Paleo Dan

Eat, Work, Live and Play the Way that Nature intended.

So, DC Rainmaker is having a giveaway: Garmin Forerunner 310XT Giveaway. This post is a chance for me to earn an extra entry. So do NOT go over there and enter yourself, this is all for me!

Grass-Fed Sausage Giveaway

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OK, don’t do this because I want to win the giveaway, but US Wellness Meats is giving away a sausage sampler! I found about it via a post at Food Renegade: GIVEAWAY: Grass-fed Sausage Sampler. So DON’T go check it out!

My Lipid Profile: July 6, 2010

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I went in for my semiannual blood work about a week and a half ago. Know that I’m not terribly concerned with my lipid panel results, but it is very interesting to track the changes over time in response to following a paleo/primal diet plan. So, without further adieu, here are my latest results:

  • Glucose, Serum (mg/dL) – 89 (+9.88%)
  • Cholesterol, Total (mg/dL) – 209 (-11.06%)
  • Triglycerides (mg/dL) – 71 (-13.41%)
  • HDL Cholesterol (mg/dL) – 70 (+37.25%)
  • VLDL Cholesterol Calc (mg/dL) – 14 (-12.50%)
  • LDL Cholesterol Calc – “Friedewald” (mg/dL) – 124.80 (-25.54%)
  • LDL Cholesterol Calc – “Iranian” (mg/dL) – 111.36 (-28.74%)
  • HDL/LDL Ratio – “Friedewald” – 0.561 (+84.54%)
  • HDL/LDL Ratio – “Iranian” – 0.629 (+92.94%)
  • Triglycerides/HDL Ratio – 1.014 (-36.94%)

You can see these and previous results on my Blood Work page.

I used to take regular progress images and post them here every two months. Well, it’s quite apparent that I haven’t posted the last two or three months worth of images for some reason…

That reason has been an apparent lack of progress to document! From January 16th through this week, I’ve lost maybe five or six pounds. That’s it! So what would I have documented in those progress images?

Apparently as it turns out, quite a bit!!! I wasn’t seeing a difference, but all of a sudden (or so it seems) my size 38″ shorts are too big for me. I tried on my size 36″ shorts of the same style and they fit perfectly. This is slightly confusing to me considering that the last time I fit into 36s, I was 20 – 30 pounds lighter than I am now.

So, I went back to the body measurements I took at about the same time that I took my last progress images. My chest, upper arm, and thigh measurements have all gone down by about an inch. The amazing change, though, was that I lost 3″ from my waist. 3″ without losing very much weight! Crazy!

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not hung up on the scale reading. I don’t freak out if it goes up or stays the same… heck, that should be clear since I’ve been sticking with my nutrition and fitness program for the past six months despite the apparent lack of progress. I’m just very surprised to see these changes in body composition and measurements considering that the scale hasn’t budged.

I’ll take some new images in the next week or so to compare against my January images:

Recipe: Walnut Red Pepper Dip


I like hummus. But, being made of beans, I don’t reckon that it’s all that paleo or primal. What’s a caveman to do?

I don’t remember how I found this site, maybe my wife pointed it out to me, but I found my answer over at Everyday Paleo:

Walnut Red Pepper Dip

2 cups shelled walnuts (soak them for at least 1 hour to soften them; it’ll be easier to process them this way)
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. salt
1 jar (12 oz.) roasted red peppers – drained
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. lemon juice

In a food processor, pulse walnuts, cumin, and salt until walnuts are finely ground (like the consistency of Hummus). Add peppers, garlic, olive oil, and lemon juice.  Whirl until smooth.

I just made this today and I have to say, it’s not exactly like hummus, but it’s a damn good replacement! So, thank you, Sarah, for posting this recipe to your site.

Workout Logs

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You may have noticed that I have not posted a new workout log on my blog since November 23rd of last year. That does not mean that I haven’t been working out; I’ve just been logging my workouts at other locations. For instance, I used for a while, but these days I log all of my swimbikerun and strength workouts over at and

So come on and follow my training at either (or both) of those sites. is a great fitness site with a strong social vibe. is a great tri-specific fitness tracking site with great forums for interacting with other triathletes. You can’t go wrong hanging out on either site.

See you ’round!

On January 1st of this year,I set a pseudo 5K PR of 29:39.89. I call it a “pseudo PR” because my actual 5K PR, as you can see over on the right, was a 29:16 in 2006. The thing is, though, that I was 40 pounds lighter in 2006 when I set that PR. According to a table I saw in an issue of Runner’s World, that 40 pounds cost me over four minutes of time at the 5K distance. Oops, I’m getting off track…

On January 1st of this year, I had barely begun an official swimbikerun training plan. I had been running regularly for less than two weeks at that point.

Today, February 13th, six weeks later, I’m running 3 or 4 days a week for longer distances than I ever thought I could. Sure, I’m slow, but I’m getting the mileage in with consistency. Plus, I’m losing weight. I’m 13 pounds lighter today than I was on January 1st. From that same Runner’s World table, that alone would net me over one minute of time on the 5K.

What am I leading up to?

Today, I ran the Virginia is for Lovers 14K. That’s my longest distance ever: 14 kilometers, 8.699 miles, 2.8997 leagues. But, “what about the half-marathon personal best,” you might ask? With a time like 3:03, it’s obvious that there was quite a bit of walking involved. Today’s race was the first time that I ran (or, more simply, moved faster than a walk) farther than about 5 miles. That was accomplishment number one.

Accomplishment number two was running that distance within the goal time I had set for myself: 1:30:00. That equates to a pace of about 10:20.7/mile. I beat my goal time by about 1 minute and 17 seconds running the 14 kilometers in 1:28:43. I am very happy with that result.

The race was held at and around the Virginia Beach Amphitheater and Virginia Beach Sportsplex. Aside from the Amphitheater grounds itself, the course was fairly flat, which was nice. The problem was that in the last 0.699 miles, the organizers decided to take the race up over the hill in the Amphitheater and after over 8 miles of running, that was just a mean thing to do! They should have started the race with that hill… it would have been the nice, sportsmanlike thing to do.

The only other issue I had, aside from that hill, was the cold, windy weather. I think that the organizers should not have ordered the extra snow for this weekend. We had already seen too much the previous two weekends, today’s extra snow was just spiteful. I mean, really, with the wind blowing into our faces from miles 6.5 to 7.5 bringing the snow with it, that was just uncalled for.

Overall, I had a great time and am very excited about my results. I am even more excited for my next 5K in about a month. I’m looking forward to see what kind of improvements I’ve made at that distance. I ran the first 5K of today’s race slightly faster than my race pace at the January 1st race. Bodes well for my next race.

View the entry for this race on my dailymile profile.

My Lipid Profile: January 18, 2010

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Notes 1/18/2010: First, I’ve been following a low-carb, high-fat paleo/primal diet with a macronutrient ratio of 70% fat, 20% protein, and 10% carbs for a while now. I’m sure, but haven’t checked, that includes more saturated fat than the USDA recommends in a week.

About two days before the blood draw, I ate from an all you can eat buffet. I stuck pretty close to paleo/primal foods, but I know that I got more carbs than normal and that the food was cooked in unhealthy fats. Not sure how much that would’ve skewed my results, but I’m not too worried in any case.

The nurse practitioner at the doctor’s office, though, is concerned though she is starting to think that my cholesterol numbers are due more to genetic variation than anything else… of course, she doesn’t know how I eat… I just told her that I eat “clean.” :)

Now some info about my numbers. Yeah, my total and LDL cholesterol numbers are up, but the numbers that matter most to me are down. For example, serum glucose is down almost 6%, my triglycerides are down over 17%, my HDL is up almost 19%, and my VLDL calc is down 20%. But, best of all, my ratio of triglycerides to HDL, which Dr. Eades considers most telling, is down over 30%!

Now, the nurse isn’t trying to push statins like she did last time, but she has requested an NMR profile be performed at my next blood test in six months.

Test Item “Normal” Range 01/09/09 09/28/09 01/18/10
Glucose, Serum (mg/dL) 65-99 89 86 81
Cholesterol, Total (mg/dL) 100-199 262 192 235
Triglycerides (mg/dL) 0-149 108 99 82
HDL Cholesterol (mg/dL) >39 40 43 51
VLDL Cholesterol Calc (mg/dL) 5-40 22 20 16
LDL Cholesterol Calc – “Friedewald” (mg/dL) [1][3] 0-99 200.40 129.20 167.60
LDL Cholesterol Calc – “Iranian” (mg/dL) [2][3] 0-99 202.65 136.36 156.27
HDL/LDL Ratio – “Friedewald” 0.200 0.333 0.304
HDL/LDL Ratio – “Iranian” 0.197 0.315 0.326
Triglycerides/HDL Ratio [4] <5.00 2.70 2.30 1.61
C-reactive Protein (mg/L) [5] 0.0-4.9 0.3 0.3 0.5

[1] Friedewald method described here:

[2] Iranian method described here:

[3] Calculator available:

[4] This is based upon information found in The 6-Week Cure from Drs. Michael and Mary Dan Eades. From the book: The most meaningful lipid value predictor of heart disease risk is clearly the ratio of triglycerides divided by HDL. A number over 5 warns of increased risk; a number below 5 is a good sign, and the further below, the better.

[5] C-reactive protein is a measure of inflammation in the body:

Note: I started these posts before I started reading Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes. I’ve never been overly concerned by cholesterol numbers, but I care even less now. I will, however, continue to track my numbers. Mainly so people will be able to see what eating a high fat (50-65%) diet will do to these numbers. By the way, one of my favorite cheat snacks is one serving (4 sqaures) of a Lindt 90% cocoa “Supreme Dark” chocolate with two tablespoons of coconut oil. That is a 470 kcal snack that is 48g (85%) fat (37g of that is saturated), 14g (11%) carbs, and 5g (4%) protein. Side note, I love coconut oil. I put it on everything.

Note: Prior to my blood test in May, I had not been eating well or working out. In fact, I had been sick off and on (more on than off) since November ’08. I’ve been paleo-esque for about a month now and trying to hold to a stricter paleo diet going forward from here. We’ll see what the numbers show…

Note 10/7/09: Supposedly C-reactive protein (CRP) is also an indicator of heart disease… at least that’s what my doctor thinks. I’ve got to wonder though. If my total cholesterol was 262 mg/dL which the AHA says is “high risk”, that must mean my risk of heart disease was elevated. If that’s the case, shouldn’t my CRP have been elevated? Oh well, I’ll track it anyway just for the fun of it. If fat, especially saturated fat, is bad, then my cholesterol should go up which should start hurting my heart and cause my CRP to elevate. We shall see.

Status Update

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I have been bad about not updating this blog. I’ve been spending too much time on Twitter, DailyMile, and Facebook. I’ll try to do better about that in the future…

So, now on to today’s post…

Back in September, I posted my current stats and ideal weight calculation from Body-Mass Index, Waist-to-Height Ratio and More…. Since that time, I’ve lost about 30 pounds and 9 inches off my waist. My Waist-to-Height Ration (WHtR) was reduced 12.2%.



According to research by David Willoughby, the ideal WHtR for athletes is 45.8%. I’m about halfway there with 12.7% left to go. That would put me at 208 pounds with a 34 inch waist. The worst part is that, at my ideal weight of 208, I would be considered borderline obese using the standard BMI measure.

Progress Images


Jan 16, 2010 @ 247.8 lbs

Nov 18, 2009 @ 260.4 lbs

Nov 18, 2009 @ 260.4 lbs

Sep 21, 2009 @ 273.2 lbs

Sep 21, 2009 @ 273.2 lbs

Aug 18, 2009 @ 287.5 lbs

Aug 18, 2009 @ 287.5 lbs

Oct 11, 2004 @ 315 lbs

Oct 11, 2004 @ 315 lbs