Are you looking for some interesting articles and books to read during the summer? Or perhaps a video or podcast? I’ve got you covered! I’ve read a lot over the years. I also train, study (“required reading”), and hang out with friends/go out, but writing/reading is really what has taken up most of my time – especially the last 5-6 years. A lot of the time I just browse through pubmed, scientific journals, and sciencedaily.com, but I also read books and follow a couple of blogs. For me, reading is pretty much an obsession over getting to the root of things. This need to understand where the answer really lies has only intensified over the last couple of years, and it seems that the more I read, the more I understand how much there is left to learn. That’s the dangerous thing about diving into books and research; you constantly open up new avenues, and when you eventually get to the root of your original questions, 10 more have emerged. As they say; “When you start to think about things, it’s hard to stop”. Mostly, I read about health & fitness topics, but sometimes I’ll delve into other areas that on a superficial level might seem completely off-topic. However, what is clear to me is that pretty much everything is related to health, fitness, and wellness in some way, whether it’s economics, self-improvement, or meditation.
But what do you do when you want to get your hands on the best possible information on a topic? The obvious answer is that you seek out those people who are best at what they do! Naturally, my favorite bloggers, writers, and researchers have a perspective on their specific area of expertise that is based on the same fundamental principles that I believe in. For me, it’s very important to be selective in terms of what I read. This doesn’t mean that I avoid information that goes against my own opinions or don’t seek out people who challenge my own beliefs; it means that I try to avoid all the low-quality information that’s out there. Because let’s face it, most of the fitness stuff you find in blogs, newspapers, etc. is of poor quality. That’s why I read scientific articles most of the time (not to say that there aren’t plenty of poor studies and scientific papers out there).
What do I look for in a good writer/researcher?
- His/her writing is based on a solid set of fundamental principles. E.g., In terms of nutrition and health, an evolutionary perspective is a must.
- The information must be scientifically sound.
- His/her work should expand my own horizons and teach me something new. Generally I like to find bloggers/writers who know more than me about a specific subject. As they say, you should surround yourself with people who are better than you – and this definitely also applies online.
Below are 10 people who are doing great work. Most of the people on the list are both scientists and bloggers/writers. The rest are bloggers, trainers, and/or “fitness enthusiasts”.
Staffan Lindeberg (Ph.D.) is an Associate Professor of Family Medicine at the Department of Medicine, University of Lund, Sweden. He’s spent most of his research career looking into human nutrition, with an emphasis on incorporating evolutionary biology in nutritional science. The Kitava Study is by far his most famous work, a comprehensive look at the diet and health of non-westernized people living in their original habitats on one of the Trobriand Islands in Papua New Guinea’s archipelago (which I covered here). Dr. Lindeberg is listed with 86 papers in PubMed and has also published the book “Food and Western Disease: Health and Nutrition from an Evolutionary Perspective“.
Evolutionary aspects of nutrition (S. Lindeberg)
Alan C. Logan
Alan C. Logan is a naturopathic doctor, independent researcher, and consulting science writer. I noticed his name a couple of years back when I was reading an outstanding article called “Acne vulgaris, probiotics and the gut-brain-skin axis – back to the future?“. I didn’t really think much about it at the time, but in the years that have passed, his name has kept popping up in some of my favorite papers, chief of which are a 3 part series on autointoxication and a review paper on fermented food, microbiota, and mental health. If you are interested in learning more about how the gut microbiome affects your overall health – with an emphasis on skin diseases and mental disorders – then I highly recommend that you check out his work. Alan C. Logan has also written a book titled “Your Brain on Nature“. I haven’t gotten a chance to read it yet, but from what I can gather, it’s definitely worth buying!
Three recent articles featuring Alan C. Logan
- Could probiotics improve your mental health?
- Study urges more exploration of fermented foods’ yet untold benefits
- Mental Health – What does gut bacteria have to do with it? An interview with ISNPR Executive Committee member Alan C. Logan
Art Ayers did his PhD in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology (U. Colo. Boulder) and has spent his career working as a professor/researcher. I discovered his blog Cooling Inflammation about 3 or 4 years ago, and since then I’ve been hooked. Dr. Ayers is a very smart man who thinks outside the box and takes a critical look at many of the conventional ideas we hold about human health. I remember going back through his archive to read every one of his posts, and as many of his articles are fairly techincal, this took a while. However, his posts aren’t just for the rocket scientists out there, many of his blogs (especially the old ones) are understandable to the lay person. Dr. Ayers was interviewed on The Livin La Vida Low-Carb Show a couple of years back, where he gives a broad overview of his perspective on health and inflammation.
Three articles by Art Ayers
- Genetics of Food Intolerance
- Dr. Oz, Constipation, Soluble Fiber, Food intolerance
- Contagious Health
Bret Contreras is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), personal trainer, speaker and author. He is currently seeking his PhD in Sports Science. When I first started thinking about writing guest posts for other trainers/coaches in the strength & conditioning community, Bret’s site was my first choice. Not because there aren’t other good coaches out there, but because his outlook on training is very similar to my own. Pretty much every time I read one of his articles, I find myself nodding in agreement. Also, as previously mentioned, I like reading stuff that is based on science, and if there’s one thing Bret is known for (besides his obsession with glutes), it’s that he always uses research to support his ideas. Although I definitely know a fair bit about training, Bret is in another league in terms of human anatomy and sports science, and I therefore learn a lot from his work. Every month, Bret and Chris Beardsley go through the latest research in the field of sports science and compile the information into the Strength & Conditioning Research review. Bret has also published the book Strong Curves: A Woman’s Guide to Building a Better Butt and Body.
Three articles by Bret Contreras
- Why Bodybuilders are More Jacked than Powerlifters
- Don’t Be Like Donald Duck
- Dispelling the Glute Myth
Stephan Guyenet (PhD) is an obesity researcher, neurobiologist, and author. I discovered Stephan’s blog – Whole Health Source – several years back and was immediately impressed with his articles. Actually, I enjoy his blog so much that I earlier this year spent an entire week thoroughly going through all of his posts. This was an exhausting task, as every time I found something especially interesting I “had to” investigate the topic further. However, it was definitely worth the time. I would actually go as far as to say that if you read (and understand) all of Stephan’s articles, you know more about nutrition and obesity than 99%+ of people out there. Guyenet and his mentor Dr. Schwartz have published a scientific review where they summarize some of the most important information on regulation of food intake, energy balance, and body fat mass.
Three articles by Stephan Guyenet
- Seduced by Food: Obesity and the Human Brain
- The Carbohydrate Hypothesis of Obesity: a Critical Examination
- Paleolithic diets: Should we eat like our ancestors?
Why Do We Overeat? A Neurobiological Perspective
Jonathan Goodman is a personal trainer and author and the owner of the Personal Trainer Development Center (ThePTDC). I first discovered ThePTDC blog after a couple of my articles began appearing on their weekly list of best fitness articles. After a while I started chatting with Jon, and I eventually ended up contributing an article to their site a couple of weeks ago. Anyways, as I began following ThePTDC, I discovered some of Jon’s work, and I was intrigued by what I read. Here’s a quote from ThePTDC which summarizes what Jon’s work is all about: “We offer top tips and strategies for every element of the job from making more money, to daily tips for your fitness marketing online, to strategies for getting more personal training clients, earning passive income, and coaching strategies.” While it’s definitely important to have a good understanding of nutrition and training in order to be a competent coach, all the knowledge in the world won’t help you if you’re not able to market yourself. Most of my writing revolves around how to train correctly, eat right, and be healthy, and I’ve never really been that interested in the whole aspect of marketing, social media, etc. However, I know it’s extremely important. Although the focus of ThePTDC is personal training, Jon’s strategies aren’t just limited to being a succesful trainer – they can also be applied in pretty much all other fields. Follow ThePTDC facebook page, check out Jon’s book Ignite the Fire -: The Secrets to Building a Successful Personal Training Career, and read some of his articles if you want to find out more.
Mark Sisson is a former elite endurance athlete who’s made health and fitness his life’s work. Mark’s goal is to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed about health and wellness. His site Mark’s Daily Apple is the most popular Paleo/Primal blog out there, and for good reason, Mark’s stuff is always of extremely high quality. It’s almost saddening to the rest of the bloggers out there, because Sisson has covered pretty much every topic under the sun – not leaving that much for the rest of us Besides blogging every day (!!), Mark also runs his own publishing company, sells supplements, does podcasts, and writes books. I have no idea how he gets it all done… The health & fitness world is filled with bloggers, authors, and trainers who spread poorly researched information and literally seem to make things up as they go along. It’s therefore so refreshing to see a guy like Mark Sisson, who’s made it big by working hard, being consistent, and publishing well-researched articles. This guy is the real deal.
Three articles by Mark Sisson
- The 10 Habits of Highly Successful Hunter-Gatherers
- One True Paleo Diet Doesn’t Exist, but So What?
- In Defense of Meat Eaters, Part 1: The Evolutionary Angle
Low Carb Paleo with Mark Sisson
Ian Spreadbury (PhD) is one the list for one simple reason, he wrote what is probably my favorite article on nutrition ever. I’ve probably read the paper 4 or 5 times by now, and I still discover something new every time. Also, for everyone who’s interested in ancestral health, the reference list is a gold mine. If I had to pick three articles on nutrition and obesity that are a must-read, Spreadbury’s paper is one of them. In the video below (Part 1) he presents some of the essential information from the review paper on acellular carbohydrates.
Ancestral Diet, the Microbiota and Energy Homeostasis: Should Foods Be Cellular?
Dr. BG’s blog is about “the lessons science and pharmacology teach us about achieving optimal health, vitality and maximal lifespan with a low net carb, high saturated fat, evolutionarily paleolithic-styled diet aligned with my ancestral heritage and how I lost 50 pounds of body fat. A sorta fairy story.” I discovered her blog a couple of years ago, and I’ve been a regular reader ever since. Her writing is somewhat technical and often difficult to understand, but it’s extremely interesting as long as you accept that you probably have to read each post a couple of times before you really get it.
Three articles by Dr. BG
- Why We Are Sick and Fat: Calories In (SUPERORGANISM) = Calories Out (MICROBIOTA) + Calories Out (HUMAN) + HEAT*Fluxxx
- Gut I.Q. and the Distal Gut Microbiome as a Driver of Health and Disease
- Feeding the Microbiota: Non-Starch Polysaccharides (NSP), Resistant Starch (RS) and Mucous
Loren Cordain “is the world’s foremost authority on the evolutionary basis of diet and disease. Featured on Dateline NBC, the front page of the Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times, Dr. Loren Cordain is widely acknowledged as one of the world’s leading experts on the natural human diet of our Stone Age ancestors. He is the author of more than 100 peer-reviewed scientific articles and abstracts, and his research into the health benefits of Stone Age Diets for contemporary people has appeared in the world’s top scientific journals”. Basically, if you aren’t familiar with Dr. Cordain’s work, then you don’t know Paleo. Dr. Cordain blogs at ThePaleoDiet.com, where you’ll also find links to his research papers and books.
Three articles by Loren Cordain
- Dairy: Milking It for All It’s Worth
- Why are Cereal Grains Not Required on The Paleo Diet?
- The western diet and lifestyle and diseases of civilization