Sunday, May 30, 2010

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Paleo In a nutshell

Here's a funny little video that should help explain why it is we do what we do :)

Monday, May 24, 2010

Body Fat?

Here's a common scenario.
You are following the CaveMan2.0/Primal lifestyle to a T. You are doing it all perfectly eating very clean. Hitting the gym regularly with good intensity, You IF regularly, but but you can't seem to drop that last couple of pounds of body fat. You feel great. You have tons of energy and are hitting personal bests in the gym on a regular basis, but you feel that you'd like to lean out that little bit more.
Or you could be guilty of the opposite. You started the lifestyle and the fat just melted away. Your performance was steadily increasing in the gym and you felt like a million bucks. You got down to your best weight ever, but that wasn't good enough so you cut back on your portions a little bit to see how ripped those abs could get. You got there bot now your performance in the gym has plummeted. All you max lifts are down by 30 - 40 pounds and weights that were easy now seem to weigh a ton. This one actually happened to me (twice!)  and it took me a long time to recover.

It's not healthy to to let your body weight drop too much. Your body needs a certain percentage of fat storage to operate at optimum performance and if you let those levels drop too much you run the risk of stalling your progress.

We all have a healthy body fat range, called Healthy Homeostasis, where we feel and perform our best and we should definitely judging where those levels are by how we feel not how ripped our abs are. This range is different for all of us and the reality of it is that you will most likely perform your best with a little bit more body fat than you would like to see.

This is not License to start letting yourself get heavy around the edges now. Keep in mind that we tend to be our own worst critics. What you see in the mirror tends to be 400% fatter than what your friends see when they see you in a bathing suit. If you are at your best performance weight I can pretty well guarantee that you will look much better than if you manage to push it to where you are getting too skinny. If you drop the body fat to the point where your performance drops, you will look like it! Trust me (just ask my wife)

Here's an excerpt from detailing what the average bodyfat ranges are average Joe's and Jane's and for elite athletes.

"Your Ideal Body Fat Percentage

The absolute perfect body fat percentage does NOT exist. Age and gender make a big contribution to the ideal value, but most importantly...
Everyone is an individual. Some people might feel and perform better at a higher or lower body fat percentage than others of the same age and sex. And that's why...
Ranges and guidelines exist. Have a look at the tables below. The first table gives the ideal body fat percentage ranges for the general population. The second table is the average body fat percentage for different athletes. The important thing to remember is...
Anywhere inside the range is good. Staying below the upper limit should be your target but as you'll soon see lower is not necessarily better.

Body Fat Percentage for The Average Population
AgeUp to 3030-5050+

Average Body Fat Percentage of Athletes
Basketball6-12%20-27%Shot Putters16-20%20-28%
Body building5-8%10-15%Skiing (X country)7-12%16-22%
Football (Backs)9-12%No dataSwimming9-12%14-2
Football (Linemen)15-19%No dataTennis12-16%16-24%
High/long Jumpers7-12%10-18%Volleyball11-14%16-25%
Ice/field Hockey8-15%12-18%Weightlifters9-16%No data
Racquetball8-13%15-22%Wrestlers5-16%No data
OK, have you worked out the ideal range for you? Great. You've probably already know the risks associated with falling significantly above the upper limit of this range. But what about the lower end of the scale?

Lower is Not Necessarily Better

A certain amount of body fat is vital for the body to function normally and healthy. In fact striving for a body fat percentage that is too low can be dangerous. Here's why...
Measuring your body fat percentage calculates your TOTAL body fat. This total body fat can be split into 2 categories...
Storage Fat -- This consists mainly of fat deposited just under the skin or subcutaneous fat. Storage fat for men and women is fairly similar. For the average man 12% of bodyweight is storage fat and for the average woman 15% of bodyweight is storage fat.
Essential Body Fat -- For the body to function normally and healthily a certain amount of body fat is required. This is called essential fat. For women the average amount of essential fat is 12% of bodyweight and for men it is 3%.
Trying to achieve a body fat percentage that is so low it affects your essential fat stores is NOT good for your health.
Some storage fat is also required for good health. It's used to protect internal organs in the chest and abdomen. So remember...
Aim to stay within the range for age and gender and rest assured you are taking one of the most positive steps to life-long health you can."

So my take on the subject is this. You have to take how you feel during the day and how you perform during your workouts as when you are in your ideal body fat range. Don't let what you see in the mirror steer you into dieting hell. I guarantee that if you are in the body fat range where you perform your best, that is where you will look your best as well. If you are leaning out and you have a couple of workouts where you just don't perform as well, try eating more and see if you feel better. I speak here from experience.

Bonus post! 
I  have been reading a great book on stretching, it's called "The Genius of Flexibility". It is a whole new perspective on stretching for mobility and performance. I highly recommend you pick it up. It will change how you look at stretching forever. It has for me so expect to see some posts on stretching and recovery to come up soon! 

Until next time


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Caveman Salad!

Here is one of my favorite recipes from my beautiful wife Meghan.

We love to take everything we're eating in a meal and throw it together in a gigantic bowl!

Caveman Salad
(every thing we eat , we eat mixed together!)

Hamburger Salad (serves two)
roman lettuce
alfalfa sprouts
garlic powder
1 pack ground beef (use what ever grade you like, I use medium to lean)
olive oil

  • You will need two pans, with olive oil, one for the meat and the other for the mushrooms and the onions. While waiting for the pans to heat up, chop and ready your mushrooms and onions. I say cut them the way you want to eat them. You could even through in some chopped garlic into the mix if you are a garlic nut like me. I use a medium heat for the onions and mushrooms , stirring them every few minutes so they do not burn on one side.

  • You can make patties with the ground beef if you'd like too, but I keep in loose. Fry it up into the heated pan and add your garlic powder and pepper. A few shakes will do.. (again if you are like me, don't skimp on the garlic). Consistent stirring/flipping, keep it on a medium high heat until cooked to your perfection.

  • While our pans are doing the work of cooking, and in between the stirring, lets get the salad ready. Wash and pat dry the lettuce and prepare it the way you like it. I chop my lettuce with a knife as I like how much it gives you, but feel free to rip or even have it big leafed, it's really up to you. Through the lettuce into the bowl (if this is being made for 2, divide into separate bowls.) With this prep, add your tomato , avocado and alfalfa sprouts. I like to make my avocado into a “guacamole” ,adding the pealed and sliced avocado into a separate bowl, adding garlic powder then smashing it together. Then putting it into the salad.

  • By the time you have made your foliage into a salad, the meat, mushrooms and onions should be done. Divide and add to each bowl.. Grab some wooden spoons and toss away. Mixing all the flavors together.

  • To add the final touch , drizzle some olive oil over top.
(if you eat dairy, grate some cheese and put it on top. Also, I sometimes like to add a teaspoon of dejoin mustard in the mix, very very good! Or, with the olive oil drizzle, squeeze some lime and enjoy)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

The miracle of fish oil

Last week I did a post on the virtues of Vitamin D supplementation. Today I'm going to tell you a little bit about Omega 3 Fish oil.

Fish oil and Vitamin D share a close personal relationship as far as I'm concerned. Seafood is the richest dietary source of vitamin D available and Vitamin D is a fat soluble Secosteroid hormone so it is a reasonable to believe that they work synergistically in the human body and compliment each other perfectly. For that reason I always try to take my fish oil and Vitamin D together. Usually at suppertime but that's just a personal preference. I do however suggest you take them with food, preferably at your largest meal of the day.

Omega 3 is essentially made up of 3 long chain triglycerides. A-Linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EHA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). A mouthful I know, and that's it for the chemistry lesson for today. Let's simplify...

EPA is a very potent tool in the fight against inflammation. It has cancer fighting properties, particularly skin cancer. It is necessary for brain health and is believed to help reduce the severity of schitsophrenia and help in the treatment of  mental disorders, ADD, depression and even suicidal behavior.

DHA is the most abundant fatty acid found in the brain. It makes up at least 50% of the weight of the plasma membranes in your neurons. This goes to show the importance of supplementing with fish oils during pregnancy and making sure that children get adequate amounts during their earliest years. Likewise DHA levels are higher in the breast milk of mothers who supplement with omega 3.
DHA deficiency is known to cause cognitive decline and DHA has been found to be depleted in people who are severely depressed.

There is  compelling scientific evidence that eating an abundance of seafood  has played a significant role in  the evolution of the human brain. Eating fish has provided our brains with the very fatty acids that make up the majority of the molecular compositions of our very brains. Saturated fat and cholesterol are two other very important factors in the make up of the human brain and they are provided mainly by red meat. It turns out that fish and red meat were instrumental to the evolution of the species.

Now lets outline some other benefits. lists the benefits of fish oil as the following:

  • Lower total cholesterol and increase good cholesterol “HDL”, helping to keep the heart healthy
  • Reduce  triglycerides to 40%
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Improve memory, concentration and learning
  • Keep  skin healthy and vital and fight aging
  • Fight the formation of thrombi
  • Reduce the risk of heart attack
  • Lower the risk for some cancers
  • Decrease symptoms of angina and heart palpitations
  • Be helpful in pregnancy
  • Improve mood and fight depression
  • Strengthen the immune system
  • Improve the symptoms of psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, Alzheimer’s Disease, ADD, ADHD, Crohn’s disease or lupus, schizophrenia, bipolar disorders, premenstrual syndrome and painful periods
  • Reduce the risk of macular degeneration of the eyes
  • Make cell membranes more fluid, prevent stiffness and deterioration (replacing saturated fats)
  • Be useful for the hormonal system
  • Help the body to maintain its temperature
Not to mention increased energy, better fat loss and sport performance and increased cardiovascular health.

Now it's plain to see the importance of Fish oil and, that Fish oil and Vitamin D together have been extremely beneficial to us on an evolutionary level. Taking adequate amounts of both will help to ensure that our bodies function the way that they are intended to and help restore us to or maintain perfect health.

Let's talk about how much

The actual amount of fish oil I would recommend it actually quite high in order to compensate for the amount of damage we have done to ourselves  living in a world where conventional wisdom tends to do us much more harm than good. As a bare minimum you should pick an omega 3 supplement with at least 400mg EPA and 200 mg DHA per capsule if you are taking the soft gels. Of these I would recommend taking at least 6 per day spread out amongst your meals. If taking the liquid stuff I recommend a minimum of one teaspoon per meal. This is a bare minimum and is for maintenance.

If you haven't been taking fish oil or have been eating a diet containing sugars, grains, and dairy the prescription for the first three months would be much higher in order to bring you back to optimal health. I could give you the mathematical formula but the easiest way to find out exactly how much you need is to link you to the whole9 robb wolf fish oil calculator. Click the link, plug in the information and it will tell you exactly how much you need. I use it, I use the maintenance because  have been using fish oil foe years and am extremely careful with my health but I do sometimes take double the recommended dosage if I have been experiencing stress or did a bit of partying.

There you go. The two supplements I don't think anybody should be without.

Friday, May 7, 2010


In the interest of preventing any of us from developing "dietary OCD". I feel that I would like to present a few base rules to make things pretty well fool proof when it comes to what you should eat, how much, and when.

After making the decision to fully commit ones self to truly healthy eating, one may become vexed with how much they should actually eat in order to loose weight and perform optimally.

The other problem people sometimes develop (which plagues me regularly) is the inability to actually stop eating, so without some outside factor telling them when to stop, they will just eat until they can't fit any more in. Now I have personally seen people still loose weight and come pretty darn close to their weight loss and fitness goals while eating massive amounts of food in each sitting (myself included) as long as they pay close attention to the quality of those foods they eat. But eventually one needs to realize how much they should be eating in order to perform optimally and not carry excess weight.

So here I'd like to present a few basic rules to keep things simple and guarantee you success.

1. Quality always comes first. - Always put the quality of your food as top priority. If you drove a $100,000 sports car you would only put the very best fuel in it. Treat your body the same to get optimal performance

2. Quantity comes next. If you use top fuel you will get top performance but eventually you need to realize how much you need to fill the tank without flooding the engine (sorry about all the bad car analogies). Here is an easy fool proof way to do this. Assuming you eat three meals a day, take your plate and divide it into thirds. Fill one third of that plate with protein and the other two thirds with veggies. Splash on a healthy fat source such as olive oil and you have a very well balanced meal. This is an extremely easy method that gives a very good ratio of all the macro nutrients.

3. Meal timing. - Meal timing is something more of a compliment to the other two. This mainly refers to intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting is a tool that is used to fine tune the other two but should not take precedence. I love fasting, it makes me feel great but if I get truly hungry, I eat no matter how long I have been fasting. Think of intermittent fasting as a means of tweaking the other two rules. When used properly, it makes the first two rules work more efficiently. But if you don't pay attention to quality and quantity IF will only get you so far. Use it when it is convenient to do so, but don't flog yourself if you break a fast it's not the end of the world and you have to listen to your body. It will tell you if you need to eat.

So there you have it. My hierarchy of nutrition. Quality, comes before quantity, which comes before timing. follow these simple rules and you can't fail. You'll feel great, look great and perform great in life and sport.

My next post will be on Omega three Fish oil and why I feel that everybody should be using it. It is part two to my post on supplements. Be sure to check in regularly and provide feedback. I always appreciate your thoughts and suggestions.

Yours in health and fitness

Monday, May 3, 2010


Please, I implore you to watch this video.

As we sit sedentary our muscle fiber build up a fuzz. This fuzz results in stiffness and difficulty moving. That's why we may feel stiffer in the morning because we have an entire nights fuzz built up in our muscle fibers.


Here at CaveMan2.0 we are all about movement. If you follow any of the principles outlined in my blog it is because you value your movement and want to move with ease well into your golden years.
So I think you owe it to yourself to watch this video. Better yet you owe it to the ones you love to show it to them!

Due to some technical difficulty, if you can only see half of the picture, Click here to watch it on you tube

I love you Megz and I can't wait to be back home with you