Since we’ve been getting tons of questions, here’s a surprise “Ask Me Anything” livestream.
I want to thank all of you who took the time to ask for a bit of support or help with certain areas of your health, because getting over that hump is really important.
Keep in mind, I am no guru. We’re all here to help each other. We’re lifelong students, and constantly learning. That should be the goal, especially in this world of misinformation in which we find ourselves.
Now, let’s get this kicked off. In this Ask Me Anything, you’re about to learn:
- Benefits of Chi Kung and other moving meditations
- Why it’s important to indulge every once in a while
- The difference between low-carb and keto
- Advantages of including carbs like sweet potato on your plate
- What to look for when buying chicken
- Nutritional self defense and how it relates to the modern world
- And tons more…
I hope you enjoy.
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Ask Me Anything with Abel
Abel: Alright, let’s kick this off with a question from Lance. Short but sweet.
Lance asks: “On heavy workout days, especially legs, I wake up two to three times a night starving. Suggestions?”
Lance, you have to eat more, man, especially on heavy workout days.
When you go after the legs and the back, specifically, it’s amazing how much your appetite can change. It really is.
For me, I’m not doing the super heavy powerlifts or anything like that these days, although I do a full body functional workout.
I’m more about running, especially through the mountains. And it was a lot to adjust to, not only the grades, but also the elevation.
When I go out and run 6 miles, I’m usually fasting, and I’ll come back and I am a lot more hungry on that day.
On the days that I don’t really workout super hard, where I’m recording all day, for example, I’m surprised by how little I eat sometimes. And I actually see that as a major win. The younger me didn’t necessarily think so.
You know, I think there’s a tendency to kind of prove how big of a man you are by how big your appetite is. That’s conditioned into us, and we need to un-condition ourselves from that, especially as life goes on and you make that transition.
Because your goals are always going to be changing.
But you know, if you’re waking up in the night hungry, that’s a pretty good sign that you should be eating more.
A lot of people are afraid of eating more. It all depends on what you’re eating really.
It’s pretty easy to get away with eating unclean, especially if you’re doing these big workouts, Lance, like you mentioned.
It’s pretty easy to get away with that for a while, but you don’t want to get used to it, because eating dirty is going to catch up with you.
But you know, if you follow one of your big workout days with something like sweet potato, that can be really filling. Don’t be afraid of fat. And obviously, there’s protein.
You know, oddly enough, living in Austin, Texas for almost 10 years, we had a really hard time finding clean prepared meats. We could find plenty of grass-fed and pastured meats that we’d prepare ourselves. But even before I left, I never found a solid barbecue place that served quality meat. It was all just industrial feed lot meat, which is kind of a bummer.
So we’ve been treating ourselves recently to buffalo barbecue and pasture-raised beef, as well as Colorado lamb. And it’s just out of this world.
And so, sometimes, we’ll have breakfast for dinner and enjoy one or two strips of brisket, especially on a non-workout day.
It’s amazing how far it goes, especially if you go for the fatty cuts, assuming that you’re eating from healthy animals.
And then, get some carbs in from sweet potatoes.
Lance, if you are someone who enjoys fasting like I do, you know, I’ve been eating about one meal a day for eight years now. Maybe one-and-a-half meals a day, it depends. I’m not super strict about it.
But if you’re doing something like that, like a 20-hour fast—20:4—maybe switch it to a 16:8, right?
Like, if you’re only eating at 3:00 in the afternoon or maybe at 5:00 in the afternoon, kind of like me, then push it up to 12pm.
Because when I was running marathons and when I was doing the heavier lifts, and Krav Maga training and all of that, you’ve really got to follow it to recover with a solid helping of food. Don’t be afraid of that.
Yes, you can eat too much of the wrong things.
But if you’re filling up on pasture-raised meats to replenish your protein stores. If you’re getting collagen, hopefully from bone broth and just kind of old school traditional foods, if you’re getting your veg on, if you’re getting micronutrients from veggies and some amount of fruit, then, yeah, don’t be afraid to fill up.
So anyone who’s waking up in the night hungry, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend eating in the night.
That’s something that a lot of bodybuilders used to do, waking themselves up in the middle the night on purpose to eat an extra meal. Sounds ridiculous to me.
I’ve never really done that. I’ve discouraged myself when I’ve had the tendency, especially in college, to snack at night.
I don’t think it’s usually a good idea, especially if it’s the middle of the night.
You know, if you’re going to bed early, that’s one thing, eating within an hour or two before going to sleep, I don’t think is that big of a deal.
But if we’re talking midnight and you’re packing on the Doritos, and making pancakes and all that—that can quickly get away from you.
So, fill up before you’re hungry in the middle of the night, Lance.
Alright, let’s move on to some other questions.
Alyson is here helping me sort all of these questions from the different platforms.
Ok, this next one is from Catherine.
Catherine asks: “How and where should I learn Chi Kung (Qigong) or Tai Chi?”
What a great question.
You know, I’m not sure that I have a specific instructor that I can recommend necessarily. Alyson and myself, we’ve studied with a few over the years. But actually, I’ve learned quite a bit from books.
My cousin Matt has been very into martial arts training and kind of transitioned into Chi King training after Kung Fu as a main focus for a while. He was a big influence on me, and still is.
He recommended any book from Wong Kiew Kit. There are several Chi Kung books that he’s done, Kung Fu books as well. I have four or five of them—I think I’ve read three so far.
They’re all excellent, they’re great to go back to. But even better than that, especially to get that sort of practice going, it’s important to study with someone who can show you how to do it right.
You know, if someone’s getting into power lifting, you don’t really want to learn how to do that from YouTube or from books, especially when you’re dealing with that kind of weight.
You need someone, or hopefully a team of people, who can help you make sure you’re not going to hurt yourself, and to make sure you get the right types of movements going for your body, because everyone’s similar, but everyone’s a little bit different, too.
And you can really save yourself a lot of pain if you invest with just a little time taking a class.
Or even better, taking private instruction with someone who can teach you maybe a 5-10 minute routine that you can do every day on your own.
And maybe check back in with them in a month or two to see how your form is looking. Because it’ll adapt, your musculature will change, your posture will improve.
I haven’t really done much Tai Chi, although I did do Chi Running with Danny Dreyer who you may remember wrote the book Chi Running, and was on the podcast a couple of times.
When he visited Austin, Alyson and I went to one of his running workshops, which was great fun, and he did teach some Tai Chi in that, but only really as it relates to running.
I thought that was interesting, because I had recently also studied Pose Running technique. This was back in Austin years ago. And I found that Chi Kung or Tai Chi, and the Russian style pose was actually quite similar.
There were a lot of similarities in how your body is supposed to mechanically move.
So, Catherine, I just want to say that it’s great that you want to get into Chi Kung.
Alyson and I have been doing it almost every single day for five plus years now. And it’s not something that seems like it’s doing a whole lot at the beginning, to be honest, you know?
If you go and do power lifts, to continue to use that example, then you’re pretty sure that you did it the next day, and you’re pretty sure that you’re doing it while you’re doing it.
Whereas, Tai Chi and Chi Kung, it’s such gentle movements. At first, honestly, I felt like it probably wasn’t doing anything, because I wasn’t working hard.
But that’s exactly the point. It’s more conditioning your body to move correctly with micro movements.
I’m not explaining this very well, but you can’t really explain it that well in English, I don’t think, the benefits of those types of very slow training.
Similar to music, you don’t always want to just play faster. That’s not how it works. You’re training precision more than you’re training speed, if that makes sense.
What you want is precise movements. Because the more precise they are, the more quickly you can do them, and the more accurately ad reliably you can do them.
I do about 5 – 10 minutes or so of Chi Kung training daily—if you do that, then not only does it train your body to move in a balanced way, but it also trains a bit of discipline, which you’ll see spill over to other parts of your life. And it gives you just a little break.
It’s a moving meditation.
The point is that you’re not going crazy with your mind thinking about all sorts of things that are distracting you, which is definitely the tendency these days.
So, it’s a wonderful thing to add into your life.
Chi Kung, Tai Chi, yoga practice, the benefits of these are quite similar.
There are things that are worth adding in for mobility, for mental training, for mindfulness.
So, kudos to you Catherine for getting on that. It’s one of the few things that I can recommend that I’ve tried and added into my daily practice that’s stuck over the past five plus years.
That’s definitely saying a lot, ’cause I try almost everything.
Here’s one from Joe.
“I am highly addicted to sugar. I have been working to detox my body these last weeks and I’m starting your program.
I eat very little carbs except for veggies.
I’ve also been doing high intensity workouts, interval workouts, and after these I feel a huge craving for sugar.
I can’t decide if this craving is my body telling me I need the sugar after workout, or my body is craving from my addiction.
I think I need to start using some of the sweet potato recipes you have. However…
Joe says: I am concerned that this will feed my addiction and I won’t really be detoxing my body from sugar. Do you have any advice for me?”
Alright Joe, this is a great question that kind of dovetails into the last one from Lance.
Although, more from an emotional eating perspective, to some degree, because you said that you’ve struggled with sugar addiction.
I think if a lot of people are honest with themselves, most of us have struggled with sugar addiction, or are currently struggling with it.
So, number one, don’t be ashamed or feel down on yourself at all for feeling addicted to sugar.
In fact, you’re one step ahead of most people, because you’ve admitted it to yourself.
Sugar is pernicious, it’s everywhere, it’s in almost everything, especially if you’re going out to restaurants, even fancy hotels and whatever.
They’re throwing a bunch of sugar and corn syrup into the salad dressing, into the sauces that they’re using to prepare your meats and veggies.
I mean, it’s just everywhere, even if you’re trying to avoid it.
So, your point is well taken. If you’re trying to detox your body from sugar, you don’t want to have too much.
But number two, you say you eat very little carbs, except for veggies. That’s good, assuming that you’re eating plenty of veggies, which it seems like you are.
I know a lot of people are not these days, but good on you, if that’s something that you’re doing.
But you know, when it comes to sweet potato compared to even like a kiwi or a banana or something that’s kind of like a sugary fruit—a tangerine, an orange, certainly, the more tropical varieties like papayas and mangoes.
I kind of put sweet potatoes in a different category, at least in my own eating strategy and the ones that we recommend.
Because sweet potato, if you cook it correctly, if you cook it low and slow then you cool it—and if you’re not covering it with a whole bunch of sugary ketchup or condiments, or disgusting vegetable oils that you know are bad for you—then it’ll be high and resistant starch.
It’s got not just carbs from sugar, but also complex carbs and a fair amount of fiber and micronutrients.Sweet potatoes are a big bang for the buck. Click To Tweet
They’re nice and filling, and they taste really good.
And depending, Joe, on the type of person who you are, whether you can moderate things or not, the advice could kind of go in either direction.
But I will say, some people do really well kicking out all sugar and being extremely strict about it, but there are pros and cons.
It’s a double-edged sword, because the more you do that, the stricter you are, the harder it gets to stick to down the road.
And it doesn’t matter, honestly, if you kick out sugar for a month just once, right?
Over the course of your life, sugar is doing much more damage to you than that.
It’s like an alcoholic just kicking out alcohol for a month.
You’re not going to get much benefit from that, even if you get sober for a month, right, even if you lose 20 pounds from eating this way.
So the real struggle is doing it forever, or at least managing it forever in a healthy way.
At least for my personality type, I tend to allow a little bit of sweetness, a little bit of sugar, and don’t aim for perfection.
It’s impossible, or at least it is for me—it freaks me out. I’m a recovering perfectionist.
So, I think it’s really important that you allow yourself some sweet potato recipes, even if they are a little bit indulgent. Especially if you’re cooking them yourself and allowing yourself to fill up, that’ll help.You know, it's so much harder to just kick something out of your life than swap something, right? Click To Tweet
So, with kicking sugar out, usually addictions are replaced by something else.
And even if that seems like a healthy thing, like if you go from addicted to sugar to addicted to CrossFit and working out really hard. At the beginning that might seem really good, but I’ve seen that go terribly, terribly wrong, too.
So, I would encourage you to get in the kitchen. That’s one thing that can really help you, Lance, as well.
Any of you who are kind of struggling with, “What should I eat and how should I do this?”
There’s nothing that beats just getting those skills in the kitchen to cook old-school simple foods. Just a few of them, combining them simply, quickly, and then having them ready for you.
Because if you do that, you don’t really need to care about calories, and counting. You know what’s in your food. You’re saving money.
It’s something that we’ve kind of been doing so long that I don’t think there’s ever any way of going back. But it definitely takes some adjusting, some getting used to.
And at the beginning, you know, especially as a bachelor, I did a lot of cooking on my own and kind of learned how to do this stuff.
These days, in a partnership with Alyson, she does most of the cooking and I like preparing the drinks and doing all sorts of other things.
So, even if you learn how to do some of these things, don’t feel like you have to be sentenced to doing it all forever. You can kind of distribute the responsibilities.
One way we like to do it is—I handle the drinks and Alyson handles the food. That works at parties, that works in our own lives, and that way we both get to serve each other in our own way that feels natural.
So that’s another big part of this. If you’re struggling with the emotional side of any inkling of fear, when it comes to looking at food or thinking about food, then it’s really important to help heal that.
And there’s no better way to do it than getting in the kitchen, knowing exactly what’s in your food.
So, don’t be afraid of those sweet potatoes.
We have a really tasty sweet potato recipe on the website—Double Chocolate Brownies
You know, when Alyson and I first got together we had been health nuts for a long time, and one of the deals when we started eating this way, Alyson said, “I’m not going to give up cookies. We can’t give up our desserts and our treats.”
So, you know, I wouldn’t tell anyone to give up treats forever.
Oh my gosh, that sounds like a sentence, doesn’t it? That would be terrible.
So, be kind to yourself. And it’s good that you’re acknowledging, Joe, that you have an addiction to sugar. We’re here to help.
We’ve got a ton of those recipes like I said, many of them Alyson put together, and a lot have been prepared by me or altered from old family recipes.
But the main gist of it, in case you don’t know, of The Wild Diet, our approach, is that you use real food. Foods that are complete, nutrient-dense and kind of came as nature intended.
They’re not altered by man or machine for the most part.
And you make that the basis of what you’re eating, you do your best to get back into the kitchen to learn how to cook and prepare your own foods, sourcing foods locally, if you can, is extremely important.
And these days, there are a whole lot of farmers markets that are kind of keeping up appearances, and pretending to be the real thing, like Whole Foods, I mean Amazon was pretending to be the real thing.
I remember going in there to their Austin flagship store, years ago now when I was living there. And they had this huge banner about how great they are, and how they’re going to be GMO-free by 2018, or something like that.
Which, before 2018 came or whatever the date was, they were bought out by Amazon and all of those things they promised were essentially broken promises the whole time.
And I remember as that banner was up, the hot food bar at that Austin, Texas Whole Foods store is just rife with GMOs. Pretty much every food they prepared was cooked in GMO soy or canola oil.
Same thing is true if you go to Chipotle, or you go to a lot of these places that kind of seem healthy on the outside, but if you take a good look around, there’s a whole lot going wrong.
And if you’re eating organic marshmallows from Whole Foods because they’re advertised, it’s not healthy for you, it’s not a whole food, it’s hypocrisy is what it is.
So, be careful of that whenever you’re shopping for foods online or not. There’s a lot of hypocrisy.
Food marketers know that eating local, eating pasture-raised, paleo, ancestral, keto, all these things are really cool and really trendy, and really marketing-friendly, and they’re going to sell stuff by using those words.
The problem is, I’ve seen so much keto stuff, and being Fat-Burning Man, we get sent so much keto stuff that’s full of sugar.
I don’t even consider myself keto—though I do stray in and out of ketosis sometimes—and I wouldn’t eat like 90%+ of the keto products out there.
Not even because they’re just junk, but because they have too much sugar in them, which is not keto.
If you’re eating any sugar, you have to keep it less than 20 grams per day, maybe even less than that, for days and days and days and then weeks then months on end.
So if you’re eating any of these keto products with sugar in them, it’s not keto.
So anyway, there’s so much hypocrisy out there. When you’re buying your foods, make sure that you’re careful.
Here’s a great example that came up in a podcast that I recorded that will be coming out in the months ahead.
Basically, if you’re eating organic chicken, free-range organic chicken, you could be having a lot of health problems because of what those chickens are fed, even if they’re cage-free or free-range.
You can use those terms, and it doesn’t really mean anything except for the fact that you open up a door or a little hatch for the hens to potentially go outside.
But they never do. They’re just crowded and they’re fed non-GMO soy and corn, which is very high in lectins and not the natural diet of chickens and poultry. They’re meant to be eating little bugs out in the field.
We had backyard chickens growing up.
And when they’re eating those crickets and ticks, and all that other stuff as they naturally do, the chicken that you later eat and their eggs, are much higher in the brain-boosting Omega-3s, the healthy fats.
If you’re eating, even if it’s organic, free-range, cage-free chicken, you’re basically eating feed lot industrial chicken. It just happens to have the organic label slapped on there.
So be careful with the hypocrisy, be careful with the labels. Unfortunately, I wish it weren’t like this, but this is self-defense.
What we teach in nutritional and lifestyle health, it’s more self-defense than it is health. So just keep that in mind.
Put your shields up once you have a little bit of knowledge, and be careful, make sure that you’re always navigating and following your intuition.
Because if you look closely at a product or at a food or at a farm, you can tell what’s going on. And be honest with yourself. It’s worth it.
Alright. We have some other questions here. Let’s have some coffee first.
I like this mug. Alyson just got it for me. It says: “You can do it. -Coffee.”
Okay. Oh, this is interesting. So, this is from Rick.
Ricks says: “What’s the difference between low-carb and keto? Also, I’m 65 and have limited mobility. What can I do to get my metabolism up to lose weight?”
Let’s start with the first question. What’s the difference between low-carb and keto?
It doesn’t really matter.
I don’t mean to be too snarky about it, but there’s a lot of back and forth between, there’s a keto community and a whole army of Keto marketers, there’s a low-carb community that’s been around for a long time, and a whole bunch of people who have had great success and many failures in both camps.
And it’s like, what’s the difference between vegetarians and vegans?
There’s a slight, maybe major difference, but okay, so keto is low carb. For most people, it should be strictly less than 20 net carbs per day, which is almost none.
You can’t even eat a lot of veggies that we recommend, so I don’t recommend it. That’s why we don’t, for the most part.
Now, going into keto for short periods of time or for bursts of time, no problem.
And a lot of times I go into ketosis because I’m fasting, like right now. Or if I go out for a run or a hike and I haven’t eaten all day.
So yeah, you’re in ketosis, but that’s different from like whatever the keto diet is.The Keto Diet means nothing. It's just a word that people are abusing. Click To Tweet
Ketosis is an actual scientific thing that we’ve talked about many times on the podcast. Just type in the search box keto or ketosis or low carb, and you’ll hear me talk about this with real true experts in their fields.
We’ll be talking about this stuff to death.
But anyway, don’t get too caught up in the difference between low carb and keto.
It’s much more important, I think, to focus on what your plate should look like.
If you’re going to make a meal, or three meals, or six meals, or whatever, every day for the rest of your life, what should you be looking down at on that plate?
And just to quickly review that, The Wild Plate as I outline in my book and on the websites and all of that, should be more than half veg.
Nutrient-dense, colorful veggies. Think a salad, could be a stir-fry, could be a green smoothie in some other form. It doesn’t have to be strict or whatever, but get your veg on.
It’s got fiber, micro-nutrients, it’s going to fill you up, helps you detox, makes you feel a lot better.
If you’re a carnivore or if you’re eating totally keto all the time, just taking down the cream cheese and the pork rinds and the steaks and all of that… I just can’t imagine.
It’s sounds rough to me, but it sounds more like toxic and puffy.
I feel better when I have a whole lot of veg, especially green veg.
Anyway, I don’t want you to sacrifice good, healthy, nutrient-dense veggies.
Maybe sacrifice a little fruits, but don’t sacrifice your veg to try to be more low-carb or try to be more keto.
And having a sweet potato or two every day or couple days, or a few times a week.
And sweet potato is just an example of a carb. It’s a tuber, it’s been eaten safely for a long time by a lot of cultures. It tastes good. There are a lot of things that are healthy that don’t taste good, but sweet potato’s pretty easy to recommend.
So, that can be included on the side, in either the fruit or the starch portion of your plate.
So, more than half of it, like I said, veg.
Then you got a little slice of fruit or some sort of carb that you like, and that sliver is scalable.
If you’re working out all the time, if you’re training for a race, if you’re power-lifting, if you’re really into CrossFit, if you do any sort of training like that, don’t be afraid to fill it up and scale your carbs accordingly.
Because carbs are important to recovery. Having muscle glycogen can be very advantageous if you’re looking for any sort of performance benefits.
If you’re going super low carb, it’s hard to perform at that top level.
But then, on the other side, those carbs, to get back to you, Rick. Specifically here, if you have limited mobility, then scaling the carbs down is one of the easiest wins for you.
Don’t be afraid of going low-carb there, if you’re not craving carbs and you’re not able to move around very much.
For instance, when I was on that ABC TV show coaching Kurt Morgan, he had a variety of injuries, some of them with his neck and spine from past car accidents and broken bones and operations and all sorts of things.
So, he had somewhat limited mobility, and he was able to really kick almost all the carbs out for weeks on end without craving them.
And his body was able to adapt and start burning his own body fat.
So much so that he lost 87 pounds, almost 90 pounds, in four months, because he was very dedicated. He was very focused.
I’m not recommending that for everyone, by any means. It’s too fast for most people to lose weight.
But if you’re really dedicated, even if you can’t be that mobile, just through dietary changes alone, you can make a lot of difference in the shape of your body and how much body fat you’re carrying and how healthy you are.
Anyway, Rick, you’re 65, you have limited mobility, if you want to get your metabolism up to lose weight, I would say, if there’s anything you can do to maximize even the little bit of mobility that you have, it’s building muscle that really helps the metabolism out, especially as you age.
So, keeping your bones and your muscles strong, or at least the strongest you can, even if it’s just your arms or just your legs, it’s an important thing to do if you have that option.
Other ways to get your metabolism up, depending on how much you’re eating and what it looks like, you could lean a little bit into the protein and dial the fat down.
That’s not really going to get your metabolism up, but eating more protein can slightly increase body temperature.
But I would say, if you’re looking at your metabolism, then it’s mostly going to be something with movement or trying to build a little bit of muscle there.
Alright, let’s see what other questions you have.
Sanet asks: “What about hardboiled potato cooled down and then fried in duck fat as a treat every once in a while?”
You just won my heart. Yes, that’s a fantastic treat.
Some people bicker about, “Potatoes are worse than sweet potatoes,” and “The nightshade family should be completely avoided and freak you out.”
That’s one camp. But then also, there’s the, “Let’s live life a little bit here, and this sounds like a wonderful French preparation.”
Or even, old-school McDonald’s, until I believe the early ’90s, used to make their fries in the beef tallow from their burgers.
Which obviously, it probably wasn’t the highest quality burgers or whatever, but that’s a big step up from veggie oil.
So, duck fat? Oh my gosh, using duck fat is one of those specialty fats that just can totally make a dish.
And if you’re having a little bit on that potato, I can’t think of a better treat than that.
And that’s a great point, too, because a lot of people don’t think of something like a potato fried in duck fat as a treat. Or why would I ever prepare that for myself and think of that as a treat? Because it’s not an Oreo, or it’s not ice cream or whatever.
But that’s exactly how I like to think about a lot of these carbs.
Alyson often makes plantain pancakes, sometimes oats in various forms, we’ll do potatoes, we’ll fry them up in coconut oil, sometimes duck fat. And those are treats. Those are not staples, they’re treats.
And so I think that’s awesome to save your favorite potato dish as your treat.
Because everyone has a different food. Dig into your culture, dig into your family recipes.
Dig into where you came from and what you’re into, and you’ll find all sorts of cool treats that you can have for the rest of your life.
They’ll be different from me, they’ll be different from Alyson.
But I think it’s really important to really nourish yourself every once in a while and indulge a bit in foods that you love, that you prepare, and hopefully that you sourced, as well.
Okay, so this is a good point.
Catherine asks: “Does it need to say ‘pasture-raised’ on the chicken?”
Unfortunately, the “pasture-raised” label on chicken can be futzed with. It can be messed with by food marketers, and they’ll mess with any word they can.
To my knowledge, it’s not regulated. I don’t even know if I want it to be.
But the best way to know how your chicken was treated, what it was eating and all that, is to get it from a local source.
Get it from a farmer’s market. Meet your farmer. Or go to a local place, and then, yeah, try to buy one that was raised on pasture.
We buy pasture-raised eggs, and some of those companies actually do a really good job.
I’m not going to drop any names right now because I can’t stand behind a lot of these companies with 100% confidence. But if you see “pasture-raised,” that’s going to be much better than cage-free or free-range.
It should be a totally different ball game.
In real life, if they’re using the words correctly, it is. “Grass-fed” and “Pasture-raised” are what you really want to look for.
“Heritage” is another buzz word that a lot of the good farms will use because they’re raising not these modern versions of chickens and pigs and other animals, but actually old-school, heritage lineages of animals that haven’t been as messed with over the years, when it comes to breeding, as some of these unfortunate turkeys and chickens have.
Some of the turkeys have been bred in such crazy ways, and chickens as well, that their breasts are so big that they can’t actually stand up as adults.
It’s really sad, but their legs don’t work correctly, because they’ve just turned a wolf into a chihuahua, so to speak.
It’s emotional to me how messed-with a lot of the animals are in our food chain, in our food system, right?
I grew up in the middle of nowhere in New Hampshire, on this old farm that wasn’t really working anymore. But there are a lot of farmers in my family, and so I got up and close with quite a few animals.
We had backyard chickens, we had cows in our backyard for a while there. And when you know your animals and when you name them, you have a different relationship to your food.
So, meet your farmer, visit the farm, and then, go for “pasture-raised” at the store. That is a good one to go for.
Look for “heritage” animals that were raised on their natural diet as nature intended. Not chicken with the word “natural” but actually, the principle and the philosophies.
So that’s why it gets so tricky because tricky people use words in ways that they really shouldn’t, that make a mess of all this.
Because it’s not as difficult as most people make it out to be, especially those pesky marketers.
One more thing for Rick or anyone else limited mobility, one thing we were able to do with Kurt, back on the show, were some workouts in water.
It’s really great to do whatever feels good in the water.
You’ve got some resistance there, so you can actually do underwater push-ups, standing up, you can just move your arms and legs through the water.
Depending on where you’re at with your mobility, you can try to do some light jogging or jumping in the water, inversions, all sorts of different things.
But that’s a great low impact way to get in there and make sure that you’re bumping up that metabolism, as you’d like to.
Oh, I see that Justin Nault joined. What’s up, man? Everyone go check out Justin’s work, he’s doing a great job.
This next one is from Cole.
Cole says: “Are duck eggs typically better? I’ve been a lot more drawn to duck eggs when I have them.”
Duck eggs are awesome. We had a great source for duck eggs when we were back in Austin, and we got them all the time.
Now, if they’re better or not, it depends on your taste.
If they’re coming from pasture, then definitely. But in terms of cooking, they’re going to function a bit differently.
Number one, duck eggs are way bigger, as I’m sure you’ve noticed.
And when you use them in a recipe, it’s almost two to one. That would be one duck egg for two chicken eggs.
So be careful if you’re cooking with them, just make sure that you’re getting the right amount of egg in there.
Now, it’s also going to be a lot higher in fat, and it’s going to taste different than the chicken eggs. Duck eggs have a whole different thing going on.
So yeah, keep in mind that they’re a little different, they’ll function differently in recipes and when you’re cooking them up.
But duck eggs are totally awesome. Basically, get diversity. Not just in your veggie intake, but also in your meat and egg intake.
You don’t want to be eating too much of any particular food over and over again, especially if it’s meat.
And if you’re a craving duck eggs. Okay, so you’re asking nutrients-wise. Yeah, if you’re craving duck eggs then go for those.
Nutrients-wise, there are slight differences between the eggs from different animals, but I think instead of focusing on that I like to focus on trying to get that spectrum, like I mentioned.
Instead of trying to maximize vitamin A in any particular food source, it’s more about focusing on eating nose-to-tail of a bunch of different kinds.
Okay, so Cole says, “I usually have one by itself.” That’s great. Little bit of salt on there, cook it up in that duck fat.
That also goes really well. But basically here’s an important point.
You said “If you’ve been drawn to duck eggs.”
This is how your intuitive eating should work. If you feel more drawn to duck eggs then your body probably needs the nutrients in those more than it does the chicken eggs.
It’s really important to follow that way of eating.
For me, any time I get sick, my cravings change, and I notice that and I try to follow it.
Sometimes I don’t want to eat anything. Sometimes it’s just a little bit of broth. But following what you’re drawn to is such an important skill in eating, because not only is it going to be better for you, but it’s going to keep you interested.
And if you have a great source of duck eggs, double down on that. It’s so good, it’s such a treat.
But if you eat nothing but duck eggs for a while, and you cook it up in duck fat—and I’ve done this too—it gets gross. It gets really gross after a while. You can have too many of them.
So, you can abuse any healthy food. You can abuse any healthy exercise, as well. It’s important to just keep this all in balance.
That should be the goal anyway, and keep that diversity in your diet.
Let’s see, I’ve got time for a couple more here.
Alright, I’m totally not qualified to answer this next question from Steve, but he says…
Steven says: “How do you suggest getting back on track with 4 kids? It seems as though we don’t have enough time for basics, let alone planning for us.
I really miss how I felt when I was eating Paleo style, but it’s so overwhelming and expensive to get started again.”
Alright Steve, I’m with you, man. I hear you.
We don’t have 4 kids, but I know plenty of people with a ton of kids, and it seems like it’s always a massive challenge, and a massive struggle, and pretty much the most rewarding thing, as well.
Like I said, I’m not qualified really to answer that, but I am qualified to answer as a busy person. And a lot of people get really busy, and so no matter how busy you are, it’s still going to be a matter of priorities.
Is eating healthy expensive? That’s totally relative, right?
I think of it as so much cheaper than healthcare.
I haven’t gone to the doctor in a long time. I haven’t had to.
Eight years of having no medical expenses, essentially with a few small exceptions, is very inexpensive.
And that would be impossible if it weren’t eating some foods that are more expensive than the inexpensive fake foods.
So, a lot of this is psychological.
Yes, it can be overwhelming, but for instance right now I’m knocking the rust off some of my jazz guitar and jazz piano training.
And it happens slowly, but surely.
If you want to play some rock Rachmaninoff concerto right now, that’s going to be overwhelming, but if you want to learn how to play a C, and then the D, and then an E, or C scale or just a C chord, or something like that, any 3-year-old or 5-year-old can do it.
They’re doing it right now. You can do it, too.
And so the trick is, if it feels overwhelming, break it up into these tinier little pieces. Take that one step.
If it’s totally overwhelming then just do one thing today, do one thing tomorrow.
One food that you know that you shouldn’t be eating, whatever your version of Paleo style is, if you’re eating something that’s like that, stop.
That’s your one thing, just don’t do that for a few days. And after a few days it’ll be like, “Oh yeah, I remember what this feels like. This is worth it. It feels better to take out these food that I know are bad for me.”
And then the next thing you can do is look down at that plate and be like, “Alright, is it more than half veg?” No. Let’s make it more than half veg.
If not for this meal, then the next.
And don’t stress out about it, if you’re struggling with being overwhelmed, which so many of us are, especially people with large families like yours. Be good to yourself, be good to your family, be compassionate.
And try not to think of it as getting started again, because this is a life-long thing.
I’ve seen many people who have written books, New York Times bestsellers at the top of the charts, become fat and sick later because of their own advice.
From following it too much from not changing gears, from burning out. Everyone is subject to this at some point or another.
So, keep in mind that we’re all in this together.
You don’t have to get started again and be 100% perfect, and workout for three hours a day. That’ll lead to burn out.
Just start small. Start as an example for your kids.
There have been a few shows that I’ve done on the podcast and people have brought this up, where the people who do have kids (and I do not) say that so many moms and dads will use their kids as an excuse for not doing something, for not being in shape, for not working out anymore, for losing their passions and not doing that anymore.
But what this father recommended is that instead of using them as an excuse for having too little time and having it be really hard, just try to reframe it in your mind and use them as your excuse to be a good example for them, because they’re going to model you.
I know that I’m eating well and being healthy now in large part due to the fact that I was raised by a holistic nurse practitioner who worked professionally in health for many decades—my mom—and still does, and really embodied that the best that she could with some indulgences, as well.
And I think that’s an important thing to learn.
If I hadn’t seen my mom, my dad, my aunts and uncles, the people around me, not be perfect but trying to get a handle on health and try to do the right thing, I’m not sure that I’d be trying to do the right thing like I am today.
And so, keep that in mind. Those four kids that you have are watching your every little move, and so if you’re grabbing the Oreos and the ice cream instead of the carrots and the celery, not that it’s the sexiest thing, your kids will know and maybe later on down the road if you make the right call, they will too.
So, maybe that’s a little bit of motivation to help get you rolling again.
And we have tons of resources to help you with that.
If you sign up for the newsletter, I send you a few emails showing you around. And so if you want a refresher, you can just signup here.
You can also sign up for my YouTube channel, follow me on the social accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), and you’ll get these livestreams as well as the new shows that we’re doing.
But, I have answered a lot of these questions. And if you’re interested in knowing more, then be sure to check out the 300+ episodes of The Fat-Burning Man show that we have transcribed for free.
And then, of course, if you’d like to support us, you can always go to the store section, and that really helps, too.
If you want some of our specific programs and we have a lot of challenges and exciting things coming up, too.
Okay, time for just one or two more. And Rick says: “Thanks, I really appreciate it.” Thank you Rick, I appreciate your question, and I appreciate you.
Catherine: “Is Tabata similar to HIIT or HIIT training?”
Yes, almost exactly the same thing. It’s just a more specific way of doing it. Tabata, as I recall, is 20 seconds of intense activity, like a sprint for example, about 10 seconds off, repeated eight times.
So, when I do that style of workout, a lot of times I’ll do it with sprints, heel sprints, my fun way of doing it is outside. My less fun time-strapped and space-strapped way of doing it, is burpees. So for my Wild7 Workout as I call it just ’cause it’s seven minutes.
It should be a little bit more than that, for the warm-up at the beginning, and the cool down at the end.
But what I try to do, this is a good goal, especially if you’re in decent shape. If you’re in less good shape you can do less, if you’re in better shape you can do even more. This is all scalable.
But what it looks like for me is 20 seconds of all-out sprint, 10 seconds of rest, 20 seconds on, 10 seconds rest. You repeat that 10 times. And I do a bonus 11 just to make sure I’m totally gassed, and in about five minutes you’re done. You’re done.
If you’re doing it right, you are finished with your work out for that day, and you do want to cool down.
But yeah, that’s a really effective workout.
The high-intensity stuff, if you’re up for it, is probably going to be the quickest way to lean you down and get you in great shape, get you faster, improve your reflexes, but don’t forget strength-training because a little bit of strength training can improve your speed, and your balance and all that, as well.
Catherine says: “Thanks for transcribing all your podcasts, that is terrific.”
You’re welcome. We’ve put a lot of effort into it, especially Alyson, she does it every week that we put out a show. It’s a lot of work.
We do it with old fashioned humans, not any AI or bot or computers. So, hopefully there’s a little bit more heart in it.
But don’t forget, if you’re not able to join these livestreams or watch videos or listen to an hour long podcast, just type whatever you’re interested in into that search bar that we have there and it’ll pull up those transcripts.
It will pull up those shows, just sort through and see all these things that we’ve talked about because, man, I’ve been doing this for about 8 years now.
It blows my mind, but thankfully, I think there’s quite a bit out there, that we’ve done that can still serve you.
That was the point when I started recording back in 2011-2012. I wanted these podcasts and shows to be something that you could listen to 10 years later, and it wouldn’t have really lost any of the potency.
Because we’re not talking about specific politics and we’re not talking about something that’s happening right now, we’re talking about the pillars and foundations of health, and self-defense as it relates to the modern world.
Alright, I almost have to go. But here’s a question from Eric.
Eric says: “Hey Abel, love the show, listen on my weekend sprints on the beach. Best primal exercise for lower body with bad hips?”
Bad hips. I might have to go back to the Chi Kung right there, or Tai Chi or Yoga.
If you’ve got bad hips, then it’s all about going back to the simple fundamentals, not getting too fancy with too much weight, too much speed, too much power, or anything like that.
Just like simple squats, making sure that you’re balanced up and down.
It doesn’t have to be esoteric either, it doesn’t have to be yoga.
You don’t have to be going “Ommm” and meditating. It could be dancing. You could just go learn swing dancing, or something like that, if you’re up for it.
Depending on where your hips are at, there are hobbies that you can do and water sports, once again, are really great.
If you have bad hips, there are a lot of various exercises that you can do, but I’m not sure that I can really recommend one that’s going to win because it’s all about what you love.
Here’s what you want to do, is use as many muscles as possible. Balancing muscles, slow twitch, fast twitch, try to get them all balanced once again, and go slow.
You’re going to get a lot more benefit from going slowly. Doing some of those mobility workouts. Like I said, not making it too fancy.
Eric asks: “Favorite guest?”
Favorite guest. I’ll say my mom, my favorite guest is probably my mom.
Because when I first started this show, let’s see, man, life was very different. I was living in Texas, but had rented out my house.
And Alyson and I took a camper van, and we were driving all around the country, and eventually came to spend some time with my folks while they were living in New Hampshire for a while at the house that I grew up.
And so, while we were there I recorded the interview with my mom. My mom was one of my first guests on the podcast, and certainly the first one who wasn’t like a who’s who of the ancestral health community, or whatever, which is where we started.
But when I had her on, I realized how thankful I am to have been raised with all of her knowledge that she’s passed down, and the knowledge from our families.
Because going out there in suburbia later in life and going to an Ivy League college, and meeting all sorts of people, and working in consulting, I met a lot of people who didn’t have that kind of grassroots experience with farmers and with dirt and with playing outside that I did.
And so I’ll say my favorite guest was my mom and she’ll be coming back on the show. I’m saving it up.
My parents will be coming out here to visit in just a few weeks, and I’m really excited.
But anyway, yeah, she’s been a great help, my mom, with Wild Superfoods, as I mentioned.
She’s a holistic nurse practitioner, an herbalist, a musician, as well. And so, she’s one of my biggest heroes and I hope that you go and check out that episode which is many years old now at this point.
But yeah, she’d be my favorite.
But that said, I have over a dozen episodes of the podcast that I either have recorded, or will record in the next few days, that will be released out to you guys over the next several weeks.
I have a new book called Designer Babies Still Get Scabies. It’s a book of satire and poetry, and I just recorded the audio book. We’ve got some great quotes coming in, lots of funny surprises.
We’re doing some giant giveaways coming up for the Designer Babies book launch. I’ll be autographing copies of The Wild Diet and we’ll be giving away Wild Superfoods goodies.
So be sure that you go to fatburningman.com, sign up for the newsletter so that you get all of the goodies for the giveaways.
Then if you want some of my virtual adventure tours in 360 virtual reality, if you haven’t seen those yet a lot of them are at abeljames.com or subscribe to my YouTube channel, Vimeo, or VeeR.tv.
We just had a mom write in, who was watching some of those VR videos with their kids of Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons, and the Badlands and a few other places. And now they’re actually going on a vacation as a family to those places this year because of those videos, or I don’t know if it’s because of them, but I hope that there is some small part to play in that.
And so if you’re interested in seeing a volcano or a super-volcano, we’ve been to a few at this point. Or if you want to see Serpent Mound, this crazy 1400-foot effigy of a serpent that’s thousands of years old in Ohio. I know it’s crazy. Or America’s Stonehenge, then check out abeljames.com.
And then I’m doing a whole bunch of improv music videos as well. We’ve released over 300 VR videos now.
I love keeping in touch with you guys, thanks so much once again, I’ll talk to you soon.
Before You Go…
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What did you think of this Ask Me Anything? Drop a comment below to share your thoughts!
Your work is so full of useful information.
Thank you for adding to my knowledge about low carbs. Keep sharing.
Varun Sharma says
Amazing.!! Thanks for sharing.
Joy Stafford says
I am allergic to almond, soy, peanuts. What can I substitute to make some of these great sounding deserts that you show so many of?
Kirk Boberg says
HI Abel I had some thoughts about chicken. What do you think about organic chicken sold out there and the inorganic kind?
My understanding is that a lot of the organic corn or flax or soybeans or other feed items fed to organic chicken is imported from countries with questionable records of food safety. I also read in some sites that organic does not necessarily mean free range.
I cannot afford free range organic chicken most of the time as it is more than twice as expensive as regular chicken. The most affordable free range organic chicken I find is the chicken drumsticks at trader joes at $1.99 a pound. I buy a whole bunch of them, marinade them, grill them and debone them and use the grilled meat for many recipes and the bones to make bone broth.
Costco’s organic chicken is not that expensive either but it only says ORGANIC, not FREE RANGE,
…also, I wonder how (un)healthy the $4.99 rotiserrie chicken is at Costco. It is indeed very tempting to buy at that price and is almost always delicious !! And I have used the carcass to make excellent bone broth as well!!
I have, however, seen 1 whole chicken costing up to $40 in some farmers markets . I just wonder what makes them so special, but I have bought them and the fat in these chicken is a deep yellow. I read somewhere that deep yellow fat is a good sign of organic, free range, natural chicken, as the factory farm ones have bright white fat….Not sure if it is true…
I guess the best thing to do is to find the best possible quality organic, free range meat pay whatever it costs. but eat less of it….