Thursday, March 16, 2017

Thoughts on #wiredtoeat before I even read it

The snack basket in my office
So I think Wired to Eat comes out next week. I preordered it and after Amy and I read it, it will be in the gym library for anyone to borrow. I wish I was important enough to get a prerelease copy - I must have dozens of readers.

Since I have been listening to Robb Wolf's podcasts ever since they started (I think I literally was Listener Number Six), I'm pretty sure I know what's in the book. It's going to be about the neuroregulation of appetite (and some other things like: Get your sleep, already!).

Your brain is really good at telling you you're hungry (or not), and the food companies have taken advantage of this. The right combination of sweet, salty, crunchy, the right mouth feel, everything is manufactured to hit the reward centers of your brain. I understand all of this in the academic sense, but I've been mostly immune to these tricks since I've been strict "paleo" for almost a decade.

However, I've noticed new withdrawal-like symptoms creeping back in, and it's been really hard to deal with. Before I switched to paleo cold-turkey, I was a HUGE sugar and snack monster. I would down full sleeves of cookies in one sitting, I used to have a Costco-sized box of Goldfish crackers beside the couch and drink Coke while eating them "as a snack". I was pretty bad. My worst addiction was to chocolate-like treats, specifically M&Ms (peanut!), Butterfingers, and Snickers. Amy and I decided to participate in a "paleo challenge" at our old gym, made the switch in one day and we never looked back.

My office moved this summer (that day job that supports me until the gym can). I'm a coffee-fiend. (I guess I switched all of the chocolate and Coke addition to a coffee addiction - but that's okay), and our office has a nice espresso machine. I make many trips to the break room to get a few shots all day long. When we were in the old office, I would just walk into the break room, hit the espresso machine and leave. In the new building, there's a basket of snacks (the picture above) between the door and the espresso machine. Those brightly colored M&M bags and those Snickers wrappers are lighting up a portion of my brain that has been turned off for years.

I can walk past the donuts with no issues (I associate gluten with feeling bad so it doesn't even register as food for me any more). But I'm sure that over the years the marketing and big-data-analytics folks at Mars, Inc. have figured out just the right colors, the right contrast, the right saturation, the right crinkle of the bag, and the right feel of the crunchy candy shell to make my brain light up. I can walk past a real dark chocolate bar without feeling like a crack addict - the typical fancy chocolate you buy at Whole Foods is wrapped in browns, greys, black, a little unsaturated colors - it's not triggering my brain the same way.

This is the industrial food milieu that we are living in. We are all swimming upstream against the billion-dollar marketing budgets of the processed food industry that's actually physically affecting our brains. I'm a smug long-term paleo eater and I'm struggling with it. What must it be like for someone who hasn't even bought in to the benefits of eating right?


row 500 / run 400
crawling lunge
10 KB swings or snatches
double KB overhead lunge
10 TGUs or windmills
10 goblet squats
5 pull-ups or push-ups or dips


squat 8-5-3x5


2 pull-ups + 2 dips between strength sets

Group Workout

AMRAP 12:00
row 250
5 pull-ups
10 push-ups

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