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Cutting back vs. cutting out (+ FNF update)

Sunday, February 19, 2012

I was reading a forum question on cutting back vs. cutting out, and had so many thoughts, that I've rather write a blog about it.

There are a few things that had been replaced with alternatives. For example instead of bread, I eat Wasa Crisp'n'Light Rye crispbread (20kcal/slice), or puffed rice (40kcal/slice), because it allows me to eat more worry free. 1 slice of bread averages around (30g) 100kcal. So, I can eat 5 slices instead of one for the same calories.

www.reuters.com/article/2009/
08/18/idUS190083+18-Aug-2009+PRN20090818


Also, I abandoned most soda, even cola light, but more for the reason to skip caffeine for the good night's sleep.

www.myzeo.com/sleep/knowledge
-center/articles/7-ways-improve-sleep-
tonight


Also, my alcohol intake is much less, and if I drink, I go for high quality wine and spirits. Then for fruit juices, if I have the choice, I rather eat the "fruit" version instead of the drink. So my consumption of fruit juices have also gone down.

Some very high fat foods are not in my kitchen anymore, but less because they are cut out, and more because I haven't eaten them lately and they faded out, they were so high in calories: french fries, high fat meat and fish (Mackerel, bacon), butter, margarine, jams, jellies.

However, there are some new foods in my diet, that are heavy in calories, but were not in my diet before:
- Dark chocolate 70%+
- Olive oil
- Peanut butter
- Canned baked white bean
- Macadamia nuts
- Honey
- Granola (in Europe it's called Müsli or muesli)
- Avocado, pineapple, honeydew melon, dried fruits

Somehow, I see these of high nutritional value, and eat them with moderation.

Also, I discovered that from dark chocolate I only eat 1 or 2 squares, and I am happy to enjoy the taste. While with milk chocolate, I often get the sugar cravings after the first square and don't have the raw willpower to stop, so I tend not to eat these. In exchange I eat dark chocolate from the expensive brands. Funnily, I spend less on chocolate by buying the expensive brands. My favourite is Valrhona, a French manufacturer. www.valrhona.com


This is not usual in Central-Europe, dark chocolate consumption here is very low, people usually go for Milka and Kitkat and similar. In the summer, after my holidays in France, I came back with a nice pack of different dark chocolates, and made a tasting in the office during a week, every day a different taste, with some background info.

What I also noticed, that because my nutrition is healthy in general, I have a lot of buffer for those emotionally troubled times, when I need to comfort. Then, I just go for the big cakes without hesitation. ;-)

========================================
======

FNF UPDATE
My FNF goals were the following:
www.sparkpeople.c om/mypage_public_journal_indivi dual.asp?blog_id=4681458

emoticon1. Emotional: Gratitude light
Done every evening, the 5 things that I am grateful during that day.
I discovered that even on the "darkest days", there are so many good things happening. Somehow it started to shift my focus.
I also discovered that there are a few things that I really value in life, but I didn't pay attention to them until now. Funny.

emoticon2. Body: BAM Brush-After-Meal
Brush my teeth after breakfast: done every day.
I skipped it only once, when I miscalculated my time one morning.
It has a great effect to reduce hunger, too.
I will go on for one more week, then I add it after lunch, too. I still reserve the liberty to have snacks afterwards, although I expect it will go down, but the goal is to brush my teeth.

emoticon3. Mental: Morning pages
This will come only later.

emoticon4. Spiritual: Meditation
This will come only later.
==
From my 10K run yesterday:


Forum link:
Cutting back vs. cutting out
www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/messageb
oard.asp?imboard=7&imparent=26816959&s
trViewThisPage=1

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHANGINGMORGAN 2/23/2012 10:05AM

    I'm also very interested in this concept and am interested to think about it in conjunction to the question i just asked for FNF. Because of what I'm "giving up",certain things will automatically be cut out or cut back. Thanks for sharing this.

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KIMBERTA99 2/21/2012 12:40AM

    Oliver....it is certainly woth the effort to see if there are alternatives to certain food...like bread...I will have to be on the look out for crisp bread. I know we have some bread that comes toasted and they have a high fiber one. I always have 2 slices of bread with my egg whites in the morning..but if I could find an alternative to give me more for the same calories or less..I am in!! I like how you have cut out and cut down on certain foods. Knowing which triggers you to eat more..like the milk chocolate you are ahead of the game!! I will check out that article for sure!!

Oh I was at the beach today and everytime someone went by running i thought about my runner spark friend emoticon!!

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KKINNEA 2/20/2012 3:34PM

    Nice update - I'm way behind on FNF and owe Morgan and myself an update!

I was interested in your statement on Europeans eating more milk chocolate than dark. I remember a conversation with a fellow grad student years ago that they ate more dark chocolate. Either way, you and I are the winners - we're satisfied with less and better tasting chocolate!

Wasa is great stuff - I always enjoy it!

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CCASKEY37 2/20/2012 7:47AM

    Great read. I got a few pointers that I will follow. In New York, my favorite dark chocolate is Ghirdelli squares 72% One bag lasts me a little more than a week. If I go with the cheaper milk chocolate, I could finish it in a day.

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KRISZTA11 2/19/2012 2:51PM

    Interesting thoughts, thank you for sharing!
You have been making very healthy choices.

My daughter and I do the same with dark chocolate (nothing fancy, just plain dark chocolate): eat only 1-2 squares, and it doesn't induce cravings really.

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SAQUOIA1 2/19/2012 1:21PM

    great read thanks for the alternate ideas

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The Year of Running

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Well, I have this zillion ideas on my mindmap in which areas of myself I want to grow this year. It has my personal goals, then body, spirit, mind, and daily life as main branches.


The good thing about mindmaps, that ideas just grow on them by themselves, and when it is about personal development, somehow they grow even faster. emoticon
The bad thing about mindmaps, that they grow... emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

emoticonI was hesitating what to put as an exercise goal, there is running, swimming, cycling, weight training, zumba, and so on, combined into a triathlon, and with sparkpeople on top.
Plus, I have these ideas on changing my environment to be more healthy, like use an exercise ball at the office to sit, convert my bureau to a standing desk, a whole branch on sleep improvement alone, with many books to read in all topics.

emoticonLaurie9404 told about the book "Living the 80/20 way", which I started to read with my friend in January. We buddy coach each other for time management. I am only at chapter three, but already, I find the book very inspirational. It is about less is more. And to go for the things that really make me happy. And in order to have 80 as result, to focus on a few important things (vs. many things in parallel).

emoticonSo, I decided to cut through the jungle.


I keep my top priority to finish my 4 stage diet program in SP, I am in stage 3.
This is to finish something I have started to free up energy, to start a new cycle of experience.

emoticonOtherwise, I make this year The Year Of Running. emoticon


To keep focus among the so many exercises I want to improve on.
Running is also the highest in calorie burn of my exercises (Nordic skiing being the only one higher anyway), so it will contribute a lot to maintaining my healthy weight and lifestyle. Plus, it's easily accessible.
So, this year I will learn about running. I keep of course the other types of exercises for cross training, but swimming courses, cycling competitions, gym trainers, and full scale triathlon training programs are for the years to come.

This is funny.
I've never thought that I will put running into focus.

1st step: Subscribe to Runner's World Magazine - DONE (yesterday).
2nd step: Organized my healthy lifestyle books together, put running 1st - DONE (this mornign)
3rd step: Watch 10 minutes from POSE Method of Running - for Today.

Did you read any books on running?
How did you like it?
Recommendations welcome!

I think I reached the Cape.
From here, it will be easier.
(This is a pic from my trip in South Africa in January)


To keep focus, let's stop here.
www.amazon.com/Living-80-20-Way-Succ
eed/dp/1857883314/

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KMICHA 2/19/2012 6:45AM

    Nicely done Oliver! Way to plan out the year to come and set your mind on what you will do and how you will approach it!

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MOBYCARP 2/18/2012 9:36PM

    Since I joined SP, the amount of time I spend reading has gone way down. The time has shifted into exercise and (sad to say) food preparation. The exercise and being active is undeniably better for me than sitting around reading a book; but it's kind of sad how much time eating right soaks up compared to when I wasn't paying attention to what I ate. Then again, it's hard to argue with achieving a 30-year low weight and feeling great!

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STRIVERONE 2/18/2012 1:40PM

    GETSTRONGERRR mentioned a book by Jeff Galloway. Here is another resource from Jeff. Subscribe to his free newsletter @ http://www.jeffgalloway.com/ . Your welcome email will give links to download two non-promotional articles that apply to your situation. You can easily unsubscribe from the newsletter afterwards, although there are quite a few gold nuggets to be found there too.

If you look at my latest SparkPeople blog entries you will see that I am just a bit ahead of you in reaching the same goal.
emoticon

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GETSTRONGRRR 2/18/2012 8:53AM

    Great job Oliver, and some great goals.

When I first started running, I read everything I could to get started. Subscribing to Runner's World is good, it keeps you motivated.

Here are a few I liked.

Running by Jeff Galloway
The Non Runners Marathon Trainer
Run Less, Run Faster
Born to Run

Also look at getting yourself a GPS watch, maybe one with a Heart Rate Monitor. I used mine on every run

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ZELLAZM 2/18/2012 5:56AM

    Thanks for sharing your ideas and for giving me some new branches for my mind map ;)

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KRISZTA11 2/18/2012 4:26AM

    emoticon
I'm so glad you chose running!

I only read 2 books about running so far:
Born to Run by Christopher McDougall - I loved it and it changed the way I run (but I'm sure you read it already)
The Long Run by Mischka Schubaly - it was not such a revelation, but an interesting inspirational story.

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Living healthy is so much better

Sunday, February 12, 2012

I am so happy for your feedback on yesterdays blog, made my thinking moving, and have lots of ideas and encouragement to go forward.

I have decided to keep it simple, and first I finish my SP diet plan, I am in stage three.
It also tells to watch motivational movies. This sounds a bit light, so I am double motivated to do it.
I made a list of the movies, and started to watch Mr. Holland's Opus (1995)
I like it!
www.imdb.com/title/tt0113862/

Tomorrow, I'll have a 6+6h trip driving to Munich (Germany). I plan to stop for a short 5 min exercise break every hour, to freshen up my focus, and to stay energized.

Today, I was eating healthy food, mostly fruits and vegetables, 8+ glasses of water and tea, and my run finished at 11K. I ran yesterday 1:04:45, and today 1:04:40, it is funny I stopped my watch at exactly the same time (I took very different roads).

As for the gym, I looked up the webpage, put the phone numbers into my phone, checked the opening times, so one more step towards the gym.

This is just 10 mins from my appartment, I could also fit in some ice skating!
I hope they have rental boots.


Any tips for long distance driving?
I plan to shop fresh grapes just before start, so I can munch on healthy if I want to.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LAURIE9404 2/13/2012 2:12PM

    Enjoy the trip. You sound like you have a good plan and with all the traveling you do anyway, you pretty much know what to do. I also enjoy the audio books. There's always the self help ones and just plain old fiction stuff. Of course, if you're not too embarassed, there's always car dancing. I'll move around and sing loudly and badly when I need to keep some energy up. Have a great trip!

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ZELLAZM 2/13/2012 8:57AM

    That is a good film! Loved it! There are several others with musical themes you might like- Shine with Geoffrey Rush, Music of the Heart with Meryl Streep.

I like listening to good music and singing along when I travel. Good for the spirit and at least part of me is "working out" - grapes sound good as a snack, or any other cut-up fruit! enjoy your trip!

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LESLIE_2B_LESS 2/13/2012 1:49AM

    Oh, and I'd love that postcard you owe me from Germany - I have many ancestors from Germany. emoticon

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LESLIE_2B_LESS 2/13/2012 1:48AM

    I love reading your blogs - long trips - can you do books on tapes? I usually travel with my DH so I read a lot during the trip and we always pack our own meals. Lots of lean lunch meats/ healthy breads/ fruit & low fat snacks.

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KALISWALKER 2/12/2012 8:32PM

    The picture is beautiful. Good plan to stop every hour!

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GETSTRONGRRR 2/12/2012 6:32PM

    Great job and great plan Oliver. Your driving ideas sound good.

I like to listen to audio books or plays when I drive.....helps the time go and it beats just listening to music.

I try to do abs also...just sitting up straight and keeping my core firm helps a lot.

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KKINNEA 2/12/2012 6:07PM

    Just got caught up on both your blogs. I love how you always come up with a new plan rather than excuses. Sounds like you have some plans to move forward! I don't have any advice for driving - I usually fall asleep at the wheel after an hour or so!

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KRISZTA11 2/12/2012 4:19PM

    My tips for the drive: lot of music, big bottle of water, healthy snacks (like carrot or cucumber sticks, apples, cheese, walnuts, almonds) and 1-2 health packed meals, but #1 is yours, the hourly exercise breaks.
Have a good and safe drive!


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BEATLETOT 2/12/2012 4:12PM

    Oh, I LOVE "Mr. Holland's Opus"!!! What a beautiful movie!

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What's going on when it's not going on

Saturday, February 11, 2012

The last two weeks were quite hectic. Lots of travel, lots of going on, and also winter got to full swing with sub-freezing temperatures.

I just didn't had time to track all my food, I couldn't do real exercise every day, and it was just plain difficult to do any kind of extra beside what happens automatically.

It was my habits working 100%, with zero willpower on decisions.

I decided to look back at this last two weeks as an experiment.
What can I achieve with my habits today?
Which habits are strong?

The outcome is quite surprising for me. The biggest change is where I have least expected.

It's in nutrition, and the majority (60-70%) of the food I eat is now naturally raw fruits and vegetables. These stuff now just flows into my shopping basket naturally, and even if I'm eating out, this is what I am going for.

Also, my daily calorie range, if I eat just by going after my feelings, is about 2000-2500 kcal. I think it's about the half or sometimes even third of what I used to eat last year by this time.

Running seems to be my baseline exercise activity, I take my running shoes and clothes everywhere with me, no matter at which GPS coordinate I land, I just go out for a run. I would have never thought that I will be such a runner. Even this super winter time, in full snow fall, super cold weather, I just got out and enjoyed my 10K.

Not so happy learning:
When I don't track food, my weight starts to increase slowly.
Especially if this is combined with a lack of intensive exercise.


Areas of improvement:
Tracking food is not easy enough. Somehow entering on my PC via the web takes too more time and effort then "happens without effort". So, when I don't have net, or the day was long, it gets difficult to sit down and enter all the food here on SP.
I have to think about a different solution - maybe install a netbook PC in the kitchen, or a tablet for travels. Something, that is with me and ubiquitous enough.

Exercise wise, I have to widen the range of exercise that is on offer in my menu, so I can adapt better to the changing conditions. Now I have running, swimming, cycling, and power walking (as backup for the daily 10 minute goal) in my repertoire. But I have to add things for when it's super cold outside, and even the Stamina Oliver decides to stay inside. Also, when I had already run for 5-7 days, and I need to take 1-2 days of for running. When the swimming pool is far away. When my motivation is low. And so on.
I thought the following:
- gym - workout with weight --> can be done in hotels, or in other towns/cities
- zumba in a group --> for motivation, and it's inside for super cold days
- zumba at home with a DVD --> when I'm really short on time

Otherwise, I think that next big goal, that I read about in a SP article, needs to somehow organize my nutrition and exercise. If not, it's just on the happens or not happens basis, and it is not good enough to make it happen. The goal until recently was to reach my weight target (99 --> 74kg), which was motivating enough to make all the changes in my life during the past year period. However, to keep on going, I need something new. I was thinking to target a triathlon competition, but the swimming and cycling looks to be difficult to organize with the lots of travel combined. Or maybe I should just go for running, with other exercises to cross train?

Any ideas, comments?

Today's 10K in a nearby forest (Gleisdorf, Austria)

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STRIVER57 2/12/2012 7:21AM

    sounds like definite progress to me, if the running and healthy eating are still there ... i too would like to find something more regular for cross-training ... and am just working at adding more treats back in, staying healthy. it's hard. i think you're doing great!

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CLAIREINPARIS 2/12/2012 4:50AM

    What a beautiful place for running! Good to see you are fully back and on track... You are very organised, wow!!!

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SHOOPETTE 2/12/2012 2:08AM

    You are so organized! the tablet seems like a good idea to me, also create groups of item you always eat together so you can track them quicker.
Bonne chance!

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LAURIE9404 2/11/2012 10:07PM

    You do travel alot so the running is great! I'm so impressed that you still love to get out there and just go even in the snow. That picture just tells it all. Beautiful but really cold! I have to stay that I'm a DVD workout person. I just love getting up in the morning, shuffling into the other room, and pushing play. All of the DVD's that I buy through TeamBeachbody.com give a suggested schedule, so I never have to even think about what I'm going to do. I've also recently added a bunch of new DVD's to break up any motontony. Joining a gym still makes me nervous since I need someone telling me what to do next. I don't thrive sitting on a peice of gym equipment. You might like that and there are plenty of worldwide gyms that may find that work. As far as the eating goes, I still love your habits. You do great even if the weight crept back up. You might need to reduce some calories if you're not working out as hard. That's all I can offer now since I'm stuggling with a calorie burn/consumption ratio. Can't wait to hear about your next adventure!

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KIMBERTA99 2/11/2012 6:41PM

    It is so wonderful to see your blogs again!! I actually did very well not tracking..lost 55 pounds but for this week I am seeing how much I lose by tracking. I think we all have a down period so not to worry I know you will be back in the groove of things in no time!! You have established such a healthy lifestyle that I really envy!!

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KRISZTA11 2/11/2012 4:57PM

    Hey, it's great you are back!
Congrats to your healthy habits, which already stuck and you don't have to make an effort for!
emoticon

It is interesting that weight started to creep back on, as you exercise regularly and usually eat healthy.
Most people I know and myself experienced a few more kg-s drop after reaching goal weight.
I guess that has something to do with frequent traveling and ever-changing environment, and probably lack of tracking/measuring food.

You should make nutrition tracking easier for yourself, I think it works on tablets and on smart phones too. I entered all my favorite foods, recipes and food groupings in the tracker, so now it takes less than 10 minutes each day. Another advantage is that I stick to my entered portion sizes to make tracking easier ; )
I don't think you need any major adjustments, most likely it is not more than 2-300 calories a day.

I don't have an tips for the exercise question, as I'm in the running-at-all-times phase. Do everything you enjoy!

Beautiful picture, great place to run a 10K!


emoticon

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GETSTRONGRRR 2/11/2012 4:57PM

    Sounds good and I totally agree about tracking food.....when I stop logging food, the weight goes up.

When i travel I do a few things. Usually I can find a gym pretty easy. When I can't, I have a few apps on my iPhone I use. 100 pushups, 200 situp are good. So is Nike Training Club. I do 15 minutes of abs and it's a tough workout.

good to see you back!!

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BEATLETOT 2/11/2012 4:14PM

    This is such a great blog. How excellent to see how much of the healthy lifestyle is effortless and a habit for you! You are such an inspiration!

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CAPTHAMMER 2/11/2012 2:49PM

    First, so very good to hear from you. We were worried when we didn't see your (cyber) smiling face.

I have no practical experience with your exercise question. By nature I never push myself and am happy with the status quo. My suggestion, based on nothing more than 5k walks, would be to concentrate on running until it bores you, if it every does. You seem to love it and there are so many different races available. There's nothing like an upcoming race to make you focus on improving your time.

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Baby running (Cape Town #04)

Monday, January 23, 2012

In the morning run I've met a young lady running with her baby - this is so awesome, and so inspiring! These South Africans keep surprising me! When I'll have a kid, I think I'll do the same!

Today I had reserved not enough time to brush my teeth after breakfast. But, to keep the habit going (in theory it doesn't make sense, but for the habit development it does), I brushed my teeth then just when the lunchbreak started. I had lunch shortly afterwards anyway, but it felt good to do so.

I cannot comment back on your blogs as much as I want to this week, I prioritized to stay with my course-content. But the blogs help me stay on track, and I thought you might also find it helpful. I'll be back with feedbacks on yours when back from this trip next week. I hope this is OK with you!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KMICHA 1/27/2012 8:15PM

    I had to come looking for you because I hadn't seen anything from you lately! It is always so encouraging to read your blogs! Thanks for sharing your travels with us and your exercise experiences. Will you be returning as a Daisy in March? Hope so! It's a pleasure having you on the team! Looking forward to your next blog! Enjoy SA!!

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ZELLAZM 1/27/2012 1:28PM

    Check in when you can! Enjoying your travelog about your SA stay!

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SHOOPETTE 1/24/2012 3:56AM

    Running Oliver, Running Family! and you know that actually there are special strollers to run with your baby!

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CHANGINGMORGAN 1/23/2012 6:05PM

    The fact you're blogging at all is awesome!!! Sometimes there are other priorities in life that momentarily step back others - your friends are the ones who should support and understand such things. So you're a rockstar and a beautiful person. Keep it up!

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GETSTRONGRRR 1/23/2012 5:43PM

    No worries...enjoy your stay, stay safe, stay healthy, eat well, and keep working out!

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