What is your strategy for fitness and nutrition?

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31 August, 2014 - 19:57
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raykidwell wrote:

Please try for 2 months:
1)Continue to replace some of your processed food with unprocessed foods (like you did with bananas and apples)
2)Walk 30 min just 3 times a week (that is only 90 min per week which is 10080 hours= .014% of the week)

3)Make sure you are getting quality sleep

4)Lets say doing the above for 2 months increases your PB by only 2%
wouldn't it still be worth it?

Ray

1) I can do that. Many fruits are palatable so before incorporating vegetables into my diet *cringe*, I'll add more of them. My grandfather Glibert R. Kaats is the CEO and Head Chairman of Integrated Health Technologies Global in San Antonio.
http://www.ihtglobal.com/
He is always willing to give me jugs of vanilla and chocolate flavored nutritional powder of various sorts, which he puts into smoothies. Over the years, I've given the majority of this away to other people. But I'll get some more from him and get some frozen fruit and fruit juice, and I think if I add a smoothie like that in every day I will have a diet which is 100% fruit + the nutritional supplements, which sounds terribly limited, but would nevertheless be a big improvement from where I am now.

About 4 years ago he was doing a bunch of studies on vitamin d-3. I had never even heard of vitamin d-3 at the time, but I see it included in many supplements today, often fish oil I think. I would guess that his work was instrumental in bringing about that change because I remember him being very excited about it, saying "In all my years, I have never seen a single vitamin with such a scope of effects. If you do nothing else, get your butt on d-3." And he got his Ph.D. in 1956 so that's quite a large number of years.

Just throwing that into the mix since I do hear a lot about omega-3's and not much else frankly, so that's another vitamin worth doing some research on if you're interested in health.

2) I can do that also. I just moved into a new house in a neighborhood I'm still not familiar with, and since I would need literally hundreds more loci than I even have right now just to practice all of the Western Regional events in a row, that is another very motivating reason to walk around over the next 2 months.

3) Not sure about this one. I do sleep most nights now so I'm in a better position than I was last year at least.

4) Yes, of course. When even one of my PB's increases by 2%, I feel like a million bucks for the rest of the day! Just thinking of improving all of my skills at the same time by any measurable amount makes a tantalizing image.

31 August, 2014 - 22:41
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Good job Loci! I will be looking forward to some good results!!!

Memory athletes should be just like physical athletes
When we cut corners, we may get away with it some of the time.....
When we take care of ourselves, we may be able to maximize our potential :)

Ray

5 October, 2014 - 15:51
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Thought you guys might be interested in this study.

If you don't know, ketosis is a state your body enters when it starts using lipids as primary fuel as opposed to carbohydrates. It can be achieved within two days of eating minimal to no carbohydrates. I just thought I would mention it since I recently started dieting in a way that encourages it.

If you're going to attempt this(consult a doctor etc), eat one big carb ridden meal every 5-6 days, and make sure you get tons of fat. If you don't get enough fat, you will enter rabbit starvation.

Bateman

5 October, 2014 - 16:28
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I've read some stories about people with dementia (e.g. Alzheimer) adding coconut oil (which is 100% fat) to their diet. In some cases this has proved to be effective in alleviating the dementia. But atm there is not yet any scientific research done on the matter.

Though here the amount of carbs is not reduced, just adding some extra lipids.

10 January, 2015 - 15:13
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I was reading through this thread again today, and wanted to add a link to my new food experiments. There are two links to diet ratings at the bottom of the post. Or click here and here. The way that I eat isn't listed there, but the list is interesting reading.

10 January, 2015 - 15:50
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Bateman, I just checked out your avatar's (Chris Bale) body transformations. This guy is crazy :D, and all this in the name of acting. And I really love his movies.

bale2.jpg

And an article:
http://www.peoplestylewatch.com/people/stylewatch/package/article/0,,207...

10 January, 2015 - 15:54
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Oh yeah. It's crazy.

Bateman

15 January, 2015 - 17:46
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By the way, Josh, that is a fantastic system. While I don't necessarily agree with all your food choices(no spices, corn...), it's really good to see someone so efficiently organize what he eats. Not many people do so.

As a result of reading your blog post, I actually changed my diet for now, eliminated meat, added many different grains and vegetables, and other changes. Will see how my body reacts, whether it's positive or negative. I'm hoping eating very similar meals every day will stabilize my body, put me more in touch with it, and thus be able to see how anything new affects it to a much more precise level of detail.

Thanks for sharing it,

Bateman

15 January, 2015 - 22:03
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Bateman wrote:

While I don't necessarily agree with all your food choices(no spices, corn...)

What don't you like about corn? I don't eat that much of it, but occasionally I switch out the amaranth or buckwheat for homemade polenta.

What I would really like to do is ferment the corn, but I don't know if this would have any effect on aflatoxins that might be in the US corn supply. (Does anyone know if aflatoxin levels get worse if cornmeal is kept wet for a few days?)

There are some interesting fermented corn dishes from Africa, but, from what I've read, some African countries also have severe aflatoxin problems. Maybe it is only due to the grain storage.

I eat spices but not hot/spicy. Peppers are a nightshade-family plant (also: potatoes, eggplant, tomatoes). Some spices that I regularly cook with are: fresh and dried turmeric, fresh ginger, black and green cardamom pods, cumin, coriander, fenugreek, bay leaves, mustard seeds, cinnamon, and others.

I'm really into cooking (from scratch as much as possible), so if anyone is interested, we could start a "share your recipes" thread. :)

Bateman wrote:

As a result of reading your blog post, I actually changed my diet for now, eliminated meat, added many different grains and vegetables, and other changes. Will see how my body reacts, whether it's positive or negative.

I've been trying your tip about daily partial fasting. I think I'm on day four or five. I'm trying to find the right balance, because I'm having moments where I start to crash. :)

I might modify it toward something along these lines, where I only do the mini-fast on two days per week. I once tried alternate day calorie restriction, but it wasn't exactly time-restricted fasting. I don't remember the long-term outcome, because things got difficult soon after that and many of my plans got derailed.

16 January, 2015 - 13:56
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I just saw this related article: A 12-Hour Window for a Healthy Weight.

Now, a new study shows that mice prevented from eating at all hours avoided obesity and metabolic problems — even if their diet was sometimes unhealthful.

Researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in San Diego and elsewhere began experimenting with the eating patterns of laboratory mice in a previous study. On that occasion, some mice consumed high-fat food whenever they wanted; others had the same diet but could eat only during an eight-hour window. None exercised. The mice that ate at all hours soon grew chubby and unwell, with symptoms of diabetes. But the mice on the eight-hour schedule gained little weight and developed no metabolic problems.

"Meal times have more effect on circadian rhythm than dark and light cycles," Dr. Panda says. And circadian rhythm in turn affects the function of many genes in the body that are known to involve metabolism.

16 January, 2015 - 15:50
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The body needs time to adapt to fasting, if you've been eating every couple hours most of your life. In a week or so, should be fully adapted. What schedule are you using? 16/8? 18/6? 20/4? (16h fasting, 8h for eating). 2 day fasts(complete, no 'caloric restriction') are amazing . Glad you're testing it out :)

With some research I couldn't find anything to justify me being against corn. I must have been mistaken, my bad.

On aflatoxins, it seems logical that they would increase if you tried to ferment the corn, since they are produced by a fungus.

:)

Bateman

16 January, 2015 - 16:48
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I'm aiming for 16/8.

I'm going to experiment with things, so I will include that 5:2 idea. I didn't crash on the restricted calories until about day three.

16 January, 2015 - 17:16
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Restricted calories and fasting are apples and oranges.

Sure, they both have sugar... Or however the metaphor goes, but they are completely different. Good luck :)

With fasting you enter ketosis, start burning fat for energy, some would argue this is the natural state for humans. Restricted calories just give you less sugar, causing it to drop, making you crave more sugar, etc.

Bateman

16 January, 2015 - 17:20
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Oh, I see. I skimmed the first part, sent it to Pocket, and missed the point of the article. I'll read the whole thing later tonight.

16 January, 2015 - 17:28
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I use Evernote :)

Bateman

16 January, 2015 - 19:25
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Evernote is good. I use both, but I haven't figured out how to send articles into Evernote from my phone without getting them mixed up with my other notes. I use Pocket for articles, and Evernote for notes that I write. :)

17 January, 2015 - 11:10
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This brief test on the BBC will let you know if you are an Constant Craver, Feaster or Emotional Eater and then give some tips on the three diet types.

In brief, they then recommend either a Intermittent dieting for Constant Cravers, high protein-low GI diet for Feasters, or Low cal for Emotional Eaters.

17 January, 2015 - 11:21
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Josh Cohen wrote:

Evernote is good. I use both, but I haven't figured out how to send articles into Evernote from my phone without getting them mixed up with my other notes. I use Pocket for articles, and Evernote for notes that I write. :)

I use Pocket and Evernote too, I use Pocket less and mainly use it to read later articles that interest me (It was previously called read later IIRC). I want to try incremental reading at some point but I can't get on with Supermemo and haven't got the hang of it with Anki.

Anway, on Android you can install Evernote and then just "share" the page with Evernote which saves the whole thing. Or you can forward the page to your evernote email address and it will just save the link.

17 January, 2015 - 15:56
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I'm obviously a Feaster. Already eating like that; in fact, while reading this I'm eating salmon on brown rice on green beans and broccoli.

+1 on Evernote.

Bateman

26 January, 2015 - 22:24
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I removed my restriction on nightshade family vegetables except for potatoes. I think I'm also going to add a small serving of meat once per month.

I figured out a way to like sweet potatoes -- bake them instead of steam them. When they are baked at 375° F, something happens to the flavor. Maybe the sugars are caramelizing. I wonder if baking improves the taste of squashes too.

I've been trying many different varieties, and these two are my favorite (see below). The one on the bottom left is purple all the way through. I'm pretty sure that it is a sweet potato and not a purple yam, but I will have to check next time I go to the store. I don't know if I have ever cooked true yams, but I will see if I can buy some tomorrow.

The one on the top right is whitish inside, but turns off-white when cooked. I like the dryer texture. It might be a boniato.

I haven't eaten any sugar* in a few months, so maybe that's why these things taste so good. Or maybe I am craving calcium. I'm not sure if I'm eating close to the recommended 1000 mg per day.

(* There is a small amount of sugar in my picked herring, but I rinse them off before eating them.)

26 January, 2015 - 22:51
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I'm doing some more research on how cooking methods affect the sugar in sweet potatoes, and it isn't looking good:

For GI [glycemic index], anything below 55 is low, and anything over 70 is considered high. Numbers from 55–69 are medium.

The same foods can have a very different GI and GL [glycemic load] depending on how they are prepared. A boiled sweet potato has a low GI of 44 and a medium GL of 11. But if baked for 45 minutes, the same sweet potato has a GI of 94 and a GL of 42, both extremely high. Baking has essentially turned the sweet potato into candy.

...Have you ever noticed how sweet beets taste after baking or microwaving? That’s because much of their carbohydrate content has been converted into glucose.

There is more info on the GI and GL over here and here.

I guess I will have to try steaming them again. :/

27 January, 2015 - 03:35
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The taste probably changes due to the Maillard reaction.

Not eating sugar(pop, candy, fruits) is interesting. There have been times where I completely stopped eating all simple carbohydrates(sugar+fruits+bread/chips/all white carbs) for a period of time, only eating complex carbs for sustained energy. When I reintroduced those simple carbohydrates, I always started feeling bad, emotional swings, hunger swings, more sustainable to sickness. It's basically the same thing everywhere in life; simple fast and easy vs long term investment.

Your tastes also change tremendously. If you've been eating junk food all your life, then stop for even a month, you won't be able to stomach it. It just tastes so bland, like cardboard compared to real food. When juicing, after a while pure vegetable juice tastes good and sweet to you. I'm at a point where if I 'slip', and buy 72% dark chocolate instead of 85%, it tastes as sweet as a snickers bar used to taste. Bitter taste almost doesn't even exist anymore(other than very burnt foods).

It's also interested me lately how different ways of preparing foods can change the properties of that food. Ie: if you mince garlic and let it sit for 10 minutes, allicin and allucin(those aren't correct), which are usually separate in garlic cells, combine to form the very beneficial alacin(again, not correct). Now baking vs steaming either raises the GI of sweet potatoes or lowers it respectively. Interesting.

Bateman

27 January, 2015 - 13:10
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I don't have any craving for candy at the moment. I don't eat any refined carbs, except for one time when I got stuck without food before a meeting and only had time to get some avocado rolls with white rice. I think that the white rice was my only "cheat" in several months, and only because I had to keep my brain working for the meeting -- otherwise I would have gone home for food.

When I was 18, I was living off of Taco Bell and junk food. I was able to eat at MacDonalds. These days, I would rather go without food for a day than eat it.

I think that industrial scale fast food is engineered to be addictive, but that it only becomes tolerable if you eat it a few times. If one can stop for a period of time, the cravings will turn into aversion. Sense of taste will return. Learning how the food is made helps too (sawdust, chemicals, animal abuse, etc.).

My next food project is to figure out how to be sure that I'm getting the recommended daily intake of calcium without eating dairy.

27 January, 2015 - 13:24
r30
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You can use nutritiondata. Just search for the foods you currently eat, add the right amounts and put them in your tracking list (you have to be registered for that). It calculates everything - total calories (and shows cals in each food independently), cals in [protein, fat and carbs], vitamins, minerals, amino acids...I discovered my diet lacks in some vitamins.
2013-14.png

28 January, 2015 - 01:13
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I looked up chopped garlic, and Wikipedia has some information on the allicin page. I eat a fair amount of garlic every day. Maybe I should let it sit for a little while after chopping.

I just registered for the nutrition data website.

It seems tricky to get 1,000mg of calcium per day just from minimally-processed vegetables, though the first 3 items have more calcium than milk:

Collard greens, cooked 1 cup 357
Tofu, processed with calcium sulfate* 4 ounces 200-420
Tofu, processed with nigari* 4 ounces 130-400
Turnip greens, cooked 1 cup 249
Tempeh 1 cup 184
Kale, cooked 1 cup 179
Soybeans, cooked 1 cup 175
Bok choy, cooked 1 cup 158
Mustard greens, cooked 1 cup 152
Okra, cooked 1 cup 135
Tahini 2 Tbsp 128

(source)

I found another interesting list here:

Almond butter (2 tablespoons contains 85 mg)
Broccoli (1 cup contains 95 mg)
Raw fennel (1 medium bulb contains 115 mg)
Oranges (1 orange contains between 50 and 60 mg)
Figs (1/2 cup contains 120 mg)
Amaranth (1 cup contains 275 mg)

28 January, 2015 - 02:23
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One of my favourite things in my kitchen is a little garlic plate. You drop a little oil on it, then grate the garlic, then use a little brush to get the grated garlic into your pan.

I find it gives an almost purer flavour of garlic than by chopping. I've often thought that I'd like to prepare a couple of dishes in exactly the same way with the exception of the garlic method and see if it makes a difference.

28 January, 2015 - 14:44
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There isn't a "best" nutrition for everyone. However, there are some guidelines.
About 1/4 of us can have all the flour, sugar, fruit we want and handle it just fine. It's a genetic accident, not a sign of superior character!

The rest of us will generally do better eating a lot less carbohydrate. There is a full spectrum of carb-related abnormalities all the way from a little plump around the middle all the way to frank type 2 diabetes, and eating less carbohydrate works very well for almost everyone.

I personally follow "The New Atkins for a New You" by Eric Westman MD, a Duke medicine professor. NO, Atkins won't kill you; that is a persistent myth! Many recent studies past fifteen years; it is an excellent way to eat.

For exercise, I personally like "Body By Science" by Doug McGuff MD. It is once a week, weightlifting on machines to momentary muscle failure over about 1:30-3 minutes per exercise. It's really intense but with machines it is very safe and there are studies that whether you use free weights or machines makes little difference. It's 30 minutes per week; highly efficient. I'm 60 and pushing over 330 lbs on a Nautilus Leg Press for over 2 minutes; it's a real workout. McGuff claims that is all the "exercise" a person needs and the rest of the time just "be active."

For brain and memory, there is an additional "tweak" you might consider, and that is nutritional ketosis. When you go low carb and eat enough fat, your metabolism switches from glucose-dependent to a more flexible ketone burning, and there is some evidence that you get mentally sharper in ketosis. (Note that this is NOT ketoacidosis, a medical emergency that diabetics occasionally have; they are completely different despite the similar names.) You can also get into ketosis by addition of coconut oil or MCT (medium chain triglyceride) oil to food. Best intro is probably Jimmy Moore, who has a book called 'Keto Clarity' and a website called "LivinLaVidaLowCarb.com".

Good luck. Lots of links to all these on my website, PaleoPathologist.com. And I'm not selling anything there.

Doc Jim

28 January, 2015 - 23:42
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Various ways of eating probably work differently for people. I was into a book called Nourishing Traditions for a while (lots of meat and dairy), but I gained a lot of weight and didn't feel well. High-protein, low carbohydrate diets don't seem to work for me. I know that some people have success with it though.

I was a vegetarian until I was 12, so maybe I didn't develop the microorganisms required to easily digest a lot of meat. I also didn't eat much sugar and never drank a soda until I was about 17. That surely must affect gut bacteria.

I looked into the Paleo Diet a little bit when it first became popular, because I had a strong interest in hunter gatherer cultures for many years. The way I eat is partially based on my research from that time, but I came to some different conclusions than the authors of the Paleo Diet. (E.g., I eat significant quantities of whole grains and whole vegetables but not a lot of meat.) I'm definitely not an expert on nutrition though, and consider all of it to be self-experimentation. :)

I think I finally solved my calcium problem. I ate a lot of Napa cabbage today, along with salmon, tahini sauce, and tofu. I also picked up some collard greens (giant nutritious broccoli leaves) for tomorrow. Definitely made it past 1000 mg.

29 January, 2015 - 02:57
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Yes, allicin, that's it.

Good info on ketosis.

The thing about using free weights is you also build balance; you learn to control the weights, keep them from moving left and right, up and down. This involves a lot of small muscles that are not necessarily activated when using machines.

I've looked into MCT oil recently, and it looks like a marketing scam(by dave asprey).

Bateman

29 January, 2015 - 07:28
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The "small muscle" and "stabilizing muscle" theory may not really be true. Free weights are fine as long as you have perfect form but they are higher risk for injury especially if you do fast/ballistic movements. Look up Drew Baye, Body By Science, and Fischer and Steele's articles online. The latter two are exercise researchers who found NO DIFFERENCE in strength gains between free weights and machines (good machines of course; bad ones are, well, bad ones.) There was a difference in injuries.

As far as MCT oil goes, it's like everything else. Does is cause ketosis? Yes. Do you have to buy the gold plated brand? Probably not. There are MCT's in coconut oil (I put a tablespoon of coconut oil in my coffee with heavy cream this morning.)

I saw someone talking about "Low carb high protein." That is NOT a good plan. What most of us need is low carb, MODERATE protein (maybe a gram per kg of body weight per day) and make up the difference with FAT.

Doc, are you NUTS? Fat kills, doesn't it?

Nope. Fat is actually the cleanest fuel there is, especially saturated fat. Seed oils (soy, corn, safflower, etc) are full of polyunsaturates which oxidize and become unhealthy very quickly. Butter! Coconut oil! Some olive oil! What makes most of us fat is actually carbohydrate consumption, not eating fat.

But there is way too much here for a quick post. Basically we have been taught that a healthy diet is "lots of complex carbohydrates, low fat, lots of protein." That turns out to have no scientific validity for most of us. One charismatic guy inflicted this whole mess on us.

If you want the real science, look up Volek and Phinney who have been doing low carb research since the 80's, read Gary Taube's books, as I mentioned previously Eric Westman MD's "The New Atkins for a New You", etc.

Doc Jim

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