Category Archives: Training Tips

The Five “S’s”

Wow. Here’s my working agenda for the next year:

1.  Sleep
2.  Stress
3.  Sustenance
4.  Strength
5.  Supplementation

Join me, won’t you? They all work together.


DC workout

Hand weights!


Warm up stretches

4 Rounds of 20 each exercise

20 Dumbbell Row and Deadlift

20 Dumbbell Lunge with Hammer Curls

20 Dumbbell Squats with an Overhead Press

20 Dumbbell Lunges with Tri extensions

10 Crawlers with a Pushup in between rounds

30 minutes of Yoga Stretches, focusing on Twists.

Elwood Workout / Another good travel workout

Warm up

Get Ready:

20 Plie’s

10 Supermans (5 count hold)

30 Second Side Plank Right

30 Second Plank

30 Second Side Plank Left

30 Second Plank

Meaty Part:

For Time (do as fast as you can)

40 walking Lunges then 35 sit ups

35 walking lunges then 20 push ups

30 walking lunges then 25 sit ups

25 walking lunges then 10 push ups

Feeling Frisky still?  Do it again or do 10 Burpees.


Meet Your Psoas.

The Psoas: Is it the most important postural muscle?

Posted: 24 May 2012 07:37 AM PDT

[Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Nadine Fawell who blogs at Yoga with Nadine. Check it out!]

Well, I think it is anyway. There are many, many reasons I think this: I could practically write a BOOK about the psoas.

But here’s something to think about.

When we went from walking on four legs to walking on two, we had to find a way to hold our upper bodies, well, up.

In four-legged creatures, the spine is happily suspended between front and back ends. In our case, it pokes up into the air. Our back muscles and belly muscles, and most especially our buttocks muscles had to get a whole lot stronger to hold us up that way.

We developed a gluteus maximus on each side of our butt (that muscle is just called gluteus superficialis in four legged animals). Its main job?

To hold us upright by bringing our hips into extension (backbending). That’s why it’s so big. It has to be, to defy gravity.

See, in this picture:

I am bending backwards and you can see my, erm, gluteus maximus, is working, yes?

I only look so happy, though, because I know I can contract my psoas muscles in the front of my hips to oppose the action of my butt and return me to an upright position.

The psoas is a deep muscle in the front of our hips, which hooks our spines to our thighbones.

Without the psoas, whose main job is to bring the hip into flexion (i.e., thigh closer to belly), those big-ass butt muscles would make it impossible for us to use our arms the way we do now.

Imagine doing a backbend like I am in the photo, and trying to read this post. Or do anything at your computer.

Or drive.

Or eat.

Or walk.

That’s right, if you didn’t have a psoas (also known as a hip flexor) on each side, you wouldn’t be able to bend your leg up against gravity, and the action of your glutes, and take a step.

This shows up in yoga postures too, of course – a tight psoas would make bending backwards like I am doing in the photo really difficult.

Plus, if you couldn’t contract your psoas to lift your leg against gravity, how else would you do Utthita Hasta Padangustasana (aka Extended Hand to Big-Toe Pose)?

That, ladies and gentlemen, is the first reason I think the psoas is the most important postural muscle. There are others, involving magic links and its action on the spine. But opposing our glutes and keeping us upright? Pretty important.


Nadine Fawell teaches yoga, drinks coffee, and looks at too many cat pictures. You can find her at, on facebook and twitter.

Letting Go / Daisy among Roses

I had a craptastic day yesterday – Because the past came back knocking on the door.  I let it in. It has no place in my now.   I wish I would have read this yesterday….df

Letting Go

March 28, 2012 5 Comments

Over the last five years, I have fallen in love with yoga and learned many lessons on the mat. There is one currently that I am being taught over and over. It has been said that you will experience something or hear a message repeatedly until you learn it. The Universe is is telling me and now in a louder voice than a whisper to LET GO.

At the end of each yoga class, the reward for working hard and to restore your energy is to lie in in Savasana or corpse pose. “Let go of anything does not serve you,” my yogi teacher, MyLinda says. The term corpse pose has always been a little erie to me, but recently it has taken on a deeper meaning or message to me and I think, “Am I going to spend a lifetime not being able to let go of certain things? Will going to my grave be the only thing that allows me to fully let go?  Is that why it is emphasized in this pose to let it go?” I don’t want that to be the reason why I finally let go. So, I am now spending time daily concentrating and praying about letting go of many things that no longer serve me, that never served me — You hurt me in my past. Why did you do that? Did I deserve that? What happened to me wasn’t fair — Staying in the past robs my present time and it hurts me most. You may think that you are punishing someone else because you won’t let go. You are punishing yourself far worse.

“Letting go is letting happiness in!” -Lori Deschene

What do you need to let go? We all have something that we need to let go to make room for happiness to take up more space in our lives. With the beginning of a new season, it’s the spirtual, soulful spring cleaning we all need inside.

It may be a friend or family member who “did you wrong” in the past. Whether or not they have aplogized, letting go still plagues you. It may be someone who is not able to apologize. They have already passed or are out of your life and you will never get your apology. Let it go. It does not serve you. It may be you. You made mistakes and bad decisions that you cannot let go. You made a mistake, but you are NOT a mistake. Let it go.

Every time I write a message or lesson, I receive a note from someone who says, “Thank you. I really needed to read that.” Know that I write all of my words because of my own challenges in life. I never want to be like Oz, who hide behind a curtain and facade. I am Dorothy who wandered from home, but eventually realized that everything she ever needed was right where she began.

Let go and live the live the fulfilled life you are destined to have.

ALL my PaleoFX notes, as promised! | Ancestralize Me!

From DF:  Ancestralize Me’s notes from the Paleo Summit……

First off, I’d just like to say thank you to all the women (and men!) out there who left me such beautiful comments and messages following my last blog post. I had over 20,000 views on it since I posted it last night, which is completely astounding to me!!

I’m not sure what I said that resonated so strongly with so many of you, but it was really touching to hear that I’d made such a big impact on many of my fellow ‘cave girls’. I guess what I said has been on the minds of many women who weren’t feeling so great about themselves based on a lot of the messages being circulated around the internet regarding what a ‘Paleo’ woman is, and what she should or shouldn’t look like.

Wanting what you don’t have… Paleo?

I’m all for a super fit, lean woman, as long as she is happy with the amount of time and energy it takes to maintain that physique. I’m glad that certain women are naturally lean and yet still make the wise decision to eat healthy food, even if they’re not trying to lose weight. But most of all, I want to remind everyone that health and happiness come first. If you’re struggling with your body image in spite of doing all the ‘right’ things with your diet and lifestyle, I hope this last blog post will encourage you to figure out what truly matters in life, more than what you look like. It’s something that I struggle with myself, but I hope as a community we can all encourage each other to move forward and embrace our healthy lifestyle for what it really gives us – health and vitality – and not get hung up on the image goals.

So, without further ado, here are the rest of my PaleoFX notes from the conference. Thanks so much for helping me reach 2000+ fans, and I hope you enjoy!

Paul Jaminet

  • Sources of insight about diet
    • Paleolithic, mammalian, breast milk, fasting ability, innate food preferences of brain
    • Nutrient-toxin view: optimize nutrition while avoiding toxin
  • Paleo diet: 30% plant, 70% animal
    • ~20% carb, 15-20% protein (sum is constant for mammals)
    • Mammals all have same basic nutrient needs
      • What differs is the nature of the digestive tract
      • Herbivores and carnivores have different guts
        • In herbivores, bacteria ‘eat all the carbs’
      • Nutrients delivered to the body are very similar at the end
        • Always a SFA and MUFA rich diet
    • Brain prefers glucose
      • Humans have bigger brains than other mammals
      • 20-30% carb consumption is a ‘healthy ratio’
    • Eating more carbs and protein promotes fertility, muscle, mood
      • Less for longevity, immunity
  • Macronutrients for Body Composition and Fitness (New material, will be blogging about it)
    • Useful-to-useless macronutrient ratio
    • People with more muscle would live longer in starvation scenario due to improved nutrition availability during self-cannibalization
    • When you’re malnourished, your brain upregulates your appetite to get you to eat more to meet your nutrient needs
    • In various pathologies, you can lose the ability to be active or release heat for energy
      • Excess macros have nowhere to go besides adipose tissue
    • American diet is ‘63% Useful’
      • 66% of calories come from foods not in PHD plan
      • Rise in PUFA consumption = obesity
    • Traditional bodybuilding diets are 100% useful
      • Low in PUFA, high in SFA
    • Many people find weight loss easiest in 20-30% range
      • Body reduces energy expenditure to conserve glucose, increase appetite to provide more carbs
  • Three body compartments important for health
    • Cells – fat, protein, water
    • Fluid
    • Extracellular matrix – Protein, glucose, minerals
      • Scaffolds can be used to construct new organs
      • Has all the structure of an organ after being decellularized
        • Take someone else’s scaffolding, insert your stem cells, and grow a tissue that has your DNA
        • Demonstrates importance of matrix in determining health
        • Cells perform only with the right matrix so we need to supply matrix materials
      • Can get the matrix materials from bone broths, gelatin
        • Most traditional diets include these types of food
    • Benefits of Fluids
      • Dehydration disrupts brain function, rduced athleticism, slower metabolism, higher cortisol
      • Salt lowers mortality in CVD, is crucial for health
        • Elephants will mine 700 ft deep into a mountain to get at a salt mine
    • Bone broths provide electrolytes (eg. potassium), scaffolding materials, fluids
      • Can help with fitness, recovery
      • Eat bone broths every day if possible
        • Brain is designed to make you happy when you eat something nourishing for you
        • Every meal becomes better when you include soup
        • Seaweed concentrates sea minerals too
          • Avoid kelp, which picks up metals
  • Minimizing Infection
    • Everyone is infected and burden increases with age
    • Geographic distribution of germs – warm, high level of ticks/mosquitos
      • Correlates with chronic disease rates (Southeast US)
      • Diabetes, stroke, obesity
    • Avoiding unnecessary infections
      • Wash hands, cook food thoroughly, get sun and vit D
        • Get tested for vitamin D levels
      • Diagnose infections and use antimicrobial medicines when appropriate
        • We need commensal bacteria so antibiotics can damage our gut flora but antifungals and antiprotozoals affect gut less
        • Stool test should be a standard diagnostic test
  • Minimize inflammation
    • Immune activity is tiring – eg. leaky gut, food allergies
      • Chronic fatigue = active immune system
        • Usually infections or food sensitivity
    • Avoid Toxic foods
      • Wheat, soy, corn, (cereal grains) make toxins that target mammals
      • Proteins in wheat bran are designed to shut down mammalian digestion
      • Wheat toxins enter the body, affect brain development
    • Plants produce antifungal toxins which actually help us
      • Just don’t eat too many of any one vegetable
    • For an athlete, there’s no reason to eat toxic foods
    • Nourish toxin removal system in liver
  • Lifestyle changes
    • Fast overnight, exercise to get food, eat, then rest
    • Protect circadian rhythms, IF, variable intensity exercise, reduce stress
    • Social interaction is good for health
  • If you want to be fit, your first task is to get healthy
  • Making bone broths:
    • Avoid fatty parts of chicken (high omega 6)
    • Simmer bones for an hour, then discard water
      • gets rid of blood, contaminants
    • Simmer another couple hours
      • Remove fat and meat, use in later cooking
    • Add new water with acid (vinegar) to pull matrix tissues and minerals out of the bone, cook much longer
      • Avoids fatty acid oxidation
  • Intermittent fasting
    • Contingent on health, some people have health issues that make IF inappropriate
      • Sometimes glucose regulation issues
      • Maybe take a spoonful of coconut oil – SCFAs help provide ketones that reduce glucose deficiency
    • Eat something a little flavorless, can help reduce appetite
    • Pay attention to own body, if you’re healthy you shouldn’t have an issue with IF
  • Taking care of pathogens
    • After hygiene developments, selection pressure forced pathogens to evolve capability to hide in body and cause chronic rather than acute disease
      • Chronic diseases of aging associated with infection
      • Eg. Cytomegalovirus makes you more likely to get diabetes, cancer
      • All pathogens upregulate some cluster of diseases
    • Hard to diagnose and decide how to treat
      • Pros and cons of treatment – judgment call
    • Antibiotics – doxycycline is relatively benign towards gut flora
      • Can take for 4-6 months without damaging gut flora
    • A lot of value to diagnosing and treating infections
  • Pork issues
    • Most pathogenic parts of pork = blood, liver, and digestive tract
    • Always rinse pork products
    • Most pathogens are killed by thorough cooking
      • Never eat pork rare (oops, undercooked pork sausage this AM!)
    • Safer cuts are meats, pork belly

Bloodwork, Body Comp, and Hormones Panel (Angelo Coppola moderates)

  • Jack Kruse, Chris Kresser, Lane Sebring, Ruthie Harper, Beverly Myer, Will Mitchell, Dan Kalish
  • What bloodwork panels should ‘healthy’ people get?
    • Jack – Assuming that people are healthy. “Quick Paleo Workup” – CRP, vitamin D, DHEA. How do you sleep? If I don’t have to go further, they don’t need me. “Optimizing Labs” blog post.
    • Ruthie – Big difference between ‘healthy’ and optimal health. Parameters need to be redefined, based on functional people but not optimally healthy. Need bloodwork for a roadmap to determine what needs to be addressed.
    • Will – In my clinic, 90% of patients can’t regulate their blood sugar
    • Chris – blood sugar pre and post meal, HBA1c, basic thyroid panel including T4, T3, rT3, magnesium, B12 (digestive issues), comprehensive metabolic panel, immune function, iron panel plus ferritin – many women iron deficient, many men iron overloaded (may be main cause of low testosterone). Men aren’t aware they are iron overloaded. Can affect blood sugar regulation and testosterone production.
    • Beverly – People often bring in their ‘normal’ bloodwork. Can’t always judge by bell curve and ranges provided.
    • Ruthie – your Physician is looking for disease, we’re looking for optimal wellness. Often miss thyroid antibodies.
  • Triglycerides – how do you lower?
    • Beverly – Trigs are directly related to glucose surge from excess carbohydrates. Too much glucose and insulin trying to fill cells, needs to be stored somewhere, ends up storing in blood fats, fatty liver. Stabilizing blood sugar drops trig levels. Strengthens adrenals by not having fluctuating blood sugar all the time
    • Ruthie – If your trigs are high, you’re not going to lose weight. You need to burn through triglycerides before you can access body fat stores.
    • Lane – Compare trigs to HDL, good measure of insulin sensitivity. VAT cells – visceral adipose tissue put out molecules that cause inflammation, blocks insulin receptors. Stop insulting VAT cells with a bad diet.
    • Ruthie – Fat is its own organ system that signals body to do things. Directly related to CRP, insulin resistance. Trigs need to be less than 100.
    • Jack – Many times clinical symptoms are more important than lab values. Many doctors don’t know how lab values correlate to symptoms.
    • Lane – Low cortisol is common and many doctors don’t even know what it means to have low cortisol. Endocrine system (bioidentical hormones) is especially misunderstood by standard physicians. Lab values are misleading, normal range often is just listed as ‘less than’.
    • Ruthie – treating thyroid without treating adrenals can make patient feel worse.
    • Chris – I commonly see people go on Paleo and their trigs actually go up. 1/3 Americans have NAFLD. Increase in dietary choline causes fatty liver to unload, which makes cholesterol and trigs go up initially but it eventually comes down. With HbA1c, its not reliable in individuals, based on assumption that RBC turnover is 90 days in everyone, which isn’t true. Important to test fasting and post-meal blood sugar to compare to HbA1c. High HbA1c numbers can indicate anemia.
  • Hormone deficiencies and symptoms
    • Lane – Cortisol deficiency and adrenal fatigue from stress. Low testosterone. Causes low energy levels, stress affects you more. Cortisol is required to provide glucose to the brain. Cortisol crashes later in the day, but starts happening earlier. Can also keep you awake at night. Low thyroid leads to low energy, fat gain.
    • Jack – Pay attention to T3 and rT3, low T3 can raise LDL. Probably one of the most mismanaged hormone in medicine.
    • Ruthie – Many people with cholesterol issues need thyroid testing. Only free components of hormones are working at the cell, this is what has to be looked at to determine hormone levels. I see a lot of estrogen/progesterone deficiencies in female athletes. They lose their ovulation.
    • Dan Kalish – Everything we’re talking about is lifestyle driven. Don’t get too involved with lab values. Look at gut function, amino acid levels, digestion, etc. Functional medicine testing should be a warm up before you get really sick.
    • Lane – We can beat ourselves up trying to live the optimally healthy life. Do everything you can and get tested, but get low hormones balanced out
    • Chris – Very important to test cortisol (diurnal hormone) throughout the day. A single cortisol test doesn’t tell you anything about your rhythm. Need to test throughout day to see what the pattern is.
  • Hormone supplementation
    • Dan – Measure monthly cycle for women, see what the normal rhythm for female hormones is. We can get more precise about providing necessary hormones the exact time you need it. Perimenopausal women can even still have internal rhythms.
    • Beverly – Get diet and lifestyle in shape first, 50% of symptoms will go away in a month. Then we’ll start over with the symptoms that still exist. This is when I run the thyroid, sugar, hormone panels. If your adrenals are crashed, your thyroid will be low. A lot of docs throw synthetic T4 at you, which works for a few months but then stops after a while. Adrenals need to get functioning before thyroid can start performing. Slow release T3 may be a better hormone to take if you absolutely need thyroid supplementation.
    • Ruthie – Need do differentiate between hormones that are meant to decline and those that aren’t. We’re designed to maintain adrenal and thyroid function, but there will be a fall-off of reproductive hormones over time. You can support those hormone deficiencies with bioidentical hormones.
    • Will – Can use diet and chinese herbs to take patients out of things like premature ovarian failure. Hormones may be necessary for certain conditions.
    • Dan – I don’t think premature ovarian failure exists. (Dan and Lane get into discussion about how to treat these patients) Low doses of preg and DHEA to feed into hormone cycle, which can get estrogens to come back up.
    • Ruthie – Women have too much stress and our conversion suffers because of it. If we can use herbs or acupuncture to return function, that’s ideal, but sometimes you need the hormone for functions.
    • Chris – Several things required for proper hormone function besides diet and lifestyle: Blood sugar regulation, oxygen deliverability (anemia), fatty acid balance (o6-o3 ratio), liver/gallbladder function (detox pathways), gut dysbiosis makes inflammatory cytokines that affects entire hormone pathways. First address all those issues and see what happens with hormones. After that, this is the time to consider HRT or herbal treatments.
  • Biggest challenge is finding a physician that understands all these issues.
    • Jack – I can’t practice medicine on the internet. We’re transitioning traditional medicine into a new realm. My profession is ‘screwing ya’.
    • Ruthie – Its not that your doc doesnt want to help you, they just don’t know. Its time to take personal responsibility for your health, you have to get educated, keep reading and learning, request tests. No doctor has all the answers, we’re all learning, hopefully your doctor will tell you what they know and send you somewhere else when they don’t have expertise.
    • Lane – has anti-aging medicine. TX state board is taking away medical licenses for academic nonsense. We could use your help supporting doctors in this fight.
    • Chris – Paleo physicians network is a good starting place. Metametrix, Biohealth diagnoistics and other labs provide registry of practitioners that use that testing.
    • Jack – You’re all going to become your own doctors in 10-15 years.
    • Beverly – Don’t leave out health professionals that aren’t physicians. Nutritionists can help too.
    • Dan – You cant be your own physician for everything. You should be the primary person in charge but you need someone that knows more than you do about it to help guide you. Nutritionist, Doctors, Acupuncturists. Even a personal trainer that is well educated about this stuff can help.
  • How do clinicians under doctors that aren’t supportive navigate this system?
    • Jack – you just have to be crafty. We have major legal hurdles we have to follow. Its a dangerous game we’re getting involved in. Rules are different for every state where doctors practice. ”monster thread” is the “textbook of evolutionary medicine.” Doctors would get in trouble for putting this stuff on their websites.

Chris Kresser – The truth about cholesterol

  • Thanked Chris Masterjohn for his contribution to CK’s knowledge
  • Warriors vs. Skeptics – Both are wrong, truth lies in the middle
  • Basic definitions
    • Cholesterol is a sterol, not a fat – found in tissues of all mammals
    • You don’t have cholesterol in the blood, needs to be carried in the blood by lipoproteins which also carries around triglycerides
  • The high dietary cholesterol causing CHD and death paradigm is prolific (infiltrative hypothesis)
    • Cholesterol DOES play a role but not what we think
    • Degenerative hypothesis – LDL is only a problem when it oxidizes
  • LDL plays important physiological roles – “taxi service” that makes sure our cells get the nutrients they need, calling LDL is ridiculous
    • Genetic disease causing cholesterol deficiency can be fatal
  • Many physiological roles of cholesterol
    • Structure, fights infections, endocrine health, growth and development, brain and nervous system (myelin), digestive health (tight junctions), antioxidant, mood (serotonin receptors)
    • Too low cholesterol is just as much of a problem
  • What is oxidative damage?
    • Natural process of energy production and storage, normally kept in check but oxidative stress can get high and antioxidant capacity gets low
      • Produces free radicals that damage DNA, causes chain of oxidative damage that is linked to heart disease, cancer, diabetes, modern chronic diseases in general
  • Increasing the risk of oxidative damage:
    • Vulnerable LDL
      • Delicate membranes – less saturated, more vulnerable to damage
        • PUFAs more vulnerable to oxidative damage than SaFA
        • High veg oils in diet make oxidized LDL go up
          • Strongest risk factor for lipid markers
          • Can predict 80% of heart disease
          • Hopefully an oxidized LDL test will be available soon
      • Concentration of o-6 fats in TISSUE (not RBCs) vs. heart disease in cultures
        • strong positive association
    • Poor antioxidant status
      • LDL is packaged with antioxidants to protect from oxidation as it travels the blood
        • Antioxidant supplements dont have benefit and may have harm
        • Antioxidant rich foods most important – animal products like butter, liver, red meat – CoQ10 and retinol
    • Lifestyle Factors
      • Infections, physical activity, pollution, etc.
    • Time
      • Amount of time that LDL spends in circulation determines likelihood of oxidizing
      • LDL receptor on cell causes release of nutrients from LDL particle
        • Small dense LDL particles are markers for heart disease
  • Practical framework
    • What is “high” cholesterol?
      • Look at traditional cultures with no heart disease
        • Masai – Diet is mainly milk, meat, and blood of animals, their average total cholesterol for men 130-135, women 145-170
          • Among lowest in world
        • Kitavan – Fish, coconuts, 75% kcal starchy tubers, males: 180, females 200-210
          • Women 40s/50s = 250
          • Most kitavans smoke, but still no heart disease
        • Inuit – 205-225
      • Normal cholesterol could be between 140-250 mg/dL average
    • If your cholesterol is above 250, your doctor will prescribe a statin
      • Normal variation in cholesterol range is +/- 35 mg/dL
      • Always get tested again if your cholesterol is ‘high’
      • Trigs variation is +/- 40
    • Total/HDL cholesterol is a good indicator of HD status
      • Ideal ratio is between 3-4 (but can vary up to 0.8)
    • Lipoprotein particle size testing is not ready for ‘prime time’ use
      • Inconclusive results about whether particle size actually predicts HD risk
      • Proxy marker for poor LDL receptor function
    • Cholesterol is a repair substance so high chol may reflect underlying conditions
      • Leptin Resistance
        • Affects LDL receptor activity
      • Thyroid
        • rT3 syndrome = hypothyroid at the cellular level
        • May not affect TSH or T4
        • May be due to hashimoto’s (low grade inflammation) and inflammatory cytokines
        • Selenium required for conversion of T4-T3 (difficult to get in diet)
          • Bound to mercury in ocean fish and we don’t absorb that complex, less mercury but also less selenium
        • Chronic stress can cause high rT3 – surgery, chronic illness, overtraining, disregulation of HPA axis
        • Insulin affects enzyme that converts T4-T3
          • very Low carb diet long term can cause lower T3 conversion and higher rT3 production
          • Issue to consider for people with thyroid
        • Plant goitregens (crucifers) interferes with uptake and utilization of iodine
          • Low intake of salt/iodine/seaveg
          • Steaming/boiling reduces goitregenic effect, while fermentation increases (be aware for thyroid issues)
          • Supplemental iodine can offset effects of these foods
      • Inflammation
        • Damage to tissue causes chol levels to rise
          • Infections, dental surgery, etc.
          • Treat infection to help lower LDL
      • Genetics
        • Familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) affects gene that codes for LDL receptor as well as Apo B
        • Homozygous carriers are rare and usually die by 25 from HD
        • Heterozygous more common (1/300-1/500) have a 3x greater risk of death from HD
  • After testing for all mechanisms, and you still have cholesterol above 250 (330+ usually FH)
    • Not time to take a statin
    • Minimize o6, maximize o3 intake
      • o3s are even more unsaturated than o6s
      • Fresh ground flax seeds can help lower cholesterol in men but apparently not women
    • Nutrient dense, antioxidant rich foods like organ meats
    • Tumeric, artichoke leaf, yaro, holy basil, hawthorne, red rice yeast extract can all be used as herbal remedies for high cholesterol
    • Reduce other risk factors – exercise, dont smoke, sleep, reduce stress
    • Still above 320-330 after all this – may need more aggressive approach
      • One of only populations that may need statins are FH
        • Long term complications – cognitive decline, depression, sexual disfunction
      • Optimize thyroid function
        • Test iodine and bromide levels – high bromide can cause hypo
        • Increase T4-T3 conversion, inhibited by stress and inflammation, low selenium
      • Thyroid hormone (low dose) eg. slow release T3 may be helpful
        • Cannot do on your own, too much can increase HD risk
    • High cholesterol may benefit from higher carb diet
      • LDL increased by high saturated fat, which may increase oxidation
      • Keeping LDL levels down can prevent LDL from oxidizing
      • T3 required to activate LDL receptor
        • Insulin required for conversion, so VLC may increase LDL oxidation
    • Very low trigs may indicate autoimmune function
    • Eating a lot of cholesterol can increase cholesterol in 30% of people
  • Iodine supplementation and Hashimoto’s
    • Only a problem in selenium deficiency
    • Risk mitigated by starting with very low dose
    • 80-90% of patients with Hashi do well with iodine/selenium supplementation
  • How to figure out nutrient deficiencies
    • Iodine/Bromide loading test, Copper deficiency in relation to zinc
  • Carbohydrates/glucose upregulates conversion of T4 to active T3
  • High HDL can be a marker for a problem since its a repair substance
    • 80-85 should be around upper limit, especially with high CRT or ferritin

Paleo On Ramp – Liz Wolfe, Diana Rodgers, Diane Sanfilippo

Great for me to see because I plan on being a nutritional consultant, and getting their ideas on how to treat clients was really helpful

  • Spreading the Paleo information is grassroots – Emotional buy in
    • Not always just about food
  • How do you share information without turning people off?
    • Meet people where they are
  • “Dance party if we have time” – Liz
    • Liz is probably the funniest girl I’ve ever met :)
  • Case study format
    • The way you speak to a Crossfit athlete is not the way you speak to a mother
  • Female CrossFit athlete
    • Scared of fat (esp sat) eats the lean chicken broccoli coconut oil, takes fish oil
    • Motivation to lean out, increase performance, fit skinny jeans
    • Need to educate why eating fat doesn’t make you fat – need to have background information of why that works
    • Gender stereotype can exist
      • Emotional bridging the gap of what client is scared of eating
  • The Mom
    • Drinks diet coke, stressed with kids, doesnt work out, eats whole wheat, sugar substitutes
    • Get them to talk about why they came in, improves client relationship
    • Motivation to have more energy and lose weight for an event
      • Some unrealistic expectations – shift to focus on health first
    • Focus on the client first, dont try to change whole family’s behavior
  • Having trouble with fertility
    • Can be a quick fix
    • Going to be an issue for a lot of people in the future
    • Focus on positives of being a healthy parent, rather than on negatives
    • One of the most motivated case studies you’ll find
    • “Important to take care of yourself so you can take care of your baby”
    • Can’t always convince people to take on fertility diet well in advance of pregnancy
    • Vitamin A to D ratio is extremely important especially with pregnancy
    • People dealing with things like PCOS
  • The Coach with a cortisol belly
    • Want to look the part, improve athletic performance
    • Drinking lots of protein shakes, not a lot of time to cook
    • Set the example for the clients
    • Addressing the ‘cheat’ meals that might affect digestive function
    • Maybe they can’t be doing their own programming
    • Address coffee intake, supplements
    • Get them to see their situation differently
      • Dont burn the candle at both ends
      • Need to balance life
  • SAD client
    • Have really bad bloodwork numbers that need to get fixed
      • May or may not need to lose weight
    • Fill out food journal and include how they feel when they eat
      • Often leave the feelings column blank because they don’t pay attention
    • Usually somewhat incompetent in cooking
    • Numbers are powerful for these clients – statistical studies help
    • 30 Day Paleo protocol can often be very effective
      • Read Robb’s book
      • Test cortisol
    • Monitor blood glucose (fasting in AM)
  • Resistant vegetarian
    • Thoughtful eating is foundational
    • Long term vegans and vegetarians who have degenerative health issues
    • Biological fact that certain things that are healing are by nature from animal products
      • Not about a dogma, just no way around certain nutrients i.e. B12
    • Visits to specialists that cannot figure out issues
    • You’re not being asked to help, you’re being asked to ‘hack’ what they’re doing
    • Sometimes you just can’t help someone
      • Some people aren’t ready for change
  • When you hit rock bottom, that’s when you are most ready for change
    • Have compassion for where the client is
      • Especially for family members
    • You can’t always make it happen with certain clients but small changes can go a long way
    • Understand who you’re talking to

Optimization vs Performance Panel

  • Paul Jaminet, Mark Sisson, Ron Rosedale, Dallas Hartwig, Krista Scott-Dixon
  • Paul – All healthy people are similar but all unhealthy people are unhealthy in their own way. Eg. Certain diseases do poorly on ketogenic diets.
  • Mark – The main thing I look at is how can we extract the most amount of energy from the least amount of glucose input. My perspective is that everyone would benefit from the ancestral diet as a starting point, from there you make tweaks for your own situation.
  • Ron – Diseases are symptoms of specific metabolic disorders, especially chronic diseases of aging.
  • Dallas – Health and performance can be opposing positions. (either or) Build a deep foundation of health and then build performance on top of that. Chasing performance can end up excluding health
  • “Improve health and the performance will follow”
    • Dallas – Diet that optimizes hormone function, immune response to physical stimulus of exercise, ends up looking largely like a Paleo prescription. We think about it from a metabolic need perspective. Input must in some way match output.
    • Ron – Health and longevity is proportional to amount of fat vs. sugar that you burn for energy. Anaerobic activity requires burning glucose, so athletes can carbo-load before an event to maximize performance. They might take a hit on longevity or health, but it might be worth it for them. Train to burn fat effectively, then have glucose available for anaerobic components of performance.
    • Mark – This is about choices. When you choose to be an elite athlete, there are parts of that equation you have to factor in. If you choose to be a ‘sugar burning’ athlete, you need to be able to replenish those glycogen stores. You need to eliminate foods that cause systemic inflammation because that will cut down on your recovery, which is essential for athletic performance. You have to also look as health being a main driver, but elite fitness requires some level of health sacrifice. Diet cannot keep up with the demands of incredibly difficult MetCon workouts when people start to try to compete.
    • Paul – add roughly the amount of carbs you end up burning during exercise to compensate for extra glucose you’ve used. Doesn’t need to be a huge amount but most athletes will benefit from a bit extra.
    • Krista – If you don’t recover, you don’t perform, period. My goal is to take them to a state of health as good as possible. The time we put in the gym is not what is making us better, its the time we spend rejuvenating our health. We do not eat macronutrients, we eat food. Athletes are under a lot of psychological stress, so any diet we take in has to nourish all these aspects of ourselves. Sustainability is an issue too, we want our athletes to have as long of a career as possible. Don’t sacrifice health for a three month performance. I don’t counsel my clients a lot about macronutrients – people glaze over. Need to balance a variety of elements and optimize recovery.
  • Calories – how does it relate to performance?
    • Krista – I wrote a book called “F-ck Calories”. They’re an inadequate conceptual category. Has nothing to do with how organisms actually work. If you’re not performing well, we know you’re not eating right. The organism is extremely adaptive and complex.
    • Paul – Your body generally knows how much it needs. Some benefit to overfeeding following tough workout and underfeeding on rest days. The only reason to count calories is educational for most people.
    • Mark – There’s no way Michael Phelps eats 12,000 kcal a day, its bullshit. It makes a good story for the press. When your metabolism optimizes, you become more efficient at putting fuel through. You develop more mitochondria. Allows you to produce the energy you need without excess waste or metabolic byproducts, so you can do more with fewer calories. Improving your ability to extract energy from fat and ketones reduces reliance on rebuilding glycogen stores. I don’t look at calories, I look at efficiency of what you’re eating now. How little glucose do you need to perform the way you need to? You don’t want to overfill on carbohydrates, its better to do it with fat.
    • Ron – You’ll never know how many calories you’re eating, so don’t even try. What your cells get from your food is affected by many different factors. You want to eat the foods that will make your hormones tell your cells what to eat later. Maximize performance for the prime competition we’re in – living a long, healthy life.
    • Dallas – The type of fuel you put in affects the output you get. If your output is good, we’re not concerned with the number of kcals that go in, we just want to make the input-output system as efficient as possible. I’m concerned with the end result.
  • How do you know when you’ve switched to fat burning?
    • Mark – When you have less than 125 g CHO per day and you feel great. Gene and hormonal regulation occurs, and eventually the brain catches up. You reach a point where you can skip a meal and not realize it.
    • Ron – Energy levels are much more stable. Your body doesn’t store much sugar so you’re dependent on eating it. Increase in calm energy. Sleep better, think more clearly, not dependent on eating to sustain energy. My clients complain that they’re never hungry and they think they should be eating, but they are.
    • Mark – many ways for our body to make enough glucose if we’re adapted to burning fat efficiently
  • Increased cortisol levels due to sustained low carbohydrate
    • Paul – Lower T3 hormone is more of a concern than cortisol. Hormones are designed to respond to starvation, and you can get yourself into a state where your body has to stimulate gluconeogenesis. I don’t think thats generally a desirable state to be in long-term. We use ketogenic diets therapeutically but we do this by flooding the liver with MCTs rather than starvation, which produces stress response and can have negative side effects. Micronutrient deficiencies can affect ability to generate things you need when on a strict diet. If you get negative symptoms on carb restricted diets then experiment with adding carbs or maybe MCTs and see how you feel.
    • Ron – Low thyroid leads to extended lifespan. Functioning in a longevity mode makes our thyroid go down on purpose. TSH does not go up. I think the lowering of the thyroid is a good thing.

Dan Kalish

  • Stress hormones have a direct effect on brain chemistry
  • First thing body does with amino acids is make brain chemicals
  • Every year you stay on SSRIs the more the level of serotonin in your brain is dropping
    • More serotonin outside of synapse cause more receptors to be made
    • Going off meds makes you feel bad due to low serotonin and high receptors
  • Eating a more balanced diet, your body will take amino acids within hours and replace lost serotonin in brain
  • Chemical or physical trauma to post synaptic neuron from neurotoxins in environment
  • Much of the serotonin that you make is in the gut
  • Measuring levels of serotonin in the blood is not a good way to test what your levels are
  • If you load someone with the right amount of amino acids, you can see where they’re going and if the ‘gates are open’ to let serotonin and dopamine through
  • You have to take 5HTP and Tyrosine together to be safe
    • Need B vitamins and others as cofactors
  • Decrease neurotoxic load – cleaning products, get fillings out, flush out
    • Water and vegetables get you to pull out neurotoxins
    • Liver support supplements can help
    • Paleo foods eliminate foods that reduce detoxification
  • Clean up food, reduce environmental toxins, look at your history of neuro damage

Psychology of Change Panel

Emily Deans, Nora Gedgaudas, Roger Dickerman, Shilpi Mehta, David Pendergrass, Dan Pardi, Mark Sisson

  • Pendergrass – Overeat on Paleo food to cut down on cravings for other food.
  • Roger: Human foods vs Nonhuman foods, storytelling like Mark Sisson
  • Shilpi – We’re in a cultural revolution right now.
  • Emily – Stages of change – most people are in the first Pre-Contemplation stage. Buying a book and cooking this food is in the 4th stage. People will come up with reasons that their behavior is OK. You need to personalize it for the client. Confrontational interactions don’t go so well. Keep moving along until they can get into the action and maintenance stage. As a clinician you need to be a good model for your clients.
  • Mark – I tell people “I’m not sure you’re ready for Paleo yet.” You need to want them to WANT to make the change. Lead by example, enjoy your life, acknowledge your success, and let it trickle down to your friends and family.
  • Dan – We’re interested in behavior optimization – getting people to comply in a sustainable fashion. Define success, build the road, and walk the path. What is your definition of success? Building a road is turning your goal into an action plan. Walking the path is whether you’re living the lifestyle that is consistent with your goals and plan. Self tracking allows you to have awareness of whether you’re walking the path.
  • Nora – People are open to looking at things in a new way for the first time. Old ideas do die hard, and it ends up being a process even when people are excited about the information. People need to be able to be patient with themselves. Understand not just what they need to do but why. I’d rather not just tell people what to do, I’d rather them understand how their body works and why eating this way is important to them so when old habits start to resurface, people understand why its important to continue on. The education and self-awareness piece is really important. I tell people to get involved in their local WAPF chapter because they appreciate the same things we do. This community of people can help them establish resources and give them something to bounce off of. Being in a community of like-minded people is a great way to ensure long term success.
  • What resources do you recommend?
    • Dan – Quantified Self Movement has staggering potential to affect the health of the US. Goal Theory are more effective than other behavior change techniques and these devices help effect these behavior changes. Making it social and competitive can help that too.
    • Mark – Check out my Friday success story to show people on the fence what can happen when you adopt this lifestyle. It resonates with people to see the change rather than just hear the change.
    • Shilpi – Paleo Meetup groups help you get through challenges. Its great to see how different groups do it around the country.
    • David – In the end, this diet works well for people and the support for the addiction side makes this work.
  • Shilpi – myopia is an evolutionary mismatch. We’re not designed to be in front of a computer constantly. Take a break every 20 minutes to look 20 ft away. We don’t have the data to tell us whether someone could follow a paleo diet from birth and avoid this condition. Vitamin D plays a big role. Room for a lot of research.
  • Emily – I recommend finding a therapist in your area if you have a huge lifestyle change, lose a lot of weight, etc.
  • Roger – If someone keeps fighting you and wasting your time, fire the client.
    • Emily – I just stop working so hard and I just become more supportive for them.
    • Mark – Life is too short, and if they’re not into it, its not your job to fix them.

Relieve Pain with Yoga for Arthritis – Daily Cup of Yoga

Relieve Pain with Yoga for Arthritis

March 20, 2012 By 12 Comments

[Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Nathan Joynt from Gaiam TV]

Arthritis is more than occasional aches and pains. The condition is caused by inflammation of the joints and can lead to swelling, difficulty moving and severe pain. It can affect almost anyone, from children to the elderly, and may cause the simplest activities to become a challenge. Medications are often prescribed to relieve the pain and inflammation, but many health care providers now also recommend yoga for arthritis relief.

Yoga consists of a combination of gentle movements, stretches and breathing exercises. Researchers at John Hopkins University have determined that arthritis patients who regularly perform yoga are likely to experience less swelling, increased mobility and reduced pain. This is because the movements performed during yoga increase fluid around the joints.

Getting Started

There are a few things that arthritis sufferers should consider before beginning a yoga program. A visit to the doctor is necessary to make sure that the individual is healthy enough to perform the exercises and that other conditions won’t be exacerbated by yoga movements. It’s also important to choose a yoga class with a certified instructor, preferably one who is knowledgeable about the benefits of yoga for arthritis patients.  There are also chair yoga classes that are helpful for arthritis sufferers who cannot sit on the floor.

A beginner’s yoga class is the best choice in most cases because the movements are easier to perform.  Stretching, breathing exercises, or even chanting, may also be done before actual movements begin. These help the body to relax and are an integral part of many yoga routines.

A variety of gentle poses will be performed during the class. Some may be a bit difficult at first, but will become easier as muscles grow accustomed to the activity. Arthritis patients should only perform those poses that they feel comfortable with. A little soreness is to be expected after the first few classes, but any positions that cause extreme discomfort should be avoided.

Home Practice

While classes are essential to learning the proper yoga techniques, relief from arthritis pain is greater if the exercises are also performed on a daily basis at home. There are numerous yoga videos available, including some geared toward arthritis sufferers. Since the condition tends to flare up at particular times, such as during extremely damp or cold weather, it may be helpful to increase yoga exercises during these periods.

Here are a two gentle poses to try at home:

  • Cat/cow pose: The cat/cow pose strengthens and stretches your spine.   Begin on your hands and knees.  For sore knees, use a towel or blanket for extra cushion.  For sore wrists, make a fist rather than palms on the floor. Round your back up toward the ceiling, tuck in your glutes, and drop your head. Come back to neutral position, and then lower your stomach toward the floor creating an arch in your back. Keep your head up slightly, look straight ahead.  Repeat slowly with deep breaths.
  • Side stretch: The side stretch improves balance and stretches your hamstrings.  Start by standing with your feet shoulder width apart and take a big step back with one foot.  Clasp your hands behind your back, bend forward at the waist and relax your head and hold for a good stretch.

Yoga seems like an unlikely remedy for those struggling with arthritis pain, but it has very real benefits. Not only does it increase relaxation, which makes everyone feel better, it helps to lessen discomfort and increase muscle strength over time. It’s a wonderful way for even those with limited mobility to get moving and find lasting relief.

Nathan Joynt works with Gaiam TV, a leading lifestyle media company that produces a wide range of health and wellness videos including award-winning yoga videos and yoga for arthritis tips.

Related reading

How nutrition affects depression and mental health

Nutrition and Depression

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

Written by: Kevin Cann

            Depression is one of the biggest problems our society faces today.  According to the National Institute of Health, one quarter of the population of the United States suffers from depression.  This trend is not expected to change anytime in the near future.  According to the Institute of Functional Medicine, depression is estimated to be the second leading cause of disability worldwide by 2020.  Antidepressants are widely prescribed by doctors, yet the figures for depression continue to rise.  Annual costs on antidepressants in 1985 were $240 million.  Today that number has jumped to $12 billion!  If antidepressants are not the answer then what is?  Hippocrates stated that “Food is our medicine, and medicine is our food.”  Believe it or not this may be the best medicine when battling depression.

Our gut and our brain are both in constant communication with one another via the vagus nerve.  In fact traumatic brain injury can actually cause gastrointestinal distress.  In one study the researchers actually found that stimulating the vagus nerve after a brain injury prevented intestinal permeability in the patients (Bansal, 2010).  This link between our brain and our gastrointestinal tract is essential in understanding the mechanisms of action involved in depression.

To further show the correlation between our gut and our brain, depression has been linked to obesity.  In a meta-analysis done in 2010 it was determined that obesity increases the risk for depression and depression is predictive of developing obesity (Floriana, 2010).  There are genetic and environmental factors that may contribute to both obesity and depression however; the strong correlation between the two cannot be ignored.  One major cause of both of these health problems is systemic inflammation.

Systemic inflammation can be caused from a number of factors.  Having excess adipose tissue is one factor.  Our fat cells are living tissue and studies have proven this.  The communication between our lymphocytes and adipocytes help with immune regulation.  Our adipose tissue releases a number of inflammatory and anti-inflammatory factors.  One major factor is the inflammatory cytokines.  These inflammatory factors have been proven to play a role in insulin resistance and increased risk for cardiovascular disease.  They also have been proven to cause inflammation within our brains when they are allowed to pass the gut-brain barrier.  These inflammatory cytokines can cross into our hypothalamus and other parts of the brain that control mood and cause some serious problems for us.  In his write up for Molecular Psychiatry, Licinio explained that inflammatory cytokines (especially the IL-1 family) have a role in major depression.  These cytokines can be formed from a number of factors such as; stress, body weight, sleep, food intake, and body temperature (Licinio, 1999).

Some of the problems associated with this inflammation of the brain are an increase in our insulin and leptin hormones.  In his study Xu concluded that insulin resistance is at least in part, a chronic inflammatory disease initiated in the adipose tissue (Xu, 2003).  This leads to sympathetic nervous system over arousal.  The sympathetic nervous system is our stress response controller.  This over arousal can lead to increased cortisol levels and can cause the body to lose magnesium (Takase, 2004).  Decreased magnesium can lead to migraines and poor sleep.  This is a reason why magnesium supplementation at bed time seems to be an effective strategy for promoting better sleep quality.  Increased intake of sugar can have a similar effect on our nervous system.  Excess glucose in the blood stream auto-oxidizes and forms advanced glycation end products.  These AGEs also degenerate brain function and cause an overproduction of cortisol.  They also have been linked to increased rate of aging.  Increases in cortisol levels have been linked to weight gain and insulin and leptin resistance.

Food intolerances are another cause of systemic inflammation.  Dairy products, legumes, and grains tend to be the most inflammatory out of all the foods in our diets.  A large number of the population does not possess the enzymes capable of breaking down the proline proteins in grains, especially gluten and gliadin.  The saponins in legumes and lactose and casein in dairy are also problematic for most people.  When undigested particles cross through our intestine into our bloodstream our body treats it like a foreign invader and sends an immune response.  This response causes inflammation.  The same inflammatory cytokines that were mentioned earlier are also released.  People with celiac’s disease report much higher rates of depression then the average person.  This shows a strong link between the two.

Also, fructose malabsorption and lactose intolerance have been linked to malabsorption of the essential amino acid L-tryptophan.  L-tryptophan deficiencies have been linked to serotonin deficiencies, clinical depression, anxiety, and ADD/ADHD.  Fructose can be found in a number of processed foods in the form of high fructose corn syrup.  In fructose intolerance the GLUT5 transporter in the small intestine does not pick up the fructose as well as it should.  The fructose then moves down into the large intestines and the colon and can cause gas and bloating as well as an increase in AGEs.  In lactose intolerance the lactase enzyme is inefficient or not present.  This leads to lactose being transported to the large intestine and colon which leads to gas, bloating, and diarrhea (Gedgaudas, 2009).

Now to address the problems through diet.  The first step is to cure the inflammation and restore gut health.  The first step is balancing out our ratio of essential fatty acids.  This can be done by eating more foods high in omega 3 fats (grass fed meats and wild caught fish), or by supplementation.  We should aim for 2g-4g of EPA/DHA per day whether by food sources or supplementation.  We also need to remove the foods that are causing the inflammation.  For most of us this will be grains, legumes, and dairy.  Other foods can cause problems for individuals as well, such as eggs.  If this is the case remove all foods that are causing a negative reaction to you.  We also want to remove foods high in processed sugars to decrease the AGEs and prevent obesity.

So then what can we eat?  We want to make sure we are eating plenty of vegetables to feed the good gut flora and help our digestive system heal from the inflammation.  Fruit and dark green vegetables are also high in folate which can also help with depression.  Low selenium levels can also play a role in poor mood.  Foods high in selenium are quality meats, seafood, nuts, and seeds.  Foods that are high in tryptophan that we want to include to help with a possible deficiency are beef, turkey, and bananas.  Vitamin D deficiency has also been linked to depression, especially seasonal affective disorder, so we want to make sure we get adequate sunlight.  Vitamin D supplementation may be necessary depending on where you live.

Supplementation is sometimes necessary in helping cure depression.  Vitamin D can be a bit tricky determining the right dosage.  Depending on the levels of vitamin D in your blood, supplementation may fall between 1,000iu’s and 10,000iu’s daily.  Cod liver oil should be taken to help counteract the vitamin A lost if you are getting adequate vitamin D from the outdoors.  A b-complex vitamin can be supplemented to help possible deficiencies.  Also, 600mg-800mg of magnesium, preferably magnesium glycinate because it is highly bioavailable.  If L-tryptophan supplementation seems right for you take 500mg daily and take it with vitamin c and a b-complex vitamin to better absorb the amino acid.  It is always best to consult with a licensed practitioner regarding these matters.

Handling stress becomes a large issue as well.  Like I said previously, our brain and digestive system are linked via the vagus nerve and they are constantly in communication with one another.  If the brain is not healthy neither is the gut and vice versa.  Taking a little time of every day to try meditation or another stress management technique can go a long way to helping relieve symptoms.  Also, take your time while eating.  Digesting starts with the cephalic phase of digestion.  This is the phase right before our food goes into our mouth.  Make sure you relax and try to take in the aroma and delight of your food before you begin to eat.  Take your time eating and enjoy every bite, and chew your food well.  There are practices called mindful eating that I highly recommend.

In conclusion, following a paleo diet can go a long way to helping heal depression.  With the proper nourishment we can heal systemic inflammation, regulate our hormones, and heal our digestive system.  We can take this even further by managing our stress as well as practicing mindful eating to fully heal both out gut and our brain.  It is just a few slight changes that can go a long way to improving quality of life.




Takase, Bonpei (2004).  Effect of chronic stress and sleep deprivation on both flow-mediated dilation in the brachial artery and the intracellular magnesium level in humans.  Clinical Cardiology.  Retrieved on March 15, 2012.

Xu, Haiyan (2003).  Chronic inflammation in fat plays a crucial role in the development of obesity-related insulin resistance.  The Journal of Clinical Investigation.  Retrieved on March 15, 2012.

Licinio, J (1999).  The role of inflammatory mediators in the biology of major depression: central nervous system cytokines modulate the biological substrate of depressive symptoms, regulate stress-responsive systems, and contribute to neurotoxicity and neuroprotection.  Molecular Psychiatry.  Retrieved on March 15, 2012.


Floriana, S (2010).  Overweight, obesity, and depression.  Archives of General Psychiatry.  Retrieved on March 15, 2012.


Bansal, V (2010).  Stimulating the central nervous system to prevent intestinal dysfunction after traumatic brain injury.  Retrieved on March 15, 2012.



Kevin is owner of Genetic Potential Nutrition. He is a holistic nutritionist, wellness coach, and strength coach. He works with people fighting illness, to competitive athletes. Check out his site at

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Christopher Williams (a.k.a. Squatchy) is a paleo aficionado, educator, personal trainer, wellness coach, and hobbyist chef. He also works as part of the Robb Wolf team.

Do a Triathlon in the Body You Have NOW!

The conversation goes something like this:
You do triathlons?  Isn’t that the thing where you do a marathon and then hop on your bike? In Hawaii?
Well, yes and no.
Triathlon means this:   Swim – Bike – Run.  Together.  As fast as you can.

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Jayne Williams, Ti…

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Sweat Science » The incredible unaging triathlete

The incredible unaging triathlete

January 14th, 2012

Here’s a pretty graphic illustration, from a recent paper by Dr. Vonda Wright and her colleagues (hat tip to Laura McIntyre for the forward), of the importance of lifelong physical activity:

It’s from a new study freely available at The Physician and Sportsmedicine that took detailed measurements of 40 masters athletes between the ages of 40 and 81, and found a surprising lack of age-related muscle loss:

This study contradicts the common observation that muscle mass and strength decline as a function of aging alone. Instead, these declines may signal the effect of chronic disuse rather than muscle aging.