USDA “Guidelines” Forced on Parents

Just saw this story and, sadly, am not surprised…

The girl’s turkey and cheese sandwich, banana, potato chips, and apple juice did not meet U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines, according to the interpretation of the agent who was inspecting all lunch boxes in her More at Four classroom that day.


Some Great Low Carb High Fat (LCHF) Links

Found these two great resources this weekend and wanted to share them. While I am constantly on the lookout for quality sources of information and inspiration, I am not usually so enamored with what I find that I bother to post it to my blog. Let’s face it – the thing that I think makes an LCHF diet (or Paleo, or Primal, or Low Carb, or whatever you want to call it) doable and successful is that it can be done simply and without a lot of research. Then again, considering that 99% of what is out there on TV, the web, etc. regarding nutrition and diet is misleading or incorrect, I guess it does…anyways, on to the links:

The War On Insulin, by Dr. Peter Attia

This fairly new blog by Dr. Peter Attia is *fabulous*. It is both well-written and really informative. After reading a number of his posts I learned a number of new things like:

  • Watching your protein intake is important; he mentions a ‘zone of misery’ which is basically anything over 50g of carbs per day AND/OR 150g of protein. The theory is, and it makes total sense, is that too much protein will convert to glucose and move you out of ketosis, which we know is to be avoided. I never really paid too much attention to protein intake before but will start looking at that now.
  • I have been staunchly anti-supplement/vitamins. It goes against the primal/paleo principle, and more importantly: I’ve tried some and got no benefit. Not to mention that opinions/research on most are very conflicting. About the only vitamin/supplement that seems universally supported as being beneficial is fish oil, and that is only if you don’t eat enough fish. I am the only one in my family that likes to eat fish, as my wife and young kids won’t even try it or be around it, so the only time I get any is on business trips, which isn’t very often anymore. I’ve tried the fish oil capsules in the past and noticed no effect. Dr. Attia uses a liquid concentrated form, which makes sense. I will give it a try. If any of you have a recommendation on a brand, let me know.
  • As for supplements – I dabbled in Egg White Protein-based shake mix (the Jay Robb stuff) last year but stopped due to cost and I just didn’t like them that much. Only reason I tried them was to get an energy boost pre/post workout but I felt no effect. I’ve noticed a number of blogs mentioning the benefits of liquid MCT oil. Dr. Attia takes a couple of teaspoons daily as an energy boost. I will definitely give this a try.

I urge you to check out his blog. It’s a great read. It is also now my new favorite blog.

Ask The Low Carb Experts

The second really great resource I found recently is a new podcast by Jimmy Moore. It’s not really a podcast – it’s a live call-in show. But it is also available for subscription and listening just like any other podcast. It’s called Ask The Low Carb Experts. I have only listened to the latest one, where Mark Sisson responds to many questions.

These newfound resources are awesome. Having been successful in losing the majority of my excess body fat and maintaining the loss for months now, I didn’t really think there was much more to learn but I still learn new things from the community.

Daily Update Miscellaneous Ramblings

One Problem with Being So Healthy – It Takes A While To Know You’re Sick!

Just a quick post to update my status.

I’m sick. Feel like garbage.

It started last Saturday, which happened to be a big day for a basement finishing project I’ve been working on the past couple of months (see below). My brother, an electrician and all-around guru, came over to do the circuit design and ‘home runs’, switch wiring, etc. I felt ‘out of it’ all day – couldn’t concentrate, and just didn’t have much energy. I’ve been drinking 2 coffees per day, up from my usual single Starbucks Grande Americano’ with heavy whipping cream that I have Monday thru Friday as the price of admission for leeching a seat/table and wifi from Starbucks while working. Lately I’ve upped that to a Venti (that’s the largest size) and sometimes later in the day I’ll have a Kuerig at home. Gotta cut back on the caffeine.

So last Saturday went well – my brother hooked me up, then the next day I started finishing up the wiring of the receptacles and recessed cans, etc. So far, unlike when I tried finishing my basement in a different house about 11 years ago, when I was all stressed/nervous about it and it seemingly took forever to make any progress (and it turned out to be a mess at the end), this project has gone super well and has been fun. But this week it was hard to get motivated to work on it. Didn’t know why. Until Thursday, when I woke up with a nasty upper respiratory infection. I had apparently had it for a week but didn’t realize it. In prior years, when I ate like shit and felt like shit, I would have known I had a URI within hours of its onset. And would have sat on the couch for 2 weeks as a result. Now I can still function just fine. Just feel like shit doing so.

I get these URIs at least once per year, sometimes twice. Been getting them since my late teens. It was to a point where the last 3 or 4 times, the doctor has been very reluctant to give me antibiotics to knock it out – I have become immune to the one he was prescribing. And, without antibiotics, these things never go away – I always waited a minimum of 2 weeks of pain and suffering before I would break down and go to the doc. The last visit I had a new doctor (I go to one of those ‘Medical Associates’ places where you can choose from a few different doctors, all in the same office). This new doctor told me to try this natural ‘NeilMed’ thing from the drug store, I did, and within 2 days I was cured! The procedure is really gross so I’ll leave the details out, but it worked.

I was *hoping* that, with my newfound health I would not be getting one this year, but I think the huge amount of work-induced stress I’ve been under the past few months is really wreaking havoc with my immune system.

Regardless, back to the purpose of this blog – I’m down to a steady 195lbs now. I don’t weigh myself very often these days – maybe once a week. I’ve definitely noticed my belt getting looser too. This is surprising because, quite honestly, I have been slipping lately and eating some junk here or there. In fact, the other day at SaladWorks with a co-worker, I even ate a whole ‘Healthy Whole Grains!’ roll. I smothered it with butter to counteract the ‘Healthy Whole Grains’, but still. I guess I’m so active now that I can eat some junk and still burn them off. That said, it’s amazing how radically different my day-to-day is now versus just a year ago or even 7 or 8 months ago, while I was losing so much weight.

For example, yesterday I ate McDonald’s for the first time in a LONG time. When I was really dropping weight (the first 4 months of last year I dropped about 40 pounds) I was going to fast food joints at least 3 times per week. No, I’m not lying.

  • Twice per week for lunch, to Wendy’s to eat either a BLT Cobb Salad (yum!) or I’d get the Chili and a side salad (I used to live on the Chili but haven’t had that in many months)
  • Once per week with my son, who is addicted to junk food, I would give up and take him to McDonalds to satisfy his McNuggets fix. I would always get the Grilled Chicken Caesar or Ranch salad, which sucks, but it’s the best option there.

The last 4 or 5 months I’ve basically, unconsciously, just not gone to fast food places. Yesterday, it hit me that I have not been to a McDonalds in months. How cool is that? I just realized this yesterday morning when my son started begging me to take him to McDonald’s so he could personally taste test the all-new McBites that were unveiled by the illustrious chefs/chemists that McDonald’s employs. (That job ranks right up there with working for RJ Reynolds, but that’s a post for a different blog….). Incidentally, I had the Grilled Chicken Ranch BLT salad. It was okay. I also partook in some of those new McBites. They’re kinda blah. If you haven’t seen the commercial for McBites yet – imagine if you were the deep fry chef at McDonalds and you had cooked up literally 1,000,000 McNuggets for a year in the same deep fat fryer vat, without changing the grease during that time. Then, you went and changed out the vat grease by draining it out. After it’s all drained out you have a bunch of crunchy, sludge-like ‘mini nuggets’ that are mostly just ‘breading’ at the bottom of the vat. Those are the McBites! : )

That’s all for now. I’ll be glad when this URI is gone so I can start working out again. Haven’t been to the gym much lately (which is another reason why I’ve lost a couple more pounds!). In another few weeks, hopefully with this URI behind me, it’ll be time to start getting in shape for the Summer. Thinking about quitting my gym membership and doing pure Primal workouts in natural terrain – monkey bars, trail running, etc.