Where To Get Nuts
6 months of eating a cup of mixed nuts just about every day, and I know this might be a bit much, but I finally found the place with the best selection and best prices, at least that i know of. Every week I would switch from Walmart, Aldi’s, Wegman’s, etc.. Target turns out to be the best, in my opinion.
16oz of Walnuts = $6.59
10oz of Macadamia Nuts = $9.99
10.5oz of Almonds = $5.39
Altogether, this is about $22 for about 8 cups. If you wanted to go with just almonds and walnuts, or walnuts, almonds, and pecans, the price would be a little less. My usual mix is 1/2 cup walnuts, 1/4 cup almonds, and 1/4 cup macadamia nuts. This seems to have the most nutritional value and I love macadamias so I usually include them.
Ben Greenfield and Dr. Gundry advice to keep peanuts and cashews out because they are actually legumes and can mess with your digestion system. Many people I know also have problems with almonds, so in that case I’d advice switching those with pecans.
1 cup a day is also a lot and may not be as healthy as 1/2 cup or a little more. Also, the “roasted” nuts are usually roasted in oils that are really bad for you so health experts also advise to buy raw nuts. I know the macadamia nuts I get are roasted - I could do a better job of removing bad oils from my diet.
The key things to his guide for good nutrition is tons of fats and vegetables. This is similar to my nutrition, except I do not ferment my bread, I just stay away from almost all grains. I also don’t sprout my beans but I also limit those as well. Ben’s reasoning for fermenting and sprouting is to make the food much more easily digestible and to also feed your gut microbiome with good bacteria to build your immune system and strengthen your gut.
Other than that, this is similar to what you see with the paleo diet - staying away from processed foods and oils as well as sugar while favoring fats and meats (but being conscious with what fats are better in high doses and which are better moderated).
Due to the incredible amount of research, experimenting, and health coaching Ben has done, I find this “Superhuman Pyramid” to be a great list for any active person who cares to be health conscious.
Dr. Steven Gundry’s “Yes” and “No” Lists
Dr. Gundry has more of a strict diet - focusing on high vegetables and low amounts of meat. He focuses on high amounts of foods with polyphenols, like olive oil (which he suggests consuming 1 liter each week due to his research on blue zones) and dark chocolate. He will tell you the focus of his diet is more on what foods to avoid. Similar to Ben, he also follows the paleo idea of getting rid or processed foods. He also bases his diet on getting rid of lectins. Lectins are a defense mechanism that plants have to warn animals not to keep eating them and their babies. Gluten is actually a lectin and he gives several vegetables to look out for that have lectins as well. If these are prepared correctly (for instance, tomatoes being peeled and deseeded and legumes being pressure cooked), you can actually remove the dangerous lectins so you won’t get leaky gut and, in turn, mitigate damage to your immune system.
Dr. Gundry’s nutrition plan seems to work best for people with autoimmune diseases and many cancers. For the average person, this could definitely be difficult to maintain. I still think there is a lot people can learn from Dr. Gundry if you are interested in longevity and getting rid of inflammation.
There are 2 good things that coincide with Greenfield and Gundry’s work:
One other thing that I know these experts would have an issue with is the “Low-fat Milk”. Low-fat yogurt , low-fat milk...it is all crap. A high fat diet does not mean weight gain, in fact it usually means the opposite.
One of the key takeaways that I got from Dr. Gundry is from his popular saying - rather than “you are what you eat,” he says “you are what you eat ate.” If you think about basic biology, a carnivore gets many nutrients from the herbivores that their prey fed on.
Greenfield and Gundry also say fruit should be enjoyed in moderation due to high sugars and carbohydrates.
This was taken right from the top of a USDA page. From what I told you above, you can see why the low-fat milk and the wheat bread goes against Gundry and Greenfield’s work.
USDA is in the business of agriculture, not a credible resource for dieting. They truly do not care for our health so they feed us this BS. Researching true health experts like the two above will show you what science and clinical trials are trying to teach us.
My workout system needs to be more structured with my nutrition plan tied in. For now, I’ll keep the point system but my focus will be:
My workouts will go in that order and 1 full Workout, whether upper or lower will be 4 sets of 4.
If I only have time for 3 sets of 3 or 3 sets of 4, I plan to make it up with 1 either:
For nutrition, here will be some keys:
I’m not as worried about carbohydrates. I’m glad I started by limiting carbs because it got me away from most processed foods. I will still strictly limit gluten and sugar, but eat more carbohydrates through things like sweet potatoes.
So, since I started my point system workout plan and nutrition plan, I think this is the longest break I've had. I decided to take a 3-day break after Saturday. I didn't have any more of an intense workout than usual but after the workout, I was also outside - longboarding, running, jumping, (a little bit of drinking), etc. and ended up super sore on Sunday. Even my neck, I had a strange sore feeling in my neck and almost started to think something was seriously wrong until it finally a noticeable amount of the sore feeling went away around noon today. I may have been overworking myself in my workouts so it was about time I took a break. I plan on starting to schedule 3-day breaks from workouts every 8 weeks, where my only workout will be some stretching and self-massages with balls and rollers to make sure I'm not overtraining. This is also something advised by Ben Greenfield in his book Beyond Training - I'm finding a lot of helpful advice from this book, the amount of knowledge he has from researching other experts and from his own clients is wild.
I also ended this break with a 22hr fast followed by a bunch of sushi - the only thing I eat that has rice and I'll have once every couple weeks. My blood-glucose level at the end of this fast was 72 mg/dL, which is the highest it has been at the end of a fast. My past 2 readings after fasting 21.5 and 22hrs before were 68 mg/dL and 70 mg/dL, respectively. My heart rate during this period was the same as usual, minus the 130-145bpm spikes during workouts.
Another new thing that I added is a green superfood blend. Specifically, this is Amazing Grass's Organic Supergreens Blend and 1 tbsp = a 2 cup mixture of wheat grass, kale, moringa, and spirulina. I plan on having 1 tbsp a day. I have at least 1 salad each day, which would be about half a bag of greens you would get from the grocery store and this added dose each day should bring me to 1 full bag of leafy greens each day. This advice I'm taking mainly from Dr. Steven Gundry - a former world renown heart surgeon turned dietician, but Ben Greenfield and Shawn Stevenson also regularly advise using blends like this.
Soon, I'm going to have to adjust/add to my supplements list. Peter Attia and Ben Greenfield highly advise creatine for almost everyone (at least 5g/day). Ben and Shawn Stevenson also suggest topical magnesium because mostly everyone is deficient and this helps with bone density. Another great tool for increasing bone density would be a rebounder, a small trampoline to bounce on, so I may get this rather than starting to take magnesium. Before I start spending more money on supplements and/or equipment, I feel I should structure my workout schedule...
It's been tough not to do any workouts the past few days but I'm pumped to wake up tomorrow, squat and swing some kettlebells and do some push ups before work.
Why “Twelve Paths”?
As I state on the “My Path” section of the homepage, they person who really sparked my interest in paying attention to health and wellness is Jocko Willink. He doesn’t talk about these topics often but every now and then mentions certain experts or what he does for his diet. Bing someone who (EVERY DAY) wakes up at 4-430, does insane workouts involving gymnastic rings, kettlebells, barbells, etc., trains jiu jitsu, and still has time and energy to work on his multiple business endeavors it’s impossible not to wonder how he does this.
Oh, and he does all this while in the midst of 24-48hr fasts, traveling all over to speak, and writing powerful books. So, I decided I need to start following his path. From there, numerous dietitians, physical trainers, and other experts started to intrigue me by talking about the benefits of fasting and the high fat, low carb diet. Over this year, I am focusing on 1 expert each month to get an idea of what experts (and the science) are saying about health and wellness. What’s fascinating is none of them learned in college what they are teaching today because they are taught how to manage and treat diseases rather than preventing them in the first place. So, a big reason for this blog is to share what I’m learning as well as what I am doing to be the best me I can. What we are taught in schools and what the USDA and AHA has been telling is is completely wrong for those trying to prevent diseases and/or actually lose weight.
My goal is to find out what methods are truly safe, effective, and sustainable. Calorie restricting for months at a time works in the short-term but is not healthy or sustainable long-term. I'm currently halfway through my third month of research (my 3rd expert being Ben Greenfield) where all month he is the only podcast I listen to and learn as much as I can through his books, articles, etc.
Anyone who truly is ready to do something about their health/fitness can benefit A TON from popular experts like the few I will share right here. These are some of the experts that I think deserve the most respect for all their work:
A health and nutrition expert who has roughly 20 years of experience working with clients and truly finding out the best ways to look good, feel good, and live a long life that way. Along with owning his practice, he is a world renown speaker and has one of the most popular diet podcasts - The Model Health Show where he researches other health experts, interviews them, and truly delves into what they teach and the science behind it. He also had a bestselling book, Sleep Smarter, which is a fantastic book talking about how sleep is just as important as diet and exercise and the science behind that - a ton of great knowledge on how your circadian rhythm plays an enormous role on hormone function which affects everything else down the line. He also gives great hacks on habits/tools to use to get better sleep.
I recommend Shawn Stevenson's book and podcast to anyone who is looking to live healthier in general - especially if you are interested in losing weight.
A physical trainer who teaches his fellow triathletes how to train while being healthy, whether it is through their exercise, nutrition, or recovery. He really goes deep into the science behind the benefits of High Intensity Interval Training, Cold Thermogenesis, fasting, and things of that nature. Ben has a ton of knowledge from his clients, his research, and most of all - the self-experimenting. He will tell you how micro-dosing LSD does things like enhance creativity in the brain and how putting certain lasers on your balls for certain periods of time will give you healthier testes. What makes him so interesting is his willingness to try all these things and research the science behind it.
Ben has a podcast very similar to Shawn's, Ben Greenfield Fitness and also has his website, bengreenfieldfitness.com. Ben interviews experts from all different areas on health and fitness and then shows his own knowledge of these topics through articles he shares on his website. He also has multiple books. The book I am currently reading is Beyond Training: Mastering Endurance, Health, and Life and is a book JAMPACKED of information on how to train for triathlons while also increasing your longevity. Most runners/swimmers don't pay enough attention to how they can train for these things without doing enormous damage to their bodies. Anyone who wants to work out regularly and do it the right way should really read this book if they want to geek out. Ben has really done incredible work to share all of his research on what works and what doesn't.
I recommend Ben Greenfield's website, book, and podcast to anyone interested in competing in anything like a marathon or triathlon, or anybody who does weight training regularly (which both Ben and Shawn would advice for anyone who wants to live long and healthy).
Peter is a physician whose training came from John Hopkins University and Stamford University. He started self-experimenting with longevity practices like fasting, exercising, and fat-burning diets and now he is one of the top (if not the top) experts on those three topics and has his own practice, Attia Medical PC.
If you listen to his podcasts with Joe Rogan, Ben Greenfield, and Jocko Willink, he shares the experiments he does and what he's learned. He also has his own podcast, The Peter Attia Drive, and his website, peterattiamd.com, where he shares his own articles, sign up for his newsletter, and more. I'm sure there is a lot more I should say about Peter, but I have not done nearly as much research on him yet that I have done on Ben and Shawn.
I recommend Peter Attia for anyone with an interest specifically in longevity or want to learn how to do the fat-burning diet the right way.
My biggest hope for this blog is to connect others to people like this that have already done a ton of research and can be guides to live healthier, longer.
Working Out Outdoors
My favorite of all my workouts is one I do outside.
A park by me has 9 workout stations from stretching to sit-ups to pull-ups/chin-ups to mobility work. The signs give me a a template for what to do and I follow each station. This morning was the only time I’ve started a workout there and didn’t do all 9 stations because I worked out there before going to work.
A full workout there takes me just over an hour and I count it as a 15 point workout. Some of the workout includes:
20 inclined sit-ups
20 parallel bar dips
There are several other workouts - about 1/3 core, 1/3 arm strength, and 1/3 mobility.
I do this workout at least once a week but I try for twice.
I hope to one day install at least one (if not all 3 shown) of these in my yard at some point.
I think it’s important to do some workout outside and, like I said, I think it is the most fun. Something way different from any gym and it includes some great mobility work. (...I’ve even done this full course barefoot...in the rain. Too much fun and also good for your health to go barefoot)
Yes, I do give myself 1 cheat meal each week and I try to stick to no more than that. My cheat meal this week was a gluten-free meatlover’s pizza from from a good local place across the street from me.
Half the reason why I got it was that I was excited to test heart rate and blood glucose changes when I eat foods that aren’t very “healthy.”
Heart Rate average (90min range before eating) - 60bpm
Blood/glucose (30min before eating) - 70 dg/L
Heart rate average - 75bpm
Blood/glucose (both 40min and 1hr after eating) - 105dg/L
For blood/glucose this really isn’t bad at all - it’s very normal and shows a low level of fat storage but not much. I don’t see any different numbers when I’ve tested with chicken salads.
For Heart Rate, 75 is still considerably low for a Heart Rate so it is definitely nothing to worry about but it is interesting to see how eating something can change my overall heart rate for 90 minutes after eating.
Today is the first time I’ve really checked my heart rate using my Apple Watch - here are my numbers:
Even though I feel like the Apple Watch and this app are not the best monitors and I can get a lot more information from other devices, I can still learn a lot from this. Given what I learned from the podcast I shared in the last blog post, it is great that my heart rate has high highs and low lows - when I need high energy I can access it and when I need to calm down I can do that as well, in a short range of time. I noticed when I would try to look at my watch and take a momentary heart rate, I would slow my heart rate down to mid-50s so I can’t get an accurate reading that way, that’s why I just took averages over an hour/90 minutes in the data above.
I’ll also share with you all the blood/glucose readings I’ve taken so far:
All of the high numbers are either right when I wake up or 2 hours after eating. The lows are all after not eating for at least 5 hours (a couple are actually at the end of a 22hr fast!)
All of these numbers seem like good numbers to me! Someone might say that 70 is very low but if I have no hypoglycemic symptoms and I feel fine, I think I’m managing the low-carb diet well and it has been treating me well too!
Best podcast that I’ve listened to in a while - and I listen to a TON of health podcasts.
Great explanation on what you can learn from looking at your heart rate. Great tool to use to see what you can do to live healthier, food-wise and lifestyle-wise.
check it out
This is probably my most difficult workout. I would consider it a resistance workout more than anything and I got the idea from Don Saladino, a physical trainer who helps prepare stars like Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, and Hugh Jackman for movies. https://themodelhealthshow.com/don-saladino/
Walk 1 mile outside with my 35lb kettlebell in one hand and 50lb kettlebell in the other,
alternating hands as you go.
I count this as a 15 point workout and I try to do this once a week. This was my 4th time doing it and I noticed a big difference, this time seemed easier than the other three times I've done this. This workout takes me roughly 45 minutes. One thing I did differently this time is I stopped counting paces. I used to alternate after 50 or 100 steps (depending on how tired I was). I'm not doing that anymore. I find it I go further without counting and I believe it's safer.
Post-Workout Berry Smoothie
My biggest things that I look for in a smoothie is that it 1) tastes good and 2) doesn't contain ice. Ice chips mess with a good smoothie.
I've had a 12 year old (who I would not consider a healthy eater... Sorry, Zach) try this shake and his only comment was that the "peanut butter taste" was too much...
Really all you taste is berries and almond butter and this smoothie is loaded with spinach.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.