Tony's Manifesto


Dedicated to all our loved ones who have gone before us and all those coming after us

PART 1, Basic Ideas I Have Learned

1. What is the most important thing?

What is the most important thing or what do you want? You may say love, integrity, loyalty, God, country, family, friends, animals, the environment, your parents, that ultimate job, house, car, vacation, partying.  You need to ask yourself this question. It is important for you to know.  What are your values? What do you want? Stop and think about it, list a few things and put at least one thing that is important to you at the top of your list. Now, if you have a long list, great! If you keep changing your mind, can't make up your mind, want to put multiple items at the top. That is fine and perfectly normal. You can make the list anyway you want. Stick with me, it is relevant to this journey,

This journey is nothing but a retelling of my journey. A journey of discovery. A life changing journey. I describe it as an awakening or rebirth. I am born again in a way. Have you ever met a fervent, outspoken person? They are so passionate about a thing that it pervades their life. Some people find God and feel the love that comes from that faith. They want to share that with you and everyone they meet. I became that person that can't stop thinking and talking about 'it'. This happened to me when I came to know a thing and I realized it changes everything. I also realized that it is uncommon knowledge. People around me seem unaware of this truth. Widely held common knowledge is all wrong and is needlessly causing harm, pain and suffering.  I feel anger at the thought of this unfairness.  Forces are at work to suppress the truth.  These forces are powerful and influential.  Mass advertising manipulates people's behavior and thought.  Arbitrary and unscientific data are the source of key government food and health policy.

I am writing this as an exercise. Or do I mean exorcise? I hope my obsession, anger and outrage will subside once written. These thoughts can be put to rest and my compulsion to scream to the world will quiet. I hope this will be helpful and informative.  Maybe a little entertaining and certainly rambling.

The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones.
~John Maynard Keyes

2. Why ask why?

After answering the first question of what is important, you now need to ask why. I will save you the suspense. After asking yourself why repeatedly, you should conclude with the following answer: Because it will make you happy.

In life you inherit many things from your parents. Good and bad things such as genes, alcoholism, child abuse, faith, politics, ethics, morals, discrimination, habits, speech, loyalty, patriotism, and values. Food and cooking habits are another thing you get from your parents. Asian culture teaches you to respect your elders. But what kind of medical or nutritional training did my parents have to give to me. Well I am sure they learned from their families and that is what they taught to me. This process of inheritance lacks scientific rigor. I need the best for me and my family. I want to start a legacy of good health. A good thing, a correct thing, a thing my kids will pass on to their loved ones.

Food choices are wrapped up in lots of baggage. Traditions, religion, heritage, race, pride, comfort, family, romance, happiness, culture, myths, tastes, preferences, facades and lies.  Science, history, medicine, archeology, anthropology and biology can give us different answers to the question of what is best for our health. But why should you care?

So we all want to be happy. But what can keep us from being happy. If you are sick or ill, you cannot help your family. You cannot enjoy your possessions.  So maybe your health is more important than that one thing you want most. Maybe your health is the most important thing in the world. Well, I can tell you that most people take good health for granted. But you are not most people are you. So, the most important thing in the world to you is your health. And to me, my health is the most important thing.

I hope you see my logic up to this point. You cannot get what you want if you are sick. Or at the least you cannot enjoy what you have if you are sick. So let's explore the next logical thought. What keeps us healthy and what makes us sick? Most of us are lucky to be born with good health and enjoy good health until something bad happens. Bad things happen to good people. Why?  This haunts me and motivates me to value my health, to think about my health and to think about your health as well.

according to the World Health Organization:
we are ranked first in the world in health-care spending...
and twenty-second in life expectancy among the thirty developed countries

~David Perlmutter, Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar--Your Brain's Silent Killers

4. Air, Water and Food, Pick One?

Are you kidding?  How can you pick one? Well let's think about it. There are a few things you need to live, things that if you don't have them, you die. So we need air, water, food (and sunlight). Let's prioritize. You can live no more than around two minutes without air. You need air to live. You can survive for around two days without water. You need water to live. You can survive for weeks without food. You need food. So I would prioritize them as air, water, food. But you might say who cares? Why? Well think about it another way. What are the variables? What can we adjust? What knob can we turn to make things better? You might move to an area with cleaner air. You might drink only filtered water. Both good ideas but the these are but small knobs compared to the food variable. Food is the most powerful tool in your toolbox. Food is the the most harmful or the most helpful to your health. It is also the easiest to tweak. How sweet is that? But warning, it is only easy if you do two things. Buy into my logic about it being the most important and if you can lose your emotional prejudicial baggage surrounding food. Time to empty your cup grasshopper.

Food is a complex topic steeped in fads, traditions, preferences, culture, celebrations, myths and lies. Admit that information about food is wrong and you can accept what I will share with you. It is imperative you open your mind to get what you want. Big food, big pharma, big medicine and all the other industrial complexes tell lies to protect their billions of dollars of profit. These same billions of dollars create a flood of information that does nothing but confuse people. Don't believe the outrageous lies. You don't need their crap if you are healthy. Healthy people don't make them money. What makes you healthy is food you buy and prepare for yourself and your family.

Food preparations can be thought of as a menial task for the lowest value members of a family or society. But I view it as the most important and highest consequence job in a family. Think of the impact for a second and you might agree with me.  You, your body is made from food that you eat.  Cells in your body are born, live and die and are replaced.  You, your body is rebuilt every two years.  If you want the best you got to feed it the best!  You need the best, you deserve the best.  Life will throw challenges your way.  Why not put your body in the best position possible and nudge yourself in the direction of perfect health and happiness?

Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.

6. Carbohydrates, Protein or Fat?

Let's now discuss the three macro nutrients. We can prioritize and compare them like other things. You cannot live without fat. You need protein to be healthy. You can live forever without carbohydrates. Carbohydrate elimination or restriction has one effect, loss of excess body weight or body fat. Not a bad thing for most people in today's modern world. So I would say that fat is the most important part of your nutrition. Fat is the biggest knob you can adjust to lose weight and improve health and body composition. Proteins are needed as well but you should not over consume them as it will stress your body's liver and bones. Carbohydrates from fruits and vegetables are not bad because the nutrients and fiber are helpful to us. You should be consuming copious amounts of various vegetables, selected for nutrient content. The fats to seek out are high in omega three and not too high in omega six. You should absolutely avoid vegetable oil, also known as highly processed seed oils that have toxic levels of omega 6. Canola oil is is the worst and the most pervasive in processed factory foods.

We have a fat phobia. You need to get over it. Healthy fats are critical to health and well being. If you get the right ones in adequate quantity, your body will feel good. You would be much better served by having a carbohydrate phobia. Factory foods contain sugar or refined grains or starches. The worst contain sugar, refined grains and unhealthy industrial seed oils.. To make food addictive and to make you eat more and more they add sugar and refined carbs  that act like crack. The effect on your brain is the same as narcotics. Food addiction is real and the evidence is the many billion dollar, global food conglomerates and our never ending struggle with weight. And let me remind you of the epidemic of sickness, suffering and death.  A tsunami sweeping away human life as we sit unaware.  We are just like cattle being herded to slaughter. This epidemic of diseases is a direct result of our modern diet. Countless indigenous populations living in perfect health for generations are suddenly introduced to modern foods and suddenly suffer from obesity, heart disease and cancers. It's a story repeated over and over, beautiful people living with good health destroyed in a generation.  Don't fear the fat.  Eat your fat.  Avoid the carbage and poisons they are selling us.

May understanding of health be the starship of the next generation.  May the worship of disease die with us.
~Udo Erasmus, Fats That Heal, Fats That Kill

7. Other micro nutrients?

Besides the macro nutrients, there are some 50 micro nutrients you also need from your diet and from sunlight exposure. It is true you should get your vitamins and minerals from food. But there is very little risk from over consumption or very low risk of negative side effects. The benefits of supplementation far outweigh any risk.  I supplement because most people are deficient and these deficiencies can compound problems and lead to degenerative disease..There are some that believe all human diseases have as their root cause some deficiency or other.  Some believe there is a optimum food remedy for each human disease.  Not sure if I believe this, but that's just because it is not yet proved.  Truths do not need my belief to be true and not all truths are proved.  Truths and facts eventually stand on their own merits.  We usually choose to ignore or dismiss them because we have prejudices and preconceived ideas that are much easier to accept.  It is harder to learn a new fact and admit our ignorance.  If new knowledge requires an admission of ignorance, then let me be the first and most ignorant person on the planet.  Take your supplements and vitamins.

Human diseases or ill health are largely caused by:
nutrient deficiency,
toxic poisoning,
chronic infections of bacteria, viruses, fungi, protozoa and parasites
brought on by impaired immune function
~Paul and Shou-Ching Jaminet, The Perfect Health Diet: Regain Health and Lose Weight by Eating the Way You Were Meant to Eat

8. My food strategy

A strategy is long term, say a lifetime. My strategy is to get good food most of the time and avoid bad foods most of the time. While developing my food choices I eventually came across the Paleo Diet. It advocates eating only foods available to Paleolithic humans. Early humans only ate meat, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts and roots. Eating only foods we have evolved to eat sounds logical. And it matched what I was already doing so far. But I hate the word diet. Diet connotes a short term, restrictive and hard to maintain lifestyle. People who diet will eventually fail. Why is that? It is not sustainable. What I want and I think is far superior is to make small incremental, sustainable changes toward positive foods and away from bad foods. I wanted a permanent, logical, sound, science based solution

I read books from newer sources and always consider the authors that espoused good values. Good values include wanting to help people make better and more informed lifestyle choices. Critical thinking and science based authors are easy to recognize because they seek to communicate complex phenomena into language understood by me, an untrained, uneducated layman.  Many authors also would reveal where their motivations come from. I would always try to understand that they were not motivated by profit. An ethical, humane, empathetic and personal story of seeking health and ending human pain and suffering would help me trust the source.  I chose to trust, but verified by making the changes myself.

The mind is like a parachute, it works best when open.
~fortune cookie wisdom

9. What next?

While my food obsession continues and my convictions, habits and choices set.  My mind is much more at peace.  Writing this down has been a great way for me to stop thinking about this.  I will share this with my loved ones and I will continue to read about food and health.   I will continue to refine and adjust my eating, fasting and training as time goes on.  But I am much less compelled to evangelize to others with angry energy.  Those around me should be relieved and I appreciate their patience.   That patience is a great demonstration of love and respect.  Thank you for your understanding that my heart told me that this was the most important thing for me to do, let others know what I found out.

To improve is to change.
To be perfect is to change often.

10. Summary

Make sure to include high quality healthy fats in each meal.  I eat two meals most days of the week and fast for 16 hours most days of the week.  I eat more wild fish, avocados, nuts, walnuts, fruits, berries, and vegetables.  Fresh, whole, as close to unprocessed as possible.  I supplement with multivitamins, vitamin c, vitamin d, pro biotic, fish oil, flax seed and others.  I avoid refined carbohydrates, vegetable 'seed' oils, red meat and dairy.  I do not eat sugar, wheat, grains, legumes or any processed foods.  The more processed and preserved, the worse it is for your health.  There are three ways that processed food hurt you.  First, they do not supply you with the vitamins, minerals and essential fats you need.  Second they cause excessive weight gain by being very tasty and addictive.  And third, this is the worst, they cause harm with toxic, inflammation causing and anti-nutrient properties.  In other words you do not want processed 'foods' at all.

You can make decisions.  Making decisions is your power.  You are not your past actions.  You are not what someone else says you are.  You are not your parents. You are not powerless.  You are what you decide to do.  You are powerful.  Live long and prosper.

Sincerely, earnestly and with love, Tony Lee

We humans are clever enough to make our own food.  We are also stupid enough to eat it.
~Timothy Noakes

The doctor of the future will give no medication,
but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame,
diet and in the cause and prevention of disease.

~Thomas Edison

PART 2, More Ideas I Need to Share

1. Outrageous lies!

We get sick. We all die. Life cannot be without death. Our life, our bodies are a complex and resilient system that moves through the world surviving. Not only surviving, but thriving and rising to the top of the food chain. We dominate the planet like no other life form. We can live in almost every corner of the planet. You have got to respect that. When someone tells me that human beings are flawed, I don't believe it. I say our bodies are adapted to our environment. We are perfect. Modern medicine and sports science will tell you that you cannot do this and you need to buy this or that to make up for some shortcoming. I ask why? Have we not survived on the planet for a couple of million years? You are in possession of the most exquisite, most finely tuned and adaptable tool on the planet. You are in possession of a God given body or Mother Nature evolved and exquisitely beautiful body. You have at your command the most powerful tool in the known universe!

There is a lot of information out there. My opinion is that most of it is baloney. The truth is like a gold nugget in a mountain of mud. There is a little signal hidden in a flood of noise. The problem is that the baloney, that mud and that noise can be downright harmful. In other words, many things I held to be obvious truths were not.  I needed to know why cancer and heart disease are the number one killers in the US. These two are not only the leading killers, they are leading by a lot. And the rate is increasing, a lot. What the -blank- is going on? We are so rich, advanced, technological, so knowledgeable. Why do we not have perfect health?

So I know things are wrong. People are wrong. We are wrong. I am wrong. This is how you become open minded. You admit ignorance and then you can accept new knowledge. Medical practice as we know it has only been around for a short time. Medical history is full of horrific accounts of avoidable tragedies, if only we could see the truth among the forest of 'common knowledge'. We would not be dying and suffering in such great numbers if they were right. In the US there is an epidemic of disease. Cancer and heart disease kill thousands every day. They kill more and more every passing year despite the 40 year old war on cancer. Despite the government guidelines for diet published 40 years ago. Alzheimer's disease is unquestionably devastating and it's frequency is rising rapidly as well and will most likely join the other two top killer diseases, heart disease and cancer.

The medical profession in this country will help you if you are sick. But it does not care about your good health and cannot tell you how to get it and keep it. They do not make money if you are healthy. They make money when you are prescribed, tested and treated for illness. They cannot tell you how to be healthy because they have not been trained. They get a mere two weeks of training on nutrition. With all of it focusing on deficiencies and remedies.  At best they just don't know any better.  At worst, they know right from wrong but want to preserve the status quo and their revenue stream at the expense of people's lives.  For sure you only need to see how long Big Tobacco denied facts to know how Big Food and Big Medicine will behave when billions of dollars of profit are on the line.  My theory is that millions can corrupt individuals and billions can corrupt whole industries.  You and me as individuals need to be vigilant and protect ourselves and each other.  You can do better than this and you don't need a medical school education.  Remember that big industrial companies only care about profit and your health never enters their equations.

To cure disease after it has appeared is like digging a well when one feels thirsty
~David Perlmutter, Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar-Your Brain's Silent Killers

2. Give up hope now

What is wrong with hope? Hope, give it up and you realize you didn't need it at all. Hope is a belief that someone or something is going to help you or take care of you. Well I can tell you that God, Jesus, Greenpeace, our leaders, Santa Claus, brave salmon, your doctor, my ancestors, technology or some magic bullet will not help me or take care of me. Give up hope and it causes a call to arms, to act. The logical next step is to act on my own behalf. To listen, learn, know and then act. What can I do now and in the future? What will make me healthy so I can get what I want, to be happy? What can I learn so that I may teach my children, so they may teach theirs?

...eating two slices of whole wheat bread is worse than drinking a can of sugar-sweetened soda or eating a sugary candy bar
~William Davis, Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back To Health

3. Two brains are better than one

We have two brains. Your gut has over half a million neurons. Your gut's influence over you is real. The gut's importance should not be ignored. It is proved that the bacteria and fungi all over us and inside our gut are important. This micro biome when in balance allows optimum health. When out of balance, we get sick and our gut health suffers. When we consume food with unhealthy and even toxic compounds, our gut and it's flora can suffer. Sometimes with profoundly dire consequences.

The gut is our interface and interaction with food. The gut keeps things out that should stay out and lets things in that we need. If unfolded the surface area of the gut will cover a tennis court. Some worry about man made toxins and contaminates in food or they worry about genetically modified food harming us. But nature's plants produces orders of magnitude more harmful toxins and we dismiss this harm for some reason. It is a cognitive blindness that needs to be overcome. Seeds need to grow and live because that is what they were designed for. Seeds contain a chemical protection that will deter insects and digestion by animals. Why? So they can grow and make more seeds. Wheat is nothing more than a seed of a grass. Our gut is not designed for grass or grass seeds, even less so for the plant toxins present in seeds of grasses. Grass seeds are a food of desperation and should only be consumed as a last resort.

The origin of brain disease is in many cases a large extent numerous neurological afflictions reflect the mistake of consuming too many carbs and too few healthy fats
~David Perlmutter, Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar-Your Brain's Silent Killers 

4. Health or Fitness?

One marathon was not my goal. I saw a 72 year old man run a half marathon. He was all white hair, bare chest and possessed an admirable aura of strength. He finished not long after I crossed the finish line in my forties.  He told me he started running at age 50 and often wins his age group. I looked it up, he was right, very few people keep running at his age. I saw that and wanted that when I become his age. At age forty nine with fifty looming on the horizon, I pledged to myself that I would be in the best shape of my life. I did P90x workouts, I ran, I ate 'right'. I was fit. I trained for and ran a marathon. That first marathon was not great. I was the heaviest I have ever been, I could not run the whole way, had to walk a lot in the late miles and my knees were sore. After the race I seriously wondered if I did permanent damage to my body. A spectacular failure for someone who thought getting a permanent injury or disability from recreational activity as absolute tragedy. I thought how can I do this for decades? 

Fitness does not give you health. All that training I did was good for my body. But I was not healthy. Conventional wisdom said to take in carbohydrates for athletic performance. You need to replace the fuel and electrolytes you are consuming during exercise. But why did I feel so bad? If I was 'Born to Run' then why did I gain all the weight and why were my knees sore? I had to change things up. Food had to be the answer. I read Fitness Confidential because I heard that a no sugar and no grains restriction was the 'secret' that the fitness industry didn't want you to know and a Hollywood trainer used successfully. So I started to believe it and read Wheat Belly and Grain Brain. A cardiologist and a neurologist presented many compelling case studies of wheat elimination curing people of serious problems that conventional medicine could not help. Wheat is a grass seed we are ill adapted to eat. Wheat has toxins and compounds that at worst wreak havoc in our bodies. At best modern wheat in a highly refined forms will cause excessive weight gain. But this has led us to an epidemic of lifestyle or metabolic diseases. Of which heart disease and cancer are included. With age we all will get heart disease and cancer. But some will succumb and die and some will not. Why?

Strength does not come from physical capacity.  It comes from an indomitable will.
~Mahatma Ghandi

5. Diet or Exercise?

So just like we compared air, food and water, let us now examine health and fitness.  What is more important? Let's look at weight. Two thirds of us are over weight. And most of us are not happy with that and can relate to this issue. I run marathons and I would like to run faster, losing weight helps like nothing else. So losing weight is important to me. But I will tell you right now, I trained and ran more before that first marathon and still gained weight. Food is important to weight while exercise is much, much less important.  Let me say that again for emphasis.  Food is important to weight.  Exercise is less important to weight.  Therefore, I say work on your fuel/health first, then when that is adequate, go ahead and work on your fitness,  Your body will be ready for it and your weight will not be an issue.  I want both health and fitness, therefore I keep active and eat only the best food choices possible.

Empty your mind.  Be formless, shapeless.  Like water.
~Bruce Lee

6. What is a calorie?

Calories are a unit of measure of heat energy. Calories should not be considered except in the the most general way. Calories of carbohydrate, especially highly refined and processed foods, can act as anti-nutrients. Blocking the absorption of beneficial vitamins and minerals. Wheat, refined oils and the toxic compounds within it have anti-nutrient effects in the gut. They should be avoided. Calories of fat, especially essential fats have healing and healthy effects on one's body. Essential fats cannot be made by our bodies and need to be consumed in our food. They are called Omega 6 and Omega 3. Carbs and protein contain 4 calories per gram while fats contain 9 calories per gram.   Fats are an energy dense food that also facilitate vitamin and mineral absorption.

I do not count calories. I include healthy fats in every meal and this proves satisfying. Fats provide satiety while calories of carbohydrates promote hunger and overeating. Overeating is promoted by one or both of two ways. The first mechanism is a blood sugar rise triggering an insulin response. This insulin response turns excessive sugar into body fat. Blood sugar crashes and you are tired and hungry. A vicious cycle. Refined carbohydrates are empty calories that lack vitamins and minerals. This lack of vitamins and minerals causes the body to keep trying to get them, again causing over eating and weight gain.

Only humans and our domesticated animals get fat. Wild animals instinctively know what to eat and how much. Animals can't count calories and they thrive and survive.  Don't count calories.  Only after humans developed agriculture have we lost our way. When industry and the government got involved in food it was game over.  I found my way back and I hope you do too. 

We cannot solve problems using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.
~Albert Einstein

7. What is the cholesterol myth?

Heart disease has been blamed on high blood cholesterol. High blood cholesterol is a poor predictor of heart disease. Heart disease is caused by inflammation. Inflammation is caused by consumption of sugar, grains, dairy and trans fats. Fats and cholesterol are vital and essential to cell function and cell construction. The brain is a very high percentage of fat. The body needs cholesterol and can make it when needed. The body can excrete excess cholesterol with adequate dietary fiber.

My cholesterol story begins with regular screening for cholesterol and some high readings. My doctor recommended I watch my diet, avoid fats and cholesterol intake. It didn't work, I avoided eggs and fat but my cholesterol levels were high. So I was started on the lowest dose and my cholesterol levels went down. Good, except that every six months or so I had to stop taking the medication because my body and muscles would get very sore. Then I heard of a study that showed that sugar consumption caused a rise in blood cholesterol. What the heck, my doctor never said anything about avoiding sugar. I realized his education was forty years old and new information is now available. I worried about damage to my body from medication. I needed to know more and I needed to know why.  Cholesterol lowering statin drugs are the most widely prescribed, most popular and highest earning class of drug ever.  Heart disease rates are still high.  Another lie!

A high carbohydrate diet will always foster inflammation in the body,
not only in the arteries but the brain, liver, digestive tract and joints
leading to many of the chronic diseases we see today which are supposedly 'incurable'
~Real Meal Revolution

8. What is the vegetarian myth?

Myths might also be called lies. People become vegetarians for a couple of different reasons. Better health, moral ethical humane reasons and to protect the earth's environment. Let's examine and compare these ideas. Our agricultural practices have created countless deserts, destroyed wild sustainable ecosystems and pushed species to extinction. So eating plants does not protect the environment.  Agriculture has enslaved countless people.  Agriculture uses more fossil fuels, chemicals and pesticides than ever.  Agriculture's plow destroys as certainly as arrows or bullets.

Vegetarians eat seeds by killing them. Seeds are life. Seeds need to live. Plants will be eaten by pests, a farmer must destroy pests in the process. Most crops cannot be grown without fertilizers, most fertilizers come from fossil fuels.  Fossil fuels are not a sustainable or renewable resource.

Examine the digestive system and eating habits of grass eaters, also known as ungulates. They eat all day long and then sit and chew their food over and over. Specialized bacteria in their multiple stomachs convert grass into food. Humans have small stomachs and small teeth. Our guts lack the proper bacteria for cellulose and grass digestion.  We cook and that allows us to eat the things we eat.  But not all the things we eat are good for us.

What we are eating is destroying both our bodies and the planet.
~Lierre Keith

PART 3, My Running Story

1. Running, My Keystone Habit

Running became a habit for me that reinforced habits regarding nutrition and health.  The next sections are running related and only reinforced my commitment to good nutrition.  Only through optimum nutrition can I complete training runs and perform well in many races.

Science is an evidence based systematic methodology in the pursuit and application of knowledge.
~a definition

2. How fasting will make you faster?

Fasting turns the body and it's systems to a healing, repairing and conserving mode. Constant feeding keeps the body in a growth mode. Multiple bio markers improve when fasting. In animal studies life span can be improved. Immune systems are turned on when fasting. I started my fasting experiments by training on the weekends in a fasted state. Running for miles with only some water. No snacks before the workout or during the run. This improved fat burning mechanisms and improved body composition. Lower body fat would improve running performance. Intermittent fasting, twelve hour fasts which included sleep were easy for me to implement. I just delayed my breakfast by an hour or so. Then I read that sixteen hour fast had more benefits, so I adjusted to that regimen. I now usually skip the morning meal and eat lunch and dinner only. Having healthy fat in every meal and avoiding carbohydrates make fasting easy.  Ketones are produced in a low carbohydrate, high fat diet and while fasting. Ketones can feed muscles and the brain and is the body's default energy system. Intermittent fasts improve ketone levels in the body. Fat adaptation can improve athletic performance in endurance sports. Marathons and ultra endurance are primarily aerobic endurance events.

I have improved my marathon performance by losing some more weight and training in a fasted state. My body is stronger now and can utilize body fat as an energy source. Soreness and fatigue are much reduced. I am encouraged and will continue this fueling and training regimen for higher performance, fast recovery and superior health.

Without conscious and deliberate effort, inertia always wins
~Tony Hsieh, Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose

3. How training slow will make you faster?

Doctor Phil Maffetone has advocated aerobic fitness for over forty years. By training the body's fat burning systems, one can excel in endurance sports of all kinds. But in that same forty years the sports fitness industry has been selling products promising improved athletic performance. A tidal wave of misinformation swamped Maffetone and his methods. Mark Allen, a six time Ironman champion followed his method and started to win after six years of competing and failing to win. So I have a heart rate monitor. But at first did not know how to use it. What do the numbers mean?

Many sources indicate using a 220 minus your age in years to determine your maximum heart rate. But I still did not know what to do with those numbers. How does one train within the maximum and the resultant lower heart rate zones? Finally, I came across the 180-age in years that Maffetone advocated. His theory goes like this, athletes are not developing their aerobic systems when training above the maximum aerobic HR determined by the 180-age formula. One must spend 90% of training time in the fat burning, maximum aerobic HR zone. This should be 3-6 months of mostly low intensity aerobic fat burning training. You will prevent over training, injury, burn out and mental fatigue. Training will be more fun and speed at the maximum aerobic HR will increase.

The more you know, the less you need.
~ Yvon Chouinard

4. Sleep, recovery/growth and periodization?

Periods of stress, followed by rest and recovery are essential. Growth and body adaptations only occur during the recovery and rest phases. Maximize growth and adaptations with good fuel, good food and adequate rest. Your body and it's micro biome will thrive under these conditions. And then athletic performance and good health can be fully realized.  Sleep is very important to health and athletic performance.  Most people are chronically sleep deprived.  One should get 7.5 to 8 hours for optimum health.  There is no award or honor for getting less sleep, no one cares how little you sleep.  Your body and your health does though.  Get enough rest and sleep and athletic performance will improve.   Your brain and your body will thank you.

Our life is frittered away by detail... simplify, simplify.
~Henry David Thoreau

5. Running, marathons and ultra running

Running triggers brain chemicals that are amazingly powerful. Large peaceful gatherings of humans participating in a common athletic activity is a phenomena that is difficult to explain. Why do they do it? Why are people compelled to run long distances? Brain chemistry? Compulsive disorder?  Pursuit of difficult activities with uncertain outcomes can become opportunities for discovery and growth. I know that my mind will say that something is impossible. But nothing is impossible. Running has taught me that.  And the very first thing you must do is decide. If you think it is impossible, it is.  If you think it is possible, it is.

Some people defy convention. Most that defy convention may just be misunderstood. All truths go through stages. First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they violently fight you and finally they accept the truth. Those that defy convention also discover new things. Low carbohydrate, high fat diets is one of them. I believe high performance and ultra endurance can be achieved with these techniques.  We have already learned that high carbohydrate consumption is detrimental to health.  And now it may be bad for athletic performance as well.

Fall down seven times, get up eight
~a Japanese proverb

PART 4, Sources and References


Post Traumatic Growth (you don't need to experience trauma to grow)

Knowing is not enough, we must apply.
Willing is not enough, we must do.
~Bruce Lee

Bibliography, Key Sources

Born to run, McDougall
Eat and run, Jurek
Fitness confidential, Tortorich
Wheat belly, Davis
Grain brain, Perlmutter
Wheat belly total health, Davis
Delivering Happiness, Hseih
The power of habit, Duhigg
The power of less, Babauta
Perfect health diet, Jaminet
Vegetarian myth, Keith
Perfect human diet (film) 
Fed up (film)
The art and science of low carbohydrate performance, Volek and Phinney
Fats that heal fats that kill, Erasmus
Eating on the wild side, Robinson

Many podcasts of Timothy Noakes and Phil Maffetone
Paleo runner podcast
Marathon training academy podcast

Collected Quotes and Lists

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.
~Henry David Thoreau