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The Road From Serfdom

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  • The Road From Serfdom

    A quick intro:

    I have been a slave to my eating habits over the last three decades. Recent research indicates that our body digests refined carbs in not so dissimilar way it treats opium. I am trying to wean myself off my addictions.

    I am not too much worried about weight, body fat% or six packs. I want to generally feel good, have good energy levels, better mood and, yes, get a lot better at tennis. So most of my physical work out is geared to getting better at tennis (speed, agility, stamina, mental focus, specific strength - core, legs, shoulders, etc). I am treating any physical outward changes as only by product of the life style.

    About 6 weeks ago i kicked out refined carbs and sugar (i.e. added) from my life. But i ate lentils, rice (on my cheat day, which was once a week) and cheese. Two weeks ago, i decided to remove the cheat day and cut out grains and legumes altogether.

    I am compelled to state a staistic to convey the quantum of changes. 6 weeks ago, i weighed about 189 lbs. Today, i weighed 168 lbs. I am not fatigued after a 10 hour desk job as i used to before. I am generally feeling good, no fatigue. I am definitely a bit quicker on the tennis court (ongoing process).
    Few but ripe.

  • #2
    I ate the "primal" pancake today for breakfast with a twist. I used half cup of raw almonds and cashews, half a banana, one dried date, about half a dozen blueberries and 3 eggs.

    I ate my own version of cauli rice (grate cauliflower, scramble couple of eggs lightly and mix the cauli rice and lightly pan fry it with a bit of olive oil, spices (turmeric, chilli powder and a bit of salt for taste) along with half an avocado and a cup of grated carrot and beet for lunch.

    The lunch was right after a 5K run and leg work. Feeling good as usual.

    I normally do not take my leave during the susual holiday season. I prefer to come to work and enjoy the light work load and enjoy an otherwise tough to maintain work-life balance!
    Few but ripe.


    • #3
      A quick, healthy breakfast. Took 15 min to fix it. A carrot, half a medium sized radish, a small cucumber, 3 eggs, 2 teaspoon full of flaxseed. Grate the veggies, beat the eggs, mix eggs, veggies and flaxseed. Lightly pan fry it on olive oil. Makes 3 big omlettes. Since I had 15 min workout on empty stomach, I downed all three

      Packed an avocado and an apple for lunch. Another light workday is awaiting. I will go fo a long walk and perhaps do the simplyfit regime during lunch time.
      Few but ripe.


      • #4
        My long walk converted into a 5K run followed by 20 pull ups, 40 push ups and 60 air squats.
        A Cup of cherry tomatos helped as pre work out snack.

        Went into workplace cafeteria and asked the noodle bar to give me just fish and lettuce without noodles. Couple of curious looks.

        Just finished half a cup of edamame and a medium sized apple as a snack.
        Few but ripe.


        • #5
          No meat? And in general this doesn't seem like much food, I'd be starving.
          Wheat is the new tobacco. Spread the word.


          • #6
            I had fish for lunch and chicken for dinner. Already feels like i have eaten too much meat.
            I think we have been conditioned from childhood to stuff ourselves with food all the time. I just discovered I dont need to.
            Few but ripe.


            • #7
              That's great progress so far (and I love your journal title!). I agree with the childhood conditioning thing--I grew up in a working class home (we ate Spam often) and I was always expected to eat everything off my plate instead of stopping when I wasn't hungry anymore. It's a tough mental habit but now that I cook my own food and no one's breathing down my neck to eat all of it, it gets a little easier! Good luck!
              "There is a cruelty in life which we must accept with stoicism as the inevitable." -Mizora


              • #8
                I see what you mean. I grew up in a similar environment.

                Looking back, everyone "automatically" accepted fat was bad. If you ate fat you became fat. So it was carbs all the way. Nearly twenty years of habit. Recently my dad passed away as a result of heart attack. He was diabetic as well. He ate probably 90% carb diet all his life. I remember his doc's prescription: cut down oily, fatty food.
                At times i get this rage. A helpless rage.
                Few but ripe.


                • #9
                  Today has been a light day for the grok. No breakfast. Just a bowl of lettuce and three eggs for lunch. Half a dozen cherry tomatos, handful of blueberries, almonds and cashews for snacking. It is 2000h now and he just downed a glass of red wine.

                  On the activity front, grok is resting before a big hunt. Just 50 pushups to keep the blood flowing.

                  Curiously keeping a watch over an increasingly possible implosion of EU and what looks like a regime change elsewhere.
                  Few but ripe.


                  • #10
                    It just dawned on me that 2 slices of bread, 3 cups of steamed rice, couple of sachets of sugar (for coffee) and a piece of desert can add up to over 1300 calories of practically no nutrients. Incredible. Cut that out and replace them with veggies, nuts and fruits, you could as well be looking at a 4000+ cal deficit a week. With better nutrient profile. Easy cosy, the unwanted growth around your real body melts away pretty quickly.

                    I know logic is not enough to deal with addictions. However, this simple math drove home the point to me.

                    Play time for the grok. Played about 5 hours of tennis over the last couple of days. 20 lbs less makes hell of a lot difference. No knee pain. Court speed has improved. Working on it. I should get a ball machine soon, which would help me train muscle memory.

                    Now i have developed the strange habit of taking a photo of whatever i eat. Wife looks at me like a strange animal.
                    Few but ripe.


                    • #11
                      Humans are wired to sell insurance.

                      We prefer a tangible reward right up front and in front of our eyes (right here, right now), however small it may be, over a potentially large but uncertain benefit in the future. So we do not mind selling insurance like contracts to collect small premia up front and hope that we would not be hit with a big loss in the future. We love to hope. That is our story.

                      There is more of these stories being unearthed/studied by behavioral economics.

                      It is interesting how this particular trait guides our other lifestyle choices e.g. eating, smoking, drugs, drinking, etc. We prefer a few minutes of pleasure to potential (unseen) benefits that would accrue in the future.

                      The weekend has been a very quiet one. Christmas meal was 100% primal: Bro-cauli rice, Chicken curry and Fish curry. Yes, mixing broccoli with cauliflower in cauli rice works! My son freaked out on all three of the above. He absolutely enjoyed his meal.

                      Few but ripe.


                      • #12
                        Breakfast today:
                        3 eggs, half a radish, one medium sized carrot, one cucumber, half a capsicum. Grate the vegetables. Beat the eggs and mix it with the grated vegetables. Tasty generous sized omlettes ready in 15 minutes.

                        I had a minor "re lapse" yesterday. After about an hour of walking around the park with my 15 kilo son on my shoulders, i went and played an hour of tennis (1-6, 5-7; i had a horrible serving day). After a shower, i was tempted with a cup of steaming coffee (with milk and splenda) and biscuits and i gave in. And i paid the price for the rest of the day with acid refluxes and frequent farting.
                        Now i am convinced it is not worth it at all!

                        I think it could be interesting if we go a bit more primal i.e. beyond the diet. As a first step of the experiment, I have kept the TV unplugged since a week ago. Amazing, how much time you get every day! We get to go out and hang out in the park, spend time in bookstores or just walk around (lot of frequent slow moving!). And there is nothing i have missed out other than junk on TV.

                        My next step should get rid of the couch. Guests will be encouraged to squat and drink tea.
                        Few but ripe.


                        • #13
                          Seems like a beautiful day today. Sun is out shining. A little bit hazy though (are factories in China doing overtime?!).
                          Not so windy as it has been during the past week. All in all looks like a nice tennis playing day.
                          It is a shame i need to get to office and park my backside on a chair for considerable hours. However, if it is a light working day, i might take the afternoon off to go and play tennis.

                          The usual eggs and veggies omlette for breakfast. Having lost decent weight and the lean, muscular (always hidden) look is starting to be noticed in the elevators, lobbies, cafeterias and at the desks. One guy has commented that i have joined a cult and no amount of "scientific" study was going to convince me (about whole grains, the pyramid, cholestrol, etc). chuckle. Couple of guys are getting more interested and are asking me suggestions for meals, etc.
                          One coworker warned me that people known to her went on similar diet and ended up putting the weight back on when they went back to eating "normal".

                          Life is getting a bit more interesting now!
                          Few but ripe.


                          • #14
                            I did manage to sneak out afternoon to play tennis. Won 7-5 3-6 7-5. It was a beautiful sunny afternoon. Today looks much the same.

                            I am reading Oliver Sacks' "The Man Who Mistook his Wife for a Hat". Full of amazing accounts. How fragile and complex this human body is!
                            Few but ripe.


                            • #15
                              Up at 6.
                              Cold, grey morning. Have a tennis duel at 7:30. This guy is a tough pusher, runs down a lot of balls. I have to take my chances and play more aggressive than usual.

                              No breakfast. Not hungry at all. I will carry an apple as a mid-game snack. Gotta step into shower (yes, i always take a warm shower before my games. works for me.).
                              Few but ripe.