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Archive for the ‘Eat To Live’ Category

The end of day three and the start of day four…  Goal in sight!
Get up.  Walk the dog.  Drink breakfast.  Run to throne.  Piddle about the house.  Run to throne.  About house.  Run…  (Sensing a pattern?)  Just before 1pm my stomach settles and I go to the pool for a swim.  The timer clock at the pool malfunctions and instead of an hour treading water and then a few laps, I spend the whole 75 minutes treading water and then come home.  Start in on my second bottle of veggie juice.
Hil went to the store to restock my veggies as I’m going to have to make a new batch of veggie juices soon (tomorrow).  And, yes, I know I’m “supposed” to make it just before I drink it, but frankly, I’m just TOO lazy.  It’s just easier for me to make two or three days worth and then pull them out 2 or 3 a day as needed.  My view is the less time I’m standing in front of an open fridge, the better.  As Oscar Wilde said: “I can resist everything except temptation.”  After I make up the veggie juice, I’ll probably boil up some water for ginger / mint tea.  I make up about 1/2 gallon and it is very refreshing (after chilling) in the heat of the day.
No headaches today.  My energy level seems okay – even – but, short term.  Good at starting something; not so good at finishing it.  I’m hoping it’s just more of my normal state of attention deficit disorder.  I’ll know more in two days…
It’s now past 7:30pm here.  That means I’m more than half way through the conscious part of day 4.  (LOL)  I’m currently enjoying a V8 and apple cider mix.  I don’t usually drink V8 – the regular V8, that is.  I like the taste, but it has way too much salt.  Having said that, it is drinkable.  I’ve had the low-sodium version of V8 and it is TERRIBLE tasting.  I consider it undrinkable.  Just my opinion.  But this particular blend is delicious.  Of course, it could just be my veggie enhanced taste-buds talking to my brain.  I’m only drinking the V8 because my wife got it by accident.  She misread my shopping list on which I asked for “V8-Healthy Greens”.  This is a rather bland tasting mixture which is almost bad enough to make you think it must be healthy.  As near as I can tell, it almost tastes good and only has 60 calories per serving, so you get away with about 300-400 calories for a meal (46oz bottle).
With a fresh stoke-up of veggies in the chiller, I may decide to push on past the 7 days and go for a full 10.  I’ll play it by ear and see how my energy levels are.  Generally, I know it’s time to come off the fast when I get “hungry in my bones”.  It’s hard to describe the exact feeling.  For me, there’s:
1)  I notice a clock: “It’s lunch (meal) time” in my eyes,
2)  “Humm, I could just go a biccie (that’s cookie to non-Brits) or a few crisps (that’s potato chips)” (usually in response to a smell or a TV commercial),
3)  “My tummy’s growling” in my ears and stomach (obviously),
4)  “My stomach thinks my throat’s been cut” – I’m starting to get desperate,
5)  I start to get a headache or my hands and knees start shaking – quick sugar rush time, and then,
6)  I’m hungry in my bones…  “Eat something NOW!”
The last one is the warning sign that my body is going to severely over run my common sense / rational judgement at my next opportunity to eat.  I think this is where the expression “hungry like a wolf” comes from.  And, yes, I have ended fasts on pizzas, fried chicken and other similar less than “healthy” foods in the past.  More often than not, I have broken fasts slowly with an apple, a small salad or a cup of yogurt or some such boring item.  So, no, I’m not always a complete idiot about this.  (LOL)
Right now, it looks like the schedule is for ending Friday noon (7 full days) or Monday noon (6 Aug) which would be 10 full days.  After that, I’ll probably go to the (Dr. Smith) “Fat Smash” diet or combo it with Dr. Fuhrman “Eat To Live” diet for a couple more (at least 6) weeks.  Either will give me a chance to modify my “lifestyle” eating habits to something better for the longer term as I continue to lose weight.  And, (drum roll please) this morning’s weight: 368lbs.  That’s down 1lbs from yesterday and 12lbs from 20 July.
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On This Day In:
2017 Orange Comb-Overs Unite!
2016 Speaking Of Which
2015 Complexity Has A Strict Architecture
2014 Just Support
2013 Wandering Free
2012 Contribute = Paying Taxes
2011 How Will You Be Judged?

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The role of the USDA was originally to promote the products of the animal agriculture industry.  Over fifty years ago, the USDA began promoting the so-called four basic food groups, with meat and dairy products in the number one and two spots on the list.  Financed by the meat and dairy industry and backed by nutritional scientists on the payroll of the meat and dairy industry, this promotion ignored science.
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Our government spends over $20 Billion on price supports that benefit the dairy, beef, and veal industries.  This money is given to farmers to artificially reduce the cost of crops used to feed cows, thereby helping to reduce the prices we pay for dairy foods, fowl, and meat.  Fruits and vegetables grown primarily for human consumption are specifically excluded from USDA price supports.  [Emphasis is mine.  —  KMAB]
Out of one pocket, we pay billions of our tax dollars to support the production of expensive, disease-causing foods.  Out of the other pocket, we pay medical bills that are too high because our overweight population consumes too much of these rich, disease-causing foods.  Our tax dollars are actually used to make our society sicker and keep our health insurance costs high.
  —  Joel Fuhrman, M.D.
From his book: “Eat To Live
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On This Day In:
2012 Historically Unacceptable
2011 Niners Are NFC West Division Champions!!
The Essence Of Leadership

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This week was kind of a potpourri of mostly great entertainment:  I started off the week with an episode of Downton Abbey – exceptional British drama on PBS.  It’s the second season and the future heir is off to the trenches of France.  If you haven’t seen season one (and now, season two), you don’t know what you’re missing…
I finally got around to watching my DVD copy of “Green Lantern“.   I saw the movie in the theater back in June and my review (“In Brightest Day…“) was positive.  I’m a bit undecided on if the DVD translates to the smaller screen as well as some other grand-scale movies, but I think it’s pretty favorable.  I’m not sure why, but the movie seemed longer than I remembered it being in the theater – but it had also had a lot more action than I remember.  I’m not sure about Ryan Reynolds (the lead).  Some times he seemed to fit the character perfectly, and others, nope – don’t buy it at all.  The female love interest is played by Blake Lively, who seemed familiar, but I couldn’t place at all until I looked her up.  She was in the “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” movie, which I have seen but don’t recall.  I just remember her being a soccer player or something.  Anyway, now she reminds me of a young Jennifer Connally – meaning the camera loves her.  Hopefully, she can get some serious roles and we’ll find out if she has real chops or not.  I’m not sure if we’ll ever say that about Reynolds.  He’s in his mid-30’s now, so if he doesn’t start playing some serious roles soon, I’m not sure he ever will.  All in all, I still give the movie a favorable review and will watch it again soon.
One other comment on Reynolds.  I saw him opposite Sandra Bullock in “The Proposal“, and I thought he did very well in that role too.  Unfortunately, I’d say that role was more comedic than serious.  Not that a comic-book hero is comedic or serious, but you know what I mean…
On Wednesday I went for my first walk/slow jog in ages at the gym at work.  It felt so good I came home and watched “The Jericho Mile” again (see my review).  Still a great little made for TV movie.  Still inspirational.  Kudos to Michael Mann and Peter Strauss!!
Friday night I watched the two-hour ending of the TV series “Chuck“.  I remember watching this series when it first started five years ago.  It was the funniest (Nerd Herd), best written, sexiest (Sarah Walker), spy-spoof (Jeffster saves the General), crime-fighting series I’d seen in ages.  The finale crystalized in my mind the fallacy that nerds are socially inept loners.  In fact, nerds do herd!  And in herding, nerds gather strength.  (They also become even more nerdier…)  In the end, it took the whole team – including the Jeffster – to defeat evil and save the world as we know it (or want it to be) – a happy ending for the nerds.
Full disclosure time: way back in the second season, when it looked like the show was going to be cancelled, I was one of the fans who went to Subway (well, actually three Subways), bought a sandwich and asked the store manager to let the company know I liked their support of “Chuck” and hoped they’d keep the show on the air.  Two had no idea what I was talking about.  They didn’t even know Subway had product placement in the series!!  The third said he’d already had several people stop in and ask for him to support “Chuck” with a message to the head company.
Power to the nerds!!!
Last night, I also watched a documentary on diet and health titled: “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead“.  It’s an excellent movie about how we are killing ourselves with the food we eat.  Dr. Joel Fuhrman, of “Eat To Live” fame, plays a prominent role in the movie explaining how we’re killing ourselves and how we can make a recovery.  The “interesting” thing to me is that his book says you need to eat the fruit and vegetables to get their goodness, but the movie says you can do it by simply juicing them.  My “gut-feeling” is (pun intended) that the book is correct and the movie less so, but still reasonably healthy.  To make a long story shorter, today I went out and bought a juicer.  Now the next step is …
Off to the store to get my fruit and veggies.
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Superior health and optimal weight are no longer a matter of chance, but a matter of choice.  Try not to focus too much on the weight; focus on what you are doing.  The weight will drop naturally as a result of eating intelligently, exercising, and adopting a healthy lifestyle.  Neither you nor I am totally in control of it.  Your body will set the pace and gravitate toward the ideal weight for you when you eat healthfully.  Don’t worry if a few days go by without your losing weight; your body will lose at the rate it chooses is best.  Weight yourself as much or as little as you like, but most people find once weekly is sufficient to keep track of their results.
Most people lose weight and then stop losing when they have reached their ideal weight.  You are not the judge of your ideal weight; your body is.
  -–  Joel Fuhrman, M.D.
From his book:  “Eat To Live
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The life plan is a nutritarian diet.  I coined the term nutritarian to describe someone who strives for more micronutrients per calorie in their diet style.  A nutritarian understands that food has powerful disease-protecting and therapeutic effects and seeks to consume a broad array of micronutrients via their food choices.
  —  Joel Fuhrman, M.D.
From his book:  “Eat To Live
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Well, I made it five days on my New Year’s resolution: to walk at least 30 minutes a day for the year.
Yesterday, I was off work to see a kidney specialist about the pain in my right side. He said the ultrasound was inconclusive and he ordered up a CAT scan for me. I asked if they might be able to see me today (since I’m already off work) and the office lady said she’ll ask the imaging folks to try to schedule me. I waited at home until 3pm, but there was no call, so I changed to get ready for my walk.
The phone rang. It was the imaging folks and they could see me if I could be there in 15 minutes. I got there and they did their thing. On the walk to the car, though, the pain and tightness was so severe I could hardly breathe so I decided to take the day off. (Actually, I was tempted to drive to the ER.) I got home and poured down a couple of large glasses of lemonade. The kidney doctor said this would provide some relief for the kidney stones I’ve also been passing. He said any citrus juice or fruit would work, but lemonade works best. He cautioned that it is the hardest on the stomach.
Anyway, back to day One (six of seven) – starting over. Felt very good today. Not well, but not in severe pain. I decided to just do a slow jog instead of a walk. I made it around the school yard for 40 minutes. Based on the walk/run on the treadmill I did during the week (Thursday at the gym at work), I’m estimating this at 2 miles. It started off okay, got bad (right rib chest pain) and then got easier. I’m starting to think it (the rib pain) is from torn cartilage in my back when I injured myself lifting back in May. The muscle pull got better, but the connective tissue must still be inflamed. At least that’s what I’m hoping. I should get the results of the CAT scan Wed/Thurs of next week. Until then it’s back on the wagon — but I’ll continue to take it easy and only do the slow walks/jogs…
One more note on jogging: even though it hurt a bit (well, more than a bit), it was glorious!! The sun on my skin. The breeze blowing. The smell of grass. The feel of my muscles moving (even with the pain in my ribs). I love it! Why else would a 56 year old, 330 pound man with bad ribs be out there pounding pavement? Who cares if I’m slow as a snail, it hurts, and it hurts more afterwards? I do love it!
Niner Update:
I watched a lot of football today. The wildcard playoffs began. The Texans beat the Bengals and the Saints beat the Lions. I didn’t really expect the Lions to win, but I hoped they’d beat up on the Saints pretty good so they’ll be easier for us next week when we face them (the Saints). I don’t think the Lions came through for us. The Saints just overpowered the Lions. Our best hope is to commit to a full four-man pass rush and hope our linebackers can stop the run better than the Lions did (actually didn’t). If we can get pressure with three (or more likely four), then it comes down to our defensive backs stopping their receivers long enough for the rush to get there. The lions got two early fumbles (no points) and dropped three interceptions while the game was still up for grabs. If we’re not more productive, we’ll get blown out too. But, to be honest, the Saints looked very beatable to me, despite the score. And that’s why they play the game…
Reading:
I just finished my January ’12 issue of Wired Magazine and it had a couple of really great articles. One was about Weight Watchers and the other about changes in science. The Weight Watchers article is titled: “Weight Watchers Revamps Its Magic Formula” and is written by Jeffrey M. O’Brien. Basically, it’s a story about how the company has redone its program to match up (fairly closely) with Dr. Fuhrman’s “Eat To Live” diet. Fresh fruit and vegetables are basically free; fruit juice is more expensive (more points); and flesh (meat, fish and fowl) cost more (points) too. I find it interesting that Weight Watchers is now going to make money off of providing emotional support for eating healthy food. Ironic, but tremendously positive for thousands of people!!
The second article is titled: “Trials and Errors: Why Science Is Failing Us” and written by Jonah Lehrer. This is an article about causation in the study of science – in the article’s case, mostly biology. The writer starts off a bit rough (for my non-scientific tastes), but blossoms into to beautiful prose about the difference between correlation and causation and the cautionary aspects of human nature in not being able to recognize the difference – the scientific difference.
Both are terrific articles and I highly recommend both!!
I’ve been subscribing to Wired since coming back to America in August 2000, and it’s very rarely failed to have several things (product reviews, social – geek – commentary, and general articles) in EVERY issue which were not themselves worth the price of the issue. I highly recommend the subscription too…
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Trans fats do not exist in nature.  They are laboratory-designed and have adverse health consequences.  They interfere with the body’s production of beneficial fatty acids and promote heart disease.  As trans fatty acids offer no benefits and only clear adverse metabolic consequences, when you see the words partially hydrogenated on the side of a box, consider what’s inside poisonous and throw it in the trash.
  —  Joel Fuhrman, M.D.
From his book:  “Eat To Live
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Last Saturday I finished reading “The China Study“, by T. Colin Campbell and Thomas M. Campbell II (2006©).   Basically, the book is about using a plant-based diet to extend your life and improve / maintain your health.  The title comes from an extensive study of diet (what people normally eat as opposed to what people eat to lose weight) in the majority of rural counties in China which the author believes found a correlation between the amount of animal protein consumed and the level of several diseases (heart disease, diabetes and various forms of cancer).
The author acknowledges that correlation is not causation, but he proposes that based on the results of the study, we should forego the traditional “Western Diet” of meat, eggs, dairy and oils and return to a simpler diet consisting exclusively of plant-based foods (vegetables, fruits and nuts) and preferably raw foods.
I got this book from my sister, who is currently a practicing vegetarian.  She loaned it to me because Hil and I were discussing the book “Eat To Live” with her.  (See my review here.)  Anyway, she said although she has not read “Eat To Live“, it sounds very much like a book she has read (“The China Study“).  So I appropriated it for the masses (or should I say massive – me).
I found the book fairly interesting (and quotable), but also a bit overbearing in parts.  The main problem with reading this kind of book is that if you’re already inclined to agree with the author, very little the author says will seem incorrect.  The three things I most agree with are 1.) excessive meat (beef, poultry, pork and fish) and dairy consumption can lead to poor health,  2) excessive reductionism in scientific research of complex systems can lead to faulty conclusions, and, 3) the government is not necessarily on the people’s side when it comes to nutrition and food.
The fundamental question is: “How much meat and dairy are too much?”  The author proposes any at all should be considered too much.  That’s a pretty tough standard.  At least in the “Eat To Live” book the author recognized almost nobody is going to go completely without meat.
Does the book, “prove” its claims.  No.  Does it make sense?  Yes, it feels intuitively correct (recognizing my personal bias going into the reading of the book).  Is the book worth reading?  I believe it is.  Will I ever stick to the recommendations?  Nope.  Not a chance…  I enjoy eating meat and will have it occasionally.  I will have it less frequently than before and when I do have meat in my meal, I will make an effort to eat less of it than I would before, but I can’t imagine going through the rest of my life with no meat whatsoever.
By the way, in my own personal struggle with weight and health – I do feel much better since moving to a “mostly” plant-based and “mostly” unprocessed foods diet.  I do seem to be losing weight slowly and I am still doing it while “mostly” not being hungry.  The down side is I can really feel the difference (mostly bloating) when I do indulge in meat, sugar or salt.  Still, while a “down side”, I’m not sure such cognitive recognition is a negative.  It’s kind of like my body saying, “See, this is the price you pay for eating that way…”  Only now, I can hear my body saying it much more clearly.
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A couple of weeks ago, Hil and I were watching public television (KQED) and we saw one of their normal infomercials about dieting and getting in better health.  For some reason, the lecturer seemed to make sense to us and we discussed it and decided to buy his book (at a book store, not from KQED) and give it a try.  The next day, I went down to our local Barnes and Noble and picked up a copy of the book.
Last night, I completed reading “Eat To Live“, by Dr. Joel Fuhrman (2011©), originally published in 2003.  Basically, most of what we “know” about eating “right” is incorrect and based on the marketing of the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) who’s main job (historically) has been to help market U.S. agriculture and not necessarily promote health by recommending food based on the science of nutrition.  Dr. Fuhrman tries to correct this food industry sponsored / government supported misinformation with this book.
According to most recent science in the field of nutrition, we are killing ourselves by consuming the food we enjoy instead of the food we need.  Now, the Doctor is not a fanatic about his suggested lifestyle (I hesitate to call it a diet) change, but he makes a pretty convincing argument for eating based on his plan.  His plan is to eat mostly uncooked vegetables and fruit with some nuts thrown in.  He considers “meat” to be any animal (or fish) flesh (beef, pork, fowl or fish) and you should eat no more than 10% of your caloric intake from meat. You can eat as much vegetables and fruit as you can hold and “around” a handful of nuts per day.  No meats, no eggs, no dairy, no oils.
If you follow the plan, he predicts you’ll drop about 15-20 lbs your first month, 10 lbs your second month and 5-8 lbs each month after that until you get to your natural body weight.  He predicts this will be 95 lbs for your first five feet of height and 4 lbs for every inch after that for women and 105 lbs for your first five feet of height and 5 lbs for every inch for men.  At 5’10”, I should weigh about 155 lbs!!  This seems quite light to me, but it is the weight I left Army basic training (back when I was 19 years old).  At 56 years old, I’m not sure I can ever see that size/weight again – or that I would want to.
I am currently about 327 lbs and considered morbidly obese.  About seven weeks ago, I started the P90X exercise program.  Although I’ve lost about two inches from my waist and legs, I had not lost ANY weight until I started Dr. Fuhrman’s diet. It’s been a little over two weeks and one day and I’m down about 8 lbs.  The cover of his book says to give him six weeks and he’ll help you lose 20 lbs, so I’m well on track.  If his long term estimate is correct, in one year, I’ll be 255 lbs, at two years about 200 lbs and about three years from now about 155-160 lbs.
My most successful dieting to date was with the Extreme Fat Smash Diet, which I was on about two years ago (October 2009) for two hard cycles (21 days each) and two moderate cycles (another 21 days each).  After that, it was kind of maintenance mode.  In total, I lost 45 lbs and was down to 292 lbs, but as soon as I went back to “normal” eating, the weight started coming back on.  This diet was extremely hard if followed strictly and although you got to eat frequently, you did not get to eat much.  The result was I was always starving except after the main meal of the day (lunch).  In the end, the Fat Smash Diet is not a lifestyle I choose to live by.  I don’t want to be constantly starving and thinking about my next bit of food.
The interesting thing we (Hil and I) discovered was how much (actually how little) we could get by on for dinner.  Basically, we could be quite full on a half cup of rice, a cup of beans and a cup of green vegetables.  This is essentially, the recommended “diet” of the “Eat To Live” program.  The exception being you are also supposed to have a large salad with your meal.
So far, (like I said one day over two weeks,) I can honestly say I haven’t been hungry once since starting the diet.  That’s not to say I couldn’t eat more if it was there.  Only, that I don’t feel particularly like I’m on a diet at all.  I’m not sure there is a better recommendation anyone can make about a diet.
Back to the book review…  The author is excited about his topic and the enthusiasm comes across in the writing.  The argument (that we are killing ourselves with what we eat) is well laid out and copiously documented in the book’s notes.
I have two real criticisms with the book.  The first is it’s the lack of menu dishes he offers in the book.  The Doctor has his own web site (www.drfuhrman.com), which he charges to subscribe to, so it’s not like he’s in it for charity (or just your health) which supposedly contains over 1,000 recipes.  Alternatively, you can get by with any number of vegan / vegetarian cookbooks – including Dr. Dean Ornish’s (which we’ve also tried and are pretty good).  There are also a host of free recipes on the web at various vegan sites.  I will admit the few Dr. Fuhrman does offer in his book are quite tasty.  We’ve tried many of them.  The second is many of the recipes require elaborate cooking / preparation.  They are NOT something you can throw together while at work (with no kitchen).
Aside from these very minor points this is a VERY informative book and should be read by EVERYONE who is interested in improving their overall health OR losing weight.  Highly recommended!!
I have added a new sub-Category to my blog for anyone wishing to follow my comments / progress on this topic.
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