Tuesday, September 29, 2009

How to fix our sustenance system

davidallentv Pollan uncovers agriculture's murky ethics http://bit.ly/UizUh

We’ve come up with the one diet that makes people sick,” Pollan exclaimed on Thursday during his speech. Still, we have yet to reorganize the sustenance system our lives depend on.
With these concerns grew the concept, “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants,” the main philosophy in Pollan’s, “In Defense of Food: an Eater’s Manifesto.” These seven simple words work together to show consumers that purchasing and cooking does not have to be difficult, and in turn, people will discover that eating this way comes with great pleasure. Pollan offers steps along the way to help the consumer navigate the maze that is known as our modern supermarkets.
The first rule being, don’t eat anything your grandmother wouldn’t recognize. Another guideline to follow is, if something has more than five ingredients, it isn’t food. Or as Pollan said more bluntly on Thursday, “Don’t eat anything you see advertised on television.”
He stresses meals should be cooked and eaten at a table, in the company of a family member or friend. The issue with fast food is that “by definition, you’re meant to eat quickly and usually in isolation,” Pollan said in an exclusive interview. He encourages people to eat a home-cooked meal four to five nights a week.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Insanity tips

Brutally fit but you'll get into it. This program is yet another world class contribution by one of the elite trainers at Beachbody. It is serious stuff for the seriously fit and those who want to be. There aren’t many modifications of the program. If I had to choose a word to describe it, it is I like to say brutal. There’s no two ways around it – max intervals are hard. They are supposed to be by definition near the top of your effort level for bursts of time followed by rest. But unlike traditional intervals, max intervals require long periods of max effort with little rest. It’s like 60 days of fitness torture. The only reason you can have a prayer is body areas are cycled so that you don’t quite get fatigued in a particular area like say legs because the next interval might involve core or upper body. On the other side, it is amazing the changes you make over time. You add incredible capacity and endurance for all-out effort. This is applicable to many sports or even just feeling better overall. You will feel awesome after doing this and be better in just about every aspect of activities where intensity is rewarded. I feel like I could compete in the 400 meters and probably do well for my age bracket after doing this program.

With that in mind I thought I’d share what I learned after recently completing a round of Insanity, with the intent of helping others avoid pitfalls and have a great round.

Take the fitness test. This is a key to tracking your progress. It's a little different for someone like me who is already kind of at my goal weight and came in very fit already. But much to my happy surprise, the numbers in my fitness test bear out an incredible increase in capacity for intense bursts of vigorous effort. In short - I'm kicking butt REALLY hard on cardio after doing Insanity! :)

Do YOUR best, by this I mean – I’d love to be as quick or as strong as some of the folks on the video, but realistically at my age I am not. But I do have a “slow/medium/fast or all-out” and that’s what I do. I know this because of my HR monitor. You need to be able to gauge this with a monitor and with your own sense of effort level. Maintaining form for me is paramount to avoiding injury, the bane of my existence for staying fit as I age. Doing that means at times backing off the accelerator a bit (just a bit). Typically I’m still burning upwards of 1000 cals per workout and conditioning my body like a pro athlete.

Hip flexor stretch – I read some about this online. It’s crucial you do these stretches not only for your legs but to keep your lower back aligned. If you don’t it can throw things just out enough and you end up straining your lower back and have some soreness and stiffness, which could in theory lead to injury. Shaun T emphasizes this stretch, and despite an incredible pounding of plyo cardio 4-5 times a week for 60 days, I never really had major problems there. I really think the discipline of doing the hip flexor stretch (and having good shoes – see below) was a major part of this.

Get some good crosstrainer shoes. Something with ample lateral forefoot support. Stability is key here. Expect you will wear them out also in a round if you’re doing it right. A lot of folks like UnderArmor shoes although New Balance and Nike make some crosstrainers that are good too. Find one that fits your foot is snug but comfortable. Running shoes won’t cut it folks! Even doing “the Heisman” during warm-ups will expose an unstable shoe and possibly turn your ankle. Don’t skimp, get something good for your feet you will be asking a lot of them.

Use recovery drink. By use I mean not only after but probably during. Particularly during phase 2 or the “max” phase you’re doing LONG periods of max intervals – this is very taxing and you will require glycogen replenishment if you’re doing it right. Beachbody recovery I believe is superior to something like Gatorade for instance for several reasons one being the absorbable protein content and inclusion of supplements like magnesium which helps with muscle cramping.

Have towels. You will sweat, a lot, even just warming up and stretching.

Ironically a mat wasn’t as important as I thought it would be for my knees. And I am 44. Maybe it’s because I came in down in my weight already, having undergone transformation thanks to several rounds of P90x, but again, probably the shoes.

I never realized how important hip flexors are for explosive movements. It makes sense. I had always been under the impression hip flexors were those things in your legs which prevented lots of sit-ups (probably because they were weak on me). They are now even visible. And I find I am capable of much quicker and sustained explosive leg movements – I can move my knees much faster. My theory is this is Shaun T’s hurdles background here. Great stuff for running and jumping to have strong hip flexors!

There is a lot of core conditioning and emphasis on core. This is also key to overall fitness and injury prevention. Shaun T’s abs or core conditioning philosophy doesn’t include sit-ups so don’t be disappointed there. Trust me you will get plenty of resistance in the abdominal area but to do it you are performing things like jumps, metabolic conditioning pushups, suicides etc. There’s plenty for the core. I can tell he really understands how to work the abs without doing traditional ab exercises. The ab focused workouts include a lot of plange movement in the hips, you are constantly engaging the abs while balancing and stabilizing. The big tip for this area is to maintain form and engage your core. You want to keep things aligned and execute moves properly to prevent injury.

All in all I’d congratulate Shaun T on a successful and world class program – this is one I cherish completing right up there with running marathons and P90x. I will definitely be using this to condition myself for ski season and cardio capacity and endurance overall.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Rampant High blood pressure - why?

Too Much Salt Takes a Blood-Pressure Toll - http://bit.ly/hmub6

Dr. Claude Lenfant, who served as director of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, is now 81 and has a blood pressure of 115 over 60, a level rarely found among older Americans not taking medication for hypertension. His secret: a normal body weight, four or more miles of walking daily, and no salt used to prepare his meals, most of which are made from scratch at home.

“Generally, the average person in our society consumes more than 10 grams of salt a day,” Dr. Chobanian said, “but the Institute of Medicine recommends a third of this amount as optimal.”

Monday, September 14, 2009

Scramble up Superior

This is that mountain face visible across LCC from Alta. There's a great view from Peruvian lodge. People ski it in the winter. Well some crazy people ;)

backcountrycomAndrew McLean "scrambles" up the South ridge of Mt. Superior (Straightchuter.com): http://bit.ly/792xY

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Industry whitewash labeling campaign on sugar

Froot Loops qualifies for the label because it meets standards set by the Smart Choices Program for fiber and Vitamins A and C, and because it does not exceed limits on fat, sodium and sugar. It contains the maximum amount of sugar allowed under the program for cereals, 12 grams per serving, which in the case of Froot Loops is 41 percent of the product, measured by weight. That is more sugar than in many popular brands of cookies.
“Froot Loops is an excellent source of many essential vitamins and minerals and it is also a good source of fiber with only 12 grams of sugar,” said Celeste A. Clark, senior vice president of global nutrition for Kellogg’s, which makes Froot Loops. “You cannot judge the nutritional merits of a food product based on one ingredient.”

RT @Mark_Sisson Warning: Some of the cereal exec quotes may induce jaw dropping, retching and face/palming. http://su.pr/19cy7k

Food and sugar industry are the new cigarette manufacturers for sure ... evil and greedy to the detriment of our society's health. Hopefully public will see through this but ... its just awful considering the state of obesity rates and diabetes, heart disease etc. People could easily be lulled into complacent denial by this bogus labeling

30g sugar (10 tsp) should be max: AHA

10 tsp/day (30g) sugar MAX ... La Vida Locavore:: AHA Says Eat LOTS Less Added Sugar http://bit.ly/U4oXk

Greatest health risk is avoidable

Greatest Health Risk Isn’t Cancer or Heart Disease; It’s Lack of Exercise http://bit.ly/18aw5s

His extensive research comes involves the Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study (ACLS), an ongoing study started in 1970 which includes more than 80,000 people. In addition to keeping track of the participants medical histories, scientists periodically have measured the participants' body composition and body mass index (BMI). Each volunteer in the study also underwent a stress test.

The results, Blair told the APA, show that the fitness level of the research subjects has turned out to be a significant predictor of life span. For example, a follow-up study of 40,842 ACLS participants concluded a poor fitness level accounted for about 16 percent of all deaths in both men and women -- and these are deaths that most likely would have been avoided if these people had simply spent about half an hour a day walking. What's more, this percentage of deaths was significantly higher than when other risk factors were considered, including obesity, smoking, high cholesterol and diabetes. The ACLS also found that men who were only moderately fit lived six years longer than men who would qualify as sedentary couch potatoes.

Blair revealed that exercise can help beat breast cancer, too. An examination of 14,811 women patients in the ACLS showed that those who very fit were 55 percent less likely to die from breast cancer than women who were not in good shape. This huge reduction in breast cancer deaths was calculated after the researchers controlled for BMI, smoking, family history of breast cancer and other possible risk factors. Blair also explained in his APA presentation that recent emerging evidence shows exercise is good for brain health and can delay the mind's decline.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Tweet from CR on combatting childhood obesity via local government regs

from CR ...

Ways your local government can help prevent childhood obesity http://bit.ly/39nzJ

* Zoning restrictions on fast-food restaurants near schools
* Taxes on high-calorie, low-nutrient foods and drinks
* Increasing access to healthy foods in underserved neighborhoods through supermarkets, grocery stores, and convenience stores
* Eliminating outdoor ads for high-calorie, low-nutrient foods and drinks near schools
* Requiring calorie and other nutritional information on restaurant menus
* Rerouting buses or developing other transportation strategies that ensure people can get to grocery stores
* Collaborating with schools to develop and implement a "Safe Routes to School program" to increase the number of children safely walking and bicycling to schools.
* Building and maintaining parks and playgrounds that are safe and in close proximity to residential areas.
* Regulating play space, physical equipment, and duration of play in preschool, after-school, and child-care programs.