Modern to Primal: My Evolution to Proper Nutrition and Elite Fitness


fiber fallacies
August 13, 2009, 6:26 pm
Filed under: Carbohydrates, Food, Health and Wellness, Macro and Micronutrients

oatmealhttp://donmatesz.blogspot.com/2009/08/fiber-fallacies.html

1. Fiber has no nutritive value. For this reason, of all carbohydrates, I would say that fiber perhaps most deserves the title “carbage.”

2. Fiber demonstrates antinutritive effects – blocking the absorption of essential nutrients. Another reason to put it in the junk food pile.

3. People eating high fiber diets demonstrate a greater risk of excessively long colons and a higher incidence of megacolon and volvulus (strangulated colon). This suggests that high fiber intake has a negative effect on colonic transit, actually facilitating impaction.

4. High fiber intake promotes bacterial growth and fermentation, which produces hydrogen, methane and carbon dioxide, causing cramps, bloating, and distension, all of which injure the colon.

5. Contrary to the predictions of Burkitt, Trowel, and other fiber fanatics, we have no evidence that increased fiber intake reduces diverticular disease; on the contrary “the incidence of diverticulosis and complications of diverticular disease have been increasing in the West despite increase in dietary fiber intake.”

6. We have no evidence that a human must have daily bowel evacuation of feces to maintain health of any body structure, colon included.

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the vegetarian myth
August 12, 2009, 9:52 pm
Filed under: Food, Vegetarianism

Veg-myth-blog

Carnivores cannot survive on cellulose. They may on occasion eat grass, but they use it medicinally, usually as a purgative to clear their digestive tracts of parasites. Ruminants, on the other hand, have evolved to eat grass. They have a rumen (hence, ruminant), the first in a series of multiple stomachs that acts as a fermentative vat. What’s actually happening inside a cow or a zebra is that bacteria eat the grass, and the animals eat the bacteria.

Lions and hyenas and humans don’t have a ruminant’s digestive system. Literally from our teeth to our rectums we are designed for meat. We have no mechanism to digest cellulose.

So on the carnivore side of the fence, starvation will take every animal. Some will last longer than others, and those some will end their days as cannibals. The scavengers will have a Fat Tuesday party, but when the bones are picked clean, they’ll starve as well. The graveyard won’t end there. Without grazers to eat the grass, the land will eventually turn to desert.

Why? Because without grazers to literally level the playing field, the perennial plants mature, and shade out the basal growth point at the plant’s base. In a brittle environment like the Serengeti, decay is mostly physical (weathering) and chemical (oxidative), not bacterial and biological as in a moist environment. In fact, the ruminants take over most of the biological functions of soil by digesting the cellulose and returning the nutrients, once again available, in the form of urine and feces.

But without ruminants, the plant matter will pile up, reducing growth, and begin killing the plants. The bare earth is now exposed to wind, sun, and rain, the minerals leech away, and the soil structure is destroyed. In our attempt to save animals, we’ve killed everything.

On the ruminant side of the fence, the wildebeests and friends will reproduce as effectively as ever. But without the check of predators, there will quickly be more grazers than grass. The animals will outstrip their food source, eat the plants down to the ground, and then starve to death, leaving behind a seriously degraded landscape.

The lesson here is obvious, though it is profound enough to inspire a religion: we need to be eaten as much as we need to eat. The grazers need their daily cellulose, but the grass also needs the animals. It needs the manure, with its nitrogen, minerals, and bacteria; it needs the mechanical check of grazing activity; and it needs the resources stored in animal bodies and freed up by degraders when animals die.

The grass and the grazers need each other as much as predators and prey. These are not one-way relationships, not arrangements of dominance and subordination. We aren’t exploiting each other by eating. We are only taking turns.

That was my last visit to the vegan message boards. I realized then that people so deeply ignorant of the nature of life, with its mineral cycle and carbon trade, its balance points around an ancient circle of producers, consumers, and degraders, weren’t going to be able to guide me or, indeed, make any useful decisions about sustainable human culture. By turning from adult knowledge, the knowledge that death is embedded in every creature’s sustenance, from bacteria to grizzly bears, they would never be able to feed the emotional and spiritual hunger that ached in me from accepting that knowledge. Maybe in the end this book is an attempt to soothe that ache myself.



sigh…
July 28, 2009, 8:26 pm
Filed under: Food, Health and Wellness, Junk Food

hungry-girlI have this well-meaning aunt that knows I’ve struggled with my weight for some time, and has recently been forwarding me some nutrition/diet tips from this website called Hungry Girl (http://www.hungry-girl.com). It’s all the standard CW bullshit, and I cringe at all of the ‘healthy’ suggestions they list. Check out their ‘healthy’ mac ‘n’ cheese (using heart healthy whole grain pasta, of course!):

Serving Size: 1 serving (about 1/3rd of the package), prepared according to classic box instructions
Calories: 410
Fat: 19g
Sodium: 710mg
Carbs: 49g
Fiber: 1g
Sugars: 7g
Protein: 10g

It always makes me roll my eyes when I see dieters trying to justify a sugar/carb binge as healthy when it’s low fat. Check it:

HG News You Can Use! Holey Donuts! makes really great-tasting low-fat donuts & reduced-fat cinnamon buns — and the donut co. is wrapping up a FANTASTIC contest right now. Five winners will each win three boxes of yummy low-fat donuts…

Well, shit…if the donut is LOW FAT that must mean it’s healthy, right?! No mention of the sugar content, because sugar is apparently a non-factor. Always looking for a way to deceive ourselves into thinking we’re making good choices.

And…the worst one:

Post’s Bowls of Hope Program – Want to chew for a cause? Chew on this… Until the end of ’09, Post will donate one bowl of cereal to Feeding America for every purchase of specially marked Post Shredded Wheat cereal (up to 15 million bowls!).

Great! Feed the world sugary, nutritionally-void pseudo food! Thanks, Post! Grr. So now I wonder if I should bother saying anything to my aunt. If she found out that I’m following a high-fat (saturated, even!), low-carb nutritional plan, she’d probably freak out. I haven’t told many people about it, as they tend to give me looks of disapproval and bewilderment and subtle, “Just be careful” warnings. I’ve not felt this good in a very long time, so I’m not worried about the approval of others, but it does get old feeling like you have to justify the way you eat.



hmong market
July 19, 2009, 1:48 am
Filed under: Asian Cuisine, farmers market, Food, local produce

My friend May, who happens to be Hmong, is always so excited to expose me to new Asian dishes. She knows how much I love Asian cuisine! Last night after work, she and I visited the local Hmong Market in the Como area of St. Paul (north of University Ave.) There are many vendors all sharing the same building, selling everything from trinkets to homemade clothing to fresh produce. We ate dinner together in the food court. It was such a delight! All of those amazing aromas filled the room, as did the Asian clientele. I could tell I was a little out of place, being the only Caucasian in the building! May bought us some pork with the skin-on, some Asian sausage, and papaya salad. I loved every bite. The only thing I couldn’t eat much of was the salad, as it was rather spicy. I still need to get my palate used to spicier food. I left buying some fresh strawberries and Asian cilantro (there’s a difference; apparently the Asian variety is more flavorful).

hmong-farmers-market may-at-hmong-market

asian-meats mixing-papaya-salad

papaya-salad pork-sausage



primal grocery shopping
July 16, 2009, 1:54 am
Filed under: Food

DSCN1000

Pictured: heavy whipping cream (for coffee and recipes), coconut milk (for smoothies), eggs (these are from industrial, caged hens, but waddyagonnado?), pastured butter (yay! I finally found some!), and uncured bacon (nitrate/ite free). Not pictured: sardines in water (for those Omega-3’s!).

I picked up a few staple items at Kowalski’s after work tonight. To the average person following conventional nutritional wisdom, these items are going to likely send you into a tizzy. You’ll think, “OMG! Arterycloggingsaturatedfat!  Where are the heart-healthy whole grains?!” So as not to sound completely elitist and smug, I thought the same thing until I did some research. I used to be as anti-low-carb as they come. For more in-depth info on that, follow any of the links on the left side of my blog.

I have so much fun shopping nowadays, as I don’t waste money on junk, and don’t feel the uncontrollable cravings for them while I’m there.



blc week 5
July 15, 2009, 5:05 pm
Filed under: BLC Contest, Food, Health and Wellness, Weight Loss

 

medical-weight-loss-programI just said goodbye and good riddance to another 3 pounds this week. As a ballpark figure, my food intake consists of roughly 50% fat, 40% protein and 10% carbohydrate, but the percentages vary daily.  I’ve added minimal amounts of activity to my day, which consists of using the stairs as much as possible at work, parking farther away, and taking Ellie for walks a couple times a week. I’m going to start incorporating strength training twice a week in the gym at work, which will help build lean muscle mass.

More than anything else, I’m feeling so good. I feel like a thin person, because I don’t have the constant bloating and inflammation. I’m spending less time concentrating on how I look, and more time on how I feel (energy levels, moods, etc.) I’m also taking Vitamin D3 supplements since I don’t get nearly enough sunlight (this should really help during the winter months).

Update: As for the contest, I’m the winner for the week, and am also ahead of the group, having lost a total of 7.35% of my total body weight. I have plans to get a full blood workup done once I’ve lost 10%. I’d like to see where my fasting glucose is at, as well as my HDL/LDL and triglycerides.



primal crépes
July 14, 2009, 1:51 am
Filed under: Food, Recipes

I made primal pancakes for the first time on Sunday, and they turned out amazing; they were savory, not sweet. I wanted to try a repeat performance tonight, but I grabbed the flat griddle and my pancake batter ended up turning into ultra-thin, flat crépes. They were a little dry, but still savory. Here’s what they looked like hot-on-the-griddle:

primal-crepes

1 egg, 1/4 cup almond flour, 1/4 cup half-and-half, dash of cinnamon and nutmeg, cooked in virgin coconut oil, topped with butter