-A personal experience with nutrition and exercise-

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Potatoes, Protein. . . and some Low Volume Training

The Lovely Potato

So as a few of you know, I am a true potato fiend. In my opinion, they easily belong in the top 5 foods that a person eats. I am doing a sort of research project on them and what I am finding is really interesting.

...This root being superior to both oat and wheat breads:
"The chairmen, porters, and coalheavers in London, and those unfortunate women who live by prostitution, the strongest men and the most beautiful women perhaps in the British dominions, are said to be the greater part of them from the lowest rank of people in Ireland, who are generally fed with this root. No food can afford a more decisive proof of its nourishing quality, or of its being peculiarly suitable to the health of the human constitution."

Here are some more that I found:
"what the Board of Agriculture mentions as a fact of the greatest importance, that potatoes and water alone, with common salt, can nourish men completely"

"The potato, which in some points of view, may justly be regarded as one of the greatest blessings to our species, is capable of operating the greatest calamities, when it exclusively furnishes the food on which a community is content to exist"

"The small farmers live on potatoes and milk. It is considered that he is a very fortunate man if he has milk for his family. He sells his butter and never uses oatmeal in his house."

It seems that these people were therefore living almost entirely on the potato and supplementing it with skimmed milk. This really makes me question the supposed 'great need for fats' in the diet.

Although this is probably not the 'Optimal' human diet, it shows that with enough calories and nutrients it is highly sustainable for hard working people. While I believe that there is no perfect diet, I have experimented with and witnessed that there are several similar factors to them all.


I have recently increased my protein intake to see what kind of effect it will have on my current condition and recovery abilities. I have been reading up on protein deficiency to see what exactly it is and the symptoms of it.
I found this obvious but unrealized to me: " Protein deficiency is generally caused by lack of total food energy, making it an issue of not getting food in total."

This makes a lot of sense to me as that is why if you see a culture that has a low protein consumption, it is almost always high in starch. Carbohydrates 'spare' protein from being catabolized by the body to produce the much needed glucose (the bodies preferred source of energy). It is important to get your diet free of white sugar and excess fructose to help increase your insulin sensitivity. By doing this you will be able to eat a high starch diet and reap all the benefits with out any of the negatives often associated with 'evil carbs'.

People often talk about the bio-availability [BV] of protein. The problem with this is that the body is an amazing machine and nothing is simple. In studies it was found that "the BV of a protein is related to the amount of protein given. BV is measured at levels below the maintenance level. This means that as protein intake goes up, the BV of that protein goes down. For example, milk protein shows a BV near 100 at intakes of 0.2 g/kg. As protein intake increases to roughly maintenance levels, 0.5 g/kg, BV drops only around 70.[20] Pellet et al., concluded that "biological measures of protein quality conducted at suboptimal levels in either experimental animals or human subjects may overestimate protein value at maintenance levels." As a result, while BV may be important for rating proteins where intake is below requirements, it has little bearing on individuals with protein intakes far above requirements."

It is easy to see that body adapts to what is being put into. The problem is when we make it extremely difficult for the body to maintain homeostasis. That is where health problems quickly arise. So therefore it is important to monitor yourself and your cravings. These will allow you to feed your body with what it wants when it wants it.

New Routine - Starting 4/5/10

So the new routine is a combination of several things I have been reading and discussing with others. I have decided that I need to improve my strength and not get caught up to much with the high volume training that pro's use. It is effective but should only be used only every-once-in-a-while.

*I will am writing it up right now and will post as soon as I finish*


  1. Really good post!! I have been thinking differently about fat lately too... how much do we really need, hmmmmm.... With all the things i am involved in now, i don't now how i survived without carbs for so long following low carb/paleo guidelines...

    Biking on my fixie for 4 hours monday, Hiking in the Flat Irons for 3 hours sunday, biking a few hours yesterday, and lifting heavy at the gym today and biking all over Denver.... not possible without potatoes, brown rice, some fruit, and sprouted corn tortillas.... i think not.


  2. Fat requirements are like anything - you can eat a lot and be healthy, or you can eat very little and be healthy. Personally, I start to get a little mental if I keep my fat levels extremely low, but after 3 years of very heavy fat consumption I can't say it did any wonders for me. Like most things, it helped at first. Maybe I was a little fat starved - and calorie starved at the time. But the benefits ended after a few months. Anyway, here's a good quote from Roger J. Williams on the highly flexible fat content of a healthy diet:

    “In an extensive review of the various peoples of the earth who have little or no atherosclerosis and are virtually free of heart disease, Lowenstein found that the fat intake ranged from 21 grams per day to as much as 355 grams per day. In both the Somalis and the Samburus of East Africa, the diet is from 60 to 65 percent fat (animal), and yet they are nearly free from atherosclerosis and heart attacks. While it might be argued that ethnic differences are involved here, population groups of wide ethnic variation have been reported who subsist on high fat, high cholesterol, high caloric diets while remaining virtually free of coronary heart disease...
    ...the evidence points strongly toward the conclusion that the nutritional environment of the body cells – involving minerals, amino acids, and vitamins – is crucial, and that the amount of fat or cholesterol consumed is relatively inconsequential…"

  3. What are the other 4?

    My best strength gains are when I do two lifting workouts a week, heavy, and low volume. With lots of food, and even more sleep.

  4. last night i made a flank steak cooked in coconut oil, steamed broccoli, and a mixed green salad with alittle olive oil and apple cider vinegar, and all this topped with some pasture butter. I was still hungry... i had to make popcorn finally... everytime i decide to make a meal like this, my body misses starch. I don't know how people can cycle carbs and fat without will power... i like having it all in the meal... and lots of starch.


  5. The Muran warriors would be a good model as a fit tribe that followed a high fat diet. The Muran got all of their carbs from lactose of raw milk. They ate in the ratio of 20% protein, 30% carbs, and 50% fat. Had they either consumed more calories or lowered their activity they would have likely weighed a lot more. They were very tall and only weighed 150 pounds on average.

  6. Nathan -

    My Top 5 foods would be Potatoes, Coconuts, Fresh Dairy, Red Meats, Shellfish, Rice

    I think any diet that has a focus on one or more of those is optimal

  7. Troy -

    That meal sounds amazing. I have tried making a 'low-carb' meal but it is just not the same after you have been eating starches for a while. There is something about them that just satisfies.

  8. Jay Cutler, one of the best overall modern bodybuilders absolutely loves his starches. Just check it out in his video:


    Reminds me of a mix of Ron Burgandy from Anchor Man and Rickey Bobby from Talladega Nights. With all his brand food and quick witted remarks. He loves his egg white too. Don't know if he touches the egg yolk at all.

  9. Good points. Jay is probably my favorite current body builder. He is pretty in tune with whole healthy foods for the most part. I remember in one documentary when he was just starting, he was a security guard and he put a microwave in his van to make chicken and whole wheat pasta to eat

  10. What books/DVDs of his do you recommend? He says his story, training information, contest prep, and nutrition/supplement info is all contained in his book "CEO Muscle". I may look to get it.

  11. Or any other books that do a good job of explaining contest prep, supplements for prep, etc.

    I'm all for a serious book on the subject. Something that is both technical and practical at the same time.

  12. Thanks for the book. I'll check it out once my head clears up from some bs that's been happening with me.

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