All posts by Graham Ballachey

Why hello. I'm Graham. I was born in Brantford, Ontario, and growing up I also lived (in order) in Montreal, Quebec; Burlington, Ontario; and Calgary, Alberta. I then attended the University of Victoria in Victoria, British Columbia where I majored in physics. I then moved to Ottawa, Ontario, where I earned a Master's degree in mechanical engineering. After grad school, I relocated to where I am now: Vancouver, British Columbia. I'm truly passionate about learning and sharing knowledge on how to optimize the human experience in our modern world. From our physical bodies, to our powerful minds, to our environmental impact, to our spiritual manifestation, human beings are the dominant expression of life on this planet Earth. It is my intention with Sustainable Balance to explore and optimize the human form and our impact on the universe on all levels, and share this with others. An effective human lifestyle must embrace our physical manifestation while also pursuing spiritual ideals: A Sustainable Balance of all that makes us what we are. Explore with me!

Nutrient Density Part 2 – My Take on Nutrient Density


Nutrient density – just what exactly does it mean? In the first part of this two-part series, I took at look at Dr. Fuhrmann’s and Mat Lalonde’s work on nutrient density. In short – Dr. Fuhrmann based his calculation on “Nutrients per Calorie”, and his nutrient-selection for this analysis was suspect at best. Mat Lalonde stuck to known essential nutrients, and his formula included a rigorous statistical analysis, but basically worked out to “Essential Nutrients per Unit Mass”. Overall, I agreed with Lalonde’s approach for the most part, while Fuhrmann’s work seemed biased towards vegetables on purpose, and ignored the valuable contributions from animal foods.

That said, I think Fuhrmann’s analysis does illustrate that there are indeed foods that provide a lot of nutrients while providing little to no calories, Continue reading Nutrient Density Part 2 – My Take on Nutrient Density

Nutrient Density Part 1 – A Look at Two Models


Nutrient density – that’s a term I used fairly frequently, but took for granted for a long time. I hadn’t really thought about exactly what it meant until the past few months. First – a story:

A few months back I was out with some friends that I met with regularly (ulti fris team!), and the topic of food and nutrition had been coming up. Within the group was a vegan, who was notably very respectful and not too vocal about being vegan, but after ordering food it was obvious, and some questions were asked. It was all well and good, until the subject of protein was broached, and someone mentioned that you can eat broccoli for protein as a vegan/vegetarian, and that the amount of protein you get is similar to beef. As a nutrition junkie, that sounded like pure garbage to me, so I simply disagreed that broccoli was a good source of protein, while she insisted it was. I let it go because I wanted things to be friendly and I knew I was right, but I did leave that situation wondering where in heavens that otherwise smart person got that idea, so I Googled it up.

Turns out, as some of you may already know, there’s a man named Dr. Fuhrman who published that precious little broccoli-beats-beef tidbit. Continue reading Nutrient Density Part 1 – A Look at Two Models

Good Fats and Bad Fats: Fatty Acids Revealed

When I meet other health/fitness/nutrition minded folk and mention that I follow a mostly Primal/Paleo lifestyle, a lot of the following discussion centres around defending my decision to limit grains in my diet, or how much meat I eat. What usually doesn’t come up, or isn’t focused on much, is the restriction or even elimination of industrial seed oils such as soybean, corn, cottonseed, and canola oil in favour of healthy animal fats, coconut oil, olive oil, oily fish, and small amounts of nuts. This, however, is one big freaking deal! Industrial seed oils are cheap and highly prevalent, and unless you’re paying attention, you’re getting more of those fats than you think. Continue reading Good Fats and Bad Fats: Fatty Acids Revealed

Is Consciousness Fundamental?


About a year ago, I wrote an article called The Essence of Life: Two Potential Models. In that article, I explained that all the matter around us, which includes the bodies and brains of living beings, are made up of protons, neutrons, and electrons. These fundamental particles “swap out” all the time, and yet we still are who we are; our consciousness doesn’t change as the particles change. From this, it was posited that consciousness (or our “souls”) doesn’t reside in our matter, but from the arrangement of the matter, or the exact way that memories and experiences are chemically stored in the brain. Continue reading Is Consciousness Fundamental?

Progress Comes in Bursts

In a previous post (Quality over Quantity), I mentioned my fondness for a book by George Leonard called Mastery. In that book he outlines that progress in any field can feel linear, but there will be a plateau. The plateau is unavoidable, but it does ultimately end if you stick with whatever you are trying to master. Then comes another period of linear growth (a burst), followed by a slight dip in skill, followed by another plateau. Onwards and upwards. It looks something like this:

mastery, skill, burst of progress

Continue reading Progress Comes in Bursts

Nuclear Energy Part 3: Fusion – The Holy Grail of Energy

The Nuclear Energy Series continues! The last post discussed climate change, and who is to blame for it (hint: us). This series has been intended to be an unbiased look at nuclear energy to power our high-energy lifestyles, especially for an eventual transition to a post-carbon society that doesn’t significantly affect the climate. First, I wrote up an introduction to nuclear power, which included a description of the two main reactions (fission and fusion) and the basics of how a nuclear power plant work. After that, I looked at the different fuels for fission power plants that are operational today, and the option of potentially moving to thorium nuclear power. This time, we’ll look at what is considered by many to be the holy grail of nuclear power: fusion! Continue reading Nuclear Energy Part 3: Fusion – The Holy Grail of Energy