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Topics - Il Capo

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Miscellaneous / Aggression level up
« on: March 08, 2011, 12:12:48 PM »
So I've been eating paleo and training hard for a while. My aggression levels are up, probably as a result of higher T. I think also caffeine + more underlying aggression is making me snappier. Anyone face the same situation?

Meta / I need an ignore list
« on: March 06, 2011, 01:52:44 PM »
Every day there's a new troll writing something useless and refusing to listen. I need an ignore functionaliy. I don't believe in negative karma, I'll still end up reading their stuff if I forget screen names.

I need an ignore button so I don't have to read their sh!t again.

Edit: found it. It's in profile. Not quite as handy as having a button by every screen name, but should work.

Exercises / Exercises for bad knee
« on: December 17, 2010, 02:37:32 AM »
My aunt has a bad knee and I want to give her advice. She has a torn ligament, which would mean surgery for if she were younger and physically active, but at her age of 65ish, the docs say they want to try therapy first.

My suggestion would be for her to do squats, to strengthen the leg muscles (quads, hammies, etc.) so they can stabilize the knee. However, I know that squats can be tricky with a knee injury and I think that partial squats aren't that great either.

So, any suggestions of other leg exercises to work around a bad knee?

Miscellaneous / on vegetarians
« on: September 08, 2010, 08:31:45 PM »
As usual, I love anything that bashes vegetarians:

Miscellaneous / Against CW - how I quit smoking
« on: June 08, 2010, 02:05:11 PM »
Since we are a bunch of people who don't trust CW, I thought this could be a good place to share my experiences with quitting smoking. Why now? I hit a significant milestone recently and remembered about it.

It's likely that there are very few, if any, smokers in this forum, but it is also likely most of us know at least one smoker who'd like to quit and can't.

CW says: replace nicotine from cigarettes with nicotine from gum / patches, etc.
CW says: slowly start smoking less until you finally give up.
CW says: pick a date 2-3 months in the future. Learn things / do a lot of stuff / start smoking less until then.

ALL THE ABOVE IS LIKELY TO MAKE QUITTING MORE DIFFICULT! and even if you do succeed, you may end up addicted to nicotine gum! Nicotine may not give you lung cancer, but it is still poison even if you don't smoke it!

What I know works much better: quit cold turkey! It is hard to do, but after the first 72hs, the physical dependency is gone and after 2-3 weeks the psychological one is mostly history.

If you want to help anyone, do direct them to the website in the link below. Their advice is free, sound, very detailed, backed by studies and, most importantly, it works.

Diet and nutrition / Things that I don't understand yet
« on: May 05, 2010, 09:23:32 PM »
There's a few things that don't really add up to me, so I'm hoping our collective knowledge will help me figure things out.

a) Tuna: as far as I know, tuna cannot be fished without sailing. Probably there's a similar case to be made for a lot of other fish. Since paleo people didn't know how to sail, is tuna really paleo? Should we stick to fresh water fish/coastal fish only? Apart from the mercury issue, are there any other known issues with such fish or seafood?

b) Carrot vs yam: I know one is a root and the other a tuber. But technology-wise, aren't they the same? i.e.: isn't a paleo man as likely to get a root as he is to get a tuber? I've read that yams need to be cooked to be safe, but we've agreed pretty much that paleo people cooked stuff. So what's the main disqualifier for yams if not the cooking? I know I won't be eating them because: a) i don't really like them and b) they'll make me fat, but that doesn't mean I'm not curious about them.
Note: I'm talking about African yams, not sweet potatoes known in the US as yams.

c) MUFA, PUFA, Sat fat: I quoted a study that says that some of the tissues believed to be prioritized by hunters (marrow, brains) contained more monounsaturated fat than muscle or subcutaneous fat in typical game. Link:

My question is: shouldn't we prioritize MUFAs a little more over SAT FATs to match those ratios? Or once we meet omega 6:3 ratios we are 99.9% safe and the rest is gravy?

d) Ruminant fat vs pork and bird fat: I read somewhere that tallow should be prioritized vs pork (eg: lard, bacon) and/or bird (chicken skin, duck fat) fat given the sat / MUFA / PUFA fat profiles. Basically tallow has the lowest ratio of PUFA. Does anyone know more about this? Does it matter?

I understand most the above is likely to have very little effect on my health, and it's probably not necessary to paleo eating (especially since I'm still eating or drinking some non paleo stuff every now and then), but I'm curious anyway.

Research / Fatty acid analysis of wild ruminant tissues
« on: April 09, 2010, 10:19:39 PM »
While searching for nutritional data of marrow, I came across this very interesting article:

Fatty acid analysis of wild ruminant tissues:
evolutionary implications for reducing diet-related
chronic disease

Things I knew:
Conclusions: Literature comparisons showed tissue lipids of North American and African ruminants were similar to pasture-fed cattle, but dissimilar to grain-fed cattle

Things I didn't know:

That the fats profile of marrow, brains, muscle and subcutaneous fat are different. Marrow has the most monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA)while subcutaneous adipose tissue has the most saturated fat.

Results: Muscle fatty acid (FA) was similar among North American species with polyunsaturated fatty acids=saturated fatty acids
(P=S) values from 0.80 to 1.09 and n-6=n-3 FA from 2.32 to 2.60.
Marrow FA was similar among North American species with high levels (59.3 67.0%) of monounsaturated FA; a low P=S (0.24 0.33), and an n-6=n-3 of 2.24 2.88.
Brain had the lowest n-6=n-3 (1.20 1.29), the highest concentration of 22:6 n-3 (elk, 8.90%; deer, 9.62%; antelope, 9.25%) and a P=S of 0.69.
AT had the lowest P=S (0.05 0.09) and n-6=n-3 (2.25 2.96). Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) isomers were found in marrow of antelope (1.5%), elk (1.0%) and deer (1.0%), in AT (deer, 0.3%; antelope, 0.3%) in muscle (antelope, 0.4%; elk, trace), but not in brain.

This is interesting. Given that evidence suggests that hunter-gatherers ate much more
marrow than we modern paleos do, and that marrow has much more MUFAs, we should probably eat more animal MUFAs and less animal saturated fats than we do.

Food Journals / Meats and the rest
« on: April 02, 2010, 06:13:00 PM »
Here's what I had today:

Cals: 2864
Protein: 153g
Carbs: 62g
Fat: 224g. I had to seriously go out of my way to get that much fat. I added tallow to the ground bison as it was too lean and had to use olive oil when I ran out of proteins with a lot of fat left to eat.

Coffee, brewed, espresso, restaurant-prepared   10   fluid ounce   6.0
Egg, whole, cooked, omelet   183   g   287.3
Carrots, cooked, boiled, drained, with salt   0.5   carrot   8.0
Onions, yellow, sauteed   0.5   cup chopped   57.4
Fat, beef tallow   1   tbsp   115.5
Bananas, raw   2   small (6" to 6-7/8" long)   179.8
Bison, ground, grass-fed, cooked   490   g   877.1
Egg, whole, cooked, fried   1   large   90.2
Fat, beef tallow   2   tbsp   230.9
Mustard, prepared, yellow   2   tsp or 1 packet   6.7
Oil, olive, salad or cooking   8   tablespoon   954.7
Vinegar, balsamic   1.5   tbsp   12.0
Spinach, raw   0.5   bunch   39.1

Some of the quantities are estimations and there may be some double counting (eg: omelettes + tallow), but I trust these numbers to be around +/- 10% accurate.

Recipes and meal photos / Beef kidney steaks
« on: April 02, 2010, 09:30:06 AM »
I recently bought from grass-fed kidney along with my meat orders. I had had kidney several times before but had not prepared it myself. I googled around to find a particular recipe for preparing kidney on the grill. I read a few variants, added my own knowledge (because following recipes to the letter is not fun) and got it done, with great results.

Kidney: 1 piece ~ 1lb. It is usually quite cheap ~ $4/lb (for the grass-fed version).
Method: oven broiled (similar to grilled kidneys)

Pre-cooking preparation: if the membrane is still in place, remove. Trim some of the fat (you can save it to make tallow or discard).

Mix 50% vinegar* (I used balsamic, but any type will do) with water and some salt* (if you use salt) in a container. Toss the whole kidney inside the container and let stand for 30min - 1hr. If it's not entirely covered, turn around at half time. Remove from this mixture, rinse with water and dry (with a paper towel or just let it drain if you have time). This part is key, as the acid mix takes care of some substances which, while completely edible, may negatively affect the taste of kidneys.

Set the kidney in a broiling / oven-grilling tray (the one in which stuff can drain from the upper tray to the bottom tray). Pre-heat the oven in hi-broil. Put the kidney inside the oven. Let it cook for about 25-30mins.

Take kidney out from the oven. Slice in thin pieces (like mini kidney steaks) and put back on the tray. The outside should be cooked, but the inside will look rare when you slice it. Cook the slices for ~ 2 min per side, or until done.

And that's it. Additional info: season with lemon juice after cooking. You can make a sauce with chopped garlic, some olive oil*, lemon juice and parsley to use as additional condiment.

*Vinegar, salt and olive oil are non paleo. Could replace vinegar with lemon juice, if you can come accross enough lemons and stamina to squeeze them all.

All, as you may know I have reached some of my initial goals within the paleo WOE. I have a new set of goals now.

New goals:
body fat ~ 12%
Weight ~ 145lbs

Current stats:
body fat ~ 14 - 16% (calculated with a few different methods. I'm getting calipers soon).
Weight ~ 138lbs.

Original stats:
Weight ~ 160lbs
body fat ~ not sure, but I'm guessing close to 20%, probably a little bit above that.

Height has stayed put at 5'6" (paleo can't solve everything...)

I've only been training since late January, originally with a dumbbell program which Wlfdg helped me with and since recently with the Starting Strength program. Both programs rely on complex movements (squats, presses, deadlifts, etc.). I have been doing some Tabatas inconsistently.

I haven't been recording what I eat at all. I just tried to stick to paleo foods and that worked to get me to where I am. I seem to be eating a little more these days, based on some calculations I made.

I usually eat primarily meat and some fish, with token veggies.
I usually tend to snack more than I think I should on nuts and fruits.

Again, I haven't monitored everything I eat, but I know that when I buy fruits or nuts I'm usually exceeding ~ 100g/carbs a day (eg: 3 bananas or oranges and 50g of almonds or a similar combination). I'm pretty sure I have not stayed below 50g carbs/day for long periods of time.

In terms of timing, I tend to eat most of my food during the afternoon or evening. I may eat a couple of eggs with some coffee for breakfast, then snack on nuts or fruit and then cook a big dinner. I drink a lot of water and some teas or coffee all day long (with no sugar nor milk).

After the long-winded introduction here are my questions:
(Note: I will be starting a food log to track my eating more precisely).

a) What would be the ideal amount of carbs (from fruit, nut and veggies) to eat to accomplish my goals within my current training regime? I see a possible trade-off between low-carbing and training, but I think there are ways around this with proper timing.
b) How should I time my meals for optimum results? Should I try to eat 6 times a day, smaller meals, 3 times a day slightly bigger meals or it doesn't really matter?
c) What should I eat specifically pre and post strength workouts?
d) What, if any, should I eat pre and post Tabata workouts?
e) Should I keep the Tabatas 3 times a week (i.e. on non-training days with 1 day off)?
f) Anything else I may be missing?

I know there are several different ways to accomplish my goals, what I'm looking for is the fastest way to get there.

Thanks in advance.

Research / As China prospers, it becomes more diabetic
« on: March 25, 2010, 06:58:38 PM »
Here's the abstract:


Background Because of the rapid change in lifestyle in China, there is concern that diabetes may become epidemic. We conducted a national study from June 2007 through May 2008 to estimate the prevalence of diabetes among Chinese adults.

Methods A nationally representative sample of 46,239 adults, 20 years of age or older, from 14 provinces and municipalities participated in the study. After an overnight fast, participants underwent an oral glucose-tolerance test, and fasting and 2-hour glucose levels were measured to identify undiagnosed diabetes and prediabetes (i.e., impaired fasting glucose or impaired glucose tolerance). Previously diagnosed diabetes was determined on the basis of self-report.

Results The age-standardized prevalences of total diabetes (which included both previously diagnosed diabetes and previously undiagnosed diabetes) and prediabetes were 9.7% (10.6% among men and 8.8% among women) and 15.5% (16.1% among men and 14.9% among women), respectively, accounting for 92.4 million adults with diabetes (50.2 million men and 42.2 million women) and 148.2 million adults with prediabetes (76.1 million men and 72.1 million women). The prevalence of diabetes increased with increasing age (3.2%, 11.5%, and 20.4% among persons who were 20 to 39, 40 to 59, and 60 years of age, respectively) and with increasing weight (4.5%, 7.6%, 12.8%, and 18.5% among persons with a body-mass index [the weight in kilograms divided by the square of the height in meters] of <18.5, 18.5 to 24.9, 25.0 to 29.9, and 30.0, respectively). The prevalence of diabetes was higher among urban residents than among rural residents (11.4% vs. 8.2%). The prevalence of isolated impaired glucose tolerance was higher than that of isolated impaired fasting glucose (11.0% vs. 3.2% among men and 10.9% vs. 2.2% among women).

Conclusions These results indicate that diabetes has become a major public health problem in China and that strategies aimed at the prevention and treatment of diabetes are needed.

Full article behind membership bars.

Miscellaneous / Purchasing meat online - my impressions
« on: March 23, 2010, 08:27:55 PM »
I had been navigating a grey area when it comes to getting grass-fed meats. I would purchase some grass-fed beef or bison at Whole Paycheck (WP) from time to time, but I would also buy regular meats either there or at other supermarkets.

Problems with WP:

- The grass-fed beef at WP is usually too lean (they don't sell fatty cuts or ground because they consider it "unhealthy").
- The grass-fed beef is expensive (90/10 ground at 7$/lb and virtually everything else above 10$/lb).
- They had no organ meats of any kind.
- Their poultry, while organic and antibiotic free, is not necessarily entirely cage-free and is usually fed grains or other feeds.

I would try and keep my omega 3s balanced by eating enough fish and omega-3 eggs. I had been thinking about fish oil capsules but had not acted on that.

After failing to find local options for grass-fed beef, I went online and bought a bunch of meats from US wellness:

My experience buying from them:

- Prices are slightly lower (75/25 ground @ $5.85/lb, although for a comparable 87% ground the prices were the same @ 6.85$/lb). Lamb is definitely cheaper than the stuff at Whole Foods
- They have a wide selection of beef, bison, poultry, pork, lamb, etc. They have some organ meats and bones / marrow cuts on offer.
- They ship their meats frozen, except for some specific premium steaks, which they can ship fresh but only do so 1/month.
- Shipping is free for orders of a certain size (I think ~ 10lbs+ or so). There is still a handling fee of ~ $7/order.
- They ship Mon-Weds only.
- They ship overnight with Fedex. I placed my order on Sunday, it was shipped on Monday and arrived on Tuesday.
- They package the foods properly. I was concerned about the meats unfreezing by the time they got to me (they arrived at 3pm but I only picked them up at 9pm as I was away from home), but that was not an issue. They ship in a properly sealed styrene foam cooler with a couple of gel packs. When I opened it, the gel packs and all the meats were still hard-frozen.
- They offer grass-fed tallow, and this is quite convenient if you can't get grass-fed fat to make your own (@ $13/2.25lbs)

Overall, I'm quite satisfied with my ordering from them, so far. I still hope to find a local supplier to bring costs down, but other than that, their stuff is good. They have some prepared meats (sausages, burgers, liverwurst, etc.) but I didn't buy those.

Have any of you ordered from them or other online vendors? What have your experiences been?

The answer: smelts fried in coconut oil. I came across smelts at my local grocer. Hadn't seem them before but I had had similar fish in a previous life. They were fresh. Edit: they were wild caught. I'm not sure these are farmed, as I read they are usually underfished.

How to cook them:

- Put coconut oil in a frying pan. You don't need enough to cover the smelts entirely, just enough to cover them upto their mid-point.
- Heat oil
- You can add salt (non paleo) and pepper (paleo?) to the smelts before or after cooking.
- Dump the smelts in the hot oil. They should not be piled up. Leave enough space for all smelts to be touching the bottom of the pan. You will probably need more than one batch (or multiple pans if you plan to feed a family).
- Turn them around after 3 minutes or so. Cook for an extra 3 minutes and remove from pan. Add next batch.
- Place them on serving tray and squeeze juice from 1 lemon for every ~ 1lb of smelts.

Alternatively: google fried smelts and adapt a recipe by eliminating the batter, flour and other non paleo stuff.

Paleo extra credit:
- refuse to use any cutlery when eating them.
- Try to get whole smelts and eat them whole (head, tail, etc.). Mine had had their heads removed, but the spine was still there (crunchy, yummy and full of calcium).

- Don't use any batter.
- Don't drain the smelts too much or use paper rolls to absorb the oil. The oil is part of the dish.

Exercises / Stretching?
« on: February 21, 2010, 05:02:12 PM »
I've been doing mostly strength training and Tabata recently. A few months back I was enrolled in martial arts classes, so I would stretch every other day. These days, though, I have been omitting any stretching from my training. I did some stretching today after a while and found that I am a lot less flexible than I was a few months ago.

I'm not limited on my weight training in any way (i.e. I can do squats with proper form, etc.) but I think I should be more flexible nevertheless.

What do you gals or guys do for stretching? Do you stretch before or after a workout? Or on days off? How often do you need to stretch? Do you also use a foam roll? Any good routines for stretching or rolling?

All ideas will be appreciated.


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