Monday, May 12, 2014


Hi Everyone.

I have moved my blog to my own WORDPRESS hosted website.

At this site, I will more easily be able to integrate various types of support in one location for you & continue to provide my controversial blog posts.

Here is the link to my new site

Thanks for your continued support.

Dan T

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

We need to grow a pair!

Hi Everyone!

Yes. I'm walking the line of crudeness because I'm fed up!  Honestly, if I hear one more client say that it's okay that they're having the bag of chips because they are made with whole grains, I'm going to lose it! Honestly, how do you expect to achieve your goals if you're not willing to take out the garbage?

I'm not even sure who to be mad at any more!  I think we all have some culpability in this mess. Let's take a look at how each group plays a role in the obesity epidemic (both creating it and not helping to solve it).


I think that the current food system is the way it is, because we (the consumers/clients) are a bunch of pushovers (not my first choice of words) who are so terrified to give up our vices like junky foods that we know are killing us that we choose to believe the BS claims that are made by food companies about said food items. For instance, these chips are okay because they are made from whole grains, or these cookies are organic.  I mean, PLEASE!

Message: We vote with our dollars, so don't buy processed food anymore & eventually there will be no market for it and similarly, the cost of good quality, real foods will decrease.


The governments who supposedly police the food industry are absolutely culpable & they are made of educated people, so they are not stupid, therefore, I can only conclude that they are driven by money and secondary gain.  There is no other logical reason why in the face of clear evidence that TRANS fats kill humans by well known cardiovascular mechanisms, that they would impose a law to require that the amount of trans fats within a food product be shown on the label rather than make it illegal for the food company to use that item in the foods they make!  WHAT THE HECK!?  Think about it, governments make money on allowing poor quality foods into the market place & people get sick & then there's money to be made on the treatment of those illnesses (preventable ones).  So tell me then, where is the motivation to stop the cycle.  Nowhere for the governments regulators.

Message: Nobody has your back, other than you.  You need to take responsibility for your own lifestyle choices.  Don't you put your health, life & vitality in the hands of people with more to gain if you are sick than if you are healthy.

Nutrition Professionals


The nutrition profession including Dietitians, Nutritionists (practitioners), Researchers & Professors.  All of which work very hard (I know I am one) to tow the company line (i.e. the food groups or pyramids or whatever), and most of them (this is where I consider myself different) do NOT question those concepts, they just keep teaching them.  This is where things become ugly for me.  I have a real Masters degree (thesis-based) & am pursuing a PhD all in Human Nutrition, so I believe I can read, interpret & critically appraise the research.  Unfortunately, many of the practitioners in the profession can not, do not or are not willing to do this.  This has lead to the promotion of the low fat diet for instance for the last fifty years or so.  You can see my post on some of my issues with the low fat diet and why that's a huge problem.  And the thing is, the evidence is out there to lead practitioners away from this but most are either too busy or just don't bother to review it.


This brings us to researchers and professors. Researchers & Professors are, for the most part positions that are research driven and depend upon production & publications for their institution.  Unfortunately, Western medical research practices are based on supposed gold standards (i.e. randomized clinical trials) that really only work for pharmaceutical drugs, no coincidence that the majority of medical research is funded by these companies and that most medical decision trees produced for physicians and psychiatrists either end at or have as a major part of their treatment a pharmaceutical drug (that's for another rant, though).  I have many research colleagues and friends who consider the current state of nutrition research a joke.  I unfortunately have to agree with them.  They are mostly in the physical sciences like chemistry and physics, both of which I have minors in.  The major difference in my opinion is that those physical sciences have a unifying theory, which guides all research in that discipline to be in line with those principles.  In medical & health research it's more of a crap shoot of random trials & outcome measures.  Many will argue that there is no medical unifying theory, but that is crap!  The unified theory of biology should be and is EVOLUTION!  I talk about that unifying theory in a prior post here.  If nutrition researchers would simply ask does this study/finding/research question that I am proposing make sense in light of evolutionary biology, then this would prevent millions of dollars from being wasted on stupid projects that provide zero insights into human health & disease.  And by the way, food companies are also spending billions of dollars to fund research projects.


Professorships are research-dependent and therefore all of the research criticisms discussed above apply.  Additionally, however, most of the time there is a regulating body (i.e. college or other guiding body) that dictates the competencies and content that are required to become a certified health professional.  Unfortunately, these practice recommendations are based on the assumption that the last fifty plus years of lifestyle based research has been sound and that the principles of many of the early low fat proponents was correct (which is now known to be false).  Yet, each new generation of nutrition, health and medical practitioner are taught the same strategies to prevent and manage/treat cardiovascular disease, diabetes, kidney disease, etc... without any regard to human evolutionary biology.  This is absolutely a critical mistake and the most frustrating part of all is that this is a relatively easy one to fix.

Message: You can't always put your faith in credentials.  Just because someone has a certification or degree, doesn't mean they're good at what they do or even know about or truly understand the current research, it just means they were able to complete coursework & do well on a test. I am a certified health professional, I have many colleagues and only some of them truly understand the current research. Be sure to do your own research and then discuss it with your certified health professional.  If they are completely closed, fire them & find another who is more open and versed on the research.

So. What the heck can we do about it?

It's an easy fix, but not a quick one.  I learned everything I could (and still am by the way) about evolutionary biology and then use these principles to filter all of the latest research findings through and see which ones still make sense or try to figure how they might fit.  Also, I use these evolutionary principles to adjust my prevention and treatment protocols so that they are more in line with evolutionary biology.  There are many non-certified Western and Alternative medical practitioners that have been doing this for some time, I applaud the honest ones for doing this.  I think it's time that we in certified Western medicine caught up!

Message: It's through this practice of selecting professionals that are more open-minded & versed on the literature, that health professionals will ultimately expand their knowledge and be accountable to you, the client.  Also, we have to stop always citing old studies as the basis for our current treatment practice, research question or curriculum and seriously attempt to integrate the evolutionary biology approach.

Thanks for reading my rant!  I hope you found it useful as well as entertaining!  Honestly, I feel better for having wrote this, so thanks for giving me an audience.

Have a great week!

Take care,

Dan T

Thursday, April 17, 2014

How to Heal your Gut & WHY!!!

There is more and more research suggesting that a "leaky gut" could be the underlying cause of many diseases that face modern humans and that it can perpetuate inflammation in the body that wreaks havoc on general health & well-being.  In order to discuss this further, we need to start with some basics.
The basics:

1)                    The gut is essentially a long tube that forms a 
barrier to the outside word that selectively allows
penetration of essential nutrients, vitamins, etc… that
we need to survive and thrive. Many hormones are
secreted by the gut and interestingly these hormones
can have both peripheral and central effects.

2)                      As mothers approach birth their
vaginal population change in order to expose the baby
to as many good bacteria as possible - this is evidenced
by lower numbers of good bacteria in the guts of children
from c-section birth.

3)                      The gut houses approximately 100 trillion 
bacteria and this population of bacteria is around 10 times 
that amount of human cells present in our body (3.72 x1013)-
this number is so great that it's becoming more apparent that 
these bacteria might be able to stimulate us to do what they want
(i.e. Food cravings/choices like carbohydrate cravings or PICA).

4)                      Gut flora promote normal GI function, provide protection from infection, regulates metabolism & comprises more than 75% of our immune system.

Our modern lifestyles put us at risk for lowering the good bacteria normally colonizing our guts. Chris Kresser outlines these in his blog:

·            Antibiotics and other medications like birth control and NSAIDs
·            Diets high in refined carbohydrates, sugar and processed foods
·            Diets low in fermentable fibers
·            Dietary toxins like wheat and industrial seed oils that cause leaky gut
·            Chronic stress
·            Chronic infections
Antibiotic therapy will essentially hit the reset button on our good bacteria, indiscriminately wiping them out. It then becomes critical that we repopulate our gut with beneficial bacteria and that’s where I believe most of us including Western Medicine practitioners drop the ball.

If the intestinal barrier becomes permeable (leaky gut), large protein molecules escape into the bloodstream that normally would not have penetrated. Since these proteins are not recognized by the body, the body mounts an immune response to them and attacks them. Studies show that these attacks can play a role in the development of autoimmune diseases like Hashimoto’s, Type 1 Diabetes, Multiple Sclerosis and more. This immune response brought on by “leaky gut” has been shown to affect not only the gut itself, but also other organs including the skeletal system, pancreas, kidney, liver and the brain. Additionally, it’s been shown that “leaky gut” can manifest problems in the skin and heart.

What you can do to make sure your Gut stays healthy?
  1. Eliminate exposure to toxic substances in food.   Substances to try to avoid:
    • Cereal grains (especially refined flour)
    • Omega-6 industrial seed oils (corn, cottonseed, safflower, soybean, etc.)
    • Sugar (especially high-fructose corn syrup)
    • Processed soy (soy milk, soy protein, soy flour, etc.)
  2. FODMAPs intolerance – Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols – these are short-chain carbohydrates that are incompletely absorbed in the gut & can be easily fermented by Gut bacteria – the fermentation & osmosis caused by these undigested sugars cause major IBS symptoms such as gas, pain & diarrhea.
  3. Use Fermented foods including Sauerkraut, Kimchi & Kefir, etc…
  4. Use high-quality, mutli-species probiotic supplement after antibiotic use.
  5. Manage your stress – Lots of research links gut health with emotional health & well-being!
    There's so much more that could be discussed, but I'll leave that to the experts.  If you're interested in having a full assessment done on the state of your gut health, track down a good functional medicine doctor in your area who can help you handle this.  Two sites that can help you are the Paleo physicians network & Primal Docs.
Until next time, make sure you're taking care of your gut & the Trillions of bacteria in it, and in turn, they will take care of you!

Dan T


Tuesday, March 25, 2014


Back in part 1 of my 2 part series on REDEFINING WHY, I attempted to define how I was able to be lean & athletic and remain that way through incredible stresses up to about 10 years ago and more importantly why this seems more difficult currently (at 41 years).  In part 2, I’m hoping to take you through the process of establishing my new WHYs and creating my specific goals for the next few months. This might take this post & one more.

Out of Date WHYs:

A) Be the leanest & fittest man I can be in order to attract the woman of my dreams.
B) Be as healthy & strong as I can be in case MS strikes me down, I will be in better position to maintain strength & function, etc…
C) Be Warrior Fit.
Why these WHYs are obsolete to me now:
A) I’ve met & married the woman of my dreams.
B) My mother passed away of complications relating to her (30 year bout with) MS 2 years ago & my priorities have shifted from avoiding disease, to earning a living & caring for my family.
C) I have not consistently practiced martial arts for the last decade and a half & I’m no longer as focused on preparation for spontaneous kumites.  

Tony Robbins discusses 6 Master Steps to Change in a Powertalk session. I’ve adapted those here to walk you through how I developed my WHYs & how I intend to change my behaviors and start heading towards the attainment of my goals.  

6 Steps to Change:

1) Decide what DO you want & what might prevent you from getting it.
2) Create leverage (on yourself) to make the change a must.
3) Interrupt the current pattern.
A) Visualization
B) Experience
4) Implement the change using a positive behavior in place of the negative one (if applicable).
5) Condition the new behavior pattern, so it remains consistent.
A) Visualization
B) Role-Playing
6) Test the new behavior (pattern).
A) Visualization
B) Experience

Newer, more relevant WHYs:
A) Be the best living example of healthy, lean and strong man who is living the Paleo/Primal lifestyle for my family, friends, clients & the world.
B) Be a living example of what kind of change is possible through a well planned Paleo/Primal lifestyle for my family, friends, clients & the world.
C) Be the best example of health, fitness & longevity that I can be for my kids so they will be proud & strive to emulate my lifestyle.
D) Become as Warrior Fit as I can because I want to be able to defend my family at any moment, whatever comes.
These are WHYs that touch me more viscerally currently, so I know they’ll be more effective.

Now, if only this lifestyle could morph my face into Jason Statham's (at right) then my acting career would really take off!!
My Leverage:

For making the changes - I must achieve these changes because I have always been a man of my word. I am a healthy, lean & fit man who is a living example for those around him of what a healthy lifestyle can do. I now understand the importance of living a Paleo/Primal lifestyle & need to now implement these principles fully into my lifestyle in order be the living model of health, fitness & longevity! I need to become a living example of health, fitness & longevity & the power of the Paleo/Primal lifestyle in order to effect change at the policy level & to lead the charge amongst my fellow RDs.
I need to be a living example for my family and especially my kids in order for them to strive to emulate my lifestyle!  

Against not making the changes - If I don’t achieve my goals and successfully implement these lifestyle strategies then I will lose the respect of my friends & family and most importantly myself. My business & services will not thrive if I can’t be a living example of my lifestyle strategies. I will not be able to successfully effect changes at the policy level & amongst fellow RDs unless I am a living example of health, fitness & longevity!

My specific goals: Over the next 4 months, I will:
1) lose 4 inches off my waist (aiming for 1/2 inch every 2 weeks).
2) go to at least 2 CrossFit classes per week & will add in physical play activity (increasing weekly as weather here in Canada improves - horrible winter here this year.
3) consume a Paleo/Primal diet daily with on non-Gluten containing one cheat meal per week.
4) consume 100 g of carbohydrates or less daily.

These goals are mostly behavioral, meaning that I’m able to track my progress daily by seeing if I’m on track or not using a behavioral checklist. I discussed this in a previous post.
Although, this doesn’t guarantee success, since it can't remove the daily stressors of a newborn + a 2 year old, working full time, pursuing a PhD (due end of 2015), blogging & running my business; these goals should increase my odds for success because of the 6 keys to psychological success as reported in Prev Medicine in 2004 which were:
A) Using Proven Strategy - Paleo/Primal has worked for thousands, why NOT me!
B) Using all available resources - Quality food obtained & source identified, Kitchen & Pantry cleaned out, Cooking tools ready to rock.
C) Integrated Social Support Structure for behavior change - My wife is doing this with me + accountability to my readers = ultimate support system.
D) Self-Efficacy - my goals are broken down into smaller chunks to gain momentum & confidence.
E) Greater Outcome Expectations - 4 inches is significant.
F) Adequate time to form habit - I’m giving myself 4 months to fully embrace the lifestyle, but know that actual permanent change can take 1-2 years to become ingrained.

Well, I'm off & running (pun intended).

If you would like to do this also, feel free to share your step by step goals in the comments section!

Let’s rock this!

Take care,

Dan T

Friday, March 21, 2014


Hi Everyone,

Bear with me on this one. This is my over-tired (due to new baby care) attempt at soul searching & sincere self-examination. There is a lot more to the story, but I’m trying to stay on point with main things that have either directly or indirectly affected my body composition over the years.

I was always a lean & athletic guy. Growing up in a farming area, we ate pretty well (farm fresh side of beef, pig & chickens in the deep freeze, free range chicken eggs, fresh dairy, etc...) and throughout high school I did competitive Rowing, Karate, Kick boxing, Volleyball and of course all the pick up games of roller hockey, ice hockey, street hockey, football and soccer that my cousin & I could arrange! I pretty much trained all year long for rowing (dryland training) including tons of running, ergometers & weights (light circuits & heavy weights also). Therefore, I was doing a huge volume of work at this point in my life. I was 145 lbs until my senior year in high school and when I left for University I was 155 lbs.

This trend continued to University where I found competitive coed cheerleading (awesome sport for those of you who don’t know about it) & I practiced Japanese Jiu Jitsu & Capoeira. Of course, I learned some weight training from more senior guys on the Cheerleading team & started banging on those. Hitting the heavier weights, I bulked up to 175 lbs and remained here for the next decade and a half.

By the time I went to Montreal for my professional degree, I was still around 170 lbs and with some dietary manipulation & body weight training courtesy of Matt Furey (combat conditioning), I leaned down to 8% body fat. Then I started hitting the weights again, and seeing as how I was studying Human Nutrition & Dietetics I started experimenting with different strategies to add mass, as I had always been a “hard gainer”. Unfortunately, the techniques mostly involved eating higher carbohydrate, lower fat diet as a backbone, and using protein & mass gain shakes and things after my heavy weight workouts, so all of that combined with being over 30 years old at that time all lead me to increase my weight up to about 185 lbs and of course my body fat went up as well (to around 17%).

When I got into my Masters degree in Montreal, I was able to workout with and join the Cheerleading squad there, however, the team was mostly women & there were only 2 of us dudes (actually as I write that I realize, it wasn’t all that bad ;-) . It was great fun & actually with my heavier frame (190 lbs at this point) I was able to do some more advanced stunting that had escaped me at 175 lbs. My tumbling suffered a lot though. At one point at 175 lbs, I was able to do a roundoff, back handspring, back tuck fairly routinely and the same sequence with a back layout in place of the tuck with a bit more effort. However, at 190 lbs, this was much more difficult to do. I essentially, had to relearn the moves at my new heavier weight. In the end, I was able to do standing back handspring, back tucks routinely, but it did take a fair amount of effort and I’m sure my technique was sucking quite profoundly.

Next, my funding ran out for my Masters and I returned home to find work as a Registered Dietitian. I was able to find a one year mat leave for the first year, and of course had to live at home. During this time, I was able to get down to 180 lbs by participating in the Body for life challenge. I also started working in Hamilton at an Obesity clinic one day per week.

At the conclusion of that one year contract, I obtained a permanent position as a Registered Dietitian in Hamilton at a Mental Health Facility, and am still there now. In addition to completing my Masters, I was able to propose and initiate a PhD through my same University supervisor located at this hospital, but unfortunately, due to changes in drug purchasing contracts (move to generics) the funding was pulled by the drug company that had originally committed, and so I am pursuing my PhD in a topic similar but more complex & advanced of my Masters.

I should mention that during all of the above times my free time got less and less as my responsibilities increased. Additionally, I realize now in retrospect that my WHY for pretty much the bulk of my physical activity/working out thing was actually extrinsic, all about the ladies (attracting my dream girl), so to speak. I was a young guy & I loved women & wanted to meet as many as possible so I could finally meet the one.

When I started my permanent position as an RD in Hamilton, I met my (to be) wife at my orientation. We connected at a deep level immediately & she was the sexiest, most intelligent, kindest women I had ever met in my life (still is actually)! I proposed a little over 1 year after we met & we were married one year later. Interestingly, we found our dream home in a beautiful location, the unfortunate part was that it was a 1 hour drive from work. I commuted 2 hours/ day x 5 days / week for 5 years and during this time my weight skyrocketed to 225 lbs with obviously a huge shift in my body comp to fat mass (around 25%) with a waist circumference of 39.5” :-(. We were blessed as well with our first daughter during this time, and since, we’ve been blessed again. The massive increase in my body weight (& fatness) was obviously due to my decreased physical activity. Interestingly, I was actually working out pretty hard regularly for 2.5 years of our 5 with the 1 hour commute including rediscovering Japanese Jiu Jitsu (until our first daughter was born, then sleep went bye bye) but my weight still remained at best around 210 lbs. Honestly, I knew that my commute was killing me. Thankfully, my health was fine, no issues of note, but I knew that I was on the roadway to Diaobesity! My wife and I decided to move closer to work (decreased commute=more family time) & her family (greater support for our kids & connectedness with their cousins). We were expecting our second child while we listed our home (with countless open houses) & while we were searching for our new home. It was challenging & time consuming since we lived about an hour from where we were searching & we were both working full time. Additionally, I had to prepare for my PhD oral comprehensive exam right after we were slated to move into our new home. Additionally, we planned for a significant renovation on our new home once we moved in & had to start purchasing items & reviewing options after work in the months leading up to the move. Bottom line, we were living fast & hard, with very little time to dedicate to exercise/fitness. The only saving grace was that we walked daily together each evening as a family. Of course, this became harder as the Canadian Winter set in. 

Now, all things considered, my experiences started to make me question all the strategies I had learned & had been taught in school. I started to hit the research & I mean individual blogs, books, etc… Then I verified what I was seeing by perusing various scientific studies using similar principles. Shockingly, at least to me, I started to discover that most of the info that I was finding on “unreliable” (at least we’d been told in school) sites were actually validated by clinical research, and that we had never been taught any of these principles. This was my discovery of the Paleo/Primal/low carb lifestyle. This fascinated me, and it definitely made logical sense. Unlike, fad diets though that can often make some logical sense on the surface, this seemed to have no downside. It baffled me why we never learned anything about this during my clinical nutrition classes & also why not one of my colleagues seemed to even know what I was talking about when I mentioned it to them. Anyway, I plowed through all the podcasts (Robb Wolf first, then Jimmy Moore, Abel James, Mark Sisson etc…) & blogs (Mark Sisson, Robb Wolf, etc…) & then books including but not limited to The Paleo Solution, The Primal Blueprint, The Paleo Diet, The Paleo Answer, and The New Evolution Diet. Not to mention countless Paleo/Primal guides. 

Anyway, we are now living closer to work (20 min drive each way), the initial renovations are done, we had our second daughter & she is now about 6 weeks old and I have about 4 more months off from my PhD (paternity leave). This year, I even started attending 2 cross fit classes per week at a local box, but that was put on hold when our second daughter was born (less sleep & more to do around our new home). At this point, my wife & daughters’ happiness are far more important to me than my body composition. And then, suddenly, all at once, I realize why I’m not chomping at the bit to get back into the gym/workout/exercise whatever you want to call it. This had always been my way throughout my graduate degree, what the heck gives? 

All of this is basically a cliff/coles notes (depending on where you are from) version of my weight & body comp history as it pertains to significant life events. Interestingly, there’s a critical message hidden throughout the story. Did you figure it out? It’s painfully obvious, once you see it.

At every point in my life when I was working out super hard & absolutely committed I had a compelling WHY, to attract the woman of my dreams! So once I found her, married her & we started having children, that WHY was achieved and no longer drove me. I became more focused on surviving our new hectic schedule including a then 2 hour commute, helping care for my wife & our child, as well as maintaining my job, business, studies & our home. Now that the commute has been reduced, that’s one less thing, but with a newborn in the house & a 2 year old, my WHY shifts to include helping with the care of the entire expanded family & maintaining and doing some smaller renovations to our new home. I think about working out, my wife and I discuss how to fit everything in, and at long last my wife’s agreed to come aboard the S.S. Paleo/Primal and eventually we will convert our 2 year old as well. Our hope is that once we introduce solids to our second daughter she won’t even know what a grain product is. So, in that way I was able to integrate my primary WHY for caring for my family to include a healthy diet that will help me lean out. However, the exercise thing bothers me, because I know I’m not a lazy person. So why am I not leaping back to the gym to whip myself back in shape? The short answer is that in my current life with the new set of circumstances (married to the woman of my dreams, 2 beautiful children, working full time, pursuing PhD, Blogging & starting online business), I have not taken the time to update/re-define my WHY.

I mean, think about it. At this point, I haven’t returned to working out yet, because in my mind right now, I want to spend my time with my wife & daughters, building my online business & of course (feel I have to) work since we’re currently limited to only my income. So what I need to do is layout my new WHY given my new set of life circumstances. I think it’s key to remember that a WHY that drove us phenomenally for decades might be completely powerless once circumstances change (i.e. Pursuing the woman of my dreams & then me finding her & marrying her). But as Tony Robbins says in his audio programs, I have been caught up living day to day and forgot to design my life (I’m paraphrasing, but you get the gist).

Anyway, the take away message is that for any change, lifestyle or otherwise, we need to have a clearly defined WHY, or we are doomed to not achieve our goal!

I will redefine my WHY related to exercise in my life & post it next week to show the process that I used, in case anyone wants to do it also. If you are in a similar boat, I suggest you do this too!

Together, as a community, there’s nothing that we can’t overcome!

Have a great weekend!

Dan T