I’m stoked to have Dean Dwyer join me today. He’s a popular blogger, rising star in the Paleo world, and one heck of a cool Canadian.
Dean and I were shocked to learn that we’ll be presenting together with the Goliaths of Paleo including Mark Sisson, Robb Wolf, and Jack Kruse at PaleoFX during South by Southwest. We figured we might as well hang out and have some fun beforehand, so here we are.
Dean and I chat about everything from:
- Why Dean fired the health and fitness “experts” and went on to lose 40 pounds
- Advice and tips for Paleo beginners
- How Dean and I are secretly embarrassed to have cheesy, half-naked pictures of ourselves all over the internet
- How to get zero-pack abs
- Mark Sisson’s carbohydrate curve
- How Tim Ferriss screwed everything up
- And why Dean would make a terrible Batman
Ready? Here we go.
Interview with Dean Dwyer of BeingPrimal.com
Abel James: Hi there. This is Abel James with FatBurningMan.com. Thanks so much for listening. Today we’re here with Dean Dwyer who’s a rising star in the Paleo movement and one heck of a cool Canadian. We’re going to be talking about everything from why we don’t listen to the diet and fitness experts anymore, to how Tim Ferriss screwed everything up, and how to get zero‑pack abs.
What do you say? You want to meet Dean? Yeah, let’s do it!
Dean Dwyer: Let’s do it baby!
Abel: Let’s do it. All right, so today I’m stoked to have Dean Dwyer who’s a popular blogger, Paleo advocate, and Facebook wizard. Dean, thanks for joining us.
Dean: Sorry you got me in mid-drink. A Facebook wizard? I like that!
Abel: That’s right!
Dean: I need a t‑shirt with that on there.
Abel: Dean and I were shocked to learn that we’ll both be presenting together, actually, with the goliaths of Paleo including Mark Sisson, Robb Wolf, and Jack Kruse at the Paleo FX at South by Southwest. So, Dean, I have a feeling that we’re going to turn the Paleo world upside down, and have some frickin’ fun.
Dean: Yeah, It’s going to be a blast actually. I’m really looking forward to it. I think it’s going to be great just to see all these people that, like the Mark Sissons and the Robb Wolfs, you just basically see online.
Dean: It’ll be great to actually meet them, and talk to them, and see them for real people. I’m looking forward to, I haven’t had this happen in the real world and I don’t know if you’ve had this yet, Abel, actually meeting people who subscribe to your blog. I haven’t had that yet so that’s going to be these people that I see on Facebook or who have sent me emails. I know some of them are going.
Dean: That, actually, for me, is going to be the best part of that.
Abel: Yeah, that’ll be cool. You’re famous and you don’t even really know it yet. Right?
Dean: Yeah, I know a couple of people have said that, it may be, but I haven’t wrapped my head around that. It just seems a little weird.
Abel: Yeah. So for all the folks out there who haven’t been to his blog, I really like Dean’s spot online which is BeingPrimal.com. Your posts always have a humor to them, and definitely a shameless wit. How did you get started with that?
Dean: Well, you know, we had chatted about this when we chatted previously, but this was blog number three for me. The first two blogs, I was trying to find something that I thought other people…I was trying to find a niche that was sort of out there that I thought I could fill. This time around, I had decided that, at the end of the day, I really needed to figure out how to solve my own problems. And if I could solve my own, which I managed to do, that there were probably other people that would be interested in my solution.
So that was basically the genesis of how this site came to be which was just simply to share what I knew. I was taking an idea that I had stolen from somebody else.
Dean: Yeah, I’m a big stealer of ideas, but, to “Write the book you would want to read.” I thought, “I’m going to author the blog that I would want to read.” It was just basically more about the kinds of things that I struggle with and that no one is really talking about.
Abel: Yeah. Dean and I were talking the other day about how awkward it is to put yourself out there before and after and half naked. I think your picture makes you look a little bit like Bruce Wayne. I think you’d be a good Batman.
Dean: [laughs] My fighting skills are terrible, though. Batman would be losing all his fights if I was playing Batman.
Abel: But you have the good, badass look on your face. That’s actually one of the things I love about it.
Dean: I actually wrote a blog post about that, I don’t know where I sent that in to. I joked about that because I take these terrible pictures. I’ve got a lazy eye and my smile gets all goofy, so I was trying to sort of make everything kind of concentric. Anyway, I forgot to smile. [laughs]
Abel: [laughs] It’s OK. It works.
Dean: Bottom line, I forgot to smile.
Abel: I like it a lot. [laughs] I’m one to talk, mine’s probably the cheesiest ever.
Dean: [laughs] I was going to say, “If it gives me that badass look though, I’ll take that.”
Abel: Yeah. [laughs] You should definitely take that one.
So I did want to talk about…I was a vegetarian for years, and always someone who strived to be healthy as I possibly could be by dodging anything fatty and running myself like a hamster, but it left me flabby and miserable. You have a similar story, right? You were a vegetarian I think for 18 years, is that right? And what happened?
Dean: Yeah, almost 19 years.
Dean: The whole vegetarian thing is very, I think, symbolic of my journey back then. I was doing a lot of stuff. As a matter of fact, I had this conversation with someone last night. I did a lot of stuff, just doing stuff that seemed like it was healthy.
Initially, when I came out of university, I was really heavy. So I started doing some research on diets and exercise and those sorts of things. I kept coming across vegetarian stuff and it really seemed like something that I needed to be part of.
I went cold turkey and did the whole vegetarian thing, but at no point in the 19 years, Abel, did I ever sort of step back and asked myself the question of whether or not it actually worked for me.
Abel: [laughs] Yeah.
Dean: And it only took me 19 years to realize that it actually doesn’t work for my body type.
Dean: Not to slag on vegetarianism, I’m sure there are people out there that it does work for. But we’re as unique as our fingerprints. I would have moments where I could get close to where I wanted to go, but I always sort of ended up back where I started or even further behind.
But, yeah, it was 19 years and I finally had that moment that I’m holding my fat in my hands, on my stomach, and I’m like, “This doesn’t work for me.”
Dean: And sort of what I said to you a bit earlier, I should’ve made that realization about 30 days after I started vegetarianism. I would’ve realized that it wasn’t working and some changes needed to be made. But I just didn’t have the thought process about how to go through and evaluate the effectiveness of any of the stuff that I was doing.
Dean: I think that’s one of the things that people really struggle with, right? We get caught up in doing stuff, we have no way of gauging whether it is effective or not.
Abel: Yeah, that’s right. I think when you start something like that, a lot of people don’t really believe that they can change. It’s just the way that they are. So they become a vegetarian or become Paleo, or become whatever. They just think that their body is frozen in time and it’s just their body type or something like that.
It’s amazing the changes that can happen when you try different things. You know, some people can do just fine eating tons of carbs, other people balloon out. The same is true with meat and vegetables.
I think for me it wasn’t as much being a vegetarian as much as it was eating all the processed crap that is marketed to vegetarians, like that tofu baloney ‑‑ literally ‑‑ [laughs] and tofu bacon and just processed crap. I still had some in my fridge actually because someone was visiting and they were vegetarian.
I looked at it and it had been sitting in there for…must have been a year or something. But I turned it over and I looked at the ingredients in one of these veggie burgers and it was half the box. It was just nauseating. Just MSG and soy and wheat and it’s like, “What are all these things doing in there?”
Dean: Again, I wish I just had the mindset that I have now back then because there was a part of me that knew, like for example, I used to drink a lot of soy milk and rice milk and buy those veggie dogs and stuff like that and every time I had them I would be really, really bloated. But for the 19 years I was vegetarian, bloating was always a by‑product of every meal I had. I just assumed that was normal.
It wasn’t till I actually switched to a Paleo diet that within the first week I was like, wow, I’m not bloated anymore. If I was ever going to do a before and after shot when I was vegetarian, I’d have to take a picture the moment I woke up because that was when I was my thinnest. But with Paleo it doesn’t matter, any time of the day I’m not bloated with the food that I eat now. So it was a startling revelation to realize that bloating is not normal.
Abel: Right! So, take us from the beginning, I guess, from before your transformation and then up to now.
Dean: I take it that when you say ‘beginning’ you don’t want to know where I was born? [laughs] That’s a little too far back, right? We’ve gone back too far. Sorry.
Abel: Right. [laughs]
Dean: So you mean sort of this moment that I realized that things weren’t working?
Abel: Yes, exactly. When you started your change in diet and your life, and what happened along the way.
Dean: OK. I remember the day exactly, it was November 23rd, 2010, and I’m standing shirtless in front of my mirror holding my spare tire in my hands…
Abel: Is that the picture on your blog?
Dean: That’s the picture. That’s the day. I decided then, I thought, as much as I didn’t like being shirtless because it was a reminder of 25 years of failure, I thought I ‘ve gotta document. Part of this journey for me was that I needed to be completely different. Like if I wanted a different result this time, I couldn’t do the same things I was doing in the past. So I thought “I’m going to take a picture of what I look like now so that I’ve got some gauge, a reference point upon which to come back to.”
But I’m standing there and I’m just thinking, “I’ve got to be completely different to what I’ve done in the past.” So I jumped online, sorry, no, I continued to be a vegetarian but I just started playing around with philosophy so my workouts…I had it in my head that a workout always had to be an hour and I felt like I had to work out seven days a week which is all silliness because it’s tough to sustain that, right?
There’s no downtime. You can’t have on off day which is crazy. I just started playing around with exercise intensity and going five days a week and only 30 minutes or less. And that seemed to work and then I met Tim Ferriss.
I didn’t meet him in person but a friend of mine sent me his book, The Four Hour Body and there’s some brilliant stuff in there. And one of the things he talked about was the slow carb meal, or a slow carb diet. He talked about a breakfast which was right in line with what I was doing as a vegetarian: essentially a good slow carb breakfast would be eggs with veggies, which I was already having, but you mix in quality legumes.
I’m like, “OK.” I didn’t eat a lot of beans, even as a vegetarian, but I thought, “OK. That makes sense.” I started doing that, did that for about three weeks. Then I had my, “Damn you, Tim Ferriss,” moment because I realized I was gaining weight. But, luckily, at that point, too, I had also started recording the foods that I was eating. I was just doing it in a Microsoft document, but I knew I’d only made one change. It was the beans.
Dean: So I realized that beans were making me fat. So, I jumped online. I have no idea how I got onto Mark Sisson’s site, I don’t even know what I typed in, but I came across this Paleo thing which I had never seen before. I’d never heard about Paleo. I knew nothing about it.
I spent about an hour on his site. There were two articles, in particular, that I came across. One was talking about a carbohydrate curve. I looked at that and I’m like, “Wow, this really makes a lot of sense.”
Dean: People get caught up in semantics when we talk about the Paleo diet with the whole evolutionary thing and stuff like that.
Dean: I thought it makes sense. There are so many things that we do on an evolutionary standpoint. When somebody sneaks up and scares me, you know, I scream like a child.
Dean: That’s an evolutionary reaction.
Abel: I’m going to try that at PaleoFX.
Dean: [laughs] I’ll look like a marionette. My arms go in the air. My brother used to do it to me all the time, and my reaction makes me laugh.
Dean: Because, dude, your 46, what are you doing? You’re screaming like a little boy.
Dean: But I totally lost my train of thought there.
Dean: Which will happen a lot.
Abel: Mark Sisson’s carbohydrate curve and then evolutionary things that we do.
Dean: Yes, thank you. Thank god, one of us is listening to what I’m saying.
Dean: Yeah. I came across Mark Sisson’s site. It made sense. You know, some people need a ton of convincing, but again, just from an evolutionary standpoint I thought, “Why not?” I wasn’t saying it was going to work. I wasn’t going into this with any illusion of what was going to happen, but it made sense. I thought, “I’m going to give this a try.”
That’s kind of how it started. Literally, the moment I read the carbohydrate thing, I thought, “That’s it. I’m dumping the whole vegetarian thing,” and I did. Instantly, I was like, “OK. I’m not going to be a vegetarian anymore,” jumped on my bike, I went down to the grocery store. I think I bought some chicken and some hamburger, I think. It wasn’t a ton of meat, but I bought some chicken and hamburger. I thought, “Let’s just give this a shot and see if it works.”
Abel: Yeah. I remember seeing that, and I’m like, “Wow! That is the first time I’ve ever seen visually how a low-carb, or even high-carb, diet makes sense in terms of what happens to you. Because low-carb really gets a bad rap.
This is more just setting a reference point for what makes sense, in terms of, “Can you eat carbs?” Sure, anyone can eat carbs, but it’s more scalable based on exercise, and your body-type, and that sort of thing. There’s nothing wrong with eating very few carbs. In fact, you don’t really need them at all.
Dean: I like what you said about scalable. I was just going to say, the idea of scalable is a great comment. I also think the thing that it did for me, and you talking about the brilliance of it, it actually made this whole thing tangible.
We talk in terms of eating healthy and those sorts of things, but this thing, I thought, it’s almost mathematical.
Abel: It is.
Dean: There’s a certain number of carbs…now, the numbers meant nothing to me. I was looking at the carbohydrate curb. They were saying between 100 and 150 grams of carbs a day basically allows you to maintain your weight.
That meant nothing to me because I didn’t know what that looked like from a meal plan standpoint. But, as you said, it gave me a reference point. What I did, and this is the thing that I tell people, too, I didn’t take it literally. I didn’t say, “OK, I need to be at 100 grams,” because some people get carried away with this stuff.
Dean: The way I looked at his carbohydrate curve, I basically Dean-a-cized it, is that we all have a threshold. I think we have a carbohydrate threshold. As you said, it’s different for everyone. There are some people who have an intolerance to carbs, and that’s the thing that I realized with the vegetarian diet.
With my diet, with a vegetarian diet, I was taking in somewhere between 300 and 450 grams of carbs a day, which is insane for my body type. It just didn’t work. There are other people that could do that, and as you said, they’re fine. But it didn’t work for me.
That actually gave me a starting point. It gave me numbers that I could actually play around with and test out to see, and that’s exactly what I did. I started, I thought, “Well, I’m going to try to stay between 80 and 120 and see what happens.”
As you said, it’s not hard. Somebody introduced me one time as being low‑carb, and I said, “I’m not low‑carb,” I said “I’m controlled‑carb.” I said “I know what my threshold is, and, for me, it is about 80 to 120 grams.” But like he says, it’s good carbs. It’s coming from quality vegetables and some of the other foods that we eat, but nothing insane.
Abel: It’s funny that people also call that low‑carb, because, like you said, looking at the evolutionary reference point, that’s probably medium- to high‑carb when you think about it that way, right? [laughs]
Talk about it in today’s culture where everyone’s eating 600 grams a day or something like that, of course it’s low‑carb. It’s funny because I think there is a little bit of overlap.
It’s just funny how people talk about it as being low‑carb. I think admittedly I do the same thing because that’s what resonates with people. That’s what they understand it to be.
Dean: Yeah, there is a misnomer about low‑carb and I think part of the problem is that there’s a lot of products that are geared as low‑carb, that are garbage. It falls into the whole…and I think this is where the problem lies, and this is why a lot of people roll their eyes at low‑carb as well—is that you can get low‑carb cookies.
Dean: Well, a cookie is still a cookie. Even a Paleo cookie is still a cookie. It doesn’t matter what kind of a label you put on it, people try to justify and say, “No, that’s a Paleo cookie.” No, it’s still a cookie.
Abel: [laughs] It doesn’t count.
Dean: It’s crap. It’s not something that you should make as a regular part of your diet.
Dean: People get caught up in these labels and I think that’s part of the problem that we have with all this stuff. It’s like the grapefruit diet. It becomes a little fad‑like and tough for the non‑believers to kind of buy into it.
Abel: But eating like a human, it should be said, is not a fad. [laughs] I said that in a few of my blog posts. [laughs] Eating real food is not a fad.
Dean: Yeah, I was just going to say it, if someone said to me…I really try actually not to use labels. I think the moment that you start using a label, you polarize people. People either are for it or against it, and they feel if they’re against it, they have to somehow, even… It’s always overweight people that seem to have a problem with it, and they’re suddenly an expert on diet and how I’m getting all this, though.
I try not to use the label. If somebody says to me, “What are you doing?” If I just say, “Well, you know what? I actually just cleaned up my diet and just started eating real foods. I don’t eat processed foods anymore. I’m exercising smarter and it’s worked really well. I’ve had these great changes,” people will be like, “Oh, cool.” No one is going to say “Oh my God, you shouldn’t be eating real foods, and what’s this thing you’re talking about, exercise? That’s insane!” No one is going to say anything about that.
Dean: When I say I’m eating the caveman diet, then they’re like, “Oh my God, caveman? What are you talking about? Clubs?” It brings up these images that invite people to jump in and argue against it, which takes a tremendous amount of energy.
Abel: Yeah, right. We were talking about this the other day too, that Paleo somehow co‑opted the whole real food movement, [laughs] so a lot of these people identify now as Paleo. I never thought about it that way until I realized that there were other people doing the same thing.
Now, it’s really cool because it’s a huge community, and these people are so into it and are very, very educated about the way that food works and the body works. I think it’s fascinating. I’m definitely stoked to see them all in the flesh, too.
Dean: Well, I think, as you said, the community is actually really close, and much closer than other communities. All the other communities are kind of fragmented, but the Paleo community is actually pretty close. They’re all really interconnected, which is really awesome. I’ve never really been a part of anything like this before, so it’s actually pretty cool.
Abel: Yeah. Why don’t you listen to the diet and fitness experts anymore? At least the conventional ones.
Dean: Ah, yes! My firing of the experts. [laughs] It’s a good question and there’s a couple of reasons for that. The first reason, and I see this all the time online, is we basically turn over our brains to somebody else, and we ask them to tell us what to do. There’s a real problem with that, because what ends up happening is, we become so dependent on someone else to change us that we’re unable to think for ourselves. We’re unable to make any educated choices about what to do and what not to do.
I see this all the time in forums. Somebody on my Facebook page today basically said, “I’ve been Paleo for two weeks. It’s not working. What’s wrong?” That’s not the kinds of questions people should be asking.
Dean: Tiger Woods said something, not about sleeping with 16 other women, but he said something when he was playing golf, where he had to think his way around the golf course. I remember when I heard that, it was the first time that I realized that golf is not just whacking a golf ball and you get up to it and then you hit your next shot.
Dean: It’s that have to understand all the elements that are at play. When we put out faith completely in somebody else, we don’t understand the elements in play. At the end of the day, Abel, no one can tell me about me. Mark Sisson, Robb Wolf, it doesn’t matter who, they can make suggestions about things that I can do, but what works for them is not necessarily going to work for me.
At the end of the day, I’m the final filter in deciding whether or not that information works or not. Most of the time I’m not going to know until I test it.
We talked about Mark’s carbohydrate curve. I didn’t just say “This is a stated fact because Mark Sisson said…” No. It made sense to me. It made sense to me on an intellectual level, on an evolutionary level, on a whole bunch of different levels.
Dean: But at the end of the day, I’m the final decision maker and whether or not I choose to accept that or not. It was really for that. Again, if I was going to have any success with this, the success was going to be based on the decisions that I made, not what somebody else made for me.
I didn’t want to feel helpless and just sitting around, waiting for someone else to, “Oh, tell me what exercises to do now,” and “What should I eat?” I see a lot of that.
I was telling somebody a couple weeks ago, there was a whole thing that came out with… remember that article that came out about, I don’t know who it was, but they were talking about making pizza a vegetable?
Abel: [laughs] Yeah, I did see that.
Dean: Yeah, and people were… It was all kinds of stuff going on about the government and stuff like that. I’m thinking, people can say whatever they want. There’s no issue with the fact that somebody has came out to say that pizza is a vegetable. The issue is that some people are going to believe that. They are going to buy into that.
Dean: They’re just simply going to say, “Well, the government said it’s a vegetable, so it’s a vegetable.”
The bigger issue is we’ve lost our ability to think critically. People don’t know how to wade through information and make decisions on their own about what makes sense and what doesn’t.
We hear that thing about pizza is a vegetable and we laugh, but there is a large portion of the population that will say, “Oh, no, no. Don’t you know that pizza is a vegetable?” They will state that now as a fact, because they saw it on a commercial or in a blog post, or in the newspaper.
Abel: Yeah. I prefer meatza, personally. [laughs] I don’t know if you’ve had that yet. Have you?
Dean: No, what is it?
Abel: [laughs] Instead of using grains as the crust, you use the meat. Then you cover it in tomato sauce and cheese…
Abel: …and lots of veggies. It’s one of the best things [laughs] I’ve ever had, I got to say it.
Dean: A meatza, I love it!
Abel: Meatza, yeah. Richard Nikoley actually has a good recipe in his book.
Dean: Oh, yeah?
Dean: Very cool.
Abel: Man, I love that stuff.
Abel: I think I saw something on your blog recently about addressing the naysayers out there. The first time anyone hears something, even if you do say, “Well, I’m eating real foods,” they are like, “Wait a second, does that mean caveman?” The caveman’s bad.
Dean: I’ve talked about it a couple of times actually, and again, it’s funny. I’ve had a few people now say, “I really like your no‑nonsense style,” and I had to laugh because it never occurred to me that that was my style. I guess that’s how it comes off in the blog world.
But, personally, for me, I spend very little time justifying the way that I eat, for a couple of reasons. I think number one, and this is having 19 years of being a vegetarian behind me. I’m actually really good at it now because I had to do it a lot, I got to decide pretty quick who was asking…who genuinely wants to know more, and who is asking because they want to prove me wrong.
So I always knew who wanted to prove me wrong, so for them, I would deflate very quickly. I would find a way to get out of it. I wasn’t going to spend any time explaining it. But there’s a lot of other people who genuinely want to know.
I think we use up so much energy explaining to people why we’re doing what we’re doing that…you know, it’s very tough to change a person’s mind. If people already have a mindset about how they feel about that, there’s not much that I’m going to say that’s going to be able to change them.
I’m not looking to convince them that what I’m doing is right. Part of this too, Abel, comes down to most people are not comfortable with their own decisions.
Dean: And because they’re not comfortable with that, they’re really uncomfortable when other people question them. As I said, I realized that 19 years as a vegetarian has actually, I became really comfortable with the fact that, “Listen, I’m doing this for me for reasons that I feel are right, and I don’t feel any need to explain or to justify.”
So the transition into Paleo has been really easy for me. But I have to make sure that I don’t make that sound really simple, because for a lot of people, that’s a really tough challenge. How do you go about sort of explaining it?
Again, you walk a fine line, because you’ve got to sort of get a sense of whether people are asking because they want to argue with you and tell you that you’re wrong. That in and of itself takes a tremendous amount of energy away from you.
Abel: Yeah. [laughs]
Dean: It’s deflating. You walk away and it’s hard not to have that impact you psychologically. Even though we say, “No, it doesn’t bother me,” it does bother us. It does bother us when we’re being bombarded with negative comments about what we’re doing. We’ve really got to kind of shield ourselves from that I think, especially at the beginning.
I’m at a point now where, as I said, if people don’t agree with it, that’s fine. The reverse is I don’t bash. I posted something this morning and this is actually a cool story. So a friend of mine yesterday, I meet with him every two weeks. We meet to talk about our businesses and what we’re doing.
Dean: So yesterday we meet and he says, “Hey, listen, I got to tell you something,” and I have no idea what’s he going to say. I thought he was going to tell me him and his wife were having another baby.
Dean: He said, “I’ve been Paleo for 26 days and I’ve lost 15 pounds.”
Dean: I’m, “What?” I reflected on that, and on my Facebook fan page this morning I was just writing about…I think I did have something to do with that, but I never once told him that he should go Paleo.
Dean: The other thing that I never did, and I don’t do this, is I don’t bash other people’s diets.
Dean: I see this way too much. Again, I’ve done them all, right. I’ve been a vegan, I’ve been a vegetarian. I’ve done the standard American diet. What else have I done? There’s another one in there that I’ve done, too. I’ve done everything, so I’ve been in all of them. It doesn’t matter where you sit. If you’re doing that, you’re doing it because you think you’re doing the right thing for you.
Part of this, too, is I don’t bash other people’s diets, so I don’t get a lot of negative feedback coming back at me either. I think that that also plays into the whole equation as well.
Abel: Yeah, that does help. It is [laughs] funny though what shows up, especially, as you talked about, on Facebook walls and that sort of thing. I just got one yesterday. I don’t know if you saw this, the US News Report put Paleo dead last, like 24 out of 24, in terms of which diets to follow, and which are actually good for you and bad for you.
Dean: I love it. I love it when they do that actually.
Abel: [laughs] Yeah, so someone posted, actually an old friend posted it on my wall, and he’s like, “Well, so what do you think about this?” [laughs] I do enjoy discussing things about that, because it was a cheeky way to talk about it, and he was actually interested in the answer.
But you’re right. Even the Paleo diet or being a vegetarian… when I was a vegetarian, from time to time, if there were chicken around, I would have a little bit of chicken.
Abel: I know, right? [laughs]
So many people are just dead set on eating one particular way, but I think there’s a good thing happening in Paleo and hopefully, with other diets out there, where it’s just more of a framework to make decisions. It’s a lifestyle choice and that’s really what it should be, because if I couldn’t eat cookies from time to time [laughs] I’m not sure I would survive.
Dean: I love what you just said, a framework to make decisions. I like it so much in fact Abel, I’m writing it down and I might steal it.
Abel: You’re not going to steal it from me are you? [laughs]
Dean: I might steal it, but I will tell you this, I’m a stealer who gives props to people I steal from.
Abel: I appreciate that. [laughs]
Dean: That was actually brilliant.
Abel: Hope you…
Dean: Maybe I should be interviewing you right now. It sounds like you’re making better points than I am.
Abel: [laughs] This is the beginning of a great relationship.
Dean: [laughs] No, you’re absolutely right. You’re absolutely right with that. There’s a lot of, I call them Paleo Nazis, people that get out there and they bash anybody who ventures outside the lines, who is willing to color outside the lines. Which, again, it’s this ridiculous mindset that’s out there.
As you said, it is a framework to make decisions, and we all do it differently. The guy I mentioned…I did three treats a week and some people go, “That’s not Paleo,” and I’m like, “I don’t care. I’m not interested in whether or not you think it’s Paleo or not. I’m not trying to please you, I’m trying to find something that works for me
I don’t need to justify to somebody if they don’t think it’s Paleo. It’s like, that’s great. You sleep on that, let me know… Well, actually don’t let me know, I don’t care what you come up with in the morning. It doesn’t matter.
Dean: Again, I’m making that sound easier than it is for some people. Because you really do have to insulate yourself from that and learn how to be at peace with your own decisions.
People say you’ve got to grow a thick skin and everything else. I think there’s a misunderstanding with that. We just need to learn to be comfortable with our own decisions, and a lot of people with this are not. It takes time to get to the point where it’s like yeah I’m OK with this.
Abel: Yeah. And just laugh it off, you know. [laughs] Almost every time I go out, it’s with some of my friends and one of them will be like, “Wait a second, is that beer okay with your diet?”
Dean: My friends get me all the time. I was at a friend’s cottage. So I stopped drinking beer and I would actually drink wine.
Dean: I was drinking like the cheapest wine. Like a white Zinfandel. It’s like a nine‑dollar bottle.
Abel: Hopefully, it’s not in the bag.
Dean: It wasn’t in a bag.
Dean: But it’s got this pinkish hue to it.
Abel: Oh no.
Dean: It’s a guy’s weekend, so you can just imagine.
Dean: Everybody’s drinking beer and there’s this one guy that’s got a wine glass with pink wine in it. I took a bit of abuse for that.
Abel: Yeah. How many times did you get punched in the face?
Dean: I didn’t get punched. Actually, they’re pretty cool. They also know 19 years of being a vegetarian…
Dean: They expect all kinds of weird things from me.
Dean: It’s just another thing that Dwyer does.
Dean: They roll with it.
Abel: It’s good to be the weird guy in the group, isn’t it? ‘Cause they all just brush it off more easily I think.
Dean: I think now it’s the leader in the group actually.
Abel: It is, yeah. That happened to me, too.
Dean: The vegetarian thing, people are all like “I don’t know about that.”
Dean: But the whole Paleo thing… my friends have been great actually. I have not had one single friend that has mocked what I’m doing. They are all legitimately interested in what’s going on so it’s… It’s great to see that once you start to get results, and you’ve noticed this as well, but when you start to get results, people take notice.
It’s off topic but kind of related. That’s another mistake a lot of people make is they decided they’re going to do the Paleo diet, and they start preaching it to everybody. I just want to say, “Shut up. Get results.” You know, when I was a kid we used to have born-again Christians who would come to the door and sell religion.
They were great people, but nobody wants to be sold something that they don’t want. People push so hard to sell Paleo. Listen, make it work for you first. If you can make it work for you, and there are huge differences happening, people will take notice. When they take notice, they’ll come to you and they’ll start asking you questions. That’s where you’re going to have the most impact on people.
Dean: But you’ve got to make it work. I’ve had a guy who used to be a personal trainer. The guy was massive. He was big, but he was 50 pounds overweight. How much am I going to learn from this guy? He’s telling me to be disciplined, and yet the guy’s got about 50 pounds to lose. There’s a lot of “experts” out there. People can’t see that I did air quotes on this.
Abel: It is offensive, too, when you tell someone to eat a certain way especially when they know nothing about it, the other person I mean. So, if I tell someone to eat like a caveman, they’re like what? Eat lots of meat? Why would I do that?
It’s basically telling them that everything they think is wrong. Even if that may be true, that still doesn’t give you any kind of an excuse to say that. Because I was thinking about this: if I talked to myself five years ago, same person, I would get into a huge fight if I tried to tell the other one how to eat. Because five years ago, I was a vegetarian. I was die-hard about it aside from chicken from time to time, when I was trying not to be a jerk to the people who were serving me food.
But, it takes a lot of time to figure out, like you said, what works for you and what is the truth out there. There’s so much nonsense, especially if you tell someone…I think one of the quickest and easiest things you can do is cut out processed foods and especially cut out wheat products. But, if you tell someone to stop eating wheat, stop eating gluten, stop eating pretty much anything in a package, it’s telling them that they’re absolutely wrong.
Dean: I think, as you said, because basically what you’re doing is you’re telling people what they’re doing is wrong. You’re right. I would have had the same thing, had somebody Paleo come to me five years ago as a vegetarian…and I remember this as a vegetarian. This has actually shaped how I see this now, but I remember as a vegetarian, I thought I had it all figured out and I remember looking at other people going, “You poor suckers, you don’t know what you’re in for.”
I realize now that this judgmental I’ve got it all figured out and you don’t thing doesn’t work. It doesn’t help the cause. I’m very sensitive to that now in the sense that I realize that everybody is doing what they think is right. The moment that you step up to the plate and say listen, you should be doing this, what you’re really saying is what you’re doing is wrong and people take offense to that. And, they should take offense to that, right?
So, yeah, we walk a fine line with that. It’s really tough. I’m not a salesman. I’m not going to come out…I’m going to let what I’m doing speak for itself. I do my sales pitch on my blog. But when I’m out in public and in person, stuff like that, people will have to ask me if they want to hear what’s going on.
Abel: Dean, I get the impression that you’re a motivated type of guy. I know you started this whole Paleo thing with one thing in mind, or one of several things, which is to get a six pack. But, that’s really changed as you’ve come along the journey. So, tell us about that.
Dean: Yeah, that lasted about a month. I, typical guy, I always laugh because guys have a very different mentality to this than women do, and I had the typical, how do I get a six pack? I was about a month into it and I thought, “You’re an idiot, that’s not going to get me anywhere.”
This journey is so much more complex than I think it is. It really is, not to make is sound hokey, but it’s an emotional journey, it’s a spiritual journey, it’s a physical journey, it’s an intellectual journey. It’s on so many different levels. It was the first time that I realized that it’s a holistic journey. It’s not just about diet. It’s not just about exercise. It’s not just about six pack abs.
And, when I stepped back from that, what I realized was that if I do the things that allow me to be as healthy as I can be, then the byproduct, or the consequences, the good consequences, will be things like leanness, will be things like muscle separation, will be things like abs. But, you can’t make abs from nothing. There’s a series of behaviors that you need to have.
My focus then shifted from—forget about the six pack abs thing–my goal is to adopt the behaviors that allow me to create what it is I want to create. If I adopt those behaviors, then all those other things will happen.
Again, there’s a different approach to it now. It resonates a lot more with women than it does with guys. Because again, most guys are coming at it from where I started with this, it was like, “I want abs. How do I get abs?” Tell me two things, Abel, that I can do to get abs. I’d be like, “I can’t tell you any, I can’t tell you this. You’re not going to get them.”
Abel: It might get you abs. I do tell people, because that’s one of the biggest questions that I get is, how do you get abs? But, that’s really like you said, not at all the most important thing. I got those things. I got bigger muscles and a six pack and all of that other stuff, that’s totally superficial. What I really value about it all, is the ability to get out of bed in the morning, just feel awesome all day, sleep really well at night.
All these little problems that I had; bloating and just feeling super tired after meals, the puffiness, the inflammation, all that was just pretty much gone within a few weeks, as soon as I made that series of changes that I didn’t even know was Paleo at the time, but it turns out it, is. It’s those things, and getting six packs is such a little part of it.
Dean: Yeah, absolutely. Just don’t get me wrong. I look at myself in the mirror at myself everyday and I’m always looking at my mid‑section to see where I’m at, with this whole process. It’s not like I am not worried about that, I am not thinking about that. It’s part of what I use as my indicators. I know where I’m at based on what the mid section looks like.
There are so many other things that just… I didn’t realize the confidence that I have now, that I exude now that I didn’t exude before. I’m not talking like I’m just this guy that sat in the corner, kicking his feet on the floor, with his head down. I just find now, typically, when I’m with people I don’t know, I’m really quiet—sorry, I WAS really quiet, whereas I find and I noticed this lately, I’m much more…I start conversations with people who I don’t know. I’ll talk with anybody, but they usually have to start the conversation, whereas now, I am noticing that I’m starting the conversation.
There’ss been this change of how I see myself because it’s just, that you wake up in the morning…I feel good in my clothes. I don’t know if you had this experience. When I was heavy, I would sit down and you could feel my stomach hanging over my belt. It used to drive me bananas. I was always moving around and trying to adjust it and pulling my pants up to my neck, so that things felt comfortable.
Dean: It was crazy. I don’t have any of that now. I like how I look. I’m comfortable now in my own skin. It’s something that when I started this, I didn’t know where this would go because I didn’t have any… I’d never been successful with anything else. It wasn’t like, I was going to be like, “Well, this is it.” Because every time I started something, I thought this was it.
There was always a part of me that was like, “Dude, you know what’s going to happen. You’re going to have two or three months and then you’re going right back to where you were.” It’s been an incredible journey on many, many facets.
Abel: You cover some of the challenges for other people when they start Paleo. I think that was one of your more popular parts that you put up that.
Dean: Yeah, I am trying to recall that one. That was actually a fan generated part, I took that off. Are you looking at the barking dog?
Abel: I don’t know if you’ve seen the video, but that’s the Paleo puppy. [laughter] I got a yellow lab a few weeks ago and she is probably as soon as I open up the door, going to bite my face off.
Dean: Yeah, I wasn’t sure what my cat’s going to do. Obviously, he doesn’t bark, thankfully, because he’s a cat. I had asked a question on my fan page and different people had responded. I basically took the top nine. Again, it’s not just the diet and exercise. You are going to be dealing with other people and you got to have some idea. One of them was not judging people who are not Paleo, which we kind of touched on before.
Again, we tend to, based on all the things we just said, we tend to drop by telling people they need to change what they’re doing, we’re telling them what they’re doing is wrong. We’ve already put our worst foot forward, so…what were some of the good ones? Oh! “Decide,” Oh, this is a good one, “Decide in advance…” Stealing a phrase from a guy named Sasha Dichter, I believe is his last name. He’s talking of generosity and trying to change…you know when you walk by a homeless person asking for change, you always say, “No.” He works for a non‑profit, and he says, you know, “This is not congruent with what I do for a living.” So he just talked about the fact that he decided in advance that when people asked for money, he was going to giving it to them. Didn’t matter who it was, he was going to give the money.
I say we could use the exact same thing with what we’re doing to try and transform from how we look. So deciding in advance is probably one of the smartest things I ever figured out on my own. Because a lot of people show up and then they deal with whatever their surrounding is. They go to a party and then they’re bombarded with all these things. They’re hoping that will power is actually going to get them through.
The reality is will power is a combination of planning, it’s a combination of thoughtfully thinking through a situation beforehand and what you’re going to do so you can deal with it appropriately. When I first started, I was scared to death. I remember the first time I went out to eat with somebody, like, I am a bread fiend! I used to act like it was…I’d eat a whole loaf. I buy a fresh loaf and eat it all in the car on the way home.
I was insane. I was just a terrible eater. I’d go out to these places and it would be, okay, like, “What am I going to do? How am I going to react when they put the bread down?” I had a strategy for that. When people had pizza, what am I going to do? But it really made a big difference. It’s something now that I do intuitively. Even researching when I’m going into a restaurant, I’ve never been to before. I was worried about, whether or not I’d be able to eat what I wanted.
Then I would go online and check up their menu. I would only know, I’d be like, “Oh, OK, I’m going order that when I get there.” It was stuff like that, that other strategies that we don’t talk about, that are really, really important. We don’t fail because of the diet and exercise. We fail with this because we don’t know how to deal with the other aspects of our life or again, like you said, you’re going to somebody’s house for dinner, how do you deal with that?
I mean, I got really good at this as a vegetarian because people say, “Listen, I want to have you to dinner!” and I’d say, “No, you don’t.”
Dean: “You don’t because I’m a vegetarian, I’m hard to cook for,” and they’d be like, “No, no, no no! We want to have you.” And I’d say, “What do you eat? What do you not eat?” I’d say to them “Here’s what I eat. Here’s what I don’t eat.” If I’m comfortable with my decision to be Paleo, then I’m not going to eat something that’s not Paleo. I also have a responsibility to let people know. You can’t spring that on people either.
If somebody invites me over for dinner and I don’t let them to know how I eat and then I show up. They’ve made this great pasta salad and I say, “No, thanks. I don’t eat that.” I put them in an awkward position because they’ve made that for me. I’m not going to eat it. They didn’t know I didn’t eat it.
If people invite me out, then I will send them an email and say, “Listen, you can change your mind on this, you don’t have to invite me over. But if I do come over, here’s what I eat, here’s what I don’t eat.” And I have not had a single person say, “Yeah, OK, we rescind the offer, don’t come over.”
Dean: People are more than accommodating but you have to be proactive with this. You can’t just show up in a situation and then think that will power is going to take over and you’re going to make all the right decisions. In fact, it’s the opposite. Usually, when we show up unprepared is when we make all our bad decisions. That’s when we eat the foods we shouldn’t eat and all those other things.
So that pulls sort of a whole series of strategies that aren’t talked about that are really important to being able to consistently maintain the sort of Paleo way.
Abel: I really like that post. I guess, worst case scenario you could show up at someone’s house and say, “sorry I’m just a partial celiac.” And they’ll be like, “What the heck does that mean?”
Dean: Yeah, exactly. But, yeah, I think with all these kinds of things, I think there a lot of situations that if we actually sat down and we thought about it, there are ways to navigate them so we don’t put ourselves in awkward positions. Because at the end of the day, If I truly believe in this…I always use the analogy of smoking. I’m not going to smoke a cigarette to be polite to somebody. If somebody is to say, “You want a cigarette?” and they’re hosting the dinner, I’m not going to smoke to be polite. That would be insane because I know the dangers of smoking.
It’s really no different with diet. You have to, I don’t want to just say “You have to say no,” because again, different people are coming from different places at this. But you have to teach yourself to be comfortable with your decision and to be able to say “No, thank you.” But you also again, you have to prep people, too. You got to let people know what you’re doing, where you’re at with this, how you’re approaching this so that they know how to react to you.
Abel: Yeah, so one of the things we both do is give some advice to beginners. What advice would you give someone just getting started on the Paleo lifestyle and diet, that sort of thing?
Dean: I really want to make a joke here and I’ve got nothing for you, Abel. I’m really sorry, I’ve got nothing.
Abel: I can edit one in for you if you want.
Dean: Well, I was going to say I had no advice for them; good luck and I wish you all the best.
For beginners, I think I’ve touched on a couple of things. That’s a good question actually. I have to think this out loud as we’re going through. But I do think that, I could probably say a thousand things. First and foremost, something I alluded to earlier, is this idea that you are the expert on you and that you can’t, you can’t turn your body over to somebody else and expect them to create this miracle for you.
Secondly, there is this misnomer that if I cut out the grains and I start CrossFit-ing or something like that that the miracle’s going to happen. That just isn’t true for most people, that it is much more complex than that. But I think people do a really lousy job of telling their success stories and they leave out a lot of details, they leave out a lot of things and they’re not doing it intentionally but they don’t really understand their own success so they have clichés you know “You’ve just got to stick at it” and “keep working hard”. But that doesn’t mean anything to people.
So you have to understand that this is, at the end of the day, this is…I was thinking about this today actually while I was walking home: when you’re in high school and you’re taking science, they teach you the scientific method. The problem is we take that within the context of which we were taught that. So we’re assuming that you’ve got to have a Bunsen burner, I’m wearing a lab coat and I have got safety glasses on. But this is exactly where this applies, that this is one gigantic experiment. Here’s the other thing I thought about today, too. I find it ironic that we spend years and years trying to find a quick-fix solution to our overweight problem.
Abel: It’s true. [laughs]
Dean: Yet, if I said to somebody, “Listen. Really, what you need to do is, give this 365 days to work.” People will say…that book won’t sell, by the way. No one will buy that book.
Dean: “Seven Days to Transformation” will fly off the shelves. “365 Days” will be in the remainder bit. That’s really the way people need to approach this. You have to look at this, give yourself a year to figure out how your body works and start creating a manual on you. I was talking with someone last night, I said, “Do you journal?” and she said, “No, I don’t.” You don’t have to write the stuff down every day.
But basically what you need to do is every time you figure out something about you, write it down. It could be, for example, that there is a particular food. Even within Paleo, not all Paleo foods work for everyone. Some people have sensitivity to onions or garlic, those sorts of things. Every food that you find that doesn’t work for you, write it down and put that on a…so, that goes into a list that “Foods that I can’t have,” or “I can have sparingly.”
Really, this is a gigantic experiment. People need to be prepared to sort of give themselves a year to create a manual for themselves. We don’t know how our own bodies work. We just get caught up doing…we get all excited about doing stuff. “OK. I’m going to join a CrossFit gym! I’m going to eat healthy and…”
We have no idea what’s working and what isn’t working. We either say it works or it doesn’t work. We pitch the whole thing…uh, you can’t see my hands going. I’ve got all these effects going over here on this end. There’s no actors, there’s no stuntman, Abel! I’m doing all this myself!
Abel: I’ll do some YouTube highlights, how about that?
Dean: There we go. There we go. You’ve got to be prepared to really go into this with a year of experimentation, to figure out what works for you. Lastly, I would say, if you’re not prepared to be brutally honest with who you are and pardon my language for I’m going to…the phrase I use is “If you can’t put your shit out on the table and actually, be prepared to deal with it, then you’re not going to have any success with this thing.
There are reasons why we do, what we do, that go beyond the whole diet and exercise thing. When I caved to eating junk food, there are reasons beyond, “Oh I didn’t have any will power.” It doesn’t make any…it doesn’t tell us anything. It’s usually a person that’s responsible for that. It could be a person who’s a trigger, could be a food, it could be a stress situation.
We got to take a look at who we are and why we do what we do. If we don’t do that, then we’re going to have the same experience that we’ve had in the past. We’ll get to a certain point, the wheels fall off and then we end up back where we were before.
We keep running through that circle, that, for me it was 25 years of doing that. Until I realized that, I’ve got to dig deep and talk about things that I’m not really comfortable talking about, that I’d rather not talk about, that I rather hide. That kept me from having any lasting success.
Abel: That’s a really good point, too. What you said about being individualized for everyone. Because so many people come in and it’s just a binary decision. Eat Paleo or don’t eat Paleo.
But as you said there are foods in Paleo even that don’t agree with some people. Jerusalem artichokes, some trouble when they go through me I can tell you that. There are also, on the other side of the coin, there are many things that aren’t Paleo that many people can tolerate just fine.
I’m a dairy fiend and I don’t really know what I’d do without it. One of the reasons I eat it is because I know I can and it doesn’t cause me any problems. If it ever does then I’ll have a decision to make. You know what? Maybe I would have an even better six pack right now or something like that if I totally cut out dairy. But you have to make these decisions that are like, “Is this worth it or is this not worth it?”
One of the things that Paleo does is that it automatically takes a lot of things that aren’t good decisions for most people out of the equation so they don’t even have to think about it. So, if you see the tortilla chips or the bread bowl or something like that, you can just be like, “I don’t need that, that’s not technically food.”
You need to test yourself. I actually read a book that claimed to have the secrest of all the geniuses going back like four thousand years. It all said they kept some sort of notes on their body at any given time so that when they had an inspiring thought or breakthrough they could write it down and keep track of it. I think there is something to that especially when it goes to starting off a diet or any sort of life change. Write down what works and what doesn’t.
Dean: Let me ask you this question. If I was to ask—and you don’t have to answer–but if I was to say to you, “Do you have a philosophy on how you run your body?” Would you be able to answer that question?
Abel: Yeah. “Eat real food”
Dean: I know you do because we’ve already talked. So I know that you do. But you know what, if I was to ask that to most people, they don’t.
Abel: That’s true!
Dean: I did a post early on, that was something else that we do, when we don’t have a philosophy about this we have no parameters and there are no boundaries. Everything is in play and everything is always a gray area and that wears us out eventually. I thought, I know how badly this will end if I don’t do something different.
Even with just how I ate I made this list of 25 rules about what I could and couldn’t–it was basically an eating philosophy. Here’s what I can do. It’s changed, it’s obviously evolved and it’ll be quite different when I redo it for this year. Not quite different but there will be some changes. But what that did was it gave me parameters on which to work. So, I didn’t have to think about, “Does this work or not work,” or not even know whether it worked or not. But nobody does that.
People don’t have a philosophy about how to approach their eating, how to approach their workouts, or how to approach changing their body. We get caught up in just doing stuff and when it doesn’t work we don’t know what to do. Like, “I’ve been Paleo two weeks it’s not working what do I do?” This person has no idea, at this point, what works for them and what doesn’t. Your point about keeping notes and stuff like that, I know people kind of roll their eyes at that, but if you can’t figure you out, no one else will.
Abel: I was also talking to a friend about this and he said so many people start Atkins that have never even touched the book or read up on it at all but claim to know what it is. I think that happens with Paleo, too. They wonder, “Why isn’t it working?” [laughs] It’s like, “Because you don’t know what you’re doing! Read the book. It takes a lot of learning.”
Dean: That’s a good the point.
Abel: You need to relearn the way that your body works and processes. [laughs] Are you writing this down?
Dean: I am, actually.
Abel: I need to watch out for you. [laughs] But, you know, it’s not only education, but also I guess, re-convincing yourself of the truth. Because a lot of these things go totally against what you thought was true beforehand.
You know, if you’re eating…some people say potatoes are Paleo. Some people say that they’re not, right? If you start of Paleo, not knowing anything about that and you said, “Oh, they are.” And you eat nothing but potatoes and a steak every once in a while, it probably won’t work all that well for you, if you don’t tolerate carbs very well.
For some people, they do it right and magically within two weeks they lose 15 pounds. Others, if you do it in a sloppy way, you might get lucky and it might work. If you want to invest in your success, you really need to educate yourself, I think, in the beginning and then just go for it. Because at some point, once you get past the sugar cravings, [laughs] the success is a huge motivator, I’ve found, for people.
Abel: When they see that they can fit in jeans that they haven’t worn in 15 years, “Whoa! This is awesome.” And that’s a really good reason not to touch that bread anymore and not to eat that cupcake or whatever it is.
Dean: A huge motivator with this, you’re right, success breeds success. Back to your point about education, I think there’s a period of unlearning, where we need to basically…we’ve got all these myths and fallacies about diet that… I said this thing about firing the experts, I guess, that is also basically, ignoring every thought that I had about diet and exercise and basically rebuilding my philosophy.
On stuff that I could actually say, “Yes this works and this doesn’t work.” That’s all I used. I was the test, I was the one testing it out.
Education is a huge part of this. The other side of that too is, there’s a whole bunch of people that get caught up in…I get emails from people, “Yeah, you know, I’m still two months into researching Paleo.” I’m like, “Two months.”
Abel: [laughs] Just do it.
Dean: It took me an hour. I’m not saying what I did was right, but it took me an hour to make a decision. We get caught up sometimes thinking that reading is a form of problem solving. It’s just, it’s an illusion to think, “Yeah, I’m working towards a solution, but I’m not doing anything.” You know? At some point, you got to start acting on this stuff and, again. your own experimenting, you’ve gotta start testing this stuff out for sure.
Abel: Cool. Dean, this has been really fun. I’m sure we’re going to be doing it again, sometime soon.
Dean: I would think that we will be, my friend. I would think we will be for sure.
Abel: Awesome, awesome.
Dean: I’m totally looking forward to meeting you at PaleoFX thing. It’s going to be great.
Abel: It will be!
Dean: I really, as I said, we mentioned earlier, I love how you’re approaching all this. I think you’ve got a great mindset for this that I think is really going to help people understand the proper approach, that they need to take to this. I thank you for using your space very well.
Abel: Well, thank you very much, Dean. For all you folks out there, do yourselves a favor and visit Dean’s website, it’s BeingPrimal.com and take the gander at his blog. It’s a heck of a lot of fun.
Dean: I heard that blog’s amazing!
Dean: Oh, sorry, was that a self-promotional plug there or something?
Abel: No, I dig it! So go check it out.
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