Monday, February 27, 2012
We have snow again, it's cold and windy instead of spring-like. At least I'm not sad about missing any fun things outside. So instead I listened to an online interview with Mark Sisson, which is part of the Paleo Summit put on by undergroundwellness.com
The nutrition part was interesting although there weren't really any surprises. But at the end something caught my attention:
They started talking about exercise and the first statement was identical to what Gary Taubes says in his book: EXERCISE IS NOT A WAY TO LOSE WEIGHT.
It's not an issue of working out harder, longer or more often, either. Regardless of how much we work out, unless we are physically prevented from eating more to replace the calories we burned, there will be no weight loss. The reason is that body weight is determined by hormones just like height is regulated by hormones. It is the nutritional composition that determines hormone production at least in part (the insulin part). But exercise is still extremely valuable. The word that was mentioned was "play". I can't remember the exact sequence of key words but the whole idea was about having exercise be outside (and outside of the gym), fun, relaxing, stress-reducing and playful. That was right up my alley.
I have a very selfish attitude about exercise. It's my free time, carefully guarded from many disturbances in my life. I want to have FUN, I want to ENJOY movement . Everything else, like an increase in HDL, is merely a nice side-effect. Once the idea of exercise is not married to weight loss or weight maintenance, we can exercise in a way that suits our personal preference and natural abilities. Mine are neither speed nor strength nor much team spirit but I do have some endurance and pretty good balance as well as a good sense for rhythm and music. Any sports that allow me to use these strengths make me feel good, in particular when I get to be outside (in most weather). I play with my dogs when I throw the ball for them or run with them, I play a game of exploring when I go for a trail run or hike or take my horse out for a trail ride. I like to ride, ice skate or otherwise move to music that I enjoy and that helps me to tune into the mood of the music. I enjoy developing my endurance to be able to continue my activities for longer periods of time.
I believe we all know what exercise we are passionate about. It may be hard to imagine getting involved in it right now as we see our physical limitations. But we should never let our athletic dreams die.
What are yours?
Sunday, February 26, 2012
Note that the US is by far the leader in producing GMO crops. Looks like our "Christian Country" has gotten a little off track as far as what God wanted us to do about food.
Sunday, February 26, 2012
I wanted to share this comment I made on the "Wheat Belly" blog knowing that it might be interesting for those of my Spark friends who share my spiritual beliefs in a loving creator whose laws are there to protect and nurture and give us the best quality of life possible.
It is not making the assumption that God only reveals himself to Christians or that other people's experiences are not as valid or that God cares about Christians any more than about anyone else.
Here is my post:
I would like to add my perspective as a strong believer in a diet full of what God has designed for food (which is not modern wheat).
My favorite book on this is not Jordan Rubin”s book but Rex Russell”s book “What the Bible says about Healthy Living”, to which Jordan Rubin wrote the foreword. Rex Russell wrote this book in the 1996. He has taken the principles of Biblical eating and explained why the human machine runs best on the fuel and the replacement parts that it was designed to receive: natural foods. He has backed this up with the results of many scientific studies in his book. For people who are not religious you can replace the word God with Nature and still find this to be useful.
These principles are:
1.Eat only substances God created for food.
2. As much as possible, eat foods as they were created- before they are changed or converted into something humans think might be better.
3. Avoid food addictions. Don”t let any food or drink become your god.
Eating modern wheat violates all three of these rules.
Modern wheat should either be considered as man-made or at least as man-modified and it has been shown to be addictive.
While traditional wheat varieties like Einkorn and Emmer may be suitable for some people (who don”t have celiac or gluten-intolerance) they may only be safe in any significant quantities for people who did not grow up on the modern Western diet of white flour, corn, soy and sugar. In other words, lowering carbs by cutting out most or all grains and beans and sweeter fruits may be a therapeutic step necessary at least temporarily to improve insulin sensitivity, and, depending on how much damage was already done to the pancreas and other body parts, may be necessary for the rest of someone”s life to be healthy.
Both Einkorn and Emmer are available for purchase online for people who believe they have a high tolerance for carbohydrates in their diet or who want to consider growing wheat grass from these more natural wheat grains.
Friday, February 24, 2012
We all need insulin to survive. Any type-1 diabetic is living proof of this. Insulin is responsible for many metabolic functions in the body. Our pancreas produces insulin in response to all carbohydrates and also in response to proteins, but at lower levels. There is some controversy about the role of insulin compared to that of other hormones in the body but nobody doubts that insulin is extremely important.
Every time we eat carbohydrates, starting when we think about eating them, our pancreas produces insulin. Insulin is not the enemy any more than carbohydrates are the enemy. The only thing in question is how many carbohydrates and what type we should consume and how much insulin production is healthy for us. There may be huge differences between individuals when it comes to healthy levels of carbs but I see strong evidence that having too few carbs is far less likely to be harmful than having too many. Carb calories tend to be far less expensive than protein or fat calories, in part because some crops are subsidized in this country.
The effects of switching to a low-carb diet may be a little uncomfortable and in some cases (existing diabetes or pre-diabetes and any other serious illnesses) should only be attempted under the close supervision of a doctor that is very knowledgeable about nutrition and hormones.
Insulin is a big factor in where our body stores deposits calories that are not immediately needed for energy (regardless from which source they come). High insulin levels will lead to more storage of energy in fat cells rather than directing calories toward muscle cells where they can be used for energy in the near future.
Whether this insulin is produced by the pancreas or needs to be added to our bodies via insulin-injections for more advanced type-2 diabetes, insulin will always encourage the body to store more calories as fat.
Medications of any kind should be seen as a last resort only when health can not be achieved by eating better and undertaking other lifestyle changes (less stress, more sleep, more activity). Type 2 diabetes should no more be treated with oral medications or insulin long-term than the effects of nicotine due to smoking should be treated with medication long-term because in most cases type 2 diabetes can be cured with lifestyle changes alone.
Overproducing of insulin by our body and insulin shots to supplement what an insulin-resistant body can't produce will increase body fat, especially visceral (belly ) fat and increase the disease risks of many other diseases, in particular cardio-vascular disease.
So is insulin the villain? No, but people who encourage eating habits that increase insulin production and/or long-term management of type 2 diabetes with drugs or insulin injections may be.
Type 2 Diabetes is on the rise dramatically in this country and I believe it is the most important reason why our health-care costs are spinning out of control.
I am hoping to know more about all of this from experience soon as my body is adjusting surprisingly fast to a diet that is very low in carbs and my energy levels improve.
Thursday, February 23, 2012
I went for a run today and while I was still pretty slow I felt so much better than two days ago. I ran for 5.5 miles which took me 1 hr. 20min 45seconds. Average heart rate was at 135. Average speed was 4.1 mph.
The funny thing was that I kept getting over my target heart rate several times because a heartrate of 138 felt like 130. This was true throughout the whole run. I really have no explanation for this. I have gotten pretty good at estimating my heartrate over the last few months and am within 2 beats most of the time. It didn't really feel like a runner's high, just like running was easy and I could go faster easily. I also felt like I easily could have done double the distance today. Overall I hope this is a sign that my body is starting to get used to the low carbs.
In spite of my good intentions to record what I eat and how many carbs exactly I consumed I was unable to do so. Typically I eat one meal away from home at a salad bar and I can only estimate how much I ate of everything. I also find myself having to choose between posting on my blog, recording nutrition data, exercising and getting enough sleep. Recording nutrition simply isn't as important as long as I feel I'm making good progress.
There was a post on the raw vegan team with a link to an interesting website. I found this video post particularly interesting and am planning to learn a little more:
It reminded me that animal fat has higher levels of pollutants and that it is especially important to buy animal products organic and grown in relatively unpolluted areas if possible. It is also important that many phytonutrients in fruits and vegetables may protect from toxins in our food supply.
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