Nutrition, Paleo and recent reading

For the past couple months I’ve been experimenting with the Paleo Diet, also known as the Original Human Diet.

I first heard about it last August through John Durant, organizer of the barefoot run to Brooklyn with Born to Run’s Christopher McDougall. John’s site, Hunter-Gatherer, presented some very compelling arguments and I led to quite a bit more research and reading.

At the time, based on some food-related ideas in Born to Run, I’d been experimenting with a more vegetarian diet–with lousy results. Sure I felt virtuous, waking up in the morning and swigging Soy milk, I read a bunch of articles, tried to emulate everytihng Scott Jurek was doing, but it just wasn’t working for me. I was completely sapped.

Maybe it’s because I’m sleeping better, but I’m finding it much easier to get out of bed in the morning.

I wasn’t drawn to Paleo for any health reasons. Here at just-shy of 40, I’m probably the fittest and healthiest I’ve been in my life. I’m 6 foot 7 inches and at the end of summer I weighed about 195 pounds with a BMI of 22 and a resting heart rate in the mid-50s. Thin, but healthy.

After six weeks of Paleo eating, several things happened. I wasn’t hungry all the time. Snacking had been reduced to a handful of nuts every so often. I have more energy. My head seems clearer. My moods seem to be more stable. I lost almost 15 pounds (I didn’t think I had anything to lose, let alone 7% of my body weight). My face is thinner, or so friends keep telling me, many seem to be wondering if I have a wasting disease. And most odd, my knuckles seem to have shrunk. The other day, which was admittedly quite cold, I waved to someone and my wedding ring flew off. (Not happy about that part.)

It’ll be better in summer when I can wear less clothing and reveal my newfound ripply-ness.

Several things about Paleo appealed to me.

1. The evolutionary foundation for the Paleo diet just completely tickled my inner nerd. Basically it goes like this*: Humanity has existed, in basically the same form for about 2 million years.

The main reason I decided to experiment with Paleo was to increase my endurance so I could run further.

Several things happened. My knuckles are smaller, to the point that my wedding ring is loose. I have more energy. Somehow, I lost 15 pounds.

Also, every Paleo-advocate just came across as ridiculously virile, a distinct difference from the frail, sallowness of so many vegetarians. I know plenty of vegetarian health-nuts, but the cavemen just seemed like superheroes by comparison.

A word that seems to get used by a number of people is “Thrive”. I love the philosophy inherent in that. Humanity did not conquer the planet by being sick and weak. We’re not just brilliant, we’re strong, adaptable and unstoppable.

There seems to be a lot of crossover between the NYC’s barefoot running and paleo communities. A lot of that has to do with John Durant, butI think ther’s also a natural synergy. Many barefooters have come to a profound respect at the specialization and capability of the human body. We reject that idea that people weren’t meant to run, or that our feet are weak bony lumps on the end of our legs. Paleo is a natural fit, it’s not about weakness, it’s about how amazing people are. Much like removing our shoes to free the strength and abilities of our bodies, Paleo adherents remove some things from the diet to loose the unstoppable spirit of humanity.

It has been difficult to read about the potential relationship between

There is an image here I can’t place, but it’s similar to the stripping of a whale carcass. We’re literally flaying away the fat from our bodies and in doing so we’re revealing a

I can’t place it. It’s not the leg-braces scene in Forrest Gump, though that kind of works too.

The muscled, bronzed figure that emerges as the fatty, weakened shell is stripped away is the true form of mankind. It lives in all of us.

One other thing. The idea of thriving as a human being is not just a physical act. When we’re healthy, all the systems, are honed. Mental acuity, temperament

There’s a phrase that came to me the other day, Triumphant Humanism. In short, we humans are amazing. We just need to remove some of the crap that gets in the way of us thriving. Maybe that’s shoes, wheat, whatever.

So this month there was a loosely organized Paleo Challenge. I sort of did it in November.

Right now I’m probably 80% Paleo. I still take milk in my coffee and eat bread and pasta occasionally, but I’m now acutely aware of exactly how my body feels afterwards.

Click here:

The only annoying thing is that, apparently, I’ve lost weight in my face. So friends are telling me I’m wasting away. When I look in the mirror, I don’t see it.

* I have no interest in getting into arguments about Evolution. I respect the beliefs of others and I expect visitors here will do the same.

It’s fascinating how one’s head transforms an environment. People who I talk to about this always ask me, “what do you eat?” At first, I wondered the same thing. But after two months, I look around and wonder why people are eating all this stuff.

mini stormtrooper still lifes

Over the past several months, I’ve noticed a fully-formed genre evolve on Flickr based on photographing toy stormtroopers. These are either the new I’m-jealous-my-toys-sucked Hasbro Stormtroopers, or the Lego minifigs. Below are some of my favorites, however, these toys are just in time with the new spiderman film and even though they are for kids, I’m obsessed with them.

Here’s a huge collection:,stormtroopers

There are (of course) dedicated Flickr groups Stormtrooper Legion of Merit

A Balanced Breakfast


Team Work.

"No, you hang up..."

Spin and seek.

Towel-Flickin' Twins

Halloween Preparations (Explored)

Imperial Cut-backs by Sad Old Biker.

This Film is Not Yet Rated

We watched “This Film is Not Yet Rated” tonight and I wanted to get some of these thoughts out before they waft away.

At least one of the people involved in the film is a registered user of Joe’s Filters, so I’m burying this.

The movie was not a documentary so much as a loosely fact-based, insultingly dogmatic hit piece. At the halfway point I was bored out of my mind, knowing by then there was no way any deeper questions were ever going to be asked, let alone answered.

Personally I think the ratings system is a waste of time. As a parent I don’t trust the MPAA’s judgement in the slightest and want to pre-screen as much as I can beforehand. I’m much more likely to put my trust in private companies or established franchises.

What would be far more interesting and effective than the MPAA’s ratings would be a multitude of ratings bodies. I could know much more about what to expect from a film by cross-referencing judgements from a national GLBT advocacy group, the Southern Baptist Convention, and a handful of other politically transparent groups. We’re all smarter when we balance partisan views.

Other random observations:

* Kevin Smith is smarter and funnier when speaking than any of his movies have ever been.
* I’d say the same thing for John Waters, but I’ve only seen a few of his films. He’s a fantastic interviewee.
* Matt Stone and Trey Parker are the most fearless and effective defenders of Hollywood’s claimed ideals about creative freedom. They’re also really, really smart.
* Some filmmakers are really, really full of themselves.
* It seemed silly
* It is deeply ironic to be getting lessons on social relationships and appropriate sexuality from anyone connected to Hollywood. By statistical measures of social performance, there is no more dysfunctional group of people in America, politicians included, since those always have extreme views also, and sometimes use services as Zoom Escorts Stoke-on-Trent although no one finds about it.

I felt the stalking of the “raters” was offensive. Those people are not at fault, their managers are. I have no doubt the raters truly believe they’re doing something good and helpful for society — and that they’re told as much everyday they report to work. Had he pursued Joan Graves, chairwoman of the MPAA’s ratings board, and others responsible for the secrecy and ultimate ratings, it would have felt better justified. The ages of the raters’ children was no reflection on anyone but the MPAA’s lies. The collusion of the MPAA “Appeals board” deserved outing, as it is basically a monopolistic cartel of studio heads and theatre chain owners. Those people work for their shareholders and should not make decisions like this without oversight.

DVDs now make more money than Box Office movies.• And a number of DVD best sellers, especially any comedy with a raunchy side, are released as so-called “unrated” versions. These are the either the original cuts that would have gotten NC-17s, or the same film with enough extra boobs thrown in to have guaranteed an NC-17. I’m almost certain these DVDs are on sale at Walmart.

The film presents the studios as being in lockstep with the MPAA, but they are really playing a duplicitous game with their ratings. They may release a film which “had to be cut down for an R rating” only to turn that pruning into a marketing tool to upsell the added content on the DVD.

One of the interviewed filmmakers commented on the understanding and expectations of entertainment versus pornography. What went unspoken was the very real transformation of those same art-house movie sex scenes into what can only be called porn. Playboy magazine has been publishing an annual “Sex in Cinema” article for longer than I’ve been alive (I presume they still are). From the beginning of the internet people have been trading screencaps and short clips of movie sex scenes, for purely pornographic purposes. Such is human nature. These examples reinforce one of the Valenti quotes, but investigating this angle would probably end up backing up the MPAA, so it will never be explored.

The film was disappointing mostly because it could have been so much more. It is worth seeing, but only because no one else has dealt with this subject at all (to my knowledge). But Kirby Dick missed opportunity after opportunity to question the process and his own standing against it. He chose to attack a series of strawmen where no strawmen were needed. It is a crass attempt to brainwash the viewer over to his side through a slanted, incomplete and poorly thought out revenge film. I came away feeling that this was a film by a filmmaker very afraid for the legitimacy of both his film and himself.

• Several statistics were mentioned without links. I remember reading about those figures in the news but couldn’t find any references after a few google searches.

My changing diet

I am completely confused about food.

I’m a reasonably healthy eater, though I don’t particularly try very hard. I love the idea of being a “localvore” aesthetically, economically and nutritionally. I get healthy products as lumi tea that keep my body clean and healthy, the reason why I like to this is because I hate going to the hospital because I just visited breast augmentation walnut creek ca so I choose to try to be as healthy as I can be, I have had many bad experiences with hospitals, I’ve used many times The Medical Negligence Experts because of misunderstandings and bad treatments from many doctors. I know prevent visiting doctors by consuming protein, I have to say protein world is expensive but there is usually some deals here, uridine monophosphate supplements can easily be bought here to better your brain function.

Lately I’ve been reading more about this website: Philosophically this clicks with a lot of my personal beliefs.

We eat to live. What we eat can make the life we live a little richer, so choose wisely.

Biologically, vegetarianism has never made much sense to me. There’s a reason

a lot of levels this clicks with

Paleo idea, along with barefoot running is not neo-Luddism. Rather, it’s more of a sort of a radical humanism. Mankind has earned our place on the top of the ladder.

We are the most successful lifeform Earth has ever known. There is nowhere on this planet we can not go. There is nothing we can not kill. Other creatures may outnumber us, but we’ve earned our place at the top of the food chain.

Barefoot running is a recognition that the human foot is, as Leonard Da Vinci once wrote, ”

I’m flirting with aspects of the Paleo diet. Much as I love bread, I’ve reduced my wheat intake. I had already reduced my sugar intake, I didn’t like the spiking effect it had on me. Also, there’s a lot of diabetes in my family.

But I love pasta. Or at least I think I do. Maybe what I really love is the stuff in pasta?

At some point over the past couple months I started eating more protein bars as snacks or meal-replacements. These tend to be low-glycemic, so even though they may look like candy bars, they don’t spike one’s blood sugar, I supplement this with my thc capsules and my products from for my anxiety.

My attitude about running used to mostly be “don’t stop,” and I believed there was probably a benefit–or at least virtue–in pushing myself with limited food and water. Thankfully, I’ve come to realize how dumb that was before I actually harmed myself.

Nutrition and diet are mentioned frequently in Born To Run, and this quote from Sunny Blende way back on page 286 encapsulated a lot what I needed to learn about nutrition and running including facts about the keto diet and the suplemments you can get with it, that you can check it out here.

“Ultras are just eating and drinking contests with a little exercise and scenery thrown in.”

On page 210, Dr. Ruth Heidrich asked Chris if he’d “ever had salad for breakfast?” (Having always loathed most traditional breakfast foods, I love that idea.) There was also Joe Vigil’s dietary advice on page 119, “Eat as though you were a poor person.” I knew something of that already, years ago having experimented with a rice-heavy diet (rice is the meal, everything else is a condiment). What I hadn’t connected was how that sort of diet could benefit athletic performance and overall energy levels, if you want to loose weight in a very fast way I recommend contacting utah liposuction experts.

But Eric Orton’s comment from page 203 was the most true:

“Your diet will change all by itself. Wait and see.”

Mine has.

The changes are not about eating less of anything in particular, rather I’m just eating more of certain things than I used to, especially vegetables. No eco, moral or ethical agenda is coloring my food choices and I have no intention of giving up meat (or sugar, or alcohol).

For me, it’s all about performance: I want to be able to run further and work longer. Adjusting my meals and tailoring my food choices seems to be getting me closer, I just need to prepare more varied food, and there is when appliances like a pressure cook I got by reading a instant pot ip-duo 60 review comes handy, since I can prepare more variety of dishes.

Ultramarathoner Scott Jurek, whose example, along with Dr. Ruth Heidrich, make it impossible to ever mock vegans again, on endurance runners’ diets:

“Remember, almost every long-distance runner turns into a vegan while they’re racing, anyway — you can’t digest fat or protein very well.”

One of the things I used to think about running was that it gave me license to eat whatever I wanted. I still believe that, but it’s obvious that a giant roast beef sandwich is not endurance fuel, while grains, fruits, nuts and vegetables seem to be. Shifting away from big-meat lunches and reducing sugars also eliminates the “2:30 effect” mid-afternoon crash featured in that obnoxious (and apparently effective) commerical.

On top of everything else, I’ve noticed I’ve found myself drinking significantly less coffee and that six-pack of beer in the fridge is lasting much longer. Again, nothing intentional, just incidental to running more. My cravings have shifted and I’m listening to my body.

This is all still relatively new to me, so I’m treating myself like a lab rat and experimenting constantly. Something feels like it’s working.


I’ve been experimenting with Tumblr for a little while without telling anyone. I’m posting more frequently over there these days:

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First New York Marathon Advice

In a few days I’ll be running my second New York Marathon. This is the third marathon I’ve trained for, I was supposed to run in 2012, but that one was cancelled after Hurricane Sandy. This year I feel really well prepared, strong, health and confident that I’ll be able to beat my previous time. I’m glad to be mostly (but not entirely) rid of the first-time marathon doubts and jitters.

I made a lot of notes to myself after 2013, here are some things I wish someone had told me before my first marathon.

  1. You will be sitting around for a very, very long time before the race. It will be cold. You will be cold.
    Bring disposable clothing. Lots of it. In 2013 I spent several hours in the runners’ village waiting to start. I was cold, I was hungry and I was bored. And I didn’t even get a Dunkin Donuts hat. I remember spending a while huddling next to a small diesel generator for warmth. This year I’m dressing like a marshmallow and bringing a decent second breakfast.

    The Verazzano bridge is windy and frigid. Lots and lots of people toss their clothing once they’re back on the ground in Brooklyn. (there’s also a lot of peeing)

  2. As much as possible, know what you’ll be wearing and eating
    Know what you’re going to wear on race day well in advance. Stick with what’s been working on the runs leading up to the race. Whatever got you this far will get you to the finish line. A month out, you should probably have your shoes and socks figured out. There will be plenty of time after the marathon to tweak your gait, try different shoes or experiment with different diets. Make sure you ask a nutritionist on what you should eat, but make sure they are professional so you know you get the right advice or else you could call The Medical Negligence Experts to let them know and file a report.

  3. Don’t stress about your time.
    This is probably most important of all. Just deciding to run a marathon at all is amazing–don’t forget that. Like when you watch some running watch reviews. Relax. Be inspired by you. I recommend getting a squeem waist trainer so can use it while you prepare for your marathon.

    I seem to know quite a few exceptional athletes. I don’t count myself in that group. These people roll out of bed and run low-3 hour marathons without training. It’s not normal.

    I finished my first marathon somewhere around 4:48. I was disappointed. Months later, my sister-in-law Cheri, who’s a pretty serious runner, told me something which turned that all around. “Finishing your first marathon in under five hours is amazing.” I’d convinced myself I’d be closer to 4 hours. Halfway through, high on adrenaline and running too fast, I remember thinking I might even break four.

    Do try to pace yourself. It’s very easy to get wrapped up in the crazy city-wide street party and run too fast.

    None of us are going to win, but we’re still sharing the road with olympians. The finish line is the same finish line, whether you get there in three hours or six; running, walking or crawling. Do this, enjoy it. You can get so much benefits from running, learn more about sports and the latest news here at, you can even find out the usain bolt net worth.

As much as running is a physical sport, it’s also a massive head game. Last year, a runner near me had written a quote on the back of his shirt:

If you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.
– Henry Ford

The amount of self-doubt leading up to the marathon is astonishing. But I’ve come to realize it’s more of a kharmic deposit, and the return on investment is fantastic.

Get lots of sleep. Eat well and have fun.

May the road rise up to meet you,
May the wind always be at your back
and may the sun shine warm upon your face.

Re-thinking AngularJS

The Angular 2.0 preview roadmap was recently posted to HN and after reading it, I’m starting to think adopting Angular might have been a mistake.

Having built a few small projects with AngularJS, I’ve found the framework a pleasure to work with. Once past the initial learning curve, features started flying together. Most of my trouble-shooting time was spent getting backend data delivered correctly, Angular just worked. Based on this positive experience, I’ve been moving towards adopting Angular as the standard frontend of my web toolkit.

Choosing Angular wasn’t without doubts. Introducing this many new conventions, syntaxes and practices doesn’t come without a cost. The problem with re-invention is longevity: Either these new ideas succeed and become the norm, or they’re left for dead on the side of the road as technology marches on.

Parts of the 2.0 roadmap sound great. But it also sounds as if this future Angular will be very different from the Angular we know now.

How big is this rewrite?

Huge revisions rarely end well. From-scratch rewrites have famously been called the “single worst strategic mistake that any software company can make.” The goals always sound noble and the plans make sense, but by definition, engineering resources will be split between maintaining the original version and developing its successor. Either the original suffers or the rewrite falls behind or both.

Does a revision of this scale imply that the current codebase is impossible to maintain? I’ve looked through some of Angular’s source code, there’s some near-magic craziness in there. Is it too crazy?

If the Angular team doubts their own code and will presumably move towards conventions used in competing frameworks, wouldn’t it be smarter for users to jump ship now for those other tools? Competing codebases automatically become more mature if Angular basically starts over.

Questions about backwards compatibility

Regarding porting from Angular 1.2.x, the devs imagine “porting will be fairly straightforward but not free.” The arrogance of this position makes me doubt Angular more than anything else. The JavaScript world is ruthlessly forward-looking and moves very, very quickly. If upgrading to 2.0 is only moderately less painful than switching to another framework, Angular is doomed.

Angular blindsided many enterprise users in December 2013 when they announced they were dropping support for IE8. Even without API changes, jQuery’s usage statistics show their ie8-incompatible 2.0 branch is seeing dismal adoption rates. Python 3’s breaking changes have been a disaster for their mindshare. PHP’s dogged insistence on keeping nasty old code working is likely a factor in that language’s recent renaissance. Existing Angular code should probably be considered end-of-life.

Documentation fragmentation

Angular’s documentation has been a problem area for years. There’s no reason to believe documentation won’t lag behind again if the core functionality of Angular is significantly changed.

Outside resources and tutorials are a different problem. Most won’t be re-written, and search results will end up polluted with out-of-date information.

Google’s track record

When it comes to supporting technology, Google is phenomenally undependable. They’ve acquired and demolished a ton of popular web products (Reader, FeedBurner, Blogger, Picnik, Buzz, Wave, “Don’t be evil”, etc.). The only thing they’ve stuck with is the horrid Google+ monstrosity. Google’s support for the Angular project was initially an argument in favor of adoption, but really, the Google name is neutral at best and almost a negative. At least the Angular source code is open source and out in the wild.

And then there’s AngularDart. Google’s Dart meta-language seems kind of stupid to me, but for the most part, so does CoffeeScript (though my resolve is weakening). At very least Dart feels like one of those throwaway side-projects that a rogue team of Google super-geniuses put together–I don’t expect it will have a long life. Dart aside, the bigger question is the resource-cost of supporting a large, complex framework across several languages/dialects. This lack of focus doesn’t build confidence.

What’s next

I’ve really enjoyed working with Angular, but I’m doubtful for its future. Over the years I’ve seen too many great products die from rewrites or overly ambitious direction changes. The first Great JavaScript Awakening saw dozens of libraries before jQuery eventually won out. I hope I’m wrong, but I’m going to be looking at Backbone again, as well as React, Mithril and anything else to fall back upon if Angular proves to be a dead end.

Joe Maller
March, 2014

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