No announcement yet.

Timothy's Journal of Primal Peregrination

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #91

    Tingling with anticipation today. Tomorrow is my brown belt test, several hours of pushing my mind and body to their limits. The material is daunting:

    15 kenpo defenses
    17 defensive maneuvers
    10 forms
    7 club defenses
    7 knife defenses
    2 blocking systems

    If it wasn't for muscle memory I'd be up the creek. I'll do my best to cram all the material today but it will be a minor miracle if I don't forget anything tomorrow.

    I'm not worried about endurance or intensity. Primal living gives me all the endurance I need, and heavy weightlifting has made me so intense I scare myself. I am a little apprehensive about the sparring, not having practiced in so long, but I've got plenty of tricks up my sleeve.

    WOD: 45 minute toddler odyssey. We sang "Engine Number Nine" about 99 times. Toddler loves the James Brown screeches and kept demanding an encore. "Engine Nine! Engine Nine!"

    10 minutes of hammer. Yes, I finally squeezed it in! Felt almost as good as a deep-tissue massage. My ligaments and joints were popping like bubble wrap. Which is not far from the truth, I suppose.

    At noon today, an hour of cramming.

    Then in the evening, another hour of cramming with my instructor.

    Don't know if I will eat or not today. I'm still riding high on the scale, well above my protein quota for the week, and these just might be ideal circumstances for an all-day fast. I have a 2-pound tri-tip steak and 1.5 pounds of liver ready for Saturday afternoon. If I can finish all that, I will probably slip into a coma. A most welcome coma.

    B: Fast
    L: Fast
    D: Bacon, sausage, eggs, brocco
    Last edited by Timothy; 11-07-2011, 12:01 PM.


    • #92
      I've noticed you eat liver quite often. A word of advice - don't overdo it. The vitamin A form in liver is potentially toxic in too large doses. Here is what cillakat once said about Vit A and D:

      Sufficient preformed A but definitely not excessive A is important as it increases D needs. I'm somewhere in between the Vitamin D Council (pro-D anti-A) and the WAPF (pro-extremely high A doses and high D doses). I think adults need 400 IU for every 10-25 lbs body weight (from all sources) depending on a variety of health issues and about 3x that in A per day.
      Good luck on your brown belt test, I can understand your anticipation. I was there once myself, but never as high as brown belt.
      Sometimes you need to be told the truth in order to be able to see it.

      My journal

      I see grain people...

      Exist in shadow, drifting away.


      • #93
        Thanks for the good luck wishes, Sungrazer! I'll take all I can get.

        I've heard about the potential for hypervitaminosis A from eating liver, but I wonder how significant the risks are. Almost all cases of Vitamin A toxicity are from overdoing supplements, although perhaps that's just because liver isn't very popular. Vitamin A toxicity is apparently mitigated by cholesterol, Vitamin E, and other micronutrients, so the whole food form is perhaps less dangerous for that reason.

        Evolutionarily, there's evidence of Vitamin A toxicity in Homo Erectus remains, which suggests that they were not quite well adapted to their novel diet of organ meats, but we've had a lot of time to adapt since then. Certain animal livers are so high in vitamin A as to be acutely toxic, but that seems to be the case with carnivores and not so much for ruminants.

        An early symptom of hypervitaminosis A is dry skin, something I will closely monitor. My elbow skin is quite soft, so no worries there. It seems to me that ruminant liver once a week can't be too far off from the diet of our ancestors, so that will be my rough target. Now that eating liver has stopped magically lowering my weight, I'm not really tempted to take it any further than that.

        Thanks for the thoughts, as always!


        • #94
          Have a read at this article :

          Update on Vitamins A and D - Weston A Price Foundation

          Adequate levels of Vit D and Vit A mitigates the effect of toxicity of the other. In other words it is essential to have a good Vit A, Vit D and Vit K2 level, as well as all other micronutrients. That being said I don't think it is healthy to continuously stress about it, but rather eat a good balanced diet. Which I am sure you do.

          Also, have a read at Vitamin D councils page to have another opinion on the topic:

          Vitamin D Council > News Archive > 2008 > Liver Consumption and Vitamin A Toxicity
          Sometimes you need to be told the truth in order to be able to see it.

          My journal

          I see grain people...

          Exist in shadow, drifting away.


          • #95
            Thanks very much for the links! I was trying to find something on ratios of A to D. That WAPF article was a good one.

            What I drew from that is high levels of D are protective against A toxicity, and vice versa. That's reassuring because my serum D level just came in at 74 ng/dL. This line surprised me:

            "Lifeguards in the tropics can reach blood levels in the 50s and 60s naturally from sun exposure."

            I only sunbathe for a few hours a week and my consumption of dietary D is pretty modest. To learn that I am outdoing the serum D levels of Israeli lifeguards is a surprise. I suppose it's because they tan more effectively than I do.

            As for the second link, I think the logic is faulty. "By the time humans could hunt large mammals, the genome had already evolved." This basically denies the entire paleo hypothesis. It reminds me of the execrable recent NPR article, where the author suggested an australopithecine, vegetarian diet was more authentically paleo.

            Homo Erectus is about 2 million years old and clearly ate lots of meat. Biological evidence suggests meat eating drove the characteristic large brain and small gut of hominins. Stone tool evidence also suggests butchering. 2 million years is more than enough time to adapt to a meat-based diet.

            The toxicity of polar bear and sled dog liver doesn't challenge the hypothesis that early humans ate plenty of liver. We would not have hunted carnivores in the presence of herbivorous prey, so there would not have been significant selection pressure for this.

            Thanks again for the interesting data!


            • #96
              Good luck for the brown belt test!

              I've just taken to lightly frying together about a pound each of the following, cut into small bite sized cubes:

              Bacon pieces (really just bits of pork belly by the looks)
              Lamb liver
              Sheep kidney

              I keep it all in the fridge and nuke a small amount at a time to have with eggs or veg for a quick lunch.

              MMmmmmm good
              Live. Grow. Flourish.

              My Journal/story is at


              • #97
                Thanks, Phreebie!

                That sounds like a good recipe. I've noticed that bacon adds a lot of positive flavor to organ meats. Bacon-wrapped bison adrenal is pretty good. I've never tried lamb or sheep offal but if I can find a decent supplier in my area, I will definitely experiment.


                • #98

                  Dropped the toddler off at grandma's house in the pre-dawn glow, and headed to my brown belt test.

                  In a coincidence worthy of Stonehenge, the 405 freeway pointed directly into the rising sun. I watched the sun nip over the horizon and bathe the world in orange. Degree by degree it continued to rise until the sky was bright and I had to look away.

                  Arriving early, I went for a barefoot walk to clear my mind. There was a nearby park where I stood and watched the sun continue to rise as I contemplated the fifteen years of practice that brought me to this point.

                  I returned to shaolin HQ filled with confidence. Others from my studio arrived and we fit in some final practice and camaraderie. Then it was show time.

                  I tore up the opening drills. Every technique and kiai ratcheted up my intensity. One of the masters came over. "What school are you from? Brentwood, I should have known. I love the porkchops! Did you get them by special order?" he asked.

                  "From the 19th century, sir," I responded.

                  Actually, that is what I would have responded if I had been thinking clearly. But I was focused on my technique and could only manage "Uhhh..."

                  "Love the porkchops," he reiterated to the instructor behind me.

                  Pushing myself to my limits, I covered all my material. To my amazement, I finally remembered it all. Just like in college when I would cram a semester of material into one night. Forms, kenpos, defensive maneuvers, back and forth with little rest for five hours. But even though I pushed myself hard, I could have gone all day long, thanks to primal living.

                  Then came the best part, sparring. They matched me up against some other bruiser about my size. I began by kicking his elbow with my instep. Well, that was inevitable. Good to get it out of the way.

                  But a little pain is just what I needed, and from there I really let him have it. The dude must have been tired because he was dropping his guard all over the place. Close, feint, smash, press, over and over again, while he barely nicked me.

                  Hell yeah, I thought, I can take care of myself in a tussle. So I went for a glorious finishing move, circling around to apply a headlock. But I had become careless and my center of gravity was high. Before I knew it, my partner spun me through the air in a textbook judo throw and I landed flat on my back. He closed in to finish me off, but the fight was over. What a beautiful counter! He turned the tables masterfully. Instructors, are you not entertained?!

                  And so I passed my brown belt test, which feels pretty cool. I know it's only a belt, and the whole thing sometimes seems a little silly. But I remember when I was a fat and clumsy youth, watching the other brown belts enviously and wondering if I could ever be that lean and scrappy. Thanks to the primal blueprint and the spirit of my ancestors, the answer is yes!

                  Got home and devoured an early dinner. The coma drew near. But then the toddler awoke from his nap, mighty pissed that I had ditched him that morning. "Apple walk, apple walk," he demanded pitifully. And so I dragged my aching body out the door, toting his majesty on my shoulder as we toured the neighborhood for an hour. I forget what happened after that, but I was unconscious by 7pm.

                  B: Fast
                  L: Fast
                  D: Tri-tip steak, sweet potato, broccoli, raspberries, blueberries, berry pie with rice and tapioca crust


                  Awoke before dawn to the usual screaming. Stiff as a day-old corpse. "Dada, wake up, wake up!" The toddler cruelly ripped my blindfold from my face. Time for an apple walk.

                  It was raining. I balked. The toddler wailed. I surrendered. Dressed him in his rain gear with adorable boots. And what the hell, dressed myself in a singlet and shorts. May as well have fun with it.

                  The cold rain activated my ancestral nordic superpowers and I was soon hopping around like a lunatic with the toddler on my shoulder. Stayed out for an hour, then came back and baked myself in front of the heater. Then got back in my dripping wet clothes and went to the farmer's market.

                  Now it was really coming down. I ran like the wind, barefoot as always, up and down the farmer's market. Feet were half numb by now so I was really getting my sprints on. People usually just stare at me or chuckle, but this day I received all sorts of unsolicited comments. "Oh my god!" "Now there's a man who loves the rain!" "You're either very brave, or very foolish!"

                  What they did not understand is that running around half-naked in the rain like one's butt is on fire is actually quite easy. What's hard is standing around in a bunch of layers shivering under an umbrella.

                  Took the farmers a long time to get their acts together in that weather. Good thing I was there early as the good eggs and milk sold out within minutes.

                  Then off to the next farmer's market, where I was crestfallen that my beef and pork guys stayed home due to the weather. Argh! Good thing I still have an emergency steak and some bacon in the refrigerator. As I paced back to my car, a young boy of about nine approached me. "Why aren't you wearing shoes?" "Because I like to go barefoot," I explained. "Oh," he said, with perfect understanding.

                  Many more chores ensued, and just as soon as I was done, the sun came out and my viking mania waned. Now I was truly exhausted.

                  "Apple walk," said the toddler.

                  B: Fast
                  L: Fast
                  D: Bacon, bratwurst, eggs, salmon, broccoli, asparagus, quarter slice of quinoa quiche, one grape


                  • #99
                    Ha ha! That kid of yours makes me smile.
                    Congrats on passing your brown belt!
                    My True Primal Story


                    • Thank you very much, SweetPickles!

                      The toddler is so sweet, I have a hard time saying no to him, though it sets a dangerous precedent. I always thought that when he got big, he would become determined to walk on his own rather than riding on my shoulder. But he is quite content to stay in the saddle, issuing directions like a ruthless cavalry commander, dismounting only occasionally with an elbow to my face.


                      • Monday

                        Day of rest. Certainly necessary after that weekend. Covered in soreness, especially below the knee from all the barefoot sprints, jumps, slips, and slides.

                        WOD: 50 minute toddler odyssey at dawn. Today I dispensed with the usual cold shower in favor of a very long, hot bath. I could have stayed there all day, but there were bills to pay and apple walks to shirk, so I fled to my office.

                        B: Fast
                        L: Beef, salmon, pork sausage, mixed greens
                        D: Bacon, bratwurst, eggs, broccoli


                        • Busy weekend by the sound of it. Congrats with the brown belt!
                          Sometimes you need to be told the truth in order to be able to see it.

                          My journal

                          I see grain people...

                          Exist in shadow, drifting away.


                          • Thanks very much, Sungrazer! I'm still a bit dazed from it all... but deadlifts are coming up shortly so it's time to pull myself together.


                            • Tuesday

                              Miraculously, the toddler slept in today, and so did I, until well past dawn. I needed that.

                              WOD: 50 minute toddler odyssey.

                              Pulling workout today. 24th week of Leangains-inspired program. Almost six months! But I have barely begun. 5-10 years is my timeframe to achieve maximum lumpiness.

                              Today's inspiration comes courtesy of my blend of thermogenic and a2-inhibiting herbs. I was dragging the line a bit this morning until I popped those babies 45 minutes ahead of the workout. 30 minutes later, my hands were nice and warm. 15 minutes after that, I was ready to climb a skyscraper using my fingernails. Blast off!

                              Pre-workout bodyweight: 165.8. Once more headed in the right direction!
                              Deadlift: 135x5, 160x5, 185x5, 270x5 (F3, F4x2, F6x3), 245x5 (F6x3)
                              Chinup: 30x4, 30x4, 10x6 (N6)
                              Row: 50x12 (cross), 50x12 (parallel)

                              Prayed to my ancestors for guidance, and they did not disappoint. Brutalized my way through the deadlifts. I was very hungry for six reps and dove in for it a few times. All I got for my troubles was a severe negative headrush, although I do enjoy that. Still! This is a new record! I could never manage more than 3 reps of 270 before. Adding two reps in one week at this weight? I'll take it. 275, here I come!

                              A little short on time today, so I experimented with dropping the warmup chin set. It appeared to make no difference as I matched my performance of last week rep for rep. Held a negative on the final drop rep until my elbows almost shook themselves out of their sockets.

                              Didn't quite have time for proper rest, and I suffered on the rows. But I still managed 12 reps on each side of each set. I've got to go out and buy a 55-pound dumbbell; this is getting retarded.

                              Rushed off to join my friends for lunch at a Brazilian place, the kind where they come by your table with meat on a stick. $15 all you can eat plus an amazing salad bar! They lost a ton of money on me. I don't know how much meat I went through, but it was at least 1.5 pounds of rare beef, a couple of chicken hearts, a mountainous salad, and a towering ziggurat of yucca flour. The waiter threatened to lock the door if I ever came back. I could easily have kept going, but eventually we had to get back to work. I need to increase my carnivorous throughput somehow. Perhaps I could sharpen my teeth or order a set of titanium-bladed dentures.

                              B: Fast
                              L: Brazilian meat orgy with farofa
                              D: Liver, asparagus, broccoli, raspberries, blueberries, cinnamon
                              Last edited by Timothy; 11-09-2011, 04:22 PM.


                              • Awesome! Congratulations on the belt!
                                Live. Grow. Flourish.

                                My Journal/story is at