perspective changes when you have a kid.

DW: Let me ask you one final, somewhat related question. I particularly enjoyed your observation that being object-oriented is useful in dealing not only with the elements of nature but also with other people. How has this realization helped in your own life?

JH: After years of developing written templates in my own personal life, I started to consider: "What if my boss, or my co-worker, or my customer, were to write a template of objectives -- what would be important to them?"

The practice has helped me to strengthen relationships with all of these people even though I rarely discuss it with anyone directly. Even when stressed or angry, people can sense when you notice and appreciate or help them move toward their objectives. The process facilitates trust, and in business trust can accomplish a lot.

DW: I agree. And I trust, given the "survival template" you've developed, that you'll continue to accomplish a lot in the future.

JH: Thank you, Daniel. Same to you.

Note from Diana: You can buy The Survival Template from Amazon.

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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Video: The Principle of Sustainability

By Diana Hsieh

In Sunday's Philosophy in Action Webcast, I discussed the principle of sustainability. The question was:

What's wrong with the principle of sustainability? In the discussion of "sustainable agriculture" in your October 9th webcast, you didn't explain the problem with the basic principle of the "sustainability movement," namely "that we must meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." Doesn't that just mean respecting rights? If not, what does it mean and why is it wrong?
My answer, in brief:
The principle of sustainability must be understood in its proper ideological context of collectivism, egalitarianism, and environmentalism. Understood that way, it's clearly demanding that people not exploit finite resources for their own benefit, as they ought.
Here's the video of my full answer:
If you enjoy the video, please "like" it on YouTube and share it with friends in e-mail and social media! You can also throw a bit of extra love in our tip jar.

All posted webcast videos can be found in the Webcast Archives and on my YouTube channel.

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Saturday, December 10, 2011

Video: Revealing Atheism to Inquisitive Strangers

By Diana Hsieh

In Sunday's Philosophy in Action Webcast, I discussed revealing atheism to inquisitive strangers. The question was:

Should I reveal my atheism to strangers when asked? I work at a hospital. One night a patient asked me if I'm religious. I answered yes. He then asked me if I believed that Jesus Christ died on the cross for my sins. I answered yes. Then he took my hand and prayed for me. Immediately, I felt guilty, because I lied in answering these questions. In fact, I'm an atheist. The next day, I told the patient the truth, and he thanked me for my honesty. What should I have done in answering his original questions?
My answer, in brief:
Honesty is a virtue, and fully applicable here. So when asked personal questions by strangers, the proper response is to either answer the question honestly or decline to answer it.
Here's the video of my full answer:
If you enjoy the video, please "like" it on YouTube and share it with friends in e-mail and social media! You can also throw a bit of extra love in our tip jar.

All posted webcast videos can be found in the Webcast Archives and on my YouTube channel.

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Objectivist Links

By Diana Hsieh

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

The Playful Spirit hosted this week's Objectivist Roundup. If you're interested in seeing the latest and best from Objectivist bloggers, go take a look!

Also, in my live Philosophy in Action Webcast on Sunday morning, I'll host a special episode focused on the Republican primary, offering my view of Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, and Gary Johnson. It's on Sunday, 11 December 2011 at 8 am PT / 9 am MT / 10 am CT / 11 am ET at www.PhilosophyInAction.com. Please join us for this hour of lively ... but infuriating ... discussion!

Here are the questions that I'll answer this week... yes, they're all the same, albeit with an extra question about Gary Johnson.

  • Question 1: Mitt Romney for US President: Should I support Mitt Romney for US President? What's the proper evaluation of his principles and record on the budget, health care, national defense, immigration, the drug war, abortion, and gay marriage? Does Romney deserve the vote of advocates of individual rights in the primary or the general election?

  • Question 2: Newt Gingrinch for US President: Should I support Newt Gingrinch for US President? What's the proper evaluation of his principles and record on the budget, health care, national defense, immigration, the drug war, abortion, and gay marriage? Does Gingrinch deserve the vote of advocates of individual rights in the primary or the general election?

  • Question 3: Ron Paul for US President: Should I support Ron Paul for US President? What's the proper evaluation of his principles and record on the budget, health care, national defense, immigration, the drug war, abortion, and gay marriage? Does Paul deserve the vote of advocates of individual rights in the primary or the general election?

  • Question 4: Gary Johnson for US President: Should I support Gary Johnson for US President? What's the proper evaluation of his principles and record on the budget, health care, national defense, immigration, the drug war, abortion, and gay marriage? Does Johnson deserve the vote of advocates of individual rights in the primary or the general election? Also, should supporters of Gary Johnson vote for him on a Libertarian Party ticket?
After that, we'll do a round of totally impromptu "Rapid Fire Questions."

If you can't attend the live webcast, you can listen to these webcasts later as audio-only podcasts by subscribing to the RSS feed. You can also listen to full episodes or just selected questions from any past episode in the Webcast Archive. Finally, don't forget to submit and vote on the questions that you'd most like me to answer from the ongoing Question Queue.

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Friday, December 09, 2011

The Paleo Rodeo #090

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 of the Rodeo 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.

Here is this week's edition:
Havard presents Why you can't stop eating pizza posted at Courageous Mind, saying, "Some kinds of food can be extremely difficult to give up. Most people think it's a matter of self control, but that is not always the case."

Kelly Maiiven presents I hunch posted at Maiiven.

Ruth Almon presents Homemade Yogurt: High-Tech and Low Tech methods posted at Ruth's Real Food, saying, "Homemade yogurt is cheaper, healthier and tastes better. You can make it with the help of a yogurt machine, or the way Grandma made it (well someone's Grandma...)"

Diana Hsieh presents Thanksgiving Dishes posted at NoodleFood, saying, "Here are the yummy dishes that I made for our Thanksgiving pot luck!"

Paul Jaminet presents Pork Spare Ribs posted at Perfect Health Diet, saying, "We offer some holiday finger food: pork spare ribs in four flavors!"

Nell Stephenson presents I'm Here to Help You Through the Holidays! posted at TrainWithNellie.

Meghan Little presents Oven Roasted Turkey posted at Paleo Effect, saying, "Nothing says the holidays like our Oven Roasted Turkey! This and more holiday favorites at www.paleoeffect.com!"

Laurie Donaldson presents Winter Frittata posted at Food for Primal Thought, saying, "A quick meal for after the gym."

David Rourke presents What if this is not an outlier? posted at Paleodyssey, saying, "Since I work with people who have disabilities, the idea that diet could radically transform the life of a person with multiple sclerosis is powerfully suggestive to me."

mark owen-ward presents how not to be one of the 24%... posted at new habit.

Megh presents Why Undigested Food is Detrimental to Health posted at Yolks, Kefir, and Gristle.

Megh presents I Have a Turkey in my Freezer Named Mark posted at Yolks, Kefir, and Gristle.

Tony Federico presents Caveman Cuisine: Meaty Pumpkin Pot posted at FED - Fitness in an Evolutionary Direction, saying, "Eat your meat out of an edible pumpkin bowl!"

Eddy presents Alternative Hangover Prevention Strategy posted at Health Freak Revolution, saying, "Why helplessly try and cure a hangover, when a thought out strategy may work better. Remember being healthy doesn't mean we can't join the rest of society occasionally!"

Riki Shore presents "Lazy Ox" Tuna Salad posted at Three Squares, saying, "This tuna salad combines fennel, pickled apple, bacon and a balsamic vinaigrette for a flavor bonanza. Inspired by the Lazy Ox Canteen in Los Angeles."

Peggy Emch presents Split-Custody Kids and Half Time Parents posted at The Primal Parent, saying, "Kids that live part time with their parents don't always see the whole personality."

Angie presents Paleo/Primal Eggnog posted at Angie's Suburban Oasis, saying, "What's better on a cold winter's night than a warm cup of eggnog? Paleo Eggnog!"

Melissa Fritcher presents Day 4 of the 31 Days of Christmas & Food Porn! posted at Less of Mimi.

Vanessa presents Gifting Gluten-Free Granola posted at Healthy Living How To, saying, "If you are looking for a homemade gift to give to co-workers, friends or neighbors, instead of baking plates of unhealthy cookies, give this healthy recipe a try. Make a double batch, so you have some for yourself!"

Christian Wernstedt presents Acne Troubleshooter v2.0 posted at The VitalObjectives Blog, saying, "Check out my updated acne troubleshooting chart. The new item that many people miss is the liver/detox/anti-oxidant aspect of acne. It's huge."

George Henley presents The Healing Fast posted at Rolf Devinci Cycling.

Julia Campbell presents farmhouse butternut squash soup posted at the crankin' kitchen!, saying, "A silky, complexly flavored butternut squash soup with caraway seeds, tart apple, and apple cider vinegar. Topped with bacon, duh!"

Julie Sullivan Mayfield presents Paleo Comfort Foods - Funday Friday! posted at Paleo Comfort Foods, saying, "After some great feedback and insights from folks, we revised our Table of Contents to list out every recipe in the book. Print and keep with your copy of Paleo Comfort Foods at all times! A new index is up next!"

Stacy Toth presents Paleo Monkey Bread for GFEs Home for the Holidays posted at Paleo Parents, saying, "We recreated monkey bread, a holiday classic, in a paleo friendly way! Very delicious! Very indulgent!"

Joe Lindley presents How Bad Science, Big Business, Created Obesity Epidemic, David Diamond posted at Stop Craving Sugar with a Low Carb Diet Plan or Paleo Diet Plan, saying, "This is a remarkable video on the cause of the current Obesity Epidemic in America by David Diamond, PhD, a neuroscientist in the Departments of Psychology, Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology of the University of South Florida. In this lecture, which is backed up by more than a hundred years of scientific evidence, he delivers a powerful and understandable message."

Robin presents What Three Plates Of Vegetables Can Do posted at Everymom To Ironmom, saying, "I knew my body felt different on a cellular level after eating paleo for the last year, but now I'm looking at the 'Why'."

Dr. John presents John Michael: Increasing Climate Change, Rising Food Prices posted at Paleoterran, saying, "Thinking about the future of our food supply."

Rodney Flores presents Primally Plated - This ain't your Mama?s Meatloaf! posted at Primal Effect, saying, "Hello Everyone, A new episode of Primally Plated. I hope you enjoy. Happy Holidays!"
Many thanks to the PaleoBloggers who submitted to this edition of the The Paleo Rodeo! This blog carnival has plenty of room to grow! So 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!

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