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I haven’t written in a while. I’ve had a lot of computer problems and am currently without one at the moment. I was working on a book and my computer problems have put me far behind on that as well. So I am sorry to my loyal readers.
In the last couple of months of 2013 I had a bout of anxiety and fell in to a bad cycle of sleeping until nearly noon, getting up, going to work, staying up too late…. Until October I was doing quite a bit of yoga and had done well to maintain my weight. Since then I’ve gained a lot of weight and have fallen out of shape. It is a hard thing to write to all of you. Anxiety is a powerful force.
I started a new blog where I’ll write more about that struggle and how I’m overcoming it. That blog is called “Confronting Giants” (http://confrontinggiants.wordpress.com).
I’ve started my yoga practice back up and I’ve also started running. Yesterday was the first day of Couch to 5k for me. This will be the third, and hopefully last, time I’ve done couch to 5k.
So this is where I’m at. It feels good to be back. 2014 will be a much better year for me and I’m excited to blog about it here.
I remember watching Oprah and she having a segment on her show with Dr. Oz about inspecting our poop. I also remember reading articles in Essence and Ebony about human excrement and how to read your waste. I read this infographic and thought it would be great to share with you all so you can know how to read and listen to your body and most importantly, detect when something is not quite right so you can consult your physician.
High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is in EVERYTHING! I mean everything. Even things you wouldn’t think of like yogurt, bread, jelly, ice cream, peanut butter, cookies, crackers, candy and juice drinks. It has become the cheap and fast way to sweeten foods since we seem to be a country hooked on sweets. Read more about this “wonderful” thing called HFCS.
[Source: Nutriliving Blog – http://www.nutriliving.com/infographics/fructose-overload]
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The holidays were great. I took a trip to Michigan and visited friends and family and overindulged on great food but unfortunately, the holidays are over and I have extra weight as a result. I decided to wait until January 1st to get my act together and that’s what I did yesterday. I got up and got my act together.
I started the day off with a breakfast of eggs and several glasses of water. After about an hour I got out and went running. I had some problems with my running app and my headphones kept popping out of my phone but I didn’t let it stop me. The weather was too nice, there was too much to lose by quitting and I just didn’t want to stop. I ended up running a but further than I had anticipated but today I feel pretty good. My muscles are tired but not sore. This is encouraging because it tells me I drank enough water and helps me feel good about myself. That good feeling translates in to my enthusiasm to get out there tomorrow for more running.
While I was running yesterday I was thinking about something. I’ve heard from people in the past that they decided to start running and just went out and ran a couple miles. This kind of story has always baffled me because running just isn’t easy for me. So I went to YouTube for a little research. I search for “efficient running stride” and found endless videos showing how I can fix my running stride. This should allow me to run further with less effort.
When I first started running in 2008 I read somewhere that you should strike with your heel first. According to many videos I watched yesterday this is incorrect. Not only that but some people suggested that this type of stride could eventually lead to injury. The correct way, the way the best runners run, is to strike down with a flat foot and limit the amount of time your foot is touching the ground. This is something I’ll have to work on. In the end I hope to be a stronger runner.
My lungs weren’t so happy with my running. This is probably due to the fact that I haven’t been aerobically active in a little while. When you work out you take in more oxygen. Your lungs contain Aveoli which are responsible for exchanging gasses with your lungs and blood. When you do aerobic exercises you form more aveoli. Also, your lungs are able expand more, your diaphragm loosens and it becomes easier to breathe. This will only come with time.
So all in all I feel like this has been a fantastic start to 2013! How is your year starting out?
This past weekend I wrote about how I had purchased a blood glucose meter. A lot of people I know were confused about my intentions since I don’t have diabetes. While it is good to know what your blood sugar levels are so you know if you have diabetes or are hypoglycemic, I had other intentions. I wanted to see first hand how glucose levels affected weight gain or weight loss. In my experience, this is the key to being healthy. Here is a little of what I found.
I woke up Thursday morning of last week and checked my glucose reading. It had been 10 hours since my last meal and my glucose level was at 96. From what I understand, the idea level is between 70 and 130. Not bad. So I made myself a breakfast of 2 pieces of turkey bacon, 4 eggs and two big mushrooms. After two hours I took my glucose levels and I was at 89. This sounded great to me since I was between the ideal levels yet my blood glucose level had gone down. This is a typical breakfast for me whether I lose weight the next day or binge and gain. Logic would say that 89 is a great level for burning fat.
Later that day I had a BBQ with a friend of mine who was in town. He made hamburgers, hot dogs, corn on the cob and potato salad. I eat some of all of this. Not idea food for a diet. After eating all this I checked my blood glucose level (after waiting 2 hours) and my blood glucose level was at 111. My friend’s wife is a nurse. She said she was surprised that my levels weren’t higher and that I must have a pretty healthy pancreas. The pancreas will release insulin in response to elevated glucose levels. Of course I gained weight the next day. I wanted to use Thursday as a test day. I didn’t want to track the full day. I had planned on doing these tests all weekend but I got busy and had a couple of social events planned. I’ve decided to run my full test later this week and check my blood glucose levels on a diet day and a cheat day.
My friends and family still think I’m a little crazy but the proof is in the pudding. Eating high protein, low carb meals will keep your blood glucose levels low and cause you to lose weight naturally. Eating foods like bread, corn and potato salad will spike your blood sugar levels and cause you to build fat. Also, by raising your glucose levels too high for an extended period of time you run the risk of developing diabetes. Choose foods that are low-glycemic, provide a good source of protein and cut out processed foods and unnatural sugar. Your pancreas will thank you!
Something I’ve been wanting to do for a while is get a blood glucose meter and see first hand how different foods affect blood glucose levels. Well I finally got one, or rather my wife was nice enough to buy one while she was out, much to my delight! I’ve got 25 test strips and plan on poking myself this weekend after eating certain foods. I also plan to drink water with lemon in it to see how glucose levels are affected as well as eat cinnamon.
Many people who I’ve told about this test have asked me why blood glucose levels matter if I’m not diabetic. Many people do not understand the relationship between blood glucose levels and weight gain or weight loss.
Glucose is a carbohydrate that enters your blood stream after foods are broken down in the intestines. It provides energy to cells. A certain amount of glucose is needed but too much can cause fat production, a sugar high and too much insulin secretion. Eating poor foods can lead to diabetes. I have long followed the rule that if you control your glucose and insulin secretion then you in turn control your body.
Now I want to chart my blood glucose levels. I want to see if cinnamon has a big effect on them. I want to see if different foods cause my blood sugar levels to react in different ways. I am doing this because I’m writing a book about health and fitness. Self experimentation is the key to this book and now I’m embarking on a new experiment.
I have one other experiment that is waiting in the wings. I’ll run it by you and we’ll put it to a vote to see if you think I should do it. I’ve experimented with ice therapy but I want to really see it in action. I was considering cutting myself in two places. Somewhere where I wont hurt myself too bad, maybe my knee caps. One side I would ice and the other I would let heal on it’s own. I would be interested to see which heals faster. Is this even a possibility? I’ve used ice to recover from a hard workout but not a physical laceration. I’ve only read about people who claim ice heals wounds.
Big I digress. This weekend it’s all about the blood glucose levels and I’ll report them back to you when I have some data.
A couple of days ago I started to write a blog post about how I had hit a plateau. Yes, anyone who has dieted is no stranger to plateaus. For me, I had been the same weight for a week. My diet wasn’t perfect early in the week but it had been for a few days. I blame myself because I know that eating healthy doesn’t always mean you’re getting your full nutrition. For whatever reason, I lose weight best when I include olive oil and lettuce in my diet. I also like to splash in some balsamic, red wine vinegar or lemon juice.
As luck would have it, I got a call from my boss at work telling me they could use me if I could make it in early. I love my job but working in television takes a lot of dedication. So I ended the post and off I went. For this, I apologize because I kind of left everyone hanging.
So before bed that night I ate my “Plateau Buster” as I like to call it. I woke up the next morning (yesterday) and had lost 2 lbs. How do you like them apples? I like them green and sour myself. The lesson here is to include healthy fat in your diet and eat plenty of leafy greens. It also doesn’t hurt to include some kind of vinegar, although I don’t know the specifics of why. I like to imagine that vinegar is some magic liquid that makes you healthy.
Lately I’ve been working on strengthening my shoulders. My right rotator cuff is strained and I’ve been following a specific set of exercises to get it back in shape. While the exercises are a little painful, but I’m told this is normal. I also have noticed a difference in how I feel when I’m not working out my shoulders. I am feeling better even if there is some pain still there. Ice therapy has also been a big help. I ice my shoulder every other day for about an hour. Yesterday I iced it for a half hour and had to get up to help one of my kids with something. The muscles had a chance to warm up a little which, from what I understand, causes a rush of blood to the muscle which promotes healing. I then iced my shoulder for another half hour. I’m hoping this helped.
I’ve also been working on my book this week. It is a real challenge to write something like a book. I want to write a lot about my experiences with diet, specifically my struggle and how I learned to get control of my body as well as my minimalist workout. A friend of mine sent me a picture from 2008 and I was astonished by how big I was. I’ve have decided to include it in the book.
I feel like I have a lot of things in the works and hope I can give you, the reader, a lot of great information. I hope to inspire you. Have a wonderful day.