I’d like to wish all of you a very Happy New Year-I hope all of your goals are reached. I’ve set a few for myself- improve my health, be better disciplined regarding blogging and shooting videos (now that I’ve got a camcorder that works with my iMac), and including a date night each and every week with my wife.
My wife and son have decided to try a pescatarian diet this year, and I’m also going to give it a try. Only fish, along with whole grains, fruits and vegetables. I will eat red meat once per week. Not that I have anything against red meat. Organic, fresh, grass-fed beef is very good for you-high in omega-3’s and many other nutrients that are hard to come by elsewhere. Human beings are omnivores and are physiologically designed to eat both animal and non-animal foods-we don’t thrive unless we do. But large amounts aren’t necessary-red meat should be a complement to the rest of your diet, not a major component.
I will also eat no dairy except for butter, goat yogurt and a little half & half with coffee. (Butter is one of the most nutrient-rich foods-it contains high amounts of vitamins A, D, E, F, and K. Organic butter from grass-fed cows is high in omega-3’s). This next one will be tough. Raised in Wisconsin and weaned on cheese, that will be hard to give up.
Overall, I do pretty well with my diet now, but I still don’t eat enough vegetables. I’ll keep you posted on our progress and results. What we expect is to shed a few pounds, increase energy, improve blood sugar levels, lower blood pressure, and a few others. My biggest concern is that my energy levels are not what I want them nor need them to be. I hope this change in eating helps.
Just as my foot problem got much better, I hurt my opposite legs knee doing some vertical and broad jumps. I fear I may have slightly torn my lateral meniscus and I will do all I can to avoid surgery. I think the injury may be due to my lack of flexibility work. I just don’t stretch enough after workouts. I found that my knee pain is greatly reduced by using the foam roller on my gluts (butt muscles) and my ITB band (the outside of the upper leg from the hip to the knee. The roller hurts like H, but feels so much better after. Maybe it’s like the cure for a headache-hit your thumb with a hammer and you don’t notice your headache. But the roller works. I also do a new stretch for my hip flexors. I’ll shoot a little video of these to better illustrate. These should be done whether you have knee pain or not. The knee cannot make independent decisions; it follows instructions from either the hip or the ankle, so if you take care of strength and flexibility at the ends, the knee will be happy.
Speaking of exercise, can we please discard the notion that aerobic exercise is the healthiest exercise to do? More and more recent studies, many of which I’ve mentioned here, show that aerobic exercise is ineffective for increasing metabolic rate, decreasing body fat, increasing physical work capacity, anaerobic threshold, or heart rate recovery. If it’s not helping with these parameters, why do it? What does work is high (relatively) intensity interval-type training. Working hard for a short period of time with brief rest intervals, for a total of 10 to 20 minutes. Many of my personal workouts lasted 12 to 15 minutes. This type of exercise raises work capacity, heart rate recovery times, increases metabolic rate, and is 10 times more effective for fat-burning. Best of all, it requires only the simplest equipment and space. You can do the workouts in a 10 x 8 space, anywhere. The best equipment is the simplest; jump rope, calisthenics (body weight), resistance bands, or light dumbbells, sand bags, or kettlebells.
Regarding fat, fat doesn’t make you fat. Grains and sugars do. People are afraid of eating fat, so they go on low-fat diets. These low-fat diets may help people lose weight (if they can stay on them), but they don’t lose body fat (they end up losing muscle), and many end up sicker and fatter than before. Healthy fats are required for optimal health, and actually boost metabolism. Fats such as those in fish, nuts, seeds, avocados, and oils (olive, grapeseed, almond, avocado, and hazelnut), can help balance blood sugar levels, increase immunity, control appetite, and reduce levels of cortisol, a stress hormone and fat storer. The fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K, need fat in order to be absorbed.
Professionally, my goal for this year is to blog at least twice and post one video per week. If there are any areas you have concerning your health, or any other recommendations you have for my website, please let me know.
Stay well, John R Blilie, M.S.