Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Why I Started Biking to Work

Another hotel bathroom, but this one had good air circulation which meant that mirror didn’t fog up. When I pulled back the shower curtain I got a shock—that naked dripping guy looking back at me was getting old, bald, and really, really fat. Something had to be done. But…

Old – nothing I can do about that.

BaldComb-over? Toupe? Nothing I can do about that (and keep my dignity, anyway).

Fat – I can do something about that…if I have to…I guess.

What to do? I hate to exercise, and I don’t have time for it anyway. When I looked out the bus window a few days later, I saw a guy riding a bike and thought, “I have one of those.” I mulled it over for a few weeks, then the end of the month arrived: it was time to buy a new bus pass and the price was going up to $50. My old mountain bike was collecting dust. It was time to act.

I went to the thrift store and picked up a used backpack, put my bus pass with one day left on it in my pocket (just in case), headed off to work…and survived.

Things have changed over the years: the backpack was replaced by a sweet garment bag, the beat-up mountain bike is now a dedicated commuting machine, the office moved to a new building four miles further away, bus passes are now $72, and I am fifty pounds lighter.

I’ve learned to question assumptions about what it means to get to work: I used think my commute was just a requirement of life, now it is a valuable part of my day. I’ve also learned that I can even do something about old and bald.

  • Old–I look and feel younger (studies show that those who get regular exercise have a body age lower than those who don’t).
  • Bald–your hairline doesn’t matter when you are wearing a bike helmet.

One more thing: hotel mirrors don’t scare me anymore.

Monday, 4 July 2016

Is it Possible to Bulk Up On a Vegan Diet?

Is it Possible to Bulk Up On a Vegan Diet?

by JJ Muenz

If you’ve ever thought about how to build muscle on a plant-based diet, you’ve come to the right place.

Some people picture vegans as willowy and lean, but vegans come in all shapes and sizes. Whether your goals are to lean out, run faster, or put on muscle, it can be done on a vegan diet.

Why Switch to a Vegan Diet?

People come to vegan diets for numerous reasons. I tried a vegan diet for four years, but had no idea how to do it the right way.

I failed miserably, eating inflammatory foods and enough carbs to cause a 20-pound weight gain. If I had researched or talked to healthy vegans who knew how to cook, my experience with veganism would’ve been quite different.

Don’t turn into the chips and salsa, corn tortilla, and black bean burrito vegan eater that I was, and take the advice from star athlete Pat Reeves.

Vegan power lifter Pat Reeves, who has followed a plant-based diet for more than forty-four years, originally started her vegan diet to fight cancer, but continues because of her high levels of energy. Four years ago, at age 66, she became the oldest competing weightlifter in Europe. And just last year, she broke her own deadlift record.

Pat Reeves’ Daily Vegan Meals

Here’s a quick look at Pat’s daily meals, via veganbodybuilding.org:

Breakfast: Sprouted groats, plus fruit, homemade soy/almond yoghurt, sometimes dehydrated into ‘biscuits’ and topped with fresh fruit and seeds

Midmorning: Nut/seed milk, fruit

Lunch: – At least 8 types of sprouted greens, plus tofu (I make this and yoghurt and this is basically my only cooked food), or sprouted pulses, plus a dressing,

Mid-afternoon: Vegetable pate with crudities, a sprouted grain and fruit,

Evening meal: Similar to lunch, perhaps a raw warmed-through soup, but I will use different vegetables, grains etc.

Other vegan athletes say to eat these foods in abundance when trying to bulk: black lentils, beans, nuts, protein shakes with at least 40 grams of vegan protein, coconut oil, oatmeal, sweet potatoes, brown rice, broccoli, high fat almond milk, asparagus, tomatoes and olive oil.

So if you are looking to bulk up and lean out, incorporate these foods into your diet. As you probably know, every body is different, so it will take some trials to see what food works best for your unique body.

You could do well on sprouted foods, or a bag of trail mix filled with nuts, sunflower seeds and goji berries or maybe high fat almond milk is the ticket to your prime-bulking venture.

Either way, diet is a part of the equation, but fitness must be incorporated to make your vegan bulking a success.

Saturday, 2 July 2016

Thailand scrapping squat loos for sit downs due to alarming number of arthritis cases

Just over 85% of households and public facilities use ankle-high Nile pans, but these are being blamed as a cause of osteoarthritis of the knee

Thai people were relieved yesterday... to hear the country is scrapping its squat loos.

The Public Health Ministry revealed it will remove 90% of their bog-standard toilets by 2016 and replace them with sit-downs.

The poop-ular move comes due to an alarming number of people suffering from squat-related arthritis.

Just over 85% of households and public facilities use ankle-high Nile pans.

But these are being blamed as a cause of osteoarthritis of the knee.

Deputy Minister, Cholanan Srikaew, revealed that six million natives – and some expats – have the ­condition.

It is also hoped new facilities will improve tourism, which earns 7% of Thailand’s gross domestic product.

A source said: “Prolonged periods of squatting have been found to cause arthritis. It is hoped the new toilets will save a few more knees and boost tourism.”

Friday, 1 July 2016

3 Mindful Things To Do Before You Fall Asleep

You can't force a better night's sleep—but it does help to try something new.

By Elisha Goldstein

Do you find it difficult to get a decent night’s rest? Do you spend a good deal of the night tossing and turning? Then you might be among the ranks of the 30% of adults in the United States who are regularly sleep deprived, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Fortunately, there’s a few key habits that can help you turn over a new leaf—or in this instance, a new pillowcase. As Jason Ong, a sleep psychologist at Rush University Medical Center reminds us: “Each night is a new night. Be open and try something different! What you have been doing to this point is probably not working well.”

Try these three mindful tips for a better night’s sleep and see what you notice:

Before you go to bed:

1. Say goodnight to your devices: The first thing we need to pay attention to is getting our screens out of the room. If you have your phone or a tablet lighting up your bedside table, it’s going to disturb your sleeping patterns. It’s best if it’s not in your room at all. It’s creating activity in your mind that you have to pay attention to.

2. Don’t force it: We have to stop trying to fall asleep. Our brains are too smart for that. The moment we’re trying to do something, we’re creating stress on top of it. So we don’t want to try and fall asleep. See if you can let go of the notion of trying to fall asleep at all.

3. Try a body scan meditation: Bring mindfulness into the sleep experience. You can do a gentle body scan practice where you’re being curious about just noticing sensations in your body and your breathing. When your attention wanders or becomes frustrated, see if you can just take note of that and gently come back to being with what’s here. When we allow ourselves to be with what’s here, the body naturally goes to rest, which is what it wants to do.


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