My New Diet

I started a new diet about a month and a half ago. It is called the CR diet, which stands for calorie restriction diet. The purpose of this diet is not to loose weight, while loosing weight is usually a side effect of this diet. The purpose of this diet is to eat more nutrient packed foods and then slowly overtime focus on reducing my caloric intake to a the minimal healthy level. Up until now I have not really worked towards reducing calories, but that has happened as a side effect of eating nutrient rich foods. I am finding myself full after eating large amounts of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains; however, I even the large amounts of these foods aren't as many calories as I used to eat of my old foods. Because of this I have started loosing weight on this diet without even trying. This is a first for me.

Eventually this diet transitions to reducing calorie intake, but I don't want to do this too suddenly. I've decided a healthy rate of weight loss for me is 0.5 to 1 lbs a week. I don't want to loose weight too fast because fat holds environmental toxins that your take your body a long time to process so loosing weight to quickly will actually poison your body. Also fast weight loss weakens you muscles (including your heart muscle). Obviously fast weight loss isn't going to kill me since millions of Americans loose weight quickly each year; however, it does seem that it's unhealthy so I'm going to avoid it.

So what does this healthy, but low calorie diet do for me? Well in numerous animal studies with species across the animal kingdom it drastically reduces cancer and heart disease. It also reduces the chance of getting most other big disease that afflicts humanity. One thing it also has done for animals is extend their maximum life span. For instance lab rats that were put on this diet would live on average 60% longer, and have a maximum life span that's about 60% longer too. From everything I've read, reducing calorie intake while eating a healthy diet is the only known way to improve the maximum age of these animals. There are other drugs that can improve average age such using blood pressure controlling drugs to reduce a rat's changes of dieing from heart disease. However, nothing seems to improve average age as much as the CR diet. There are now human studies of the CR diet being conducted and everything looks very positive, but final results will take a long time because humans live so long.

You're probably wondering how these animal's that lived 60% longer lives actually lived. They lived more energetic lives, which really surprised me. I had thought that animals that got less food than they wanted would become sluggish, but that was not the case. They also slowed down aging of their mind and body. It was shown in many tests that the CR diet mice could perform as well in a wide variety of tests as much younger normally fed mice. This was what got me really interested in this diet. I had no interest in living a long life if it meant living it as an old person, but this showed me that this diet could keep me young longer which I am interested in obtaining.

There are a lot of theories about why the CR diet makes you live so long. I'm going to discuss just one of them here that made a lot of sense to me. In nature it is not a great benefit to a species to live extraordinary long lives. Evolution favorites a species that can reproduce and then have those offspring take over. However if times are hard and food is scarce it benefits a species to slow down aging and weight out the tough times. This idea is shown in the fact that the almost all the CR diet rats could still reproduce after every last one of the normal diet rats had died.

I've read some great books on this subject like Beyond the 120 Year Diet: How to Double Your Vital Years and The Longevity Diet. Here is a website that has a lot of good information. What I've mentioned here is really just a very brief description of the CR Diet and its benefits. These sources offer many more details and I'd highly recommend them to anyone interested even if you don't think the CR diet is for you.

I haven't made a new year's resolution in many years, and have even criticized the idea of them in the past because most people who make them don't keep them. However a risk of failure shouldn't be a reason to not being open about your goals. So here it goes... My new year's resolution is to continue learning about nutrition throughout 2007 and apply it to my life. I will try to slowly drop my current weight of 161 (BMI of 23.1) to 130 (BMI of 18.7). When I started this diet I weighted 170 so I've already lost 9 pounds in the first month and a half (this was a little too fast and I have slowed my weight loss down).

Happy New Years!


America: Freedom to Fascism

I just got done watching America: Freedom to Fascism. It started out condemning the federal income tax and brings to light some very interesting facts. Things like there are no laws that give the federal government the authority to tax your wages (i.e. personal income tax). It shows some court cases where people were found innocent by juries because no one could show the jury a law that the person who didn't file taxes was breaking. I certainly don't agree with a lot this movie said, but it did have some interesting information. Personally I have nothing against paying an income tax; however, I am against how the government spends my money which is also discussed in the movie.

From here the movie really goes off the deep end into conspiracy theory overdrive. Not to say that it doesn't have good points throughout, but it really seems that they try to find fault with everything the government does, and because of this it looses some credibility in my opinion. Still I'd recommend seeing it since it does bring up a lot of good points, and some of these points will certainly be new to you as they were to me.



My Christmas

So everyone is probably wondering what I did for the holidays. Well I didn't do much. No big trips. No huge get togethers. Not much of anything that's news worthy.

In other words everything went according to plan. While it seems like I'm always doing things on this blog, but truth be known I really need some time when I can just relax and let myself recharge. This extended weekend was one of those. I just bummed around playing video games, reading, exercising, and hiking. It felt great, but makes for a bad blog post.

Now everyone knows that my life isn't really the non-stop blitz creed that this blog makes it out to be. Sometimes I do take a break. (Sure I overstated myself there, but I don't think my life is boring.)

Hope everyone had great holiday.

2006 Holiday Letter

I send out letter via snail mail at the end of each year. This is sort of an update on my life. If you read my blog most of this information in the letter is old news, but some people don't use this new fangled internet so a lot of it's new for them. It's also nice to receive an actual physical letter. However, I can't send letters to everyone so I'm posting it here to. A link to my 2006 letter.

Hope you all had a great 2006!


Skating Update

Things have been progressing quite nicely in my figure skating practices. I have gotten competent at going forwards, backwards and turning. There are actually quite a few different things involved in this seemingly basic step. I've been told by quite a few people that I'm progressing at a fairly rapid pace up to this point. I'm sure I can't keep learning at this pace, but even when things slow down I think it will still be fun.

I've just started working on my first jump. It's called the "ballet jump". Not a very manly jump, but it is my first jump so it's pretty exciting. The jump is performed by skating backwards on your rear back outer edge and then doing a quick twist of the skate which would normally result in what is called 3 point turn. But just as you’re turning from backwards to forwards you use the toe on your other skate to hop into the air. My first attempt sent me skidding across the ice on my chest, but after a few tries I'm starting to get the hang of it.

On Saturday I was in my first skating show. It was the holiday show at the rink where I skate. A bunch of the adult beginning skaters and me did a short synchronized skating routine. It didn't involve any tricky skating, but I still got a little nervous right before I went on the ice. Once on the ice the routine went excellent. I actually think we did better at the real performance than in any of our practices. It's been a long time since I did anything like that. I forgot how good it feels afterwards.

The rest of the show involved a bunch of small children that were adorable to watch, and then there were some very talented teenagers that were inspiring to watch.

Watching and performing in this show was the most fun I've had in a long time. A few of the instructors at my rink have already been asking me if I want to start getting into some competitions. I think part of the reason for there interest in me is that I'm picking skating up fairly quickly, but an equal part is likely that I'm a guy. This is a sport were males are under represented so when they find one that's interested I think they try to get them involved. This is all just a theory of mine trying to explain why everyone seems so interested in me. I've been in a lot of sports before and never had so much of a spot light. I'd prefer it if they'd just let me do my own thing, but I can't really blame them for being enthusiastic about trying to spread their sport.

Anyways before the show I was still on the fence about whether I should get involved in any of these competitions, but after seeing how much fun I had in the show I'll probably start looking into the completions more. I'm still very new to skating so I'm sure it will be awhile before I'm ready to actually perform so don't hold your breath waiting for my first completion. I'll be sure to keep you updating on my skating.



An Inconvenient Truth

I watched An Inconvenient Truth over the weekend. It kind of bummed me out. I knew that global warming was bad, but this movie brings out a lot of examples of just how bad it is. I think this movie packed in more facts per minute than any movie I've ever seen. Interesting stuff and I'd recommend watching it, but don't go into it depressed or this movie might just push you over the edge.