Tag Archives: health and fitness

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.

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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.

Martial Exercise and Physical Culture

My blog is a blog about fitness and Taoist nutrition.  I’m getting to the point where I am tired of talking about protein and vegetables and I must resume exercising in order to really be in condition.

Tai Chi, it’s relative Qi Gong, Aikido and Yoga are all great physical arts for improving fitness, health, flexibility, and longevity.  There are harder martial arts out there for you to do, but they involve sparring and competition and getting knocked down.  Soft martial arts and yoga is the way to increase the circulation of blood and qi (breath/energy).

Dieting is not enough.  If you ate a perfect diet but didn’t exercise at all, you would be normal bodyweight but wouldn’t be fit.  And that’s not the way to be.  If you are physically active, not only do you get other health benefits from working out, but your metabolism gets faster and you burn off impurities in your diet with more efficiency.  Exercising a lot makes up for not eating perfect all the time.

Don’t get me wrong, dieting is the best way to lose weight, but there comes a point where you must start incorporating exercise into your routine.  I read in a book on conditioning for judo that the best exercise equipment you can use is a partner.  Working out in groups is a lot more fun than working out by yourself, and hence the fitness industry is doing well for itself.

That’s all I got to say for now about exercise, besides I need to exercise also.  And I’m at the point where student has become the master and I should be a teacher of martial art and sport culture, but this means an investment of every evening and weekend for a long, long time.  And that is a big commitment.

The Herbal Diet

At some point in time, you will get old.  I’m getting to the point where my hair is falling out, my posture is worse than ever, and I don’t exercise as often as I used to.  Things are changing, I’m shifting into a new phase of life.

Eating good should start from youth.  Educate the young on good nutrition so they won’t be confused when they get older.  Diet is 80% of fitness.  But there are other factors, like exercise, rest, hygiene, meditation, attitude, etc… And when you get sick or old, it’s time to begin the herbal diet.

Herbal medicine is very old.  Even animals know to medicate themselves with non-nutritive plants when they are sick or old.  Dogs eat onion grass when they are sick in order to cleanse their system.  No one had to teach them, they simply know.

Gorillas and chimps take certain herbs when they are sick, and even leaves decomposing in water makes a delicious tea from time to time.  Herbal medicine is natural, and the foundation of both eastern and western medicine.

It’s not a matter of synthetic versus natural cures.  It’s a matter of synthetic vs natural herbs.  Pharmaceuticals are herbs too, just synthetic ones formulized in a laboratory, not in the wild.  Natural medicine is about what you ingest from the natural world, whether it be food or herbs from the earth.

In fact, there is no need for western medicine, with it’s pharmaceuticals, surgery, chemo therapy, and radiation.  It is all bad for you and based on reductionist science.  The real way to be well is to not get sick in the first place, and to grow old with no need to be restored to perfection.

I know a little about herbal medicine, enough to know that ginseng of various kinds is good once your power begins to wane.  Red meat and bone broth is also good for vital power.   As I approach 40, I know what I got to do to continue to age skillfully and not become decrepit and useless.  I wish you well.

A Friendly Reminder

Protein is the most important nutrient.  Our bodies are made up of different proteins, and the word actually translates from Latin as ‘of primary importance’.  But did you know that animal foods are not the only source of protein?  There are dozens of ways of getting plant protein, and some of these foods are better than beef or milk!

Legumes, such as beans, peas, and lentils, are packed with not just vegetable protein but also fiber and numerous other good things.  I particularly like lentils, since they can be cooked from dry without soaking overnight.  That makes them convenient.

Quinoa is a pseudograin that is often used as a substitute for rice.  The only difference between quinoa and brown rice is that quinoa has twice the protein ounce for ounce and more fiber with less starch.  Quinoa would be great for vegetarians who don’t want to eat animal flesh but still need high protein diets.

And not quite fitting into animal or plant protein, the egg of a chicken boasts of the most perfect protein for human nutrition.  The amino acid profile of the protein found in egg is the best for human health, and the gold standard by which all other proteins are measured.

Of course, there are trace amounts of protein in vegetables, and this source shouldn’t be underestimated.  Even broccoli and leafy greens are a good source of protein!

The point is, you could get protein from meat, eggs, and fish, or even lentils, peas, and quinoa and be doing great.  Protein is the most important nutrient, and should be the focus of the meal.  There are protein sources everywhere, so no one should say they are not eating enough protein.

 

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.

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.

Update on my own progress

I thought of editing my old essays on this blog, but instead I will opt to update people on what I am doing in my health and wellness journey in a new post.

I am no longer on the Atkins diet, nor am I a raw foods vegan.  I am primarily a lacto ovo vegetarian, and although the scale hasn’t changed in years, I look and feel so much better than before.

I shifted the emphasis in my diet from protein and vegetables cooked in butter to rice and fruit and beans/lentils, and I find this type of high fiber diet with a lower protein intake is better.  You should do what is best for your metabolism, but I always wanted to be a vegetarian, in the yogic tradition, and now I am.

I’m also exercising, doing what I enjoy not what other people tell me to do.  In general, I am realizing time is of the essence, and life is about joy, not duty.  You still have to grind to make a living and live on a budget.

My wish is that each individual finds his own way to health and prosperity.

A Balanced Diet is Best

I’ve come to the conclusion that all these fad diets are bologna.  Even diets effective in the short term, like the Atkins Diet or Paleo, are just quick fixes with temporary results.  The western man didn’t need the concept of dieting two hundred years ago, because only the nobility could afford to eat fancy food and be fat.

While athletes in sports that are based on weight use carbohydrate restricted diets to get in shape in the short term, the best diet is a balanced one from unprocessed foods.  Protein and vegetables won’t get you through life without any problems.  Sooner or later your kidneys and liver will give out from excess nitrogen in the blood, and you won’t feel as happy and energetic.

A human being needs whole grain and fruit to to really be balanced, as well as high quality fats from things like seeds and nuts.  The only foods one should keep an eye out for are dairy and gluten, and even that law can be violated from time to time.

There’s a big difference between good carbohydrates and bad carbohydrates.  Good carbs come from foods that have fiber in them as well, which mitigates the glycemic load on the glucose levels in the bloodstream.

Brown Rice, fresh fruits, and low starch vegetables have tons of fiber in them and don’t cause an insulin reaction.  Glucose is blood sugar and the fuel of the human body.  It’s not really wise to go into ketosis and burn away your fat stores, your brain might get deranged in the process of dieting.

Your size and appearance mean nothing, and neither does the number on the scale.  Your health is determined by how you feel, how you function, and how long you last.  Don’t be fooled by the propogandist media and their henchman, the medical establishment.

Protein should always be as lean as possible, and chicken breast and hard boiled eggs are some of the best.  There’s also vegetarian protein, like beans and lentils, which have both protein and fiber in them, which makes them a nutritional powerhouse.  Protein and Fiber are the two most important nutrients and what you should seek out when choosing good food.

My point in this essay is that there’s no magic bullet to being fit and healthy, and there’s no one common enemy you can blame all your problems on.  If you want to be fit and healthy, eat a well balanced diet and walk a lot.

It also doesn’t hurt to get into yoga or recreational sports.