Tag Archives: Diet

Three Months Later and I’m Still Avoiding Dessert (and Sugar)

It’s been over three months since my post about cessation of dessert eating, so I thought I’d offer a bit of an update.

It was actually a lot easier than I thought it would be to stop eating sugar. I’m aware that this might be a result of my conviction to the matter and that some people can have a real hard time giving up sugar (because of habits, addiction, etc.). Since giving it up, I have hardly had any sugar (i.e. refined sugar), but there have been times when I’ve been out of the house and in a pinch, I reached for a chocolate bar instead of a piece of fruit. However, each time that I do that, I’m harshly reminded just how bad it is to eat a chocolate bar (for me). Minutes after finishing the chocolate bar, my stomach almost immediately feels terrible and I wish I hadn’t eaten it. That’s happened a couple of times, but like I said, each time that it does happen, I’m reminded just how terrible a choice it is for me to reach for a chocolate bar instead of a piece of fruit or nuts (or nothing!), even if I’m glad that I’m living in Canada, the land of Coffee Crisp.

There’s only been one time that I’ve eaten something sugary and haven’t regretted it — a piece of tiramisu at a wedding. Each bite was heavenly. With that being said, I should clarify that this one of only a couple of times that I’ve opted in for dessert. I don’t remember the other time, but I remember that it made me feel more like I did after the chocolate bars, so maybe my palate has developed such that I can only eat dessert that is of high quality? I realize that sounds a bit pretentious, but it’s not unheard of for one’s palate to change with age.

Even though I’ve dipped into the sugar pot here and there, it’s still my intention to avoid dessert (and sugar, in general). These experiences with sugar since my “decision of cessation” have taught me just how much sugar can have an effect on my body (including my brain).

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A few other things I wanted to mention. Did you know that there’s sugar in bacon? I certainly did not, but when I began reading the ingredients of things to see if there was sugar in them, I was shocked to find that there’s sugar in bacon. And it’s not just the ‘conventional’ bacon. I looked through a bunch of “organic” bacon packages and there was sugar in them, too. It was news to me.

Also along the lines of sugar in things that we wouldn’t expect: potato chips. I used to eat Miss Vickies Jalapeño chips as a kid and when I came across the Kettle Brand of Jalapeño chips, I would choose those instead. However, upon turning over the package, I was floored to find that sugar’s an ingredient. It’s not just the Kettle Brand of chips, either. I looked at a bunch of other “healthier” options of potato chips and, surprisingly, sugar is in them, too.

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Lastly, I wanted to close with something I said a few years ago, with regard to diet:

One could read and try thousands of diets from Alicia Silverstone’s to Suzanne Somers’ and still never find the perfect diet. I think that this is the case because there is no perfect diet for everyone.

 

The Perfect Exercise Routine – *Guaranteed

Almost two years ago, I wrote a post about the perfect diet and because I’d been seeing  lot of news about the “single most efficient exercise regimen,” I thought I’d write a post along the same lines as the one I wrote in June 2011. So, here goes!

There are over 11,900,000 returns when you type perfect exercise routine into Google and over 29,000,000 returns when you type best exercise routine into Google. Exercise routine by itself gives you 35,700,000. Clearly, people are not only interested in exercise and how to do it, but the best way to do it. This is great.

Exercise is such an important part (or at least it should be!) of our lives. Without it, we’re sure to not live nearly as long as we could. Now, maybe some people don’t want to live as long as they possibly can and would rather spend their time doing other things. I understand that. But exercise is not just about living longer, it’s about living better (or healthier), i.e. quality of life

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Certainly there are innumerable exercise routines. In fact, on one of those searches I mentioned above, there was a result near the top that said “1000+ exercise routines.” However, which one’s the best? Is there a best exercise routine? Well, sure there is. If you want better abs, you only have to come through about 10,000,000 Google results to find the best one. I could go through this for every major part of the body, but I’ll spare you the time. I would contend that there is no *perfect* exercise routine for everyone. That is, there isn’t one exercise routine that will be the “best” for everybody. Instead, I’d argue that there are as many perfect exerciser routines as there are people… so, more than 7 billion.

Some may quibble that I’m playing semantics, but just as is the case with food, each body has different things that it needs to thrive. Sure, there may be some general themes for bodies that live in northern climates vs. southern climates and general themes for women’s bodies vs. men’s bodies, but on the whole, I think that finding the perfect exercise routine is about finding what works best for you.

*Disclaimer: Because America is known for being a society of litigation, I thought it necessary to say that I cannot be held responsible for your decisions based on reading this post. I am not a physician, nor do I hold any degrees in exercise, so before making any changes to your exercise routine, I would be remiss if I didn’t recommend you consult a physician or educated professional.

The Perfect Diet – *Guaranteed!

StrawberriesIn my two most recent posts in the public policy series, I’ve addressed food and healthcare. Clearly, these are both very intricately connected to diet. The food one consumes is directly related to their diet and one’s healthcare is also affected (positively/negatively) as a result of their diet. Meaning, if I eat McDonald’s for the next 30 days like Morgan Spurlock, my health will seriously deteriorate. Today, I thought I’d talk about “the perfect diet.”

With quotations, did you know, that there are over 1,000,000 returns for “the perfect diet?” I think that’s incredible. For the phrase, “the best diet,” there are over 26,000,000 returns. Diet by itself will give you nearly 600,000,000 returns. From my estimation, it would seem that this is a pretty important issue to people and rightfully so. Did you know that most cells in the human body renew themselves? Meaning, the cells that make up the skin on your arm will not be the same cells that make up the skin on your arm in 2 or 3 months (give or take). So what does that mean? Where do we get more cells? Or more accurately, where do we get the means with which to make new cells?

Food.

Food is the “fuel” of the body. Some believe they don’t even need food, only sunlight, but I won’t go into detail about that.Utilizing two Christmas gifts (the Real Food Daily Cookbook and a stellar Williams Sonoma loaf pan) I made this tempeh loaf and I'm very excited to say that it was great. Tempeh is one of those foods that I feel I should eat more of, but it can be a challenge because on the whole, I'm not super into it though I know it's a highly nutritious food that would be a good thing to work into my diet more. I think this loaf will do the trick. Yum. And with garlic green beans and mashed potatoes...a perfect meal for a cold New England winter night...except that it's been in the mid and upper 60s here. Oh well, perfect comfort meal for anytime of year.  Again, food is the fuel of the body. However, this ‘energy source’ for the body isn’t always presented and consumed in its simplest form. Meaning, the body usually needs to break down the food into parts, such that the energy can be harvested from the food and directed to the appropriate cells. It’s said that there are three main groups of food: carbohydrates (starch or sugar), fat, and protein [of course we could quibble over just how many groups there are, but this is what was written in the previous reference, so I’m going with it.] It’s these different groups of food, (and the way our body processes food), where the discussion about diets usually diverges.

Some people think you should have a low-carbohydrate diet, while others think you should have a no-carbohydrate diet. Some advocate for veganism. Some advocate for what could be seen as a “less stringent” form of veganism — vegatarianism — which has many degrees to it. Some advocate a slow-carb diet. I could go on and on with the various types of diets that are out there. I’m sure you’ve probably tried or heard about a diet that I haven’t listed.

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I’m here to tell you today that there is a perfect diet out there for you — I promise. You may be here in search of it. I’ve been blessed with “good genes” and the motivation to stay relatively fit, which has allowed me to eat pretty much whatever I’ve wanted with gaining weight. I don’tI've been following Tim Ferriss' slow-carb diet as outlined in his book The Four Hour Body. Usually I eat chicken or fish, and occasionally steak. Always black beans or lentils, and always nutrient rich vegetables. This is a typical lunch, exactly three weeks and one day after starting (here's the corresponding blog post).  Today was one of those days when I completely forgot to take a photo specifically for Project 365. I meant to, but it slipped my mind. When I woke up on Wednesday, I realized I had forgotten. There was exactly one photo I took the entire day, and this is it. I've been sending photos of my meals to my girlfriend (who is also doing the Fit Challenge with me, although using a different diet) and that's what this photo was intended for. But... it now gets to do double-duty as my Project 365 photo of the day. mean to sound boastful and at the same time, some may be jealous of this. I think there are a number of reasons as to why my level of health (as gauged through body fat % and weight) is as good as it is, but I’ll save that for another day.

Holding my physical health constant, I’ve been able to try a number of different diets. Growing up, I was fortunate enough to have a mother who cooked a variety of cuisines (from Chinese to Indian to Mexican to Italian, etc.). As an adult, I’ve also had the good fortune of trying a couple of different diets. As you’ll note from our Sport & Performance Psychology Resources, we recommend Brendan Brazier’s books — The Thrive Diet being his book on diet, of course. For a time, I ate exclusively what was mandated through the The Thrive Diet. You’ll note that Brazier is a vegan, so all of his recipes are vegan. More recently, I experimented with Tim Ferriss’ diet from the 4-hour body. Ferriss advocates a slow-carb diet, which I mentioned in listing off diets earlier in this post.

In my experimenting with these diets, (and weighing it against how I felt when not on these diets), and then reading reports of how people (fared) with these diets, I came to realize that there’s something that I haven’t read with regard to diets (or maybe I have and just don’t remember seeing it) — it’s personal. Literally, it’s personal. One could read and try thousands of diets from Alicia Silverstone’s to Suzanne Somers’ and still never find the perfect diet. I think that this is the case because there is no perfect diet for everyone. I think Ayurveda is on the right track when they talk about one’s Dosha (or body type). Meaning, we can group certain The largest QOTSA headline crowd to date  7300 people at Queens Of The Stone Age, Lotto Arena, Antwerp, Belgium  2 March 2008  This image is CC so you can view the full size and find yourself  it also happens to be one of the largest group portraits I've ever taken, although i have larger crowdsbody types together and give them a constitution for what people with these body types should typically eat (and not eat). Of course, there are blends of the doshas, and exceptions.

The main takeaway is that there are almost 7 billion people on the Earth. To my wisdom, I would argue that there are just as many “perfect” diets out there. No one can tell you what the perfect diet is for you — only you can assess that. I would encourage you to try things out. Try diet-x or diet-y, but if you don’t feel good after trying it (giving it the appropriate amount of time, of course), then maybe that diet’s not for you. And maybe you don’t find the “perfect” diet with regard to someone else’s plan. Maybe you blend diet-j and diet-w to your new diet — and you write a book about it. When it comes to your body, you are one of the most qualified.

*Disclaimer: Because America is known for being a society of litigation, I thought it necessary to say that I, and Genuine Thriving, cannot be held responsible for your decisions based on reading this post. I am not a physician, nor do I hold any degrees in nutrition, so before making any changes to your diet, I would be remiss if I didn’t recommend you consult a physician or educated professional.