Health kick 2 year update, and defending Ancel Keys

Something occurred to me during my transition to a low sugar diet. If you think about it, it makes no sense that cholesterol in eggs, or saturated fat, would be harmful to humans. Our species has been raising chickens for around 4,000 years, and surviving on fatty meat for tens of thousands of years. Sugar, on the other hand, only became a regular part of most people’s diets between the 17th and 19th Centuries.

Rational self maintenance

People shower a lot. On average, every day. Scientists seem to think that the amount we need to shower is more like once or twice a week. I’m on the scientific end of the spectrum in winter, and more average in summer when it’s disgustingly hot here. My main problem with showers in winter is that eventually you have to get out of them. So apparently daily showers are yet another thing we were convinced to do by advertisers, in order to sell more product.

#superbowl2016

A few years ago after some social media sites started telling me whenever #superbowl was trending, I got into the habit of responding by posting photos of majestic owls tagged #superbowl. Just over 3 years ago I decided that the joke was wearing thin — but that it could be rescued by taking it to the next level. I got spousal buy-in to throw an actual Superb Owl party. (I would like to take a moment to say that this was before Colbert.

Belt and braces

A week or two ago I was listening to some music, when it stopped. I investigated the FLAC file and discovered something nasty: it was corrupt. Both attempting to decode it and running an integrity check resulted in an error part way through. I went to my backup drive, and discovered that the file was corrupted there as well. Presumably it had been corrupted somehow before I placed it on the server, maybe during the CD ripping process.

In which I try Soylent

So, I ordered a batch of Soylent, and it finally shipped to me. Before I talk about my experiences, though, I feel like I should head off a few common criticisms. “Why do you hate food?” I don’t hate food. I love food in almost all its varieties. I love salads, curries of all nations from India to Thailand, pizza, pasta, stir fry, tacos, bread, omelets, flatbreads, hummus, all kinds of foods.

Colorado part 2: Boulder and mountains

We got a good deal on a rental car, and planned to drive to Boulder and up into the mountains. The car was from Hertz, and came with their GPS system “NeverLost”. Its software is terrible, mostly because the system doesn’t respond quickly enough to anything. For example, if you miss a turn into a side street, it will recalculate — and then tell you to take the next suitable street, which we had invariably passed by the time it finished working out what to do next.

Colorado part 1: Denver and art

I think I was about 10 years old when I decided I wanted to visit Colorado. I had read about a city called Boulder, where you could spend a warm and sunny morning in town and then drive an hour or so and be on a snow-covered mountain. I had never experienced an actual mountain, and that sounded like a good way to do it. In the mean time, I’ve had 15 years of South Park to mould my perceptions of Colorado.

Health Kick: Conclusion

So, that’s my story. I cut my sugar to under the AHA recommended level. I increased my fat intake and aimed for the upper end of the recommended daily intake, so the food I ate would cause less glycemic load and keep me satisfied for longer. I switched to whole grain for pretty much everything, and started eating quinoa, flaxseed and nuts. I ate as much raw or lightly-cooked food as possible, even if it meant turning it into a smoothie.

Health Kick: Diet is hard, let’s go shopping

Here are the basic rules I set out to follow when food shopping, in roughly descending order of importance: Aim for under 28g of sugar per day, excluding sugar in raw fruits and vegetables. Whole grain everything. Try to increase my fat intake towards the upper end of the recommended daily amount, so that food would taste better without sugar, have a lower glycemic load, and cut my hunger for longer.

Health Kick: Gadgets

I’m generally skeptical about health gadgets, even more than I am about gym membership. Call me a cynic, but I don’t think sauna pants are going to get you slim just by wearing them for an hour a day, or that the thigh toner is going to melt the fat off your ass. Even if the device works, we’ve all been to someone’s house and seen the exercise bike that’s been converted into a coat rack.