AtA: Supplements and additional vitamins

Posted May 3rd, 2010 in Ask the Author, Foods by Clint

Do you have any recommendations for other, more common dietary supplements such as daily multivitamins, or b-complex vitamins and so on?

If you’re going as-recommended in the book and getting a serving of vegetables and the occasional fruit at each meal throughout the day, it’s unlikely you’re in any danger of falling short of the vitamins and minerals you need. The main dispute with multivitamins is the dubious quality of their contents and the bio-availability (or lack thereof) of their nutrients. However, there are numerous well-reviewed and approved multis as well as greens-type supplements that can help offset possible deficiencies if you have a concern, medical or otherwise. But most people are typically fine if they’re getting their vegetables and eating from even a modest spectrum of food types.

AtA: Intermittent Fasting

Posted April 30th, 2010 in Ask the Author by Clint

I actually had one question for you: how do you feel about intermittent fasting? Your book talks about eating once every three hours; is this because you felt:

a) The scientific evidence on fasting isn’t there yet

b) Fasting is too counterintuitive/difficult for most people to handle, and you’re shooting sustainable, easy advice

c) Intermittent fasting just wasn’t known when you started writing it


Just curious.

dshack of ShackAttack (via reddit)

I’m not opposed to the concept of fasting; though not with any regularity, I’ve fasted myself from time to time–for example, with the intent of cleaning out and resetting the systems between trials of dietary plans or prescriptions. I wouldn’t necessarily say the research isn’t there yet, but that it focuses primarily on the comparison of intermittent fasting with the ‘typical’ (i.e. garbage-laden) western diet rather than placing it against other types of healthy consumption.

While a big part of is as you mentioned–that compliance with a fasting regimen can be difficult to maintain–still more of a concern is that even in environments where compliance is maintained at a very high level (such as with camps, athletes, or other committed individuals), the results are inconsistent. I’ve seen people adhere strictly to IF diets such as the Warrior Diet and falter or even experience negative results compared to their previous ‘healthy’ intakes.

But ultimately, along with ease-of-compliance, it was my goal to provide a system that is applicable and proven for the greatest number of individuals in the greatest number of situations. Frequent macro-oriented feedings have been consistently successful for a large number of people for many years now and are the staple of numerous successful nutrition plans, even those that incorporate only light or no exercise for whatever reason (rehab, etc). It’s also among the easiest to incorporate and customize for individuals, and my focus was for something equally useful for parents feeding their families, students eating in the dorm cafeteria, and individuals without the time or desire to create or follow complicated meal plans.

The long and short was something useful for the greatest number of humans in the greatest number of circumstances. It is doubtless that some individuals and their internal chemistry or situation would benefit more from an IF-style diet than from what I recommend, but I also specifically began the chapter stating that if you have something that works great for you, stick with it. And likewise if you don’t see the results you want, feel free to experiment with something else.

We Have Lift-off: 10,000 downloads of the e-book

Posted April 28th, 2010 in Uncategorized by Clint

So I missed refreshing at exactly the right moment and thus didn’t get a screenshot of 10,000 even, but here’s a nice one of 10,004, which means (I hope) roughly 10k people are now have read, are reading, or intend to read Brain Over Brawn (I’d like to to think the people who have downloaded it more than once are balanced out by the people sharing the book itself rather than the link).

10,000 downloads, holy bejowly

Go Team Venture! o/\o

If you enjoyed and/or benefited from the book, if you have a story to tell about how it helped you or someone you know, or if you just want to say hi, feel free to drop me a line. Readers like you are the reason I’m doing/have done this in the first place, and I am delighted to hear when it’s made a difference for someone.¬† And feel free to keep giving that link to anyone you think it might benefit (hint: it’s good for just about anyone, and it’s not a “hey you are fat maybe this book can help” sort of thing; everybody wants to be ‘healthier’ no matter their current condition). I’ve got the bandwidth, let’s do this thing.

New! Ask the Author section

Posted April 28th, 2010 in Ask the Author, Site Update by Clint

Over these past few months following the release of Brain Over Brawn, I’ve kept myself active answering questions via email and on various forums and threads online (most notably in my thread in the W&W forum on somethingawful). However, the difference between creating content and making it easily accessible to potential readers is one I will now attempt to address. So I’ll be creating new (and frequent) posts on my blog for “Ask the Author”, wherein I take questions from readers and my answers to them; this will not only provide additional content of interest for the site, but also may very well answer questions a visitor might have without them having to ask it themselves.

You may submit your own questions by posting in one of the threads I follow, by emailing to clint at brain over brawn dot com, by posting a reply, or pretty much anything else you can think of. I’ll figure it out. I’m going to see about getting a nice, easy little form too.

Posts to follow. Enjoy. (Considering the raw amount of text I hurf-blurf out in a given day, I’d like to think I can be a little less negligent toward this our lovely site).

Brain Over Brawn on Facebook

Posted March 8th, 2010 in Site Update, Uncategorized by Clint

I (am pretty sure that I) have created a facebook fan page for the book.

Since you can read it for free, it’s fairly easy for you to decide if you are likewise a fan. Feel free to “share” it, join up as a fan, or whatever else people can do with this thing.

I confess I don’t know a lot about the whole social networking scene as yet, so if you want to e-mail me regarding what I might have done wrong or other things I might do right to help get the word out regarding my book, you have my appreciation in advance.

Quacks II: Beyond Chiropracty and Personal Trainers

Posted February 22nd, 2010 in Uncategorized by Clint

Lately, the fact has come up that I had carelessly namedropped “reflexology” in an otherwise (hopefully) respectable and science-driven book. In retrospect, this was probably an error. On occasion, I let myself get excited about various pilot studies that come out with quantifiable results from deep tissue massage as complimentary therapy, and the NIH (and science in general) tends to classify foot and/or hand massage as ‘reflexology’. So that’s what I call it. However, I do not take any stock in the “Reflexology” as in a systematized practice of massaging pressure points in an effort to cause internal responses in the body and organs or redirect energy or chi or ki or whatever you want to say.

I don’t mean to simply to distance myself from it. I expect any ‘science’, especially medicine or wellness related, to apply the scientific method to its study and findings as strictly as is possible (I understand fields that aren’t “hard” science like sociology and political science have a tougher time adhering, but I respect those that do their best). Disregard for scientific method is often because the systemizers wish the results to reflect the theory and not the other way around.

I used to be ambivalent to quackery; live and let live, if it makes someone happy then great, whatever. But apathy is not suitable, since if someone profits by pushing quackery it not only encourages more ‘believers’, but putting money and thereby ‘success’ into such a practice also perpetuates by convincing some said believers (or less scrupulous hucksters) into following suit, buying the books, practicing, preaching, and perhaps believing whole-heartedly in the schtick themselves.

Reflexology, astrology, phrenology, magic spells, power crystals, magnets, gimmick diets, all junk. All claptrap and hokum designed to sucker in the gullible for a dollar. Science has enough work to do actually figuring out what’s going on without the necessity of fighting against all the silly crap we’ve accrued over the centuries and¬†millenia. That’s the same type of misinformation problem “Brain Over Brawn” itself was written to address, and I have no intent of feeding into it, even with a single careless sentence.

While I am open to the possibility there are bits and pieces of Alternative Medicine that may be useful as complimentary therapy, there are two very real dangers from any kind of such practice: The first is if they provide false information, such as saying that someone doesn’t have a problem in an area they actually do. The other and worse is when it is substituted as “real” treatment and a person forgoes (or forbids another) from receiving scientific medical care in favor of some ‘mystic cure that the fatcats in Washington don’t want you to know about’. There are certainly flaws with the current state of health care, but overall it does an incredibly greater amount of good than harm. The same cannot be said about any ‘alternative’ medicine… at least not in any way verifiable by a double-blind study.

Donating Blood: Change the Oil, Save a Life

Posted February 16th, 2010 in Uncategorized by Clint

I donate blood. I do it every time the Red Cross calls, which is usually as soon I’m eligible again (56 days I think, 8 weeks), which means well after I’ve regenerated all my plasma and red blood cells. Why do I do it? Well, something like 5% of people donate, and if we were at 10% we (theoretically) wouldn’t face blood shortages. And 1 in 3 people are eligible to donate (if you aren’t eligible, hey you tried. but most people don’t even know). Trying to help bridge that gap I guess.

Sure, I could talk about my overactive imagination and how around the world we face constant blood shortages due to lack of donors. How there’s some 6 year old kid being wheeled into an emergency room, fresh out of a car wreck, covered in lacerations and clutching a blood-soaked teddy bear. Sorry kid, you gonna die because Clint’s too busy watching reruns of Metalocalypse to have gone to the clinic. Or he doesn’t care for needles. Or some other sorry excuse. Naw, I can’t do that.

But I also do it for the most self-indulgent of reasons: my own health. And I’m not even talking about how it’s more likely than not I’ll need a transfusion at some point in my life. Though I live what I consider to be a fairly healthy lifestyle, I indulge on occasion. And even at 100% healthy intake, the body isn’t 100% efficient. There are wastes. There’s dirt. There’s wear and tear. Processes break down and are imperfect. So I get rid of that stanky old blood and make myself some fresh, clean, new and shiny blood to replace it. So some cancer patient or burn victim gets my hand-me-down blood, fine. Go team. But what it means for me is freshly-squeezed handcrafted blood in the tank.

Plus, every blood donation center I’ve seen has free snacks and juice. And I donate at the Red Cross, and those guys have Nutter Butters on hand. If donating blood ain’t reason for a little cheat snack, I don’t know what is.

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