Monday, March 9, 2015

Tweaking the macronutrient ratios

Do you remember when fat was bad?  Then it was all about having a high carb diet (heaven forbid that any fat enter into the picture though) comprised mostly of fruits and vegetables.  Then all of a sudden carbs were BAD and Dr. Atkins was in the spotlight, promoting a protein and fat based diet.  Then the 40-30-30 Zone diet was all the rage.  Percentages of macronutrients (fats, carbs and proteins) change and then come back into fashion.  I'm operating on a 35% fat, 35% protein, 30% carb diet most days.  That seems like a lot of fat, right?  But take a look at me - am I fat?  Not in the least.  That's because the fats and oils in the large quantities of nuts, seeds, hardboiled eggs, fatty fish and olive oil I consume are not sticking to my ribs so to speak.  If I wanted to get fat I would be sedentary and eat high glycemic carbs and foods containing added sugar (pretty much every packaged food on the grocery store shelf).

Humans are designed to be omnivorous and to consume foods containing fat.  Our digestive tracts are not equipped to handle artificial comestibles, refined sugar and all those additives with unpronounceable names.  No wonder there are so many sick and overweight people in this day and age....ironically there are more "diets" than ever available to be followed (each guaranteeing rapid weight loss) and our medical knowledge and technology is growing exponentially.  And yet now we live in a society where parents are outliving their children....due to lifestyle disease.  When I was in elementary school there was perhaps one obese kid in the class and like only eight year olds can be, the rest of us were cruel and called him/her "Fattie" or "Miss Piggy".  Fast forward 40 years and go to an elementary school now and thin/athletic kids are the exception rather than the rule.

In a nutshell, here are my suggestions for becoming healthier:
*  Eat better quality food and REAL food.  No sugar.
*  Drink a lot of water.  No soft drinks.
*  Sleep 7-8 (or more) hours per night to renew the brain and metabolism, and get rid of stress hormones which make you fat (cortisol and insulin response).
*  Be physically active every day for an hour, to the point of sweating and getting the heart rate up to 70-75% max.
*  Stretch and play with balance....use it or lose it.
*  Surrounds yourself with healthy and inspiring people, and have fun.  Laugh a lot.  Do volunteer work and practise gratitude meditation every day.

There you have it.  I'll toast you with one of my green smoothies!  :-)

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Excellent documentaries

I recently watched three food-ucational documentaries:  Fed Up (reveals the alarming omnipresence of sugar in the North American diet and how type 2 diabetes and obesity are the rule rather than the exception amongst more and more teenagers), Food Matters (advocates a CLEAN organic diet rather than processed food and drugs to deal with a sick body), and finally Hungry for Change (it was my favourite of the three).

Based on these documentaries I was encouraged to buy a small blender.  Previously I only owned a juicer, but being able to make an instant smoothie snack that keeps the fibre and gives you the whole vegetable rather than just the juice makes a lot of sense to me.  I've experimented with different smoothies and my current go-to green concoction of choice blends spinach, celery, parsley, kale and spirulina.  Churned up with a cup of unsweetened almond milk it has the consistency and hue of a sci-fi magic brew.  It looks like chunky, foamy absinthe from another time and place.  Talk about a nutrient powerhouse though!  :-)

I'm working on rehabbing a shoulder injury using the common sense approach to exercises:  "If it hurts, don't do it".  This has limited my arm balances in yoga and temporarily scratched pushups, bench press, pec flies, straight arm lateral raises above 70 degrees abduction and a few others off my list.  I'm also taking a break from my ergogenic aids until I see an improvement in my shoulder - seems pointless to waste these types of supplements when I'm not doing the kind of training that would maximize their effects.

And finally, my latest wish list "toy":

Since my condo doesn't have a community compost bin or participate in such a program I figured it would be cool to make my own rich, dark, organic compost (better than throwing all my vegetable scraps in a landfill) and regularly gift it to acquaintances who have a garden, as I don't even have a balcony.