Continuing With Carbohydrates & Minimum Effective Dose

I am a week or so into doing this and I want to share a few things…

1.  As I start to lose weight it happens from my extremities in.  So when I feel my wedding ring starting to get loose and my dress shirt collar doing the same I know I am making progress.  I suspect this is because we want fat around our core to keep us warm and alive so it probably goes away last. 

2.  Bananas are great.  They are good for me and make me feel full, which I like.

3.  The one cup of rice with dinner is perfect as it curbs my desire for the 8pm-ish snack and ensures I am not grump-tastic.

4.  On Saturdays and Sundays I need a small carb-related snack about 3pm.  I need this on the weekends because life is slow enough that I have time to realize that I need it.  During the week, life is hectic, so I never notice.

5.  This entire thing is a not a sprint, not a marathon, but a lifestyle refinement.  As such, as long I am winning “the battle of the knife and fork” five out of seven days a week, fifty out of fifty two weeks per year, I am good to go.

Also, regarding walking in the morning before breakfast I have developed these guidelines which balance health with not getting sick:

  Temperature less than 30 degrees — no morning walk.

  Temperature between 30 and 41 degrees — walk.

  Temperature 42 degrees or above — walk is okay and running is okay too.

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Carbohydrates & Minimum Effective Dose

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Last October I did an experiment based upon a modification of Dan John’s Meat, Leaves, and Berries eating plan.  You can read about it HERE.

While it worked quite well, it was not sustainable for me.

Why?

Because by the time dinner rolled around I was craving carbohydrates like a madman.  It took a lot of work to restrain my inner grump.

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So my new experiment, as a scientific sample of one, revolves around trying to figure out what is the Minimum Effective Dose (MED) of carbohydrates that I need at dinner to ensure I am a happier version of me.

So…  For the next 30-ish days I am going to do the same thing I did last October, but I am going to add one cup of basmati rice to my dinner.

Stay tuned!

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Discovering the Basics Part 1

I have always been more of a runner than a lifter.  I am ectomorph-ish and running seemed to come naturally.  Any lifting I did relied on Bro-Science.  The above plus significant time constraints due to deployment / marriage / family etc led to the improper mindset of only doing what I was good at.

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Now I have a decent amount of time, a high level of motivation, and I know how to do good research.  Take a hike Bro-Science!  Two developments that are extremely basic which have significantly enhanced my life in the last few months are increasing my protein intake to 1 gram per pound of body weight and drinking at least 100 ounces of water daily.

The protein recommendation came from Doctor Lonnie Lowery on the Iron Radio podcast CLICK. Doctor Lowery is accompanied most often by Phil Stevens and Robert “Fortress” Fortney.  The podcast content is a great mix of science, powerlifting, and bodybuilding information.  Since I have adopted Doctor Lowery’s advice from the podcast I am less sore, recover quicker, and my monthly gains seem less likely to be reversed if that makes sense.  My gains are solid.  I don’t know how else to describe that.

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After doing a lot of research on protein supplements I settled with True Nutrition CLICK.  I am specifically using their Whey Protein Isolate CFM Cross-Flow Microfiltration CLICK in an unsweetened and unflavored manner.  It dissolves well and has none of the filler material that you will find in proteins at your local drug store.  True Nutrition also allows you to make custom mixes if you have a niche you are looking to fill.

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Drinking 100 ounces of water per day flushes my system of bad stuff, ensures that hunger cues are in fact hunger cues, and increases my energy level.  Note that the 100 ounces of water consumed does not count the water I drink during workouts.  When I was a younger man the below chart was posted in the barracks at Parris Island.  I found it on the interwebs and it makes me smile when I see it and think of days gone by.

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Many who read this entry may facepalm themselves at my ignorance of the basics.  Looking back on how I spent time plodding on influenced by Bro-Science and choosing to not challenge my weak areas I facapalm myself.

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,At the end of the day all I can do is learn, plan, test, learn, plan, test, repeat ad infinitum.  The most fun part in this entire process is coming up with the “thing” that I will try next.  I am neck-deep in Dan John, Pavel, Charles Staley, Bryce Lane, Steve Shafley and the ideas just keep coming and coming.  Luckily I am disciplined enough to work one thing through and take lots of notes before I move on.  With all this information at my fingertips I have to make a cheesy 80s reference and say that…   

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P.S.  This is “part one” because I assess I am bound to discover something else “new to me” that others would consider basic and worthy of a facepalm.  🙂

Eating Habits

I decided that 2013 would be the year that I permanently changed my eating habits.  I describe this as “permanently change eating habits” vice using the word “diet” as diets seem to imply a temporary solution.  Here at Sustainable Evolution want to evolve in ways that can be sustained over time.  You may know someone who dropped 20 pounds in one month on the whatever diet.  Great.  How long until that 20 pounds comes back?

As per human nature my nutrition-related research revealed that there are several camps with each having their own theories that seemed dismissive of anyone who was not a strict adherent.  I needed to find something that worked for me.  I started with the great quote from Michael Pollan “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.”  You can read an outstanding article by Michael Pollan here:  Click  As I continued my research I discovered and instantly fell in love with the African Heritage Food Pyramid which can be viewed here:  Click  At the conclusion of my research I came away with the following principles five principles:

1. Eat breakfast.  Do not skip meals.

Eating breakfast sets the stage for your day.  It not only increases your energy level and therefore your morale but it gets your digestive system going and you start to burn calories.  Eating breakfast also ensures you do not over-eat at lunch and have that 2pm energy crash which is usually followed by a caffeinated beverage of some variety.  For breakfast I have six hard-boiled eggs, discard the yoke, and a cup of coffee with cream and sugar as I am not perfect.  🙂

2. Avoid foods that were never living.

I side a bit with the paleo crowd here as I believe that there are many things on the market called “food” that our bodies just weren’t made to process efficiently.  I also find that when I eat foods that were once alive my energy level is higher and I do not feel sluggish.  For lunch each day I have a large spinach salad with chicken and a sprinkle of vinegar and olive oil.

3. Focus on fruits and vegetables. Meat is good. Meat as a side dish is better.

If I were a Sesame Street character I would be “Ribeye Monster” as I love me some ribeye. However, what I love more than a 14oz medium-rare ribeye with Montreal steak seasoning is how my digestive system has to work hard to process raw fruits and vegetables and thus burns more calories longer.  For dinners I try to have a small portion of meat with a large portion of vegetables.

4. Substitute bad foods for good foods to achieve the effects you desire when you feel the need to deviate from your plan.

I like to feel full.  I like sweets.  Acknowledging this I try to substitute sweet foods that make me feel full, like ice cream and cake, with better food choices such as yogurt.  Yogurt sits heavy in my stomach, is sweet enough to check the block, and is much better for me than ice cream and cake. Think about bad foods that you love.  Think about the effects you get from those foods, then try to find some healthy substitutions.

5. If you must deviate from your plan, do it hard, do it fast, do it to excess, and then get back on your plan as quickly as possible.

All of us eventually reach that point where we are fed up and want to eat an entire large white pizza with bacon and sausage while sipping a cookies and cream milkshake.  No big deal.  However, don’t make it a daily ritual.  You will find the longer you eat well the less you will want to deviate and when you do deviate it just doesn’t feel as good as it used to because your body has adapted to eating healthier foods.