Read time: 5 minutes
It’s been a few days since I lasted posted. I’ve been super busy with other projects but it’s always good to return to stuff I enjoy, like writing in The Lean Saloon.
I want to return by answering several of the questions that reader Mark asked:
Great blog. It is very encouraging to see someone like you with real results. If you have some time, I have a couple of questions.
1. What are your thoughts on dairy? I noticed that you had yogurt in your chicken salad recipe and I didn’t really see much in regards to avoidance of dairy, just grains and refined sugar.
I use a small amount of Greek yogurt (raw, when I can find some) more as a conduit to bring other ingredients together into a certain recipe, and very occasionally as a base to mix together seasonal berries for a dessert. Having said that, I will occasionally consume dairy products, but for almost three years now any milk I drink is whole and raw. I believe that Bovine (cow) milk is non-species-specific and can be consumed by human and other lower animals. There’s so much goodness in raw milk, as opposed to the pasteurized milk with all its beneficial nutrients denatured beyond hopelessness. There are tribes that drink cow blood as part of their healthy diet, and milk isn’t too different from blood of the same source.
When do I drink raw milk? I drink it only during periods when my strength workouts are a little more intense, which is once or twice a year for periods of up to 6 weeks.
2. Could you write out your meals for a couple of days as an example? When I have gone Paleo before, but I think I overdid the fruit.
Fast. I typically fast two to 3 days out of the week, typically up to 16 to 20 hours after the previous night’s last meal. I find that fasting is liberating, and allows me to get a lot of work done. I’m always surprised by how much I can get done when I don’t need to eat. I start my day with a double espresso, and then water whenever I’m thirsty.
First Meal after fast:
3. What are your thoughts on sprouted grain products? I only ask because in the new The Paleo Diet blog in the Q&A section, they said that sprouted grains are fine because they leave behind all the bad stuff even though veggies/fruits are better choices because they have more vitamins and such.
The soaking and sprouting of whole grains and legumes are said to neutralize a good portion of anti-nutrients (e.g. phytates, lectins, trypsin inhibitors, etc.), and increase nutrient availability. Occasionally, I buy or make my own sprouted grains to serve at dinner parties in which I host non-paleo friends. At these parties I also eat and enjoy the sprouted grains, too, without ever feeling bad about it. Other than that, I rarely eat grains, unsprouted or sprouted. Sprouted grains yield a higher level of nutrients, but these nutrients are still relatively low in ratio to the useless carbohydrates they come with.
4. How did you go from 25% body fat to where you are now? I agree that a Paleo approach without calorie/block counting is sustainable for a lifetime but it’s the transition that gets me. I have a hard time believing that one will drop to 10% without at least having an idea of calorie intake. Thank you for your time, I really appreciate any feedback that you can give. Please let me know if you have any questions for me. If it helps, I’m 6′0″ and about 210 lbs, 25 years old, and probably around 15% bf (I can kind of see my top abs). -Mark
One thing to keep in mind is that I have been living the Paleo lifestyle for 3 years now, starting with my discovery of Dr. Loren Cordain, researcher and author of the book that got me started, The Paleo Diet. Initially the fat loss came slowly, but that was part of the deal.
Over the years, I discovered more incredibly smart people whose work have influenced tweaks and modifications in my approach, which accelerated fat loss. Some of these folks cover the area of Intermittent Fasting (IF) like Brad Pilon and Martin Berkhan.
Another great influence is the book The Blue Zones, which helped me to understand that I don’t need to pulverize myself with exercise in order to get lean and live a healthy and (hopefully) extended life.
But I’m impressed most with the long-term adherence and result of the paleo diet in conjunction with intermittent fasting. I believe that either alone is fine, but together they seem synergistically powerful at manipulating the body to partition calories to the right places — that is, mostly to muscle and organ cells and away from fat cells. The Paleo diet controls blood sugar and eliminates any insulin resistance, optimizing cellular uptake of calories; intermittent fasting increases growth hormone and catecholamines, helping to mobilize fatty acids out of fat cells to be metabolized in the muscle and organ tissues as fuel.
Intermittent fasting might also cause a net average of lower calorie intake over time, but the Paleo diet offers an abundance of dense nutrients that my body can run on without ever being “starved.” It’s all about sustainability. I’m not completely certain, but I think these days I average fewer calories than I did 3 years ago, but my body now probably uses a much greater portion of the calories I’m eating.
Suffice it to say, then, that this might have helped me go from 25% body fat to the current 5 to 8%, without ever counting calories.
I appreciate any question and will try to answer all of them in either the comment section or as a post. So post them up!