Favorite Blogs: Fitness and Nutrition
This week, I want to focus on blogs about healthy nutrition and fitness.
Almost a year ago, I decided to make some fairly drastic changes in my life. I was very overweight and eating a steady diet of processed, unhealthy food. Starting last June, I made incremental lifestyle changes to the point where I am right now; fifty pounds lighter and enjoying a grain-free, primal/paleo diet of whole foods.
To stay current on information and stay inspired in my new lifestyle, I read a lot of blogs about paleo nutrition and natural exercise. I am also building a home library of books which I steadily lend out to friends and family seeking a new lease on life. In that spirit of sharing knowledge, these are a few of my favorite blogs, with my reasons for liking them:
- Diabetes-Warrior.Net - Steve Cooksey has not cured his diabetes, but he no longer takes medication for it. He manages his health entirely through a low-carb paleo diet and keeps up a lifestyle which is far more active and healthy than most diabetics can even dream of without insulin. His blog is rife with data gathered through research and self-experimentation. I am not diabetic and never have been, but Steve is an inspiration, and his straightforward approach to health and longterm wellness is just a reminder that Hippocrates was right when he said "let thy food be thy medicine."
- Fed Up With Lunch - Sarah Wu, known for a long time under the pseudonym "Mrs. Q," is an amazing human being. She is committed to improving the quality of American school lunches. Sarah ate these lunches for a year before writing a book about her experiences. Her blog has a global perspective, examining the content, quality and cost of school lunches around the world, and her friendly, conversational writing style helps expose ways in which American school systems can help their kids through serving them better food.
- Free the Animal - The online paleo community is made up of many diverse personalities. Richard Nikoley is one of the more colorful figures in the blogosphere. Styling himself as the "Angry Dick" of paleo bloggers, Richard has a no-nonsense delivery which appeals to me. He is also a titan in the field of self-experimentation. If there is a sacred cow, he will chase it down and convert it to burger, just to see what happens. Free the Animal has great value as a source of researched data and experiments on a variety of topics, but it is also worth reading for its sheer entertainment value. I recently picked up Richard's book, also entitled Free the Animal, and I can wholeheartedly recommend it as a starting point for anyone interested in a paleo meal plan.
- Gnolls.org - J. Stanton authored one of the most life-changing novels I ever read in the form of his book The Gnoll Credo. It is a story which made me clean out my closet and reevaluate my life. I wrote a review of it on Hubpages, which actually led to my corresponding with Stanton via email. Stanton is a proponent of ancestral health, and his articles on nutrition and biology are both interesting and exhaustively researched. Readers beware; reading anything written by J. Stanton is liable to cause unscheduled life change, increase in focus and sudden and vocal expressions of primal energies. You have been warned.
- LivingSuperhuman - Brothers Andrew and Anthony Frezza don't settle for anything less than life lived to the fullest. They are committed to encouraging other people to break plateaus and raise the bar for themselves as both physical and emotional beings, hence the presence of "superhuman" in the blog's title. It is less a stated "paleo blog" than it is about eating foods that yield optimum results. It just so happens that the best foods to eat fall in line with a paleo meal plan. Together, the Frezzas provide excellent workout advice, nutrition information and recipes for delicious and nutrient-dense meals designed for athletes' needs. LivingSuperhuman also recognizes something that many other paleo-minded writers minimize: that "cheat" meals are inevitable. Instead of criticizing or reminded people to mind their creeping carb counts, the voices of LS are encouraging, going so far as to freely share their own (infrequent) indulgences. In my opinion, such departure from the rigidity of dogma elevates Frezzas; both as a fitness writers and as all-around decent human beings. I'm currently involved in their Superhuman50 Challenge.
- Mark's Daily Apple - When someone first begins to research paleo nutrition, their first encounter is usually through the work of either Mark Sisson or Robb Wolfe. Mark Sisson's web site is updated steadily with articles, recipes and advice for living a healthy lifestyle according to Mark's easy to follow template, The Primal Blueprint. Mark writes excellent books and sells powerhouse nutritional supplements, but 99% of his work is available for free on his web site, indexed according to topic in an excellent search engine. Mark is a rare breed of health guru. He has an educational background in nutrition, a professional background as an world-class marathoner, and a compelling story of his own personal journey from a conventional athletic diet to a primal lifestyle which he makes extremely accessible to his readers. Mark's work is important to me, because it was his book and blog which were most instrumental in helping me to take control of my own life and reclaim my health. I always read his blog first.
- Physical Living - John Sifferman is a more recent discovery, but his blog is excellent. He talks about nutrition from time to time, but his blog is all about fitness. His workouts range from new strategies for old favorites (his posts about pull-ups are fantastic), to compound workout drills for more unique training tools and methods, such as clubbells.
- Zen to Fitness - Sometimes, information becomes so familiar that we stop hearing it. Zen to Fitness is a great blog because it takes the concept of fitness, which should be simple but is usually overcomplicated in the way it's presented, and reduces it back to its simplest terms. Needing to think less about something isn't always a bad thing; over-thinking fitness is usually what makes it drudgery, and Chris, the editor of Zen to Fitness, keeps the site stocked with articles espousing a healthy, fit lifestyle that is achieved and maintained through very simple methods.