All posts by sulyeman

About sulyeman

I am a 38 year old man from long island, new york. My youth is evidence of time, well, spent.

Worst of the Worst

There’s a lot of bad, unhealthy, low-quality foods out there.  There’s hydrogenated fat, there’s high fructose corn syrup.  There’s refined wheat flour.  The list can be quite long depending on your beliefs about nutrition.

But one of the worst foods for you is dairy products.  Of course, everyone likes creamy, milky, sweet, bland food.  But I’ve been hearing the anti-dairy facts since 1998, when I began studying Traditional Chinese Medicine.  And the facts are clear.

Dairy products are the worst foods out there.  Milk, Cheese, Cream, Ice Cream, etc… are all mucous-forming and yin-tonics in a yin-heavy world.  There are dairy products that aren’t that bad, like plain yogurt and clarified butter, but even they aren’t good for everyone.  There’s a lot of merit in going dairy-free.

The alternatives are so much better for you.  That includes rice milk, coconut milk, and almond milk.  There’s no question that the milk of a different species should not be consumed, especially after weening off your mother’s milk in infancy.  People who drink cow’s milk are the minority around the world, not the majority.

There are other things one should avoid in dieting.  Things like excessive sugar, which is acidifying, and also gluten, which brings with it a lot of toxicity.  Even starch can be bad, depending on what food you eat.  But dairy is all the way junk and should not be seen as essential to the human diet.  Because it isn’t.

And this goes without mentioning farmed meat, everything from beef to lamb to chicken to whatever barnyard animal you slaughter.  There was a time when people lived on family farms and slaughtered their own animals.  These were active people who lived on the land and healthy animals that lived somewhat normal lives.

There’s so much toxic food out there, and it’s easy to make bad decisions.  But one basic decision that can influence your life for the better is to go dairy-free.  Find substitutes in your cooking that taste similar, and you will get acclimated to the substitutes and not cow udder secretions.  Almond milk is good in coffee.  Tofu is good in stir-fry.  Tempeh makes a good meat substitute.  And coconut milk is good in curries and smoothies.

You’ll be better off if you go dairy-free.  So do it.  Even if you indulge in cheese or ice cream once in a while after going dairy-free, your taste buds will change eventually and you will notice what dairy really is.  The baby-food of a bovine, not essential nutrition of an adult human.

 

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Nutrition is the Best Hobby

Everyone should be educated on the subject of nutrition.  It is the most fundamental knowledge.  You are what you eat, your body is literally reconstituted nutrients from the soil, but your mind and spirit are made of other things.  There shouldn’t be so many overweight and sick people in a country where food scarcity is hardly an issue to most.

Most people bring about their own destruction.  Benjamin Franklin said, ‘nine in ten men are suicides.’  If you really valued your own life, you’d eat higher quality food and not mess around with the cheap stuff, like too much protein or too much sugar, dairy, and gluten.

If people were smarter, they’d dedicate some time every day to the production of their own food, and also some time to study nutrition.  Nutrition is all about finding out what is best for yourself.  Help yourself.

Of course, exercise is important too.  But diet is more important than exercise in the fitness equation.  If you really want to look and feel good, you have to exercise, but if you just want to be normal bodyweight and live nutrition is the first subject to learn.

I know people have day jobs, so eating home cooked food is not always an option.  But if people had more knowledge, they could make better food choices at restaurants and whatever.  It seems the West has exchanged one set of diseases for another.  Although more people are living to adulthood than in previous centuries, and infectious disease isn’t such a big threat in the developed world, people aren’t living the quality of life that is optimal.

Just educate yourself, and all things will fall into place.

On Ethics

Veganism is not for everyone.  This should seem obvious.  While animals do have sentience, all of them do, we simply can’t avoid killing in order to continue our own existence.  That is the nature of life on earth, it is kill or be killed.

People need high protein diets to function optimally.  The low carb, high fat diet has been proven effective for weight loss and health goals, and there’s no way around it.  We started out frugivores but became omnivores.  The best diet is one of lean, low salt protein and low starch vegetables.  That is how athletes and bodybuilders get in shape, abs are made in the kitchen.

It seems that the western man overdoes everything.  Instead of increasing the lifespan and quality of life of all people, the industrial revolution just increased disparity between people in the affluent countries and the poor countries.  Factory farms are heinous exploitation of the natural world and of sentient creatures.  This is a cause everyone should fight for, since everyone eats.

As an ordinary human being, one can say, this doesn’t affect me, I can just go on doing whatever I do.  But it does affect you, and you vote all day with the way you spend your money.

The native americans could live on the land and hunt their own food without depleting the environment.  They understood animals have souls and feelings too.  They still needed protein and vegetables to live a full life.  They honored the spirit of the animals and acknowledged their importance in the ecosystem.  Why is western man so callous?

Capitalism really appeals to lowest common denominator.  Appealing to man’s lowest most selfish inclinations works, because man is fallen and corrupt.  Europeans have higher standards of food purity because they are more traditional.  Greed is not good.

America is really living high and mighty at the expense of the rest of the world, and poor third world nations are following our lead.  It seems like this is all one con artist’s scheme to depopulate the human race.  There has to be a moral consciousness if anything is going to change.  We shouldn’t let the top 1% win and live like a leech of our suffering hides.  Educate the masses, especially the young, and there will be less people suffering and dying young.  Life seems to be problematic to begin with, let’s not make it worse.

If people demanded higher food quality, they’d get it, because merchants want to do whats best for business.  If people really stood up for the rights of animals, they’d be treated better.  It’s unsettling that primitive aborigines could live without ruining their environment but the american man can’t.  It starts with education, and I feel people should care more about health (of themselves and their planet) and less about profit margins.

Too Much Salt

It seems like everything at the grocery store has too much salt in it.  This is not to mention restaurant food, which is way too salty.  Food merchants know that adding salt to everything makes it taste better and extends its shelf-life.  So they put it in everything.

If you are like me, and rely on ready-made food at the supermarket a lot,  than you are probably consuming too much salt and not enough water.  This is a big issue that affects many people.

The only way to reduce sodium content in your diet is to make as much food by yourself and not rely on ready-made food and restaurant food for your sustenance.  Look at labels too.

Electrolyte balance is important, and most people are consuming too little potassium and way too much sodium.  This will hurt you in the long run.  If you truly want to live a long time, eat less processed foods and more fresh foods, and cook more from scratch or avoid as many conveniences as possible.  The more layers of processing a food has, the more salt the manufacturers add in the process.

Salt is less harmful than other things like sugar and saturated/hydrogenated fats, but it is still overdone in western society, and you should do your best to eat as little salt as possible.

The Cost of Health Food

When planning ahead, as in planning a budget, remember that better food is worth the money.  There is a law of diminishing returns, meaning, there is a point where the difference between very good food and perfect food is not worth the extra money.  However, the higher quality of food you eat, the less you will spend in the future on medical care.  And medical bills are a major hassle.

I see typical American food as being very low quality.  To get good, fresh food, one must spend more and spend more time seeking it out.  But it is worth the extra time and money if you really consider the consequences.  Eating good makes your whole life better, improves your quality of life in other words, so it really is worth it.

It’s a strange culture where most people are sick and overweight, and yet, the models and actresses keep getting skinnier and less healthy looking.  American values seem to be distorted.  There seems to be a sense of misplaced perfectionism.

The point of a philosophical lifestyle is to age with integrity and to last a long time.  Looks are important to a degree, but no one’s perfect, and no one should be expected to be.  We are perfectly ourselves.

I feel good, and I think I look pretty good considering how little effort I put into my own health.  But I see the room for growth and I aim to work out more and be more proactive in my nutrition, and get into meditation and more socializing.  The prognosis for me is good.

I really hope values in America keep changing, and people get less ambitious and more into health, strength, and longevity.  You have to know from a young age what is really important in life and what is not so important.  If you don’t have a basic education, then you will be helpless in the face of the capitalist system which is designed to drain you.

Putting Myself Out There

Besides my training and education in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and study of nutrition, I’ve also practiced martial arts and yoga all my life.  I’ve been doing grappling of some kind since 1998, and yoga since 2000.

I started my grappling training in the japanese martial art Shootfighting, which is similar to professional wrestling but practiced as a real sport.  It is the original MMA.  It involves punching, kicking, throwing, and grappling.  In late 2004, I began practicing judo, which is also a japanese martial art.  I’ve been practicing ever since, all though in recent years, my attendance policy has been somewhat inconsistent I must say.

During the first six months of 2008, I trained freestyle, sport, and Combat SAMBO and that was the best experience I’ve had in the martial arts.  It was a lot of fun to learn new things and excel at something.

In all my martial arts experiences, I learned the importance of conditioning, flexibility, fighting spirit, the will to win, ethics, attitude, and sportsmanship.  By now, I am an exercise physiologist, I’m not a novice.

I feel I should be teaching martial art and yoga by now, although this by no means that I am all-knowing and invincible.  I feel belt rank is an erroneous concept and so is the concept of self defense without weapons.  All good martial arts are physical education, and I am qualified to teach sport education.

So what I am trying to say is, I am available to teach lessons in the long island/queens area, and I will share my email so anyone who has questions can contact me if they feel.

I have a lot to teach, including matwork, aikido, yoga and flexibility, and even nutrition counseling.  I’m only here to do a good job and to get paid doing it.  My rates are negotiable based on your economic situation, but please feel free to contact via email (I will add my phone number next post).

I prefer to work with the younger crowd, like young adults in their 20’s and 30’s, or those who already are grapplers who want some extra training to round out their game.  I hope someone out there sees my value and contacts me, even if it’s only for advice.  Thanks.

By the way, the photo above is for illustration purposes only, that is not me in the picture.  I’m male, 38 years old, and I live on long island, new york.  To contact me, my email address is lavni90@gmail.com…thanks again.

Longevity is Merit

The longer you survive under the sun, the more value or worth you have.  In addition, the better you age, the more beautiful you are.  In this crazy society, most people are ready for the scrap heap by age 30.  And it’s all because of ignorance of the basics.

I keep saying this in my blog, but it is true.  Eat less calories, less carbs, and more water, and you will be better off.  There are people in this world who profit off your ignorance and misery, and you don’t want to let them win the game of life.

America has become a youth culture.  And this is not a good sign.  Youth is vanity, when you’re young you are just figuring yourself out and don’t know much, life really begins at 40, it doesn’t end there.

There are some practical ways to age more gracefully.  First is to eat a lot of high fiber foods.  If a food has a lot of fiber in it, it means it is unprocessed and natural and therefore good.  Second is to incorporate movement into your daily routine.  Don’t be sedentary.  Third is to be more calm and serene and slow down.  The more you speed up and hurry, the more stressed out you get and you actually sabotage yourself by getting worked up.  If you slow down and pace yourself, everything will work out better.

So that is my view on longevity.

Back to Atkins.

Here is a brief insight into what I am doing in my own health journey.

The ultimate thing in weight loss, health, and longevity is to eat less calories.  To lengthen thy life, lessen thy meals.  That doesn’t mean starve yourself.  Since carbohydrates are the bulk of any normal diet, the best way to reduce calories is to reduce carbohydrate.  Sugar restriction is the only real way to lose weight.

In previous months, I’ve been eating less in terms of portions, but out of habit and convenience I was eating mostly brown rice and fruit with a bit of protein like chicken and milk.  That is doable, but not ideal.

The best diet is a regimen of protein and vegetables.  Water is important too.  You can’t reinvent the wheel, and people have been using the Atkins diet since the 70’s to get into shape.  Everybody who is lean and looks good does it.

Soup is by far the ideal way to eat.  It is good in so many different ways.  First of all, it contains all the best food-groups to begin with.  Soup is a combination of protein, vegetables, and water.  Secondly it is easy to prepare, even if you are cooking from scratch.  Also, it is slow simmered over low heat, so it’s already partially broken down by the time you eat it, making it easy to digest.  As well, it is cheap and uses cheap cuts of meat and fish, but since the meat is tender, you don’t really notice it.

The point is, I shouldn’t make a big deal about food but also I shouldn’t give in to eating sugar and starch out of convenience.  With a little thought, knowledge, and planning, one can live well on very little money and effort.

My View on The Martial Arts

To begin with, I am just analyzing the relative merit of martial arts as physical education.  I’m not talking style vs style.

Right off the bat, I think karate is great for the youth.  It not only teaches them how to punch and kick really hard, but teaches them how to stand up for themselves, believe in themselves, and never quit.  These are all valuable qualities in life.

There is a lot of good karate out there but there is also a lot of fake karate out there.  Remember what Mas Oyama once said, ‘without sparring, karate is essentially a kind of gymnastics.’

I don’t think MMA is good for people, young people in general.  It teaches them all of the bad qualities of man and none of the good.  I would go further, but I won’t, because I know people who train and teach MMA.

Aikido is a special martial art.  It is ideally suited to physical education, and it teaches defensive principles.  Aikido is essentially a stylized version of weapons grappling, wrestling with weapons.  It is useful for police and military, and for people who aren’t fast and aggressive enough for karate, kickboxing, and MMA.

Also, weapons martial arts like Kali and Escrima are very good.  These are the best for military training.

Whether you do karate, MMA, aikido, judo, or weapons training doesn’t matter, as long as you learn the principle of self control and self restraint.  In the end, karate and hatha yoga has the same end, more mastery over the self.

But in the west, hatha yoga is seen as being for girls, since they are more flexible and peaceful to begin with.  Martial arts training is the un-learning of violence, not the fostering of more violence and aggression and ego.

Once you can do the technique with skill and grace and effortlessness, then you are the expert.  Sports are about winning and losing, but in objective reality, there is only the living and the dead.  And it’s always preferable to be alive than to be dead.

Not Conforming to Society

Be in the world but not of it.  Is working 9 to 5, Monday thru Friday really worth it?  Who told you, you have to do what others do and value what others value?  I say, do your own thing, but before you reach the level of master or expert, a free spirit will have to endure a lot of hardship before they finally get to the lifestyle they want to live.

I know money is a real issue, and you need food, shelter, and clothing.  That is obvious.  But really, aren’t you doing too much?  Why is living on a fixed income so looked down upon in this country?  What does your money buy you?

I shop at a regular supermarket, a Stop n Shop here on long island.  There’s a lot of food there.  Whatever your heart desires.  But most people don’t even know what to get to benefit themselves.  They have no real education, so they spend too much money and eat too many calories and end up patients of the medical establishment.

There’s no need for a fancy supermarket like Whole Foods, unless you are a gourmet and insist on the best quality.  You can live a long time in the land of abundance if you know what to choose.

Knowledge is Power, and a self directed education is the key to living a full life.