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Low carb I sure hope these guys are right!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

So I've jumped full throttle into this low carb regime.....I'm keeping my net carbs below 40 gms/day.

And you know's not bad....not bad at all! Hell, I really think I could sustain eating like this for the rest of my life!

But I feel incredibly guilty and spend a fair amount of time thinking, "Holy Christ, I can't believe I just ate all the fat on that ribeye steak!" or "Did I really just put an extra pat of butter in the fry pan to make my cheese omelet?!?!"

And then the doubt creeps in...."What if these guys are all wrong? What if this is some world-wide conspiracy trying to lure me into a lipo-suction dependency?!?!"

I mean seriously, the whole premise of this low carb thing is that our body chemistry is out of whack....carbs screw with your insulin levels and cause you to store blood glucose in fat cells.....hence you get fat.

The counter? Ditch the carbs, turn your body into a fat burning machine by eating saturated fats & protein.....and oh yeah, put salt on stuff so you don't lose your electrolytes!

In other words, pretty much the opposite of everything I've been reading about and doing these last few years

Can you understand my moral dilemma?

Yet, it's not so bad. I'm eating tons of salad....coated in my favorite cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil and a tablespoon of I throw in a few chunks of extra sharp cheddar and crack some sea salt chunks over the top.

Are you kidding me......I can do that?!?!

On Monday, while SWMBO spent the night in hospital, I took #2 son to McGuire's Irish pub in Pensacola for dinner ( .....a real treat if you're ever in the panhandle) and I had myself a fan-frickin-tastic ribeye.....and actually asked them, yes asked them, to crumble some blue cheese on there!!

What kind of madness is this?!?!?! I can really do that....and live past Christmas?!?!

But here's the weird part....I feel pretty good....I feel pretty darn OK. Normally after devouring 12 oz of dead cow, I'd feel pretty much like a beached whale.....but I didn' bloated, "I ate too much" feeling at all

Other than the weirdest dream the second day I started this (I was in my conference room, being forced to make bad financial decisions and in order to keep my mouth shut, I kept reaching into a vat of peanut M&Ms and stuffing my mouth with them.....I can still hear the crunching when I think about it!) no real adverse side effects.

Except that I sweat real fast when I start working out. During my ST session yesterday, I got tired more quickly, but I actually finished all my sets & reps feeling pretty strong. During today's cardio, I was dripping sweat like a madman on the warm-up, and I could tell that my heart rate was much higher on lower-than-normal settings.

But I'm also not obsessing about food as much. I think about it just to make sure I have a plan throughout the day (I had to go out for an office lunch today) and I've been packing some stuff for mid-day snacks, but I don't feel compelled to eat all sorts of weird things. Tonight, I actually stopped eating dinner (leeks & chinese cabbage sauteed in olive oil, topped with 6 oz of grilled salmon....yum!) when I was mid-way done because I felt full

Yeah, because I felt full! Me....the guy who still feels compelled to clean off his plate (which is why SWMBO bought us brand new, small dinner plates & bowls, God bless her), left half his food on the plate and is about to go put it into Pyrex container!

So I'm willing to give this a try for a while.....I can run my own experiment to see if the chemical balance thing works or not.....I'm eating almost exactly the same number of calories as before, about 2000-2200/day (my goals are to lose fat and put on muscle, hence the higher calories) and I'm still working out 5-6 days a week between ST and cardio, so the only thing that is changing is the ratio of my nutrients. My past is my control set, because other than the ratio of what I'm eating, everything else is the same.

But 65% fat, 30% protein, and 5% carb! Man I sure hope these guys are right!

Have a great night Spark friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

VHALKYRIE 6/22/2012 8:33PM

    I too had the thoughts about 'OMG what if this is a trick?!'. When I first stopped buying low-fat cottage cheese for full fall cottage cheese, I nearly had a panic attack. I ate my bowl of cottage cheese, and I was almost waiting for the heart attack. It went on like this for weeks. I started cooking with real butter and coconut oil, and same thing. I took a bite, and waited to see if I felt chest pains. Then it was with eggs. I started eating way more eggs than recommended. Every time I ate an egg, I wondered if my plaque walls were closing. I wish I was exaggerating, but it's a true story.

Obviously, I lived.


And yes, it was VERY hard breaking away from everything I thought I knew to be true. A paradigm shift, and one of the hardest transformations to make. I stopped worrying about it after my doc gave me a pass. My numbers were good before, but they were even better after. She told me to keep doing what I'm doing.

Also, your lower energy during workouts is normal during the early stages. Your body isn't adapted yet to burning ketones (from stored fat) versus glucose. It will get better. Studies have shown that fat-adapted athletes perform just as well as glucose-adapted athletes, with one exception. Sprinters do better with glucose. They think it is because that may be the only type of fuel that the body can use in short, intense bursts.

Comment edited on: 6/22/2012 9:17:54 PM

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GOPINTOS 6/22/2012 5:58PM

    I thought maybe I had written this! ha

So far so good. I do stall once in awhile and I just have to shake it up. Best of luck on your journey!

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EGALITAIRE 6/22/2012 4:30PM

    There is lots of evidence that dietary fat does not make us fat, or does it increase cholesterol levels, in fact a diet with macros like you described is more likely to lower cholesterol, which may not even be implicated in heart disease.

I have been following a nutritional plan similar to what you describe for many months - not only has the weight come off, so has the inches. I lost 5 inches off my waist within a few months and am down 55 pounds since January.

My experience with both endurance and lifting is a little different than yours. Firstly, I am finding I am sweating less. My endurance has increased significantly. I mountain bike ride and live in the north, so only ride from about April to November, which means every April, I have to get back into riding condition. From years of experience I know I can only do about an hours ride at the start of the season - I can usually work that up to being comfortable on a 3 hour ride with the occasional 4 hour ride that takes me about a week to recover from.

At the beginning of this season I felt so good, I did a 2 hour ride after only about 2 weeks of riding, and then a 3 hour ride the next week end. I had energy to spare after both them - I did gardening and other chores, which definitely wouldn't have happened in the past.

One thing to be aware of - it takes 3 - 4 weeks for your body to convert from wanting to burn carbs to being a fat burner - I don't know all the science, but what I have read matches my experience - when that happens, you will have more energy for your workouts.

What I have noticed in my strength training (I have gone back to lifting heavy - something I did many years ago but got away from) is the DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) is much less - almost none. I think this is a lack of inflammation response from not eating grain-based carbs as they are implicated in inflammation - including cardio-vascular disease.

I like you, hope these guys are right, cause I like everything about this lifestyle - I feel great, have decreased % body fat and lost inches and weight - and it took my awhile to not have second thoughts when I was stuffing my face with bacon.

Look forward to following you on your journey.

Stay Strong

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NAYPOOIE 6/22/2012 3:31PM

    Do not listen to the people who say to keep it low fat. It doesn't work.

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JECKIE 6/22/2012 11:03AM

    Good luck! Keep careful track on how you're feeling.

Personally I don't believe endurance athletes do well on very low-carb. I eat lowER carb than the average American (usually under 150) but if I go down below 60 my runs suffer.

I'll be curious to see how it does for you long-term.

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JECKIE 6/22/2012 11:03AM

    Good luck! Keep careful track on how you're feeling.

Personally I don't believe endurance athletes do well on very low-carb. I eat lowER carb than the average American (usually under 150) but if I go down below 60 my runs suffer.

I'll be curious to see how it does for you long-term.

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SHERYL_B 6/22/2012 8:21AM

    So interesting!

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BOB240 6/22/2012 4:02AM

I'm a fan of low carb/high protein... it seems to work for me.. I think there is still an issue about fat.. go here:


The "Telegraph" is a substantial British ppaer ( a bit right wing but usually reports facts OK)

Certainly the fats I take in are from nuts olive oil and oily fish. I was never too happy with a lot of fat - in this way I tend to agree with lowfatfoodie...

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    I'm interested in seeing how this experiment goes as well. Keep us posted!

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BERGBA7 6/22/2012 3:09AM

    I have always been a very high carb eater, so I really don't want to try that. But, I am interested in what the results of your experiment are. I would be worried about blood fat levels (cholesterol and co.) on your diet, but who am I to know how our bodies really work. What does your book say about vegetable protein - beans, peas, soy... and so on. This usually has less fat but also more carbs? Can you eat those?
Enjoy your ribs and blue cheese!

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HEALTHIERKEN 6/22/2012 12:26AM

    I'd be cautious here. Maybe check out this calculator

and read LiveStrong's article about carb requirements . . . .

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TRIANGLE-WOMAN 6/21/2012 11:38PM

    Super low carb has always worked for me, but I just can't keep it going forever. I went from 215 lbs to 208 lbs in March eating mostly meat and cream cheese and celery. However, I cried every time I saw a mango and being half Italian, a certain about of risotto, pizza and pasta eventually just "happens."

Let us know what momentum it creates for you. If my "lower carb" approach does not get the scale moving... I will try the super low carb again to get the scale moving.

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WOUBBIE 6/21/2012 11:04PM

    Not to worry. Those guys are right.

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REBECCATKD 6/21/2012 10:26PM

    Holy cow, those percentages are crazy! Keep me posted on the progress. I do love the idea of feeling full -- and I also love a good steak with blue cheese.

Tell SWMBO how awesome she is -- what a wonderful support she is!

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    Good luck! Keep us posted!

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Low Carb it chemistry or physics?

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Well Spark friends, your trusted author and SP buddy is about to start shaking things up!!

I'm an avid reader. Some of my most recent conquests have varied from good fiction (Moby Dick), to trash fiction (delightfully entertaining World War Z), to heavy-tomed non-fiction (Daniel Yergin's, The Quest), to niche non-fiction (Starting Strength by Joe Rippetoe)

Well on my trip to DC this past week, I downloaded a copy of Gary Taubes' "Why We Get Fat" and devoured it on both legs of the trip.

It's a paean to a low carb lifestyle. While it doesn't advocate any one of the various diets out there (Atkins, Paleo, South Beach, yadda-yadda-yadda), it's a pretty good survey of the literature, the science, the evidence, and the chemistry of what carbs & sugars do in our bodies.

Being a data hound and a scientist at heart (I was an astronomer with NASA in a previous life straight out of college), I started scouring the web for more info, even downloaded a few more books from Amazon and have spent my weekend reading them.

So I'm thinking about giving this a try....and here's why....

I'm kind of eating like this anyway....not totally, obviously, but I eat starchy things like rice, potatoes, & breads only once or twice a week at most anyway. Every now and then when temptation sneaks up on me (like last week's trip to DC) I'll indulge in some pastries or cookies when they're around.

Now I do eat a lot of fruit.....5-6 servings a day when I can, so this might be problematic.

But here's the main reason I want to give this a go.

What if our bodies' functioning is dictated more by chemistry than by physics? What if instead of the rote calories in/calories out model, our bodies are in equilibrium based on nutrients? What if excess carbs set our bodies in a state of equilibrium where we store more fat, water, & sodium?

That's what I've concluded as a going in hypothesis as I've surveyed what I can find out there.

Now I'm not ready to start having bratwursts and bacon for breakfast every day (but seriously, how cool would that be!!), but I am willing to commit to reducing carbs to a much lower level. My ever-faithful nutrition tracker (and I do track EVERYTHING I eat) shows that I average about 160-180 gms of carbs a day, with occasional spikes (damn conferences!) of 300-350.

I think I can drive that number much at least 80 or less.

So I'm going to venture into some uncharted territory for a little while and see what I find out there. As with all things in my SP experience, I'm setting sustainability as my first objective.....nothing drastic, no one hit wonders that can only last a few days, but more of a gradual adjustment of the types of food I eat to see if altering my body chemistry has an appreciable effect on my health.

More to follow.....and your inputs are always welcome!

Have a great night Spark friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FANGFACEKITTY 6/24/2012 4:36PM

    You were an astronomer with NASA? Seriously cool!

I haven't read Tuabes, and really only know what I've picked up from blogs here and there about low-carb, Paleo, etc. My own personal non-scientific non-data driven opinion is there is no one size fits all approach so we are all an experiment of one. Different approaches work for different people. I've toyed with the notion of trying low carb (although I really couldn't tell you what my current normal average is, I don't think I've ever paid attention) but with moving to France where there is a bakery on every corner I suspect a low carb diet might be somewhat more difficult.

Plus I love pizza, pasta and the occasional italian or french loaf dipped olive oil & herbs or arrabiata sauce so I think I will just continue on with portion controls instead.

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VIMVIGOR 6/19/2012 1:24AM

  Good luck, keeep us informed on your results. Cheryl emoticon

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SHERYL_B 6/18/2012 10:14PM

    Good luck. I am happy to let you be the test bunny! I'll be interested to hear your results. I do think that it is the mix of what you eat, not just the calories that come into play.

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HAKAPES 6/18/2012 4:32PM

    Hay man, sounds interesting!
I recommend to do a 30-day trial. This is long enough to give it a go, discover the benefits, see the downsides. Then after the 30 days, you can still decide to keep it or let it go.
Right now I am doing a 30-day trial for 8h sleep.

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VHALKYRIE 6/18/2012 1:43PM

    For the record, I don't follow Atkins. I follow "Protein Power" from Drs. Eades. It's basically a modified form of Atkins. There are no carbs that are disallowed, just how much. My daily carb total is about 60-80g per day. Been doing it for about a year, and it works just fine for me. I'm way below the Spark recommended carbs, but 160g carbs is way too high for me. Been doing this long enough that I know what my carb tolerances are. If I eat about 100g carbs, I stop losing weight. 120g+ I gain. The more insulin resistance a person has, the more they have to lower their carb count. Some people can lose weight with more carbs. By the time a person is clinically insulin resistant, they are pre-diabetes, but there are varying degrees before that. For me, right around 60 is my ideal for weight loss (I was never diagnosed as insulin resistant, but my own observation shows I do not have high carb tolerance).

My diet primarily composes of protein and vegetables, with an occasional treat I make myself. I drink wine and beer regularly. I work out about 150 minutes total each week (about 30minutes 3-4x per week). I exercise because I enjoy it, not because I feel like I have to 'burn off calories'.

Just like any other 'lifestyle' change, if you lose weight at 80g carbs and you go back to eating as many carbs as you were before, you're going to gain it back. So if you're someone who likes eating a lot of bread and starchy carbs (personally, I don't miss it), then it's probably better to find a way to make a higher carb diet work. For me, this is the only thing that has worked for me in 10 years, and I couldn't be happier. My weight is down, blood pressure is down, resting heart rate is down, etc. I'm just better fueled. My doc said I'm one of her healthiest clients, and to keep doing what I'm doing.

Comment edited on: 6/18/2012 2:01:50 PM

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LOWFATFOODIE 6/18/2012 12:56PM

    Well, I am convinced that everyone's bodies are different and are different at different times in their lives. So you'll never know until you try and what works now, might not work in 2 years.

I used to be a great fan of Atkins. Meat and cheese... mmmm
I had great success with it when I started my first diet. Yes, it was when I was 'on a diet'. Problem was, it got me used to eating in quantities and WAY too much fat. And it didn't change how I felt. No extra energy, in fact, I felt more lethargic (that's the cheese influence)
Next time I tried it, it was less effective and I couldn't stick with it with so little results.
Third time- not at all effective. I could follow to T for months and my body just refused to budge.

That's when I turned into the Low Fat convert. Eating low fat gave me more energy. Fortunately, when I was also introduced to Clean Eating, I found that it was easily low fat, although I purposefully reintroduced good fats like avocado, nuts, seeds...

Oddly, I have come full circle and if I'm eating clean, I seem to be naturally low carb, like you-- I'm often down near 80g and have to fight to get to the 135g minimum Spark suggests. Basically I have to mindfully eat brown rice, or whole wheat pasta, or whole grain bread at least once or twice a day or I don't make it.

Good luck with your experiment. Don't get too attached with the results. Your body will change once again once it normalizes to the eating pattern.

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BOB240 6/18/2012 12:24PM

    ha!..physicist here.....

Like an earlier poster, ten years ago I realised that I wasn't going to lose the weight purely by training even though I can train a lot.

When I was introduced to calories as an idea I thought OK... keep it at 2000 do a bit of exercise and I'll lose 2 pounds a weeks.

The problem was that i started with a "balanced" diet. i.e equal shares of carbs. BUT I was always hungry. If I ate two bits of bread I always felt unsatisfied. Over a few weeks I took more and more calories through protein (chicken and tuna) and less through carbs. Eventually I got to the point where I felt full on 2000 calories a day but with a very high protein diet.

Actually - I felt OK.. so kept on with it.

I now know that I actually need about 1g/pound bodyweight to stand a chance of keeping muscle so I do use an extra protein shake. (sweet ones help and they kill your appetite)

So technically I am on a high protein diet and it works. Its not as extreme as say Atkins and in fact I do eat oats every morning (these do help) AND I always snack on apples. Again contrary to Atkins. I think very high protein/fat diets do lead to hiugher colestorol ( a recent Swedish study has shown this) and you need roughage - fruit is good.

Bottom line though. Carbs seem to do me in.Eating anything carbohydrate starts me on a bad path and I only eat them in very small amounts. I dare not go near chocalate, doughnuts, pizza.. just by typing them in - I have put on three pounds

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VHALKYRIE 6/18/2012 11:12AM

    I came to this same conclusion a year ago. The result for me was great. I was able to lose the weight I had struggled with for 10 years...almost effortlessly. And I've been able to sustain and maintain.

I'm a science minded person also (electrical engineer/computer science here), and I used to believe in the calorie in-calorie out math. It seemed to be a simple thermodynamic exchange. Burn more calories, lose weight. Except this is completely wrong. Biology is not a closed energy exchange system. Carbs, fat and protein are energy sources that induce different chemical responses in the body which influences what the body does with them.

As you read in "Why We Get Fat", there are two hormones that influence fat storage and release: insulin and glucagon. Insulin stimulates fat storage. Glucagon stimulates fat release. Carbohydrates releases insulin. Protein releases glucagon and a small amount of insulin. Consumed fat releases neither. All carbohydrates, whether whole grain or refined is broken down into sugar, and the body has to do something with it fast because too much sugar is toxic. However, it gets more complicated than that. Fructose and glucose are processed differently. Glucose can be used immediately. Fructose has to be broken down in the liver. Thus, it is not true that high fructose corn syrup is processed the same as table sugar. I read an interesting article that suggested HFCS stimulates more fat storage, and thus a store bought cookie is more fattening than a homemade cookie.

Anyway, interested to hear more about your progress. Feel free to contact me if you'd like to chat more, or read my blogs about the discovery journey I went through in the last year.

Comment edited on: 6/18/2012 11:13:28 AM

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NAYPOOIE 6/18/2012 10:45AM

    I have to disagree with one thing. This is not "uncharted territory". I highly recommend benefiting from other people's experience, no need to wander around without a map.

Quietude, you say of low carb diets that you "always put more weight back on the minute I go off them." I've seen a number of people say something similar. The reason this happens is because you (and those others) don't do carbs well. Carbs make you fat. It isn't the case with everybody, but your particular body, as you stated yourself, gains weight when you start eating carbs again. This isn't caused by your attempt at a low carb lifestyle, it is just the way you are. So think about it like this: you lose when you don't eat many carbs, and you gain when you eat them. Which way of life will serve you better?

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WOUBBIE 6/18/2012 10:08AM

    You're definitely on the right track. We're all just walking chemistry labs. Math and physics certainly have their moments here, but nearly everything our bodies do is governed by those little chemical messengers.

If you're concerned about dropping your fruit intake switch to the lowest glycemic index ones out there first - mostly berries. Your sense of taste will change pretty rapidly, though, so some of the veggies you don't currently think of as "sweet" will surprise you in just a few weeks with their flavorfulness.

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TRIANGLE-WOMAN 6/18/2012 5:58AM

    I figured you had a science background. Not many people would connect Schrodinger with Heisenburg.

You'd find the Vlog Brothers 31 Nerdy Jokes amusing. It's all in the delivery ... See the link on my latest "100 laughs" post when you need a chuckle.

As you have seen, I'm on a 14 day quest to gain some momentum myself. Tired of putzing around.

.·*¨) ✫ ¸.·*¨) Keep us posted. Thanks for sharing!
(¸.·´ .·´ ¸¸.·¨¯`·.✫
¸.·*¨) ✫ ¸.·*¨)✫ Spread the Spark....
(¸.·´ .·´ (¸.·´¸¸.·¨¯`·.✫

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BERGBA7 6/18/2012 2:55AM

    Low carb seems to be a good idea, but as you say in your blog, nothing too drastic, because you should be able to make it a permanent lifestyle, not just momentary change. I am on a similar type of journey myself as many of the people that posted on your blog. I started off tracking food a year ago and noticed that I only ate 40grams of protein a day... This made me think. Now, I am around 80grams a day with occasional "better" days, but I still have too many carbs. Please keep us posted, since we are all very interested in your journey and avid to learn from you.

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ACCEPTHECHLNGE 6/18/2012 12:51AM

    I have been reducing carbs for a couple of years, now. There is always a time when I crave it again, like my European whole grain bread. In January I did concentrate on staying on a low-carb diet and no added sugar for an entire month. It was not easy, but in the end, I felt better and eventually did lose some weight.
I am interested to hear how you will fare with this experiment and your new commitment to low-carb eating, and how it will affect your well-being. Please, do share your findings and keep us informed. We might all learn something from it.

Comment edited on: 6/18/2012 12:54:04 AM

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BRADOS 6/17/2012 10:54PM

    Low carb definitely works - had great success with it in the past - just too hard to make a permanent life style for me - although I hope that I have taken some lessons from that to merge into my current life style

best of luck with whatever you try

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QUIETUDEAGAIN1 6/17/2012 10:18PM

  I have tried low and no carb and although I lost weight on them I could never make it a life style choice and always put more weight back on the minute I go off them. I have read several books on blood type and am wondering if maybe there just might be something to that notion. I have been keeping an unofficial track on my friends and have discovered that most gravitate to the type of diet that is recommended for their blood type even though they don't know anything about them. I think it is O that thrives on low-carb , A on vegetarian, and B on a combination of everything with a few exceptions. I am a B. My friends who have managed to make low-carb a life style have absolutely fantastic health and energy now that they didn't have before so I know that it does definitely work for some people. Hope you have the success you are looking for.

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KICK-SS 6/17/2012 10:16PM

    I, too, would be interested in your progress on this.. I have pretty much eliminated all starchy carbs and legumes, that sort of thing. I try to keep the carb level to less than 50 grams per day max. Less is better.

But keep us posted on your progress and how it works out for you.

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HEALTHIERKEN 6/17/2012 9:54PM

    OK. I'm going to follow your experiment. Not that I'm unhappy with how the SP carb/fat/protein recommendations seem to affect my health, but because DW periodically does the minimal-carb thing with little discernible lasting success. Is it her erratic application of the plan? Is her personal unsuitability for that particular eating style? Is it the additives that come with the heavy protein load--eg, the salt in the bacon and fried pork rinds? All of that interests me as does the thought of too little fibre to ensure "smooth living" . . .

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ONUTHIN125 6/17/2012 8:56PM

    emoticon Please keep me posted. I too am very interested in this avenue. My only concern is that I have high cholesterol. Everyday I eat a bowl of oatmeal which takes a good portion of my carbs for the day. I have been playing with the idea of trying this "lifestyle" without giving up my oatmeal. I will watch for your progress. Good luck and Spark On! emoticon

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Tour de France spin class.....really?

Monday, June 11, 2012

So for whatever reason, today I felt energized and decided that Monday deserved a double workout: spin class for lunch and ST before dinner!

Now after all the rain here in the panhandle this weekend, it was ridiculously humid today. Just sitting there drawing a breath had us all sweaty before we even cranked a pedal. Not that that distracted the sadistic instructor....we climbed hills like there was no tomorrow. For whatever reason, today's class had a bunch of Tour de France wannabees (and a return visit by one of the "Sisters of Pain" (see old blog:
) which really started to grind on my nerves)

The wannabees (all decked out in multi-colored regalia....and one embarrassing gent who wore a bib overall.....with no shirt....TO AN INDOOR SPIN CLASS!) were in full force, throwing out names like Contador, Evans, Wiggins, as if calling out their names would help them spin faster in the humid Florida air......just shut-up and pedal people!!!

Even instructor guy, a normally level-headed, no nonsense dude, was caught up in the frenzy. His usual brutality consists of a steady 10 minutes of ever-increasing resistance at the end of the class.....every 30 seconds we push it up a gear while maintaining an ever-difficult cadence of between 65-75 RPM.

Today he couldn't resist. "Come on, think about Col du Tourmalet, here we go!!"

Col du What?!?! Why are you pandering to these spandex clad sissies in the back row?!?! I'm here in the front row, keeping the pace and not chiming in like those yahoos with some fantasy about drafting on Lance Armstrong's left side!

Anyway it was a good workout, but jeez, if I'd have known it was bring your fantasy to workout day, I'd have opted for some intervals on the elliptical!

I don't know if that had an irreparable effect on my psyche later in the day or if it was the 110% humidity that crept in through the air conditioning vents, but my ST session was exhausting. Now trainer guy said it was actually a pretty good session, but man did I have to work for it. Today was one of those medium weight/higher rep days where I do 80% of my max weight, but instead of 5 reps we do seems like I'm just lifting and pulling against gravity for forever.

I must have drank a gallon of water and it took us 90 minutes to get through the whole routine, but in the end we declared victory....or maybe, in commemoration of the Tour de France I should have declared liberté, égalité, fraternité!!

Anyway, I'm off to DC tomorrow for a few days. Got some meetings here in the morning then I catch a flight out in the afternoon. Maybe I can duck out for another spin class before my flight, this time with the curvilicious instructor so that I can over-ride today's unsettling memories

Have a great night Spark friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRIANGLE-WOMAN 6/14/2012 8:23PM

    Made me chuckle...

"I would rather have a German division in front of me than a French one behind me."
—General George S. Patton


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HEALTHIERKEN 6/12/2012 10:29AM

    The title intrigued and the blog delivered delight : )
Allons enfants de la patrie!!!!!

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BSTOIBER1 6/12/2012 9:53AM

    Great blog! emoticon I agree, you word picture was quite hilarious! emoticon
Safe travels!

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BEATLETOT 6/12/2012 8:29AM

    Hooray for DC! There's a great pho place in Rosslyn!

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    I love your spinning class descriptions! Sounds hilarious! Have fun in D.C. My daughter is coming back from there today. She went out there Friday with the Girl Scouts.

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KALISWALKER 6/12/2012 12:31AM

    LOL the gent who wore a bib overall.....with no shirt.... would have me going to class for the laughs! Enjoy DC!

PS thanks for your encouragement!

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    heh. You painted that picture quite well. emoticon

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Going like Gangbusters!

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

So every now and then everything seems to hit on all 8 cylinders. I have learned to accept those days and be grateful.

Today was such a day!

My secretary was out for 10 days (cruise to Alaska....she's the one that talked me and SWMBO into taking the same cruise in July). Anyway, between her being out and me breaking in a new 20-something office assistant, my schedule has been getting a little out of control.

Now that she's back, and the fact that 20-something kid is actually working out OK, I actually had huge chunks of white space on the calendar today.....time where I could actually think, get caught up on reading, plan for the future, and not be rushed from meeting-to-meeting and decision-to-decision.


I was also able to take care of a few personal things (my tail-light got broken in the airport parking lot when I was out of town last week…luckily the guy fessed up and their insurance will fix it…..I found time today to take the car to a repair place to get an estimate at lunch time)

On top of all that I had a fan-frickin-tastic ST session with trainer guy in the gym tonight!

It sounds weird, but after being at it for 3 years straight, I think I’m at a fairly intermediate level of proficiency, where I can discern improvements and make differences by focusing on things like breathing, core firmness & stability, and proprioceptive feedback on body position. While still physically hard, I’ve got the mental focus to where I can still think pretty straight and clear even when my body wants to say, “Basta!”

So tonight I sit back, grateful that I can look back on a day where most everything went like gangbusters….and will try to remember it on those many other days when they don’t!

Have a great night Spark friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STEPHARLO 6/12/2012 5:43PM

    Love reading about the happy times! Thanks for sharing.

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SHERYL_B 6/7/2012 11:37PM

    Glad for you!

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HEALTHIERKEN 6/7/2012 10:48AM

    Great blog! Good on ya for taking time to appreciate things going right--acknowledging the positive really puts the negatives in their place.

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BEATLETOT 6/7/2012 8:45AM

    So happy that your time is freeimg up!

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LOWFATFOODIE 6/7/2012 12:38AM

    Sounds like a great day- congrats!

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TRIANGLE-WOMAN 6/6/2012 11:35PM

    Good on you too!


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    Good to hear you've hit your pace right now.
I'm all-in, balls-to-the-wall so to speak right now with fitness and running.....and I've found some breathing room for the time being in regards to work, so it's all balancing out :)

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    Sounds like a great day! Good for you! By the way - I tend to burn more calories in an hour of fast walking than in an hour of a really hard DVD workout. :)

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EXERTIGER 6/6/2012 10:34PM

    Glad you had a good day and that the new assistant is working out. emoticon

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Home gym plans.....for when the zombies attack!

Sunday, June 03, 2012

So I sometimes indulge a rather rich fantasy life. I chillaxed today on the deck, reading nothing but perfect summertime beach trash (World War Z)

In between asking myself how I'd react to the Zombie Apocalypse were it to happen today (SWMBO's prepared us only for hurricanes and wildfires), my thoughts floated to how I'm in pretty good

But what about down the road? What about a few years from now, 5, 10, and beyond? Can I still maintain? Will I still be motivated? Will I just retire and shuffle around slowly in white shoes and sansa-belt pants pulled up to my chest, trying to hitch a ride out of town as the undead swarm the condo gates?

Hell no!

So obviously, to avoid this scenario, I need to stay healthy....all my life. And to do so, I need.....

....a home gym!!

So SWMBO and I are lucky enough to own and rent out houses in other states. We haven't decided where to move to when the day comes, although if it were up to her, we'd go to Oklahoma.....her family and friends (one gal she has been friends with since Kindergarten!) are all there.

But rather than dwell on that idea, I made a mental shift as I watched pelicans and herons hunt for fish in the Santa Rosa Sound, and spent a dreamy afternoon planning how I'd take a bedroom (or 2 if I can convince her to let me knock out a wall!) and transform it into my home gym fantasy!

(Now I'm smart enough to know it won't be all mine, so of course I gave due consideration to putting in a some things for her as well.....God forbid she doesn't have a place for her mini-trampoline!)

So, given that in my mind there is almost infinite space, here are a few of the things that I absolutely must have:


Winters are cold in OKC, especially when the wind comes roaring down the plain, so to keep warm, I'll need to be able to do indoor cardio. What would be better than a fleet of machines to rev up the heart rate!

A Rowing Machine:

A Spin Cycle:

(SAFARIBABE already beat me to it and has one of these wonderful beasts in her NYC apt.....GRRRR)

and maybe an elliptical.....not sure yet, but what the hell, it's my dream gym!


This is what really go me thinking! No more having to wait for squat racks or benches! No more wondering where the 40 lb dumbbells went! ST on demand I my own house! (And besides, I can use the barbells to crush a few zombie skulls when the time comes)

The cool thing is that as I travel I get to see a whole bunch of neato gyms and have been keeping notes on stuff I really want (like that Keiser spin cycle Tory!)

First and foremost, a really good power rack:

To keep it fun for SWMBO, I'll even splurge on some colored weights to improve the aesthetics:

Of course we'd need a nice bench:

and a good set of dumbells:

I was undecided about a TV, but in the end, I figure I need to make room for it just in case....maybe I'll put it in the sauna room off to the side:

(of course this means that I'll have to hook up an entire home audio system to the gym as well in case SWMBO wants to pump in Lady Gaga, Fergie, Adele, or whoever is hot on the UK charts in 2025!)

Oh yeah, can't forget about stretching, so we'll definitely need a Tru-Stretch rack!

I figure I'll leave wall coloring and mats to SWMBO. Of course we'll have to have at least one if not two walls mirrored......but then I got to thinking.......

....some of my favorite gyms layouts have been big, open maybe we need this to be....

A Solarium Gymnasium!!!

The only real question then becomes, do I keep a personal trainer on the payroll?

So that was my afternoon reverie as I prepared for the Zombie Apocalypse......what did you do to get ready?

Have a great night Spark friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PROT358 6/6/2012 1:16AM

    My, my, am I green with envy. Say yes to the elliptical if either of you will use it. Great cardio, whole-body workout. And yes tv! That's the only thing that gets me through the workouts.

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SAFARIBABE 6/5/2012 4:55PM

    Shoot! After that blog I'm getting a third lock on my door to keep you fom coming north (not that you ever do in all your travels) and wheeling off with my beautiful, still haven't quite found the sweet spot bike! LOL it really is a sweet

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LEEANNV3 6/5/2012 4:26PM

    Great blog ... I was needing ideas for my own fantasy gym and you got me off to a good start.

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TEXAS_GRL 6/4/2012 9:25PM

    Wow, I have read this book and my mind did not drift off the home gym. LOL I figured if I was surviving the Zombie Apocalypse -- I would be getting tons of cardio by running for my life. :)

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NYKIMMIE 6/4/2012 3:51PM

    I have Zombies,Run on my workout,gets you walking a little faster,lol. I will ave to check out the book . emoticon

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TRIANGLE-WOMAN 6/4/2012 8:13AM

    Nice! I just joined "Team Zombie" and am working on my 10 song Zombie Apocalypse playlist.

Will work on gym ideas next...although I really like going out to the gym as it motivates me to be around people who actually seem to like to be there. I'm still working on that.

Although, lack of food and having run or be eaten will probably do the trick....


Comment edited on: 6/4/2012 8:14:18 AM

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BBECKER1955 6/4/2012 5:59AM

    Of course you need a TV! How else are you going to get your all zombie all-the-time reports? Great fun and a few new ideas. If only I can get DW to go for the personal trainer idea. emoticon

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BOB240 6/4/2012 3:38AM

    Lat's see..

Cardio- yep. If I had only one piece of cardio equipment - it would be the concept 2 rower you've got. In commercial gyms they last for decades (few moving parts) and can train anyone from obese to Olympic athlete. They lend themselves to HIIT and they pack away small.

The bike would be my second choice too.In real life I'd spend the money on a good outdoor bike. The rower wins over a bike because it'e whole body cardio .

Ellipticals - I've never trained with. I've used them but never really tested them as a means to strengthen. I note though that all my skiing training for cardio was d done on a bike and rower - and it worked very well.

Power rack..... oh yes.............. no question. I might add a lats pulldown and dips bars on it..

Colouured weights.... maybe not :)

Bench is a must to fit into the rack..

Dumbells I'm torn. I like screw fix dumbells with a selection of smaller weights. Fixed weight dumbelles are annoying because they get mixed up..

Stretching... just a mat..

Sauna.. I'm torn. I love them but ... they tend to lure me away from workouts...
Personal trainer...... same problem as saunas....................

I was going to blog a few weeks back about a home gym for uner $1000 - buying critical equipment from ebay. I think a Concept 2, a rack , a bench and the rest made up in olympic bars and weights can just be done for the cost of a years gym membership!!

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LOWFATFOODIE 6/4/2012 12:50AM

    Loved this post. thanks for making me laugh. I have a home gym (in my living room), but no where near cool stuff like that.

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HEALTHIERKEN 6/4/2012 12:08AM

    I'll take the solarium with mirrors on the fourth wall, a tv/dvd player to give me Tony Horton's current version of P90X, a really nice treadmill that somehow resembles a woodland running path, yeah, a sauna c/w massage specialist . . . oh, and surrounded by a garlic garden. Would that keep the zombies away?????

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