Archive for March, 2010

Quick Update

March 29, 2010 1 comment

I’m feeling stronger and thinner although my weight has stabilized. I’m still adjusting to a strict no-sugar diet. In spite of my having little sugar, I still have cravings.

On Saturday I was invited to a wine tasting. There were many restaurants there peddling their non-paleo food. I did the best I could while maintaining politness. I stayed away from the barbecued pulled pork (sugar), and stuck to the chicken. I had the prosciutto and asparagus rather than the salsa over bread. Bread is easy to avoid.

I decided to try sushi. It was my first time I’d had japanese style rice since I started paleo, and I felt a difference immediately. I was bloated and uncomfortable even though I had only three small slices of a roll and three pieces of fish on rice. It’s particularly glutenous, so I wasn’t surprised. That evening, someone made a special dish for me – no pasta or bread – but eggplant parmesan. I simply maintained portion control and ate what I was served.

The next morning I just stuck to fruit.

The only other alteration I’m figuring out is raw milk. After a workout I may have a small glass. The benefit is that I haven’t gotten sick this year. I’m not generally having milk, cheese, or other dairy in my diet, and if I have yogurt it’s whole fat and very occasionally. I still call myself “paleo” because I’m not committed to dairy and can go without.

My workout routine has been two crossfit sessions a week with going to the YMCA to do some general easy workouts. I’ll focus on getting form right, going slow, sometimes going heavy. I’ll do eight sprints, three sets of dips, and lots of stretches. I’ll practice my double-unders for a few minutes. And they’re getting better.

In all parts, however, there’s improvement. Slow, steady, but noticeable improvement. It’s noticeable, in part, because these days I want to do more physical labor.

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March 21, 2010 4 comments

I’ve been working hard on my doctoral thesis. I only went to crossfit once this week, but have procrastinated by reading all sorts of information on lifting and the evils of sugar.

Moving from sugar has been alright. My father wasn’t a sugar addict. My mother used sugar in traditional desserts and high quality chocolate. I didn’t consume much sugar, as High Fructose Corn Syrup became as ubiquitous as it is now. So making these changes hasn’t been psychologically challenging.

I do think we are all potentially addicts. Today I had sodabread and coffeecake offered to me for breakfast. I chose the fruit salad. And later, a neighbor said, “You’ve lost a lot of weight.”

Matt Baldwin and Mark Smith pointed me to the video by Robert Lustig:

It pointed out how fructose was responsible for numerous health problems.

I thought Maple Syrup and Honey are, actually, glucose (but apparently they also have fructose as well). Lustig points out that fruits are our way of getting fiber. Sugar kills the liver, without the buzz of alcohol.

Still, I’ve been good about staying away from most sugars, unless its giving me a lot of fiber.

Categories: Crossfit, Diet Tags: , ,

Crossfit Total

March 11, 2010 3 comments

I did my first crossfit total.

A crossfit total is a backsquat, shoulder press and a deadlift.

I broke 700.
Back squat 265
Press 130
Deadlift 315

My goal = 850.

Categories: Crossfit, History, Log Tags: , , ,


March 10, 2010 1 comment

I’ve been off the strict Paleo phase for about 17 days now. I’m still feeling strong and making different food choices. The thirty days were very effective in breaking some habits.

I’m still in a “try it to see how it feels” phase. I had a couple beans in chili recently. I made banana bread, but I replaced 3/4s of the flour with almond and coconut; I replaced 3/4 cup of sugar with 1/3 cup of maple syrup and an extra banana. It turned out dense and a little crumbly, but delicious. Not exactly paleo, but it confirmed my suspicion: I don’t need a lot of sweet; and there are suitable alternatives to white flour.

But now I’m shopping at a greater variety of places in order to eat “clean.” Where can I get grass finished beef? Where can I buy pasture butter? Are there price differences in Spaghetti Squash? Why can’t I find canned Icelandic fish? Where’s the best place to get high quality Sardines? Shiratake?

I will spend a good three minutes reading a label like I was a Sanskrit scholar translating a verse from the the Upanishads. I ponder the phrases “organic” when I read them. I consider the meaning of “fed a vegetarian diet.” Not grass fed, but no risk of Mad Cow, I think. Corn is bad, but not many options at this grocery store.

I get veggies from the cheap Asian market: my spaghetti squash, mushrooms, and yams. Whole Foods is expensive in some things, cheaper in others. I’ll go down to Fairway in the city to find less expensive, but organic, meats. Trader Joes has 6 dollar Spanish Olive Oil.

Wild caught fish will be expensive everywhere. So will heritage geese. There’s a greater difference between flours and nuts. Occasionally I find an amazing steal: my Asian grocer sells domestic prosciutto for $10 a lb. Not every grocery store has my fascination of the day.

And I do get canned ingredients – especially in the winter. I had baby corn and bean sprouts in the stir-fry medley of “mixed vegetables” in my pantry last night for a generally paleo thai chicken dish I concocted. It’s a rule I have: use whatever canned vegetable is in your kitchen pantry.

It is probably a rule I’m going to change.

Categories: Diet, Food Tags: , , , ,