Wednesday, June 6, 2012

fat fat fat

great post!

Top 7 Most Common Reactions to Your High-Fat Diet (and How to Respond)

A couple weeks back, I wrote about the top 8 most common reactions you get when people hear you don’t eat grains, and I offered up some concise responses to those reactions. It was well received, so I thought I’d do the same thing for “your high-fat diet.” If you thought having to explain your grain-free diet was tough, explaining a high-fat diet – in particular, a high-animal fat diet – may seem even harder. At least with a grain-free diet, you’re merely removing something that many hold near and dear to their hearts. It’s “healthy” and “delicious,” sure, but at least you’re not adding something that will actively kill you. Fat is that deadly thing, for many people. It’s “fat,” for crying out loud. It’s bad for you, practically a poison. Everyone knows it. I mean, have you seen what fat down the kitchen drain does to your plumbing?

Actually, like the grain-free diet, explaining the high-fat diet is not that hard. I’ll even promise you that there are ways to do it, explanations and answers that don’t make you seem like a crazy person who hates his heart (I make no such promises for those of you with a stick of butter with bite marks and a tub of coconut oil with a greasy spoon beside it on your office desk, however). Now let’s get right to their questions and responses you can use:

“Isn’t all that fat gonna glom onto your arteries?”

That isn’t how it works. Atherosclerosis is caused by oxidized LDL particles penetrating the arterial wall, inciting inflammation, and damaging the arterial tissue. It is not caused by fat mechanistically attaching itself to the surface of the arteries like fat in a kitchen pipe. Also, it’s not like you eat some butter and that butter gets directed straight into your bloodstream. Your blood doesn’t have oil slicks running through it, or congealed droplets of grease gumming up the passageways. You are the product of millions upon millions of years of evolution, and I think our bodies can do better than trying to ape modern plumbing.

Response: “My arteries are not pipes. Fat is not solidifying in my blood like it can in the plumbing. Atherosclerosis is a complex process with dozens of factors beyond what’s in your diet, let alone the fat content.”

“Isn’t all that cholesterol gonna raise your cholesterol?”

If I were a rabbit, sure. When you feed cholesterol to an herbivorous animal, like a rabbit, whose only encounters with dietary cholesterol occur in a lab setting, their blood lipids will increase and they will usually develop atherosclerosis. For many years, the “cholesterol-fed rabbit” was a popular model for studying heart disease and gave rise to the now-popular idea that dietary cholesterol also elevates blood lipids in humans (thus immediately condemning them to a heart attack, naturally). Except it isn’t the case. Save for a select few who are “hyper-responders,” the vast majority of people can eat cholesterol without it affecting their cholesterol levels. And even when dietary cholesterol affects blood lipids, it’s usually an improvement, increasing HDL and the HDL:TC ratio while leaving LDL mostly unchanged. As for where all that blood cholesterol comes from, we make pretty much all the cholesterol in our blood in-house, and dietary cholesterol tends to suppress endogenous cholesterol synthesis. Boy, between “staying local” and “only making as much as we need,” our livers are downright green. I bet our HDL is GMO-free and organic to boot (not so sure about those sneaky LDL particles, though).

Response: “Dietary cholesterol does not affect total blood cholesterol. In fact, when we do eat cholesterol, our bodies make less of it to keep our blood levels in balance.”

“Isn’t all that fat gonna make you fat?”

Fat doesn’t make you fat. While you can technically overeat enough fat calories to accumulate adipose tissue, thus getting fat, this is a difficult feat, for two primary reasons:

Fat is very satiating, especially when paired with low-carb eating. Grass-fed pot roast, ribbed with yellow fat, connective tissue, and ample protein is far more filling than some crusty bread spread with butter. You’ll eat a decent slice of the former and be done, but you could easily polish off half a loaf of the latter with half a stick of butter and still be hungry. Fat gain requires a caloric excess, and it’s difficult to achieve one going on a high-fat, low-carb diet.

Dietary fat in the presence of large amounts of dietary carbohydrates can make it difficult to access fat for energy, while dietary fat in the presence of low levels of dietary carbohydrates makes it easier to access fat for energy. Couple that with the fact that fat and carbs are easier to overeat together, and you have your explanation. In fact, studies have shown that low-carb, high-fat diets not only reduce weight, they also retain or even increase lean mass. That means it’s fat that’s being lost (rather than the nebulous “weight”), which is what we’re ultimately after.

Response: “No. Caloric excess determines fat accumulation, and eating a high-fat, low-carb diet is the easiest way to inadvertently reduce calories without sacrificing satiation or satisfaction. It also improves your ability to access stored body fat rather than lean mass, which is helpful for fat loss.”

“But Dean Ornish/my mom/Walter Willet/the AHA/my doctor said saturated fat will give you heart attacks.”

They all may say that, and sound pretty convincing as they say it, but the science says differently. I tend to listen to the science, rather than what I think the science is saying:
A 2011 study found that “reducing the intake of CHO with high glycaemic index is more effective in the prevention of CVD than reducing SAFA intake per se.”
From a 2010 study out of Japan, saturated fat intake “was inversely associated with mortality from total stroke.”
A 2010 meta-analysis found “that there is no significant evidence for concluding that dietary saturated fat is associated with an increased risk of CHD or CVD.”

That looks pretty clear cut to me.

Response: “The most recent studies have concluded that saturated fat intake likely has no relation to heart disease, contrary to popular opinion.”

“Where do you get your energy?”

I get my energy from fat, both dietary and stored body fat. At 9 calories per gram, fat is the densest source of energy. I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but humans tend to store it on their bodies. That’s not just for show, you know. We actually store it in our bodies as energy for later, for leaner times, for when food isn’t available. Fat is the ideal energy source for life’s daily activities; walking, working, even going for a hike or a light jog all access the oxidative, or fat-based energy pathway. Carbs only really come into play when you’re doing repeated bouts of intense exercise, like sprint intervals or high-intensity endurance training. But for just about everything else? Fat is king.

Response: “Fat is the body’s preferred and most reliable form of energy, which is why we store excess energy as fat on our bodies. Unless you think we accumulate body fat just to make pants fit tighter.”

“But isn’t fat totally free of nutrients? How do you get your vitamins if you’re eating all that fat?”

The richest source of natural tocotrienols (vitamin E), potent antioxidants, is red palm oil – a fat.

One of the richest sources of choline, a vital micronutrient for liver function, is egg yolk – a fat.

One of the better sources of vitamin K2, an oft-ignored nutrient involved in cancer prevention, arterial health, and bone metabolism, is grass-fed butter – a fat.

The best dietary source of vitamin D, a nutrient most people are deficient in, is cod liver oil – a fat.

See what I mean? Also, even when you’re cooking with a fat that doesn’t contain many vitamins, that fat is still going to improve the bioavailability of the fat-soluble vitamins (like A, D, E, K, K2) in the food you’re cooking.

Response: “Certain fats, like egg yolks, palm oil, extra virgin olive oil, cod liver oil, and grass-fed butter, are some of the most nutritious foods in existence. And without fat in your meals, you often won’t absorb all the nutrients that are present in other foods like leafy greens, since many of them require fat for full absorption.”

“Doesn’t the brain run on carbs, not fat?”

Yes, the brain requires glucose. That is true. However, the brain is more of a gas/diesel hybrid. It can run on both fat and glucose. Ketones, derived from fatty acids, can satisfy the majority of the brain’s energy needs, sparing the need for so much glucose. You’ll still need some glucose, as the brain can’t run purely on ketone bodies, but you won’t need nearly as much. And, best of all, your brain will run more efficiently on a combination of ketones and glucose than on glucose alone.

That improved efficiency means you can actually function without food. Since you have ample brain energy stores on your body (even the lean among us have enough body fat to last for weeks), and a high-fat diet allows you to access that body fat for brain energy, you’ll no longer suffer brain fog just because your afternoon meeting went a little long and you missed lunch. Instead, you’ll enjoy steadier, more even energy in mind and body.

Additionally, your body, through a process know as gluconeogenesis, can make up to 150 grams of glucose a day – more than the brain even needs (roughly 120 grams/day).

Response: “While it’s true that the brain requires some glucose for energy, using fat-derived ketones as well can make the brain run more efficiently and reduce its glucose requirements. On top of that, your body can probably create more glucose than your brain even requires.”

Compared to last week’s grains post, there were fewer entries today, the simple reason being that while grains are hyped beyond belief, people have but a few scant – albeit robustly defended – justifications for fearing dietary fat. The backlash almost always revolves around the visceral fear of “fat.” It’s a scary word, after all, but it shouldn’t be. No one should fear something so vital to life, so crucial for nutrient absorption and hormonal function, and so delicious with roasted vegetables.

Hopefully, these responses will help curb some of that fear.

So, what’d I miss? What else have you heard, and how did you respond? Let me and everyone know in the comments!
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Sunday, May 13, 2012

paleo work out plans for the week of 5 13

Last week turned into a recovery week
My main goal was to get enough rest so that i was naturally sleepingout or waking up at first light without an alarm
It took until friday to start waking up with the sun

so i trained real hard on saturday and am resting again on sunday

next week I will hit it fairly hard with 6 days of training (about 40 min a day)

Friday, May 11, 2012

Fresh and easy paleo review (it sucks)

Fresh and easy opened up in my neighborhood.

You should know that my family eats 90% paleo and we are very cheap people.

I was hoping fresh and easy would provide another place to get cheap healthy food.

If you are a thrifty paleo shopper forget fresh and easy

its a cool store that provides healthier fast meals

but not that healthy and not that inexpensive

heavy on the veggies

heavy on the veggies this week

feel pretty good

eat lots of greens guys - it pays off

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

sprouts farmers market

sprouts farmers market

having a great sale today

going to load up on paleo food for the family

its been one of those weeks where i am proud of myself for not just sitting on the couch and eating pizza and drinking beer

ill post last weeks training soon

Sunday, April 29, 2012

wods ending 4 28 { HIIT, Trader Joes, Sprouts, Costco }

This week was rough.
Work presented some new lows.  Probably the worst weeks of teaching in my 7 years of experience. The newborn and mom was sick.

I did not think I would get any training in this week, but every day i made an effort to get some thing in.

HIIT = High Intensity Interval Training
Nothing new here - i have used HIIT with sprints - but i am trying it with the basic 4 movements - push ups, pull ups, squats, and planks - I am very sore -

Trader Joes - the whole freaking family has started eating paleo - not because it was a decision - they just love the food I eat - and they eat all my food first - the cost of feeding my family has climbed to about 200 bucks a week

I shop at sprouts, trader joes, and costco
Its a lot of work to keep paleo food in the house without going broke -
but its worth it

here was the plan
My 3 year old cranked out over 100 push ups on thursday - this kid is going to pass me up quick

Here is what got done.

Monday, April 23, 2012

the baby is sick

oho parenting
nothing will challenge the resolve of a training program like a newborn

baby has a fever
up late

no i did not work out this morning before work

i will try in the pm

yesterdays fast was not bad

Sunday, April 22, 2012

why fast?

lots of reasons

why fast

Sunday fasts for 6 weeks

I will be fasting on sundays for the next 6 weeks
No food from sat midnight till sunday sunset

Test the benefits of intermittent fasting

Saturday, April 21, 2012

workouts ending april 20th - a truly pitiful week

This week I had no plan - no goals and honestly no desire to work out at all
the results reflect that

I am very tight - the left ankle is hurting
this next weeks focus will be on flexibility and mobility

Thursday, April 19, 2012

I am just phoning in the work outs these days

Since the baby (7 weeks) I have just been phoning in the work outs.

I am averaging about 4 workouts a week, they are short in duration and low in intensity.

However I am getting them done ~ I have a long term focus of training, 1 year results - not 8 week results.

Paleo is going wll

Monday, April 16, 2012

wods 4 8 2012 to 4 14 2012

motivation was very low this week ~ so just getting some training in was good ~ i am hoping for more energy next week

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


Havent worked out for 3 days ~ i just want a little break

Monday, April 9, 2012

Paleo revew

I thing i have been doing too much cardio and working out too much

Very sore

Going to take the morning off

Friday, April 6, 2012

The cost of eating paleo $$$

a friend was asking about how i afford to maintain a paleo diet / lifestyle

it is a sacrifice - I spend about 3 times more on food then before. I have a family of 4 and my wife is starting to move to eating paleo as well

my 3 year old naturally leans to eating paleo

so compared to the average family we probably spend 2 to 3 times as much on food

but we never eat out
never buy crap at the store
dont drink
~ a lot of little crap gets cut out

i think in the end if you are thinking about going paleo plan on X2 your current food budget.

but i have no complaints
if you are going to spend money on anything - shouldent it be what you put in your body?

my wife has started paleo

my wife has started paleo

i did not push her to do it at all

but i think she sees the results and just has to admit its working

well see how she does

the first weeks are very difficult

Saturday, March 31, 2012

3 31

60 row
Take naps all over the house

Thursday, March 29, 2012

try this next week over spring break

Odd Days (Supersets OR Pyramids):

Supersets (repeat 10 times):

- Pullups - max
- Pushups - 20
- Dips - 5-10
- Abs of choice - 30

Pyramids (see PT Pyramid article above)

- Pullups - 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,6,5,4,3,2,1 rest with
- Pushups - 2,4,6,8,10,12,14....2
- Abs of choice - 5,10,15,20,25,30,35....5
- Alternate with NO rest from one exercise to the next

Even Days:

25-50 pullups anyway you can throughout the day or in a single workout. Do small repetition sets until you reach 25- 50 pull-ups.

Rotate for the next ten days from odd day workout options and even day pull-up supplement, then take three-four days off from doing ANY pull-ups. Test on day 14 or 15 and let me know your results.

Good luck with the Pullup-Push Workout. Push yourself and you can quickly perform better on your pull-up test. You can fit this type of program into your present workout plan by just adding 25-50 pullups on your rest days so you do a ten-day routine of pull-ups.


wod ~ am
20 row
50 push ups
50 squats

wod pm planned

100 push ups
100 pull ups
5 minutes plank

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

first backpacking trip since the injury ~ 4 months later

it was a short over night trip
probably about a 30 pound pack 3 miles each way
leg held up fine - i used a walking stick as a precaution
i probably did not need it but it was nice to use

Sunday i slept most of the day ! ~ so the trip took something out of me

Monday, March 26, 2012

I’m Sick. Should I Exercise?

I’m Sick. Should I Exercise?

Junior apple Lance asks:

“Hey, Mark, what’s the deal with working out when you are sick? Is it true that exercise is safe if you have a cold, but bad if you have the flu?”

There are some general rules to follow, but in my opinion, the best thing to do is to trust your instincts. Sometimes when you’re sick you don’t have severe symptoms, but you feel fatigued and weak nevertheless. Other times you may be so symptomatic you’re virtually a stockholder in Kleenex, yet you’re physically peppy enough to function.Often the sniffly, frog-in-the-throat cold symptoms come as you’re nearly healed, so at this point, it’s fine and healthy to exercise. The funny thing is that this is usually the point when we really notice our illness; but by this point, the virus is already well under attack by your immune system.

Energy is a subtle thing; pay attention to how it moves in your body. There’s no benefit to a heart-pumping, calorie-burning workout if your tissues and organs are depleted of their energy; this will only drain you further. My advice? If your heart’s just not in it – if you just can’t “get into” the workout, it’s probably not the best idea to push it. On the other hand, if you simply feel a little crummy, a mild workout like a walk in the fresh air can actually speed your recovery dramatically (be sure to shower and nap afterwards to stimulate healing).

Bottom line: pay heed to that instinct!

Here are general guidelines:

If your symptoms are mostly “in your head” (sniffles, headache, sore throat) it’s usually fine to exercise. Caveats: have a terrible headache, fever or brain fog? Stay in bed.

If your symptoms are closer to the “business end” (nausea and other unpleasantries) do not work out under any circumstances. You need rest and fluids and possibly a trip to the doc. Caveats: if you’ve got “the shakes” from jet lag or too much partying, a workout will actually do you good, though it definitely won’t be fun.

If your muscles are a bit achy, a gentle swim or a walk can help. Caveats: if your bones ache or if you feel stiff, don’t attempt exercise – your organs and acid production are trying desperately to cope with whatever bug has invaded your system, so lie low, amigo.

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Friday, March 23, 2012

its friday! ~ dude you have a 6 pack

my wife looked at me yesterday said, "dude you have a six pack ~ i hate you"

the truth is i havent been training that hard - this is my 10th week on paleo - this is the lightest i have trained in my life (when i have been focused on fitness)

my blood pressure is down and my mood is up

my job is a meat grinder right now but i think i am dealing with it pretty well

i did land a sinus infection a couple of days ago but im healing fast

big thumbs up to paleo - and marksdailyapple

check out my blog if you want the rest of the story and see my workouts

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

3 21 no wod ~ sinus infection

Sinus infection
Amoxocilin + some sun
Hope to be back at it in the morning

Monday, March 19, 2012

03 19 2012 WOD

nice little am wod

20 row
push ups
pull ups
box jumps

~ all before work and not that sleepy

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The week of rest with photo

The week of rest and fighting the cold.
I trained pretty minimally this week.  Fighting a cold + mentally burnout + teacher burnout + $$ stress.
I rowed stereched and tried to get to sleep as early as possible.


1. Life changes
a. I installed an app on my phone that makes is silent from 7pm to 7am
b. I stopped all alerts on my phone (email, facebook, ect)

2. Food
a. I ate more meat
b. less (almost none) furit + paleo baked goods
c. more berries
d. tried to eat more veggies (this will be next weeks focus)


1. Back to some good efficient training
2. Time change adjustment is hopefully over so I can enjoy the morning workouts again.
3. try not to make appointments before lectures (get to work as late as possible)
4. eat as much veggies as possible
5. continue to reduce the baked goods as much as possible

on monday i weigh in and start weeks 10,11,12 of paleo living