Tag Archives: common sense

Another View on Diet

In the end, your bodyweight is largely determined by the amount of calories you consume.  Ask any bodybuilder, and they will say ‘calories in, calories out’.

However, there are multiple methods of eating less calories.  One way is the low carb high protein approach which is effective in the short run.  Another is being vegan, which by nature is low calorie since plant foods are lower in calories.  But I find that the real solution to curing obesity and maintaining a normal weight is to control how much you eat and how often.

You could theoretically eat a diet of fish and chips and be slim just as long as you keep your calorie intake below your calorie expenditure.  This is the best way.  ‘To lengthen thy life, lessen thy meals.

The problem with atkins is that you have to eventually add the carbs back to your diet and then you regain all the lost weight.  Low Carb, High Fat has some merit in identifying which foods are good, quality food and which are just empty calories.

But the easy way is to eat smaller meals with nothing in between meals.  Some people say, skip breakfast, dont eat in between meals, and dont eat after dinner.  In this way, you don’t even have to eat ‘health food’ because all food is good.  You can eat food you really really like and still not be fat if you understand the concept of ‘calories in, calories out.’

 

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One More Year

I decided to renew my subscription to WordPress for another year.  This blog is too good for it to go to waste.

I also have concluded that a high carb low fat dietary regimen is not the best or the most natural.  Regardless of who takes credit for it, the sugar restricted diet is the only real way to lose weight and stay normal bodyweight.

I’ve read a lot of books by or about Hindu people in my study of yoga, and what is good for the goose is sometimes not good for the gander.  Veganism is simply not my style.

Also, diet isn’t everything.  The more you exercise and are fit, the less you need to worry about fancy, expensive food.  Shopping at Whole Foods is not necessary, since eating well is essentially about quantity not quality.  If you reduce calories below what you are currently consuming, you will be in good shape.

I write this blog with the same advice you would get from a wholistic medicine practitioner, because I feel health education should be free of charge to everyone.  That to me seems like basic human civility.  Doctors work on basically the same principles as mechanics.  If the patient knows nothing and the Doctor knows everything,  you’ll be taken for everything you got.  Mechanics rip people off because of their client’s ignorance and so do Doctors.

So my solution is to educate people about health and let them make their own decisions.

 

Fancy Feast

Not everybody around the world lives in such abundance like here in America.  In poor countries, your lucky to eat anything.  You don’t get to be picky.  The point is, we should be grateful for what we have and not overthink nutrition.

Don’t be too picky when selecting food and don’t spend too much.  No matter how advanced the human race gets, vegetables will always be man’s main food stuff.

There is an observable trend in the West that people are trying to be healthier.  But remember, at the end of the day, its all about calories in and calories out.

Also, people in the USA tend to overdo animal foods like meat and milk.  Previous generations didn’t gorge themselves day in and day out.  They also did natural farming and gardening before the invention of the term, ‘organic’.

There is no reason to eat ‘health food’ because it’s just too complicated.  Eat less often and less in between meals, and your body will recuperate.  That’s the reality of the situation.

Jumping on the Bandwagon

After a long time of oscillating between low carb dieting and some form of veganism, I have decided that the vegan diet makes more sense than gaining and losing weight on Atkins, Paleo, or Ketogenic.

Don’t get me wrong, there are good animal foods to eat, but there is an inverse relationship between animal foods in the diet and overall health.  The more plant based you are, the better off you are.

The problem with my journey to veganism is that I wasn’t doing it right.  Most vegans don’t eat a lot of vegetables.  They eat mostly grain.  Fructarians eat mostly fruit and seed like they did in the Garden of Eden.

Beans and vegetables don’t taste that good and to make them more palatable, you have to add salt, fat, and condiments.  Fruit is fine the way it is, and whole grains like brown rice and quinoa give you strength.

I am still not completely vegan, I eat eggs everyday and sometimes even a bit of chicken, but most of my diet is essentially fruit and brown rice.  Remember, it is more healthy to be underfed than overfed.  When you are eating very few calories, your body can make up for the deficiencies with air and water.  When you eat too much, you become sluggish and the extra food in the intestines putrifies and makes your body toxic.

There are a lot of advantages to being plant-based.  Number one, the food is cheaper, because high protein foods are expensive.  Secondly, its more hygenic and convenient because meat has to be cooked before it goes bad.  This is a big hassle.

It’s best to be an opportunist with food.  This is the way man was in previous civilizations.  Most of their diet was plant food and on rare times and holidays they slaughtered animals and ate meat.  Still, even with the convenience of animal food everywhere, one’s diet should be mostly whole grains and produce.  Human biology hasn’t changed that much since ancient times, only industrial methods of agriculture and the corrupt media have.

So as you make your way through this world, just remember, both science and religion agree that the original man was an eater of fruit and seed and not just protein and starch.

Where have I been?

I haven’t been posting anything in the past month or so because I’ve been concentrating on my music.  As each new song gets written, I feel my musical ability gets stronger.  I also feel I’m running out of things to write about in the field of nutrition.

In my own personal wellness journey, I’ve come to the realization that self acceptance is important.  Your health isn’t always determined by the number on the scale.  Also, I realize I am not a kid anymore so I don’t need to look like a youth.

 

Back to Basics

As I incorporate more exercise into my daily regimen, I notice that food takes a back seat to most things.  If you exercise regularly, eating a perfect diet seems undoable and even unnecessary.

I simply dont have time to prepare my own food and perhaps this is a blessing in disguise.  The basic thing with trying to lose weight is to count carbs and calories.  This is essentially the Atkins diet.  There are variants of the low carb approach like ketogenic and paleo, but they make you go out of your way to eat certain foods and not eat other types of food.

If you exercise a lot and really understand sugar restriction, you don’t need much more knowledge.  All food is atkins food, it’s just on a low carb diet you emphasize some food groups and diminish others.  You don’t need to buy all your groceries at Whole Foods or eat at special needs restaurants.  Atkins food is real food.

So as I continue getting better with age, I will emphasize exercising regularly and not be so picky about food.  Just remember, Protein and Fiber are the two most important nutrients, and starch and hydrogenated fat are the worst nutrients.

That means you should emphasize the protein in any meal, eat a lot of vegetables of all different colors for fiber, and use a high quality cooking fat to make it interesting.  Some carbs are better than others, and it is impossible to live without some form of sugar and starch on a regular basis.  I find that adding some rice to a meal, or eating an apple as a snack is a good way to incorporate some good carbs in your diet.

Without some good carbs in your diet, and being overly strict with counting carbs, one might feel depleted and tired, and sugar cravings may arise.

When you are a young child, you can eat anything and not get fat from it.  Kids have faster metabolisms and have more energy in them, so they move around a lot.  As you age, your metabolism slows down, and you are too preoccupied with responsibilities like work, school, and taking care of your own children.

So dont obsess about the perfect diet or be orthorexic.  Incorporate some light exercise into your daily routine and don’t overthink nutrition.

Home Cooked Food

To me, there is nothing better than the satisfaction you get from cooking and eating your own dinner.  Cavemen did the same thing thousands of years ago, and it still rings true to modern man.

One of the big reasons home cooked food is better than restaurant food is that when you make food yourself, you know exactly what ingredients are going into it.  The biggest difference between home cooked food and restaurant merchandise is the quality of the cooking fat.  The quality of the cooking fat can make or break the healthiness of a meal.

In restaurants, they use cheap fats and vegetable oils in order to maximize profit margins.  You can practically smell the soybean oil when you walk into a typical Chinese restaurant.  And who knows what they use in a diner or fast food joint.  Really, capitalism ruins everyone’s day.

The best cooking fats to use at home include ghee or butter, olive oil, coconut oil, and there are other lesser known oils that go rancid very quickly.  Refined vegetable oil is crap and a big influence in many diseases.

The reason we like fatty foods is because fat is sweet and contains the most amount of calories per gram.  A successful hunter or shepard naturally wanted the food with the most nutritional and caloric density, because in olden times food was scarce and people weren’t confused about what to get at the grocery store.

But back to home cooked food.  Not only can you use a higher quality cooking fat when you prepare your own food, but you can use higher quality ingredients, or even give or take layers of preparation.  Frozen vegetables and canned beans are a big time saver.

In the end, cooking quality food may be no cheaper than buying shoddy restaurant food, but the non fiscal advantages are a distinct improvement.  When you cook and eat better, you get the satisfaction of preparing your own food.  Also, you eat healthier food, which when repeated over and over again, will save your health and save you money on medical bills as you get older.   Another example is that you set a good example for your offspring, who will take on the eating habits of their parents which they’ve learned in youth.

The disadvantages are that it takes time and effort to cook, but really, is anything worthwhile easy?  Once you empower yourself with knowledge of nutrition and cooking, and you have the right tools of the trade, I see no reason why not to prepare your own food.  That restaurant/diner/deli/fast food stuff is poison and it’s only benefit is that buying ready made food is convenient.

So ultimately, you can choose between health, satisfaction, and doing the right thing, or convenience and cost.

Living in Harmony

The way to last a long time is to not wear out.  And you do that by doing whats required of you at the right time.  Do a little bit every day, that is the Taoist way.  Excess leads to disease and disaster.

Benjamin Franklin once wrote, ‘if you would be happy, you would do what you should, not what you want.’  That means do what is right for you to do, not necessarily what is most indulgent or gratifying.  I myself like to neglect exercise and eat too much, and in the short run this feels good, but in the end it will bear bitter fruit.

To be happy, think about how the present moment will influence the future.  Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy.  If you work harder now, the future will be easier, and if you are lazy now, the future will be very difficult.

A lot of the diseases we suffer from are diseases of neglect.  Falling into a good routine or habit is actually a good thing.  Wake up the same time every morning, eat at the same times every day, do your job with zeal, and spend quality time at home during the proper times.  Don’t become obsessed with one particular thing.

One of my problems are, and you may notice this if you read my blog, is that I obsess about the perfect diet too much.  And the causality is quite clear.  Diet is the one thing I seem to have complete control over in my life, and food gives me great pleasure.  But obsessing about which foods to eat is pointless in the end, and a grave waste of time.  As long as you have enough to eat you are doing fine.  I’m not thin but i’m not morbidly obese either.  I can sit, stand, and walk, and praise Jah.

So when it comes to being physically healthy, and living in harmony, examine your own habits.  Diet and exercise is a big part of it.  This is something you have control over.  Don’t blame genetics, environment, or chance completely, take responsibility for your state of health.

When you have an illness, there are only two possible outcomes, either you will cure yourself of the disease, or you will die from it.  Sometimes just learning to be healthy and living with whatever problems you have is good enough.

Comparing Different Starches

I learned a long time ago that every part of the world lives off of a different grain or staple (a source of starch eaten every day).  In TCM literature, it says, ‘of the five grains, the bean is the most nutritious.’  Beans are a humble food that provide a lot of protein, fiber, and starch.  They are a powerhouse of nutrition.

A lot of people around the world live off of rice, the majority white rice, the minority eat brown rice.  While it is popular and it does sustain life, it is rather high glycemic and not particularly dense in nutrition.

I once read in an old book, ‘the main foodstuff of the African is the sweet potato.’  This tuber is a good source of starch, and you could easily eat them everyday to good result.

Wheat products, like bread and pasta, are a big problem.  While the middle east and Europe have been living off bread for centuries upon centuries, it is not the best crop or staple.  Gluten, the protein found in wheat is allergenic to many, and the wheat itself absorbs a lot of toxins from the environment.

Corn is special.  Some call it a grain while others call it a starchy vegetable.  While not being particularly dense in nutrition, it is a good source of starch and fiber, and it was the mainstay of the native american diet.

Quinoa is a pseudo-grain that is really a flower seed.  It is a lot like brown rice, except it has more fiber and twice the protein content.  It used to be grown in Bolivia and Peru, where it was called ‘the mother grain’.  The protein in quinoa is just as good as any animal protein, balanced in all 8 essential amino acids, and it’s increasing popularity is not without merit.

Potatoes also grow in abundant varieties in the mountains of Peru.  There are over 80 varieties there.  While one does best to avoid idaho russet potatoes, since they are a nightshade, there are other varieties which are much healthier.  Red potato is my favorite.  Yukon Gold is good too.

There are other lesser known staples out there.  But the reason I wrote this post is to remind people that complex carbohydrates, or starch as it is known in its pejorative term, are actually quite important, and one can’t live off of protein and vegetables for very long.  I know sugar restriction is useful for short term weight loss and reordering a bad diet into a healthy diet, but starch will always be the main source of fuel for the human body, and living off of ketone bodies for the rest of your life is not a good idea.

It’s an alarming trend to see Americans cling to low carb dieting without really understanding human history, physiology, nutrition, and the importance of the ecology.  There is a good way to do dieting and there is a wrong way.  Don’t look for quick fixes or slimness in a bottle or Paleo Pie.  They don’t exist.  Human nutrition hasn’t changed in thousands of years, yet science, agriculture, and the media want to lead you astray.

People living outside the West are suffering from food shortages, have no need for nutrition lessons, eat a lot more fiber, and have to walk to get anything for themselves.  The American man doesn’t realize how good he has it, and I hope those who read my blog gain something from my philosophy.

 

Comparing Different Proteins

Protein is of primary importance.  While no one who eats regularly is really deficient in protein, the more you eat protein, the stronger and more energetic you feel.  In this essay, I will try to give my view on the best protein.

Beans, peas, and lentils, and other legumes like peanut, are actually really good.  They’re vegan, so no one was injured in their production, they’re cheap, and they’re easy to store.  The downsides are the gasiness one might get from eating too much of them, and the general boredom from getting all your protein from them.

Seeds are a good source of vegetarian protein, but it’s not wise to eat more than a small amount per day, since they’re loaded with fat and calories too.

Quinoa is a pseudo-grain that is actually a flower seed but cooked and eaten like rice.  Quinoa is the best plant protein, containing an optimal balance of all 8 essential amino acids.  The problem is it doesn’t taste like anything.

Then you have the mighty chicken egg.  This is the optimal protein, the best one for human nutrition.  Even vegans sometimes don’t mind compromising their standards and eating an egg or two.  They’re that good.

Then you have dairy, like milk, cheese, and yogurt.  I find that these aren’t the best proteins in the world for a slew of reasons.  For starters, cheese is loaded with salt and fat.  Milk has lactose in it, a sugar that causes digestive discomfort and diarrhea.  Yogurt is good protein, can be found in low fat versions, and has less sugar in it because the fermenting bacteria have eaten away most of the lactose.  But i’ve come to the conclusion that the egg is superior to the dairy product in most respects.  There’s no downside to eating eggs, besides animal rights you might say, but there are tremendous downsides to eating milk/cheese/yogurt.  Some science indicates cheese has opiate effects and is therefore addictive.  Other scientists say that the protein in milk is inflammatory and can lead to autoimmune disease.

The fish is the best animal to eat.  I’ve never seen an old fish.  The reason why fish never get fat, old, and wrinkly, is because they are constantly swimming, eat a sea vegetable and smaller fish diet, and the fat underneath their skin is fluid, not solid like lard.  That makes for a healthy animal and a healthy dinner.

Then you have meat, and it doesn’t matter if it’s chicken, duck, cow, pig, sheep, or goat, or anything else.  Meat can be really good or really bad depending on how the animal lived and how strong and healthy it was.

So really, there’s no point in writing this essay, it’s all common information.  My suggestion is to always go lower down on the food chain rather than higher up.  This is better for everyone, you included.  Animals are above birds, birds are above fish, fish are above unfertilized eggs, eggs are above beans and seeds and quinoa and so on.  The lower down it is, the less toxic it is.  The most toxic animal is the human being, because we are the apex predator.

Human beings in the western world often have a choice about what they’re eating.  With a proper education, one can live quite well.