Archive for the ‘Philosophy’ Category

Paleo Eats: Episode 1

Ok, so I had this idea the other day to start YouTube based Paleo cooking show.  I had visions of grandeur for the first episode, and then on a complete last second whim, we just filmed dinner and called it episode 1.  I do plan on moving more in the direction of my inspiration (Good Eats) as time goes by.  This was more just a fun little experiment.

Well, just know for now, that I intend to do better as time goes by!

Categories: Food, Paleo Eats, Philosophy

Is 2011 when the rEvolution happens?

For those friends of mine who’ve been forced to sit through one of my monologues about Paleo nutrition or my views on physical training with looks ranging from boredom to downright indignation, to you I say, “get with the trend.”

According to Outside magazine, Paleo fitness is the number one health and fitness trend of 2010.  I’m not one to give Outside too much credit as I tend think they’re wrong about a lot…except when they agree with me.

It will be interesting to see if a movement based in principles will take hold.  Ralph Waldo Emerson is attributed with the following regarding the value of principles.

As to methods there may be a million and then some, but principles are few. The man who grasps principles can successfully select his own methods. The man who tries methods, ignoring principles, is sure to have trouble.

This is, to me, why evolutionary fitness as a lifestyle, fitness methodology, hobby, etc. is different from so many fads before it.  While money is being made, methods are not being sold, rather principles are being discussed and cultivated.  The value isn’t in the list of “Top 10 Fat Burning Secrets of the Stars!” it’s in the logical framework of evolutionary health and fitness and the scientific method.  This is why 2011 might be when the rEvolution happens, not when Paleo/EF fades into the annals of faddom.

I’ll admit that in a jealous way, I wish it had all stayed underground and I got to maintain my counterculture status.  With that said, I can only hope that all the health benefits of EF find its way to the ailing American public.

Categories: Fitness, Philosophy, Training

Sometimes it’s just time to do it.

December 21, 2010 1 comment

I recently watched a short interview with Ido Portal in which he made the following statement about one of his trips through the US:

I’ve seen people obsessed with acquiring knowledge, but not really using it. … Somtimes its just time to do it.

I can, sadly, count myself among those, despite the fact that I’ve never met Ido. Do a quick YouTube search and you’ll find his physical abilities are insane.

Fortunately, before I saw this interview I had already gone out and done it.  This morning I woke up and took a quick jog with the dog and despite a delay with dog poop I made it a mile in a little over 9 minutes.  Now I don’t run as an end goal, it was just a warmup so I’m not looking to go longer or get faster with that.

What I was looking to get better at is my strength and mobility.  So I did 5 trips through a circuit of the following: (at a leisurely pace I’ll point out)

  • 15 count (~seconds) tuck sits on parallettes
  • 10 reps “air” squats focusing on form and maintaining lumbar curve
  • 15 count handstands on the wall focusing on hollowing out my body position
  • 5 reps of 95lb deadlifts focusing on form and keeping my back position locked
  • 5 reps of tuck pullups on the rings

This was actually quite taxing, and having done it on an empty stomach I followed it up with a hearty breakfast of sausage and eggs.  Thursday I’m going to get out and do another workout, which I haven’t yet planned but it will be similar.  I’m hoping this will get my shoulders stable enough to endure rock climbing again in the new year.  Also I need to get my back strength up and improve my thoracic mobility as I know I’d be in bad shape trying an overhead squat right now.

May you get out there and do it too!

Client Numero Uno

As an editorial note, I will be getting back to the “Nutrition Counter Culture” series, but not today.

One of the things I hope I’ve made obvious is that the process of self-interrogation (not the CIA kind) and personal improvement is important to me. This goes back to the concept of enlightenment and going beyond “self-incurred immaturity.” Kant’s word choice is a bit antique and maybe a bit vague. I take it to mean that there is a highest level of development that we are each able to achieve, when were aren’t their were still not fully matured.

Ability if a funny thing. If a mother lifts a car off her child under dire circumstances would it be reasonable to say that she is capable of lifting cars? I suppose the answer is yes, under the right circumstances, she is capable of lifting a car. So, two questions face us, “What are we capable of?” and “What the our ideal circumstances to make us the most capable?”

Client Numero Uno is me. I am my first training client. I intended to take this client to his goals by pushing him towards his maximum capability and finding what circumstances get him to that capability. I’m talking all third person here because if I have any chance of success as a “life coach” I must maintain a distance and objectivity to my subject. Can I do that with myself? Excellent question.

I am going to address the client (hereinafter CNU for Client Numero Uno) in a systematic building block way. The first stage is to figure out what CNU’s goals are and if those are reasonable and appropriate goals. The second stage is to see where CNU is relative to those goals. The last part of the planning stage is prioritizing CNU’s goals and developing a map for achieving them. After that it’s likely to be a lot of tweaking, learning, unlearning and rethinking.

I think that CNU’s starting point and goals will be familiar to a lot of people and it’ll be useful to look at his goals, legitimate and otherwise and see if I can find a path for him that might just work for you.

Categories: Fitness, Nutrition, Philosophy

Enlightenment, Again

So why the “ReEnlightenment”?  To answer that question we have to talk about the ‘first’ enlightenment.  Now to say “first” in the scope of human history is touchy at best.  For this reason I’ll point out that I”m only referring to the “Age of Enlightenment” of the 1600 and 1700’s.  This was a time of great change in western philosophy.  To say what it is I will use the brief definition as offered by Immanuel Kant in his 1784 essay, Answering the Question: What is Enlightenment?. Kant stated that “Enlightenment is man’s emergence from his self-incurred immaturity.”  This reminds me of a quote which is attributed to Socrates, “the unexamined life is not worth living.”  Kant seemed to have a similar feeling based on his motto of “Dare to know!”

Philosophers of this age made contributions which ring in our ears and form the basis of  the western social structure.  Included are such notables as Thomas Hobbes, David Hume, Thomas Jefferson, and John Locke.  If you are not familiar with these men, they made the arguments that established the individual liberties more persistent today than any point in history.  There philosophies, along with so many other ripples in the great sea of history lead to the Declaration of Independence, which opens as follows:

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness

The criticality of this statement of man’s rights to dissolve his political bonds and that he has the sole consent to his being governed cannot be overstated.  This inspired it’s own revolution and many that have come hence.  The concept of Natural Law is a theme I hope to come back to over time.

This political philosophy of individual freedom and self-determination is most important to what I believe is the second enlightenment or reenlightenment.  It is only through a desire to know, a freedom to ask, and the lack of coercion that the masses may secure for themselves happiness.  It is in the dissolving of the bonds of state and academically controlled thought through the flood of information in our current age that we once again are brought to ask if we consent to be governed by the powers that be in the form of ill-advised nutrition and exercise advise as well as how we are governed.

It may seem odd to mix such matters as health and politics but sadly the two are so deeply intertwined that a crisis in one has quickly followed the other.  I hope I’ve given you some scant idea what I’m on about and how this will carry forward.  I hope furthermore that it interests you.

Categories: Philosophy

In the beginning

In the beginning there was darkness, then there was light.  I’m of the opinion that the light of individual liberty is the lamp which shows the way to both personal happiness as well as justice and truth.

Despite this obscure opening post, this blog is intended to document what I know, what I think, and what I find out about a number of subjects.  I believe I stand on the shoulders of other wise people.  I want to bring what seem like unique lines of thought and  areas of investigation into a single point of view.

I’ve come to believe that there is a holistic view of family, nutrition, exercise, and politics that can lead us towards our best selves, if not our best lives.  There exists in the course of human evolution lessons learned by countless billions that in some small ways inform our instincts and biological nature.  It is the view of life through this lens of human evolution and progress that I think is just beginning to reopen our eyes.  It may just be that in my own life time we see health, happiness, and the general quality of life improve due to little more than the choice to have it so.

This opening does little to reveal what follows, but I hope my prose will pique interest enough to see what’s next.

Categories: Philosophy