New Site for Non-Paleo Stuff

I’ve launched a new blog for Non-Paleo related stuff. You can find it here.

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Serious Male Depression is Epidemic in Western Countries

Feeling depressed mates? Low testosterone may be to blame. It really is just that simple.

Depressed

Nowadays men in the West have lower testosterone levels than any time ever in our history.

I could bore you with a long lecture about how it got this way, from all the soy and the phytoestrogens in the food in darn near everything we consume in the Western world.

But, I’d much rather just skip all that and point you to the solution.
The good news is that a simple resistance training program can help.

Eat better, lift some weights, and voila! Your testosterone rises, and your depression goes away.

Step 1: Eat better. I’d suggest going Paleo, but that’s up to you. At the very least, massively reduce sugars and carbs in your diet. It certainly can’t hurt.

Step 2: Lift some weights. The cost for this can be as much or as little as your budget allows. If you can afford it, join a gym and get a trainer. If you can’t, and have only lint in your pocket at the moment, then look up on the net strength training exercises that you can do using only your own body, such as pushups, situps, etc. A cheap pair of dumbells also works nicely for this. Most people also know someone who has weight equipment just collecting dust in their basement or garage. A polite inquiry may net you these tools to use for yourself at pennies on the dollar or even free if they just want to get rid of them!

Step 3: Enjoy a better body, better health, and better mood than ever before.
Of course, there’s more to it than that, but that’s the basic overview.

If you are serious about changing your life and your health, I’d read ‘The Primal Blueprint‘ by Mark Sisson.

Next when you are ready to get really serious, read ‘Muscle Up‘ by P.D. Mangan. At the end of the book in Chapter 9, you will get some instruction on how to get started in your strength training.

More on this later, but I figured I’d get a solution for the basics out there to get you started.

Male depression due to low testosterone is rampant in Western Civilization, and it’s high time we addressed it and eliminated it.

What’s in a piece of paper?

I’ve not posted much to the blog the last week or so. I’ve been visiting other Paleo blogs and websites, and reading Mark Sisson’s The Primal Blueprint and P.D. Mangan’s “Muscle Up”.

Awesome books by the way. So I’ve been quite busy, just not very ‘visible’ the past week.

In regards to the Paleo blogs and websites…

Everyone seems to be scrambling for validation these days. Everyone’s all of  sudden an ‘Expert’, and trying to convince you to steer clear of those who are not. Heck, I don’t know if ‘Paleo’ as a concept has even been around long enough to have any true ‘Experts’. Just folks who have found things that work and things that don’t.

Perhaps the worst of them all are those who clutch onto their various degrees and certifications like it’s Linus’ blanket. They are insecure without it, and seek to find their little “I’m better than you because of my piece of paper” niche.
It seems to be oft used as a truncheon to elevate themselves above the rest and hammer down on people who they consider to be ‘less than’ they are. Especially people who do not have a certain piece of paper, or who are not an ‘Expert’.

Now, don’t get me wrong. There are certain things that I want to make sure people are highly trained and skilled on. Someone who’s working on the re-entry orbit for the space shuttle, or performing brain surgery, for examples.

It’s also good to give you a rough idea if the person is competent in their chosen field to teach others certain concepts. I think things like Mark Sisson’s Primal Blueprint Certification is a great idea. It offers a great base to START from for people who want to pursue teaching and helping others. This isn’t about that.
I’m talking about the epic ‘hoity-toitery’, that infects nearly everything in our world. Even the Paleo movement.

I don’t think you need a ‘Cordon Bleu’ trained chef to figure out how to cook your dead animals tastily, nor do you need someone with a PhD to validate whether you are or are not correct about a research paper that you have the intelligence to read and decipher yourself.

I’m not trying to burn any bridges here, really. It just seriously bugs me that people think that a piece of paper somehow defines and/or limits the abilities or cognitive abilities of another individual.

Ok, bugs me is not the right term for it. It seriously pisses me off.

And they always seem to be ENDLESSLY marketing something. I get like 3 emails each from some of these people’s sites a day because I was naive enough to sign up on their email list when I first got into Paleo. (Some of the more egregious of whom I’ve cancelled the email subscription to.

Now, all of this falls under the category of what not to do in regards to my post on ‘Inspiring People’.

If you are a hoity-toity PhD expert in… whatever… you don’t validate yourself by endlessly bashing everyone else in order to justify your existence. If you think that people are incorrect about something, correct them. Even provide the research that points to this conclusion so they can find and understand the answer on their own.

But don’t sit there like a jackass and act like you are the only person on the planet capable of correctly interpreting this information because of your high-falootin’ special training and piece of paper.

Maybe they don’t have as in-depth of an understanding of a topic as you do. And that’s OK. Even if you are the world’s foremost expert on XYZ that still doesn’t give you the right to treat other people like they are complete and total idiots.

I think some of the so called ‘Experts’ in this movement, including even some of the so called ‘founders’, have said their piece, have staked their claim, and now through jealously of them not being the popular kid at school anymore, feel threatened by new arrivals, and so lash out.

And, ultimately, are doing the movement more harm than good. Maybe, just maybe, they should take their millions and retire so they can do something other than insult people all day long and drag the movement down with the weight of their enormous egos.

As a note and to avoid possible confusion, neither Mark Sisson, nor P.D. Mangan do this. They’re great. Their information is well thought out, researched, and helpful, and they themselves are very approachable. We should all strive to be a bit more like that.

I’d like to see this healthy way of eating and living expand and become the ‘norm’ for humanity instead of the exception. And for that to happen, the Paleo movement needs to grow in a positive direction, and people need to get off their asses and start resistance training. Young and old, for better health, and to stay healthy long into ‘old age’.

In essence, there’s enough pure unadulterated bullshit out there to bash without having to bring down the movement by the incessant infantile infighting as to who’s ‘rightest’.

(Yes, I know that’s not a word.) 😛

Take the high road people. At the very least you’ll be well positioned to piss on the hats of your true enemies! 😉

Inspiring People

I’ve been spending quite a bit of time listening to some of the old archived The Primal Blueprint podcasts on my ipod, as I can do so whilst going about my day doing other things.

They cover a wide variety of topics of course. The one I’m going to touch on today is something that Tony Federico of Paleo Magazine said. (He was being interviewed by The Primal Blueprint’s Elle Russ.)

He talks about getting his foot in the door in the Paleo world by basically a ‘cold call’ interview with Mark Sisson. He was first turned down, but was persistent, and Mark decided to give him an interview. Eventually he was able to get Paleo Magazine interested in it, and finally makes it as an online article at Paleo Magazine. He then makes some contacts through Paleo Magazine gets to go to PaleoFX.

Long story short is that he persisted in what he believed in, and now is a very well known personality in the Paleo community.

I found that story to be quite inspiring.

Elle Russ goes on to say that – “Perseverance works. When you really pursue what you love, it eventually does work out.”

Tony continues talking about a testament to the power of a single interaction. That one simple interaction where you took the time to help someone instead of blow them off, can change someone’s life forever for the better. Tony went from a total newbie in the Paleo community, to someone who’s very well known and hosting a weekly podcast for Paleo Magazine. That’s something we could all learn from, I think.

He comments that someone could be listening to ‘this’ podcast and become inspired to do their own thing. That it’s ripples in a pond.

“When you are in this world where you are focused to help people, literally truly trying to help people, and I think that’s so needed. There’s plenty of things you can do to ‘make money’, plenty of jobs, plenty of ways to occupy your time. But if you’re really dedicated to how do I reach people, help people, and from a genuine authentic place. And it’s not about making people feel bad about themselves, it’s about building them up and giving them tools that they can use and empowering them to make themselves and this world a better place… that is a powerful thing. That’s a very real thing that I’ve experienced, and I think that if we can all get on this train, if we’re talking to our friends and talking to our family and we’re excited about this stuff, and we’re living it, we don’t even necessarily have to beat people over the head with it, if we just put that energy out there I think that we can change the world. That might seem like a lofty goal, but even if you change your own life, that little world that you live in now is different. And enough of those start happening, enough of these fires start burning, and the whole world’s gonna catch on fire, in a great way, in a good way.”

I’ve thought this way for many years, but have never heard anyone else speak of it in this way or validate it in any manner.

Every interaction we have with someone, be it good, bad, or indifferent, affects and shapes their world, and the world around them.

Indeed something to be mindful of!

Who knows when a moment of your time and a kind word or two will change someone’s life forever for the better!

Resources:

I also just recently found out from that interview that Paleo Magazine Radio, which you can find here, has something like 140 podcasts that you can listen to for free. I’m busy downloading a bunch as I type this.

Tons and tons of Paleo goodness to listen to during my other doings. Tony Federico also has a great speaking voice and he’s easy to listen to, so that really helps.

Paleo Without Meat and Chronic Cardio

I’m starting to see this in many places now. Is this even a thing?

How can one be ‘Paleo’ without meat?

I see an awful lot of people still pimpin’ the chronic cardio routine, saying they are vegetarian or vegan and Paleo.

Uhm. What?

Maybe I’ve missed something, and if I have, please feel free to fill me in…
But how can one be Vegetarian and Paleo?

You cannot POSSIBLY get the nutrients and saturated fats you need from plants only, without massively supplementing your diet with something artificial. Either that or maybe you live on an avocado farm.

And what’s with all the skinnyfat chicks and their endless marathon running classes I see everywhere?

That model is incredibly dangerous and very outdated. Even some of the top people who were professionals in the running sports will tell you that chronic cardio and endless running is bad for you. Mark Sisson, Brad Kearns, etc.

At the risk of someone getting their knickers in a wad, I’m just going to call a spade a spade here and let the dust settle where it may. I don’t any see guys offering these chronic cardio of doom classes. Not one. It’s only chicks.

The fact is that these people offering these chronic cardio and/or endless running classes, are mostly super skinny, somewhat pretty chicks who are using their bodies and beauty to peddle their business, and who are simply addicted to their cardio. Other women see it and say… hey, I want to look like that. She’s pretty and skinny, and I want to be like that too!

My wife did the chronic cardio thing for a while. And felt like crap every time she ‘missed’ a day of cardio. If it’s something that’s good for you, you won’t feel horrible if you miss a day. Or two or three or ten.

But it appeals to every woman’s inner need to be fit and desirable, and so, they get sucked into the endless black hole of chronic cardio. Little do they know how much they are harming themselves.

They are promoting and charging money for people to come to their ‘classes’, to do what?

Learn how to eat wrong and get life long systemic inflammation leading to body malfunction and diabetes? Hmm… seems like they aren’t advertising it as that.
Likely they have NO IDEA how harmful what they are ‘teaching’ people really is.
Which baffles me though. How can they say they are ‘Paleo’, and have studied any of it whatsoever, and think chronic cardio is GOOD for you?

I don’t know what books they are reading, but they don’t seem to be the right ones.
You can always tell people who are sugar burners. They may be slim, but their faces are gaunt and stretched. Especially if they are in their late 30’s or older. Their faces are… almost fake looking, like canvas is stretched too far. Vs someone who’s older, even in their 60’s, and truly Paleo, and looks fantastic. They’ll have a full face, not gaunt. If someone’s face is gaunt, even if they LOOK slim, chances are, their body is in some sort of major chronic malfunction.

But why do all these people just run, run run?

I guess they run because they’re addicted to it. Ever try to get a hardcore runner to stop running and slow down a bit and stop the chronic cardio? Good luck. I’m convinced that the 20+ years of my friend’s constant daily chronic cardio and running/jogging contributed highly to her health decline as she got older. She also ate primarily carbs when she was in her 20’s to 40’s, convinced that it was ‘the best’ thing for her. Now at age 60, she has a list of health problems a mile long, but isn’t convinced that her diet of carbs and sugars was or is to blame. Some people you really can’t reach… because they don’t WANT to be reached.

I used to be in track when I was in high school. But I didn’t last long. I absolutely hated it. It felt like something my body should absolutely NOT be doing. Running, running, running, constant jogging. Something told me, even way back then, that this was not the way to go.

I could sprint just fine. And I could walk all day long from point A to point B. I used to walk and bike everywhere. A 20 mile walk in a day, used to not be a big thing for me.

But the running and all that jarring motion on my joints told me that whilst it might be OK for some people, it’s definitely not OK for me.

And to the women out there. Don’t get sucked into this chronic cardio crap. It’s NOT the way to go, even if it does shed some pounds. Love yourself as you are first. True weight loss will happen when you eat the right things and will happen naturally with very little effort. You don’t need to be ‘Sweatin’ to the Oldies’ to get a great figure and feel good about yourself.

It’s like Adam Spafford said the other day: Better health? Love thyself.

If you first love yourself, beyond all else, and worth from that paradigm, the body and the energy will naturally follow once you start doing the right things.

So chin up, give yourself a big hug, and kick that chronic cardio crap to the curb where it belongs!

TGIF

Why hello  everyone, it’s FRIDAY!

Owl_sucks

Everyone always looks forward to Fridays. Not me. Fridays are usually my busiest day of the week.

A day is a day is a day. Though to be honest, I am looking forward to this weekend, even though it won’t really be much of a weekend. (The housemates will be gone!) Still, some break from the usual humdrum is better than none, and one must focus on the small victories and breaks where one can get them.

Still, an actual, honest to goodness ‘day off’ where I don’t have to do ANYTHING I don’t want to do that day, and can just snuggle with the wifey and read quietly for the entire day would be heaven. Haven’t had a day like that in years. But, it shall come again one day…

Right now I’d just be happy if I had the time to get through my first full reading of The Primal Blueprint. Unfortunately it’s in e-book form, and I don’t have an e-reader. So, I have to sit at the desktop whilst reading it, which means I have to be in my room at my desk in my chair to be able to do so, instead of being able to sneak off to some far corner of the house or the yard or take a walk and be able to just read.

Note to self: E-books are great, but nothing replaces a good old fashioned hard copy of a book that you can take anywhere! (And yea, I’ll get an e-reader eventually, but I only have a handful of e-books at the moment and don’t have the budget for a reader at this point in time.)

Task for the day: Cleaning house. Might not sound like much, but you haven’t seen this house. It’s fricking HUGE. So huge it has ‘wings’. And no, it’s not my house either. I’d never own something this monstrous and difficult to clean, even if I had the money. I’m just a house mate. But on the plus side, I get paid a pittance to clean up after other people, so that all goes into the Paleo fund. And, I do get a hell of a workout doing it.

So even though I hate it, loathe it even, it all contributes to the greater good.

Just… gotta… get… through…it… today… argh!

theisland

Unfortunately what happens on the island doesn’t always stay on the island. Does anyone know if Napalm works as a house cleanser?

Personal Note:

Current Weight: 208. Yay for calorie burning manual labor.

Time for a Little Experiment

I think I’ve gotta ratchet a few things back

I’ve been told that the weight of the human body can shift by about 4 pounds daily. The first two weeks I lost 9 pounds solid. Now I seem to be ‘hovering’ at between 209 and 210 even though I’m eating the right things, and not eating the wrong things.

I haven’t lost any more weight and seem to be ‘stuck’.

I’ve been getting some walking in, but no exercise other than that.

So, over the next few days I’m going to be making a few alterations to portion size. I’m thinking my ‘big ass salad’ may just be a bit TOO ‘big ass’. Really, it’s huge. And it’s so delicious it’s hard to stop eating it. I’ve never reached a point where I’ve been ‘stuffed’ like I did on regular carb crap, but I think I need to stop eating when I reach a point where I’m not hungry anymore. Which means a much, much, much smaller salad. Or more cooking for more variety and eating something instead of the salad for lunch every day.

Now, I like cooking, but lately cooking has been such an incredible pain in the ass, considering that I already cook for the entire family from scratch 3x a day, including having to alter meal composition for ‘finicky’ family members and cook something special for them on the side. So the thought of having to cook more than 3x a day kind of chafes me.

Breakfast is usually eggs with a sprinkling of cheddar cheese

Lunch has been a BASS (Big Ass Super Salad) with lettuce, spinach, cabbage, celery, carrots, tomatoes, an avocado, cucumber, fresh cilantro, olives, and fresh homemade olive oil and apple cider vinegar dressing. Then there’s a handful of protein on top. Either chicken, beef, or pork. Most of the time I put another tiny sprinkling of shredded cheddar on the salad.

Supper either I’ll cook something separate if all the family is home, such as chicken or fish with steamed veggies with some butter. If not, I’ll just do another BASS.

I don’t eat between meals and I don’t eat snacks.
I also wait until I’m actually hungry to eat.
So, time to find where the missing key here is.

Personal Note…

Current Weight: 209

Why don’t most Paleos forage?

That’s a question I’ve asked myself for a long time now.

Let’s take a look at foraging for a minute. Then vs now.

thenvsnow

Way before I started my own Paleo journey, I’d read Paleo blogs, talk with Paleo people about various things, and any time the subject of ‘foraging’ comes up, everything all of a sudden gets quiet… and people try to rapidly change the subject.

Now, I know several foragers who do various Paleo/Primal things. But I don’t know anyone who foremost identifies as Paleo who also forages. I’m sure they are out there, I just have not met them yet.

And that just seems so… odd to me.

No one writes about it, no one talks about it, no one blogs or podcasts about it. This leads me to firmly believe that almost no one does it.

Any time I’ve asked anyone if they forage, they always say ‘forage for what?’. 😛
I’m entering into the Paleo community from a long history and background of foraging. Since I was quite small. So eating dandelions, chicory, sorrel, and pretty much wild everything anytime I can get it is the ‘norm’ for me, and looking in the supermarket for my veggies is the odd thing. (Though I will admit to thoroughly enjoying the ‘heirloom’ tomatoes and carrots I’ve discovered at my local Trader Joes.) Also I’m in a new area for me geographically which is nothing like my normal environment. It’s much drier here in California overall, and there’s just fields and field of dirt. Not even weeds or dead plants. Just DIRT. Never seen anything like it in all my life. I don’t even see weeds growing around the fences. Makes it kind of hard for a forager to prosper.

But back to the point: It seems that the goal of Paleo is to eat as close to our Paleo ancestors as possible. Since everyone likes to point out that ‘bacon’ isn’t exactly ‘Paleo’, I’d also like to point something out to those folks who think they’re ‘Oh so Paleo’.

Realistically, I’d hate to burst a few bubbles, but that means that most of the things at your local supermarket would not be on the menu for ol’ Grok. I’m speaking of plants, but then again, I don’t think any ancestor of beef was on the menu very often either. Rarely, yes. A staple? No way. The effort needed to bring down a large animal that could kill you was immense. Small game would have likely been much more frequent at the dinner table, or firepit as it were.

But why wouldn’t our store veggies be on the menu, you ask?

Because most of the stuff we eat from the supermarket, even the yummy organic stuff, is highly hybridized and has been cultivated for hundreds of years to be very different from it’s parent plant.

Fruits have been designed to be sweeter than they originally were, which we tend to think is yummy, but has turned the original good for you fruits into tooty-fruity sugar bombs.

Most fruits were originally very tart. For apples, think crab apple or granny smith.
The berries are tons sweeter as well, as most of them were pretty tart. Take wild vs store bought blueberries for example. The wild ones are much tarter, but richer in flavor across many spectrums. Same with cherries, and pretty much all fruit across the board. We’re programmed to like sweet, so that’s what we’ve bred our fruit into. Sweet. Unfortunately that same deeply ingrained sugar craving that once served us well in times of yore is now making us incredibly overweight and even obese.

People eat the foods at their local stores thinking it’s ‘healthy’. And though it can be said that it’s healthier than fast food and junk food, it’s also not very healthy overall to be consuming droves of super sugarized hybridized fruits, and even veggies.

Taste a wild carrot (Daucus carota or Daucus pusillus) vs one at the store, and you’ll instantly see what I mean. All will taste like carrots, but the store bought ones will be incredibly sweeter across the board.

So, question to all you Paleo Peeps out there… Why don’t you forage?

Is it because you think it’s too hard to learn? Has no one ever offered to teach you? Have you never considered that foraging for natural food might actually be an option in this day and age? Is foraging too ‘hardcore’ for even the most ‘hardcore’ Paleo to even bother with? (And yet still convince themselves that they and their grass fed beef are ‘hardcore’?) Ok, that last one was a bit of a poke, but really, I want to know…

Why don’t most Paleos forage?

It occurred to me that I should probably provide a link and resources for those of you who’d actually like to forage.

There are many great sites available to help you. One of my all time favorites is www.eattheweeds.com run by a nice fellow that goes by the handle of Green Deane. There are tons of videos as well as in depth plant articles on the main site as well as a forum as well for those who would like to delve deeper. Happy foraging!

Personal Note…

Current Weight: 210. (Damn that store bought apple I ate late last night! :P)

Pure Paleo P(r)issiness

This article differs from what I originally wrote. I’ve removed some names so as to ‘Preserve the Paleo Peace’ as it were. I recently rediscovered Paleo.

My original exposure to ‘Paleo’ was through Mark Sisson’s ‘Primal Blueprint’. I heard about other paleo authors much later, and one in particular was touted as either ‘one of’ the founders or THE founder of ‘Paleo’ depending on who you talk to.

So I go to the site of this other fellow expecting to read some cool stuff.

The first article that I was directed to seemed to be a massive rant about everyone else in the Paleo community. In short, he lambastes people he considers to be unprofessional, nonacademic, non-credentialed individuals, non-experts. In other words, pretty much everyone but himself.

He says that these ‘charismatic authorities’ basically unduly influence ‘hundreds of thousands’ of individuals, with zero basis at all, other than their own opinions and limited understanding. He continues to lambaste saying most are untrained in research, have a minimal understanding of the scientific method at best, and know jack squat about.. well… jack squat.

He also feels the need to mention how everyone else has ‘limited publication record’.

Yea, newer people do tend to have a limited publication record.

He then goes on to give an exhausting summary of his credentials, and summarizing with we are too untrained to comprehend the research papers we may read. Wow.

The whole thing is one big e-peen TLDR.

In my mind, several points jumped out immediately:

1.) He sounds like a total dick.
2.) He could be completely correct in his analysis.
3.) That doesn’t make him sound any less like a total dick.

Advice: Less dick, more love there guy.

You want to sell a concept or idea: People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care. You may be 100% correct, but if you come across as a royal jerk towards the regular blogger, people are going to go elsewhere. There are other people doing this. Mark Sisson and Robb Wolf, to name a few.

Though, Mark Sisson, as extremely well researched and educated as he is just might fall into the target for this little rant of a post by Mr. Knowitall, as Mark is merely an educated layman, and not a scientist, or doctor, or PhD muckedy muck. But wait, he doesn’t have the proper training to properly interpret the research papers he may read.

Could have fooled me. He sure sounds like he knows what he’s talking about after years and years of research on the matter. I guess if we don’t all get our Paleo knowledge from Sir Muckedy Muck, PhD, we’re all doomed to fail, or worse yet, eat a lentil!

Honestly, it kind of sounds like someone is getting a bit pissy that other people are stealing his thunder. Pure Paleo P(r)issiness. 😛

And on a much less pissy note… PUPPY!

Puppy

No, I don’t think the puppy is Paleo. No I don’t think he cares.

Personal Note…

Current weight: 209