I’m extremely analytical. Everything I read and research, I keep the tidbits that make sense and discard the rest. Of course a lot of it is discarded completely, and none of it is accepted 100%.
This blog is going to be about the why’s of what I do — how I know what I do, and how I know it will work. In 90 days, we’ll see the proof in the pudding.
Today’s exercise was broken into three parts. My goal — to exercise for 30 minutes every day in a way that will keep me interested and be something I can stick with.
I started out with my resistance bands. I discovered in 2000 when I was doing some self-taught Chi Gung, that my arms were the key to keeping up my heart rate. More than walking, more than running, more than aerobics. Back then, I did a couple of Chi Gung exercises using only my arms every day for 3 weeks and lost 10 pounds. It was the only exercise I got during that time period.
So today I started out for just 5 minutes working my arms with my resistance bands. I took the longest and easiest pull from my set, and just did pulls and curls for 5 minutes. I stood on the band and pulled the handles up, starting at my waist, doing curls to shoulder height, and putting my arms out straight in front of me and to the side, and lastly pushing them up as high as I could, always 10 repetitions each, and two sets. By the end of 5 minutes, I was warmed up, my heart was already getting into my target range, and I was ready for the next phase.
Now, let me confess something. I had a nice little routine going last year when I was in Arizona, one that kept my blood sugar and blood pressure under control. But starting in November, we took a new route in our lives–a very necessary one, and now we also know that it was very prodigious–but it put us under immense stress and strain for four months. Coupled with the holidays, all my exercise stopped, and we gorged on holiday foods; I was a mess. But even with all that gorging, I didn’t gain an ounce. Nope, my set-point is quite well established. Depressed? Yes. Inflamed and aching? Yes. The worst part was decimating any stamina I had whatsoever, so today’s exercise was about beginning at the beginning to build my stamina for exercise again.
For some reason, when I got off the truck in Oregon on Thanksgiving Day, my knees began to hurt like they never had. This was far more than just old age. I’ll go into that later, but suffice it to say that when it comes to exercise, walking has been out of the question for me for a while. I have gotten a lot better since we arrived in California (more on that later, too), but I still try to minimize impact. So, there was only one real answer for me in order to create “Peak Fitness” as prescribed by Dr. Mercola. His “Peak Fitness” program is also known as High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
Out of all the reading I have done on exercise in the past couple of years, I knew that walking and Tai Chi were not going to be enough to lose weight, and rigorous and extreme routines are out of the question for me if they are going to keep my interest. The whole pain thing causes me to lose interest quickly. But I came upon Dr. Mercola’s prescription for Peak Fitness. Let me say something quickly here about Mercola. I don’t like the way he sensationalizes things, and I don’t like it when he’s telling me there’s something wrong just so he can sell me his supplements. But he had nothing to gain by telling me about Peak Fitness (HIIT), and I have nothing to gain by sharing the link with you. http://fitness.mercola.com/sites/fitness/archive/2012/03/09/this-type-of-exercise-can-actually-make-you-smarter.aspx If you don’t want to read the whole article, zoom down to the instructions under the heading: You can still have a life if you exercise. This is brilliant, and the first thing that really made sense to me.
It only takes 20 minutes. Now, this first time, I could only do 10 minutes. So I did 4 repetitions of the cycle after warming up with the resistance bands. I used an exercise bike, the kind with the rowing arms. I started with 90 seconds of cycling at a comfortable rate with my arms at my sides, then went all out for 30 seconds, fast cycling and rowing. Back to 90 seconds of comfortable cycling and 30 seconds as fast as I could maintain in the shape I’m in now. I did the 90/30 cycle four times.
Now, since my goal is to exercise 30 minutes every day, and I was only able to maintain fitness-type exercise for a total of 15 minutes, later in the day I pulled weeds and did some mowing with a push mower, which is also excellent resistance exercise.
So here’s the biggy. I am eating whatever I want to eat, but I am doing so in 6 hours out of 24. This is a form of intermittent fasting. I wrote a book on Fasting, but you’ll never see it published under my name, because I ghost wrote it for someone else to publish. Part of my research was on intermittent fasting.
Now, you have to understand that I have worked up to this. For several months, I have been eating everything in 12 hours a day, ensuring that my body had 12 hours to process everything properly. So, no, I didn’t just start out with 18 hour fasting. But I was ready to move into that phase. My plan is to do the 18 hour fasting every day. In the first 30 days, I will also do one day of a 24 hour fast. In the second 30 days, I plan to do two 24 hour fasts (separated by two weeks), and the third 30 days, I plan to do a 24 hour fast every 10 days.
First of all, I can do this easily because I have no medical conditions that are adversely affected by not eating. I will continue to take my medication and vitamins in the morning and afternoon, outside of the 18 hours. Second, I can do this because I have figured out, after 50 years, how to control my appetite (and it does not involve ingesting any pills or supplements). I will address this in a subsequent post very soon because I know this is a major killer for a lot of people, in more ways than one.
So, what did I have to eat today? I started out with my Tropic of Chocolate smoothie made with:
1 c Silk Dark Chocolate almond milk
1/4 c. coconut
1/3 cup of melted coconut oil
Blend and serve. When blended with the remaining ingredients, the coconut oil does not separate from the rest. I use the coconut oil for two reasons — 1) it is one of those GOOD fats (yes, even though it’s saturated) that helps keep me satisfied, and 2) research has shown that ingesting 3 – 5 tablespoons of coconut oil every day can help stave off dementia. Since I have a devastating familial history of dementia and Alzheimer’s, I’m working and researching to avoid it. If you read the Mercola article, that’s another perk from the exercise.
Mid-afternoon I ate a square of my Baked Oatmeal. The recipe will come in a later post. And for dinner I fixed what my partner and I call Tuna-Salad Salad.
For 2 servings
2 cans wild-caught tuna (one can per serving) with
2 T chopped celery and
2 T chopped onions
4 T organic mayo, and set on
a generous bed of spinach with other ingredients which vary from salad to salad (today it was English cucumber). I prepare the spinach salad first, then top it with a couple of tablespoons of my homemade dressing (another recipe to come later), then put the tuna salad atop that.
You can start to see some of my strategy for not being hungry — coconut oil, organic mayo, and olive oil in the dressing. Good fats. Necessary fats. Good protein source.
I had the smoothie at 12:30 pm and culminated with the Tuna-Salad Salad at 6 pm. The only other “food substance” (if you want to call it that) that I had today was a half cup of organic, fresh ground Dark French Roast coffee. Non-nutritive beverages don’t count, so I can have as much black coffee, tea of any kind (no milk), and water outside of the 6 hours. The only sweetener I use is 3 drops of Stevia for my Earl Grey tea.
But that’s all diet food, you might say. Not really. Too much fat, not enough protein, way too many calories for most diets.
Well, if that’s the way you eat, no wonder you’re not losing, you might say. We’ll see. My theory is that if I’m eating right, according to my intermittent fasting schedule I will lose weight. But right is according to my research, not anybody else’s idea of a diet.
One more thought (a little bonus) for you today. Before moving out to the Pacific, I was the Tucson Organic Examiner, writing for Examiner.com. This link: http://tinyurl.com/examinerpubs will take you to my articles, one of which is the Baked Oatmeal recipe and one is an analysis of non-nutritive sweeteners which you might find interesting.
TTFN. Till tomorrow.
Photo courtesy of winnond & FreeDigitalPhoto.com