Out of operation?

Kind of annoying and boring thing happened couple of days ago – my blender broke. I was making banana ice-cream and as I was shuffling the frozen bananas down the plastic pieces on the bottom of the blade that transfers power into movement broke. I had warranty and turned it in, but it’s going to take a while to fix. Does that mean I’m not eating any raw anymore? N O. First off I learnt a valuable lesson from this. Something we should always do, turn the bad into good. This means that these things are pretty vulnerable so now that I can freeze banana pieces properly, I should probably make the ice-cream in my food processor again.

That is a great lesson and I*m glad I learnt it, even though it’s a bit annoying as I can’t really make sauces and smoothies anymore. But I’m still high-raw. I’m just sticking to nice puddings instead. Look at this beauty – isn’t she fantastic 🙂

Just chuck 250 grams of dates, 500-800 grams bananas and some cinnamon, cardamom and giner in the food processor and churn it and you can have your own 🙂

wpid-photoon5-25-12at9-29am-2012-05-25-09-29.jpg

Hope in sadness

I just watched the documentary Peaceable Kingdom and it just touched my heart. It chronicles Farm Sanctuary, who rescues animals from slaughterhouses, egg factories, dairies and other places and lets them live a proper life and it just touched my hart to see these heroes doing what they can, to see these animals being allowed to share their rich personalities and emotions with others and to hear the stories of everyone who was touched by these animals and recognized what loving animals truly meals. It brings a lump in my throat when I consider how so many animals suffer daily and how so many people still hurt them, either directly or through their food and lifestyle choices. At the same time it gives me hope that we are capable of turning this around. The movement is stronger every year, more and more people are getting an understanding. It will be difficult, but it can be done.

We WILL make this paradigm shift happen.

Emotional eating

Some people talk a lot about emotional eating, but does it really exist and if so, what is it? My answer to this is yes and no and they are answers to different definitions to the term.

The first is when people set a diet where they do not get enough calories or nutrients. In this case you will get strong cravings. This is not emotional eating, you are just hungry so your body screams out for food. You need to eat according to your caloric demands, but eat the right foods – low-fat, high-carb vegan (preferably raw) and you will not gain weight you are not supposed to gain.

The other answer is that digestion and emotions is two things the body cannot handle simultaneously so when something happens that really sets off the emotion meter, something sad for example, one reaction from us is that we want to get away from it. Food is one way to do it. This is really easy to do as meat-eaters, because all that food is hard to digest. As a vegan, high-carb vegan or high-carb raw vegan this becomes more difficult as we go along the stages, but we can still do it. This can happen even when we eat enough calories, though if we are on the top of our game as food is regarded we are less vulnerable towards emotions. I would consider this emotional eating. It is a good thing to develop emotionally to a level where we do not need to do this, but I do not consider it a problem as long as we eat the right foods, i.e. high-carb vegan or raw vegan.

The last is force of habit. When I watch a movie I want to eat popcorn. I don’t do it any longer, it’s been a REALLY long time since I had it last, but the habit is still there. This I would also consider emotional eating, which can be fixed by replacing with healthier habits. I try to just start watching, usually I don’t care, or I try to have some juice instead. Or sometimes I can make a raw vegan treat.

Got cravings? Got Exercise!!!

A big worry that many of us who wants to eat healthy have, especially at the the beginning, is how to deal with cravings. There are a lot of answers given – eat enough calories, eat a high-carb diet (preferably fruit), make sure to get a savory meal like a stew, many different answers to many different cravings, but one that I have noticed recently is actually exercise. As I have continued on this exercise regimen and gained strength I tend to subconsciously evade many of the less than optimal foods that I have eaten before as they will directly interfere with my fitness regimen. Especially fat, there really is something at work behind the scenes making me not buy the nuts, the avocados and many other high-fat foods as they would not work as well as what I’m doing now. Of course I might have a handful of nuts, a little of nut butter or some nut milk every once in a while, but somehow it’s subconsciously kept within the limits in a way that no amount of “willpower” managed to do before. This despite the fact that due to economical reasons as I eat more cooked foods my caloric intake has lowered a bit. I find this extraordinarily inspiring.

2 months of adaptations

I just went through my training log today and compared how I’m doing now compared to when I started this regiment at the beginning of march. While I am still mostly on the first progressions and a lot of work remains to do, I really have come far. I almost never get any back pain nowadays before either, which I used to before. So glad I stuck with this program, only wish I had found it earlier. Looking forward to what results the future will bring.

Beginning of march:

Squats (1st progression)

1×8

1×15

1×26

Pull-ups (1st progression)

1×24

1×26

1×26

Push-ups (1st progression)

1×15

1×11

1×15

Leg-raises (1st progression):

1×10

1×10

1×10

Calf Raises (1st progression) :

1×21

1×31

Now:

Pull-ups (second progression):

1×26

1×23

1×22

Squats (first progression)

1×33

1×33

1×31

Push-ups (1st progression):

1×50

1×42

1×43

Leg-raises (1st progression):

1×19

1×18

1×17

Bridges (1st progression):

1×39

1×35

1×35

Calf raises (1st progression)

1×30

1×28

1×26

1×26

What is the difference between a dog and a cow?

For 23 years I ate meat before I became vegan over the course of about a month. What has struck me as fantastic is that I never really thought of meat as its true origin. Of course I knew the animals it came from, I come from the countryside, where a lot of people kill animals, but it never even struck me that it could be unethical until I became one. It’s really obvious the degree of paradigm-shift that one needs to go through to go from dogma to science. This is one of the best lectures I’ve ever seen explaining just how the meat-eating systems work.


What sort of exercise should I do?

Usually when we get into fitness regimens we do so with some kind of purpose. Unless this purpose is to get better at this particular activity, it can often lead us to question what particular activity would be best for us. I’ve been there. I’ve trued going to the gym, running, swimming, lots of things to help me loose that backback on the front. The fact is that as long as it is an activity that exerts you it does not really matter what you do, you will get leaner in time. The most important aspect is consistency and for consistency there is one single thing that matter – do you enjoy this activity or not? If this activity makes you smile you will return to it in a couple of days, next week and next month. For me, this is bodyweight training. Going to the gym cannot compare with the fun (and results) I get out of doing some bodyweight calisthenics at home. And I’m seeing great results too. It needs to be progressive though, in other words get harder as you get strong. There is a book called Convict Conditioning which has very good explanations for these progressions for 6 major exercises. So far I can do 5 of them, not strong enough in my back to get up to a handstand.

So whatever activity you do make sure you enjoy it with a smile. That said we should try to do activities from a few different areas. There are 5 areas really: strength-, endurance-, cardiovascular respiratory-, flexibility- and what is known as neurological training or simply neuro training. I will be discussing my views of these in some following posts from material I have taken in so for now let us just focus on the first three. First off I do not necessarily obsess over the difference between strength and endurance. Yes, the standard view is that strength is built when you lift a weight no more than 6 times and the more you do above that is endurance training. I believe it’s true definitely, but not set in stone. Say a guy could do 6 one-arm pull-ups and he were to increase this to 15 one-arm pull-ups – is he just building endurance? I don’t think so, that is a massive Strength movement. In fact, the two are inseparably linked. Especially in progressivist bodyweight training that is based on a double progression. Since you cannot just increase your weight by adding 5 kilos, you increase the weight a LOT by changing the exercise a bit so you must work a lot at the range known as “endurance”, but of course it builds strength as well. If you cannot do 20 full pushups, the chances of you being able to do 10 repetitions of the next progression is slim.

So what about cardio, is it important? Yes. It is vital that you enjoy the activities, but the benefits from training differs a lot between “weights” and “cardio” activities and they are benefits we all sorely need so it is important that we get some mix of both. It does not need to take a lot of time either. I take 30-40 minutes ever second day to do calisthenics and the days in between I go for a bikeride (pacer recommended so you can objectively measure how you are doing, they are pretty cheap and sold at good bike shops). I’ve ended up doing this for about 6-7 days/week for the past couple of weeks (before I biked every day, which did not give enough recovery) which works very well for me. So to answer the question of which comes first, it doesn’t matter. Start with one activity to get the ball going. Once you have adapted to this activity so it is easier for you to do it than not then add the other type of activity. Always make sure it is one you enjoy. I find cycling a lot more enjoyable than running and it is low-impact so I can do it more often and a lot easier to perform if you are not lightweight. But if you enjoy running more and is fit enough to do it – go for it. Do the activities you enjoy with a smile and you will see improvements. We are in this for the long haul. Just as we did not get to where we are today in one day of not working out it will take a couple of years to become truly fit, but we will see some improvements along the way. It’s just important to bear this in mind and not get sucked into the short-term perspective that is so prevalent in our society.

Going to head out for a 14k bikeride after I finnish my water now. Have a great day 🙂