How I Eat – Part 3 – Information Sources

This is the third installment on how I eat. If you missed the first or second post feel free to take a look.

How I Learn

There is so much information today and some say it doubles every two years so how can you keep up? My take is don’t focus on the quantity and figure out what it takes for you to locate quality that aligns with your purview. This is an approach I had to learn when I first entered the tech industry 15 years ago as a web developer. There was always a new framework, programming language, and approach being written about and if I spent time researching them all I’d never be able to actually utilize them in building products for my clients. What worked for me was taking a high-level approach and asking simple questions like: “what differentiates this language?” and “Is it trying to solve a problem that is unsolved today?”

This still wasn’t enough and I needed to find sources that I could trust who could summarize and present trends in the industry to me. This would free me up to work (aka bill hours) while also allowing me to stay current. It takes time to figure out the sources you trust and I spent years accumaling them via books, blogs, and magazines and today we also have podcasts, videos, and social to sort through.

Hopefully I can help build trust

I think I can help you build that trust by sharing my sources and then you can take a test drive with each of them and decide if they belong in your reference section or not. I did not have this starting out and there were plenty of blogs, books, and podcasts that had poor content, misplaced motives, and bad production. I’ll only share those that I recommend and save the hate for the rest of the internet.

My Favorite – Gold Seal

If I could only choose one trusted source then I’d go with Angelo Coppola from the Latest In Paleo podcast and Humans Are Not Broken. Angelo has been putting out great podcasts for years now and was the source my wife and both like to listen too when we began our journey to better health. At that time we were painting our living room and we played the back catalog which have aged well; he’s now over 120 episodes. What I like best about Latest In Paleo is that Angelo acts as a news aggregator around health so you always feel current on what is being researched, talked about, and presented in the news. And while he has his own views on these topics, like we all do, he presents a balanced perspective and often leaves me thinking deeper about an issue or ideology. Also, he’s genuine and not a constant marketer / pitchman and produces one of the best podcast out there. I couldn’t recommend him more. As a fun note, I was able to work with him at a tech conference breakout team project when he was still working in the tech space and he was just a cool dude; that’s actually how I learned about his podcast.

I want more Podcasts

When I was starting down my journey I also like the Balanced Bites Podcast. The production quality wasn’t great but these two ladies present good material. For newbies their paleo pitfalls podcasts are very good. Here’s Part one.

The Bulletproof podcast is one I really enjoyed when starting. Dave Asprey is a smart guy who brings many good topics to the stage although I admit I listen less these days as the marketing and sell approach has been too amped for my liking for a while. He’s coming out with a book about his branded diet soon that I will give a read.

Others:

  • Tim Ferriss – the guy keeps busy, shares good content, and is entertaining
  • Robb Wolf - he puts out SO MUCH content its impossible to keep up but the material is solid

I want to hear from a Doctor

I hear you, we get comfort when we listen to our doctor even though their nutritional training may not be much more than yours. Here are some books I’ve enjoyed.

  • Wheat Belly – Dr. William Davis – Is a great book and he has a blog as well.
  • Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth About Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar – Your Brain’s Silent Killers – Dr. David Perlmutter

Other Names

There’s loads more of course and I’m not intending on providing an exhaustive list but this is plenty to get you started if you choose too.

How I eat – Part 2

The next level – what I do.

Last post I started describing the approach I take with my diet. Today I’m going to get into the details. In general I keep it simple with “eat real food”. Images can be helpful for helping those starting out and I used to like this one when I started paleo. There’s also more expounding charts from folks like Dave Asprey and his Bulletproof Diet which I support.

Start your day with protein.

I eat 3 to 4 pastured eggs everyday cooked in grass-fed butter. Why? I believe starting my day with 30 grams of protein is key as well as avoiding carbs in the morning (thanks Tim Ferris). This alone is worth its weight it gold; if you aren’t going to go paleo, sugar-free, gluten-free, low carb, or whatever diet choice you still owe it to yourself to start the motor off on the right path and not by feeding it garbage and carbs in the morning. If we think of all the processed foods people associate with carb-based breakfast foods and then play a game of which ones we should keep its easy, none. Now forget ‘em! Yes, cereal is the devil’s food for your body in the morning (and all the time). With my almost minted MBA I’m happy to talk about the awesome business strategy that the cereal makers created. They not only created a new market that people strongly associate with breakfast but a market that owns an entire isle of supermarket real estate but c’mon that don’t make it good for you.

When you’ve done the protein you can play around with fat as well and nothing is better, or more yummy, than Bulletproof Coffee. Just be careful you don’t overdue it with both; that’s a lot of input.

Saturated fat can be good

If you’re my age you were raised after margarine was already omnipresent. I was raised on diet food, snack wells, and low fat everything. The science was wrong and the marketing by food manufacturers took it to another level and still do so today. I haven’t researched this but I wouldn’t be surprised if most Americans still carry a false view about the health benefits of margarine.

If they take something out of your food it’s processed. If they take something out and they replace it with something worse (chemicals, sugar, sugar substitutes) then its not better its worse. If you’re like me you were probably told how bad fat is and to replace it with man-made fats; the poor advice still continues, even on the Mayo Clinics website linking saturated fat with heart disease. I’m past that. Grass-fed butter, bacon grease from quality pigs, avocado, coconut butter, these are miracle foods and taste amazing. Live it up, be happy, feel full, and feel better.

Avoid sugar

Sugar is literally the devil. We used to eat this very little now we eat this much…really why? I’ll leave someone else to talk about the why, maybe sugar anonymous can chime in but know this, it’s also a main culprit for inflammation in your body and you don’t want inflammation in your body.

American Sugar Consumption

“Stephan Guyenet and Jeremy Landen, Whole Health Source”

Don’t drink your calories

No soda and for the love of god by this point I hope you’re done buying fruit juice. You want to juice at home, that’s cool. We do nice ones with beets, kale, a little bit of fruit.

Carbs and gluten

Gluten-free is the trend. I think it makes the choices simpler but I recognize the science is mixed on gluten sensitivity. And if you go gluten-free then you are allowing yourself to be cast with the lot that was on Atkins before this and the South Beach, and this chemical, that fad, etc. but be tough, you can take it. The idea is that you are probably eating way to much refined/processed grain/carbs and it has terrible affects on your health from blood sugar which leads to wheat belly, diabetes, unhappiness, inflammation.

Gluten-free is good way to avoid that.

Paleo

Paleo is a loaded word. On thing I have learned regarding health and wellness is how much comfort the masses have in labeling different behaviors and groups. I’m a crossfitter so that’s one area I get labeled even though how I work out matches what many of my friends do on their own; mine happens to be in a CrossFit gym. Like many crossfitters, I’ve experimented with the paleo diet. While I allow that my diet is essentially paleo what seems to stick in peoples minds is to label me as a meat eater. To me paleo is about eating real food. I don’t care if you eat beans, don’t eat beans, have under 50 grams of carbs for ketosis or drown in carbs. My wife is a pescecarian, not a crossfitter, and is paleo-ish as well yet all she hears about is how she doesn’t eat meat and eats a special way. It shouldn’t be that way, eating real food should be the new norm and my nutritional mantra is eat real food.

Know where your food comes from and why it matters

My wife was ahead of me on health and wellness (and so much more), she’s helped me grow in this space and so thankful for her wisdom. Sure we spend more on diet than those buying all their food from Walmart but it’s an investment. I’m blessed to be able to afford the extra cost for organic produce, grass-fed beef, pastured eggs, and food free from additives and hormones. However, while I acknowledge the short-term cost are higher I’d still contend that in the long-term it provides a cost-savings through less need of treating disease and also increases longevity; at least that’s what I’m counting on.

Watch documentaries, understand their biases, their potential for truths. See where this brings you. Personally it brought me to my belief that a happier & healthy animal provide better nourishment than a factory one; I now avoid beef from feedlots.

Be active

Walk 30 minutes a day, work on mobility, work up to intensity (HIITS) 1-2 times a week and some strength work as well. Me, I work out all the time but not for health but because I enjoy it. It’s my yoga.

Sleep

7-8 hours a good milestones – I use a fitbit to track my sleep. Metrics baby! If you aren’t getting good sleep then find out why. Do the sleep essentials that are out there. Dark, cool room, avoid media and blue light, avoid late night meals, play with taking honey, ZMAs, etc.

Learning

I’m a lifelong student trying to learn as much as I enjoy the ride we’re on. I try to take in as much information as I can and attachment myself to nothing; it’s all open for change.

Logging

I don’t believe we need to log what we eat. If you eat real food, start your day with protein you should be good. That being said I have found logging to be beneficial when changing something about your diet and find it essential when you are trying to understand your diet. There’s many kinds out there but I’ve liked LoseIt.

Well that’s enough for this post. I do have one more planned that shares where I go for information.

How I eat – Part 1

Last month I returned from my annual “guys adventure” trip. For 2014 we kept it fairly simple went to Colorado and summited two 14er’s and missed the 3rd 14er, Long’s Peak, because it was still snow packed and more adventure then we were looking for. The participants are a thrown together group linked by two guys who meet via finance jobs a decade ago. Now we have 7 years of trips and solid friendships between the Minneapolis and Chicago bases. It’s a great chance to get away, let the cell phones not work, and go back to the basics well busting each other pretty good.

One of the guys asked me about how he could clean up his diet and I was all set to fire off a fast response with my answer but stopped. What seems so simple turned out to be rather complicated. It can easily snowball into a ‘why do you believe this and that’.  For friendly advice I didn’t want to start citing my references and summarizing the past few years of readings, podcasts, and personal experimentation that have combined to formed my personal approach; so I basically stalled out for a month. I’ve never put this into words and expect that the first pass will be rather rough but I plan to return and refine and have this be something I can share to others in the future as they explore their own diet paradigm.

So as a disclaimer – this is my approach. It’s not proven, backed, funded, or gone through peer review. It’s meant to be an exercise in sharing for others to consider when finding their own approach.

I’m going to start big picture with my personal tenets.

Eat real food.

What’s real food? Food that comes from things that were growing, walking, or swimming and minimally processed like veggies, fruit, nuts, seeds, & grass-fed meat.

This means watchout for processed foods

What’s processed? Processed foods to me are foods that have been combined, assembled, constructed, or formed at a plant. How do you know? Does it come in a box or a package? Check out the ingredients and let that be your guide. A box of branded crackers will have far different quantity and types of ingredients from a bag of apples. For me this means avoiding tortilla chips (overly processed) and canned salsa (added sugar). The risk with packaged manufactured foods is that they have so many ingredients that are great for making food ‘shelf ready’ and leveraging our countries awesome food scientists but that is a step further from being considered real food. Take a walk at the store and check out the ingredients list on many of packaged foods and just look for the number of foods that have added in wheat, sugar, or corn. Now ask yourself if they need it and consider why it is in there. If you think its to make better quality food or healthier food then know that you and I disagree.

Experiment

Do I think fasting is for me? Hey, I’m a midwesterner, we don’t starve here! I’ll admit it doesn’t appeal to me on the outset but I’d try it. Being caught in the reasons or expected efficacy of something based on our personal knowledge can limit us from exploring the options out there. Does sugar sap your brain power? Stop consuming it for 30 days and see how you feel. Do you think avoiding processed grains is only for gluten-free wackos? Great, good for you; but what do you have to lose for trying it for 2 weeks? The point is that we don’t know as much about health and the effects of our food as much as we think we do and you are fully empowered to experiment and find the best approach for you. Just don’t start experiments where you digest batteries.

Whenever you experiment do follow Robb Wolf’s advice and ask yourself how you look, feel, and perform.

Be accountable for your health

Don’t look to others for answers on your health. I’m big on self-improvement in every aspect of my life. I don’t need to be the best at anything but I want to be getting better at everything I care about; it’s a core belief in how I live my life. How can we be accountable? For one, be informed, become interested. These topics don’t need to be an area of passion (but then again why not) but at least you can form the basis of understanding so you have an opinion.

Too many want to lean on their doctors for nutritional advice but that’s just not the place to look. Next people may look to the news media for information but there you’ll find news that is more focused on the headline than the research or may have a bad study to share. To solve this I personally find my own sources of wisdom and then always run these sources through my own judging filter. We are responsible for our own health.

My next post will share how I approach diet.

3D Printing

One of my hobbies is too assess markets and businesses for opportunity and growth. A market that has been hot is 3-D printing. It’s not a new technology and I’m sure there were 60 minute segments on it 20 years ago. But in the past few years it’s made that leap as something available for only for manufacturers to being available for early-adopters in the consumer market.

The printers are now consumer friendly in size, price, and use. I admit, I have not researched or worked with these printers but assessing markets as a hobby doesn’t require me to. The WSJ had an article  about this very thing. So what is the market for 3-D printers? For industry it’s a no brainer, the opportunity for prototyping alone is enough to invest in this technology.

Where else is there potential? When exploring 3-D printer manufacturers there may be something there but we’ve already started to see consolidation of firms in that maturing market. And ask yourself if you like where the consumer inkjet printing market has gone? I for one do not find it compelling and am uninterested in manufacturers.

Where the real opportunity may be is in providing the designs, the directions, the code, to producing whatever widgets people want to have at the moment. One example is folks on my development team who have used their printers to make devices that allow their iPhone to rest on their monitor for stand-ups  when working remotely. The potential to provide designs, or for a design marketplace that’s modeled like Etsy may be a potential area.

They’re are downsides worth mentioning here as well and that’s waste. When these printers reach the consumer market and potential consumer scale what will be done with all these frankenstein experiements? Where will they go? Plastics are already a problem, especially in our oceans. We do have this wonderful young man making a difference there. In the meantime, if you like to tinker and design I think 3-D printing has potential. As far as for me, I’m out.

Has it changed? Business Advice from Best Buy Founder Richard Schulze

A while back my MBA program’s quarterly published an interview with Richard Schulze,  the founder of Best Buy, about general business advice he could share to the alumni and current students. The University of St. Thomas’s Business School is certainly fortunate to have Mr. Schultze generating content for their publication (oh, not to mention the large gifts to the school).

That was in February and obviously a lot has changed in the business community regarding Best Buy with the CEO scandal of Brian Dunn and later resignation of Mr. Schultze as the Chairman. It would be interesting to learn if he would modify his original list of business advice from what he’s learned since the scandal. One potential tip that may benefit from some specific tweaking after the Dunn scandal was the fourth.

#4 – Have a Mentor

This one could also include be sure that key people have good mentors themselves. Not that a mentor would have stopped Brian Dunn’s behavior as one would hope he knew it was inappropriate but perhaps they would have seen the warning signs.

The buzz continues around Mr. Schultze making a play to take Best Buy private and for him to be successful it looks that he’ll be pulling this list out again. I think Best Buy still can have a retail play outside of the growth of Geek Squad and private equity may be the right play for it.

To PMO, or Not to PMO; That is the Question « Gonzobanker.com

This post from Cornerstone Advisors blog regarding PMO caught my eye last March. I had set it aside to go deeper on my thoughts of what is and isn’t a mature PMO organization but am going to table that for now. I will say that PMO is much like engineering in that not having the Steve Jobs “A” players will come back to bite you. A great PM and PMO office will save you greatly and a poor PM and PMO office will cost you dearly.

To PMO, or Not to PMO; That is the Question « Gonzobanker.com.