Monday, February 06, 2012
I knew it was time for another long run today. This whole week I did not do that much running. It was partly difficult to find the time and my energy levels felt a little low so I only did a short mid-week run of about 3 miles.
Since I knew that training with the Maffetone method for several months now had prepared my body to burn more fat for fuel I decided to eat a fairly low-carb breakfast of yogurt, 1/3 banana, some cranberries and nuts.
I went out for my run about two hours later on a nice country road with wheat fields on both sides that only have stubble on them this time of year (looks like some of the farmers are doing the no-till method now). The road surface was chip-sealed and there were some hills. It was a beautiful run in sunny weather and it got warm enough that I could take my windbreaker off and run in just a t-shirt. I felt like I had a good level of energy today. On the way back I saw a Bald Eagle soaring overhead, the first time ever in our area and about a week after someone saw one in our town, and I could not take my eyes off him, making me run backwards for a little bit to watch.
My half-marathon is now just under 4 weeks away and I ran 10 miles today.
It took me 2hrs. 20 min. exactly, average speed about 4.3 mph, average heart rate was 135 bpm, but most of it was lower than that. I felt so good at the end that I decided to speed up a little for the last mile and let my heart rate slowly increase until it was up to 153 bpm at the end of my run. I was still not tired nor out of breath when I finished which felt great.
Later in the day I ran a few more miles with the dogs so I know I've done about a total of 13 miles today and I still have no soreness in my legs at all, I'll have to see how I feel tomorrow.
I burned around 1400 calories through exercise today.
My eating has definitely shifted away from grains/starches this week. I've included several servings of vegetables/day, about 2/3 of it raw, and to my surprise have not missed bread. My husband likes some more grain and probably needs the calories but I've really never liked plain-tasting foods.
Today I had some great salads for lunch at our co-op deli: kale slaw, cabbage/sesame/nut salad and a chicken-mango-veggie salad, all grain free. Afterwards I decided that after all that running I deserved a little treat and bought a small gluten-free mint brownie. Of course it still had a fair amount of sugar in it. It was delicious, but the amazing thing (for me anyhow) is, that I really enjoyed it but was quite happy to eat only half of it, saving the other half for my daughter. I can't remember ever not having finished a really good brownie.
I did not get too hungry for dinner, either, and had some spiced ground beef and an arugala/tomato salad.
Tomorrow is my day off and hopefully we'll be able to go ice skating and if the weather is good I'll try to take my horse out for a ride.
Friday, February 03, 2012
Harvested Wheat field
LAST PIECE OF WHEAT BREAD IN OUR HOUSE - IT WILL LAST FOREVER
I feel a little like a traitor writing this.
We have lived surrounded by wheat fields for 20 years now. My daughter has grown up playing with our dogs in the wheat fields around us and riding her horse through the same fields after harvest. We have sat and watched many beautiful sunsets from the hills around us with the ripe wheat in the foreground and on many occasions we have snacked on some grain in the process.
Some of my friends are wheat farmers and I have broken bread (wheat) with them many times. They are caring people who have old-fashioned values and they see themselves as responsible stewards of their land which is in this area usually several thousands acres. They rotate crops by planting barley, legumes like peas, lentils and garbanzos and occasionally canola and alfalfa to return nitrogen back to the soil. The majority have not planted a lot of GMO crops yet. They might plant GMO wheat around the perimeter of their crops so that if they have to spray the ditches around the fields for noxious weeds as required by law they will not kill any wheat in the process. Some will not plant some of their fields for a number of years (CRP) and will be paid by the federal government for this. CRP land is often planted with local grasses and gives native wild life a chance to survive.
One or two have tried to plant some organic wheat on a field that had been used for alfalfa the previous couple of years and had therefore not been sprayed. We bought their hay to use for bedding for our horse, our ducks and our rabbits.
Most of the wheat grown around here is not grown for bread but for pasta and is referred to as hard wheat (triticum durum). The wheat that William Davis is most concerned about in his book "Wheatbelly" is the kind that is used for bread which is an offspring of Triticum Aestivum that has only been bred in the last 50 years through modern hybridization techniques.
The most basic and original form of wheat according to Davis is Einkorn which was harvested wild about 10.000 years ago, The evolutionary successor of Einkorn was Emmer (Triticum Turgidum) which was the wheat of ancient Egypt. Emmer wheat naturally crossed with another grass and resulted in Triticum Aestivum, which is the closest to modern bread wheat. Triticum durum is genetically closer to Emmer.
Since the 1940's there were efforts to increase the yields of wheat to feed more people worldwide and by the 1980's these efforts had brought wheat with huge seed heads that would have made the wheat plant buckle and impossible to harvest if wheat had not also been bred for very short stalks. This reduced the growing season required, the amount of fertilizer needed and the amount of "useless" stalk. This semi-darf wheat makes up 99% of all wheat grown worldwide.
Along with the desired changes in wheat, however came some unintended changes. It was found that wheat gluten proteins can change with hybridization, resulting in new gluten
proteins that are not present in either parent strain of wheat. Some of these express more genes for gluten proteins associated with celiac disease.
Another characteristic that distinguishes wheat from other sources of starches is an ingredient called Amylopectin A which makes wheat much faster to digest than other starches and leads to a surge in blood sugar that can be worse than table sugar (sucrose).
There are more changes that have been made to modern wheat and some of the results of these changes may not be known yet. The second part of the book "Wheat Belly" makes connections between wheat and many kinds of illness.
I'm coming back to my title of this blog: Don't alter God's design. You can insert the word nature for God if you like, but one thing seems to be clear, when humans start tinkering with food they may not always be able to foresee the consequences of their actions.
The thought of not altering God's design is not my idea. It comes from the book by Rex Russell "What the Bible says about Healthy Living" and is second of 3 principles in this book.
The other two principles are "Eat the foods God created for you" and "Don't let any food or drink become your God". It's hard to follow the 3rd rule without following the second one.
Thursday, February 02, 2012
This information could be critical to the well-being of millions of people. The message is "unbelievable" but it may be true.
I'm copying a post I made in the spark group "Wheat Belly" earlier today:
I just finished the book "Wheatbelly".
Let's say I finished everything but part 3 which is mostly recipes.
This is my conclusion about it for the moment: This is either one of the greatest discoveries of the 21st century or one of the greatest scams of the 21st century.
The author says that wheat as we have known it over the last 50 years (before that it was different) is a primary contributor to most leading causes of death and debilitating disease in this and many other countries: obesity, diabetes, cholesterol problems, heart disease, brain dysfunctions, autoimmune diseases of many kinds, mental health problems, many common skin problems,epilepsy and premature aging (of many body tissues). If this is the case then the elimination of wheat alone has the potential to reduce the cost of health care in the US enough to where health care for all citizens would be very affordable. If wheat is as bad as the book describes then it should not be served in schools any more than wine or cigarettes and should not be sold to minors.
If the majority of people then understood and followed even half of the recommendations in this book our economy would be impacted in a big way. Wheat, like corn, is in almost everything. Mass production agriculture would be impacted in a big way as would companies like Monsanto and other GMO and pesticide companies that have a lot of money invested in GMO wheat. Of course most food manufacturing companies would be affected and would either have to find other ingredients for processed foods or lose buyers for their products. The menus in restaurants would change dramatically as would the items on shelves in our local supermarkets. Even the pet food market would change completely and pets would be a lot healthier without having to eat food with wheat in it.
Many doctors would lose a lot of income because they would have very few patients to write prescriptions for to treat all the diseases that are going to be a lot less common.
Of course we know that knowledge alone does not change behavior, especially not for substances that are addictive as wheat seems to be.
In any case, if we believe that William Davis is on to something I guess we should pass it on to as many people as possible. The book came out about 6 months ago and is already on the New York Times Bestseller list.
The word is spreading fast. Let's discuss this book and spread the word.
If it turns out that the benefits aren't as great as the author describes we and anyone who gives this a try don't have much to lose but much to gain: A diet that includes a much greater variety of grains and seeds than we have previously eaten, and that's always a good thing.
BECAUSE I HAVE RECEIVED SO MUCH FEEDBACK ON THIS BLOG I WILL RESPOND TO COMMENTS IN THE COMMENT AREA OF THIS BLOG AND ON FUTURE BLOGS ONLY SO THAT EVERYONE CAN SEE MY RESPONSE.
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO CONTINUE GETTING UPDATES PLEASE SUBSCRIBE TO MY BLOG
ALSO, IF YOU WOULD LIKE ME TO COMMENT OR RESPOND JUST TO YOU PLEASE SEND ME A SPARK MAIL. I LOVE EVERYONE'S FEEDBACK.
Everyone who has responded so far to the wheat belly blogs I've written has received a spark mail.
P. S. If your computer screen looks like mine you are starting to be bombarded with ads for gluten-free products by now. Some are ok in moderation but they may be much more expensive than buying some bulk grains locally and they are not necessary. I guess we'll have to put up with it to get all the benefits of Spark for free.
Wednesday, February 01, 2012
I don't know if it was the weather, not enough veggies in the last 2 months since our garden hasn't been producing, the fact that I was exposed to my daughter's cold, dealing with the exposure to mercury from amalgam fillings as they are removed.
I ran even slower today than usual and cut my run on the treadmill down to 3 miles from the 5 miles that were planned. Average speed was 4 mph with average heart rate of 134 on the treadmill with incline of 2.
Mile 1: 4.2 mph
Mile 2: 4.0 mph
Mile 3: 3.8 mph
Other possible reasons I can think of are low thyroid function, lack of daylight, running at too high a heart rate, body adjusting to wheat and gluten-withddrawal.
Given that I have not improved in my running speed for quite a while, since late Novemenber, I suspect that mercury toxicity, having less daylight and not getting enough raw veggies and fruits and/or running at too high a heart rate for the amount of stress my body is handling are more likely the reason.
What I can do short-term is to lower my target heart rate to 130, eat more fruits and veggies, and add some foods that help with chelation of heavy metals. Today I started with a good serving of Cilantro.
Overall I ate a lot better today since I was home.
green tea with a little raw honey
yoghurt, banana, cranberries, cashews
Snack after my run: 3 pieces dark chocolate
big salad with alfalfa sprouts, shredded carrots, pumpkin seeds, 1/2 avocado, dressing made from olive oil, apple cider vinegar, sesame oil, garlic
a few corn chips and a couple of slices of turkey breast
Afternoon Snack (lunch did not hold me more than 3 hours):
3 dried figs, 1 apple with 2 Tbsp. almond butter
Dinner: brown rice and bean casserole with cojack cheese on top
broccoli w/onions, stir-fried just until thawed and warm
salsa wiath lots of cilantro
I'm giving up on even estimating calories, since I won't eat less than what I'm hungry for anyhow.
I watched a good program on the Dr. Oz show about heart disease prevention in women today. It was very relevant in explaining that the signs in women are much more subtle than in men and can easily be mistaken for minor discomfort. If you know you are at higher risk for heart attack please watch this.They actually showed him performing open-heart surgery on someone, amazing but scary.
He showed a new blood test that is more reliable in predicting heart attacks than Cholesterol checks. It measures inflammation and I believe it is called C-RP test or something like that.
I was also reading the chapter in "Wheat Belly" about the connection of high carbs and heart disease. There was some info there that the author claims is not known to 98% of physicians, or at least wasn't known at the time the book was published.
An important distinction was made between different types of LDL cholesterol, one kind being much more harmful than the other and the fact that it is carbohydrates, not fat in the diet that will increase bad cholesterol in the blood.
So much for today,
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