I have a ton more links I want to bring up here, so I’ll just buzz through the normal stuff so I can get to the links.
My carb-splosion this weekend hasn’t completely gotten me over my desire for them, as my continuing desire for sweets will attest, but it’s not too bad. I think the best thing I can do is to either A) give up sweets entirely for an extended period to get my body over the desire, or B) keep good sweets around, like blueberries and whatnot. I’m leaning towards blueberries, because I love those little buggers. I’m definitely being better about some of it, so that’s something. A lot of the battle is keeping bad foods out of the house and keeping good foods in, so I have to option to do the right thing, and minimize my chances of doing the wrong one. A bowl of blueberries with a hefty dose of heavy cream and a couple drops of vanilla stevia (its makes the cream taste like melty whipped cream, without me having to do any of the dishes involved with making actual whipped cream) is seriously one of the tastiest things I can even think of. If I have that available, along with some good quality bars of dark chocolate, my cravings can be satisfied without too much straying.
Other than that, I’ve been eating pork, chicken, beef, eggs, salad, etc. Mostly all my normal stuff. Broccoli is big for me, especially since I started cooking it properly and thoroughly. I had been trying to steam it, but that wasn’t very effective using the tools I had (a bowl and a microwave), so I started sauteing in coconut oil and then topping with butter and garlic and that’s freaking amazing. As long as the broccoli is cooked thoroughly, it’s amazing. I don’t really care for the flavor or texture of raw broccoli too much, so when I cook it mostly but not all the way, that’s not ideal.
Unfortunately, I still haven’t taken the time to make my baconnaise. I really want to, and I have everything i need to make it happen, I just keep forgetting or being too busy. Lame. It will happen, though. Don’t even worry about that.
Personal progress remains solid. my scale weight seems to have leveled off or even increased slightly (I had hit a low of 204-ish and now I’m usually between 207-209). Some of this might be my carb intake, but since it’s also coinciding with my new focus on lifting, I think it’s safe to say that some of it is probably muscle. I’m still feeling very lean when I poke at my midsection, so I don’t think I’ve been packing fat on or anything. I’m also feeling very fit overall, with reduced recovery times and greater strength than I’ve had in a while. I’m honestly feeling pretty awesome in every capacity.
Okay, now for the links. Hold on to your butts.
Blast From the Past – This is easily one of the most important links I’ve ever posted here. I’m going to gush a bit so bear with me. Robb Wolf absolutely nails this presentation. It’s entertaining, accessible, concise but still thorough. It is as good an introduction to the paleo diet concept as I can point to. Specifically, he talks about how we’re not attempting historical recreation, we’re using anthropological observations as hypothesis generators, and then using clinical trials and our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of the body to really get down into the details. Importantly, he shows that a paleo diet isn’t primarily a weight loss diet. It’s a whole health diet. Yes, you can (and almost certainly will) get lean by eating this way. That’s fine. Plenty of diet/exercise plans can get you lean, if you can slog through long enough. But what Robb does so masterfully is to show that you can get lean by getting healthy, rather than getting healthy by being lean. I hope that makes sense. By eating foods that are not irritating to the gut, and aren’t full of indigestible proteins, you can heal your digestive system. Healing the gut is what cascades into healing dozens of seemingly unrelated autoimmune conditions. Healing the gut also appears to be key in normalizing leptin and insulin sensitivity, the dysregulation of which leads to metabolic syndrome. It’s a fantastic talk. Compelling, funny, well-researched and supported. It’s awesome all around.
23 1/2 Hours – This is one of those cool lectures with the drawings. If you’ve enjoyed them in the past (as I have) then you know what I’m talking about. Anyway, it’s a very interesting contention and one I find it very hard to argue with. Exercise is important for optimal human health. Our bodies thrive when we move them. A very important point is that you don’t need to grind out hours upon hours on the treadmill to gain these benefits. In fact, it sounds like 30 minutes is about where you hit your point of diminishing (health) returns. So walk for 30 minutes a day, or ride a bike, or row, or whatever floats your boat. Whatever exercise you enjoy and will do is the right one for you. Don’t feel like you need to brutalize yourself to get the health benefits of exercise. If you’re a competitive athlete and you need to maximize performance, then yeah, go ahead and brutalize yourself. But if you just want improved health and general wellness, walking 30 minutes a day is a great way to go. Your dog will love you for it, if nothing else.
The Interplay of Exercise and Ketosis, Part 1 – Dr. Attia is back, and talking about how exercise works with ketosis. He’s doing some longer, more endurance-specific stuff, but he’s also doing shorter, more intense workouts as well. It’s very interesting to see how it works, and I’m definitely going to continue following his exploration of the whole thing. However, the real reason I wanted to post this is that he posted a recipe for high-fat, sugar free ice cream. That sounds intriguing. Here it is:
We’re still working on the nuances, but the current version is composed of 3.5 cups whole fat (35% fat) cream, 1 cup of zero sugar almond milk, 1 tbsp vanilla extract, 2 tbsp almond extract, 3 tbsp ground espresso powder, and 2 tbsp xylitol. This makes enough to feed about 8 normal people, or me in one sitting. You’ll need an ice cream maker, obviously, to mix at at freezing temperatures.
Now, he’s big on ketosis, so he’s using xylitol as his sweetener. I’ve heard mixed reviews about actually consuming xylitol (as opposed to using it for dental health) so I’m a little wary about chowing down on it in any significant quantities. However, if I were to sub in some honey, some stevia, some dextrose, etc. this could be pretty viable. I say dextrose, because while it is definitely a refined, caloric sweetener, it’s pure glucose without the fructose. Since the fructose in most refined sugars seems to be the major problem, using dextrose seems like it would minimize a lot of the negative effects. It’s probably still going to spike insulin, and spiking insulin in the presence of saturated fat isn’t the best thing in the world, so maybe it’s not a good fit here. Maybe stevia is the way to go. Or heck, maybe a little more research would show me that I have nothing to fear from xylitol. Anyway, this sounds like a great low-carb treat, which definitely appeals to me.
So there you go. Lots of good links today. Enjoy, and thanks for reading!