12

votes

Hack Harley Johnstone and Dan Matesz interviews?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created August 26, 2011 at 7:55 PM

I just listened to Jimmy Moore's Livin' La Vida Low Carb Show interviews with Harley Johnstone (30 Banana's a Day) and Dan Matesz. When I heard Jimmy was interviewing them I was kind of excited to see these two truly challenged on their methods and views. However, I was a bit disappointed in the interview. I was equally disappointed when Robb Wolf interviewed Tim Ferris (4 Hour body) several months ago. Don't get me wrong I don't think Robb and Jimmy have them on their show to debate back and forth and create a hostile interview, but there were several opportunities to at least site scientific evidence to contradict their views, especially Harley. I was literally yelling with rebuttals at my iTouch when Harley was speaking because what he was saying was so out there and backed by no scientific evidence.

Don't get me wrong, I love Jimmy and loved the way he came off as the calm, collected and open minded one and he offered some subtle challenges. However, I think there was much more room to push the envelope and still maintain composure. I realize the interviews will not change their ways but there maybe someone listening that will change if given the correct and scientific information in a composed manner.

I guess I have two Hacks:

1) What did you think of the interviews?

2) What is the point of giving these guys the time of day if we are not going to truly challenge them and their views?

24df4e0d0e7ce98963d4641fae1a60e5

on December 15, 2011
at 09:46 AM

This is not me, just in case anyone doesn't notice the ID.

B3e7d1ab5aeb329fe24cca1de1a0b09c

(5242)

on August 31, 2011
at 12:04 AM

You're not being nationalist here, are you?

Ec7cb2a7a68655954a01f03e95be1383

(1453)

on August 29, 2011
at 02:10 PM

yes. I couldn't believe that his wife was talking while HE had an interview. It seems like she is controlling him. He seems to be easy manipulated :(

22212e9ba2a041e6da6c963d4d41615a

(5773)

on August 28, 2011
at 07:06 PM

For me it was the very large amounts of carbs, paleo carbs or not, relativ to the insulin response that he claimed did not exist or make a difference. He lost a little sincerity with me with his girlfriend whispering in his ear. Being married myself, it reminded me of my wife feeding me information I really didn't want to say.

7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on August 28, 2011
at 04:36 AM

Yes his sincerity won me over too--and I liked how he was honest that it was difficult to come forward earlier due to his professional links to his former paleo ideology. Great critique.

7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on August 27, 2011
at 02:59 AM

flummoxed is a great word.

7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on August 27, 2011
at 02:58 AM

And petting the cows...

8814a76a17662ac145147f5cac8e1068

(98)

on August 27, 2011
at 02:51 AM

Completely weird to have wifey feeding Don the answers. He seemed really indecisive.

7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on August 27, 2011
at 02:44 AM

Yes...I was not going to bring it up but I thought totally bizarre his wife coaching him. He sounded nervous. Love your last sentence above.

218f4d92627e4289cc81178fce5b4d00

on August 27, 2011
at 01:14 AM

Yes, I thought Jimmy's style flummoxed Harley who couldn't really resort to his usual shtick, so had to have normal conversation like a normal person.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on August 27, 2011
at 12:43 AM

Yeah. Hearing Don's wife whisper answers and talking points to him during the entire interview pretty much solidified my thoughts on that whole thing. Durianrider came off much better than I expected. There appears to be a genuine human being behind his asshole persona. And I realized he had absolutely no idea about the science of pretty much anything so I can just find him amusing now. He's just some dude living a crazy life who's created a persona online that is a lightening rod for discussion.

7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on August 26, 2011
at 11:05 PM

Yay Harley? Boo Don? I guess I liked the sound of sincerity in Don's voice and I thought Harley a bit arrogant.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on August 26, 2011
at 10:20 PM

I had the exact opposite reaction.

Ec7cb2a7a68655954a01f03e95be1383

(1453)

on August 26, 2011
at 09:38 PM

Not even than, because that's the point when they switch to breatharianism. ;)

Ec7cb2a7a68655954a01f03e95be1383

(1453)

on August 26, 2011
at 09:37 PM

And that's the point they switch to breatharianism.

Ec7cb2a7a68655954a01f03e95be1383

(1453)

on August 26, 2011
at 09:32 PM

Ah, right. Forgot about the children. lol

7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on August 26, 2011
at 09:24 PM

Nice answer P. I did laugh everytime Harley brought up various people eating children...i thought...oh not the children eating again. Listen to Don so you can post another answer.

22212e9ba2a041e6da6c963d4d41615a

(5773)

on August 26, 2011
at 09:23 PM

Great thoughts!

1bc18852894dad9d6dddfb3dfed49ab3

(341)

on August 26, 2011
at 08:57 PM

you can never prove anything to a 'veeegan' unless they start falling apart.

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7 Answers

16
Ec7cb2a7a68655954a01f03e95be1383

on August 26, 2011
at 09:11 PM

I only listend to the interview with Harley Johnstone so far. I think Jimmy was great but also Harley came out pretty reasonable. Not inherently reasonable but in the whole I now understand why he thinks how he thinks.

Such an interview is a great way to give people a platform to promote their ideas. While it isn't bad to have a discussion and challenge some of their ideas if you find contradictory evidence it is important to give the speaker the opportunity to share his concept and ideas without feeling unsecure and questioned all the time. Jimmy did a great job in finding a middle way. He tried not to ridicule Harley and gave him a chance to share his view.

Harleys arguments were so weak, I knew if he wanted, Jimma could have contradict his basic views without any effort. He knows the science. And even if not everything is clear, a lot of it is, especially the topics they discussed.

Harley didn't really answered the arguments because he doesn't know the science. What I realized after listening is how he thinks and this led me to understand him. He lives a lifestyle which he is truly happy with but he has apparently no clue about the difference between science and personal experiences.

He also doesn't see his logical fallacies:

  • No explanation why high carb diets can reverse schizophrenia and other mental illnesses ("I have seen those people getting healthy on a vegan high-carb high-frut diet" Wow, I don't care what you have seen and why you see such things, I want data)
  • Just because meat-eaters suffer from b-12 deficiency, too doesn't mean this frees him from having to argue how in the light of evolution his diet can make sense if an important nutrient is missing (notice that, even if meat-eaters suffer from b-12 defiency, too, deficiency in vegetarians and vegans is usally even higher)
  • He didn't even understand the concept of ketosis and that he will utilizes the advantages of ketosis if he exercises fasting.

I also noticed he seems to know that his writings on his blogs are personal and doesn't adress logic/science and he does that to just create controversy.

But all in all he seems to be a nice guy who is convinced of his idea, walks the talk and his thoughts are not as bad as I thought.

And advantage for Jimmy that he didn't talk him into the ground and just had a funny and easy talk. That shows me that he doesn't have to convince others of his lifestyle because he is just happy and confident with it which credits our whole movement.

So the point is to just communicate even with people who advocate a slightly different diet like Don or are somehow related to the LC/Paleo movement like Harley.

For me it is really a sign of honesty and integrity that Jimmy talks to people who contradict them and we can only learn from them. Maybe it is not that we have to challenge there ideas but that they can challenge ours.

Ec7cb2a7a68655954a01f03e95be1383

(1453)

on August 26, 2011
at 09:32 PM

Ah, right. Forgot about the children. lol

7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on August 26, 2011
at 09:24 PM

Nice answer P. I did laugh everytime Harley brought up various people eating children...i thought...oh not the children eating again. Listen to Don so you can post another answer.

22212e9ba2a041e6da6c963d4d41615a

(5773)

on August 26, 2011
at 09:23 PM

Great thoughts!

11
0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on August 27, 2011
at 12:53 AM

I've listened to nearly all Jimmy's interviews. What I appreciate about him is he LETS folks talk, and if that involves digging their own graves, so be it. Jimmy is not a scientist or a doctor, but he is a great marketer and podcaster. I don't think he is one to challenge where another person is coming from a diet or health standpoint.

I thought Harley came across as the Howard Stern of internet diet personalities.

I think Don came across as great.

218f4d92627e4289cc81178fce5b4d00

on August 27, 2011
at 01:14 AM

Yes, I thought Jimmy's style flummoxed Harley who couldn't really resort to his usual shtick, so had to have normal conversation like a normal person.

7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on August 27, 2011
at 02:59 AM

flummoxed is a great word.

9
218f4d92627e4289cc81178fce5b4d00

on August 27, 2011
at 12:29 AM

Harley came across as a simpleton, when he said he wanted to get into forensics but he didn't have the grades, that confirmed many things. He makes broad sweeping statements, without backing them up, is condescending and dismissive of his supposed paleo friends. He is shifty, he keeps changing his story and facts and claims, one minute he's running marathons and going on epic bikes rides, next he is only exercising to riding his bike to the shops to get food. I don't trust him at all. I have known many opinionated Australians like him, I used to work with a guy who sounded just like him and had a similar personality, perhaps I am confusing them? nah, I have listened to my last interview with that misguided loudmouth or as BHC said above

"I think Harley is a grand-stander/agitator with an ego that matches the weight in his bananas."

He's got nothing and would get totally schooled if he ever went up against a intellectual in real debate, someone like Robb Wolf or Mat Lelonde would absolutely own him, chew him to pieces and then Harley would resort to insults. Harley can go look at all the spiders he wants in those organic orchards. ..actually someone should challenge to spend a week on Joel Salatins Polyface farms if if thinks properly pastured land is "dead"

7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on August 27, 2011
at 02:58 AM

And petting the cows...

B3e7d1ab5aeb329fe24cca1de1a0b09c

(5242)

on August 31, 2011
at 12:04 AM

You're not being nationalist here, are you?

7
Ec7cb2a7a68655954a01f03e95be1383

on August 27, 2011
at 08:45 PM

I just listened to Don as well.

hemanvt, I am curious, which of Don's ideas would you contradict and how?

I as a VLC eater can't help but being impressed by Don and his whole way how to approach nutrition. I felt an unusual honesty and kindness in his personality when I heard him speaking. I then looked at a foto from him and I was even more sure of this. He's a great men.

This interview was much better from a quality standpoint than DurianRiders'.

The difference is, Don has tried to eat different ways of "paleo" for years with endless variatons. I can see clear how having written a book about a diet can bias you in favor of what you wrote.

Imagine Loran Cordain eating macrobiotic (only grains) for a few days and feeling like superman. Chances are this would create cognitive dissonance with his professional position and writings and he would go back to paleo. (Sorry, not a likely example, but yout get the idea).

When something like this happens you need to have the courage to admit that most things you even taught to others are not universally right. That is not that easy. Even normal people who don't earn their money with writing diet books know how difficult it is to admit a wrong diet. Imagine vegans, raw foodists, etc. who don't see how their health declines slowly because they don't want to see it.

We are easy at hand with excuse like "I only have to adjust better", "I need to detox" than to question the whole concept. And that's not generally bad. It is important to experiment, especially with paleo.

So Don did that. He experimented for more than a decade. He really wanted to make it work. I don't know to which degree it actually helped him during this time but in the end his health seem to deteriorated trough time. Though I suspect he always saw paleo as low carb which isn't true in the way he seem to imply.

So in the end we can say a lc meat-based paleo diet wasn't good for him. But at least it was not bad enough to give him serious life-threatening health problems during that time. Yay. One point for paleo. It doesn't kill you!

Anyway, I wonder why he just didn't tried a higher-carb diet inside the paleo construct. Funny enough, he actually did exactly this, but didn't call it paleo. Granted, he uses brown rice. But hey, rice is the least harmful cereal and even used in the paleo community.

Besides that, he eats one of the healthiest whole foods diets I could imagine for healthy people: starches, fruits, vegetables, some fish, some grass-fed meat, some eggs. I really don't see how rice can be harmful in this context if you tolerate it.

He doesn't eat processed crap, wheat or processed cereal products. No sugar, hydrogenated fats or vegetable oils. All in all, I am quite sure nobody of you guys here would predict to see a generally healthy persons health degrade on such a diet, wouldn't you? Especially after he comes from years of meat-based eating which might do him some harm but surely would have helped his gut lining and nutritional state.

As far as I remember he only talks about one reason why we could be adapted to vegetarianism: The fact, that B-12 is the only nutrient which is stored for so many years. This indicates that we are adapted to a b12 scarce diet. I think that is a compelling argument and makes definitely sense in the light of evolution. Imagine a few months without animal products could have wiped out the entire human race. But that doesn't mean it is beneficial to live without much animal products. We can live without eating food for weeks due to our adapting metabolism. But honestly I don't feel like eating only one week per month.

After listening to him I am eager to see his AHS talk and what he has to say about our vegetarian heritage. Though, I am not quite sure why he said "Farewell to paleo", if he still talks about his diet within an evolutionary template. I am sure people would have reacted differently if he explained his change less radical. But maybe it was necessary to arouse people to his change and give them something to think.

I have some concerns, though. But they are more personally. I for myself would be sooo happy if I could eat like him. It is not that I didn't tried it or that I want to see a low-carb paleo diet to be right for me but unfortunately I get problems if I eat fruits, starches or dairy. The main effect is constant hunger, binge eating, acne and skin rashes.

So I tried and I am still trying to find out what works for me. If one day for whatever reason I can eat a carb based diet and be calm, happy and healthy I will be doing right that.

But that's impossible at the moment. I don't prefer what I eat but it keeps me healthy, calm and gives food the right priority: fuel, nothing more.

I know there are a lot of people (especially diabetics or people with a broken metabolism) out there doing great on lc paleo, as opposed to hc paleo like Don's approach. They, like me, have serious problems with carbohydrates, regardless their source, whatever caused this to be the case.

In the end I can only say I am impressed by Don. He dared to change his opinion und thus his public stance, too which is not that easy.

I am quite sure there are some people out there getting worse and worse on paleo or lc paleo (for whatever reason) who don't have the willpowever and courage to admit they were wrong only to hold up a quasi-religious dogma and I bet those were the first who commented on Don's post mocking him.

Because people who are in harmony with themselfs and their diet won't ridicule such a honest men who studied nutrition and medicine for decades and just proposed that it didn't work for him. He didn't want to convert others. He just varied his whole-foods almost-still-paleo diet. Somehow this worked to make a lot of people angry.

Edit: What is quite telling, though, is how Don sees everything with his new bias and total dismisses his old views. Whether he is now right or not about the science can be questioned. Luckily, he isn't the only source and people can read a variety of different blogs, books, arguments and concepts. No problem here.

Ec7cb2a7a68655954a01f03e95be1383

(1453)

on August 29, 2011
at 02:10 PM

yes. I couldn't believe that his wife was talking while HE had an interview. It seems like she is controlling him. He seems to be easy manipulated :(

22212e9ba2a041e6da6c963d4d41615a

(5773)

on August 28, 2011
at 07:06 PM

For me it was the very large amounts of carbs, paleo carbs or not, relativ to the insulin response that he claimed did not exist or make a difference. He lost a little sincerity with me with his girlfriend whispering in his ear. Being married myself, it reminded me of my wife feeding me information I really didn't want to say.

7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on August 28, 2011
at 04:36 AM

Yes his sincerity won me over too--and I liked how he was honest that it was difficult to come forward earlier due to his professional links to his former paleo ideology. Great critique.

4
7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on August 26, 2011
at 08:40 PM

Yay for Don! Boo for Harley.

I hear your frustration but I guess my response is that a podcast like Jimmy's is no place to be a crusader with people who eat differently from us. I would think that will prohibit other people being interviewed or conversing with our camp. I would like to see the conversation continue rather than challenge them so much they are not open to us.

Since I don't have a podcast I can say that individually...

I think Harley is a grand-stander/agitator with an ego that matches the weight in his bananas.

I like Don and I listened carefully to what he had to say...who knows how I will feel in 15 years after being paleo or what science will come to light by then? I'm only 6 months in and just like science in general there is more we don't know than what we do know.

7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on August 27, 2011
at 02:44 AM

Yes...I was not going to bring it up but I thought totally bizarre his wife coaching him. He sounded nervous. Love your last sentence above.

8814a76a17662ac145147f5cac8e1068

(98)

on August 27, 2011
at 02:51 AM

Completely weird to have wifey feeding Don the answers. He seemed really indecisive.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on August 26, 2011
at 10:20 PM

I had the exact opposite reaction.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on August 27, 2011
at 12:43 AM

Yeah. Hearing Don's wife whisper answers and talking points to him during the entire interview pretty much solidified my thoughts on that whole thing. Durianrider came off much better than I expected. There appears to be a genuine human being behind his asshole persona. And I realized he had absolutely no idea about the science of pretty much anything so I can just find him amusing now. He's just some dude living a crazy life who's created a persona online that is a lightening rod for discussion.

7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on August 26, 2011
at 11:05 PM

Yay Harley? Boo Don? I guess I liked the sound of sincerity in Don's voice and I thought Harley a bit arrogant.

0
E97bc486adbf89d681afabd11b86f8ab

on December 15, 2011
at 09:14 AM

Best part i thought was where Jimmy says "we dont even have a word for carb deficiency" to which Harley responds "Well, what about hoypo-gloycemia?" had to laugh...

-5
Bfb4f3f6ececd4098388ca52b9d5951c

on August 30, 2011
at 05:54 AM

Jimmy Moore is the hack here, if you ask me.

24df4e0d0e7ce98963d4641fae1a60e5

on December 15, 2011
at 09:46 AM

This is not me, just in case anyone doesn't notice the ID.

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