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Posts Tagged ‘On Dieting’

The last two of nights I’ve watched a couple of movies: “Lucy” – starring Scarlett Johansson, and “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead 2” – starring Joe Cross.
“Lucy” is a Sci-Fi action thriller about a woman exposed to a drug which allows her to access 100% of her brain’s processing capacity.  The movie is premised on the old dictum that we humans only use 10% of our brains.  The reality, of course, is that we use a lot more of our brain, but we’re not using it consciously – which doesn’t mean it’s not being used, only that we’re not aware of it being used.  The upshot of the movie is Lucy gains super-human powers which allow her to be the “action-hero” star of the film.  Saying much more will pretty much give away most of the movie, but if you see the trailer, you’ve pretty much seen the film and the ending is mostly just detail.
The movie is filmed with a gritty-ness which seems to be the trend these days (similar to “Kill Bill” and the “Bourne” films).  The special effects are interesting and the philosophy – life, evolution, the purpose of man – are all pretty standard fare, but they are well enough done so the movie is more than “just” a shoot-’em-up action film.  I enjoyed the movie and particularly that it used a female as the lead.  Is any of it realistic or scientifically accurate?  No and no.  But it is entertaining, and sometimes, that’s enough for me.  I’d caution there is a significant amount of violence, blood and gore, so the movie is not appropriate for small children.  Overall, I’d give it a strong rating, but not quite highly recommended.
The second movie I viewed was “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead 2“, which picks up five years after the first film.  The star (again) is Joe Cross who has found a way to make a living off of being the “Crocodile Dundee” of healthful juicing.  Joe comes back to the United States (he’s from Australia) to revisit the places and with some of the people from the original movie – and to reinforce the message that our Western foods and lifestyle are making us sick and killing us.  And, I don’t think there is any doubt they (our food and lifestyle) are (killing us).
2” lacks the originality of the first movie and really isn’t as humorous or interesting as the first edition.  Having said that, there is a difference between “movies” and “real life”.  In the movies, you discover the secret to losing weight and live happily ever after as a thin (and healthy) person.  In reality, there is stress, a lack of emotional support or resources, and, more often than not, you put all the weight you lost back on (usually, and then some).  And remember, this is a documentary, not just entertainment.
As such, I give the movie a “highly recommended” rating.  Sometimes, being a grown-up means being informed as well as being entertained.  Having watched the original several times and having been a “juicer” myself (off and on) for the last few years, I enjoyed the up-date from Joe and it was interesting to see some of the results of the first film on the lives of its participants.
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On This Day In:
2014 Less Difficult
2013 The Spirit Of Liberty
2012 The Essential Freedom Of Aloneness
2011 A Problem Of Scale
Fred Doesn’t Live Here Anymore
2010 Another Book, Another Jog…

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A gastronome of the old school who preserves the simple tastes and adheres to the natural diet of the pre-pork period.
  —   Ambrose Bierce
From his book:  “The Devil’s Dictionary
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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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