Posts Tagged ‘Diet’

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.

The Paleo Solution Video Introduction by Robb Wolf

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

Robb Wolf over has posted a video over on his blog that provides an introduction to his upcoming book The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet. The book can be pre-ordered on both Amazon’s and Barnes and Noble’s websites.

The video provides a good overview on what the book is about, and why Wolf did some things the way he did in the book. I’m looking forward to release and will be reading it as soon as I get my hands on a copy. Watch for a review of the book shortly after that happens.

Book Review: The Primal Blueprint

Friday, February 19th, 2010

We often over-complicate things in our life. Just look at how people tend to deal with health. All sorts of weight lose plans are advertised on television, pills for this, pills for that, more ads for how to get into shape, never ends. What if we instead said “Stop!” and got back to the basics of fitness and nutrition? That is what Mark Sisson proposes in his book “The Primal Blueprint: Reprogram your genes for effortless weight loss, vibrant health, and boundless energy.”

In his book, Sisson outlines a philosophy on how to live life. He does this by looking at two fictional families, the Korgs and the Groks. The Korgs represent a typical modern day family, one you’ll probably recognize from the description Sisson outlines. The other family, the Korgs, represents a family on the other spectrum, one that lived 10,000 years ago. By comparing how these two families handled everyday life, from eating to how they received their exercise, Sisson shows how our ancient ancestors had it pretty good. The Korgs tended to be healthier then us and deal with much less stress in their lives. Sisson believes that if we lived more like the Gorks we would be much better of health wise.

Sisson outlines how to do with his “Primal Blueprint Laws”, which there are 10. These laws, based on how Gork would have lived his life, cover everything from what to eat, exercise, sleep, and having fun. In these 10 laws Sisson shoots an arrow through conventional wisdom around health and fitness. Low fat diets? Gork wouldn’t approve. 60 minutes on the thread mill? Not for Gork. Eat plenty of whole grain foods? Gork never would have touched the stuff. Sisson  gives his rational for his laws and provides evidence to support his arguments.

Is Sisson right? That is something you’ll need to decide. However I have a hard time believing that if you follow Sisson’s advice that you won’t get into better shape. I should note that this is aimed at people that fir into the description of the Korgs in the book. My advice is to read the book and try following its suggestions for 30 days and see how you feel. Even if you think you are in good shape, that you eat right, and doing pretty good, Sisson might trigger a light bulb in your head and make you think about what you are doing.

Missing From The Healthcare Debate

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

Is really addressing the health issue in this country. Want to bring costs down? Address that issue for starters. For example, the leading causes of death in the United States from 2006:

Heart disease: 631,636
Cancer: 559,888
Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 137,119
Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 124,583
Accidents (unintentional injuries): 121,599
Diabetes: 72,449
lzheimer’s disease: 72,432
Influenza and Pneumonia: 56,326
Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis: 45,344
Septicemia: 34,234

Start looking at how many of those have a personal factor in them, i.e. how diet and exercise plays a role in preventing these deaths. Then think about the health issues many of these cause and the long term costs of dealing with those. Pretty huge numbers.

The American diet is pathetic. We eat too much sugar, too much processed foods, the wrong types of fat, and overeat. Then look at our exercise level, also really bad. People in general don’t get near enough exercise.

What can we do about this? Very little. One could argue that if we are going to tax tobacco due to its health risks we should do the same for foods that are bad for us. I’m not a fan of taxes myself. I rather see the cost burden shifted back to the individual, with a tax credit for purchasing your own insurance if you want too. Let people start seeing the total cost of health and maybe they might make some changes in their lifestyle. I tend to doubt it but one can hope.