25 August 2010

i'm way low on my protein intake

i was having a lunch with a co-worker yesterday, discussing nutrition. he asserted that most people actually eat less protein than they need. naturally, i asked how much protein i should be eating.

"you should be eating half your body weight."

"really? over what time period?"

he seemed thrown by this question, as the answer was obvious: "every day."

i agreed that, by that measure, i am certainly low on my protein intake. i suggested that may be a bit high, but he insisted this was the case.

i finally brought out some real numbers: "so you're saying that every day i should be eating some 85 pounds of protein."

"what? no! 85 grams".

oh, my mistake.

22 August 2010


some years ago, when i would occasionally buy a dozen eggs from the grocery store, i was completely lost when trying to figure out the difference between eggs labeled "cage free", "free range", "organic" and "omega-3".

i was also unsure how i was supposed to decide among all the providers.

with the recent salmonella outbreak, traced to two large producers in Iowa, i'm seeing that it doesn't really matter whose branding you like best.

Wednesday's recall covers eggs branded as Albertsons, Farm Fresh, James Farms, Glenview, Mountain Dairy, Ralph's, Boomsma, Lund, Kemps and Pacific Coast [...] The earlier recall covered the Lucerne, Albertson, Mountain Dairy, Ralph's, Boomsma, Sunshine, Hillandale, Trafficanda, Farm Fresh, Shoreland, Lund, Dutch Farms and Kemps brands

wow, that's a lot of brands from two producers. i wonder if there are additional brands that haven't (yet) been recalled.

the gf and i lucky to have quality egg producers available to us every Saturday. i don't know what i'd be doing otherwise.

08 August 2010

if you're not exercising, you're not doing Atkins

that's paraphrased from the man himself, and it's reason #1 that what i'm doing isn't Atkins.

(i should be doing some weight training, i admit, but after a 9-10 hour workday, where dinner ends up being somewhere between 9-10pm, i'm not particularly keen to spend an extra hour in the office building)

i haven't read the Atkins books, but from their site, i also find these differences:

1. Atkins de-emphasizes saturated fat, whereas i'm not phobic of it
2. Atkins emphasizes lean meats, whereas i'm perfectly happy with fatty meats, and not trimming the fat
3. Atkins recommends soy at the same level as the lean meats, whereas i will only very occasionally have tofu, and that's a small amount in miso soup
4. Atkins allows vegetable oils for cooking, whereas i prefer butter and lard
5. Atkins seems to have little aversion to fruit, whereas i'll eat seasonal fruit in small amounts
6. Atkins allows some grains, whereas i'll have some only when 1) on vacation, or 2) i'm cheating
7. Atkins recommends at most 40% of calories from fat, whereas i'm trying to find ways to eat more fat and less protein
8. Atkins, through their food products, seems to have no aversion whatsoever to engineered foods, whereas i'm eating more and more food bought directly from farmers
9. Atkins does not emphasize the sourcing of the food, whereas i seek out products of grass-fed ruminates, line-caught fish and foraging chickens
10. Atkins recommends low-fat dairy, whereas lately it's been my main method of increasing my percentage of calories from fat
11. Atkins emphasizes fiber, even from sources as soybeans and grains, whereas my body seems perfectly content with what i get from normal servings of vegetables
12. Atkins emphasizes Courtney Thorne-Smith, whereas i've never even met the woman

so, enough significant differences where i should retract my previous statement where i'd simply say "Atkins" to describe the diet. there are still parts of me that want to say that, in full knowledge of the widespread negative opinions and the earful i'll receive about how it's bad for you. otoh, there are parts of the Atkins diet with which i disagree.

perhaps i should simply respond with, "magic."

06 August 2010

the city of giant shoulders

Chicagoans are large. and getting larger.

since i've gotten down to BMI-category "normal", i've really started looking around me. what i'm seeing, in nearly everyone in this area, are guts, double-chins, bulbous butts, puffy faces, and arms and legs that look like encased meats.

and really massive people, as well. in excess of 300, 400 pounds. several examples there, just in the past 3 days. i'm amazed to see people so heavy, they look like they've been poured into the driver's seat of their oversized SUV. how large do you have to be to dwarf a large SUV?

at the supermarket, i see baskets carts with sugar. much of it is perceived as healthy, as some carts are overflowing with fruit. or fruit accompanied by bread, skim milk (or soy), rice cakes, frozen Weight Watcher dinners, and a regiment of 2-liter diet soda bottles, all lined up and ready to go.

today i saw this:

The number of obese people in the United States has increased by 2.4 million since 2007, according to a CDC special report released Tuesday.

The report also says that 9 states – up from 3 in 2007 – now report obesity levels at 30 percent or higher (in 2000, no states were in that category). Not a single state has reached the 15 percent goal set in the CDC's "Healthy People 2010" initiative.

yikes. i bet Illinois is one of those 9 states with > 30% obesity. that's staggering, especially if that figure doesn't include the "overweight" category (i'm guessing they're using BMI definitions, but the article doesn't say).

i want to walk up to some people, the ones i see doing useless cardio and packing their carts full of even more sugar, grab them by the shoulders and say, "you're doing it wrong!"

but i know it's hopeless. i've come to discover that diet/nutrition is even more divisive than politics. caloric deprivation as a weight-loss strategy is so ingrained in our minds, people can't even imagine that there are alternatives. it's such an alien concept, most can't even begin to question it.

i've discovered that the words "low carb" will elicit an immediate shutdown in others. "Atkins" is spit through clenched teeth like it's an expletive. i try to not lecture, or be That Guy On The New Diet Who Can Talk Of Nothing Else But The Diet, but people do ask about the weight loss, and i try to sum it up succinctly.

"it's Paleo."

"it's a high-fat, low-sugar diet."

"we avoid sugar and grains, and eat grass-fed meat, veggies, and butter."

"just go to Mark's Daily Apple."

"it emphasizes local foods from farmers, and avoids most anything packaged."

Anything like that eventually leads to, "oh it's low carb", or "you're doing Atkins." I think from now on I might just say, "Atkins," knowing that it's not really that and that the conversation will end. But maybe it will change a few minds. or at least let me get on with my day.


btw, clothing labeled "medium" isn't what it was 20 years ago, according to me. i think it's bigger now.