Author Archives: MGrodski

Talent: Real or Illusion

One phrase I heard over and over during the Rio Olympics from sports commentators to explain the speed, the power, the endurance displayed by an athlete was “talent”, namely that an athlete’s “natural talents” explains their abilities and their success. Repeatedly, the term talent was used to imply that the capabilities of athletes are not obtained through training, but by random acts of the universe bestowing upon athletes the ability to win, effectively choosing who wins, who loses.

The successful warrior is the average man with laser-like focus.
Bruce Lee

If Bruce Lee was serious, then that means he could not have believed that he was born a martial art grandmaster, that he was born “talented”. Instead, he would have had to believe that he decided to become a grandmaster, that he started out average but with a laser-like focus became un-average. In so doing – because many do not believe that his level of ability could be learned through training – Bruce Lee became a “natural talent” in the martial arts instead of being respected as a student with the unnatural desire.

According to Bruce Lee’s perspective, anyone, absolutely anyone and everyone is capable of becoming a successful warrior. It is for us to decide, to train, to train to change, to become.

Herein lies the problem…

If the decision is mine to succeed or not succeed, and if I have not succeeded, then what does that say about me? It would suggest that I have failed to decide to succeed, or worse, have decided not to succeed. Who wants to be looked upon as having decided to fail in life? Who would accept that they have decided not to succeed? No one. At least, I hope no one.

So we have a decision to make: either deny that the decision is indeed in our hands and develop a narrative to explain away the success of others, or decide that there is no such thing as “natural talent” and agree that success is a decision, a burn-the-boats decision, but a decision which is fully within our scope. With the polarity distasteful, the reality that the results we have are the results we decided to have, the alternative is to create a compromise which gives us an escape for giving a half ass effort, allowing us to put on a display of having tried, but failing in our attempt to ensure that we get a good at-a-boy pat on the pack.

“When you have exhausted all possibilities, remember this:
You haven’t.”  Thomas Edison

Instead of challenging our narratives, confronting ourselves honestly on our decision not to succeed, we defer to a half truth (i.e. a full lie)… we agree that training is necessary for success, but we disagree to the extent that training leads to success. Hence the ideal escape clause is created. Having earned our at-a-boy pat on the pack for giving it a good ole try at success, we decide to believe that there is an element of “talent” required in order to truly succeed.

I do not believe in talent.

I do believe in generational momentum which can set an expectation of success, but like Bruce Lee, I believe that laser-like discipline, dedication, commitment and focus are the pivot points.

I believe that what is called talent is nothing more than countless repetitions performed in training day after day, month after month, year after year, with abounding enthusiasm, eagerness, and focused energy.

The problem for many though is that this explanation is far too simple.  Success cannot be that simple, because if it was… the assumption goes…  we would all be “successful”.

Simplicity is no guarantee nor indicator of ease.

We prefer complex explanations.  We want DNA samples, a thorough analysis of our genes, a comparison of power to body weight, arm length to torso ratio, lung volume, max heart rate, lactate threshold, and VO2 values in order to identify who can be an athlete, who should be an athlete, and who shouldn’t. Meanwhile, 2x Tour de France winner Chris Froome’s simultaneously high VO2 and high lactate threshold (i.e. high aerobic efficiency) confounds exercise physiologists as their theories preclude both in the same athlete. Yet instead of tossing out theories that do not reflect observation, we are bent on retaining theories bending observations to fit our theories. The result is that we learn nothing, and prove nothing in the process, in fact it can be argued that we dumb down science by doing so, and dumb our own understanding of our potential.

What I have found reading and studying the lives of consistent peak performers that Bruce Lee is right: we are all born average, with the equal right to become un-average.

Consider a pattern found amongst top track and field athletes, specifically runners:

  1. David Rudisha – 2x African, World and Olympic Champion in the 800m, David Rudisha is a Masai tribesman whose culture involves repeating hopping, bouncing, and jumping as part of ritual dances.
  2. Jackie Joyner Kersee – is ranked amongst the greatest female athletes as a result of her athletic career as a heptathlete and long jumper which spanned 4 Olympics, yielded 6 medals of which 3 were gold, plus another 4 gold medals at Worlds because as a child she jumped from the porch of her house for hours daily. Why? Because it was fun. To see if she could jump farther than yesterday.
  3. Andre De Grasse – is a rising Canadian track sprinter, who won Olympic bronze in the 100m, and silver in the 200m at the Rio Games, played basketball in high school, entering the sport of track and field by racing a 100m sprint in basketball shorts and shoes on a dare from a friend, only to clock 10.9secs and catch the attention of a developmental track coach.

Now consider the number of sprinters who excelled as long jumpers:

  • Carl Lewis won Olympic medals in the 100m, 200m and long jump between ’84 and ’96
  • Tianna Bartoletta doubled in the 100m and the long jump in Rio
  • Tori Bowie won one of each medal in Rio across the 100m, 200m and 4×100 and in college competed equally in the long jump
  • Florence Griffith Joyner’s 100m record of 10.49secs still stands today, even after the Rio Olympics.  She too started her track and field career as a sprinter and long jumper.

To the masses who want to believe that success is complex, suggesting that the repetition of simple activities like hopping, skipping, bouncing, or jumping has anything to do with becoming an Olympian is laughable.

To suggest that simple childhood activities are the basis for Olympic performance would relegate science to the backseat, placing play, fun, and games on the front seat simultaneously destroying the ego of exercise physiologists, biomechanists, sport psychologists, and coaches who have taken to believing that it is their expertise alone which transforms shapeless clay into a world champion.

To all those who believe like Bruce Lee, that success is a decision, that success is the result of laser like focus, that success is the byproduct of simple day-in day-out repetition with unending enthusiasm, then this pattern should motivate you.

Success is tangible, real, and is available to anyone who decides to be successful. Best of all… it says that the journey to success can be fun, provided you make it fun by hopping, skipping and jumping all the way.

Energy Drinks

Part 8 in a series on why articles on ‘nutrition’ and nutritional advice from ‘experts’ on diet is a waste of time, energy and effort [for the non-medically institutionalized population].


So hopeful are we that there are short cuts, that we are willing to fall for the claims that an energy drink can even give you wings, or is that wiings?  There are short cuts. That there are short cuts is not the point, the point is whether taking the short cuts truly deliver us to the end result we were after to start. The problem with all short cuts… is their costs and consequences. Exactly. The stickin’ point that no one wants to mention, especially when their products gives you wings, or is that wiings.

Want the low down on so called energy drinks, from a non nutritional expert? How bout the plain truth and nothing but the truth from a PhD in Chemistry? Listen and learn…

Just Listen

Part 7 in a series on why articles on ‘nutrition’ and nutritional advice from ‘experts’ on diet is a waste of time, energy and effort [for the non-medically institutionalized population].


When my wife was pregnant with each of our two children, she made a decision. She made a decision that she would listen to her body, without question, and respond to the signs and symptoms her body gave in response to what she ate, what she didn’t eat, what she drank, etc..

When not pregnant, my wife enjoys coffee… like really enjoys her cup of coffee.

When pregnant, coffee, even the smell of coffee made her nauseous.

So guess what my wife did in response… she listened, and not only did she listen, she heard and she complied with the messages her body was giving, namely: your pregnant body does not want coffee in it, you pregnant body does not even want to be around coffee.

So for the next 9 months, no coffee.  It didn’t matter that she really wanted to have a cup, it didn’t matter that she really enjoyed coffee. What mattered was the health of the baby and having made a decision that first and foremost was going to be the health of the baby irrespective of all her wants, needs, etc… there was nothing further to discuss. No coffee.

At the same time, my wife who was never a fan of tomatoes, as in raw sliced tomatoes, all of a sudden could not get enough of tomatoes. Her body wanted tomatoes, so my wife ate tomatoes. No questions asked. That she didn’t really eat raw sliced tomatoes before… irrelevant. That she never had a taste for tomatoes before… irrelevant. What mattered was the health of the baby and having made a decision that first and foremost was going to the the health of the baby irrespective of all her wants, needs, etc… there was nothing further to discuss. Eat tomatoes.

We can all hear – if we so choose to hear – from our body… eat this, don’t eat that. I mean hearing from our gut brain not our head brain what we truly need in order to be healthy.

So what’s the problem?

Problem is… we don’t want to listen, we don’t want to slow down in order to be able to listen, to hear, and we do not want to comply with what our gut brain is telling us we need to eat and drink, and how much, and what not eat and what not drink in order to be healthy… we want what we want and we want it now! Otherwise cue childish temper tantrum.

Problem is we want it both ways: we want to eat whatever our head brain tells us we want, we don’t want to take the time to listen and hear our gut brain, yet we want to be healthy.

Sorry, it doesn’t work that way.

You want health? Then its simple, and you don’t need any so called expert in nutrition… all you need to do is slowdown, perhaps even stop and listen to your body, listen to what it needs in order to be healthy and it will tell you.

Or, like pregnant nauseous women in the 1950s and 1960s who didn’t want to listen and to hear what their body wanted… went to their doctor who prescribed an anti-nausea drug (i.e. Thalidomide) only to give birth to babies with severe birth defects, specifically malformed limbs.

You want short cuts? Then listen up… there are none and anyone selling you on short cuts is interested only in making money off you regardless of the risks to your health and the harm you may suffer.

Decision is yours… gamble with your health, the health of your baby, or do what is right and make your health a priority ahead of all your childish needs.

Nutrition is not complicated: decide that your health is a priority (not one of several, but the priority, the one and only priority), slowdown to listen, to hear, and you will know what you personally need, and in what quantities you need it in, to be healthy.

If you think about it… how can anyone actually tell you what you need? How can someone else know what your individual body needs in any given instant? THEY ARE GUESSING!!! That’s all that they can do because there is no possible way for them to know what your body needs.

The only nutritional advice anyone can give is what NOT to eat, and that’s simple because its the same for all of us and because your gut brain will NEVER ask any of us to eat: highly processed and refined factory food and drink products.

What Matters Most

Part 6 in a series on why articles on ‘nutrition’ and nutritional advice from ‘experts’ on diet is a waste of time, energy and effort [for the non-medically institutionalized population].


Ask a nutrition expert what matters most to an healthy diet and they will go off in every imaginable direction… calories, vitamins, minerals, superfoods, shakes, smoothees, raw food, paleo and every other diet trend, and so on.

Yet none of it is as important as what matters most. Watch, listen, learn and maybe you too will appreciate why all the nutrition advice in the world isn’t worth the hype.

NOTE:  in the fast food industry, no human is “cooking” or “preparing” anything. To attain the economies of scale and the symmetry (a Big Mac in Toronto is identical to a Big Mac in Miami, which is identical to a Big Mac in Paris), the menu items (I refuse to call any of it food) is mass produced in major manufacturing facilities called factories… by machines. The people who work in the individual fast food locations at most assemble the products you ordered into the shapes and sizes requested… that’s it.

Coming Up Empty

Part 5 in a series on why articles on ‘nutrition’ and nutritional advice from ‘experts’ on diet is a waste of time, energy and effort [for the non-medically institutionalized population].


Remember a few years back, there were articles about how amazing the French diet was… it was rich in butter, in cream, and of course wine. That the French drank wine with almost every meal was heralded as the reason why we should start to drink and not just once in a while, but daily, with every meal… you know… its good for your health!

And now…Wait, what happened to a glass of red wine every evening being good for my health? What happened to all the benefits of the Mediterranean diet which has wine with every meal?

As I stated in part 3 of this series: nutritional advice is based on little more than guessing, wishful thinking, and hoping with consistent valid and reliable science lacking.


You don’t have to go back to far to remember article after article, in fact they are still publishing article after article especially on CrossFit sites how important a low carb diet is to your health. Eat protein is the battle cry!

And now…

Wait, what happened to ‘just eliminate all the bread, grains, pasta and root vegetables from your diet’ and all will be well?

Uh huh. Again, this is what happens when you have an entire group of people pushing wishful thinking, short cuts, short term solutions, and worst of all guessing “answers” to health problems that are much much deeper than whether or not you have a potato in your diet.


But vitamins…

Now that must be a scientifically proven solution to either resolving or regaining our health? Right?  I mean we’ve been taking supplements for years… there cannot be anything wrong with all those harmless pills…. right?

Of course not… you will not hear anything but how amazing supplements are from an industry that is raking in $37 billion – that’s with a B, not an M – annually. Who is going to stir that pot and suggest anyone to stop taking their vitamins? Clearly no nutritional expert would be caught dead advising to stop taking supplements because being the spokespeople of the industry… there is just too much money to be made by selling that there are short cuts to health.

Oh… your health? You mean you were hoping that the nutritional experts actually care about your health, that your health is their priority… oh you poor thing… really, you are that naive?


There must be a way to make a mint of seniors… especially those who are institutionalized. Of course, let’s put a meal in a can and sell it to nursing homes as a quick solution to ensuring that seniors get all the vitamins and minerals and calories they need for good health. Everyone looks good because we look like we care about the elderly.

While at it, lets get our “nutritional experts” to promote these and prescribe them to seniors to ensure that there is uptake in the marketplace. All we need to do is get nursing home administrators addicted to the convenience and the appearance that their residents are getting an even greater level of care and… boom, money, money and more money for us.

Oh… the actual health of seniors?

Oh… whether or not these drinks are actually health?

Who cares!  There is money to be made, and people fall for anything that a “nutritional expert” says so let’s make money. Its so simple its like taking candy from a baby… I mean from a senior.


Thats who we have become…out to make a quick buck, even if it ends up hurting someone in the process. There is no need to wonder why we are sick as a society… the physical disease is simply a manifestation of our mental and emotional pathologies which we refuse to confront.

The Female Athlete

Part 4 in a series on why articles on ‘nutrition’ and nutritional advice from ‘experts’ on diet is a waste of time, energy and effort [for the non-medically institutionalized population].


I just read this article this morning and had to post…

Nutrition experts again making claims for which there is little to no scientific research, but in this case, they are not suggesting it for adult women… they are making recommendations for children! Read…

OK… magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids and aspirin… so if you are going to make these recommendations, there is science behind it, right?

Hell no!

So called nutrition experts don’t need no stinkin’ science, they just recommend on what ‘they feel’ is right, or what they think should be right. Make shit up and sell it as valid and reliable advice is the name of the game in the field of nutrition!

The arrogance, the ignorance, the insanity of randomly recommending ‘solutions’ when you are as clueless as a bag of doorknobs is what “health care” has come to; and do not dare confront one of these so called nutrition experts on their recommendations or question them on their education and experiential background which supposedly authorizes them to offer recommendations because backed into a corner knowing that they have absolutely none, they will go into full moron mode and attack you for questioning their sanctimonious preaching and for you to have the gall to eat and drink whatever you want.

A quick Google for research on aspirin as a solution for dysmenorrhoea came up with one systematic review on the NCBI website.  The study made the following conclusion in regards to NSAIDs and supplementation:

Click on the study conclusions to link for the article abstract on the NCBI website

You can read it just as plainly as I can read it…

  • Aspiring MAY reduce pain… and the key part… FEW studies have been of good quality.
  • Vitamin supplementation MAY reduce pain in women with primary dysmenorrhoea.

Let’s revisit the article in Runners World and the recommendations made by yet another so called expert in nutrition…

Magnesium, omega 3 fatty acids and aspirin can mitigate (definition: make less severe) cramping and bloating.

Really?  Where is the research that states that with the confidence that the writer states it? There is none.  The research states it may, but in which women of what age group, with any other symptoms or other reproductive system issues? Since it is not clear yet the only thing that needs to happen is more research. That’s it… no recommendations. At most, it can be identified what the research states but no actual prescription can be made because there is no evidence to suggest that anything works conclusively and consistently.

And… NOWHERE does it state that magnesium or omega 3 fatty acids do anything!  Which is to the point I made in the prior post that so called nutrition experts don’t actually need any scientific research to make claims… they are happy to randomly recommend anything in order to come across as if they actually know something and should be listened to.

Furthermore, where is the research which specifically has been performed on teenage girls going through their first few menstrual cycles? Where is the research stating that it is SAFE to give teenage girls aspirin, huh?

Exactly… NOWHERE!  But so called experts in nutrition are going to recommend drugs for which they have no clue whether or not is appropriate, what are the risks, what are the possible side effects, nor is it listed who shouldn’t take aspirin.

Girls have been going through puberty for how many centuries… and without popping pills, but now because magnesium and omega 3 fatty acids are mainstream and because Bayer needs to sell drugs into a new demographic lets just randomly prescribe ‘solutions’ to young ladies?

Consequences… sm ‘onsequences. Considering side effects is for those who don’t live life on the edge?  Really?  You are going to gamble with the health of children… yup, because that’s what so called experts in nutrition do!

Its time to clue in… they don’t give a rip about your health because if nutrition experts did, they would tell you the truth… there is NO consistent valid, reliable, conclusive evidence in the scientific literature that says that any single food is a cure or a solution in any given population, in one or the other sex, for any specific disease. But… nutrition experts do not see this as any reason not to prescribe this diet, or that diet, cleanses, colonics, or who knows what other insanity.

Health care is failing because it is not telling the truth to patients, and is enabling patients to dig deeper and deeper holes of disease for themselves by trying to “manage” their symptoms instead of prescribing a bit of truthiness…. like you are obese because you won’t stop shoving food into your pile hole! Nah, we have to be sensitive to the patients absolute insensitivity to their own body which screams to them to stop putting food into their mouth, but because they don’t want to hear that their body is bursting at the seams and because they want a simple do-nothing solution that permits them to continue to shove food into their pile hole… we have to help “manage” their condition.

Health care is failing because “the consumer is always right” mindset has infiltrated the offices of medical doctors yielding the mindset that “the patient is always right”… so patients walk in and doctors simply write the prescription they are told – by the patient – is needed (hence a crisis in opioids as patients “know” what they need… more addictive painkillers).

Health care is failing because “the consumer is always right” mindset has resulted in anyone thinking that they are educated and experienced sufficiently to give out advice. Hey, if I am a patient and I am always right, then that means that I can give advice to anyone else… because I am always right. Case in point, everyone is now a so called expert in nutrition… why? Because they eat, and since they “know” what to eat, they must also know what everyone else should eat, and not just eat for health, but eat to cure disease.

And so here we are… recommending to parents, to coaches, and to teenage girls directly that random items are ‘solutions’ to their problems.

Solving Cramps

Part 3 in a series on why articles on ‘nutrition’ and nutritional advice from ‘experts’ on diet is a waste of time, energy and effort [for the non-medically institutionalized population].


This article that was posted in Men’s Health.com, and then was posted at Bicycling.com

After reading the title of the article… what would you expect to find in the article?

I would expect to read a thorough biological/neurological/physiological explanation as to why we get leg cramps, and then based on the thorough explanation a scientifically proven (and based on real science not the pseudo-science that passes as research these days, as in ‘research’ paid for by companies seeking to “prove” [wink wink] that their product works) solution as to how to stop and/or prevent cramps.

But that is not what the article delivers. The article starts with this…

Let me repeat what the article states:

THEY HAVE YET TO FIND THE CAUSE OF CRAMPS!

First, that should be the end of the article because if there is no known root cause that consistently is appearing in the scientific literature then what more is there to say besides stayed tuned… when research comes up with something we will let you know.

Second, the article should apologize for the false marketing of the title: (a) the title promises to explain why we get leg cramps… it cannot because we do not know, and (b) it promises solutions as to how to eliminate cramps… it cannot because we do not know.

The writer goes on to say… there is research and some linkages between sitting and various prescribed drugs and there are some linkages with neurological pathologies (as in neurological diseases), and no scientifically reliable or valid connection has been found between the commonly held belief that cramps are caused by electrolyte imbalances and dehydration.

That should be the end of the article as I stated above, but no! Despite it being repeated several times in the article that there is no known cause for cramps, and only scant linkages, with direct correlations unable to be drawn… the writer goes on to offer solutions to stop cramps.

This sums up the validity to nutrition advice, to the ‘science’ that nutritional experts stand on…

THERE IS NONE BECAUSE THEY HAVE NONE!

SO THEY MAKE UP WHATEVER THEY WANT…

AND THEN PREACH IT AS IF ITS THE TRUTH

Nutritional advice and the so called nutrition experts are drawing conclusions where there are no conclusions to be drawn and worst of all they are developing prescriptions of diets, of supplementation, of hydration and recommending them to patients as if any of it is based on truth.  Its not.  They have nothing to stand on, so the bests they can do is make up stuff and sell it to you hoping that when things don’t work out, you don’t come back and blame them.

In medicine and in health care in general there is supposed to be a basis for intervention, and that basis is you intervene ONLY if you can assure the patient that the intervention you recommend will not cause harm.  Do not cause harm is the foundation of any true health care professional. In nutrition, the concept of do no harm clearly does not exist. If you do not know what causes cramping, that shouldn’t stop you from providing recommendations to stop or eliminate or prevent cramping… just guess, and hope it works out is the standard operational procedure it seems!  That’s right they are guessing when they suggest that you should hydrate, drink a fluid with electrolytes, take magnesium, calcium, Vitamin D, eat bananas, Gogi berries, or whatever it is they recommend.

If all they are doing is hoping and guessing that they are right, then what are the chances that they are wrong? Exactly! This isn’t healthy intervention, its gambling with your health hoping that what worked in one or two isolated cases (usually what worked for themselves) will work for you… they went gluten free, so now everyone else on earth needs to be gluten free.

To offer “recommendations” based on guessing… is malpractice when you hold yourself out to being a professional. Until there is consistent valid and reliable and peer reviewed data in the field of nutrition… there should definitely be no diets prescribed to anyone, let alone ‘experts’ in nutrition. What are they experts in when there is no science to back up any protocol?

But we live in a society where we cannot just stand by idle… someone has to do something! Yet what we should be doing is… nothing, UNTIL we have the evidence that we are not going to do harm to anyone. But no, we would rather risk doing harm by “doing something”. Its ignorance of epic proportions to believe that ‘good intentions’ will turn bad advice, into good.

But its only food and water… what harm can be done?  Seriously? Educate yourself by reading the prior post… and perhaps you will wake up to realize that in the past 3-4 decades of nutritional advice from so called nutritional experts the world has ended up dealing with epidemics in obesity, in diabetes, in metabolic disorders.

Finally, I challenge you to confront any of those so called experts in nutrition and ask them where they got their education and clinical experience. You may be shocked to learn that they have none, or they are “self taught” by reading a couple posts on Facebook, or they took a 1hr course at a personal training or coaching conference, or those who believe have ‘a lot’ of education have what amounts to one whole course that lasted an agonizing couple of hours. In any other health care profession, there is usually 2-3 years – years, not hours… years – of study to acquire the basic understanding of how the body functions. Its 2-3 years of anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, psychology, etc… and then the study of pathologies begins, and only after that does the study of how to remedy those pathologies get discussed. In nutrition… the belief is that you don’t need any of that nonsense… you go straight to recommending everyone to go gluten free, low carb, massive amounts of protein, and make sure you drink 1 gallon of water a day (if they are on diuretics… wait, what’s a diuretic… my point exactly).

You wouldn’t trust your car to someone who took a couple hour course… yet we trust our health with con-artists who pose as nutrition experts who promise that if we listen to them our health will be restored, our aches and pains resolved.

Cause of Current Epidemics

Part 2 in a series on why articles on ‘nutrition’ and nutritional advice from ‘experts’ on diet is a waste of time, energy and effort [for the non-medically institutionalized population].


The LO Fat / NO Fat Diet Craze

It started earlier but it was the 80s when I remember the low fat / no fat diets being blown up as the answer to all our health issues… which back then was more or less limited to heart disease. With fat being fully demonized as the source of evil… the root cause of heart attacks, clogged arteries, the war on fat was well underway. Margarine was the replacement for butter, 1% skim milk replaced 2% and 4% milk, first low fat yogurt then no fat yogurt, and then the snowball engulfed every conceivable item on grocery store shelves. When the war on fat started to plateau, then the war on sugar began. Not to be left out, soft drink manufacturers started on their own ‘solution’ which was low calorie and no calorie drinks with aspartame another solution. In the end, I’m not sure what we were actually eating… as everything was either no fat, or no fat and no calorie.

Today we know that fat is not the devil in disguise that it was made out to be, in fact, fat is healthy, a key part of our diets as it is responsible for critical functions such as nerve conduction.

And who was preaching to eat no fat/fat free.. that’s right… all the so called experts in nutrition.


The 6-10 Small Meals a Day Diet Craze

I recall sitting in the National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) Triathlon Level 2 course and around me were triathletes / triathlon coaches of all levels. In front of them were piles of tupperware type containers with grapes, nuts, rice cakes, raisins, others with entire rice dishes or salads topped with quinoa, chia or pumpkin seeds, or pomegranate (as I think that was at the top of the pandemonium surrounding pomegranate as the critical superfood that everyone was supposed to be eating). No one waited for a break to eat; eating or snacking was constant. Someone was shoving something in their pile hole every few minutes, and when there was an actual break in the course, that’s when forks and spoons were unleashed digging into new containers that emerged from backpacks below the table. Eating, eating, non stop eating.

Today we know that without intermittent fasting, the body is constantly producing insulin, constantly packing away the calories we are eating, never unpacking a single calorie that was meant to be released when there wasn’t anything to eat.

And who was preaching to eat non-stop, alternate snacking and eating so that there isn’t a single second in the day when you aren’t chewing on something… that’s right… all the so called experts in nutrition.


Consider just the two diet crazes above – as there are other, and even crazier diets – that were preached as the solution by all those so called experts in nutrition that were claimed will prevent us from gaining weight, ensuring our health.

And the result of all these diets… epidemics in obesity, in diabetes, in hypertension, in heart disease and cancer.  It would seem experts in nutrition are the source of problems, not the solution as they so sincerely claim to be.

Let’s look at this another way…

Who have all these diets enriched?

Who have all these diets impoverished?

As far as I can tell, the major food manufacturers are raking in the revenues. As far as I can tell, so called nutrition experts are raking in the revenues from sales of diet books. And as far as I can tell, the rest of us are diseased: fat, overweight, obese, and suffering from one disease or multiple diseases… diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, hypertension, cancer, and so on.

Think about this…

If you ate less, what would happen to revenues of the major food manufacturers?

Hmm… if you ate less, if all of us ate less by fasting intermittently in order to regain control of our insulin levels (without medication), major food manufacturers would have a problem. With falling or not even falling, just stagnating sales of food, revenues and profits would steady, with the side effect being a drop off in the company stock price. Well, it seems that what is more important that our health, is maintaining corporate financial health even if it comes at the cost of our health, the health of the population of an entire nation.

Think about this…

If major food manufacturers are going to continue to grow their revenues into the future, then doesn’t that require all of us to have to eat even more than we eat now? We have to consume even more food than we are consuming now, a level which is already driving us into disease as a result of our obesity. If we are already obese, already suffering from lifestyle diseases related to over-eating, then isn’t the goal of the major food manufacturers rather sinister if they need us to eat and consume even more?

And who is the mouthpiece of all these major food manufacturers, preaching to us how we need to buy this food item, buy into this food trend, buy, buy, buy this superfood, that superfood… promising that we will all end up thinner, healthier, sexier than ever before?

That’s right… the so called experts in nutrition.

Its The Fire That Matters

Part 1 in a series on why articles on ‘nutrition’ and nutritional advice from ‘experts’ on diet is a waste of time, energy and effort [for the non-medically institutionalized population].


Summer is winding down, but hopefully at some point this summer you spent some time in the great outdoors. If you did, and if you did spend some time outdoors in the evening and into the night then its likely you had to build a camp fire or you hung out by a camp fire.

If you have never built or worked to maintain a fire then this blog may offer an experiment that you need to explore – safely so you don’t set yourself or anything else on fire – in order to truly appreciate that its the fire that matters, and not the fuel (and why advice on nutrition is the equivalent of pushing on a string).

If you focus on the fuel… as in what you want to burn, you will never build a fire that is able to be sustained with ease.

If you focus on the fire… as in what stage is the fire, and what fuel the fire needs at that stage, then you will be able to get a fire going, build it up, sustain it and eventually get it to the point that it can be left to generate heat, cook food, boil water, dry clothes… do whatever it is you need it to do without constant attention.

So how do you start a fire? Have you ever watched the TV series Survivor? Have you ever seen contestants of that series have to compete in fire building? If not, then it may be worth searching for and watching on Youtube. For the purpose of this post I will quickly run through the steps of starting a fire so that I can draw the analogy to nutrition, and nutritional advice.

To build a fire:

  • Start by accumulating a variety of fuel… you will not have time once the fire is started to go search for the fuel needed at each stage: you will need paper, or leaves, or twine, anything that is bone dry and will easily take a spark and turn it into a flame; you will also need every conceivable size of fuel to help the fire grow from flame to the size of fire you want. A collection of twigs, small thin branches, thicker branches, thick branches and a log or two.
  • Needless to say this is also the time to accumulate all the items you may need to either put out the fire if it gets out of hand or if it spreads… water either in a bucket or coming from a hose, sand is an alternative when water isn’t available, a shovel or rake or other tool that will keep you at a distance from the fire but can be used to put out a fire.
  • Plan the location of the fire where at its full size you will not set anything above or around on fire and start something you didn’t intend… like a forest wild fire.
  • Plan the location of the fire so that wind doesn’t put out the small flames that you will start with, nor blow the full size fire in a direction that can cause anything else to catch on fire.
  • You are ready to build your fire… (here are the pivot points to this post):  you need to create a spark or a small flame to start… matches, magnesium & flint, magnifying glass, whatever.. and that small flame needs fuel that will catch on fire easily. As the flame catches and grows, the fire will need to be fed a steady diet of increasingly larger pieces of wood as the fire will burn through smaller items faster and faster to the point that the fire can extinguish itself if it doesn’t get fuel that is hardy enough to grow it or at least sustain it.

Now think of fires that you have enjoyed this summer or in past summers. What are the best fires to sit around, to cook hot dogs, smores, to warm yourself by, to simply be around? Its definitely not small fires that are constantly requiring attention in order to be built or maintained. Its definitely not the fires that are raging in all directions, fires so big that we have to escape their flames if the wind so much as whispers in the wrong direction. The fires we are enjoy are the ones that have burnt long enough that there are coals, hot coals, coals so hot that even if a damp log is put over top… the coals will dry out the log and in time make that log burn. These fires we can cook food overtop, we can sit beside for long periods warming ourselves, we can even sleep beside them through cold fall or wintery nights.

What’s this got to do with nutrition?

Today, the nutritional advice is focused solely on the fuel (as in the food you ought to eat), yet as the analogy to a wood burning fire demonstrates what a fire needs depends on the stage and size of fire.  When was the last time that a nutritionist evaluated your ‘fire’ (as in your metabolic rate, your physiology, your psychology), before advising you on the fuel you need?

Nope. Exactly. Never. Its straight to the superfood fad of the week… Goji berries, Acai, kale, blueberries, walnuts… oops, sorry no, almonds and sunflower seeds, oh and dont forget gluten is bad bad bad (even though only 1% of the population has Celiac disease and needs to go gluten free). Which makes my point…  nutritional advice is a waste.

What fuel you put into a fire is entirely dependent on the type of fire.

What food you put into you is entirely dependent on the type of fire in you.

If you do not know the type of fire burning, if you have no clue how to assess type of fire, if you have never built a fire, never maintained a fire, never experimented with different fuels with different fires then what business do you have calling yourself an expert on fires or in the case of nutritional advice, what business do you have calling yourself an expert on nutrition? You may be an expert in the nutritional value of different foods… but that’s like being an expert in insects, it has nothing to do with what insects if any we should be eating!

Anyone claiming to be an expert in nutrition yet lacks the education, and clinical and non clinical experience in relation to how the human fire operates [imo] should not be preaching anything about nutrition as they are clueless on what to prescribe. How can you prescribe fuel when you are clueless on the type and size of internal fire – metabolic rates & processes – of a person.

Knowing how ‘healthy’ a food item is and how much ‘health’ that food item may or may not yield when consumed by a person, or the ‘health’ of the person as a result of consuming that food… has no proven consistent correlation on any scale that is scientifically reliable or valid.

Yet we expect that by eating ‘healthy’… we will become healthy.

How’s that working out?

Let’s see… we have epidemics in obesity, diabetes, in chronic and lifestyle diseases… hmm… it appears that it ain’t. Meanwhile everyone is giving nutritional advice… from Oprah to Dr Oz.

The exception as I have stated at the outset is the medically institutionalized population as in patients of hospitals, long term care facilities, and hospices. In these scenarios, the patient is under constant observation thus it is possible to assess the impact that dietary changes have on the individual (and doing so without extracting applicability to the level of populations).

There is another exception which is disease specific individuals who would benefit from certain food items being eliminated from their diet, where the food item eliminated is the source of overwhelming and persistent inflammation which adds to the underlying dis-ease… but eating any specific food and obtaining health as a result… has yet to be demonstrated to occur with any degree of consistency, and reliably.

What matters is not the fuel, but the fire – its quality, its robustness, its longevity!

Want to change your health… then you need to change your fire, what it can burn, how it burns, what are the byproducts of it burning, etc…   How do you do that?

HEALTHY EXERCISE PERFORMED OVER LONG PERIODS CONSISTENTLY

Not just any exercise, and most definitely not the exercise that is prescribed by virtually all trainers, coaches, gyms and so called health clubs: i.e. it is not HiiT/hi intensity interval training.

The exercise we are sold today as healthy is not, its ‘exercise’ in name only as it is designed to cause you to buy, buy, buy feeding the industrial machine that is our economy. Your health is irrelevant. What is relevant is looking as if your health is improving, as if your health is important, and selling you on the belief that everyone actually cares about your health when all they want is you to buy, buy, buy. We’re promised that if we only buy, our health will be restored: its is just a matter of spin sessions, yoga tights, and smoothees away.


For those who have had ‘results’ with eating properly, eating based on nutritional advice… I would caution you on giving credit to where it doesn’t belong. Why? There is something called the placebo effect.  If unfamiliar with what the placebo effect is… in short, if a person in a white lab coat, with a stethoscope around their neck, a clipboard, basically someone who looks like a doctor or medical expert offers advice, when compared to the exact same advice given by someone dressed like your next door neighbour… the result is that the advice from the medical expert looking person ‘works’ better. How is that possible? Because we believe it will work better because we believe it is coming from someone who we trust is an expert. Our belief in what works and what doesn’t plays a massive role… its for this same reason that fortune telling and why nutritional advice ‘works’ and why both are still in business today.

The placebo effect is so significant that in order for any prescription drug to be permitted to be made available by medical doctors must demonstrate in clinical trials that the effect of the drug is not simply a result of the placebo effect… the drug actually has to work whether or not a patient believes it will work or not.

There is no evidence that I am aware of that demonstrates that nutritional advice ‘works’ (as in not just by placebo effect). If nutritional advice was ever shown by clinical trial not to deliver results greater than placebo effect, then the entire field of nutrition would cease to exist as a recognized and regulated health profession. I doubt that the profession is going to undertake any such research as the risk of self destruction is undoubtedly too high.