Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Dispelling The Lies: The new film featuring the Ethical Omnivore perspective.

Hey folks!

Quite a number of people indicated they were interested in supporting future film projects which take a contrarian view of health and sustainability compared to films such as What the Health. To say these topics are controversial and emotional is about as understated as saying “the surface of the sun is hot.”

Before I go further let’s set the stage a bit:

1-I CLEARLY have a bias or orientation in all of this. I sell books, seminars etc that advocate for a paleo diet or Ancestral Health template. The keyboard warriors who are going to point this out in some kind of Straw Man attack should consider that most of the folks appearing in the vegan backed films such as What the Health do precisely the same things, only promulgating a different message.

2-Let’s call things for what they are: “Plant Based” is some kind of Orwellian NewSpeak to avoid the more polarizing and controversial label “vegan.”  A paleo diet is “plant based” whether we are talking percent of calories, scale weight or what have you. So, let’s just be honest and say “vegan.”

The vegan backed agenda is the following:

3-ALL modern diseases are caused EXCLUSIVELY by animal product consumption. This is the case made in What The Health, and in fact the producers go out of their way to exonerate sugar and processed foods, so long as one avoids any and all animal products. If you think this is hyperbole, please watch the film in it’s entirety while also reading my review.

4-ANY amount of animal husbandry is exclusively injurious to the environment. Films such as Cowspiracy suggest that there is NO sustainable way to produce animal products and that there is no net advantage to an animal inclusive food system. NONE. No culture on the planet should consume animal products of any kind due to the suggested damage to the environment and “ethics” of consuming animals.

These two claims, sustainability and health, are the cornerstones of the vegan message. These folks have painted a compelling picture by holding up the clearly failed medical system we are all subject to, while highlighting the legitimate horrors of the modern industrial food system.

But only ONE solution is offered: Veganism. There is only one truth, this story is apparently black and white and the many films produced in this genre suggest it is IMPOSSIBLE to have a sustainable food system that is animal inclusive and animal products are toxic in a dose dependent fashion.

Perhaps the vegans folks are right. Perhaps grazing animals, which have been the cornerstone of terrestrial ecosystems for hundreds of millions of years are in fact DANGEROUS to the environment. The enormous herds of bison which covered the Pre-Columbian Americas were in fact not an integral feature of the overall ecology, but a pest that was poised to destroy the planet via methane emissions (there were more bison in pre-columbian times than there are cattle in the Americas today). Perhaps the vegans are correct that although every human culture studied, ate varying amounts of animal products (and were largely free of modern degenerative disease), somehow, now, today…animal products are the root cause of ALL modern disease, not hyperpalatable processed foods.

Again, perhaps the well intentioned folks from the vegan camps are correct. Or, perhaps they are wrong. Dead Wrong. Perhaps our modern industrial food system IS unsustainable, but perhaps the only way to address a multitude of issues is to employ not centralized mega-food production (which ironically the grain based vegan diet supports), backed by multinational conglomerates such as Monsanto, but rather we may need to decentralize our food production leaning heavily on local and regional comparative advantages in integrated, animal-inclusive food production.

There have been a number of films and books tackling these topics from a vegan perspective, we are only now seeing well formulated counterpoints from the Ethical Omnivore perspective. Dispelling The Lies is tasked with looking at this complex topic and providing (ideally) a science backed perspective….but clearly, that’s a slippery topic as What The Health claims to be steeped in science. Two opposing views, which one (if either???) might be correct? That’s up to you and the rest of the world to decide. I will make the case that getting this story “right” is important. It will have profound implications for our food systems, political agendas, national security interests and on and on.

So, if you would like to contribute to the production of an alternate view to this story, this is your opportunity. Please check out the landing page and also note that there are some fantastic perks for folks who decide to donate aggressively, but the filmmakers will be grateful for any and all support you can offer to the film process.

 



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How Does the Keto Reset Fit Into the Primal Blueprint?

Inline_How_Does_Keto_Fit_into_Primal_BlueprintToday I’m going to address a big question some of you have been asking in the comment boards and via email:

Where does the Primal Blueprint eating plan fit into the Keto Reset diet?

It’s a good question. An expected one. It’s true that I’ve been focusing almost entirely on the Keto Reset in 2017. I’m passionate about it. I truly believe it can help almost everyone, and I want to get the word out to as many people as possible.

When I started out on this keto journey, I wasn’t sure where it would take me. I was completely content with my own diet and the results it gave me. I had energy, good athletic performance and recovery, and good cognitive function. The food was great. I loved to eat and never felt restricted.

Going keto was an experiment to see:

  • If I was missing anything.
  • If I could improve the nutrient density of my diet.
  • If reducing carb intake further could deliver some metabolic or genetic-signaling benefits.
  • Most importantly, if keto could be an effective option for my readers.

I wasn’t trying to replace the Primal Blueprint. And yeah, it worked out very well, but it still doesn’t replace the Primal Blueprint.

What I realized—from personal experience, reading clinical research, and talking to keto experts—is this: the most powerful effect of ketogenic dieting is that it supercharges your fat-burning ability. Not ketone-burning (although it definitely does that), but fat-burning.

See, one of the most common misconceptions is that ketogenic eating is all about getting into ketosis.

Actually, the most worthy goal of ketogenic eating is to enhance your fat burning abilities. Keto-adaptation begets fat-adaptation. Once you switch over to a  ketogenic diet and your body realizes that glucose is no longer an unlimited resource, it’ll learn to burn the hell out of free fatty acids. But before it can build new fat-burning mitochondria and retrofit the existing ones to take advantage of all the free fatty acids you have at your disposal, your body will rely on ketones for its energy.

Building up that fat-burning machinery takes time. Initially, burning ketones is a stop-gap for your glucose-deprived muscles. And because your brain can’t burn free fatty acids directly, it will gradually transition over to obtaining more of its energy from ketones over the long haul. While a carb dependent brain burns 100 percent glucose, a highly keto-adapted brain can get around 2/3 of its estimated 150 grams of daily energy expenditure from ketones, and the remainder from glucose. Even this paltry 50 grams of absolute necessity glucose doesn’t necessarily have to come from dietary carbohydrate; it can be obtained as a by-product of fat metabolism or from gluconeogenesis (the conversion of protein to glucose).

What this all means is that keto doesn’t replace the Primal Blueprint way of eating. It augments it. It enables it to work even better. Once you build those fat-burning mitochondria and train your old ones to burn fat more effectively, those changes don’t just disappear overnight. You can go back to regular eating and retain those benefits.

In fact, I think most people shouldn’t stay keto for life. There’s no good reason for the majority of people to forever abstain from Okinawa sweet potato and never again eat more than a single slice of a summer nectarine. Food is too good, and too good for you.

However, it’s quite apparent that most people would benefit from going keto some of the time. And that’s where the Keto Reset fits snugly into the realm of the Primal Blueprint way of eating. By increasing metabolic flexibility, building new fat-burning mitochondria (and training existing ones to get better at it), and getting off the sugar-burning roller coaster, keto a supplement to the standard Primal way of eating. Like nutritional supplements, the Keto Reset doesn’t replace Primal. It fills in a hole. It increases the effectiveness of Primal-style eating. It makes sticking to a Primal/paleo/low-carb eating style easier and more productive.

If I had to make a blanket recommendation, I’d suggest anyone interested in long-term ketogenic dieting spend most of their time in the “keto zone.” That’s where your diet is fluid. You’re regularly slipping in and out of ketosis. You’re a bit higher carb one day to help with an intense training session and go right back to lower carb the next. And throughout it all, because you’ve put in the work necessary to build up that fat-burning machinery, you’re always great at burning fat and you retain your ability to burn glucose/glycogen when needed.

That’s where I am these days—the keto zone. From the outside, it’s actually not that far off from how I ate before the keto reset. Same basic foods promoted and eliminated. Similar macronutrient ratios. But with my newfound metabolic flexibility and the improvements in mitochondrial function, it feels different. I eat a little less. I’m a little more efficient with my calories. And I’m not getting any of the negative effects usually seen in diehard adherents to calorie restriction. I’m still killing it in the gym, on the board, and on the Ultimate field. I’m sleeping great. My cortisol levels are in a good place because my body isn’t perceiving this way of eating as a stressor. I’m productive and busier than ever.

Honestly, my increased metabolic flexibility really does seem to give me more flexibility; I can fast for 24-hours traveling to Greece, get there and indulge in much higher carb consumption than my baseline with fewer ill effects than with past carb binges, and generally allow for much more intuitive eating instead of regimented eating.

The integration of keto into your dietary arsenal goes to show the special power of the Primal Blueprint—as a jumping off point for interesting nutritional experiments, and as a safe and reliable home to which we can return after extensive forays into the wild around us. It is, after all, the foundation of eating our species rests upon.

Thanks for reading, everyone. I’d love to hear how you have (or haven’t) integrated keto into your Primal way of eating.

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Game Changers In The Bedroom

Get your mind outta the gutter!!! I’m talking about toy organization and towel racks today! : )

Every now and then I have to overhaul Mazen’s toys. If you recall, I wrote this post two years ago when I first organized his toys. It’s funny that the most popular toys in that post are the ones he’s totally outgrown now! Yet they were all still in there – just with two years more toys as well.

Goodness gracious:

We had a big toy sorting party a few weeks ago and I sorted through every toy in his room.

How ironic that when I pulled them out he began to play with toys he hadn’t cared about in months!

That is a good lesson though, because like they say about junk food – out of sight, out of mind! So, my goal was to take his toys out of bins and display them on the shelves.

A lot of the more topical toys (Mr. Potato Head and his parts, magnetic blocks, etc.) have been moved to our downstairs toy storage closet to pull out on a rainy day. Most of those only entertain him for a short time anyway. I also had a “Trash Box” and a “Give Away Box”, but I am holding onto those for a bit just in case he asks me for one of those toys. (“Mommy, where is that torn sticker book I got in the goodie bag at Jimmy’s 2nd birthday party?”) You never know!

His closet is feeling much more breathable now, and I know exactly where every single figurine is! : )

We have a game changer up in my bedroom as well!

Thomas has impeccable hygiene and takes 2 showers a day (at least!) I love it because he always smells so fresh and so clean. But, I didn’t love the towels that were hung to dry all over our bedroom.

I decided to research towel warmers to see if that would dry his towel well enough between showers. I ordered this one on Amazon in a white finish only to have his mom tell me she had an extra one she could give us that day! So, I canceled my Amazon order and couldn’t wait to try hers. She bought it on sale at Bed, Bath and Beyond a year or so ago. I love the black finish! (And I also love the gold nickel finish on this one I almost bought too.)

Based on the advice of other Amazon people, I bought this outlet timer that turns the rack off after 30 minutes. Technically you can leave it on all day, and it doesn’t get hot enough to cause a fire, but I didn’t want to burn that much energy. You can set the timer to 30 minutes, 3 hours, or 6 hours if you need more heat for a better dry. I love that you can turn it on at the timer with the push of the button on top and don’t have to bend down to turn the actual rack on and off.

So how are we liking it? LOVING IT!!! First off, his towel is totally dry for each shower. Second, no musty smell. Third, the towel room decorations are gone! This was a total game changer. The only downside is that the rack is big, but luckily we have a nice space for it next to the vanity. If you have a tiny bathroom, you might need to put the rack in your bedroom or another spot nearby.

Also new to our bathroom: this awesome shower speaker we got as a wedding gift! It’s waterproof and Bluetooth enabled and can pair to up to 6 phones. There has been lots of singing in the shower!

The last game changer: when your child requests bell peppers as a bedtime snack because he knows you only offer vegetables after he’s had a good dinner and an ice cream dessert?

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Clean Eating Baked Turkey Burgers Recipe

Turkey burgers are such an American classic. They are quick and tasty, but also very easy to enjoy on a clean eating meal plan. This recipe is one I’ve used for years. It’s about as easy as they c… Read more →



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