July 30, 2014

Will Restricting Carbs Make You a "Fat-Burning Beast?"

photo: pixabay

By Tiffany Reiss; With a Long-Winded Intro by Crabby McSlacker

So for years I've been intrigued by notion of "Fat Adaptation," a concept advanced by Mark's Daily Apple and others. The idea is that by strategically restricting carbohydrates, you can reprogram your body to use fat as fuel instead of glycogen.

According to Mark:

If you’re fat adapted, the genes associated with lipid metabolism will be upregulated in your skeletal muscles. You will essentially reprogram your body. 
With that comes great benefits!  Like more energy available during exercise and throughout the day, and an easier time burning fat and losing weight than if you are a "sugar burner."

However, most mainstream nutritional advice says almost the opposite: Watch the fat, eat more carbs. These experts claim you need a crapload of carbs for optimal nutrition, especially if you are doing something athletic.  

And yeah, everyone agrees you need protein and that you should avoid refined and processed foods as much as possible and you should be eating plenty of produce.  But as to what else you should be fueling with, the "Are Carbs Good or Are They Bad" debate rages on.

I got so tired of hearing the contradictions that I asked Tiffany Reiss what she thought.  As regulars may recall, Tiffany is a smarty-pants professor type who knows a lot about exercise physiology. (Her bio is below).

So, is her answer simple and straightforward?

Hell no! Because it turns out it's a complicated question!

So those of you who like to geek out, here's Tiffany take on the whole "Should I restrict Carbs" question.


To Carb or Not to Carb

It’s such a simple question: Are carbs good or are they bad? Should we eat them or shouldn’t we?

July 28, 2014

Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are!

By Crabby McSlacker

So, a couple things to run past you guys this morning.

First up...

Can I coax you into sharing your thoughts with lovely appreciative Cranky Fitness readers in a guest post?

And yes by "you" I mean YOU! ... You there, who are reading this right now, whether you are blogger or a regular commenter or a quiet lurker.

Not if you are too busy, of course.  Or if you have a commercial site and have been harassing bloggers relentlessly with "did you get my email" follow-ups in order to find a home for your generic prose and spammy links. Or especially not if you were the person who arrived here googling "nude girl fuking in gym mashion."  (I do love checking my google search keywords). Can you imagine? This is a high-class site! We can NOT tolerate blatant spelling errors.

July 25, 2014


By Crabby McSlacker

So the last week or two I was in a bit of a funk.  And I'm still struggling with minor transitory stuff like injuries, and the resultant lack of exercise, and a potential new restrictive diet. (FODMAPS anyone? Copious whining about that to follow, if it indeed happens). Plus of course there's the usual dreaded Crapload of Stuff That Really Freakin' Needs to Get Done But Where The Hell to Find Time?

And yet? Funk gone for now!  Perspective returned.  Back to feeling mostly good about life. (At least for a congenital pissypants grouchbucket).

I know that research says gratitude is one of the best tools for getting out of a crappy mood, but for me it's no magic pill or anything. Efforts can seem kinda hollow and forced, and even if the "thinky" part of my brain gets it, the "feely" part just feels worse for being so lame that it doesn't recognize how lucky it is.

But sure enough, just pluggin' away and noticing good stuff where I can really does help!  (A good go-to source on how is pretty much anything by my fave geek/guru Rick Hanson). And then, voila, once I start feeling more myself again, the gratitude all comes rushing back for reals and everywhere I look there is all kinda stuff to feel grateful for.  Cranky Fitness readers in particular!

So please allow me share some appreciation and some fun links.

July 21, 2014

Study: Fascinating Way to Beat Pain

By Crabby McSlacker

OK, maybe no one else would be quite as intrigued by this study as I was.  It still leaves many questions, and it's a bit impractical in its current form. It isn't a magic pill that the pharmaceutical companies can exploit. So who knows if anyone but avid Do it Yourselfers will take advantage of it?

But it's the implications of this study that got my overthinky brain churning away.

And, unfortunately for you guys, these implications led me to much speculation and theorizing about pain and personality and neuropsychology! Even more ominously, it got me thinking again about the whole Subjective versus Objective reality question.

Be very afraid.

July 18, 2014

Elimination Diet Workbook Giveaway Winners

The giveaway winners are...

Paulina and Amy G.!

Congrats!  Please email me within the next week and I'll hook you up.  And whether you won or not, hope you all have an awesome weekend, free of hives, wheezing, bloating, barfing, or digestive unpleasantries of any sort!

July 16, 2014

Whine Not?

My last post was a whiny one, full of petty complaints. And I knew that when I posted it.

It was sort of a therapeutic exercise for me.  (And, I hoped it might be helpful for anyone else who found themselves likewise discouraged about whatever they'd been trying to achieve).

But I left all kinds of things out! Like for one, how wonderful and patient the Lobster has been while I've been such a grump.

And also, the larger context of how insanely lucky and privileged I am, and how grateful I am for so many blessings I have.  Seriously, how annoying must it be to be facing true hardship and hear someone who is healthy and well provided for bitching about their inability to keep their workouts "fun" and their waistline under control?

And yet... isn't it weird how sometimes knowing that you are ridiculously fortunate and are being petty doesn't make you feel better, it just adds another level of feeling crappy because you realize what a superficial ungrateful asshole you are?

July 14, 2014

Grumpiness, Lumpiness, and Goal Support

photo: peter m
By Crabby McSlacker

Anyone else feeling a bit frustrated and thwarted these days?  Could you  use a pep-talk and some perspective, or is it just me?  When I wrote most of this post yesterday, I was in a majorly crappy mood and I probably shouldn't hit publish on this thing. We'll see if today is any better--too early to tell.

But I'm hoping that however you're doing, whether you're kickin' ass, getting your ass kicked, or are somewhere in between, that you might let us know what's up!

So anyway, what's the reason for this  extra whiny post?

The problem  is lumpiness.

July 11, 2014

Elimination Diets, Food Allergies and Giveaway!

Do you or a loved one ever suffer from unpleasant reactions to the foods you eat?

For some people, the culprits are clear. If you break out into hives and lose the ability to breathe every time you eat peanuts or shellfish, you probably are pretty freakin' well aware of this and do everything you can to avoid these triggers.

However, for many of us, symptoms are vaguer. (Let's just say massive and almost comical postprandial bloating, purely hypothetically). And perhaps the episodes are more variable or sporadic. And also, not so clearly attributable to one specific food.

Anyone want some helpful information on that?

As it happens, we have a giveaway of two copies of Maggie Moon's Elimination Diet Workbook. And Canadians are eligible too!

So what's the deal with elimination diets, and why might you want to win or buy a copy of this book for yourself or an intolerant loved one?

July 09, 2014

Three Annoying Questions For: Jen Sinkler!

Interview By Crabby McSlacker

"Three Annoying Questions" returns as we ambush the awesome Jen Sinkler!

I've been a fan for years--Jen was the Editorial Director at Experience Life, one of the few non-crappy Health and Fitness magazines out there.  Her articles were my faves, as she was generally way ahead of the curve and yet had a no-bullshit down-to-earth take on fitness trends.   You can get her "Thrival Guide" free over at her site, and with that comes a newsletter that is actually something you want in your inbox as there as always cool stuff in there.

More details on what Jen's been up to at the end, but meantime, please welcome Jen and stay tuned for her Three Annoying Questions!--Crabby

July 07, 2014

Does Watching TV Give You Cancer?

Retro TV
By Crabby McSlacker

So we've all seen the studies that say the more time you spend sitting, the more likely you are to acquire various dire diseases and croak at a younger age. (Which is part of the reason I'm writing this post using a stand-up desk).

However, a recent research review of 43 observational studies suggests there is a particular association between time spent sitting watching TV and cancer.


Apparently there is a much higher correlation between sitting time and colon or endometrial cancer if you plant your ass in front of a television set, as opposed to sitting around doing other things besides watching tv.

So how seriously should we take this?

July 04, 2014

Happy Fourth!

According to MessyMimi who is a great source kooky calendar events (and adorable cats): Today is also St. Ulrich's Day!

This is good to know given that he is the Patron Saint of peaceful deaths, pregnant women and weavers. Plus, he can protect you against birth complications, dizziness, faintness, fever, frenzy, mice, moles, and vertigo.

Anyway, whether you are Canadian and are still recovering from your national holiday, or are American and are going to do something Fourthy today, have fun!

We're going to be having dinner with some lovely neighbors and dodging Hurricane Arthur, who is being a butthead and causing our fireworks to be postponed until tomorrow night.  

Anyone actually around today? Got any fun plans?

July 02, 2014

Obesity and Life Satisfaction: Surprise!

postcard at kellydessaint.com 

Guest Post By Dr. J (with Additional Contrarian Input by Crabby McSlacker)

Many of you are already acquainted with the knowledgeable and amusing Dr. J, who blogs over at Calorie Lab. He's a maxillofacial surgeon, as well as a dedicated runner and a pilot. Dr. J kindly sent me a very interesting article he wrote and let me share it here.

And in return for his generosity?  I'm gonna jump in afterwards and wrassle with him a little, offering a slightly different take.

Obnoxious? Sure! Stupid? Possibly! Because Dr. J is an actual physician plus he has a black belt in karate.

But Dr. J is also an old blog pal who knows I agree with him on about 98% of health and fitness matters and I suspect I'd have to work pretty hard to get him riled.   He's just more of a Tough Love kinda guy than I am when it comes to certain questions of lifestyle and health.

So what's the tussle about?

study of obesity and life satisfaction that Dr. J dug up suggests: in communities where obesity is common, being obese has little negative effect on life satisfaction.

Wow, right? This I did not know. 

Going by everything I've read, I thought it was kinda tough to be obese, and that a lot of things just sucked more, and that people were generally more satisfied with their lives after they'd lost weight.

So, if you're curious to see what the Doctor and the Crab think about all this...