April 12, 2014

What I ate today

I moved to Paleo from Atkins ultra low carb, because I was since July 2013 on 20 net grams of carb per day, I was counting everything like crazy. I used to obsess about my scale number, about the number of cups, grams, ratio’s and percentage of fat and protein in my every meal. I strived to get me a perfect meal, doesn’t matter the taste. It had to be the best, most perfect amount in nutrients and the carbs were the bad thing. This used to drive me crazy! So I thought to hell with it, I haven’t lost a gram/pound since I went back on the wagon. I might as well enjoy my meals and try to obsess less about food. I was too dogmatic and it was killing me. Paleo came as a great solution, I could still stay on track (that is no sugar and no gluten), I could eat what I want (or more of it actually) and I would still feel good besides the damn scale number (still working on it). The most attractive part was not counting anything… Well… I still didn’t loose anything with Paleo, but I started eating starches and fruit and even white potatoes, making recipes I like (smoothies and desserts). I still don’t like to make desserts and breads and pancakes too often, but once in a while I do it without guilt. I mean own made chocolate is the greatest, but the whole nutrient dense, vitamin filled food is better, because I can stuff myself with chocolate and  it will replace the nutritious salad I had planned and all those good things I get from the whole foods.

I thought if I will stop counting and will start eating all those ‘bad’ carbs (starches and fructose full fruits, like banana) it will be the end of it, because I have gained half of the weight I lost on low carb, so I would most definitely gain the rest of it back. Well… it didn’t happen. I still eat potatoes and banana with fear that next day I will gain a kilo back, and yes I still obsessively weight myself everyday (still working on it). That didn’t happen either. What did happen was that my weight is already for 5 months the same, I still fit in my cloths I bought at my lowest weight range, my moods are way better than they were (no dooms day scenarios playing in my mind), I have more mental clarity, I have less hunger and teeth wrenching, I sleep better (without the magnesium pills), my hair doesn’t fall out that much anymore, I get to learn myself way better and the most important thing - most of my binging episodes went away. I was flabbergasted! I realised that the low carb I was on for a few years was too low for me and I needed starch! Especially if I was also going to work out and move more!
For the lowcarber in me it all sounds like a blasphemy! Think of all that carb overload I’m having with eating banana smoothie or making pancakes with raw honey (oh the sugar!) and the potatoes! It’s the death itself. And it’s true, probably if I want to loose those kilos again, I should go back on lower carb side, but now I’m thinking what it would cost me? I don’t want another binge episode or my hair falling out in the name of being less overweight. I try to convince myself it’s not that bad to be overweight if I’m feeling healthy and good. I’ll still gonna die from something, it might as well be from a sweet potato since I don’t smoke and don’t drink alcohol.
I don’t eat sweat potatoes everyday either, I eat starch mostly on my strength training days and I’m still experimenting with myself. I want to lean out without loosing muscle and since I also want to tone down and be stronger than I was before I started Intermittent Fasting a month ago. This means I’m fasting for 16 hours (most of it during sleep, which is natural to our body) and I eat between 12 and 20 hour window. I must say that at first it felt weird to not eat in the morning, and it still feels weird not to do that, because it’s a social happening for me and my husband, but I make breakfast for him and I make bulletproof coffee (coffee with coconut oil and butter), which is a breakfast by itself. Here is where after long rambling I arrive to the point of this post, what do I eat.
I get some remarks from my friends that I'm following this weird Paleo diet and eating probably weird things. So I thought I will post what I eat on regular basis.
I usually make recipes I find on internet and in the sites I follow. So I’ll just post the links.
            Today is Saturday, that’s one of the days I’m strength training and eating starch and fruit. I follow Les Mills Body pump lessons. It means I lift heavy weights for an hour according to music. I train all the muscle groups with help of basic body movements: squat, lunges, plank, push ups, I do dead lifts, bench press etc. All within one hour, using various weights and according to the rhythm, so you get not only eccentric slow movements, but also high intensity quick movements all changing according to the rhythm. Ever since I do it I noticed I get my muscles toned, I get stronger and leaner because of intermittent fasting too. I am finally able to do push ups without the knees on the ground. I hope I can one day manage a pull up. Yup, this is my new obsession! Anyways, I’m rambling again. So, Saturday, I start the day with bulletproof coffee, I run to do my strength training in a fasted state. I come home and break my fast with breakfast at 12 o’clock and usually lunch at 15 or 16 and dinner somewhere between 19 and 20.
            Today I had an exception, because I wanted to make pancakes for my husband, usually I eat something else for lunch.
            Here’s what I ate today:
Breakfast: 2 fried eggs in butter, 1 whole avocado, cucumber and 1 whole small tomato.

You can’t really say it’s all boring diet food he!


April 11, 2014

Changes

I realise I haven't posted anything since last year! Oh my that was long a go! A lot has happened too... I got married, I traveled to Mexico for honeymoon, I have bought a new house. Its still being built, but should soon be finished. I got a new job that so far fullfilled all my expectations and I have great perspectives.

As for slimfood, I think the biggest reason why I didn't post anything, because I crashed and burned during my honey moon and didn't got up ever since... I went off the wagon big time and trying to  get back ever since. It's been a year so far... I must say that I learned a lot about myself and about how food influences me.

I won't pledge anymore that I will never eat gluten or that I will never eat sugar. I was working a whole year to get rid of my perfecitonism bordering to ortorexia. I gained all my weight back, but I also gained strength training. I am now able to do push ups, squats with weights, lunges. Maybe I exchanged one extreme with another, but I'm trying not to focus on body image and scale number anymore. I'm still eating clean, but no longer low carb, I'm eating Paleo and I'm actually way more happy than when I was on low carb. Maybe I have stuck to it for too long, but now I got rid of my binge's that I had before. Strength training makes me stronger physicaly and emotionally too. I still love clean whole real foods and as much as I can I will try to eat this way. If I will occasionally splurge I know I can handle it and won't be the end of it all. It is as it is, we all have struggles and without struggle there's no sunshine on my face.

April 09, 2013

Book Review: Wheat Belly by William Davis, MD

            This is yet another New York bestseller, that was yet again an eye opener to me. I wrote before that I had a lot of gut problems since childhood and that later I found out that it all was because of the wheat (tarwe – Ned., kviečiai – Lt.). Well this book showed me much more what wheat does to our bodies. William Davis had done an excellent work of gathering the data and reasearch and all the knowledge he gained from his practice as MD. On the other hand I have found his writing style and the way he leads you to his main shattering points was a bit funny, I kept till he starts with the real facts instead of prolonged historical retoric about how wheat came to be what it is now and found the first chapter a bit too long, but that‘s just my 2 cents.
            The author starts his book about the creation of wheat and how it has turned into totally something else than it originally was before. It was hybridisized into small dwarf with heavier heads and bigger easy to obtain grains for mass production and turned into this wonderfull substance that can be used to bind your soup or as this light crossaint or bread that you would eat for breakfast. It can be turned into anything you want. It is now literally everywhere too. I already wrote that sugar is very bad for you, but wheat turns out to be even worse, because it raises your blood sugar evels way more than sugar and it‘s a pure carbohydrate, what means that its in general an empty calorie. From my experience I‘d rather have a small amount of sugar as lesser evil than wheat/gluten/grain.
            William Davis has gathered research and elaborates in his seconds chapter various deseases that wheat causes or/and is connected to, the list is quite extensive. Wheat is addictive first of all, it makes you want to eat more and still feel hungry afterwords, it gives only a short satisfaction and spike of energy to leave you empy afterwars.  Its not all about gluten, but also other substances wheat has that are potentially harmfull to human body. Even the substances that are used to kick off of cocaine or heroin work on wheat addiction the same way in our brain. Furthermore, its closely tied to obesity, it causes celiag desease, irritable bowel syndrome and other intestine and gut problems (which I experienced personally and am very happy to report that since I‘m gluten and grain free I have no problems whatsoever). It is connected to liver desease, autoimmune deseases. Wheat has direct link to diabetes, nutritional deficiencies, it disrupts your body PH, causes cataracts, wrinkles, accelerates aging process and makes bone brake easier, makes your joints hurt or be swollen, gives Dowager‘s humps and various excema or general rashes and pimples. It is also one of the reasons you can get a heart desease, your cholesterol levels are high and quantities of small LDL particles are higher and it even affects our brain by passing through all it‘s protective barriers and influencing how we function. As you can see it sounds like its the worst you can put into your body. You might say that you are perfectly healthy eating whole grain and never had such problems in your life, but you can‘t really know if you don‘t eliminate wheat for one month to really see the difference, then again why would you? But even if it is a whole grain bread it is still a grain, whole or split.
            The author is not one of those people who find some bad ingredient in our diet and sais to only eliminate it though. We hear a lot of things nowadays, like its the carbs, oh no its the meat, or no its the sugar, or no its processed food, and I think they all have good arguments, but William Davis does agree on that if you don‘t eliminate other bad stuff like sugar, dye, additives and other grains you still might end up on the less healthy part in the end (think of e-numbers and MSG, Aspartame and etc). He also provides in his 3rd chapter how to give up wheat, gives a lot of examples even from the baker, who‘s work is actually has everything to do with wheat. He includes some awesome recepies and daily tips. Recently he even published a cookbook where he has such great recepies as bread, pizza, cake and muffins. I think this book literally influenced 30% of American population to dump glutens and start a gluten free life, which is a lot! What dumping wheat or gluten and grain gave to those people? Weight loss in first few months, alleviation of metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes, recovery from intestinal woes, like ulcerative colitis and celiac disease, marked improvement in bone density, reversal of osteopenia, cessation of skin conditions to oral ulcers and hair loss, reduction of inflamation and rheumatoid arthritis pain, ditching the many pills that doctors so easily prescribe and many more benefits. The author even dares you to try wheat free life for a month, cause you don‘t really have what to loose and who knows maybe a lot to gain :)
            Again this is another brief review of this great book and to understand it all in more depth you would have to read it. For those who know me personally, I‘m happy to lend it to you if you‘re intersted :P it should be really a food for thought book for all of us.

April 08, 2013

Bookreview: Body by Science by Doug McGuff, M. D. and John Little


I’ve been searching for some basic biology/research books for exercise and training ever since I heard that long hours of cardio completely misses the aims of fat loos or getting muscular and the name and reviews of this book caught my attention. Although it is written in 2008 and in my eyes is quite old, it is still an eye opener.  
The key points of this book are that all you need is strength training for general health or fitness with only 12 minutes of exercise in a week. The authors show extensive knowledge by defining what is health, fitness and what should be the aims of exercise. What I really liked that they don’t claim that their way of training is the ultimate, the only, just like all the other sport guru’s and muscle mountains, but use research with sober practical note’s and without turning it into sloppy romance tale. They touch upon exercise for athletes, seniors, youth and ordinary people, therefore applying their program to different sorts of people.
The base of this book is biological knowledge and research. For example, we all know that muscle contains 4 fibre types, which are activated depending on activity and force needed to make an act, the best way to train it thus, to make your body employ all the fibre’s of the muscle. Cardio employs only the first layer of less strong fibre and if it’s repeated for long intervals the body adjust itself and in you end up barely training your muscles at all. In order to employ further fibre layers the first 3 have to be fatigued and only when you’re at the brink of your last strength the brain sends the signal to the last most powerful fibre layer to start working. This is of course very simplified version of what the authors are writing, but for more details you’ll have to read the book. What the most fascinating is that with prober strength, thus weight lifting you can activate all your muscle fibres within few exercises and according to research 12 minutes is quite enough to do it.
However what I found even more mind blowing, that the growth of you strength, fitness and overall health happens AFTER the training. Since the whole muscle becomes fatigued it has adequate time to recover and if it gets enough amounts to do that it becomes stronger than before. Again according to the research, the participants could do more than before, if the training is done after proper recovery time. This is where the week period comes into the scene - according to research muscle has 7 days of average to recover, because different fibre types recover differently, the one’s with biggest strength recover the longest. There is of course some variation in the recovery days, what is all tied to anabolic and catabolic state of the body and other pure biology stuff. What I and most of other reviewers found as a bit disappointing that the authors promote Nautilus machines the most and provides not that much possibilities to follow the programme like this with free weights, although there is a perfectly fine scientific explanation why, it still feels like I would have to go to the gym to test the programme and I’d rather not pay expensive monthly fees for just 12 minutes a week.
Why weight lifting and training your muscles is so important? It has enormous impact on your metabolism, cardiovascular system (which is by the way also proven to have a better impact than cardio), gastrointestinal system, insulin sensitivity, cholesterol levels, blood pressure, bone mineral density, fat loss and much more. Talking about the last one, authors show that actually more muscle, or better trained one burns more calories (so just by having one is better than long hours of cardio) only by mere fact that muscle has higher temperature and our body has to work harder to keep normal level of body temperature. High intensity strength training quickens your metabolism by giving a helping hand to your hormones involved in burning fat and in the case of seniors it makes them to certain level younger and closer to younger trained people, helps them recover their strength to certain level, because if you train your muscle your inner organs and whole body system adjust and gets better too. On the other hand, for athletes who follow certain sports it is not a universal training programme, because it doesn’t train the skills needed for certain sport like swimming, what authors claim repeatedly that if you want to better swim, play football, bike and so on you need skill training and that you achieve by doing only the needed set of practices, but how many people you know who want to be the top of the top at certain sport?
I have found this book very informative and although I knew a lot from nutritional side about human body, this book showed me what happens in your body while training or exercising. I would very much like to try this programme out, however after reading it I come across certain practical problems. First, the machines you would have to use, finding a trainer who would know all this and would help me measure my fatigue times, reps, recovery time, how I’m doing the big five exercises given in the book without wrong angles, so although it’s fascinating info it’s not easy to employ.

March 25, 2013

Priobiotica in pre-cut food

      That's something to think about. I have read an article in the Dutch scientific magazine 'Nature, science and technology'about Spanish research team putting probiotics into pre - cut fruit, or a certain bacteria to be precise, that enables the fruit to stay fresh and protected from other certain bacteria, such as salmonella and listeria for example. They have extracted this bacteria from the Golden delicious apple, which supposedly doesn't influence people and also doesn't make antibiotics. Which they translate into that this bacteria won't turn against the bacteria living in your body, and its good for the advertisement since now everyone is afraid of antibiotics. Now science wise it sounds awesoem! Fight that bad bacteria with another bacteria!
      I welcome all natural preservatives, however it can again be slippery slope if we start to play with bacteria. People think on general that probiotics is good, and in some ways it certainly is, although as a preservative it can also do bad. Especially if too much of anything for our bodies can cause havoc - too much probiotics is not a good thing either, because it disturbs the natural harmony of different types of bacteria that dwell in your gutt. Even if it would be without antibiotics, it is still a new strain of bactery being introduced into your gut. Believe me, you don't want to make them angry... I wonder how they would go further with this and what type of research on humans they would or wouldn't make to find out if it really doesn't  influence our health, would they even put that among the ingredients, cause people taking additional probiotics should be aware of this.
       What is more disturbing that I have found out from this article though, it that the precut fruit is beimg bleached at least in the Netherlands to keep it from spoiling with water thinned chlorine. Now that was a surprise... I haven't introduced all the fruit back to my diet yet, except for melon, so this didn't worry me too much, but I certainly won't buy precut fruit anymore, cause frankly why would I want to eat fruit with chlorine even in small amounts? Its way too expensive (if you ignore what sits in your food) too. Just buy a whole fruit and cut it yourself, its way saver and cheaper, as with a lot of other things.
        Although probiotics vs chlorine is a way better option in my opinion, I doubt I would be buying fruit with probiotics though too, cause I don't want to upset my gut flora, which is already sensitive enough...Sometimes it amazes me how people come up with wierd stuff, washing eggs with chemicals in America so they arrive clean to your home, bleaching fruit...Really wierd stuff...
        Another wierd funny stuff is a 3D printer, according to scientists that are conducting various reserach with it in the long run they would be able to: 1 print organs with it, what solves the donor problem and long waiting lists to get an organ for transplantation, 2. print houses on the moon 3. print factories 4. print houses, where you could design your own house and print it out from huge 3d pritner 5. Print weapons (hell yeah, we sure need more of those, why not just print nuclear bombs while we're at it...) 6. print for example dinosaurs to research them (jurasic park?) 7. Print food. Now this idea I really like,cause I could just print myself the most perfet not fattening delicious ball of pasta without gluten, grain, sugar, or any of that crap. Wouldn't it just be perfect? I do wonder somehow would it still be considered a whole food? Or just make a shake of all the nutrients you would need in one meal. Not using your teeth would be a great plus too, cause then they just stay the same all the time.... Or lets just go further, if we can print our food out, then there's no need for food industry and we all can sustain ourselves. I mean I love low carb and all, but if u imagine everyone going low carb/paleo/primal/ancestral or whatever, than I doubt that would be possible, then the half of the population has to die to sustain those huge amounts of vegetables and meat to feed the other half of the population...so... hooray for 3d printers! Chocolateprinter! hell yeah!

March 10, 2013

Lunchbox


This time I’ll try to keep it short, I promise! J Lately I’m fascinated by lunchboxes. I have just bought a huge 1.5 litre lunchbox which can keep food warm or cold up to 6 hours. Since I don’t really like huge womanly bags (so unwomanly), I was worried that it’s way too big to take to work, and I’m afraid it won’t fit into my compact bag, but because of few ideas I have seen on internet I’m actually glad it’s that big. These two sites Primal bliss and Primal Kitchen are awesome for low-carb, paleo, primal and etc lunch ideas! I’m sure I will be trying out some of ideas they have.
Most of my co-workers are surprised that I always take my lunch with me and never buy anything for lunch. The only reason they see is because I’m on a diet and that’s kind of true. I have to make everything myself to avoid sugary, starchy foods with wheat and all other things I shouldn’t be eating. But I think making your own lunch is not only good health wise, but also financially. I know that high carb foods are cheaper than meat and veggies or fruit. You buy a bag of pre sliced bread, some deli meats and you have lunch fro whole week. However, you can also eat inexpensively without bread. There are so many ideas of how to make your own lunch and not spend a huge amount of money on internet that it still amazes me. You can use leftovers from dinner you had the day before and this also helps to lover the amount of food you throw out per household. You can also buy cheapest meat there is and prepare it the way you want and also eat it the whole week. I usually cook on Sundays my whole week lunch and add some variations veggie wise. For example, you have discounts for meat in supermarkets. You can buy a kilo of ground beef and divide it into 5 portions with many variations of veggies that also are on discount in supermarket. You can make your own salads and if you buy not pre-cut salad leaves you save even more. Here iceberg salad is like 50 cents per head. On the whole, prepared foods are more expensive than making them yourself and it can cost you an hour per week if you’re willing to make something.
I tried to make a gross count of how expensive it is to buy your lunch everyday in supermarket or snack bars and etc., and I think you are more in the minus. For example, if you buy a hamburger everyday which also varies in price, because you take different everyday, you can spend up to 10 euro or even more. Most of my colleagues buy whole meal like spring rolls, Turkish pizza, shoarma or gyros with fries or usually bread, pasta salads. That can run up to 5 euro per day, which amounts to 20 per week. I believe you can make it way cheaper. It maybe doesn’t beat the cheapest option of bread and deli meat, but if you choose health wise not to eat grain, wheat products it can still be close.

March 07, 2013

Smelly post

I’ve came across yet another brilliant blog on inet that I wanted to share with the rest of the world SCD lifestyle. Usually I don’t shy away from uncomfortable conversation subjects like everyone’s bowel movements, but it is not much talked about in social gatherings. I used to have and still do if I eat something wrong with my guts and recently I start to understand what ancient Chinese meant by saying that your health is reflected in your guts. So you can see that this blog is quite a useful discovery for me. Besides, the site holds pretty nice recipes of how to make your own sauerkraut and your own yoghurt, what I would really like to try.
 It’s not only what you eat, but also the flora and fauna that lives inside of you that matters and is again influenced by what you eat. If you have problems with your guts it is reflected on your skin, hair, moods and general well being too. It seems that everyone has different sort of dwellers in their gut, or to be more accurate different strains and percentage of the same bacteria. We all are humans and I do believe we don’t differ that much physiologically, but we have slight differentiations.
The most amazing fact about bacteria living in our guts is from another great blog from Dr. Chris Kesser, who said:
“Humans have ten times more bacteria than human cells in their body.  So a common saying is: we’re more bacteria than we are human.”

That is quite a disturbing thought to someone who has a distinct definitions of what is bacteria and what is human. But this was a side note.
I start to get the jiff of that you better be friendly with your own pesky little bacteria in your guts to live a normal live. However, I am not pro Activia fan. I tried it, used it and don’t eat is ever since, besides that it is full of sugar and other bad additives it is totally useless. First of all according to this great article and also those from Chris Kessler blog probiotics isn’t always the answer. It is just another concept of the pill, you feel discomfort just take a pill and don’t worry about it, doesn’t matter the cause or the consequences or the side effects it’s a short term solution. Instead of getting rid of the cause lets get rid of the symptoms. Again a side note.
I know that it shouldn’t surprise me, but yet another money making machine is probiotics. It turns out that the most probiotic bacteria don’t survive that long. What I mean by this is imagine you buy Yakult for whole week, which already was lying in supermarket for weeks to get your billions of healthy bacteria to support your gut and bowel movements and general well being. It turns out that the amount that is written on the package might not be what you thought, because the bacteria die out after certain time. Yakult made it easy with one serving bottles, so you don’t keep it open, but if you for example buy bigger packs of Activia which can stay open for a few days, already after opening the probiotic bacteria starts to die out and after a few days you maybe have half less then what you thought you consume. Also you can over do it and have other kind of growth dominate your gut. This is the place where apparently balance is the most needed (duh).