Archive for October, 2010

Way too much money

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

Mark Sisson of Mark’s Daily Apple has introduced a new product, Primal Fuel. Now before I give my thoughts on this product I want to make two things.

First I like Sisson’s book “The Primal Blueprint“. I’ve read it and have suggested it to others as I’ve found a lot of good information in the book. The second point is that I have not tried Primal Fuel but for the points I want to make that is irrelevant.

Primal Fuel is a whey protein supplement, often used either as a meal replacement or for a quick jolt of protein post workout. Primal fuel contains the following ingredients: Whey Protein Isolate, Coconut Milk, Inulin (from artichoke), Guar Gum, Sucrose, Cocoa Powder, Natural Flavors, Maltodextrin, Sodium Caseinate, Kelp Plant Extract, and Stevia Leaf Extract. The most unusual thing I see is the inclusion of coconut milk. I’m not aware of any other whey protein supplement that contains coconut milk. A 30 serving container of Primal Fuel will set you back $99.

For a comparison I looked at a couple of other whey protein supplements out there. First on the list is Jarrow Formula Whey Protein, Caribbean Chocolate. Looking at its list of ingredients: 100% Ultrafiltered Whey Protein from milk, fructose, natural cocoa powder, natural semi-sweet chocolate, lecithin (from soy), guar gum, Fibersol-2 (resistant maltodextrin), vanilla flavor and Lo Han Guo (Momordica grosvenorii) and sells for $18.17, offering 35 servings Very similar except for the lack of coconut milk. Another one is Natural Factors 100% Natural Whey Protein. It is composed of Whey Protein Natural French vanilla flavor and guar gum and sells for $29.37 and has 45 servings.

So here we see two products offering more servings at a lower cost, with the main difference being the lack of coconut milk. If you really want coconut milk you can buy a can pretty cheap, add a few ounces to one of the above products,, top off with milk or water, and still have a much cheaper product that offers the same benefits.

Sisson has some good information, but when I look at the supplements he is selling under the “Primal” brand I just find products that you can purchase at a much lower cost at many other places. Even that nice over-priced local GNC store has supplements of the same formulation at a cheaper price. Save your money and purchase your supplements elsewhere is my advice.

A Challenge to the Standard American Diet

Saturday, October 9th, 2010

The Standard American Duet (SAD) is a high carb, low fat approach pushed by the US Government. The idea behind AD is carbs, especially whole grains are good while things like saturated fats are bad for you. Many people such as Mark Sesson and Robb Wolf have challenged this proposition and now we have new article in the Nutrition Journal called In the face of contradictory evidence: Report of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans Committee that does a really good job of dismantling the SAD. All I’ll say is go read it now.

Book Review: The Paleo Solution

Saturday, October 2nd, 2010

Robb Wolf, biochemist, strength and conditioning coach, blogger, podcaster, and now author of the recently released book “The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet“. In his book Wolf outlines a lifestyle that spans the gauntlet of human evolution, from the paleolithic period to modern day times. Wolf makes the argument that the typical modern day diet, especially the American one, is the cause of many modern day diseases from diabetes, heart disease, to cancer.

When looking at Wolf’s diet suggestions one will notice a similarity to many other diets out there, especially the Atkins’s diet. The heart of the Paleo diet is the avoidance of grains. legumes, and dairy, foods the hunter-gathers of the Paleolithic time would not have eaten. Now the easy argument to make is that ancient ancestors never ate these foods so we shouldn’t either. Wolf avoids this argument to give a scientific one on the damage these foods do to our body, especially our digestive system, which in turn effects our entire body. While making this argument Wolf does a good job of avoiding any unnecessary “geek speak” by breaking things down to a simple to understand manner, with Wolf’s sense of humor sprinkled throughout. How many other diet books talked about “Completely cock-block your fat lose” or “Robb’s Rule for Boozing: Drink enough to optimize yor sex life, not so much that it impacts your blood lipids.” Not many is my guess.

Besides explaining the ideas behind the paleo diet, Wolf also offers advice for exercise, sleep, and how to get started with the program. Beginning exercises are put forth with a model for progression, and knowing that that many people have a hard time trying to figure out how to get started eating this way Wolf provides a 30 day menu program, including recipes. This section can be a big help to many in overcoming that first hurdle in starting a program like this one.

The Paleo Solution is aimed at the person not familiar with the ideas behind this lifestyle, and it does a good job of doing this. Wolf’s book is the type you can give to a friend of family member and they’ll be able to understand implement Wolf’s ideas.  Reading it I feel it is a great book for someone that realizes they are out of shape and want to better their health. Even if you consider your self in good shape and just want to learn more about the Paleo diet you’ll find this book helpful. If you are in shape, working out, and have specific questions about diet and training then this book may not be for you.

As for downsides to the book, for me it was the lack of an index. With books like this I like having an index so if I want to look up a specific topic I can find the references to it quickly in a book. My other minor criticism is in the acknowledgments section. Robb, how could you not acknowledge the one that truly suffered with your writing of this book, your cat Gato?

I give Robb Wolf’s book a big thumbs up. It will be one of the books I’ll recommend to people, along with Mark Sisson’s “The Primal Blueprint“, that are looking to get started on improving their health.