Around the Web; Wise Traditions & CrossFit NYC Pre-Talk Edition

I’ll be speaking on Saturday Nov 12 at the Wise Traditions Conference in Dallas, doing the “Wellness Track” from 9:00 am until 12:15 am. The conference will be full of great speakers, so please consider attending:

Wise Traditions Conference ~ Dallas, TX ~ November 11-14 2010

I’ll also be speaking on Saturday Nov 19 at CrossFit NYC, at 25 W. 26th Street, 3rd floor (between Broadway and 6th Avenue). There will be a charge of $15 for a seminar plus question-and-answer session that will run from noon until about 2:30 pm. The talk will be in the 4th floor annex. Some information is also available through the Eating Paleo in NYC Meetup group.

In Dallas I’ll speak in two 90-minute sessions, the first on diet and nutrition and the second on healing and preventing disease. The second talk will include material that hasn’t yet appeared in our book or blog.

The CrossFit NYC talk will discuss evolutionary evidence for the optimal diet, factors that can impair health or sabotage fitness, and lifestyle and dietary steps to overcome those factors, with a special focus on a few bottlenecks to fitness that may commonly be overlooked by Paleo or CrossFit adherents.

I’m looking forward to meeting everyone in Dallas and New York!

Alas, due to a backlog of work, I probably won’t blog until I’m back from Dallas.

[1] Music to read by: Shirley Temple has animals in her stomach:

[2] Interesting posts this week:

Gorillas are dying from a common human respiratory virus, and an insect invasion is terrorizing Manhattan. Don’t worry, it’s the Upper West Side, CrossFit NYC is safe!

Stephan Guyenet refutes the insulin-is-to-fat-storage-as-a-car’s-gas-pedal-is-to-acceleration hypothesis of obesity by noting that genetic manipulations of various genes in the liver only generate high circulating insulin (4 to 10 times higher than normal) and yet these high insulin levels do not lead to an increased level of fat storage.

Wired magazine reports some explorations in food reward:

  • Music can change the taste of wine.
  • People prefer beer laced with balsamic vinegar (as long they don’t know it’s been added)
  • People prefer paté made from dog food.

So if you’re trying to make your food bland to lose weight, you might try playing music you dislike at dinner, keeping vinegar out of your beer, and removing dog food from your paté recipe.

A study finds that saturated fat increases BMI more than fat mass, which I take to mean that dairy fats promote muscle gain.

Kelly Starrett offers his most important MWOD ever.

Robb Wolf and Mr X discuss testosterone.

Seth Roberts reports “a stunning discovery”: it’s better to take vitamin D in the morning.

Ned Kock reveals the “mysterious factor X” in the China Study.

Don Matesz asks if antibiotics may cause obesity and cancer.

Touching on a topic raised here not long ago (Local Farming and The Fight for Quality Food, Oct 25, 2011), Melissa McEwen quotes Joel Salatin explaining why he raises an unnatural breed of chicken that can barely walk and sickens by age 10 weeks.

Also related to that post, Dr. Michael Greger offers some numbers on the health risks from unhealthy livestock.

Twenty thousand deaths a year from prescription drug overdose. Still waiting for the first case of Perfect Health Diet overdose.

The newest fashion: edible dresses. And the material is PHD compatible!

Happy blogiversary, Richard Nikoley!

Via Dr BG, “The Gut-Brain Connection: An Inside Look at Depression.”

Seth Roberts says that sunlight works “via nerve, not blood.”

Mrs. United States 2011 is Paleo and does CrossFit.

[3] Cute animal photo: The cute animals get all the love:

By Govardhan Gerhard Ziegler via Matthew Dalby on Facebook. Bonus red panda video, also from Matthew:

[4] Medical breakthrough! A California doctor has learned how to turn brown eyes blue:

Which calls for more music:

[5] Joshua Newman has your nerd humor:

Two chemists walk into a bar.

The first says, “I’d like to order some H20.”

The second says, “I’d like to order some H20, too.”

The second man dies.

[6] Comment of the week: Scotlyn on calorie restriction for longevity:

Regarding caloric restriction, I once had a short correspondence with Dr Speakman, a well-known caloric restriction researcher at Aberdeen university and one of the authors of this and this.

I was asking if there was any way to measure the overall well-being of calorically restricted rats, as one of the main considerations when extending lifespan is whether it is possible to extend the quality of life as well, or if the result instead would only be a “thin” extension of existence “like too little butter scraped on too much bread” (Bilbo in Lord of the Rings).

I also asked if there were lessons to be drawn from the Ancel Keys starvation studies, which showed that caloric restriction in humans led to constant hunger, cold, lack of energy or libido, and total fixation on food and other mental and physical health derangements.

This was his fascinating (and faultlessly generous to an unsolicited query) reply:

The Keys study is very revealing but differs from modern CR protocols in three ways. First the extent of restriction was much greater. Second they were also malnourished in some vitamin components. However, their experiences are all exaggerations of the experience of many modern people who do CR. The third difference is they were under involuntary restriction and have very different motivations to modern CR proponents who believe they will benefit directly from what they are doing. This cost benefit difference is very important to one’s psychological reaction to the treatment. I have no doubt many CR adherents are able to suppress much of the negative effects of deprivation. Lab mice are also not volunteers and I suspect if we could measure it they would be miserable.

Does this mean you would be miserable on CR? From your message I guess the answer is yes. Does this mean all CR people are miserable? Absolutely not.

It isn’t a life I would choose for a few extra months in the nursing home but for some people it clearly is. Its all down to personal choices I guess…

His last point is in reference to his own finding that lab rats who commence caloric restriction in adulthood gain only small increments in lifespan.

[7] Moving up the career ladder: Spanish neurologist invents “neurogastronomy” and becomes a New York City chef:

[8] Shou-Ching’s Photo Art:

[9] Video of the week: Two 20-foot tallwide, 1500 year old Giant Sequoias fall. German tourists capture the last moments on video:

Leave a comment ?


  1. Thanks, Paul, for linking to my post about Vitamin D. I’m really glad you’ve been reading my blog and finding it of interest. The “stunning discovery” I wrote about was Primal Girl’s observation that taking Vitamin D first thing in the morning rather than in the afternoon produced a big improvement in her sleep. As if Vitamin D could act like sunlight in the control of sleep. It is not I but the entire field of circadian rhythm researchers who believe that sunlight acts on the circadian clock via nerves rather than blood.

  2. Paul, nice Saturday post. We’ll miss you but send our best wishes for a wonderful time in the Big Apple and the Big D.

  3. Hi Seth,

    Yes, thanks for clarifying. I try not to say too much, because I want people to follow the links.

    I think if vitamin D in the morning helps sleep, it probably helps everything, since circadian rhythms are so important for health.

    And action via nerves rather than blood is important, regardless of who deserves credit (you deserve credit for bringing it to my attention), because it may affect how we should behave. For instance, it suggests we may benefit from taking glasses off when outdoors to expose the retina to UV radiation.

    Hi erp,

    I’ll miss you too! I hope to get some free time to catch up on the Q&A.

  4. “20-foot tall” Sequoias?? More like 20 feet in diameter.

  5. Thanks, Gary, I’ve fixed it! Reminds me of a scene from Spinal Tap:

  6. My n=1 results agree with that study.

    In a month on your diet, I haven’t lost a single pound—I wasn’t really overweight to begin with when I start—but my body fat % has decreased 2.5% from 17.5 to 15. I have never had an easier time putting on and maintaining muscle in my entire life, despite the fact that I am not really doing any exercise, well, save for a half hour of yoga, 5 days a week.

  7. Thanks, Ryan. I’ve put a link up on the Results page to your comment!

  8. Ryan, a half an hour of yoga is five times a week is plenty of exercise!

    For those who are trying to lose weight: I was getting cocky and started to munch a bit more after losing and maintaining my 40 lb. weight loss, so I had an extra square of chocolate and a whole piece of fruit rather than a half, etc. and I noticed that in a month I’d gained 3.5 lbs. I cut back totally on cream, went back to one chocolate square/day and dropped the evening snack completely.

    Result: after one week, the 3.5 lbs are gone!

    Thank you Paul & Shou-Ching.

  9. Hi erp,

    There’s some research indicating that the body adapts to weight loss over a ~2 year period … so that your weight “set point”, ie the weight you’ll naturally go to if you eat what you like, will take longer than your actual weight to return to normal.

    So hopefully in a few years you’ll be able to eat the extra chocolate and fruit!

    Best, Paul

  10. Thanks for the cite Paul re the factor X. On the topic of CR, I agree with Dr. Campbell’s conclusions based on the China Study data:

  11. Hi Ned,

    Your post is great, very valuable data. But I’m not sure that we can learn anything about calorie restriction from the China Study. It seems best explained by the idea that “active but lean” is best for health and longevity, so people who are slender but eat more because of high activity levels are healthiest.

    The whole calorie restriction issue is confounded by the many different methods by which it can be achieved, and lifestyle factors.

    An active person could be calorie restricted on 2400 calories a day while a sedentary person might have excess calories on 1700 a day.

    I’m inclined to agree with the researcher Scotlyn cited that involuntary CR is probably not going to work too well. But eating a diet that restricts appetite and facilitates fasting and Hara Hachi Bu is probably good for longevity, whether or not calories are restricted in an energy balance sense.

    Also, intermittency may be as good as routine CR. From mechanisms studies I’m inclined to believe that frequent autophagy is a key to longevity, and daily intermittent fasting achieves that without CR.

    Very complex area and limited data so far, especially if you discount animal studies!

  12. PS – My belief is that eating useless calories — ie calories that don’t nourish the body, but can only be burnt for energy — is bad, but that an efficient diet is beneficial; and that it’s always good to eat when we are hungry.

  13. I can’t wait to hear you speak here in Dallas Paul! I’ll be the skinny guy thanks to you and Shou-Ching!

  14. Hi Jay,

    I’m looking forward to meeting you! Will any of your family be coming?

    I’m still hoping to get a guest post from you with before and after photos!

  15. Shou-Ching, what a beautiful creature that turtle is! Thank you for that photo.

  16. your nerd humor reminds me another joke; perhaps you’ve heard of it. here it is.

    2 molecules walking down the street.

    one says, “i think i just lost an electron.”

    the other asks, “are you sure?”


    (i come to enjoy your weekend around the web a lot. any chance you guys will visit SF south bay?)


  17. Hi Pam,

    No immediate plans. We’ll let you know if it happens.

  18. I begged and nagged my family and friends to go, but they claimed the money was too tight nowadays especially with the holidays coming. I tried telling them that the money will be worth it! I’ll look around for any “before” pictures. I think I burned them all. 🙂

  19. Jay, if you don’t want to show before pictures there’s no need. Just tell us your story.

    Best, Paul

  20. The WAPF Conference should be amazing. So many of my heros will be there. But I will not be…:(

    I recently watched Dr. Mercola interview Dr. Stephanie Seneff (both presenting in Dallas). Her research into the importance of sulphur for human health is very intriguing, and seemed to fit with your comments about sulphur in the Q&A section.

    I would love to see you do a “Sulphur” post sometime.

    Also, thanks for the Spinal Tap clip.

  21. Hi Clare,

    I’m planning a series on minerals / electrolytes soon, but I want to spend some more time on self-experimentation and research first. That will include sulfur. I definitely expect to recommend getting some. Stephanie’s arguments for sulfur are a bit more speculative than the ones I’ll chiefly put forward, but they add to the argument for taking sulfur, and she could be on to something very important.

  22. Thanks, Paul, for the reprint on my comment. I just want to add that us curious layfolk with no institutional library memberships and no money to pay to see academic papers are always very grateful to generous researchers and scientists who will stop for a minute of their time to explain things to us.

    I was especially grateful to Dr Speakman since his initial reply was typed with cold thumbs on a mobile phone at his field research base in Mongolia. He also kindly provided me with free access to some of his own papers. So endless respect for all researchers who promote open access to knowledge, including those who blog and swap ideas here!

  23. Hi Paul,

    My husband sent me this for my morning FACES program a la Seth Roberts site that I’ve found thru you.


  24. That’s awesome! Thank you for sharing, Kris!

  25. The nerd humor joke was funny! I didn’t get it at first then realized the second chemist drank hydrogen peroxide. Very clever on the words!

    I guess it makes me a nerd since I figured it out.

    Best of luck on your talk coming up! Hope to read a post on your talk and experience.


  26. brown to blue? who cares?

    Now if he can do one eye forest green and one eye ochre I’m up for that …

  27. Designer eyes? Since he can only remove color, it might be a one-way trip to albino eyes …

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