144: The Unfolding Mystery

On this week’s show: The Inuit diet & Omega 3s; why high-fat diets may lead to overeating; study says it was easier to be skinny in the 80’s; and 4 rituals that will make you happier. Also, recommendations for an epic article to read, products to buy, a documentary to watch, and a book to read or listen to. There are Shinrin-Yoku, Moment of Paleo and After the Bell segments, too. Enjoy!

Links for this episode:

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164: Sweetening the Research

Evelyn Kocur and Meredith Rhodes join me, Angelo Coppola, in the News & Views segment. Stories include: the sugar industry’s influence on research, David Katz on the Paleo Diet, alcohol and exercise, and how daily cannabis use might affect BMI. The Moment of Paleo segment covers trust in the media. After the Bell features Dr. David Agus’ new strategy in the war on cancer.

Links for this episode:

Visit PuraKai to shop for eco-friendly clothing and stand-up paddle boards. Be sure to use coupon code “latest in paleo” for 15% off all clothing purchases.

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Can you be “Just a little Diabetic*?”

*The title of the article is asking if one can be just a bit diabetic, not short of stature!

Most of the degenerative diseases we face in the modern world are not binary on/off propositions — they exist, and are diagnosed, on a spectrum. Here are some binary propositions: influenza virus (ya got it or ya don’t), compound fracture (bones are sticking out or they are not) pregnancy (knocked up or not). Here are some diseases which progress and are diagnosed on spectrums: cardiovascular disease, neurodegeneration, and diabetes (specifically type 2 diabetes — for the purpose of this article we are not considering type 1 diabetes even though that CAN exist on a bit of a spectrum during the “honeymoon phase, but that’s an article for a different day.)

I subscribe to a number of different news outlets on a wide variety of topics, but the largest block of information I look at daily comes from medical and health related sources. I subscribe to outlets from the mainstream to the outer fringes of credibility. I do not do this to get a “balanced perspective” as we are foolish to think looking at the two polar ends of a topic somehow provides deep insight or balance. Unfortunately this is how most of the media works (get two idiots from polar opposite positions, face them off and watch the ill-informed bloodbath). This lazy sensationalism (which in academic circles is called “journalism”) is a likely at root to a LOT of problems we face, but again, different topic for a different day.

I look at this spectrum of reporting for two reasons:

1-I hope that I might learn something I did not know and or look at things in a different way. I suspect this will be made illegal at some point and folks from both sides of the political divide will endorse the prohibition. No change for you!

2- (And this is the point germane to this piece) I like to see what information is being covered by what outlets. What is the “fringe” talking about that the mainstream is (or is not) talking about? One of my primary resources for the Orthodox, “Missionary Style”, medical perspective is MedPage Today. This is the low fat, vanilla ice cream with extra carrageenan of medical news outlets. It is bland, flavorless and generally uncontroversial. Part of its function is to provide CME’s (Continuing Medical Education) for doctors and other healthcare providers, so it influences a lot of people and is a bit of an insight into the mainstream thinking one will encounter within medicine. This recent piece, “Prediabetes by Any Other Name” caught my eye as it illustrates the challenge modern medicine faces in getting a handle on chronic degenerative disease that progresses over years or decades and is “diagnosed” along fairly arbitrary spectrums. There are several methods of establishing a diagnosis for prediabetes (and diabetes) ranging from oral glucose tolerance tests, to fasting insulin to A1c. All of them have strengths and weaknesses. What is interesting to me is there is a massive amount of time and energy spent trying to figure out which rubric is the best, what cut points are the most predictive of problems. Here is an interesting quote from the paper:

“These results suggest that impaired glucose tolerance is a stronger risk factor for all cause mortality, but not for cardiovascular disease, than other definitions of prediabetes, which might be caused by the significant association between impaired glucose tolerance and non-cardiovascular death, especially cancer mortality, they noted.”

 

Impaired glucose tolerance (insulin resistance and poor ability to deal with glucose) tends to be predictive of cardiovascular disease, but only up to a point…the reason why is at some point, impaired glucose disposal increases the likelihood of other problems, like cancer, faster than it increases CVD risk.

The frustrating thing for me in all this is NONE of the cut-points nor recommendations are approached from an evolutionary biology/ancestral health perspective. Using this methodology we would look at populations that have little to no diabetes for example, then establish cut points well in advance of seeing ANY disease process. This looney idea is simply starting the investigation from a health based perspective, then working towards disease process. Instead we generally work from an unhealthy population as our “normal” and then try to make lemonade from these metaphorical lemons. The short story in all this is we want all of these metabolic cut-points to be “better” than what is generally recommended if we want to remain disease free or at least kick that can as far down the road as possible. This is not complex stuff but outside of “fringe” circles there is little discussion, just lots of decimal point fiddling and paper shuffling. 

I dive deep on this topic in my forthcoming book, Wired To Eat, where I’ll help you determine where you are on this insulin resistant spectrum as well as suggest cut points to shoot for that are based on healthy populations, not the unhealthy “average.” 

Wired to Eat by Robb Wolf

 

 

Photo credit: PracticalCures.com

 

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Paleo Radio Bites 63 – From Master Chef to Meatme with Chef Trevor Bird

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Chef Trevor Bird was born and raised in Montreal, Canada and began cutting his culinary teeth when he was only a teenager. His career path wound through some of Canada’s best restaurants, and eventually landed him a spot on season 2 of Top Chef Canada. Although he didn’t win the competition, he did come in second place, and used the experience, and a partnership with fellow contestant Curtis Luk, to open his own restaurant, a farm-to-table focused eatery named Fable Kitchen and Diner. He is now one of Canada’s most ardent real food advocates and his passion for feeding people well has now manifested in his latest project, an online meat co-op called MeatMe.co

Meatme connects customers to a growing network of Canadian farmers who raise their animals on natural pasture and in a honest and humane way. Qualifying farms do not use hormones, antibiotics, or any chemicals whatsoever and are also required to provide ample living space, natural and GMO free feed, and high standards of animal welfare.

On the MeatMe.co site, you can actually pick the exact animal you want to buy a share of, such as “Heifer no. 347 | Black Angus”, “Hog no. 188 | Nut fed Berkshire”, and “Lamb no. 874 | Hair bred”. Additionally, Chef Trevor provides innovative and delicious recipes with each order, and he joins us on our show today to tell us more about his culinary career and the Meatme.co difference.

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I Inspire – Frank Storey

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It ain’t about how hard you hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward, how much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!” —Rocky Balboa

Some stories are defined transformation, while others are defined by inspiration, but for firefighter and CrossFitter Frank Storey, his is a tale of DETERMINATION.

Frank grew up in Fort Pierce, Florida, a beachside town on the Southeast coast. “There were seven kids in the house,” he recalls. “We played outside, rode three-wheelers, and ate beenie weenies and mac and cheese.” Frank was an active kid, and found his outlet in athletics. He dabbled in wrestling, but when he discovered cross country, he found his calling.

Running gave Frank focus; it gave him a goal. He loved to push himself and fought hard to be the best. The miles of training required calories, however, and his coaches wanted him to keep his intake up. “I was skinny,” Frank says. “They wanted me to eat.” These were the days of the carbohydrate craze, and runners were at the epicenter of the movement. The pre-race ritual revolved around plates of spaghetti, but despite all the carbs, he still kept his six-pack. “Those days, I could eat anything and still kept a normal weight,” he recalls. “It wasn’t a struggle.”

At the age of 17, and with his parents’ permission, Frank enlisted in the Marine Corps, and thanks to his high school running habit, the notoriously difficult boot camp running regimen didn’t throw him for a loop. In fact, he gained 29 pounds, weight he attributes to simple chow-hall food and a steady diet of calisthenics. After boot camp, Frank went into active duty, working as a welder in Okinawa, Japan, during Operation Desert Storm. Aside from driving on the wrong side of the road a few times, and eating a live squid, Frank’s time there was uneventful, and when his deployment ended, he moved back to Fort Pierce.

Back in the States and out of the military, Frank’s attention turned to bodybuilding. He began working out daily at a gym called Nature’s Way, and eventually added over 60 pounds of bulk to his frame. His diet included six full meals a day, in addition to an entire loaf of bread as a snack. “I’d tear the crust off, ball it up and eat the whole loaf,” he recalls. “I was big, but I wasn’t very lean!”

One fateful afternoon, Frank decided he was going to do something he hadn’t done since he was a kid, and attempted to ride a mountain bike off a picnic table. “I slammed into the ground shoulder first,” he recalls. “That pretty much put an end to my bodybuilding career.”

Frank’s injury kept his arm in a sling for nine weeks, but as soon as it healed, he began looking for ways to work out again. With pumping iron out of the picture, he went back to the basic bodyweight exercises he had learned in boot camp. By this time, Frank was working as a corrections officer, and he’d heard about a competition called the Toughest Cop Alive (TCA).

Organized by the International Law Enforcement Games, the TCA contest encompasses eight separate events: a 5K run, the shot put, a 100-meter sprint, a 100-meter freestyle swim, a 20-foot rope climb, the bench press, a pull-up contest and a 200-meter obstacle course. Frank trained an entire year for the TCA, and ended up winning the pull-up and rope climb portions of the event.

Encouraged by his results, he immediately started preparations for the following year’s event, but during an afternoon practice, disaster struck. He had set up an obstacle course in his neighborhood, which included a wall that he used to vault over. On every other day, the ground behind the wall was flat. On this day, there was a hole. By the time he leaped over, it was too late to change course. Frank’s ankle rolled to the outside, and although he didn’t realize it at the time, he had suffered an “eversion” sprain.

Also known as a medial ankle sprain, the injury involves damage to the deltoid ligament on the medial (inside) edge of the ankle. Eversion sprains are rare, as the leg bone itself usually breaks before the deltoid ligament does. “I was in a walking boot for three months before I could even start rehab,” Frank recalls. “It probably would have been easier if I had broken my ankle.”

Frank spent months working with a physical therapist, doing stretches and ankle rotations, and working with resistance bands. Determined to stay in shape even while rehabbing his ankle, Frank continued to do whatever exercises he could. “I couldn’t run,” he recalls, “but I was still doing push-ups, sit-ups. I didn’t give up.”

For several years after his ankle injury, Frank’s competitive juices had stalled. He was working out, but in more of a holding- pattern than a focused program. When a friend mentioned that he was taking jiu-jitsu classes, Frank decided to give it a shot and signed up at the American Top Team (ATT). An offshoot of the legendary Brazilian Top Team, ATT is home to numerous professional MMA fighters and jiu-jitsu players. “It’s like a chess match,” Frank explains. “You solve problems and get excited when you learn something new.”

But after several years, and numerous broken toes, broken fingers and injured elbows, Frank decided that it was time to hang up his jiu-jitsu belt. “My son was getting older,” he explains. “I wanted to focus on being with him more.” At the same time, Frank’s career was also going through changes. His sister-in-law was a firefighter, and the pay and benefits were appealing. He enrolled in the Fire Academy, studied hard and landed a spot in the St. Lucie County Fire Department.

By this time, the TCA contest had expanded to include both firefighters and law enforcement officers. Determined to compete again, Frank set his sights on another run at the TCA and began training. When the day of the TCA arrived, Frank completed event after event without incident, until he got to the obstacle course. “At the end of the obstacle course, there is a sprint with a hurdle,” Frank recalls. “I went over, and when I landed, my foot rolled to the inside, the same injury as before.”

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Another long recovery period followed, and with time on his hands, Frank’s attention wandered. While searching the Internet one day, he learned about a new workout trend called CrossFit. It piqued his interest, and after gathering together some rusty barbells and homemade medicine balls, Frank was ready to try it.

For the next 12 months, Frank CrossFitted in his garage. Eventually, his firefighter buddies started coming over. They would look up the WOD on CrossFit.com and train together, which got them results for a while. When the group started to outgrow their DIY equipment, Frank decided to sign up at a local box called CrossFit Fort Pierce.

“That first workout whipped my ass,” Frank recalls. “I did FRAN and thought I was going to die at the end of it, but I kept coming back.” He was sold on the social aspect of the gym, the friends he made and the positive, encouraging atmosphere. One of his personal mottos is “Hang out with people you want to be like,” and at CrossFit Fort Pierce, Frank found kindred spirits who could match his own drive and intensity.

It was at his CrossFit gym that Frank also learned about Paleo. “I was drinking diet Monster drinks, coffee with sugar in it, and I cut all that out,” he recalls. “The first week was tough, but you get used to it.” His nutritional regimen focused on eggs, almonds, fish, chicken, steak, asparagus and sweet potatoes, and he quickly began to see results. “Your clothes get looser, your insides feel good, you sleep good,” he says. “I feel great now.”

In typical Frank fashion, CrossFitting alone wasn’t enough to scratch his competitive itch. He enlisted in the National Guard and, at the age of 44, competes against 20-year-olds in the annual Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT). “They have us do a 2-mile run, sit-ups and push-ups,” Frank says. “These guys are quite a bit younger than me, and I should probably be retired at my age, but I’ve had the best PFT score in my unit the past few years.”

Frank’s family also has a competitive streak. His 14-year-old son CrossFits, wrestles in school and is an ATV racer. Frank’s girlfriend, who he nicknamed “Linda Carter” after TV’s Wonder Woman, is also a CrossFitter.

When asked why he trains as hard as he does, Frank says, “It’s not for looks. I want my son to be able to look up to me and know I’m going to be there for him.”

REFERENCES

  1. Sayih J. “Toughest Cop Alive.” 911 Fitness. Fall 1999. http://www.911fitness.com/corner/articles/toughcop.htm
  2. “Eversion Ankle Sprain.” Sportsinjuryclinic.net. http://www.sportsinjuryclinic.net/sport-injuries/ankle-achilles-shin-pain/eversion-ankle-sprain
  3. “American Top Team.” Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Top_Team
  4. “World Police and Fire Games.” Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Police_and_Fire_Games

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PMR #148 – Deep Nutrition with Dr Cate Shanahan

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We’ve talked to many people who have dealt with serious health conditions, and many of them have been frustrated or stymied by the conventional medical system and the care they’ve received from doctors, but what happens if you are the patient and the doctor? This is the situation Dr. Cate Shanahan found herself in when she experienced a mysterious and undiagnosable pain in her knee that made it difficult for her to walk and almost cost her her job.

After trying multiple treatments and experiencing numerous dead ends, she came across a book called Spontaneous Healing by Dr. Andrew Weil, which, in her words, “opened a crack in the darkness.” In Spontaneous Healing, Dr. Cate learned about the significance of omega three fatty acids and it set her on a path to uncover the “dark calories” that have infiltrated our food supply and how traditional fats, and an ancestral diet in general, can provide a way out of many modern diseases. She was inspired to write her ideas down, and these notes provided the basis for her best-selling book Deep Nutrition that she wrote along with her husband Luke.

Deep Nutrition was originally released back in 2008, and since then, she has been busy building her medical practice, speaking at conferences across the country, and working as a dietary consultant for the LA Lakers. Obviously she’s learned a lot in the process and is now taking those lessons and using them to revise, update, and expand her book.

The updated version of Dr. Cate’s Deep Nutrition is now available, and on today’s show, we discuss:

  • The dangers of intergenerational malnutrition.
  • The superfood she used to help Kobe Bryant recover 100% faster from an ankle injury.
  • Why oxidative stress is the ultimate disease maker.
  • How free radicals can create an explosion of inflammation in the body.
  • Why good fats taste better.
  • The right questions to ask when you go to a restaurant.
  • How she gets professional basketball players to eat healthy.

CLICK HERE for the full transcript.

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The post PMR #148 – Deep Nutrition with Dr Cate Shanahan appeared first on Paleo Magazine.

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A Biomechanical Analysis of the Deadlift: Conventional vs Sumo

Written by: Kevin Cann

The conventional deadlift versus the sumo deadlift is one of the great debates in the strength sports. Many will argue that the sumo deadlift is “cheating” because it has a shorter range of motion (ROM). People will also argue that the sumo deadlift is easier because it allows your hips to stay closer to the bar. However, is this really the case? Is the sumo deadlift an easier version of the deadlift?

Research has actually looked into this subject. Before we get into that, we need to have an understanding of the physics behind the deadlift. This applies to both the sumo version and the conventional deadlift. They are total body lifts that place demands on our back, hips, knees, and ankles. Depending on how we choose to setup, some of these change.

Front and side view of the conventional deadlift

Conventional Front

Conventional Side

Front and side view of the sumo deadlift

Sumo Front

Sumo Side

One major difference between the sumo deadlift and the conventional deadlift is on the demands that they place on our spinal extensors. The greater lean that we have of the torso; the greater the spinal flexor moment arm, making it more difficult for us to remain in an extended/neutral position. The conventional deadlift requires a 5% to 10% greater lean of the torso than the sumo deadlift. This makes the conventional deadlift tougher on our back muscles, especially our spinal erectors.

We are going to skip the hips for now and come back to them later on. In the conventional deadlift our shins are pretty vertical. At most we may have 10 degrees or so of dorsiflexion at the start. This is extremely small and the quads are probable fighting the hamstring co-contraction more than the weight of the bar to extend the knees. Unlike the squat, quad strength is most likely not a limiting factor in the conventional deadlift.

However, the sumo deadlift places different demands on the knee extensors. The sumo deadlift setup is going to have significantly more knee flexion. This places a greater demand on the quads. The sumo deadlift is basically a high squat. The greatest quad demands in the squat are coming up out of the hole. Since the sumo deadlift begins higher than the sticking point for the squat, the demands on the quads will be less than the squat, but greater than the conventional deadlift.

Now let us look at hip extension demands in each lift. Research has shown that the hip extension demands for the sumo deadlift and the conventional deadlift are the same. You may be thinking “how can this be if the hips are closer to the bar in the sumo deadlift?” To answer this question we must first understand the definition of a moment arm.

A moment arm is the length between a joint axis and the line of force acting upon the joint. The moment arm for the hip extensors in both deadlift variations is the femur. Femur length does not change. No matter where you place your feet, femur length remains a constant. The distance you lose in the saggital plane (plane of motion that cuts the body into left and right), you pick up in the frontal plane (plane of motion that cuts the body in half from back to front). In either variation the further your hips get behind the bar, the more difficult it is for your hip extensors.

With that said, the conventional deadlift does require approximately 25% to 40% more mechanical work than the sumo deadlift. This is due to the greater distance the bar needs to travel. With the feet wider and the hands typically closer, the bar travels less of a distance for the sumo deadlift than it will for the conventional deadlift. Does this make it easier though?

I do not think it is as simple as lifting the bar less distance makes it easier. The sumo deadlifts are going to be more difficult off of the ground and the conventional pull will be most difficult around the bottom of the knees. People miss lifts because they are not strong enough through these weak points. If you have weak spinal erectors, then the sumo deadlift will feel easier than the conventional deadlift because it hides these weaknesses by allowing you to have a more vertical torso.

On the other hand, if you have a weak squat and can’t break the bar off of the floor in a sumo position, chances are you have weak quads and the conventional pull will be easier for you, even though it requires 25% to 40% more mechanical work. If you participate in Crossfit, the mechanical work piece may be important since it will make higher rep sets easier to complete and for a faster time.

Hip anatomy and mobility will also play a role. Ultimately you need to find which variation works best for you. The one that works best now may not be the one that works best later on down the road. Find a good coach and learn how to use both variations. I actually like the sumo deadlift as a squat builder. It helps build the quad and upper back strength required in the bottom of the squat.

Mess around with both variations and see which one works best for you. This should be done over a few months to give each one a fair amount of time to train. Make sure you have a good coach watch you, because techniques in both are very important. You may do better in the sumo deadlift, but it is a very technical lift. You do not want to miss out on big strength gains because you are performing it incorrectly. The hip extension demands are the same, the conventional deadlift requires more back strength, and the sumo deadlift requires more quad strength. Understanding those differences can help you pick which one may be best for you. If you have had back issues in the past, stick with a sumo pull, as it places less shear force on the spine due to the more upright torso.

References:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/11932579/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/10912892/

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165: Outsourcing Your Motivation

Meredith Rhodes and Roland Denzel join us to discuss News & Views. Stories include: the effectiveness of wearable fitness and diet trackers, what the gut microbiomes of obese kids tell us, whether stress erases the benefits of a healthy diet, and what we can learn from a new Blue Zone identified in southern Italy. The Moment of Paleo segment throws around ideas about working to get ahead. After the Bell features Dan Ariely, professor of economics, discussing whether we are really in control of our own decisions.

Links for this episode:

Visit PuraKai to shop for eco-friendly clothing and stand-up paddle boards. Be sure to use coupon code “latest in paleo” for 15% off all clothing purchases.

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166: Fat Genes Skinny Jeans

Liam Bowler and Carrie Forrest join us to discuss News & Views. We start with three very interesting stories centering around genetics: anxiety’s link to metabolic disorder; the ‘fat gene’ and weight loss; and the latest research on the ‘thrifty gene hypothesis.’ The Moment of Paleo segment furthers some of the themes discussed during the news segment and revolves around boxing ourselves into various narratives. After the Bell features Jennifer Douden, one of the inventors of CRISPR, a genome editing tool.

Links for this episode:

Visit PuraKai to shop for eco-friendly clothing and stand-up paddle boards. Be sure to use coupon code “latest in paleo” for 15% off all clothing purchases.

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168: Dr. Loren Cordain—The Paleo Diet

Loren Cordain, Ph.D. joins us on today’s show. Dr. Cordain is widely regarded as the father of the modern Paleo approach to diet. We discuss everything from whether the diet should be standardized, the high-protein component of Paleo, how data about hunter-gatherer dietary patterns were collected and analyzed, why the Paleo Diet restricts legumes and potatoes, the role of plant foods, anti-nutrients, the consumption of oils, aging and longevity, calorie restriction, the Blue Zones, and much more. He is the author of The Paleo Diet, The Paleo Diet for Athletes, The Paleo Answer, The Real Paleo Diet Cookbook, many other books, and several research papers. Whether or not you’ve previously heard Cordain speak or lecture, you’ll come away from today’s show with new information. There is also a Moment of Paleo and a talk by Staffan Lindberg After the Bell.

Links for this episode:

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