Sunday, February 25, 2007

Insanity defined

Ok, so I'm a moron. For reasons I can't quite explain, even to myself, I once again tried a low calorie, high carb, low fat diet. Go ahead, laugh. I deserve it. For some reason, the diet gremlins got to me and said, Ya know, "This time it will be different". Riiiiight!. I had my fasting glucose down in to the mid 80's. Then, in less than 5 days of this nonsense, while eating less than 2000 calories, my sugar hot up to well over 100. The part that confuses me the most about my own behavior, is that I wasn't unhappy with what I was eating or feeling deprived or anything. This need I have to occasionally self sabotage, is most confounding. Its also not like I haven't done this before with the same results. But because I'm insane, what else could possibly explain this behavior, I keep going down this same path expecting it to lead some where new. I guess at some level, I had thought that because I was engaging in daily exercise that I would be able to handle 300! g carbs a day. Never mind the fact that I sit at a desk 9 or more hours a day. Perhaps its all the marketing that we are exposed to all day everyday. Its difficult to ignore the message that is being broadcast that high carb, low fat, is how we are supposed to eat. If people like me who know better can succumb to the pressure, how should we expect the general public to fare? This time my misadventure was short lived. Thanks to my glucose meter, I was able to see very quickly where this was leading. The experience of doing "everything right", and seeing the results quickly go the wrong way, was a metaphorical two by four to the back of the head. I can only imagine what would be my fate if I hadn't tested my own glucose. If nothing else I did gain some insight into why many people diagnosed with T2 give up and eat whatever they want. Marketing is a powerful tool, and the high carb/lowfat cult are beating our asses with it. We in the carb control arena need a better message, and a better way of delivering it. Blogs and message boards are great, but that is basically just preaching to the choir. Dean Ornish has a colum in Newsweek. Bob Greene and Dr Oz are regulars on Oprah. The closest thing the low carb community has to national exposure are the Drs Eades on PBS . PBS vs Oprah, is it any wonder we can't get the word out?

Monday, February 19, 2007

Get An Atlas Body

I am an Atlas Man. Like many young boys, I too, wanted big muscles and to not be pushed around by the bigger kids. So I saved my money earned from odd jobs and doing chores, went to the post office, got a money order, and waited with little patience for my package to arrive. For an 11-12 year old boy, 3 weeks is a lifetime when waiting for the magic answer to one of life's most oppressing dilemmas. I'm not sure how much the course originally cost, but I remember thinking that for the princely sum required, it must surely be something special. I think I had been doing with the program for about 4 weeks, of the 12 that came with the course. I had gotten stronger, strong enough to shove one of the bigger kids down. I was quite proud of my self for about a second. Boy was he mad. I stood my ground that day, and learned an important lesson, Strong is good.
30 years later, I realize now, even more then when I was prepubescent male, that stronger is indeed better. Not for the purposes of standing up to bullies, but to stand up to the ravages of time, and the insidious decline of muscle mass, and an increasing waistline. The last time we moved, about a year ago, I found In a bunch of stuff, my copy of the Atlas course, complete with membership card and certificate. I flipped through the pages, smiled at the exercises, and put the course in a binder that was put on a bookshelf and again forgotten. A couple of weeks ago, I opened the binder and looked through the routines and came upon the perpetual lesson. And here it was, the true wisdom of the Atlas course is at last revealed. Daily exercise. Almost 80 years ago, Atlas, like others before him, had figured out that we needed to get up and use our bodies, everyday. If we all did the recommended 100 pushups and 100 deep knee bends, plus the other handful of exercises, everyday, aside from being stronger, we would all be healthier. After going back and looking again at the course, it is an absolute master piece. Strong doesn't mean setting a world record in competitive lifting. Strong means being able to pick up a crying child and carry them up the hill, across the yard and into the house with out hurting yourself or the child in the process. It means being able to climb more than one flight of stairs with a full laundry basket and not getting winded. Strong is being able to carry a full pack and hike for 10 - 12 miles. Strong is being able to row across the pond to a secluded spot, make love, and row back. Strong is good.

Monday, February 05, 2007


Can I substitute Vegetables for the fries? This has become the most common question I ask when I go to Restaurants. A simple yet effective way to eliminate useless carbs and grease from my diet. As part of my job, my presence is often required at business lunches, and being able to gracefully order and not create too much of a fuss is an important skill. At the generic chain restaurants, Apple-bees/Ruby Tuesdays/etc, which are often the venue, avoiding "white" carbs and grease is problematic. At the White Linen Tablecloth places that we attend, its rather easy. I often notice how the less expensive the establishment, the more food they serve per dollar spent. A big ass burger with a truck load of fries and a beer is 10 bucks. A steak with a salad, a side of veggies and a "Luncheon Sized" Manhattan, straight up of course, is 25 dollars. In the modern American sense of value,the cheaper meal is a better value. Now, don't get me wrong, I enjoy a beer and a burger as much as the next person, but, at what point did quantity become a substitute for quality? Is a slab of ground beef and processed cheese food really comparable to broiled tenderloin topped with roquefort, just because its cheaper? I cannot afford to spend $25 a day on lunch. Which is why I pack my lunch on most days. There are however many people who spend $10 everyday at these food factory's and suffer the consequences.

The advertising for the cheap food places says nothing about the quality of the food, its all about the quantity. Post WW2, I could understand the appeal of this sort of thing, just coming out a long period of national deprivation and all. But now, damn, what drives this whole mind set? The richest nation in the history of the world eats like a starved beggar at a banquet, eschewing quality, and simply gorging like there is not going to be a meal tomorrow

The conspiracy nut in me sometimes goes into overdrive. A fat, well fed, if sickly populace, is easy to manage and unlikely to rebel. Have we been sold down the path of cheap food to divert our attention away from what the government is really doing? Was the real lesson of the French revolution that you can do what ever you want as long as the peasants have plenty to eat? Hmm. One of the most common complaints I hear, and have myself, about eating a reduced carb, and nutrient dense diet is the expense. If everyone suddenly had to pay the real cost of producing food, with out government subsidies and fake fillers etc, how fat do you think the populace would be a year from now? How much unrest would there be in the streets? How much difference is there between cattle feed lots and modern corporate America? Keep the Animals from moving to much, feed them energy dense grain based food, and shove them full of medicine because the food is bad for them. I see striking ! parallels. Scully and Mulder, where are you when your nation needs you most??