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Showing posts from May, 2013

D UP

You've done all you can. You're eating right. Exercising. A firm believer in the power of positive thinking. You're getting enough sleep, maybe even practicing some relaxation techniques. And still you feel down in the dumps. Don't go reaching for the anti-depressant just yet. Try deep breathing. Often people hold their breath in stressful situations, the result of which can be a hypoxic state depriving the brain of oxygen and causing a build-up of carbon dioxide, which can make you feel sleepy and heavy. But if taking several deep breaths on a regular basis fails to lift your spirits, you may be vitamin D deficient.

This essential vitamin is involved in calcium absorption and plays a part in the development and maintenance of strong bones. However, it has many other non-bone-related functions which are important to your health. In fact, studies conducted by the NIH have shown that a large percentage of the population is vitamin D deficient, and that deficiency is ass…

SOY

It is rather common when transitioning from the standard American diet (refined carbohydrates and high-fat animal products) to a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle, to eat a substantial quantity of soy products. The reason is simple. Soy is a neutral-tasting meat analogue which assumes the flavor of the spices and foods it is combined with. And soy is everywhere! From tofu to tempeh, soy sauce to edamame, soy protein isolate, concentrate, soy milk, soy cheese, protein powder, even soy ice cream, soy is everywhere. Soy does provide some benefits. It has anti-estrogen properties that may be protective against breast cancer, and it is high in protein. But most soy products are heavily-processed pseudo-foods that should not be considered healthy. Sure, use soy in your transition phase. It is savory and high in fat, and makes a useful substitution for the chicken, fish, turkey, etc. that you are leaving off your plate. There are soy burgers, dogs, deli slices...there's even tofurky fo…

NUTS FOR COCONUTS!

Of the overt fat sources (foods which derive 50% or more of their calories from fat), we here at the Paradigm Diet endorse avocados and olives over traditional staples like nuts and oils. The reason is simple. Oils are not whole foods. They are extracted from whole foods, leaving the vitamins and minerals behind and sticking you with pure fat, which if eaten in excess sticks to problem spots like the cheeks, thighs, neck, arms, waist, hips, and buttocks. And nuts derive a large percentage of their calories from pro-inflammatory omega-6 fats which are already overemphasized in the standard American diet. Besides, nuts too often come roasted and salted and are simply too easy to overeat.

By contrast, olives and avocados are fruits eaten in their raw and minimally-processed state to provide an abundance of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats in addition to fiber and vitamins and minerals. And they are delectable.

But avocados can be expensive and have a relatively short shelf life.…

MAIN COURSE

When you think about dinner and decide on a main course, what probably comes to mind are foods like chicken, fish, ribs, if you're a meat eater, or perhaps pasta, lasagna, or rice and beans if you're a vegan or vegetarian. Or maybe you pick up a cookbook, but is this a good place to look for inspiration? Most tomes emphasize overly cooked, heavily seasoned options, as if to justify putting these recipes in a cookbook. The ideal diet requires a minimum of cooking. And of the cooking options, steaming, boiling, and sautéing in water/broth are by far the best choices, since they retain moisture and use moderate temperatures (limited as these methods are by the boiling point of water, 212 degrees Fahrenheit, which is much lower than the temps at which foods are baked and grilled).

It is also advisable to eat as many vegetables as possible in their raw form. For thousands upon thousands of years before the discovery of fire, our ancestors ate their food raw. We evolved on raw opti…

BRICKS

The term "bricks" is used to describe a particular type of workout widely employed by triathletes (those superb athletes who challenge themselves to swim, bike, and run, in that order, all in the same event).
A brick workout consists of stacking one discipline on top of another, just like the bricks on your neighbor's wall. Triathletes often follow a swim with a bike ride, or run after cycling, to simulate the muscle fatigue experienced on the day of their event. The name "bricks" is doubly appropriate. Not only are the brick workouts stacked like bricks, but they can also make your legs feel heavy as bricks, especially if you bike, then run. Think: B(ike)R(un)ick.

But triathletes are not the only ones who can derive benefit from this most effective training method. Bricks are also very useful for runners, especially if you are trying to increase your mileage, say in preparation for an upcoming race. It is widely held that increasing mileage by more than 10% …

10 MILES PER DAY

 The notion that we are all descended from risk-takers is the subject of this month's National Geographic. Around 60,000 B.C. modern humans began migrating out of Africa, eastward across southern Asia to Australia, then into Europe, and lastly to the Americas and the South Pacific. Thus began a voyage into the unknown, that led to sea voyages, air and space discoveries and has culminated (for now) in an exploration of the universe.

In honor of our nomadic ancestors, writer Paul Salopek has embarked on a seven-year, 22,000-mile journey to follow in the footsteps of the first great explorers as they radiated out of Africa and across the planet. It is the trail of some of the first risk takers, who along the way took bites of unknown plants and encountered unknown species of animals, learned to traverse deep water, and discovered ways to sustain their body temperature in the cold. The idea for Salopek is to walk the daily length that nomads did when they left Africa 50,000 to 70,00…