Paleo Food List: Is Corn Paleo?

Corn, despite being in the produce section, is a grain and has been modified for high output rather than nutritional value. Is it as bad as wheat? Probably not, but here’s what we think.

The Paleo Diet Food List

We’ve been excited to read your submissions to The Paleo List and the Is It Paleo mobile app.  We really value this feedback so we can add content you want to see.  We’ve even had people contributing via the Write for Us page.  It’s great to have people in the community add items they want to see on The Paleo List.  Today, we have a guest post from Alisa at paleoinpdx.  Enjoy!

Corn causes a lot of confusion. Due to the way corn is grown and marketed, it is one of those foods that’s difficult to categorize on it’s own.  If you went by corn’s location in the grocery store, it seems like it is a vegetable (many people think it is).  In reality, corn is a grain.

Is Corn Paleo

If you haven’t figured it out already, corn is not paleo in any way, shape or form.  Grains and paleo do not mix. Even if corn were considered a…

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Paleo Food List: Is Tallow Paleo

Sorry to my vegetarian friends but one of the healthiest way to cook and add natural flavor to a dish is tallow.

The Paleo Diet Food List

The most important part of our paleo food list app is the feedback section where people ask us questions on the paleo-ness of certain food items. They may also tell us our app is great! Or maybe our app is crap! Either way we appreciate any feedback and have been working hard at improving the experience. One of our suggestions was to look into a traditional cooking ingredient, Tallow. We’re excited today to have another guest post from Alisa at paleoinpdx. Enjoy!

Is Tallow Paleo?

Tallow is animal fat traditionally used in cooking, and known for its stability and high resistance to heat. It’s made through a process called rendering, which literally translates as melting down, and in this case, it’s fat. Tallow itself is generally made from beef, but other animal fats are rendered as well (i.e. fat rendered from pork is lard). The two basic ways to…

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Paleo Food List: Is Tahini Paleo?

Not sure that I would eat tahini as it doesn’t look particularly appetizing to me, but it was requested by people using our app so we had a contributor write about it on thepaleolist. Are you a fan of tahini?

The Paleo Diet Food List

The most important part of our paleo food list app is the feedback section where people ask us questions on the paleo-ness of certain food items. They may also tell us our app is great! Or maybe our app is crap! Either way we appreciate any feedback and have been working hard at improving the experience. One of our suggestions was to look into a common middle eastern paste, Tahini. We’re excited today to have a guest post from Alisa at paleoinpdx. Enjoy!

Is Tahini Paleo?

Tahini is a smooth paste made from ground sesame seeds, widely used in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cooking. It’s creamy, like nut butter, but possesses a unique and sometimes bitter flavor.

To make tahini, sesame seeds are first soaked for anywhere from 4-24 hours, and then crushed to separate the bran from the kernels. The crushed seeds are then added to salt water…

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Biomechanical Work: Concentric, Eccentric and Isometric Contractions

CarbHacker

An app to calculate carb calorie offsets with squats

This post helps to clarify some of the physics and math put into a new app I developed called CarbHacker, which is a carb calorie burning estimator.  It may seem like a little bit of hocus pocus, but there is a good amount of math and logic backing the app.  Plus it doesn’t hurt that some fitness gurus like Tim Ferriss and Mark Sisson have covered the topic similarly, although without the math behind it.  This post covers just one part of the app’s assumptions regarding work and muscular contraction.

Not all muscle contractions are the same.  There are actually three of them with regards to skeletal muscle: isometric, concentric and eccentric.  Isometric contractions occur when the muscle’s length is or joint angle stays the same.  A good example is when you are holding yourself against a wall.  Concentric contractions occur when the muscle is shortening.  An example is during the lifting phase of a bicep curl.  Eccentric contractions occur as the muscle is lengthening, an example of which is the downward phase of the bicep curl.

types of muscle contractions

Plyometrics makes use of the elastic force in muscles along with eccentric muscle contractions as muscle lengthening has been shown to provide larger gains in hypertrophy than concentric contractions.

Typically, most exercises have at least one of each type of muscle contractions.  We will take the standard squat as an example.

Most often, the squat begins with a short up phase to lift the bar off of the weight bench.  Then the squatter will hold the weight in the standing position.  This is the first isometric phase as stabilizing muscles are working to hold the body in an upright position.  The down phase is the eccentric phase of the squat.  In this case the glutes and hamstrings are lengthening.  The quadriceps muscles are mostly contracting, but are acting as stabilizers.

At the bottom of the squat you have a second isometric phase as there is a shift between eccentric contraction / downward motion to concentric contraction and upward motion.  And for you math geeks, you should be able to recognize the sine curve and the biomechanics behind the squat.

Squat Contraction Eccentric Isometric and Concentric

Squat time series chart

What is important about the various types of contractions is that work is occurring during both phases.  There is active contraction in all phases, however by doing a fully repetition you are effectively lifting your weight over two distances.  In terms of calculating calories expended, this means that since work = force * distance and force in our case is effectively weight (mass * gravitational force), total work = force * distance * 2.

Coming up next… metabolic efficiency.  Stay tuned by subscribing via email and following me on twitter.

Questions?  Comments?  Let me know!

Is it Paleo v1.2 – Flowcharts!

Flowcharts are awesome so we put them in our paleo iOS app. Plus we squashed some annoying little bugs and hopefully improved the experience a bit.

The Paleo Diet Food List

We are happy to announce the fourth version of our Is it Paleo iOS app!  It is finally getting to a place where we think it should be.  In this version we’ve added Dr. Cole’s paleo flowchart which is great to get to a quick answer on the paleo-ness of a food that is not included in our database.  We would still like you to add your suggestions if you find something though.  Thankfully people have been adding suggestions to the list and we actually have a nice backlog of items to add.  So keep them coming.  Our list has actually doubled over the last couple weeks and we are recruiting helpers to add content.  More details on that later.  Here’s a few screenshots from the lastest version.

A couple of other notes with this release.  Most of the formatting issues have been fixed.  If you don’t have iOS6 installed…

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Developer Stuff I Like: Glyphish

I suck at pretty much anything related to graphic design.  So I end up outsourcing it wherever I can whether that is through partnerships, elance or bartering.  iOS development poses an interesting challenge in that the UITabBar icons require a little different shading to get them to look right than a typical icon that you might find on iconfinder.

After a little bit of searching on StackOverflow I found the Glyphish icon set specifically for tab bar interfaces.  I immediately downloaded the free set and thought it was pretty awesome.  So today I took the plunge for $25 and bought the entire set.  Well worth the very minimal cost.  The free set only comes with standard resolution and 100 icons.  The premium set comes with 200 icons at both the standard resolution and retina resolution which rocks.

On top of icons they have some very nice looking backgrounds and artbits which you can get for $20 together.  Considering that you could pay $500 or more for a simple set of icons for your app I think these are a pretty good deal.

Is the Paleolithic Diet a Fad?

Paleo is rising

Is the Paleolithic Diet a Fad?

Every diet out in the capitalist wild has some marketing behind it.  Most rise and die without making a dent in the public conscience.  These are the fad diets.  The initial marketing stirs up sales of some books and videos.  Results however determine the staying power and that’s where fad diets fall short.

Atkins vs Paleo Trend Chart

Atkins crashed, Paleo Rose

What is a fad?  dictionary.com defines it as

a temporary fashion, notion, manner of conduct, etc.,

especially one followed enthusiastically by a group.

Let’s break down paleo within the context of this definition.  We’ll start at the end.

…especially one followed enthusiastically by a group

Paleo is followed enthusiastically by a group of rabid people, much like crossfit.  Of course there is probably a good reason for the enthusiasm.  People tend to lose weight, have more energy, and still eat great tasting foods while on Paleo.  Seth Godin would say Paleo people are a Tribe.  They have intense passion and work together to bring about more knowledge within their community.  Tim Ferriss’ 4 Hour Body was a good starting point for me in a low carb diet, however the legumes just sucked.  The only real change between 4hb and paleo was eliminating legumes, which was a welcome fix.  Tim’s slowcarb diet didn’t even register on the google trends chart so I didn’t include it.

…fashion, notion, manner of conduct

Paleo is a manner of conduct or notion that promotes eating naturally occurring foods.  The thought is that our body’s natural systems have adapted to our evolutionary history.  The last 100 years have brought about in increase in highly processed foods and grains, both of which were not consumed by paleolithic humans.

a temporary…

Often marketers will try to label their diet as a “lifestyle”.  Followers of the diet will then evangelize and use this term to convince others that they are not just on some fad diet, they are changing their lifestyle.  However, since most dieters fail, a short term change in lifestyle is still just a fad.

So what’s the verdict?

Given that Paleo is still rising in popularity it is hard to say.  However, the themes of eating naturally occurring foods, avoiding gut irritants, and reducing sugar consumption will stick around with me until the day I die.  I’ve been consuming a low carb diet for over 2 years now after years of high carb, gluten rich diet and I don’t see myself switching back.  The benefits of basically effortless weight and body composition management make paleo the most attractive way to eat that I have seen.

What say you?  Are the throngs of Paleo people, their blogs, apps, and recipe books bound to die a slow inflamed death or is Paleo here to stay?

Is Arrowroot Powder Paleo?

Here’s another contribution to the paleo list project. People ask about some weird foods like arrowroot powder.

The Paleo Diet Food List

The most important part of our paleo food list app is the feedback section where people ask us questions on the paleo-ness of certain food items. They may also tell us our app is great! Or our app is crap! Either way we appreciate any feedback and have been willing to work on improving the experience. One of our suggestions was to look into a peculiar tuber, Arrowroot Powder.

Is Arrowroot Powder Paleo?

Arrowroot is a starchy tuber, and it can be processed into a powder which can be used as a thickener for stews, sauces, and gravies. Sounds simple enough, right? Well, if you are wondering whether arrowroot powder is Paleo or not, it turns out that the answer is not so simple. According to Robb Wolf, it is Paleo. Mark Sisson of Mark’s Daily Apple gives it approval for people who follow a Primal diet, which is close…

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Paleo Food List: Is Honey Paleo?

Honey, specifically buckwheat honey, has been my preferred sweetener for coffee. But does it pass the test of the paleo gods?  Here’s an article for my paleo project.

The Paleo Diet Food List


paleo honey

The most important part of our paleo food list app is the feedback section where people ask us questions on the paleo-ness of certain food items. They may also tell us our app is great! Or our app is crap! Either way we appreciate any feedback and have been willing to work on improving the experience. One of our suggestions was to look into nature’s sweetener, honey.

Paleo Honey?

Many people wonder whether honey is one of the select few sweeteners that are permitted as a part of the Paleo diet. If you like honey, you will be happy to learn that raw, unfiltered, local honey is a Paleo food. Before you get your head stuck in a jar of honey a’ la Winnie the Pooh, make sure you read this article fully. Like some other Paleo foods, honey does not belong on everyone’s Paleo table.

Humans have been eating…

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The Paleo List: Is Salad Dressing Paleo?

Is Salad Dressing Paleo? A new contribution to thepaleolist.com

The Paleo Diet Food List

Beet&AvocadoSalad (1)

 

Image cred: http://thecafesucrefarine.blogspot.com/2012/09/avocado-roasted-beet-salad-w-goat.html

You, as an avid and knowledgable paleo buff knows that the contents of the bowl of dark leafy greens and colorful vegetables in front of you is all good.  But what about your salad dressing?  Does it get passing marks from the paleo gods?  Thanks to feedback from our app we had the opportunity to research what to look for in your salad toppers.

New Shopping Habits

If you haven’t noticed with the paleo diet, the things you are buying tend not to come from large multinational food processors.  So that old habit of buying Kraft or Wishbone is probably going to have to go by the wayside.  Fortunately, there are plenty of people in the paleo community that have some delicious looking salad dressings that conform to the paleo or primal lifestyle.  For instance Mark’s Daily Apple has 10 DIY salad dressings that are primarily oil…

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