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kotmj

kotmj's shift towards a meat-reduced diet: Sort of like a diary.

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Loren Cordain, one of the major evangelists for the Paleo Diet. To me, he looks fat and tired.

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Had a workout today of squats and presses. I'm really skinny nowadays, even more so than before, so I was afraid I was losing muscle mass. But the figures from the lifts are quite comforting. I was able to add weight to the bar for the presses. I've not squatted in maybe 3 weeks, and I figured I prefer Rippetoe's squat routine over John Barban's, so I used a weight for the squat that is a few kilos lighter than the last time I squatted Rippetoe-style (maybe 1.5 months ago). Amazingly, I was able to squat it. It doesn't appear I'm losing muscle, though I look very "deflated".

 

I noticed that my tummy no longer bloats out. It's pretty flat the whole time. I thought all along that a protruding tummy comes naturally as one grows older and one's hormonal profile changes. But no. The whole day through it's as flat as when I wake up. I think I've lost a great deal of visceral fat together with the loss of subcutaneous fat.

 

In about 3:30 of this documentary, you see just how much visceral fat there can be in a human, and it's all concentrated around the central area of the body.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E6nGlLUBkOQ

 

It's not water retention that gives people a belly. It's liters upon liters of visceral fat.

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Had a workout today. Weights increased on all lifts. This despite a vegan diet. No whey. No meat or dairy or eggs. I wonder if this is sustainable.

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I wonder if I'll ever go back to eating "normally" again. It doesn't seem all that likely.

 

Before going meatless, I thought it was normal to have these low-level discomforts coming from the digestive tract. After all, the body is working on digesting the food, so obviously I should feel something. A bit of discomfort, a bit of pain every now and then. It was normal, I thought, to be affected by the strains of digesting food.

 

I feel none of that now. I don't feel my body struggling to digest food.

 

In fact I feel different. Lighter. Calmer. Definitely more energy. I feel so good on this diet, I am reluctant to go back to how I felt previously.

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I read that Vitamin D deficiency is quite prevalent, ever since the internet was invented and we spend so much time indoors. So I'm now surfing from the balcony, soaking up some sun.

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LOL. A king conquered a city, and had a bunch of the brightest and handsomest young men rounded up to be trained over three years to become court officials. During this time, they were to eat the same food as the royal family.

 

Daniel was one of these young men. You can see that he is quite the high IQ and EQ guy. NIV, Daniel 1:1-16.

 

1 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. 2 And the Lord delivered Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, along with some of the articles from the temple of God. These he carried off to the temple of his god in Babylonia and put in the treasure house of his god. 3 Then the king ordered Ashpenaz, chief of his court officials, to bring in some of the Israelites from the royal family and the nobility-- 4 young men without any physical defect, handsome, showing aptitude for every kind of learning, well informed, quick to understand, and qualified to serve in the king's palace. He was to teach them the language and literature of the Babylonians. 5 The king assigned them a daily amount of food and wine from the king's table. They were to be trained for three years, and after that they were to enter the king's service. 6 Among these were some from Judah: Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. 7 The chief official gave them new names: to Daniel, the name Belteshazzar; to Hananiah, Shadrach; to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abednego. 8 But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way. 9 Now God had caused the official to show favor and sympathy to Daniel, 10 but the official told Daniel, "I am afraid of my lord the king, who has assigned your food and drink. Why should he see you looking worse than the other young men your age? The king would then have my head because of you." 11 Daniel then said to the guard whom the chief official had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, 12 "Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 Then compare our appearance with that of the young men who eat the royal food, and treat your servants in accordance with what you see." 14 So he agreed to this and tested them for ten days. 15 At the end of the ten days they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food. 16 So the guard took away their choice food and the wine they were to drink and gave them vegetables instead.

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We've got this machine at work, which apart from its usual duty of measuring bone density (as in osteoporotics) can also measure body composition. Results come like: total weight: 70kg. Lean mass: 30kg, bone 30kg, fat 10kg.  Fitness centres can make a killing out of this machine. One catch: it uses low levels of radiation, but the results are quite reproducible and quantifiable. 

 

J, you were talking about visceral fat.  Its interesting to note that on CTs, children are VERY lean: there's almost no fat separating the organs. But as one ages, the fat between the organs gets more and more. Women are generally fattier. The only lean adults that come for CT are unfortunately terminal cancer patients. Ripped dudes are usually healthy enough to not need a scan.

 

BTW, the TED chick's talk was very interesting.

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I was told after talking to a friend that I seem preoccupied with fat people nowadays. He's right, I am.

 

I thought all along that getting fat with age is inevitable. Actually, I did not even think having a belly came from fat. I thought it was some strange form of water retention, or how the muscles holding the tummy taut gets weaker with age and the stuff protrudes out. I think many people believe this too. I believed this for years. I suffered from it too, though in a very mild form compared to most of my peers.

 

I did not know that visceral fat can accumulate independently of subcutaneous fat, and that in some people the former accumulates more rapidly.

 

Now that I know it's just fat between the organs, and that in my case it disappeared within 1.5 months of a vegan diet, I look at fat people very differently.

 

Try substituting central obesity with goitre. Goitre is the swelling of the thyroid, and results in a big lump on the neck, usually to one side. Imagine people developing goitre as they graduate and start being desk-bound for most of their waking hours. Imagine their thyroid enlarging further as they grow older.

 

Imagine a city full of people with enlarged thyroids. It would be a highly unnatural sight, because having an enlarged thyroid is not a natural state to be in. But central obesity is similarly unnatural. It is only because of its ubiquity that we no longer perceive it as a condition.

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You guys should check out Dr. Michael Greger. His full time job is to read all the research papers in the field of nutritional science, and condense his findings.

 

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I'm in my home town right now. I went for a blood test this morning. My mother works at Pathlab, so that's where I went. The results will be available in 2 days, but the results for blood pressure and bone density are immediate.

 

I have wonderful blood pressure. The first reading was 110/66. Then we did the bone density test, and returned to do another reading for blood pressure, which came out at 108/68. These levels would indicate that my arteries are very unlikely to be clogged, so heart attacks and strokes are unlikely.

 

(But just to be certain, I am also being tested for C-reactive protein and methionine.)

 

The bone density test was done with an ultrasound machine. A bit of ultrasound gel was applied to my forearm, right above where one would wear a watch, and the handheld emitter was rubbed several times around part of the arm circumference. This was done until the machine has collected sufficient data points. The procedure was repeated three times.

 

The results are a disaster. My bone density is in osteopenia category, which is pretty close to osteoporosis. It may have to do with years of whey consumption. Excessive protein consumption is linked to low bone mineral density, because a by-product of protein digestion is an acid which dissolves bones. Maybe it's also due to the coffee habit -- caffein inhibits calcium absorption. Whatever the case, I need to do something about this. Also, I have to make sure I do not trip and fall, or play futsall (the dumbest game to achieve popular appeal).

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The urine test results are in. Everything is normal. pH is mildly acidic. Protein, casts, blood cells, etc. were not detected.

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I can't wait for the C-reactive protein value. It is a marker for systemic inflammation. First time I'm tested for it.

 

Not really interested in the other results like cholesterol and glucose, etc. because these are always normal with me.

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It may be a good idea, when I eat meat, to eat fish. The problem with fish is the concentration of toxins like methylmercury. The way around this is to eat low on the marine food chain; the higher up the chain you eat, the higher the concentration of mercury. So for instance, the very delicious tenggiri is a sort of king mackerel which is pretty high up the food chain. It's like shark, the ultimate marine predator. The US FDA has issued advisories against only four types of fishes, and king mackerel is one of the four.

http://www.fda.gov/food/foodborneillnesscontaminants/buystoreservesafefood/ucm110591.htm

 

I am relieved to find out that the kembong, Rastrelliger brachysoma, feeds on planktons.

http://www.fao.org/fishery/species/2477/en

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I think shellfish is in a category of its own. I don't know anything about shellfish except that they are very good to eat.

 

The results of the blood test are out. I was only given a few findings over gmail chat. But I was told everything is green -- no values are out of normal ranges.

 

C-reactive protein is a very low 0.2 mg/L. This indicates, within the ability of this marker to point it out at all, that levels of inflammation in my body is very, very low. It's how I felt that morning of the blood test, too: light, easy, un-irritated.

 

The only concern seems to be the test for carcinoembryonic antigen. It is a marker for cancer, particularly colorectal cancer. If you have low values, it doesn't mean you have no cancer. But if values are high, you certainly have something.

 

My mother tells me that most people would have a reading below 1mcg/L. Anything above 5 mcg/L would warrant further investigation. Mine is at 3.3. Huh.

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I tried using the saturated salt water technique to boil sweet potato. This is a technique where you boil the potatoes in water with incredibly high salt content. With potatoes, the result is something like baked jacket potatoes.

 

Using this technique on sweet potatoes yields the absolute best sweet potatoes I've ever eaten. Better than boiled or baked. The skin comes off easily. The potato is dry and fluffy, not waterlogged.

gzto.jpg

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