February 17 2013

Weekend Link Love – Edition 230

By Mark Sisson
51 Comments

Weekend Link LoveResearch of the Week

When energy expenditure is matched, “minimal intensity”, long-duration “walking and standing” had more beneficial effects on insulin action and blood lipids than “moderate to vigorous” cycling, according to a new study. Didn’t I tell you to move around a lot at a slow pace?

Exposure to “urban lighting” made birds reach sexual maturity faster. This study is highly interesting and relevant to our pursuit of health, but I was also happy to include the following quote: “City birds’ testicles were ready for action about 26 days earlier than those of their country-dwelling counterparts.”

Circulating levels of trans-palmitoleate, a fatty acid found in dairy – particularly grass-fed dairy – were associated with higher LDL but lower triglycerides, fasting insulin, blood pressure, and less diabetes. I know which bunch of biomarkers I’d rather have.

Interesting Blog Posts

How to train your mind to “scan” for the good stuff in our lives as a default, instead of the bad stuff. Also, something about Tetris.

Media, Schmedia

Does this article on barefoot horses sound eerily similar to anyone else?

In my new book The Primal Connection, I bemoan the fact that we no longer eat dirt. This guy has done something about that (albeit with pasteurized, homogenized dirt).

Everything Else

How do you feel about this picture of lotus seeds? If you suffer from trypophobia (which, from what I can tell, describes the “fear of holes with stuff inside them” and, according to some researchers, may have some evolutionary basis) you might be recoiling in disgust. I’m all for the evincing of disgust at the sight of a crumpet, but my only response to the inside of an uncleaned cantaloupe half is hunger.

Recipe Corner

Time Capsule

One year ago (Feb 17 – Feb 23)

Comment of the Week

Wouldn’t this be funny to try to explain to our great-great-grandparents: “I have a device in my back pocket that can access the collective knowledge of all mankind. I use it to look at pictures of cats and get in arguments with people I don’t know.” :)

Indeed. But let’s be honest: who doesn’t love cat pictures?

If you'd like to add an avatar to all of your comments click here!

51 thoughts on “Weekend Link Love – Edition 230”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. After knowing nothing but looking at the negative side of everything pretty much my whole life, I decided to change my outlook entirely with the turn of the new year…and it’s no accident that 2013 has been a stellar year for me so far. It’s easy to slip back into old (negative) thought patterns, but it’s not taking much for me to turn them around again. The power of the mind never ceases to amaze…and that article reminds me, I should go brush up on my Tetris skills 🙂

  2. Wow, that stuff about trypophobia is crazy! (For the record, my computer doesn’t think ‘trypophobia’ is a word.) It’s amazing how influential the power of suggestion can be, especially when combined with social media!

    Also, re: the bird article, do you think that’s part of the reason humans are reaching puberty sooner? I was always told it was the growth hormones in milk, but I haven’t seen any research on it. Interesting study.

    1. I don’t know of any studies that back up this observation but…

      America’s general love affair with carbohydrates is part of the answer, I think. When I see overweight girls, especially, I assume that they will probably hit puberty early, as I did. PCOS is known to respond to lowering carbohydrate amounts in the diet.

      I know that that amount of carbohydrates I consume has a profound impact on my reproductive hormones. When I was on a carbohydrate heavy vegetarian diet, my period returned at about 9 months despite on-demand nursing with baby #2. Baby #3, paleo and my period has not returned 14 months out(good thing as that’s how it’s supposed to work). I’m guessing probably won’t until she’s more fully weaned.

      Anyway, back to the bird study. It’s great that they tracked light exposure. However, between free flying country and city birds I can imagine there would be a huge difference in their diet. Urban birds would be more likely to be eating human junk food. There’s a distinct possibility that it’s the carbs/calories in their diet that is also a significant factor in their reproductive maturity rates.

    2. I was taught puberty is set off by a specific weight (around 42 kg). Which sounds about right to me – you need some weight to become fertile, and it explains why children today are hitting puberty earlier than years ago – they are heavier at an earlier age. Which, of course, could well be related to the carbohydrates in their food as well.

    3. I’ve noticed interesting bird activity lately. Flocks flying in formation to make the illusions of tunnels and such. I have some guesses as to why they do that:
      – to warm up
      – to practice flocking
      – to solidify social bonds
      And maybe they are trying to exhibit harmony.

  3. oh those carnitas sound heavenly…but with farmers market, playground, hiking, gardening, and housework on today’s agenda…we’re going with the scramble lol

  4. I get slightly anxious from that lotus seed picture but that’s because I watched Star Trek and I know that a bad smoke comes out of the holes.

  5. I guess I must have trypophilia; all of those photo’s look very appealing to me. Gets me in the mood to carve a jack-o’-lantern!

  6. I just showed my husband the photo of the lotus seeds without “priming” him about what his response might be. He said it looked sexual to him, and I agree. Surprised that the researchers didn’t have anything to say about that.

  7. Yeah, I think I have a mild case of trypophobia. Stuff inside of holes definitely squicks me out. Look up the pipa pipa frog.

    1. *looks up* OK, I must have a mild case too. SERIOUSLY squicked out now.

    2. Me too. And it’s not from suggestion or something, I’ve always found bell pepper and lotus seeds somewhat icky.

    3. If that is the frog I think you’re talking about then I have a mild case caused by the sight of that frog.

      I saw it on a nature program of weird animals years ago and the image is burned into my brain as one of the most repulsive, revolting things I have ever seen. And I am not one to be grossed out easily.

  8. I’ve had my horses barefoot trimmed for years, along with caring for them in more ‘natural’ ways – no covers, plenty of roughage in their diets, letting them live as a herd etc. They keep extremely well, with no hoof or health problems. I guess they’re kind of living a Primal lifestyle for horses :-). Great to see it’s becoming more mainstream to let horses be horses.

    1. Hey Andrea!
      I have a OTT that I have competed with in the past in the jumpers. He has good feet-not superb- but we have never had any problems with them. He has regular turn-out, but also has a stall. I have never felt that he would be good living outside and we went barefoot for a winter and his feet got all out of whack. I have had to keep shoes on him since he is still jumping, but am interested in looking at options for when he gets a little older. What do you think? Do you think all horses have the potential to go barefoot?

      1. Hi Elisa. I have my horses hooves trimmed by a professional barefoot trimmer. One of my horses came to me with shoes on a couple of years ago. My trimmer has progressively reshaped his hooves back into a natural shape and they are now great. Most farriers just trim hooves the way they would if they were going to shoe the horse, which is completely wrong for barefoot, so it’s really important to get a specialist barefoot trimmer, if you can. I live in New Zealand and we are lucky to have some good trimmers who are prepared to travel. We also have fairly mild winters – some snow for a few days a year – so it’s pretty easy to keep our horses outside year round. I have friends who cover their horses and stable them in the colder months, but they don’t seem to do as well as my mine. I think the key thing is if you are moving towards a more natural approach, take it slowly and allow your horses to transition into it taking into account age, breed, temperament and your unique environment. But it’s well worth it if you can. I get lots of compliments on my healthy, happy horses. All the best!

      2. Hey I also have my horses barefoot! And yes I do think all horses can go barefoot, however you have to look at all horses individually – as with your OTT (an ex racehorse, Off The Track Throughbred for those who dont know) he has probably had any good feet genes bred out of him and also been shod since the age of 2 so it is a lot harder for his feet to return to a natural form than say my partbred kaimanawa pony who has rock hard feet but has probably never been shod in his life.

        I say persevere with the trimming, it just needs to be a lot gentler than others, he wont be used to using his frog and sole properly and wont have as harder feet as others. If someone told you to run down a gravel road in barefeet itd be preeetty sore the first time, but if you had to do it for a week by the end of the week your feet would be hardening up and you would be starting to use all the little muscles and bones in your foot again. it just takes time to start using himself properly again after being unable to do so.

        What do you mean his feet went all out of whack? Jumping with shoes on hugely increases the amount of shock on his bones and joints, being barefoot would allow him to use his feet as the shock absorbers they are 🙂

        1. Excellent advice! I would be interested to see how horses jumping 3’9″+ would handle being barefoot. I know that there are some grand prix dressage horses that go barefoot, but they also don’t have the weight crashing down on them after a 4ft oxer. Many horses in the jumper rings in the upper levels use studs, which would be difficult to do barefoot. I would be intersted to see someone try and find a solution!

          And sadly, yes, being an exracehorse, his hoof walls are on the thin side. I think what happened last time we tried barefoot (granted, I know my farrier trims a lot of horses, but am not sure if he is a ‘barefoot’ farrier) his dropped in the heel and his feel began splaying and chipping. Thank you for the advice! I know how much going barefoot myself helps me, even if it does take time to get used to!

      3. Elisa I reckon the jumpers would go just as well 🙂 (assuming they had either had sufficient time and training to harden up their feet or had never been shod in their life) IMO it would be harder on them having shoes on due to the added shock hitting the ground? Grip wise horses actually have great grip without shoes or studs! Nature made them that way after all 🙂

  9. For the most part, I look on the positive side of things. I have noticed it annoys the people around me. Make me happy though.

  10. I’ve had horses for years now and my research into and experiences with barefoot horses and natural care are actually what led to me going Primal myself! There is so much fascinating research available now about the effects of grains (bad) on horse physiology and how grasses have been bred to contain WAY too much sugar, and about how horses are designed to walk around casually for hours a day, that when I started reading Paleo/Primal stuff it was all quite familiar. I had seen the effects already on my horses, it just made sense to do it for myself.

    1. I remember reading an article about horses when they were fed too many grains. The result: a few horses with hard to control,ADD type behavior problems. The rest got fat and lethargic. Hmmm, yes that all sounds vaguely familiar in another animal, too … 😉

    2. I guess the question would be then to find something that would adequately fuel horses in competition virtually year-round. They just burn too many calories to survive on hay alone!

      1. What about root vegetables, as they used to do in the old days?

        1. That is a good question! It would be interesting to try it out and see how they react health and performance-wise. 🙂

  11. Strange. Cantelopes don’t bother me but I actually find those lotus seeds off putting. I can’t say why, but they just creep me out a bit.

    1. yeah… me too, it’s something about their particular shape, it gives me a mildly unpleasant feeling the longer I look at them… Weird stuff!

  12. Thanks for the link “Rewire Your Brain for Positivity and Happiness Using the Tetris Effect” Mark. As someone who tends to be a cynic and a little depressed despite my good diet and health, this looks like a very promising technique and something I am going to give a try.

  13. The lotus seed pod felt like facing a loaded revolver, bullets lurking in the dark recesses of the cylinder.

    1. Salvilotus, Egyptian Delight. I used some of that incense recently. It was interesting.

      1. I think Temple of the Screaming Electron might be interesting to some. It is a website consisting of lots of BBS files covering various topics.

  14. The seed pod photo is beautiful. It’s structural and yet diverse because the seeds themselves seem to have different levels of “health.” Maybe they are at different stages.

  15. Re: Lotus seeds: looks maternal to me, all those little seeds protected in their cozy pods. Plus, I love purple and green together.

  16. Re : Bird article. I’m pretty sure light has quite an effect on many species. I have chickens, and for most of the winter they don’t lay many eggs, but if you put a bit of light on them, effectively lengthening the day, they will keep laying. They sometimes put lights in the paddocks of brood mares to encourage them to come into heat for breeding. We also used to put lights in the stalls of show horses (a couple extra hours, to mimic the longer days of summer), to prevent them from growing a long winter coat. Apparently the number of hours of light has more to do with it than the “cold ” temperatures.

  17. I’m in my mid-40s and looking at things like lotus seed pods (long before I knew what they were called — they started turning up in dried flower arrangements in the ’70s) cracked desert mud, larvae holes, etc., have been freaking me out and making my hair stand on end for as long as I can remember. I’d long given up telling anyone about it cos they look at me like I’m completely mental. I even had an incidental bit of phobia therapy specifically about lotus seed pods cos it was causing issues. I’ve only just recently heard the term “trypophobia” and I was like, OMG THERE ARE OTHER PEOPLE LIKE ME?!? I’m fine if people don’t believe in it, I’m just happy there is a word for it and at least a few other weirdos like me in the world. It’s a comforting thought. 🙂

    1. Me too – I’ve always been creeped out by holes in things, and the first time I saw a lotus pod I wanted to run screaming from it. We’re not alone! 🙂

    2. It’s comforting for me too! Just hearing the phrase “l.s. pods” makes me feel nauseous and gives me the shivers. I have never known how to describe it to people and, like you, at this point I just don’t. I did not know there was a name for it, but now I’m afraid to research it because I know there will be a bunch of images that will make me sick and I won’t be able to close my eyes without seeing them.

  18. Over the last couple of weeks ive decided to walk to work in the morning (and sometimes home too) as i wasn’t doing enough slow moving. I’m a type 1 diabetic and a lot of diabetics experience a rise in blood sugar (myself included) after waking up in the morning. My blood sugar recently has been good after waking but without a little help from a dose of short acting insulin would rise as the morning went on. Since ive started walking the 1.5 miles it’s been falling when it would usaully rise, rapidly, to the point of hypoglacemia about half way into the walk. Correlation doesnt mean causation an all that but my expereince totally agrees with the study that says slow moving affects blood sugar. I didn’t walk to work this morning and my blood sugar did the usual and went higher.
    On a side note intense excercise (or relatively intense) for a prolonged period causes it to rise, due to the liver excreting glucose into the system. But where as a non-diabetic has insulin to counter act that rise in blood sugar diabetics dont, so we can end up with high blood sugar after working out. I tend to find that after 45 to 60 mins of about 16 – 24 sets of resistance work in the 5 – 10 rep range raises my blood sugar, simliar to consuming between about 10 to 15 grams of carbs.
    On a another side note, diabetes is a total pain in the arse. Don’t develop it. 😉

  19. Regarding Lotus pods, It would be nice to know that in India, those seed pods are eaten raw!!! Actually they are very tasty even stir fried, sauteed and made into spicy curries. They are cute little ones. The edible pods are actually green in color. They look beautiful:)

  20. Keeping barefoot ponies has taught us about sugar and starch in equine nutrition. Our trimming hero is Pete Ramey – and Dr.Kellon’s online courses on nutrition are great!
    And then, with our minds wide open, we got into primal ourselves. And switched our dogs to raw.
    Thank you for the link!

  21. I clicked into this article because the pretty bracelet caught my attention. Then I looked at the picture of the lotus seed and thought it was really interesting! Its actually quite pretty because of its colors 🙂