Thursday, January 17, 2013
I saw an article today that was comparing a very low-carb diet and intermittent fasting. There were two terms it used that I found interesting:
I really like this first term for some reason. When we scheme, we plot and plan - often with a hint of being sneaky or tricky / clever about it. So many times when someone wants to accomplish something with their food - whether it is burning fat faster or bulking up muscle or non-medically trying to improve their health or even making a statement about a moral or ethical belief or issue - they turn to one or another dietary scheme.
I think of it as different from fad diets for one key reason. In my mind a fad diet tends to be very unrealistic about long-term sustainability. No one ever plans to live on the grapefruit diet or the cabbage soup diet for the rest of their lives. People do plan to eat a vegetarian diet or a primal diet or other such schemes. In addition, fad diets often sound absurd and use anecdotal evidence as their whole proof. Dietary schemes, on the other hand, usually have at least some science or logic (right or wrong) on which they are based.
This was sort of defined as being a diet that goes counter to the way "most people eat" and often requiring "a drastic change in eating habits and priorities". For someone to eat a demanding diet requires rejecting food items that others consider normal. Eating out can become awkward as restaurants rarely cater to the dietary scheme. They also require a lot more attention to nutrient balances, a lot more planning and sometimes a lot more preparation.
This reminded me of trying to eat "health food" style -- following my mother's example. I remember rows of brown vitamin and mineral bottles, grainy seeds mixed into everything, so much focus on how modern agriculture produced food without much nutrition so we had to supplement it all in. To eat like that required pretty much baring the cupboards and starting fresh, replacing white flour with whole wheat and so on.
The time, effort and cost were demanding. (And the end result was not as appealing, though I don't consider that a flaw of the scheme so much as a lack of cooking skill on my part at the time.)
I think what I found intriguing about that was my own reaction to just about ANY dietary scheme.
The only named dietary scheme I ever really tried was the Zone Diet (guess it would be called a high-protein diet). The younger brother I was sharing an apartment with wanted to try it, so we figured out the menu. We had to do a special shopping trip to fill the kitchen with the necessary items and spend extra time checking recipes or using the ones provided.
Ultimately I've come to understand that I'm not willing to make drastic changes to my culinary comfort zone. Avoid gluten? Ain't gonna happen. Go low-carb? Nix meat? Dairy? All animal products? Unlikely to ever happen.
However, this doesn't leave me eating junk, junk, and junk.
There are so many possibilities in terms of what we can eat. I find it amusing at times to eat foods labeled as fitting within various dietary schemes. Vegetarian chili? Certainly! This omnivore is quite happy to include plant foods side-by-side with her animal foods. Gluten-free desserts? Chocolate meringue cookies and flourless domes are both DELICIOUS! I don't have to be on some sort of dietary scheme to pick yummy foods that just happen to fit within that scheme as well. Unprocessed foods? Have plenty of those ... right alongside my packaged and processed ones.
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
(25) F = Had an OUTLAW Dance Party - I'm still playing some of the GOYBADs and dancing
(25) I = CICO (posted below)
(25) R = 6 hours sleep last night
(25) E = Dates (see below)
(25) D = Upped weight on my Leg Press and did a full 3x12 set of lunges (yuck!)
(25) U = My affirmation "I can recover from mistakes and learn from them."
(25) P = Today's plan is brought to me by how I felt when I got home -- like I wanted to just curl up under my blanket and vegetate. Not sick, not tired exactly, just my body saying "enough for today". The plan is to listen to my body, both when it's ready to push hard and when it wants an easier ride -- and to recognize the difference between that and the lazy voice.
Range = 2210 - 2560
Calories IN = 2487
Calores OUT = 355 (HR Monitor actually had 476 for the listed workout)
Differential = 326
Saw these at the grocery store on Saturday and realized that I have never actually tried them before. Maybe they've been in a trail mix or something, but not ever that I paid attention to and tasted them directly.
Dates are one of the oldest cultivated foods, with archaelogical evidence of them in Arabia in 6000 BCE. Apparently, one variety was successfully grown from a seed that was accidentally stored for 2,000 years.
The palms on which they grow have separate male and female plants. Many commercial growers only have one male plant or even forego the male plant and purchase the male flowers, with manual pollination being done by laborers or sometimes using wind machines.
They are a very good source of potassium, but they are also about 80% sugar (all natural, of course). In fact, the many varieties seem to have different amounts of glucose, sucrose, and fructose.
Sooooo, you'd think with my sweet tooth, these would be a delightful treat. My ultimate take was that while they were sweet, they just didn't have the appeal that raisins have. I'll finish them off, and would eat them again, but they aren't something I'll seek out except perhaps to try other varieties someday.
** BONUS **
(25) F = Definitely exceeded 40 minutes of Fun.
(25) I = CICO posted all four days
(25) R = I got 31 hours of sleep over the four days.
(25) E = Dates were new to me.
(25) D = 15+ minutes each of the four days
(25) U = Did my very first one. Will definitely keep the others in mind.
(25) P = I'm feeling really good about my plans because I want to achieve balance AND do well.
(125) FIRED UP Bonus
I was afraid I was going to botch the sleep one, but was able to sleep in late Saturday and Sunday.
FIRED UP Challenge 1000/1000
Sunday, January 13, 2013
(25) F = went to the park and had fun on the swing
(25) I = CICO (posted below)
(25) R = 9 hours sleep last night
(25) E = Bell Peppers (see below)
(25) D = Added Alternating Bent Over Dumbbell Kickbacks (tricep). Tried for a second military pushup, but not there yet. Upped a couple other weights (Lat Pulldown and something else)
(25) U = My affirmation is "I love my life!"
(25) P = I'm going to be making either chicken breasts or pork chops in the slow cooker (on the weekend) so that each week of the BLC Round 21 I have a healthy and tasty dinner throughout the week with a minimum of fuss. (I have trouble with thinking of cooking every night as a chore. By doing it once on the weekend, reheating is "easy" and I still get the benefit of having cooked.)
Range = 2210 - 2560
Calories IN = 2514
Calores OUT = 1202
Differential = -610
(I may eat more later, but doubtful. I thought I'd be hungrier, as about 700 of those calories were alcohol from going out dancing last night and today has been very active, but at the moment I haven't even had my chicken dinner yet and I'm not hungry.)
Swinging on the swings. I did not expect 10 straight minutes of pumping to be as much effort as it was. I grew up with swings a big part of my life. My mother had a passion for them and would find parks with amazing swings in them. (There's one out near Santa Cruz, or used to be, that was really tall and had an amazing view. When you swung high, it felt like you were lifting off and flying.) Remembering that made me realize just how active my mother was in general throughout our growing up years and even beyond. I'll have to talk more about that another time.
Bell Peppers! This is a vegetable I liked okay when I was younger, but now have a true love of. Raw, on salads and sandwiches, or cooked with foods or stuffed - YUMMY! Today's Slow Cooker Chicken Provencal calls for a Red and Yellow Bell pepper, but I used those AND an orange one. I regularly use a green one with my lean ground beef.
Some interesting facts (from Wikipedia):
** Red, yellow and green bell peppers. In some countries these three different-coloured peppers are sold in packs of three and are known as "traffic light peppers".
** Bell peppers are botanically fruits, but are generally considered in culinary contexts to be vegetables.
** The color can be green, red, yellow, orange and more rarely, white, rainbow (between stages of ripening) and purple,
** Compared to green peppers, red peppers have more vitamins and nutrients and contain the antioxidant lycopene. (And they're sweeter!)
** ... one large red bell pepper contains 209 mg of vitamin C, which is three times the 70 mg of an average orange.
Pretty great vegetable (fruit), if you ask me!
Saturday, January 12, 2013
This is our last weekend on break between BLC Round 20 and BLC Round 21. Six of us on two teams (the OUTLAWS and the WARRIORS) agreed to provide weekend challenges for our two teams to help keep us "in the game".
This weekend was mine to create, and I spent a good amount of time in mid-December coming up with what I wanted it to be. I chose to get us FIRED UP for BLC Round 21 - giving us basic healthy habits we could focus on starting with the letters in FIRED UP. (For those curious what this sort of challenge looks like: docs.google.com/document/d/1xRYO3nHQ
Some of the items ask for us to tell our teammates or blog, so I'm putting them here and keeping track of what I've done for the other items.
(25) F = walking Buster (I don't have to - I do it purely for fun)
(25) I = CICO (posted below)
(25) R = 6:05 hours sleep last night
(25) E = French vanilla yogurt (see below)
(25) D = Elliptical up to 7 (usually 6) resistance and upped my speed, pushing 145-150 strides per minute (usually 125-130)
(25) U = Decided and told myself "I can do ten minutes straight on the stair master. " and I DID it! (Max up till now has been 5-7 minutes.)
(25) P = Previous blog discussed my plans to adjust my calorie intake and some other changes to restore some needed balance.
Range = 2210 - 2560
Calories IN = 3251
Calores OUT = 1037
Differential = 395
I've gotten to really liking French Vanilla yogurt. I've always like French Vanilla ice cream. Today I looked up how French Vanilla is different from regular vanilla, realizing I only knew it seemed more yellowish in tone, sometimes had obvious specks of vanilla bean, and tasted yummier. The difference, in ice cream at least, is that it includes egg in the ingredients - basically a custard mixed into the ice cream. In other foods like yogurt it usually just means it has a richer flavor and/or creamier texture.
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