Nutrient Density; what does it mean?

Eating a “nutrient dense” diet sounds terrific. Sign me up.  But what does it actually mean? Density in physics is mass per volume. So water is less dense than lead because one cc of water weighs less than one cc of lead.  Pretty straightforward. So what are we going to measure for nutrient density?

Another convert comes forward.

PaleoPathologist sometimes does bone marrow biopsies on patients. Nowadays the patient gets anesthesia (light, but really helpful.)  In more Paleo days we did marrows with a lot of local anesthesia and a lot of verbal reassurance, but it is an advance to be able to bring in an anesthesiologist.

Last time PaleoPathologist worked with this anesthesiologist, the conversation turned, somehow, to low carb. While memory has faded, there can be little doubt that PaleoPathologist’s ripped physique and clear eyed confident demeanor must have led to some questions.  Anyway, today he (the anesthesiologist) mentioned that he had cut sugar out of his diet, and all of a sudden has lost ten pounds and his blood sugars have improved. We discussed further steps including cutting out refined flour and a bit about omega 3 and omega 6 fats. Then I took out one of the personalized Levenger cards that PaleoPathologistMate bought for Christmas and wrote “Why: The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living by Volek and Phinney.” Under that was “How: The New Atkins for a New You by Westman, and also Practical Paleo by Sanfilippo.”

A partner at work has caught the Paleo bug and is spreading it there. Parts of PaleoPathologistFamily have also caught it. It’s like a virus!

What’s your experience been with low carb or paleo and your friends and family?

I’ve got rhythm. And so do you.

One of the interesting side effects of our modern tendency to reduce ourselves to very complex machines is to take the metaphor a bit too far. If I turn on my PC at work and leave it on for two weeks it just keeps going and going like the Eveready Bunny.  So if we just work it right, can’t WE just keep on going at a steady pace too? We’re just complex machines, right? Um. No. We don’t work that way, do we?  Steady state is for computers, not for humans. Our very biology is based on rhythms.

Tony Schwartz writes in “The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working” that our design is to expend energy and then to rebuild it. He references studies by Ericsson on high performers in music, chess, and athletics; none of the world class performers practice hard more than 4 hours/day and they also take breaks each 60-90 minutes.  Work, rest, work, rest. Oh, and the very best? They sleep 8-9 hours/day.

So what are these rhythms?  What is the time period–daily, weekly, monthly, yearly?  More often?

Exercise, article on how to add muscle

There is so much broscience in exercise that it is refreshing to find something based on whatever evidence there might be.  Here is such an article, that busts several myths about exercise.  (Their previous article, here, has some additional information.) There is yet another article that shows that doing high intensity weightlifting improves cardiovascular fitness.  Thanks to CaveManDoctor for the most recent link.

A couple of thoughts on sleep.

This weekend PaleoPathologist joined a bunch of other docs at a retreat to discuss nasty things like burnout, and good things like how to take better care of yourself. (We docs aren’t great about taking good care of ourselves.)

In particular we don’t sleep enough. Docs are famous for this and consider it a badge of honor to not sleep enough.

It’s not smart. We become less efficient. Here is a short video by a former Navy Seal (they also think sleep is for the weak) about sleep’s importance.

More to come…

How much protein is right? High protein, low, moderate???

This is an interesting issue in the Paleo/Low Carb world with a lot of opinions. There is also a lot of BroScience mostly from (Austrian voice on) HUGE (Austrian voice off) men who believe that consuming lots of protein and lifting only odd amounts of weight on even numbered days is the reason they are (Austrian voice on) SO HUGE (Austrian voice off.)

So here it goes.