7 Quick Takes Friday: Books, Books, Books, Advent (books!)

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An Intentional Advent (So far!)Advent is here and I can happily say, perhaps for the first time, that we were ready for it and are off to a strong start.

First off, before Advent even began we reaffirmed our normal daily spiritual regimen, normalizing our schedules and re-prioritizing our time. In the morning we do our best to eat breakfast together, read the mass readings aloud, and say a few short prayers asking for an increase in virtue – especially patience, fortitude, humility, and charity – and for openness to whatever conversion of heart God has in mind for the day. At noon I say the Angelus, praying specifically for my wife Teresa, and we say it aloud if we are together. In the evenings we do our best to have a sit-down dinner, say a rosary afterwards, and keep the tv off if it is a weeknight. Finally, Teresa and I have a few night prayers we say together based on compline.

For the Advent season we have added and emphasized a few things:

1) Teresa created a red and green advent “chain” out of construction paper. Each link contains a scripture reading and activity for every day leading up to Christmas. We remove one link in the morning at breakfast and read the scripture at the end of dinner.

2) For every day of Advent, we chose a family member or relative to spend the day praying especially for.

3) We firmed up our normal commitment to limiting tv watching to the weekends. Additionally, we went ahead and cancelled Netflix and Hulu (our sources of tv) and will be instead watching a few Christmas or saint movies on the weekends. ( Though, of COURSE, we planned an exception to see the Hobbit at the move theater with our Faith on Tap group)

4) Finally, Teresa made a concerted effort to plan and research Advent and Christmas themes ahead of time so that we could be very mindful of and engaged with the liturgical season. For example, she has had us read excerpts from books and articles on Christmas traditions in other countries and the meanings of Christmas symbols.

How is your Advent going? If you haven’t yet started preparing for Christmas, it is not too late!

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Real books vs ebooks 

The other day I was helping a friend and colleague get the .epub version of his book ready for publication. At one point in our email exchange, he noted that he didn’t think he’d ever grow accustomed to ebooks. My reply turned into a couple of paragraphs that sum up my current feelings well:

“I agree with you on ebooks. I started reading them for a short stint and gave up. I like a physical tome I can touch, feel, and smell . The physicality of the book makes a far greater impression on all of my senses, without which I have great trouble focusing on the text, integrating it, making connections, keeping it all in context, and recalling information after I finish. I also can’t stand to read without a pen or pencil in my hand for underlining.

These may be learned dependencies, but I also feel that the ebook is less “mine” than a physical book. If the power runs out, or my device breaks, my ebook is gone. I value real property as opposed to transient (which is also why I am determined to get and stay out of debt, own my own house and land someday, and yes, have a giant library for my children to explore).”

I like ebooks like I like the telephone. It is useful and better communication than none, in a pinch, but it will never take the place of the physical presence of another person.

How do you feel about physical vs “e” books? How do you feel about “owning” digital media – mp3’s, mp4’s, digital photos, ebooks – vs owning physical media – books, physical photos, etc?

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Speaking of books….

This has (or has not, depending on the perspective) been a great week for my bibliophilia. I have been going…. to…. TOWN on PaperBackSwap.com and received a couple amazon purchases in the mail this week also.

As a result, my current slate of reading is quite full again (just the way I like it):

What are you reading these days? (My favorite question to ask anyone)

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Twin Legacies

Out of all the topics on my mind of late – gospel poverty and simplicity (via, Fr. Dubay’s “Happy Are You Poor”), the Distributism of Chesterton and Bellock, local economies, rustic living, real food, the importance of family and community, etc – a strong, concrete desire has surfaced regarding the legacy I hope to pass on to children and grandchildren.

Two items in particular: A homestead and a library.

The more I ruminate on how best to both teach my children the content of the Catholic faith as well as to give them the best possible chance of falling in love with goodness, truth, and beauty, these two items, a homestead and a library, keep coming to mind and refusing to leave. More about this later.

The natural defence of Freedom is the Home; and the natural defence of the Home is the Homestead. The Family, not the Individual, is the unit of the nation. As Political Economy is the child of Domestic Economy, all laws that weaken the Home weaken the nation. Father Vincent McNabb O.P. (1868-1943)

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I am a big fan of Mumford and Sons. They have a great, rustic, moving, folk-rock sound and just some of the most beautiful, rich, erudite lyrics you’ll find. One of their bigger hits, “The Cave”, references Plato’s famous allegory, the Odyssey, and, some argue, bits of G.K. Chesterton’s “Francis of Assisi”.

Anyhow, it was pointed out on Facebook recently that Marcus Mumford is indeed a fan of G.K. Chesterton.

“It’s (The Outline of Sanity’ by G.K. Chesterton) changed my life quite a lot, it’s fairly serious, it’s somewhat political, and is my first dip into these rather dizzying and very terrifying waters. But it has gripped me and inspired me and said things I haven’t known how to say but that I feel quite strongly, and so thought it was appropriate for the Book Club.” – Marcus Mumford

And later that year…

“Suffice to say it’s [The Outline of Sanity] changed my life; but I don’t expect it to, or even feel that it must, have the same effect on everyone! I think even if you disagree vehemently with what GKC puts forward, it’s still a really refreshing experience to read such well considered and intriguing lines of argument. Especially now, on pretty hot topics like ‘big vs small business’, ‘private vs public ownership’, ‘the man-made vs the natural’, etc. The actual political ideal of Distributism, I’m still getting my head around, if I’m honest. But his thinking and his writing are just plain bitchin, in my very humble opinion!” – Marcus Mumford

This was great to see. One always got the sense that there was some real substance behind the lyrics and themes of much of their music. Hope they keep reading!

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Science Fiction/Fantasy News

– Thus far I have consciously been ignoring any reviews coming out regarding the new Hobbit movie. We are going to see it this weekend with our Faith on Tap group (as I mentioned earlier).

When a beloved book is put to film, a bit of trepidation is to be expected. However, my friend William Newton had some good thoughts on letting Jackson’s interpretation be just that.

– Have I told you that C.S. Lewis Space TrilogyOut of the Silent Planet, Perelandera, and That Hideous Strength – are probably my favorite books of all time? (No? are you sure we are friends?)

“It is not for nothing that you are named Ransom,” said the Voice…

The whole distinction between things accidental and things designed, like the distinction between fact and myth, was purely terrestrial. The pattern is so large that within the little frame of earthly experience there appear pieces of it between which we can see no connection, and other pieces between which we can. Hence we rightly, for our sue, distinguish the accidental from the essential. But step outside that frame and the distinction drops down into the void, fluttering useless wings. He had been forced out of the frame, caught up into the larger pattern… “My name also is Ransom,” said the Voice.” 
― C.S. Lewis, Perelandra

If you haven’t read this brilliant trilogy, do so now. (I’ll wait)

…..

Done? Ok, like all good books it gets better with every re-read. Go read it a couple more times. Let it really sink in.

……

Okey Dokey! For those that have already read it or are now working on their next re-read, I came across this neat little documentary:  The Magician’s Twin: C.S. Lewis and the Case against Scientism.

I would love to discus, this, my favorite trilogy with you. Hit up the com boxes!

– Finally, a friend of mine named Rod Bennet, author of Four Witnesses: The Early Church in Her Own Words just finished his own Sci-Fi novel entitled The Christus Experimentwhich I am excited to read. It has been getting some high and intriguing praise:

Early readers of The Christus Experiment have had nothing but raves: Author and historian Mike Aquilina declared it “a piece of out-and-out genius…I couldn’t put it down. Haunted me for days afterward.” Micah Harris, author of Heaven’s War, the acclaimed graphic novel from Image Comics, says The Christus Experiment is “mind-blowing…and hugely entertaining. This is what C.S. Lewis would be doing in the age of Iron Man. Bravo!” Popular internet pundit Mark Shea called the book, “a lulu of a sci-fi story that I stayed up later than I should have reading…I so want to see a movie made of this. It would rock the house…Rod Bennett is one of the most original minds going right now.”

Here is longer interview over at Catholic Lane.

So check it out and share with others who might be interested!

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Jennifer Fulwiler, lifelong Atheist turned Catholic and author of ConversionDiary.com (and hostes of “7 Quick Takes Friday”) is the star of her own reality show “Minor Revisions” which debuted yesterday night and will continue next thursday. You can watch online at http://netny.net

The first episode was great fun, giving us a glimpse of Jen’s beautiful family and hearing her talk of her conversion. Because there were a lot of technical issues with the broadcast (and in case you missed the epic twitter party) Brandon Vogt has links here.

There were many great moments in the show, but a crowd favorite was a comment from Jen’s young daughter:

And that wraps it up! Have a great weekend! Start a new good book!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

7 Quick Takes Friday Volume #2 – Hermits, Sloth, & Farmer’s Markets

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Sick.

I am feeling a little sick/nauseous this morning and so I can’t promise complete coherency, or that all of my quick takes will be of much substance…..

(see what I did there?…)

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Sloth.

No matter how many times I hear it, read it, or have it explained to me, I always benefit from the occasional reminder that the vice of Sloth has far less to do with the activity or inactivity of our bodies or the toughness of our circumstances and far more to do with our wills.

I love Dr. Kreeft’s description in “Shocking Beauty”:

“Habitual boredom, boredom, not just with a specific task like chopping wood for ten hours a day, but boredom that is like the sky spread over everything, not only leads to sin, but it is in itself a sin. The medievals called it sloth (acedia or akedia), one of the seven deadly sins.

Sloth is not simply laziness. In fact, it does not necessarily imply any physical laziness at all. It means the passivity and inactivity of the will and the passions even in the presence of the true good. In other word, it is the soul’s refusal to eat its food. As violence is spiritual junk food, boredom is spiritual anorexia.”

When we are feeling and acting lazy, we should examine the state of our hearts. Sometimes “the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matt 26:41), in which case we just have to try our hardest to overcome the weakness (and keep on “chopping” per Kreeft’s example above). However, sometimes the flesh is weak precisely because the spirit is, in fact, unwilling.

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More Sloth and other things.

Continuing from the thoughts on Sloth above but going on in a slightly different, but slightly same direction…

We live in a culture that sometimes overtly and sometimes subtly denies the freedom of our wills. For example, when we fail to love, our culture tells us we couldn’t help it because we “fell out of love” or “lost that loving feeling.” When we are angry or annoyed or impatient we look externally for the causes of our anger or annoyance or impatience. When we are bored during Mass or while our spouse/mother/father/friend/coworker is talking, we are tempted to think it is because the Mass or our spouse/mother/father/friend/coworker are boring!

But love is a choice we can make in spite of our feelings in any given moment. Our feelings may be a part of us, and to some degree beyond our control, and our wills may be enslaved or addicted insofar as we have let them become so, but they are still free. Likewise, if we are angry, annoyed, or impatient, while these may be prompted by something external, we are nevertheless responsible for our response. God promises us enough grace in any situation to be able to make the right choice and to move forward.

And finally, regarding Mass and our spouse/mother/father/friend/coworker, recall one of the key lines from the Kreeft quote earlier:

[Sloth] means the passivity and inactivity of the will and the passions even in the presence of the true good.

The human person is immortal, an unfathomable mystery, and contains the possibility of sharing in the goodness, truth, and beauty of the Holy Trinity. In the Mass, Christ, the second Person of this Holy Trinity, gives Himself — Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity — to human persons.

True goods? Uh, yeah. Am I slothful? Yep.

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Last week Teresa, Dominic, and I discovered the weekly farmer’s market held at the Muskingum County Fairgrounds in Zanesville, Ohio. I had always liked the idea of farmer’s markets, but had been consistently underwhelmed by those I attended. This was the first event that really merited the term “market” and I must say the whole thing finally really clicked for me.

There were about 20-30 vendors (usually more on non-rainy days, I was told) with a huge variety of gorgeous produce from pumpkins to peppers to apples, sausage, and steak. The produce was of great quality, the people were friendly and fun, and the prices were unbeatable. One couple I began talking to wouldn’t let me leave without striking a deal I couldn’t refuse: 12 beautiful, green peppers for $2.

I loved it. There were just so many things “right” about this experience.

It was great to see this variety of local food producers working together as a vocational group of sorts both to support and facilitate each others’ businesses, but also to make it a fun and worthwhile experience for the customers. These are real people from our community whom we might wave to on the street or worship with in church. They are accountable to and interested in our community the way a big-box store, owned by someone halfway across the world, could never be. Likewise, since these people are our friends and neighbors, we want to invest in and support them and our “voting dollars” have a real effect when we do so. Finally, of course, the quality and prices of these healthy, fresh, nourishing foods were unbeatable. I think we’ll probably be back every week from now on.

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I found the following “Prayer for Those We Love”  years ago in a little black prayer book given to me by my parents.

Lord God, we can hope for others nothing better than the happiness we desire for ourselves. Therefore, I pray you, do not separate me after death from those I tenderly loved on earth. Grant that where I am they may be with me, and that I may enjoy their presence in heaven after being so often deprived of it on earth. Lord God, I ask you to receive your beloved children immediately into your life-giving heart. After this brief life on earth, give them eternal happiness. Amen. — Saint Ambrose of Milan (339-397) (http://www.catholicity.com/prayer/prayer-for-those-we-love.html)

This prayer has returned to me throughout my life at those times when human mortality was most evident. When family or friends have been sick or dying or even in response to the deaths of very distant figures, like Steve Jobs or Michael Jackson, to name a couple, this prayer has always welled up in my heart. Every soul is a treasure and there could be no tragedy greater than the loss of even one.

“There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations – these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub and exploit – immortal horrors or everlasting splendors.”
— C.S. Lewis

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Check out the blog of my good friend, Brother Rex: http://littleportionhermitage.blogspot.com

“Little Portion Hermitage is a place of Christ-centered solitude, sacred silence, and intercessory prayer. Founded for the glory of God and inspired by the example of St Francis of Assisi, the hermitage is faithful to the teachings of Jesus Christ found in their fullness among Churches in full communion with the See of Peter. The hermit residing at Little Portion is a person in Consecrated Life in accord with Canon 603, under the jurisdiction of the bishop of the Diocese of Portland, ME.”

I met Brother Rex during my brief stint in seminary. At the time I was very anxious about the direction of my vocational discernment and Brother talked me through it and supported me in prayer.  He has been a good friend and spiritual mentor of sorts ever since. Now we work together for the Coming Home Network International.

Over on Twitter, William Newton pointed out:

William Newton@wbdnewton My friend Franciscan hermit Fra. Rex will be on Maine Catholic radio tomorrow 9/14, from 1-2pm. Tune in on air/online! thepresence.fm
Tune in today if you are available!

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Some Interesting Links

The Church and Secularism – part 1 Dr. Peter Kreeft 

Roger Scruton – Why Beauty Matters (2009) – BBC documentary  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RiajXQUppYY

Get the Perfect Haircut: How to Talk to Your Barber http://artofmanliness.com/2010/08/25/get-the-perfect-haircut-how-to-talk-to-your-barber/

Alzheimer’s could be the most catastrophic impact of junk food http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/sep/10/alzheimers-junk-food-catastrophic-effect?CMP=twt_gu

Why Animal Fats Are Good for You – Chris Masterjohn (segment one)

Ok, time for bed. Happy Friday to all!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

7 Quick Takes Friday – Dolan, Dominic, Doctor Who, & Diet

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Cardinal Dolan is the man. I confess I did not watch anything else coming out of the DNC except for the chatter on twitter and this video of Dolan saying the closing prayer. It was a powerful prayer and sure to do some good.

It seemed to me that Dolan did a good job of affirming those issues of social justice that the Democrats are particularly concerned with while clearly challenging them on the sanctity of life and religious liberty.

This kind of contrast is essential for good evangelization. Point out the bad, but affirm the good. Express total love for the sinner and total indignation for the sin. Hearing and feeling these contrasts can really touch hearts.

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What Must I Do to be Saved? by Marcus Grodi

What Must I Do to be Saved? by Marcus Grodi

Over at the Coming Home Network International we just released a new book by my father, Marcus Grodi, entitled What Must I Do to be Saved?.

Here is a quick description:

“A growing majority of Christians today believes that all that is necessary for salvation is an individual’s faith in Jesus. Mega churches everywhere proclaim this “Jesus and Me” theology, built around a simple application of John 3:16, belittling the need for membership in any religious community, the practice of any rituals, the reception of any sacraments, the submission to any leaders, or the adherence to any set of doctrines. Salvation is merely by faith alone in Jesus alone by grace alone. But is this biblically, theologically, and historically sound? This book argues, from the perspective of a biblical hermeneutic or interpretation of continuity, that salvation has always involved more than this simplistic expression of modern individualism.”

While the book is intended as a tool for apologetics, I think it could be a big deal for the New Evangelization as well. I think there are just as many Catholics as there are Protestants who have a pretty major blind spot when it comes to the continuity between Old-Testament Judaism and New-Testament Christianity.

Congrats, Dad on the release of your new book!

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The Hamletic Attitude Toward Truth: In an article talking about his new novel An Ocean Full of Angels, Kreeft reiterates what he calls the “Hamlet Principle”. He is referring to the line spoken by Hamlet in his namesake play: “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”
Kreeft writes:
“That famous saying of Hamlet’s is the simplest way I know to define the difference between “post-modernism,” “modernism,” and “pre-modernism”.  Pre-modernism, or traditionalism, agrees with Hamlet.   There are more things in objective reality than in our minds and dreams and sciences and philosophies.  Modernism, or rationalism, says there are not more things but the same number of things in those two places, in other words that we can know it all.  Post-modernism says there are fewer things in objective reality than in our minds; that most of our thoughts are only dreams, prejudices, illusions, or projections.” (http://www.peterkreeft.com/ocean-story.htm) 
I have found this framework based on Hamlet’s famous line to be really insightful in thinking about the attitudes toward truth we encounter in ourselves and other people.

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Aslan, Doctor Who, and Jesus: Someone pointed out (I think it was Kreeft in one of his talks) that C.S. Lewis performs an amazing feat in his Chronicles of Narnia: he shows and makes readers feel a bit about Aslan what the disciples must have felt about Christ.

Some excerpts:

“None of the children knew who Aslan was any more than you do; but the moment the Beaver had spoken these words everyone felt quite different. Perhaps it has sometimes happened to you in a dream that someone says something which you don’t understand but in the dream it feels as if it had some enormous meaning–either a terrifying one which turns the whole dream into a nightmare or else a lovely meaning too lovely to put into words, which makes the dream so beautiful that you remember it all your life and are always wishing you could get into that dream again. It was like that now. At the name of Aslan each one of the children felt something jump in it’s inside. Edmund felt a sensation of mysterious horror. Peter felt suddenly brave and adventurous. Susan felt as if some delicious smell or some delightful strain of music had just floated by her. And Lucy got the feeling you have when you wake up in the morning and realize that it is the beginning of the holidays or the beginning of Summer.”
― C.S. LewisThe Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

“Aslan is a lion- the Lion, the great Lion.” “Ooh” said Susan. “I’d thought he was a man. Is he-quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion”…”Safe?” said Mr Beaver …”Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”
― C.S. LewisThe Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

Ok, so with all that in mind I have a question for any Catholic/Christian “whovians” out there. While obviously this isn’t true for all episodes and themes that come up in the show (and certainly cannot compare to Lewis’ accomplishment), would you say that as a fictional character Doctor Who sometimes accomplishes a similar kind of feat? : )

“I’ve seen him. He’s like fire and ice and rage. He’s like the night and the storm in the heart of the sun. He’s ancient and forever. He burns at the center of time and he can see the turn of the universe. And he’s wonderful.”

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My son Dominic and I have been enjoying some great little father/son moments recently. He just turned one, is shakily walking, and trying desperately to talk although the noises haven’t formed into words yet.

He gives great hugs. Little-baby-son-hugs are the best.

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Over the recent months my wife Teresa and I have been trying out a Paleo/Primal/Ancestral/Just-Eat-Real-Food diet (it goes by many names).

A friend recently asked me to summarize our eating, exercising, and experiences/results. Here is an excerpt from that email:

  • Our everyday diet is built around meat, vegetables, some full-fat dairy, eggs, some fruit, some nuts and seeds, some cleaner sources of carbs such as rice/sweet potatoes, and the occasional dark chocolate.
  • We specifically avoid most grains (especially wheat), most legumes, added/refined sugars, refined/processed carbohydrates, and most highly processed vegetable oils (We stick to Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, butter, ghee, or lard).
  • If/when possible, we go for less processed foods without a lot of extra ingredients that we can’t pronounce and have an eye for animals and vegetables being raised naturally (grass fed beef, pastured eggs, local organic veggies, etc).
  • By macronutrient ratio, we eat a high fat, moderate protein, lower carb diet. By weight, that’s about 2/3 plant foods and 1/3 animal foods (to summarize Catholic scientist, Paul Jaminet, whose plan we most closely emulate. Jennifer Fulwiler referenced the Jaminets and their diet/blog a while back).
  • We do not necessarily eat “low-carb” per se, but when one’s carbohydrate sources are primarily vegetables and fruits, carbs end up being quite a bit lower compared to the standard american diet. Lower-carb helps if weight-loss is an issue. Otherwise, adjust carbs to fit activity level but we get the majority of energy/calories from healthy sources of fat.
  • 1-2x a week I do 2 sets of five bodyweight exercises, each to failure but focusing on form: pushups, overhead presses, pullups, squats, and planks. The whole thing takes me about 10-15 minutes. (Mark Sisson’s free Primal Blueprint Fitness ebook is the plan)
  • About once a week I do some interval training: walk for 2 minutes, sprint for 30 seconds, repeat about 8 times (takes 20 minutes). We also like to take family walks and I often walk/bike the 1/2 mile to work.
  • I have completely given up long, slogging, 5-7 days-a-week, 30-45 minute sessions on the cardio machines or with the weights. I no longer think these are healthy or necessary. I now do about 1 hour of intentional, intense exercise per week.

From about January to May, I lost about 50 pounds without any calorie restriction, hunger, or extensive exercise. I have only lost about 3-5 pounds since May and may have to begin paying a little more attention to calories to get off the last 10-20 pounds. However, maintenance has been extremely easy which is the more important thing (and that is coming from someone who has constantly struggled with weight for over a decade). Teresa and I enjoy cooking and eating together and feel very nourished and satisfied by the food. We consider this a way of eating we could stick to for the rest of our lives.

Teresa is now 15 pounds under her pre-baby weight since starting the diet in May (about 45 pounds) with only the most occasional exercise, no attention to calories, and much more frequent “treats” than I allow myself (lol). Her complexion, body composition, energy levels, cravings/hunger, digestion, and other aspects of health have all improved.

I have cut my exercise down to a fraction of what I am used to and at the same time put on a ton of muscle.  I have run 2 5ks and a Warrior Dash with minimal training. I can bang out a bunch of pushups and pull-ups easily. I am rarely hungry and never bothersomely so even when I skip a meal or fast. My head is clearer, my energy is high and consistent, and some previously persistent health annoyances like heartburn and feeling gross/bloated after eating are gone.

I have become very interested in health/nutrition as of late.

Obviously on the one hand I am interested on a personal level as a husband/father who has always struggled with weight and now wants to help his family to be healthy. I have no desire to spend my time/emotional energy  meticulously counting calories or spending hours upon hours exercising – I have much more important things to concern myself with.

On the other hand, I have become very interested on a philosophical level in thinking about the epistemological framework with which modern scientists go about studying health and nutrition. Modern science seems to look at the human body as broken by default and focuses on “diets”, pills, surgery, etc.  But the unanswered question is this: Why is it so impossibly hard for humans to be healthy? No other animals, except the ones we have domesticated, have such issues with obesity and chronic disease.

What i’ve found in the Paleo/Primal/Ancestral/Just-eat-real-food movement (in addition to success!) is what I consider to be a much more ordered and rational approach to asking questions about the human body and what would nourish it. The result is not a diet, but rather just a very simple, reasonable, conservative approach to health/nutrition and exercise. Furthermore, it is easy and it just works.

I plan on writing on this more in the future – stay tuned if interested. In the mean time, click here for my running list of links and resources.

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To wrap up my first 7 Quick Takes Friday (whoohoo!) I just want to thank Jennifer Fulwiler for hosting the Quick Takes over at ConversionDiary.com. I am an amateur but aspiring writer and communicator who frequently starts projects but rarely finishes them (due to over-thinking and then re-working them to death) – and is often frustrated by this fact.

I can say that whipping up this batch of Quick Takes was the most enjoyable and easy-going bit of writing I have been able to do in a while. The format lends itself to my being able to shut off the over-analysis a bit and just share some things that have been on my mind. Fun, fun, fun.

So thanks Jennifer both for hosting 7 Quick Takes Friday! I am excited to keep writing my own and reading the rest.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!