Wheaty Jowls

I’ve written about my diet change. Staying away from refined carbohydrates really has changed my body composition. Though I do eat wheat on the rare occasion, like the going away pizza party yesterday at work, I try to stay away from it. I crave more when I do eat it, so try to make it a rare food in my diet.

Free the Animal has a good post about wheat and how it affects our faces. He has some great shots of actors and how they aged. Their faces look bloated and jowly. And yes, age will have its effect. Yet he also shows how his face has changed. Here’s actor Val Kilmer’s face:

Kilmer's face

Check out the other examples at Free the Animal. I’ll never have a Katherine Hepburn-type angular face. Yet I do have cheekbones and they’re showing up more and more. Giving up wheat and sugar makes a big difference.

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Postpourri

I went out of town for the weekend and haven’t posted anything since late last week. What to say? There’s more reviews I could post, but my allergies are taking a toll on me and I’m feeling wiped out. Yeah, copying and pasting one of my reviews into WordPress is soooooo hard. Sheesh. Just allow me my flimsy excuses.

So, here’s a few interesting things I’ve found fun and/or interesting:

  • Pay Now, Live Later has a nice video about eating habits that I’m trying to achieve:

    His take on exercise can also be found here.

  • You can catch some nice videos of the Crossfit Great Basin Regional Qualifiers held here in Flagstaff.
  • I had a mini physical over a week ago. I loved my new cholesterol results. I’ve been working hard to get my HDL (the “good” cholesterol) up. Having it at 60 and above is optimal. Last physical it was at 46. Now my HDL is up at 71.
  • Poor Chuck Wicks got sent home on Dancing with the Stars. I was sort of rooting for him. Oh well.
  • I’m too excited about the upcoming Star Trek movie. Here’s a scene of a young Kirk (Chris Pine) trying to pick up cadet Uhura (Zoe Saldana) in a bar. I’m telling you, they never mentioned that in the original series:

Okay, I guess I did have something to post about.

Fat Head review

Here’s another review. Yes, I’m way behind in posting my reviews — blame it on my laptop needing a new fan. That’s fixed now. So, Fat Head. I enjoyed this documentary. I do have a bias, as I agree with Tom Naughton’s thesis. It’s not the fat that’s the problem in our diet — it’s the refined carbs and sugar.

Here’s my review.

Eating Refined Carbs Makes You Hungrier

Sounds silly, but this article describes what I find when I eat certain foods.

But veteran dieters know something that some researchers apparently don’t: Certain foods seem to fuel the appetite like pouring gasoline on a fire. Some people find that once they start eating bread, cookies, chocolate, potato chips — or leftover Easter candy — they lose all sense of fullness and find it difficult to stop…

After 23 years of treating patients — some of it espousing liquid diets — Dr. Aronne has concluded that refined carbohydrates and foods with high sugar and fat content promote what he calls “fullness resistance.” They interfere with the complex hormonal messages the body usually sends to the brain to signal that it’s time to stop eating. People feel hungrier instead.

This happens in part because refined carbohydrates raise blood-sugar levels, setting up an insulin surge that drives blood sugar down again, causing rebound hunger. That insulin spike also interferes with leptin, the hormone secreted by fat cells that should tell the body to stop eating. Obese people have loads of leptin, but it either doesn’t get to the brain, or the brain becomes resistant to it. “This is not a failure of willpower, it’s a physical mechanism,” Dr. Aronne writes. The body also becomes resistant to insulin, setting the stage for diabetes.

I threw away a homemade cookie at work today because I just knew that once I ate it that I’d want more. Fighting off the wheat and sugar cravings is a nuisance and usually takes about two days for me. It does help me stay away from that kind of food just because I know that I’ll want to indulge more.

That cookie looked good today, but I held off on eating it at our staff meeting and figured I’d eat it as dessert with my tuna salad lunch. Running errands after a physical therapy session, I decided to pick up some hot wings and eat those for my dessert¬† instead of the cookie. Wings aren’t perfect, but at least I won’t fight cookie-carb cravings tomorrow.

I don’t agree with all the “diet” advice in the article¬† — egg whites and not whole eggs? Give me a break. Still, it’s nice to see info on how we eat causing overeating problems and doesn’t assume that obesity is all about laziness and overindulgence. Sometimes it’s what we eat that makes us want to eat more. Once I upped my protein intake and cut the refined carbs and sugar I just don’t get crazy hungry like I used to do.

Cooking Up Something

It’s still Sunday morning…at least for another few minutes or so. I’ve made one of my favorite lazy weekend morning meals: braised red cabbage in butter and coconut oil with chopped apple and lots of cinnamon, plus one fried egg that usually ends up with a broken yolk (I don’t seem to have the ability to crack an egg without either breaking the yolk or breaking eggshells into what I’m making).

I’m planning on a beef brisquet for dinner tonight. It’s a long, slow-cooking kind of meal. I made a brisquet before and absolutely loved it. I’m hoping this one will turn out just as good. I think the tomato paste is what makes it taste so good. Tomato-y goodness mixed with a chunk of meat just hits the spot for me.

The brisquet I bought for this weekend is antibiotic free, but I can’t wait until the next delivery of meat from the A Bar H Farm, which is all grass-fed and natural. I bought about 90 dollars worth of beef, lamb, and chicken in February. There’s still some beef neck bones, ribs, and dog bones in my freezer. Their next delivery is in May. In February I had ordered the beef brisquet from the farm as part of my goal to try various meats in different recipes.I envy my sister and her large freezer. Just think of the meat I could store, plus A Bar H delivers to Phoenix on a more regular schedule.

As an ex-vegetarian, I don’t know a lot about cooking meat, but I’m certainly learning. Buying Mark Bittman’s How To Cook Everything was a good idea. From that book I’ve learned to make a mean set of hot wings, soups, duck, and more.

Tomorrow I’m roasting up the whole chicken I picked up from A Bar H. That means I’ll be making more chicken stock and some soup later in the week. I do love having homemade stock on hand — it just feels so old-fashioned to me.

Anyone cooking up something delicious today?

Why We Get Fat and Big Fat Lies

Tom Naughton put together a documentary that I do want to see: Fat Head. He looks at our fear of fat in our diets. As one of the many people who read Gary Taubes’ Good Calories; Bad Calories, I’ve become one of those low-carb eaters. I really cut back on eating refined carbohydrates and sugar. I didn’t give them up, but did cut back dramatically. I do eat fat — give me butter, please! What a difference this has all made in my life.

My energy is high, I’ve felt stronger, and my mood is so much more balanced. Yeah, yeah, but have I lost weight? No one wants to hear how healthy and strong I feel — they want to know about losing weight. That seems to be the scorecard on eating patterns. So, yes, I have lost weight. I started last June eating this way and I’ve dropped about 55 pounds. It seems so strange to have dropped all of that. And though I think everyone’s fascination with losing weight is missing the point, I do love the ability to shop for clothes in Misses sizes. Women’s (plus) sizes never seemed as attractive to me.

My goal is to get to about 22% body fat, which means I need to lose another 30 or so pounds. I really want to get muscles too. It seems to be easier when I eat like this. My body composition just feels different. I have a more defined waist, wider shoulders, and muscles at this weight than I did when I weighed the same amount several years ago.

I just have to thank Gary Taubes for his book. I love blogs that cover paleo and low-carb eating. I’ve learned more about body chemistry and what’s going on inside of me. I’ll start pointing to some of them as they discuss topics about food and exercise. You can start exploring the links on my blogroll. Look under Food and Fitness.

Here’s a few fun video clips from Fat Head. It was reading about how blood sugar affects insulin, and the damage that can result, that got me re-thinking what I eat. Fat Head explains things with humor and intelligence.

Go butter!