Transformation 5.0

Fat Fear, Balanced Eating, and Unlearning


“Often vilified and once bastardized, fat has gotten quite the bum rap over the last century. It is an injustice that dietary fat shares such a crucial word with the fat on your body…Thankfully you have an opportunity to end the days of fat avoidance. It’s time to bury the hatchet. It’s time to make friends with fat.”

That’s a quote from Relentless Nutrition, written in early 2013.  It followed up on (at that time) about 3.5 full years of well-rounded eating, fat inclusion, and positive health results from hundreds of individuals.

“For decades, it has been the most vilified nutrient in the American diet. But new science reveals fat isn’t what’s hurting our health.

That’s a quote from Time Magazine a week ago.

Finally.  It’s been a long, arduous journey of fat bashing (especially saturated fat bashing).  Skim this, 0% that, low fat this, no fat that.

One memorable moment drives home how deep the fat fear went.  Marissa and I started the Ancestral Health 215 meetup group to bring nutrition and fitness focused individuals together.  Round-tables were an event type we ran from time to time, when people got together, asked questions, and bounced ideas off of one another.

Keep in mind, as the namesake of the group indicates, there is a bias towards Paleo fundamentals.  And yet one evening as we chatted, the topic of fat came up.  I said my piece on giving fat equal dietary weight and presented some options.  The next comment: “Except saturated fat, of course.  We don’t want any of that.”  Sigh.

Today it feels great to see the science catching up.  It feels great to see this on the cover of Time.  It feels great that the days of fat shaming are over.

Slow Your Pork Roll

It is always important to place things in proper context.  That’s how you will stay healthy, and that’s how you will avoid more-is-better trends and subsequent yo-yos.

Just because you make friends with fat does not mean carbohydrates are the enemy.  I repeat: carbohydrates are not the enemy.

Small subsets of the population require ketogenic (extremely low carbohydrate) diets, usually for metabolic disorders.  Small subsets of the population require high carbohydrate diets, usually for extreme athletics.

Most of the population benefits from well rounded eating.  It’s as simple as that.

For most people, I recommend this starting-line meal fundamental: give equal representation to sources of fat, protein, carbohydrate, and non-starchy vegetable.  It ain’t sexy, but it’ll keep you healthy.

So please don’t use this as an opportunity to pound sticks of butter, a dozen eggs, and sheets of bacon.  Instead, have some butter, a few eggs, and a few slices and enjoy!

Well rounded will make you less round.


Day 22 Recap

The exercise world brought a much needed day of rest.  Steps and miles checked in at 14,674 and 7.88 (add 20%).

Monday’s workout was the one I knew was coming, the one that finally tore me down.  Significant soreness can be a good thing in the framework of muscle mass building, but I’m glad I built up to this moment rather than beginning with it.  The purely linear trend of increasing volume has reached its end, and now it’s time to get creative.  Instead of adding a separate strength workout (as I discussed last week), I’m debating splitting out one of my strength workouts (halving volume and placing the halves on separate days), or leaving things as is and shaking up the formatting.  Stay tuned.

Sleep checked in at 9 hours and 2 minutes (16 restless minutes).  Wednesday mornings are time for administrative work (not personal training), which allows leeway on wake time.  It felt great to catch up in light of the soreness.

The nutrition

Breakfast: Grass-fed yogurt, (28g) whey protein isolate, (5g) creatine, raw cacao nibs, chia seeds, coconut flakes, organic blueberries, banana, cinnamon.  Black gold.

Many have asked – aren’t you sick of this breakfast?  The answer is a resounding no!  It has become a routine, a ritual, that kicks my day off in just the right way.  If anything, I’m more tied to it than ever.  Remember that I cycled through many different yogurts and tinkered with toppings before finding the right blend.  Ditto coffee.  Now the self-experimentation has paid off, and I’m loving life in the morning.

Day 15 Breakfast

Lunch: Free range turkey (half dark meat, half white), organic sweet potato, fresh avocado, sauteed kale in coconut oil, kimchi.  The picture doesn’t look it, but lunch was huge.  I felt it the rest of the day, but I made myself eat as normal due to bulking goals.  The kimchi was delicious and courtesy of Jean – thank you!  Check the comment section of this post out for Jean’s kimchi recipe links.  I’m a believer – homemade kimchi does taste better than store bought.


Afternoon Snack: Rise Bar.


Dinner: Leftover free range turkey (half dark meat, half white meat), organic sweet potato (on bottom), raw mache greens, extra cayenne pepper, probiotic.


Daily Fuel

Human performance.  The art of bettering yourself.

Or in Joshua Waitzkin’s parlance, the art of learning.

Spend an hour listening to Waitzkin on the Tim Ferriss podcast, and you won’t be sorry.  It’ll fire you up to be 1% better and give you tools to make that happen.

To connect the dots in this post, which I am wont to do, Waitzkin might say that we first have to unlearn something – our ingrained fear of fat – to move forward.  When the kink in the hose is removed, water – and positive health results – will flow forward.


Image Credit: Time Cover –

Image Credit: Eat All –

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