About Humans Are Not Broken, Latest in Paleo, Angelo Coppola
Who is Angelo Coppola?
I’m your host here at Humans Are Not Broken, and over at Latest in Paleo, too. I have some strong interests that I enjoy blogging and podcasting about. Those include: how health and fitness are marketed in the first world; how clues from our evolutionary past can guide our health decisions today; the latest health news; and the way it is reported in the media.
I am also deeply passionate about good design and effective communication.
I want to live well, live long, and to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Having been overweight for most of my childhood and adult life, I understand the importance of being fit and feeling good about oneself. It affects everything.
What is Latest in Paleo?
Latest in Paleo is the podcast I created, produce, and host. Here it is on iTunes). I think of it as being at the intersection of scientific evidence and evolutionary clues left to us by our ancestors. The Paleo diet and lifestyle is a unique approach to nutrition and fitness — and Latest in Paleo is a unique approach to health podcasting.
It’s here to help keep you:
- fired up about your health
- rightfully angry at the people and entities responsible for spreading nutritional misinformation, lies, and manipulative advertising
- informed about the latest health news, along with some commentary from an admittedly biased, evolutionary perspective
About the same time I started doing Paleo, Angelo Coppola began producing his Latest in Paleo podcast. This well-made show examines current news stories regarding health, diet, and fitness. It’s one of my favorite podcasts, and I listen to it as soon as it shows up on my player.
Latest in Paleo is a proud member of the 5by5 Internet Broadcasting network, founded by Dan Benjamin. My goal for 2013 is to produce two episodes of Latest in Paleo per month.
What is Humans Are Not Broken?
I started this blog for a few reasons:
- I need a place to write down some of my ideas. Since there is a lot involved with producing an episode of Latest in Paleo, much of what I have to say goes unsaid. Sometimes, I just want a quick way to express my thoughts. Also, sometimes the written-word format works best (embed links, images, and videos, etc.).
- I want to share more with my audience. I have recipes, fitness strategies, and a lot of commentary to share.
- Paleo is becoming a brand. As this process continues, I’ve decided that it is important for me to have an avenue of expression that isn’t tied to the brand. I don’t mind the association, but I do mind the ball and chain, if you will. Like Latest in Paleo, this blog aims to find the intersection of scientific evidence and evolutionary clues. Paleo(TM) is not the same as Paleo(lithic). To me, Paleo is and always has been about “Human beings are not broken, by default.” And so, I want to keep that clear distinction in my blog.
- Paleo is going mainstream. Unfortunately, as this happens more and more people are looking at it as a business opportunity, or just an opportunity to make a quick buck. To me, the real beauty of the Paleo approach is that it’s all about what we don’t need. I will use this blog as a vehicle to talk about (and perhaps call out) some of these products, providing my honest opinions.
- Facebook is sort of pissing me off. We have built an amazing community on the Latest in Paleo facebook page, but Facebook’s ever-moving goal posts with changing rules and policies leaves me with little faith in the platform as a community builder. Over the years, we have generated TONS of content on the fan page, but as time goes on Facebook appears to be making it more difficult for people to actually see that content. Therefore, I’d like to create the content here and use the Facebook page as more of a notification service.
- Paleo is becoming too closely associated with Low Carb. While I am immensely grateful to the Low Carb community for making it socially acceptable to avoid bread, eat meat, and to enjoy butter…the Paleo(lithic) approach— the evolutionary approach — is not a low carbohydrate one. Low-carb adherents are trading one fantasy for another. I don’t believe people ought to trade counting calories for counting carbs.
As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality. – Albert Einstein
A little backstory…
In August of 2009, I found myself in one of those moments that non-trivially changes the course of the rest of one’s life. I was at an all-time high: my 6-foot body weighed 245 lbs. And, I was also at an all-time low. Sure, I was able to navigate through everyday life, I had a wonderful family, and it was pretty easy to see my cup as half-full — but I was not treating my body well.
This phrase, “my body,” is a little strange, isn’t it? It implies that our bodies are something separate from ourselves. In some ways, perhaps this is true. But in matters of practicality, there is nothing that separates our bodies from who and what we are. Not taking care of our bodies is the same thing as not taking care of ourselves.
I was letting myself down, because I was unable to enjoy life properly.
“…what a disgrace it is for a man to grow old without ever seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable.” — Socrates
Some of these photos are embarrassing, and I never imagined that I would post them in a public forum, but I’m doing so, because it’s the only way to convey where I started. This was my body composition. Whatever it was that I was doing — however it was that I was taking care of myself — this was the result.
What did I do about it?
When my body looked like the pictures above, you can bet a lot of things were out of whack. What I was eating, how much, how much sun I was getting, how much I was sleeping, what I was doing for fitness and so on. Hell, you don’t have to bet…I was there. Based on my current knowledge, I can tell you that I was way off base. But, based on the conventional wisdom, I was just eating a bit too much and not exercising enough.
I attacked this problem with calorie restriction. I used an app on my phone to track calories, and I started walking a couple of miles every night. It worked really well! At first…
The weight did start to come off, but at the point where I was eating 1500 calories a day and not really paying attention to nutrient density…I was starving myself. I constantly thought about food. Even though I was healthier and I looked better, I was in a new kind of hell.
I was hungry all of the time, and I had just messed up my knee, too, because the walking had turned into running. I was trying to do too much, too fast, and it was catching up with me.
Then, I heard a podcast featuring Mark Sisson (here, and I eventually interviewed Mark Sisson on Latest in Paleo). He talked about primal, evolutionary health. It sounded like he was leaning low-carb, and that was a turn-off, because I had already given low-carb a whirl in the 90′s. I was also somewhat familiar with the Paleolithic Diet, because I had read Neanderthin by Ray Audette and Protein Power by the Drs. Eades, also in the 90′s.
The rest of the story…
First, the ‘After’ pictures:
At a time when I was very close to trying vegetarianism again to kickstart my weight loss and to help with my feelings of constant hunger, Sisson’s message resonated with me. I was fired up.
I am happy to say that I switched to a Paleo / Weston A. Price approach to diet and that I have never been healthier, stronger, or happier. The best way for me to describe my current eating style would be to point you to Paul Jaminet’s Perfect Health Diet summary, here.
A Word to Potential Advertisers & Sponsors
In the past, I have turned down nearly all advertisers who have approached me, because I simply do not believe in their products or services. My work has been mostly listener- and reader-support (via my Amazon Affiliate Link), and that tradition will continue here.
You won’t see Google Adwords selling donuts on these pages.
My reputation with my audience means everything to me, and I won’t peddle junk. If you are selling an e-book for some ridiculously high price with a 50% commission or a toilet stool for 80 bucks…I’m not interested.
However, if you feel you have a high-quality product or service from which my readers can benefit, I will happily take a look. Contact me.