Tag Archives: diet

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.

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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.

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.

Back in the Saddle

I changed my mind again and decided to renew the subscription to wordpress.  I can use this site as a portfolio to get volunteer and paid jobs, and I can still disseminate the knowledge of Traditional Chinese Medicine to the masses as I wish.

A lot has gone through my mind over the past few weeks, but really, everything is changing and yet remaining stable at the center at the same time.  That is the paradox.  The words of truth seem paradoxical.

I think sugar restriction is the only real diet and the only real way to lose weight.  There’s no way around it.  In the end, calories count, and to reduce calories, simply reduce carbohydrates such as sugar and starch.  Carbohydrates are the bulk of any sensible diet.  You can lose a lot of weight in very little time with low carb dieting, but the question is will you stick to this new way of eating.

A healthy weight maintenance is an ongoing battle, and discipline, moderation, and self control are the key virtues.  You will never be perfect, but it could always be a lot worse.

So it doesn’t matter if you call yourself an Atkins dieter or a Paleo enthusiast, or a Keto adapted athlete (which isn’t even healthy in the long run).  To lengthen thy life, lessen thy meals.  Or in other words, if you want to be healthy, eat less sugar and move more.

An Army Marches On It’s Stomach

This is a quote from Napolean Bonaparte.  It has deep implications.  In the literal sense, an army of soldiers requires a lot of food to keep it going.  That is why in old days, young soldiers would shack up with farmers in the countryside and eat them out of house and home.

But it means something else too.  Nutrition is the first thing in health.  Even a strong, energetic athlete would be weak and depleted without the proper amount of food.  An Army Marches On It’s Stomach.  Deep.

The most important nutrient in physical strength is Protein.  The word was coined by the scientist who founded the nutrient, and it means, ‘of primary importance.’  We are made up of proteins, amino acids to be more precise, and eating a high protein diet makes you strong and muscular. This goes for both plant and animal foods.

You also need a lot of B vitamins for strength, since those are what act as catalysts in the chemical reactions in your body to produce energy.  Strength isn’t just muscularity, it is energy and speed too.  I think a great source of B vitamins are the leafy greens.

So you see, we are what we eat, and if we eat right, we will have the strength to do whatever we desire in our heart, whether it be fighting or healing or loving or just plain philosophizing.

A New Look on Paleo

Of course, the atkins approach is the best way for an obese person to lose weight in the short run and get into a healthier lifestyle with less processed foods in their diet.  But as I examine myself and my own health journey, I notice that all this grain and sugar, even whole grain and natural sugar, is preventing me from getting to my goals.  Something has to change.

The Paleo Diet is a simple concept.  Let’s eat the way primitive people eat, since they didn’t have all the chronic, degenerative diseases that modern man has.  Of course, there is a lot of variance between populations of cavemen in antiquity and aborigines in the modern day.  There is no one Paleo Diet.  But the basic premise is to remove the foods that are intrinsic to modern civilization and see what happens.

Dairy is not natural to consume after infancy.  Beans and Grains are cheap filler hybridized by agriculturists in previous millenia in order to be an easy way to meet the caloric needs of a growing population.  White sugar is a drug.

These days, people eat way too much, not too little.  They’re dying from overnutrition, not malnutrition.  They’re wrinkly faces indicate that they’ve eaten too many calories in too short a time.  Too lengthen thy life, lessen thy meals.

I guess all this bias I’ve learned in favor of veganism is just leftist propaganda, as if I wasn’t inundated with enough right wing propaganda from the mainstream media.  Meat, eggs, and fish is not only good for you, it’s great!  I shouldn’t be afraid or ashamed to eat animal foods, there’s nothing wrong with it.  We are the apex predator, not a species of chimp or gorilla shitting in the woods.

Atkins diet is one way to lose weight, but it is temporary.  With the Paleo Diet, it goes by what food groups you eat, day in and day out, and doesn’t bother with counting anything.  The foundation of the diet should be meat, eggs, fish, vegetables, fruits, and nuts, and not much else.  Don’t restrict carbs at all, do what you feel.

So I know what I am going to do, moving forward, with summer coming up soon.  Hopefully I will get into optimal health and shape by beach time.

 

The Whole Fitness Debacle

A lot of people are confused about how to get in shape and stay in shape.  They’re looking for answers, unless of course, they don’t care about fitness and longevity, in which case they’re dying slow.

So I’ll just tell you.  Of the whole fitness equation, diet is 80% of it, if not more.  This isn’t an exact science, but it is safe to say with a reasonable degree of medical certainty that nutrition is the cornerstone of good health.  You are what you eat.

The ideal diet is a balanced one with all four major groups represented, including protein, whole grains, fruit, and vegetables.  Of course, in the real world, it is not easy to eat a perfect diet.  That is where sugar restriction comes in.

Sugar restriction is the best way for a fat, out of shape, inactive person to drop a lot of pounds in the short term.  It’s the best.  Just eat lean protein from a fairly healthy animal and some low starch vegetables and you’re good.

When you’re weight returns to a normal balance, start adding fruit and whole grain and other good carbs to your diet in small increments until you find the threshold of carbs where you can eat sugar and not gain the weight back.

Exercise is very important, for things like muscle tone, energy, fitness, mood regulation, and feeling good about yourself.  But don’t fool yourself.  You can’t out-train a bad diet.

Fruit is for People

No matter what dietary approach you take, and there are a lot of them, fruit is good for you and should not be omitted from the human diet.  We’re supposed to eat fruit.  Fruit is good.

You see, fruit contains seeds in it, that’s kind of the definition of the term.  A lot of vegetables we eat every day are actually fruits, such as tomato, cucumber, eggplant, and hot pepper.  Not just that, but actually high sugar, low sugar, and starchy fruits such as orange, blackberries, and banana are good for men and dogs alike to eat.  The tree or plant that produces the fruit wants you to eat the fruit, so in nature, the bird or reptile or mammal or whatever later drops the seed of the plant through the feces.  I know, not pleasant to talk about on a nutrition blog but the facts are the facts.

All these low carb diets and their variants are telling people to restrict fruit intake and it’s just not right and not a long-term solution.  Whole fruit has fiber in it as well as sugar, so the glycemic load is mitigated.  Not only that, but fruit is a natural, unprocessed food that is sweet so it’s easy even for people who don’t usually eat healthy to incorporate into their diets.

There are other foods that are essential in the diet, like whole grains and an adequate amount of protein, but the point of this post is that fruit is human food and it’s not wise to avoid any of them on purpose.

Anatomy of a Hamburger

What’s so bad about a hamburger?  Allow me to explain, ingredient by ingredient.  You see, it’s not all bad, it’s just the means of getting your beef addiction met that causes problems.

First of all, there’s the bun.  It’s made from wheat, so it contains gluten.  Gluten, the protein found in wheat, is allergenic to some, but not all.  If you have problems with your intestines, don’t eat bread regularly.

Then there’s the sauce, which is usually ketchup and mayo combined.  Ketchup has tomatoes in it, but it also has a lot of sugar and salt in it.  Sugar and salt is what makes food taste good, but it also makes you retain water and be flabby.  Mayonnaise is usually made with low quality soybean oil.

Then there’s the pickle and onion, or lettuce and tomato, or whatever other ‘vegetable’ you put on a hamburger.  They’re not so bad, but there are tremendous ranges of quality between brands.

And finally there is the beef.  Beef can be good, if you go to a fancy hamburger place and get high quality beef, and only eat from time to time.  But low end, factory farmed, corn-fed beef is nasty and one of the big problems in America.  It is an environmental hazard to raise so many cows for meat and milk, they deplete our land’s resources and sully the earth with gas, feces, and other not-so-nice things.

I suggest beef is ok from time to time, but get the high quality grass fed kind and eat it with brown rice and/or salad.  It’s necessary to eat both plant and animal foods, and remember, quality of the food you consume is important, just like the octane of the fuel you use in your car affects its longevity.

So if you feel like eating a hamburger from time to time, se la vi, but remember American cuisine has many flaws in it, and there are other ways to eat that are much more sensible.