Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I'm Free

188.4 lbs

I gave myself a break last week and it has been working out okay. It should be a cinch to drop into the 186 range this week. I know I said that last week but uh... well. Okay, so I have no excuses except that I really had a good time last weekend with the end of the play I was in and all. But this week has been different already. For those of you who read the blog you know that by now I am gluten free this week. It honestly has been easier than I expected but a bit weirder since I am now hyper conscious of everything that passes my lips. I am beginning to seriously consider that gluten just isn't my bag baby, yeah! (oh that joke was so 10 years ago, I apologize weakly).

So what the hell can't I eat this week? Well, here is a good laundry list:

  • Wheat - except buckwheat who was always my favorite Little Rascal.
  • Rye - well crap, there just went my whiskey. By the by, the term " drinking whiskey and rye" in the song American Pie is the equivalent of saying "drinking vodka and vodka". Sigh.
  • Barley - now there goes the beer! Will this hell ever cease?!
  • Oh cripes let's just say most grains except corn, okay? I don't have all day to list grain sources, ya know?
I also have to be conscious of things you wouldn't suspect like certain meats (some of them have gluten added during processing - you have to read the union label or call the company) but I have been avoiding meat this week so that takes care of that! Also I have been steering clear (like I don't already) of most anything breaded or in a cereal box. Heck, processed crap overall is a no go unless it says that it is gluten free. It's like a minefield. If I were eating like a do on the weekends during the week I would be losing my mind except for one thing: going gluten free seems to be a pretty smart way to go in a dietary sense. I have noticed that when I eat things packed with gluten it makes me a bit wonky, so to speak. It could be that I have not overindulged in many things that have gluten but I think there might be something more to it.

Over the past month I have noted that I feel fairly awful after eating something packed with gluten. Now that doesn't mean I have Celiac Disease that just means I probably have a mild allergic reaction when I eat it in quantities. Similarly, when I drink Guinness beer I feel pretty decent but a wheat beer just makes my head hurt and my tummy go funky. Guinness only has barley which has a much milder effect as a grain than wheat. It really explains a lot. Like I have said before, sometimes we have a natural aversion to things or we unconsciously make the choices we do, due to underlying factors we just don't consider or understand - yet. I think this might be one of the reasons I very rarely eat pasta. It really has never appealed to me to a level, where I say, I can't wait to have spaghetti! Manicotti? Oh hells yeah but there is a lot less noodle type material involved and more cheese, meat and sauce there to fill my belly.

Going gluten free doesn't mean you will fall apart or anything. There are a lot of gluten alternatives and I might bring this into my weekends. Fresh and Easy (Tesco - if you are on the other side of the pond) has a display with some fantastically yummy gluten free alternatives to everything from pancakes to cupcakes. I might just have to try some. But if you go gluten free will you lose out somehow physically or mentally nutrition wise? No and if you click through to the following article, I'll prove it:

Is a gluten-free diet behind Djokovic's smash success?

From my own personal viewpoint, I can honestly see where a gluten free (or lowered substantially) lifestyle could be beneficial. I have always preferred buckwheat pancakes over the flour kind and gluten filled donuts really should not be a staple of my diet anyway. And since I don't really know what einkorn is (another grain but where the hell it comes from is beyond me), I could avoid that fairly easily I think. I see semolina printed on pasta boxes but semolina sounds like something really dirty inside my head and since it is in pasta, consider it done. Lots of things to ponder after this week, that's for sure. However by the time Saturday rolls around, I probably won't be pondering it over a flour taco or a donut. Okay maybe one donut - preferably gluten free. Yum, buckwheat donuts. I knew there was a reason he was my favorite Little Rascal.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Goody Two Shoes

188.2 lbs

It's been sort of a weird week on the old weight chart. There has been ups and (mostly) downs. I am pretty close to where I ended up last week which is OK, all things considered. If I lose a half a pound that would be great but no biggie if I don't. The only thing this week I can speak to is the fact that protein is definitely your friend when you get are inching towards what should be a set point weight wise. Between Tuesday and Wednesday I lost nada. I pumped up the protein and - boom. 1.5 lbs in a day. I will be getting back to normal next week, so 185 is going to get owned. It's a Friday, so what better way to spend than day than by dropping the top on the Science Mobile and going for a ride (whoosh!)

Okay so there has been odd news this week in science. For one thing, I know I will avoid drinking coffee while having sex in the throes of an allergy attack. My head might explode! At least that is what the men and women in white coats tell me. Well, they also tell me to get back to the padded cell but that is an entirely different issue. Basically the scientists say that if you have sex, drink coffee, work out strenuously or sneeze, you increase you risk of having an aneurysm. You know, that little event where your brain goes poof because a blood vessel ruptures. Lovely. Just what I need, another reason to be a good two shoes. It's not I am saying that the research is faulty. It's probably not but, face it, life is full of risks. So, I will continue to have sex and drink coffee while running around the room sneezing. Don't knock it unless you've tried it. I like to call this maneuver a "Turkish Track-meet" and it is quite satisfying. Why do scientists spend all their time worrying about my head exploding? Because they can. It's not like they are doing a "Turkish Track-meet" or "Lithuanian Handbag" or anything, they are way too busy with science and that makes me sad.

Coffee, Sex Increase Aneurysm Risk

Whoosh! Now on to the next topic - salt. Now everyone has been told and has perhaps told someone else from time to time that salt is bad for you. It's an evil crystal that will kill you. Yes, kill you. Deader than doornail. Well since the scientists have spent their time on science instead of debauched acts of perversity they figured out that salt might not be so evil after all. In fact, it might help to prevent heart disease. Just like the once vilified egg, salt might be making a come back. Sure it makes you retain more water than the Hoover Dam but studies show that there is a link to higher salt intake and a lowered chance of contracting heart disease. Already, there are folks poo-pooing it. But science does not like change, particularly medical science. It took a guy drinking nasty bacteria and experimenting on himself to show that ulcers can be cured. Now we rarely hear of ulcers anymore. The same goes for study after study after study showing a high protein and fat diet is more beneficial than a high carb diet. Pssst! Here's a secret, it actually lowers bad cholesterol and raises good cholesterol. So I can't see salt being any different. Scientist, while mostly sexless, are just like you and me and are prone to believe conventional wisdom until the evidence becomes an avalanche.

The governments (local and otherwise) are just as bad and will keep trying to snatch the shaker out of your hand and the meat off your plate though I don't see any reason why. Maybe the government should actually listen to the scientists but I suspect they don't because they ARE actually having sex, perhaps too much and with anything that moves. If you don't think the government wants to reduce your salt intake - think again. It's already happening and there are standards and bureaucracies in place that are doing this as we speak. God I really hate Nanny States. Maybe we can throw salt in their eyes and blind them temporarily while we try to eat something not resembling soylent green.

Low-Salt Diets Reduce Heart Disease Risk, Right? A Study Disagrees

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap

190.2 lbs

So last week I bottomed out at 187.8 lbs. I was at 21% BF overall. That's pretty good. I am hoping to end this week below 186. If I hit 185, I will be ecstatic. The days of huge drops do seem to be gone, however. Losing weight sometimes requires a degree of mental concentration that I needed to use elsewhere the past week or two. It's not to say that I do not keep goals. I am still looking forward to certain experiments I have put off. They cross my mind at least once a day. Heck, new experiments cross my mind once a day. This crap had me even contemplating the contents of my dog's food! "Eat Like a Dog", that's the kind of stuff that enters my brain. Actually looking at the contents, I think the dogs eat better than I do most days. And so it goes.

One thing that entered my brain this week was something I have been following for some time, the change in our military's diet and exercise regimen. It seems for most military members the days of marching around with a 50lb rucksack are gone. The reasons for this are multi fold. First, new recruits have the physical stamina of a flu infected sloth from sitting on their sofas playing video games all day. Sedentary is the new fashion. Who wants to actually get in shape a little before you go into the service? Secondly, all that cardio was causing a huge amount of injuries for no good reason. Excess cardio was stripping recruits of muscle which, uh ya know, you might need to actually carry a weapon or something. Third, humping a rucksack while marching in a straight line for 20 miles prepares you for nothing more, strategically, than the occasional camp out at "Fort Whatthehellwasithinking". Let's just hope that Private Joker brought the s'mores.

The military has been making this transition away from mindlessness for quite some time. The newer military physicians and dietitians were appalled at what the establishment saw as good old diet and physical fitness. Besides, if you are getting shot at, walking tediously in a straight line is probably not going to be part of your agenda as a soldier. At the very least, I hope not. The food was also an issue. Having been the recipient of numerous meals with names like "Shit on a Shingle", I can tell you that very few things I ate in the military were what I would call overwhelmingly nutritious. On some bases, it was like a smorgasbord of everything a teenage boy would want. Now that can be a problem. To misquote Kipling, "A fat mongoose is a slow mongoose and a slow mongoose is a dead mongoose."

Well the military has figured this out and here is an article about where they are now in the process of revising the overall diet and exercise regimens of our brave men and women in the Armed Forces. They deserve to eat healthy and live long and full lives. That is my real hope for them, longevity.

Let's be frank, the pay is not good in the military though the personal sense of security through benefits can be a bonus. Hearing about how one of our elite teams took down Bin Laden this week just reminded me that they do this type of stuff everyday. We just never hear about it, I can assure you. And on top of it all, being a soldier or airman or sailor is one of the lowest paid professions in this country and they are one of the few citizens not afforded the same freedoms you and I take for granted while fighting for those said rights.

The guys who took down the most evil terror mastermind ever probably make less pay than the assistant manager of your local gas station unless they are an officer. Most of the guys, the hired help that do the dirty work, aren't officers. The old saying goes that an army marches on its belly. It might seem silly for us to spend time and money to adjust a soldier's diet or make them do Pilates but if it helps them come home safe and sound, I see no reason not to do it. Some things we do in this country aren't worth the time and cost but seeing a combat soldier come home to the loving arms of his family is simply priceless.