“As you live, believe in life. Always human beings will live and profess to greater, broader and fuller life. The only possible death is to lose belief in this truth simply because the great end comes slowly, because time is long.”

W.E.B. Du Bois

Seriously Good Stuff!
Seriously Good Stuff!

You may have heard me mention Artisana’s Raw Organic Coconut Butter before — maybe in a tweet, or in the TTP Facebook group, or elsewhere — but let me officially pronounce in this TTP post that I am, in fact, a HUGE fan of this product.  In fact, to throw a little SAT-like word association at you, Artisana’s Raw Coconut butter is to whole coconut as Vibrams are to footware.  Yeah, it’s that good.

So, how do you eat it?  In any way you have normally (in your pre-Paleo days, of course) eaten peanut butter — except, needless to say, on bread, crackers or the like.  Right out of the jar works pretty well for me.  Or mix a bit with a bite of fruit, or with some raw nuts.  Avocado, tomato, bacon and coconut butter?  You bet.  Here’s a great snack idea: I like to spread out some raw pecans and melt a generous portion of coconut butter over them; sometimes I’ll add a bit of raw butter to this concoction as well.  Let your imagination run wild.  And for those who are new to the Paleo game, or otherwise caught in the throes of a serious carb Jones, consider Artisana’s Raw Organic Coconut Butter as your methadone.  Beating the carb Jones is one of the serious bug-a-boos (the other being “social alienation”) that folks new to the Paleo way must navigate prior to reaching the clear, wide open, Paleo seas.  Got a carb pang going on?  A tablespoon or two of Artisana’s will beat it back.  I’ve long suggested tablespoons of olive, coconut, or fish oil for the same purposes and received the old “crinkley nose” response.  I can just imagine the “old timer” Paleo now:

…yeah, I remember when all we had to beat back the carb Jones was coconut and olive oil — hell, even fish oil — young people today…

Anyway, the stuff is seriously good to eat.  Pick some up and give it a shot.  You’ll be oh so glad you did.

Long-term low calorie intake, and the subsequent rebound re-feed

It’ll be quite some time before I can speak about the events of last week in anything resembling an objective fashion.  However, it is worth noting in a venue such as this, the mental and physical stamina and stability provided as a result of adhering to a Paleo lifestyle.  Last week was characterized by unimaginable grief, and mental, physical and emotional anguish.  Couple this with extensive travel, physical exertion (moving, clearing out an apartment), two funeral services (with one more to go) and a precipitous lack of sleep.  Through it all, though, I never wandered into the low blood sugar “hinterland”; to be sure, hunger — true hunger — sprang up from time to time, though it was not the shaky hands and body, cold sweat “gotta eat right damn now kind of hunger characteristic of a high carbohydrate diet.  In fact, because the Paleo hunger has no real side affects other than a craving for something substantial, it was quite easy to keep it pushed back and held at bay.  I have no way of knowing what my caloric intake was day-to-day over the last week, but I do know that it was minuscule as compared to my norm — even as compared to my non-workout-day norm.  I mostly ate one — and a couple of days, two — small Paleo meals per day over the stretch, and this following a very long initial fasting period.  I augmented with spoonfuls of raw nut butters and coconut butter here and there as the opportunities arose.   In fact, most days of the last week I took in no carbohydrates at all — no fruit and/or vegetables.  I am back home now, and I can report that my hunger is rapacious — especially for high-quality protein and fat — I just can’t seem to top the tank off for long.  Within 3 or 4 hours of a healthy feeding, I’m ready for another round.  Of course I’m eating clean, giving my body what it’s asking for.  I may even head out to the playground tomorrow.

In health,

Keith

20 COMMENTS

  1. Man that looks good. The coconut flavor has really grown on me over the last few months. Virgin coconut oil adds a nice subtle flavor to cooking and makes the kitchen (hell, the whole house) smell wonderful. I’ll have to keep my eye out for the butter in the stores.

  2. Hi Keith,
    This is perhaps off topic a bit, but I just wanted to mention how inspiring it is to see the degree to which you have made Paleo (for lack of a better term) a true lifestyle. The second part of this post has really opened my eyes as to what is possible to do. I think it is more of how I have been looking at it up till now (something I agree with and think I “should” do) as opposed to a true way of living. I know lately I’ve been using any thing out of the ordinary (which is really all the time if you think about it) as an excuse to not stick with a lifestyle I truly believe is mentally physically and dare I say spiritually healthier for me. Like I said probably a little off topic, but thanks again for the blog,
    I find it really helpful.
    Clay

    • Clay,
      I have no doubt whatsoever that I (and Michelle) were both much better able to withstand the mental and physical stresses of last week having been Paleo for some time.

      I’m glad you’re enjoying, and learning from, the blog.

      • Four years ago, I was diagnosed with clinical depression. In addition to working with a therapist, I discovered TLC (Theraputic Lifestyle Therapy, a program by a University of Kansas psychologist (information here and here). TLC includes many aspects of a primal/EF/PB lifestyle, including an emphasis on Omega-3 fatty acids, exposure to the outdoors (or a sun box), meaningful social interaction, exercise, and proper sleep habits.

        I believe that TLC and ultimately discovering Art Defany’s EF was one of the things that ultimately brought my condition under control (you are never cured of depression).

        • Ryon,
          I believe that depression (along with a whole host of other conditions of the psyche — ADHD comes foremost to mind) have a lot in common with allergies, in that the “condition” may never be “cured”, but through proper diet and lifestyle changes (of which you alluded to), the negative effects of the condition can be rendered benign. I use the term “benign” for lack of a better term; in the case of depression, deep introspection can be the mother of great creativity and invention. The positive aspects, if you will, of the depressive bent. I’m glad you’ve found your way. I ache for those who never do; especially with the “cure” for such afflictions being so near and so easily (relatively speaking) grasped & managed. I hope that you can become a spokesman — a success story — for proper management of the condition. If, of course, that is your want.

  3. I feel that nourishing yourself with a clean, paloelithic diet certainly carries with it a grounding, sustaining effect that certainly better prepares you to weather any storms thrown your way. Not only is your body able to handle the challenges, but your mind is clearer, and your emotions are less played upon by the hormonal roller coaster rides associated with a garbage diet filled with refined carbs and franken oils.

    Glad to hear from you Keith. God bless.
    -Bryce

  4. All I have to say is “MMMMMM.” I love this stuff — like I said, thanks to you. It IS crack, I’m convinced. Only healthier.
    I definitely notice a hills and valleys aspect to my caloric intake – not tracking, just kind of have seen the pattern. I suspect it has to do with activity AND stress levels. And when I’m craving carbs, I have tried to take in a spoonful of coconut (or other fat – like yesterday I added just a bit of pasture-fed butter to my meals) and it seems to not only help the craving but also keep me full longer. Amazing what just a little good fat will do.

    {Glad to see you. I’m still sending out the support vibes.}

    • Thanks for the good vibes, Alex; needless to say they are much appreciated.

      I’m continually amazed by the body’s inherent wisdom in knowing exactly what its caloric/nutritional needs are. That is, of course, so long as we don’t monkey-up the process with ill-advised foods and lifestyles.

  5. I’ll have to see if I can get some of that.

    BTW, Artisana also makes a pure coconut oil, which they typically have at Whole Foods in the cooking oil section. It is fantastic, far better than any of the other brands I’ve tried.

    …Until recently. The CEO of Nutiva…

    http://nutiva.com/

    …emailed me, asking if he could send me some product to try and maybe blog about. I was headed out to WF and turns out they had the coconut oil in the supplements section. So, I got some and had to admit it is at least as good as Artisana and probably better. It’s slightly softer, less wax like, at room temperature.

    That said, I can take a spoonful of the straight oil, but I don’t enjoy it tremendously. This butter sounds like the ticket to get an important supplement.

    Keith, once again: so sorry for what you’ve gone through. Can’t even imagine. But what I can imagine is how the paleo lifestyle has contributed to you getting back on your feet as quickly as possible. I have no doubt about it.

  6. Keith,

    Thanks for the recommendation – just got some of this today, and it is fantastic stuff.

    It’s great to see you back on the blog. I am just returning from a brief hiatus myself, having experienced the full spectrum of emotion: our second daughter was born last week, and despite some scary complications and a (blessedly brief) stay in the intensive care unit, she is now home and thriving. I will feel profoundly lucky if she and her sister grow up to be the kind of women that Brittani was — fully engaged in life, lighting up those around them, and giving more to the world than they take.

    And speaking of eating through challenging times, I’m hoping that paleo will make it somewhat easier for me to take care of a newborn while chasing a toddler around the house!

    Best wishes-
    Mark

    • Thanks for the thought, Mark. And if you’ve got any marketing savvy about you (I sure don’t), you may just have hit on the next great fitness craze — toddler Tabatas 😉

  7. I finally found the coconut butter the other day at a Whole foods store and I love it.

    I have been adding spoonfulls of Fats like the one above and also cod liver oil (which you turned me onto).

    I even increased my protein intake lately and I think both combined are really helping me fight the carb cravings (I was binging once a week). I feel like I am finally past that now.

    Thanks for your help and website.

    Actually now that I’m already writing, I just wanted to tell you I am making a comeback to play college football again after being injured for two years do to a broken ankle. Your website along with Art De Vany’s has really helped me train smarter and I’m really starting to see the payoffs in my speed on the field. I have been training to increase my Fast twitch fibers like you and Art have recommended.
    I believe this type of training along with my paleo diet is really helping me become a better athlete. Overall I want to be as fast as possible since I play running back and your website is really helping me.

    Thanks again.

    • Cool, P.J., be sure to keep us updated on your progress. Remember to incorporate plenty of change-of-direction work w/in the structure of your speed work days. It’s not always the fastest (straight ahead speed) guys who are the most effective ball carriers — Chris Johnson (representing the 252, right here in G-Vegas) not withstanding; think of Emmit Smith, Walter Payton, Barry Sanders — three guys with unimpressive (relatively speaking) 40 times who nonetheless were fairly effective 😉 ball carriers.

      • Exactly! How often does a running back really run straight ahead in a game. The most effective way I have been able to prepare for change of direction and lateral movement is to play tag in a large box of cones (15 yards each side of the square). I get together with 3 other fast and elusive guys and we play tag in a box. This drill is really good and helps keep my lateral movement quick. I really work on my acceleration and getting down field.

        I have two questions for you. What do you think of running hills? What’s your opinion on overspeed training(sprinting down a slight decline)?

        I have been doing a little bit of both but I was curious to see how effective you think both are.

        • P.J.,
          Tag drills are a good idea. One variation we used to use was to set up a 20yd x 40yd “field”, and play 1 on 1 flag football w/a running back and a db/lb defending. I think uphill interval work is great for polishing starting acceleration; I really like overspeed work as well — just make just the decline is not too aggressive or you’ll throw off your sprint mechanics (overstride).

  8. keith, just purchased some artisana coconut butter…..wow this stuff really as given me variety to primal way of eating. how do u recommend u make them with pecans?

    • I like to make pecan “cookies” thusly: on a sheet of wax paper, make a few small piles of pecan halves (about 5-8 halves per pile), then pour semi-melted coconut butter over the pecans, then let the concoctions cool. It takes a bit of experimentation to get the piles engineered correctly, and to hit the proper amount of melting (too much = too runny to be useful). Hit the right combo, though, and you’ve got yourself some good little Paleo “cookies”.

  9. Thanks for the nice piece of information about coconut butter.I am planning to use coconut oil for cooking. I have read that  coconuts are rich in vitamins ad minerals such as: Vitamin C, B1, B3, B5, iron, selenium, sodium, calcium, magnesium and more.

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