Monthly Archives: September 2011

On Fasting, Volume Workouts, & Alkaline/Acidic Diets

Just wanted to let you know that The Personal Finance Challenge is humming along quite nicely on Insight Writer. I have already published 12 articles with about 4 more already in the works. The goal is to get to 52 by Thanksgiving. And then work on editing and layout in December for a book release in January. In January I will start strong with 52 articles on health, diet, and exercise and have another book released by June. I will repeat the process again over the summer and fall to have a final personal development book released by Thanksgiving in time for the Christmas season.

My plan is to release an ebook for $2.99 and a paperback book for something like $7.95 up to $9.95.

My question to you is should I release the ebook for free, or should I charge the $2.99 as planned. When releasing something for free you have the potential to reach a wider audience. On the flip side, although I am passionate about these subjects, I would like to see some financial reward for the effort involved in putting together, marketing, and releasing an ebook.

What are your thoughts?

Onto my current research….

I am currently digging through the archives at and absolutely loving everything Martin has to say about nutrition and exercise.

The main subject I am digging into now is how intermittent fasting can help keep bodyfat low. Martin’s writing might cater a little more to bodybuilders and athletes, but what he has to say can be applied to anyone’s life. As you can guess by now, a lot of my current research will be published on Insight Writer in the New Year.

So I just had a personal trainer convince me it was a good idea to do a volume workout. While the verdict is still out about how much mass this will help me build, I am pretty sure it is going to help me increase my strength and endurance a lot. I have to do more research on it, but I think volume workouts could be helpful in building mass if you allow A LOT of recovery time after them. My current belief is that they are simply too destructive to do on a regular basis and still add muscle. I think if I do them once or twice a month at most though they will help me break through any plateaus I reach in the future.

Reading forums like this one on show the real debate among everyone on how volume workouts fit into your exercise routine.

This article makes the case for Low Volume Workouts, and cites numerous studies and examples to back it up.

For now I am sticking to the low volume, high intensity workout advocated by Tim Ferriss in his book the 4 Hour Body. It is alternatively called Geek to Freak, or Occam’s Protocol, named after the Occam’s Razor principal.

Finally I am starting to also research Alkaline vs. Acidic foods and how they should fit into your diet. The general idea is to gradually increase the amount of Alkaline foods you eat. The average American diet has about 60-70% acid forming foods in it. The idea is to switch your diet so you eat about 60-70% alkaline forming foods. This is mostly accomplished by increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables.

And, by food combining! Yep, it all ties in. A steak (which is acid forming) should be eaten with a hearty helping of vegetables (which are alkaline forming), such as broccoli or a salad, so they balance each other out.

There are a ton of myths about eating and exercise out there and I hope to help debunk as many as I can by showing you research that proves them otherwise.

One thing is for sure, of all diet plans out there, NONE of them have anything bad to say about adding more vegetables to your diet. So don’t forget to eat your veggies! 😉

Posted in Blogging, Insight Writer, Life, Web Logs, Writing Tagged , , , , |

Healthy Eating, Dieting, and Food Combining

Longtime readers of Insight Writer will know that I got excited about the Paleo Diet last October and tried it for awhile.

Normally my body stays in a very tight equilibrium. I’ve weighed the same amount and have looked roughly the same way I looked 10 years ago.

I tried the Paleo Diet as a way to experiment with eating a different variety of foods, and to see if eating a new diet would increase my energy levels. The Paleo Diet basically recommenends removing all gluten from your diet and replacing it with other more beneficial proteins. (Gluten is a protein found in wheat and other related plant species)

While I did experience better energy levels (my original intend), I also experienced an unintended side effect. I lost fat around my mid section and lost weight for the first time in over 10 years.

The results both fascinated and scared me (because I did not want to lose any weight), and I have since adopted wheat products back into my diet, although in much smaller portions.

Here are a few articles I wrote up during that time period…

1. Mark’s Daily Apple – Primal Living in a Modern World This is the primary blog I read about the Paleo or “Primal” diet.

2. Salad For Breakfast I am now thoroughly convinced that if you replace ANY food in your diet with vegetables you will instantly see better results. With that being said, I still don’t recommend vegetarian diets exclusively because even vegetarians don’t eat ALL vegetables. Remember… Grains, Legumes, Fish, Fruit, and all the other things vegetarians eat are not vegetables. Meats are not the enemy. There is certainly more to be said on the subject in the future as I do more research.

3. Eating Healthy On a Budget Many people are concerned that they can not eat healthy on a budget. That organic food costs too much, etc, etc… That is simply not the case if you do some very basic research, some food planning, and are willing to shop around a bit. Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure as well…

4. The Best Snack Food For Weight Loss From my own research and experimentation I have found nuts to be extremely helpful in helping people to lose weight. I think I may be adding seeds such as sunflower and pumpkin seeds to the list in the near future. These little things are amazing, but like all things, should not be taken in excess.

5. How Eating Meat Can Save The Planet I wrote this to show that once again, meat is not the enemy, and that raising meat can be an effective way to use land that can not be used as well for crops. And again, protein from animals that eat grasses can be really healthy for you. Again, more on this subject later.

Random Things…

1. I am still pondering the idea that clean water, wastewater treatment, and antibiotics are the three main things that have contributed to our longer life spans in the past century. Better food, pharmaceutical drugs besides antibiotics, and better surgical technology have not contributed to our long lives as much as we would like to think.

2. The Personal Finance Challenge Series is going strong over at Insight Writer, and I am surprised at how many ideas of am producing for it. I’m also surprised how much I am starting to enjoy writing about personal finance.

3. As I allow Insight Writer to be exclusively about personal finance for the time being, a wealth of ideas are popping up about health, nutrition, exercise, and everything related. I keeping thinking how science can be used to better our lives. I haven’t watched it yet, but this is an hour long movie I plan on watching about The Making Of A Scientist. I found it in a forum thread on ERE called Is Scientific Research Worthwhile? Some places are better than others for doing research and many people are disgruntled with the current system of university research. While I have aspired to a PhD in the past, and still aspire, although less so, to one in the future, I still would like to make the case for the amateur scientist. Which is why I love people like Tim Ferriss.

With all that being said, the subject of “Food Combining” will be my next research project. Until then…

Posted in Personal Stories, Web Logs Tagged , , , |

The Ways & Means of Energy

For most of this week I have been pretty interested in sustainable energy and how the future of energy might look in the U.S. and abroad.

First off, I have to say I am constantly amazed how I am reading one website, or listening to one podcast or video, then I find myself onto a totally new website with new information on the topic, then a 3rd website with even more information, and so on…

Is it even possible anymore to NOT find the information you are looking for?

While the internet can be a huge time sink, it is true, if you are seeking something, you will find it.

I started here…

Which put me here…

Then landed me here…

And eventually here…

All very interesting stuff…

This is another blog I stumbled upon some time again that I like…

Anyhow, I learned along the way that wastewater treatment plants produce methane that can be used to generate heat and/or electricity. (

Which then lead me to the Stirling engine… (

Cool stuff, at least for me…

By far the best way (i.e. the most energy efficient way) to heat and cool your home, and the water you use in your home is with a geothermal system. Here is the best video I could find to easily learn the basics of the subject. (

Here is a testimony by someone who has done it…

Last but not least before I move on to other topics is what is probably the best “clean” science blog out there…

That’s it for today… Till next time…

Posted in Web Logs Tagged , , , |

Web Log #1 – The Beginning

Writing online for an interactive crowd is truly an experience never before seen on Earth. It is both amazing to watch, and amazing to participate in.

Since it is all so new there are a lot of people trying to figure out exactly how we should be working with this new medium.

Some suggest new ideas, some suggest old ideas, and some suggest more of the same.

I recently read a blog post by Jacob @ called, Are We Blogging The Wrong Way?

In that article he suggested the idea that maybe the bloggers should actually do more actual “web logs”. In other words, they should record what places on the net they visited.

I used to do a Saturday Rap over on my Insight Writer blog where I listed my top 3 articles of the week every Saturday. I dropped that habit after awhile, but I think it is a great idea to start doing it again here at

Favorite Article Time…

1. Toss Productivity Out by Leo Babauta – Many people know Leo from Many know he was a productivity junkie when it was at the height of it’s popularity. Now Leo says productivity isn’t worth it and I have to agree with him. I never really liked all that productivity stuff anyway.

2. What To Do In College Right Now by Penelope Trunk – While I certainly don’t agree with everything she writes I can tell you one thing about Penelope… She makes me think! Right now she is writing numerous articles on why college is a bad idea for most people. The solution? Use the money you would have used for college to start a business instead. When people couldn’t handle that advice, she decided to give the best advice she could for people in college right now. Worth the read.

3. Craft the Life You Want: Creating a Blueprint for Your Future by Brett McKay. The Art of Manliness was a blog I got away from for awhile and got back to. Actually I unsubscribed from the vast majority of blogs I subscribed to about a year ago as a way to take a digital sabbatical. (I used to read upwards of a 100 articles a week) Now I am slowly adding the ones I truly LOVE reading. And like a fine wine, I think Brett’s writing has gotten better with age. I really enjoyed reading this article and plan on taking action on it this weekend. That’s how you know you are reading something great. You actually decide to take action!

Well that’s it for now. I plan on doing a lot of reading from now until the end of the year, and I promise only to link to some of the best stuff I am finding. So you don’t have to spend the hours I do trying to find the gems. 🙂 Until next time…

Oh, and I’ll leave you with a quote from Mad Men…

“This is America. Pick a job and then become the person that does it.” – Bobbie Barrett

Posted in Blogging, Web Logs Tagged |

Life Lessons From Running a Marathon

I ran a marathon today. It was a bit painful near the end because I didn’t really train too hard for it. My longest long run was only 13.1 miles. I knew I had to have some luck on my side to finish strong, but it wasn’t my luckiest of days…

Lessons Learned:

1. Luck isn’t always on your side – Don’t count on it in any equation. Let it be the icing on the cake if it shows up.

2.Most good things require investments of time and effort – I didn’t put much of either into this marathon. I had a baseline of running practice (2-10 miles a couple days a week), but it wasn’t enough.

3. Camaraderie can carry you far. – I had a friend who was a pacer for the marathon. We had a pretty good group going for most of the race. We joked together, shared some stories, and overall had a pretty good time. It made the race very enjoyable.

4. You can go further then you realize – Most people sell themselves a bit too short. The human body and mind are both more powerful than most people realize. Don’t be afraid to give yourself a real challenge every now and then.

5. Pain always has something to teach you – A lot of people tend to ignore pain, whether it is physical, emotional, mental, or social. Pain tends to get ignored for far too long. On the flip side, pain also tends to make people give up way sooner than they should. The key is to be smart about pain, and what it is trying to tell you. There is a lot of wisdom to be found in pain.

I used this race as a way to hang out with a friend, to get back into marathon distance running, and to see whether I would still want to compete in an ultra marathon (30-100 miles), or just stick with the 10k’s (6.2 miles) I am used to.

My body is telling me running an ultra is a bad idea, but my mind is telling me it is still worth a shot. Only time will tell. Rest assured, I will be taking some of my own advice next time around…

Posted in Personal Stories Tagged , |