Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ category

bookish theorist

September 21, 2009

I’ll be up front and tell you I am a bookish theorist. Those who know me know this already.

All the paleo diet stuff for example: I find the science fascinating, but also have a personal interest because of mediocre health.

Yes, I know I should be consistently on the paleo diet, not least because I am overweight (BMW >30 (technically, obese), have severe complex sleep apnoea and suffer from depression.

BUT, J and I have been pretty well on track so far this month. We’ll see how we go.


Coeliac disease cure – high or low tech?

September 20, 2009
Here is part of a report on a high-tech approach to treating coeliac disease:

“Alvine Pharmaceuticals is developer of therapeutics for autoimmune and gastrointestinal diseases. The money will fund the Company’s recently initiated Phase 2a clinical trial of its lead compound ALV003 for the treatment of celiac disease.

Celiac disease is the most common hereditary autoimmune disease with prevalence estimated to be as high as 1-2% in the U.S. and E.U. Intestinal inflammation in celiac disease is triggered by the ingestion of gluten in genetically susceptible individuals.” –

We just love the high tech way, don’t we. Sometimes this way is best, but what about in the case of coeliac disease?

Assuming that it is right that we are not well-adapted to ‘novel’ foods such as grains/cereals, it would appear that coeliac disease is just the tip of the ice-berg, affecting the genetically unfortunate few. But arguably there is a plethora of other deleterious effects from grain/cereal-based diets (unless you are a bird of course), including, quite possibly, roles in other autoimmune gut diseases, such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.

The low-tech way to deal with coeliac disease?  Eat the paleo way!  At the very least, avoid foods containing gluten. (I am a coeliac and do the latter, and try to also do the former)

The high-tech way to treat coeliac disease?  Use a high tech vaccine or whatever so you can eat grains with relative impunity, at least with respect to symptoms of coeliac disease.

The advantages of the high tech approach is that avoids adjustments to lifestyle for coeliacs, and it could be a good little earner for the pharmaceutical industry.

Who said prevention is better than cure?  🙂

SL    2009-09-20-1400

Cure all Running Injuries (and Pain) with One Simple Fix….Barefoot Running – Fitness Spotlight : Fitness Spotlight

September 20, 2009

Like many runners – or former runners – I have chronic plantar fasciitis.

I went the usual high tech medical route to fix this: orthotics, the best running shoes etc.

Nothing worked. I stopped running ~ 2004.

I am convinced one factor is being quite overweight. Some experts mention this, but as most people in the west are overweight, it doesn’t get much air time.

After reading Chris McDougall’s book, “Born to Run”, recently, I was also pretty sure that modern high-tech running shoes are part of the problem also.

I now have a pair of Vibram Five Fingers KSOs.  So far so good. (Just walking at this stage: ‘still need to lose a lot of weight before I can resume running).

SL    2009-09-20-1310

Paleodiet and health ((tags: paleo diet, nutrition, health, antioxidants, paleo diet update)

September 20, 2009
From the most recent issue of The Paleodiet Update ( | Loren Cordain, Ph.D. | Issue: # 2009 – 38 / September 18, 2009 ) 

“Hello! Welcome to The Paleo Diet Update, where we investigate current scientific research showing how you can improve your life with the nutrition our species evolved to need.

In the face of alarming increases in life-threatening disease, medical research has repeatedly shown that a diet similar to what our Paleolithic ancestors ate can reduce the risk of many diseases, and bring rapid improvement in certain disease symptoms. The Paleo Diet has been shown to improve glycemic control and cardiovascular risk factors. Autoimmune diseases, including arthritis and multiple sclerosis, have shown improvement in response to changing to the Paleo Diet.

This is because the Paleo Diet balances a range of variables that can influence many diseases, and improve health in various ways. To hear what participants in the last Paleo Diet Implementation Program (that just concluded yesterday) say about how it has improved their lives, click here.

In this issue, we take a look at how antioxidants fight the damaging effects of free radicals, and where to find the best sources of antioxidants. ….”

SL  2009-09-20-1250

Blood on the Saddle

April 25, 2008

I was 'rear-ended' by a car while out cycling recently (on 5th April).

A friend (Karl) asked me what my injuries were. I gave a brief run-down,
including the blood that ran from a deep gash below my knee.

(The bloodstains are still there 3 weeks later. What staying power!)

He then launched into the lyrics from a cowboy song, two versions of which
appear below.

I got a good laugh out of it.


There's blood on the saddle and blood on the ground,
And a great great big puddle of blood all around;
A cowboy lay in it all covered with gore
And he never will ride any broncos no more.

Oh, pity the cowboy all gory and red,
A bronco fell on him and bashed in his head.
There was blood on the saddle and blood on the ground,
A great big puddle of blood all around.


There's b-lood on the saddle,
There's b-lood all around.
And a great big puddle
Of blood on the ground.

Oh, pity the cowboy,
So bloody and red.
His pony fell on him,
And mashed in his head.


Using Opera's revolutionary e-mail client:

Emil Zátopek

March 17, 2008

Emil Zátopek – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Emil Zátopek

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Olympic medalist
Emil Zátopek
Medal record
Men's Athletics
Olympic Games
Pierre de Coubertin medal 2000
Gold 1948 London 10000 metres
Gold 1952 Helsinki 5000 metres
Gold 1952 Helsinki 10000 metres
Gold 1952 Helsinki Marathon
Silver 1948 London 5000 metres
European Championships
Gold 1950 Brussels 5000 m
Gold 1950 Brussels 10000 m
Bronze 1954 Bern 5000 m
Gold 1954 Bern 10000 m

Emil Zátopek (pronounced [ˈɛmɪl ˈzaːtopɛk] (help·info)) (September 19, 1922November 22, 2000) was a Czech athlete probably best known for his amazing feat of winning three gold medals in athletics at the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki. He won gold in the 5 km and 10 km runs, but his final medal came when he decided at the last minute to compete in the first marathon of his life.

Zátopek was the first athlete to break the 29-minute barrier in the 10 km run (in 1954). Three years earlier, in 1951, he had broken the hour for running 20 km. He is widely considered to be one of the greatest runners of the 20th century and was also known for his brutal training methods.


Early years

Emil Zátopek was born in Kopřivnice, Czechoslovakia on September 19, 1922, as the sixth child of a modest family. When Zatopek was 16, he began working in a shoe factory in Zlín. Zatopek says that "One day, the factory sports coach, who was very strict, pointed at four boys, including me, and ordered us to run in a race. I protested that I was weak and not fit to run, but the coach sent me for a physical examination, and the doctor said that I was perfectly well. So I had to run, and when I got started, I felt I wanted to win. But I only came in second. That was the way it started." [1] Zatopek finished second out of the field of 100. After that point, he began to take a serious interest in running.

A mere four years later, in 1944, Emil broke the Czech records for 2,000, 3,000, and 5,000 meters. He was selected for the Czech national team for the 1946 European Championships. He finished fifth in the 5K, breaking his own Czech record of 14:50.2, running 14:25.8.


Zátopek (right) running in 5 km in 1952 Olympics.

Zátopek (right) running in 5 km in 1952 Olympics.

Zátopek first entered the international athletics field at the 1948 Summer Olympics in London, winning the 10 km (his second race at that distance) and finishing second behind Gaston Reiff from Belgium in the 5 km.

The following year Zátopek broke the 10 km world record twice, and went on to better his own record three times over the next four seasons. He also set records in the 5 km (1954), 20 km (twice in 1951), one-hour run (twice in 1951), 25 km (1952 and 1955), and 30 km (1952).

He won the 5 km and 10 km at the 1950 European Championships and the 10 km at the next European Championships. Two weeks before the 1956 Summer Olympics, Zátopek had a hernia operation, but nevertheless finished sixth in the Olympic marathon. Zátopek retired from athletics after the next season.

At the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki Zatopek won gold in the 5 km and 10 km runs, but his final medal came when he decided at the last minute to compete in the marathon for the first time in his life and won. He also broke the existing Olympic record in each of the three events. His victory in the 5 km came after a ferocious last lap in 57.5 seconds, during which he went from fourth place to first while Christopher Chataway, now second after being overtaken by Zátopek, tripped on the curb and fell.

Zátopek's running style was distinctive and very much at odds with what was considered to be an efficient style at the time. His head would often roll, face contorted with effort, while his torso swung from side to side. He often wheezed and panted audibly while running, which earned him the nickname of "the Czech Locomotive." When asked about his tortured facial expressions, Zátopek is said to have replied that "It isn't gymnastics or ice-skating, you know." In addition he would train in any weather, including snow, and would often do so while wearing heavy work boots as opposed to special running shoes. He was always willing to give advice to other runners. One example he often gave was to always be relaxed and to help ensure that while running, gently touch the tip of your thumb with the tip of your index or middle finger. Just making that slight contact would ensure that arms and shoulders remained relaxed.

Grave of Emil Zátopek in Rožnov pod Radhoštěm

Grave of Emil Zátopek in Rožnov pod Radhoštěm

Later years

A hero in his native country, Zátopek was an influential figure in the Communist Party. However, he supported the party's democratic wing, and after the Prague Spring, he was removed from all important positions and forced to work in a uranium mine as punishment. Zátopek died in Prague, after a long illness, in 2000 at the age of 78. He was awarded the Pierre de Coubertin medal posthumously in December 2000.

Family life

His wife Dana Zátopková (born the same day as her husband) was an outstanding athlete in her own right in the javelin throw. She won the gold medal in the javelin in the 1952 Summer Olympics and the silver medal in the 1960 Summer Olympics.


  • "Essentially, we distinguish ourselves from the rest. If you want to win something, run the 100 meters. If you want to experience something, run a marathon."
  • "I was not talented enough to run and smile at the same time."
  • "It's at the borders of pain and suffering that the men are separated from the boys."
  • Upon winning: "But it was the finest exhaustion I've ever felt."


External links


v  d  e

Olympic Champions in the Men's 5,000 metres

1912: Hannes Kolehmainen • 1920: Joseph Guillemot • 1924: Paavo Nurmi • 1928: Ville Ritola • 1932: Lauri Lehtinen • 1936: Gunnar Höckert • 1948: Gaston Reiff • 1952: Emil Zátopek • 1956: Vladimir Kuts • 1960: Murray Halberg • 1964: Bob Schul • 1968: Mohammed Gammoudi • 1972: Lasse Virén • 1976: Lasse Virén • 1980: Miruts Yifter • 1984: Saïd Aouita • 1988: John Ngugi • 1992: Dieter Baumann • 1996: Vénuste Niyongabo • 2000: Millon Wolde • 2004: Hicham El Guerrouj

v  d  e

Olympic Champions in the Men's 5 miles and 10,000 metres

As five miles 1906: Henry Hawtrey • 1908: Emil Voigt
As 10,000 metres 1912: Hannes Kolehmainen • 1920: Paavo Nurmi • 1924: Ville Ritola • 1928: Paavo Nurmi • 1932: Janusz Kusociński • 1936: Ilmari Salminen • 1948:  Emil Zátopek • 1952:  Emil Zátopek • 1956: Vladimir Kuts • 1960: Pyotr Bolotnikov • 1964: Billy Mills • 1968: Naftali Temu • 1972: Lasse Virén • 1976: Lasse Virén  • 1980: Miruts Yifter • 1984: Alberto Cova • 1988: Brahim Boutayeb • 1992: Khalid Skah • 1996: Haile Gebrselassie • 2000: Haile Gebrselassie • 2004: Kenenisa Bekele

v  d  e

Olympic Champions in Men's Marathon

1896: Spiridon Louis • 1900: Michel Théato • 1904: Thomas J. Hicks • 1906: William Sherring • 1908: Johnny Hayes • 1912: Kenneth McArthur • 1920: Hannes Kolehmainen • 1924: Albin Stenroos • 1928: Boughera El Ouafi • 1932: Juan Carlos Zabala • 1936: Sohn Kee-chung • 1948: Delfo Cabrera • 1952: Emil Zátopek • 1956: Alain Mimoun • 1960: Abebe Bikila • 1964: Abebe Bikila • 1968: Mamo Wolde • 1972: Frank Shorter • 1976: Waldemar Cierpinski • 1980: Waldemar Cierpinski • 1984: Carlos Lopes • 1988: Gelindo Bordin • 1992: Hwang Young-Cho • 1996: Josia Thugwane • 2000: Gezahegne Abera • 2004: Stefano Baldini
Preceded by
Flag of Finland Viljo Heino
Men's 10,000 m World Record Holder
June 11, 1949September 1, 1949
Succeeded by
Flag of Finland Viljo Heino
Preceded by
Flag of Finland Viljo Heino
Men's 10,000 m World Record Holder
October 22, 1949July 15, 1956
Succeeded by
Flag of Hungary Sándor Iharos

The paleolithic way of eating : not just another fad diet

March 17, 2008

Paleolithic Diets, The Paleo Diet Book, The Paleolithic Prescription, Syndrome X: “Praise for The Paleo Diet

‘Dr. Loren Cordain, a highly respected, innovative investigator, has clearly articulated an approach to nutrition that is logically compelling, readily understood, and at the cutting edge of health science. Dr. Loren Cordain’s original insights, encyclopedic knowledge, and painstaking research have made critical contributions…. Not all scientists can translate their concepts into a straightforward, accessible format, but Cordain has accomplished this feat brilliantly.’

-S. Boyd Eaton, M.D., Clinical Assistant Professor, Emory University; former Medical Director, Olympic Village Polyclinic, 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games (considered the godfather of the Paleolithic nutrition movement)

‘The Paleo Diet is at once revolutionary and intuitive…. Its prescription provides without a doubt the most nutritious diet on the planet. Beautifully written, The Paleo Diet takes us from the theory to the day-to-day practice of the native human diet.’

-Jennie Brand-Miller, Ph.D. Co-author of the bestselling The Glucose Revolution and The Glucose Revolution Life Plan; Professor of Human Nutrition, University of Sydney