Dan John: Wandering Weights, Issue # 306

Wandering Weights
Our Epic Journey Through All Things Heavy, Issue # 306

I shared this article before here on WW. 
I used to love these kinds of articles but now I am beginning to think these are just quick little “here you go” pieces that get you to click the link. And, like a monkey wanting that slice of banana, I click the link.
I’ve been compiling lists of foods for years. Recently, I added my class notes from my fermenting class. (You can find this list, without the Fermented Foods, in Attempts)
Lung Association
Most Allergenic Foods
Men’s Journal
The Superfoods
Olive oil
Dr. Elson Haas
Interview with “Mind and Muscle Power”
Most Tolerable Foods
Salmon (and other deep sea fish, like halibut and sole)
Sweet potatoes
(He goes on to recommend cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, apricots, beets, squashes, olives, olive oil, cranberries, herbal teas and tapioca.)
Best Polyphenol Foods
Brad Pilon
Good Belly/Bad Belly
Dark chocolate
Olives (green and black)
Black currants
Orange juice
Red wine
Dark coffee
Common Fermented Foods
Sour Pickles
For the Win
The Olive Family
“For the win:” I notice these four show up in just about every list on the “good” team. The Protein Power couple, the Eades, would add a whole list of berries here (something called ORAC rating) and I can’t disagree.
I find it interesting that I finally latched on to fermentation after all these years. I’ve certainly used them forever, but now “I get it.” I’m trying to come up with a fast way to sum this diet. I used to use “Meat, Leaves and Berries.” Now, I think Fish, Fermented and Berries.

FFB doesn’t sound right to me. I will work on it.
Which brings me to another point!
I was watching “Founder,” the great movie about McDonalds the other night. I think the section where the brothers show how they figured out the kitchen is some of the best coaching materials I have ever seen. It got me thinking about some of the give and take about dining at McDees. I know calories in/calories out is true, but that is like explaining that the Great Depression had a single cause (pick whichever one you like); it’s true, but it’s not the whole truth. This article got me thinking about a lot.


Tom started in high spirits and many of his fellow students were jealous of his unlimited junk food budget. As he put it:
    I felt good for three days, then slowly went downhill, I became more lethargic, and by a week my friends thought I had gone a strange grey colour. The last few days were a real struggle. I felt really unwell, but definitely had no addictive withdrawal symptoms and when I finally finished, I rushed (uncharacteristically) to the shops to get some salad and fruit.
While it was clear the intensive diet had made him feel temporarily unwell, we had to wait a few months for the results to arrive back. The results came from Cornell University in the US and the crowdfunded British Gut Project, which allows people to get their microbiome tested with the results shared on the web for anyone to analyze. They all told the same story: Tom’s community of gut microbes (called a microbiome) had been devastated.
Tom’s gut had seen massive shifts in his common microbe groups for reasons that are still unclear. Firmicutes were replaced with Bacteroidetes as the dominant type, while friendly bifidobacteria that suppress inflammation halved. However the clearest marker of an unhealthy gut is losing species diversity and after just a few days Tom had lost an estimated 1,400 species – nearly 40% of his total. The changes persisted and even two weeks after the diet his microbes had not recovered. Loss of diversity is a universal signal of ill health in the guts of obese and diabetic people and triggers a range of immunity problems in lab mice.
That junk food is bad for you is not news, but knowing that they decimate our gut microbes to such an extent and so quickly is worrying. Many people eat fast food on a regular basis and even if they don’t get fat from the calories, the body’s metabolism and immune system are suffering via the effects on the microbes.

End quote
Finally, BEFORE you send me the email about the coach who did the McDee’s Diet, I looked it up. And, I contacted his Facebook page as no one has posted since 2014. This guy has disappeared like Art DeVaney…whoosh! (If any of you know what happened with Art, let me know, I am/was a big fan.)

And when he approached his local McDonald’s franchise about the experiment, the manager was so interested to see what happened that he agreed to provide 90 days of meals at no charge.
On a typical day, Mr Cisna ate two egg white delights, a bowl of maple oatmeal and one percent milk for breakfast, and lunch would normally be a salad.
But it wasn’t just ‘healthy’ fast food that he ate; for dinner he would indulge in a value meal like a Big Mac or a quarter pounder with cheese, and he’d also sometimes snack on ice cream sundaes.
Despite his all-fast food diet, Mr Cisna was in significantly better health by the 90th day.

End quote
I only bring this up because he may have been in “better health,” his microbiome may have paid a high price. I am just guessing…simply looking at the new research here. I know a Mac and Cheese addict (teen years) who has really struggled with various issues as an adult.
This is a Judgment Free Zone.
Except for your squat depth.
This week on danjohnuniversity.com:
Here’s a link to Episode 60 of the podcast.
Here are a couple more videos for you from the YouTube channel. Things have really been blowing up there.
Do These Two Things Every Day
How Dan Starts Every Day
Quantum Fitness Book Review
Have a great week!
Again, I am doing lots of podcasts but I don’t get the follow-up information. This week on Pat Flynn, we discuss some interesting “givens” about training.
Although I have shared a number of links already, this article really got me thinking about food and nutrition in a far different way.


I don’t know how I got so lucky to be here today. Most likely, it has everything to do with the help I got along the way: treatment through Medi-Cal from the county, my Ma’s food stamps, the affordable housing, the books—all those books (from libraries and teachers and charities and every saved penny from my paychecks). The generosity and kindness and mercy of everyday people. Today, I get to live like there’s time. I long. I plan. I have the pleasure of walking to the farmer’s market and inhaling the bright scent of the peaches and plums. Like a mama hen, I pluck produce and jam, olive oil, hummus. I turn brown eggs over up beside my ear and listen to their yolks. I let the juice from fresh fruit break open in my mouth. I tell my wife that I’m cooking L-O-V-E for dinner.
But sometimes, I feel that familiar feeling—as though I’m under attack. It’s that same threat that pervaded my childhood, from a small but powerful group of people demanding tax cuts for themselves and taking away what little everyone else has. They are The Hunters. When I hear about millions of people losing access to food stamps, and children no longer able to eat those free lunches I had the luxury of hating; when I hear about a young man, not unlike all the young men I knew, getting shot in the street, or when there’s talk of a wall being built, or when my media stream fills with the sound of children crying out for their parents, that distinct wail that only a broken-hearted child can make… it’s then that I reach for the food of my youth. Corned-beef hash. Spam. Fried Bologna sandwiches. It’s a conversation I’ve been having in my head with America, the one where I’m told I’m bad and I believe it, just long enough that I have to prepare for the end of the world.

End quote
I think the food pyramid shared in this article is worth keeping. I have been “upping” my fish consumption quite a bit for the past two years.


Modern diet, ancient traditions — The traditional Mediterranean diet is “not a fad diet,” O’Keefe stresses. In fact, people living off the coast of the Mediterranean sea have been eating this way for centuries, and exhibit some remarkable health outcomes.
The Mediterranean diet includes an abundance of:
    Extra virgin olive oil
    Whole Grains
    Fish and seafood
The diet also includes a moderate amount of dairy and alcohol, as well as little consumption of red meat.
“We find it a very easy diet to stick with because it tastes good and it does really improve health and vitality,” O’Keefe says.

End quote
For those of you who like history and how historians correct history, this article is quite good. Frankly, I need to reconsider a number of things I teach about Nero.
Finally, this article, a skeptical look at happiness, was interesting to me…as it goes against almost everything I believe: 13 Lessons to Make You Really, Truly Happy. Maybe.
#12. Happiness Has Nothing to Do with Meaningfulness, According to Some
While most well-being scientists laud the merits of a purposeful life, one 2012 study subverted that notion. “Happiness was linked to being a taker rather than a giver,” the research team wrote, “whereas meaningfulness went with being a giver rather than a taker. Higher levels of worry, stress, and anxiety were linked to higher meaningfulness but lower happiness.”

End quote
Well, that’s a lot to digest (Ha…Dad Joke. I have a lot about food this week). The weather is turning here in Utah and I don’t have many more trips to the Farmer’s Market. So, until next week, let’s all keep on lifting and learning.


For your quick access link, here’s Dan’s full OTP page, including all of his articles, books, lectures and videos, all in one place.

The Sword in the Stone, Part 160

The boys, and for that matter the men, would sit as quiet as church mice while the marvels of the story were unfolded, and, when the unpredictable narrative had come to an end, they would look towards Reverend Sidebottom (or Merlyn-who was not so good at it) to have the story explained. Reverend Sidebottom would draw a deep breath and plunge into his task, explaining how the certain King was really Christ, and the barking dogs zealous preachers, or how the white cow was the soul and her milk represented prayer and supplication. Sometimes, indeed generally, the unfortunate vicar was hard put to it to find a moral, but nobody ever doubted that his explanations were the right ones; and anyway most of his listeners were soon asleep.
It was a fine summer night, the last night which would give any excuse for fires, and Reverend Sidebottom was reading out of his tale. Wart lay snoozing among the lean ribs of the gaze-hounds: Sir Ector sipped his wine with his eyes brooding on the log which lit the evening” Kay played chess with himself rather badly: Merlyn, with his long beard saffron in the firelight, sat cross-legged knitting, beside the Wart.
End quote
So. Life before television and the internet.
I kinda like it.
Since the (literally!) the first paragraph of this book, we have been exposed to story that loves education. Let’s review the weekly schedule:
“On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays it was Court Hand and Summulae Logicales, while the rest of the week it was the Organon, Repetition and Astrology.
In the afternoons the programme was: Mondays and Fridays, tilting and horsemanship; Tuesdays, hawking; Wednesdays, fencing; Thursdays, archery; Saturdays, the theory of chivalry, with the proper measures to be blown on all occasions, terminology of the chase and hunting etiquette.”
If you add this daily session of reading, reviewing and discussion, one can get a sense of the amount of material our little friends Wart and Kay are receiving. It’s a lot.
One of my favorite memories of raising my girls is when Tiffini would sit in the front room and read to us. She read a chapter a night of Harry Potter. I would often steal the book and jump ahead. We often talked about the books and wondered what was coming next.
In a sense I “feel” for kids who have all seven books now…they don’t have the fun of spending two or three years ripping clues out of the past books to figure out what comes next. They just put down the finished book and pick up the next. We, as a family, debated and discussed every line seeking the most nuanced of insights.
For the record, I was right about Snape while reading the first book. Severus Snape is shaped as the worst of people throughout the books, but he is, as Harry notes in the end, the bravest man he ever met.
Snape did what he did for love. Love is a powerful thing.
In a moment, the Reverend will begin to read about a giant. We’ve seen a giant discussed before in the same conversation that begins our book.
“Isn’t so much the distance,” said Sir Ector, “but that giant What’s-‘is-name is in the way. Have to pass through his country, you understand.”
“What is his name?”
“Can’t recollect it at the moment, not for the life of me. Fellow that lives by the Burbly Water.”
“Galapas,” said Sir Grummore.
“That’s the very chap.”
We are about to meet Galapas.

DanWandering Weights is published each Wednesday by On Target Publications


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