The Title I Really Wanted: “What Are We Going To Do With Jack Kruse?”
But that’s less Googlable.
So, take a guy who goes to school to be a tooth mechanic, ends up being a spine mechanic, and what do you get in the end? You get a personality, for sure. Take a 1 minute & change look at a surgical personality.
Does that offend you? If so, then why?
I’ve always loved that clip because it speaks deep human truth and is so damned offensive to Neolithic Moron…those who’ve been trained and domesticated, operating from the premise that the most virtuous act for lowly human to perform is to drop to their knees and suck God-cock. And that’s exactly what they’re all about, though always expressed in more flowery terms. It’s merely natural animal submission turned inward, imaginatively & delusionally perverse. And so I came back to that when considering the case of Dr. Jack Kruse, surgically carving his way into paleo Center Stage over some months, ruffling as many feathers as he smoothes. Maybe.
…Jack lost a lot of weight, something like 140 pounds in 11 months and he did it on paleo, with a “Leptin Reset,” and “Cold Thermogenesis.” He writes about all of this in super long, difficult to understand, rambling blog posts that some judge beneath the public decorum of a neurosurgeon. His latest is over 4,000 words and there are a number of posts much longer. Comments go into the many of hundreds.
What to make of it, and why am I taking this on?
I like Jack. I like the idea of Jack. I like how I sense what he’s about. I think he surely likes the love he gets, but he equally feeds on the hate & derision, just as well. Doesn’t care much. Self assured. Indifference is anesthesia…an overdose…the enemy. Love him or hate him, that’s his goal. I identify.
And it’s what we have. People seem to be a fan of Jack or itching for his downfall. I doubt many in the know don’t carry an opinion. That’s what I like about the man. How long must we swim the Sea of Mediocrity, always being careful never to offend—or worse: never saying much until we’re certain we’re 100% right, for fear of getting our collective peepee whacked?
The solid truth is that I have no clue as to whether or not Jack has his biochemistry and metabolic pathway ducks in a row, a file or a clusterfuck. Epigenetics? Easier to get along in the Greek backroads. But I do have a clue as to whether that really matters a lot or not. Counting since 2007, I was always unable to tell for sure whether the science behind anything I was looking at was sound or bogus. What I was able to do was ascertain whether shit made a little or more sense, and when it did, I tested it on myself. No, not in a rigorous, Seth Roberts way with charts & graphs…but more of a simple, how do I feel and do I appear to be making progress sort of way.
I’d venture that’s pretty much what everyone will be left with, anyway. So let’s take a look at Leptin Reset and Cold Thermogenesis, a-la Jack Kruse.
- First make sure you really are Leptin resistant (LR) to begin with. (Basically, you’re overweight a good amount)
- To regain Leptin Sensitivity (LS) follow a strict paleolithic diet as outlined in The Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf or The Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson. (Lowish carb, paleo Foods. Eat a paleo meal soon after rising in the morning, including 50-75g protein)
- How you eat your fuel is MORE IMPORTANT than any other factor, including the food itself. (Never, ever snack. Give your liver a rest.)
So, basically, eat LC paleo, a protein loaded breakfast soon after waking, and never snack. I imagine there might be similar paths. In my own case, Intermittent fasting made the difference to where I can easily go 24 hours or more without eating, and never care much about it.
There’s no really good way to summarize that (see the link). It’s six rather involved steps, taking you from someone who absolutely must be warm & cozy at all times to shirtless in the Arctic, if you dare. Basically, the idea is to get yourself to adapt to cold over time using either cold air or immersion in very cold ice water for a time. Alternatively, you can pack yourself in ice.
Sounds crazy, right?
Let’s back up. Jack just gave his talk at TEDx the other day in Nashville. The video should be available soon but I was able to see it, though not live as some others did. He’s also been blogging, leading up to this. But only at TED did he spill the beans that on Jan 9th of this year, he injected himself with a staph infection and had a plastic surgeon colleague remove abdominal fat he’d spent a few months gaining in anticipation of the surgery (he had to create a valid cause for the surgery…because your business is everybody’s fucking business). He did general anesthesia, no local, and no post-op meds. Instead, he went home and settled into a tub of ice for some hours.
He claims he was screaming in pain prior to entry, but was pain free inside of minutes, has remained pain free, and the staff infection did not take hold. Of course, this wasn’t a one-off deal—he used cold thermogenesis (CT) as an exclusive alternative for his post operative recovery. He has since begun to use CT on patients who were inoperative, in order to rehabilitate them to a state where he could perform surgery (he tells one of those stories in his TED talk). I’m sure he’ll tell others in time.
Let’s back up to January 9th, the day of his surgery. By coincidence, Jack had been trying to reach me for a few days, and after obligatory phone tag, I settled down to a glass of whiskey on the evening of January 9th and rang him up, having no idea of what was in store. He answered, and something seemed way off…as though he’d been shot and was lying in a puddle of his own blood, bleeding to death. Nope, it was worse. He’d been in 40ish degree water for some hours (under supervision) at that point. He told me all about what he was up to, swore me to secrecy and that was that. I made sure he was under supervision and was eating during the experiment, because he was intending for a long haul in the icy water.
Since then I’ve been hearing a lot about Jack Kruse and I suppose owing to my circle, more negative than positive. That’s fine. I really like that The Paleo is characterized by lots of independent thinkers and skeptics. I think a lot have not known what to make of Jack. And of course, and it must be said, he has his share of blind followers who never question anything and that’s not good either. And the truth is I don’t really know exactly what to make of Jack. I’ve heard all from both sides, but have been unwilling in public to make any definitive judgment.
In the end you’re still on your own. Jack hasn’t hurt a soul, but through his surgical practice and blog has helped many and so, what? Hmm? His experiments are extreme, far more extreme than anyone would undertake who doesn’t see general anesthesia, infections, and scalpels cutting into live flesh on a daily basis. Yea, we’re shocked. But it was just a tweaked day at the office for Jack.
In the end, if Jack has something here, it could be big, and important. And if not, why worry about it? It’ll come out in the paleo wash over time.
MY COLD THERMOGENESIS
I suppose that gives away my curiosity, doesn’t it? Truth is, from 2007 on when I began all of this, my gym—less than a 5 minute walk away—had a cold plunge they keep at around 40 deg (60 deg in the women’s locker room, discriminatorily). I used it from day one and in the phone conversation I had this morning with Jack to lightly interview him a bit before drafting this, I told him that I quickly learned to call it “The Reset Button.” He laughed. That’s what he calls it.
My routine was workout, sauna (if you are interested you can read more sauna benefits) for 10 minutes, steam room for a few, jacuzzi for a few, then into the ice water. Initially, 30 seconds was all I could bear, but I found myself totally rejuvenated. It got worse. Over time, I found I needed more time. I was becoming resistant to the addiction of ice cold water. Soon I was sitting in there for 3 minutes, then 5. By the time I moved away over a year ago, I was doing 12-15 minutes after every workout and I’d occasionally sneak away from home for a fix on the side, without my wife knowing.
Alright, the above is a bit tongue in cheek, but there’s a meaningful thread to it. That is, as unpleasant as it was, I could never not do it. And at times, even when I dreaded what I knew was going to happen, and I’d say to myself, “ok, but only for 3 minutes,” I’d end up breaking a time record.
It was all so curious. I’m still curious. This spanned several years of personal experience.
…Jack has more to tell you. I got a preview of what he means by Factor X. Deep evolution fans might be interested. It’s worthy of contemplation so far as I can tell.
Alright. Now it’s your turn, in comments. Love, hate or if you must, indifference. In the end, I figured it was time to put this to a rather neutral forum where anyone can basically say what they want. I will not defend Jack on the science because I am not qualified. Nor will I applaud science proffered as counter to Jack’s claims….because I’m not qualified there either. By the way, when I say I’m not qualified, it’s a rational/ethical judgment of myself and has nothing to do with licenses, certifications, degrees.