More Anachronisms!

IMG_1746I ran into a mini road rally of about a dozen 1920’s – 1930’s cars this morning near the Park. They drove down Texas St, all together in a little parade. I couldn’t resist passing them on my bike, and shouting through an open window, “Get a horse!”. (That’s what they used to scream at broken down motorists a hundred years ago.) All in good fun. They sounded their claxons while I took their picture.

50’s Bike Party

IMG_1740Yes, these girls were on bikes tonight. This month’s San Diego Bike Party had a 50’s theme, and ice cream sandwich treats. We had a great turnout on this summer Friday night. It’s amazing to see perfect, full-detail vintage costumes in real life. It’s inspiring. I’d vote for a law that’d require us all to always dress in period costumes. I’m telling you, we missed out on an elegant era. Bring it back.

Ad Libitum McDonald’s Diet

IMG_1733People have lost weight on an exclusive “McDonald’s Diet” before, where they basically show that calories-in/calories-out works on even the McDonald’s menu. It’s not very nutritious, and your health won’t improve much, outside of any weight you might lose.

A better McDonald’s-based diet would be the following:

  1. All the McDonald’s hamburgers you can eat (240 cal/each)
  2. You must add lots of veggies to each burger
  3. You can eat all the additional fruit and veggies you want

This works as a healthy long-term diet, because you’ll get all the macronutrients (calories) you need from the hamburger and bun, but more importantly, you’ll get plenty of micronutrients and fiber from all the fruits and vegetables. The key to all successful diets is always the fruits and vegetables. Their micronutrients reduce inflammation throughout the body, and let the body heal and function correctly. The fiber fills you up, and keeps you from over-eating. You’ll stop eating hamburgers when you’re full.

Would anyone follow this diet? Probably not. Once you start buying produce, you’ll figure out that real food tastes a hundred times better than fast food. It’s just an example showing how we really derive our health from fruits and vegetables, and the macronutrient source doesn’t really matter.

Fresh Tortillas From Gabriel’s

IMG_1729This is my standard order that I pick up at Gabriel’s @ 24th & Imperial in Barrio Logan. They make the tortillas right there in the store, and you buy them fresh out of the machine. They taste so good right out of the bag when they’re fresh, hot, and steamy.

There’s 2700 calories in this 3lb bag, which I finish in about 3 days. They provide the bulk of my calories, and contain a lot of fiber and protein as well. They’re probably a better option than a loaf of bread.

I pretty much eat the salsa straight out of a coffee mug with a spoon. It’ll beat a multi-vitamin or a V-8 drink any day.

August K.I.S.S.

wpid-20140821_2059071Hammered it tonight with the fast fixie crowd, from downtown, through Point Loma and Pacific Beach on Bojac’s monthly K.I.S.S. ride. There are some pretty fast riders and good athletes in the group. Mark Caporale got a KOM going up the Cañon climb in Point Loma. Sergio Soto got 2nd out of 1241 riders on a 5.5 km section of Pacific Highway. One of the riders, Todd Smithson, runs ultra marathons (50 & 100 miles). A dozen of us kept up pretty well near the front, and kept it moving pretty fast. Strava says I burned 1200 calories on the ride, but it felt like more.

That’s me on the right, feeling great, and within 10kg of goal.

Stephan Guyenet Explains It All

This excellent talk from Stephan Guyenet at AHS `14 describes why individuals end up with runaway obesity when eating a poor diet of highly refined, low fiber, fattening foods. He shows how a diet, and obesity itself, can disrupt our leptin feedback system responsible for regulating appetite and keeping us lean.

The talk shows how poor gut health (from diets lacking fermentable fiber) causes inflammation in the hypothalamus that results in leptin resistance. He also shows that refined and processed meals themselves immediately cause inflammation, compared to whole, unprocessed foods. Not surprisingly, exercise reduces inflammation. Finally, he shows how obesity itself inhibits the effectiveness of leptin. (It makes sense for the body to protect its fat stores. This allows people to fatten up before scarce times.)

The bottom line is that we restore leptin sensitivity once we eat whole, high fiber foods, exercise, and lose weight. These same steps also restore insulin sensitivity.

Our feedback systems naturally keep us healthy in a real food environment. You can’t really blame evolution for not handling non-stop Cheetos and Ding-Dongs all those millions of years ago.

Back To Losing Weight

IMG_1718I was just returning home from a perfect vegan grocery trip, when I ran into my friend Denise who wanted to go somewhere non-vegan for lunch. I was pretty hungry, and close to a new low weight, so I figured it’d be alright. We ended up at Shakespeare’s Pub, where I ordered the shepherd’s pie, hold the cheese topping. I finished all of the potatoes and peas, but left some of the meat filling uneaten. I guess my high-carb preferences are still showing. While I’m at it, I’ll confess to eating 3 lbs of corn tortillas over the last two days. With butter. (Warning: this diet only works with lots of exercise.)

1.7 kg Weight Gain?

Screen Shot 2014-08-17 at 11.18.33 AMWell, the Fish & Chips, donuts, prime rib, nachos, candy bars, and potato chips I ate last week on my Pacific Northwest road trip caught up with me this morning. I weighed in at 82.3 kg, which is 1.7 kg above my low of 80.6 kg last month. I thought I could get away with eating almost anything, because I biked 200km/week, with 2,000m/week of climbing.

Well, what they say is true: “you can’t outrun your fork”. In other words, it’s pretty easy to inhale 1000 calories, while it takes several hard hours of training to burn it off. So you can’t just serially eats donuts without consequences, even if you train a few hours a day.

It’s been about a year since I ate this amount of high-fat, fried, and sugary foods. I didn’t binge on them, but I ate full-fat restaurant dinners, then snacked on donuts and chips at my sister’s house. It’s pretty much the standard American recipe for weight gain.

I’ll get back to losing weight, and towards my ultimate 70 kg goal. Once I returned home, I immediately re-started my normal whole-food, plant-based (WFPB) way of eating, which I was starting to miss (especially after weighing myself).

I learned an important lesson here. Yes, we get fat because of rich western diet. Fried foods are horrible, sugary treats are calorie bombs. It’s pretty much all they sell, and you have to go out of your way to find something healthy, if you can find anything at all. Mystery solved as to why Americans get fat.

Fish & Chips @ Ivar’s Seattle, WA

imageThese seagulls live on a nearly 100% French fry diet, and they’re still light enough to fly around without any problems. The restaurant puts up a sign encouraging the patrons to feed the seagulls, creating a whole ecosystem based on the tourists tossing 1/2 their fries to the birds. This makes Pier 54 a petting aviary, and an all-you-can-eat chip shop for the gulls. The birds look healthy. I’m hoping my body handles 3 days of fried food as well as they do. I’m not flying, but I’m biking a few hours each day, and ran a few hills, and kayaked on the lake today.