Monday, December 31, 2007

Day 176: Peace Out 2007

Ah, the holidays are almost over! Jan 2 is my favorite day of the year, when the madness is over, and this coming year on that date I am heading to Islamadora, 20 miles south of Key Largo, to Snorkel with my Dad. An auspicious start to the new year, and when I get back I will start working on my resolution: 159 lbs and under 10% bodyfat by March 21. So far, nothing and I mean, Nothing seems to be budging my weight from 165-168, feast or famine, I seem to have reached my set point, but I am going to make a mighty effort to break past it.

Block Target = New Years

Block Total = New Years

Time: 9:49

Sunday, December 30, 2007

New Blog in Town: Chad's DoomsDay Zombie Fitness

CFO Athlete Chad F has a new blog.

Check it out!

11AM 1 cup milk = 1 block

5 rounds for time of:
500 meter Row
50 Squats
30 Back extensions

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Day 174

3 Rounds
500 M Row
30 BW Bench Press
Time: 41:06

Block Total = 17 +1x fat, too much carb (alcohol)

Friday, December 28, 2007

Day 173: Back From the Negative Zone

I finally ate in the zone yesterday, and I feel great! It is amazing how good it makes you feel, and how hard it is to kick the crack (refined carb) habit once it gets going. It is like a drug addiction in a very real way.

7AM 1 cup milk,2 slices whole wheat bread,.5 cup fruit, 2 eggs, hamburger patty, 2 pat butter = 5 blocks

11AM ISS Oh Yeah! Bar (highly recommended) = 3 blocks +1x fat

3PM buttermilk chicken & creamed spinach = 4 blocks +2x fat

8PM Fish n veggies, 2 slices whole wheat toast = 4 blocks

Block Target = 17 +.5x fat

Block Total = 16 blocks +.75x fat

5K Row DNF

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Day 172: Crack House Confessional

Like many, I sort of fell apart over the holidays. I managed a few workouts, nothing spectacular and ate the following foods, among others:

Fried Chicken
French Fries
Lots of Bread
Artichoke Dip
Pigs in a blanket
and ... CHOCOLATE!


7AM .5 cup 2% milk = .5 blocks

9AM "Fitness Fanatic" = 7 blocks

3PM Indian Dal and Lamb = 4 blocks

Block Target = 17 +.5x fat

Block Total = 11.5 blocks



Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Day 171

"CrossFit Total"
Squat: 250
Press: 150
Deadlift: 325
Total: 725

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Friday, December 21, 2007

Day 166: Adventures in Hypothermia

Here is one way to burn calories: ride a few hundred miles, mostly before dawn, in the rain in freezing cold conditions. I am not sure how many calories, exactly, this burns but it has to be lot. Brr... Good news is the steed held up well to the shakedown cruise. No problems, pretty good for a 22 year old bike!

What I ate today could not even be called zone. Let's not even pretend. I had two huge meals rich in saturated fat and refined carbs. At least they had protein in them.

None, but rode 200 miles.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Day 164: CrossFit East Bay @ Ironworks

I will be teaching CrossFit classes at Ironworks climbing Gym in Berkeley starting January 12th, 2008. Class Times will be Saturday and Sunday at 11AM. Mighty civilized of me, huh? If you are a member of Ironworks, the classes will be free. Pricing is HERE, and you might want to join now if you have been thinking about it, rates are going up. If you do sign up make sure to tell them I sent you please. The drop-in fee is a mere $10.00 and you can get a day pass for $16.00, so you can CrossFit then climb, or visa-versa. Mark your calendar and come to the first class!

5AM 1 cup 2% milk

11AM BIG Breakfast Sandwich = 5 blocks +2x fat

2PM .5 cup 2% milk = .5 block

Block Target = 18 +.5x fat

"Badger" (Actually Laura and I did "Beaver" on the rower)
Time: 35:45 (power clean)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Day 163: First Workout Back

No possibility of setting any records on Fran today. I just want to get in and do a WOD. I think I will do it with 45# and shoot for 10 minutes, very mild, just need to get my mojo back.

5AM 1 cup 2% milk


Block Target = 18 blocks +.5x fat

Block Total = 20 + extra carb

"Fran" (45#)
Time: 5:44

Monday, December 17, 2007

Day 163: Moose Milk Does A Body Good?

Milk is big part of my diet. I find it easy to stay in the zone by including milk, since it is a zone-perfect food, low gi and in the right proportions. I favor 2% milk, however 1% milk is actually recommended by Dr. Sears. European ancestry is helpful for milk tolerance, as we have developed the genetic ability to digest it as adults over the last 5-9000 years. Most people tolerate yogurt however it is not as convenient. If you are lactose intolerant you might try Goat's Milk, or Sheep, Camel Horse, Moose or Seal Milk.

I am down to 165.9 at least for a moment. This is not really a good thing, post-sickness I am quite weakened, and have not yet worked out, so I don't know how bad the damage is. I'll make up the walking lunges today and see how that goes. I did not eat enough yesterday and ended up sleeping 12 hours. As I said yesterday my only goal for this week is to recover from being sick and to listen to my body, I guess that is what I needed.

6AM 1 Cup 2% milk = 1 block

8AM Breakfast Sandwich with Salmon = 4 blocks

Noon 1 lb mixed vegetables in butter sauce, 6 oz Leg of Lamb = 4 blocks +1x fat

5PM 1 slice bread, hummus, ham = 2 blocks

9PM Dal Masalla, Lamb = 4 blocks

Block Target = 18 blocks +.5x fat

Block Total = 15 blocks

Workout: None

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Day 162: Climbing Back Out

Today is my first day post-sick of feeling normal. I lost some bodyfat from being sick, my scale reads a tiny bit shy of my lowest bodyfat reading since I started this process, and my waist measurements are as low as they have been as well. However I'm still at 168, my body just does not seem to want to go below this and it is frustrating. In any case I don't really feel like trying to be disciplined right now, I just want to get back to normal health, so for the next week, I am going to just try to do the WODs as RX, not trying to achieve any mind-blowing times here. I'll try to stick to 18 blocks +.5x fat, but I'm not going to really restrict myself. If I feel like I need more, or less, or more carbs, I'm not going to argue with my body, I just want to feel 100% by the end of the week. That's my current goal.

I probably will do Lau's evil sandbag workout on Monday: 21-15-9 100# Sandbag C&J/Box Jump 24". On the other hand I might just take off to parts unknown on my new ride, pictured above.

Block Target = 18 +.5x Fat

Block Total = 12

7AM Breakfast Sandwich with Salmon = 4 blocks

11AM Builder Bar = 3 blocks

2PM Trader Joe's Flatbread Pizza, 1 oz lamb = 5 blocks

400 Meter Walking Lunge

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Day 162: One Way To Lose Weight (Not Recommended )

Good News: Down to lowest Recorded weight (166)!

Bad News: From getting the stomach flu. Horrid.

The last few days have been a wash due to sickness. I'll get back to fanatically documenting everything tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Paleo No-No?

Those of you who follow this blog know of my disenchantment with the Paleolithic Diet. It seems that we have, indeed, evolved to the point where we are not genetically indistinguishable from our paleolithic ancestors, which is the central tenet of the paleo diet:

Rapid acceleration in human evolution described
Mon Dec 10, 2007 5:43pm EST

By Will Dunham

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Human evolution has been moving at breakneck speed in the past several thousand years, far from plodding along as some scientists had thought, researchers said on Monday.

In fact, people today are genetically more different from people living 5,000 years ago than those humans were different from the Neanderthals who vanished 30,000 years ago, according to anthropologist John Hawks of the University of Wisconsin.

The genetic changes have related to numerous different human characteristics, the researchers said.

Many of the recent genetic changes reflect differences in the human diet brought on by agriculture, as well as resistance to epidemic diseases that became mass killers following the growth of human civilizations, the researchers said.

For example, Africans have new genes providing resistance to malaria. In Europeans, there is a gene that makes them better able to digest milk as adults. In Asians, there is a gene that makes ear wax more dry.

The changes have been driven by the colossal growth in the human population -- from a few million to 6.5 billion in the past 10,000 years -- with people moving into new environments to which they needed to adapt, added Henry Harpending, a University of Utah anthropologist.

"The central finding is that human evolution is happening very fast -- faster than any of us thought," Harpending said in a telephone interview.

"Most of the acceleration is in the last 10,000 years, basically corresponding to population growth after agriculture is invented," Hawks said in a telephone interview.

The research appears in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


The researchers looked for the appearance of favorable gene mutations over the past 80,000 years of human history by analyzing voluminous DNA information on 270 people from different populations worldwide.

Data from this International HapMap Project, short for haplotype mapping, offered essentially a catalogue of genetic differences and similarities in people alive today.

Looking at such data, scientists can ascertain how recently a given genetic change appeared in the genome and then can plot the pace of such change into the distant past.

Beneficial genetic changes have appeared at a rate roughly 100 times higher in the past 5,000 years than at any previous period of human evolution, the researchers determined. They added that about 7 percent of human genes are undergoing rapid, relatively recent evolution.

Even with these changes, however, human DNA remains more than 99 percent identical, the researchers noted.

Harpending said the genetic evidence shows that people worldwide have been getting less similar rather than more similar due to the relatively recent genetic changes.

Genes have evolved relatively quickly in Africa, Asia and Europe but almost all of the changes have been unique to their corner of the world. This is the case, he said, because since humans dispersed from Africa to other parts of the world about 40,000 years ago, there has not been much flow of genes between the regions.

(Editing by Sandra Maler)

© Reuters 2007. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by caching, framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters and the Reuters sphere logo are registered trademarks and trademarks of the Reuters group of companies around the world.
Reuters journalists are subject to the Reuters Editorial Handbook which requires fair presentation and disclosure of relevant interests.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Most Amazing Thing. Ever.

I have done a bit of skydiving which is incredibly thrilling, but this is the most amazing thing I have EVER seen. Enjoy! Check THIS out too!

8AM 1 cup milk = 1 block

10AM 1 egg, 4.5 oz pork loin, 2 slices diabetic lifestyles bread = 4 blocks

2PM Muscle Milk Bar = 3 blocks

Block Target = 14 blocks

Block Total =


Monday, December 10, 2007

14 Block Diet Day Eight: weigh-in

I seem solidly stuck at 170 lbs, however I have lost about 1/2 an inch on my waist this week, and my BF scale reads 13%, almost the lowest it has ever been. Perhaps the insane thruster/SDHP workout did something odd to my metabolism.

I'll try again to stick to the diet (fell off last few days) and avoid alcohol, see if that helps. There are a few holiday event coming up, it might be tough to do.

Block Target = 14 blocks

Blocks Total = 17 blocks
Workout: Press 3-3-3-3-3-3-3

Sunday, December 9, 2007

14 Block Diet Day Six: F minus

I got a motorcycle today and my OCD kicked in. No time for anything else.

Block Target = 17

Block Total = 22 +1x fat

Workout: none

Saturday, December 8, 2007

14 Block Diet Day Six: Cheat Day!

Kettlebell seminar today @ CFO. Fun. Somewhat amusing hearing people who don't know about CrossFit talk about generalized fitness. I ate a chocolate donut right before this, it was tasty, but I felt woozy for the first hour. Next time I eat a donut, I will have it with a protien source. 1 donut + egg white omelett = about 4 blocks +2x fat.

Cheat Day!

9AM Waffle, 2 eggs, 2 slice bacon, 2 small sausage, butter = 5 blocks +3x fat

11AM Chocolate Donut = .5 block protein, 3.5 blocks carb 10 blocks fat

3PM TJ's Wrap with 1/2 bread removed = 4 blocks

4PM builder bar = 3 blocks

Block Target = Any

Block Total =

Workout: Deadlift 3-3-3-3-3

Kettlebell Seminar

Friday, December 7, 2007

14 Block Diet Day Five

I got a comment yesterday that the article posted was short on sources. here is a more comprehensive one from Quackwatch.

"Organic" Foods:
Certification Does Not Protect Consumers

Stephen Barrett, M.D.

If you, as a consumer, want to purchase a fake or a fraud of one kind or another, should your government guarantee your right to do so? More than that, is your government obligated to prosecute one who, knowing of your propensity for fraud, tricks you into buying the genuine in place of buying the fake? Remembering that "your government" is all the rest of us, is it right for you to take our time and money to underwrite such ridiculous exercises as making sure you are cheated when you want to be cheated? And must we penalize the man who breaks his promise to cheat you?

These astute questions were raised in 1972 by Dick Beeler, editor of Animal Health and Nutrition, who was concerned about laws being adopted in California and Oregon to certify "organic" foods. Those laws signaled the beginning of efforts that culminated in 1990 with passage of the U.S. Organic Foods Production Act (OFPA), which ordered the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to set certification standards. Although USDA had opposed passage of the act, the Alar scare plus a campaign by environmental, consumer, and farm groups persuaded Congress to include it in the 1990 Farm Bill [1].
As directed by the law, the Secretary of Agriculture established a National Organic Standards Board to help develop a list of substances permissible in organic production and handling and to advise the Secretary on other aspects of implementing a National Organic Program. In 1992, the Secretary appointed 15 people, 8 of whom were industry members. The board held 12 full-board meetings and 5 joint committee meetings and received additional input through public hearings and written submissions from interested persons. It presented its recommendations to the Secretary in 1994 and issued 30 subsequent addenda. Regulations were proposed in 1997, modified in 1998, and are now in effect. As of October 21, 2002, producers who meet USDA standards are permitted to display the seal pictured here on their packaging.

Total retail sales of the organic industry reportedly rose from $1 billion in 1990 to $7.8 billion in 2000 [3]. "Certified" organic cropland production expanded from about 400,000 acres in 1992 to 1,350,000 in 1999 [2]. Despite this growth, the organic industry represents a very small percentage of total agricultural production and sales—only about 0.3% of U.S. cropland and 0.2% of U.S. pasture was certified organic in 2001 [3,4].
Nebulous Definitions

The term "organic foods" refers to the methods used to produce the foods rather than to characteristics of the food themselves. The most common concept of "organically grown" food was articulated in 1972 by Robert Rodale, editor of Organic Gardening and Farming magazine, at a public hearing:

Food grown without pesticides; grown without artificial fertilizers; grown in soil whose humus content is increased by the additions of organic matter, grown in soil whose mineral content is increased by the application of natural mineral fertilizers; has not been treated with preservatives, hormones, antibiotics, etc. [5]

In 1980, a team of scientists appointed by the USDA concluded that there was no universally accepted definition of "organic farming." Their report stated:

The organic movement represents a spectrum of practices, attitudes, and philosophies. On the one hand are those organic practitioners who would not use chemical fertilizers or pesticides under any circumstances. These producers hold rigidly to their purist philosophy. At the other end of the spectrum, organic farmers espouse a more flexible approach. While striving to avoid the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, these practitioners do not rule them out entirely. Instead, when absolutely necessary, some fertilizers and also herbicides are very selectively and sparingly used as a second line of defense. Nevertheless, these farmers, too, consider themselves to be organic farmers [6].

Passage of the Organic Foods Production Act forced the USDA to develop an official definition. On December 16, 1997, the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service proposed rules for a National Organic Program [7]. The proposal applied to all types of agricultural products and all aspects of their production and handling, ranging from soil fertility management to the packaging and labeling of the final product. The proposal included: (a) national standards for production and handling, (b) a National List of approved synthetic substances, (c) a certification program, (d) a program for accrediting certifiers, (e) labeling requirements, (f) enforcement provisions, and (g) rules for importing equivalent products. The proposed rule defined organic farming and handling as:

A system that is designed and managed to produce agricultural products by the use of methods and substances that maintain the integrity of organic agricultural products until they reach the consumer. This is accomplished by using, where possible, cultural, biological and mechanical methods, as opposed to using substances, to fulfill any specific function within the system so as to: maintain long-term soil fertility; increase soil biological activity; ensure effective pest management; recycle wastes to return nutrients to the land; provide attentive care for farm animals; and handle the agricultural products without the use of extraneous synthetic additives or processing in accordance with the Act and the regulations in this part.

The weed and pest-control methods to which this refers include crop rotation, hand cultivation, mulching, soil enrichment, and encouraging beneficial predators and microorganisms. If these methods are not sufficient, various listed chemicals can be used. (The list does not include cytotoxic chemicals that are carbon-based.) The proposal did not call for monitoring specific indicators of soil and water quality, but left the selection of monitoring activities to the producer in consultation with the certifying agent.

For raising animals, antibiotics would not be permitted as growth stimulants but would be permitted to counter infections. The rules permit up to 20% of animal feed to be obtained from non-organic sources. This was done because some nutrients (such as trace minerals) are not always available organically. Irradiation, which can reduce or eliminate certain pests, kill disease-causing bacteria, and prolong food shelf-life, would be permitted during processing. Genetic engineering would also be permissible.

Health-food-industry trade and consumer publications expressed widespread dissatisfaction with the 1997 proposal. The Henry A. Wallace Institute for Alternative Agriculture, for example, called it "Fatally flawed." [8] The Organic Farmers Marketing Association stated:

The definition of organic as written in the proposed national organic standards lacks the holistic approach central to organic practices. The proposed rules take a reductionist approach to organic food production that eliminates key concepts such as the health of the agro-ecosystem and biodiversity on the farm.

The USDA received more than 270,000 comments on the proposed rules [9]. One distributors' association official wrote that if the rules are implemented, its members would seek to buy its agricultural products from foreign sources. Others complained that the proposed fees were too high. Other objections included permitted use of amino acids as growth promoters, antibiotics (when necessary to save the animal's life), synthetic animal drugs, food additives, and animal feed from non-organic sources. Certification agencies with "higher standards" objected that they would be prohibited from stating this on their labels. Some poultry farmers objected to provisions enabling intermingling of range-free poultry and other poultry. However, the vast majority of the objections pertain to the provisions that permitted irradiation, genetic engineering, and the use of sewage sludge as fertilizer [10]. The final regulations,published in December 2002, eliminated these three provisions. Canada, which in 1999 became the first country to establish a national organic standard, also excludes these methods [11].
Premium Price—For What?

The organic rules are intended to address production methods rather than the physical qualities of the products themselves. In a news release that accompaied the 1997 rules, Glickman stated:

What is organic? Generally, it is agriculture produced through a natural as opposed to synthetic process. The natural portion of the definition is fairly obvious, but process is an equally critical distinction. When we certify organic, we are certifying not just a product but the farming and handling practices that yield it. When you buy a certified organic tomato, for instance, you are buying the product of an organic farm. And, consumers are willing to fork over a little more for that tomato. They've shown that they will pay a premium for organic food. National standards are our way of ensuring that consumers get what they pay for.

I disagree. Many consumers who "fork over a little more" believe that the foods themselves are more nutritious, safer, and tastier. But the USDA proposal itself noted that, "No distinctions should be made between organically and non-organically produced products in terms of quality, appearance, or safety." In other words, no claim should be made that the foods themselves are better—or even different! Some consumers believe that buying "organic" foster agricultural practices that are better for the environment.

In 2003, Rodale Press began publishing the New Farm Organic Price Index, which compares the prices of about 40 organic and conventionally grown foods. The organic foods tend to cost signiifcantly more, as they have in previouly published studies.
More Nutritious?

Organic foods are certainly not more nutritious [12]. The nutrient content of plants is determined primarily by heredity. Mineral content may be affected by the mineral content of the soil, but this has no significance in the overall diet. If essential nutrients are missing from the soil, the plant will not grow. If plants grow, that means the essential nutrients are present. Experiments conducted for many years have found no difference in the nutrient content of organically grown crops and those grown under standard agricultural conditions.

Many "organic" proponents suggest that their foods are safer because they have lower levels of pesticide residues. However, the pesticide levels in our food supply are not high. In some situations, pesticides even reduce health risks by preventing the growth of harmful organisms, including molds that produce toxic substances [12].

To protect consumers, the FDA sets tolerance levels in foods and conducts frequent "market basket" studies wherein foods from regions throughout the United States are purchased and analyzed. Its 1997 tests found that about 60% of fruits and vegetables had no detectable pesticides and only about 1.2% of domestic and 1.6% of imported foods had violative levels [13]. Its annual Total Diet Study has always found that America's dietary intakes are well within international and Environmental Protection Agency standards.

Most studies conducted since the early 1970s have found that the pesticide levels in foods designated organic were similar to those that were not. In 1997, Consumer Reports purchased about a thousand pounds of tomatoes, peaches, green bell peppers, and apples in five cities and tested them for more than 300 synthetic pesticides. Traces were detected in 77% of conventional foods and 25% of organically labeled foods, but only one sample of each exceeded the federal limit [14].

Pesticides can locate on the surface of foods as well as beneath the surface. The amounts that washing can remove depends on their location, the amount and temperature of the rinse water, and whether detergent is used. Most people rinse their fruits and vegetables with plain water before eating them. In fact, Consumer Reports on Health has recommended this [15].Consumer Reports stated that it did not do so because the FDA tests unwashed products. The amount of pesticide removed by simple rinsing has not been scientifically studied but is probably small. Consumer Reports missed a golden opportunity to assess this.

Do pesticides found in conventional foods pose a health threat? Does the difference in pesticide content warrant buying "organic" foods? Consumer Reports equivocates: "For consumers in general, the unsettling truth is that no one really knows what a lifetime of consuming the tiny quantities of foods might do to a person. The effect, if any, is likely to be small for most individuals—but may be significant for the population at large." But the editors also advise, "No one should avoid fruits and vegetables for fear of pesticides; the health benefits of these foods overwhelm any possible risk."

Manfred Kroger, Ph.D., Quackwatch consultant and Professor of Food Science at The Pennsylvania State University, has put the matter more bluntly:

Scientific agriculture has provided Americans with the safest and most abundant food supply in the world. Agricultural chemicals are needed to maintain this supply. The risk from pesticide residue, if any, is minuscule, is not worth worrying about, and does not warrant paying higher prices.


"Organically grown" foods are not inherently tastier than conventionally grown foods. Taste is influenced by freshness, which may depend on how far the products must be shipped from farmer to consumer. What kinds of locally grown fruits and vegetables are available varies from community to community. Whether they are organically or conventionally produced is unlikely to make any difference.

In the early 1990s, Israeli researchers made 460 assessments of 9 different fruits and vegetables and no significant difference in quality between "organic" and conventionally grown samples [16]. The Consumer Reports' study found no consistent differences in appearance, flavor, or texture.

Organically produced ("range-free) poultry are said to be raised in an environment where they are free to roam. To use this term, handlers must sign an affidavit saying that the chickens are provided with access to the outdoors. A recent taste test conducted by Consumer Reports rated two brands of free-range chicken as average among nine brands tested. Its March 1998 issue stated few chickens choose to roam and that one manager said that free-ranging probably detracts from taste because it decreases the quality of the bird's food intake [17].
Better for the Environment?

Many buyers of "organic" foods believe that the extra money they pay will ultimately benefit the environment by encouraging more farmers to use "organic" methods. But doing this cannot have much effect because "organic" agriculture is too inefficient to meet the world's food needs. Moreover, the dividing line between organic and conventional agriculture is not sharp because various practices are not restricted to one or the other. For example, "organic" farmers tend not to use pesticides, but faced with threatened loss of crops, they may change their mind. If certain patterns of pesticide use cause more harm than good and there is a way to remedy the situation, the people concerned about it can seek regulatory solutions. I don't believe that paying extra for food will benefit anybody but those who sell it.

Special Healing Powers?

Many offbeat practitioners recommend organically grown foods as part of their alleged treatment regimens. The most extreme claim I have seen comes from A Perfect Healing, a small Florida-based nonprofit in "committed to the use, education, research, and agriculture of organically grown foods and nutritional supplements in the recovery from disease."[18] Its Guidestar summary claims:

Organic foods embody thousands of antibiotic and anti-viral elements that are present only in highly composted organic soil. When we eat these foods, they deposit these elements absorbed from the soil into our bodies, where they can then go on to patrol and clean out all forms of disease and prevent further attack. Even cancers and other forms of seemingly non-infectious disease have been cured this way. These disease fighting elements and the high level of nutrients that organic foods receive from such a nutritious soil are very powerful. They have been proven to return many a diseased individual back to health [19].

The Bottom Line

The revised rules went into effect on October 21, 2002. The latest USDA definition states:

Organic food is produced by farmers who emphasize the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations. Organic meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products come from animals that are given no antibiotics or growth hormones. Organic food is produced without using most conventional pesticides; petroleum-based fertilizers or sewage sludge-based fertilizers; bio-engineering; or ionizing radiation. Before a product can be labeled "organic," a Government-approved certifier inspects the farm where the food is grown to make sure the farmer is following all the rules necessary to meet USDA organic standards. Companies that handle or process organic food before it gets to your local supermarket or restaurant must be certified, too [20].

A comprehensive review published the same year concluded:

* Studies comparing foods derived from organic and conventional growing systems were assessed for three key areas: nutritional value, sensory quality, and food safety. It is evident from this assessment that there are few well-controlled studies that are capable of making a valid comparison. With the possible exception of nitrate content, there is no strong evidence that organic and conventional foods differ in concentrations of various nutrients.
* While there are reports indicating that organic and conventional fruits and vegetables may differ on a variety of sensory qualities, the findings are inconsistent.
* While it is likely that organically grown foods are lower in pesticide residues, there has been very little documentation of residue levels [21].

Nevertheless, if you want to pay extra for your food, the U.S. Government will help you do so. Violators of the rules can be fined up to $10,000 per violation. But organic "certification," no matter what the rules, will not protect consumers. Foods certified as "organic" will neither be safer nor more nutritious than "regular" foods. Nor is there any logical reason to conclude that they have any special disease-curing properties. They will just cost more and may lessen public confidence in the safety of "ordinary" foods. Instead of legitimizing health nonsense, our government should do more to attack its spread.

1. Larkin M. Organic foods get government "blessing" despite claims that aren't kosher. Nutrition Forum 8:25-29, 1991.
2. Greene CR. U.S. organic farming emerges in the 1990s: Adoption of certified systems. USDA Agricultural Research Service, Resource Economics Division, Information bulletin No. 770, June 2001.
3. Dimitri C, Green CR. Recent growth patterns in the U.S. organic food market. USDA Agricultural Research Service, Resource Economics Division, Information bulletin No. 777, Sept 2002.
4. Data: Organic production. USDA Economic Research Service, Oct 18, 2002.
5. Rodale R. Testimony. New York State public hearing in the matter of organic foods. New York City, Dec 1, 1972.
6. USDA Study Team on Organic Farming. Report and Recommendations on Organic Farming. USDA, July 1980.
7. National Organic Program; Proposed Rule. Federal Register 62:65850-65967, 1997.
8. Youngberg IG and others. Beyond the "Big Three": A comprehensive analysis of the proposed National Organic Program. Greenbelt, MD: Henry A. Wallace Institute for Alternative Agriculture, April 30, 1998.
9. Public outcry to organic regs. Natural Foods Merchandiser 19(12):36, 1998.
10. National Organic Program: Final rule. Federal Register 65:80547-80684, 2000. (Dec 21, 2000)
11. The National Standard of Canada for Organic Agriculture. Ottawa: Canadian Organic Advisory Board (COAB), June 1999.
12. Newsome R. Organically grown foods: A scientific status summary by the Institute of Food Technologists' expert panel on food safety and nutrition. Food Technology 44(12):123-130, 1990.
13. FDA Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. Pesticide Program: Residue Monitoring 1999, August 2000.
14. Organic produce. Consumer Reports 63(1):12-18, 1998.
15. Healthy ideas: Wash your produce. Consumer Reports on Health, 10(3):5, 1998.
16. Basker D. Comparison of taste quality between organically and conventionally grown fruits and vegetables. American Journal of Alternative Agriculture 7:129-136, 1992.
17. Chicken: What you don't know can hurt you. Consumer Reports 63(3):12-18, 1998.
18. Who we are. Animal Concerns Community Web site, accessed July 16, 2006.
19. A Perfect Healing. Guidestar Web site, January 31, 2005. [Requires membership to view]
20. Organic food standards and labels: The facts. USDA Web site, accessed Oct 21, 2002.
21. Boume D, Prescott J. A comparison of the nutritional value, sensory qualities, and food safety of organically and conventionally produced foods. Food Science and Nutrition 42:1-34, 2002.

6AM .5 cup milk = .5 block

8AM 5 oz chicken thigh, .5 package dal, 8 oz vegetables = 3 blocks

Noon 3/4 cup cottage cheese, 1/2 apple, 1/2 cup berries, 9 almonds = 3 blocks

4 PM 1 lb green beans, 1 package Trader Joe's Tuna Curry = 3 blocks

8PM 1 lb green beans, 4 oz pork = 2.5 blocks

10PM 2 Manhattans, 3 oz cheese = 3 blocks

Block Target = 14 blocks

Block Total = 15 blocks

Score: 126

fasted run .5 mile upon awakening

6 miles bike ride, flat, fixed gear, low intensity

Walk 4 miles

Thursday, December 6, 2007

14 Block Diet Day Four

Here is a great expose on organic food, which is, in my well-informed opinion, mostly a big waste of money. You might as well just set your money on fire as to shop at "Whole Paycheck".

Organic food exposed
Issue 16 of Cosmos, August 2007
by Elizabeth Finkel

It’s a booming trend, driven by public perception that food produced minus pesticides and fertilisers is healthier and better for the planet. We examine the science to see if the evidence stacks up.

I love my local organic food store. From the moment I enter, I enjoy the aromas that greet me and the folksy look of the place. But is organic food really any better for me? The perceived wisdom is that it's more 'pure' and 'natural', devoid of disease-causing pesticides; that organic farming "generates healthy soils" and "doesn't poison ecosystems with toxic chemicals".

Organic food is riding a surge in popularity; across the globe, sales of organic food are burgeoning. The global market in 2006 was estimated at close to an impressive US$40 billion (A$47.9 billion) by Organic Monitor, an industry research body, and growing 20 per cent annually in the U.S. and Canada.

And where consumers go, the multinational food companies follow: everyone from Uncle Tobys to Kraft, Heinz, Kelloggs and even Coca-Cola has jumped on the bandwagon. And developing countries are joining in too: China's organic exports grew 200-fold in a decade to reach US$200 million in 2004. Australia is also a major exporter, and plans to increase its organic produce by 50 per cent by 2012.

But is this belief in organic food based on faith, or evidence?

THE SURPRISING FACT IS that this mass migration to organic food has not been on the back of scientific evidence. In fact, you'd be hard pressed to find comprehensive evidence that organic food is healthier – either for us or the planet. Nevertheless, in the public consciousness, organic farming is unquestioningly bundled with the reigning moral imperatives of sustainability, protecting the environment and reducing greenhouse gases.

Certainly there are historical reasons for concern. In the 1950s and 1960s, the pesticide DDT was blamed for the widespread thinning of bird eggs across North America, and the rapid decline of the bald eagle and peregrine falcon. Over-intensive grain farming in the U.S. Midwest led to fertiliser run-off into the Mississippi River that ultimately created a 20,000 square kilometre dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico, as algal blooms sucked up available oxygen. Soils that were tilled for decades without crop rotation or replacing organic matter led to dust storms that wreaked havoc across Australia in the 1960s and the American and Canadian prairies in the 1930s, the latter so vividly depicted in John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath.

These days, modern farming techniques have evolved after decades of pressure from the environmental movement and decades of work by a generation of scientists inspired by environmental awareness. In fact, conventional farming is starting to look a lot like organic farming.

The earthworm-rich soils, so prized by organic farmers, are being achieved through contemporary no-till (or no-plough) techniques. In Australia, most farmers use rotation to get crops out of synchronisation with weeds and to return nutrients to the soil. Natural predators are being used to control pests, and companies such as Dow Chemical are producing safe, short-acting pesticides. In fact Dow's latest pesticide, Spinosad, is also happily used by organic farmers because it is naturally produced by bacteria.

"There's been a quiet revolution in Australian farming over the last decade," says Mark Peoples, the assistant chief of the Division of Plant Industry at Australia's national research agency CSIRO.


8AM 1 egg, 3 oz salmon, 1 slice diabetic lifestyles bread, .5 apple = 3 blocks

8:30AM .5 cup milk = .5 block

Noon 10 oz zucchini, 1 package Trader Joe's Yellow Tuna Curry = 3 blocks

3PM 1 package smoked oysters, 1 slice diabetic lifestyles bread, tablespoon avocado = 2 blocks + 2x fat

6PM Muscle Milk Bar = 3 blocks

9PM 5 oz chicken thigh, .5 package dal, 8 oz vegetables = 3.5 blocks

Block Target = 14 blocks

Block Total = 14 blocks +.2x fat

Five rounds for time of:
Run 400 meters
75 pound Sumo deadlift high-pull, 21 reps
75 pound Thruster, 21 reps
Time: 26:44

Bike Ride 10 miles, flat, low intensity, fixed gear

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

14 Block Diet Day Three

I'm deep into the fat-burning zone. This is day 3 of 14 blocks + added cardio. I'm feeling it. I was so wasted yesterday I could not do the WOD. I may go do it if I'm feeling a bit stronger today.

8AM 1 cup milk = 1 block

9AM 1 egg, 3 oz ground turkey, 1 slice diabetic lifestyles bread, 1/2 apple, .5 pat butter = 3 blocks

1PM 1 lb broccoli, 1 package Trader Joe's Tuna Currey = 3 blocks

4PM 1 serving smoked oysters, 1 slice diabetic lifestyles bread = 2 blocks

8PM 5 oz chicken breast 3 glasses red wine = 5 blocks

Block Target = 14 blocks

Total Blocks = 14 blocks

Six Run/Walk Repeats, One Minute Each, upon awakening, fasted
Distance: 1.5 mile (slight grade)
Time: 12:20
Speed: 7.2 MPH

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Day 141: On Target

Jasper Johns, "Target With Four Faces".

I feel back on target to get rid of the last 10 pounds or so of excess bodyfat and go from merely average to actually lean. I ate well yesterday and did my first fasted sprint repeats this morning, first thing. I did seven sprint (if you could call it a sprint) intervals of one minute and walked one minute in between each sprint.
Total Time: 13:00
Total Distance: 1.35 miles, all uphill
Average Speed: 6.23 MPH

I liked this, and was happy I could run, including hills, without my knee bothering me.

Here is more information on fasted cardio.

Here is information on fasted cardio and HIT.

10AM 1 egg, 3 oz ground turkey, 1 slice diabetic lifestyles bread, 1 apple, 1/2 pat butter = 3 blocks

Noon .5 cup milk = .5 blocks

2PM 4.5 oz pork loin, 10 oz Tuscan vegetable mix, 2 tablespoons Masala sauce = 3 blocks

8PM 3 ounces salmon, 2 slices chicken pizza, 32 oz beer = 8.5 blocks

Block Target = 14 blocks

Block Total = 15 blocks

"Michael" (sit-up/superman, at home, no equipment)
Time: 19:45

Front Squat 5-5-5-5-5

Sprint Repeats x 7 (see above)

Monday, December 3, 2007

Day 140: Those Annoying Last 10 Pounds

I have looked back over my blog to see what has worked, as I seem to be stalled at just about 170 lbs. My all-time low (in the past twelve years or so) was a few weeks back at 166.5 lbs and 13.5% bodyfat (144 lbs of lean mass). Today I'm at 170 and 14.5% bodyfat (145.5 lean). If I can lose 8 lbs of bodyfat in four weeks without sacrificing any muscle I will be at 9% bodyfat which would be an all time measured low. Here is what I plan to do for the next month:

  • Eat 14 blocks Sunday afternoon through Friday afternoon
  • Follow fairly strict zone principals
  • Stay fairly strict on the weekend
  • Weigh and measure my food
  • Add cardio in the form of four-six 20 minute bike sprint intervals per week, one minute on, one minute off, upon awakening, in a fasted state.
  • Moderate alcohol intake: treat alcohol strictly as a carb and stay in the zone

9AM 1.5 cups milk = 1.5 blocks

10:30AM 1 egg, 2 oz ground turkey,1 slice diabetic lifestyles bread,.5 apple .5 pat butter = 3 blocks

2:30PM 1 package Trader Joe's Tuna Green Curry, 10 oz green beans = 3 blocks

6:30PM 3 oz pork loin, 1 apple, 6 raw almonds = 2 blocks

8:30PM Chicken Ceaser, 1/2 slice foccacia = 3 blocks +1x fat

Block Target = 14 blocks

Block Total = 13.5 blocks +.25x fat

5 minutes of Double unders
5 minutes of 95 lb Clean and Push jerk
3 minutes of Double unders
3 mintutes of 95 lb Clean and Push jerk
1 minute of Double unders
1 minute of 95 lb Clean and Push jerk

Total 481

Bike ride 6 miles, fixed gear, flat, low intensity

Run 2 miles low intensity

Sunday, December 2, 2007

What Not To Eat Part Three: Juice

Now here is a sacred cow that I don't recommend anyone eat. Juice, while it does have some positive nutritional content is a hyper-concentrated form of sugar. not only is it very high GI, but any liquid food, due to having such a large surface area will be rapidly absorbed into the digestive tract. This combination is a one-two punch to the pancreas resulting a massive spike in blood sugar. In addition, all of the fiber is stripped out in the juicing process.

Block Target = 17 blocks + .5x fat

11AM 2 slices buttered toast, 2 eggs, 2 sausage patties, fruit = 4 blocks +2x fat

4PM 4 ounces of chicken in curry sauce, 1 slice diabetic lifestyles bread. 1/2 cup berries, 2 ounces coconut, 8 raw almonds = 4 blocks + 1x fat

7PM flatbread pizza, 3 glasses wine, 3 oz chicken, 1/2 lb zucchini = 7 blocks

Block Target = 17 +.5x fat

Block Total = 15 +1x Fat

Workout: None

Saturday, December 1, 2007

What Not To Eat Part Two: Ketchup

Here is another item we could probably live without. On the plus side it is not terribly calorie dense, but it is astounding how much ketchup some folks can use: it would be pretty easy to add an extra 1/2 carb block without realizing it. If you use it indiscriminately you could probably add 2 blocks to your meal (2 oz ketchup, or about 2 of those little containers like the one pictured above. Use it in moderation. Alternative: mustard.

Block Target = 17 + .5x fat

Block Total = 20 + extra carb in the form of too much alcohol

Workout: Team Workout at CFO