Friday, June 24, 2011
If you're eating the things your body loves, your body will let you know.
For those of us who are overweight and obese, we are in a state of imbalance. We have done something that caused our normal metabolic mechanisms to short circuit. Basically, our body programming can't handle it and correct it.
If we don't correct it, our bodies will pay the price. Being overweight, insulin resistant or having type 2 diabetes is a warning sign. Take it as the big flashing red light on a nuclear reactor. If we don't do something about it, then our systems will overload, and we will suffer organ damage. Usually kidney damage.
We have to get the weight down. If the weight isn't coming down, then that means our bodies are still not getting what it needs.
I became overweight/obese because I wasn't paying attention to what I put in my body. I ate poorly. I did not feed it proper nutrition. I overloaded on sugary foods and nutrient poor high carbohydrates.
In order to get out of it, I had to back out the way I came in. Eliminate sugar, in all forms. Including the whole grains. This was my choice, and I'm not saying that everyone should do this. You'll have to find the right thing for you, but I am just trying to stress that if you are not losing weight, you have to change something about what you eat.
Believe me. I know the feeling of "I don't think I can give up XXX!" We are all different. Maybe some people can do moderation. Me, I determine what is most important to me, and I am willing to make sacrifices.
When I was badly in debt, I chose to live with a roommate to cut down on rent. I chose not to buy an iPhone with an expensive data plan, drove my old car rather than get a new one, didn't go on vacations, and made do on a used TV instead of state of the art plasma or LCD. I chose to sacrifice conveniences that I really didn't need, in order to get what I wanted. I got out of debt, and I have been debt free since 2007.
In the same way I am getting out of obesity. I used to have a pretty serious Snickers addiction. I used to buy the 'fun size' bags at the grocery store and go through them in a week. There is no reason on earth why I should have that much candy.
One day I went through the grocery isle, put it in my cart. I looked at it in my cart, and realized it wasn't good for me. I took it out of my cart and walked away. Then I rationalized maybe I could just cut it down slowly. So I put it back in my cart. Walked around the store. And I thought, no. I do not need this. I tossed it out of my cart and hurried out of the store before I changed my mind again.
So I went through sugar withdrawals. Sometimes I'd be watching TV, and I'd really, really want a snickers bar. Sometimes I suffer through with willpower. Sometimes I would get up from the couch and walk to the convenience store to get one. I went through this routine I don't know how long. Then after a few weeks, my cravings just stopped. I just didn't want it anymore. I haven't had a Snickers bar since 2006.
I really just do not want it. It represents to me all the things I hated about myself when I was obese. Tired, unhealthy and unattractive. The prejudice in the way people treated me. There's no Snickers bar that is worth all that, to me.
I lost 30lbs. Giving up Snickers as well as eating better quality food, like salmon instead of quarter pounder. It still was not enough. I was still technically overweight. Only now instead of being obese and unhealthy, I was overweight and very fit. I ate zero junk, zero processed foods, zero soda, and was very active with kayaking, biking, hiking, and swimming. I still could not lose less than 30lbs.
So as you know, I have recently discovered that starchy carbohydrates was the problem. The normal dietary advice is to eat whole grains as a part of our healthy diet.
I have voluntarily given up pasta, potatoes, rice, and bread. My body cannot handle it right now. I'm still repairing the damage that I did 10 years ago. There was nothing I enjoyed more than a baked potato with my chicken and steak. I'm half asian, and I love rice with my Korean bbq. I love spaghetti with marinara.
How do I know that was the problem? Because my body is responding. My fat stores are dropping off, muscle is building almost effortlessly, energy levels are stable, skin and hair looks great, and no hunger.
I was discussing this with a spark friend yesterday. My hunger cues have completely changed. I used to get this uncontrollable hunger, obsessing about food. Is it lunch time yet? Maybe I should have an early lunch. Is it snack time yet? Maybe I should wait a couple more hours, but I'm so hungry.
I'd watch the clock, just waiting for the "ok" to eat.
Now, my hunger is more like running low on energy. Like a toy with it's battery running low, it starts to slow down. I go find a snack, maybe eat whole fat cottage cheese with diced apples. I feel recharged, like I just got a new battery put in. I get back to work, alert, but not hyper.
I'm not saying this is what will happen for you. Your results will vary. For me, this is a much better way to live. I am hoping that I can repair the damage so I can eat pasta, rice, and potatoes in moderation, but if I can't, then I can manage. I will do what is necessary. If my body is thriving, then I will listen to what it says. But if I start to crave like a lunatic, gain weight, lose hair, have skin problems, or lose muscle tone, then I will also pay attention that my body is saying it does not like how I'm treating it.
I actually intended this to be a blog about supplements, but it seemed to have taken a different direction as I was writing it. I'll write the supplement blog sometime next week.
Happy friday, and have a great weekend!
Thursday, June 23, 2011
How many of you watch Dr. Oz? I would guess most of us. He's a cardiologist, he's entertaining, Oprah made him a star, oh, and he's cute!
I'm just going to say that he pulled some shennanigans on this week's interview with Gary Taubes.
You've been hearing me talk a lot about Gary Taubes lately. He's a NYT journalist who wrote "Good Calories, Bad Calories", and more recently "Why We Get Fat (And What to Do About it)". They are exposes about how modern medicine has got it wrong that saturated fats are harmful, and carbohydrates are beneficial. This is all based on real scientific studies, most of which have been buried.
Dr. Oz interviewed Taubes earlier this week. If you haven't already seen it, here is the link:
Unfortunately, Dr. Oz portrayed every bad stereotype about low-carb with his segment on his diet vs Gary.
First, I would say there is nothing wrong with Dr. Oz's daily food. I saw very little grains or starches. The only non vegetable carb I saw was the brown rice with his dinner. Whether Dr. Oz realizes it or not, he is already eating low carb. Some low carbers would disagree and say he ate too much fruit and dairy, but I think it depends. Some can tolerate fruit and dairy better than others. We have to experiment and find what works for us. This is going to vary from person to person.
Breakfast: He shows his healthy yogurt and blueberry breakfast, with some green drink as his normal breakfast. Then he showed a huge plate of eggs and sausage. Either breakfast is fine, but his portion of eggs and sausage is too big. I love yogurt and blueberries for breakfast. I have eaten this for years. I used to add 1/2 cup cereal, but no longer. Yesterday I had whole milk cottage cheese and half a diced apple. This morning I had a 3oz leftover steak from dinner, one egg, and a quarter of a sliced apple. My advice to Dr. Oz is he had too many eggs and sausage. If he cut the portion size in half, it would be fine. I think he ate too much. But I'd also say, his normal breakfast was OK, too!
Morning Snack: Pork rinds? For a snack? Really? No! His walnuts and orange snack would be just fine on low carb! The snack I ate yesterday while watching this was plain homemade yogurt sweetened with stevia, 5 rainier cherries, and half a handful of cashews. Dr. Oz would approve of my low carb snack. If Dr. Oz was on a forum asking for low carb help, I would tell him to ditch the pork rinds.
Lunch: Perfect. Greens and chicken salad.
Dinner: Dr. Oz shows a very fabulous piece of salmon, green beans, and brown rice. That was just fine, Dr. Oz! I encourage people to eat this! He had almost no grain throughout the day, so if he wanted some brown rice for dinner, that's perfectly fine. I would have cut the portion of brown rice down to 1/4-1/2 cup though. It looked like he had about 2 cups of brown rice. That would be way too much for me. He replaces it with the massive piece of steak, which I estimate to be an 18oz bone in ribeye. Terrible. Portion sizes still matter. 3-6oz of steak is plenty. But again, there was NOTHING wrong with his original salmon dinner on low carb!
So I am a little perturbed by this. Now that you've seen the show, please listen to Dr. Oz's radio show where he interviews Gary.
Did you notice the complete difference in tone?
No one was more surprised than Gary. He said before he went on the show, he was warned by the producers that TV is different, and it is entertainment.
If you were skeptical because Gary seemed hesitant about Dr. Oz's insistence about getting his lipids checked, he did get them checked. He posted the results on his blog.
Any one of us would love to have Gary's blood lipids. If your report looked like this, your doctor would be over the moon. He really does eat bacon and eggs every morning, cheeseburgers (no bun), and ribeye steaks.
Triglycerides: 64 (Less than 150 is healthy. This is excellent.)
LDL: 116 (Less than 130 is healthy. Dr. Oz would say this is a little high, but his LDL is predominantly the large pattern A, which is the good LDL. This is very good.)
HDL (Total): 80 (Greater than 50 (I think) is healthy. 80 is considered excellent)
This is the NYT article that launched Gary Taubes as a firebrand. If you have time, I would read it. It will give you a much better picture of what he is talking about.
The books "Good Calories, Bad Calories" and "Why We Get Fat" are both based on this article. I would suggest "Why We Get Fat" for the general population, and GCBC for those who have a head for research journals.
I disagree with Gary slightly on the importance of exercise, but we will talk about that another time.
I can understand Dr. Oz's concern and skepticism, but I don't think he made a very fair portrayal. This was sensational, entertainment TV. I think he is right about Gary kicking the tires of the medical community. They need to recognize that some of us do have an insulin problem, even if we aren't clinically "insulin resistant" or diabetic. I agree with Gary that we have to use the right tool for the job. Dr. Oz clearly has never been seriously overweight. He's never damaged his body with sugar abuse. He can eat the standard recommended diet and thrive. Some of us have damaged our bodies. Maybe low carb isn't the right solution for everyone, but for some of us, it really may be the solution. Continuing to portray the stereotype is deterring people from considering something that might help them.
I'll leave you with this as food for thought (pun intended!).
Breakfast: Whole Egg Cheese and Onion Omelet, Avocado and Tomato.
Lunch: Smoked Salmon and Avocado Salad
Snack: Strawberries and Creme Fraiche
Dinner: 4oz Grilled Buffalo Ribeye, Heirloom Tomato Salad, and Steamed Bok Choy
What do you think of my low carb choices versus Dr. Oz? Do you think Dr. Oz would be concerned with my meals? Do you think he would approve of my food choices, if he didn't know I was a low carber?
What is the only thing missing from the things he recommends as a healthy diet? Whole grains and starches. Would he notice they were missing from my plate?
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
For the first time in 10 years, my BMI is in the normal range! I'm no longer overweight!
Ok, ok. I know BMI is a terrible standard. But still, this is huge!
As a much better yardstick, my bodyfat is below 30% for the first time in 10 years too! 29.3% as of this morning!
4/20/2011: 26.4 (overweight)
6/22/2011: 24.8 (NORMAL!)
I'm no longer a statistic! I've exited the obesity epidemic!
Also, this is the longest I've gone below 130lbs and stayed there. I went below 130lbs on 6/6/2011, and I've stayed below. In years past, I've dipped below 130 briefly, then rebounded quickly. I couldn't stay below that marker.
I haven't regained anything. My weight is so stable. No wild swings up or down. The initial fast lost did slow down, but my loss rate is still steady. Even when I supposedly overate my calories by +600. I've suddenly become one of those people that can eat anything and not gain weight!
Well. Not just anything. But you know my secret!
I'm so glad I finally found what worked for me!
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
This is one of the topics that I can't talk about on the general forums without getting quashed because it falls outside conventional wisdom.
This morning, for some reason, I woke up with an idea in my head. I don't even remember how all the pathways of my thought process came to this idea. Something my brain was chewing on while I slept, I suppose. I rolled out of bed, got on my computer and looked up blood types.
I've heard of the blood type diet before, but never really looked much into it. I was stuck on the 'official' dietary standards, and really only glossed over alternate theories.
The Blood Type Diet is based on the premise that our optimal diets is determined by our blood type. The reason is because our blood types emerged at different points in our near evolutionary past. Blood type O is the oldest - paleolithic. Type A emerged 20,000 years ago, so it is neolithic. Type B emerged 10,000 years ago. Type AB is the newest.
Type O is the most common. 44% of the US population is O+/O-. Type AB is the rarest. 5.51% of the US population.
I am O+. I am a universal positive donor. My blood can be used for any positive blood types for transfusions. This is 85% of the US population. O+ is kept in blood banks in high numbers for use in surgery and trauma when the exact blood type isn't available (which is most of the time). O- is universal donor - can be used with any blood type. O- is always carried on ambulances, where there isn't time to determine blood type for emergencies. My blood bank always calls me right on the dot when I can donate because it is so important for hospital care.
According to the Blood Type Diet, our blood type gives us an indication of what our ideal diet is.
* Blood group O is believed by D'Adamo to be the hunter, the earliest human blood group. The diet recommends that this blood group eat a higher protein diet. D'Adamo bases this on the belief that O blood type was the first blood type, originating 30,000 years ago.
* Blood group A is called the agrarian" or "cultivator by D'Adamo, who believes it to be a more recently evolved blood type, dating back from the dawn of agriculture, 20,000 years ago. The diet recommends that individuals of blood group A eat a diet emphasizing vegetables and free of red meat, a more vegetarian food intake.
* Blood group B is, according to D'Adamo, the nomad, associated with a strong immune system and a flexible digestive system. The blood type diet claims that people of blood type B are the only ones who can thrive on dairy products and estimates blood type B arrived 10,000 years ago.
* Blood group AB, according to D'Adamo, the enigma, the most recently evolved type, arriving less than 1,000 years ago. In terms of dietary needs, his blood type diet treats this group as an intermediate between blood types A and B.
If you read the wikipedia summary, it seems like the science is sketchy, and needs more clinical trials and research.
BUT. There is at least some circumstantial evidence.
Consider this. Blood Type A is most common among Europeans, especially Scandinavians. Type A's can supposedly tolerate grains better than the other types. Blood Type B originated in Mongolia, who were nomadic and lived off the blood, meat and milk of their animals. Type B's can tolerate more dairy, and they are the most versatile omnivores. Pretty important when you live on the Mongolian steppes and food isn't abundant. Being able to eat anything is a huge survival advantage.
Here are some of the high Type O ethnic groups:
US Indians 79%
Australian Aborigines 61%
Peru Indians 100%
These are all populations with a high protein diet. The Mayan and Peru Indian populations migrated to the Americas without introduction of the newer blood types, and thus, have more of the old paleo blood. However, there is an outlier. Eskimos, we know, consume very high protein diets. Alaska Eskimo Type O/A distribution is 38/44. Greenland Eskimo is 54/36. I was not able to find any blood type data on the Maasai.
This is not conclusive, and I don't want to be trapped into an Ansel Keys type faulty hypothesis. However, I find it interesting. I would love to see some actual clinical trials.
So Type O are the paleos? Animal proteins and vegetable. They do not thrive on grains, legumes, or dairy. Type A are the vegetarians? Type B are the true omnivores?
Also consider this piece of circumstantial evidence. If 44% of the American population is Type O, doesn't it sound awfully similar to the overweight and obesity rate in America? Perhaps the food pyramid guidelines will harm these people, but not the others?
I'm searching for more science, but this is just another idea that I am tossing around in my head. I do think there is more to our biology that makes our bodies able to tolerate different foods, and thus, no diet is a one size fits all.
What do you think? Are you a Type A that breaks this hypothesis? I'm hardly a conclusive test subject, but I do think the paleo diet works better for me, and I happen to be a Type O. I am not able to thrive on even a moderate grain diet.
Monday, June 20, 2011
Note: This was originally posted in another blog, but I realized that I got my messages mixed up, and decided to move this to a new blog post.
I have got a different sort of health gadget. It's a new water filter. I have used a Brita water filter for years, but I have recently become concerned about the flouride in my water. Most municipalities in the US flourinate the water, because supposedly it aids with better teeth.
Well, flouride is a carcinogen, as is chlorine. I used Brita to get rid of the chlorine, but I discovered it doesn't actually remove the flouride too. I work from home most of the time, so I am constantly drinking my Brita filtered water. I don't work in an office where they have distilled water coolers.
Don't get me wrong - I'm totally ok with using chlorine to sanitize drinking water. I'm ok with removing it when it comes from my tap. However, I don't want the flouride, too. I think brushing my teeth and using mouthwash is all the flouride I need.
Why is it important? Our bodies are 80% water. Cleaner the water, cleaner our bodies. Clean water is the most important thing for eliminating diseases and improving health. We can live for weeks, even months, without food. We cannot live more than 3-5 days without water. One of my favorite charities is The Water Project, which works to improve water quality in impoverished nations.
I found there is a new water filter that will remove ALL inorganic solids. It is almost as good as a reverse osmosis filter, without the plumbing. It's called ZeroWater.
This makes purified water. The same as bottled water from the convenience stores. BUT it's environmentally friendly! No more plastic bottled water!
It comes with a tester that tests the levels of inorganic solids in water.
Here is my water out of the tap in Savannah, GA. Sorry, these will be hard to see. It was hard to hold the camera steady.
This says 100. So coming straight out of the tap, my water has 100ppm of inorganic solids. This could be a mix of chlorine, flouride, and other trace elements.
This is after filtering the water with my Brita filter. It says 67. So my Brita filter only removed 33% of the inorganic solids in my water.
This is after filtering it through the ZeroWater container. It reads..surprise! 000
The filter says to replace it when the water reads 006 because that means the filter itself could be contaminating the water. As the filter removes these contaminants, at some point they can start leeching into the water. With my current water hardness, they estimate I can filter 40 gallons of water before I need to replace the filter. This is a good thing, because the filter is not cheap. The company has a recycling program, so when I replace the filter, I can send them my old one for recycling. Go green! While the filter is more expensive than Brita, it is more economical than bottled water!
1 gal = 128 fl oz x 40 = 5120 fl oz / 20 fl oz bottle = 256 bottled water.
256 x $1.29 = $330
A new filter costs $25. And I'm not throwing 256 bottles in a landfill.
Now, this filter is MUCH slower than my Brita filter. This is ok, it is working harder. So I just take the filtered water and put it in a water container I store in my fridge. This is a 1.25 gallon container. Now I have my own at home water cooler! I just don't have to listen to annoying coworkers go on and on about personal drama when I go refill my cup.
Now, I have read some strange stuff about the 'dangers' of distilled or purified water because it is too pure. This is total crap. Never heard of anyone who died from water that was too clean. Some say that the tap water is good for you because you get important electrolytes like calcium, potassium, magnesium, and zinc.
This is what hard water with all those minerals does to my terra cotta strawberry planter.
My advice: if you want electrolytes, eat good quality food. A banana will give you way more calcium, magnesium, potassium and zinc than a glass of tap water.
If you're really worried about the electrolytes you're removing and your water is too pure, here is my recommended cure.
There ya go. A lemon wedge adds back in more magnesium and potassium than your glass of tap water. It's more delicious and refreshing, too.
Need more zinc? Eat this:
Need more calcium? Eat this:
Get An Email Alert Each Time VHALKYRIE Posts