Saturday, November 29, 2014

Random Thoughts - Engine 2 Diet 28 Day Challenge

So as I mentioned in a previous post I finished my Engine 2 Diet 28 Day Challenge with some really nice results. This post is just a few random thoughts I had that are prompted by participating in the Challenge.

I really don't have anything planned to say this time around so we'll see what happens. We'll all be surprised.

So let's start with something thought provoking: my farts stink.

How's that for a starting topic?(!)

Seriously thought they stink. Actually I should stay the smell is different. Clearly it is from the change in diet and the substantial increase in the amount of beans I eat. Black beans, kidney beans, navy beans, beans, beans and more beans. But it's also because I am eating more vegetables across the board. I bring this up because while I remember thinking about it during the challenge, this morning my wife, Arisa, told me that smell of my breath was different. She didn't say "bad" she said different. And I asked for the clarification. Twice.

It makes sense though. If what you are putting in is different then what comes out should be different in some way. I can certainly tell you that during the Challenge I was not bowelly challenged (did I just make up a new, politically correct term?) at all. After Thursday night and Friday's afternoon break with a complete #plantstrong diet, I stopped up immediately. I mean it was like clockwork. And easy. Now not so much though I am getting back to normal since Friday night I've gone back to #plantstrong.

I may have mentioned this in one of my posts about the challenge already but I am also finding that I am waking up hungry. There are to causes two this I think. The first is that I have tried to make sure that I don't eat after 8pm. Therefore it's been 10 hours of "fasting" by the time I wake up. Previously I would snack and watch TV, and snack, and snack. So I was waking up full, and chances are not eating breakfast because of it. And we all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, right!?

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Breakfast provides you with the energy and nutrients that lead to increased concentration in the classroom. Studies show that breakfast can be important in maintaining a healthy body weight.

Source: Google

The other thing I discovered was that because I am eating mostly vegetables that I am digesting it much faster. My stomach is empty when I wake up. As opposed to last Friday when I had the chicken in mid-afternoon, I still felt like my stomach was if not full it wasn't empty when I woke up on Saturday. This can only be a good thing, right?

Generally speaking, I have found that I seem to have more energy. Certainly less time devoted to food comas anyway. But generally I seem to have more energy and I'm less tired. Granted I have been sleeping better. I think that is a combination of working out more, getting up earlier and going to bed earlier. It may partially be age but I am becoming a morning person. I still have a ways to go to be where I want thought. My goal is to be able to get up early enough that I can get as much as an hour of exercise in the morning before work. I am almost there, I was tempted to do it today.

In general, I seem to feel much less stress. Part of that is that I have changed jobs at Hyland to a less stressful one. But I seem to feel less stress since going to this new #plantstrong -ish, no oil, no dairy lifestyle. My wife says my hard edges have softened. Unfortunately, I'm not sure how to take that. ;-)

Oh, another thing my wife has said is that my skin is "whiter". I am not exactly sure what that means but I think I'll take it as a compliment to mean that my skin looks better. Or maybe its just that I need more sun. Sigh.

Somewhere near the start of this journey, Arisa got me some "new" jeans. Trying them on I was able to get into pair, but the other pair was not even close. There was at least an inch, even sucking in my gut, between the button and button hole. I tried that pair again a day or so ago and sure enough I could get int just fine. I admit I had to suck in a little bit but not too much. The fact I got into them helps keep up the motivation to stay the course of a #plantstrong, #exerciserich (new hashtag!) lifestyle.

It also made me realize I hadn't published the results of various body. The following are measurements we took at the start and the end of the 28 Day Challenge. Thank goodness Melissa thought of this and packs measuring tape! All measurements are in inches.

Measurement10/22/2014 Results11/19/2014 Results
Thigh2119 or 22*

Booya! That 2.5 inch loss in waist circumference explains why I could fit into those jeans! With the thigh measurement we couldn't remember where on the thigh we measured so I think it's safe to ignore it completely. That three quarters of an inch loss around my neck is huge too. Overall, I'd say its pretty impressive.

Another thing I have found is that several people have borrowed my Engine 2 Diet book including the Registered Nurse at the Wellness Center and a colleague. My colleague wanted it for her husband who is generally athletic and slim but has very high cholesterol. She wanted to learn more and pick up some recipes along the way so I lent it to her. So people seem to listen since I think they can see the difference in my weight. When I tell them no meat, the first thing out of their mouth is how do you get protein? Americans are under the impression that 1)we need gobs and gobs of protein, and 2) meat, dairy and eggs are the only food you can get protein from. Both of those are patently false. There is a limit to how much protein a person should have each day. I believe the number I read is for a 150 pound male 55 grams of protein per day. Anything over that amount just gets turned into fat, so you don't need any more than that. Now if you are a body builder with muscles over your muscles spawning even more muscles than you probably need more protein than the average bear. But I am guessing the overwhelming majority of Americans don't need that much.

Nor are eggs, dairy, and meat the only foods from which you can get protein. Granted that they provide protein that is more absorbable, they also come with other things that are bad. Cholesterol specifically. Before I started this journey beginning with the Nutrition classes at Hyland I did not realize that cholesterol only came from the animal kingdom. Two or three years ago I a total cholesterol level 211, while after the 28 day challenge I am down to 129 with the biggest drop coming when I removed dairy, meat, and eggs from diet. I still get plenty of protein. Have you ever heard of anyone who wasn't starving or malnourished in general that was protein deficient? Ever? I didn't think so.

The main difference, if recall correctly, is that with meat, dairy, and eggs you get all 23 or 26 amino acids required to make the protein effective. The only not animal food source with all the amino acids is Quinoa and Buckwheat. Even so though, by combining fruits and vegetables you will get all the necessary amino acids. Or just have a lot of Japanese Soba noodles.

This whole protein discussion, though, points to the fundamental problem. While I concur that "food is medicine" and it tastes really, really good, finding accurate information is very difficult. Which is why I continue to read as much as I can. I am currently reading Rip Esselstyn's My Beef with Meat. This plethora of wrong or misleading information is one reason why I am so grateful to have taken the Nutrition Classes given by Melissa and Jackie. Those classes really started me down what I think is the correct path to health and wellness. So thank you Melissa and Jackie.

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