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We were in Austin Texas for Paleo f(x) and this blog post outlines our experience and brings everything we’ve learned to you. + A little detail on Austin (and where we ate).
Here’s Our Thursday (1 day before)
This is a little look at Austin, TX
We arrived in Austin just about the time the crazy-late snow storm hit our home in Colorado. Meanwhile, it’s 90° and humid… memories of living in Jacksonville, FL. We used Ride Austin for our transport from the airport to our Airbnb, dropped off our stuff and were off to hit one of the (900 million) food trucks. Austin does not lack in the food truck option category. After we were stuffed we walked over to the Palmer Events Center for early check-in and to pick up our bag of goodies. That was about it… until we got hungry again and headed over to Picnik. It was delicious.
Here’s what we ate on Thursday:
The Beef & Lamb @ Kebabalicious (sans pita bread)
• The flavor was SO good and the meet was chopped into tiny pieces so the edges were all crispy and slightly caramelized. I ordered mine mild because I’m a wuss in the spicy department and it had just the right amount of heat. We’re definitely going back there before we head back home.
Raspberry Lemonade Popsicles @ Steel City Pops
• We’ve been wanting to try these for a while now and they didn’t disappoint. We were surprised at how big they were, Rob and I could have shared one and that would have been more than enough. The Raspberry Lemonade flavor tasted like a fresh glass and still had all the raspberry seeds in the pop. Perfect for how hot today was.
Fried Brussels Sprouts, Chicken Tenders, Thai Green Curry, and a Blondie @ Picnik (Burnet Rd)
• Another place I’ve been wanting to visit for a few years now. The Brussels Sprouts were some of the best we’ve had, a perfect mix of slightly sweet and savory with crispy edges. The Chicken Tenders were battered in a rice flour tempura (so not perfectly paleo, but still gluten-free) and had a delicious honey-mustard aioli dip that was just ever so slightly spicy. I’m newish to anything other than my own coconut curry, so I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about the Thai Green Curry but I loved it. It was a little spicy for me (the wuss) but it was doable with a few sips of water every now and then. And of course the Blondie was great, dense and rich with chunks of chocolate throughout.
Here’s Our Friday (first day)
Our first day at Paleo f(x) – Notes and what we heard.
“5 Ways to Become A Fat Burning Beast”
Notes taken during the presentation given by Dr. Mike T. Nelson
- Metabolic Flexability – the ability of the human body to ramp up the use of fuels that are more available in the diet. Eat more fat – the body will burn more fat. Eat more carbs – the body will favor carbs for fuel.
- Higher amounts of insulin pushes your body to use more carbs and vice versa
you can change your amounts of insulin based on what and when you eat
- With intense exercise you typically use carbs for energy
- Heavy weightlifting with little to no carbs is not good nor is it efficient for your body
- You’d want to use fat to burn for low intensity workouts. Carbs at low-intensity is not efficient for weight loss.
- High carbs = higher insulin = body burning carbs
- Prioritize your carbs around your weight training.
- With weight lifting, a healthy person will typically change between burning fats and carbs
- Eat carbs 30-120 minutes pre-workout (depending on how your stomach handles food before a workout)
- Fasted low intnsity – Walking, Yoga, Long Slow Run/Jog
- “Fasted” is important because if not, carbs tend to be the fuel source. – This was emphasized by Tim Ferriss when he said fasting should be started with a brisk walk for a few hours to jump-start Ketosis. We wrote a post about Ketosis.
- Intermittent fasting makes your boxy burn more fat. It’s best to start at shorter intervals rather than jumping right into a 24 hours fast. This also helps to lower insulin levels which will in turn switch your body from burning carbs to burning fat.
- A longer fast will be more beneficial to burning fat instead of carbs.
- If the fasting isn’t going well, don’t force it, it will just have a negative effect (because you will likely fail and binge on too much carbs). Start with eating a very late breakfast (basically an overnight fast), around 9-10am. Push breakfast back a little later each day you fast.
- Take about a week to work your way up to a 18-20 hour fast.
- When you eat your post-fast meal, it shouldn’t be twice the size of a normal meal. It should be a normal meal.
- He believes that fasting = no calories (that means not consuming any fats that have 0 carbs because you’re still consuming calories). Water is fine.
- Fasting effects on metabolism: Do not fast if you have metabolic issues as it can stress the body too much.
- Keto can be hit or miss for each individual.
- Downsides for keto: Generally see a loss in speed/power (as an athlete). CrossFit is more a carb-fueled sport.
- Intermittent Fasting generally does not result in power/speed loss.
- High ketones may spare protein breakdown (doesn’t cause muscle loss)
- Keto/Metobolic No Man’s Land – Make sure you’re all in, if you don’t eat enough fat to stay in Ketosis and aren’t eating enough protein, it’s bad for the body.
- If you do keto, measure your ketones and glucose at the same time. Once you get used to the comparison of ketones and glucose, you can switch to only measuring glucose levels rather than ketones.
- When starting Keto, keep calories the same, don’t get into a deficit the first few weeks.
- Low Muscle Glycogen on Purpose: Stored Glucose & Glycogen
- Majority of glycogen is stored in the muscles.
- Blood glucose remains constant for most people.
- Fasting will drop liver glycogen levels.
- Adaptation > Performance
- Super high intensity will start to reduce muscle glycogen.
- Template: M-W-F – high intensity workout days – T-TH-Sa – some sort of aerobic training (fasted, moderate heart rate – 120-140).
- Intermittent fasting on the aerobic training days
- If not working: Costanza Method: do the opposite of everything you’ve ever done. If you eat mostly carbs, eat mostly fat. Iyou drink Gatorade, drink water instead.
Cellular & Molecular Boundaries of Human Performance
Andy Galpin, PhD @drandygalpin
- Whole muscle function – look at the muscle cell (muscle fiber) it’s the same thing.
- Why bigger muscle mass? (2) Options: Quad gets bigger, muscle fibers are getting larger (Hypertrophy).
- Hyperplasia – growing new muscle cells (it’s not the fibers getting larger). They used to say this doesn’t happen in Humans. In 2006 a study showed a split (creation of a muscle cell). However it might be wrong… there is still a chance it may be happening… not enough information (yet).
- Humans have more than one nucleus per muscle cell (thousands per cell) – very unique in nature. (Myonuclei)
- More Myonculei in your muscle cell and you’ll be the one who recovers faster. Less… slower.
- Anabolic Steroid use also increases the Myonculei (growth, performance and recovery).
- Muscle Function – not all muscles perform the same. Some fibers are fast twitch (fatigue quickly) and some are slow twitch (long lasting). Varies from person to person (in the quad).
- There are more than just fast and slow but also ultra-fast AND in between fast and slow.
- Your fiber type DOES change. DNA plays a part in your muscle twitch BUT you can change it.
- Slow twitch have far more Myonculei than that of fast twitch.
- Is it possible to hack endurance? AMPK -metabolic signal for energy. Possible and debatable.
- We’re more plasticity than we had thought. Almost no limitation if we can measure and have the technology to improve.
- Our ability to perform is only bound by our cellular and molecular requirements for stress.
- If we move forward in human performance: we must endure stress (reintroduce it in to our lives). ie: Ice bath.
- Go through HARD tasks to improve.
- First look at the goal: Ice bath (after heavy lifting – blocks the signal to overcome). However, it’ll reduce soreness and allow you to recover faster.
- Increase Hyperplasia – time and exposure (years and volume). + Testosterone (growth)
“Collagenic Diet: Burn Fat, Boost Brain Power & Immunity”
The Collagenic Diet = The Ancient Diet
There are 3 Keys to Generate Health
- Ketosis (not necessarily the ketogenic diet, just the concept of ketosis – circumstantial/intermittent ketosis)
- Carb-loading is not natural and is not necessary.
- Daily Cleansing
- Intermittent fasting was a normal part of life before the commercialized food industry told us we needed to eat all day as well as eat a huge breakfast
- You want to be in a fasted state for full productivity. Would you want to encounter a hungry or a full lion? A full lion because he will be sluggish and slower to react.
- Connective Tissue Proteins
- This is the missing link in common diets.
- Plant protein is less effective than dairy or meat proteins.
- Our ancestors would never eat the meat and throw away the beneficial collagen-rich bones.
1) KETOSIS: Alternative Energy to Fuel Your Mind and Muscle
- Fasting removes allergies, brain issues, etc. because it allows the healer within to do it’s job but fasting is simply not a sustainable way to live.
- Staying in ketosis mimics fasting in the body, allowing you to have the benefits of fasting without the unsustainability.
How to help ketosis
- Consuming caffeine without a large meal can stimulate the production of ketones
- Certain fats (like medium chain fatty acids) taken in large enough doses can help create ketones
- Exogenous ketones
The key is not to always stay in ketosis, but to intermittently be in it.
2) DAILY CLEANSING
- Serum solution nutrition
- Intermittent fasting (eating less food or the same amount of food in a shorter window of time can improve brain function and increase fat loss).
- Soluble liquid nutrients are rapidly absorbed and can make a big difference in your body as they are not impeded by the digestion process.
- Examples of Serum Solution Nutrition:
- Broth (it’s full of collagen)
- Green Juice (nutrients from the veggies are immediately absorbed)
- Black Coffee (caffeine, antioxidants)
- Teas (green, black, white, or roobios) & herbal/spice infusions (herbal teas, preferably fresh herb/spice infusions)
American consume less herbs/spices than any other country. Boost your spices to get a powerful source of compounds in your diet.
3) CONNECTIVE TISSUE PROTEINS
- Collagen – broth & edible connective tissue
- Eggs (from pasture-raised chickens)
- Grass-Fed Dairy
Consume a 4:1 or 2:1 ratio of muscle protein:connective tissue for best results.
- Bone broth is the best way to get the 4:1 or 2:1 ratio
- Bone broth cleanse to lower pathogenic bacteria
- Bone broth can increase your gut’s probiotic bacteria
- Collagen peptides (hydrolized gelatin)
- missing a lot of things bone broth offers but still a good supplement
- Dark fruits (lower in sugar)
- Vegetables (obviously)
- More minerals than fruit
- Herbs and spices are awesome
- 10g/day cinnamon/turmeric/cayenne pepper/cloves/star of anise, etc
- eat it, cook with it
- Fermented veggies (low in calories, high in organic acids, good source of Vitamin C)
- ACV or Coconut Vinegar (good source of organic acids)
- great way to boost digestion and has blood sugar benefits
- The power of sour will kill your cravings for sweets
- Essential oils can be very effective while intermittent fasting (1-9 drops)
- consume in your water
- Bone broth/collagen peptide
- Probiotics with SBOS (soil-based organisms)
- creates a gut environment that is unfriendly for yeast and bad bacteria
- Enyzmes w/ High Lipase Levels
- lipolytic enzymes help you break down fats
- Alkaline Minerals/Electrolytes
- minerals and electrolytes are hard to come by with keto
- herbal spice infusions, green juices, minerals
- Chia Seed Fiber
- high carb -> low carb changes gut bacteria
- chia fiber can help this process
- 3 Tbsp per day to move things along and capture some of the waste in the transition
DAILY PLAN IN ACTION (basically no breakfast or lunch)
- Herbal Infusion or Black Coffee (in the morning)
- Bone Broth (shortly after)
- Herbal Infusion (afternoon)
- Bone Broth (afternoon)
- Meat, low-starch veggies, fats/oils
- Treat (on occasion)
- Fat-fuel smoothie (coconut milk/cream based with raw eggs)
- If you have daily carbs left to spare
- Chia Seed Protein and Fiber PWD
- Perfect keto food is basically raw eggs (from a reputable source)
- Bone broth is the perfect keto protein
- You can’t overeat on this type of food, your brain is satiated and tells you when to stop eating.
- Pimples on teens disappear on this diet.
- Women struggle adapting to keto more than men
- electrolytes (without added sugars) are critical
Tips to make your own chicken bone broth:
- Broth should be cooked for 12-48 hours (cooked with potassium-rich veggies)
- Should not be made with mostly meat, but with all parts of the chicken (feet, bones)
- He adds onion, ginger, turmeric, garlic, and zucchini
- The more concentrated the better it is, but add water as needed
- A quick way to get broth is to use the resulting liquid from cooking meats (like ground beef)
State of the Paleo Union Panel
Q: What do you think of the explosion of processed paleo foods (junk foods)?
- RW: Ideally we would see less processed foods, but it’s a reality that people have celebrations and need convenient solution. I would argue the quality of foods is phenomenal. It’s best we educate and I don’t like the “police state” response to this.
- MS: Paleo is an amorphous mass, ever-evolving, and there is nobody in charge of what is and isn’t paleo. There was a time when white potatoes were death for paleo and now they’re prescribed for some health issues. Now, when you get to 55g of sugar in a paleo dessert, that’s where I would cross the line. I wouldn’t even consider that primal and primal is pretty forgiving.
- SB: Paleo is an education foundation rather than a strict set of rules. Give each person the empowerment to make decisions for themselves. The market will determine what is “paleo”.
- DP: Going back to Dr Cordain, going back to what our genome expects. Giving your DNA the signals it has evolved to expect. This is not a binary decision (it is or it ain’t paleo). Frankly, we’re not all able to hunt and gather. Because of that, we have to embrace the notion of retail. You have to figure out what works for you as an individual. The 80/20 rule? The answer is no. What are you eating the other 20% of the time? Crap? No. Nobody is perfect, we all mess up. But do your very best because your cells don’t know that it’s a holiday.
- JA: Because of social media, we’re able to show people what paleo is to us, what’s on our plate. The best thing we can do is to be the example.
- AD: Paleo is the perfect human diet. Your eating should be aimed at your brain. Keep things clean: water, meat, vegetables, healthy oils for flavor.
Q: Where are we headed and what are you concerns about what we have in front of us?
- RW: Evolutionary medicine should have always been the foundation of medicine. Chronic degenerative disease cannot be fixed with one single pill. We should even have the term paleo, it should just be good medicine. Sleep, food, exercise, community. These are the things we should address.
- MS: Economics drives change, and when people have cleaner access to foods, it benefits them in terms of glucose intake and free-radical damage. I think “paleo” is going to fade into the background and it will just be called “clean eating” or something along those lines.
When Epic sold to GM and people said “GM will change Epic” and he told them “No, Epic will change GM”.
- SB: I think the ultimate goal is the framework from which we choose our foods. A merger of conventional guidelines and what we call “paleo” now. People are confused about what healthy is and in a recent study, 80% have seen conflicting info on what is healthy and didn’t know if they were following a healthy diet or not.
This is an ever-changing landscape. We’re always looking at new science and as we have more detailed conversation, we’re second-guessing some basic principals that paleo is built on and that’s a good thing because we’re continuing to refine and recognizing that the human mind has limitations. That’s the amazing thing about paleo, it’s rooted in science.
- DP: If we’re all called 5 years from now, I think you’ll be hearing a different message from us about what the diet should look like. It is dynamic. We give the best information on the best science available. Be prepared for change. As it relates to the microbiome, we’re going to see more specificity for specific people with specific issues. I know I’m going out on a limb here, but I think our food choices have an effect on our health. If you don’t believe me, look at the people at the airport on your way home. You’ll also see signs that say “terminal”. When you go to the vet for a sick dog they ask “what are you feeding him?” but when we go to the doctor they ask “what are you taking? That’s all the time we have”.
- JA: We’re going to see more and more “paleo” products readily available in airports, gas stations, major grocery chains because everyone is looking for it, consumers are demanding it.
- AD: There’s too much focus on food. Activity is what matters. Flying is a good time to fast. Airplane food is so bad, you won’t be moving too much, the blood won’t be moving much, you might get an embolism, who knows. We evolved in variety, and variation will make you strong. Three square meals a day will make you fat.
Q: I hear that the paleo movement is very elitist and expensive and not adoptable to the general population.
- RW: When the microwave oven was first invented, it cost (in today’s dollars) $30,000, but now you can get them for next to nothing. It’s a process, and the people that adopt this initially, they will subsidize it. There is a time lag with this stuff and it’s a valid criticism on the surface but we need to give it time to even out financially. I would like to see the government stay out of everything, the subsidies gone. A Twinkie should cost more than an apple.
- SB: The cheapest foods available to us are subsidized from the government and full of empty calories.
- DP: I don’t think it is exclusionary or elitist. You can eat these foods without emptying your wallet, you can find a way. The 4 F’s: fight, flight, food, and reproduction. The sweet tooth is survival mechanism, but is now a disservice to us. Our mission is to understand what the right recommendations are and to implement them in ourselves and our outreach.
- AD: Type 2 Diabetes is going to cause a huge health crisis and bankrupt the healthcare system.
Here’s Our Saturday (second day)
Our second day at Paleo f(x) – Notes and what we heard.
Biohacking as Medical Hermeneutics
- Hermeneutics – the practice of study of interpretation. First employed in 17th century Theological context.
- Interpretation of signs and symptoms to ferret our their meaning, the underlying disease.
- Views medicine as an interpretive art, not science.
- Defined by the clinical encounter.
- Fluid, hackable, open to edits/interpretation.
- Take experiences and analyze those experiences against how your body is feeling.
- Morpho-Genetic Text – Everyone is a unique being, only once on the earth, never duplicated exactly.
- Genealogical Text – Family is more than vital statistics, it embodies self that we inherit. Each of us is both an heir of our lineage and a necessary variation of it. This brings the family into new territory.
- “The living night is dissipated by the brightness of death.” -Michael Foucault – Don’t fall in to the trap.
Advanced Brain Hacking
8 Ways to fix neurotransmitter problems
- taper off or avoid anti-depressants
- moderate stimulants
- avoid toxin exposure
- avoid sensory overload
- fix your gut
- replace building blocks
- neuro-transmitter repletion
- lube the nerves with fats
- Add plants (leafy greens) when doing a Keto diet more than you think you need.
- Do things that make your head hurt, work on new things.
- Do things that make you get outside your comfort zone.
- tDCS – neuro priming – stimulates your motor cortex – Use this before a hard workout or something that’s a challenge (brain, body coordination). Good for learning a new skill (prior to working on the skill you’re wanting to do). $600-$700
- Neurofeedback – Open a software program – every time your brain goes somewhere you’re not supposed to go the spaceship stops (several games). Helps you control your brain. It’s a handheld device with wires + your laptop. Peek Brain Institute
- Photobiomodulation vielight – helps to increase focus – nasal probe – mitocondrial activity increase ROS – too much can be damaging. More isn’t better.
- Light – Greenish blue light in the eyes and white light in the ears (in the morning).
- Vagus Nerve Stimulation – Connection between brain and your gut + other areas of the body. Splash cold water on your face. Take pressure off by jaw re-alignment therapy.
- Aromatherapy – oil defuser – cognitive performance – peppermint, pine and cinnamon. Uplifting oils. Relax: lavender, rose, bergamot.
- Methylene Blue – Basically a fish tank cleaner. Mix with a little bit of water: Activates the mitochondria.
- Curcumin – Neuro anti inflammatory affects. Black pepper and Turmeric. Copaiva Oil
- Mastic Gum – tastes bad – when you chew it increases jaw strength and it helps your gut health.
- Psychedelics – Use responsibly.
- Sleep – 2 apps – brainFM (for naps) SleepStream (sleeping through the night). Full sleeping mask. Circadia – Stimulates the temporal lobes (right before you go to sleep). SomniResonance SRI – (delta sleeper) Use it for a little while and regulate better sleep. CBD and Sleep Remedy. + Kratom (can buy online).
What’s most important? Eat Wild Plants, Don’t Smoke, Low Level Activity All Day, Family & Community.
Start off the day with gratitude by writing in a journal: write something that you’re grateful for, what truth did you discover, who can you help, serve or pray for today.
Experiments in Quantified Self
Testing the things that may inform or direct change:
- Metabolic issues
- Hormonal dysregulation
- Metabolism substrates and intermediates (glucose/ketones)
He was in ketosis before the iCaveman show. Blood glucose level after 10 days of starving and burning 4500 calories a day: 34
It took about 2 years to fix all the issues from the effects of the experience.
Metabolic Substrates & Intermediates
- Insulin removes excess energy to body fat
We should have a relatively low energy status
- Insulin sensitivity/resistance
a) Fating glucose
– lots of error signal
b) Fasting insulin
– hard and expensive to do with reasonable error
c) Trig/HDL ratio
– Nice sample test, but huge error in first responders
d) LP-IR score
Robb’s gotten more information out of “Fitness Genes” than with “23andMe”.
The blood glucose response from person to person on any given food can be massively different. We can’t have a once-size-fits-all solution for everyone.
When you go down the quantified self path, you can’t ignore how you feel and only concentrate on the numbers.
Objective quantification is clearly important, but let’s not forget the power of just paying attention
How do you feel between meals?
- Cognitive and physical performance?
- Ability to go significant periods between meals?
30-day reset can fix so many things at once
7-day carb test
- allows granularity in what amounts and types of carbs we do best with
- instead of being a dictated process, it’s a self discovery process
Why is blood glucose monitoring important:
- excessive levels are clearly toxic
- BG deltas tend to alter the neuroregulation of appetite (the biggest factor)
- normalized BG levels appear to promote healthier but microbiota
What’s a normal BG Level?
- “Normal” is higher in American (>140) but much lower in New Guinea among hunter/gathers (>110)
if you are genetically wired to respond poorly to higher levels of glucose, you need to be aware of that and eat accordingly
50% of people will benefit from probiotics and 50% will be made worse from it.
If you’re into the keto diet, he can’t recommend Keto Gains enough
Here’s Our Sunday (third day)
Our second day at Paleo f(x) – Notes and what we heard.
The Future of Bio-Hacking Panel
Q: What were some of the original/ancient bio-hacks?
- DP: Anything that would improve our survivability that would make some processes more efficient. Things like making finding food easier and sleeping better.
- AJ: This won’t be popular, but I’m going to say farming.
- BG: The Squatty Potty. The ancient caveman probably lined up the rocks and was like “Wow, my colon!”
- AC: Moving around, drinking the right stuff, eating the right foods.
Q: Modern day, would we we need to/want to bio-hack our health?
- DA: If you’re going to artificially limit yourself to only getting nutrients from food, you’re missing out. Mother Nature is hostile towards you and you will die younger.
- AC: When you’re taking the right stuff and you know what you’re doing, it’s a way to balance out what the world is doing to us today.
- BG: I live on a north-facing slope and don’t get much sun this time of year, so I can use bio-hacks to jump start my circadian rhythm. That’s one example of how I save my time and improve my health. Using self quantification, you can figure out what you need to do for yourself.
- AJ: We might as well take advantage of what we have available to us.
- DP: Self-care is a fundamental part of the human experience. What I think of as a “hack” is a way to make something more efficient to get to an end result (or a real and not imagined problem).
Q: What are your favorite means of bio-hacking?
- DA: Gratitude. You can’t be grateful and worried at the same time. And it’s free. And when you do it with your kids regularly, they say the damndest things.
- BG: I would say 4 things: air, light, water, and electricity. Put some plants in your home, or get a filter for the air. Use blue-light-blocking technologies. Get a get water filter or reverse osmosis. Unplug your WIFI router at night.
- DP: Environmental design is one of the best ways to affect your behavior positively.
The WHO lists artificial light as a possible carcinogen.
- AC: I see people that are spending a fortune on bio-hacking but they aren’t even hydrating. Simple things. Go back to what the evolutionary man did. With all the distractions in our day-to-day lives, we’re turning off the biological cues that tell us to drink more water. First, support your body, then try to get everything else done.
- AJ: I agree with everyone up here. Deal with the basics first. I like wearables because it lets me filter my attention.
Q: We’re using technology to combat technology. How well do we trust ourselves to hack ourselves out of “hacks”?
- AJ: We don’t always know what the result will be from an experiment. That’s why it’s an experiment.
Q: What do you see in the future/promise of biohacking?
- AC: There’s a more educated consumer, they want a higher quality. What’s the origin, who’s behind it, what do they think? We want enhanced lives, not just a temporary effect.
- BG: Combining AI and self-quantification to give us really targeted ideas on what we should be doing. Specific testing that could tell us what we should be eating and specific exercise programs for each individual. I think that’s going to happen soon.
- DP: Informatics is an exciting field, and to understand our physiology, we can repair our genes with our own genome.
Q/A: When you were at your unhealthiest point, what is the one thing you would change?
- AC: An awareness of where we are and what’s going on. We need to look up at where we are and fix things.
Here’s what we ate on Saturday:
Wild Planet Sardines and Skipjack Tuna, 24 Carrot Gold Muffins from Muffin Revolution, & Salty Dog Kombucha from Kosmic Kombucha
• We picked us some goodies on the Expo floor yesterday which worked out perfectly since we woke up to thunder storms this morning and weren’t able to get out early enough to grab breakfast before heading into Paleo f(x) today.
We’ll post more specifics on what we learn as we go!
Check back often…