Discretion Being the Better part of Valor…

…I decided the pull the plug early on this morning’s workout.

First, let’s back up to yesterday afternoon and a near-miss wipe-out on the ol’ fixie.  Speed, heavy traffic, potholes, and the dreaded flung-open car door (i.e., being “doored” in cyclist parlance) — individually, these hazards make riding in the city…uhh…I dunno…shall we just say “interesting”, and leave it at that?  What about when these things happen to coincide within a unique singularity?  Well, we have on our hands then is  a major rut-ro moment.  Long story short, I didn’t go all the way to the ground — how, I don’t know.  Skills, maybe? (smug grin, pats self on back).  Heh, right.  Anyway, so I wound-up not leaving behind any valuable paleo hide on the asphalt, however, I did manage to tweak my lower back.  At the time it didn’t feel so bad (what an amazing painkiller adrenalin can be!), and I continued riding for a good bit longer.  In fact, I didn’t give it a second thought until…

…until I hit the gym this morning, with the intent of doing some heavy, black-banded Good Mornings.  Wrong answer.  Warm-ups and the lower-loaded/build-up sets felt fine.  Any appreciable loading, though, was a definite no-go.  Now back in my not-so-distant younger days, I would have pushed on through — and probably ended-up on the injured reserve for a few weeks following.  Not now though (older and wiser!), and not today.

Quick interlude: I just realized that I commented on my self-proclaimed “older and wiser” status immediately subsequent to a paragraph where I speak of willingly (wantonly, even!) traversing the hazards of fixie riding in the city.  Go figure.  Anyway, back to our tale…

So the moral of the story?  I pulled the plug on the workout, hit the showers early, and left the gym with my only real injury being a bruised ego.  Being active brings with it the distinct possibility of getting hurt now and again.  I’m fine with those odds, and with the risk to benefit ratio associated with my lifestyle choices.  No need to compound problems when they do occurr, though.  I’ll sacrifice today’s battle for success in the overall campaign.

But damn I was so looking forward to that heavy Good Morning session!  Ugh…

10 minutes ’till full-on fight-or-flight response…

Paleo in the Mainstream

This might be old news by now, but NPR’s The People’s Pharmacy devoted a recent show to a discussion of low carbohydrate diets in general, and  “The New Atkins” diet in particular.  Now, I enjoy listening to The People’s Pharmacy, even if it is a bit pedestrian for my taste.  For a certain mainstream demographic, though (think older, wealthier, intelligent, well-connected– and either very busy, or with plenty of time on their hands), this show is “cutting edge”; any air time, then, that low carbohydrate diets get in a venue such as this is, my opinion, a plus.  The Paleo tribe is, of course, light years ahead of the rest when it comes to diet sense — but remember — we’re talking about mainstream influence here, and more importantly, influencing a mainstream demographic with the money, clout and wherewithal to affect public policy.  Was Michelle Obama listening to this episode?  Jesus, let’s hope so — maybe she’ll rethink her dietary suggestions to the nation’s youth.

From The People’s Pharmacy show notes:

Losing weight is a challenge for many of us, and dietary advice is often contradictory. Which diet will work best? Would it be a low-fat vegetarian diet like the one Dr. Dean Ornish promotes? Or might it be a low-carb diet similar to the one espoused by the late Dr. Robert Atkins? Many fear that a diet low in carbohydrates and therefore heavier on protein and fat will push cholesterol to unhealthy levels. New data on the low-carb approach don’t support that concern, though. We’ll get the low-down on the science behind the NEW Atkins diet.

Guest: Eric Westman, MD, MHS, is an associate professor of medicine at the Duke University Health System and director of the Duke Lifestyle Medicine Clinic. He is the author of The New Atkins for a New You, with Dr. Jeff Volek and Dr. Stephen Phinney.

A couple of topics came up during the discussion; the notorious China Study for one (see Richard’s thorough dismantling of this “study” over at Free the Animal ), “Vegetarian” Atkins (rice and beans make for a lousy sirloin, folks).  Loren Cordain and the Paleo diet even make an appearance (we need more studies, says the good doctor Westman.  Right…) .

All-in-all, though, I’ll take it — a pretty fair airing of the low carbohydrate (though certainly not Paleo) mindset — even with the rather incredulous tone that host Terry Greadon takes with Dr. Westman for much of the show, and with Dr. Westman’s condoning the “vegetarian” Atkins version of the diet.  Oh well…let’s keep in mind the greater, long-term good.

One small step for Paleo man, one giant step (hopefully) toward altering the nation’s relationship with food and diet.

In health,