Best-selling author Abel James explains how getting back to our wild roots and eating real food can help end the vicious cycle of obesity and fat gain. Involving kids in the cooking process, buying local meat, and fasting periodically are some of Abel’s top fat-loss tips.
About Abel James
A leading voice in new media, Abel James is a bestselling author, musician, and talk show host. As the #1 most popular health podcast in 8+ countries, Abel's award-winning show, Fat-Burning Man, has helped millions reclaim their health with real food, cutting-edge science, and primal workouts. When his cooking app, Caveman Feast, bested The Food Network, Nickelodeon, and even Angry Birds with more than 1,000 5-star reviews in the 24 hours, Abel became the first independent publisher ever to hold Apple's #1 food app and #1 podcast at the same time.
After completing his B.A. at Dartmouth College a year early, Abel created his own interdisciplinary curriculum to study brain science, music, and technology, graduating as a Senior Fellow with Honors.
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Books Discussed in This Episode
#1 Supplement or food substance
#1 Health Tip
Stop advertising fast food to our children.
Abel James is a self-proclaimed “regular guy” who is obsessed with health and fitness. He became this way out of necessity—his corporate job left him fat and fatigued
4:25 Abel is trying to reset the idea of what is normal. When you look back at old photos, most people were trim and fit.
8:17 Eating real food is more than increasing protein and fat. Even though Abel identifies himself as Paleo, he also sees himself at nearly 70% vegan. The importance of green leafy and other brightly colored plants and vegetables is often lost in the pursuit of Paleo. Eating real food is more than increasing protein and fat.
10:14 Flexibility. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to claim an identity, like Paleo or Vegan, because it will give you a story that will not in every way, apply to you forever. Things change and your body’s needs change.
12:44 Listen to your body. Able tries to use Body Sensing with everything he does. One of Abel’s heros is Danny Dreyer who wrote ChiRunning, about using Tai Chi in your movements; sensing what is going on inside the joints, inside the muscles, etc. You can do that with nearly every experience, like hunger. Many of us have become out of touch with the way it really feels to be hungry or full; things that animals understand, if they are eating a natural diet.
13:50 Media influences our cravings and hunger. Our bodies react even when we don’t need food. Most of us are chronically dehydrated. Have a big drink of water when you wake up. When you feel you might be hungry, have a drink of water and see how you feel a few minutes later. When you carbs, especially high glycemic carbs, you become fat adapted and you can run on your fat stores.
16:50 Abel spends a lot of time in the woods. He brings his journal. Long ago, he read a book about what geniuses had in common and one of the things was journaling, not necessarily a diary, but an individualized way to turn on creativity. It is not for reading later, because it almost imprints it into your mental processes. Also important to him during his time in the woods is campfire, a book, his guitar, his dog and his wife. By living in a tiny RV, they have become very aware of and to break free of “stuff”.
22:19 Woods Functional Training. After Abel broke his foot, he developed his own functional training method. His focus on fitness shifted to the acrobatic and inversion, like handstand pushups, fingertip pushups, yoga holds and incorporated Chi Gong into his daily meditation practice. It was more about doing a little bit every day.
26:03 Heritage varieties of foods, grown by hand contains not only more nutrition and flavor, but you become connected, even in a sacred way. You cannot get that connection with the processed or large farmed goods from the grocery store.
30:34 Connection to your food. To reclaim our health, we need to relearn the meaning of our food.
33:59 Get kids involved in the process. As a kid, Abel went fishing with his dad and learned to clean and cook the fish. Involve kids in the process of choosing and making the food so it has meaning for them.
41:02 Lessons from fasting. Abel began pushing back the time he ate breakfast. Contrary to his expectations, he put on 10 – 15 pounds of lean mass with the intense weight training he was doing at the time. He also found it to be time saving and energy saving, by not eating one meal. It helps to break out of patterns you are in and helps to connect you to true hunger.
45:10 Health experts disagree on almost everything, except that we need to eat more green and colored non-starchy vegetables. One of the benefits is that that eating these real foods pushes out the desire to eat the unhealthy foods, resets your pallet, your sense of smell, and it resets your body in a beautiful way.
46:28 The one herb, nutrient or botanical Abel could not do without is Rhodiola. It is an adaptogenic herb that Abel feels “fills in the gaps”, giving him what is missing. When he takes a good quality rhodiola, he feels a difference.
48:00 Abel’s morning routine. Abel wakes up early, drinks a big glass of water, does about 2 to 5 minutes of exercise, does Chi Gong for about 20 minutes and meditates for another 20 minutes. He then reads the I Ching and plans his day using a To Do List of things that are important to do that day. Abel remembers a book by Brian Tracy called Eat That Frog about doing the biggest ugliest task earliest in the day